One of the most coveted perks at Travelzoo is the Travelzoo Experience, in which Deal Experts and other employees take advantage of the same travel, entertainment and local deals we publish to our subscribers and report back on their experience.
For my first Travelzoo Experience, I booked the Adare Manor trip to Ireland along with 11 of my family members this fall. My family was looking to book a big vacation together, and when this deal came up it looked like the perfect choice for us.
Ireland is one of my favorite places. I lived and worked in Galway after college, so I was very excited to visit because I haven’t been back since. It was also special to go with my family, because we have Irish roots.
Our trip started off with a little snag. Our flight was cancelled because the inbound plane hit a bird. We learned the importance of travel insurance, and because of it, Sceptre Tours was able to push everything back a day and we wouldn’t really lose any time on our tightly scheduled trip.
Once we finally arrived in Dublin, we picked up our cars and headed to Adare Manor. The drive is about 2.5 hours from Dublin. The Irish drive on the opposite side of the road from the United States, so it can be a little stressful as the driver is getting used to the difference. My advice to passengers is to remain patient (which can be hard when traveling with family) and assist with directions.
Adare Manor is a gorgeous property with an enormous manor house, golf course, spa, activities and restaurants. We had two townhouses on the property to split between 11 people. Each house came with a full kitchen, en suite bedrooms, living room, study and outdoor area. It was the perfect place to come back to after a long day or sightseeing and driving. Adare Manor is on the edge of the town Adare, which is only a block walk from the property. It is a great representation of a quaint Irish town with thatched roof cottages, restaurants, pubs and shops.
Throughout the trip, our days were spent exploring and at night we spent time in the pubs visiting with the Irish people. The Irish are extremely friendly and welcoming, and also have a great sense of humor. I think the people are as much a reason to visit the country, as the beautiful coasts and green landscape.
Adare is a great central location for visiting sites in the Southwest. We took day trips to Cork, Kinsale and Dingle. We visited the Cliffs of Moher and decided to stay a night in Galway, because we have friends there. I highly recommend visiting Ireland in the fall. The weather was mild without much rain, and places were not busy. We were able to get right in the sites and not have to plan too much ahead. The last two nights of the trip we spent in Dublin.
Travelzoo Tip: I recommend buying a ticket for the "hop on, hop off" bus. It’s a double-decker bus guided tour of the city that goes to more than 20 sites. Tickets are good for two days and cost about 12 euros, and you can get off and on where you please with buses running every 15 minutes.
Despite our trip getting off to a rocky start, we had a wonderful time exploring the country and spending time together and with the locals. Ireland is a great place to go if you’re looking to book a laid-back adventure.