We know how it is. With work, family, health and home on your mind it can be hard to make a plan for tomorrow never mind next week. But you know what? Now’s the best time ever to book that vacation in Ireland. The reason is simple: the prices are a never to be repeated steal.

How about from $699 per person for all-inclusive seven day Saint Patrick’s Day tour? That’s the kind of value that you can’t pass up. To book this getaway for Saint Patrick’s Week 2010 there’s a suggested arrival time of Friday 12 March, but the dates are flexible. This tour, which you take at your own pace, is plotted to perfection by an in-the-know Irish company who can help you get the most out of your stay.

Pick up your car from the Car Hire desk is in the Arrivals Hall at Dublin Airport, check in at your hotel and then let the fun begin. Your concierge will have the goods on everything from local theater programs, concerts, nightclubs, entertainment, and shopping discounts.  Did I mention you’ll be staying at a hotel in the upscale Dublin 4 area of the town, an area that’s quieter and more elegant than the city center?

Remember, Dublin city is over a thousand years old. Successive centuries have all left their unique character and architecture behind, which means that Dublin has hundreds of fascinating sights to explore, such as Dublin Castle, where the Normans ruled from the 12 Century.

Make sure to take in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, writer Jonathan Swift was once its Dean, and then Trinity College, famous for housing The Book of Kells and also famous for its alumni including Oscar Wilde and Oliver Goldsmith. 

On day 2 of your tour you could explore the countryside around Dublin, visiting unforgettable places like New Grange, a Stone Age passage tomb that’s over 5000 years old; that’s right, it’s older than Stonehenge by about 1000 years and older than the Egyptian Pyramids by nearly 500 years.

On Day 3, set off for Cork. A good place to stop for coffee and a stretch on this first part of the road would be Kildare Village, a luxury retail outlet village, just beside Ireland’s National Stud, home of the racehorse industry. You will pass through the village of Abbeyleix, famed for Morrissey’s bar, whose interior has not changed for over 100 years.  Abbeyleix is also the village in which the carpets for the Titanic were manufactured. Your hotel in Cork is at the top of the hill, beside Cork Airport.

On Day 4 you’ll discover you could spend a week exploring the Cork area and still not have seen all the highlights. The bells of Shandon, The English Market, Saint Finbarre’s Cathedral, and the new Glucksman Gallery are a few of the highlights of the city. The nearby town of Kinsale is another great place to spend a day.  Once a sleepy fishing village, it is now referred to as the gourmet capital of Ireland, with an assortment of fine restaurants.

On Day 5 you can tour back to Dublin by way of Waterford and Kilkenny. The scenic road follows The Gold Coast from Dungarvan through Annestown and Tramore to Waterford. Follow the valley of the River Nore to Thomastown with the Cistercian abbey of Jerpoint and the Jack Niclaus golf course on the rolling estate of the Earl of Carrick’s mansion, Mount Juliet and Bennetsbridge, with its many craft workers studios.  In Kilkenny you should first explore the city, full of medieval laneways and inns, a great castle and of course lots of shops.

Then head on back to Dublin.

On Day 6 it’s Saint Patrick’s Day! The festival Parade features newly commissioned, highly original and inventive street theatre troupes, artists, giant puppetry, dancers and marching bands from Ireland and across the globe. Thousands are anticipated to be cheering on the city streets.

To avail of these great prices and to schedule your own tour Saint Patrick’s week tour, visit www.tourismresources.ie/patrick/


The festival Parade features street theater troupes, artists, giant puppetry, dancers and marching bands from Ireland and across the globe.