Within Europe, Ireland is the third largest island, with an area of 32,595 square miles and over 3,000 miles of coastline. Its largest city, Dublin, holds a population of 495,781, and its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) – at 45,835.75 – ranks 15th in the world.
Not only is the economy doing well economically, it is also very well known for its beautiful landscapes, specifically for its lush greenery. Famously, it has been dubbed, “The Emerald Isle,” and the country is a great location around which to consider building a luxury custom tour.
In 2015, 8.6 million overseas trips had been made by tourists to Ireland. Then that number increased by 10.9% in 2016, to 9.6 million trips. It would seem that the popularity of The Emerald Isle will only increase in the near future as more people become aware of its natural beauty. This makes the country increasingly appealing as a vacation spot.
One of the most unique aspects when it comes to tours in Ireland encompasses medieval castles. Because of the sheer number of castles – hundreds, perhaps thousands, of fortresses, strongholds, keeps, citadels, manors, so on and so forth – that still stand in the country, luxury custom tours of the various historical landmarks are a popular option.
In fact, the best tours of Ireland would not be complete without including castle tours. Castle vacations may sometimes even involve hotel stays in the historical landmarks themselves.
On Customizing Your Own Tour
As there are far too many castles in the country to visit them all, researching and choosing the landmarks to visit is part of the luxury custom tour experience.
A few options that may be of interest to many tours may be the castle locations involved in the filming of the popular Game Of Thrones series. For example, Castle Ward is one of the most well-known castles, as it is the location of House Stark within the show. It has stood since the 16th century, solidifying it as a historical location, although it now serves as a stately home.
Another may be Magheramorne Quarry, the location of Castle Black and headquarters of the series’ Night Watch. Although recognizable landmarks, such as the huge ice wall, were digitally recreated, the actual castle itself exists and can be visited in person.
Perhaps, a slightly spookier, more paranormal experience may be more your style. Ross Castle, established in the 16th century, is known as one of the most haunted locations in Ireland. A young woman’s spirit is said to haunt a tower. Her lover drowned as they tried to cross a river together, and there, in the castle, she died of a broken heart.
Yet another haunted location is Leap Castle, in which a man killed his brother in a place now known as “The Bloody Chapel,” a little girl died from a fall from the castle’s battlements, and where supposedly an underworld spirit had accidentally been summoned. Truly a sought-out location for ghost hunters.
Perhaps The Rock of Cashel may be more appealing, if haunted locations are not your style. This old building, established in the 12th century, is said to have been originally part of a mountain not too far away from where the castle currently stands. At the base of the mountain, a large gap is said to be where the devil had taken a bite and broken his teeth. The Rock of Cashel fell from his mouth to the ground, and the structure still stands today.
Consider An Ireland Castle Vacation
Regardless, visitors have complete liberty in picking out locations to visit as their own luxury custom tour to Ireland. There is a wide variety of castles to tour within the beautiful country, and all have their own appeal, whether as famous filming locations, haunted areas, or locations connected to legend and mythology.
Whether private guided tours or small group tours in Ireland, be sure to make time for at least a few castle tours. Consider a castle vacation in The Emerald Isle. While Ireland’s natural beauty and greenery are very attractive to non-residents, the historical, medieval locations and castles.