Magnetic North *NEW*
ADVENTURE TOUR ***NEW FOR 2019***
Possibly our most off-the-beaten-track adventure as you travel by 4X4 Land Rover tour vehicle, boat, horse, surf, bike and on foot through the northern half of the island of Ireland, including Northern Ireland, the north-west counties of Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo and Mayo.
REVEL AT SOME OF EUROPE’S VERY BEST SCENERY: ● Absorb the wild and rugged Atlantic Ocean coastline ● Head truly off the beaten track in Donegal and Mayo, two of Ireland’s most remote and beautiful regions ● Immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of Glenveagh National Park ● Tour the epic Causeway Coastal Route ● Hike Slieve Gullion, for stunning views of Armagh ● Lose yourself amid lush, green inland scenery
Dublin to Antrim
Meet your guide and fellow Vagabonds at reception of the Grand Canal Hotel, Dublin at 8.20am. Board your 4x4 Vagatron and hit the road!
Cross the border into Northern Ireland (remember, UK £ sterling required).
Climb Slieve Gullion mountain (573 m / 1,880 ft) to relive the curse of Cailleach Bhéara, the ancient goddess of Ireland’s highest passage tomb.
Zoom to Belfast, the vibrant capital of Northern Ireland.
Enjoy lunch in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast.
You are then free to choose from the following options:
» The highly recommended Black Cab Tour of Belfast, explaining the origins of the Troubles era (Tour Option - £10 per person);
» Self-guided visit to the Titanic Centre, the world's largest Titanic visitor experience (Tour Option - £18.50 per person);
» Or free time to explore Belfast’s shopping and cultural attractions.
Cameras at the ready! You're about to begin one of the world’s most spectacular coastal drives, the Causeway Coastal Route.
Your accommodation and dining for the evening is at the Londonderry Arms. You’re in good company - this quaint former coach house once played host to none other than Winston Churchill himself.
Overnight—Londonderry Arms Hotel, Ballymena, Co. Antrim
The average driving time today is 4 hours.
Antrim to Derry
Take a deep breath, everyone
It’s an early start today for a short (but sweet) hike.
Brave Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, suspended over the ocean and reached via a steep descent. Enjoy views to Rathlin Island and, on a clear day, even Scotland (Tour Option - £7 per person).
Game of Thrones fan alert! Look out for Theon Greyjoy stepping ashore at tiny Ballintoy harbour. There's an added chance to visit a former GoT set in an abandoned lime quarry.
We continue along the Causeway Coastal Route, soaking up all the incredible natural scenery.
Your guide will select a lunch stop along the route.
Next up is the challenging but scenic Dunseverick coastal hike. Hikers from all over the world come to experience this steep, often muddy trail, culminating in your arrival at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Giant's Causeway. Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes.
We hope you're thirsty! There may just be time to visit Bushmills, the oldest whiskey distillery in the world (Tour Option - £7 per person), followed by a sneaky photo stop at the iconic clifftop stronghold of Dunluce Castle.
Overnight—Beech Hill House Hotel, Derry, Co. Derry
The average driving time today is 3 hours
Derry to Donegal
Northward, ever northward!
We'll pass historic city gates to enter Derry. Walk the ramparts of Ireland’s last remaining walled city on the excellent historic guided tour of Derry.
Cross the border into the Republic of Ireland, and the euro currency zone (€). Your guide will select a lunch stop along the route - or maybe even a picnic. Look behind you! Panoramic 360° vistas await you at the beautifully preserved Celtic stone ringfort at Grianán of Aileach.
It’s all aboard for the short hop to the pristine wilderness of Glenveagh National Park. Keep an eye out for wild deer and eagles as we pass along lakes and through the glacial, granite-lined, ‘Valley of the Birch’. No matter the time of year, dramatic displays of colour await you in the romantic 19th century Glenveagh Castle Gardens.
Expect a turf fire and an even warmer welcome at this evening’s accommodation, the locally owned Arnold’s Hotel of Dunfanaghy.
Overnight—Arnolds Hotel, Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal
The average driving time today is 3 hours
Fortress of the foreigners
Today is yours to design. Flexible activities abound in one of Ireland’s most remote and beautiful regions.
Your guide can organise one of the following:
» Surf the breathtaking Dunfanaghy beach, right in front of your hotel (Tour Option - €35/45 per person);
» Glide along Donegal’s coast with a ‘sit on top’ sea kayaking session (Tour Option - €35 per person);
» Scenic drive and walk to the stunning cliffs of Horn Head;
» Have Donegal’s magnificent beaches all to yourself;
» Enjoy a guided tour of Doe Castle on the shores of Sheephaven Bay.
A bohemian breeze blows through Dunfanaghy. After your active afternoon, unearth crafty treasures or relax in one of the village’s cozy cafés. Go on you good thing!
Arriving in the small country town of Ardara, we recommend a visit to Eddie Doherty. Friendly and informative, Eddie is one of the few remaining handweavers left in Ireland. See a true master craftsman at work in his open studio.
This evening’s accommodation is at the family-owned Nesbitt Arms in Ardara. Don't miss a traditional Irish music performance. Musicians perform in the hotel bar regularly, as well as in other venues around the town.
Overnight—The Nesbitt Arms Hotel, Ardara
The average driving time today is 1 hour 30 minutes
Donegal to Sligo & Mayo
Sea cliffs, steep hikes and a welcome spa
Look out for rugged mountain sheep and the golden sand of Maghera Beach as we journey up and over the scenic Granny Pass.
At the towering sea cliffs of Sliabh Liag, your guide will offer these options:
» Get up close and personal with some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, on a 1 hour 30 minute hike over steep and rugged terrain.
» If you’re in possession of sea legs, take a guided boat trip to gaze up at these dramatic 600m / 2000ft cliffs from below (Tour Option - €20 per person). You’ll be on a small boat with 12 person capacity. We can’t guarantee it but birdlife and sea mammals make regular guest appearances.
Feeling brave? There may even be time to take a rejuvenating plunge into the Atlantic!
We’ll stop at Donegal town, with the option for a guided tour of 15th century Donegal castle.
A flexible afternoon:
» Go horse-riding along a stunning beach (Tour Option - €28 per person);
» Honour Nobel Laureate WB Yeats at his final resting place;
» Or hike Knocknarea to the tomb of Queen Maebh’s grave (time permitting).
Accommodation tonight is at the luxurious Mount Falcon Estate. Enjoy delicious food, a romantic woodland setting and a wealth of history.
Overnight—Mount Falcon Estate, Ballina, Co. Mayo
The average driving time today is 3 hours.
Time for magical, mystical Mhaigh Eo
Ease yourself into the day with a heavenly breakfast spread at Mount Falcon.
Explore the ruins of the once magnificent Franciscan friary at Rosserk on the shores of the Atlantic.
Ramble the wilds of northwestern Mayo, one of Ireland’s most remote and windswept corners, to dazzling Downpatrick Head. It feels like the edge of the world!
Experience the vast, unspoilt wilderness of Ballycroy National Park, a haven of serenity.
Crown your day on the Western Greenway. Hike or bike (Tour Option - €30 per person) this converted railway line for stunning views of the island-adorned Clew Bay and the distinct probability of a pint along the way.
Your accommodation tonight is at the centrally located Wyatt Hotel in the colourful town of Westport.
Make sure you take a stroll around the famously fun Westport this evening. You’ll have a broad array of options for eating, shopping, music and craic.
Overnight—Hotel Westport, Westport, Co. Mayo
The average driving time today is 1 hour 30 minutes
Mayo to Dublin
Time to say slán...
Before we say goodbye, there’s still time for some of Ireland’s highlights. It’s time to soak up one of the most beautiful vistas in Ireland from the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick. Lose a sin with every step! We may also take a peek at the ruined 16th century Murrisk Abbey, and pay our respects at the nearby National Famine Memorial.
Time and weather allowing, we’ll stop off at either the wonderful Museum of Country Life or Corlea Trackway.
Discover Ireland’s rich rural heritage at the Museum of Country Life’s modern exhibition space and Victorian landscaped gardens.
At Corlea, you'll find an Iron Age trackway, or togher, constructed around 150 BC. This is the largest prehistoric roadway in Europe, hinting at a sophisticated society in pre-Christian Ireland.
Then we turn and head back east, through Mayo, Longford, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath and Meath.
You’ll disembark your Drifter back at the Grand Canal Hotel in Dublin between 5-6pm. Farewell hugs all round for your new friends.
The average driving time today is 4 hours and 30 minutes.
- Challenge yourself with rugged hikes through incredible landscapes
- Ride a horse along a golden Irish strand (€)
- Surf an Atlantic wave or go sea kayaking (€)
- Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge (€)
- Giant's Causeway
- Slieve League
- Titanic Experience
- Derry Walking Tour
- Knocknaree Mountain
- Off the beaten track adventure in a Vagabond Land Rover 4x4 tour vehicle
- Services of a highly trained professional Vagabond tour guide
- 6 nights ensuite accommodation
- Full Irish breakfast daily
- Most daily activities and visits
- Admissions to: Doe Castle or Donegal Castle, Derry City Walking Tour, Giant's Causeway Centre