Travel Weeklys Ireland E-letter: April 14, 2005

IRISH NICHES: Destinations Ireland & Great Britain, of New York and Dublin, peddles unique, niche itineraries to the Emerald Isle. For example, the land-only Killashee House Luxury Spa Break, priced from $679 per person (double occupancy), offers pampering respites on 80 wooded acres 20 minutes outside Dublin. Included in the rate: three nights deluxe accommodations; full Irish breakfast daily; one gourmet dinner at Turners Restaurant; one spa treatment at the New Villa Spa; three-day rental of stick-shift, economy car, with unlimited mileage, tax and insurance; free Heritage Island pass; and more. Also available: Irelands Equestrian Treasures, for horse lovers; Ireland for the Connoisseur, for gourmets; and Great Fishing Houses and Tall Tales, for anglers. Call (800) 832-1848 or visit www.destinations-ireland.com.

TEED OFF: Atlantic Golf, which offers golf packages to Ireland that feature guaranteed tee times at Ballybunion Old, is still taking reservations for its trip to the Third Annual West of Ireland Invitational 2005 from Sept. 24 to Oct. 1, with golf at Carne, Connemara, Enniscrone, Rosses Point and Westport. Based in Westport, County Mayo, at the deluxe Knockranny House Hotel. The tour is priced at $1,695 per person, sharing room and car. For details, Call (800) 542-6224; e-mail [email protected]; or visit www.atlanticgolf.com.

THE CAUSEWAY CAUSE: The Northern Ireland Tourism Board  (NITB) announced that a management plan for the World Heritage Site at the Giants Causeway in County Antrim had been drafted and submitted for approval to Unesco -- the United Nations body governing World Heritage Sites -- and that an international competition had been launched to design new world-class visitor facilities at the seaside geological attraction. The NITB has also taken the wraps off the new, so-called Causeway Coastal Route, a tourist trail linking Belfast and Londonderry, as well as three of the organizations key signature projects: the Walled City of Derry, the Causeway and Titanic Belfast. For more, visit www.nitb.com.

GO NORTH: In the meantime, clients can head north to check out the status quo in Antrim with Dublin-based Specialized Travel Services The Northern Exposure tour, priced from $599 to $947, land only. The tour, which takes in Ulster sights from the Causeway to County Downs Mourne Mountains via a choice of three itineraries, includes five nights accommodations; full Irish breakfast daily; a six-day rental of manual, economy car; touring map with suggested itinerary; Heritage Island discount pass; and optional chauffeur services. Contact Specialized Travel at (800) 664-7474, via e-mail at [email protected], or at www.special-ireland.com.

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