Blog - Specialised Travel To Ireland
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Ireland’s most charming city

Friday, April 1st, 2016 | Posted in: Special Offers

The NY Times just called it Ireland’s most charming city – Galway City on Ireland’s west coast is a focal point along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Its home to many traditional Irish craft shops, restaurants, pubs & on night of the week you can hear traditional Irish music.

The city was founded on the east bank of the river late in the 12th century by the Anglo-Norman family de Burgo.  It attracted many Welsh and Norman merchants who enclosed the city within a defensive wall.  Under the control of the fourteen leading families, known as the ‘tribes’ an extensive trade developed, not only with the continent, importing French and Spanish wine, but also with the West Indies.  Highlights of the city include such areas as Eyre Square, Lynch’s Castle, St. Nicholas’ Church, O’Brien’s Bridge, Spanish Arch, the Famous Claddagh, beautiful Galway Bay, Salthill Promenade, University College, Salmon Weir Bridge, Court House and the Municipal Theatre.

Eyre Square is the centre piece to Galway City, which was officially presented to the city in 1710 by Mayor Edward Eyre, from whom it took its name. In 1965, the square was officially renamed “Kennedy Memorial Park” in honour of US President John F. Kennedy, who visited here shortly before his assassination in 1963. The Browne doorway is another notable feature in Eyre Square as it was originally the doorway of the Browne families’ home on Lower Abbeygate Street and it was moved in 1905 from Abbeygate Street to Eyre Square.

Due to its history, location, and wonderful traditional ambiance, Galway features on most of our Ireland itineraries – from self-drive Ireland Tours, to our Ireland Chauffeur programs, or our Ireland Escorted tours; contact us today for an Ireland Travel Quote.

Check out 36 Hours in Galway here:

Planning Luxury Trips to Ireland

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016 | Posted in: Special Offers

As the purveyors of Luxury Trips to Ireland, we can help you plan yours.

Powerscourt House & Gardens front

Are you hoping to visit Ireland, or you have been and want to return? For many people traveling to Ireland is a dream vacation and, for some it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Often times, you can be inundated with so much information on where to visit, when to go, where to stay in Ireland . How does one decide? So take the stress out of planning this dream vacation & contact us!

We are the Ireland specialists, in business for over 42 years, & exclusively dealing with Ireland only. We have customized 1000s of trips over the years for people looking to experience Ireland in a luxurious manner specialized to their needs and interests.

Taking the hard work out of organising your trip to Ireland will make it all the more enjoyable, so if you are looking for a truly luxurious experience, this is the way to go.


View our online brochure here: 2016 Brochure or contact us to request a copy to be mailed to you: contact us

New for 2016-2017, Tour from $899

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 | Posted in: Special Offers

As we at Specialized Travel Services begin our 42nd Year of business, we are thrilled to introduce & invite you to step on board our new 2016-2017 Escorted Winter Tour, ‘East Meets West’.

This 7 Day/6 Night Fully Escorted Ireland Tour takes in the history and the myth of Ireland’s Ancient East & the majestic raw beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way. Arrive in Dublin and travel south to the historic medieval city of Kilkenny. From there spend 2 nights in the Ireland’s Gourmet capital, the seaside village of Kinsale, Co. Cork. Continue along the Wild Atlantic Way to Clare & visit the breath-taking Cliffs of Moher. Arrive in Galway for 2 nights, before continuing east to the Boyne Valley, the heart of Ireland’s Ancient East.

Our state of the Art luxury coaches ensure you travel in the height of comfort while your Specialized Travel Services knowledgeable tour director will share his history and culture, ensuring you have the trip of a lifetime. This tour is operated by our sister company, Cronins Coaches, who were awarded ‘2016 Irish Coach Operator of the Year – Tours’.

Specialized Travel Services is an Ireland Only Destination Management Company specializing in custom & unique leisure tour experiences & business travel to Ireland. In business since 1974, our sole focus on Ireland ensures you will enjoy the very best of Ireland. With 2 offices in Ireland and one in New York City, you are assured exceptional service on both sides of the Atlantic.

From $899.00 USD Per Person sharing, this tour program will commence October 9th 2016 to April 1st 2017, with a number of guaranteed departure dates.

For full tour information please click here: East Meets West Ireland Escorted Tour 

Tour Operators are a key component of the Irish tourism industry

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016 | Posted in: Special Offers

In a recent interview with the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation (ITIC), Specialized Travel Services’ Director & also newly appointed President of the Incoming Tour Operator Association-Ireland (ITOA), Derry Cronin discusses the importance and growing strength of the Tourism Market in Ireland.

With a strong foothold in the Irish Tourism Sector as one of the only Ireland-Only Tours Operators, Specialized Travel Services has been in business since 1974. Mr. Cronin knows first hand the opportunities and challenges the market presents to Tour Operators, such as his own. Leading also our sister company, Cronins Coaches, he also stresses the importance of the ever-growing coach business for individuals to join Escorted Tours of Ireland, or for Groups to arrange their own Private Tour for societies, family, friends, etc, coming to Ireland. An added benefit to these is the emergence of Ireland’s low carbon footprint within Europe.

To view the full interview please click here:

For more information on our Ireland Travel Services, please contact us.


Visit Ireland to Stay in the #3 Hotel in the World

Thursday, January 14th, 2016 | Posted in: Special Offers

Sometimes when you visit a destination, you want a hotel that is more than somewhere to lay your head.  Perhaps you want to experience a place with filled with history & stories, meet the people & enjoy hospitality on a grand scale, enjoy fine cuisine, and retreat to a room of royal splendour. Well we have just the place for you in Ireland … a place named #3 Best Hotel in the World 2015 by Travel & Leisure,Voted #4 Top Resort in Europe 2015 by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, and Voted Hotel of the Year 2015 by Virtuoso.

What place is this?

Its the majestic 13th century 5* Ashford Castle Hotel, located in the village of Cong in Co. Mayo.

Our 8 Day Castles of Ireland Private Chauffeur Tour features 2 Nights at this exquisite property … take a virtual tour here, but we warn you this will make you want to visit the real thing:

Plenty of reasons to visit Ireland in 2016!

Monday, January 4th, 2016 | Posted in: Special Offers

Need a reason to visit Ireland in 2016? Ok, we,’ll give you 16 Reasons why you NEED to visit Ireland in 2016! Contact us to book a custom tour incorporating any, or all, of these options!

1. Touch Down at The Aer Lingus Classic

Make 2016 the year you take that big football trip. See Boston College play Georgia Tech in Dublin, one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities to visit this year.


2. 2016: A Commemorative Year

Delve into Ireland’s history at several new historical attractions and a host of special events in Dublin as part of the commemorative year of Ireland 2016.


3. Take the Wild Atlantic Way

Isn’t it about time you went on an epic road trip? Like the Wild Atlantic Way: the world’s longest defined coastal touring route taking in over 1,550 miles of primal coastline and unspoiled islands.


4. Play the Game of Thrones

Let 2016 be a year you will never forget with a trip to Northern Ireland AKA Game of Thrones Territory. Immerse yourself in the HBO hit TV show and say hello to historic castles, majestic landscapes and a journey of royal proportions – it’s as close to the Seven Kingdoms as you can get.


5.Wander through Ireland’s Ancient East

Uncover the story of Ireland by wandering through Ireland’s Ancient East, a touring region taking in mesmerizing monuments spanning 5000 years. You’ll hear about prehistoric hunters, brave saints and Viking invasions.


6.Black Cab Tours in Belfast

Take a Black Cab Tour of Belfast to expand your horizons and get to know this iconic capital. Explore the city’s distinctive quarters (think Titanic heritage and historic murals) with a knowledgeable guide brimming with anecdotes.


7.Walk the Gobbins

Be among the first to walk the Gobbins, a curious Edwardian cliff path hanging above the Irish Sea. It’s open again for the first time since 1954, as are its hidden caves, incredible sea views and remarkable engineering.


8.Locate Luke and Find the Force…

Jump into a galaxy not so far far away and track down our favorite Skywalker around the Ring of Kerry….Who knows where he might be hiding?!


9.Taste Northern Ireland

Acquire new tastes with Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016. A celebration of all things delicious with 366 days of foodie experiences showcasing our unique food heritage.


10. Unleash the artist in Derry-Londonderry

Learning about new things is a classic resolution, so allow VOID in Derry-Londonderry to be your guide to contemporary art in Ireland. Two galleries, six studios and an education centre have culture covered.


11. Try something new in Galway

Do one thing that scares you every day, starting with a seaweed sampling in a cozy converted boat shed. A unique culinary experience where seaweed harvested every day from the Atlantic coastline is the menu.


12. Walk like lords and ladies in Belfast

Downton Abbey is – sniff – over, but you can keep the mood going with a stroll through Victorian-era Belfast. Walking Tours takes you on the Victorian Way, which includes the stunning Botanic Gardens.


13. Get dramatic in Kerry

Add some drama to 2016 with Ireland’s National Folk Theatre, Siamsa Tíre. Located in gorgeous Tralee, this is where to discover real Irish theatre, be it drama, music, dance or hands-on craft demonstrations.


14. Learn a new skill in the Lakelands

Head to the majestic County of Fermanagh’s Belle Isle Cookery School and become that chef you always knew you had the ingredients to be!


15. See Ireland in Bloom!

Bloomsday is a celebration that takes place both in Dublin and around the world. It celebrates Thursday 16 June 1904, which is the day depicted in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses. Celebrated in June 2016 – but if you can’t be there then, be sure to visit the James Joyce centre in Dublin’s Fair City, open year round!


16. Listen to trad in Galway

Trust Ireland to host some of its cultural gems in the pub! Treat your tapping toes to a traditional music session in Galway city, an Irish music hub with cold Guinness and warm locals.


Custom Group Tours of Ireland

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 | Posted in: Special Offers


Allow our knowledgeable and innovation team to expertly plan & book your group tour to Ireland with ease and confidence. Our Team on the ground in Ireland will organize all the details so you don’t have to! We specialize in Family & Multi-Generational Travel, Golf Groups, Religious Organizations & Garden Societies, & College & Alumni Groups … we’ll organize the Ireland vacation of a lifetime & can include a themed itinerary such as a Knitting or Literary Tour, a Gourmet Food Trail, or a Saints & Scholars Historical Tour.

Contact us for a Custom Quote:

Christmas in Ireland 2015

Thursday, October 15th, 2015 | Posted in: Special Offers

Are you dreaming of an Irish Christmas?

The Winter Season, and particularly Christmas, is a unique time for families and a short break is not just a treat, it is practically a necessity! Spend Christmas in Ireland! Dublin’s 5* Merrion Hotel, with its superb facilities and friendly staff is a wonderful place to bring children to celebrate the festivities. As the glittering decorations and lavish Christmas trees go up around the hotel, plans are well under way to ensure that parents and children experience a season to remember.

Merrion Hotel Christmas Brochure 2015

Or enjoy a Winter Escape from 111/01/15 to 02/26/16 – The Merrion is situated just a short stroll from Grafton Street, so is ideally located for a spot of Christmas shopping.

Contact us to book your 2015 Christmas in Ireland Vacation!

Adare Manor ideal stop off on a luxury Ireland tour.

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 | Posted in: Latest News
Luxury Ireland Tour - Adare Manor in Co. Limerick

Adare Manor in Co. Limerick

An increasingly popular point to stop during a luxury Ireland tours is  Adare Manor,  a ‘Travelers’ Choice’® for 2015, according to TripAdvisor. Situated on the banks of the River Maigue in County Limerick, the location of Adare Manor means that it is ideally positioned for a stop-off on a number of luxury Ireland tours.


Happy Presidents Day -22 past Presidents claim Irish Descent!

Monday, February 16th, 2015 | Posted in: Latest News

Presidents Day


Presidents Day might be the on the third Monday of each February in commemoration of George Washington, the first man to hold that title, but did you know that no less than 22 men who followed him claimed to have been of Irish descent? From the seventh President, Andrew Jackson, to the 44th, Barack Obama, it seems that Irish ancestry is almost ubiquitous among holders of the highest office.


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