Staff Adventure: Brendan Vacations – Discovering Ireland

Gilbert Ortiz
Travel Consultant
Direct: (281) 269-2637
Email: [email protected]

1- What operator did you travel with? Brendan Tours
2- What type of travel was your trip? Was it an escorted tour, independent tour, ocean cruise, or river cruise?  Escorted Land Tour
3- About how many people were in your group (if not independent)? 12
4- What major cities did you visit? Dublin, Belfast, Galway
5- What was your favorite moment on tour? Visit to the Cliffs of Moher
6- What was your favorite experience on tour? Visiting Belfast and how much they long for peace in their country and happy that tourist are coming back
7- Did you learn something new on this tour? If so, what?  The whole experience was a learning experience
8- What is the best piece of advice you have for others interested in this tour?  Go with Brendan over CIE Tours
9- Give one sentence that best defines your trip. Ireland was inviting, magical, mystical, spectacular and friendly. Great memories will remain with me from this beautiful country and I will always say: “Yes.  Go to Ireland, you will love it.”
10- How could your vacation have been improved? I would have loved to do the Southern Part of Ireland and do the Ring of Kerry Drive


What a beautiful destination and a great option for travel Ireland is!

Ireland is filled with rich history, vibrant cities, beautiful valleys of green lush mountains and famous coastlines, with the roaring Atlantic to the west and the Irish Sea to the east. Ireland offers visitors a wide variety of sights and terrain to satisfy the most discerning traveler.

From the lively pubs of Dublin, Shannon and Belfast, to the spectacular natural wonders of the Cliffs of Moher and the Giants Causeway, Ireland is a destination like few others in the world. The fact that it is the nearest European country to the United States, its citizens speak our own language, and offers a wide variety of accommodation options that range from bed and breakfast, Castles and Manors to first and luxury class hotels, make Ireland a very desirable destination.

During my one week visit I learned the history of Ireland. The Irish independence from England and the conflicts of Northern Ireland are perhaps two of the most interesting parts of Irish history. While leprechauns, fairies and shamrocks are as much a part of Irish culture, music and folklore are perhaps just as important as a proper way to pour a Guinness.


Dublin is the main city and capital of Ireland. Here you will see St. Patrick’s Cathedral, one of the most interesting cathedrals in all of Europe, dating back to the 12th century. Trinity College, with its famed library, houses the world treasure Book of Kells, which dates back to the 8th century and has the writings of the gospels of John and Mathew.

We stayed at the Superior First Class and centrally located Fitzwilliam Hotel.

From Dublin we headed north through the Boyne Valley to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Bru-na-Boinne, to visit the tombs of Newgrange. Some Irish claim that this is one, if not THE oldest building in the world. Dating back to 5000 years before Christ, the tombs are older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids.

In Belfast we visited the famous Titanic Museum and drove through the streets of the neighborhoods that were strategic during the conflicts in Northern Ireland. The struggles for equal rights, housing, jobs and the right to vote were the focal points of these conflicts. They cost the lives of many young Irish men and women, both Catholics and Protestants alike. I am sure that the hope for a one day united and peaceful Ireland remains in the prayers of all Irish People.

The Giants Causeway, a unique rock formation of several shapes and sizes, is located on the northern coastline of the Irish Sea. It has stood the test of time for millions of years and attracts visitors from around the world who, like me, are marveled at the shapes and formations of these intriguing stones.

We stayed at the Lough Eske Castle, a Five Star Castle-Hotel, located on a secluded lakeside estate just outside Donegal. Beautiful place!

As if planned by the fairies, the best was saved for last. Our hosts designed this tour to see the best at the very end. We drove through the Burren region and across this magnificent land to the spectacular, almost indescribable Cliffs of Moher.

The sight of these impressive cliffs gave me mixed sensations of peace and tranquility, while being awed by their power and magnificence.

As the day continued its course we drove to Newmarket-On-Fengus, where our last Castle stay awaited us.

The Dromoland Castle has to be the oldest and most luxurious Castle in all of Ireland. The attention to detail in every corner of this hotel, and in each one of its staff, was second to none. I would recommend this incredible palace-like castle/hotel to anyone visiting Ireland.

Ireland was inviting, magical, mystical, spectacular and friendly. Great memories will remain with me from this beautiful country and I will always say: “Yes. Go to Ireland, you will love it!”

Gilbert Ortiz
Travel Consultant
Direct: (281) 269-2637
Email: [email protected]