Celebrate 90 Years with CIE Tours

If you’re ready to discover marvelous scenery, fascinating history, friendly people, and the warmest of welcomes, CIE Tours is inviting you to Ireland. Nobody can beat CIE Tours’ choice of vacations in Ireland, and 2022 is a special one at CIE Tours – it’s the 90th anniversary of the premier tour operator’s founding.

To commemorate it, we’ve compiled a list of a dozen don’t-miss experiences for 2022, and a suggestion of which itinerary to see it on. All of CIE Tours’ Irish itineraries are available as guided tours, as self-drive adventures, or with the affordable luxury of a personal driver/guide.

  • Horse-lovers will thrill at the sight of some of the world’s finest thoroughbreds at the Irish National Stud, right in the heart of Ireland’s racing industry in Kildare. Learn about Ireland’s racing heritage, and marvel at these magnificent creatures. Then stroll the grounds to see the beautiful Japanese-style gardens. Recommended tour: Irish Heritage Irish National Stud and Gardens
  • Raise a glass at the oldest bar in Europe – Sean’s Bar in Athlone. Thirsty patrons have been slaking their thirst here since around 900 AD, and it’s in the Guinness Book of Records. With its old fireplaces and cedar sawdust on the floors, it’s an atmospheric gem. Recommended tour: Irish Pub Tour
    Seans Bar, Athlone, Co Westmeath
  • Visit a high-tech, award-winning museum to hear tales of the Irish around the world. EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum tells the stories of the Irish diaspora – how and why they left, and their new lives abroad. The history is fascinating, whether you’re a descendent of one of those emigrants or not, and these stories are brought to life in amazing digital displays. Recommended tour: Irish Spirit
  • Learn a slice of local history from a guide who lived it – the Arigna Mining Experience offers the stories of the lives and struggles of those who worked the coal tunnels. Your guide will be one of those who did – former miners give the tours. Recommended tour: Irish Spirit
  • Walk in the footsteps of centuries of learned monks and marvel at the romantic ruins left behind. Glendalough was founded by St Brendan in the sixth century, and its decorated crosses, stone churches, and round tower are a picturesque delight. Recommended tour: Irish Adventure
  • Feel the mist on your face and the wind in your hair as you sip a creamy Irish coffee on top of Europe’s highest sea cliffs. The ocean and landscape you’ll see from Slieve League in Donegal will enthrall you – and you won’t be alone in enjoying the view, with thousands of birds attracted to the cliffs, and seals, dolphins, and basking sharks down below. Recommended tour: Irish Explorer

    Slieve League Cliffs
  • Experience Irish history in a surprisingly innovative way at the world’s first cemetery museum. Glasnevin National Cemetery is the final resting place for 1.5 million souls, including many national heroes – the patriots and politicians who founded Ireland. Recommended tour: Irish Heritage
  • Hear traditional music in a 300-year-old pub when you visit the Marine Bar in Dungarvan. It’s a legendary spot for music lovers – owned by local musician Christy O’Neill, it was a beloved haunt of Liam Clancy of the world-renowned Clancy Brothers. He used to live nearby and often came in to sing. It’s a CIE Tours Exclusive. Recommended Tour: Irish Gold
  • Dip into the Irish craft beer scene as you taste a flight of local brews at the
    Walled City Brewery, a family-owned establishment located in a former army barracks in the historic heart of Derry. It’s a CIE Tours exclusive venue. Recommended tour: Mystical Ireland
    Walled City Brewery
  • Sit in the old-style Muckross Schoolhouse and take a fun Irish language lesson the way your grandmother might have! You can practice your cúpla focal (few words) afterward when your group enjoys a private dinner with traditional entertainment. It’s a CIE Tours exclusive. Recommended tour: Best of Ireland South
  • Pull up a chair by the fire in an old-style pub, and settle in for a storytelling session. O’Connor’s Famous Pub in Galway’s seaside suburb of Salthill might even seem a little familiar – it was a filming location for Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl video. (The fiddle used in the video is still behind the bar!) The experience is a CIE Tours exclusive. Recommended tour: Irish Pub Tour
  • Discover the Victorian charm of Blakes of the Hollow Pub in a CIE Tours exclusive. Famed author John McGahern once called it “one of the happiest and most beautiful bars” in all of Ireland. And check out the handcrafted “Game of Thrones” door, carved from a fallen tree of the Dark Hedges. Recommended tour: Irish Explorer

All guided tours come with the All-In Inclusive Advantage, which means all the attractions and most of the meals are included in the price. You won’t worry about hidden extras, and your tour guide can focus on showing you the wonders of your destination.

It’s Time For a Wellness Vacation

Wellness Tours and Why They Are Growing in Popularity

Wellness is a selling point for so many companies, and when it comes to feeling good; you want to be one of the many taking advantage of them. Wellness tours are one of the newest types of tours on the market, and they are offering the promise of a healthier, more vibrant feeling vacation with your wellness in mind.

It is projected by GWI that there are over 1 billion wellness trips planned already for this year. Not just for the body, but for the mind. Many of those who are looking to improve their overall wellness are finding that these tips are exactly what they’ve been looking for all along.

Wellness touring, because of this boost in sales is up over 200 billion, making this one of the most spent on vacation types. Many areas are going to see more visitation and spending than others such as the Sub-Saharan African region and the Middle East.

What is a Wellness Tour?

If you’re not familiar with a wellness tour, you might want to be. This is when you travel for health and well-being reasons. Whether it is for your physical or mental health, the activities, place you go, and what you do determines whether you’re on a wellness tour or vacation compared to a normal one.

Any and all travel that is in pursuit of the person’s well-being is what is covered under a wellness tour and what you can get from it. It is working to provide the best overall health for your mind and body.

There are many vacations that come with a wellness resort, yoga retreat, or any other wellness-based resort or place that works specifically on your wellness. If you book a regular vacation, adding and doing specific things that have to do with your wellness is a great way to boost your vacation, make you feel your best, and get more from your time away from home.

Benefits of a Wellness Tour

There are several benefits that come from a wellness tour. If you’re considering going on one, then you want to make sure to take a look at all of these benefits to find out if this type of tour is right for you.

  • Get relaxation and rejuvenation
  • Healthy food choices
  • Exercise classes and spots
  • They offer something different from the regular vacations you can take
  • Preservation of natural resources for the area
  • Increase in jobs, opportunities, and revenue for the areas they operate in
  • Offering healthier excursions, you can do

Everyone is different and you might find that the benefits that come from a wellness tour are for you. This is a great way to work on your mind, body, and soul while being somewhere away from home. Opening up to the area and learning something new might just be good enough to make you want to take a wellness tour.

What is Included in a Wellness Tour?

Every single wellness tour is different, and each one comes with a plethora of events, activities, and excursions for you to take advantage of. However, if you want a bit more out of your time away then having an idea of what comes with a wellness tour might help you make a decision on whether these tours are right for you.

  • Healthier food options and choices
  • More exercise areas, rooms, and equipment
  • Mind-body practices and classes
  • Art and spiritual activities
  • Nature experiences
  • Connect with local people and their culture
  • Classes that include Pilates, yoga, or specialized exercises
  • Specialized treatments for a condition, symptom, ailment
  • Spiritual treatment
  • Open air and nature connection
  • Better access to care and the different care materials and products

Depending on what type of wellness traveler you are, you might like different things on this over another. However, they both come with any of the wellness tours you are choosing to go on. This means you can benefit from what they’re offering in the long run.

Best Destinations for Wellness Tours

There are some of the best places to visit for those who want to take a wellness tour. If you’re unsure of where to go or what to do; then take a look at one of these top destinations that come highly recommended.

Budapest, Hungary

Home to one of the best thermal spas throughout Europe, it is a must visit place that is high on the list. You want to make sure to stay at the St. George Hotel which is on a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tuscany, Italy

Beauty, indulgence, and much more come together in this quaint area that has a bit of everything for the visitor. Staying at Terme di Saturnia is recommended because it is the leading spa resort in the area and a must-visit. There are vineyards and olive groves for days, giving you plenty to take in and enjoy.

Lisbon, Portugal

Known for their pink clay, coffee, and massages that are infused with a lot more than this; this is the best place to get your skin treated in the best way. The Float in Spa is one of the most advanced floating systems in the world. It is worth a visit.

Prague, Czech Republic

The ideal destination for innovative spa treatments, you can find yourself enjoying all that comes with the antioxidant rich nectar that you submerge your body in. This happens at the Carlo IV Wellness & Spa. Drive down beautiful roads with the fresh, rich air open around you. Hills and plenty to see welcome you.

Bali, Indonesia

For years Bali has been a beacon to travelers looking to find themselves and dive deeper into their spiritual side. If you are seeking a complete wellness experience, there is no better destination than Bali. Immerse yourself in traditional healing ceremonies, rejuvenating activities, daily yoga, breathtaking sights, and nutritional organic chefs to help cleanse your body while you’re cleansing your soul.

Balance Your Harmony and Well Being

When you are choosing to go on a wellness tour, you are choosing to do the best that you can. Not just because of the great benefits it brings to your body, but all of the great benefits it brings to the area that you are going to be visiting.

When you are choosing a wellness tour, you’re choosing yourself. You are choosing to do more for your health and wellbeing. The experience alone is enough to get moving in the right direction. Do more on your tours and vacations when you choose to put wellness in front of your dreams of traveling the world.

Wellness Tours are Going to Continue to Grow

This is more than a trend and the way it seems; it is not going anywhere. They are currently on the rise, and the numbers do not look like they are going to slow down at any time. Many tourists are looking to get more out of their lives and by getting healthier and improving the quality of their lives; they’re able to do this. It is different from the normal vacations that everyone takes, which makes it an ideal way to do something different for you.

You choose where to go, and you can be the one who chooses what to do. You can plan and choose one of the many places that come highly recommended. Book your wellness tour today and make sure to get more for your well-being.

If you are ready to re-balance your harmony and energy; then book with one of the many top wellness destinations today!

Bryce Canyon National Park

10 Reasons to Travel in the U.S.

Bryce Canyon Sunrise

There are so many places to travel that it is no wonder you want to know how and why you should travel to a place. You want to know the reasons behind each of the places and why they come recommended. Visit some of the places, visit all of them; the choice is yours on which places are worth the visit and which might be a pass on your list. You can have it all and more right from this one area.

Here are the top reasons to travel in the US if you are looking for somewhere to go. You can be sure to find exactly where you want to find yourself and be able to check out all that this area has to offer.

Tops Reasons to Travel in the United States

If you love to travel, or even if you’re new to it then you don’t have to go big in order to have a good time. There are many reasons to stay in the US, or even to visit the US if you’re not from the area. This can be because there are plenty of things to do, things to see, and of course; culture to take in with each state you come up on.

It’s Affordable

As compared to traveling the world abroad; this is one of the most affordable trips that both Americans and Canadians can take. Those who are traveling domestically and not internationally are able to save a lot more money by doing so. This is one of the biggest reasons why people choose to vacation in the states.

There is A Lot of History to Be Had

Museums, museums, museums are always inviting and welcoming for those looking for something to do. With the museums comes a wide range of history that brings the excitement to you. You can map out a trip that is holding onto the best museums for the area and go from there, or you can check out what museums are in the specific place you’re visiting. The choice is yours!

There are Many Hidden Gems to Explore

There are several hidden gems that are scattered all around the area. You can expect to find dozens of them within one city. If you ask the people from the area, or those who have been in the area before what these are, they will be more than happy to tell you.

Some of these hidden gems include, but are not limited to:

  • Rosendale, New York
  • Geneva on the Lake, Ohio
  • Pismo Beach, California
  • Fayetteville, West Virginia
  • Beacon, New York
  • Natchez, Mississippi

You don’t have to visit one of these places, or any of them at all. These are just the highly rated and recommended hidden gems worth exploring from other travelers, like yourself, looking for the best places to visit.

Plenty of Delicious Food

There is plenty of food to eat around each corner that you turn. There are specific cities that provide the best foods, and if you’re unfamiliar with them then it might be time to do a little trip. You can eat at some of the most world-renowned places, too. This gives you plenty of options and some of the most delicious foods out there.

Here is a list of some of the top foody destinations. Of course, it is not exhaustive, and there are so many others throughout the United States offering delicious food worth checking out.

  • New York City
  • Chicago
  • San Francisco
  • Los Angeles
  • Seattle
  • Napa Valley
  • New Orleans
  • Charleston

Wherever you choose to go, you can look up the restaurants in the area and book reservations ahead of time, or find out what types of foods there are being offered. Some of these, like in NYC and Chicago, you will want to do food from the vendors on the streets. This is where the local, delicious foods mostly come from in these larger cities. They’re worth a bite!

Grand Canyon, USA.

The Views are Worth Visiting Alone

The views are something that you want to take in around you. Viewing them from over the cliff or looking at them from another point of view is going to really make you want to continue to visit these places.

We’ve put together a list of some of the best places to get a view from when you’re visiting the states. You can choose one of these top places to visit. Some of them means a trek up a mountain or hill, while others allow you to drive up them. Find out more about each one to see which one would best fit your needs and wants in a vacation with the best view.

  • The Grand Canyon in Yellowstone
  • Big Bend’s Heritage Site
  • A Rocky Yet Enjoyable Time
  • Florida Keyes
  • Montana’s Glacier National Park
  • Congaree National Park
  • America’s Highest Mountain
  • Zion National Park and Canyon

There are so many other places worth visiting in the states but too many to name. If you are looking for a specific spot to look over the edge, you are sure to find some of the most beautiful views here.

Tourism is a Big Part of the Country

Tourism is a big part of the country, and as such, they have plenty for tourists to do throughout each of the states and cities. The country thrives on those visiting the other states, or even just coming to the country. This is one of the best ways for them to make money, but also to boost their economy and culture.

If you’re interested in learning more about one of these areas, then being a tourist in one of them is the best way to do so. Many of the people there will talk with you about their culture and how they live, they enjoy tourism in many of these areas.

Choose a Big City or Small Town

Small town living or big city life; you can have one or the other when visiting the states. You just have to choose which one you feel the most comfortable with. You can find that little gems are hidden all around the cities, towns, and states. You just have to choose which area you want to visit given the specific areas you know, or ones you might have wanted to visit for some time.

Experience a New Way of Life

Depending on where you choose to visit, you may be able to experience a new way of life. There is a lot of different people, ways to live, and things to do. This is something that can teach you more about the culture of others.

NYC is a great place to experience a mix of cultures in one. The same is true for New Orleans, or other areas of interest where settlers and immigrants found themselves moving too. You can learn more about this in the many different places you can visit and get more from. Experience how everyone lives in the many cities, towns, and states throughout the country – it can be worth it if you do.

Shopping is at Its Best

Shopping is one of the best ways to get more out of your time away from home, isn’t it? America is known for their large shopping complexes and plenty of outlet stores that you can visit regardless of where you choose to go.

If you are someone who loves the finer things in life, then this is where you want to find yourself having a good time. You can shop ‘till you drop with so many stores around the tourist areas, but also around the many hotels that you will find throughout the states.

Perfect for Road Tripping

If you’re from the area, or even if you’re flying in, renting a vehicle, and just driving to the many states and cities is one of the best things you can do. This is one country that makes road tripping one of the best ways to spend some down time and see some more stuff. If you want to hit the road, roll down the windows, and let your hair fly then plan out your next road trip!

The Theme Parks are AWESOME!

Theme parks are not everywhere, and because of this; many people will travel to them. This means that you can find them hidden in many of the cities and states that you travel too. There are many top theme parks that you can find yourself spending some down time in. From Universal Orlando Resort to Disney World, all of the finest theme park fun can be found in many of these options.

The United States is like nowhere else in the world that you will be able to visit. Therefore, choosing this as your favorite destination is one of the best ways to get more out of your trip. It is a must visit place for so many who are not from the country, and there are plenty of states for those who are living in the country to visit.

Agra Fort a UNESCO World Heritage site

Newly Recognized UNESCO Sites

UNESCO stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. They preserve pieces of culture and land, as well as buildings by marking them as historic sites. They have a mission to promote world peace and provide security in many of these areas that would otherwise be ripped down. They use international sciences, culture, and education to work to do this.

This year, 2021, there have been newly added and newly recognized UNESCO sites to the list. The list is already full of hundreds of sites, and if you’re interested in history and culture then visiting these sites is important. Here are the newly added sites, if you’re interested in visiting any of them and seeing what they’re about.

33 new sites have been added to the list. This is much more than normal, but this is because it covers two years and not just one. This is joining the list of over 1,000 different sites that are protected under UNESCO.

The rules for putting these areas under UNESCO has changed in the recent years. This covers many more sites than what they normally would cover. This allows them to add even more sites to protect in the area that are not just nature-based or history-based but offer much more to the visitor as a modern choice that has been added to the UNESCO list.

The Church of Atlantida, Uruguay

This spot is usually one that not many people think about because it is in Uruguay. However, it is important to note that this remarkable building is worth spending a bit of time in. You can go up in the bell tower and look at the art throughout. This is a great visiting spot if you’re a bit low on cash and need something to do.

The Great Spa Towns of Europe

Who doesn’t want to visit a spa that is going to pamper and relax you? There are several towns throughout Europe that are protected because they were built around natural mineral water springs. They cover 11 different towns that are in 7 different countries. They’re found in Czechia, City of Bath, France, and Belgium which is the most famous one.

Sitio Roberto Burle Marx, Brazil

This is a garden area that was developed over four decades, leaving an amazing and worth seeing place. This was started at his home in 1949 and continued for years having been added too. It is dramatic and colorful, and it stands out. It is 100 acres long, and it is just 90 minutes west of Rio de Janeiro and a garden worth walking through and taking in. Not just that, but there is a museum display inside putting his arts and crafts on display.

Mathildenhohe, Darmstadt, Germany

This is a colony that is full of artists, and it is worth a visit if you want something colorful, beautiful, and worth seeing. This is a spot that has a lot of exhibits that date back to World War I. They have many items and pictures, as well as other pieces on display for those who are visiting the area, or those who live there and want to learn more about the area.

Trans-Iranian Railway

You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Though the railway is not protected by UNESCO, it is one of the best ways to see some of the many sites that are around the area. This railway is protected though, and it is smaller, but it is worth the ride. There are hundreds of bridges, twist, and turns that you can go on.

World Heritage Sites Protected by UNESCO

Here is a list of the other sites that were added to UNESCO if you were curious to know more about what to expect with these areas and where you can visit.

AFRICA

Africa is home to the Sudanese Style Mosques in Northern Ivory Coast and the Ivindo National Park, Gabon.

ASIA

Asia is home to the Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China, Quanzhou, the Jomon Prehistoric Sites in Northern Japan, Amami-Oshima Island, Tokunoshima Island, Northern part of Okinawa Island, and Iriomote Island, Japan, Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats, South Korea, Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex in Thailand, a Harappan City, India and Dholavira, and the Kakatiya Rudreshwara Temple in Telangana.

EUROPE

Europe is home to the Colonies of Benevolence, Belgium and Netherlands, the Cordouan Lighthouse in France, the Winter Resort Town of the Riviera, France, Frontiers of the Roman Empire, the Lower German Lines in Germany and over the Netherlands, ShUM Sites of Spreye, Worms and Mainz, Germany, The Porticoes of Bologna in Italy, The Works of Jože Plečnik in Ljubljana – Human Centered Urban Design in Slovenia, the Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales in the UK, Petroglyphs of Lake Onega and the White Sea in Russia

Europe is also continued to cover these other sites including the Padua’s Fourteenth-Century Fresco Cycles in Italy, Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro, a landscape of different arts and sciences located in Spain. Romania has the Rosia Montana Mining Landscape and the Great Spa Towns of Europe, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Czechia, Italy and the United Kingdom. Last, but not least in Europe is the Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands in Georgia.

MIDDLE EAST

The Middle East is home to even more sites that include the As-Salt or the Place of Tolerance and Urban Hospitality in Jordan, the Cultural Landscape of Hawraman and Uramanat in Iran, the Hima Cultural Area in Saudia Arabia, and in Turkey the Arslantepe Mound.

SOUTH AMERICA

South America has a few added to their list which include the Settlement and Artificial Mummification of the Chinchorro Culture in the Arica and Parincota Region in Chile, in Peru, you can find the Chankillo Archaeoastronomical Complex and the World of Engineer Eladio Dieste at the Church of Atlantida in Uruguay.

Please note, these are only some of the newly added sites on UNESCO’s list. There are a number of other sites that you can visit that have already been placed on the site.

Visiting World Heritage Sites

Those who are interested in visiting these UNESCO World Heritage Sites are in for a treat when visiting any of the above-mentioned sites. They welcome visitors from all over, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to see a piece of history when visiting one of these sites. You can plan your trip around many of them in the same area. These are only the newer ones, there are thousands on the list worth spending time.

Regardless of where you are choosing to spend some time, you will easily find that one of these top places are going to be worth the visit. You won’t have to spend a lot of money on a lot of them since they’re not asking for admission or they’re a part of a nature center. You can be sure that you are getting the best out of your trip when you add any sites from the UNESCO list. Visit some of them today!

Everything you need to experience on your first trip to Spain

Savour wine and tapas in a sun-dappled cafe by the coast. Soak in the local nightlife to the sound of the flamenco guitar. Stroll through the mosaic-decorated halls of an unfinished masterpiece. This is Spain. The sunny jewel in Europe’s mainland is welcoming back fully vaccinated visitors from the UK, EU and North America. With travel at the edge of our fingertips, it seems only fitting that we pull together some of our favourite things to eat, drink, do, and see for an unforgettable first trip to Spain. 

Weave your way through mosaic landscapes & Gothic architecture
It’s tough not to be awestruck by the beautiful century-old architecture nestled within the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. In this labyrinth of cobbled lanes and squares, you’ll discover the remains of the city’s Roman wall, the Jewish quarter, as well as several standout landmarks from as far back as medieval times. Even if you’re a history buff or an architectural expert, the Gothic Quarter is still undoubtedly best experienced through the seasoned hands of a local guide – helping you dive head-first into Barcelona’s cultural timeline.

The first trip to Spain isn’t complete without stepping into the world of Antoni Gaudi either. A colourful combination of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles, the Sagrada Familia is a magnificent – and still unfinished – Roman Catholic basilica which has become iconic to the city’s skyline. Take a few hours to wander around the building and admire the whimsical maze-like landscaping surrounding the church, which has been described simultaneously as “one of the most hideous buildings in the world” by George Orwell, and the “greatest piece of creative architecture” by famed architect Louis Sullivan.


Celebrate the dances of Spain

How does getting swept up in the passion and frenzy of a live flamenco dance sound? On your first trip to Spain, spend at least one night soaking in Seville’s nightlife: listening to the flamboyant strums of the guitar, the rhythmic clapping distinctive only to flamenco, and the lilting voices of the singers. A night to remember in the city famous for the dance itself.

Relax on the sun-kissed shores of the Costa del Sol

Feel the sun’s rays warm your shoulders as you stroll along one of Spain’s most famous coastlines. Here, there’s something for everyone. Looking for that golden holiday tan? Sip on a refreshing drink from one of the nearby cafes and bask in the midday sun. More of an adventurous type? Take a short trip to nearby Malaga – a city famed for its hiking spots and art museums. Need a cool down on your trip to Spain? Plenty of open-air beachside restaurants are just waiting to welcome you with open arms. There, you can feast on a cuisine inspired by Spanish, Jewish or Arabic traditions. That’s everything from pescaito frito – breaded and fried fish – or gazpacho – a cold tomato soup perfect for a sun-beaten day.

And finally… admire world-famous masterpieces in the Spanish capital

Take a guided tour of all Madrid has to offer, starting with the famed Prado Museum on your first trip to Spain. Inside these halls, some of the most striking pieces from a long history of European art are displayed. We’re talking collections from Velazquez himself, Goya’s Black Paintings (as created in the twilight of his life), and Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights. From there, the city is yours to dive into. Our personal favorite way to end the day, however? Digging into a hot calamari sandwich whilst doing a spot of people watching in Buen Retiro Park. If that doesn’t say la buena vida, what does?