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Best Rated Accommodations on VBT’s Irish Tours

Gleninchaquin Park, Ireland
When our travelers inquire about our active vacations, one of the biggest questions they ask is how nice the hotels are. We know that your accommodations play a huge role in the overall satisfaction you’ll get from your travel experience. At VBT we make it a point to support small, charming and independently-owned hotels on all of our tours. We want the accommodations on your tour to be an extension of the unique cultural experience you get in each destination, not the standard-issue hotel you get from big chains whose properties all look the same. Guests on both our Ireland: Galway & Connemara Coast ​and Ireland: Walking the West Country​ tours will stay in hotels that accurately reflect the beauty and friendliness Ireland is known for. We’ve highlighted two favorites from each tour that have all received over 90% excellent ratings from our travelers in the past year.

Loch Lein Country House, Fossa, Killarney, Ireland
VBT Traveler Overall Rating: 95% Excellent
Trip Advisor Rating: 98% (Travelers Choice Winner in 2014 for “Small Hotels” and “Romance”)
Offered on Ireland: Walking the West Country​

Loch Lein Hotel, Lounge

Our portal into the Ring of Kerry is the Loch Lein Country House, a charming 4-star lodging that is located in the village of Fossa and features amazing views of the Macgillicuddy Reeks and Killarney’s Lough Leane. Hotel owners, Paul and Annette Corridan, will make you feel welcome with delectable food accentuated by the hotel’s true family atmosphere. During some downtime feel free to enjoy the beautiful gardens and nearby golf courses, fishing and horse riding.

What our travelers say: “This place was truly unbelievable. The accommodations were fantastic, beds very comfortable and the food and atmosphere were out of this world. Loved it…”

Brook Lane Hotel, Kenmare, Ireland
VBT Traveler Overall Rating: 91% Excellent
Trip Advisor Rating: 93% (Travelers Choice Winner in 2014 for “Small Hotels”)
Offered on Ireland: Walking the West Country​
Brook Lane Hotel Exterior
The Brook Lane Hotel is the only 4-star hotel in Kenmare and merges the style and comfort of a luxurious boutique hotel with a relaxed and inviting Irish atmosphere. Located just a four-minute walk from the pretty town of Kenmare, you’ll find exploration of your surroundings is very easy. Or you can simply enjoy a pint in the hotel’s delightful bar and bistro.

What our travelers say: “Very nice accommodations and friendly staff. The food was delicious, too. This hotel was in a nice location, a close walk to town. We enjoyed having drinks, listening to live music, and watching a young girl perform her Irish dance in Casey’s (the attached bar).”

Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel, Recess, Connemara,  Ireland
VBT Traveler Rating: 96% Excellent
Trip Advisor Rating: 98% (Won Certificate of Excellence 2013)
Offered on Ireland: Galway & Connemara Coast ​
Lough Inagh Hotel, Ireland
Located right on the shores of Connemara’s sparkling Lough Inagh, you’ll find an elegant lodge with marvelous views. Enjoy the warm hospitality and true Irish friendliness that is so typical of this region during your stay. After a rewarding day of cycling, relax in front of an open log fire in the library or toast the day over a pint in the oak-paneled bar. If you can’t get enough of your surroundings, take advantage of the great spots for hiking, fly-fishing and golf close by.

What our travelers say: “Everything about the Lodge was fabulous, down to the name plates on the doors. Thank you to Thomas the bartender, our Irish coffee instructor—so friendly. The meals in the dining room were outdone only by the room’s stately beauty. It was a lovely stay, and I will come back again.”

Sheedy’s Country House Hotel, Lisdoovarna, Ireland
VBT Traveler Overall Rating: 
97% Excellent
Trip Advisor Rating: 
96% (Travelers Choice Winner in 2014 for “Small Hotels” and “Romance”)
Offered on Ireland: Galway & Connemara Coast ​
Sheedy's, Hotel, Ireland
The lovable husband and wife team that own and operate Sheedy’s have made it one of Ireland’s best-loved small hotels and restaurants. Built in the 1700’s, and completely renovated in 2002 while retaining its historic charm, the house is located next to Ireland’s only natural spa and is also a two-minute walk from the pubs in the center of the village of Lisdoonvarna. Guests will love the tasty creations of John Sheedy, who is considered one of Ireland’s finest chefs and uses all locally-sourced ingredients.

What our travelers say: “This was my favorite accommodation. From the moment we arrived, Martina & Jim treated us as special guests. The food was outstanding, the bar area was warm and cozy, the rooms were very clean.”

These are just some examples of the unique accommodations you’ll stay at on our biking and walking tours in Ireland. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868 or visit www.vbt.com. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.

5 Things You May Not Know About Lake Constance

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Central Europe’s third largest lake is a wonderful confluence of the three distinct countries that share its borders.  Travelers on VBT’s new Lake Constance: Germany, Austria & Switzerland biking vacation will spend a week practically circumnavigating this expansive body of water on its vast network of bike paths, as well as enjoying a variety of culturally enriching activities off their bikes. Guests will love sampling delicious local cuisine, organic fruit brandy and German beer; exploring Romanesque churches in Reichenau, absorbing sprawling views on a ferry crossing, and relaxing in 4-star hotels in lakeside towns. To get you more acquainted with this oft-overlooked alpine gem, here are some fun facts that you may not know about Lake Constance.

Three in One
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What we call Lake Constance (and the locals call the Swabian Sea) is actually comprised of 3 bodies of water. The largest part of the lake is the eastern section known as the Obersee and is connected to the smaller part of the lake—the Untersee—by a 4 km stretch of the Rhine known as the Seerhein.

The Flower Island
Of the Lake’s three main islands, Mainau, is perhaps the most fascinating. Known as the “Flower Island,” this Mainaupedestrian-only private island is a lavish display of hundreds of thousands of plants in manicured gardens that blossom with the changing seasons. Tulips, orchids and rhododendrons burst in a riot of color in May while dahlias and roses arrive in September. Whenever you visit, you’ll be treated to a colorful landscape that will enchant even the most novice gardener.

Waters without Borders
The middle of Lake Constance is the only area in Europe where technically no borders exist because once your boat is far enough from the shoreline you are in international waters. While Switzerland argues their border extends to the middle of the lake, Austria contends that international law governs any part of the lake with more than 25 meters depth. It appears Germany doesn’t have any official view stance on its border other than its actual shoreline.

Ages Ago
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Long before the Romans discovered the lake in 43 AD, Lake Constance was home to a variety of societies during the Bronze Age. While on tour we’ll visit Unteruhldingen—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—to visit replications of ancient dwellings from the Stone and Bronze Age (4000 to 850 BC). During our stay we’ll learn about the Celtic people that lived a sophisticated lifestyle in harmony with nature on the lake.

At a Glaciers Pace
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Lake Constance was formed over time by the Rhine Glacier during the last ice age and is a type of lake known as a “Zungenbecken”—which translates as “tongue basin” in German. Even today the Rhine deposits sediment from the Swiss and Austrian Alps that continually change both the shoreline and clarity of the lake. Depending on the time of year the discrepancy of the inflow and outflow of the lake causes as much as a 4 meter difference in water level. 

To learn more about this new biking vacation including daily itinerary and all available 2014 departure dates, please click here. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.

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