PHOTO: A couple walking in the winter in Edinburgh (photo courtesy of CIE Tours International)
Winter is coming. Although spring has officially sprung, for many travelers who may book six to nine months out for international getaways, winter is right around the corner. With six new tours launching to Ireland and Scotland this winter, CIE Tours, known for offering fully inclusive and expertly guided vacations to Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales over its 85-year history, is sharing its top reasons to venture to the Emerald Isle and Scotland for the winter season:
With nearly 7000 pubs in Ireland and more than 5000 scattered throughout Scotland, it is no wonder that these ‘public houses’ have a culture of their very own. Cozy and comfortable, pubs are the heartbeat of small and large towns alike, serving as a gathering place for friends and family, a venue for authentic local music and while the winter air may be brisk, the conversation is always warm.
2. CHRISTMAS MARKETS
Europe is famed for its markets during the holiday season. Festive lights are met by meandering stalls of crafts, local wares and authentic delicacies. Travelers venturing to Ireland and Scotland during the month of December can explore the Christmas Markets in Edinburgh, Killarney and Dublin, where the traditionally mulled wine is replaced with a more fitting mulled ale.
3. PICTURE PERFECT
Winters in Ireland and Scotland are surprisingly mild, often warmer and with less snow than New York. With temperate climates, travelers will likely find themselves drawn to the winter season’s serenity and beauty – from the spectacular Cliffs of Moher and the scenic Ring of Kerry to the tranquil farm scenes and historic castles. Get your selfie sticks and hashtags ready!
4. VALUE SEASON
Not only do the crowds clear from must-see attractions after the traditionally busy summer travel period, but there is great value to be found during the winter season. With over 30 experiences in Ireland and Scotland across six unique, new CIE tours, rates begin at just $690 per person this winter.
For the unfamiliar, Hogmanay is a Scots word for the last day of the year and is the celebration of the New Year in Scotland that extends the traditional evening merriment into a three-day celebration. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is one to experience, where a lively torch-lit parade officially kicks off the festivities on Dec. 30 and brings forth a multi-day celebration of firework displays, music performances and visitors from more than 60 countries. What better way to ring in 2018 than with a new tradition?
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CIE Tours’ Winter Collection departs Nov. 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018 with these popular vacations: 9 Day/8 Night Irish Adventure Winter from $1240; 7 Day/ 6 Night Taste of Ireland Winter from $1090; 5 Days/4 Nights Winter Getaway: Killarney from $740; 5 Days/4 Nights Winter Getaway: Edinburgh from $1190; Winter Getaway: Edinburgh NYE Celebration from $1690; and 4 Day/3 Night Winter Getaway: Dublin from $690. (Prices are land only, per person based on double occupancy and vary by departure date; see cietours.com for inclusions and details.)
CIE has earned a reputation for excellence that is rooted in its signature Irish hospitality, a genuine warmth and way of doing things that turns visitors to friends. CIE Tours makes it easy for travelers to immerse themselves in a new place with exclusive access, authentic experiences and in-depth knowledge, that in the spirit of its Celtic heritage, often begins with a story.
For more information, please call 800-243-8687 or visit cietours.com.