Photograph Ireland with Spike: April 24-30, 2024

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4 spots left
From$4,148$3,296
4 spots left
From$4,148$3,296

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7867
6 days, 6 nights
Availability : April 24-30, 2024
Dublin
Min Age : 18

Find out why Ireland is one of the top destinations for photographers worldwide!  This tour is specifically planned for those who want to capture Ireland’s beauty and come home with amazing images. Beginners are welcome. It’s for any skill level but we focus on beginners who want to learn more about their camera and how to use the settings to get off the “automatic” setting. Any camera is welcome – even just an iPhone!  You’ll learn a few new tricks and settings no matter what you’re shooting with. We will be accompanied by photography experts on location who will give one-on-one instruction as well as take us to the best spots. We have been scouting photography locations for over a year for this tour; nobody beats my local guides!

As your guide and travel partner, I (Spike) invite you to embark on this captivating six-day, six-night journey through Ireland, where you will photograph the vibrant streets of Dublin, ancient castles, magnificent churches, lively pubs, rolling hills, Medieval ruins, breathtaking cliffs and seaside villages.

And it’s so much more: I planned a tour that allows you to experience and enjoy Ireland! We won’t spend our whole week behind cameras… our group will visit great restaurants, learn about heritage sites steeped in Irish mythology, and of course, visit an authentic neighborhood pub or two (or three)! If you’ve never been to Ireland before, this tour was built for you!

With a maximum group size of 11 people, you get personal coaching from Spike and his photography instructors.  We will travel Ireland in our own private, first-class minibus. Our itinerary will be flexible depending on the scene, the weather and the light. This trip is perfect for solo travelers, couples, or families. (In fact, two people save $1,000 by sharing a room!)
Tour Details

Your dream trip to photograph Ireland and you don’t have to do a thing – I’ve planned the whole tour for you! I’ve hand-picked the accommodations, dining, and expert local guides. My photography instructors have scouted the perfect locations and I’ll be there a few weeks before our tour to review and scout some more!  You’ll enjoy seamless transportation in a comfortable VIP motorcoach built for 20 but I’m only bringing 6 to 11 photographers to keep it small and fun. Find out why I keep returning to the Emerald Isle!

Book Now for only $3,296
or $2,796 per person for double occupancy!!!
(Share a room with a friend or family member to save $500 each)
Sale ends 10/31/23, then $4,148 Regular Price
$500 deposit to reserve your spot – Click HERE to register!

Why April?
One of the best kept secrets about Ireland is that its sunniest months are actually April & May. And high tourist season is May through the summer. So by arriving in April, we escape all the crowds, the rainy season and the high prices. In some places, you’ll feel like we have the country to ourselves! (The average high and low temperatures in Ireland are the same as Detroit for the month of April)
Your guides for this tour:
  • Spike! Your Irish host with the big mouth I have traveled the world - including Ireland 5 times - and now I've been given more time to explore! I love sharing my passion for travel and adventure which is why I founded this small-group travel company 10 years ago to help you fulfill your bucket list. My first journey to Ireland was in 1996 (I bartended!) and I've been back several times: most recently to take my daughters to the home in which my grandmother was born. It was incredible to show my kids the small town, the family business and the family church!
  • George Jackson, Photography InstructorGeorge lives in Dingle and has been exploring Ireland with his cameras since the 1990s and now runs a photography tour & workshop company where he prefers to teach in "the outdoor classroom." He will get us off the beaten path to some of the most incredible scenery that most visitors never get to see. You'll learn a few settings on your camera for sure!
  • Trish Punch, Photography InstructorTrish is an Irish photographer specializing in travel and landscape imagery. She is a contributing photographer for Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Condé Nast, the BBC and Tourism Ireland. She loves to chase the light across beautiful landscapes on the west coast and share her knowledge through photography workshops and tours.
  • Darren McLoughlin, Photography EducatorDarren is an Irishman and International travel photographer, leading tours and experiences in Ireland, Italy and France. Contributor to New York Times, Irish Times, Untapped Cities, The Culture Trip and Eater.com as well as guide books and travel magazines including EasyJet and Ritz-Carlton. He's also an author and cancer survivor.
  • othersI bring other guides into the fold as needed along our journey... and you'll love our luxury coach driver who is not only a wealth of information being from this corner of Ireland, but he's also very funny!

Departure & Return Location

We will fly in and out of Dublin Airport (DUB).  Your flight should depart the U.S. on April 23 to arrive on April 24 before our 5pm welcome dinner. Your departing flight should be after 12:00pm (noon) on April 30.

Price Includes:

  • 6 nights hotel accommodation
  • Transportation by luxury minibus for entire tour
  • Most Meals (4 dinners, 5 lunches and 5 breakfasts)
  • Entrance fees for all tours & attractions
  • Several fun, engaging and knowledgeable photography instructors & tour guides who have scouted locations
  • Online & printed guide to area attractions, restaurants, pubs and shopping for each town we visit
  • Printed guide to photography tips & techniques
  • Grab-and-go water & snacks on the minibus
  • Welcome gift upon arrival
  • Adventure, fun, inspiration, and the luck o' the Irish!

Price Excludes:

  • Airfare (but I'll help you plan it!)
  • Arrival airport shuttle to Dublin
  • 2 dinners not provided so that you can enjoy Dingle and Cashel on your own (but you're welcome to join me if you wish!) Dining suggestions will be provided.
  • Camera or Photography Equipment
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Room service fees & personal expenses

Sponsored By:

Itinerary

April 24Arrive in Dublin

Begin your Irish adventure in Dublin, a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and modern charm. Check into your hotel room and shake off the jet lag. Charge your batteries and clean your lenses. Your flight will probably arrive in the morning so you’ll be able to tour some Dublin sites on your own if you wish (I’ll provide suggestions that our tour won’t cover). We will meet for an early welcome dinner and tour orientation. And if you still have energy, we will wander through the cobblestone streets of Temple Bar, known for its lively pubs, traditional music, and vibrant atmosphere.
HOTEL: DUBLIN (2 nights) …if you choose to arrive in Dublin even earlier, I can provide hotel info for discounted rates.

April 25Morning Photo Walk in Dublin, then Limerick and Adare

In the morning, we start with an early photo walk in the streets of Dublin. Our guide (who grew up in Dublin) will tell us about Ireland’s stone age roots, Celtic warriors and Viking conquests, the Medieval era of saints and scholars. We will photograph the site of the 1916 Easter Rising which led to an Irish Republic independent of the Britain Empire. And we’ll shoot some other photogenic sites like Dublin Castle, Christ Church, The River Liffey, Temple Bar, Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and some musical landmarks.
After lunch, we get out of the city and into the country to what has been nicknamed “Ireland’s prettiest village.” Adare features a town center of thatched cottages, built in the 19th century. The quaint streets are quite the contrast from busy Dublin just hours earlier. Other famous attractions we may visit include Desmond Castle, the Franciscan Friary and the Trinitarian & Augustinian Priories. We will have dinner in the Limerick area tonight as we prepare to arrive on the Wild Atlantic West tomorrow.
HOTEL: ADARE

April 26Dingle Town

We head to the coast where we may visit the ruins of a church and its stones carved in the 6th century. Or perhaps we’ll visit the falconry to photograph some birds of prey up close. And then we arrive in the small fishing village of Dingle. It’s a Gaeltacht town so the Irish language is still spoken here. Dingle has long been a beacon for artists, musicians, craftspeople and other creative characters. We will walk around the harbor, settling into a simple life by the sea… then a short photo walk through the town to capture its charm. You’ll have some time in the afternoon and evening to explore the shops, restaurants and pubs on your own (or you can join me!) …suggestions will be provided.
HOTEL: DINGLE (2 nights)

April 27The Dingle Peninsula

After breakfast, we’ll drop in on Aedán Houlihan’s farm for a sheepdog demonstration and maybe even bottle-feed his baby lambs. We’ll see ancient stone round houses, also known as “beehive huts.” If you’re a Star Wars fan, you may have seen Luke Skywalker living in them in “The Last Jedi.” But his Jedi huts were actually real homes for monks in the 6th century.
After lunch at “the most westerly pub in Ireland” with the Blasket Islands and Skellig Michael in the background, we will drive the coastline which consists of striking cliffs, broken by sandy beaches. Our photography instructor George grew up in the area and has been capturing its beauty since the 90s. We will photograph Dunmore Head, Coumeenoole Beach, Dunquin Pier, Clogher Head, and the old schoolhouse from the old John Wayne film “Ryan’s Daughter.” We’ll pause for dinner in the tiny village of Ballyferriter before we loop back to set up for the perfect sunset shot along the Wild Atlantic ocean.
HOTEL: DINGLE

April 28Killarney and Cobh

Today we visit Killarney to photograph traditional Irish working farms, just as they looked 90 years ago – still without electricity! We’ll also explore the ruins of a 14th century Franciscan abbey that may have you fooled into thinking you’ve been transported to Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
After lunch, we will head to Cobh on Ireland’s southern coast. This was the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic in 1912 . This is also our photography instructor Trish’s backyard to show us the most scenic views around the waterfront promenade. And of course as the sun sets, Trish will help you frame St. Colman’s Cathedral and the colorful row of houses known as “the deck of cards.” Maybe we’ll get lucky with our timing: sometimes the mammoth cruise ships in port will shoot off fireworks as they depart!
HOTEL: BLARNEY

April 29Castle Day! Blarney Castle and Rock of Cashel

We start our morning at Blarney Castle. The unusually large castle was built in the 15th century and its walls are 18 feet thick. You’ll learn the dark history of the the castle’s “murder hole.” The color of the castle’s flower gardens should be amazing this time of year. We will also photograph the “poison garden” and “carnivorous courtyard.” We’ll say hi to the horses and wrap up our morning exploring the woods where legends tell us the witches and fairies live.
After lunch (and our chance to shop for authentic Irish goods), we will move on to photograph our second castle: The Rock Of Cashel. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by Saint Patrick in the 5th century. Set up on a hill, the castle possesses the most impressive cluster of medieval buildings in Ireland, including a round tower, a chapel, an abbey, a tower house and a Gothic cathedral… surviving a thousand years and waiting for your camera! We will shoot the castle from several angles before heading inside for a tour.
Then we check into our hotel and you’ll have the evening to grab dinner and explore Cashel on your own (or join me). It’s our last night to soak in Ireland. If the conditions are favorable, there may be an optional visit back to the castle for a sunset shoot.
HOTEL: CASHEL

April 30Return to Dublin... and home

Bid farewell to Ireland as our luxury coach takes us back to Dublin Airport in the morning for an afternoon flight home. (Or our minibus will take you back to central Dublin if you’re extending your stay.)

What To Expect

Details:  You will book your own flight to leave America April 23 to arrive in Dublin on April 24. Current airfare is about $800-900 round-trip from Detroit but expected to drop. I will give you tips on when to buy and where to look. I leave airfare to you for two reasons: some people choose to use miles/points, and because some people choose to extend their stay in Europe by arriving early or staying longer. 

Once you arrive at the Dublin hotel, we take over and take care of you for the next 6 days and 6 nights! Our small group (between 6 and 11 participants MAX) will travel in a 20 seat minibus so everyone can spread out for comfort and views! I do small tours so you get our full attention! Plus, I like to have room for our camera gear so we can quickly hop-on/hop-off the bus whenever we stumble upon a beautiful scene. Some days require a reasonable amount of walking that a person of average health can handle. For example in Dingle, the hike to the most beautiful jagged coastal shot (and another Star Wars filming location) may be a 1.6 mile loop – about a 15 minute walk each way. My photo tours are fun but never strenuous – email me if you have questions! Whether this is your first trip to Ireland – or anywhere – I guarantee you’ll have a fun time, see amazing sights, make new friends and return home with amazing photos and stories!

There is an option to combine this tour with the sightseeing tour the week prior and see so much more of Ireland that wasn’t included in the photography tour… and you’ll save even more money!  Email me for more info.

Please note: These trips are 18+ (legal drinking age in Ireland)

We will provide lots of info leading up to the tour including what to wear, what to pack and recommendations for restaurants, pubs and other “must do” attractions for your free time… yes, you’ll have free time too!

Photos
More photos coming soon... here's just a few:

DOCUMENTS NOTE: You must have a passport that is valid for the entire duration of your entire stay in Ireland (or a visa to enter Ireland if you’re a U.S. green card holder). Refunds will not be given because you did not secure a valid passport or green card in time for this trip.

LIMITATIONS NOTE: For this trip. we require you to be reasonably fit in order to casually walk from location to location. We also require that you are able to handle your own luggage/bags, and enter/exit the vehicle without assistance. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make a trip challenging and we can answer all questions. Ireland’s restaurants are very accommodating to those with food allergies.  When you send your tour deposit, you certify to us that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions that would create a risk for yourself or for others on the trip or alter the group’s travel plans.

CANCELLATION NOTICE:  In the event that you have to cancel your “Explore With Spike” trip, we make every attempt to replace you with another paying traveler but if not, your payments are non-refundable. The best way to protect yourself against unforeseen changes in your travel plans is to purchase travel insurance… which costs about $50 for this tour.

Ireland 2024 Cancellation Policy

Travel Insurance Recommendations

Questions? Email us! travel@explorewithspike.com

WEATHER NOTICE: Ireland isn’t exactly known for its sunny weather, but what it can be known for is the amazing light, stormy seas and moody clouds. We are headed to Ireland in it’s driest season (March-June sees the least precipitation) but that doesn’t mean we won’t see rainfall – we probably will.  We will adjust the tour locations each day as necessary for comfort but we continue in all weather. For photographers, you can be sure we will keep a close eye on the weather throughout each day to make sure I get you in the right place, at the right time, for the best photos. Regardless, keep your gear protected because we shoot in all conditions. Rain and fog makes great photographs too! 

COVID-19 NOTICE:  We will be traveling from location to location in a coach all day long. So we kindly ask you to take precautions if you have symptoms or feel sick, for example wear a mask and notify your guides so they can care for you. We follow each country’s guidelines; Ireland does not require proof of vaccinations at this time. If this changes, we will let you know. We do not offer a refund if you can not attend a tour due to changing Covid-19 guidelines. Explore With Spike’s tour guides, pros and staff are fully vaccinated and boosted. We wish to be respectful to each other and the people of Ireland. Kind people are our kinda people!