Day 1: DONEGAL TOWN & ROSSNOWLAGH
Welcome to Ireland! On arrival into the Airport, you will be met by your professional driver guide. Enjoy the scenic drive to County Donegal and the seaside village of Rossnowlagh. The Sandhouse Hotel overlooks the Atlantic Ocean with a pristine beach in front on which to stroll and breathe in the fresh salt air! Once you are settled in you will take a short drive into Donegal Town. Stroll about this interesting old town with 16th century castle ruins, a 17th century church and a ship’s anchor shorn from one of Napoleon’s frigates when his fleet unsuccessfully tried to thwart the British in an Irish uprising in 1798. The center of town is diamond shaped, with streets spoking off in all directions with wool and tweed shops that line the street fronts. Be sure to stop at Magee of Donegal (hand woven tweeds) in the town center. View Donegal Castle. This imposing ruin stands on the bank of the River Eske. In 1505 the old castle which stood here was rebuilt by Red Hugh O’Donnell and became the O’Donnells’ main stronghold. The structure was altered by Sir Basil Brooke, who was granted the castle in 1607. Its main feature is a massive rectangular gabled tower with two bartizan turrets. Attached to the south side is a fine Jacobean wing. Return to the Sandhouse Hotel. Perhaps a stroll along the beach before dinner. This evening enjoy a Welcome Dinner followed by an Irish Coffee. Dinner in the dining room this evening.
Note: Each day during your stay you can avail of the many activities offered, such as golf or spa treatments. We can design your touring day around those activities as the luxury touring vehicle and driver-guide will be with you every day of your stay.
Day 2: GLENCOLUMCILLE & KILLYBEGS
We tour along the shores of Donegal Bay passing through Mountcharles, a fine village situated along a hillside over Donegal Bay. Continue to Dunkineely which is known for its fishing and where the MacSwayne castle walls still stand at St. John’s Point. On to Killybegs, which looks like a late Victorian village built around a good harbor. It is a major commercial fishing port – as no doubt the smell will tell you. Tour to Glencolumcille with its brightly colored cottages. At Glen Head there is a church where St. Columcille worshipped. Visit the Folk Village Museum depicting life in rural Donegal. Nearby is Slieve League with the highest sea cliffs in Europe – the cliffs of Bunglass. We take a boat excursion from the village of Teelin to view the cliffs from below. Continue on to Ardara which is a well loved village and small wonder. It is an important center for the manufacture of Donegal hand-woven tweeds and sweaters, produced from a thriving village which has gained a deserved reputation. Visitors may see hand looms in operation locally. Continue on to Glenties which is a “Tidy Town” village picturesquely situated where two glens converge. Return to The Sandhouse Hotel for a relaxing evening. Dinner on your own tonight. A chance to explore the other dining options in the hotel, including the Surfer’s Bar.
Day 3: SLIGO & ENVIRONS
Tour on toward Sligo, where just before the town you take the road to Strandhill and visit the Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery near Strandhill. It’s the largest collection of Stone Age dolmens and tombs in all of Europe! As the largest cemetery of megalithic tombs in Ireland, the tombs are spread over a number of fields and townlands, most of them situated near the road. The majority of the tombs are a mixture of small Passage-tombs and dolmens, usually surrounded by a stone kerb, but most were probably originally covered by a stone mound. Often either the tomb itself or the kerb-stones have disappeared. In the area are a number of ring forts and standing stones as well as a stone with a hole in it. After your visit to Carrowmore, continue into Sligo Town. It dates back to 807 and is fascinating to visit. It must be said that Sligo is scarcely a town anymore. It now verges on being a city by Irish standards. Its bustling streets are among the busiest in the Northwest, and many of them are now one-way. Sligo has some exquisite, traditional shop fronts, and opposite the amazing 1878 Venetian Gothic courthouse a firm of lawyers bears the remarkable name of ‘Argue & Phibbs’ on its window! Just outside of Sligo Town is Lough Gill. With its 22 islands, it is surrounded by woodlands and mountains and is connected to Sligo Town by the Garavogue River. One of the lake’s islands, Inisfree, was immortalized by William Butler Yeats in ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree.’ Five miles due north, under the shadow of Ben Bulben Mountain is Drumcliff, location of the churchyard where Yeats is buried. No visit to Ireland would be complete without a tour to the town of Belleek. You will have an opportunity to tour the factory and see how the creamy pottery is made. Return to The Sandhouse Hotel for a relaxing evening. Dinner on your own tonight. A chance to explore the many pubs and restaurants of Donegal Town.
Day 4: ULSTER AMERICAN FOLK PARK & DERRY
Tour through the Bluestack Mountains and cross into Northern Ireland at Strabane. On to the Ulster American Folk Park. This open-air living history museum features costumed interpreters who reveal the experience of immigrants from Ulster to the United States during the 18th and 19th centuries. Continue into Derry City which enjoys one of the most beautiful situations in Ireland, rising evenly on both sides of the River Foyle. Derry City traces its beginning to St. Columba who set up his monastery here in 546. The impregnable city walls, begun in 1613, still remain as Derry’s most notable feature. Among the many historic monuments in Derry, the city Walls on the west bank of the River Foyle are the most striking and memorable. Built between 1614 and 1619, the original Walls are almost perfectly preserved today, making Derry one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe. Be sure to stop in at the Heritage Library located on Bishop Street in the center of the city. You will find a dedication plaque in the lobby to Moira Hegarty O’Scannlain. You will enjoy a guided walking tour of this magnificent city. Walk the Walls and look into the Bogside. You drive through areas that display the murals depicting “The Troubles.” From the height of Gob naSceil you will have a panoramic vista of the city. Return to The Sandhouse Hotel for a relaxing evening. Dinner on your own tonight. Why not have a room service meal and enjoy it while looking at the Atlantic Ocean from your cozy room.
Day 5: GLENVEAGH NATIONAL PARK
Tour north from Donegal Town where north of Lough Eske, you will come to the lonely yet fascinating Barnesmore Gap, formed by two enormous granite hills -Craogconnellagh (1,724 feet) and Barnesmore (1,491 feet). From earliest times this glacier carved trough has been a key route between southern and northern Donegal. As such, it was once a favored haunt of highwaymen, and this spot saw many a robbery. We continue north to the town of Letterkenny, the chief town and ecclesiastical capital of County Donegal, which sits overlooking Lough Swilly. The town’s main street is one of the longest in Ireland. St. Eunice’s Cathedral is a new building in the Gothic style. Climb into the scenic hills of County Donegal to Glenveagh National Park with its mountains, lakes, glens and woods, herd of red deer. Tour Glenveagh Castle, a Scottish style castle surrounded by one of the finest gardens in Ireland. Few of the great houses of Ireland are preserved in this condition with their original furnishings, and in Glenveagh Castle one catches a glimpse of a lifestyle belonging to an earlier age. Return to the Sandhouse Hotel. This evening you will enjoy a Farewell dinner in the dining room.
Day 6: DEPART FOR HOME
This morning you are transferred to the airport for your return flight home. OR extend your Based vacation with a transfer to one of our other Based Vacation Hotels and Resorts!
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It is like a Land Cruise! – Unpack Once – Resort Activities to Enjoy – Day Excursions – Experienced Tour Guide & Private Luxury Vehicle – Relax!
A relaxed based vacation in Donegal and the Northwest of Ireland with opportunities to explore, sightsee, get pampered, all in the best of 4 star luxury!
Over 50 years experience has fashioned the style that greets you by the friendly, courteous and efficient staff at the Sandhouse Hotel and Marine Spa at Rossnowlagh Beach, Donegal Bay. The spontaneous warmth of their welcome radiates from the open log fire which glows from the period fireplace in the cosy entrance lounge. The homey, stress-free atmosphere of luxury and relaxation is adorned by displays of fresh flowers and many fine pieces of antique furniture throughout the Hotel. Located overlooking the blue flag Rossnowlagh Beach, this haven of relaxation, comfort and quality is an ideal base. A golfer’s paradise with 3 excellent championship links golf courses nearby. A friendly welcome awaits you!
YOUR LUXURY SANDHOUSE HOTEL PACKAGE INCLUDES:
- Arrival and Departure Transfers
- Sightseeing by Private luxury motorcoach
- Services of Professional driver/guide throughout the tour
- Accommodation with private bathroom for 5 nights
- Irish Breakfast Daily
- Assistance of Journey Through Ireland office based in Ireland for itinerary planning and assistance while touring in Ireland
- Welcome Dinner on First Evening
- Farewell Dinner on Last Evening
- Derry City Walking Tour
- Sightseeing each day, as you wish, including entrance fees to the following sites: Donegal Castle, Slieve League, Cliffs of Bunglass, Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, Drumcliff, Belleek China Factory & Ulster American Folk Park
RELAX – UNWIND – ENJOY
Enjoy excellent award-winning cuisine (AA Red Rosette) in the Sandhouse Hotel’s elegant Seashell Restaurant, enhanced by a carefully chosen and imaginative wine list. Menus are designed by our resident chef, John Robert McGarrigle, who has been part of the team for the past ten years. John and his team use the wonderful natural fresh produce which is a feature of this unpolluted coast and hinterland. House specialities include Donegal Bay Salmon, Sea Trout, Scallops, Crab and Lobster, as well as Prime Beef, Lamb, Veal and Game in season. While the menu changes daily, all dietary needs are catered to. Dinner is served in The Seashell Restaurant from 7 to 8.30 where guests can enjoy award winning food enhanced by a huge selection of competitively priced wines.
Bedrooms – The austere grandeur of the magnificent views from our hotel bedrooms is truly breathtaking. Individually and tastefully decorated and furnished to a high standard of comfort and decor, each of our bedrooms use coordinated fabrics and furnishings in a classic country house style. There are 55 luxury hotel bedrooms, many overlooking Rossnowlagh Beach on Donegal Bay. All of the rooms are individually decorated and most are furnished with classic antique furniture.
Comfort and relaxation are paramount in designing our bedrooms; therefore, expect quality, comfortable, restful beds in a peaceful, calm environment. Continual annual investment ensures that all of the bedrooms are maintained to the highest standard where quality and comfort are evident from the moment you open the door. Every care has been taken in designing the bedrooms; each is individually decorated to ensure that guests have a different experience on each return visit. The only noise one can expect to hear is the gentle sound of the waves breaking on to the golden sandy beach. The hotel boasts numerous quiet corners where you can enjoy reading your book in peace or sample of the many wines while enjoying the magnificent sunset over Rossnowlagh Beach, Donegal Bay.
Welcome to the Sandhouse Hotel Donegal Marine Spa
The Spa Suite offers clients the very best in Marine Body and Skin Care. The products used are Thalgo Marine. Thalgo is one of the world leaders in Marine Skin Care, using only 100% pure seaweed from the coast of Northern France. In their research, Thalgo scientists have explored the richness of the sea to extract vital active marine ingredients. These ingredients are the base for this wonderful range of body and skin care products. The richness of the sea oligo-elements, proteins, amino acids and vitamins are captured within the Thalgo philosophy. They are vital to your health and well being and ensure soft, supple and revitalised skin.
The treatment range is personalised to suit your needs, be they for relaxation, vitality or to de-tox the body. In the Skin Care range there is a treatment of every skin type, be it to rehydrate, rebalance, refine or revitalize. You are enveloped with the riches of the sea to bring about a feeling of total wellness and well-being. We are excited to be able to offer you the most sought after Spa Treatment – Balneotherapy. This is a high-powered Treatment Bath containing over 200 jets, located within the bath. They massage the entire body and can concentrate on problem areas including the neck and lower back. Products such as aromatic oils, mineral salts and dried seaweed are added to the bath to enhance the benefits. The effects of Balneotherapy are: relaxing, toning, de-toxing and energising. With the high power rushing through it, water therapy has forty times more impact than dry therapy. It is also used prior to the Thalgo Body Treatments to enhance their results and can be used as a single treatment. Your therapist will advise you according to your needs.
Donegal Golf Club
Donegal Golf Club is on the Murvagh peninsula in Donegal Bay; hence, it is generally known as Murvagh. The links is isolated from the outside world by a forest of evergreens washed on one side by the great Atlantic Ocean and by Donegal Bay on the others. It has a panoramic view of the Bluestack Mountains and the beach that runs along the Atlantic border is one of the finest in Ireland. Murvagh has been described as the Muirfield of Ireland, similar in terrain with two loops of nine holes, the first nine an outer loop and the second nine an inner loop running in the opposite direction. At nearly 7,300 yards (championship) or 7,000 yards (medal) this course is long. The serious golfer needs to be at his or her best, while those less serious will still enjoy Donegal as it offers a chance on each hole to win a battle, if not the overall war.
The Sandhouse is a haven of quiet, peace and relaxation. All of the hotel guests are here to relax and escape the hectic pace of today’s life. The team will ensure that every need is catered to, from a welcoming cup of tea to breakfast in bed. The are an abundance of private, cosy, comfortable lounges located throughout The Sandhouse Hotel in Donegal, whether you want to browse the net or simply curl up and read a book, every need is catered for. Enjoy a pre dinner cocktail in our Boss’s Bar where you can sink into a luxury sofa perusing the sumptuous dinner menu. The Surfers Bar is more casual and is where you can hear the surfers brag about catching the perfect wave. All sporting events are shown on the plasma TV’s in the Surfers Bar, The outdoor veranda is the perfect suntrap where you can enjoy a coffee with breathtaking views of Rossnowlagh beach, St Johns Point and much more. Guests can appreciate both the majestic splendor and calm beauty of the sea from the comfort of the cosy and delightful Atlantic Conservatory. Here, one can relax and browse through books or enjoy afternoon tea with delicious homemade scones and fresh fruit pies.
Located overlooking the blue flag Rossnowlagh Beach, this haven of relaxation, comfort and quality is an ideal base to explore the Northwest of Ireland.