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Ready to start your own legendary story? Book now to save up to 12.5% on guided vacations of $400 on fully customizable independent packages in 2021, 2022 and 2023*

Discover the ancient secrets of Ireland's most beloved legends for a little inspiration below.
Legends The Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland

#1: The Giant's Causeway

We’re kicking off with one of the most iconic legends – Finn McCool who brought us Giant’s Causeway.

Picture this: Scottish giant, Benandonner was threatening Ireland which enraged Irish giant Finn McCool. To battle with Benandonner, Finn McCool grabbed chunks of the Antrim coastline and threw them into the sea to form a path to Scotland. Bad idea Finn. Benandonner was much bigger than Finn. Thinking quickly, Finn’s wife dressed him as a baby. Imagine seeing a baby the size of a giant, how big would the father be? Benandonner didn’t want to find out. A little trickery saved our beloved country.

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Ireland's Legendary North >
Ireland's Northern Dream > 

Brendan Vacations Legends St Brendan

#2: St. Brendan

We take this legend personally - it’s none other than St. Brendan.

We couldn’t highlight these legends without talking about this Saint, but then again, we might be a little biased. He’s famous for his legendary voyages across the Atlantic Ocean and is the subject of an Irish epic written about his crazy adventures that include encountering mysterious islands, fighting off scary sea monsters and discovering unbelievable magic. It’s quite the story. Known as the Navigator, this explorer made such a splash that we simply had to name ourselves after him.

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Iconic Ireland and Ashford Castle > 
Ireland Coast to Coast >

Brendan Vacations Legends Seans Bar

#3: Sean's Bar

Grab a pint because today we’re highlighting Sean’s Bar - the oldest pub in Ireland.

If you love our friendly locals and thirst for Irish ale, then this legend is for you. Being the oldest pub is no small feat, but it all started with humble beginnings and one of our very own ancestors. Luain Mac Luighdeach built an inn so weary travelers had a place to escape the waters of the Shannon River. With a wee bit of Irish hospitality and cheery craic, he made it a welcoming place for all, and nothing’s changed over the years. One could only guess how many “a guy walked into a bar” jokes were told over the years at this local joint.

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Ireland's Legendary North >
Ireland's Heart and Soul >

Brendan Vacations Legends Titanic Belfast Museum

#4: The Titanic

What sunken ship got its start in Ireland? You guessed it - the Titanic.

You’re sure to have heard of this ill-fated boat, but it’s more than just a movie. Its hopeful beginnings have roots in our very own Emerald Isle. It was the early 1900’s and there was no better place to construct a ship than in Belfast. It was something special and was created in the Harland and Wolff shipyard at a time when maritime work was really booming. While its story is tragic, this ship will always have a special place in our history and now Titanic Belfast is a place where visitors come to learn and pay their respects.

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Ireland's Legendary North >
Romancing Ireland >

Brendan Vacations Legends Shamrock

#5: The Shamrock

Keep calm and shamrock on…this legend is one worth searching for.

Ireland and shamrocks? They just go together. But why’s that so? The word shamrock comes from the Gaelic word Seamrog, meaning “little clover.” This plant gained popularity due to St. Patrick and once he was named patron saint of Ireland, they began popping up everywhere – from flags and fashion to songs and stories. St. Patrick’s Day is where this icon really shines, as it is used in celebrations all around the Emerald Isle. As for its closely-related cousin, the four-leaf clover-while many search for these lucky leaves, shamrocks are Ireland’s true symbol and what we locals appreciate most.

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Shamrocks and Leprechauns >
Ireland's Sparkling Gems >

Brendan Vacations Legends Book of Kells

#6: The Book of Kells

Our legend of choice today is one of our most beloved- it’s the Book of Kells

One of the oldest books in the world? Now that’s what we call an Irish icon. This illuminated gospel manuscript was created by our very own Celtic monks around 800 AD and it’s certainly not your average paperback. It contains beautiful works of calligraphy and its illustrations would make even the best artists jealous. Stored in one of our favorite landmarks, Trinity College Library, many come from across the world to view this good-looking legend in its home.

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Castles and Manors >
Ireland's Hidden Gems >

Brendan Vacations Legends The Guinness Family

#7: The Guinness Family

Serving up the legend of the Guinness family, the people behind the “black stuff.”

We bet you’ve sampled some of our best and most famous liquid, but just how did Guinness get so good? Well, it’s all due to one special family. In 1759, Arthur Guinness bought a brewery and developed a delicious black porter that had never been seen before. It was the new brew in town. Over the years, other family members helped turn this dark drink into a cultural icon, while they became wealthy and dabbled in banking, politics and philanthropy along the way. There’s nothing like the power of a good pint.

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Best of Ireland >
Magical Ireland >

Brendan Vacations Legends Catherine Reilly

#8: Catherine Reilly

This International Women’s Day, it’s only fitting to highlight our very own legend- Catherine Reilly herself.

As the head of our Dublin team and a true Celtic expert, Catherine’s the epitome of a legendary woman. She’s been making friends within the Irish hospitality community for more than 35 years and uses her passion to help create Brendan’s handcrafted itineraries. In fact, she’s so amazing that we’ve even made Catherine’s Collection- castles and sightseeing experiences selected based on her very own connections. She’s always waiting to welcome guests with a smile and warm cup of tea. As the special leader of our team, she’s one powerful woman and a legend.

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Treasures of Ireland >
Ireland Coast to Coast >

Brendan Vacations Legends Leprechauns

#9: Leprechauns

No need to follow the rainbow- the legend of Leprechauns is below.

These wee fellas are familiar all over the world, but they are close cousins with one of our other favorite folklores. That’s right…the fairy family. Their name comes from the word “luchorpán,” meaning small body- no surprise there. They are also said to be shoemakers. Now those are some tiny feet. While magical, you might want to think twice before trying to capture them, as they are known to be quite the little tricksters. Is the gold worth the risk? That’s for you to decide.

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Shamrocks and Leprechauns >
Family Adventure on the Emerald Isle >

Brendan Vacations Legends Jameson Irish Whiskey

#10: Jameson Irish Whiskey

Sláinte! Today’s legend is a spirit you’ll love to savor- Jameson Irish Whiskey

Chances are you’ve probably sipped a wee dram of Jameson before and we can’t blame you. It’s our most beloved whiskey. While there were many other distilleries starting up in Dublin during the 1700’s, Jameson’s specially made spirit reinvented the distillation game and captured the hearts of locals, making it one of our most famous legacies. Now, it’s the best-selling Irish whiskey in the world and what we call liquid sunshine.

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Treasures of Ireland >
Ireland's Sights and Sounds >

Brendan Vacations Legends Fairies

#11: Fairies

Ready to be lured into Irish mythology? Believe it or not, we’re uncovering the tale of the tiniest of legends today…fairies.

Winged and whimsical, these mystical creatures are thought to be members of one of the first tribes to arrive in Ireland and represent the connection between humans and angels. No wonder we cherish them so much. Do you possess the gift to spot them? It is said that only a few lucky ones do. But don’t worry, you can still participate in the fairy fun by looking for forts, trees, gardens and pools. A bit of magic awaits.

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Enchanting Emerald Isle >
Family Adventure on the Emerald Isle >

Brendan Vacations Legends Molly Mallone

#12: Molly Malone

The mystery of Molly Malone- now that’s a legend worth talking about

The famous subject of our capital’s official anthem, she even has her own statue. Yet, her identity remains unknown. As the Dublin ditty goes, she was a fishmonger who sold her goods on the streets and eventually passed on to haunt the town. But don’t worry, this story isn’t all spooky. While many suggest she was a real person, others claim she’s just a lady of lore and celebrate her holiday with joy. What do you believe? You have to come see her statue to make up your mind.

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Amazing Ireland >
Ireland's Sparkling Gems >

Brendan Vacations Legends Ashford Castle

#13: Ashford Castle

This legend is fit for queens and kings…Ashford Castle

Over the years many Irish icons have called this place home. Originally built by the Anglo-Normans, this medieval monument is not only one to see to believe, but stay in. Full of grand greenery, epic activities and unmatched luxury, it’s no wonder this old legend has become a modern-day favorite. Now owned by our sister company and part of the Red Carnation Collection, it’s one of the world’s most-renowned castle hotels. Rest here and be regal.

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Iconic Ireland and Ashford Castle >
Ireland's Stunning Landscapes and Coastal Views >

Brendan Vacations Legends Irish Harp

#14: The Irish Harp

Our song-making symbol is on display today- it’s the legend of the Harp.

While the shamrock is known as our most famous icon, it is actually more formally the Irish Harp. We don’t want to harp on it, but this legend’s strings represent the arms of the king. Although its origins are up for debate, many believe High King Brian Boru was a player of this instrument, an admired quality, and it became popular for royalty to keep players around. Even brands like Guinness have adapted this symbol into their logos and it can be seen everywhere around the Emerald Isle, including in our Coat of Arms. Sounds like we’ve uncovered another Irish legend.

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Irish Highlights >
Magical Ireland >

Brendan Vacations Legends Blarney Stone

#15: The Blarney Stone

It’s easy to see why Blarney Castle has attracted thousands of Bucket List seekers for centuries. Built nearly 600 years ago, there are several myths behind its magical fortified walls. While the ancient tradition of kissing the Blarney Stone to gain the gift of gab might itself be a legend for the time-being, there is still so much to explore around the Castle Grounds and Gardens.

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Iconic Ireland and Ashford Castle >
Ireland's Sights and Sounds >

Celebrate in Dublin

#16: St. Patrick's Day Celebrations

Every country lays claim to their own legends… Ireland has St. Patrick. Celebrated around the world every spring, the most famous of these festivities happens right in the heart of Dublin. While we will not be raising a green glass this year, rest assured that our 100 thousands welcomes will be heightened more than ever as soon as the world returns to travel.

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Treasures of Ireland >
Ireland's Heart and Soul >

Brendan Vacations Legends St Patrick

#17: St. Patrick

Perhaps one of the most legendary people of all time, he’s the man behind one of the most internationally celebrated holidays: St. Patrick’s Day. He’s the reason why we drink green beer, eat corned beef and cabbage, line the streets for massive parades and don our green attire.  Now that you’ve been introduced to the legendary St. Patrick and the holiday he’s responsible for, you must be wondering how to celebrate this special day? (Keep reading)
 
When it comes time to celebrate again, Ireland’s citizens don’t just wear green… their buildings do too. From Trinity College and Christ Church Cathedral, to Ashford Castle and even Giant’s Causeway; on March 17 these popular monuments and landmarks are all adorned in green for everyone to enjoy the festive lights.

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Best of Ireland >
Ireland Coast to Coast >

Legends of Ireland

Find more inspiration through our nation of storytellers

*Save up to 12.5% with Early Payment Discounts (EPD) on Guided Vacations (for US residents only): 10% off Summer 2021 trips and Autumn, Winter and Spring 2021/22 trips; 12.5% off Summer 2022 trips and travel through December 31, 2022; 15% off 2023 trips. Savings are valid on the land portion of select worldwide trips only when booked and paid in full by June 3, 2021. EPD may not be combinable with other land promotions; savings are combinable with airfare offers and the 5% past guest discount. Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Savings not valid on all itineraries and/or departure dates (including Edinburgh Military Tattoo trips), are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Other conditions may apply.  

Save up $400 USD per couple on fully customizable Private Chauffeur, Locally Hosted Rail, Lux Self-Drive and Self-Drive packages. Savings based on a minimum per person spend on the land portion of the trip: $100 off packages $1500 - $1999 per person; $150 USD off packages $2000 - $2999 per person; and $200 USD off packages $3000+ per person. Savings are valid when booked and deposited March 5, 2021 – June 3, 2021. Valid on new bookings only. Savings are not combinable with any other land promotion but are combinable with our past guest discounts. Not valid on all itineraries, departure dates, custom groups of 9+are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Other conditions may apply. 


All offers: Savings are not valid on all itineraries and/or departure dates, are subject to availability are not valid on airfares or extra night accommodations and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Every effort is made to ensure accuracy of the above content. Brendan Vacations cannot be held responsible for typographical errors or errors arising from unforeseen circumstances. Other conditions may apply. CST# 2084503-20

*Save up to $500 per couple on our fully customizable Private Chauffeur, Locally Hosted Rail, Lux Self-Drive and Self-Drive packages. Savings based on a minimum per person spend on the land portion of the trip: $130 CAD off packages $2,000 - $2,599 CAD per person; $200 CAD off packages $2,600 - $3,999 CAD per person; $250 CAD off packages $4,000+ CAD per person. Savings are valid when booked and deposited March 5, 2021 – June 3, 2021. Valid on new bookings only. Savings are not combinable with any other land promotion but are combinable with our past guest discount. Not valid on all itineraries, departure dates custom groups of 9+are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Other conditions may apply. 

All offers: Savings are not valid on all itineraries and/or departure dates, are subject to availability are not valid on airfares or extra night accommodations and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Brendan Vacations does not sell guided trips to Canadian residents but you can book guided trips through our sister company Trafalgar.com. Every effort is made to ensure accuracy of the above content. Brendan Vacations cannot be held responsible for typographical errors or errors arising from unforeseen circumstances. Other conditions may apply. 
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