Rugby Tours to Portugal – Building Bonds on Beaches & in Bodegas

Irish Rugby Tours has a long and proud history of bringing rugby tours to Portugal. Both our Lisbon base and our base at Faro in the Algarve are favourites with groups who are looking for somewhere a little off beaten track.

Why choose Portugal for a rugby tour?

For teams facing into lengthy spells of training in the mud baths and biting wind of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, trips to the sunnier winter climes of Portugal are hugely beneficial.

Not only can teams perfect the nuances of their game plan and hone their skills, taking a trip abroad with your teammates inevitably leads to a degree of bonding they just do not get at home. Bringing your team abroad, exposes them to different cultures, different food and different ways of doing things that they may not see at home.

Facilities at our training camps in Portugal are second to none and as always we have done our homework on local teams so we can provide you with top quality opposition should you be on the lookout for some real game time. The Portuguese Rugby Federation has over 42,000 registered on its books with scores of clubs and teams of all levels spread across the country.

***TOP TOUR***

The Portugal Rugby Youth Festival runs from the 13th April – 14th April. The festival is located at the Lisbon University Stadium with easy access to and from hotels, hostels and campuses in the city. As a special treat, this trip is something really worth considering. Not only will it give your youth team a chance to play in an international tournament, it will also give them a chance to see one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and meet other rugby players from across the continent.

Is rugby popular in Portugal?

Rugby in Portugal is on the rise. Arguably, the national team’s golden period was just over ten years ago when they qualified for their first and so far only World Cup in 2007. Os Lobos (The Wolves) had a bit of a howler against the All Blacks, losing 108 – 13. They took something of a drubbing from the Scots (56 – 10). Against Italy they fared a little better (31 – 5) and they gave tournament veterans Romania a right scare losing out to a try on the 72nd minute (14-10).

Since reaching the heady heights of 13th in the world rankings their star has fallen somewhat in recent years. The Wolves are now ranked 27th in the world – four places down from their last ranking and six places behind their arch rivals and neighbours Spain.

Who are Portugal’s best rugby players?

Second row Goncalo Uva has been capped by Portugal 101 times. He has scored nine tries and is one of the few members from the current squad to play at a World Cup. The 6’7” lineout specialist is a tireless worker around the pitch. He currently plies his trade back home in Lisbon with 11- time Portuguese champions Grupo Desportivo Direito but he had long spells in France with both Montpellier and Narbonne. Goncalo’s brother, Vasco, has also played for Portugal 101 times.

Check out this piece of skill from Goncalo Uva…

As well as sunshine to play in, empty beaches to practise on and great facilities for training, there is so much to do and see in your downtime. You can read a little bit more about some of the hot spots we’ve discovered in our years of visiting this beautiful country here.

 

About Irish Rugby Tours

Irish Rugby Tours is the go to tour company for your team. We have been planning, organising and delivering incoming rugby tours to and from Ireland, Europe and further afield since 1997. Our tours combine rugby, culture and travel to provide you with some of the best life experiences you are likely to have as a team. We don’t just build itineraries, we build memories, great ones that you will share for years to come.

Whether you are part of a club, college or school team, we can arrange customised sports tours for you in Ireland or abroad.

We have unrivalled experience and expertise in designing and facilitating customised tours. Over the last twenty plus years, we have brought more than 1500 teams to Ireland to experience its passion for both rugby and showing people a good time.

Every sports tour is designed to meet your requirements. If you want rugby, we will match you with carefully selected opposition you can compete against at your level. We also know that tour groups like to have fun. If you want to party, we know where you can do that too.

Let us know what you want on your tour and we will deliver.

Having flown to Ireland you don’t want to miss any sports fixtures – our on the ground team work hard to ensure you get your full complement of games whatever challenge comes our way.

Why Choose Irish Rugby Tours for your next Tour:

  • All our staff are rugby mad and have been involved in rugby all their lives.
  • We have worked in the hospitality industry at all levels – we know what works.
  • Irish Rugby Tours look after professional teams – both club and international.
  • We are a sports tour company and always have been.
  • Great value & tailored to your needs.
  • Irish Rugby Tours source the best standard accommodation, transport and all other service providers.
  • You can contact us 24/7, 365 days of the year.

Paris City Of Lights

Eiffel Tower

Paris City Of Lights - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ParisThe Eiffel Tower, one of the most visited attractions in the world. It welcomes almost seven million visitors per year and will be 130 years old next year in March.

Since its opening more than 250 million people have visited the tower.

Completed on March 31st, 1889 by Gustave Eiffel, the tower was the world’s tallest man-made structure for 41 years. The completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930 then overtook that record. Its construction took two years, two months and five days – 180 years fewer than Paris’s other great attraction, Notre Dame.

Did you know that Eiffel died while listening to Beethoven’s 5th symphony?

Disneyland

Paris City Of Lights - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ParisDisneyland Paris, originally Euro Disney Resort is in Marne-la-Vallée, located 32km east of the centre of Paris.

It comprises of two theme parks, many resort hotels, a shopping, dining, entertainment complex and a golf course. In addition to the park there are several additional recreational and entertainment venues.

Disneyland Park is the original theme park of the complex, opening with the resort on 12 April 1992. A second theme park, Walt Disney Studios Park, opened in 2002. Disneyland Paris celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2017.

In 25 years, 320 million people visited Disneyland Paris. The resort is the second Disney park to open outside the United States following the opening of the Tokyo Disney Resort in 1983.

The Louvre

Paris City Of Lights - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ParisThe Louvre or the Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris.

You’ll find it on the right bank of the Seine in the city’s 1st district. 2017, the Louvre was the world’s most visited art museum, receiving 8.1 million visitors.

Located in the Louvre Palace, originally built as a castle in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II.

Remnants of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum. Due to the urban expansion of the city, the fortress eventually lost its defensive function. Francis I converted it into the main residence of the French Kings.

1682, Louis XIV chose the Palace of Versailles for his household, leaving the Louvre primarily as a place to display the royal collection. During the French Revolution, the National Assembly decreed that the Louvre should be used as a museum to display the nation’s masterpieces.

Palace of Versailles

Paris City Of Lights - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ParisThe Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682. Firstly, under Louis XIV until the start of the French Revolution in 1789 under Louis XVI. It is located in Yvelines, about 20 kilometres southwest of Paris

The palace is now a historic monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Notable for the ceremonial Hall of Mirrors, the jewel-like Royal Opera and the royal apartments.

In 2017 the Palace of Versailles received 7,700,000 visitors, making it the second-most visited monument just behind the Louvre.

Arc de Triomphe

Paris City Of Lights - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ParisThe Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris.

Arc de Triomphe honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces are the names of French victories and generals.

Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

Designed by Jean Chalgrin 1806, its iconographic program pits heroically nude French youths against bearded Germanic warriors in chain mail. It set the tone for public monuments with triumphant patriotic messages.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Paris City Of Lights - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ParisNotre-Dame de Paris meaning “Our Lady of Paris”, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral is a medieval Catholic cathedral. Widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture 12 million people visit the cathedral yearly.

The innovative use of everything inside the building sets it apart from earlier Romanesque architecture.

Build began in 1160 and completed by 1260 and modified frequently in the following centuries.

Soon after Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame in 1831, popular interest in the building revived. A major restoration project supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc began in 1845 and continued for twenty-five years.

Beginning in 1963, the facade of the Cathedral was cleaned of centuries of grime, returning it to its original colour. Another campaign of cleaning and restoration was carried out from 1991-2000.

Champs-Élysées

Paris City Of Lights - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ParisThe Avenue des Champs-Élysées is an avenue in the 8th district of Paris. It runs between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle where the Arc de Triomphe is located.

The name is French for the Elysian Fields, the paradise for dead heroes in Greek mythology.

Throughout its history, the avenue has been the site of military parades. Most famous were the victory parades of German troops in 1871 and again in 1940 celebrating the Fall of France. Happier parades were the Allies victory in 1919 and the parades of Free French and American forces in 1944.

Moulin Rouge

Paris City Of Lights - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ParisThe original house, which burned down in 1915, was co-founded in 1889 by Charles Zidler and Joseph Oller, who also owned the Paris Olympia.

Originally introduced as a seductive dance by the courtesans who operated from the site, the can-can dance revue evolved.

Growing into a form of entertainment of its own led to the introduction of cabarets across Europe. Today, the Moulin Rouge is a tourist attraction, offering musical dance entertainment for visitors from around the world.

The club’s decor still contains much of the romance of fin de siècle in France.

The Concierge

Paris City Of Lights - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ParisThe Concierge is a building located on the west of the Île de la Cité meaning “Island of the City”.

Formerly a prison but now acts as the city’s law courts. It was part of the former royal palace, the Palais de la Cité, which consisted of the Concierge. The Concierge prison became the main penitentiary of a network of prisons throughout Paris and was the last place of housing for more than 2,700 people, who were summarily executed by guillotine.

Dank dungeons were a stark contrast to the beautiful architecture of the palace above. Trials and executions progressed in a rapid, unpredictable manner.

Condemned people would be walked through the Salle de la Toilette, where their personal belongings were confiscated. Once they reached the May Courtyard they were then brought to guillotines throughout Paris.

Paris Catacombs

Paris City Of Lights - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ParisThe Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuary’s which hold the remains of more than six million people.

Created as part of the effort to eliminate the city’s overflowing cemeteries. The Catacombs of Paris became a curiosity for more privileged Parisians. From their creation, an early visitor being Charles X of France during 1787.

Public visits began after its renovation into a proper ossuary. First allowed only a few times a year with the permission of an authorised mines inspector, but later more frequently.

Catholic hierarchy closed the catacombs in 1833 as they found exhibiting human remains immoral.

 

 

Hospitable Holland

The Canals

Hospitable Holland - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To HollandSimilar too many other cities that sit over water such as Venice, Amsterdam has a vibrant canal system.

The pretty waterways are one of the best loved attractions in Amsterdam and you can explore the idyllic routes. This is done by taking a boat tour or a water taxi that lets you hop around the locations.

If not a water lover, then you can still enjoy the canal sights with a leisurely stroll along the banks.

Zaanse Schans

Hospitable Holland - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To HollandAnyone out there who wish they could time travel back into Dutch history? Those who wish they could visit the Netherlands of the 17th and 18th centuries have come to the right place.

Zaanse Schans is located around 15 kilometres to the north of Amsterdam and is styled as an open-air museum. Here you can take a stroll around a traditional Dutch village and find out how ancient craftsmen would have worked.

Just some of the sights include a shipyard, grocery store, pewter factory and a range of dainty green wooden houses.

Keukenhof Gardens

Hospitable Holland - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To HollandKeukenhof, also known as the Garden of Europe. Here you will find a riot of colour with blooms of every hue as far as the eye can see.

Tulips are the signature flowers of this country and the Garden of Europe. Located just outside of Lisse is the largest public garden anywhere in the world.

Covering 70 acres of land, you will find gorgeous flower exhibitions. In addition to a wide variety of flora there are daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses.

Grote Kerk

Hospitable Holland - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To HollandGrote Kerk is found in The Hague and is a large church that is built from red brick in Gothic style.

The original building here would have been built in the 13th century. It was razed to the ground in 1539 and rebuilt in the present structure.

The church has an illustrious history as the spot where many members of the Dutch royal family where baptised.

Things to look out for at the church include the dominating bell tower which is the highest in Holland. This bell tower contains 51 bells, also to be found are the ornate wooden pulpit and the huge pipe organ.

The Rijksmuseum

Hospitable Holland - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To HollandThe Rijksmuseum is the Dutch National Museum located in Amsterdam and is filled with amazing collections which date from 1809.

The building houses over 7 million items and has more than 5,000 paintings that sprawl over 250 rooms.

There’s a library here with 35,000 books. Walking around you can see some of the most impressive paintings in the world created by the ‘Old Masters’.

Much of the museum focuses on traditional Dutch artefacts like ancient handicrafts and sculptures from the medieval period.

Make sure you leave ample time to see everything as you can easily spend a full day here exploring every nook and cranny.

Anne Frank Museum

Hospitable Holland - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To HollandThe Anne Frank Museum is one of the most famous attractions in Amsterdam and makes for an extremely moving visit.

The building is the former home of Anne Frank who hid from the Nazis here during the Second World War.

Anne Frank died two months before the war ended but her diary that she wrote in the home was found. Her diary went on to become one of the most important books in the world.

The home has been restored although the hiding place in which the family lived is much as it would have been.

Absolutely not to be missed if you are in Amsterdam and offers a poignant personal view on this well-known story.

Marken Village

Hospitable Holland - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To HollandThe little village of Marken is known for being one of the prettiest spots in the Netherlands. This is due to its strategic location on the Ijsselmeer Lake.

Crowds of visitor’s flock to the town every year to take in this picture-postcard village.

In the summer months festivals are held here. The residents dress in period garb and you can see traditional crafts like clog making taking place.

Efteling Amusement Park

Hospitable Holland - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To HollandEfteling is the biggest amusement park in the Netherlands and is located at Kaatsheuvel.

The park’s divided up into zones that are known as realms and each one focuses on ancient myth’s or legends.

Efteling has the claim to fame for being one of the oldest theme’s parks in the world. Having first opened its doors in 1952 and has been entertaining visitors ever since with fast rides and lush gardens.

Highlights include the George and the Dragon as well as The Flying Dutchman and The Python.

For younger ones there’s Raveleijn. Nightly performances that tell the story of 5 siblings who battle and defeat an evil monster in a magical world.

Madurodam Model Village

Hospitable Holland - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To HollandIf you want to see the whole of the Netherlands but don’t have time, then travel to Madurodam in The Hague.

Here you will find a mini version of the Netherlands on a 1:25 scale. See all the county’s top destinations including cute windmills, main landmarks, and decorative features like bridges.

This model city even includes its own harbour as well as a railway system and an airport.

Van Gogh Museum

Hospitable Holland - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To HollandThe Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is an ode to one of the greatest artists ever to have lived.

In addition to that, the Van Gogh Museum is regularly voted one of the best art museums in the world. Art-lovers shouldn’t really leave this off their itinerary when in the city.

1.5 million visitors make visit each year and the museum have the largest collection of Van Gogh pieces in the world.

Two hundred paintings, five hundred drawings, and seven hundred letters that give you a unique insight into the life of the artist.

Heineken

Hospitable Holland - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To HollandThe Heineken Experience in Amsterdam is the place to come to if you enjoy your beer.

The experience takes place in an old Heineken brewery.

This starts from the kind of water used all the way through to the bottling process. You will also see classic examples of the iconic Heineken logo and see how it has changed over the years.

As if that wasn’t enough, sample this famous brew and end the trip with a tasting session.

Edam

Hospitable Holland - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To HollandEdam cheese is famous the world over for its red hued rind and signature round shape.

Many people won’t realise however that Edam is actually not just the name of the cheese but also the place it comes from. The town dates back to the 12th century and has an array of cheese related sites to enjoy.

Edam cheese looks a little different here, as it is actually sold with a yellow rind rather than a red one.

Some of the signature attractions for cheese lovers here include a large cheese market and a famous cheese-weighing hall.

 

 

 

Spectacular Spain

Eating Tapas – Nationwide

Spanish Tapas - Spectacular Spain, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To SpainGo from bar to bar trying tapas as you go, while you might as well get a pint with every small meal.

Eventually you will work out your favourite bars and favourite dishes.

Some of the most well-known dishes include, tortillas, patatas, bravas and a large amount of chorizo-based meals.

Alhambra – Granada

Dawn Charles V Palace Alhambra - Spectacular Spain, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To SpainThis giant fortress will take an entire day to walk around, make sure you do, it’s a highlight on any European guide.

The first Nasrid king, El Ahmar, chose this building as it overlooked the entire city of Granada.

It offers you a great view for some quick snaps, the price for entry is between 13 and 9 Euros. Alhambra is only ever fully open between March and October.

So, make sure you time your visit perfectly, as you would be disappointed through the winter.

Ski on the Sierra Nevada Mountains – Malaga

Sierra Nevada Mountains - Spectacular Spain, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To SpainIf you are staying in Malaga, the Sierra Nevada Ski Resorts you have to visit.

Not only are they famous worldwide but one of the finest you will find in Europe.

Once you have skied and reached the bottom you can head to the beach for a tan, all in a day.

Nou Camp Stadium – Barcelona

Nou Camp Stadium - Spectacular Spain, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To SpainYou do not have to be a football fan to appreciate the size and structure of Barcelona’s football stadium.

If you are a football fan, purchase some tickets and bear witness to possibly one of the greatest footballers, Messi.

If you do, try and learn some of the chants before you head to the game.

La Tomatina – Valencia

La Tomatina - Spectacular Spain, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To SpainI expect this to be on everyone’s list, as possibly the greatest festival in the world.

The party starts with a massive feast on Paella. The following morning thousands of people take to the streets tomato’s in hand, ready to throw to their hearts content.

This is potentially one of the biggest food fights in the world. Make sure you squeeze the tomato before throwing so that it bursts upon impact, preventing them from feeling any pain.

As soon as the bottle rocket sounds, it’s clean up time and everyone heads on to a bar or to wash themselves.

Rastro Market – Madrid

Rastro de Madrid - Spectacular Spain, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To SpainMadrid’s flea market attracts a huge audience and looks the same as you imagine it would 50 years before.

Find yourself a bargain and if you end up getting bored, the streets are coated in bars for a quick one.

I would keep an eye on your possessions however as this flea market does tend to attract some unwanted pickpockets.

Guggenheim Museum – Bilbao

Guggenheim Museum - Spectacular Spain, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To SpainThis is by far one of the most interesting museums you will visit.

Frank Gehry’s masterpiece highlights some of the most bizarre art you will find, mainly from the 20th century.

The shape of the building itself is something of a wonder, with more curves than David Beckham’s free kicks.

Benicassim Festival – Barcelona

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim - Spectacular Spain, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To SpainSpain’s biggest music festival is growing in reputation every year as people leave the muddy festivals for a party on the beach in Barcelona.

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, as it is known in Spanish, lasts for four days on a beach, music pumping, drinking mayhem.

This year the likes of Liam Gallagher, The Killers, Pet Shop Boys and The Vaccines headlined.

Party Time – Ibiza

Party Time - Spectacular Spain, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To SpainThere is no bigger party than the ones in Ibiza, from April till October.

The welcome parties and ending parties are legendary as they welcome in the re-opening of the clubs for the summer.

Be prepared to spend a lot more than you would like to however, as entry to clubs is normally expensive

 

 

Electric Edinburgh

The National Museum of Edinburgh

The newly refurbished galleries in Edinburgh Old Town has 8,000 new objects – items unseen since the opening back in 1866.

The Museum is a mish mash of objects made in Scotland. Also included are discoveries brought back from Scottish explorers and scientists including Charles Darwin, who studied in Edinburgh.

The opening up of new vaulted rooms in the belly of the building add a touch of the dramatic. A new atrium ceiling fills the space with light, even on the dreariest of days – a great thing to do in Edinburgh on a rainy day!

Scottish Cheap Eats

Fish Soup Cullen Skink - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To EdinburghAllow me to translate some of the ingredients and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how delicious haggis is.

Made with lamb, beef, oatmeal, neeps (turnips) and tatties (mashed potato), available in most pubs and usually costs around €8.

You can go and buy one from a local deli and take it back to your hostel to cook.

A cheaper and traditional lunch dish is Cullen Skink. This is creamy fish soup, or a haggis pasty. You’ll need to walk to the top of Edinburgh Castle to burn that one off!

Fish and chips great for enjoying down at Leith, or during the Edinburgh Festival as you enjoy some street entertainment. Tailend in Albert Place, is Edinburgh’s show stopping eatery for the newspaper wrapped local delicacy.

National Galleries of Scotland

National Gallery of Scotland - Electric Edinburgh, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To EdinburghAside from the historic architecture on the city streets, Edinburgh is blessed with some excellent museums and galleries that will satisfy culture vultures.

The Galleries are open between 10am-5pm free to enter and are housed in five beautiful buildings across the city.

The Modern Art Galleries are set in a huge stately home surrounded by parkland dotted with sculptures, and the National Gallery has an extensive collection of fine art from the Renaissance to the 19th century.

Visit the special exhibitions which are hosted all year round.

See Nessie Away From Her Loch

Loch Ness Monster - Electric Edinburgh, Irish rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To EdinburghYou don’t have to venture to the Highlands in search of Scotland’s most famous mythical beast – touristy but hilarious fun.

The 3D Loch Ness Experience is based on the work of Loch Ness expert Adrian Shine. 3D displays and an exhibition on all the facts and myths surrounding the Loch Ness Monster are there.

The Royal Botanical Garden

Royal Botanical Garden - Electric Edinburgh, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To EdinburghThe Royal Botanic Garden is over two centuries old and makes for a beautiful afternoon stroll.

Explore acres of local and exotic plants – highlights include the largest collection of wild-origin Chinese plants outside China. In addition, you also have the Scottish Heath Garden, the Rock Garden, and the Queen Mother’s Memorial Garden.

Plant lovers can discover unusual varieties of flora and fauna from across the globe in the quaint Victorian Glasshouse.

Browse the oldest botanical library in Britain or catch an art exhibition at Inverleith House. One mile from the centre and one idea is to arrive by bike along the traffic-free National Cycle Network Route 75.

Explore Georgian Architecture

Bute House Charlotte Square Edinburgh - Electric Edinburgh, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To EdinburghThere is plenty of Georgian architecture to ogle around Charlotte Square in the New Town – thanks to Robert Adams.

But to see both the outs and ins, head to The Georgian House, number 7.

Here you can glimpse 18th century life when people moved for more refined living in the New Town.

Holyrood Park

Holyrood Park - Electric Edinburgh, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To EdinburghEasily done in a morning or afternoon, head to Holyrood Park located about one mile east of Edinburgh Castle.

It’s 251m to the top of the hill, known as Arthur’s Seat, and offers spectacular views across the city and the Firth of Forth over to Fife.

Oh, and most importantly, this is one of a number of free things to do in Edinburgh.

Allow about two hours up and back down and it is breezy at the top both winter and summer.

A Wee Dram in Greyfriars Bobby

Greyfriars Bobby - Electric Edinburg, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To EdinburghOne of Scotland’s most famous exports, you couldn’t leave Edinburgh without sampling a ‘dram’ of malt whisky.

Greyfriars Bobby  in Candlemaker Row is a legendary watering hole, named after the famous dog and city mascot who watched over his master’s grave.

The pub is a cosy place for a drink, f you can’t face a neat shot, try it with a dash of ginger ale or ginger wine.

Frugal Films

Edinburgh Filmhouse - Electric Edinburgh, Irish rugby tours, Rugby Tours To EdinburghThe Edinburgh Filmhouse Cinema is a treasure trove of frugal finds. Monday to Thursday matinees (starting before 5pm) are around €6 and on Fridays €5.

You can take drinks from the bar into the screenings. Hold out for lunch or have an early dinner between 3-5pm and you can enjoy ‘Food for a Fiver’ at the Filmhouse café.

Visit their free monthly film quiz starting at 9pm.

The Wee Red Bar

The Wee Red Bar - Electric Edinburgh, Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To EdinburghThis hip venue at the Edinburgh College of Art is a refreshing alternative to some of the pricier mainstream clubs.

Not as cramped as its named suggests, there’s plenty of room for a good dance. Entry at the Wee Red Bar ranges from free to €5.

Club nights are an eclectic mix of art shows, indie, dance and anything slightly offbeat. So, just get yourselves down there and have a great time.

Valvona & Crolla Deli

Valvona & Crolla Deli - Electric Edinburgh , Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To EdinburghEdinburgh is packed with royal heritage, and the Queen herself is a big fan of the city. She orders her cheeses from Valvona and Crolla, a famous artisan from the east end of Princes Street.

The restaurant and cafe upstairs serve dishes made with the top-quality produce, with regal prices to match. If you’re not able to eat like a queen, you can certainly indulge in some take-away hot drinks and Dolci downstairs in the deli.

Try the real Italian gelato imported exclusively from Milan. Torta di Cioccolato – a devilish chocolate truffle cake made with 70% Valrhona chocolate, and the Limoncello Pannacotta.

 

Pulsating Portugal

Matosinhos Beach

Matosinhos Beach - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating Portugal Matosinhos Beach sits to the North of Porto and is made up of a long strip of golden sand that is flanked by a promenade.

Locals flock here, especially in the summer months and you will find lifeguards on duty. This means that there’s a good choice for families with young children who can bathe here with peace of mind.

Beach activities include soccer and volleyball and you will also find lots of opportunities for water sports.

Watch out for the waves you can even go surfing here when it’s good.

Lisbon Oceanarium

Lisbon Oceanarium - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalLisbon Oceanarium is one of the best places to come in the city if you are travelling with children.

The project is dedicated to educating the public on marine conservation.

You will find four separate ecosystems that are divided geographically to represent the Antarctic, Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans.

Just some of the species you will find here include sharks, rays, sea otters, and penguins.

Silves Castle

Castelo de Silves - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalLocated in Xelb, Silves Castle used to be the capital of the Moorish Algarve.

The castle would have stood here to protect the region from intruders although it was later captured by Crusaders.

The architecture here is notable as the building is made from red sandstone.

Don’t miss the Medieval festival that is held here every August.

Evora

Roman Temple At Evora - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalSet in the province of Alentejo is Evora known for its Roman history after the Romans settled here in 57 BC.

As a result, you will find the ruins of a Roman temple here. It’s thought to have been built between the second and third centuries.

After the invasion of Evora by the Romans, it was recaptured by Christian armies, which explains the presence of the Se. A cathedral consecrated in 1204 and built in the Romanesque, baroque, and gothic styles.

Sao Jorge Castle

Sao Jorge Castle - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalSitting on a hill in Lisbon is the Castelo de Sao Jorge. The castle dominates the city skyline and looks over the Baixa district.

The castle has been renovated several times since the 12th century when first built under King Afonso Henriques.

Much of the castle is now open to the public and you can wander along the ancient ramparts as well as take in the ornate tower.

Standing on the ramparts you will get some of the best views of Lisbon that stretch all the way down to the water.

Furnas Lake

Lake Furnas - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalOne of the top spots in Azores is Furnas Lake which is a crater lake known for its blue waters tinged with green. Roam around and find the mud volcanoes and hot springs.

If you like brooding volcanic landscapes, then this is not to be missed.

In addition, you can go hiking past the calderas or take to the waters and go canoeing. This allows you to get up close to the amazing multi-hued waters.

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

Jeronimos Monastery - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalLocated in Lisbon, the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos is one of one of the most important buildings in all of Portugal.

The church and the adjoining monastery are built in the Manueline style. Much of the interior is ornately decorated, particularly the section known as the South Portal.

There are also monuments here such as the tomb of Vasco de Gama and the famous Portuguese poet Luis de Camoes.

Museum Calouste Gulbenkian

Museum Calouste Gulbenkian - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalOne of the most famous museums in Lisbon is the Museum Calouste Gulbenkian.

The museum has 6,000 artefacts that used to belong to Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian. Gulbenkian was an Armenian national living in Portugal who donated his art collection to the museum before he died.

As a result, you can expect to find an incredible collection that will take you back 4,000 years. All kinds of pieces such as Oriental, Classical and European art are on display for your pleasure.

Some notable pieces include Roman medallions, paintings by Rembrandt and Turner and furniture that would have belonged to Louis XV and XVI.

Bom Jesus do Monte

Santuário do Bom Jesus do Monte - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalBom Jesus do Monte is said to be the grandest of all the religious buildings in Portugal and sits on a slope amidst lush woodlands.

It is six kms outside of Braga and is still a spot of pilgrimage for devotees across the country.

It is made up of a grand stairway and the church of Bom Jesus and you will find a range of smaller chapels here. Also, to be found are fountains and intricate carved scenes from the Bible.

Pilgrims here climb the long staircase made of granite and takes you past the 14 Stations of the Cross.

Palacio Nacional de Sintra

Palacio Nacional de Sintra - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalThe National Palace of Sintra sits on its scenic central square. You will know it as soon as you see it thanks to the massive round chimneys that sprout from the top.

The palace dates from the 14th century and has the claim to fame of being the oldest palace that still stands in Portugal.

It spans several ornately decorated floors, each of which have a different theme. One of the signature features is the Sala dos Brasoes which is the main hall topped with a sparkly dome.

Also make sure you check out the 72 coats of arms on display here if you enjoy your heraldry.

Torre de Belem

Torre de Belém - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalLocated in the Belem district in Lisbon is this iconic tower which was built in 1521.

The aim of the fortification was to guard against an invasion via the River Tagus. The building is considered a master class in how to build a successful fortress.

The tower is designed in the Manueline style and is covered with a picturesque facade.

Make sure not to miss the maritime touches carved into the stone such as ropes and an armillary sphere.

It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site which tells you everything you need to know about its beauty.

Ribeira District

Ribeira District - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalIf you visit Porto then make sure to come to the old quarter of the city which is also known as the Ribeira District.

The area looks out over the scenic River Douro and it is known for its dining and nightlife scene.

The main road of the Ribeira District is called Cais da Ribeira and you will find bars, restaurants, cafes, and pretty monuments like fountains.

If you want to party into the small hours, then this is the place to do it. If you happen to be here for the Festival of St. John on June 23 even better.

This is a large celebration that involves revellers hitting each other on the head using toy hammers made of plastic.

Algarve Beaches

Algarve Beaches - Irish Rugby Tours, Pulsating PortugalDo you know that some of the world’s best and most beautiful beaches are to be found in the Algarve?

There are so many lovely interesting sandy beaches in the Algarve that you will find amongst them a good selection.

Along its 200-kilometre coastline, these beaches vary from the small sheltered coves to broad endless stretches of sea washed sand. The entire coast enjoys a Mediterranean-style microclimate temperatures that vary from 15º C in winter through to 30º C in summer.

Hardly surprising then that the region is a favourite for sun-seekers coming from the most diverse locations.

Impressionable Tantalising Ancient Lovable Young Italy

The Vatican City

Vatican City - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To RomeThe Vatican City is actually its own state within Italy and is the smallest in the world.

When you’re here then you should definitely consider one of the most important religious spots in the world. Located inside its square are powerhouses such as the Piazza San Pietro and St Peter’s Basilica.

You can also take in the majesty of the Vatican Palace. Also recommended is the Sistine Chapel which features the Creation of Adam.

The Colosseum

Colosseum - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ItalyYou can’t come to Rome and not visit one of the most famous attractions in the world, the mighty Coliseum.

The ruins of what was once a magnificent amphitheatre are one of the greatest historical relics of our time and once it would have had a capacity of over 50,000 spectators.

The amphitheatre is most well known for the gladiator matches. Spectators would spend the day baying for blood and didn’t care who’s it was.

Rome’s Ancient Forum

Rome's Forum - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To RomeJust a stone’s throw from the Colosseum lies the fantastic ruins of Rome’s ancient Forum.

The Roman Forum is another one of Italy’s big hitter attractions and lies between the Capitoline and the Palatine hills in Rome.

This would once have been the centre of the mighty Roman Empire. You can take in the beautiful complex here as well as enjoy views from the terraces all over the wider city.

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ItalyCinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as being designated as a national park.

Nestled in Liguria, the ‘Five Lands’ is made up of five distinct villages. These villages sit on top of the craggy cliffs overlooking the famous Italian Riviera.

The five villages include Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore, and Monterosso, and each has its own unique charms and sights.

The area of Cinque Terra sprawls between La Spezia and Levanto.

Here you will find romantic olive groves and traditional eateries. There are Azure sea views all the way along the coast.

Boat Trip Along The Almalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ItalyThe gorgeous Amalfi Coast is one of the most scenic spots in Italy. If you want to experience as much of it as possible then consider taking a boat trip along the shore line.

A number of companies offer boat rental and you can take in sights such as the towering Lattari Mountains. Plus, you can take in all the various cute coves and inlets as well.

Seemingly out of nowhere traditional Mediterranean villages will appear. Boat tours usually come with food and drinks included so that you can snack on local produce as you take in the views.

Valley Of The Temples

Valley Of the Temples - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ItalyIf you are going to visit charming Sicily as part of your travels, your first stop needs to be the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento.

Here you will find a huge archaeological complex that has some of the most intact Doric temples that were built here in the 5th century.

One of the best things about the temples here is that they overlook the town below and you can take in the stunning views as you tour the historical site.

Climb Stromboli

Stromboli - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ItalyOn a visit to Sicily you absolutely can’t miss the chance to climb at least part way up Stromboli, a still active volcano. If you are looking for an easy trek, you can walk 400 meters up the sides of Stromboli by yourself.

Wishing to continue on to the crater which still billows clouds of ash and fire, you will need a certified guide to take you.

To get to the top takes around 3 hours with the descent coming in at around 2 hours, so all in all you need to allow a five to six hour trek in order to see everything.

A slog to the top but it is well worth it for the spectacular views. In addition to saying, I have stood at the top of a live volcano, tick bucket list.

Juliet’s Balcony

Juliet's Balcony - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ItalyVerona is home to what is said to be the balcony of Juliet, the character made famous in Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet.

Unfortunately, the reality is that the city of Verona bought the home featuring the balcony in 1905.  The purpose of doing this was to make it into an attraction sadly Romeo and Juliet never existed in real life.

Still, the balcony is a pretty spot in the city and couples flock here to declare their love for each other.

If you want to reenact the famous scene, line your lines and away you go.

Pompeii

Pompeii Temple of Apollo - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ItalyPompeii is famous for the events that took place here in 79 AD, when Mount Vesuvius erupted and covered the town in ash.

The eruption meant that Roman life was captured and frozen in time, and when the site was excavated it offered a glimpse of a bygone era.

If you visit Pompeii today you can expect a kind of open air museum. Here you will find preserved houses, baths, and ancient Roman forums. They are all filled with the relics of the people who were living here when the eruption took place.

Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ItalyMount Vesuvius is one of the most famous mountains in the world. Trueof its famous eruption that covered the unsuspecting town of Pompeii in volcanic ash.

Nowadays Vesuvius is mostly considered safe to climb. You can trek to the crater of the mountain which looks like something you would find on the surface of the moon.

Needless to say, the views from the top are just spectacular. The hike is suitable for a range of abilities so you will be well looked after.

Lake Como

Lake Como - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To MilanLake Como in Lombardy spans an amazing 146 square kilometres and is the perfect place to get out on the water and explore Italy by boat.

The area around Lake Como has houses owned by some of the richest celebrities in the world. This tells you everything to know about the kind of views you can expect here.

The landscape surrounding the lake is covered with alpine forest and traditional villages. Plus, dainty ornate houses that make you feel as if you are in a picture postcard version of an Italian masterpiece.

Nearby is Gardaland a huge theme park for all the family, age has no boundary when you want some enjoyment.

Historic Siena

Historic Siena - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ItalyThe city of Siena is often overlooked in favour of Florence. Although this is unfair as there is a huge amount to see and do here. Parts of the city are as pretty as its neighbouring rival.

The Historic Centre of Siena in particular is well worth a visit. It starts at the Piazza del Campo which leads to a historic district that is covered with Gothic architecture that dates from the 12th century.

This mingles with buildings from the Middle Ages and signature points.  Look out for include the mighty Duomo, the Pinacoteca Nazionale, and the pretty Palazzo Salimbeni.

Saint Mark’s Basilica

St. Marks Basilica - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To VeniceVenice has a range of peerless attractions although perhaps the most famous of these is Saint Mark’s Basilica.This is located on the famed Piazza San Marco or Saint Mark’s Square.

The basilica is the final resting place of Saint Mark the Evangelist and started life as a Byzantine church before being developed over the years.

The church is a work of art in its own right. You will find glittering mosaics and gorgeous marble decorations all over the complex as well as bas-reliefs and touches of gold leaf.

Venice Grand Canal

Venice Grand Canal - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To VeniceThe Grand Canal in Venice is one of the most famous waterways in the world. There are a variety of ways that you can enjoy it.

One of these is to take a water bus known as a vaporetto. This takes in various parts of the canal where you can marvel at the little bridges and traditional Venetian homes.

Another more romantic way to travel around the canal is to take an iconic gondola ride. Here you can imagine that you are back in the Venice of a different time.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Pisa - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ItalyThe Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa is a fluke of architecture. When the tower was constructed it immediately started to sink into the marshy ground beneath it.

This gave the tower its signature crooked stance. At various times in its existence it has been open and closed to the public as architects struggle to asses its safety.

When the tower is open you can climb to the viewing platform at the top where you can look across all of Pisa.

Blue Grotto Boat Trip

Blue Grotto Capri - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To ItalyOne of the premium sights in Capri is the Blue Grotto, also known as the Grotta Azzurra.

The grotto is the result of a cavern which is filled with water that glows a luminescent blue.

This happens when the sun hits it through shafts in the sides of the rock. The acoustics must be incredible, imagine playing an instrument from the boat.

 

 

Londons’ Fantastic Freebies

Don’t let people put you off with tales of how expensive London is. There’s an incredible array of things to do throughout the city without spending a penny. I have selected fifteen free things to do and see while you are here in the capital.

Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy

Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Sir John Soane was an architect and avid collector of antiquities and art. He merged three houses on Lincoln’s Inn Fields to be his home and museum which he left to the nation in 1837.

Expect to be stunned by the building itself as well as the exhibits, which include the sarcophagus of Seti I in the crypt and Hogarth paintings in the picture gallery. An absolute treasure trove and well worth a visit.

London Roman Baths

Roman Bath The Strand 1841 - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Down a side road, through a tunnel, press a button for a light and you too can find the well-hidden Roman Baths in central London. The first thing to note is that these baths are actually very unlikely to be Roman. Most likely date back to the 16th or early 17th century, but genuinely believed they were much older when discovered in the late 18th century.

Fake Houses

Fake Houses Leinster Gardens - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

The Metropolitan Railway, world’s first underground railway began conveying passengers in 1863 with lines constructed using a method called ‘cut and cover’. As the name implies, this involved digging a deep hole to house the underground tracks, and then covering over.

The route of the line between Paddington and Bayswater required the demolition of 23 and 24 Leinster Gardens. It was decided to build a 5ft-thick facade which matched the houses either side of the break. The original locomotives on the Metropolitan and District Line were powered by steam. Although they were fitted with condensers, engines still needed open air stretches of track to disperse the fumes. Walk around to Porchester Gardens you will find a wall with some graffiti written ‘Our hearts are around us’. Look over the wall and all will be revealed.

Clowns Church Service

The Clowns Service - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

The first Sunday in February is the annual clowns church service at All Saints, corner Haggerston and Livermere Roads, Hackney. Clowns attend a church service in memory of Joseph Grimaldi. The clowns usually perform for the public after the church service. Arrive early as the press photographers come out in force and take up a large section of the church. When the clowns leave the church, they are usually kind enough to perform for the waiting public in the adjoining church hall. The performance usually lasts around an hour and is great for families. The hall is always packed at the start, but the press do leave and then you can enjoy a family show for free.

Notting Hill Film Locations

Notting Hill Film Locations, Portobello Market -Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

The 1999 film “Notting Hill” is set in the district of London by the same name where a bookshop owner played by Hugh Grant meets a famous American actress played by Julia Roberts. From Notting Hill Gate Tube Station, 103 Notting Hill Gate you have the Print Room formerly the Coronet Cinema. Afterwards onto Bella and Maxs’ at 91 Lansdowne Road, Rosemead Gardens, Gina’s house and then Portobella Road Market. To finish off you have, The Travel Bookshop now a gift shop, the coffee shop now a hair studio and finally Tony’s Restaurant now a gift shop. To do this tour you would need to be a big fan of the film. All the Locations are close by and it takes about an hour to do.

Princess Diana Memorial Playground

Princess Diana Memorial Playground - Londons' fantastic Freebiees, Irish Rugby Tours

The Diana Memorial Playground is located next to Kensington Palace, the former home of Diana Princess of Wales. It’s a fabulous children’s playground for kids up to 12 years. There are loads for kids to do in the Diana Memorial Playground including playing on the enormous wooden pirate ship. Princess Diana loved children and this playground serves as a fabulous legacy for future generations. The Diana Memorial Playground opened on June 30, 2000 and is a clean, safe, fun place for children under 12 years to play freely.

Fulham Palace

Fulham Palace - Londons' fantastic Freebiees, Irish Rugby Tours

A London palace that’s free to visit? It does exist! Fulham Palace was never a Royal Palace, but it was home to Bishops who were treated just as well. Inside the palace is a simple museum and you can enjoy dressing up and colouring pictures. Take a picnic or grab something from the upscale café and lounge on the lawn. Afterwards head into the landscaped gardens at the far end and use your lunch box to collect fallen bits of ‘nature.’

Victoria and Albert Museum

Victoria And Albert Museum - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Without doubt the world’s best decorative arts museum, the V&A , as it’s generally known, has been open for over 150 years and contains an incredible 4.5 million items. The first floor focuses on Asian, Japanese swords, ancient Chinese ceramics and some European art. Also, you will find plaster casts made from Michelangelo’s David. You might like to note that the fig leaf created in the 19th century was to protect the sensibilities of Victorian visitors. The Ardabil Carpet in the Middle East-focused Jameel Gallery is the world’s oldest, dating from Iran in the 1500s.

The Crypt and Chapel at Saint Pauls Cathedral

St.Pauls Cathedral Crypt Chapel - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Although there is an entry fee to the cathedral itself you can still get to see something for free. Head up the cathedral’s main steps and enter on the left-hand side. Inside you’ll find the line to buy tickets but keep to the left and you can enter St. Dunstan’s Chapel for free at any time. This is open for prayers all day but is well-frequented by visitors too. The chapel was consecrated in 1699 and is named for St Dunstan, a Bishop of London who became Archbishop of Canterbury in 959. The Churchill screen/gates divide the refectory and the crypt so can be seen for free when visiting the cafe/shop/restrooms. The crypt is the largest of its kind in Europe and is the final resting place of a number of prolific Brits including Admiral Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and Sir Christopher Wren himself.

Sir John Soane’s Museum

Soane Museum - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Sir John Soane was an architect and avid collector of antiquities and art. He merged three houses on Lincoln’s Inn Fields to be his home and museum which he left to the nation in 1837. Expect to be stunned by the building itself. In addition you will find which include the sarcophagus of Seti I in the crypt and Hogarth paintings in the picture gallery. An absolute treasure trove and well worth a visit.

The British Museum

British Museum - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

The British Museum opened in 1753 and has prided itself on remaining free for all that time. It houses more than an incredible 7 million objects and it would probably take a week to see everything. Also the collection of Egyptian and Greek antiquities is without a doubt amongst the largest and best known in the world. Part of the collection consists of the controversial Elgin Marbles. They were brought back from the Parthenon in Athens by Lord Elgin whilst he was serving as Ambassador to Constantinople. Subsequently they were bought for the museum by the English government.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Just around the corner from Covent Garden lies the centre of London, Trafalgar Square and its pinnacle attraction Nelson’s Column. Behind the column is the National Gallery, founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. Its collection belongs to the government on behalf of the British public. It is among the most visited art museums in the world, after the Louvre, the British Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Covent Garden

Covent Garden - Londons' Fantastic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Just off Trafalgar Square, lies Covent Garden, a hotbed of modern cafes and restaurants. In the summer is the best time to visit as the place really comes to life. Street musicians and street artists of all genres turn up to show off their very best to entertain the passing crowds. Public participation usually happens when they are asked to help the artists with their performance.

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard - Londons' Fantsatic Freebies, Irish Rugby Tours

Without doubt one of the best ceremonies in the city. The Changing of the Guard takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 10.30am outside Buckingham Palace. Dressed in full uniform, bearskin hats and red tunics, the Queen’s Guard stomp around in time to music in a display of awesome pageantry. Afterwards they switch responsibilities with one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kick Jet Lag In To Touch

Aer Lingus - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Kick jet lag in to touch with these tips before jetting off on the summer holiday of a lifetime which is one of the best feelings in the world. Spending the first few days battling jet lag not so much.

Also known as ‘desynchronosis’ and ‘flight fatigue’, jet lag is a temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia and sometimes other symptoms. This is due to air travel across different time zones.

It’s caused by a disruption to your circadian rhythm the internal body clock that governs your daily sleep-wake pattern.

Besides fatigue and insomnia, unlucky travellers may experience a number of physical and emotional effects. This includes anxiety, constipation, diarrhoea, confusion, dehydration and headaches.

But can you avoid this one-way ticket to exhaustion?

Here are a few pointers to assist you for a comfortable flight.

1. Stay Hydrated

Water - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Before a flight, it can be tempting to load up on wine and beer to calm your nerves or caffeinated drinks to keep you awake, but this could be doing more harm than good.

Hydration can be key. Your body recovers best when it isn’t depleted of fluids. Tea, coffee and alcohol can dehydrate you, depending on what type you have.

When it comes to choosing from the drinks trolley mid-flight, I would suggest sticking to plain water. This is due to the fact artificial stimulants will affect your ability to sleep and increase jet lag recovery time.

Drink enough water to make sure your urine is a pale straw colour. You might also find that you get more dehydrated when you’re flying and need to drink more than normally.

2. Turn Off Gadgets

Gadgets - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

When you arrive at your destination, it can be really tempting to start updating your social media channels and checking up on the day’s news. If you’re planning to get some shut-eye, this can really throw off your sleep schedule.

The blue light emitted by your device can trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime even when it’s not.

If you find yourself awake late in the evening, choose a light evening meal and stretch your legs outdoors instead.

Switch off electronic gadgets and read a book to help you fall asleep.

3. Bring Your Own Pillow

Pillow Sleep - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Try to maintain your personal sleep routine while you’re away from home.

Make time to set out your bedtime stuff, such as your pyjamas and toilet bag, so that things will be ready when you return for the night.

Also, try to preserve your pre-sleep habits and routines. These are important behavioural cues for sleep, so make sure you pack any items which support these behaviours, like photos, books, blankets and consider taking your own pillow.

4. Adjust Your Watch

Irish Rugby Tours Blog

A simple but effective trick you can do during your flight is to change your watch, phone and laptop to match the time of your destination.

This will mentally prepare you for the new time zone you’re about to enter.

Imagine what you would be doing at your destination and try to mimic that as much as possible, especially meals and bedtime.

You’ll be amazed at how quickly shifting your mind’s perspective and small actions can help your body adjust to the changes.

5. Snack On Cherries

Cherries - Irish Rugby Tours Blog

Struggling to sleep in your hotel? Instead of ordering room service, try and find a local fruit vendor.

Montmorency tart cherries are one of the few natural sources of melatonin. This hormone is responsible for the regulation of the body’s internal clock and sleep-wake cycle.

Cherries can help improve sleep quality, including sleep efficiency, the number of awakenings at night, nocturnal activity and actual time spent sleeping.

To reap the benefits, have either a handful of cherries as a bedtime snack or swill down a small serving of tart juice.  Subsequently you might just find that it stops you from staring at the ceiling all night.

Tribal County Galway

River Corrib Cruise

Corrib River Cruise - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of a cruise onboard the luxurious all-weather 157 passenger boat, the Corrib Princess.

The Corrib Princess sails from Woodquay in the heart of Galway city. The journey takes passengers along the majestic River Corrib and onto Lough Corrib, Ireland’s largest lake.

It provides visitors with unsurpassed views and natural amenities that make this the most spectacular waterway in Ireland.

The Corrib Princess takes you past castles and various sites of both historical and cultural interest.

If you fancy a drink, apparently the Irish coffee is amazing from the boat’s bar.

Trad On The Prom

Trad On The Prom - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

MAY 2018 – OCTOBER 2018.

Under one roof performers who have captivated audiences from productions such as Riverdance, The Chieftains and Lord of the Dance have gathered on one stage. Here they present an unforgettable entertainment experience in Galway the City of the Tribes.

The music will touch your soul and the dancing will take your breath away. It’s a truly remarkable experience suitable for all ages and nationalities.

Trad on the Prom showcases the amazing talents of legendary trad musicians. In addition they are joined on stage by an amazing selection of guest musicians and dancers.

The show also features an outstanding array of World Champion Irish dancers.

Now in its fourteenth consecutive season, Trad on the Prom retains its position as Ireland’s number one music, song and dance experience.

Horse Riding

Horse Riding - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

Discover the natural wonders of the Wild Atlantic Way on this full-day horseback riding adventure from Galway.

Before heading off you will meet your guides and your horse for the day and the guides will make sure that you feel comfortable and safe.

Trek to Omey Island, where you can gallop across the beach and splash through the waves. You will also enjoy spectacular views of the Twelve Bens mountain range.

Suitable for all riding levels. hats and boots will be supplied by the riding centre. Make sure you bring appropriate rain and wind gear.

Pedal Power Pub Crawl

Pedal Power Pub Crawl - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

Taking in all the sights and sounds of Galway this is a great way to see the city.

The tour goes through Spanish Arch, The Long Walk and Quay Street, ideal for visitors looking for something different.

Available is a 15-seater bike called Big Berta which is great fun. It is the perfect vehicle to tour around Galway in addition to stopping at careful selected pubs.

There’s no party like a Pedal Power Party. Travel around Galway, playing all your own music on your blue tooth speakers.

Paddle Board & Kayaking Adventure

Paddle Board And Kayaking - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To GalwayArrive 15 minutes before time this will give you time to change into wet suit and buoyancy aid for the trip. You will then set off under the leadership of an experienced guide.

You will be provided with all the necessary equipment depending which pursuit you choose.

Your guide will take you to see magnificent scenery from a sea level view. Depending on which location is chosen for the day, this could include sea caves and arches and pristine white sandy beaches.

You might even catch sight of wildlife such as dolphins, seals, and the occasional basking shark.

Whiskey Tour

Irish Whiskey Tour - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To GalwayMeet your local guide in the infamous An Pucan Whiskey Bar. An Pucan is a very friendly, traditional Irish venue and the perfect setting for an intro to the history of Irish whiskey.

Here you will start the proceedings with two local Irish whiskeys. After this the venues are kept a secret which is part of the excitement.

Bar number 2 is a short walk away, your next whiskey bar awaits you for two more beautiful Irish whiskeys.

To finish off proceedings  you will be taken on a stroll through the historic streets to your last venue. Now it’s time to enjoy two more tipples of Irish whiskey.

From here who knows where the night will take you, but you’ll be sure to go home with a smile on your face as well as some great stories.

Galway Races

Galway Races - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

One of the greatest weeks in Galway, crowds in their tens of thousands flock religiously each year in August to celebrate this festival of horse racing.

Ladies Day is saved for the Thursday and here you will see the best of the best in fashion being displayed by all the ladies. A lavish prize is bestowed upon the best dressed lady on the day.

The race course dates back to 1869. What is unique about this course is that the last two fences are the closest together than any other race course in the world.

As part of his visit to Ireland in 1979 Pope John Paul 11 celebrated mass at the racecourse for two hundred and eighty thousand people. Afterwards the mayor of Galway then conferred the Freedom of Galway upon the Pontiff.

Walking Tour

Galway Walking Tours - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

What a great way to discover the rich history and cultural heritage of Galway city. The good thing about Galway is that it’s fairly compact and easy enough to get around on foot.

Whether you choose to go with a tour company or make your own way around the cobblestone streets, it’s a great way of being part of the hustle and bustle.

The advantage of going on your own steam is you can stop and start as you please without feeling you are delaying the group.

However, a tour company would have the advantage of a guide to answer those burning questions and also to add their personal touch with in-depth local knowledge.

Whichever way you choose to go and explore the city, the following should feature highly on your must-see list.

Oh, and don’t forget a good Galway map if you’re opting for a self-guided tour of the city.

InishBofin

Inishbofin Harbour - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

Come and discover Inishbofin or (Inis Bo Finne-Island of the White Cow in Irish), which lies seven miles  off Galway’s north-west coast.

The island is five by three miles long and the main activities on the island today are tourism, farming and fishing.

There are five villages: West Quarter, Fawnmore, Middle Quarter, Cloonamore and Knock.

Inishbofin has lots of interesting things to see and do, such as many species of birds, historical sites, white beaches, swimming, hill walks and shore angling. It is also a centre for traditional Irish music and song with its own Ceilí band.

With this tour you take a bus trip from Galway city to Cleggan Harbour, then a ferry trip over to the island to experience the unique life of this magical island.

Enjoy a delicious light lunch of local foods and craft beer, with a walk around the island before departing by ferry then bus back to Galway city.

Dunguaire Castle BanquetDunguaire Castle Banquet - Irish Rugby Tours, Rugby Tours To Galway

An evening of superb food and wines along with renowned music, song and storytelling. Also there’s intimate bench seating, dim candlelight and long oak tables.

In the tradition of the medieval King Guaire you are welcomed to savour a delicious four course dinner at Dunguaire Castle on the majestic shores of Galway Bay.

Enjoy fine wines, stories and excerpts selected to lift the soul and lighten the heart. When you arrive on the Castle steps the Butler will welcome you and show you into the Castle.

Savour a goblet of mead in the inner quarter while mingling with the Ladies of the Castle.

After a brief history of the Castle and a musical introduction by the Castle Singers, guests climb the stairs to enter the Banquet Hall.

Let the castle’s superb artists inspire you with extracts chosen from the works of great literary writers such as Yeats, Shaw, O’Casey and Synge.