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360 Magazine bottle illustrated by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Good Vibes

By: Emily Bunn × Vaughn Lowery × Gabe Majalca

360 Magazine has revealed a new, bedazzled brand bottle in collaboration with Integrity Bottles. Decorated with approximately 6,040 Swarovski crystal gems, this lavish flask radiates glamour and elegance. The shimmering container was created by artist Gabe Majalca of Good Vibe Gliders, who constructed the piece in over thirty hours of dedicated craftsmanship. Thousands of glimmering gems encase the container, creating a luxurious, polished and sophisticated look, as 360 Magazine represents. The bottle is to be debuted at the upcoming 360 Magazine Immersive Bodega Pop-Up.

Chrysolite, which is Greek for “gold stone,” sheaths the outside of the gleaming bottle in a rich yellow-green hue. For the “360” design on the side of the bottle, Chrysolite AB was utilized. Further, the cork is detailed with Electric White DeLite. The construction of the flagon took 30 hours in total. Overall, the process in creating this custom Swarovski-swathed bottle was time consuming, but the end result is an incredible feat of precision and dazzling artistry.

On 360 Magazine’s website, the popular Summer Sip List showcases some of the magazine’s favorite alcohol brands and drinks, all of which can be enjoyed in the new container. Cocktail recipes like Pinnacle Vodka’s Apricot Honeysuckle Spritz, Santo Spirit’s Hibiscus Smash, D’USSE’s champagne sparkler, and Cavit Wines’ Rosjito all invite readers to host a happy hour of their own. 360 Magazine is sure that the new pitcher will bring good times spent together enjoying fine sips and spirits. Now that the careful process of creating the bottle is over with, we will be sure to use this bottle in our everyday lives, whether we’re trying out new cocktail recipes, transporting drinks on-the-go, or simply displaying the container’s magnificent beauty.

This isn’t the first time 360 Magazine has worked with Integrity Bottles. In November of 2020, Integrity Bottles unveiled the 360 Magazine collection of glassware. The collection features seven products, including decanters, a refillable bottle, a stemless wine glass, a whiskey rocks glass, a 16 oz pint glass, and a Gibraltar beer mug. As with the previously released products, the new bedazzled carafe can hold your scotch, vodka, tequila, gin, rum, or any other desired sips. As the two brands look to their most recent collaboration to create the Swarovski-coated container, Integrity and 360 Magazine gleam with pride and assurance in the highest quality of production.

Integrity Bottles started as a small business between friends, but has blossomed into a thriving online store and studio based in San Diego. The company is run by military veterans and former law enforcement officers who always place integrity and honor at the forefront of their business practices. Having sold more than 3,200 bottles and earned 100% positive reviews on Amazon, Integrity Bottle products are sure to bring more merry making into your home. Integrity Bottles’ website can be accessed here, and customers can use the discount code “GIVEBACK” for 5% off their purchase.

Gabe Majalca, who constructed the 360 Magazine × Integrity Bottles’ bottle, spoke about the design process. His brand, Good Vibe Gliders, provides custom, crystal-encrusted creations to suit customer’s vibes.

What was your process of decorating this brilliant 360 Mag bottle?

First thing was choosing the right color. We wanted something that resembled sacred water or a magical lagoon. Chrysolite and Chrysolite AB Swarovski turned out to be the color most true to my vision. Next, was construction. It’s most important to keep your lines straight at the beginning, starting with the foundation. So, by the time your pattern reaches the top, your lines will still be straight!

How long did the process of decorating the bottle with Swarovski crystals take?

It was a tedious 30-hour [long] project. The thing is, you’re not just laying stones in a line–eventually you need to fill in the 360 Logo–and that right there was a massive challenge. It’s similar to a jigsaw puzzle. Putting the right stone in the right place is paramount to the letters looking clean [and] uniform. Lots of mental energy went into the letters. I’m very pleased with how it turned out.

What did you think when Vaughn first came to you with the idea?

Vaughn’s the homie and I knew he had worked with Integrity Bottles before. So, naturally, I was stoked to hear 360 Mag was getting themselves an iced-out bottle. I’ve always wanted to complete a Swarovski bottle–so the project made perfect sense to me and I jumped right on it. Anything for Vaughn.

How do you feel after seeing the original vision tangibly come to life?

It feels great! Looks like a magical lagoon! Something to keep in mind–it’s always a marathon when doing this artwork, so seeing something come together, completely finished–well, that makes me really happy inside. This was a challenging but very satisfying project, no doubt about that.

What was your first thought when you viewed the finished bottle product?

“I’m done! I’m finally done!” Haha No really though, I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what I said. This bottle was a deceiving hard project to complete – so many elements. Since this was my first try at a something like this, there were many twists and turns to the design that I simply did not foresee. In the end, it was like someone giving me an XL pizza and sa[ying], “you can’t get up until you finish it.” Not that it wouldn’t be totally delicious while I was eating it, but eventually you slow down at about half way through [when] you’re getting full and your stomach starts to hurt, but your tastebuds and your will power keep saying MORE! That’s what this project felt like… right up to the point when [I] took the last delicious bite. Worth it.

What do you think would be the best use of this bottle? Do you have a drink of choice you imagine drinking from it?

Easy, tell Vaughn to make me a Caramelized Citrus Smash! This refreshing summer cocktail is equal parts vodka and grilled citrus juice with sparkling water or lemon-lime soda. Vaughn will need some ruby-red grapefruits, lemons, limes, and navel oranges. Slice your citrus in half, brush the cut side with some honey, and dip the cut sides in sugar. Throw your fruit cut-side-down on the grill to caramelize the sugar. Once grilled, let it rest until cool. Lastly–the booze. Mix 1.5 ounces vodka, 1.5 ounces juice, and 1 ounce of water or sparkling water.

Hey V, I’m on my way!

360 Magazine x Integrity Bottles bottle image by Gabe Maljalca for use by 360 Magazine

Vaughn Lowery, President of 360 Magazine, spoke about the concept and creation the 360 × Integrity Bottles design:

How you originally come up with this idea of encrusting a bottle in Swarovski crystals?

Not too long ago, Victoria Secret had embellished some lingerie in diamonds for a runway show. Shortly after, Joe Boxer mocked the idea with boxer briefs for a stint during NYFW in Bryant Park. As the former spokesperson for this brand [Joe Boxer], I struggled in these uncomfortable underwear (the rhinestones literally dug deep into my skin causing several scratches on my thighs).

Over the years, Gabe has bejeweled scooters and e-bikes for Good Vibe Gliders. Once we saw that he’s ventured out into sneakers with various customizations, we knew that he had to lace one of our Integrity Bottles with Swarovski crystals, adding a touch a glam and panache. This meticulous process took more than 30 hours and was executed by a total of 4 craftsmen with close to 1000 dollars of materials (not to mention intensive work).

Did you come up with the Chrysolite colorway?

We wanted the bottle to embody a monochromatic color palette to reflect today’s modern and colorless society in celebration of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Why were these gems/colors specifically chosen?

We provided Gabe with a water theme and the end product represents clarity and purity, mimicking our eclectic mantra of transparency. After all, 360 readers are permanently celebrating their uniqueness along with this masterpiece.

Does the vessel actually cost $1,000,000?

No, not at all. But Swarovski crystals are the closest thing to a blood diamond without destroying the lives of people like in the Congo. They refract light as a prism, showcasing almost all the colors of the rainbow (thus paying tribute to the LGBTQ community).

Why did you choose to work with Integrity Bottles again? What is working with them like?

Integrity Bottles is a veteran-led business and provides opportunities for people who have proudly served our country. The[y] [are the] same people who return from a period of service to find themselves displaced in society, especially [from] the work force.

How do you envision using this bottle in your own life?

We will exhibit the container in our workspaces and activations though out the world where guests will be able to witness its unforgettable beauty.

Furthermore, several team members mentioned that we could auction the carafe in the hopes of helping to raise awareness and offer them some financial support for their efforts.

How do you view this product as representative of 360 Magazine?

Everything in this made-to-measure bottle embodies 360. Similar to life’s circle, we start our journey into this world as a fragile piece of glass. Over the years, we have evolved into something bigger and better than we were before.

360 Magazine x Integrity Bottles bottle image by Gabe Maljalca for use by 360 Magazine

360 Magazine x Integrity Bottles bottle image by Gabe Maljalca for use by 360 Magazine

360 Magazine x Integrity Bottles bottle image by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

*This bottle is dedicated to our near and dear friend Chris March.

QxA with Akeem Mair

This holiday season, actor Akeem Mair took the time to speak with 360 Magazine about his craft, his inspirations, how his career has been impacted by COVID-19, and more. Movie star Akeem Mair is the entertainment industry’s up-and-coming icon. In his career as an artist, he has appeared in several movie productions including All About Money, A Wonderful World, Limbo, Life of a Villain, Red, Fine Line, Silent Love, The Kidnap, etc. He’s worked with many production companies, including the Columbia College of Hollywood Production.

Akeem has signed with two agencies: Commercial Talent Agency (under Sarah Angeli) and Minc Talent (under Mariko Ballentine). At 32, Akeem is in his prime. With his noteworthy work ethic and passion, he is destined for greater heights. In fact, he has over 5 million views for a single video alone – the time when he appeared for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which Ellen described as “the best episode she’s ever seen.”

Besides this feature with 360 Magazine, Akeem appears in many publications such as NY Wire’s Top 25 Individuals, US Reporter’s Top 15 Entrepreneurs, LA Wire’s Top 20 IG Accounts to Follow in 2020, and many more. Read on to hear 360’s interview with Akeem below.

What do you love most about being an actor?

I found a strong love of being in front of the camera with everybody watching. It’s like my escape from my own reality, which is refreshing to me. I get the opportunity to pour myself into different characters and experience that person’s life. How they see the world and how different their life experiences are from mines. I love to learn how they think, how they would react in certain situations, the way they talk and walk, the way they dress, etc. Then, you can take what you learn from playing that character and use it to make your own life more complete. Meaning if you like how that character approaches life, then copy and apply it. At first the camera scared me – I’m not gonna lie. But a director once told me that the fear I show in front of the camera robs the audience of their entertainment. Once I broke out of that, my understanding of my own craft changed. Acting is my life!

Did you always wanted to be an actor, or did you have other ambitions?

Actually, believe it or not, I wanted to be a financial banker. I watched Michael Douglas in the film called, “The Game,” and became hooked after that. I saw the 2000 BMW 740 I, the designer suits, the excitement of winning their clients’ money in the office, the personal maid that lives at his house, and I always loved crunching numbers in a calculator. But as I was working at Ralph’s grocery store when a loyal customer ending up changing my whole life. I was a cashier, and she came into my line with a sad demeanor. I could tell something was troubling her, so I tried to brighten up her day with my personality. I said “Hi, it’s good to see you again, did you find everything ok?” She said softly, “Yes I did, thank you!” I said, “Usually I see you smiling, but whatever you’re going through I know God will not give you more than you can handle! He has something better for you!” After the transaction I said, “Have a Blessed day! I hope to see you again soon.” Immediately she paused and finally looked up at me for the first time and I could tell she had been crying. She asked me, “Are you an actor?” I said, “No. Why do you ask?” She said, “Because your energy is filled with so much positive energy. You move people by it. You lifted up my spirits after I just lost my house in a foreclosure. Thank you!” Her reply shocked me. After she left, I went home that day and wondered, What would my life look like if I was a successful actor? I thought about how I would be able to help my family so much more and how I can infect millions of people with the same positive energy. That night, I searched ‘how to become an actor’ and it said most start as an extra on a movie set. The next day I reached out to Central Casting in Burbank for their free introduction and here I am today! I am more than satisfied and really love what I do!

How has COVID-19 impacted your industry?

My industry has changed a lot! At first, the acting classes I would attend would be at different acting studios across Los Angeles and held in person. Same as the auditions I would get. And I would have to deal with sitting in the heavy traffic, busy freeways, hoping to get to where I need to on time. Now it’s crazy to think everything is happening on my iPhone 11 Pro! My auditions are either through Zoom or I would have to submit a self-tape that would record off of my phone’s camera and be edited in the iMovie feature. All of my classes have been online through Zoom. So, the coaches now email you a link to jump on when class starts. The biggest issue now is not the heavy traffic, it’s the internet connection. If you have bad WiFi, it easily destroys your Zoom live audition and costs you the job. So, it is extremely important now to have amazing WiFi connection.

Do you have other passions besides acting?

I love writing poetry; it really soothes my soul. I like to write out all the emotions and experiences I go through like in poems and lyrics. 2pac was the one who really inspired me to use my pen as an outlet.

I appreciate Vaughn and 360 Magazine

For allowing me to tell my story

It was a journey to chase my dreams

And stayed away from things ain’t for me

I would sit in the movie theaters

And picture myself reaching glory

I knew could take care of my family

If I stop feeling sorry

By working hard building my legacy

It creates an attraction

Sending me blessings of opportunities

I would of never would of imagine

I had to escape from my reality

By following my passions

I can’t be worried about anybody else

I constantly take action

When I’m finished grinding everyday

I die as a legend

What is the biggest life lesson you learned?

You have to decide to go after your dreams because that’s what you want to do. There’s going to be so many people in your ear telling you different things and most of the time, it’s family because they want to protect you from failing. The only problem about that is it takes you away from doing what you love and moves you closer to a life of regret. So, take your time and really think about your dreams and how you want your life to be. Take out a piece of paper and write what you want out of life. I am an actor today because it’s my dream. I wrote it down, I proclaimed it in front of the mirror, and I tell my friends and family all the time what my dreams are and that I am going to achieve them.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenge is balancing my money and time. Because let me tell you, I’ve invested a lot of money to strive as an actor. Dreams come with lots of sacrifices. This is the one side of dreams that is not so glamorous. I can’t watch television when I get home because I have to practice, do auditions, or attend classes. Before I can even think about buying the latest technology, clothes, or shoes, I would have to also think about classes, camera equipment, printing, headshots, costumes, etc. You have to be willing at any moment to sacrifice for your dreams and it’s the hardest part. I’m giving up sleep most days because I’m so busy, but I love it!!

Who are the people who are your biggest influences and why?

Tupac Shakur, Denzel Washington and Eddie Murphy are my biggest influences. Everyone knows why Eddie Murphy is so big of an inspiration to me. It’s how I got my name! His character, Akeem, from Coming to America made my parents fall in love with the name due to his performance. As I’m older now and have watched it for myself, it’s crazy so much of my personality has rubbed off of him and into me. He possesses a sense of humor and radiates authority, yet he remains humble, practices kindness and self-sacrifices for the people around him. Denzel Washington is my next inspiration. I always love how Denzel approaches his game. The confidence, swag, fearlessness, and mental toughness he possesses in most of the characters he played, you can just feel his presence through your television. His Oscar performance character Alonzo Harris in Training Day was unbelievable. You felt the selfishness, greed, carelessness, ruthlessness, and his betrayal. I would love to ask him, “how do you get to that place in a character and stay there?” Finally, 2pac! His wisdom and his work ethic are what really blow my mind. I love how he was able to captivate a crowd of people and get everyone to follow him around. To be so young and so ahead of his time is crazy. He inspires me to think ahead always and to do more than what you think your capable of doing. And stop taking breaks! I remember how upset he got when his team took breaks and reminds them how time is short.

If you could change one thing you did at the beginning of your career, what would it be?

I would go back to tell the younger me to keep track of your day. Stop worrying about your yearly resolutions and worry about your daily resolutions. Because if you can’t take care of a simple day, how on earth are you going to conquer your year? It’s going to escape you every time. I always hear it in people’s voices when they talk about what they are going to be or going to have. I’m like, wait a minute, what are you going to do today? And people are usually confused or haven’t thought about it. See, it’s that’s answer right there that’s gonna kill everything you just told me.

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Why having a social media platform is right for your business

The one thing entrepreneurs, small business owners, large and small corporations around the globe have in common is the desire to grow and thrive in their line of business. In the last decade alone social media has significantly changed how people connect and communicate, with approximately over 2.4billion users worldwide. Keeping this in mind, growing one’s business simply boils down to building a strong brand online because that’s where the consumers are.

Let’s go through a few ways in which social media is good for business.

Allows you to adapt to shifts in consumer attention

Prior to the social media boom, businesses would communicate to their potential customers by paying to have their commercial ads on magazines, radio, and television. The non-free element of these platforms made it more difficult for startups to reach an audience and most would rely on ‘word of mouth’ to market their business. Today, online platforms are free, interactive and have an uncanny ability to reach a niche audience. As a business, you can constantly use surveys to find out if the consumers’ needs have changed or evolved and develop a marketing strategy to target your audience and meet their needs.

There is a lot of demographic data readily available on social media networks; analyzing this data can help you develop marketing tools that your audience is better likely to receive.

Social media is interactive

Social media allows you to have real-time interactions with your customers, and you can respond to comments and questions on your brand while on a grocery line or having a coffee. There are many existing online platforms which one can use to interact with consumers making it difficult for businesses to survive on all of them as this requires time. Which begs the question, how do I identify the right social media platform to use?

• Choose a platform your customers are on: A business should only exist on a platform that their audience is in to ensure value adding interactions. This allows you to ‘cull the herd’ in a manner of speaking, access and respond to your target consumer needs

• First, ensure your marketing strategy is better than your competitors and apply it on a platform that is comfortable for you. For example, if you are unable to create compelling short ads or hire someone to do it for you then twitter may not be the best platform to use; a business needs to play to its strengths. However, one cannot ignore core platforms which are essential for your business to be on such as LinkedIn and Instagram because of the attention such platforms receive.

• Choose a platform that allows you to have real-time interactions with people either through face to face marketing of group chats. This could be a strategic way to building lasting relationships and connections and leverage these connections for your business.

Interactive features like monitoring apps alert you to any bad reviews your business may be getting and allows you to respond adequately and promptly to avoid loss of sales and brand damage. It also lets you know how your competitors are doing, and this will enable you to make strategic business decisions if niches have been identified.

Offers many features

Popular social media platforms require the user to be active in order to gain a large following and subsequent likes. So, if you are unable to continually have an online presence, ‘cheat apps’ are your best bet. Let’s use the example of Instagram which is currently the most visited social network. The app offers individuals and businesses services such as Instagram likes for sale which gives the perception that your posts are popular and value adding to your audience. Instagram auto likes are a good marketing technique in the sense that it is easy to use and time-saving. A business simply has to submit an Instagram photo or URL and go about day-to-day activities while the system ensures that you receive as the number of like you requested. This feature not only brings traffic to the products and services your business offers but also gives you an edge over your competitors.

Advantages of auto like services

• It is time-saving. Once you subscribe and choose a package that works for you, the system does the rest while you can focus on other ways of growing your brand

• It is a great tool for entrepreneurs. It helps build the client base as people are more likely to take time to look and follow URLs of popular posts.

• It allows a business to increase sales while growing and promoting it’s their brand. The free auto likes will get the attention of consumer who will in turn like and sometimes share the post. This increases the likelihood of getting lifetime customers and reaching new audiences.

• It is affordable. Some packages are free allowing business to save on monetary resources while steadily growing their brand.

Allows you to partner with influencers

A social media influencer is an individual with a large online following that trusts their judgment and can easily help you improve brand visibility. These group of people often guide their followers purchasing choices by simply talking or sharing links and images about the products and services you offer. Since their opinions are trusted, your brand credibility soars, and this translates into sales.

In some instances business hit the gold mine and go viral through these partnerships. Consumers will share content they deem worthy with their friends and followers who will also do the same and before you know it your business has been exposed to millions of people online.

In conclusion

A lot has changed over the years; a business’s ability to adapt to these changes will determine whether it will succeed or fail. The use of social media to market one’s business is one such change. Social networks undoubtedly have a wide range of benefits to a company from increasing brand awareness to increased sales, and this makes it a vital component to business continuity.

JERRIS MADISON

Jerris Madison is a Los Angeles-based noted Fashion Photographer who is also the Publisher and Editor-In-Chief at OBVIOUS Magazine. OBVIOUS Magazine is one of the most influential magazines with a global reach of 4 million each month via social media and obviousmag.com.
Among his clients are Kevin Hart, Essence Magazine and Eva Marcille. Jerris’ most recent work was featured on the Dianne Reeves 2015 Grammy win for Best Jazz Vocals Album.

A Detroit native, Jerris finds his stability through family and friends. Noted for always “living his best life”, this perspective was put to the test in November of 2014 when Jerris lost his right leg to Chondrosarcoma Bone Cancer.

Not one to be slowed down, Jerris views himself as a survivor and continues to play varying roles such as Image Consultant, Social Media Expert, Film/TV Wardrobe Stylist, Motivational Speaker, as well as Photographer. He hopes that his story and experience will lead him to become an author, global philanthropist, potential talk show host, and even docuseries that focuses on his life and the stories of other amputees around the world.

Editor. Fashion Chief. Photographer. Survivor! Jerris Madison, you deserve this ovation!

Jerris mogul, 360 MAGAZINE, obvious MAGAZINE

WANT Les Essentiels

INTRODUCING THE WANT LES ESSENTIELS NYLON TECH COLLECTION : Designed to withstand life’s daily adventures, the WANT Les Essentiels Nylon Tech series is the infamous collection of durable and strong, yet super-soft to the touch nylon accessories. The collection, which features water & tear resistant nylon, is designed with the intent of safeguarding everyday essentials, no matter the climate. The fabric is crafted in Italy with the intention of delivering accessories that have maximum strength and durability while remaining lightweight and smooth to the touch. 

 

Canteen Green, the new Spring/Summer 2018 colorway offering for the technical nylon collection launching with the Spring/Summer 2018 season, brings an update to an array of the brand’s signature staples. A standout is the Hartsfield Weekender Tote, a bag that excels with its clean design and simple shape, making the perfect travel companion. Streamlined design means plenty of room to pack all your essentials, while a highly ergonomic design promises extra comfort and ease. With Italian leather details, all-leather base and handles, this signature WANT Les Essentiels tote is an extra-durable travel solution with a subtle touch of luxury.

 

Along with the Hartsfield Weekender, the Nylon Tech Collection has expanded to incorporate the brand’s signature O’Hare tote, Kastrup backpack, Haneda briefcase, Kenyatta dopp kit, and Florio computer case. Styles are available in either Canteen Green and/or classic Black and range in price from $195.00 for the Kenyatta to $495.00 for the Kastrup. Pieces are available for purchase via www.WantLesEssentiels.com.

Vagabond’s Irish Adventure

Hike, Horseback Ride, Pub & Fiddle Crawl Thru Castles, Celtic Ruins, Manors and More On 12-Day Vagabond Giant Irish Adventure :

COUNTY WICKLOW – Glimpsing how people lived in times gone by is part of the fun of exploring Ireland and a painless way to absorb history.

 

On an active 12 Day Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland “Giant Irish Adventure” that circumnavigates the island nation out of Dublin, guests poke around impregnable fortresses, ring forts, beehive huts, manor houses and everyone’s favorites – castles. The theme common to these sites is stone – indestructible and a metaphor for the Irish spirit.

 

Nature’s stone edifices also play a role in the Giant Irish Adventure that includes Ireland’s highest mountain range called the Macgillycuddy Reeks or black stacks of glacial-carved sandstone; the Cliffs of Moher of shale and limestone overlooking the Atlantic; and the Giant’s Causeway, a natural sculpture playground of basalt columns created by volcanic activities in the Atlantic Ocean a millennia ago.

 

Per person double rate of €2,769 includes the services of a highly trained professional Vagabond tour guide for 12 full days; 11 nights accommodation (4 nights B&B, 6 nights hotel, 1 night in a castle); 11 full Irish breakfasts; guided walks; entrance to most of the historical and archaeological sites and to some natural sites; demonstrations of local craftsmen at work; and all relevant fees and taxes.

 

This tour answers the needs of active travelers who want time aplenty to explore where they are by foot. Hikes of up to two hours are daily highlights. Some activities such as horseback riding, sea kayaking and surfing are optional, as is biking in Killarney National Park. The tour is flexible and guests can arrange to opt out of one activity and into another.

 

Following are a sampling of the historic stone structures that guests have the option to visit on this tour. Each tells its own story about how people have lived and worked here for the past 2,000 years and longer.

  • Dunluce Castle is a cliff-edge ruin from the 13th century, with views over the Irish Sea to Scotland.
  • Stone Ring Fort (1700 BC) comes with 360˚ views the Celts would have enjoyed.  Bronze Age farmers constructed defenses against cattle thieves, using easily accessible materials, building earthen mounds with timber that fenced in the flat, lush green pastures of the Midlands or by the coast hauling granite to strategic heights to create circular stone forts. These were stone structures of such precision that no mortar was required.
  • Uragh (Neolithic) Stone Circle
  • Dry stone walls coursing across Dingle Peninsula are a fraction of its 6,000-year-old history reverberating with Stone Age standing stones.
  • Glenveigh Castle and Gardens is a Victorian (1867) edifice in now-Glenveagh National Park. The original owner drove poor tenants from the land so he could transform it into an aristocrats’ hunting playground; today an Irish-American philanthropist has gifted it back to the Irish nation.
  • Donegal Castle was built in the 15th century on the site of a one-time Viking fortress.
  • Abbeyglen Castle Hotel where the mountains of Connemara meet the sea was constructed in 1832. Vagabond guests overnight here.
  • Aughnanure Castle is an Irish tower house from 1500 and the lore of the O’Flaherty clan whose motto “Fortune favours the strong” sets the tone for its setting on a rocky island.
  • Dunguaire Castle is 16th century fortress.
  • Listowel Castle is a 15th century fortress.
  • Beehive huts (Clochán) date to 5th century monastic settlements (think Luke Skywalker’s retreat in Star Wars).
  • Blarney Castle dates to medieval times; kissing the Blarney Stone is said to bestow the gift of eloquence.
  • Rock of Cashel or St. Patrick’s Rock from the 12th century boasts a Romanesque chapel harboring ancient frescoes.
  • The tomb on Knocknaree Mountain is thought to be that of Celtic warrior Queen Maeve who in her 60-year rule had five (known) husbands.
  • Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian walled garden date to the 20th century, thanks to the Benedictines.
  • Ancient monastery on Skellig Michael, an island.

 

On the daily walks and hikes intrinsic to this tour, guests will access…

  • Slieve Gullion Mountain, the highest point in Ireland which harbors Neolithic passage tombs
  • Cliffside Trail including 132 steps to Giants Causeway
  • Glenveagh National Park’s low mountain trail leading to Glenveigh Castle
  • Slieve League, the highest sea cliffs in Europe
  • Croagh Patrick, the famous holy mountain where every step taken means a sin forgiven
  • Cliffs of Moher, 700-foot sea cliffs
  • Kilkee Cliff Walk overlooking the Atlantic
  • Glacial valley of Lough Annascaul

 

Throughout the journey, the Vagabond staff will arrange stops at locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the company’s mission is to have their guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a 4×4 Land Rover or Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ that allows intimate access beyond where regular tour buses go.

 

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland 
Since 2002, Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named a “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2016, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and was the recipient of the Irish 2017 Green Awards in the Tourism and Travel category.

For details on all of Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2018 reservations, please visit http://vagabondtoursofireland.com/.

 

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St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland

Ireland is the Place to Be for St. Patrick’s Day,

Vagabond Small Group Tours Connects Five Days
Of Celebration in Dublin with a Choice of
Two Multi-Day Adventure Tours

 
Departure dates of two early spring 2018 adventures in Ireland are thoughtfully scheduled immediately after St. Patricks’ Day celebrations in Dublin on March 17.
 





This means that before joining a tour, guests of Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland (http://vagabondtoursofireland.com/) can have the best of all worlds Irish. On their own they can partake of St. Patrick’s Day events March 15-19 in Dublin, the gateway city for both of these week-long tours. Then filled with bonhomie and by-now most certainly desperate to find a leprechaun – or at least a luck-filled four-leaf clover – their journey of Ireland’s south and south west begins.
 
Last year just over 100,000 North Americans visited Ireland over the St. Patrick’s Day period. The relatively warm waters of the Gulf Stream, and the prevailing southwesterly winds help make March’s climate moderate and usually pleasant. Here is a link to the official festival website http://www.stpatricksfestival.ie/events. This celebration honors Ireland’s patron saint who brought Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century and whose influence brought about Ireland’s Golden Era.
 
On all Vagabond tours a bounty of live music is a given, but fiddles become even more intense over this holiday that’s celebrated worldwide with the wearin’ o’ the green. 

Also given on these tours are excellent meals in some of Ireland’s best pubs and restaurants and accommodation in carefully vetted guest houses and small hotels that reflect their communities. The two March departures coinciding with St. Patrick’s Day journey roundtrip from Dublin to Ireland’s southwest Wild Atlantic Way, with photo-op stops aplenty and visits to breweries, whisky distilleries, shops and galleries.  

 
But first guests have to decide just how action-packed they want their exploration of Ireland to be. Fit and active travelers will probably opt for an 8 Day Vagabond Wild Irish Rover Tour departing March 18 with Vagabond Adventure Tours. This was recognized as a Top 50 National Geographic Tour of a Lifetime. Physical activities are interwoven with stories of, among many others, 5th century monks who lived in beehive-like huts, and tales of ancient castles and circles of stone (some optional):

  • Walking and hiking through some of Ireland’s best scenery including the Bullig Bay loop by the ancient ruins of Dunboy Castle
  • Horseback riding on the Dingle Peninsula
  • Mountain biking or bike touring in Killarney National Park
  • Sea kayaking with Funghi the Dolphin in Dingle Bay
  • Golfing on The Dingle Golf Links
  • Learn some skills of Gaelic football or hurling, traditional Irish sports
  • Spotting seals in Bantry Bay
  • Sampling at the Dingle Irish Whiskey Distillery, one of a new breed of exciting distillery’s in Ireland
  • Kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle  

The per person double rate is €1,919 (single supplement €315). For details please see http://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/ireland-trips-award-winning-8-day/.
 
This company’s complementary division, Driftwood Journeys of Discovery that emphasizes unique scenery, culture and history at a more relaxed pace, has a 7 Day Driftwood Treasure Island departure March 19, 2018, that includes an overnight in Dingle, a town with a population of 2,500 people and 54 pubs, and another overnight in a haunted Irish castle hotel, all on a search for some of Ireland’s great houses and gardens:

  • Muckross House and Gardens, Kerry
  • Bantry House and Gardens, Cork
  • Garinish Island Gardens, Cork
  • Kylemore Abbey and Grounds, Connemara  

The per person double rate is €1,699 (single supplement €300). For details please see http://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/7-day-treasure-ireland-tour/
 
Amy Rankin, co-founder and director, says that Vagabond’s March and April tours are 10 percent cheaper than those in summer; airline fares are lower in the spring; and with flocks of sheep galore, the lambing season is a must and guides are energized having just emerged from “hibernation”. For fun watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwBVGm_01f8.
 
“From the addition of unique accommodations to totally brand-new tours, 2018 is shaping up to be our most exciting new year!” she adds.
 
About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland
Since 2002 Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named the “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. And in 2016, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification. 
 
In 2013 the company launched Driftwood Journeys of Discovery that explores in a less strenuous manner many of the same routes of Vagabond Adventure Tours. Itineraries in both divisions focus on high yield, low impact tourism which means that local economies benefit from the company’s and guest contributions to local, rural Irish economies (including accommodations, meals, nightlife, attractions and shopping). For details on all of Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2018 reservations, please visit http://vagabondtoursofireland.com/. Call toll free (from the US) 833-230-0288; in Ireland 00353 (0) 1 5634358; or email info@vagabond.ie.

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