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Our Story

Vagabond Tours was established in 2002; the brainchild of Rob Rankin, who had been travelling in Southern Africa with his wife, Amy.

While in Africa, Rob and Amy saw the safari and ‘overland’ tours that were so popular there. Amy and Rob realised that a similarly adventurous way of seeing Ireland would be a fantastic experience for visitors.

Ireland may not have the lions, elephants and deserts of Africa. But we boast great scenery and fascinating history. Plus a few wild creatures running loose. Just what you need for a good safari. This was an idea for an Ireland vacation tour unlike anything that currently existed.

Rob Rankin standing on the cab of an old Land Rover Defender VagaTron tour vehicle against a blue sky

The original VagaTron tour vehicle was a modified 1990 Land Rover Defender and it escorted hundreds of guests on their dream tours of Ireland. Since 2002, Vagabond has grown steadily year-on-year. Our vehicles have changed a bit too! Our Ireland vacations have also changed and grown as we've learned more and more about our country, about everything that makes Ireland special. In fact, we have developed such a diverse range of tours of Ireland that many of our guests come back for a second or third tour, both on our more active Vagabond Ireland Tours and on our more relaxed Driftwood Ireland tour packages.

 

Meet Rob, the man behind Vagabond Tours of Ireland.

 

 

Rob Rankin - The Original Vagabond

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Rob's passion for Ireland doesn’t stop at offering the best small group tours of Ireland. We're proud that Rob was a founding member and is also current chairman of Ireland’s Association of Adventure Travel.

What's more, Rob is leading the fight for responsible and sustainable tourism in Ireland. Vagabond Tours achieved eco-tourism gold certification in 2017. Rob's appetite for sustainable tourism was so strong that he acquired Sustainable Travel Ireland, Ireland's eco-tourism accreditation body.

The mission of Sustainable Travel Ireland is to lead education, certification and training of Irish tourism companies ensure Ireland is cared for by the industry that relies on its beauty the most.

The Best Tours in Ireland

For many people planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Ireland, it is important to know that they are booking the best Ireland vacation tour there is. We are proud to have built an excellent reputation within the Irish tourism industry and with our guests (and repeat guests) as providing the best tours in Ireland.

We even have a few awards to prove it!

It has taken years of constant dedication to gradually build this reputation for quality and passion. Of course, this kind of perception is highly subjective, but we think that our constant focus on our guests' experience and our love for Ireland comes through in every tour we offer – it even comes through in our approach to responsible and sustainable tourism in Ireland.

We've won several awards and been featured in numerous articles in publications around the world. We will never stop exploring our historic island, uncovering its beauty, its history and culture, and we will continue to develop our tours of Ireland based on the ideas and principles Vagabond Tours was based on.

We put a lot of stock in customer feedback; each year, our Ireland tours are changed or developed accordingly. In this way, our Ireland vacation tours are constantly evolving and improving, and it may be useful for anyone interested in exploring Ireland with us to find out the differences between our Vagabond and Driftwood tours. And please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions for us.

See How Our Tour Vehicles Have Changed...

A from-the-ground perspective of the original 1990 Land Rover Defender VagaTron 4x4 tour vehicle for Vagabond Tours of Ireland
Vagabond Tours guest group sitting and standing on an original Land Rover Defender VagaTron tour vehicle with a 2007 date graphic in the top right corner
An original Land Rover Defender VagaTron tour vehicle with branded trailer parked in a scenic location in Ireland; side view
2014 VagaTron with date graphic
A smiling group of Driftwood tour guests pranking around with a Drifter tour vehicle and guide
Front view of a 2019 Mercedes VagaTron 4x4 tour vehicle with 2019 date graphic in the upper left corner

Come with Vagabond on the Ultimate Ireland Vacation!

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Awesome Ireland Tour Guides

Sit back and relax. Your highly-trained local Irish tour guide will lead you on an unforgettable small group guided tour of Ireland.

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Our Tour Vehicles

These are no ordinary tour vehicles… For extraordinary small group tours!

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Responsible Tourism Tours

Find out how responsible tourism lies at the heart of our small group tours of Ireland. We are proud to be a responsible tourism tour operator.

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Off The Beaten Track

Discover hidden Ireland on our off the beaten path tours. See the highlights but escape the crowds with Ireland's best tour guides and itineraries.

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Memberships

We are proud and leading members of a number of accredited professional assocations.

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Meet Our Guides

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Meet our amazing VagaGuide tour guide team. They're the heart and soul of Vagabond!

Responsible Tourism

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Sustainability lies at the heart of everything we strive for. Learn more about Responsible Tourism here.

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