Ireland Experience

10 Days - Departs June 23

Highlights

-New for 2019
-Killarney National Park Carriage Ride
-Inis Mor Islands Ferry Ride
-Tour the House of Waterford Crystal
-Visit the Jameson's Distillery
-Blarney Castle
-Trinity College
-Irish Pub Night
-13 Meals

Itinerary

Day 1: Dublin
Arrive at Dublin Airport and meet with your experienced Irish driver and accredited guide who will show you to your coach. Leave Dublin and start your journey to Ireland’s second city, Cork, with stops in Kilkenny and Waterford. Visit the 12th century castle at Kilkenny and enjoy refreshments at the craft center which used to be the stable yard of the castle before setting off on the short journey to Waterford and the House of Waterford Crystal. Then finally relax and enjoy the scenery as you travel to Cork for the night. (D)
Day 2: Jameson's Distillery & Cork
After breakfast travel to Cobh where thousands of emigrants departed for a better life during the famine years and which was the last port of call of the Titanic. After the visits take the short journey to Midleton where the Old Jameson’s Distillery is located and see how this world famous whiskey is distilled and of course sample the golden nectar. Lunch (not included) can be enjoyed at the distillery, after which you will return to Cork where the remainder of the day will be free for independent sightseeing, shopping and dining. (B)
Day 3: Blarney Castle & Killarney National Park
This morning after breakfast, check out of your hotel and travel the short distance to Blarney Castle where the famous Blarney Stone will be found. For those brave enough climb the ramparts of the castle and kiss the stone which is said to grant the gift of eloquence. There will be time to visit the nearby Blarney Woollen Mills which stocks many quality Irish made goods to remind you of your visit. After lunch (not included) travel through the countryside to the popular town of Killarney. After checking into your hotel, take a jaunting car (horse & carriage) ride through Killarney National Park and overnight in Killarney. (B, D)
Day 4: The Ring of Kerry
Today you will discover the wonderful scenery as you drive around the famous Ring of Kerry. The road winds between the Macgillycuddy's Reeks, Ireland's highest mountains, and the varied Atlantic coast. You will be amazed at the breathtaking views and you will stop for photos at the most dramatic scenes and at the Skellig Experience that tells the story of the monks that lived on the Skellig Islands. Skellig Michael was recently used as locations for two Star Wars movies – The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Continue through the remote villages of Cahirciveen and Waterville – one of Charlie Chaplin’s favorite places – and pass through the colourful village of Sneem and pause at Moll's Gap or Ladies View to view the Three Lakes of Killarney. Stop for a stroll through Torc Waterfall before returning to your hotel in Killarney. (B)
Day 5: Irish Fishing Villages & Pub Night
Following breakfast, depart the hotel and travel the Dingle Peninsula. Perhaps not as well-known as the Iveragh Peninsula where the Ring of Kerry is located, the Dingle Peninsula is less busy but every bit as beautiful. The town of Dingle is a small fishing port where you will find plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants to have lunch. Then to the west of the town the scenery is particularly rugged with views out to the formerly inhabited Blasket Islands. Visit the Blasket Center which celebrates the story of the Blasket Islanders, the unique literary achievements of the island writers and their native language, culture and tradition. Sadly, An Blascaod Mór was abandoned in 1953 as a result of the decline of its once vibrant population. Relax as you start your journey northwards along the Wild Atlantic Way stopping at the Heritage Town of Listowel. After dinner at your hotel, enjoy an evening of traditional entertainment at the John B Keane pub. Once owned by one of Ireland’s modern poets & playwriters, it is now run by his son Billy and you will hear extracts from John B’s poems & comic quips as well as enjoying music from local traditional musicians. Overnight in Listowel. (B, D)
Day 6: Galway & The Cliffs of Moher
Check out of your hotel after breakfast and start your journey to the vibrant city of Galway. First stop at the pretty village of Adare where you can stretch your legs amongst the thatch roofed cottages that line the main street before continuing to Bunratty Castle. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. Within the grounds of Bunratty Castle is Bunratty Folk Park where 19th century life is vividly recreated. Lunch (not included) can be had at Durty Nelly’s, one of Ireland’s oldest and most famous pubs before continuing to one of Ireland’s natural wonders – The Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs rise to over 700 feet and the views from the visitor centre are magnificent – on a clear day you can see the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway! Finally for today head for the City of Tribes, Galway, along the Wild Atlantic Way. (B, D)
Day 7: Inis Mor
After breakfast, take the ferry to Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands. The rugged, natural beauty along with thatch roofed stone cottages that dot the islands provide a splendid example of Celtic and early Christian heritage and gives one the impression that they have just travelled back in time. The forts, churches and monasteries will leave you in awe at how people lived on this rock-infested island. The islanders still speak their native language, but will have no problem in communicating in English. Return to Galway late afternoon, where the remainder of the day will be free for independent sightseeing, shopping and dining. (B)
Day 8: Connemara
Today, you will explore another of Ireland's famous scenic regions, Connemara. Here the constantly changing cloud formations give hills, lakes and peat bogs an added dimension. Visit Connemara History & Heritage Centre, where you will be introduced to the history of the area from prehistoric times to the foundation of the Irish Free State and visit Dan O’Hara’s Homestead; Kylemore Abbey which is home to the Benedictine Nuns where you can visit their walled garden and Gothic church whilst enjoying the tranquility of the estate; Connemara Marble Visitor Centre or Connemara Celtic Crystal where demonstrations by their master craftsmen will amaze you before returning to Galway late afternoon where there will be time for shopping or further sightseeing. (B)
Day 9: Celtic Ruins & Dublin
Drive to the center of the country to visit Clonmacnoise. This early Christian monastic site was founded by St. Ciaran in 545 AD, when Christianity flourished throughout Ireland. See round towers, church ruins and Celtic crosses with elaborate carvings, all in a picturesque setting on the banks of the River Shannon. Continue then to the Bruna Boinne Centre where you will visit the 5000 year old passage tomb at Newgrange or Knowth. Finally, travel to Ireland’s capital city where, after checking into your hotel, the remainder of the day is free to sample some of Dublin’s delights. (B)
Day 10: Trinity College
Enjoy a tour of Ireland’s capital city and visit Trinity College which houses the famous Book of Kells transcribed by 9th century monks. Next The Guinness Storehouse which tells the 250 year story of one of Ireland’s greatest exports. At the end of the tour, sample a pint of “The Blackstuff” whilst enjoying 360 degree panoramic views of the city from the Gravity Bar. After lunch (not included) visit the 11th century Christ Church Cathedral, where you can tour the bell tower and the medieval crypt which houses priceless silver, the cat and the rat (mentioned by James Joyce in Finnegan’s Wake), the cathedral shop and Ireland’s first copy of Magna Carta. This evening enjoy a farewell Irish Night which will include dinner followed by a show of traditional Irish music, song and dance. (B)
Day 11: Home
Transfer to Dublin airport to fly home from the Emerald Isle. (B)
 
Price Per Person 
$4387 Share-basis, with air from LAX
$  970 Single Supplement
$    300 Deposit

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