Day 1 Arrival to Dublin Airport followed by Dublin City tour, taking in some of the capital city’s main attractions
Following early morning arrival at Dublin Airport, you will be met by your driver/guide and escorted to your awaiting motor coach. On leaving the airport you will be taken on a tour of Dublin, Ireland’s capital city on the banks of the River Liffey. You will see The Georgian Squares, with their 18th century houses, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Phoenix Park (the biggest town park in Europe), the statue filled O’Connell Street and the fashionable Grafton Street. You will also see Trinity College, which in its library houses The Book of Kells. This afternoon you will check in to your centrally located hotel. This evening you will have dinner in your hotel.
Day 2 Visit to Dublin Castle, followed by tour of Guinness’s Brewery with free time in the afternoon to soak up the culture of Dublin
This morning after a relaxing breakfast, you board your coach and travel to Dublin Castle. Here you will enjoy a guided tour of this historic castle built in 1204. Dublin Castle played a major role in the country’s history over the years and today the main attractions are the State Apartments. From here, you continue to The Guinness Brewery, founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness. You will discover the history of this world famous stout in a self-guided tour of this new state of the art visitor center. Your visit concludes with a leisurely pint of Guinness in the 360-degree roof top bar while enjoying some spectacular views of Dublin City. The remainder of the afternoon is free to explore Dublin on your own. You may wish to visit The National Museum, The National Art Gallery, Trinity College or browse through some of the city’s many interesting shops or just enjoy a Guinness and a chat in a local pub. This evening you travel to “The Merry Ploughboy,” for a farewell dinner and a night of Irish ballads and traditional Irish dancing.
Day 3 Depart Dublin and travel to Kilkenny City for tour of Kilkenny Castle, before continuing to Waterford for visit to the House of Waterford Crystal
This morning you bid farewell to Dublin and travel to Kilkenny City, located on the banks of the River Nore. Here you will visit Kilkenny Castle, a 12th century castle remodeled in Victorian times and set in extensive parklands. The central block now includes a library, drawing room, and bedrooms decorated in 1830s splendor, as well as the beautiful Long Gallery. Following your castle tour, you will have some free time for lunch before continuing to Waterford where you will visit the House of Waterford Crystal. Here you will see master craftsworkers at work as you enjoy a guided factory tour. This evening you will have dinner in your hotel.
Day 4 Tour along Ireland’s southern coastline through Dungarvan, Youghal to Cobh, before traveling through Blarney en route to Kinsale
This morning you depart Waterford and continue along the southern coastline traveling through Dungarvan, Youghal and Midleton to Cobh. Cobh was one of the main points of emigration during the Great Famine, and was also the last port of call of the Titanic. Here you will visit “The Queenstown Story” which portrays the hardship of emigration during the famine. You then continue to Blarney where you will have an opportunity to visit Blarney Castle and kiss the famous Blarney Stone, said to bestow the gift of eloquence on all those who dare. This will be followed by some free time for lunch and a visit to The Blarney Woollen Mills which carries a wide range of sweaters, tweeds, china and crystal before continuing to Kinsale. Kinsale is a historic fishing town on the southern coastline of County Cork. It has some old cobble stone streets and many interesting shops and pubs. Kinsale is also renowned for its restaurants and is renowned as the gourmet capital of Ireland. This evening you will have dinner in your hotel.
Day 5 Travel the coastline of West Cork to Mizen Head, the most southerly point of Ireland, en route to Kenmare before continuing on to Killarney
This morning you depart Kinsale and travel along the southern coastline of West Cork where you will see some spectacular landscape and ocean views to Mizen Head, the most southerly point of Ireland. Here you will visit the award winning Maritime Museum and Heritage Attraction. You can also take a ten minute walk along the path, down the 99 steps and across the Arched Bridge over the crashing waves to the lighthouse. Following this adventure you travel to Glengariff and continue over the Caha Mountains to the town of Kenmare. On leaving Kenmare, you take in a 20 mile stretch of The Ring of Kerry. Your tour winds its way through the Killarney National Park with some of the oldest oak forests in Ireland, to Killarney. This evening dinner is in your hotel.
Day 6 Day tour of Dingle Peninsula, where you travel back in time as you see early monastic settlements
Today you will enjoy the unspoiled beauty of The Dingle Peninsula. You will travel back in time as you see some beehive huts (early monastic settlements) dating back over a thousand years. Your tour will take you to the most westerly point of Ireland where you can view the Blasket Islands. You will also see the locations for such films as “Ryan’s Daughter,” and the more recently filmed, “Far and Away” which starred Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. There will be some free time in Dingle for lunch before returning to Killarney. This evening you are free for dinner.
Day 7 Today take the Shannon Ferry, as you travel north by the Cliffs of Moher and through the lunar landscape of the Burren, before arriving in Galway City
This morning you travel through Tralee, capital town of County Kerry and famous for The Rose of Tralee Festival. You continue to Tarbert where you board the Shannon Ferry, which crosses the Shannon Estuary to Killimer. From here you take the coast road to the majestic Cliffs of Moher, which rise to a height of 600 feet over the Atlantic Ocean. Your tour continues through the lunar type landscape of the Burren Region and along the shores of Galway Bay before arriving in the city of Galway. This evening dinner is in your hotel.
Day 8 Tour through the mountains, lakelands, and boglands of Connemara, before visiting Kylemore Abbey, home to the Benedictine Nuns since 1920
This morning you embark on a tour of Connemara. Connemara is made up of mountains, lakelands and boglands. Because of its wild and rugged beauty Connemara has been the location for many films including, “The Quiet Man” with John Wayne and Maureen O’ Hara, and in more recent times “The Field,” starring Richard Harris to name but two. The scenery is both magical and mystical and is a paradise for both artist and photographer. Your tour today will include a visit to Kylemore Abbey, built in 1866, and since 1920 has been home to the Benedictine Nuns. Your tour continues through the Inagh Valley before returning to Galway. This evening you will enjoy a farewell dinner in Galway.
Day 9 Departure from Shannon Airport
Today you sadly bid farewell to the Emerald Isle. You travel to Shannon Airport (approximately 1hr 30 mins). Here you will have ample time for duty free shopping before you board your flight home.
“May the roof above you never fall in and may the friends gathered below it never fallout”