Best of Ireland South - Tour B (8 day /7 night)

B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner

Day 1: Tours A & B Arrive Dublin & City Sightseeing

Welcome to Dublin. Today you may use your independent open-top bus tour voucher to see all the major sights in the city center. You may stay on the bus or get off and on at various attractions. Also included is a visit to Guinness or Jameson for a tour and tasting – these features are valid for 48 hours. Dine independently.

Day 2: Dublin & Traditional Pub

Clients on Tours C & D arrive in Dublin. Those on Tours A & B enjoy a free morning in Dublin for further sightseeing with the included vouchers. Your tour starts at 2:00 pm when all participants join a local guide for a tour of ancient and modern Dublin. Drive through the main streets to see historic buildings such as the General Post Office in O’Connell Street where the 1916 Uprising started; the evocative figures of the Famine Memorial; and rows of Georgian houses with gaily-painted doorways. Walk through the campus of Trinity College with a student guide to view the illuminated manuscript of the 8th century Book of Kells. Return to your hotel for a get-together with your tour group and a welcome drink. In the evening head to Taylor’s Three Rock Pub for a great dinner of Irish specialties and a lively show with popular Irish music, songs and displays of step-dancing.   (B, D)

Day 3: Blarney Castle & Killarney

Drive through prime agricultural country and pause for photos at the impressive Rock of Cashel with medieval ruins. Visit a nearby sheep farm for freshly-baked scones with tea and watch trained dogs herd sheep. Continue your drive south and, just a few miles outside Cork, visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence.” Also visit the Blarney Woollen Mills where you can find quality Irish made goods of all types, conveniently displayed under one roof. Drive through Macroom, built around a fine castle, and into County Kerry where the scenery becomes more mountainous. Arrive in Killarney, picturesquely set beside lakes with Ireland’s highest mountains, the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, forming a backdrop. Check in to your hotel and relax before dinner. (B, D)

Day 4: Dingle Peninsula & Dingle Brewing Company

Today discover the glorious Dingle Peninsula, made famous by two movies, “Ryan’s Daughter” and “Far & Away”, which showed a lot of the wonderful scenery. Drive to Slea Head at the westernmost tip for awesome views of the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the Dingle Brewing Company to watch craft beer being made and sample some at the end of the tour. Enjoy a casual lunch in Dingle before returning to Killarney. The rest of the afternoon and evening are free for independent activities and dining. Killarney has a lot of great pubs where impromptu and planned music sessions take place so you might like to check out some of them (B, L)

Day 5: Jaunting Car Ride & Bunratty Castle Banquet

Take a traditional horse-drawn jaunting car through the Killarney National Park to scenic Ross Castle, set on the shores of Lough Leane,

Killarney’s largest lake. Enjoy local stories by your jarvey and take in the great views of the mountains. Drive north and stop in the village of Adare, famous for its main street lined with thatched cottages and colorful gardens. In Limerick visit the mighty King John’s Castle, which has guarded the River Shannon and access to the interior of the country for over 800 years. The stunning exhibition brings dramatic local history to life. Check in to your hotel and spend some time relaxing. In the evening travel to 15th century Bunratty Castle for a medieval-style feast with lots of food, wine and song to carry you off to the Middle Ages in spirit. (B, D)

Day 6: Cliffs of Moher & Galway

Travel along the coast of County Clare to view the Cliffs of Moher, which rise to heights of almost 700 feet above the churning Atlantic swells. Walk along the top of the cliffs to O’Brien’s Tower for great views of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands, provided that the weather is clear. Drive through the hills of the Burren and around Galway Bay to Galway. Join a local guide for a brief stroll through the twisting streets of the old city and spend time on your own. Return to your hotel in Newmarketon-Fergus for dinner in your hotel and, afterwards enjoy the tales of a local storyteller. (B, D)

Day 7: Shannon Airport or Dublin

If you are on Tours A or C, your program ends after breakfast today. Those on Tours B & D drive through the Irish countryside to Kildare to visit the Irish National Stud to learn about the valuable breeding industry. See magnificent horses before walking around the delightful Japanese Gardens, established over a century ago. Check in to your city-center hotel in Dublin where the evening is free. (B)

Day 8: Tour ends at Dublin Airport

If you are on Tours B or D, your program ends after breakfast today. (B)