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Penn State v UCF Ireland Extravaganza
Day 1: Sunday 24th August 2014 Dublin to Galway via Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery
Arrive at Dublin Airport and after clearing customs and passport control meet with your professional driver/guide who will transfer you for a welcome breakfast at a nearby hotel (for arrivals prior to 9.00am). Feeling suitably refreshed, start your journey across country calling at Kilbeggan Distillery and Clonmacnoise before arriving at the vibrant city of Galway. Overnight Forster Court Hotel, Galway, Dinner Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 2: Monday 25th August 2014 – The Wilds of Connemara
After breakfast visit Connemara Marble and see how this unique stone is cut and polished into varying articles before setting off around the Connemara National Park. Stop at Kylemore Abbey which is home to the Benedictine Nuns. Situated by the slopes of the Twelve Bens Mountains, this lakeside castle is often referred to as Ireland’s most romantic having been built by Mitchell Henry as a present for his wife. Continue around Connemara to Clifden and the Connemara History & Heritage Centre which is based around the restored pre-famine cottage of Dan O’Hara who emigrated to America in the 1840's when he was cruelly evicted from his own home. Discover what life was like in Ireland for Dan O’ Hara and thousands of others at this award winning centre. Return to Galway late afternoon where there will be time for shopping. This evening is free to enjoy some of the local craic in one of Galway’s bustling pubs or restaurants. Overnight Forster Court Hotel, Galway, Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 3: Tuesday 26th August 2014 – The Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty & on to Killarney
Check out of your hotel after breakfast and visit a sheep farm where you will see a demonstration of how sheep are rounded up and sheared before sampling some homemade baking and refreshments. Travel to one of Ireland’s natural wonders, the Cliffs of Moher, before visiting Bunratty Castle. Robert De Muscegros, a Norman, built the first defensive fortress in Bunratty as early as 1250. After changing hands many times and having been the subject of many disputes throughout Irish history, the castle was restorted in 1954 and is now widely regarded as one of Ireland’s most complete castles. After lunch, leave Bunratty and travel the short distance to Adare, one of Ireland’s most beautiful villages. Walk along the main street which is lined with traditional thatched roofed cottages or visit the old priory and monastery before departing to Ireland’s most popular town, Killarney. Overnight Lake Hotel, Killarney, Dinner Bed & Breakfast Included.
Day 4: Wednesday 27th August 2014 – The Ring of Kerry
This morning after breakfast a jaunting car (horse & carriage) will await you to take you on a magical journey through Killarney National Park as far as Ross Castle where your coach will be waiting to take you on the 100 mile Ring of Kerry where you will witness first hand some of Ireland’s best scenery. Visit the Skellig Experience which tells the story of the monks that lived on the barren Skellig Islands some 12 km southwest of Valentia Island, County Kerry. Travel through the colourful town of Sneem and Waterville - one of Charlie Chaplin’s favourite spots - and enjoy the magnificent views from Molls Gap & Ladies View. Following the tour visit Muckross House, a nineteenth century Victorian mansion set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. The house stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney's three lakes, famed world wide for their splendour and beauty. As a focal point within Killarney National Park, Muckross House is the ideal base from which to explore this landscape. Overnight Lake Hotel, Killarney, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 5: Thursday 28th August 2014 - Cobh & Midleton Distillery
After breakfast visit Cobh, this picturesque port town was the final departure point for thousands of Irish emigrants who left for a better life during the famine years and was the last port of call of the ill-fated Titanic. Travel onward to Midleton where the Old Jameson’s Distillery is located and here learn how this world famous whiskey is distilled and of course sample the golden nectre. Return to Killarney where the remainder of the day will be free to further explore this popular town. Overnight Lake Hotel, Killarney Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 6: Friday 29th August 2014 Blarney Castle, The Rock of Cashel and Return to Dublin
Check out of your hotel after breakfast and commence your journey to Ireland’s capital city, Dublin. Stop at Blarney Castle, famed for its Stone of Eloquence that is said to grant the Gift of the Gab to those that kiss it and the iconic Rock of Cashel. After checking into your hotel, the remainder of the day is free to explore the many pubs and restaurants in Dublin, many of which will have live music. Overnight Dublin City Inn, Dublin Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 7: Saturday 30th August 2014 Game Day
Today is Game Day and you will enjoy a pre-game “tailgate” lunch at Dublin’s Church Restaurant. After lunch transfer to Croke Park for the game. After the game make your own way back to the hotel or the nearest pub! Overnight Dublin City Inn, Dublin Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 8: Sunday 31st August 2014 Final Dublin Tour
This morning enjoy a tour of Dublin which will include visits to Trinity College Library and the Book of Kells Exhibition and Guinness Storehouse. The afternoon will be free for further individual; sightseeing or shopping. This evening enjoy a farewell Irish Night which will include dinner and a show of traditional Irish music, song and dance. Overnight Dublin City Inn, Dublin Bed & Breakfast included.
Day 9: Monday 1st September 2014 Return Home
After your final Irish breakfast, transfer to Dublin Airport for your return flight.
Now that we are all back and settled down again I thought I would
just let you know how much I enjoyed our tour. We all did in fact. The
weather was beautiful, which helped, but the tour itself was well planned
and very enjoyable. I appreciated being able to stay in a couple of B & B's,
which are always more interesting than hotels, although they were excellent
too. Our tour director, Eamonn Murphy, was wonderful. His knowledge of Irish
history is superb and I looked forward to his talks each day. I have already recommended it to a couple I know who are going to Ireland next year.
I definitely hope to travel with you again sometime.
Lorna Thompson, Calgary, Canada