Irish Gold Tour

B= Breakfast; L= Lunch; D= Dinner

Day 1: Dublin Tour & Book of Kells

Your tour starts at Dublin Airport with a group transfer to your hotel between 7:00 am and 12:00 noon. If you arrive later than noon, transfer to the hotel at your own expense. At 2:00 pm your tour director will introduce you to Dublin’s River Liffey, wide O’Connell Street, tranquil St. Stephen’s Green, the seat of government at Leinster House and other public buildings. See some of Dublin’s famous Georgian houses and pause at the Famine Memorial, a reminder of the mid-19th century disaster. Visit Trinity College’s campus and the Old Library to view the priceless Book of Kells. Your tour director will host a welcome drink to discuss your tour and he will advise where to dine independently.

Day 2: Clonmacnoise Monastic Site & Galway City Tour

Leave Dublin and journey across the rolling pastures of Ireland’s heartland to visit Clonmacnoise. This monastic settlement was founded in 545 AD by St. Ciaran and is set on the banks of the mighty River Shannon. See elaborate high crosses as well as many church ruins and round towers. Drive to Galway and view the main sights of the city before checking into your hotel, located within easy reach of lively streets with fun specialty stores, cafés and pubs. Enjoy some free time to browse around on your own before dining in your hotel. (B, D)

Day 3: Connemara, Clifden & Cruise

Drive through the heart of Connemara, past granite hills and sparkling lakes on the way to Leenane to embark on a short catamaran cruise of Killary Harbour, a 9-mile fjord (Mar 23 – Nov 02 departures). Enjoy views of hills where traces of “lazy beds” of potato ridges from the 19th century and earlier can still be seen. Keep an eye out for seabirds as you pass mussel and salmon farms. Savor a casual lunch at a nearby restaurant and drive through lovely open countryside. Tour the elegant rooms and charming chapel at Kylemore Abbey and stroll through the grounds and gardens. Return to Galway where the evening is free for independent activities and dining. (B, L)

Day 4: Cliffs of Moher & Molly Darcy's Pub in Killarney

Travel south around Galway Bay to see the Cliffs of Moher, which rise almost 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic surf. Drive through the hills of the Burren and stop in Cahirconnell to watch trained sheepdogs obey whistles from their owner to direct sheep through various obstacles. After Limerick pause for photos in the picturesque village of Adare before heading to Killarney, a little town that is world-famous due to its exquisite location beside lakes and mountains. Check in to your hotel in the center of the town. and head to Molly Darcy’s Pub for a lively show with dinner. (B, D)

Day 5: Ring of Kerry Tour & Muckross House

Set out on Ireland’s most popular scenic drive – the Ring of Kerry. The road winds between the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks Mountains and the Atlantic coastline. Cross to Valencia Island and tour the Skellig Experience to learn about the rocky offshore islands where early Christian monks lived. Stop in the attractive village of Sneem and view the Three Lakes of Killarney from Moll’s Gap. Take a guided tour around Muckross House to see period furnishings and learn of its prominent guests and owners. Stroll through the mature gardens before driving to Killarney. Take a horse drawn jaunting car ride through the Killarney National Park to Ross Castle for stunning views of Lough Leane. (B, D)

Day 6: Blarney Castle, Traditional Music Session & Waterford Walk

Drive through the mountains of Kerry and West Cork into richer farming country on the way to Blarney to climb to the ramparts of Blarney Castle to kiss the famous stone. Also shop at the Blarney Woollen Mills for quality Irish-made goods before traveling along the coast to the Marine Bar in Dungarvan for a creamy Irish coffee and an informal traditional music session. Continue to Waterford and check into your historic hotel, located on the waterfront of this ancient port city. After dinner, take a fun walking tour around the narrow streets and ancient buildings to discover Waterford’s long history. (B, D)

Day 7: House of Waterford Crystal & O'Connell's Restaurant

After breakfast tour the House of Waterford Crystal to watch glass blowing and cutting by master craftspeople and see a huge display of elegant tableware and magnificent trophies. In New Ross tour the Dunbrody Famine Ship, a replica of a sailing vessel that was used during the 1840’s Famine to transport starving Irish people to the United States and Canada. Travel along the east coast to your hotel in Dublin and in the evening drive to O’Connell’s Restaurant for a superb dinner and some live music. (B, D)

Day 8: Dublin Sightseeing

Spend a full day in Dublin to use your vouchers for an independent open-top bus tour (valid for 48 hours) and a visit to either Guinness Storehouse or the Old Jameson Distillery to learn how these renowned products are created and enjoy a sample. The bus stops at all the principal city center attractions and you may alight at each stop or stay on the bus to do the complete tour. (B)

Day 9: Depart for Home

Use your included taxi voucher to travel to Dublin Airport by taxi in good time to check in for your return flight. (B)