Irish Spirit Tour

B= Breakfast; L= Lunch; D= Dinner

Day 1: Dublin Tour and Trinity College

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 join your group and a local guide for an introductory look around central Dublin. See fashionable shopping areas around Grafton and Nassau Streets, view Dublin’s famous elegant Georgian squares and pause at the evocative figures at the Famine Memorial. Walk through Trinity College to the Old Library to view the illuminated manuscript of the 8th century Book of Kells and learn how monks created this and other masterpieces. Back at your hotel meet with your tour director and travel companions for a welcome drink and discuss your itinerary.

Day 2: Farm Visit & Waterford Crystal

Drive through the Irish countryside to County Kilkenny for a stop at a farm in Jerpoint for tea and home-made scones. Chat with the owners about farming and also see one of Ireland’s best examples of a deserted 12th century town. Continue south to visit the famous House of Waterford Crystal to see how molten glass is transformed into elaborate and shimmering trophies by the skilled blowers and cutters. Also view a huge array of stemware in the showrooms. Check in to your hotel in the center of the compact city and, after dinner, take a gentle walking tour with a local guide to learn about local history. (B, D)

Day 3: Titanic Experience & Blarney Castle

Travel along the south coast to Cobh to visit the Titanic Experience. Learn about the people who embarked for the United States aboard the ill-fated RMS Titanic. Visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence.” Also shop at the Blarney Woollen Mills for quality Irish-made souvenirs or take a walk around the village green. Drive into County Kerry to Killarney, picturesquely set beside lakes and mountains. Check in to your hotel and relax before dinner. In the evening you may like to check out the many “singing” pubs around town. (B, D)

Day 4: Ring of Kerry & Pub Lunch

View the highlights of Ireland’s natural scenery on the famous Ring of Kerry route. The road winds between the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks Mountains on one side and the Atlantic coastline on the other. Enjoy a pub lunch before taking the bridge to Valencia Island. Visit the Skellig Experience to learn about the rocky islands off the end of the peninsula where monks lived in early Christian times. Today the islands form a protected bird sanctuary. Stop in the attractive village of Sneem and also at Moll’s Gap to view the Three Lakes of Killarney. Relish some free time to browse around Killarney before dining on your own. (B, L)

Day 5: Cliffs of Moher & Galway Bay

Leave Killarney and drive north to Tarbert for a 20-minute ferry ride across the wide River Shannon Estuary. Your tour continues along the Clare coast to the Cliffs of Moher, a spectacular wall of limestone that reaches to almost 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Walk along the top of the cliffs to O’Brien’s Tower for great views. Drive through the Burren and stop in Caherconnell to watch as trained dogs show their skills in herding sheep. Continue around the shores of Galway Bay to take a short orientation tour of Galway city before checking in to your hotel. (B, D)

Day 6: Connemara & "Quiet Man" Walk

Today explore another of Ireland’s famous scenic regions, Connemara, with granite hills, sparkling lakes and peat bogs. Travel alongside Galway Bay and stop at Standun of Spiddal for coffee and a talk on various aspects of Irish life and traditional crafts. In Cong take a walking tour with a local guide to see places associated with “The Quiet Man” movie which was made in the village in 1952. Head to Eddie’s Pub in nearby Clonbur for lunch before returning to Galway to embark on the Corrib Princess for a scenic cruise on Lough Corrib to the north of the city (Mar 22 – Nov 01 departures) (B, L)

Day 7: Kilbeggan Distillery & Abbey Tavern

This morning enjoy some free time in Galway before driving to Kilbeggan to visit the Kilbeggan Distillery Experience, established in 1757 making it the world’s oldest. See how whiskey is distilled on modern equipment in the old buildings and enjoy a sample of the finished product. Continue your journey to Dublin and check in to your hotel. Finish up your tour at the popular Abbey Tavern with a hearty dinner and a lively show of traditional music, songs and step-dancing. (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)