Taste of Ireland Tour

B=Breakfast, CB=Continental Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 1: Overnight flight to Dublin for Tours C & D

Take an evening flight from your U.S. gateway city and travel overnight across the Atlantic to Ireland. Sit back and relax with meals and entertainment. Land tour only starts on day 2.

Day 2: Dublin Independent Tour or US Departure for Tours A & B

Passengers on Tours C & D arrive at Dublin Airport, go through immigration formalities and pick up your baggage. Go to the CIE Tours desk in the Arrivals Hall where staff will arrange a group transfer between 7:00 am and 12:00 noon to your hotel, located near the Georgian area in central Dublin. If your flight arrives later than noon, you will transfer to the hotel at your own expense. In the afternoon use your independent open-top bus tour voucher with a Guinness or Jameson visit and tasting – these features are valid for 24 hours.

Day 3: Dublin & Merry Ploughboy Pub

Passengers on Tours A & B land at Dublin Airport and transfer to your hotel as above. Those on Tours C & D enjoy a free morning in Dublin for further. At 2:00 pm join a local guide for a tour of ancient and modern Dublin. Drive through the main streets to see historic buildings such as Trinity College, where the Book of Kells is housed; the evocative figures of the Famine Memorial; and rows of Georgian houses with gaily-painted doorways. Stop at Dublin Castle for a guided tour through the elegant State Apartments, which are filled with elaborate Waterford Crystal chandeliers and portraits of prominent Irish leaders. Return to your hotel for a get-together with your tour group and a welcome drink. In the evening enjoy the the Merry Ploughboy Pub, a great dinner of Irish specialties and a lively show with popular Irish songs and intricate step-dancing. (Dinner)

Day 4: Blarney Castle & Killarney

Depart Dublin and travel through the center of Ireland, which has many mixed farms. Stop to view the stately church ruins atop the Rock of Cashel, rising high above the surrounding plain. 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. After your meal you may like to take a stroll through the compact town center and explore Killarney’s famous singing pubs. (B, D)

Day 5: Ring of Kerry & Skellig Experience

Today embark on Ireland’s most popular scenic drive of 100 miles – the Ring of Kerry. This winding route reveals breathtaking sights of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks as well as coastal views of beaches and cliffs. As you travel along, there will be plenty of stops for photos at the best vantage points. Stop at Kells to meet a local farmer, Brendan Ferris, for a taste of farm life with a sheepdog demonstration of herding flocks and see different breeds of sheep. Drive through the village of Cahirciveen and cross to Valencia Island by bridge. Visit the Skellig Experience to learn about the nearby rocky islands where early Christian monks lived in austere conditions and today they form a thriving bird sanctuary. Stop to walk around Sneem, where brightly-painted houses are grouped around a central green. Pause at Moll’s Gap for a view of the Three Lakes of Killarney. Return to Killarney and enjoy a fine dinner in your hotel once again. (B, D)

Day 6: Cliffs of Moher & Bunratty Castle

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. Drive past Lahinch golf links, one of Ireland’s most famous, and through the marketing town of Ennis to Bunratty. Check in to Bunratty Castle Hotel, which is located very close to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. In the evening head to Bunratty Castle for a memorable experience in a wonderful setting with good food and entertainment. Take your place in the Great Hall for a medieval-style feast of excellent dishes and plenty of wine. During and after the meal the lords and ladies will serenade you with song and harp music, evocative of the Middle Ages. (B, D)

Day 7: Shannon Departure or Dublin Extension via Galway

Participants on Tours A & C will take a group transfer to arrive at nearby Shannon Airport at either 7:30 am or 10:30 am. If you book an early flight from Shannon Airport, you may need to take a taxi at your own expense. The lucky people on the longer Tours B & D will drive north through Galway and out along the famous Galway Bay to Spiddal where the locals still speak the Irish language. Then drive across the rugged boglands of Connemara to Moycullen to visit the Connemara Marble Factory. See how this locally-quarried marble is made into attractive products and enjoy tea and scones. Drive into Galway for a panoramic tour around the principal areas and then take some time to look around the city before traveling to Dublin. Check in to a different hotel, centrally located off O’Connell Street. You are free this evening to spend the final night of your tour exploring the pubs in the lively Temple Bar area, at the theater or experience one of Dublin’s fine restaurants. (B)

Day 8: Depart from Dublin Airport

Dublin Airport to arrive at 6:00 am, 9:00 am or 12:00 noon to check in for your flight. If you need an earlier transfer, your tour director will arrange one for you. Then you can shop at the duty-free stores before boarding your flight for the journey home. (B)