Taste of Wales & Ireland Tour

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Day 1: Manchester Arrival & Chester

Your trip starts at 2:00 pm when you meet your tour director at your Chester hotel. Chester is about 30 miles from Manchester Airport so ensure that you have arranged a transfer. Set out on a walking tour to see medieval streets with lovely half-timbered houses and shops. Walk along part of the city walls and view Roman ruins. Finish at Chester Cathedral, which dates back to 660 AD. Discuss your itinerary with your tour director over a welcome drink and dinner.
(D)

Day 2: North Wales & Conwy

Cross into Wales and drive through the scenic Horseshoe Pass. Visit a farm to watch trained dogs herding sheep and stop for photos of 13th century St. Asaph’s Cathedral. Drive to Conwy, a compact medieval town which is dominated by its huge castle. Take a walk around Conwy’s narrow streets with ancient houses and see Britain’s smallest house on the docks. Drive to your hotel in Caernarfon and settle in before dinner.
(B, D)

Day 3: North Wales & Snowdonia Train Ride

Tour North Wales, starting with a train ride on a narrow-gauge steam train from Porthmadog to Blaenau Ffestiniog to admire the beautiful scenery of the Snowdonia National Park. View Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales, and drive by coach through more of the park. Pause in the village of Betws-y-Coed before heading to the National Slate Museum which relates the tough working conditions of this region’s slate industry, developed in Victorian times. (B, D)

Day 4: Harlech Castle & Tenby Ghost Walk

Today experience the magnificent Welsh coastline as you travel south. Visit the mighty Harlech Castle, one of the “Iron Ring Castles” that were built along the coast by the English in the 13th century to control the unruly Welsh. Take a look around the attractive Georgian town of Aberaeron. Continue to the picturesque town of Tenby, featuring a little harbor, a castle and town walls. After dinner join a local guide for a walk to hear many humorous tales and traditions associated with Tenby. Check in to your hotel and take a ghost walk after dinner. (B, D)

Day 5: Pembroke Castle & Lovespoon Workshop

Today drive around scenic Pembrokeshire, a region of gentle rolling hills and indented coastline. Tour Pembroke Castle, an imposing 12th century fortress to explore the labyrinth of passageways and towers and enjoy views from the Great Keep. Watch the ancient Welsh tradition of hand carving at the Lovespoon Workshop before returning to Tenby mid-afternoon and the evening is free for independent dining. (B)

Day 6: St David’s Cathedral & Ferry to Ireland

Journey through colorful coastal villages on the way to St David’s, the smallest city in Britain. Visit the imposing 12th century St David’s Cathedral, named for the patron saint of Wales, to view the magnificent carvings and take a look through the nearby art galleries, craft shops and tea rooms. From Fishguard take a ferry ride to Rosslare and head to your hotel in Waterford in time for dinner. (B, D)

Day 7: Waterford Crystal & Killarney

Visit the House of Waterford Crystal to learn about glass blowing and cutting and admire one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Then see the historic city on a gentle stroll with a local guide. Travel to Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence” and shop at the nearby Blarney Woollen Mills. Then journey west through rugged countryside to Killarney and settle in to your hotel. See Killarney’s lakes in the traditional manner as you take a jaunting car ride through the Killarney National Park to Ross Castle, picturesquely set on Lough Leane. (B, D)

Day 8: Ring of Kerry & Skellig Experience

Embark on the Ring of Kerry drive – a winding route with breathtaking sights of mountains and coastal views. Cross to Valentia Island by bridge to visit the Skellig Experience which describes the austere lives of early Christian monks on the nearby islands. Enjoy a casual lunch and stop in Sneem to admire brightly painted houses. Pause at Moll’s Gap for stunning views before returning to Killarney where you have an evening free for independent dining and activities.
(B, L)

Day 9: Cliffs of Moher & Bunratty Banquet

Take a ferry ride across the River Shannon Estuary to visit the Cliffs of Moher, majestic walls of rock, which extend five miles along the coast. Drive through the Burren and stop in Caherconnell to watch trained dogs herding sheep. Continue to your hotel and relax a little. In the evening head to Bunratty Castle for a memorable medieval-style feast while the lords and ladies serenade you with song and harp music, evocative of the Middle Ages. (B, D)

Day 10: Depart Shannon Airport or Taylor’s Three Rock Pub in Dublin

Passengers on our 10-day tour conclude the tour after breakfast. Those on the 12-day tour will travel to Galway for a walking tour around Galway City before travelling to Tullamore to visit the Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre, which explains how whiskey is distilled. Travel on to Dublin. In the evening drive to Taylor’s Three Rock Pub for dinner and a lively show with traditional Irish music, story-telling and step-dancing. (B, D)

Day 11: Independent 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 General Post Office. 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 12: Depart Dublin for Home

Your tour ends after breakfast. (B)