12 days/11 nights/22 meals - A pilgrimage of the sacred sites of Ireland incorporating the long heritage and history of this island. Visit such world famous places as Newgrange, Glendalough and Knock Shrine - to mention a few - coupled with many heritage locations such as Bunratty Castle, Powerscourt House and the Ring of Kerry.
This tour is designed for groups of 15 or more passengers.
Arrive at Dublin Airport and, after progressing through customs and immigration, meet with your experienced driver/guide who will transfer you to the city centre for your morning tour. The tour will take you to Trinity College and Book of Kells exhibition, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral to mention but a few. There will be time for refreshments and shopping around the famous Grafton Street area before checking into your hotel. Mass will be arranged in Dublin. Overnight Dublin DBB
After breakfast depart for the Boyne Valley visiting Newgrange or Knowth Neolithic Tomb, Hill of Tara and Trim Heritage town. Then onwards to Downpatrick where a visit to the St. Patrick’s Centre and Down Cathedral, where St Patrick's Grave is located, is arranged. Return to Dublin arriving in time for dinner. Arrangements will be made to celebrate Mass during the day. Overnight Dublin DBB
Check out of your hotel and start your journey to the west of Ireland. During the journey you will visit the Tullamore Heritage Centre and Birr Castle Gardens. Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre, housed in the 1897 Bonded Warehouse, relates the story of Tullamore Dew Whiskey/Irish Mist Liqueur, the Grand Canal and the development of the town of Tullamore. Birr Castle is the private home of the Parsons family and the Demesne has become world famous for its exotic tree and plant collections, rivers and lake, formal gardens, terraces and wildflower meadows exuding an atmosphere of intimacy as well as grandeur. A prominent feature in the centre of the Park is The Great Telescope built in 1845; the largest in the world for over 70 years it can be seen operating throughout the day. Then to journey to Galway where there will be a short orientation tour of the city before traveling to your hotel in Claremorris. Arrangements will be made to celebrate Mass during the day. Overnight Claremorris or Knock DBB.
Today will be a full day at Knock Shrine where, on the 21st August 1879, Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of Knock Parish Church. During then day you will tour the grounds and hear the details of events that took place on that day, tour the museum, have meditation time and celebrate the public Mass at the Basilica. Overnight Claremorris or Knock DBB
After breakfast drive to Croagh Patrick, a Holy Mountain overlooking Clew Bay. Following the visit travel to Leenane, one of the most scenic drives in Ireland which takes in the only fjord in the country - Killary Harbour. The village of Leenane was used in the movie The Field starring Richard Harris. Then to Kylemore Abbey, built in the 19th century and has been home to Benedictine Nuns since 1920. Return to your hotel in time for dinner. Arrangements will be made to celebrate Mass during the day. Overnight Claremorris or Knock DBB
After breakfast leave for Ballintubber Abbey on the shores of Lough Carra. Founded in 1216 by King Cathal O’Conor, it is the only Royal Abbey still in use. Then on to Cong Abbey, built in 1120 by the High King of Ireland and Cathal’s father Turlough where there will be time to walk through the ruins before visiting the location of the movie The Quiet Man (Maureen O’Hara, John Wayne). Then visit Ashford Castle where you can walk around the grounds and take in the breathtaking scenery before cruising on Lough Corrib. Arrangements will be made to celebrate Mass during the day. Overnight Claremorris or Knock DBB
After breakfast leave for the Fr. Payton Memorial Centre which commemorates the life and work of the famous Rosary Priest who brought prayer into the homes of millions of Americans reciting the Rosary on television and radio. Then to Foxford Woolen Mills which was started by Sr. Agnes Morrogh Bernard after the famine in 1892. What was a way of creating much needed work for the girls and women of the area at that time where the only alternative was immigration, has developed over then years and the fabrics are now much sought after by top fashion houses in London, Paris and New York. Finally today a visit to the Turlough Museum, part of the National Museum of Ireland, which depicts the way of life for the Irish people over the last centuries. Arrangements will be made to celebrate Mass during the day. Overnight Claremorris or Knock DBB
Check out of your hotel and travel to a sheep farm for a display of how they are rounded up and sheared followed by tea or coffee and home baking in the farmhouse. Then to one of Ireland’s most complete castles, Bunratty Castle and its adjoining folk park The folk park is spread over 25 acres and reconstructs life in the 19th century with cottages, shops, post office and of course the pub. After lunch (not included) in one of the oldest pubs in Ireland, Durty Nellies, take the short drive to what is considered the prettiest village in Ireland – Adare. Here the main street is lined with thatch roofed cottages, many of which are now restaurants and craft shops, and the church & priory. Finally for today make your way to the most popular town in Ireland – Killarney. Arrangements will be made to celebrate Mass during the day. Overnight Killarney DBB
After breakfast tour the 100 mile Ring of Kerry, famed for its beauty. During the drive, stop at the Skellig Experience where you can experience many aspects of those offshore Skellig islands while remaining on the dry land, in a custom built, stone clad, grass roofed, prize winning building located right on the waterfront beside the Valentia Island bridge. Also see the colourful town of Sneem and be amazed by the views at Moll’s Gap & Ladies View, so called after Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting had visited the site. Arrangements will be made to celebrate Mass during the day. Overnight Killarney DBB
This morning visit the world famous Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone that is said to grant the gift of eloquence on all who kiss it. There will be time to visit the Blarney Woollen Stores where many fine Irish products are available before setting off for the iconic Rock of Cashel, formerly known as Cashel of the Kings. In former times it used to be the seat of the High Kings of Munster and after historical tradition King Angus of Munster was baptised and converted here by Saint Patrick. Arrangements will be made to celebrate Mass during the day. Overnight Kilkenny DBB
Check out of your hotel and travel to beautiful Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough, home to one of Ireland’s most impressive monastic sites, founded by St. Kevin in the 6th Century. Take part in a guided tour of the Monastic City; walk along the Wicklow Way, view the world famous Round Tower and enjoy the panoramic landscape of the valley, surrounded by the Wicklow Mountains. Then to Powerscourt House & Gardens, one of Europe’s great treasures also situated in the Wicklow Mountains. The house contains some of the finest 18th century interiors in Ireland. The gardens were laid out in two main periods around 1730 and 1850 and today have a charming walled garden, striking terraces, fine statuary and varied trees linked by carefully designed walks. After the visit travel to Dublin and after checking into your hotel, leave for your farewell dinner and show of traditional Irish music, song and dance. Arrangements will be made to celebrate Mass during the day. Overnight Dublin BB
After your final Irish breakfast transfer to Dublin Airport, arriving in good time to complete check-in formalities and that last minute duty free shopping.
BB = Bed & Irish Breakfast DBB = Dinner, Bed & Irish Breakfast
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