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8 days/7 nights/12 meals - See some of Ireland’s historical sights, some of which are thousands of years old, combined with some of her magnificent & varied landscapes on this 8 day/7 night tour. The Book of Kells, Guinness Storehouse, The Cliffs of Moher & The Burren, Tullamore Dew Whiskey and Ashford Castle are some of the varied highlights to be visited.
Arrive Dublin Airport and meet with your experienced Irish driver/guide. All of the drivers we use are qualified guides and have great personalities that really will make your trip unforgettable. Travel into Ireland’s capital city and visit Trinity College which houses the famous Book of Kells, transcribed by 9th century monks. Continue on to a more modern attraction, The Guinness Storehouse, which tells the 250 year story of one of Ireland’s greatest exports. At the end of the tour, sample a pint of “The Black Stuff” whilst enjoying 360 degree panoramic views of the city from the Gravity Bar. After checking into your hotel, the remainder of the afternoon is free for individual sightseeing. In the evening, why not enjoy dinner at one of Dublin’s superb restaurants followed by an evening’s entertainment at one of the lively pubs. Overnight Dublin BB
This morning you will depart Dublin heading westward to The National Stud and Japanese Gardens. Established in 1946, the Irish National Stud combines an active role in the development and promotion of Irish bloodstock with its role as one of the country's major tourist attractions and it is the only stud farm in Ireland open to the public. Having celebrated its centenary year in 2010, the Japanese Gardens are recognised as the finest of its kind in Europe and along with Saint Fiachra's Garden, also here, are not to be missed. Continue westward to the Georgian city of Limerick in which lies King Johns Castle built circa 1200, with fine ramparts and interesting archeological and historical exhibitions. After checking in to your hotel, take the short journey to Bunratty Castle and enjoy a Bunratty Medieval Banquet. Overnight Limerick. BB
Today drive along the coastline of County Clare to view the Cliffs of Moher. This wall of limestone rises to heights of almost 700 feet above the churning Atlantic swells. Visit the Atlantic Edge Exhibition which brings to life the story of the Cliffs of Moher, presenting geology, wildlife & human aspects of the Cliffs in an entertaining way. Drive through the Burren, an area of limestone rock covering imposing majestic mountains, and tranquil valleys with gently meandering streams. With its innate sense of spiritual peace, extraordinary array of flora and wildlife, and megalithic tombs and monuments older than Egypt's pyramids, the Burren creates a tapestry of colour and a seductively magical aura which few people leave without wanting to experience again. Take a short orientation tour around central Galway before checking into your hotel. Overnight Galway DBB
Today explore another of Ireland's famous scenic regions, Connemara. Here the constantly-changing cloud formations give hills, lakes and peat bogs an added dimension. Travel alongside Galway Bay to Spiddal where most locals speak the Irish language. Pass the granite hills and sparkling lakes of the Inagh Valley on the way to Killary Harbour, Ireland's only fjord. Visit such places as Kylemore Abbey and its Walled Garden, Dan O’Hara’s Heritage & History Centre and Connemara Celtic Crystal Factory where you can watch skilled craftsmen cut the crystal and learn about the symbolism of the motifs before returning to Galway for some leisure time before dinner. Overnight Galway DBB
After breakfast, visit Cong, the site of many scenes from the classic 1952 movie The Quiet Man. These heady days are re-created in the Quiet Man Heritage Cottage/Cong Archaeological and Historical Exhibition. After lunch at Ashford Castle, take a private cruise on Lough Corrib. This is a two hour cruise which includes a 40 minute visit to Inchagoill Island, the lakes most famous island. Having left Ashford Castle your transport, the "Isle Of Inisfree", briefly visits Lisloughery quay, from where passenger steamers once operated, before stopping at Inchagoill Island. While on the island a guided tour of St. Patrick's 5th Century Monastic site will be taken. Overnight Galway. DBB
This morning drive to the center of the country to visit Clonmacnoise. This early Christian monastic site was founded by St. Ciaran in 545 AD, when Christianity flourished throughout Ireland. See round towers, church ruins and Celtic crosses with elaborate carvings, all in a picturesque setting on the banks of the River Shannon. Continue to the Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre which relates the story of Tullamore Dew Whiskey and Irish Mist Liqueur. This is followed by a complimentary tasting of the whiskey or liqueur. Return to Dublin where the remainder of the day is free for sightseeing, shopping or just relaxing. Overnight Dublin BB
Today, discover the historic and archeological treasures of the Boyne Valley, first visiting the ancient Celtic site of the Hill of Tara, then Trim and Kells Heritage Towns. Trim’s 12th Century Castle featured in the film Braveheart and Kells is famous for its 8th Century monastic settlement, Book of Kells and Celtic High Crosses. The 5000 years old Megalithic tombs at Newgrange will also be visited. Return to Dublin via Beaulieu House, Garden Car Museum arriving at your hotel in time to freshen up before your farewell dinner at the Abbey Tavern. Enjoy a typical Irish 4 course meal, including an Irish coffee, followed by traditional Irish music & dance. Overnight Dublin BB
After a hearty Irish breakfast, depart your Hotel for Dublin Airport to arrive in plenty of time for your return flight home.
BB = Bed & Irish Breakfast DBB = Dinner, Bed & Irish Breakfast
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