8 days/7 nights/13 meals or 9 days/8 nights/14 meals
Stay at the following (or similar):
Dublin is both the largest city and capital of Ireland. It is located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin Region. Founded as a Viking settlement, the city has been Ireland's primary city for most of the island's history since medieval times. Today, it is an economic, administrative and cultural centre for the island of Ireland and has one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city. The city has a world-famous literary history, having produced many prominent literary figures, including Nobel laureates William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. Other influential writers and playwrights from Dublin include Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and the creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker. It is ar...read more
B= Breakfast; L= Lunch; D= Dinner
Your vacation starts at your Dublin hotel at 2:00 pm when you meet your tour director. Head out to see Dublin’s main attractions including O’Connell Street, St. Stephen’s Green, the seat of government at Leinster House and other public buildings. View Dublin’s famous Georgian squares and elegant town houses with elaborate doorways. Take a stroll through Trinity College’s campus in the center of the city with a student guide and in the Old Library view the priceless 8th century Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels. Your tour director will host a welcome drink with your fellow travelers and advise where to dine independently.
Leave Dublin and journey across the rolling pastures of Ireland’s heartland to visit Clonmacnoise. This monastic settlement was founded in 545 AD by St. Ciaran and is set on the banks of the mighty River Shannon. See elaborate high Celtic crosses decorated with biblical scenes. Walk around the many church ruins and two round towers. Drive to Galway and view the main sights of the city before checking into your hotel. Your hotel is located within easy walking distance of lively streets with fun specialty stores, cafés and pubs. Enjoy free time to browse around on your own before dining in your hotel. (B, D)
Today explore scenic Connemara to admire how constantly-changing cloud formations give granite hills, sparkling lakes and peat bogs an added dimension. While visually stunning, this area is not good for farming with many tracts of bogland and sturdy sheep that wander over the hills. Drive through the picturesque Inagh Valley to Leenane where you embark on a short catamaran cruise of Killary Harbour, a 9-mile fjord. Enjoy views of hills where traces of “lazy beds” of potato ridges from the 19th century and earlier can still be seen. Drive to Kylemore Abbey to tour elegant rooms in the mansion and the charming church, set beside a tranquil lake. Enjoy a casual lunch and savor more views of Connemara before returning to Galway where the evening is free to explore the city. (B, L)
Travel south around Galway Bay and through the Burren, a region of rounded limestone hills which has a curious lunar-like appearance. Wild flowers thrive in the sheltered cracks and cattle thrive on the excellent pasture. In Caherconnell watch trained sheepdogs obey their owner as they direct sheep through various obstacles. On the coast view the Cliffs of Moher, which rise almost 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic surf. Walk to O’Brien’s Tower at the highest point for great views of the Aran Islands and Connemara. Drive south to take a ferry across the River Shannon Estuary and head to Killarney, a little town that is world-famous due to its exquisite location beside lakes and mountains. Check in to your hotel in the center of the town and head to Jarvey's Irish Night for a lively show with dinner. (B, D)
Set out on Ireland’s most popular scenic drive – the Ring of Kerry. The variety of scenery in such a small area will amaze you and there will be plenty of photo opportunities. The road winds between the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountains, and the heavily-indented Atlantic coastline. Cross to Valentia Island by bridge and tour the Skellig Experience to learn about the rocky offshore islands where early Christian monks lived. Savor a light lunch and continue along the scenic route, stopping in the village of Sneem and also at Moll’s Gap for panoramic mountain views. Take a horse-drawn jaunting car ride through the Killarney National Park to Muckross House for a guided tour to see period furnishings and learn about its history. Stroll through the mature gardens before returning to Killarney where the evening is free for independent dining or checking out some of the pubs with live music. (B, L)
Drive through the mountains into richer farming country on the way to Blarney. Climb to the ramparts of Blarney Castle to kiss the famous stone or, if you don’t feel like a climb, take a gentle walk through the lovely parklands and colorful gardens. Shop for Irish-made goods at the Blarney Woollen Mills before traveling along the coast to the Marine Bar in Dungarvan for a creamy Irish coffee and informal traditional music. Continue to Waterford and check into your historic hotel, located on the waterfront of this ancient port city. Tour the House of Waterford Crystal to watch the many stages of glass blowing, cutting and polishing by master craftspeople. At the end of the tour admire the huge display of magnificent trophies and you will have an opportunity to purchase elegant tableware and gift items. (B, D)
This morning join a local guide for a fun walking tour through the narrow streets of the old city to discover Waterford’s long history and some of its colorful characters. Visit the nearby Medieval Museum, a modern building which incorporates a 13th century Choristers’ Hall and the 15th century Mayor’s Wine Vault. See a range of treasures including the stunning cloth-of-gold 15th century vestments. Travel along the east coast to your hotel in Dublin and in the evening drive to O’Connell’s Restaurant for a superb dinner. (B, D)
For clients on our 8-day tour, your program ends after breakfast. If you have booked our 9-day tour, spend an additional day in Dublin with an independent Dublin open-top bus tour (valid for 48 hours), plus a visit to Guinness or General Post Office. (B)
Your tour ends after breakfast. (B)
The Burren is a unique karst-landscape region in northwest County Clare, in Ireland and one of the largest Karst landscapes in Europe.
The Cliffs of Moher boast one of Ireland's most spectacular views On a clear day the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as are the valleys and hills of Connemara.
Dublinia Museum in Ireland is a heritage center located in the heart of the medieval city of Dublin, Irelands capital city. There are three exciting exhibitions in Dublinia and a...
Dún Aengus is the most famous of several prehistoric forts on the Aran Islands, of Co. Galway. It was built during the Bronze Age and dates from 1,000 B.C. It is located on Inis...
Admire breathtaking vistas of mountains, cliffs and beaches on Ireland’s most popular drive, the 100-mile Ring of Kerry.
Áras an Uachtaráin is the official home of the President of Ireland. The original house was designed by park ranger and amateur architect, Nathaniel Clements in the mid eighteent...
Situated in a magnificent 18th century mansion in the north city centre, the museum features the lives and works of Dublin’s literary celebrities over the past three hundred year...
Clifden town is on the coast of County Galway Ireland and being Connemara's largest town It is located on the Owenglin River where it flows into Clifden Bay.
Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork, Ireland. It is near the River Martin. The castle originally dates from before AD 1200. It was destroyed in 1446, bu...
Single room supplement: 8 day $418, 9 day $498
Dates shown above are for the 9 day tour, the 8 day tour returns 1 day earlier.
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