Join a Tour and Visit Ireland
The first day we arrive at Shannon Airport and meet our driver and guide as we begin to visit Ireland. We transfer to the Cliffs of Moher, where breakfast has been arranged to refresh us after our overnight transatlantic flight. After experiencing the stunning view from over 700 feet above sea level, we enjoy the scenery as we travel to one of the most complete castles in Ireland, Bunratty. After visiting the castle, we walk around the recreated 19th century village, which includes dwellings from each of the 32 counties of Ireland, school, surgery, shops and of course the mandatory pub. Then we continue to visit Ireland and venture to what is considered one of the prettiest villages in Ireland, Adare. The following morning we are collected by jaunting car (horse & carriage) and taken on a magical trip through Killarney National Park to Ross Castle. This 15th century stronghold built by one of the O’Donoghue Ross chieftains, contains 16th and 17th century oak furniture. After the tour of Ross Castle, our coach takes us on the 100-mile Ring of Kerry. We travel through the colorful town of Sneem, Waterville – one of Charlie Chaplin’s favorite spots – and enjoy the magnificent views from Molls Gap & Ladies View. At the end of the tour, we return to Killarney National Park and visit Muckross House. After breakfast the next day as we visit Ireland, we journey to Blarney Castle where the famous Blarney Stone is found. Those brave enough can climb the ramparts of the castle and kiss the stone, which is said to grant the gift of eloquence. Then we travel to Cobh, where thousands of emigrants departed for a better life during the famine years and was also the last port of call of the Titanic. Afterwards, we take a short journey to Midleton, where the Old Jameson’s Distillery is located.
The Iconic Rock of Cashel
The next morning after breakfast, we visit the House of Waterford Crystal before traveling to Cahir Castle, a 13th century fortress designed by Conor O’Brien. Cahir was owned by the powerful Butler family from 1375. We then continue to the iconic Rock of Cashel, a spectacular group of medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale. The area includes the 12th century round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral, 15th century castle, and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. Finally today, we relax as we travel through the wonderful countryside to the medieval city of Kilkenny where, after dinner, you will enjoy a traditional Irish music walking tour accompanied by two musicians. After breakfast the next day, we visit the 12th century Kilkenny Castle which was the principal seat of the Butler family, Marquesses and Dukes of Ormonde. Then we continue visit Ireland and venture onward to the Wicklow Mountains and the 6th century monastic city at Glendalough before relaxing as we travel to Northern Ireland. The following morning we visit the Saint Patrick Centre, the world’s only interpretive center dedicated to Ireland’s Patron Saint. We also visit the nearby cathedral where St. Patrick is buried. Then we continue to visit Ireland and venture to Belfast which includes a panoramic tour of the city and its famous sites such as Shankill Road, The Titanic Quarter and Titanic Belfast.
A 400-Year-Old Distillery
After breakfast the next day, we travel to the World Heritage site at Giant’s Causeway via the coastal route. Here we can explore the mysterious basalt stone columns and search for distinctive stone formations fancifully named the Camel, Harp and Organ. Then we continue to the 400-year-old distillery at Bushmills and experience how they have “turned water into gold.” Afterwards, we arrive at the only walled city in Ireland, Derry. The following morning, we drive through the countryside to the only city in the world that has two St. Patrick Cathedrals, Armagh. Our local city guide will take us to both cathedrals, as well as the public library which houses many ancient manuscripts (you can even touch some of these) and original versions of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. We then visit Number 5, a museum that houses many archaeological finds from the early Christian period. The most famous High King of Ireland, Brian Boru, is buried at the Church of Ireland Cathedral. Then we continue visit Ireland and venture to Ireland’s capital city, with a stop at the Boyne Valley and the 5000-year-old passage tombs at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. The next morning enjoy a full day tour of Dublin including visits to Christchurch Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Michan’s Church and crypts, Trinity College Library and the Book of Kells Exhibition and Guinness Storehouse. This evening enjoy a farewell Irish night, including dinner and a show of traditional Irish music, song and dance.