Ireland

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Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Overnight flight to Dublin, Ireland

From local joining points, you will board our own shuttles for Pearson International Airport and then board an overnight flight to Dublin, Ireland.

Day 2 City Tour, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Guinness Brewery

Following arrival at Dublin Airport, you will be met by your tour director and escorted to your awaiting motor coach. This morning you will enjoy a tour of Dublin City, founded as a Viking settlement and has been home to the Irish Parliament since the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922. You will see the Georgian Squares with their 18th Century houses, the Phoenix Park (the biggest town park in Europe), statue filled O’Connell Street and the fashionable Grafton Street. You will visit Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, an architectural and historical site which has been at the heart of Dublin history for over 800 years. No visit to Dublin would be complete without a visit to the Guinness Brewery founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness. Here you will enjoy a guided tour which concludes with a leisurely pint of Guinness in the 360-degree roof top bar while enjoying some spectacular views of Dublin City. Overnight: Dublin. (L,D)

Day 3 Book of Kells – Irish Whiskey Museum

This morning you will visit the Old Library at Trinity College to view the famous Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the Gospels dating back over 1200 years. From here you travel to the Irish Whiskey Museum and hear the history of whiskey distilling in Ireland from its origin up to the present day. You will have an opportunity to taste and experience some of the many varieties of whiskey on offer before departing. The rest of the day is free for you to explore at leisure. Suggestions could be The Dublin Writers Museum, Christ Church Cathedral, The Irish National Museum, The George Bernard Shaw Birthplace and of course plenty of shops and pubs. Overnight: Dublin. (B)

Day 4 Irish National Stud Farm – Rock of Cashel - Queenstown Story

This morning you bid farewell to Dublin and travel south to County Kildare - the center of Ireland’s horse breeding industry where you will enjoy a guided tour of the Irish National Stud Farm. Since it bred its first winner MINORU in 1909, the stud farm at Tully has continued to produce many famous race horses. Also, on the grounds of the Stud Farm are The Japanese Gardens, renowned for their symbolism of “The Life of Man” and St. Fiacre commemorative garden. You continue to Cashel where you will see the amazing Rock of Cashel. This was the seat of the Kings of Munster from 370 – 1101 and a famous ecclesiastical center. Your next stop is Cobh, one of the main points of emigration during the great famine. Here you will visit “The Queenstown Story” which portrays the hardship of life on board ship as it sailed to the “New World”. Annie Moore, the first ever emigrant to be processed on Ellis Island when it officially opened on 1st January,1892 left from Cobh with her two brothers. Cobh was also the last port of call of the Titanic. Overnight: Cork. (B,D)

Day 5 Blarney Castle - Killarney

This morning you travel to Blarney where you will visit Blarney Castle and Gardens. The castle was built in 1446 and today you will have an opportunity to climb the spiral stairs to the top of the castle and kiss the famous Blarney Stone said to bestow the gift of eloquence on all those who dare. As you make your way through the castle grounds, you can also visit the Castle Gardens and Rock Close. You will have some free time in the town of Blarney or to visit the Blarney Woollen Mills before travelling to Killarney for a three night stay. Overnight: Killarney. (B,D)

Day 6 The Ring of Kerry

Today you embark on one of Ireland’s most famous tours – The Ring of Kerry. Your first stop this morning will be the Kerry Bog Village where you will have an opportunity to visit little thatched cottages and see how people would have lived in Ireland many years ago. From here your tour continues through the wild and rugged landscape of the Iveragh Peninsula, which has some breathtaking views of the Atlantic coastline. Your next stop is in Sneem where you will have lunch in the Old Bank House, a privately owned Georgian house filled with antiques and old world charm in the heart of one of Ireland’s most picturesque villages. Your tour then winds its way through the Killarney National Park, with some fine views of the Lakes of Killarney and the Ladies View before returning to Killarney. (B,L)

Day 7 The Dingle Peninsula

Today you will enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the Dingle Peninsula, once cited as the most beautiful place on earth’ by the National Geographic. You will stop at the Brian de Staic studio in Dingle which specializes in Celtic jewelry, handcrafted and engraved with ancient Celtic symbols and the letters of the ogham alphabet, an ancient Irish form of writing. As you continue around Slea Head you will get some breathtaking views of the Atlantic coastline and see some beehive huts (early monastic settlements), dating back over a thousand years and visit the 8c Gallarus Oratory. Your tour will take you to the most westerly point of Ireland where you can view the Blasket Islands and see some of the locations for such films as “Ryan’s Daughter” and the more recently filmed “Far and Away” which starred Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. You will also visit the ruined church at Kilmalkeadar where you will see an ogham stone, alphabet stone, stone cross and a beautiful sun-dial dating back to both early Christian and medieval times. The Romanesque church is the focal feature of the complex, with one of the finest doorways of that style in Ireland. You will have some free time in Dingle for lunch before returning to Killarney. Overnight: Killarney (B,D)

Day 8 Tralee – Shannon Ferry – Cliffs of Moher - Galway

This morning, you bid farewell to Killarney and travel to Tralee, capital town of County Kerry and famous for The Rose of Tralee Festival. You continue to Tarbert where you board the Shannon Ferry, which crosses the Shannon Estuary to Killimer. From here you take the coast road to the majestic Cliffs of Moher which rises to a height of 600 ft over the Atlantic Ocean. Following some free time to view the cliffs, your tour continues through the lunar type landscape of the Burren, from the Irish word ‘bhoireann’ meaning, ‘a stony place’ or ‘a rocky place’, which is a good description for this 350 sq. kilometers limestone plateau in North Clare. You continue along the shores of Galway Bay to Galway City for a three night stay. Overnight: Galway. (B,D)

Day 9 Aran Islands

Today you will take a break from the hustle and bustle of the mainland and travel to Rossaveal where you will board a ferry to Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands and one of the highlights of the Wild Atlantic Way. The island is steeped in history and resembles an outdoor museum with over 50 different monuments of Christian, pre-Christian and Celtic mythological heritage. You will take a mini bus tour of the island which will include a stop at the world renowned forth of Dun Aonghasa which stands over a dramatic 300-foot cliff that spans the entire western part of the island. You will have time to walk to Dun Aonghasa and enjoy the spectacular views before boarding the ferry for your return journey to Galway. Overnight: Galway. (B,D)

Day 10 Connemara- Roundstone – Kylemore Abbey

This morning, you embark on a tour of Connemara made up of mountains, lakelands and boglands. Because of its wild and rugged beauty, it has been the location for many films. “The Quiet Man” with John Wayne and Maureen O Hara and in more recent times “The Field” starring Richard Harris to name but two. The scenery is both magical and mystical and is a paradise for artist and photographer alike. You will visit Roundstone Music and Craft Shop in the heart of Connemara. The shop is owned and managed by Malachy Bodhran - Ireland’s only full time Bodhran maker and it was here that Malachy made the stage drums for ‘Riverdance’. Malachy will explain the story of the Bodhran and how the beater originated as the leg of a sheep or goat. You continue to Kylemore where you will visit Kylemore Abbey, built 1866 and from 1920 to 2008 was home to the Benedictine Nuns. You can visit the Abbey’s Victorian Walled Garden which is completely enclosed by a brick and limestone wall and the beautiful Gothic Church built by Mitchell Henry in memory of his wife who died four years after the castle was constructed. From here you return to Galway. Overnight: Galway (B)

Day 11 Boyne Valley - Dublin

This morning you depart Galway and travel across the Irish midlands to the Boyne Valley, one of the most historic parts of Ireland. Here you will visit Brú na Bóinne consisting of three passage graves, Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, collectively they have been designated a Unesco World Heritage Site. You will have a guided tour of one of the passage graves followed by some free time in the Brú na Bóinne visitor centre. The centre has an extensive exhibition including a full-scale replica of the chamber at Newgrange and some audiovisual presentations. From here you continue to Dublin. This evening you will travel to “Taylor’s Tree Rock” for dinner and a lively night of Irish ballads and traditional Irish dancing. Overnight: Dublin. (B,D)

Day 12 Flight Dublin to Toronto

After breakfast, you will travel to Dublin Airport for your flight home with fond memories and newly acquired accents and many stories to relate to friends and family. Beannacht De agus go N’eiri on bothair Libh! (B)