2018 IRISH CLASSIC 13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS
Tour begins 2:00 PM, Dublin hotel. Set out on a tour of Dublin to see elegant Georgian townhouses, pass St. Stephen’s Green and Trinity College and cross the River Liffey to drive along O’Connell Street. Take a guided tour through Dublin Castle, which was the seat of power and government for many centuries. Enjoy a welcome drink with your group and before dinner.
Visit Down Cathedral with St. Patrick’s historical burial site marked by a huge boulder. Immerse yourself in his work, life and times in the nearby St. Patrick Centre. Next, explore the Crumlin Road Gaol to see what prison life was like through the ages and discover the dark secrets that lies within. Head to central Belfast with time to relax before dinner at your hotel.
Take a panoramic tour around central Belfast to see Victorian buildings, the imposing City Hall in Donegall Square and the shipyards where RMS Titanic was built in 1912. Visit Titanic Belfast to learn about this ill-fated famous liner through state-of-the-art displays. In the afternoon, join a local guide for a walking tour of Belfast before spending time on your own.
Drive north along the Nine Glens of Antrim, for lovely views of mountains, valleys and coastline. This scenic region is the location for “Game of Thrones.” Explore the Giant’s Causeway, enormous hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity 60 million years ago. Stop for photos at the ruins of Dunluce Castle and in Derry join a local guide for a short walking tour around the defensive walls that encircle the compact old city.
Travel through the rugged countryside of Donegal, renowned for heathery hills, sheep and the many tweeds made from their wool. Stop in Donegal town for a tour of Donegal Castle, built by the O’Donnell chieftain in the 15th century and expanded in the 17th century. Drive around Donegal Bay and through Counties Sligo and Mayo. Head to Westport for a gentle walking tour of this historic town.
Enjoy views of the pilgrimage mountain of Croaghpatrick as you head to a local farm to watch skilled dogs herding sheep. View Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord, and enjoy a light lunch and guided tour of Westport House. This stately mansion, which overlooks the ocean, contains a wealth of interesting portraits, furniture, silver and porcelain. Enjoy free time in Westport.
Visit Ballintubber Abbey, known as "the Abbey that refused to die." The abbey has the unique status of being Ireland's only royal Abbey, which has been in continuous use for more than 780 years. Travel to Galway for some free time to explore the city. Head out to see the majestic Cliffs of Moher, which soar 200m above the foaming Atlantic Ocean. Tonight enjoy an evening at Knappogue Castle with a medieval-style banquet.
Travel the outskirts of Limerick and along the River Shannon into County Kerry. Sample tea and scones in a pub associated with the writer, J. B. Keane. Journey along the Dingle Peninsula as far as Slea Head for glorious scenic views of hills and coastline. Stop in the town of Dingle for refreshment or a look around before heading to Killarney.
Enjoy a scenic traditional horse-drawn jaunting car ride for views of Lough Leane, Killarney’s largest lake. Head to the delightful town of Kenmare for a look around and a casual lunch. Travel along part of the Ring of Kerry route to view spectacular mountain scenery at Moll’s Gap and at Ladies’ View. Return to Killarney where the evening is free for independent dining and perhaps a visit to a local pub with live music.
Visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence” or stroll the lovely gardens. Treat yourself to Irish goods at the Blarney Woollen Mills. In Dungarvan, enjoy an Irish coffee and informal traditional music session at the Marine Bar. Continue to Waterford where a local guide will lead a stroll around the historic streets of this old port city.
Witness the creation of crystal masterpieces by master glassblowers and carvers at the House of Waterford Crystal. In New Ross explore the Dunbrody Famine Ship which transported people to the New World during the 1840’s Famine. In Dublin, enjoy an evening at Taylor’s Three Rock Pub for dinner with traditional Irish songs and intricate step-dancing.
Spend the day in Dublin with an independent Dublin open-top bus tour (valid for 48 hours), plus a visit to either Guinness Storehouse, Teeling Distillery, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museumor the General Post Office Museum. Enjoy dinner on your own at one of Dublin’s many pubs or restaurants.
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner