2019 Irish Explorer 10 Days / 9 Nights / 17 Meals
Tour begins 2:00 PM at Clontarf Castle
lobby, a short ride from Dublin Airport,
and a few miles to the north of Dublin city
center. Head out for a tour of central Dublin
with a local guide to see elegant Georgian
squares, public buildings, and monuments.
Visit Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Ireland’s
national cemetery, a who’s who of modern
Irish. Join your group for a welcome drink
followed by dinner in the castle hotel.
Visit Florence Court House, home of the Irish
Yew. The original tree, discovered in 1760,
can still be viewed on the grounds. Tour the
magnificent 18th century mansion, renowned
for its elaborate rococo plasterwork. Next, a CIE Tours exclusive, visit Blakes of the Hollow Pub, a Victorian bar that retains many features original to its founding in 1887. Famed author John McGahern, a regular visitor, described it as "one to the happiest and most beautiful bars in the whole of Ireland". Take a photo by its official “Game of Thrones” door highlighting the series’ sixth season. Continue your travels
north to Donegal, with its windswept hills
where only sheep can thrive. Donegal
is renowned for woolen production and
Head to Teelin to reach the best viewing
point of the Slieve League sea cliffs, the
highest in Europe. Afterwards, sample
home-baked scones with coffee or tea. Travel
along the coast then head inland through
the majestic Glengesh Pass for views of
mountains and valleys to Donegal, renowned for its tweed and knitting industries. Head to Ardara, where you will watch
demonstrations of spinning and weaving at a
local woolen shop. Enjoy an early dinner in a
Discover the secrets that have made Belleek
Pottery one of the most enduring success
stories of Irish craftsmanship during a tour of
Belleek Pottery. You’ll go behind the scenes
to see how this world-famous fine china is
made. Travel south to Galway and embark
on a cruise of Lough Corrib for unsurpassed
views of castles and various sites of both
historical and cultural interest (March 31 –
October 27 departures).
Explore scenic Connemara to admire how
constantly-changing cloud formations give
granite hills, sparkling lakes and peat bogs
an added dimension. Stop at the Connemara
Celtic Crystal Factory where craftsmen
demonstrate fine glass cutting. Travel through
the picturesque scenery of hills and lakes to
visit Dan O’Hara’s Homestead. Experience
traditional methods of farming, see
Connemara ponies, and have a light lunch.
Return to Galway and enjoy free time for the rest of the day.
Drive through Clare to view the Cliffs of Moher, which soar 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Walk to O'Brien's Tower for views of the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. Drive through the pleasant countryside of County Clare which is dotted with ruined castles. Discover St. Brigid's Well, a mystical site whose waters are said to have healing powers. Embark on a short ferry ride across the River Shannon Estuary. Arrive in Killarney and partake of the Whiskey Experience with dinner that includes a chocolate tasting.
Head out to the Ring of Kerry, Ireland’s most famous and popular scenic drive. Look out at Skellig Michael, a rocky offshore island that was featured in the film “Star Wars VII”. Immerse yourself in farm life with a sheepdog demonstration of herding flocks. Enjoy a casual lunch and continue on the scenic drive. Pause for panoramic mountain views at Moll’s Gap. In Killarney there is free time to discover some of the excellent restaurants and lively pubs.
Visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous stone or take a gentle walk through the lovely parklands and colorful gardens. Treat yourself to Irish-made goods at the Blarney Woollen Mills before traveling north. Head to the Abbey Tavern in Howth, a scenic Dublin suburb, for Irish cuisine and an evening of lively entertainment.
Enjoy an independent Dublin
open-top bus tour and a visit to one
of Dublin’s top attractions – Guinness
Storehouse, Teeling Distillery, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum,
or the General Post Office Museum. (B)
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner