2019 Irish Spirit - 9 Days / 8 Nights / 14 Meals
Tour begins 2:00 PM at your Dublin hotel. Meet your guide and set off on a tour of central Dublin. Highlights include the shopping areas around Grafton and Nassau Streets, Dublin’s elegant Georgian squares, and a drive long the wide O’Connell Street. Visit the GPO Museum to discover the fascinating story of the role played by the General Post Office in the making of modern Ireand. Enjoy a welcome drink before dining independently at one of Dublin’s many restaurants or pubs.
Enjoy the Irish countryside as you head to the city of Kilkenny to visit Kilkenny Castle, which was the principal residence of the powerful Butler family for almost 600 years. Immerse yourself in its rich history through its collection of portraits and artefacts. Witness the creation of crystal masterpieces by skilled glass blowers and cutters during your visit to the House of Waterford Crystal. After dinner, take a gentle walking tour of Waterford with a local guide to learn about the region’s history.
Head out to Midleton, County Cork for a tour of the Jameson Experience, a journey through the story and making of Irish whiskey complete with a sample at the end. Next up, treat yourself to quality Irish-made goods at the Blarney Woollen Mills Then visit the famous Blarney Castle with a climb to the top to kiss the “Stone of Eloquence” or enjoy a walk through the lovely parklands and gardens. Head to Killarney, a small town that’s big on glorious scenery. After dinner, you may want to explore town on your own, perhaps sampling a lively pub or two.
Start your day with a jaunting car ride through the Killarney National Park to Ross Castle for views of Lough Leane and the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks Mountains. Then set out on Ireland’s most popular scenic drive, the Ring of Kerry. Cross over to Valentia Island and learn about the island of Skellig Michael, home of early Christian monks and where scenes from the film “Star Wars VII” were filmed. Stop in the charming village of Sneem and at Moll’s Gap for panoramic mountain views. In the evening, head out for an Irish night of dinner and a traditional show.
Embark on a memorable ferry ride across the River Shannon Estuary. Take in the spectacular beauty of the Cliffs of Moher, soaring 700 feet above the Atlantic surf. Relax as you travel through the Burren and on to Cong where your hotel sits within the magnificent 350-acre estate of Ashford Castle. Take time to relax before dinner in the Lodge. You may choose to explore the beautiful gardens and grounds or the castle itself, which is open to guests as long as there are no special events taking place.
In Cong, take a walking tour with a local guide to see locations for "The Quiet Man", the classic film made in the village in 1952 with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Dine on a casual lunch at Eddies of Clonbur, a traditional pub. Explore scenic Connemara and the crossroads known as the Maam Cross. Return to the Lodge at Ashford so that you may enjoy many of the facilities it has to offer.
Head to the center of the country 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. Continue your journey to Dublin and enjoy the fishing village of Howth on the north side of the city. Finish up your tour at the popular Abbey Tavern with a hearty dinner and a lively show of traditional music, songs and step-dancing.
Enjoy your day in Dublin independently on the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour. Use your voucher to visit to one of Dublin’s top attractions -- Guinness Storehouse, Teeling Distillery, or EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, In the evening, dine at one of the many restaurants or pubs that Dublin has to offer.
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner