2019 Jewels of Ireland 15 Days / 14 Nights / 25 Meals
Tour begins 2:00 PM at your Dublin hotel. Head to Blessington for a guided tour around Russborough House, a Palladian mansion filled with interesting treasures, works of art, and early photographic collections. Enjoy a welcome drink with your group before dining independently this evening.
Tour central Dublin. Take a guided tour of Dublin Castle, the seat of power and government for many centuries, and see the State Apartments. Your afternoon is free to 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. Later, head to Taylors Three Rock for a dinner of Irish specialties and a lively show.
Travel to Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence” or walk through the gardens. Treat yourself to Irish-made goods at the Blarney Woollen Mills. Head south to Kinsale, an old fishing town now renowned for sailing and gourmet food. Join a local guide for a short walk around Kinsale’s historic streets.
Journey along the rugged western coastline of Cork via Clonakilty and Skibbereen, passing picturesque coves and beaches. Travel to Killarney for some free time and a horse-drawn jaunting car ride through Killarney National Park to view Ross Castle and Killarney Estate. Stop for a group photograph. Enjoy dinner at your hotel and a free evening in Killarney.
Explore the Slea Head Drive and embark on a scenic boat trip of Dingle Harbour and Bay to view the heathery mountains, sandy beaches, and green landscapes of the Dingle Peninsula. Visit the Blasket Centre in Dunquin to learn about the offshore Blasket Islands. Enjoy some free time in Dingle and visit the South Pole Inn before continuing to Killarney for a free evening and independent dining.
Visit the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum, which recalls air travel in the 1930s and 1940s. Drive to the Cliffs of Moher, soaring 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Travel inland to Ennis. Head to Knappogue or Bunratty Castle for a medieval-style banquet with traditional songs and stories.
Travel through the rounded limestone hills of the Burren to Caherconnell and watch skilled dogs round up sheep. Stop in a charming Burren village to explore independently. Head to Galway for a guided walking tour around the central attractions – the narrow streets, the medieval city walls, and Lynch’s Castle. Enjoy free time to explore before dinner.
Drive through Connemara to Leenane for a catamaran cruise of Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord. At Dan O’Hara’s Homestead, experience farm life and see Connemara ponies, donkeys, and chickens. Savor a farmhouse lunch before heading to Standun in Spiddal for an Irish coffee and a talk on Irish crafts. Spend a free evening in Galway.
Travel north through County Mayo. Stop at Lissadell House in County Sligo for a tour of this 19-century Greek revival mansion. In County Fermanagh, visit Belleek Pottery to see craftspeople create the renowned fine china. Head to Donegal Castle before departing for your hotel for dinner.
Enjoy a coastal drive to view Europe’s highest sea cliffs at Slieve League. There enjoy traditional tea and scones before continuing through Glencolmcille to the majestic Glengesh Pass to Ardara. Visit Triona Design for demonstrations of spinning, weaving, and knitting. Enjoy some free time to explore before returning to the hotel for dinner.
Meet with a local guide for a walking tour to see Derry’s medieval walls, the Diamond, and St. Columb’s Cathedral. Explore the Giant’s Causeway, enormous hexagonal columns formed over 60 million years ago. Travel along the scenic Nine Glens of Antrim before heading to Belfast.
Tour Belfast and see a city filled with grand Victorian buildings. Visit Titanic Belfast and discover the city’s rich maritime history including the shipyards where the RMS Titanic was built in 1912. Visit Hillsborough Castle, the residence of the Secretary of State of Northern Ireland. Drive to Kingscourt to Cabra Castle Hotel, built in 1760, and enjoy free time. After dinner, enjoy a lively step-dancing display.
Visit Brú na Bóinne to learn about the 5,000-year-old burial tombs of Newgrange and Knowth. Head to your hotel before enjoying your farewell dinner.
Enjoy your day in Dublin independently, on the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour. Use your voucher to visit your choice of one of Dublin’s top attractions: Guinness Storehouse, Teeling Distillery, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, or the General Post Offi ce Museum. In the evening, dine at one of the many restaurants or pubs that Dublin has to offer.
Your program ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner