2019 Northern Welcome 9 Days / 8 Nights / 15 Meals
Your tour begins at the Cabra Castle Hotel with afternoon tea at your leisure. The hotel is 50 miles from Dublin Airport, so enjoy the views as you travel up (please note: if you book your flight with us, you will get a free transfer from the airport on this morning.) The hotel is set on spacious grounds with a 9-hole golf course. In the evening enjoy a welcome drink and dine in the hotel restaurant.
Admire the gentle slopes of the Mourne Mountains and peaceful coastline as you travel north to Down Cathedral. Tour the ancient cathedral and view the historical burial place of St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint, marked by a huge boulder. Drive to Belfast to join a local guide for a tour of central Belfast to see prominent buildings, political murals and the docks where the RMS Titanic was built in 1912. Visit the magnificent Titanic Belfast, a state-of-the-art attraction that will immerse you in the story of this iconic liner.
Drive north along the Glens of Antrim, one of Ireland’s popular scenic routes to discover lovely views of mountains, valleys, and coastline. This area is where many scenes from “Game of Thrones” were filmed. Visit Sheans Horse Riding & Heritage Centre for tea with scones and a turf-cutting demonstration. Visit the natural wonder that is Giant’s Causeway, hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity over 60 million years ago. Continue to Derry where you’ll have time to explore or relax before dinner.
Travel around the Inishowen Peninsula, a 100-mile scenic route. Drive alongside Lough Foyle, to Banba's Crown on Malin Head, the most northerly point of the Irish mainland, to admire stunning seascapes. Enjoy tea and scones with your fellow travelers at the Seaview Tavern before continuing towards Buncrana. Upon returning to Derry, join a local guide for a short walk around Derry’s medieval city walls that completely encircle the old city center. Take a walk across the Peace Bridge and complete your tour at the Walled City Brewery Restaurant for dinner with a flight of beers and a bottle of CIE's signature beer to take away.
Travel through rugged countryside with magnificent scenery to Donegal town where you will have some leisure time to explore independently. Visit Belleek Pottery, founded in the 19th century to bring employment to the area. See how craftspeople shape and decorate raw material to create this world-famous fine china. At a local farm, watch as a farmer works with skilled dogs to herd sheep. In Westport, a local guide will escort you on a gentle walk through this historic and planned town center before dinner.
Travel around Clew Bay, which is reputed to have 365 islands, to access Achill Island by bridge. Follow the Atlantic Drive with its wonderful views of steeply sloped mountains plunging into the shimmering Atlantic Ocean. Near Slievemore see the Deserted Village and stop in Keel for a casual lunch. Return to Westport and take a tour around the stately Westport House, which overlooks the ocean and contains a wealth of interesting portraits, furniture, silver, and porcelain. Enjoy a glass of beer or wine. The evening is free for independent exploration and dining.
Enjoy a gentle walking tour around central Galway to see Eyre Square, Galway Cathedral, and the Spanish Arch. On Shop Street, view the medieval Lynch’s Castle, once home to Galway’s most powerful family. Then browse on your own through narrow streets that are closed to traffic. Visit Clonmacnoise, a monastic settlement founded in 545 AD and set on the banks of the River Shannon. Head to Dublin, where you'll visit the Merry Ploughboy for dinner and traditional entertainment followed by an Irish coffee.
Take a guided tour of Dublin to see elegant Georgian townhouses with brightly painted doors and the wide thoroughfare of O’Connell Street. Tour Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Ireland’s national necropolis, a “Who’s Who” of modern Irish history. Spend the afternoon independently, on a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour, with a visit to one of Dublin's top attractions: Guinness Storehouse, the GPO Museum, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, or Teeling Distillery.
Your program ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner