September 26th – October 6th
11 Days – 10 Nights
Experience the mythical beauty and heritage of the Emerald Isle on a customized tour of Ireland. With our private car and chauffeur, discover treasured landmarks and natural beauty with fascinating and friendly people. Explore vibrant cities, history and culture, picturesque towns and dramatic cliffs and coastlines! And let’s not forget the music! Come get to know all 40 shades of green this island has to offer!
Day 1: Dublin
Arrive into Dublin and take the provided transportation to the wonderful Jurys Inn Parnell Street, which is very walkable to most of the sites. Set out and see central Dublin’s highlights including tranquil parks, bustling shopping streets, Leinster House, the seat of government, and St. Stephen’s Green. Hit the Guinness storehouse for a pint of the black stuff or the Jameson Distillery. Take a tour of the Dublin Castle, which was the seat of power and government for many centuries. We will have an arranged group dinner tonight and then the rest of your evening is at your leisure. Head over to the Temple Bar or some fun-filled pubs and meet the amazing people. Overnight in Dublin.
Day 2: Dublin
You have the entire day to enjoy Dublin. Start with a Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus tour. Enjoy the historic buildings such as Trinity College, where the Book of Kells is housed, famous museums and churches, rows of Georgian homes and the new buildings around the Financial Center beside the River Liffey. Once acquainted, go back to the locations that interest you and explore! Overnight in Dublin.
Day 3: Cork
Leave Dublin City and start your journey into the Irish countryside, with a visit to the Rock of Cashel, the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion. In 1101, the King of Munster, Muirchertach Ua Briain, donated his fortress on the Rock to the Church. This picturesque complex has a character of its own and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. You will be itching to stop for photos at the majestic ruins on the Rock of Cashel, rising high above the surrounding countryside.
Head onward for a stop at Blarney Castle to kiss the famous stone or take a nice walk through the lovely parklands and colorful gardens. Treat yourself to Irish-made goods at the Blarney Woolen Mills before heading just a short distance further to Cork City where you can take in the pubs, restaurants, music and markets for the rest of the evening. We will check into the beautiful Kingsley Hotel tonight. Overnight in Cork.
Day 4: Kenmare
The Southern Coastal Route will take you through Ballylickey, County Cork where you will stop at Manning’s Emporium to experience an Irish cheese tasting like no other. Cheese from all over Ireland are on display as well as other homemade foods and wines from all over the world. The owner of Manning’s will sit down and enjoy the wine with us. We will continue and experience some of the most amazing landscapes in Ireland as we head over the mountains toward Kenmare. We will take a bottle of wine and there is a pull off which can be enjoyed in sun or mist-it doesn’t matter. This place is just gorgeous and off the beaten path.
We will check into our wonderful bed and breakfast O’Donnabhain’s Townhouse in Kenmare. Kenmare is a quaint little town at the head of the Beara Peninsula. It is small but has good restaurants, small pubs and Irish music everywhere. You will also find some great sweater shops and Irish wares throughout the town, so if you find something you like-buy it! Overnight in Kenmare.
Day 5: Killarney
Today we will explore the Beara Peninsula which is just like Ireland was 20 or 30 years ago, totally tranquil and unspoiled. The roads are too narrow for the tour buses to travel there, so we will have most of the road to ourselves. We will stop quite often for picture postcard photographs and great little small shops for unique treasures. This is one of Ireland’s best kept secrets and is more pristine than the Ring of Kerry. As we approach Killarney, we will visit the Gap of Dunloe, with a Jaunting Cart ride through the Gap. We will then check into the lovely Fairview Boutique Hotel in Killarney for the next two nights. Overnight in Killarney
Day 6: Killarney
We will take a day trip to the Dingle Peninsula where Gaelic is still common. You will have a choice of taking a boat ride or kayak to see Fungi the Dolphin. Stop in to Dick Mack’s Pub for a step back in time or visit Foxy John’s Pub and hardware store-a real delight! Dingle offers you the best fresh seafood in Ireland, so we will enjoy lunch here before heading back to Killarney. There will be time for those who want to explore or hike Killarney National Park and visit the famous Muckross House. Overnight in Killarney.
Day 7: Doolin
Today we will head to the small village of Adare, lined with quaint thatched roof cottages, where you can browse shops, and stop in for some tea, scones and clotted cream. Onward towards Doolin, we can stop in Lahinch to watch the surfers or dip your toes in the Atlantic Ocean before stopping at the Cliffs of Moher. These sheer cliffs are stunningly gorgeous at any time of the year. Explore the Visitor Center, built into the side of the hill, and take in the Visitor Experience, where you can walk up to the edge, virtually till you can go no further. Others can choose to hike around the cliffs.
Settle into an Irish Guesthouse in Doolin, the Doolin Inn (not the hostel). This town is known as the self-proclaimed Music Capital of Ireland. Your well-appointed guesthouse is just steps away from McGann’s, McDermott’s, and our favorite, O’Connor’s Pub. You will find authentic Irish music everywhere at any time and a great selection of restaurants offering everything from “pub grub” to amazing seafood. It doesn’t get more authentic than Doolin! You will arrive early to get out and explore the village or take a boat cruise to see the Cliffs of Moher from the water! Overnight in Doolin.
Day 8: Galway
Leaving Doolin behind, we will pass through quaint towns like Lisdoonvarna and Ballyvaughan. We will make a stop at Aillwee Cave, where you can hike up the hill for stunning views of the lunar-like limestone landscape or explore the cave with a tour. We will also stop at the Dunguaire Castle, Poulnabrone Dolmen and the Burren Perfumery before leaving the Burren area.
When we get to Galway, we will check into the Jurys Inn. This is a contemporary hotel in a perfect location. Galway is larger than Killarney, but smaller than Dublin, giving you some phenomenal exploring for the afternoon. Start at Eyre Square and head into the area where you will find the best price shopping, quality and diversity. We will visit the Spanish Arch to pick out our restaurant and pub for the evening. Overnight in Galway.
Day 9: Galway
Tour through Connemara with its hills, lakes and open country where mountain sheep roam freely. Stop in Clifden and Leenane, where the movie “The Field” was made. Enjoy the spectacular scenery of this rugged and sparsely populated region. Admire how constantly changing cloud formations give granite hills and sparkling lakes an added dimension. Then let’s go to Kylemore Abbey to see elegant rooms and the charming church, set beside a tranquil lake. Visit the Victorian Walled Gardens and enjoy a casual lunch. For those who want to opt out of this activity, our hotel is centrally located and you can go out and sightsee Galway, shop, eat, etc. Overnight in Galway.
Day 10: Clare/Dromoland Castle
On your way to Dromoland, we will stop at the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, a restored castle, decorated for the time period and surrounded by homes depicting how the Irish lived throughout the years in Ireland. Onward to your luxurious last night at Dromoland Castle. Contact them early to arrange for your Spa treatment, Falcon Walk or golf. One of Ireland’s premier 5-star hotels, this castle property offers guests every imaginable facility and comfort. Guest rooms are furnished to a high standard of comfort. The spacious public rooms are filled with antiques. Fine cuisine is enhanced by impeccable service. Relax in the spa and health facilities or play a round of golf on the lovely landscaped grounds with a lake and 18-hole golf course.
Day 11: Home from Shannon Airport
Today we say goodbye to our new friends and the wonderful country of Ireland.
Trip Cost (Double Occupancy): $2799.00
Single Supplement: $1100.00
Balance Due: July 26th
10 Nights Beautiful Accommodations
Last Night in Five-Star Castle
Private Chauffeur and Guide Throughout the Trip
Full Breakfast Daily
First Night Group Dinner
Most Activities and Entrance Fees
Dingle Fungi Dolphin Boat Ride or Kayak