From the priceless 8th century Book of Kells and the 545 AD settlement of Clonmacnoise experience the feeling of the passage of time moving through some of the golden moments of Irish history.
With luxury Hotels, meals and amenities, this 8 or 9 day tour is an excellent taste of the country's culture in the comfort of modern lodgings and transport. Enjoy traditional entertainment in Killarney, fine dining in Dublin and stay in Irelands cultural hubs, Galway, Killarney and Waterford.
Overnights for this tour:
Day 1: Dublin Tour & Book of Kells
Tour begins 2:00 PM at your Dublin hotel. Head out for an introductory tour of Dublin including O’Connell Street, St Stephen’s Green, the seat of government at Leinster House, and other public buildings. Take a stroll through Trinity College’s campus in the center of the city with a student guide and view the priceless 8th century Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels. Enjoy a welcome drink with your group then enjoy an independent evening at one of Dublin’s many restaurants or pubs.
Day 2: Clonmacnoise Monastic Site & Galway City Tour
Journey across the rolling pastures of Ireland’s heartland to visit Clonmacnoise. This monastic settlement was founded in 545 AD and is set on the banks of the mighty River Shannon. See elaborate high Celtic crosses decorated with biblical scenes. Head to Galway and enjoy a guided walking tour through the city center. Enjoy free time to explore Galway on your own before dinner.
Day 3: Connemara Catamaran Cruise & Kylemore Abbey
Explore scenic Connemara to admire how constantly-changing cloud formations give granite hills, sparkling lakes and peat bogs an added dimension. Head 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. Take a short catamaran cruise of Killary Harbour, a 9-mile fjord (Mar 18 – Oct 28 departures). Return to Galway where the evening is free to explore the city.
Day 4: Cliffs, Sheepdogs & Traditional Irish Night
Travel south around Galway Bay and through the Burren, a region of rounded limestone hills which has a curious lunar-like appearance. Immerse yourself in farm life and watch trained sheepdogs obey their owner as they direct sheep through various obstacles. View the Cliffs of Moher, which rise almost 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic surf. Embark on a memorable ferry across the River Shannon Estuary and head to Killarney. Head out for an Irish night featuring a lively show with dinner.
Day 5: Jaunting Car & Ring of Kerry
Take a traditional horse-drawn jaunting car through the Killarney National Park to scenic Ross Castle, set on the shores of Lough Leane. Head to Muckross House for a guided tour and a stroll through the gardens. Set out on Ireland’s most popular scenic drive – the Ring of Kerry – with plenty of stops for photo opportunities. Savor a light lunch and take a break in the colorful village of Sneem. Cross to Valentia Island by bridge and tour the Skellig Experience, which explains the life of early Christian monks on Skellig Michael, a rocky offshore island that was featured in the “Star Wars VII” movie. Return to Killarney for an evening on your own.
Day 6: Blarney Castle & Traditional Music Session
Drive through the mountains into richer farming country on the way to Blarney Castle. Kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence” or explore the tranquil gardens. Treat yourself to quality Irish made goods at Blarney Woollen Mills before traveling along the coast to the Marine Bar in Dungarvan for a creamy Irish coffee and traditional music. Continue to Waterford to witness the creation of crystal masterpieces during your visit to the House of Waterford Crystal.
Day 7: Waterford Walk & O’Connell’s Restaurant
This morning join a local guide for a walking tour through the narrow streets of the old city to discover Waterford’s long history and some of its colorful characters. Visit the nearby Medieval Museum, a modern building which incorporates a 13th century Choristers’ Hall and the 15th century Mayor’s Wine Vault. Stop in Kilkenny for a look around the compact city center and have lunch on your own. Travel to Dublin and in the evening head to the popular O’Connell’s Restaurant where a warm welcome and superb cuisine await you.
Day 8: Tour Ends in Dublin
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner
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