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Discovering Ireland is the only tour operator offering real traditional Irish music tours of Ireland.
Discovering Ireland is the only tour operator offering real traditional Irish music tours of Ireland. Unlike other traditional music tours, our tours take you to the heart of traditional Irish music. Our tours include recitals, sessions and demonstrations by some of the greatest names in Irish music today including composer Peadar O’Riada, Jack Talty a celebrated concertina player, composer and producer and Donnchadh Gough from the band Danu who continues to impress with his magnificent Bodhrán playing. Your tour will take you to Ballyvourney where you will meet distinguished traditional Irish dance teacher Timmy ‘The Brit’ McCarthy and here learn a few steps yourself.
If you play traditional music, bring your instruments along as participation is welcome at the music sessions and this is a great chance for you to play with some of the finest musicians in Ireland. However, these tours are suitable for anybody with an interest in traditional Irish Music whether you play or not!
· Traditional Music Presentation with Donnchadh Gough and friends in Dungarvan
· Traditional Music Session in Mooney's Pub in Ring
· Irish Dance Session with Timmy ‘The Brit’ McCarthy
· Traditional Irish Music Talk with Peadar Ó Riada
· Traditional Music Session in The Mills Inn Ballyvourney
· Stories through Song Tour with Joe Creedon
· Gougane Barra Guided Tour
· Dingle Peninsula Guided Tour
· Traditional Music Recital & Questions Session with Jack Talty and friends in Ennis
On arrival into Dublin Airport transfer directly to your hotel. At 2pm meet your tour guide at the hotel and begin a half day tour of Dublin. Drive through the main streets to see historic buildings such as Trinity College, where the famous Book of Kells is kept; the haunting portrait of the Famine Memorial; and rows of beautiful Georgian houses with brightly coloured doorways. Take a guided tour through parts of Dublin Castle, which was the seat of government for many years and today plays a leading role in political activities. Return to your hotel in time for your welcome dinner and informal get together. After dinner why not check out the Temple Bar area which often has great traditional music on offer. Overnight in Dublin, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included.
Check out of your hotel and travel to Dungarvan in County Waterford, en-route visiting the magnificent Kilkenny Castle which dates back to 1391 and was the seat of the famous Butler family. After some free time to explore Kilkenny travel onward to Dungarvan which is renowned for traditional Irish music, Irish song & dance and the Irish language. This festival town has as a great name amongst traditional music supporters and it’s welcoming restaurants and pubs offer a unique experience in an old world atmosphere. After dinner this evening meet three well-known local musicians including Donnchadh Gough, an accomplished Uileann Pipes & Bodhran player from the acclaimed Irish music band ‘Danu’ for an informal recital and questions and answers session. Tonight take the time to explore Dungarvan’s traditional music scene, we recommend a trip to ‘The Local’ which has frequent live Traditional Irish Music. Overnight in Dungarvan, Dinner Bed & Breakfast Included.
Leave your hotel and travel the short distance to the heritage town of Lismore. Founded in 636, it was established as a monastic settlement that flourished to become one of the great centres of learning. After lunch (included), we visit Ring or 'An Rinn' in Irish which is an official Gaeltacht area near Dungarvan. In a Gaeltacht the spoken language is Irish and the Gaeltacht is also a great place to discover real traditional Irish Music. Visit Mooney’s Pub for a Traditional Music Session. Mooney’s is famous for sean-nós singing, traditional Irish music and late-night sessions. Writers, poets, film-makers and artists have used Mooney's as a meeting place for decades- the Dubliners, the Clancy Brothers and the Fury Brothers to name but a few. Overnight in Dungarvan, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included.
Travel to Ballyvourney, a Gaeltacht village in south-west cork and an area synonymous with Traditional Irish Music. En-route visit Blarney Castle which was built nearly 600 years ago by Cormac McCarthy, one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains. After checking into your hotel meet Timmy ‘The Brit’ McCarthy, regarded by many as the most experienced set dance instructors in Ireland. After your class and dinner, meet Peadar Ó Riada for a talk on ‘The history and origins of traditional music and what it sounds like in an indigenous community’. Peadar is the son of influential Irish musician and composer Sean Ó Riada, and has continued to follow in his father's footsteps. While his roots remain in Traditional Irish Music, Ó Riada has incorporated classical, Eastern, and European modern influences into his work also. Tonight try out your new dancing skills at the Thursday Night Trad Music Session in the Mills Inn bar. Overnight in Ballyvourney, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included.
Leave your hotel and travel the short distance to the town of Inchigeelagh, here you will meet local man and renowned traditional singer, Joe Creedon. Joe has a keen interest in the oral history and traditions of Ireland, especially the practice of telling local stories and legends through songs and balladry. After some tea & scones, accompany Joe to the old Inchigeelagh church yard and through his songs and stories you will learn a little bit more about West Cork’s colourful history. Leave Inchigeelagh and head to Gougane Barra an area of outstanding natural beauty; here you will spend time with another local guide. Gougane Barra has been the subject of many songs and stories a local and well-known poet Máire Bhuí Uí Laoghaire for example immortalised the area in verse through her poem ‘Cath Céim an Fhia (The Battle of Keimaneigh)’. Overnight in Ballyvourney, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included.
Your tour of Ireland takes you to Dingle today via the pretty town of Killarney where you will have some time to peruse the shops or have a bite to eat if you wish. On arrival in Dingle the remainder of the day is free for your own personal sightseeing or shopping. Dingle Town is one of the few places in Ireland where you can enjoy traditional Irish music any night of the week. In addition there are weekly Summer Concerts in St. James Church with the Dingle Beehive Theatre Company providing the entertainment. Overnight in Dingle, Bed & Breakfast Included.
Following breakfast depart the hotel and begin a tour of the Dingle Peninsula. Perhaps not as well-known as the Iveragh Peninsula where the Ring of Kerry is located, the Dingle Peninsula is less busy but every bit as beautiful. Visit the dry stone early Christian church Gallarus Oratory. According to local lore, if you can successfully climb through the window at the back of the building your soul will then be cleansed, however as you will discover, this is a little hard to do! Then to the west of the town the scenery is particularly rugged with views out to the formerly inhabited Blasket Islands. Visit the Blasket Centre which tells the story of the Blasket Islanders, the unique literary achievements of the island writers and their culture and traditions. Return to Dingle for more Ceol agus Craic! Overnight in Dingle, Bed & Breakfast Included.
Travel from Dingle to Ennis, County Clare, stopping en route at the heritage town of Adare. Next, travel the short distance to Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. This remarkable fortress was built in 1425 by the McNamara Clan and is one of Ireland's most complete castles – completely furnished on the inside. After checking into your hotel, take some time to relax before this evening’s music recital. Meet with meet three well-known local musicians including Jack Talty for a traditional music recital and informal questions and answers session. Jack is a renowned concertina player composer and producer, he has toured extensively throughout Europe, North America and Australia, and has contributed to over 25 albums to date. Overnight in Ennis, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Included.
No trip to Ireland is complete without seeing our most famous visitor attraction, the Cliffs of Moher. From the Cliffs of Moher on a clear day the Aran Islands and Galway Bay can be seen, as well as the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and the Twelve Pin. Continue through karst landscape of the Burren to the Burren Centre in Kilfenora. The Burren Centre gives the visitor an introduction to the visual delights and ancient mysteries which await to be discovered in this unspoiled corner of Ireland. Last stop on your tour today is the Irish Traditional Music Centre in Milltown Malbay where you can learn more about music in Clare and its origins. Return to Ennis where there will be time to explore this colourful town if you have not done so already. Overnight in Ennis Bed & Breakfast Included.
Travel to Shannon airport in time for your outbound flight.