9 Day Northern Gems Tour Itinerary
Day 1 : Shannon Arrival & Knappogue Castle
Your tour starts at Shannon Airport with a transfer to Ennis between 7:00 am and 12:00 noon. If your flight arrives later than 12:00 noon, transfer to the hotel at your own expense. At 2:30 pm depart for the Cliffs of Moher, a dramatic wall of rock that plunges to the Atlantic Ocean. Return to Ennis for a welcome drink to discuss your itinerary with your tour director. Drive a few miles to Knappogue Castle to take part in one of their famous banquets with a great meal, wine and music in the evocative atmosphere of the 15th century castle.
Day 2 : Burren Display Centre & Galway Bay
In Kilfenora visit the Burren Display Centre to learn about the Burren, an area of rounded limestone hills,
which contain a wealth of prehistoric monuments and where rare flowers thrive in the sheltered crevices.
View the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a Neolithic monument dating to 4,000 BC. Stop in the village of Ballyvaughan
and drive around Galway Bay. Enjoy free time in Galway before driving to your hotel overlooking Galway Bay.
Day 3 : “Quiet Man” Walking Tour & Catamaran Cruise
Take a walking tour around the village of Cong where “The Quiet Man” movie was made in 1952.
Drive through the lovely scenery of Connemara for lunch at Portfinn Lodge in Leenane. Embark on a short cruise of
Killary Harbour, and enjoy an Irish coffee as you view hills where traces of pre-Famine “lazy beds” of potato ridges can still be seen.
Pause for photos of Kylemore Abbey before heading to Clifden, a delightful market town set between the
Twelve Bens and sandy bays. Return to Galway.
Day 4 : Belleek China & Donegal
Drive north into County Mayo to visit the pilgrimage town of Knock and continue to Sligo to view W. B. Yeats’ Grave,
situated near the distinctive outline of Benbulben Mountain. Tour the Belleek Pottery Factory to see skilled
craftspeople create elegant and decorative pieces in fine china. Drive to Donegal town for some free time to look
around the streets and shops on your before checking in to your nearby hotel.
Day 5 : Slieve League Cliffs & Donegal Castle
Drive to the fishing port of Killybegs and on to Teelin to view Slieve League sea cliffs,
the highest in Europe reaching 1,972 feet. The cliffs drop straight down to the wild Atlantic waves
creating marvelous views. Enjoy coffee or tea with home-baked scones before driving through the majestic
Glengesh Pass to Ardara. Visit Triona Design to see demonstrations of spinning, weaving and knitting.
Return to Donegal town for a tour of Donegal Castle, built by the O’Donnell chieftain in the 15th
century, expanded in the 17th century and today it is furnished throughout.
Day 6 : Derry Walk & Giant’s Causeway
Travel to Derry for a walking tour with a local guide to see the medieval city walls, the
Diamond and St. Columb’s Cathedral. Pause for photos at the ruins of Dunluce Castle before
visiting the Giant’s Causeway, enormous hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity over
60 million years ago. Continue south to experience wonderful views of mountains, valleys and bays
along the “Nine Glens of Antrim.” Drive to your centrally-located hotel in Belfast. You may like to take a
walk to see the magnificent City Hall in Donegall Square.
Day 7 : Belfast & Cabra Castle Hotel
Take a panoramic city tour around Belfast followed by a visit to Titanic Belfast
to learn about this famous ill-fated liner through state-of-the-art displays.
Drive south past the gentle slopes of the Mourne Mountains to Kingscourt to
Cabra Castle, built in 1760. Arrive mid-afternoon so that you will have time to enjoy the
facilities and ambience of your lovely hotel. You may like to play the 9-hole golf course.
After dinner in the Court Restaurant, enjoy youthful dancers display intricate Irish step-dancing.
Day 8 : Battle of the Boyne & Dublin Tour
Drive to Drogheda to visit the Battle of the Boyne Centre. Learn about the 1690 conflict between
King William III and his father-in-law, King James II, for dominance over the British throne and religious power in Ireland.
Then travel into Dublin and to your hotel, located in Dun Laoghaire on the south side of the city. The balance of the day
is at leisure so you may use your vouchers for an independent open-top bus tour with a visit to either Guinness or
Jameson and an included drink.
Day 9 : Tour Ends Dublin Airport
Take a group transfer to Dublin Airport to arrive at 6:00 am, 9:00 am or 12:00 noon to check in for your flight home.
B: Breakfast; D: Dinner; L: Lunch