2017 Best of Ireland South (Tour C) 6 Days / 5 Nights
Welcome to Dublin! Your tour starts at 2:00 pm from your hotel when all participants join a local guide for a tour of ancient and modern Dublin. Drive through the main streets to see historic buildings such as the General Post Office in O’Connell Street where the 1916 Uprising started; Leinster House, the seat of government; and rows of Georgian houses with gaily-painted doorways. Walk through the campus of Trinity College with a student guide to view the illuminated manuscript of the 8th century Book of Kells and learn how monks created this and other masterpieces. Return to your hotel for a get-together with your tour group and a welcome drink. In the evening head to Taylor’s Three Rock Pub for a great dinner of Irish specialties and a lively show with popular Irish music, songs and displays of step-dancing.
Drive through prime agricultural country and pause for photos at the impressive Rock of Cashel with medieval ruins. Visit a nearby sheep farm for freshly-baked scones with tea and watch trained dogs herd sheep. Continue your drive south and, just a few miles outside Cork, visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence.” Also visit the Blarney Woollen Mills where you can find quality Irish-made goods of all types, conveniently displayed under one roof. Drive through Macroom, built around a fine castle, and into County Kerry where the scenery becomes more mountainous. Arrive in Killarney, picturesquely set beside lakes with Ireland’s highest mountains, the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, forming a backdrop. Check in to your hotel and relax before dinner.
Today discover the glorious Dingle Peninsula, made famous by two movies, “Ryan’s Daughter” and “Far & Away”, which showed a lot of the wonderful scenery. Drive to Slea Head at the westernmost tip for awesome views of the Atlantic Ocean. Embark on a short cruise around Dingle Harbour and Bay for great panoramic views all around and enjoy a casual lunch in Dingle town. Return to Killarney where the rest of the afternoon and evening are free for independent activities and dining. Killarney has a lot of great pubs where impromptu and planned music sessions take place so you might like to check out some of them.
Take a traditional horse-drawn jaunting car through the Killarney National Park to scenic Ross Castle, set on the shores of Lough Leane, Killarney’s largest lake. Enjoy local stories by your jarvey (driver) and take in the great views of the mountains. Drive north and stop in the village of Adare, famous for its main street lined with thatched cottages and colorful gardens. In Limerick visit the mighty King John’s Castle, which has guarded the River Shannon and access to the interior of the country for over 800 years. The stunning exhibition brings dramatic local history to life. Check in to your hotel and spend some time relaxing. In the evening travel to 15th century Bunratty Castle for a medieval-style feast with lots of food, wine and song to carry you off to the Middle Ages in spirit.
Travel along the coast of County Clare to view the Cliffs of Moher, which rise to heights of almost 700 feet above the churning Atlantic swells. Walk along the top of the cliffs to O’Brien’s Tower for great views of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands, provided that the weather is clear. Drive through the hills of the Burren and around Galway Bay to Galway. Join a local guide for a brief stroll through the twisting streets of the old city and spend time on your own. Return to your hotel in Newmarket-on-Fergus for dinner in your hotel and, afterwards enjoy the tales of a local storyteller.
Your program ends after breakfast today.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner