2017 SAVOR IRELAND 8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS
Your Irish getaway kicks off at 2:00 pm when you meet your tour director in the lobby of the Limerick Strand Hotel. There, you’ll be introduced to the head chef of the hotel, who will give a cookery talk and demonstration at Limerick’s Milk Market. After your flavorful presentation, join your fellow travelers for a welcome get-together drink followed by some time to relax before dinner. In the evening, join in the fun and feasting at Knappogue Castle. Your medieval-style banquet will be served in the Great Hall of the 15th century castle.
Depart Limerick and travel into County Clare to visit St. Tola Farm, one of the many stops on the Burren Food Trail and a producer of handmade goat cheese (other farm-to-fork offerings range from hard Gouda to firm Greek). There is something here sure to please even the most discerning palate. Enjoy a chance to sample the cheeses yourself before continuing on to visit the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most beloved, natural landmarks. In Spanish Point, stop at the Armada Hotel for a lunch of freshly-caught seafood platters prepared with the finest local ingredients. Next, take off for a short ferry ride across the River Shannon Estuary before pausing for a souvenir group photo. Afterwards, continue to the hotel in Killarney and check in. You may wish to relax before tonight’s superb three-course meal at Heather Restaurant and Gardens. As you dine on pure deliciousness, be sure to take in the rugged scenic views of the awe-inspiring Gap of Dunloe. Complimentary glass of wine, coffee or tea included.
(B, L, D)
This morning begins with a leisurely cruise on Dingle Bay, where you’ll learn about local and maritime history. Next stop is the nearby Dingle Cookery School, which offers a variety of classes for all skill levels. Set off on a culinary walk before taking part in a hands-on cooking demonstration, where students can perfect their cooking skills. It all culminates in a delicious meal at the cookery school accompanied by a glass of wine. Afterwards, return to Killarney for you to explore and enjoy your way.
Depart Killarney for a journey through the rough but enduring countryside. On the way, stop for a visit to the stunning grounds of Blarney Castle (be sure to kiss the famous "Stone of Eloquence") and nearby Blarney Woollen Mills, where you can shop an excellent range of quality made Irish products. From Blarney, head to the Ballymaloe House Hotel for a fine lunch sourced from all local ingredients. After lunch, drive through Youghal and Dungarvan to Waterford. Check into the hotel for dinner and your overnight stay. The night wraps up with a short walking tour through the older sections of Waterford with a local guide. Be sure to look out for Merchant's Quay (where ships docked in former times), the Clock Tower, Reginald's Tower, City Hall, Theatre Royal, and many other places.
(B, L, D)
Start the morning with some sparkle on a tour of the House of Waterford Crystal during which you’ll learn about glass blowing, cutting and see one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Next, head to the Ballyknocken House located on a 350 acre farm in County Wicklow. You’ll enjoy a cooking demonstration followed by lunch at the home of television chef and food writer, Catherine Fulvio. After lunch, it’s time to journey to the bustling city of Dublin and check into the hotel. Choose to relax or freshen up at the hotel because tonight you are in for a very special treat: an enhanced dinner at L'ecrivain Restaurant.
(B, L, D)
Take a short panoramic tour of Dublin, and then set off on a food walking tour through central Dublin with an expert guide. Prepare for frequent (and flavorful) stops to sample authentic Irish foods ranging from traditional to modern culinary style. On the agenda: bakeries, delicatessens, food halls, and much more. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure in Dublin during which you’re encouraged to use your independent Hop on Hop off pass to visit a number of places. There are plenty of museums and shops so you’ll never get bored! In the evening take advantage of the chance to dine at one of the many restaurants and pubs that Dublin has to offer.
The day starts with a departure from Dublin and drive through the pleasant Irish countryside to visit the Smithwick's Experience. Uncover the history of Smithwick's ale in Kilkenny, a city steeped in brewing tradition. At tour’s completion, a unique VIP experience will allow you to sample a range of hand-selected brews. Next up, it’s lunch at the Kilkenny Design Centre, which was built in 1760 as a coach house and stables for Kilkenny Castle, followed by a journey through County Tipperary and through the outskirt of Limerick to the Shannonside Region. From there, continue to Dromoland Castle Hotel, one of Ireland's finest castle hotels, which traces its ownership back to Gaelic Irish families of royal heritage. Upon arrival, enjoy a private wine tasting while Dromoland’s sommeliers tell you about their picks. Perhaps you will find a wine that you’d like to pair with your dinner, held in the castle’s fine restaurant.
(B, L, D)
Your culinary-themed Irish vacation has come to an end. You may independently extend your stay in Ireland or transfer to nearby Shannon Airport to fly home.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner