2018 JEWELS OF IRELAND 14 DAYS / 13 NIGHTS
Tour begins 2:00 PM at Dublin hotel. Tour central Dublin. Take a guided tour of Dublin Castle, the seat of power and government for many centuries, and see the State Apartments. Enjoy a welcome drink with your group before dining independently this evening.
Head to Blessington for a guided tour around Russborough House, a Palladian mansion filled with interesting treasures, works of art, and early photographic collections. Back in Dublin, your afternoon is free for an independent open-top bus tour with one visit to your choice of Guinness Storehouse, Teeling Distillery, EPIC Ireland, or the General Post Office Museum. Head to Taylors Three Rock for a dinner of Irish specialties and a lively show.
Pause for photos at the Rock of Cashel as you travel south to Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence” or walk through the gardens. Treat yourself to Irish-made goods at the Blarney Woollen Mills. Head south to Kinsale, an old fishing town now renowned for sailing and gourmet food. Join a local guide for a short walk around Kinsale’s historic streets.
Journey along the rugged western coastline of Cork via Clonakilty and Skibbereen, passing picturesque coves and beaches. Travel to Killarney for some free time and a horse-drawn jaunting car ride through Killarney National Park to view Ross Castle. Enjoy dinner at your hotel and a free evening in Killarney.
Explore the Dingle Peninsula and embark on a scenic boat trip of Dingle Harbor and Bay to view heathery mountains, sandy beaches, and green landscapes of the Dingle Peninsula. Visit the Blasket Centre in Dunquin to learn about the offshore Blasket Islands. Enjoy some free time in Dingle and sip an Irish coffee at the South Pole Inn before continuing to Killarney for a free evening and independent dining.
Visit the Foynes Flying Boat & Maritime Museum, which recalls air travel in the 1930s and 1940s. Drive to the Cliffs of Moher, soaring 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Travel inland to Ennis. Head to Knappogue or Bunratty Castle for a medieval-style banquet with songs and stories.
Travel through the rounded limestone hills of the Burren to Caherconnell and watch skilled dogs round up sheep. Stop in a charming Burren village to explore independently. Head to Galway for a guided walking tour around the central attractions -- the medieval city walls, Lynch’s Castle, and the narrow streets. Enjoy free time to explore before dinner.
Drive through Connemara to Leenane for a catamaran cruise of Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord. At Dan O’Hara’s Homestead, experience farm life and see Connemara ponies, donkeys, and chickens. Savor a farmhouse lunch before heading to Standun of Spiddal for an Irish coffee and a talk on Irish crafts. Spend a free evening in Galway.
Travel north through County Mayo. Visit Lissadell House in County Sligo, a magnificent country estate that has strong connections with the 1916 Rising. In County Fermanagh visit Belleek Pottery to see craftpeople create the renowned fine china. Head to Donegal for some free time before departing to your hotel for dinner.
Meet with a local guide for a walking tour to see Derry’s medieval walls, the Diamond, and St. Columb’s Cathedral. Pause for photos at Dunluce Castle before exploring the Giant’s Causeway, enormous hexagonal columns formed over 60 million years ago. Travel along the scenic Nine Glens of Antrim before heading to Belfast.
Tour Belfast to see Victorian buildings and the shipyards where RMS Titanic was built in 1912 and visit Titanic Belfast. Drive to Kingscourt to Cabra Castle Hotel, built in 1760, and enjoy free time. After dinner, enjoy a lively step-dancing display.
Visit the Boyne Valley Visitor Centre to learn about the 5,000-year-old burial tombs of Newgrange and Knowth. Continue to Drogheda for a leisurely stroll around the historic town and sample locally brewed beer in a traditional pub. Drive to the historical town of Trim to enjoy a farewell dinner.
Your program ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner