CLASSICAL IRELAND TOUR

Classic Ireland tour

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The best known and most popular sights, scenery, history and heritage await you on this classical tour of Ireland. Wild and rugged coastline, emerald green fields and rolling hills, heather clad mountains, spectacular cliffs, ancient history along with cosy traditional pubs, modern towns and the cosmopolitan City of Dublin will combine to create a trip that memories are made of.

SAMPLE ITINERARYDAY 1 – Arrival; Historic tour of Dublin

DAY 2 – Wicklow and the Garden of Ireland

DAY 3 – Waterford

DAY 4 – Cork and Blarney

DAY 5 – Dingle and the Ring of Kerry

DAY 6 – The Cliffs of Moher and the Burren

DAY 7 – Galway

DAY 8 –Connemara

DAY 9 – Athlone & Clonmacnoise

DAY 10 – Depart

       TOUR INCLUDES

  • Airport transfers at start and end of the tour
  • Professional Chauffeur Driver /Guide
  • Luxury Mercedes Viano or luxury coach
  • 9 nights hotel accommodation *
  • Full breakfast daily
  • Tour of Dublin
  • Horse-drawn jaunting car ride in Killarney
  • Walking tour of Galway City
  • Return ferry to Inis Mor Island
  • Walking tour of Waterford city
  • Walking tour of Athlone
  • River cruise to Clonmacnoise monastic site
  • All local taxes, hotel service charges and porterage

 

VISITS AND ADMISSIONS

  • St Patricks Cathedral, Guinness Storehouse,    Powerscourt House and Gardens, Glendalough, House of Waterford Crystal, Blarney Castle, Cobh Heritage Centre, Cliffs of Moher, Kylemore Abbey, Kilbeggan Distillery
  • Not included – Flights, Travel Insurance

* Accommodation to suit all budgets from cosy family run guest houses to 5 star castle hotels.

All meals can be arranged to suit your requirements 

 

SAMPLE ITINERARY

DAY 1 – Historic Tour of Dublin city

Cead Mile Failte! A hundred thousand welcomes to our beautiful little country. You will be met in the Arrivals Hall in Dublin Airport and transferred to your hotel in Dublin.

Day 1 DublinA panoramic tour of the city will take you on a journey of discovery into the very heart of what makes Dublin the vibrant city that it has become. The interesting public buildings, lovely parks and rows of Georgian houses with brightly-painted doorways, the regenerated Dublin’s South Bank, across the River Liffey to view the Famine Memorial are just a few of the many features on show. Drive along O’Connell Street with its’ Spire of Dublin or Monument of Light installed in 2002, and the GPO (General Post Office); a landmark building which served as the headquarters to the leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916. The facade is all that remains of the original building. An original copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic is on display in the An Post museum at the GPO, where an exhibition, Letters, Lives & Liberty, highlights the history of the Post Office and the GPO. The building has remained a symbol of Irish nationalism. In commemoration of the Rising, a statue depicting the death of the mythical hero Cúchulainn sculpted by Oliver Sheppard in 1911 is housed in the front of the building. A visit to Trinity College to walk through the campus and view the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript of the gospels dating from the 8th century, in the Old Library. Visit the nearby St. Patrick’s Cathedral. One of Dublin’s three cathedrals, St. Patrick’s is the largest church in Ireland and is actually the “National Cathedral”, which lacks a bishop, the main ingredient that makes a cathedral out of a church. It was here St. Patrick supposedly baptized the first local converts beside a “Holy Well“. Jonathan Swift of “Gulliver” fame was dean of and is buried in the cathedral. A visit to the oldest brewery in Dublin, Guinness Storehouse is a given, laid out over seven floors surrounding a glass atrium shaped in the form of a pint of Guinness, visitors can see the history of Guinness through various interactive exhibition areas including ingredients, brewing, transport, cooperage, advertising and sponsorship. At the base of the atrium lies a copy of the 9,000 year lease signed by Arthur Guinness on the brewery site. In the Perfect Pint bar, visitors may pour their own pint of Guinness.

 

DAY 2 – Wicklow and the Garden of Ireland

Day 2 Wicklow and the Garden of IrelandA leisurely drive to Co. Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland we drive to Enniskerry and the famous Powerscourt House and Gardens in the shadow of the Great Sugarloaf. Though only 501 metres high, its isolation from other hills, steep slopes and volcanic appearance makes it appear much taller than it is. Powerscourt House is owned by the Slazenger family and has one of the world’s great gardens and is one of Ireland’s most popular attractions. The gardens comprise of formal areas, sweeping terraces, rambling walks, ornamental lakes and over 200 varieties of trees and shrubs. The house itself contains a fascinating exhibition about its history as well as shops and a cafe. Leaving Powerscourt estate behind we drive through the beautiful heart of North Wicklow to the 12TH century monastic city of Glendalough or Gleann Da Loch, meaning ‘The Glen of the Two Lakes’. Situated in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park amidst stunning scenery, this ancient monastery is fascinating. Having been founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin who chose the site because of its beautiful and remote setting in a glaciated valley with two lakes, the monastic remains include a superb round tower, stone churches and decorated crosses. The 9TH century round tower is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the area. The remains of three Celtic stone high crosses and a stone fort, St. Mary’s Church and St. Kevin’s kitchen can be seen on our guided walk through the sacred grounds.

 

DAY 3 – Waterford

Day 3 WaterfordEnjoy a walking tour of this lovely city and learn of its’ interesting history of the Vikings and the Normans. A fascinating visit to the House of Waterford Crystal demonstrating how molten glass is blown into shapes before being cut by hand by experts and view priceless trophies. Enjoy a stroll by the sea in nearby Tramore, one of the south-east of Ireland’s popular destinations

 

DAY 4 – Cork and Blarney

Day 4  Blarney and CobhTravel through west Cork to Blarney Castle, home to the famous Blarney Stone where it is said that if you kiss the ‘Stone of Eloquence’, you will never again be lost for words. A visit to the famous Blarney Woollen Mill is also included. Travel onwards to one of Ireland’s largest cities, the city of Cork, where we will give an overview of Cork city. See St. Finn Barr’s Cathedral, University College, City Hall, the monument to Father Theobald Matthew the 19th century Apostle of Temperance at the end of Patrick Street and the Beamish & Crawford Brewery. Often known affectionately by Corkonians as ‘the real capital’ referring to the city’s role as the centre of anti-treaty forces during the Irish Civil War, this city is steeped in history. Built on an island in the River Lee it is spanned by many bridges. The city has had many markets over time but the most famous is the covered English Market, opened in 1788, and which still trades in a variety of fresh produce from around the world especially fish, meat, fruit and vegetables. It gained global recognition in 2011 when Queen Elizabeth visited it during her state visit to Ireland. A short drive away is Cobh, the last port of call for the Titanic where you can visit Cobh Heritage Centre, which relates the emigrants’ story.

 

DAY 5 – Dingle and the Ring of Kerry

Day 5 Dingle and the Ring of KerryDrive through the towns and villages that make up the Dingle Peninsula. Villages such as Annascaul, the birthplace of Antartic explorer, Tom Crean; Ballyferriter, the centre of the Gaeltacht or Irish speaking district; and Dunquin, the most westerly point in Ireland, over-looking the Blasket Islands often referred to as “the next parish to America”. The town of Dingle is a picturesque fishing town fondly known for its local celebrity, Fungi the Dolphin, where all the streets lead down to the sea. Taking a leisurely drive back to Killarney you can have an inclusive ride in the town’s most famous jaunting cars (horse drawn carts) operated by local jarvies to Ross Castle, situated on the banks of one of Killarney’s lakeshores. The remainder of the afternoon and evening can be spent exploring this vibrant “little” town with its incredibly beautiful surrounding countryside, brim full of history, heritage, activities, and world class hospitality. There are many fine eateries and lively nightly entertainment in Killarney for you to savour.

 

DAY 6 – The Cliffs of Moher and the Burren

Day 6 The Cliffs of MoherHeading North to the majestic Cliffs of Moher, which rise 214m (702 feet) at their highest point above the foaming Atlantic Ocean and stretch for 8 kilometres (5 miles) along the Atlantic coast of County Clare. Before leaving here there will be free time for you to have refreshments in the Visitors Centre and maybe take a stroll along some of the over 600 metres of pathways and viewing platforms along the cliff edge that allow the visitor to enjoy a spectacular, healthy cliff walk. The amazing views of the Cliffs, the famous Aran Islands, Galway Bay, O’Briens Tower and the thousands of seabirds make the Cliffs a magical place. You may be lucky to hear and see the Cliffs Buskers playing traditional Irish music along the Cliff pathways. We leave this magical place and head north to Galway City through some of the world’s most stunningly unique and dramatic landscapes. Known as the Burren, the area is of limestone karst rock is home to many species of flora and fauna.

 

DAY 7 – Galway

Day 7 GalwayGalway city is situated on the River Corrib and is also known also as ‘the City of Tribes’. On a short panoramic tour you will see Eyre Square, the Salmon Weir Bridge, Galway Cathedral, The Claddagh, Spanish Arch and Galway Bay. From here we will take a trip to the Aran Islands. These rugged Islands lie just outside Galway Bay just miles from the Clare coast. Taking a ferry to the largest of the three islands, Inis Mor which is steeped in history it resembles an outdoor museum with over 50 difference monuments of Christian, pre Christian and Celtic mythological heritage. Inland, the landscape is of man-made rock walls that meander and cross all directions and it is from these unique patterns that the Aran Jumpers take their inspiration. Such is the culture and traditions of the islanders, many visitors think they are being transported back in time, local people can still be seen on the horse and trap and often the Gaelic language is spoken as the first language. Leaving the past behind, you re-board the ferry for your return journey to the mainland and return to Galway where you can enjoy the ambience of this cosmopolitan city.

 

DAY 8 – Connemara

Day 8 ConnemaraWe drive out West to the wild beauty of Connemara. Driving via Leenane. An area of outstanding beauty Connemara has breath-taking views and there will be many stops en route for photo opportunities. Situated at the very edge of Europe, Connemara is one of the most beautiful, un-spoilt places, long been regarded as the real emerald of Ireland; this natural terrain and un-spoilt environment offers a wonder-land of sights and experiences. A visit to the beautiful Kylemore Abbey, nestled in a rhododendron-filled hollow, this mock-Tudor building was constructed for the British shipping magnate and Irish politician, Mitchell Henry. It has been a convent of the Benedictine Dames Irlandaises since 1920 and was also a girls’ boarding school until its closure in 2010.

 

DAY 9 – Athlone and Clonmacnoise

Day 9 AthloneStopping on your way eastward back to Dublin, we will stop and explore the history of Athlone, an ancient town perched on the edge of the River Shannon. Learn of the interesting history of the town, including the fact that the Vikings were sailing around our coasts since the year 795. The River Shannon is the main artery through the country and we know the Vikings arrived by river in Clonmacnoise in 842. Ninety minutes away from Athlone by river, it is the perfect way to approach this famous monastic site with its’ round towers, Celtic crosses in a beautiful and tranquil setting. Kilbeggan also provides a wonderful detour with the Lockes Distillery boasting the oldest distillery licence in the world. Whiskey tasting follows a tour of the distillery.

 

DAY 10 – Departure

Slan agus beannacht! Goodbye and blessings and we hope you have had a wonderful and memorable time in Ireland. After checking out of the hotel we will transfer you to Dublin airport in time for your return flights.

N.B. We can alter this sample itinerary to suit your needs and requirements depending on your preferences.