Do you ever dream of visiting the ‘Emerald Isle’? On this tour, you will visit and see some of the best known and most popular scenery and sights and learn of our ancient history, heritage and traditions. From the wild and rugged coastline of County Kerry, the cosmopolitan City of Cork, the heather clad mountains of County Wicklow, stepping back in time in medieval Kilkenny and stepping deeper into our distant past in the Boyne Valley, this tour combines to make those dreams come true.
|DAY 1 – Arrival in Shannon and AdareDAY 2 – The Dingle Peninsula
DAY 3 – The Ring of Kerry
DAY 4 – Cork City, the Blarney Stone and Cobh
DAY 5 – Dublin – Kilkenny City
DAY 6* – Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains
DAY 7 – Newgrange and the Boyne Valley
DAY 8 – Depart Dublin
*maybe extended in Dublin
VISITS AND ADMISSIONS
- Adare , St John’s Castle, Blarney Castle, Cobh Heritage Centre, Traditional Irish evening, Glendalough, Bru na Boinne (Newgrange), Monasterboice, Dublin attractions of your choice.
- 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
DAY 1 – Arrival in Shannon, Limerick and Adare
Cead Mile Failte! A hundred thousand welcomes to our beautiful little country. You will be met in the Arrivals Hall and taken to your hotel.
We will visit the village of Adare, surely Ireland’s answer to a cosy village, where the Third Earl of Dunraven built a street with thatched cottages and hedges at the gates of his early Victorian Manor. Admire the Norman castle beside the river Maigue and the best collection of ruined medieval friaries in Ireland. Visit the Franciscan Friary, a characteristic example of the monasteries erected in Ireland during the 14th and 15th Centuries. Also, discover the histories of The Trinitarian Priory and The Augustinian Priory. Heading onwards to Limerick City with its intriguing St John’s Castle, the Treaty Stone, a lively art museum along with its wonderful pubs and friendly locals, we discover the history and sights of this interesting city.
DAY 2 – The Dingle Peninsula
We drive 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, overlooking the Blasket Islands often referred to as “the next parish to America”. 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 will 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 3 – The Ring of Kerry
Experience the raw beauty of the South on one of the country’s most scenic routes, famously known as ‘The Ring of Kerry’. Beginning and ending in Killarney, this route traces the coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula. The Atlantic Ocean, islands and mountains combined with many picturesque villages make for a wonderful and exciting day. Travel through the village of Killorglin famous for the Puck Fair festival every August.
This is one of Ireland’s oldest festivals where a wild mountain goat is crowned King and reigns over the town for 3 days. Onwards to Glenbeigh and through to Cahersiveen, overlooking Valencia Island and the birthplace of one of Ireland’s most eminent historical figures Daniel O’ Connell. Pass through the resort town of Waterville with its statue of Charlie Chaplin and stop for photos at every picture postcard scene we arrive at. End the tour back in the vibrant resort town of Killarney.
DAY 4 – Cork City, the Blarney Stone and Cobh
We travel 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. Visit the famous Blarney Woollen Mill. Travel onwards to one of Ireland’s largest cities, the city of Cork. You will 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, 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 we visit Cobh Heritage Centre, which relates the emigrants’ story.
DAY 5 – Kilkenny City and Dublin
Kilkenny is arguably the best preserved medieval city in Ireland. Located on the River Nore it is dominated by the Butlers of Ormond’s famous castle and the 12th Century Cathedral. A walking tour of this prosperous medieval trading city will take you along cobbled lanes and secret passages and we will learn about 1000 years of history of one of Ireland’s most loved heritage sites. Kilkenny is also famous for a thriving craft industry and the Kilkenny Design Centre showcases beautiful works by talented Irish designers.
Dublin, is the capital city of Ireland and has much to offer. We will give an overview of the city and you may like to extend your tour by an extra day or two to explore on your own at your leisure and/or be guided by your driver/guide. Evenings can be spent savouring the pub life and live traditional music in many of the pubs of the Temple Bar District. This is a colourful quarter of Dublin City which, over the years has developed a bohemian ‘Left Bank’ character, while retaining its cobbled streets and old buildings.
DAY 6 –Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains
A beautiful drive into the 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, the 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 round tower is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the area. The remains of three stone crosses and a stone fort are also to be found. A guided walk through the sacred grounds to see the old church, St. Kevin’s kitchen and the 9th century round tower. The site also includes a Celtic high cross, St. Mary’s Church and St. Kevin’s Church.
DAY 7 –Newgrange and the Boyne Valley
We leave Dublin for the Boyne Valley. Here we will discover the old Celtic Capital of Ireland at Tara Hill which contains a number of ancient ancient monuments. According to tradition, this was the seat of the High King of Ireland. We cross through the Navan Boyne River area and Slane and visit the famous Newgrange Tomb.
Dating back to our Neolithic period over 5,500 years ago, we learn all about this fascinating site and the winter and summer solstice. Of the many notable features at Newgrange, the most famous is the small opening or ‘roof box’ situated above the passage entrance and at dawn on the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, a shaft of sunlight enters the chamber through an opening in the box. During the Neolithic period, the winter solstice marked the start of the New Year, a sign of rebirth and renewal. A visit to Monasterboice, a famous religious site boasting Ireland’s most famous Celtic Cross and round tower, nestled in this secluded place close by, is another site, of the first Cistercians that came to Ireland and settled at the Mellifont Abbey. Returning to Dublin you can again savour and enjoy all this city has to offer.
DAY 8 – Departure
Slan agus beannacht! Goodbye and blessings and we hope you have had a wonderful and memorable trip and return home with dreams of Ireland. After checking out of your 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.