Images Of Ireland

Ireland will sweep you away with its lyrical vistas, elaborate castles and spirited history. Experience the stunning castles from within and without as you spend several unforgettable nights in regal splendor at Ashford and Dromoland Castles and see for yourself how your dreams are affected when you spend your nights in a place that has hosted colorful dreams and distinguished dreamers for hundreds of years.

 

Day 1: 

Dublin, Ireland

Welcome to Ireland. You are met on arrival in Dublin, and taken to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day to rest or explore this inviting city.

Hotel: The Merrion Hotel, Dublin

Meals: None

Day 2: 

Dublin, Ireland

Enjoy a full day private tour with a local guide through this vibrant capital city, with its mix of 1,000 years of architecture, from the medieval to Georgian to modern. See the Georgian style Merrion Square, lush St. Stephens Green and Fitzwilliam Square, as well as Phoenix Park, and O’Connell Street, site of the ‘1916 Uprising’ that led to Ireland’s independence in 1922. Visit Trinity College – see the Long Room, and the Old Library to view the historic Book of Kells manuscript. Tour the Norman era St. Patrick’s Cathedral, as your guide elaborates on its history with tales of Jonathan Swift and Gulliver’s Travels. End your day with a tasty visit to the modern Guinness Storehouse, where they began brewing in 1759.

Hotel: The Merrion Hotel, Dublin

Meals: Breakfast

Day 3: 

Glendalough, Ireland

This morning, depart Dublin as your driver-guide takes you inland through Glendalough, a beautiful hidden valley and home to the 7th century monastery founded by St. Kevin. Continue across the emerald-green mountain scenery of Wicklow Way, before arriving in Kilkenny, a charming city with narrow winding streets. Visit Kilkenny Castle, built in late 12th century, it is a picturesque blend of Gothic and Classical styles, with conical topped towers giving it the flavor of a French chateau. Explore the nearby 13th century St. Canice’s Cathedral, the second longest in Ireland.

Hotel: Mount Juliet Hotel, Kilkenny

Meals: Breakfast

Day 4: 

Cashel, Cork, Kenmare, Killarny & the Ring of Kerry

A delightful morning drive takes you to the village of Cashel to see the dramatic Rock of Cashel. This 4th century church and tower was built on a limestone outcrop that precariously hangs 200 feet above the town. Next, continue south to the historic city of Cork, “Ireland’s little Venice.” This city of hills and bridges has always played a strong role in the politics and history of Ireland. Your guide will explain Cork’s early history in fact and fable (as is the Irish way), from its position as the center of learning in the early 7th century, to when it became a Norman stronghold in the 12th century. In the afternoon, head west to visit Blarney Castle, one of Ireland’s oldest and most historic castles. Explore the castle, and kiss ‘The Stone of Eloquence’ (the Blarney Stone) – legend says bestows the power of eloquence on all who kiss it. Take time to explore the expansive Blarney Woolen Mill, located next to the castle, where you can find a wonderful collection of high-quality woolen products. Then continue west to Kenmare.

Hotel: The Park Hotel, Kenmare

Meals: Berakfast

Day 5: 

County Kerry, Ireland

This morning, visit Killarney National Park and Muckross House and Gardens, a 19th century manor house, situated on the shores of beautiful Muckross Lake. Surrounded by informal gardens filled with rhododendrons and azaleas, water gardens, and a natural limestone rock garden, the house is known for its natural beauty and the colorful Irish folklore. Explore the town of Killarney before taking the scenic drive along the famous Ring of Kerry. This nearly 40-mile circular route reveals ever-changing vistas of mountains, cliffs, beaches and the Atlantic Ocean. Travel through colorful villages en route, and stop at Moll’s Gap for a picture-perfect panorama of the valley with its three deep blue mountain lakes.

Hotel: The Park Hotel, Kenmare

Meals: Breakfast

Day 6: 

Adare, Ireland

Today, drive north, stopping in the village of Adare, renowned as Ireland’s prettiest village, with its pastel colored thatched cottages and glorious gothic churches. Next, explore Limerick, a city that gained international notoriety through the story of ‘Angela’s Ashes.’ Visit the Hunt Museum to see one of Ireland’s great private collections of art and antiques, including work from medieval times as well as art by Leonardo da Vinci, Picasso and Yeats. This afternoon, drive to Galway. Founded in the late 12th Century, while under the control of “the Tribes,” your tour of the city reveals its medieval network of narrow streets that has expanded over the centuries to include cathedrals, a large university, and modern industries.

Hotel: Ashford Castle, Cong

Meals: Breakfast

Day 7: 

Connemara, Ireland

Today embark on a full-day exploration of scenic Connemara, a place filled with rugged purple mountains, deep blue lakes and shimmering seascapes. Visit Kylemore Abbey, idyllically situated in the heart of Connemara, amidst rivers, lakes and the rolling hills. Once a 19th century neo-Gothic mansion, with massive walls and gracious windows, was most recently a prestigious boarding school. Explore the exquisite chapel and reception rooms

Hotel: Ashford Castle, Cong

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8: 

County Clare, Ireland

Today begins with a spectacular drive west to view the rounded hills of the Burren, where the porous limestone has allowed the rain to flow through, creating a network of underground rivers, lakes and waterfalls. There is an abundance of alpine and arctic flora, along with many prehistoric burial chambers, tombs and Dolmens. Next, see the Cliffs of Moher, where the multi-colored limestone cliffs drop vertically 700 feet to the raging Atlantic surf below. The views along this five-mile stretch of coastline are dramatic in any weather. Explore the exhibits and film in the Visitor’s Center, then walk up to O’Brien’s Tower for incredible views – on a clear day you can see the Aran Islands. This afternoon, visit Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. The park is a living history museum, depicting 17th – 19th century rural Irish life through a series of cottages and street scenes, complete with farm animals – a delightful place to explore.

Hotel: Dromoland Castle, Newmarket-on-fergus

Meals: Breakfast

Day 9:

Depart Shannon

Today you are taken to the Shannon International airport for your departing flight home or on to your next destination.

Hotel: None

Meals: Breakfast

Conditions

Offer Valid From August 23, 2016 through February 20, 2018

Prices are subject to change without prior notice. Prices are per person, and based on double occupancy. Intra-tour air pricing is subject to change. International air and intra tour airfare is additional. Prices are listed in US Dollars. Offer valid on new bookings only. Offer is subject to availability; further restrictions may apply. The Daily Itinerary is subject to changedependent upon local conditions and/or operational changes or improvements. The specific times and order of inclusions within each destination may also be altered to best accommodate unscheduled closures, special events, weather, traffic, etc. You will receive an updated, itinerary approximately 30 days prior to your journeys scheduled departure date. Due to remote or undeveloped locations on some journeys, accommodations may not always meet Western standards.