Ireland is the 3rd largest island in Europe and is divided between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom.
Ireland will blow your mind with an unforgettable combination of history, tradition, stunning scenery and thrilling outdoor activities.
Arrival into Dublin, and we start the trip with a visit to Trinity College, a prestigious university, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I for the Protestant students. The main attraction is the Old Library, built in 1732, and home to the 200 thousand old texts and the Book of Kells as well as the oldest harp in Ireland. Created by Celtic Monks, the Book of Kells is considered to be a masterwork of Western calligraphy and represents the pinnacle of insular illumination.
The coach will take you around the city where you will see Phoenix Park, Dublin Castle and St Stephen’s Green. The tour will end with a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, located in the heart of the St James’s Gate brewery, showing the history of the world famous Guinness. The tour finishes in the “Gravity Bar” where you can sample a pint of the “Black Stuff” while enjoying a 360-degree panoramic view of Dublin.
Today you will travel south out of Dublin, past the ferry port of Dun Laoghaire, towards the Wicklow Mountains and the pretty hillside village of Enniskerry to visit the elegant Powerscourt Estate with its gardens, deer herd and the highest waterfall in Ireland.
Then you will travel on to the early Christian settlement of Glendalough set at the head of a lake in a scenic glen surrounded by the imposing Wicklow Mountains and explore the extensive ruins of the 6th-century Irish monastery of St Kevin.
Later on you head to the historic city of Waterford, a name now synonymous with crystal and the sandy beaches of Tramore.
Overnight in Waterford
You continue to drive south towards Cork City but first you turn to Cobh, a pretty town on a hill above the harbour and the doomed Titanic’s last port of call in April 1912.
You then travel the short distance outside Cork to Blarney Castle with its famous stone, said to impart the gift of eloquence on all who kiss it.
You end the day with a tasting and tour at the Jamiesons’ Midleton Distillery, one of the top attractions in Cork set on 15 acres and beautifully restored, this is where the true heart of Irish whiskey is born.
Overnight in Killarney
The day is spent driving the breath-taking Iveragh Peninsula better known as the ‘Ring of Kerry’, travelling through Sneem, Waterville, Cahirciveen and Killorglin.
There will be time to stop and visit Muckross House. One of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions, Muckross House, is a magnificent Victorian mansion and one of Ireland’s leading stately homes. It is beautifully situated amidst the spectacular scenery of Killarney National Park. Time allowing, the visit can be made with a traditional jaunting car to Muckross House or the Torc Waterfalls.
Overnight in Killarney
Drive north to the historic city of Limerick and visit King John’s Castle, the famous Treaty Stone and St Mary’s Cathedral, stopping first at one of Ireland’s prettiest and most picturesque villages, Adare, an architectural wealth of scenic beauty with a mix of centuries blended into everyday life.
By Limerick, you will visit Bunratty Castle and Folk Park where 19th century life is vividly recreated. Set on 26 acres, the impressive park features over 30 buildings in a ‘living’ village and rural setting. Meet and chat with the Bean an Ti (Woman of the House) and various street characters including the Policeman and Schoolteacher who give the site its sparkle during the summer months.
Enjoy the tastes, scents, sights and sounds of this enchanting place as you stroll from house to house or around the charming village complete with school, post office, doctor’s house, hardware shop, printers and of course the pub!
Leaving Bunratty behind, you continue to travel along the coast to the breath-taking 200m-high Cliffs of Moher and the new visitor centre, before driving through the bare limestone hills of the Burren into Galway, where tradition holds that Columbus prayed before sailing to America.
Overnight in Galway
The day is spent exploring the National Park of Connemara. There will be time to experience one of the most spectacular coastal drives in Ireland, stopping at traditional villages on the way overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and at the foot of Errisbeg Mountain.
A visit to Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian Walled Gardens is included. Connemara ponies are the largest mammals in the National Park – and hopefully you will see some!
Overnight in Galway
Leaving Galway behind, you will drive to Clonmacnoise in County Offaly. Its central location contributed to its development as a major centre of religion, learning, trade, craftsmanship and political influence.
Clonmacnoise has a large collection of grave-slabs dating from the 8th to the 12th century, as well as one of Ireland’s finest surviving High Crosses.
The journey continues to Kilbeggan, to visit the distillery, which opened in 1757. The distillery was closed in 1953 and today is known as Lockes Distillery Museum. To celebrate the 250th anniversary in 2007 the Whiskey production was recommenced, although the whiskey now in production at Kilbeggan was not ready for sale until 2014.
Overnight in Dublin area
Escorted transfer to Dublin Airport and your onwards journey.
June 27, 2016