|Style||Escorted or Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departures||August – October 2015|
|Departs||New York City (NYC); other gateways on request (flight schedule)|
|Highlights||Kiss the Blarney Stone, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Lough Corrib Cruise, Clonmacnoise Monastery, Dublin City Tour|
|Themes||History & Culture|
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness.|
Join us on our 10-day tour package to Ireland and take the time to savor exploring this beautiful and charming country, where people are friendly, service is great and the places to discover just go on and on. You'll kiss the Blarney Stone for good luck, see the Cliffs of Moher and cruise on the River Corrib. Travel through the Connemara Region, one of the most picturesque in all of Ireland, where Gaelic is still spoken, and enjoy the sites of Dublin, Ireland's lovely, intimate capital. Enjoy superior and deluxe hotels, included sightseeing and more, all for an incredible price. Take your time when traveling around the country. Although it's possible to drive the length of Ireland in less than a day and to traverse the width of the country in a few hours, we prefer to settle in and explore a particular region, whether on foot, on horseback or behind the wheel—mindful, of course, of wandering sheep on small back roads.
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
|Mon||Jun 15||2015||Wed||Jun 24||2015||$2349||Departed|
|Mon||Jun 22||2015||Wed||Jul 1||2015||$2349||Departed|
|Mon||Jul 6||2015||Wed||Jul 15||2015||$2399||Closed|
|Mon||Jul 20||2015||Wed||Jul 29||2015||$2399||Closed|
|Mon||Aug 3||2015||Wed||Aug 12||2015||$2749||$2449||Closed|
|Mon||Aug 17||2015||Wed||Aug 26||2015||$2749||$2449||Available|
|Mon||Aug 31||2015||Wed||Sep 9||2015||$2699||$2399||Available|
|Mon||Sep 21||2015||Wed||Sep 30||2015||$2599||$2299||Available|
|Mon||Oct 5||2015||Wed||Oct 14||2015||$2449||$2149||Available|
|Mon||Oct 19||2015||Wed||Oct 28||2015||$2449||$2149||Available|
Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates, including extra hotel nights and separate airport transfers. Contact us about prices and availability.
|Options & Upgrades|
|Single Room Supplement||+$499|
|Day 6: Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle||+$79|
|Day 9: Dinner & Show at local Dublin pub||+$69|
|New York City (NYC)||included|
This package includes round-trip flights from the cities listed above. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.
Coming from somewhere else? Ask us about availability and prices for flights from other cities. Additional charges for flights from other cities are due within 24 hours of your reservation.
Note: NYC departures will be from either JFK or EWR based upon availability when you make your reservation. Your flight itinerary showing which airport that you are departing from will be emailed to you in 24-48 hours.
To make a reservation, simply select an available departure date and reserve online using our secure booking system. Or call us one of our travel specialists at 800-555-5765, Mon–Fri 9:30–6:00 Eastern time. But first, check out our Things to Know section.
We only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. This deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package, and is generally non-refundable (details). The balance is due 75 days prior to departure (or within 72 hours, if you're booking less than 75 days prior to departure), and can be paid by credit card, PayPal, check or money order.
Day 1: Depart USA. Depart USA. Your exciting trip to Ireland begins today as you depart for Dublin.
Day 2: Arrive Dublin. Upon arrival in Dublin, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Today is yours at leisure to discover Dublin independently. Make your way to one of its most famous sights and continue exploring the city at your own pace with an included hop-on, hop-off bus tour voucher (valid for 2 days), visiting a number of Dublin's sightseeing highlights. If by the end of the day the touring has left you feeling parched, stop by the Brazen Head Pub for a complimentary pint, courtesy of Friendly Planet. Later this evening, meet your fellow travellers, and enjoy dinner included at the hotel. Accommodations: North Star Hotel or similar for May 18 departure; Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge or similar for all others. Dinner provided.
Day 3: Ireland's Midlands, Blarney Castle & Kerry. Today, you will board your touring coach, depart Ireland's capitol and travel to County Kerry. En route, stop in the town of Blarney for a visit to Blarney Castle. Dating from 1446, the castle is a tower house built on solid limestone. At the top of the Tower you will find the legendary Stone of Eloquence (Blarney Stone). Kiss it and you will never again be lost for words.
Enjoy some time for shopping at Blarney Woolen Mills. The existence of the Woolen Mills during the famine shielded Blarney from the worst effects of the great famine, due to its employment of local workers. The success story at the mills continued until a disastrous fire in 1869. By August 1871, the mill was once again operational with a labor force of over 200 and in 1976 Chris Kelleher, himself a mill worker, bought the old mill property. Within a short period of time Chris and his family transformed the mill into what is perhaps the largest quality craft shop in Ireland.
Continue through Ireland's Midlands to your hotel in the Kerry region. This evening enjoy dinner with your travel companions at the hotel's restaurant. Accommodations: Travel Inn Killarney or similar. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 4: Ring of Kerry. Today you can enjoy a superb tour of the Iveragh Peninsula, which will give you the opportunity to discover the Ring of Kerry, taking in the spectacular scenery; mountains, peat bogs, lakes and magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean. Leaving Killarney, pass through Killorglin, famous for its Puck Fair and Glenbeigh, where the cliff road affords panoramic views of the Dingle Peninsula and Dingle Bay. Passing through the peat bogs, arrive at the sea town of Waterville. Continue to Sneem Village, famous because of its brightly colored houses. The road continues through the mountains to Molls Gap and Ladies View with superb views of the famous Lakes of Killarney.
Next, enjoy a ride through Killarney National Park by pony and trap, also known as a jaunting car, to discover areas of the park that you might not otherwise visit by foot. Relax aboard the jaunting car as your jarvey (driver) takes you through the magnificent scenery of Ireland's first National Park.
This evening enjoy dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants or pubs in Killarney town. Breakfast provided.
Day 5: Burren & the Cliffs of Moher. Travel northwards to Tarbert and take a short boat ride across the mouth of the river Shannon, landing on Clare's shore at Killimer. Travel along the coast to the Cliffs of Moher. The most majestic cliffs in Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher rise 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean and extend over four miles in length. On a clear day, you can admire the Aran Islands, the Connemara Mountains and the many sea birds that colonize this place to nest in spring. Visit the Atlantic Edge Interpretive Center built into the natural landscape. The center is a huge domed cave that contains various exhibits showcasing the mighty Cliffs of Moher.
Later enjoy a tour of the Burren Region, a strange and unique region in Europe. "Burren" means "large stones": in fact its name describes this impressive scenery perfectly well. Often described as lunar, the Burren is a high plateau of porous limestone situated in Northern Clare, between Ballyvaughan and Kilfenora. No trees grow here and no soil covers the stone, but the Burren is not deserted, as different types of flowers grow from the cracks all year round. The Burren Region is also historically rich, with many castles and monastic ruins.
Continue to Limerick and check-in at your hotel. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure. Accommodations: Clarion Hotel or similar. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle, $79. Take advantage of an optional Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle on the banks of the Raite River including entertainment, a four-course meal and wine.
Day 6: Galway & Lough Corrib. This morning travel to Galway. Upon arrival enjoy an orientation tour of the city. Galway City is a delight with its narrow streets, old stone and wooden shop fronts, good restaurants and busy pubs. The city has attracted many musicians and artists, which add so much to the character of the city. A visit can start at Galway's modern Cathedral, which was built in 1965.
Galway Cathedral is one of the largest and most impressive buildings in Galway City. Built between 1958 and 1965, it stands on the site of the old city jail. The architecture of the Cathedral draws on many influences. The dome and pillars reflect a Renaissance style. Other features, including the rose windows and mosaics, echo the broad tradition of Christian art. The Cathedral dome, at a height of 145 feet, is a prominent landmark on the city skyline. The exterior design may not be to everybody's taste, while the interior, with its high curved arches and central dome, has a simple but solid elegance.
Later, embark the Corrib Princess and cruise the majestic River Corrib. The journey offers wonderful views of the historic monuments and scenery, which make this one of the most spectacular waterways in Ireland. While you cruise along, enjoy an Irish coffee demonstration sampling this classic beverage and freshly made scones.
Continue to your hotel and enjoy the balance of the day at leisure. Later this evening enjoy dinner at the hotel. Accommodations: Clayton Hotel, Oranmore Lodge Hotel or similar. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 7: Connemara & Kylemore Abbey. Today, travel through the beautiful Connemara Region. Connemara is a land of lakes and rivers, bogs and mountains. In this area of small villages Gaelic is still the spoken language and little has changed since the beginning of time. It is without a doubt the wildest and the most romantic part of Ireland. Connemara is a vast peninsula bordered by the arid and rocky coastline of Galway Bay in the south, a land characteristic for its stone walls and thatched cottages. On its northern shore the land is harsher and more secret, with spectacular views of the Ocean, the fjord of Killary Harbour, as well as the steep mountains overlooking numerous lakes and large bog areas.
Enjoy some leisure time in the Connemara National Park, which encompasses 11 square miles from Letterfrack in the west to the peaks of the Twelve Bens Mountains. Hike one of the three main trails or stop at the visitors' center and learn about the park's unique landscape and wildlife.
Next visit Kylemore Abbey in the Kylemore Pass in Connemara. Mitchell Henry built the House in 1868, after having spent his honeymoon in the area. The architecture is best described as neo-gothic and the house still displays all the characteristics of that period. One of Kylemore Abbey's most famous features is its miniature cathedral, built in 1870 and known locally as the Gothic church. Today, the Abbey is home to the Irish order of Benedictine nuns. They bought the house in 1920, having fled their convent in war-torn Belgium in 1914. Breakfast provided.
Day 8: Clonmacnoise & Dublin. Depart Galway for Dublin via Clonmacnoise. Situated in the wilds, on the banks of the Shannon, 6th Century Clonmacnoise is nowadays partly in ruins. Stop at the Visitor Centre where the original Celtic crosses are exhibited, followed by a tour of the site where you will see high towers, the 11th Century cathedral and the wonderful reproductions of the High Crosses.
Continue to Dublin and set out on a panoramic tour to discover Dublin's Fair City. The north side of the River Liffey offers great striking monuments such as the General Post Office (GPO) on the city main thoroughfare, O'Connell Street, or the Custom House along the quays, as well as the Phoenix Park, one of the largest public parks in Europe. The south side appears more sophisticated with its vast Georgian squares, such as Merrion Square where Oscar Wilde's House can still be found, its colorful doors, along with Grafton Street and its quality shops. Not so far from St. Stephen's Green, in Kildare Street, you can see the house of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula.
Visit Trinity College, the oldest University in Ireland, founded in 1592 by Elizabeth I. Within its walls, you will be able to admire Parliament Square and its 18th Century edifices. The visit of the ancient library, containing over twenty thousand manuscripts, is often surprising by its splendor. The 9th Century Book of Kells, famous for its precious illuminations, is exhibited in these premises. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure. Accommodations: Clayton Hotel Ballsbridge or similar. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Music & Dinner at a Pub, $69. Take advantage of an optional evening of festive entertainment at a local pub including a 3-course dinner & live music. Price excludes beverages.
Day 9: Dublin. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel at your leisure. Take advantage of the hop-on, hop-off bus tour voucher again today to uncover the wonders of this fair city. Dublin has it all, a charming mix of medieval, Georgian and modern architecture, a wealth of history, culture and literary tradition, wonderful shopping and dining. Dublin can trace its origins back over 1,000 years. From a small Viking settlement it has evolved into the vibrant capital city of Ireland. Breakfast provided.
Day 10: Dublin/USA. After a final Irish breakfast, bid farewell to Ireland as your journey comes to an end. Transfer to the airport for your return flight. You will arrive in New York later today. Breakfast provided.
This was my second trip to Ireland, but my first actual tour. I was very pleased with the tour. My sister had never been to Ireland, and this tour gave her a wonderful introduction to Ireland.