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|Itinerary at a Glance|
|3||Dublin & Maynooth|
|4||Dublin, Kildare & Cork|
|5||Kinsale & Cobh & Cork|
|6||Cork & Adare (Limerick)|
|7||Bunratty, Lough Gur & Adare|
|8||Foynes, Glin & Adare|
24 travelers max, dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Highlights||Dublin Castle, Maynooth Castle, Kildare, Rock of Cashel, Cobh Heritage Center, Lough Gur|
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness.|
|As Seen in|
Calling the Fitzgerald Clan! Join us on a 9-day once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for personal discovery, tracing your family roots and heritage of the Fitzgerald Clan, one of the oldest & most powerful families in Irish history, since arriving on Irish shores in 1170. The Clan has scattered across the world, and will re-unite in Ireland for The Gathering on this special itinerary.
Throughout 2013, Ireland will open its arms to friends and family from all over the world, inviting them to join in locally organized gatherings and festivals in villages, towns and cities. This year-long homecoming celebration, named "The Gathering", is expected to draw a great many people of Irish descent from throughout the world, making this a wonderful year to visit Ireland.
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Day 2: Dublin. Failte go hEireann! Upon arrival in Dublin, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Later, depart for a panoramic tour of Dublin’s Fair City. The North Side of the city offers striking monuments such as the GP on O’Connell Street and Phoenix Park, while the South Side is home to Trinity College and Dublin Castle. Visit Leinster House, home to the Oireachtas, the national parliament of Ireland. Also, pass by Kildare House, built by the Earl of Kildare in 1745. Return to your hotel for dinner, followed by the first of your Genealogy Workshops with Heritage Profile Ireland. Accommodations: Buswells Hotel Dublin or similar. Dinner provided.
Day 3: Dublin & Maynooth. This morning, trace your family roots at the National Library of Ireland. Continue to a former Fitzgerald stronghold, Dublin Castle, for a photo opportunity. The Castle first came into the ownership of the Fitzgerald family shortly after Maurice Fitzgerald played an active role in the capture of Dublin by the Normans in 1170. Visit Maynooth Castle and University, built in the 13th century by the Fitzgerald family who also provided the land on which Maynooth College was founded in 1795. Return to your hotel and enjoy dinner and entertainment tonight at the Irish House Party. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 4: Dublin, Kildare & Cork. Depart Dublin for Kildare, and visit the Fitzgerald Castle built in the 12th century. The Fitzgeralds took advantage of Kildare's location as a frontier town between the English Pale and the Gaelic Irish Territory to increase their power and influence. Next, visit the Rock of Cashel, which was the seat of the High Kings of Munster, though little structural evidence of their time remains. Later, the Rock was inhabited by the Butler Family, grave enemies of the Fitzgerald Clan. Continue to Cork and check in at your hotel. Enjoy the second of your Genealogy Workshops with Heritage Profile Ireland. Accommodations: Fitzgerald Vienna Woods Hotel. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 5: Kinsale & Cobh & Cork. This morning, travel to the picturesque small town of Kinsale, considered the gourmet capital of Ireland. Visit Adare Castle, also known as Desmond Castle, built by the Earl of Desmond in the 16th century. Its Tower House reflects the widespread influence of the Fitzgerald family during this period. Enjoy afternoon tea at Castlemartyr Castle. Later, visit the Cobh Heritage Center. A unique Irish port town, Cobh is situated on the southern shore of the Great Island in one of the world’s finest natural harbors. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 6: Cork & Adare (Limerick). This morning, travel to the scenic town of Kenmare, nestled between the high mountains and the sea. The Irish name of Neidin means ‘little nest’. Visit Molly Gallivan’s Cottage & Traditional Farm, and experience traditional farming skills including turf-cutting, butter making, poitin (whiskey) making and more. Later, visit the Kerry Writer’s Museum in Listowel. Seanchai presents the works of Country Kerry’s five most esteemed writers including George Fitzmaurice, John B. Keane, Bryan MacMahon, Brendan Kennelly and Maurice Walsh. Continue to your hotel for check-in. Accommodations: Fitzgerald Woodlands Hotel Limerick. Breakfast, lunch, & dinner provided.
Day 7: Bunratty, Lough Gur & Adare. This morning, visit Bunratty Castle, one of the most complete and authentic medieval castles in Ireland, as well as Folk Park. Continue to Lough Gur, a beautiful lake area filled with diverse flora and fauna, combined with a rich heritage of fact, myth and legend. Enjoy the last of your Genealogy workshops with Heritage Profile Ireland. Later, continue to the Honey Fitz Theatre in Lough Gur to enjoy a performance by local entertainers. The theatre is named for John Francis Fitzgerald, mayor of Boston and grandfather to President John F. Kennedy, who was nicknamed ‘Honey Fitz’ because of his beautiful singing voice. Return to Adare for overnight. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 8: Foynes, Glin & Adare. Today, visit the Foynes Flying Boat Museum. Foynes was the center of the aviation world for air traffic between the United States and Europe from 1939 to 1945. Then, continue to Glin and enjoy a visit to Glin Castle, which was home to the Knights of Glin for over 800 years, and is still inhabited by the original family. Return to Adare, and take part in tonight’s Medieval Banquet. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 9: Shannon/USA. Bid Slan Abhaile (farewell) to Ireland as your journey comes to an end. Transfer to the Shannon airport for your return flight. You will arrive in the USA 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.