Overnight on the grounds of a regal castle. • Experience the Ring of Kerry, one of the world’s greatest coastal roads. • See sheepdogs in action when you visit a working farm. • Jump into Ireland’s vibrant capital city — Dublin. • Stand in awe of the stunning 700-foot-high Cliffs of Moher. • Kiss the famed Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle. • Enjoy a hearty dinner and night of traditional Irish entertainment. •
Be treated to a farewell dinner at a castle! • 10 Days • 14 Meals: 8 Breakfasts, 6 Dinners
Day 1: Arrive Dublin – City Tour – St Patrick Cathedral – Guinness Storehouse
Following arrival at Dublin Airport, we will be met by our tour director and escorted to our awaiting motorcoach. This morning we will enjoy a tour of Dublin City, founded as a Viking settlement and home to the Irish Parliament since the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922. On our tour we will see the Georgian Squares with their 18th century houses, the Phoenix Park (the biggest town park in Europe), statue filled O’Connell Street and the fashionable Grafton Street. We will visit Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, an architectural and historical site which has been at the heart of Dublin history for over 800 years. No visit to Dublin would be complete without a visit to the Guinness Brewery founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness. Here we will enjoy a guided tour which concludes with a leisurely pint of Guinness in the 360-degree roof top bar while enjoying spectacular views of Dublin City. This afternoon we will check into our hotel for an overnight stay. This evening we will regroup with our fellow travelers and enjoy a welcome dinner in our hotel. (D)
Day 2: Powerscourt House and Gardens – Glendalough – Avoca – Waterford
This morning we depart Dublin and travel south to County Wicklow known as The Garden of Ireland. Our first visit this morning will be to Powerscourt House and Gardens. This Palladian Mansion built in 1730 was badly damaged by fire in 1974. It was re-roofed in 1996 and opened to the public. The gardens at Powerscourt were first laid when the house was built in 1730 and a century later the 6th Viscount Powerscourt instructed his architect, Daniel Robertson, to draw up new schemes for the gardens.
From here, we continue to Glendalough (Valley of Two Lakes) where we travel back in time while enjoying a guided tour of this early 7th century monastic settlement. Our tour continues through the beautiful Vale of Avoca to the Avoca hand weavers (the oldest in Ireland) in a guided tour experience this very old craft. From here, we travel to Waterford for a one night stay. (B, D)
Day 3. House of Waterford Crystal – Cobh – Kinsale
This morning we will visit the House of Waterford Crystal for a guided tour. We will see highly skilled local craftsmen demonstrate crystal blowing and cutting in the new state of the art visitor center. We will also have some time to visit the retail store before departing.
From here we travel along the southern coastline to Dungarvan where we will have a lunch stop in the Marine Bar, before continuing to Cobh, one of the main points of emigration during the great famine and also the last port of call of the Titanic. Here we will visit “The Queenstown Story” which portrays the hardship of life on board ship as it sailed to the “New World.” Annie Moore, the first ever immigrant to be processed on Ellis Island when it officially opened on January 1, 1892, left from Cobh with her two brothers. From here we travel to the historic town of Kinsale for a two night stay. (B, D)
Day 4. Blarney Castle – Kinsale Harbor Cruise
This morning you travel to Blarney where we will have an opportunity to visit Blarney Castle and kiss the famous Blarney Stone said to bestow the gift of eloquence on all those who dare. This will be followed by some free time for shopping at the Blarney Woollen Mills which carries a wide range of sweaters, tweeds, china and crystal.
On returning to Kinsale, we will board The Spirit of Kinsale. Sit back, relax and enjoy the stunning scenery, hear the history and legends in a guided tour of Kinsale Harbor. Following our cruise, the remainder of the afternoon is free to enjoy browsing in its many shops, enjoy Kinsale’s harbor and observe the marina activity. (B)
Day 5. West Cork – Mizen Head Signal Station Light– Kenmare – Killarney
This morning we depart Kinsale and travel along the southern coastline to Skibbereen. We continue to Ballydehob and from here to Mizen Head – the most southerly point of Ireland. Here we will visit the award winning Maritime Museum and Heritage Attraction. Also take a ten-minute walk along the path, down the 99 steps and across the Arched Bridge over the crashing waves to the Signal Station Light.
Following this adventure, we travel up the coast via lovely lazy towns & villages to Kenmare, an example of one of Ireland’s few planned towns. After dining in a local pub, we experience Celtic Steps, an amazing presentation of traditional Irish music and dance. We continue to Killarney for a three night stay. (B, D)
Day 6. Leisure activities
Time to take a break from the road and enjoy some leisure activities. It’s your choice. For the golfers
there are two 18-hole
championship courses and two 9-hole courses close by. You may prefer to take a jaunting car ride (horse drawn carriage) through the Killarney National Park and visit Muckross House and Gardens. This Victorian Mansion built in 1843, is one of Ireland’s leading stately homes.
OR, if you prefer to be more adventurous you can take the Gap of Dunloe Tour. It begins with a coach ride (20 minutes) to Kate Kearney’s Cottage – famous in its own right as being one of Ireland’s oldest pubs. It is also the starting point of a 7 mile pass that transverses a gap in the mountain known as the Gap of Dunloe. You may take a jaunting car ride or walk this 7-mile pass which winds its way around numerous lakes and between the steep slopes of Purple Mountain and the Mac Gillycuddy’s Reeks to Killarney’s Upper Lake. After some time for refreshments, we board a traditional style boat and our tour continues through the three Lakes of Killarney to Ross Castle (14c). Here our coach will be waiting to bring us the short (10 minute) journey back to Killarney.
OR you can also enjoy the charming town of Killarney with its many shops, pubs and restaurants or enjoy the hotel’s leisure center. (B)
Day 7. Ring of Kerry
Today we embark on one of Ireland’s most famous tours – The Ring of Kerry. Our first stop this morning will be the Kerry Bog Village where we will visit little thatched cottages and see how people would have lived in Ireland many years ago. Our tour continues through the wild and rugged landscape of the Iveragh Peninsula which offers some breathtaking views of the Atlantic coastline. We will stop at a Sheep Farm and see the border collie dogs at work rounding up the sheep. Our journey continues through the towns of Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Cahirciveen and Waterville to Sneem, winding its way its way through the Killarney National Park, with some fine views of the Lakes of Killarney and the Ladies View, before returning to Killarney.
This evening, we travel to Kate Kearney’s Cottage where we will enjoy a traditional Irish dinner in a cozy, informal atmosphere followed by the best of traditional Irish music, song and dance. Overnight: Killarney. (B, D)
Day 8. Tralee – Shannon Ferry – Cliffs of Moher – Dromoland Castle
This morning, we bid farewell to Killarney and travel to Tralee, capital town of County Kerry and famous for The Rose of Tralee Festival. We continue to Tarbert where we board the Shannon Ferry, which crosses the Shannon Estuary to Killimer. From here we take the coast road to the majestic Cliffs of Moher which rise to a height of 600 ft over the Atlantic Ocean. Following some free time to view the cliffs, we continue to the luxurious Dromoland Castle for an overnight stay. The castle built in the 16th century was once the royal seat of the O’Brien clan. It was refurbished and transformed into a luxury hotel in 1962 and retains priceless reminders of the castle’s historic past. Splendid woodcarvings, stone statuary and fine antique furnishings surround us during our stay. This evening we will enjoy dinner in the castle’s elegant surroundings. (B, D)
Day 9. Depart Shannon
This morning, with fond memories and newly acquired accents and many stories to relate to friends and family, we will travel to Shannon Airport (20 minutes) for your flight home. (B)
Beannacht De agus go N’eiri on bothair Libh (“May the journey be successful for you.”)
- Air Taxes
- Roundtrip airfare from St. Louis
- Roundtrip pickup from Southern Illinois to STL Lambert Airport
- 14 Meals: 8 breakfasts, 6 dinners
- Dublin City
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral
- Guinness Brewery
- Powerscourt House and Gardens
- Avoca Hand Weavers
- House of Waterford
- Cobh Immigration Museum
- Blarney Castle
- Kinsale Harbor Cruise
- Mizen Head Lighthouse
- Maritime Museum and Heritage Attraction
- Killarney National Park
- Celtic Steps Music and Dance Show
- Kate Kearney’s Cottage Pub
- Ross Castle
- Ring of Kerry
- Kerry Bog Village
- Sheep Farm
- Cliffs of Moher
- Luxurious Castle Stay
- Deluxe Motorcoach Transportation
- Fully Escorted by Jane’s Journeys