Dublin ... Rock of Cashel ... Cork ... Blarney ... Killarney ... Ring of Kerry ...
Bunratty Castle ... Cliffs of Moher ... Galway ... Knock
Day One – US Departure
Day Two - Dublin / Rock of Cashel / Cork: Upon arrival in Dublin we will meet the tour manager and driver who will accompany us until our departure from Ireland. We immediately begin our exploration of the stunning scenery and fascinating history of the Emerald Isle as we travel to the Rock of Cashel. Considered to be a cradle of Irish Christianity, where St. Patrick drove out the devil and baptised the King of Munster, it dominates the landscape now, as it once dominated both political and religious life in the early Middle Ages. Following our visit we continue to our hotel in Cork for our overnight.
Day Three - Cork (Cobh Excursion): Following breakfast this morning we will explore the highlights of Cork, which include St. Finmarre's Cathedral, the English Market and Cork Gaol. Later we will drive the short distance to waterfront town of Cobh - departure point for millions of Irish emigrants traveling to the New World and Australia, as well as the last port of call for the Titanic, as she stopped here to pick up mail and passengers on her ill-fated voyage to the USA in 1912. Our walking tour will include a visit of the Cobh Heritage Centre, which provides an emotional insight into the history of Irish emigration as well as the fate of the Titanic and the Lusitania. The remainder of the day is free for individual sightseeing and exploration.
Day Four - Cork / Blarney / Killarney: This morning we depart Cork and drive the short distance to Blarney Castle. No visit to Ireland would be complete without kissing the Blarney Stone, the Stone of Eloquence - though you need a head for heights to climb the 127 steps of the spiral staircase at the top of the tower! There will be time to explore the history of the 600 year old castle and its gardens, as well as spending shopping time in the famous woolen mills before continuing to our hotel in Killarney for our overnight.
Day Five – Killarney (Ring of Kerry Excursion): Today begins with a visit to Muckross House and Gardens, followed by a full-day tour of the spectacular Ring of Kerry. Known throughout the world for its beautiful cliffs, harbors, valleys and rugged coastline, the Ring of Kerry is one of Ireland's most visited areas. Rest stops, picture stops, sheepdog demonstration and a lunch stop will take place along the route. In the afternoon we will return to Killarney for an evening at leisure.
Day Six – Killarney / Adare / Bunratty Castle / Cliffs of Moher / Galway: Following breakfast this morning, we depart Killarney and travel first to Adare, considered to be one of Ireland's prettiest villages. We will have some free time to explore the village before continuing on to the Limerick area, to visit Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. We will enjoy a tour of the Castle and experience a window on Ireland’s past in the reconstructed village street and rural buildings, which give an insight into the traditional way of life a hundred years ago. Following our visit in the middle of the afternoon, we will drive through the lunar-like landscape of the Burren en route to the magnificent Cliffs of Moher – carved by time, ocean and weather into spectacular formations, they are one of the most breath-taking of Ireland’s natural wonders. After a busy but varied day of sightseeing we will arrive at our hotel in Galway for our overnight.
Day Seven – Galway (Connemara and Kylemore Abbey Excursion): Following breakfast this morning, we will enjoy a panoramic and walking tour of Galway, its cathedral and churches. In the afternoon, we will take an excursion through the breath-taking Connemara countryside to visit Kylemore Abbey, with free time to explore the Abbey and its Victorian Walled Garden. We will return to Galway for our overnight.
Day Eight - Galway / Knock / Dublin: This morning we will depart Galway to journey to Knock, site of a more recent witness to Irish Christianity when an Apparition of the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist and a Lamb and Cross appeared to the villagers in 1879. There will be time to explore the Shrine and share in worship, before we continue the journey to Dublin and proceed to our hotel for our overnight.
Day Nine - Dublin: After breakfast we will embark on our tour of Dublin - the Capital of Ireland and also its largest city. Highlights include St. Patrick's Cathedral, Trinity College and the Book of Kells, St. Mary's Pro Cathedral and the Papal cross in the Phoenix Park. The remainder of the afternoon is free for individual sightseeing, and shopping. This evening we’ll enjoy our farewell dinner with traditional Irish entertainment before our final overnight in Dublin.
Day Ten - Dublin / USA: This morning we transfer to the airport to begin our journey home.