11096 B Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 800 576 1784
SMALL GROUP JOURNEY – Guaranteed departures English only tour with max. 16 participants. Scheduled departures - 5-day/4-night tour visiting Galway, the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney, the Dingle Peninsula, the Ring of Kerry & Blarney Castle . Includes accommodation at superior tourist class hotels with breakfast daily, touring by mini van or small motor coach, and guided sightseeing as indicated in the itinerary.
Depart Dublin around 9 am. Head west through the farmland and peat bogs of counties Kildare and Offally. Your first stop is the Kilbeggan Distillery – reputedly the oldest legal distillery in the world. Sample the local whiskey and discover the true spirit of Ireland! Travel further west and reach the mighty Shannon River and the early Christian site of Clonmacnoise – with its collection of churches, stone crosses, and round towers. After an afternoon stop in a traditional pub in the village of Shannonbridge, travel to Galway City for your first night. This lively student town has no shortage of good pubs and restaurants.
From Galway City it is only a short drive along the coast to the Burren – one of Ireland's great natural treasures. This is a land of limestone pavements, barren hillsides, rare flora, early Christian settlements, and ancient stone monuments. Spend most of the morning exploring this unique area. You will then pass through Kilfenora, the "town of the crosses" for a visit to the old cathedral. Have lunch in one of the pretty local villages. After lunch, visit the stunning Cliffs of Moher, which drop almost 700 feet into the crashing Atlantic waves. Here, you can walk the cliff top trails, watch the numerous seabirds, or visit the award winning environmental exhibition. From here, travel south through County Clare passing the famous golf course and beach at Lahinch to catch the ferry across the Shannon estuary and into County Kerry to the beautiful lakeside town of Killarney – your base for the next 3 nights. The pubs here are great for food and most have live music in the evenings – your only problem is which one to choose! (B)
Today, explore the wonderful Dingle Peninsula – one of the most scenic parts of Ireland and a heartland of Gaelic culture and tradition. The first stop of the day is the beach at Inch – a vast expanse of sand facing out into the Atlantic and very popular with surfers. From here increasingly narrow roads lead onto the peninsula itself through the town of Dingle and out to Slea Head. This is an area of ancient forts and dwellings going back thousands of years and you will visit some of the best examples along the way. The views here are impressive with the nearby Blasket Islands rising dramatically from the sea and the mountains of the Ring of Kerry to the south. Weather permitting, you will be able to walk on the beaches or along the cliff tops to fully appreciate the fabulous scenery. This area is very important in Gaelic literature and you will learn more during the day. The circuit of Slea Head leads back to Dingle town with its brightly colored buildings and busy harbor. You will spend the rest of the afternoon here before returning to Killarney. If the weather is good you could take an evening walk in the Killarney National Park – just on the edge of town. (B)
Today, tour one of the world's classic routes, the Ring of Kerry - 100 miles packed full of interest. On a clear day you will be able to enjoy views to Ireland's highest mountain, Carrauntoohil. From here, join the coast road through Glenbeigh and Kells to Cahersiveen. There will be plenty of opportunities for photo stops along the way with great views across to the Dingle Peninsula. Possible stops include the Daniel O'Connell's birthplace and Chersiveen ring fort before reaching the little fishing village of Portmagee. Here, you can sample local seafood for lunch (optional) or alternatively cross to the island of Valencia for a visit to the Skellig Experience where you can learn about the nearby rocky islands and the small community of monks who once lived there. In the afternoon, make a stop in Waterville - a favorite holiday place for Charlie Chaplin, and then at the top of Coonmakista Pass for one of the best views in the country. From here the road drops down to sea level for a visit to Derrynane House – family home of Daniel O’Connell. There are walks in the gardens and down to the beach as well as the house itself. Continue around the Ring with stops at Moll's Gap and the Ladies View before arriving back into Killarney. (B)
On some tours days 3 and 4 may be reversed.
Today, head back east through the mountains of West Cork and the market town of Macroom, then along the Lee Valley to Blarney Castle. Here, you will have time to visit the castle, explore the woodland walks and mystical Rock Close, as well as visit the village of Blarney itself –a good place for a bite of lunch and a bit of shopping. There may even be the chance to kiss the famous Blarney Stone although in peak season it can be very busy. In the afternoon, continue on to the heritage town of Cahir with its impressive castle on an island in the River Suir. Your final stop is Kilkenny, a bustling city with a fine castle, riverside walks, the National Craft Centre, and plenty pubs for one last Guinness before hitting the road again for the last leg of a wonderful journey, arriving back into Dublin around 7:30 pm. (B)
|Departure Dates||Departure City||Price||Single Suppl.||Deluxe Hotel Suppl.||Deluxe Hotel & Single Suppl.|
|Nov 05, 12, 19, 26
Dec 03, 10, 17
Jan 07, 14, 21, 28
Feb 04, 11, 18, 25
|*Departures dates refer to departures from the US, the package departs from Dublin the following day|
|**Air & land package prices include airport taxes and fees|