Join us as we experience firsthand this beautiful country known as the Emerald Isles. Offering beautiful landscape and lush green colors set against the Atlantic Ocean the cliff sides are worth the visit alone. The shorelines are trimmed by golden sands and rocky cliffs. Inland lakes and rural idylls are varied and tranquil. The Irish people are some of friendliest people and enjoy sharing in myths and tales of this magical place. Home too many great music artists such as U2 this is truly a gem worth exploring and taking in local Irish fare and music.
We start in Dublin a city offering many pubs, live music, Historical Cathedrals, Dublin Castle, The Guinness Storehouse, St Stephens Green and so much more. We will head off to explore the town of Waterford, Kilkenny, Blarney, and the Dingle Peninsula. Traveling to Killarney we will pass through some quaint Irish villages and explore parts of the Ring of Kerry.
You will get to stay in two different Castle Hotels and truly experience Ireland and all its Irish heritage, Celtic history, Natural beauty and some of the friendliest people around.
Day 1: July 22 – Welcome to Ireland - Private transfer from the Dublin Airport to your hotel.
Please note check in may not be possible until after 3:00 PM. You can store your luggage and tour the city at leisure this morning.
This afternoon enjoy a guided tour of Dublin city. You will be shown Grafton Street famous for its wonderful shops. See Dublin Castle, discover the north side of the River Liffey. This area offers great striking monuments such as the General Post Office, the city's main thoroughfare, O'Connell Street, the Custom Houses along the quays, and Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe and St Patrick's Cathedral. The south side appears more sophisticated with its vast Georgian squares, such as Merrion Square, where Oscar Wilde’s House can still be found with its colorful doors, along with Grafton Street and its quality shops. Not far from St. Stephen’s Green, on Kildare St., you will see the house of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula.
Clontarf Castle Hotel. Welcome dinner tonight to meet the group. (D)
Day 2: July 23 – Depart for Waterford City - Kilkenny
After a hearty Irish breakfast, we depart Dublin for Waterford. Enroute we stop in Kilkenny City where we visit the Kilkenny Castle and gardens. Few buildings in Ireland can boast a longer history of continuous occupation than Kilkenny Castle. Enjoy a guided tour and learn the history of this magnificent castle and explore the grounds. After a lunch stop well have a walking tour of the town and see the main sites here.
Now it is time for the Arts: Our first stop is seeing how the pillar candles and Glow globes are made. Our next stop will be a glass factory specializing in handmade glass made on site and sold all over the world. We will see how this glass making process works and have time to shop here.
Hotel Granville for 2 nights in Waterford. Dinner at leisure in town tonight. (B,L)
Day 3: July 24 - Waterford tour, Cahir and Curraghmore Castles
We start our day with a tour of Waterford city enjoying the key sights. It is the oldest city in Ireland, and it is the perfect blend of ancient and modern. Visit the 10th century Viking Triangle and learn about the history of Waterford from the Viking Invasion up to medieval times. See buildings that date from the 18th century and walk past architectural highlights including The Bishop’s Palace and Cathedral. We will also enjoy a visit to the "House of Waterford" and tour this magnificent store and see how the famous crystal is made.
Next, we are off to Curraghmore House and Gardens. Discover Curraghmore House & Gardens and experience centuries of history on every step of your visit. Some 2,500 acres of formal gardens, woodland, and grazing fields make this the most extensive private house & gardens in all of Ireland.
We continue with a visit to Cahir Castle, Rock of Cashel and Ormand Castle on the River Suir. We will also stop in the Fethhard medieval city where you can walk with in the walls of the city.(B, L)
Day 4: July 25 - Depart for Killarney and Blarney Castle
We depart this morning for the town of Killarney. Enroute we drive through the Copper coast with some scenic stops along the way including beaches and harbors and scenic sites along the coast.
From here we visit the Barney Castle and Gardens. Built over 60 years ago the castle has some wonderful views and you will have time to wonder around it. From the top of the Castle, you can take in the wonderful views of over 60 acres of sprawling parklands which include gardens, avenues, arboretums and waterways. There are many wonderful pathways to walk here and explore the gardens. Well take time for lunch and a stop at Blarney Woolen mills store.
Continuing on we well stop to see the "Rock of Cashel". It’s huge, it’s complex, it’s iconic, there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. The Rock of Cashel more formally St. Patrick’s Rock, it is also known as Cashel of the Kings. Reputedly the site of the conversion of Aenghus the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century AD. Long before the Norman invasion The Rock of Cashel was the seat of the High Kings of Munster.
On our arrival at our Hotel in Killarney settle in and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure to enjoy the hotel and the grounds. Overlooking the famous Gap of Dunloe, set on its own 64-acre estate leading to the ruins of the 12th century castle and River Laune.
Hotel Dunloe Castle and Gardens is one of the finest luxury hotels Ireland has to offer, 5-star accommodations. We spend 3 nights here. Dinner tonight as a group. (B, D)
Day 5: July 26 – Muckross House and Killarney National Park
Today we are off for a visit to Muckross House and Gardens a magnificent Victorian mansion built in 1843 and one of Ireland’s leading stately homes. Built on the shores of Muckross Lake, it is beautifully situated amidst the spectacular scenery of Killarney National Park. The elegantly furnished rooms portray the lifestyle of the landed gentry, while downstairs in the basement one can experience the working conditions of the servants employed in the house. The gardens of Muckross House are famed for their beauty worldwide.
We will also tour the beautiful Killarney National Park via Pony and carriage ride.
After all this enjoy some time at leisure in the town of Killarney.
This evening we have dinner in town followed by a Celtic dance show. (B, D)
Day 6: July 27 – Gap of Dunloe, Ring of Kerry, Slea Head drive
This morning we depart for a full day tour including the best of the "Ring of Kerry" and the "Slea Head" drive. We first start with a view of the "Gap of Dunloe" A true photographer's delight. Driving some of the most famous and panoramic routes in Ireland, the astonishing beauty of this large peninsula, Iveragh, comes from the great diversity of its scenery, which offers incessant contrasts. En route we continue through the mountains to Molls Gap and Ladies View with superb views of the famous Lakes of Killarney. Our final drive is through the "Dingle Penninsula"
We return to the hotel with time to explore this amazing estate. Dinner tonight at leisure. (B, L)
Day 7: July 28 – Depart Killarney for Dublin
We make our way back to Dublin today with a stop in Limerick town with time to explore here. Next we arrive in Dublin and enjoy the city at leisure. You may opt for a tour of the Guiness storehouse, Get your shopping in along Grafton Street and simply take in all the sites this lively city has to offer.
Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner and say goodbye to your new friends and Ireland. (B, D)
Day 8: June 29 – Departure Day.
Transfer to Dublin airport for your flight home. (B)
Cost: $2570.00 based on Double Occupancy. (Roommates can be provided)
Single Supplement $799.00
SAVE 3% on the tour cost if you pay the full amount via check
Booking/final payment deadline is 60 days prior to departure.
7 nights’ hotel in 4* and 5* hotels with taxes
3 Dinners Including 1 Castle dinner
Entrance fees to all sites visited as per itinerary
Private transfers to all included sites and cities visited
Horse and Pony ride
Local Tour Guide/Private driver
Arrival/Departure Airport transfers in Dublin if traveling on tour dates and at the same times as other travelers.
Tickets to Celtic Show
International airfare into Dublin
Meals not listed in the itinerary
Tips for driver/guide
Room charges such as calls, mini bar, laundry, room service.
All personal expenses
Any additional tours or expenses not listed in the itinerary.
Airport transfers if arriving at different times or days
Pre nights Dublin $175.00 pp double, $335.00 single pre night
Entry Requirements: Visitors from the US, Canada and Australia need a valid passport, but visas are not required for Americans, Canadians or Australians visiting for less than 3 months. If you are a citizen of another E.U. country, you do not need a passport, only an identity card. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date you intend to leave the European Union. Make sure you check your passport expiry date at least 2 months prior to travel. Before traveling abroad it's a good idea to make two photocopies of your passport, driver's license and credit cards. Leave one copy at home with a friend or family member and another bring with you.
Weather: The weather in Ireland can be a bit unpredictable at times. Ireland’s climate is generally mild, the summer temperatures during the day are a comfortable 60° to 70°F. The evenings are a bit cooler around 50 to 60 F. There can always be the occasional rain shower even in the normally drier month of August.
Time Zone: Ireland follows Greenwich Mean Time (1 hr. earlier than Central European Time). It is 5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in the United States. Ireland has daylight savings time which lasts from late March to late September.
Currency: The currency of Ireland is the Euro. The best way to get cash in the local currency is from an ATM. Keep in mind that most banks impose a fee every time a card is used at another bank's ATM, and that fee can be higher for international transactions ($5 or more) so try and withdraw as few times as possible. Credit cards are accepted by most shops and restaurants however check with your credit card company regarding foreign exchange fees. You will also have a better chance making deals at local shops if paying with cash.
Electricity: The Irish electric system operates on 220 volts with a plug that has three rectangular prongs. To use standard American 110-volt appliances, you'll need both a transformer and a plug adapter.
Taxes/VAT: The Irish sales tax collected is called VAT and is already included in the price on price tags. The VAT rates vary, for souvenirs and gifts, it is 21%. Visitors from outside the EU can get a VAT tax refund at the airport when departing, but the minimum that you must spend at one store to obtain the refund is 100 Euro. To get a VAT refund on purchases that qualify, present your passport to the salesperson and ask for the special stamped form. Present the form with your purchases at the booth marked IVA Tax Refunds at the airport, as you leave EU. Your refund should arrive by check or be credited to your credit card within a few weeks. Not all stores participate in this program so always ask first.
Health: No special vaccinations are required to enter Ireland. Water is safe to drink.
Activity Level: This is a pretty easy tour for the average person. During the tour, we will travel by private bus. At each stop we will be walking quite a bit. To be able to fully enjoy the tour and participate in scheduled activities, you need to be able to walk, at a leisurely pace, up to 3 or so miles on some days. You should be able to stand unassisted for up to 30 minutes at times during the tours. You will need be able to climb stairs, without any assistance. At times you will need manage your own luggage. This trip is pretty easy for the average person however if you can't or choose not to participate in certain activities this is at your own discretion. However it cannot affect the groups participation nor can any tours or activities or refunds be offered or changed due to an individual not being able or not wanting to participate.
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