October 11-20, 2017
SPEND 10 MAGICAL DAYS ON THE EMERALD ISLE!
Experience the authentic side of Ireland on this 10-day tour to the Emerald Isle. Travel the backroads through lush countryside and along the spectacular coastline known as the Wild Atlantic Way. Visit some of Ireland's most celebrated sights, as well as hidden gems, without feeling rushed. Highlights include Connemara and Kylemore Abbey, peaceful Achill Island, bustling Galway City, Bunratty Castle, Adare Heritage Village, and the world famous Cliffs of Moher. Get to know the people of Ireland. Hear their music, drink their beer, and learn their history. And be ready to be enchanted by it all!
DAY 1: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2017 Travel to the Emerald Isle Overnight flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Shannon Airport in Ireland.
DAY 2: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2017 Arrival into Shannon -- Travel to Westport Upon arrival at Shannon Airport, we will be met by our awaiting motorcoach, tour director and driver/guide. This morning we will travel to Rathbaun Farm where we will enjoy an Irish breakfast, freshly prepared soda bread and tea. This will be followed by a guided tour of the farm. We will get a glimpse into the daily workings of a sheep-farm, see the animals, feed the lambs, talk to the family and explore the farmyard. Farm owner Fintan Connelly will also give a demonstration of sheep shearing and sheep herding. We can spend some time in the thatched cottage and smell the peat fire before departing. From here, we continue to Westport for a three-night stay at the Hotel Westport. The remainder of the afternoon is free to rest. This evening we will regroup with our fellow travelers and enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel. (B, D)
DAY 3: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2017 Achill Island and Westport After breakfast this morning we travel to Mulranny and cross the Michael Davitt Bridge to Achill, Ireland's largest offshore island. Our tour will follow the coast line and we will experience some breathtaking views on the island's spectacular Atlantic Drive. We will visit the deserted village at Slievemore which consists of 80-100 stone cottages (booley homes) on the southern slopes of Slievemore Mountain. We will also have a pub stop on Achill Island for a no-host lunch before returning to Westport where we will have the remainder of the afternoon free to explore this picturesque town with its cheerful, multi-colored shop fronts and an attractive selection of pubs, cafes and restaurants. This evening we will enjoy dinner at our hotel. (B, D)
DAY 4: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2017 Connemara and Kylemore Abbey This morning we travel by the foothills of Croagh Patrick (the holy mountain) to Louisburg. We continue through the scenic Doolough Valley taking in a stretch of road known as the famine walk. Hundreds of people take part in a walk during the month of May every year and follow in the footsteps of the many people who left their home in search of food during the great famine. We will visit Kylemore Abbey, built in 1866 and from 1920 to 2008 was home to the Benedictine Nuns. We will visit the Abbey's Victorian Walled Garden which is completely enclosed by a brick and limestone wall and the beautiful Gothic Church built by Mitchell Henry in memory of his wife who died four years after the castle was constructed. From here our journey winds its way through Connemara, the location for many films including "The Quiet Man" with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. The scenery is both magical and mystical and is a paradise for both artist and photographer. On returning to Westport, the remainder of the evening is free to check out some of the many fine pubs and restaurants Westport has to offer. (B, L)
DAY 5: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2017 Galway, Adare and Killarney This morning we depart Westport and travel to Moycullen in County Galway for a guided tour and shopping at the family owned Connemara Marble Factory. Later, we’ll travel to Galway City for an orientation tour of the city, lunch at a local pub and free time to wander through the charming old cobbled stone streets lined with shops housed in century old buildings. From here we continue to the picturesque town of Adare. The main street of Adare is punctuated with beautiful stone buildings, medieval monasteries and ruins and the picturesque village park. The mix of centuries is blended into everyday life as some of the thatched cottages are home to arts and crafts shops. We continue to Killarney where we check into the Killarney Towers Hotel for a three-night stay. Just outside the hotel doors, you’ll discover a variety of lively restaurants and pubs offering traditional Irish fare and music.. (B, L)
DAY 6: MONDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2017 Killarney, Muckross House and Kate Kearney’s Cottage This morning, we will travel in traditional style on board an Irish Jaunting Car to the Killarney National Park. Our journey winds its way through some of the oldest oak forests in Ireland and by the famous Lakes of Killarney to Muckross House and Gardens. Here we will have a guided tour of this Victorian Mansion built in 1843 and is one of Ireland's leading stately homes. Our next stop this morning will be at Macken's of Ireland for an unforgettable shopping experience and a complimentary Irish Coffee. From here we continue to Kate Kearney's Cottage. This 150-yearold pub is nestled at the entrance to the world famous Gap of Dunloe and is famous in local folklore. Here we will have lunch accompanied by a traditional Irish music session provided by a local musician and enjoy the pub’s hospitality made famous by the legendary Kate herself. Arriving back in Killarney, the remainder of the evening is free. (B, L)
DAY 7: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2017 The Beara Peninsula This morning we travel to Kenmare and continue over the Caha Mountains, with some beautiful views of Bantry Bay in the distance, to Glengarriff where we will have a stop for some refreshments. From here we travel along the southern side of the Beara Peninsula which extends southwestwards between Bantry Bay and the Kenmare River. The Beara Peninsula is one of the lesser known peninsulas and also one of the best kept secrets of the southwest of Ireland. We will travel over the Healey Pass, built as a famine relief scheme in 1847. This is one of the most scenic mountain drives in Ireland and rises to a height of 334-meters above sea level. We continue to the picture-perfect setting of Kilmackillogue Harbour where we will make a no-host lunch stop in Teddy O'Sullivans Pub. We continue to Kenmare for our final stop before returning to Killarney. This evening we are free for dinner. There are a variety of fine restaurants and pubs serving food within easy walking distance of our hotel. (B) for further information and reservations, p lease contact : (800) 300-6246 or (310) 212-0791
DAY 8: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2017 Dingle Peninsula and Ennis This morning we pack our bags and depart Killarney for Dingle where we will enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the Dingle Peninsula, once cited as “'the most beautiful place on earth” by National Geographic. As we travel around Slea Head, we will get some breathtaking views of the Atlantic coastline and see some beehive huts (early monastic settements) dating back over a thousand years. Our tour will take us to the most westerly point of Ireland where we can view the Blasket Islands. We will also see the locations for such films as “Ryan's Daughter” and the more recently filmed “Far and Away” which starred Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. We will have some free time in Dingle for lunch before continuing to Ennis for a two-night stay at the Temple Gate Hotel. This evening we will have dinner at our hotel. (B, D)
DAY 9: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2017 Cliffs of Moher and Castles This morning we travel to Lahinch and continue along the coast road to the majestic Cliffs of Moher which rise to a height of 600-feet over the Atlantic Ocean. Following some free time to view the cliffs, our tour continues to Limerick City where we will have some free time for lunch before visiting the 13th century King John’s Castle, locate don King’s Island overlooking the River Shannon. Following a guided tour of the castle, we will continue to Bunratty where we will have some free time for shopping at the Blarney Woolen Mills before joining the Earl of Thomond for a glorious banquet at the majestic 15th century Bunratty Castle. Built in 1425, Bunratty Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. The entertainment which accompanies dinner is a superb selection of Irish medieval and traditional songs and instnumental music. (B, D)
DAY 10: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2017 Homeward Bound After breakfast we will travel a half an hour to Shannon Airport for our flight home with fond memories, newly acquired accents and many stories to tell friends and family. (B)