Up to 14 days ~ from $3,235 + airfare Optional Single Supplement ~ $695 Meath~Westport~Connemara~Galway~The Burren~Ennis~Bunratty~Dingle~Munster~Kilkenny~Wicklow
2016 Dates & Prices
June 26-July 9
$4,190 + airfare
$4,190 + airfare
$4,190 + airfare
March 28-April 8*
$3,235 + airfare
$3,235 + airfare
* 12 days - does not include days 7 & 8 below.
Day 1: Fáilte ~ Welcome! Check-in to your B&B accommodation, where your reservation will be waiting for you. Take time to explore Dublin, Ireland’s vibrant capital before meeting your guide and fellow Adventurers at the B&B at 5 pm for a group meeting, followed by group dinner. Sleep in Dublin (1 night). No travel. Walking: light.
Day 2: Royal Meath After breakfast we'll pack up and board our mini-bus to explore Meath – Ireland’s ancient heartland. We’ll begin at Brú na Bóinne, the megalithic “passage” tombs of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth that predate the pyramids at Giza. Next we’ll visit the Hill of Tara, Ireland’s ancient capital, then Trim Castle, the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland, before crossing the island to quaint Westport in County Mayo. Sleep in Westport (2 nights). Travel: 4 hrs. Walking: medium.
Day 3: Westport Today we'll begin with a walking tour of Westport, one of Ireland’s few planned towns, considered the best place to live in Ireland. Use the rest of this free day to learn more about Westport’s unique geography and history, or take the optional mini-bus tour to Rockfleet Castle, once home to Ireland’s pirate-queen Grainuaile, and the megalithic-age archaeological dig at Céide Fields. After dinner, we’ll retire to Matt Molloy’s pub, owned by the flautist of The Chieftains, for some traditional music and craic. Travel (optional): 3½ hrs. Walking: light.
Day 4: Connemara Following breakfast we'll leave Westport for Galway. On the way, we’ll stop at the Granuaile Visitor Centre to learn more about Ireland’s famous pirate-queen, pass Aasleagh Waterfall through Ireland’s only fjord to beautiful (and photo-perfect) Kylemore Abbey, with its gardens and neo-gothic church, and then the Quiet Man Museum in Cong, where much of the John Wayne classic was filmed. After settling in to Galway’s famed Latin Quarter, we’ll dine at McDonagh’s, home of the world’s best fish and chips! Sleep in Galway (2 nights). Travel: 3½ hrs. Walking: light.
Day 5: Galway We'll begin with a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus tour of Galway, historically one of Ireland’s most important trading ports. The rest is a free day to explore the “City of the Foreigners,” or take the optional mini-bus tour to Clonmacnoise, a center for early Christianity and one of Ireland’s most important monastic sites, featuring the famed Cross of the Scriptures high cross. After dinner, we can check out some traditional music across the street at The Quay’s pub. Travel (optional): 2 hrs. Walking: light.
Day 6: Clare Today we head to one of Ireland’s most unique landscapes: the Burren. We’ll begin at Ailwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre, then head down the road to iconic Poulnabrone Dolmen, before stopping at Caherconnell Ringfort, and finally the world-renown Cliffs of Moher, where you can stand some 700 feet above the turbulent Atlantic. Today we head to one of Ireland’s most unique landscapes: the Burren. We’ll begin at Ailwee Cave and Birds of Prey Centre, then head down the road to iconic Poulnabrone Dolmen, before stopping at Caherconnell Ringfort, and finally the world-renown Cliffs of Moher, where you can stand some 700 feet above the turbulent Atlantic. We’ll then head to our accommodation in Ennis and on to legendary Bunratty Castle and neighboring landmark pub, Durty Nelly’s. Explore Bunratty Castle & Folk Park before we enjoy a farewell Traditional Irish Night dinner at the castle. Sleep in Ennis (3 nights). Travel: 3 hrs. Walking: medium.
Day 7: The Shannon After breakfast, we head east to sprawling Quin Abbey, then on to the Craggaunowen Project, a living experience of Ireland’s ancient past. Then we strike south to Limerick to investigate King John’s Castle, associated with the villain of Robin Hood fame, then on to the Lough Gur Heritage Centre to experience the regions megalithic past. We return to Ennis for dinner. Travel: 2½ hrs. Walking: medium.
Day 8: Ennis We start the morning with a walking tour of Ennis: the rest of the day is yours to explore the medieval streets of this charming town, then enjoy dinner, and a show at the famed Glór Theatre. Travel: none. Walking: medium.
Day 9: Dingle Peninsula After breakfast we're off to Europe’s western-most peninsula, described by National Geographic as “the most beautiful place on Earth.” We’ll cross picturesque Connor Pass from which you can view the entire peninsula, then check in to our B&B before heading into Corca Dhuibhne – one of Ireland’s Gaelachtaí, or Irish-speaking areas. Our first stop will be Gallarus Oratory, an early Christian church, then Dún an Óir, the site of an Elizabethan siege that ended in massacre. Next we’ll follow dramatic Slea Head Drive to the Great Blasket Centre to get a peek at these island’s rich literary tradition, and finally Dunbeg Promontory Fort. Sleep in DIngle (2 nights). Travel: 4½ hrs. Walking: medium.
Day 10: Dingle Town Today we’ll start with a walking tour of colorful Dingle Town, followed by a free day to explore this quaint harbor town. Alternately, take the mini-bus for an optional free day in charming Killarney, including a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus tour of the town and nearby National Park attractions. After dinner in DIngle, we’ll retire to the local for some traditional Irish music. Travel (optional): 2½ hrs. Walking: light.
Day 11: Munster Reluctantly, we leave Dingle behind, making our way through Cork and Tipperary to Kilkenny. Along the way, we’ll stop at Torc Waterfall and through Killarney National Park to Kenmare Stone Circle. Then we’re off to kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, and finally take in the views from atop the stunning Rock of Cashel, ancient capital of Munster, before ending the day in the medieval city of Kilkenny. Sleep in Kilkenny (2 nights). Travel: 5½ hrs. Walking: light.
Day 12: Kilkenny We'll begin today with a walking tour of Kilkenny, after which you’ll have a free day to explore Ireland’s best preserved medieval city, including beautiful Kilkenny Castle. Alternately, take the mini-bus for an optional free day in Waterford including a lively tour of the Viking Triangle and admission to the Waterford Treasures: the Medieval Museum, Reginald’s Tower and the Bishop’s Palace. Travel: 2 hr. (optional) Walking: light.
Day 13: Wicklow After breakfast, we’re off to the award-winning Irish National Heritage Park near Wexford to explore Ancient Ireland through 16 archaeological and historical reconstructions located in their natural settings. Then it’s off to Wicklow, “the Garden of Ireland,” where we’ll visit the monastic settlement at Glendalough with its majestic round tower, Powerscourt Waterfall (Ireland’s tallest), and beautiful Powerscourt House and Gardens. Finally, we turn north to Swords, where we’ll enjoy traditional music and share a farewell dinner. Sleep in Dublin (1 night). Travel: 4 hrs. Walking: medium.
Day 14: Slán Go Foill ~ Tour Over After Breakfast Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. You can fly out of nearby Dublin International Airport, take the ferry to Wales, England or the Isle of Man, or take a bus into Dublin – or beyond. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning. Míle buíochas agus slán go foill ~ a thousand thanks for joining us and we hope to see you again soon!