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Explore Ireland, Escorted 12 Day Tour of Ireland

Explore Ireland" - Escorted 12 Day Tours. Explore the various facets of Ireland & experience the Beautiful landscapes of this "Emerald Ireland"
Discover heart-warming moments and spectacular sights. Explore the Island of Ireland
From the Causeway Coast and the Wild Atlantic Way to the Sunny South East and the 11 cities in between, now's the time to start exploring the Island of Ireland.

per adult from

$4,772

AUD

Duration

12 days

Pickup

Hotel pickup available

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Select Date and Travellers

No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • 10x Breakfast
    • 3x Dinner
    • Accommodation included: 10 nights
    • 11 Nights Accommodation at 4 Star Hotels with Full Irish Breakfasts Each Morning
    • Entry/Admission - Blarney Castle & Gardens
    • Entry/Admission - Blarney Woollen Mills
    • Entry/Admission - Ring of Kerry
    • Entry/Admission - Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark
    • Entry/Admission - Cliffs of Moher
    • Entry/Admission - Galway Cathedral
    • Entry/Admission - Lough Corrib
    • Entry/Admission - Connemara National Park & Visitor Centre
    • Entry/Admission - Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery
    • Entry/Admission - Belleek Pottery & Visitor Centre
    • Entry/Admission - Walled city Londonderry
    • Entry/Admission - Giant's Causeway
    • Entry/Admission - Titanic Belfast
    • Entry/Admission - Ards Peninsula
    • Entry/Admission - Mount Stewart
    • Entry/Admission - Dublin's Art & Antique Quarter
    • Entry/Admission - Christ Church Cathedral
    • Entry/Admission - The Book of Kells and the Old Library Exhibition
    What's excluded :
    • Flights & Airport Transfers
    • Guinness Storehouse – Supplement of $22.00 p.p.
    • Entry/Admission - Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet
    • Entry/Admission - Taylors Three Rock
    • Entry/Admission - Guinness Storehouse

  • Day 1: Welcome to Ireland, Arrive at Dublin Airport & Transfer to your Hotel

    Stop At: Dublin, Dublin, County Dublin
    Transfer to your Dublin hotel under own arrangements. You are free to explore the city at your leisure this afternoon. Your hotel will be within walking distance of the city centre.


    Duration: 6 hours

    Stop At: Dublin, Dublin, County Dublin
    Enjoy a free day in Dublin upon arrival in the city prior to your tour
    Duration: 5 hours

    Meals included:
    • Dinner: 3 Course Dinner at your Hotel
    Accommodation included: Gresham Hotel, Dublin - 4 Star Hotel

    Day 2: Ireland's Midlands, Blarney Castle & Kerry

    Stop At: Blarney Castle & Gardens, Monacnapa, Blarney, Cork T23 Y598 Ireland
    Today meet with your coach & English speaking driver/guide & depart Ireland’s Capital traveling to County Kerry. En route stop in the town of Blarney to visit Blarney Castle. Here you will find the legendary Stone of Eloquence. Kiss it & you’ll never again be lost for words. Enjoy some time for shopping at Blarney Woollen Mills.

    The presence of the Woollen Mills during the famine shielded Blarney from the worst effects of the famine, due to its employment of local workers. In 1976 Chris Kelleher, himself a mill worker, bought the old mill property.

    Within a short period of time Chris & his family transformed the mill into what is perhaps the largest quality craft shop in Ireland.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Blarney Woollen Mills, Blarney, Cork Ireland
    Redefining Luxury Irish Craftsmanship With A Range Of Traditional & Novelty Irish Gifts. Discover Exclusive Irish Knitwear, Authentic Celtic Jewelry & Much More. Shop Today! 100% Irish. Types: Irish Sweaters, Claddagh Rings, Celtic Jewelry, Irish Gifts, Aran Accessories.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast: Full Irish Breakfast at your Hotel
    Accommodation included: Randles Court Hotel, Killarney. Co.Kerry - 4 Star Hotel

    Day 3: The Ring of Kerry

    Stop At: Ring of Kerry, Ireland
    Today you can enjoy a superb tour of the Iveragh Peninsula, which will give you the opportunity to discover the Ring of Kerry. Taking in spectacular scenery such as mountains, peat, bogs, lakes and magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Leaving Killarney pass through Killorglin, famous for its Puck Fair, then to Glenbeigh where the cliff road affords panoramic views of the Dingle Peninsula & Dingle Bay. Passing through the peat bogs one arrives at the sea town of Waterville. Continue to Sneem Village, famous for its brightly coloured houses.

    The road continues through the mountains to Molls Gap & Ladies View with superb views of the famous Lakes of Killarney. Next today enjoy transportation of a different kind!

    A pony and trap (also known as a Jaunting Car) helps you discover areas of Killarney National Park that you might not otherwise visit. Relax aboard a jaunting car as your Jarvey [driver] takes you through the magnificent scenery of the National Park. Today enjoy dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants or pubs in Killarney town.
    Duration: 8 hours

    Stop At: Waterville, Waterville, County Kerry
    Waterville, historically known as Coirean, is a village in County Kerry, Ireland, on the Iveragh Peninsula. The town is sited on a narrow isthmus, with Lough Currane on the east side of the town, and Ballinskelligs Bay on the west, and the Currane River connecting the two.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Sneem, Sneem, County Kerry
    Sneem is a village in Co. Kerry, South West Ireland, long associated with a remote and relaxed way of living.
    It is situated in the famous "Ring of Kerry" a route that encapsulates some of the best nature has to offer.

    Nestled between mountains and wild and rugged coast it offers some of the best views in the country, to be experienced either from the car, on foot or on a bicycle as the weather dictates!

    The village is split into two by the Sneem River, with the respective sides being known as North Square and South Square. Each part of the village has its own feeling and special beauty, there is really no better way than to spend a day exploring.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Moll's Gap, 3 Kenmare Innovation Centre N 71 Road, Killarney Ireland
    Moll's Gap is a pass on the N71 road from Kenmare to Killarney, with views of the Macgillycuddy's Reeks, the area and its shop is a panoramic spot visited by thousands of tourists each year. Moll's Gap is named for Moll Kissane who ran a shebeen, a small pub, on a rocky breach during the construction of the original Kenmare Killarney road in the 1820s. She became popular for selling home brewed poitin, whiskey, to the hardy men who worked on the road. For cyclists this 6.3 mile climb reaches a summit of 860 feet where you can see the Black Valley and further down on the descent you will find Ladies View and the Killarney lakes.
    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Ladies' View, 71 Killarney National Park, N, Killarney V93 X376 Ireland
    Ladies View is about 12 miles from Killarney on the N71 road as you go towards Kenmare. The view here is probably the best known of Killarney and is a major attraction for visitors. Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting visited here during the royal visit in 1861. They were so taken with the view that it was named after them.
    If you walk up the road from the viewing point there is another parking area and a path that leads to a wonderful view of the upper lake.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Killarney National Park Cork Road, Killarney Ireland
    South and west of the town of Killarney in Co. Kerry is an expanse of rugged mountainous country. This includes the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland which rise to a height of over 1000 metres. At the foot of these mountains nestle the world famous lakes of Killarney. Here where the mountains sweep down to the lake shores, their lower slopes covered in woodlands, lies the 10,236 hectare (26,000 acres), Killarney National Park . The distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls under ever changing skies gives the area a special scenic beauty.

    The nucleus of the National Park is the 4,300 hectare Bourn Vincent Memorial Park which was presented to the Irish State in 1932 by Senator Arthur Vincent and his parents-in-law, Mr and Mrs William Bowers Bourn in memory of Senator Vincent’s late wife Maud.

    The focal point of the National Park for visitors is Muckross House and Gardens. The house which is presented as a late 19 th century mansion featuring all the necessary furnishings and artefacts of the period is a major visitor attraction is jointly managed by the Park Authorities and the Trustees of Muckross House.

    The former Kenmare Desmene close to Killarney Town is also part of the National Park and features Killarney House and Gardens and Knockreer House which is the education centre of the park.

    Killarney National Park contains many features of national and international importance such as the native oakwoods and yew woods together with an abundance of evergreen trees and shrubs and a profusion of bryophytes and lichens which thrive in the mild Killarney climate. The native red deer are unique in Ireland with a presence in the country since the last Ice Age.

    Killarney National Park was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), part of a world network of natural areas which have conservation, research, education and training as major objectives.
    Duration: 4 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast: Full Irish Breakfast at your Hotel
    Accommodation included: Randles Court Hotel, Killarney. Co. Kerry - 4 Star Hotel

    Day 4: The Burren & Cliffs of Moher

    Stop At: Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark, Ireland
    Travel northwards to Tarbert & take a short boat ride across the mouth of the river Shannon to land on Clare’s shore at Killimer. Travel along the coast to the Cliffs of Moher, the most majestic cliffs in Ireland which rise from the Atlantic Ocean & extend for over 7km. On a clear day, you can admire the Aran Islands & Connemara Mountains. The cliffs reach their highest point just north of O’Brien’s Tower, built by the descendants of Brian Boru to entertain his lady friends. A visit to the tower is also possible.

    Atlantic Edge is the exciting new interpretive centre built into the natural landscape in the cliffs. Enjoy a tour of the Burren Region. The Burren is a strange & unique region in Europe; it is a high plateau of porous limestone situated in Northern Clare. The limestone is bare with no trees growing here or land covering the stone.

    But the Burren is not as deserted as we believe: the cracks allow different types of flowers to grow all year round. The rocks hide many caves like Ailwee as well as “Turloughs”, an interesting phenomenon which transforms lakes into fields during the summer. Continue to Limerick.
    Duration: 4 hours

    Stop At: Cliffs of Moher, Lislorkan North, Liscannor Ireland
    As the sea spray fills the air with the invigorating freshness of the Wild Atlantic Way, it’s hard not to feel as though you’re braving the ocean from the prow of a magnificent ship. To make the most of the magic, nothing quite beats a wind-whipped trek across the clifftop, the edges peaking slightly upwards like the crests of the waves that roll endlessly below. Try the Doolin Cliff Walk: it leads you down the full length of the well-worn trail to the hugely informative Visitor Center, set into the hillside like a hobbit house.
    Of course, one of the most unique and precious aspects of the cliffs is the local wildlife that calls them home. Those with a love of bird-watching will be spoiled here: think countless sad-eyed puffins; elegantly dressed razorbills; chattering kittiwakes; and if you’re lucky, even an elusive peregrine falcon.

    The best part is watching the wide variety of birds. The updrafts and downdrafts created by the cliffs make for intriguing aerobatics.
    PETER K, TRIPADVISOR
    The surrounding landscape itself is a marvel of natural delights, with delicate sea campion, blushing sea pinks and wildflowers dotting the springy coastal grass around your feet. On a calm day, keep an eye out for any ripples in the water – breaching basking sharks and friendly dolphin pods are a common sight.
    Tales as tall as the cliffs
    On an island of storytellers, it’s no surprise that one of the most dramatic landscapes comes with its fair share of folklore and fantasy. There’s the story of the fisherman who fell in love with a mermaid, only for her to leave him to return to the sea; the doomed Leap of the Foals, where the mythical Tuatha Dé Danann plunged over the cliffs’ edge; and even the lost, underwater city of Kilstiffen… Why not end your windswept day with a trip to a cozy pub, settle in for the evening and ask a local to regale you with tales by the light of a softly smoking turf fire? You won’t get much more atmospheric than that!


    Duration: 2 hours

    Stop At: The Burren, The Burren, County Clare
    Ireland is so much more than 40 shades of green – and nowhere are its many hues more celebrated than in County Clare’s limestone paradise on the Wild Atlantic Way.
    What first hits you is the silence. It’s a silence as layered as the undulating landscape itself, filled with the riches of Irish history; of aeons of stories, told and untold. All around you is pale grey stone ribboned with crags and crevices; miniature cliffs spread like mosaics as far as the horizon; and a microcosm of Ireland’s wildlife thrives.
    The flora
    Look closer and the true magic of the Burren reveals itself: peeking out from between rocks are the delicate leaves of the early purple orchid; the white and golden Irish eyebright; the metallic blue flowers of Burren grass.

    “Wildflowers in spring give the Burren brilliant, if ephemeral, colour amid its stark beauty.”
    LONELY PLANET
    A wildly diverse ecosystem awaits any visitor to this corner of County Clare, dedicated a Special Area of Conservation by the EU. Of Ireland’s 900 native plants species, the Burren is home to 70% – including the mountain avens, an Arctic-Alpine plant brought here by glaciers in the last Ice Age.
    The landscape
    They say the moon is made of cheese – but we think it could be limestone! The craggy terrain of the Burren is famously lunar in its appearance, its cracked grey stone peaking and troughing for acres upon acres.

    “A rugged beauty of its own, it begs to be explored and studied.”
    LINDA L, TRIPADVISOR
    Formed millions of years ago beneath long-forgotten tropical seas, the unique landscape means that farming here is hardy and unique. Although the rock may appear bare and barren, the agricultural tradition is strong, dating back almost 6,000 years. Countless livestock graze the hills in winter, clearing the ground of tough grasses and making way for the delicate plant life to flourish in spring.
    The history
    Unsurprisingly, the Burren has been the source and site of symbolism and settlement since time immemorial. Perhaps most famous is Poulnabrone, a gravity-defying portal dolmen that’s perched here for over 5,800 years, guarding the remains of 22 people buried over the course of six centuries.
    “Don't just drive through it – get out and take a hike and take it in.”
    Like a huge outdoor museum, there are over 80 tombs scattered across this sparse terrain, dating from the Mesolithic era right through the Iron Age. Once Christianity began to make its mark on Ireland, the Burren was no different; visit Corcomroe Abbey to see a particularly awe-inspiring example of a 13th-century Cistercian monastery. The Burren Centre will walk you through what’s probably the largest limestone pavement anywhere in the world.


    Duration: 2 hours

    Stop At: Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet, Shannon Heritage Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Bunratty Ireland
    Bunratty Castle was built in the 15th century by the Earl of Thomond & stands on the banks of the Raite River in County Clare. The Earl was known for his generosity and his lavish entertainment & banquets.

    The entertainment today is provided by the superb Bunratty Singers & is a fitting compliment to the lively mead reception, a four-course meal & of course good wine. Guests are invited to enjoy an unforgettable evening in the splendour of this magnificent castle & take a true step back in time to Medieval Ireland.
    Duration: 2 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast: Full Irish Breakfast at your Hotel
    Accommodation included: George Hotel, Limerick - 4 Star Hotel.

    Day 5: Galway City & The Lough Corrib Cruise

    Stop At: Galway, Galway, County Galway, Western Ireland
    Galway City & The Lough Corrib Cruise.
    This morning travel to Galway city. Visit Galway Cathedral, one of the largest & most impressive buildings in the city. The exterior design may not be to everybody’s taste, while the interior, with its high curved arches & central dome, has a simple but solid elegance. Enjoy a Cruise along the Corrib River to Lough Corrib including scones & an Irish coffee (Including demonstration).

    This journey on the Corrib Princess takes passengers along the majestic River Corrib and onto the lake. Visitors will see unsurpassed views of the historic monuments & natural amenities that make this one of the most spectacular waterways in Ireland. The cruise sails from Woodquay in the heart of Galway City & lasts approx. 90 minutes. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

    Duration: 8 hours

    Stop At: Galway Cathedral, University and Gaol Rds. Cathedral Square, Galway Ireland
    Galway Cathedral was constructed in the late 1950's, at a time when most similar buildings were using concrete. It is, therefore, the youngest of Europe’s great stone cathedrals. Dedicated to Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas, it was designed by J.J. Robinson in a very eclectic style. It includes some Renaissance details mixed with the Romanesque and Gothic traditions.

    The cathedral also boasts an impressive variety of art, including a statue of the Virgin by Imogen Stuart, a large Crucifixion mosaic by Patrick Pollen, rose windows by George Campbell and more.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Lough Corrib, Ireland
    Cruise along the Corrib River to Lough Corrib.
    Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of a cruise with us onboard the luxurious all-weather 157 passenger boat, the Corrib Princess. The Corrib Princess sails from Woodquay in the heart of Galway city. The journey takes passengers along the majestic River Corrib and onto Lough Corrib, the Republic of Ireland's largest lake, providing visitors with unsurpassed views and natural amenities that make this the most spectacular waterway in Ireland. The Corrib Princess takes you past castles and various sites of both historical and cultural interest. You can enjoy this natural wonderland either as a member of a group, with your family and friends or simply by yourself.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast: Full Irish Breakfast at your Hotel
    • Dinner: 3 Course Dinner at your Hotel
    Accommodation included: The Clayton Hotel, Galway - 4 Star Hotel

    Day 6: Connemara

    Stop At: Connemara National Park & Visitor Centre, Connemara National Park Connemara National Park Connemara, Co Galway Near the village of Letterfrack, Galway Ireland
    Today travel through the beautiful Connemara Region, a land of lakes & rivers, bogs & mountains, & small villages where Gaelic is still the spoken language. It is without doubt the wildest & most romantic part of Ireland. Enjoy some time at leisure in Connemara National Park.

    The park encompasses 2,957 hectares of rugged quartzite & schist terrain of north Connemara from sea level at Letterfrack to some of the peaks of the Twelve Bens Mountains. Visit Kylemore Abbey, built in 1868 by Mitchell Henry, and see its most famous feature the miniature Cathedral. It has been home to the Irish order of Benedictine nuns since 1920.
    Duration: 6 hours

    Stop At: Connemara, Connemara, County Galway, Western Ireland
    Much of the present Park lands formed part of the Kylemore Abbey Estate and the Letterfrack Industrial School, the remainder having been owned by private individuals. The southern part of the Park was at one time owned by Richard (Humanity Dick) Martin who helped to form the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals during the early 19th century. The Park lands are now wholly owned by the State and managed solely for National Park purposes.

    The Visitor Centre buildings were formerly the farm buildings belonging to Letterfrack Industrial School, and the Park Office was the school infirmary. These buildings were erected around 1890. The Park’s field laboratory is housed behind the Park Office and is used by research students working on various aspects of wildlife in Connemara.

    In the past, the Park lands were used for agriculture, mainly as grazing for cattle and sheep. Vegetables were grown on some of the more fertile lowlands. Today, these areas are easliy recognised by the old cultivation ridges and hollows. Several of the bogs in the Park were used extensively as fuel sources, and old turf banks, now disused, are commonly seen.

    Many remains of human presence can be seen in the Park. The oldest are megalithic court tombs some 4,000 years old.There is also an early 19th century graveyard about which little is known. Also of that period is Tobar Mweelin, a well which was tapped to supply water to Kylemore Castle around 1870 and is still in use today. Stretches of the old Galway road, in use over a century ago, may still be seen in the northern sections of the Park, but other stretches are obscured by vegetation. Ruined houses, a disused lime kiln, old sheep pens, an ice house, drainage systems and old walls in various parts of the Park, are all evidence of a greater population and more extensive use of these lands in the past.
    Duration: 6 hours

    Stop At: Kylemore, Kylemore, County Galway, Western Ireland
    This is a story about Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian Walled Garden. It is located just one hour from Galway and is one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions. Kylemore Castle was built in the late 1800s by Mitchell Henry MP, a wealthy businessman, and liberal politician. Inspired by his love for his wife Margaret, and his hopes for his beloved Ireland, Henry created an estate boasting ‘all the innovations of the modern age’. An enlightened landlord and vocal advocate of the Irish people, Henry poured his life’s energy into creating an estate that would showcase what could be achieved in the remote wilds of Connemara. Today Kylemore Abbey is owned and run by the Benedictine community who have been in residence here since 1920.

    Come to Kylemore and experience woodland and lakeshore walks, magnificent buildings and Ireland’s largest Walled Garden! New for 2019 is our brand new visitor experience in the Abbey, From Generation to Generation…..the story of Kylemore Abbey. Enjoy wholesome food and delicious home-baking in our Café or Garden Tea House. History talks take place three times a day in the Abbey and tours of the Walled Garden take place throughout the summer. Browse our Craft and Design Shop for unique gifts including Kylemore Abbey Pottery and award-winning chocolates handmade by the Benedictine nuns. Discover the beauty, history, and romance of Ireland’s most intriguing estate in the heart of the Connemara countryside.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast: Full Irish Breakfast at your Hotel
    Accommodation included: The Clayton Hotel, Galway - 4 Star Hotel

    Day 7: Sligo, Carrowmore to Donegal

    Stop At: County Donegal, County Donegal
    Today travel to Donegal via County Sligo. See the beautiful scenery which was an inspiration for W.B. Yeats, who is buried at Drumcliffe Churchyard, under loaf-shaped Benbulben Mountain.Visit Carrowmore Cemetery which has over 60 stone circles & passage tombs, making it one of the largest Stone Age cemeteries in Europe & is the oldest megalithic cemetery in Ireland. Each tomb is numbered so as to facilitate visitors.

    The central tomb has been restored to enable visitors to explore the interior of a court tomb & see how it was when it was built over 5,000 years ago. It is a must see for those interested in Archaeology. Continue towards Sligo via Belleek. Here you will Visit the Belleek Pottery Factory & see first hand how this world renowned pottery is created. The factory tour allows visitors to see the pottery being removed from its moulds, being fired & decorated by the Belleek artists.
    Duration: 6 hours

    Stop At: Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, Carrowmore Visitor Centre, Sligo F91 E638 Ireland
    County Sligo is home to the largest and oldest collection of stone circles and dolmens known from neolithic Ireland. These are found at Carrowmore, a collection of burial monuments at the centre of the Cuil Iorra peninsula three kilometers west of Sligo town.
    Carrowmore is located at the heart of the Cuil Irra peninsula, a spit of land bounded by water on three sides. Ballisodare Bay lies to the south, the Atlantic ocean to the west and Sligo Bay to the north. Lough Gill is to the east beyond Carns Hill, connected to the sea by the short shelly Sligo river, the Garavogue.

    The stunning cairn topped mountain of Knocknarea is 4 km to the west of Carrowmore, while the smaller, but equally important Carns Hill is 4 km to the east. There are more neolithic buildings on the summits of the Ox Mountains to the south.
    Thirty monuments remain at Carrowmore today, in varying states of preservation and completion, the most perfect being Number 7. The antiquarian George Petrie noted 65 monuments during his visit for the Ordinance Survey in 1837, but today the number is thought to be considerably lower at a probable maximum of forty circles. The sites were badly damaged in the early years of the nineteenth century by land clearance and gravel quarrying.
    New information from ancient DNA suggests that the monuments were built and used by people who came by sea from Brittany in north-western France slightly over 6,000 years ago.

    These voyagers brought the first cattle to Ireland, and existed by herding their cattle through the forested landscape. It seems that they also re-introduced the red deer to Ireland, the native species of Irish elk having become extinct after the last ice age.

    Because so many of the monuments have been destroyed, the only remaining records of some circles are the comments by Petrie and Wood-Martin and the illustrations of William Wakeman.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Belleek Pottery & Visitor Centre, 3 Main Street, Belleek BT93 3FY Northern Ireland
    Our guided tours begin from 9.30am until 12.15pm with 12.15 tour being the last tour before lunch break. Tours begin again at 1.45pm to 4pm with the final tour of the day being 4pm Monday - Thursday and 3pm on Fridays. Tours are available on Saturdays during peak season (June - September) but not on Sundays when we have an audio visual in the museum.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast: Full Irish Breakfast at your Hotel
    • Dinner: 3 Course Dinner at you Hotel
    Accommodation included: Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny 4 - Star Hotel.

    Day 8: Donegal to Belfast via Derry

    Stop At: Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland
    This morning depart Donegal for Derry. Upon arrival meet with your English speaking guide & enjoy a walking tour of the Walled City of Derry. Founded in the 6th century by St. Columba, Derry is the 2nd largest city & port of Northern Ireland.

    In 1613 the city was selected as a major plantation project, organised by the London livery companies. It was in this year that the walls of Derry were built to protect the town from the Gaelic chieftains in Donegal.

    This afternoon travel along the Antrim coast to Belfast, visiting the Giants Causeway en route. The Causeway was formed more than 60 million years ago when red-hot lava erupted onto the surface of the earth & was cooled by the sea to form the columns which make up the Giants Causeway.

    Legend tells a different story however that Finn Mac Cumhaill built the causeway over the sea to Scotland in order to fight his arch enemy, Fingal, who had started his own path. The two had never met before & when Finn heard the heavy footsteps of Fingal he turned back.

    Helped by his wife, Finn dressed up as a baby & when Fingal arrived & saw Finn, Fingal assumed the baby’s father would be much bigger. This scared him & he went running home, destroying the causeway behind him. Continue to Belfast.
    Duration: 6 hours

    Stop At: Walled city Londonderry, Londonderry, Derry Northern Ireland
    The Dry Moat Walk
    The best way to see the Derry Walls is to walk around the exterior of the monument, exiting the Walled City through New Gate, passing by Bishop’s Gate and re-entering the Walled City through Butcher Gate. On this route, which follows the line of a now-lost, dry moat, you will pass three surviving full bastions – Church, Double and Royal – and a demi-bastion – the Platform.

    The Ramparts Top Walk
    A walk around the top of the ramparts, provides an elevated promenade to see how the city has developed out beyond the Walls. The Derry Walls are approximately a mile in circumference and take in both the highest and lowest points on what used to be the Island of Derry. The usual arrival point for the Derry Walls is in Guildhall Square ascending the Walls at the steps or ramp through Magazine Gate. An equally pleasant arrival point is in Bishop Street Without, ascending the steps at Bishop’s Gate or using Stable Lane.
    Duration: 1 minute

    Stop At: Giant's Causeway, Causeway Road, Bushmills BT57 8SU Northern Ireland
    Take it to the edge at this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site along Northern Ireland's Causeway Coastal Route.
    There’s nothing modest about Antrim’s coastline. Drive along the famous Causeway Coast, and one stunning site leads to another, from the craggy castle ruins of Dunluce Castle to the pale cream sands of Whiterocks Beach. But as you weave along this great driving route, one sight jumps out as truly spectacular: the Giant’s Causeway.

    This is nature at its most primal: carving the land into mad formations that send the imagination into overdrive… No wonder dreamy and fantastical myths surround it.
    Stand on the hills that gently arc this precious place and you’ll look down on thousands of basalt columns tumbling down into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s an epic sight, with a whopping 40,000 or so of these hexagonal-shaped pillars, which dates back to a volcanic age almost 60 million years ago.
    Gigantic tales
    Step into the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre and you can discover a story that’s close to the heart of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The star of the show is Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool) – an Irish giant who picked a fight with Scottish big man Benandonner.

    It’s no wonder this place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, because beyond the mindboggling beauty, the Causeway is our portal into Earth’s most ancient past.
    ELEANOR KILLOUGH, GIANT’S CAUSEWAY VISITOR CENTRE
    Legend has it that the giants loathed each other. And so one day after enduring insults from Benandonner, Fionn built a path to use as stepping-stones to reach Scotland, which was then ripped up by Benandonner. The result was the Giant’s Causeway.
    Geological marvel
    And what a truly unique place it is. An enjoyable walk of just under a kilometre will bring you down to the Causeway itself, where you can hop over the stones, explore the surrounding hills, or just sit and contemplate the puzzling geology that has led to one of the most remarkable natural sites in Europe. Here, the light changes through the day, with remarkable beauty from sharp greens and greys to warm tobacco brown.

    It’s what dreams are made of.
    Duration: 2 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast: Full Irish Breakfast at your Hotel
    Accommodation included: The Clayton Hotel, Belfast 4 - Star Hotel

    Day 9: Belfast & the Titanic Experience

    Stop At: Titanic Belfast, Queen's Road 1 Olympic Way, Titanic Quarter, Belfast BT3 9EP Northern Ireland
    This morning enjoy a guided tour of Belfast City. This is an excellent way to discover Belfast City & will take in the leaning Albert Memorial Clock Tower (Ireland’s answer to the leaning Tower of Pisa) & the Opera House, as well as passing City Hall, the Crown Bar (dating from 1885), Queens University & the Botanic Gardens.

    Some tours will also visit the Harland & Wolfe Shipyard, where the Titanic was built & launched in 1912. A visit to the Shankill & Falls road will be of interest as it will give the visitor an indication of how life was in Belfast during the troubles. Visit the Titanic Experience Belfast.

    Located in the heart of Belfast, the Titanic Belfast recreates the story of the world’s most famous ship in a new iconic, six floor building right beside the historic site of the original ship’s construction.

    Opened to coincide with the centenary, the self guided tour begins upon entering the buildings giant atrium where visitors are surrounded by the four “ship’s hull” shaped wings which house the Titanic Experience. You will uncover the true story of the Titanic from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900’s through her construction & launch, to her famous maiden voyage & subsequent place in history through nine large galleries full of interactive exhibitions.

    Highlights include views of the slipways where the Titanic was launched & the voyage to the bottom of the sea in the unique Ocean Exploration Centre. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure in Belfast City.
    Duration: 2 hours

    Stop At: Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland
    xplore Belfast with a Knowledgeable Local Guide and See What Others Miss! Adventures for Sensibly Curious Travelers. Arrange Your Private Tour Today! 1+ Million Customers. Live Customer Support. Only Vetted Guides. First Class Experience.
    Duration: 2 hours

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast: Full Irish Breakfast at your Hotel
    Accommodation included: The Clayton Hotel, Belfast 4 - Star Hotel

    Day 10: Strangford Lough & Mount Stewart

    Stop At: Ards Peninsula, Northern Ireland
    This morning enjoy a tour of the Ards Peninsula. Located in County Down, it separates Strangford Lough from the North Channel on Ireland’s northeast coast.Visit Mount Stewart House & Garden, a magnificent 18th century house, which was home to the marquees of Londonderry.
    Duration: 3 minutes

    Stop At: Mount Stewart, Portaferry Road, Newtownards BT22 2AD Northern Ireland
    This morning enjoy a tour of the Ards Peninsula. Located in County Down, it separates Strangford Lough from the North Channel on Ireland’s northeast coast.Visit Mount Stewart House & Garden, a magnificent 18th century house, which was home to the marquees of Londonderry.

    Gardens
    at Mount Stewart
    The garden reflects a rich tapestry of design and great planting artistry that was the hallmark of Edith, Lady Londonderry. The mild climate of Strangford Lough allows astonishing levels of planting experimentation. The formal areas exude a strong Mediterranean feel and resemble an Italian villa landscape; the wooded areas support a range of plants from all corners of the world, ensuring something to see whatever the season.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Castletown Geoghegan, Castletown Geoghegan, County Westmeath
    When it was built in the 1720s, Castletown set a radical precedent and it is an extraordinary part of our cultural inheritance. Now, as the OPW breathes contemporary life into Ireland’s earliest and finest Palladian house, it is trailblazing once more. We hope you enjoy your visit.
    Castletown, as Ireland’s first and largest Palladian style house, is an important part of Ireland’s architectural heritage.
    Erected between 1722 and c.1729 for William Conolly, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, Castletown House was designed to reflect its owner’s power and to serve as a venue for political entertaining on a large scale. In true Palladian fashion, the house consists of a central block flanked by two pavilions, connected by Ionic colonnades, with the kitchens on one side and the stables on the other. This style had originated in Italy with the sixteenth-century architect Andrea Palladio (1508–80), and had come to prominence in England in the early eighteenth century. The original interior layout of the house owed much to Baroque formality, with a central hall and saloon surrounded by four apartments on the ground floor and a gallery flanked by apartments on the piano nobile (first floor).

    The identity of the architect of the house is still subject to debate…
    …but the façade, built of Ardbraccan limestone, was designed by the Italian architect Alessandro Galilei (1691–1737), whom Conolly had met when the former visited Ireland in 1718–19. When construction began three years later, Galilei had returned to Italy, and the execution of the interior, wings and colonnades fell to the young Irish architect Edward Lovett Pearce (1699–1733), who later designed the Irish Houses of Parliament in College Green. A ground floor plan of Castletown survives amongst his papers.

    Pearce became the leading Irish architect of the early eighteenth century. His addition of the Ionic colonnades and the Palladian style wings was to influence the design of many of the great eighteenth-century Irish houses such as Carton, Co. Kildare, and Russborough, Co. Wicklow, both designed by his assistant and successor Richard Castle (1690–1751).
    Castletown underwent a radical architectural transformation following the arrival of Lady Louisa Conolly in 1759.
    Over the next forty years, she spent over £25,000 on improvements to the house and demesne. Guided by her brother-in-law, the Duke of Leinster, and the published designs of leading British architects Sir William Chambers (1723–96) and Isaac Ware (1704–1766), Lady Louisa altered the layout of the interior, remodelling the main reception rooms including the Dining Room, the two drawing rooms and the magnificent Long Gallery. She also commissioned the great staircase built in 1759 and altered the front façade of the house, lengthening the windows to fit in with contemporary fashion, thereby giving the ground floor equal emphasis.

    These changes reflected the changing function of the house as the Conollys made it their permanent residence. A constant stream of informal visits replaced the political congresses intended by Speaker Conolly and later hosted by his widow, Katherine Conolly.

    Following Lady Louisa’s death in 1821, few substantive architectural changes were made to the house, and although ambitious plans were drawn up in the 1850s by Tom Conolly (1823–1876) to cover in the stable yard behind the east wing, these were never carried out.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Taylors Three Rock, Grange Road Rathfarnham, Dublin 16 Ireland
    Taylors Irish Night & Cabaret Dublin
    Ireland’s most loved pub and entertainment venue Taylors Three Rock involves a rip roaring evening of traditional Irish song and dance accompanied by a great selection of quality Irish food to delight your palate.

    Our resident band and traditional Irish Dancers provide breathtaking performances for their audience and never fail to entertain.

    Visit this lively pub in Rathfarnham, 30 minutes from the city centre, for an excellent night of music and dance. A ballad group will regale visitors with ballads both happy and sad and will (after a few pints) have visitors singing along with them.

    The music is interrupted for a short while to enjoy the best of Irish Dancing, guaranteed to get feet tapping. Visitors will leave with fond memories of a memorable night in a Dublin Pub. Overnight: Dublin (Bed & breakfast)
    Duration: 2 hours

    No meals included on this day.
    Accommodation included: Gresham Hotel, Dublin 4 - Star Hotel

    Day 11: Dublin’s Fair City

    Stop At: Dublin's Art & Antique Quarter, Francis Street, Dublin Ireland
    After breakfast with your English speaking guide, enjoy an orientation tour of the city. The North side of the river offers striking monuments such as the GPO (General Post Office) on the city’s main thoroughfare O’Connell Street or the Custom House along the quays, as well as Europe’s largest public park, the Phoenix Park.

    The south side appears more sophisticated with its vast Georgian Squares, such as Merrion Square, where Oscar Wilde’s House can still be found, its colourful doors along with Grafton Street and its quality shops. This part of the city is also home to the house of Bram Stoker, Trinity College & the Medieval District.

    Visit Trinity College, Ireland's oldest University, founded in 1592 by Elisabeth 1st. Visit the ancient library, containing over 20,000 manuscripts & is home to the 9th century Book of Kells.

    The 4 Courts overlooking the River Liffey, Dublin, Ireland
    Last stop today will be a visit to Christchurch Cathedral. King Sitric Silkenbeard, the 1st Christian Viking King of Dublin, built the city’s first church on this site in 1038.The current building was built in 1172 by the Anglo-Norman Richard de Clare (Strongbow).

    Similar to St Patrick’s Cathedral, it is adorned with funeral monuments, including the reputed tomb of Strongbow. Unlike St. Patrick’s however, Christchurch posses a crypt which stretches nearly its entire length & much of the Cathedrals memorabilia is displayed here. Attached to the Cathedral is Dublinia an excellent exhibition of medieval Dublin. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.
    Duration: 4 hours

    Stop At: Christ Church Cathedral, Christchurch Place, Dublin 8 Ireland
    The History of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
    The earliest manuscript dates Christ Church Cathedral to its present location around 1030. Dúnán, the first bishop of Dublin and Sitriuc, Norse king of Dublin, founded the original Viking church, which was probably subject to the archbishop of Canterbury. By 1152 it was incorporated into the Irish church and within a decade the famous archbishop Laurence O’Toole had been appointed. This future patron saint of Dublin began a reform of the cathedral’s constitution along European lines and introduced the canons regular of Saint Augustine forming a cathedral priory, which was to survive until the Reformation following the liturgical use of Sarum (Salisbury) in England.

    Laurence O’Toole acted directly in diplomatic efforts between the Dubliners and the Anglo-Normans including Strongbow (Richard de Clare) following the capture of the city in 1170. It was due largely to John Cumin, the first Anglo- Norman archbishop, that the Hiberno-Norse cathedral was replaced with the Romanesque and later Gothic cathedral, parts of which survive today. In 1395 King Richard II sat in state in the cathedral to receive homage from the kings of the four Irish provinces O’Neill of Ulster, McMurrough of Leinster, O’Brien of Munster and O’Connor of Connacht. In 1487 Lambert Simnel, pretender to the English throne in the reign of Henry VII was ‘crowned’ in Christ Church as Edward VI.

    1846In the sixteenth century, reform again came from England when Henry VIII broke from Rome. He dissolved the Augustinian priory of the Holy Trinity and established a reformed foundation of secular canons. On 22 December 1541 Robert Castle (alias Paynswick), the last prior, became the first dean of Christ Church. In 1562, the nave roof vaulting collapsed and Strongbow’s tomb was smashed, the current tomb being a contemporary replacement from Drogheda. The cathedral was in ruins and emergency rebuilding took place immediately. This temporary solution lasted until the 1870s! Since the collapse of the roof, the north nave wall has leaned out by 46cm / 18 inches. Political changes over the years were reflected in the changes of administration of the cathedral and following the virtual collapse of the cathedral system during the Cromwellian period, Christ Church was given a new constitution in 1660 which, as modified by the Church of Ireland’s general synod since 1870, is still the basis of the rule governing the cathedral.

    In 1689 King James attended Mass here and for a brief period, the rites of the pre-Reformation faith were restored. One year later, returning from the Battle of the Boyne on 6 July 1690, King William III gave thanks for his victory over King James II and presented a set of gold communion plate to the cathedral. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Christ Church’s crypt was used as a market, a meeting place for business, and at one stage even a pub as a letter of 1633 shows: the vaults from one end of the minster to the other are made into tippling houses for beer, wine and tobacco.

    In 1742 the cathedral choir together with the choir of St Patrick’s cathedral sang at the world premiere of Handel’s Messiah in nearby Fishamble Street. The Church Temporalities Act of 1833 brought partial disendowment and impoverished what had been one of the wealthiest ecclesiastical corporations in Ireland. When Charles Lindsay, bishop of Kildare and dean of Christ Church (a position which had been held together since the 17th century) died in 1846, the dean of St Patrick’s cathedral also became the dean of Christ Church. Not until 1884 did Christ Church have its own dean once more.

    The cathedral as it exists today is heavily Victorianised due to the extensive restorations and renovations carried out by the architect George Edmund Street (between 1871 and 1878) at the expense of a Dublin whiskey distiller, Henry Roe, who gave £230,000 (€35m today!) to save the cathedral. The disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1871 saw further constitutional change and financial disendowment at the cathedral. With members of the laity now responsible for the building’s maintenance it became essential to provide for lay participation in its governance. A cathedral board of laymen (as was the case then) and clergy was formed in addition to the solely clerical chapter.

    1815A two-year restoration of the cathedral roof and stonework was undertaken in 1982. Kenneth Jones of Bray installed a new organ in 1984. Further work since 1997 has included the renewal of the heating and lighting systems and the restoration of the massive 12th century crypt. This last undertaking was to provide the cathedral with a much-need facility for hospitality and to mark the millennium year 2000. It now houses the important Treasures of Christ Church exhibition, together with the superb video of the cathedral history by Louis Marcus. The exhibition features manuscripts and artefacts that give the visitor some impression of nearly one thousand years of worship in the cathedral and nearby churches. Outstanding among the rare church silver is the stunning royal plate given by King William III in 1697 as a thanksgiving for his victory at the battle of the Boyne. Also on display are the conserved tabernacle and the candlesticks used in 1689 under James II when the Latin rites were restored for a three-month period.

    To mark the Christian millennium, two principal events took place among many others. In June 2000 Christ Church Cathedral Dublin: A History was launched by An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, TD and in the same week a five-day residential ecumenical liturgical conference, Ceiliúradh (Celebration) was organised, in which themes of music, art, architecture and theology were explored within a context of seminars, workshops, lectures and worship.


    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Guinness Storehouse, Market Street St James Gate, Dublin 8 Ireland
    Visit the Guinness Storehouse. The Guinness Brewery in Dublin is Europe’s largest stout producing brewery and home to the Guinness Storehouse. Opened in 1904, the Storehouse was an operational plant for fermenting and storing Guinness.

    Today it houses a very fine exhibition dedicated to the Guinness story. Visitors will discover what goes into the making a pint of Guinness - the ingredients, the brewing process, the time, the craft and the passion.
    The exhibition shows how the brew has been marketed and how it is today sold in over 150 countries. Once the tour has finished, the guest is invited to the Gravity Bar to enjoy their pint of Guinness.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: The Book of Kells and the Old Library Exhibition, College Green Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2 Ireland
    The Book of Kells Exhibition is a must-see on the itinerary of all visitors to Dublin. Located in the heart of the city centre in Trinity College Dublin, the Exhibition displays the Book of Kells, a 9th century manuscript that documents the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ. The Book of Kells is Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript.

    The Exhibition also features access to the Long Room, one of the world’s most beautiful libraries, that houses 250,000 of Trinity College’s oldest books.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast: Full Irish Breakfast at your Hotel
    No accommodation included on this day.

    Day 12: Departure & end of your Tour

    Stop At: Dublin, Dublin, County Dublin
    After a final Irish breakfast, transfer to Dublin Airport for your departure flight home under own arrangements.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Meals included:
    • Breakfast: Full Irish Breakfast at your Hotel
    No accommodation included on this day.
  • Departure Point :
    Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham Dublin, 23 O'Connell Street Upper, North City, Dublin, D01 C3W7, Ireland
    Traveler pickup is offeredAirports
    • Dublin Airport, Dublin Ireland
    • Shannon Airport, Co. Clare, Ireland
    Departure Time :
    7:30 AM
    Return Detail :
    Returns to original departure point
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Stroller accessible
    • Near public transportation
    • Infant seats available
    • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 35 travelers
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.

Language

English

Age Req.

-

Fitness Req.

None

Group Size

14

Organised by Benny's Ireland Vacations

Activity ID: V-241865P1

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