Ireland

Take a magical journey across the Emerald Isle that will introduce you to artisans, wow you with breathtaking vistas, and send you back in time at historic castles. The people are so friendly, and you will have plenty of opportunities to experience Irish life alongside them. Craftsmen will showcase their talents. Irish shepherds will proudly demonstrate their sheep dogs’ herding abilities, and the Ashford Castle falconer will teach you to fly hawks. Every day brings another amazing experience, whether you’re standing on the Cliffs of Moher, relaxing in a 5-star castle, or reveling in our signature farewell event. You’ll return home with memories of the lilt of Irish laughter, warm smiles, and the welcoming spirit of Ireland!

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Package inclusions:

  • Private motorcoach transportation
  • 9 nights’ accommodations
  • 17 meals (9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners)
  • Admission to attractions as stated on itinerary
  • Porter service of one bag per person at hotels
  • Taxes and gratuities for included services
  • Professional tour manager
  • Audio listeners
  • 1 single occupancy comp
    (based on 35 full-fare passengers; airfare not included)
  • Travel show
  • Pre-departure meeting
  • 100 brochures/marketing materials
  • Complete document packet for each traveler
  • Special surprises

All tours are completely customizable. Contact us to discuss your group’s unique interests and needs!

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Itinerary

Day 1

Today we will transfer to the airport for our overnight flight to Dublin, Ireland.

Note: The airport location and airline will be confirmed no sooner than nine months before departure.

Day 2

Upon landing in the Emerald Isle, we will be met by our favorite Irish driver/guide and board a deluxe motorcoach to begin our exciting adventure. We will journey south through the exquisite landscape to the town of Kilkenny. Here we will explore the charming town and enjoy a leisurely tour of the famed Kilkenny Castle, one of the most recognized and most visited buildings in Ireland. The story of this castle has its beginnings in medieval times, but its most significant moments have played out during more recent history. We will learn more about the details of this fascinating story, including its role in Oliver Cromwell’s re-conquest of Ireland in 1650 and its seizure during the Irish Civil War in 1922. At the completion of our tour, we will continue to the Rock of Cashel before traveling to Cork to settle into our overnight accommodations. Once settled, our group will gather for a wonderful welcome dinner.

(Dinner included)

Day 3

We start our morning with breakfast at the hotel before beginning the day’s sightseeing. Our first stop will be the village of Cobh to visit the famed Titanic Museum. Cobh was the last port of call for the RMS Titanic, and it was through this very building that the last of the passengers on the Titanic boarded. Following this moving experience, we head to the Old Jameson Distillery in Midleton for a tour and tasting of this world famous libation, one of the best Ireland has to offer. With the taste of delicious Irish whiskey on our lips, we continue on to the delightful little town of Kinsale tucked neatly into an Irish harbor. We will enjoy a leisurely walk through town and along the harbor before visiting a small crystal cutting shop. The master cutters are of Waterford fame and practice the skill of deep cutting crystal that is a dying art today. We will then head back to Cork for a lovely dinner.

(Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 4

After our hotel’s filling breakfast, we’ll say goodbye to Cork and begin the day’s sightseeing as we make our way toward Killarney. A visit to Ireland would not be complete without a stop at Blarney Castle. We will follow in the footsteps of countless world leaders, literary giants, and movie stars as we climb the stairs to kiss the famous Blarney Stone that promises the gift of gab or eloquence…whichever you prefer! Our motorcoach will continue on to the quaint town of Kenmare before motoring through Moll’s Gap to the Kissane Sheep Farm, a traditional working sheep farm along the Ring of Kerry. The accomplished Irish shepherds will show us some varieties of sheep that are raised in Ireland and also demonstrate how they move their flocks with well-trained sheep dogs. The skill that is required is amazing! Our day’s touring continues past the Lakes of Killarney before we arrive in Killarney and check in to our hotel located in the heart of this charming city. The evening is yours to explore and have dinner on your own. Within walking distance of our hotel there are dozens of fun Irish restaurants to try and countless pubs with great food and lively music!

(Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 5

Following breakfast at the hotel, we will enjoy a tour of the Muckross House and its surrounding gardens set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. We will then hop aboard one of Killarney’s famed horse-drawn jaunting carts for a breathtaking ride along the sparkling Lakes of Killarney. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore Killarney. Relax in the hotel spa or choose from the plethora of theaters, museums, art galleries, and shops scattered throughout this exciting town. We will come back together this evening for dinner, which will be a truly special event for our culinary enjoyment.

(Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 6

We depart Killarney after breakfast this morning, heading north to ferry across the Shannon River and then along the craggy coastline for a stop at the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher. Here we will witness the incredible 700-foot wall of rock that rises from the Atlantic Ocean and stand high on the cliffs to catch a glimpse of the jaw-dropping view. It’s unforgettable! After lunch in a local pub, we’ll continue our drive through the Burren, one of the most remarkable geological formations in Ireland. We’ll stop in Galway to check into our hotel located right in the heart of the city. Enjoy an evening at leisure with dinner on your own and time to relax or take a stroll through the city.

(Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 7

We begin the day with breakfast before traveling along the idyllic lakes and through the mountains and Bogs of Connemara. We will visit a small family-owned marble shop in Moycullen where they design wonderful Irish products from the green Connemara marble. This area has the distinction of being the only place in the world that produces green marble – fitting that it should be on the Emerald Isle! We’ll continue on through Oughterard, Maam Cross, Maum, and between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask to Ashford Castle, once owned by the Guinness family. It was on these historic grounds that John Ford filmed The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. After an elegant lunch, we will meet the falconer at Ashford for a “Hawk Walk” on the castle grounds. Once known as the sport of kings, this falconry exhibition is fascinating! Memories will also be made at Lough Eske, the lovely castle where we will spend the next two nights. Tucked into the magnificent green lands of the Irish countryside, this splendid 5-star castle hotel is waiting for our arrival. Winner of the World’s Best Luxury Country Hotel for five years, Lough Eske offers a unique touch of well-deserved luxury in a storybook setting. The evening is yours to have dinner on your own, relax, or take a leisurely stroll around the castle.

(Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 8

Today you are free to do as you wish! Lough Eske offers easy access to golf, fishing, lakeside strolls, horseback riding on the beach or forest trails, and the slower-paced charms of Irish village life. The hotel can help you arrange activities such as the famous “Bluestack walkway,” visiting a WWII crash site in the Bluestack Mountains, walking the Wild Atlantic Way, wildlife watching, and much more. Bikes are available to rent at Lough Eske with many great trails around the lake and through the mountains. Visit nearby Belleek Pottery or indulge in a little shopping time in Donegal, including a visit to a Donegal weaver for some fine-crafted, hand-woven tweed products. If you’d like to simply enjoy a quiet day, spend time at the hotel exploring the magical grounds or relaxing in the wonderful spa. Be sure to pack your swimsuit! This evening our group will come back together for dinner in an elegant setting.

(Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 9

Following breakfast and a leisurely morning, we leave our delightful castle and head toward Dublin. Along the way we will make a stop at the Corlea Trackway Visitor Centre. While removing peat from the bog in 1984, a great timber roadway that had been buried for centuries was uncovered. Tree ring analysis revealed the trees used for this roadway were felled in late 148 BC or early 147 BC and identified the roadway as the only known example of an Early Iron Age road. Inside the center is a stretch of the road that has been preserved. There may also be time to stop at a pub for a real Irish coffee on our way to Dublin! We will continue on to Dublin for a panoramic overview tour of the city before checking into our deluxe city center hotel for the next two nights. Dinner this evening is on your own at one of the dozen great eateries located right outside our door!

(Breakfast included)

Day 10

Today is filled with the highlights of the capital of the Republic of Ireland! After breakfast we begin a panoramic tour including a stop at Trinity College for a glimpse of the famed Book of Kells. We then delve a little deeper into Irish history with a visit to Kilmainham Jail (subject to availability). This is one of the largest unoccupied jails in Europe, previously used during some of the most heroic and tragic events in Ireland’s emergence as a modern nation from the 1780s to the 1920s. Attractions include a major exhibition detailing the political and penal history of the prison and its restoration. Afterward we will enjoy time on our own for lunch and to take in one of Ireland’s premium museums or do a little shopping. Our hotel is perfectly located to allow for a leisurely walk to Dublin’s top museums and many wonderful restaurants and shops. This evening Christchurch Cathedral will open just for us! We’ll be handed a glass of prosecco and watch in awe as the choir appears, clad in their signature red robes, for a breathtaking performance. Then we’ll be offered a sneak peek at the crypt and the treasures within. As we descend into the crypt, everyone will be astonished to see a fantastic dinner awaiting our arrival. At each person’s seat will be a crystal tumbler custom cut with their initials. They are from the crystal shop we visited earlier and an amazing souvenir!

(Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 11

We will transfer to the airport after breakfast for our flight home.

(Breakfast included)