Ireland is a land of lush emerald green fields, warm people, music, story and thousands of years of history. The sea and Ireland's craggy, dramatic shoreline is never more than 80 miles away. See the Aran Islands and crashing North Atlantic from the 700-ft-high Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland's most photographed sights. En route to Galway, visit the rugged, rocky Burren, home to wildflowers grown from seeds blown in and scattered by winds from places all over the world. At the Molanna Dairy farm, learn what life was like for a traditional Irish farming family, followed by a lakeside jaunting car ride along the lakes Killarney. Travel the Ring of Kerry, one of the most beautiful coastal routes in the world then journey through rugged mountain passes into "Ladies View" and see spectacular views of the lakes of Killarney. After a scenic drive through West Cork, stop at Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the stone which reportedly gives the gift of eloquence. Take home a few distinctly Irish souvenirs or gifts from the Blarney Woollen Mills, Midleton Whisky Distillery and Waterford Crystal Factory. Experience a night in a castle before spending two nights in Dublin where you'll visit St. Patrick's Cathedral, stroll O'Connell Street and enjoy plenty of independent time to explore on your own.
Day #1 Overnight Flight - The Emerald Isle, a land renowned for its “forty shades of green” is filled with rolling hills, warm people, stately castles and rollicking fun. Visit Dublin, Waterford, Killarney and Limerick as this comprehensive tour introduces Ireland's natural beauty, rich history and hospitable culture.
Day #2 Dublin - Tour Begins - Your tour begins in Dublin. Tonight, meet your fellow travelers at a fun-filled Irish evening complete with traditional entertainment.
Day #3 Dublin - Today, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Dublin, the “Fair City.” Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, O’Connell Street, Grafton Street, Phoenix Park and see the city's magnificent rows of stately Georgian town homes. The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax or explore the cultural offerings of delightful Dublin on your own.
Day #4 Dublin - Kilkenny - Waterford - This morning you travel to Kilkenny, one of Ireland’s most colorful cities, for the chance to explore this medieval gem. Later today you will visit the world-famous Waterford Crystal facility. Take a tour to learn how these exquisite treasures are crafted and marvel at the impressive collection of crystal in their glittering showroom. Arrive in the historic city of Waterford and enjoy a leisurely-paced walking tour.
Day #5 Waterford - Blarney Stone - Killarney - Journey to historic Blarney Castle where you can take the opportunity to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. Legend has it that those who kiss the stone are bestowed with the gift of eloquence. In Killarney you will be treated to a time-honored Irish jaunting car ride*. A tour of Muckross House and Gardens offers a glimpse into the elegant lifestyle of the Victorian gentry. Explore some of the perfectly restored rooms of this magnificent mansion or stroll in one of the many gardens, spectacularly adorned with blooms.
Day #6 Killarney - Ring of Kerry - Killarney - Travel along one of the most beautiful coastal routes in the world, the Ring of Kerry. At the Gap of Dunloe, shop for traditional Irish goods handcrafted by local artisans. Enjoy pristine ocean scenery as you pass through picturesque villages. Continue on through rugged mountain passes into “Ladies View” where you will see breathtaking views of the Lakes of Killarney. Tonight, use your leisure time to sample a true taste of Irish culture.
Day #7 Killarney - Limerick - Experience the customs and daily life of a traditional Irish family during a memorable visit to the Molanna Dairy Farm. Continue to Limerick where you will enjoy a city tour showcasing King John's Castle and the Treaty Stone while learning about the fascinating history of the "city of the violated treaty."
Day #8 Limerick - Cliffs of Moher - Galway - Bundoran - A most interesting day is ahead of you. Journey to the stunning, 700-foot-high Cliffs of Moher for awe-inspiring views of the mighty Atlantic and the Aran Islands. Then, travel through the vast limestone landscape of the Burren, known for its stark beauty and Neolithic tombs. Continue past scenic countryside into Galway, where a brief city tour introduces “The City of Tribes.” Your day ends at the seaside resort of Bundoran.
Day #9 Bundoran - Belleek - Donegal Town - Bundoran - This morning, enjoy some free time to take a walk along the beach or play a round of golf at Bundoran’s 18-hole championship golf course. This afternoon’s activities begin with a visit to Belleek Pottery, internationally known for its highly decorative Parian China. Then, take in the rugged, natural beauty of County Donegal. Stop in Donegal Town and stroll the town square, enjoying its many quaint craft and woolen shops.
Day #10 Bundoran - Derry - Inishowen Peninsula - Derry - This morning, travel to Derry where a local guide leads you on a walking tour of the old city featuring the medieval city walls, St. Augustine's Cathedral and the Guildhall. Later today, enjoy an excursion to the Inishowen Peninsula and Malin Head. Continuing on through Malin village, you will arrive at Malin Head, Ireland's northernmost point with its beautiful panoramic view of the North Atlantic Ocean. Return to Derry via the Slieve Snaght hills.
Day #11 Derry - Glens of Antrim - Giant's Causeway - Derry - Discover the outstanding natural beauty of Northern Ireland as you explore the scenic back roads of the Antrim Glens. Then, see the most famous natural site in Northern Ireland as you visit the magnificent Giant’s Causeway. Formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago, the causeway resembles a cobbled road leading into the sea.
Day #12 Derry - Belfast - Kingscourt - Today you’re off to Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, where you will enjoy a guided tour of the city sights. A visit is included to the Cultúrlann McAdam O’Fiaich*- an Irish language arts and community center supported by the efforts of the tour group Foundation. The Cultúrlann is headquartered in West Belfast, which suffered greatly during many years of political strife. This groundbreaking program is dedicated to enriching the lives of Ireland’s underprivileged children and the revitalization of Northern Ireland. Your day is then topped off with an overnight stay on the magnificent grounds of Cabra Castle, where you toast the end of a fabulous trip during your farewell dinner.
Day #13 Kingscourt - Tour Ends - Your tour ends in Kingscourt.