Day 1: Dublin Tour & Book of Kells Tour begins 2:00 PM at your Dublin hotel. Set out a private guided city tour. Highlights include 18th century Georgian houses with brightly-painted doors, tranquil parks and the wide O’Connell Street. Take a guided walking tour through the campus of Trinity College to view the illuminated manuscript of the Book of Kells. In the evening, enjoy a welcome drink with your group before dining independently in one of Dublin’s many restaurants or lively pubs.
Enjoy the delightful scenery of the Wicklow Mountains on the way to Glendalough, one of Ireland’s most beautiful destinations. Explore the remains of one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland, founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. Walk through the deep valley to view the picturesque ruins of a round tower, churches, and Celtic crosses. Relax as you continue to Waterford. Witness the creation of crystal masterpieces during your visit to the House of Waterford Crystal. Before dinner, take a gentle stroll around the narrow streets of the historic city with a local guide. (B, D)
Travel to Cobh, the last port of call of the Titanic. A walking tour will reveal many of the places that still remain over a century since travelers embarked on that fateful voyage. Visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence” or explore the tranquil gardens. Treat yourself to quality Irish made goods at Blarney Woollen Mills. Journey west through rugged countryside and settle in to your centrally located hotel in Killarney. (B, D)
Discover the natural beauty of the Emerald Isle on Ireland’s most popular scenic drive, the Ring of Kerry, with plenty of photo stops along the way. Cross the bridge to Valentia Island to visit the Skellig Experience, which explains the life of early Christian hermits on Skellig Michael, a rocky offshore island that was featured in the film “Star Wars VII.” After lunch, stroll around Sneem and stop at Moll’s Gap for its panoramic views. Enjoy the evening in Killarney for dinner on your own and perhaps a visit to one of the town’s many lively pubs. (B, L)
Embark on a memorable ferry ride across the River Shannon Estuary. Travel along the coast of County Clare, stopping by St. Brigid’s Well, a mystical site whose waters are said to have healing powers. View the Cliffs of Moher, which soar almost 700 feet above the churning Atlantic swells. Walk along the top of the cliffs to O’Brien’s Tower for great views of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. Head to Galway to join a local guide for a brief stroll through the twisting streets of the old city before spending some time on your own. (B, D)
Stop in the pilgrimage town of Knock, one of the world’s leading Catholic shrines. Visit the church where villagers saw a vision of the Virgin Mary in 1879. Immerse yourself in Irish farm life during a visit to an authentic working farm and watch trained sheepdogs round up mountain sheep. Head to Donegal for some free time in this charming town. On arrival in Derry meet a local guide to discover the history of this ancient city which retains its fortified medieval walls dating from 1613. (B, D)
Explore the northern coastline and the Giant’s Causeway, enormous hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity over 60 million years ago. Visit Titanic Belfast and learn about the ill-fated ship through state-of-the-art displays. See the docks where this famous liner was built just over a century ago. Stop at the Glyde Inn for a farewell dinner with Irish specialties and entertaining traditional Irish songs and music. (B, D)
Enjoy your day in Dublin independently, on the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour. Use your voucher to visit one of Dublin’s top attractions: Guinness Storehouse, Teeling Distillery, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, or the General Post Office Museum. In the evening, dine at one of the many restaurants or pubs that Dublin has to offer. (B)