Dublin – Kildare – Kinnitty – Galway – Connemara – Burren – Moher Clipps
Killarney – Wexford – Blarney – Wales – Liverpool – Stratford – Stonehenge – London
Tour: May 03 – May 16, 2019 Price: $4,795 + Tax
Cliffs of Moher at sunset – Ireland
Check-in at Los Angeles Airport. Depart for Dublin, Ireland.
Welcome to Ireland at Dublin Airport and meet with your driver/guide and transfer to Dublin City Center for a panoramic city tour with a local guide.
Dublin is one of a few cities in Europe that has not lost sight of the human interaction element. In fact, to the Dublin citizens, it is still the way of life that can neither be substituted with historic buildings nor preserved just for small villages. Founded in 841 by the Vikings, Dublin is a city with an interesting historical past that’s tightly attached to all the city’s monuments and churches. A visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral or Christchurch Cathedral will take you back to Medieval times while a walk around Merrion square will remind you of the glorious days of Dublin when it was ranked as the second city of the British Empire after London. Today, Dublin is the Cosmopolitan capital of the Irish Republic with 1 million inhabitants. Despite the many changes the city has encountered in the last decade, it still remains as a desirable place for any who wishes to visit.
Trinity College: The oldest University in Ireland, which was founded in 1592 by Elizabeth I. Within its walls, you will be able to the Parliament Square and its 18th Century edifices. A visit of the ancient library, containing over twenty thousand manuscripts, is often a surprise to visitors because of its splendor. The 9th Century Book of Kells, famous for its precious illuminations, is exhibited in this college library. You are free to explore the city at your leisure this afternoon.
Tonight join your fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner at your hotel. Overnight stay and full Irish breakfast is served at your hotel in Dublin or nearby area. (D)
This morning enjoy a guided visit Dublin, so you visit to the Guinness Storehouse where you will have an opportunity to see Europe’s largest stout producing brewery and home to the Guinness Storehouse – The Guinness Brewery. 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. You will discover the process of making a pint of GUINNESS i.e., the ingredients, brewing process, time, craft and passion. The exhibition will also give you a brief background of how the brew is being marketed and sold in more than 150 countries worldwide. The tour guide will also direct you to the 7th-floor Gravity bar for you to sample the elixir of life at first-hand – a pint of Guinness. Take a bit of time and wander around the Storehouse’s retail store, gallery, exhibition area, restaurant, and bar areas. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure for some personal sightseeing or shopping. Stroll down Grafton Street, Dublin’s premier shopping street, or visit the Kilkenny Design Centre for some authentic Irish shopping. Enjoy the evening and dinner on your own. Tonight, you will spend a pleasant overnight stay at a hotel in Dublin or nearby area. Full Irish breakfast is included. (B/D)
This morning depart for Kildare Village, a place that is nestled within landscaped grounds and authentic natural environment. Even if you’re not a fan when it comes to shopping, you will find it difficult to resist the temptation of spending money when 60 brands such as Louise Kennedy, DKNY, Juicy Couture, Brooks Brothers, Anya Hindmarch and Hugo Boss are being offered up to 60% discount.
The Heritage Golf & Spa Resort lies in the quaint village of Killenard, County Lao, which is not far from the M7 Dublin to Cork motorway. The Heritage is a contemporary hotel that offers 98 modern luxurious bedrooms, a fine dining restaurant. If you wish to dine outside of the resort, a steakhouse and Italian restaurant is a 3-minute walk from the hotel. The hotel also features a terrace lounge, a cocktail bar and veranda overlooking the 1st tee and 9th green and a Pre-dinner Champagne bar. The Golf Clubhouse also has a restaurant and lounge bar. As a guest, you will have complimentary access to the Health Club with pool, sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzi. Fitness classes and children’s games are also available. With 20 treatment rooms and over 70 spa treatments and services, The Heritage has truly lived up to its award-wining luxury spa & resort reputation. To accommodate its business executives, The Heritage has also built an extensive conference facility that includes 6 meeting rooms, a 50-seater auditorium, a ballroom that can hold up to 400 attendees, and an Exhibition Arena for event exhibitions and product launches. If you’re an outdoor person, be sure to take advantage of its walking & bicycling tracks as well as the well-maintained tennis courts. The five-star hotel overlooks the Steve Ballesteros and Jeff Howes who co-designed the Championship golf course, which is one hour from Dublin and within driving distance to the Slieve Bloom mountains. Irish Pub at night in Galway. Enjoy your overnight stay with dinner and full Irish breakfast at the hotel in Killenard or nearby area. (B/D)
On your arrival in Galway this morning, enjoy a walking tour of the city where the Irish Literary Revival movement started based on the vision of W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory. The narrow streets, old stone and wooden shop fronts, good restaurants, and busy pubs are the unique characteristics of Galway City that has, for a century, attracted a bohemian crowd of musicians and artists.
Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure in Galway City.
Enjoy your overnight stay with dinner and full Irish breakfast at the hotel in Killenard or nearby area. (B/D)
Today, you will have a chance to explore the beautiful Connemara Region, a land filled with lakes and rivers, bogs and mountains. It is an enchanting land of small villages where Gaelic, since the beginning of time, is still the spoken language. It is, without a doubt, the unspoiled and most romantic part of Ireland. Connemara is a vast peninsula bordered by the arid and rocky coastline of Galway Bay in the south, known for its stone walls and thatched cottages. On the northern shore, the land is a bit harsh but full of mystery and accented by a spectacular view of the ocean and the fjord of Killary Harbour. The entire region is encircled by the steep mountains overlooking numerous lakes and large bog areas. Connemara, indeed, is a real paradise for nature lovers and for those who are in search of adventure.
Your next visit to Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden, located in the Kylemore Pass in Connemara, is Ireland’s most romantic castle. Kylemore Castle was built as a private home for the family of Mitchell Henry, a wealthy doctor from London. He and his wife Margaret moved to Ireland and build the castle in 1867. The castle was designed by James Franklin Fuller and Ussher Roberts covered approximately 40,000 square feet (3,700 m2) with over 70 rooms and the principal wall was two to three feet thick, The construction began in 1867 and completed in 1871. Today, many visitors who have visited the site find the Gothic church and the family mausoleum to be distinctively unique and characteristically remarkable.
The Irish Benedictine Nuns purchased the Kylemore castle and lands after they were forced to flee Ypres, Belgium during World War I in 1920. The estate includes large walled Victorian Gardens, which have been open since the 70s to public tours. The Benedictine community have restored the Abbey’s gardens and Cathedral with donations and local artisans.
Enjoy your overnight stay with dinner and full Irish breakfast at the hotel in Galway or nearby area. (B/D)
Depart Galway and enjoy a tour of the Burren Region, an exotic and unique region in Europe. “Burren” means “large stones”. In fact, its name describes this impressive scenery perfectly well. Often described as lunar, the Burren is a high plateau of porous limestone situated in Northern Clare, between Ballyvaughan and Kilfenora. No trees grow here and no soil covers the stone, but the Burren is not deserted, as different types of flowers grow from the cracks all year round.
The cracks, however, allow different types of flowers to grow all year round particularly in the spring which is the best season for the botanists to explore. The rocks hide many caves like Ailwee and “Turloughs”, an interesting phenomenon which transforms lakes into fields during the summer. You will also discover the testimonies of its rich history thanks to the countless castles and monastic ruins.
Next, en route along the coast to one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights – The Cliffs of Moher. Standing 230 meters (700ft) above the ground at their highest point and 8km (4.2 miles) long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. On a clear day, you can admire the Aran Islands visibility in Galway Bay as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara. The cliffs reach their highest point just north of O’ Brien’s Tower built by Cornelius O’ Brien. A visit of the tower is also possible. Cliff of Moher – Ireland Atlantic Edge is the exciting new interpretive centre at the Cliffs of Moher and is built into the natural landscape. The centre is a huge domed cave that contains images, exhibits displaying the beauty of Cliffs of Moher. While you’re here, explore and experience different elements of the mighty Cliffs of Moher including the center’s restaurant and shops. Continue to County Ferry via Shannon Car Ferry. This evening enjoy dinner with your travel companions and breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant in Killarney or nearby area. (B/D)
Continue your journey to a scenic village of Kenmarem, Neidin, means ‘little nest’ in Irish. Kenmare is designed and built by the first Marquees of Lansdowne in 1775. The town is laid out in an X-plan with a wide main street and square. Today, Kenmare still mantains its link to an ancient past of the Bronze Age Druid’s Circle, once a burial place and a site used for worshipping the Sun God.
Enjoy a superb tour of the Iveragh Peninsula, which will give you the opportunity to discover the Ring of Kerry and be marvel at the astonishing scenery of the surrounding mountains, peat bogs, lakes, and the Atlantic Ocean. Leaving Killarney and passing through Killorglin, famous for its Puck Fair and Glenbeigh, where the cliff road is accentuated by a panoramic view of the Dingle Peninsula and Dingle Bay. The road continues through the mountains to Molls Gap and Ladies View with superb views of the famous Lakes of Killarney. Return to Killarney and spend an afternoon at leisure.
This evening, enjoy dinner and entertainment at Kate Kearney’s Cottage. At the entrance of the world famous Gap of Dunloe, you’ll immediately spot a 150 year old family run establishment of Kate Kearney’s Cottage. Relax and enjoy a tradition of hospitality Kate Kearney’s Traditional Irish Night which consists of dinner, traditional music and costumed dancers. The ambience and fine food of this night has earned Kate Kearney’s various awards and worldwide reputation.
Your overnight stay and accommodations at the hotel in Kerry or nearby area includes a full Irish breakfast. (B/D)
This morning, you will depart for Wexford with a stop in the town of Blarney to visit the Blarney Castle, situated in Blarney village, 8 km (4.2 mils) from Cork City. The Blarney is one of Ireland’s oldest and most historic castles, and indeed one of the strongest fortresses in Munster. Built in 1446, Blarney Castle is famous for its Blarney solid limestone, also known as The Stone of Eloquence, which believes to have the power to bestow the gift of eloquence on all those who kiss it. The Castle’s gardens cover 60 acres of land with recent additions of a water garden, a fern garden, and a poison garden.
Enjoy a day full of shopping activities at Blarney Woollen Mills for Irish products such as cashmere, crystal, wool particularly the distinctive Blarney Castle design wool sweaters that are made on the premises. Woollen Mills was shielded Blarney from the worst effects during the famine period because the Mahony’s Mills (original name of Blarney Woollen Mills) was able to provide employments to many local workers. The success story at the mills continued until a disastrous fire happened in 1869. By August 1871, the mill was once again operated with a labor force of 222 workers. In 1976, Chris Kelleher, a mill worker, bought the old mill property and within a short period transformed the mill into what is perhaps the largest quality craft shop in Ireland.
Enjoy your overnight stay with dinner and full Irish breakfast at your hotel in Wexford or nearby area. (B/D)
After breakfast, you’ll be transfered to Rosslare to take the ferry over to Fishguard, Wales. On arrival in Fishguard, you’ll be driven to the north of Wales for a scenic view of the Snowdonia National Park, the largest National Park in Wales. Snowdonia boasts the highest mountain and is blessed with the largest natural lake in Wales and accented by a wealth of picturesque villages such as Betws y Coed and Beddgelert. Snowdonia is an area steeped in culture and local history where more than half of its population still preserves Welsh language as of today.
Tonight, a Medieval banquet featuring a traditional Welsh meal and entertainment will take you back in heart of Wales’ culture and history. An overnight stay at the stunning Ruthin Castle shall complete your visit of Enchanting Ireland 2013. (B/D)
Following a hearty English Breakfast a short distance drive, your tour guide will take you to Liverpool – home of the Beatles. Step aboard a colorful bus for a fascinating 2 hour tour and let your guide take you through the journey of the formation of the Beatles, their birthplaces, and childhood homes. The stories of how John, Paul, George and Ringo’s met and formed the band that took the world of rock and roll music like a storm will be revealed one by one. You will also see one of the most important places in rock and roll history – where John and Paul met for the first time. A knowledgeable Beatles tour guide will help you discover the remarkable story of the young men who became the world’s best-known musicians as the Fab Four and places that inspired some of their most memorable songs like Penny Lane and Strawberry Field.
This afternoon, you can wander around the charming shops in Chester. On the way back to Ruthin you will also have time to enjoy some leisure time at Chester Oaks Designer Outlets with more than 145 boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. Thus, shop and dine to your heart’s content.
This evening, you’ll have change to find and experience the local dishes on your own. After dinner, you’ll be lodging at the Ruthin Castle. (B/D)
Today, we’ll head back south to Stratford Upon Avon, the birthplace of the greatest writer in the English language, William Shakespeare. This town is also known as home to the theatres of Royal Shakespeare Company.
As you continue through Straford town, you’ll see a delightful river winds its way through town and the beautiful Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare was buried. Here is where the architecture of the half-wooden buildings, the famous cottage of Shakespear’s wife, Anne Hathaway, and the school Shakespeare attended in his youth take you back in Shakespeare’s time.
Dinner is on your own tonight in Stratford. (B/D)
Following a hearty English breakfast, you and your companion travelers will make its way to London with a first stop in Amesbury to visit the famous Stonehenge. This breathtaking prehistoric monument is located near Salisbury, the English county of Wiltshire. It stands as strong today as it did 3,500 years ago. It truly is a testament of time. The Stonehenge is documented as one of the most famous places in the world to visit. The Stonehenge was built in three phases with over 30 million hours of labor and a time span of 1,500 years. Some people believe the construction site could have existed as far back as 6,500 years. Throughout history, many archaeologists and antiquarians have visited Stonehenge to solve this monumental mystery of Stonehenge but it has always managed to maintain its secrets and mysteries. Whether its mysteries and secrets will ever be solved or revealed are no concerns of visitors from all over the world. Some come to satisfy their own curiosity or be astonished by its architectural beauty, others find Stonehenge is a perfect place to pray and meditate. Whatever your reason maybe, Stonehenge is a place that you do not want to miss.
Today, you’ll have time to shop in London! You might want to spend time wandering around the little shops in the Covent Garden area or perhaps take a stroll down Kensington High Street where you’ll see some of the famous department store Harrods that occupies a 5-acre of land and has over one million square feet of selling space in over 330 departments. It is the biggest department store in Europe. The Harrods motto is Omnia Omnibus Ubique—All Things for All People, Everywhere.
Dinner is on your own tonight. You’ll be transfered to a hotel nearby Heathrow airport for an overnight stay. (B/D)
We’ll rearrange your return flight and date should you want to extend your stay in London.