Take delivery of Hertz rental car and depart Dublin, travelling south through the
Wicklow Mountains and the region known as "The Garden of Ireland." At Glendalough take
a tour of the 6th century monastic settlement, with its round tower and Celtic crosses.
Drive south to Waterford, a bustling town on the River Suir. You can see Reginald's Tower
built a thousand years ago! Thomas Francis Meagher, a General in the Union Army during the US Civil War and the first Governor of the State of Montana, was born here. Stay in Waterford City this evening.
Day 2 - CASHEL, CAHIR & MALLOW
Drive south to Waterford which is famous for its crystal.
Leaving Waterford, you visit the Waterford Crystal showrooms. You tour to
the Rock of Cashel - a cathedral Fortress dating to the 6th century - then on
to Cahir Castle. Continue to Mallow. Stay in Mallow this evening.
Day 3 - BLARNEY & KILLARNEY
Tour to Blarney. Stop at Blarney Castle to climb to the battlements
of the castle to kiss the famous "stone of eloquence." You'll have time
to visit the Blarney Woolen Mills for traditional Irish handcrafts,
fashions and crystal. On to Kinsale and visit Charles Fort, then on to Bantry &
Kenmare and into Kerry and Killarney which is set beside the Lakes of Killarney
at the foot of the mountains. "Heaven's Reflex" as it is called for its beauty. Stay in Killarney this evening.
Day 4 - DINGLE PENINSULA
Tour the spectacular Dingle Peninsula to Dingle, one of Ireland's most
picturesque spots. You'll stop for lunch in the town
of Dingle. Drive to Slea Head and admire its rugged beauty. Return to Killarney
via Tralee. Try out a 'singing' pub tonight. Stay in Killarney this evening.
Day 5 - LIMERICK & BUNRATTY
Irish Jaunting Cart ride through the Killarney National Park to Ross
Castle. Board the MV Pride of the Lakes for a cruise on Lough Leane. A drive to
the spectacular viewpoint of Aghadoe. Depart Killarney and drive north to the city
of Limerick via the picturesque village of Adare. You continue to
Shannonside and this evening you will dine like
the Lords and Ladies of the 15th Century at Bunratty Castle. Stay in Shannonside this evening.
Day 6 - CLIFFS OF MOHER & BURREN
Depart Shannonside and tour through County Clare along the Clare Coast
to visit the Cliffs of Moher which rise 700 feet above the sea and extend five miles along the coast. Drive on through the Burren - an area of limestone hills which supports a wide range of flora. Continue on into Galway City. Explore the city this evening. Stay in Galway City this evening.
Day 7 - ARAN ISLANDS & GALWAY
Travel along the shores of Galway Bay to Inverin and Connemarar Regional Airport. Enjoy an Air Excursion to the Aran island - Inishmor - and island tour to visit the ancient fort - Dun Angeus. Return to the Mainland and back into Galway City to enjoy some time to explore the city. See the Claddagh District, Eyre Square, Spanish Arch, Galway Cathedral and more. Stay in Galway City this evening.
Day 8 - CONNEMARA & WESTPORT
Tour to Moycullen and visit the Connemara Celtic Crystal factory with its exquisite colored cut glass using the Irish symbols of the Harp, Shamrock and Tara Brooch. You travel through the Connemara region which is known for its mountains, the Twelve Bens and the beauty of the landscape with its changing colors. visit Kylemore Abbey, recently a private school for girls and tour along Killary Harbor, Ireland's only fjord to Westport in County Mayo. You'll enjoy this bustling town on Clew Bay. Stay in Westport Town this evening.
Day 9 - SLIGO & ENVIRONS
North through Castlebar to the Ceidi Fields where you see how man lived
5,000 years ago. On to Sligo, a county of gentle mountains, lakes and coastline. This area is associated with the great writer: W. B. Yeats. You can visit Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery dating back to the Stone Age. Sligo Town dates back over 750 years Marvelous shopping in the numerous shops and boutiques of this bustling market town. Stay in Sligo Town this evening.
Day 10 - DONEGAL
It's off to tour Donegal. Visit Donegal Parian China and then on to
Donegal Town, famous for its tweeds and woolen goods. You'll have a chance
to shop at Woolens & Things shop before you tour out along the coast
to Killybegs. Stay in Donegal Town this evening.
Day 11 - GLENCOLUMCILLE & SLIEVE LEAGUE
Irish breakfast this morning. Tour to Killybegs, Ireland's largest commercial fishing port. On to Glencolumcille, a village of thatched roof cottages and links to St. Columcille of the 6th century who founded the city of Derry. On to Slieve League and the Cliffs of Bunglass which are higher and more magnificent than the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. Return to Donegal via Ardara, the center of the woolen industry in County Donegal. Visit 15th century Donegal Castle, with its fully restored Jacobean wing. Enjoy achance to explore the town. Be sure to stop at "Woolens & Things." Stay in Donegal Town this evening.
Day 12 - OMAGH & DERRY
Cross into the North, touring to Enniskillen and Omagh where you visit
the Ulster-American Folk Park, located on the farm of Thomas Mellon,
whose cottage home has been preserved. Exhibits trace the strong
connections between Ulster and colonial America and 12 US Presidents. Continue
on your scenic drive through Counties
Fermanagh and Derry, staying tonight in Derry City - a 6th century walled
city founded by St. Columcille.
Day 13 - DERRY CITY
You tour the city this morning; see the massive City Walls and Gates and
visit the Derry City Museum housed in the Doherty Tower. The museum
relates the history of the city from Columcille to the present day. Afternoon at leisure
to shop and explore this warm and vibrant city. Visit the Heritage Library
on Bishop Street, dedicated to Moira Hegarty O'Scannlain -
Conn O'Scannlain's mother. Stay in Derry this evening.
Day 14 - ANTRIM COAST
Tour to Dunluce Castle, the main fort of the Irish MacDonnells, chiefs of Antrim. You tour along the Antrim coast to the Giant's Causeway. This impressive area of hexagonal columns was formed over 60 million years ago by
cooling lava and has given rise to many legends as the basalt resembles
giant steps. Stay in Portrush or Bushmills this evening.
Day 15 - GLENS OF ANTRIM
You'll stop at Bushmills Distillery which is the world's oldest whiskey
distillery, having received a license in 1608. Continue along the coast road
to admire the spectacular views of the "Nine Glens of Antrim" before
you reach Carnlough. Stay in Cushendall or Carnlough this evening.
Day 16 - BELFAST
Visit the robust northern metropolis of nearly half a million people.
Belfast was the center of the industrial revolution in Ulster. Enjoy the
pedestrianized city center, the architecture,
museums and the shopping. Stay in Belfast City this evening.
Day 17 - DOWNPATRICK
Travelling south to Lisburn and the Irish Linen Center to see the
recreation of Ulster's greatest industry during
the 19th century. Continue east to Downpatrick to visit Down
Cathedral which is the reputed burial place of St. Patrick, Ireland's patron saint.
Continue your scenic drive through County Down, viewing the beautiful
Mountains of Mourne. Stay in Newcastle or Downpatrick this evening.
Day 18 - NEWGRANGE
Return to the Republic and then a scenic drive to one of Europe's
great archaeological mysteries, Newgrange neolithic burial tomb, which
predates the pyramids of Egypt. Overnight near Dublin Airport.
Day 19 - DEPART FOR HOME
Drive to Dublin Airport. Depart for home.
POST-TOUR DUBLIN PACKAGE:
One or Two Nights
Extend your Ireland Tour with one or two nights in Dublin, Ireland's Capital. Package includes: Private Taxi Transfer from airport to hotel, Dinner in the hotel restaurant, including an Irish Coffee, Dublin City Sightseeing Tour, and porterage at airport and hotel.