Hidden Ireland – Itinerary


Day 1 – Depart USA direct to Shannon, Ireland

Day 2 – Arrive Ireland, Cliffs of Moher & Galway

On arrival, you will be met by your driver/guide at Shannon Airport. Travel north via Newmarket-on-Fergus and Ennis to Ireland’s west coastline and view the Cliffs of Moher, an impressive wall of rock that rises 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. In the recently opened Visitor Center learn about the formation of the cliffs and the nearby Burren, an area of rounded limestone hills. Continue your drive via Corkscrew Hill to Ballyvaughan and around Galway Bay to Galway. Take a drive around the to see the main places of interest and browse around the city center, full of specialty shops, cafes and pubs, before checking in to your hotel. Overnight Galway. (B)

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Day 3 – Clifden & Kylemore Abbey

Today tour Connemara and admire sweeping views of misty mountains and shimmering lakes. You will see sheep grazing freely and tracts of bog land where people hand-cut peat for home heating. Stop in Spiddal where you may hear locals speaking in the Irish language. Continue to Clifden, a delightful market town set between the Twelve Pins and sandy bays. Visit Kylemore Abbey, a 19th century Neo-Gothic mansion, which is now a prestigious girls’ school. Tour the exquisite chapel and reception rooms and stroll by the peaceful lake shore. In Moycullen watch skilled craftsmen cutting fine crystal at the Connemara Celtic Crystal Factory. Overnight Galway.(B)

Day 4 – Museum of Country Life & Yeat’s Country

Head north to Castlebar to visit the Museum of Country Life. An open-plan building houses collections of domestic goods, once used as part of daily life from 1850 to 1950. Exhibits and a movie explain how Irish people made a living from the soil before the machine age. Travel through County Sligo and stop to view W. B. Yeat’s’ grave in Drumcliffe Churchyard. Follow the shoreline of Donegal Bay and continue your journey through Donegal and past the lovely Blue Stack Mountains to Derry. Overnight Derry. (B)

Day 5 – Giant’s Causeway & Derry

This morning drive along the north coast of Ireland to explore the Giant’s Causeway, huge hexagonal columns formed over 60 million years ago. The oversized rocks have given rise to many legends, especially involving the giant, Finn McCool. Return to Derry for a guided walking tour around the ancient city, which will include the Guildhall, St. Columbo’s Cathedral, the Diamond and 16th century city walls. You may like to spend some time browsing through the compact city center with its many historic places on your own in the afternoon. Overnight Derry. (B)

Day 6 – New Grange & Dublin

Travel south to Dublin and to the Boyne Valley. Stop at the Boyne Valley Visitor Center to learn about the nearby passage burial tombs of Newgrange and Knowth, both of which are over 5,000 years old. Visit one of the tombs to see how people using primitive tools and knowledge managed to align these buildings precisely with the sun or the moon. Overnight Dublin. (B)

Day 7 – Dublin City Tour

This morning  begins with a panoramic tour around Ireland’s Fair city, Dublin. View some of the important public buildings such as Trinity College, the General Post Office and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. This evening meet your fellow travelers and new found friends over a drink and, as you are free for independent dining, your tour guide will assist you in selecting a suitable venue. Overnight Dublin. (B)

Day 8 – Rock of Cashel & King John’s Castle

Head south through farming country to visit the Rock of Cashel, a stately limestone outcrop topped with medieval ruins. See the roofless cathedral, round tower and Cormac’s Chapel, which is the earliest building on the site, dating from 1127. Continue  to Ireland’s west coast, and King John’s Castle is a 13th century Castle on ‘King’s Island’ in the heart of medieval Limerick City.  The Castle overlooks the majestic River Shannon offering wonderful views of Limerick City.  Discover history at its best, magnificent views and life in Norman times.   Overnight Limerick . (B)

Day 9 – Depart to USA

This morning take a group transfer from your hotel to Shannon Airport. After check-in you will have time to shop at the duty-free stores.  (B)

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