Ireland

A 7 day tour visiting the best of the Irish Republic;
Dublin, Killarney, Waterford and Kildare.




Day 1 Arrival in Dublin, Ireland
Check into your hotel. At 3 p.m. meet your tour director and traveling companions for an afternoon orientation drive through statue-lined O'Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, and past St. Patrick's Cathedral. Visit Oscar Wilde"s TRINITY COLLEGE, famous for the 1,200-year-old Book of Kells and the magnificent Old Library. Before dinner join your tour director for a toast to happy touring with a congenial group. (D)

Day 2 Dublin-Ennis
Horse-racing country this morning. Drive across the Curragh to visit the IRISH NATIONAL STUD at Kildare, whose fine thoroughbreds command respect on the racecourses of the world. Lots more to see: the Rock of Cashel where St. Patrick preached; Tipperary, made famous in a wartime marching song; finally Limerick, where an orientation drive acquaints you with St. Mary's Cathedral, King John's Castle, and the Stone where the Treaty of Limerick was signed in 1691. Tonight's suggestion for a very special night out: attend an optional medieval banquet at Knappogue Castle. (FB)

Day 3 Ennis - West Coast Excursion
Your day excursion along Ireland's spectacular Atlantic coastline begins with a drive to the 668-foot Cliffs of Moher, where you savor the breathtaking panorama of the Clare coast. A scenic route across the limestone plateau of The Burren takes you to Galway, a vibrant city with a great seafaring tradition where you hear about the infamous Lynch Stone, commemorating the day Mayor James Lynch Fitzstephen hanged his son for murder. Drive into the unspoiled region of Connemara and at Moycullen visit a MARBLE FACTORY. This afternoon a special treat: at RATHBAUN FARM watch the farmer shear a sheep and maneuver a flock with the help of a sheep dog. Then enjoy a traditional tea in the 150-year-old thatched farmhouse. (FB)

Day 4 Ennis-Ring of Kerry-Tralee
After a short drive via Clonderlaw Bay to Killimer, cross the Shannon estuary by ferry. In Tralee your "KERRY THE KINGDOM" experience starts out with an audiovisual show presenting the landscapes, culture, and way of life of Kerry. Then you marvel at an exhibition of priceless artifacts and travel back in time to Tralee on market day in 1450! Continue on to Killorglin on Dingle Bay, the setting for Ryan's Daughter, to join the spectacular "Ring of Kerry" for a 100-mile panoramic drive around the island's southwestern tip. Take your photos of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View, then visit the popular resort of Killarney. (FB,D)

Day 5 Tralee-Waterford
Across the Kerry Mountains and through County Cork to Blarney, renowned for its magical Stone of Eloquence. Time for lunch, to walk up to the castle, and to shop for traditional Irish handicrafts. In the afternoon proceed via Cork to Waterford, a stronghold founded by the Danish Vikings, and look forward to a visit to the world-famous WATERFORD CRYSTAL FACTORY.  (FB,D)

Day 6 Waterford-Dublin
An exciting agenda today: Enniscorthy, site of the final battle of the Great Rebellion of 1798; Ireland's oldest HANDWEAVING MILL at Avoca; the Wicklow Mountains; the Glendalough VISITOR CENTER with its fascinating audiovisual show "Ireland of the Monasteries," and its ruins of a center of Irish Christianity founded by St. Kevin. Tonight's optional outing, a traditional Irish dinner and show, is just the way to celebrate the success of your "Introduction to Ireland." (FB) 

Day 7:
Your homebound flight arrives the same day. (FB)

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Discounted Airfares available from the USA

*Airfare priced separately

Trip Highlights:
Ferry across the Shannon estuary
Sightseeing with local guides: Irish National Stud, Rathbaun farm (incl. afternoon tea), Waterford Crystal factory, Glendalough

Special Features: Trinity College in Dublin, Connemara marble factory, Tralee's "Kerry the Kingdom,"a handweaving mill at Avoca
Scenic highlights: Rock of Cashel, the Burren and Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, Ring of Kerry and the Lakes of Killarney, Wicklow Mountains

Included:
In Ireland: services of a professional tour director
Hotels listed below or equivalent.. Twin-bedded rooms with private bath or shower, hotel taxes, service charges, and tips for baggage handling
6 full Irish breakfasts (FB); 
3 three-course dinners with choice of menus and coffee (D)
Private deluxe motorcoach with air-conditioning, extra leg room, and emergency washroom;
Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable

HOTELS
DUBLIN Clarion (SF), ENNIS Temple Gate (F), TRALEE Brandon (F), WATERFORD Quality Marina (F) or Tower (F), DUBLIN Hilton (SF) or Jurys Ballsbridge (SF)

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