Best of Ireland & St. Patrick
8 Day Christian History Tour

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Price Per person double occupancy

Dates
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Price Includes: 4 star lodging, porterage of 1 bag, full Irish breakfast daily, 3 dinners, entrance admissions, transportation, and driver/guide.


Not Included: Flight departures (low cost fares available nationwide), all lunches, optional Bunratty Castle banquet ($75 per person), 2 dinners, gratuities.


Deposit Required: $300 per person will reserve your place. A $100 service fee will be charged for cancellation at any time in addition to our normal payment and cancellation policy.

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Day 1: Depart for Ireland

We begin our adventure to the Emerald Isle with an overnight flight to Dublin, Ireland. Sit back, rest and enjoy the in-flight service.

Day 2: Welcome to Ireland

Arrive at Dublin airport. Transfer to your Dublin hotel under own arrangement. You are free to explore the city at your leisure this afternoon as your hotel will be within walking distance of the city center. This evening we enjoy an Irish welcome dinner together.

Day 3: Ireland's Midlands, Blarney Castle & Kerry

After breakfast we depart Dublin and travel to the town of Blarney for a visit to Blarney Castle and it’s magical Kissing Stone. We’ll take some time to enjoy shopping at Blarney Woollen Mills. The presence of the Woollen Mills during the famine shielded Blarney from the worst effects of the famine, due to its employment of local workers. The success story at the mills continued until a disastrous fire in 1869. By August 1871, the mill was once again operational with a labor force of 222. In 1976 Chris Kelleher, himself a mill worker, bought the old mill property. Within a short period of time Chris and his family transformed the mill into what is perhaps the largest quality craft shop in Ireland.

Day 4: Ring of Kerry

Discover the famed Ring of Kerry for a 100-mile panoramic drive around the island’s southwestern tip. We’ll take in spectacular scenery - mountains, peat bogs, lakes and magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll make a visit to Muckross House, which was built in 1843 by the Herbert Family, in Elizabethan style. This house is one of the prettiest residences of Ireland. Muckross, surrounded by beautiful gardens, is in the heart of the Killarney National Park.

Day 5: Burren & Cliffs

This morning we travel northwards to Tarbert and take a short boat ride across the mouth of the river Shannon to land on Clare’s shore at Killimer. We make our way to the Cliffs of Moher. These majestic cliffs in Ireland rise from the Atlantic Ocean over 600 feet and extend for over4 miles. On a clear day, you can admire the Aran Islands, the Connemara Mountains and the many sea birds that live here on the cliffs. This afternoon we tour the Burren Region. The Burren is a strange and unique region in Europe. “Burren” means “large stones” and its name describes this impressive scenery perfectly well. You will also discover the testimonies of its rich history thanks to countless castles and monastic ruins.


This evening you may want to enjoy an Optional Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle for $75 per person. Guests are invited to enjoy an unforgettable evening in the splendor of this magnificent castle.

Day 6: Kilkenny to Dublin

After breakfast, we travel to Dublin via the medieval city of Kilkenny, which is perhaps the most attractive city in the country. Visit Cahir Castle en route, a stunning 15th century castle set on a small island in the River Suir. Here you will take a guided tour of the castle once the stronghold of the powerful Butler Family. Continue onto Kilkenny, visiting Ballyowen House along the way. Here you will have a tour of the house and stables, conducted by the owners. Guests will also enjoy tea, coffee, and fresh scones in the main dining room. Your lodging for the next two evenings will be in Dublin.

Day 7: Downpatrick, St. Patrick Centre

On arrival in County Down, visit the story of St Patrick and his place in Ireland’s history at the St Patrick Centre, located beside Down Cathedral and St Patricks Grave in the Medieval heart of Downpatrick. It features an interpretative exhibition which tells the fascinating story of Ireland's Patron Saint. The visit begins with the impressive 'In the Footsteps of Saint Patrick' Imax presentation about the life of St Patrick and has aerial video footage of some of the landmark sites in Ireland associated with the Saint. A series of interactive displays allow visitors to explore how Patrick's legacy developed in early Christian times and reveal the fabulous artwork and metalwork which was produced during this Golden Age. The exhibition also examines the major impact of Irish missionaries in Dark Age Europe - a legacy which remains to this day.

Down Cathedral overlooking Downpatrick, stands close to what is believed to be the mortal remains of Patrick, the Patron saint of Ireland. Visitors can access the cathedral via gardens at the back of the St Patricks Centre or through English street from the town centre. The Cathedral is impressive inside and has a wonderful organ and a very interesting seating arrangement. It is generally accepted that the main walls of the Cathedral date from the years after 1220. It suffered destruction on numerous occasions including during the wars with Edward Bruce in 1316 and finally, on the suppression of the monasteries in 1541, the Cathedral was laid waste. Rather than lose the connection with Patrick, the name began to be used for the growing town, which assumed the name Downpatrick. What the visitor sees now is an almost entirely new interior, a replica of that which it replaced. Return to your hotel in Dublin.

Day 8: Return Home, or Continue to Scotland

After a final Irish breakfast transfer to the airport for your departure flight home. For those choosing to stay another day or continue on to Scotland, a Dublin morning tour will include St. Patrick's Cathedral, Trinity College and Scots Presbyterian.