Irish Explorer 12 Day Package
Groups Only: April through October
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Groups Only: April through October
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Price Includes: All motor coach and land transportation, sightseeing, admissions, services of tour director and driver, lodging, meals as specified in tour itinerary, taxes, gratuities to bellhops and waiters at included meals.
Cost of obtaining passports or visas, laundry, meals, beverages or sightseeing not included in the itinerary, travel insurance, gratuity to guide, driver, communication charges, & excess baggage fees. Port charges and gratuities to crew are not included on cruises.
Airport transfers are included only when airfare is purchased from Pilgrim Tours. Taxi service is available for those purchasing their airfare elsewhere.
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.
Day 1: Depart U.S. for Dublin
Welcome aboard your overnight flight to Dublin. Dinner and continental breakfast are served on board.
Day 2: Dublin Arrival & Jurys Cabaret
Arrive at Dublin Airport in the morning, pass through immigration and collect your luggage. Head to the desk in the Arrivals Hall to arrange a transfer to your hotel. At 2:00 pm take a short drive around the city center and visit Old Jameson Distillery to learn about whiskey making. Dine at Jurys Irish Cabaret in your hotel and enjoy a lively program filled with dance, song and storytelling. (D)
Day 3: Dublin's Highlights
This morning discover the delights of central Dublin with public buildings, elegant Georgian townhouses and squares as well as modern sculptures and busy shopping hubs. Visit Dublin Castle for a guided tour around the State Apartments. These Georgian chambers are filled with interesting portraits, memorabilia and furnishings and learn about the important events that take place there. Stop at Trinity College to see the Book of Kells, an 8th century illuminated manuscript of the gospels housed in the Old Library. Spend the afternoon shopping or sightseeing independently and in the evening you may like to sample Dublin's traditional pubs. (B)
Day 4: Ulster American Folk Park & Lough Erne
Depart Dublin and drive north through Ardee, Monaghan and regions where many Irish people make a living from farming today. On the outskirts of Omagh visit the Ulster American Folk Park, an outdoor museum of cottages, including that of Thomas Mellon's ancestors. This fascinating park is divided into three sections showing rural life and traditions in past centuries both in Ireland and of settlers in the United States and the hardships of an Atlantic sailing. Drive to your manor house hotel located in Killadeas on the shores of Lough Erne. In the afternoon take a short boat ride to view the delightful scenery and monastic ruins of Devinish Island. Discuss your itinerary with your tour guide and fellow travelers over a welcome drink before dinner. (B, D)
Day 5: Donegal Coast & Glencolumbcille
Drive through the Black Gap to Donegal town and on to Killybegs, an important fishing port. Travel west through wonderful scenery with rugged mountain and shoreline views to visit Irish Tapestry Weavers in Malinbeg near Glencolumbcille. This company creates works of art in locally-produced wool. Stop in Glencolumbcille before driving through the lovely Glengesh Pass to Ardara. Here visit Triona Designs to see demonstrations of spinning, weaving and knitting. Return via Glenties to Donegal town and stop to look around before heading back to Killadeas to relax before dinner. (B, D)
Day 6: Belleek China & W. B. Yeats
Drive around Lough Erne to visit the Belleek Pottery Factory. Founded in 1849 to assist people after the Famine, today this company continues to produce fine china masterpieces. Watch the craftspeople create these decorative items. At Drumcliffe Churchyard stop to view the grave of W.B. Yeats, the Nobel prizewinning poet, who based much of his work on the natural features around Sligo. Visit the pilgrimage town of Knock, one of the world's leading shrines. Journey south to Galway, the capital of the west of Ireland. Check into your hotel overlooking Galway Bay with views of the Aran Islands and the Burren Country. (B, D)
Day 7: Connemara & Kylemore Abbey
Today tour Connemara and admire the sweeping views of boglands and misty mountains. Stop in the quaint village of Spiddal which retains the Irish language and many traditional lifestyles. Continue to Clifden, a delightful town on the western seaboard. Visit 19th century Kylemore Abbey, now a girls' school run by Benedictine nuns. Stroll around delightful grounds and see the chapel. In Moycullen watch skilled craftsmen cutting fine crystal at the Connemara Celtic Crystal Factory. Enjoy a pub dinner with entertainment in the cozy setting of Padraicins, near your hotel on Galway Bay. (B, D)
Day 8: Cliffs of Moher & Killarney
Drive around Galway Bay and through the Burren Country, a unique region of limestone hills renowned for its flora and prehistoric stone monuments. Stop to view the majestic Cliffs of Moher, a rocky wall that rises nearly 700 feet above the foaming Atlantic Ocean. Take a ferry ride across the River Shannon Estuary to the mountainous countryside of Kerry. Arrive in Killarney and check into your hotel in the town center. You will have some time to stroll around town before dinner. (B, D)
Day 9: Ring of Kerry Tour
Enjoy the Ring of Kerry drive where every bend in 100 miles of road reveals breathtaking views of mountains and Atlantic Ocean. Depart Killarney and travel through Killorglin and Cahirciveen. All along the route you will have opportunities to get out of the coach to admire or photograph the scenic vistas. Head back through the attractive village of Sneem and pause at Moll's Gap for a panoramic view of the three lakes of Killarney. Take a guided tour of 19th century Muckross House, an elegant mansion set on the shores of Muckross Lake. (B, D)
Day 10: Blarney Stone & Kilkea Castle
Leave Killarney and drive via Ballyvourney and Macroom to Blarney. Climb the steps of Blarney Castle to kiss the stone. Then drive north through pleasant dairy farmlands of Cork. Near Cashel visit a sheep farm for tea and scones and learn about farm life. Continue to Castledermot to check into your special castle hotel in the early afternoon. Enjoy the surroundings and facilities of this wonderful hotel. Dating from 1180, it is reputed to be the oldest inhabited castle in Ireland. If you are a golfer, you'll have time to fit in a round before dinner. (B, D)
Day 11: National Stud & Dublin
Drive a few miles to Kildare to visit the National Stud and Japanese Gardens. These gardens, which represent the Life of Man, were started in 1906 and depict life from cradle to grave in classical Japanese gardening style. Also learn about Ireland's exciting horse breeding industry at the National Stud and see many of the fine horses. Drive into Dublin city and check into your hotel. You will have some free time for shopping or some independent sightseeing. Evening is at leisure for independent dining. (B)
Day 12: Return to U.S.
Transfer to Dublin Airport with your group to check in for your return flight to the United States. After check in you will have an opportunity to do some last minute shopping in the duty free stores. Then go through U.S. Immigration pre-clearance and board your flight home. (B)