Many visitors see Ireland as a lush green island, full of thatched cottages, pubs, music, wit and poetry. Like all stereotypes, this image of the country has a basis in truth in it. The political and economic reality is, of course, rather less ideal, but the relaxed good humour of the people still makes Ireland a most welcoming place to visit.
Ireland was a Gaelic speaking nation until the 17th century, since when the language has declined. Irish culture, on the other hand, is in no danger of being eroded. The people have a genuine love of old folk legends, epic poetry and songs. Festivals, whether dedicated to St. Patrick or St. James Joyce, pubs or oysters, salmon or sailing, are an important part of community life. Music is a national passion – from the rock of U2 and the Cranberries to the folk music of Clannad, the Chieftains and Mary Black. Another passion is horse racing. Ireland’s breeders and trainers are masters of their trade and enjoy astonishing international success.
Join us on this beautiful tour to Ireland, sampling its culture and heritage....
The third largest city in the Republic, Limerick was founded by the Vikings, it thrived under the Normans, and has been a symbol of English oppression since the Battle of the Boyne. The city’s main landmarks are King John’s Castle built in 1200 by King John and St. Mary’s Cathedral, built in 1172.
This rocky stronghold, which rises dramatically out of the Tipperary plain, was a symbol of royal and priestly power for more than a millennium. From the 5th century on, it was the seat of the Kings of Munster, whose kingdom extended over much of southern Ireland.
Famous for its splendid scenery, the area is one of Ireland’s most popular visitor attractions. The town has much to offer, with stores that open until 10:00 p.m. and excellent restaurants.
This long-established route around the Iveragh Peninsula, is always referred to as the Ring of Kerry. It is an area of captivating mountain and coastal scenery, dotted with slate-roofed fishing villages.
The city derives its name from the marshy land on the banks of the River Lee (the Irish word corcaigh means marsh) on which St. Finn Barre founded a monastery around AD 650. Your tour will include a visit to St. Finn Barre’s Cathedral as well as Blarney Castle, to see the legendary Blarney Stone. Kissing the stone is a long-standing tradition, intended to confer a magical eloquence.
Ireland’s capital has a wealth of attractions. See prestigious O’Connell Street, Dublin’s main and busiest thoroughfare. Trinity College, home of the Old Library which contains priceless illuminated manuscripts. Christchurch Cathedral, built by Dublin’s Anglo-Norman conquerors between 1172 and 1220.
The word whiskey comes from the Gaelic "uisce beatha", meaning water of life. Distillation was probably introduced to Ireland by monks from Asia over 1000 years ago. Your tour will include a visit to a Whiskey Distillery, to sample their products and learn the art of whiskey-making.
Arrival in Shannon. Transfer to hotel in Limerick
Half day guided tour of Limerick including King John’s Castle and the medieval heritage precinct. Overnight in Limerick.
Your full day guided tour today will take you to the Cliffs of Moher, on the West Coast of Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most outstanding coastal features of Ireland, standing 702 feet at their highest point they stretch for 8 kilometres along the Atlantic Coast, offering views of the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. Continue to Rathbaum farm, where you will become enchanted by its thatched cottage farm house, large open turf fire, stone walls and an array of animals. Time spent here gives you a glimpse into the daily workings of a sheep-farm. You will also enjoy a cup of tea and sconce!! This evening, enjoy a dinner banquet at Bunratty Castle. While partaking of a sumptuous four course dinner with fine wines, delight to the dulcet tones of the Ladies of the Castle accompanied by Irish Harp and Fiddle. Overnight will be at your hotel in Limerick.
This morning you will enjoy a half day guided tour to Rock of Cashel, a spectacular group of Medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale including the 12th century round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral, 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. Attractions include an audio-visual show and exhibitions. Continue to Killarney, where the rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight will be at your hotel in Killarney.
Today, you will explore the Ring of Kerry, a region of great natural beauty. Ring of Kerry provides an amazing insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland - see the Iron Age Forts & Ogham Stones, Old Monasteries and a landscape carved out of rock by the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago. After the tour, enjoy a visit to the Kerry Woollen Mills. Dinner and overnight will be at your hotel in Killarney.
Depart for Cork. Half day guided tour, including St. Finn Barre’s Cathedral and Blarney Castle. Blarney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland's greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy. The castle is famous for the Blarney Stone, found at the top of our Tower. Kiss it and you'll never again be lost for words. Dinner and overnight will be at your hotel in Cork.
Visit the Waterford Crystal Factory to learn the art of crystal making. After the tour, there will be time to visit the retail store, containing the world’s largest selection of the world-famous Waterford Crystal. Continue to Dublin for dinner and the night.
Your half day guided tour of Dublin will show you the city’s most famous sights: O’Connell Street, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity College, including the Old Library with the famous Book of Kells. Afternoon visit to a Horse-breeding or stud farm. This evening, enjoy a typical Irish dinner with music and storytelling. Overnight at your hotel in Dublin.
Visit the Guinness Brewery to learn about the art of beer-making, and Old Jameson Whiskey Distillery for a tasting of their products. Afternoon is free for independent activities, and last-minute souvenir shopping. After dinner, attend a Riverdance performance.
Transfer to the airport
Our Tour Escorts are personable and knowledgeable. Contact us for more information on any of the travel experiences we offer.
Transfers between airports and hotels
10-night accommodations in First Class hotels (based on double occupancy), as follows:
- 3 nights in Limerick
- 2 nights in Killarney
- 1 night in Cork
- 3 nights in Dublin
Buffet or full Irish breakfast every morning;
4-course dinner every evening (most dinners will be at the hotels, except the Bunratty Medieval Banquet and the typical Irish dinner with storytelling and music);
Deluxe chartered coach transportation throughout the tour;
Sightseeing tours and excursions as follows:
- Half day tour of Limerick (with a guide)
- Full day tour to the Cliffs of Moher and Rathbaum Farm (with a guide)
- Half day tour to the Rock of Cashel (with a guide)
- Full day Ring of Kerry tour (with a guide)
- Half day tour of Cork (with a guide)
- Visit to the Waterford Crystal Factory (with on-site guide)
- Half day tour of Dublin (with a guide)
- Visit to a horsebreeding farm/stud farm (no guide)
- Visit to the Guinness Brewery (tasting tour)
- Visit to the Old Jameson Whiskey Distillery (tasting tour)
Entrance fees to the following places:
- King John’s Castle (Limerick)
- Cliffs of Moher
- Rathbaum Farm
- Rock of Cashel
- St. Finn Barre’s Cathedral (Cork)
- Blarney Castle (Cork)
- Waterford Crystal Factory
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Dublin)
- Book of Kells (Dublin)
3 Evening entertainments as follows:
- Medieval Dinner Banquet at Bunratty Castle
- Irish evening with storytelling and music
- Riverdance performance
Services of a TOURINGHOUSE representative from the time of arrival until departure
Baggage handling at the hotels and tips to the bus driver and guides
All service charges and taxes