Glorious Ireland and The Wild Atlantic Way
August 30 – September 7, 2021
$4,900.00 per person, double occupancy!
$1,200.00 single occupancy supplement
All travelers will be subject to the rule/regulations of the US State Department and the agency in the nations to which we visit determined to be the official voice for requirements into and out of a country.
August 30 – Depart US for Ireland. Plan to fly into Shannon Airport. NOTE: but you will depart from Dublin Airport on 7 September.
August 31 – Arrive Shannon Airport where we will be met, and the group will visit The Burren on the way to the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis. We will have cocktails and dinner at the hotel tonight. www.oldgroundhotelennis.com.
The Burren National Park
The Burren is a completely unique landscape; covering over one hundred square miles, the land is made up of limestone chunks called ‘clints’ with vertical fissures in the called ‘grikes’. The distinctive landscape is home to limestone loving flora that are both native to Ireland and that are normally found elsewhere in the world. Whilst in the Burren area, visit the Burren smokehouse for some delicious gourmet delicacies, you can even see the salmon being smoked.
September 1 – Breakfast at the hotel each morning and then today, we will spend the full day enjoying the culture and nature of Connemara and Galway. We will have lunch included and a private cultural experience.
Culture & Culinary Experience at a private location with the Owners (3 hours, includes lunch) A four-part experience – Culture and traditions; Ecology and landscape; Traditional Irish Music & storytelling; Local, wild, and foraged food tastings.
Surrounded by ancient blanket bogland, overlooking mountains, river, lake, and sea, is an award•-winning cultural retreat, with cottages dating back to the 17th century, offers memorable cultural experiences and relaxing peaceful stays.
Located in the Conamara Gaeltacht (Gaelic•-speaking area of Connemara), enjoy a unique window into Irish Gaelic culture, both traditional and contemporary.
About the area of Connemara National Park
Situated in the west of Ireland, Connemara National Park covers some 2,000 hectares of gorgeous mountains, expanses of bogland, heaths, grasslands, and woodlands in County Galway. Some of the mountains found here are part of the famous Twelve Bens or Beanna Beoloa range. Much of the present parklands formed part of the Kylemore Abbey Estate and the Letterfrack Industrial School. You can still visit Kylemore Abbey today, or perhaps you would prefer to hit the Diamond Hill trails for a bit of walking on one of the park’s four walking trails.
Along with varied birdlife and small mammals such as rabbits, foxes, shrews, and more, one of the most celebrated animals in the area is also the largest mammal in the park: the Connemara Pony! A herd of these purebred beauties was Discover Galway
Galway… Ireland’s alternative city, oozing a bohemian cool that draws in an artistic crowd of romantics and dramatics. Sauntering the streets you will soak in the infectious joy that the Galwegians are known for. On your tour you will take in sites such as Lynch’s Castle, a fortified house that goes back as far as the 14th century, and the Latin Quarter. The Latin Quarter is home to the Spanish Arch, constructed in 1584 and originally an extension of the city’s defensive walls. Gaining its name from the Spanish traders who used to use the quays of the city during the early modern period, the Arch provides a medieval historical record of Galway. The structure is also conveniently located next to the Galway City Museum, the perfect place to quench your thirst for knowledge! A private tour here can be tailored to your interests and with three floors of engaging and informative exhibitions you will come away as an expert of Galway’s archaeology, history, and sea science. We love exploring Galway’s past, ranging from the fascination of prehistoric times to the romance of the medieval ages, but our favorite thing to see in the museum are the Sea Science galleries. This exhibition gets to the depths of life in the waves of the Wild Atlantic Way, into a world of ocean currents and tidal turns.
Tonight, back to Ennis. Dinner on your own at your leisure in Ennis.
September 2 – After breakfast we will depart for our journey to Killarney down the amazing Wild Atlantic Way. The Cliffs of Moher will be our first stop. Tonight, we will be at the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney.
About the Wild Atlantic Way...
The Pacific Highway, the Amalfi Coast, the Great Ocean Road… All amazing driving routes that take in some of the best sites in the world. But none have quite the drama and variety of the Wild Atlantic Way. The world’s longest defined coastal touring route that extends from the northern Malign Head in County Donegal to Mizen Head in County Cork, the most southerly point. Weaving its way across 2,500 km of stunning coastline, there is something to see here at every twist and turn. The route encompasses six regions, all with their own distinct character and charm. Northern Headlands (County Donegal), the Surf Coast (Counties Donegal and Sligo), the Bay Coast (Galway and Mayo), the Cliff Coast (Galway, Clare, and Kerry), Southern Peninsulas (Kerry and Cork) and finally the Haven Coast (County Cork). Whether you explore it all or dip in and out, what you will discover are countless sites, sounds and experiences that will provide lasting memories. This is genuinely stunning coastline, from soaring cliffs and crashing waves, to hidden history and magic myths, cultural hot spots, and traditional Irish music, to freshly shucked oysters and beautiful botany… The Wild Atlantic Way will sweep you off your feet, dazzling and impressing from start to finish.
Cliffs of Moher
The Wild Atlantic Way must be one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the world and the Cliffs of Moher are right at its heart. An extraordinary blend between history and geography, culture, and nature, it is no wonder that this is such a popular destination. The Cliffs stretch for 5 miles as the crow flies, scaling heights of over 200 metres. Views are breathtaking and the abundance of flora and fauna defies the imagination! The area is a Special Protection Area for Birds and we hope to visit that spot!
Driving on the gorgeous coast we arrive at Killarney and are guest at the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney, with full Irish breakfast for three nights.
September 3 – After breakfast, another full day of Irish towns and history we have heard of for so long.
Dingle Town is our first visit.
Dingle is one of the most traditional towns on the western side of Ireland. A working harbor and buzzing town, Dingle has several high-quality restaurants which use local produce from the fish mongers, butchers, and surrounding farms. Dingle comes alive in the evening, with live music pouring out of the pubs into the streets. Speaking of pubs, where can you drink a pint of Guinness whilst you are watching your shoes being mended? – Dingle of course! Dickmack’s Pub is a firm winner, as famous people use to drink there – including Marilyn Monroe! In the town is Dingle Crystals, where you can watch the skilled craftsmen hand make the most beautiful pieces. Close to the town is the picturesque area of Slea Head and a short drive away is the Ring of Kerry.
Private wildlife boat trip (2 hours)
Enjoy a boat trip on the waters of Dingle for a change to see some of Ireland’s wonderful marine and sky wildlife!
The Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry (or Iveragh Peninsula to give it its correct name) is a mystical and unspoiled region of Ireland that charms anyone who sets foot there with its spectacular beauty. The coastline boasts white sandy beaches whilst inland the Ring of Kerry provides an amazing insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland; the Iron Age Forts & Ogham Stones are well worth a visit. To get the best vantage point of the landscape, give horse riding, cycling, or hiking a try.
September 4 – This is a special visit day which most tours of Ireland do not include. We think you will enjoy it.
Visit Garnish Isle, Illnacullin Gardens
Garnish Island (Ilnacullin Garinish or Garnish) is in the sheltered harbor of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay, in Southwest Ireland. Garnish is world renowned for its gardens which are laid out in beautiful walks and it has some stunning specimen plants which are rare in this climate.
Take the Garnish Island Ferry from Glengarriff Pier to visit this amazing island garden. The very sheltered ferry trip includes a wonderful visit to seal island where you will visit the very tame seal colony.
The Gardens are the result of the creative partnership of Annan Bryce and Harold Peto, architect, and garden designer. The island was bequeathed to the Irish people in 1953.
About Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park is just to the south and west of Killarney town and is famous for its range of scenery. Muckross House and Gardens are a focal point of the national park; the house is a 19th-century mansion featuring all the furnishings of that period. Within the park, you will also find the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland, and the world-famous Killarney lakes. The slopes of the Reeks are covered in gorgeous woodlands, and there are also plenty of waterfalls to be found, diversifying the landscape even more. Within the woodlands are the native oakwoods and yew woods together with an abundance of evergreen trees, which are important on a national and even international level. The park was designated a biosphere reserve in 1981 by UNESCO.
September 5 – Today we say farewell to the Wild Atlantic Way and make our way to Dublin. We will stop at the beautiful historic town of Kinsale first.
Kinsale Private Food Tours
Kinsale holds the country’s longest-running Food Festival, which started in 1976 courtesy of The Good Food Circle – an organization that has pioneered the food culture and significance of Kinsale today. Its location as a thriving fishing port means it has access to the freshest of seafood and inspired several talented chefs in the area, with high quality restaurants and gourmet delights! With a private guide and expert by your side you will wind your way through the colorful town, stopping at a variety of different eateries and getting the chance to meet some of the best local characters and producers in the area. There is such a wide variety of amazing artisan products in the area, sourced and created locally and ranging from jams and cheeses, to fresh mackerel and seafood – there is something to tantalize everyone’s taste buds!
We have a quick visit through Cork and a quick glance will be extended if time permits.
A tour around Cork traverses some of the most historically significant parts of the city. At Corks center is the Butter Exchange complex, the most successful part of the city’s international trading enterprise. Its imposing architecture speaks of the wealth and power which the merchant princes of the city once exercised, merchants now known only from the street names which they bequeathed to the city. The churches encountered on your walk also tell a tale: Anglican dominance in the 18th century; Catholic resurgence in the 19th century. The naming and renaming of streets give a glimpse of the city’s political history.
Arriving in Dublin we spend two nights at the Westbury Hotel, Dublin.
September 6 – Your guide and driver will meet you in the hotel lobby for a half-day tour of the city!
Most of the attractions are located south of the River Liffey, in a district of gracious Georgian mansions and leafy avenues around Grafton Street and elegant St Stephen’s Green. The main landmarks here include Trinity College, the National Museums, Leinster House (the home of the Irish Parliament) and the National Gallery of Ireland. The historic cathedrals, Christ Church and St Patrick’s, are towards the west of the city and are architecturally impressive while Dublin Castle stands proud on Dame Street.
The city is bisected by the River Liffey and is crossed by several bridges. North of the River Liffey is the rougher, grittier area, which Roddy Doyle generously summed up as having more ‘soul’ than sights. It contains the General Post Office (GPO), which has a façade pitted with gunfire from the Easter Rising of April 1916. Other sights include Phoenix Park and the sights located along the Grand Canal which loops around the south of the center.
Trinity College & Book of Kells
Founded in 1592, Trinity College is the oldest university in Ireland and has seen many famous students pass through its doors, Oliver Goldsmith, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde, and Jonathan Swift. Located in the heart of Dublin City, a walk through the cobbled stones of Trinity College’s quads will bring you to the magnificent Old Library that houses the Book of Kells; a 9th-century gospel manuscript famous throughout the world.
Enjoy the afternoon free in Dublin and a Farewell Dinner with the group tonight at a local Irish Pub!!
September 7 – Morning transfer to Dublin International Airport.
Porterage and taxes
Dinner upon arrival with cocktails and wine
Dinner in Dublin 6 September
Transport and Guides throughout (gratuities not included)
All entrance fees.
Price does not include:
Porterage at airport
TRANSFERS IF Arriving or departing other than 31 August and 7 September.
Meals not specified.
Guide and Driver gratuities which can be given separately.
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