COUNTRYSIDE OF THE EMERALD ISLE
From ancient castles and historic Dublin to less-traveled roads and charming villages, this adventure brings together the best of the Emerald Isle. Come to know the culture and welcoming hospitality of the Irish in Dublin, Ireland’s rollicking capital city, with a choice of ways to explore. Tour Kilkenny’s Medieval castle. Step off the beaten path in the seaside village of Kinsale, known as Ireland’s “gourmet capital.” Make yourself at home as an Irish family welcomes you for a home-stay. Discover the windswept terrain of West Cork’s Wild Atlantic Way before arriving in charming Killarney. Travel through the tranquil countryside of the Ring of Kerry. Explore the Neolithic site of Newgrange. Feel like special guests of royalty when you spend two incredible nights in an elegant historic castle. Experience farm to table cuisine. Raise a glass and celebrate a journey through the many sides of Ireland.
Ireland (Dublin, Bellingham Castle, Boyne Valley, Kilkenny Area, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Kenmare, Bantry House, Kinsale, Midleton)
• Nine nights accommodation
• Fourteen meals
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Day 1: Overnight Flight
This is your chance to experience a seldom-explored side of Ireland. From the vaults of Christ Church Cathedral to the rolling hills of Dingle, we’ll bring you back to your Irish roots (even if you don’t have any).
Day 2: Dublin, Ireland - Tour Begins
Fáilte and welcome to Dublin, Ireland’s cosmopolitan capital. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a private tour and welcome reception in the crypt of Christ Church Cathedral.* Within the medieval walls of the city’s oldest structure, surrounded by nearly 1,000 years of Irish myths and legends, toast the start of an incredible adventure.
Day 3: Dublin
A local expert escorts you through Dublin’s magnificent sights. Exalt in the culture and color of Ireland’s world-famous shopping thoroughfare, Grafton Street. Get lost inside the gardens of St. Stephen’s Green, and marvel at the electric green expanse of the largest enclosed city park in all of Europe, Phoenix Park. This evening, enjoy some good craic - Gaelic for fun - as we put a modern twist on Irish cuisine during a cooking class at one of Dublin’s premier culinary institutions.
Day 4: Dublin - Irish National Stud - Midleton - Kinsale
Take to Ireland’s country roads. Tour the Irish National Stud, an area of incredible natural beauty that’s home to regal thoroughbreds and opulent gardens. Head south to the Old Midleton Distillery, home of Jameson Irish Whiskey. Give it a go with a tasting of the distillery’s production. Continue on to the quaint coastal village of Kinsale and join a local expert on a walking tour. This evening, it’s Diner’s Choice in Ireland’s gourmet capital! Choose the perfect spot from a “menu” of Kinsale’s great restaurants.
Day 5: Kinsale - Choice of Cobh or Relaxing in Kinsale
It’s your choice! Visit the seaside town of Cobh, the last stop of the RMS Titanic. Circuit this historic port alongside a local expert; this is the place where 2.5 million Irish people left their native land for new frontiers -OR- spend a leisurely day in Kinsale and enjoy its many galleries, shops and cafes.
Day 6: Kinsale - Garnish Island - Killarney
Embark on the drive of a lifetime on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. You’ll fall in love with the quaint towns and charming villages that inhabit this iconic coastal route. Board a ferry and sail to a place that must be seen to be believed, Garnish Island. Sheltered in the Glengarriff harbor of Bantry Bay, this hidden island is home to one of Ireland’s most beautiful gardens. Continue over the Cork and Kerry mountains to Killarney via the breathtaking Caha Pass.
Day 7: Killarney - Dingle - Killarney
Not far from the rollicking pubs of Killarney await the enchanting hills and weather-worn bluffs of Dingle. Travel through a maze of green to Ireland’s most westerly point, Slea Head, where the locals will remind you that, "the next parish over is Boston." Your afternoon affords the opportunity to explore Dingle’s country lanes on foot or enjoy time at leisure in Dingle Town, a place where pubs double as hardware stores and the Guinness is always freshly-tapped.
Day 8: Killarney - Cliffs of Moher - Aran Islands (Inisheer)
Leave the rugged southern coast behind and embark on an adventure, the likes of which you’ve never seen. Board a ferry bound for Inisheer, the smallest of the three Aran Islands.** Take in unrivaled views while sailing beneath the iconic Cliffs of Moher. Upon arriving in Inisheer’s ethereal landscape, take a private tour through the labyrinth of stone walls blanketing the island. Learn about the island’s 250 inhabitants, their livelihoods and devotion to traditional culture and customs. As the last ferry leaves for mainland Ireland, settle into your island abode*** amid desolate yet striking beauty for an experience that’s totally unparalleled.
Day 9: Aran Islands (Inisheer) - Ennis
Enjoy a morning to sleep in, or wake early for a sunrise hike**** to O’Brien Castle. Greet the sun as it rises over the Irish mainland and illuminates Inisheer’s picturesque stone walls. Later, dive into local culture during a knitting workshop and learn traditional methods and stitches used to make the famous Aran sweaters. Don’t worry if you’re not a knitter, you’ll be a pro before you know it! Next, experience the traditional craft of making the St. Brigid’s Cross. Throughout Ireland you will see these crosses affixed to homes to ward off evil and danger. This evening, after ferrying back to the mainland, toast the end of an incredible adventure!
Day 10: Ennis - Tour Ends
Your journey comes to a close today, leaving you with the spirit of Ireland in your heart forever.
Trip operated by Collette. Prices will be quoted in CAD. CDN$ per person, land only. Based on double occupancy. Other dates available, prices may vary, please contact us for details. Trip Style: Guided Vacations Exploration.
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