40 Shades of Green including The Emerald Isle and Shamrock
Jump into Ireland’s vibrant capital city – Dublin; Overnight on the grounds of a regal castle; Taste the “Water of Life” during an Irish whiskey tasting. Enjoy a hearty dinner and night of traditional Irish entertainment; Experience the Ring of Kerry, one of the world’s great coastal roads; Stand in awe of the stunning 700-foot-high Cliffs of Moher. See sheepdogs in actions when you visit a working farm; Kiss the famed Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle; and be treated to a farewell dinner at a castle.
September 16-25, 2020
Highlights include Dublin, an Irish evening, Choices on your tour, Kilkenny, Waterford, Blarney Castle, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, a Jaunting Car ride, Limerick, Cliffs of Moher, Galway, a Castle stay, and more. 10 days, 13 meals, hotel, air, and taxes; passport required. $3799 Double; $4499 Single; $3769 Triple*
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Day 2-3: Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin
Day 4: Granville Hotel, Waterford
Day 5-6: Killarney Avenue Hotel
Day 7-8: Absolute Hotel Limerick
Day 9: Cabra Castle, Kingscourt
Day 1: Wednesday, September 16: Travel by overnight flight to Ireland; anticipation mounts as you wind your way toward the Emerald Isle and its many wonders. Rich history, rolling hills, and warm smiles lie ahead in Dublin, Waterford, Killarney, and Limerick. With tomorrow comes quintessential Ireland.
Day 2: Thursday, September 17: Get a taste of old Dublin. Tonight, you and your fellow travelers revel in a traditional Irish evening, including regional cuisine. (D)
Day 3: Friday, September 18: Today, it’s your choice! Choose to ride with a local guide to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral, O’Connell Street, the General Post Office, and the historic Phoenix Park -OR- choose a walking tour of the city’s historic center, exploring St. Stephen’s Green, Grafton street, and the River Liffey. Either way, what follows is an afternoon to discover Dublin’s charms on our own. Take afternoon tea at one of the city's fine hotels; visit Dublin Castle or the Guinness Brewery; or spend some time in one of the legendary pubs that Dublin has to offer. Dublin also offers many fine museums, Trinity College, city parks, and galleries. (B)
Day 4: Saturday, September 19: Step back in time and begin the day in the medieval splendor of 12th century Kilkenny on the River Nore. Then, in Waterford, embark on a leisurely paced walking tour of Ireland’s oldest city. It’s your choice! Tour the Waterford Crystal Factory and learn how exquisite crystal has been made for centuries -OR- visit the Medieval Museum for a guided tour and glass of wine in the 15th century Mayor’s Wine Vault. (B, D)
Day 5: Sunday, September 20: Live the legend. The story goes that those who kiss the Blarney Stone gain the gift of eloquence. This morning, give it a shot at historic Blarney Castle. Cross into County Kerry and continue on to charming Killarney. In Killarney’s stunning national park, board a traditional boat** and sail through the breathtaking lakes in the company of an expert boatman. Tonight, it’s Diner’s Choice…choose your included dinner from a “menu” of Killarney’s great restaurants. (B, D)
Day 6: Monday, September 21: Take in the rugged coastline as you loop your way around the picturesque Ring of Kerry, past pristine beaches, quaint villages, and majestic landscapes. At the Gap of Dunloe, shop for local artisan-made crafts. See border collies in action during a traditional sheepdog demonstration at a family-run farm. The night is free for reminiscing about the day as you find your own authentic taste of Irish culture. (B)
Day 7: Tuesday, September 22: Start your day with a traditional Jaunting Car ride** through Killarney National Park. Travel to Adare, Ireland’s prettiest village, for some time at leisure. Continue to Limerick, where a panoramic city tour showcases King John’s Castle and the Treaty Stone. Delve into the fascinating history of the “city of the violated treaty.” (B)
Day 8: Wednesday, September 23: Today brings you to the dramatic 700-foot high Cliffs of Moher for cinematic views of the mighty Atlantic. Marvel at the 8 kilometer stretch of cliffs reaching height of 214 meters, with vista embracing the Aran Islands plus viewing tower. Afterward, you will pass through the windswept, limestone landscape of the Burren, known for its stark beauty and Neolithic tombs. Continue on to Galway for a brief tour that showcases “The City of Tribes” before relaxing over dinner. (B, D)
Day 9: Thursday, September 24: You don’t have to be a connoisseur to appreciate the old-world heritage of Ireland’s whiskey territory. Your journey brings you to Tullamore and Kilbeggan in the heart of Ireland, where a superb distillery brings whiskey craftsmanship to life and gives you a taste of the final product. Top your day off with an overnight stay on the regal grounds of Cabra Castle where you toast the end of a fabulous trip during your farewell dinner. (B, D)
Day 10: Friday, September 25: Your journey ends in Kingscourt. (B)
* Single accommodations are extremely limited. Please call for availability.
** Jaunting Car ride and/or boat cruise are included, weather permitting.
*** This tour requires moderate physical activity. You should be in good health, able to climb stairs and walk reasonable distances, walking over uneven grounds should be expected. The itinerary blends some longer days with shorter days and more leisure time. On occasion, some activities may not be available due to inclement weather.
Experience it! Cabra Castle
Cabra Castle stands on 100 acres of gardens and parkland, with delightful views over the Cavan countryside, famous for its beautiful lakes. Formerly known as Cormey Castle, the history of the castle dates back to the pre-Cromwellian times of the 16th century. The property was bought in the early 19th century by Colonel Joseph Pratt, who rebuilt it and renamed it Cabra Castle. Its long legacy lends a mature, cultured air to the castle which can be felt by strolling through the castle’s magnificent hallways an stairwells. Experience this history when you enjoy and overnight stay on the castle grounds. The rooms are outfitted to the highest standards with every comfort and modern facilities. The bar and restaurant offer views of the countryside and Dun and Ri Forest Park.