10 Days Ireland

Day 1:   Depart USA.  Meet at the international airport three hours before departure.  Dinner and breakfast served during flight.

Day 2:   Shannon / Lahinch / Galway.  We begin our journey with a   leisurely drive into County Clare (Lahinch) where we will stop to view the impressive Cliffs of Mohr and continue on to Galway where we will enjoy an orientation tour of the city before checking into our hotel.  Dinner at the hotel.

Day 3:  Knock / Ballintubber Abbey.  Your first stop today is Knock, Ireland’s national Marian Shrine.  On August 21, 1879, Our Lady, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist appeared at the gable of Knock Parish Church.  Thousands visit each year including a visit by Pope John Paul II and Mother Theresa.  Continuing on we visit Ballintubber Abbey, known as the “Abbey that refused to die”.  It was originally founded by St. Patrick in 441 AD and was rebuilt in 1216 and has remained a place of worship despite continuous attacks and repression.  Return to Galway for dinner and overnight in the hotel.

Day 4:  Clonmacnoise, Dublin.  We continue on today to the ancient monastic site of Clonmacnoise, that was founded by St. Kevin.  The monastery attracted many scholars from around Europe and has been the place of worship for over 3,000 monks, so the monastery has played a fundamental role in Ireland’s Catholicism.  Continuing on to Dublin, Ireland’s vibrant capital city with dinner an overnight in our hotel.

Day 5:  Dublin.  Today you will enjoy a tour of Dublin including entrance to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and into Trinity College where you can admire the exquisite Book of Kells.  The remainder of the day is free to pursue your own interests.   Tonight we are treated to a traditional Irish meal in one of Dublin’s unique Pubs.

Day 6:  Glendalough / Waterford.  Your first visit today is the Tower of Glendalough – “The Glen of the Two Lakes” which was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century.  Your tour continues through the spectacular Wicklow Mountains, through picturesque villages and into Waterford.  The afternoon is dedicated to admiring the skills of the craftsmen of the Waterford Crystal Factory, where the world famous crystal is produced by hand.  Tonight dinner is served in our hotel.

Day 7:  Blarney Castle / Killarney.  Today we set off into the County Cork and to the 15th century Blarney Castle where you may choose to kiss the famous Blarney Stone said to bestow the “gift of gab” on anyone who dares!  Here at the Woolen Mills, there are traditional Irish goods to buy including Irish wool and tweed.  Onwards, then, through the dramatic countryside to Killarney, home for the next two nights.  Dinner in hotel.

 Day 8:   Ring of Kerry / Cahirciveen / Sneem.     This morning we set off for Killarney National Park and the world famous “Ring of Kerry” which offers some of the most magnificent scenery in Ireland.  Your driver also takes you through the remote villages of Cahirciveen and Sneem where there will be plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the views.  Tonight you will enjoy dinner and traditional entertainment at famous Kate Kearney’s Cottage that is surrounded by beautiful scenery.  Dinner and overnight in Killarney.

Day 9:   Limerick / Bunratty Castle.  Your journey heads northward as you drive to Limerick, where the book “Angela’s Ashes” is set and see St. Mary’s Cathedral and St. John’s Castle.  Onwards then to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park for a glimpse into Ireland’s colorful history.  This magnificent castle now stands on delightfully peaceful grounds with little evidence of its turbulent history.  The folk park offers us a unique insight into Irish life around the turn of the century.  Dinner and overnight in our hotel in Shannon.

Day 10 : Return to USA.  After a hearty Irish breakfast, it is sadly time to bid farewell as you drive to the airport for your transatlantic flight home – the end of a most enjoyable journey.