2020 Tour Details
Escape to the beauty and history of the “Emerald Isle” on your guided tour of Ireland. Enjoy your getaway into the green valleys and sweeping seashores without the large crowds or costs of the “busy” travel season. You’ll begin in the fair city of Dublin. Admire statue-lined O’Connell Street, Dublin’s main thoroughfare, and elegant Georgian squares with their red-brick townhouses and colorful doors behind the wrought-iron fences. You’ll also see Trinity College and St. Patrick’s Cathedral along the way. Leave the bustle of Dublin for the green landscapes of Ireland’s countryside, and visit Rathbaun Farm. You’ll learn about Ireland’s sheep-farming practices, and try your hand at scone baking in the farmhouse kitchen. You’ll travel on to western Ireland’s colorful harbor city of Galway, with its vibrant shops, cafés, and traditional pubs. On your way to Northern Ireland, pass through Westport, Donegal, and Letterkenny. Then, enjoy a guided walk on Derry’s Old Town walls, and visit the amazing natural formation of the Giant’s Causeway—massive interlocking basalt columns that dramatically extend across the seashore. Spend two nights in Belfast, with plenty to see in Northern Ireland’s capital city, including the fascinating Titanic Experience. On your way back to Dublin, stop in Carlingford. This Cooley Peninsula town is famous for its oyster farms, medieval buildings, and 12th-century King John’s Castle overlooking the city. Spend the last night of your escorted tour of Ireland where you began, in Dublin. You’ll see why this escape through Ireland’s beauty and history is made even better without the crowds of the high season on your affordable, guided Ireland vacation.
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DUBLIN Orientation drive; welcome dinnerRATHBAUN FARM See the farmer at work, [LF] bake your own scones, and enjoy coffee in the farmhouseWESTPORT Visit the heritage town DONEGAL Visit the county townDERRY Guided walking tourCOUNTY ANTRIM Visit Giant’s CausewayBELFAST Orientation, visit the Titanic ExperienceCARLINGFORD Visit the medieval town
Motorcoach; free wi-fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies
Full Irish breakfast daily; 2 three-course dinners with wine and choice of menus
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN DUBLIN, IRELAND. Céad míle fáilte—a hundred-thousand welcomes! Check into your hotel. At 3 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for an afternoon orientation drive through statue-lined O’Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares with their tall, red-brick townhouses, colorful doors, and wrought iron-decorated windows, Oscar Wilde’s Trinity College and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel.
DUBLIN–ATHLONE–RATHBAUN FARM–GALWAY. Drive through lush green country side to Athlone, on the River Shannon, and then to RATHBAUN FARM, where you’ll see the farmer maneuver a flock of sheep with the help of a sheep dog. Try your hand at [LF] SCONE BAKING and then enjoy them fresh from the oven with a cup of coffee. On to Galway, a popular seaside destination and a buzzing cosmopolitan center with colorful shops and a busy café and bar culture.
GALWAY–WESTPORT–DONEGAL–LETTERKENNY. On your way north, pause at Westport, the elegant holiday resort on the edge of an Atlantic inlet, before continuing to Donegal, named ‘Fort of the Foreigners’ by the Vikings who invaded the town in the 8th century. Continue on through rich and fertile farmland, strewn with whitewashed houses, to Letterkenny.
LETTERKENNY–DERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND–GIANT'S CAUSEWAY–BELFAST. The first highlight today is Derry, situated on the banks of the Foyle River, and a WALK on the Old Town walls in the company of a Local Guide. After lunch, visit the awe-inspiring GIANT’S CAUSEWAY, composed of thousands of strangely symmetrical basalt columns jutting out to sea. Stay overnight in Belfast, Northern Ireland’s seat of government.
BELFAST. This morning’s orientation drive will take you past all the city’s attractions, including City Hall, the Albert Memorial Clock Tower, and Queens University. Next, visit the fascinating TITANIC EXPERIENCE and learn all about the building of the largest passenger steam ship, its maiden voyage, and the tragic night of April 14, 1912. The afternoon is free to explore the city on your own.
BELFAST–CARLINGFORD, IRELAND–DUBLIN. On your way back south, stop in Carlingford, on the Cooley Peninsula, known for its oyster farms and medieval buildings. The 12th-century King John’s Castle overlooks the harbor and Taaffe’s Castle—a 16th-century tower house. Back in Dublin, a fitting farewell to Ireland would be to join an optional cabaret evening with dinner, followed by dance, song, and laughter.
DUBLIN. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.