Printer-friendly Tour Itinerary Celtic Explorer Mini-Group Tour of Ireland 2018

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Sligo in Northwest Ireland Sligo in Northwest Ireland

The Tour Itinerary Sunday: Welcome to Ireland

Printer-friendly Tour Itinerary

Sunday

On arrival in Dublin Airport reclaim your baggage and enter the Arrivals Hall. Here in the Arrivals Hall you will meet your professional Irish Driver-Guide (1 Person). There will be 3 Group transfers this morning between 0700 am & 1200 noon. Board your luxury air – conditioned coach and transfer to the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown.

Check in starts from 1500 and you can store your luggage at the hotel prior to check in. At 1400 we will depart on a Panoramic Tour of Dublin City visiting St Patrick’s Cathedral, founded beside a sacred well where St. Patrick is said to have baptised converts around AD 450. The writer and satirist Jonathan Swift, whose best known work is Gulliver’s Travels, became Dean of St. Patrick’s in 1713. His grave and epitaph are situated near the entrance of the cathedral.

You will also visit the Guinness Storehouse at St. James' Gate for a tour of the world famous brewery and afterwards enjoy a perfect pint of Guinness in the Gravity Bar, which is located at the top of a glass tower that commands spectacular views of Dublin City and County in every direction.

At 1900 this evening all participants will gather for dinner in Clayton Hotel Leopardstown restaurant, where you will become acquainted with your fellow travellers, and the coming days can be discussed at leisure with your professional Irish driver-guide.

Included Today

Monday's Itinerary

After some much needed sleep and a hearty full Irish breakfast you will journey into the heart of Dublin City this morning to visit The General Post Office (GPO) on bustling O’Connell Street, Dublin’s main thoroughfare. The GPO became a symbol of the 1916 Irish Rising when Irish Volunteers & Irish Citizen Army seized the building on Easter Monday 1916 and Patrick Pearse read out the Proclamation of the Irish Republic from its steps. The Rebels held out for a week before British artillery shelling forced them to surrender, but as WB Yeats was to write, matters had “now changed utterly” and a “terrible beauty was born” You will have a guided tour of GPO Witness History, a highly interactive and spectacular visitor attraction which focuses on the 1916 Easter Rising, the aftermath of this rebellion and also how Ireland has developed since.

We will then depart for Galway City, known as the “City of the Tribes”. Travelling west your route today will take you through Ballinasloe & Athlone, which is the centre of Ireland. You will visit Clonmacnoise a medieval monastery on the banks of the River Shannon founded by St. Ciaran in the 6th century. Clonmacnoise lay at a crossroads of medieval Ireland linking all parts of Ireland. Sacked time and again by the Vikings, it nevertheless flourished for over 600 years.

On arrival in Galway you will have a tour of this ancient city including its famous Eyre Square. Take time for a ramble down Shop Street to Galway’s Latin Quarter where stands Lynch’s Castle, Galway’s grandest 16th century town house. Stroll up the bustling Quay Street with its many great pubs and lively street performers. Tonight you will dine in the Maldron Hotel Sandy Road.

Included Today

Tuesday's Itinerary

This morning bright & early we will travel west to Rossaveal Pier in South Connemara overlooking Galway Bay, where we will board a purpose built ferry that will take us on a journey to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. The island of Inishmore is 8 miles long and 2 miles wide and is world famous for its austere landscape criss-crossed with drystone walls, spectacular coastal scenery and several prehistoric stone forts. On arrival on Inishmore you will tour the island by local minibus. Protected for centuries by their isolated position, the islands are a stronghold of traditional Irish culture and language. Your tour today will also include a visit to the spectacular Dun Aonghasa promontory fort, which is perched on a cliff 100 Metres above the roaring Atlantic Ocean.

You will also have some free time in the village of Kilronan, the largest village on the Aran islands, which are famous for their distinctive knitwear. You might like to shop for a traditional Aran sweater in Kilronan.

Return by ferry to Rossaveal and travel back to Galway. Tonight you will dine in the Maldron Hotel Sandy Road.

Included Today

  • Irish Breakfast
  • Evening Dinner
  • Ferry to Aran Islands
  • Maldron Hotel, Sandy Road (See website)

Wednesday's Itinerary

This morning after breakfast we will depart for Donegal in Ireland’s far North West. Donegal is home to some of Ireland’s wildest scenery and is famous for the natural beauty of its rugged coast, windswept peninsulas and golden beaches. Our route today will take us through the Northwest counties of Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Fermanagh.

You will visit Lissadell House & Gardens, beautifully located in the shadow of the iconic Benbulben Mountain. Lissadell House was built in 1833 by Sir Robert Gore Booth and WB Yeats was a frequent visitor to the house in the 1890’s. Today Lissadell House is the home of the Cassidy Family, who have lovingly restored the house and gardens to their former glory. The Cassidys will welcome you with a guided tour of their house & gardens.

Travel on via the quiet county of Leitrim before crossing the border into Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, where you will visit Belleek Pottery founded in 1857 for a guided tour.

Our journey will take us back across the border into the Republic of Ireland and onward to Donegal. Tonight you will dine in the Mill Park Hotel.

Included Today

Thursday's Itinerary

This morning after breakfast we will travel west along the shores of Donegal Bay, via the Atlantic Fishing port town of Killybegs for a tour highlight - the Slieve League Cliffs are the highest accessible marine cliffs in Europe. Here you will meet our local guide who will take you on a short walk to a commanding viewing point of these spectacular cliffs rising dramatically out of the wild Atlantic Ocean.

Our journey will continue on via Glengesh Pass, on our way to the heritage town of Ardara, which is known as the weaving capital of Donegal. You will visit Triona Design to hear how the Mulhern family have dedicated their lives to protecting and nurturing the skill, craft and heritage of traditional Donegal Tweed. Your tour of Triona Design will include seeing Master Weavers at work on traditional Looms that have been used for centuries, and hear the history of how people in rural Ireland lived in times gone by, and how all the family were involved in knitting, spinning and hand weaving.

Take some time to stroll the streets of Ardara, famous for its traditional Irish pubs. Return to Donegal town. Tonight you will dine in the Mill Park Hotel.

Included Today

Friday's Itinerary

This morning after breakfast we begin our journey back to Dublin, by crossing the border into Northern Ireland as we travel to the town of Enniskillen, which occupies an island between Upper and Lower Lough Erne.

We will Cruise on Lough Erne which boasts a rich combination of natural and historic sights and is a haven for many species of water birds. You will visit Devenish Island where St. Molaise founded a monastery in the 6th century. The most spectacular sight on this tiny wind swept island is a perfectly preserved 12th century round tower which stands 82ft high.

We journey on crossing the border back into Cavan in the Republic of Ireland before continuing via the county of Meath to Dublin. This afternoon we will check into to the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown.

This evening we will all gather in the lobby of the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown and make the short journey to the The Merry Ploughboy, one of Dublin's iconic traditional venues, where you will enjoy a farewell dinner and an evening of Irish music, song and dance.

Included Today

  • Breakfast
  • Farewell Dinner & Show
  • Cruise on Lough Erne
  • Clayton Hotel Leopardstown(See website)
National Park Killarney National Park Killarney

Saturday Departure Day

After a final great Irish breakfast this morning there will be 3 group transfers between 0500 & 1100 for you to choose from to get you to Dublin Airport for your return flight home

Included Today:

  • Irish Breakfast
  • Airport Transfer
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