Day 1: Saturday, November 4 - USA to Ireland. Depart USA for overnight flight to Ireland. Immediately the magic of the trip will overtake you as you fly five hours into the future! Dinner is served while in flight.
We arrive in the morning at Dublin Airport where you will be greeted by your Driver/Guide. Leaving the airport we travel to a nearby venue where everyone will have an opportunity for their first Full Irish Breakfast (on own expense). We travel into Dublin Town where we enjoy a panoramic tour of this 1000-year old city. We then see statue filled O'Connell Street, The General Post Office scene of the 1916 Easter Uprising, as well as Georgian Square. We will then be dropped off on Nassau Street for some free browsing time or Sunday worship (a list of churches will be provided). Since we check into our hotel LATE AFTERNOON, tours of the Guinness or Jameson Factories are a great way to pass the time. Dinner is on your own, suggestions will be provided. Overnight Dublin at The Camden Court.
After breakfast we depart Dublin and travel south. We continue on through the Wicklow Mountains to visit Glendalough the Monastic Settlement of St. Kevin in the 6th century. Located near the shores of a stunning highland lake, we see the round tower and ruined churches of the 6th century monastery and stop at the Visitor Center for an explanation of the history of the settlement. We continue via Medieval Kilkenny where we pause for a visit. We then enjoy a panoramic tour of Cork City, home to several magnificent churches including St. Ann’s and St. Finbar’s cathedral. Cork City is the second largest city in Ireland and takes its name from the Irish word Corcaigh meaning “marshy place”. The ancestral home of America’s automobile pioneer, Henry Ford is located here and Cork is one of Alex's favorite towns so we had to make this a stop. Dinner & Overnight River Lee Cork.
After breakfast we travel to Midleton and the Midleton Distillery. We will enjoy a tour here. Visitors can see the largest Pot Still in the work with a capacity of 32,000 gallons and the Old Waterwheel manufactured in 1825 to provide motive power prior to the days of electricity, and still turning today. It is onto Kinsale. Kinsale in County Cork is one of the most picturesque, popular and fashionable resorts of the south-west coast of Ireland. Famous for its beautiful yachting, sea angling, gourmet restaurants and golf. Charles Fort, a popular attraction was constructed in the late 17th century on the site of an earlier coastal fortification. Charles Fort is a classic example of a star-shaped fort and has five bastions. Desmond Castle, (French Prison), built as a custom house by the Earl of Desmond c. AD 1500 has had a colorful history, ranging from Spanish occupation in 1601 to use as a prison for captured American sailors during the American War of Independence. The castle was also used as a borough jail from 1791 to the onset of the Great Famine when it was used as an auxiliary workhouse tending to the starving populace. Time to explore this area. We return to Cork. Overnight at the River Lee Cork.
After breakfast we start on a full day tour of “The Ring” that may very well rule them all. There is an unspoiled nature to Ireland's most beautiful region and the Ring of Kerry provides many unforgettable memories as it passes through the many picturesque villages such as Glenbeigh, Waterville and Sneem and returns via Ladies View and the famous Lakes of Killarney. For those of you who went on the 2014 trip, this will be a new day trip which will knock your socks off. Though you can opt out of any day trip, we highly recommend you drag yourselves out of your luxurious beds for this one! Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight Killarney International Hotel.
After a full Irish Breakfast we depart Killarney and travel north to Adare, once voted “The Prettiest Village” with its authentic thatched roof cottages. We continue through Limerick, Ireland’s 3rd largest city and home to author Frank McCourt who wrote Angela’s Ashes. Limerick is an area steeped in history. The origin of Limerick city dates back to the 9th century a site settled by the Vikings. Limerick City is known as "City of the Broken Treaty", due to the treaty which was signed surrendering the city to William. The terms of the treaty included respect for the rights of Catholics were immediately breached. The treaty was signed on the Treaty Stone which can still be seen today. King John’s Castle is a fortified 13th century Castle on ‘King’s Island’ in the heart of medieval Limerick. The castle overlooking the river Shannon opens an exciting window on the lives and stories of the people through political upheaval, war and famine. Archaeological excavations open to the public roll back the mists of time to pre-Norman houses which predate the castle by 100 years, as well as siege mines, garrison and soldiers quarters and sallyport all found under the level of the present courtyard. The castle itself features an imaginative exhibition spanning the castle’s history. We make our way north to the Burren to visit the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs are a natural wonder and every time you return it feels like the first since the ever-changing weather gives them a different feel. We are confident that for many, this will be a trip highlight! Then on to Galway, that jewel of Ireland. Dinner and Overnight at the Imperial Hotel Galway. We encourage you to get lost in this magical city and catch the many authentic traditional music sessions. (View a video from the last trip to get you pumped!)
After enjoying breakfast we meet our driver guide in the lobby of the hotel and begin to tour Connemara, (Conmaicnemara – the tribe of Cormac by the sea). Winding roads along the seaside will reveal white sand beaches and dark bogs while tall, jagged mountains make this one of the most scenic and unspoiled areas in the country. Wild and rugged, in some places here, Gaelic remains the only spoken language. We travel first to Clifden where We Banjo 3 got their start. Founded in the early 19th century by John D’Arcy, it retains much of its Georgian architecture. Placed at the head of a broad Atlantic Bay and nestled below the Twelve Bens, the town is blessed by its beautiful setting. Known as the capital of Connemara, Clifden is a lively location full of shops, pubs, restaurants and cafés. Return to Galway. For you "city mice" it is optional to stay behind and explore Galway at your leisure. Since it will be a weekend Galway will promise to be buzzing. Either way, you can't go wrong! Overnight at the Imperial Hotel Galway.
Morning departure from Galway has us traveling through the Irish Midlands and Athlone to Dublin City. Upon arrival in Dublin we have a full panoramic tour of this fascinating port city. You will have the rest of the afternoon free to explore Dublin. For those of you who were too jet-lagged on the first day, this is an excellent opportunity to take a tour of the Guinness factory or visit the famed Book of Kells. This will be our last night in Ireland so we will make it count! Overnight Camden Court Hotel. Dinner is on your own.
After breakfast we transfer to Dublin Airport for our flight home where you will have your last chance to drink a Guinness since they let you drink at the gate. We arrive home the same day and in the words of the song "Those Were the Days", we'll arrive "older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams they're still the same." These will be the days my friends!
Your tour package includes the following:
~ Roundtrip airfare from NYC (Flights announced 100 days prior to departure)
~ Eight (8) nights accomodations as follows or similar
~ Full Irish Breakfast daily
~ Three Dinners: Cork, Killarney & Galway
~ Admission to any Scythian shows
~ Admission to Glendalough, Old Midleton Distillery, Cliffs of Moher per itinerary
~ Sightseeing as per itinerary
~ Touring by Deluxe Touring Motorcoach
~ Services of professional Irish Driver/Guide throughout
~ Taxes and service charges except gratuity to driver/guide
Please visit Hammond Tours for their official itinerary and see payment schedules and cancellation policies.
For any questions email Joe Wasserbach or call:
34 Wedgewood Lane