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14 DAYS FROM $5,690 US  
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Best of Ireland The Emerald Isle bids you a hundred thousand welcomes on this most popular Ireland tour. Splendid scenery, fascinating history, a vibrant culture and warm, hospitable people all contribute to the great charm of Ireland, north and south. Feast your eyes along the Yellow Roads from the Ring of Kerry to the Cliffs of Moher to the Giant's Causeway. Learn the story of three centuries of Irish emigrants building a new life in North America at the Ulster American Folk Park. Get a little taste of the artistic side of Ireland on visits to the Belleek Pottery factory and the Waterford Crystal Visitors Centre. Experience the sophistication of Dublin and Belfast and the peaceful ambiance of small villages. Have lunch with a family who run a working dairy farm. Explore a magnificent Titanic exhibit and enjoy a special 9-course tasting dinner inspired by the great ship's menu in the city where it was built, Belfast. And find out what it's like to stay in a castle, former mansions, and a palace... all on an Ireland tour not to be missed.
Map of Ireland

Day 1 Welcome to Ireland – Ennis and the Cliffs of Moher
Meals D

This Best of Ireland tour begins at 1:00 PM at the Old Ground Hotel. A transfer is included from Shannon Airport to the Old Ground Hotel in the charming village of Ennis. Travel with us to the mighty Cliffs of Moher this afternoon, where towering, sheer head­land plummets into the Atlantic Ocean. Tonight, join us for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner with local entertainment at your hotel, originally built as a private mansion in the 18th century.

Lodging - Old Ground Hotel

Day 2 Visit an Irish farm, then on to Killarney
Meals B, L, D

Your Ireland tour continues when you discover the importance of farming in the west of Ireland on a visit to a working dairy farm, which has been in the same family for generations; you’re invited inside their home for a light Irish lunch and some excellent stories! Then it’s on to Killarney and a visit to Muckross House, an Elizabethan-style mansion which was built in 1843. Set in Killarney National Park, the estate features distinguished 19th-century interiors; it is surrounded by magnificent gardens in a palette of sensational colors. Your accommodations for the next two nights are at one of Ireland’s most gracious hotels, Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa, overlooking the Lakes of Killarney and exuding the warmth of a country home; every guest room gazes out upon Killarney’s incredibly beautiful landscapes.

Lodging - Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa

Day 3 The Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park
Meals B, D

Today is devoted to the natural beauty of the Iveragh Peninsula, known as the Ring of Kerry. On a drive ‘round the Ring, drink in the scenes of sandy beaches, mountains, lakes and cliffs, old oak forests and bogs. The country’s highest peak, Corrán Tuathail, reigns over Killarney National Park, at the peninsula’s heart. Along the way, history waxes and wanes in the ruins of ancient monasteries, castles and forts – and small villages, like seaside Waterville, where quiet and warmth are a way of life bring the scenery’s dramatic scale down to earth. Return for the evening to Killarney and the Aghadoe Heights Hotel.

Lodging - Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa

Day 4 Blarney Castle and Waterford Crystal
Meals B, D

Your Ireland tour continues with travels to 15th-century Blarney Castle to see the famous Blarney Stone; legend has it that if you kiss the stone, you will be blessed with the gift of the gab. Next up is a visit to the city of Waterford and a tour of the new Waterford Crystal Visitors Centre for a look at the centuries-old story of Ireland’s famed glassware. Arrive early evening at Mount Juliet Hotel, in the heart of Kilkenny, where you’ll dine à la carte this evening.

Lodging - Mount Juliet Hotel

Day 5 Kilkenny antiquities and a little country living
Meals B, D

You’ll discover that Ireland’s antiquities tell the tales of days gone by... and today’s visit to the ruins of the Cistercian Jerpoint Abbey introduces some remarkable medieval architectural artifacts. Take a guided walking tour of Kilkenny, world-renowned as a center for craft and design, for insights into the Black Abbey, Rothe House and Kilkenny Castle. Mount Juliet is one of Ireland’s finest sporting estates, and you’ll have an opportunity to take advantage of some outstanding leisure activities today.

Lodging - Mount Juliet Hotel

Day 6 Connemara and the Gaelic heart
Meals B, D

Today’s travels take you through the towns of Portumna, meaning “the landing place of the oak tree” on the River Shannon; Loughrea, “town of the grey lake,” known for the cathedral dominating its skyline; and to fast-growing Galway City, where you’ll have time to explore. Continue into Connemara, a region of windswept mountains, sparkling lakes and coastlines. Arrive this afternoon at your hotel steeped in history – either Ashford Castle or Glenlo Abbey Hotel. Once home to the Guinness family, Ashford Castle was founded in the 13th century and is set on a 350-acre private estate along the shores of the lough. Equally luxurious, Glenlo Abbey Hotel is an 18th-century mansion and country retreat turned resort hotel.

Lodging - Ashford Castle or Glenlo Abbey Hotel

Day 7 Connemara sightseeing and time at leisure
Meals B, L, D

Today on your Ireland tour you’re off for some pretty amazing sightseeing in the wilds of Connemara. From the rugged Twelve Bens mountain range in the north to the lakes of Roundstone Bog and the golden beaches reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean, stunning Connemara has long been regarded by many as the true emerald of Ireland. Explore lakeside Kylemore Abbey; built in the late 19th century as a private residence, with a Gothic church and Victorian walled garden, the estate today houses a prestigious boarding school for girls. After lunch at Kylemore Abbey, the rest of the day is free for you to enjoy the many amenities and activities at your hotel, including golf, fishing, and falconry (additional fees may apply)

Lodging - Ashford Castle or Glenlo Abbey Hotel

Day 8 Belleek and Enniskillen in Northern Ireland
Meals B, L, D

Head today from Ashford Castle to the foothills of steep-sided Benbulben Mountain and the village of Drumcliffe, where the final resting place of poet W. B. Yeats lies in a graveyard marked by carved Irish “high crosses” dating back to a 6th-century monastery. Continue on to the villages of Mullaghmore and Ballyshannon and the market town of Belleek, for a behind-the-scenes tour of the factory where you’ll meet craftspeople using techniques handed down from generation to generation to create delicate porcelain. Following lunch, travel to Lough Erne Golf Resort in Enniskillen for a two-night stay.

Lodging - Lough Erne Golf Resort

Day 9 Derry, Omagh & Ulster American Folk Park
Meals B, L, D

As your Northern Ireland tour continues, more threads of history unfold in Derry; among its sites are St. Columb’s Cathedral, the Bloody Sunday memorial marking the troubled events of 1972, and wall murals painted since the peace process began in 1994 with messages reflecting the cultural identities of local residents. Your Derry visit ends back in time with a walking tour of its old city walls, marking the only completely walled city in the British Isles. From Derry, head to Omagh and the Ulster American Folk Park, which tells the stories behind three centuries of Irish emigrants who sought to make new lives in North America. Return to your resort in Enniskillen for dinner tonight.

Lodging - Lough Erne Golf Resort

Day 10 Titanic history in Belfast
Meals B, D

Arrive in Belfast, where your day begins in the Titanic Quarter, developed on the site of former shipbuilding docks from which vessels like the R.M.S. Titanic were built and launched. Its recently opened Titanic exhibit shows life in early 1900s Belfast and the experience of sailing on the Titanic, including what it felt like to be on the ship when it encountered an iceberg. Get to know this historic city during a brief tour, then spend a little time exploring on your own. This evening, a special treat – a nine-course Titanic tasting menu dinner in the sumptuous Great Room of The Merchant Hotel – your home for the next two nights – honoring the ship’s grand style.

Lodging - The Merchant Hotel

Day 11 Spectacular coastal drive & Giant's Causeway
Meals B, L

Castle towns are this morning’s focus on a stop in Carrickfergus (the subject of a classic Irish folk song) and in Ballygally, where a charming baronial castle looks out over the sea. Drive on to the town of Bushmills; lunch is served up with a warm welcome and a “fire that is always lit,” a tradition at the Bushmills Inn whose origins date back to 1608. Your afternoon is spent on one of the world’s most scenic drives along the Antrim Coast. Along the way, you'll visit the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one place that has to be seen to be believed – over 40,000 symmetrical basalt columns lead from coastal cliffs out to the sea. Legend, history and folklore combine here, beginning with the tale of Finn McCool... Your evening is at leisure back in Belfast.

Lodging - The Merchant Hotel

Day 12 Saint Patrick Centre and on to Dublin
Meals B, L

Your first visit today, to the Saint Patrick Centre, relays the story of Ireland’s patron saint in the countryside setting where he lived, and where he is buried (his grave overlooks the centre). Travel to Dublin, have lunch, and meet your local guide for a walking tour that includes a visit to Trinity College, Dublin, home to the Book of Kells. The remainder of the af­ter­noon and evening are yours to experience a bit of Dublin's nightlife, where you might enjoy some traditional music or visit popular pubs.

Lodging - Conrad Dublin

Day 13 Georgian Dublin and a visit to Dublin Castle
Meals B, D

Get to know Dublin today on a guided tour through streets lined with 2 1/2-story brick Georgian row houses, famous for their intricate, glass-laced doorways. Dublin is well-known for its beautiful parks, and today you’ll see Phoenix Park, one of Europe’s largest walled urban parks, and St. Stephen’s Green; drive along bustling O’Connell Street and see the Lord Mayor’s residence, with a private guided visit to the State Apartments at 13th-century Dublin Castle. Join us this evening for a farewell cocktail reception and dinner at the Conrad Dublin.

Lodging - Conrad Dublin

Day 14 Farewell to your Ireland tour
Meals B

This comprehensive Ireland tour ends at Conrad Dublin. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from Conrad Dublin to Dublin Airport. Allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport.

Travelling Well Includes:
* Journey through the Irish wilds of Connemara & along the spectacular coastal scenery of Northern Ireland’s Antrim Coast Road
* Belfast’s newly opened Titanic exhibit & a sumptuous 9-course Titanic Tasting dinner
* Accommodations at country estates, lakeside resorts and a historic city-center hotel
* Learning – at an Irish farm, the Belleek Pottery factory & the Ulster American Folk Park
* Visits to castles, abbeys, walled cities & a graveyard with stories to tell, history to reveal
* Two nights in Dublin to explore the delights of its parks, streets, history & pubs
* Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
* 30 meals (13 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 11 dinners), service charges, gratuities to local guides, admission fees, taxes & porterage

Departure Dates:
  May - September


From approx $5,690 US per person double occupancy

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