// HIGHLIGHTS OF IRELAND 8 days / 7 nights -

HIGHLIGHTS OF IRELAND 8 days / 7 nights

Day 1

Group will meet their driver/guide at Dublin airport kildare-St-building

Welcome to Dublin! Enjoy a panoramic tour of Dublin city, the capital of Ireland. With its 1.5 million inhabitants, experience the buzz of the city and its culture wonders. Highlights of the tour include the Georgian Quarter with its magnificent architecture, O’Connell Street, with its historic central GPO, site of the Easter Rising of 1916.

To understand more about the history of Ireland, visit the National Museum of Archaeology. In this museum, you’ll find artefacts dating from 7000BC to the 20th Century exhibited in seven galleries. It features displays on prehistoric Ireland, including early work in gold, church treasures and the Viking and medieval periods. There are special displays of items from Ancient Egypt, Cyprus and the Roman world (please note the museum is closed on Monday’s).

Transfer to your hotel in Dublin.

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Day 2

Irish breakfast at your hotel.

Leave for Galway in the west of Ireland.Kilbeggan distillery, Whiskey and castles tour

Visit Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery, the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Irish whiskey distilleries in the country. Licensed in 1757, Kilbeggan Distillery produced whiskey for over 200 years, closing its doors in 1953. In this distillery, you can visit the only small pot still whiskey distillery remaining in Ireland, the only examples of what used to be a widespread Irish industry. In fact, one of the two Copper Pot Stills that is being used in Kilbeggan was made in the early 1800s and is the oldest working Pot Still producing whiskey in the world today. In 1982 the local community began restoring the distillery and has re-opened it as a museum. Whiskey production recommenced in 2007, the year in which the distillery celebrated its 250th Anniversary.

 

Visit Clonmacnoise Monastic Site: Clonmacnoise

an early Christian site founded by Saint Ciaran in the 6th century on the banks of the River Shannon. Clonmacnoise is a holy place, one of many pilgrimages and Irish folklore. The site includes the ruins of a cathedral, eight churches (10th-13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and a large collection of early Christian grave slabs. The original high crosses and grave slabs are on display in the Visitor Centre. Hundreds of people have once lived here, and Clonmacnoise prospered as a town – with many scholars, teachers, and religious leaders.

 

Transfer to hotel in Galway.

 

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Day 3

After breakfast the group departs to Connemara region, in Ireland’s beautiful west with unique and breathtaking scenery.Connemara

With its magnificent wilderness populated largely by sheep and dotted with hundreds of small lakes, this region is listed as one of Ireland’s 7 Wonders. The stone walls, tiny farms, isolated thatched cottages and heather covered hills are bounded by a sea coastline with many quiet sandy beaches. Many of the inhabitants of this region still speak Gaelic and ancient Celtic traditions and customs have been preserved. On one side you have the Wild Atlantic Ocean and on the other the majestic mountain ranges of the Twelve Bens and Maumturk.

 

 

Visit Kylemore Abbey:20150610_133056

 a beautiful manor built in 1857 by Henry Mitchell for his wife, Margaret Mitchell, while they were on their honeymoon in Connemara. It is known as one of the most romantic places in Ireland. Nestled at the base of the Druchruach Mountains and looking out onto the northern shore of Lough Pollacappal, the sprawling abbey is a sight to behold. The house was transformed into an abbey in the 1930’s when the Irish nuns of the Benedictine Order arrived from Ypres in Belgium after the First World War. They abbey then became a prestigious female boarding school, but now it hosts nuns on retreat as well as welcoming tourists visiting from around the world! 

 

Visit Dan O’Hara’s farm:Dan O Hara 1

 a family-run farm in the heart of Connemara. Martin & Nora, the owners, will welcome you with open arms and share their family stories. In 1992 they diversified into agri tourism and at the Heritage Centre the family share the history, heritage, culture & traditions of the Connemara.  The farm has cattle, sheep and the world famous Connemara Ponies with a few friendly donkeys & chickens. The centre is based around the restored prefamine cottage of Dan O’ Hara who was forced to emigrate in the 1840’s when he was evicted from his home. Martin will then demonstrate the art of turf-cutting, an old and traditional farming method in Ireland since centuries.

 

Transfer to your hotel in Galway.

 

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Day 4

Irish breakfast at your hotel.

Today, we will drive through the Burren region in County Clare.Burren, Cliffs of Moher tour

The Burren is a vast lunar landscape harbouring some 2000 species of rare plants and flowers. Beneath the surface are unique rock formations dating back two million years.

 

Visit Hazel Mountain Chocolate one of the smallest and most remote chocolate factories in the world.  Opened in 2014, this local family-run business  make their chocolate  in very small batches using rare Trinitario cacao beans and raw cane sugar for their dark chocolate, and Irish milk from grass-fed cows in their milk chocolate delivering you the finest, purest and multi-award winning chocolate.

 

 

Visit the Cliffs of Moher:  Cliffs of Moher

Marvel at the wonderful views from cliffs that rise up to 200 metres above sea-level. Step on to the edge of the world and into an awe-inspiring view that dreams are made of, encounter nature in its wildest, purest form – see the rugged cliffs facing the mighty ocean, taste the salt air, hear the birds cry, feel the ancient rocks beneath your feet. 

 

Transfer to hotel in County Kerry.

 

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Day 5 

Irish breakfast at your hotel.ring of kerry

Departure for a full day on the world famous Ring of Kerry, a 170km circular tour taking in some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery and panoramas along the Atlantic Ocean. The rugged coastline of the South-west Ireland contrasts with the rich and varied vegetation nurtured by the influence of the Gulf Stream.

Visit Kells Sheep Farm and enjoy a sheepdog demonstration with local farmer Brendan Ferris. Brendan then gives a fascinating demonstration of how sheep dogs are used to bring in the sheep on real farms. Responding to Brendan’s whistled commands, the dogs guide the sheep downwards. Miraculously, by the end of the demonstration all the sheep are calmly gathered in a pen beside you.

Then continue through many small villages such as Sneem, famous for its multicolored houses, and through the mountains to Molls Gap and Ladies View, two vantage points which offer superb views of the famous Lakes of Killarney.Muckross

Afternoon visit to Muckross Gardens which are set in the Killarney National Park, near the beautiful Muckross House visited by Queen Victoria in the 19th century (visit of the house is NOT included).

Optional: take the famous Killarney jaunting cars, the perfect option to show you the hidden delights of Killarney National Park & the famous Lakes of Killarney.

 

Transfer to hotel in County Kerry.

 

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Day 6

Irish breakfast at your hotel.

Drive toward Cork city.Castle Gardens

Visit Blarney Castle in County Cork, built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftans, Cormac MacCarthy. Blarney Castle is known around the world for its famous Blarney Stone, the legendary Stone of Eloquence, found at the top of our tower

Kiss it and you’ll never again be lost for words. The Castle is surrounded by beautiful woodland walks and its geology comprises different rock classes. 

 

Visit the Jameson Experience in Midleton, an Irish whiskey museum and visitor centre located in the Old Midleton Distillery in Midleton, County Cork. The Old Midleton Distillery in which the Jameson Experience is located began life as a woollen mill, before being converted to a military barracks and subsequently a distillery in 1825.

Transfer to hotel in Cork.

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Day 7

Irish breakfast at your hotel.

Drive towards Dublin and visit the Rock of Cashel.Roc1

Towering over the town of Cashel from its perch on a 200 foot high outcrop of limestone, the Rock was once the seat of the Kings of Munster. It was visited by St. Patrick in 450 and Brian Boru was crowned King of Ireland here in the 10th century. Today the impressive stone walls enclose a round tower, the cathedral, a 12th century romanesque chapel, high crosses and other structures.

 

 

 

Free time in Kilkenny.

kilkenny

Once the medieval capital of Ireland, the city has a rich medieval heritage visible though its narrow streetscapes; its historical buildings and landmarks. Saint Canice (who gives Kilkenny its name) founded a monastic settlement here in the 6th century. The 9th century round tower beside the wonderful stone cathedral of St Canice’s, is a remaining monastic landmark.  Explore the grounds of Kilkenny Castle, or embark on a journey at Kilkenny’s only brewery: the Smithwick’s Experience. The city prides itself on its lively culture and entertainment scene with a range of live music and theatre events available throughout the city’s pubs and music venues. An array of festivals and event programmes are hosted annually, including the renowned Kilkenny Arts Festival held in August. Explore the famous Kilkenny Design shop, selling attractive design products from all over the world.

 

Drive to Dublin.

 

Enjoy your last evening in Dublin at the Riddler, Dublin’s latest restaurant. Challenge your senses with some contemporary Irish cuisine. Fresh, seasonal, and quality Irish food is served here on a daily basis, a beautiful blend of innovative modern Irish dishes which is the pride of the chefs! 

Transfer to hotel in Dublin.

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