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Welcome to Ireland! You will be met at the airport by your private transfer and driven to your hotel. Meet your local host who will settle you in with the warmest of welcomes and answer any questions on your planned trip and give you local recommendations. This afternoon join your guided Dublin city walking tour where you will discover some of Dublin's main attractions and hidden gems. Then onto Trinity College and cross the cobbled courtyard to the Old Library with its world-treasure, the Book of Kells, a hand-illuminated manuscript of the Gospels.
HotelThe Dylan Hotel
After a relaxing breakfast, your luxury car rental will be dropped to your hotel. Heading south from Dublin, your first stop today will be a guided tour of the monastic ruins at Glendalough. Established by St. Kevin in the 6th century, this was once a famous place of learning, inhabited by thousands of students from Ireland, Britain, and Europe. One of Europe's finest examples of round tower architecture can be found here, as well as a cathedral, stone churches, and decorated crosses. Continue south to the Viking town of Waterford, now world-renowned for its exquisite crystal. A guided tour of the House of Waterford Crystal factory awaits. Its wares are coveted by connoisseurs and collectors alike, and you'll have the chance to browse through the extensive showrooms and perhaps purchase a memento of your own. Finally, travel to Cork for your overnight stay.
HighlightsGlendalough, House of Waterford Crystal factory
Today's sightseeing starts in the picturesque village of Blarney with historic Blarney Castle. The famous Blarney stone is set in the wall below the battlements high atop the castle, and to kiss it one has to lean backwards from the parapet walk! It's worth the trouble however - legend holds that the stone imparts the gift of eloquence for that kiss. Then take in the natural beauty of the 400 acres of parkland, including an unusual garden laid out in 1759 on what is believed to be a Druid site, with huge boulders and a sacrificial altar. Next stop: The Cobh Heritage Centre to discover how over 2.5 million people emigrated from this historic port between 1848 to 1950. You'll also gain insight into the Titanic and the Lusitania, both ships having strong ties to Queenstown, as Cobh was once named. At your leisure, continue to lively Killarney.
HotelGreat Southern Killarney
HighlightsBlarney Castle, Cobh Heritage Centre
Get ready for a day of outstanding scenery and fun! Start with a trip along the road that winds around the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula, better known as the "Ring of Kerry." One of the most magical places in Ireland, the mountains, valleys, lakes, and sea blend into a landscape that is often breathtaking beyond words. Take as much time as you wish to see all the highlights and snap pictures. Then you might want to spend some time in Killarney and enjoy "the town on the lakes." It is renowned for its lively pubs and open, cheerful atmosphere, full of what the Irish call "craic." Perhaps take a jaunting car (horse-drawn carriage) ride through history, legend, and folklore as you ramble by Killarney National Park, deer parks, and Ross Castle on the shores of Lough Lein.
HotelGreat Southern Killarney
HighlightsRing of Kerry, Killarney National Park, Ross Castle
Travel to the Cliffs of Moher, rising up to 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic waves and stretching 5 miles along the coast. A visit to the interpretive center, a huge, domed, underground building with images, exhibits, displays, and experiences, will delight young and old alike. Then on to bask in the royal glow of Dromoland Castle. This baronial castle has ties to the High King of Ireland as far back as the 11th century. Today it is one of the most luxurious castle hotels in Ireland. Stroll the extensive grounds, go for a horseback ride, pamper yourself with a spa treatment - all this and more is available at this majestic estate.
HighlightsCliffs of Moher
Your elegant adventure continues as you travel to Cong and Ashford Castle. Approaching the castle grounds, stop for a two-hour cruise on Lough Corrib. As you glide through the lake's waters, stop for a visit to Inchagoill Island, home to some fascinating ancient monastic ruins. Then it's on to Ashford Castle, built in the 13th century and once home to the Guinness family.
HighlightsLough Corrib, Inchagoill Island
Venture out into Connemara, a wild land of rocky mountains, sparkling brooks, and rushing rivers. Your chauffeur will take you to favorite towns and historic sites at your leisure. Visit lakeside Kylemore Abbey, a castellated neo-Gothic mansion, built as a family home and now occupied by an Irish Benedictine community of nuns. It's all at your fingertips with your chauffeur leading the way.
Crossing the midlands en route to Dublin, stop at Clonmacnoise, an early Christian site founded by St. Ciarán in the mid-6th century. Here you'll find the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (10th-13th century), two round towers, three high crosses, and the largest collection of early Christian graveslabs in Western Europe. After your explorations, continue to Dublin to do some last-minute shopping, a bit of sightseeing, or perhaps just raise a pint in a spirited pub.
HotelThe Dylan Hotel
All good things must come to an end, and the time has come for you to bid farewell to Ireland. Safe travels!
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Full breakfast included daily
*Price is per person, land only and based on 2 sharing. Subject to availability; varies by inclusions and travel dates. CST#2084503-20