12 Day Taste of Wales & Ireland Tour – CIE
Taste of Wales & Ireland 12 Days / 11 Nights
Day 1: Manchester Arrival & Chester
Your trip starts at 2:00 pm when you meet your tour director at your Chester hotel. Chester is about 30 miles from Manchester Airport so ensure that you have arranged a transfer. Set out on a walking tour to see medieval streets with lovely half-timbered houses and shops. Walk along part of the city walls and view Roman ruins. Finish at Chester Cathedral, which dates back to 660 AD. Discuss your itinerary with your tour director over a welcome drink and dinner.
Day 2: North Wales & Conwy
Cross into Wales and drive through the scenic Horseshoe Pass. Visit a farm to watch trained dogs herding sheep and stop for photos of 13th century St. Asaph’s Cathedral. Drive to Conwy, a compact medieval town which is dominated by its huge castle. Take a walk around Conwy’s narrow streets with ancient houses and see Britain’s smallest house on the docks. Drive to your hotel in Caernarfon and settle in before dinner.
Day 3: North Wales & Snowdonia Train Ride
Tour North Wales, starting with a train ride on a narrow-gauge steam train to admire the beautiful scenery of the Snowdonia National Park. Pause in the village of Betws-y-Coed and view Mount Snowdon, the highest peak in Wales. Tour the National Slate Museum, which relates the tough working conditions of this region’s slate industry, developed in Victorian times. Back in Caernarfon you may like to explore the old walled town.
Day 4: Harlech Castle & Tenby Walking Tour
Today experience the magnificent Welsh coastline as you travel south. Visit the mighty Harlech Castle, one of the “Iron Ring Castles” that were built along the coast by the English in the 13th century to control the unruly Welsh. Take a look around the attractive Georgian town of Aberaeron. Continue to the picturesque coastal town of Tenby, featuring a little harbor, a castle and defensive town walls. After dinner in your hotel, join a local guide for a walk through the town center and hear about the many humorous tales and traditions associated with Tenby.
Day 5: Pembroke Castle & Lovespoon Workshop
Today drive around scenic Pembrokeshire, a region of gentle rolling hills and indented coastline. Watch the ancient Welsh tradition of hand carving at the Lovespoon Workshop. Tour Pembroke Castle, an imposing 12th century fortress to explore the labyrinth of passageways and towers. Return to Tenby mid-afternoon and dine independently in one of the many restaurants near your hotel.
Day 6: St David’s Cathedral & Ferry to Ireland
Journey through colorful coastal villages on the way to St David’s, the smallest city in Britain. Visit the imposing 12th century St David’s Cathedral, named for the patron saint of Wales, to view the magnificent carvings and take a look through the nearby art galleries, craft shops and tea rooms. From Fishguard take a ferry ride to Rosslare and head to your hotel in Waterford in time for dinner.
Day 7: Waterford Crystal & Killarney
Visit the House of Waterford Crystal to learn about glass blowing and cutting and admire one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Then see the historic city on a gentle stroll with a local guide. Travel to Blarney Castle to kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence” and shop at the nearby Blarney Woollen Mills. Then journey west through rugged countryside to Killarney and settle in to your hotel. See Killarney’s lakes in the traditional manner as you take a jaunting car ride through the Killarney National Park to Ross Castle, picturesquely set on Lough Leane.
Day 8: Ring of Kerry & Skellig Experience
Embark on the Ring of Kerry drive – a winding route with breathtaking sights of mountains and coastal views. Cross to Valentia Island by bridge to visit the Skellig Experience which describes the austere lives of early Christian monks on the nearby islands. Enjoy a casual lunch and stop in Sneem to admire brightly painted houses. Pause at Moll’s Gap for stunning views before returning to Killarney where you have an evening free for independent dining and activities.
Day 9: Cliffs of Moher & Bunratty Banquet
Take a ferry ride across the River Shannon Estuary to visit the Cliffs of Moher, majestic walls of rock, which extend five miles along the coast. Drive through the Burren and stop in Caherconnell to watch trained dogs herding sheep. Continue to your hotel and relax a little. In the evening head to Bunratty Castle for a memorable medieval-style feast while the lords and ladies serenade you with song and harp music, evocative of the Middle Ages.
Day 10: Galway & Taylor’s Three Rock Pub
Travel to Galway for a walking tour around the principal areas of Galway city before traveling to Tullamore to visit the Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre, which explains how whiskey is distilled. Sample some whiskey at the end of your tour and head to Dublin. In the evening drive to Taylor’s Three Rock Pub for dinner and a lively show with traditional Irish music, story-telling and step-dancing.
Day 11: Independent Dublin Sightseeing
Spend a full day in Dublin to use your vouchers for an independent open-top bus tour (valid for 48 hours) and a visit to either Guinness Storehouse or the Old Jameson Distillery to learn how these renowned products are created and enjoy a sample. The bus stops at all the principal city center attractions and you may alight at each stop or stay on the bus to do the complete tour.
Day 12: Depart Dublin for Home
Your tour ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner
- Snowdonia Train Ride
- Welsh Castles & Scenery
- Tenby Evening Walk
- St David’s Cathedral
- Waterford Crystal
- Killarney’s Jaunting Car
- Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet
Superior First Class
- Best Western Queen Hotel
Chester (1 night)
- Celtic Royal Hotel
Caernarfon (2 nights)
- Fourcroft Hotel
Tenby (2 nights)
- Granville Hotel
Waterford (1 night)
- Killarney Towers Hotel
Killarney (2 nights)
- The Inn at Dromoland
Newmarket-on-Fergus (1 night)
- Grand Canal Hotel
Dublin (2 nights)
- Sightseeing by luxury coach
- Professional tour director
- 11 nights in hotels listed
- Full breakfast daily (B) except on day 1
- 8 dinners (D) including
– Welcome dinner in Chester
– Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet
– Taylor’s Three Rock Pub dinner and traditional show
– 5 table d’hote dinners
- 1 lunch (L)
- Welcome get-together drink
- Walking tours of Chester, Conwy, Tenby and Waterford
- Sheepdog trials in North Wales
- Narrow-gauge train ride in Snowdonia
- Ferry transportation from Wales to Ireland and across the River Shannon
- Horse-drawn jaunting car ride in Killarney
- Walking tour of Galway and Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre
- Dublin open-top bus tour with a visit to Guinness Storehouse or General Post Office
- Visits and admissions to Chester Cathedral, National Slate Museum, Harlech Castle, Pembroke Castle, Lovespoon Workshop, St David’s Cathedral, House of Waterford Crystal, Bishop’s Palace, Blarney Castle, Skellig Experience, Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Folk Park
- Headsets for walking tours
- Deluxe carry-on backpack, ticket wallet, luggage tags & strap
- All local taxes, hotel service charges & porterage for one suitcase per person
- Free Wi-Fi on coaches and in hotel lobbies