7 Day Focus on Ireland – Insight Vacations
Day By Day
Day 1 In Dublin’s Fair City
Welcome to a land of legends, of misty mountains, lovely lakes and a warm friendly greeting wherever you go. At Dublin Airport, transfers leave for your hotel at 08:00, 11:00 & 13:30. Later, sightseeing of Dublin takes you past the Custom House, along O’Connell Street and through Phoenix Park. Travel along the River Liffey to see the Guinness Brewery and Dublin Castle before admiring the 18C buildings of the Georgian section of the city. A walk through the cobbled stones of Trinity College Dublin brings you back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library was constructed. Inside, you’ll find the 9C Book of Kells; its delicate paintings remain one of the treasures of the Middle Ages. Venture upstairs to the magnificent barrel-vaulted Long Room, where 200,000 of the Library’s oldest books are housed in a procession of oak bookcases. Later, join your Tour Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Reception, with drinks and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine. (WR/D) Stay: Doubletree by Hilton – Burlington Road, Dublin
Day 2 To Galway, City Of The Tribes
Leave Dublin and set off through the ‘forty shades of green’ landscape of the Emerald Isle. Pass by the former fortress town of Athlone on the River Shannon, to reach historic Galway, ‘City of the Tribes’, at the mouth of the Corrib River. Join your Tour Director to see the infamous Lynch Memorial and the Church of St. Nicholas, where Christopher Columbus reputedly prayed before his discovery of America. Also see the aged Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President, John F Kennedy. (FB) Stay: The Ardilaun Hotel, Galway
Day 3 Drive To Bunratty And Limerick, Then On To Killarney
Take the scenic route through the mysterious rocky limestone landscape of the Burren, riddled with underground caverns and streams and known for its rare flora. Stop at the Exhibition Centre at the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher with breathtaking views of the Clare Coast. Now on to Bunratty Folk Park where Ireland’s rural heritage comes to life. Walk through the cobbled streets lined with buildings from a bygone era. Nearby is the town of Limerick, famous for rhymes, lace and Georgian houses. See King John’s Castle, St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Treaty Stone. Continue via the village of Adare with its thatched roofed cottages, to Killarney. (BB/D) Stay: Killarney Towers, Killarney
Day 4 Ring Of Kerry Experience
After a good night’s sleep and a hearty Irish breakfast, take a leisurely excursion around the magnificent Ring of Kerry for breathtaking views over mountains and sea. Pass through the small towns of Killorglin, where the famous Puck Fair takes place, and Caherciveen, birthplace of the great patriot Daniel O’Connel. Follow the narrow road as it winds along the cliffs to the fishing town of Waterville. Continue through delightful villages like Sneem and cross the peat bogs of the Black Mountains to Moll’s Gap to admire Queen Victoria’s ‘Ladies View’. Back in Killarney, enjoy a memorable ride on a traditional horse-drawn jaunting car with the local ‘Jarvies’. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Maybe take the opportunity to hire a bicycle and enjoy one of the many scenic trails around the lake or through the National Park. This evening, enjoy an exclusive look at epicurean Ireland in the kitchens of master chef, John Sheehan. Join him and his wife Freda for drinks, canapes and a personal insight into classic Irish recipes so much loved throughout the world. Then settle down amid panoramic views over the lakes and mountains for an evening of great food and drink in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. (BB/HD) Stay: Killarney Towers, Killarney
Day 5 Travel To Cobh And Blarney Castle On The Way To Cork
Journey through the rugged Derrynasaggart Mountains to the pretty riverside village of Cobh, which was the last port of call for the Titanic. Walk through the Queenstown Story exhibition at the Heritage Centre which recounts the era of Irish emigration and the life of this once great passenger port. Then drive to visit the 15C Blarney Castle, home of the famous Stone of Eloquence, once kissed – never forgotten! Continue on to Cork for a visit to the bustling English Market. Meet a local market stall holder who introduces you to a taste of delicious farmhouse cheese. Continue, along spacious Grand Parade and South Mall, seeing the Court House and fine Georgian houses en route to your hotel. Raise your glasses this evening and revel in rich flavours at a lively Celebration Dinner. (BB/CD) Stay: Imperial Hotel, Cork
Day 6 Make Your Way To Waterford, Kildare And On To Dublin
An exciting day takes you along the coast via Youghal, where tradition says Sir Walter Raleigh planted the first potatoes in Ireland. Continue via Dungarvan to Waterford for a guided visit of the world famous crystal factory and to meet a master craftsman. See the 9th century Reginald’s Tower and the remains of the old city walls, then head north to visit the Irish National Stud at Kildare. Get a behind the scenes look at one of the country’s main racehorse breeding centres and visit the fabulous Japanese Gardens. Laid out by a Japanese landscape artist at the turn of last century, the thought-provoking garden celebrates a journey through life. Return to your Dublin hotel, located in the heart of Dublin’s leafy southside, just minutes from the city centre. (FB) Stay: Doubletree by Hilton Dublin – Burlington Road
Day 7 Depart Dublin
Your memorable tour comes to an end today. Departure transfers arrive at Dublin Airport at 07:30, 09:30 & 11:30. (FB)
Additional Included Highlights
- Dublin: See the Custom House, Guinness Brewery, Phoenix Park, Dublin Castle and the Georgian townhouses.
- York: See York Minster, city walls and medieval ‘Shambles”
- Borders: Visit part of Hadrian’s Wall. See Jedburgh Abbey ruins
- Limerick: See Treaty Stone, King John’s Castle and Cathedral
- Adare: See the main street lined with thatched cottages.
- Cork: Enjoy an orientation tour.
Highlight Hotels And Locations
- Galway: The luxurious Ardilaun House in Galway is located perfectly between the city and the Connemara coast. This country house hotel offers excellent accommodation and exceptional service.
- Killarney: Join John and Freda Sheehan for an evening of culinary delights in a beautiful setting. Enjoy great food and drink in a relaxed atmosphere while the master chef explains the secrets behind some of Ireland’s best loved dishes.
- Cork: Celebrate Irish style! Join in the ‘craic’ over dinner with fabulous local flavours and wine.
- Welcome Reception (WD), 6 full Breakfasts (FB), 1 Highlight Dinner (HD), 1 three-course Evening Meal with choice, or buffets, plus tea or coffee (D) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD).
- Dublin: Breathe the air thickened by the musty tomes of Trinity College Library and admire the lavish Book of Kells, written and decorated by Celtic monks in the 9thC.
- Cliffs of Moher: Stop by the Exhibition Centre and look out over the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.
- Bunratty: Explore the Folk Park, a living museum which takes you back to the days of old Ireland.
- Killarney: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lakelands and remote villages as you tour the Ring of Kerry.
- Killarney: See the hidden delights of Killarney on a famous jaunting car ride. Ramble along with your local ‘Jarvie’ who informs you of the history, legend and folklore of the area – with some Irish wit thrown in for good measure!
- Cobh: The Queenstown Story at Cobh retraces the steps of Irish emigration from the famine of 1845 to the great ocean line era of the 1950’s. A must for those with Irish ancestors who crossed the Atlantic at this time.
- Blarney: Dangle from the ramparts to kiss the Stone of Eloquence, and never be lost for words again!
- Cork: Visit the English Market and meet a local market stallholder.
- Waterford: A guided visit of the crystal factory.
- Kildare: Join an equine professional for a behind the scenes look at the Irish National Stud and follow the ‘journey of life’ through the Japanese Gardens, starting from the ‘Cave of Birth’ to the ‘Gateway to Eternity’.
- An expert Insight Tour Director – at the pinnacles of their careers, will smooth your way throughout your journey. They are your ‘travelling concierges’, expert guides, consummate organisers and friends in a foreign land.
- Insight motorcoach – Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight’s luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It’s business class comfort.
- Personal radio headsets – gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your local expert’s fascinating insights and commentaries.
- Baggage handling everywhere – with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
- Hotel and restaurant tips included – you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
- Complimentary WiFi – the majority of Insight hotels have free WiFi access in lobby or bedroom areas. You will also find that WiFi is generally available on most touring coaches.
- Insight Flourishes – from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
- Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.