9 Day Northern Welcome – CIE
Northern Welcome 9 Days / 8 Nights
Day 1: Dublin Arrival & Cabra Castle Hotel
Your first hotel on this tour is 50 miles from Dublin Airport so ensure that you have made appropriate transfer arrangements. Your delightful castle hotel is set in spacious grounds with a 9-hole golf course so that you may relax for the balance of the day. Play a round of golf, explore the castle and grounds or soak up the historic atmosphere. Your tour program starts at 6:00 pm in your hotel when you join your tour guide and fellow travelers for a welcome drink and dine in the hotel restaurant.
Day 2: St. Patrick’s Country & Titanic Belfast
Admire the gentle slopes of the Mourne Mountains and peaceful coastline as you travel north to Down Cathedral where St. Patrick is reputedly buried under a huge boulder. Visit the St. Patrick Centre to learn about the life and teachings of Ireland’s patron saint. Drive to Belfast to join a local guide and tour around central Belfast to see prominent buildings, political murals and the docks where the RMS Titanic was built in 1912. Visit the magnificent Titanic Belfast, a state-of-the-art attraction which will fill you in on information about this iconic liner.
Day 3: Sheans Farm Tea with Scones & Giant’s Causeway
Drive north along the Nine Glens of Antrim, one of Ireland’s popular scenic routes to discover lovely views of mountains, valleys and coastline. This area is where many scenes from the “Game of Thrones” series were filmed. Visit Sheans Heritage Farm for tea with scones and a turf-cutting demonstration. Stop at the Giant’s Causeway, hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity over 60 million years ago. The different rock formations have spawned a number of legends about the mythical giant, Finn McCool. Continue to your hotel in Derry and relax before dinner.
Day 4: Derry’s Walls & Inishowen Peninsula
Join a local guide for a short walk around Derry’s medieval city walls that completely encircle the old city center. Learn about the development of the settlement throughout the centuries and right up to today. Travel around the Inishowen Peninsula, a 100-mile scenic route. Drive alongside Lough Foyle to reach Shrove Lighthouse for a photo stop. Head to Banba’s Crown on Malin Head, the most northerly point of the Irish mainland, to admire stunning seascapes. Stop at one of Ireland’s most northerly bars to savor an Irish coffee. Stop in Buncrana and return to Derry in time for dinner.
Day 5: Donegal Castle & Belleek China
Travel through rugged countryside with magnificent scenery to Donegal town to tour Donegal Castle, built in the 15th century by an O’Donnell chieftain. Visit the Belleek Pottery Factory, founded in the 19th century to bring employment to the area. Belleek is renowned for its use of fine clay and you will see how the craftspeople shape and decorate the raw material to create the world-famous fine china. Pause at Drumcliffe Churchyard to view the grave of W. B. Yeats, the Nobel Prize-winning poet, who based many poems on the delightful countryside around Sligo. Drive through County Mayo to your hotel in Westport.
Day 6: Westport House & Achill Island Tour
Visit the stately Westport House, which overlooks the ocean and contains a wealth of interesting portraits, furniture, silver and porcelain. Travel around Clew Bay, which is reputed to have 365 islands, to access Achill Island by bridge. Follow the Atlantic Drive to capture wonderful views of steeply-sloped mountains plunging into the shimmering Atlantic Ocean. Near Slievemore see the Deserted Village, the remains of nearly 100 stone cottages abandoned around the time of the 1840’s Famine and stop for a casual lunch. Return to Westport where the afternoon is at leisure to take a stroll around the compact and attractive town and dine independently.
Day 7: Galway, Kilbeggan Distillery & Merry Ploughboy Pub
Drive south for a gentle walking tour around central Galway to see Eyre Square, Galway Cathedral and the Spanish Arch. On Shop Street view the medieval Lynch’s Castle that gave the English language a new word. Then browse around on your own through narrow streets that are closed to traffic. Travel through the center of Ireland to visit Kilbeggan Distillery, the oldest distillery in the world, to see artisanal whiskey production and enjoy a sample of the finished product. Drive to your hotel in Dublin and head to the Merry Ploughboy Pub for dinner and a lively traditional Irish show.
Day 8: Dublin City Sightseeing Tour
Spend an additional day in Dublin with a sightseeing tour around the city center. Visit Glasnevin Museum, Ireland’s national necropolis, which is a who’s who of modern Irish history and a fascinating insight into life in Ireland. Then tour the Guinness Storehouse to learn about brewing processes and enjoy a creamy pint in the rooftop bar with panoramic views of Dublin.
Day 9: Tour Ends in Dublin
Your program ends after breakfast.
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner
- Cabra Castle Hotel Stay
- Merry Ploughboy Pub Dinner/Show
- Titanic Belfast
- Inishowen Peninsula
- Giant’s Causeway
- Farmhouse Tea & Scones
- Achill Island Tour
Superior & First Class
- Cabra Castle Hotel
Kingscourt (1 night)
- Europa Hotel
Belfast (1 night)
- Maldron Hotel Derry
Derry (2 nights)
- Clew Bay Hotel
Westport (2 nights)
- The Talbot Hotel Stillorgan (formerly Stillorgan Park Hotel)
Dublin (2 nights)
- Sightseeing by luxury coach
- Professional driver/guide
- 8 nights in hotels listed
- Full breakfast daily (B) except on day 1
- 6 dinners (D) including
– Welcome dinner in Cabra Castle
– Merry Ploughboy Pub dinner and traditional show
– 4 table d’hote dinners
- 1 lunch (L)
- Welcome get-together drink
- Tour of Belfast with a local guide
- Sheans Heritage Farm turf-cutting, tea and scones
- Walking tours of Derry and Galway
- Irish coffee on Inishowen Peninsula
- Day tour to Achill Island
- Tour of Dublin with visits to Glasnevin Museum and Guinness Storehouse with a drink
- Visits and admissions to Down Cathedral, St. Patrick Centre, Titanic Belfast, Giant’s Causeway, Shrove Lighthouse, Donegal Castle, Belleek Pottery Factory, W. B. Yeats’ Grave, Westport House and Kilbeggan Distillery Experience
- 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