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Irish Odyssey Tour (12 day/11 night)
Your Escorted Coach Tour of Ireland Includes
12 days/11 nights/21 meals
- Roundtrip group airport transfers when you book our flights - $30 per person fee applies to land only bookings
- Sightseeing by luxury coach
- Professional driver/guide
- 11 nights in hotels listed
- Full breakfast daily (B) except on day 1
- 8 dinners (D) including
- Taylor’s Three Rock Pub
- Wm Cairnes Gastropub farewell dinner
- 6 table d'hote dinners
- 2 Lunches (L)
- Welcome get-together drink
- Tours of Dublin and Belfast
- Farmhouse visit for tea and scones
- Walking tours of Cork, Galway, Derry and Drogheda with local guides
- Sheepdog trials on Ring of Kerry
- Horse-drawn jaunting car ride in Killarney
- J. B. Keane’s Pub in Listowel for tea and scones
- Ferry ride across the River Shannon
- “The Quiet Man" walking tour of Cong
- Sheans Heritage Farm turf-cutting, tea and scones
- Step dancing display in Cabra Castle Hotel
- Dublin open-top bus tour with a visit to Guinness Storehouse or General Post Office
- Visits and admissions to Kilmainham Gaol, Russborough House, House of Waterford Crystal, Waterford’s Medieval Museum, Blarney Castle, Blarney Woollen Mills, Blasket Centre, Cliffs of Moher, Kylemore Abbey, Connemara Celtic Crystal Factory, Museum of Country Life, W. B. Yeats’ Grave, Belleek Pottery Factory, Giant’s Causeway, Titanic Belfast, Boyne Valley Visitor Centre & Newgrange or Knowth Tomb
- 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
Stay at the following (or similar):
- Herbert Park Hotel, Dublin (2 nights)
- River Lee Hotel, Cork (1 night)
- Killarney Plaza Hotel, Killarney (2 nights)
- Radisson Blu Galway Hotel,Galway (2 nights) (Castlecourt Hotel, Westport for July 24 departure)
- City Hotel, Derry (2 nights)
- Cabra Castle Hotel, Kingscourt (1 night)
- The D Hotel, Drogheda (1 night)
Dublin is both the largest city and capital of Ireland. It is located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin Region. Founded as a Viking settlement, the city has been Ireland's primary city for most of the island's history since medieval times. Today, it is an economic, administrative and cultural centre for the island of Ireland and has one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city. The city has a world-famous literary history, having produced many prominent literary figures, including Nobel laureates William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. Other influential writers and playwrights from Dublin include Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and the creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker. It is ar...read more
The Wicklow Mountains are a range of mountains in the southeast of Ireland. They run in a north-south direction from south County Dublin across County Wicklow and into County Wexford. Lugnaquilla is the highest peak in the range at 925 m (3035 ft), Mullaghcleevaun at 847 m (2,780 ft) is the second highest, while the summit of Kippure is the highest point in County Dublin, at 757 m (2,484 ft). The River Slaney has its source southwest of Lugnaquilla and then flows south along the western slopes of the mountains for some 72 km (45 mi) before entering the St George's Channel at Wexford. The Turlough Hill power station is the only pumped storage hydroelectricity scheme in Ireland; it is located on the Wicklow Gap midway between Hollywood and Glendalough. The whole area is much freque...read more
Mizen Head at the western extremity of the peninsula formerly known as the Ivagha Peninsula or Uíbh Eachach, is the south-westernmost point of Ireland, is one of the extreme points of the island of Ireland. It lies in west County Cork, Ireland, and is a tourist attraction. Located on the promontory are an old signalling station, a weather station, and a lighthouse. An award winning Maritime Museum and Heritage Attraction, this authentic all-weather experience is a must-see with its spectacular location on high cliffs with swirling Atlantic Ocean tides. From the Car park and Visitor Centre, the Signal Station is a ten minute walk along the path, down the 99 steps and across the Arched Bridge, the Mizen is famous for its wildflowers and sightings of wildlife, dolphins, whales, s...read more
The Giant's Causeway (or Irish: Clochán na bhFómharach) is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It is located on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland, about two miles (3 km) north of the town of Bushmills. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986, and a National Nature Reserve in 1987 by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. In a 2005 poll of Radio Times readers, the Giant's Causeway was named as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven and eight sides. The tallest a...read more
Titanic Belfast is an unbelievable, unmissable experience. Located in the heart of Belfast, right beside the historic site of this world-famous ship’s construction, Titanic Belfast is the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience. Housed in an iconic, six-floor building and extending over nine galleries, this state-of-the-art visitor experience tells the story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her famous maiden voyage and subsequent place in history. Titanic Belfast tells this world-famous story using contemporary interactive technology, special effects and even a thrilling shipyard ride where you will hear the sound of riveting and experience the smells of melting steel as you journey through what it was like to be a shipyard worker in Belfast more than 100 years ago....read more
Kilmainham Gaol (Irish: Príosún Chill Mhaighneann) is a former prison, located in Kilmainham in Dublin, which is now a museum. It has been run since the mid-1980s by the Office of Public Works (O.P.W.), an Irish Government agency. Kilmainham Gaol has played an important part in Irish history, as many leaders of Irish rebellions were imprisoned and some executed in the jail. The jail has also been used as a set for several films. When it was first built in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol was called the 'New Gaol' to distinguish it from the old jail it was intended to replace - a noisome dungeon, just a few hundred metres from the present site. It was officially called the County of Dublin Gaol, and was originally run by the Grand Jury for County Dublin. Over the 140 years it se...read more
Visit the Boyne Valley Visitor Centre to learn about the burial tombs of Newgrange and Knowth, both of which are over 5,000 years old and visit one of the tombs. Newgrange was constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Newgrange was built during the Neolithic Age by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley. Knowth and Dowth are similar mounds that together with Newgrange have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Archaeologists classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, however, Newgrange is now recognised to be much more than a passage tomb. Ancient Temple is a more fitting classification, a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonia...read more
Thanks for asking about our trip. Amazing. Wonderful. Fun. Magnificent. Great. Brilliant. And any synonym thereof.
Grab yourself a cup of tea or a Guinness - or two - put your feet up and loosen your tie and we’ll review the adventure and my impressions of Ireland.
The Cliffs of Mohr should be seen from land and from the water and from above. I was most impressed to see them from the water. They are beautiful. We did climb O’Brien’s Tower and saw the cliffs from there.
We did the Doolin Cave. I thought the man said 25 steps and I thought “We can do that after doing Cliffs of Mohr and O’Brien’s tower.” It wasn’t until we were ready to go on the tour that we found out it was 125 steps – down. What a price to pay to see a limestone formation figured to be 300 million years old. One thing for sure, I’ll never see anything like it again in my lifetime and “no”, I have no intentions to see it again unless they get rid of the 125 steps – one way.
Galway was fun. No one should miss the Connemara tour. You were so right to recommend taking some other tours so I didn’t have to drive everywhere. We never would have found everything we saw that day. It was a full day of sightseeing: the “Quiet Man Bridge” and replica cottage as well as the ruins of the original cottage, quaint villages, the stories, laughter, the peat trenches and walking on the bog, and most of all Kylemore Abbey. The sight of the reflection of that castle in the lake as you come out of the mountains is unforgettable. The gardens are beautiful. We had 3 hours there and it wasn’t enough. We took the ferry out of Galway to the large Aran Island. The only way to see the Island is by hiking or the pony trap. Our driver was Timothy and our horse Cappucino. What a wonderful afternoon, the outdoors, sun, sea air, fresh blackberries off the side of the road. We got to see some ladies knitting sweaters and mittens. Again, more stories and a better understanding of the people and culture. We did a 3 hour ferry tour of Galway Bay – history, fun, stories, drinks, and singing. The stories of the famine and the results were so interesting and intense especially as my family is from the Galway area and immigrated to the States in the mid 1800’s.
The best ring tour was the Ring of Dingle. We did a 4 hour tour with John O’Connor of Dingle which ended up being over 5 hours. After the tour he took us to a pub that served good food at a reasonable price on a Sunday evening and then picked us up and took us back to the hotel. He wouldn’t take any money for the extra tour time and the taxi ride back to the hotel. We saw the beehives, the Verder holdings and school, the stones, fairy rings, fort rings, the western most place in Europe, got drenched in the Atlantic in the waves (the beach where Ryan’s Daughter was filmed) – again not paying attention. It was a great afternoon. This is one tour I would do again and recommend to anyone.
Belfast was interesting and somewhat ….sad is the only word I can think of. It is kind of “dark” with an undercurrent of tension. We took a Black Taxi tour – the political one and went to the Shankill and Falls areas. One of the gates actually closed while we were there. The prison tour was excellent and made the history more alive. Belfast is not on my list of places to revisit but I would recommend the prison tour. The taxi driver was so nice and full of stories. He also told us to keep the tip. This was a recurring theme. The people were very nice especially at the Post Office.
Speaking of Post offices- a cute story… we went to the post office in Kinsale around 10 am and then back at noon. The lady there reminded us that they didn’t close till 5:05 pm if we had more to mail. We, of course, hasn’t been shopping yet but figured we were about done shipping boxes. Don’t you know, at 3:15 pm in we walk with 2 more boxes each. She just laughed and let us go to the front of the line. Again reminding us that we had 2 more hours to “shop and mail.” Back to the travellog.
Yes, we did the Rope Bridge – have the pictures and the certificate to prove it - as well as Giant’s Causeway. There is a bus down to the rocks at the Causeway and back. No bus to the Rope Bridge – it’s all pedal power. The views are wonderful. I have never seen rocks come out of the ground in columns. I recommend both of those attractions. Don’t forget Bushmills.
Dublin. Dublin. Dublin. What can you say? None of the superlatives are enough. There was more to see than what we could see in 4 days. Guinness, Trinity College, The Old Library, The Book of Kells. I spent two hours in the exhibit and could have stayed longer. The Hop-on Hop off tickets were a great purchase. We really used them. The Food, Folklore and Fairies dinner presentation was terrific. Being at the oldest pub in Ireland 1197 was an added bonus. The gentleman who does the presentation is quite a story teller. “ We may not believe in fairies but just in case….respect the fairies.” It is a 4 star evening which I wholeheartedly recommend. The GPO, Dublin Castle, the prison – so much history. To touch those walls where bullet holes can still be seen was an experience. I plan on returning to Dublin in a couple years to see what all I missed. The shopping was great!!
No trip to Ireland would be complete without a medieval meal. The Bunratty Castle is the place to go. What a fun night eating with a knife and your fingers. The entertainment was good. Not a dry eye in the house when they sang Danny Boy. The village was right out of a book complete with animals. A great place for families to visit. We did it in the early evening. There were real peat fires burning in the hearths and you were expected to add the peat if the fire was going out, which of course, I had to do.
There are so many stories and so many people willing to share those stories. Are you getting a theme here – stories – the very best part! Everyone was kind and helpful and you couldn’t have asked for anything better.
The accommodations you secured were very nice and, I don’t know how you did it, but got nicer as the trip progressed. Bea at the Atlantic in Doolin was so sweet. Her excitement about the soccer championship was infectious. The room was up the stairs but the room was very nice and she makes great French toast – one of my personal favorites.
Ireland…a country of cities and villages, highways and unnamed paved lanes, bacon and bread, potatoes cooked in every way imaginable, ruins and intact castles and cathedrals, laughter and sadness, light and dark, realism and fantasy, fairy rings and fort rings, Charles Fort, smiles and tears, war and peace, trains, cars, horse and traps, and buses and ferries, superstition and mysticism, feast and famine, rock walls, hedges and grazing lands, sheep and cows, mountains, sea and lakes. What more or less can I say?
Thank you for all your help in setting this whole trip of a lifetime in motion. We could not have done it without your guidance, input and recommendations. I am already recommending you to friends who have asked about the trip. I would make one suggestion. There is a National ticket you can buy to see attractions at a decreased or free rate. We asked about it at Giant’s Causeway and the gentleman told us all the attractions would be closed and it wouldn’t do us any good. Wrong. You might want to let people know something like that is available.
So now we have come to the end of this missive and I didn’t even kiss the blarney stone. That is for the next trip!! Obviously, I had a wonderful time and hope to plan another trip in a couple years to see what I missed and there was a lot that I missed.
I will include a couple pictures. You can use any part of this you want or put it in a file and on occasion pull it out to remind yourself of the happiness you brought to an old lady you never met.
Be well and thank you again.
Michelle Estadt, Wrangell, AK, USA