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Mystical Ireland Tour (8 day/7 night)
Your Escorted Coach Tour of Ireland Includes
8 days/7 nights/12 meals
- Sightseeing by luxury coach
- Professional tour director
- 7 nights in hotels listed
- Full breakfast daily (B) except on day 1
- 4 dinners (D) including
- - Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet
- - 3 table d'hote dinners
- 1 lunch (L)
- Welcome get-together drink
- Tours of Dublin and Belfast
- Walking tours of Belfast, Derry and Galway with local guides
- Sheepdog trials with tea and scones
- Visits and admissions to Dublin Castle, Down Cathedral, St. Patrick Centre, Ulster Folk Park, Titanic Belfast, Giant’s Causeway, Donegal Castle, W. B. Yeats’ Grave, Westport House, Ballintubber Abbey and Cliffs of Moher
- 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
- Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin (1 night)
- Hilton Hotel, Belfast (2 nights)
- City Hotel, Derry (1 night)
- Hotel Westport, Westport (2 nights)
- Bunratty Castle Hotel, Bunratty (1 night)
Dublin Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath) off Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, is a major Irish governmental complex, formerly the fortified seat of British rule in Ireland until 1922. Most of the complex dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland. The Castle served as the seat of English, then later British government of Ireland under the Lordship of Ireland (1171–1541), the Kingdom of Ireland (1541–1800), and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1800–1922). Upon establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, the complex was ceremonially handed over to the newly formed Provisional Government led by Michael Collins. Dublin Castle fulfilled a number of r...read more
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
Cross Strangford Lough by ferry to visit the St. Patrick Centre and the saint’s grave at Down Cathedral. Down Cathedral is a Church of Ireland cathedral. It stands on the site of a Benedictine Monastery, built in 1183. Saint Patrick's remains are buried in the graveyard. Magnificent stain glass windows, box pews and beautiful organ case enhances this interesting building. About Saint Patrick:He is said to have been born Maewyn Succat (Latin: Magonus Succetus) and was a Roman Britain-born Christian missionary and is the patron saint of Ireland along with Brigid of Kildare and Columba. When he was about sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders from his home in Scotland and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping to mainland Europe on a ship wi...read more
Belfast (from the Irish: Béal Feirste meaning "Mouth of the (River) Farset")is the capital city of Northern Ireland and the seat of devolved government and legislative assembly in Northern Ireland. It is the largest urban area in Northern Ireland and the province of Ulster, the fifteenth-largest city in the United Kingdom and the second largest city on the island of Ireland. The city suffered greatly during the period of disruption, conflict, and destruction called the Troubles, but latterly has undergone a return to a sustained period of calmness and growth. Originally a town in County Antrim, the county borough of Belfast was created when it was granted city status by Queen Victoria in 1888. The name, Belfast, is the anglicised version of the Irish Béal Feirste, which ...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
Westport House & Gardens, first opened to the public is 1960, is one of Ireland’s best loved heritage attractions. Designed by the famous architects Richard Cassels James Wyatt and Thomas Ivory in the 18th Century, the house enjoys a superb estate setting with lakes, terraces, wonderful grounds and wonderful views overlooking Clew Bay, Clare Island, the Atlantic Ocean and Croagh Patrick. ...read more
Bunratty Castle was built in the 15th century by the Earl of Thomond and stands on the banks of the Rathy River. From here The Earl ruled over his Chiefdom and entertained lavishly, in fact he was famous for his hospitality. Join the Earl of Thomond in the splendour of the main guard of Bunratty Castle for a dinner experience not to be missed! Bunratty Castle, was built in 1425 by the Earl of Thomond. Following his tradition of hospitality, the world renowned Bunratty Medieval Banquet is held twice nightly throughout the year. Since 1963, the Ladies of the Castle, aided and abetted by the Earl's Butler, have welcomed guests from the four corners of the globe to dine at The Earl's Banquet at Bunratty Castle. The entertainment provided by the world renowned Bunratty Singers is a fit...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