Explore the Emerald Isle on this most in-depth of Irish experience trips, filled with tales of mythical creatures and the troubled history of an island split in two. Beyond soul-stirring landscapes, there’s time with a local ‘Cabbie’ who’ll guide you through Belfast.
Welcome to Ireland
Embrace your playful side and discover the allure of the lively Irish capital - a small city with a lot of heart and yours to explore before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travellers this afternoon for a sightseeing tour with your Local Specialist. See the stately Georgian Squares and Trinity College before enjoying a Welcome Reception this evening at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which has played an integral role in Ireland’s history for over eight centuries. As you get to know your travel companions surrounded in this incredibly moving place which is a real treasure of Ireland, you’ll learn how the cathedral was built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint and is one of the few buildings of medieval Dublin still left standing. The excitement will build this evening over drinks, good food and great company as your Travel Director gives you a taste of what’s to come.
Hotel: Mespil/The Samuel
Meals: Welcome Reception
Journey to Colourful Belfast
Leaving the cosmopolitan streets of Dublin behind, we travel to Northern Ireland and the bustling city of Belfast, where you will have some free time to enjoy a spud for lunch or perhaps an Irish stew. Later, we meet our Local Specialist 'Cabbie' for an insider view of the city’s living history during a journey through its vibrant streets in a real taxi. We spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure, or perhaps join an Optional Experience.
Hotel: Maldron City/Ten Square
Venture to the Giant's Causeway and on to Londonderry
Dive Into Culture during a visit to the award-winning Titanic Belfast Experience. Gain insights into the tragic story of the Titanic and its passengers who lost their lives in the icy Atlantic. We leave the city behind us, travelling along the beautiful Antrim coast road to the Giant's Causeway for a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience as we walk in the footsteps of Finn MacCool. Our visit will help to conserve this iconic natural landmark. Take some time to admire the natural spectacle of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns before continuing to Londonderry, our home for the next two nights.
Discover Londonderry's Past
Join your Local Specialist for a walk along the 17th-century city walls and see the formerly turbulent Bogside neighbourhood, with its street murals depicting the history of the 'Troubles'. Spend a free afternoon walking along the pretty Foyle River or consider joining an Optional Experience to Inishowen Peninsula, with its rich history. This evening we dine at our hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Onwards to Scenic Galway
We journey through the lush countryside to Belleek, where we'll Dive Into Culture and witness talented pottery craftsmen create the exquisite collectables that have graced homes since the mid-19th century. Arrive in Galway later, where we will stay for the next two nights.
Hotel: The Ardilaun/Maldron Sandy Road
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
The rugged beauty of Connemara was captured in the film 'The Quiet Man' with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Its loughs and mountains are yours to explore today during a scenic drive. We arrive at Kylemore Abbey later to visit the country's most romantic castle and ramble through the hidden nooks of its Victorian walled garden. Returning to Galway, we enjoy some free time to explore its imposing stone Cathedral or stroll through Eyre Square, which John F. Kennedy visited in 1963.
Explore the Cliffs of Moher and Killarney
See the imposing UNESCO-listed Cliffs of Moher rising over 650 feet (200 m) above the pounding Atlantic and scan the horizon all the way to the Aran Islands to get the full view of the irresistible beauty of this special place. On this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, you’ll have an opportunity to visit the ‘Atlantic Edge’ exhibition which will bring to life this extraordinary natural phenomenon in a way that only the wildlife of the area get to see. Enchanted by the wild landscapes, you’ll continue along the Wild Atlantic Way to Connect With Locals and meet local horticulturalist, Oonagh, who’ll teach you how to forage before our Be My Guest visit to the Barrtra Seafood restaurant. Your next MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience will reveal the importance of sustainable food experiences and you’ll learn how everything on your plate has been bought locally, perhaps inspired to buy local produce when you return home. The spectacular views of this dramatic coastline continue before you’ll board a ferry across the tranquil Shannon Estuary river. Then, continue through County Kerry to your hotel in Killarney, where you'll have an evening at leisure or join in the craic at an optional Irish ceilidh.
Hotel: Killarney Towers/Hotel Killarney
Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest
A Day on the Ring of Kerry
The soul-stirring landscapes of Iveragh Peninsula provide a mesmerising backdrop for our scenic coastal drive around the Ring of Kerry – an unimaginably beautiful natural setting. En route we will see Killorglin, famous for its annual 'Puck Fair', as well as Daniel O'Connell's Cahirciveen, the fishing village of Waterville, the Black Valley and Moll's Gap.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Off to Blarney, Waterford and Kilkenny
Today you might acquire the 'gift of the gab', bending over backwards to kiss the Blarney Stone before we travel to Waterford. Admire the delicate creations of fine crystal during a visit to the House of Waterford Crystal where we will Dive Into Culture and witness a demonstration by master craftsmen. This evening, we arrive in Kilkenny with its imposing 12th-century castle, once the seat of the Butlers of Ormonde.
Through County Wicklow's Countryside to Dublin
After a morning exploration of Kilkenny, we depart for New Ross where we'll see the monument to John F. Kennedy, who visited his ancestral family hometown in 1963. Dive Into Culture and gain insights into the tragic plight of Irish emigrants during the potato famine of the 1800s on our visit to the nearby three-masted Dunbrody Famine Ship. Journey through the lush Irish countryside of County Wicklow, the 'Garden of Ireland', and back to Dublin where you’ll spend your final evening with travel companions sharing stories of your memorable journey through Ireland at a Farewell Dinner.
Hotel: Hyatt Centric/Clayton Cardiff Lane
Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
It’s time to say a fond farewell to Ireland and newfound friends as you prepare to end your wonderful Irish experience. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.
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