Explore iconic Ireland and Ashford Castle, the former famous home of earls, princes and the famous Guinness family. See Connemara’s wild and windswept beauty, let the wind whip you up at the Cliffs of Moher and admire 40 shades of green circling the Ring of Kerry.
The 'Emerald Isle' puts its best foot forward in this iconic exploration of its soul-stirring landscapes. We kick off our epic journey along the walled gardens and rambling walks of Powerscourt Gardens. Its sweeping terraces, ornamental lakes and over 200 varieties of trees and shrubs ensure it befits its status as one of the most beautiful gardens in Ireland. Enjoy a Welcome Reception this evening to get to know your fellow travellers.
Hotel: Clayton Ballsbridge
Meals: Welcome Reception
Discover Diverse Dublin
Lyrics and legends await this morning as we join a Local Specialist on a city tour to visit St. Patrick's Cathedral, where Jonathan Swift was once installed as Dean. We admire the colourful doorways in the stately Georgian Squares and stroll along the cobbled courtyard of Trinity College and see the Book of Kells. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to soak up the charisma of this city. Wander along Grafton Street and see its lively performers, stop for a pint of the 'Black Stuff' in Temple Bar or relax in St. Stephen's Green.
Admire Stunning Connemara
Connemara’s 'savage beauty' takes centre stage today on your full-day excursion through the endless shades of green which once captured the heart of Oscar Wilde. Visit Kylemore Abbey, a magnificent castellated structure built as a family home and now inhabited by a group of Benedictine nuns. Later, we visit the Connemara Marble artisan workshop where you'll Dive Into Culture and witness first-hand how their famous jade-like marble is carved.
Onwards to Poetic Drumcliff and Donegal
See firsthand why the rugged beauty of Cong was chosen as the backdrop of John Wayne's award winning 'The Quiet Man'. Connect With Locals at Ireland’s largest sheep farm, Glen Keen Farm, for a heart-warming Be My Guest experience with your hosts, Catherine, Jim and their son James. You’ll watch in deep admiration as the energetic collies herd sheep and enjoy a traditional tea of scones, freshly whipped cream and jam, gaining a deep appreciation for the family’s efforts to preserve Irish heritage and traditions. Stop in Drumcliff, where acclaimed poet and playwright, W.B. Yeats was laid to rest. Then, continue to Donegal, the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way.
Meals: Breakfast, Be My Guest
Venture to Londonderry and Belfast
Start your day with a visit to Londonderry where a Local Specialist will take you on a stroll along the ancient walls that surround the Renaissance-style old city. Follow the scenic Causeway Coastal Route through rolling countryside and past rugged cliffs to the Giant’s Causeway for a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. Your visit will help to conserve this iconic landmark. You’ll have some free time to tiptoe in the giant geometric steps of Finn McCool and enjoy lunch before continuing to Belfast, your home for the next two nights.
Hotel: Maldron City/Ten Square
Discover Colourful Belfast
Explore Northern Ireland’s trendy capital today, starting with a visit to the Titanic Belfast Experience, where you’ll Dive Into Culture and gain insights into the tragic story of the famous ship that met its end in the Atlantic. Your Local Specialist will join you for a sightseeing tour through the city with views of the Belfast City Hall, Castle and Botanic Gardens. Take the rest of the afternoon to explore at your leisure, perhaps enjoying a pint in Belfast’s oldest traditional pub or visit St. George’s Market for some shopping.
Cross the Irish Sea to Glasgow
Bid Ireland farewell as you board your ferry to Scotland. Follow the rugged Ayrshire coast past Ailsa Craig, then continue to Glasgow, where you’ll enjoy an orientation of a city that exudes edginess. Take to the streets on your own exploration and see George Square, Glasgow Cathedral and the Clyde River before finding a cosy pub to warm your heart with a little local whisky and a night on the toon.
Uncover Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands
Sensational scenery follows your journey through the Scottish Highlands from Glasgow to Newtonmore. Loch Lomond sets the tone with views over the water to craggy Ben Lomond. Continue to Glencoe where the tragic 17th-century massacre of the MacDonalds turned the wild beauty of this valley into a 'Glen of Weeping'. Then, on to Fort William, the self-proclaimed ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’ before arriving in Loch Ness, where you’ll keep a keen eye out for the beloved monster that lurks beneath its surface. Tonight, you’ll enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Continue to Elegant Edinburgh
It’s never too early for a wee dram when you travel the wilds of Scotland. Your day begins with a visit to Pitlochry and the Blair Athol whisky distillery where you’ll Dive Into Culture and learn how Scotland’s golden goodness is made. Continue to the home of golfing gods, St. Andrews. You’ll view its famous 18th hole before continuing to Edinburgh, your home for the next two nights. Tickets to see the spectacular Edinburgh Tattoo are included on departures that coincide with performance dates.
Hotel: Jurys Inn
Surrender to the charms of Edinburgh, one of the world’s most enchanting cities. Your Local Specialist will guide your sightseeing tour through its medieval Old Town to the elegant Georgian façades across the Leith. See the Royal Mile and the Palace of Holyroodhouse before visiting Edinburgh Castle, perched atop Castle Rock. This afternoon, you’ll have some free time to explore on your own or get stuck into some last-minute souvenir shopping before joining your travel companions for a rousing Farewell Dinner to toast your memorable journey together.
Hotel: Jurys Inn
Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
Imbued with Gaelic spirit, your holiday has come to an end. Bid your new friends a fond farewell as you prepare for your return journey home. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.
AAA Palm Springs:
Iconic Ireland and Ashford Castle
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