Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Ireland.
Céad mile fáilte! A hundred-thousand welcomes! Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax in Ireland’s capital city. This evening, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner with wine at your hotel. (D)
Day 2 Dublin.
The morning’s orientation drive in the “Fair City” includes statue-lined O’Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares with their tall red brick townhouses, colorful doors and wrought iron-decorated windows, Oscar Wilde’s Trinity College, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The afternoon is at leisure for you to explore the city further, or you could join an optional excursion to the Guinness Storehouse and learn all about the world-famous beer: from how Guinness is made to the ancient craft of barrel-making in the cooperage. The evening ends with a sample of “The Black Stuff,” followed by dinner. (B)
Day 3 Dublin–Galway–Cliffs of Moher–Ennis.
Your day begins with a drive to Galway, a popular seaside destination and a buzzing cosmopolitan center with colorful shops and a busy café and bar culture. Then, a scenic route takes you across the limestone plateau of The Burren with its strange and beautiful karst landscape to the 668-foot CLIFFS OF MOHER, where you savor the breathtaking panorama of the Clare coast. (B)
Day 4 Ennis–Ring of Kerry–Killarney.
After a short drive via Clonderlaw Bay to Killimer, cross the Shannon estuary by FERRY. Continue on to Killorglin on Dingle Bay to join the famed RING OF KERRY for a 100-mile panoramic drive around the island’s southwestern tip. Plenty to focus your camera on here: sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly colored farmhouses, winding lanes bordered with subtropical vegetation, and the breathtaking panorama of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View. Travel on to the popular resort of Killarney for an overnight. (B)
Day 5 Killarney–Blarney–Waterford.
Across the Kerry Mountains and through County Cork, the route brings you to Blarney, renowned for its magical Kissing Stone. There is time here for lunch, to walk up to the castle, and to shop for traditional Irish handicrafts. In the afternoon, proceed via Cork to Waterford, a stronghold founded by the Danish Vikings, for a guided tour of the HOUSE OF WATERFORD CRYSTAL. The Master Craftsman will demonstrate the traditional methods that are still used to this day and you will learn all about crystal-making, from modern day back to its beginnings in 1783. (B,D)
Day 6 Waterford–Avoca–Glendalough–Dublin.
An exciting agenda today: Enniscorthy, site of the final battle of the Great Rebellion of 1798; Ireland’s oldest HANDWEAVING MILL at Avoca, where you watch the weavers at work; the Wicklow Mountains; and GLENDALOUGH, the early Christian monastic site founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. See the engaging audiovisual Ireland of the Monasteries, then let your Local Guide show you the remains of this ecclesiastical settlement. Back in Dublin tonight, a fitting farewell to Ireland would be an optional evening with dinner, followed by dance, song, and laughter. (B)
Day 7 Dublin.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)