Day 1 ARRIVE IN DUBLIN, IRELAND.
Check into your hotel. At 3 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for an afternoon orientation drive through statue-lined O’Connell Street and elegant Georgian squares to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity College. End the day with an optional dinner evening at the Guinness Storehouse.
Day 2 DUBLIN–DOWNPATRICK, NORTHERN IRELAND–BELFAST.
On your northbound route today, pass Drogheda, scene of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, then through the fertile landscape of the Boyne Valley, known for its prehistoric passage graves. Cross the border into Northern Ireland and drive past the Mountains of Mourne to Downpatrick, the burial place of Patrick, Ireland’s Patron Saint, and on to the vibrant city of Belfast, where the Titanic was built. Later, why not join a Local Guide on a “living history” tour, including a visit to the fascinating Titanic Experience? (B)
Day 3 BELFAST–GIANT’S CAUSEWAY–DERRY–DONEGAL, IRELAND–DRUMCLIFF–SLIGO.
First stop this morning is awe-inspiring GIANT’S CAUSEWAY, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, let the province’s story unfold as you head for the city of Derry before returning to the Republic to visit Donegal, the ancient town founded by Danish Vikings and home of the O’Donnell Clan. Drive along Donegal Bay with its small fishing ports and hidden beaches, and stop in Drumcliff to see the grave of W.B. Yeats before arriving in Sligo, tonight’s destination. (B,D)
Day 4 SLIGO–GALWAY–CLIFFS OF MOHER–LIMERICK.
Travel farther south to Galway, a popular seaside destination and a buzzing cosmopolitan center with colorful shops, and a busy café and bar culture. Cross the limestone plateau of The Burren to visit the spectacular 668-foot CLIFFS OF MOHER. Tonight, you might like to join an optional medieval banquet. (B)
Day 5 LIMERICK–ADARE–DINGLE PENINSULA–KILLARNEY.
Start your day with a stroll through Adare, a village known for its prize-winning thatched cottages. Then, take in the breathtaking scenery of the Dingle Peninsula, where the 32-mile Slea Head drive affords magnificent vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. See the Blasket Islands, and hear about the way of life and unique literary achievements of its inhabitants prior to their evacuation in 1953. The next two nights are spent in the popular resort of Killarney. (B,D)
Day 6 KILLARNEY. RING OF KERRY EXCURSION.
At Killorglin, join the RING OF KERRY for a 100-mile coastal panoramic drive featuring sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly colored farmhouses, winding lanes bordered with subtropical vegetation, and spectacular views of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View. Back in Killarney, a special optional adventure: take a horse-drawn jaunting car along the national park lakeshore for pictures of Ross Castle. Tonight, enjoy the optional outing to Tralee for dinner and a performance at Siamsa Tire, Ireland’s National Folk Theatre. (B)
Day 7 KILLARNEY–BLARNEY–WATERFORD–TRAMORE.
More scenic splendor as you head over the Kerry Mountains into County Cork. Stop in Blarney, famous for its Stone of Eloquence, with time at your leisure to see the castle and shop for Irish crafts and handmade crystal. After lunch, drive past Cork, the country’s second-largest city on the way to Waterford, where a guided tour of the HOUSE OF WATERFORD CRYSTAL is included. Spend the night at the nearby seaside resort of Tramore. Later, an optional pub tour might be fun. (B,D)
Day 8 TRAMORE–AVOCA–DUBLIN.
On the last leg of your journey, visit Ireland’s oldest HANDWEAVING MILL at Avoca, and enjoy views of the Wicklow Mountains on your way to Dublin. An optional Irish cabaret evening, including dinner, dance, song, and laughter would be an exciting finale to your vacation. (B)
Day 9 DUBLIN.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)