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Autumn in Ireland

Overview

Come and enjoy Autumn in Ireland with us.

Details

  • 2 nights each and touring in Belfast, Derry, Galway, Killarney, Dublin
  • Titanic Belfast Exhibition & The Giants Causeway
  • Visit a working sheep farm
  • Cliffs of Moher, Blue Stack Mountains, Connemara, the Burren, the Ring of Kerry
  • Waterford Crystal Factory & Guinness Storehouse
  • Kiss the Blarney Stone (if you really want to)
  • ABC – Another Bloody Church, Castle, Cemetery daily!
  • 15 meals: 9 full Irish breakfasts, 6 dinners
  • Roundtrip air to/from Dublin
  • Door-to-door airport transportation
  • Fully escorted by Irish driver/guide and Sports Leisure Tour Director

Categories

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Daily Itinerary

Day 1 - 2

Fly to Chicago, then depart the US via a transatlantic overnight flight to Dublin, arriving mid-morning on Day 2. Your driver/guide Dr. Gary Tierney will be there to greet you with céad míle fáilte in the arrivals hall and escort you to your awaiting luxury motorcoach. You’ll be whisked away to the North of Ireland through countryside of rolling hills and lush fields in “40 shades of green.” Stop en route for a coffee (maybe an Irish one!) to revive you after the flight. Overnight in the centre of Belfast City with a welcome dinner served at the popular Seahorse Restaurant. Grand Central Hotel – 2 nights (in-flight meals, D)

Day 3

Start this and every morning with a full Irish breakfast (you must try the black pudding . . . it’s an acquired taste) before meeting a local guide to show you around their hometown. You will hear stories of Belfast through the ages, from its rich literary tradition to the more recent history of The Troubles. You’ll see the Peace Wall, Queens University and of course make a stop at the Titanic Belfast Exhibition – built on the site where the legendary ship was constructed, it tells the story of the shipbuilding industry in Belfast and about life at the time, specifically through the lens of the ill-fated first and final voyage of the HMS Titanic. Explore Belfast on your own this evening for dinner, perhaps served in one of the traditional local pubs. (FB)

Day 4

OK, so you didn’t like the black pudding. This morning try Scruffins – a cross between a scone and muffin! Continue your exploration of Northern Ireland as you travel the Causeway Coast of County Antrim. If you’ve watched the series “Game of Thrones” you’ll be familiar with the landscape as many scenes were filmed here. You’ll have a stop at The Giants Causeway so you can experience this legendary World Heritage Site, then continue on to a local sheep farm where you’ll meet Jamesy, a local farmer, and his collie dog Jess. He’ll introduce his flock of sheep and you’ll see how he works daily with Jess to operate his farm. Nearby is an inn where we can stop for a wee refreshment en route to Derry. Holiday Inn Express Derry/Londonderry – 2 nights (FB,D)

Day 5

Derry (aka Londonderry depending on your loyalties and religion) is famed for its walls built between 1613 and 1619. Today it is the only city in the British Isles to have its walls completely intact after 400+ years. You’ll walk the walls, and hear tales of Derry’s sadness and triumph throughout the ages with a local guide. Your hotel’s city centre location makes personal exploration easy. Gary lived here for a few years and visits often, so he’s sure to have recommendations for shopping, dinner or the best pub! (FB)

Day 6

Cross into County Donegal and the Republic of Ireland today, so put those Pounds away and pull out the Euros! You’ll see the Blue Stack Mountains while on your journey to County Sligo, stopping at the Megalithic Cemetery at Carrowmore and WB Yeat’s Grave at Drumcliff Church along the way. Next stop is Galway City and your historic accommodations on Eyre Square. This is where the gentry would have vacationed when arriving by train in Victorian times. Hardiman Hotel Galway – 2 nights (FB,D)

Day 7

Travel into the west through the towns of Oughterard and Moycullen to the amazing landscape of Connemara. It’s a perfect time of year to see Connemara as the colours are at their most vibrant. There’ll be plenty of purple heather, orange and yellow leaves, green grass and hopefully a bright blue sky! The beautiful Victorian Mansion of Kylemore Abbey is your first stop for the day with time to walk around the lake and experience the tranquillity where the Benedictine nuns made their home for over 100 years. You’ll also visit Cong, home of The Quiet Man Pub. (FB)

Day 8

Head south to County Clare via the moon! The lunar-looking limestone landscape of the Burren is mesmerising. Catch a boat in the village of Doolin for a short ocean cruise to see the famed Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs stretch for 500 metres out of the Atlantic Ocean and continue for 5 miles along the coast. Does the view seem familiar? It’s probably because in The Princess Bride (where they are dubbed the Cliffs of Insanity) and in The Prisoner of Azkeban, part of the Harry Potter franchise. Back on land you’ll have time for a bite to eat in one of the local pubs of Doolin. Then onward to Killimer where you’ll catch a ferry across the mouth of the River Shannon to Tarbert in County Kerry. From there it’s less than an hour to Killarney. The Brehon Hotel Killarney – 2 nights (FB,D)

Day 9

A visit to Kerry wouldn’t be complete without driving the Iveragh Peninsula – more commonly known as the “Ring of Kerry.” Gary will show you his favorite spots along the route. The views of mountains, oceans and farmland are magnificent, so have the camera ready at every bend in the road! Killarney is famous for its Jaunting Cars, so you’ll meet the drivers along the road and travel back to your hotel in these traditional horse-drawn carriages. (FB)

Day 10

Today the circle is complete as you return to Dublin via the Derrynasaggart Mountains and County Cork. There you’ll have a chance to kiss the Blarney Stone and visit Waterford and her world-renowned crystal factory. From there it’s only a short drive to Dublin and your home located on of the city’s famed Georgian Streets in one of Ireland’s only fully sustainable hotels. Iveagh Garden Hotel, Dublin. (FB)

Day 11

A half-day orientation tour of Dublin will include a stop at the Guinness Storehouse in the morning, leaving the afternoon free for some last-minute shopping and sightseeing. Maybe you’d like to visit one of Dublin’s many fine museums or see the historic Book of Kells at Trinity College. Reunite in the evening for a farewell dinner to share memories and highlights of an amazing “Autumn in Ireland.” (FB,D)

Day 12

Gary and all of Ireland bid you a fond farewell as you return to Dublin International Airport to travel back to Sacramento, again via Chicago. Slán abhaile! (FB, in-flight meals)

Daily Itinerary Meal Legend
CBContinental Breakfast
BGenerally a limited buffet or menu
FBFull buffet or choice of menu
BRBrunch, often buffet-style
LLunch, often several menu options
HT or ATHigh or Afternoon Tea
DDinner, often several menu options

Departures

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 to Sunday, October 9, 2022

12 Days, 15 Meals

9 full Irish breakfasts, 6 dinners

$6750
p.p./dbl.occ.
$7275
single

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