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Castles of Ireland


Sleep well on this 5-star vacation around the Emerald Isle


  • 2 nights each and touring in Dublin, Belfast, Donegal, Cashel & Kildare
  • Guinness Storehouse & Waterford Crystal Factory
  • Titanic Belfast Exhibition & The Giants Causeway
  • Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle & Russborough House
  • Visit a working sheep farm
  • 18 meals: 10 full Irish breakfasts, 8 dinners
  • Round trip air to/from Dublin
  • Door-to-door airport transportation
  • Fully escorted by Irish driver/guide and Sports Leisure Tour Director
  • 10,000/12,400 Gold Passport Points



Daily Itinerary

Day 1-2

Depart the US via a transatlantic overnight flight to Dublin, arriving mid-morning on Day 2. Your driver/guide Dr. Gary Tierney will greet you with cead mile failte and escort you on a panoramic tour of Dublin before heading to your first accommodation at historic Clontarf Castle, whose daunting tower dates to 1172. Dinner is served before a well-earned night's sleep. Clontarf Castle Hotel - 2 nights (D)

Day 3

Start this and every morning with a full Irish breakfast (you must try the black’s an acquired taste). Spend the balance of the day exploring Dublin City more fully including a stop by the famous Guinness Storehouse for a pint or two. (FB)

Day 4

OK, so you don't like the black pudding. This morning try Scruffins - a cross between a scone and muffin - before heading  north to Belfast, taking the scenic route via Carlingford Lough and the Mountains of Mourne. This is the geography that inspired CS Lewis to create Narnia. Your accommodations just outside Belfast overlook the immaculately landscaped Stormont Estate. Stormont Hotel – 2 nights (FB,D)

Day 5

Visit the City Centre with a local guide hear the stories of Belfast through the ages, from its rich literary tradition to the more recent history of The Troubles. You'll also visit the Titanic Belfast Exhibition. Built on the site where the legendary shop was constructed, it tells the full story of the first and final voyage of the HMS Titanic. Tonight we'll have a pub crawl downtown and see if we can stir up any trouble of our own! (FB)

Day 6

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. Have a stop at Th Giants Causeway to experience this legendary World Heritage Site, and then continue on to a local sheep farm where you'll meet Farmer Jamese and his faithful collie Jess. On to County Donegal where your next castle awaits! Lough Eske Castle Hotel - 2 nights (FB,D)

Day 7

Explore County Donegal including Sliabh Liab Cliffs, amongst the highest in Europe. You'll want plenty of time at Lough Eske. It's quite simply amazing. A wee dram and a nap by the peat fire in the parlour is highly recommended. (FB, D)

Day 8

Turning south through Mayo and Galway, you'll see the Blue Stack Mountains while on the journey to County Sligo, stopping at the Megalithic Cemetery at Carrowmore along the way. Palatial accommodations are yours in County Tipperary in the 1732 palace built for the Archbishop of the Church of Ireland. Cashel Palace Hotel – 2 nights (FB,D)

Day 9

Visit the Rock of Cashel and nearby Waterford for a tour of the famous factory, museum, and crystal boutique. We might even visit Blarney Castle where you can kiss the famed stone (if you really want to). (FB, D)

Day 10

Head into the region known as West Wicklow to visit Russborough House, the stately manor built in the mid-18th Century for the 1st Earl of Milltown to showcase his stunning art collection. Its classical design, architectural detail, and exquisite decoration mark this Palladian jewel as the most beautiful Georgian house in Ireland. Your final castle is just a wee bit older. Kilkea dates to 1180, built as the medieval stronghold of the FitzGerald's, the Earls of Kildare. Kilkea Castle Hotel - 2 nights (FB, D)

Day 11

Traverse the Wicklow Mountains to the 6th Century monastic site of Glendalough established by St. Kevin. He was searching for a remote location where he could pray in tranquility - also because it's said he was so good looking that he didn't want to be a temptation to the women of the area! A Farewell Dinner awaits your return to Kilkea. (FB, D)

Day 12

Gary and all of Ireland bid you Slán abhaile as you return to Dublin International Airport for the return flight. (FB)

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


Saturday, September 28, 2024 to Wednesday, October 9, 2024

12 Days, 18 Meals

10 full Irish breakfasts, 8 dinners


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