You will arrive early at the Dublin Airport and transfer to the hotel. You will have a few hours to get settled in and relax. We will meet in the lobby around 1:30 to and take a short stroll to St. Stephens Green for a picnic lunch and an opportunity to get acquainted. The tour package includes a hop-on-hop-off bus pass and this afternoon is a chance to use it to see the sights of Dublin. We will meet for an early dinner, and for those interested (and can stay awake) we will go to O’Donoghue’s Pub for some traditional Irish music.
Sleep in or explore on your own this is a free morning. This is another chance to use your bus passes for sightseeing. We recommend the Guinness Brewery, the Jail, the Zoo, Temple Bar area, Trinity University and the Book of Kells among many other sites. The group will gather for a late lunch and a representative from Good Food Ireland will join us to discuss the country’s exciting food scene. Good Food Ireland promotes and supports local farmers, food producers, and fisherman. “Good Food Ireland is Ireland’s culture on a plate, bringing people together through food.” In the evening, we will attend a cookery class at the Dublin Cooking School and dine on what we prepare.
After breakfast will depart for the west coast but before we leave the area we will take in the gardens at Powerscourt in County Wicklow. After lunch, we will stop at Glendalough, which is the home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. It is known for its spectacular scenery, rich history, archeology and abundant wildlife. We will wind our way through the countryside to our home for the next two nights in Doolin. We will meet for dinner after unpacking.
Today we will explore the area! We are just minutes from the Cliffs of Mohr. We will take you where the tourists do not go. We will take a walk to the backside of the cliffs and enjoy the spectacular view in peace and quiet. The area is home to many artisan food producers; we will visit a couple of them; the Burren Smokehouse for a salmon tasting and St. Tola Goat Farm to learn about cheese making. Both are family owned, and many chefs after outside of the region seek their products.
After a bite of lunch, we will continue our drive up the Wild Atlantic Way, the most beautiful drive in Ireland. Relax and enjoy the ride. In Balleyvaughn, there is a stop at a quaint pub for Irish whiskey tasting before dinner at a local eatery.
After breakfast, we will load our bags into the van and take a spectacular drive further up the coast to the Connemara. Ben will take us on roads that most people do not know. The scenery will blow you away! En route, we will stop outside of Galway City for a fabulous seafood lunch before continuing to Kylemore Abbey for a tour including the Victorian Walled Garden. Kylemore Abbey is the most romantic castle in Ireland and the only Benedictine Community -- home to Benedictine Nuns since 1920. We continue on to our destination, Leenane on Killary Harbour a dramatic deep fjord that penetrates twelve kilometers inland from the Atlantic. We will dine at our lodge and for those looking for more craic we can head to the neighborhood pub for a bit of local color.
Get ready for an incredible journey with Shane Bisgood, Skipper of the Brazen Hussy Charter Boat. We will spend half a day exploring the coastal islands of Inishboffin and Inishturk. You will feel as if you are in National Geographic movie. This is the most amazing wildlife tour, and we snuggle right up to the base of the cliffs for staggering views. After lunch at a pub, we will head for our appointment at the famous Delphi Spa where we will enjoy either a seaweed bath or a massage. Then we will take a short drive to enjoy the beautiful view along the historic Famine Trail. We will tailgate with cocktails and have a chance to learn about the terrible famine that overcame the Irish population in the 1840’s. Dinner will be at the renowned Delphi Lodge. Sleep tight and sweet dreams!
Sadly it is time to leave the Connemara. We will pack up and head back towards Dublin for our last night. Ben will take us on one more "eye-candy" drive down the back roads with a chance to see Ashford Castle on our way. We will stop for the night outside of Dublin at Castle Leslie. Many famous people have stayed here including Paul McCartney. Time to stroll the village and enjoy the beautiful gardens at Castle Leslie before the farewell dinner.
We will get everyone to the Dublin airport for morning flight departures.Pricing/What is Included: