Escape to the beauty and history of the “Emerald Isle” on your guided tour of Ireland. Begin your escape into the green farms and sweeping seashores without the large crowds or costs of the “busy” travel season. You’ll begin in the fair city of Dublin. See the statues lining O’Connell Street—Dublin’s main thoroughfare with its red-brick townhouses and colorful doors behind the wrought-iron fences of elegant Georgian squares. You’ll also see Trinity College and St. Patrick’s Cathedral along the way.
Leave the bustle of Dublin for the green landscapes of Ireland’s fields, with a visit to Rathbaun Farm. You’ll see a sheep-dog corral sheep, and be invited to bake your own scones in the farmhouse kitchen. You’ll travel on to West Ireland’s colorful harbor city of Galway, with its vibrant shops, cafés, and traditional Irish pubs. You’ll travel to Northern Ireland—passing through Westport, Donegal, and Letterkenny. Enjoy a guided walk in Derry’s Old Town, and visit the amazing natural formation of Giant’s Causeway—massive basalt columns that dramatically extend across the seashore.
Spend two nights in Belfast, with plenty to see in Northern Ireland’s capital city, including the fascinating Titanic Experience. You’ll stop in Carlingford on your return trip to Dublin. This Cooley Peninsula town is famous for its oyster farms, medieval buildings, and 12th-century King John’s Castle which overlooks the city. Spend the last night of your escorted tour of Ireland where you began, in Dublin. You’ll see why this escape through Ireland’s beauty and history is made even better without the crowds of the high season on your affordable, guided Ireland vacation.
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Céad míle fáilte—a hundred-thousand welcomes! 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, 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. Tonight, enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel. (D)
Drive through lush green country side to Athlone, on the River Shannon, and then to RATHBAUN FARM, where you’ll see the farmer maneuver a flock of sheep with the help of a sheep dog. Try your hand at Globus Local Favorite SCONE BAKING and then enjoy them fresh from the oven with a cup of coffee. On to Galway, a popular seaside destination and a buzzing cosmopolitan center with colorful shops and a busy café and bar culture. (B)
On your way north, pause at Westport, the elegant holiday resort on the edge of an Atlantic inlet, before continuing to Donegal, named ‘Fort of the Foreigners’ by the Vikings who invaded the town in the 8th century. Continue on through rich and fertile farmland, strewn with whitewashed houses, to Letterkenny. (B,D)
The first highlight today is Derry, situated on the banks of the Foyle River, and a WALK on the Old Town walls in the company of a Local Guide. After lunch, visit the awe-inspiring GIANT’S CAUSEWAY, composed of thousands of strangely symmetrical basalt columns jutting out to sea. Stay overnight in Belfast, Northern Ireland’s seat of government. (B)
This morning’s orientation drive will take you past all the city’s attractions, including City Hall, the Albert Memorial Clock Tower, and Queens University. Next, visit the fascinating TITANIC EXPERIENCE and learn all about the building of the largest passenger steam ship, its maiden voyage, and the tragic night of April 14, 1912. The afternoon is free to explore the city on your own. (B)
On your way back south, stop in Carlingford, on the Cooley Peninsula, known for its oyster farms and medieval buildings. The 12th-century King John’s Castle overlooks the harbor and Taaffe’s Castle—a 16th-century tower house. Back in Dublin, a fitting farewell to Ireland would be to join an optional cabaret evening with dinner, followed by dance, song, and laughter. (B)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)