Tour: TZ - 2013 (TZ) - 2013 / 2014

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Malahide Castle near Dublin, Ireland
Malahide Castle near Dublin, Ireland
Glendalough
St. Patricks Cathedral
Dublin
Kylemore Abbey
Croagh
Thatched cottages in Adare
Bunratty Castle

Itinerary

DAY 1Arrive in Dublin, Irish Republic

Welcome to Dublin! The rest of the day is free to relax in the Irish capital. At 6 pm, join your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at the hotel. (Dinner)

Dublin, the capital of Ireland 
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DAY 2Dublin

An orientation drive in the “Fair City” includes statue-lined O’Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, and visits to ST. PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL and Oscar Wilde’s TRINITY COLLEGE, famous for the 1,200-year-old Book of Kells and the magnificent Old Library. Balance of the day is at leisure. (Breakfast)

Enjoy the beautiful campus of the renowned Trinity College 
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DAY 3Dublin–Knock

Head for dairy farm country in the center of the “Emerald Isle” before arriving in Knock, where the Virgin Mary appeared to the townsfolk in 1879. Today, the site attracts pilgrims from around the world. Visit KNOCK SHRINE, the CHURCH OF THE APPARITION, the BASILICA, and the FOLK MUSEUM. You will also have time to attend Mass. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 4Knock–Murrisk–Kylemore Abbey–Galway

This morning, visit the CROAGH PATRICK VISITOR CENTRE at the foot of St. Patrick’s Holy Mountain in Murrisk. Afterwards, visit KYLEMORE ABBEY, the massive yet graceful castle acquired by Benedictine nuns as a precious heirloom for Ireland. Arrive in the port city of Galway, where you will spend the next two nights. Tonight, you may wish to join one of our optional evening outings. (Breakfast)

Kylemore Abbey, the massive yet graceful castle acquired by Benedictine nuns as a precious heirloom for Ireland 
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DAY 5Galway. Aran Islands Excursion

At Rossaveal, board a comfortable, modern FERRY for the 45-minute crossing to Kilronan on Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands and where Gaelic is the first language of the islanders. Many Catholics fled to this island during Oliver Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland during the mid-17th century. In these harsh conditions, they developed a strong self-sufficiency in order to survive. Your fascinating day continues with a presentation on life on Inishmore by an island historian. After a lunch break, board a minibus to enjoy your driver/Local Guide’s commentary on a tour of the island, ending with a visit to clifftop DUN AENGUS, one of the most spectacular and dramatic prehistoric stone forts in Europe. Back in Kilronan, board your ferry for the trip back to the mainland. There are plenty of dining options in Galway this evening. (Breakfast)

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DAY 6Galway–Kilfenora–Bunratty–Adare–Killarney

Take the scenic route across the desolate limestone plateau known as The Burren. At Kilfenora, visit THE BURREN CENTRE. The newly restored ancient cathedral and Celtic crosses in the churchyard form an important center of early Christianity. Continue to Bunratty, where there is a lot to see and do: visit the castle; stroll in the folk park, which depicts Irish life in the early 1900s; browse the complex of smart shops; or try a refreshment in famous Durty Nelly’s Irish pub. Skirt the metropolis of Limerick and continue south via quaint Adare with its thatched cottages to the popular resort of Killarney, your destination for the next two nights. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Take in the beautiful scenery of the Killarney National Park 
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DAY 7Killarney. Ring of Kerry Excursion

Join the famed “Ring of Kerry” for a 100-mile panoramic drive around the island’s southwestern tip. Have your camera ready to take photos of the spectacular scenery that includes both land and sea. In Killarney, enjoy a fun horse-drawn JAUNTING CAR RIDE through the national park with beautiful vistas of the Lakes of Killarney and ancient Ross Castle. (Breakfast)

Enjoy the beautiful views along the Ring of Kerry in Ireland The Ring of Kerry is located in County Kerry, Ireland Take in the beautiful scenery of the Killarney National Park View the Ring of Kerry in southwest Ireland 
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DAY 8Killarney–Blarney–Waterford

Cross the Kerry Mountains and drive into County Cork for a visit to Blarney, renowned for its castle and magical Kissing Stone. Time for lunch, to walk up to the castle, and to shop for traditional Irish handicrafts. In the afternoon, proceed via Cork to Waterford, a stronghold founded by the Danish Vikings, and look forward to a guided tour of the HOUSE OF WATERFORD CRYSTAL. Before dinner, why not join an optional pub tour? (Breakfast, Dinner)

Blarney Castle and the Stone of Eloquence 
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DAY 9Waterford–Avoca–Glendalough–Dublin

An exciting agenda today: Enniscorthy, site of the final battle of the Great Rebellion of 1798; Ireland’s oldest HANDWEAVING MILL at Avoca; the Wicklow Mountains; and GLENDALOUGH, the early Christian monastic site founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. See the engaging audiovisual presentation Ireland of the Monasteries, then let your Local Guide show you the remains of this ecclesiastical settlement. Back in Dublin, why not join your traveling companions for a fitting farewell to Ireland. (Breakfast)

Dublin, the capital of Ireland 
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DAY 10Dublin

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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