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Emerald Landscapes, Royal Gems & Historic Jewels...Find treasures around every bend in Ireland... natural ones like sculpted cliffs that soar majestically over the rocky ocean coast below, a wild ring of scenic landscapes and lakes, the limestone Burren abundant with wildlife and basalt giants that march into the sea... cultural riches that speak volumes about Irish life, in castles, on dairy farms, in crystal and pottery factories, in poetic haunts and an Ulster Folk Park... hallowed sites that chronicle history - Trinity College, walled Derry, medieval Kilkenny, Kylemore Abbey, Georgian Dublin...
Day 1: Welcome to Ireland - Ennis & the Cliffs of Moher
Tour begins: 1:00 PM, Old Ground Hotel. A transfer is included from Shannon Airport to the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis. See the Cliffs of Moher this afternoon, and join us for a welcome dinner with local entertainment tonight.
Day 2: Meet the owners and spend time on an Irish farm, then on to Killarney
Visit a working dairy farm for a light Irish lunch and stories. Then it’s on to Killarney and a visit to Muckross House. Your accommodations for the next two nights are at Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa, where your guest room gazes out upon Killarney’s incredibly beautiful landscapes.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 3: The Ring of Kerry & Killarney National Park
Drive ‘round the Ring of Kerry amidst scenes of sandy beaches, mountains, lakes and cliffs, old oak forests and bogs. View ruins of ancient monasteries, castles and forts, and small villages, like seaside Waterville, that reveal a glimpse of local life.
Meals: B, D
Day 4: Blarney Castle, Waterford Crystal and Mount Juliet Hotel
Journey to 15th-century Blarney Castle to see - and perchance kiss? - the famous Blarney Stone. Next up is a visit to Waterford for a tour of the Waterford Crystal Visitors Centre. Stay two nights at the Mount Juliet Hotel in the heart of Kilkenny, where you’ll dine à la carte this evening.
Meals: B, D
Day 5: Kilkenny antiquities and a little country living
Explore the ruins of Jerpoint Abbey, including a cloister whose sculpted pillars reveal an ancient sense of humor, and take a guided walking tour of Kilkenny for insights into its medieval Black Abbey, Rothe House and Kilkenny Castle.
Meals: B, D
Day 6: Connemara and the Gaelic heart
Travel through the towns of Portumna on the River Shannon and Loughrea, known for its striking cathedral, on your way to fast-growing Galway City, where you’ll have time to have lunch and explore the sights. An afternoon cruise across Lough Corrib in Cong precedes your arrival at Ashford Castle for a royal two-night stay you’ll long remember.
Meals: B, D
Day 7: Kylemore Abbey & Ashford Castle in the west of Ireland
Visit lakeside Kylemore Abbey this morning; built in the late 19th century as a private residence, the castle is now home to a prestigious boarding school for girls. Return to Ashford Castle, where the remainder of the day is free.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 8: From Drumcliffe to Belleek & Enniskillen in Northern Ireland
Travel today to the foothills of Benbulben Mountain and the village of Drumcliffe, where the final resting place of poet W. B. Yeats lies in a graveyard marked by carved Irish “high crosses” dating back to a 6th-century monastery. Continue on to the villages of Mullaghmore and Ballyshannon and the market town of Belleek, for a behind-the-scenes tour of its porcelain factory. Following lunch, travel to Lough Erne Golf Resort.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 9: History lives in Derry, Omagh & the Ulster American Folk Park
En route to Derry, stop in Castlederg - once a stop along an ancient pilgrimage route, view the remains of its thatched-roof castle. A walking tour of the old city in Derry showcases its historic ramparts, marking the only completely walled city in the British Isles. Head next to Ulster American Folk Park, where you will hear the stories of three centuries of Irish emigrants who left the Emerald Isle to build new lives in North America.
Meals: B, L, D
Day 10: Titanic history in Belfast
Drive to Belfast for a day that begins with a visit to the Titanic Quarter to see the newly opened Titanic exhibit, and a brief tour of the city. This evening, a special treat - a nine-course Titanic tasting menu dinner in the sumptuous Great Room of The Merchant Hotel, honoring the ship’s grand style.
Meals: B, D
Day 11: Castles, inns, a spectacular coastal drive and the amazing Giant's Causeway
Castle towns are this morning’s focus on a stop in Carrickfergus and in Ballygally, site of a charming baronial castle that looks out over the sea. Drive on to the town of Bushmills for lunch at the Bushmills Inn whose origins date back to 1608. This afternoon explore the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over 40,000 symmetrical basalt columns lead from coastal cliffs out to the sea. Your evening is at leisure.
Meals: B, L
Day 12: The story of Saint Patrick and on to Dublin
En route to Dublin, visit the Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick, an interpretive exhibition that tells the story of Ireland’s patron saint. In Dublin a guided walking tour includes Trinity College, home to the must-see 9th-century Book of Kells. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore on your own.
Day 13: Sights of Georgian Dublin and a visit to Dublin Castle
City sightseeing today takes you down cobblestoned streets past brick Georgian row houses famous for their intricate, glass-laced doorways. Stop at Phoenix Park and Victorian St. Stephen’s Green; drive among the statues and monuments of O’Connell Street, and see the Lord Mayor’s residence. A highlight of your explorations is Tauck’s private guided visit to the State Apartments at Dublin Castle, in continuous occupation since it was built in 1204 AD. Enjoy lunch and the afternoon at your leisure. Join us for a farewell dinner at your hotel.
Meals: B, D
Day 14: Journey home
Tour ends: Dublin. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from Four Seasons Hotel Dublin to Dublin Airport. Allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport.
Stay at majestic Ashford Castle; travel to the Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher & Giants Causeway; visits to Ulster American Folk Park, Belleek Pottery factory and Waterford Crystal Visitors Centre; lunch with a family on their working dairy farm; a 9-course Titanic tasting dinner in Belfast
This Tauck Tour of Cape Cod, The Islands was exceptional. The tour guide and the driver were exceptionally friendly, informed and courteous. All the amenities; the food, the lodging, the side excursions were excellent. I would recommend this trip to anyone. P.S. The tour even send extensive information before the tour to inform and prepare us for touring this area of the country, telling us how to pack and providing all the necessary information to prepare us for emergencies and other contingency plans. Very helpful.
Tauck is the very best. Dinners were fabulous and private tours were super. This was our 7th Tauck tour and we will be back again.
As always, Tauck trips are the best. You get great tour directors, great accommodations, excellent dining experiences and completely unique visits to not only the usual sights, but to little known delights.
The tour guide was phenomenal and so were the first and last hotels. The third hotel had serious air conditioning concerns, which the tour guide will follow up on. Short pretour or post tour excursions are greatly needed.
The Ireland Forever trip was fantastic. I would definitely recommend it. My 12 year old granddaughter and I went and she loved every minute. it was the perfect family trip and choice for her with the Irish dancing, cooking school, farm visit, pottery/jewelry making and Dublin treasure hunt. All so much fun. We learned a lot about Ireland and its history, too. Staying at the beautiful Castlemartyr country estate and Dromoland Castle were outstanding experiences of country Ireland at its best.
We were very pleased with the added activities which were available only through Tauck. The travel exceeded our expectations.
This trip was complementary to the Central Europe tour we did two years ago. Really enjoyed getting the story of all these countries that were behind the Iron Curtain and are free today.
All of the hotels and all of the local tour guides were outstanding.
Booked with your company for the first time and agent was great. He got all my questions answered and there were many. Tauck trip to Japan was outstanding. Would recommend it highly.
Tauck is the best...again. The bar is set high and they meet it. We had a fairy tale trip that was just wonderful.
The tour was great - guide very professional. Only criticisms - didn't like hotels in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. I think Tauck could have done better. Also would have preferred more time in Buenos Aires and less time in Rio de Janeiro.
Our guide was outstanding. Everything was well planned and went smoothly.
The tour director was excellent. She attended to many details to make us comfortable with no stress.
At the Omni, Mt. Washington I was surprised that our room had a view of the roof one floor below us. When I mentioned this to our tour guide she said she had no control over the rooms, When I asked the Omni staff they said they weren't sure what could be done and that we may want to check with our tour guide. The problem I have with this is that on the part of our guide and the hotel staff neither party wanted to be of service - they both passed on it. There may in fact be nothing that could be done, but the more Egregious Part Is That There Was No Attempt To Resolve A Customer's Problem. I was somewhat shocked by that. It was contrary to everything I had heard and seen about Tauck prior to our trip.
Amazing trip. Wonderful. Tauck provided great services. It would be advisable for people to have a clarification of the need for yellow fever shots. Also there should be more warning on altitude sickness.
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