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Country Roads of Ireland (Winter)

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Fully Guided Coach Group Winter Scenic
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 Trip Length
12 Days
 Trip Starts
Dublin
 Trip Finishes
Belfast
12 Day Country Roads of Ireland (Winter) Itinerary (Insight Vacations)
Countries Explored: Ireland, Northern Ireland
Trip Styles
Winter , Country Roads
Accommodation
4 - 4.5 Star
Max. Group Size
40
Guide Level
Fully Guided
Trip Code
W909-1

Overview

Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on Insight Vacations 12 Day Country Roads of Ireland (Winter). Let the luck of the Irish be with you on this 12-day guided tour across Ireland. Start the tour in Dublin, where you get up close to the Book of Kells, an ancient Gospel manuscript filled with mythical beasts and Celtic knots. In Kilkenny, try your hand at hurling, a 3,000-year-old sport, in a private lesson with a professional. A chef will share traditional Irish recipes at a farm-to-table feast in Killarney. You'll see the Ring of Kerry, a mystical, verdant peninsula dotted with seaside villages....read more Finally, step onto Giant's Causeway with it's basalt columns carved onto the coast by volcanic lava, or a giant's feet, if Irish myth is to be believed.

Itinerary

On arrival at Dublin airport, transfers leave for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner, with the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a meal with wine. (DW) Stay: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin.

Become acquainted with Dublin's elegant squares during an orientation of the city. Discover Custom House, Christchurch Cathedral and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Enjoy entrance to the 9th century Book of Kells and a walk through the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College accompanied by a Local Expert. (B) Stay: Trinity City Hotel, Dublin / Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin.

Travel to the medieval city of Kilkenny to visit the majestic Kilkenny Castle. With a Local Expert, learn how the castle was built in 1195 after the Norman Conquest of Ireland and admire its beautifully restored Victorian era rooms. Continue through Cahir and see its imposing 13th century castle, featured in the film 'Excalibur', on the way to Cork.

On arrival, your Travel Director will show you around the compact university city, with its vibrant waterfront and grand Georgian parades. (B) Stay: Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City.

Travel to the ruined Blarney Castle. Will you hang upside down from the ramparts to kiss the stone and ensure a lifetime of eloquence? Or enjoy a sensory walk in the extensive and varied estate gardens. Travel across the majestic Derrynasaggart Mountains to the lively town of Killarney. For your Farm-to-Table dining experience, enjoy some Irish home cooking in the kitchens of chef John Sheehan.

Join John and Freda, your hosts at the 19th Green Guesthouse, and savour the delicious flavours of fresh local cuisine on this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. Gather together at a Farm-to-Table dinner, using responsibly sourced ingredients from the local community, and gain personal insight into classic Irish recipes that are loved throughout the world. (B/DW) Stay: Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.

Start your day with Insight Choice. Choose a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local jarveys. Alternatively, join a gentle hike with a Local Expert along the lake shore and past the grounds of Ross Castle, admiring the incredible scenery of the National Park. While there aren't any mountains to climb, walkers should be fit, have good walking shoes or boots, sunscreen and rain gear.

Explore around the magnificent Ring of Kerry. Here, mountains, valleys, lakes and sea blend into a landscape that is breathtaking beyond words. Journey past lush lakelands and around towering cliffs as you appreciate sweeping sea views.

Continue through delightful villages like Sneem and cross the peat bogs of the Black Mountains to Moll's Gap to admire Queen Victoria's Ladies View. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Maybe take the opportunity to hire a bicycle and enjoy one of the many scenic trails around the lake or through the National Park. (B)

In the morning, take to the wide skies, peaceful towns and coastal scenery of the Dingle Peninsula - the setting for the film Ryan's Daughter. Drive to dramatic Slea Head at the peninsula's far end, then continue through the picturesque thatched village of Adare before reaching your hotel. (B) Stay: Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel & Spa, Limerick.

Journey to the Visitor Centre at the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Clare Coast before a delightful drive through the strange, rocky landscape of the Burren to Galway Bay. On arrival, see the Lynch Memorial and Church of St. Nicholas, where Christopher Columbus reputedly prayed before his voyages to America. See the Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President, John F. Kennedy. (B/DW) Stay: Harbour Hotel Galway.

Spend a day at leisure to relax and enjoy Galway. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to Kylemore Abbey, fo unded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I? (B)

Admire the Blue Stack Mountains of Donegal as you cross into Northern Ireland, bound for the ancient walled city of 'Derry.' What better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he takes you on a tour inside the city walls, still topped with cannons. Walk down steep Shipquay Street, with its elegant Georgian houses, to the Gothic Guildhall. (B/DW) Stay: Maldron Hotel Derry, Londonderry.

Journey to the iconic Giant's Causeway for a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. Learn how the National Trust is enabling farming and biodiversity to work together, supporting both wildlife and quality food production. Next, prepare yourself for miles of breathtaking beauty as you travel along the road clinging to the Antrim Coast.

Continue onto your hotel, overlooking Ballygally Bay. For those who are brave enough, perhaps check out The Ghost Room, in one of the castle's turrets? In the evening, please join us for a finale Celebration Dinner, where old-fashioned hospitality is blended with good food and wine for an experience that delights the senses. (B/DW) Stay: Ballygally Castle Hotel, Co. Antrim.

Continue around the Antrim Coast, past the huge Norman castle at Carrickfergus, to arrive in the Northern Ireland capital of Belfast. Meet Hilda, your Local Expert, for a passionate city tour including views of the City Hall, Queen's University, the Parliament Building at Stormont and murals in different locations indicating political sentiments of local residents. (B) Stay: Europa Hotel, Belfast.

Departure transfers arrive at Belfast George Best City Airport at 08:00 and Belfast International Airport at 08:45. (B)

Trip Inclusions

  • Dublin: During your orientation with your Travel Director, see Custom House and travel along the River Liffey. See the Guinness Brewery, Christchurch Cathedral and St. Patrick's Cathedral.
  • Cahir: See one of the largest castles in Ireland.
  • Cork: Your Travel Director will show you the Grand Parade and South Mall, along with City Hall and the Opera House.
  • Blarney: It is said that those who kiss the Blarney Stone are bestowed with the power to persuade, flatter and coax. But to do so, you must dangle from the ramparts! Visit Blarney Castle and see the famous Stone of Eloquence.
  • Ring of Kerry: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and remote villages, as you journey the magical Ring of Kerry.
  • Killarney: Enjoy hearing of the history of Killarney during your city orientation.
  • Dingle Peninsula: Enjoy a scenic drive to Slea Head.
  • Adare: Experience a village walk through the main street lined with thatched cottages.
  • Cliffs of Moher: Stop by the Exhibition Centre and look out over the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.
  • Galway: Enjoy an orientation tour of the many landmarks in Galway such as the Lynch Memorial, Church of St. Nicholas, Spanish Arch and Eyre Square.
  • Ballygalley: Explore this seaside town with your Travel Director.
  • Carrickfergus: See the immense Castle as your drive around it.
  • Belfast: Meet Hilda, a true Belfast local, having lived in the same house her entire life. During your panoramic tour, hear about the history of the city and learn why Hilda is proud of its progress and current prosperity. You'll also see the City Hall, Queen's University, Parliament Building at Stormont and murals in different locations indicating political sentiments of local residents.
  • Kilkenny: Visit Kilkenny Castle with a Local Expert. On a guided tour, learn the history of this magnificent castle and that of the powerful family that came to call it home for so many centuries.
  • Londonderry: There's no better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he takes you on a tour inside the city walls. See the Gothic Guildhall and the Georgian houses of Shipquay Street.

Choose between two carefully selected activities

  • Killarney: Enjoy a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local jarveys as you explore the lush scenery of Killarney National Park.
  • Killarney: Join a gentle hike with a nature guide in Killarney National Park and admire stunning mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls. Stroll along the lake shore and past the impressive 15th Century Ross Castle and the famous Muckross Estate, a charming 19th Century mansion and grounds.

  • Killarney: Meet passionate restaurant owners John and Freda at their beautiful guesthouse in Killarney, where you'll hear more about their farm-to-table concept, while enjoying a delicious meal made from fresh ingredients sourced within a five mile radius. John and Freda have a policy that all food is sourced locally from farms and the coach of the Emerald Isle. On the farm they also grow and harvest all their own fruit and veg. They educate their visitors about sustainable consumption and the benefits of eating fresh homegrown produce. This experience advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production.
  • Giant's Causeway: Visit the legendary Giant's Causeway, site of wonders. At the visitor centre, learn about the efforts to protect biodiversity and ecosystems, participating in habitat restoration. The National Trust charity has been undertaking replanting activities in Innisfree Farm, adjacent to the Causeway. By sowing a field of Herbal Ley seed mixes containing up to 17 different species, they have prioritized biodiversity and quality food production leaving a low carbon footprint. This experience advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land.

  • Dublin: Join your Travel Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner, an opportunity to get to know each other over a meal with wine.
  • Ballygalley: The Irish call it 'craic' - the warm feeling resulting from the confluence of music, drink, good food, laughter, and conversation. And after circumnavigating the Emerald Isle, there's bound to be a fair share of craic at your grand finale Celebration Dinner. Sláinte!
  • Dining Summary: 5 Dinners with Wine (DW), 11 Breakfasts (B)

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Price is for land, cruise and internal flights as specified. Flights not specified are not included
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Prices & Dates

There are currently no departures available on this trip. Either it's the end of the season and new departures will be released shortly, or this itinerary has been changed and will no longer continue. Feel free to contact us for information about when next seasons dates will be released or click here to view the general release dates for all destinations.

Note
Tour & cruises prices are per person. Prices shown have savings applied, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Prices and trip information are correct at the time at this point in time, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking and are subject to change by Insight Vacations. For cruise itineraries, cabin images are sourced from Insight Vacations. These should be treated as indicative only. Cabin inclusions, upholsteries and room layout may differ to the image(s) shown depending on the ship selected and your sailing dates.

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