The meals that are included on the tour are specified for each date: Breakfast (B) and Dinner (D). Lunches are not included in the tour but there will be designated lunch stops each day.
DAY 1 - Sunday, Aug. 29
Flight on your own to Dublin, Ireland.
DAY 2 - Monday, Aug. 30 (D)
After your flight arrives, you are on your own to explore the many sites in Dublin. Recommended sites are the Book of Kells, Guinness Storehouse, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Grafton Street. We will meet in the hotel lobby at 5:30 p.m. and will eat dinner as a group at the hotel.
Lodging: Sheldon Park Hotel, Dublin - www.sheldonpark.ie OR comparable
DAY 3 - Tuesday, Aug. 31 (B, D)
We go to Killarney with a stop in Adare for free time to explore. Adare is a small village in County Limerick, Ireland, located southwest of the city of Limerick. Renowned as one of Ireland's prettiest towns, Adare is designated as a heritage town by the Irish government.
Lodging: Arbutus Killarney - www.arbutuskillarney.com
DAY 4 - Wednesday, Sept. 1 (B)
The Ring of Kerry is one of Ireland’s best known attractions on the southwest side of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. We will observe dramatic sea views, sheer cliffs and ever changing skies. Rural sheep farming is a way of life here, carried on in green fields and valleys divided by ancient stone walls. Our tour will take us through quaint villages and towns dotted along the coastal route with their old world pubs, restaurants and craft centres. We will visit the birthplace of Daniel O’Connell, the Liberator, and his ancestral home at Derrynane House. The area is surrounded by Ireland’s highest mountain ranges reaching down to the wild Atlantic Ocean and perched on the very edge of the continent of Europe. We will drive through Killarney’s National Park with its world-renowned scenic locations such as Molls Gap and Torc Waterfall and home to Ireland’s only surviving herd of native red deer and the recently reintroduced rare white-tailed sea eagles. The tour will conclude with a visit of the exterior of Killarney’s Muckross House and Gardens.
Lodging: Arbutus Killarney
DAY 5 - Thursday, Sept. 2 (B)
Today we visit the Dingle Peninsula, taking in Inch Beach, the scenic driving route of Slea Head with its magnificent views of the Great Blasket Islands, the wild Atlantic Ocean and ancient Beehive Huts. We'll also visit the Blasket Centre, Louis Mulcahy Pottery, Kilmakedar Church and Monastic Site. The tour group will also stop in the quaint fishing town of Dingle, visiting arts and crafts shops on Green Street, local eateries, Dick Mack’s famous old world pub, and a walk through its busy fishing port and marina. The tour continues with a visit to the village of Annascaul, birthplace of Tom Crean, the Antarctic explorer who was a member of three of the four major British expeditions to Antarctica during the heroic age of Antarctic exploration, including Robert Scott’s 1911-13 Tera Nova Expedition which saw the race to reach the South Pole lost to Roald Amundsen. We will visit Tom Crean’s burial place and the South Pole Inn where he spent the remainder of his life until his death in 1938.
Lodging: Arbutus Killarney
DAY 6 - Friday, Sept. 3 (B)
We start with an early morning visit to Blarney Castle and Woolen Mills where you will have the opportunity to kiss the Blarney Stone and be bestowed with the “Gift of Eloquence”. We will drive into Cork City to the English Market where Queen Elizabeth 11 paid a visit during her Royal Visit to Ireland in 2011. Cork City, which is Ireland’s second largest city, is rich in history and tradition with a unique blend of contemporary style and old world charm. Pedestrian laneways, narrow streets, small boutiques, galleries, gourmet food shops and a host of interesting pubs fan out across the city. We will have lunch in one of the famous Cork pubs on Cornmarket Street, The Bodega, or the Cornmarket Bar. Then we visit St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral in the heart of Cork City, which was built on a site where St. Fin Barre founded his first monastic site and church during the 7th century. We also visit the 17th century Charles Fort which overlooks Kinsale and was built to protect Kinsale from invasions. One such invasion was The Spanish Armada of 1601 that was led by Don Juan Del Aquila. The invaders entered the harbor unopposed and together with Irish forces eventually fought a famous battle with the English which would change forever the historical landscape of Ireland and heralded the end to the ancient Irish way of life and old Gaelic order. We will visit Ringfinnan Memorial Garden dedicated to Father Mychal Judge and the 343 firefighters who died in the Twin Towers of The World Trade Centre. Free time is given to provide you with an opportunity to stroll and browse through the narrow streets and numerous craft shops of Kinsale and enjoy lunch before returning to Killarney.
Lodging: Arbutus Killarney
DAY 7 - Saturday, Sept. 4 (B, D)
We leave Killarney and go on a scenic drive through County Kerry to the car ferry crossing of the River Shannon estuary to County Clare. One hour later finds you at the Cliffs of Moher, the most famous and spectacular sea cliffs in Europe. On the way to the Cliffs you will pass through the villages and towns of Kilrush, Quilty and Milltown Malbay before you have a brief stop in the seaside town of Lahinch, famous for its golf course and surfing. Near the Cliffs you will enter the village of Liscannor, birthplace of John Philip Holland, inventor of the submarine. The Cliffs of Moher are spectacular, rising 720 feet above sea level and offering stunning views of the Aran Islands. Lunch will be in Doolin Village which is regarded as the spiritual home of traditional Irish music. We will pass through the karst limestone landscape of Burren National Park, visiting the 13th century Cistercian Abbey at Corcomroe, the Burren Perfumery and the Neolithic Poulnabrone portal tomb on the way to the hotel.
Lodging: Peacockes Hotel - www.peacockes.ie
DAY 8 - Sunday, Sept. 5 (B, D)
The 12th century city of Galway on the banks of the River Corrib is the gateway to Connemara. We will travel through the picturesque towns of Moycullen and Oughterard, stop at John Ford’s Quiet Man Bridge before arriving at Maam Cross in the heart of the Maumturk Mountains. We will continue to the market town of Clifden, capital town of Connemara and on to Derrygimlagh Bog where the aviators Alcock and Brown were forced to land after making the first non-stop west to east transatlantic flight in 1919. This stretch of Atlantic coast through Ballyconneely and Roundstone has to be the most scenic in all of Ireland. We will also visit the Benedictine Monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle in Connemara, Co. Galway. The Abbey was founded for Benedictine nuns who fled Belgium in World War 1. It is set amongst Victorian walled gardens in a stunning location on the shores of Kylemore Lake. We return to Galway via the scenic Lough Inagh and drive through the Twelve Bens & Maum Turk mountain ranges. We then go back to Dublin.
Lodging: Premier Inn Dublin Airport - https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/hotels/republic-of-ireland/dublin/swords/dublin-airport.html OR comparable
DAY 9 – Monday, Sept. 6 (B, D)
You either fly home full of great Irish memories or continue on to Glasgow, Scotland. For those going to Glasgow, we will arrive in the mid-afternoon and will stay at an airport near the hotel. You can go explore Glasgow on your own or just relax and prepare for our time in Scotland.
Lodging: Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport - www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/glasgow/glwre/hoteldetail OR comparable
DAY 10 – Tuesday, Sept. 7 (B)
Today we will explore some of the mainland Scotland’s most memorable sights. We start with a saunter around Loch Lomond in the pretty village of Luss. A perfect spot to drink a coffee and sing the "Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond." Next we go through the unforgettable landscapes of Glencoe before a lunch stop at the traditional Clachaig Inn. Now it’s time to reach the remote wilds of Scotland. We hop on a 10-minute ferry to a mountainous peninsula and travel to the port of Lochaline. Here we board another ferry and make your way to the east coast of Mull. Wild nature is abundant here, and your first glimpse of the magic is in Aros Park, a beautiful area boasting waterfalls and forest footpaths. In the early evening, we arrive in Tobermory with time to wander.
Lodging: Park Lodge Hotel - https://www.park-lodge-tobermory.co.uk/
DAY 11 – Wednesday, Sept. 8 (B)
Saying goodbye to lovely Tobermory is hard, but don’t worry, you’ll be back in the evening.
This morning, you travel past epic mountains to the south of Mull. This is where we will take a ferry to two of the most mysterious and dramatic locations in the region, Iona Abbey and Fingal’s Cave. One is an ancient religious site and the other is an unforgettable geological wonder. After satisfying your adventurous spirit, we take you north back to Tobermory. Maybe it’s time to try the seafood.
Lodging: Park Lodge Hotel
DAY 12 - Thursday, Sept. 9 (B, D)
We travel south to Craignure to catch our ferry back to the mainland. The ferry arrives in Oban where we have time to taste the fantastic local seafood and wander around this Victorian harbor town. We then venture to Kilmartin Glen, an archaeologist’s dream. Within this area, there are around 800 ancient monuments, including burial chambers, rock carvings, standing stones, castles and more. Our guide will help you understand the significance of these and make the best use of your time here. Our last stop before arriving in Glasgow for the evening is Inveraray, a gorgeous little town boasting an impressive view over Loch Fyne.
Lodging: Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport
DAY 13 - Friday, Sept. 10 (B)
We fly home full of memories of Ireland and Scotland!
Please note that while changes to the tour are not likely, weather, site renovations, and other factors could keep the tour group from any given site or could require a change of lodging. Any changes will be comparable in value.
Tour Costs and Payments
$2,100 (per person) for a double occupancy room and $2,500 for a single occupancy room (Ireland only); Scotland extension adds $1,140 for a double and $1,440 for a single.
$300 (per person) deposit will secure your place on this tour. Please include your completed Registration Form with the deposit; Terms & Conditions and the Registration Form can be found at https://internationaltourco.com/important-documents
Your balance is due by June 10, 2021.
You may purchase your tour with a check or credit/debit card. Please make your check payable to International Tour Company and put 2021 Ireland Tour in the memo line.
You may give a check to Aaron Garber in person or mail it to:
International Tour Company
P.O. Box 23
Cloverdale, VA 24077-0023
You may pay with a credit/debit card by calling 540-404-1918. There is a 3% fee added to credit card payments.
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