9 Nights 10 Days, Sunday, September 20th through Wednesday, September 30th 2020
Day 2 - Monday, Sept, 21th We arrive in Dublin early morning Monday. After collecting our luggage and clearing customs, we will board our 1st class coach and drive through the city of Dublin! We will stop at the McDonalds in Dublin for a pee break and a bite to eat! Originally we were going to 'The Rock of Cashel' on our last day. But with our new schedule we are stopping at the Rock this morning! According to local mythology, the Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil's Bit, a mountain 20 miles (30 km) north of Cashel when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock's landing in Cashel. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century. The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion. In 1101, the King of Munster, Muirchertach Ua Briain, donated his fortress on the Rock to the Church. The picturesque complex has a character of its own and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. Few remnants of the early structures survive; the majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries. Our next stop will be at The Bunratty Folk Park. where you will get a chance to breath fresh Irish air and get over your jet lag. We will have time to explore and enjoy all that the village of Bunratty offers as well as 'The Bunratty Castle' and 'Bunratty Folk Park'. Admission to the castle and park are included in your package. Enjoy the fascinating 15th century castle and the 26 acres on which an 18th-century rural village was completely and authentically reconstructed and re-presented. Since you will only be in two rooms of the castle tonight, I suggest you trundle up to the ramparts for a view of the area that had once been reserved for the castle’s lords, ladies and defenders! You could easily spend the day in the Park which showcases 30 individual buildings from manor house to a fully licensed pub! We will check-in at 'The Bunratty Castle Hotel, after you are settled, you’ll have time to relax in the spacious and comfortable lobby or have a drink at the bar or on the lovely outdoor terrace before dinner. Dinner tonight is at the world-famous Durty Nelly’s!
This Tour has a 4-Star Tour rating!
Father Jack and the Prince of Peace Tour
Day 8 - Sunday, Sept, 27th a After a full Irish breakfast, we'll check out of The Abby Hotel. For those of us that wish to attend Mass we will have a short walk up the hill to Saint Patrick's Catholic Church. After mass, we’ll board our coach about 9 AM and travel South-East to the lovely River Shannon and the medieval town of Athlone. A city at the geographic center of Ireland and due to natural features of the geology, also at the center of East-West and North-South routes of trade and seasonal migrations commerce from pre-history. Athlone’s location made it a seat of secular and ecclesiastic power. We’ll be visiting Sean’s Pub, seated at the ancient crossing point of the River Shannon since 900AD. Tourlough O’Connor an High King of Ireland built the first wooden castle at the Crossing Point in 1129. The age of the pub has been well documented by the National Museum, Dublin which has many artifacts from the pub on display. In 2004, Guinness Book of Records named Sean’s as the oldest pub in Europe now clocking in at 1,119 years old. Your tour guide, Anne, will buy you lunch and a drink at, Sean's Bar. During lunch, you’ll be regaled, educated, amused and mesmerized by Tim (the senior man in management) who entertains everyone with his lively explanation of how they invented whiskey right on the spot you’re standing. We reluctantly leave Sean’s and now from the secular-to the sacred as we follow the course of the River Shannon South to the major, historic monastic and Christian settlement of Clonmacnoise (founded about 548 by St Kiernan) for our 3:15 audio-visual presentation than our guided tour. Clonmacnoise is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which Pope John Paul II thought significant enough to visit during his visit to Dublin in 1979. We’ll first enjoy a video which recants the significant people and events in the settlement during its1500 year plus history. We’ll than have a short guided tour of the site to include three stone, Celtic crosses (oldest, The Cross of the Scriptures from 900). Then a short ride to the town of Tullamore where we’ll check in to 'The Bridge House Hotel' for the next two nights. Dinner tonight will be at the hotel.
* Airfare from Dublin to Philadelphia (With the air option)
Day 6 - Friday, Sept, 25th 2020 After a full Irish Breakfast, we will check out of, The Wyatt Hotel about 10 am and head North to, 'The Abby Hotel' in the lovely town of Donegal. Our first stop will be the 'Foxford Woolen Mills' where you can find great buys on area products and learn the inspiring story of the woman who founded the woolen mill in 1892. Then a stop at 'The Museum of Country Life’. The museum is on the beautiful grounds and gardens of Turlough Park estate. The Museum of Country Life has exhibitions spread over four floors, which give a glimpse how the people of rural Ireland lived in the hundred years between the Great Famine and the end of the 1950s. By contrast, the original 19th century, Irish Gothic manor house shows us how the landowners lived. You may also want to visit the Victorian greenhouse, gift shop and café for a scone and tea. As we travel through County Sligo we will stop at Yeats Grave at Drumcliff. Our hotel in Donegal is at the center of the Diamond walking distance to Pubs and Shopping. The location of tonights is still to be determined. After dinner Patrick will walk with you around the corner to the river and escort you into The Reel Inn or The Scotsman Pub for an evening of Irish Music.
Belowis our friend Fred Chapell, being interviewed by Ireland
TV. His bit is at the end of this video about Durty Nelly's!
Start with the button in the middle of the screen.
Day 4 - Wednesday, Sept, 23rd After a Full Irish breakfast, we’ll check out of 'The Bunratty Castle Hotel' and hate an early start (leave at 9am) and head North along the Atlantic Ocean to the hustle and bustle of the university city of Galway. Known as, “The City of the Tribes” Galway is a Medieval city that was granted permission by the English King to be walled in 1484; a large portion of the wall can still be seen along with its history in the Eyre Square Shopping Center. We’ll arrive in Galway at about 10:15 and leave at 1:30. We each will enjoy 3 hours on our own to discover the uniqueness of Galway. Again, your guide will orient you to the numerous sights to see in Galway which include: “Shop St”, three blocks of pedestrians only” wandering among traditional, Irish specialty shops; Galway City Market (Church La. Off of Shop St) a unique, centuries-old, open-air market where you can visit is it the local artisans’ stalls or grab lunch al fresco; Galway City Museum near the Spanish Gate (admission is free) to learn more about Galway’s history; or find a good pub for lunch like, 'The King’s Head'. We’ll leave Galway and travel the N67 to Cong.
We will pass through Neale, home of Ireland’s only step pyramid. You will view it from the coach. It was built in the eighteenth century by the first Baron of Kilmaine, John Brown to remember his dog… or his brother Sir. George (there is still speculation if he built it for his dog or his brother!). Cong is an ancient and odd village surrounded by water with a modern claim to fame: ‘The Quiet Man’ starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara was filmed here. It is also home to the World renowned Ashford Castle and grounds. Your guide Anne will lead a casual, walking tour of the old Abbey grounds for those who are interested in the famous and infamous figures from tiny Cong’s history. Or simply come along to enjoy the serenity of a once sacred landscape. We will take a short ride to ‘The Holy Shrine of Knock’ where we can say a prayer for our friends who may not be as pure as we know we are! When we leave Knock, we will ride to Swinford where Patrick will buy us a Pint or a Hot Whiskey at Bolands! Bolands is a typical Irish neighborhood bar Seamus the barman (also the owner) is Patrick's cousin. Today's final destination is, The Wyatt Hotel in Westport, County Mayo, where we will be for the next two nights. Dinner tonight will be at the Wyatt Hotel.
Day 1 - Sunday, Sept. 20th, 2020 we will meet at 'The Prince of Peace Church's parking lot and at 5:00 pm we will be taken by luxury coach to Philadelphia International Airport, where we will catch our overnight flight to Dublin, Ireland. If you are booking your own Airfare, Be sure you call Patrick, He will pick you up at your hotel, or plan to meet you on Monday morning.
2 Nights at, 'The Bunratty Castle Hotel' in Shannon.
2 nights at, 'The Wyatt Hotel' in Westport.
2 Nights at, the 'Abbey Hotel' in Donegal
2 Nights at, The Bridge House Hotel' in Tullamore
1 Night at 'The Clayton Hotel', County Dublin
Adults Double Occupancy $2,104, Land Option
Adults Double Occupancy $3,095, Full Package with airfare
Children under 16 yrs old, $1,788 land
Children under 16 yrs old, $2,631 includes airfare
Single Supplement $712.
DOUBLE CLICKON ANY VIEDO AFTER IT IS OPEN TO ENLARGE IT!
Due to the changes we had to make with the Coronavirus, some of the days and dates are out of order, Times and dates have been changed but everything from the original posting of this tour is still included.
Day 9 - Monday, Sept, 28th After a full Irish Breakfast at 'The Bridge House Hotel', The morning is yours you will have time to explore the town or just relax. Then at 1:30 we leave on a very short coach ride through the oldest, deepest forests of Charleville Demesne to the Most Haunted Castle in Ireland, Charleville Castle 1pm. We have a private, guided tour of the castle and thank goodness the summer days stay light ‘til late because even the guides won't stay after dark! Charleville Castle has a reputation as the “most haunted castle and grounds in Europe”. It appeared on Living TV's “Most Haunted “and Fox's, “Scariest Places on Earth”. It also was featured on,” Ghost Hunters International”. The most frequently seen of these ghosts is that of a little girl called Harriet, who died after a fall in a staircase. Whether it was a fall or whether she was thrown is the source of why she still appears. It has also been visited by numerous paranormal investigators and psychics. To steady our nerves after Charleville, we visit Tullamore D.E.W. Distillery for a tour and a tasting at Tullamore D.E.W. 3:30 of what we think is Ireland’s best whiskey. The distillery was built on, "The Grand Canal”, a Public Works Project started in 1757 to provide Guinness Brewery and other merchants in Dublin a cheap means of access to the Shannon River and distribution of goods to the west of Ireland. Dinner tonight is a short ride from our hotel to the award-winning, ‘Sirocco’s Restaurant’ 6:30 pm. It’s the best Italian restaurant we have ever found in Ireland.
Day - 10 Tuesday, Sept, 29th after a full Irish breakfast, we’ll Check-out of, our hotel. Originally we were going to 'The Rock of Cashel' but we stopped there on our 1st day in Ireland!. Our hotel for the night will be The Clayton Hotel in Leopardstown, Dublin. Tonight we will enjoy dinner and a great Irish Music show at 'Taylor's 3 Rock'. Watch the video below!
Day 5 - Thursday, Sept, 24th After a full Irish breakfast at the Wyatt hotel, we will have time to relax and wander through the lovely town of Westport on your own. We will leave the hotel about 1:00pm and drive 8 short miles to, 'Ballintubber Abbey',“The Church that refused to die!” Catholic mass has been said here daily since its founding in 1216. However, at this site 800 years earlier St. Patrick baptized the Irish at the pagan Druidic well for which the town is named. The well is still in existence. We’ll have a private, guided tour and watch a video about the Abbey’s fascinating and terrifying history during Oliver Cromwell’s campaigns against Catholics and the Irish in the 16th century. This afternoon when we leave Ballintubber, we will go to Achill Island. We will enjoy the stunning views of the Atlantic ocean from the Atlantic Coast road. Anne will narrate and explain the unusual flora and environs that are found on Achill. Rhododendron hedges, Fuschia huge calla lilies, and wild rhubarb from Jurassaic Park. If weather conditions are right, Mother Nature will put on quite a show along the drive. We’ll stop along the way and have a photo opportunity on "The Wild Atlantic Way". When we head back across the Michael Davitt Bridge at Achill Sound, it’s a short ride to Nevin's Inn where we’ll have dinner about 6:30. Once back in Westport, any night-owls in the group can do a very short walk to, 'Matt Molloy's' Pub'. It’s a must for music lovers! Matt Molloy won several 'Grammy's' playing the flute with the 'The Chieftains'. If you have the luck of the Irish, you may actually meet Matt who does frequent the pub.
Day 7 - Saturday, September 26th 2020After a full Irish Breakfast at The Abby Hotel, We take a quick step across the boarder into Northern Ireland to visit Belleek Potery. After shopping for fine pottery and Galway Crystal we will return to Donegal where we will enjoy a private guided tour of Donegal Castle. You will have time to shop and explore Donegal Town. In while in Donegal Town I ran into Catherine Zeta-Jones at the wool shop. I hope you are as lucky! Tonight our Dinner location is to be determined.
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Day 3 - Tuesday, Sept, 22nd After a well-needed rest and a full Irish breakfast at Hotel, we will Board our coach and travel north to The Cliff of Moher. We will enjoy the view from 702 feet above the sea. Cliffs of Moher is world famous for the breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean, Mother Nature will decide how long we stay at the cliffs! If you like you can have lunch or a snack at the Café. We’ll leave the Cliffs and return to Bunratty. Tonight we’ll be reveling with the lords and ladies who will serve and entertain us as characters at the Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet and show.
This Tour is at Activity Level one, 1
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