Best of Ireland

Best of Ireland
Walk through Europe’s largest enclosed urban park and see Ireland’s Presidential residence, visit Ireland’s cultural heart where its language, music, and dance traditions are alive and well, and discover the beauty of the Emerald coast.
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Day 1 Start tour
Day 2 Hello Dublin
Meet your tour director and check into hotel
Dublin city walk
O’Connell StreetParnell SquareHenry Street
Details: Dublin city walk
Get a friendly introduction to Ireland’s capital city, compliments of your Tour Director. Discover an urban landscape of Georgian buildings, castles and cathedrals. Stroll bustling O’Connell Street, once (at 150 ft wide) the widest street in Europe, and still the busiest thoroughfare in Dublin. Pass shop after shop of local and global wares and flairs, and a lush street-meridian lined with tall trees and ebony statues of Irish leaders. Make your way to the end of the strip to Parnell Square, an antique scape of red brick townhouses and classic Irish theaters. As you wander the streets, take in the international glamour of Ireland’s most cosmopolitan city.
Day 3 Dublin landmarks
Dublin guided sightseeing tour
Phoenix ParkSt. Patrick’s CathedralTrinity College Book of Kells visit
Traditional public house dinner
Details: Dublin guided sightseeing tour
Join a professional licensed tour guide on an adventure to Dublin’s finest attractions. Pass the residence of Ireland’s president along your journey through Phoenix Park. Within Europe’s grandest enclosed park, encounter 1,760 undeveloped acres scattered with cricket pitches, grazing cows, and red deer. Stop to eye a stone phoenix rising from flames atop the Corinthian-style Phoenix Column. Tour the roads along the River Liffey to 12th-century St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the largest of its kind in all Ireland. Get a glimpse of the neighboring park where St. Patrick (who brought Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century) baptized converts. Continue on to Trinity College, the stone-clad sprawling campus where Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett studied. Stop by the Long Room in the Old Library for a zoom-view of the illuminated edition of four Gospels, the Book of Kells. The original manuscript was penned in Latin around AD 800 by four Irish Monks who used multicolored ink from plants and bugs. Take some time to study the brilliant latticework of curvy Celtic symbols woven with animal figures that enlivens the script.
Day 4 Dublin--Galway
Travel to Galway
Details: Knowth excursion
Knowth, regarded as one of the most remarkable prehistoric monuments in the world, consists of one large mound containing two passage tombs surrounded by eighteen smaller mounds. The largest of the mounds is known as Site 1. This great monument covers about half a hectare (approx. 1.5 acres) and is 95 meters across at its widest point. Around the entrances to the tombs are settings of unusual stones such as quartz, granite and banded stones. Smaller tombs, some of which are connected to the large tomb, cluster around the great mound.
Day 5 Galway landmarks
Galway city walk
Spanish ArchQuay StreetSt. Nicholas’ ChurchEyre Square
Kylemore Abbey visit
Details: Galway city walk
Meet and greet the bayside city likened to San Francisco on a friendly foot tour led by your Tour Director. Discover a traditional Gaelic culture turned trendy with college students, artists and writers in the midst of a buzzing Bohemian culture of 50,000 people. The journey begins at the Spanish Arch (actually a pair of stone arches speckled with greenery) constructed to guard the quays where Spanish merchants docked their boats. Stroll along residential Quay Street into bustling High Street, a micro shopping mecca lined with all kinds of shops, coffeehouses and outside eateries. Venture outside the buzz and discover a one-of-a-kind pyramid-shaped spire atop Ireland’s second largest medieval parish house, St. Nicholas Church. Meander through Eyre Square’s Kennedy Memorial Park, a green oasis where locals gather to lounge, socialize and attend musical performances. Bordering the lush grounds, find the 17th-century Brown Doorway, a real entryway transported in 1900 from its original location at the Brown Mansion. Another highlight is the original set of cannons from the Crimean War, and the bubbling fountain adorned with a steel sculpture of a traditional broad-masted ship (hooker).
Details: Connemara excursion
Venture outside city limits in search of Ireland’s mystical nature. Visit the surreal town of Connemara where ancient Irish is softly spoken. Sense her haunting nature as you survey the jagged coastline of rocky beaches, twisting roads, rippled bogs and windswept heather. Next stop, Kylemore Abbey. Tucked inside a hidden valley along the lush banks of Lough Corrib Lake, it’s like a vision from a fairytale dream. Outside you’ll discover the look, feel and scent of a real Victorian garden. Inside, you’ll find a larger-than-life residence run by an order of Benedictine nuns, and one of the most prestigious international schools in Europe. The infamous prose Yeats wrote while gazing at the river says it all, “peace comes dropping slow”.
Day 6 Galway--Killarney
Travel to Killarney via Cliffs of Moher & Limerick
Day 7 Ring of Kerry
Details: Ring of Kerry excursion
Get a feel for Ireland’s emerald beauty on an excursion around the Iveragh Peninsula on the panoramic coastal route, Ring of Kerry. Along the 112 miles of breathtaking views, you’ll spy 360 degrees of the vast Atlantic Ocean, the Lakes of Killarney, the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks (Ireland’s tallest mountains), and every shade of green known to the Emerald Isle.
Details: Sheep farm visit (March to October)
Mountain sheep have dotted the hills around Killarney for ages. Come face-to-face with these fluffy landmarks at a traditional Irish sheep farm. Please note that during the winter months, this activity will not be available and will be replaced with a visit to the Bog Village.
Day 8 Killarney--Dublin
Optional  Irish folklore evening  $60
Details: Travel to Dublin via Blarney Castle
During your journey to the capital of the Republic of Ireland, you will stop for a visit to Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney stone. Dublin is a city steeped in cultural significance and hosts some of Ireland’s finest national treasures including the Book of Kells and the fine cathedrals of Christ Church and St Patrick’s. Dublin’s medieval streetscape is faithfully preserved around Temple Bar, where it provides the backdrop to a vibrant cultural quarter. Stretches of the City’s walls can still be found in Wood Quay and at St Audoen’s Arch.
Details: Blarney Castle visit
Stop for a visit to Blarney Castle, the medieval stone structure built on solid limestone around 1466. (The slivers of windows served as a defense, enabling Lord Blarney and his men to shoot arrows at invaders while staying protected from within.) Climb the spiral staircases to the top of the castle to kiss the Blarney stone. Legend promises that if you lean backwards and kiss the stone upside-down, you’ll be granted the “gift of the gab” (the privilege of babbling questionable commentary for seven years). Before you leave, wander the path to Rock Close to ponder the druidic circle of mystical stones. Enter Lord Blarney’s dungeon if you dare...
Day 9 End tour

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    Day 9 Start extension to London
    Fly to London
    London city walk
    Thames RiverTrafalgar SquareNational Gallery visitPiccadilly CircusCovent GardenLeicester SquareSoho
    Details: London city walk
    Step outside your hotel for a stroll through the heart of the English-speaking world. In this city of nearly seven million, you'll see everything from 12th-century fortifications to modern skyscrapers, royal parks to street art. Your Tour Director will lead you to some of the most famous sites. Walk along the Thames River. Cross Trafalgar Square. See bustling Piccadilly Circus. Pass trendy shops and cafés in Bohemian Soho on your way to Covent Garden, a 13th-century fruit and vegetable garden transformed into a maze of narrow streets and pedestrian walkways burgeoning with street performers, open-air markets and boutiques.
    Details: National Gallery visit
    Located in an impressive domed building right in Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery houses a rich collection of over 2,000 works of art dating from the mid 13th century to 1900. Explore the beautiful marble hallways to see famous paintings by Van Eyck, Turner and Van Gogh.
    Details: Classic fish & chips dinner
    Nothing’s more British than fish and chips—there are eight fish and chip shops (“chippies”) for every McDonald’s in the country. Head to an authentic pub with your Tour Director for a taste of this national food, generally served with malt vinegar.
    Day 10 London landmarks
    London guided sightseeing tour
    Buckingham PalaceBig BenHouses of ParliamentWestminster AbbeyTower BridgeHyde ParkSt. Paul’s Cathedral
    Details: London guided sightseeing tour
    Join a licensed local guide for an in-depth look at London, from the royal haunt of Buckingham Palace (the official London residence of Queen Elizabeth II) to the slightly more democratic Speakers’ Corner of Hyde Park, where anyone can pull up a soapbox and orate to his heart’s content. You’ll see the changing of the guard (season permitting), the clock tower of Big Ben with its 14-ton bell, and Westminster Abbey, where almost every English king and queen since William the Conqueror has been crowned. After a stop at the Houses of Parliament, continue on to the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral, the masterpiece of London architect Christopher Wren.
    Day 11 End tour
    Map of Best of Ireland Educational Tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • Flight from Dublin to London on extension
    • 7 overnight stays (9 with extension) in hotels with private bathrooms
    • Full European breakfast daily
    • Dinner daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Guided sightseeing tours and city walks as per itinerary
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • Tour Diary™
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa. Please visit our Fees FAQ page for a full list of items that may not be included in the cost of your tour.
    We are better able to assist you with a quote for your selected departure date and city over the phone. Please call 1.888.310.7120 to price this tour with your requested options.
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    2649.00 total fee
    Basic Options

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