Day 1 Thursday, July 26
Our group meets at Logan Airport at 6:30pm for our overnight flight to Dublin on Aer Lingus. Dinner will be served en route.
Day 2 Friday, July 27
We arrive in Dublin, the Fair City at 8.30am and will be met by our driver/guide. Our tour of Ireland begins with a bus tour of the nations capital. Among the sites are the General Post Office on OConnell Street, the place of the 1916 uprising, Phoenix Park, St. Stephens Green and the Hapenny Bridge. We will visit the famous Kilmainham Jail and of course the Guinness Brewery. There will also be an opportunity to walk the grounds of Trinity College and see the Book of Kells. Later in the day we check into the Mont Clare Hotel where we will enjoy dinner.
Day 3 Saturday, July 28
After a traditional Irish breakfast, we depart Dublin for the Wicklow mountains and will visit Glendalough, the 6th century monastic city of St. Kevin the place where Christianity survived the dark ages. The afternoon is free to walk the city and experience the local cuisine in one of Dublins fine restaurants or local pubs. In the evening we will see a theater production in one of Dublins fine venues.
Day 4 Sunday, July 29
Its an early start to the day as we leave Dublin to cross the country to County Mayo. There we will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Knock where the Blessed Mother appeared to the locals on the back of the Church gable in a driving rain storm. We will be able to have Mass at the site of the apparition and have the chance to walk around the beautiful grounds and visit the shops. After our visit, we will take in the restored ruins of Ballintubber Abbey and visit one of St. Patricks Well where many were converted to Chrisitanity. Later in the afternoon we arrive in Galway, the City of the Tribes. We check into the Raddison Blu Hotel in the city centre and have time to have a look around the town. Dinner tonight is at the hotel, overlooking Galway Bay.
Day 5 Monday, July 30
This morning we will tour the Galway Cathedral and then begin the ride through the bog lands of Connemara, where Irish is still the spoken language. This rugged and rural part of Ireland was the setting for the movie The Quiet Man. We will have the chance to visit the cottage used in the movie. We will stop at Kylemore Abbey and the Connemara Marble Factory. The afternoon is free to explore Galway City. Stroll the Prom along Salt Hill or visit the medieval collegiate Church of St. Nicholas. Be sure to catch the historical marker showing the place from which Christopher Columbus left to discover the new world! Dinner is on your own this evening. The city will be buzzing tonight as this is the first day of the annual Galway Races!
Day 6 Tuesday, July 31
We leave Galway by taking the long road around the bay. Once in County Clare, we cross the Burren and make our way to the Cliffs of Moher, rising over 700 feet above the Atlantic. After a short ride to Killimer we will then take a ferry across the Shannon to County Kerry and stop in Foynes which is where the flying boats landed years ago before the advent of jetliners. In the afternoon we arrive in the beautiful town of Killarney and check in to the Earls Court Hotel where we dine this evening.
Day 7 Wednesday, August 1
Today we visit the Killarney National Park. Take a jaunting car through the woodlands and a boat trip on the lakes. On the edge of the park you can visit St. Mary Cathedral which is at the burial site of many locals who perished during the potato famine. There will be the chance to climb through the Gap of Dunloe and look down upon the magnificent Lakes of Killarney.
Day 8 Thursday, August 2
We will need an early start today to drive the breathtaking Ring of Kerry! The drive will include stops in some of the western-most towns in Europe. There will be stop for tea at the Ladies View, a popular place for professional photographers to capture the beauty of Kerry. We will have time in the afternoon to visits shops, pubs and restaurants in Killarney before meeting at the Glen Eagle for traditional Irish entertainment.
Day 9 Friday, August 3
In the morning we depart Killarney and head northeast to the city of Limerick. There we will visit St. Johns Castle and enjoy lunch at Durty Nellies (own expense). After lunch we make the short drive to Ennis and check in at the Temple Gate Hotel. We will have the afternoon to enjoy the town and do some last minute shopping. We will meet back at the hotel in the early evening for a farewell banquet and time together in the pub.
Day 10 Saturday, August 4
A hearty breakfast begins the day. Mid-morning we board the bus for the short ride to Shannon Airport we will board the Aer Lingus flight home to Boston departing at 12 noon. Arrival at Logan will be at 1.50pm.