|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Dublin Airport|
|INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE
6 Days /5 Nights
4 Nights Coosan Eco Lodge Hotel
Athlone Castle and Athlone Town
Newgrange Neolitic world heritage site
Cliffs of Moher and The Wild Atlantic Way
Galway City Leisure Time
Irelands Hidden Heartlands & Ancient East.
Gcroílár na hÉireann Conn Tour
Pick Up from Dublin Airport
Failte Roimh Eireann
Arrival Dublin Airport
Your Tour starts here, upon arrival you will be met by your tour guide and escorted to your coach. From here you will proceed west, through Dublin City into counties Kildare, Meath and Offaly and Westmeath. Following a tour of Athlone Castle built by John De Gray at the behest of King John in 1212 and other historic sites, a cultural tour of the Luan Gallery will be followed by lunch on the banks of the river.
Opened in 2012, the gallery is a former public library built in 1897 as a temperance hall and takes its name from lugair son of Lugaid an ancient Irish chief who gave his name to the town. The gallery contains many fine examples of contemporary Irish art.
Viking cruise on Lough Ree.
A 90-minute cruise on one of Irelands most sacred and historic Loughs. The lake is the geographical centre of Ireland and during your cruise you will hear a detailed narration of Early Christian settlement and Viking raids on the many Islands on the lake. The ship’s Captain will also educate you as to the wildlife and fauna that makes this trip a unique and a must-see for visitors to the Irish Heartlands.
Athlone boasts Irelands and the world’s oldest pub Sean’s Bar.
Sean’s Bar, Ireland’s oldest pub. Sean’s is a must see for visitors to Athlone. Dating back to 900 AD it was established by Luain Mac Luighdeach – Luain son of Lewy close to Ath Mor (the great ford). The bar was documented in The Guinness Book of Records as Ireland’s oldest pub following examination of the bars wattle and wicker walls and old coins found in the 1970s. With live traditional music by local artists every night Sean’s is an experience that will stay long in your memory.
Coosan Cottage Eco Guesthouse and Hotel
On then to your accommodation Coosan Eco Guesthouse Hotel Coosan Athlone for meet and greet drinks, a wholesome and locally sourced evening meal in Irelands first Eco friendly hotel. The Hotel is a family run business built in 2008 by its proprietor Tom o Neil. Tom’s vision was to build a premise encompassing all sustainable and echo green friendly building practices at the time. His commitment to the protection of the environment and adoption of a balanced and responsible approach to 21st environment challenges include,
- pellet burners and space heaters that omit negligible carbon dioxide omissions a necessary alternative to fossil fuels
- Heat recovery ventilation systems, this condenses wet air from areas such as bathrooms. The air is
condensed, and the energy taken up by incoming external fresh air, thus the building is ventilated
by warm air
- Balmoral waste water treatment plant which by far exceeds conventional water treatment purity
- Collection and recycle of rainwater for use in bathrooms and toilets
- Triple glazed windows to insure heat retention
Located in Coosan a beautiful suburb of Athlone and surrounded on 3 sides by Lough Ree a highly popular scenic and majestic visitor attraction for nature lovers and fishermen.
Following a home cooked Irish breakfast of your choice we head north to visit Newgrange & the Hill of Tara.
Newgrange is a UNESCO world heritage site dated 3.200 BC that predates even the Egyptian Pyramids and Stonehenge It was constructed during the Neolithic period comprising of ancient burial chambers. The site consists of a large circular mound with inner stone passageways where human bones and grave
goods and Votive offerings have been excavated. It is believed that the site was of religious significance. Its entrance is aligned with the rising sun on the winter solstice when sunlight shines through a roof box flooding the inner chamber with light. The Hill of Tara was documented in the 11th century text, The Book of Invasions as the seat of the High Kings of Ireland. It contains several ancient monuments including an Iron Age Hilltop enclosure.
The Battle of the Boyne 1690
Fought between King William 111 (William of Orange) and his father in law James 11 on the 1st July 1690 during the height of the pan European Williamite – Jacobite War of the mid to late 17th century. To this day this war and particularly this battle remains contentious and a deep-rooted source of conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland in particular Ulster.
Trim Castle stands as the oldest Norman castle built after the Norman invasion in the 12th century. The castle took 30 years to construct. It was given by the then King of England, Henry 11 to Hugh De Lacy a Norman lord as gratitude for his part in the conquest of Ireland. It was besieged and burnt by Ruaidri Ua Conchobair but rebuilt a year later by De Lacy. The castle was restored and opened to the public in 2000 and is renowned for its part in the Film Braveheart starring Mel Gibson.
Into the West - The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher
After breakfast you will travel by Coach through Athlone, into Galway County Clare and the Wild Atlantic Way. Here you will visit the Burren in North County Clare and parts of south Galway. Covering an area of 160sq Km. With no bogs and few green pastures, the Burren is famous for its huge limestone pavements (Clint’s) and vertical fissures (Grikes). Experience the Burren underworld at the Aillwee caves near the beautiful village of Ballyvaughan,
where we stop for a traditional Irish lunch and the chance to pick up some souvenirs. Bleak in appearance, man has settled in the Burren since the Stone age with visible evidence of ancient habitats, dolmens and stone forts.
From here a short journey to the incredible panorama of the Cliffs of Moher. Standing 214 meters high and 8 km long, the cliffs offer outstanding panoramic views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, the Maum Tuck Mountains to the north, Connemara and Loop Head to the south.
Renvyle House: Tonight, we will overnight in the stunning Renvyle House and Resort Renvyle House is a historic country house estate located on 150 acres on the shores of the Atlantic in spectacular Connemara. This four-star resort boasts its own private freshwater lake, woodlands, gardens and outdoor heated swimming pool. The hotel and its restaurant the Rusheenduff have won many awards for its cuisine, customer service and it’s Cead Mile Failte
To Hell or to Connaught - Galway and the Connemara Coast
After breakfast we say goodbye to Renvyle House and head east through Connemara towards Galway City. The Gaeltacht area of Connemara is one of the few Irish speaking areas of Ireland and world renowned for its handcrafts including linen and woodwork. This is the finest example of Irish culture in its purist form and a stroll on one of Connemara’s beautiful beaches is always an invigorating experience. Connemara’s natural beauty and ruggedness are truly breath-taking. We will take our time to view its renowned naturel features such as the Twelve Ben Mountains and the rugged coastline bays and inlets along the Wild Atlantic way. We will have lunch in Kylemore Abbey.
Nestled at the base of Druchruch Mountain on the northern slope of Lough Pollocappul in the heart of the Connemara Mountains the Abbey is steeped in history, romance, tragedy and great feats of engineering genius. Built as a gift in 1867 by Mitchel Henry for his wife Margaret, who died 3 years after its completion. Mitchel never remarried and stayed at Kylemore for 30 more years rearing their nine children until falling upon hard times and eventually having to sell the Abbey. The Abbey was bought by the Benedictine Nuns who had fled from Ypres in Belgium during WW1. The Abbey became an international school of learning for young girls until it was forced to close in 2010. The nuns remain in the Abbey to this day..
A visit to the Emerald isle would not be complete without a trip to the City of the Tribes Galway and beyond to the beautiful rugged landscape of Connemara and the wider Gaeltacht areas. Galway is one of Irelands most vibrant and entertaining cities encompassing the best of Irish culture, past and present. Its streets are filled with buskers and street performers, allied to a wide range of talented street artists both local and international. Galway is a bustling city filled with traditional pubs, restaurants, and shops. Renowned for its Cead Mile Failte, and Irish humour bestowed on all visitors to this west of Ireland jewel. Stroll through the streets and sample the atmosphere, have lunch in one of the many eateries along your route. A walking tour is optional, and you can speak with your tour director should you wish to avail of this opportunity.
Dublin Ireland's Capital City
The Rare Auld Times
Established as a Viking settlement in the 9th century Dublin city not only offers visitors the opportunity to embrace the cosmopolitan evolution that has grasped Ireland’s capitol city over the decades but invites them to experience the cultural and historic traditions that pay tribute to its past. Dublin and Dubliners have throughout the history of Ireland, always being a hotbed of literature, music, the arts, culture and of course rebellion and romance, encapsulated in the words of James Joyce “when I die Dublin will be written in my heart” On our tour we will visit Trinity College Ireland’s most prestigious university and view the iconic Book of Kell’s. The world-famous Guinness Grain Storehouse, enjoy a tipple in the gravity bar with its stunning panoramic views of the city. St Patricks Cathedral built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint in 1191 where it is said he baptized the pagan Irish, O Connell, Street, and the General Post Office. The epicentre of the 1916 rebellion.
You will have ample leisure time to avail of the many other sites, shopping and dining opportunities that Dublin has to offer. Kilmainham Jail, where after the Easter Rising of 1916 the signatories of the proclamation of Independence were secretly tried and executed. We will have lunch in the Brazen Head one of Dublin’s oldest pubs where Irish patriot Robert Emmet planned the United Irishman rebellion of 1798 for which he was tried and executed. Michael Collins regularly frequented the pub during the war of independence. The pub was also a local for some of Ireland’s greatest writers including Jonathan Swift, Brendan Behan and James Joyce.