|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Dublin Airport|
|INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE
6 Days /5 Nights
Luxury Coach Travel
Belvedere House and Gardens
Viking Cruise (optional)
Athlone Castle & interactive tour (optional)
Cliffs of Moher and The Wild Atlantic Way
Galway City Leisure Time
Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and Ancient East.
Gcroílár na hÉireann Fiachra
6 days 5 nights
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.
Belvedere House & Gardens. Located in the Irish Lakelands, Belvedere House is a stunning example of Palladian 18th century architecture, built by the 1st Earl of Belvedere Robert Rochford in 1740. The estate consists of 160 acres of magnificent woodland nd lakeside walks including the Narnia trail and the jealous wall, a remarkable and highly controversial scandal at the time to which your guide will tell the whole sad tale. The gardens contain some of Ireland’s rarest and most special plants.
Upon arrival in Kilbeggan you will tour the Kilbeggan whiskey distillery, founded in 1757 and nominated in Whiskey Magazines icons of visitor attractions 2008. Now owned by Beam Suntory (Jim Beam) Lockes distillery is a small pot still distillery licensed since 1757, a copy of which still adorns the wall inside. Whisky production recommenced in 2007 and its 19th century waterwheel is still in fine working condition.
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.
Historic Tour of Athlone and Clonmacnoise
The ancient and historic town of Athlone (Ford of Luain) straddles both banks of Ireland’s largest river, the Shannon. Athlone is a bastion of Irish culture and history overlooked and guarded by its castle since the year 810. In 1001 the then high king of Ireland Brian Boru led his army into the town, thus establishing Athlone as a strategic crossing over the Shannon; King Turlough O Connor built the earliest recorded castle here in 1129 prior to the Norman Conquest circa 1200. The discovery of ancient Christian burial slabs proves the establishment of early Christian settlements leading to the arrival of the Franciscans in 1240. The town
continued as a historic and strategic centre culminating in the siege of Athlone during the Jacobite, Williamite pan European war of 1691. Following a tour of Athlone Castle built by John De Gray at the behest of King John in1212 and other historic sites, a cultural tour of the Luan Gallery will be followed by lunch on the banks of the river. On then, to the world-famous monastery and heritage sites at Clonmacnoise followed by a two-hour cruise south on the Shannon, with expert commentary on the Shannon’s Viking history and the wildlife and fauna that thrive on the river. This is a memorable and most enjoyable cruise with many opportunities for photographs and memories along Ireland’s premiere waterway. Upon arrival at Clonmacnoise you will visit one of Europe’s oldest heritage sites. Founded in the year 546 by Saint Ciaran, it had until the 9th century a close association with the high kings of Connacht. Here you will be collected by coach and travel back to Athlone for dinner before your nightly entertainment in 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.
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. We will overnight in the stunning Renvyle House and Resort
Renvyle House: 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..
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.