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Castles & Manors

8 Days from $2,885 per person

Style: Small Group | Pace: Active

Visit Dublin, the wild Cliffs of Moher and the island's 'emerald' countryside. See the wilderness of Connemara and stay in Galway's Abbeyglen Castle, built for a fearsome pirate queen.

Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

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Overview

Visit Dublin, the wild Cliffs of Moher and the island's 'emerald' countryside. See the wilderness of Connemara and stay in Galway's Abbeyglen Castle, built for a fearsome pirate queen.

Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

  1. Set your watch to the lively pace of Ireland's capital city—the springboard for our in-depth journey through the lush landscapes and enduring allure of Ireland. On arrival at Dublin Airport transfers will operate at 8:30 am, 11 am and 1 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Our exploration of Dublin with a Local Specialist will see us view St. Patrick's Cathedral and the colorful Georgian Squares. Spend some time at leisure exploring Dublin's pretty streets before joining your travel companions and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception celebrating traditional Irish flavors.

    meal(s):Welcome Reception
    hotel:Clayton Ballsbridge
  2. We traverse picturesque landscapes to Kildare. Dive into culture and delve into Ireland's thoroughbred industry at the Irish National Stud. We'll have a rare opportunity to see the foaling unit, museum and of course the magnificent stallions that continue to make racing history. Our journey south brings us to the haunt of St. Patrick and the spectacular Rock of Cashel, where we will view its majestic ecclesiastical ruins with a Local Specialist. We continue to Killarney and enjoy an evening at leisure to soak up the lively atmosphere of one of Ireland's friendliest towns. Our home tonight is Great Southern, a Victorian-styled hotel built over 160 years ago.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
    hotel:Great Southern
  3. Enjoy a slow start to your morning, joining a Local Specialist for a leisurely guided walk at Torc Waterfall, strolling over wooded paths and lakeshore trails. We embark on an epic drive next, exploring the enduring beauty of the Ring of Kerry whose enchanting coastal landscapes have inspired writers and poets for centuries.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
  4. The beautiful views continue as we visit the Cliffs of Moher that rise imposingly from the Atlantic, over 655 feet above the waters below. Continue to County Galway and visit the Connemara Marble artisan workshop, where you'll dive into culture and witness first-hand how this famous green jade-like marble is carved. Your home for the next two nights is the spectacular Abbeyglen Castle.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel:Abbeyglen Castle
  5. Drive through the 'savage beauty' of Connemara, as described by Oscar Wilde who was inspired by the region's craggy mountains, shimmering lakes and endless shades of green. We visit Kylemore Abbey, a magnificent castellated structure built as a family home and now inhabited by a group of Benedictine nuns. Venture into the secret nooks and crannies of its extensive walled Victorian garden, before returning to your castle accommodations for a delicious dinner.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Dinner
  6. Our journey takes us to Westport House where we'll connect with locals and indulge in a memorable Be My Guest lunch with tales of the Pirate Queen, and enjoy Banoffee and Baileys flavors in the Drawing Room of this stately 18th-century home. We continue to Roscommon, where our hotel this evening is Kilronan Castle Hotel, the ancestral home of the Tenison family and legendary Colonel King Tenison. A leisurely afternoon could see you take a relaxing cruise on the Shannon River.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel:Kilronan Castle
  7. Our first stop today is Strokestown where we'll dive into culture and gain insights into Ireland's tragic potato famine history. Learn about the plight of starving Irish tenants, many of whom died or emigrated to the New World in the 1840s. This evening we return to Dublin for a Farewell Dinner celebrating an intimate encounter with the natural beauty and fascinating heritage of Ireland.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
    hotel:Clayton Ballsbridge
  8. We say a fond farewell to our newfound friends and Dublin today. You will be transferred to the airport, where your journey through the Emerald Isle comes to an end.  Return transfers will arrive at Dublin Airport at 7 am, 9 am and 11 am. Conditions apply.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
26 Apr 19 3 May 19 $3,200$2,885pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
3 May 19 10 May 19 $3,275$2,953pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
10 May 19 17 May 19 $3,275$2,953pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
17 May 19 24 May 19 checkmark $3,275$2,953pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
24 May 19 31 May 19 $3,275$2,953pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
31 May 19 7 Jun 19 $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
7 Jun 19 14 Jun 19 checkmark $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
14 Jun 19 21 Jun 19 $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
21 Jun 19 28 Jun 19 $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
28 Jun 19 5 Jul 19 $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
5 Jul 19 12 Jul 19 $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
12 Jul 19 19 Jul 19 $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
19 Jul 19 26 Jul 19 $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
26 Jul 19 2 Aug 19 $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
2 Aug 19 9 Aug 19 $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
9 Aug 19 16 Aug 19 checkmark $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
16 Aug 19 23 Aug 19 $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
23 Aug 19 30 Aug 19 $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
30 Aug 19 6 Sep 19 $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
6 Sep 19 13 Sep 19 checkmark $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
13 Sep 19 20 Sep 19 $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
20 Sep 19 27 Sep 19 $3,300$2,975pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
27 Sep 19 4 Oct 19 $3,275$2,953pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
4 Oct 19 11 Oct 19 $3,200$2,885pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
11 Oct 19 18 Oct 19 $3,200$2,885pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
18 Oct 19 25 Oct 19 $3,200$2,885pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $690 per person

Triple Room Discount: $10 per person

Shared Rooming: Room Share is not available on this trip.

Group Size: Itineraries have a maximum of 32 guests.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $78 per person.

Airport transfers: On arrival at Dublin Airport transfers will operate at 8:30 am, 11 am and 1 pm. Guests arriving later should make their
own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Dublin Airport at 7 am, 9 am and 11 am.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Print Itinerary

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Meal Summary

12 meals: 7 full breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners.

Insider Experiences

Connect with Locals

  • Enjoy a traditional Be My Guest lunch hosted in the Drawing Room of a stately 18th-century home near the charming town of Westport

Stays with Stories

  • In Killarney, you will be accommodated at the Great Southern Hotel in the Town Center. Unlimited, free rail travel for Lord Kenmore was the clincher to acquire the land needed for this built over 160 years ago. Its prime central position next to the train station and marvelous Victorian features have ensured enduring popularity
  • Abbeyglen Castle, built in 1832 by John d'Arcy of Clifden Castle—Abbeyglen Castle Hotel is located along the famous Sky Road, overlooking the pretty village of Clifden
  • Kilronan Castle Estate and Spa, Co. set in green meadows and an ancient forest, Kilronan Castle - the ancestral home of the Tenison family - prides itself on its royal roots

Dive into Culture

  • Admire Ireland's finest thoroughbreds at the Irish National Stud Farm
  • Visit a Connemara Marble factory to see how this stone is crafted into jewelry and figurines
  • Visit the Irish National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park House, a stately 18th-century mansion

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Dublin, Cashel, Killarney, Sligo

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Walking tour in Killarney National Park
  • City tour in Dublin
  • Orientation of Killarney, Galway
  • Visit Irish National Stud, Rock of Cashel, Cliffs of Moher, Kylemore Abbey, the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park
  • View Torc Waterfall, the grave of W.B. Yeats in Drumcliff
  • See Dublin's Georgian Squares
  • Scenic drive around the Ring of Kerry, through Connemara
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Print Itinerary

Reviews

Friday, September 22, 2017
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Hotel, castles and manor were fabulous....food was even better. !!
Vacation : Best food on any of our Grand European trips....
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Excellent accommodations throughout the tour. The stops were well thought-out, with minimal bus rides between sights to be seen. The sights that we saw were truly well worth seeing, with enough free time to explore the local pubs and shops as we wanted.
Vacation : I'd recommend this trip for any and all - truly a wonderful experience.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : All accommodations, tours, transportation were as described. No glitches.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for your comments and recommendation! Grand European Travel
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Vacation : Very impressed with all accommodations. Tours and guides were excellent. For a shorter tour of Ireland, I would definitely recommend this tour.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Easy to book and confidence in the quality of the experience.
Vacation : Excellent tour director, sights, meals and support for travellers.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Guide was great. Hotels were great.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for sharing Grand European Travel
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Vacation : Excellent
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The tour director (Evan) was fantastic.
Vacation : Excellent
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The actual tour company was Brendan Vacations
Vacation : The name of the tour was Secrets of Ireland
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Great tour, although a little bit too busy for us old folks.Tour guide and coach driver were excellent.
Response from Grand European Travel:
The castles are what makes this trip so unique. It's no surprise that you wanted to spend more time there. Thank you for sharing your comments and suggestions. Grand European Travel
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Vacation : Our accommodations were outstanding, especially the Ballyhaninch and Lough Eske castles. Would have liked a little more free time.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : This was a really nice trip. Fantastic tour, knowledgable guide, every thing was well planned and well executed.
Response from Grand European Travel:
The local people are just one of the wonderful things about visiting Ireland. We are so happy that enjoyed it. Thank you! Grand European Travel
Sunday, June 7, 2015
Vacation : I took the secrets of Ireland tour. It was fantastic, with a knowledgable guide, fantastic driver and a nice mix of well known and lesser known placed. Ireland is lovely, the people are open and friendly. I had a great time.
Friday, September 12, 2014
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : No problems with either Grand European or Brendan Vacations. This tour was great and we won't hesitate to recommend you or travel with you again.
Vacation : This was an excellent tour with an 'exceptional' tour guide- Jane Horgan- who knew her country and it's history like the back of her hand and was more than willing to share it with us. The name of this tour, Castles and Manors, led us all to believe that we would be staying in Castles and Manors, which was not the case. We did stay at the Ballynahich Castle Hotel and the Lough Eske Castle Hotel which were estates in years gone by. All the accommodations were wonderful, however, and the wonderful tour and tour guide made up for any disappointment. At both, would have loved to have been able to order meals off their menus. We had a separate menu with chicken, fish (Hake both nights at Ballynahinch) and a pasta and had to sit watching other guests eat oysters, salmon, lamb, steak, etc. Also, dinner was a 3 hour affair- they took care of the private guests first as we sat waiting 45 minutes for our appetizer, another hour for our main course, and another 45 minutes for dessert. When dinner doesn't start until 7:30, this is kind of late for us senior citizens! All in all, however, this was a GREAT tour. We saw and learned so much.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The people on the phone were very helpful and easy to work with.
Vacation : Everything on the tour went smoothly and we felt like we got a good value for our money. The food was exceptional and the hotels we stayed at were luxury quality hotels.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Trusted Customer
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The booking process was simple and the staff seemed very knowledgeable.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for insightful, eloquent, colorful, descriptive feedback Grand European Travel-Guest Relations
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Vacation : I absolutely loved Ireland and staying in renovated castles was very unique. The tour included a lot of sightseeing and the meals were the best I have had on a tour like this. I especially enjoyed Connemara.
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Print Itinerary
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Ireland must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Ireland.

  • The currency in the Republic of Ireland is the Euro (€) and in Northern Ireland is the Pound (£). While it’s a good idea to bring some money with you, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive at your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Ireland. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine.  Culinary experiences to try include a full Irish breakfast, a visit to a chip shop, and hearty lunch at a good local pub.  And be sure to sample Irish national specialties including Irish stew, coddle, potato bread, corned beef and whiskey cake.

    Ireland is famous for its stout and beer, the most famous being Guinness. Other popular brands include Murphy’s Irish Stout, Beamish, and Kilkenny beer. Whiskey is also renowned with the most famous distilleries being the Old Midleton Distillery in Cork, the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin, and the Bushmills Distillery in Antrim.

  • The weather in Ireland is mild, moist, and quickly changeable. We suggest packing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Important items to bring include sturdy walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping in Ireland is less common than in the U.S. When dining in a restaurant, it’s appropriate, although not required, to leave a tip of up to 5-10 percent.  Leave your gratuity on the table rather than adding it to your credit card receipt to ensure that your waiter receives it.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Killarney

Celtic Steps

Adult Price: €36.00

Enjoy a spectacular evening of Irish music, song and dance performed by champion dancers and musicians and showcasing the music of Kerry and beyond.

Killarney

Experience a Jaunting Cart Ride

Adult Price: €21.00

Enjoy a traditional pony and trap ride through the beautiful Bourn-Vincent National Park. During your journey, your Local Specialist will share fascinating anecdotes about the area and Ireland.

Killarney

Irish Ceilidh Evening

Adult Price: €65.00

The Irish Ceilidh epitomises how music and dance were enjoyed in rural Ireland, especially on festive occasions. The craic - welcoming, jolly, fun and informal - is accompanied with plenty of food and drink. There's no more enjoyable way to understand Irish culture.

Sligo

Luxurious River Shannon Cruise

Adult Price: €30.00

The longest river in the British Isles, the River Shannon is immortalised in songs and legends. Come with us for a cruise on this majestic river, through the beautiful rolling countryside of counties Leitrim and Roscommon. You’ll also enjoy refreshments on the luxurious Moon River Pleasure Cruiser.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

  • Add air to your reservation

    Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

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