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Iconic Ireland & Ashford Castle

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Ashford Castle
Tour Style: First Class
11 Days from $2,516 per person

Board ‘The Isle of Innisfree' across the shimmering Lough Corrib to 13th century Ashford Castle, once home to the famous Guinness family and the highlight of your iconic journey which also includes visits to a deserted 12th century town in County Kilkenny, the rugged realm of Connemara and forty shades of green in the Ring of Kerry.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. The Emerald Isle puts its best foot forward in this iconic exploration of its breathtaking landscapes and whimsical charm. 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. We kick off our epic journey along the walled gardens and rambling walks of Powerscourt Gardens – its sweeping terraces, ornamental lakes and over 200 variations of trees and shrubs ensure it befits its status as one of the most beautiful gardens in Ireland. Enjoy a Welcome Reception this evening to get to know your fellow travelers.

    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Clayton Ballsbridge
  3. Lyrics and legends await this morning as we join a Local Specialist on a fascinating city tour to visit St. Patrick's Cathedral, where Jonathan Swift was once installed as Dean. We admire the colorful doorways in the stately Georgian Squares and stroll along the cobbled courtyard of Trinity College to see the ornate Book of Kells. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to soak up the charisma of this city. Wander along Grafton Street and see its lively performers, stop for a pint of the ‘Black Stuff' in Temple Bar or relax in the ‘Playground of Dublin', Phoenix Park.
    meal(s):FB
  4. We leave the bright lights and warm hospitality of Dublin behind for County Kilkenny where we delve into the history of a ‘lost' medieval town – Newtown Jerpoint. Take a step back in time to the 12th century and wander through its remains that are said to be the final resting place of St. Nicholas, before joining the O'Connells at their home, Belmore House. Embrace the peaceful rural setting – the perfect backdrop to a traditional Irish Be My Guest lunch. Inspired by Irish food and the warmth of the locals, we continue south to the lively city of Cork, enjoying an evening at leisure to discover its sights, sounds and flavors.
    meal(s):FB, BG
    hotel:The Kingsley
  5. Head to Blarney in pursuit of the ‘gift of the gab'. Kiss the fabled Stone then head west to the lakeside setting of Killarney, our springboard to the enduring beauty of the Ring of Kerry.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Killarney Towers
  6. Spend a leisurely morning exploring charming Killarney or join a Local Specialist for a scenic guided walk at Torc Waterfall, meandering over wooden paths and lakeshore trails. Circle the scenic Ring of Kerry admiring its famous “forty shades of green” and seeing first-hand the breathtaking landscapes that have inspired writers and poets for centuries.
    meal(s):FB
  7. Our up-close encounter with Ireland's ravishing beauty not yet at its end, we journey north stopping for a walk along the iconic Cliffs of Moher, an iconic feature of the famous Wild Atlantic Way. Admire the dramatic cliffs that rise some 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic and the endless ocean views you will see from its midst. We continue to Galway, where we enjoy an orientation tour including views of the stone Cathedral.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Maldron Sandy Road
  8. A rugged realm of mountains, lakes, rivers and villages provides a stunning backdrop for our leisurely drive through Connemara – an unspoilt region of Western Ireland that was immortalized in John Wayne's ‘The Quiet Man'. We'll visit Kylemore Abbey, and ramble through its exquisite Victorian walled garden, then gain a Cultural Insight at the Connemara Marble Factory, to see the craft of Connemara marble first-hand.
    meal(s):FB, D
  9. Enjoy a regal encounter with Ireland today. Board 'The Isle of Innisfree' for an exclusive cruise on shimmering Lough Corrib. Captain Patrick, Ashford Castle's Local Specialist, will share his local knowledge as you glide through its peaceful waters. Disembarking, a lone piper will escort you over the drawbridge to Ashford Castle where tonight you will dine as lords and ladies at an elegant royal dining experience (gentlemen are requested to wear a jacket).
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Ashford Castle Authentic Accommodation
  10. Indulge in the sumptuous surrounds of Ashford Castle. Stroll around its exquisite estate and admire its lavish interiors before you return to Dublin. Spend the rest of the afternoon delving into the centuries-old history of the Irish capital and its old-world charm. This evening, it's time to reminisce over shared memories at a delicious Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
    meal(s):FB, FD
    hotel:Ballsbridge
  11. As the curtain falls on a memorable journey with new friends, we say a fond slán go fóill to Dublin and the Emerald Isle.  Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Dublin Airport at 7 am, 9 am and 11 am. Conditions apply.

    meal(s):FB

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.
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
7 Apr 18 17 Apr 18 $2,850$2,565pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
21 Apr 18 1 May 18 checkmark $2,850$2,565pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
28 Apr 18 8 May 18 $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
5 May 18 15 May 18 $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
12 May 18 22 May 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
19 May 18 29 May 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
2 Jun 18 12 Jun 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
9 Jun 18 19 Jun 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
16 Jun 18 26 Jun 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
23 Jun 18 3 Jul 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
30 Jun 18 10 Jul 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
7 Jul 18 17 Jul 18 $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
14 Jul 18 24 Jul 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
21 Jul 18 31 Jul 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
4 Aug 18 14 Aug 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
18 Aug 18 28 Aug 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
25 Aug 18 4 Sep 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
1 Sep 18 11 Sep 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
15 Sep 18 25 Sep 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
22 Sep 18 2 Oct 18 checkmark $3,095$2,786pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
29 Sep 18 9 Oct 18 checkmark $2,850$2,565pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
13 Oct 18 23 Oct 18 checkmark $2,795$2,516pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 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 $880 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: $10 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $97 per person.

Airport transfers: On arrival to Dublin Airport transfers will operate at 8:30 am, 11:00 am and 1:00 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 7:00 am, 9:00 am and 11:00 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.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • 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
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels

Meal Summary

9 nights, 9 full breakfasts, 1 lunch, 6 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Travel to 12th century Ireland and explore the remains of the Lost Town of Newtown Jerpoint followed by a hearty Irish dinner with the O'Connells and a spot of Eton Mess

Authentic Accommodations

  • Built by the de Burgo family in the early 13th century, Ashford Castle is set in 350 acres, on the picturesque shores of Lough Corrib

Cultural Insight

  • Visit a Connemara Marble factory to see how this vivid green-coloured stone has been crafted into jewelry and figurines for generations

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Dublin, Killarney and Ashford Castle

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Dublin
  • Orientation of Killarney, Galway
  • Visit St. Patrick's Cathedral and Trinity College in Dublin, Blarney Castle, Torc Waterfall, the Cliffs of Moher, Kylemore Abbey
  • Scenic cruise on Lough Corrib
  • View Galway Cathedral
  • See Dublin's Georgian Squares
  • Scenic drive around the Ring of Kerry

Reviews

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Stephanie was a great touor leader. I would travel with her again.
Vacation : good sites, great people to explain them. St Nicholas's tomb was beautiful.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Very receptive to all concerns. Easy to contact and willing to answer all questions.
Vacation : The guide, Ann Hickey, was wonderful. She made Ireland come alive!
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Iconic Ireland and Ashford Castle
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Our representative was very helpful in coordinating our flight and extra nights stay.
Vacation : Our tour guide, Liam, was awesome!! He was very considerate of our comfort and well being. He was interesting and had very extensive knowledge of the areas visited. The castle was the best part of the trip and was well worth the wait. The scenery was beautiful and the staff was courteous, efficient, and helpful. I would recommend this trip. I would've liked to stayed an extra night at the castle.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Iconic Ireland and Ashford Castle
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : On the whole, the trip was super. Thanks. The guide was terrific; the bus driver was cool and fun. The hotels were generally fine. The one in Dublin, on the first visit, was not so fine--utilitarian, and we were buried in a low level in a tiny room overlooking the parking area. Otherwise, grand. Food and planning were excellent. I was surprised to be told that the airfare could not be as inexpensive as that advertised by the airline because some contractual obligation between Grand European added a basic charge. This seemed unjust and untrue to the promise of best available rate.
Vacation : I don't understand the question. What is meant by "purchase?" The entire trip? What we bought, separate from the trip, as we travelled?
  • 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 (€). 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.

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.

Dublin

Dinner in Dublin City

Adult Price: € 45

Come to one of Dublin's most locally-loved restaurant-pubs. You'll enjoy dinner and charming hospitality that this part of the world is renowned for.

Dublin Dinner and Cabaret

Adult Price: € 71

Enjoy an evening of fine food and non-stop fun as Ireland’s history unfolds in a cabaret of comedy, song and dance. The cast will have you tapping your toes and joining in the show, all in the spirit of Irish humour. And you’ll even be served an Irish coffee to round off your dinner.

Galway

Trad on the Prom

Adult Price: € 37

The best in Irish dancing from the most-awarded performers in Ireland. Combined with some of Ireland's best musical talent, this show is truly "can’t miss".

Killarney

Celtic Steps

Adult Price: € 36

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

Irish Ceilidh Evening

Adult Price: € 65

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.

Experience a Jaunting Cart Ride

Adult Price: € 21

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.

Sligo

Luxurious River Shannon Cruise

Adult Price: € 30

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.

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