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Iconic Ireland & Ashford Castle

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
Ashford Castle
Tour Style: First Class
11 Days from $2,138 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. 

Visit 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. Welcome to the Emerald Isle. This afternoon drive south to Powerscourt Gardens. These spectacular gardens first began to take shape in the 1740s. The superb blend of sweeping terraces, fine statuary and ornamental lakes together with secret hollows, rambling walks, walled gardens and over 200 variations of trees and shrubs are a delight to behold. Together they form one of the most beautiful gardens in Ireland. Returning to Dublin, raise a glass over a light meal at an exclusive Welcome Reception at 'Epic Ireland' which tells the story of the 10 million people who left the island of Ireland.
    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Sandymount
  3. This morning, a Local Specialist takes you on a city tour. You'll visit St. Patrick's Cathedral, where Jonathan Swift was once Dean. Then on to admire the colorful doorways in stately Georgian Squares and stroll along the cobbled courtyard of Trinity College to see the ornate Book of Kells. The balance of the day is at leisure to explore this welcoming city at your own pace.
    meal(s):FB
  4. Leave the city life behind as you travel to County Kilkenny. Visit Newtown Jerpoint, one of Ireland's best surviving examples of a deserted, 12th century medieval town and reputedly the final resting place of St. Nicholas. Then relish a Be My Guest lunch with Joe and Maeve O'Connell at their home, Belmore House. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this rural setting and be ready for a few surprises. Continue south to picturesque Kinsale, hailed as the “Gourmet Capital of Ireland”. Your evening is free and there's no shortage of cafés, pubs, and restaurants to explore.
    meal(s):FB, BG
    hotel:MacDonalds
  5. Meet a Local Specialist this morning for a walking tour of the historic town of Kinsale. On to Blarney Castle to kiss the fabled Stone that bestows the “gift of the gab”. Then head west to Killarney, the gateway to magnificent Killarney National Park and the Ring of Kerry.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Killarney Towers
  6. Enjoy a relaxing morning and free time in Killarney or you can join a Local Specialist for a leisurely guided walk at Torc Waterfall. Later take in views of the famous “forty shades of green” as you travel around the Ring of Kerry. This unspoiled area has inspired artists and poets for centuries.
    meal(s):FB
  7. Traveling north, stop for a walk along the iconic Cliffs of Moher which make up part of a tourism trail on the West Coast called the Wild Atlantic Way. These dramatic cliffs rise some 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic. The views of endless ocean are awe-inspiring. The next stop is Galway for an orientation of the city including impressive Galway Cathedral. End the day in Connemara.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Connemara Coast
  8. Discover why some consider this rugged realm of mountains, lakes, rivers and little towns to be the real emerald of Ireland. Stop for a visit to Kylemore Abbey with its beautiful lakeside setting, then gain a Cultural Insight at the Connemara Marble Factory, crafters of Connemara marble for generations.
    meal(s):FB, D
  9. 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 the peaceful waters. Disembarking, a lone piper will escort you over the drawbridge to Ashford Castle. Tonight gather in the castle's sumptuous restaurant for an elegantly royal dining experience (gentlemen are requested to wear a jacket).
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Ashford Castle Authentic Accommodations
  10. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and perhaps a stroll on the estate before returning to Dublin. The afternoon is free for last-minute shopping or sightseeing on your own. This evening celebrate a memorable trip as you relish a delicious Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
    meal(s):FB, FD
    hotel:Ballsbridge
  11. You will be transferred to Dublin Airport where your vacation must come to an end. Slán go fóill – goodbye until we meet again! Transfers are available. Conditions apply.
    meal(s):FB
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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.

2018 Preview

Preview itineraries and content are based on selected vacations featured in our 2017 Collection, however, items such as (but not limited to), hotels, meals, sightseeing inclusions, trip destinations, transfers and transportation, are subject to change. The final composition of your trip will be published in our 2018 Collection due out in September. By paying your deposit, you are agreeing to accept the finalized version of your trip 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
  • 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, Kinsale, Killarney and Ashford Castle

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Dublin, Kinsale
  • Orientation of Killarney, Galway
  • Visit Powerscourt Gardens, 'Epic Ireland' visitor experience, 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, Phoenix Park
  • Scenic drive around the Ring of Kerry
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
29 Jul 17 8 Aug 17 checkmark $2,595pp Call 1-877-622-9109
5 Aug 17 15 Aug 17 checkmark $2,595pp Call 1-877-622-9109
12 Aug 17 22 Aug 17 checkmark $2,595pp Call 1-877-622-9109
19 Aug 17 29 Aug 17 checkmark $2,595pp Request Quote Book Now
26 Aug 17 5 Sep 17 checkmark $2,595pp Request Quote Book Now
2 Sep 17 12 Sep 17 checkmark $2,625pp Call 1-877-622-9109
9 Sep 17 19 Sep 17 checkmark $2,625pp Call 1-877-622-9109
16 Sep 17 26 Sep 17 checkmark $2,625pp Call 1-877-622-9109
23 Sep 17 3 Oct 17 checkmark $2,525pp Call 1-877-622-9109
30 Sep 17 10 Oct 17 checkmark $2,425pp Request Quote Book Now
7 Apr 18 17 Apr 18 $2,375$2,138pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
14 Apr 18 24 Apr 18 $2,375$2,138pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
21 Apr 18 1 May 18 $2,375$2,138pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
28 Apr 18 8 May 18 $2,475$2,228pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
5 May 18 15 May 18 $2,525$2,273pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
12 May 18 22 May 18 $2,525$2,273pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
19 May 18 29 May 18 checkmark $2,525$2,273pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
2 Jun 18 12 Jun 18 checkmark $2,625$2,363pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
9 Jun 18 19 Jun 18 $2,625$2,363pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
16 Jun 18 26 Jun 18 checkmark $2,625$2,363pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
23 Jun 18 3 Jul 18 $2,625$2,363pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
30 Jun 18 10 Jul 18 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
7 Jul 18 17 Jul 18 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
14 Jul 18 24 Jul 18 checkmark $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
21 Jul 18 31 Jul 18 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
28 Jul 18 7 Aug 18 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
4 Aug 18 14 Aug 18 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
11 Aug 18 21 Aug 18 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
18 Aug 18 28 Aug 18 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
25 Aug 18 4 Sep 18 $2,595$2,336pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
1 Sep 18 11 Sep 18 $2,625$2,363pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
15 Sep 18 25 Sep 18 $2,625$2,363pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
22 Sep 18 2 Oct 18 checkmark $2,525$2,273pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
29 Sep 18 9 Oct 18 $2,425$2,183pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
13 Oct 18 23 Oct 18 $2,425$2,183pp 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 $800 p.p.

Triple Discount: $10 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $71 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.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

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.

  • 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 48 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.

Reviews

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?

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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