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Irish Elegance

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
Stunning Ashford Castle
Tour Style: Premium
9 Days from $2,408 per person

Showcasing the very best sights and scenery of Ireland including the Wild Atlantic Way and a magnificent night at the stylish, distinguished and luxurious Ashford Castle.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Ireland (not included).

  2. Welcome to Dublin. On arrival at Dublin Airport, your airport shuttle service leaves for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 & 13:30. Later, join your Tour Director for an orientation tour that brings to life Dublin's architectural treasures and history, stretching back more than 1,000 years. Enjoy your VIP priority entrance to the 9th century Book of Kells and a walk through the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College accompanied by a University insider, gaining their insight into modern life and the establishment's impressive history. Back at your hotel, join your Tour Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Reception with drinks and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

    meal(s):DW
    hotel:Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane, Dublin.
  3. Depart Dublin, and pass the famous Curragh Racecourse and green meadows where many of the finest Irish racehorses are bred. Driving south, stop to visit the spectacular Rock of Cashel, crowned with medieval buildings, dominating the flat countryside for miles around. Continue to Blarney Castle where you can climb to the ramparts and kiss the magical stone to ensure a lifetime of eloquence. Head to Killarney, where you may fancy a ‘pint of porter'. This town on the lakes is famous for its lively pubs, so in the evening why not join in the ‘craic'?

    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Killarney Plaza, Killarney.
  4. In the morning, marvel at spectacular mountain and sea views as you travel the road that winds around the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula, better known as the Ring of Kerry. There is a chance to join a hike with a Local Expert along the lake shore and past the farmlands of the Muckross Estate, admiring the spectacular scenery. Walk by West Meadow Bay and see Muckross House. While there are no mountains to climb, walkers should be fit, have good walking shoes or boots, sunscreen and rain gear. For those who do not want to join the hike, the coach will return to Killarney, where the rest of the day is at leisure.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Killarney Plaza, Killarney.
  5. Cross the Shannon Estuary by ferry and enter County Clare. Stop at the Exhibition Center and enjoy a walk along the Cliffs of Moher, raised approximately 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic waves. Then travel north across the Burren, a suddenly stark and barren landscape, scarred with interesting limestone creases. Journey to Galway, the City of the Tribes, and see the lovely cathedral. Take in the scenery from your hotel, which is spectacularly set on the shores of Galway Bay.

    meal(s):BB, D
    hotel:Connemara Coast, Galway.
  6. Embark on a superb excursion through a wonderland of rivers, lakes and silent hills. Stop at lakeside Kylemore Abbey - a neo-Gothic mansion, occupied today by a Benedictine community of nuns who came from Ypres after World War I. (

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Connemara Coast, Galway.
  7. A lone piper escorts you over the drawbridge to majestic Ashford Castle. Your signature hotel provides a romantic backdrop in superior surroundings, offering both relaxation and comfort. There are many opportunities to explore the vast estate, pamper yourself at the spa, or get to know the hawks and woodland surroundings at the hotel's Falconry School. Dining at Ashford Castle ranks among the finest culinary experiences in the world. Creative cooking, seasonal ingredients and an innovative menu await at your Highlight Celebration Dinner. Gentlemen, a jacket is required.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Ashford Castle, Cong.
  8. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the morning and perhaps a stroll on the estate. Then cross the midlands to Dublin where the rest of the day is free for independent activities and maybe some last minute shopping.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane, Dublin.
  9. Your tour comes to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Dublin Airport at 07:00, 09:00 & 11:00.

    meal(s):BB
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  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
14 Apr 18 22 Apr 18 $2,675$2,408pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
21 Apr 18 29 Apr 18 $2,675$2,408pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
28 Apr 18 6 May 18 $2,850$2,565pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
5 May 18 13 May 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
12 May 18 20 May 18 checkmark $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
19 May 18 27 May 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
26 May 18 3 Jun 18 checkmark $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
2 Jun 18 10 Jun 18 checkmark $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
9 Jun 18 17 Jun 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
16 Jun 18 24 Jun 18 checkmark $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
23 Jun 18 1 Jul 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
30 Jun 18 8 Jul 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
7 Jul 18 15 Jul 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
14 Jul 18 22 Jul 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
21 Jul 18 29 Jul 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
28 Jul 18 5 Aug 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
4 Aug 18 12 Aug 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
11 Aug 18 19 Aug 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
18 Aug 18 26 Aug 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
25 Aug 18 2 Sep 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
1 Sep 18 9 Sep 18 checkmark $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
8 Sep 18 16 Sep 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
15 Sep 18 23 Sep 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
22 Sep 18 30 Sep 18 $2,895$2,606pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
29 Sep 18 7 Oct 18 $2,675$2,408pp 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 $750 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $92 per person.

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.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only 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
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

INCLUDED QUALITY DINING

7 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 2  Dinners (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences

Dublin:

  • VIP priority entrance to the Book of Kells and a guided walk though Trinity College with a University insider.

Cashel:

  • Once the seat of the Kings of Munster. Visit the spectacular rock, reputed to be the site of the conversion of King Aengus by St
    Patrick.

Blarney:

  • It is said that those who kiss the stone are bestowed with the power to persuade, flatter and coax. You are invited to dangle from the ramparts of Blarney Castle to acquire the 'gift of the gab'.

Galway:

  • See the stunning cathedral of the City of Tribes.

Killarney:

  • Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and remote villages, as you tour the magical Ring of Kerry.
  • Join a local expert for a one-hour hike on wooded paths and lakeside trails along West Meadow Bay.

Cliffs of Moher:

  • Stop by the Exhibition Center and look out over the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.

Connemara:

  • Visit the turreted Neo-Gothic Kylemore Abbey, steeped in history and tales of tragedy and romance.

Ashford Castle

  • On arrival to Ashford Castle, you are escorted over the drawbridge by a lone piper for a majestic entrance fit for royalty.
  • One of the finest culinary experiences in the world - join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a lively evening of
    dinner and wine.

Reviews

Sunday, October 1, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The itinerary was excellent, wonderful venues, great hotels, terrific meals and optional entertainment. Driver was absolutely top notch. However, many of us found the tour director to be not up to the job. He would be describing something, stop and start off on another subject, saying he'd get back to finishing the original story but often did not. When later asked if he could finish the story, his reply was often snappy and unprofessional. Worse, he STILL wouldn't get to it! He was asked on 4 different occasions to please mention that one couple were on the tour to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. He said he would but never did. How hard is that? Nit-picky, but the name tags we were given were on a little clip and in very small print. You had to be standing very close to read peoples names. Other tours had much larger name tags on lanyards which to us seemed much better.
Vacation : I'm assuming by purchases you mean the optional experiences! The jaunty car depends entirely on the driver, some great, some just OK. Killarney Celtic Steps was absolutely excellent. The Whisky Trail is misleading in that you don't really get anything relating to whisky but the medieval history tour was good. The pub supper was good but 40 people jammed into one small room with some sitting on stools could have been better. The Lake Cruise taking you to Ashford Castle was OK but not really anything truly special. But, it was a nice way to approach the castle and be met with a piper. (Ashford Castle is the highlight of the tour.) The Dublin dinner and coastal drive was just OK. If we had to do it again we'd pass on this one. Although the food was excellent.
Sunday, September 3, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Customer service was top notch. From the first phone call to book the trip, we were treated with genuine helpfulness and you felt that they really wanted us to have a trip of a lifetime. This was our third experience using GET and once again we were not disappointed.
Vacation : The itinerary was outstanding! Wonderful acommodations - Ashford Castle was the highlight of the tour- but all the hotels were first class. The tour director was great and local guides know their locations. All and all a delightful experience.
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I have traveled with Grand European in the past and will definitely do so in the future. They handled everything perfectly, flights, hotels, etc., it all went without a single hitch. Our Travel Director, Robbie Joyce, was excellent as was Pat our driver. They are a great pair.
Vacation : Well, I didn't really buy anything, just a few small things as mementos. When I travel I'm more intent on the travel experience than shopping. There isn't usually much time anyway.
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : We missed our initial flight out of the country. We re-booked our flight and called GE for support. A lady by the name of Pam was very courteous and supportive. She told us exactly what to do to catch our tour a day later. We couldn't have done it without her. Thank you Pam!!
Vacation : We chose this trip because we were going to stay in Ashford Castle. After the trip began we were told that we would be staying in Ashford Lodge due to a wedding that was booked for the same weekend. Our tour itinerary was switched around so that we were there on Wednesday instead of Friday. One member of our group had tried to book an activity at Ashford Castle for the Friday we were scheduled to be there. She was told that we were not scheduled and that she would need to wait until we got there to schedule her activity. This was in MARCH!!. Our tour guide said he didn't find out about the change until the Thursday before our trip. He continued to try to get information to share with us. It is a shame that he was left in the dark, but received the brunt of unhappy travelers. We should have been notified of the change when it occurred (March or before) and given some options, ex: 1) cancel 2) re-book 3) continue as changed. Instead the company chose not to tell us; therefore we were surprised and extremely upset at the way things played out. Honesty from the beginning would have been the RIGHT thing to do. Shame on your company for taking the low road instead of the high road!
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are truly sorry to hear about the issue with Ashford Castle.  Our Guest Relations department will be in touch with you shortly to discuss this further.
Friday, July 28, 2017
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Irish Elegance....Not really! Problems with the hotel in Dublin (no air conditioning, very hot even in June, out of city center in the remote financial center and with rowdy sports bar where there was no place for a cocktail or chair and little to walk to). Problems with our hotel at Connemara Coast Hotel. The hotel was too far from Galway to be able to enjoy the beautiful city and lively nightlife and shopping. The hotel room we were given at Connemara and my father was give was terrible! No safe, no airconditioning, no hot water for shower and water was rust colored with outdated plumbing. We called immediately to ask if we could have a room with a safe and were told there were none. Our ground floor room window looked at parking spots directly in front and into a neighboring house window meant we could not open window or curtain and maintain any privacy. This was the worst hotel experience we have ever had on any tour! An email to our tour guide the evening before was not responded to. When we insisted on a room with a hot shower in the morning we were magically moved 4 doors down to a lovely room with safe, view, new plumbing with hot water and clear water and windows that could be opened! The better rooms faced the lawn and ocean yet our tour guide warned when we drove to the hotel that most rooms did not have a view! This was not true! All tour guests should have had the same quality room! (The tour guide never talked to us or asked if our room problem was resolved, instead when we sought her out, she said she had problems of her own to deal with.) Why did the hotel put some of tour guests in worst possible dated rooms with plumbing problems? This was inexcusable. My 87 year old father never complained but never had a shower either as there was no hot water! Inexcusable! I think the Irish Elegance title rested on only 3 nights of our tour...the Plaza hotel in Killarney was lovely! The one night at Ashford castle was absolutely incredible and memorable! But you have to get Dublin (2 nights) and Connemara hotels (2 nights) fixed as that is over half the tour nights!
Vacation : Half the hotels were a disappointment. Tour guide gave no shopping tips or suggested locations (other than marble factory jewelry). She was rather detached from the group except for a few favorite friend/guests. Not enough time for shopping in Galway. Dublin and Galway/Connemara hotels were too remote and removed from shopping areas and sights. Our bus driver was wonderful and helpful! Would have been nice to play more music or Irish video on the long driving days.
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The tour director, Tom was very informative about the different sights and we learned a lot. The bus driver, John was always helpful.
Vacation : I bought an Irish Aran sweater that I love! It's a good way to remember our Irish trip.
  • 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

  • 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. 

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

Jaunting Car Ride

Adult Price: € 21.00

Clip-clop your way through the charming streets of Killarney into the beautiful Bourne Vincent National Park. A local “jarvie” informs you of the local history, legend and folklore aboard one of the famous jaunting cars.

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.

Galway

Corrib River and Lake Cruise

Adult Price: € 25.00

Relax and enjoy a one and half hour comprehensive cruise along the Corrib river. Then, we're off to the largest lake in the Republic, Lough Corrib. Along the way, take in the commentary and views of local landmarks, castles, historical sites and wildlife. Indulge in an award-winning Irish Coffee and Dance Demonstration, whilst sipping on the flavoursome Irish staple.

Medieval History Tour and Whiskey Trail with Pub Supper

Adult Price: € 47.00

Join our local expert for a fun and informative walking Tour of the medieval city, following the whiskey trail to one of Galway's best-loved medieval taverns for a drink and supper.

Dublin

Dublin Dinner And Coastal Drive

Adult Price: € 64.00

Enjoy a scenic drive along Dublin’s South Coast along the coastal towns of Sandycove, Dalkey & Killiney, followed by fine cuisine and a glass of wine in one of Dublin’s well-known stylish restaurants.

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