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Irish Experience

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Cliffs of Moher
Tour Style: First Class
12 Days from $2,273 per person

With a spring in your step and a little Irish zest for life, this journey traversing north and south will introduce you to such natural wonders as Giant's Causeway and the Cliffs of Moher. Learn all about Belfast's tumultuous history from a local Cabbie, visit Ireland's most romantic castle, Kylemore Abbey, and travel through the lush Garden of Ireland, County Wicklow.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. 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. Embrace your playful side and indulge in the allure of the lively Irish capital – a small city with a lot of heart and yours to explore before meeting your Travel Director and fellow travelers this afternoon for a sightseeing tour with your Local Specialist. View St. Patrick's Cathedral, the stately Georgian Squares and Trinity College. We spend this evening at the Glasnevin Trust for a Welcome Reception with a Local Specialist. Over drinks and canapés, we'll hear about the brave characters from Ireland's recent history and toast to our upcoming journey through the Emerald Isle.

    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Mespil
  3. Leaving the cosmopolitan streets of Dublin behind, we travel to Northern Ireland and the bustling city of Belfast, where you will have some free time to enjoy a spud for lunch or perhaps some fish and chips. Later, we meet our Local Specialist 'Cabbie' for an insider view of the city's living history during a journey through its vibrant streets in a real Black Cab. We spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure, or perhaps join an Optional Experience.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Park Inn By Radisson
  4. The tragic story of the Titanic and the thousands of passengers that lost their lives takes center stage on this morning's Cultural Insight visit to the award-winning Titanic Belfast Visitor Center. We leave the city behind us, journeying through the beautiful Antrim coast road, past scenic glens and rugged beaches, arriving at Giant's Causeway to walk in the footsteps of Finn MacCool. Take some time to admire the natural spectacle of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns before journeying to Londonderry, our home for the next two nights.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Everglades
  5. Join your Local Specialist for a walk along the 17th century city walls and see the turbulent Bogside neighborhood with its street murals depicting the history of the 'Troubles'. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Walk along the pretty River Foyle and across the Peace Bridge, or consider joining an Optional Experience to the beautiful Inishowen Peninsula with its rich history. This evening we dine at our hotel.
    meal(s):FB, D
  6. We meander through the lush countryside to Belleek Pottery where we'll enjoy a Cultural Insight demonstration and watch talented craftsmen create exquisite collectables that have graced homes since the mid-19th century. Arrive in Galway later enjoying free time to explore its imposing stone Cathedral or stroll through Eyre Square, which John F. Kennedy visited in 1963.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Maldron/Connacht
  7. The rugged beauty of Connemara was captured in the film ‘The Quiet Man' with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara and its loughs and mountains are yours to explore today during a scenic drive. We arrive at Kylemore Abbey later to visit the country's most romantic castle and ramble through the hidden nooks of its Victorian walled garden before returning to Galway for dinner at our hotel tonight.
    meal(s):FB, D
  8. See the imposing sheer Cliffs of Moher rise up 700 feet from the pounding sea below and learn about the history of these natural phenomena with a visit to the 'Atlantic Edge' exhibition. We join Oonagh and scavenge for ingredients that will be used to create our unique Be My Guest lunch at the O'Brien's homely Barrtra Seafood restaurant along the world famous Wild Atlantic Way. Enjoy spectacular views of the dramatic coastline before boarding a ferry across the tranquil River Shannon estuary. Then continue through beautiful County Kerry to our hotel in Killarney, where we'll have an evening at leisure to soak up the craic at a traditional Irish ceilidh.
    meal(s):FB, BG
    hotel:Killarney Towers/Ashe
  9. The breathtaking landscapes of Iveragh Peninsula provide a mesmerising backdrop for our scenic coastal drive around the ‘Ring of Kerry' – an unimaginably beautiful natural setting that is among Ireland's most magical and memorable. En route we will see Killorglin, which was immortalized in the film, Ryan's Daughter, as well as Daniel O'Connell's Cahirciveen, the fishing village of Waterville, the Black Valley and Moll's Gap.
    meal(s):FB, D
  10. Today we acquire the ‘gift of the gab' bending over backwards to kiss the Blarney Stone before we travel to Waterford via Youghal. Admire the delicate creations of fine crystal during a visit to the House of Waterford Crystal where we will enjoy a Cultural Insight demonstration by master craftsmen and see their talents transformed into the exquisite pieces that have enticed buyers for centuries. This evening we arrive in Kilkenny, the picturesque lakeside city with its imposing 12th century castle, once the seat of the Butlers of Ormonde.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Hotel Kilkenny
  11. Our first stop today is in New Ross, where we'll see the monument to John F. Kennedy, who visited his ancestral family hometown in 1963. The tragic plight of Irish emigrants during the potato famine of the 1800s is explored during a Cultural Insight at the nearby three-masted Famine Ship Dunbrody. Journey through the lush Irish countryside of County Wicklow, the Garden of Ireland, and back to Dublin where we'll spend our final evening with our travel companions sharing stories of our memorable journey through Ireland at a Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):FB, FD
    hotel:Ballsbridge
  12. It's time to say a fond farewell to Ireland and newfound friends as you prepare to end your wonderful Irish experience.  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
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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.
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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: $580 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: $10 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $107 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
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips

Meal Summary

10 nights, 10 full breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Go scavenging with Oonagh and enjoy the fruits of of what you've found for lunch at the O'Brien's homely Barrtra Seafood restaurant overlooking beautiful Liscannor Bay

Cultural Insight

  • Discover the full story of the Titanic at the Titanic Belfast visitor attraction and monument in Belfast. See traditional craftsmen at work at the Belleek Pottery Visitor Center, one of the oldest working potteries in the world, and the House of Waterford Crystal. Explore the tragic history of Ireland's famine emigration at the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience, a replica of one of the original ships used in the 1800s

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Dublin, Belfast and Londonderry/Derry

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Dublin, Belfast, Londonderry/Derry
  • Orientation of Galway, Waterford
  • Visit the Glasnevin Trust in Dublin, the Titanic Museum, the UNESCO World Heritage site at the Giant's Causeway, Belleek to see how the famous pottery is made, Kylemore Abbey, the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney to kiss the stone and gain the ‘gift of the gab', the Crystal Showroom at Waterford, the Famine Ship in New Ross
  • View St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Queens University in Belfast, the City Walls and Murals of Londonderry, mystical Connemara, the Cathedral of Galway
  • Scenic drive along the Ring of Kerry

Reviews

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : everything was excellent, from the moment we asked for information about the trip to the director in Ireland to everything..... we loved it... yes we would recommend GET
Vacation : the tour director, the driver, the views the way it was conducted, the attention to details,, everything better than really expected
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : HAVING BOOKED SEVERAL TRIPS WITH GRAND EUROPEAN WE HAVE NEVER BEEN DISAPPOINTED - GREAT HOTELS, GREAT ITINERARIES.
Vacation : Most interesting information on the 'troubles' from several different angles.
  • 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 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.

Belfast

Belfast Walk with Fish and Chips

Adult Price: £38

What better way to soak up the atmosphere of this lively city than to join a local specialist for a stroll through its hidden side streets? We'll have an included drink in a historic pub and continue to a local restaurant for a quintessentially traditional meal; fish and chips.

Galway

Galway Castle Banquet

Adult Price: € 67

Join us on a drive to Galway Castle where you'll begin your evening of medieval entertainment. This will be accompanied by a delicious dinner where wine will flow, and you’ll be treated to songs and the marvellous Irish art of story-telling.

Kilkenny

Sports and Music - Irish Style

Adult Price: € 27

Take advantage of this opportunity to learn about the ancient sport of hurling over a drink at the pub. Moving outside, you’ll enjoy a live demonstration by village locals and even have a chance to try your hand at this game, said to be the oldest and fastest field sport in the world. Later, a drink and live music will greet you on returning to the pub.

Killarney

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.

Visit Muckross House and its Gardens

Adult Price: € 21

Come with us to Muckross House and its beautiful gardens. With a backdrop of oak-clad mountains, enjoy taking in the towering azaleas and rhododendrons as you meander along the shores of the lakes. The 18th century house contains some wonderful examples of furniture and paintings, including a portrait of King James VI, for whom Shakespeare wrote Macbeth.

Londonderry

Dinner and Drinks in Derry

Adult Price: £42

Join us and the the rest of the group for a cosy and relaxing evening of dinner and a drink in a locally-loved restaurant.

Experience the Inishowen Peninsula

Adult Price: £19

Enjoy a guided visit to the Inishowen Peninsula. This spectacular circuit will take you on a journey to the most north-western tip of Ireland. Here you'll visit Grianan Aileach, a circle stone fort which was the royal seat of the O'Neill clan, situated amongst spectacular views.

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