Tour 1: August 19th to August 30th, 2024 (depart USA August 18th) Fully Booked! Register for waitlist or select another date.
Tour 2: August 30th to September 10th, 2024 (depart USA August 29th) Fully Booked! Register for waitlist or select another date
Tour 3: September 11th to September 22nd, 2024 (depart USA September 10th) Fully Booked! Register if you’d like to be waitlisted
Tour 4: September 22nd to October 3rd, 2024 (depart USA September 21st) Available! Four spots open for this tour.
Tour 5: October 3rd to October 14th (depart USA October 2nd) Available! Eight spots open for these dates.
I’ve developed this itinerary with a wonderful combination of music, local entertainment, unique beverages, and natural beauty. After an initial two nights in Dublin, most of the tour will be spent in the west in small towns and rural areas.
We’ll enjoy more than a few nights of traditional music and adult beverages, step dancing, and perhaps a Ceili or two. Incredible scenery along the Wild Atlantic Way, Galway Bay, and the Ring of Kerry, and a country with thousands of years of history.
Much of your costs are included in the tour, accommodations, many meals, admissions and sightseeing and the services of a local guide and driver.
September is an excellent time to visit. The weather is mild, the days provide a lot of time for daylight touring, and most of the summer crowds have left for home.
Here’s the itinerary. I hope you’re able to join me in Ireland for this tour.
Day 1 Arrivals in Dublin from the USA. We’ll meet up in the hotel lobby in the late afternoon for a welcome pint and an orientation to the tour. An early dinner is on the slate, then live music in Ireland’s oldest pub, the Brazen Head. Overnight Dublin (D)
Day 2 We’ll start the day with a morning walking tour through the historic heart of Ireland’s Capital including Temple Bar and Trinity College, including a viewing of the Book of Kells. In the afternoon we journey to Saint James Gate to tour the Guinness Storehouse and enjoy a sample pint in the Gravity Bar with a 360° view of Dublin.
There’s a special treat in store for dinner this evening as we participate in the Irish House Party for Music and food. Overnight Dublin (BD)
Day 3 Depart Dublin for the west coast. Stop midway across the island with a stop at the Kilbeggan Distillery to get a glimpse of how Irish Whiskey is made with a distillery tour. We’ll then break for lunch at the quaint lakeside town of Athlone with time to dine, shop, or visit Athlone Castle on your own. In the afternoon we’ll visit the visit the ruined monastic site at Clonmacnoise before arriving in Galway in the late afternoon. We’ll have dinner together this evening, with the possibility of traditional music to follow. Overnight Galway (BD)
Day 4 We’ll travel about an hour to the north to the village of Cong, made famous as the site of “The Quiet Man”, a 1952 film featuring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. We’ll enjoy a walking tour with that theme. We’ll visit Ashford Castle and a stroll of the grounds before enjoying Afternoon Tea in the Connaught Room, a tradition since 1868. We’ll return to Galway in the early evening. Dinner is on your own this evening. Overnight Galway (BT)
Day 5 Our day will be spent in Inis Mór, the largest of the three islands that comprise the Aran Islands. We’re taking the ferry from near Galway to Kilronan Village and will tour the islands from there. Highlights include the dramatically perched, pre-historic fort of Dún Aengus. Return to Galway in the late afternoon. Overnight Galway (BD)
Day 6 We’re starting the day with a visit to The Burren for a walk with a naturalist to explain this unique biome of Karst Limestone. We’ll break for lunch in Doolin before heading off to the magnificent Cliffs of Moher for outstanding views of the Atlantic from the cliffs. We’re then off to Limerick for the next two nights. Dinner will near the hotel this evening. Overnight Limerick (BD)
Day 7 We’ll start with a morning walking tour of Limerick with a focus on Frank McCourt’s autobiographical novel, Angela’s Ashes. After lunch and shopping time in the city, we’ll travel to the Bunratty Folk Park for a glimpse into Irish village life in the not to distant past.
We’ll stay in the area this afternoon to attend the Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle. A little touristic, yes, but a great deal of fun. Overnight Limerick (BD)
Day 8 We’ll start the day with an early departure to drive the Gap of Dunloe and Killarney National Park with a combination Jaunting Car/Boat Excursion. In the afternoon we’ll have a tour of one Ireland’s historic manor houses with a visit to Muckross House. Dinner is on your own this evening.
Later this afternoon, we’ll visit a local farm to view a sheepdog demonstration. Overnight Killarney (B)
Day 9 Today we’ll experience the Ring of Kerry with a visit to Dingle at the very tip of the ring. While there, we’ll take an excursion to the Blasket Islands. The Blasket Islands were populated by centuries by a close-knit group of Irish speaking inhabitants until the 1950s. We’ll have time to spend in the town of Dingle as well before returning to Killarney. Dinner will be near the hotel this evening. Overnight Killarney (BD)
Day 10 We depart County Kerry this morning as we make our way back toward Dublin. Our base for the next two nights is Kilkenny, home of the fabulous Kilkenny Cream Ale. On the way, we’ll make a short detour to Blarney for an obligatory stop at Blarney Castle. You’ll have a chance to kiss the stone or just watch the others if you’re already blessed with the “gift of gab”.
We’ll break for lunch when we arrive at Cashel, followed by a tour of the Rock of Cashel, an ancient Royal Fortress of the Kings of Munster. We’ll arrive in Kilkenny in the late afternoon. Dinner is on your own this evening. There should be a music session to be found later in the evening. Overnight Kilkenny (B)
Day 11 We’ll make a short drive to the south and the Waterford Crystal Factory. After starting our morning with an hour-long walking tour of Ireland’s oldest city (914 AD), we’ll enjoy a Waterford factory tour and have time to shop. You’ll have time for lunch and souvenir shopping in the city before we make our way back to Kilkenny.
We’ve got a tour scheduled at the Smithwick’s Brewery Experience and a tasting immediately afterward. The Brewery itself, which dates back to 1710 was closed when Guinness bought it in the 1960s, but the history remains. We have our farewell dinner this evening, followed by local music for those with an interest. Overnight Kilkenny (BD)
Day 12 We’re on our way back to Dublin Airport (about 90 minutes) this morning. En-route, we’ll make a final stop at one of the more important and intact early monastic sites in Ireland, Glendalough. Our arrival at Dublin Airport at 1:00 PM is meant to coincide with the timing for the Aer Lingus nonstop at 3:00 PM back to Seattle. If your flights differ from that, we can look into an overnight in Dublin or earlier alternate transportation.
What’s included in your tour
- 11 nights in first class hotel properties
- 11 Full Irish Breakfasts
- 8 dinners along the tour route
- Teas, lunches, and Medieval Banquets as indicated
- Many opportunities for traditional music
- Services of a local guide throughout
- Admission fees and guide services as indicated
It’s suggested that you take advantage of the non-stop service offered by Aer Lingus from Seattle. For this tour, you would book the outbound flight with this schedule:
Tour #1 Depart the USA on Tuesday, September 10th, which arrives in Dublin just before noon on the 11th. The return flight departs from Dublin on Sunday, September 22nd a little after 3:00 PM.
Tour #2 Depart the USA on Saturday, September 21st, arriving in Dublin late morning on September 22nd. Return flight departs from Dublin at 3:10 PM on Thursday, October 3rd.
Tour #3 Depart the USA on Wednesday, October 2nd, arriving in Dublin late morning on October 3rd. Return flight departs from Dublin at 3:10 PM on Monday, October 14th.
Airline tickets are available to book within 330 days of the scheduled flight. Estimated cost for this ticket will be $800-$1,000.
Tour dates for week 1 are are September 11th to 22nd. (Depart for Ireland on September 10th)
Tour dates for week 2 are September 22nd to October 3rd. (Depart for Ireland on September 21st)
Tour dates for week 3 are October 3rd to October 14th. (Depart for Ireland on October 2nd)
Tour cost is $5,050 per person. There is a supplement of $1200 for singles. There is a discount of $175 per person for guests opting to pay by check in lieu of Visa/Mastercard.
The tour has availability for just 14 guests. To confirm your tour, a deposit of $2,000 is required. The balance of payment is due March 1st, 2024.
Make Your Reservation!
If you have any questions about this tour, please contact Brad Cilley at email@example.com or by phone at 425 375 2676.