An Irish Tale from Giant’s Causeway to Dublin's fair City in the footsteps of some of the literary giants of Ireland
Belfast - 2 nights
Sligo - 1 night
Galway - 1 night
Limerick - 1 night
Killarney - 2 nights
Cork - 1 night
Dublin - 2 nights
Travel to a land where giants carved the coastlines, fairies dwell in the boreens and luck rises up to meet you.
The Irish as a nation have an eloquence and gift when it comes to communicating. An incredibly creative people, producing four Nobel Laureates of literature and four winners of the Booker Prize, impressive by any standards, more so for such a small nation.
We trace some of the literary giants of Ireland and explore the island’s beautiful landscape which has evoked this creativity and inspired some of their wonderful writing.
Discover the beauty of Ireland's stunning coastal and mountain scenery. Lush, unspoilt countryside and sites of unique splendour from the geological wonder of the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to the dramatic and rugged Cliffs of Moher, part of a UNESCO Global Geo-park, home to rare plants, puffin colonies and dolphins.
Enjoy a drive through the vast Connemara peninsula, Dingle Peninsula and the isolated Aran Islands. Travel the spectacular Ring of Kerry and through the beautiful lake-land scenery of Killarney National Park. Explore captivating cities: Belfast, birthplace of the Titanic, Galway full of artists and musicians, Limerick, a city of literary focus with great sporting traditions, Cork, home of the revolutionary leader and Clonakilty man Michael Collins and finally Dublin, the lively capital of the Republic with a long and colourful history.
Discover the heritage and mystical Celtic charm of the Emerald Isle, the incredible legends and the famously warm welcome that greets all visitors.
Landscapes & Culture
Literary Tour Cruise on Lough Corrib & Beneath the Cliffs of Moher
Visit the Aran Islands
Lecture at Dublin Writers Museum
Group Size: 10 – 24
Day 1 Fly to Belfast. Enjoy a panoramic city tour of Belfast. The tour will take in the leaning Albert Memorial Clock tower, City Hall and the Opera House, The Crown Bar which dates from 1885, Queens University and the Botanic Gardens. Visit the Harland and Wolfe Shipyard, where the Titanic was built and launched in 1912. So to Shankill and Falls road to learn how life was in Belfast during the troubles. Transfer to the 4-star Holiday Inn Hotel for a two night stay. (D)
Day 2 According to legend, Finn McCool created the Giant's Causeway by building stepping stones to challenge the Scottish giant Benandonner. Explore the mythology, geology, landscape, ecology, culture and social history based on the UNESCO World Heritage site that consists of 40,000 basalt polygonal columns formed 60 million years ago. Visit Seamus Heaney’s home place, explore his life and literature, as the most widely published poet in the English. Return to Belfast. (B, L, D)
Day 3 Depart for Sligo with a photo stop at Portora Royal school, whose students include Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett. Continue to famous Belleek Pottery for and an audio visual tour. Explore the scenery that so inspired W.B. Yeats and continue to his final resting place at Drumcliff Churchyard, at the foot of Benbulben. Overnight at the 4-star Clayton Hotel. (B)
Day 4 Enjoy a drive through the Connemara Region. A land of lakes and rivers, bogs and mountains, of small villages where Gaelic is still the spoken language and where little has changed since the beginning of time. It is without a doubt the wildest and the most romantic part of Ireland. Connemara is a vast peninsula bordered by the arid and rocky coastline of Galway Bay in the south, a land characteristic for its stone walls and thatched cottages. Enjoy a cruise along the majestic River Corrib and onto Lough Corrib, with traditional scones and an Irish coffee demonstration. Return to Galway and explore the city. Galway City is a delight with its narrow streets, old stone and wooden shop fronts, good restaurants and busy pubs. The city has attracted a bohemian crown of musicians and artists, which add so much to the character of the city. Overnight at the 3-star Connacht Hotel. Optional dinner and entertainment at Padraicins, overlooking Galway Bay (£49 pre-bookable). (B)
Day 5 Enjoy a day trip to the Aran Islands and cruise beneath the Cliffs of Moher. The three Aran Islands, Inisheer, Inishmaan and Inishmore, in the Galway bay, form a mass of limestone, similar to the Burren’s geology. Even today the inhabitants remain strongly attached to Gaelic traditions. These islands are the last real “Gaelthacht” of modern Ireland. Inishmore is the largest, covered in old stone walls and little fields. On the West Coast of the island, majestic cliffs drop into the wild Atlantic ocean. This area is dominated by Dun Aengus, one of the most impressive Neolithic forts in Europe. A trip to the islands offers a journey through time and an an encounter with mythical Ireland. On our return, we cruise beneath the world famous Cliffs of Moher and enjoy the unique views, as the cliffs stretch for 8km and tower up to 200m (700ft) above the Atlantic Ocean. Learn about the fauna, the geology and history of the region. Continue to Limerick and the 4-star George Hotel. This evening enjoy a medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle. Built in the 15th century by the Earl of Thomond on the banks of the Rathy River. (B, D)
Day 6 After breakfast depart for Killarney and a journey through the Dingle Peninsula. The Dingle Peninsula will bewitch you with the dramatic beauty of its landscapes. Famous for its Celtic monuments and Christian churches, here the Irish language and traditional way of life is preserved. Pass through the chain of Mountains, Slieve Mish, admire Iveragh Peninsula and Rossbeigh Beach then drive to Slea Head. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant then visit Muckross House and Gardens, a magnificent Victorian mansion, one of Ireland’s leading stately homes, situated in Killarney National Parkland Gardens. Two nights at the 4-star Killarney Plaza. (B, L)
Day 7 Travel the Ring of Kerry, the most famous and panoramic route in Ireland. Pass through Killorglin, famous for its Puck Fair, then to Glenbeigh with panoramic views of the Dingle Peninsula and Dingle Bay. Continuing to Cahirciveen, pass the birthplace of the National hero, Daniel O’Connell. On to Waterville and Sneem, famous for their brightly coloured houses. Visit Molls Gap and Ladies View, so named by Queen Victoria, with superb views of the famous Lakes of Killarney. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)
Day 8 Attracting visitors from all over the world, Blarney Castle is an ancient stronghold of the McCarthy's, Lords of Muskerry, one of the strongest fortresses in Munster, famous for its Blarney stone, the Stone of Eloquence, believed to bestow the gift on all those who kiss it. Enjoy a food tour in Kinsale, a delightful town just outside Cork. Overnight in Cork at the 4-star in the Maldron Hotel. (B)
Day 9 This morning depart for Dublin, en-route visit Rock of Cashel. Possibly the most photographed site in Ireland, the Rock of Cashel towers over the town of Cashel from its perch on a 200-foot high outcrop of limestone. The Rock of Cashel was once the seat of the Kings of Munster, St. Patrick visited the rock in 450 AD, while Brian Boru was crowned the first high King of Ireland here. The impressive stone walls enclose a tower, cathedral, 12th century Romanesque chapel and high crosses. Visit the Irish National Stud and Japanese Garden. Devised by Colonel William Hall between 1906 and 1910 and laid out by Japanese master horticulturist Tassa Eida and his son Minoru and thought to be the finest of their kind in Europe. Enjoy lunch at the Stud. Continue to Dublin for two nights at the 3-star Academy Plaza Hotel. (B, L)
Day 10 After breakfast visit Glasnevin Cemetery, the world's first cemetery museum. Enjoy a private tour focussing on Irish literature and the Irish Literary Giants. Return to the city centre and visit Trinity College and Book of Kells. Thomas Burgh built the Old Library building in the 18th century. Today it houses one of Ireland’s most illustrious books, the 9th century “Book of Kells”. Before viewing the famous book, visitors pass through an excellent exhibition based on the Book of Kells and other important books written in monasteries around Ireland from the 9th century. After viewing the Book of Kells visitors are invited to visit the Long Room built in 1745, once the principal library of the University. Next visit the Dublin Writers Museum on Parnell Square and enjoy a lecture on Irish literature celebrating Dublin’s literary characters including Swift, Sheridan, Shaw, Wilde, Yeats, Joyce and Beckett. This evening enjoy a traditional Irish dinner while listening to old Irish Folk Tales and traditional. (B, D)
Day 11 Fly from Dublin Airport to London. (B)
Situated in the heart of Belfast, just a few minutes from City Hall, the Grand Opera House, the Odyssey Arena and Waterfront Hall and close to Great Victoria Street. Incorporating 250 modern rooms with the option to dine in both the restaurant and the bar. Free WiFI.
The 4-star Clayton Hotel Sligo is set on beautiful grounds, within walking distance from the bustling town of Sligo. This historic building also hosts two churches, Canis Major and Canis Minor. The hotel offers a leisure centre and two dining options, Sinergie Restaurant and Bulbens Bar & Bistro. All 162 rooms have private facilities, hairdryer, tea/coffee making facilities, TV and free WiFi.
The 3-star The Connacht Hotel is located close to Lough Atalia, 1.5 miles from the city centre. Rooms are bright and modern in design with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, TV, tea/coffee-making facilities and free WiFi.
An elegant and stylish 4-star boutique hotel in the city centre with a restaurant serving Italian cuisine. 124 rooms have private facilities, TV, coffee/tea making facilities and free WiFi.
The 4-star Killarney Plaza Hotel overlooks Killarney National Park. It boasts a gourmet restaurant, a piano bar and indoor pool and spa. Rooms have private facilities, hairdryer, safe, TV, tea/coffee making facilities and free WiFi.
Maldron Hotel South Mall is located in the centre of Cork City Centre close to the social hub of the city centre. All rooms come with a seating area, desk and a flat-screen TV.
Close to vibrant O'Connell Street, this relaxed hotel is a walk from Trinity College and Temple Bar nightlife district. Warm rooms feature free WiFi and flat-screen TVs, as well as work desks, laptop safes, and tea and coffee facilities. There is a casual restaurant/bar, lobby lounge and a fitness centre.
per person in a twin room
British Airways to Belfast/from Dublin
per person in a twin room
British Airways to Belfast/from Dublin
Supplements per person
Single supplement £395
Club Europe from £205
Extra nights - Dublin
Academy Plaza Hotel (per night) £135
Single supplement £65
Extra nights - Belfast
Holiday Inn Hotel (per night) £135
Single supplement £65
Optional dinner and entertainment at Padraicins £49
Arrival transfer add £25
Departure transfer add £40
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 10 night’s accommodation in specially selected hotels, breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 5 dinners, itinerary and excursions as described, local representatives and expert driver/guide, lectures and private visits.
Travel insurance, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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