30 MARCH – 7 APRIL, 2017
9 DAYS – 7 NIGHTS (3 nights Ennis + 2 nights Kilkenny + 2 nights Dublin)
Thu 30MAR17 -Departure from Newark
Flight UA 25 departing from EWR @ 7:30PM
Fri. 31MAR17 – Shannon airport – Ennis
7:00AM arrival at Shannon, Ireland.
Meet private English speaking driver/guide, board private motorcoach and travel to a farm house for a full Irish breakfast before continuing by coach to Ennis (approx. 45 minutes drive), which will be your base for the next 3 nights.
note: Ennis Farmers Market: Every Friday 8am to 2pm Roslevan Shopping Centre, Tulla Road, Ennis
Lunch on own and afternoon tour of the city including Ennis Friary and Quinn Abbey.
Ennis Friary, established in County Clare in the 13th century, was once renowned across Europe as a center of learning. Throughout medieval times, the O’Briens were the principal patrons of these Franciscan friars and likely the reason they settled in Ennis Town. Dinner at the hotel in Ennis
Sat. 01APR17 – Burren, Kinvarra, Ballyvaughan villages and Cliffs of Moher
After breakfast, visit Poulnabrune Dolmen, the Burren with Kinvarra and Ballyvaughan villages. On the way back the Cliffs of Moher. Lunch and dinner on own and overnight in Ennis.
Sun. 02APR17 – ENNIS – Adare Village – Foynes – Ennis
Breakfast at the hotel and
Travel to Adare Village (approx. 40 minutes drive), and possibly attend Mass if interested (St. Nicholas Church – Worship times Sundays 12.00 noon). Time for lunch on own. Afternoon travel to Foynes to visit the Flying boat Museum (approx. 25 minutes drive).
Return to Ennis for dinner on own and overnight (Would it be possible to take the ferry from Foynes to Ennis? )
Mon. 03APR17 – Ennis – Cahir Castle – Rock of Cashel – Holy Cross – Kilkenny
Breakfast at the hotel. Board your private bus and travel south to Tipperary, Co. to visit Cahir Castle (approx. 1 hour and 40 min. drive).
Cahir is a fine example of a late Medieval Castle that had been enlarged and greatly remodeled in the 15th to 17th centuries. When the main line of the Butler family died out in the late 1700’s, the castle fell into ruin. It was partly restored in the 1840’s by the Cahir Butlers and more heavily restored after it became a National Monument in 1964.
Continue on to visit Rock of Cashel (approx. 20 minutes drive) and Holy Cross (approx. 15 minutes drive).
The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most visited sites, and is a spectacular and archaeological site. A collection of medieval ecclesiastical buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale. The 12th-century round tower is of the oldest surviving building on the Rock, also include a high cross, and the ruins Romanesque chapel – Cormac’s Chapel is one of the earliest, and finest churches built in the Romanesque style. The Hall houses the museum where the original Cross of St. Patrick can be found.
Holy Cross Abbey is a restored Cistercian abbey built on the River Suir in Co Tipperary. Founded in 1168 by the King of Munster, it became a place of great medieval pilgrimage; Catholic Mass and other religious events continue to be celebrated there. It is one of Ireland’s National Monuments and has a richly colorful past. It takes its name from a relic of the True Cross or Holy Rood, a fragment of which was brought to Ireland by Queen Isabella of Angoulême around 1233.
Overnight in Kilkenny (approx.1 hour drive). Dinner on own and overnight.
Tue. 04 APR17 – Kilkenny (walking tour + coffee and pastry break)
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning your guide will introduce you to Kilkenny’s many unexpected culinary and craft treasures on a leisurely walk thru the city. The tour will include a stop for coffee and pastry break.
Balance of the day at leisure. Lunch and dinner on own. Overnight in Kilkenny.
Wed. 05 APR17 – Kilkenny – Birr Castle – Clonmacnoise – Dublin
After breakfast depart for an excursion to the gardens at Birr Castle (approx. 1 hour and 30 minutes drive). Birr Castle Gardens in Co Offaly is a historic and beautiful part of the Irish midlands. Comprising award-winning landscapes and set in Birr, one of Ireland’s beautiful Georgian heritage towns, the gardens are abundant in exotic trees and flowers. Tt features extensive gardens as well as Ireland’s Historic Science Centre and the great telescope—known as the Leviathan—of the 1840s. Walk the grounds and possibly enjoy lunch in the courtyard café’ (at own expense.
Afterwards drive approx. 30 minutes to Clonmacnoise
Back in the 6th century, Clonmacnoise lay at the center of Europe. This was an early Christian crossroads famed for exporting art, learning and faith all over the continent. St Ciarán and his monks, who founded the site, were clearly busy people: remains at Clonmacnoise today include nine churches, three superb high crosses, an iconic 12th-century round tower, and the ruins of a cathedral.
Afterwards continue on to your hotel in Dublin (approx. 2-hour drive). Dinner on own and overnight
Thu. 06APR17 – Dublin
Breakfast. Full day at leisure to explore city on own
Lunch and dinner on own. Overnight in Hotel.
OPTIONAL Dublin – Glendalough – Powerscourt – Dublin area
Breakfast at the hotel and morning departure for Glendalough (approx. 1 hour and 20 min. drive).
Glendalough (the name means glen or valley of two lakes) in County Wicklow is naturally and spiritually spectacular. The site was carved out in an Ice Age thousands of years ago, with mountain streams and alluvial deposits conspiring to create the Upper and Lower lakes so beloved of walkers today.
Renowned for its Early Medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by St Kevin, a hermit priest, and partly destroyed in 1398 by English troops. The present remains in Glendalough tell only a small part of its story. The monastery in its heyday included workshops, areas for manuscript writing and copying, guest houses, an infirmary, farm buildings and dwellings for both the monks and a large lay population. The buildings which survive probably date from between the 10th and 12th centuries.
Continue (approx. 35 minutes drive) onto Powerscourt House, a beautiful Palladian mansion, home to Lord Powerscourt and his family for over 350 years. Powerscourt House now features a beautiful terrace café where Avoca serves up delectable cuisine. There are shops located in Powerscourt House including Avoca Stores and Global Village who specialise in interiors. Powerscourt offers visitors a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and ornamental lakes with secret hollows, rambling walks and beautiful walled gardens, revealing new treasures such as fountains from Paris, gates from Venice and statues from Rome.
The group will return to Dublin (approx. 40 minutes drive) for dinner on own and overnight.
Fri. 07APR17 – Dublin airport – departure
Breakfast at the hotel and departure transfer to Dublin airport (approx. 30 min. drive) for your return flight to Newark (flight UA131 departing at 12:55PM, arriving in Newark at 3:25PM)