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enchanted ireland 

8 days

It’s no mystery why Ireland is called the “Emerald Isle.”  The country is famed for its lush topography, a proud literary history (think: Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett), and castles galoreThe people of Ireland consider anyone who enters a pub an instant friend and a potential audience for a few tall stories and what the Irish call “craic,” which roughly translated means “a great time.”  Which is what you’ll have on this tour.  

 

  • Limited to 16 guests.
  • Prices start at $6,495 per person and are based on double occupancy.
  • There is a single supplement of $1,495.

June 17 – 24, 2024

August 23-30, 2024

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin, Ireland

  • We’ll meet at our Dublin hotel in the afternoon for a welcome meeting and head to the Little Museum of Dublin for an after-hours tourThe museum, housed in a Georgian townhouse, offers a broad look at the history of the city all the way up to the story of the Irish band U2.
  • Our walk to dinner takes us past some of the city’s iconic sites including Stephens Green, Grafton Street, Trinity College, Parliament Bank, and Ulster Bank buildings
  • Meals included: Welcome dinner at Café en Seine
  • Hotel: Hyatt Centric The Liberties Dublin 

Day 2: Dublin

  • Our tour guide introduces you to the capital city with stops at Trinity College, home to the Book of Kells, the world-famous illuminated (illustrated) religious manuscript from the medieval period that contains the four gospels of the New Testament.
  • Following the Book of Kells, we’ll visit the Jeanie Johnson, a replica of the ship that saved thousands of Irish citizens fleeing the FamineYou’ll see what life was like aboard the ship and hear the stories of the citizens who sailed aboard it.
  • e’ll have a traditional Irish lunch in Dublin’s lively pub and restaurant neighborhood called Temple Bar.
  • After lunch, we visit Kilmainham Gaol (or “jail”) built in 1796 for both public executions as well as a prison for revolutionists involved in the 1916 Rising. There was no segregation of prisoners; men, women and children were incarcerated up to 5 in each cell, with only a single candle for light and heat. Most of their time was spent in the cold and the dark, and each candle had to last for two weeks.
  • Dinner at your leisure.

 

  • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

  • Hotel: Hyatt Centric The Liberties Dublin 

Day 3: Dublin to Galway

  • After breakfast, we’ll depart for Galway with a stop at Newgrange, home to one of finest graves of its kind in Europe Newgrange was built by Stone Age farmers about 3200 BC, and the interior of the large, circular structure is only illuminated by the sun several days during the winter solstice
  • We’ll have lunch at the museum.
  • Next stop is another historic ruin, Clonmacnoise, a monastic site along the Shannon River with an abbey built around 545 AD.  We’ll then continue on to Galway, arriving early evening where you may enjoy dinner in town at your leisure.
  • Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

  • Hotel: Eyre Square Hotel

Day 4: Galway and Inis Mor

 

  •  After breakfast, we meet a ferry at the city docks of Galway to visit the Aran Islands where time seems to have stood still. (Note the limestone Cliffs of Moher during the short sail.)  Here, the locals still speak Irish Gaelic, and the coveted Aran wool sweaters are available for purchase.
  • On the island of Inis Mor, you may rent a bike, take a bus, or take a “pony & trap tour,” weather permitting. Returning to Galway in the evening allows you free time for walking the town and having dinner, perhaps in one of the many pubs that feature music and great craic.
  • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Hotel: Eyre Square Hotel

Day 5: Galway to Somewhere

  • How did they get that huge stone atop those equally huge megaliths between 3,000 and 4,000 years agoThat’s what you’ll ask yourself as we begin the day in The Burren where we’ll visit the rocky, limestone-studded site of Poulnabrone DolmenThis is one of the most photographed prehistoric sites in Ireland. 
  • Then we’ll continue our morning drive for a stop at one of Northern Ireland’s most breathtaking forts built about 1,000 years ago: CaherconnellJewelry and glass from Venice and amber from the Baltic discovered there indicate an affluent civilization used to live in or outside the fort’s vast wallsAlso found: the first pen in the British Isles, a harbinger of Irish literary legends to come. 
  • Fancy a demonstration of sheep herding? We’ll leave the tricky work to the talented dogs. 
  • Then to lunch in the town of Adare before visiting Ballyvourney where we’ll visit St. Gobnait, the local saint of bees, as well as white stags, considered to be messengers from the other world in some Celtic mythology.
  • We’ll learn how the locals have incorporated their old beliefs into their modern lives by visiting a Holy Well and a wishing tree.  
  • In early evening, we dine at the Lime Tree Restaurant.    

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Hotel: The Landsdowne Hotel

Day 6: Somewhere to Somewhere

  • Today is a grand tour through some of Ireland’s most gorgeous scenery along the Beara Peninsula with stops at the Uragh Stone Circle, a hidden gem often overlooked by travelersThe purpose of stone circles—this one may be as old as 4,000 years—is uncertain but were probably sites for ceremonial and ritual practices. 
  • Our next stop, Gleninchaquin Park, has it all: log bridges, walking paths, tumbling cascades, mountain lakes . . . stretch your legs with a walk and marvel at the natural beauty of County Kerry at its very best.
  • We’ll have lunch in Castletownbere at the Tea Room Café before departing for Gougane Barra via Healy PassYou’ll think you’re in a movie set in the mountains that rise from quiet lakesWe’ll visit the charming, stone chapel on a lakefront before returning to Kenmare where you have a free evening to post stunning photos on social media.

 

  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Hotel: The Landsdowne Hotel

Day 7: Somewhere to Dublin

  • We check out of our hotel and head to the village of Blarney where we’ll find the famous stone is said to bestow the “gift of gab” to those who kiss itWe’ll also tour the Blarney Castle and Gardens, a medieval stronghold the famous stone calls home.
  • Late that morning, we’ll head to Dublin with a lunch stop at Rock of Cashel, home to the ruins of a 12th century castle and cathedral once the seat of Irish kings
  • We continue on to Dublin.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and farewell dinner
  • Hotel: Hyatt Centric The Liberties Dublin 

Day 8: Dublin

  • Enjoy a leisurely last breakfast, before starting your journey home.

 

  • Meals: Breakfast 

THE RUDY MAXA DIFFERENCE

When you let The Original Savvy Traveler arrange your trip through Europe, you are guaranteed peace of mind. Rudy Maxa’s team provides personal service and assistance from booking all the way through your journey.

What’s included:

 

  • Welcome package with luggage tags
  • A complimentary concierge call to prepare you for your journey
  • An exclusive small group experience with a maximum of 16 guests
  • All tours led by a Rudy Maxa’s Certified Tour Director, supported by local guides with expert knowledge 
  • All excursions and activities included per the program
  • Handpicked hotels (3-5*) inspected and approved by Rudy Maxa’s Team
  • Full breakfast daily, and many other meals included per the program
  • All transportation included per the itinerary
  • All tours, admissions, and entertainment.
  • Airport meet and greet with private transfers for an additional fee