Northern Experience Small Group12-night small group tour starting at €3663.00 per person

Northern Experience Small Group

Travel on a private guided tour along the shores of the Northern and Southern coasts on this comprehensive Ireland tour. Our 2 week all Ireland itinerary provides a perfect balance between the desire to discover a new destination with a deep immersion into the local history and culture of each destination, at a relaxing pace. Everything that is best about Ireland is yours to enjoy during our all Ireland tour. This tour is limited to 15 people.

Itinerary

Sunday - DEPART FROM HOME Your vacation begins the moment you board your flight. Destination: NORTHERN IRELAND.

Monday - BELFAST Welcome to the capital of Northern Ireland. Belfast is a Victorian city. The ill-fated Titanic was built here in 1911. On our panoramic tour, we see the Falls Road, the murals, and the Titanic Quarter. See the Parliament Buildings at Stormont. Visit the authentic 19th century Crown Liquor Saloon, a restored national landmark.

Tuesday - DOWNPATRICK/MT. STEWART /ARDS PENINSULA Here the Good Friday Agreement was negotiated as roadmap for peace, political stability and economic progress. The Saint Patrick Centre, beside Down Cathedral and Patrick's Grave, is dedicated to Ireland's patron saint. Discover the Irish Christian legacy of missionary activity, metalwork and illuminated manuscripts. Travel via ferry to the scenic Ards Peninsula, to Mount Stewart House, Garden and Temple of the Winds. The house was home to a fascinating array of political leaders and society figures. The luxurious gardens have been restored to their glory. In inclement weather, we visit Castle Ward instead. (B,D)

Wednesday - COAST ROAD/GIANT'S CAUSEWAY/DUNLUCE CASTLE Take the stunning coast road to visit the strange natural phenomenon at Giant's Causeway, an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. Â Dunluce Castle on its stunning cliff top location, one of the most extensive ruins of a medieval castle in Northern Ireland. (B,D)

Thursday - DERRY/OMAGH Entering Londonderry, you will view the most notable and historic feature of the city - its Walls, which are the most complete city walls in Europe. Almost a mile in circumference, they form a cobbled walkway around the city and provide a unique promenade towering above the city streets. Your guide will lead you on a walk (approximately 45 minutes) along the broad expanse of the walls. Pass the Victorian 1890 Guildhall, with its impressive stained glass windows. Next, pass small farm villages within sight of the Sperrin Mountains as you travel to the Ulster American Folk Park. Here, you book passage on a ship bound for America and emerge in a recreated Irish village of long ago. Tonight, enjoy a bed and breakfast stay, with a home-hosted dinner. (B, D)

Friday - BELLEEK/ARMAGH/BELFAST At the Belleek Pottery, shop for fine porcelain tastefully decorated with shamrocks or delicate trellis-like plates. Travel along Lough Erne. Discover the ancient ecclesiastical city of Armagh, the home to both Protestant and Catholic cathedrals. One of the sights you will see near Belfast is Hillsborough Castle through its splendid wrought iron gates. Return to Belfast. (B)

Saturday - BOYNE VALLEY & TO DUBLIN Travel via the Boyne Valley with its megaliths, high crosses, and stone-age burial tombs (older than the pyramids!) to Dublin's fair city. (B)

Sunday - DUBLIN Our afternoon of Dublin takes you to Trinity College to see the illuminated Book of Kells, and St. Patrick's, Ireland's national cathedral. Visit the Guinness Storehouse in the heart of old Dublin, where you sample Ireland's most famous creamy stout. Storytelling, dinner and traditional music in a candelit Dublin pub: The scene is set in one of Dublin's oldest pubs. As early as the 1600's, it was a popular haunt. The Seanachi, the Irish word for storyteller, entertains with oral tales of fairies, Celtic warriors and legendary deed-doing. Tales are told and songs sung and everyone is made to feel welcome. With turf fire glowing a perfect setting in which to take you back through the romantic mists of time. History comes alive tonight! (B,D)

Monday - DUBLIN/WICKLOW A full day in the "Garden of Ireland" including Powerscourt Estate and Gardens, and Glendalough. The charming walled garden at Powerscourt, the striking terraces, fine statuary and varied trees are linked by carefully designed walks and set in the magnificent surroundings of the Wicklow mountains. The Glendalough monastery was founded by St. Kevin, a hermit monk who died about 618 AD. The extensive ruins of Glendalough include several early churches, and a graceful round tower in a spectacular, scenic setting. (B)

Tuesday - KILKENNY Enjoy the relaxed pace of Ireland, known for its bogs and turf fires, rich farmlands and scenic countryside. Travel through the Curragh, the horse breeding center of Ireland. You visit Kilkenny Castle. Stay in Kilkenny, somewhere very special with its cobbled streets and castle, one of the finest examples of an Irish medieval town. Tonight, "Meet the Irish" by staying as a welcome guest in a local home, not only wonderfully located, but also fully equipped, comfortably homey, and clean. Enjoy a pub lunch. (B,L)

Wednesday - BLARNEY/COBH/KILLARNEY Departures June onwards visit the new Waterford Crystal facility and store. This morning you take the scenic route traveling to Cobh, originally a small fishing village, and then the base for the British Navy. Cobh was the departure point for many Irish immigrants in the 19th century, and is associated with the loss of the Titanic and Lusitania. Visit Blarney, with a chance to kiss "The Stone". Travel through landscapes of the rarest green, where herds of black and white cows peek from every hill on the way to Killarney. (B)

Thursday - RING OF KERRY EXCURSION An incredible day awaits! The scAn incredible day awaits! The scenic and spectacular Ring of Kerry offers unrivaled views of County Kerry's magnificent shoreline, one of nature's masterpieces. Traveling via Killorglin you see beautiful mountain vistas and rugged landscapes along the way. Travel through Killarney by pony and trap. Have your camera ready! A musical pub evening is in store for us tonight, complete with local entertainment. (B,D)

Friday - ADARE/SHANNON We'll travel to the quaint village of Adare, distinguished by its charming thatched cottages. Tonight, we've planned a special farewell castle medieval dinner. We'll be transformed back in time as we sip the traditional mead and don bibs to eat with our fingers at a fun-filled medieval dinner at Bunratty Castle, built in 1460 on the edge of Ratty River and protected by a moat. You have a choice, too, to stay at a wonderful 5 star castle hotel - Dromoland Castle. (B,D)

Saturday - HOMEWARD The tour ends with a transfer to Shannon Airport. (B) Transfers and hotels available to Dublin available at added cost.

Northern Experience Includes:

  • Deluxe motorcoach transportation
  • Driver/guide throughout
  • Airport transfers according to schedule below.
  • First-class accommodations for 12 nights; room with private bath
  • 12 hearty Irish breakfasts (B), 1 pub lunch (L), 6 dinners (D)
  • Baggage handling
  • All taxes and service charges
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees. Some highlights:
    • Crown Liquor Saloon, Belleek Pottery, Ulster American Folk Park, Derry Guildhall, Mt. Stewart or Castle Ward, Giant's Causeway, Ferry to Portaferry, St. Patrick's Center, Dunluce Castle, Newgrange or Knowth
    • Scenic drives: the Belfast Murals, Titanic Quarter, Glens of Antrim, Ards Peninsula, Boyne Valley
    • Book of Kells at Trinity College
    • Guinness Brewery & Pub visit
    • Kilkenny Castle
    • Blarney Castle
    • Killarney by pony and trap and Ring of Kerry tour
    • Muckross Traditional Farm
  • Passport Case with "What You Need To Know Before You Go"
  • Irish song-sheet for our on board sing alongs
  • Baggage Strap

Your 3* first-class hotels & B&B:

  • Belfast- Holiday Inn or Europa (2 nights)
  • Portrush-Ramada or Bayview (1 night)
  • Belleek area - Bed and Breakfast (1 night)
  • Belfast- Holiday Inn or Europa (1 night)
  • Dublin- Ashling Hotel(3 nights)
  • Kilkenny - Homestay (1 night)
  • Killarney - Killarney Plaza Hotel (2 nights)
  • Shannon - Oakwood Arms or Dromoland Castle (1 night)

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