Ireland

May 17-27, 2023

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From the ruggedness of Connemara to the spectacular seascapes of the Dingle Peninsula, from the buzz of Dublin to the silence of the Wicklow Mountains... Ireland is truly a magical land, filled with wonderment and delight. Come join us for another spiritual adventure to Ireland!

May 17   Evening flight from Newark International Airport to Dublin.

 

May 18   Early morning arrival Dublin International airport. After collecting our baggage, we will be greeted by our driver/guide.  Our first stop will be a visit to St Patrick’s Cathedral where Jonathan Swift was once Dean.  We will then drive a short distance over to Trinity College for the award-winning exhibit on the Book of Kells. This area is rich in culture, with the National Gallery and the National Library only a block away. Later in the afternoon, leaving the hustle and bustle of Dublin behind, we will head up into the serene Wicklow Mountains. But beforehand, we won’t miss the chance of a quick tour around this historic city, passing the historic GPO building, the Georgian doors, etc.                      
1st Overnight Glendalough

      

May 19   Glendalough, ‘the valley of the two lakes.’ One of the most revered places in all of Ireland, it was here that St. Kevin founded a monastery in the sixth century. Today you have time to explore the monastic ruins, walk along the shores of the lakes, or perhaps take the high road along the forest trails. Standing amongst this awesome setting, one can feel a powerful sense of peace and tranquility. And hopefully, Father Michael Rodgers, author of a wonderful book on Glendalough, will be our guide. Glendalough is truly one of Ireland’s most sacred places.  You will never forget it…  

2nd Overnight Glendalough
 

May 20   Following our refreshing respite up in the Wicklow Mountains, we are now ready to continue on our journey! After driving across the Wicklow Gap with its breathtaking views, we’re going to visit Kildare, to give obeisance to St Brigid. It was here where St Brigid’s monastery was founded. We shall take the time to visit an ancient Holy Well devoted to Brigid. Then on to Clonmacnoise, founded by St Kieran around 548AD, one of Europe’s most highly regarded places of its kind. Situated in a lovely pastoral setting on the River Shannon, this 6th c. monastic site with its famous High Crosses will certainly be a highlight of the trip.             

1st Overnight Westport

               

May 21   A leisurely morning. We shall then drive over to nearby Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s Holy Mountain. One of Europe's best known places of Pilgrimage, Croagh Patrick presents a striking backdrop to the town of Westport. This mountain, 10 km west of the town, provides a tough ascent for thousands of pilgrims each year, many of whom climb barefoot in memory of St. Patrick, who purportedly spent forty days and forty nights fasting on the summit more than 1,500 years ago. Then a quick drive over to “The Abbey that refused to die” founded in 1216, Ballintubber Abbey.   

2nd Overnight Westport


May 22   A visit to Kylemore Abbey, home to Irish Benedictine nuns since 1920, will be a highlight for today.  Two of Kylemore’s most loved features is its miniature cathedral, known locally as the Gothic church, and the Victorian walled gardens… Connemara is one of the most scenic areas of Ireland in a wild and barren way. As with most of Galway, Connemara's history goes back thousands of years. The famous green Connemara Marble was a trade treasure used by many inhabitants over time, and it continues to be of great value today. Galway “city” is really more like a town, a young and vibrant place, yet ancient and historic. Eyre Square, the Spanish Arch, the Claddagh area are just a few well-known points of interest.


Then ahead of us is a beautiful ride looking back on Galway Bay, and on to the Burren, and the Cliffs of Moher. The Burren is an amazing place, a region of karst limestone, with a distinct ethereal appearance when viewed from a distance.  A diverse collection of plants, both Alpine and Mediterranean, grow side by side amongst the stone crevices. And the Cliffs of Moher await us, rising in places to over 700 feet. It is here that the visitor often speaks in just a whisper, not unlike when one enters a majestic cathedral… 

Overnight the Burren

 

May 23   A leisurely morning after a full day yesterday… then on to the Poulnabrone Dolmen, one of Ireland’s most famous iconic archaeological sites and the oldest dated megalithic monument in Ireland. But before we leave this unusual area, we can visit the Burren Centre, with an exceptional audio-visual presentation of the Burren, taking us back to the time when this entire area was under the sea. Once on the road, a short ferry trip across the widest part of the River Shannon will bring us closer to Killarney where we will be spending three nights. Hopefully there will be enough time for you to meander around the town. 

1st Overnight Killarney

 

May 24    After our usual generous Irish breakfast, today we’ll spend exploring part of the Ring of Kerry. This well-known area provides an amazing insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland, a landscape carved out of rock going back 10,000 years ago. Skelligs Experience Centre, opened in 1992, was designed to be rugged in feeling and to reflect the experience of being out on the remote island. The Exhibition Centre has an 80 seat auditorium with an award winning film, “An Island On The Edge Of The World.”  The audio visual presentation takes the viewer to the magical place of Skellig Michael… truly transporting.

2nd Overnight Killarney

 

May 25   Today we’ll visit the charming fishing village of Dingle, and the Dingle Peninsula with its spectacular sea views and rolling emerald green hillsides covered with sheep and stone walls. Quoting Rick Steves, “The Dingle Peninsula - green, rugged, and untouched. Fishing boats still sail from Dingle, and a nostalgic whiff of peat scents its nighttime air, offering visitors an escape into pure Ireland.”  And we cannot miss the Gallarus Oratory, circa A.D. 800, one of Ireland's best-preserved early primitive Christian churches. 

3rd Overnight Killarney

 

May 26   After another delicious breakfast at John King’s place, we will have to leave Killarney behind. Yet we still have some wonderful plans for this our last day.  Back on the road, we’ll head up toward Shannon. Bunratty Castle is one of the finest surviving examples of a 16th c. Irish tower castle, furnished with the authentic medieval furniture. Adjoining the castle is a charming historical village from the 1800’s, where animals are tended, bread is baked, milk is churned, walls are white-washed and roofs thatched. It’s a favorite place not only for foreign visitors, but for the Irish themselves. You will feel transported in time…   

Overnight near Shannon Airport

May 27   Return flight to the states. We hope you can join us on our unique Celtic Journeys to the Emerald Isle. You will not regret it.

COST OF TRIP  $2825 including airfare (shared occupancy) 

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