Monday 22 April 2013

Ireland Itinerary

As much as I enjoy traveling and visiting new places, I hate packing and flying.

Below is my itinerary for Ireland. My father and I are doing a two-week organized tour with Royal Irish Tours. (I copied the itinerary from their website!)

I plan to write blog posts once daily assuming Internet/WiFi cooperates with me!

Day 1 Arrive Dublin (Tuesday)
Today is leisurely as we all gather in our hotel in Malahide overlooking the Irish Sea in north County Dublin. Enjoy a pre-dinner drink and an introduction to your travelling companions before an early dinner.

Day 2 Boyne Valley & Cooley Peninsula (Wednesday)
Leaving Dublin, we head north thru’ the rich pasturelands of the Boyne Valley and visit the site of the famous Battle of the Boyne near Drogheda where in 1690 King William defeated his father in- law King James. Afterwards we continue around the Cooley Peninsula and arrive in Belfast late afternoon. Before checking into our hotel we visit the Ulster Museum, a treasure house of the past and present.

Day 3 Belfast's Titanic Quarter (Thursday)
A guided tour of Belfast City Hall, recently renovated, is first on the agenda this morning. Then a panoramic tour which will include the political wall murals located on the Protestant Shankill Road and the Catholic Falls Road - a unique cultural experience. See also the shipyard where the Titanic was built in 1909 and learn all about one of the most intriguing stories in history. This afternoon some free time for shopping.

Day 4 Giant's Causeway & Derry (Friday)
This morning we take the marine drive north past the ‘Green Glens of Antrim’ to Ballycastle on the North Antrim Coast and visit the Giant’s Causeway, one of Ireland’s most famous attractions. We then view the eerie ruins of Dunluce Castle enroute to Londonderry or Derry as most people call it. A local guide will tell the ‘Story of Derry’ on a walking tour of this historic walled city.

Day 5 Ben Bulben & Clew Bay (Saturday)
We travel south thru’ Donegal town to Mullaghmore for views of Donegal Bay and on to Belleek to visit the world famous porcelain factory. We then enter the romantic domain of W.B. Yeats via Drumcliffe where he is buried and other sites in Sligo associated with the life of the poet. Into County Mayo to 13th Ballintubber Abbey which was built on the site of a church founded by St. Patrick in 441, 276 years before Columbus discovered America continuing to Westport on Clew Bay with its 365 islands.

Day 6 Connemara (Sunday)
Connemara remains the wildest and the most romantic place in Ireland. A drive around Murrisk Peninsula brings us to Delphi and Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only true fjord. Enjoy a photo stop at Kylemore Abbey on the shores of Kylemore Lough before circling Connemara and crossing picturesque Maam Valley where blackheaded sheep make up a large part of the population. Back in Westport you will have time to explore this lovely town which was voted Ireland’s tidiest in 2001, 2006 and again in 2008.

Day 7 Galway City & Cliffs of Moher (Monday)
Enroute to Galway this morning we will pass thru’ the village of Cong location for the classic film ‘The Quiet Man’. Some time in Galway City before driving along the southern shores of Galway Bay, traversing the Burren region and viewing the mighty Cliffs of Moher. An optional Traditional Irish Night at the Corn Barn in Bunratty Folk Park is on offer tonight.

Day 8 Limerick & Adare (Tuesday)
After breakfast we head for the Kingdom of Kerry. A tour of Limerick City and it’s heritage precinct is undertaken before travelling to Adare where thatched cottages line the broad main street amid the ruins of medieval churches. We continue via Rathkeale and Abbeyfeale & arrive in Killarney, home for the next three nights.

Day 9 Dingle Peninsula (Wednesday)
We take a voyage back through time this morning on a visit to the Kingdom of Kerry Museum in Tralee. Afterwards a tour of the Dingle Peninsula, an area rich in antiquities ranging from Iron Age stone forts to beehive huts. We will visit the fishing port of Dingle and view the Blasket Islands as we round Slea Head. Enjoy views of the Lakes of Killarney from Aghadoe Heights before returning to Killarney.

Day 10 Kenmare & Killarney National Park (Thursday)
We take the short drive to the heritage town of Kenmare at the foot of the Cork and Kerry mountains this morning. We then travel the Ring of Kerry road back into Killarney thru’ Moll’s Gap and by Ladies View that provides spectacular vistas of the famous lakes. Walk the shores of Muckross Lake and visit the Traditional Farms the past.

Day 11 Blarney & Tipperary (Friday)
Leaving Kerry we travel east over the Derrynasaggart Mountains to Blarney to shop for handcrafts and a chance to kiss the famous ‘stone of eloquence’ (optional). From Cork City we head to Tipperary (not so far away) with its lush, green landscape. We visit Cahir for a tour of one of Ireland’s best preserved castles and the town of Cashel, dominated by the spectacular Rock of Cashel, before arriving in Kilkenny, a city proud of its heritage.

Day 12 Waterford & Kilkenny (Saturday)
Follow in the footsteps of a group of Famine emigrantsas you board a replica of the sailing vessel Dunbrody at the quayside in New Ross. A ticket is issued as if it was 1849 and allocates your space and food rations for the voyage. We continue to the city of Waterford, founded by the Vikings some 1,100 years ago and visit the new Waterford Crystal Centre before returning back to Kilkenny for a leisurely afternoon. Though only a town in size, it has the status of a city having vied with Dublin for the position of capital in the 17th century. Dinner/Overnight

Day 13 Curragh of Kildare (Sunday)
Enroute to Dublin this morning we travel through theCurragh Kildare and a guided tour of the Irish National Stud, which is home to some of Ireland’s finest thoroughbreds. You also visit the Horse Museum and both the Japanese and Saint Fiachra’s Gardens. A panoramic tour of Dublin is undertaken before arriving at your city hotel. This evening you will have dinner and some lively Irish entertainment in one of Dublin’s top nightspots.

Day 14 Dublin’s ‘Fair City’ (Monday)
The full day is yours to explore Dublin’s ‘Fair City’, an ancient and cosmopolitan city as intimate as a village, and friendly as a pub. A Dublin Bus Hop on / Hop off tour ticket is an easy way to get around and visit some of the city’s attractions. Alternatively you can take the time to do some shopping around fashionable Grafton Street.

1 comment:

  1. It looks very nice plan for 2 weeks Ireland itinerary. I am planning Ireland vacations. Please share your experience of Ireland itinerary