11 Day Ireland Pilgrimage
*** DAILY MASSES INCLUDED ***
Day 1: Depart USA for Ireland Gather around the ticket counter at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure. Dinner, breakfast, and entertainment will be served in-flight.
Day 2: Welcome to Ireland Arrive in Dublin Airport and meet your modern motor coach with your driver and guide. Then, Continue to Monasterboice. Monasterboice is one of the most famous religious sites in the country, was built in the 5th century a few miles north of Drogheda in a lovely-secluded setting. Then, you will travel to St. Patrick’s Country and visit the Saint Patrick Centre (Ego Patricius). The Saint Patrick Centre, in Downpatrick, is one of Northern Ireland's major Millennium Projects, housing the first permanent exhibition to tell the story of Ireland's Patron Saint. The Centre houses a Cafe, Art Gallery and Shop as well as the local Tourist Information Centre. Here, we will have a talk by Dr. Tim Campbell. Continue to Down Cathedral. Down Cathedral is best known as the burial site of St Patrick - Ireland’s patron saint. View St. Patrick’s Grave before continuing to your hotel in the Louth/Monaghan area. Enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel. Overnight and full breakfast at your hotel.
Day 3: Belfast Today, enjoy a day trip to Belfast. On arrival there will be a panoramic city tour of Belfast, which will take in the leaning Albert Memorial Clock tower and the Opera House, which is one of Belfast’s great landmarks. Your tour will pass by the City Hall, The Crown Bar, Queens University and the Botanic Gardens. Some tours will take in a visit to the Harland and Wolfe Shipyard, where the Titanic was built and launched in 1912. A visit to the Shankill and Falls road will be of interest as it will give the visitor an indication of how life was in Belfast during the troubles. Next, visit Titanic Belfast. Located in the heart of Belfast, the Titanic Belfast recreates the story of the world’s most famous ship in a new iconic, six-floor building right beside the historic site of the original ship’s construction. Return to your hotel in Louth/Monaghan. Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Louth/Monaghan or area.
Day 4: Louth to Galway This morning, depart your hotel and travel to Carrickmacross to visit with a local craft brewery. Visit the Brehon Brewhouse. This small brewery is housed on a farm just a short distance from the homestead. The brewers have created a range of well balanced and flavoursome ales that reflect the challenging face of the beer market in Ireland and are happy to share their story with you along with some samples of their ales. Continue to Knock. This little town is an important pilgrimage centre and has been famous for over a century as the site of visions, apparitions, and miraculous cures. One and a half million pilgrims visit the Shrine annually. Celebrate Mass before checking into your hotel. Overnight, dinner bed and full breakfast at your hotel in Galway or area.
Day 5: Connemara This morning, journey through the Connemara Region. Connemara, is a land of lakes and rivers, bogs and mountains Then, visit Kylemore Abbey. Kylemore Abbey is stunningly located in the Kylemore Pass in Connemara. In the afternoon, return to Galway for free time for shopping. Overnight, dinner, bed and full breakfast at your hotel in Galway or area.
Day 6: Galway to Killarney Travel through the Burren region. The Burren, part of which forms the 100-square km Burren National Park, is a unique place. It is composed of limestone pavements, which have been eroded to a distinctive pattern. This pavement is criss-crossed by cracks known as grykes in which grow a myriad of wild flora and under which are huge caves and rivers which suddenly flood when it rains. The Burren contains dozens of megalithic tombs and Celtic crosses as well as a ruined Cistercian Abbey dating back to the 12th century. Visit the Cliffs of Moher. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean and bordering the Burren Area, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's most spectacular sights. Standing 230 metres above the ground at their highest point and 8km long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. Take the Shannon Car ferry across the River Shannon into Co. Kerry. Continue to the small town of Ardfert and Visit Ardfert Cathedral. A monastery was founded by St. Brendan 'The Navigator' in the 6th century, while today there are three medieval churches, an ogham stone and a number of early Christian and medieval grave slabs on the site. Please note that this visit is subject to availability. Ardfert Cathedral is closed from; 1st January – 4th April, 10th April – 25th April and from 27th September – 31st September.
Onward to your hotel in Killarney where dinner will be served prior to overnight, bed, and full breakfast at your hotel.
Day 7: Dingle Peninsula Today enjoy a tour of the Dingle Peninsula. Today, you will explore the Dingle Peninsula. Some of the finest coastal scenery to be seen in Ireland can be found in West Kerry, on the Dingle Peninsula, the most northern of the Kerry Peninsulas. This peninsula is famous for its Celtic, pre-Christian monuments and Christian churches. The Dingle Peninsula will charm you with its villages painted in bright colours and will bewitch you with the dramatic beauty of its landscapes. Following, Visit Gallarus Oratory. Gallarus Oratory is the most impressive early Christian monument on the Dingle peninsula. It has withstood the passage of time for over 1200 years. Overnight, dinner, bed and full breakfast at your hotel in Killarney or area.
Day 8: Killarney to Tipperary Depart Killarney today and journey to Tipperary. First, visit Blarney Castle. Attracting visitors from all over the world, Blarney Castle is situated in Blarney village, 8 km from Cork city. An ancient stronghold of the McCarthy's, Lords of Muskerry, it is one of Ireland's oldest and most historic castles, and one of the strongest fortresses in Munster. Enjoy time for shopping at Blarney Woollen Mills. Originally established in 1823, Blarney Woollen Mills now houses a wide selection of Irish products. Visit the Rock of Cashel.
Possibly the most photographed site in Ireland, the Rock of Cashel towers over the town of Cashel from its perch on a 200-foot high outcrop of limestone. Overnight, dinner, bed and full breakfast at your hotel in Tipperary.
Day 9: Tipperary to Dublin After breakfast depart Tipperary and journey to Dublin. En-route journey through the Wicklow Mountains. Wicklow Mountains National Park covers much of upland Wicklow, and contains an area of nearly 20,000 hectares. The National Park is a protected area and visitors are urged to follow Leave No Trace principles. Also, visit Glendalough. This early Christian monastic site was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. Set in a glaciated valley with two lakes, the monastic remains include a superb round tower, stone churches and decorated crosses. Continue to Dublin (or area) and check into your hotel. Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Dublin or area.
Day 10: Dublin’s Fair City This morning, enjoy a panoramic city tour of Dublin. Enjoy a panoramic tour of Dublin City. Here you will discover the north and south side of the River Liffey. This area offers great striking monuments such as the GPO (General Post Office) on the city main thoroughfare, O'Connell Street, or the Custom House along the quays, as well as the Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe. The south side appears more sophisticated with its vast Georgian squares, such as Merrion Square, where Oscar Wilde’s House can still be found (today owned by an American College), its colourful doors, along with Grafton Street and its quality shops. Not so far from St. Stephen’s Green, in Kildare St., you will see the house of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula. This part of the city is also dominated by the students of Trinity College, where the famous book of Kells is permanently exhibited in its library. The university is facing the medieval district where Dublin Castle and the two Anglican Cathedrals can be found, Then, Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptized converts on his visit to Dublin. Just A short distance away is Dublin’s Pearse Lyons Distillery. Housed in the beautiful St. James Church the tour includes a guided tour of the graveyard and history of St. James Church. The friendly storytellers will regale you with intriguing tales dating back to the 12th century followed by a tour of the distillery and how they produce Pearse Irish Whiskey. Your tour is complete with samples of the whiskey range. The afternoon is free in Dublin for personal shopping and sightseeing, on your own. Tonight, enjoy dinner and entertainment at the Abbey Tavern in Howth as a farewell dinner! The Abbey Tavern hosts the original "Traditional Irish Night" which features traditional Irish music from world famous Abbey Tavern singers and musicians with a lively performance of music, song and the very best of Irish dancing. The evening has been running in Howth since the early 1960's and the venue has welcomed thousands of guests from around the globe to its authentic Irish dinner and entertainment night. Overnight, bed and full breakfast at your hotel in Dublin
Day 11: Farewell to Ireland This morning, we will transfer to Dublin Airport for your flight home. The end of a most memorable pilgrimage!