Delve into Ireland, nicknamed the “Emerald Isle” for its lush landscape of rolling green hills on this fascinating tour. Ireland’s capital, Dublin, is the birthplace of writers including Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett, and home of Guinness beer. Ireland is dotted with castles and ancient sites, such as massive 12th-century Cahir Castle.
Start in Dublin (DUB); End in Belfast (BFS)
|Please click ( + ) signs by each day for detailed information.|
WED MAY 31, 2017 • Depart USA
Depart the USA on any regularly scheduled flight to Dublin.
THU JUN 1 • Welcome to Dublin, Ireland
Arrive at Dublin Airport. Make your own way to the hotel. If you wish to book a transfer, Coda Tours will be happy to assist you at additional cost. Check in to The Westbury Hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure. This evening, we will enjoy a Welcome Dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Dublin.
Hotel: Westbury Hotel
FRI JUN 2 • Dublin
After breakfast in the hotel, today begins with a leisurely walking tour of Dublin, focusing especially on the stately homes of Irish-Georgian Architecture. Along Merrion Square – the city’s largest and finest square designed by the 7th Viscount, Richard Fitzwilliam, we see the National Gallery, the National History Museum, and magnificent townhouse residences dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Continue along to the namesake Fitzwilliam Square, enclosed in 1813 to provide a quiet, more intimate atmosphere in bustling Dublin. Visit St.Stephens Green with its beautifully landscaped twenty-two acre parks and gardens, and Newman House, having a stolid exterior and astonishingly lavish interior “…with, perhaps, the finest artisan plasterwork in the city.”
Enjoy lunch on your own at a Dublin pub, and then resume with a tour at Trinity College.
Founded in 1592, Trinity College is one of the world’s oldest universities, acclaimed for its academic excellence, and thus being ranked as Ireland’s most excellent university. Among its vast collections of art, music and historic texts, is the hand-lettered/illustrated “Book of Kells” (the illuminated ‘Gospel Manuscript of the New Testament’) created over the 6th to the 9th centuries by secluded Irish monks, Afterwards visit the Guinness Storehouse. The Guinness Brewery in Dublin is Europe’s largest stout producing brewery and home to the Guinness Storehouse. Opened in 1904, the Storehouse was an operational plant for fermenting and storing Guinness, before evolving into today’s home of a very fine exhibition dedicated to the Guinness story. Once the tour has finished we are invited to the Gravity Bar to enjoy a pint of Guinness. This evening enjoy dinner at O’Connell’s Restaurant of Donnybrook. Overnight in Dublin.
Hotel: Westbury Hotel
SAT JUN 3 • Dublin to Limerick
This morning depart the hotel in Dublin, travelling to Limerick. En-route visit Birr Castle Demesne.
Birr Castle Demesne, originally erected in 1170 A.D. and rebuilt to its present state in 1620 by the Parsons – past owners of the castle and its 1200 acre holdings – boasts fifty-plus acres of magnificent Formal Gardens and the River Garden, a parkland with thousands of rare trees and plants, as well as rivers, a lake and waterfalls. The neo-gothic castle is also home to the Historic Science Centre featuring the Great Telescope, built in the 1840’s by the Earl of Rosse. The Great Telescope, an awesome technical achievement of its day, was the largest in the world for 70 years, dismantled in 1914 and reconstructed in the 1990’s.
Enjoy an exclusive lunch at Birr Castle in the family dining room, accompanied by Lord Oxmanton or the Earl of Rosse, or perhaps Lady Rosse (subject to availability). This is a great opportunity to enjoy lunch in one of Ireland’s oldest – and most scientific – castles.
Continue on to Limerick and check into your hotel. Overnight in Limerick.
Hotel: Savoy Hotel
SUN JUN 4 • Limerick to Galway
This morning, drive through Ireland’s countryside to the coast to 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 755ft at their highest point above ground-level, and 26,247ft long, the cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay, as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara.
Enjoy a seafood lunch at Monks Restaurant in Ballyvaughan.
Continue on to Galway through the Burren Region – The Burren (‘great rock”) form the 38.6 sq. mi. of Burren National Park; composed of Karst limestone criss-crossed by cracks known as grykes, The Burren also contains dozens of megalithic tombs and Celtic crosses as well as a ruined Cistercian Abbey dating back to the 12th century. Drive on to Galway, and check into our hotel. Dinner is on your own. Transportation to town is provided. Overnight in Galway.
Hotel: Abbeyglen Castle
MON JUN 15 • Connemara
This morning after breakfast we will travel to Connemara.
Connemara is a land of lakes and rivers, bogs and mountains; a land of small villages where Gaelic is still the spoken language and where little has changed since the beginning of time – it is, without a doubt, the wildest and the most romantic part of Ireland. Connemara is a vast peninsula bordered by the arid and rocky coastline of Galway Bay in the south, characteristically noted in old texts as “…idyllic scenes of the Irish countryside replete with stone-walled, thatched-roof cottages.” On its northern shore the land is harsher and more rugged, with spectacular views of the Ocean and the beautiful fjord of Killary Harbour, with its steep mountains overlooking numerous lakes and large bog areas.
We will visit Kylemore Abbey and enjoy an afternoon tea in the restaurant.
Originally built during the years 1867-1871 by Mitchell Henry, a wealthy London doctor, Kylemore Abbey is a 40,000 sq.-ft., 70-room castle located in the Kylemore Pass in Connemara. The architecture is best described as neo-gothic and the house displays all the characteristics of that period – perhaps one of its most famous features is the miniature cathedral, built in 1870 and known locally as “The Gothic Church”. Passed through varied ownerships, in 1920 the castle was purchased by the Catholic Church and converted into an abbey for The Irish Order of Benedictine Nuns. You may also visit the Kylemore Abbey Victorian Walled Garden, created during the castle’s original construction. Return to our hotel in Galway. This evening enjoy dinner at the Pullman Restaurant at your hotel. Overnight, in Galway.
Hotel: Abbeyglen Castle
TUE JUN 6 • Galway to Derry
Today you will depart your hotel in Galway and travel to Derry. En-route enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. On arrival in Derry you will meet with a local guide for a guided walking tour of Derry City Walls. Founded in the 6th century by St Columba, Derry is the second largest city and port of Northern Ireland. Columba named it “Doire” or “Oak grove” which was later anglicised as Derry. In 1613 the city was selected as a major plantation project, organised by the London livery companies and, as a result, acquired the prefix London, hence Londonderry. In the same year the walls of Derry were built to protect the town from the Gaelic chieftains in Donegal – a walk on the walls is a must on any visit to Derry as they are among the best-preserved fortifications in Europe, rising to a height of 26ft., they are, in some areas 29.5ft. wide. Today these walls separate two communities, the Bogside ~ a Catholic ghetto with its famous murals, and the Waterside ~ a Protestant enclave.
Check into the hotel. Overnight in Derry. Dinner is at the hotel.
Hotel: Beech Hill Country House Hotel
WED JUN 7 • Derry to Belfast
This morning you will depart Derry and travel along the Antrim coastline. Visit the Giants Causeway.
The causeway was formed more than 60 million years ago due to volcanic eruption in the earth’s crust. Quickly cooled by the raging sea, the lava crystallized and formed into the 40,000 basalt polygonal columns projecting out of the ocean, thus forming the Giants Causeway. A must on any visit to the North of Ireland, the Causeway is an UNESCO World Heritage site, and is often referred to as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World.’
Next, visit the Old Bushmills Distillery. The Old Bushmills Distillery in County Antrim, North Ireland, is the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery having received its “…licence to distil..” granted to Sir Thomas Phillipps by King James I in 1608. The present distillery was built in 1885 after the original had been destroyed by fire. A guided visit commences with an excellent short film on the history and distillation of Irish whiskey, followed by a tour of the distillery. The visit finishes in the distillery pub where all are invited to partake of a Wee Bush (a sample of Bushmills Whiskey). Enjoy lunch at the Bushmills Inn. Continue to Belfast and on arrival enjoy a panoramic tour of the city. The tour will take in the leaning Albert Memorial Clock tower (Irelands answer to the Tower of Pisa) and the Opera House, which is one of Belfast’s great landmarks. Pass by the City Hall, the Opera house, The Crown Bar (which dates from 1885), Queens University and the Botanic Gardens. You will also see 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. Dinner is at a local restaurant this evening.
Hotel: Europa Hotel
THU JUN 8 • Belfast to USA or on to Scotland
Either transfer to Belfast ferry port to continue on to Scotland or transfer for flight home.
Understated luxury and exceptional service. Designed to the highest standards, The Westbury Hotel’s 178 Guest Rooms and 27 Suites are furnished with custom-woven Irish wool carpets, soft mohair-covered George Smith chairs and sumptuous silk blackout curtains.
The Savoy is Limerick’s most celebrated and glamorous 5* luxury hotel. Its lavishly appointed rooms and suites feature luxurious marble bathrooms and all the little extras one could hope for. For relaxation or exercise, indulgent spa treatments, gym, and a private pool are also available.
The Abbeyglen Castle Hotel is located on the aptly named Sky Road overlooking the quaint alpine like village of Clifden, Connemara. Nestled in the romantic setting of the Twelve Bens with beautiful views overlooking Clifton Bay, the warm and friendly staff are always at hand to make your stay special.
Beech Hill epitomises Georgian elegance and gracious country living. It is the hotel where your comfort and pleasure always come first and where you are assured of warm and genuine hospitality. Some of the world’s biggest celebrities stay at Beech Hill.
The World Famous Europa Hotel in Belfast is located in the heart of Belfast City Centre. The elegant décor, contemporary bistro, bustling bar and relaxing piano bar lounge make the four star Europa Hotel the hotel of choice for business and leisure guests visiting Belfast.
|Rates||Double Occupancy||Single Occupancy|
International airfare; Arrival & Departure Transfers: In Dublin & Belfast, you may make your own way to the hotel or book a taxi transfer through Coda Tours at additional cost; Pre-registered hotel nights in Dublin: check in may not be possible before 15h00. If you wish to book for immediate check in a supplement will apply; Visa and passport fees (if applicable); Trip Cancellation & Interruption insurance (recommended); Meals and beverages other than those specified in the itinerary; Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, WiFi, Internet); Gratuities to guides, drivers and tour leader.
No visas are required for this program for American & Canadian passport holders. Your passport must remain valid for six months passed your return to the USA. You must have sufficient empty pages/space in your passport for entry/exit stamps.
None required or recommended. It is recommended you have your regular vaccinations up-to-date before traveling. For further information, visit the Center For Disease Control website: http://www.cdc.gov/
Delta, American Airlines, several European carriers are among airlines that can be used for this trip. We recommend booking at least 7 months in advance if you want to try to use Frequent Flyer Miles for free tickets or upgrades or the American Express Platinum card 2-4-1 program.
All departures are guaranteed on a minimum of 10 participants. A Coda Tour Manager accompanies the tour on a minimum of 10 participants. This tour can be operated as a Private Tour, can be customized and repriced based on final itinerary. Rates are based on a minimum participation of 10. For fewer than 10 participants, rates may be revised.
A complete Portfolio of pre-departure information will be mailed to you approximately 3 weeks prior to departure. This will include information about traveling on this program and in this destination as well as what to expect the weather to be, recommendations for packing, tipping and a lot of other useful information.