Best of Ireland Tour

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  • Group Tour
  • Starting Price: $1,399
  • Length: 12 days
  • Operator: YMT Vacations
  • 800-922-9000
    Destinations: Europe, Ireland, Dublin, Belfast
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Tour Description

Treat yourself to a real gem of a trip and visit the lush “Emerald Isle” - Ireland! Witness truly indescribable natural beauty visiting the awe-inspiring vistas along the Ring of Kerry and famous 700-foot hight Cliffs of Moher. See Blarney Castle, perhaps even receiving the “Gift of Gab” from the Stone of Eloquence, and explore some of Ireland’s most intriguing cities, including Dublin, Belfast, and Cork. With so much to experience on this 12-day Isle adventure, Ireland’s interesting historic locations and unparalleled beauty is sure to make for an exceptional collection of treasured memories.

  • Enjoy a Killarney Lake Cruise
  • Take guided tours of Ireland’s premier cities: Dublin, Belfast, Cork and more
  • Learn about the history of the Titanic
  • Visit Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney Stone to receive the Gift of Gab
  • Drive the Ring of Kerry and Giant’s Causeway, Ireland’s most famous scenery
  • See the beautiful Bunratty Castle with its collection of medieval furnishings
  • See the awe-inspiring 700-foot high Cliffs of Moher

Itinerary

Day 1

(Thursday) - Depart the USA for Dublin, Ireland:

Your Irish adventure begins as you depart on your trans-Atlantic flight.

Overnight in flight

Day 2

(Friday) - Arrive Dublin:

Arrive in historic Dublin, capital city of the “Emerald Isle.” If you purchased airline tickets from YMT Vacations, a YMT representative will welcome you and transfer you to the hotel. For those guests on early morning arrivals into Dublin, a traditional Irish breakfast will be available for purchase at your hotel, following which the rest of the day is at your leisure. The Irish culture has taken thousands of years to develop, so cherish every moment of your cultural discovery and Dublin is a great place to start. It is usually the first port of call for most visitors and this vibrant, colorful city offers a compelling mix of history, culture, traditional pubs, elegant architecture, great shopping and dining. The great thing about Dublin is that the city is compact, the shops and restaurants, the River Liffey and many of the highlights are all within walking distance of each other and easy to explore on foot. This evening meet your fellow travelers and learn about the exciting days ahead, then relax over a welcome dinner. (D)

Overnight: Belvedere Hotel (or similar accommodations)

Day 3

(Saturday) - Dublin Sightseeing:

This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of the highlights of this rich historical city. Its graceful Georgian townhouses with noted colorful doors, prominent public buildings and peaceful gardens make a delightful sight along the River Liffey. See the Bank of Ireland, built in the 18th century to house the Parliament; and Leinster House, where the government convenes today. Stop to see famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral, originally built in 450 AD, then rebuilt in 1191, it is still the largest church in Ireland. This afternoon is at leisure and leaves you plenty of time to visit Trinity College to see the Book of Kells, a 9th century version of the Christian gospels (extra charge). This evening enjoy an optional evening out at the Guinness Storehouse. (B)

Overnight: Belvedere Hotel (or similar accommodations)

Day 4

(Sunday) - Dublin to Cork:

Today, we begin our motorcoach tour of Ireland heading south to our first destination, the Rock of Cashel - a cluster of historic ruins that sits on a towering hilltop rising 200 feet above the surrounding plains. There is time to take the short Bishop’s Walk from the town to the Rock, which dates back to the 4th century. Next, we continue to Cobh (formerly known as Queenstown), a pretty seaside town, set on a hill above a harbor that was the Titanic’s last port of call in 1912. Learn the history of the town when we visit the Cobh Heritage Centre and watch the multimedia exhibition in the Victorian Railway Station. Cobh was also the departure point for over 2.5 million emigrating Irish, the majority to the US and you’ll learn their full story as it is told in the exhibition. We arrive in the city of Cork by late afternoon. (B,D)

Overnight: Maldron Hotel Cork (or similar accommodations)

Day 5

(Monday) - Cork to Killarney:

Cork, now Ireland’s second largest city, was founded in the 6th century, and built on a marshy island the middle of the River Lee. This morning we take a panoramic tour of this unique town, and see the many bridges that give it a continental character. Then, it is a short drive to visit Blarney Castle, one of Ireland’s oldest and most historic castles. Explore the castle, and if you want to climb the 125 steps of the spiral staircase, perhaps kiss “The Stone of Eloquence” (the Blarney Stone), so you can, as tradition says, acquire the “Gift of the Gab.” Before we leave, there is time to visit Blarney Woollen Mill, to see some of Ireland’s famous high-quality woolen products. Our drive continues to Muckross House Gardens in the Killarney National Park. This elaborately restored Victorian mansion was owned by Lord Ardilaun (of the Guinness family) and then by the Bourn Vincents. Enjoy time to stroll through the colorful sculpted gardens. Our Tour ends today in Killarney, where you spend the next two nights. Killarney, a small town, has been welcoming tourists for hundreds of years and is the gateway to the Ring of Kerry - tomorrow’s highlight. (B,D)

Overnight: Killarney Oaks Hotel (or similar accommodations)

Day 6

(Tuesday) - Ring of Kerry excursion:

Day 6 (Tuesday) - Ring of Kerry excursion: Today we tour one of Europe’s most famous scenic drives, the Ring of Kerry (or Iveragh Peninsula to give it its correct name), offering spectacular views of lakes and rivers. We make several stops along the way and surprisingly, The Iveragh Peninsula is where you’ll find some of the finest beaches in Europe and witness a landscape carved by the last ice age. Famous stops along the way include Moll’s Gap and Lady’s view. Back in Killarney this evening, perhaps you’ll want relax at the hotel or explore the town at your leisure. (B)

Overnight: Killarney Oaks Hotel (or similar accommodations)

Day 7

(Wednesday) - Killarney to Galway:

Today enjoy a full day of captivating sightseeing as we drive north to Galway. Our first stop is Bunratty Castle Folk Park, to see one of the most complete and authentic medieval fortresses in Ireland. Built in 1425, the Bunratty Castle was restored in 1954 to its former splendor. It now contains 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries and works of art that capture the mood of those times. You will have time to wander through the castle, and explore the surrounding park, with it’s cottages that appear just as they would have in medieval times. Next, we drive through the scenic Burren area, stopping to view the picturesque Cliffs of Moher, standing 700 feet tall and 5 miles long, with incredible views of the Atlantic. We arrive in the Galway area by late afternoon. (B,D)

Overnight: Clare Galway Hotel (or similar accommodations)

Day 8

(Thursday) - Galway to Sligo:

Today, we first travel through the beautiful and rugged landscape of the Connemara region, then, on through the quiet hills and maze of gentle lakes and rivers. Next we visit the palatial Kylemore Abbey, majestically nestled at the base of Druchruach Mountain. Originally built as a castle in 1867 by local icon Mitchell Henry, in 1920 became an Abbey and today is the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys. Our drive continues to Westport where we make a short stop and today’s journey ends late this afternoon when we arrive in the Sligo area. (B,D)

Overnight: Sligo City Hotel (or similar accommodations)

Day 9

(Friday) - Sligo to Belfast:

This morning we enjoy a delightful 30-minute guided tour of Belleek Pottery, learning about the history and creation of delicate Irish porcelain. Next, we visit the Ulster and American Folk Museum, a living history settlement showing Ireland in the mid 1800’s, and the story of how and why so many Irish immigrated to America. Explore the “village” with its inviting countryside cottages, farms, schools and costumed docents. Our drive then continues driving east, to arrive in Belfast, Northern Ireland, your home for the next two nights. Northern Ireland is actually part of the United Kingdom, so you-ve entered a new country (although there are no customs or passport checks) and you’ll need to get used to a new currency, the Pound Sterling, for a couple of days until you arrive back In the Irish Republic. (B,D)

Overnight: Days Hotel Belfast (or similar accommodations)

Day 10

(Saturday) - Giant’s Causeway excursion:

Today enjoy a scenic full day excursion all the way to the North Channel of the Irish Sea. We drive along the beautiful coastal road and take in some stunning scenery. We spend time exploring “The Giant’s Causeway,” a UNESCO World Heritage Site with remarkable rock formations made up of over 40,000 hexagonal stacks. Here you may visit the rock formations on foot or may take the Causeway shuttle in either direction at a nominal charge of £1 each way. Enjoy the scenery en route back to Belfast. (B)

Overnight: Days Hotel Belfast (or similar accommodations)

Day 11

(Sunday) - Belfast Dublin:

This morning we have a sightseeing tour of Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. It was in this Victorian city that the ill-fated Titanic was built in 1911. Our panoramic tour takes in the Titanic Quarter, the murals of Falls Road which depict the religious-political strife of the 20th century, and the impressive Parliament buildings at Stormont. In the afternoon, we drive south, back to Dublin, allowing free time for you to explore more of the city as you wish. This evening, why not enjoy an optional Irish Night with a 4-course dinner and lively show of Irish music and a full cast of dancers at Taylors Three Rock. (B)

Overnight: Belvedere Hotel (or similar accommodations)

Day 12

(Monday) - Depart Dublin for Home:

Today, bid farewell to Ireland, taking home a suitcase full of memories and stories to share about your YMT Irish vacation! If you purchased airline tickets through YMT Vacations, your airport transfers are arranged. (If you made your own flight arrangements, please make your own way to the airport in plenty of time to check-in for your flight.) (B)

Departures

Pricing Information

September 21, 2011

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $400.00 single room supplement.

May 9, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

May 16, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

May 23, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

May 30, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

June 6, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

June 13, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

June 20, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

June 27, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

July 4, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

July 11, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

July 18, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

July 25, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

August 1, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

August 8, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

August 15, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

August 22, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

August 29, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

September 5, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

September 12, 2012

From $1,399.00 per person double occupancy.

From $500.00 single room supplement.

Journey Includes

  • Ten nights of accommodations are based on twin/double occupancy in moderate, clean, comfortable hotels.
  • All entrance fees for sightseeing and special events as listed in itinerary.
  • Some meals included in tour price as listed in itinerary.
  • To your room baggage handling. Free baggage allowance is up to 50 pounds per person, to be contained in a single suitcase, while on the land portion of this vacation. Please check with your airline regarding checked baggage policies and fees.
  • Transportation provided by a professionally trained and accredited tour driver/guide who is licensed, bonded, and insured. Their knowledgeable on the local areas will provide you with a wealth of information, and their friendly service will make your trip a memorable experience.

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes