Limerick, Galway, Connemara, Aran Islands, Dingle,
Killarney, Kerry, Cork,
Folk Dancing, Folk Music, Culture, History, Art, and Adventure!
When: August 3-15, 2024
Led by Lee Friedman
Guided by Kay Cleary
★ Galway, Connemara, Aran islands, Dingle, Killarney, Kerry, Cork, Blarney, Dublin!
★ Kiss the Blarney stone in Blarney Castle!
★ Daily folk dancing with local Irish folk dance groups and/or Lee Friedman.
★ Traditional Irish music and dance!
★ See picturesque villages, medieval castles, remote cottages, wild and rugged beauty, valleys, mountains, lakes and cliffs!
★ Hear spoken Gaelic language in all its glory!
★ Traditional Irish nights, Trinity College, Book of Kells, legends and history, drive the ring of Kerry, dance a jig, ride in horse drawn carriage, Ceili dancing, step-dancing, whiskey, whimsy, ancient forts, and more!
★ Price includes hotels, private bus, guide, sightseeing, all breakfasts and dinners
Price: Land Only: $4995
I can’t wait to go! Reserve my place with my $200 deposit per person.
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Day 1: Saturday, August 3:
Depart for Ireland on airlines of your choice.
Day 2: Sunday, August 4: Limerick
Arrive at Shannon Airport and transfer to Clayton Hotel in Limerick. Welcome tea, coffee, and scones upon arrival. Take a walking tour of Limerick city. Enjoy a riverside walk whilst learning about the city. Pass the local rowing clubs as you cross the Sarsfield Bridge. See the Curragower falls on the river and the boardwalk take the path up to the Treaty Stone. The Treaty of Limerick was signed on this stone and is it remains a symbol for the city to this day. Striking an imposing figure across the bridge from the Treaty Stone you will see King John’s Castle. A 12th century castle built by King John of England; it stands as a testament to 800 years of history. The area around the castle, known as King’s Island, is the oldest part of Limerick, its network of narrow, winding streets and alleyways are consistent with its medieval town planning. This area of Limerick known as Englishtown was originally walled and served as the administrative center of the town in earlier times. Visit King John’s Castle. En- route back to the hotel pass by Arthurs Quay Park and O’Connell Street, which is the main shopping street of the city. On Bedford Row there is a monument to one of Limerick’s most famous sons – Richard Harris the actor. Evening, we’ll gather in Bunratty Castle for a mediaeval banquet with Irish music, song, dance, and storytelling at the Banquet. Overnight Strand Hotel in Limerick.
Day 3: Monday, August 5: Cliffs of Moher and the Burren
After breakfast today, you will depart your hotel and visit the majestic Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. The Cliffs are 214m high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometers over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. The Cliffs take their name from a ruined promontory fort ‘Mothar’ – which was demolished during the Napoleonic wars in the early 1800’s, to make room for a signal tower at Hag’s Head. The word ‘Mothar’in old Gaelic means ‘the ruin of a fort’. The Burren is of huge international significance for three reasons – geological, botanical and archaeological. The Burren lunar like landscape is an area of limestone rock formed 360 million years ago and consists of imposing majestic mountains, and tranquil valleys with gently meandering streams. Overnight, dinner and live music entertainment at our Bellbridge House hotel in County Clare.
Day 4: Tuesday, August 6: Galway
Today you will leave Clare and head northwards towards Galway – the city of the Tribes. Following a short walking tour with your tour guide, you are free to explore Galway City Centre. This historic city of the tribe’s dances to a beat uniquely its own. There is certain chemistry and vibrancy to this friendly University City, which many delight in, and few forget. Music, festivals, horse racing, pubs, restaurants, shops, theaters and most of all Galway people, combine to create this atmospheric mediaeval city of culture. Explore highlights like the Spanish Arch, St. Nicholas Cathedral, colorful Shop Street or sample some world-famous Galway Bay oysters. Following dinner at the hotel, you will board a coach to take you to the Galway Bay Hotel for “Trad on the Prom” Performers who have captivated audiences in extraordinary productions such as ‘Riverdance’, ‘The Chieftains’, ‘Lord of the Dance’ and ‘Feet of Flames’ have gathered together on one stage to make this an unforgettable Irish dance entertainment experience. Showcasing the talents of legendary trad musician Máirín Fahy, soloist with Riverdance and The Chieftains, as well as an amazing selection of guest musicians and world champion Irish dancers, it’s a remarkable experience. Overnight Harbour Hotel in Galway.
Day 5: Wednesday, August 7: Aran Islands
Drive to Rossaveal Harbour for the ferry to Inis Mór – largest of the Aran Islands. From the ferry see the twelve Bens in Connemara in the distance behind you along with Galway Bay. We’ll visit Dun Aonghasa Fort perched spectacularly on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This largest of the prehistoric stone forts on the Aran Islands is enclosed by three massive dry-stone walls and a “chevaux-de-frise” with tall blocks of limestone to deter attackers. Dinner, folk dancing, overnight Harbour Hotel in Galway.
Day 6: Thursday, August 8: Connemara and Kylemore Abbey
After breakfast, we’ll tour Connemara National Park. Stone walls, bogland and lakes will fill the landscape along with the Park’s mountains, namely Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght, part of the famous Twelve Bens or Beanna Beola range. The Irish language is still the first language in Connemara. We’ll visit Kylemore Abbey the only Irish home of the Benedictine Nuns. Built as a Castle in 1868, it is one of the best examples of Irish neo-gothic architecture, featuring a Victorian Walled Garden, restored Abbey reception rooms and Gothic Church. Dinner, folk dancing, and overnight Harbour Hotel in Galway.
Day 7: Friday, August 9: Killimer and ferry to County. Kerry
This morning we’ll travel southwards towards Killimer in County Clare. We’ll board a river Ferry which to transport us from Clare into North Kerry. While crossing the Shannon Estuary look for pods of Dolphin and other wildlife. Arrive in Kingdom of Kerry, and the tour of Dingle Peninsula begins. Dinner, folk dancing, and overnight Skellig Hotel in Dingle.
Day 8: Saturday, August 10: Dingle
Today, a leisurely drive on the Slea Head Peninsula. Located on Ireland’s western-most edge, Slea Head treats visitors to a cluster of ancient sites, cozy villages, and breathtaking scenery. This quintessential Irish circular driving route starts and ends in the town of Dingle. Visit Gallarus Oratory a tiny church whose stone roof and walls has been around for over 1,000 years. Visit Kilmalkedar Church: The remains of this Irish Romanesque church are surrounded by an old cemetery filled with ancient carved stones and a striking view. Free time in charming Dingle this afternoon and evening. Dinner, folk dancing, and overnight Skellig Hotel in Dingle.
Day 9: Sunday, August 11: Ring of Kerry and Killarney
Morning drive to Killarney. En route we’ll pass Inch Beach the setting of the movie Ryan’s. We’ll visit Killarney National Park, Ireland’s first and largest national park covering 25,000 acres of mountain, garden, park, woodland, waterway and moorland. The remoteness and inaccessibility of some areas helps the continued survival of Ireland’s only remaining wild herd of native Red Deer. On the lower mountain slopes, the largest remaining area of Oakwoods, which once covered the entire island, can be seen. You’ll see Muckross Abbey, built in 1448, with its huge Yew Tree, said to be as old as the abbey itself. Muckross House has been visited by Queen Victoria and a linked history with the Bourne Vincents and their Filoli House in San Francisco. From Muckross Estate drive to Torc Waterfall and view the entire valley and the Lakes of Killarney. Free time in the afternoon to explore Killarney town. Evening dinner and performance of Irish song, dance, and story at Siamsa Tire. Overnight Brehon Hotel in Killarney,
Day 10: Monday, August 12: Cork, Kinsale, Blarney Castle, and the English Market
Today our tour continues to the Rebel County of Cork. We’ll drive through the scenic mountainous region that surrounds the county. Visit famous Blarney Castle and Village. Kiss the Blarney Stone and receive the “gift of the gab”, a talent for eloquence the Irish famously possesses. After visiting the castle and grounds enjoy Blarney Woollen Mills shop. After a panoramic tour of Cork City, we’ll stroll through the English Market on Grand Parade. This Victorian indoor market, a hive of activity to awaken the senses. has survived since the 18th Century. Delicacies both local and exotic can be seen, and you’ll will experience the unique local fare that is traditional to Cork. Dinner, folk dancing, and overnight at Rochestown Park Hotel, Douglas, Cork.
Day 11: Tuesday, August 13: Dublin
Morning drive to Dublin via Glendalough in Co. Wicklow to see the National Park and the monastic ruins. Beautiful Glendalough means the valley of the two lakes in English. The early history of the East Coast of Ireland is heavily influenced by Viking invasions and the Glendalough round tower gives insight into the defenses used by the monks and locals. Overnight at Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane in Dublin.
Day 12: Wednesday, August 14: Dublin
Full day of sightseeing in this capital city. Panoramic tour of Dublin and visit Trinity College Library. See the beautiful illuminated manuscripts of The Book of Kells. Written around the year 800 AD it contains the four gospels, preceded by prefaces, summaries, and gospel passages.. Overnight at Grand Canal Hotel in Dublin.
Slán (Goodbye). See you next year. Every ending is a new beginning.
Day 13: Thursday, August 15:
After breakfast depart for Dublin Airport for return flight home.
REGISTRATION FORM: I can’t wait to go! Enclosed is my registration deposit of $200 per person. Ireland single supplement: $995. Hotel taxes and service charges: $185. Gratuities not included. Program subject to change without notice. With 20 participants, tour will be led by Lee Friedman; less than 20 participants, tour will be led by Kay Cleary, Cancellations 90 days prior to departure: Total refund: Less than 90 days: No refund. Travel insurance always recommended. Total balance due April 14, 2024
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Reservations: Deposits and Payments: Deposit of $200 per person is required at time of reservation. Balance is due 90 days prior to departure date.
Changes: Prices and program subject to change without notice
Baggage: One baggage per person and a carry on is allowed.
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