The Best of Ireland: A Week on the Emerald Isle

Go off the beaten path and learn the story of Ireland as you speak with locals, taste authentic cuisine, discover ancient traditions and enjoy expert-led excursions to historic sites.
Rating (4.94)
Program No. 22088RJ
9 days
Starts at
Flights start at

At a Glance

From the ancient structures of Cashel to the academic legacy of Trinity College to the cultural hub of Dublin, experience the best of Ireland on this week-long learning adventure. Proud locals and knowledgeable experts take you off the tourist trail to show you the true meaning of their country’s heritage sites and centuries-old traditions.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to a mile with some stairs in historic buildings.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Hear from a local expert as you walk the historic countryside of the Ring of Kerry.
  • View the famous Book of Kells as you explore historic Trinity College.
  • Learn the story of Irish emigration to America and visit Cobh, the point of embarkation for millions of Irish setting sail for the New World.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city and several meals on your own. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials. Give us a call to combine this learning adventure with select dates of "The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future" (#22092) for even more learning in Ireland!
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
by James Joyce
James Joyce's unsurpassed collection of short stories depicting ordinary life in Dublin among the lower middle class -- a milestone in the history of prose fiction.
The Hill Bachelors
by William Trevor
No one writes better short fiction than William Trevor. This collection of 12 stories captures the life and people of rural Ireland.
In Search of Ancient Ireland
by Leo Eaton, Carmel McCaffrey
This spirited, illustrated history, the companion to a PBS documentary series, traces the foundation, archaeology and legends of ancient Ireland from 9000 B.C. to 1167 A.D. with style and substance.
For the Love of Ireland
by Susan Cahill (Editor)
Organized geographically, this rich anthology introduces Ireland through the words and lives of such luminaries as James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, Frank McCourt and Samuel Beckett.
The Book of Kells
by Bernard Meehan
Written by the keeper of manuscripts at Trinity College, this book features 110 color illustrations, including enlargements, of some of the more spectacular decorations in this most famous of medieval manuscripts.
Opened Ground, Selected Poems 1966-1996
by Seamus Heaney
The publication of Heaney's book Death of a Naturalist in 1966 changed Irish literature -- and poetry worldwide -- forever. Dive into the physical and emotional rhythms of Irish life in this volume, which chronicles the Nobel Laureate's best work from the last 30 years.
A Course Called Ireland
by Tom Coyne
Not just a quest to play every seaside course in the Emerald Isle (60 by the time he got to Ulster), Tom Coyne's entertaining portrait of Ireland, its people, pubs and quirks illuminates "Uncommon Acts of Irish Hospitality."
Birds of Ireland, An Introduction to Familiar Species
by James Kavanagh
A fold-up, laminated card featuring color drawings and short descriptions of commonly encountered Ireland birds.
Sun Dancing, A Vision of Medieval Ireland
by Geoffrey Moorhouse
This wonderfully inspired combination of scholarship and historical fiction, set at the monastery on Skellig Michael, carries the reader back to Ireland's early monastic tradition.
Ireland, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by James Mc Elroy
Organized geographically, this anthology of short stories and tales by contemporary Irish authors captures the spirit, history and allure of Ireland.
The Truth about the Irish
by Terry Eagleton
An irreverent A-to-Z guide to all things Irish by a native son and shrewd comic commentator, who casts aside many myths, starting with the first entry - A for alcohol (the Irish have the lowest per capita consumption of alcohol in the E.U., after Greece and Italy).
Ireland Map
by Michelin
A colorful map of Ireland at a scale of 1:400,000, featuring insets of the road approaches to major cities, as well as an index to cities, towns and villages.
How the Irish Saved Civilization
by Thomas Cahill
This bestselling history tells the generally unknown story of Ireland's preservation of classical learning in the Dark Ages, revealing how the saints and scholars, monks and scribes labored to reproduce the important texts that spread as they evangelized Europe.
Irish Fairy and Folk Tales
by W.B. Yeats
Edited by the Nobel Prize-winning poet who spearheaded the Celtic Renaissance in the early 20th century, these enchanting stories introduce a cast of changelings, ghosts, mermaids, demons, saints, priests and fairies.
Ireland, In Word and Image
by Jay Adlersberg
Jay Adlersberg's visual celebration of Ireland is accompanied by literary excerpts and poetry from Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and many others. With 75 gorgeous color photographs.
Connemara Mollie, An Irish Journey on Horseback
by Hilary Bradt
Hilary Bradt (publisher of Bradt Guides) recalls her journey across rural Ireland among the people of Galway, Mayo, Clare and Kerry in the 1980s in this sweet -- and sublimely affecting -- memoir.
A Brief History of Ireland
by Richard Killeen
Killeen traces the successive waves of warriors and colonists through the Celts, Vikings and Normans to Henry VIII, the era of rebellion and patriots to modern times in this brisk, measured history.
A Traveller's History of Ireland
by Peter Neville
From the Celts to the Norman invasions to modern-day Ireland, this short history is highly recommended for those who would like a brief overview of the Emerald Isle through the centuries.
The Celts: A Very Short Introduction
by Barry W. Cunliffe
A concise, revealing social history of the Celts by a reigning authority and popular writer.
Eyewitness Guide Ireland
by Eyewitness Guides
This superb guide is a wonderfully illustrated introduction to the country, featuring photographs, maps and short background essays on history and culture.

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