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22586
Ireland

Ireland at a Slower Pace: Countryside & Culture, Galway to Dublin

Experience Ireland’s cities, villages, farms and nature, and interact with her people as you journey at a leisurely pace from the rural West through County Kerry and on to Dublin.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22586RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
3,299
Flights start at
625
Ireland

Ireland at a Slower Pace: Countryside & Culture, Galway to Dublin

Experience Ireland’s cities, villages, farms and nature, and interact with her people as you journey at a leisurely pace from the rural West through County Kerry and on to Dublin.
Length
11 days
Starts at
3,299
Flights start at
625
Program No. 22586 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 22 - May 2, 2021
Starting at
3,299
May 20 - May 30, 2021
Starting at
3,299
Jun 3 - Jun 13, 2021
Starting at
3,299
Aug 12 - Aug 22, 2021
Starting at
3,299
Sep 16 - Sep 26, 2021
Starting at
3,399
Sep 30 - Oct 10, 2021
Starting at
3,399
Oct 7 - Oct 17, 2021
Starting at
3,399
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 22 - May 2, 2021
Starting at
3,949
May 20 - May 30, 2021
Starting at
3,949
Jun 3 - Jun 13, 2021
Starting at
3,949
Aug 12 - Aug 22, 2021
Starting at
3,949
Sep 16 - Sep 26, 2021
Starting at
4,049
Sep 30 - Oct 10, 2021
Starting at
4,049
Oct 7 - Oct 17, 2021
Starting at
4,049

At a Glance

Experience Ireland’s cities, villages, farms and natural environments and interact with her people as you journey from the rural West through County Kerry and on to Dublin. Friendly locals accompany your discovery, moving at a relaxed pace that allows for thorough exploration of the Cliffs of Moher, Galway, Bunratty Castle and more, as well as for conversation in cozy pubs where lively traditional music is played.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walk a few blocks indoors and out, stand for up to an hour at a time, climb a few stairs.
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 ...

  • Learn about the natural forces behind the legendary beauty of Ireland’s wild spaces on expert-led discoveries of the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and County Kerry.
  • Discover traditional Irish food on a local food trail.
  • Join locals to take part in customary Irish pastimes, including the country’s vibrant music and dance traditions.

General Notes

You may be interested in a more active version of this program, "Enchanting Ireland: Town and Country" (#21258).
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.
Ireland : The Emerald Isle and Its People
by Mark Morris and Anthony Cassidy
Ireland, a Bicycle and a Tin Whistle
by D.Wilson
A Concise History of Ireland
by Marie O'Brien and Conor Cruise
7 Days in Dublin: Everything to See and Do
by Shane Kennedy
A Traveller's History of Ireland
by Peter Neville
From the Celts to the Norman invasions and modern-day Ireland, this short history is highly recommended for those who would like a brief overview of the Emerald Isle through the centuries
Walking Dublin
by Pat Liddy
See Dublin on foot, an architectural walking guide
by Julie Craig
For the Love of Ireland: A Literary Companion
by Susan Cahill (ed.)
A rich anthology of writing about Ireland by such Irish luminaries as James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Seamus Heaney, William, Trevor, Frank McCourt, Edna O'Brien, and Samuel Beckett. The well-chosen excerpts, organized by province, evoke in wonderful literary detail the geography of Ireland. Highly recommended for any traveler, the anthology is also a fine introduction to Irish literature.
After the Famine: Irish Agriculture 1850-1914
by Michael Turner
After the Famine examines the recovery in Irish agriculture in the wake of the disastrous potato famine of the 1840s, and presents an annual agricultural output series for Ireland from 1850 to 1914. Michael Turner’s detailed study is in three parts: he analyses the changing structure of agriculture in terms of land use and peasant occupancy; he presents estimates of the annual value of Irish output between 1850 and 1914; and he assesses Irish agricultural performance in terms of several measures of productivity. These analyses are placed in the context of British and European agricultural development, and suggest that, contrary to prevailing orthodoxies, landlords rather than tenants were the main beneficiaries in the period leading up to the land reforms. After the Famine is an important contribution to an extremely controversial area of Irish social and economic history.
EXploring Rural Ireland
by A.Sanger
Ireland and the Irish
by John Ardagh
impressionistic portrait of the two Irelands, based on interviews with leaders and ordinary people from every walk of life, includes their insights and the author's own observations and analysis. Anatomy of the country, this book is a most useful guide for the visitor wanting a complete picture of modern Irish life and the prevailing social and economic trends.
The Secrets of Ireland
by Kevin Eyres
A breathtaking land of wildly varied landscapes, Ireland is shown here in all its awe-inspiring glory. From familiar tourist spots to seldom-seen vistas, this stunning new illustrated book captures the country as you've never seen it before. It covers the whole of the Emerald Isle from Ulster North to Munster South, from Giant's Causeway to the Cliffs of Moher.
Luck and the Irish: A Brief History of Change, 1970-2000
by Roy Foster
From 1970, things were changing in Ireland; the Celtic Tiger had finally woken, and the rules for everything from gender roles and religion to international relations were being entirely rewritten. Luck and the Irish examines how the country has weathered these last thirty years of change, and what these changes may mean in the long run. R. F. Foster also looks at how characters as diverse as Gerry Adams, Mary Robinson, Charles Haughey and Bob Geldof have contributed to Ireland's altered psyche, and uncovers some of the scandals, corruption and marketing masterminds that have transformed Ireland and its luck.
Ireland (Landscapes Countryside Guides)
by Peter Singer
This guide covers the Republic and Northern Ireland and includes: 13 car tours, 22 walks, 30 picnic suggestions; walking maps; timetables for public transport; pull-out touring maps; many short walks and picnic suggestions.
Ireland in the 20th Century
by Tim Pat Coogan
Ireland entered the twentieth century savaged by poverty and memories of the famine but inspired by the Celtic Dawn, a remarkable cultural renaissance led by Yeats, Synge and Lady Gregory. She left it in the era of the Celtic Tiger, with unparalleled prosperity and a new, confident, outward-looking view of herself and the world - although this prosperity and self-confidence is now giving way to uncertainty. In the intervening hundred years, Ireland has experienced more 'history' than almost any other country: beginning under the British crown, she was racked by revolution, the Anglo-Irish war, partition and civil conflict. Led by towering figures such as Michael Collins and De Valera, she has suffered terrible hardships and disputes but has nevertheless provided brilliant cultural and literary examples and is now a country of importance in the wider international community, providing leadership in a variety of moral and development issues. In this readable and authoritative study, Ireland's bestselling popular historian tells the extraordinary story of how contemporary Ireland came into existence. Covering both South and North and dealing with social and cultural history as well as political, this will surely become a definitive single-volume account of the making of modern Ireland.
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11 days
10 nights
22 meals
9 B 6 L 7 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Shannon, To County Clare, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Ennis
L,D
Old Ground Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Lunch: At the hotel, we’ll have a plated lunch with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After checking in at the hotel and getting your room, take some time to freshen up and relax before Orientation. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This program is staffed with a Group Leader who will accompany us throughout the program and deal with logistics, deliver informal talks, conduct some field trips, and serve as an information resource on program-related topics. At various points during the program, we will be joined by local experts, who will lecture and conduct field trips. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room, we will have a 3-course plated and served meal including coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Galway, Thoor Ballylee
Ennis
B,D
Old Ground Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 90 miles, approximately 3 hours. Walking about 3 miles, periods of standing; paved streets, some cobbled areas, gravel and grass paths, some uneven terrain at Thoor Ballylee.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the full Irish breakfast buffet offers choices such as eggs, bacon, sausages, tomato, potatoes, cereals, fruit, toast, pastries and jams, plus juices, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll board the motorcoach for a field trip to the port city of Galway, the cradle of Gaelic culture in the West. Galway is often referred to as the “city of tribes,” as it was once home to 14 famous merchant families. Enjoying an expert-led walk around the city with a local historian, we’ll conclude at the Galway City Museum for some time to explore independently. Should you wish to explore the museum, entrance is free of charge and it houses a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions dealing with archaeology, local history, arts, and crafts.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Galway has many bars, restaurants, and cafés to suit all tastes.

Afternoon: We’ll board the motorcoach for a field trip led by our Group Leader to Thoor Ballylee, a fortified tower house thought to have been constructed in the 15th century. This small castle on the Coole Estate was owned by poet W.B. Yeats between 1916 and 1929, and is popularly known today as Yeats’ Tower. The building now houses a Yeats museum, thanks to the conservation efforts of local volunteer groups. We will then return by motorcoach to the hotel.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: We’ll be joined at the hotel by members of a local family of musicians, who will regale us with a performance of traditional Irish music. Ennis is widely considered one of the most important heartlands of Irish folk music and as we enjoy informal conversation with the performers, we’ll gain an understanding of the importance of music to community life.

DAY
4
The Burren, The Cliffs of Moher
Ennis
B,L
Old Ground Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 65 miles, approximately 3 hours. Walking about 2.5 miles, periods of standing; tarmac and gravel paths, grassy areas, natural limestone pavement; uneven terrain at the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Today we will take field trips to two of Ireland’s most incredible natural phenomena. We will begin by traveling by motorcoach to the Burren, where we’ll meet a local expert who will lead us through one of the largest karst limestone landscapes in Europe. The Burren — meaning “rocky place” — is what remains of a tropical sea from 350 million years ago. The starkly beautiful karst limestone surface is almost moonlike in appearance. Geologists, botanists, and zoologists flock to this region to learn about its rare flora and fauna. We will take a gentle hike on this rugged terrain, which together with the Cliffs of Moher forms a UNESCO Global Geopark.

Lunch: At a traditional pub in the village of Kilfenora, we’ll have a 2-course plated and served meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Our next field trip will take us to the spectacular and world-famous Cliffs of Moher, a few miles along the coast from Lahinch. The cliffs rise like a cathedral into the sky some 700 feet over the wild Atlantic Ocean, with views stretching as far as Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. Human activity here dates back at least 2,000 years. They are home to one of Ireland’s major colonies of cliff-nesting seabirds, and also lend their name to a popular fiddle jig performed at least as early as 1850. After an introduction by our Group Leader, we’ll have some time for self-directed exploration at the visitor center. We will then return by motorcoach to the hotel.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
5
To Kinsale, Bunratty Castle & Bunratty Folk Park
Kinsale
B,L,D
The Trident Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 105 miles, approximately 3.5 hours. Walking about 2.5 miles, periods of standing; varied terrain including paved streets, grass with uneven rocky areas, gravel paths, wooden boardwalks; steps to some areas at Blarney Castle, including stone spiral staircases.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we will board a motorcoach to begin our transfer to the historic fishing town of Kinsale. En route, we'll stop for a field trip to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in County Clare, now a designated National Monument and the most complete and authentically restored castle in Ireland. Originally built in 1425, Bunratty Castle was restored in the 1950s to reflect how it would have looked in the 15th and 16th centuries, now complete with period furnishings. We'll have some time for self-directed exploration to see what interests each of us most and look through the window to the past in Bunratty Folk Park, a “living history” village vividly recreated through actors, volunteers, and painstaking attention to detail. Its buildings and streets represent what would have been seen in the 19th century. We'll meet costumed “villagers” who will be happy to answer questions and discuss their ways of life.

Lunch: At Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, we’ll have vouchers allowing us to choose food and drinks from the café.

Afternoon: We will continue our journey with a stop at Blarney Castle, home of the famous Blarney Stone. Tradition dictates that the gift of eloquence is conferred on all those who kiss the stone! Our Group Leader will introduce the castle’s 800-year history en route and, once we arrive, we’ll have some time to explore the castle and grounds independently. We’ll then continue by motorcoach to Kinsale to check into the hotel before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel we’ll have a 3-course plated and served meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
County Kerry, Kenmare, Killarney
Kinsale
B,L,D
The Trident Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 160 miles, approximately 5.5 hours. Walking about 2.5 miles, periods of standing; varied terrain including paved streets, gravel paths, uneven grassy areas; steps to some areas at Muckross House. Some morning activities in Kenmare are weather dependent.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will take a leisurely field trip by motorcoach to explore the picturesque borders of County Kerry and County Cork, replete with natural beauty. Our Group Leader will discuss the area’s history en route. We’ll be able to see Molls Gap — a mountain pass with spectacular views of Ireland’s highest mountain range, MacGillycuddy’s Reeks — and Gougane Barra, a remote lakeside settlement named for St. Finbarr where we’ll have some time for independent exploration on foot. Local folklore holds that Finbarr founded a monastery on an island in the lake during the 6th century, and the 19th-century oratory that stands on the island is a destination for pilgrims today. After our time at Gougane Barra we’ll continue to the charming town of Kenmare — one of the most beautiful towns in Ireland.

Lunch: At a local eatery in Kenmare, we’ll have a 2-course plated and served meal accompanied by a performance by a local storyteller, with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll continue by motorcoach to the bustling town of Killarney, where we’ll explore the town and have an expert introduction to its history and culture from our Group Leader. During our field trip, we will enjoy docent-led visit to Muckross House, the Victorian mansion at the heart of Killarney National Park spectacularly situated close to the eastern shore of Muckross Lake. Muckross House is home to a research library that aims to document the history, folk life, and culture of Kerry.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Kinsale Food Trail, Free Time
Kinsale
B,L
The Trident Hotel

Activity note: Walking about 1.5 miles during group activities; periods of standing. Paved streets, some narrow sidewalks. Extent and duration of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will set out on foot to explore Kinsale with a local expert. During our walk around town, we will meet with local farmers and artisan food producers who will talk about their work. The town is known as Ireland’s gourmet capital, and its many restaurants and cafes work hand in hand with innovative local producers. On the Food Trail, we will explore the types of food that made Ireland famous with the best local providers who will provide tastings as well as talks on methods and challenges.

Lunch: As part of the food trail.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Kinsale. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. Perhaps take inspiration from the local foods you’ve seen!

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
8
To Dublin, Cobh & The Queenstown Story
Dublin.
B,L,D
Grand Canal Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 215 miles; approximately 5 hours. Walking approximately 1.5 miles; periods of standing; paved streets, some cobbled areas, gravel paths.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will check out of the hotel and board a motorcoach for the transfer to Dublin. En route, we will stop in the port town of Cobh for independent exploration at Cobh Heritage Centre’s Queenstown Story exhibition. In this tremendous, interactive experience, we will retrace the steps of 2.5 million adults and children who emigrated from Ireland on coffin ships, early steamers, and finally on the great liners. After our field trip we’ll continue by motorcoach to Kilkenny, where we’ll stop for lunch.

Lunch: We’ll have vouchers allowing us to choose food and drinks from a range of eateries in Kilkenny.

Afternoon: We will continue our transfer to Dublin, and check in to our hotel with time to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated and served meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Christ Church Cathedral, National Museum, Free Time
Dublin.
B,D
Grand Canal Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 3 miles; approximately 1/2 hour. Walking about 2.5 miles during group activities; periods of standing; paved streets, some cobbled areas, gravel paths. Extent and duration of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: With our Group Leader and a local expert, we’ll begin to explore Dublin on a motorcoach journey around the center of this fascinating city as we learn of its long, storied history including cultural and architectural highlights. We’ll end at the ecclesiastical center of Dublin, Christ Church Cathedral. A place of worship for more than 1,000 years, we will see the cathedral’s awe-inspiring interior and fascinating medieval crypt during an exploration led by our Group Leader. Our next field trip will take us to the National Museum of Ireland, which hosts a collection of four million objects from all over the world – with a specific focus on the history of Ireland. Our Group Leader will provide an introduction, followed by time for independent exploration.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity to see and do what interests you most.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Trinity College, The Book of Kells, National Gallery
Dublin.
B,D
Grand Canal Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 3 miles; approximately 1/2 hour. Walking approximately 3 miles; periods of standing; paved streets, some cobbled areas, gravel paths.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll board a motorcoach and ride to Trinity College, sometimes referred to as the University of Dublin, which dates back to 1592 and is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland. While here, we will learn in detail about the history and art of this monumental institution as we are led through its beautiful grounds by a student of the university. It is also home to the Book of Kells, one of the finest examples of illuminated manuscript in the world. The artistry and attention to detail in its spellbinding calligraphy and illuminations truly is a sight to behold. The book, dating back to 800 C.E., is considered Ireland’s finest national treasure. We’ll have some time to explore the Book of Kells exhibition independently at the end of our field trip.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: We will meet near Trinity College after lunch and walk to the nearby National Gallery. The National Gallery is Ireland’s premier gallery, with a spellbinding collection of European masterpieces as well as the world’s largest collection of Irish art. During our docent-led visit, we’ll see paintings and drawings by Brueghel, Rubens, Caravaggio and Gainsborough together with modern-day portraiture.

Dinner: At a local restaurant in Dublin, we’ll have a 3-course plated and served meal featuring traditional Irish food while accompanied by a performance by local musicians, with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase. We’ll spend our last evening enjoying music and song as we bid farewell to Ireland and our newfound friends.

Evening: At leisure. Bid farewells and prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
11
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m. See your program’s “Transportation Information” regarding transfers.

Breakfast: At the hotel. Some participants may depart prior to breakfast, whereupon a boxed breakfast will be provided. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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