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 (4.94)
Program No. 22586RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
3,179
Flights start at
800
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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 Ennis, Check-In, Orientation
Ennis
L,D
Old Ground Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check in from 2:00 p.m.

Lunch: At the hotel, we’ll have a plated lunch including coffee, tea, water; 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 with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. This program is staffed with both a Group Leader, who will accompany us throughout the program, deal primarily with logistics, and lecture, conduct field trips, and serve as an information resource on program-related topics. Unless otherwise specified, the Group Leader will lead field trips. Travel and transfers will be via private motorcoach unless indicated otherwise. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Next, enjoy a welcome reception for our group.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room, we will have a plated dinner including coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

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

DAY
3
Galway & Coole Park
Ennis
B,D
Old Ground Hotel

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 a motorcoach and make the journey to Galway, where we’ll set out on an expert-led walking field trip around the city, the cradle of Gaelic culture in the West. It is often referred to as the “city of tribes” as it was once home to 14 famous merchant families. Highlights include Galway Cathedral, the Spanish Arch, and part of the original city wall. We will end up at the Galway City Museum and have some free time for personal independent exploration. Should you wish to explore the museum, it houses a variety of permanent and changing 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 Coole Park. A nature reserve spanning more than 1,000 acres, Coole Park was once the center of the Irish Literary Revival in the early 20th Century; the seven woods celebrated by W.B Yeats can all be found within its confines. Here we can trace our fingers across the historic Autograph Tree, its bark deeply engraved with the initials of many of the authors who helped Ireland rise to literary prominence during the revival. We will then return by motorcoach to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Performance. We’ll be regaled by an evening of traditional Irish music and dance.

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

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Today we will take field trips to two of Ireland’s most incredible natural phenomena. We begin by traveling by motorcoach to the Burren, where a local expert will lead us through one of the largest karst limestone landscapes in Europe, with a gentle walk on its moon-like terrain.

Lunch: In the village of Kilfenora.

Afternoon: Our next field trip will take us to the spectacular and world-famous Cliffs of Moher. We’ll have time to linger by the cliffs that rise like a cathedral into the sky some 700 feet over the wild Atlantic Ocean and learn about the geological processes that made them. Views stretch as far as Galway Bay and the Aran Islands, and the location is also home to one of the major colonies of cliff-nesting seabirds in Ireland. 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

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we will transfer to the historic fishing town of Kinsale. En route we’ll visit Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in County Clare, home to the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Originally built in 1425, Bunratty Castle was restored in the 1950s and now mainly reflects how it would have looked in the 15th and 16th Centuries. Within the grounds of the castle lies Bunratty Folk Park, a living village where 19th Century life is vividly recreated through actors, volunteers and a painstaking attention to detail.

Lunch: At Bunratty Castle.

Afternoon: We continue our journey with a stop at Blarney Castle, home of the famous Blarney Stone, where we will learn about its history and traditions from our Group Leader. We’ll then continue onwards to Kinsale to check in to the hotel before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

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

Activity note: Some morning activities in Kenmare are weather dependent.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We will take a leisurely field trip by motorcoach as we explore picturesque County Kerry, replete with natural beauty. Our Group Leader will discuss the area’s history en route and we’ll be able to see Gougane Barra, Molls Gap, and the charming town of Kenmare – one of the most beautiful towns in Ireland. Take advantage of a have a nice photo stop and a little history of the area from the Group Leader.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch in Kenmare accompanied by a performance by a local storyteller.

Afternoon: We’ll continue onwards by motorcoach to the bustling town of Killarney, where we’ll explore the town and have an expert introduction to its history and culture. During our field trip we will enjoy an expert-led visit to Muckross House, the Victorian mansion at the heart of Killarney National Park. Muckross House is home to a research library that aims to document the history, folklife and culture of Kerry.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

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

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: 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. 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, Cork, Cobh & The Queenstown Story
Dublin.
B,L,D
Grand Canal Hotel

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will check out of the hotel and board our motorcoach for the transfer to Dublin. En route, we will have a short stop in the vibrant city of Cork to stretch our legs and explore this important, historic city. We will then head to Cobh and the Queentown Story exhibition. Here, 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. A local expert will introduce you to the museum before you are free to explore the fascinating stories in this tremendous, interactive experience.

Lunch: Taken en route in Kilkenny.

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

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Christ Church Cathedral, National Museum of Ireland
Dublin.
B,D
Grand Canal Hotel

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: With our Group Leader, 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 and historic, 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 expert-led exploration. 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 to explore on your own.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

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

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

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

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Trinity College, sometimes referred to as the University of Dublin, dates back to 1592. It is one of the seven ancient Universities of Britain and Ireland. 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 and the book, dating back to 800 CE, is considered Ireland’s finest national treasure. We will learn in greater detail about the history and art of this monumental institution as we are led through its beautiful grounds.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: We will then move on 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.

Dinner: Enjoy a plated dinner and a lively evening of traditional Irish music. Share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: Say farewell and prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
11
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check out by 11:00 a.m. See the “Travel Information” section regarding transfers. If you are an independent traveler (POP status), see “Ground Transportation from Last Location.”

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