Catholic Ireland
https://worldstrides.com/itineraries/catholic-ireland/

Catholic Ireland

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Your Adventure, Day by Day

Day 1 Departure from North America
  • Flight to Ireland Relax and enjoy our scheduled flight from North America to Shannon.
Day 2 Arrive Shannon – Killarney
  • Greet Your Tour Director Our 24-hour WorldStrides tour director will meet us at the airport and remain with us until our final airport departure. We will have use of a private coach and driver, while touring for the next 7 days.
  • Bunratty Castle Discover Bunratty Castle, a formidable castle built in the 15th century. It has been preserved just as it would have looked in the 1500s. A tour of the castle will include the Great Hall, Main Guard, and South Solar. We will then visit the adjoining Folk Park, an authentic re-creation of life in Ireland at the turn of the 20th century.
  • Killarney Renowned for its beauty and famed for the splendor of its scenery, Killarney is one of Ireland’s best-loved spots. The idyllic town, located in County Kerry, is filled with friendly faces and surrounded by an incredible number of sites and activities.
  • Irish Singing Pub Sing along at a traditional Irish Singing Pub.
Day 3 Ring of Kerry
  • Ring of Kerry Discover the famed Ring of Kerry as we take the beautiful drive around the Iveragh Peninsula. We will enjoy a splendid variety of outstanding coastal panoramas and magnificent mountain views, and have the opportunity to stop and explore many small towns and villages on the peninsula.
  • Staigue Fort We will visit Staigue Fort, the best preserved Iron Age drystone fort in Ireland, and then explore Sneem, a lovely small village with brightly painted cottages.
Day 4 Killarney – Galway
  • County Clare The rich green fields and rolling hills of County Clare have come to epitomize the Irish countryside. From the barren, rocky Atlantic coast to the charming county towns and the grave limestone landscape of the Burren, visitors quickly discover that Clare holds a variety of beauty.
  • Cliffs of Moher Spend time at the Cliffs of Moher, a series of dramatic undulating cliffs plunging 700 feet down to the Atlantic Ocean, offering unforgettable views of Ireland’s west coast. On a clear day we may be able to see the Aran Islands in Galway Bay as misty shapes off in the distance. Those who choose may climb O’Brien’s Tower, a viewing point built for the benefit of Victorian tourists.
  • Walking Tour of Galway Take a Walking Tour of Galway’s city center. We will view many of Galway’s most important areas and landmarks, including Eyre Square, Shop Street, the Latin Quarter, Lynch’s Castle, the Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas, the Quays, the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, and the Spanish Arch.
  • Galway Our base for the next night will be the Galway area, where breakfast and dinner will be provided at the hotel.
Day 5 Galway – Sligo
  • Croagh Patrick Explore Ireland’s holy mountain, Croagh Patrick, named for St. Patrick because he spent forty days fasting and praying for the Irish here. We will make the trek to the summit to visit the modern chapel and enjoy the spectacular panoramic views over Clew Bay. The Teach na Miasa Cultural Center has much to offer those who prefer to stay at the base of the mountain.
  • Knock in County Mayo The small town of Knock in County Mayo was an average rural community until 1879, when the apparition of three holy figures appeared on the gable of a church. From that point on the town has been one of the primary Catholic pilgrimage sites in Europe, with thousands of visitors every year.
  • Basilica of Our Lady Visit the Shrine and Museum at the Basilica of Our Lady, Queen of Ireland. Explore the Shrine and Museum at the Basilica of Our Lady, Queen of Ireland, located in Knock. In 1879, an apparition of the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist appeared at an altar on the south gable of the church and was witnessed for more than two hours. Our tour of the Shrine grounds will include the Apparition Chapel and the original Gable Wall, the Papal Cross, the Basilica, and the Chapel of Reconciliation. We will conclude at the Museum, where we will learn more about the history of the town.
  • Town of Sligo The intriguing town of Sligo sits at the mouth of the River Garavogue. Due to this important position, it grew to prominence under the Normans. An ideal base for exploring the Neolithic and cultural sites of the countryside, Sligo is also the arts capital of northwest Ireland.
Day 6 Sligo – Dublin
  • Travel to Dublin Today we will travel from Sligo to Dublin. For the next three evenings, we will enjoy the convenience of our centrally-located Dublin hotel, where daily breakfast will be included.
  • Dublin Dublin is a complex small city whose 19th-century architecture conceals a modern place filled with trendy shops, pubs, restaurants, and boutiques. Long perceived to be stuck in the past, Dublin has experienced a rebirth that has brought new life to the historic, modern, charming, and entertaining city. Spend time wandering the Victorian streets, visiting the incredible churches and museums, exploring the vibrancy of the Temple Bar area, and discovering why Dublin is one of the most popular destinations for Europeans and the world.
  • Walking Tour of Southeast Dublin Take an introductory walking tour of southeast Dublin. We will begin outside the Bank of Ireland, one of Dublin’s most treasured landmarks, then stroll along Grafton Street, the spine of Dublin’s most popular and stylish shopping district. After viewing the Molly Malone statue, we continue to St. Stephen’s Green, a beautiful 22-acre park in the heart of Dublin, filled with beautifully landscaped flowerbeds, fountains, a lake, and memorials to important Dubliners.
  • Merrion Square Our tour concludes with a walk around Merrion Square, a marvel of Georgian architecture known for its colorful doors and for the famous literary figures that once lived here, including Yeats and Wilde.
Day 7 Daytrip to Glendalough and Clonmacnoise
  • Glendalough Visit Glendalough, a former monastery in an idyllic secluded setting. Its name is derived from Irish meaning “The Glen of the Two Lakes.” We will stroll from the upper lake to the lower lake and walk through the remains of the monastery complex, long since converted to a burial place. Although much of the monastic city is in ruins, the standing remains include a nearly perfect round tower, hundreds of timeworn Celtic crosses, and a variety of churches. Our visit will include the new Visitor Center, which provides a helpful orientation that comprises exhibits on the archaeology, history, folklore, and wildlife of the area.
  • Clonmacnoise Explore the ruins of Clonmacnoise. Resting silently on the eastern bank of the Shannon, Clonmacnoise is one of Ireland's most profound ancient sites. Founded in 548 AD by St. Ciaran, it soon became one of Europe's great centers of learning and culture. In addition to the extensive ruins, our visit will include the exemplary Visitor Center, with a beautifully designed exhibition, a first-rate audiovisual program, and pleasant tearooms. We continue three kilometers east to view the Clonfinlough Stone, a large boulder near Clonfinlough Catholic Church. Its surface is engraved with crosses and markings resembling human forms in patterns similar to carvings found in Spain and France. Still a mystery, these carvings may date anywhere from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age, or even to early Christianity.
  • Temple Bar We will dine this evening in the lively Temple Bar area. Some of Dublin's best nightlife, restaurants, and unusual shops line these narrow streets between the Bank of Ireland and Christ Church Cathedral.
Day 8 Dublin
  • St. Patrick's Cathedral Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the national cathedral of the Church of Ireland. It is said that St. Patrick baptized converts on this site. Consequently, a church has stood here since 450 AD, making it the oldest Christian site in Dublin. The cathedral’s design is primarily Early English in style, and features a 300-foot-long interior and a square medieval tower that houses the largest ringing peal bells of Ireland. St. Patrick's is closely associated with Jonathan Swift, who was dean from 1713 to 1745, and whose tomb lies in the south aisle.
  • Trinity College Discover Trinity College, the oldest university in Ireland. Trinity was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I. The beautiful campus features cobbled squares, gardens, a picturesque quadrangle, and buildings that date from the 17th to 20th centuries. Trinity College is also home to the Book of Kells, an 8th century version of the four Gospels decorated with elaborate scripting and illumination. We will view this famous treasure and other early Christian manuscripts in the Colonnades, an exhibition area on the ground floor of the Old Library.
Day 9 Departure from Dublin
  • Fly Home Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our guide accompanies us to the airport on our final day.