Setting a Goal to See Ireland

Well maybe more of a "dream" than a goal.

My Aunt Marie has always said, "just say the word and I'll go with you".  Ahhh, now if only I'd win the lottery!  I copied the following tour information from the Rick Steve's tours site.  Sounds like the trip of a life time doesn't it?


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Weather in Europe

Walking Key

Light = Two to four miles of mostly level walking.

Moderate = Four to six miles and/or up and down hills and/or some stairs.

Strenuous = Six to ten miles, lots of stairs, uneven terrain.

Best of Ireland in 14 Days

$3,195 + air • 24-28 people • Begins and ends in Dublin

Best of Ireland in 14 Days

This is a land — and a tour — that celebrates life. Your local guide (blessed with the gift of gab) might pause along a path and start telling tales of St. Patrick as if she knew the man. In a village pub later that night, you'll help "stomp the paint off the floor" to the rhythm of a fiddle, tin whistle and goat-skin drum.

This tour is so popular we've started calling it "Italy with rain." As we circle the Emerald Isle together, the friendliness of this land — where English is a second language and the smell of peat fires perfume the evening air — will surely steal your heart.

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See what makes this tour physically demanding Find out why this tour is physically demanding

Your day-by-day itinerary Day 0: Depart USA

Remember, you'll arrive in Europe the day after you depart the USA.

Day 1: Welcome to Ireland

Meet your guide and fellow tour members at our hotel around 5 p.m. After a group meeting, we'll enjoy dinner together. Sleep in Dublin (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: The Historic Heart of Dublin

Ireland's historic capital is easy on foot. This morning we'll meet a local guide for a walking tour of Dublin, followed by a visit to see the beautiful Book of Kells. You'll then have free time to soak in Dublin's grand Georgian past, and feel the pulse of a city thriving with street poets and musicians. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 3: Emerald Gardens and Ruins

This morning we'll drive through the beautiful Wicklow Mountains to the lush Powerscourt Gardens. In the afternoon we'll see the evocative ruins of the Rock of Cashel, an important ecclesiastical center from St. Patrick's time. Our day will end in the historic harbor town of Kinsale, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Bus: 8 hrs. Walking: moderate to strenuous.

Day 4: Harborside Kinsale and Charles Fort

After a morning walking tour of Kinsale, we'll visit what was once Britain's biggest star-shaped fort. You'll have the afternoon and dinner on your own in Kinsale, known as Ireland's gourmet capital. Bus: ½ hr. Walking: moderate to strenuous (your choice).

Day 5: Killarney to Dingle

Today we'll drive through the Killarney National Park with scenic views of the lakes. We'll end our day in Dingle, where we'll enjoy one of the country's best traditional music scenes. Sleep in Dingle (3 nights). Bus: 5½ hrs. Walking: light to moderate.

Day 6: Exploring Dingle's Heritage

Today we'll experience some of Europe's wildest natural beauty and most ancient Christian sights. Our local guide will take us on the famous Slea Head Drive, our vote for the most beautiful road in Ireland. Visiting the Blasket Islands Heritage Centre, we get an intimate look at a traditional Irish community. Tonight we're back at our home village, Dingle, with as much dancing and singing with new friends as we can handle. Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Roam the Dingle Peninsula

Today is all yours...free on the Dingle Peninsula. You could take a long walk, hire a bicycle or a horse, sail to the Blasket Islands, or just savor your 'Irish breakfast' and hang out in town. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 8: The Towering Cliffs of Moher

On our way to Galway, we'll visit the dramatic, end-of-Europe Cliffs of Moher and drive through the fascinating limestone moonscape of the Burren. Sleep in Galway (2 nights). Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: light to moderate.

Day 9: Galway and the Aran Islands

This morning we'll hop aboard the ferry to Inishmore (weather permitting), the largest of the Aran Islands. There you'll be free to join a shared minibus tour, hire a pony cart, or rent a bike to explore the island and its 2,000-year-old Celtic fort. Bus: 1½ hrs. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 10: Connemara Countryside

Today we drive through the Connemara region, enjoying the beautiful Irish countryside and its small-town charms. Then it's north to County Mayo and Westport, where we'll settle in for the evening. Sleep in Westport (1 night). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light to moderate.

Day 11: To Northern Ireland

Today we go international, driving to the north coast of Northern Ireland. On our way, we'll stop in Derry, where a local guide will enlighten us about 'the troubles.' We'll then continue to Portrush, the Coney Island of Ulster. Sleep in Portrush (2 nights). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 12: Antrim Coast and Old Bushmills

The spectacular Antrim Coast is ours to explore, including the bizarre basalt columns of the Giant's Causeway and the cliff-hanging Dunluce Castle. We'll also make time for a tour and wee sample at the venerable Old Bushmills Distillery. Bus: 3½ hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 13: Belfast and Return to Dublin

We'll drive to Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, for a quick tour to learn about Northern Ireland's progress toward peace. Tonight we'll kick up our heels at a farewell supper. Sleep in Dublin (1 night). Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 14: Tour over after breakfast

Fly out of Dublin's handy airport or take the ferry to Wales for further adventures in the British Isles. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Sláinte!

elle2 elle2
36-40, F
3 Responses Jun 27, 2007

If you go I'll be waiting there to greet you with all the Irish respect I have!

Well, I'm going next week and I plan to hit several spots on that itinerary (Dublin, Glendalough, Dingle, Powerscourt, Cashel, Cliffs of Moher). Unfortunately, I have only six days there so I won't be able to linger about at a leisurely pace. Strangely enough, I was just looking at Rick Steve's Guidebook before I stumbled upon your story. I'll write a story about my experience when I return. I hope you make it over there soon too!

lemme know when the dream comes true - just say the word and i'll go too! (HA! i'm a poet! lol ...but it was unintentional...)