Visit Hill of Tara; Fore Abbey; St. Brigid’s Holy Well
Visit the Hill of Uisneach and Loughcrew with private guide
Travel to Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth with private guide
Visit Mary Minehan and the Brigidine Sisters to see St. Brigid’s Cathedral, Fire Temple and St. Brigid’s Well
County Cork (Harbour town of Kinsale)
Visit Blarney Castle and Labbacallee Wedge Tomb
Explore the Cork coastline; Drombeg Stone Circle;
Experience the West Cork Whale Watching Tour at Skibbereen
Drive the Ring of Kerry
Explore the Cliffs of Moher, explore Burren Region
Take a Ferry from Doolin to Inishmor; get a private tour of island with Celtic Priestess
Included in the total price are 2 nights at the Bloom’s Hotel in Dublin before and after the trip.
Day 1: May 22 – Arrive in Dublin and stay at the Bloom’s Hotel.
Meet in Dublin – We will be staying at the Blooms Hotel in the Temple Bar section of Dublin City. Great shopping and restaurants with lots of Traditional music. http://www.blooms.ie/
Day 2: May 23 - After breakfast, set off for the little village of Fore in County Westmeath (approx 1 hour, 15 minute drive from Dublin) and settle into Hounslow House B&B. Spend 3 nights here. http://www.hounslowhouse.com/index.php/en/
- Stop at the Hill of Tara in Meath along the way.
- Beatrice Coffey, owns the Abbey House Pub next to the coffee shop (lunch stop)
Day 3: May 24 – Connect with our local guide, Treasa Kerrigan who will meet us at the Hill of Uisneach at 11am. The afternoon we will visit Loughcrew – Treasa will book a key to the Gardens and we will stay there until 5pm.
Day 4: May 25 – Connect with Treasa to visit Newgrange, Knowth, and Dowth. Dowth is not open for visitors, but Treasa could provide a private tour. This day will be played by ear since they don’t take reservations at these places. http://newgrange.com/
Treasa knows of some good lunch spots along the way.
Depending on time we can visit Fourknocks passage tomb (you can get the key and it's quite large so the entire group can be inside together) or the hill of Slane.
Day 5: May 26 - Spend day in Kildare with Mary Minehan and the Brigidine Sisters. Spend the night in Kildare at a boutique accommodation - Lord Edward - http://www.lordedwardkildare.ie .
- Wayside Well and St. Brigid’s Well
Day 6: May 27 - Drive to Blarney Castle from Kildare and visit the Labbacallee Wedge Tomb, which is nearby the Blarney Castle.
Then drive onto Kinsale to spend night (beautiful harbour town). Spend the night at the Blue Haven Boutique Hotel: http://www.bluehavenkinsale.com/Default.aspx
Day 7: May 28 - Drive along the Cork coastline
Notes: Whale watching is subject to weather – the owner will have our groups contact details and will text/call the day before and day of to update if the trip is a go. A backup plan will be in place in case the whale watching doesn’t happen.
Spend the night in Skibbereen at the West Cork Hotel.
Day 8: May 29 - Drive Ring of Kerry and enjoy the beautiful scenic views (takes about 5 hours to drive around entire Ring). Spend night in Tralee (which is on other side of the Ring)
Spend the night at the The Grand Hotel - http://www.grandhoteltralee.com/index.html
Sites around Ring - http://derrynane.com/ring-of-kerry/history-archaelogy/
Day 9: May 30 - Drive towards Cliffs of Moher, explore Burren Region (approx 2 hour drive from Tralee)
Then continue to Galway City and spend 2 nights (approx 1 hour drive from Cliffs of Moher) Suggested place to stay: The newly renovated Residence Hotel in the Latin Quarter.
Day 10: May 31 - Take morning Ferry from Rossaveel to Inis Mor. Have private tour of island with Dara Molloy, Celtic Priest, spend day here
- Dun Aonghasa
- Sacred Site of St Ciaran, which includes a holy well, standing stones and an early church ruin. Dara will do some sacred rituals at this site. Rituals may involve walking the rounds of the holy well, using the wishing stone, etc.
Drive to Galway City and spend last night there.
Drive back to the Residence Hotel hear the Spanish Arch Bar and spend last night there.
Day 11: June 1 – Drive back to Dublin and spend the afternoon in Dublin. Spend the night in Dublin at the Blooms Hotel.
Day 12: June 2 – Fly home.
We will be staying in a variety of Bed and Breakfasts, boutique hotels, and historic hotels for the duration of the trip.
Single occupancy rate is available at an additional charge.
Budgeting for Meals During the Trip:
The average cost for a budget lunch in Ireland is between $5.50 - $12.00 USD or $8.00 - $17.50 CND or 9 EUR
The average cost for a budget dinner in Ireland is between $9.00 - $17.00 USD or $13.00 - $25.00 CND or 18 EUR
Ireland as you can imagine, has an amazing pub culture and you can get a delicious mean and a pint for around 18 EUR.
If you are on a budget - take advantage of happy hour prices!
The average cost of a pint of beer is about 5 EUR.
The Ultimate Travel Pack List for Ireland
As an experienced traveller, learning to pack light is a great piece of advice. If you can do carry on that is always recommended, but don’t stress if carry on isn’t your thing. Plan what works the best for you.
Bring a day backpack or day bag to carry items you may need for the day such as your water bottle, rain gear, snacks, packed lunches, camera, journal, etc.
Please note – that there is enough space in your Vehicle for any luggage size.
Reminder, we will be moving every 1-2 days, so packing light will also simplify this aspect of your travel. Packing cubes are a great way to keep things organized and easy to access within your suitcase.
Be sure to check weight limits for your airline, overweight fees can be steep. I (Bonnie) will have my weigh scale with me if anyone needs to weigh-in before the return flight.
Hint – take a photograph of your luggage, to simplify the claim process if that is every necessary.
Not too hot and not too cold. In summer (May to July), the averages for highest temperatures are between 17 and 20°C and night time averages are 7-10°C.
Rainfall is 50-70 mm (2-3 “) and it rains an average of 20 days of the month in May and June. So the rain may not be heavy but it will be frequent.
Wondering what to bring? You'll need to be adaptable. So go for layers that you can put on or take off as the temperature changes. Bring a sweater, even in summer; waterproofs to accompany all outdoor activities; sunglasses; comfortable walking shoes and an umbrella (however umbrellas sometimes get frustrating to use when the winds are strong).
Don't be fooled into thinking you won't need sunscreen in the summer months – when the sun shines in Ireland it's quite strong, so wear a high factor and bring a sunhat.
Another tip is to invest in a nice Irish Sweater - https://www.tenontours.com/the-irish-aran-sweater/. These will keep you feeling cozy along the coasts J
A common saying from all travellers is “I packed way too much”. I’ve done it myself and I’ve heard it all the time from fellow travellers. So here is a recommended list of clothing:
- 4 short sleeve shirts
- 3 long sleeve shirts
- 2 Sweaters – Mireno Wool, Aran Irish Sweater, or just your basic warm sweater
- 1 hoodie
- Rain Jacket & Rain Pants
- 3 pairs of pants
- 1 bathing suit – optional
- 7 pairs of socks
- Underwear – as many pairs as you feel comfortable with – a tip is to bring some laundry soap and you can wash your underwear in the sink as needed
- 1-2 Nicer Outfits for Dinners – in case the group wants to venture out in the evening
- Night gown / pajamas (remember nights are cool and humid)
- Scarf – optional, but nice to snuggle around your neck or throw over your shoulders. Also great on the airplane.
As you select your clothing think about your ability to layer the items, and tuck them into your day pack as the weather changes along the way.
There will be some light walking activities throughout the tour. It’s definitely important to have comfortable hiking shoes or running shoes. The terrain in Ireland is quite rough so sturdy shoes is recommended
- 1 pair of running shoes or hiking shoes (preferably water proof)
- 1 pair of casual shoes (this can be sandals if that is your go-to at home)
Toiletries and Medical Items
Local grocery stores will sell all kinds of toiletries so if you forget something or run out – don’t’ worry. Please note that if you want to do carry-on for your luggage the bottles must be 100ml or less, and total liquids must fit in a quart sized bag. You cannot bring items such as a razor blade or nail clippers in carry on.
- Shampoo and conditioner – biodegradable recommended
- Soap or shower gel – biodegradable recommended
- Lotion or coconut oil
- Face Moisturizer
- Lip balm
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Hair brush and hair ties
- Prescriptions – as required (in original labeled bottles)
- Basic First Aid Kit – bandages, Afterbite, Polysporin, Pepto Bismal, etc.
- Nail clippers or file
- Camera and memory cards
- Cords, chargers, batteries
- Note: You will need a Plug Adaptor. Ireland uses the same system as the UK involving the large three-pronged formation. For laptops, battery chargers and cell phones you don’t need a voltage converter.
- Note: Hair Dryers are supplied by all the accommodations throughout the tour
- More details on Electricity Planning can be found here - http://www.visitireland.com/planning/electricity/.
Other Items to Pack
- Day Backpack or Travel Bag
- Travel towel – fast drying and hardly take up space to pack
- Facecloth and ziplock bag to carry it
- Sunglasses & Hat (that will stay on in the wind)
- Laundry soap – for washing underwear in the sink
- Passport – make sure you bring printed copies as well
- Travel Insurance – Mandatory to have before you leave – bring copies of your policy
- Printed copy of your flight itineraries
- ATM and credit cards – Take out a small amount of local currency (Euro) upon arrival. ATMs will be available throughout the trip. Avoid travelers checks, they tend to be difficult to cash.
- Tissues – always come in handy
- Hand sanitizer – natural stuff if possible
- Journal or notebook
- Water bottle
Extras to Pack – But Not Necessary
- Book to read or Kindle
- Ear plugs if you’re a light sleeper and sharing a room (of if the wind bothers your ears)
- Extra snacks for travel days
- Watch with an alarm
- Anti-nausea pills for motion sickness
- Pain medication for headaches
- Contact your bank and let them know you will be traveling, and to expect unusual activity – they will want dates and location.
- If you wish to have some cash upon arrival, 100 Euros should be sufficient and can be obtained at most city banks and CU’s. If you wish to get Euros in a small town, you may have to pre-order them.
- Make a photocopy of passport, credit cards and travel documents and keep them separate from your originals.
- If you have several items to charge, bring a compact power bar, plug power bar into convertor and charge all electronics at once, plus they will be together to pack up.