Ireland Pilgrimage | May 2018
Transport & Accommodation
- Flights from Chicago, Boston, New York, Philadelphia or Providence to Dublin and return with Aer Lingus
- 1 night hotel accommodation in Dublin, Clayton Hotel or similar
- 1 night hotel accommodation in Belfast, Europa Hotel or similar
- 2 nights hotel accommodation in Donegal, Harvey’s Point or similar
- 2 nights hotel accommodation in Galway, House Hotel or similar
- 2 nights hotels accommodation in Kerry, Killarney Plaza Hotel or similar
- 1 night hotel accommodation in Cork, River Lee Hotel or similar
- 1 night hotel accommodation in Wicklow, Tinakilly House or similar
- 3 nights hotel accommodation in Dublin, Herbert Park Hotel or similar
- Private luxury air-conditioned bus throughout the itinerary
- Full services of English speaking guide assistance throughout the pilgrimage
- Full assistance of Joe Walsh Tours representatives at Dublin Airport on arrival & departure
- Daily breakfast served at hotel
- Dinner each evening at hotels or local restaurants
- DAY 1:
Depart for Ireland.
- DAY 2: Cead Mile Failte “Welcome to Ireland”. We will be met on arrival at Dublin Airport by our guide and driver and take a private bus transfer into Dublin’s fair city followed by a panoramic sightseeing tour. We will then gather for breakfast before celebrating Mass at St. Mary's Pro Cathedral. After Mass we will transfer to our hotel for check-in and the remainder of the day will be at leisure. We will meet again early in the evening for dinner at our hotel.
- DAY 3: This morning we depart for Belfast driving through the Boyne Valley, an area heavy in history which includes Newgrange, Trim Castle, Hill of Tara, Monasterboice and Mellifont Abbey. On arrival at Belfast, we will take a panoramic sightseeing tour of its highlights before we continue to our hotel for check in. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Belfast.
- DAY 4:
This morning you will depart for the Antrim Coast and arrive at the Giant’s Causeway, on the North Coast, one of the great natural wonders of Ireland and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will continue to Derry, Northern Ireland's second-largest city continues to flourish as an artistic and cultural hub. Derry's city centre was given a striking makeover for its year as the UK City of Culture 2013, with the new Peace Bridge. There’s lots of history to absorb here, from the Siege of Derry to the Battle of the Bogside and Bloody Sunday – we will depart for a stroll around the 17th-century city walls that encircle the city accompanied by your local guide. Departure for county Donegal. Arrive in Donegal Hotel for dinner, overnight and breakfast.
- DAY 5:
This morning we will explore the beauty of the county Donegal, including the Ross coastal Road, Slieve Leave and Glenveagh National park. You will stop at Doagh Famine Village where you will be taken on a journey through Irish life from the 1840s to the present day. Return to Donegal Hotel for dinner, overnight and breakfast.
- DAY 6:
Today after your breakfast, we depart Donegal and continue on to Sligo, set against one of the most striking Irish backdrops of Benbulben Mountain, best known as the final resting place of W.B.Yeats. It was Sligo that most inspired the Nobel laureate, poet and dramatist William Butler (WB) Yeats (1865–1939).
Departure for the county of Mayo where we will visit Knock Shrine. Knock Shrine one of the world's leading Marian shrines and an important place of pilgrimage for Irish people for over 100 years. On 21st August 1879, at about 8 o'clock, fifteen people; women, men and children, witnessed an Apparition. In 1979 Pope John Paul II visited Knock Shrine. The traditional stations performed by pilgrims visiting Knock Shrine include Mass in the Basilica, a visit to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, the Stations of the Cross, followed by the Prayer to Our Lady of Knock. Arrive in Galway Hotel for dinner, overnight and breakfast.
- DAY 7:
We will depart for a walking tour of Galway city this morning. Galway is both a picturesque and lively city with a wonderful avant-garde culture and a fascinating mixture of locally owned speciality shops. The centre of the city is conveniently compact enough to ramble around comfortably.
We will then continue to the monastic site of Clonmacnoise. Founded by St Ciaran in the mid-6th century, it became a great centre of religion and learning, visited by scholars from all over the world. Many historical manuscripts, including the 11th century Annals of Tighernach and the 12th century Book of the Dun Cow, were written here. Return to Galway Hotel for dinner, overnight and breakfast.
- DAY 8:
Today we will follow the coast road along the bay of Galway to the Burren region which boasts amazing huge pavements of limestone and is also famous for its plant life with many very rare and protected species. We will continue to the Cliffs of Moher where we see O'Brien's Tower proudly standing on a headland of the majestic Cliffs. Before reaching the county Kerry, we will enjoy a panoramic city tour of Limerick. Arrive in your Kerry Hotel for dinner, overnight and breakfast.
- DAY 9:
This morning, we will explore the Ring of Kerry. It is one of the most scenic routes in Ireland. Beginning and ending in Killarney, it traces the coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula. The combination of ocean, islands, mountains with its many towns and villages makes it an exciting journey of discovery.
Along the route you will see Skellig Michael in the distance one of the most famous and impressive sites from the ancient Christian world which can still be seen today in its original and true form. It is a monastic site sitting on the top of a rock in the middle of the wild Atlantic Ocean. The highlights of your tour include Molls Gap and Ladies View, providing the best views of the Lakes of Killarney. We will finish our day with a visit to the Muckross Gardens. The gardens are set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park
Return in your Kerry Hotel for dinner, overnight and breakfast.
- DAY 10:
After your breakfast, we will depart for Ireland’s second largest city, Cork. The compact city centre is set on an island in the River Lee, surrounded by waterways and packed with grand Georgian avenues, cramped 17th-century alleys and modern masterpieces.
We will visit the Blarney Castle a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near the River Martin. Though earlier fortifications were built on the same spot, the current keep was built by the MacCarthy of Muskerry dynasty, a cadet branch of the Kings of Desmond, and dates from 1446.The Blarney Stone is among the machicolations of the castle.
We will then continue to Cobh and visit the Titanic Experience. It is located in Casement Square in the heart of Cobh Town. The home of the original White Star Line Ticket Office, a building steeped in history dating back to the early 19th century and the departure point for many thousands of White Star Line passengers. Arrive in your Cork Hotel for dinner, overnight and breakfast.
- DAY 11:
Today, we will depart for the county of Tipperary. Home of one of the most evocative and significant pilgrimage sites of medieval Ireland: the Rock of Cashel, intimately associated with St. Patrick and ancient seat of the kings of Munster. Later we will stop in Kilkenny, one of Ireland’s loveliest cities for a walking city tour before we continue our journey on to Wicklow. Arrive in your Wicklow Hotel for dinner, overnight and breakfast.
- DAY 12:
This morning we will depart to Glendalough, the setting of some of Ireland’s most important monastic settlement. Glendalough is a remarkable place that will still your mind, inspire your heart and fill your soul. A short walk will bring you to St. Kevin’s Monastic City where you will visit St. Kevin’s Church and celebrate mass there.
We will then continue to Avoca handweavers, now mostly known simply as Avoca, is the oldest working woollen mill in Ireland and one of the world's oldest manufacturing companies. Departure for Dublin. Arrive in your Dublin Hotel for dinner, overnight and breakfast.
- DAY 13:
Arrive in the capital city of Ireland for panoramic city tour of Dublin including Phoenix Park, Georgian Streets and the tree lined O’Connell Street. We will visit Trinity College to see the magnificent Old Library and the 1200 year old legendary Book of Kells, the beautifully illuminated version of the Gospels, designed by monks in the 9th century. We will also visit Saint Patricks Cathedral. Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptized converts on his visit to Dublin.
We will then continue to the Guinness Storehouse where you will learn everything about the making of the black beverage. The tour ends with a tasting! Return to your Dublin Hotel for dinner, overnight and breakfast.
- DAY 14:
This morning we depart for Monasterboice and the historic Boyne Valley encompassing the Hills of Slane and the Hill of Tara. We will be visiting the Bru na Boinne visitor centre as well as Knowth. Tonight we are having a farewell dinner at the Merry Ploughboys. Playing Irish Music in Dublin together since 1989, the Merry Ploughboys have provided the best traditional Irish entertainment for visitors to Dublin and locals alike for over twenty five consecutive years. Return to your Dublin Hotel for overnight and breakfast.
- DAY 15:
- Entrance fees included:
- Giant’s Causeway
- Local guide in Derry
- Doagh Famine village
- Knock Shrine Museum and visit of the grounds
- Cliffs of Moher
- Titanic Experience, Cobh
- Blarney Castle & Gardens
- Rock of Cashel
- Glendalough Visitor centre
- Trinity College
- St Patrick’s cathedral
- Guinness Storehouse
- Entrances to Bru Na Boinne & Knowth site
- Hill of Tara
- Dinner and Show at the Merry Ploughboys or similar
- Single supplement applies
- A deposit of $500 will secure you place
- Taxes, charges and government levies are included in the price
- Passengers are entitled to check in one standard piece of luggage subject to airline’s conditions
- Price per person sharing twin/double rooms with private facilities
- Meals where not stated are not included in the price
- Itinerary may be subject to change; E&OE
- All bookings protected by the Commission for Aviation Regulation in Ireland (T.O. 052 | T.A. 0689) and the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK (ATOL 5163)