Ireland Tour 2019 with Father Michael Dolan
In Partnership with S&B Canning Tours

Tour Dates
May 30-June 10, 2019 
12 Full Days
22 Meals
11 Breakfasts • 10 Dinners

Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, Knock Shrine, Connemara National Park, Shannon River Cruise, Famine Museum, Arigna Mining Experience, Giant's Causeway, Bushmill's Distillery, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Titanic Museum

Double $3,760 
Single $4,210

Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Day 2: Cliffs of Moher
Day 3: Horseback Trekking in County Clare
Day 4: Inish, Mor, Aran Islands
Day 5: Connemara National Park; Kylemore Abbey, Quiet Man Bridge
Day 6 : Knock Shrine; Famine Museum
Day 7: Shannon River cruise; Arigna Mining Experience; Derry City
Day 8: Giant's Causeway; Bushmill's Distillery; Carrick-a-Rede Bridge
Day 9: Titanic Museum
Day 10: Depart for United States

On some dates alternate hotels may be used. 

Included meals: 
B = Breakfast 
L = Lunch
D = Dinner

Included in Price
Round Trip Air from JFK (returning to BDL), Air Taxes and Fees/Surcharges, Hotel Transfers 

Not Included in Price
Gratuity for Coach Driver 


Travel through Ireland with Father Michael Dolan...Walk the Cliffs of Moher....Tour the Aran Islands....Horseback trekking in County Clare...Walk the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Day 1: Thursday, May 30

Our tour starts at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Hamden, CT, where we depart on a coach bus for John F Kennedy Airport. We depart from JFK New York on Aer Lingus Flight 110 at 6:10 pm, traveling to Shannon, Ireland. (D)

Day 2: Friday, May 31

We arrive at Shannon Airport at 5:50 am. Since it is an early arrival (no hotels available at this time), we travel to Doolin, County Clare and cruise (weather permitting) around the Cliffs of Moher and view the wonders from sea level. We check into Lahinch Golf and Leisure Hotel for the remainder of the day, where we will stay for two nights. We get together for a group dinner this first evening. (D)

 Day 3: Saturday, June 1    

Today, we remain in the Clare area. For those who wish, you may do some horseback trekking in Clare with Mountain View Horse Riding Center. Each of the trails here are unique. They trek through the woodland up the hills of Slieve Elva and along peaceful winding green roads into the world renowned Burren region. Live out your dreams and gallop in the waves on a nearby beach or trek up the mountains until you find yourself sitting over 1200 feet above the Atlantic, taking in panoramic views of the Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands and the Connemara Mountains. Meanwhile, others on the tour bus may do some sight-seeing, including sheep dog demonstrations, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and more. Lahinch Golf and Leisure Hotel remains our hotel for the night. (BD)

For the less experienced rider, Mountain View offers a shorter two hour beach ride. They transport both you and the horse directly from the stables to the beach by truck. Once at the beach, you can saddle up and ride onto the beach and trot and canter at your leisure. Cost is €100 per person. There is a four hour option allowing riders to trek out from the stable across the mountain to the beach. The trek from the stables to the beach takes about two hours depending on your pace and you can then ride onto the beach and spend the rest of the trek there.  You and your horse will be picked up by truck and driver you back to the stables. Cost is €150 per person.

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Day 4: Sunday, June 2 

This morning we cruise to Inish Mor, the larger of the Aran Islands, and tour the Island for the day.  It sits at the mouth of Galway Bay and is known for ancient sites, like the prehistoric cliff top Fort Dún Aonghasa. Nearby is the Worm Hole, a rectangular natural pool. The medieval Christian ruins of the Seven Churches are in the northwest. Clochán na Carraige is a stone structure with a beehive roof. Kilmurvey Beach is known for birdlife and a nearby seal colony. We depart the Island in the evening and travel to Galway City for dinner and overnight. Tonight, we stay at the Park House Hotel in Galway.

Day 5: Monday, June 3              

Today, we tour Connemara National Park, which is one of six national parks in the Republic of Ireland that are managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.  We also visit Kylemore Abbey on the grounds of Kylemore Castle in Connemara, Co. Galway (a great lunch stop). The Benedictine monastery was founded in 1920 by Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I. We continue on to Maam Cross, the site of The Quiet Man Bridge and Cottage, and return to Galway city for overnight. Park House Hotel, Galway (B). Medieval Banquet at Dunguaire Castle tonight (if available)  Approximately 100 miles today.  

Day 6: Tuesday, June 4 

Today, we travel north to Knock Shrine in Co. Mayo.  On the evening of August 21, 1879 at about 8 pm, the rain beat down in driving sheets when Mary Beirne, a girl of the village, accompanying the priest's housekeeper, Mary McLoughlin, stopped suddenly as she came in sight of the gable of the little church. There she saw standing three life-size figures a little out from the gable. She ran home to tell her parents and soon others from the village had gathered. The witnesses stated they saw an apparition of Our Lady, Saint Joseph, and Saint John the Evangelist at the south gable end of the small parish church, The Church of Saint John the Baptist. Behind them and a little to the left of Saint John was a plain altar. On the altar was a cross and a lamb (a traditional image of Jesus) with adoring angels.  A farmer, about half a mile away from the scene, later described what he saw as a large globe of golden light above and around, the gable, circular in appearance.  For nearly two hours, a group that fluctuated between two and perhaps as many as twenty-five stood or knelt gazing at the figures. An ecclesiastical Commission of inquiry was established and depositions of witnesses were taken.  The Commission's final verdict was that the testimony of all the witnesses taken as a whole is trustworthy and satisfactory. 

After Knock, we travel to the Famine Museum in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon and continue on to Carrick-on-Shannon for dinner and overnight. We stay at the Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon tonight. (BD) Approximately 100 miles today.

Day 7: Wednesday, June 5 

Today we take a relaxing cruise along the Shannon River in the Leitrim/Roscommon area on the Moon River Pleasure Cruiser. We cruise in the inner part of the County through locks and canals and continue on to the Arigna Mining Experience.  Since its opening in 2003, Arigna Mining Experience has welcomed over 350,000 visitors. Its greatest form of advertisement, “word of mouth”, is proof that people are greatly impressed by their visit which appeals to both young and old. Accompany an ex-miner on a tour which is literally a journey through a miner’s life. Return to our hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon for overnight. (B) local travel today.
Day 8:  Thursday, June 6  

This morning we travel north to Derry City with a stop at Drumcliffe Cemetery, the resting place of poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939).  We continue on to the Ulster American Folk Park near Omagh, Co. Tyrone. Wander through the thatched cottages and log cabins and meet costumed characters, who will show you traditional crafts, tell you a few stories and maybe even share a bit of their delicious food. We continue on to Derry City, also known as Londonderry, a city on the River Foyle in Northern Ireland. It’s known for the intact 17th-century Derry’s Walls with 7 gates. Within the walls, spired St. Columb’s Cathedral displays artifacts from the 1688–89 Siege of Derry. Near the Peace Bridge, the Tower Museum has city views and historical exhibits. Huge stained-glass windows adorn the neo-Gothic red sandstone Guildhall. Dinner and overnight at City Hotel Derry tonight. (BD)  Approximately 135 miles today.

Day 9: Friday, June 7

This morning, we have a guided panoramic tour of the city of Derry. The remainder of the day is yours to explore. It’s hard to escape the walls in Derry~Londonderry. Almost 20 feet high and at least as wide, the mile-long oval comes complete with gates, watchtowers, battlements, bastions and huge cannons.  City Hotel Derry again tonight. (B).  Local travel today.

Day 10: Saturday, June 8           

This morning, we travel east to the Giant's Causeway, an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns resulting from an ancient volcanic fissure eruption.  The tops of the hexagonal columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. The Causeway was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. We then have a short visit to Bushmills Distillery. The company that originally built the distillery was formed in 1784, although the date 1608 is printed on the label of the brand – referring to an earlier date when a royal license was granted to a local landowner to distil whiskey in the area.  After various periods of closure in its subsequent history, the distillery has been in continuous operation since it was rebuilt after a fire in 1885. We continue on to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, a famous rope bridge near Ballintoy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. It spans 66 ft. and is 98 ft. above the rocks below.   We continue on to Belfast for overnight at Crowne Plaza Hotel Belfast. (BD) Approximately 110 miles today.

Day 11: Sunday, June 9 

Today, we tour the Titanic Museum in Belfast. The attraction opened in 2012 and is a monument to Belfast's maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard in the city's Titanic Quarter where the RMS Titanic was built. We continue on to Downpatrick to visit the resting place of Saint Patrick and then south towards Dublin to visit Monasterboice.  The site includes the remains of two churches built in the 14th century or later and an earlier round tower, but it is most famous for its  high crosses. The round tower is about 28 meters tall and in very good condition. It was likely built shortly after 968 and damaged in a fire in 1098. The three high crosses date from the 10th century and form part of the scriptural group showing biblical scenes. We continue on to Fitzpatricks Castle Hotel in Killiney, Co. Dublin  for our overnight stay. (BD) Approximately 140 miles today.

Day 12: Monday, June 10
This morning, we depart our hotel at 10 am and travel to Dublin Airport in time to board our Aer Lingus EI 131 flight back to Hartford (BDL) in Connecticut, arriving at 4:35 pm.

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