3rd ANNUAL TOUR – 2017
Sun, June 4 – DUBLIN ARRIVAL & BELFAST
Upon arrival at Dublin Airport, your CIE Tours driver(you know who!) and I, will welcome you to Ireland and escort you to the coach. We will chat over breakfast at a local venue before departing Dublin and traveling north along the coast to Drogheda. Continue north, driving through the towns of Dundalk and Newry and past the scenic Mourne Mountains. Drive into Belfast which is situated on the deep inlet of Belfast Lough surrounded by hills. In the Titanic Quarter, visit Titanic Belfast and embark on a journey through the life of the ship, from her conception and construction in Belfast to her tragic end. After our visit, check into our hotel and relax before dinner. We might even have a pint together to work up an appetite! Our hotel is located beside the Grand Opera House and the 1820’s Crown Liquor Saloon, famous for its rich décor. Perfect for a nightcap!
Mon, June 5 – THE MOY & DONEGAL CASTLE
After breakfast, depart Belfast for Donegal. Drive along through the town of Moy in County Tyrone, the site of one of Ireland’s most famous horse fairs (and the hometown of a certain famous singer I know quite well!). Then we drive on through Omagh and on to Donegal town and visit the ruins of Donegal Castle, which incorporates the gabled tower of a 15th century house built by the O’Donnell family chieftain.
Then check into our town-center hotel and enjoy some time to relax before dinner. Tonight we will check out some of the nearby pubs playing traditional Irish music.
Tue, June 6 – SLIEVE LEAGUE CLIFFS & NANCY’S
This morning we will drop in on Hanna Hats—a family run business since 1924 – and makers of the tweed caps I famously love. (I must have fifty of them!) The patriarch, John Hanna will tell us the history of Donegal tweed and will show us how the hats are made.
Then we’ll travel west along the shores of Donegal Bay through Killybegs and Shalwy to reach the Slieve League cliffs, where the highest point reaches 1,972 feet making them the highest in Europe. Then continue on through the majestic Glengesh Pass to Ardara. Enjoy an early dinner at the award-winning Nancy’s Bar and Restaurant before returning to Donegal town.
Wed, June 7 – BELLEEK & DRUMCLIFFE
Experience stunning scenery again today as we leave Donegal and follow the Atlantic shoreline of Donegal Bay to Belleek where you’ll visit the Belleek Pottery Factory. See how skilled craftspeople form and decorate clay to produce delicate porcelain masterpieces. I am a huge fan of Belleek. We continue on into County Sligo and at Drumcliffe Visitor Centre see the grave of one of Ireland’s most influential poets, W.B. Yeats, and a display about his life and work. Perhaps we can share our favorite Yeats poems. Then drive to Galway, the City of the Tribes, and check into our hotel.
Thur, June 8 – GALWAY & KILLARY CRUISE
This morning, join a local guide for a gentle walking tour around center of the city and learn about its rich history. See the medieval city walls, Lynch’s Castle, the Claddagh, the Spanish Arch and the quaint narrow streets. Then drive through some of the most breath-taking scenery in all
of Ireland to Leenane to take a short catamaran cruise aboard the “Connemara Lady,” through Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord. You can see great views from this narrow inlet, which is surrounded by hills and cliffs. Return to Galway where the rest of the day is free to explore and enjoy this great little city.
Fri, June 9 – ROCK OF CASHEL & WEXFORD
Depart Galway and drive south east to the Rock of Cashel for a guided tour of these majestic church ruins which are clustered high on a limestone outcrop overlooking the surrounding countryside. Then continue on to my hometown of Wexford in the south east corner of Ireland. Enjoy time to relax before dinner in our hotel. After dinner, you can visit some of my favorite haunts for ‘a bit of craic’ with the locals!
Sat June 10 – THE KENNEDY HOMESTEAD & JOHNSTOWN CASTLE
This morning visit The Kennedy Homestead in New Ross. Birthplace of President John F. Kennedy’s great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy, The Kennedy Homestead celebrates the story of five generations of the Kennedy dynasty and is still today farmed by his descendants.
I will share stories of my history with the Kennedy family and I will sing thesongIwroteandperformedfortheKennedyfamilyin2013. This afternoon you can choose to ramble and shop in Wexford town or visit Johnstown Castle Gardens with its spectacular ornamental grounds surrounding the 19th century castle. Tonight, we head back to the site of our first concert in Greenacres Gallery. I will bring a bunch of friends to perform for you and I might even do another spot with the Wexford Jersey Boys!
Sun, June 11 – POWERSCOURT & DUBLIN
Depart Wexford this morning and drive north info County Wicklow to visit Powerscourt House & Gardens, which is situated near the charming village of Enniskerry. This former home of Lord Powerscourt which was built in the 1700’s offers superb vies of the surrounding countryside and has an impressive collection of trees, shrubs and flowers gathered from all around the world. Continue to Dublin where the remainder of the day is free for you to explore and enjoy Ireland’s capital city. We will probably all gather in a local hostelry for a few final scoops together. (when I say PROBABLY!)
Mon, June 12 – RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES
All too soon, our time together will come to an end today. Transfer to Dublin Airport in plenty of time to check in for your flight, clear security and claim your VAT tax refund. You may do some last minute shopping at the duty free stores before boarding your aircraft and flying west across the Atlantic Ocean back to the United States.
Europa Hotel, Belfast (1 night)
Central hotel, Donegal (2 nights) Westwood House Hotel, Galway (2 nights) Talbot Hotel, Wexford (2 nights) Davenport Hotel, Dublin (1 night)
CALL ANNE OR TRACEY AT 1.866.622.2244