Past Trips

Ireland

Trip At A Glance

  • Trip type: International
  • Category: Easy
  • Dates: September 17-27, 2015
  • Duration: 11 days (10 nights)
  • Booking Deadline: September 8, 2015
  • Price: $2,195.00
  • Single Supplement: $740.00
  • Deposit: $658.00 (30.0%)
  • Group size: 15

An unforgettable experience awaits you in the Republic of Ireland with its sheer, unadulterated natural beauty, medieval villages, historic cities and towns, ancient archaeological treasures, and most important of all, the memorable Irish people themselves who are world-renown for being the friendliest and most fun that you’ll find on the planet!

Wandering around it’s brilliant, green countryside, you’ll soon understand how Ireland got its nickname, the Emerald Isle, and why its land and seascape have been featured in a multitude of movies, poems, songs and postcards.

Along with remote highlands & mountains; rugged, dramatic coastlines; and, tranquil bays and beaches, you’ll find yourself time and again lost in the moment taking in the diversity of its superb natural scenery.

After immersing your senses in the striking landscape of the country, you’ll also get to soak in the distinct cosmopolitan cities, small rural villages and historic medieval towns, all full of their own unique charm and character.

During the Ireland trip, you’ll experience a really cool sampling of the best the country has to offer including the lively capital city of Dublin; bohemian yet contemporary Galway City; and charming towns and villages in southern Ireland including its fantastic, eclectic scenery – from the rugged, wild west coast and the many picturesque peninsulas, bays and headlands to its distinctively contrasting sunny east region featuring a mix of rolling hills, farmlands and beaches.

We will hit up important, famous sites such as the Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, Aran Islands, Rock of Cashel and the Burren. We’ll check out places full of authentic Irish character such as Kilkenny, Kinsale and County Cork, Kenmare, Killarney and the Invergh Peninsula, Doolin and County Clare, Connemara, and the Dingle Peninsula.

The places you’ll visit will be a mix of well-known, popular sights (because they are indeed beautiful/important) and less-known, non-touristy, local favorites that are just as fabulous.

We’ll get a good overview of the different areas of the country, while exploring at a comfortable, relaxed pace. And every day is flexible since is this is our private trip with our own private driver & guide – we can modify each day’s plans based on how we are feeling that day!

As we travel throughout the country, we’ll be enjoying and resting up at high quality, highly rated, centrally located, and locally owned hotels including a very nice castle hotel.

Interestingly, even though Ireland rivals many other destinations with its exceptional natural beauty and wonderful cities, towns & villages, its best quality and the essence of Ireland is actually the remarkable hospitality of the Irish people.

No doubt you’ll find yourself in a conversation over a pint at the local pub with locals who are chatting it up with you about everything from folk tales and legends to history lessons about their country and Guinness beer.

There is a compelling appeal about the intrinsic beauty and authenticity of Ireland, which has some how stayed true to its rich culture and traditions, laid-back philosophy and down-to-earth spirit.

No wonder, Lonely Planet named Ireland to its list of the Top 10 countries in the world to visit in 2015 describing the country as the “real deal” and “stunningly scenic.”

So if you are looking for a cool, non-touristy, fun vacation, look no further – come explore the Emerald Isle with us in September 2015! Ireland’s postcard-worthy natural beauty and eclectic cities & medieval towns full of colorful, welcoming local characters are sure to send you packing with lots of smiles, laughs, and unforgettable experiences!

Don’t miss out! Reserve your spot now by clicking on the green “Book Trip” button on the right-hand side of the page.

All the hotels we are staying at are 4-star, high quality, centrally located accommodations that are highly rated from previous travelers. Full Irish breakfasts are always included.

Internet access is available at all the hotels to send those all-important trip pictures to your friends and post your Facebook status as you travel throughout Ireland. The hotels we are patronizing are independently owned (rather than international chains) to ensure that the money we spend stays in the local communities.

On many organized trips you’ll get driven all around the country staying in a different hotel every night to maximize time and see as much as humanly possible. Racing around like this is a very tiring way to travel – checking in and out of places every day.

The goal for the Ireland trip is a high-quality, well-paced, vacation with an itinerary that uses a mix of one-night and two-night stays allowing us to travel at a more relaxed pace, yet still see a good sampling of Ireland.

We are staying at the following hotels while in Ireland:

  • Pembroke Hotel (Day 1 –Kilkenny)
  • Perryville House (Day 2 – Kinsale)
  • Brook Lane Hotel (Day 3 & 4 – Kenmare)
  • Dingle Skellig Hotel (Day 5 – Dingle)
  • House Hotel (Day 6 & 7 – Galway)
  • Ballynahinch Castle (Day 8 – Connemara)
  • Brooks Hotel (Dublin – Day 9 & 10)

 

Summary

  • Day 1. Kilkenny
  • Day 2. Kinsale
  • Day 3. Kenmare
  • Day 4. Kenmare
  • Day 5. Dingle
  • Day 6. Galway
  • Day 7. Galway
  • Day 8. Connemara
  • Day 9. Dublin
  • Day 10. Dublin
  • Day 11.

Details

Thu, Sep 17 Day 1. Kilkenny

Fri, Sep 18 Day 2. Kinsale

Sat, Sep 19 Day 3. Kenmare

Sun, Sep 20 Day 4. Kenmare

Mon, Sep 21 Day 5. Dingle

Tue, Sep 22 Day 6. Galway

Wed, Sep 23 Day 7. Galway

Thu, Sep 24 Day 8. Connemara

Fri, Sep 25 Day 9. Dublin

Sat, Sep 26 Day 10. Dublin

Sun, Sep 27 Day 11.

Inclusions

  • 9 days guided touring with professional, local Irish guide (note: this is a 10-day trip, but the final day in Dublin is a free day in the city with no driver guide).
  • 9 days of transportation services with private van and driver
  • 2 airport transfers (on official arrival and departure days only)
  • Accommodation for 10 nights at mostly 4-star hotels
  • 10 full Irish breakfasts
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Cliffs of Moher

Exclusions

  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Airport transfers if not arriving or departing with the group
  • Lunches and dinners (gives everyone flexibility to eat what and where they want)
  • Activities that require entrance fees (most of these are not included so that we can be flexible day-to-day, see how we feel & decide on the fly what to do, not to do)
  • Personal expenses and anything not listed in the “Included” list

The single supplement fee to have your own room throughout the entire trip is $790.

The booking deadline is March 17, 2015. A 30% deposit is required at time of booking (or optionally you can pay in full). Balance is due 75 days before trip departure.

Everyone should be on the same recommended flights below. If you book a different flight, it must arrive in Dublin by 5:30am on Thu, Sept 17, 2015 – the time of the flight identified below.

Depart (overnight flight)
Aer Lingus – Flight 118
5:20pm Wed, Sep 16 IAD Washington, DC
5:30am Thu, Sep 17 DUB Dublin, Ireland

Return
Aer Lingus – Flight 119
12:45p Sun, Sep 27 DUB Dublin, Ireland
3:35p Sun, Sep 27 IAD Washington, DC

Entry Requirements – U.S. visitors do not need a visa (up to 3 months), though a valid passport is required.

Language – English is the official language of Ireland, although Gaelic (or simply, ‘Irish’) is the native language of Ireland and is still spoken in rural areas, mainly along the western Atlantic coast. A Gaeltacht is any officially recognized area where the Irish language is spoken.

Currency – The Irish Republic is part of the European Union, with the Euro its official currency. Banks, currency exchange outlets and ATMs are found in every city and town, and major credit and debit cards (primarily Visa or MasterCard) are accepted at the majority of restaurants and shops.

Time – The Republic of Ireland operates on Greenwich Mean Time, five hours ahead of Washington DC & the U.S. east coast.

Electricity – Electricity is 220V/50H with sockets and plugs conforming to the British three-square pin plug standard. For users of non-dual voltage electronic equipment from the USA, a plug adapter and a voltage adapter will be needed.

Communications – The country’s cell phone network providers operate in the GSM frequency. Internet cafes are found in the major cities, with most hotels also providing access, but less common in rural districts.

Duty-free – Arriving U.S. visitors are allowed to bring in tax-free 200 cigarettes, one liter of spirits, two liters of fortified wines, four liters of wine, 16 liters of beer and a reasonable amount of goods for personal use. On the return to the US, the limits are 200 cigarettes, one liter of alcohol and goods to the value of US $400 duty-free.

We highly recommend ® optional insurance.

Here are a few reasons to get trip insurance:

  • Reimbursement for cancellation penalties (which can be 100% of your investment) in the event of an unforeseeable illness, injury or death of you, your travel companion or a family member.
  • Reimbursement for cancellation penalties if you are called for jury duty, your home is damaged due to fire, windstorm, flood or vandalism or military leave cancelled.
  • Health insurance coverage while traveling outside of the U.S. as many health insurance companies limit or do not provide coverage outside of the U.S.
  • Reimbursement for unused portion of your trip if it is interrupted.
  • Medical evacuation/repatriation expenses to an appropriate medical facility or back home in the event of a serious illness or injury while traveling.
  • 24-hour help line for any travel emergency, such as medical, lost tickets, lost passports, and other travel documents.

Even Iceland itself has demonstrated the importance of trip insurance! Immense volcanic ash from the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010 halted air travel throughout Europe, resulting in the largest air-traffic shutdown since World War II. The closures caused millions of passengers to be stranded not only in Europe, but also across the world.

In 2014, ongoing magma movement, intense seismic activity and a multitude of small earthquakes beneath the Dyngjujökull glacier near the Bárđarbunga volcano, the country’s second highest mountain at 6,560 feet, resulted in an air travel warning that peaked as an “orange” alert – the second highest on the color code meaning “escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption.”