Day 1: Russborough House & Welcome Drink
Tour begins 2:00 PM when you meet your guide in the lobby of your hotel, Barberstown Castle in Straffan, Co. Kildare, dating back to 1288. Travel to Russborough House, a stately home situated near Blessington Lakes. Built in the mid-18th century, it’s a fine example of Palladian architecture and boasts an impressive art collection. An infamous 1974 art heist there was once featured on Travel Channel’s “Mysteries of the Castle”. Enjoy tea and scones in this historic house. Then return to your hotel to enjoy a welcome drink with your group in the Haggard, located in a 15th-century building – you might like to try the mead. Enjoy a fireside dinner in the Haggard this evening.
Day 2: Panoramic Dublin Tour & Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus
Head to Dublin for a panoramic tour of Ireland’s vibrant capital city. In the afternoon, you’ll have free time to explore the city independently on a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus, and enjoy admission to your choice of one of four popular attractions: EPIC the Irish Emigration Museum, GPO Witness History, Teeling Distillery, or Guinness Storehouse. Return to your hotel for a special CIE Tours Exclusive: dinner in the 13th-century castle keep.
Day 3: Irish National Stud and Gardens & Killarney
Visit the Irish National Stud and see magnificent, world-famous thoroughbreds and retired racehorse champions rightly called ‘Living Legends.’ Take some time to explore the gardens; the iconic Japanese Gardens and St Fiachra’s Garden, a tribute to the beauty of the Irish landscape. You’ll also take part in a CIE Tours Exclusive, “Feeding the Champions.” Later, enjoy a private experience for lunch in the historic old courthouse in Adare, one of Ireland’s prettiest villages. Travel on to Killarney for some free time to explore and dine independently. You’ll stay at Cahernane House; this boutique four-star hotel is an 1877 manor house, formerly home to the Herbert family, descendants of one of two brothers who arrived in Killarney from Wales in 1656.
Day 4: Muckross House & Jaunting Car Ride
Travel to Muckross House and Gardens, a 65-room mansion built in 1843 in the Tudor style by the descendants of another of the Herbert brothers. Journey along a portion of the Ring of Kerry, one of the most scenic drives in all of Ireland. Savor lunch on your own in Kenmare before visiting a traditional sheep farm, where you will see an amazing demonstration of highly-skilled dogs herding sheep at their owner’s command. At Ross Castle, board a horse-drawn jaunting car where you’ll delight in a tour of the grounds of Killarney National Park and Kenmare Estate. Return to your hotel for a locally-sourced, seasonal dinner in stylishly grand surroundings.
Day 5: Shannon Estuary & Cliffs of Moher
Ferry across the Shannon Estuary where you’ll marvel at the stunning views. Travel through the other-worldly landscape of the Burren, to see its unique limestone formations sparsely covered by moss and flowers, before arriving at the Cliffs of Moher, iconic sea cliffs that soaring over 700 feet above the Atlantic. Enjoy lunch independently. Next, you’ll head on to Glenlo Abbey, a 1740 manor home built by descendants of a knight who accompanied William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings and later lived in by descendants of a Knight of King Arthur’s Round Table. The hotel sits on a 138-acre estate on the edge of Ireland’s largest lake, Lough Corrib.
Day 6: Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Gardens
Depart for Connemara where you will visit Kylemore Abbey, a beautiful lakeside castle built in 1867 that became a Benedictine monastery in 1920. Tour the Abbey and the 6-acre Victorian Walled Garden with its marvelously restored garden buildings. Enjoy a casual lunch there. You’ll return to Glenlo in mid-afternoon. You may choose to enjoy the spa or sporting activities in the hotel or take our transfer into lively Galway city. Either way, you are free to dine independently this evening.
Day 7: Lough Ree Cruise & Sean’s Bar
Head to the midlands for a cruise along Lough Ree, known as the ‘King of Lakes’ and famous for its many legends and early Christian churches. Travel on to a CIE Tours Exclusive venue Sean’s Bar in Athlone; with a history going back to 900 AD, it is featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest bar in Europe. Enjoy being a part of its long history as you sip a creamy Irish coffee. Enjoy some free time for lunch and exploration in Athlone. Depart for Cabra Castle, where you’ll dine royally this evening in the elegant and intimate surroundings of this neo-Norman castle built in the early 19th century.
Day 8: Tour Ends in Cavan
Your tour ends after breakfast.