Causeway & Castles
Departures on Saturdays from Dublin
(April to October)
A fabulous 5 days spent searching out the scenic, historic and cultural highlights of Northern Ireland. With everything from the modern history of Belfast to the traditional Gaelic culture of Donegal, taking in dramatic seas cliffs, ancient castles and wonderful scenery, this tour will take you closer to the culture and history of Ireland and Northern Ireland. For a truly authentic Irish experience this is the tour for you!
ONLY 16 GUESTS PER DEPARTURE!
Stay 2 nights in Belfast, 1 night in Donegal and 1 night at Kilronan Castle in Roscommon
Slane & Belfast
Leaving Dublin this morning, and Ireland for that matter, we head north towards Belfast, located in Northern Ireland. Enroute we stop in County Meath at the brand new Slane Distillery, which is known typically for the massive concerts held at Slane Castle. This distillery was built within the surroundings of the 250-year-old stables and grain stores. Here we will learn everything about making Irish Whiskey, uisce beatha – the water of life. Once back on the bus, we continue our journey north, passing The Mountains of Mourne whose peaks and rolling hills inspired C. S. Lewis to write The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and was also used as a backdrop in scenes of Game of Thrones. Arriving into Belfast we will do a panoramic tour of the Falls and Shankill Roads to learn of the effects The Troubles had on the city and the entire island. Tonight, we will be staying, and enjoying dinner, at the brand-new Titanic Hotel Belfast, which is also conveniently located right beside the Titanic Visitor Centre where we will be heading in the morning.
Dinner/Overnight – Titanic Hotel, Belfast
Belfast & Titanic Quarter
After breakfast, we make the long journey across the street for a visit to the Titanic Belfast Visitor Centre which was recently voted as the world’s leading tourist attraction. Here you can learn everything about the legendary RMS Titanic, from standing in the shipyard it was built all the way to its maiden voyage and subsequent place in history. When finished up at the centre, you can avail of our transfer to the city centre where the rest of the afternoon and evening are yours, free to explore Belfast and everything it has to offer. With countless options for dinner you’ll be hard pressed choosing, there’s Robinson’s Bistro which has been offering delicious pub food for over 100 years, or if you’re feeling like treating yourself you can check out Deanes, owned by famed Northern Irish chef Michael Deane.
Overnight – Titanic Hotel, Belfast
Giants Causeway & Derry
Today, we head north along the Antrim Coast for a visit to the famous Giant’s Causeway. Enroute we make a stop in the Glenariff Forest Park at the Glenariff Teahouse for some coffee or tea, with beautiful views of the park, the shop also has freshly baked scones available that are delectable. When finished we continue along the Antrim Coast until we reach the legendary Giant’s Causeway. The story goes the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill built the causeway to fight the Scottish giant Benandonner, others claim it was the result of volcanic activity millions of years ago. Whichever story you believe, what remains true is that the Giant’s Causeway is definitely a sight to behold and one that will leave you in awe when you do.
From here we make our way to the historic walled city of Derry, which was the last walled city to be built in Ireland and the only city whose walls remain completely intact in the country. Upon arrival we will be met by a local guide and embark on a walking tour of the city to learn all about Derry’s turbulent past. We then continue on to Donegal and the Central Hotel where we will be staying for the evening. Located in The Diamond, the main square of Donegal town, there are plenty of options for dinner, or a pint or two of Guinness, just a stone’s throw away.
Overnight—Central Hotel, Donegal (NEW for 2020)
Donegal to Roscommon
This morning we make our way to Irish House in Donegal, where we will have an Irish coffee and a demonstration of how tweed sweaters were originally made as you watch the threads weave in and out on the old wooden loom. After our coffees we will make our way to the lovely town of Enniskillen where you can enjoy lunch and a stroll around town. From here we make our way to Florence Court for a guided tour of the house and gardens. Built in the 18th century, this Georgian mansion features exquisite decoration and fine Irish furniture, it was the home of the Cole family for over 250 years. The walled garden is a sight to behold in itself, and is part of an ongoing restoration project to bring it back to its original beauty from the 1930’s. Next, we head to Roscommon and our final overnight property – one of Ireland’s most luxurious castle hotels – Kilronan Castle. After checking into your room, we will be enjoying a lovely dinner in the Castle, after which you can enjoy a drink or some tea by the fireplace in the stunning drawing room.
Dinner/Overnight—Kilronan Castle, Roscommon
Kells & Home
After enjoying a leisurely breakfast with time to explore the castle grounds and spa it is sadly time to make our way back to Dublin. Leaving Kilronan we will head to Arigna Mines where you can get a unique perspective into what coal mining life was like in Ireland from the 1700’s all the way to it’s closure in 1990. Once we make our way back above ground we head towards the ancient village of Kells. Enroute we will be stopping for lunch in Cavan, with loads of little cafes and restaurants you’ll be sure to find a bite to eat here. From here we make our way to our last stop on tour, Kells, part of Ireland’s Ancient East. This olden village was where the famous Book of Kells was written and protected for over 800 years before being moved to Trinity College in the 17th century. This quaint village is part of the reason Ireland is referred to as the Land of Saints and Scholars. When we finish exploring here we sadly have to make our way back to Dublin.
Return to Dublin by 19:00
- Giant's Causeway
- Transportation throughout by modern touring mini-coach
- Services of an experienced local driver/guide
- 4 nights ensuite accommodation
- Full Irish breakfast daily
- 2 table d'hôte evening meals
- Admissions to: Titanic Experience, Giant's Causeway, Walking tour of Derry, Florence Court, Slane Distillery, Arigna Mines