10 Day Sessions from the Hearth Irish Music 3* & 4* self-drive tour






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Inclusions

Price Includes:

  • 9 nights sharing a double/twin room at specified properties (Pre-booked Accommodation)
  • Heritage Island Guide
  • Service Charges & taxes at exiting rates

Bed and Breakfasts:

  • 4 nights – 3* B&Bs
  • 5 nights – 4* B&Bs

Notes:

  • Please advise all clients that they should check-in to their hotel/bed and breakfast accommodation no later than 6pm.

 

Itinerary

Day 1 – Welcome to Ireland christ-church

Fáilte go Éireann! Upon arrival transfer to your hotel (under own arrangements). Explore Dublin, Ireland’s Capital City, enjoy a panoramic tour discovering the north and south side of the River Liffey. This area offers great striking monuments such as the GPO (General Post Office) on O’Connell Street, or the Custom House along the quays, as well as the Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe. The south side appears more sophisticated with its vast Georgian Squares, such as Merrion Square where Oscar Wilde’s House can still be found & it’s colourful doors, along with Grafton Street. Not so far from St. Stephen Green you will see the house of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula. This part of the city is also dominated by the students of Trinity College, where the famous Books of Kells is permanently exhibited in its library. Founded in 1592 by Queen Elisabeth I, most of the main buildings off the main square were built during the Georgian period, some of which replaced older buildings. Within its walls, you will be able to admire Parliament Square and its 18th century edifices. Trinity College has had many famous students such as Jonathan Swift and Samuel Becket who later became a lecturer in French at the university. Tonight why not enjoy a night of entertainment at leisure in Temple Bar or alternatively, pre-book The Traditional Irish Musical Pub Crawl.

Overnight: Dublin area (full Irish breakfast)

 

Day 2 – Dublin to Westport

Travel to Wesport, Co. Mayo via the Midlands. Visit Strokestown Park & Famine Museum built by Thomas Mahon on lands which had been granted to his grandfather, Nicholas, in the latter half of the 17th century for his support in the British colonial campaign. The house provides a fascinating glimpse into the Anglo- Irish ascendancy. Many rooms are on show including a schoolroom and a child/s bedroom, complete with 19th century toys and mirrors. The Famine Museum is located in the original Stable Yard and was designed to commemorate the history of The Great Irish Famine of the 1840’s and in some way to balance the history of the “big house”. Whereas the landlord class had the resources to leave an indelible mark on the landscape, the Irish tenants lived in poverty and nothing of a physical nature has survived to commemorate their lives. Enjoy an evening of music in Matt Molloy’s pub under own arrangements.

Overnight: Westport area (full Irish breakfast)

 

Day 3 – Connemara

This morning you will leave Westport for Galway via Leenane and the Killary fjord and Clifden. Journey through Connemara, the most romantic part of Ireland full of lakes and rivers, bogs and mountains. A land of small villages where Gaelic is still the spoken language and where little has changed little since the beginning of time. A land characteristic for its stone walls and thatched cottages. On its northern shore the land is harsher and more secret, with spectacular views of the Ocean and the beautiful fjord of Killary Harbour, as well as the steep mountains overlooking numerous lakes and large bog areas. You can also visit the magnificent Kylemore Abbey – a beautiful mansion in a lakeside setting against a mountainous backdrop. One of the most famous features is its miniature cathedral, built in 1870 and known locally as the Gothic church. Originally built as a private home in 1868, it became home to the Irish order of Benedictine nuns who still live there today. Visitors can explore the visitor centre, part of the house and the beautifully restored Victorian walled garden. Continue to Galway City for an evening of music in a local pub under own arrangements.

Overnight: Galway area (full Irish breakfast).

 

Day 4 – Cliffs of Moher & Burren Region 

Looking down on the Atlantic from the Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare

This morning you will explore the Burren Region. The Burren, part of which forms the 100 square km Burren National Park, is a unique place. It contains dozens of megalithic tombs and Celtic crosses as well as a ruined Cistercian Abbey dating back to the 12th century. You will discover small villages abandoned during the famine period and green roads on which you can walk for miles without ever seeing a car. The flora on the Burren is a mixture of Artic and Mediterranean and rare flowers such as gentian, orchids and bloody cranesbill are the rule rather than the exception. Continue onto Doolin, a charming small seaside village on the north-west coast of Co. Clare. Traditionally a fishing village, is now renowned world-wide as the traditional music capital of Ireland. Continue to the Cliff of Moher, situated on the Atlantic Ocean and bordering the Burren Area. A spectacular 5- mile long cliff, which rises almost 200m above sea level. On a clear day is possible to see the Aran Islands as well as the valley and the hills of Connemara. The cliffs reach their highest point just north of O’Brien Tower, built by a descendant of Brian Boru, he who defeated the Vickings in battle. County Clare is synonymous with Irish traditional music and is home to Ireland’s oldest Céili Band, The Kilfenora Céili Band that was born a century ago in the tiny village of Kilfenora. The Glor Irish Music Centre in Ennis provides a forum for Irish musicians and artists to showcase their work to local, national and international audiences. Enjoy an evening of music in a local pub in Ennis under own arrangements.

Overnight: Ennis area (full Irish breakfast).

 

Day 5 – Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

This morning depart Ennis for Dingle. En route why not visit the Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, one of the most complete and authentic medieval castles in Ireland. Built in 1425 and restored in 1954, contains 15th and 16th century furnishings and tapestries capturing the mood and the style of the times. The castle hosts evening medieval banquets and takes the participants back to the time that the castle entertained its visitors with fine food, wine and song. Within the grounds of the castle is the Folk Park where 19th century life is vividly recreated. Set on 26 acres, the impressive park features over 30 buildings in a “living” village and rural setting. Try lunch at Durty Nellie’s – one of Ireland’s most famous pubs. Continue on for Dingle via Limerick. Why not visit the Foynes Flying Boat Museum and try the Irish Coffee, invented in the airport restaurant by the Chef Joe Sheridan in 1942 to warm up some damp and miserable passengers. Since then the Irish Coffee has become one of the most popular welcoming drinks in the world. Enjoy an evening at leisure in Dingle in one of the local pubs including McCarthy’s or O’ Flaherthy’s, famous for Traditional Irish Music.

Overnight: Dingle area (full Irish breakfast)

 

Day 6 – Dingle Peninsula & Slea Head 

This morning you will explore the Dingle Peninsula. Famous for its Celtic, pre-Christian monuments and Christian churches. It is also a “Gaeltacht” – Irish speaking area, where the Irish language and traditional ways of life are preserved. Dingle town itself is a thriving fishing town and offers plenty of opportunity for shopping or simply savouring the atmosphere of a typical country Irish town with its plentiful pubs, narrow streets and busy harbour. The road between Dunquin and Slea Head is dotted with beehive huts, forts and church sites. Prehistoric Dunbeg Fort is on a cliff top promontory with a sheer drop to the Atlantic and had four outer walls of stone. Inside are the remains of a house and a beehive hut as well as an underground passage. Beehive huts are circular stone buildings shaped like a beehive which was lived in by the Kerry monks. Enjoy your lunch at Sammy’s Restaurant on Inch Beach – a long beach bordered by dunes and made famous by David Lean’s movie “Ryan’s daughter”. Admire the Iveragh Peninsula and Rossbeigh Beach.

Overnight: Dingle area (full Irish breakfast)

 

Day 7 – Kenmare Bay & Ring of Kerry ring-of-kerry-co-kerry

This morning leave Dingle and drive to Kenmare via Ring of Kerry and Lakelands of Killarney. Enjoy a short stop at two of the Ring of Kerry’s most spectacular beauty spots Moll’s Gap and Ladies’ View. There is a magnificent view of Death Valley. Close by is the famous Ladies’ View viewing point which gives a different prospective of this magnificent countryside, with the tree Lakes of Killarney all surrounded by the Kerry Mountains. Ladies’ View received its name from Queen Victoria, who was so impressed with the view that she insisted that her ladies-in-waiting should also visit here. This afternoon why not visit the Star Outdoors for the Kenmare Bay Experience Cruise on Kenmare Bay – see seals, castles and get history of salmon from hatching on Kenmare River to Ocean & back (duration approx.. 45 minutes) Salmon Smokery tour – demonstration & including tasting (duration max 30 minutes). Lunch – buffet of local Kenmare Bay fish products from mussels to white fish option, local meat products such as corned beef, black pudding etc. (duration 1 h) total time for full experience can be from 2 to 2.5 hours. Enjoy an evening of entertainment in Kenmare under own arrangements.

Overnight: Kenmare area (full Irish breakfast)

 

Day 8 – West Cork & Garnish Island

This morning, depart Kenmare & travel along the scenic tunnels route to Glengarriff where the road leads you through a number of rock tunnels as you travel by the Caha Mountains on the Beara Peninsula. You will encounter stunning views of Bantry Bay before arriving in Glengarriff. Take a short ferry ride to Garnish Island, the Harbour Queen Ferries provides a regular service to the Garden of Ilanacullin on Garnish Island. Ferries depart from Glengarriff Pier every 30 minutes during the season. The ferries are purpose built enclosed waterbuses which will whisk you to the island in safety and comfort. Garnish is a unique island that plays host to a multitude of plant variations and the blanket of Summer colouring which covers the island creates a rainbow of colour. The island has a wonderful history and its unusual micro climate allows a range of exotic subtropical plant species to flourish. There are a number of walks and interesting buildings on the island. On route to the island you will enjoy the magnificent views of the bay and also pass Seal Island with its colony of harbours seals. Continue on to Kinsale through Bantry and visit the Bantry house & Gardens, an ancestral home opened to the public since 1946. The house has an important collection of art treasures that include a unique collection of French and Flemish tapestries, furniture and carpets and objects of art. Bantry House hosts a number of events including classical and traditional music festivals, food festivals, outdoor theatre and is a popular location for filming.

Overnight: Kinsale area (full Irish breakfast)

 

Day 9 – Kinsale to Dublin & Traditional Irish Experience Evening kinsale-co-cork

Travel to Dublin via Blarney Castle. Built in 1446, Blarney Castle is famous for its Blarney Stone, The Stone of Eloquence, which is traditionally believed, to have the power to bestow the gift of eloquence on all those who kiss it. Many legends tell the story of the Stone, but why not kiss it and find out the truth behind the legend. Continue to Dublin & en route why not visit Brú Ború located at the foot of the historic Rock of Cashel, the most photographed site in Ireland, and is an affiliate of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the Irish cultural movement which has over 400 branches worldwide. Brú Ború promotes its cultural programme through education, research, publications, exhibitions and information service. Brú Ború also incorporates the “Sound of History” cultural exhibition. The subterranean chambers, seven metres underground at the base of the famous Rock of Cashel, echo to the story of Ireland from ancient times to the present day. Through the passage of time, the visitor’s journey is marked by milestones of achievement, conflict and renewal. Above the Centre, the famous Rock of Cashel & its impressive stone walls enclose a round tower, a cathedral, a 12th century Romanesque chapel and high crosses. The Vicar Choral is one of the leading visitor attractions in Ireland, was visited by Queen Elizabeth II in 2011 on her historic first visit to the Republic of Ireland. Continue to Dublin. This afternoon visit the Guinness Storehouse, Europe’s largest stout producing brewery. Opened in 1904, it was an operational plant for fermenting and storing Guinness. Today it houses a very fine exhibition dedicated to the Guinness story. Visitors will discover what goes into the making of a pint of Guinness – the ingredients, the brewing process, the time, the craft and the passion. The exhibition shows how the brew has been marketed and how it is today sold in over 150 countries. Once the tour has finished you are invited to the Gravity Bar to enjoy your free pint of Guinness. Time permitting, visit Old Jameson Distillery in Smithfield Village, located in the heart of Old Dublin. This old barley storehouse was renovated in 1998 and converted into a museum where all the secrets of Irish whiskey’s distillation will be revealed. An audio-visual show will introduce the history of its spirit and it is followed by a guided visit which will take you through the various stages of whiskey distilling from grain intake to malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation, maturation and finally bottling. The visit culminates in the Jameson Bar with an opportunity for all to taste the signature Jameson drink. During the visit a number of volunteers are selected to take part in a tasting session to compare a Jameson whiskey with a Scotch Whisky and American Bourbon. This evening enjoy the Traditional Irish Experience evening, where you will gain expert knowledge from Irish Music & Dance tutors, learn to play with Irish Musicians & Dancers, including Ceili Dancing, learn to poor the perfect pint, all including a sumptuous 2 course traditional Irish meal in the surrounds of the River Bar on Dublin’s O’Connell Bridge (not included in rate & subject to schedule).

Overnight: Dublin area (full Irish breakfast)

 

Day 10 – Dublin Departure

After a final full Irish breakfast at your hotel, enjoy some free time to explore Dublin City for one last time, or travel to Dublin Airport for return flight home. Slán Abhaile!!

Prices

 

Sessions From The Hearth: Irish Music Tour

9 Nights Package 3* & 4* Hotels  (excluding transport)

Twin Per Person

Single Supplement

Triple per person

January – February & October – December

995

648

1081

March & April

1148

648

1127

May & October

1289

648

1268

June – September

1363

648

1341

Excursion Pack Supplement Per Person

379

* a supplement of $40.00 per person per night applies to all weekend (Friday & Saturday) stays in Dingle
9 Nights Package 3* & 4* B&B’s  (excluding transport) Twin Per Person Single Supplement Triple per person
January – May & October – December

843

358

843

June – September

930

358

930

Excursion Pack Supplement Per Person

379

Please note: car hire, fuel, additional vehicle insurance, departure transfer, items of a personal nature, etc are not included in the above price.
Prices are correct at time of publishing, 12/09/2017,  and may change due to exchange rates, taxes, etc.  
From price is in Australian Dollars.