tours to Ireland

Small Group Tour to Ireland 2020

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The Traveling Professor Presents a Small Group Tour to Ireland

Ireland and The Wild Atlantic Coast

This adventure is a spectacular introduction to the Emerald Isle of your dreams.  Travel with our small group of up to 14-16 active, adult travelers.  Journey from Dublin to the green peninsulas of the southwest.  Journey along the Atlantic coast  up to Galway, finishing back in Dublin.   The tour is comprehensive and active, but not rushed.  We get right off the beaten track and spend more time out of the vehicles exploring the exotic beauty of Ireland.   

Forget those big bus tours - this is an intimate journey through the Wild Atlantic Coast of Ireland with a small group of 12-16 travelers.  It is the ONLY way to enjoy Ireland.

Day 1:  Saturday, August 29:  Arrival day in Dublin at the 4-star Brooks Hotel located in the center of Dublin. Let's meet our travel mates, go out for a wee dram, and talk about the week to come.

Day 2:  Sunday, August 30.  Let's get on our way after breakfast. Depart Dublin in our luxury coach.  Head south to visit the Rock of Cashel.  Of course a trip to Ireland would be incomplete without a visit to Blarney Caste to kiss the famous stone.  Head on to an idyllic 4-star hotel in Cork.

Day 3:  Monday, August 31: Off to the stunning Beara Peninsula.  The Ring of Beara is an impressive coastal drive from Cork into County Kerry.  A route not to be rushed, we hike around the Bullig Bay Loop with a stop at the famed McCarthy's Bar, considered to be the best in all the Emerald Island. After lunch and the way to Kenmare where we will spend the night, another stop at the famed Bonane Heritage Park Stone Circle. 

Day 4:  Tuesday, September 1:  The Ring of Kerry is the most famous and panoramic route in Ireland.  The astonishing beauty of this large peninsula called Iveragh, comes from the great diversity of its scenery, which offers incessant contrasts. En route around the Ring, take in spectacular scenery - mountains, peat bogs, lakes and magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean as one travels along the coast road. Leaving Killarney pass through Killorglin, famous for its Puck Fair, then to Glenbeigh where the cliff road affords panoramic views of the Dingle Peninsula and Dingle Bay. Continuing to Cahirciveen, you’ll pass the birthplace of Ireland's National hero, Daniel O’Connell. Next, continue on through peat bogs to the town of Waterville. Continue to Sneem Village, famous for its brightly coloured houses. The road then continues through the mountains to Molls Gap and Ladies View with superb views of the famous Lakes of Killarney.

Day 5: Wednesday, September 2: A morning tour in Slea Head, the scenery made spectacular in the most famous Irish movie of them all, Ryan's Daughter.   There is plenty to see and do on your own in the seaside village of Dingle, where we stay on our 2nd night.  We have plenty of optional activities such as a round of golf, visit Ashes Bar, enjoy water sports or just relax and enjoy.

Day 6:  Thursday, September 3: An exciting day planned for today.  On our way north we stop for a hike at the famed Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland's most spectacular and famous sights. Standing 230 metres above the ground at their highest point and 8km long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara. The cliffs reach their highest point just north of O' Brien's Tower built by Cornelius O’ Brien, a descendant of Brian Boru, to entertain his lady friends. A visit of the tower is also possible. The sweeping view across the Atlantic has recently been ranked the best 'cliff-view' on the planet by Conde Nast Traveler.  We wind up the day in Limerick.

Day 7: Friday, September 4: The Burren landscape covers over 150 square kilometres and is one of Ireland’s 6 National Parks. The region is visually similar to a moonscape, yet shelters a mixture of flora and archaeological sites which have attracted visitors for centuries. Man came here over 6.000 years ago, cleared the forests and set in motion soil erosion. Centuries of weathering has produced a terrain of fissured limestone pavements, disappearing lakes, terraced mountains, and underground cave systems. For millennia man has left his mark, megalithic tombs and cooking sites litter the pavements, while medieval towerhouses and churches guard the valleys. Today man is absent from most of the upland, leaving behind ancient field systems, routeways and placenames.  Today’s visitors to the Burren will find Arctic, Alpine and Mediterranean plants growing together.  

Also on the itinerary is Dunguaire Castle was built in 1520 by the O’ Hynes clan on the picturesque shores of Galway Bay. The Castle takes it name from the nearby ancient fort of Guaire, King of Connaught who died is 662 AD.  This restored 16th century tower house sits on a rocky outcrop 200m (300 yards) outside the picturesque village of Kinvara. In 1924 Dunguaire was bought and restored by Oliver St. John Gogarty, the famous surgeon and literary figure. It became the venue for meetings of the literary revivalists such as W.B. Yeats, his patron Lady Gregory, George Bernard Shaw, Edward Martin and J.M. Synge. Subsequently the castle became the property of Shannon Development. Today the restored castle gives an insight into the lifestyle of the people who lived from 1520 to modern times. During the summer months it plays host to the Dunguaire Castle Banquets in the evenings. Dunguaire Castle is open daily for visitors to explore form the end of April to September. The Castle is 27km from Galway city.

Upon arrival into Galway, enjoy a Food Walking Tour.  Galway Food Tours is a 2 hour culinary walking tour of the city. This tour leads food enthusiasts around Galway's finest food destinations.  It gives a great overview of our passionate people and our beautiful produce which combine to make Galway one of Ireland’s gourmet jewels. Galway’s famous food culture is explored over a morning and takes in some of the city’s best known and secret food haunts on a food journey that is simply delish! 

Tonight we stay in Galway.

Day 8: Saturday, September 5:  There is nothing like a Saturday in festive Galway.   The morning is filled with open-air markets, street music, and food. There are museums and plenty of do in the city.  For the adventurous, a trip to the Arran Islands might be an option to choose.  We stay another night in Galway.

Day 9: Sunday, September 6:  Depart Galway on the way back to Dublin.  Situated right in the heart of Ireland, there is a special experience that has been waiting for you since 1829. The newly renovated home of Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey allows you to immerse yourself in the history and magic that lies inside the walls of this 19th century bonded warehouse, where its whiskey making tradition began. Enjoy a guided tour which blends audiovisual and traditional storytelling and then raise a glass of complimentary Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey. The new Visitor center is located on the banks of the Grand Canal which was vital in allowing the former distillery to transport whiskey to Dublin for distribution around the rest of the world. Facilities include a fully licensed whiskey bar, cafe and retail shop.  Our final night is spent at the Brooks Hotel in Dublin.

Day 10: Monday, September 7 (Labor Day):  Departure from Ireland.  We say goodbye to our travel friends and get them started on their way home.

Optional Dublin Add-On

Day 1: Wednesday, August 26:  Arrive in Dublin.  Check in at the 4-star Brooks Hotel in the heart of the city.  Rest up and let's get together in the perfect Irish Bar and get to know each other. We'll put together a fantastic meal at a top Irish restaurant (not included in the price of the tour) for a great start to our Dublin experience.

Day 2: Thursday, August 27: Dublin City with Walking Tour .Dublin is a city with a soul, a place that has not lost sight of the fact that people are more fun than museums and that genuine human interaction is not the preserve of small villages.  Founded in 841 by the Vikings, it is a city with an interesting past.  Its many monuments tell of its history. Today, Dublin is the Cosmopolitan capital of the Irish Republic and a city of over one million people. Despite the many changes the city has witnessed during the last decade, it still remains a city ready to welcome all who wish to visit. Taking advantage of its compact size, the walking tour of Dublin allows visitors to soak in the atmosphere and buzz of the city, whilst enjoying an informative and entertaining tour.

No trip to Dublin is complete without a visit to the famed Guiness Storehouse. The Guinness Brewery in Dublin is Europe's largest stout producing brewery and home to the Guinness Storehouse. Opened in 1904, the Storehouse 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 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, the guest is invited to the Gravity Bar to enjoy their pint of Guinness. Regular demonstrations on the art of pulling a pint of Guinness also take place in the Storehouse. Launched on the fifth floor in 2011, “Five” at Guinness Storehouse, includes a small replica authentic Irish Bar, an 18th Century inspired Brewers Dining Hall, and a restaurant named Gilroy’s where guests enjoy a Guinness gastronomical experience driven entirely by the Irish tradition of wholesome local produce. Menus include local foods such as Ardsallagh goat’s cheese, Irish mussels from Carlingford and the Waterford Blaas bread supplied by MD Bakery in Waterford. This area will host from time to time live cooking demonstrations using Guinness in the recipe and it includes an interactive recipe sharing bank that allows visitors to take Guinness recipe cards home.

Day 3: Friday, August 28:  This morning after breakfast, visit St Patrick’s Cathedral. Built in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptized converts on his visit to Dublin. The parish church of Saint Patrick on this site was granted collegiate status in 1191, and raised to cathedral status in 1224. The present building dates from 1220. The Cathedral is today the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland (a church of the Anglican Communion). St Patrick’s is Gothic in style and its splendid interior is adorned with funeral monuments, such as The Boyle Family Memorial and the grave of Dean Jonathan Swift (author of Gulliver’s Travels). Swift was dean here until his death in 1745. The Chancel has ornate stained-glass windows, and spectacular choir stalls, once used by the knights of St Patrick, adjoin the Altar. The massive west towers, houses a large peal of bells whose ringing tones are so much part of the character of Dublin. Continue to Trinity College & Book of Kells.  Trinity was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth 1st on grounds confiscated from an Augustinian priory and is the oldest university in Ireland. The Campanile, erected in 1852, was built on what is believed to be the center of the monastery. Built to further the education of the ruling Anglo-Irish families, restrictions were imposed to prevent Catholic from attending courses. These restrictions were not fully lifted until the 1970’s. Trinity however admitted women in 1902, earlier than most British universities. Most of the main buildings off the main square were built during the Georgian period, some of which replaced older buildings. Within its walls, visitors 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 Beckett who later became a lecturer in French at the university. 

Later enjoy a tour the Jameson Distillery, located in the heart of Dublin city center. This old barley storehouse, once the center of distilling in Dublin, 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 this spirit and it is followed by a guided visit which will take visitors 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 Scottish whisky and an American bourbon. Participants will receive a diploma for their achievement. 

Day 4: Saturday, August 29:  Free day in Dublin.  


Want to Go Or Have a Question?
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2020 Tour Dates and Pricing

Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Coast

  • Dates: Saturday, August 29, 2020 to Monday, September 7, 2020.
  • Price: $3,699 per person, double occupancy.  Add $899 for your own room.

Dublin Add-On for Combining with Wild Atlantic Coast Tour

  • Dates: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 to Sunday, August 31.
  • Price: $999 per person, double occupancy.  $1499 for single occupancy.
What You Get

Ireland and the Wild Atlantic Coast

  • 9 nights hotel, breakfast included.
  • Entrances at Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle and Stone, Bonane Heritage Park, Cliffs of Moher, Dunguaire Castle, Tullamore D.E.W. distillery, Galway food walking tour.
  • Luxury Coach transportation with professional English-speaking guide. 

Dublin Add-On

  • 4 nights stay at the 4-star Brooks Hotel in central Dublin.  Breakfast included.
  • Guided tours of Dublin, St. Patricks Cathedral, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Trinity College & Book of Kells.  Admission included to Guiness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery.
How to Reserve
  • Send and email to info@travelingprofessor.com telling us you want to go.  Include names, emails, and phone numbers of those in your party.
  • Send a $500 per person deposit made to TRAVELING PROFESSOR LLC  and send to TRAVELING PROFESSOR, 3965 COTTON GIN RD, FRISCO TX 75034.
  • Deposits are fully refundable, no questions asked, up to 21 days after receipt of deposit.   All payments are refundable anytime if we have a full trip and travelers to take your place.
  • Final payments are due approximately 75 days before departure.
  • We try to keep costs low by accepting payments by check.  We can accept PayPal and credit card payments.  However, these payments are subject to a 3.5% fee the banks charge us (and everyone else) to process credit card and PayPal payments.
Important Notes
  • This tour is for active adults. Travelers can expect to walk a minimum 2-3 miles per day at an active pace.  Sometimes there are uneven or unpaved surfaces.  Expect to walk up and down steps and inclines/declines.  Travelers should be in good health and have no mobility issues.
  • Do not purchase airfare until we have designated the trip as a "go".
  • All travelers will be given detailed information on what to expect, money matters, packing, weather, hotels, tours, etc.  You will be well-prepared for this trip.
  • Solo as well as accompanied travelers welcome.