This is just an example. Be prepared to go “off book” as we take advantage of rare opportunities, special local events, and work with the weather to maximize every opportunity to make sure your experience is once-in-a-lifetime.
We give you a warm _Céad míle fáilte_ (100 thousand welcomes) in Dublin at the airport or your hotel if you have arrived early for your Wild West Irish Tour. We whisk you away in our very comfortable 8-passenger mini-bus and set our compass to the Northwest enroute to the Inishowen Peninsula. Our route takes us through scenic Counties Monaghan, Tyrone and Derry. We take in the beautiful landscape of the North of Ireland and make several stops including a visit to the Ulster-American Folk Park in Omagh, which explores the historical link between Ireland and America, focusing particularly on the lifestyle and experiences of those immigrants who sailed from Ulster to America in the 18th and 19th centuries. It won’t be long before we pass through Derry City and cross the River Foyle, where we arrive at our splendid and homey Guest House by the sea. Once you are settled in, you are free to take a walk on the beach or the country roads of the Inishowen Peninsula. In the evening, we head out to a nearby village for dinner and take in the lovely Irish hospitality.
By morning you realize that for the next several days, you will be living on an active, working farm, complete with sheep and other animals. You have a delicious Irish breakfast and prepare for the day’s adventure which starts with a visit to An Grianan na Aileach, a massive ring fort on the summit of Grianan Hill which has been the “Sentinel of Inishowen” for 3000 years, guarding the narrow approaches caused by rivers Foyle & Swilly. We head north to experience the mystical Manmore Gap where the panoramic views are nothing short of majestic. We know where to find the hidden treasures, including an incredible castle ruin along the coast. We continue our journey to the Isle of Doagh where we explore places not even found on Google! The Doagh Famine Village is not to be missed and we take a tour through this museum. We see where the spirit takes us from here as our choices of incredible hidden gems are endless. We make our way for home and prepare for another lovely dinner in a local village, followed by some traditional irish music to top off a fabulous day.
We begin the day with an introduction to the local storyteller who is now in his 80s. He will enchant and charm you with his stories, while he leads us to places that are not on our itinerary! We make our way to the most northern point of Ireland, the Malin Head Peninsula, where we cross over the Trawbreaga Bridge and take in the sensational landscape around the Chapel of Lagg. We visit a sacred Megalithic Stone Circle and places where we can find remains of 6th Century monastic ruins, High Crosses with inscribed Celtic Art, Holy Wells and places our local friend leader brings us to. We can still find the old thatched cottages in Inishowen and with each of them comes many lively stories. We visit the Inishowen Maritime Museum in the village of Greencastle, where we look across the River Foyle toward Derry City and the Causeway Coast beyond!
The Causeway Coast journey! Today we cross the River Foyle at Greencastle and make landfall at Magilligan’s Point, Northern Ireland.The Antrim Coast is one of the most spectacular places in the world. On a clear day we can look across to see Scotland as we visit the towns of Portstewart and Portrush on our way to the iconic Giant’s Causeway. We can spend as much time as you like here taking in one of Nature’s miracles. Not far down the road we have a visit to Dunluce Castle in store for you. Ever cross on a rope bridge? You will have your chance at the breathtaking Carrick on Rede Rope Bridge! The Bushmills Distillery is well within our range for those interested in a taste of Irish whiskey. As a major bonus to the fans of “Game of Thrones,” we can easily find ourselves at locations used for that HBO series!
We make our way back across the River Foyle, this time via a lovely scenic drive along the river toward the villages of Moville and Muff, and then we cross into the ancient city of Derry. Derry is the only completely walled city remaining in the Island of Ireland. The walls, which were built in the 1600s and are approximately 1.5 km in circumference, form a walkway around the inner city and provide a unique promenade to view the layout of the original town which still preserves its Renaissance Style street plan to this day. We take in the museums, cafes, historical sites, and have a unbelievable walking tour with a local guide, who gives you an account of the history of Derry from the last several centuries.
This is the day to explore places in Counties Derry and Antrim that we may have missed or not had the time to experience on previous days. This tour is always spontaneous and flexible and we will undoubtedly have places of interest that you would like to see and experience. You also have an opportunity to walk the walled City of Derry independently and seek shopping and places that interest you. There are museums, murals and tours which give you an insight to the “troubles” from a local guide’s perspective. Your options are many and you certainly will have no trouble finding places to visit in what was the “City of Culture 2013″ in the United Kingdom.
Our last day to explore the beauty of the hills and mountains of Donegal, and set our course somewhat south to explore the superb Glenveagh National Park. Glenveagh is one of six national parks in Ireland. Situated in the Northwest of Co. Donegal, Glenveagh encompasses some 16,000 hectares in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains. Such a great wilderness is the haunt of many interesting plants and animals. We tour Glenveagh Castle, which is a 19th century castellated mansion and was built between 1867 and 1873. Its construction in a remote mountain setting was inspired by the Victorian idyll of a romantic highland retreat. You also have a chance to wander through Glenveagh Gardens which is one of Ireland’s foremost gardens, imaginatively designed and supporting a rich variety of rare and tender plants. We conclude our Donegal adventure with horseback riding on the pristine beaches of Dunfanaghy. Then, homeward to our Guesthouse for our final evening to include dinner, some Irish music, and the “craic” in Inishowen.
We are on the road to Dublin as we begin the journey early enough to allow time for you to experience Dublin’s Fair City. We have a lovely hotel that is close to both the city centre and the airport. We take you into the city centre and orient you to the best local attractions in Dublin. There is the Guinness Factory, the National History Museum, Stephen’s Green, Kilmainham Gaol, the lively Temple Bar Quarter, Grafton Street and endless opportunities to do last minute souvenir shopping! We have a final dinner at our Dublin hotel and raise a glass to our wonderful adventures together.
We bring you to Dublin airport and wish you a heartfelt _Slán abhaile_ (safe home).
This tour includes:
– 9 days of touring and sightseeing limited to 6-8 travelers
– 8 nights in 3 to 4 star B&B accomodation
– Touring in a comfortable mini-coach with your experienced tour guides
– Admission to heritage sites and museums
– Daily Irish breakfast
– Priceless memories and experiences