2019 O’Donoghue Ireland Tour

JUNE 6. A warm Irish welcome awaits you at Shannon airport as you’re welcomed by Traci, Harry, and Owen our driver/guide and escorted to our waiting motor coach. When all group members are on board we will depart for the lively town of Ennis, enjoying the scenery along the way. Ennis sits on the banks of the river Fergus and dates back to the 13th century. After check in you can stretch your legs, change currency, have a coffee and take pictures of the painted storefronts and quaint winding streets. In the early afternoon we will have a scenic drive around the local area before returning to our hotel with plenty of time to relax and freshen up before departing for our dinner tonight in an Irish Country Manor. Overnight: Templegate Hotel (B)

June 7. After breakfast this morning we make our departure, heading south for County Kerry.  We’ll stop in the market town of Listowel to visit its famous castle, built in the 15th century by the Fitzmaurice’s. The castle overlooks the river Feale and is located in the centre of town. On then to Tralee, where we’ll stop for lunch. Tralee is the largest town in County Kerry and home to the famous Rose of Tralee Festival. After lunch we’ll visit the Blennerville Visitor Centre, home to the only commercial working windmill in Ireland. There is also an emigration display and bird watching platform on site. We then continue to our hotel in the fishing town of Dingle. The Skellig Hotel overlooks the bay and will be our home for the next three nights. We’ll enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant this evening. Overnight: Dingle Skellig Hotel (D,B)

June 8. After a refreshing night’s sleep and breakfast, we head off this morning to drive around the Dingle Peninsula, which offers some of Ireland’s most beautiful scenery. If the weather obliges we may decide to pick up supplies for a picnic lunch. When we arrive back in Dingle we’ll tour the Dingle Distillery, a relatively new endeavor operating since 2002. Gin is the new ‘thing’ in Ireland and here in a converted sawmill we’ll have an introduction to Irish whiskey, gin and vodka. Dinner will be in our hotel once again. Overnight: Dingle Skellig Hotel (D,B)

JUNE 9. Today is a free day and should you wish we can arrange golf, horse riding, cycling, or you may like to stroll into this beautiful harbour town, take in the sights and browse around. Breakfast will of course be in the hotel this morning, at your leisure. For those who care for something more structured, the coach will leave after lunch to visit Tom Crean’s South Pole Inn located in the small village of Anascaul, a short distance from Dingle. Here we’ll hear of the exploits of this famous Antartic explorer and enjoy a glass of Tom Crean beer. Tonight you are free to enjoy dinner in one of the local pubs, fine dining restaurants or fish and chip shops in town.Overnight: Dingle Skellig Hotel (B)

JUNE 10. After yet another hearty Irish breakfast this morning we head south to county Cork. We’ll stop in Killarney for a photo op in a scenic spot overlooking the town and lakes of Kilarney, enjoy an Irish coffee in a unique family run gift shop, and grab a bite of lunch. As we enter County Cork Harry will recount an historic moment, involving the famous Irish rebel ‘flying columns’, close to the village of Kilmichael, during the Irish War of Independence. We’ll continue then to our hotel in Kinsale, often termed the ‘gourmet capital’ of Ireland. Dinner is in the hotel restaurant, overlooking the harbour, this evening. Overnight: Trident Hotel (D,B)

JUNE  11. Today  we’ll pay a visit to Charles Fort, a 17th century star shaped fort, one of two, designed to guard the entrance to the harbour.   Also on today’s schedule is a food Tour of Kinsale. This tour brings you on a gentle stroll through the colourful town, stopping in local eateries to sample some of the dishes Kinsale is famous for. Late afternoon is free to enjoy the charming narrow streets of town and dinner will be on your own tonight. Overnight: Trident Hotel (B)

JUNE 12. After breakfast this morning we set out for the fertile midlands of Ireland. We’ll stop in the town of Cashel in County Tipperary to visit the iconic ‘Rock’. Site of the Kings of Munster before and during the time of St. Patrick, the compound sits on an outcrop with stunning views. Very little remnants of original structures remain and most of the buildings on the site are from the 11th and 12th centuries. We’ll lunch in the area before continuing our journey north. In the afternoon we’ll pop into Castle Durrow, a 1715 castlesque mansion, for a comfort stop before arriving at our hotel, Kilashee House in County Kildare. A spectacular Irish Manor House with an intriguing history Kilashee was built on the site of an Iron Age ring fort. Kilashee became a landed estate in the 17th century owned by the Grayson family. It was acquired by Lt Colonel Richard Moore in the 18th century and the house was converted into a convent by the La Sante order of nuns when they purchased it in 1927. We will enjoy dinner here tonight in the lovely hotel restaurant. Overnight: Kilashee House Hotel (D,B) 

June 13. After breakfast this morning we’re off to the Irish National Stud, a thoroughbred breeding facility, and the adjoining Japanese Gardens, an unlikely pairing but one that works well. The National Stud tour is a walking tour lasting 45+mins, the Japanese Gardens are self-guided and there’s a nice restaurant and gift shop on site. If time allows we’ll stop in Kildare town to browse and shop before returning to our hotel this afternoon. Tonight we’ll once again dine in the hotel restaurant and have a final get together afterwards.Overnight: Kilashee House Hotel (D,B)

June 14. This morning we transfer to Dublin airport for check in and your flight back home. U.S. Immigration and Customs procedures are done here which makes entry very easy when you reach America. The airport is approximately 45 minutes from our hotel and we like to arrive with ample time to facilitate security inspection, check in and official U.S procedures. Most U.S. bound flight leave in the morning and so depending on flight schedules we may depart our hotel between 6.00 – 7.00 AM.