Choir Tour in Ireland

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Tour in Ireland

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Choir tour in Ireland

 

 

Day 1 - Depart U.S.A

 

Day 2 - Welcome to Ireland

Arrive at Dublin Airport, meet with driver and local English speaking guide and transfer to the city centre for a panoramic tour of Dublin, discovering the north side of the River Liffey. This area offers great striking monuments such as the GPO (General Post Office) on the city main thoroughfare, 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 (today owned by an American College), its colourful doors, along with Grafton Street and its quality shops. Not so far from St. Stephen's Green, in Kildare St., 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 book of Kells is permanently exhibited in its library. The university is facing the medieval district where Dublin Castle and the two Anglican Cathedrals can be found.

Visit to Trinity College
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 centre 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, 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 Beckett who later became a lecturer in French at the university. The Inter-denominational Church is very much worth a visit, should it be open during your visit.

Visit Christchurch Cathedral
King Sitric Silkenbeard built Dublin's first (wooden) church on this site in 1038. He was the 1st Christian Viking king of Dublin. The Anglo-Norman Richard de Clare (Strongbow) built the current building in 1172. Ravaged by time it was almost fully restored towards the end of the 19th Century. Like St. Patrick's Cathedral, it is adorned with Funeral monuments, including the reputed tomb of Strongbow, its founder and Irelands first Norman Conqueror. Unlike St Patrick's, however, Christ Church possesses a crypt, which stretches under nearly its entire length and much of the Cathedrals memorabilia is displayed here. Attached to the Cathedral is the Synod house, which houses Dublinia an excellent exhibition of medieval Dublin.

Possible lunchtime Concert at Christchurch Cathedral or St. Patrick's Cathedral (entrance fee of Euro 4.75 p.p. will apply only)

Or

Perhaps group would like to perform at the Guinness Storehouse
Afternoon at leisure in Dublin for some shopping or personal sightseeing

Check in to your Dublin Hotel

Overnight, dinner and full Irish breakfast at Hotel in Dublin or region

 


Day 3 - The Garden of Ireland

Today travel South of Dublin to County Wicklow, also known as the Garden of Ireland
South of Dublin, is County Wicklow. Known as "the Garden of Ireland" it is home to Powerscourt, Mount Usher and Russborough, to name a few of its many houses and gardens. This region features all the various types of scenery that makes Ireland so beautiful. The coastline is bordered by charming sea resorts such as Bray or Greystones. In the heart of its gentle and rounded hills are nestled Enniskerry and Avoca, both very picturesque villages. Discover its romantic and quiet beauty, the deserted mounts where nothing but heather grows, the small forests and the lush prairies illuminated by yellow gorse in spring.

Visit and possible performance at Powerscourt Gardens
Powerscourt Gardens are a magnificent example of aristocratic gardens from the 19th century. The gardens were initiated around 1745 and restyled in the 19th century. The gardens have many features including the Triton pool with its 100-ft fountain. There are statues of winged horses (emblems of the Wingfield coat of arms) flanking a grotto by the pool. To the left are American and Italian gardens, while below them is a Japanese garden. The Bamberg Gates to the walled garden are believed to come from a German Cathedral in Bamberg in Bavaria. There are many rare plants and wonderful views of the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain. Not to be missed is the pet cemetery with its headstones dedicated to the family dogs.

Stop at Glendalough - site only
The English name Glendalough originated from the Irish "Gleann Dá Locha", which translates as "The valley of the two lakes". It was here that St. Kevin ~ son of the king of Leinster founded a monastery in the 6th century. From a simple beginning the site grew to become famous as a centre of learning throughout Europe. Standing for 600 years it was destroyed in 1398. Much of what is to be seen today dates from the 10 to 12th century. One of the most attractive features is the fine 34m high round tower. A cathedral, stone churches and decorated crosses also survived albeit as ruins.
Return to Dublin

Overnight, dinner and full Irish breakfast at Hotel in Dublin or region

 

Day 4 - To the West

Today depart Ireland's Capital and travel to the West of Ireland to Galway
Galway, the largest county in Connaught, is celebrated in song and story throughout the world and takes centre stage on Ireland's western seaboard. A spectacularly beautiful county, it is a medley of contrasts - the wildest and remotest of Connemara teamed with one of Europe's most vibrant and popular cities. Galway City at the mouth of Galway Bay is both a picturesque and lively city with a wonderful avant-garde culture. The city has many relics of its medieval past and is worth taking time to explore. It has changed considerably over the last number of years and features a fascinating juxtaposition of new and ancient architecture. The centre of the city is conveniently compact enough to ramble around comfortably.

En route enjoy a ride on the Clonmacnoise & West Offaly Railway Bog Tour
The Clonmacnoise and West Offaly Railway offers a 9km-rail trip through Blackwater Bog, near Shannonbridge on a 3ft narrow gauge railway. While travelling learn about the formation of the peat and the industry that has built up around the bog. The train will stop at the turf bank to see a demonstration of the traditional method of turf cutting. On the journey the voyager will learn about some of the more interesting archaeological finds in the bog. This journey provides an extraordinary insight into the industrial operation at Blackwater, from the production of milled peat right through to its transport by rail to Shannonbridge Generating Station.

On arrival in Galway enjoy an orientation tour of the city

Galway City is a delight with its narrow streets, old stone and wooden shop fronts, good restaurants and busy pubs. The city has attracted a bohemian crown of musicians and artists, which add so much to the character of the city.

Enjoy some time at leisure in Galway for some shopping

Overnight, dinner and full Irish breakfast at Hotel in Galway or region

 


Day 5 - Connemara

Enjoy a tour of Connemara Region
Connemara, is a land 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. It is without a doubt the wildest and the most romantic part of Ireland. Connemara is a vast peninsula bordered by the arid and rocky coastline of Galway Bay in the south ~ 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. Connemara is a real paradise for Nature lovers and those in search of strong emotions.

Visit and possibility for choir for an informal singing at Kylemore Abbey
Kylemore Abbey is located in the Kylemore Pass in Connemara. A Mitchell Henry built the House in 1868, after having spent his honeymoon in the area. The architecture is best described as neo-gothic and the house still displays all the characteristics of that period. One of Kylemore Abbey's most famous features is its miniature cathedral, built in 1870 and known locally as the Gothic church. Today, the abbey is home to the Irish order of Benedictine nuns. They bought the house in 1920, having fled their convent in war-torn Belgium in 1914. They established a private school for young girls, which today is the renowned Kylemore Abbey International School for young girls. Facilities at Kylemore include a visitor centre, an exhibition housed in the main reception rooms of the house and a video which takes the visitor through the history of the house and its occupants.

Return to your hotel

Overnight, dinner and full Irish breakfast at Hotel in Galway or region

 

Day 6 - Burren & Cliffs of Moher

Depart for County Kerry, traveling southwards through County Clare and Limerick

Travel through the Burren region to the Cliffs of Moher
The Burren, part of which forms the 100 square km Burren National Park, is a unique place. It is a Karst limestone region of approximately 300 sq. km, which lies in the north west corner of Co Clare. It is composed of limestone pavements, which have been eroded to a distinctive pattern. This pavement is criss-crossed by cracks known as grykes in which grow a myriad of wild flora and under which are huge caves and rivers which suddenly flood when it rains. The Burren 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 Arctic and Mediterranean and rare flowers such as gentian, orchids and bloody cranesbill are the rule rather than the exception. The Burren is truly an exceptional part of Ireland.

Visit the Cliffs of Moher
Situated on the Atlantic Ocean and bordering the Burren Area, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's most spectacular 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. To the south of the cliffs is Hag's Head and was once the site of a castle.

Take the car ferry from Killimer to Tarbert into Count Kerry

Continue to your Kerry hotel

Overnight, dinner and full Irish breakfast at Hotel in Kerry region

 

Day 7 - Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry (166km) is the most famous and panoramic route in Ireland. The astonishing beauty of this large peninsula, 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 our 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.

Possible performance at Muckross Gardens
The Gardens of Muckross House are famed for their beauty worldwide. In particular they are noted for their collections of azaleas and rhododendrons. However the extensive water garden, the children's sunken garden and the outstanding rock garden, hewn out of natural limestone, are just some of the features to be discovered.

Enjoy some time at leisure at Killarney National Park
Killarney National Park became Ireland's first National Park in 1932 when the Muckross Estate was presented to the Nation by Senator Arthur Vincent the owner of Muckross house. Situated in South-west Ireland, close to the most westerly point in Europe, the National Park covers over 10,000 hectares of mountain, moorland, woodland, waterways, parks and gardens. A major geological boundary occurs within the Park, and this, in combination with the climatic influence of the Gulf Stream and the wide range of altitudes in the Park, gives rise to an unusual and varied ecology.

Return to your hotel

Overnight, dinner and full Irish breakfast at Hotel in Kerry region

 

Day 8 - Crag Caves and Bunratty

This morning travel northwards for a visit to Crag Caves
These Limestone caves were discovered in 1983. A tour of the caves takes the visitor will pass a maze of side passages from which comes the sound of underground streams and rivers traversing the depths. The visitor will also witness spacious chambers, clusters of stalactites and other spectacular limestone formations.

Continue to the town of Bunratty via Adare and Limerick

Visit the Bunratty Castle and Folk Park
Bunratty Castle is one of the most complete and authentic medieval castles in Ireland. Built in 1425 and plundered on many occasions, it was authentically restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour with furnishings and tapestries capturing the mood and the style of the times. The castle hosts 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 Bunratty castle is Bunratty Folk Park. The Folk Park demonstrates everyday life in rural Ireland of the 19th century. It contains reconstructed farmhouses, cottages and shops, and great care has been taken to make its buildings as authentic as possible, particularly with regard to furnishings. It is a living museum ~ animals are tended, bread is baked, milk is churned, walls are whitewashed and roofs are thatched.

Possible performance at the Folk Park or if group chooses to include a night at Bunratty Castle - we can arrange for group to sing in front of the castle before the start of the banquet.

Perhaps group would like to enjoy a medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle on this night
Bunratty Castle was built in the 15th century by the Earl of Thomond and stands on the banks of the Raite River in County Clare. From here The Earl ruled over his Chiefdom and was know for his generosity and his lavish entertainment and banquets. For over 40 years the ladies of Bunratty castle, aided and abetted by the Earl's Butler, have welcomed guests from the four corners of the globe to join them at The Earl's Banquet. The entertainment today is provided by the superb Bunratty Singers and is a fitting compliment to a four-course meal, a lively mead reception and of course good wine. Guests are invited to enjoy an unforgettable evening in the splendour of this magnificent castle. A true step back in time to Medieval Ireland.

Overnight, dinner and full Irish breakfast at Hotel in Clare region

 

Day 9 - Farewell

After a final Irish breakfast transfer to Shannon Airport for departure flight home

 

 

TOUR INCLUDES :
7 nights at good 3 star hotels ,all rooms with private bath or shower
Full Irish breakfast at hotels each day, day 2 - 8 inclusive
Dinners at hotels each day, day 1 - 7 inclusive
Visits:
Trinity College Christchurch Cathedral Powerscourt House & Gardens
Glendalough (site only) Kylemore Abbey Cliffs of Moher (parking fee)
Crag Caves Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
Ride on Bog train on day 3
Car ferry from Killimer to Tarbert on day 5
Modern motor coach with driver/guide (driver acting as guide) x 8 days (09h00-17h30 daily)
English speaking guide for Dublin City Tour on day 1 (until 17h30)
Service charges and taxes at existing rates are included