2015 Heart of Ireland Tour: The Southern Stars

June 4 – 13, 2015

For our 20th Anniversary Tour  - The Southern Stars - we have chosen all our favorites from the places we visited in the south of Ireland over the past two decades.

Along the southwest coast of Ireland, rugged peninsulas reach out like fingers into the wild Atlantic ocean, their countless coves and islands inviting closer inspection. The tour begins on the Dingle peninsula with its ancient stone dwellings and majestic islands. On the Iveragh peninsula we follow the famed Ring of Kerry to the beautiful lakes of Killarney. The spectacular Healy Pass through the Caha mountains takes us across the Beara peninsula to Glengarriff and enchanting Garnish Island in Bantry Bay.

From the megalithic stone circles of West Cork to the medieval town of Kinsale; from the mysterious Towers in Lismore to the Viking lanes of Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city; from a river cruise in New Ross, Co. Wexford, to a fortified castle and a Tudor house Co. Tipperary; from the iconic Rock of Cashel, the traditional seat of kings, we wend our way in a circle of time and space back to Shannon.

Read what the Cape Cod Times has to say about our tours!

Your Tour Price Includes:
Luxury motorcoach transportation
First-class accommodations for 8 nights in rooms with private bath
9 Irish breakfasts
8 delicious dinners
Admissions to all group activities and sites including ferries and sessions
Baggage handling, gratuities and taxes for hotels and included meals.
All for $2,899 per person sharing LAND ONLY
Single Supplement $400
Extending your stay is possible
CALL 1-800-299-CELT!

NEW!
MAKE A RESERVATION!
Download our 2015 Reservation Form Now!

NOTICE:  Passengers are responsible for all airfares, departure taxes and airline surcharges. All passengers should meet outside customs in the Arrivals Hall in Shannon airport by 7.00 a.m. on Friday, June 5, 2015. We are happy to assist you with your flight arrangements and any pre-tour or post-tour accommodations at no extra charge. If you prefer to fly a day early to alleviate jet lag, we can make a reservation for you at the Park Inn at Shannon airport. We recommend the following airlines: Aer Lingus and United. Since the outgoing flight is an overnight flight you need to depart the USA by June 4, at the latest, to be in Shannon on the morning of June 5. The tour concludes on the morning of June 13 at Shannon airport.

DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY:

Day 1 – Departure
After the overnight flight to Shannon, Robbie along with Alice and Sean Rattigan, our musicians and guides, will meet you outside the customs hall.

Day 2 – The Golden Vale: Shannon to Dingle
After we meet at Shannon airport, we board our comfortable motorcoach and travel southwest to our hotel in Dingle, County Kerry. On route, we stop in the picturesque village of Adare and in Tralee. Once we arrive at our hotel, the rest of the day is free to rest or explore the delights of Dingle town. After dinner, we have the first of our nightly traditional music sessions and a chance to get to know one another.

dingleDay 3 - The Dingle Peninsula
We explore the Dingle Peninsula’s many attractions: stone beehive huts built as far back as 3000 BC, Slay Head and the Blasket Heritage Center in Dunquin, that tells the story of the Great Blasket Island and its inhabitants. We complete the loop with a stop at the Gallarus Oratory, a fascinating 6th century Christian church with an amazing corbeled stone roof.

Day 4 - The Iveragh Peninsula
We head south on the world-renowned Ring of Kerry, a spectacular coast road that encircles the Iveragh Peninsula. We see a demonstration of working sheep dogs and the ancient stone Ring Forts in Caherciveen. After lunch we visit Caherdaniel and tour Derrynane House, home of the Great Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, before continuing on to our hotel in Sneem.

PENTAX ImageDay 5 - Killarney’s Lakes & Woods
Following the winding road to Moll’s Gap we find panoramic views of Killarney’s famed lakes. We continue on to Torc Waterfall on the spacious grounds of Muckross House, now restored to its 19th century splendor. Once owned by Lord Ardilaun, of the Guinness family, the house, gardens and traditional farms are now part of the Killarney National Park. After lunch we explore the beautiful lake walks and gardens. Then it’s on to the bustling market town of Kenmare with its ancient dolmen.

IMG_1692.JPG - Version 2Day 6 - The Beara Peninsula
We wend our way through the magnificent Healy Pass on the Beara peninsula to the village of Glengarriff. A short boat trip takes us past families of seals to magical Garnish Island in Bantry bay where we explore its Martello tower, Italian garden and arboretum. We visit the legendary harbor of Glandore and the Drumbeg stone circle, a Bronze age site over 2000 years old, before arriving at our hotel overlooking the rolling waves of Clonakilty Bay.

Day 7 - Kinsale, Lismore & the Vee
We begin in Kinsale, which played a pivotal role in Irish and world history. Considered one of Ireland’s historic gems, Kinsale is renowned for its quaint shops, narrow streets and gourmet food. From there we wind our way to the early ecclesiastical centre of Lismore and follow the wooded walk to its mysterious towers. Then it’s over the Knockmealdown mountains through the scenic Vee and our riverside hotel in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

ballyhack_ferryDay 8 - Viking Waterford, the Dunbrody, and a Galley Cruise
Our day starts in Carrick-on-Suir with Ormond Castle and its Tudor Manor House, the reputed birthplace of Anne Boleyn. Then it’s on to Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, and a guided walking tour of this early Viking settlement. In the afternoon we visit the Dunbrody famine ship in New Ross, County Wexford before enjoying a dinner cruise on the tranquil waters of the river Nore.

Day 9 - Cahir Castle, Swiss Cottage, & the Rock of Cashel
Beginning with a tour of Norman fortified Cahir Castle, the Butler family stronghold, we enjoy a river-walk along the banks of the Suir to the fascinating “Swiss Cottage”, an early 19th century cottage ornée. After lunch we visit the majestic Rock of Cashel, a spectacular group of medieval buildings: a 12th century round tower, high cross and romanesque chapel, 13th century gothic cathedral, 15th century castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. We end our day in Shannon, Co. Clare, with our final nightly music session.

Day 10 – Heading for Home
We cross the road to Shannon airport for our returning flights. Don’t forget to leave some time for shopping at the world’s first Duty Free shop.

Don’t want to go home?
If you would like to extend your stay, please contact Robbie O’Connell at 1-800-299-CELT or email: robbie@celtica.com before you send in your registration form.

CALL 1-800-299-CELT!

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