June 9 – 18, 2016
The Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s rugged and spectacular west coast, forms the basis of the 2016 Celtica Heart of Ireland Tour. We begin in Sligo with its castles, lakes, woods and ancient sites that so inspired the Irish poet, William Butler Yeats. In Mayo we explore a seven thousand year old Neolithic site and the panoramic views of Achill Island. We visit the stunning vistas of the Connemara mountains followed by a tour of medieval Galway. We ramble through the unique Burren in County Clare and sail to the Aran islands where we experience the majesty of Dun Aengus perched high above the crashing Atlantic waves. We finish up at the top of the famed Cliffs of Moher, Ireland’s number one tourist attraction. All this and much more including traditional music sessions every night.
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|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
|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 the morning of June 10, 2016. 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 9, at the latest, to be in Shannon on the morning of June 10. The tour concludes on the morning of June 18 at Shannon airport.
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 Trip to to Sligo
Following breakfast at the Park Inn, we board our comfortable motor coach heading for our hotel in Sligo town. At the hotel, we have the rest of the day to wander around the town or relax. After dinner we have the first of our nightly traditional music sessions and a chance to get to know one another.
Day 3 – Carrowmore, Glencar and the Lake Isle of Inisfree
Sligo’s landscape and ancient megaliths excited the imagination of Ireland’s greatest poet, W. B. Yeats. We spend the morning exploring many of these, including beautiful Glencar waterfall and Carrowmore, the largest megalithic site in Europe. Situated in the shadow of Queen Maeve’s cairn atop famed Knocknarea, it has more than 60 ancient monuments. After lunch in Sligo town, we travel by boat to the Lake Isle of Inisfree and Parke’s Castle on beautiful Lough Gill.
Day 4 – Céide Fields and Achill Island
We wander the scenic back roads of Mayo en route to Céide Fields Heritage Center on the site of a recently discovered farming community dating back over 5000 years. In the afternoon we explore Achill Island with its breathtaking panoramic views and we visit the castle of Ireland’s famed pirate queen, Grace O’Malley.
Day 5 – Wesport, Leenane and Kylemore Abbey
We begin in bustling town of Westport and then enjoy Ireland’s most spectacular scenery on our way to Leenane, a picturesque village featured in the films The Quiet Man and The Field. After lunch in Leenane we visit iconic Kylemore Abbey, the most beautiful of the Irish Benedictine abbeys, before continuing to historic Renvyle House on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.
Day 6 – Connemara National Park and the Sky Road to Clifden
The walking trails in Connemara National Park take you to the heart of the Connemara experience. The stark rugged landscape and spectacular views from Diamond Hill are unlike any other and you will wonder how the native people could eke out a living on such land. We drive the spectacular Sky Road along the edge of the wild Atlantic into Clifden, the charming main market town of Connemara.
Day 7 – Galway, The City of the Tribes
An amazing historic walking tour of medieval Galway will begin the day. Then there is time to explore the narrow streets and traditional pubs and shops of the City of the Tribes. After lunch we continue south to County Clare and take Black Head drive along the coast, through the world renowned Burren, to our hotel in Ennistymon.
Day 8 – The Aran Islands
We board the ferry for Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands. There we tour the island and visit the magnificent prehistoric fortress of Dun Aengus perched precariously on a cliff top high above the crashing Atlantic waves and enjoy the unique atmosphere of these historic islands where Irish is still the first language.
Day 9 – The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher
We begin at Poulnabrone, the iconic dolmen in the heart of the Burren. Then it’s on to the village of Doolin, a mecca for traditional music fans worldwide. We lunch at the renowned Gus O’Connor’s Pub and wander around Doolin’s craft and music shops. We continue to one of Ireland’s premiere attractions, the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, rising majestically 800 feet out of the sea.
Day 10 – Heading for Home
We depart our hotel for Shannon Airport with time to spare for some last minute shopping at the airport Duty Free shop.
Don’t want to go home?
If you would like to extend your stay, we are happy to assist you with advice and arrangements. Contact Robbie O’Connell at 1-800-299-CELT or email: firstname.lastname@example.org before you send in your registration form.