Day 1: Wicklow, Glendalough & Avoca
Welcome to Ireland! Take delivery of your Hertz car at Dublin Airport and travel south through the Wicklow Mountains and the region known as “The Garden of Ireland”. You can take a tour of the 6th century monastic settlement, with its round tower and Celtic cross at Glendalough. On to Avoca Woolen Mills. On to Wexford Town, birthplace of Commodore John Barry, father of the United States Navy. In the space of 58 years, he rose from humble cabin boy to senior commander of the entire United States fleet. The John Barry Memorial at Crescent Quay, Wexford was erected to his memory, a gift from the people of the United States to Wexford.
Day 2: Kilkenny & Thomastown
From your Wexford base we tour to Kilkenny where you visit Kilkenny Castle and St. Canice’s Cathedral. Kilkenny Castlestands dramatically on a strategic height that commands a crossing on the River Nore and dominates the ‘High Town’ of Kilkenny City. It is a 12th century castle remodelled in Victorian times and set in extensive parklands which was the principal seat of the Butler family, Marquesses and Dukes of Ormonde. Stop for lunch at Dame Kyteler’s Inn which was first established by the notorious Dame Alice de Kyteler in the 13th. Century. On to Thomastown and a visit to Jerpoint Abbey, dating back to the 13th century. Return to Wexford.
Day 3: Tintern, Kilmore Quay & Hook Head
Tour to New Ross and visit Tintern Abbey. This Cistercian abbey, founded c. 1200 by William, the Earl Marshall was occupied by the Colclough family from the 16th century until 1960s. On to Ballyhack Castle which is located on a steep slope in a commanding position overlooking Waterford estuary. The castle is thought to have been built c. 1450 by the Knights Hospitallers of St. John, one of the two great military orders founded at the beginning of the 12th century at the time of the Crusades. Stop at picturesque Duncannon for lunch. After lunch visit the oldest working lighthouse in world – Hook Lighthouse. Lonely Planet Guide has listed Hook as the no.1 Flashiest Lighthouse in the World. The present structure is about 800 years old. Visit Johnstown Castle with its agricultural museum and gardens. The spectacular ornamental grounds and gardens surrounding the 19th century castle were designed by Daniel Robertson who is famed for the gardens at Powerscourt in Co. Wicklow. Return to Wexford.
Day 4: Waterford & Cashel
Continue to Waterford City, home of the famous Waterford Crystal. A visit to the House of Waterford Crystal includes an opportunity to choose from the world’s largest selection of Waterford Crystal. The factory tour offers first hand access to all areas of traditional crystal production.Depart from Waterford and tour to Cashel where the impressive Rock of Cashel looms up in front of you as you approach the town. This cathedral-fortress dates to the time of St. Patrick when he used the shamrock as the symbol of the Holy Trinity as he converted the King of Munster to Christianity. Overnight in Cashel.
Day 5: Limerick & Bunratty
Visit 12th century Cahir Castle, one of Ireland’s largest and best preserved castles.Once the stronghold of the powerful Butler family, the castle retains its impressive keep, tower and much of its original defensive structure. On to Limerick where you cross the Shannon River and view King Johns Castle. Enjoy the Bunratty Folk Park where 19th century life is vividly recreated. The impressive park features over 30 buildings in a ‘living’ village and rural setting. Meet and chat with the Bean an Ti (Woman of the House) and various street characters including the Policeman and Schoolteacher who give the site its sparkle during the summer months. This evening you stop at Bunratty where you have the option to dine like the Lords and Ladies of the 15th Century at the Bunratty Castle Banquet. Overnight in Shannon.
Optional Add On:
Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle: $80.00 per person.
Enjoy a feast and entertainment at the Bunratty Medieval Banquet in Bunratty Banquet
Day 6: Depart For Home
Travel to Shannon Airport where you will return your car rental and check in for your departure flight.