Day 1: Sligo
Welcome to Ireland! Take delivery of your Hertz car in the Arrivals Hall at Shannon Airport and travel north as you enjoy Yeats Country with its many historical and geological landmarks.This area is associated with the great Irish writer, William Butler Yeats. Explore Drumcliff and the Yeats Center, north of Sligo town, where Yeats is buried in Drumcliff Churchyard. Overnight near Sligo Town.
Day 2: Omagh & Derry
Cross into the North, touring to Enniskillen and Omagh where you visit the Ulster-American Folk Park, located on the farm of Thomas Mellon, whose cottage home has been preserved. Exhibits trace the strong connections between Ulster and colonial America and 12 US Presidents. Continue on your scenic drive through Counties Fermanagh and Derry, staying tonight in Derry City – a 6th century walled city founded by St. Columcille.
Day 3: Derry
You tour the city this morning, see the massive City Walls and Gates and the Guild Hall where the City Council sits. Visit the Derry City Museum, which takes you back through time from St. Columcille in the 5th century to the ‘Troubles’ of the late 20th century. Be sure to stop at the Heritage Center on Bishop Street. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon exploring and shopping in this vibrant city.
Day 4: Antrim Coast
Travel along the Antrim coast to the Giant’s Causeway. This impressive area of hexagonal columns was formed over 60 million years ago by cooling lava and has given rise to many legends as the basalt resembles giant steps. The legend has it that Finn McCool, the mythical giant, built this bridge to Scotland to reach his beloved. The hexagonal shaped stone pilings and pillar are a geological marvel. Overnight in Portrush.
Day 5: Glens Of Antrim
Visit Dunluce Castle, the main fort of the Irish MacDonnells, chiefs of Antrim. Stop at Bushmills Distillery which is the world’s oldest whiskey distillery, having received a license in 1608. Continue along the coast road to admire the spectacular views of the “Nine Glens of Antrim” before you reach your home for the night in Carnlough.
Day 6: Belfast
Tour to Carrickfergus and along Belfast Lough to the capital city of Northern Ireland – Belfast. Visit the robust northern metropolis of nearly half a million people. Belfast was the center of the industrial revolution in Ulster and today is a cosmopolitan city with a vast and varied history. Frommers voted it as one of their Top 12 destinations to visit. Take a sightseeing tour of the city which will include Stormont, the parliamentary buildings and a stop at the Titanic visitor center. The newly built center is located on the slipways where RMS Titanic was built. Enjoy the pedestrianized city center, the architecture, museums and the shopping. Overnight in Belfast.
Optional Add On:
Titanic Centre: $26.00 per person
Visitors will re-live the entire storey from her birth, to the faithful maiden voyage and the eventual discovery on the seabed.
Day 7: Lisburn & Downpatrick
Travelling south to Lisburn and the Irish Linen Center to see the recreation of Ulster’s greatest industry during the 19th century. Continue east to Downpatrick to visit Down Cathedral which is the reputed burial place of St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. Continue our scenic drive through County Down, viewing the beautiful Mountains of Mourne. Overnight in Newcastle.
Day 8: Boyne Valley & Dublin
Return to the Republic of Ireland and travel to Bru Na Boinne Visitor Center at Newgrange. It presents one of Europe’s great archaeological mysteries, along the Boyne Valley, and Newgrange or Knowth Neolithic burial tomb, which predates the pyramids. Continue south as you return to Dublin for your final night in Ireland. Overnight near Dublin Airport.
Day 9: Depart for Home
Travel to Dublin Airport where you will return your car rental and check in for your departure flight.