The Full Irish Tour

Roll up! Roll up! Calling all Exiles! All aboard for the Full Irish! Gather together for our most popular 2014 tour! The Full Irish welcomes you for a proper homecoming! Throughout 2014, Ireland is welcoming friends and family from all over the world, inviting them home to Ireland. Exploring Ireland is going a step forward, inviting you to our hometown, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath , to share our town with us!

 

The Full Irish has all of this:

  • Loughcrew Cairns
  • Belvedere House & Gardens
  • Hill of Uisneach
  • Clonmacnoise Monastic Site
  • Kilbeggan Distillery
  • Exploring Ireland Hooley
  • The Burren
  • Cliffs of Moher Cruise
  • Ailwee Caves & Bird of Prey Centre
  • Dingle Town & Penninusla
  • Slea Head Drive
  • Connors Pass
  • Tom Crean’s Public House
  • Blasket Centre
  • Inch Strand
  • Ring of Kerry
  • Torc Waterfall
  • Staigue Fort
  • Muckross House Gardens
  • Kinsale Walking Tour
  • Blarney Castle
  • Glen of Aherlow&Galtee Mountains
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Trinity College & Book of Kells
  • Irish House Party
  • 7 Full Irish Breakfasts
  • 6 Evening Meals
  • 2 Marquee Events

So, marquee sites – Newgrange, Connemara, The Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Ring of Kerry, Blarney Castle, Rock of Cashel, Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College & Book of Kells; off the beaten track gems – Hill of Uisneach, Staigue Fort and KilbegganDistllery; an award winning cruise –Cliffs of Moher Cruise (THE best way to see the world famous cliffs, looking up rather than down!); a proper homecoming with Exploring Ireland and a wild hooley at the Irish House Party! Chuck in fantastic accommodations. The Full Irish takes the best of many of our tours and hocks them together into one fantastic package.

You will tour in a luxurious modern 22 Seat coach with full touring specification. Please note the maximum on your coach will be 12 people. That’s right – loads of space and just a dozen people, so unlike other tour companies, we don’t pack you in and you can have a two way conversation with your guide, so there is a bunch of cultural transference going on! After all, you guys are here for an education right? And, you will get it – you will go home the seasoned expert on all things Irish!! Also, there will be two coaches travelling, so in the evening’s, you get to mix and meet with double your numbers!

DAY 1

  • LOUGHCREW CAIRNS

With all the hoopla over Newgrange, Loughcrew is often overlooked. That’s just as well because it means you can enjoy it all in peace. Like Newgrange, the graves were all built around 3000 BC, but unlike their better known and better excavated peers were used at least until 750 BC.

DAY 2

  • BREAKFAST SERVED FROM 7 – 9 AM; GUIDE WILL MEET YOU FOR A 9.30 AM DEPARTURE
  • HILL OF UISNEACH

Waking up in your rural retreat, I recommend a stroll down to the shore before or after your breakfast, or a swim in the indoor pool, before meeting your guide for a 9.30 am departure and away to the tremendous Hill of Uisneach. This is a rare treat, as it is exclusive to Exploring Ireland, the envy of all other travellers to Ireland, it sits on private lands, the owner is a neighbour and friend of Exploring Ireland and so we invite you onto this unique site. Uisneach is the geographical and sacred centre of Ireland. The most famous feature on Uisneach is the Cat Stone, named so because it resembles a cat watching a mouse. It is a huge limestone boulder almost six metres high which is estimated to weigh over 30 ton and is said to mark the dead centre of Ireland. Two gods – Eiru and Lugh are buried on the site, it is mentioned in the writings of none other than Julius Caesar, a coin minted in Herat Afghanistan around 900 BC was found on the site. Oh and someone called St. Patrick used to live here!some great Irish traditional music and storytelling.

 

  • CLONMACNOISE MONASTIC SITE

After a cup of tea at the Uisneach Inn, away you go across to Clonmacnoise Monastic Site.An Early Christian site founded by St. Ciarán in the mid-6th century on the eastern bank of the River Shannon. The site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (10th -13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and the largest collection of Early Christian graveslabs in Western Europe. The original high crosses and a selection of graveslabs are on display in the visitor centre. The long and varied history of Clonmacnoise is recounted in an audiovisual presentation shown in the visitor centre. There are also exhibitions that deal with the flora, fauna and landscape of the region.

 

  • KILBEGGAN DISTILLERY

In for a wee dram in the oldest distillery in the world! Right in the heart of Ireland lies the town of Kilbeggan, home to the world’s oldest distillery, established in 1757. It is the quintessential Irish whiskey distillery – whitewashed walls, weathered slate roof, brick chimney stack, creaking timber water wheel, even regular ghost sightings. This is no mere “visitor centre” but a real working distillery run by a team of young enthusiastic craftspeople (and a few wise old heads too), skilled in the traditional ways of making Irish whiskey.

  • EVENING MEAL AT BLOOMFIELD HOUSE HOTEL
  • EXPLORING IRELAND HOOLEY

The Hooley is an Exploring Ireland Institution, run by the phenomenal Pidsy Timoney, it is an evening of old style Irish entertainment – Pidsy and his travelling minstrels make their way to your estate, take over one of the drawing rooms to tell stories in the ancient seanachaí tradition, play Irish traditional instruments and dance Irish jigs. Mighty craic!

DAY 3

  • BREAKFAST SERVED FROM 7 – 8.00AM; GUIDE WILL MEET YOU FOR A 8.30 AM DEPARTURE
  • THE BURREN

Moving out of the Midlands, over the mighty River Shannon, leaving the province of Leinster behind, venturing into the West! Morning on the Moon? You got it – The Burren –Stretching across northern Clare is the a unique limestone landscape forged beneath ancient seas, shot skyward by a cataclysmic geological phenonomen. The Burren is one the rare karst landscapes, like nowhere else on the planet, walking upon it’s primordial service is like traversing the moon. Most international visitors to Ireland are aware of the mighty Cliffs of Moher, that great bastion of 700 feet of rock that holds back the mighty Atlantic, rawly exposing the foundations that Ireland is built upon. What most people are aware of is that they form the terminal edge of a great limestone plateau that extends many miles inland – The Burren. Believe me the cliffs are worth the trip, it is like standing on the edge of the Old World, one gets swept away by the dizzying emotion. But of equal worth is heading into the Old World. For a few miles, little different is given away, it all looks quite normal. But after dipping through folkie Doolin and bachelor infested Lisdoonvarna, stuff beings to take a turn for the strange; trees and hedgerows disappear with the cattle and the sky and the ground blur. You see, The Burren is not earth, it is ocean floor, like a grandpappy at a grad party, it looks out of place. It was thrust from the ocean floor millions of years ago, formed from shale and limestone on the seabed; but it ain’t a softie, in places it is more than 3,000 feet thick!! A few ice ages ground it flat, upon which are flung as if by giants, huge boulders which educated guys call erratics. From the blacktop, the whole shebang appears like a desert floor f stone, but walking upon, you see it is cratered, moon-like.

 

  • CLIFFS OF MOHER CRUISE

My husband and I hosted our wedding in Ireland in September of 2008.
We came over from the States, with 63 family and friends, and our entire group went on one of your ship tours of the Cliffs. The experience was the talk of the trip! Everyone had a wonderful time – the cruise was not only a great learning experience but a fabulous way to really appreciate the beauty of the Cliffs of Moher and the West coast of Ireland.

Everyone associated with Doolin2Aran Ferries was a delight and treated our group with courtesy and kindness. We’re looking forward to visiting you again on our next trip to Ireland!”

Jill and Patrick Cullinan, Maryland, USA

AILWEE CAVES & BIRD OF PREY CENTRE

Explore subterranean caves, watch eagles in flight and sample delicious local food products at Aillwee Cave, Ireland’s premier show cave in Ballyvaughan County Clare.
Over 3,5000 feet of winding passages are open to the public, with regular guided tours provided. Visitors to this popular County Clare attraction are escorted on a 35 minute stroll through caverns, over bridged chasms, beneath unusual rock formations and ending beside a thunderous waterfall. This stunning creation of nature was gradually formed by prehistoric Ice Age melt waters carving paths through this limestone mountain.

Burren Birds of Prey Centre, located at the foot of Aillwee Cave, features the largest display of falcons, harris hawks, owls, American kestrels and white tailed sea eagles in the country. During the breeding season visitors will be able to see young birds of prey being hand reared, learn about falconry as an ancient sport and become more aware of these magnificent indigenous species and the environmental issues involved in their protection and conservation.

Francoise Macamber, enjoying a spot of falconry

The nearby farm shop, which can also be reached by a delightful woodland walk, houses a range of delicious local products such as the award winning Burren Gold cheese, honey, jams and fudge. Watch as the Gouda type cheese, classed as a farmhouse cheese because it is made from unpasturisedcows milk, is made and then sample the end product

 

DAY 4

  • BREAKFAST SERVED FROM 7 – 9 AM
  • SHANNON ESTUARY CROSSING
  • CONNOR’S PASS

 

  • DINGLE TOWN
  • DINGLE PENINSULA & SLEA HEAD DRIVE

Dingle’s mellow landscape is one of green hills and golden sands and culminates in Europe’s most westerly point. At the tip of the peninsula is the amazing Slea Head Drive, it has the greatest concentration of ancient sites in Kerry if not in the whole of Ireland – the names conjure up the ancient pass – Dunbeg Fort, Dunmore Head, Dunquin, Mt. Brandon, Blasket Islands, Gallarus Oratory

 

  • BLASKET CENTRE
  • TOM CREAN’S PUBLIC HOUSE
  • INCH STRAND

Remember this! Ryan’s Daughter on Inch Strand, Kerry, where an Inch is a mile! A lovely way to end a Kerry day is to walk along the golden sands of Inch Beach, look west, next parish is Boston!

 

DAY 5

  • BREAKFAST SERVED AT THE MALTON 7 – 9 AM, GUIDE WILL MEET YOU IN LOBBY @ 9.30 AM
  • THE BEST PART OF THE RING OF KERRY (KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK)

Bid adieu to the marvellous Malton and dive headlong into the marvellous Killarney National Park, stopping for an early morning ramble around it’s core – Muckross House & Gardens, followed by a leisurely stroll to pounding Torc Waterfall hidden amongst beautiful woods. Onto the best of the Ring of Kerry – Ladies View – enjoy the fine view of the Lakes of Killarney, just as Queen Victoria and her ladies in waiting did, which gives the spot it’s royal title. Continue onto Moll’s Gap – Over the pass that connects the Kerry towns of Killarney and Kenmare, looking back on wonderful views of the wonderfully named MacgillycuddyReeks .The name of the range dates to the 18th century. It is derived from the family or clan name Mac GiollaMochuda (anglicisedMacGillycuddy) who are a sept of the O’Sullivan’s. The clan chief, McGillycuddy of the Reeks, owned land in this part of Munster for a long time prior, and continued to do so until the end of the 20th century.

  • TORC WATERFALL

 

  • STAIGUE FORT

In a word – stupendous! Staigue is remarkably intact, nay bad for something that was built 1,500 years ago and to cap it’s greatness, it is invisible! Despite having sweeping views down to the coast, it cannot be seen from the sea!

  • MUCKROSS HOUSE & GARDENS

 

  • BREAKFAST SERVED AT THE WEST CORK HOTEL, 7 – 8.30 AM, GUIDE WILL MEET YOU IN LOBBY @ 9.00 AM
  • KINSALE WALKING TOUR @ 10.30 AM

Drop into Kinsale and hook up with the great Dermot Ryan, Kinsale’s most famous son and his award winning tour of this amazing town.

 

BLARNEY CASTLE

By this time, you are an old sweat, a veteran in all things Ireland, well versed in the banter and discourse of the Irish specimen, time now to get the gift of the gab by kissing the Blarney Stone held aloft at the top of incredibly magical Blarney Castle.

 

GLEN OF AHERLOW, GALTEE MOUNTAINS& ROCK OF CAHSEL

Into South Tipperary, it’s being a long way! Cutting a dandy swathe through the beautiful Slievenamuck and Galtee Mountains through the Glen of Aherlow. Continuing until on yonder outcrop you catch your first glimpse of the majestic Rock of Cashel – A spectacular group of Medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale including the 12th century round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral, 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral.

 

 

DAY 7

  • BREAKFAST SERVED AT THE NEWPARK HOTEL, 7 – 8.30 AM, GUIDE WILL MEET YOU IN LOBBY @ 9.00 AM

You enter the capital, Dublin as seasoned Ireland travellers, the city is now a God given right for you, it’s essence is your final rite of passage. First stop is Guinness, Ireland’s most famous export, most popular tourist attraction, the beating heart of Dublin City for over 250 years. Located at the heart of St. James’s Gate Brewery, the seven floors are designed around a central glass atrium mirroring the shape of a pint of Guinness. Floor by floor, visitors take a surprising journey through the past, present and future of the world’s greatest beer.


TRINITY COLLEGE & BOOK OF KELLS

The coach can transfer you to Trinity College, but if the day is fine, I recommend the walk. It will take you past the world famous St. James Gate, St. Audoen’s Church, Christchurch Cathedral, down Dame St and College Green and their glut of architectural gems and through the gates of the majestic Trinity College.

IRISH HOUSE PARTY

The Irish House Party is organised by Irish musicians and Irish dancers who feel that the Irish tradition is not being properly portrayed in Dublin, a city which often offers cheesy ‘Irish nights’ or staged Irish music shows in packed super pubs.When looking for things to do in Dublin many of the so called ‘Irish Nights’ you’ll find are stage shows geared solely towards tourists and pedalling the overly twee image of traditional Ireland or drawing on the influence of Irish music and dance shows such as ‘Riverdance’ and ‘Lord of the Dance’ This is so far away from a proper Irish experience that we feel a real Irish house party is essential for Dublin. We are proud of the fact that Irish guests regularly attend the show. We are also very proud of the standard of our performers at the show and the quality of the Irish music, Irish dancing and entertainment that we provide. Many of our musicians are all-Ireland champions and combined with humorous presenters who tie the whole night together, it’s a wonderful experience. A testament to the quality of the evening can be seen by reading our reviews on TripAdvisor. The Irish House Party show has also gained a reputation as being the most authentic Irish experience in Dublin, and has been attended and highly recommended by Noble Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney and world renowned pianist John O’Connor among others.

DAY 8

TRANSFER TO AIRPORT


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