Arrival at Shannon Airport and you are met by your Eirebus driver. Travel northwards and visit one of Ireland 's majestic sites: the Cliffs of Moher where on a clear day, you can see to the Aran Islands.
It's then time to transfer to your hotel in Ennis to relax before venturing out for the evening to enjoy some Irish music in O'Hallorans Bar. This pub is a superb example of the traditional atmosphere unique to an Irish pub. Its open fireplace, wood fittings, and stone floors provide a comfortable environment for conversation, craic and live traditional music.
Overnight in Ennis Hotel.
After full Irish breakfast you are driven northwards to Galway which will be your base for the next couple of nights. Enroute, discover the unique landscape of the Burren; a limestone plateau occupying an area of over one hundred square miles in North Clare. It is an area of scenic attractions where the clear light, reflected from the stone-grey hills, seems to radiate an air of timelessness, which is made more realistic by the presence of the many prehistoric remains that dot the fields and the valleys beneath. Here the unfolding layers of limestone form terraces on the slopes of the hills – a limestone desert but with a quick-changing landscape. Within a few miles may be seen verdant valleys, bright, green hills thick with hazel and bramble, while the grey heights are relieved by streaks of coloured vegetation contained in the fissures and rock joints.”
Arrive in Galway and check-into your hotel.
Enjoy an Irish music session in the Western Bar; the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly with the emphasis on the craic and having fun with the tunes and songs.
Overnight in Galway hotel.
Today you are driven to Kylemore Abbey, the convent of the Benedictine Nuns of Ypres, beautifully set on Lake Kylemore . Visit the picturesque Abbey (reception rooms, video and exhibition), and enjoy a stroll to the beautifully restored Gothic Church; browse in the craft shop and sample the home cooked food.
It's then onwards to Roundstone where you will visit Malachy Kearns, better known as Malachy Bodhran amongst folk musicians. He works at his craft of making Ireland 's oldest product the Bodhran. In the hands of a skilled player the Bodhran can be a subtle and exciting instrument – striking the skin in a variety of ways, one hand tucked in behind the skin, pressing and moving to vary the colour and the intensity of the sound.
Return to Galway and overnight in Galway hotel.
After breakfast you travel eastwards through the midland counties of Ireland to Dublin. You will stop enroute in Lockes Distillery. Established in 1757, Locke's Distillery is the oldest licensed pot still distillery in the world. Locke's produced triple distilled whiskey for nearly 200 years. Now open as a museum, guided tours follow the process from the grinding of the grain to the casking of the final product. At the end of the tour you are treated to a complimentary sample of Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey.
Overnight in your Dublin hotel.
Today enjoy a hop on hop off Dublin City Tour. This tour has been carefully designed to give you the freedom to explore and experience the history and culture of Dublin at you leisure. The tour operates daily from 09.30am and can be joined at any of the 23 stops, each conveniently located near one of the most popular Dublin attractions. For example, you can join outside Trinity College, leave at the Guinness Storehouse (and sample the product!) and then rejoin later.
Enjoy some free time in Dublin. Tonight discover what one of many Dublin's pubs can offer you. Overnight in Dublin.
Full Irish breakfast at your hotel and then take a tour of Dublin's South Coast and Gardens.
Dublin's beautiful south coast is seen at its best from a touring coach. Along the great sweep of Dublin Bay, past Dun Laoghaire's elegant promenade and yacht-filled harbour, to James Joyce Tower at Sandycove, the sea-views are unsurpassed.
Turning inland, the tour climbs into the beautiful Wicklow Mountains and continues through the enchanting old world village of Enniskerry to Powerscourt House and Gardens. The estate, in its spectacular mountain setting, is amongst the finest in Europe and has featured in many films including Mel Gibson's “Braveheart”.
You will have lots of time to explore the grounds to see the Italian, Japanese and walled gardens or browse the renowned Avoca Handweavers shop and café. Before returning to Dublin the tour passes through the dramatic geographical fault known as the Scalp and the ever-changing scenery of the Wicklow and Dublin mountains.
On your final night enjoy a musical pub crawl of Dublin. The traditional Irish musical pub crawl is led by two professional musicians who perform tunes and songs while telling the story of Irish music and its influences on contemporary world music.
Your driver escorts you to Dublin Airport and bid farewell to the Emerald Isle.