0917EI3 - Catholic Ireland Pilgrimage 11 days from Boston

Airline Name Baggage Information
Aer Lingus https://bit.ly/3k4HeWf

Special Package with this Trip :
International departure taxes of $87 plus current fuel surcharges of $270 are included (subject to change).

Tour Code Departure Date Cost per person
EI0917GS 09/17/2023 $4599.00
Trip Details

We depart from Boston to connect with our transatlantic flight aboard a wide-bodied jet. We enjoy in-flight movies, dinner, and breakfast aloft.
This morning, we are greeted by our Tour Manager and transfer to our motorcoach for our drive across the Wicklow Mountains, just south of Dublin, to Glendalough. We visit the 6th century monastic settlement with the ruins of seven churches and a round tower. The nearby Visitor Center explains the history of the region and the settlement. We break for lunch on our own before continuing southwest of the city to Kilbarry for a visit to the famous Waterford Crystal Factory. We watch a demonstration of the blowing and cutting of this popular crystal and visit the showrooms, where there is a permanent exhibition of glassware. We view a wide range of tableware and special trophies and have an opportunity to purchase this world-famous crystal. Depending on flight arrive time, we have an opportunity for our 1st Pilgrimage Mass at either Waterford Cathedral or St. Kevin in Laragh. We celebrate our “welcome” dinner and overnight in Waterford.
Today we travel through Tralee, as we head south to lovely Killarney, and take time to browse around the town independently. Set in the shadow of Ireland's highest mountains, the Macgillicuddy’s Reeks. It is a place of intense beauty and history. We drive into the rick dairy farmland of County Cork to Blarney, where we climb to the battlements of fabled 15th century Blarney Castle, where many go to kiss the famous "stone of eloquence". We pause for lunch on our own before visiting the Blarney Woolen Mills, where there is an excellent selection of authentic Irish goods. We conclude our day with Mass at either Waterford Cathedral or Immaculate Conception Church in Blarney. Dinner and overnight in Tralee.
This morning we travel around the Ring of Kerry, one of Ireland's most popular scenic drives. With its spectacular scenery, unusually mild climate and rapid changes in light and weather, this is a bewitching place of intense beauty. The Macgillycuddy's Reeks raise a jagged edge to the sky while at their feet rest three still lakes, studded with little islands, set among forests and lush glens. We stop along the way for lunch on our own as we drive through the remote villages of Cahirciveen and Derrynane to Sneem, a village of picturesque colorful houses grouped around two squares. We continue through Moll's Gap, with its views over the three lakes, and stop at Ladies' View for another spectacular view. We celebrate Mass at St. Mary Cathedral in Killarney, or the Franciscan Friary or Prince of Peace Church in nearby Fossa. Dinner and overnight in Tralee.
Today, we drive through Limerick to the picturesque village of Adare, which is famous for its main street of quaint thatched houses. We enter the mountainous country of Kerry and through Tralee. We break for lunch on our own before continuing along the Dingle Peninsula. The peninsula juts out into the Atlantic to claim Ireland's most westerly point. Here, majestic hills soar green and purple over vast unspoiled valleys, glittering mountain streams tumble down to lakes, hedgerows blaze with fuchsias, and soft golden beaches stretch for miles. The peninsula is Gaeltacht, an area where the Irish language is preserved. It also has some 2000 sites of prehistoric and early Christian remains. We stop in the thriving, colorful fishing port town of Dingle. While in Dingle, we celebrate Mass at St. Mary Church our way to Clare for our Medieval banquet at the enchanting Bunratty Castle. Overnight in Limerick/Clare.
This morning we journey south through pleasant farming country to Galway, the capital of the west of Ireland. Here, we view the Cliffs of Moher. This impressive wall of rock rises to heights of almost 700 feet above the Atlantic and stretches for five miles along the western coast of Ireland. We visit the popular pilgrimage site nearby of St. Brigid’s well. The water at this grotto is believed to have healing powers and is visited by thousands each year. While in Galway we see the principal sights of Galway, as our driver takes us on a drive around the city. We pause for lunch on our own before we visit the large modern cathedral set on an island on the River Corrib. We also see the Spanish Arch in the Claddagh area, formerly a fishing village but now a suburb of the city. We then pass Lynch's Castle, one of the finest town houses remaining in Ireland and now a branch of the Allied Irish Bank. We enjoy some time around Eyre Square, the hub of the city, where most of the shops are within easy reach. We celebrate Mass at St. John the Baptist Church in nearby Ballyvaughan or St. Mary Church in Claddagh. Dinner and overnight in Galway.
Today we travel west of Galway, through the Connemara region, known for its constantly-changing skies, subtle colors and the gentle hills of the Maamturk Mountains. Wrapped around the Twelve Pins, or Benna Beola, and jutting out into the Atlantic, is a landscape of wild, rocky bogland, of ragged coastline colored with the autumnal shades of seaweed, and pine trees on tiny pincushion islands mirrored in the loughs. We visit Kylemore Abbey, a 19th century neo-Gothic mansion rising from the shores of Fannon Pool and backed by the thickly wooded escarpments of Doughruagh. We then continue to the pilgrimage town of Knock, to visit Knock Shrine, one of the world's leading shrines to the apparition of the Virgin Mary, who appeared to 15 people on August 21, 1879. We celebrate Mass while there at the shrine. Dinner and overnight in Mayo/Knock area.
This morning, we tour the countryside of Donegal, a region famous for its scenery and varying colors of the hills. We drive along the heavily indented coast, which is open to the Atlantic Ocean and pass through some fishing villages including Killybegs. We enjoy lunch on our own along the way before continuing through windswept mountains and open countryside where few people can survive, but sheep graze freely. With so many sheep, Donegal is world-famous for its tweed and wool production, often dyed in the soft hues which reflect the colors of the countryside. We celebrate Mass at St. Mary of the Visitation along the way. Dinner and overnight in Donegal.
Today, we leave Donegal and pass through Bundoran, as we travel across the country, through heart of Ireland. We stop in the town of Boyle, where we visit the ruins of Boyle Abbey, which dates from the 12th century. We then visit Strokestown Park House, which dates from the 17th century. This fine mansion shows the lifestyle of the affluent owners and the conditions of the servants and farmers of the area during the past centuries. The Famine Museum contains displays and descriptions of the Famine of the 1840’s, when many Irish emigrated to the United States. We stop for lunch on our own along the way. We celebrate Mass at either Our Lady, Start of the Sea Church while in Bundoran, Boyle Abbey or St. Mary Pro Cathedral before entering Dublin. This evening, dinner will be on our own at one of the many great restaurants that populate this Capital City! Overnight in Dublin.
This morning, we enjoy a city sightseeing tour, introducing us to this capital city with its many historic buildings, delightful gardens, and lively shopping streets. We visit St. Patrick's Cathedral, where author Jonathan Swift was once Dean. We stop at the Epic- The Irish Museum of Emigration, which is dedicated to those who left Ireland for hopes of a better life during a bleak time in Irish history. This afternoon, following lunch on our own, we head just outside of Dublin to the Boyne Valley to visit the Newgrange Burial Mound. This 5200-year-old archeological site predates both Stone Hedge as well as the pyramids of Giza! It is laid out in a circular pattern and bordered by 97 markers. Inside there are numerous drawings on the walls as well as an area used as a temple. Following our visit, we return to celebrate Mass at either Whitefriar Carmelite Church, St. Mary Pro Cathedral or Newman University Church. This evening, our “farewell” dinner will be at one of the many restaurants that dot the area, as dinner is on our own. Overnight in Dublin.
Today, we transfer to the airport for our flight home with unforgettable memories we will cherish always.