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Galway before CIE tour??

atlanta
Level Contributor
24 posts
2 reviews
Galway before CIE tour??

First time visit to Ireland this summer with my 14 year old daughter! So excited! We are flying into Shannon 3 days early, then taking 7 day tour(CIE, Irish Heritage) around southern Ireland ending in Dublin, spending 2 extra days in Dublin area and then flying back home to Atlanta. Trying to figure out where to stay and what to do prior to the tour. Thinking of renting a car and staying in the Galway area...I would like to stay in a B&B (I think), relax a bit, take a day trip or two, walk around Galway. Any suggested areas around or in Galway would be welcome. THANKS!!!! Kathy

Tour:

Day 1: Shannon & Bunratty Medieval Banquet

Start your tour at Shannon Airport with a group transfer to your hotel in nearby Limerick, available between 7:00 am and 12:00 noon. If your flight arrives later than 12:00 noon, transfer to the hotel at your own expense. At 1:30 pm depart your hotel for a short drive around Limerick and visit the huge King John’s Castle, built in the 13th century on the banks of the River Shannon to defend the area. Join your tour director for a welcome drink before heading to the 15th century Bunratty Castle for a medieval-style dinner and entertainment.

(D)

Day 2: Cliffs of Moher & Irish Coffee

Day 2 :

Drive west through Ennis to see the Cliffs of Moher, which rise almost 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic surf. Then cross the wide River Shannon Estuary by ferry to Tarbert and travel along the river shore to Foynes. Visit the Flying Boat Museum, which recalls the early days of air travel, during the 1930’s and early 1940’s. Irish coffee was first created here and you will learn how to make a perfect one and then drink it. Drive to the world famous town of Killarney and take a traditional jaunting car ride through Killarney National Park to view Ross Castle and some of the wonderful scenery. Check in to your hotel and enjoy free time before dinner

(B, D)

Day 3: Ring of Kerry Tour & Killeen House Restaurant

Embark on Ireland’s most popular scenic drive, the Ring of Kerry, for great views of mountains, open Atlantic Ocean, beaches and cliffs. Enjoy plenty of breaks to admire the natural beauty and take photos. Cross to Valencia Island by bridge to visit the Skellig Experience and learn about early Christian monks who lived on the isolated, rocky islands and about the prolific bird life today. Pass through Waterville and the attractive village of Sneem and stop at Moll’s Gap for great mountain vistas. Stop at a nearby sheep farm for more spectacular views as well as a demonstration of trained dogs herding sheep and see how sheep are shorn. Return to Killarney and in the evening head to the award winning Killeen House Restaurant for a warm welcome and a superb dinner.

(B, D)

Day 4: Blarney Castle & Cobh Heritage Centre

Depart Killarney and travel through Macroom to visit the famous Blarney Castle where you may climb to the top to kiss the fabled “Stone of Eloquence.” Browse through the Blarney Woollen Mills for quality Irish-made goods. Bypass Cork city as you drive to the port town of Cobh. Visit the Cobh Heritage Centre, which traces the history of emigration from Ireland to new worlds. Learn about travel conditions for the many Irish emigrants on early sailing ships and steam vessels. Follow the coastal route via the town of Youghal to Waterford and check in to your hotel. In the evening take a gentle walk with a local historian who will reveal Waterford’s Viking and medieval past.

(B, D)

Day 5: Waterford Crystal & Russborough House

This morning tour the House of Waterford Crystal to learn about glass blowing and cutting and see one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Leave Waterford and head north through the delightful scenery of the Wicklow Mountains on the way to Blessington. Take a guided tour around the stately Russborough House, a Palladian mansion filled with interesting treasures as well as noted works of art and early photographic collections. Continue to your next hotel, an elegant Victorian mansion, which overlooks Dublin Bay and Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Dine on Irish specialties at the Merry Ploughboy Pub, followed by a lively show of traditional Irish songs and intricate step-dancing.

(B, D)

Day 6: Dublin Sightseeing Tour & Glasnevin Museum

Relax on a half-day guided tour of Dublin, originally founded by Vikings over 1,000 years ago. See elegant Georgian townhouses and brightly-painted doors and cross the River Liffey to view the wide thoroughfare of O’Connell Street with the General Post Office. Pause to view the gaunt figures at the Famine Memorial before visiting Glasnevin Museum, Ireland’s national necropolis, which is a who’s who of modern Irish history as the final resting place of Daniel O’Connell, Michael Collins, Charles Stewart Parnell, Brendan Behan and other prominent people. The afternoon is free so that you may use your independent open-top bus tour voucher with a visit to Guinness or Jameson. Dine on your own this evening.

(B)

Day 7: Tour Ends at Dublin Airport

Use your pre-paid voucher to take a taxi transfer to Dublin Airport.

(B)

Beaufort, Ireland
Level Contributor
3,993 posts
126 reviews
1. Re: Galway before CIE tour??

If you decide not to stay in Dublin, you have several options around Galway. Firstly, the city itself is like a big village and has a great bohemian feel to it. There are plenty of trad pubs restaurants, museums Etc. If you want to travel, you could spend a day going out to one of the Aran Islands and maybe seeing the magnificent Dun Aonghus fort. Alternatively, you could take the picturesque drive out to Clifden through Connemara ( both Islands and here are the main places on the island where Irish is still the everyday language ) and maybe on to Kylemore Abbey ( which is stunning )

atlanta
Level Contributor
24 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Galway before CIE tour??

Is there any other town you would suggest staying in besides Galway? Thanks for your comment!

Galway,Ireland
Destination Expert
for Galway
Level Contributor
1,800 posts
186 reviews
3. Re: Galway before CIE tour??

Galway is the ideal starting point for day trips as its right in the middle between Connemara to the west and the Burren to the south and the Aran Islands of course.

Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
533 posts
69 reviews
4. Re: Galway before CIE tour??

You mention the tour ends in Dublin, but I'm not sure where your tour begins. If it begins in Galway, it certainly makes sense to stay there. I prefer to stay at the Galway Bay Hotel in Salthill - which is about a 20 minute Irish walk from the city center - but I doubt that's for you.

The Spanish Arch area is a lovely place to walk. If you go there, stop for a bite at Cupan Tae, get a chair outside and enjoy the breeze off the water...but don't spoil your dinner, because the best fish and chips is at McDonagh's (eat there and you can tell any adolescent you ate in the only real-world/video-game cross-over restaurant, as McDonagh's is featured in an edition of Grand Theft Auto).

You can also shop around Eyre Square - the actual square, which is now named in honor of JFK. On the north side of the road - R863, I think - a little west of the square is a little news stand that sells Dr. Pepper in a bottle - which I found to be very unusual in Ireland.

Limerick, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Limerick
Level Contributor
29,000 posts
88 reviews
5. Re: Galway before CIE tour??

When will you be in Ireland? The Galway races are on from the 28th July to the 3rd August this year. Galway is NOT the place to be at that time unless you like horse racing and expensive accommodation!!

Other than that, Galway is a lovely town. You could take day tours to Connemara - make sure you get to Kylemore Abbey www.kylemoreabbey.com This was a girls boarding school at one stage and apart from the beauty, I'm sure your daughter will be fascinated by this aspect alone.

Beaufort, Ireland
Level Contributor
3,993 posts
126 reviews
6. Re: Galway before CIE tour??

In reply to Post 2:

You mean on the island? I would consider Belfast as well, though not in early July, due to the marching season. Belfast has the Titanic Museum ( Which I would personally recommend) and a short(ish) trip up the coast to the Giants Causeway and the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. You could also do a Black Taxi tour of the Falls and Shankill roads in Belfast. This is a real eyeopener into the troubles for the last 40 year. Belfast is more "industrial" whereas Galway is more "bohemian and laid back".

Edited: 01 March 2014, 01:08
7. Re: Galway before CIE tour??

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