Tours in Ireland – 5 Star Tour
You may alter routes and length of stay in any given location at your discretion. Our recommendations are as follows.
Arrival in Dublin – We can provide vehicles in our all Mercedes Fleet to suit Parties from 1-50
As almost 90% of North American flights arrive in the early morning, we recommend direct transfer to hotel to rest and refresh.
Once refreshed the medieval city of Dublin is a dream for the pedestrian tourist as anything of interest is only 10 minutes from any of our recommended hotels.
From Trinity College where the unique book of kells is housed together with other priceless manuscripts dating back to the 6th century. These are situated in a specially humidified room to ensure their survival for future generations
Trinity College itself founded in 1592 produced scholars that are renown such as “Goldsmith & Oscar Wilde”
The Natural culmination of the Dublin tour is a visit to the Guinness Brewery for a taste of the “Black Stuff “
New Grange – 30 miles north of Dublin, the Burial Mounds of the Boyne Valley. It predates the Egyptian Pyramids by 2000 years. The only day of the year that the sun illuminates the central tomb through a tiny aperture is the 21st of December, The Winter Solstice, making the original designers both mathematical and astronomical geniuses.
Noon will see us heading south via Kildare where Irelands female Saint, St Bridget held court, onwards then via Leighlin bridge, a beautiful riverside village, home of Myles Keogh, Soldier and adventurer, veteran of the Italian Civil War, Cavalry officer in the Irish Brigade (led by LT General Thomas Frances Meagher of Waterford) in the American Civil War he died with his Commander General, George Custer at The Little Big Horn.
Kilkenny, home of St Canices (The Confederation of Kilkenny predates the Magna Carta) ,Medieval City Par Excellence, it is a tourist dream.
St Canices Cathedral, Kilkenny Castle, a magnificent structure overlooking the river Nore and not f forgetting Kytlers Inn, a pub open since 1367, the original Dame Alice Kytler was condemned as a witch and had to leave town!
We overnight in Waterford, Ireland Oldest City, originally Port Lairge, a Celtic Town captured by the Vikings in 800 AD and renamed Vadrafjiord, which over the years of mispronunciation percolated down to Waterford. Our lodgings are Waterford Castle situated on an Island in the River Suir. Inhabited by The Fitzgerald Family from 1169-1955 this 4 star Gem is a perfect retreat from 21st Century reality and the Resident Chef Michael Quinn will delight your palate.
We leave the Island by its Private ferry and tour Waterford City, which will be host to the “Tall Ships in 2011.. In its hay day Waterford built, owned and crewed ships. From Viking long ships to medieval war ships to “Tea Clippers” transporting tea round the horn from India to the dreadful coffin ships of the great famine. Waterford’s Iron Shipyard “the Neptune Docks” built the first “Twin Screw” Steamer to sail into a Russian Port and was given free entry by the Czar.
By far Waterford’s most colourful Son was Thomas Frances Meagher, born to a wealthy Catholic Merchant in 1823. His Father had made his fortune in Canada, as it was very unusual having endured 200 years of Penal law, rendering Roman Catholics as servants in their own land for any Catholic to be Wealthy in the British Ruled Ireland.
Meagher’s Father had the money and influence to ensure his Son attained an excellent education in England at the Sorbonne University Paris. On his return Meagher formed the “Young Irelanders” and rebelled against British rule.
This resulted in a death sentence which was commuted to life imprisonment in Van Diemans land (Tasmania), from where he escaped, picked up by an American Whaling shipping the Antarctic and made his way to the U.S.
On the outbreak of war he was given command of the 69th regiment of the New York Irish Brigade by President Lincoln, wounded at Fredericksburg, he was later made acting Governor of Montana and was murdered on his quarters in the Missouri River aged 43.
We leave Waterford and travel to Dungarvan via the Copper coast, with breath taking views of the Irish coastline, then inland to view Lismore Castle and town. Lismore, a 12th century University town, was destroyed by the Normans in the 12th century. It’s a delightful town steeped in history with traditional fronts on all the shops and bars and the restaurants there are renowned for their food.
Onward through the small town of Tallow where the annual horse Fair is so old it is referred to in a 6th century manuscript. Over the hill from Tallow we find Middleton where the Jameson Distillery is located, a must do visit for anyone who has a weakness for a “drop of the hard stuff”!
Our whiskey tasting over, we head for our 5 star hotel, Hayfield Manor in Cork’s fair City.
In the morning we head for Cobh (Cove), last Port of call for the transatlantic liners. The romance era of travel after World War 2,Cobh was the scene of leviathans like the SS. America, The Ille De France, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mary and The Andre Doria, all frequent visitors to this natural Harbour.
The Museum at Cobh brings back the nostalgia of the magic of the ocean Giants that connected the Old and New Worlds.
We then travel on to Kinsale, a beautiful Yaughting harbour, with its cobbled streets and narrow arches, famous for its cuisine, lunch here is a must. We recommend the “Fishy Fishy Cafe”.
The afternoon sees us travelling through West Cork to Bantry Bay, Glengarriff and over the hills into Kenmare, where our 5 star Hotel is Sheen Fall, set by the cascading falls of a wild mountain stream. A stroll through Kenmare before dinner is of interest, beautiful Irish linen boutiques and made to your own design gold and silversmiths are at your behest.
After a full Irish breakfast we head for the Ring of Kerry via Parknasilla and Derrynane. At the head of the Peninsula one sees the entrancing site of the skelligs, rising like Pyramids from the Western oceans, these sheer under Sea Mountain tops were the home of Irish Monks from the golden age of monastic learning from the 6th century.
We round the peninsula and head for Killarney, for a view of the famous lakes and lunch.
The afternoon finds us crossing the Shannon at Tarbert by ferry to Co Clare. The County where such contrasting people were born, such as “Legs Diamond “, the notorious gangster of the 30’s and “Holland” , the inventor of the Submarine.
Fresh air doesn’t get much fresher than atop the Cliffs of Moher, as we cross the Burren, barren as a moonscape, where as Cromwell said, “Not enough water exists to drown a man, not a tree to hang a man and not enough earth to bury a man.”
Rounding Ballyvaughan , with the Aran Islands to the West, we head for Galway, the city of the Tribes where we spend the night and “watch the sun go down on Galway Bay”.
After our infusion of scrambled eggs and smoked wild Irish salmon, we head for Connemara, Clifden and Leenane (where “The Field “was filmed) onward through the Partry mountains to Ashford Castle for lunch.
The neighbouring village of Cong, scene of “The Quiet Man”1953 staring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Onwards through Westport to overnight in Mulranny overlooking Glen Bay.
After breakfast “Achill”, the ’Bal Hi ‘ of the North Atlantic, views that overshadow Capri where at one point the views reach 900 feet.
We travel onward, eastwards to Athlone , Ireland’s centre for lunch. Then to the Shannonside, Monastic settlement of Clonmacnoise, from where after the fall of the Holy Roman Empire Irish Monks spread throughout Europe, Christianising the ravaged Continents after the Incursion of the Huns and Vandals that had sacked even Rome itself. (see the book, How the Irish saved civilisation by..)
An eminent recent visitor to Clonmacnoise was Pope John Paul the 2nd, as it was Irish monks who went as far east as Cracow, Vienna, Regensberg Munich, St Gallen Switzerland and Bobbio Italy.
Cross Ireland’s waistline to Dublin for our final night in the Emerald Isle to stay in a 5 star Hotel of your choice and a pint or two at Dublin’s Temple bar with its choice of Traditional pubs, is the Irish Finale.
Transfer from Hotel to Dublin Airport, hoping that we have helped make your stay a memorable one.
Ireland’s most haunted destinations
From castles to beaches, here’s a list of our top 10 supernatural destinations in Ireland. Spanning the country, these destinations are supposedly haunted by ghosts of all sorts – soldiers, brides, court jesters and more.
1. Ross Castle
On the edge of Lough Lane in Killarney, Co. Kerry, this five bedroom stone castle built in 1536 is currently run as a B&B. Visitors have reported supernatural activity both in and out of the castle: apparently every May Day for hundreds of years, a Medieval knight named O’Donoghue rides along Lough Lane past the castle, accompanied by a group of spirits who play music behind him. Inside the castle, visitors have reported waking up in the middle of the night to sounds of screams or doors repeatedly opening and slamming shut. One of the spirits is believed to be Myles ‘the Slasher’ O’Reilly, an Irish folk hero who spend his last night in Ross Castle before dying in battle in 1644.
2. Kilmainham Gaol
Famous for its political prisoners or Easter Rising leaders like Padraig Pearse, James Connolly, Charles Parnell, Eamon de Valera and others, Kilmainham Gaol is supposedly full to the brim with spirits. Many died (some executed) in the prison, which is now a popular museum. Not only are there ghosts of former inmates floating about, but apparently there are plenty of prison warden spirits, who are of the malevolent sort.
3. Lough Sheelin
A limestone freshwater lough between counties Westmeath, Meath and Cavan, Lough Sheelin is said to take a life every seven years. You can ask the Local Civil Defense Volunteers who’ve gone out to fetch the bodies from the lake on a few occasions. Sabrina is a ghost that’s well known in the area – story goes her lover drowned while the two were crossing the river as they were eloping. She still hangs around in search of her lover, and visitors of the nearby Ross Castle (#1) have reportedly had close encounters with her.
King Henry II of England built Malahide castle for his dear friend Sir Richard Talbot in Malahide, Co. Dublin in 1185. One of the oldest castles in Ireland, Malahide castle is apparently haunted by at least five ghosts: Walter Hussey, Miles Corbett, Lord Chief Justice and his wife Maud Plunkett, but most notably the castle’s jester, Puck of Malahide. Word got out that Puck had fallen in love with one of the prisoners, Lady Elenora Fitzgerald, and within days he was found mysteriously stabbed to death outside the castle. As the story goes, with his last dying breath, Puck made a promise that he’d haunt the castle – apparently he stood by it. There have been quite a few sightings of the jester’s ghost, and he often appears in photographs. When the castle was being sold in 1979, there were several reports by potential buyers of the jester’s spirit roaming about.
5. Charles Fort
A wedding and three funerals: the story of Charles Fort (near Kinsale) is quite the tragedy. It’s famously haunted by recent bride Wilful Warrender – she flung herself to her death from the fort wall after her groom was killed on the night of their wedding. To make matters worse, her father is the one who shot him: during wartime, he was under the impression that her husband was an intruder. Grief stricken by his daughter’s suicide, he shot himself. Warrender is called “the White Lady” by locals because whenever she’s sighted, she’s in her wedding dress. She’s often found by children as she wanders around the town of Kinsale where she grew up, and she gives them a wave. Usually she’s quite friendly, but there have been reports of people in the fort being pushed down the stairs by her spirit
6. Dún an Óir
The Dingle Peninsula, one of the most picturesque places in Ireland, actually contains quite a lot of history, and apparently some ghosts as well. 1580 had the Siege of Smerwick: a Spanish force of about 400 soldiers (close allies to the Irish) was defending Ireland against the Britishduring what was the Second Desmond Rebellion. They retreated to Dún an Óir on the Dingle Peninsula, and were then besieged by the English army who massacred the whole fleet and left them ashore without burial. Today, Dingle locals and visitors claim to hear Spanish cries, see occasional skeletal remains on shore or in the ocean, and smell the stench of rotting flesh coming in with the gusts of wind.
7. Belfast’s Grand Opera house
It’s like the Phantom of the Opera, but in Belfast. Though the Grand Opera House has faced brilliant restoration in recent years, plenty of actors and stagehands have made claims of seeing a face staring at them through an outside window, a figure wearing a long black robe, and also a strong sense of being followed if alone on stage. Just ask the Northern Ireland Paranormal Research Association, who’ve made direct contact with deceased stagehands George and Harry, as well as an unnamed cleaner and another unnamed electrician.
8. Thoor Ballylee
A fortified 14th century Irish-Norman tower house, Thoor Ballylee once belonged to Lady Augusta Gregory, life long friend of poet W.B. Yeats. She passed it onto the famous poet, and he spent many a summer living and writing in the peaceful tower of rural Galway. Yeats himself believed it to be haunted by a young Anglo-Normal soldier; after Yeats’s death, the tower was turned into a museum, the curator of which felt a spirit as well. He had plenty accounts of an apparition walking up and down the stairs, and his pet dog seemed to feel it too. In 1989, a visitor asked if he could photograph Yeats’s old sitting room, and the developed photograph contains a clear human figure (albeit blurry and black) in the picture that hadn’t been in the room at the time.
9. Castle Leslie
Though today’s connotations of Castle Leslie in Co. Monaghan are along the lines of a modern spa or hotel or fancy cooking school, it’s apparently pretty haunted. Each room is or has been home to an apparition, the most famous of which is the Red Room, where soldier Norman Leslie’s ghost appeared in front of his mother Lady Marjorie in 1914 just a few weeks after he’d been killed in battle in France. She recalled him appearing in a cloud of light, sifting through a pile of letters. When she addressed him, he smiled at her and then faded away.
10. Saint Michan’s Church in Dublin
If you start to hear faint whispers upon entering Saint Michan’s Church in Dublin, they’re probably coming from the mummies in the crypt below. Many of Dublin’s most influential families between the 17 and 19 centuries are interred there, as well as a famous thief and nun, the Shears brothers who were executed by the British in 1798, and many more. There have been some visitor accounts of ‘whispering mummies’ in the crypt – recently, a woman peered into an unexcavated section and suddenly became aware of many voices around her. “A sort of whispering, murmuring noise, but I couldn’t make out any of the words,” she said. She also felt the passageway becoming rather tight, like there were many people suddenly surrounding her.
Source: Irish Central