Ireland in Depth

Highlights & InclusionsItineraryPricing Information Terms & Conditions
Departure Date: October 13, 2017
March 8, 2018
Duration: 13 Days / 12 Nights
Price from: $2,845
Single Room Supplement: Waived

In order to bring you the greatest selection of destinations and itineraries, Gutsy Women Travel has worked with our partner GCT to reserve space on this 2017 guided vacation. This trip is open to men and women, and will operate with a larger group size than our traditional Gutsy Women departures.


Highlights & Inclusions

  • Be sure to mention booking code G7-25972 to receive all the Gutsy benefits!
  • Airport transfers are included when you purchase our operator's International air to coincide with trip's day by day agenda.
  • Available Pre-trip: ENHANCED! Northern Ireland
  • Available Post-trip: NEW! Ennis, Adare & Limerick
  • Choose to purchase Grand Circle's airfare, and your airport transfers, government taxes, fees, and airline fuel surcharges are included. Or, make your own air arrangements
  • Accommodations for 12 nights in comfortable rooms with private baths
  • 21 meals: 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 6 dinners
  • 12 included tours
  • Exclusive Discovery Series events: Avoca Handweavers visit • Hurling demonstration • Home-Hosted Lunch • Irish history & culture discussion • Sheepdog demonstration
  • Exclusive services of a Grand Circle Program Director (assigned to no more than 42 travelers)
  • Gratuities on your main trip for local guides and motorcoach drivers
  • Personal headset for all included and optional tours on your main trip
  • Private motorcoach land travel
  • Baggage handling for 1 piece of luggage per person, including tips
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit toward your next Grand Circle trip—an average of $224


Itinerary

As you travel through Ireland, delve deeply into a land rich in history, legend, stirring music, and verdant landscapes. Begin your journey in Dublin, Ireland’s cosmopolitan capital, before continuing on to the historic city of Kilkenny. From there, you’re off to Cork and its nearby seaport of Cobh, from which thousands of Irish emigrated during the Potato Famine. You’ll also visit Killarney and the 110-mile Ring of Kerry, boasting some of Ireland’s most astonishing scenery, before exploring the eerie landscape of the Burren and the captivating Cliffs of Moher. Finally, end your Ireland guided tour in lovely Galway, where there’s a tune playing around every corner. This Ireland tour is an in-depth discovery of the Emerald Isle—its lore, its lands, and above all, the gregarious charm of its people.

DAY 1 - Depart U.S.

Depart from the U.S. today on your flight to Ireland, arriving on Day 2. Please refer to your individual air itinerary for exact departure and arrival times.

DAY 2 - Dublin, Ireland

Arrive in Dublin today and begin your Ireland tour. A Grand Circle representative will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel, where you'll meet your Program Director and your fellow travelers, including those returning from their Northern Ireland pre-trip extension. After your arrival, your Program Director will take you for a vicinity walk to explore the area around your hotel, and provide suggestions on how to maximize your day and explore on your own.

Tonight, get to know your fellow travelers over a Welcome Drink, followed by a Welcome Briefing. Then sit down for your first dinner together at your hotel.
MEALS: D
OVERNIGHT: Ballsbridge Hotel or similar

DAY 3 - Dublin • Optional Traditional Irish Night OPTIONAL TOUR

After breakfast today, you’ll begin your discoveries of Dublin, Ireland’s political and cultural center. Dublin is amazingly rich in literary history—Yeats, Shaw, Beckett, and other literary immortals have walked its streets—and its architecture and museum collections are second to none.

Begin your discoveries with a guided panoramic tour of the city’s sights, which will include a stop at Trinity College to view the ancient Book of Kells. Believed to have been crafted in AD 800, the Book of Kells is a stunningly illustrated collection of the four Gospels of the New Testament.

After your tour, you’ll have the rest of the day to spend in Dublin as you please, and enjoy lunch and dinner on your own. Your Program Director will be happy to give you suggestions on how to make the most of your time in the city.

Or, join us for an optional Traditional Irish Night, for a hearty three-course meal accompanied by lively tunes from a band of local musicians. Feel free to raise your voice and join in the chorus as the merriment takes you away into the evening.
MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Ballsbridge Hotel or similar

DAY 4 - Dublin • Guinness Storehouse • Glendalough • Avoca Handweavers visit • Kilkenny

This morning, learn about the history of Ireland's famous brew during a tour of the Guinness Storehouse, a 7-story museum located in a former brewing factory inside the St. James's Gate Brewery. You'll also have a chance to observe the technique behind pouring a perfect glass of "the black stuff" during a pint-pulling demonstration.

Then travel south to Glendalough, pausing for an opportunity to seek lunch on your own upon your arrival. After lunch, you’ll tour Glendalough’s famous monastery, founded in the sixth century by St. Kevin. Among the monks' great achievements was manuscript writing and copying, including the creation of the spectacular Book of Glendalough around 1131. Now at the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the book—containing historical chronicles, genealogies, and religious poems—is one of the most important and beautiful Irish manuscripts from the pre-Norman period.

After your tour, you’ll continue south to the river town of Avoca, made famous by the Avoca Handweavers. This clothing manufacturer is Ireland's oldest line of business, active since the early 1700s. During an exclusive Discovery Series event, you'll meet with some of the handweavers when you visit Avoca's mill, which happens to be the oldest of its class in all of Ireland.

Then, continue on to Kilkenny, where you’ll arrive later today and check into your hotel before an included dinner with your fellow travelers.
MEALS: B D
OVERNIGHT: Pembroke Hotel or similar

DAY 5 - Kilkenny • Hurling demonstration

Kilkenny city straddles both banks of the River Nore in the center of County Kilkenny, and you'll explore it this morning on an included walking tour with your Program Director. Your tour will take you to the sprawling gardens of Kilkenny Castle, an 800-year old stronghold that lords over the city center. Though originally designed to defend a crossing over the River Nore, the castle's grounds today provide a peaceful place for locals and visitors alike to stroll about and admire the impressive artisanal floristry on display.

Later, partake in an exclusive Discovery Series event as you learn about hurling, an energetic and uniquely Irish sport, similar to field hockey or lacrosse, with traditional Gaelic roots. The Irish have been playing the game since the Celts invented it 2,000 years ago, and today you'll watch as a local craftsman demonstrates the art of hurl making.

After your demonstration, enjoy an included lunch. The rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure. Dinner is on your own tonight.
MEALS: B L
OVERNIGHT: Pembroke Hotel or similar

DAY 6 - Kilkenny • Cahir Castle • Waterford Crystal factory • Cork

Travel from Kilkenny to the city of Cork today, stopping en route to visit Cahir Castle and Waterford.

In its time (13th-15th centuries), Cahir Castle featured a state-of-the-art defensive design, and is now one of Ireland's best-preserved castles. Situated on a rocky island in the River Suir, the castle still boasts its keep, tower, and much of its original structure. The last Lord Cahir died in 1961, at which point the castle came into state stewardship.

Then continue on to Waterford, where upon arrival, you’ll have free time to seek out lunch on your own, before touring the Waterford Crystal factory, prized the world over as the standard for the highest quality lead-cut crystal. Founded in 1783 by George and William Penrose, the Waterford branch of the company is now part of a worldwide operation that includes such notable brands as Wedgwood and Royal Doulton. You'll learn about the organization's history, and witness a glassblowing demonstration before free time to explore further or shop their fine products.

Arrive in Cork this evening, setting off on an orientation tour around your hotel after checking in. Dinner is included tonight.
MEALS: B D
OVERNIGHT: Kingsley Hotel or similar

DAY 7 - Cork • Cobh • Home-Hosted Lunch

This morning, ride to Cobh (pronounced “cove”). This picturesque town long served as the main harbor for the city of Cork, and is dominated by the spire of St. Colman's Cathedral, which contains the largest carillon in Ireland. This morning, a local historian will give you some insight into Cobh's history.

Cobh was a major emigration point for families who left the country during the Great Potato Famine, when some two-and-a-half million emigrants departed this port for North America. Here you'll discover the story of Irish emigration and the era of the great ocean liners, when Cobh was a very active port. This was the last place the Titanic dropped anchor before heading across the Atlantic on her tragic journey.

Here you can also pay tribute to the victims of the Lusitania at a quayside memorial. In 1915, this ship was sunk off the coast of Cobh by a German submarine, with a loss of 1,196 passengers, including 127 Americans. This action helped bring America into World War I. Then, enjoy a short, leisurely walk around Cobh accompanied by our local historian. You'll have some free time afterward for your own explorations.

Then, learn about contemporary life in Ireland—and savor a traditional meal—during a Home-Hosted Lunch with a local family.

In the late afternoon, return to Cork, and enjoy dinner on your own.
MEALS: B L
OVERNIGHT: Kingsley Hotel or similar

DAY 8 - Cork • Blarney Castle • Killarney • Irish history & culture discussion

After breakfast this morning, bid Cork farewell and begin your transfer to Killarney.

On the way, stop for a visit to Blarney Castle, where a 129-step staircase leads up a tower to the famed Blarney Stone. According to legend, anyone who manages the backward lean to kiss it receives the “gift of the gab”—a smooth, soothing way with words that at best mean nothing.

The word “blarney” was coined by Elizabeth I to describe her endless and fruitless discussions with Dermot McCarthy over his surrender of the castle to the Crown. The McCarthys built the present castle with its 85-foot-high keep in 1446, replacing an earlier castle. Though the Blarney Stone gets all the publicity, the castle's tower house and surrounding gardens are superb in their own right. The castle's grounds also include caves, dungeons, and a rock garden of ancient trees and weathered stones.

After your tour, you’ll have free time for lunch on your own in Blarney, and then continue your transfer to Killarney. This market town is known for its verdant, rolling hills and glittering loughs (lakes). This afternoon, you'll enjoy an introduction to this area during a ride on a jaunting car (a traditional Irish horse-drawn carriage) for a tour of the forested hills of Killarney National Park, and the Kenmare Estate, a former residence for an Irish noble family.

Later this day, check in to your hotel Killarney, where dinner is included this evening. After dinner, enjoy an exclusive Discovery Series discussion with a local resident on rural Irish life and growing up on a small farm in the 1950s.
MEALS: B D
OVERNIGHT: Killarney Towers or similar

DAY 9 - Killarney • Optional Dingle Experience tour OPTIONAL TOUR

Your day is at leisure to pursue your own interests.

Or, join us on an optional tour as we venture out along the Dingle Peninsula. You'll stop first at Tralee's Kerry County Museum, where you'll enjoy the fascinating experience of a recreated medieval street. Then follow the rugged Dingle Peninsula with its wild mountains and some of the most spectacular coastline Ireland has to display. You'll see the famed Blasket Islands, rising like jewels from the Atlantic Ocean. One of Ireland's largest Irish-speaking areas, the peninsula has attracted many writers and artists for the inspiration the wild landscape offers. The movies Ryan's Daughter and Far and Away were made here. We will stop in the fishing town of Dingle to enjoy locally caught fish (and chips) for lunch, included with the cost of the optional tour.
MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Killarney Towers or similar

DAY 10 - Killarney • Ring of Kerry • Optional National Folk Theatre performance OPTIONAL TOUR

On this morning's included tour, you'll discover the Ring of Kerry, a drive that traces the coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula and offers breathtaking views. There is always something new to appreciate in the combination of ocean, islands, mountains, light, and ever-changing weather patterns. We ride most of the way, making scenic stops.

The first town along the route is Killorglin, where an elegant eight-arched bridge crosses the River Laune. Then you'll advance to the water's edge at Kells, an attractive fishing village with panoramic viewing points.

The next stretch is one of the highlights of the Ring, with outstanding views of the coastline. On the return to Killarney, the route takes you through the picturesque village of Sneem, where you'll have an included lunch, and Ladies View, named after Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting. The vistas of lakes and mountains remain magnificent today. We'll continue on and return to Killarney, where the afternoon is yours.

Dinner tonight is on your own. Or, join us for an optional performance by the National Folk Theatre, the country's only repertory company, with an included dinner. Using traditional Irish disciplines, the group offers a cultural experience dramatizing the essence of Irish culture. Please note: This optional tour is available on late May-early September departures only.
MEALS: B L
OVERNIGHT: Killarney Towers or similar

DAY 11 - Killarney • Sheepdog demonstration • Cliffs of Moher & the Burren • Galway

After breakfast, bid farewell to Killarney and begin your transfer to Galway, stopping along the way to discover a few more treasures of the Emerald Isle.

First, stop for an exclusive Discovery Series event at a working sheep farm and see Ireland's finest border collies in action at a sheepdog demonstration. Please note: This is an outdoor event and is weather-dependent. It will not be conducted in wet, muddy conditions.

Then visit the majestic Cliffs of Moher. These precipitous rock formations—towering more than 700 feet above the crashing ocean surf at their highest point—offer breathtaking panoramic views of Ireland's Atlantic coast, and provide nesting sites for tens of thousands of seabirds. If the wind is strong, the sea foam and spray flies up and over the cliffs along with the rain; while on clear sunny days, fantastic views can be seen from every angle.

Over the centuries, people have also made their mark, with towers, quarries, and well-worn paths, but they're almost lost in the scale and grandeur of the sea cliffs. One that does stand out is O'Brien's Tower, a huge structure built to house the guests of Cornelius O'Brien, County Clare's legendary Member of Parliament from the 1830s until he died in 1857.

Then travel along a scenic coastal road to discover another natural Irish wonder, the Burren. Its name is derived from a Gaelic word meaning “stony place,” and it is like no other place in Ireland. Instead of peat bogs and pastures, you'll find a surreal moonscape full of huge limestone crags.

Despite this seemingly inhospitable setting, a diverse array of plant life—including wild orchids and rock rose—thrives here. Alpine plants nestle in crevices beside temperate species. The white, deeply crevassed limestone conceals “micro-environments” rich in potholes and hollows. The ample rainfall and strange topography have resulted in a paradoxical profusion of arctic and semi-tropical vegetation growing side by side.

Finally, you’ll arrive in Galway later today. This evening, join your fellow travelers for an included dinner, with entertainment provided by a local musician.
MEALS: B D
OVERNIGHT: Ardilaun Hotel or similar

DAY 12 - Galway

This morning, your Program Director will introduce you to Galway on a walking tour through the city. You have the remainder of the day at leisure to explore Galway on your own. This enchanting city is a medley of narrow lanes, wood and stone shop fronts, and bustling restaurants and pubs. Originally presided over by the local O'Flahertys, Galway was taken over by Anglo-Normans and became a thriving center of trade and commerce by the 14th century.

European galleons were a regular sight in the city, which was “home” to Spanish merchant ships during their western voyages. Galway declined after being damaged in battle with the forces of Oliver Cromwell in the mid-17th century, but regained its prosperity and vitality in modern times. Today, Galway remains a merchant town, but it is also a burgeoning center for technology and a lively bohemian mecca.

Lunch and dinner are on your own today.
MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Ardilaun Hotel or similar

DAY 13 - Galway • Optional Connemara & Kylemore Abbey tour OPTIONAL TOUR

Spend the day at leisure, exploring Galway on your own. The city's compact center spans both sides of the River Corrib. In the center of Eyre Square stands the Quincentennial Fountain, constructed in 1984 to mark the 500th anniversary of the Royal Charter granted by King Richard III that created Galway as an independent city-state. Nearby are some of the oldest streets in Galway, narrow winding lanes that curve in and around old wooden buildings, often meandering off toward the Corrib and the docks. Yet turn a corner and you will find modern Galway—certainly one of the liveliest cities in Europe. Artists and musicians crowd the sidewalks and almost every pub seems to offer live music.

Or, join us for an optional journey through the Connemara region of Galway. Once home to more than two million Irish, it still retains its regional heritage, as you will discover while we ramble around its lakes, mountains, and bogs. We'll visit the former Gothic mansion of Mitchell Henry, now the home of Benedictine nuns and better known as Kylemore Abbey. You'll have time to wander both the mansion and the Victorian gardens. Then cruise Killary, a charming fjord. You'll enjoy lunch while cruising. On your return, we'll travel through the Inagh Valley to the coast, where we'll see the deserted village of Clough Na Mara and discover a sense of hardship the Irish experienced in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, only the shells of their homes remain—set amidst hundreds of miles of stone walls.

This evening, gather with your Program Director and fellow travelers for an included Farewell Dinner.
MEALS: B D
OVERNIGHT: Ardilaun Hotel or similar

DAY 14 - Galway • Return to U.S.

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home. Or continue your discoveries of the Emerald Isle on an optional post-trip extension in Ennis, Adare & Limerick.
MEALS: B






Pre-trip: ENHANCED! Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland beckons with rich history and natural beauty. In a truly timeless extension, you’ll lift your eyes before the mighty Giant's Causeway rock formation and bow your head in a rustic churchyard, pausing along the way to stroll the cobbled streets of Londonderry. We’ve enhanced this extension for 2017, including new tours of historic Drogheda, mystical Bru Na Boinne, and more.

It's Included:

  • Accommodations for 5 nights
  • 6 meals: 5 breakfasts and 1 dinner
  • 7 included tours: Belfast, Giant's Causeway, Londonderry, Ulster American Folk Park, Monasterboice, Drogheda, Bru Na Boinne
  • Exclusive services of a Grand Circle Program Director
  • Gratuities on this extension for local guides and motorcoach drivers
  • All transfers

DAY 1 Depart U.S.

Depart from the U.S. today on your flight to Belfast, Northern Ireland.

DAY 2 Belfast, Northern Ireland


MEALS: D
OVERNIGHT: Europa Belfast or similar

Arrive this morning in Belfast. You'll be met at the airport by a Grand Circle representative who will assist you with the transfer to your hotel. Belfast is a robust northern metropolis of nearly half a million people. This is a scenic city, situated between the waters of Belfast Lough, the Belfast Hills, and the forested slopes of Cave Hill. Belfast was the catalyst of the industrial revolution in Ulster, and specialized in the development of industries like linen, rope-making, and shipbuilding, with the world's largest dry dock. The city's Victorian heritage can be seen in the stately buildings of this area and at Belfast's Grand Opera House.

This afternoon, get acquainted with the area around your hotel on an orientation walk. The balance of the day is free for you to relax after your overseas flight. Gather in the late afternoon with your fellow travelers for a Welcome Drink and briefing from your Program Director, followed by a Welcome Dinner.

DAY 3 Belfast


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Europa Belfast or similar

On a panoramic city tour this morning, you'll see Belfast’s compact center in Donegall Square, which is dominated by the elaborate City Hall. We will drive through West Belfast’s Protestant neighborhood of Shankill Road, and the Catholic neighborhood of Falls Road, where large, vivid murals painted on the sides of buildings express the feelings that still run deep on both sides. Though the names of these areas were much in the news during “the Troubles,” the gate in the Peace Wall between them now stands open.

Spend the remainder of the day exploring Belfast on your own. The city’s main shopping district is just north of Donegall Square along several pedestrian-only streets. Belfast’s most famous historic pub, the Crown Liquor Saloon, is also in this area (it’s always packed, but worth a look for its gaslit Victorian architecture even if you can’t get a seat).

Or you might head for Belfast’s Golden Mile neighborhood or the beautiful Botanic Gardens, with the campus of Queen’s University nearby.

Your evening is free for your own explorations. You can ask your Program Director for suggestions for dining on your own this evening.

DAY 4 Belfast • Derry


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: City Hotel Derry

Today, travel from Belfast to Londonderry, or simply Derry as the locals refer to it. On the way, we'll stop to view the Giant's Causeway, an amazing geologic formation of approximately 40,000 basalt stones—some as tall as 130 feet, and mostly hexagonal in shape. As Northern Ireland's premiere landmark, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you'll be free to decide for yourself whether the Causeway is a result of accelerated cooling of lava outflows 60 million years ago. Or is it the work of the legendary Irish giant, Finn MacCool, in his attempts to a) woo a distant lady giant, or b) meet a Scottish giant in battle to determine who was the stronger giant? You'll arrive in Derry in the afternoon, where you'll set off on a guided walk atop the city's walls, which have stood around the city since the 17th century.

The remainder of the day is yours to spend at leisure. Dinner will be on your own this evening.

DAY 5 Derry • Optional Inishowen Peninsula tour


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: City Hotel Derry

Today is yours to spend in Derry at leisure. You might visit the Tower Museum, with exhibits illustrating the maritime history of Derry, or the Guildhall built in 1890 and in the Gothic architectural style, similar to its London counterpart. Today, it's the seat of the local government.

Or, join an optional half-day excursion to the Inishowen Peninsula, a peaceful place of pastoral solitude jutting out into the Atlantic on Ireland’s northern edge. You’ll ride north to Malin Head, the most northerly part of Ireland, far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, populated mostly by quaint cottages and old castles from Ireland’s bygone feudal days. The area is also a haven for a diverse array of birds, including rare migrant species carried in by the wild Atlantic winds, such as sooty shearwaters, red breasted flycatchers, and semi palmated sandpipers.

Here, you’ll have the opportunity to put up your feet and sip an Irish coffee while watching the rough Atlantic waves crash against the rugged Irish surf before returning to your hotel in Derry, where the rest of the day is yours to do as you please. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.

DAY 6 Derry • Ulster American Folk Park • Monasterboice • Drogheda


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: d Hotel or similar

After breakfast today, set out to discover the Ulster American Folk Park on an included tour. This fascinating facility tells the story of emigration from Ulster to America in the 18th and 19th centuries and provides visitors with a “living history” experience on its outdoor site. In the Folk Park, costumed guides and craftspeople recreate the past in an outdoor museum that includes a weaver's cottage, forge, schoolhouse, log cabin, church, and a 19th-century Ulster street. The Ship and Dockside Gallery features a full-size reconstruction of an early 19th-century sailing ship of the type that carried thousands of emigrants across the Atlantic. A major indoor exhibition, “Emigrants,” complements the outdoor site.

Following your tour, head south to Drogheda, your next destination, stopping on the way for a visit to Monasterboice for an included tour. Monasterboice is an important Irish spiritual site dating back to the 5th century AD, founded by Saint Buithe, a disciple of Saint Patrick. The holy grounds were an important place of congregation for local Christians for more than 500 years.

As you tour the ruins of the monastic site, take note of its magnificent high crosses, carved with biblical images depicting scenes from both the Old and New Testaments. The crosses combine form and function—in addition to being beautiful works of art, they allowed contemporary worshippers who could not read to follow along with the Bible’s stories.

Later today, you’ll arrive at your hotel in Drogheda, where the rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner is on your own tonight.

DAY 7 Drogheda • Bru Na Boinne • Dublin


MEALS: B

After breakfast, set off on a walking tour of Drogheda. As you stroll the lanes of this old fortified town on the banks of the River Boyne, you’ll learn about the triumphs and tragedies it experienced throughout history, including two devastating sieges in the 17th century—first at the hands of Oliver Cromwell during his Irish conquest in 1649, and then again in 1690 following the Battle of the Boyne between English King James II and William of Orange of the Netherlands.

Following your tour, you’ll have some free time to spend in the city and seek lunch on your own. There’s plenty to see and do in the city today; delve deeper into history by visiting St. Peter’s Church or the medieval Mellifont Abbey, pop into a pub for a pint, or sit idly by the River Boyne and watch daily life unfold.

This afternoon, you’ll travel west to Bru Na Boinne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for another included tour. The 5,000 year old archaeological complex of Bru Na Boinne is not only a fascinating glimpse into ancient Ireland, it is one of the most significant prehistoric sites in western Europe.

Most notably, the site features three major passage tomb complexes, demonstrating tremendous knowledge of engineering and architecture, as well as a truly impressive collection of megalithic art, revealing that the location must have been a center of highly-organized prehistoric civilization for perhaps thousands of years.

After your tour, you’ll transfer to Dublin to begin your main Ireland in Depth tour.






Post-trip: NEW! Ennis, Adare & Limerick

On this new 2017 post-trip extension, journey to a historic region of western Ireland renowned for its charming and cheerful people, and its reverence for old traditions. From the bustling market town of Ennis, to the medieval-style village of Adare, this extension takes you back in time to show you the Emerald Isle as it once was.

It's Included:

  • Accommodations for 3 nights
  • 4 meals: 3 breakfasts and 1 dinner
  • 4 included tours: Bunratty Castle, Ennis, Adare, Frank McCourt Museum
  • Exclusive services of a resident Program Director
  • Gratuities on this extension for local guides and motorcoach drivers
  • All transfers

DAY 1 Ennis • Bunratty Castle • Ennis city tour


OVERNIGHT: Old Ground Hotel or similar

After breakfast, join your fellow travelers for a Welcome Briefing about what you can expect from your post-trip extension over the next few days, and then set off for Ennis, stopping en route to tour Bunratty Castle.

Bunratty has been settled since the Vikings of the 10th century. The castle you’ll tour is the fourth Bunratty Castle, the first three destroyed in battles with the Normans. Built in the 15th century, this castle was fought over frequently, as it could allow its occupants to block water access to Limerick. The castle has been restored to its late Middle Ages glory, with period tapestries and furnishings on display inside.

After your tour, you’ll have free time for lunch on your own in Bunratty, and then continue your transfer to Ennis, arriving this afternoon for a walking tour.

The word “Ennis” is the short version of the Gaelic town name, which translates lyrically to “island of the long rowing meadow." Divided by the River Fergus, which runs through the city's heart, Ennis was once a bustling trade route for sailboats and was a hub of commerce for the entire region.

The city's identity as a market town can still be seen today in Market Square, which continues to fill with vendors every Saturday, some selling produce as their families have for several centuries, as well as artisans offering home goods and textile makers as well.

As you stroll, you'll see architecture spanning a thousand-year period. Parnell Street, one of the major streets, is pedestrian only, a perfect destination for catching a glimpse of medieval lanes and modern daily life alike.

The remainder of the day is yours to do as you please. Dinner is on your own tonight.

DAY 2 Ennis • Optional Aran Islands tour


MEALS: B
OVERNIGHT: Old Ground Hotel or similar

Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore Ennis, with lunch on your own. Perhaps you'll visit the Ennis Friary. Founded in the 13th century, the Friary boasts dozens of 15th-and 16th-century limestone sculptures, including one of St. Francis displaying stigmata, as well as scenes from the Passion story.

Or, perhaps you'll join us for our optional Aran Islands tour. We board a ferry to cross the water to Inis Oirr, the smallest of the islands where 250 residents still speak Gaelic and weave Celtic customs into their daily lives. Explore the island on a guided tour aboard a Wanderly Wagon before enjoying some free time to mingle with the locals. Your optional tour includes lunch before returning to the mainland.

Dinner is on your own tonight.

DAY 3 Ennis • Adare • Frank McCourt Museum


MEALS: B D
OVERNIGHT: Old Ground Hotel or similar

This morning, set out upon a walking tour of Adare, hailed by many as Ireland’s prettiest village. You’ll amble along cobblestone streets, lined with some of the village’s original medieval thatch-roofed cottages, still maintained and used by local businesses. After your tour, you’ll pop into a local coffee shop to recharge your batteries with some light refreshment.

Then it’s onward to the city of Limerick, which dates back to at least 812 AD. Many travelers know Limerick as the setting for Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, a memoir which includes gritty slices of life in 1930's and 1940's Ireland. You’ll acquaint yourself further with the world of this Pulitzer prize-winning work on an included tour of the Frank McCourt Museum, whose exhibits portray scenes from the novel, depicting Limerick as it once was.

After your tour of the museum, you’ll have free time to get lunch in Limerick on your own (don’t worry—the city’s cleaned up well since McCourt’s days), before returning to Ennis for an afternoon of leisure.

This evening, join your fellow travelers for a memorable Farewell Banquet inside an Irish castle, where you’ll enjoy dinner and some spirited entertainment as you reminisce with your new friends about your journey across the Emerald Isle.

DAY 4 Ennis • Return to U.S.


MEALS: B This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodations

Pricing Information

View Specials & Promotions
Arrival DateSingleSharedDouble
Oct 13, 2017 $2,845 $2,845 $2,845
Your Savings* Past GWT Traveler?
Pre-trip: Northern Ireland $1,095
Air from JFK $950
Post-trip: Ennis, Adare & Limerick $845

Be sure to mention booking code G7-25972 to receive all the Gutsy benefits!

*Discount and savings are subject to change, please call reservations (866.464.8879 for the actual price. The discount is not valid on all itineraries and will be verified at time of booking. The discount is valid for guests who’ve traveled with Gutsy Women Travel within the last five years. Other conditions apply. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. All prices are subject to change.

In order to qualify for the GWT Past Traveler Discount of 5% on the land portion of the trip, you must advise the reservation specialist at time of depositing on your 2017 trip which GWT trip you traveled on (date/name of departure and year) over the past 5 years.

Please note: A $25 documentation fee will be added to the final payment for this trip.

We limit our trips to small groups so we suggest you deposit early to guarantee your spot. View information regarding Air Travel & Transfers here.

Please note this departure is not exclusive to women but will be comprised of Gutsy Women Travel participants co-sharing the overall trip capacity with members of OAT resulting in a larger group size compared to the traditional Gutsy Women Travel trips designed exclusively for women.

Single Room - one person, traveling solo in single accommodation
Double Room - two people, traveling together in same accommodation
Shared Room - one person, traveling solo who would like to share with another passenger and pay the per person "Double" price

Air travel arrangements for Gutsy Women's trip participants are made independently as most women are traveling from various gateway cities within or outside North America. Gutsy Women Travel includes a group transfer (if travelers purchase airfare from our operator) or individuals can book private transportation if desired.

For further information and reservations call (866) IM GUTSY (464 8879) or
email reservations@gutsywomentravel.com.
For online 24/7 booking capability go to gutsywomentravel.com.

Please note: Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.