Dubai - No pre-departure PCR test or quarantine required.
Ireland - No pre-departure PCR test or quarantine required.
Your Tour Leader will assist with all airport procedures.
After checking in at Auckland Airport, we board our Emirates flight to Dubai.
On arrival in Dubai early this morning we clear customs and immigration and transfer to our hotel. We can check in straight away because we have booked an early check in. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Late morning we transfer to Dubai airport to fly to Dublin. We arrive at Dublin airport this evening and will transfer straight to our hotel for a good night’s sleep.
‘It’s the top of the Morning to you, and the rest of the day to yourself’ as we find ourselves in the Emerald Isle with its friendly faces and many lovely sayings.
A day to enjoy in Dublin, you can do your own thing or join Stu, your Tour Leader for a walk around to take in some of the local highlights.
It’s an exciting day as we leave Dublin behind and head off to County Wicklow.
Our first walk starts in the valley of Glendalough, Gleann Dá Loch in Irish, meaning "Valley of two lakes"; and takes us to a 6th Century Monastic Settlement, where we will have a short tour of some of the monuments and ruined churches.
From here, we will continue along to explore the glacier-moulded valley and its two lakes before starting a short ascent to Poulanass Waterfall and into Derrybawn Woods. Here, we will be offered stunning views down over the Glendalough Valley and surrounding countryside.
We then drive to Kilkenny where we’ll be staying the night.
There will be time to explore the town on foot and visit the 13th century Kilkenny Castle. Your local guide and Stu, have some suggestions for a cordial dinner.
On our way into Ireland’s beautiful south-west we pause in the County of Tipperary to visit the 12th century Rock of Cashel, a castle that was once the home of the kings of Munster.
When we are near Killarney we visit the Victorian mansion Muckross House and its gardens. This property, located in the Killarney National Park was once owned by the Guinness family and was visited by Queen Victoria. The parkland has some unique flora and fauna, including the rare Irish Red Deer.
The rest of the afternoon is left free for you to explore the town of Killarney.
From Killarney, we will continue our walking tour on the most westerly point in Ireland: the Dingle Peninsula. The peninsula is rich in archaeological remains, sweeping green and blue coastal landscapes, music, and plenty of ‘craic’. We will walk through traditional methods of turf cutting using the sleán (spade) in the low bog as we work our way down to walk along Inch Beach. This majestic beach was used in the making of the 1970 film “Ryan’s Daughter”.
After our walk we travel to our accommodation in the town of Dingle.
Our walk today starts just outside the village of Cloghane on the Dingle Way.
We will follow an old bog road to an area known as Sás Creek (Sauce Creek), a spectacular horseshoe-shaped bay surrounded by 300-meter sea cliffs. Our walking trail continues to Brandon Point, passing some prehistoric beehive huts and settlements, before we finish our day in Brandon Village.
We will again stay overnight in Dingle.
This morning we cross from County Kerry into County Clare via a ferry over the River Shannon that links Tarbet to Killimer. The Shannon is Ireland’s longest river and is such a key feature of its geography that it was mentioned by Graeco-Egyptian geographer Ptolomey. We will pass through numerous little villages as we head north to one of Ireland’s most iconic attractions, the Cliffs of Moher, whose sheer rocky face rises directly from the sea to a height of 200m.
The Cliffs are one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions, and when you see them yourself, you will understand why. A walk along the Cliffs provides views of the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, The Twelve Bens, and the Maumturk Mountains.
After our visit to the Cliffs we will go to our accommodation in the little fishing village of Ballyvaughan.
We begin our morning with a 1-hour ferry ride from the beautiful village of Doolin to the village of Kilronan on Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands.
Inis Mór is a land steeped in myth, legend, and ancient culture. It is famous for its stone forts, which are thought to date from the late Bronze Age (1100 BC) through to the Iron Age (300 BC-500 AD). Our walk takes us to the Black Fort (Dun Duchathair), a solitary fort situated on the cliffs at Cill Éinne on the southern side of the island.
After our walk its back on the ferry and a return to Ballyvaughan for dinner and a sleep.
Today’s walk leads us over the stark limestone landscape of Black Head in the Burren.
Starting from the village of Fanore, our walk follows an old green road around the shoulder of Black Head through this surreal “lunar landscape” and gently up Gleninagh Mountain for simply gorgeous views. Our walk back loops us around another old green road onto the Burren Way and back to Fanore. If you are interested in geology, flora, archaeology or wildlife, this day won’t disappoint as you are immersed into the unique, unfolding layers of limestone.
After all that fresh air its back to Ballyvaughan for a restorative drink and evening fun.
It’s a travelling day today as we set off for the most northerly county in the Republic, Donegal. On our way we’ll pass through Sligo, which is one of the smaller counties in Ireland.
We will stop in Drumcliff, where the poet William Butler Yeats is buried in St Columba’s churchyard in the shadow of Benbulben Mountain.
Our final destination and home for three nights will be Donegal Town, protected by the proud O’Donnell Castle. Built in the 1400s by the first Red Hugh and his wife Lady Nuala, the castle is an excellent introduction into this region's tradition, strong heritage and abundance of culture.
Tonight before sleeping we can see if the Guinness is up to par.
Our walk first begins with a drive west to the sea cliffs of Slieve League, covered in heather. This sight is always colourful, always changing, and always spectacular.
Our walk then takes us Northwest along the eastern side of the mountain. We’ll enjoy views of rolling mountains, patchwork fields, and gentle streams on one side and the sea cliffs with the backdrop of the wild Atlantic Ocean on the other side.
Today we visit Glenveagh National Park with its remote and mysterious Glenveagh Castle. Situated in the Derryveagh Mountains, Glenveagh will immediately conjure up thoughts of Gothic literature and a sense of freedom in the midst of this true and impressionable remote wilderness.
After visiting the castle and gardens we walk deep into the glen along Loch Gleann. We will pass ruins of settlements abandoned before and during the Great Famine as well as through native oak woodlands.
It’s time to return to Dublin today but on our way south-east we’ll be visiting one of the most important megalithic sites in all of Europe – Newgrange. Newgrange was constructed between 3100 and 2900BC. It’s older than the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt or Stonehenge.
Once back in Dublin you’ll have free-time until we meet for our farewell dinner this evening.
There is so much to do in Dublin and you can either cross off things on your ‘To-Do’ list or join Stu for another walk around and some further highlights.
This evening we will be transferring to the airport for our international flight homeward.
This morning we transit through Dubai airport and fly back to New Zealand.
Home to New Zealand with wonderful memories of walking in beautiful Ireland.