Meet the Irish
Covering stunning rural locations that feature some of the most beautiful sceneries across the island of Ireland, this educational tour with a difference offers you the chance to experience the natural wonders of Ireland that have made so many people fall in love with this country. Travelling across the rugged wilderness of the Irish countryside and visiting historic sites steeped in spiritual heritage, you will get to explore archaeological treasures, walk along beautiful jagged coastlines, witness breathtaking views from the most spectacular cliffs, visit the most important monastic settlements and immerse yourself in the rich history and spirituality of Ireland, all whilst enjoying the famous hospitality and warmth of the Irish culture.Visiting:
» Boyne Valley
» Hill of Tara
» Aran Islands
» The Burren
» Cliffs of Moher
» Dingle Peninsula
» Glenstal Abbey
» Solas Bhride
Can't find what you're looking for? Need a tailor-made itinerary?
Irish traditions and values are deeply rooted in our business and the type of travel experience that Joe Walsh Tours provides. We are extremely proud of our Irish heritage and passion for our native island is reflected in every mile travelled and every story told by our guides. We are delighted to share our knowledge and love of Ireland with our visitors and very happy to welcome you to the Emerald Isle.
Should you require further information regarding a specific tour itinerary or would like us to tailor-make your trip based on any special requirements your travelling party may have, please do not hesitate to give our Tours of Ireland specialists a call on 00 353 1 241 0800 or drop us a line via email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be delighted to assist. We’re only a phone call away!
- Currency: Euro (€, EUR)
- Local time: GMT
- Airports: Dublin (DUB); Cork (ORK); Shannon (SNN); Knock (NOC)
- Languages: English is the official language with some areas also speaking Irish
- Climate: Ireland has a moderate climate influenced by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and the winds of the Atlantic Ocean. Summed up as moist and mild, the weather is very changeable with high levels of rainfall and a lack of extreme temperatures
- Voltage: 230V A/C. Frequency 50hz. The most common plug is the 13 amp three-pin plug, power socket type G. You can use your electric appliances in Ireland, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220V - 240V (as in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100V - 127V (as in the US, Canada and most South American countries), you will need a power converter.
- Visa: not required for EU citizens; nationals of other countries are advised to check with the relevant authorities
- Passport: EU passport holders travelling to Ireland must have an up-to-date passport valid for travel six months beyond the date of return; nationals of other countries are advised to check with the relevant authorities.
Transport & Accommodation
- Flight from your home airport to Dublin
- Transfer on arrival from the airport to your hotel with guide assistance
- Hotel accommodation in Ireland for the selected number of nights
- Meals served each day as per agreed itinerary
- Transfer from your hotel to Airport for return flight
- Direct flight from Dublin to your home airport
- Luxury air-conditioned coach for all transfers and tours
- Assistance of Joe Walsh Tours guides and representatives throughout the pilgrimage and at airports
Tours & Excursions
- Tours and excursions organised by Joe Walsh Tours
- Full services of Joe Walsh Tours guides and representatives throughout the tour
- DAY 1: A Journey Through The Sacral Landscapes of The Boyne Valley and The Hill of Tara
Today we will meet our driver at our accommodation at the Trinity Capital Hotel in Dublin City. We are accompanied by Michael Gibbons, archaeologist and historian, for our journey through the Boyne Valley. Our first stop is Newgrange for a visit to the Stone Age passage graves. Newgrange was constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Newgrange has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Then we will proceed west via Slane village to the Hill of Tara. Later we will travel to Galway on the West Coast of Ireland for our overnight stay in the Connemara Coast Hotel.
- DAY 2: Aran Islands - Islands on The Edge of Europe - An Irish Timescape
This morning, accompanied by Michael Gibbons, we will travel to the ferry port of Rossaveal where we will take a ferry to Inis Mor, one of the three Aran Islands. We will tour by coach and visit Dun Aengus, the Iron Age fort built as four concentric stone walls. The fort has been called the “most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe”. We will visit the monastery of St. Brecan at the “Seven Churches.” You will also see the only clochan or beehive-cell built with dry-wall corbelling on Inis Mor. We will reflect on the pre-Christian tradition as well as the monastic heritage on Aran before returning to our accommodation on the mainland. Overnight in the Connemara Coast Hotel.
- DAY 3: The Burren and The Cliffs of Moher
This morning we will travel through the Burren, in North County Clare. We will stop at the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs are 214m high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometres over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. We will continue our journey to an area called Ballyryan where we will meet with our local guide Tony Kirby who will accompany us on a guided walk. Ballyryan is a special area of conservation on account of its huge significance ecologically. The particular area covered affords spectacular views of Galway Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara and of course the Burren itself. The Burren is one of the most fascinating regions of Europe in terms of botany. It boasts, amongst other wildflowers, the Alpine Spring Gentian, the Arctic Mountain Aven and a profusion of Mediterranean orchids Ballyryan itself happens to be one of the most important zones of the Burren for botany - boasting this admixture of arctic, alpine, mediterranean and also maritime wildflowers. We will be visiting at the highpoint of the flowering season! The archaeological highlights of the walk are a Stone Age burial chamber and a Bronze Age cooking site. Apart from the flora and archaeology, the walk will include commentaries on the geology (stunning limestone pavement area), fauna, history and farming of the region. It is an interactive, informative and entertaining outing. We will continue our journey South to the beautiful village of Dingle. Overnight in Benners Hotel, Dingle.
- DAY 4: The Dingle Peninsula
We will meet our local facilitator, Isabel Bennet, at 9:30am at our hotel. We will then travel around the western part of the Dingle Peninsula, beginning with a site that is somewhat off the beaten track at Ballymorereagh. Here the remains of a monastic enclosure, from the early medieval period, encircle a space containing an ogham stone, some cross slabs, a church and a sunken chamber. Returning to the main road, we travel around Slea Head, one of the most scenic drives in the country. We then visit the monastic site at Riasc, which was excavated by Prof. Tom Fanning in the 1970s. We then proceed to the monastic site at Gallarus, best known for the perfectly preserved boat-shaped oratory, at least 1000 years old, which is probably the most famous site on the peninsula. Our next, and probably final site, will be the complex at Kilmalkedar, where a 12th-century Romanesque church is the focal point of a site where we will also see a holy well, an ogham stone, a large Latin cross, an early medieval sundial (one of only 9 surviving examples in the country) and the 6th-century Alphabet stone. If time allows, we might travel further, to Brandon Creek, to see the picturesque little harbour where tradition has it (and many scholars agree) was the place from which St. Brendan set sail on his wonder voyage, the Navigatio. We then return to Dingle for lunch with the afternoon free to explore Dingle Village at our leisure. Overnight in Benners Hotel, Dingle.
- DAY 5: Glenstal Abbey and Solas Bhride, Kildare
After an early breakfast we will leave the Dingle Penninsula and travel to Limerick where we will stop at Glenstal Abbey. Glenstal Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in Murroe, Co Limerick, Ireland founded in 1929. Here we will meet with Br. Colmán Ó Clabaigh OSB, who is a monk of Glenstal Abbey. His presentation, drawing on the monastery library's extensive collection of manuscripts, facsimiles and early printed books, will explore the relationship between monasticism and literacy in medieval Ireland. We will travel to Kildare. Here we will visit with Sr. Mary and The Brigidine Sisters, founded in 1807 by Daniel Delany, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. They live in Solas Bhríde, a small Christian centre in Kildare village which has as its focus St. Brigid and Celtic Spirituality. They have developed a pilgrimage “Walking in the footsteps of Brigid”. The pilgrimage will lead you through all the historic sites associated with Brigid, including a visit to St. Brigid’s Cathedral which commemorates the saint who founded a religious community here in 490. Here, Monks and Nuns lived under the same roof and a perpetual fire, a pagan ritual, was kept burning here until the 16th century. We will continue on to the Trinity Capital Hotel in Dublin for our overnight.
- DAY 6: Dublin, Irelands Capital City
This morning we will have some free time to shop and explore Dublin’s City Centre. In the afternoon we will meet our tour guide at the gates of Trinity College and we will enjoy a walking tour of Dublin. In just 2 hours, this Fáilte Ireland-approved award-winning and entertaining walking tour, conducted by history graduates of Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin, explores the main features of Irish history - Dublin's development, the influence of the American and French Revolutions, the Potato Famine, the 1916 Rising, the War of Independence, partition - and concludes with the Northern Ireland peace process and Ireland today. Overnight in the Trinity Capital Hotel, Dublin.
- DAY 7: A Spiritual Journey Through Glendalough
This morning we will have an early departure from our hotel as we drive to Glendalough, the setting of some of Ireland’s most important monastic settlements. We will go to the visitor’s center and see a film, “Ireland of the Monasteries” which will give us a brief history of the monastery. We will then meet Fr. Michael Rodgers who returned to Ireland after twenty years missionary service. He will lead us on a spiritual journey along his Pilgrims walk through St. Kevin’s Monastic City and then take the Pilgrims Way to the upper lake and visit the remains of St. Kevin’s Cell, the Reefert Church and gaze across the lake to see St. Kevin’s Bed and the ruins of Tempall na Skellig “Church on the rock”.
We will have the afternoon free to explore Glendalough at our leisure or return to Dublin.
- DAY 8: Day of Departure
- Travel insurance €25 per person (conditions apply); please note that there is an additional insurance premium of €25 for persons aged 86 to 94 years
- Packages are based on two people sharing twin/double rooms with private facilities
- Passengers are entitled to check in one standard piece of luggage subject to airline’s conditions
- Single rooms are on request and supplements apply
- A non-refundable deposit is required for booking
- Meals and in-flight catering where not stated are not included
- Itinerary may be subject to change; E&OE
- All bookings protected by the Commission for Aviation Regulation in Ireland (T.O. 052 | T.A. 0689) and the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK (ATOL 5163)