Sunday To Holyhead and our crossing to Dublin. We spend the ﬁrst night at the 4 star CityNorth Hotel in Gormanston.
Monday We continue through central Ireland, with a lunchtime stop in Athlone on the banks of the River Shannon and then on to the 4 star Harlequin Hotel in Castlebar, our base for 4 nights, where we are met with tea, coﬀee and biscuits.
Tuesday To the Knock Shrine and Museum to discover this historic venue and major pilgrimage site. We will be met by our experienced and friendly local guide and accompanied through the Shrine complex while the guide narrates the story of Knock in fascinating detail. Learn about the story of the apparition of 1879 with an approx. 30 minute guided tour of the beautifully landscaped Knock Shrine grounds. Follow this with a self-guided visit of the museum where you can share in the experiences of the millions of pilgrims that have visited here through the years. Later we experience a bygone way of life at the Country Life Museum in Turlough Park.
Wednesday Along the Wild Atlantic Way to Connemara National Park, which has long been regarded as the real Emerald of Ireland with its stunning vistas of scenic mountains, valleys, lakes and spectacular coastline. We have an exclusive tour at the iconic Kylemore Abbey, home to the Benedictine nuns and one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. Surrounded by acres of woodland and lakes, the impressive Kylemore Castle sits at the base of a mountain. We enjoy a VIP 30-minute, head gardener tour followed by a 20 minute guided tour of the house after which guests can enjoy a light lunch comprising soup and sandwiches followed by tea or coﬀee. On the scenic drive back through Connemara, we take in Killary Harbour, situated on the southern shore of Ireland’s only Fjord on the Wild Altantic Way, with unrivalled views of the spectacular bay and across to the northern shore and the Mayo mountains.
Thursday We have a guided tour of Achill Island, Ireland’s largest island!Experience some of the most spectacular scenery on the west coast of Ireland. Once on the Island, enjoy the spectacular, 23 mile Atlantic Drive that takes you on a journey of scenic splendour. Later, we visit charming Westport, Mayo’s most magniﬁcent heritage town and at Westport House we have an exclusive VIP visit. We are greeted by the owner of the house before relaxing and enjoying a cream tea served in the restored, original kitchens of the house. This is followed by a 30 to 45 minute ‘out of hours’ private, guided tour of the house led by one of Westport’s knowledgeable guides. Later, take a stroll in the wonderful gardens absorbing, the magniﬁcent views overlooking Clew Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Friday A relaxing drive to Dublin for our afternoon crossing to Holyhead. We continue to our overnight hotel, the 3 star Celtic Royal in Caernarfon.
Saturday We take the Llanberis Pass into Snowdonia with great views of Snowdon before a stop in Dolgellau, a dark-stoned market town. We continue on our scenic journey through the heart of Wales and make a ﬁnal stop in Abergavenny before our arrival home early evening.