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Castles & Legends of Ireland - 2022

Castles & Legends of Ireland - 2022

Experience the warmth of true Irish hospitality and soak up the magical atmosphere on your castle stay evenings. Interact with the friendly locals and learn about their storied history. Most importantly, witness the glorious, rolling countryside and its legendary shades of green known to the world as the Emerald Isle.

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Experience the warmth of true Irish hospitality and soak up the magical atmosphere on your castle stay evenings. Interact with the friendly locals and learn about their storied history. Most importantly, witness the glorious, rolling countryside and its legendary shades of green known to the world as the Emerald Isle.

Package Includes: 10 Nights' Lodging (10 Nights in Castle Hotels), 11 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 10 Dinners, Experienced Irish Driver & Tour Guide, Dublin City Driving Tour Including Stops at Trinity College, Saint Patrick's Cathedral and Christ Cathedral with Belfry Tour, Guinness Storehouse & Factory with Pint of Guinness Beer, Evening of Irish Music and Dance, Stop at Belleek Pottery, Visit the Highlands and Coast of Donegal, Glenveagh National Park, Visit Powerscourt Gardens & Glenalough National Park, Tour of Glenveagh Castle, Stop in Town of Westport, Tour of Kylemore Abbey & Walled Victorian Garden, Day of Leisure at Ballynahinch Castle, or Optional Tour of South Connemara Including a Stop at Celtic Crystal for Crystal Cutting Demonstration and Free Time in Galway City, Visit the Famous Cliffs of Moher, A Driving Tour of the "Ring of Kerry", Sheep Dog Demonstration, Visit Blarney Woolen Mill, Stop at Blarney Castle, Irish Whiskey Tasting at Old Midleton Distillery, Free Time to enjoy K Club Resort, Baggage Handling of 1 Suitcase Per Person, Roundtrip Motorcoach Transportation To and From Philadelphia International Airport.  *Roundtrip airfare cost will be determined in July 2021 and will be ADDED to the tour's package price.

 

 

***PLEASE NOTE:  A valid Passport is required for this tour***

 

 

**A $1,000 per person deposit is due by August 1, 2021 or upon booking

and is refundable up to December 20, 2021**

 

***A second $1,000 per person deposit is due by October 31, 2021, and is refundable up to

December 20, 2021***

 

****Final Payment is due by December 20, 2021. 

Any cancellations made after December 20, 2021 are non-refundable.  Travel insurance is suggested, and may be purchased through Wolf's Bus Lines from Allianz Travel****

 

PLEASE CONTACT OUR OFFICE TO BOOK YOUR RESERVATIONS

 

 

****ALL WOLF’S TOURS - TIMES AND ITINERARY ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE****

DAY 1

Board your Wolf's motorcoach for transfer to Philadelphia International Airport where we will be greeted by our Experienced Tour Escort, Mark Warther, for a non-stop flight to Dublin, Ireland. Mark Warther has been in the tour business for more than a decade and has organized and escorted tours all over the world including 7 to Ireland. Mark takes great pride in making certain his guests have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the landscape and culture of the people and places he travels, earning himself the reputation of offering his followers "life experiences" while touring with him. While on board our overnight flight, we will have both dinner and breakfast included before touching down in Ireland.

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DAY 2

Upon arrival in Dublin, our Tour Escort will assist us through customs and afterwards the group will be greeted by Mr. McGoey, our Irish motorcoach driver while in Ireland. Mr. McGoey will transport us to the old town of Dublin for a little time to browse and stretch your legs after a long flight. This afternoon, we will check in to one of Ireland's top Castle Hotels, K Club Resort. Brimming over with natural stunning natural character, the K Club combines old world elegance with indulgent 5 Star luxury. Each guest room is uniquely designed and furnished with a selection of original paintings and antiques, as well as magnificent, hand-painted murals in the bathroom. Rooms amenities include a flat-screen television, coffee maker, in-room safe and aromatherapy toiletry products. After time to get settled and freshen up, we will gather for a get-acquainted dinner with fellow passengers. Dress while at the K Club for dinner is smart casual to include slacks and nice top. Following dinner, you may wish to have a nightcap at your leisure in the lounge, take a relaxing dip in the swimming pool, enjoy the jacuzzi & steam room or retire to your room for the night.

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DAY 3

Our day begins with breakfast included at the K Club, followed by a visit to the Powerscourt Gardens. Among the finest in Ireland for both their design and their dramatic setting at the foot of the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain, Powerscourt Gardens stretches over 47 acres featuring a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and ornamental lakes, secret hollows and rambling walks. Make sure that you have appropriate footwear to walk the grounds which include The Walled Gardens, The Italian Garden, The Dolphin Pond, The Japanese Gardens, Pet Cemetery and Pepperpot Tower, and more. Ranked #3 in the World's Top Ten Gardens by National Geographic, there is a wealth of natural beauty for visitors to experience. Next, we will board the coach and travel to St. Kevin's 6th-Century Monastic Site, Glendalough. St Kevin is reputed to have founded Glendalough as a place to retreat from the world. It was one of the main pilgrimage attractions of medieval Ireland, and according to the life of St Kevin to be buried here was as good as being buried in Rome. People have been drawn to this picturesque valley that was carved out by glaciers during the Ice Age. The two lakes which inspired the name of Glendalough (Gleann Da Loch - valley of the two lakes) is the backdrop to the remains of this early Irish Christian monastic settlement dating from the 6th century onward. Witness the remains that include a superb round tower, stone churches and decorated crosses. After our visit, we will return to the K Club for lunch on your own and an afternoon and evening free to enjoy the incomparable resort. For those who wish to explore the beautiful gardens, grounds and countryside of the K Club may do so by foot or bicycle. A map is provided to enjoy a self-guided adventure. For the fishing enthusiast from beginner to the seasoned pro, fly fishing is an extremely popular pursuit on the resort. All equipment and clothing are supplied as a part of the package (additional fees apply for this activity and advanced reservations may be necessary) and the activity takes place on the bank of the lake which is easily accessible. With a plentiful population of trout, this "catch and release" activity is great for a hands-on outdoor experience. If an afternoon of pampering is what the doctor ordered, treat yourself to a self-indulging spa treatment such as facials, massage, beauty essentials and spa wellness (additional fees apply for spa treatments and advanced reservations may be necessary). If hitting the well-manicured golf courses at the K Club is your style, advanced reservation for tee times is required and additional fees apply. A virtual experience on a golf simulator is also an option for a unique twist to enjoy the links. The K Club was home to the 2006 Ryder Cup and has hosted 13 European Opens. Don't forget a dip in the pool or relaxing in the jacuzzi and steam room. Dinner will be included at the K Club.

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DAY 4

Awake to breakfast included at the K Club before we check out and depart for Blarney Woollen Mills. Housed in one of Ireland's oldest and most authentic Irish woolen mills, the retail shop features a fine collection of clothing, Celtic jewelry, housewares, and gifts. For those who like to knit, here is your chance to buy some fine yarn to create your next special gift for someone or a keepsake memory of your trip to Ireland. Afterwards, a short distance from the mill store is Blarney Castle where we will enjoy a tour and even time to "kiss the Blarney Stone". The Blarney Castle that we visit today is actually the third one to be erected on this site. The first building in the 10th century was a wooden structure and was replaced by a stone structure around 1210 A.D. It too was demolished and replaced in 1446 by what is still standing today. For those who are physically able to scale the steps of the castle, you will follow in the footsteps of millions before you who wish to obtain the gift of "eloquence" by kissing the Blarney Stone. Take time to stroll through the castle's diverse surroundings from tranquil to serene, to mystical and magical. Next, we will visit Old Midleton Distillery for an Irish whiskey tasting. While here, we will learn about the history of Irish whiskey which dates back to the 19th century when this distillery was founded by the Murphy Brothers, as well as learn what distinguishes Irish whiskey from Scottish whiskey and Bourbon, and of course finish with a tasting. Lunch will be on your own today before we continue our travels over the glorious Cork/Kerry Mountains via the Irish speaking villages of Ballymakeery & Ballyvourney to the oldest market town of Macroom where we will see Macroom Castle. Not familiar? What about the name William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania? Macroom castle was the boyhood home of William Penn and is said to have been constructed in 1199-1209. It is thought that the castle was built on the site of an earlier stronghold and its story reflects the trials and tribulations of Irish society over the centuries leading to a trail of ownership that would stretch through the ages. Although some parts of the castle could not withstand the War of Independence in 1916-22 and a demolition in 1960, some parts that were spared can still be seen in the grounds of the castle which is a public park with beautiful riverway walks situated in the heart of the town. Next, we will continue on to check in at Randles Hotel Killarney for a wonderful two night stay. A family-operated luxury manor, the Randles family takes pride in maintaining the highest level of personal service and gracious hospitality to make visitors want to return again and again. Each room is individually designed in keeping with the tradition of a country manor while offering modern comforts like widescreen satellite television, Wi-Fi accessibility, coffee & tea trays, ironing station, and classic furnishings. Dinner this evening will be included before you unwind and retire for the night.

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DAY 5

Breakfast will be included this morning before we board our bus for a tour of the "Ring of Kerry" to soak in the majestic views and an entertaining and educational sheep dog demonstration. The Ring, lassoed by a winding coastal road through a mountainous, lake-spattered region, is undeniably scenic and has brought visitors since Victorian times to this reminiscent chunk of the Emerald Isle where mysterious ancient ring forts stand sentinel on mossy hillsides. As mentioned, we will experience a demonstration like no other, as we watch Sheepdog trainer Brendan Ferris and his Border Collies move their herd of sheep anywhere on the mountainside with the slightest whistle or gesture. Ferris truly shows mastery in skill and watching him and his sheepdogs in action is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We will have lunch included today while on our tour of the Ring, and afterwards we return to Randles with exciting memories of a fascinating day's adventure. Dinner this evening will be at your leisure and at your own expense. If you Passed on the opportunity to "hit the links" at the K Club, here is your opportunity to play the Killarney Golf & Fishing Club course where the Irish Open has been played many times. You may choose this option instead of traveling the "Ring of Kerry", however, advanced reservations are a must and additional fees will apply. Please inquire early if you would like to take a swing at playing the Killarney links.

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DAY 6

Rise and shine to a delightful breakfast before we check out and depart for Connemara with a stop along the Wild Atlantic Way through the Burren to the famous Cliffs of Moher. This awe-inspiring natural attraction features a magical vista that will capture your heart and make everyone jealous when you share your photographic memories, don't forget to take plenty of pictures. Towering heights of over 700 feet high that have been shaped by wind and weather for millions of years, coupled with the sound of the crashing waves along the cliff walls that stretch nearly 5 miles, and along with endless flurrying birds and wildlife make the Cliffs of Moher a spectacular natural masterpiece. On a clear day one may even be able to see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. Our journey concludes today at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel where we will stay for the next two nights. This authentic and unpretentious Castle Hotel stands proudly overlooking its famous salmon fishery with a backdrop of the picturesque 12 Bens Mountain Range. Voted #1 in Ireland by the readers of Conde Nast magazine, Ballynahinch offers its guests luxurious surroundings with modern comforts in their rooms including coffee/tea maker, flat screen television, Wi-Fi accessibility and hairdryer. Dinner this evening will be included at Ballynahinch with the remainder of the evening to enjoy the castle's classic surroundings.

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DAY 7

Wake up to breakfast included at Ballynahinch before a day of optional leisure-time activities or an optional sightseeing excursion. Set in a private 700 acre estate of woodland, rivers and walks, Ballynahinch offers visitors a variety of activities to tempt your outdoorsy desires. Perhaps you would like to walk/hike on The Connemara Greenway with an on-site guide and gather insight into the rich history of property. Maybe try your hand at salmon and sea trout fishing in the waters located on property which have a world-renowned reputation. Another choice may be Clay Shooting and Tutorial, from the novice to the experienced, all abilities are accommodated. (NOTE: Advanced reservations and additional fees may apply to participate in these and other activities available to guests at the hotel. Please contact us well in advance for more information.) For those who would like to venture out for a sightseeing tour, you will leave late morning for South Connemara. From the bogs and lakes of the Gaelic speaking region to the mountain vistas, its wild beauty is due to its remote location and is largely unspoiled. A stop will be included at "Celtic Crystal" which has been creating Celtic Designs and Gaelic Motifs into its ornate Irish Crystal since 1972. This family-run business continues its tradition with its talented and creative young Irish crafts people who reproduce the culture and history of Ireland by masterfully cutting the unique and intricate designs that are synonymous with Ireland's Celtic heritage on their exquisite crystal pieces. A personal lead crystal cutting demonstration is also included in the visit. We will also have some free time in Galway City before returning to Ballyanhinch to catch up with the remainder of the group and share stories of your day's adventure with your fellow travelers over dinner included this evening.

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DAY 8

Breakfast will once again be included before we check out and depart for Donegal with a few stops along the way. Our first stop will be in the quaint little town of Westport where we will witness the summit of the mountain that Saint Patrick fasted for forty days in 441 A.D. Westport is a charming town with its brick-lined streets and scores of colorful shop fronts that bring the character of the town to life. A successful mix of the traditional and the cosmopolitan, Westport has a welcoming array of locally produced knitwear and pottery, contemporary fashion boutiques, book stores and some of the best seafood chowder that any port town would have to offer. Next, we will travel to the enchanting Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden, home of the Benedictine nuns since 1920. Stroll the hallways of Kylemore, visit the restored rooms and learn about the history of tragedy, romance, education, innovation and spirituality that make up its storied past. Explore the Victorian Walled Garden with its delightfully restored garden buildings set amid this lovely 1,000-acre estate. Our travels end today with dinner included upon arrival and a two-night stay at the 5-star Lough Eske Castle Hotel. Tastefully adorned guest rooms offer a refreshment station, flat screen television, and Wi-Fi connectivity. Enjoy the remainder of the evening to explore the hotel and perhaps enjoy a cocktail in the bar/lobby lounge or relax and unwind after a day's travel.

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DAY 9

Breakfast will be included this morning along with the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful castle's surroundings. Lough Eske Castle is nestled amid Donegal's dramatic landscapes, ragged coastlines and vast seascapes, the same dramatic scenery that earned itself the title of "Coolest Place on the Planet" by National Geographic Traveler in 2017. Today, we will visit the highlands and coast of Donegal with a visit to Glenveagh National Park. Where majestic mountains meet the waters of the Lough Eske and glorious rolling hills provide a picturesque shoreline, everywhere you look you will think that you have died and gone to heaven. Glenveagh is a remote and hauntingly beautiful wilderness of rugged mountains, pristine lakes, tumbling waterfalls and enchanted native oak woodland, and in the center of the park on the edge of the Lough Veagh is Glenveagh Castle. Built in the late 19th century, this castellated mansion was the dream of wealthy land speculator John George Adair who longed to have a secluded hunting estate in the highlands of Donegal. However, Adair was never to fulfill his dream as he suddenly died after a business trip to America. His American born wife Cornelia took over running the estate and introduced deer stalking in the 1890's and continued to improve the castle's comforts and beauty of its grounds adding the estate's gardens that she came to enjoy while summering there. After our time at Glenveagh National Park, we will return to Lough Eske Castle where dinner will be included with the remainder of the evening to enjoy your surroundings.

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DAY 10

Following breakfast included at Lough Eske, we will depart for Dublin. Lunch will be on our own during our journey through Ireland's enchanting countryside. We will take time for a visit at Belleek Pottery. Established in 1857 and home to Ireland's oldest working fine china pottery, Belleek Pottery holds a very special place in Ireland's cultural and commercial heritage producing more than 100,000 pieces annually, passing through 16 pairs of hands. Here's your chance to purchase a piece of beautifully crafted pottery to take home with you as a reminder of your visit. Our last two night stay is at one of Ireland's leading 4-star hotels, Dunboyne Castle Hotel. The Dunboyne offers the comforts of home including a coffee/tea maker, HD television, complimentary Wi-Fi, comfortable armchairs and work station, iron/ironing board, as well as amazing views to the gardens and lawns that make you feel like you have entered a haven of tranquility. Dinner this evening will be included at the hotel with the remainder of the evening to relax and unwind.

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DAY 11

A delightful breakfast will be included at the hotel before we board the coach for our narrated Dublin City tour. While on the tour, our tour escort Mark will highlight points of interest along with three notable stops, the first one being at Trinity College Dublin. Located in the heart of Dublin's city centre, Trinity is Ireland's highest ranked university and has produced some of the world's finest, most original minds including the writers Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett. Then our journey will take us for a visit at the largest cathedral and one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Ireland, Saint Patrick's Cathedral, which has been at the heart of Dublin and Ireland's history and culture for over 800 years. The present building dates back to 1220-1259 and was constructed on the site of an ancient well, which was supposed to have been used by Saint Patrick himself, replacing an earlier (probably wooden) structure. Next, it is on to Christ Church Cathedral Dublin (founded c. 1028) which is one of the top visitor attractions in Dublin that is apparent when you step inside and marvel at the cathedral's magnificent interior. The choir of Christ Church has an enviable reputation as one of Ireland's finest choirs dating back to 1493 with the founding of the choir school. Interestingly enough, the Christ Church choir, together with the choir of St. Patrick's cathedral, sang in the world premiere of Handel's Messiah in Dublin in 1742. Our visit even includes the opportunity to climb up to the belfry where you can try your hand at ringing their famous bells. No trip to Dublin is complete without a visit to the Guinness Storehouse where we will savor the flavor of a pint of Guinness. The journey begins at the bottom of the world's largest pint glass and continues through 7 floors filled with interactive experiences that combine their long brewing heritage with Ireland's rich history. At the conclusion, our reward is a pint of perfection in their world-famous rooftop Gravity Bar. That's what they call "higher education". Our awe-inspiring, sightseeing adventure is topped off with a farewell dinner along with festive Irish music and dance, followed by our return back to Dunboyne Castle Hotel for the remainder of the night to begin packing for our return to the states.

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DAY 12

Unfortunately, it is time to return home after what we hope has been the most enchanting, entertaining and awe-inspiring trip of a lifetime. Breakfast will be provided before we depart for the airport and take our flight back to the states to the Philadelphia International Airport. Lunch will be included on the flight.

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*** ALL WOLF'S TOURS - TIMES AND ITINERARY SUBJECT TO CHANGE ***

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

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