Pilgrimage to Ireland
Spiritual Director: Fr. Tim Harrison
Group Coordinator: Paul Blanchette
May 13 - 23, 2019
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from Boston
- Airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Accommodations at 3 and 4-star hotels or similar: (or similar)
- ~ 1 night: May 14 - 15, Dublin, Camden Court Hotel/ Trinity City Hotel
- ~ 3 nights: May 15 - 18, Killarney, Dromhall Hotel , Castlerosse Hotel
- ~ 2 nights: May 18 - 20, Galway, Salthill Hotel, Ardilaun Hotel
- ~ 1 night: May 20 - 21, Knock, Knock House Hotel, Park Hotel Kiltimagh
- ~ 2 nights: May 21 - 23, Dublin, Camden Court Hotel/Trinity City Hotel
- Tour escort throughout
- Transfers by private motor coach
- Breakfast and Dinner Daily with 1 Glass of wine and mineral water (3 dinners at local restaurants)
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of professional local Catholic guide(s)
- ~ St. Patrick's Cathedral - Glendalough Visitor Centre,Jameson Distilery
- ~ Rock of Cashel - Gallarus Oratory - Kilmakeadar Church - Guiness Storehouse
- ~ Cliffs of Moher - Clonmacnoise - Knock Shrine & Museum
- ~ Kylemore Abbey - National Museum of Ireland - Guinness Storehouse - Muckross Abbey
- Shannon Car Ferry
- Lough Corrib Cruise
- Dublin city tour with professional local guide
- Porterage of 1 piece of luggage in/out of hotels
- Service charges and taxes
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Meals or beverages unless mentioned, Tips to your guide & driver, Items of a personal nature.
Mon, May 13: Depart
Depart for your overnight flights to Ireland!
Tue, May 14: Welcome to Ireland
Upon arrival at Dublin Airport you will be greeted by your modern motor coach with driver/guide and you will depart for the city centre.Meet with your local guide and enjoy a Panoramic City Tour of Dublin
The tour will introduce you to the principal sites, which you may then revisit at your leisure. You will visit the elegant Georgian squares, famous for its architecture and of course its famous doors. Some of those places we will see is Trinity College and St.Patrick's Cathedral. Built in 1192, it is one of Ireland's largest cathedrals made famous by its former dean Jonathan Swift, author of "Gulliver's Travels." Pass by Christchurch, built by the Anglo-Norman's in 1172 to replace an earlier church built by the Vikings in 1038, on your way to the Phoenix Park with its many monuments includ-ing the Papal cross. Return to the city centre via the Quays, passing by the Guinness Brewery, and Collins Barrack, now part of the national museum, before arriving back into O'Connell Street and the city centre.In the afternoon visit St. Patrick's Cathedral
Built in honour of Ireland's patron saint, Saint Patrick's Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptized converts on his visit to Dublin. The parish church of Saint Patrick on this site was granted collegiate status in 1191, and raised to cathedral status in 1224. The present building dates from 1220. The cathedral is today the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland (a church of the Anglican Communion). St Patrick's is Gothic in style and its splendid interior is adorned with funeral monuments, such as The Boyle Family Memorial and the grave of Dean Jonathan Swift (author of Gulliver's Travels). Swift was dean here until his death in 1745. The Chancel has ornate stained-glass windows, and spectacular choir stalls, once used by the knights of St Patrick, adjoin the Altar. The massive west towers, houses a large peal of bells whose ringing tones are so much part of the character of Dublin.
Later, we'll visit Jameson Distillery; an Irish whiskey tourist attraction located just off Smithfield Square in Dublin, Ireland. Jameson Distillery Bow St. is the original site where Jameson Irish Whiskey was distilled until 1971.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel in Dublin.
Wed, May 15: Dublin to Killarney
After breakfast, depart for Killarney . En route visit the Rock of Cashel. Possibly the most photographed site in Ireland, the Rock of Cashel towers over the town of Cashel from its perch on a 200-foot high outcrop of limestone. Once the seat of the Kings of Munster. St. Patrick visited the rock in 450, while Brian Boru was crowned the first high King of Ireland here in the tenth century. Granted to the church in the twelfth century, by the O'Brien clan, today the impressive stone walls enclose a round tower, a cathedral, a twelfth century Romanesque chapel and high cross-es. The Vicars Choral has been recently restored and its basement houses a small museum of arte-facts found on the site. One of the leading visitor attractions in Ireland, in 2011 it was visited by Queen Elizabeth II on her historic first visit to the Republic of Ireland. Continue to your hotel in Killar-ney . Dinner and overnight.
Thu, May 16: Dingle Peninsula
After your full Irish breakfast you will depart to West Kerry for a full day touring the Dingle Peninsula. This peninsula is famous for its Celtic, pre-Christian monuments and Christian churches. It is also a 'Gaeltacht' (Irish speaking) area, where the Irish language and traditional ways of life are preserved. The road around the Peninsula is truly spectacular. It passes through a chain of Mountains, called Slieve Mish. From Inch, a long beach bordered by dunes and made famous by David Lean's movie "Ryan's daughter," admire the Iveragh Peninsula and Rossbeigh Beach. From Dingle, drive around the coast to Slea Head. Here the blue of the marine landscape surrounds the Blaskets Islands, deserted since 1953. In the distance are the two rocky Skellig islands, where the ruins of an early Christian Monastery can be found. The Dingle Peninsula will charm you with its villages painted in bright colours and will bewitch you with the dramatic beauty of its landscapes.Enjoy a visit to Gallarus Oratory
Gallarus Oratory is the most impressive early Christian monument on the Dingle peninsula. It has withstood the passage of time for over 1200 years. Built in the shape of an upturned boat, the oratory formed part of a larger monastic site and was used as a place of prayer and reflection. With its small entrance doorway and round-headed east-facing window, it is an excellent example of dry stone construction. Gallarus Oratory visitor centre offers visitors the opportunity to explore Gallarus Oratory and also see an audio visual presentation on the surrounding area. There is a shop offering souvenirs and some refreshments located in the main centre.In the afternoon visit Kilmakeadar Church
This whole area is quite rich with antiques. This particular 12th century church was once part of a complex of religious buildings. It has a chancel and doorway, which are traditional enlargements of the Romanesque original. Inside there is an 'Alphabet Stone' on which letters of the alphabet are inscribed. There is an Ogham stone, a Celtic cross and a sundial in the grounds outside.
Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Killarney.
Fri, May 17: Ring of Kerry Highlights
Today enjoy a tour of the Ring of Kerry Highlights. Molls' Gap is a spectacular photographic viewing point on the famous Ring of Kerry Tour. The visitor is presented with a magnificent view of Death Valley. Close by is the famous Ladies View viewing point with gives a different perspective of this magnificent countryside, with the 3 Lakes of Killarney all surrounded by the Kerry Mountains. Ladies View received its name from Queen Victoria, who was so impressed with the view that she insisted that her ladies-in-waiting should also visit here.Return to Killarney via Muckross Abbey
This Franciscan friary was founded in the 15th century and is in a remarkable state of preservation. The tower was added after the church was built and is the only Franciscan tower in Ireland which is as wide as the church. The cloister and its associated buildings are complete and an old yew tree stands in the centre. The monks were finally driven out by the Cromwellians in 1652. Access is possible all year round, except to areas undergoing conservation works.
Dinner and overnight in Killarney.
Sat, May 18: Kerry to Galway
After breakfast, depart for the Shannon Car Ferry. The main tourist routes of the West of Ireland's Shannon Region are linked via the Killimer-Tarbert car ferry. This pleasant, 20 minute journey travels across the Shannon Estuary which is almost 100km in length and 13km wide at its widest point. Eco-logically, the Shannon estuary has a unique value with a group of bottle nosed dolphins resident in the estuary. As well as this, the estuary is an important habitat for migrating birds and wild fowl. The ferry can take car and coach vehicles. The ferry trip will save 85 miles (137 km) from ferry terminal to ferry terminal providing a staging point for the many attractions of Clare, Kerry and adjoining counties.
Visit the Cliffs of Moher. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean and bordering the Burren Area, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's most spectacular sights. Standing 230 metres above the ground at their highest point and 8km long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara. To the south of the cliffs is Hag's Head and was once the site of a castle. The cliffs reach their highest point just north of O' Brien's Tower. Cornelius O' Brien, a descendant of Brian Boru (he who defeated the Vikings in battle), built a Tower at the cliffs in order to enjoy some tea with his lady friends. The Tower is adjacent to the sea stack, Breanan Mor, which stands over 70 metres above the foaming waves and is home to some of the Burren's wildlife. Atlantic Edge is the exciting new interpretive centre at the Cliffs of Moher and is built into the natural landscape. The centre is a huge domed cave that contains imag-es, exhibits, displays & experiences exploring different elements of the mighty Cliffs of Moher: Ocean, Rock, Nature and Man.
Sun, May 19: Lough Corrib & Clonmacnoise
This morning enjoy a Cruise on Lough Corrib. The Corrib Princess sails from Woodquay in the heart of Galway city, along the famous Steamers Line, which is the lakes traditional trade route. The journey takes passengers along the majestic River Corrib and onto the lake providing visitors with a guided commentary in a number of languages on the historic monuments and natural amenities on this waterway that leads to the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland. There is an abundance of wild life and the Corrib has a peace and tranquillity all of its own.Next enjoy a visit to Clonmacnoise
A wonderful early Christian site founded by St. Ciaran in the mid-6th century on the eastern bank of the River Shannon. In a stunning setting, the site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (10th -13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and the largest collection of early Christian graveslabs in Western Europe. The original high crosses and a selection of graveslabs are on display in the visitor centre. In 1979 Pope John Paul II celebrated mass at this site. Guided tours are provided and the long and varied history of Clonmacnoise is recounted in an audio-visual presentation shown in the visitor centre. There are also exhibitions that deal with the flora, fauna and landscape of the region. The centre includes a cafe and ample coach and car parking is available. Dinner at a local restaurant prior to returning to your hotel for overnight.
Mon, May 20: Galway to Knock
After you have enjoyed breakfast depart Galway travelling through Connemara. Visit Kylemore Abbey. Kylemore Abbey is stunningly located in the Kylemore Pass in Connemara. Mitchell Henry built the House in 1868, after having spent his honeymoon in the area. The architecture is best described as neo-gothic and the house still displays all the characteristics of that period. One of Kylemore Abbey's most famous features is its miniature cathedral, built in 1870 and known locally as the Gothic church. Today, the abbey is home to the Irish order of Benedictine nuns. They established a private school for young girls, which was the renowned Kylemore Abbey International School. The school eventually closed in 2010. Facilities at Kylemore include a visitor center, an exhibition housed in the main recep-tion rooms of the house and a video which takes the visitor through the history of the house and its occupants. The Gothic church is available to visit and as a venue for choir groups to sing in. If time allows guests can also visit the Kylemore Abbey Victorian Walled Garden was laid out in 1867 and took three years to complete. A bus service provided from the front door of the Abbey directly to the garden and is the only permitted means of access.Continue to Knock, and visit Knock Shrine situated in the plains of East Mayo.
It is one of the world's leading Marian shrines. On August 21, 1879 fifteen women, men and children, witnessed an Apparition of Mary at the south gable of Knock Parish Church. Knock is a very popular pilgrimage destination, and in 1979 Pope John Paul II visited this holy place. Mother Teresa of Calcutta visited the Shrine in June of 1993. One and a half million pilgrims visit the Shrine annually. Dinner and overnight in Knock.
Tue, May 21: Knock to Dublin
This morning depart for Dublin. On arrival, visit the National Museum of Ireland. The National Museum houses artefacts which date from 7,000 BC to the 20th century. The Kildare Street site is home to artefacts from Viking times displayed alongside Celtic masterpieces and it houses one of the largest collections of Bronze Age gold in the world. The centrepiece of the collection is the Ardagh Chalice, which dates back to 800 AD. The museum also includes an exhibition dealing with Ireland's struggle for independence from 1916-1922. The Museum has many excellent displays. Of particular note are the Broighter Hoard, Tara Brooch, Ardagh Chalice and the Derrynaflan Hoard.Today enjoy a visit to the Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Brewery in Dublin is Europe's largest stout producing brewery and home to the Guin-ness Storehouse. Opened in 1904, the Storehouse was an operational plant for fermenting and storing Guinness. Today it houses a very fine exhibition dedicated to the Guinness story. Visitors will discover what goes into the making a pint of Guinness - the ingredients, the brewing process, the time, the craft and the passion. The exhibition shows how the brew has been marketed and how it is today sold in over 150 countries. Once the tour has finished, the guest is invited to the Gravity Bar to enjoy their pint of Guinness. Regular demonstrations on the art of pulling a pint of Guinness also take place in the Storehouse. Dinner and overnight in Dublin
Wed, May 22: Wicklow
Travel through Wicklow. South of Dublin is County Wicklow. Known as "the Garden of Ireland" it is home to Powerscourt, Mount Usher and Russborough, to name a few of its many houses and gardens. This region features all the various types of scenery that makes Ireland so beautiful. The coastline is bordered by charming sea resorts such as Bray or Greystones. In the heart of its gentle and rounded hills are nestled Enniskerry and Avoca, both very picturesque villages. Discover its romantic and quiet beauty, the deserted mounts where nothing but heather grows, the small forests and the lush prairies illuminated by yellow gorse in spring.
Enjoy a visit to Glendalough. This early Christian monastic site was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century. Set in a glaciated valley with two lakes, the monastic remains include a superb round tower, stone churches and decorated crosses. The Visitor Centre has an interesting exhibition on Glen-dalough detailing the history, archaeology and wildlife of this area of Wicklow and includes an audio visual show.
Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Dublin.
Thu, May 23: Farewell and return home!
Prepare for your departure to Dublin Airport and your return flights home.