Scotland & Ireland
Spiritual Director: Fr. Todd Strange
April 29 - May 11, 2019 | Optional Post Tour to London - May 11 - 14, 2019
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located first class hotels: (or similar)
- ~ Apr 30 – May 01: Hotel Edinburgh Grosvenor, Edinburgh
- ~ May 01 – May 03: Hilton Garden Inn, Glasgow City Center
- ~ May 03 – May 04: Camden Court, Dublin
- ~ May 04 – May 05: Hotel Minella Clonmel, Tipperary
- ~ May 05 – May 07: Killarney Court Hotel, Killarney
- ~ May 07 – May 09: Salthill, Galway
- ~ May 09 – May 10: Knock House, Knock
- ~ May 10 – May 11: Sandymount Hotel, Dublin
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of a professional local guide throughout
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Lunches, beverages unless mentioned, tips to your guide and driver.
Mon, Apr 29: Depart USA to Scotland
Depart USA for your overnight flight to Europe. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Tue, Apr 30: Welcome to Scotland
Upon arrival at Edinburgh Airport, you will be greeted by your modern motor coach with driver and English speaking guide and you will depart for the city centre. Celebrate mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Mary (subject to availability). Check into your hotel. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Wed, May 01: Edinburgh to Glasgow
Following breakfast we will visit Edinburgh Castle. The castle dominates the city centre skyline and from its ramparts you can look down on medieval lanes and elegant, sweeping terraces that hold over a thousand years of history, mystery and tradition. Edinburgh Castle stands upon the basalt core of an extinct volcano. The castle with the complex building history has played a pivotal role in Scottish history, both as royal residence and as a military stronghold. You will visit the room where Mary, the tragic Queen of Scots gave birth to King James VI, you will admire Mons Mega giant 15th century siege gun and you will learn about the famous One O’Clock Gun. The most important exhibits to be found in the Castle are the Honours of Scotland – the magnificent Crowned Sceptre and the Sword of State which are the oldest Crown jewels in the British Isles and the Stone of Destiny, the enigmatic symbol of nationhood used to inaugurate monarchs of Scotland, England and the United Kingdom for more than 1000 years. Next visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The Palace of Holyroodhouse, the royal family’s official residence in Scotland, stands at the end of Edinburgh's Royal Mile against the spectacular backdrop of Arthur's Seat, surrounded by the Holyrood Park. The Royal Apartments, where The Queen hosts State ceremonies and other official occasions, are infused with centuries of history and have witnessed many important events in Scotland's rich history. The Palace is perhaps best known as the home of Mary, Queen of Scots and as the setting for the most dramatic episodes in her reign, culminating in the murder of her secretary Rizzio. Depart for Glasgow and check into your hotel. Dinner and overnight at Hotel.
Thu, May 02: Carfin
This morning, after breakfast we will depart for a visit to the historic small mining village of Carfin. Visit Carfin Grotto.The sight was built using the template of the Grotto at Massabielle; Our Lady of Lourdes. This site, built by unemployed miners of the village, has been used a place of procession and prayer since the early part of the 20th century. Before returning to Glasgow for lunch, you will enjoy some free time in Carfin, a town if significant importance in the life of Scottish Catholicism. Upon returning to Glasgow, you will enjoy a walking tour. Dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Fri, May 03: Glasgow - Dublin
Following breakfast we will transfer to Glasgow Airport for flight to Dublin for our short flight to Dublin. Upon arrival at Dublin Airport you will be greeted by your modern motor coach with driver and English speaking guide and you will depart for the city centre. 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. Highlights of the tour will be a visit to Trinity College and a stop at 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 including 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. Continue to Trinity College. Thomas Burgh built the Old Library building in the 18th century. Today it houses one of Ireland’s most illustrious books, the 9th century “Book of Kells”. Before viewing the famous book visitors pass through an excellent exhibition based on the Book of Kells and other important books written in monasteries around Ireland from the 9th century. After viewing the Book of Kells visitors are invited to visit the Long Room built in 1745. Once the principal library of the university, it now contains over two hundred thousand books and manuscripts of the Trinity’s oldest volumes. Brian Boru’s harp said to be the “oldest harp in Ireland” and a copy of the 1916 proclamation, one of the most important documents relating to Irish history are also on display in the Long Room. 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. Dinner and overnight in Dublin.
Sat, May 04: Dublin to Tipperary
After breakfast, depart in a southern direction for Tipperary. 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 Glendalough detailing the history, archaeology and wildlife of this area of Wicklow and includes an audio visual show. Continue via Baltinglass Abbey and Castledermot Abbey to your hotel in Tipperary where you will enjoy dinner.
Sun, May 05: Tipperary to Killarney
This morning travel to Kerry. 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 crosses. The Vicars Choral has been recently restored and its basement houses a small museum of artifacts 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 Kerry for dinner and overnight.
Mon, May 06: 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. Return to your hotel in Kerry for dinner and overnight.
Tue, May 07: 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. Ecologically, 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 Mór, 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 images, exhibits, displays & experiences exploring different elements of the mighty Cliffs of Moher: Ocean, Rock, Nature and Man. Continue on through the Burren Region. The Burren, part of which forms the 100 square km Burren National Park, is a unique place. It is a Karst limestone region of approximately 300 sq. km, which lies in the North West corner of Co Clare. It is composed of limestone pavements, which have been eroded to a distinctive pattern. This pavement is crisscrossed by cracks known as grykes in which grow a myriad of wild flora and under which are huge caves and rivers which suddenly flood when it rains. The Burren contains dozens of megalithic tombs and Celtic crosses as well as a ruined Cistercian Abbey dating back to the 12th century. You will discover small villages abandoned during the famine period and green roads on which you can walk for miles without ever seeing a car. The flora on the Burren is a mixture Arctic and Mediterranean and rare flowers such as gentian, orchids and bloody cranesbill are the rule rather than the exception. The Burren is truly an exceptional part of Ireland. On arrival in Galway enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Wed, May 08: 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. Ciarán 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 café and ample coach and car parking is available. Return to your hotel in Galway. Dinner and overnight in your hotel.
Thu, May 09: Galway to Knock
After you have enjoyed breakfast depart Galway. Today you will 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. Spend the balance of your day in Knock at leisure and enjoy celebrating mass. Dinner and overnight in Knock.
Fri, May 10: 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. Spend the balance of your day at leisure. We recommend a stroll down Grafton Street where you can enjoy the best in street entertainment. The shopping is also great in this area of the city! Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner at your hotel.
Sat, May 11: Farewell
After a final breakfast transfer to Dublin Airport for your return flight home.
*206 Tours Disclaimer:
Though every effort will be made to follow the itinerary, it should be considered as an indication, rather than a contract of places to be visited. Occasionally local religious holidays, national days, weather, traffic conditions and other events may necessitate changes in the sequence of visits or the missing of certain visits.