Ireland: Shamrock Adventure- The North and South of Ireland

Dunguaire Castle, Ireland

It is often said that each day in Ireland is like a festival. Ireland is, after all, a country bustling with activity. Activity that ranges from cultural to traditional and from music to theatre and dance. Ireland is also a country of ancient landscapes that are ever changing. In fact, it is a country that boasts “40 shades of green”.

Join us on a delightful journey to the Emerald Isle. Your visit will take you to some of Ireland’s most treasured landmarks: You will visit Dublin; Blarney Castle, famous for its Blarney Stone; the spectacular Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle. You will even visit Galway Bay!

You will also journey into Northern Ireland with visits to Belfast, famous for its Titanic museum, enjoy a drive along Northern Ireland’s famous coastal route and Giant Causeway. Your holiday will also take you to Derry, Londonderry and Donegal.

During your vacation, you will be accommodated in good 3  or 4 star hotels. Irish breakfast is also included each day. Your holiday also includes 3 dinners. Previous tours to Ireland sold out very quickly. This new 13 day holiday to Ireland is sure to be popular. Booking early therefore is your only guarantee of space on this adventure!

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

Ottawa to Ireland

This afternoon you will depart on your overnight flights from Ottawa to Dublin.

Day 2

Dublin Airport to Belfast

Ceád Mile Fáilte – “One Hundred Thousand Welcomes” to Ireland!

Upon your arrival in Dublin you will be met by your local driver/guide and begin your journey to Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital. Your first stop will be Titanic Belfast. This museum is the world’s largest RMS Titanic visitor attraction, comprising nine interpretive and interactive galleries focused on the short history of the famous ship. Its exhibits fill six floors and includes interactive discovery zones, full-scale reconstructions with special effects and real-life accounts from survivors of the tragic wreck. Highlights include the Ocean Exploration Centre with live links to modern underwater explorations and the luxurious Titanic Banqueting Hall. (D)

Overnight in Belfast

Day 3

Costal Route & Giant’s Causeway

This morning we will follow Northern Ireland’s famous coastal route and Giant’s Causeway. Considered to be one of the top scenic drives in Great Britain, this 212-kilometer route winds along the craggy coast of Northern Ireland. Stretching from Belfast all the way to Derry, the Causeway Coastal Route leads to castles, cliff walks, beaches, waterfalls, Game of Thrones filming locations and other scenic locales. (B)

Overnight in Belfast

Day 4

Londonderry & Donegal

After breakfast we will begin our journey to Sligo. Our first stop en route will be in Londonderry. This town is the only completely walled city left in Ireland. It has also played a big role in Northern Ireland’s troubled past.

Our next stop will be in Donegal. Donegal was voted the coolest place on the planet by National Geographic Traveler in 2017. This is because of its rugged interior, remote mountain passes and shimmering lakes. (B)

Overnight in Sligo

Day 5

Sligo to Galway

Today we will make our way to Galway. While steeped in history, Galway has a unique energy that makes it one of Ireland’s most visited cities. Galway has a thriving and cosmopolitan city centre. It is always a joy to explore with its wonderful cobbled streets, colourful shop facades and its unusual array of coffee shops. Your tour of Galway will encompass all of its major historical sites. (B, D)

Overnight in Galway

Day 6

Connemara Tour

Today you can explore some of the beautiful countryside of Connemara, with its rolling hills, flowing rivers and coastal landscapes. Connemara is a wild and beautiful region of mountains, lakes, tumbling streams, undulating bog, unspoiled beaches and panoramic views. It is a Gaelic- speaking region and has attracted many artisans, who can be visited at work in their studios. The centre of Connemara is composed of mountain peaks, the Twelve Bens or Pins, which culminate in Benbaun. The sharp grey peaks of quartzite rock which is resistant to weathering are too steep and hard to be clothed in blanket bog. The region is now largely uninhabited, although in the past the more fertile lowlands were cultivated and the uplands were used as pasture for cattle and sheep.

Stop and visit Kylemore Abbey & Gardens. Kylemore Abbey is the only home of the Benedictine nuns in Ireland. The Abbey was acquired by the nuns in 1920. Set in the heart of Connemara, this unique Abbey offers the warmth and hospitality of its peaceful environs. Its enchanting history is interpreted in detail in rooms at the Abbey. It was originally built by Mitchell Henry, M.P. for County Galway (a native of Manchester city) as a gift for his wife. The Gothic Church, set in the grounds of the Abbey, is the jewel in the crown of Kylemore. It has been lovingly restored and any visit would not be complete without seeing it. Explore the magical 6 acre Victorian walled garden, where Victorian varieties of flowers and vegetables are grown. Vegetables and herbs from the garden are used in the café where they offer traditional home cooked food made to the recipes of the Benedictine nuns. (B)

Overnight in Galway

Day 7

The Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty

Travel through the Burren – The Burren takes its name from the Irish word ‘bhoireann’ meaning, ‘a stony place’ or ‘a rocky place’, which is a good description for this 350 sq. kilometres limestone plateau in North Clare. The rough, intriguing and attractive landscape was formed 320 million years ago under a tropical sea. Later it was shaped by ice, hard weather and, of course, man and his beasts. The many wedge tombs and megalithic tombs prove that people have been living in the Burren for more than 5000 years.

Then travel to the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights. Standing 600ft above the ground at their highest point and 5 miles 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.

In the afternoon, visit Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. Bunratty Castle is one of Europe’s finest. Pride of more than 100 castles built by the McNamara chieftains in 15th century Clare, it is faithfully restored and refurnished. Built in 1425, it is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland and contains furnishings, tapestries and works of art from the period. In the shadow of the castle is Bunratty Folk Park set on 26 acres, illustrating 19th century Irish life from grand manor houses to peasant dwelling and from farm activities to cobble-stone village streets. (B, D)

Overnight in Tralee

Day 8

Dingle

Our first stop will be in Dingle. Dingle is a small port town on southwest Ireland’s Dingle Peninsula, known for its rugged scenery, trails and sandy beaches. It is considered to be one of the most picturesque parts of Ireland.

In the afternoon, we’ll return to Tralee and the rest of the day will be at your leisure. (B)

Overnight in Tralee

Day 9

Blarney & Cork City

This morning we depart for Blarney and the Blarney Stone, which has the traditional power on conferring eloquence on all who kiss it! The word ‘Blarney’ means pleasant talk, intended to deceive without offending. The battlements crowning the castle keep are typically Irish in form. Having climbed more than 100 steps, the famous Stone is set in the wall below the parapet, and to kiss it, one has to lean backwards from the parapet walk of the battlements. You can also visit the Blarney Woolen mills for some fine quality Irish produce.

After lunch, you will enjoy a panoramic tour of Cork and learn the history of Ireland’s third city known as the Rebel City. The city’s origins lie early in the seventh century when St. Finbarr, founder and patron saint, founded a small monastic community close to where Gilabbey Street now stands, and it grew into an extensive and wealthy establishment. It attracted the attention of the Viking sea-pirates who raided and burned the infant city, but returned in later years to settle and trade. The Anglo-Norman invasion in 1172 resulted in both the Danish lords and local MacCarthy chiefs having to submit to Henry II, but Cork has always had a reputation for independence and stubborn resistance – it came to be known as “Rebel Cork”.

The group’s final destination today is Kinsale. The town is renowned for its fresh seafood and gourmet cooking, as well as its numerous ‘cozy’ pubs!!! (B)

Overnight in Kinsale

Day 10

Midleton & Waterford

This morning, visit the Jameson Experience at the Old Midleton Distillery, Co Cork. The original buildings at the Middleton Distillery date back as far as the 1800s, and were used to mature Cork Distillery Whiskey (now known as Paddy Whiskey). Visitors come face to face with original kilns and pot stills from that time and explore warehouses that have matured whiskey for more than 2 centuries. Enjoy a signature drink of Jameson at the end of the tour.

Afterwards, you will travel to Waterford with an included city tour. Waterford is one of Ireland’s oldest and most historic cities. The walled city withstood siege on several occasions in the past but fell to the Normans in 1170 AD. It prospered under the Normans and emerged as the second city of Ireland after Dublin. The city was the chief port of Ireland throughout the middle ages.

Your final destination today is Kilkenny City. Located in the heart if Ireland’s Ancient East, the medieval city of Kilkenny is named after a 6th century monk called Saint Canice. His memory lives on in the beautifully preserved St. Canice’s Cathedral built overlooking the city in the 13th century. (B)

Overnight in Kilkenny

Day 11

Dublin

Visit Kilkenny Castle – The Normans arrived in the 12th century and their legacy remains in the superb and fully restored Kilkenny Castle and in the thriving and cosmopolitan merchant city. The 17th century was a time of great social and political turmoil for Kilkenny. It was the seat of national parliament for a six year period. The famous Oliver Cromwell invaded the city in 1650 and Kilkenny College was attended by such luminaries as Jonathan Swift and Bishop Berkeley.

This afternoon, make our way to Dublin. We will have a city tour of Dublin before being taken to our hotel. (B)

Overnight in Dublin

Day 12

Free day in Dublin- Your Travac Tours Director can assist you with ideas on what to do

Dublin is a lively capital city that’s as intimate as a village and as friendly as your local Irish pub. With its seamless blend of classic visitor sights, excellent social scene and the natural playgrounds of Dublin Bay and the Dublin Mountains framing it on all sides, this laidback city is an adventure in itself. (B)

Overnight in Dublin

Day 13

Ireland to Ottawa

Alas it is time to depart. The driver will transfer the group to Dublin Airport and depart for return flights to Ottawa. (B)

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Hotel Information


Jurys Inn Parnell Street (Galway) or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Quay St
Galway, Ireland
H91 E8D7
+353 91 566 444


Ormonde (Kilkenny) or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Ormonde St, Gardens
Kilkenny, Ireland

+353 56 775 0200


Buswells Hotel or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
27 Molesworth St, Dublin 2, Ireland
,

+353 1 614 6500


Maldron Hotel Belfast City (Belfast) or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
20 Brunswick St
Belfast, Ireland
BT2 7GE
+44 28 9600 1680


The Glasshouse Hotel (Sligo) or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Swan Point, Abbeyquarter North
Sligo, Ireland
F91 NCA4
+353 71 919 4300


The Rose Hotel (Tralee) or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Dan Spring Rd, Cloon Beg
Tralee, Ireland
V92 HKA4
+353 66 719 9100


Actons Hotel (Kinsale) or similar

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Pier Rd, Scilly
Kinsale, Ireland

+353 21 477 9900



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Important information


Itinerary subject to change.

Please note that you are required to have a valid Canadian passport with you. Non-Canadians may require a visa. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have such a document if required. Any other nationality other than Canadian persons must identify themselves to the booking agent for verification of documents required.




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Italy: The Amalfi Coast and Sicily

amalfi-coast

A Cultural Escapade into Amalfi and Sicily 2021 

Amalfi is a special place. Left to us by the Gods of the ancient world, Zeus and Poseidon, it has been fashioned with dramatic landscapes and vistas that are truly awe inspiring. Your time in Sorrento will include many escapes, including one of the great drives along the jagged cliffs of this ancient coast. You will also have a chance to visit the island of love, Capri, known for its magical beauty. Another excursion will take you to the ruins of Pompeii, set against the backdrop of Mount Vesuvius.

Travelling south, your holiday will take you to Sicily. Located in the midst of the Mediterranean, this island has a personality of its own, full of flavour and teeming with cultural architecture dating back thousands of years. Ruins from both the Greek and Roman period are said to be the best in Europe. Each day will be filled with unexpected riches that are sure to enhance your experience.

 

Tour Itinerary


Day 1

International flight from Canada to Naples. You will meet your Travac Tours Director at the Westgate Mall for your private transfer to the Montreal airport for your flights to Naples. Onboard you will be served a dinner and a continental breakfast.

Day 2

Upon arrival in Naples you will meet your Travac Tours Director in the baggage claim area. You will then be transferred to your hotel in Sorrento. The balance of your day will be free to explore this charming hillside town. (D)

Day 3

Today you are totally free to explore all the wonders that can be found in Sorrento. (B,D)

Day 4

This morning we will explore Naples and the UNESCO-listed ruins of Pompeii. This fascinating tour will be led by a local guide. We will begin with a short city tour of Naples passing by its Royal Palace and the Grand Cathedral. Afterwards, we will journey to Pompeii to explore the largest archeological site in Europe, visiting the Forum, Thermal Baths, ‘Lupanare’ the Pompeii brothel and more. Your trip will conclude in the late afternoon. (B,D)

Day 5

You are again at liberty to enjoy the flavors of Sorrento on your own. (B,D)

Day 6

It is difficult not to fall in love with the Amalfi coast. Your tour today will show you why the Amalfi coast has, for several decades, become the playground of the rich and famous. You’ll pass by Positano and of course stop at the village of Amalfi itself. Along the way you will have plenty of time to explore and revel in the richness of these iconic gems. (B,D)

Day 7

As an option today you may wish to visit the alluring island of Capri. This holiday includes a boat trip around the island to soak up the views of the unique coastal formations. You will also have time to visit Capri’s old town, where you can stroll around the cobbled streets of Piazza Umberto. (B,D)

Day 8

After breakfast, we will depart Amalfi and make our way to Sicily and our first stop in Catania. Expect to arrive in the early evening. (B)

Day 9

Catania has its own magnetic pull and youthful energy. The city itself is over 2700 years old and is full of UNESCO listed sites. Today our tour will afford you ample time to explore the historic sites of this city while at the same time enjoying its extraordinary cuisine. Our tour will also visit the nearby picturesque villages of Acicastello and Acireale. (B)

Day 10

Today you will travel to the highest active volcano in Europe, Mt Etna. Indeed, it is the highest peak south of the Alps. The region is famous for its wines and of course its spectacular vistas. While on Etna we will stop at one of the local wineries. To complete your tour, we will visit the town of Taormino. This town is spectacularly perched on the side of a mountain and is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Sicily. Founded in the 4th century BC, Taormino enjoyed great prosperity first under the Greeks and then the Romans. Their presence is still felt throughout the town which adds to its charm. (B)

Day 11

Tour of Syracuse. After breakfast we will make our way to Syracuse. More than any other city in Sicily, Syracuse captures the timeless beauty of this land. Today ancient Greek ruins rise out of lush citrus orchards. The city itself dates back to 734 BC and at one point it was the most important city in the ancient world. Syracuse is filled with medieval piazzas and small cafes that can be found everywhere on its cobbled streets. (B)

Day 12

After breakfast, we will be leaving Catania and travelling to Palermo. Our route will take us through Villa Romana del Casale. This Roman villa is famous for its ancient mosaics considered to be among the best in the world. From here you will make your way to Palermo. After checking into our hotel the balance of your day will be free. (B)

Day 13

Tour of Palermo. Palermo is at the edge of Europe and the centre of the ancient world. Your tour of Palermo will cover a lot of ground illuminating some of the city’s fabulous UNESCO sites and its history throughout the ages. Palermo is famous for its eateries. You will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the cuisine while falling in love with the setting. Our tour of Palermo will also include a visit to Monreale, famous for its Cathedral and incredible panoramic views of Palermo. (B)

Day 14

Free day. (B)

Day 15

Explore the beautiful Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, famous for its golden stone Doric temples left by the Greeks. Learn about the myths of Hercules, Juno, Castor and Pollux. Relive the glories of the people who founded Sicily, colonizing its cities from the 8th century BC. The temples were constructed some 300 years later and remain the largest collection of early Greek architecture outside of Greece. The Temple of Concord and Temple of Zeus, believed to have been the 3rd largest temple the Greeks ever built. (B, D)

Day 16

Flight home. Your tour director will advise you of your return times.

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Hotel Information


Hotel Bristol, Sorrento

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Via Capo, 22, 80067 Sorrento NA, Italy
,

+39 081 878 4522


Romano House, Catania

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Via Giovanni di Prima, 20, 95131 Catania CT, Italy
,

+39 095 352 0611


Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa, Palermo

Hotel website


Hotel Rating

Hotel Address
Via dei Cartari, 18, 90133 Palermo, Italy
,

+39 091 320075



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