Print Full Itinerary
Day 1: US departure
Depart Newark Liberty International Airport, or your gateway airport. The time will be determined fairly soon, but it will be in the evening, so expect to need to be at the airport mid-afternoon.
Day 2: Arrive in Dublin
We arrive at the Dublin Airport in the morning, take a bus to our accommodations where we will drop our bags (check-in, as is true almost anywhere in the world, is around 2 pm). Thus, we will take a short walk, and find a place to get some good strong coffee and a nice Irish breakfast and explore a bit. Once we check in, a nap will perhaps be in order before our walking tour of Dublin, which will go for about two hours, after which your evening is free to do as you please.
Day 3: Trinity College & Guinness Storehouse
Today we will explore one of the most interesting libraries in the world: the Old Library at Trinity College. It is amazing all by itself, yet it also contains one of the most beautiful and complete illuminated manuscripts to survive from the Middle Ages: the Book of Kells.
In the afternoon we will head over to the Guinness Storehouseto learn about, and of course, sample (perhaps over-sample) the drink fit for both royalty and plebeians. No doubt the experience is educational and delicious, though perhaps more commercialized that it should be. But as an investment it’s solid: Arthur Guinness himself secured a 9000-year lease on the property in 1759.
Day 4: Newgrange
The archeological site of Newgrange is our experience for today, one of the few that we must be up early for. Rivaling the Hypogeum in Malta for the world’s oldest existing human structure at 5200 years old. Yet water has never penetrated the structure . . . if only we could rustle up some Stone Age roofers for our own homes.
Day 5: Dublin Castle, Christchurch Cathedral & Chester Beatty Library
In the morning we will visit Dublin Castle, which dates to the Normans of the 13thcentury. The castle construction commenced in 1204 and was finished by 1230. That’s 264 years before Columbus ran aground in the New World. Little of what you will see today actually dates to the original construction, yet what is there today is nevertheless impressive.
We will end our morning with a visit to the iconic Christchurch Cathedral where will learn the history of perhaps the most important church in Ireland and after a somewhat precarious climb up stairs and across a catwalk to the bell tower, we will get to try our hand at ringing the church bells!
After we will pause for lunch before making our way to the delightful Chester Beatty Library which houses a simply astonishing collection of religious texts from every major world religion including pages from the oldest existing Bible in history. It is utterly astounding. And they have an awesome café too. J
Day 6: Kilmainham Jail & Jameson Distillery
Kilmainham Gaol was built in 1796 as the new Dublin jail. At this time jails could be tremendously horrifying places like the one it replaced which was far more a grotesque dungeon than a jail. Nevertheless, this facility was still crowded, prisoners were assigned to rooms without regard for age or gender with a single candle that had to last for two weeks. Needless to say, prisoners spent most of their time in dark. We’ll check this out in the late morning.
We will thereafter liven our spirits by visiting the Old Jameson Distillery for a tour and tastings. Originally a family run business for about four generations, Jameson, like most old brands, is now in the hands of the massive drink conglomerate Pernod Ricard, a French company. Seems odd that an Irish whisky company is owned by the French, but the whisky fortunately remains tasty.
Day 7: Free
Take the day to explore Dublin on your own. You may need to sleep in depending on how much you enjoyed the Jameson the prior day . . .
There is quite a number of things you can see and do so come talk with us about really cool experiences we highly recommend or do a bit of reading in advance so as to have an idea of what appeals to you. We are more than happy to make arrangements for you if you let us know in advance. Of course, heading down to St. Stephan’s Green and spending a lazy afternoon is a very Irish thing to do . . .
Day 8: Dublin to Athlone to Galway by bus
We will be off to Galway this morning by private bus through the Irish countryside, stopping in the small town of Athlone for a visit to Sean’s Bar.
It could be any small, kinda rustic bar, a bit dark but with outside seating. But really, it is the archetype for every other bar of it’s kind, and not just in Ireland, but all of Europe, and perhaps even the world. This is because Sean’s Bar has been serving pints continuously since 900 AD. That’s 875 years prior to the first shots fired at Lexington and Concord of what became the American War for Independence. It’s certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest bar in Europe; the oldest in the world is still pending investigation. On a random weekday, we will probably pretty much have the place to ourselves, and we will continue the 1119 year-old tradition and hoist a few pints ourselves. There is a restaurant next door to grab some grub before continuing to Galway.
Upon our arrival in Galway, we will check in and then take up a walking tour of the city. We will find Galway to be a smaller and more intimate setting than Dublin, but quite lively – after all, it remains an Irish city with more pubs than people.
Day 9: Aran Islands
This morning we will take a 45-minute ferry ride out to explore the Aran Islands by bike or on foot. Here, we will find the remains of ancient forts, stunning views, tall cliffs, and perhaps a place one might consider staying to do some serious writing. Inspiration abounds . . .
Take the day to explore the charming shops, enjoy a performance by one of the many street musicians, grab a pint at one of the lively pubs, take in the sedate views river-side, or lay in the grass and read some Irish literature in Eyre Square. As before, we recommend doing some reading to determine if there is anything, you’d like to do that requires booking and we can handle that for you.
Optional Excursion: Claddagh
It wouldn’t be a trip to Galway without visiting Claddagh which is, you guessed it, the small fishing village responsible for the rise in popularity in the 20thcentury of the Claddagh ring. With a bit of mystery describing its origins, the message of the ring is clear: love, friendship and loyalty. The ring is full of these kinds of unwritten messages. There are four ways one can wear the ring illustrating the relationship status of a woman: single and looking, single and not looking, engaged, or married. To the single ladies looking for love in Ireland, perhaps you should immediately purchase a Claddagh ring to wear on your right hand with the point of the heart facing your fingertips…
Day 11: Galway to Doolin, Cliffs of Moher
We grab our private bus to head south around Galway Bay to Doolin, population less than 600. In comparison to Galway, and especially Dublin, you will find Doolin to be utterly rural and remote, an environment that charms us in a quite different way. Seriously, you will have trouble getting internet here. But the Doolin Inn is immensely charming, Anthony & Deirdre are super welcoming and the few houses that constitute the ‘town’ are super cool.
Once we check in to our place, we will meet up with our guide Pat to take a walk on the Cliffs of Moher. Well, a ‘walk’ isn’t accurate as it’s much more like a legitimate hike along the edge of very tall cliffs, but no worries – Pat will guide us well. He did create the trail after all. Just note this is a hike of about 5 miles, ending at the visitor’s center where one can take public transportation back or, as Creed and Laura will likely do, walk back to Doolin. The views are incomparable . . .
Day 12: Free
We have a free day set up for you in Doolin. There are many reasons for this, but mainly we want you to have the time to relax, have some pints at Gus O’Connor’s Pub, go horseback riding on the cliffs, do a bit of shopping, and walk down to the bay at sunset at least once. Doolin really is something special. There is no place in the world quite like it. Thus, it makes for the perfect end to your trip, rid of the hustle and bustle of big cities and flooded with raw, authentic Irish culture that will surely be hard to leave behind. Most importantly, we want you to have the time to reflect on the experiences you’ve had in Ireland.
Day 13: Depart Doolin for US
Itinerary: (Subject to change due to local conditions, unforeseen events, or more interesting, as-yet unplanned awesome experiences that become available)
Pricing: $3495 which includes airfare, accommodations, all tours, taxes and admissions fees (except where noted as optional), tour guide tips, train and bus travel within the travel destination. Please note that this amount is subject to change, though not drastically until you make your deposit.
Payment Plan: You may pay for the trip either in one payment or you may pay in installments beginning with a $500/person nonrefundable deposit upon your decision to travel with us. If you would like to avail yourself of an installment plan, please send us an email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide that information to you.
Methods of Payment: Venmo @educatedwanderer, PayPal email@example.com, Call 610.285.1775 to pay by credit card over the phone (Credit Card payments have a 4% surcharge). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how to send Cash or Check. Please contact us with any questions regarding your payment.