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Planning a 2018 Ireland trip?

8 Day Down Region and Best of Ireland Tour

Let us take you by the hand on a voyage of discovery through Ireland's cities and countryside to your cultural heartland of Down and beyond. On this journey you will be immersed in the history, culture, and heritage of the land of your ancestors. This once in a lifetime vacation is your opportunity to craft fireside tales for future generations.

Our 8 day tour not only brings you on a journey of Ireland's key experiences, it offers you a deeper connection to the land of your forefathers.

Key themes

  • One Hundred Thousand Welcomes
  • Beginnings
  • The Countryside – Rural Ireland
  • Landscape
  • Language and Stories, Music and Dancing
  • Customised Family Name Day
  • Gracious Living – the Anglo-Irish Legacy

Tours and attractions

  • Literary pub crawl
  • Newgrange neolithic site
  • Kilbeggan Distillery
  • Strokestown House & Famine Museum
  • Donegal Castle
  • Titanic Belfast
  • 'Irish Coffee'-making demo

The Irish connection

  • Fireside chat on being Irish
  • Visit to Irish language speaking community

Shopping and leisure

  • Your hotel in Dublin is in the heart of the city centre

Locations

  • Dublin, Donegal, Antrim, Down

Landscape and scenery

  • Slieve League
  • Giant's Causeway
  • The Wild Atlantic Way

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival

Theme: Céad Mile Fáilte / One Hundred Thousand Welcomes

  • Arrive early morning at Dublin airport
  • Meet and greet on arrival and transfer to Dublin's Westbury Hotel
  • Morning and early afternoon at leisure
  • 6pm Welcome to Ireland101 followed by cocktails and canapés
  • 7pm Dinner in Wilde Restaurant followed by Fireside Chat "On being Irish"
  • Overnight stay at The Westbury Hotel

Day 2

Theme: Beginnings

  • A dive into Ireland's ancient heritage to monuments older than the pyramids through centuries of invasion by Vikings, Normans and English, past the tragedy of famine and the struggle for independence: this is your time, these are your people, this is your place.
  • Full Irish Breakfast followed by briefing
  • Today's itinerary commences with Ireland's rich pre-history at Neolithic tumulus at Newgrange and continues with key moments in history including the arrival of Christianity, the Norman Invasion, British rule and the Famine
  • 6pm Literary Pub Crawl
  • 8pm Dinner
  • Overnight stay at The Westbury Hotel

Day 3

Theme: The Countryside - Rural Ireland

  • Full Irish Breakfast in Westbury Hotel
  • Depart Dublin and travel through the lush Irish countryside to visit the Kilbeggan Distillery, the oldest licenced distillery in Ireland, and onwards to the 18th Century Strokestown House and Famine Museum
  • Travel through the timeless beauty of the wild northwest Irish countryside to Donegal town, nestled amidst the breathtaking backdrop of the Blue Stack Mountains at the mouth of Donegal Bay
  • Whiskey Tasting on arrival at Lough Eske Castle
  • Flavours of Donegal – a special dinner prepared by the Lough Eske Castle's award winning chef using local ingredients
  • Overnight stay at Lough Eske Castle

Day 4

Theme: Landscape

  • Full Irish breakfast in Lough Eske Castle
  • Today's itinerary takes you to the spectacular Slieve League, said to be the highest sea cliffs in Europe rising over 600 meters above the sea below, and to the imperious and beautifully restored Donegal Castle, originally built in the 15th Century. Along the journey you will encounter places where Gaelic is still spoken on a daily basis
  • 7pm Dinner at Cedars Grill
  • 9:30pm Irish Coffee Making Demo at Lough Eske Castle
  • Overnight stay at Lough Eske Castle

Day 5

Theme: Language and Stories, Music and Dancing

  • Today you visit the ancient city of Derry and the 16th Century city walls and on to the geological wonderland that is the Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Seafood lunch in Derry
  • 6pm Cocktails in the classic, multi award-winning Bar at The Merchant Hotel followed by dinner at The Great Room Restaurant
  • Overnight stay at The Merchant Hotel

Day 6

Theme: Customised Family Name Day

  • Today's itinerary brings the highlight of the trip, completing your cultural reawakening by visiting your ancestral home, the doorstep where your forebears once left, possibly never to return
  • Also on today's agenda is an in depth discussion with a genealogist who will present you with their findings having completed in depth research on your family tree
  • Overnight stay at The Merchant Hotel

Day 7

Theme: Gracious Living – the Anglo – Irish legacy

  • Full Irish Breakfast in The Merchant Hotel
  • Today you visit around Belfast City and the iconic Titanic Quarter, the world's largest Titanic-themed visitor attraction, to learn more about the most famous ocean liner. Take a Black Cab City Tour around west Belfast, once the centrepoint of "the troubles", to get gain insights, into the political divide along with stories and wit from the commentary of the local guides
  • 6pm Drinks followed by Gala Dinner in The Great Room Restaurant
  • Overnight stay at The Merchant Hotel

Day 8

Theme: Return to Dublin or Shannon Airport

  • Final breakfast together then guests are coached back to Dublin or Shannon Airport

Some words from our Ireland 101 8 Day Down Region and Best of Ireland Tour Partners

 - Director of Sales - The Westbury Hotel "The Westbury Hotel is proud to be part of Ireland101. As an Irish family owned property we know the importance of connecting with your roots..."
,
Director of Sales,
The Westbury Hotel

Paul Shortall - Director of Sales & Marketing - Lough Eske Castle "Sitting on the site of the birthplace for the O’Donnell clan of Donegal, Lough Eske Castle is delighted to be a part of this exciting program with Ireland 101. Although the landscape, accommodation and furnishings of the 17th Century Castle have now changed into Donegal’s only 5 Star hotel, we welcome all of our neighbours of any name and any birthplace. I look forward to welcoming all guests of Ireland 101 on their journey home to this special island of Ireland ..."
Paul Shortall,
Director of Sales & Marketing,
Lough Eske Castle

Gavin Carroll - General Manager - The Merchant Hotel "The Merchant Hotel is proud to be part of Ireland101. As a 5 star hotel in the heart of Belfast we are delighted to welcome all those who are connecting with their roots..."
Gavin Carroll,
General Manager,
The Merchant Hotel



Select travel period:
Number of people:
Cost per person: €2,239
Total tour cost: €2,239

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