A Gateway into Ireland’s Riches & Ancient Past
JUNE 6 - 17 | 2024
From Me To You
When our original travel plans for Morocco, 2024 upended quickly, a round table chat with near and dear ones had us brainstorming for dream worthy destinations. No surprise, Ireland rose quickly to the top of the list.
What's not to love?!
We've been organizing our exclusive small group tours for a decade now and each year I'm known to joke that it's going to be really hard to 'top' this one. When you're working with wonderful people who love what they do and are passionate about sharing their knowledge with the world, they make it easy! That's especially true when we delve into a country like Ireland that is so rich in it's ancient past and so proud of it's future.
The best glimpse of raw and unspoiled Ireland feels like it's just around the corner, quite splendid and breathtaking. Our aspiration is that each experience draws us closer to the heart of this rich nation; beginning with the literary tour in Dublin, learning about the Easter rising of 1916, cooking at one of greatest cooking schools in Ireland where farm to fork isn't just an ideology but a way of life to spending time with a renowned Archaeologist in the Dingle peninsula which has one of the greatest concentration of archaeological sites in Western Europe, stretching back over the past 7000 years!
We immerse ourselves in these exclusive experiences while being nestled in the elegant surroundings and warm hospitality in opulent castle hotels, ivy covered historical country estates, historical hotels in the heart of small towns to the urban hotels of Dublin where we are steps away from the hottest museums and pubs.
This is Mythical Ireland.
Our tours are for travelers, not tourists.
Hope you'll be one of 10 persons to join us on this incredible discovery of the Emerald Isle!
DREAM OF THINGS TO COME...
We will be staying distinctive accommodations, each reflective of the of counties in which they are situated.
In Dublin, a newly designed 4-star hotel with one of the grandest facades, sits beside Merrion Square park, steps away from the National Gallery and Trinity College and a minute's walk of the best of Georgian Dublin.
In Kilkenny, this hotel is set in a former bank building on a cobbled street, a minutes from the Kilkenny Castle and along John Street Lower to a riverside pub offering folk music.
In lively Kenmare, the exquisite, five-star Relais & Chateaux hotel, enveloped by some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery, is one of Ireland’s Grande dames.
In Co. Claire, one of the grandest castle estates in all of Ireland awaits us. From the imposing baronial façade to the startling interiors, you’ll find a world of historic grandeur underpinned by the finest modern comforts. With lavish décor, indulgent dining, fabulous views and magnificent bedrooms, this is a place to feel at home in opulence.
All luxury accommodations are 4-star and 5-star.
EXCLUSIVE TOURS WITH SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS
THE EASTER RISING 1916 TOUR WITH AUTHOR & HISTORIAN
The Easter Rising of 1916 was the most dramatic event in the history of Ireland’s struggle for independence from the British Empire.
In the company of a renowned historian, author and podcaster on this subject, we will visit the relevant sites of these battles in Dublin as the complexities of Irish history are explained in depth..
The executions of the leaders after the Rising awakened a generation to the cause of Irish freedom, resulting in the War of Independence, the formation of the Irish Free State and as a result the Irish Civil War.
ARCHAEOLOGY| ANCIENT SITES NEAR DUBLIN & DINGLE PENINSULA
The Dingle Peninsula has one of the greatest concertation’s of archaeological sites in Western Europe, stretching back over the past 7000 years. It is estimated that there are almost 2500 archaeological sites on this narrow rugged finger of land jutting into the Atlantic Ocean.
Find out where the Irish came from and how they survived on this wild landscape for 12000 years.
Near Dublin, our guided tour will also visit Newgrange Passage Tomb of the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Site of Brú na Bóinne and we also visit the Hill of Tara, the ancient capital of Ireland.
Explore and discover the world famous collection of decorated kerb-stones that surround the passage tomb. These stones display some of Europe's best-preserved examples of Neolithic art.
These are Ireland’s premier historical and archaeological tours.
EXCLUSIVE TOURS WITH SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS
THE BURREN WITH ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT & EDUCATOR
We explore The Burren, an amazing area of international environmental significance on the Atlantic coast of Ireland. Famous for its diversity – in geology, flowers, archaeology, butterflies, moths, prehistoric sites, ring forts and fairy forts, marine life and fossils.
We immerse ourselves in this unique area with Ireland’s leading Burren expert, who will walk with us through this magical place that reveal the area’s magnificence and its extraordinary natural and human heritage.
FALCONRY & HAWK WALKS
Falconry is an unmissable part of the Ireland Castle experience and a chance to enjoy magnificent wildlife and ancient woodlands,
We'll get up close and personal with mesmerizing falcons, hawks and owls in the Castle grounds.
Initially you will be introduced to the hawk or hawks and as soon as you are comfortable, you can cast it free from your hand, with the assistance of your own personal guide.
Bond with a free flying hawk as he/she comes swooping from the old Irish oak trees to alight on your hand at your command. After the walk has finished, some of our friendly owls can be flown and handled as well. (owls are the most original photobombers!)
PRESTIGIOUS COOKING SCHOOL IN WEXFORD CO.
Set in twenty acres of parkland and gardens on the Hook Peninsula, just across the estuary from Waterford city, Catherine and Kevin Dundon’s elegant Georgian manor offers a tranquil and luxurious retreat with a spa, outstanding food - and what must be Ireland’s most stylish cookery school, as well.
In a relaxed and engaging environment,
Chef-Instructor Julien Clemot will lead us through both a fun-filled and food-filled day where demonstration and hands on tuition fuse seamlessly.
All of the courses at the Cookery School have been personally designed by Celebrity Masterchef Kevin Dundon who can often be viewed on RTE in Ireland and PBS in the USA with his TV show Modern Irish Food, HEAT and BBC′s Saturday Kitchen.
Under the care and guidance of our Cookery School Chef Instructor Julien Clemot, guests will learn the secrets of producing fine food using only the best of quality Irish ingredients. The emphasis is on freshness and seasonality of locally-sourced ingredients and utilizing these to achieve fabulous dishes without the worry of overly-complicated recipes.
FROM RESTAURANTS FEATURED IN THE MICHELIN GUIDE TO ROADSIDE SHACKS & FAMOUS IRISH PUBS
What's always been that one truth we have always held onto no matter where we travel?
We go where a great meal takes us!
In 2018, Galway was bestowed the title of European Region of Gastronomy and was the first region in Ireland to be awarded the honor of this designation.
From spectacular Michelin starred and Relais & Chateaux restaurants that showcase as Chef McMahon puts it, "an immersive dining experience of Irish food through the ages with a contemporary filter" to shucking oysters in thatched roadside shacks, visiting small villages that serve the freshest seafood, we are doing it all.
Expect to be pampered with Champagne Afternoon Tea and Chef's table luncheons guided by a sommelier. Our quest for the next great meal continues. Unapologetically.
THE HEART AND SOUL OF IRISH WHISKEY
JAMESON'S DISTILLER'S APPRENTICE EXPERIENCE
We will discover the Heart and Soul of Irish whiskey at Midleton Distillery. Home of seven iconic brands – Jameson, Redbreast, Powers, Midleton Very Rare, The Spot Whiskeys, Method and Madness and Knappogue Castle.
This special tour is the ultimate in-depth whiskey experience, offering a rare opportunity to access Jameson's fully functioning distillery. That's right! We will get behind the scenes access to production and warehouse facilities, learning all about the distillation process, maturation and everyday essential actions needed to produce every drop of whiskey.
We will also get a sampling of whiskey straight from the cask and a premium whiskey tasting!
IRELAND'S OLDEST ALE!
THIS BREWERY THAT HAS BEEN MAKING ALES SINCE 1790!
We take a 300 year journey into the history of ale and learn about the evolution of ale and how the family played a prominent role.
With sensory touchpoints along the way, the tour includes sensorial masterclass where we’ll isolate the senses and break down the raw ingredients across different ale styles.
Finish with a guided tutorial on how to pour the perfect pint!
ART & ARCHITECTURE
FAMOUS CASTLES TO LESSER KNOWN GEMS
From the famous Blarney castle to lesser known castles that boast a longer history of continuous occupation, we will have the privilege to visit
some very special pieces from private art collections.
IRELAND'S NATURAL WONDERS
FROM CLIFFS OF MOHER TO THE RING OF KERRY & RING OF BEARA
Mainland Europe might have the Acropolis, the Coliseum, the Sagrada Familia, and Piazza San Marco, but Ireland is home to more natural wonders than any of it's European cousins.
In Ireland, you can feel the power of the waves pushed east from North America at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean or wander in solitude down one of the many towpaths along the majestic River Boyne.
The Cliffs of Moher, in County Clare, have been known to make the most jaded jaws drop.
Standing 700-feet above the raging Atlantic Ocean, the towering cliffs stretch out for a distance of about five miles and offer stunning cliff walks. Make sure to stay back from the edge!
The Cork/Kerry coast is famous for its beautiful white, sandy stretches of beach, many of which have ‘Blue Flag’ status.
The narrow roads of the Ring of Kerry & Ring of Beara offer some of the most spectacularly scenic views in Ireland.
TOUR BEGINS IN DUBLIN & ENDS WITH DROP OFFS TO SHANNON AIRPORT, IRELAND
Tour is for 11 nights and 12 days.
Individual Airport Transfers are included.
Tour in A/C 17-seater Minibus with Chauffeur.
Walking tours & historical tours with Subject-Matter-Experts.
Authentic experiences created exclusively for our group.
All breakfasts and 10 meals (lunches, dinners/ afternoon teas)
All taxes, fees, and gratuities.
ZOOM Meet-ups with our travel group prior to departure.
Your itinerary is in real-time on your smartphones and devices on the travel app. Hauling paper copies around is the thing of the past!
TOUR BEGINS IN DUBLIN & ENDS IN SHANNON, IRELAND
BOTH DESTINATIONS ARE SERVED BY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS
Know Before You Go!
This itinerary is the current plan but is ever evolving and things may change. We will make every effort to provide the tours and experiences that are described above. However, since we are traveling off the beaten path, it means that plans may change at the last minute. You always have the option of skipping a particular excursion, but please note that we will be unable to make refunds for any missed meals or other events.
This tour requires that you are mobile and physically fit, are able to walk on rough and uneven surfaces and on stone landscapes wearing adequate foot wear such as hiking boots without assistance.