Spirit of Ireland
Travelling from one tip of the Island to the other, The Spirit of Ireland pilgrimage and leisure tour will take you from Dublin to the vibrant city of Belfast in the North down to beautiful Co. Kerry in the South. Covering a vast amount of the country you will get to experience both the bright lights of Ireland’s most delightful cities and the warm welcoming charm of the Irish countryside. From visiting the famous Catholic shrine of Knock and exploring the Dingle peninsula, one of the most stunning places in Ireland, to being entertained by renowned fiddle players and Irish dancers, this scenic route will no doubt show you the real spirit of Ireland.Visiting:
» Titanic Centre
» Giant’s Causeway
» Knock Shrine
» Aran Islands
» Cliffs of Moher
» The Burren
» Dingle Peninsula
» Ring of Kerry
» Rock of Cashel
Can't find what you're looking for? Need a tailor-made itinerary?
Irish traditions and values are deeply rooted in our business and the type of travel experience that Joe Walsh Tours provides. We are extremely proud of our Irish heritage and passion for our native island is reflected in every mile travelled and every story told by our guides. We are delighted to share our knowledge and love of Ireland with our visitors and very happy to welcome you to the Emerald Isle.
Should you require further information regarding a specific tour itinerary or would like us to tailor-make your trip based on any special requirements your travelling party may have, please do not hesitate to give our Tours of Ireland specialists a call on 00 353 1 241 0800 or drop us a line via email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be delighted to assist. We’re only a phone call away!
- Currency: Euro (€, EUR)
- Local time: GMT
- Airports: Dublin (DUB); Cork (ORK); Shannon (SNN); Knock (NOC)
- Languages: English is the official language with some areas also speaking Irish
- Climate: Ireland has a moderate climate influenced by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and the winds of the Atlantic Ocean. Summed up as moist and mild, the weather is very changeable with high levels of rainfall and a lack of extreme temperatures
- Voltage: 230V A/C. Frequency 50hz. The most common plug is the 13 amp three-pin plug, power socket type G. You can use your electric appliances in Ireland, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220V - 240V (as in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100V - 127V (as in the US, Canada and most South American countries), you will need a power converter.
- Visa: not required for EU citizens; nationals of other countries are advised to check with the relevant authorities
- Passport: EU passport holders travelling to Ireland must have an up-to-date passport valid for travel six months beyond the date of return; nationals of other countries are advised to check with the relevant authorities.
Transport & Accommodation
- Flight from your home airport to Dublin
- Transfer on arrival from the airport to your hotel with guide assistance
- Hotel accommodation in Ireland for the selected number of nights
- Meals served each day as per agreed itinerary
- Transfer from your hotel to Airport for return flight
- Direct flight from Dublin to your home airport
- Luxury air-conditioned coach for all transfers and tours
- Assistance of Joe Walsh Tours guides and representatives throughout the pilgrimage and at airports
Tours & Religious Programme
- Tours, excursions and religious programme organised by Joe Walsh Tours
- Full services of Joe Walsh Tours guides and representatives throughout the pilgrimage and tour
- DAY 1: Dublin - Belfast
On arrival to Dublin Airport you will be met by a driver and a Professional Guide who will accompany you during your visit to Ireland. We depart for Monasterboice and the historic Boyne Valley encompassing the Hills of Slane and the Hill of Tara. We explore Newgrange with its mysterious passage graves. After our visit to this Unesco World Heritage site we will continue our journey to Belfast City in the North of Ireland. Overnight in Europa Hotel Belfast.
- DAY 2: Belfast & Titanic Centre
This morning we will enjoy a tour of Belfast city visiting the Falls and Shankill roads to see the Political Murals, a great introduction to the history and the famous people of Belfast. Continuing our visit we head to the Titanic Centre and the state-of-the-art visitor experience which tells the story of Titanic from her conception to her maiden voyage and historic fame. We explore the Entries a series of narrow alleys featuring some of the best pubs in the city and stop at the Crown Liquor Saloon a flamboyant Victorian drinking palace and see Stormont the home to the Northern Ireland assembly. This evening we will visit the Culturlann for dinner, entertainment and shopping activities. Overnight in Europa Hotel Belfast.
- DAY 3: May Giants Causeway Bushmills Distillery
Our drive through the beautiful scenery takes us to the Giant’s Causeway on the North Coast, one of the great natural wonders of Ireland and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue to Bushmills Distillery Irish Whiskey the oldest working distillery in Northern Ireland. Watch whiskey making take place and enjoy a wee taster too, as we unlock the secrets of 400 years of distilling at the home of Irish whiskey. Overnight in Harvey Point Hotel Donegal.
- DAY 4: Drumcliffe & Knock – Leading Marian Shrine
This morning we depart Donegal and continue on to Drumcliffe, set against one of the most striking Irish backdrops of Benbulben Mountain, best known as the final resting place of W.B.Yeats. His grave is marked with a simple headstone with the inscription 'Cast a cold eye on life, on Death. Horseman, pass by'. This was Yeats' self-penned epitaph together with the instructions that the grave consist of "No marble, no conventional phrase". We will visit Knock Shrine, one of the world's leading Marian shrines and an important place of pilgrimage for Irish people for over 100 years. Fr. Seamus will say mass at 11:45am in the Apparition Chapel. On 21st August 1879, at about 8 o'clock, fifteen people; women, men and children, witnessed an Apparition. In 1979 Pope John Paul II visited Knock Shrine. The traditional stations performed by pilgrims visiting Knock Shrine include Mass in the Basilica, a visit to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, the Stations of the Cross, the Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary, Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious, Litany of the Blessed Virgin followed by the Prayer to Our Lady of Knock. Following time to freshen up, we depart for a dinner cruise with Irish entertainment on board. We will board the Corrib Princess, a modern river cruiser for a scenic cruise of the River and Lough Corrib. The trip takes us along the river and then out onto the expansive Lough (Lake) Corrib. You will enjoy a three course dinner on board and after dinner, Roisin, an Irish coffee making World champion will give us an Irish coffee demonstration and tell us the history of Irish whiskey. The evening will continue with entertainment by Carmel Dempsey, Brenda Curtin and an Irish dancer. Carmel Dempsey is a well-known musician and singer from Galway who will be joined on board by the talented fiddle player, Brenda Curtin. Brenda was one of the soloists from Michael Flatley’s world-renowned Riverdance. Carmel and Brenda will be joined by an Irish Dancer and guests will be amazed by her talent as she teaches us an Irish dance called the Siege of Ennis. Overnight in Galway Bay Hotel, 4 star hotel.
- DAY 5: Ancient & Historic Aran Islands
This morning we will travel to the ferry port of Rossaveal where we will take a Ferry to Inis Mor one of the three Aran Islands. Inis Mor is criss-crossed by dry stone walls and the landscape is bleak with soaring cliffs rising out of the Atlantic. Aran has retained much of old Gaelic culture and Gaelic is still the spoken language of the Islanders. Traditional music and song have been well preserved there. We will tour by minibus and visit Dun Aengus, the Iron Age fort built as four concentric stone walls. The fort has been called the “most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe”. We will visit the monastery of St. Brecan at the “Seven Churches.” You will also see the only clochan or beehive-cell built with dry-wall corbelling on Inis Mor. There will be some free time to explore the main village of Kilronan before we return to the mainland. Overnight in Galway Bay Hotel.
- DAY 6: Cliffs of Moher & The Burren
This morning we follow the coast road along Galway Bay to the Burren which boasts amazing huge pavements of limestone and is also famous for its plant life with many very rare and protected species. Continue to the Cliffs of Moher where we see O'Brien's Tower proudly standing on a headland of the majestic Cliffs. We will continue our journey through Adare Village to Killarney – Gateway to the Ring of Kerry. Overnight in Lake Hotel, Killarney (4 star hotel).
- DAY 7: Dingle Peninsula
Today we will explore the Dingle Peninsula. We will join the congregation of St. Mary’s Church in Dingle town for mass at 11:30am. We will visit the Early Monastic Site of Riasc and Gallarus Oratory (dated to the 10th Century), the most perfect early church in Ireland. We will also go to Kilmalkedar Monastic Complex with its Ogham Stones, beautiful Sundial and wonderful Romanesque Church, built on the ancient pilgrimage path to Mount Brandon. These three sites combined give us an incredible overview of the Early Church in the West of Ireland. All three are exceptionally rich in Early Christian art. With its amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean, National Geographic magazine has named the Dingle Peninsula as one of the most stunning places in Ireland. We will visit an area called Fahan where we see the largest collection of stone dwellings in Ireland. These buildings, known as ‘beehive huts’ because of their shape were built and inhabited in early Christian times by a people about which we know very little but this only adds to the air of mystery, which surrounds this settlement. We will continue to Killarney for our overnight stay in the Lake Hotel.
- DAY 8: Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is one of the most scenic routes in Ireland. Beginning and ending in Killarney, it traces the coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula. The combination of ocean, islands, mountains with its many towns and villages makes it an exciting journey of discovery. Along the route you will see Skellig Michael in the distance one of the most famous and impressive sites from the ancient Christian world which can still be seen today in its original and true form. It is a monastic site sitting on the top of a rock in the middle of the wild Atlantic Ocean. The highlights of your tour include Molls Gap and Ladies View, providing the best views of the Lakes of Killarney. We will finish our day with a visit to Muckross House. This nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. The house stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney's three lakes, famed world wide for their splendor and beauty. Overnight in Lake Hotel, Killarney (4 star hotel) or equivalent hotel.
- DAY 9: Rock of Cashel, Kilkenny & Dublin
This morning we will spend time at one of the most evocative and significant pilgrimage sites of medieval Ireland: the Rock of Cashel—intimately associated with St. Patrick and ancient seat of the kings of Munster. Later we will stop in Kilkenny, one of Ireland’s loveliest cities. We visit the Kilkenny Castle and Design Center before we continue our journey on to Dublin, Capital of Ireland. Overnight in Shelbourne Hotel Dublin.
- DAY 10: Dublin City Tour – Guinness Storehouse
Today, we will enjoy a panoramic tour of Dublin and see the statue lined O’Connell Street, Georgian Squares, and Phoenix Park. We will visit the National Museum, Kildare St. where we will see the many Celtic artifacts displayed there. The exhibitions include the finest collection of prehistoric gold artifacts in Western Europe, outstanding examples of metalwork from the Celtic Iron Age and the Museum’s world-renowned collection of medieval ecclesiastical objects and jewellery. Afterwards, we will visit Trinity College and see the Book of Kells, the most richly illuminated of Ireland’s medieval manuscripts. We will visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral built in honor 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. In the afternoon, we will visit the Guinness Storehouse originally built in 1904 to house the Guinness fermentation process. At the Guinness Store house you'll discover all there is know about the world famous beer. Overnight in Shelbourne Hotel Dublin.
- DAY 11: Day of Departure
We enjoy an Irish breakfast and depart for home from Dublin airport.
- Travel insurance €29 per person (conditions apply); please note that there is an additional insurance premium of €29 for persons aged 86 to 94 years