Departure Date: September 18th, 2019
Return Date: September 27th, 2019
Day 1 : Fly to Ireland
Our journey to the Emerald Isle begins with a pleasant overnight flight to Dublin.
Day 2 : Dublin
Our Irish driver & guide meets us upon arrival. This beautiful modern city is brimming with historic landmarks and Georgian-style buildings. We view Dublin’s highlights during a tour including a guided visit through Christ Church Cathedral. We end our first exciting day in Ireland at our beautiful hotel in the Dublin area.
Day 3 : Clonmacnoise
We travel west this morning to Clonmacnoise. This beloved ancient monastery site, with its remains of nine churches kept tidy by preservationists, was long a major center of religion and education and drew scholars from all over Europe. It’s truly a magical place with a scenic setting on the River Shannon. Later, experience true Irish hospitality at Connolly’s Rathbaun Farm. Here, sheep graze the fields and the fragrance of home-baked scones fills the air. We visit with our hosts Frances and Fintan in their charming thatched cottage and sample fresh lightly sweetened scones over a pot of Irish tea. We enjoy two nights in Galway. Check out of hotel.
Day 4 : Kylemore Abbey
We begin the day at the Connemara Celtic Crystal Factory where Celtic motifs are expertly cut into colored crystal. Then, enjoy the opulent canvas of Connemara, dense with gleaming rivers and lakes, stunning coastal views, and soaring mountains. Later, stroll the vibrant gardens and Neo-Gothic Church of Kylemore Abbey, home to a Benedictine Community of Nuns since World War I. Back in Galway this evening, take in some local culture by stepping into the city’s lively entertainment scene.
Day 5 : Cliffs of Moher
Our scenic morning drive takes us into the otherworldly beauty of the Burren in County Clare. Here, limestone has eroded over the ages to form moonscape patterns called karren. Next, we stop at the Cliffs of Moher. This mighty coastal wall, extending five miles along the coast and plunging 700 feet to the sea, once gave assurance to World War II pilots that they had reached European shores. Later, we witness Ireland’s heritage at the folk park of Bunratty. Life in 19th-century Ireland comes alive during this evening’s merrymaking at a medieval banquet! Tonight we stay in Limerick.
Day 6 : Killarney
Begin today in Adare, often called Ireland’s prettiest village with its thatched cottages and beautiful stone buildings. We spend the next two nights in Killarney, a vibrant little town surrounded by incredibly beautiful countryside. Later we enjoy a traditional jaunting car tour of Killarney National Park.
Day 7 : Ring of Kerry
We spend today savoring one of Ireland’s, or even the world’s, most scenic drives, the Ring of Kerry. Undulating hills, rugged mountains draped with green forest, shimmering lakes, emerald valleys, dramatic seascapes, and quaint villages all mark an unforgettable day. Tonight, our cultural experience continues with traditional Irish folk music and dancing at Kate Kearney’s Cottage. We always receive a hearty welcome when we walk through the doors of this 150-year-old family-run establishment.
Day 8 : Blarney Stone
At Blarney Castle this morning, you can kiss the fabled stone and be rewarded with the gift of gab. If you still want something to talk about, we make a nearby stop to view some of Ireland’s largest collections of Waterford Crystal and Belleek China at Blarney Woollen Mills. Then, at the stunning Rock of Cashel, we learn about the rise of this majestic castle, once an assembly place for kings, and later, the church. We overnight in Kilkenny.
Day 9 : Kilkenny
We start the day at Kilkenny Castle. This palace was originally built to guard against crossings of the River Nore in the 13th century. There will be time to sample a local Kilkenny pub for lunch, then explore the medieval city’s narrow winding streets on your own. We return to Dublin for our special Holiday Vacations Farewell Dinner.
Day 10 : Fond Farewells
We fly home from Dublin with wonderful memories of the Emerald Isle.
Tour Hosted by Christy Shields
As a child, Christy was terrified of thunderstorms. This led her to frequently watch the local news and weather coverage. Her fear turned into a fascination with weather, which helped her understand weather patterns in her hometown of Butler, Pa.
Christy pursued her passion at The Pennsylvania State University, where she earned her B.S. in Meteorology. While at Penn State, she was an active member of the Campus Weather Service, which is the largest student-run weather service in the U.S. She produced forecasts for different parts of Pennsylvania and was a communications shift manager for The Campus Weather Service. As a shift manager, she helped other students hone their skills in front of the green screen.
She also worked as a meteorologist for CNET on the show "Weather or Not."
Before working at WTAJ, she was in Hagerstown, MD at HMTV6 as the morning meteorologist.
Join Christy and other WTAJ viewers on this fabulous trip of a lifetime.