Sunday To Holyhead and our crossing to Dublin. We spend the first night at the 4 star Osprey Hotel in Nass.
Monday We continue through central Ireland, with a lunchtime stop in Athlone on the banks of the River Shannon and then on to the 4 star Harlequin Hotel in Castlebar, our base for 4 nights, where we are met with tea, coffee and biscuits.
Tuesday To the Knock Shrine and Museum to discover this historic venue and major pilgrimage site. We will be met by our experienced and friendly local guide and accompanied through the Shrine complex while the guide narrates the story of Knock in fascinating detail. Learn about the story of the apparition of 1879 with an approx. 30 minute guided tour of the beautifully landscaped Knock Shrine grounds. Follow this with a self-guided visit of the museum where you can share in the experiences of the millions of pilgrims that have visited here through the years. We return the hotel early afternoon so that you have free time to explore the bustling market town.
Wednesday Along the Wild Atlantic Way to Connemara National Park, which has long been regarded as the real Emerald of Ireland with its stunning vistas of scenic mountains, valleys, lakes and spectacular coastline. We have an exclusive tour at the iconic Kylemore Abbey, home to the Benedictine nuns and one of the most beautiful places in Ireland. Surrounded by acres of woodland and lakes, the impressive Kylemore Castle sits at the base of a mountain. We enjoy a VIP 30 minute head gardener tour followed by a 20 minute guided tour of the house after which guests can enjoy a light lunch comprising soup and sandwiches followed by tea or coffee. On the scenic drive back through Connemara we take in Killary Harbour, situated on the southern shore of Ireland’s only Fjord on the Wild Altantic Way, with unrivalled views of the spectacular bay and across to the northern shore and the Mayo mountains.
Thursday We have a guided tour of Achill Island, Ireland’s largest island! Experience some of the most spectacular scenery on the west coast of Ireland. Once on the Island, enjoy the spectacular 23 mile Atlantic Drive that takes you on a journey of scenic splendour. Later we visit charming Westport, Mayo’s most magnificent heritage town and at Westport House we have an exclusive VIP visit. We are greeted by the owner of the house before relaxing and enjoying a cream tea served in the restored original kitchens of the house. This is followed by a 30 to 45 minute 'out of hours' private guided tour of the house led by one of Westport's knowledgeable guides. Later take a stroll of the wonderful gardens absorbing the magnificent views overlooking Clew Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
Friday Free time in Dublin before we check into the nearby Plaza Hotel in Tallaght for our final night.
Saturday We grab an early takeaway breakfast before catching our ferry home.