Portrait of Ireland – Flying Longhorns
  • $4,195
  • $600
  • AHI
  • Moderate
  • Land Only

Discover Irish history and culture as you travel the breadth of Ireland and Northern Ireland, enjoying stays in vibrant Dublin, historic Belfast, coastal Donegal and verdant County Galway. In Dublin, Ireland’s cosmopolitan capital, visit treasured sites and stroll along its bustling streets. At the Bend of the Boyne, visit a prehistoric monument older than Stonehenge. Explore pretty Donegal in Ireland’s remote, northwest corner and the rugged landscape of Connemara. In Northern Ireland, discover the history of Belfast. Learn about the Troubles, the struggle between Catholics and Protestants in the city. Take a scenic drive along the pristine Antrim Coast and Giant’s Causeway. Take advantage of this special opportunity to enjoy the whole of Irish heritage as you journey across these two countries.


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Itinerary

Day 1

Depart your gateway city

AHI FlexAir travelers will depart their gateway city for Dublin, Ireland.

Appropriate in-flight meal service

Day 2

Dublin, Ireland

Arrive at Dublin Airport. An AHI Travel representative will meet AHI FlexAir passengers in the arrivals hall.

Your AHI Travel Director will be with you throughout your journey to handle all program logistics and will be available daily to assist with sightseeing arrangements, dinner reservations, shopping suggestions and any other assistance you may require.

Transfer and check in to the Westbury Hotel.

Excursion: Orientation to Dublin.
Become acquainted with the Irish capital on a walking tour with your Travel Director.

Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception and Dinner.

Accommodations — Westbury Hotel
Meals — Appropriate in-flight meal service and dinner

Day 3

Dublin

Educational Focus: The Story of the Irish.
Dive into Irish history this morning while learning about the Early Irish, the region’s unique Celtic culture and how Irish settlers defeated famine, destitution and war to become today’s two separate states. Enjoy this live show as fascinating and charismatic storytellers guide you through more than 10,000 years of enthralling Irish history.

Excursion: Cosmopolitan Dublin
Explore the vibrant city of Dublin and relish its historical and cultural charm. Admire the Georgian architecture. Visit historic Trinity College to see the famous hand-illuminated Book of Kells that dates from the eight century. Explore St. Patrick’s Cathedral, named for the patron saint of Ireland, and discover the shops of Grafton Street.

Independent Exploration:
Spend the afternoon at leisure in Dublin. Rich with cafés, art galleries and cobblestone streets, Dublin offers something for everyone. Enjoy a pint of Guinness at a local pub or search for a hearty bowl of Irish stew.

Accommodations — Westbury Hotel
Meals — Breakfast

Day 4

Dublin

Independent Exploration:
Spend the day at leisure exploring Dublin, one of Europe’s most walkable cities. Stretch your legs in the Dubh Linn Gardens, enjoy an espresso at a busy street café or visit the James Joyce Centre. You may wish to join today’s Elective Activity and journey to Ireland’s beautiful County Wicklow.

Elective Activity: Wicklow: The Garden of Ireland
Today, immerse yourself into the lovely, lush beauty of Ireland’s County Wicklow. Travel through a landscape nicknamed, “The Garden of Ireland.” See rolling emerald pastures, stroll 47 acres of beauty at Powerscourt Gardens, explore the monastic settlement of Glendalough and roam the stately Russborough House. Enjoy lunch at a local establishment during the outing.
Available at an additional cost.

Accommodations — Westbury Hotel
Meals — Breakfast

Day 5

Dublin/Belfast

Excursion: Prehistoric Ireland
En route to Belfast, stop in County Meath to visit Brú na Bóinne, or the Bend of the Boyne. Take a closer look at the early history of this region along the Boyne River during a visit the Bru na Boinne Centre. This extensive center features exhibits about the Neolithic tombs of Newgrange and Knowth.

Local Flavor
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

Following lunch, cross into Northern Ireland.

Arrive in Belfast, and gather for a short orientation tour with a local guide.

Check in to the Culloden Estate & Spa.

Local Flavor
Join your fellow travelers for a lively Shortcross Gin “Tea.” Full tasting served in teacups, with fingers of Irish wheaten bread, local smoked salmon and a lemon twist.

Accommodations — Culloden Estate & Spa
Meals — Breakfast and lunch

Day 6

Belfast, Northern Ireland

Educational Focus and Excursion: Belfast Black Cab Tour
Explore the exciting capital of Northern Ireland with a local guide. Belfast’s name originates from the Gaelic phrase, “beal feirste” which means “mouth of the river.” Admire the Victorian architecture, a legacy from the city’s heyday. Discover how this city became a hotbed of sectarian strife and notice the lingering physical scars from the Troubles.

Excursion: The Titanic Centre
The RMS Titanic was built in Belfast. Visit an interpretation center to learn more about the Titanic from its design and construction to its maiden voyage and tragic end.

Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.

Accommodations — Culloden Estate & Spa
Meals — Breakfast and dinner

Day 7

Belfast/Donegal

Excursion: Giant’s Causeway and County Donegal
Drive along the Antrim Coast to Giant’s Causeway. This magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts 40,000 black basalt columns rising from the sea, a result of a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. Many of the columns are hexagonal in shape. Nestled in a setting of sea, cliffs and rugged Atlantic beauty, this natural masterpiece is steeped in geographical mystery. Visit the Old Bushmills Distillery for a whiskey tasting and tour and drive on to Derry city. Colorful Derry is a little oasis nestled along the River Foyle. See the majestic Peace Bridge and experience both ancient ramparts and cosmopolitan culture thriving side by side. Then wave goodbye to Northern Ireland as you travel into Ireland’s County Donegal. Enjoy the unspoiled panoramas along this vast stretch of soul-stirring seascapes and landscapes. The mountains, windswept moors, sweeping coastlines and honey-hued beaches beckon to be captured on an artist’s canvas.

After arriving in Donegal, check in to Lough Eske Castle.

Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening

Accommodations — Lough Eske Castle
Meals — Breakfast and dinner

Day 8

Donegal

Independent Exploration:
Spend the day at leisure exploring Donegal on your own or you may wish to join today’s Elective Activity to Donegal Bay.

Elective Activity: Donegal Bay Cruise
Delve further into your exploration of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way during a leisurely morning cruise around Donegal Bay. This body of water, which borders three counties, is Ireland’s largest bay. Continue on to visit the Irish-speaking community of Glencolmcille to learn about traditional rural life. The name of this quaint town is literally translated to “The Glen of St. Columba’s Church.” Notice the megalithic remains peppering the countryside, remains of ancient Stone Age settlements. Afterward, stroll along Slieve League, the highest seaside cliffs in Ireland. Hike along “One Man’s Path,” to the soaring summit or for a less heart-thumping stroll, head to the lower slopes and gaze at the majestic cliffs towering above. Lunch will be served during the excursion today.
Available at an additional cost.

Accommodations — Lough Eske Castle
Meals — Breakfast

Day 9

Donegal

Excursion: Glenveagh National Park
Set on more than 16,000 hectares of mountains, lakes and woods, Glenveagh is Ireland’s largest national park. See the impressive Glenveagh Castle which was designed by John Townsend Trench and built in the years 1867-1873. Notice how the beauty of the Glenveagh Gardens stands out in sharp contrast to the nearby rugged landscape and take a moment to admire the garden’s bountiful collection of rhododendrons.

Local Flavor
Enjoy lunch at a local establishment in Dunfanaghy. Then, stop at Leo’s Pub for an Irish coffee. The pub is owned by the family of Irish singer Enya.

Accommodations — Lough Eske Castle
Meals — Breakfast and lunch

Day 10

Sligo/Galway

Excursion: Sligo, Yeats and Ireland’s Tombs
After breakfast, head to picturesque Sligo, a lovely town that boasts jaw-dropping views of patchwork pastures, jagged mountains and lonely lakes. The great Irish poet, W.B Yeats, was inspired by Sligo’s landscape, and he often referred to the area as “The Land of Hearts Desire.” See the poet’s words come to life as you witness the region’s windswept allure. In Sligo, visit Lissadell House, a Greek revivalist mansion that was once home to Irish nationalist Constance Markievicz. This stately house features tea rooms, lovely gardens and galleries with exhibits of Lissadell’s literary heritage.

Outside of Sligo. visit the grave of W.B. Yeats at Drumcliffe Cemetery. Pay respects to the famed Nobel Laureate at his simple headstone marked with the inscription, “cast a cold eye on life, on death, horseman, pass by.”

Local Flavor
Enjoy lunch at an establishment in Sligo.

Educational Focus: Irish Literature Featuring Yeats
Many of the world’s greatest writers hail from Ireland. Learn how Yeats’ connection with modernism influenced 20th-century writings and poetry styles as told by a Yeats’ Society Fellow.

Continue to County Galway and check in to the Glenlo Abbey Hotel.

Accommodations — Glenlo Abbey Hotel
Meals — Breakfast and lunch

Day 11

Galway/Connemara

Excursion: Connemara
Journey through one of Ireland’s most wild, rugged and scenic regions. Oscar Wilde once described Connemara’s beauty as “savage.” See how the landscape moves your own soul as you drive through this starkly beautiful setting. Continue to Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine convent hugged in the embrace of Duchruach Mountain. The convent was originally a castle built by an English businessman in the late 19th century. Benedictine nuns purchased the castle in 1920 in order to establish a school where they educated girls from both the local community and around the world.

Gather with your fellow travelers for a Farewell Reception and Dinner.

Accommodations — Glenlo Abbey Hotel
Meals — Breakfast and dinner

Day 12

Depart for Your Gateway City

After breakfast, depart for the airport for your return flight home. (Provided for AHI FlexAir passengers.)

Meals — Breakfast and appropriate in-flight meal service

NOTE: Itinerary schedule may change due to local conditions. Many excursions in this program involve an element of walking.


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