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Dublin | Wicklow | Kilkenny | Waterford | Wexford
Visit Ireland's Ancient East cities, and learn about the Viking heritage and where it all started.
This will be a small group tour, we currently have space for 12 guests. We may be able to make more room depending on demand, but don't delay!
When the winter winds are blowing and the days are dark, you will find the fires and the hearts warm in Ireland! Come and experience this 8 day tour of Ireland, which will focus on the Heritage of the Ancient East, and will allow you an immersive experience within the Viking Settlement cities of Dublin, Kilkenny, Waterford, and Wexford.
We will enjoy art and craft visits, entertainment, music, history, a New Year’s Gala (with the locals), session music, and so much more! The winter-time slows everything down a bit, and the tourist season will be long gone. Our focus at Healy Tours is to provide a balance of activities and rest, while allowing you the time and space to experience Ireland for what it is – a beautiful and hospitable country that is sure to change your soul by the end of your journey.
Below is the outline of where we will go and what we will do. Keep in mind, often the best times in Ireland are the ones not on paper, but will be found in the laughs, the music and the magic of Ireland.
Depart the USA for Ireland
Leave the remainder of the holiday leftovers with your family, and depart for your Ireland flight. Flights from the USA to Ireland are late afternoon/overnight flights.
Land at Dublin Airport, complete customs and immigration formalities before meeting your tour driver/guide, who will welcome you to Ireland. Transfer to your nearby hotel and check in for your overnight stay. You will have some time to relax prior to our group meeting at 2:00 pm for a driving tour around Dublin City.
We will meet for our group welcome dinner at 6:00 pm
Included: Dinner and Overnight at Trinity Hotel in Center-City Dublin
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF DUBLIN TOWN
After a good night’s rest, you will be ready to explore the sights and sounds of Dublin at Christmas-time. From the beautifully decorated streets, shopping districts, and bars/pubs of Dublin, the action is outside of your door.
Start the day with the group for a fun history tour at the Little Museum of Dublin, before having some free time to shop, explore the pubs, or find your own piece of Dublin with many wonderful sights right within walking distance of your hotel. Later this evening, rejoin your group and be amazed with dinner and a show at Celtic Nights, a music and dance show in its 21st season in Dublin.
Included: Dinner and Entertainment, and Overnight at Trinity Hotel in Center City
WICKLOW MOUNTAINS, SHEEP DOGS, AND KILKENNY CITY
Today we will start off on a scenic drive through the famous Wicklow Mountain range on our way south to Kilkenny. (The Wicklow Mountains have been the backdrop for many movies, including the current historical drama Vikings on the History Channel)
Along the way, we will stop at an authentic Irish sheep farm to learn how the sheep dogs are essential to life on the farm. Driving south through the mountains, we will stop to visit Olde Shillelagh Stick Makers, perhaps the only remaining Shillelagh maker in Ireland, crafting his sticks the same way they were made for hundreds of years.
Arrive in Kilkenny in time for a free evening to explore the quaint pubs, busy streets, music or nightlife of your choice. There are many wonderful places to dine, pick up some ‘pub grub’, and catch some traditional music along the way.
Included: Overnight at Kilkenny Ormonde
NEW YEAR GALA CELEBRATION IN IRELAND
This morning, the vibrant city of Kilkenny is yours to explore! We will start with a group tour of the famous Kilkenny Castle, home of the Butler family who were the Earls and Dukes of Ormonde. The castle was first built in 1192 and houses wonderful paintings and furnishings.
The town of Kilkenny is bustling with shops and pubs, or take a visit to the Kilkenny Design Center for Irish crafts and wares.
Tonight, we celebrate with a wonderful Gala New Year’s Eve event taking place at the Waterford Golf Course. Feast on a 3 course meal, dance, enjoy music, and ring in the New Year in style! (Not a black tie event, but dressy-casual)
With excellent food and panoramic views of the city of Waterford below, it will surely be an evening to remember!
Included: Dinner, Entertainment, and Overnight at Kilkenny Ormonde
FAMILY NIGHT AT THE HEALY HOMESTEAD
Take some time to rest today, or grab a breath of fresh air in the Kilkenny morning! We will relish a later-start today for the group, but if you are an early-bird, you may wish to get out and walk the lovely city, or consider a visit to the town’s namesake of St. Canice’s Cathedral (Cill Channigh is Kilkenny in Irish, and means “The Church of Canice”). This is a church that has stood on this site since the 6th century.
Our group activities for the day will start off with a guided tour at the Medieval Mile Museum where we will take in 800 years of history in the heart of Kilkenny City.
After lunch we will travel to the town of Carrigeen, which is where the Healy Family homestead still stands today, and where our host, Billy Healy was born and raised.
A fan-favorite of the Healy tour, today we will visit the village where Nanny and Grandad still live in their thatched-roof cottage. Take some time to visit the village church and grotto, take photos of the thatched cottage, and then join the group for music and entertainment local-style at Doyle’s pub. This is an authentic Irish session (seisiún), and you just never know who might have a song to share or a story to tell!
Included: Sandwiches and Entertainment at the Healy Session then Overnight at Kilkenny Ormonde
WEXFORD HISTORY AND HERITAGE
Today we will depart Kilkenny and move further south to visit the Cities of Waterford and Wexford. Enjoy the history of these Viking towns with visits to key heritage sights along the way.
Our first stop will in Waterford City will take us to the Bishop’s Palace, which houses Waterford Treasures from 1700 to the 20th Century. Next, be amazed at the King of the Vikings experience in Waterford right within the Viking Triangle.
Arrive to Wexford in time to relax before a group dinner at the Oysterlane Restaurant.
Included: Dinner and Overnight at Talbot Hotel Wexford
Today we will blow-away the cobwebs and set out to view the awe-inspiring views of the Wexford Coast and Hook Peninsula. Although it is winter, the Wexford coast is alive with migrating birds, visited by over 250 species.
We will start the day with a stop at the Dunbrody Ship Experience, an authentic reproduction of an 1840’s emigrant vessel, where we will receive an immersive experience on board. Next, to the Hook Peninsula, with beautiful vistas and a lighthouse which has been standing for over 80 years, one of the world’s oldest operating lighthouses, still retaining much of its medieval beginnings. Next, we will seek a bit of adventure and visit Loftus Hall, known as the most haunted house in Ireland and featured on the World’s Most Haunted Places. Also on our travels today we will visit the ruins of Tintern Abbey, a beautiful piece of Irish monastic history. A stop in the quaint fishing village of Kilmore Quay to take in the old thatched-roof cottages and a spot of lunch will round-out our sightseeing for the day prior to heading back to Wexford town.
You will have some time to explore this ancient Viking city with its meandering streets, visit some craft shops, or slip into a cozy pub for a nip.
We will dine with a group dinner in Wexford this evening, because everything is better with friends!
Included: Dinner and Overnight at Talbot Hotel Wexford
We will travel north back up to Dublin today through Wicklow, and stop to visit Avoca Handweavers in Avoca, County Wicklow. They are the oldest working woolen mill in Ireland and one of the world's oldest manufacturing companies. It is also Ireland's longest surviving business. From here we will continue onto Dublin, where we will arrive in time to relish our stay at the very beautiful Clontarf Castle.
We will dine like Lords and Ladies in the castle dining room for our departing dinner.
Included: Dinner and Overnight at Clontarf Castle
We will be happy to help you book your flights if needed
2019/2020 Ancient East New Year Tour of Ireland
· $3,199.00 per person sharing
· $550.00 single room supplement
You can print the full itinerary and booking details on the form below, or fill out the form online below and email it back. Deposits are due at the time of booking.
Deposits are not refundable 60 days after deposit, or 100 days prior to trip, whichever comes first.
*Note – hotel room check-in and early breakfast are not included for early morning arrivals on arrival day. If you would like a room available when you arrive, please inquire about the additional cost.
Meet in the lobby of the hotel at 2:00 pm for a guided tour around Dublin City.
Booking Form - Secure Your Reservation Here
Please download and return via email or mail.
Please read the Terms and Conditions. Always happy to chat if you have questions!
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We are very happy to talk about Ireland with you. Please see our Facebook Page as well, for stories, pics, and more from past tours.
Nichole Healy - 484-241-0862