IRISH CHRISTMAS MARKETS TOUR NOVEMBER 25 ~ DECEMBER 2, 2018
Nollaig shona dhuit (Merry Christmas in Irish)
Be a part of Christmas in Ireland with fairy lights and beautifully decorated storefronts. Cathedral doors are always open to welcome the visitor from near and far.
Tiny villages have boutique shops filled with Irish Treasures that are perfect for friends and loved ones back home. Walk the streets Dublin, Ireland’s capital, for the best of Christmas shopping experiences, particularly along Grafton and O’Connell Streets. See ornate street lamps dating back to the 1820’s strewn with Christmas lights. Walk into friendly pubs with warm “cups of cheer” and buskers singing carols, come along and experience this exciting Christmas Shopping in Ireland Adventure.
Sunday, November 25th ~ Depart USA
Pack light so you have plenty of room for bringing gifts back home. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing, shoes that are easy to slip on and off when you go through the security check and a light sweater or jacket as it can get a little chilly on the flight. Enjoy an overnight flight with dinner and a continental breakfast served en route. Sit back relax, and dream of Christmas Pudding.
Monday, November 26th ~ Arrive Dublin, Kilkenny
Wake up in beautiful, magical Ireland. We will go through customs, claim our luggage and then meet our driver /guide Mr. Tom O’Toole who will welcome us “Cead mile Failte” (A thousand Welcomes to Ireland.)
Breathe in the fresh morning Irish air laced with the excitement of the Christmas season. A good breakfast “Irish Style” at the nearby Coachman's Inn will be just the wake up touch we need for the morning. Open your hearts and minds for serendipitous moments as we set off on our journey to the charming, medieval town of Kilkenny where we will spend our first evening in Ireland. Follow the winding, narrow streets that lead to many shops, pubs, churches and everything an ancient town could offer. You can view a few places before we arrive at: http://www.visitkilkenny.ie/shopping The beautiful Kilkenny Castle built in 1195 is well worth a visit and has (of course) a quaint cafe and shopping area close by. Take time to rest and relax before dinner together at our hotel.
Dinner and Overnight: Hibernian Hotel, Kilkenny
Tuesday, November 27th ~, Blarney Woolen Mills, Cork City English Market, & Kinsale
After a hearty breakfast, we will gear up for another day of visiting some of the best Markets in Ireland.
Our first stop will be to a most popular shopping Market, the Blarney Woollen Mills, (www.blarney.com) originally established in 1823, now houses spectacular Irish products. Enjoy exploring the Woollen Mills where you will find a wideselection of sweaters, woollens, crystal, china, and souvenirs, this famous store has something for everyone. Don’t forget to go to the second level where there are even more treasures. Christy’s Pub is a great place for a sandwich or a pint of Guinness and The Mill Restaurant is a culinary experience you won’t want to miss. Weather permitting, some may want to take an optional visit to Blarney Castle whose original structure dates back to 1210 A. D.. To claim the "gift of eloquence" , one must climb to the top of Blarney Castle in order to kiss the Blarney Stone. Keep in mind the staircase leading up to the Blarney Stone is winding, narrow and steep, so mind your steps PLEASE.
Next we will head to Cork city to visit the Cork English Market that England’s Queen Elizabeth herself visited http://www.englishmarket.ie/statevisit/theenglishmarkettowelcomethequeen/ You will shop in an atmosphere dating back to August 1, 1788 when the Market’s Grand Opening took place. The Cork English Market has been described by the English celebrity Chef & restaurateur, Rick Stein, as “The best covered Market in the UK and Ireland.” Be sure to pick out some wine and cheese for a snack back in your room.
WOW, what a day you have had so far. Now we move on to our charming home for the next two nights, Kinsale. This quaint, picturesque town is a centre for yachting, sea angling, gourmet eating and of course SHOPPING. You can glimpse some of the shops ahead of time by logging onto: www.kinsale.ie
Kinsale’s harbour is guarded by two very fine star-shaped fortresses built in the 17th century. We can make a photo stop at Charles Fort. Take time to relax in your beautiful rooms before dining on your own at one of the many pubs or restaurants in Kinsale. Overnight: Trident Hotel, Kinsale
Wednesday, November 28th, Day Trip to Killarney
After a hearty breakfast with views of the Sea, some of you may want to take a day trip to Killarney( Cill Airne, meaning "church of sloes"). Killarney has been welcoming tourist from all over for hundreds of years and, as a result, is one of the most “written and sung about towns” in all of Ireland. We can spend a few hours in Killarney where there are shops and friendly pubs around every bend in the road( Shopping - Killarney) before returning to Kinsale. The evening is yours for more exploring in Kinsale and choosing from the many pubs and restaurants for dinner on your own. Overnight: Trident Hotel, Kinsale
Thursday, November 29th, Jameson, Midleton Distillery, & The Viking town of Waterford
Enjoy another lovely breakfast, breath in the fresh sea breeze before we bid Kinsale farewell. Just up the road a “wee” bit we come to the town of Midleton, whose green expanses of pasture were perfect in 1975 for a second present day location of Jameson Irish Whiskey Distillery. We will take time for a little Whiskey tasting and browsing of the gift shop before moving on to the seaport town of Waterford founded by the Vikings in 914 A.D. and, home of the famous Waterford Crystal. We will stay at the city center Granville Hotel with the town just outside the door. After yet another full day of adventures, we will gather for dinner at our hotel and share our experiences. Overnight and Dinner: Granville Hotel, Waterford
Friday, November 30th, Waterford Crystal and Dublin
We are fully on Irish time now and beginning to feel a little Irish ourselves. Hopefully by now you have made your way in and out of small shops and pubs and acquired new friends along the way. This morning after breakfast we will visit The House of Waterford Crystal. Some may want to just shop in the retail part of the store others may want to take a tour on their own, the choice is yours. After our Waterford adventure we will move on through tiny villages and beautiful countryside as we take the scenic route to where all roads lead to - Dublin, the Capital of Ireland. Our Ashling Hotel is located in the city centre and close to the Luas Tram(www.luas.ie) for easy access & carrying packages to and from the hotel. You can choose from hundreds of pubs and restaurants for dinner on your own this evening. We could meet up at one of the pubs for a pint and perhaps some music following our dinners.
Overnight: Ashling Hotel, Dublin
Following are some links to some great pubs and restaurants in the area that the staff at our hotel provided for us.
http://www.cotto.ie/ - A lovely little Brunch and pizza place in Stoneybatter, Dublin 7.
http://www.brazenhead.com/ - The Brazen Head is listed as Ireland oldest pub. They also offer a very good food menu.
http://www.fxbuckley.ie/f-x-buckley-parkgate-street/ - Ryans- FX Buckleys- is on our street, a 4 minute walk from the hotel and do a fantastic steak.
http://cobblestonepub.ie/ - The Cobblestone hade traditional music 7 days a week. This may vary off season
Saturday, December 1, Free Day in Dublin
Wake up early or sleep in, (just don’t miss breakfast). Today is your day, so do as you please. There are so many things to see and do in Dublin (www.visitdublin.com) so get out and enjoy You can walk the city or catch the Luas Tram to explore all Dublin has to offer. The Guinness Storehouse is just moments away from our hotel and well worth a visit. We will gather at our hotel for a farewell dinner and to share the tales about our adventures and all the treasures we have found on our Christmas Shopping Tour of Ireland. Dinner and Overnight: Ashling Hotel
Sunday, December 2, Return to USA
Perhaps rise a little earlier this morning to make sure everything is packed and secure for our flight back home. Our bags might be a little heavier, but the thrills of Christmas morning when the Irish treasures are opened will be worth it all. We will enjoy breakfast and bid this beautiful, sparkling Emerald of the Sea goodby with a sure promise to return.
Do a double check around the room, secure passports as we depart for Dublin Airport in plenty of time for some duty free shopping and to claim any VAT funds before we depart for home.
Are you ready to do some Christmas Shopping in Ireland? Fill out the form below and I will send you the Booking Form to get you signed up and ready to go.
$1899.00 per person based on two persons to a room
$350.00 Single Room Supplement
Deposit to hold space: $250.00 per person
Final payments due by: September 20, 2018
The Fare Includes:
- Exclusive transport by luxury motorcoach with driver for 7 days( includes day of departure)
- Meet and greet service with one group transfer upon arrival and departure at airport
- Luggage handling & porterage charges for one suitcase per person at hotels.
- Taxes for included ground services and U. S departure taxes, Customs service charges.
- Hotel accommodation based on twin bedded rooms with private bath 10 nights
- Full breakfast (7) includes breakfast at Coachman’s Inn on day of arrival
- Total included dinners (3) Hotel Dinners
- Trip insurance for the LAND ONLY portion of tour.
Visits and Admission to:
Visit to Blarney Woolen Mills
Optional climb of Blarney Castle
House of Waterford Crystal - (Tour is Optional)
Not Included in Fare Price: Airfare is not included in price of tour, this can be arranged through Martha’s Travel Corner Items of a personal nature such as passport fees; laundry cleaning; room charges; luggage handling at airports; excess baggage charges; optional excursions and meals other than those stated above, and drinks with meals other than breakfast; gratuities to Driver/Guide(tips to Driver Guide are at the discretion of the client)