Sample B – 7 Nights
Day One - Dublin to Galway
Group to arrive in Dublin on overnight flights from the USA.
Depart Dublin and travel to Galway stopping to visit the ancient monastic site at Clonmacnoise.
Continue to Clonmacnoise where we visit the early Christian site founded by Saint Ciaran in the 6th Century on the banks of the River Shannon. The site includes the ruins of a cathedral, eight churches (10th – 13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and a large collection of early Christian slabs. The original high crosses and grave slabs are on display in the Visitor Centre. There is an audio-visual show as well as a number of exhibitions.
Afternoon arrival in Galway city
Galway, the largest county in Connaught, is celebrated in song and story throughout the world and takes centre stage on Ireland’s western seaboard. A spectacularly beautiful county, it is a medley of contrasts - the wildest and remotest of countryside teamed with one of Europe’s most vibrant and popular cities. Drawn as if by a magnet, visitors come again and again, captivated by this most special of Irish counties.
Galway City at the mouth of Galway Bay is both a picturesque and lively city with a wonderful avant-garde culture and a fascinating mixture of locally owned speciality shops, often featuring locally made crafts. Indeed local handcrafts are a feature of the entire region. The city has many relics of its medieval past and is worth taking time to explore. It has changed considerably over the last number of years and features a fascinating juxtaposition of new and ancient architecture. The centre of the city is conveniently compact enough to ramble around comfortably. ion including hand knits, pottery, glass, jewellery and woodwork.
Continue to hotel in Galway & check in
Arrive Galway x 2 nights
Dinner is served in your hotel
Day two –Connemara Tour & Performance
A wild and colourful landscape rich in colour especially in Autumn. A land of Irish speaking – gaeltacht which suffered greatly in the famine times but boasts glorious Atlantic views and ruggid stone mountainous scenery. Enjoy views of Killary harbour – fijord. Visit Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Gardens.
Perform a concert in the ancient Abbey at Kylemore (choir and Band or separately)
Visit the restored rooms of the Abbey and learn about it’s history and tales of tragedy and romance. Explore the 6 acre Victorian Walled Garden with it’s magnificent restored buildings. Discover great walks through the grounds.
Evening performance in St Nicholas Church, Galway City.
Choral worship in St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church has its origins in the college of singing clerks established to serve the medieval establishment. The church was constituted as fully independent collegiate establishment in the late fifteenth century, and a college house built for the warden and vicars choral.
Return to hotel
Day three – Cliffs of Moher & The Burren
Check-out and depart hotel
This morning enjoy a historic walking tour of Galway city with a local expert tour guide.
Depart Galway and travel southwards to the Cliffs of Moher & the Burren
The Burren is a karstic plateau - a stony chaos to the casual observer - with a full assemblage of the curious landforms that characterise such limestone landscapes. The region encompasses 360 km2 of gently inclined plateau with a further 200 km2 of lowland to the east of the plateau. The limestone also has a landscape in miniature etched into exposed slabs of rock. The bare surfaces (pavements) are fretted with hollows and channels where acidic rainwater has selectively dissolved the rock. An extreme example of these micro landforms occurs on the coast. Often described as a natural landscape, the Burren has been profoundly influenced by human activities.
The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's top Visitor attractions. The Cliffs are 214m high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometres over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. O'Brien's Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs. From the Cliffs one can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South. The Cliffs of Moher take their name from a ruined promontory fort “Mothar” which was demolished during the Napoleonic wars to make room for a signal tower.
Travel to Limerick for overnight hotel x 2 nights
Dinner is served in your hotel
Day four – Bunratty
Arrive Bunratty Castle
The Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. Today, the castle stands peacefully in delightful grounds. The houses and cottages of the folk park spread out at the foot of its massive walls, much in the way that the cottages and crofts of old would have clustered around its base. We invite you to wander through the castle and marvel at the finest collection of medieval furniture in the country which brings to life a vital part of our Medieval past.
Depart Bunratty Castle
Afternoon at leisure in Limerick
Dinner and overnight in Limerick
Day 5 – Thursday March 16th Exchange with Local Orchestra
Morning departure from Limerick to Dublin.
Afternoon arrival in Celbridge. A friendly exchange is arranged with Celbridge Concert Orchestra* in a local hotel. Meet and greet before playing a concert together in Celbridge.
The Celbridge Concert Orchestra (Previously – Liffey Valley Orchestra, based in Celbridge (Co Kildare), was established by Claire Condron in 1991 to provide an opportunity for both young and mature musicians to come together to enjoy and learn by playing in an orchestral setting. The ethos of the CCO is to support and encourage each musician to reach their full musical potential in an inclusive rather than competitive environment. There are about 80 players aged from 6yrs to 99yrs.
Dinner and overnight in Clane Co Kildare
Day six St Patricks Day Parade
Dublin, Ireland’s capital city is steeped in history and buzzing with youthful energy. Medieval, Georgian and Modern styles of architecture provide a backdrop to a friendly bustling port built on the River Liffey.
Visit Dublin to watch the famous St Patricks Day Parade.
The 17th of March our national holiday, the feast of our patron Saint, St Patrick. A sea of green white and gold spills out on all the streets as we march and watch the parade.
Celebrate and enjoy the festive atmosphere in Dublin city centre.
In the afternoon St Stephen’s Green in the heart of Dublin, hosts a ceili which is a feast of traditional Irish music, song and dance in the park which is free to the public. You will see how we play some of our traditional instruments, the tin whistle, concertina, piano accordion, fiddle and bodhran.
Later visit EPIC Dublins newest visitor experiences. It is called EPIC and is built in a 17th century docklands warehouse in wonderful stone vaults. Built in 1820 this state of the art visitor experience tells the epic story of the Irish people’s dispersal throughout the world over the ages. Visitors will be taken on a journey that starts on the island of Ireland and ends with a global presence of the Irish today. Visitors will be given a stamped passport as they enter and travel through the remarkable 21 galleries.
This evening concert with the band and choir in the Astra Hall, University College Dublin, Belfield
The Astra Hall is in University College Dublin which is on Belfield Campus, South Dublin city. UCD is a very historic University in Ireland founded in 1854 and home to some 8,000 graduates each year. UCD boasts 8 schools / colleges including UCD College of Arts and Celtic Studies.
The University is a very prestigious centre of learning in Dublin which includes a major music programme and symphony orchestra. All students of UCD are offered orchestra as a subject during their course there. (music program details below)
The Astra Hall is a modern, youthful and exciting venue.
The Astra Hall
The Astra Hall is a state of the art hall that has tiered, retractable seating. This hall can seat six hundred people or can be divided into two sections to cater for groups of two hundred and four hundred. The hall is ideally suited to host presentations, receptions, conferences, interviews, exhibitions, launches and speeches. It is also regularly used as a location for large scale theatrical production.
- Capacity: 600 seated – 250 examination
- Built in audio visual systems
Dinner and overnight in Clane
Day 7 Dublin Performance
This morning enjoy a panoramic sight-seeing tour of Dublin tracing its history from Viking times to recent times and today as it stands a busy vibrant European Capital. Some of the highlights include; O’Connell Street and the GPO (General Post Office), Trinity College, the Georgian Squares, Christchurch and the Phoenix Park.
Morning rehearsal in Christchurch Cathedral before lunchtime recital
Located at the heart of Dublin city, Christ Church Cathedral is almost 1000 years old and was originally a Viking Church. It is an Anglican cathedral. The history of Christ Church Cathedral reflects the history, both religious and political, of Ireland. The Cathedral Crypt is one of the largest in the UK and Ireland, dating back to the 12th century. Music forms a very important part of cathedral life and the Choir traces its origins to 1493 with the founding of the choir school. The cathedral choir has always been highly regarded in Dublin’s musical life and took part in the first performance of Handel’s Messiah in Dublin in 1742.
This evening enjoy a farewell dinner at Taylors Three Rock
Taylors Irish Night involves a rip roaring evening of traditional Irish song and dance accompanied by a great selection of quality Irish food to delight your pallet.
Day 8 Depart Dublin
Transfers to Dublin Airport
May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.
Please note that the itinerary is subject to change.