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Hosted By: Frances Weller
WECT News Anchor
Experience the storied culture, ancient history, natural beauty, and warm hospitality of Ireland. Begin with a guided tour of Dublin, Ireland’s capital. Explore the ancient monastery site at Clonmacnoise and sample fresh scones and tea at Connolly’s Rathbaun Farm. In Connemara, walk the gorgeous, green riverside gardens of Kylemore Abbey and visit the Connemara Celtic Crystal Factory. Take in the beauty of the famous Cliffs of Moher and be delighted at a medieval banquet. We enjoy traditional music and dance at Kate Kearney’s Cottage and relax on a scenic ride around the Ring of Kerry. We also visit the famous Blarney Castle, stunning Rock of Cashel, and Kilkenny Castle on the River Nord.
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May 31st, 2023 - June 9th, 2023
Price Per Person
Final Payment Date: 02/25/2023
Day 1 : Fly to Ireland
Our journey to the Emerald Isle begins with a pleasant overnight flight to Dublin.
Day 2 : Dublin
This lively modern city is brimming with historic landmarks and Georgian-style buildings. We view Dublin’s highlights including a guided visit through Christ Church Cathedral. We end our first exciting day on the Emerald Isle at our beautiful hotel.
Day 3 : Clonmacnoise
We travel west this morning to Clonmacnoise. This beloved ancient monastic site, with its remains of nine churches, a round tower, and high Celtic Crosses, was long a major center of religion and education and drew scholars from all over Europe. It’s truly a magical place with a scenic setting on the River Shannon. Later, experience authentic Irish hospitality at Connolly’s Rathbaun Farm. Here, sheep graze the fields and the fragrance of home-baked scones and a peat fire fill the air. We visit with our hosts Frances and Fintan in their charming thatched cottage and sample freshly baked scones with a pot of Irish tea.
Day 4 : Kylemore Abbey
We begin the day at the Connemara Celtic Crystal Factory where Celtic motifs are expertly cut into colored crystal. Then, enjoy the opulent canvas of Connemara, dense with gleaming rivers and lakes, stunning coastal views, and rugged rock formations. Later, stroll the vibrant gardens and neo-Gothic Church of Kylemore Abbey, home to a Benedictine Community of Nuns since World War I. Back in Galway this evening, take in some local culture by stepping into the city’s lively entertainment scene.
Day 5 : Cliffs of Moher
Our scenic morning drive takes us into the otherworldly beauty of the Burren in County Clare. Here, limestone has eroded over the ages to form moonscape patterns called karren. Next, we stop at the Cliffs of Moher. This mighty coastal wall, extending five miles along the coast and plunging 700 feet to the sea, once gave assurance to World War II pilots that they had reached European shores. Later, we explore Ireland’s heritage at the folk park of Bunratty. Life in old Ireland comes alive during this evening’s merrymaking at a Medieval Castle Banquet!
Day 6 : Killarney
Today begins in Adare, often called Ireland’s prettiest village with its thatched cottages and beautiful stone buildings. We spend the next two nights in Killarney, a vibrant little town surrounded by incredibly beautiful countryside. Later we enjoy a traditional jaunting cart tour of Killarney National Park. Tonight, our cultural experience continues with traditional Irish folk music and dancing at Kate Kearney’s Cottage. We always receive a hearty welcome when we walk through the doors of this 150-year-old family-run establishment.
Day 7 : Ring of Kerry
We spend today savoring one of Ireland’s most scenic drives, the Ring of Kerry. Undulating hills, rugged mountains draped with green forest, shimmering lakes, emerald valleys, dramatic seascapes, and quaint villages all mark an unforgettable day. This evening is free to explore Killarney.
Day 8 : Blarney Stone
At Blarney Castle this morning, you can kiss the fabled stone and be rewarded with the gift of gab. If you still want something to talk about, there is time to shop for some treasured gifts among the array of Waterford Crystal, Irish Sweaters and other locally made items at Blarney Woollen Mills Store. Then, at the stunning Rock of Cashel, we learn about the rise of this majestic fortress, once an assembly place for kings, and later, an important religious center.
Day 9 : Kilkenny
We start the day at Kilkenny Castle. This palace was originally built to guard against crossings of the River Nore in the 13th century. Explore the medieval city’s narrow winding streets at leisure, then visit the National Design & Craft Center or enjoy lunch at a local pub. We return to Dublin for our special Holiday Vacations Farewell Dinner.
Day 10 : Fly Home
We fly home from Dublin with wonderful memories of the Emerald Isle.
WECT TV Pickup Locations:
Wilmington, NC - Walmart Supercenter
Frances Weller is a proud Wilmington native, award-wining journalist, and community advocate. She recently celebrated 40 years at WECT and is a leader of the most trusted news team in Southeastern North Carolina.
She began her journalism career at WECT not long after graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill, joining the news team she grew up watching.
Despite winning countless professional awards as well as the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest civilian award, Fran’s greatest joy is her community involvement. Through her two passion projects, Fran’s Fans and Weller’s Wheels, she has kept the elderly cool each summer by gathering fan donations and she has made countless Christmases brighter for local children through her bike collection drive.
Fran can’t imagine life without WECT and has no plans of retiring.
Join Frances and WECT viewers on this exciting trip!
Tour days tend to be shorter in length, at a relaxed pace, and include lots of unscheduled time for leisure. Expect standing and walking for extended periods of time on flat surfaces, mostly low altitudes, and consistent temperatures.
Tour days usually move at a leisurely pace. Some days’ scheduled activities last longer than others. Expect standing and walking for long periods of time on occasionally uneven terrain. You may experience changes in altitude or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a consistent pace, and may include long travel days. Expect standing and walking for long periods of time on uneven surfaces. Some destinations may have changes in altitude and/or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a brisk pace, and may include lengthy travel days. Expect long periods of walking and standing on uneven surfaces. Scheduled activities may require physical effort or have distinct changes in altitude or temperature.
Tour days tend to be long, move at a vigorous pace, and may include lengthy travel days. Expect long periods of walking and standing on rough surfaces. Scheduled activities may require physical effort or have distinct changes in altitude or temperature.