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Hosted By: Aaron Wilson
Morning and Noon Weather Anchor
Experience the storied culture, ancient history, natural beauty, and warm hospitality of Ireland. Begin with a guided tour of Dublin, Ireland’s capital, then explore the ancient monastic site at Clonmacnoise and enjoy fresh scones with tea at Rathbaun Farm. In Connemara, visit the Connemara Celtic Crystal Factory and stroll the gorgeous, green riverside gardens of Kylemore Abbey. Marvel at the famous Cliffs of Moher before being immersed in Bunratty Folk Park’s 19th-century living village and stepping back in time at a medieval banquet in a castle. Spend a morning in the traditional Irish village of Adare and view the untamed landscapes of Killarney National Park on a jaunting cart ride, followed by a traditional Irish Night at Kate Kearney’s Cottage. Relax on a scenic drive around the Ring of Kerry and discover the renowned attractions of Blarney Castle, like its legendary stone. Prior to returning to Dublin for a celebratory Farewell Dinner, we also see the stunning Rock of Cashel and Kilkenny Castle on the River Nord.
August 28th, 2024 - September 6th, 2024
Price Per Person
Final Payment Date: 05/25/2024
Day 1 : Fly to Ireland
Our journey to the Emerald Isle begins with a pleasant overnight flight to Dublin.
Day 2 : Dublin
Discover the lively, modern city of Dublin with a tour of its top highlights featuring historic landmarks, Georgian-style buildings, and a guided visit through Christ Church Cathedral. We conclude our first exciting day on the Emerald Isle with a dinner at our beautiful hotel.
Day 3 : Clonmacnoise
We travel west this morning to Clonmacnoise, a ruined monastery nestled along the banks of the River Shannon. This ancient site, with its remains of nine churches, a round tower, and high Celtic Crosses, was long a major center of religion and education attracting scholars from all over Europe. Later, experience authentic Irish hospitality at Connolly’s Rathbaun Farm, where we watch sheep graze the fields as the fragrance of home-baked goods and a peat fire fill the air. We visit with our hosts France and Fintan in their charming, thatched cottage while sampling freshly baked scones and a pot of Irish tea. Our accommodations for the next two evenings are in Galway.
Day 4 : Kylemore Abbey
We begin the day at the Connemara Celtic Crystal Factory in Pollacappul, where Celtic motifs are expertly cut into colored crystal. Then, enjoy a scenic drive through the dramatic canvas of Connemara, dense with gleaming rivers and lakes, stunning coastal views, and rugged rock formations. We arrive at Kylemore Abbey, home to a Benedictine Community of Nuns since World War I. Enjoy time to explore this expansive historic site including the castle, Victorian walled gardens, a neo-gothic church, traditional home-cooked dining, beautiful trails, and a shop with handmade Irish goods. Back in Galway this evening, take in some local culture by stepping into the city’s lively entertainment scene.
Day 5 : Cliffs of Moher
Soak up otherworldly beauty on our morning drive through the Burren in County Clare, famous for its archaeological sites, unique rock formations, and glacial-age limestone that has eroded over the ages to form moonscape patterns. Next, we stop at the Cliffs of Moher, an iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site. This mighty coastal wall and geological marvel, 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! Our hotel for tonight is in Limerick.
Day 6 : Killarney
Today begins in Adare, a traditional Irish village known for its thatched cottages and beautiful stone buildings. Our journey continues to Killarney, a vibrant little town surrounded by incredibly beautiful countryside and our home for the next two nights. We enjoy a traditional jaunting cart ride in Killarney National Park, Ireland’s first national park. Tonight, our cultural experience continues with authentic Irish cuisine, folk music, and dancing at Kate Kearney’s Cottage, a 150-year-old family-run establishment.
Day 7 : Ring of Kerry
We spend today relaxing on one of Ireland’s most picturesque drives, the Ring of Kerry. Keep cameras ready to capture the undulating hills, rugged mountains, shimmering lakes, emerald valleys, and dramatic seascapes. We arrive in Killarney and settle into our accommodations, then spend the evening exploring the city and its incredible live music.
Day 8 : Blarney Stone
Our morning begins with a tour of Blarney Castle, including an opportunity to kiss the fabled stone and be rewarded with the gift of gab. We also have 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, we travel to the stunning Rock of Cashel to 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 our day with a tour of medieval Kilkenny Castle. This palace was built in the 12th century to guard against crossings of the River Nore and you can still see three of its original four towers today. Afterwards, 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 a special Farewell Dinner this evening to celebrate our spectacular journey and new friendships.
Day 10 : Fly Home
We fly home from Dublin with wonderful memories of the Emerald Isle.
WIFR TV Pickup Locations:
Chicago, IL - O'Hare International Airport
Rockford, IL - Holiday Inn Rockford
South Beloit, IL - Flying J Travel Center
Aaron is known for his unique approach to delivering an upbeat forecast to prepare folks for weather.
Aaron started at WIFR-TV while enrolled in his senior year at Rockford College. He graduated with a degree in Education and has a current teacher’s certificate for the State of Illinois. Aaron is also a graduate of Jefferson High School and has his Associate of Arts degree from Rock Valley College. He had plans of becoming an Earth Science teacher and someday a Principal but of that came to an end when 23 News hired Aaron in September of 1997.
Aaron has coined himself as the guy that will pretty much try anything. He is seen broadcasting on location two to three times a week promoting local businesses and showing off the proud accomplishments of the region.
Join Aaron and WIFR viewers on this fabulous trip of a lifetime.
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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.