Céad Mìle Fàilte: welcome to Ireland! Once arrived at Shannon airport, you will be met by your guide. Depart for the Dysert O’Dea Castle. Built in 1480 by Diarmuid O’Dea, Lord of Cineal Fearmaic, today the Castle houses an extensive museum, an audiovisual presentation on the history of this unique area, and various exhibitions. Today you will also see the ruins of Corcomroe Abbey. This 12th century Cistercian Abbey was given the name of Sancta Maria de Petra Fertili, Saint Mary of the fertile rock, a very well chosen name for this remarkable Abbey that stands near the head of a limestone valley that brings forth lush green grass. At the end of the visit continue to Galway for dinner and orvernight.
Ireland: In the Footsteps of St. Patrick
7 days / 6 nights
After breakfast depart for Connemara, on the west coast of Ireland. The region is now largely uninhabited, although in the past, the more fertile lowlands were cultivated here, and the uplands were used as pasture for cattle and sheep. Visit Kylemore Abbey, the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys. Set in the heart of Connemara, this unique Abbey offers the warmth and hospitality of its peaceful surroundings. The Abbey was originally intended, by Mitchell Henry, to be a castle as a gift for his wife, in 1868. The Gothic Church, set in the grounds of the Abbey, is the jewel in the crown of Kylemore. Here you will celebrate Mass in the Gothic Cathedral, or otherwise drive directly to Knock, famous for the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Josep, Saint John the Evangelist and Jesus Christ back in 1879. Dinner and overnight.
Today you will spend the day in prayer and reflection. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Knock Folk Museum, with over 2,000 exhibits on display, which portray aspects of rural life in Ireland at the end of the 19th century and early 20th century. Dinner and overnight.
This morning you will travel to Ballintubber for a full day retreat. Ballintubber Abbey is one of the few medieval churches where mass has been celebrated continuously for almost 800 years. From Baile an Tobair, Irish Gaelic for village of the well, this village is named for the well where the St Patrick is said to have baptised his converts in the 4th century; today it is a haven of peace, prayer and retreat with ancient buildings now restored. The retreat will be held nearby in the Ballintubber Abbey Retreat Experience (Jun to Sep). Return to Knock for overnight.
After breakfast and Mass in the Old Church, also called, Church of the Apparitions, you will head to Ireland’s capital city of Dublin where you will enjoy free time before dinner and overnight.
This morning enjoy a full day tour of the major sights of Dublin. Mass will be at Sean McDermott Street Church, which contains the tomb of Matt Talbot. On your city tour you will experience all the wonderful landmarks of this ancient city, starting from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where where St. Patrick baptized the pagans to Christianity in the 5th century, the Christ Church Cathedral and the Trinity College, a residential college in the heart of the city. Here you will visit the Colonnades, which houses the college’s greatest treasures, of which the most famous is the Book Of Kells. This book is a magnificently illustrated version of the Gospels, designed by unknown hands in the monastery of Kells. You will also see the Georgian Squares, O’Connell Street, the Greens and the Phoenix Park that is the largest urban parkland area in Europe, where the president of Ireland resides. Dinner and overnight.
Transfer to Dublin airport for your departure flight.