Arriving into Dublin Airport, you will be collected by your coach and transferred to your accommodation for the evening. You will have free time for the afternoon to freshen up and rest after your journey. In the evening your guide will arrange a ‘get to know you’ dinner including a briefing about your trip and schedule for the week.
2 Dublin to Belfast
Travel 163 km – Bus 2hrs approx:
After breakfast, the Religious Ireland coach tour will start with a visit to Trinity College, to see the Book of Kells and then travel north to Belfast.
Located in the heart of Dublin City, Trinity College is a modern college with a classic period style and atmosphere. Walking through the cobbled courtyard, visitors will transported back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library building was constructed. The Old Library houses the Book of Kells, a 9th-century gospel manuscript, written in Latin on vellum (prepared calfskin). The Book of Kells is famous throughout the world, and is celebrated for its lavish decoration.
Titanic Belfast extends over nine galleries with multiple dimensions to the exhibition, drawing together special effects, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features to explore the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way. Explore the shipyard and uncover the true legend of Titanic, in the city where it all began.
Leaving Titanic Belfast your will be taken on a sightseeing tour of Belfast City, your guide will talk you through the unique history of this industrial city.
3 Belfast to Sligo
Travel 250 km – Bus 4hrs approx:
This morning, the Religious Ireland coach tour takes you to Armagh to visit one of its two most distinctive landmarks, after lunch you will be transferred to Lough Derg to visit Lough Derg Heritage Centre.
The two Saint Patrick Cathedrals in Armagh face each other from their seats on opposite hills. The Gothic-style St Patrick’s Church of Ireland Cathedral is where St Patrick is reputed to have built his church in 445AD. You will also visit the resting place of Brian Boru, the famous High King of All Ireland. Dominating the opposite end of Armagh is St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, featuring a statue flanked arcade over the main doorway and panoramic views of Armagh.
The Lough Derg Heritage Centre encourages visitors to explore the Celtic origins of Saint Patrick’s Purgatory. It is believed that Saint Patrick spent some time in a cave on the island in which he had a vision of the afterlife. It was this vision that gave the island its name Purgatorium Sancti Patricii.
You will spend the evening in Sligo.
4 Sligo to Galway
Travel 248 km – Bus 4hrs approx:
Today’s leg of the tour takes in some of the truly iconic religious sites in Ireland while travelling through some of the most beautiful landscapes that Ireland has to offer.
The first stop on today’s journey will be to the world famous Knock Shrine. In 1879, Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist appeared to members of the congregation at the southern gable of the church at Knock. There were 15 witnesses to the event, you will be taken for a tour of Knock Shrine and its various outbuildings.
Departing Knock you will be taken for lunch and continue through the stunning Connemara country side to Kylemore Abbey.
The Kylemore estate was purchased in 1867 and transformed in to Kylemore Castle by Mitchell and Margaret Henry. In 1920 a community of nuns purchased Kylemore Castle, after their abbey in Ypres Belgium was destroyed during WWI. The nuns transformed the castle into Kylemore Abbey. Your guide will take you on a tour through this beautiful abbey and its adjoining gardens.
For the evening you will be transferred to our hotel in Galway City.
5 Galway to Kilkenny
Travel 267 km – Bus 4hrs approx:
Today, the day will begin with a panoramic tour of Galway City. Leaving Galway you will travel through the unique moonscape of the Burren and on to Kilkenny via King John’s Castle, the Rock of Cashel and Holycross Abbey.
The Burren is referred to as ‘Fertile rock’ due to the unique mixture of herb and floral species that grow here. Your guide will take you to some of the key beauty points, giving you an opportunity to take pictures and explore this unique landscape.
The Rock of Cashel, also known as Cashel of the Kings, was the seat of the High Kings of Munster. The rock was gifted to the Church in the 12th century and most of the buildings on the site date from that era. The oldest and tallest of the buildings is the iconic round tower (28 metres, or 90 feet), dating from 1100 AD.
Holycross Abbey takes its name from housing a relic of the True Cross or Holy rood. The fragment of that Holy rood was brought to Ireland by the Plantagenet Queen, Isabella of Angoulême, around 1233 AD.
For dinner and accommodation this evening you will be transferred to the tourist hot spot and historic town of Kilkenny.
6 Kilkenny to Dublin
Travel 149 km – Bus 2hrs approx:
Today will begin with a tour of Kilkenny Castle before being transferred to Glendalough and finally on to Dublin City.
Fairytale Kilkenny Castle showcases examples of several phases of development in Irish architectural styles ranging from a stone built moated Norman fortress and the impressive 17th-century classical gateway. The 18th century saw the building of the elegant, crescent shaped stables and the nineteenth-century remodeling introduced the Castellated Baronial style with additional Ruskinian Gothic motifs.
After lunch in Kilkenny you will travel to Glendalough home to the most important monastic sites in Ireland. This early Christian settlement was founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century and from this developed the ‘Monastic City’. The ‘City’ consists of a number of monastic remains,the most impressive being the round tower which stands 30m high. Your guide will ensure that you make the most of your time in Glendalough.
This evening’s accommodation will be in Dublin City.
Travel 30 km – Bus 1hr approx:
Where possible we will not use the coach today in favour of walking through Dublin and you will have some free time in the afternoon to use as you see fit.
Today we have organised a tour of Christ Church Cathedral and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.
Christ Church Cathedral was founded 1028 AD and is the spiritual heart of Dublin City. There’s so much to see and discover at Christ Church Cathedral: explore the medieval crypt which houses fascinating memorials, the mummified cat and rat, the treasury, cathedral shop and the cathedral café.
Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptised converts on his visit to Dublin. The parish church of Saint Patrick on this site was granted cathedral status in 1224. Today the cathedral is open to all people as an architectural and historical site, but principally as a place of worship. Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is filled with rows of statues, beautiful stained glass and elegant decorations.
The group will meet in the evening for a farewell dinner.
After breakfast your Religious Ireland coach tour comes to an end. We will arrange a transfer to the Dublin Airport in the early afternoon for anyone travelling home today.
Ask the IrelandWays.com travel consultants if you’d like to add an extra night accommodation and spend more time exploring the historic city of Dublin. Be magically transported back in time when you visit the National Museum of Ireland or simply relax strolling around Saint Stephen’s Green.