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8-Night Culinary Delights of Ireland

Price: From $2,698 Per Person. 8 Nights

Are you dreaming of an adventure filled with unique cuisine and stunning castles? Look no further than our 8-night Culinary Delights of Ireland package. This Ireland tour features overnight stays at three different 4-star properties - Galgorm Resort & Spa, Kilkea Castle, and Brooklodge at Macreddin Village - complete with a traditional Irish breakfast each morning.

After you arrive in Dublin and collect your rental car, you will drive south to County Wicklow, “The Garden of Ireland”, for your three-night stay at the wonderful Brooklodge & Macreddin Village. During your stay, you will be treated to a special dinner at one of the property's unique restaurants. The opportunity to participate in a fascinating Food Heritage Master Class is available on select dates throughout the year. In lieu of the Master Class, you will be immersed in the resort’s organic and wild foods ethos, including a post-dinner visit to their Wild Foods pantry and a sampling of the delectable Irish cheeses stored within. During your stay, look out for the full-time food forager in the fields and forests surrounding Macreddin Village. While based at Brooklodge, you will visit Dublin to enjoy the city’s sights and the fabulous Guinness Connoisseur Experience.

From Brooklodge, you will head north for a three-night stay at Galgorm Resort and Spa, recently awarded the “Global Luxury Spa Hotel of the Year 2018”. The resort sits on 163 acres of lush parkland - all available for you to explore. During your stay, you will have the opportunity to relax and take in the stunning surroundings from a riverside tub - complete with champagne. You will also be treated to a three-course dinner at the onsite restaurant of your choice!

The last two nights of your tour will be spent at Kilkea Castle, set in the County Kildare countryside. Here, you will participate in the traditional pursuit of archery, as well as the noble and ancient sport of Falconry. You will have ample time to enjoy the other onsite activities offered here such as equestrian excursions and access to their world-renowned golf course. Your last night of the tour features a unique dining experience inside the Castle itself.

With top Irish properties and authentic dining experiences, this handcrafted tour will leave you feeling excited to plan your next vacation

Your Price Includes

ACCOMMODATION

  • 8-Nights in Luxurious 4-Star Properties

TRANSPORTATION

  • Compact Rental Car with Automatic Transmission & Authentic’s Exclusive Car Insurance Cover

* Upgrade to a Private Chauffeur for an Additional Cost, Please Inquire for Details

DINING OPTIONS

  • Full Irish Breakfasts Each Morning
  • 4 Unique Dining Experiences:
    • Afternoon Tea in the Waterside Lounge  
    • Dinner & Wine at the Organic Strawberry Tree Restaurant
    • Dinner at the Award Winning River Room
    • Dinner at a 12th Century Castle

INCLUDED UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Heritage Food Master Class (dates and time of year permitting)
  • Riverside Tub and Champagne Experience
  • Tour of Ireland's Oldest Licensed Distillery
  • 12th Century Castle Experience; Archery & Falconry

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Powerscourt House & Gardens
  • Powerscourt Waterfall
  • Avoca
  • Wicklow Mountains National Park
  • Glendalough Monastic Settlement
  • Temple Bar
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Dublin Castle
  • Rathfarnham Castle
  • Howth Castle
  • Ashtown Castle
  • Castlewellan Castle
  • Killyleagh Castle
  • Belfast Castle
  • Gosford Castle
  • Maynooth Castle
  • Book of Kells
  • Titanic Belfast
  • Giant's Causeway
  • Dunluce Castle
  • Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge
  • The Dark Hedges
  • Boyne Valley
  • Newgrange
  • Trim

Wicklow, County Wicklow

Arrive at

Arrive at Dublin Airport, County Dublin

Arrive at Dublin Airport after your overnight flight if you are coming from the U.S. or Canada.

Dublin is Ireland's main airport - located just north of Dublin City.
If you are heading downtown, it takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes from the airport, depending on traffic.
There are 2 terminals at Dublin Airport, the second of which opened to air traffic in November 2010.
Most flights from the U.S. (on Aer Lingus, Delta, United, US Airways & American Airlines) arrive into Terminal 2.


Accommodation

Brooklodge at Maccredin Village - Wicklow, County Wicklow

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out time is before 12:00 noon

Included Experiences

Afternoon Tea in the Waterside Lounge

Wicklow, County Wicklow

Enjoy classic Afternoon Tea in the relaxing Waterside Lounge at BrookLodge & Macreddin Village. Afternoon tea is served from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM and features fine china and elegant tea accessories. Pair your tea with a selection of sandwiches, pastries and sweet loaves to round out your elegant experience.

Afternoon Tea is served in the Waterside Lounge Wednesday-Sunday from 2.30pm - 4.30pm.


Overnight Location

Wicklow, County Wicklow

On the Map: Wicklow Town is located on Ireland's eastern coast, approximately one hour south of Dublin City. The town is accessed via the N11 road that connects the cities of Dublin (to the north) and Wexford (to the south).

Known as “the Garden of Ireland”, Wicklow has wonderful scenery, with mountains, wooded valleys and lakes. It is fringed on the east by golden sandy beaches. Major routes to the east and west go through two of the highest passes in the country – Sally Gap and Wicklow Gap. Among its spectacular valleys are Glenmalure, Glencree, Glenmacnass, the Glen of Immal, and the most famous of all – Glendalough, the home of one of the country’s most famous early Christian sites. The county is very popular with outdoor enthusiasts for the range of activities it offers – walking, cycling, shore, coarse and game angling, golf, riding, watersports. There are also a number of historic gardens and houses to visit, Powerscourt House being the most famous and impressive.  Because of its wonderful scenery, the county has been used as a location for many films over the years, including Excalibur, Braveheart, Far and Away and Michael Collins. The very successful Irish television series Ballykissangel was made in the pretty village of Avoca.


Must-See Sites

Ashtown Castle , County Dublin

On the map: Dating back to the 1430s, Ashtown Castle is a tower house in the Phoenix Park, in Dublin. The tower was discovered in the late 90s within the walls of Ashtown Lodge. At the time of discovery, the lodge was being demolished due to dry rot and the castle was found underneath. After some restoration, the tower was dedicated to form part of the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre. While the Visitor Centre displays information and historical interpretations of the Phoenix Park from 3500BC to the present day, visitors are also encouraged to join a guided tour of the castle tower!


Avoca Village, County Wicklow

On the Map: Nestled in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains, Avoca is reached via a network of country roads. 1 hour/ 66km south of Dublin City in eastern Ireland, Avoca is most easily accessed from the N11 road that runs parallel to Ireland's east coast.

In Avoca Village, you will find the "Meeting of the Waters" - the point at which the Avonmore and Avonbeg Rivers come together to form the Avoca River. Avoca is home to Ireland's oldest woollen mill, Avoca Handweavers, established in 1723. This family-owned craft design company began at the Old Mill where weavers produced the beautifully woven fabrics which became Avoca's hallmark. In recent years, Avoca became famous for being the setting of the popular BBC soap opera "Ballykissangel".


Powerscourt House and Gardens, County Wicklow

On the Map: Powerscourt House & Gardens is located in County Wicklow in the east of Ireland. Powerscourt is accessed via the R117 road, which intersects with the main M11/N11 approx. 30 kilometres south of Dublin City.

One mile long and lined by over 2,000 beech trees, even the avenue leading to the Powerscourt House echoes the magnificence of the whole estate. In addition the 47 acres of gardens are remarkable for their grandeur of scale, at the same time combining great delicacy and refinement of detail. The house was gutted by fire in 1974 but recently has been reborn as an exceptional tourist destination. An exhibition brings to life the rich history of the estate, while the double height Georgian ballroom has been restored and hosts weddings and corporate events. The house is now home to the best of Irish design in gifts, clothes, and furniture in the Avoca Stores and the Interiors Gallery. You can also treat yourself to a dish from the Avoca Cookbook in the Terrace Cafe. Or you can visit the Powerscourt Distillery onsite as well.  The gardens at Powerscourt, recently voted Number 3 in the entire world by National Geographic, were laid out in two main periods. When the house was rebuilt in the decade after 1731, the surrounding grounds were also remodelled. The design reflected the desire to create a garden which was part of the wider landscape. To the north formal tree plantations framed the vista from the house, while a walled garden, fish pond, cascades, grottos and terraces lay to the south. Walks wound through the wooded grounds and a fine tree-lined avenue was created.


Powerscourt Waterfall, County Wicklow

Powerscourt Waterfall is the tallest in Ireland at 121 metres (397 feet). Located just 5 kilometres from Powerscourt House, the 7th Viscount of Powerscourt established a deer park at the waterfall. In 1858 he successfully introduced the Japanese Sika deer to Ireland. All deer in the Wicklow Mountains originated with the Powerscourt herd. Driving from the Powerscourt House towards the waterfall, visitors are surrounded by beautiful beech, oak, larch and pine trees. There are also giant redwood or sequoia trees. Though native to California, these were planted at Powerscourt sometime after 1860. Living for up to 4,000 years and growing to 250 feet high, the trees at Powerscourt are still youngsters! Fans of 'Vikings' on the History Channel may recognize the falls and other sights at Powerscourt - a major filming location for the show. Authentic Ireland USA’s own Con Jager, recently completed the Wicklow Way walking trail from end to end. Con took the attached photo from Ride Rock, a gorgeous viewpoint high up on the Wicklow Way.


Wicklow, County Wicklow

Accommodation

Brooklodge at Maccredin Village - Wicklow, County Wicklow

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out time is before 12:00 noon

Included Experiences

Heritage Food Foraging Masterclass

Wicklow, County Wicklow

Become a master chef with help from the chefs of Macreddin Village! Participants will receive a welcome tour of Macreddin Village including The Kitchens and The Strawberry Tree’s Wild Foods Pantry, followed by in-depth tuition taking them through a full calendar of natural Wild Foods that are available along 327,000km of our Irish Hedgerows. The MasterClass is lead by The Chefs of The Strawberry Tree Restaurant and Evan Doyle, co-author of the best-selling 'Wild Food' book. The course will cover identification as well as instruction on how to gather, cook and preserve local foods using traditional methods such as sugar, oil, drying, vinegars and alcohol. After enjoying lunch in The Waterside Lounge, participants will be brought outdoors with The Strawberry Tree’s Wild Food Forager to do some gentle hands-on foraging around Macreddin Village.


Must-See Sites

Glendalough, County Wicklow

On the Map: Glendalough is located in County Wicklow, in the east of Ireland - just 1 hour south of Dublin City. Scenically nestled in the Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough is served by a network of small country roads. From the northeast (Dublin), travel on the R755/R756, from everywhere else, arrive from the west on the R756.

Glendalough ("The Glen of the Two Lakes"), is the site upon which St. Kevin founded a unique monastic settlement in the 6th century. Most of what remains of the settlement is in ruins but the Round Tower at Glendalough, built as a refuge from marauding Vikings, is over a 1000 years old and is remarkably well preserved. The site itself is set next to two clear water lakes beneath the sheer cliffs of a deep glacial valley. It is one of the most serene and beautiful places in all Ireland and it is easy to see why the monks picked it for a place of prayer and contemplation. There are a myriad of walking trails throughout the area making it a truly invigorating place to spend the day.


Wicklow Mountains National Park, County Wicklow

Wicklow Mountains National Park covers part of a mountain range that extends over most of County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland. The upper slopes and rounded peaks are blanketed with heath and bog. The open vistas are interrupted only by forestry plantations and the winding mountain roads. Fast-flowing streams descend into the deep lakes of the wooded valleys and continue their course into the surrounding lowlands.
The primary purpose of Wicklow Mountains National Park is the conservation of local biodiversity and landscape. The Park is also an invaluable recreational space for locals and visitors alike. Over one million visits are estimated to be made each year. The most visited area is the scenic Glendalough Valley where the ancient monastic settlement of St. Kevin is located. Escape from the summer crowds is possible for those coming properly equipped to explore the uplands on foot, where a sense of wilderness and isolation can readily be found.

Wicklow, County Wicklow

Accommodation

Brooklodge at Maccredin Village - Wicklow, County Wicklow

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out time is before 12:00 noon

Included Experiences

Dinner at the Strawberry Tree

Wicklow, County Wicklow

Enjoy a special dinner at Ireland’s first certified Organic & Wild restaurant - The Strawberry Tree. Dinner includes a bottle of organic wine from BrookLodge’s organic wine list. 

The opening hours for the Strawberry Tree are:
March – October: Tuesday-Sunday 7pm to 9pm
November - December: Wednesday-Sunday 7pm to 9pm
 
For guests looking to dine outside of these times dinner can be reserved at Macreddin Village's second restaurant, La Taverna Armento which features a full Southern Italian menu, based on the magnificent foods available from the countryside surrounding the Village of Armento in the province of Basilicata.

Guinness Connoisseur Experience

Dublin, County Dublin

The Connoisseur Experience is the ultimate tasting experience for the ultimate Guinness fan. Gather in the luxurious private bar, discreetly tucked away in a secluded area of the Guinness Storehouse where you will embark on a journey through tastes, traditions, and stories of the most popular variants of Guinness beer - Guinness Draught, Guinness Original, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, and one of the beers from The Brewers Project range. You will also have the opportunity to learn the craft of how to pour the perfect pint of your very own Guinness. This experience is an exclusive added feature to the general admission tickets which include a self-guided tour of the visitor experience and a complimentary pint of Guinness or soft drink.


Must-See Sites

Rathfarnham Castle, County Dublin

On the map: Dating back to the Elizabethan period, Rathfarnham Castle (Ireland’s earliest fortified house) was originally built for Archbishop Adam Loftus - an ambitious Yorkshire clergyman who later became Lord Chancellor of Ireland. In the late 19th-century, the castle was remodeled by some of the finest architects of the day including Sir William Chambers. Today, the castle is open to the public for tours and rotating art exhibitions. Be sure to check the dates you will be visiting as the castle often hosts local events!


Ballymena, County Antrim

Accommodation

Galgorm Resort & Spa - Ballymena, County Antrim

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in times are between 2pm - 6pm, please call if you will be arriving outside these hours.


Included Experiences

Dinner at Galgorm Resort

Ballymena, County Antrim
Enjoy a three-course dinner for two at Galgorm, in your choice of restaurant. Choose from Fratelli Ristorante, featuring traditional Italian dishes with a modern twist; the Bar + Grill at Gillies, featuring an eclectic menu of classic brasserie dishes, grill selections, and Asian-inspired creations; or Castle Kitchen + Bar, featuring Southern-inspired dishes and Smokehouse BBQ. 

Overnight Location

Ballymena, County Antrim

On The Map: Ballymena is located in County Antrim, in the northeast corner of the island of Ireland. Belfast is just 30 miles away to the south.

Ballymena, also known as the 'City of the Seven Towers', is an attractive town, with some notable features and history. The town was founded on land given to the Adair family by King Charles I in 1626. The King decreed that in return for the land, the town would hold two annual fairs and a free Saturday market in perpetuity. To this day, the town holds one of the largest two-day agricultural shows in Ireland each year, and the weekly Saturday market continues to run! Ballymena is located just 6 miles from distinctive Slemish Mountain (pictured), the legendary first home of St. Patrick in Ireland. After being brought to the country as a slave in the 5th century, St. Patrick reputedly worked for 6 years as a shepherd on the mountain. In more recent times, Ballymena has produced another famous Irish son in Liam Neeson - the well-known actor was born and raised in Ballymena, and was presented with the 'Freedom of the Borough' in 2013.


Must-See Sites

Castlewellan Castle, County Down

On the map: Castlewellan Castle is a 19th-century Victorian castle located in County Down in Northern Ireland, roughly one hour south of Belfast. 

Commissioned and built in 1856 by William Richard Annesly, 4th Earl Annesly, Castlewellan Castle is a beautiful example of Victorian architecture and craftsmanship. Today, the castle is a Christian Conference Centre, its facilities used by many churches and schools. While the castle plays host to numerous retreats, the grounds are stunning and worth a visit. The main features of the castle grounds are The Lake (constantly stocked with brown and rainbow trout), The Arboretum (which dates back to 1870), and The Peace Maze (covering nearly 3 acres with 2.18 miles of pathway). 


Killyleagh Castle, County Down

On the map: Killyleagh Castle is a 17th-century castle located in County Down in Northern Ireland, roughly 40 minutes southeast of Belfast. 

Believed to be the oldest inhabited castle in the country, with parts dating back to 1180, Killyleagh Castle is a beautiful sight to behold. The castle follows the architectural style of a Loire Valley Chateau and has been owned by the Hamilton family since the early 17th century. While the main part of the castle is home to Gawn Hamilton and his family, two of the towers are available as self-catering accommodation. For those who don’t have time to stay overnight, be sure to stop by and check out the amazing architecture!


Belfast Castle and Cave Hill, County Antrim

On The Map: Belfast Castle is located just 4 miles north of the city centre on the slopes of Cave Hill. It is well signposted from the nearby Antrim Road.

Belfast Castle Estate is adjacent to one of the highest spots in Belfast, Cave Hill - at 400 feet above sea level, the castle offers stunning views over Belfast Lough and the city. Built in the 19th century, Belfast Castle is a Scottish Baronial style castle featuring unrivaled views of the city of Belfast. While the area played host to two castles before the one that stands today, the current Belfast Castle was finished in 1870. After serving the Shaftesbury family, the castle and its surrounding estate was presented to the city of Belfast in 1934. Between 1945 and 1970s, the castle was a popular venue for weddings, dances and afternoon teas. After a period of refurbishment between 1978 and 1988, the castle reopened and continued to host weddings, business meetings, and events. Head to the castle to explore its grounds and enjoy a meal at the Cellar Restaurant. 

Cave Hill Visitor Centre is located on the second floor of Belfast Castle. This intriguing museum is open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 10pm, and Sundays from 9am to 5.30pm, and admission is free!

The Cellar Restaurant within the castle is open every day from 11am-5pm serving snacks, light refreshments, and lunch.


Belfast City Hall, County Antrim

On The Map: City Hall is located on Donegall Square, in the very heart of Belfast.

Featuring towers at each of the four corners, with a lantern-crowned 173 ft copper dome in the centre, City Hall dominates Belfast's skyline. Plans for the City Hall began in 1888 when Belfast was awarded city status by Queen Victoria. This was in recognition of Belfast's rapid expansion and thriving linen, rope-making, shipbuilding and engineering industries. Construction began in 1898, and was completed in 1906 at a cost of £369,000. The exterior is built mainly from Portland stone and is in the Baroque Revival style. The interior has a number of notable features including The Porte-Cochère and Grand Entrance, The Grand Staircase, The Reception Room and The Great Hall. The gardens surrounding the City Hall are a popular summer lunch spot, and various statues adorn the grounds. These include a granite column dedicated to the American Expeditionary Force, many of whom were based in Belfast prior to D-Day in 1944. Interesting and informattive public tours of City Hall are available Monday thru Saturday. Led by experienced guides, tours last one hour and are free!


Titanic Belfast, County Antrim

On The Map: Titanic Belfast is located on Queen's Road in Belfast's northeastern 'Titanic Quarter'. The land on which it stands was formerly owned by the famous Harland & Wolff Shipping Company - builders of Titanic in 1912.

Opened on March 31, 2012, Titanic Belfast is a very impressive, state-of-the-art facility that covers more than 130,000 square feet. The striking building took more than 4 years to construct at a cost of GB 77 million pounds. It stands at 126 feet high - the exact same height as the hull of the famous, doomed ship. Titanic Belfast extends over nine galleries, with multiple dimensions to the exhibition, drawing together special effects, dark rides, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features to explore the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way; from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her infamous maiden voyage and catastrophic demise. The journey goes beyond the aftermath of the sinking, to the discovery of the wreck and continues into the present day with a live undersea exploration centre.


Belfast, County Antrim

On The Map: Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is located in the northeastern corner of the country in County Antrim. Belfast is well served by a network of good roads, including the M1 motorway from Dublin City.

Approximately one third of the population of Northern Ireland - about half a million people - live in Belfast. It's setting is very attractive, nestling in a semicircle of hills, where the River Langan enters Belfast Lough. The city got it's name from Beile Feirst  "the mouth of the sandy ford" - and was founded in 1177 when the Anglo-Normans built a castle here. It began to really expand in the 17th century with the development of the local linen and shipbuilding industries (the Titanic was built here).  Sights to see in Belfast City, the Belfast City Hall, built of Portland stone in Classical Renaissance style, dominates the city center.  The Linen Hall Library, founded in 1788 is an absolute delight, a cultural centre with exhibitions, a Theater & Performing Arts Archive and a Genealogy and Heraldry collection. Away from the city center you have the Ulster Museum in the Botanic Gardens, near Queens University which has miles of galleries and exhibitions. This lively and friendly city, with historic buildings standing side-by-side with modern creations is a delight not to be missed.


Ballymena, County Antrim

Accommodation

Galgorm Resort & Spa - Ballymena, County Antrim

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in times are between 2pm - 6pm, please call if you will be arriving outside these hours.


Included Experiences

Bushmills Premium Tasting Experience

Bushmills, County Antrim

Giant's Causeway

Bushmills, County Antrim

Flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean and a landscape of dramatic cliffs, for centuries the Giant’s Causeway has inspired artists, stirred scientific debate and captured the imagination of all who see it. Why not experience the Giant's Causeway for yourself? Visit the world-famous basalt columns with one of our knowledgeable tour guides (for a small additional fee paid on-site), or pick up an audio guide and go at your own pace. Climb the Shepherd's Steps and hike along the cliff-top trail to get a bird's eye view of the beautiful causeway coast. Unlock the mystery and stories of the landscape in the exhibition area of our award-winning visitor centre, which also boasts a café serving a seasonal menu, and retail zone where you can pick up locally sourced souvenirs and handicrafts.


Must-See Sites

Dunluce Castle, County Antrim

On The Map: Dunluce Castle is located on the coast of County Antrim in Northern Ireland. The town is accessed via the A2 road that connects the towns of Portrush to the west & Bushmills to the east.

Dunluce Castle is sited dramatically close to the edge of a headland, along the North Antrim coast. One could spend hours marvelling at such a wondrous feat of construction 500 years ago! Surrounded by jaw dropping coastal scenery, this medieval castle stands where an early Irish fort was once built, and its history can be traced back to early Christians and Vikings. The Castle has a rich and varied history, connected with such famous names as Richard de Burgh, Sorley Boy MacDonnell, and Sir John Perrott. Dunluce Village which once surrounded the castle was destroyed by fire during the siege of 1641, but some archaelogical remnants of walls remain. Also nearby are the ancient church ruins of St. Cuthbert's, and the site was witness to the sinking of the colony ship the Exmouth, bound for Quebec, which broke up on rocks off Islay with 240 deaths in 1847. The site features a visitor centre, shop and guided tours of the ruins, gardens and remnants of the town. As if all that were not enough, Dunluce has become even more alluring to visitors in recent years, since starring in HBO's Game of Thrones. The castle was the perfect location for bleak Pyke of House Greyjoy on the Iron Islands.


The Dark Hedges (Bregagh Road, Ballymoney), County Antrim

On The Map: The Dark Hedges are located in the northeast of Northern Ireland, just 2.5 miles from the village of Armoy. From Armoy, head west on Carrowreagh Road. Turn left on Ballykenver Road, then right on Bregagh Road - The Dark Hedges Avenue. GPS / SATNAV: 55.1272, -6.3633

This beautiful avenue of beech trees was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century. It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House. Two centuries later, the trees remain a magnificent sight and have become one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland. And all this before George R.R. Martin had even the earliest inkling of his wonderful Song of Ice & Fire series! Since then the iconic avenue has been used as a filming location in HBO's epic Game of Thrones - representing the King's Road in the show - and global notoriety has of course ensued! Please note that this a pedestrianized avenue - free parking is available nearby at The Hedges Hotel.
Featured Scene:
Season 2, episode 1: On the King' s Road, Arya Stark has escaped from King’s Landing, disguised as a boy. She is with Yoren, Gendry, Hot Pie and others who are to join the Night’s Watch, in a cart, travelling north on the King’s Road.


Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, County Antrim

On The Map: Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge is located near the small town of Ballintoy, in County Antrim Northern Ireland. The rope bridge connects the mainland to the tiny island of Carrick in the northeast corner of Northern Ireland.

Spanning a chasm some eighty feet deep is the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, it's construction once consisted of a single rope hand rail and widely spaced slats which the fishermen would traverse across with salmon caught off the island to which it leads. The single handrail was subsequently replaced by a two hand railed bridge, and the current, caged bridge was installed by the National Trust during Easter of 2000 as a further safety measure. Although no-one has ever been injured falling off the old or new bridge, there have been many instances of visitors being unable to face the return walk back across the bridge, resulting in them being taken off the island by boat, so not an activity for the faint-hearted!


Giant's Causeway, County Antrim

On the Map: The Giant's Causeway is located in County Antrim on the northeastern coast of Northern Ireland. The Causeway is accessed via Causeway Road that runs north from the main A2 road (connecting Bushmills to the west and Ballycastle to the east).

The Giant's Causeway is a UNESCO Heritage site located in Northern Ireland. During the Paleogene period, County Antrim was subject to intense volcanic activity. As lava rapidly cooled, unique contraction and fracturing occurred, creating the distinctive hexagonal columns seen today. Irish legend of course has an alternate tale of the Causeway's creation!: The Irish giant Fionn MacCumhaill (Fionn McCool) built the causeway to walk to Scotland to fight his Scottish counterpart Benandonner. One version of the legend tells that Fionn fell asleep before he got to Scotland. When he did not arrive, the much larger Benandonner crossed the bridge looking for him. To protect Fionn, his wife Oonagh laid a blanket over him and pretended that the sleeping giant was actually their baby son. When Benandonner saw the size of the 'infant', he assumed the alleged father, Fionn, must be gigantic indeed. Benandonner fled home in terror, ripping up the Causeway in case he was followed by Fionn, and therefore only the Irish coastal steps remain.


Ballymena, County Antrim

Accommodation

Galgorm Resort & Spa - Ballymena, County Antrim

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in times are between 2pm - 6pm, please call if you will be arriving outside these hours.


Included Experiences

Riverside Bathing Experience

Ballymena, County Antrim

Enjoy the essence of outdoor bathing in one of the award-winning wood-fired, eco-friendly Riverside Tubs at Galgorm Resort and Spa. The tubs are a fantastic way to enjoy the picturesque location along the riverbank, delivering a truly unique type of relaxation for the body and mind. The baths are the perfect experience to celebrate a romantic occasion or catch up with a friend, and they even include champagne!

Treatment Length: 60 Minutes

Includes half bottle of champagne


Leisure Day at Galgorm Resort

Ballymena, County Antrim

Spend the day relaxing and taking advantage of all that Galgorm Resort and Spa has to offer. Relax at the unique Thermal Village (the first of its kind in Ireland) and book a treatment at their world-renowned spa. While your tour package includes a riverside bathing experience, we encourage you to add on a deep tissue massage, a personalized facial, a Celtic sauna infusion experience, or one of their many other treatments. Dine at one of the property’s numerous restaurants and bars including The River Room, featuring local seasonal ingredients and an extensive wine list; Fratelli Ristorante, Pizzeria & Bar, featuring traditional Italian dishes with a modern twist; and Castle Kitchen + Bar, featuring the ambiance of an authentic BBQ smokehouse. For those interested in craft beer, take a short drive to Hillstown Brewery, where you can taste and learn about the Galgorm beer that is stocked in the Resort’s minibars. No matter how you choose to spend your day, Galgorm Resort and Spa is sure to deliver a day of reflection and serenity.  


Must-See Sites

Maynooth Castle, County Kildare

On the map: Maynooth Castle is a 13th-century earl’s home & grounds located in Co. Kildare in Ireland, roughly 30 minutes west of Dublin. 

Founded in the early 13th century, Maynooth Castle was the principal residence of the Kildare branch of the Geraldines. Today, the castle is a Heritage Site and is open to the public from June to October every year. If you would like to see the inside of the castle, you can join a guided tour, otherwise you can check out the grounds on your own. 


Castledermot, County Kildare

Accommodation

Kilkea Castle - Castledermot, County Kildare

Castle
Room Type: Castle Deluxe Double

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3.00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 12.00 noon


Overnight Location

Castledermot, County Kildare

On The Map: Castledermot is an inland village in the south-east of Ireland in County Kildare, about 75 km from Dublin, and 10 km from the town of Carlow. The old N9 road from Dublin to Waterford passes through the village.

Castledermot may be small, but its the ancient ruins and remains found there indicate just how important this town once was. There are various sites to explore in the town, including a round tower (pictured), two well-preserved granite high crosses and the ruins of a Franciscan friary. 5 km away lies Kilkea Castle, once the residence of the Duke of Leinster, but now a hotel and golf resort. The castle was built by the famous English Norman Hugh de Lacy in 1180, and later passed to the Fitzgeralds. Gerald FitzGerald, 11th Earl of Kildare, is said to have practised magic in Kilkea Castle. His interest in alchemy caused much interest among his neighbours, and earned him the nickname 'The Wizard Earl'. The Earl died in 1585 and supposedly returns to haunt the castle every seventh year, mounted on a silver-shod white charger.


Must-See Sites

Newgrange, County Meath

On the Map: Newgrange is located just north of Dublin City in County Meath in the east of Ireland. Newgrange is reached via the N51 road, which intersects with the main M1 motorway (connecting Dublin & Belfast) near the town of Drogheda.

Newgrange, in County Meath, crouches on a rise just north of the River Boyne. It is the focal point for a ceremonial area and megalithic cemetery that is 5,000 years old.  The tombs' passage is perfectly aligned to mark the Winter Solstice. Newgrange is one of the best examples in Western Europe of the type of monument known as a passage-grave or passage-tomb. According to the most reliable Carbon 14 dating techniques, Newgrange was constructed around 3200BC. This means it is at least 600 years older than the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, and 1,000 years older than its British counterpart, Stonehenge. If you are interested in visiting Newgrange during summer months, we highly recommend planning to arrive very early in the morning to guarantee entrance to this extremely popular site!


Trim, County Meath

On The Map: Trim is located in County Meath in the Boyne Valley region of eastern Ireland. The town is accessed via the N3 & R154 from Dublin City (to the southeast) or via the R162 from Navan town (to the north).

The name Trim comes from the Irish 'Baile Atha Troim', which translates as 'the town of the ford of the alder trees' and its origin dates back to the 5th century A.D. Among its more recent claims to fame, is the filming of a major part of 'Braveheart' at Trim Castle (pictured). Trim is part of the Boyne Valley, located on the east coast of Ireland in County Meath, which contains the largest and most decorated megalithic sites in all of Ireland. It has been described as "the largest and most important expression of prehistoric megalithic art in Europe". The large Megalithic sites were built over 5000 years ago between 3800 and 3200 BC - built before both Stonehenge in England and the great pyramids in Egypt! Within a three square mile radius in the Boyne Valley are grouped more than 30 prehistoric monuments including the great passage tombs and their satellite structures, standing stones, barrows and other enclosures. The great sites of the Boyne Valley include Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth, Loughcrew, Fourknocks and the Hill of Tara. Neolithic communities built these sites over earlier sacred spots and it is suspected that they were used for a combination of different purposes, including burial tombs, sacred temples and astronomical observatories.


Boyne Valley, County Meath

On the Map: The Boyne Valley is a fairly large region located in the east of Ireland in County Meath. Only 30 minutes/ 20km north of Dublin City, the Boyne Valley is accessed via the N2 or N3 roads heading northwest from the city.

The Boyne Valley contains the largest and most decorated megalithic sites in all of Ireland and has been described as "the largest and most important expression of prehistoric megalithic art in Europe". The large Megalithic sites were built over 5000 years ago between 3800 and 3200 BC, built before both Stonehenge in England and the great pyramids in Egypt. Within a three square mile radius in the Boyne Valley are grouped more than 30 prehistoric monuments including the great passage tombs and their satellite structures, standing stones, barrows and other enclosures. The great sites of the Boyne Valley include Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth, Loughcrew, Fourknocks and the Hill of Tara. Neolithic communities built these sites over earlier sacred spots and it is suspected that they were used for a combination of different purposes, including use as burial tombs, sacred temples and astronomical observatories. The nearby towns of Trim, Slane and Navan make ideal bases from which to explore the area.


Gosford Castle, County Armagh

On the map: Gosford Castle is a 19th-century castle located in County Armagh in Northern Ireland, roughly one hour southwest of Belfast. 

Built in the 19th century for The 2nd Earl of Gosford, Gosford Castle was occupied until 1921 until it was purchased by the Ministry of Agriculture to form Gosford Forest Park. After some deterioration, the castle was sold to a development company in 2006 and was converted into private dwellings. Today, the castle acts as a home and was used as a filming location for several Game of Thrones episodes. While some of the private dwellings are currently being lived in, there are still some available for purchase. Stop by and take a look at the castle that could be your next home!


Castledermot, County Kildare

Accommodation

Kilkea Castle - Castledermot, County Kildare

Castle
Room Type: Castle Deluxe Double

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3.00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 12.00 noon


Included Experiences

Leisure Day at Kilkea Castle

Castledermot, County Kildare

Spend the day enjoying a full Medieval Castle experience at Kilkea Castle. You will have the unique opportunity to participate in the traditional pursuit of Archery, as well as the noble and ancient sport of Falconry. Take advantage of other onsite activities including a round of golf on the castle’s world-renowned course and equestrian excursions! For those wishing to end the day with a leisurely walk, explore the many pathways of Kilkea’s 180-acre estate, or venture further out to Mullaghreelan Wood, a mixed woodland featuring two stunning 2-km overlapping walks. Wrap up your day with dinner at one of the estate’s restaurants, including informal dining at The Bistro and pub food at The Keep. Kilkea offers something for everyone, making it easy to spend a day at leisure on this magnificent estate!


Falconry at Kilkea Castle

Castledermot, County Kildare

A noble and ancient sport, falconry offers a unique and memorable experience. Enjoy the majesty of Falcons, Owls and Hawks amidst the backdrop of our historic Castle. Your falconry experience will be lead by a resident falconry expert to ensure that you get the most out of this amazing encounter. 


Archery at Kilkea Castle

Castledermot, County Kildare

The classic Castle pursuit. Archery has been around for 15,000 years and now, Kilkea Castle makes for an amazing backdrop for your very own version of Game of Thrones. Discover how to properly execute this ancient sport during the Kilkea archery experience. This unique experience is great for adults and families! 


Dinner at Kilkea Castle

Castledermot, County Kildare

Dine on Kilkea Castle grounds. During the weekends of the low season, you will have the opportunity to dine at their signature restaurant - 1180 Restaurant - which offers a fine dining experience. When the 1180 Restaurant isn’t available, you will be dining in the Castle at their gastropub - The Keep. No matter where you are dining, we ensure that you will experience an authentic 12th century Castle meal. 


Depart From

Depart from Dublin Airport, County Dublin

Return to Dublin Airport at least two hours prior to your flight's scheduled departure. This will allow ample time to check in for your flight home.

After check-in and passenger security, browse the array of shops on offer at 'The Loop' in Dublin Airport. With an extensive range of stores, bars and cafes, any spare time you have will fly!


LOW SEASON
Jan - Mar | Nov - Dec
From $2,698 per person
MID SEASON
Apr - May | Sep - Oct
From $2,758 per person
HIGH SEASON
June - August
From $2,848 per person

 

Days of Operation:
Mon/Tues/Thurs/Sat 

PLEASE NOTE: This tour is only available for a minimum of two people traveling, please contact your agent if you would like to custom design a solo traveling package

 

Your Price Includes

ACCOMMODATION

  • 8-Nights in Luxurious 4-Star Properties

TRANSPORTATION

  • Compact Rental Car with Automatic Transmission & Reduced Excess Insurance*

* Upgrade to a Private Chauffeur for an Additional Cost, Please Inquire for Details

DINING OPTIONS

  • Full Irish Breakfasts Each Morning
  • 4 Unique Dining Experiences:
    • Afternoon Tea in the Waterside Lounge  
    • Dinner & Wine at the Organic Strawberry Tree Restaurant
    • Dinner at the Award Winning River Room
    • Dinner at a 12th Century Castle

INCLUDED UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Heritage Food Master Class (dates and time of year permitting)
  • Riverside Tub and Champagne Experience
  • Tour of Ireland's Oldest Licensed Distillery
  • 12th Century Castle Experience; Archery & Falconry

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Powerscourt House & Gardens
  • Powerscourt Waterfall
  • Avoca
  • Wicklow Mountains National Park
  • Glendalough Monastic Settlement
  • Temple Bar
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Dublin Castle
  • Book of Kells
  • Titanic Belfast
  • Giant's Causeway
  • Dunluce Castle
  • Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge
  • The Dark Hedges
  • Boyne Valley
  • Newgrange
  • Trim
Prices Based On
  • All Taxes & Fees Included
  • Prices are Per Person based on 2 people traveling together and sharing a room.
  • Traveling Alone? No Problem. Just Ask Us for a Single Supplement Price.
May 14, 2019 by Joe.

The planning, hotel booking and suggested site seeing itinerary were so well organized and perfect. I would suggest informing first time travelers to Ireland who are driving for the first time, that there can be quite a bit of mountain side driving with very narrow, winding roads. That wasn't something that was addressed beforehand with Authentic Ireland, caused a little bit of distress while in Ireland. I would also mention that communication while booking the trip with my agent wasn't the greatest. There were many business days that would go by without hearing any responses to email questions, which when looking to book a trip, a 1 business day turnaround is typically expected. Though once i discussed items with my agent, she was very professional and well informed. Just improve on communication timing, if out of the office an out of office message would assist in letting passanger know they should contact someone else within the office.

“Enchanting family quality time!”

May 14, 2019 by Gustavo Segura. Your Hometown: San José, Costa Rica

I live in Costa Rica. A colleague from the local tourism industry recommended Authentic Vacations... I contacted AV with a little bit of hesitation. But the moment Jocoya Fox-Jones established communication, things started flowing! The planning went smoothly; she made sure to ask the right questions about our needs and desires. The itinerary sounded perfect... and turned out to be perfect in the end! My 7 year-old loved the castles and the hotels, my wife and I enjoyed the gastro experiences and we all found several opportunities for a great family bonding time. The beauty of Scotland and Ireland plus the right planning made it all a 5-star experience! Thanks Jocoya, thanks Authentic Vacations!

May 14, 2019 by adam schneider. Your Hometown: georgetown de united states

Wonderful experience will travel with Authentic again. Anastasia was great to deal with and she is my go to woman for the next vacation.

“Magical Trip to Scotland & Ireland!”

May 14, 2019 by Lisa. Your Hometown: NYC

Jocoya from Authentic Ireland was an amazing travel specialist! It was my first solo trip to Scotland & Ireland and working with her made my holiday so much better. She was very flexible and accommodating when I wanted to tailor my itinerary to include more historical sights. Jocoya is very responsive and she helped me sort out some hotel snafu in Scotland. Loved my trip and will be going back to Ireland in the future and using Authentic Vacations again. I strongly recommend using Authentic Vacations if you're planning a trip to Ireland, Scotland or England!

May 14, 2019 by Kim Ehlenbeck. Your Hometown: Aurora

I feel that I have to give 2 reviews. The first review would definitely be 5-star for our 8 days in Ireland. The Applecroft House B&B in Killarney was amazing and our stays at the Davenport Hotel in Dublin and the Ballyseede Castle in Tralee were outstanding! We went on to London for 3 days after Ireland and Authentic Vacations (AV) booked our hotel in London - the Park Grand London Paddington. AV was new to booking in London and I have to say that they should never recommend this hotel again. The quality of the hotel was sub-par, especially after what we experienced in Ireland. The rooms and beds were small, the decor was shabby and tacky. There were no rooms that were being renovated either. AV tried to make it right by asking the hotel to show us other rooms we could upgrade to, but they were all pretty bad. I only want to mention all this so that AV knows not to steer any future clients here. Thanks to Lonna for planning a custom itinerary for us in Ireland that exceeded our expectations. Would definitely recommend Authentic Vacations to anyone considering a trip to Ireland.

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1. Click on the Green “Get Started” Button to the Right 

Submit your travel dates, number of people and type of transportation. We can adjust the length of our vacation packages to suit your needs.

2. Online Account & Quote Created

Our experts will create a custom quote & itinerary based on your requirements, and all details are posted to your Authentic Ireland online account (login info will be emailed to you!).

3. Make Changes / Ask Questions 

Your quote will have been created by your own personal Expert, who will be available to you at any stage of planning your vacation & even while you are in Ireland or Scotland. Call or email your dedicated Expert to discuss options, make changes or ask questions.

4. Reserve & Pay Online

Reserve your vacation package securely via your online account. We only require a 20% deposit to secure your vacation, and our Risk-Free Cancellation Policy provides you with complete peace of mind.

5. Print Your Travel Documents & Go!

Once your vacation has been paid in full, you will be able to print your travel documents directly from your online account. You’re ready to go!

Questions?

With offices in both Ireland & the U.S., we can offer you unrivaled support while you are in Ireland or Scotland. We truly believe all our clients deserve an extraordinary experience!

Call us toll-free, 1-888-443-5259 (US) or +353 01 293.3088 (international), and we will be delighted to answer all questions!

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