Discover Ulster, Ireland’s least visited Province
Tour Cost: $3,195 per person land only
Group Air: $925 per person
30 April United #976 EWR/SNN 11.15pm – 10.30am
8 May United #316 DUB/EWR 1.05pm – 3.55pm
Limited single space – Sold Out
This tour will be led by Brookdale’s Irish Studies instructor, Hank McNally.
Departure Day – April 30, 2024
Flight details will be provided mid-June, 2023. Anticipate United flight departing Newark (EWR) in the evening.
As we work our way through passport check and luggage retrieval into the “Arrivals” area, look for our driver/guide, identified by a sign that includes “Isle Inn Tours”. We will look to get rolling as soon as all can get on board. Our first stop will be Moran’s Cottage for a light lunch, our first meal together on Irish soil. Then, it’s on to Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery for a guided tour. The site is the oldest and the densest concentration of Neolithic tombs in Ireland. Remains of over 35 passage tombs are found here, constructed almost 6,000 years ago. You’ll feel the mystery and magic, surrounded by Ben Bulben and the Cairn of the ancient Queen Maeve. As we travel north, we will pause near the site of W. B. Yeats’s gravesite under the shadow of that same Ben Bulben for a few words about Ireland’s national poet. It will be only a pause because one of Ireland’s most beautiful hotels, nestled on the shores of Loch Eske, awaits us
Overnight: Harvey’s Point Hotel, Donegal (L, D)
Day 3 – Thursday, May 2 – After breakfast we drive west to the town of Killybegs, the largest fishing port in Ireland, perhaps stopping for a few photos. Enjoy views of the rugged coastline and mountains which are a part of the Wild Atlantic Way. Our first stop will be at Slieve League. This is one of Europe’s highest sea cliffs rising almost 600 meters from the Atlantic, much higher than the better known Cliffs of Moher. The view is breathtaking. Next onto Leo’s Tavern for lunch. The pub and restaurant located in the Donegal Gaeltacht is known as the home of music artists Clannad, Enya and Moya Brennan. There will be some members of the extended family there to provide a little song and story. On our way back to the hotel we will stop in Donegal town for some shopping. The coach will also provide a transfer directly to the hotel. It is a delightful hotel to explore with a lounge area that almost requires a pint of Guinness or similar pre dinner indulgence. Overnight: Harveys Point Hotel, Donegal (B, L, D)
Day 4 – Friday, May 3 – We’re off early today, crossing the now invisible border, entering Northern Ireland and the walled city of Derry for a firsthand and on-site analysis of Bloody Sunday and “The Troubles” that ensued.. A local guide will take us on a walking tour which will begin at the “Free Derry Wall” and take us around the Bogside, noting the murals, the site of the 1972 massacre and finishing at the Bloody Sunday monument. Lunch will be “on our own” in the Bogside; we’ll suggest a few places where you can meet the locals. After lunch, we’ll meet another local guide for a walking tour of the Derry Walls. It’s a tour filled with history. There should be some free time before dinner.
Overnight: City Hotel, Derry (B, D)
Day 5 – Saturday, May 4 – Today we leave Derry and visit Seamus Heaney’s Homeplace an arts and literary center, which celebrates the life and work of the late poet and Nobel Laureate. Heaney was an inspiration during a troubled time; while living in the midst of terror, he wrote of calm, the dignity of the working man and the beauty of the Irish countryside. While in the small town of Bellaghy, we’ll make a very brief stop at the local cemetery which holds the graves of two cousins, both of whom died on hunger strike. The stop is not meant to praise or condemn the men or their actions, only to recognize the hold that memory retains. The countryside we’ll drive through is lovely, bringing us into the heart of Northern Ireland: we will find a nice spot for “lunch on our own” along the way. The plan is to get to our hotel with some time to explore the setting or relax with a beverage and enjoy the view. We will be on the County Antrim coast, overlooking the world-famous Giants Causeway and in the town of Bushmills, known for more than just the view. Overnight: Causeway Hotel, Bushmills (B, D)
Day 6 – Sunday, May 5 – This morning we will visit the Giant’s Causeway. After a short audiovisual presentation, we will have an opportunity to walk down and view the spectacular hexagonal volcanic basalt columns. Learn about the mythical giant Finn McCool, who created the Causeway. There is a jitney bus which will take those who wish down to the Causeway and back; it can be a tough walk back. We next journey along the coast, with a brief photo stop at the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, originally a fisherman’s crossing and at Dunluce Castle, one of the most photographed spots on the entire island. Lunch will be “on your own” at a place to be determined. In the afternoon we will visit Johnny Joe’s Pub in Cushendal to enjoy some live music. We Return to our hotel overlooking the stunning Antrim Coast. Overnight: Causeway Hotel, Bushmills (B, D)
Day 7 – Monday, May 6 – After breakfast, travel to the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast. The first activity of the day is a visit to the Titanic Belfast, located in the heart of the city, on the slipways where RMS Titanic was built. Inside this iconic building, we will re-live the entire Titanic story from her birth in Belfast to the fateful maiden voyage and her eventual discovery on the seabed. Next, will be a bus tour of the city with a local guide. We’ll see the imposing City Hall on Donegall Square and learn about the diverse history of this ancient city. Lunch will follow “on our own”. There will also be time provided here to take a walk around downtown Belfast. The once troubled city has made a remarkable comeback. As we check into our city center hotel, note the comforting distinction of being in the most frequently bombed hotel in all of Europe (It is still there and quite lovely. (Dinner on our own this evening. Overnight: Europa Hotel, Belfast (B)
Day 8 – Tuesday, May 7 – The first stops of the day will be on the Falls Road, then the Shankhill, stronghold neighborhoods of working-class Catholics and Protestants and, therefore, places in which each community can display their political leanings in creative ways. See if you can detect any “softening” of attitudes; a few who study the artwork say it’s there and a good sign. Others are not so sure. We’ll visit the Irish Republican Museum, in a particularly small building, operated in honor of a little-known Republican woman, Eileen Hickey. If we deal with the troubles, we should deal with the efforts to promote and sustain peace; Next stop will be the Redemptorist Monastery of Clonard, in the heart of troubled Belfast where there is a serious “Peace and Reconciliation” initiative that has been underway for almost 25 years. From here we will travel the short distance to Crumlin Road Jail; discover over 150 years of history and follow in the footsteps of over 25,000 prisoners as we make the journey through Northern Ireland’s only remaining Victorian Era prison. We’ll return to our hotel in time to visit the Piano Bar for music and whatever. This evening we will have our final dinner together in a private room with entertainment to follow. Overnight: Europa Hotel, Belfast (B, D)
Circumstances beyond our control may require us to change the schedule. This tour is subject to the terms and conditions listed on www.isleinntours.com
B – Breakfast
L – Lunch
D – Dinner
- 7 nights first class hotels
- Full Irish breakfast daily
- Lunch day of arrival (Morans Cottage)
- Lunch (Leo’s Tavern, Donegal)
- 6 evening meals at your hotel
- Fully escorted via deluxe motorcoach
- Services of an experienced Irish driver/guide
- Porterage of one suitcase per person
- All service charges and local government taxes
- Gratuity to the driver
- Trip Insurance
- Travel insurance should be paid for at the time of deposit to cover any pre-existing conditions.
- Meals, Drinks, and Refreshments where not indicated
A per person deposit of $750 is due when clients sign up.
A second payment of $1000 will be due on September 11th, 2023
Final payment will be due January 30th, 2024.