Aer Lingus Vacations
Ireland (Irish: Éire; Ulster Scots: Airlann) is the third largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world. It lies to the north-west of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. To the east of Ireland, separated by the Irish Sea, is the island of Great Britain. Politically, the Republic of Ireland (also known officially as Ireland) covers five-sixths of the island, with Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, covering the remainder in the north-east.
The population of the island is slightly over six million (2007), with 4.34 million in the Republic of Ireland (1.7 million in Greater Dublin) and an estimated 1.75 million in Northern Ireland (0.6 million in Greater Belfast). This is a significant increase from a modern historical low in the 1960s, but still much lower than the peak population of over 8 million in the early 19th century, prior to the Irish potato famine.
The name Ireland derives from the name Ériu (in modern Irish, Éire) with the addition of the Germanic word land. Most other western European names for Ireland derive from the same source, such as French Irlande, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese Irlanda, German Irland and the Dutch Ierland.
Start off your trip with two nights in Ireland's fabulous capital city. Your group will get the chance to sample the sights, sounds and tastes of Dublin, with a tour of Trinity College and a chance to see the famous medieval manuscript of the Book of Kells, followed by a visit to the Guinness Storehouse, with a tour of the brewery finishing with a pint of the black stuff.
During your stay in Dublin, your group will be treated to a night of traditional Irish entertainment at the famous Abbey Tavern in Howth, with Irish music, dancing and ballads.
Galway & Connemara Magic
From Dublin, your group will be whisked off to the west, to sample the wistful landscapes of Connemara . Enjoy the scenery of the Maumturk Mountains and the Twelve Bens, and take a guided tour around the splendid Kylemore Abbey, before settling in Galway, ‘the City of the Tribes', for two nights. While in Galway you can sample the city's rich heritage and vibrant culture and maybe take a trip out to the timeless Aran Islands .
Killarney Lakes & Mountains
Here your group will be situated in the very heart of one of Ireland's most beautiful natural settings - Killarney National Park . Your group will spend two nights in Killarney where they can enjoy a jaunting car ride around the lakes and parklands of the national park and take a guided tour of Muckross House. Your group could also take a guided hike in the mountains or a drive around the famous Ring of Kerry .
There's so much to see and enjoy around Killarney and a trip out to the Dingle Peninsula, is a highly recommended addition, if you have time.
Leaving Killarney, your group will have time for a stop to explore the picturesque village of Adare and the city of Limerick ; the setting for Frank McCourt's novel ‘Angela's Ashes'. From here your group will head for Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, with a collection of buildings recreating life in the auld country.
Later in the evening, finish off your vacation in grand style with a medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle, where your group can eat and drink like lords, be entertained by medieval balladeers and throw someone in the dungeon!
Next day your group will head home from Shannon Airport with fond memories of Ireland.