DISCOVER THE TRAVEL PROGRAM
Day 1: City of origin – Dublin. THE START OF AN UNFORGETTABLE JOURNEY
The flight to Dublin kicks off an unforgettable experience in which you will feel like a King and have the experience of living in the most beautiful castles in Ireland. Unforgettable, legendary nights await you. Upon arriving at the destination airport, pick up the rental car and head to your accommodation. The rest of the day is at your disposal to wander around the city and discover Irish hospitality.
Days: 2, 3 and 4 (22, 23 and 24 August). DISCOVER THE VIBRANT CAPITAL OF IRELAND AND PARTICIPATE IN THE CONGRESS OF THE FAMILIES OF THE WMF2018
From 22 to 24 August, you will be able to attend the Pastoral Congress for the World Meeting of Families on the theme “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World” chosen by the Holy Father. The Congress will include an enriching program for adults with important speakers, workshops, talks, testimonies and debates; a motivating and engaging program for young people, and fun activities for children. There will also be daily celebration of the Eucharist, prayer activities, cultural events and music concerts.
In addition, during these days you can visit Dublin, the lively capital of Ireland. We recommend you to visit some of its most significant monuments such as the beautiful St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university and where you will marvel at its magnificent library, Town Hall, National Gallery of Ireland, Phoenix Park or the Dublinia exhibition. And if you’re a beer lover, you can not miss the genuine Guinness Storehouse, where you can try one of the most famous beers in the world.
Day: 5 (August 25). DISCOVER DUBLIN’S CHARMS FROM THE RIVER LIFFEY AND ENJOY THE GREAT FAMILY FESTIVAL
Today you have all morning free. We suggest you discover Dublin’s charms from the River Liffey. Join one of the exciting riverside excursions that run daily on the River Liffey! From a boat equipped with all the comforts and thanks to an expert guide, you will be able to find out about the important historical stages of the city, from the arrival of the vikings a millennium ago, to the important development that the city experienced in the nineteenth century and the significant work of rehabilitation of the docks. During your boat trip, you will be able to recall outstanding legends and photograph outstanding tourist attractions of the city. During the river tour you will cross famous sites such as the Ha ‘Penny bridge or the Grand Canal. And if you prefer to explore Dublin by land you can get on some of the colorful tour buses that run through the city and stop in the most significant places.
In the afternoon, the Grand Festival of Families will take place, one of the most beautiful and significant events of the World Meeting of Families. It is a celebration of family life around the world with music and dance shows, as well as the testimony of faith of five families chosen from different parts of the world. You’ll love it.
Day 6 (August 26). END OF CONGRESS AND UNFORGETTABLE EXCURSIONS
Today the World Meeting of Families concludes with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration which will bring together people and families from all over the world in communion and thanksgiving.
Afterwards, we recommend traveling to the small fishing village of Howth, just 20 minutes by train from Dublin. This ancient fishing peninnsula is visited by numerous tourists attracted by its interesting bird observatory. Also, marine mammals, such as seals, often come to the port to be fed by visitors. In Howth, the castle of the same name, owned by the Gaisford St. Lawrence family, resides there. Although you can not visit its interior, it can be enjoyable to visit its elegant gardens. Near Howth, you will find Ireland’s eye where the ecclesiastical remains of an ancient monastery are preserved and from where a great variety of birds can be observed. The Ireland’s Eye can be visited exclusively in summer, so you’re very lucky. Do not miss it!
Back in Dublin, we encourage you to leisurely wander the mythical Ha’Penny Bridge to the picturesque streets of the Temple Bar area that will catch you for its constant lively nightlife that focuses on its historic pubs where you can enjoy with the cozy dublin chords of traditional music and refreshing pints. Here’s to a good night!
Day 7 (27 August): Dublin – Galway – Clifden. THE TOWN OF THE TRIBES
On the seventh day, take off in your rental car to Galway. Mid-way, make a stop to visit Belvedere houses, a beautiful complex located in the county of Westmeath, near Mullingar. Its beautiful Victorian parks attract the attention of numerous visitors throughout the year. There are, without doubt, some beautiful places on the shores of Lake Ennell to walk around to stretch your legs. Before crossing the river Shannon, you can visit Clonmacnoise, an abbey and a monastic Christian complex. The next destination will be the lively city that gives name to the county in which it is. Galway, known as the city of the 14 tribes, welcomed in the fifteenth and sixteenth century ships from Spain, who arrived at its port to trade. Today, monuments like the “Spanish arch” recall the good relationship between the two countries. Continue along the route to reach the castle in Clifden, where you will sleep like a king. Accommodation.
Day 8 (28 August): Clifden – Connemara Region – Clifden. A DAY IN THE GAELTACHT
Today we recommend you to freely enjoy the Connemara Region, which is the one that has best preserved the traditions and the genuine landscape of Ireland. In the bays of its shallow coastline are settled Gaelic towns, regions known as Gaeltacht, where it won’t be unusual to see a roadsign in Irish. Enjoy a relaxed day and dare to mix with the locals in the lively pub where traditional music of uileann pipes and tin whistles always plays. The Twelve Bens Mountains – where the Connemara National Park is and where stone walls dominate the landscape. Accommodation.
Day 9 (29 August): Clifden – Cliffs of Moher. EXPERIENCE ANOTHER SIDE OF IRELAND
A new day starts and your trip continues towards what is known as the “land of castles”. During the journey you will find the Burren region, a radically different area where pastures, lakes and swamps are scarce, and whose soil is full of limestone. After a walk on these inhospitable grounds, the following attraction will leave you speechless: the Cliffs of Moher. They make up a series of impressive rocky elevations that plunge into the sea from a height of more than 200 meters and for eight kilometers along the coast. In Tralee, the main city of County Kerry, an elegant castle will be your accommodation to end the evening.
Day 10 (30 August): Tralee – Dingle Peninsula – Tralee. SURVIVE IN THE KERRY ISLANDS
The tenth day takes place, once you have gathered strength with a good breakfast, in the county of Kerry. This time, our suggestion is to travel to Dunquin, at the westernmost tip of the Dingle Peninsula, where the Blasket Visitor Center (Great Blasket Center) is located, which invites you to get to know the inhabitants of the Blasket Islands, and how they managed to survive on land and sea.
Day 11 (31 August): Tralee – Limerick – Straffan. STRENGTHS OF KINGS AND PRINCES
On the final stretch of your journey, you will head towards the medieval city of Limerick, the third largest city in Ireland, on the banks of the River Shannon. You will have the opportunity to discover the medieval life of the ancient city and its imposing castle, King’s John Castle, a spectacular fortress that has remained in good condition despite the city’s numerous sieges. Continue the journey to Kilkea, County Kildare, where you can marvel at another new castle, Kilkea Castle.. Your rest tonight will be at the castle in Straffan.
Day 12 (September 1): Straffan – Dublin – Spain SAFE HOME! SLÁN ABHAILE!
After 12 intense days, it’s time to return home and leave the magical castles in your memory. The distance between Straffan and Dublin is only half an hour, so you will have time, depending on your flight schedule, to take the last walk through the majestic chateau quarters. Once your suitcase is packed, return to the car for the last time, to go to the airport. After returning the rental car, this is the end of your adventure. Safe home. Slán abhaile!
GET TOGETHER WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS FOR A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE
The World Meeting of Families 2018
The event will be held in Dublin from 21 to 26 August next year
Head to Ireland and take part in the World Meeting of Families to be held in Dublin from 21 to 26 August 2018. A unique opportunity to experience, together with your loved ones, an unforgettable journey that will transform your lives forever. Can you think of a better way to spend your summer vacation?
WELCOME TO THE EMERALD ISLE!
Take a spiritual journey in which you will also get to know Dublin, a cosmopolitan and welcoming city and discover an important historical and cultural legacy, a lively and fun atmosphere, delicious cuisine and the beautiful landscapes that have given so much to this European country.
Come together with your family and Friends to have a unique experience in which you can live your faith together with Pope Francis, feel the strength of spiritual communion and share experiences with families and young people from all corners of the world. Do not miss it!
“The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World” is the title of the next World Meeting of Families to be held in the cosmopolitan and vibrant city of Dublin from 21 to 26 August 2018. In this multitudinous catholic citation will be reflected on the ideas that Pope Francis wrote in his latest document, Amoris Laetitia, where marriage and family are treated from a human perspective based on “three key words: permission, thanks and forgiveness.”
VISITING ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS UNIVERSITIES IN THE WORLD
Discover the lively student atmosphere of Trinity College Dublin
Personalities such as Jonathan Swift, Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde
Did you know that Trinity College Dublin is the oldest university in Ireland and one of the most prestigious in the world? Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, international personalities such as Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and Samuel Beckett passed through their classrooms.
Its rich library condenses the cultural wealth of the city, whose crown jewel is the “Book of Kells”. Trinity also owns the largest collection of manuscripts and printed books in Ireland. Since 1801, it has received a copy of all the works published in Ireland and Great Britain, thanks to which it currently has almost three million books distributed in eight buildings.
TRADITIONAL AND MODERN FEATURES IN AN ATTRACTIVE UNIVERSITY ENVIRONMENT
During your visit we recommend that you get lost in all its corners, relax in its small parks, admire its elegant buildings of the XVIII and XIX centuries that contrast with contemporary sculptures such as Henry Moore and soak up the university atmosphere.
As soon as you enter the main door you will find the bell tower, about 30 meters long, designed by Edward Lanyon and erected in 1853 at the place believed to be the center of the old monastery. On the north side of the square stands the chapel, designed by William Chambers and finished in 1799. You can only see its interior by previously arranging a guided tour.
The Dining Hall, the Library Square, the Douglas Hyde Gallery, the Science Gallery and the Samuel Beckett Theater are just some of the attractions on this campus which offers the visitor a traditional and modern experience.
- The visit to Trinity College is a must-see during your trip to Dublin. It is wonderful to walk around the campus admiring the buildings, as well as revisiting the past with the books of the Old Library, or to see the magnificent work of art of the Book of Kells.
- The price of entry for the Old Library and Book of Kells is approximately 11 euros.
RELAX IN THE CITY’S BEAUTIFUL GREEN SPACE
Walk the Phoenix Park or go by bike
Get to know the largest urban park in Europe
With more than 700 hectares of extension, the Phoenix Park is the largest urban park in Europe. Created in 1662 as a deer reserve, in 1745 it was remodeled and opened to the public. Located just a few miles from Dublin city centre, the Phoenix Park is an important green space for the city, as well as a pleasant place to bike.
We recommend you visit the following points:
- Phoenix Monument. It is a small column crowned by a sculpture of the mythical bird, a Phoenix, that gives name to the park
- Dublin Zoo. Visiting the zoo, one of the oldest in the world, is always a good option to enjoy nature in the middle of the city. Frequented by locals and tourists from all over the world, it was inaugurated in 1830 with a single resident: a wild boar.
- Papal Cross. Discover this cross located in the place where in 1979 the Pope celebrated a mass before a million followers.
- Wellington Monument. Take a picture of yourself in front of this obelisk which is 63 meters in height, erected in honor to the Duke of Wellington. It took more than 40 years to build.
- Áras an Uachtaráin. The official residence of the President of Ireland.
- People’s Garden is the only gardened and cultivated part of the park. You will find it next to the Park Gate entrance
The park is open all day. You will need between three and four hours to visit it.
GET TO KNOW ALL THE DETAILS OF HIS HISTORY AND PRODUCTION
Visit the iconic Guinness Storehouse
From the Gravity Bar you can savour Dublin while tasting one of the best beers in the world
If you are a beer lover, you can not leave Dublin without visiting the Guinness Storehouse, one of the most authentic places in the city. During your visit, you will have the opportunity to find out informaiton about the history and production of the most favoured drink in these lands. Its reddish color, its characteristic smell and its intense flavor have made of the pint one of the preferred pleasures of Dubliners. The visit to the Guinness Storehouse begins on the ground floor of the main building, which you will recognise for its curious form of enormous pint of beer. Here you can see the copy of the brewery lease signed by Arthur Guinness in 1759 for 9,000 years and an interesting exhibition where you will know all the secrets surrounding the four ingredients that make up the beer: water, hops, barley and yeast.
On the first floor, the process of brewing is explained. A large room contains the old machinery used in the factory: a mill, a toaster, a alembic and giant wooden barrels. For its part, the second floor offers the visitor an interesting tour through the history of this emblematic beer that you will know thanks to the advertising campaigns developed by Guinness throughout history. On the third floor visitors are offered the possibility to test their knowledge about alcohol through different interactive games. On the fourth floor an exhibition tells the history of the building, from 1904 until its conversion in 2000 into a visitor center.
At end of this excursion on the fifth floor, visitors are offered the chance to pull their own pint, giving them a diploma that credits their skills. The tour finishes on the roof of the building, known as Gravity Bar, a pleasant place from which you can admire the views of the city while tasting a pint on the house. A unique experience.
- Open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (July and August from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.).
- Admission costs € 20.
ENJOY ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING SCENES IN IRELAND
Discover all the secrets of Dublin aboard a boat
River excursions along the River Liffey, a new and fun way to see the sights
Embark on a leisurely cruise and discover all the secrets of the River Liffey and the charming city of Dublin. While you enjoy some of the country’s most beautiful scenery, you will learn from an expert guide the history of this city, since the arrival of the Vikings, 1000 years ago, the apogee and development of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the rehabilitation of the Dublin quays and the many attractions that have turned this city into one of the main European capitals. During the crossing, you will cross the symbolic Ha’penny Bridge, the majestic Custom House, the Royal Canal and the Grand Canal, as well as discovering that much of modern Dublin sits on land reclaimed from the sea, which includes Trinity College and The Spire on O’Connell Street.
- Approximately 45 minutes.
- The ship has the capacity to accommodate 48 passengers and offers all the facilities and services that guarantee a comfortable and safe voyage. The boat is ready for rain.
DISCOVER THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF CONNEMARA
Experience a unique experience in contact with nature
Much more than a park, know the past of Connemara
Connemara National Park is one of the six national parks in Ireland and main tourist attractions in the country. Within the park you can climb Diamond Hill, from where you can see one of the best views, including the only Irish fjord, Killary. Located in County Galway, the National Park was opened 35 years ago.
It has an area of almost 3,000 hectares of mountains, peatlands, heathlands, grasses and forests. You can also find great diversity of birds, as numerous species of singing birds nest in their trees. If you visit in winter, you will have the opportunity to see a greater number of species that migrate from other parts of Europe. Although most of the mammals of the Park usually hide in human presence, you can busy yourself finding the traces and signs that indicate their presence. Be patient and you might meet them on your way.
In addition to fauna and flora, the park contains remains of human civilization, like megalithic tombs 4,000 years old. Much of the land was in the past part of the site of Kylemore Abbey, which is located within walking distance of the park and is also highly recommended to visit.
- Duration of the visit: 1 day.
- Diamond Hill Hike: 3 hours.
- Access to the Park is free
- The entrance to the Park is located at the end of Clifden, in Letterfrack (N59).
- It is open all year, although the Information Centre is open exclusively from March to October. In the center are exhibitions in 3D about the landscape, flora and fauna of Connemara. If you do not have time to visit the entire park, do not forget to visit the exhibitions to get to know the areas you are most interested in. If you prefer, you can visit the Park by bicycle to cover more ground.
DISCOVER THE CLIFFS
Get to know one of the wonders of the world
Surprise yourself with a movie show
The Cliffs of Moher is one of Ireland’s major tourist attractions, located on the west coast of Ireland, about 260 kilometers from Dublin. It consists of an area of cliffs that are situated on the Atlantic Coast and extends for eight kilometers. They reach an impressive height of up to 214 meters at its highest point, to the north at O’Brien’s Tower. From the tower, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Twelve Pins mountain in the north, Loop Head in the south and the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. A wonderful view!
They are an impressive natural landscape – they have been nominated to be part of the 7 New Wonders of Nature – and is also a natural area for many species of birds.
The Interpretation Center “Cliffs of Moher Experience” is a point of reference for discovering all the information on the cliffs. It is a space that uses renewable energy and whose design is in harmony with the environment. It awakens all your senses and a natural spectacle.
- Duration of the visit: 3 hours.
- Price per adult: approx. 4 euros.
- If you want to be even closer to the cliffs, you can visit them from the sea. You can take a boat that leaves from the town of Doolin. Once you have enjoyed the views from the top, this option will allow you to get to know the most interesting areas, such as the Great Raven rock, and see the thousands of birds that nest in the area.
- Some scenes from the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Princess Prometheus were shot on the cliffs of Moher.
THE ARAN ISLANDS
Discover Dún Aengus
Discover the magic of the Aran Islands, an archipelago located at the mouth of Galway Bay. They represent the final frontier of Ireland facing the ocean. The names of the three islands are Inis Mór (Inishmore), Inis Mean (Inishmaan) and Inis Oírr (Inisheer); the first being the largest and the last being the smallest.
Of the three, we recommend that you visit Inishmore, which has the greatest number of forts and buildings of the Iron Age in this area of the Atlantic.
Thus Dún Aengus is located in Inishmore, on the edge of a cliff 100 meters high. It is the largest prehistoric fort in the the islands, which invites you to travel to the past to a time when the survival of the people depended on these great constructions. Its name means, “Aengus fort” in reference to the god of Irish mythology. It is formed by four concentric walls, which at some points, reaches up to four meters thick, a wall impassable to invaders. You will love to see its walls which harbour so many years of history. In addition to its use to defend the westernmost point of Europe, it could be used as a place of worship for the Druids.
- Located 7 miles west of Kilronan.
- Access price: € 3 adults
- From the fort, you can enjoy a spectacular view that extends for 120 kilometers of coastline.
- Return ferries leave mid-afternoon, so if you want to see more of the island we recommend that you rent a bicycle.
ROCK OF CASHEL
The Rock of Cashel, an exciting trip to the Middle Ages
Discover the “Game of Thrones” of Cashel
Visiting the Rock of Cashel, known as Cashel of the Kings or St Patricks Rock, is a a journey back in time. This ancient fort dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries was the throne of the Elderly Kings of Ireland before the arrival of the Normans. The castle rises majestically on a hill and is one of the best examples of Celtic and medieval architecture.
In “The Rock of Cashel” we can see a set of medieval buildings. Among them we can highlight one of the famous Circular Towers of Ireland of the XII century, the Cross of Saint Patrick and a Gothic Cathedral of the XIII century, among others.
Many legends surround the famous St. Patrick’s Cross. It is said that it is hollow in its base so that it serves to house relics or valuables and to keep them out of the sight of the lovers of others. Likewise, it is said that the Cross possessed healing properties, especially those related to dental ailments. In turn, it also attracted single people who danced around with the confidence that would help them change their fate in love. Dare to try it!
- Duration of the visit: One hour and a half
- Entry price: 6 euros
- Price of parking: 4 euros
- The Rock of Cashel castle was a favorite of the Irish band U2 and was used in a photo shoot in the early 1980s
Dublin, Howth, Galway, Clifden, Connemara Region, Cliffs of Moher, Tralee, Dingle Peninsula, Limerick, Straffan