Easter Holiday Tours in Ireland

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August 14, 2008 Tours No comments

Ireland holidays can be enjoyed any time of the year. There’s so much stuff to do in Ireland that no matter which time of the year you go there, something spectacular awaits you. Ou

r site believes in the extraordinary – if there’s a chance to make something big even bigger, we grab it without hesitation. That’s why we are offering special all Ireland bus tours. One of these special offers is during one of the biggest holidays in Ireland – Easter. Easter is one of those rare occasions when you can enjoy something of the extraordinary – and an Irish bus tour is one of those extraordinary things. You can book this tour directly from our online booking service.

 

THE NORTH

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Day 1: Dublin to Belfast

The bus leaves Dublin’s Paddy Palace at exactly 8 AM. You make your way to Drogheda and check out the preserved head of St. Oliver Plunkett in St. Peters Cathedral. Plunkett was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and was also the former Primate of All Ireland. He was the last Catholic martyr to die in England when he was executed for high treason in London on July of 1681. His body was exhumed two years later and has been transferred from Germany and his head to Rome, before it was moved again to Armagh and finally to Drogheda in the St. Peters Cathedral. After this religious tour, you move on to South Armagh and on to Belfast. There’s an optional Black Taxi tour of Belfast that’s highly recommended. It will take you to the Peace Lines as well as all the other political murals of historic Belfast. The Peace Lines are walls that separate the Catholic and Protestant communities in Belfast, Derry and as well as some other parts of Northern Ireland. It has been put in place to minimize sectarian violence between members of the two religions. Most of these walls are located in Belfast and have been in place since The Troubles of the early 1970s. After a rich and informative tour day, you come home to the exciting Good Friday Punch Party.

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Day 2: Belfast to Derry

From Belfast the bus drives through the scenic north coast towards the first stop, the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. This 20 meter long suspension bridge near Ballintoy in County Antrim links the small Carrick Island to mainland Ireland. To cross the bridge, you must make a small donation to the National Trust, who maintains and protects the bridge. It’s quite a scary cross, with the bridge over 30 meters high above the rocks and the sea below. Are you brave enough to cross and to make it back to the mainland? There have been instances when tourists who have crossed had to be fetched from Carrick Island thru boat because they are too scared to cross the bridge twice. The bridge is taken down every late October to early November of each year because it can be quite dangerous in bad weather. This new design, erected in 2008, is much safer than previous versions built by the fishermen of Carrick Island and there have been no reported accidents whatsoever. Next stop is Giants Causeway. This is probably not the first time you heard of these amazing basalt columns – 40,000 stones created by volcanic eruption. This site has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for more than 20 years now. It is also managed and protected by the National Trust. From here you go to Dunluce Castle – one of the best ruins in the whole of Northern Ireland. This huge medieval castle is situated on top of steep basalt outcrops and limestone cliffs – the typical image of a vampire castle. But there’s nothing scary about Dunluce Castle; if anything, the scenic view from the castle is absolutely uplifting. Another great site to visit in these grounds is, well, underneath it – there’s a huge sea cavern called Mermaid’s Cave found directly under the castle that is every bit as grandiose as the ruins above. After your adventurous and scenic tour, you head to historic Derry where you will be spending the night.

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Day 3: Derry to Dublin

You’re day in Derry starts off with a walking tour of this Maiden City. The walled city of Londonderry is known for its distinct architectural quality. Famous sites of interest include: Foyle Valley Railway Centre, Amelia Earhart Centre and Wildlife Sanctuary, Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, Ballyoan Cemetery, The Bogside, Bogside Artists murals, Derry Craft Village, Free Derry Corner, Guildhall, Nerve Centre, St. Columb’s Park and Leisure Centre, St Eugene’s Cathedral, Creggan Country Park, The Millennium Forum; the two bridges Foyle and Craigavon; as well as their five museums: Harbour Museum, Museum of Free Derry, Chapter House Museum, Workhouse Museum, and Tower Museum. The tour will focus on The Bogside – a nationalist community outside the walls that was a focal point during The Troubles, and where events like the Battle of the Bogside and Bloody Sunday happened during the 60s and 70s, respectively. Afterwards you will pass by the county town Omagh on your way to Central Ulster. Your last stop will be back at Dublin for the Easter Rebellion celebrations. Remember, you can book this tour directly from our online booking service.

 

THE SOUTH

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Day 1: Dublin to Galway

The bus leaves Dublin’s Paddy Palace at exactly 8 AM. First stop is the famous Phoenix Park. This enormous enclosed urban park is the largest in Europe – covering 1,760 acres of grasslands and tree-lined avenues. The park is home to thousands of wild Follow deer, which you will see roaming about the grounds whilst grazing the rich grasslands. Also in the park is the official residence of the President of Ireland called Aras an Uachtarain, which has been in the park since 1754. Dublin Zoo is also housed in the park’s wide grounds. The zoo is home to more than 700 different species of animals and has been there since 1830. The Papal Cross is also a popular attraction in the park, erected in 1979 during the visit of Pope John Paul II. After the park, you head towards Clonmacnoise in County Offaly, famous for its monastery, temples and high crosses. By evening you will be at Galway, sipping drinks at their own version of the spectacular Good Friday Punch Party.

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Leaving Galway, the tour bus drives through the scenic West Coast. Your first stop will be at the Burren on County Clare. This unique “holed” landscape, bounded by the Atlantic on the west and by the Galway Bay on the north, is rich with historical and archeological sites like megalithic tombs, portal dolmens, ring forts, and a single celtic high cross. Afterwards the tour bus heads to the spectacular Cliffs of Moher in Liscannor. The highest point of the cliffs are at 214 meters found near the famous O’Brien’s Tower, from which you can see the Aran Islands of Galway Bay as well as the nearby valleys of the Connemara district. You can also see the Maum Turk Mountains, the Twelve Pins, and Loop Head from the top of the tower. The cliffs are widely considered as the top tourist spot in Ireland. Millions of visitors flock to the cliffs every year. You will be spending the night in Killarney, County Kerry – the Best Kept Town of 2007. This town is second to Dublin when it comes to the most number of hotel beds.

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Day 3: Killarney to Dublin

There is an optional Jaunting Cars (horse drawn carts) tour of the Killarney National Park which you can take in the morning. The park is the first of its kind established in Ireland. It covers over 25,000 acres of woodlands, mountain peaks, and an overall diverse ecology. It also has Ireland’s only native herd of Red Deer – one of the largest deer species in the world. After your optional tour, you can go on and head towards Blarney Castle via the Kerry and Cork Mountains. The castle is famous for the Blarney Stone or Stone of Eloquence. It has been widely believed that when you kiss this block of bluestone, you will be given the gift of eloquence. Also in the castle is the so-called Wishing Steps. According to folklore it can grant any kind of wish as long as you so up the flight in a certain way – backwards and with your eyes closed. The great end of your tour happens over at the Guinness Storehouse in the St. James’s Gate Brewery in Dublin – where you can enjoy the perfect pint that’s popular not only in Ireland, but all over the world. Remember, you can book this tour directly from our online booking service.