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Running almost 2500kms along Ireland’s Atlantic coast, the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ is the world’s longest coastal drive. Join us as we travel along Ireland’s western sea-board, playing our music each night, while taking in some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the world.
The Wild Atlantic Way Traditional Music Tour. Let us take you on a magical journey along the stunning west coast of Ireland. From Donegal to Cork, we will take you through the essential landmarks on the Wild Atlantic Way, as well as some of Irelands best kept secrets, which you wont find on any other tour. The tour includes 10 nights accommodation, daily excursions to cultural and historical landmarks, workshop tours of Irish instrument makers and nightly traditional music guaranteed with top musicians who will travel with you throughout the trip. Irish Music Tours promises you great experiences and wonderful memories of Ireland.
Day 1 – Meet in Dublin. Depart for Ardara, Co. Donegal, on route we stop at the Marble Arch Caves. They are a series of natural limestone caves, spanning over 11kilometers and a depth of 94 meters. Known to be the longest cave system in Northern Ireland. Once we check into our hotel we will enjoy an evening of traditional Irish music.
Day 2 – Today we visit Glenveagh National Park. The visitor centre has a roof made of living heather to mimic the landscape and the displays contained within provide an introduction to the parks natural and built history. We will have a guided tour of the castle and learn of its sad history, afterwards you can explore the gardens at your leisure. On Route we will have a guided tour of the New Mills Flax and corn Mill. The waterwheel is one of the largest in Ireland and you will get to see it in action as it drives the machinery for the corn mill. On our way home We will stop at Leo’s Tavern birth place of Clannad and Enya. This pub has hosted many famous musicians since it opened in 1968 and attracts tourists all year round to view the music memorabilia adorning the walls
Day 3 – Today we will venture to Sliabh liag, some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, standing at 601m and on a clear day the view is second to none. We then take a step back in time as we have a tour of the Glen Folk Village. Situated in one of the most rural areas of Donegal, here you get an insight as to how the Irish people lived years ago in such a rural and tough time. The Cottages show how living conditions, quality of live, traditions, culture and tools developed over the years. When we Arrive back in Ardara we will visit the world famous Eddie Doherty Tweed, Eddie himself will give you a demonstration of the dying tradition of hand-weaving on a Loom.
Day 4 – Today we set off for Galway, on route we will be stopping at the renowned Belleek Pottery, established in 1857, its one of Northern Ireland’s oldest attractions. You will get a guided tour of the factory and get to see how each piece is individually made and handcrafted, there might also be the chance to help them destroy any sub-standard pieces and release any stress. From here we go to Lissadell House, a mansion built in the 1830’s it was the last of this style to be built in Ireland, it played host to many influential and historic figures in Irish history such as Constance Markievicz and W.B Yeats. Our last stop today is at our hotel on the outskirts of Galway. We will meet for dinner and enjoy some Traditional Irish Music with our own musicians.
Day 5 – We begin today with a walking tour of Galway City. This busy and buzzing city is known all over for its Claddagh Jewellery, varied street performances, cultural diversity and architectural beauty. We will take a short drive to Oranmore Castle, home of the late Alec Finn, he was a founding member of the band De Dannan. Built in the 15th century, this castle boasts amazing views over Galway Bay with authentic artefacts, enjoy a few tunes with our musicians in the great hall. Next on the tour is a very exclusive and exciting opportunity to visit and see an instrument maker Paul Doyle. You will get to see how a range of different instruments are made. The Rest of the day is your own to explore the cobbled streets and sample some of the finest seafood on offer.
Day 6 – Today we set off for Dingle. On route we will we stop at the aillwee caves, a cave system in the burren Co.Clare, you will get a guided tour of the spectacular underworld with weird formations and a thunderous waterfall. We then stop at the cliffs of Moher, the sea cliffs run for 14km and at their highest point are 702ft above sea level. After a short ferry crossing over the Shannon Estery, we proceed to the coastal village of Dingle, Co. Kerry. famous for its Traditional Irish Music, star wars film set and Fungi the Dolphin. After dinner we can relax and enjoy some Irish Music in Tommy O’Sullivan’s Pub.
Day 7 – This Morning we leave for Killarney, on the way we will do the Slea Head drive around the Dingle peninsula part of the Wild Atlantic Way. This circular route offers some breath taking views and along the route are ancient monuments. We then have a tour of the gin distillery and a little nip at the end!. Next we travel via the The Gap of Dunloe, which is a narrow mountain pass forged between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain by glacial flows. We visit Kate Kearney’s cottage, the oldest tavern in Ireland. Last for today is Muckross House. Built in the 19th century, we will get a tour of this this Victorian mansion, set in Killarney national park. Tonight is your own! have a ramble about the town at your own pace or relax in the hotel.
Day 8 – Today we do The Ring of Kerry. The scenic circular route takes in the rugged and luxuriant costal landscapes and seaside villages. We stop off at the Red fox Inn for an Irish Coffee and a tour around the Kerry Bog Village Museum. Along the way we get to see where Star wars was filmed and Charlie Chaplins holiday home. Tonight after dinner we can look forward to some great Irish Music.
Day 9 – Time to pucker up as we set off to kiss the Blarney Stone. It is believed to have been an oracular throne for Irish kings and those who kiss it receive a gift of eloquence. We next visit the Rock of Cashel and the Cashel folk village museum. Also known as St Patricks Rock, the castle is allegedly the site of the conversion of Aenghus the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century AD. We arrive in the Medieval town of Kilkenny in the afternoon, where you can explore the cobble streets and shops before we have dinner and be entertained with some traditional Irish music from our musicians.
Day 10 – We will start our day with a tour of Kilkenny Castle. Originated soon after the Norman conquest of Ireland, the Castle has been rebuilt, extended and adapted to suit changing circumstances and uses over a period of 800 years. You can walk through its fifty acres of parkland with mature trees and variety of wildlife. Other features include a formal terraced rose garden and a man-made lake. We will have a interactive guided tour of the famous Smithwick’s Brewery, with a refreshing pint at the end of the tour, it sets a good vibe for our last night. After farewell Dinner we will have a few parting tunes.
Day 11 -Unfortunately The Tour must end and we make the journey to Dublin Airport, Arriving there at approximately 1pm. Slán agus beannacht! (Goodbye and blessings to you!)