BEST OF IRELAND SCHOOL TRIP ITINERARY
DAY 1 – DUBLIN
Welcome to Ireland, ‘Cead Mile Failte’! A member of our team will meet the group as you arrive at Dublin Airport and travel with you to your hotel to check in. You will have some time to relax or explore the city at your leisure before meeting the group for dinner.
DAY 2 – CLONMACNOISE AND MAYO
After breakfast, the group will travel to the monastic site of Clonmacnoise, founded by Saint Ciaran in the 6th century on a peaceful location by the River Shannon.
Clonmacnoise was a great centre of learning and religion for over 600 years, hosting scholars from all over Europe. Many of Ireland’s finest historical manuscripts were written here, including the 11th century Annals of Tighernach and the 12th century Book of the Dun Cow.
The group will explore the ruins of this wonderful monastery, including the cathedral, nine churches, two round towers, three high crosses and over 700 Early Christian grave slabs.
We will then continue their journey West to County Mayo, our stop for the night, where the students will have time to relax.
DAY 3 – CONNEMARA
Today, the group has a beautiful day ahead, driving south from Mayo on the Wild Atlantic Way to spectacular Connemara.
In County Mayo the group will pass Croagh Patrick, near Westport, which is Ireland’s holy mountain; and drive through the Inagh Valley where we will stop to visit the impressive Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian walled gardens.
The Abbey was founded in 1920 by a community of Benedictine nuns on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, built in 1868 by wealthy London doctor and politician Henry Mitchell. The Benedictine nuns escaped to Ireland after their abbey in Ypres, Belgium, was destroyed during World War I.
DAY 4 – GALWAY, CLARE AND KERRY
Today, the journey along the scenic Wild Atlantic Way continues taking in the coast of Galway towards the Burren National Park.
The Burren, from the Irish word ‘boíreann’ meaning a rocky place, is an incredible region created millions of years ago by glacial activity. Despite its rocky appearance, the Burren is a place of unique biodiversity, home to rare flora and fauna.
In addition to its unique Geology, the Burren is also a place of history and heritage, with many ancient monuments such as dolmens and forts dotted across the region.
Heading south, the group will reach the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most iconic landscapes. On our way to County Kerry, we will enjoy a stop in picturesque Adare village, with its pretty thatched cottages.
DAY 5 – RING OF KERRY
Today we will explore one of the most scenic routes in the country: the famous Ring of Kerry. Setting off from Killarney, we will tour the stunning Iveragh Peninsula, taking in its magnificent rugged landscapes, panoramic coastal views and picturesque villages.
We will stop at Kells sheep farm for a sheep dog demonstration.
Along the route you will spot the Great Skellig island and Skellig Michael off the coast of Kerry. Perched on a rock in the middle of the ocean, Skellig Michael is Ireland’s most spectacular ancient monastery. It also features in two of the Star Wars movies.
The students will get to admire the best views of the Lakes of Killarney from Molls Gap and Ladies View before heading to Muckross House and Gardens to finish our day exploring Killarney National Park.
DAY 6 – ROCK OF CASHEL, KILKENNY AND DUBLIN
From Kerry the Best of Ireland School Trip takes students to County Tipperary to visit another iconic landmark: the Rock of Cashel.
The Rock of Cashel is is also known as Cashel of the Kings or St Patrick’s Rock. It was the ancient seat of the Kings of Munster and also where Brian Boru was crowned high king in the 10th century. It is also believed that it was here where Saint Patrick converted King Aengus to Christianity.
The medieval buildings cut a striking silhouette against the green fields and vast sky. Dating back to the 12th and 13th century, the Rock was an important centre of ecclesiastical power, a pilgrimage destination and today remains one of Ireland’s most visited attractions.
In the afternoon we will travel to Kilkenny, where the group will enjoy a walking tour of this charming little city with a medieval feel, before heading back to Dublin.
DAY 7 – EXPLORING DUBLIN CITY
Today the group will have a whole day to explore Ireland’s capital city to conclude the Best of Ireland School trip.
We will visit Dublin’s most important attractions and historic buildings, including Saint Patrick’s Cathedral built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint and Trinity College, home to the magnificent Old Library and the Book of Kells, a beautifully illustrated version of the Gospels, designed by monks in the 9th century.
We have also included a trip to the Guinness Storehouse and in the evening the group will enjoy a farewell dinner and show, including some of the best traditional Irish entertainment at the Merry Ploughboys venue.
DAY 8 – DUBLIN AIRPORT
It is time to say goodbye, ‘Slan’ , or see you gain soon, to Dublin and Ireland as the group will travel back to Dublin airport for their flight home. We hope you enjoyed the Best of Ireland School Trip in the land of the thousand welcomes.
OPTIONAL: DAY 9-10 – BELFAST AND THE GIANT’S CAUSEWAY
Please note this is a 7-night suggested itinerary and can be adapted to your group’s requirements and preferences, including additional nights and activities. A 10-night itinerary can include a trip to Belfast and the impressive Giant’s Causeway, for instance.