Friday, July 6, 2018 - DEPARTURE: Delta Flight 406 departs New York-JFK at 10:53pm. This overnight flight arrives in Shannon, Ireland on Saturday morning.
Saturday, July 7, 2018 - ARRIVAL - CLIFFS OF MOHER - LIMERICK: After arriving at Shannon Airport, we'll head north to County Clare. We'll begin our pilgrimage with Mass in a small western Irish town, followed by a traditional Irish lunch. We'll then continue on to see the spectacular Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs rise up to 700 feet at the highest point over the Atlantic Ocean on the Western seaboard of County Clare. We'll spend some quality time enjoying their beauty, and then continue on to Limerick where we'll stay for the first 2 nights at the 5-star Savoy Hotel. After checking-in and freshening up we will head to a local restaurant down the block from the hotel for a great dinner.
Sunday, July 8, 2018 - TIPPERARY - BUNRATTY: This morning we will head east to County Tipperary. We'll start with a visit to the Rock of Cashel. The Rock of Cashel consists of a spectacular group of Medieval buildings, including the 12th century round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral, 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. After lunch we'll head to Holy Cross Abbey, one of Ireland’s National Monuments. It takes its name from a relic of the True Cross, a fragment of which was brought to Ireland by Queen Isabella around 1233. We'll celebrate Mass here and have a guided tour. We'll then head to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. The folk park is a stunning recreation of 19th Century Ireland and features various types of farmhouses, a church, a magical walled garden and village street complete with pub, post office and various shops. Bunratty Castle, built in 1425, is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland and contains furnishings, tapestries, and works of art from the period. We'll then head to one of the oldest pubs in the world - Durty Nellie's - it's been there for over 400 years! We'll take over a section of the bar, and experience Irish pub life with a few pints while Fr. Dave, Lino, and Brett record some lively material for their radio show! We'll follow that up with dinner accompanied by traditional Irish music and dancing. After a full and adventurous day we'll head back to our hotel.
Monday, July 9, 2018 - GALWAY - WESTPORT: This morning we'll check out of our hotel and head north to Galway. We'll stop for Mass at the Galway Cathedral, followed by a short tour. We'll have time for lunch in one Ireland's best pub towns before continuing further north. We'll then head to Connemara, what many consider the most beautiful part of Western Ireland, with it's luscious green countryside, hills, lakes, and rivers. We'll visit Kylemore Abbey, situated in the Connemara countryside. The Abbey was built as a private home for a wealthy Englishman in the 19th century but later became a Benedictine Monastery. It still is an active abbey today. We'll have a guided tour of the Abbey, the Neo-Gothic Church, and the Victorian Gardens. We'll then drive to Westport and check-in at a charming boutique hotel: Wyatt Hotel. Westport is a small town, known for it's great pubs that have live music each night. This quintessential small Irish town has been voted the best place to live in Ireland! You will feel right at home by the warm welcome of the locals here! We'll have dinner together and, if you're a night owl, grab a pint in one of Westport's pubs.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - BALLINTUBBER - KNOCK - CROAGH PATRICK: This morning we'll head to Ballintubber Abbey for a guided visit. The story of Ballintubber Abbey began when, in 441, St Patrick baptized the people at the Druidic Well and established a church here. There are still remains of that early church in the graveyard and the Irish name, Baile Tobair Phádraig, means the townland of St Patrick’s Well. We'll continue on to Knock. The story of Knock dates back to the August 21st, 1879 when fifteen people from the village witnessed an apparition of Our Lady, St Joseph, St John the Evangelist, an altar, cross and lamb. We'll celebrate Mass here and after lunch. we'll head back towards Westport to visit Croagh Patrick - where Saint Patrick fasted for 40 days and nights. We'll conclude another full day with dinner at a local restaurant in Westport.
Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - CLONMACNOISE - KILBEGGAN - DUBLIN: After checking-out from our hotel we'll head southeast to County Offaly. We'll stop for Mass in Shannonbridge and then visit Clonmacnoise - an early Christian monastic site located near the town. It was founded by St. Ciarán in the mid-6th century on the eastern bank of the River Shannon. The site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (10th-13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and the largest collection of Early Christian grave slabs in Western Europe. We'll stop for lunch in a nearby town in Offaly. No authentic trip to Ireland is void of whiskey so we'll continue our journey east with a stop at one of Ireland's oldest distilleries. We'll have a tour of the whiskey making process and an opportunity to try some great Irish whiskey. We'll then continue on to Dublin where we'll check-in to the Gresham Hotel, one of the best 4-star hotels in Dublin City. We'll have dinner at a great local restaurant, experiencing the most authentic food Dublin has to offer!
Thursday, July 12, 2018 - DUBLIN: Today, we'll begin with Mass and then have a full day city tour. We'll visit St. Patrick's Cathedral, which was built in honor of Ireland’s patron saint between 1220 and 1260, and is one of the few buildings left from medieval Dublin. We'll visit Trinity College - founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, Trinity is Ireland’s oldest university and one of the oldest in the world. While there we'll have the chance to see the Book of Kells - Its 680 pages of vellum contain the Latin texts of the Four Gospels. It was written around 800AD by Irish monks. After lunch in downtown Dublin we'll finish the tour with a stop at the Guinness Storehouse, home to what many would say is Ireland's most famous export since 1759. After a pint at the top of the storehouse overlooking Dublin, we'll head to a great Dublin pub for another recording with Fr. Dave, Lino, and Brett. What could be more fun than being part of a radio show that involves alcohol in Ireland? We'll stay for dinner at the pub and then have a leisurely walk back to the hotel.
Friday, July 13, 2018 - GLENDALOUGH - DUBLIN: We'll begin the day celebrating our final group pilgrimage Mass at St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral and then have some free time to get some last minute shopping in or take a walk around Dublin. This afternoon we'll visit Glendalough - the ancient monastery is a fascinating site, having been founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin. Set in a glaciated valley with two lakes, the monastic remains include a superb round tower, stone churches and decorated crosses. We'll conclude our pilgrimage with a great dinner at a traditional Irish pub, celebrating a great pilgrimage with festive, traditional Irish music!
Saturday, July 14, 2018 - RETURN: Delta flight 45 leaves Dublin at 11:25am and arrives in New York - JFK at 1:50pm.