The Westeros & Wonders of Northern Ireland
$1,770 Per Person (Twin or Double)
- 8 Nights Hotel Accommodation (Taxes and Service Charges Included)
- Hotel Porterage for 1 Bag Per Person
- Full Irish Breakfast Daily (Except Morning of Arrival)
- 3 Hotel Dinners & 1 Unique Designing Experience (Day 5)
- 14 Sightseeing Tours (Detailed Below)
- Luxury Air Conditioned Coach w/ Professional Cara Group Travel Representative Throughout
Cara Group Travel is delighted to present ‘The Westeros & Wonders of Northern Ireland’. This 8 night tour of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland uncovers the reasons why cast and crew descend on Northern Ireland each year to produce the award winning Game of Thrones. This travel packages offers insider insight into Game of Thrones filming locations as well as a comprehensive introduction iconic cities Belfast, Donegal and Galway with special diversions in Co. Antrim, Co. Down, Co. Fermanagh and Co. Sligo.
We have expertly designed this itinerary to offer you and your group an effortless experience of travel in Ireland. The travel plans for this trip balances organized activity with leisure time to ensure you can tick off those iconic sights whilst exploring in your own unique way. From standing steps away from Cushendun AKA the cave which features Melisandre giving birth to the shadow assassin and Ballintoy Habour AKA the port where Theon Greyjor came back to Pyke Harour to witnessing Northern Ireland’s UNESCO World Hertiage Sites and one of the highest and finest marine cliffs in Europe – this is sure to be a trip to remember for years to come.
This itinerary could be perfect for your group. This itinerary could also be the starting point for an entirely different trip for your group. Either way, we at Cara Group Travel would be delighted to help you out to make your next seamless travel experience one of awe and wonder.
- Visit at Glasnevin Cemetery
- Panoramic Dublin City Sightseeing Tour
- Belfast City Sightseeing Tour with Step-On-Guide
- Game of Thrones Day Tour
- The Titanic Experience
- Winterfell Castle Tour
- ‘Grub Crawl’ Day Tour
- Castle Coole in Co. Fermanagh
- Marble Arch Caves in Co. Fermanagh
- Slieve League and West Donegal Sightseeing
- Sligo Sightseeing
- Panoramic Galway City Sightseeing Tour
- Connemara Day Trip
Day 1 Heading for the Emerald Isle
Today we start our journey by flying across the United States and taking an overnight flight across the Atlantic sea to Ireland.
Day 2 Welcome to Ireland
This morning we land in Dublin airport. Once you go through passport control, you will collect your bags and head out into the arrivals area where your friendly Irish Tour Director will meet and transfer you to our first destination, Dublin, the small capital of Ireland with a huge reputation.
We will stop in Dublin City at Glasnevin Cemetery Museum. Glasnevin is Ireland’s largest cemetery where over 1.5 million people are buried including icons such as Daniel O’Connell, Michael Collins, Charles Stewart Parnell, Maud Gonne, and Eamon DeValera. Established by Daniel O’Connell as a place where people of “all religions and none” could bury their dead with dignity; the cemetery has grown to become a national monument and is a vital part of the Irish Heritage story. We will tour the world’s first cemetery museum where since 1828, more than 1.5 million people have been interred – rich and famous, paupers and politicians, artists, warriors and heroes, all resting side by side in this renowned Victorian Garden Cemetery.
We will indulge in breakfast served at Glasnevin Cemetery Museum before setting out on a panoramic sightseeing tour of Dublin. As we drive through the main thoroughfare, we will see historic buildings like the GPO (General Post Office) on O’ Connell Street and Trinity College, housing the Book of Kells. We also will see the vast Georgian Squares, such as Merrion Square where Oscar Wilde’s house can still be found (today owned by the American College). We also see the Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe and home to Aras an Uachtarain (the Irish President’s Residence) as well as the American Ambassador’s Residence.
We will then head northbound as we head for the hometown of the Titanic, Belfast in Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. There are no customs checks and the main difference to note will be the change in road signs and we change currencies from the (€) Euro to (£) GBP pounds sterling. Once we reach Belfast, we will enjoy a sightseeing tour, taking in all the areas of interest in this fascinating city. We will see Belfast’s compact center on Donegal Square, which is dominated by the elaborate City Hall, which was officially reopened in October 2009 following its £11m, two year refurbishment. The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton performed a ribbon cutting ceremony and unveiled a plaque to mark the reopening. We will drive through West Belfast’s Protestant neighborhood of Shankill Road and the Catholic neighborhood of Falls Road, where large vivid murals painted on the sides of buildings express the feelings that still run deep on both sides. Though the names of these areas were much in the news during ‘The Troubles’ the gate in the Peace Wall between them now stands open.
Afterwards we will make our way to our Belfast hotel to check-in and enjoy the remainder of the evening. Overnight & Dinner: Belfast Hotel
Day 3 Game of Thrones Day Trip
Ygritte said ‘You know nothing, Jon Snow’ in the penultimate episode of season four but today, we will make sure you know everything there is to know about the various locations Game of Thrones is filmed across Northern Ireland.
After starting the day with breakfast, we will board the coach and travel along the Causeway Coastal Route through beautiful coastal towns, including Ballycastle, which Game of Thrones fans will know as home to the actors who play Lady Catelyn Stark and Varys. We will stop at Cushendun (where we visit the Cave which featured Melisandre giving birth to the shadow assassin), Ballintoy Harbour (where Theon Greyjoy came back to Pyke Harbour), The Dark Hedges (where Arya Stark makes her escape down The Kings Road) and so much more.
Following an unforgettable day, we will return to our Belfast hotel to enjoy the remainder of the evening. Overnight: Belfast Hotel
Day 4 Unique Experiences in Northern Ireland
Once breakfast is finished up this morning, we will start our day with a visit to the Titanic Belfast, a state of the art interactive museum that provides an unforgettable visitor experience. It tells the story of RMS Titanic, from her conception and launch into the River Lagan in 1911, to the tragic end of her maiden voyage a year later. It was here at Titanic uarter (the former Queen’s Island) in Belfast Harbor, the ship was built. Enjoy the exhibits at your own pace.
Next, you could not come this far without visiting the House of Stark, the home of the ruler of the North. This afternoon we will visit Winterfell Castle, which was used extensively for the filming of Game of Thrones. When you first arrive onto ancient demesne you soon realize why the HBO® location scouts chose the time-warp ‘Old Castle Ward’; the sprawling medieval walls and imposing castle tower gate, the beautiful surrounding landscapes and far-reaching views across the lough; it was the perfect place to create Winterfell – home of the Stark family. We will enjoy a tour of a Winterfell Castle as afterall, it is good enough for the Starks!
Later, we will return to Belfast to reflect on a day packed with unique experiences you will not find anywhere else. We will return to our hotel to enjoy the remainder of the evening. Overnight: Belfast Hotel
Day 5 Let’s Grub Crawl!
2016 was Northern Ireland’s ‘Year of Food and Drink’ which celebrates the food and restaurants found in Northern Ireland, deemed some of the best in the world. With local produce so good and countless quality hospitality experiences, we will continue the celebration of local food tourism. We will head out after finishing breakfast today to Co. Down, where some might say is the Food Capital of Northern Ireland, to visit the home of some of the most innovative food and drink producers that any type ‘foodie’ would appreciate.
Our first stop at the famous Abernethy Butter at their farm in Dromara for a good old fashioned Northern Ireland welcome, and a first-hand demonstration of how they create butter from scratch. We will then enjoy lashings of this amazing butter, on some delicious home-made soda bread, along with a yummy ‘cuppa’.
From there we will move on to the fishing village of Dundrum to stop at Kilmegan Cider where there is a faint smell in the air of something sweet! We’ll see first-hand how this Great Taste Award Winning local cider is brewed the old fashioned way, and we’ll taste the subtle differences between their Real Cider, Irish Farmhouse Cider and local favorite, Elderflower Cider!
The final stop is the village in Lisbane at locally owned restaurant The Poachers Pocket. The Poachers Pocket serves some of the highest quality local food in the whole of Northern Ireland, and was the winner of the 2015 Tourism Northern Ireland Award for “Best Food Tourism Experience”. Here we will enjoy a delicious tasting platter starter, followed by a choice of 4 main courses. If you have any room left, we’ll sit back and savor some locally produced cheeses with crackers & chutney, all capped off with a local Craft Beer.
After that day of indulging, we will return to our hotel to enjoy the remainder of the evening. Overnight: Belfast Hotel
Day 6 Last Stops in the North
Refuel on breakfast today as we will bid farewell to Belfast and embark on new adventures in Co. Donegal, known as ‘the wild child’ of Ireland. On route to Donegal, we will stop in Co. Fermanagh and judge its brilliance for ourselves. Our first stop in Fermanagh, renowned for its stunning landscapes of water and hills, is at Coole Castle where we can stroll around the 600 hectares of landscaped grounds which contain a lake that is home to the UK’s only non-migratory colony of greylag geese.
Next, we visit another gem in Fermanagh, the Marble Arch Caves, one of the finest show caves in Europe. Visitors to the Marble Arch Caves can experience a fascinating natural underworld of rivers, waterfalls, winding passages and lofty chambers while stunningly beautiful cave formations glisten all around.
Later on, we will cross the border back into the Republic of Ireland where we change back currencies from the (£) GBP pounds sterling to (€) Euro. We will make our way to our Donegal hotel to check-in and enjoy the remainder of the evening. Overnight & Dinner: Donegal Hotel
Day 7 The Donegal Explorer
This morning, fill up on breakfast as we head out for a day of local sightseeing around Donegal. The first stop today will be Killybegs, a largely Irish-speaking region of Ireland known for its rugged coastline and mountains. Perhaps most significant, Killybegs is the largest fishing port in Ireland. Inland, the village bustles with the atmosphere of a charming working town where you are sure to receive a warm welcome from locals.
Next, we will stop at the spectacular sea cliffs of Slieve League which are among the highest in Europe, plunging some 600m to the sea. Slieve League Cliffs are situated on the south west coast of County Donegal and offer terrific views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Sligo Mountains and Donegal Bay. There is much to know about Slieve League, like the monks who went to Iceland or the eagle and the baby.
Thereafter, we will return to our Donegal hotel after an exciting day of touring to spend the remainder of your evening as you wish. Overnight: Donegal Hotel
Day 8 Sights & Sounds of the West
Enjoy your Irish breakfast this morning and prepare to depart Donegal as we embark on Co. Galway, known as the “City of Tribes” after the 14 merchant family tribes that founded it. This city is a very lively cultural city with lots of music, drama and the arts, street performers (buskers), unique shops and pubs.
On route, we will take in some of the majestic sights and sounds of the area found in the area known as ‘The Wild Atlantic Way’. We will first head for a drive to Mullaghmore, a charming seaside village to visit Mullaghmore Beach and Harbor and Mullaghmore Head. Bunduff Strand is a pure white beach popular with surfers. As you walk, you’ll enjoy excellent views of Slieve League, Benbulben and Benwiskin whereas Mullaghmore Head leaves only Inishmurray Monastic Island between you and America.
Next, we will stop in Drumcliffe in Co. Sligo which is set against the striking backdrop of the Benbulben Mountains, undoubtedly Ireland’s most distinctive mountain. We will visit Drumcliffe Church, which is best known as the final resting place of W.B. Yeats, who spent large parts of his childhood in this area. W.B Yeats died in France in 1939 and according to his wishes he was buried after a discreet and private funeral service at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin – “if I die bury me up there and then in a year’s time when the newspapers have forgotten me, dig me up and plant me in Sligo”. The crosses in the graveyard on the grounds of a former abbey. Adjacent to the ancient graveyard is a road leading to the early 19th century St. Columba’s Church of Ireland and the final resting place of the poet William Butler Yeats (1865–1939).
We then set out for Galway and once we arrive in the city, we will enjoy a panoramic sightseeing tour of Galway, exploring this lively cultural city full of music, drama and the arts, street performers (buskers), unique shops and pubs. Along the way, we will discovering the Galway Cathedral and the Connemara marble that adorns the floor.
We will then check into our Galway hotel and after, we will enjoy free time to explore Galway, which is renowned for its pleasures. Steeped in history, for sure, but the city buzzes with a contemporary and cultured vibe with brightly painted pubs heaving with live music. Galway is often referred to as the ‘most Irish’ of Ireland’s cities, it’s the only one where you’re likely to hear Irish spoken in the streets, shops and pubs. Overnight: Galway Hotel
Day 9 Gathering in Galway
After breakfast this morning, we will visit Connemara, a unique and very special part of County Galway. Once home to over 2 million Irish speaking people, it still retains its regional heritage as you will discover while we ramble around its lakes, mountains and bog lands. We visit the picturesque Kylemore Abbey, the home of the Benedictine nuns which stands at the edge of a lake surrounded by woodlands. The Abbey was originally built in 1868 by Mitchell Henry, in memory of his late wife Margaret. Its architecture is best described as neo-gothic and the house still displays all the characteristics of that period. Kylemore Abbey’s most famous feature is its miniature cathedral, known locally as the Gothic church. You can also visit the Victorian Walled Garden.
Following this, we will return into our hotel in Galway when you are free to enjoy your last evening in Ireland. Overnight: Galway Hotel
Day 10 Homeward Bound…
Pack your bags as we head for Shannon Airport where you will board your flight for home. Carry on your photos and memories and bring a bit of the Emerald Isle home with you. ‘The Land of One Hundred Thousand Welcomes’ will be expecting you again soon!