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September 2013, a ten-night, deluxe cultural coach tour, personally guided by Mossie Scanlon and Con Moriarty and friends; historians, story-tellers, archaeologists, poets, musicians and more. Dublin and Counties Mayo, Galway, Clare, Cork and Kerry.
September 9-20 2013.
11 Day Itinerary – in brief
Days 1 & 2:
Our gathering commences in Dublin, Ireland’s capital city where the story of this nation will be exposed with visits to select museums and sacred places, among them the; National Museum of Ireland, National Cemetery at Glasnevin, Trinity College, Dublin Castle, The General Post Office, Guinness Brewery and beyond, to the world heritage site of Newgrange and the Boyne Valley. Overnight Dublin City Hotel.
Crossing from one side of the island to the other this morning, we reach the Atlantic seaboard and explore the land and seascapes of Connemara with one of it’s most famous sons, renowned historian, archaeologist and raconteur, Michael Gibbons.
The region represents for many “classic Ireland”, a wild place of mountains, bogs and sea inlets where the native race found a difficult peace in dark days and from where countless numbers headed to Australia. Overnight Galway City
North along the shores of County Mayo this morning, we trace the footsteps of Ireland’s pre-historic races, the Formorians, Firbolg and mystical Tuatha De Danann before reaching Ashford Castle, one of Ireland’s most iconic castles dating from the 13th century.
The story of the Tudor English Plantations of Ireland is discussed today against powerful backdrops of landscapes, lavish estates and subjected Gaelic homesteads. In a magnificent day along the Atlantic coast of Ireland, highlights will include Ballintubber Abbey in the footsteps of the national saint, the colourful two of Westport, Ireland’s holiest mountain Croagh Patrick, the National Famine Monument and the majestic pass of Doo Lough. Overnight Galway City.
Heading southward from Galway Bay into the spectacular region of County Clare known as the Burren, one of the most intriguing landscapes on Earth and home to an extraordinary natural and cultural history.
The gigantic Cliffs of Moher lie en-route before crossing the River Shannon and entering the ancient kingdom of Kerry and the majestic Killarney Lake Valley. Overnight Killarney.
Days 6 & 7:
Iveragh (Ring of Kerry) and Beara Peninsulas.
The peninsulas that extend into the North Atlantic from the southwest of the island of Ireland were long perceived to mark the edge of the world. The spectacular natural and cultural history of this place has provided a powerful fascination for discerning travellers for centuries today.
On one of these days, we will journey along the Ring of Kerry, one of Europe most scenic touring routes and a place where 10,000 years of history and archaeology lies imprinted in the land.
The great peninsula of Uibh Ráthach (Iveragh) holds remote and hidden places. The lofty McGillycuddy Reeks dominate the interior overlooking intricate coastlines and islands with hikes along ancient ways and through holy landscapes, over wild beaches and onto Atlantic headlands at “the edge of the world”. From the tiny fishing village of Portmagee, we voyage to the sacred rock-island of Sceilig Mhichil / Skellig Michael, a monastic outpost of the early-Christian world.
The Beara Peninsula is probably the wildest place in Ireland and was named after the greatest of our pre-Christian pagan land-goddesses. It is a place rich in sacred stone alignments, rugged mountains and a truly incredible history, most spectacularly encapsulated in the family history of the O’Sullivans.
Days 8, 9 & 10:
The Dingle Peninsula is the most northerly of the five finger-like promontories of the South West. It is a powerful place where almost ten thousand years of history is etched on a landscape described by National Geographic as “probably the most beautiful on Earth!”
Gaelic culture thrives here and after hill, island and coastal walking you will hear some of the best traditional Irish music in the country!
Mossie Scanlon grew up here on the Dingle Peninsula, steeped in the gaelic culture under the shadow of one of Ireland’s holy mountains, Mount Brandon and being in his company as we meet family and friends will take us into an Ireland often talked of but rarely experienced. There will be opportunities to mingle in the great pubs of the region, meet local artisans and dine on the best seafood Ireland has to offer.
Group departs/tour ends.
The Dingle Peninsula – probably the most beautiful place on Earth!”
- National Geographic
The guides for our special tour
Muiris “Mossie” Scanlon grew up between the sacred Mount Brandon and the ocean in the heart of the Dingle Gaeltacht (Irish speaking region). After a brief career in the Irish Naval Service, he spent time working and living in England before settling in Australia where he worked and raised his family. A co-founder of the Irish Language Association of Australia, he is a respected Irish language enthusiast and promoter as well as an author and singer. Mossie gifts a unique cultural wealth to those who share a Hidden Ireland Tour with him. Visit www.mossiescanlon.com
Con Moriarty was born and raised in the Gap of Dunloe, at heart of Ireland’s most spectacular landscapes into a family who’s origins extend into pre-history in County Kerry. These powerful surrounds have provided powerful inspiration to Con’s lifelong passions and extraordinary knowledge of his place which along with his inimitable style has made him a guide of unique distinction to discerning travellers for more than quarter of century.
Ann Curran has lived all her life in the town of Dingle where she and her family play active roles in this vibrant community. Earlier careers in business and finance preceded her true vocation; that of passionate guide. Ann’s energy, personality and dedication to service makes her a much loved travel companion and a highly respected tourism professional.
Michael Gibbons hails from Clifden in the heart of the region known as Connemara. He is one of Ireland’s best known archaeologists and historians with a distinctive reputation for his lively presentations that have commanded the attention of television and radio audiences (RTE, BBC, CNN, Sky) and at locations throughout the world such as the Smithsonian Institute and Harvard University.
Note from Con Moriarty:
Greetings from the Gap of Dunloe, located in the heart of the Kerry mountains in the southwest of Ireland.
I co-own and run a small boutique business comprising men and women who’s passion it is to create “one-off” activity and cultural adventures in Ireland for close on 30 years now - Hidden Ireland Tours.
In that time, it has been one of our life’s blessings to share in many truly extraordinary experiences. It has been our privilege to imagine, create and guide, personalised vacations that connect people to the rich cultural and natural history of Ireland that it has been our gift to grow up within.
2013 will be a special year in Ireland, with a year-long calendar of events throughout the country celebrating our extended nation around the world in what has been styled; The Gathering.
At Hidden Ireland Tours, we are running a handful of special events to mark this, and expressly for Irish-Australians and their friends, we are excited about the Australian Gael Gathering 2013!
This high-end cultural experience, suggested by my friend Mossie Scanlon and driven by his vocation to share his - and our Ireland with the Irish Diaspora of Australia will coincide with the Fall of the year, a particularly beautiful season here. A great deal of thought and preparation has gone into the creation of what will surely be a very special trip, a powerful stimulation I would say for body and soul - and an awful lot of craic (fun).
I invite you to take a closer look and indeed, we would love to chat to you on it if you are interested.
Best wishes for now,
Cost: AUS$3550.00 (AUS$800.00 single supplement)
Cost includes ten nights deluxe hotels; full breakfast daily, eight select dinners at gourmet restaurants and entertainment venues, five select lunches, a special whiskey tasting, all entry fees to museums and heritage sites, all tips/service charges at hotels and restaurants, island ferries and boats (Killarney, Skellig and Blaskets), all ground transport (ex-Airport) in luxury coach, trip co-ordinated guided throughout by Con Moriarty and Mossie Scanlon with special guests.
Please contact Ann Curran for booking details.
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