Secluded island castles, chatty cabbies and the soul of Saint Patrick.
Emerald Isle Supreme
Capture lakeshore views in watercolors as you hone your skills in a painting class at a secret island castle. You’ll also take in a sean nós performance, taste mead and poitín, and enjoy dinner accompanied by a harpist. This 11-day escape includes Dublin, the Ring of Kerry, Kildare, the Dingle Peninsula and Northern Ireland, and has been designed to show off the hidden pleasures of the island’s world-famous, verdant landscape. It also includes six helicopter transfers, which double as sightseeing — take in the famed Cliffs of Moher from above, and touch down on Inishmore to tour by horse and carriage. In Belfast, ride in a black taxi, whose knowledgeable drivers offer firsthand accounts of the city’s turbulent history. Following a tasting at Bushmills Distillery, explore the basalt columns of Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The devout will relish this chance to discover the life of Ireland’s patron saint through the stainedglass windows of Dublin’s Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, one of the most important Roman Catholic sites in the country. Enter the twelfth-century landmark through the private door of the Order of Saint Patrick, and climb to the top of the tower — with a chance to pull the bells. Conclude with high tea in the study of Dean Swift’s home (better known as Jonathan Swift), where he wrote Gulliver’s Travels.