Catholic Ireland pilgrimage tentative itinerary
Please browse the Tentative itinerary for Catholic Ireland pilgrimage.
Day 1 Departure
Depart Dulles on your overnight flight to Dublin, Ireland.
Céad míle fáilte! Arrive Dublin Airport at 10:25am. Meet our Irish driver/guide in the arrivals hall and begin our journey which will be full of Irish culture, history, music and of course the hospitality the Irish are known for. We will stop for a full Irish breakfast and an opportunity to stretch our legs a little after our international flight. As we make our way to the charming city of Galway we will visit Clonmacnoise in Offaly, founded in the 6th Century by St. Ciarán and Clonfert Cathedral (St. Brendan) in Galway. Perhaps take a walk around the lovely Eyre Square before joining your fellow travelers for dinner at the hotel Overnight: Park House Hotel, Galway.
After a hearty Irish breakfast at our hotel we will depart for a visit to Ballintubber Abbey. Here you might choose to walk Tochar Padraig, the longest surviving pilgrimage road leading to Croagh Patrick (Optional-Walking pilgrimage). Those not taking the walking pilgrimage will visit the picturesque town of Westport. On the way to Sligo we will visit Our Lady of Knock Shrine, site of the 1879 apparition of Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist. Dinner will be at our hotel tonight. Overnight: Sligo Southern Hotel, Sligo.
Following a delicious Irish breakfast we will depart for Cathedral of Immaculate Conception. We’ll continue north from Sligo through Yeats Country to Mullaghmore to boat to Inishmurray Island. The remote and mystical Inishmurray Island is four miles from the coast of Sligo. It is known for its state of preservation as an early Christian site, for its wild scenery and as a wildlife sanctuary. St Molaise founded a Christian Monastery here in the 6th century, the remains of which are remarkably intact to this day. Overnight: Bayview Hotel, Killybegs.
After breakfast, Mass- St. Mary of the Visitation prior to (optional) three day / two night pilgrimageto Lough Derg (St. Patrick’s Purgatory). Pilgrims will ferry to Station Island and stay on the island until Sunday. Those not participating in Lough Derg will take a trip to Glencolumbkille along the Atlantic Ocean. Dinner and overnight in Killybegs for those not partaking of three-day pilgrimage. Overnight: Bayview Hotel, Killybegs (B,D)/ Or Lough Derg if on Pilgrimage.
Irish Breakfast. Those staying in Killybegs town will make a visit to Lough Derg visitors center. Next we will visit Derry where a local guide will take us on a walking tour around the city, still mostly encircled by its medieval city walls. They are among the best-preserved city fortifications in the Western World. We will learn about the city’s fascinating history while enjoying some spectacular scenery. Dinner will be at the hotel tonight. Overnight: Bayview Hotel, Killybegs (B,D)/ Or Lough Derg if on Pilgrimage.
Irish breakfast for group staying in Killybegs. The group will all meet together at ferry landing with the group arriving from Lough Derg and drive to Armagh to visit the town’s two cathedrals of St. Patrick, one Catholic and one Anglican, containing the remains of Brian Boru. Enjoy some free time to explore the town later this afternoon. We will have dinner together again as a full group at the hotel tonight. Overnight: Armagh City Hotel, Armagh.
We will have an early start this morning to Downpatrick. Here we will visit the Anglican Cathedral and the site believed to be the grave of St. Patrick. We’ll continue south to Co. Louth in the Republic of Ireland visiting Monasterboice, with its magnificent 10th century Muiredach’s Cross, and Drogheda with its major relic of St. Oliver Plunkett in St. Peter’s church. Along the way to Dublin we will see the Hill of Slane one of the most important sites in Ireland’s ecclesiastical history. Arrive Dublin late afternoon with time to explore the many wonderful shops, pubs, and restaurants the city has to offer. Dinner is on our own this evening. Overnight: Camden Court, Dublin.
This morning after breakfast we will visit the National Museum which contains some of Ireland’s greatest treasures, Trinity College one of the oldest centers of learning, dating to the 16th century. The library is home to the world- renowned 9th century Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript with meticulous artwork around the borders. The city tour will end at the Guinness Storehouse where we’ll explore exhibits with over 250 years of creative history. The tour ends in the Gravity Bar with a pint of Guinness and a great view of Dublin. We’ll enjoy dinner and entertainment at the famous Taylor’s Three Rock for our last night in Ireland. Overnight: Camden Court, Dublin.
After breakfast we will drive to Dublin Airport with time for last minute Duty Free shopping before our return flight home.