Breath of Elegance – A luxury tour of beautiful Ireland
Ireland castles, scenic landscapes and luxury accommodations for a trip to remember.
Nothing captures the romance, architecture and history of Europe like the castles of Ireland do. The Breath of Elegance Tour offers a magical step into the past, with all the amenities you expect from a luxury tour with modern conveniences. "The Shamrock" is a 6-night tour originating in Shannon and ending in Dublin. "The Claddagh" is a 6-night tour originating in Dublin and ending in Shannon. Both tours combined constitute the "Breath of Elegance" tour, which is 11 nights in duration beginning and ending in Shannon.
Breath of Elegance - Classic Ireland Tour Itinerary
Irish Breath of Elegance Tour - Day 1 / Shamrock Tour - Day 1 Breath of Elegance Tour - Day 4 / Shamrock Tour Day 4
Depart from USA for an overnight flight to Ireland.
Breath of Elegance Tour - Day 2 / Shamrock Tour - Day 2
Shannon-Cliffs of Moher-Adare, Ireland
This is the first day of "The Shamrock" portion of our tour. Like the 3 leaves of a Shamrock, this portion of the tour offers you the 3 most important elements of the "Breath of Elegance" tour of Ireland—style, service and stunning scenery. Upon arrival at Shannon Airport, you will be welcomed by our professional staff and introduced to your Irish driver/guide. After boarding our awaiting elegantly appointed luxury coach, we travel via Lahinch, home to the world famous golf course.We then gaze upon the majestic Cliffs of Moher, which rise 700 feet above the sea and stretch for 5 miles along the rugged Atlantic coastline. Traveling through Ennis, we make our way to the town of Adare, which has been voted "The Prettiest Town in Ireland" primarily because of its authentic thatchedroof cottages, which are still in use today. We then arrive at Adare Manor, a five-star property, dating back to 1464. It stands at the northern end of Adare town and boasts deluxe amenities with authentic charm. This evening we have an opportunity to experience the five-star dining at one of the Leading Hotels of the World. Retire to your luxuriously appointed room for overnight. Dinner and overnight at Adare Manor.
Breath of Elegance Tour- Day 3 / Shamrock Tour Day 3
We enjoy a traditional Irish breakfast this morning before we travel south to Killarney, in County Kerry. Killarney, our final destination today, has been immortalized in many a wistful Irish song. There is time today to stroll this fairy-tale town with its many boutique shops and lively Irish music. In Killarney our hotel is the five-star contemporary Killarney Park Hotel. Luxury is paramount in the impeccably appointed rooms with stunning views of the Lakes of Killarney and the majestic Kerry Mountains. A unique dining experience as well as the exclusive Spa at Killarney Park Hotel await you. Optional spa services can be pre-booked this afternoon or evening. After dinner in the beautiful Lake Room at our hotel, we suggest a "Killarney Pub Crawl" featuring traditional Irish music. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet the Irish folk! Dinner and overnight in Killarney at the Killarney Park Hotel.
After breakfast, we depart Killarney for the Dingle Peninsula of Ireland, where much of the filming of the 1970 film Ryan's Daughter took place. The journey begins with some of the most magnificent scenery in all of Ireland. The town of Dingle is like something out of a story book. The fishing boats in the harbor and tiny brightly painted pubs reflect a place where time has continued to stand still. The population of approximately 1500 people and only 52 pubs are ready to welcome you this afternoon. Worth the wait is the native seafood chowder served up at lunch time with freshly baked brown bread. Much of this area is Gaeltacht – which is an area where the Irish language is widely spoken. We continue on to Slea Head. Along the way, we will see beehive-style huts, originally inhabited by 12th-century monks, that overlook the rugged Blasket Islands. The awe-inspiring beauty of this particular area of Ireland is unmatched. No other landscape in western Europe with the density and variety of archaeological monuments as found on the Dingle Peninsula. This evening dinner is on your own. Suggestions will be provided by your driver/guide. Overnight in Killarney at the Killarney Park Hotel.
Breath of Elegance Tour - Day 5 / Shamrock Tour - Day 5
Breakfast is followed by a leisurely departure from Killarney where many new friends have been made. Our journey takes us east over the Kerry and Cork Mountains to Macroom where we pause for a short visit. This is the main market town for the Gaelic speaking region to the west. Macroom Castle dates from the 13th century and was the seat of the McCarthys of Muskerry. Oliver Cromwell granted it to Admiral Sir illiam Penn whose namesake son spent much of his childhood here and later founded the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Our next stop, the picturesque town of Blarney, is the home of Blarney Castle and the Blarney stone, which legend has it bequeaths the "gift of eloquence" to all who kiss it. Time to shop at the historical woolen mills or stop in Christy's Pub for a Pint! We depart Blarney and travel to Cork City. Driving into Cork City, we are treated to a panoramic tour before reaching our final destination, the five-star Hayfield Manor. A sanctuary in the city, the Hayfield Manor is set among two acres of park-like grounds. It offers a unique look at a bygone era with its cozy well-appointed ambiance. Perhaps you will choose to explore town this evening before dinner. Otherwise, enjoy all of the amenities that the Manor has to offer or sit in front of a turf fire and enjoy a cocktail. Overnight at the Hayfield Manor.
Breath of Elegance Tour - Day 6 / Shamrock Tour - Day 6
We depart Cork after breakfast traveling northeast. We stop for a photo opportunity in County Tipperary at the historic Rock of Cashel. The Rock of Cashel is a stone fort poised 200 feet above the town. Built in the 5th century, it is said to be the site where St. Patrick illustrated the sacred trinity to the Kings of Munster using the modest shamrock. It is on through Kildare, home of the famous Irish National Stud, where horse breeding and racing is an art. Our final stop today is Dublin. Upon arrival into Dublin we enjoy a panoramic tour of this 1,000-year-old city. We then check into the fivestar Westbury Hotel, another of the Leading Hotels of the World, located in the very heart of Dublin City. Known for its gracious sophistication and style, the Westbury has long been at the hub of Dublin city life, with its rich and relaxed elegance. Step out the door and you are on pedistrianized Grafton Street with its many shops and restaurants. Overnight Dublin at the Westbury Hotel.
Breath of Elegance Tour - Day 7 / Shamrock Tour - Day 7 / Claddagh Tour - Day 1
This is the first day of "The Claddagh" portion of our tour. The Claddagh, representing friendship, loyalty and love, is symbolic of the way that you will feel after completing this portion of the tour where you will have an opportunity to create friendships to last a lifetime and will forge an eternal loyalty to and love of this country—beautiful Ireland. If this is your fist day of touring Ireland, after clearing customs new passengers will meet the driver/guide and enjoy a tour of Dublin en route to the elegant Westbury Hotel. Thereafter, all travelers are invited to explore your favorite parts of this 1,000 year old city on your own. Our driver/guide will provide you with a nice selection of historical and cultural attractions to see during your visit. Your options include but are ot limited to: St. Patrick's' Cathedral (where Jonathan Swift was once Dean), Trinity College (where the famed Book of Kells is housed), the Stags Head Pub (a veritable "shrine to the art of drink") or even the Temple Bar district (Dublin's cultural quarter brimming with arts, culture, restaurants and entertainment). Many of Dublin's premier night spots can be found right outside the door of your hotel, which is the most centrally located property in all of Dublin. Optional dinner and traditional Irish entertainment this evening at the famed "Taylor's Three Rock." Here we enjoy the songs, dances and humor for which the Irish are famous. Otherwise, dinner is on your own. Suggestions will be provided by your driver/guide. Overnight Dublin at the Westbury Hotel.
Breath of Elegance Tour – Day 8 / Claddagh Tour - Day 2
After a hearty breakfast, passengers who are returning home will be transferred to Dublin Airport. Our group will then continue on The Claddagh portion of the tour and travel north via Drogheda to Monasterboice. This former monastic settlement dates back to 923AD and is the home of the largest collection of carved stone high crosses in all of Europe.We then travel through Dundalk and on to Belfast. This Victorian city was built around its linen and shipbuilding industry. We enjoy a panoramic tour, with a stop at the Renaissance Revival City Hall, and on to our home for the next two nights, the magnificent Hastings's Culloden Hotel, which is situated on 12 secluded garden acres overlooking Belfast Lough and the spectacular Antrim Coast, this five-star 19th-century "Scottish Baronial Estate" offers all modern amenities, including an indoor pool, leisure center and beauty salon. Dinner and overnight at The Culloden Hotel.
View Rates for "The Shamrock" Portion of the Luxury Tour
Breath of Elegance Tour – Day 9 / Claddagh Tour - Day 3
Belfast-Glens of Antrim-Giant's Causeway-Bushmills-Belfast, Ireland
Today we experience one of Ireland's magnificent scenic routes. The Coast Road takes us through the Nine Glens of Antrim, which offers wonderful views of mountains, valleys and the coastline. Our first stop is the oldest licensed distillery in the world, Bushmills, where we savor a sample of this renowned amber liquid. We then travel the coast to visit the Giant's Causeway. This impressive area of hexagonal columns was formed over 60 million years ago by cooling lava. Legend also has it that the Giant's Causeway was built by the ancient giant, Fionn Mac Cumhail.We then return to Belfast via Ballymena. Dinner and overnight at The Culloden Hotel, Ireland.
Breath of Elegance Tour – Day 10 / Claddagh Tour - Day 4
After a hearty Irish breakfast we depart for Armagh, the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland. It is here that St. Patrick founded a church and the town has remained a religious center. We continue our journey west through Enniskillen, the capital of County Fermanagh, where the town center sits on an island between the upper and lower Lough Erne. Next, on to the famous Belleek Pottery, which has been in existence since 1857. Belleek produces Irish Fine Parian china, sold worldwide for generations. An Irish tradition is to give a newlywed couple a piece of this china so they will be blessed with lasting happiness. We continue on to Rossnowlagh and the Sandhouse Hotel and Marine Spa. Set on Donegal Bay, this property boasts award winning cuisine and a full service spa. Have a drink on the veranda with breathtaking views of Rossnowlagh beach and St. John's Point. Dinner and overnight at Sandhouse Hotel and Marine Spa.
Breath of Elegance Tour – Day 11 / Claddagh Tour - Day 5
After breakfast today we visit Drumcliff, the burial site of William Butler Yeats. Our Ireland journey continues through the northern end of Lough Corrib to the tiny town of Cong, where much of the John Houston classic "The Quiet Man" was filmed. We arrive at Ashford Castle, a five-star hotel and one of the Leading Hotels of the World. This 13th-century fairy-tale Ireland castle overlooks a picturesque lake and is considered to be one of the most luxurious castle hotels in all of Ireland. Once on the grounds of the estate, you will feel transported back in time. Ashford was once home to the world-famous Guinness family, renowned for their brewing expertise. Perhaps you will choose to walk among the 3 million species of shrubs, trees and flowers that the spectacular gardens have to offer. Ashford Castle also offers an equestrian center and a 9-hole golf course. Tonight we enjoy a gourmet dinner in the George V dining room. Sleep like a king or queen this evening. Dinner and overnight at Ashford Castle.
Breath of Elegance Tour – Day 12 / Claddagh Tour - Day 6
After enjoying a gourmet breakfast, we depart from Ashford Castle and begin our journey on the northern edge of Lough Corrib and on to the Connemara region, one of the most scenic and unspoiled areas in the country. Words cannot begin to express the unique splendor of the west coast of Ireland, where Gaelic is still spoken. We travel through Spiddal to Galway town, where our driver/guide takes us on a city tour. In the middle ages, Galway was a principal port of trade for Spain and France. Galway continues to be a thriving town noted for its cultural scene and its traditional Irish music sessions. Wander the winding pedestrian walkways and browse in the shops, which are the home of the famous Claddagh ring. Continuing south, we pass through Ennis and Gort. We continue our drive to Bunratty. The 13th-century Bunratty Castle overlooks the Shannon River and traces its origins to the Vikings in the late 900s, when it was used as a trading post. The castle today is one of the most photographed landmarks in Ireland. Adjacent to the castle is Durty Nellie's pub, which dates back to 1620. This pub is worth an inside visit, with its low-hanging ceilings and cozy nooks. A great spot to enjoy a "jar" and dream of times gone by. We then continue on to our final destination, Dromoland Castle. Built in the 16th century, Dromoland Castle is the ancestral seat of the O'Briens who are one of the few native Gaelic families of royal blood. Time today to enjoy this five-star Deluxe property and its entire splendor. This evening, we partake in a marvelous "Farewell Dinner" with our new friends and toast a magnificent time had by all! Overnight will be in one of the 75 deluxe guest rooms. Dinner and overnight at Dromoland Castle.
Breath of Elegance Tour – Day 13 / Claddagh Tour - Day 7
After a delicious breakfast, we are transferred to nearby Shannon Airport. On the off-chance that you missed shopping opportunities, Shannon has a large duty-free shop that you can visit once you are checked in for your flight. In the traditional Irish way, we wish you safe home.
In traditional Irish spirit, Hammond Tours wishes you a safe journey home.
Reserve the Breath of Elegance Ireland Tour Today!
The average tour size is 12 people. The prices are based on a minimum of four passengers (less than four will be priced accordingly). When inquiring, please refer to each tour segment by name for the specific tour date that you are interested in joining. All tours commencing in Shannon will convene at 9 a.m. In order to participate in the tour, exactly as scheduled, please be prepared to arrive at that time. Ask about pre- and post-tour hotel rates. Take note of the incentive rates when booking the complete "Breath of Elegance" tour! Special rates and dates for the Breath of Elegance Ireland Tour
2013 Breath of Elegance Tour Dates & Rates
|DATES ||Rates Per Person Sharing ||Single Supplement ||TOUR CODE |
|February 8-20 ||$4269 ||$1999 ||BE0208 |
|March 15-27 ||$4269 ||$1999 ||BE0315 |
|April 12-24 ||$4499 ||$1999 ||BE0412 |
|May 3-15 ||$5299 ||$1999 ||BE0503 |
|June 14-26 ||$5299 ||$1999 ||BE0614 |
|July 12-24 ||$5299 ||$1999 ||BE0712 |
|August 9-21 ||$5299 ||$1999 ||BE0809 |
|September 6-18 ||$5299 ||$1999 ||BE0906 |
|October 11-23 ||$4499 ||$1999 ||BE1011 |
|November 1-13 ||$4269 ||$1999 ||BE1101 |
2013 The Shamrock Tour Dates & Rates"The Shamrock" is a 6-night tour originating in Shannon and ending in Dublin.
|DATES ||Rates Per Person Sharing ||Single Supplement ||TOUR CODE |
|February 8-15 ||$1999 ||$1099 ||SL0208 |
|March 15-22 ||$2199 ||$1099 ||SL0315 |
|April 12-19 ||$2359 ||$1099 ||SM0412 |
|May 3-10 ||$2649 ||$1099 ||SH0503 |
|June 14-21 ||$2649 ||$1099 ||SH0614 |
|July 12-19 ||$2649 ||$1099 ||SH0712 |
|August 9-16 ||$2649 ||$1099 ||SH0809 |
|September 6-13 ||$2649 ||$1099 ||SH0906 |
|October 11-18 ||$2549 ||$1099 ||SM1011 |
|November 1-8 ||$1999 ||$1099 ||SL1101 |
2013 The Claddagh Dates & Rates "The Claddagh" is a 6-night tour originating in Dublin and ending in Shannon.
|DATES ||Rates Per Person Sharing ||Single Supplement ||TOUR CODE |
|February 13-20 ||$2399 ||$1199 ||CL0213 |
|March 20-27 ||$2429 ||$1199 ||CL0320 |
|April 17-24 ||$2699 ||$1199 ||CM0417 |
|May 8-15 ||$2759 ||$1199 ||CH0508 |
|June 19-26 ||$2759 ||$1199 ||CH0619 |
|July 17-24 ||$3149 ||$1199 ||CH0717 |
|August 14-21 ||$3149 ||$1199 ||CH0814 |
|September 11-18 ||$3149 ||$1199 ||CH0911 |
|October 16-23 ||$2699 ||$1199 ||CM1016 |
|November 6-13 ||$2359 ||$1199 ||CL1106 |
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John and Michele Hammond are your Ireland travel experts, ready to design your dream vacation to Ireland. Whether a chauffeur-driven guided Ireland tour with accommodations for two at an historic irish castle, an Irish countryside family vacation, or custom group tour of friends, our love of Ireland is showcased in each and every detail of your vacation holiday experience from the moment you arrive until you return safely at home.
Hammond Tours will not take your Ireland travel business for granted and will consider it an honor when you trust us to plan and tailor your dream vacation to your individual tastes and interests. From the moment you arrive in Ireland, you will know that your experience will be nothing short of exceptional.