Long on our list of destinations, we finally visit the Emerald Isle. From Dublin all the way ‘round to Belfast, we will explore this lovely island, learning about her history, geography, and culture and discovering for ourselves the legendary welcoming spirit of the Irish people.
What you'll experience
Upon our arrival in Dublin we'll do a city tour that takes in the Georgian Quarter, Trinity College, the Book of Kells, and the Dublin Writers Museum, saving for our second day in the city a visit to the National Museum of Ireland, the fascinating GPO Witness History exhibition, and the Dáil Éireann (one of the houses of the Oireachtas, or the National Parliament of Ireland).
Departing Dublin we head southwest toward Cork, visiting the Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle, and Blarney Castle en route. Our day around Cork takes us to the fishing village of Cobh for a walking tour and visit to the Cobh Heritage Centre and their fascinating exhibits on Ireland's maritime history, including the building of the Titanic, then on to the Michael Collins Centre to learn about the leading figure in Ireland's struggle for independence.
Then we're off to experience the magnificent scenery of the famous Ring of Kerry, visiting Muckross House gardens, then a walk to the beautiful Muckross Abbey, followed by a day on the scenic Dingle Peninsula to see its Celtic and pre-Christian monuments and churches. We end that day at the Dingle Whiskey Distillery to learn of their unique distillation process—and perhaps have a wee taste to judge the quality of their efforts.
Carrying on, we visit the Foynes Flying Boat Museum and cross the otherworldly landscape of The Burren on our way to the lovely Cliffs of Moher and a city tour of Galway. The next morning, we embark for our trip out to the Inis Mór, one of the Aran Islands, to visit the pre-historic fort of Dún Aonghasa.
Next up is County Clare and the incomparable Connemara region. In one of the most panoramic areas in Western Europe we visit the Dan O'Hara Homestead to learn about traditional farming techniques, sheep herding, turf cutting, making soda bread, and more, then conclude our day with stops at Kylemore Abbey and Killary Harbour.
Moving northeast we visit the outdoor museum of emigration at Ulster American Folk Park and the Enniskillen Castle Museums on our way to Derry and a tour of the panoramic Inishowen Peninsula. We follow that up with a visit to the spectacular geologic formation known as the Giant's Causeway before arriving in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland.
We spend a day discovering Belfast with a city tour, a visit to the Ulster Museum, and a stop at Crumlin Road Gaol, the infamous 19th century prison used extensively during the civil unrest of the 1970s. We conclude by driving south, returning to Dublin to visit St Patrick's Cathedral and the Guinness Storehouse and enjoy an evening of traditional Irish music at the Abbey Tavern!
You ought to join us for this one. It's a proper tour of Ireland. You won't be sorry.
Sat Jun 17
- Depart USA for Dublin
Sun Jun 18 — Arrive Dublin
- City tour that includes the Georgian Quarter, Trinity College, the Book of Kells, and the Dublin Writers Museum
Mon Jun 19 — Dublin
- Visit the National Museum of Ireland, the GPO Witness History exhibition, and the Dáil Éireann in the National Parliament of Ireland
Tue Jun 20 — to County Cork
- Visit the Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle, and Blarney Castle
Wed Jun 21 — County Cork Coast
- Explore the coast of County Cork, including a walking tour of Cobh, the Cobh Heritage Centre, and the Michael Collins Centre
Thu Jun 22 — to County Kerry
- Meander the rugged coastline for spectacular views along the Ring of Kerry, visiting Muckross Abbey and the beautiful Muckross Friary
Fri Jun 23 — Dingle Peninsula
- Visit Celtic and pre-Christian monuments and churches set amongst some of the finest coastal scenery in all of Ireland; pass through the Slieve Mish mountain range to Inch and admire the Iveragh Peninsula and enjoy a stop at the Dingle Whiskey Distillery
Sat Jun 24 — to County Clare
- Take the ferry across the River Shannon to the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, crossing the unique ecosystem of The Burren to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway
Sun Jun 25 — County Clare
- Enjoy a full day across the sound touring the island of Inis Mór and a visit to the spectacularly located prehistoric fort of Dún Aonghasa
Mon Jun 26 — Connemara
- Visit the small villages throughout this beautiful region with stops at Kylemore Abbey, Killary Harbour, and the Dan O’Hara Homestead, a living history display of life on a prefamine farm
Tue Jun 27 — to County Donegal via Fermanagh and Tyrone
- Visit Ulster American Folk Park and the Enniskillen Castle Museums
Wed Jun 28 — Derry and the Inishowen Peninsula
- Tour the city of Derry, the only remaining walled city in Ireland, and the beautiful landscapes of the surrounding Northern Atlantic peninsula
Thu Jun 29 — to Belfast
- Drive along the gorgeous North Antrim coast to visit the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge on the way to Belfast
Fri Jun 30 — Belfast
- Enjoy a city tour with visits to Shankill and Falls Road to learn about life during the troubles, with stops at Crumlin Road Gaol and the Ulster Museum
Sat Jul 1 — to Dublin
- On our return to Dublin, visit St Patrick’s Cathedral, the Guinness Storehouse, and our last night in Ireland at the Abbey Tavern for traditional Irish music and fare
Sun Jul 2
- Depart Dublin for USA
Please note: Everyone is welcome to join us, and we assure you of a wonderful educational experience. You will enjoy private transportation, comfortable hotels, outstanding cultural and historical sites, lovely landscapes, and kind people throughout your journey with us to Ireland. We will change hotels often and we ask you to please understand that this trip will also include the normal amount of walking in order to visit the country properly. You should expect some uneven ground, stone stairs, cobbled streets, changing weather, and all of the sights, sounds, and friendliness of this unique and welcoming country.
The price of this trip is $5,799 based upon double occupancy. This includes your international roundtrip airfare to Ireland and all ground transportation during your visit; all of your lodging; entry fees at all 25 educational sites; all coach services; all boat tickets; all guide services; and all university staff services. Daily breakfast and dinner are also is included in this price. Single supplement is $848.
TRAVEL INSURANCE IS REQUIRED FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS.
Your deposit is non-refundable. We urge you to purchase trip cancellation coverage as part of your travel insurance to recover your costs if you must cancel your plans to join us. Travel insurance information will be included in your registration confirmation packet.
If you have a disability and desire accommodations, please advise us ahead of time. Requests are confidential. This program is offered by UW-Madison in cooperation with UW-Extension.
Registration: To register, complete the registration form and mail it to:
Educational Travel Program
21 N Park St., 7th Floor
Madison, WI 53715