Scotland & Ireland13 days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 1 night: Hotel Edinburgh Grosvenor, Edinburgh
- ~ 2 nights: Hilton Garden Inn, Glasgow City Center
- ~ 1 night: Trinity Capital, Dublin
- ~ 1 night: Minella, Tipperary
- ~ 2 nights: Castlerosse, Killarney
- ~ 2 nights: Salthill, Galway
- ~ 1 night: Knock House, Knock
- ~ 1 night: Trinity Capital, Dublin
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of a professional local guide Throughout
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver, Items of a personal nature.
Depart USA to Scotland
Depart USA for your overnight flight to Europe. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
Welcome to Scotland! Upon our arrival, we will collect our luggage and meet with our guide and driver. We will be escorted to Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St Mary’s, of the Archdiocese of St. Andrew’s and Edinburgh. The site of this holy Church was chosen by Bishop Hay, Vicar Apostolic for the Lowland District. After seeing his previous Chapel in Blackfriar’s Wynd burned by a mob, he hoped that this new site would provide safety for the Church due to the surrounding buildings. The Church was further embellished and became the pro-cathedral of the Archdiocese in 1878, during the restoration of the Scottish hierarchy, and Roman Catholicism in Scotland. After Mass, we will proceed to lunch on our own, followed by a city tour. We will begin with a visit to Edinburgh Castle. This castle holds much historical significance as its purpose has transformed from a battle ground, to a home, to an army headquarters, and finally a tourist attraction. We will see the numerous, fascinating sites of the castle such as, the Great Hall, David’s Tower, the Scottish National War Museum, the Queen Anne Building, and many more. You will be able to witness the oldest standing building in Edinburgh, St. Margaret’s Chapel, which withstood numerous destruction attempts. This structure dates back to the 12th century during the reign of King David I, who dedicated this Chapel to his mother, Saint Margaret of Scotland also known as, Queen Margaret. The tour will continue to the UNESCO Palace of Holyrood House at the end of the Royal Mile. The Palace of Holyrood House is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland, as well as many other successive kings and queens of the monarchy of Scotland. After the fun-filled, busy day we will check into our hotel for dinner & overnight.
Edinburgh – St. Andrews – Perth - Glasgow
Following a full breakfast at the hotel, we will continue to explore the countryside on the way to the town of St. Andrews in Fife, named after the apostle Andrew; patron Saint of Scotland. As the remains of St Andrew were commonly believed to be buried here, the site became a major Shrine for Christians up until the Norman Cathedral. This Cathedral is the largest in all of Scotland, and was “cleansed” by Calvinist zealots during the Scottish Reformation and the ruins still remain. The ‘X’ shape, in which St. Andrew was crucified, is a symbol present on the Scottish national flag to remind the country of his martyrdom. St Andrews is also known worldwide as the “home of golf”, as the modern sport is believed to have been invented here in the 15th Century. The “Old Course”, devised in 1754, is still in operation. We will celebrate Mass at the church of St. James, a small Roman Catholic parish situated on a clifftop which overlooks the North Sea. Following, we will continue our Journey with a visit to the town of Perth , including Scone Palace, one of the finest examples of Georgian Gothic architecture in the UK. We will proceed to Glasgow for dinner & overnight.
Glasgow – Carfin Motherwell
This morning, after breakfast we will depart for a visit to the historic small mining village of Carfin. At Carfin Motherwell, we will see a sight built using the template of the Grotto at Massabielle; Our Lady of Lourdes. This site, built by unemployed miners of the village, has been used a place of procession and prayer since the early part of the 20th century. Before returning to Glasgow for lunch, we will enjoy a visit to the community of Carfin; a town if significant importance in the life of Scottish Catholicism. Upon our return to Glasgow, we will do a walking tour of the city before dinner & overnight.
Glasgow - Dublin
Following breakfast, we will board our bus that will bring us to Glasgow Airport for our flights to Dublin, Ireland. You will arrive midday, and will be greeted by your tour guide and driver. We will have a panoramic city tour on both sides of the River Liffey, where we pass by the General Post Office on the city's main streets, O'Connell Street, Custom House, and Phoenix Park, the largest city park in Europe. On the other side of the river are Georgian squares characterized by colorful doors, Grafton Street and Trinity College which is the oldest university in Ireland, founded in 1592 by Elizabeth I. Time permitting we will visit the ancient library containing over 20,000 manuscripts, among which is the Book of Kells, a manuscript from the 9th-century written by the monks at St. Colombo's monastery on the island of Iona. Today we will also visit St. Patrick's Anglican Cathedral, built in 1213. This Gothic Cathedral has a splendid interior, with some beautiful tombs and monuments. The ornate stained glass windows can be found in the Chancel. In the late afternoon we transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Wicklow - Glendalough - Tipperary
Following breakfast, we will travel through the beautiful mountains of Wicklow, called the “Garden of Ireland” until we reach Glenadalough. This ancient monastic city, established in the 6th-century by St. Kevin, is in the heart of "the valley of the two lakes.” It was a very important centre of learning as well as a pilgrimage destination. There are many legends concerning St. Kevin and he is often compared to St. Francis of Assisi. You will be taken on a guided tour of the site, in which you will see the Round Tower, the ruins of the Cathedral, and "St. Kevin's Kitchen" that is surrounded by an old cemetery. The tour continues to Baltinglass where the ruins of a Cistercian Abbey are found. We will then pass by Castledermot, where we set eyes upon the remnants of a Franciscan Abbey, before arriving into Tipperary for dinner and overnight.
Rock Of Cashel - Kerry
Today we are on to the "Rock of Cashel," standing high in the middle of the "Golden Vale." These religious buildings, dating from the 12th-century, form the most spectacular medieval set in Ireland. The Cathedral, the Round Tower and Cormac Chapel, which was the first Irish Romanesque church, testify to the importance of this site which used to be the seat of the High Kings of Munster. So, once more we find two traditions and cultures meeting with one another where the story of St. Patrick's Cross will tell us more. Our journey continues towards Kerry for dinner and overnight.
Kerry - Dingle Peninsula
This morning continue towards the Dingle Peninsula, the most northern of the Kerry peninsulas. From the town of Inch, where David Lean shot the movie "Ryan's Daughter," and the last part of the country where Gaelic language is spoken, we continue along the Eagle Mount and the cliffs of Slea Head. In Early Christian Ireland, monks were looking for isolated places such as Gallarus Oratory. It is dated from the 9th-century, and excellently preserved. Oratory used to be a place of prayer for monks. Our next stop is the Kilmalkedar Church, built in the 12th-century and once part of a complex of religious buildings in Romanesque style. Dinner and overnight in Kerry.
Shannon - Cliffs Of Moher - Galway
After a good Irish breakfast we will be going north through Listowel and embark on the ferry at Killimer to cross the Shannon estuary. County Clare is a beautiful landscape with a Victorian seaside resort, and where we will visit the Cliffs of Moher. The coastal road with Galway's intensely blue bay on one side and natural rocky landscape on the other. From here we go on to Galway, a city that has kept its medieval charm with its colorful streets and authentic pubs. Dinner and overnight in Galway.
Galway - Corrib Lake - Clonmacnoise
Today we will enjoy a Cruise on Corrib Lake, which is the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland. It is also the best way to see Galway and its surroundings. Today we will visit to Clonmacnoise, which is Ireland's most important monastic site, overlooking the River Shannon. This site was founded by St. Ciaran in the 6th-century and consists of a walled field containing numerous early churches, high crosses, round towers and graves. Dinner and overnight in Galway.
Today we will visit Knock and the shrine situated in the plains of East Mayo, which is one of the world’s leading Marian shrines. On August 21, 1879 fifteen men, women and children witnessed an Apparition of Mary. We will visit the Basilica, the largest church in Ireland. Knock is a very popular pilgrimage destination, and in 1979 Saint John Paul II visited this holy place. After Mass we will have time for private prayer at the shrine, followed by free time for lunch and shopping on our own. We will return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Knock - Dublin
Today as we leave Knock, we will enjoy beautiful scenery travelling to Dublin. We will arrive in Dublin in the afternoon and visit the National Museum, situated in the heart of the city. Its collection of golden prehistoric jewelry is without a doubt the most beautiful in Europe. You will be particularly interested in the Celtic finery as well as numerous early Christian ornaments and relics of great beauty. In the afternoon there will be some free time for lunch and relaxation. Dinner and overnight in Dublin.
Depart Dublin - USA
This morning we will transfer to Dublin Airport for your return flight(s) home.
About your trip
Ireland: In the Footsteps of St. Patrick
St. Patrick succeeded in bringing Catholicism to Ireland, and in time, the whole country converted from their pagan gods to the one true God. Although a small country, Ireland has played a large role in saving and bringing Christianity throughout the world. During the early Dark Ages, the Irish monasteries preserved Western writings while Europe remained in darkness. But as the Catholic country remained solidly Catholic, the Irish spread the faith to all corners of the world.