14 - 24 September 2021
A photography and cultural experience that will leave you wanting more. Guided by Con O’Leary to some of the most beautiful locations in Ireland and under the watchful eye of photography mentor, Ricky Tims you will capture the true essence of Northern Ireland the West Coast, Connemara and the Aran Islands and take it home with you…..
- Guinness Storehouse, visit the home of the famous Black stuff
- Titanic Museum Experience
- Dunluce Castle visit
- Giants Causeway visit
- Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge
- The City of Derry.
- Sliabh Liag Cliffs visit 2000 foot high Atlantic cliffs.
- Kylemore Abbey visit.
- Visit to the Connemara Marble factory outlet.
- The Aran Islands.
- Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey Distillery.
- The Merry Ploughboy. Gala Dinner and evening of Irish Dance music and song.
€3863 per person, double occupancy
€1280 single occupancy supplement.
3-4 star Hotel Accommodation.
2 nights Dublin City
1 night Belfast City
2 nights Ballycastle
1 night Derry City
1 night Donegal Town
3 nights Galway City
First Class Luxury Touring Coach complete with WiFi and onboard bathroom.
Driver/Guide – Con O’Leary
8 evening dinners
Does not include driver guide tips or gratuity
Does not include domestic or international air fares.
Scotia Ireland do not provide travel insurance and strongly encourages you to take out adequate insurance cover prior to travel, we recommend consulting the following companies to discuss your options.
- Based on current rates, double occupancy and includes taxes per person sharing.
- Tour price does not include airfares. Each traveler may choose to arrive early or stay late and tour on their own.
- Rate is based on current exchange rates and current projected costs. Subject to change.
- Does not include driver guide tips or gratuity.
- This tour information is subject to the Scotia Ireland Tours Ltd Terms and Conditions.
- Due to the uncertainty of Covid-19 and possible currency exchange fluctuations, Scotia Ireland Tours Ltd reserve the right to adjust the tour price.
The interior of the coach will have limited space for baggage. Therefore each person will be limited to one piece of luggage/suitcase (to ride in the under-coach hold), one small carry on tote bag (or purse), plus a photography equipment bag.
Extend your Stay
Ireland has a wealth of things to see and do. This tour has been designed with variety in mind for the photographer tourist to provide both urban and wild destinations and includes stops to historic sites and opportunities to see wildlife. Consider adding additional days prior to (or after) to see sights you will not visit on this tour.
It is tempting to bring all your camera gear on such an excursion. However take time to ponder what you really need and cull out some of your gear to keep your weight down. Light-weight tripods may be more beneficial than large heavy ones. Two lenses (three at the most) should be more than sufficient. Most camera battery chargers are adapted to the voltage in USA and Ireland, but you will want wall socket adapters that fit the Irish wall sockets. Be sure your plug will actually plug into the adapter as fittings for both can mismatch.
Arrive in Dublin city centre hotel. We will immediately check in to your hotel to allow time to unpack and freshen up. Beginning our explorations with a guided panoramic city tour. Along the way we will visit one of Dublin’s most charming pubs, Nancy Hands where we will enjoy lunch, a welcome drink and get to know each other. Following lunch, we will continue our tour of Dublin city viewing iconic sights such as the historic and beautiful Georgian squares and houses, Trinity College, Christchurch Cathedral, St. Patricks Cathedral and of course a visit to the Guinness Store House to see how the famous black stuff is made.
Overnight Dublin city centre hotel.
This morning following a hearty Irish breakfast we depart Dublin and drive to Belfast City and begin a tour of the major city sights such as the Falls Road and the controversial political murals including a visit to the world-famous Titanic Experience. Explore the shipyard, walk the decks, travel to the depths of the ocean and uncover the true legend of Titanic in the city where it all began. It will be possible to avail of lunch in the Titanic centre in your own time. Late afternoon we arrive at our hotel and check in for the evening, and following dinner you are free to explore the city centre on your own.
Overnight Belfast city centre.
This morning we leave Belfast city heading in a north easterly direction, beginning our days adventures. We will drive along the shores of Belfast Lough, passing through coastal towns such as Carrickfergus taking us on to the Causeway Coastal Route which runs entirely by the North East Antrim coast, making stops along the way for photography. Soon arriving in Glenariff Forest Park, our group will proceed to enjoy a stroll in the area and photography workshop with Ricky Tims, whilst photographing the spectacular Glenariff waterfalls. Following the workshop, lunch in the nearby Laragh Lodge .
Following lunch, we continue our tour through the charming seaside villages of Cushendall and Cushendun, arriving at our hotel in Ballycastle for the next two evenings. Ballycastle itself offers many prime photography opportunities, set on the beach and it has its own boat harbour, quaint pubs and streetscapes.
This morning following breakfast we begin our exploration of the local area in earnest by paying a visit to the iconic Giants Causeway which is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. Today we will have many magnificent photography opportunities and Ricky will be on hand to offer instruction and advice. Next adventure today is a visit to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge which was built over 350 years ago to facilitate salmon fishermen crossing to a small island adjacent to the route the Atlantic wild salmon used to return to spawn in the nearby Bush River.
The area offers stunning views of Scotland and Rathlin Island. This area was used as a backdrop for the HBO series The Game of Thrones.
Later this afternoon we visit the ruins of Dunluce Castle which dates from the early 1500 and is built on a cliff top precipice with access gained by crossing a narrow rampart, and the castle literally hangs over the wild crashing waves below.
Today we depart Ballycastle to explore the northern coastline of Northern Ireland driving along the coast, passing through towns such as Portrush, with its magnificent sandy beaches and of course its famous championship golf course, which is one of the courses on the rota of the Open Championship and last hosted the tournament in 2019.
On arrival in Derry, we will have a guided walking tour of the city and the city walls, and following our tour you will have the opportunity to explore and have lunch on your own in one of the many cafes, bars, and restaurants before returning to your motor coach at the coach park. We will then make our way to our hotel to check in for the evening. Following dinner this evening in the hotel dining room you will be free to explore the city and perhaps cross the iconic Peace Bridge close to your hotel which spans the River Foyle.
Next morning following checkout we again head out touring the open roads and green landscapes of counties Derry and Donegal.
Overnight Derry City Hotel
Today we tour to Donegal town via a lesser travelled route by the mountains and through Glenveigh National Park, stopping along the way for photography with Ricky.
Following lunch, we will transfer in to two smaller buses to take the short journey to the viewing point of the Sliabh Liag, which is a mountain on the Atlantic coast of County Donegal, Ireland. At 596 metres, it has some of the highest sea cliffs on the island of Ireland. Although less famous than the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Sliabh League’s cliffs reach almost three times higher.
Following the visit to the Sliabh Liag cliffs we make our way to Donegal Town where we will overnight for the evening.
Overnight Donegal Town Hotel
Today we change direction and head southwards towards Galway City. We make a photography and archaeology visit in Cliffony, Co. Sligo to visit Creevykeel Court Tomb. This monument is situated at the foothills of Tievebaun Mountain, near the sea at Mullaghmore, and is one of the finest examples in Ireland of what is known as a full-court tomb. Dating from the Neolithic period (c. 4000 – 2500 BC) it consists of a wedge-shaped cairn about 50m long, incorporating at its eastern end an oval-shaped court.
Excavations in 1935 uncovered four cremation burials, Neolithic pottery, polished stone axes, flint knives and scrapers and two clay balls. The court was reused in Early Christian times by iron smelters, and the remains of a kiln from this time can be seen. This evening we stay in a Galway city hotel. Following dinner in the hotel, you are free to explore the city and the many music pubs and enjoy the colourful artistic buskers on the bohemian city streets.
Overnight Galway city hotel.
Following breakfast, we make an early departure as we have a ferry to the Aran Islands, today visiting the largest of the series of three islands, Inis Mor. The Aran Islands are three rocky isles guarding the mouth of Galway Bay, in western Ireland. They are known for their ancient sites and unique way of life. The largest island that we will be spending our day on, Inish mor is home to the prehistoric fort of Dún Aonghasa. The medieval ruins of the Seven Churches are in the northwest. Clochán na Carraige is a stone structure with a beehive roof.
The 1,200 inhabitants primarily speak Irish, the language used in local placenames. All islanders are also fluent or proficient in English. Little is known about the first inhabitants to cross over to the islands, but they likely came across in search of a haven from attack. Ricky will of course be with you to give photography instruction and advice and of course, Con will have the opportunity to give an overview of the history and life on the islands. This is one of Con’s favourite tours, as a native Gaelic Irish speaker he enjoys conversing with the locals in his native tongue.
Overnight Galway City hotel
Following breakfast, we depart Galway City for the magnificent Connemara, an area of outstanding natural beauty where the colours of the landscape are continually changing before your eyes. We plan to make a stop for rest rooms and refreshments at 10:00 in Peacocks Hotel, Maam Cross, Co. Galway. Continuing our drive, touring through the breath-taking landscape of Connemara and the magnificent Maam Turk Mountain Range we soon arrive in the village of Leenane, stopping briefly at the famous Fairy Tree overlooking Ireland’s only Fjord. Arriving in Kylemore Abbey Visitor Centre at 12:00 noon, we will visit for three hours with a departure time of 15:00 for the drive back to our hotel through the stunningly beautiful Inagh valley, taking in a demonstration and some shopping at Connemara Celtic Crystal, one of Ireland’s last surviving crystal factories. We plan on arriving back at our hotel 17:30.
The story of Kylemore Abbey is a truly remarkable one that spans over 150 years of tragedy, romance, innovation, education, and spirituality. Built as a breath-taking Castle in 1868, it is now the Abbey and home of the Benedictine community of nuns.
Following morning, early morning call at 07:00am, Breakfast at 08:00, Depart Hotel at 09:00.
Overnight Galway City Hotel
This morning we bid a farewell to Galway until another time, departing for Dublin city, along the way we will pay a visit the quaint original Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery. As the oldest licensed distillery of its kind in Ireland, the Kilbeggan Distilling Company has seen its share of trials and triumphs. Founded in 1757, the distillery spent the next 200 years making a whiskey beloved the world over. So, when tough times ground its gears to a halt, the town came together to save the whiskey that built the town. It was not quick or straightforward, but they persevered. Today, every bottle produced stands as proof that the spirit of Kilbeggan never wavered.
Following a Guided tour of the distillery there will be the opportunity to have a light lunch in the adjacent café before we make our way to Dublin city. We hope to arrive at our Dublin city hotel early afternoon which will give you time for a final exploration and some shopping.
This evening we will be having our gala dinner and an evening of Irish dancing music and singing at the Merry Ploughboy pub This event usually ends at 11:30 pm and we should be back at our hotel for 11:30. Next morning we are all up super early to grab a coffee and croissant and transfer to the airport for flights back to the US.
Overnight Dublin City Hotel
Early coach transfers to Dublin airport by Con
Con O’Leary is an approved Irish National Tour Guide and a Failte Ireland / Coach Tourism and Transport Council Tour Driver Guide, holding all driving license categories including large Touring Coach and Chauffeur Driver / Guide SPSV, combined with itinerary development and management skills, has many years of experience driving large touring coaches throughout Ireland and the British Isles. His experience of leading Cultural and Adventure Tours throughout the Island of Ireland is well documented.
Con has lived and worked in many overseas locations and has spent time living and working in San Francisco, England, the Netherlands and has travelled extensively in India, Thailand, and North Africa.
Cons love of Ireland and subsequent interest in the archaeology and ancient history of the country stems from an interest that was instilled by his father, also named Con at a very early age. An idyllic childhood rambling the hills and mountains of Co Kerry in The South West of Ireland as a young boy, with his best friend his Dad, nurtured a passionate love of Ireland and her history.
When not leading tour groups throughout Ireland and The British Isles, Con and his wife Samantha together with their three boys love to walk on the Wild Atlantic beaches and mountains where they live in the coastal village of Ballyheigue, County Kerry, South West Ireland.
Ricky Tims has successfully blended his creative passions into one very unique and interesting artistic career. He is well-known in the international world of quilting as an encouraging teacher and inspirational speaker. His skills as a pianist, composer and producer have been evident by the thousands who have heard his music (search iTunes). Photography is one of his significant artistic disciplines Ricky offers a variety of classes covering topics on camera techniques, themed lessons, using Lightroom and Photoshop, as well as classes on design and composition. To learn more about Ricky Tims visit www.rickytims.com, www.rickytimscreative.com, www.thequiltshow.com, and www.letsquilttogether.com.