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Sacred Tours

18-28 August 2013
Magic of Celtic Ireland Tour 2013

with Glenn & Cameron Broughton, Hugh Newman, Mike Croghan, Anthony Murphy

tour vision | tour guides | itinerary | costs & register

Detailed Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1 – Sun Aug 18th

Collection from Dublin airport and drive to our hotel base in Kells – (1 hr drive) for 4 nights

Introductions and orientation meeting followed by dinner at the hotel

Day 2 – Mon Aug 19th

Visit to Tara the ancient capital of Leinster and the ancient seat of the high kings of Ireland when Tara replaced Uisneach as the seat of power. There is a complex of sites at Tara including Grainne’s (Sun Goddess) Mound, the Mound of Hostages, the Stone of Destiny and Teach Cormaic.

Lunch in the café at Tara followed by a visit to the holy well there.

Afternoon visit to Fourknocks cairn. We are able to get the key to enter this underground chamber which has wonderful acoustics and is a perfect place for toning and soundwork.

Free choice dinner not included

Day 3 – Tues Aug 20th

This morning our climb up to the hilltop cairns of Loughcrew is rewarded with panoramic views of seventeen counties. The old name for Loughcrew was Slieve na Caillighe, Gaelic for Mountain of the Witch. We can gain access into Cairn T which has elaborately carved and decorated stones in its inner recesses and the Hag’s Chair set into the northern side of the kerb.

Afternoon and evening personal time to see the High Crosses of Kells (ancient carved stone crosses), visit Kells Abbey or the Heritage Centre, view the copy of the fabulous illuminated manuscript The Book of Kells or to have some free time.

Dinner at the hotel

Day 4 – Wed Aug 21st

Today we visit the Bru na Boinne visitor center to learn about Newgrange and Knowth cairns, Ireland’s most famous Neolithic sites. We will be guided inside Newgrange known as a passage tomb but also a place of initiation and spiritual rites of passage. It is aligned such that the midwinter solstice sunrise casts a shadow that extends deep inside the passage to the central chambers. Anthony Murphy, author of Newgrange: Monument to Immortality will be our Irish expert guide for the day today to share his wisdom with us as we experience the sacred monuments of the Boyne Valley.

Lunch at the visitors centre.

Afternoon visit to Knowth that has the finest Neolithic stone carvings in Europe that decorate most of the kerbstones around the base of the cairn.

Free choice dinner not included

Day 5 – Thur Aug 22nd

Today we move hotel to Carrick-on-Shannon (2 hrs drive) for 2 nights.

Today we will meet our local guide Mike Croghan for the next two days; hearing the legends and history of Ireland from Irish lips will bring it to life in a very real way. In ancient lore the kingdom of Connacht(or Connaught) was ruled from a ritual center at Cruachain. This large complex of ancient sites allows us to experience the variety of structures from the Neolithic age including the low hill or mound of Rath Cruachain, the coronation site of the kings of Connaught and a male or solar energy site. Our final visit of the day, Oweynagat or the Cave of the Cats is seen as the entrance into the Underworld and a place of the goddess.

Dinner at the hotel

Day 6 – Fri Aug 23rd

Today we travel into County Sligo for the day to visit Carrowkeel and Carrowmore.

Carrowkeel is set high in the Bricklieve Mountains and offers sensational views of the surrounding landscape.There are fourteen Neolithic cairns, two of which have three side recesses forming a cruciform chamber. Cairn G has a light-box above the entrance, similar to the one at Newgrange, and this admits the light of the setting sun around midsummer and the setting moon around midwinter.

Carrowmore is the largest megalithic complex in Ireland covering more than 1.5 square miles. There are remains of thirty passage cairns, together forming an oval shape, many of which have a dolmen at their centre. The sacred mountain of Knocknarea, with Maebh’s Cairn on top, is visible to the northwest.

We will have the whole day to explore these landscapes that have been revered as sacred for over 5,000 years.

Free choice dinner not included

Day 7 – Sat Aug 24th

Today we have a long drive as we head to County Kerry in the southwest in the province of Munster to our hotel in Killarney (5hrs) for 2 nights.

We will stop for lunch en route

Rest of the day is free to explore Killarney.

Free choice dinner not included– Killarney is an ideal place to experience ‘the craic’ of listening to traditional Irish music played by locals in one of the town’s many pubs.

Day 8 – Sun Aug 25th

Killarney is at the entrance to a peninsula of outstanding natural beauty with Dingle Bay to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and Bantry Bay to the south. At the eastern end near Killarney isLough Leane and Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, a mountain range containing the highest peak in Ireland. The Ring of Kerry is a circular road around the peninsula allowing us to experience the breathtaking views. Halfway around the 100 mile circuit we will stop to take a local boat over to Skellig Michael eight miles off shore. This small island was an isolated monastic community possibly as early as the 5th century. The cluster of stone beehive huts on this rocky island peak are reached by six hundred slate steps rising from sea level, an arduous climb made worthwhile by the stunning views and the feeling of sheer power of the place. The Apollo & Athena earth energy currents cross at the top. From the boat we also sail close to the atmospheric rocky isle of Little Skellig, home to the largest colony of nesting gannets in Europe, nearly 55,000 birds. The noise is something to experience!

After this long day dinner is at the hotel

Day 9 – Mon Aug 26th

Move to Woodenbridge Hotel, Ireland’s oldest inn (5 hrs drive) for 2 nights. This journey takes us across the south of Ireland, a chance to see more of the emerald isle. En-route we visit the Rock of Cashel, the political power centre of the southern half of Ireland and the place where kingship was empowered by the land.

Free choice dinner not included

Day 10 – Tues Aug 27th

On our last full day we visit the former monastic site ofGlendalough which means ‘Glen of the two lakes’. This is a valley of great natural beauty and serenity surrounded by the Wicklow Mountains. There are various buildings from over a thousand year period including a spectacular round tower; an interpretation centre explains this rich history.

On our way back we will visit Ireland’s oldest working woolen mill at Avoca. We will be guided around the mill and shown the traditional looms in action before browsing their shop and tearoom.

Farewell dinner

Day 11 – Weds Aug 28th

To Dublin airport (1.5 hrs) for flights home or private time in Dublin.

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