Upon meeting your guide at a central location in Dublin, hop aboard your comfortable coach and head west on the Galway highway. After you leave the capital city, admire the lovely countryside as you pass the Irish midlands to the other side of the island.
Along the way, your guide will take you through the Bog of Allen – Ireland's biggest peat bog, which covers 270 square miles (958 square km). During your photo stop, learn how peat logs have been dried and used as fuel for thousands of years.
Enjoy a coffee break (own expense) at Athlone, stopping mid-way on the 3-hour ride to the city of Galway. When you arrive at your destination at the mouth of Galway Bay, your guide will orient you to the city’s amazing mix of history and modern-day culture during a 1-hour walking tour.
Meander through the same cobblestone streets the Vikings once stormed, and listen to captivating tales of invasion and heroic defiance as your guide points out famous buildings that line the alleyways. Afterward, you’ll have free time to explore on your own, including the specialty food stalls and street buskers that draw a Bohemian crowd.
If you’d like, explore shops that sell an assortment of jewelry, knitwear, pottery and woodwork. Or, purchase lunch (own expense) at a classical Irish pub, where you can often catch live Irish music. Your guide will offer recommendations of the best venues for a meal or a pint.
Return to your coach and head east, stopping at the Tullamore Dew Old Whiskey Distillery, dating back to 1829. First, tour the newly renovated visitor center, which uses both audiovisual and traditional storytelling to inform you about what goes into each glass.
Next, enjoy a guided tour of the old distillery warehouse as your guide shares stories about whiskey-maker Daniel E. Williams (D.E.W.) and the secrets of his trade. Witness the whiskey-making process from distillation to maturation in wooden casks made by skilled coopers.
Finally, enjoy a guided tasting of three famous blends, including a bonded warehouse reserve that’s only available onsite. Taste the whiskey’s distinctive character, enjoying a tipple as you discover the complexities of various blends – perfection!
Back aboard the coach, admire the lush terrain of rural Ireland as you listen to Irish tunes on your return to Dublin.