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Soul of Ireland

Catholic Pilgrimage through Ireland.

Prepare yourself for a unique encounter into Ireland’s heart and soul. Traverse the ancient paths of our Catholic heritage from St’s Patrick, Brendan, Kieran and Kevin in the footsteps of pilgrims past and present. Pray at the grace-filled shrine of Knock and experience the unsurpassed beauty of Ireland’s monasteries, rugged coastline, historic cities and their legendary hospitality.

8 Days / 7 Nights: Dublin (1) / Clonmacnoise / Westport (3) / Shrine of Knock / Ashford Castle / Croagh Patrick / Kylemore Abbey / Cliffs of Moher / Tralee (2) / Dingle Peninsula / Rock of Cashel / Glendalough (1) / Optional Dublin City Stay (2).
Pilgrimage to Ireland

MEAL CODE: B: Breakfast   L: Lunch   D: Dinner
Cead Mile Failte – Welcome to Ireland! Meet up with fellow pilgrims this evening for a Welcome Dinner.

Our cross-country journey towards Westport brings us first to colourful Athlone, a vibrant historic town with the River Shannon splitting it in two. We travel on to Ireland’s most important monastic site founded in 548 by St Kieran; the ruins of Clonmacnoise, the very epitome of early Irish monastery. Our day ends in the buzzing town of Westport in County Mayo situated on the banks of the beautiful Carrowbeg River where we will stay for the next 3 nights.

We journey east to Knock and arrive at the Marian Shrine in the Church of Apparitions where Our Lady appeared in 1879 with St John and St Joseph to fifteen witnesses. Thousands began flocking to the site including the first Pope to set foot on Irish soil – St John Paul II. Here, we celebrate a moving Mass before enjoying a guided tour of the shrine’s highlights. We head south to Cong for a royal adventure through the grand stone gates of 800-yearold Ashford Castle and delve deep into its medieval history with a guided tour. Continue on to visit nearby Ballintubber Abbey where Mass has been celebrated continuously for almost 800 years!

We follow in the Footsteps of St Patrick and ascend the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick where the saint spent forty days and nights in prayer and fasting in 441, banishing all demons and snakes from the mountain. At the summit we enter St Patrick’s Chapel built in 1905 to commemorate his fast. We set off to explore historic Kylemore Abbey – a stunning Benedictine monastery founded during World War I by nuns fleeing Belgium. After being captured by its breathtaking Neo- Gothic chapel and Victorian Walled Gardens we return to Westport in time for dinner.

“I have been most fortunate to have enriched my spirituality beyond words! The highlight of my life!” — Dorothy West

A day full of surprises awaits us as we drive by the floral wonders of Burren and along the majestic 668-foot Cliffs of Moher on the Clare Coast. Prepare for a breathtaking seascape adventure as we walk the iconic edge of Ireland’s most popular landmark. We continue our pilgrimage with the exploration of Ennis where we will celebrate Mass at its historic Franciscan Friary before setting out to Limerick to discover its beautiful sites. We continue on to picturesque Adare renowned for its pretty thatched cottages and this evening we arrive in charming Tralee.

We make our way into the stunning Dingle Peninsula where we find a vast number of Christian sites mostly belonging to the cult of St Brendan, the famous navigator. We travel along the spectacular coastal road heading to Slea Head and visit the ruins of 12th century Kilmalkedar Church and the famous Gallarus Oratory built without mortar in fine masonry. We continue on to discover beehive huts and the lively fishing port of Dingle before passing the 3,000-foot Mt Brandon on our journey back to Tralee.

We travel east to the foreboding Rock of Cashel, an impressive great rock emerging from the Golden Vale plain and becoming Ireland’s first Romanesque Church. With time to explore this unique landmark we also explore Cormac’s Chapel which retains traces of Ireland’s earliest frescos. We travel on to County Wicklow and the holy village of Glendalough – ‘Valley of Two Lakes’. This renowned place of pilgrimage is where the monastic settlement was founded in the 6th century by St Kevin whose life we will delve into here.

Departing Glendalough this morning, we journey north by coach towards energetic Dublin. En route we make a special visit to Powerscourt Gardens, one of the most beautiful in Ireland and voted #3 in the World’s Top Ten Gardens by National Geographic. Be enchanted by the secret hollows, ornamental lakes and rambling walks of the various coloured gardens scattered across the estate. Our pilgrimage comes to an end this afternoon on arrival back in Dublin.

“From not wanting to be a part of the pilgrimage and dragged along by my husband, to enjoying it immensely and finding a spiritual connection with the Lord.” — Leonie Moody

Ireland Map

Optional extension to Belfast - 5 Nights / 6 Days

Departing Glendalough this morning, we journey north by coach towards Dublin. En route we make a special visit to Powerscourt Gardens, one of the most beautiful in Ireland. Be enchanted by the secret hollows, ornamental lakes and rambling walks of the various coloured gardens scattered across the estate. Overnight Dublin

Depart Dublin for Belfast. Visit St. Patrick’s Centre St Patrick is known worldwide as the patron saint of Ireland and that he is celebrated on the 17th March every year. Now discover the story of St Patrick and his place in Ireland’s history at the St Patrick Centre, located beside Down Cathedral and St Patricks Grave in the Medieval heart of Downpatrick. As the main destination on the Saint Patrick Driving Trail which runs from Armagh to Bangor, the centre welcomes the casual leisure traveller, student groups on educational trips and those with a knowledge of St Patrick that want to explore more detail about his background. It features an interpretative exhibition which tells the fascinating story of Ireland's Patron Saint. The visit begins with the impressive 'In the Footsteps of Saint Patrick' Imax presentation about the life of St Patrick and has aerial video footage of some of the landmark sites in Ireland associated with the Saint. Visit Down Cathedral and St. Patrick’s grave Down Cathedral overlooking Downpatrick, stands close to what is believed to be the mortal remains of Patrick, the Patron saint of Ireland. Visitor can access the cathedral via gardens at the back of the St Patricks Centre or through English street from the town centre. The Cathedral is impressive inside and has a wonderful organ and a very interesting seating arrangement. A retail area is housed at the entrance of the Cathedral. It is generally accepted that the main walls of the Cathedral date from the years after 1220. It suffered destruction on numerous occasions including during the wars with Edward Bruce in 1316 and finally, on the suppression of the monasteries in 1541, the Cathedral was laid waste. Notwithstanding its ruinous state which lasted until 1790, King James I granted a Charter to the Cathedral in 1609, providing for a Dean and Chapter. Rather than lose the connection with Patrick, the name began to be used for the growing town, which assumed the name Downpatrick. Rebuilding of the Cathedral began in 1790, it was consecrated in 1818 and the tower was completed in 1829.The Cathedral was closed again for repairs and renovations in 1986/7. Attacks of rot were so extensive that the Cathedral Board, acting on professional advice decided to remove almost the entire interior plaster walls and vaulting. What the visitor sees now is an almost entirely new interior, a replica of that which it replaced. The cost of this was upwards of £750,000 which was all raised voluntarily. Celebrate Mass at Saul Church or similar. Continue to Belfast. Belfast overnight

This morning enjoy mass at St. Malachy’s Church or similar Enjoy a city tour of Belfast Visit Clonard Monastery Clonard church, or the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, as it is officially known, was opened in 1911. Over a hundred years later, the Church is both a physical and spiritual landmark for countless people in West Belfast and further afield. This is echoed not only in the liturgical life of the building but in its architecture and rich imagery. Visit Titanic Experience Located in the heart of Belfast, the Titanic Belfast recreates the story of the world’s most famous ship in an iconic, six floor building right beside the historic site of the original ship’s construction. Opened in April 2012 to coincide with the centenary of its launch, the self-guided journey begins on entering the building's giant atrium, where the visitor is surrounded by the four ‘ship’s hull’ shaped wings which house the Titanic Experience. As you journey through the nine large galleries of the interactive exhibition, you will uncover the true story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900's, through her construction and launch, to her famous maiden voyage and subsequent place in history. Belfast overnight

Enjoy a scenic drive along the Antrim Coast. Visit Giants Causeway. Encounter Northern Ireland’s favourite giant Finn McCool at the new Giants Causeway Visitor centre on the North Antrim coast which opened in the summer of 2012. According to legend Finn McCool created the Giants Causeway by building stepping stones to Scotland to challenge the Scottish giant Benandonner! The new Visitor centre explores the major themes of mythology, geology, landscape, ecology, culture and social history based on the UNESCO World Heritage site that consists of 40,000 basalt polygonal columns formed 60 million years ago after a volcanic eruption. There are various interactive exhibits and short video presentations within five designated interpretive exhibition areas and the self-guided visit will culminate with a spectacular two minutes audio-visual projection of a volcanic eruption flowing over the walls and onto the floor. Other services and facilities include a large craft and souvenir shop, Tourist Information and restaurant. To enhance the wider visitor experience around the site, a hand held audio guide is available in a range of languages which will bring the wider World Heritage Site to life and inform visitors of unique features to look out for across this amazing landscape. Guided tours of the site are also available. The walks and trails around the World Heritage Site have been upgraded, with the addition of a new accessible cliff top walk for families and people with disabilities. In 2015, Conde Nast Traveler magazine included hopping the stones of the Giant's Causeway as one of the '50 things to do in Europe before you die'. Continue to Derry. Mass at St. Columb’s Church or similar. Enjoy a walking tour of Derry City Walls Based in the heart of the historic city, the Derry city tours showcase the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland. These famous walls which date back to the early part of the seventeenth century have been a place of several sieges. There are fine views from the top of the walls, which encircle the old city, a circuit of one mile. By walking on Derry’s Walls, you have splendid views of cathedrals and churches, you will learn about the historical events that shaped the city and explore attractions such as The Bogside, The People’s Gallery: The Murals, The Diamond, the Tower Museum and the Guildhall. Dinner is at your hotel tonight. Derry overnight

This morning visit St. Columb’s Cathedral Derry St. Columb’s Cathedral in Derry city was the first Protestant Cathedral built in Britain or Ireland after the Protestant Reformation. The church was built in Planter’s Gothic style, and its spire is visible throughout the city. The current spire is the churches third – the previous two were struck by lightning and melted into metal for ammunition during the siege, respectively. The exterior of the building is fortress-like, with thick stone walls. Inside, there are some exquisite features, such as the bishop’s chair from 1630 and a Killybegs altar carpet. The cathedral’s 214 oak pews come from native Derry wood, and they have been hand carved to make each one a unique work of art. Travel to Armagh. Visit St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral Armagh. St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral is an imposing site, perched on the hilltop in Armagh and dominating its skyline. The church was begun in 1840, but because of the intervening famine years, not completed until 1873. The cathedral was designed and built in Neo Gothic style from pale limestone, with large twin spires dominating the approach up flight after flight of steps. Sculptured statuary forms a unique arch over the main entrance. The sanctuary was modernised in 1981 and has a very distinctive tabernacle holder and crucifix, which appear out of place with the mosaics and statues in the rest of the church. There is a rich Austrian oak woodwork and an Irish granite altar. The painted ceiling is ornate. The walls are painted with rich colours that blend easily with the stained glass windows. Armagh is the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland. Celebrate mass in Armagh. Continue to Dublin. Enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Dublin overnight

Transfer to Dublin Airport and depart for home.

Pilgrim Highlights
+ Begin in Ireland with the great city of Dublin as we gather and prepare for the amazing week of pilgrimage that lies before us.
+ Explore the stirring ruins of Clonmacnoise Monastery dating back to the 6th century.
+ Retreat in prayer at the grace-filled Marian shrine of Knock - Ireland’s most revered shrine dedicated to Our Lady.
+ Spend time at Croagh Patrick, St Patrick’s holy mountain - a place of pilgrimage for more than 1,500 years.
+ Admire charming villages and breathtaking scenery in Ireland as we explore the Dingle Peninsula and view the world-renowned Cliffs of Moher.
+ Savour an overnight stay in the renowned monastic settlement of Glendalough founded in the 6th century by St Kevin.

pre-tour options
+ Assisi + Rome (7 Nights)
   Call us for full itinerary & costing

post tour options
+ Belfast (5 Nights)
   Tour Cost: AUD $2250
   Single Room Supplement: AUD $620

+ Dublin City Stay (2 Nights)
   Call us for full itinerary & costing

ACCOMMODATION & MEALS: Based on Superior Standard / 4-Star accommodation • Most meals – 7 Dinners / 7 Full Breakfasts.

TOURING & TRANSPORTATION: Deluxe Air Conditioned Coach touring • Professional Pilgrimage Escort / Local Guides • Sightseeing and Entrance Fees.

OTHER: Fully Escorted by Pilgrimage Chaplain • Porterage at hotels • Harvest Backpack, Pilgrims Journal and Tour Wallet.

Enjoy Peace of Mind against the unexpected when you take out cover with Harvest’s preferred Travel Insurance provider. Pay a nominal premium to access the new feature of “Cancel for Any Reason” cover to minimise your cancellation fees regardless of the reason for your withdrawal. Conditions Apply.

Questions? Call us 1800 819 156

Tour Code
Tour Begins: Dublin
Tour Ends: Dublin
Tour Cost (twin share PP*)
Single Room
17 Sep 2019
24 Sep 2019
AUD $3690
AUD $890
Bookings Closed
17 Sep 2020
24 Sep 2020
AUD $3790
AUD $950
Bookings Closed
TIPPING MADE EASY: $10 per person/per day.
*PP: per person