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High School Tours

Throughout the Irish Life Experience, students will see and visit some of Ireland’s most historic places and impressive sights. They will experience Ireland’s beauty through guided tours and scheduled stops. Each of our featured tours offers students the chance to step back in time to places that have retained their original beauty and historical significance.

Abbey Theatre

Students will have the option of visiting and attending a play at the famous Abbey Theatre-the National Theatre of Ireland. The Abbey Theatre was founded in 1903 by WB Yeats and Lady Augusta Gregory. It’s a magical experience for anyone interested in the arts-truly a must see.

Aran Islands

Students will visit the Aran Islands, the westernmost point of Europe, where they will be able to practice their Gaelic language skills with the local residents. The Aran Islands offer some of the country’s most historic sites such as Dun Aengus and the Seven Churches. Limestone landscapes and stretches of majestic cliffs border these beautiful islands.

Book of Kells

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Black Taxi Tour

Take part in a world-famous Black Taxi Tour of Belfast. The local guides will tailor your tour to your liking, giving you the option to decide where you’d like to visit. Start your tour in the city center then move through the shipyards to see where HMS Titanic was built and launched. See the political districts, which have borne the brunt of conflict over the last thirty years, before ending your tour in the elegant University Quarter and Museum district.

Blarney Castle and Stone

The Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near the city of Cork.  The castle originally dates before 1200 AD.  Students are allowed to explore the grounds, climb to the top of the castle and kiss the Blarney Stone which is said to give the gift of eloquence.  They will also have time to shop at the popular Blarney Woolen Mills where they can choose from many traditional souvenirs.

Burren

The Burren is an area in western Ireland known for its unique landscape, beautiful flora, underground rivers and limestone “grikes” (cracks). Those interested in the ancient history of Ireland will find a wealth of material in the Burren:  megalithic tombs, Celtic crosses, a ruined Cistercian Abbey and more than sixty wedge tombs and dolmens.

Burren Walking Tour

Explore the heart of the Burren and trek off the beaten path across isolated areas in County Clare. The tour will take place over panoramic views which give a sense of peace and timelessness. The Burren hides its best scenery from most visitors, but students will be able to discover some of its best kept secrets.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

The Carrick-a-Rede Bridge is a rope suspension bridge that connects the mainland to Sheep Island, a tiny island primarily used for fishing. The bridge and its surroundings are absolutely gorgeous and, on a clear day, you can actually see to Scotland! Although, at first glance, it appears that it would be a scary undertaking, the bridge has been updated to ensure its safety. There has never been an injury as a result of crossing the bridge.

Cliffs of Moher

Located on the western coast of Ireland between Doolin and Lahinch the Cliffs of Moher reach 700-feet tall and span for nearly ten miles. These cliffs, as well as O’Brien’s Tower which sits atop the highest point, offer some of the most breathtaking views in all of Ireland.

Cobh

Pronounced “Cove,” this seaport town is located on the south shore of Great Island in Cork Harbor.  Best known as the point of departure for nearly 2.5 million North American emigrants and as the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic, Cobh has become an amazingly vibrant town and is home to several yacht clubs and social venues.

Croke Park

Students will visit Croke Park, the largest sports stadium in Ireland and home to the national games of Gaelic Football and Hurling (two workshops offered as part of the Irish Life Experience). The Stadium Tour goes behind the scenes at this 82,300 capacity stadium including dressing rooms, pitch-side, corporate suites, VIP section and state-of-the-art media center.

Dan O’Hara’s Cottage

Students will take a guided tour of Dan O’Hara’s Cottage and the surrounding grounds which will include a tractor ride, a demonstration of turf cutting, story telling, horseshoe throwing and a few games of tug-of-war. The tour is very entertaining and educational, giving students the chance to experience firsthand the history and traditions of the Connemara region.

Dublin City Tour

Visit some of this great city’s sights and attractions on this walking tour, including Trinity College and the Book of Kells, St. Stephen’s Green, Temple Bar District, Dublin Castle and much more, all with colorful commentary provided by our one and only guide-Dan.

Giant’s Causeway

Giant’s Causeway is a remarkable geologic feature that has earned the honor of being the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom and the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Consisting of 40,000 interlocking basalt columns which were formed by an ancient volcanic eruption, this will be one of the highlights of the Irish Life Experience!

Glendalough

Glendalough, meaning “Glen of Two Lakes,” is a glacial valley located in County Wicklow.  Renowned for its early medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin, a hermit priest, it was destroyed in 1398 by English troops.  This will be the Irish Life’s first stop the day they arrive in Ireland en route to Waterford.  Students will be able to walk around the gorgeous lakes and breathe the fresh air.

Guiness Brewery

Join us for a tour and sampling at the Guinness Brewery, Ireland’s #1 International visitor attraction. Since opening in November 2000, the Guinness Storehouse has attracted over four million visitors from every corner of the globe. Enjoy the tour of the Storehouse before sampling the goods at the top-level Gravity Bar while you enjoy views of Dublin.

Jameson Distillery

Discover the time-honored secret of how three simple ingredients: water, barley and yeast are transformed into the smooth golden spirit that is Jameson Irish Whiskey. At the end of the guided tour each visitor is offered a complimentary glass of Jameson. Guides select volunteers to take part in a whiskey comparison tasting, demonstrating the subtle difference in taste between various types of Irish Whiskey, and comparing it to leading Scotch and American Whiskeys.

Kilkenny Castle

Located in Kilkenny, just an hour south of Dublin, this grand castle sits on the River Nore overlooking Kilkenny’s city center.  Once a private estate, the first tower dates back to 1172.  Much of the original structure remains.  It has recently been restored and is open to visitors who are able to visit a portion of the National Art Gallery on display as well as the ornamental gardens that surround the property.

Kilmainham Gaol

Built in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol served as a prison for almost 140 years. Its cells held many famous people involved in the campaign for Irish independence. It was also the site of several executions, including many of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. It now stands as a museum and has been featured in several films and U2’s music video for A Celebration.

Kylemore Abbey

As we tour the Connemara region outside of Galway, we will come upon the original Kylemore Castle, now called Kylemore Abbey, home to the International Girls’ School. The castle itself served as a private home in the late 1800s before being converted into an Abby for Benedictine nuns who fled Belgium during World War I. The house and gardens are open to the public.

President’s House

Each summer, the Irish Life Experience visits the Irish President’s House for a private tour. Students may even be greeted by the president! Built in 1751 and situated within the 1,752-acre Phoenix Park near Dublin, the original house was built by Park Ranger Nathaniel Clements. By 1782 it had been acquired for use by the Viceroys who oversaw British rule in Ireland. It became the official residence of the President of Ireland in 1938.

Riverdance

Once our students learn the basics of Irish step dancing they will attend Riverdance, one of the greatest dance performances of our time.  Originally created and performed in Dublin in 1994, Riverdance now travels the world with its jaw-dropping rapid dance steps.  Of all the performances to emerge from Ireland in the past decade, nothing has carried the energy, sensuality and spectacle of Riverdance.

Rock of Cashel

Located in County Tipperary, the Rock of Cashel is an attraction that some visitors believe to be an actual rock, the castle named for massive stone cliff on which it was built. The current structures at the site date back to the 12th century, but the original castle would have been much older. The castle grounds are home to a large complex of buildings, including one of the largest collections of Celtic art in Ireland, as well as an ancient burial ground.

Tramore

A seaside suburb of Waterford, Tramore attracts visitors from all over Ireland with its ice cream parlors, long boardwalk and amusement park. Surfing and long walks on the beach aside, Tramore offers impressive views of the surrounding seas and quaint towns.

Waterford Crystal

In front of student’s eyes, they will see red-hot molten crystal take shape, in a miracle of light, heat and skill. The craftsmen are meticulous and students can watch as they transform glowing balls of molten crystal into elegant shapes with skills that have made two hundred years of perfection clearly visible in every piece.

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