In the Past:
John Stickney’s Discovery Tour: Exploring The Emerald Isle

For those who have visited Ireland and Northern Ireland there is a defined contrast between the two countries. For some the green of the north outshines the beauty that is Ireland and for others the coast and Ring of Kerry a hold special place in their hearts.

For all who venture here the very nature and grandeur of the Emerald Isle, encased in millennia of history, create memories that last a lifetime. You are invited to join John and Judith Stickney and our very special Tour Manager, Terry Needham, as they explore the best of Ireland. Our leisurely paced tour showcases many years of exceptional travel planning Ireland itineraries, including deluxe accommodations and outstanding food; all combined into one outstanding travel experience.


September 17 Belfast Breakfast & Dinner
Early morning arrival at Dublin Airport. Here we will meet our Driver-Guide in the arrivals hall at Dublin Airport. We depart and enjoy a Full Irish breakfast in the Man O’ War Pub prior to our departure for Belfast via Drogheda, Dundalk & Newry. On arrival in Belfast we stop at Titanic Belfast, a visitor attraction and a monument to Belfast's maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard. This state-of-the-art visitor experience tells the story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her famous maiden voyage and ultimate tragic end. Dinner & Overnight in the Europa Hotel.
You might want to stroll across to the Crown Liquor Saloon on Great Victoria Street, the perfect spot for a pint of Guinness or Bass. This pub dates back to the 1880’s and is the only pub owned by the National Trust!!

September 18 Belfast Breakfast & Dinner
After breakfast we enjoy a guided tour of Belfast with local Belfast City Guide to hear all about the history of this once troubled city and see the murals of the Loyalist Shankill Road & Nationalist Falls Road. Belfast was the only city in Ireland to experience the full force of the Industrial revolution. Linen, rope making, tobacco and most famously ship building including the building of the Titanic on the Harland & Wolff shipyard were the main industries. The Troubles took their toll on the economic life of Belfast but the past ten years of peace have returned prosperity while the genuine friendliness of the city never left. This afternoon we visit Carrickfergus Castle; there are few buildings in Ireland with such well chronicled and fascinating long history as the town’s most compelling landmark, Carrickfergus Castle. It appears first in the official English records in 1210 when the notorious King John laid siege to it and took control of what was then Ulster’s premier strategic garrison. Return to Belfast. 19:30 Dinner in James Street South. Overnight in the Europa Hotel.

September 19 Belfast / Derry Breakfast & Dinner
We depart this morning for the historic fortified walled city of Derry. The city fortifications are among the best-preserved in Europe and were completed in 1618 to defend the city from Gaelic chieftains in Donegal. Visit Giant’s Causeway, the subject of many legends and where an estimated 37,000 basalt columns extend from cliffs down into the sea. Continue on to Derry. This afternoon we will visit the Tower Museum, one of the most fascinating in Northern Ireland, followed by a guided walking tour of the historic walls with local Derry City guides. The city walls are up to 8 metres in height and in places are 9 metres wide. They were completed in 1618 and were never breached. Dinner & Overnight in the Maldon Hotel.

September 20 Derry / Donegal Breakfast & Dinner
Depart for Donegal. Tour the spectacular & rugged Highlands of Donegal. Visit the wild & beautiful Glenveagh National Park in the Derryveagh Mountains – here we will enjoy a short walk around the park’s well groomed trails. The park has some dramatic mountain scenery and protects the largest herd of red deer in Ireland. We will also visit Glenveagh Castle on the shores of Lough Veagh. Built in 1870 by John Adair, a landlord who became notorious for his eviction of many families from the area after the Famine of 1847. Dinner & Overnight in Lough Eske Castle.

September 21 Donegal Breakfast & Dinner
Leisurely day on the grounds of Lough Eske Catle. Or you may elect to join Terry Needham as he tours the quiet grassy valley of Glencolumbkille on your way west to the Atlantic. Here we will also meet our local guide for a tour highlight - The Slieve League are the highest marine cliffs in Europe. In order to see this spectacular peak to its fullest extent, transport is arranged to the eastern end of the hills, where you can see the whole of Slieve League, its sheer cliffs rising dramatically out of the ocean. This walk must rate as the most dramatic and beautiful walk in the whole of Ireland and people return again and again to Glencolmcille to enjoy it once more. (Please note that this walk requires sturdy footwear & a rain jacket). Dinner & Overnight in Lough Eske Castle.

September 22 Donegal / Galway Breakfast & Pub Dinner
Depart for Galway via Sligo & Mayo. On our way we will visit Drumcliff & read the epitaph on grave of WB. Yeates prior to continuing our travel to Galway. This evening we will enjoy dinner followed by a performance of Trad on the Prom. Performers who have captivated audiences in extraordinary productions such as 'Riverdance', 'The Chieftains', 'Lord of the Dance' and 'Feet of Flames' have now gathered together on one stage for an unforgettable entertainment experience. The Trad on the Prom dancers have an astounding 16 World Titles between them including the current male World Irish Dancing Champion Cathal Keaney and Five Times World female Champion Claire Greaney. Overnight in Hotel Meyrick Galway.

During our stay in Galway we may take a ramble down Quay Street with its many great pubs including "The Quays" and "Ti Neachtain" a town house which belonged to "Humanity Dick", an 18th-century MP who promoted laws against cruelty to animals.

September 23 Galway and area Breakfast
Today we depart for a tour of Connemara via Oughterard, Maam Cross & Recess before travelling up the spectacular Inagh valley to Leenane. Here we will visit Kylemore Abbey: Kylemore Abbey's greatest attraction is its location. Nestled at the base of Duchruach Mountain on the northern shore of Lough Pollacappul, in the heart of the Connemara Mountains, it is regarded as one of Ireland's most romantic buildings. We then travel on via Letterfrack & Connemara National Park to Clifden where we will relax and enjoy some free time here. This afternoon visit Connemara Pony Stud specializing in the Connemara Pony Breed because of its versatility and their gentle, tractable, sensible and willing dispositions. The Connemaras are the product of their original environment, the rugged mountain coast of West Ireland. Sure-footed, hardy and agile, they possess powers of great stamina, staying power and adaptability. Late afternoon return to Galway and an open evening for individual exploration. Overnight in Hotel Meyrick Galway.

September 24 Galway and the Aran Islands Breakfast
Today you can have an open day exploring Galway or we have arranged for one of two opportunities starting with a departure to Rossaveal in South Connemara:

  • Option 1: Travel by ferry to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. Collect bicycles & helmets on the pier and spend the day exploring the largest of the Aran Islands with its several large prehistoric forts including a visit to Dun Aonghasa.
  • Option 2: Travel by ferry to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. Guided Tour on local mini-bus of the largest of the Aran Islands with its several large prehistoric forts including a visit to Dun Aonghasa.

Following our return in the late afternoon, we return to Galway and our overnight at the Hotel Meyrick.

September 25 Galway / Killarney Breakfast & Dinner
After breakfast, we depart for Killarney via the Atlantic west coast of Clare. We will travel down the Atlantic seaboard via Galway Bay & Ballyvaughan to Dunguaire Castle at Kinvarra. See The Burren (Gaelic for rocky land) and visit the dramatic 650ft Cliffs of Moher. Visit the beautiful thatched village of Adare. Continue on via Newcastle West, Abbeyfeale before our arrival in Killarney. Dinner & Overnight in Randles Court Hotel.

September 26 Killarney / Ring of Kerry Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Tour the world famous Ring of Kerry (Iveragh Peninsula) via Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Coomakesta Pass with it magnificent views over Derrynane, home of Daniel O’ Connell, known as “The Liberator” and on to Caherdaniel. Lunch (Main Course / Dessert + Pint) in The Blind Piper Pub in the village of Caherdaniel. Continue on via the pretty village of Sneem, Moll’s Gap, Ladies View and along the Lakes of Killarney. Dinner & Overnight in Randles Court Hotel.

September 27 Killarney / Cork Breakfast & Dinner
Depart for Cork City. Pass over the Cork/Kerry Mountains via the Irish speaking villages of Ballymakeery & Ballyvourney to the old market town of Macroom, where we will see Macroom Castle, once home of Sir William Penn, whose son was later to found the state of Pennsylvania. Travel on to the village of Blarney via the valley of the river Lee. Visit Blarney Castle and opportunity for shopping at Blarney Woollen Mills. Visit Cobh heritage Centre where the history this small maritime town played in the mass emigration to the United States and Canada and the transportation of convicts to Australia is recalled. Visit the Old Midleton Distillery for an Irish whiskey tasting! Dinner & Overnight in Imperial Hotel Cork.

September 28 Cork / Dublin Breakfast & Dinner
Depart for Dublin via Tipperary and Kilkenny. This morning we visit the impressive Rock of Cashel. This was the seat of kings and mediaeval bishops for 900 years and flourished until the early 17th century. Brian Ború was crowned King of Munster here in 977 and later he became High King of Ireland in 1002. Continue on to Kilkenny. Visit to Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny Castle has been an important site since Strongbow constructed the first building a wooden tower in the 12th century. William the Earl Marshall built the first stone castle on the site in 1260. Travel on to Dublin. Dinner & Overnight in Croke Park Hotel.

September 29 Dublin Breakfast
Depart for Dublin via Tipperary and Kilkenny. This morning we visit the impressive Rock of Cashel. This was the seat of kings and mediaeval bishops for 900 years and flourished until the early 17th century. Brian Ború was crowned King of Munster here in 977 and later he became High King of Ireland in 1002. Continue on to Kilkenny. Visit to Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny Castle has been an important site since Strongbow constructed the first building a wooden tower in the 12th century. William the Earl Marshall built the first stone castle on the site in 1260. Travel on to Dublin. Dinner & Overnight in Croke Park Hotel.

September 30 Dublin Breakfast & Farewell Dinner + Show
A final open day in Dublin – we will have our bus available and based on what the group may wish we can do a day tour to Wicklow or other sightseeing. You may also elect to enjoy this last day on your own in Ireland’s Capital city. This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner and show in one of Dublin’s acclaimed dinner theatres! A fitting tribute to Ireland and a wonderful final evening in the Emerald Isles. Return to the Croke Park Hotel.

October 1 Dublin / Home Breakfast
Breakfast and final transfer to Dublin Airport for our return back to Canada. You may elect to extend your stay in Ireland OR Europe and we will be happy to assist you with your travel plans.

Price Includes:

  • Tour escorts John and Judith Stickney
  • Canadian Tour Manager Terry Needham
  • Return air flights from Toronto to / from Dublin including all air taxes with Aer Lingus
  • 13 Nights Bed and full Irish breakfast in the named Hotels or similar
  • 1 Full Irish Breakfast in Man O’ War Pub on Day 1
  • 1 Lunch in the Blind Piper Pub on Day 10
  • 10 Evening Dinners; all 3 courses with choices on each course plus tea/coffee
  • Tickets to the show Trad on the Prom – Sept. 22
  • Farewell Special Dinner and show at the Abbey Tavern September 30
  • Air – conditioned coach for 14 days
  • Experienced Driver-Guide and all Expenses
  • Porterage of 1 large suitcase per person

Admission to all the listed visits and
attractions including:

  • Titanic Belfast
  • Local Belfast City Guide
  • Carrickfergus Castle
  • Giants Causeway
  • Tower Museum Derry
  • Local Derry City Local Walking Guide
  • Glenveagh National Park
  • Glenveagh Castle
  • Qualified Walking Guide on the Slieve League Cliffs
  • Drumcliffe
  • Kylemore Abbey & Gardens
  • Aran Islands including Ferry & Bicycle Hire OR
    Minibus Tour*
  • Connemara Pony Stud Farm
  • Dun Aonghasa
  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Blarney Castle
  • Cobh Heritage Centre
  • Old Midleton Distillery
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Kilkenny Castle
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Trinity College & Book of Kells

* We will be pre-confirming those who wish to participate in either the bicycle or mini-bus tour


The Europa Hotel, BelfastThe Europa Hotel, Belfast
The World Famous Europa Hotel in Belfast is located in the heart of Belfast City Centre. With a choice of 272 bedrooms – including 92 Executive Bedrooms and Suites. The elegant décor, contemporary bistro, bustling bar and relaxing piano bar lounge make the four star Europa Hotel the hotel of choice for business and leisure guests visiting Belfast. Due to its prime location, the Europa Hotel is a short distance from many of Belfast’s top visitor attractions including the Ulster Museum,Grand Opera House, City Hall, Titanic Belfast, the Waterfront Hall and the Odyssey Arena. The Europa Hotel has an international reputation for hosting prestigious events and looking after many of the celebrities and VIPs who visit Belfast. At the Europa every guest is a VIP and will experience the finest in Irish Hospitality and highest level of customer service. Enjoy a stay at one of the most centrally located Belfast hotels today.
The Maldron Hotel, DerryThe Maldron Hotel, Derry
The Maldron Hotel Derry is the only hotel situated within the historic city walls and with so much to see and do literally on our doorstep it is the perfect base to stay and explore this wonderful city. The hotel offers outstanding accommodations food and entertainment in the very heart of the walled city!
Lough Eske Castle, DonegalLough Eske Castle, Donegal
Lough Eske Castle, a five-star castle hotel located on a secluded lakeside estate just outside Donegal Town, has a rich history dating back to the 1400s. Associated with the O'Donnell Clan, the founding fathers of Donegal, the property is based in the northwest region of Ireland. The historic storybook setting of the castle delivers superior hospitality and comfort to guests of every kind. Ideal for a relaxing getaway, adventure of the region's great outdoors, or just a few days away, Lough Eske Castle accommodates all forms of traveler. Lovingly restored to blend its historic past with a dash of contemporary elegance, County Donegal's only five-star hotel has been titled "World's Best Luxury Country Hotel" for five consecutive years (2009-2013) and is the only Irish hotel to claim a "World Luxury Hotel Award." Recent awards include that of earning a spot as one of Condé Nast's top three luxury Ireland hotels, Trip Advisor's 2015 "Traveller's Choice Award" winner, European Hospitality Awards' 2013 "Innovation in Service of the Year" recipient, Weddings Online's 2015 "Ulster Hotel Wedding Venue of the Year" winner, and came highly commended by the Irish Tatler Spa Awards' for 2013's “Best Service Award."

Hotel Meyrick, GalwayHotel Meyrick, Galway
Superbly located, overlooking Eyre Square, Hotel Meyrick is elegance itself and combines Victorian grace with the best in Irish hospitality at the Grand Dame of Galway hotels. Guests seeking a very special experience will find the city centre Hotel Meyrick an ideal choice. When staying at the Hotel Meyrick, you are within strolling distance of the best shops in Galway, theatres, bars with traditional Irish music and the many Galway restaurants of the Latin Quarter. Hotel Meyrick provides luxury accommodation on Eyre Square with complimentary wi-fi and complimentary access to the spa on the 5th floor.
Randles Court Hotel, KillarneyRandles Court Hotel, Killarney
The Randles Hotel is one of the most luxurious 4 star hotels Killarney, ideally located five minutes' walk from Killarney Town Centre. Dating back to 1906 guests will enjoy the comfort and elegance of an era long since past complimented by the most modern of facilities.On the Ring of Kerry, this elegant hotel is a 10-minute walk from both the town centre and Killarney National Park, and 5 km from Muckross House. … Polished rooms offer free WiFi, satellite TV and marble bathrooms, while upgraded rooms add iPod docks and DVD players. The plush suites add dining areas, mountain views, and either Jacuzzis or soaking tubs. Tea and coffee making facilities are available on request. There are both elegant and casual restaurants, plus a traditional lounge and a relaxed bar. Other amenities include a heated indoor pool, a sauna and a day spa, plus terraced gardens.
The Imperial Hotel, CorkThe Imperial Hotel, Cork
Located in the very heart of Cork city, The Imperial Hotel is less than a minute’s walk from Cork’s main shopping district. It boasts spacious rooms and the luxurious Escape Spa. Rooms at the Imperial feature power showers and baths. Guests can relax with interactive TVs, free Wi-Fi, and a digital music library. In the restaurant, Irish and Mediterranean cuisine is created using fresh fish and vegetables from the local market. Guests can enjoy a coffee in Lafayette's Brasserie, or take a light lunch at The Food Hall. At the spa, guests can indulge in treatments including an aqua body polish, hydrotherapy and Aveda massages. The spa also features an aroma and salt grotto, as well as tropical, rain, and mist showers.

Croke Park Hotel, DublinCroke Park Hotel, Dublin
Croke Park Hotel is a stylish venue in Dublin close to galleries, a cathedral and colleges. Since 2005, it has been a prominent hotel in the heart of Dublin. Every day a complimentary continental breakfast is served. Guests can unwind in the air-conditioned restaurant, which serves fresh seasonal cuisine. The hotel luxury bar offers tea as well as light meals and pastries. Guests will appreciate currency exchange, a lift and a cloakroom as well as find conference facilities, internet connection and a photocopier useful for work. The on-site SPA facilities include a sauna, aromatherapy and a wellness center. The on-site fitness center comes with a gym, stretching and fitness classes. The hotel is conveniently placed minutes away from Drumcondra Station train station. A 20-minute walk to the center of Dublin. Quick access to bars, a stadium and bistros is provided.

About Terry Needham - Our Tour Manager

Terry was the driving force behind the Novack's Avid Traveller program and escorted multiple tours both in Ontario, Canada, North America and Internationally.

His passion for travel coupled with his keep "photographic" excellence and engaging personality have made Terry one of the top tour managers in Canada. During our tour Terry will give informal photography sessions to help you take that very special picture!

For many years Terry escorted group programs organized by Worldwide Central and we are delighted to have Terry team up with Frederick Travel Waterloo on this exceptional tour. For those who have not journeyed with Terry before you are in for a treat and an outstanding Irish experience! Take the time to visit Terry’s web site "Ragged Coast Images" to explore some of the outstanding pictures Terry has taken over the years.

Exclusive Reservations:
We were delighted to have Terry team up with Frederick Travel Waterloo on this exceptional tour. For those who have not journeyed with Terry before you are in for a treat and an outstanding Irish experience!

Worldwide Central Trips