Travel Classics Writers
Conference May 16-19, 2013 in Ireland
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PRE-CONFERENCE TOUR
Travel Classics International 2013

May 16-19, 2013 in County Cork, Ireland
(go to Post-Conference Tour)


    Tourism Ireland would like to extend a warm welcome to the attending writers of the upcoming Travel Classics International Writers Conference in Ireland. The pre- and post-familiarization tours are opportunities to get to know the best that Ireland has to offer. You'll visit magical historic sites and impressive panoramic views, see quaint villages and spectacular gardens, and stay in luxurious inns and hotels.

    For more information please email Ruth Moran, / 212-418-0832, or Yvonne Carr / 212-418-0818. Please note: Tourism Ireland reserves the right to modify this itinerary.


Five Days / Five Nights: May 10 - 15 2013


Friday 10th May

Dinner at Dromoland Castle and County Estate
Newmarket-On-Fergus, Co. Clare

    One of Ireland's finest castle hotels, Dromoland Castle is a secluded retreat conveniently close to Shannon Airport. Majestically set on the shores of Lough Dromoland and surrounded by over 410 acres of breath-taking scenery, its gothic-styled grey stone walls house luxury bedrooms, superb gourmet dining options and extensive recreational opportunities, including golf, spa, clay pigeon shooting and falconry. All are attended by management and staff dedicated to continuing the ancient baronial tradition of gracious hospitality and exacting attention to detail in service. www.dromoland.ie

Overnight accommodation at The Clare Inn Hotel
Newmarket-On-Fergus, Co. Clare

    Located in the beautiful Co Clare countryside, the Clare Inn Hotel at Dromoland commands panoramic views across the Clare Hills and Shannon estuary. A range of Clare attractions are located nearby including Dromoland Estate and Dromoland Castle's championship golf course which is adjacent to the Clare Inn resort hotel, as well as Bunratty Castle & Folk Park.

Saturday 11th May

Travel to Killarney for a boat trip on the Lakes of Killarney to the Gap of Dunloe. While in the Gap of Dunloe travel on the Jaunting cars or on a bicycle if preferred (please let us know your preference).

    The Gap of Dunloe, hewn two million years ago by giant, slow mocing ice is probably the finest example of a glaciated valley in western Europe. It is a narrow pass in the mountains of the McGillycuddy Reeks mainly between the Purple Mountain on the left and the Bull Mountain. Here the visitor travels along 10kms of winding pathway alongside 5 "Loughs".

    After passing the first lake, The Black Lake... due to its depth, the first of many bridges are crossed and then the Echo Lake which inspired Alfred Lord Tennyson in his poem to "set the wild echoes flying".

Overnight accommodation at the Park Hotel Kenmare
    Readers of the Condé Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazine have voted this hotel as the Best Hotel in Ireland 2012 due to their wonderful facilities like the Deluxe Destination Spa SÁMAS, SISLEY Treatments, 25mt Lap Pool, Cinema and daily lifestyle classes. This Victorian landmark, dating from 1897, has splendid views over the glistening waters of Kenmare Bay, the ever changing light of the Cork and Kerry Mountains, the adjoining 18 hole golf course, garden walks. www.parkkenmare.com

Sunday 12th May

Explore Kenmare
    Kenmare is a haven of tranquility, gourmet food, superb accommodation and breathtaking scenery in one of the most natural, unspoilt environments in Europe.

Travel to Valentia Island
    Valentia, off the South Coast of Kerry, is an island of great beauty and contrast. It is joined to the mainland by bridge via the Portmagee Channel. Valentia was the eastern terminus of the first commercially viable transatlantic telegraph cable. The island's main village, Knightstown, is associated with the Norman Fitzgerald family. The island's historical lineage, however, goes back much further than that. Tetra pod footprints were found on the northern part of the island. These magnificent imprints of history are thought to date from Devonian times between some 350 to 370 million years ago. An important quarry on the northern part of the island. These magnificent imprints of history are thought to date from Devonian times between some 350 to 370 million years ago. An important quarry on the northern part of the island which opened in 1816 still flourishes today. The famous Valentia Slate has been used in many prominent buildings including the British House of Commons in London.

Visit the Skellig Experience Visitor Centre
    The magnificent Skelling Islands (UNESCO World Heritage Site) lie 8 miles off the coast of Portmagee. Rising majestically from the sea, Skelling Michael towers 714ft above sea level. On the summit of this awe-inspiring rock is a remarkably well-preserved sixth century monastic settlement. On the spectacular Small Skellings 23,000 pairs of gannet nest on every available ledge making it the second largest gannet colony in the world. The Skelling Experience provides a comprehensive overview of all aspects of the Skellings. www.skellingexperience.com

Overnight accommodation and dinner in The Moorings
Award-winning Guesthouse, Restaurant, and Traditional Irish Pub located in Portmagee, Ireland's First Tourism Town.

    The Tourism Towns Award was designed by Fáilte Ireland to promote those Irish towns and villages which are working hardest to enhance their appeal to tourists visiting their local area. www.moorings.ie

Monday 13th May

Visit Garinish Island
    Located in the sheltered harbour of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay, Ilnacullin is a small island of 15 hectares (37 acres) known to horticulturists and lovers of trees and shrubs all around the world as an island garden of rare beauty.

Pub lunch at Glengarriff
    Glengarriff is famed for its natural beauty. Situated on world-renowned Bantry Bay where the mountains meet the sea, Glengarriff is the gateway to the Neara Peninsula, connecting the towns of Bantry and Kenmare and has also aquired a fine reputation for the great variety of shops, galleries, accommodation, restaurants, pubs and services.

Visit Mizen Head
    The award-winning Maritime Museum, this authentic all-weather experience is a must-see with its spectacular location on high cliffs with swirling Atlantic Ocean tides. From the car park and visitor centre, the Signal Station is a ten-minute walk along the path, down the 99 steps and across the Arched Bridge, the Mizen is famous for its wildflowers and sightings of wildlife, dolphins, whales, seals, gannets, kittiwakes, choughs -- the bird migration north-south flight path is just a mile off shore. Mizen Head is the most southerly point on the mainland of Ireland.

Overnight and dinner, Liss Ard House, Skibbereen
    Liss Ard Country Estate is a magical estate of country manors, gardens, trails, ponds and lakes where nature, art, modern luxury and elegance come together in perfect harmony. This beautiful 200-acre estate encompasses the victorian Liss Ard Country House, with its contemporary design, and adjacent Garden Mews, and the Liss Ard Lake Lodge, a victorian Dower house overlooking the 50-acre lake available for exclusive Self-Catering. www.lissardestate.com

Tuesday 14th May

Visit The Titanic Centre Cobh
    Situated in the original offices of The White Star Line, the location marks the departure point for the last 123 passengers who boarded the Titanic on its fateful maiden voyage to America.Our story is told using innovative audio visual technology bringing our characters to life through cinematic shows, scene sets, holographic imagery and touch screen technology.
Time to enjoy the Living Art Crater in Liss Ard
    Lois Aird (Gaelic meaning high fort) is located on the original site of a ring fort and souterrain with a commanding outlook over the surrounding countryside. The 150 acres of gardens, ponds and ofrest offer an experience that has been described as one of space, perception and peacefulness.

    With acres upon acres of gardens and trails, the woodland walks with their specially designed pathways offer guests a truly contemplative experience with enchanting vistas around every corner. Liss Ard has been planned to reveal a collection of "garden rooms": the lakeside walk, the waterfall garden, the woodland garden, the water garden and arboretum and the wildflower meadow.

Visit Sherkin Island
    Across from the fishing village of Baltimore, in West Cork, is the inspiring retreat of Sherkin Island. One off Carbery's Hundred Isles, Sherkin is the ancestral home of the O'Driscoll clan whose castle lies just above the pier. Nearby, you can also roam the ruins of a 15th century Franciscan abbey.

Wednesday 15th May

Travel to Kinsale

Walking tour of Kinsale including a visit to the Wine Museum
    Kinsale in County Cork is one of themost picturesque, popular and fashionalble resorts of the south-west coast of Ireland. The town nestles between hills and the shoreline, a maze of narrow streets, never far from the water and little changed in many hundreds of years. Amongst buildings of later periods are those of another age with historical links to the French, Spanish, British and Americans. The Battle of Kinsale, fought in 1601 between a combined Spanish, and Irish force and English armies, was a turning point in Irish history.

Desmond Castle & the International Museum of Wine
    Built as an urban tower house by the Earl of Desmond c. 1500, Desmond Castle has served as Customs House, Prison, Ordnance store and a Workhouse. The Museum details the history of the Wine Geese; the intriguing story of Ireland's wine links with Europe and the wider world. This is an essential half-hour all-weather activity.

Travel to Cork City

Lunch at the English Market, in the Farm Gate Cafe

    Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II was one of the welcome visitors to the English Market during her state visit in May, 2011. The origins of this market trace back to the times of King James I in 1610, some four hundred years previously and has been officially trading since 1788.

    The rebuilding of the Princes Street market following a fire in 1980 and the arrival of new traders in the mid-1990s -- such as Mr Bells, Iago, On the Pig's Back and The Real Olive Company -- ushered in a new vibrant era for the Market.
    www.englishmarket.ie

Dinner and overnight Hayfield Manor Hotel
    Cork's premier hotel is equipped with all the modern amenities you would expect from a 5 star hotel, yet it still retains the distinct charm of a Manor. www.hayfieldmanor.ie

Thursday 16th May

Transfer to Ballymaloe House

    Only 20 miles from the historic city of Cork, and minutes from the breath-taking south coast Ballymaloe offers a warm welcome, tastefully decorated bedrooms and award-winning cuisine which celebrates the best of local, seasonal produce. www.ballymaloe.ie
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