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Garden Tour of Ireland 2023
Gardens of Ireland with Charlie Nardozzi
June 2 – 11, 2023
DEPARTURE DAY: Friday, June 2, 2023
Departure from the USA.
Day 1 – Saturday, June 3, 2023: DUBLIN
Morning arrival at Dublin Airport.
After clearing customs, you’ll meet your driver guide and garden host Charlie Nardozzi and board your motorcoach. Upon arrival we’ll enjoy a hearty Irish breakfast at a local restaurant. Afterward we’ll visit Kinsealy Cottage Garden, a small private garden that’s been in the Walsh family for six generations. At the entrance of the garden there are many old trees that opens up to an herbaceous flower border, tropical garden and white garden inspired by the Great Dixter Gardens.
Our next stop is Malahide Castle and Gardens for a tour of the castle and time afterward to visit the gardens.
After the tour we’ll check into our hotel with time to relax before dinner.
Meals included: Welcome Breakfast & Dinner
Day 2 – Sunday, June 4, 2023: DUBLIN
This morning, for those interested, we’ll walk to see Iveagh Public Gardens popularly known as Dublin’s ‘Secret Garden’. Next we’ll stop at Trinity College to see the Book of Kells, considered the most striking manuscript ever produced in the Anglo-Saxon world and one of the greatest masterpieces of early Christian art. Afterward we’ll enjoy lunch at a local pub.
In the afternoon we’ll drive to Airfield gardens that came to prominence under the leadership of Jimi Blake in the early 2000’s. The gardens were redesigned in 2014 by internationally renowned garden designer Lady Arabella Lenox Boyd and landscape architect Dermot Foley. The color and life you’ll see are the result of the imagination of Head Gardener, Colm O’Driscoll. The gardens are managed organically and regeneratively with a focus on arts and craft style of gardening. It also has a large organic vegetable garden.
Our next stop is Knockrose Garden, a one acre garden, packed with a wide variety of cottage garden plants, shrubs and trees interspersed with areas of lawn, a vegetable plot and secluded seating. In June the garden is perfumed by roses and Philadelphus. Old granite mushrooms, stepping stones and standing stones along with a variety of Susan Cuffe copper wire sculptures featured throughout. Mixed herbaceous beds are located throughout the whole garden, many contain bird baths for our feathered friends.
Return to Dublin. The evening is free to dine independently.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3 – Monday, June 5, 2023: POWERSCOURT GARDENS
After breakfast we’ll depart for Powerscourt Estate Gardens. We’ll enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent gardens. We’ll marvel at the sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and ornamental lakes, secret hollows and rambling walks.
We’ll return to Dublin for the afternoon with time to explore more of the city on your own.
Tonight we’ll experience traditional Irish music, dance and food for which Ireland is famous the world over. This show will give you a flavor of the different styles of Irish Dance from ‘Sean Nos’ translating as ‘Old Style’ to Modern. It features a cast of dancers whose credits include world famous shows such as Riverdance and Lord of the Dance.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Show
Day 4 – Tuesday, June 6, 2023: DUBLIN GARDENS
In the morning, we’ll head to the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains to visit a brother and sister’s gardens. We’ll begin with a visit of Hunting Brook Gardens in Blessington designed and managed by Jimi Blake. Famous for its borders, Hunting Brook has one of Ireland’s largest private collections of plants and here you will find many examples of the exquisitely colorful, large-scale planting combinations, for which Jimi Blake has become so well known.
Our next stop is Jimi’s sister’s garden nearby. June Blake’s Garden is different from Jimi’s in that she is more of a cottage garden designer and Jimi is a plant collector. Her garden is a rare fusion of inspired design and painterly planting. The three-acre garden wraps around her Victorian cottage garden home and outbuildings.
We’ll return to Dublin with free time in the afternoon and evening to explore more of the city on your own.
Afternoon Options: You may wish to visit Festival Bloom, one of the nations’ favorite summer/garden events and takes place across 70 acres in the Phoenix Park, or the National Gallery of Ireland, Kilmainham Gaol Museum, or the Irish Whiskey Museum.
Tonight dine independently.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 5 – Wednesday, June 7, 2023: BLARNEY CASTLE GARDENS/ KILLARNEY
This morning check out of our hotel and depart for Killarney.
On the way we’ll stop near the Rock of Cashel for a short comfort stop.
We’ll continue on to the 15th century Blarney Castle and Gardens where there is more to discover than the Blarney Stone. Upon arrival we’ll enjoy some free time for lunch (paid individually) and shopping at the Blarney Woolen Mills, built in 1823 and was used mainly for spinning and weaving wool.
Afterward we’ll meet the head gardener for a tour of the Castle Gardens. Between the entrance gates and the distant lake lies 60 acres of surprises, delights and mysteries. There is a network of paths that takes us through various gardens, arboretums, and avenues, which are constantly changing and evolving throughout the seasons. And yes, there will be time to climb the Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone!
We’ll continue on to Killarney and check in to your hotel where dinner will be served.
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner – Overnight Killarney
Day 6 – Thursday, June 8, 2023: KILLARNEY/GARNISH ISLAND
This morning we depart for Garnish Island located in the sheltered harbor of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay. It’s a small island known to horticulturists and lovers of trees and shrubs all around the world as an island garden of rare beauty. The island is renowned for its richness of plant form and color. Pathways wind around the landscape, leading to a number of fascinating garden buildings, such as the Grecian temple, the clock tower, the casita, and an original Martello Tower. Bryce House, the family residence on the island for many years, is presented as it would have appeared during their lifetime.
We’ll return to Killarney for the afternoon where you’ll have time to explore the town.
Dine independently this evening.
Meals included: Breakfast, Boxed Lunch
Day 7 – Friday, June 9, 2023: DINGLE PENINSULA
This morning we’ll board the motorcoach for a full day excursion to the Dingle Peninsula, a dramatic, rugged coastline that has been inhabited for 6,000 years.
We’ll stop at the Dhu Varren Botanical Garden in Milltown. Dhu Varren Garden is named after the birthplace in County Antrim of the co-owner Mark Collins. He started the garden in 2001. Since then it has grown to contain one of the largest and most diverse plant collections of any private garden in Ireland. It has been described by visitors as ‘Kerry’s Botanical Garden’..The relatively mild climate in County Kerry facilitates the cultivation of exciting plants from around the world which would not usually be found at this latitude. It includes a Japanese garden and glasshouses.
Afterward we’ll continue to the lovely town of Dingle for lunch and stop at Dingle Irish Crystal factory to see how the unique pieces are created by master craftsman Sean Daly.
We’ll return to Killarney for the evening. Dine independently.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 8 – Saturday, June 10, 2023: KILLARNEY
In the morning we’ll head to nearby Muckross House, Garden and Farm. It’s part of the National Park with craft shops, three working farms and a formal garden and house along with family crafted gifts of pottery and clothing. We’ll explore the farm and gardens with lunch afterward.
Return to Killarney with free time in the afternoon.
Tonight a farewell dinner is planned at the hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Farewell Dinner
Day 9 – Sunday, June 11, 2023 – DEPARTURE
Today bid farewell to Ireland and transfer to Shannon for your return flight to the USA.
Farewell! Go gcuire Dia an t-adh ort!
Meals included: Breakfast
PLEASE NOTE: Goodspeed & Bach, Inc. reserves the right to alter the order of events or to make changes in the itinerary deemed necessary for the comfort, convenience and safety of the participants. Every effort will be made to adhere to the printed itinerary, but weather conditions and transportation difficulties may arise beyond the control of Goodspeed & Bach, Inc. and local suppliers could force the cancellation or substitution of events or specific services. Travel coverage is highly recommended!
IMPORTANT: Activity Level is high: Average walking distances range from 1 – 6 miles per day. Often the walking is on uneven pavement or dirt paths and is hilly. It’s important you have the ability to walk by yourself, without help, on these paths. Please consider your ability level before joining this tour!
- 4 nights in Dublin at Fitzwilliam Hotel or similar
- 4 nights in Killarney at Great Southern Killarney Hotel or similar
- All taxes and service fees included at the hotels
- Garden Expert and Tour Host Charlie Nardozzi to accompany the group
- Ireland Driver guide to accompany the group
- Goodspeed Tour Director Deb Flanders to accompany the group
- Daily cultural and garden excursions as listed in itinerary
- Private transportation throughout the trip, including pick-up at Dublin airport and drop-off at Shannon Airport via comfortable air-conditioned bus
- Meals: Arrival breakfast (1), daily at hotels (8), Lunches (5), Dinners (4)
- An evening of Irish Music and Dance in Dublin
- Entrances and tours: Malahide Castle (guided) & Gardens, Trinity College Book of Kells, Powerscourt Estate Gardens (guided), Blarney Castle & Gardens (guided), Dingle Crystal Factory, Garnish Island ferry, Muckross House and Garden
- Private garden visits as mentioned in the tour itinerary above
- All Tips for driver/guide and local guides and waitstaff at group meals
Tour Cost: $5,189 per person in a double room
Single Supplement add on fee: $1,799 per person
Space is limited to 18 participants. Price is subject to increase with fewer than 18 travelers.
- NOT INCLUDED:
- 4 lunches and 2 Dinners
- Passport services
- Flights round trip to Europe, additional travel agency fees apply if Goodspeed books your flight
- Any personal expenditures, optional touring add-ons, meals and transfers not specified in the tour itinerary
- Travel coverage is highly recommended. Register directly with Allianz Travel Insurance at https://www.allianztravelinsurance.com/
Tour Payment Policy & Schedule
- Your deposit of $1000 is due to reserve your space on the tour.
- After payment your deposit is refundable less a $100 per person non-refundable service fee.
- After December 15, 2022: $1000 deposit is non-refundable.
- Final payment due: 60 days prior to departure or March 31, 2023
- NO REFUND for cancellations after March 31, 2023
Travel insurance is highly recommended and can be purchased directly with Allianz Travel Insurance. Cancellation charges also apply to additional accommodations reserved prior to and after the tour. Goodspeed & Bach, Inc. cannot assume responsibility for any fees relating to the issuance and/or cancellation of air tickets. Full terms and conditions are also available at Goodspeed & Bach, Inc.
Flights are NOT included in the package price:
Arrival will be at the Dublin Airport (DUB) and Departure at the Shannon Airport (SNN), unless you make other arrangements. Please note that only one bus transfer is confirmed per direction. If your flight arrives later than the majority of the group, you are responsible for paying for your own transport or if you extend your stay at the end of the tour.
- Your hotels are located in city centers and may have restricted access for pick ups and drop offs in front.
- You must be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 to join this tour. If you test positive for Covid during the tour you will be asked to excuse yourself from the group and will have to quarantine for a minimum of 5 days.
- If you have a cold or flu-like symptoms, we ask that you test for Covid before joining the tour that day. Please bring Covid tests with you. If you test positive, you cannot join the tour for 5 days or until you test negative.
An invoice will be sent to you after we receive your registration