PreBEX Tours 10/3

Ring of Kerry : Derrynane & Sneem

Date and Time: October 3rd, 8:30 am – 5 pm
Number of Participants: 20 (lunch is self-hosted)
Meeting Location: INEC Coach Park (return to INEC Coach Park)

Description: We will depart from Killarney and travel along the world famous Ring of Kerry to the village of Derrynane located on the Iveragh peninsula.

We will arrive at the picturesque Derrynane beach where we will meet our local guide Vincent Hyland.  Vincent is a wildlife film maker, naturalist and outdoor educationalist and for the last 20 years he has been recording the areas coastal plant and animal biodiversity above and below water.  On your walk you will learn about marine wildlife, natural history, local history and folklore on the way and even experience a bit of virtual reality to see the marine wildlife in action.

Our tour will end with Vincent at Derrynane House. The House was the ancestral home of one of the greatest figures in Irish history Daniel O’Connell.  The House & Gardens covers some 300 acres. You will receive a guided tour of the house where you will learn about the life of Daniel O’Connell and the major impact he had on Irish History.

After our visit to the House and Gardens we will depart for the village of Caherdaniel. We’ll stop off at The Blind Piper Pub for a light lunch before departing before departing for the village of Sneem.

On arrival in Sneem we’ll visit the Sculpture Park and the Garden of Senses.

The Garden of Senses is located via a serene walkway down the banks of the Sneem River. The gardens were designed for the visually impaired and are awash with colours, fragrances and aromas. The gardens also include a bird island and nearby we will walk through the Sculpture Park.

This is a unique outdoor display of international sculpture. Some of the exhibits include the Peaceful Panda (China) – a White Marble Panda, Arbor Chalybeia Immaculata (Israel) – a stainless steel tree sculpture, The Angry Christ (Singapore), the Goddess Isis (Egypt) and monuments to General de Gaulle and Cearbhail O’Dálaigh (former Irish president)

Following this visit we will return to Killarney to the INEC coach park.

 

 

Ring of Kerry: The Dingle & Skellig Coast

Date and Time: October 3rd, 8:45 am – 5 pm
Number of Participants: 20 (lunch is self-hosted)
Meeting Location: INEC Coach Park (return to INEC Coach Park)

Description: Our departure from Killarney will lead us along the Wild Atlantic Way to the stunning Dingle Bay where our first visit will be to Kells Bay which is one of Ireland’s most spectacular settings, and the scenery offers a wonderful backdrop to Kells Bay Gardens. Known locally as the ‘Jewel on the Ring,’ the Gardens cover just over 17 hectares, containing a large collection of sub-tropical plants. The Gardens overlook the dramatic views of Dingle Bay, and are filled with a variety of rare sub-tropical plants.

Following our tour of the gardens our next stop is at the coastal village of Portmagee in the south-west corner of the county of Kerry. Portmagee is well known internationally as the departure point for boat trips to the famous Skellig Micheal.

Here we will enjoy a light lunch in the award winning Mooring Bar & Restaurant. Following lunch we will continue our tour of the coast and our next point of call is a tour of the Skellig Chocolate Factory.

The factory is just opposite St. Finian’s Bay and is overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage site Skellig Michael, which has been used as the backdrop to the latest Star Wars movie – The Force Awakens. Here you will see the making of their Award-Winning chocolates, taste the freshly made treats from the onsite chocolatiers while learning all about chocolate. This is a family run factory and is the only fully ‘open plan’ chocolate production facility anywhere in Ireland.  Skelligs Chocolate is a rare gem in probably one of the most unusual and beautiful locations for a chocolate factory.

Following this visit we will return to Killarney to the INEC coach park.

 

 

 

Ring of Kerry: Kenmare Bay & Town

Date and Time: October 3rd, 8:45 am – 5 pm
Number of Participants: 20 (lunch is self-hosted)
Meeting Location: INEC Coach Park (return to INEC Coach Park)

Description:We will depart from the INEC and travel to the town of Kenmare which is located at the junction of the Iveragh Peninsula and the Beara Peninsula.

We will depart the coach at Kenmare Pier where we will board the “Seafari” and enjoy a guided tour of Kenmare Bay. This eco nature tour will travel to one of the largest seal colonies in Ireland with over 300 of these beautiful creatures. You will look out for secret castles and playful otters as well as a wealth of bird-life along the way. Seafari’s knowledgeable Captain and informative guides will show you the historical sites and explain how the ice age has shaped this beautiful bay.

Following our “Seafari” we will make a short trip to the Sheen Falls Lodge located on the outskirts of Kenmare town. On our arrival at Sheen Falls Lodge we will get a guided tour of this stunning resort followed by a light lunch. The Lodge overlooks the picturesque Sheen Falls and this five-star Relais & Chateaux hotel is renowned for its 2AA Rosette restaurant and luxurious rooms, suites and villas

After lunch you have an option to visit either we will travel to the village of Bonane home to Lorge Chocolatiers or a visit to the famous Molly Gallivans Traditional Irish Experience.

Here at Lorge Chocolatiers we will meet Benoit Lorge head chocolatier and we will receive a Chocolate Master class making lesson from the man himself! Benoit prides himself in following the traditions of the true French artisan, creating his own unique chocolates which are incorporated in opulent table decorations for weddings, served as petits fours in top class hotels and restaurants and available in a variety of gourmet shops. Here we will discover the journey from bean to bar

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When one lifts the latch at Molly Gallivan’s cottage, you open a precious door to our treasured past.  Molly’s Cottage is over 200 years old. It was originally a single story thatched cottage, half of which still stands today. The Cottage was raised and slated in the early 1900s. It was home to one of Molly’s descendants, Jeremiah, until his death in 1997. Today, a visit to Molly’s cottage helps remind us of a simple but often challenging lifestyle endured by our ancestors.  Your demonstration will include sheep shearing, spinning, Poitin (whiskey) making and tasting. Or perhaps you might like to learn to make your own Irish coffee from the blessed stuff or a visit to the peat bog where you can cut your very own sod of turf.

Following this visit we will return to Killarney to the INEC coach park.

 

 

 

 

Dingle Cookery School & Pottery Experience

Date and Time: October 3rd, 8:30 am – 5 pm
Number of Participants: 20 (lunch is self-hosted)
Meeting Location: INEC Coach Park (return to INEC Coach Park)

Description: We will depart from Killarney and travel to the town of Dingle. On our arrival in Dingle we will start our day with a visit to the Dingle Cookery School.  Dingle Cookery School is located in the beautiful seaside town of Dingle, a town well known for its food and hospitality and the school adds to this on many levels. Mark Murphy and Muireann Nic Giolla Ruaidh run this amazing business and both have a love for Irish food and are passionate about hospitality. At the end of this authentic fun experience you will get to sit down and eat the food, which you have prepared and with each bite you will feel a true sense of both the sea and land. You will leave with first-hand knowledge of the foods that were created and shaped by our ancestors.

Following our cookering experience we depart for the village of Clothar to visit the Pottery Workshop of Louis Mulcahy

Louis Mulcahy is a well renowned craftsman. Here at this workshop in Clothar there is an open room for you to try your skill on the potter’s wheel. A professional thrower can be seen going through the daily routine of throwing pots, and you can try and see if you have the skill at making the simplest shape.

Following this visit we will return to Killarney to the INEC coach park.

 

 

 

Dingle: Dolphin & Distillery

Date and Time: October 3rd, 8:30 am – 5 pm
Number of Participants: 20 (lunch is self-hosted)
Meeting Location: INEC Coach Park (return to INEC Coach Park)

Description: We will depart from Killarney and make our way to the town of Dingle.

Our first stop is to the Dingle Harbour where we will board the Dingle Dolphin boat tour to visit Dingles most famous resident “Fungi” the dolphin, who has taken residence in Dingle Bay for the last 30 years. On your tour your will see the magnificence of Dingle Bay with views of Valentia Island, The Skellig Rock, Carrauntoohil and The Blasket Islands. All while hearing stories of Dingle, its people and their way of life in times gone by

Once we dock our next destination is the Charthouse Restaurant for a light lunch. Following our lunch we make the short journey to Dingle Distillery

At the Dingle Distillery you will receive a guided tour of The Distillerys. Here the tour guides will bring you on tour of the facility where the entire production process for all their products is explained and a whiskey/gin/vodka sample is provided. Here in Dingle they are creating a whiskey of superlative quality and unique character and the essence of Irish pot still which is distilled and matured on the far Atlantic coast of Ireland. It is also the first whiskey to be produced in Ireland outside of the big three: Midleton, Cooley and Bushmills.

Following this visit we will return to Killarney to the INEC coach park.

 

 

Beara Peninsula

Date and Time: October 3rd, 8:30 am – 4 pm
Number of Participants: 20 (lunch is self-hosted)
Meeting Location: INEC Coach Park (return to INEC Coach Park)

Description: Today’s journey takes us to the heritage town of Kenmare & the West Cork Region, our first stop is at the Heritage town of Kenmare where we have time to explore this beautiful little town (pop.1200), before continuing our tour through the nearby Beara Peninsula, a land so rugged it was named in prehistory for the Goddess that form-shaped the land itself. This wild place will provide a powerful backdrop to the unique riches of Mythic Ireland.

The quiet but spectacular revolution that has taken place in Irish cuisine this past 25 years or so ago has excited food-lovers throughout the world. The region known as West Cork has been at the heart of Ireland’s embrace of the Slow Food culture. It is a place where tiny fields of family farmsteads drape over folded rocks close to the Great Ocean and where, an eclectic community of social, passionate and creative people thrives.

Our special food trip here will be led by a renowned foodie in whose company; we will wander through some of the wildest and most spectacular scenery one is ever likely to encounter in between calls to some of the leading figures in the small-scale productions of these highest quality specialty foods. This will be a day of laughs and intrigue, richest inspiration and delicious tastings.

Following this visit we will return to Killarney to the INEC coach park.

 

Killarney: Muckross House & Traditional Farms

Date and Time: October 3rd, 8:45 am – 4 pm
Number of Participants:  20 (lunch is self-hosted)
Meeting Location: INEC Coach Park (return to INEC Coach Park)

Description: Our day starts with a visit to Muckross Abbey. The Abbey was founded in 1448 by the Franciscan Order. The Abbey has had a “colourful” history, and it has badly damaged several through raids and thus needed reconstruction many times. It is also the burial place for some very prominent Kerry Poets such as Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin.

After visiting the Abbey we move across to Muckross Farm and Traditional Gardens were we will step into the past to experience an authentic outdoor interpretation of rural life in Kerry in the 1930s and 1940s. This will include a cooking demo of some traditional Irish food.

After the visit to the Farm we will stop for lunch in the Garden Restaurant.

Following our lunch break we will make the short walk over to Muckross House for a guided tour. This nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. Originally built in 1839 the house stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney’s three lakes, famed worldwide for their splendour and beauty. All of the Houses elegantly furnished rooms portray the lifestyles of the landed gentry, while downstairs in the basement you can experience the working conditions of the servants employed in the House.

Following this visit we will return to Killarney to the INEC coach park

 

 

North Kerry: Tralee Town – Eco Tourism & Heritage

Date and Time: October 3rd, 8:30 am – 4 pm
Number of Participants:  20 (lunch is self-hosted)
Meeting Location: INEC Coach Park (return to INEC Coach Park)

Description:We will travel from Killarney to the nearby town of Tralee.  Our first visit will be to the Kerry County Museum where we will learn about the archaeological, historical and cultural heritage of County Kerry. The museum is home to a collection of 4,000 artefacts dating from the Stone Age through to the late twentieth century. Each of these artefacts tells a story about the people of Kerry.

Following the Kerry County Museum is a trip to the world recognised nature reserve the Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre.  Here you will jump aboard a safari nature boat for a guided tour. Your professional guide will help you spot wildlife and also explain the great history and folklore of the region.

Next is a short travel to Kirbys Brogue Inn for a light lunch. Kirby’s Brogue Inn is a landmark in Tralee and is well known for is food and it is also a great spot for Traditional music. After lunch you will have a choice to visit either the Blennerville Windmill & Visitor Centre or “Learn an Irish Song or Dance” on Stage with Siamsa Tire at the National Folk Theatre

The Blennerville Windmill stands out as the dominant landmark in Tralee Bay, where the town of Tralee meets the Dingle Peninsula. Here at the visitor centre you will find the working windmill as well as an exhibition gallery and craft shop. The exhibition includes an audio visual presentation, an emigration display and a bird watching platform with a telescope overlooking ‘Slí na nÉan’ (‘the Way of the Birds’). Blennerville was the main port of emigration from County Kerry during the Great Famine (1845 to 1848) and was, during those years, the home port of the famous emigrant barque the ‘Jeanie Johnston’

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The National Folk Theatre is home to Siamsa Tíre where they bring to life Irish folklore through music, song and dance. Here at the National Folk Theatre lies a professional core group of full-time performers, led by Artistic Director, Jonathan Kelliher and supported by selected artists drawn from the local community all of whom are trained in the unique Siamsa Tíre style. As part of your visit you will take part a class in of Irish Dance and Music with the theatres performers and learn how to step out and be heard in style.

Following this we will return to the INEC coach park.

 

West Cork – Craft & Culture

Victor Daly, Stone Carver, Ahakista, Sheep’s Head, County Cork. Wild Atlantic Way, Hidden Gems.Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan

Date & Time: October 3rd, 8:30 am – 4 pm
Number of Participants: 20 (lunch is self-hosted)
Meeting Location: INEC Coach Park (return to INEC Coach Park)

Description: We begin our day with a guided tour of the elegant Bantry House.

Bantry House is the ancestral home of the Earls of Bantry which is situated overlooking Bantry Bay in West Cork. While the title may have lapsed in 1891 but the house is still owned and lived in by the direct descendants of the 1st Earl of Bantry. The garden was inspired by travels of the 2nd Earl. It is laid out in the Italian style over seven terraces, with the house sitting on the third terrace. A Parterre facing south surrounding a wisteria circle which again surrounds a fountain was also created. From there rise the famous Hundred Steps, a monumental staircase built of local stone, set amidst azaleas and rhododendron.

Following your tour you will travel to the village of Ahakista for a light lunch in this picturesque seaside village.

After lunch you will travel to nearby stonecutter yard. Were you will meet Victor Daly. Victor is an experienced stone carver and he is highly skilled in the traditional mallet and chisel methods which have been relied on by stone-cutters for centuries. Victor specialises in letter-carving, abstract sculpture, and restoration work. And to ensure a future for this ancient craft, he also offers stone-carving courses at his workshop on West Cork’s beautiful Sheep’s Head peninsula.

Our last visit of the day is to the village of Durrus were you will visit the award winning Durrus Cheesemakers. Durrus Cheese was opened 37 years ago by Jeffa Gill and to this day their cheese is still made using traditional hand-crafted techniques. They are currently producing four high quality artisan cheeses from the excellent milk produced from the rugged terrain of West Cork. The above mentioned cheese continues to win awards at both national and international level.

Following this visit you will return to Killarney to the INEC coach park at approx. 4 pm.