Classic Ireland Pilgrimage
“Saints and Scholars”
July 24 – August 3, 2020
We have carefully budgeted our Classic Pilgrimages for families, couples and single travelers so that they can experience the unique qualities of Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages at our most affordable price, without sacrificing Inside the Vatican integrity and style. These pilgrimages are limited to 35 pilgrims, never more! We cap the number of pilgrims because we want to keep each pilgrimage as intimate as possible. To learn more about our Classic Pilgrimages click on the button below.
Furbogh, County of Galway
- Spend two (2) nights at four-star coastal Connemara Coast Hotel
- Journey begins where it all began, at the Hill of Slane, where St. Patrick lit the first Paschal Fire
- Travel to Hill of Tara, the coronation place of the pre-Christian kings
- Pass through Boyne Valley travelling back 5000 years viewing the megalithic sites of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth
- Visit Clonmacnoise, the ancient spiritual center founded in 548, where the kings were buried
- Attend private Mass at the Apparition Chapel in Knock
- Tour Ballintubber Abbey where Mass has been said every day for 800 years
- Explore the town of Cong, where The Quiet Man starring John Wayne was filmed, and home of the Cross of Cong
- Spend one (1) night at the four-star Rose Hotel in Tralee
- Ferry to the Aran Islands to tour one of the best-known prehistoric hill forts and the greatest monastery of St. Enda at Island Inishmore
- Enjoy the incredible view of the Cliffs of Moher from both a boat and then from land
- Spend one (1) night in Blarney at four-star Blarney Hotel and Golf Resort
- Explore Valentia Island, one of the most western points of Ireland and visit the Tower at Bray Head, St. Brendan’s well, and the Skellig Experience at the visitors Center or wonder at the innovative construction methods by the early monks to survive in the harsh elements at Skellig Michael by visiting the island
- Driving tour of part of the Ring of Kerry, home to Iron Age Forts, the Ogham Stones, old monasteries and diverse natural landscape carved out of rock by the last Ice Age
- Kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence at Blarney Castle
- Attend Mass at Franciscan Friary, known for its magnificent altar and stained-glass windows, in Killarney
- Spend one (1) night in Wicklow at the four-star Glenview Hotel
- Visit the Rock of Cashel including a 13th century Romanesque Chapel known for housing one of the more remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture in all of Europe
- Tour Holy Cross Abbey, founded in 1168, a rallying point for the dispossessed and victims of religious persecution
- Wander through Glendalough in the heart of Wicklow Mountains National Park, an early monastic ‘city’ of learning and spirituality and enjoy lunch in the little mountain village of Laragh
- Walk among the trails of Powerscourt Gardens to the highest waterfall in Ireland
- Spend two (2) nights in Armagh at the three-star Armagh City Hotel
- Arrive in Armagh, the “city of saints and scholars”, seat of both Catholic and Protestant archbishops
- Attend private Mass with Brendan Rogers, custodian of a first-class relic of St. Padre Pio
- Driving tour through Titanic quarter of Belfast and streets lined with murals depicting the conflicts, complicated history and culture of the city of Belfast
- Enjoy tea with the Belfast Adoration Sisters
- Attend Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral in Armagh
- Tour Down Cathedral, believed to be near burial place of St. Patrick, St. Brigit and St. Columba
- Visit the National Shrine of St. Oliver Plunkett, the first Irish saint to be canonized in 700 years
- Vespers with the monks of Silverstream Priory followed by a period of reflection
- Spend three (3) nights in Dublin at Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest surviving university and home to the Library that serves as the legal deposit library for Ireland and Great Britain
- View the famous Book of Kells, the finest and most famous of manuscripts of the four Gospels
- Walking tour to famous landmarks of spiritual and political significance: General Post Office, St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral, Our Lady of Lourdes Church and the Shrine of Venerable Matt Talbot, Garden of Remembrance at St. Michan’s Church
- Wander through Dublin visiting St. Stephen’s Green, Newman University Church, along the quay to St. James Gate area, Kilmainham Goal and Merrion Square
- Tour Guinness Storehouse and learn what goes into making a pint of Guinness, and of course, have a taste
- Farewell dinner at Dublin’s famous Shelbourne Hotel
Skellig Michael, dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel, was home to one of the earliest monastic settlements in Ireland that became a refuge for those seeking to connect with the Divine. On Day Three of our Signature IRELAND “Saints and Scholars” Pilgrimage, pilgrims will have the rare option to visit Skellig Michael Island (for an additional fee). This safety video educates future visitors on the island and what to expect when visiting this extraordinary island. (Video credit: Ireland’s Office of Public Works)
Situated on the Wild Atlantic Way on Irelands west coast the Cliffs of Moher boast some of the most breathtaking scenery in Ireland. The cliffs ascend to over 700 feet (213 metres). They have become one of Irelands premier tourist attractions and a must see for many people visiting Ireland. On our Ireland pilgrimage, our pilgrims will view these magnificent beauties from the sea – not the average pilgrimage! (Video credit: Wiebe de Jager)
Letter of Invitation
Dear Fellow Pilgrim,
Come to the land of Patrick. A land that enslaved him, but which Patrick set free from her pagan ways.
Stand upon the Hill of Slane and look upon the land before you. It is from that hill that the Christian story of a race starts, when, upon it, Patrick lit a paschal fire. The sparks of this fire were never to die. Instead, from those flames the Catholic faith found its way to new lands and new continents as Irish pilgrims went out sowing in tears so that you could return to sing Psalms.
Walk with us among Erin’s ancient lanes, through her ruined monasteries, past the sites where long ago were fought the battles that even today still resonate. You will see the scars of more recent conflicts upon the walls of the disputed North.
Of course, you will taste the hospitality of the Irish, which is legendary. Eat and drink their fine foods and even better beers from a land that knows the value of a feast. Experience the “craic” – that indefinable Irish word for “a party,” but which is so much more than just that.
History, culture, food and drink, breath-taking scenery: we will make trips to islands set in the swirling Atlantic, journey through city streets as their stories are told.
All of this you would expect on a trip to Ireland. But this is an Inside the Vatican experience, so it is going to be different.
We are not inviting you to come on “a tour.”
Instead we are inviting you to come on pilgrimage. When you land in Ireland, you are the pilgrim: here and now, not there and then. Despite what you might have heard or observed in recent years, the faith story of Ireland continues still, but, this time, with you as part of it. This is a journey inwards as much as it is one outwards. The only thing is, this is where you write the faith story.
So, this is what we are offering you: a pilgrimage – but with a difference. It is a faith journey, a path that takes these ancient stones scattered all around and makes them life-giving for today, for now, for you.
Remember, this is not a tour where you will be returning home to talk of the ruins you’ve seen. Instead, it is one where you return home a “living stone,” having become part of a faith journey that was begun by Patrick at the Hill of Slane 1500 years ago.
Inside the Vatican invites you to become a part of this.
If you want to experience, feel and live the faith story of Christian Ireland, and to become a part of that story – then journey with us. The choice is yours. But the call is Divine, for the Fire started on Slane still burns, and will burn yet brighter in those it calls…
– Kevin Turley