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The Finer Things Tour - September 7-19, 2022 - $3895 per person 

11 Nights

                       A Delicious Taste of Paris, Burgundy and Switzerland

                                         

Bagpipes and Leprechauns - August 12-26, 2023 - $4390 per person 

         

                                                                                   Bagpipes and Leprechauns     

                                                                           The Edinburgh Festival and Ireland

                                                                                     August 12 – 26, 2023  -   13 Nights

Come along with Your Man in Europe on a lively tour beginning with the world-famous Edinburgh Arts Festival featuring unparalleled entertainment; and capping off with the incredible Edinburgh Tattoo, an exuberant Scottish pageant worthy of an Olympics opening ceremony. Then we’ll take a quick flight over to Dublin, Ireland to begin a delightful journey to visit some of the very best treasures of  Ireland. There’ll be plenty of lush Irish scenery, exuberant friendly folks, rousing music and dance, and plenty of great beer and food.

  

                                                                                                          Itinerary

 

August 12, Saturday – Flights departing from the USA to Edinburgh, Scotland, planned to arrive by 11:00 AM. (For this tour multi-city flights are the best option. Return flights to the USA will be from Dublin, Ireland.)

 

August 13, Sunday – Flights should arrive by 11:00 AM. After our whole group has arrived, we’ll travel from the airport to our wonderfully-located hotel right in the center of the old town. The rooms may not be ready for us, so we’ll plan to have a quick lunch on-the-go, and then take an orientation walk to see the highlights of the fascinating Royal Mile and learn about navigating the largest arts festival in the world.

After getting settled into our hotel everyone will have free time to explore the dazzling array of great entertainment along the Royal Mile, just a few steps from our hotel. Free street performers are everywhere; and all they ask is a small token of your appreciation! Stop by the Fringe Office to check on recommended things to do during your visit to the Festival.

In the evening we’ll get back together for a nice “Welcome to Scotland” dinner. By now that comfy bed will probably be looking pretty good…

Visit  www.eif.co.uk to start your planning and see more about what to expect.

 

August 14, Monday - After a great breakfast at the hotel we will have a free day and evening to pursue whatever activities you like. Everyone will be well-oriented by now, so it’s time to try your wings and fly into the Edinburgh Festival 2023!

Visiting Edinburgh for the Festival combines the best of all worlds! Edinburgh at any time is totally captivating. When the Edinburgh Festival comes to town the possibilities multiply significantly. There is so much going on it can be hard to choose – everything from music and dance to plays and readings. There’s something for every taste! You will be provided with some useful recommendations  before you have to launch out on your own – and your guide will be available to help with your plans throughout our time at the festival.

Generally there are three times a day when it’s possible to attend free or ticketed events: morning, afternoon, and evening. The ticket offices for the official Festival and the much larger Fringe Festival are very near our hotel; and booking is easy. The hard part is deciding what to see or do!

In addition to the vast number of entertainment choices, Edinburgh offers great things that aren’t necessarily part of the festival. There is always so much to see and do, from ghost walks, musical pubs, and Holyrood House (the King’s residence in Edinburgh) to vigorous walking up to Arthur’s Seat or visiting the fabulous Botanical Gardens. Some other favorites are:

You may like to have a nice lunch at The Elephant House, a well-known café nearby with an important Harry Potter connection!

You might want to tour the splendid Edinburgh Castle. This iconic castle is said to have inspired authors, poets, and artists. Among other fabled literary sites, it was the basis for Minas Tirith in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Dracula’s Castle, and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Many daily tours are available, but you’ll need to book ahead.

Also, the National Gallery of Scotland always has an exceptionally good exhibit during Festival time.

But for those with stamina and a strong heart, experience a hair-raising ghost walk into one of the scariest places in the world: deep in the underground Vaults of Edinburgh. Or maybe you would prefer some Scottish folk or popular music. There are plenty of venues in easy reach of our hotel. Kick back in a Scottish pub with a pint, and just soak in the atmosphere. Event tickets, lunch and dinner will be on your own today.

In the later evening, we will all meet back at the hotel to walk to our reserved performance of the incomparable Edinburgh Military Tattoo beginning at 9:30 PM. This fantastic show is included with your tour - and we’ll have some of the best seats in the house!

After the Tattoo everyone will definitely be ready for bed. Luckily our hotel is quite nearby.

 

August 15, Tuesday - After another excellent breakfast at the hotel, we’ll have another free day to take in Festival events. Tickets and lunch will be on your own today. Take advantage of your time to make the most of the unique experience that is the Edinburgh Festival! If you need recommendations, feel free to ask Your Man in Europe.

After a very full day we’ll get back together for one last dinner together in this magical place.

 

 

August 16, Wednesday – Flight to depart Edinburgh, Scotland to Dublin, Ireland.  Everyone will receive detailed information on baggage requirements for this flight. After our arrival we’ll go by taxi to the rail station. We’ll have a lunch together near the station, and then board our train that will carry us deep into Ireland (about 2 hours) to the fantastic town of Kilkenny. The train ride to Kilkenny will be a beautiful experience as we pass by the peaceful Irish countryside, and see why it’s called “The Emerald Isle”.

 

After checking into our wonderfully central hotel, we’ll have some free time to explore the old city. Kilkenny is Ireland’s premier medieval town. The town has deep religious roots and many well-preserved churches and monasteries dating from the 13th century. Very close to our hotel is Kilkenny’s great castle, built in 1195 by Norman occupiers. In the evening we’ll meet back at the hotel for our “Welcome to Ireland” dinner. Afterward a good night’s sleep beckons.

August 17, Thursday –After a great Irish breakfast with a stunning castle view, we’re off to explore fabulous Kilkenny. Many cities would be happy with a handful of medieval buildings – even one or two old ruins that withstood the test of time and 20th century development. Kilkenny, however, boasts a whole mile of medieval marvels. Stretching from its iconic castle to St. Canice’s Cathedral, highlights include the atmospheric alleys and lanes (try the Butter Slip, once lined with 17th-century butter sellers) as well as the terrific time capsule that is Rothe House (1594), which we will tour this morning. After our walking tour we’ll stay together to have lunch at an iconic place in the heart of the old city. 

 

Afterward we’re in for a great treat. If we were in France or Italy we might be doing a wine tasting tour; but since we’re in Ireland we’ll make it an ale tasting! We’ll start with the best: Smithwick’s dates from 1710, though Franciscan monks were brewing on the site as long ago as 1231. As visitors we will get hands-on with the brewing process, too - stirring the mash and sniffing the hops as we learn what distinguishes this storied ale from lager and stout. The tour finishes with a generous sampling of all three Smithwick’s Ales. After the brewery tour it may be nap-time, or everyone will have some free time to continue exploring Kilkenny and have dinner on your own.

 

 

August 18, Friday – After another delightful breakfast we’ll meet our private driver who will take us on a marvelously scenic drive to the utterly charming village of Glengarriff set on Bantry Bay, where we’ll have a two-night stay in a fantastically atmospheric, historic hotel right at the water’s edge. Our hotel in Glengarriff is a delight, filled with a genteel ambiance and steeped in history. In1850 William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) the famous journalist and writer boarded at the hotel and described it in some of his writings. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) stayed there in 1910/1911 and is reputed to have written extensively during his stay. During the 1920's William Butler Yeats (poet & playwright) was a regular visitor, so much so the hotel’s finest room, the Presidential Suite, is named after him. After settling in for a relaxing stay everyone will have free time to stroll along the waterside, explore the charming nearby village and have a lunch on your own; or just sit on the hotel’s picturesque veranda with a good book.

 

If you did nothing more than look out at Bantry Bay all day, you would shed years of tension. Gaze at the calm water and men tinkering with their boats, the seagulls, the stillness and silence. It is bliss.

In the evening we’ll get back together for a nice dinner at the hotel.

 

August 19, Saturday - After enjoying a lovely laid-back breakfast at the hotel overlooking the water, we’ll venture by boat out into Bantry Bay to the completely unexpected sub-tropical island of Garnish. A unique warm current and micro-climate create exactly the right conditions for a vast array of exotic plants and trees to flourish here. Begun in the 1800’s, and continuing on into the 21st Century, the Garnish Island garden has become a botanist’s dream, with an almost unreal atmosphere - something like a lost world. On the way to and from this most remarkable island we’ll pass by dozens of seals basking on the rocks. There’s a very nice café nestled in the trees where everyone may enjoy lunch on your own in the midst of this amazing garden.

 

After our expedition to the enchanted island (a “Three Hour Cruise…? No, Gilligan!”) there will be some free time to explore the delightful village of Glengarriff, which has been famous as a holiday destination since the 1700s, and boomed in Victorian times as an important stop along the Prince-of-Wales-Route. Today Glengarriff attracts visitors from all over the world. This is one of Ireland's most beautifully situated villages. It is in one of the few areas of Ireland which still has part of the original oak forest which long ago totally covered the country. Visit the charming village nearby to explore the shops, galleries and pubs there; or if you prefer just relax at the hotel, perhaps following the example of some of its famous author-guests, and take some time to write something for your travel journal. Dinner will be on your own this evening, either at the hotel or in the atmospheric village of Glengarriff.

 

 

August 20, Sunday – After breakfast we bid farewell to wonderful Glengarriff. Our driver will take us north to Ballyvaughan, in County Clare across the bay from Galway. We’ll stop for a light lunch together in the charming town of Ennis before continuing on to our cozy hotel.  

After everyone is checked in, today’s focal point will be one of the most striking and iconic castles (and said to be the most photographed!) in Ireland, nearby Dunguaire Castle. It was built in 1520 on the site of the palace of the legendary King Guaire’s palace (for which it was named) by the Hynes clan, who were fighting fiercely against the encroachment of the Normans and English. But let us begin with King Guaire, who is said to have become king in 622 AD. Many stories are told of this legendary king, who is often held up as a pinnacle of Irish generosity. There is a tale supporting this reputation that tells about a beggar visiting the king’s grave to lament that he could not receive his help. The king’s skeletal hand came up out of the ground holding a gold coin.

 

After visiting the castle’s interior on a self-guided tour, we hope to be able to stay for the remarkable Medieval Feast, hosted for just a lucky few! In any case we’ll enjoy a great dinner together before returning the short distance back to our hotel, and a good night’s sleep.

 

August 21, Monday – After a fabulous breakfast at the hotel we’ll move on to our next amazing destination: Our private driver will take us on a short journey through magnificent scenery to the charm-laden little town of Doolin. Our delightful hotel there is as cozy as you can imagine. It just doesn’t get much more charming and quaint than this little seaside village on the northwest coast of County Clare. Nestled between the often-turbulent Atlantic Ocean and the spectacular rocks and cliffs of the Burren region, Doolin is a place of natural and breath-taking beauty. Once a remote fishing village, Doolin now represents the heart and soul of Irish traditional music. In fact, this tiny village is internationally renowned as a center of live Irish music, played in its several great pubs. Experience the vibrant music sessions and spontaneous singing in every bar and pub; or just take a walk at the edge of the village and breathe in the tranquility and solitude.

 

After lunch together in one of Doolin’s most famous pubs we’ll board a boat right at the edge of town to cruise down the stunning Irish coast to view the breath-taking Cliffs of Moher from the water.  The towering sea cliffs are an icon of Ireland’s natural beauty. What a photo-op!

 

After our sea voyage everyone will have time on your own to find just the right pub in which to settle in with a pint (or two) and then have dinner on your own, accompanied by rousing Irish traditional tunes. (The musical pubs are so popular in the evenings that it’s difficult to get a table for even a small group like ours – so everyone is better off finding free tables for 2 to 4 people.)

 

August 22, Tuesday – After a great traditional Irish breakfast we’ll head out for yet another cruise – this time to the Island of Inisheer, the smallest of the Aran Islands. This picturesque island has the true feel of a genuine isolated fishing village. From the pier you are greeted with a pristine white sandy beach and crystal-clear turquoise water, and plenty of fishing boats, with their nets, and fisherman returning at the end of the day with their catch.

 

The main village area is right next to the beach and is enclosed by a small hill with a castle and a fort at the top – as if they are watching over the islanders and its visitors. The island is easily covered on foot. The walk to the lighthouse or the shipwreck of the Plassy is great fun. You’ll see the island’s rugged landscape unfold before your eyes.

 

Everyone will have free time to explore, take lots of pictures, or just find a vantage point where you can watch the world go by. Rent a bike or take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Have a fun lunch on your own at one of the cozy restaurants in the village before we must board our boat back to Doolin.

 

Who’s up for some Irish music? In Doolin it’s hard to avoid it! After our return from Inisheer,  head out for dinner (and some more fine music) on your own.

 

NOTE: Sea conditions can cause cancellation of cruises. We will see what the forecast is, and may switch days for our cruise to Inisheer.

 

August 23, Wednesday – After another lovely early breakfast our driver will pick us up for our last road trip – this time to Dublin. The wonderfully scenic trip will take us right along the spectacular coastline, and then cut right across Ireland to Dublin. We’ll stop at a fun restaurant for lunch together during our drive.

 

Our Dublin hotel there is perfectly located for exploring old Dublin, so after we get settled into our rooms, and take a bit ‘o rest, we’ll begin to do a little of that exploring. In the evening we’ll regather to go out for a lovely “Welcome to Dublin” dinner.

 

 

August 24, Thursday – After a grand breakfast we’ll get an expert look at Dublin’s highlights on a great walking tour led by a professional guide. Our host will tell us the history of landmarks such as Dublin Castle and the Parliament. As we stroll, we’ll hear from our guide about the city’s history plus topics such as the Northern Ireland conflict, the influence of the American and French revolutions, the Potato Famine, and how Ireland is doing today. Tour highlights include the impressive Trinity College grounds, the Temple Bar area, Dublin Castle, and the Parliament House. Access to these places is included. In addition, we’ll have time to visit the famous “Book of Kells” exhibit.

 

We’ll have a lunch together as we continue our introduction to Dublin. No visit there would be complete without a tour of the renowned Jameson Whiskey Distillery. Founded by John Jameson in 1780, today the factory stands as a monument to Irish Whiskey. Our tour finishes with a whiskey tasting session at the distillery's famous Centrepiece Bar. 

 

After our Jameson tour everyone will have free time to rest and relax, or find your own Irish good times before enjoying dinner on your own.

 

 

August 25, Friday – After another delicious Irish breakfast everyone will have a free day to explore Dublin on your own. The charming city is filled with so much to see and do – our favorite is the wonderful art museum, the National Gallery of Ireland. The gallery's highlights include the Yeats Museum, and works by Vermeer, Caravaggio, Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh. The National Gallery is one of the finest for its size anywhere in the world. If you’d like to keep going with the tipple theme, The Jameson Whisky distillery has a great tour (be sure to book ahead). The Dublin Tourist Bureau will have all the latest information on the most current shows, exhibits, and attractions. Lunch will be on your own today.

 

Or choose from among the many guided walks such as pub crawls, literary tours, and ghost walks. For those who haven’t visited this captivating city, Your Man in Europe will be happy to arrange a day of fun discovery.

 

We’ll meet back at the hotel at the end of the day to go out for the evening’s big event. We’ll be driven out to the hills overlooking the city to experience Ireland’s very best Irish music and dance show – The Merry Ploughboys! It’s a whole evening extravaganza, including plenty of entertainment and a great dinner. If you’re not Irish, after tonight you’ll wish you were!

 

 

August 26, Saturday - We’ll enjoy one last breakfast at our hotel before departures to the airport for flights back to the US. Those guests leaving the hotel for very early flights should coordinate plans with the tour members beforehand.

 

Please Note: For those guests intending to stay in Dublin for a longer visit, hotel extensions and additional tour opportunities are available. Please coordinate with Your Man in Europe as early as possible for help in making arrangements.

 

 

                                                                                            What’s in store for us?

This tour is custom-planned for a small group of no more than 10 guests. Even if you are a seasoned traveler, you have never experienced Scotland & Ireland like this. We’re sure the journey will captivate you. You’ll be part of a magical adventure - complete with music and surprises that will delight you at every turn. There are no exhausting bus rides or inconveniently-located hotels.

We do our best to set the mood, to weave a spell, and to make yours a total experience. Hotels and most restaurants on the entire tour have been selected for their very specific location or high level of “atmosphere”. The small group size allows us to personalize the experience in a way large groups simply cannot do. We make it easy, comfortable and stress-free.  No guest has to worry about the details of where we are going next. You will feel as if you are not a tourist, but a guest of your Celtic friends.

Your Tour Guide: Larry Ivy is the Tour Coordinator and guide for Your Man in Europe, and a long-time veteran of European travel and unique private tour-leading. Larry wants just one thing: for you to have “the best time of your life”!

                                                Complete Prices for the September 12 - 26, 2023 Tour

                                                                           $ 4390.00  Per Person*                                                    

                                              *All prices are based on Double Occupancy. Single supplement is an additional $965.   

A $500 deposit holds your place on the tour, and to insure availability, payment is recommended as soon as possible, but no later than April 1, 2023. The balance may be paid in increments on your own schedule, but the final payment is due by July 15, 2023. Make checks payable to

 

                                                       “Your Man in Europe” - 2608 S University Drive - Fort Worth TX  76109   USA       

          Please inquire about other means of payment or visit our website "Tour Details" page for information about PayPal and credit card payments.

Tour Includes: Thirteen (13) nights of overnight accommodation (based on double occupancy) in exceptional, very specially selected hotels, all thirteen (13) breakfasts, seven (7) lunches, and seven (7) dinners; airfare from Edinburgh to Dublin on August 16th, all ground transportation (except September 26 airport shuttle); rail travel, admissions to all attractions described in the tour itinerary, knowledgeable guide services, and standard gratuities. Guests are encouraged to offer gratuities for outstanding service. There will be no additional charges for the tours and events specifically included by Your Man in Europe. There may be extra charges for optional tours not included in the detailed itinerary.

Not Included: Airfare to Edinburgh and returning from Dublin, strongly recommended travel insurance, extra beverages (meals will include one beverage and will be budgeted accordingly); a la cart or premium menu selections beyond the established meal allowances; between meal snacks; gratuities for extra services such as baggage porters, or for superior service (normal gratuities are included in the trip cost); souvenirs; and privately arranged activities. The airport terminal shuttle on September 26 is not included, as flight arrangements may all differ. Also: All overnight accommodations, as well as railroad and minibus travel will be NO-SMOKING.

                                                             This tour is strictly limited to a maximum of 10 guests travelling together 

 

  www.yourmanineurope.com                                                   ymietours@gmail.com

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