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Take a moment out and savour the sights and sounds of South-West Ireland. Attendees are encouraged to take the time to explore the great places to stay, warm, friendly people, a fascinating culture and history, breathtaking landscapes, and a vast range of activities and attractions. These are some of the many reasons to spend a bit of time in the South west of Ireland.

Whazon Cork
Cork Gig Guide

Barryscourt Castle
Cork Butter Museum
Beamish Brewery Tours

West Cork Surf school
Whale watching
Walking holiday

Electric Picnic
Stradbally Hall Estate
29th-31st August 2008
Up to 30,000 revelers head to Stradbally's Hall Estate for a weekend of camping and music. Admission includes camping and access to the great music for the weekend. Featured this year are The Roots, Franz Ferdinand, Henry Rollins and Sinead O'Connor.

Cois Farraige
Kilkee, Co.Clare
5th-7th September 2008
A three-day Surf & Music Festival which will be held on the beach in Kilkee, Co Clare, Cois Farraige (it means 'beside the sea') will feature live music from Irish and overseas.

Dunmore East International Bluegrass Festival
Dunmore East, Waterford
21st-24th August 2008
Ireland's biggest free Bluegrass Festival takes place throughout the village of Dunmore East with groups from the US and the UK as well as plenty of Irish performers.

Fleadh Ceoil na hEireann
Tullamore, Co. Offaly
17th-24th August 2008
The 56th Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann promises to be the largest showcase of musicians and performers to take place ever and includes showcase concerts, céilithe, parades, pageants, with over 10,000 performers expected to take part in the 'Feast of Irish Music'.

Rose of Tralee
Tralee, Co. Kerry
22nd-26th August 2008
The Rose of Tralee International Festival is one of Ireland’s biggest carnivals, with a week of entertainment that includes a Rose Ball, Fashion Show, Rose parades, fireworks, street carnival and live TV broadcast of the Rose Selection.


Get on & off as often as you wish -Operates daily

Cork City may be second to Dublin in size, but its unique blend of contemporary style and old world charm has no peer. It is a cosmopolitan yet friendly place where the locals are famous for enjoying life to the fullest. Steeped in history, Cork City is fast gaining a reputation as one of Europe’s hippest cities. Like Venice, the city is built upon water, and the city centre is built on an island in the River Lee, just upstream from Cork Harbour. The two channels of the River Lee, which embrace the city centre, are spanned by many bridges, and this gives the city a distinctive continental air. Exploring Cork is an enjoyable, multi-day pursuit. Ring the Shandon Bells in the 300 year-old tower of St. Anne’s Cathedral, and marvel at the French Gothic spires of St. Finbarr’s Cathedral. You will discover unique shopping and dining options, including the English Market with its stalls selling foods from all over the world; Coal Quay crammed with fascinating shops, restaurants and cafes; and numerous pedestrian walkways and wide sidewalks flanked by smart boutiques and major department stores. At every corner you’ll come across another panoramic view, another interesting architectural feature and some of the best galleries, theatres and museums in Ireland. Whether strolling down historical streets, shopping, exploring the surrounding countryside, or simply basking in the City’s hospitality, Cork City is an experience always to be remembered and cherished.

Tour highlights
include: Cork City Goal, City Library, St. Finbarr’s Cathedral, Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Triskel Art Centre, English Market, Fitzgerald Park, Cork Opera House, Custom House, The Courthouse and the City Hall.

Location /Pick up Times:
Runs daily from the City Library (on the Grand Parade) from 9.30 hr.
The Tour operates every 30 minutes.
The last tour commences at 17.00 hrs.

Tour Fares:                            
Adults:  €13.00 per person.



Monday, August 25th – 14.30hr – 17.30hr

This tour will bring you into the beautiful scenic countryside of the Lee Valley, where you will experience some of the easy/relaxed pace of life of Cork and see the River Lee’s lakes and reservoirs.  You will then travel onto the village of Blarney and Blarney Castle. People the world over have stopped off at this internationally known tourist centre to kiss the Blarney Stone, which traditionally imparts the ‘gift of eloquence’ The famous Stone is located just below the battlement in Blarney Castle, built in 1446. In order to kiss the Stone, it is necessary to hang ones head downwards over the battlements having climbed 110 steep steps by the original spiral staircase to the summit of the castle. To visit Blarney Castle is to step back in time, and feel the enchantment of a long and heroic past.  Here is one of the great historical sites of Ireland, renowned throughout the world. The view from the entrance gate sets the scene immediately, with fine vistas of parkland crowned by Blarney castle rising up in its entire ancient splendour, framed by clumps of trees.  You can also enjoy some free time for some shopping locally at the famous Blarney Woollen Mills.


Location / Pick up Times:       
Tour departs from UCC- guests should come to the Registration Desk at 14.00hr

Tour Fares:
Adults:  €30.00 per person to include coach, guide and entrance to Blarney Castle

Tour Fares:                            
Adults:  €13.00 per person.



Tuesday, August 26th – 9.30hr – 17.00hr

The Tour begins with a visit to the picturesque and famous town of Kenmare, a gold medallist in Ireland's Tidy Towns competition, also one of the natural unspoilt environments of the world.  You will have time to walk around the town, have a cup of coffee or tea. Continue for a mini tour of the Ring of Kerry, which takes you through spectacular coastal and mountainous scenery along the base of the highest mountain range in Ireland, the MacGillycuddy Reeks. County Kerry in Ireland's Southwest is a place untouched by time. Hazy mountain panoramas shimmering in the pearly ocean light, rattling streams of sparkling clear water tumbling down wooded slopes. You can spend the day just watching and wondering at the splendour of the views. The journey takes you through villages and towns depicting typical rural life in Ireland. It is really hard to explain the true beauty of Kerry, except to say that it should not be missed. As you descend into Killarney, you have a lovely view of the Three Lakes of Killarney from 'Ladies View' passing Killarney's National Park.  Stop for lunch (main course, tea/coffee) in Killarney town before continuing onto Muckross House Estate. Here you may visit this special museum house (entry fee applies) or enjoy the beautiful gardens and treks in the national park. You will then enjoy a visit to the town of Killarney, probably Ireland's premier tourist location, where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of this engaging and refreshing town, after which you will then return to Cork City.

Location /Pick up Times:       
Tour departs from UCC- guests should come to the Registration Desk at 08.30hr     

Tour Fares:
Adult €50.00 Euro per person to include coach, guide and lunch.



Wednesday, August 27th – 09.00hr – 13.00hr.

Today is a half day to enjoy the other side of Cork Harbor, to the old town of Cobh (pronounced COVE). The American War of Independence put Cobh on the map.  Napoleon kept it there and in the reign of Queen Victoria the town grew and prospered. It was as Queenstown that the port rose to prominence as a vital link in trans-Atlantic liner traffic in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Its name was changed again in 1920 and as Cobh it continues to serve as an important port of call for the majestic liners traveling the north Atlantic route. Emigrants departed from Cobh's quays on board vessels of the great shipping lines, such as Cunard and White Star. The "Titanic" sailed from Cobh, never to touch land again. The Heritage Centre will tell these stories in a way that is fitting and sympathetic of the endeavor and trauma of the people who were involved.  You will also have the opportunity en route back to the city to stop to visit Fota House & Gardens. 
This fine Regency-style building in a pleasant landscape setting on Fota Island, is complemented by the internationally renowned gardens and arboretum.  The House is a celebration of fine craftsmanship and has a particularly well appointed kitchen. It reflects well the life-style of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Today it welcomes visitors to see the House itself and to enjoy the fare provided in the tea-room. Return to Cork City.

Location /Pick up Times:       
Tour departs from UCC- guests should come to the registration desk for 08.30hr

Tour Fares:                            
Adult €32.00 per person to include coach and guide plus entrances to Cobh Heritage centre and Fota house & Gardens.


For Bookings Contact:

Cronins Coaches, Shannon Buildings, Mallow Road, Cork.

Tel: +353 (0)21 4391996       

Fax: +353 (0)21 4391993      

Email: cork@special-ireland.com



The services supplied in the social programme are available at the time of writing. However in the event that any tour becomes unavailable or minimum numbers are not met, Cronin Coaches reserve the right to alter or cancel the event.