Journeys 2022

Irish Camino - Ireland's Ancient East

Date

25th-30th September 2022

Nights

5

Cost

£995 for shared double/twin en-suite room.
£1195 for a single en-suite room.

The price includes:

  • 5 nights dinner bed and breakfast in the 4 Star Tower Hotel, Waterford City
  • Lunches each day
  • Entry to Waterford Treasures Museum, Lafcadio Hearn Gardens, Dunmore East boat trip and expert local guides in Ardmore, Lismore, Glendalough, St. Mullins and Tramore.
  • Transport throughout the week

Description

Discover this corner of Ireland's Ancient East through the unique perspective of local experts, Phil and Elaine Brennan who have carefully crafted this 6 Day Irish Camino Experience to retrace the footsteps of early Celtic Christian saints and pilgrims. We visit St Declan's 5th Century monastery and holy well at Ardmore, County Waterford; the unique 6th Century Celtic Monastic City of Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains and the 6th Century monastery of St Moling in County Carlow.

We venture into the Comeragh Mountains to visit the stunning Mahon Falls and walk along beautiful coastal path on the Copper Coast to the delightful fishing port of Dunmore East where we take a boat ride to see the Hook Peninsula. We take quiet riverbank walks and visit the Waterford Treasures Museum to hear about how the oldest city in Ireland developed from Viking times through to the modern day.

The whole trip is interwoven with music, poetry, Celtic Blessings and compass point reflections to make this a unique and unforgettable experience.

This trip is suitable for all walking abilities. The walks are short or medium in length (the longest being 6 miles) with easy to moderate terrain mainly on flat paths with some rocky sections on the coast path.

This is what some of our guests have said about the trip:

"How can I begin to thank you for such a magical week in your company. . . Every day was so full and fascinating and I enjoyed every minute and learned so much about the various Saints we encountered on the tour. I Just wanted to say THANK YOU WITH ALL MY HEART for such a fascinating and Spirit-filled week. I hope I will be able to join you again before too long." Adele, Ireland.

"We had a really wonderful week and experienced so much thanks to you, Phil and Elaine. . . I'm really glad Journeying is adding Ireland again to the programmes and the creative connection with Waterford Camino is great. I continue to recommend it all highly to friends!" Yvonne, England.

"The reflections were lovely, the places we went to spectacular, and then to bring to another level the music. I have met some very special people on this journey and the laughs we had at the dinner table most evenings was something else." Maria, Ireland.

"Thank you for being so central to such a successful and significant week. The beauty of south-east Ireland combined with the reflections and music made it a great and meaningful experience . . . Including music and the Peace Choir lifted the week to another level. I hadn't realised that you have written many of the reflections and blessings - thank you for these. They touch the soul." Liz, England.

"Thanks for organising such a wonderful coming together of Journeying and Waterford Camino. All the best as you work to bring the Celtic roots connections together." Isobel, Scotland.

Walks and Excursions

Day 1: Arrival in Waterford
Please aim to arrive between 4pm and 6pm in the afternoon. Our priority on this day is to settle into our accommodation, enjoy a nice meal together and get our bearings for the days ahead.

Day 2: In the Footsteps of St Declan to Ardmore and a visit to picturesque Lismore
Ardmore is thought to be the oldest Christian Settlement in Ireland, founded by St Declan in the late 4th Century, pre-dating St Patrick's arrival in Ireland. This was a busy monastic site, training Celtic missionaries to convert Ireland and Europe to Christianity. We visit his monastic settlement with a round tower and 12th Century cathedral and we walk along the coast to his holy well and hermitage. In the afternoon we drive inland to the beautiful town of Lismore, home to the fairytale castle that is still lived in and has been host to kings, US presidents and film stars. We visit the Lismore Heritage Centre follow the 'Lady Louisa' walk along the banks of the River Blackwater - once of the finest salmon fishing rivers in Ireland. On the way back to Waterford we stop off along the beautiful Copper Coast, with its coves, clifftop walks and dramatic coastal scenery.

Day 3: Comeragh Mountains, Greenway and Waterford Treasures
In the morning we take a 8 km walk from the Mahon Falls in the heart of the Comeragh Mountains following the river downstream as it meanders its way through Crough Woods below. In the afternoon we return to Waterford, Ireland's oldest city where we have a guided tour of the Waterford Treasures Museum and 13th Century Choristers' Hall where medieval pilgrims left the city to embark on the Camino de Santiago.

Day 4: St Mullins and Celtic Monastery of St Moling
This is a truly stunning day with a beautiful walk along the River Barrow from Graiguenamanagh to St. Mullins, a village built on an ancient monastic site founded by St Moling in the 7th century. This is a rich site that mirrors the history of Ireland from Celtic times to the modern day, with a holy well, the Celtic monastic site, a Norman motte and bailey through to secret outside altars where Mass could be said during the times of the Penal Laws. We stop for lunch at 'Blanchfield's tradtional Irish pub where Seamus and his team will give us a taste of real Irish hospitality.

Day 5: Dunmore East Coastal Walk and Boat Trip, followed by the Japanese Gardens, Tramore
In the morning we take a beautiful clifftop walk towards the fishing village of Dunmore East. We follow the coast path over headlands and onto sandy beaches with views over the bay to the Hook Peninsula. On arrival at Dunmore East, we have lunch on board the 'Keltoi Warrior' fishing boat and Brendan - the boat's captain - takes us out to sea to view the coastline from a totally different perspective and from where we get a taste of how the early Celtic missionaries left Ireland to take Christianity throughout the Irish Sea and the rest of Europe. As we drive back to Waterford we stop off at the popular seaside town of Tramore for a guided tour of the famous Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens.

Day 6: Glendalough
After checking out of the Tower Hotel we drive up the unique Celtic monastic city of Glendalough in County Wicklow. This site is where St Kevin established his hermitage in the 6th Century that grew into perhaps the most important Celtic Christian settlement in the whole of Ireland. Nestled between two glacial lakes and surrounded by tranquil forest and mountains, this is a special 'thin' place where you can still feel the spiritual energy that attracted the saint here some 1400 years ago. We will be given a guided tour of the site, including the Upper Lake and the Monastic City and we finish the journey with lunch overlooking the Round Tower and cathedral. We finish the tour at 3pm and guests can make their way home from Glendalough. Dublin is 90 minutes to the north or you can return with us to Waterford. Those who are returning to the UK on the 6.15pm ferry from Rosslare will be given a lift in our minibus direct from Glendalough to Rosslare.

Accommodation

This is a Journeying holiday with a difference as our base for the 6 days is the 4 star Tower Hotel and Leisure Centre, in the heart of Ireland's oldest City, Waterford, overlooking the Marina on the River Suir. All rooms are en-suite and bring your swimming gear as the hotel has a pool and gym too.

Getting there

Please arrive at the Tower Hotel, Waterford (X91 VXEO) between 4pm and 6pm on Sunday 25th September. There is free car parking at the back of the hotel for guests.

For guests coming from the UK, we will also have minibus travelling by ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare that will then drive over to Waterford. You are welcome to join us on the minibus. You will need to pay separately for a foot passenger ferry ticket and then join us on board. The ferry from Fishguard leaves at 1pm and arrives at Rosslare at around 4.30pm. There is a train station at Fishguard if you are planning to come by train. If you are planning to return with us from Rosslare to Fishguard on the 30th, please buy a return foot passenger ticket for the 6.15pm from Rosslare, arriving in Fishguard at 9:45pm. There are several local hotels/guesthouses in Fishguard/Goodwick (not included in the price of the holiday).

Contact

With Phil and Elaine Brennan from Waterford Camino Tours and Iain Tweedale from Journeying. For more information please contact Iain at tweedale.iain@gmail.com +44 (0)7904 042976 or Phil at info@waterfordcamino.com +353 (87) 994 7921.