Herbal Excursion

  

Guide: Cynthia Graham-RN, BSN, Traditional Naturopath, Qi Gong Instructor.

​       Each day will include at least one opportunity to wander through a plant environment and listen to Steven Foster discuss the benefits and wonders of plants.  In addition, we will also enjoy one visit to a historic site and one shopping option per day.  You are invited to play Qi Gong with Cynthia in the mornings and tap into the energy of Ireland.  Sea breezes, vibrant greenery, tall trees and the folktales that are unique to Ireland as well as open one to healing; mind, body and spirit.


Sites Include:

        Rock of Cashell, Fota Arboretum & Gardens, Blarney Castle (The Stone of Eloquence), Bantry House & Gardens, Kenmare Lace and Design Centre, Cliffs of Moher & Atlantic Edge Centre, Powerscourt Gardens, Private Garden in Wicklow, Cahir Castle, Jameson Whiskey Experience, Dromberg Stone Circle, Garinish Island & Ferry Crossing, Boyce's Gardens, National Botanical Gardens (Dublin), Glendalough.

                               


                                   2017 Herbal Excursion to Ireland, the Emerald Isle.

​Experience the magick, mystery & history of Ireland. We will have time on the bus to delve into traditional uses of herbs, essential oils, homeopathy, flower essences, as well as Reflexology & Acupressure Techniques. The gardens will offer Steven lots of time to talk about the science of herbs and tidbits in photography. Qi Gong will be an optional offering before breakfast, after dinner and at various sites along the way.


This Itinerary is still being adjusted slightly with timing.  Hotels (3-5 star) will be added later. ​

Day 1, July 8:
Arrive Dublin
Please eat a breakfast before joining tour
9 am Bus Departs from Dublin to Galway
12 noon Brigit’s Garden
                Light Lunch, or scones and tea
                Guided garden tour
                Herb Walk and Workshop
Check into Hotel, Diner, Overnight
 

Day 2, July 9:
8-9 Breakfast at Hotel
9 am Bus leaves for Walking tour with Shane Connolly in The Burren 2 hours
12 pm Bus leaves for lunch and sight-seeing Cliffs of Moher
4:30 pm Bus leaves for Galway to freshen up
7 pm Bus leaves for Dunguaira Castle Medieval Banquet in Kinvarra
 

Day 3, July 10:
8-9 Breakfast at Hotel
9 am Bus leaves for Connemara National Park
10 am Park Naturalist Guided Tour of Ellis Wood Nature Trail (focus flora and fauna) or similar easy hike.
1 pm Lunch, Tour Kylemoore Abbey and Gardens
Return to Galway Flexible
Afternoon evening free to roam Galway City

 

Day 4, July 11:
8-9 Breakfast at Hotel
9 am Bus leaves for Cork area
Lunch in Cobh
2 pm Emmigration Museum Tour
Evening free overnight in Kinsale
 

Day 5, July 12:
8-9 Breakfast at Hotel
9 am Bus leaves for full day to explore Blarney Castle & Grounds, Woolen Mills-shopping available
4 pm return to Hotel
Evening Ghost Tour, with Brian O'Neill

Overnight in Kinsale
 

Day 6, July 13:
8-9 Breakfast at Hotel
9 am Bus leaves for Waterford 

1030 Visit Mount Congreve Gardens

Continue to Waterford

lunch opportunuity at Wareford Crystal

1500/1630 Visit Waterford Crystal (guided tour)

Overnight in Waterford
 

Day 7, July 14:
8-9 Breakfast at Hotel
9 am Bus Leaves for day at Blackstairs Eco Trails
                Guided:
Celtic Tree Trails
Foraging
Picnic Lunch, from Eco Trails if they can supply will supply
Wild Herbs & Medicine Making

Overnight in Dublin, Free to explore Dinner on own
 

Day 8, July 15:
8-9 Breakfast at Hotel
9:30 am Bus Departs 

10:00 Visit St. Anne's Physic Garden, St. Anne's Park

11:30 Visit Dublin National Botanical Garden, Tour with Steven and Cyndi, Leave at leisure to explore Dublin on own.
7:30 Dinner together at Hotel

 

Day 9:
Varied, Breakfast when available depending on flight departures
Bus transport to airport in groupings according to flights.  We will only be able to transport to airport if you are willing to go when the bus assigns you.  If you wish to go at a different time the hotel will usually help you find a shuttle or taxi.


  

                    Frequently Asked Questions and packing hints-updated often

1.  When looking for travel insurance it should be fairly inexpensive and well worth the price.  Trips can be cancelled/interrupted these days for many reasons.  Large groups can not always slow down for injuries and illness, so here are some hints.

       A.  Buy quickly after your very first deposit to avoid exclusions like pre-existing illness.

       B.  Must haves to make your travel less worrisome (required for this excursion): trip cancellation/trip interruption, medical, evacuation & repat.

       C.  Also at this time check your passport expiration date has 6 months past return date available. ​

2.  What time will the bus actually pick us up at Dublin Airport (DUB)?  

The bus will leave Dublin Airport at 8:30am.  Most flights from the US arrive between 7 and 8am.  If any flights are delayed will need to be made for those passengers. There are plenty of public buses and trains between Dublin to Cork, so they could easily catch up to the group.

3.  Is there a B & B or hotel near the airport that is inexpensive which you recommend, should people wish to arrive a day or two early and return to the airport to meet us?  

We (DIT) use Bewley's Hotel at Dublin Airport:  bewleyshotels.com/dublinairport.  We can make reservation here should they wish to stay extra nights.

4.  On departure 08 September, will the bus bring us back to the airport?  Is there a shuttle or taxi from the airport so people can leave at the time of thier liking?  If so, what would the cost be generally? 

 If possible, we will try to transfer as many people as we can.  Usually wefind a common time that suits most people.  There is also public transport or taxis if people prefer to arrange their own transfer.  (The guide books I've seen range taxis between 25 Euro and 50 Euro it dependon how many people and amount of luggage-Cyndi)

5.  Tipping?  Do people generally tip in Ireland?  Is it included in meals?  If not, what is the standard rate?  

I know the bus driver/guide is usually tipped at the end of this type of excursion, is there a general idea of how much per person per day so our guests can plan?  Tipping in Ireland is a very "gray area"!  It's not really part of our culture, but it is becoming more common in restaurants.  Pubs it is not necessary.  For dinner in a restaurant I would suggest around 10%.  For the driver/guide on the tour, we usually suggest between 3 to 5 Euro per person per day.

6.  Do you need passport information prior to arrival?  If so how early?  Do you need photocopies or just numbers and expirations, et cetera?  How long does passport need to be good for after arrival?  

Most countries stipulate 6 months in case of rare occurrences.  We don't need any passport information for the passengers, but I would recommend that their passport is valid for 6 months after their trip.

7.  Will we be staying anywhere sleep would be interrupted by pub/bar, entertainment?  

None of the hotels are located in the city centres, so there shouldn't be any problems with noise.  However, at weekends, many hotels will have some kind of entertainment, or maybe a wedding/private party, so we can't guarantee that there will be no noise at all.  We usually ask the hotel to allocate quiet rooms for our groups, furthest away from the bar.

8.  I have rated this trip's difficulty (walking/climbing) easy to medium, do you agree?  

Yes, this would be correct.  Some of the visits are quite flexible, for example Blarney Castle.  There are beautiful gardens and grounds at Blarney, and beautiful walks for those who are able.  Climbing to the top of Blarney Castle to kiss the Stone can be quite a challenge.  The staircases are very narrow in places, with two-way traffic (people going up and people coming down).  So it can be difficult for "larger" folk.

9.  We move hotels, should someone feel ill, can they stay on the bus and rest/sleep while the rest attend venues during the day?  

Yes, if people want to stay on the bus to rest, or skip a visit, this will be absolutely fine.  Also, where there are 2 nights at the same hotel, they could stay at the hotel to rest if necessary.