Following in the footsteps of the Vikings and Normans

Trip description

A land of influences and mixtures, Irish lands have often been envied and coveted. The Irish legend has been built over thousands of years by its invaders. The Celts laid the foundations of a unique culture as early as the 6th century BC. After the Viking invasion, the kingdom was dotted with autonomous cities, some of which, such as Waterford or Wexford, would spread throughout northern Europe

Day 1: Arrival Dublin

Day 2: Visit to the capital

Day 3: One day, three historic cities

Day 4: Immersion in Waterford

Day 5: From Jerpoint to Kilkenny

Day 6: The last step

Day 1 : Arrival Dublin

Day1 : Arrival Dublin ©Lawrence BANAHAN - Author's Image

Dublin arrival in the morning, transfer and installation at the hotel. Direction the castle of Trim straight out of the Middle Ages. This imposing castle can boast of being the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. Built in the 12th century, its history is linked to all the key moments of Ireland, and its visit is a real dive into the heart of the ancient Trim. In the afternoon, stop in Tara, a sacred place for all the Celts. Occupied since the Neolithic period, this hill played a major role for kings until the Middle Ages, it was also the site of major Celtic festivals.

Day 2 : Visit to the capital

Day2 : Visit to the capital ©Lawrence BANAHAN - Author's Image

In the morning visit Trinity College, a famous university founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth. Unmissable are the magnificent 18th century buildings and the old library, where there are more than two hundred thousand manuscripts. Then visit the National Museum and its beautiful archaeological finds discovered in Ireland, allowing a better understanding of the importance of megalithic civilization, the influence of gold in the Bronze Age, and the technological and artistic advances of Celtic culture. In the afternoon, discovery of Christchurch. Founded in 1172 by the Normans, it has a vaulted crypt that extends almost all its length, a remnant of the first Viking church. Overnight hotel in Dublin.

Day 3 : One day, three historic cities

Day3 : One day, three historic cities ©mammuth

In the morning, head for Glendalough, an ancient monastic city, one of the most influential in Ireland during the Early Middle Ages. Founded by Saint Kevin in the 6th century, who had retired as a hermit in this desert valley, the Glendalough ruins have seven churches, which testify to the importance of its past. Then a walk in Wexford County, in the heart of the Irish National Heritage Park. Almost entirely wooded, this park presents a glimpse into the lives of the inhabitants since seven thousand years BC. Installation in a Waterford hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 4 : Immersion in Waterford

Day4 : Immersion in Waterford ©François JANNE DOTHEE

It is the oldest city in Ireland which was recognised above all for its commercial port. From its Viking past the city had an astonishing defence system. The Reginald Tower is a remarkable example of a medieval defensive site, its four-metre thick walls were built by the Normans on the site of a wooden Viking tower. It was the residence of several members of the royal family, and also served as a mint, arsenal and prison. Then we head for Christ Church Cathedral, which was also built on the site of an 11th century Viking church, the only Georgian neoclassical style cathedral in Europe. The day will end at the Treasures Museum, which contains countless unique Viking pieces.

Day 5 : From Jerpoint to Kilkenny

Day5 : From Jerpoint to Kilkenny ©stevegeer

In the morning, a short tour of the Cistercian abbey of Jerpoint, founded in the 12th century. An extension of Kilkenny, a medieval city par excellence, Kilkenny has retained all the prestige and beauty of its former title as the capital of Ireland. Nicknamed the marble city, its medieval streets rival each other in finesse while the castle and cathedral recall the importance of the city since the 11th century. Then, towards the Rothe house, built by a merchant in 1594, it is one of the few remaining Tudor-style houses in Ireland.

Day 6 : The last step

Day6 : The last step ©Agence de Promotion de Madère

After a stop in Moone to admire Ireland's second largest cross, the last stop on the journey will be the small town of Drogheda, near Dublin. A symbolic and historic city, its name is associated with the massacre of more than three thousand citizens, men, women and children who refused to submit during the 1649 siege. In the afternoon, transfer to Dublin Airport. Flight back to Paris.

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