A Spiral Journey into the Heart of Ireland with Phil Cousineau

Explore the Mythology, Arts, and Spirituality of the Ancient and Modern Celtic World September 19 - 30, 2015
Trip Extension Dublin Extension: From the Vikings to Van Morrison September 30 - October 3, 2015

Join writer and filmmaker Phil Cousineau as he leads you on a journey that spirals into the heart and soul of one of the most unique cultures in the world - captivating Ireland.

This is a place where Celtic folklore and Viking legends exist side by side with Christian mysticism, the Irish literary revival, and the genius of its music, dance, filmmaking, and crafts. Our 2015 journey to Ireland includes excursions to Dublin, Belfast, Galway, the Aran Islands, as well as the sacred sites of Clonmacnoise, Pinnacle Holy Well, The Burren, Yeats’ Tower, Nora Barnacle’s Home, and much more. Invited speakers, time for journaling, and lively discussions with Phil Cousineau make this a truly unforgettable tour. We look forward to seeing you there! READ MORE

Tour Leader Phil Cousineau

Phil Cousineau is a writer, teacher, independent scholar, documentary filmmaker, travel leader, storyteller and author of over 40 books including the national best-seller The Art of Pilgrimage, The Book of Roads, and Stoking the Creative Fires, winner of the Book of the Year Award from “Spirituality & Health Magazine.”


I have traveled to five continents and 58 countries and have never experienced such a knowledgeable delightful inspiring guide on any tour I have ever been on. Bonita Griffith, Austin, TX


Phil has a way of provoking a sense of wonder in us that allowed me to open my heart, mind & soul to everything and everyone we were exposed to.Christina Moore, Springfield, MO


Tour Description

Join writer and filmmaker Phil Cousineau as he leads you on a journey that spirals into the heart and soul of one of the most unique cultures in the world, a place where Celtic folklore and Viking legends exist side by side with Christian mysticism, the Irish literary revival, and the genius of its music, dance, filmmaking, and crafts.

phil cousineau sacred tour guide in Ireland
Our group in Ireland

Our spiral approach reflects the iconic Irish symbolism etched on ancient megalithic monuments, painted in illuminated manuscripts, and incised on swords and jewellery, variously representing the life force itself, the journey of the soul, from birth to death, as well as the movement between the three realms of Earth, Sea, and Sky.

hill of tara sacred site in ireland
Hill of Tara

For us, it will represent the subtle and respectful way we will seek the presence of Ireland’s great trilogy of “myth, poetry, and magic” through its incantatory storytelling, hypnotic music, and the sheer beauty of glorious countryside.

Meander with us along Ireland’s scenic roads that hug the rugged Irish western shore, roam about the undulating countryside and beautiful boglands, and ferry to the luminous lunarscape of the Aran Islands, as we spiral into the mythic heart of Ireland.

giants causeway
Giants Causeway

Highlights include visits to the towering Cliffs of Moher, the limestone moonscape of The Burren, Pinnacle Holy Well, Yeats’ Tower, Nora Barnacle’s Home, Clonmacnoise, and Clifden Arts Fair.  We will also visit the vibrant city of Galway, visit Croagh Patrick, and spend two nights on the serene Aran Islands. We will then visit Donegal Castle and wet our whistle at the one of the finest traditional pubs in Ireland, The Forge, before travelling across Northern Ireland to experience the eerily beautiful basalt formations of the Giants Causeway, and the fine city of Belfast.

trinity library in dublin
Our tour leader Phil Cousineau, Trinity Library, Dublin

This journey also includes an optional 3-day extension to Dublin, where we immerse ourselves in the cultural heritage of this fair city and its environs, exploring influences from the Vikings to musical icons such as Van Morrison – the latter an ongoing talking point as we weave through the pubs, theatres, and poems of Eire. The Dublin extension features visits to Trinity College, Newgrange, the Hill of Tara, and a theatre outing to the famous Abbey Theatre.

As we explore the ancient and modern Celtic world Phil will guide us in discussions and devote time each day along our route to writing and drawing in our journals: A lasting, creative souvenir of our spiral journey into the heart of Ireland. Our journey will also be enriched with the many guest appearances we'll encounter on our way including: One of Ireland’s leading authorities on Irish music, P. J. Curtis, leading expert on Celtic Mysticism, Dara Molloy, founder of the beloved Clifden’s Art Festival, Brendan Flynn, Ireland’s most famous drum maker Malachy “Bodhrán” Kearns, as well as Irish scholar Mary Meighan on our Dublin extension.

(Thanks to Sacred Earth Journeys Ireland participant Chris Franek for the use of his photos)

Arriving early morning in Shannon you will be greeted and taken by coach to the bustling market town of Ennis (from Inis Cluain Ramh Fhada, "island of the long rowing meadow") where you will have a traditional Irish breakfast at the Old Ground Hotel, a venerable 18th century coach inn.

After breakfast we will have time to wander the meandering medieval lanes of Ennis and explore its traditional Irish music shops and woollen stores. (Travel time approx. 45 mins.)

After a light lunch at Poet’s Corner pub, where W. B. Yeats and Lady Gregory used to dine, we will take a short drive to the majestic Cliffs of Moher, which rise 700 feet above the Atlantic. For many centuries, the site has been the inspiration for poets, photographers, and musicians, inspiring songs like the Wolfe Tones’ ballad about star-crossed lovers, “The Cliffs of Moher”. While looking out over the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as the Twelve Pins mountain range in Connemara, we will engage in our first journaling exercise. (Travel time approx. 45 mins.)

After some traditional tea and scones at the Visitor’s Centre we will take you back to the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis. Here you will have the chance to refresh yourself from your long flight and prepare for our Opening Night Banquet Dinner. 
(Overnight in Ennis at the Old Ground Hotel)

Town of Shannon in Ireland

Enjoy Full Irish Breakfast at your Hotel followed by the first of our morning discussions, which will orient our time for the rest of our journey. This first talk centres on the megalithic culture of ancient Ireland followed by a visit by coach into the lunar landscape limestone world of the Burren. The Burren is a karstic plateau – a stony chaos to the casual observer – with a full assemblage of the curious landforms that characterize such limestone landscapes. Here we will visit the 6,000-year-old Poulnabrone megalithic tomb, engage in our daily contemplative writing exercise, and visit the highly regarded Burren Visitor’s Centre.

After a brief break we will drive to Kilfenora, City of High Crosses, and its cathedral dating back to 1152, where we will revel in one of the finest traditional country lunches in Ireland, at Vaughn’s Pub.

After lunch we will drive with local County Clare resident and Irish music expert and raconteur P. J. Curtis to the ancient pilgrim site of Pinnacle Holy Well, one of over 200 wells in the Burren alone. Here we will discuss the folklore surrounding holy wells and fairy mounds, and pay tribute to the Irish mystic and poet John O’Donohue with a reading from his book of blessings. (Travel time in total today is approx. 1 hour.)

Tonight we will have the honour of a guest presentation by P. J. Curtis followed by live music by his own hand-picked musicians at one of the nearby pubs. Dinner at leisure this evening.
(Overnight in Ennis at the Old Ground Hotel)

Journaling in Ireland

Enjoy Full Irish breakfast this morning followed by a discussion on the Celtic Revival, inspired in the West of Ireland by the work of poet W. B. Yeats and Lady Gregory. Afterwards we will travel by coach to Thoor Ballylee, Yeats Tower, the former summer home of the great Irish poet, playwright, and statesman, which inspired his long poem “The Tower”. (Unfortunately due to flood damage Thoor Ballylee is no longer open to the public for admission.) While there we will read some of his poetry and Lady Gregory’s collected fairy tales, and then have time for a leisurely country stroll.

Afterwards, we will visit Lady Gregory's Coole Park, where we will enjoy a brief break for tea and scones (at own expense) at the lovely café in the old carriage house. The grounds are an impressive monument to her incalculably important collecting of ancient Irish myths and legends. Coole Park was once home of Lady Augusta Gregory, dramatist, folklorist, and cofounder of the Abbey Theatre Dublin with W. B. Yeats, and, in the early 20th century, was the centre of the Irish Literary Revival. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, John Millington Synge, and Sean O’Casey all came to experience its magic. Although the house no longer stands, one can still appreciate the surroundings that drew so many here. Enjoy this afternoon at leisure to wander the magnificent grounds of Coole Park.

Continue to Galway, a medieval city that is rich in culture. It is also a university city, which is partly responsible for its vibrancy and love for the arts. It has much to offer visitors, both young and old. Situated just minutes from Galway City Centre, Salthill is a traditional seaside resort and its famous promenade is the perfect place to watch the sun go down on Galway Bay. (Travel time today is approx. 1 hour 15 mins.)

Dinner tonight at own expense at Richardson’s, a beautiful 19th century coach inn, with special guest Des Kenny, owner of the venerable Kenny’s Bookstore. Mr. Kenny will regale us with a history of his bookstore, founded in 1937, and give us an overview of the modern Irish literary scene. Optional visit to the Druid Theatre to see a play at one of Europe’s most vital theatres, or a visit to An Pucan, the traditional Irish music bar, also renowned for its step-dancing performances.
(Overnight in Galway at the Park House Hotel)

Yeats Tower in Ireland

Following Full Irish Breakfast this morning enjoy a talk at the hotel on Nora Barnacle, the wife of James Joyce and the inspiration for Molly Bloom in his famous novel Ulysses. Afterwards, a casual stroll to Nora’s house, the Spanish Arch, and a traditional fish-n-chip (early) lunch on Shop Street (at own expense).

Free late morning to walk around town and listen to the street musicians and local poets, or shop on Shop Street!

This afternoon’s excursion is to the enchanted ruins of Clonmacnoise, an early Christian site founded by St Ciaran in the mid 6th century. We will enter along the fifteen hundred-year-old pilgrim’s trail, with the time-burnished cobblestones still intact, to visit the three magnificent Round Towers, and its Scriptorium. There, we will have an unforgettable chance to discuss in situ “How the Irish Saved Civilization” by copying many of the great manuscripts of antiquity. The long and varied history of Clonmacnoise is recounted in an audiovisual presentation shown in the visitor centre. There are also exhibitions that deal with the flora, fauna, and landscape of the region.

On the way home to Galway we will make a stop outside Athlone to visit one of the most haunted ruins in all of Ireland, Moydrum Castle, which is featured on the cover of the U2 album, The Unforgettable Fire.

We will then visit Athlone, an ideal regional centre and the largest town on the River Shannon standing on the boundaries of two counties, Westmeath and Roscommon, in the centre of Ireland. It is a historic town because of its strategic location and is commonly referred to as the “Gateway to the West.” Afterwards we take refreshments at Sean’s Bar, which dates back to 900 AD, and is regarded by some as the “Oldest Pub in Ireland,” and by others as the oldest pub in the world! (Travel time today is approximately 2 hours.)

Dinner tonight at own expense in one of Galway’s many fine restaurants or pubs, followed by an evening at Tigh Coili, which has won the coveted Traditional Musical Pub of the Year award.
(Overnight in Galway at the Park House Hotel)

Clonmacnoise in Ireland

Full Irish Breakfast at hotel followed by a visit to the legendary Kenny’s Bookstore and Art Gallery, which will be highlighted by a personal introduction and discussion about the past and present state of literature and the publishing industry in Ireland by its current owner, Des Kenny.

Transfer from Hotel to Ros a Mhil, near Spiddel in Galway. Take 1.00pm ferry to Inishmore, a stunning journey across Galway Bay, which until recently was made only by curraghs, wood and tar boats. (Your transfer and Ferry will take approximately 1 hour 30 mins.)

Arrive at Inishmore, the larger of the three Aran Islands. Here, on the very edge of Europe, is an island rich in the language, culture and heritage of Ireland, unique in its geology and archaeology and in its long tradition of gentle hospitality. Inishmore is a place to sense the spirit of Gaelic Ireland, but with all the comforts and facilities of the present. Aran will take you back to an Ireland of Celts and Early Christians. This is an island of great peace and tranquility, but it is also an island of great fun and activity. Irish is spoken by most of the locals on the island.

Upon arrival we will take traditional horse-drawn traps across the lunar-landscaped island to the Kilmurvey House, an 18th century stone house built at the foot of the path up to Dun Aengus, the famed Iron Age fort. Evening dinner in town and live traditional music at the rollicking Joe Watty’s Pub.
(Overnight in Inishmore at Kilmurvey House or similar)

Aran Islands in Ireland

Enjoy Full Irish Breakfast at your hotel followed by a discussion about the history of the islands, including a discussion about the many Irish writers who ventured out to the islands to find their literary voice, including J. W. Synge and Oscar Wilde.

Afterwards we will make the ancient hike up to Dun Aengus, a wildly impressive prehistoric stone cashel perched on the very edge of Ireland – and Europe – with a 300-foot drop to the sea, built between 800 BC and 400 AD. Dun Aengus is the most famous of several prehistoric forts on the Aran Islands. We will be met near its colossal walls by local guide and archaeologist, Padraigin Clancy, who will regale us with updated information about recent excavations and theories about life for the ancient Celts on Inis Mor. While here we will enjoy some contemplative time and write in our journals. 

After taking tea at the local café we will be met by the Celtic philosopher, author, poet, and guide Dara Molloy, who has lived on the island with his family for many years. Dara will lead us on a series of pilgrimages to a 5th century “beehive hut,” the Seven Churches, and the site of St. Kiaran’s 5th century monastery. Dara will lead us in song and prayer, and we will have time for contemplation and journaling in these moody ruins.

Dinner at Fisherman’s Restaurant (at own expense) with evening shuttle into town for live music and storytelling at Joe Watty’s Pub.
(Overnight in Inishmore at Kilmurvey House or similar) 

Dun Aengus in Ireland

Following Full Irish Breakfast this morning depart for the ferry to the southern coast of Connemara. Witness the wild and rugged Connemara area. From the Twelve Bens mountain range in the north through lake-rich Roundstone Bog to the golden beaches reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean, you'll know you're in Connemara by the light that constantly changes the mood and tone of the landscape. Connemara has long been regarded as the “Wild West” of Ireland. Our trusty coach will lead you along the picturesque southern coast of Connemara, where we will make a brief stop in Carna Village to see the rare drystone church dedicated to Saint Mac Dara, and then on to Roundstone Village, which was featured in the 1997 romantic comedy The Matchmaker.

Enjoy lunch at O’Dowd’s, which won the James Joyce Irish Pub of the Year Award, and a personal tour of the I.D.A. Craft Centre, led by Ireland’s greatest bodhran or drum maker Malachy Kearns, or Malachy Bodhrán, as he is known amongst folk musicians. Malachy works at his craft of making Ireland's oldest product, the Bodhrán (Bow-Rawn). It is an 18" one-sided drum made from Goatskin treated by a traditional process. Malachy supplies the drums for Van Morrison, U2, and Christy Moore.

After tea we travel into the spectacular countryside of Connemara, which Irish poet John O’Donohue said “helps awaken and grace the beauty of the heart’s landscape”.
(Travel time today is approximately 2 hours including the Ferry crossing.)

Free evening in Clifden for seafood and traditional music. Dinner at own expense.
(Overnight in Clifden at the Station House Hotel)

Malachy Kearns, bodhran maker in Ireland

Following Full Irish Breakfast at your hotel partake in a morning discussion on what the Irish call The Great Hunger, or The Famine, which took the lives of up to a million and led to the emigration of at least another million.

Afterwards we will drive along the Sky Road with a local guide, who will lead us on a bracing hike along the lovely harbours around Streamstown Bay.

From there continue on to Kylemore Abbey. Set in the heart of the Connemara mountains is the Kylemore Abbey Estate, home of the Irish Benedictine Nuns, and the famous girl’s school where the actress Angelica Huston went to school when she lived in Ireland with her filmmaker father, John Huston, in the 1960s. Visit the picturesque Abbey reception rooms, video and exhibition and enjoy a stroll to the beautiful Neo-Gothic Church and Mausoleum where original owners are buried; browse in the Craft Shop; view Kylemore Abbey pottery as it is produced in the Pottery Studio.

Afternoon visit to one of Clifden’s famous woollen shops where the Connemara and Aran sweaters are sold. After ample time we will have an optional afternoon excursion a few miles south of town to the Coral Beach, near Ballyconneely, where we will enjoy a languorous walk along with time for journal writing, sketching, and perhaps greeting one of the local Connemara ponies who graze nearby.

This evening will begin with a warm welcome by the founder of the Clifden Arts Festival, Brendan Flynn, followed by a walking tour of the art galleries and bookstores open late for the fair. Optional traditional Irish music evening concert at the beautiful Church of Ireland. (Travel time today is approximately 45 mins.)
(Overnight in Clifden at the Station House Hotel)

Kylemore Abbey in Ireland

Enjoy Full Irish Breakfast at your hotel followed by a morning discussion on the 6,000-year-old tradition of Irish pilgrimage, which will culminate with a visit and brief climb up Croagh Patrick, St. Patrick’s mythic mountain.

Transfer to Westport town in County Mayo and to the base of Croagh Patrick. The popular mountain is revered as one of the earliest pagan worship sites, dating back to 3000 BC. Croagh Patrick is renowned for its Patrician Pilgrimage in honour of Saint Patrick, Ireland's patron saint. It was on the summit of the mountain that Saint Patrick fasted for forty days in 441 AD and the custom has been faithfully handed down from generation to generation. The Black Bell of Saint Patrick was a highly venerated relic on Croagh Patrick for many years. 

We will climb Croagh Patrick for approx. half an hour. (Advisable to bring suitable footwear & rain jacket.) After our climb we will pause for contemplation and a journaling exercise near the haunting sculpture “Famine Ship” that is situated opposite the entrance to Croagh Patrick. Lunch at Westport’s Ardmore Country Hotel.

Following lunch drive towards Donegal Town. Nestled between Donegal Bay and the fabled Blue Stack Mountains, Donegal is a nature lover’s paradise and home to some of the finest hiking, mountain biking and surfing in all of Ireland. (Travel time today is approximately 4hrs.)
(Overnight in Donegal at the Mill Park Hotel)

Croagh Patrick in Ireland

Full Irish Breakfast at hotel followed by a visit to the 17th Century Castle that dominates the town of Donegal and is entwined with the history of the county and the province of Ulster. Standing on a rocky outcrop in the centre of Donegal Town, the 17th Century castle is linked to the powerful dynasties of Ulster and a fine surviving example of a Scots Planter fortified home. Donegal Castle was once the principal residence of the O’Donnell’s, one of the leading Gaelic Clans who trace their ancestry back to Niall of the Nine Hostages of the 5th Century. With this as their centre of power the O’Donnell’s ruled the area of Tir Connell, much of Donegal, and were renowned mariners and fishermen. However, following their defeat in the Battle of Kinsale by the English in the early 17th Century, the O’Donnell’s left Ireland along with the O’Neill’s and other Gaelic chiefs, in what is known as "the Flight of the Earls”. 

Next stop is at a traditional Irish pub where you can enjoy a well deserved lunch, and an open discussion about the powerful symbolism of “The Flight” that is a dramatic example of Irish mythopoetics. You will then have an opportunity to visit Magee’s,the world renowned manufacture of Donegal Tweed. Founded in 1866, the original Magee shop is the largest stockist of hand-woven Donegal Tweed in the world. Weather-resistant and extremely durable, Donegal wool tweed has long been one of the world's highest quality fabrics and a symbol of the Irish county where it is made. A patchwork of herringbone-and-houndstooth-patterned Donegal tweed reflects the area's quilting traditions and retains the tailored look of a bygone age.

After a rest in our hotel we will cap the day with a visit to The Forge, regarded by aficionados as the best traditional pub in Donegal.
(Overnight in Donegal at the Mill Park Hotel) 

(Photo: Becky McReynolds, Wikimedia Commons)

Donegal in Ireland

Following Full Irish Breakfast depart from the hotel for a one-hour drive through beautiful Donegal to Derry to visit its famous Tower Museum, one of the most highly regarded in all of Ireland.

After lunch at one of the city’s renowned restaurants near the city walls we continue through Northern Ireland to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Giants Causeway, a cascade of “interlocking 40,000 basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption”. There were three periods of volcanic activity which resulted in the flows, known as the Lower, Middle, and Upper Basalts.

The Middle Basalts rocks form the columns of the Giants Causeway. The rapidly cooling lava contracted and variations in the cooling rate resulted in the world famous columnar structure. The columns are mainly hexagonal though there are some with up to eight sides. Weathering of the top of the lower Basalts formed the Inter-Basaltic Bed – the band of reddish rock which is a feature of the area. The same action of the weather created circular formation around a nugget of basalt, which are known locally as “giants eyes”. Some other formations with popular names are the Chimney Stacks, The Harp, The Organ and the Camel’s Hump.

For our final evening we will gather at The Crown Liquor Saloon, an architectural masterpiece founded in 1826, in Belfast, for a Farewell Banquet.
(Overnight in Belfast at the Europa Hotel) 

Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland

For those leaving us today, enjoy your final Full Irish breakfast at the hotel this morning as you bid your farewells to your new found friends and the beautiful “Land of Eire”. As the old Irish blessing goes, “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.” Transfer to Belfast airport for flights home or continue with us as we explore the beautiful city of Dublin. 

Ireland, dandelion

Extension: Dublin Extension

Today we travel from Belfast to Dublin. Dublin has all the attractions of a modern city, combined with the beauty and heritage of the past; elegant shops, hotels, galleries, art-house cinemas, coffee houses, and a stunning variety of restaurants have sprung up on almost every street in the capital. Roughly half of the Irish Republic’s population of 3.6 million people live in Dublin and its suburbs.

Free afternoon in Dublin to enjoy the shops on Grafton Street or a stroll around St. Stephen’s Green, one of the loveliest parks in Ireland.

Early dinner at own expense, followed by a play (to be announced) at The Abbey Theatre, founded by W. B. Yeats and Lady Gregory, in the early 20th century. Optional pub crawl to the literary haunts of Dublin’s “Seven Deadly Sins”, the famous Irish writers, poets, and playwrights.
(Overnight in Dublin at the Alexander Hotel) 

Grafton Street Dublin in Ireland

Following breakfast at our hotel a drive to the city centre where we will have our morning discussion and tea at the spectacular Bewley’s Coffee and Tea House, on Grafton Street. Founded in 1927, it has been a favourite gathering place for actors, writers, politicians ever since. Afterwards, we take a casual walk down Grafton Street to Trinity College to view the glorious campus and view one of the world’s most beautiful works of art.

Trinity College, the sole constituent of The University of Dublin, was founded in 1592 and is the oldest university in Ireland and one of the 7 ancient universities of England and Ireland. Trinity is also one of Ireland’s leading historical sites attracting in excess of half a million visitors each year. The main heritage attraction is The Book of Kells, a richly decorated textbook written in 800 AD. Also wonderful to see is the beautiful Old Library at Trinity College.

Lunch at your own expense at the nearby spectacular and stylish Café de Seine. Then an optional visit to the National Museum, where we can view such valuable icons as the Glenisheen Gold Gorget, worn by an ancient High King or warrior, the Ardagh chalice, the Oseberg Viking ship, and an emigrant’s tin teapot.

Dinner (on own) at the oldest pub in Dublin, the Brazen Head, founded in 1198.
(Overnight in Dublin at the Alexander Hotel) 

Trinity Library in Dublin Ireland

Full Irish Breakfast at your hotel followed by a visit to the Historical Boyne Valley in County Meath, which includes the world famous megalithic passage tomb and the UNESCO World Heritage site of Newgrange. One of the most prehistoric sites of the world, and the most famous prehistoric site in Ireland, Newgrange was built between 3300 BC and 2900 BC, making it over 500 years older than the Great Pyramid at Giza. The site was built to coincide with seasonal changes so that at dawn on the day of the winter solstice, a narrow beam of light penetrates the roof-box and reaches the floor of a chamber, gradually extending to the rear of a long passageway. As the sun continues to rise higher and higher, the beam of light expands to illuminate the entire room for a brief period of time. While archaeologists have classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, it is more fitting, however, to classify it as an ancient temple, for it was a place of astrological, spiritual, religious, and ceremonial importance.

En route back to Dublin we will make a stop at the Hill of Tara, high seat of Irish kings for centuries. Here we will meet at one of the highest vantage points in Ireland, and have a final journaling exercise around the venerable Lia Fail, the Stone of Destiny, over which Irish kings were crowned for centuries. Amidst the Iron Age earthworks, and outlines of the Banqueting Hall, we will enjoy one of the most serene and contemplative spots in all of Ireland.

When we arrive back in Dublin we will gather together for a final walking tour with Irish scholar Mary Meighan, who will lead us around the streets and canals immortalized by  one of Ireland’s most beloved poets, Patrick Kavanagh who penned  “On Raglan Road”, the poem that he transformed into song with the help of Luke Kelly of The Dubliners, and which Van (the Man) Morrison later covered.
(Overnight in Dublin at the Alexander Hotel)

Hill of Tara in Ireland

We enjoy our final Full Irish breakfast at the hotel this morning as we bid our farewells to our new found friends and the beautiful “Land of Eire”. As the old Irish blessing goes, “May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.” Transfer to Dublin airport for flights home.

(Thanks to Sacred Earth Journeys Ireland participant Chris Franek for the use of his photos)

Ireland, Guinness

A Spiral Journey into the Heart of Ireland with Phil Cousineau

September 19 - 30, 2015

Extension: Dublin Extension: From the Vikings to Van Morrison

September 30 - October 3, 2015

Main Tour Includes:

  • 11 nights accommodation in some of Ireland’s finest 4 star hotels and guest houses 
  • Arrival and Departure Transfers
  • Daily Breakfasts, 3 Lunches and 3 Dinners
  • Private Luxury Coach Transportation
  • Professional Driver/Guide Throughout
  • Ferry to Aran Islands
  • Hotel Taxes & Service Charges
  • All guide services as per itinerary
  • Entrance fees to all sites noted on itinerary 
  • Airport transfer on luxury coach with driver/guide on Day 12

Added Features:

  • Travel with Author, Teacher, and Filmmaker, Phil Cousineau
  • Daily Discussions and Journaling opportunities with Phil
  • Traditional Irish Entertainment
  • Evening Pub Crawls (optional)
  • Special Guest Speakers: P.J. Curtis, Dara Molloy, Brendan Flynn, and Padraigin Clancy
  • Pony & Trap Tour of Aran Islands
  • Bodhran Drum-Making Demonstration at Roundstone Music and Crafts with Master Bodhran Maker, Malachy Kearns


Dublin Extension Includes:

  • 3 nights accommodation in 4 star hotel in Dublin
  • Private Luxury Coach Transportation
  • Transfer by luxury coach with driver/guide on Day 12 & 15

Added Features:

  • Travel with Author, Teacher, and Filmmaker, Phil Cousineau
  • Visit to Trinity/Book of Kells
  • Theatre outing to Abbey Theatre
  • Visit to Bru Na Boinne – Newgrange & Hill of Tara
  • Walking tour with Irish scholar Mary Meighan

Tour Does Not Include:

  • Airfare to Shannon, Ireland and return from Dublin, Ireland or Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Cancellation & Medical Insurance (ask us for a quote)
  • Meals and drinks not specified
  • Cost to obtain valid passport
  • Any items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, and telephone calls
  • Any item that is not specifically detailed on our website or in the final retreat itinerary

Tour Price:

    • Double Room: USD $3,980 per person
    • Single Supplement: USD $715
  • Extension:

    • Double Room: USD $980 per person
    • Single Supplement: USD $300
Book this Journey
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1-877-874-7922 to help you make your reservation

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