Day 2 – Dublin to Athlone
Depart Dublin this morning for Athlone, travelling through the Irish midlands to Clonmacnoise, a spectacular monastery on the banks of the River Shannon. Founded by Saint Ciarán in the 6th century, the monastery flourished and became a great seat of learning, a university of its time, with students from all over Europe in attendance. Enjoy an audiovisual presentation at the visitor’s centre where you can view the magnificent 10th century Cross of the Scriptures. Followed by a guided tour of the ruins, including a cathedral, two round towers, three high crosses, nine churches and over 700 early Christian grave slabs. Then step back 1,200 years and join the Vikings aboard a replica Viking Ship for a cruise on the River Shannon to Athlone. Relax and observe the stunning nature and beauty of the river, listen to stories of the Vikings, how the river was the centre of trade and craftsmanship and learn about the flora and fauna as you journey north to the historic town of Athlone, arriving just like the Vikings did centuries ago. Steeped in history, culture and majesty, Athlone is a place where you can Xplore Ireland’s ancient east and discover hidden gems with phenomenal stories of years gone by. Engage on a journey through 5,000 years of history on a guided tour of Athlone Castle, built in the 13th Century. You’ll find yourself walking in the footsteps of kings, queens, and monks, listening to historic tales of the town, castle, and the lives of the townsfolk of Athlone.