The Village of Adare
Ireland's Most Beautiful Village

Our Main-Trip begins in the delightful Village of Adare. Thatched cottages, charming shops, and traditional pubs line the main street of this quintessentially Irish town, and at the very heart of it all, our hotel: The Dunraven Arms. Built by the Earl of Dunraven in the 19th century, it is one of the oldest running hotels in all of Ireland. While scouting the village, we were amicably approached by a woman who we had noticed had been observing our comings and goings for at least three straight days. It turns out that the Dunraven family is still a prominent part of daily life in the village and that we found ourselves speaking with none other than Lady Dunraven herself, whose curiosity about our explorations of the town could no longer be contained. In addition to Lady Dunraven, we encountered many wonderful characters during our stay, and everyone we befriended is looking forward to meeting our group when we return.
The Dunraven Arms Hotel
The Trinitarian Priory in Adare
During the days, we'll discover Limerick, Killarney, as well as Adare itself, a village well worth exploring. The village has several fabulous restaurants, and we'll dine at a different location each evening before gathering back at the Dunraven Arms for music, dance, and revelry of all sorts.

The pubs and restaurants of Adare are within an easy walk of our hotel, and many of them feature live music every night. It certainly wouldn't be a surprise if our performers joined in with the locals for some late night music and other blarney.

Limerick

We'll begin our day in Limerick at the Hunt's Museum. Founded by famous historian, antiquarian, and collector, John Hunt, the museum features one of Ireland's greatest private collections of art and antiquities. The most respected medievalist in all of Ireland during his lifetime, John Hunt was also instrumental in the restorations of both Craggaunowen and Bunratty Castle.

After exploring the museum, we'll head over the bridge to "King's Island", where most of the city's important historical monuments can be found. As we walk along the Shannon River, our guide, Declan will tell us all about the tumultuous history of Limerick. His passion for history is contagious, and he'll shepherd us from the first Viking establishment to the Famine and everywhere in between. We'll also be visiting King John's Castle (who signed the Magna Carta), which dates back to the 13th century, along with several other fascinating monuments in the area.
Sunset in County Limerick
St John's Castle
We'll gather for an informal lunch at Limerick's best and most famous gastropub: The Locke Bar. After lunch and a pint or two of ale, you'll have the option of either exploring the city and its shopping districts on your own, or remaining at the bar and acculturating yourself with the plethora of Irish refreshments available. Guinness and Jameson are but gateways into Irish libation, and there will be much to explore throughout our journey.

Killarney

Located on the edge of the Ring of Kerry, Killarney is destined to be one of the highlights of our adventure. This stunning city is absolutely brimming with beauty and charm. We'll begin our day with a glorious carriage ride through the town and into the tree-shaded paths of Killarney National Park..
Killarney National Park
Ross Castle
We will complete our equestrian expedition at Ross Castle, built in the late 15th century by local ruling clan the O'Donoghue Mor. Legend has it that O'Donoghue himself plummeted out of his grand chamber window and forever disappeared into the depths of Lough Leane, along with his horse, table, and oddly enough, his entire library. It is said that O'Donoghue now lives in a grand palace at the bottom of the lake. We will keep a sharp eye out for O'Donoghue and his treasures as we privately tour Lough Leane by boat. This lake is one of the most beautiful natural sites to be explored within the borders of Killarney National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Dromoland Castle

After a few days of village life, Dromoland Castle and all of its opulence beckons as we enter its hallowed halls. This 5-Star hotel features an archery range, falconry demonstrations, a world-class golf course, as well as the internationally renowned Earl of Thomond Restaurant. We'll have a chance to kick up our feet and reflect on the past week's experiences, enjoy the spa, play a round of golf, or further explore the country at our leisure. If you have room in your suitcase that's begging for repletion, the nearby city of Ennis is well known as one of Ireland's premiere shopping destinations.
Our Castle Hotel
An Aerial View
On Saturday, we'll take over Dromoland's spectacular Brian Boru Hall for a final farewell gala. We'll feature all of our C&C musicians, as well as some of the local talent who will have performed for us during the week. Dromoland is simply a stunning property that will ensure that we finish our journey with the elegance and style befitting of a Castles and Concerts adventure.

Pre-Trip to County Clare

No trip to Ireland would be complete without a visit to beautiful County Clare: home to the Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle. Our Pre-Trip will be filled with fabulous music by some of the best musicians in the area, as well as our own tremendous Castles and Concerts entertainers. We'll have a night of traditional music at Bunratty Castle, as well as a daytime tour of the meticulously preserved medieval village. The Cliffs of Moher is an enchanted geological marvel that seems too dreamlike to be believed. Frequently featured in films such as The Princess Bride and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the Cliffs top the list of European UNESCO Global Geoparks.
Traditional Irish Dancers
The Cliffs of Moher
County Clare, despite its rural charms, is also ideally situated just minutes from the Shannon Airport. For those of you that choose to sing in the Castles and Concerts Chorus, our Pre-Trip will also provide great opportunity to sing through our repertoire together. The Pre-Trip is the perfect chance to slowly sink into the welcoming and warm atmosphere of Ireland, hear some tales and blarney at local pubs, and take in the lush beauty of the Irish land before the bustle of the Main Trip.

Castles and Concerts Chorus
and an open call for participation

After the wildly successful choral showcase at the San Domenico Palace in Taormina, Sicily, we've been eagerly awaiting the return of The Castles and Concerts Chorus. Under the leadership of the venerable Brett Strader, and the talent and enthusiasm of our group, nothing can stand in our way as we bring our unique brand of musical chicanery to Ireland. We'll have with us stellar performers like Krista Strader, whose harp repertoire dives deep into the celtic harp tradition, and Carolyn Baker and David Jackson, who will regale us with their vocal talents ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. Matt Eakle will wow us with his extraordinary flute playing, along with the C&C Rhythm Section: Chip Mallari, Matt Montgomery, and Tom Montgomery. We'll be adding to this list over the coming months, so please stay tuned for updates.
Participation is such an essential element of Castles and Concerts. If you'd like to participate in a show, please let us know what you'd like to do, and we'll help make it happen. The more people we can get on stage to share their talents, the better. If there's a song you'd like to sing, let us know ahead of time and we'll be ready!

Contact

Please feel free to email or call us with any questions you may have. Thank you.

Pre-Trip:
May 10, 2018 - May 13, 2018
$1,950 per person (double occupancy room)

Main trip:
May 13, 2018 - May 20, 2018
$5,650 per person (double occupancy room)
1.5x rate for single rooms
Email:
info@castlesandconcerts.com

Chip:
(650) 444-3934
Matt:
(661) 803-2098
Tom:
(415) 492-1059