I'm finally able to announce the 2023 tour after 3 years of postponements! Here is the rough itinerary for our March 2023 excursion.
We have a great time on all our tours. Don't believe me? Read all about our 2019 tour. Now's the time to put our Harp Tour of Ireland on your vacation calendar and reserve your seat! If you've always wanted to go to Ireland, come with us. You don't have to be a harp player to love where we're going and what we'll be doing on the fourth Harp Tour of Ireland.
Just as the Harpers Escape always strived to stay small in size, our tour this year will be limited to just 30 people. It is “first come, first serve”. Reserve your seat with a deposit. It's a small tour but large in hospitality, friendship and conviviality. It is open to all. You don't have to be a musician to come! Please feel free to share the tour information with your friends and family! We REVISED THE DATES for this tour & made DUBLIN the arrival/departure airport because many of the Shannon flights seemed to disappear--we're sorry about that! See the rest of this page has a simple itinerary for the 2023 tour, which will be 8 nights.
2023 Tour Includes:
- NEW! Arrive at DUBLIN Airport by 8am and we'll pick you up!
- 2 Nights in Kilkenny
- 2 Nights in Dingle
- 3 Nights in Killarney
- 1 Night in Dublin
- Final night in Dublin (for AM departure)
- Daily Full Irish breakfast at each hotel
- 4 Hotel Dinners
- Paid admissions to all touring sites
- Daily doses of harp & trad music!
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Driver/Guide Seamus Buckley
See our 2019 tour travelog. It's Ireland! There's plenty of history, breathtaking scenery and there will be plenty of traditional music! Here is our proposed route and some of the highlights along the route. Sightseeing events are subject to change, depending on weather and a variety of other unanticipated factors.
DAY 1 ARRIVAL: March 12
You arrive and Meet up with us at DUBLIN Airport by 8am. (We originally had this as Shannon but the number of flights there unfortunately were cut.) If you want to do an early arrival (many are to avoid flight reschedule issues & jet lag) we recommend staying at The Grand in Malahide, just a 10-minute cab ride from the airport.
- We'll stop for a bit of refreshment en route to Kilkenny and our most excellent coach driver Seamus will help us unwind from the flight with some from-the-coach sightseeing.
- We start the tour in Ireland's Ancient East with our stay in the 800-year old town, Kilkenny with its famous Medieval Mile, including of course a visit to the Medieval Mile Museum. Our hotel is a 10-minute stroll from the center of town. You can amble down its narrow streets and take in Kilkenny Castle, the Black Abbey, and the 12th century St. Canice's Cathedral and Round Tower.
- We'll have a lovely dinner at the hotel followed by an evening concert and session with Grainne Hambly to kick-off our tour's series of daily doses of music.
DAY 2: March 13
- We're heading to Tipperary (it's not that long a way!) and we'll stop in at the Tipperary County Library in Thurles to see the 17th century O'Fogarty Harp, which is still owned by the descendants of Cornelius O'Fogharty, who played it.
- We're working on doing some wire-strung harp-centric activities, including our special guest, noted wire-strung harper Siobhan Armstrong.
DAY 3: March 14
Dingle Benners Hotel
- The charming town of Dingle looks out over Dingle Bay to the Blasket Islands. You'll enjoy walks through town and there'll be plenty of music on in the run-up to St. Patrick's Day in the various pubs.
- Dinner at the hotel. Daily dose of music with Deirdre & Aoife Granville.
DAY 4: March 15
- Guided tour of scenic Slea Head on the Dingle Peninsula for stunning views of the Wild Atlantic Way. We make a tour stop at The Blasket Islands Heritage Centre, which tells the story and struggle of the harsh island life in the Blaskets and their unique cultural legacy. You'll get an undertanding of how people lived on the most westerly point in Europe. (Sightseeing events are subject to change, depending on weather and a variety of other unanticipated factors.)
- Our daily dose of music: to be determined.
DAY 5: March 16 in KILLARNEY
We leave after breakfast and head to Killarney.
After checking into our hotel in the afternoon, you'll be able to explore the charming town of Killarney on your own and grab a meal with your new-found tour friends. You can opt to stop into the Killarney Harps workshop and visit with harpmaker Tim O'Carroll.
Dinner at the hotel and our Daily dose of music with [working on this].
DAY 6: March 17 ST. PATRICK'S DAY in KILLARNEY
There's nothing like being in Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! We have a special treat planned. Our little tour group will carry a banner and march in Killarney's St. Patrick's Day parade to great fanfare. This will be a really fun event for everyone! Our daily dose of music will be all around us during the parade.
DAY 7: March 18
We'll be touring around stupendous and scenic Ring of Kerry, getting in some stops at historic Ross Castle (of course we can't miss a castle!) and Muckross House & Gardens, which stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney's three lakes, famed world wide for their splendour and beauty. We're hoping to do our daily dose of music here as well.
DAY 8: March 19 Final Day in Dublin
The Ashling Hotel
To break up our trip to Dublin, we'll be stopping at the iconic Rock of Cashel, sometimes called St. Patrick's rock. It was originally the seat of the kings of Munster, including Brian Boru who was crowned there in 978. It's historical significance cannot be underplayed!
- Exclusive visit to the Barracks, National Museum to see the historic harps of Ireland, including Carolan's harp, Kildare Harp and the Hollybrook Harp, among others.
- Whatever time left on your own to explore Dublin
- Dinner at the hotel and final get-together with our touring buddies
- Early morning trip to Dublin airport for departures
music music music
We encourage the players coming on this tour to bring their fiddles, flutes, tinwhistles, concertina and other trad instruments easily gotten on a plane. Don't worry harpers! We'll be arranging to have harps waiting for us in Ireland! We'll have to share but you will be able to get in some playing while you're there.
Gráinne Hambly & William Jackson and Kathy DeAngelo & Dennis Gormley will be our resident, lead musicians.
Guest Musicians we've lined up so far: Deirdre & Aoife Granville in Dingle, Siobhan Armstrong in Kilkenny. More to follow.
Tour Pricing 2023:
PRICE PER PERSON: $2559
(does not include airfare*)
Rooms are double-occupancy.
Cost for Single rooms: $3100 (only 2 left available).
All seats are first come/first serve. Participants must be vaccinated and follow any COVID precautions in place at time of travel.
Current payment to book: $1187. 2 other installments payments are Dec. 15 & Feb. 1
Click here to: DOWNLOAD RESERVATION FORM
We'd love to have you join us. Please don't procrastinate to reserve your seat. To get on our early invitation list, email Kathy..
*Passengers will make their own travel arrangements. ARRIVAL: Coach pick-up at Dublin at 8am March 12. We already have a large number of people coming early (to avoid flight issues and get over jet lag) and staying at The Grand in Malahide, so we'll probably do the pickup there. We advise travelers to purchase their own travel insurance. We cannot refund last-minute cancellations.
**Price based on prevailing exchange rate and on 30 passengers traveling. Rate may change depending on exchange rate changes or fewer passengers.
Cancellations & Refunds: You may cancel your reservation and get a full refund up to December 30, 2022. You may also transfer your reservation to another person at any time. We might be able to help you find someone to take your reservation. We advise purchasing travel insurance.
I want you to be completely confident in how this tour will be organized and managed! Here are the folks who are involved in making the Harp Tour of Ireland the trip experience of a lifetime!
Kathy DeAngelo, Tour director
Kathy DeAngelo organized the annual Harpers' Escape Weekend for 24 years. If you've been to the Escape, you know her well! The hallmark of the Escape was its cozy size, which we're carrying into this tour. She and her husband Dennis Gormley have been performing traditional music for more than 40 years. Kathy's organizational skills are legendary. You may know her as the director of the Somerset Folk Harp Festival, the largest folk harp conference in the United States. She, Dennis and Grainne Hambly are your on-site musical hosts for the tour.
Contact Kathy: email or phone 856-795-7637
Seamus Buckley & Holloway Travel
Seamus & Cait Buckley and Holloway Travel, based in Mallow, County Cork, have been coordinating with us for the past 3 tours. Seamus specializes in individually tailoring tours to meet his client interests and has a deep appreciation for traditional music and dance. On our trip, Seamus will drive our coach and be our guide. We leave the driving and the jokes to him! He's also a pretty fine singer himself.
Gráinne Hambly is one of Ireland's leading traditional harp performers and teachers. She has been on staff at the Harpers' Escape for 20 years and now we get to hear her on her own turf in Ireland! Gráinne is our musical coordinator for the tour, arranging our daily dose of harp and traditional music. You can expect to see and hear her husband, noted Scottish harper, William Jackson in one of our concerts as well.