Waterford Crystal / Kilkenny City Tour
Our great Waterford Crystal and Kilkenny City Tour will take you to two of the most fascinating cities in Ireland. We will start our journey in Waterford, where we will visit the first-class House of Waterford Crystal, the place where some of the finest crystal pieces in the world are produced. You will then dig into the Irish ancient times during our visit to two museums: the King of the Vikings and the Treasures of Medieval Waterford. Our trip goes on to the magnificent Kilkenny City, the Medieval Capital of Ireland. There you will see its enchanting castle and get amazed by the Black Abbey, home to the biggest stained-glass window in the country.
House of Waterford Crystal
The House of Waterford Crystal, located in Waterford City Centre, provides visitors with the unique experience of seeing the manufacture of some of the finest and most luxurious crystal pieces in the world. The Factory Tour shows how these crystal masterpieces are crafted and all techniques used by expert craftspeople. The tour is followed by a visit to the 12,000 square feet Retail Store, which is home to the world`s largest collection of Waterford Crystal. Visitors have the opportunity of buying crystal products of the highest quality for themselves and for those they love the most. A visit to the House of Waterford Crystal is undoubtedly an immersion in the 235 years history of top-notch crystal making.
King of the Vikings
This unique experience provides visitors with a virtual tour where they can literally see what Ireland looked like after the Viking invasion in the 8th Century. You will sit in a traditional Viking house and see Northmen walking, sailing, and guarding fortifications in different areas of the country. This is an amazing experience where you will learn about the Vikings in a way you have never done before.
Kilkenny Castle was built in the 12th Century, soon after the Norman conquest of Ireland. For six centuries, it was the seat of the Butlers, earls, marquesses and dukes of Ormond, which made Kilkenny become an important city in the country. The castle has been remodelled in Victorian times and is now open all year round to visitors, who can also walk through its 50 acres of parkland. Sightseers can visit the castle`s library, drawing room, nursery and bedrooms decorated in Victorian style. Visitors can also see the collection of paintings of the Butler Family, which is available at the Picture Gallery. The view of Kilkenny town and River Nore from the castle walls and the beauty of the gardens provide visitors with a remarkable experience.
Black Abbey of Kilkenny
Founded in 1225, the Church and Priory of the Most Blessed Trinity, also known as Black Abbey, gets its name from the Black Friars, as the Dominicans were called. It is a Catholic priory and the longest original established foundation of all the Irish priories. When the priory was founded, Kilkenny was divided in two parts by the Bregach River: one of them was occupied by indigenous Irish and the other by Norman settlers. The Dominicans founded the priory between those two towns and outside the city walls to show their independence from both sides. Nowadays, the Black Abbey is a place of worship, and religious services are held on a regular basis. Visitors can also see the architecture of the Abbey as well as its stunning “Rosary Window”, the largest sained glass window in the country.