River Shannon trickles past the lush greenery of County Clare. The air carries the aroma of fresh grass as vintage homes shimmer with decorative ivy draping over their facades. The stone walls glint around open windows, and serene winding lanes stretch along the riverbanks. Your flight lands at Shannon International Airport, where your private chauffeur greets you upon arrival. You travel west, passing the city of Limerick, to reach the County Tipperary. The Irish countryside glows like an emerald, giving credence to Ireland’s nickname, the Emerald Isle.
A fortress stands atop the Rock of Cashel, which is also known as St. Patrick’s Rock. The rugged summit emerges out of the surrounding hills. The oldest elements of the castle date back to the 12th century with the round tower reaching 90 feet tall. The plateau offers a stunning view of the Irish landscape, spreading across patches of grass, sporadic villages, and the mountains rolling along the horizon. The Hall of the Vicars Choral was erected in the 15th century and filled with locals eager to assist in chanting during cathedral services.
The restored hall contains a small museum flush with artifacts excavated from the grounds around the Rock of Cashel. The chapel retains a unique Irish Romanesque design with sophisticated archways, two square towers, and a nave constructed without aisles. You listen intently to the story of how St. Patrick ousted Satan from a cave, which formed the rock rising out of the plain. The castle held the seat for successive kings of Munster until the Norman invasion in the 12th century. You continue to Waterford, where you can indulge in the comforts and luxury of a hotel situated inside a refurbished castle.