Celtic Footsteps in Ireland
Wonder Voyage, in partnership with Jeff Johnson, presents our Celtic Footsteps Pilgrimage in Ireland. Celtic Footsteps offers plentiful opportunities to encounter God’s peace in the holy “thin spaces” of Ireland where monks and travelers have encountered God’s peace for centuries. Jeff Johnson’s unique Selah worship experiences are a blend of contemplation, prayerful meditation, sung worship, and silence. Through cultural immersion, expert guides, and fine dining, we have developed a one-of-a-kind itinerary. Each day has two tracks – one featuring a quieter, slower-paced, cultural experience and another with more energetic hiking and exploration activities. Our Celtic Footsteps pilgrimages are offered for 20 people. We invite you to be one of those blessed souls and join us on this special adventure.
- Single Supplement: +$250
What is included in price:
- All lodging
- Breakfast and dinner
- All ground transportation
- A one-of-kind pilgrimage
- Quality tour leaders
- Unique cultural experiences
What is NOT included in price:
- Travel insurance*
- Snacks/extreme dietary needs
*Travel insurance is required.
A non-refundable deposit of $300.00 per person is required to save your place. The balance of three equal payments are due February 1, April 1 and June 1.
- Day 1 – Céad Míle Fáilte, “A Hundred Thousand Welcomes” (Sunday, September 20)
A hundred thousand welcomes to our Selah pilgrims about to enter the land of saints and scholars! Ireland is one of our favorite pilgrimage locations, but a Selah Pilgrimage is a whole new journey. Get ready to encounter the holy through laughter, worship, prayer, exploration, and maybe even a Guinness or five. For those joining us early in Shannon, we start with an adventure in the town of Doolin where we hike up to the Cliffs of Moher. These cliffs are one of the most outstanding coastal features of Ireland, and their drop into the heaving Atlantic Ocean is a haven for all types of seabirds. Tonight, after settling into our hotel in and enjoying a scrumptious meal, we talk through the week and learn a bit about each other. Our Selah Ireland pilgrimage has begun!
- Day 2 – Brendan’s Voyage- (Monday, September 21)
The great saints of the early Celtic church were great travelers. In an age when most men rarely journeyed more than a few miles from hearth and home, they roamed the world, often with little more than the cloaks on their backs and the sandals on their feet. For the Celtic saints each outward journey was also a journey inward. Brendan, known as “the sailing saint,” was the man that most defines a Wonder Voyage journey. As we head south to our seaside home for the first half of our voyage, we spend the day exploring the Dingle Peninsula and the haunts of St. Brendan.
- Day 3 – Skellig Michael- (Tuesday, September 22)
The Christian worldview presented by the Celtic monks displays a picture where the physical and the spiritual are not strictly separate. For them, the curtain that separated heaven and earth was constantly being drawn open. St. Brendan’s travels are documented and the wonders he and his companions saw, heard and experienced overwhelmed them with awe and sometimes frightened them to near death. But in the end their hearts, minds, and souls were illuminated with a greater understanding of God and His creation. This morning, by a sea voyage, we visit Skellig Michael, a monastery on the world’s edge–a place of true perspective, yet extreme peril. The afternoon finds us back on land and hiking the dramatic coasts of western Ireland.
- Day 4 – Ring of Kerry- (Wednesday, September 23)
We spend our last day in the west intimately exploring the Ring of Kerry. Though most tourists are satisfied with a whistle-stop one day drive around the Ring, we will take time to visit a few of her hidden treasures like the impressive Celtic stone fort of Staigue, the breathtaking views at St. Finian’s Bay, and the old picturesque fishing village of Kells. The evening shenanigans will include a peat heated pub, traditional music, and a pint or two of the black stuff, if you so desire.
- Day 5 – Into the East- (Thursday, September 24)
It is time to say goodbye to the west and hello to southeast Ireland. The next phase of our journey takes us through the Irish interior with a few special surprises, including a stop at the Rock of Cashel. The castle at this most historic site has a character of its own and contains one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. Our home for the next half of the voyage is Ferry House, a family-run retreat owned by a good friend of ours. Nearby are the Victorian hamlet of Inistioge, and the manor home of Woodstock.
- Day 6 – St. Mullins- (Friday, September 25)
Today we travel through time, visiting the small community of Graiguenamanagh and the 13th Century Cistercian site known as Duiske Abbey. The beautiful towpath along the Barrow River leads us next to the sacred site of St Mullins. These few small acres contain over 1700 years of Christian history, including ancient churches, a holy well where folks sought a cure from the Black Plague, and the ruins of a motte and bailey fortress. After a delightful lunch on the River Barrow, we will visit the Viking town of Waterford, allowing you some free time to shop and explore. The evening will be a mixture of reflection, conversation and heartfelt prayer.
- Day 7– Coumshingaun – (Saturday, September 26)
The beauty and wonder of God’s creation fills our day. The first stop is to the foot of the 700-foot Mahon Falls. Dare you swim an icy natural pool or climb the glacier flow? The views from the top are outstanding. From there we hike across the mountain plains to Coumshingaun, a hidden mountain lake some consider one of the most beautiful places on the planet. After a day filled with natural wonder, it’s time for an Indian dinner feast!
- Day 8– Saltee Day- (Sunday, September 27)
No visit to Ireland is complete without a visit to the Irish Sea. This day is about coastal exploration as we visit one of the oldest lighthouses in Europe, hike a shoreside trail, and board a ship to an island bird sanctuary where only the heartiest of souls can brave the chilly waters of the sea. Then we come to the climax of the week for a special Selah service, a time of praise, worship, and contemplation. Then it is a hearty Celebration dinner before returning to spend one last relaxing evening at our Irish home, sharing the moments of wonder we encountered during the week.
- Day 9 – Celtic Footsteps Never End- (Monday, September 28)
We have spent our pilgrimage discovering the heritage of the Celtic saints in Ireland. We have crossed both country and cultural borders, straddled the boundaries of ocean and land, day and night, and heaven and earth. We have walked the paths of royalty, saints, storytellers, and sages. As you cross back over the borders of your daily life, you do so with a deeper appreciation of your spiritual roots. Your life will be enriched through the face-to-face encounters with Christ and His saints, and you go with plenty of joy-filled stories to share of this pilgrimage. May Christ’s peace continue with each of you!
Shawn Small – Voyage Guide
For the past twenty years, Shawn’s Wonder Voyage has led thousands of seekers into the ancient sacrament of pilgrimage in over forty countries. He is a storyteller, author, documentary film maker and a wonderful host.
Jeff Johnson – Voyage Host
About the time Shawn began Wonder Voyage, Jeff was developing the Christian contemplative worship service called the Selah Service. From its beginnings, Selah took much inspiration from the Christian Celtic tradition which is at the heart of this pilgrimage.