8 Night Luxury Ireland

Day 1: Arrive Dublin

Arrive Dublin Airport and meet with your experienced Irish driver/guide. All of the drivers we use are qualified guides and have great personalities that really will make your trip unforgettable. Take a short panoramic tour around the ancient parts of Dublin where the Vikings first settled over 1,000 years ago. Pass St. Patrick's Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral and visit the Old Jameson Distillery to learn about Irish whiskey production. Enjoy a sample before checking into your hotel. The evening is free for independent dining, either in your hotel or at one of Dublin’s superb restaurants. Overnight Dublin BB

Day 2: Dublin

This morning visit Trinity College which houses the famous Book of Kells, transcribed by 9th century monks. Continue on to a more modern attraction, The Guinness Storehouse, which tells the 250 year story of one of Ireland’s greatest exports. At the end of the tour, sample a pint of “The Black Stuff” whilst enjoying 360 degree panoramic views of the city from the Gravity Bar. In the afternoon, visit the 12th Century Christ Church Cathedral and the nearby St. Patrick’s Cathedral where Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, was Dean from 1713-1745. In the evening head to The Irish House Party for dinner and a special show with live traditional music and all-Ireland champion musicians and dancers. The music is interspersed with stories about Dublin and its unique characters. Overnight Dublin BB

Day 3: Dublin to Killarney

View the green countryside as you leave Dublin behind. Tour the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens to learn about horse breeding and the pricey world of racing. See some of the magnificent animals as you walk around the stables. In the same grounds take a walk around the Japanese Gardens, laid out to represent the "Life of Man" from cradle to grave and considered the best of its type in Europe. Continue your drive south and stop at a farmhouse to sample home-made scones with tea and watch sheep dogs help their owner to round up a flock. Stop in the picturesque village of Adare to view cozy thatched cottages that line the main street and on to Killarney, famous for its scenic location. Check into your hotel for a 3-night stay and enjoy a superb dinner in the fine restaurant. Overnight Killarney DBB

Day 4: Ring of Kerry

Today you will discover the wonderful scenery of Killarney as you drive around the famous Ring of Kerry. The road winds between the Macgillycuddy's Reeks, Ireland's highest mountains, and the varied Atlantic coast. You will be amazed at the breathtaking views and you will stop for photos at the most dramatic scenes. Continue through the remote villages of Cahirciveen and Waterville. On the return, pass through the colourful village of Sneem and pause at Moll's Gap to view the Three Lakes of Killarney. Stop for a stroll through the splendid Muckross Gardens on the shores of Muckross Lake. Enjoy some free time in Killarney before dinner in your hotel. Overnight Killarney DBB

Day 5: Dingle Peninsula

After breakfast, travel to the Dingle Peninsula and see some of the glorious scenery for which this region is renowned and made famous by such movies as "Ryan's Daughter" and "Far & Away." See the long, sandy stretches of Inch Strand and admire views across the bay to the Iveragh Peninsula. Make a brief stop in the charming town of Dingle before continuing to the westernmost tip of the peninsula and visit the Blasket Centre which tells the story of the Blasket Islands, whose last inhabitants left in 1953. See beehive huts where early Christian monks lived and visit Gallarus Oratory, dating from the 8th century. It was built without mortar using vaulting techniques developed by Neolithic tomb-makers. Overnight Killarney DBB

Day 6: Killarney to Cong

Depart Killarney and take a short ferry ride across the River Shannon Estuary on the way to visit the Cliffs of Moher. This wall of limestone rises to heights of almost 700 feet above the churning Atlantic swells. Visit the Atlantic Edge Exhibition which brings to life the story of the Cliffs of Moher, presenting geology, wildlife & human aspects of the Cliffs in an entertaining way. Drive through the Burren, an area of limestone rock covering imposing majestic mountains, and tranquil valleys with gently meandering streams. With its innate sense of spiritual peace, extraordinary array of flora and wildlife and megalithic tombs and monuments older than Egypt's pyramids, the Burren creates a tapestry of colour and a seductively magical aura which few people leave without wanting to experience again. Travel into Galway for a brief tour of the city center and enjoy some free time to browse around on your own. Continue your drive north to Cong for a 2 night stay in the famous Ashford Castle Hotel. Arrive in time to explore the grounds, go riding or play some golf before dinner. Afterwards you may like to listen to some music in the Dungeon Bar. Overnight Cong DBB

Day 7: Connemara

This morning drive through part of Connemara. This region of low hills, lakes and open bog land is impossibly harsh for farming but visually stunning. Admire sweeping views as you travel via Maam Cross and along the picturesque Inagh Valley to Leenane. This village was the location for the movie of "The Field". Embark on a catamaran cruise aboard the "Connemara Lady" around Killary Harbour, Ireland's only fjord. You can see remains of houses and potato patches abandoned during the 1840's Famine as well as stunning scenery of unspoiled hills. Return to the village of Cong, famous as the location for the 1952 movie of The Quiet Man (John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald). Take a short walking tour to see some of the places that appeared in the movie and then enjoy some free time in the afternoon. Overnight Cong DBB

Day 8: Cong to Wicklow

This morning travel eastward across the center of Ireland to Powerscourt, a lovely area set in the Wicklow Mountains and just south of Dublin city. Check into the luxurious Ritz Carlton Resort, set in the grounds of Powerscourt Estate. In the afternoon take a guided tour around Powerscourt House & Gardens, first laid out in 1731. See the formal Italianate section, a walled garden, fish pond, cascades, grottos and terraces. Enjoy the great location and lovely facilities of your hotel before sitting down to a farewell dinner in the Gordon Ramsay Restaurant. Overnight Enniskerry DBB

Day 9: Depart Dublin

After your final Irish breakfast, transfer to Dublin Airport in time for your return flight.

BB = Bed & Irish Breakfast DBB = Dinner, Bed & Irish Breakfast