Southern Heritage Small Group Tour

Day 1: Welcome Breakfast & Travel to Clare via Whiskey Distillery

Meet with your experienced Irish driver/guide who will whisk you away to a nearby hotel or restaurant for a welcome breakfast (for arrivals prior to 9.00am). Feeling suitably invigorated, commence your tour of Ireland and travel to Kilbeggan or Tullamore D.E.W distillery where you will learn the age old art of creating Irish whiskey and of course enjoy a sample at the end of the tour. Continue then to the vibrant City of the Tribes – Galway – where there will be time for independent sightseeing and shopping. For a perfect end to your first day touring, travel around the coast and through part of the Burren to the charming village of Doolin where traditional Irish music is always available. Overnight in Doolin including dinner and breakfast.

Day 2: Aran Islands – Inis Mór

After breakfast take a short ferry trip to Inis Mór, the largest of the three Aran Islands. The Aran Islands are one of the few places in Ireland that has sustained a traditional way of life to a large extent; the people still speak Irish as their first language and many traditional cottages can still be found. In terms of historic architecture, the forts, churches and monasteries will leave you awe struck, in particular Dun Aonghasa - this colossal fort is perched on 100mt high cliffs and offers commanding views of the Island. This evening return to Doolin and after dinner visit one of its many pubs to enjoy a session or two of traditional Irish music. Overnight in Doolin including dinner and breakfast.

Day 3: The Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle & Killarney

Check out of your hotel and travel the short distance to one of Ireland’s most visited attractions, The Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs rise to 214 meters (702 feet) along an 8 kilometre (5 mile) stretch of the magnificent Clare coastline and afford unforgettable view. Next, it’s on to one of the most complete castles in Ireland, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park.  Bunratty has been a favourite stop for many Irish Tourism customers. The castle was built in 1425 and in 1954 was completely restored to what it would have looked like at its peak.  Within the grounds of Bunratty Castle is Bunratty Folk Park where a 19th century village has been vividly recreated. Here you will find cottages, pubs, shops and schools that have been re-built stone by stone to what they would have originally looked like. In the afternoon your group will leave Bunratty and travel the short distance to Adare, one of Ireland’s prettiest villages. Walk along the main street which is lined with small thatched cottages or visit the old priory and monastery before departing to Ireland’s most popular town, Killarney.  Overnight in Killarney including dinner and breakfast.

Day 4: The Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula

Following breakfast depart the hotel and tour the Dingle Peninsula. Probably less travelled than the Iveragh Peninsula where the Ring of Kerry is located, the Dingle Peninsula is becoming famous for its traditional music, amazing seafood and frequent festivals including the annual food festival in October and Dingle Trad Fest in September. Whether you arrive during a festival or not, you will find plenty to entertain you in Dingle, the town is home to an abundance of pubs, cafes and restaurants and also to Ireland’s most famous Dolphin, Fungie!  To the west of the town the scenery is predominantly rugged with amazing views from Slea Head out to the formerly inhabited Blasket Islands. Visit the Blasket Centre which celebrates the story of the Blasket Islanders, the unique literary accomplishments of the many writers the island has produced as well as their native language, culture and traditions. Return to Killarney where the remainder of the day will be at your leisure.

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Following breakfast depart the hotel and tour the Ring of Kerry.  The Ring of Kerry is one of our most scenic touring routes located in one of the most beautiful, untouched, natural environments in Ireland. This famous journey twists and turns through the Macgillycuddy's Reeks, Ireland's tallest mountains and the stunning Atlantic coast. You will stop for photographs at Ladies View, which has breath-taking views across glorious Lakes of Killarney and at the Gap of Dunloe a narrow mountain pass between the Macgillycuddy's to the west and Purple Mountain to the East where within it,  five lakes provide a spectacular view that you will never forget. Visit the Skellig Experience that tells the story of the monks that lived on the Skellig Islands. Other places you will visit include Cahersiveen and Waterville which was one of Charlie Chaplin’s favourite places.

This evening enjoy dinner in one of the many pubs or restaurants in Killarney, many of which have live music, or treat yourself to an Irish Night at the 150 year old Kate Kearney’s Cottage that will include dinner followed by a show of traditional Irish music, song and dance. Overnight in Killarney including breakfast.

Day 5: Blarney Castle & Kinsale Walking Tour

Check out of your hotel and travel with your group to Blarney Castle where the famous Stone of Eloquence awaits your kiss, if you are daring enough to climb to the top! Nearby you will find Blarney Woollen Mills which stocks the finest Irish made goods to remind you of your time here in the Emerald Isle. After lunch (not included) travel to the picturesque harbour town of Kinsale and, after checking into your hotel, meet with a local guide for an informative walking tour of this historic place. Overnight in Kinsale including breakfast.

Day 6: Cobh, The Rock of Cashel & Kilkenny

After breakfast, travel to Cobh where many thousands of emigrants left Ireland for a better life during the famine years and beyond.  Cobh was also was the last port of call for the Titanic on her final fateful voyage. After some time to explore the town, continue to the iconic Rock of Cashel, a spectacular group of medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone. The site includes a 12th century round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, a 13th century Gothic cathedral as well as a 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. Continue to the medieval town of Kilkenny and after visiting its famous 12th century Castle, check into your hotel. This evening you might like to visit one of the many pubs in the city or join a traditional Irish music walking tour of the city. Overnight in Kilkenny including breakfast.

Day 7: Return to Dublin

This morning start your journey back to Ireland’s capital, travelling through the beautifully picturesque Wicklow Mountains and the area commonly referred to as the ‘Garden of Ireland’ due to its abundant lush greenery and colourful floral views. Stop at the 6th century monastic site founded by St. Kevin at Glendalough and arrive in Dublin by early afternoon. Enjoy a short panoramic tour of the city that will include visits to Trinity College Library and the Book of Kells Exhibition and Guinness Storehouse, where at the end of your tour you can enjoy a pint of Guinness overlooking Dublin city in the famous gravity bar. Overnight in Dublin including breakfast.

Day 8: Farewell Ireland!

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