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This tour means you will be based in 4 locations using them as a base from which to explore the surrounding areas. As a result, this tour is more relaxing and less hectic than other tours.
Your first excursion will depend on which airport you arrive at, whether it be Dublin, Shannon or Cork. Throughout the 12 nights you'll visit attractions such as Trinity College and Kilmainham Gaol in the capital. In the south east there's Powerscourt House, Kilkenny Castle and the Waterford Crystal exhibition. In Cork there's the Cobh heritage centre and of course Blarney Castle while the dingle peninsula and Killarney are your stops in Kerry, In Clare you'll visit the famous Cliffs of Moher and the Burren landscape. Just above Clare is Galway and from here you will see the Aran islands and Connemara. Finally, just 45 minutes north of Dublin you'll find the ancient Megalithic Tombs at Newgrange, Irelands most famous attraction as well as Trim castle and The Hill of Tara. Even though the Tour itinerary provided clearly shows how you will be able to pack as many of Irelands most historical and beautiful attractions into your stay, it is advised that you take some time out to enjoy the people and culture, for the full Irish experience!
After collecting your rental car your first stop is the National Stud and Japanese Gardens where a Horse Museum tracing the history of the horse in Ireland using artifacts, illustrations and text is located. In fact the winner of the 2003 Californian ‘Breeders Cup Mile’ race is a National Stud horse, the 3rd in the last 9 years. The Japanese Gardens are situated in the grounds of the Stud Farm and were created between 1906 and 1910. They are planned to symbolise the 'Life of Man' from the cradle to the grave. On to Kilkenny - Long renowned as Ireland’s Medieval Capital, the city’s origins date back more than 1,500 years. Characterized by beautifully restored old buildings, Kilkenny City is small and compact enough to explore on foot, yet full of fascinating, historical buildings. Kilkenny Castle is a 12th century castle remodelled in Victorian times and set in extensive parklands. Also in Kilkenny is Saint Canice's Cathedral, the second longest of Ireland's medieval cathedrals. Built on the site of an earlier church, the major portion of the work that produced the beautiful Gothic structure was carried out in the middle of the 13th Century. Also well worth a visit is the Smithwick’s Brewery Tour in the centre of the city.
Today, you have a number of sightseeing options. The South Eastern corner of Ireland is an option to visit the ancestral home of the Kennedy’s in Wexford at the Kennedy Homestead as well as visiting the Dunbrody Famine Ship which is one of the top tourist attraction in the South East of Ireland. This exhibition is extremely interactive and it re-enacts life on the Dunbrody as she carried her passengers from New Ross to the US and Canada 150 years ago. Continue down the east coast and you will enter the area known as ‘Sunny South East’ where you will visit the interpretive centre for Waterford Crystal that has been opened since the closure of the famed Crystal Factory.
There is also the option to discover and experience the Monastic settlement and ruins at Glendalough as well as the beautiful Powerscourt House and Gardens and the Avoca Woollen Mills in the Vale of Avoca, all of which are situated in the garden county of Ireland, County Wicklow.
There are some excellent day trip options from Kilkenny and are all within easy reach and offers excellent discovery options to find out more about Ireland. These include a trip to The Rock of Cashel and Cahir Castle in the neighbouring County of Tipperary. Cashel is best known for the imposing Rock of Cashel and the site encompasses a Gothic cathedral, a 15th century castle and a round tower. St Patrick is known to have preached on the rock as well as the Kings of Ireland and Munster came to the Rock of Cashel. It was an important stronghold of the powerful Butler family and is one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles.
Waterford is another tour option where you will see the Waterford Crystal factory. If you decide to explore the South East Coast as an alternative; a visit to the county of Wexford is a must. Some attractions here are the Irish National Heritage Park, the 13th Century Tintern Abbey, Hook Lighthouse, Dunbrody Abbey, the Kennedy Homestead, ancestral home of JFK and finally the Dunbrody Famine Ship. This is centered on the authentic remake of the 1840’s emigrant vessel with its world class interpretation of the emigrant experience during the famine. The original Dunbrody was a three-masted barque built in Quebec, Canada, for the Graves family of New Ross, Co. Wexford in 1845.
Your first stop today, if you didn’t visit it whilst staying Kilkenny, is the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary. Cashel was once the seat of the Kings of Munster and capital of this southern province. Kings of Ireland as well as Munster came to this spot and St. Patrick is known to have preached on the rock and converted the local King, Aenghus, here in the 5th Century. Just 10 miles further on stop is Cahir Castle, once an important stronghold of the powerful Butler family and is one of the largest castles in Ireland and is regarded as one of the best-preserved castles. The castle offers guided tours and audiovisual shows. As you continue to Killarney and want to detour the main M8 route to Cork, you can detour to Blarney Castle. Blarney Castle is one of the most popular places in Ireland and it is a great site to explore the gardens and climb the steps and kiss the stone that will bestow you the ‘gift of the gab’. Onwards to Killarney, an extremely vibrant town surrounded by countryside and the Killarney National Park. There are many walks and trails around Killarney. You will also have a chance to visit Ross Castle, the Gap of Dunloe or simply take a stroll through the streets of this quaint town to enjoy the great pubs and enjoy the traditional Irish music on offer.
On everyone’s bucket list while in Killarney is to discover the Ring of Kerry through a driving tour. The Ring of Kerry is a journey through some of the country’s most outstanding scenery around the Iveragh Peninsula. Stunning mountain and coastal scenery combined with colourful towns and villages will make this one of the highlights of your tour. For those who wish to take a break from driving we can arrange a bus tour through this route. Following the peninsula drive, you then arrive at Muckross House. Muckross House is a magnificent Victorian mansion completed in 1843 for Henry Arthur Herbert. The location of the House is spectacular, close to the eastern shore of Muckross Lake and set beneath the impressive backdrop of Torc and Mangerton Mountains. As an alternative to the Ring of Kerry tour you may prefer to take a wonderful tour by pony and trap that takes you through the Black Valley in the Gap of Dunloe. After an optional snack at Lord Brandon’s Cottage, you will return to Killarney by boat via the beautiful Lakes of Killarney
The Dingle Peninsula has more interesting historic sites and varied mountain scenery than any other part of Ireland. Some of the scenery includes sandy beaches and craggy cliffs and further inland you will see rolling hills and mountains including 952m Mount Brandon (second highest mountain in Ireland). The main town Dingle is the most westerly in Europe and attracts large numbers of visitors each year, many of whom come to learn the Irish language in the surrounding Irish speaking district. Also in the area are An Dún Beag Promontory Fort from 800 BC as well as the Blasket Islands and Gallarus Oratory. Gallarus Oratory was built between the seventh and eighth century and is the best preserved early Christian church in Ireland. On to Brandon Creek from where legend has it that St. Brendan discovered the North American continent in the 6th century. If you wish to stay closer to Killarney, take a wonderful walk or pony and trap through the Gap of Dunloe and the Black Valley, returning to Killarney by boat across the Lakes of Killarney.
One of your longest but most dramatic days of your tour brings you from Killarney along the west coast to Galway City, Ireland’s festival capital. First stop will be the Village of Adare in County Limerick. Adare is regarded by many a seasoned traveller as Ireland’s prettiest village with its charming thatched cottages, manicured public park and ancient church. From Adare continue along the N20 towards Limerick City of ‘Angelas Ashes’ fame and home to King Johns Castle. Shortly after this, you arrive at Bunratty Castle. Built in 1425, this majestic castle was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour. Within the grounds of the Castle is Bunratty Folk Park where 19th century Irish life is vividly recreated. Continuing on to the magnificent ‘Cliffs of Moher’. The majestic Cliffs of Moher are without doubt one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights and overlook the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of West Clare. You then arrive at the village of Doolin. Doolin is world-famous for its wealth of Irish folk music and in recent years has been attracting crowds to spontaneous sessions in any one of its excellent pubs. Then it’s on to Galway via the lunar like Burren Region and the ancient Poulnabrone Dolmen Tombs.
To truly experience the west of Ireland it’s crucial to spend some time in Galway City, that’s because visitors to the Capital of The West become enchanted by its magnetic combination of youthful energy and enduring charm; they often linger longer than intended. As well as the myriad of shops and pubs that line the bustling streets of the city, there is also several must see attractions for visitors, for example the Galway Cathedral, one of the largest and most impressive buildings in the city. Built between 1958 and 1965, it stands on the site of the old city jail. The architecture of the Cathedral draws on many influences. The Cathedral dome, at a height of 145 ft., is a prominent landmark on the city skyline. For the evening in Galway City we would strongly advise a walk along the quay before finding a nice pub with live music for food and a few drinks!
The hauntingly beautiful Connemara Region awaits you. Just west of Galway, situated on the most western seaboard of Europe, this unspoilt region boasts breathtaking scenery. The characteristic features of Connemara include its rugged, unpolluted coastline, dramatic mountains, numerous lakes and rivers and woodlands and the renowned Connemara National Park. Visit Kylemore Abbey and the Lough Inagh Valley as well as the spectacular Sky Road near the town of Clifden. You can also visit the fishing village of Roundstone and see how a ‘Bodhran’ (traditional Irish Drum) is made. Alternatively, you may prefer to take the ferry to the Aran Islands. Aran will take you back to an Ireland of Celts and Early Christians. Take a pony and trap, or a guided tour from the pier up the island to the stone fort of Dun Aengus. Dún Aengus is located on top of a 300ft high sea cliff and is one of the finest prehistoric monuments in Western Europe. This evening, back to the Quays area of the city for some of the best traditional entertainment in the country.
Today’s journey to Dublin takes in some of Ireland’s most historical landmarks. First of these is the ancient monastic settlement at Clonmacnoise. This is an early Christian site founded by Saint Ciaran in the 6th century on the banks of the River Shannon and includes the ruins of a cathedral, eight, two round towers, three high crosses and a large collection of early Christian grave slabs. From here, we travel either to Dublin or take a slight detour to the megalithic tombs of Newgrange. One of the great wonders of the ancient world, Newgrange is older than Stonehenge, Mycenae or even the Pyramids of Egypt and is foremost among the passage-tombs of Europe. From here, we travel south to Dublin City. Dublin city centre is a compact area, with all points of interest being easily accessible on foot. As a result you will find a large number of walking tours available, the most popular of which include the “Historical Walking Tour” and the “Literary Pub Crawl”. You may of course wish to visit many of the sights in your own time either on foot or with the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus service that stops at all of the major attractions including Dublin Castle, Trinity Castle & the Book of Kells, Kilmainham Gaol, the National Museum of Ireland and The Guinness Storehouse to name just a few. Also whilst in Dublin visit the Jeanie Johnston Tall ship & Famine Museum situated at Custom House Quay in the city centre. The Jeanie Johnston Tall ship is an accurate replica of the original ship which sailed between Tralee, Co. Kerry and North America between 1847 and 1855. A tour of the ship enables visitors to understand what a daunting experience it was for the millions who left for North America during the famine, many never to return to the homeland.
Continue your sightseeing in Dublin today visiting the many historical and modern attractions that this cosmopolitan city has to offer. Other attractions include Christchurch Cathedral which was founded in the year 1030 by Sitric, King of the Dublin Norsemen, the James Joyce Centre & the Dublin Writers Museum. Of course, you may wish to take time out to shop in Grafton Street or any one of a number of narrow and quaint streets that the café strewn city centre has to offer. The Dublin Hop on Hop off Bus is an excellent way of visiting many of Dublin’s most historic locations. This evening, why not spend some time in the Temple Bar area. This small area boasts a dazzling choice of restaurants, cafes, bars and shops to suit all tastes and pockets, all within easy walking distance of Temple Bar's many cultural centres and galleries. Its narrow, cobbled streets are pedestrianised and are ideally suited to a leisurely stroll through the quarter. There is also the opportunity to experience an evening’s entertainment at any one of a number of excellent traditional Irish shows. View your detailed travel itinerary for a full list of Dublin amenities. Also worth a visit is EPIC, the Irish emigration museum and the GPO (General Post Office) which houses the ‘GPO Witness History’ visitor attraction. This exhibition tells the story of the 1916 rising and the aftermath of this historic rebellion.
Dublin has remained one of Europe's most intimate capitals boasting elegant shops, hotels, galleries, coffeehouses and a stunning variety of excellent restaurants. While you will undoubtedly be struck by the fact that more than half of the capital's population is aged under 25, it is still the Georgian elegance of Merrion Square, the magnificence of Christchurch Cathedral and the old-style atmospheric pubs that will enchant you. To that end, we are happy to provide you with a detailed map of Dublin, complete with a number of suggested walking tours. All landmarks, museums, etc. are clearly marked on the map, including a short description of each. Places worth visiting include: Trinity College, the National Museum of Ireland, Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin Castle, the Guinness Storehouse, the Old Jameson or Teeling Whiskey Distillery, the Dublin Writers Museum and many more. If you are interested in sports, you can take a museum tour of Croke Park – Ireland’s National Stadium for Gaelic Football and Hurling or Aviva Stadium home to soccer or rugby. This is a selection of attractions in Dublin.
The Aran Islands are a group of three islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay, on the west coast of Ireland. The largest island is Inishmore the middle and second-largest is I...
The Burren is a unique karst-landscape region in northwest County Clare, in Ireland and one of the largest Karst landscapes in Europe.
Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin is the elder of the city's two mediæval cathedrals, the other being St. Patrick's Cathedral. It is officially claimed as the seat of both the Ch...
The Cliffs of Moher boast one of Ireland's most spectacular views On a clear day the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as are the valleys and hills of Connemara.
The Cobh Heritage Centre provides information on life in Ireland through the 18th and 19th centuries, the mass emigration, the Great Famine, and on how criminals were transported...
The Conor Pass is the highest mountain pass in Ireland. It is situated on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, on the road that crosses the peninsula between Dingle Town and the...
Dublin is both the largest city and capital of Ireland. It is located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin ...
Dublin Castle fulfilled number of roles through history Originally built as a defensive fortification for Norman city it later evolved into a royal residence. Dublin Castle was f...
Dublinia Museum in Ireland is a heritage center located in the heart of the medieval city of Dublin, Irelands capital city. There are three exciting exhibitions in Dublinia and a...
Below, you will find a price for this self drive tour including your car rental. Pricing for other accommodation and transport options is also available upon request. Please also note that all of our driving tours itineraries and sightseeing guides are available to those wishing to avail of one of our experienced driver guides.
|Accommodation Type||B&B's||3* Hotels||4*Hotels & Manor Houses||Combination|
|Jan-Mar & Nov-Dec||$1,066||$1,434||$1,865||$1,440|
|April & October||$1,066||$1,653||$2,124||$1,526|
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