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By far our most popular Ireland vacation, the Best of Ireland tour allows you to appreciate Ireland’s best attractions and most scenic locations in the shortest amount of time. In your six day tour you will have the chance to navigate the ancient tombs of Newgrange or Knowth, to climb the steps of the ancient cathedral at Clonmacnoise or even take an unforgettable boat trip to one of the unspoilt Aran Islands! Your vacation will take you from the bustling city of Dublin to Galway which is commonly referred to as the festival capital of Ireland and City of Tribes! From Galway your journey will take you to charming Kerry with its rugged coastline and soul captivating coastal views.
Before you leave you will experience the ‘Marble City’ of Kilkenny, so called because of the local black marble-like limestone that colours many of the buildings in the city. Your final night will be spent in Dublin where you can continue your sightseeing, taking in such historic places as Trinity College where the Book of Kells exhibition can be found, the fascinating Christchurch Cathedral or Kilmainham Gaol to name but a few. Of course you may find time to have a pint in the Guinness Storehouse or watch the comings and goings of the city over a coffee in Dublin’s Temple Bar area.
Galway for 2 Nights
Killarney for 2 Nights
Kilkenny for 1 Night
Just north of Dublin, you will find Ireland's most visited attraction, the megalithic tombs in Newgrange. One of the great wonders of the ancient world, Newgrange is older than Stonehenge, Mycenae or even the Pyramids of Egypt. The magnificent entrance slab - 'one of the most famous stones in the entire repertory of megalithic art' - is especially satisfying, the confidently executed spiral and lozenge motifs still crisply defined after 5,000 years. Also close by is the Hill of Tara, said to be the seat of the ancient high Kings of Ireland and of course Trim Castle, the setting for the Mel Gibson movie ‘Braveheart’. A slight detour at Moate just before the town of Athlone will bring you to the Ancient Monastic Settlement of Clonmacnoise.
An early Christian site founded by Saint Ciaran in the 6th century on the banks of the River Shannon, the site includes the ruins of a cathedral, eight churches (10th -13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and large collection of early Christian grave slabs. On to Galway, the ‘City of the Tribes’, also known as Ireland’s Cultural and festival capital. With its street entertainers and traditional pubs with great music, Galway and in particular, the Quays area of the city centre will enthrall you particularly in the evening time. Other sites in Galway include Ireland’s largest medieval parish church, the Collegiate Church of St Nicholas of Myra dating back to 1320. Christopher Columbus reputedly worshipped in this church in 1477. Also nearby are Galway Cathedral, the Spanish Arch and Eyre Square.
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.
A long but dramatic days touring will bring you from Galway along the west coast of Ireland to Killarney. Travel through the karst moon like landscape of the Burren through the village of Doolin which is world-famous for its traditional Irish music to one of Ireland’s best-known tourist attractions, the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland's top Visitor attractions and are a designated UNESCO Geo Park. From the Cliffs the Aran Islands can be seen as well as the Twelve Pins and Maum Turk Mountains. After soaking up the views travel onward to Bunratty Castle, built in 1425, this grandiose castle was renovated in 1954 to its prior medieval splendour. Within the grounds of the Castle Bunratty Folk Park you will find 19th century Irish life recreated. As you journey to Killarney we recommend that you stop in the quaint town of Adare. 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, the town of Killarney is approximately one more hour by car. You will arrive in plenty of time to enjoy the great pubs and enjoy the traditional Irish music on offer.
There are numerous day trips to be had while based in Killarney. The two most scenic drives in the area include the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula Driving routes, two of Ireland’s most picturesque drives. The Ring of Kerry includes visits to colourful villages, ancient heritage sites dotted around the peninsula including Skellig Michael just off the Kerry coast and Staigue Fort. The Dingle Peninsula has more interesting antiquities, historic sites and varied mountain scenery than any other part of 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. Alternative routes include day trips to Blarney Castle and the Titanic Train in Cork or the northern route to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren region of County Clare including Bunratty Castle. If you wish to stay closer to Killarney, take a wonderful walk or pony and trap through the Gap of Dunloe, returning to Killarney by boat across the Lakes of Killarney.
Though the journey from Killarney to Kilkenny is a relatively long one, there are plenty of attractions to visit en-route to make the journey seem shorter. First of these would be Cahir Castle, one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles it was once an important stronghold of the powerful Butler family. Very close to Cahir Castle you will find the Rock of Cashel which was once the seat of the Kings of Munster and capital of this southern province. For those who wish to explore a somewhat longer route to Kilkenny, Blarney Castle awaits. Here you will find the famous Blarney Stone which when kissed is said to grant the skill of eloquence. Often referred to as Ireland’s Medieval Capital; Kilkenny’s origins date back more than 1,500 years. This small city is full of captivating, historical buildings and Kilkenny Castle is a 12th century castle remodelled in Victorian times and set in extensive parklands. Built on the site of an earlier church, most of the work that produced this beautiful Gothic building was carried out in the 13th Century. Also in Kilkenny is Saint Canice's Cathedral, the second longest of Ireland's medieval cathedrals.
This journey will take just under 2 hours. If you wish to make a side trip on route to the capital, a visit to the National Stud & Japanese Gardens just outside Kildare Town would be an option. The Japanese Gardens are situated in the grounds of the Stud Farm and were created between 1906 and 1910. The National Stud comprises three separate attractions. The 1,000 acre Farm at Tully has been in use as a Stud Farm since 1900 when it was owned by Col. William Hall-Walker. It is home to some of Ireland's finest thoroughbreds. There's a Horse Museum tracing the history of the horse in Ireland using artifacts, illustrations and text and the skeleton of the legendary steeplechaser 'Arkle'. 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 quandary that you will be faced with when you reach Dublin is, not what you should see but that you should leave out. Knee-deep in history and with its own unique sense of humour and wit, Dublin is an invigorating city. Take the opportunity to visit some of Ireland’s most history laden locations, including Trinity College and the Book of Kells, Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Gaol, The National History Museum and not forgetting The Guinness Brewery, St. Patrick’s Cathedral & why not finish up the day in Dublin’s Temple Bar section and enjoy the wonderful pubs and music it is famous for.
This morning, check out of your hotel for the journey home.
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...
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...
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...
Admire breathtaking vistas of mountains, cliffs and beaches on Ireland’s most popular drive, the 100-mile Ring of Kerry.
Connemara National Park was founded and opened to the public in 1980. It features 29.57 square kilometres of mountains, bogs, heaths, grasslands and forests. The entrance is situ...
Below, you will find a price for this self drive tour including your car rental and a price without car rental included. While we offer very competitive rates for our car rental inclusive packages, this allows you to shop around for your own car rental price should you wish to.
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||3 Star||4 Star||Combination|
|Jan-Mar & Nov-Dec||$554||$724||$995||$754|
|April & October||$554||$807||$1,130||$690|
|May - June||$624||$888||$1,360||$813|
|July - September||$701||$966||$1,434||$1,005|
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