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This Best of the Wild Atlantic Way Tour is accessed through Shannon airport and is a 7 night tour based on the highlights of the spectacular coastal route that is the Wild Atlantic Way. The Wild Atlantic Way driving tour is the longest defined coastal route in the world and stretches for 2500km along Ireland’s western seaboard. This tour will allow you to track the rugged coastline of the West of Ireland where you will experience the Irish culture and traditions and maybe even pick up a word or two of our own native language. Out at the very edge of Europe, this breath-taking route encompasses stunning headlands, beautiful beaches, jagged cliffs and some of Ireland’s most famous driving routes such as the Dingle Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry.
This Tour includes a night in Galway City, the City of the Tribes which, although a world away from the small coastal villages you have visited, is a perfect way to end your tour. Galway is the only large city where you can hear Irish spoken on the streets and is a vibrant city known for its selection of eclectic shops, pubs.
From Shannon, you will be heading to the quaint town of Dingle in County Kerry via Limerick City, the pretty village of Adare and the dramatic Conor Pass on route to what is perhaps the most dramatic and scenic peninsula in the country. Limerick City is home to King John’s Castle and the Hunt Museum. Adare is regarded by many a seasoned traveller as Ireland’s prettiest village with its charming thatched cottages, manicured public park and ancient church. The small village of Annascaul is the birth place of Tom Crean, a local hero who accompanied Scott and Shackleton on three Antarctic expeditions, including Scott’s doomed attempt to reach the South Pole. On his return to Annascaul Crean opened the "South Pole Inn", which is still in business today. Dingle retains the charm of a fishing village despite being a popular tourist destination.
From Dingle head to the harbour village of Ventry, in which the ancient tale of the Battle of Ventry Strand is based. The tale as told in a 15th century manuscript describes how Daire Donn, King of the World, landed at Ventry in an attempt to invade Ireland and was defeated on the beachhead by Fionn Mac Cumhaill. You will also see Dunbeg Fort and the Blasket Islands just off the coast. Further along the coast road will bring you to the remains of Ferriter Castle and Dun An Oir. Here in 1580, after three days siege, over 600 Irish and Spanish soldiers surrendered to Lord Grey only to be massacred by his troops. Nearby is the Gallarus Oratory, one of the best preserved early Christian church buildings in Ireland. Back to Dingle for the evening. Here you will find among other great pubs and restaurants, Dick Macks, possibly Dingle’s most famous pub, which is half a leather shop and half a pub so you can buy a pint and a purse at the same time! Foxy John’s is a hardware store and pub combined – an unusual arrangement to say the least.
After an early breakfast depart Dingle in the direction of Brandon to drive over the renowned Conor Pass, Ireland’s highest mountain pass. At the summit Brandon and Tralee Bays can be seen to the north, with the sandy Castlegregory peninsula separating them and to the south lies Dingle Bay. Continue to Tralee and Tarbert where you will take a ferry crossing on the Shannon Estuary to County Clare. Continue north to the 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. Just north of the Cliffs you then have the lunar like Burren region and the ancient Poulnabrone Dolmen Tombs as well as the Aillwee Caves.
Today we travel to the university city of Galway and on to the Connemara region west of Galway. Also on route, you will have a chance to visit Dunguaire Castle which was built in 1520 by the O'Hynes clan on the picturesque shores of Galway Bay. You will also have the chance to stop in Galway, the ‘City of the Tribes’ is also known as Ireland’s Cultural and festival capital. 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. Continue west of Galway to the hauntingly beautiful Connemara Region. 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
Touring north from Connemara, you will also be able to walk along the fjord at Killary harbour or indeed take the catamaran cruise through Ireland's only fjord. From there travel just south of Westport to see Croagh Patrick, otherwise known as Ireland's 'Holy Mountain' upon which St. Patrick (according to Irish folklore) spent 40 days fasting. The area around Croagh Patrick is rich in archaeological remains which provide an interesting insight into life in times past. Findings date back to 200 B.C. You may also wish to visit Westport House - Designed by the famous architects Richard Cassels and James Wyatt in the 18th century, Westport House is located west of the Shannon and is one of Irelands’ most historic homes open to the public.
Just north of the town of Westport in the county of Mayo is Ireland’s least populated region where you can walk the open countryside for miles with no company other than the local sheep. The amazing geology, archaeology, botany and wildlife of this region of North Mayo is interpreted for us at The Céide Fields Visitors' Centre with the aid of an audio-visual presentation and exhibitions. Achill Island and the Currane Peninsula, on the west coast of Co Mayo, are among the most remote and scenic areas in Ireland. You can also travel north to Castlebar, home to the Museum of Country life, an open-plan building houses collections of domestic goods, once used as part of daily life from 1850 to 1950. Exhibits and a movie explain how Irish people made a living from the soil before the machine age. Further north, you may wish to travel to Sligo and view the Ancient Tombs of Carrowmore. There are over 60 tombs here that have been located by archaeologists to date, dating back to nearly 5,000 B.C. and centuries older than the Pyramids of Egypt. Also in Sligo is Drumcliff Churchyard, perhaps the most visited graveyard in Ireland. William Butler Yeats is buried here under the epitaph that he penned, “Cast a Cold Eye on Life, on Death. Horsemen, pass by!”. The Churchyard stands in the shadow of the magnificent Benbulben and here you will find a visitor centre, crafts shop and coffee shop.
From Westport, you may wish to visit the Village of Cong on route to Galway. The famous movie, ‘The Quiet Man’ starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara was filmed in this location. Here you can visit locations from The Quiet Man film such as the dying man's house, Innisfree, Castletown, the river fight scene, 'hats in the air' scene, Rev. Playfairs house, Pat Cohan's Bar and many more. Another slight detour of note on this route is the village of Knock. It is a major Roman Catholic pilgrimage site and it is claimed there was an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1879.Galway City, the ‘City of the Tribes’ also known as Ireland’s Cultural and festival capital. 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. The quay’s area of Galway City is the ideal place to spend your final evening as you will find some of the best traditional entertainment in the country in some of the finest pubs in Ireland.
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...
Bunratty Castle is now a very popular tourist attraction. The interior has been furnished by Lord Gort with tapestries & artifacts from various eras in the history
The Burren is a unique karst-landscape region in northwest County Clare, in Ireland and one of the largest Karst landscapes in Europe.
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 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...
There are so many things to see, to do, to explore, to experience on the Dingle Peninsula . . . from almost 2,000 archaeological sites, to more walking than you could fit into a ...
Doolin is small fishing village on a sandy bay world-famous for its wealth of Irish music & has been attracting crowds to spontaneous sessions and festivals. Overlooked by Doonag...
Dún Aengus is the most famous of several prehistoric forts on the Aran Islands, of Co. Galway. It was built during the Bronze Age and dates from 1,000 B.C. It is located on Inis...
The Gap of Dunloe is a beautiful glacial valley in the Macgillacuddy Reeks mountain range, which dominate the skyline of Killarney on the Ring of Kerry. Here you can enjoy an ene...
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. cccc
|Accommodation Type||B&Bs||3* Hotels||4* Hotels & Manor Houses||Combination|
|Jan-Mar & Nov- Dec||€543||€649||€884||€702|
|April & October||€543||€711||€928||€763|
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