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Irish pubs are known throughout the world for the friendliness and warmth of their hospitality and also for being the meeting place for like minded souls who find themselves in search of quality conversation, humour, music and food. Of course, let’s not forget that your typical Irish publican has also been known to occasionally provide the odd drink or two.
While the Irish pub is indeed a focal point for so much of the Irish social scene, there are a number of locations that simply seem to have more than their fair share of excellent watering holes. To this end, the Irish Pub & Folk Tour takes you to towns that offer numerous great pubs renowned for their atmosphere, food and superb traditional music.
As you travel between these towns in the east, south and west of Ireland, you will also have the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful & picturesque landscapes that Ireland has to offer. Combine that with the history of the regions that you are passing through and you have the makings of an unforgettable vacation.
This tour will provide you with a real insight into both the country of Ireland and its people and their way of life.
After collecting your rental car, your Irish Tourism itinerary will direct you as far as Kilkenny where your vacation begins. Often referred to as ‘Ireland’s Medieval Capital’ Kilkenny has a varied collection of pubs for you to enjoy, some are tranquil sanctuaries to engage in pleasant conversations and others are contemporary hot-spots well known for late night sessions. On route to Kilkenny from Dublin there are a number of places that you might wish to stop. The National Stud & Japanese Gardens for example has been a stop for many the horse enthusiast since the early 1900’s. Here you will find a museum detailing the history of the horse in Ireland, the stud farm itself where race horses are conceived, born and raised and the magnificent Japanese Gardens, regarded by many the seasoned traveller as the finest of their kind in Europe. Characterised by superbly renovated old buildings, Kilkenny City is small and compact enough to explore on foot, yet full of interesting sites to see. You might visit Kilkenny Castle, a 12th century castle renovated in Victorian times or Saint Canice's Cathedral with its neighbouring round tower which is the oldest standing structure in Kilkenny. The round tower may be climbed by visitors who wish to gaze over Kilkenny’s interesting and varied scenery from above.
There are a number of exceptional day trips to be experienced from Kilkenny and all within easy reach. These include a trip to The Rock of Cashel and Cahir Castle in the neighbouring County of Tipperary. Cashel was once the seat of the Kings of Munster and capital of this southern province. The Rock of Cashel, which rears above the plain, dominated the land routes southwards. Kings of Ireland as well as Munster came to the Rock of Cashel and St. Patrick is known to have preached on the rock. Cahir Castle, once an important stronghold of the powerful Butler family, retains its impressive keep, tower and much of its original defensive structure and is one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles. You can then travel on to Waterford where you will see the Waterford Crystal factory. An alternate route would be to visit the county of Wexford to the south east. This would allow visits to 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.
Your tour route today will take you from Kilkenny to Killarney in county Kerry. Killarney is often considered the gateway to the Ring of Kerry and its bustling pub scene, live shows and concerts make the town a preferred overnight stop for many the international tourist and Irish tourist alike. On your tour route you will find the magnificent Rock of Cashel, an impressive cluster of medieval structures set upon an outcrop of limestone in the Vale County of Tipperary. Saint Patrick is known to have prayed on the rock and converted local high kings to Christianity. Cahir Castle, one of Ireland’s best-preserved castles can also be easily found nearby. For those who wish to travel the slightly longer route to Killarney, Blarney Castle can be discovered. Cormac MacCarthy, a great Irish chieftain built the castle almost six hundred years ago and since then the castle and its ‘stone of eloquence’ has been attracting thousands of curious visitors every year. Legend has it that if you kiss the stone you will never be lost for words and have as the Irish say, ‘the gift of the gab’. When you get to Killarney there are many walks and trails for you to enjoy including a two-hour tour around the town itself. You will also have the opportunity to visit Ross Castle which sits delightfully on the shores of Killarney’s lower lake, the Gap of Dunloe and Killarney National Park. In the evenings the town’s pub scene comes to life. As you rest from your travels you are sure to find a wide variety of traditional music as you explore the many old-style and contemporary pubs that this famous town has to offer.
The Ring of Kerry is a stunning journey through mountain and coastal scenery combined with the colourful towns and villages that are dotted around the Iveragh peninsula. Some popular stops include Kenmare which is famed for its many traditional pubs and restaurants, Waterville which is impressively positioned between the rough Atlantic Ocean and the fresh water lake of Lough Currane, the traditional market town of Cahersiveen with its traditional shop fronts and Valentia Island where a walk to the top of Geokaun Mountain will offer you unforgettable views. This driving tour will take you approximately three hours and for those that need a rest from driving we can arrange a bus tour through this route. As a substitute to the Ring of Kerry tour you may favour a wonderful tour by pony and trap that takes you through the Black Valley in the Gap of Dunloe. After an optional bite to eat at Lord Brandon’s Cottage, you will return to Killarney by boat on the beautiful Lakes of Killarney.
One of the longest but most dramatic days of your tour brings you from Killarney to the west coast of County Clare. First stop will be the Village of Adare in County Limerick. Adare is regarded by many as Ireland’s prettiest village with its charming thatched cottages, pretty Public Park and ancient churches. Shortly after this, you arrive at Bunratty Castle. Built in 1425, this grand castle was restored in 1954 to its former medieval glory. Within the grounds of the Castle, 19th century Irish life is accurately recreated through the reconstructed traditional Irish buildings in the folk park. Enjoy the sights and sounds of this fascinating place as you stroll from cottage to cottage or around the delightful village complete with post office, school, doctors house, printers, hardware shop, and of course the local pub where you can indulge in a pint of Guinness or an Irish Coffee! A short distance away, the majestic Cliffs of Moher are without doubt one of Ireland’s most spectacular attractions, offering stunning views over the Atlantic Ocean. You then arrive at the village of Doolin which is often referred to as ‘the music capital of Ireland’. With a great many pubs and restaurants to enjoy, over the last number of years Doolin has been attracting considerable crowds to spontaneous music sessions! With a great many pubs and restaurants to enjoy, over the last number of years Doolin has been attracting considerable crowds to spontaneous music sessions!
From Doolin, you may take a ferry out to the Aran Islands, the closest of which, Inisheer, is only 10 km off the coast. On the Islands, you can take a pony and trap, or a guided tour from the pier 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. Back to Doolin then, where you could stop for some lunch, as there are many music pubs and restaurants to be found. Doolin is world-famous for its wealth of Irish folk music and in recent years has been attracting crowds to spontaneous sessions and festivals or 'fleadhanna' of Irish and international music. For another excursion from Doolin you could head to the 2 million year old Aillwee Caves, which have regular tours of the beautifully lit caverns as well as a farm shop and the Burren Birds of Prey & Educational Centre. Just north of this area you can then visit the lunar like Burren region and the ancient Poulnabrone Dolmen Tombs.
Today you travel to Dublin via Galway and Clonmacnoise. Clonmacnoise is an early Christian site founded by Saint Ciaran in the 6th century on the banks of the River Shannon and includes the remnants of eight churches, a cathedral, a number of Christian high crosses, two round towers and a large collection of early Christian grave stones. From here, travel either to Dublin or take a slight detour to the ancient passage tombs of Newgrange and Knowth. One of the greatest wonders of the world, Newgrange is older than the Pyramids of Egypt and is the most notable passage-tomb in Europe. The many attractions and museums in Dublin are easily accessible on foot or with the help of the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus service that stops at all of the major attractions including Dublin Castle, Christchurch Cathedral, Trinity Castle & the Book of Kells, Kilmainham Gaol, the National Museum of Ireland and The Guinness Storehouse to name just a few. In the evening Dublin City comes alive with its myriad pubs complete with excellent food and traditional & contemporary Irish music and entertainment.
Continue your sightseeing in Dublin today visiting the many historical and modern attractions that this cosmopolitan city has to offer. Other attractions include Saint Patrick’s Cathedral which has a spectacular choir featuring banners and stalls decorated with the insignia of the Knights of St. Patrick, the James Joyce Centre a well restored Georgian town house which contains a museum dedicated to this famous writer & the Dublin Writers Museum which contains exhibits relating to all Irish literature from 300 years ago to the present day. Of course, you may wish to take time out to shop in busy Grafton Street or any one of the quaint streets that the café strewn city centre has to offer. 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.
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.
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...
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...
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||$716||$923||$1,172||$962|
|April & October||$716||$1,050||$1,269||$1,076|
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