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Accessed via Dublin Airport (slight adjustment for those using Shannon Airport), this luxury tour includes overnights in Ireland's premier Hotels and Castles.Your route will allow you to visit Ireland’s most popular sights including Trinity College and Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, the Monastic Settlement at Glendalough and Powerscourt House in Wicklow, Waterford Crystal in the South east, Blarney Castle and Kinsale in County Cork, Killarney and the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher and the ‘Burren Landscape’ of County Clare as well as the Aran Islands and Connemara in County Galway. While in Ashford Castle, you will also have time to pop next door to the famed setting for that John Wayne Classic, ‘The Quiet Man’.Your accommodations include the best that Ireland has to offer in terms of service, location and gastronomy, with tasting menus available upon request.
Travelling the coastal route, you will first arrive at Powerscourt House & Gardens. Surrounding this 18th Century Palladian House in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains, you will find a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statuary and ornamental lakes together with secret hollows, rambling walks and over 200 varieties of trees and shrubs. Shortly after this, you will arrive at the ancient monastic settlement at Glendalough. The monastic settlement has been a centre for pilgrims and visitors since its foundation by St. Kevin in the 6th century. Continue on to Avoca where you will find the Avoca Handweavers factory, famed worldwide for the quality of its woven fabrics. On to the Dunbrody Famine ship in New Ross before the final leg to Waterford City and the Waterford Crystal Interpretive centre.
While you may wish to relax in Waterford city and soak up the Viking heritage, or take a short drive out to the quaint picturesque fishing village of Dunmore East. You have the opportunity to travel inland to the county of Tipperary and visit two historic sites today. First of these is the Rock of Cashel. 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. Ireland’s most famous High King Brian Boru also used this location from which to continuously thwart the Viking raiders. Next stop is Cahir Castle, once an important stronghold of the powerful Butler family, which retains its impressive keep, tower and much of its original defensive structure. It is one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles.
Today you may wish to travel east to County Wexford to see the Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross followed by a visit to the lovely Wexford Coast including the ancestral home of the Kennedy’s and Hook Lighthouse. Alternatively, you may decide to travel north 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.
You will have quite a long journey today from Waterford to Kenmare. The following route includes visits to Midleton, Youghal & Cobh. Youghal is famous for its point lace (point d'Irlande) which is distinguished by its vivid patterns as well as the fact that the film ‘Moby Dick’ starring Gregory Peck was filmed here in 1956. After Youghal, you will travel to the village of Cobh. Cobh, situated on one of the world’s largest natural harbours, was the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic in 1912 and was the closest port to the site of the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915. The heritage centre sympathetically recounts these events and tells the story of emigration from Ireland to the United States and Australia from the time of the famine in 1847 up to the 1950s. A stop to climb to the Blarney Castle ramparts to ‘Kiss the Blarney Stone’, said to bestow the gift of eloquence, and is a must for those who dare. Across the village green you will find the Blarney Woolen Mills store, a one stop shop for Irish knitwear, crystal, linen and much more. From here you will travel to Kenmare. Kenmare is an excellent location from which to tour the Ring of Kerry or indeed the less travelled but unspoilt Beara Peninsula to the south of Kenmare.
Kenmare is the perfect base for you to tour the famous Ring of Kerry, which is a journey through some of Ireland’s most outstanding scenery around the Iveragh Peninsula. Stunning mountain and coastal scenery combined with colourful towns and villages will make this journey one of the highlights of your vacation. For those who wish to take a rest from driving we can pre-arrange a coach tour through this route from Killarney. Muckross House is a stop on your route that you are sure to visit. Muckross House is a wonderful Victorian manor built in 1843 for Henry Arthur Herbert. The location of the House is impressive, close to the eastern shore of Muckross Lake and set below the impressive backdrop of the Torc and Mangerton Mountains. As a substitute 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 and after a snack at Lord Brandon’s Cottage, you can return to Killarney by boat via the beautiful Lakes of Killarney. This evening you will spend another fabulous overnight stay in the luxury Kenmare Park Hotel, perhaps tonight enjoying a sumptuous dinner in the George Bernard Shaw restaurant. Named after the Irish playwright who famously said ‘there is no sincerer love than the love of food’.
You have the option today of relaxing in the locality or if you wish to continue sightseeing further afield, you may wish to see either the Dingle or Beara Peninsula’s. The Dingle Peninsula has more interesting antiquities, historic sites and varied mountain scenery than any other part of Ireland. Dingle is the most westerly town in Europe and attracts large numbers of visitors each year, many of whom come to learn the Irish language in the surrounding ‘A Flor-Gaeltacht' – Irish speaking district. On route stop in the village of Annascaul, the birth place of Jerome Connor, the famous sculptor, and 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. Minard Castle is also well worth a visit as are the sites at Dunbeag Promontory Fort, Slea Head and the Gallarus Oratory. The castle is said to have been built by the Knight of Kerry and is the largest fortress on the peninsula. Continue on past Dingle and visit Dunbeag Promontory Fort from 800BC. The Beara Peninsula is closer to Kenmare. pay a visit to the short but lovely Beara Peninsula just south of Kenmare. Also in this area can be found Garinish Island. A short boat trip brings you to the island – look out for seals basking on the nearby rocks – to see the beautiful Italian style gardens that are home to numerous rare and sub-tropical plants. Travel to Castletownbere, one of the largest white fishing ports in Ireland. Situated on Berehaven Harbour and looking out towards Bere Island, the town has a spectacular background of the Slieve Miskish Mountains. Return to Kenmare via the stunning Healy Pass across the Caha Mountains that divide Cork from Kerry.
Today your journey brings you to Co. Clare to Dromoland Castle. From Kenmare travel to Killarney and onwards 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. After leaving Adare travel along the N20 towards Limerick City of ‘Angelas Ashes’ fame and home to King Johns Castle. From here continue to Bunratty where you can visit 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. Continue from here to Newmarket-On-Fergus where the Castle is located. Dromoland Castle, one of finest castle hotels in Ireland, offers guests the experience of living like landed gentry, surrounded by luxury, beauty and service. The castle, a magnificent Renaissance structure built in the 16th Century, was once the royal seat of the O'Brien Clan. Refurbished and transformed into a luxury castle hotel in 1962, it retains priceless reminders of the castle's historic past
This morning travel 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 and the Aran Islands on the coast of West Clare. Just north of the cliffs is 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. You then have the lunar like Burren region and the ancient Poulnabrone Dolmen Tombs nearby. An alternative to walking the cliffs and Burren region is to see them from the sea. With an early start, you may take the ferry to the Aran Islands from Doolin Pier. 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 Aonghus. The fort is located on top of a 300ft high sea cliff and is one of the finest prehistoric monuments in Western Europe. This evening, perhaps attend the Bunratty Castle Medieval banquet just 10 minutes from Dromoland.
From Dromoland Castle travel less than an hour north to Galway City. Galway City, known as the ‘City of the Tribes’ is Ireland’s Cultural and festival capital. 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. On to Ashford Castle. At Ashford Castle, each guest room is individually designed to provide stylish personal comforts, from the marble fittings of bathrooms to soft coordinated fabrics and furnishings. Ashford Castle’s spacious suites allow an abundance of time to relax in a grand manner and experience the tranquillity which nature provides.
While there are plenty of activities in and around the Castle Estate to keep you entertained including golf, falconry, clay pigeon archery, bicycle hire and water sports, if you decide to tour the area surrounding the Castle, you will not be short of things to see. Take a cruise on Lough Corrib and visit the ancient ruins on Inchagoill Island, the ferry terminal for which can be found near the village of Cong. Also in the village you can take the Quiet Man Tour which visits the film locations and settings used in the making of the epic film starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara – The Quiet Man. You could easily travel south to Clifden which is the principle town of Connemara. Here you can peruse the local shops including sweater shops, quality gift shops, enticing boutiques, antique shops as well as many quirky souvenir shops. If not already visited, Kylemore Abbey may also be on your visit list! Known as Ireland’s most romantic Castle the grounds also contains a Gothic Church and a beautiful Victorian walled garden.
Westport town is another beautiful place that you could visit just less than one hour from Ashford Castle. Close to Westport, you will find Croagh Patrick which is known locally as Ireland’s 'Holy Mountain' and according to legend St. Patrick spent 40 days and 40 nights fasting and praying here. Just north of Westport 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. 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. Return to Ashford Castle this evening for another overnight stay in your superb castle surroundings!
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.
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. 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. View your detailed travel itinerary for a full list of Dublin amenities.
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. Dublin city centre is a compact area, with all points of interest being easily accessible on foot. You may of course wish to visit many of the sights in your own time. 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. 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.
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 Céide Fields is an area situated on the north Mayo. This location contains one of the oldest known field systems in the world. Using various dating methods, it was discovered...
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 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...
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 ...
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||Tour With Standard Rooms||Tour With Deluxe Rooms|
|Jan-Mar & Nov-Dec||€2,999||€4,241|
|April & October||€3,971||€5,236|
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