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When you book one of our Luxury Ireland Vacations you don’t just get to visit many of Ireland’s history laden Castle’s. You also get to stay in some of Ireland’s most prestigious five star castle’s and luxury hotels while touring. This self-drive luxury tour of Ireland will allow you to explore the very best of Ireland’s many scenic attractions and awe inspiring views as well as enjoying the comfort and sheer extravagance of some of Ireland’s best five star luxury castle hotels that the Irish countryside has to offer. Of course, a chauffeured private driver option is also available for this luxury castle vacation.
Today you travel to Ashford Castle via Clonmacnoise or the slightly longer route via Newgrange. Clonmacnoise is a famous Christian site which was founded by St. Ciaran in the early 6th century; it includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches, three high crosses and two round towers as well as a significant collection of early Christian gravestones. The megalithic tomb of Newgrange is older than Mycenae, Stonehenge, or even the great Pyramids of Egypt and it is the most notable passage-tomb in Europe. Ashford Castle is just 45 minutes north of Galway and is recognised as one of the top Castle Hotels in Ireland. From the moment you check into this luxury castle accommodation you are welcomed as if you are a long-lost friend and there will be no shortage of things to do on the estate from the lavish spa treatments to leisurely walks on the grounds. Ashford Castle was founded back in 1228 and has since passed hands many times. The estate opened as a hotel in 1915 and since then has had many famous guests including many of the cast and crew of the film ‘The Quiet Man’ in 1951!
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. Just south of the beautiful town of 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. Return to Ashford Castle this evening for another overnight stay in your superb castle surroundings!
While driving from Ashford to Dromoland Castle, the shortest route will take you into Galway City followed by an hour’s drive south to Dromoland. The longer route will see you travel through the karst moon like landscape of the Burren with it’s ancient Dolmen Tombs at Poulnabrone and through the village of Doolin which is world-famous for its traditional Irish music. On to one of Ireland’s best-known tourist attractions, the Cliffs of Moher, 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. Dromoland Castle is steeped in history from its origins as far back as 1014 to the present building we see today constructed in the early 1800’s. In terms of luxury accommodation, Dromoland Castle does not disappoint! Their warm hospitality and high class accommodation and service has helped to build the hotel’s reputation as one of the finest five star hotels that Ireland has to offer.
The major attractions along the road to Killarney include Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, Limerick City of ‘Angela’s Ashes’ and King John’s Castle fame and the pretty Village of Adare where you will find traditional thatched cottages. Continue to Kenmare where the luxury Park Hotel Kenmare awaits you! The Park Hotel Kenmare is an energetic five star luxury hotel with wonderful facilities including the exclusive ‘Spa Samas’ where treatments were designed using techniques developed in the Himalayas, as well as an extraordinary 25 meter pool and on-site cinema. This spectacular hotel also boasts spectacular views overlooking Kenmare Bay amidst the majestic Cork and Kerry Mountains. Limerick City offers a great deal in terms of medieval history.
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.
Today you have a long journey but there are plenty of touring opportunities en route to keep you busy! First stop today might be Cahir Castle, which is one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles, its impressive keep, tower and defensive structures still remain. Not far from Cahir the Rock of Cashel can be found. St. Patrick is believed to have preached here and converted King Aenghus to Christianity here in the 5th Century. From Cashel travel north to Kildare and here you will have the opportunity to visit the National Stud & Japanese Gardens. On site is a Horse Museum which traces the history of the horse in Ireland through illustrations, artefacts and text. The skeleton of the legendary steeplechaser 'Arkle' is also on display. The predicament that you will face when you reach Dublin is, not what you should see but what you should leave out. Take the opportunity to visit some of Ireland’s most historic locations, including Trinity College and the Book of Kells, Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin Castle, The Guinness Storehouse, Christchurch Cathedral and of course not forgetting St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Why not end your busy day in Dublin’s famed pub scene amid the traditional music that the city is famous for. When you are worn out from touring the city your overnight stay tonight is in Dublin’s historic Merrion Hotel, one of Dublin’s top five-star hotels, it is prestigiously set in the heart of Georgian Dublin. Originally built in the 1760’s this luxury hotel well known for its prime location and luxurious accommodation.
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
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...
Ashford Castle, surrounded by the immense lawns and beautiful forests of its 350 acre private estate, overlooking the sparkling waters and picturesque islands of Lough Corrib, is...
In 1951 John Ford's greatest movie The Quiet Man starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara and Barry Fitzgerald was made. It was set in the beautiful west of Ireland with filming being...
Muckross House was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the water-colourist Mary Balfour Herbert. This was actually the fourth house that successive generations of the He...
Newgrange is older than Stonehenge, Mycenae or even the Pyramids of Egypt. Foremost among the passage-tombs of Europe, Newgrange has long evoked the wonder of archaeologists and ...
The Rock of Cashel, also known as Cashel of the Kings is a historic site in Ireland's province of Munster, located at Cashel, Co.Tipperary.
|Accommodation Type||Tour with Standand Room||Tour with Deluxe Room|
|Jan-Mar & Nov-Dec||$1,793||$2,327|
|April & October||$2,417||$3,049|
Included with your car is all compulsory insurances - Collision Damage Waiver insurance (CDW with an excess/deductible), theft protection insurance, location fee of €30, Road fund tax, sales tax at 13.5%, unlimited free mileage, third party liability insurance, 24 hour peace of mind break down cover.
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