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The counties along the South West Coast of Ireland, Cork, Kerry & Clare lay claim to some of the most treasured and impressive scenery in the country as well as a varied culture and plenty of leisure activities to enjoy. This rugged and mountainous landscape is steeped in ancient history and folklore, making it the perfect destination for a truly unforgettable driving tour of Ireland. With its lunar like rocky terrain the Burren region and the spectacular Cliffs of Moher present a fascinating contrast from your travels in the Cork/Kerry region. It has to be said however that there is more to the South West region than its stunning scenery, the friendly, warm and welcoming people who are always willing to help with directions and a smile, really make you feel at home. In the evenings you can have as the Irish say ‘The Craic’ in any local town or village! Ireland’s South West - once visited, never forgotten!
Travel to Kinsale via Limerick City, Blarney and Cork City. Among the most interesting attractions in Limerick are King John’s Castle and The Hunt Museum. From there, the direct route to the small coastal town of Kinsale will allow you to ‘Kiss the Blarney Stone’ at Blarney Castle and visit the Cobh Heritage centre near Cork. 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 also recounts the story of those Irish who left Ireland during ‘The Famine’. An optional detour includes visits to ‘The Rock of Cashel’ and ‘Cahir Castle’, both in Tipperary and both are amongst Ireland’s premiere historic attractions. Kinsale is a delightful harbour town that has retained its old world charm and has a myriad of old Irish pubs and excellent restaurants as well history laden attractions such as the Desmond Castle Museum and the star shaped ‘Charles Fort’ from the 17th century.
Kinsale prides itself to be the gourmet capital of Ireland, boasting abundant superb restaurants and atmospheric traditional pubs. A great deal of your vacation time could indeed be spent in Kinsale itself but if you wish to venture out further afield, your Irish Tourism tailor-made itinerary will help you do just that! If you did not have a chance to visit the following of Kinsale's major attractions, make sure to include them today. Desmond Castle and the International Museum of Wine, which was built in about 1500, had many uses. In 1600 and 1601 it was used as an arsenal by Don Juan Aguilla during the Spanish occupation of the town which lasted for 100 days prior to the Battle of Kinsale in 1601. In the 17th century the castle became popularly known as the "French prison" and was used for prisoners of war, most of whom were captured at sea. During the American war of Independence, the crews of many American vessels were held prisoner in Kinsale in poor conditions. Other notable attractions include Charles Fort, the 17th Century star-shaped fort. St. Multose Church is well worth a visit and was built in 1190. The Courthouse and Regional Museum in was used for ceremonial occasions in the 18th century. In 1915, the Courthouse was used for the inquest into the sinking of the Lusitania. The Regional Museum is now housed in the Courthouse.
Today you have the option of the scenic but longer coastal route or the shorter route via Blarney Castle. The longer route includes visits to Mizen Head, the southernmost point in Ireland, as well as Bantry House and Gardens and the French Armada Centre, also in Bantry. From Bantry, you will be heading north to Killarney via the Healy Pass. Have your cameras at the ready for some breathtaking scenery across the Caha Mountains that divide Cork from Kerry. After the mountain pass, you come to the town of Kenmare. The town was founded in 1670 by Sir William Petty and has a history of lace making, demonstrations of which can be seen at the town’s Heritage Centre. The alternative route for today’s journey is a shorter one. First stop is the famed Blarney Castle where a climb to the ramparts to kiss the Blarney Stone is said to bestowe the gift of eloquence, otherwise known as ‘the Gift of the Gab’. From there it is straight to Killarney. With its three famous lakes and majestic mountain ranges, Killarney has been the inspiration of poets and painters over many centuries. The Killarney National Park is internationally renowned both for its scenic beauty and scientific interest. There are many walks and trails around Killarney including a 2-hour tourist trail around the town itself. You will also have a chance to visit Ross Castle, the Gap of Dunloe or simply take a stroll through the streets of this quaint town to enjoy the great pubs and enjoy the traditional Irish music on offer.
There are a host of touring opportunities in the county referred to by its locals as ‘The Kingdom of Kerry’. The Dingle Peninsula has a fine collection of historic sites and varied mountainous scenery that will make your vacation truly memorable. The main town of Dingle with its colourful shop-fronts and traditional bars and restaurants has been attracting large numbers of visitors for hundreds of years, many of whom come to learn the Irish language which is spoken naturally in the area. The Ring of Kerry on the other hand is a stunning driving tour around the Iveragh peninsula, covering 179 Kilometres of scenic coastal scenery. For those weary travellers who are tired of driving we can arrange a coach tour for you on this route. Some popular stops on the peninsula include Killorglin which is famous for ‘Puck Fair’; one of Ireland’s oldest and most unique festivals that revolves around the capture and crowing of a wild goat as ‘King Puck’! Take a walk through the traditional market town of Cahersiveen with its traditional shop fronts and Valentia Island where views from the top of Geokaun Mountain will impress you as will the quaint village of Sneem. As a substitute to the Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula day trips you may prefer a wonderful tour by traditional horse and carriage that takes you through the Black Valley in the Gap of Dunloe and after an optional bite to eat at Lord Brandon’s Cottage, you will return to Killarney by boat on the beautiful lakes of Killarney. Of course you stay locally and visit the National Park and magnificent Muckross House and Gardens.
One of the 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 a seasoned traveller as Ireland’s prettiest village with its charming thatched cottages, manicured public park and ancient church. From Adare continue towards Limerick City of ‘Angela’s Ashes’ fame and home to King Johns Castle. Shortly after this, you arrive at 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. Continuing on 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 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.
The Burren Centre in Kilfenora may be on your list of must visits in this area as you will learn about the creation of the unique rocky and karst landscape that covers the area and see how thousands of years ago man left his mark in the form of Dolmens and burial chambers. Should you wish to visit one of these monuments; the Poulnabrone Dolmen can easily be found nearby. One of Ireland’s most iconic and famous monuments, the Dolmen covers a mass grave which when excavated the remains of 16-22 adults were found as well as some stone axes and pottery. Just beyond the Poulnabrone Dolmen are the Aillwee Caves. Regarded by many as Ireland’s premier show caves, this stunning creation of nature was formed by the melt waters of a prehistoric ice age. The caves, carved out of limestone, cut into the heart of the mountain can be explored by guided tour from the visitor centre. The remarkable unspoilt Aran Islands are easily reached from the adjacent town of Doolin by Ferry. The largest island is Inishmore, followed by Inishmaan and the smallest and most eastern is called Inisheer. Irish is a spoken language, and traditional Irish ways of life can easily be seen on all three islands. Whichever island you choose to visit, you can be sure that an intimate touring coach will await you at the ferry terminal to show you all the local sights, sounds and traditions.
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.
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...
This little town is world-famous due to its exquisite location beside lakes and mountains.Take a horse-drawn jaunting car ride through the grounds of the Killarney National Park ...
Admire breathtaking vistas of mountains, cliffs and beaches on Ireland’s most popular drive, the 100-mile Ring of Kerry.
The town of Kinsale is not just about food it's also about traditional bars buildings narrow streets shops, galleries and lots of activities on land and sea. Formerly a fishing a...
Located in the scenic south west of Ireland, the village of Adare dates back to 1200 A.D. It is widely known as a major Irish tourist attraction and is regarded as one of the pre...
Cork is the second largest city in Ireland. Sophisticated, vibrant and diverse while still retaining its friendliness, relaxed charm and quickfire wit, Cork buzzes with the energ...
|Accommodation Type||B&B||3 Star||4 Star||Combination|
|Jan-Mar & Nov-Dec||$535||$619||$754||$695|
|April & October||$535||$676||$811||$772|
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