Saint Patrick's Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated here in Ireland on the 17 March. It commemorates Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. Festivals and events are held in every town throughout the country. Your St. Patrick’s Day Festival Tour of Ireland includes two days in Dublin including St. Patrick’s Day and the day previous to it. Dublin holds Ireland’s largest parade, the 2015 Festival theme was ‘The Present’, and draws on the ‘Present’ as its inspiration. 2016 will explore 'the future', asking the question, ‘who do we aspire to be in the next 100 years’?, and completing the three-year theme and narrative of 'past, present and future'. Ireland’s leading pageant companies and marching bands from around the world will be there to make sure the streets come alive!
After collecting your rental car your first stop is the National Stud and Japanese Gardens where a Horse Museum tracing the history of the horse in Ireland using artefacts, illustrations and text is located. In fact the winner of the 2003 Californian ‘Breeders Cup Mile’ race is a National Stud horse, the 3rd in the last 9 years. The Japanese Gardens are situated in the grounds of the Stud Farm and were created between 1906 and 1910. They are planned to symbolise the 'Life of Man' from the cradle to the grave. On 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 inKilkenny 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.
Your first stop today is the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary. Cashel was once the seat of the Kings of Munster and capital of this southern province. The Rock, which rears above the plain, dominated the land routes southwards. 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. Just 10 miles further on 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.
For those who wish to take a slightly longer route to Killarney, Blarney Castle awaits. 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.
You have a number of touring options today. Chief amongst these is the Ring of Kerry driving tour. The Ring of Kerry is a journey through some of the country’s most outstanding scenery around the Iveragh Peninsula. Stunning mountain and coastal scenery combined with colourful towns and villages will make this one of the highlights of your tour. For those who wish to take a break from driving we can arrange a bus tour through this route.
Following the peninsula drive, you then arrive at Muckross House. Muckross House is a magnificent Victorian mansion completed in 1843 for Henry Arthur Herbert. The location of the House is spectacular, close to the eastern shore of Muckross Lake and set beneath the impressive backdrop of Torc and Mangerton Mountains. As an alternative 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. After a snack at Lord Brandon’s Cottage, you will return to Killarney by boat via the beautiful lakes of Killarney.
One of your longest but most dramatic days of your tour brings you from Killarney along the west coast to Galway City, Ireland’s festival capital. 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 along the N20 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. Then it’s on to Galway via the lunar like Burren Region and the ancient Poulnabrone Dolmen Tombs.
Today, the hauntingly beautiful Connemara Region awaits you. Just west of Galway, 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. Alternatively, you may prefer to take the ferry to the Aran Islands. 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 Aengus. Dún Aengus is located on top of a 300ft high sea cliff and is one of the finest prehistoric monuments in Western Europe. This evening head back to the Quays area of the city for some of the best traditional entertainment in the country.
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.
Today is a day to completely immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, feel the energy, enjoy the sights and sounds and marvel at the spectacular performance of the parade participants. Other highlights from the festival which you will be able to enjoy include the Irish Craft Beer & Food Market which is a celebration of Irish craft brewing, Irish whiskey, and Irish artisan food. The ‘Greening of the City’ where Dublin's most famous buildings are illuminated in green and open air performances featuring national and international acts and artists; including walkabout characters, dance routines and the sounds of music and song!
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...
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 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 ...
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 ...
Dublin Castle fulfilled number of roles through history Originally built as a defensive fortification for Norman city it later evolved into a royal residence. Dublin Castle was f...
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...
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...
Guinness Storehouse has attracted over 4 million visitors from all over the world, The Storehouse is laid out over seven floors surrounding a glass atrium taking the shape of a p...
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.
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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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