Ireland Sample Itinerary
May 6th, Sat
Arrive Dublin (advice flights). Meet driver/guide and embark for a half day tour of Dublin tour (approx 3.5 hr) intro to the city. After a brief tour of the City, passing Trinity College, the Georgian Squares and Doors as well as Oscar Wilde’s home and his bust in Merrion Square Park. Visit one of following, 1) St Patrick’s Cathedral which dates from 1191 and was the home of Jonathan Swift when he was Dean, 2) The Guinness Brewery which was first opened in 1759 by Arthur Guinness, 3) Trinity College and the Book of Kells or 4) Jameson Distillery, see how the famous whiskey is made...the water of life. Travel along the coast road south of Dublin City, visiting Dalkey and Dun Laoghaire where one can see the grand houses overlooking the Irish Sea. Dropoff at hotel and check-in.
Overnight in Dublin
May 7th, Sun
Dublin to Belfast
Departing Dublin this morning we will travel firstly up to Newgrange in Co Meath where you can have a light lunch before visiting the megalithic passage grave which predates the Pyramids by some 500 years. The grave itself is believed to be over 5000 years old and is most famous for its winter solstice where, on the shortest day of the year, the sun shines down through a passage to light up the chamber. From Newgrange we will travel northwards into Northern Ireland and up to Downpatrick to visit the excellent St Patricks Centre. Visit St Patricks grave and take a tour through the centre which is truely an exciting experience for all ages. Not for the faint hearted. Take a ferry over Strangford Lough and up the coast to Belfast City.
Overnight in Belfast
May 8th, Mon
Belfast to Derry
Leaving Belfast this morning we will pass by the old Harlem and Wolfe boatyard where the Titanic was built. Continuing along on our journey we will go up to the north coast and stop off at the Carrick a red rope bridge which has been put up by local fishermen for hundreds of years. Hopefully this bridge will be up at this stage as it is only put up in the spring/summer season. From here we will go over to the Giants Causeway which legend has it that it was an ancient bridge over to Scotland. This is a world heritage site due to the unique rock formations. From the Giants Causeway we will drop into Bushmills and perhaps visit the world famous distillery which is has been in operation since the 1600's. After Bushmills we will travel over to Derry City for dinner and overnight and perhaps some music.
Overnight in Derry
May 9th, Tue
Derry to Galway.
After a quick tour of the city this morning we will travel southwards to Sligo town where we will visit the famous grave of Irish poet W B Yeats set underneath the towering mountain of Ben Bulben. Leaving Sligo our next stop will be Foxford to visit the famous woolen mills, this visit will capture you as it explains the story of this local town and how it struggled through the hard times of the late 1800's. Foxford is also the hometown of Admiral Brown who founded the Argentinian Navy. Overnight in Galway
May 10th, Wed
Travel southward into Connemara. Our first call will be over to Kylemore Abbey. The Abbey is a neogothic style building overlooking the Kylemore Lake. It is now an exclusive girls school, run by the Benedictine Nuns since 1922. Enjoy a lunch at the informal restaurant before strolling around the Abbey and the Gothic church. From here we will go into Clifden which is the main market town of Connemara. After lunch and a stroll around Clifden we will make our way to Roundstone, a quaint fishing village right on the atlantic seaboard. Many Irish people holiday in this village. They say that O’Dowd’s pub in the village pulls the best pint of Guinness in the west! It is also an artist’s paradise as the backdrop of the Twelve Bens Mountain Range provides ever changing colours for the artist to explore. Visit Malachy Kearns musical workshop in Roundstone before continuing out to Gorteen beach. From Roundstone we will travel into Galway.
Overnight in Galway.
May 11th, Thu
Galway to Dromoland Castle
To-day we say goodbye to Galway as we head down towards Limerick. En route we will visit Kilmacduagh Monastery just outside Gort town. This monastery has many ancient buildings and a round bell tower set on the shores of the Burren region. Over 1000 years old this is a perfect example of the learning centres that dot the Irish countryside. From Kilmacduagh we will travel to Ennis town for lunch. This is a bustling town with narrow streets and colourful shops. Take time to stroll around before continuing over to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. The Castle itself dates from 1425 and is immersed in history. Outside the Castle Grounds are many thatched cottages which show how life was in different parts of Ireland around the 1900s.
May 12th, Fri
Tour area around Dromoland Castle
Passing through Ennis we will drive over to Lahinch (famous for the surfing and golf) and then up along the coast of Co Clare to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. Continue over to the Cliffs of Moher which rise some 670 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. We will have a light lunch locally before continuing along the coast road to Ballyvaughan. This region is famous for its flora and fauna and scenery. We can perhaps visit the Burren Perfumery or the Ailwee Caves as we tour through this unique area before heading back southwards to Dromoland Castle.
May 13th Sat.
Leave Dromoland Castle for Dingle and tour peninsula (there will be a good bit of traveling done in the vehicle today).
Leaving Dromoland today we will head westward and take the ferry over the Shannon Estuary and into Co Kerry. We will arrive over to Dingle for a walk around the town and some lunch. From Dingle we will take a tour of the Dingle Peninsula. This is a beautiful drive. Dingle itself is a thriving fishing village – the most renowned inhabitant of Dingle is Fungi the Dolphin! Here you will here Gaelic – the Irish language being spoken in its natural surroundings. Visit the Blasket Heritage Centre in Dunquin – this explains how the last inhabitants of the Blasket Islands lived prior to coming to the mainland. They have written extensively about it – mainly in the Irish language. This drive is mainly a visually stunning route so its a matter of sitting back and enjoying the view.
Overnight in Dingle.
May 14th Sun
Dingle to Killarney on Ring of Kerry
A tour of the infamous Ring of Kerry is a must, to-day. From Dingle we will drive down the dingle peninsula and onto the Beara Peninsula (ie the ring of Kerry) and through the mountains to Waterville, a lovely village with great restaurant overlooking the sea. This tour takes most of the day and has stunning views throughout the peninsula as well as many activities to enjoy...whichever takes your fancy. We will visit Ladies View overlooking the 3 Lakes or Killarney as we take the twisting/winding approach into Killarney. Time permitting we can stop off at Muckross House and take a Jaunting Cart ride along the lakeside over to Torc Waterfall.
Overnight in Killarney
May 15th, Mon
Killarney to Cork
This morning we depart Killarney and Kerry as we travel over to Cork. Along the way we will visit Blarney Castle and Gardens. Here you might like to Kiss the Blarney Stone! It is reputed that those who Kiss the Stone have the ‘Gift of the Gab’ (the gift of eloquent speech!). On then to Cork where we visit the Old English Market – this market has been running for many years and is famous for its fresh and varied fish and cheeses. It is a must to see! Continue on to Aherns of Youghal for your dinner and overnight.
May 16th, Tue
Tour Cork area
Touring Cork this morning we will first visit Cobh and the Queenstown Story in Cobh – this is where many Irish people left on the ‘coffin ships’ bound for the United States during the time of the Famine in the 1850s. From here we have a few choices, one can either shop in Cork or visit Cork City Jail or take some time out and we can go over to Kinsale which is known as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland. It is a stunning village set deep in a river estuary with narrow streets and plenty to see and do. Return to Youghal for dinner and overnight.
May 17th, Wed
Youghal to Waterford to Dublin
Leaving Youghal this morning we will travel over to Waterford. No visit to Waterford City is complete without a visit to the world famous Waterford Crystal - enjoy watching the experts create their crystal masterpieces in the oldest crystal factory in the world. From Waterford, travel up to Kilkenny for light lunch and a visit to Kilkenny Castle, one of the finest examples of a castle and gardens in Ireland today. Departing Kilkenny mid afternoon to make our way up to Dublin.
May 18th, Thu
Day tour of Dublin
Meet driver/guide and embark on a day tour of Dublin and Co Wicklow. After a brief tour of the City, passing Merrion Square and Ballsbridge (the embassy area of Dublin) we will continue along the coast of South Dublin by Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey over to Powerscourt House and Gardens in Co Wicklow. Enjoy a light lunch before strolling along the stunning Japanese and Italian Gardens set deep in a valley overlooked by the Sugar Loaf Mountain. The Powerscourt Gardens are reputed to be the most stunning/magnificent in Europe with its diverse collection of Tropical/Mediterranean/Irish foliage all co-existing together in perfect harmony. After lunch in the award winning Avoca shop/cafe (or local pub) we will continue over the Wicklow mountains to Glendalough, which is a 6th century monastic ruin. Glendalough houses one of the most famous Round Towers as well as many ruins of old churches in the most charming of settings. Return to Dublin for your dinner and overnight.
May 19th Fri
Advice flight number.
Transfer to the Airport