8 Night – 3 Centre Tour

 

<big> 3 Centre Tour </big>

 

This 3 Centre Tour spends 2/3 nights in each location rather than moving every night.

The best vacations are made up of a number of experiences – those moments that you remember long after you have returned home ! If you want to remember your tour as relaxing , this 3 Centre Tour  self drive tour  is an ideal choice  for you. This tour is for the traveller who would rather tour the countryside from a number of locations rather than change accommodations every night or two. Depending on the day you can chose to have a leisurely day or head out on a day trip to explore the surrounding area. This tour is based on arriving and departing through Dublin airport however we can amend the itinerary to suit an alternative airport/ferry port.

Overnight Locations :

Night 1 & 2: Kilkenny
Night 3, 4 & 5 : Kerry
Night 6, 7 & 8 : Galway

 

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<big> Tour Pricing </big>  

 

Low Season B&Bs 3 * Hotel 4* Hotel
Bed & Breakfast for 7 nights and Rental of an Economy Manual car  €507 pps  €723 pps  €885 pps
High Season B&BS 3* Hotel 4*Hotel
Bed & Breakfast for 7 nights and Rental of an Economy Manual car €665 pps  €967 pps  €1,150 pps

 

Tour package Includes :

  • Economy Manual vehicle eg., Ford Fiesta  with unlimited mileage based on a minimum of 2 people travelling together. Inclusive of : Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), theft protection (TP), government tax (VAT) and Location Service Charge.(Upgrade rates for larger or automatic transmissions are available on request)
  • Full breakfast daily except on day one
  • All local taxes and hotel service charges
  • Confirmation documents for each of your accommodations including driving directions
    • All rates above are per adult sharing, child and single supplements apply.
    • Low Season- November-March
    • High Season- April-October

 

<big>  Tour Itinerary </big> 

 

Day 1 – Kilkenny

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 artifacts, 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 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.

Overnight in Kilkenny

Day 2 – While in Kilkenny

Today you have the option of having a leisurely day and exploring the many craft and pottery shops that are found in shadow of the Kilkenny Castle.
Alternatively travel down to Waterford. En-route you can make a stop in New Ross to visit Dunbrody Famine Ship. The Visitor Experience provides a unique, authentic re-creation from a period in history which shaped modern day America and Ireland. Visitors climb the gangplank to the main deck of the Dunbrody. They descend a companionway to enter the quarters of the captain and mate and the stateroom assigned to important passengers. These quarters are fitted out exactly as they were for a voyage. A mixture of replica and authentic objects are used. Further along this route take a visit to The Kennedy Homestead which is the birthplace of President John F. Kennedy’s great-grandfather Patrick Kennedy, celebrates the story of five generations of the Kennedy dynasty and is still farmed today by his descendants. Joining the multitudes of Irish fleeing the Great Famine, Patrick Kennedy departed from this homestead for the port of New Ross on a wet day in 1848 to set sail for the United States where his descendants were to become one of the world’s most famous families. Travel to Waterford and take a visit to the Waterford Crystal Interpretive centre.

Overnight in Kilkenny

Day 3 – Killarney

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. Onwards 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.

Overnight in Killarney

Day 4 –Ring of Kerry day trip

Leaving Killarney head for the Killorglin , which is famous for the Puck Fair pagan festival dating back 3000 years. Where else but in Ireland would a wild mountain goat be crowned King and reign over a town for three days? Killorglin – where a goat is King and people act the goat!
Next stop is Glenbeigh and its beautiful 3 mile sandy beach at Rossbeigh. Head back to the N70 to Kells or go over the mountain at Cahill’s pub ( cars only ) to join the N70. From the mountain stage there is a great view of Dingle bay, this is a good spot to stretch your legs and enjoy the view.
Leaving Caherciveen on your right hand side you can see Valentia Island. This is where the first Transatlantic Cable was laid all the way to America in 1857. You can also visit the Slate Quarry and the Light House where there are many remains of old structures including Stone Forts and Churches.
From Valentia drive back to the main road and head across the headland to Waterville. Continue along the coast road over the Coomakista Pass where there is a viewing point at 700ft (225m) above sea level affording spectacular views. Travel on through Caherdaniel and Castlecove to Sneem. The Kerry international Dark-Sky reserve has designated Ireland’s FIRST international Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark-Sky association. It is one of only 3 gold tier reserves on the planet and the only one in the northern Hemisphere. This means that on clear nights, the sky in the south west region of Ireland is simply stunning with many astronomical sights seen through the naked eye as can be seen in the Grand Canyon or the desert plains of Africa. Constellations can be viewed here with many  more stars than are shown on the usual sky maps. The beautiful band of the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy, Star Clusters and Nebula’s are just some of the naked eye wonders to see without the aid of any astronomical equipment or filters. This can be found at Staigue Fort near Sneem, County Kerry.
The final leg of the tour takes you through some of the most stunning scenery. From Sneem you drive through Parknasilla and Tahilla to Kenmare and then up the mountain road to the infamous Moll’s Gap and Ladies View where you will be treated to unrivalled views of the Killarney Valley. You will pass through the Killarney National Park , the Upper Lake and the Middle Lake before you get to Torc Waterfall on your right and then on to Muckross House and Gardens, well worth a visit and stretch those legs after a great day

Overnight in Killarney

Day 5 – Day Trip to Dingle

The travel to the fishing town of Dingle today as well as the dramatic Dingle Peninsula. 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. 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. What makes it one of the most dramatic archaeological sites on the peninsula is that results show that it was begun in the late Bronze Age, 800 BC. Continue on to Slea Head and here you will see Dun An Oir (Fort of Gold. Here in 1580, after three days siege, over 600 Irish and Spanish soldiers surrendered to Lord Grey only to be massacred by his troops. Nearby is the Gallarus Oratory, one of the best preserved early Christian church buildings in Ireland. Back to Killarney for the evening.

Overnight in Killarney

Day 6 – Killarney to Galway

One of your longest but 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 along the N20 towards Limerick City of ‘Angelas 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. Continue 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.
From there head to Galway, known as Ireland’s Cultural and festival capital. With its street entertainers and traditional pubs with great music, Galway and in particular, the Quays area of the city centre will enthrall you particularly in the evening

Overnight in Galway

Day 7 – Day Trip to Connemara

Today travel west of Galway to the hauntingly beautiful Connemara Region. Situated on the most western seaboard of Europe, this wild unspoilt region boasts breathtaking scenery. Connemara is famous for 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.
Overnight in Galway

Day 8 – Day Trip to Aran Islands

In Galway Bay lie three rocky limestone outcrops that make up the Aran Islands. They are a bastion of traditional language, culture and music, unique in their geology and archaeology and unrivalled in their potent sense of history.
Each of the three islands, Inishmore (Árainn), Inishmaan (Inis Meáin) and Inisheer (Inis Oírr) have their own distinct atmosphere and character, but the dramatic landscapes and endless sea form a backdrop to a labyrinth of meandering stone walls and tiny, tightly packed fields. In between, a network of narrow winding roads and grassy lanes sweep from pristine beaches and craggy shores to the dizzying cliffs that mark the edge of Europe.
The islands have lured legions of writers, artists and visitors over the centuries, their enigmatic ancient monuments, early Christian remains, holy wells and historic lighthouses adding to their sense of timelessness and mystery. Take a pony and trap, or a guided tour from the pier up the island to the stone fort of Dun Aengus. Dún Aengus fort is located on top of a 300ft high sea cliff and is one of the finest prehistoric monuments in Western Europe.

Overnight in Galway

Day 9 – Depart Shannon airport

 

 

<big> Tour Highlights</big>

 

Blarney Castle Blarney Castle 2
This historic castle is most famous for its stone, which has the power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it. The word blarney was introduced into the English language by Queen Elizabeth I and is described as pleasant talk, intended to deceive without offending. The stone is set in the wall below the battlements and to kiss it, one has to lean backwards, (grasping an iron railing) from the parapet walk. Blarney Castle has long been famous because of the Blarney Stone but the less known Rock Close and castle grounds are well worth a visit in their own right. Many different gardens are to be found around the estat and exploration will be rewarded. There is a fern garden with the atmosphere of a tropical jungle to be found deep in the woods. The Poison Garden, adjacent to the battlements, contains an interesting and educational collection of deadly and dangerous plants from around the world, including caged specimens of deadly nightshade, wolfsbane and poison ivy. The Rock Close is a mystical place where majestic yew and oak trees grow around an ancient druidic settlement. Follow the trail through giant gunnera leaves and bamboo and you will find such features as a dolmen, wishing steps and a witch’s kitchen. A water garden with waterfalls adds the soothing sound of water to the visitor’s experience. There are pleasant walks along the riverbanks where you can sit and contemplate the reflections of the castle. In springtime the castle grounds are filled with thousands of bulbs and the ‘Belgian beds’, full of hybrid azaleas are in full flower. In autumn the whole place glows as the leaves turn red, amber and gold

Muckross House & Gardens Muckross House
This magnificent Victorian mansion – one of Ireland’s leading stately homes – is situated amidst the spectacular scenery of Killarney National Park in County Kerry. The elegantly furnished rooms portray the lifestyles of the landed gentry, while downstairs in the basement you can experience the working conditions of the servants employed in the House back in the day.
Muckross House is also home to a number of skilled craftworkers, who can be seen using skills in the crafts of weaving, pottery and bookbinding. Many exotic trees and shrubs flourish in the mild climate and sheltered location of the Muckross gardens. Attractive features include a fine collection of rhododendrons and azaleas, an outstanding rock garden on a natural rock outcrop and beautiful tree-fringed lawns.

Gallarus Oratory, Dingle Gallarus Oratory
Gallarus Oratory, in Ballydavid County Kerry, was built between the seventh and eighth century and is the best preserved early Christian church in Ireland. It represents the apogee of dry-stone corbelling, using techniques first developed by Neolithic tomb makers. The stones were laid at a slight angle, lower on the outside then the inside to allow water to run off. According to local legend, if a person climbs out of the oratory via the window, their soul will be cleansed. This is, however, physically impossible, because the window is approximately 18cm in length and 12cm in width. Gallarus Oratory Visitor Centre is located alongside Gallarus Oratory. The centre offers visitors the opportunity to explore Gallarus Oratory and also see a audio visual display of the surrounding area. There is a shop offering souvenirs and some refreshments located in the main centre.

Aran Islands Aran Islands
In Galway Bay lie three rocky limestone outcrops that make up the Aran Islands. They are a bastion of traditional language, culture and music, unique in their geology and archaeology and unrivalled in their potent sense of history. Each of the three islands, Inishmore (Árainn), Inishmaan (Inis Meáin) and Inisheer (Inis Oírr) have their own distinct atmosphere and character, but the dramatic landscapes and endless sea form a backdrop to a labyrinth of meandering stone walls and tiny, tightly packed fields. In between, a network of narrow winding roads and grassy lanes sweep from pristine beaches and craggy shores to the dizzying cliffs that mark the edge of Europe.
The islands have lured legions of writers, artists and visitors over the centuries, their enigmatic ancient monuments, early Christian remains, holy wells and historic lighthouses adding to their sense of timelessness and mystery. The pace of life is slow here and a profound sense of peace accompanies any walk or cycle down the narrow grassy lanes. This serenity makes the islands a precious sanctuary from the rush of modern life and their isolation guarantees their place as a stronghold of traditional culture. The nightly music sessions, lively dances, traditional crafts, seagoing currachs and wonderfully warm and welcoming spirit are inimitable parts of the Aran Islands