Day 1: Arrival in Dublin
Welcome to Ireland and to Dublin, the capital City! Upon your arrival in Dublin, make your way to your overnight accommodation. Dublin is the capital of Ireland and one of Europe’s most vibrant cities. Home to over a quarter of the Ireland’s population, almost one million in all, Dublin is a youthful, vibrant and dynamic city with an ever-increasing cosmopolitan influence.
Time permitting, we would recommend that you take the Dublin “Hop On, Hop Off” tour – just over one hour this guided tour which lasts all day and allows you explore the history and culture of Dublin at your leisure. An all day ticket means you can hop on and off as often as you wish throughout the day. Join the tour every 30 minutes at any of the 10 bus stops and buy your ticket from the driver. Each stop is located at one of Dublin’s most interesting attractions. All tours start and end at 59 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1. Tel +353 1 873 4222
Other items to see in Dublin are:-
The Book of Kells was written around the year 800 AD and is one of the most beautifully illuminated manuscripts in the world. It contains the four gospels, preceded by prefaces, summaries, and canon tables or concordances of gospel passages. It is written on vellum and contains a Latin text of the Gospels in insular majuscule script accompanied by magnificent and intricate whole pages of decoration with smaller painted decorations appearing throughout the text. The manuscript was given to Trinity College in the 17th century and since 1953 has been bound in four volumes. It has been on display in the Old Library since the 19th century. Two volumes can normally be seen, one opened to display a major decorated page, and one to show two pages of script
St Patrick’s Cathedral
St Patrick’s Cathedral is traditionally the site of a holy well used by St Patrick for baptisms and a church was established here as early as the late fifth century – a stone marking the site of the well was found in 1901 after the demolition of buildings nearby to form the park beside the cathedral. The present cathedral was founded in 1192 by Archbishop John Comyn. As Archbishop he resided in the priory of Christ Church Cathedral – unwilling to submit to the jurisdiction of the City Provosts, he started a cathedral and palace outside the city walls.
The new Guinness Experience is located in the heart of the Guinness brewery in Dublin. It is a dramatic story that begins over 250 years ago and ends in Gravity, the sky bar, with a complimentary pint of Guinness and an astonishing view of Dublin. As you wander up through Guinness Storehouse, you’ll discover what goes into making the Black Stuff- the ingredients, the process, the passion.
National Gallery – Free Entrance
The National Art Gallery of Ireland was built in the mid-1800′s in honour of businessman and philanthropist William Dargan. A committee was formed in the 1850s to commemorate in some permanent way the munificence of William Dargan. He was the outstanding inaugurator of many Irish railway companies and almost single handedly financed the Great Exhibition of 1853 which included the country’s greatest art collection up to then. Artists represented include Rembrandt, Fra Angelico, Valázquez, Vermeer, Murillo, Hogarth, Reynolds, Turner, Gainsborough, Titian, Caravaggio, Brueghel, Van Dyck, El Greco and Picasso. The Irish School includes Osborne, O’Conor, Maclise, Hone, Orpen, Jack B Yeats.
Overnight & Breakfast in Dublin
Day 2: Dublin to Sligo – 330km approximately
Today cross the country via Clonmacnoise in the midlands to the beautiful county of Sligo. Sligo is the county town and the most populous urban area in County Sligo.
Clonmacnoise wonderfully sited on the water meadows of the River Shannon, remains one of Ireland’s holiest places. An early Christian site founded by Saint Ciaran in the 6th century on the banks of the River Shannon, the site includes the ruins of a cathedral, eight churches (10th-13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and a large collection of early Christian grave slabs. Even in ruin, this monastic city of St. Ciaran, with its cathedral and churches, its high crosses and round towers is a must for all visitors.
Mullaghmore is a village on the Mullaghmore peninsula in County Sligo in Ireland. It is a noted holiday destination, characterised by ocean views and a skyline dominated by the monolithic shape of Ben Bulben mountain. It was a favoured holiday retreat of Admiral of the Fleet – the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, the last Viceroy of India, who had inherited Classiebawn Castle, a baronial style house standing on the peninsula.
Drumcliffe, County Sligo is set against the striking backdrop of the Benbulben Mountains. It is best known as the final resting place of W.B. Yeats.
Found in the churchyard, his grave is marked with a simple headstone with the inscription, “cast a cold eye on life, on death, horseman, pass by.” This was Yeats’ self penned epitaph together with the instructions that the grave consist of “no marble, no conventional phrase”. The graveyard also contains a high cross and nearby is the site of a 6th Century Columbian monastery.
Overnight & Breakfast Sligo
DAY 3: Sligo to Westport – 280km approximately
Enniscrone, Co Sligo, is regarded as a traditional coastal tourist resort but it also has a wealth of archaeological remains which display a rich heritage possibly dating back to the megalithic era, some 4000 to 5000 years ago.
The oldest archaeological sites in Enniscrone are the ruins of two possible passage tombs, thought to date from about 2500 BC – however research of similar sites estimate that some such tombs may in fact be much older – possibly dating from about 5000 BC.
Downpatrick Head 3 miles north of Ballycastle village is a striking headland standing 126ft above the sea. From here, there are fantastic views of the Atlantic, the Staggs of Broadhaven to the west, and high cliffs along the shore. The small stone building at the top of Downpatrick Head was used as a lookout post during the Second World War. It is now used to view the many species of birds on ‘Dún Briste’. The Sea Stack known as ‘Dún Briste’ (The Broken Fort) can be seen at Downpatrick Head, 3 miles north of Ballycastle. It was separated from the mainland in 1393 as a result of high seas and the people were taken off using ships ropes. It is 63 metres by 23 metres, 45 metres high and 228 metres from the shore.
Achill Island in County Mayo is the largest island off the coast of Ireland, and is situated off the west coast.
Keem Bay is a perfect horseshoe bay containing a popular blue flag beach at the head of a valley between the cliffs of Benmore to the west and Croaghaun mountain on the east. At the southern end of the valley, the beach is sheltered to the west by Moyteoge Head, while at the northwestern end of the valley the cliffs of Benmore connect with the spectacular mile long promontory of Achill Head. This spar is the most westerly point on Achill and tails off with two sea stacks called Gaoí Saggart and Carrickakin. Keem is accessible for cars via a clifftop road that was constructed in the 1960s along the route of an older track.
Westport is a town in County Mayo in Ireland. It is at the south-east corner of Clew Bay, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Ireland. The town centre was designed by James Wyatt in 1780, in the Georgian architectural style. Amongst its many outstanding features are the elegant tree-lined streets along the river known as The Mall, bustling Bridge Street, the main shopping street with cheerful shop and pub fronts. Westport attracts visitors of every age and nationality and they love what they find – a unique blend of old and new, living memories of a bygone era mingling happily with the lively, busy town of today.
Overnight & Breakfast Westport
Day 4: Westport to Galway – 160km approximately
Today travel south via Leenane and Connemara to Galway.
Why not take a cruise on Killary Harbour today- Tour the spectacular Killary – Ireland’s only fjord. During the 90 minute sightseeing trip you can listen to a history of the Leenane area, eat lunch or sip an Irish Coffee in our warm and spacious viewing lounge. Or simply sit on deck and watch the Connemara scenery pass by. If you are lucky, a school of dolphins may come to join us for a time!
Visit Kylemore Abbey – a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. The abbey was founded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I
The village of Roundstone lies on the western arm of Bertraghboy bay in Connemara, Co. Galway, 48 miles (77km) north-west of Galway city. This Connemara village is beautifully set on one of the most spectacular coastal drives in Ireland overlooking the Atlantic at the foot of Errisbeg Mountain.
is noteworthy for several reasons. In the early years of the last century, Gugliemo Marconi established the first ever commercial transatlantic wireless station up here. Then Alcock and Brown landed their first ever transatlantic flight on the very same spot in 1919. It is nowadays a peaceful, beautiful area and I really like walking here. This route involves some walking on the R341 road, but even that bit is scenic enough and you’ll get most of it out of the way at the start.
Galway City is known as Ireland’s Cultural Heart and is renowned for its vibrant lifestyle and numerous festivals, celebrations and events. Every July, Galway hosts the Galways Arts Festival which is known for its famous Macnas Parade. The city also bears the nickname “The City of the Tribes” because “14 Tribes” of merchant families led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period. The term tribes was often a derogatory one in Cromwellian times. The merchants would have seen themselves as Irish gentry and loyal to the King. They later adopted the term as a badge of honour and pride in defiance of the town’s Cromwellian occupier.
Overnight & Breakfast Galway
Day 5: Galway to Dingle – 307km approximately
The Burren is a karst-landscape region or alvar in northwest County Clare, in Ireland. It is one of the largest karst landscapes in Europe. The region measures approximately 250 square kilometres and is enclosed roughly within the circle made by the villages Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarba. It is bounded by the Atlantic and Galway Bay on the west and north, respectively.
The Cliffs of Moher are located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in County Clare. Standing 214m (702 feet) at their highest point they stretch for 8 kilometres (5 miles) along the Atlantic coast of County Clare in the west of Ireland. From the Cliffs of Moher on a clear day one can see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, as well as the Twelve Pins and the Maum Turk mountains in Connemara, Loop Head to the south and the Dingle Peninsula and Blasket Islands in Kerry. O Brien’s Tower stands near the highest point and has served as a viewing point for visitors for hundreds of years.
Loop Head is a tiny peninsula on the most westerly point of County Clare. The Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Shannon Estuary on the other side giving some of the most amazing panoramic cliff views anywhere in Ireland.
We recommend the Ferry from Kilrush in County Clare to Tarbert in County Kerry. This is just a 20 minute ferry trip (car ferry).
Continue from Tarbert via Listowel and Tralee to Dingle a town full of surprises and supremely unique – a precious gem waiting to be discovered. – The Dingle Peninsula is the northernmost of the major peninsulae in County Kerry. It ends beyond the town of Dingle at Dunmore Head, the westernmost point of Ireland.
Overnight & Breakfast Dingle
Day 6: Dingle to Killarney – 100km approximately
Inch Beach is worth a visit – Long sand spit backed by dune system reaching into Dingle Bay. Popular with surfers, anglers and swimmers. This is a Blus Flag Beach with Life Guards during summer season. Surf schools, water sports equipment and wetsuit hire.
The magnificent Skellig Islands lie 8 miles (12 km) off the coast of Portmagee in South West Kerry. Rising majestically from the sea, Skellig Michael towers 714ft. (218 metres) above sea level. On the summit of this awe-inspiring rock you will find a remarkably well preserved sixth century monastic settlement. On the spectacular Small Skelligs 23,000 pairs of gannet nest on every available ledge making it the second largest gannet colony in the world.
Killarney is a town in County Kerry, southwestern Ireland. The town is on the northeastern shore of Lough Leane, which is part of Killarney National Park. In the National Park you will find Muckross House & Gardens.
Muckross House was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the watercolourist Mary Balfour Herbert. This was actually the fourth house that successive generations of the Herbert family had occupied at Muckross over a period of almost two hundred years. William Burn, the well-known Scottish architect, was the designer. Building commenced in 1839 and was completed in 1843.
Originally it was intended to build a more ornate house than we see here today. The plans for a larger servants’ wing, stable block, orangery and summer-house are believed to have been altered at Mary’s request. Today the principal rooms are furnished in period style and portray the elegant lifestyle of the 19th century landowning class. While in the basement, one can imagine the busy bustle of the servants as they went about their daily chores.
During the 1850s, the Herberts undertook extensive garden works in preparation for Queen Victoria’s visit in 1861. Later, the Bourn Vincent family continued this gardening tradition. They purchased the estate from Lord and Lady Ardilaun early in the 20th century. It was at this time that the Sunken Garden, Rock Garden and Stream Garden were developed
Overnight & Breakfast Killarney
Day 7: Killarney to Cork – 300km approximately
Today the journey goes through the Beara Peninsula – The most westerly of West Cork’s inhabited islands, Dursey lies across a narrow sound and is a great getaway from the fray of modern living. This rugged island is accessed via Ireland’s only cable car, which runs about 250m above the sea and takes six people or one large animal at a time! The journey takes about ten minutes crossing the infamous Dursey Sound where strong tides make travelling by boat hazardous.
The island is part of the Beara Way walking trail and having no shops, pubs or restaurants offers the day visitor a unique experience of calm with spectacular views of the Beara peninsula. It is also a bird watcher’s paradise with rare birds from Siberia and America to be spotted there.
Continue to the next peninsula to Mizen Head and visit Mizen Head Signal Station, built to save lives off the treacherous rocks at Ireland’s most south-westerly point, five miles from Goleen, is open to the public. – An award winning Maritime Museum and Heritage Attraction, this authentic all-weather experience is a must-see with its spectacular location on high cliffs with swirling Atlantic Ocean tides. From the Car park and Visitor Centre, the Signal Station is a ten minute walk along the path, down the 99 steps and across the Arched Bridge, the Mizen is famous for its wildflowers and sightings of wildlife, dolphins, whales, seals, gannets, kittiwakes, choughs – the bird migration north-south flight path is just a mile off shore.
South, the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse, Ireland’s Teardrop, was the last landfall seen by many emigrants to America and one of Marconi’s first telegraph stations. Mizen Signal Station had the first Radio Beacon in Ireland, 1931; the history of Safety at Sea communications is here, Wireless Signals, Racon, GPS and DGPS. Displays about the lives of the Irish Lights Keepers who left the Mizen in 1993, The Bridge with full Navigational Aids Simulator, Automatic Weather Station, Maps, Guided Tours.
Continue along the coast to KINSALE – a fishing village in County Cork. Located some 25 km south of Cork City on the coast near the Old Head of Kinsale – The Old Head of Kinsale, is a headland near Kinsale. An early lighthouse was established here in the 17th century by Robert Reading.
Overnight & Breakfast Kinsale
Day 8: Kinsale to Dublin – 180km approximately
Cork is the largest county in Ireland and has embraced the art of living to such an extent that visitors cannot but relax and enjoy her charms. Cork city and its surrounds hosts a number of sites of historical interest. Within walk of the city centre, there is the Cork City Gaol, St. Finbarr’s Cathedral and University College Cork, but to name a few. Cork is a haven for the shopper, with all the main UK retailers, department stores and famous food markets on offer in the city centre. The English Market (off Princes Street and the Grand Parade) provides a colourful taste of Irish cuisine.
Leaving Cork travel to Cashel – As you approach Cashel, the famous Rock of Cashel looms up in front of you. The Rock of Cashel is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in Ireland. It sits on the outskirts of Cashel on a large mound of limestone bristling with ancient fortifications. Mighty stone walls encircle a complete round tower, a roofless abbey, a 12th century Romanesque chapel, and numerous other buildings and high crosses. The Rock of Cashel is composed of four structures which are the Hall of the Vicars Choral, the cathedral, the round tower, and Cormac’s Chapel. Hore Abbey is about one kilometre north at the base of the rock. The word Cashel is an anglicised version of the Irish word Caiseal. The translations means ‘fortress’ which is exactly what it was used for.
Continue from Cashel to County Kildare and visit the Japanese Gardens at the National Stud. The Irish National Stud’s Japanese Gardens, renowned throughout the world and the finest of their kind in Europe, are far more than simply a treat for the eye. They also provide comfort to the soul, achieving exactly the objective that was set out when the gardens were created between 1906 and 1910.
Devised by Colonel William Hall Walker, a wealthy Scotsman from a famous brewing family, the gardens were laid out by Japanese master horticulturist Tassa Eida and his son Minoru. Their aim was, through trees, plants, flowers, lawns, rocks and water, to symbolise the “Life of Man”. That plan was executed to perfection and Eida’s legacy is now admired by the 150,000 visitors who soak up the peace of the gardens every year.
Overnight & Breakfast Dublin
High Season Pricing April – October 2014
- Homestay / Guesthouse $905 pp sharing
- 3* $1150 pp sharing twin/double room
- 4* $1315 pp sharing twin/double room
- Single Supplement starting from $425 pp
- $35 triple reduction.
Low Season Pricing Nov 2013 – March 2014 - 10 % reduction in price
Low Season Pricing Nov 2014 – March 2015 - 10 % reduction in price
B&B Accommodation, Car Hire and Sightseeing visits (Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Guinness Storehouse, Clonmacnoise, Killary Cruise, Kylemore Abbey, Cliffs of Moher, Killimer – Tarbert ferry one way, Muckross House & Gardens, Mizen Head Signal Station, Rock of Cashel)
The car is priced on a Opel Corsa based on two sharing or Toyota Corolla for 4 sharing (Manual)