13 Day Irish Gems self-drive tour






12-day-ig

Inclusions

Price Includes:

  • 12 nights sharing a double/twin room at specified properties (Pre- booked Accommodation)
  • Heritage Island Guide
  • Service Charges & taxes at exiting rates

Hotels (or Similar):

  • Dublin – 4* Brooks Hotel
  • Cork – 4* Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa
  • Killarney – 4* Cahernane House Hotel
  • Limerick – 4* Dunraven Arms Hotel
  • Galway – 4* Ballynahinch Castle Hotel
  • Donegal – 4* Harvey’s Point Country Hotel
  • Derry – 4* Beech Hill Hotel
  • Belfast – 5* The Merchant Hotel
  • Dublin – 4* Dunboyne Castle Hotel

Or similar *

Itinerary

Day 1 – Dublin City 

Welcome to Dublin Airport. After picking up your hire car transfer into the city centre and check into your hotel. Depending on your arrival time spend some time exploring this historic capital city. Perhaps visit Trinity College to see the famous book of Kells, or maybe get to know the Guinness Storehouse. Today stay in the Brooks Hotel, one of Dublin’s most desirable addresses – an oasis of calm just a couple of minutes walk from Grafton Street. A ground floor bar, lounge and restaurant all link together, making an extensive public area that is quietly impressive on arrival – the style is a pleasing combination of traditional with contemporary touches, using a variety of woods, some marble, wonderful fabrics and modern paintings – and, while a grand piano adds gravitas, there’s a welcome emphasis on comfort.

Overnight: Dublin area

Day2 – Cork

On your way to Cork visit Kilkenny. Kilkenny’s heritage is evident in the city and surroundings including the historic buildings such as Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice’s Cathedral and round tower, Rothe House, Shee Alms House, Black Abbey and St. Mary’s Cathedral. One of the most instantly recognised buildings in Ireland, Kilkenny Castle has been an important site since it was built by the Anglo-Normans in the 12th century. The castle has been remodelled in Victorian times and set in extensive parklands which was the principal seat of the Butler family, Marquesses and Dukes of Ormonde. In Cork arrive in the Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa. One of Ireland’s first seawater spa destinations, this famous hotel enjoys great views over the two ‘Blue Flag’ beaches at Inchydoney, which bring crowds to the area in summer, so many guests prefer it off-season. Most of the generously sized bedrooms have sea views and all have been completely redesigned recently. The exceptional health and leisure facilities make this a special destination for many returning guests; these include a superb Thalasso-therapy Spa, which offers a range of special treatments.

Overnight: Cork area

Day 3 – Killarney

Before you leave Cork explore the English Market. Situated in the heart of Cork City, the English Market is a roofed food market and has been trading since 1788. Alternatively visit the Titanic Experience in Cobh. The location marks the departure point for the last 123 passengers who boarded the Titanic on its fateful maiden voyage to America. Continue to Killarney and visit the Killarney National Park. Why not spend the night at the Cahernane House Hotel, beautifully situated on its own private estate on the edge of Killarney National Park. Only a ten minute walk to Killarney town centre, the approach to Cahernane House Hotel is through a tunnel of greenery which frames the long private avenue and instills a slower sweeter tempo and a true sense of tranquility. Cahernane House Hotel is a unique experience of old Irish history and modern hotel luxuries.

Overnight: Killarney area

Day 4 – Ring of Kerry kerry-ring-of-kerry-copie
Today depart for a Ring of Kerry Tour. The Ring of Kerry brings you along the Atlantic Coast and is one of the highlights of a trip to Ireland. Quiet valleys and idyllic spots await along the way. The breathtaking beauty of the landscape on the peninsula will delight you. Above all, the Ring of Kerry provides an amazing insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland – see the Iron Age Forts & Ogham Stones, Old Monasteries and a landscape carved out of rock by the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago. In the evening return to your hotel.

Overnight: Killarney area

Day 5 – Dingle Peninsula – Limerick

This morning enjoy another beautiful scenic route. The Dingle Peninsula has something to offer to everyone. Among other things: sandy beaches safe for swimming, walking routes for all abilities, a thriving Irish language community, a rich musical tradition, fine dining, sea angling, arts and film festivals, talented craftspersons and some of the best surfing in Ireland. Before you arrive in Limerick pass by Adare and visit Desmond Castle. This evening stayin the Dunraven Arms Hotel. The hotel an unrivalled reputation for the quality and value of short breaks offered, and there is an ongoing determination to combine personal service and quality with value, which makes Dunraven Arms an outstanding example of contemporary Irish hospitality at its best.

Overnight: Limerick area

Day 6 – Galway

On the way to Galway you will cross the Burren region, which is often likened to a moonscape because of the lack of vegetation. Soon after that you will arrive at the Cliffs of Moher – majestic cliffs which rise 215 metres out of the Atlantic and stretch for more than 7 kilometres. From this vantage point you can see the Aran Islands and the mountains of Connemara. Stay in the Ballynahinch Castle. This crenellated Victorian mansion is renowned as a fishing hotel and enjoys a most romantic position in 450 acres of ancient woodland on the banks of the Ballynahinch River. It is also home to one of Connemara’s oldest gardens. Set out among mature trees and shrubs, on many levels, the extensive landscaped gardens here have long been a point of pride and are open to the public every day throughout the season. Although impressive by any standards, the atmosphere is relaxed and the castle would make a very comfortable base for a few days.

Overnight: Galway area

Day 7 – Connemara

Discover the wilderness of Connemara today. Connemara, whose inhabitants still speak Irish, is without doubt the wildest and most romantic part of Ireland. Bewitchingly hidden between mountains and lakes and surrounded by Rhododendrens, lies the gothic style Kylemore Abbey. Afterwards visit Connemara National Park. This impressive park is situated at the foot of the Diamond Mountain, which is 727 metres high. The park includes 1,500 hectares of forest, swamp, highland moors and heaths.

Overnight: Galway area

Day 8 – Sligo

On your way trough Sligo you can visit the Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery. Carrowmore Cemetery has over 60 stone circle and passage tombs making it one of the largest Stone Age cemeteries in Europe. For overnight stop at Harvey’s Point Country Hotel. Blessed with one of Ireland’s most beautiful locations, on the shores of Lough Eske, this well- managed hotel was first opened by the Gysling family in 1989, when chalet-style buildings linked by covered walkways and pergolas created a distinctly alpine atmosphere reminiscent of their native Switzerland – a style that suited the site well, with the open low-level design allowing views of the lough and mountains from most areas of the hotel.

Overnight: Donegal area

Day 9 – Donegal clare-cliffsofmoher

Today why not visit the Slieve League Cliffs. Europe’s highest sea cliffs, although less famous than the Cliffs of Moher in Co. Clare, Slieve League’s Cliffs reach almost three times higher, but you won’t really notice. As most part of Co. Donegal this site is largely untouched by tourism and walks through a largely unspoilt landscape gives you a spectacular view of the coast and the cliff face. Also you can visit the Glenveagh National Park. A spectacular 16,500 hectares (40,000 acres) of scenic mountains, lakes, glens and woods, with a herd of red deer, Glenveagh is one of Ireland’s protected natural parks managed by the State. A Scottish style castle within the estate is surrounded by one of the finest gardens in Ireland, which contrast with the rugged surroundings. The Visitor Centre houses exhibitions and an audio-visual show on the area.

Overnight: Donegal area

Day 10 – Derry

Travel towards Derry. Derry has a heavy historical past and has suffered a lot through violence. Today Derry enjoys the advantages of the new peaceful atmosphere in Northern Ireland politics and its city centre is again lively and pleasant. You will appreciate a walk in the colourful and well looked after historical city, which boast good shopping, pubs and cafes. Stay in the Beech Hill Hotel. Just south of Londonderry, surrounded by 32 acres of peaceful woodland, waterfalls and gardens, this house dates from 1729 and retains many of its original details. Beech Hill is an ideal destination for anyone who enjoys being in restful surroundings and yet close to the city. The lovely gardens and woodlands are the main attraction for many and, as well as 6km of woodland trails, there are picnic areas for fine weather and a new outdoor gazebo and terrace at the main pond area.

Overnight: Derry area

Day 11 – Belfast

En route to Belfast visit the Giant’s Causeway. The new Visitor centre explores the major themes of mythology, geology, landscape, ecology, culture and social history based on the UNESCO World Heritage site that consists of 40,000 basalt polygonal columns formed 60 million years ago after a volcanic eruption. There are various interactive exhibits and short video presentations within five designated interpretive exhibition areas and the self guided visit will culminate with a spectacular two minutes audio-visual projection of a volcanic eruption flowing over the walls and onto the floor. In 2015, Conde Nast Traveler magazine included hopping the Causeway as one of the ’50 things to do in Europe before you die’. Also you can visit the Old Bushmills Distillery. A guided visit commences with an excellent short film on the history and distillation of Irish whiskey, followed by a 20-minute tour of the distillery. The visit finishes in the distillery pub with a tasting. This evening stay in The Merchant Hotel. It is situated in the heart of Belfast city centre’s historic Cathedral Quarter and is Belfast’s most dramatic and beautiful hotel. All guest rooms are elegantly and opulently appointed and offer air conditioning, black out curtains, WiFi, flat screen television, and spacious marbled bathrooms with many extras.

Overnight: Belfast area

Day 12 – Dublin dublin-dublin-castle

Depart for Dublin and visit the Boyne Valley. The Boyne Valley is a World Heritage Site and is the largest and one of the most important prehistoric megalithic sites in Europe. Spend your evening in Dublin City and stay at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel. Set in 21 acres of woodland and gardens on the Meath-Dublin border, this 18th century mansion has been stylishly developed with the original building, a large 3-storey over basement country house, very much the dominant feature in the overall design of the present 4* hotel. The fine interior has been carefully restored and the two main reception rooms are impressive in scale and have many original features.

Overnight: Dublin area

Day 13 – Departure

Transfer to the airport and take your flight back home.

Prices

Irish Gems

12 Nights Package (excluding transport)

Twin Per Person

Single Supplement

Triple per person

January – April

2815

1580

On Request

May – September

3356

1688

On Request

October – December

2815

1580

On Request

Please note: car hire, fuel, additional vehicle insurance, departure transfer, items of a personal nature, etc are not included in the above price.
Prices are correct at time of publishing, 12/09/2017, and may change due to exchange rates, taxes, etc.  
From price is in Australian Dollars.