Day 1 – Dublin City
Welcome to Dublin. After you pick up your car, transfer to your city centre hotel. Spend the remainder of the day soaking up the atmosphere of this exciting city visiting some of its many attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College or the Old Jameson Distillery.
Overnight: Dublin area
Day 2 – Wicklow, East Coast & Waterford
This morning depart your hotel for Wicklow, known as the “Garden of Ireland”. Travelling through the scenic Wicklow Mountains why not visit Powerscourt Gardens? Here you will be able to stroll around the 45 acre garden, long regarded as one of the most splendid in Europe. They include formal gardens, sweeping terraces as well as statuary and ornamental lakes which have over 200 variations of trees and shrubs. You will also have an opportunity to visit the restored 18th century house, which was destroyed by fire in 1974.
You can also visit nearby Glendalough the “Valley of the two Lakes”, a 6th century monastic site of great cultural and historic interest and a renowned beauty spot of Ireland. Set in a glaciated valley with two lakes, the 6th Century monastic remains include a superb round tower, stone churches and decorated crosses. The Visitor Centre explains the history of the region and the monastery.
Continuing south towards Waterford why not visit the Dunbrody Emigrant Ship in New Ross. Dunbrody is a full scale replica of the original ship which was built in 1845 for the graves family of New Ross and which carried thousands of emigrants from Ireland to North America over a period of thirty years, trading extensively all over the world. Dunbrody recalls the romantic age of sailing ships as well as giving a unique insight into the mass emigration of the Great Famine and the years following.
Overnight: Waterford area
Day 3 – Waterford & Kerry
This morning, before you leave, you could visit the world famous House of Waterford Crystal comprising an actual living and breathing crystal factory tour, visitor centre and opulent retail store housing the largest collection of Waterford Crystal in the world.
Travelling from Waterford and passing through the seaside towns of Dungarvan and Youghal you arrive at Midleton where you can visit the Old Midleton Distillery. Following a video presentation on the story of Irish whiskey, you will follow the old distillery trail through mills, malting’s, corn stores, still houses, warehouses and kilns. You also get an opportunity to view the largest pot still in the world.
Time permitting, make a short stop in Cork City, which is Ireland’s second largest city and is located in the south west of the country, is recommended. The Cork region is steeped in 4000 years of history and is rich in culture and heritage which is highlighted in a tour of the city. Much of the medieval core of the city is still intact today and the colourful and dramatic past is reflected in its streets, architecture and port.
Continue on to Killarney, which is located among some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery.
Overnight: Kerry area
Day 4 – Ring of Kerry
Today tour one of Ireland’s loveliest districts, the Ring of Kerry. Poets, painters, writers and musicians have all tried to convey the beauty of this area. Mountains, valleys and lakes blend into a palette of scenic splendour.
A delightful day includes a drive along the broad, dramatic coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula and through the charming villages and towns of Killorglin, Cahersiveen, Waterville and Irish-speaking Sneem.
Why not visit Muckross House, a magnificent Victorian mansion and one of Ireland’s leading stately homes? The gardens at Muckross House are renowned world-wide for their beauty; in particular they are noted for their fine collections of azaleas and rhododendrons.
Overnight: Kerry area
Day 5 – Clare & Galway
This morning you commence your journey towards Galway. Passing through the pretty village of Adare and the Medieval City of Limerick you arrive in Bunratty where you can visit the 15th century Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. Explore the beautifully restored Castle Rooms, the traditional thatched cottages in the Folk Park and reconstruction of a typical turn of the century village, complete with schoolhouse, hotel and pub, potters, millers, weavers, print shop, post office, portrait studio, doctors house, and confectioners. Travelling northwards through Ennis you arrive at the Cliffs of Moher. These impressive cliffs rise to a height of 200m above the sea and stretch for a distance of about 8km along the coast – time permitting visit the new Visitor Centre.
Then on to Galway, for a short sightseeing tour of the city known as the “City of the Tribes,” after the fourteen most prominent families in this area. Galway long traded with Spain and the Spanish influences are many in the city. Of note is Spanish Arch, a gateway in the old city walls and the Spanish Parade, where wealthy merchants and their families enjoyed a stroll along the promenade.
Overnight: Galway area
Day 6 – Connemara
Travel out into the wild and rugged Connemara region today, famous for the savage beauty of its lake and mountain scenery. Why not visit the Connemara National Park, where Connemara ponies and Irish red deer roam freely through 5,000 acres of scenic mountains, bogs and grassland. You can also visit the magnificent Kylemore Abbey – a beautiful mansion in a lakeside setting against a mountainous backdrop. Irish Benedictine nuns, with a tradition of over 300 years, run this unique Abbey set in the heart of Connemara, overlooking Pollacappul Lake.
Overnight: Galway area
Day 7 – Offaly, Westmeath & Dublin
Leaving Galway this morning you commence your journey across the rolling pastures of Ireland’s heartland to Dublin.
Passing through Athlone in the very centre of Ireland, you can stop at nearby Clonmacnoise, an early Christian site founded by Saint Ciaran in the 6th century, on the banks of the 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.
Continue your journey eastwards through Mullingar where you can visit Belvedere House & Gardens. The magnificent early 18th century stately home of Robert Rochfort, Earl of Belvedere, stands in 160 acres of parkland on the shore of Lough Ennell. Belvedere is one of the finest of Ireland’s historic houses and together with gardens and park, has been exquisitely restored. A modern visitor centre tells the tale of Rochfort’s cruel 31 year imprisonment of his second wife; Sir John Piers’ seduction of Lady Cloncurry at a picnic and the creation of Ireland’s largest man made folly – the jealous wall.
Continue on to Dublin where you will stay tonight.
Overnight: Dublin area
Day 8 – Dublin Departure
Travel to Dublin Airport for return flight home
|Images Of Ireland: The West & Southwest|
|7 Nights Package (excluding transport)||Twin Per Person||Single Supplement||Triple per person|
|January – March||691||488||670|
|April & October||713||488||691|
|May – September||865||488||843|
|November – December||691||488||670|