Day 1: Dublin Tour & Kilmainham Gaol
Your tour starts upon arrival at Dublin Airport with a group transfer to your hotel between the hours of 7:00am and 12:00 noon. For passengers arriving later they will have transfer to the hotel at their own expense. Upon settling into your accommodation for the night, at 2:00pm your local tour will introduce you to the many delights of your Dublin Tour.
From Dublins River Liffey, wide O’Connell Street, tranquil St. Stephen’s Green, the Irish Famine Memorial, to Leinster House and many other public buildings of note.
On your tour you will see some of the elegant Georgian houses and visit Kilmainham Gaol where many of Ireland’s leaders, including Robert Emmett, Eamon DeValera and Padraig Pearse, were imprisoned while striving to create an independent nation in 1916. After the days tour you can enjoy a welcome get-together drink with your tour director and discuss your itinerary.
Day 2: Glendalough & Abbey Tavern Dinner
On day we will be heading away from the capital out into the beautiful scenery of the Wicklow mountains and Glendalough. At Glendalough we will learn about St Kevin’s 6th century monastery in the Glendalough Visitor Centre whilst walking through the site to take note of its many iconic features such as its round tower, church ruins and Celtic crosses. The rest of the afternoon is free to use at your leisure. You can use your voucher for an independent open-tour bus tour with a visit to Guinness or Jameson included. Later you can drive to the Abbey Tavern in nearby Howth for a traditional dinner followed by a great show involving plenty of Irish music and irish step dancing. (B, D)
Day 3: Kilbeggan Distillery & Westport
Today you will drive across the centre of Ireland to Westmeath where you get a chance to tour the Kilbeggan Distillery Experience, at the Kilbeggan Distillery the worlds oldest functioning distillery which dates back to 1757. Here you can view modern production methods set within the surrounding of the historic 18th century building as well as that all important treat of sampling the finished product: the whiskey. Next on the list you will continue to the attractive estate town of Westport in Mayo, which was built in 1780 where you will check in to your hotel for the night. You will able to spend some free time and have a look around the town on your own leisure. Westport is a great town with lots of interesting shops and traditional pubs, many with live music offering you many options for the evening. (B, D)
Day 4: Westport House & Catamaran Cruise
Waking up in Westport you can really explore the region starting with a visit toWestport House, an 18th century mansion, set in superb parkland with magnificent views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Achill Island, situated a few miles outside Westport. Inside the magnificent mansion one will see stunning rooms decorated with priceless furnishings, paintings, books, silver and Waterford Crystal. Afterwards you will travel south past the famous pilgrimage mountain of Croaghpatrick and drive around the lovely Atlantic shoreline. Next on the list for the day is a short catamaran cruise to see pristine mountain areas of the scenic Mayo region. On the cruise you can see traces of pre-Famine fields on the hilly slopes and also take in the thriving modern day salmon and mussel farming in the area. (B, D)
Day 5: Connemara & Cliffs of Moher
Today is another day of exploring Irelands landscape, this time the celebrated region of Connemara. Here the landscape of granite hills, sparkling lakes and Irish peat bogs given a lift by the overhead cloud formations and changing light and variable weather inspire many a visitor. Afterwards head into Galway city and explore the many delights of the vibrant city centre and surroundings at your own pace. Later you will head downwards to county Clare to take in the dramatic views over the Cliffs of Moher, which rise almost 700 feet over the wild Atlantic waves and stretch along the coastline for 5 miles. Onwards you move from Clare onto Kerry via a short ferry ride across the river Shannon where you will then meet the Irish family you will be staying with for the next two nights at their country home. At Kate Kearneys Cottage you will have dinner and be entertained. (B, D)
Day 6: Dingle Peninsula & Brewery
From your base in Killarney explore the Kingdown of Kerry in particular in style with a trip around the glorious Dingle Peninsula famous for its sandy beaches and mountains covered in heather. Drive to Slea Head on the westernmost tip of the dingle peninsula where you will be left in awe at the breathtaking vistas enfolding ahead of you before taking some time to witness superb examples of early Christian beehive huts. Driving back to the town of Dingle, visit the Dingle Brewing Company where you can walk through the working brewery and sample the product. After the highlights of the days travel return to Killarney and enjoy free time to relax with your host family as you dine at their home. (B, D)
Day 7: Blarney Castle & Waterford Crystal
After your welcome stay in Kerry, it is further east to County Cork to kiss the “stone of Eloquence” the famous Blarney Stone, at Blarney Castle. Whilst there, you can browse in Blarney Woollen Mills for excellent Irish merchandise. Next on the list is a visit to the historic port town of Cobh, famous as the last port of call for the Titanic. Here you can take a guided tour of the town and dockside with a local historian who will show you places associated with the ill-fated liner. After Cobh its on to Waterford and the House of Waterford Crystal, where you will be shown how the world famous crystal is made from molten glass and turned into the famous elegant tableware and trophies all on display in the shop and showrooms. (B, D)
Day 8: Kilkenny Castle & National Stud
On day 8 it is the turn to tour county Kilkenny and Kilkenny Castle ancestral home of the Butlers, Earls and Dukes of Ormande who once held power over the region for centuries. First built in 1192 the castle holds clues to the regions past in the many wondering paintings and furniture on display. Then its on to Kildare the home of horse racing in Ireland and the Irish National Stud where one will learn about the horse breeding industry. Also within the National Stud lie the beautiful Japanese gardens offering a different experience. Afterwards itbis onwards to Dunboyne on the outskirts of Dublin where one will be checking into Dunboyne Castle Hotel for a farewell dinner with entertainment to finish off the trip on a high note. (B, D)
Day 9: Return Home from Dublin
Heading back to Dublin airport and the return flight home, complimentary group transfers to the airport will be provided arriving at either 6:00 am, 9:00 am or 12:00 noon so you can check in for your flight home.
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Hotels on this tour
- Bewleys Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin (2 nights)
- Clew Bay Hotel, Westport (2 nights)
- B&B Ireland, Killarney (2 nights)
- Dooleys Hotel, Waterford (1 night)
- Dunboyne Castle Hotel, Dunboyne (1 night)