7 Days
Duration
Aran Islands, Doolin, Galway, Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, Ring Of Kerry, South West, Wild Atlantic Way
Location

Galway, Connemara, Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, Ring of Kerry, Kilkenny & Dublin

This Best of Ireland Tour, our most popular tour, can be accessed using any of the Irish Airports and is a 7 night tour based on Ireland’s most famous sights including Trinity College and Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, Powerscourt House & the Waterford Crystal exhibition in the South East, Blarney Castle and the Cobh Heritage Centre in Cork, Killarney and the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher and the ‘Burren Landscape’ of County Clare as well as the Aran Islands and Connemara in County Galway and Ireland’s most visited attraction, the ancient Megalithic Tombs at Newgrange, just 45 minutes north of Dublin. Depending on the airports used, the stopovers outlined below may vary in order but the same route will be covered.

This tour will leave the traveller with a wonderful array of memories of the diverse scenery and cultural differences that they will encounter from one side of the country to the other.

While the accents and dialects of the spoken word will vary greatly while journeying from County Dublin in the East of Ireland to the western counties of Cork, Kerry and Clare, the one unchanging constant will be the level of friendliness, humour & welcome that you receive throughout your travels.

While the suggested tour itinerary clearly outlines how you will be able to visit many of Ireland’s most historical locations and attractions, make sure to take time-out to get to know the local people and their culture.


TOUR INCLUSIONS:

Car Hire: You’ll travel around Ireland in your very own vehicle of choice.

Included with your car is all compulsory insurances – Collision Damage Waiver insurance (CDW with an excess/deductible), theft protection insurance, location fee of €30, Road fund tax, sales tax at 13.5%, unlimited free mileage, third party liability insurance, 24-hour peace of mind break down cover.

Prices for Car Rental Package rate includes an Economy class car eg., Opel Corsa or Fiat Punto.

Accommodation:

Stay in a choice of our preferred accommodation ranging from B&B’s 3* Star or 4*Star OR you can do a combination of all 3 types.

  • Please note prices are per person based on 2 persons in each room with full Irish breakfast and taxes included.
  • The Combination package includes 2 Nights in 3*** Hotels, 2 nights in Luxury Manor House Hotels & 2 Nights in our hand-picked B&B’s.
  • Children Sharing with 2 adults (aged 2-11) pay 40% of the Adult option.
  • Children under the age of 2 are free when sharing with 2 Adults.

Meals: Mix of cooked full Irish or continental every morning

Overnights for this tour:

  • Waterford or Kilkenny for 1 night
  • Kerry for 2 nights
  • Galway for 2 nights
  • Dublin for 2 nights

What’s not included?

Any additional (optional extra) activities not specified as included in the itinerary. These can be booked via your tour specialist, often at an exclusive Irish Experience special price!


WHAT TO BRING

Sturdy walking shoes (ankle high), swimming gear, hat and sunscreen, rain jacket/trousers, warm fleece, hat and gloves, towel, motion sickness tablets, water bottle, towel and toiletries, warm clothing and waterproof jacket, insect repellent, camera.


Please note:

  • All rates are in EURO, per person, and are subject to change.

8 Days/7 Nights Best of Ireland  – Self Drive Tour

ITINERARY

1

Day 1: Dublin to 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 artefacts, 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.
2

Day 2: Kilkenny to 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. 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.
3

Day 3: Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry or the Iveragh Peninsula as it is also known is one of Ireland’s most travelled tour routes. Splendid Mountain and coastal settings combined with vibrant towns and villages will make this journey one of the highlights of your vacation.

For those who wish to take a break from driving, we can arrange a bus tour through this route. One of the most popular stops on this route is Muckross House, a magnificent Victorian mansion completed in 1843. The location of the House is remarkable, close to the eastern shores of Muckross Lake and set below the inspiring backdrop of the Torc and Mangerton Mountains. As a substitute to the Ring of Kerry tour, you may prefer to take a wonderful tour by pony and trap that takes you through the Black Valley in the Gap of Dunloe.

After a snack at Lord Brandon’s Cottage, you will return to Killarney by boat via the beautiful Lakes of Killarney.

4

Day 4: Killarney to Galway

One of your longest but most dramatic days of your tour brings you from Killarney along the west coast to Galway City, Ireland’s festival capital. 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 ‘Angela’s 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. Continuing 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. You then arrive at the village of Doolin. Doolin is world-famous for its wealth of Irish folk music and in recent years has been attracting crowds to spontaneous sessions in any one of its excellent pubs. Then it’s on to Galway via the lunar like Burren Region and the ancient Poulnabrone Dolmen Tombs.

5

Day 5: Galway & Connemara Region

Today, the hauntingly beautiful Connemara Region awaits you. Just west of Galway, Situated on the most western seaboard of Europe, this unspoilt region boasts breathtaking scenery. The characteristic features of Connemara include 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. Alternatively, you may prefer to take the ferry to the Aran Islands. Aran will take you back to an Ireland of Celts and Early Christians. Take a pony and trap, or a guided tour from the pier up the island to the stone fort of Dun Aengus. Dún Aengus is located on top of a 300ft high sea cliff and is one of the finest prehistoric monuments in Western Europe. This evening head back to the Quays area of the city for some of the best traditional entertainment in the country.

6

Day 6: Galway to Dublin via Clonmacnoise

Today’s journey to Dublin takes in some of Ireland’s most historical landmarks. First of these is the ancient monastic settlement at Clonmacnoise. This is an early Christian site founded by Saint Ciaran in the 6th century on the banks of the River Shannon and includes the ruins of a cathedral, eight, two round towers, three high crosses and a large collection of early Christian grave slabs.
From here, we travel either to Dublin or take a slight detour to the megalithic tombs of Newgrange. One of the great wonders of the ancient world, Newgrange is older than Stonehenge, Mycenae or even the Pyramids of Egypt and is foremost among the passage-tombs of Europe.
From here, we travel south to Dublin City. Dublin city centre is a compact area, with all points of interest being easily accessible on foot. As a result you will find a large number of walking tours available, the most popular of which include the “Historical Walking Tour” and the “Literary Pub Crawl”.
You may of course wish to visit many of the sights in your own time either on foot or with the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus service that stops at all of the major attractions including Dublin Castle, Trinity Castle & the Book of Kells, Kilmainham Gaol, the National Museum of Ireland and the Guinness Storehouse to name just a few.
7

Day 7: Dublin city centre & Trinity College

Continue your sightseeing in Dublin today visiting the many historical and modern attractions that this cosmopolitan city has to offer. Other attractions include Christ Church Cathedral which was founded in the year 1030 by Sitric, King of the Dublin Norsemen, the James Joyce Centre & the Dublin Writers Museum.
Of course, you may wish to take time out to shop in Grafton Street or any one of a number of narrow and quaint streets that the café strewn city centre has to offer. This evening, why not spend some time in the Temple Bar area. This small area boasts a dazzling choice of restaurants, cafes, bars and shops to suit all tastes and pockets, all within easy walking distance of Temple Bar’s many cultural centres and galleries. Its narrow cobbled streets are pedestrianised and are ideally suited to a leisurely stroll through the quarter. There is also the opportunity to experience an evening’s entertainment at The Abbey Tavern or the more intimate Irish House Party where good food combined with exception traditional music and dance is the order of the day.
8

Day 8: End of Tour

This morning, check out of your hotel for the journey home.

ACCOMMODATION WITH CAR PRICING

B&B3 Star4 StarCombination
Jan-Mar & Nov-Dec€555€725€997€755
April & October€555€809€1132€794
May-June€715€890€1363€931
July-September€615€847€1258€882

Notes

  • Please note prices are per person based on 2 persons in each room with full Irish breakfast and taxes included.
  • The Combination package includes 2 Nights in 3*** Hotels, 2 nights in Luxury Manor House Hotels & 2 Nights in our hand-picked B&B’s.
  • Children Sharing with 2 adults (aged 2-11) pay 40% of the Adult option.
  • Children under the age of 2 are free when sharing with 2 Adults.
  • Your Accommodation & Car Rental Package rate includes an Economy class car eg., Opel Corsa or Fiat Punto.

Included with your car is all compulsory insurances – Collision Damage Waiver insurance (CDW with an excess/deductible), theft protection insurance, location fee of €30, Road fund tax, sales tax at 13.5%, unlimited free mileage, third party liability insurance, 24 hour peace of mind break down cover.

Not sure what you want to do? Your Irish Experience Tours Travel Specialist will help you decide what is best for you!