Ireland has always been considered a land of mystical and often magical happenings. It is a country steeped in myths and legends that live in harmony beside the modern world of today. Most travelers describe Ireland as a stunning land with unsurpassed beauty and one which possesses a history that goes back so far only the fairy folk remember its beginnings.
Among the romantic preconceptions visitors bring to Ireland, it is their expectations of the landscape that are most likely to be fulfilled and indeed surpassed. An uncommon geological richness and the warming effect of the North Atlantic produce an astonishing diversity of terrain on this small island, accompanied overhead by an ever-changing canvas of wind-blown cloud effects.
04 Nights / 05 Days Glimpses of Ireland
Image Credit: Ramón / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 2.0
Dublin, Kildare, Killarney, Adare, Limerick, Birr
Day 01: Arrival Dublin
Welcome to Dublin, after you pick up your car, transfer to your city centre 3 star hotel. Spend the remainder of the day soaking up the atmosphere of this exciting city which includes statuelined O’Connell Street, with the additional attraction of the newly erected “Spire” at its centre and the General Post Office, scene of the 1916 Easter uprising and many elegant Georgian squares. Why not visit some of its many attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse, Book of Kells at Trinity College or Old Jameson Distillery. Overnight in centrally located 3 star hotel.
Day 02: Dublin – Kildare – Killarney
This morning depart Dublin and travel south through the rich midland pastures of Kildare to where you can visit the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens just outside the town of Kildare. The Irish National Stud is home to where some of the best racehorses in the world were bred. The Japanese Gardens are situated in the grounds of the Stud Farm and were created between 1906- 1910. They are planned to symbolise the ‘Life of Man’ from the cradle to the grave. St. Fiachra’s Garden, also in the grounds of the Stud Farm was designed as a Millennium project and seeks to capture the power of the Irish landscape in its rawest state, that of rock and water.
Continue south passing through Cashel where you can visit one of the most important ecclesiastical sites in Ireland – The Rock of Cashel which rises dramatically from the flat countryside. This site has the best set of varied monuments in any Irish site. The rock is crowned by a group of buildings, both ecclesiastical and royal, including a round tower, a 13th century Romanesque chapel and the beautifully restored Hall of the Vicar Choral. Continue on to Killarney located among the spectacular mountains and lakes for overnight. Overnight in Farmhouse/Bed & Breakfast Accommodation – Co. Killarney
Day 03: The 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, Cahirciveen, Waterville and Irish-speaking Sneem. Near Killorgan you can visit the Kerry Bog Village Museum.
Here you will enjoy a step back in time to the early 18th century to recapture the way of life as it would have been at that time; peat, or turf as it is usually called in Ireland, is harvested from bogs and is still used a domestic fuel. On your return journey to Killarney you can visit Muckross House, a magnificent Victorian mansion and one of Ireland’s leading stately homes. Overnight in Farmhouse/Bed & Breakfast Accommodation – Co. Killarney
Day 04: Killarney – Adare – Limerick – Birr – Dublin
Leave Killarney this morning and travel north through County Kerry and stop in the pretty village of Adare, with its pretty mustard coloured thatch cottages and medieval Abbey. Continue to the medieval city of Limerick and where you can visit the Hunt Museum which houses a unique internationally renowned private collection of over 2,000 original works of art and antiquity. Leaving Limerick and drive through the midlands to Birr and visit Birr Castle Demesne. Here you will visit the gardens, which feature collections of rare trees and the tallest Box Hedge in the world. You will also have the opportunity to view the Great Telescope, which was constructed in the 1840′s and for 70 years was the largest of its kind in the world. The Demesne also features the Galleries of Discovery Ireland’s Historic Science Centre. Continue on to Dublin for overnight Overnight in centrally located 3 star hotel.
Day 05: Departure
Travel to Dublin Airport for return flight home.
- Bed & breakfast accommodation for 4 nights in 3 star hotels based on per person sharing twin/double room with bath/shower inclusive of service charges
- Heritage Island Touring Guide and discount card
07 Nights / 08 Days Uniquely Irish
Image Credit: Joebater / Wikipedia / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Dublin, Galway, Connemara, Kerry, Kildare
Day 01: Arrival Dublin
Welcome to Dublin, after you pick up your car at the Car Rental Company desk, transfer to your accommodation booked. Spend the remainder of the day soaking up the atmosphere of this exciting city or visit some of its many attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College or Old Jameson Distillery. Overnight at Dublin.
Day 02: Dublin
Continue your exploration of Dublin city, or perhaps take a short bus tour of the city and its surroundings. Why not visit Malahide Castle or the Newgrange Burial Chambers, which predate the Pyramids in Egypt? You can also travel south from Dublin and visit Wicklow – known as the garden of Ireland. Among the many sights you can see the 6th century monastic settlement of Glendalough and Powerscourt House and Gardens are of note. Overnight at Dublin.
Day 03: Dublin – Galway
Leave Dublin this morning and travel across the rich midland spastures. Why not visit Belvedere House, Gardens and Park? The magnificent early 18th century stately home of Robert Rochfort, Earl of Belvedere, stands in 160 acres of parkland on the shores of Lough Ennell. Belvedere is one of the finest of Ireland’s historic houses, and together with gardens and park has been exquisitely restored. Before you cross the River Shannon, Ireland’s longest river, you can visit Clonmacnoise a 6th century Christian site. Arrive into Galway, which has long traded with Spain and 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 in a traditional Bed & Breakfast accommodation from the Georgian or Victorian eras, a thatched cottage or some other unique featured property in Galway County.
Day 04: Connemara
Today travel out into the wild and rugged Connemara region famous for the savage beauty of its lake and mountain scenery. Why not visit 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 Pollacapul Lake. Overnight in a traditional Bed & Breakfast accommodation from the Georgian or Victorian eras, a thatched cottage or some other unique featured property in Galway County.
Day 05: Galway – Kerry
Leave Clifden this morning, and travel south through Galway and into Clare, known as the “land of castles”. Why not visit Rathbaun Farm and see the animals being tended, or enjoy a traditional tea and scone break? Travel on through the strange lunar landscape of the Burren region or visit the Cliffs of Moher a spectacular 5-mile long cliff, which rises almost 200m above sea level. Stop in the heritage town of Kilrush, before boarding a ferry to Tarbert in north Co. Kerry. Overnight in a traditional Bed & Breakfast accommodation from the Georgian or Victorian eras or some other unique featured property in Kerry County.
Day 06: 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 charming villages and towns of Killorglin, Cahirciveen, 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 in traditional Bed & Breakfast accommodation from the Georgian or Victorian eras or some other unique featured property in Kerry County.
Day 07: Kerry – Kildare
This morning spend an hour or two in the medieval city of Limerick, either exploring its history and architecture of purchasing some of the splendid crafts on offer. Why not visit the Hunt Museum, an exhibit of one of Ireland’s greatest private collections of art and antiquities. Leave Limerick and travel eastwards towards Co. Kildare.
En-route a small detour will bring you to the imposing Rock of Cashel which rises dramatically from the flat countryside. This site has the best set of varied monuments in any Irish site. The rock is crowned by a group of buildings, both ecclesiastical and royal, including a round tower, a 13th century Romanesque chapel and the beautifully restored Hall of the Vicar Choral. Continue through rich pastures of Ireland’s midlands before arriving in Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Overnight in Carton House, one of Ireland’s greatest stately homes which is located in the heart of the horse-breeding county of Kildare.
Day 08: Departure
Today travel to Dublin Airport for your return flight home.
07 Nights / 08 Days Taste of Ireland
Image Credit: Daniel Stockman / Flickr
Dublin, Galway, Connemara, Kerry, Killarney, Limerick
Day 01: Arrival Dublin
Arrive at Dublin Airport. According to the time of arrival, enjoy a tour of the highlights of Dublin, which includes a visit to Trinity College to view the beautifully illuminated Book of Kells and visit the National Museum of Ireland (entry free of charge). Overnight: Dublin (B & B or Hotel or Manor House)
Day 02: Dublin – Galway
Sightseeing tour of Dublin. You could visit St-Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest church, where Jonathan Swift, author of “Gulliver’s Travels” was once Dean. Stop off at the Old Jameson Distillery (option), situated in the old markets area of the city. An audio-visual explains the process by which whiskey is made and this followed by a whiskey tasting by all in the “Ball o’ Malt Bar”. A special tasting is organised to compare the most popular Irish whiskeys with bourbon and scotch whiskey. Early afternoon depart for Galway. Overnight: Galway (B & B or Hotel or Manor House)
Day 03: Connemara
The country of the “Quiet Man”and “The Purple Taxi” – it is an area full of contrast, granite mountains populated only by sheep with hundreds of lakes forming a fisherman’s paradise. Its stone walls, small farms, thatched cottages in isolated splendour with its heather covered hills create an unforgettable scene for all its visitors. The route takes us from Galway to the lake dotted centre of Connemara at Maam Cross. The road continues through the colourful town of Clifden. Continue through the Irish speaking low-lying part of Southern Connemara with its countless lakes. Overnight: Galway (B & B or Hotel or Manor House)
Day 04: Galway – Kerry
Depart for Kerry and travel through the heart of County Clare – the Burren Region. This is a geological paradise boasting over 2,000 plants and many rare flowers. Continue along the coast of Clare to view the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, which form a 200m wall that plunges into the Atlantic Ocean. Continue through the farming countryside of Limerick to Kerry. Overnight: Killarney (B & B or Hotel or Manor House)
Day 05: Ring of Kerry
A superb tour of the Iveragh Peninsula (170 kms),taking in spectacular scenery – mountains, peat bogs, lakes and magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean as one travel along the coast road. Leaving Killarney one passes through Killorglin, famous for its Puck Fair, then to Glenbeigh where the cliff road affords panoramic views of the Dingle Peninsula and Dingle Bay. Continuing to Cahirciveen one passes the birth place of National hero, Daniel O’Connell. Passing through the peat bogs one arrives at the sea town of Waterville. Continue to Sneem Village, famous because of its brightly coloured houses. The road continues with superb views of the famous lakes of Killarney.
Overnight: Killarney (B & B or Hotel or Manor House)
Day 06: Kerry – Limerick
Depart for a tour of the Dingle Peninsula, where films such as Ryan’s Daughter and Far and Away have been made. The Peninsula has an extraordinary number of ring forts, high crosses and other ancient monuments. The area west of Dingle has the greatest concentration of ancient sites in Kerry. This area is also a genuine Irish-speaking area. The landscape here is dramatic and there are striking views of the Blasket Islands from Slea Head. Overnight: Limerick (B & B or Hotel or Manor House)
Day 07: Limerick – Dublin
Return to Dublin and afternoon free to explore the city or to do your last minute shopping. Overnight: Dublin (B & B or Hotel or Manor House)
Day 08: Departure
Depart for Dublin Airport for departure flight.