5 DAY SELF DRIVE TOURS OF IRELAND

From $330*

SOUTH-WEST OPTION

A Short Jaunt and the Wild Atlantic Way at a Glimpse

DAY 1: Dublin’s Fair City: After you pick up your car, transfer to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day soaking up the atmosphere of this exciting city which includes statue-lined O’Connell Street, with the “Spire” at its centre and the General Post Office, scene of the 1916 Easter uprising as well as many elegant Georgian squares. Why not visit some of its many attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College or the Old Jameson Distillery. Overnight: Dublin area

DAY 2: Kildare, Tipperary & Kerry: 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 designed to capture the beauty and power of the Irish landscape in its rawest form. 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 of Tipperary. 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 spectacular mountains and lakes for overnight. Overnight: Kerry area.

DAY 3: Ring of Kerry: Today tour the Ring of Kerry, one of Ireland’s loveliest districts. 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 splendor. 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. 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 as domestic fuel. On your return journey to Killarney you can stop by Muckross House, a magnificent Victorian mansion and one of Ireland’s leading stately homes. Overnight: Kerry area.

DAY 4: Limerick & Dublin: Leave Killarney this morning and travel north through County Kerry and stop in the picturesque village of Adare, with its pretty mustard coloured thatch cottages and medieval abbey. Continue to the Medieval City of Limerick 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. Visit Birr Castle Demesne where you can explore 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 1840s 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 to Dublin. Overnight: Dublin area.

DAY 5: Dublin Departure: Travel to Dublin Airport for return flight home.

Suggested Visits:

  • Trinity College
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Old Jameson Distillery
  • Old Midelton Distillery
  • Muckross House
  • Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

NORTH-WEST OPTION

DAY 1: Dublin’s Fair City: After you pick up your car, transfer to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day soaking up the atmosphere of this exciting city which includes statue-lined O’Connell Street, with the “Spire” at its centre and the General Post Office, scene of the 1916 Easter uprising. Why not visit some of its many attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College or the Old. Jameson Distillery. Overnight: Dublin area.

DAY 2: The Mourne Region & Belfast: Depart Dublin this morning and travel northwards towards Belfast. From Newry travel east through the scenic Mourne Region and on to Downpatrick where you can visit the Saint Patrick Centre. The Saint Patrick Centre, one of Northern Ireland’s major Millennium Projects, is the first permanent exhibition to tell the story of Ireland’s Patron Saint. Following the visit, you can also visit Down Cathedral, in whose churchyard St. Patrick is reputed to be buried. Continuing on from Downpatrick, you arrive at Castle Ward, a beautiful 300-ha (750-acre) walled estate in a stunning location overlooking Strangford Lough. Your next stop is Belfast, where you can wander around the city centre and admire some exquisite examples of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture, dominated by the magnificently domed City Hall. This Renaissance-style building of Portland stone completed in 1906 and each of the building’s corners has a tower. Its graceful dome rises in the centre to 185 feet. Half a mile from this area is Queens University, with its mellow brickwork and Tudor cloiste. Overnight: Belfast area.

DAY 3: Antrim Coast, Derry City & Donegal. This morning travel through the “Nine Glens of Antrim” before arriving in Ballycastle, where a memorial to Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of wireless technology, commemorates his first successful cross-water transmissions between Ballycastle and Rathlin Island. Continue along the impressive North Antrim coastline where you can visit the magnificent Giant’s Causeway. You can also visit the nearby Dunluce Castle which is situated dramatically close to the edge of a headland, along the North Antrim coast. Surrounded by wonderful coastal scenery, this medieval castle stands where an early Irish fort was once built and where its history can be traced back to early Christians and Vikings. Travel on to Derry City. You can visit the Tower Museum and O’Doherty Tower, which tells the story of Derry from prehistoric times to the present day. Complete your tour of Derry by walking along the historic Walls of the City. Overnight: Donegal area.

DAY 4: Donegal & Dublin: This morning commence your journey back to Dublin and into Donegal, visit Glenveagh National Park and Glenveagh Castle, 10,000 hectares of mountains, lakes, glens and woods with a red deer herd. Travel south through the Fermanagh Lake District, visit Enniskillen and the surrounding areas where you can see the Marble Arch Cave, the 18th century Florence Court or the stately Castle Coole. Time permitting, travel through the Boyne Valley whose banks are lined with landmarks from almost every phase of Ireland’s past – from the prehistoric passage tombs at Newgrange, to the legendary Hill of Tara, seat of the Irish High Kings as well as monuments from the early days of christianity. You can visit Oldbridge house whose visitor centre tells the story of the Battle of the Boyne, fought between King William III and his father-in-law, King James II on 1 July 1690 (11 July according to our modern calendar). Both kings commanded their armies in person, 36,000 on the Williamite side and 25,000 on the Jacobite side – the largest number of troops ever deployed on an Irish battlefield. Continue onward to Dublin. Overnight: Dublin area.

DAY 5: Dublin Departure. Travel to Dublin Airport for return flight home.

Suggested Visits:

  • Trinity College
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Old Jameson Distillery
  • Hill of Tara
  • Bruna Boinne

*Package descriptions and pricing are subject to change without notice.

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