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10-Night Best of Ireland Vacation

Price: From $1,160 Per Person --Save $200pp with code 10NIGHT. Limited Time Offer.

Enjoy the very Best of Ireland on this perfectly-paced 10-night tour! Begin in Dublin, and use your included 2-Day Double-Decker Bus Pass to visit her most famous and intriguing attractions. Continue by working your way south and then west, taking in the most fabled and spectacular sights of Ireland along the way. The towering Cliffs of Moher, stunning southwest scenery, wild yet beautiful Connemara, and Ancient Boyne Valley all await. Visit the imposing Rock of Cashel, Ross & Birr Castles, as well as spending a night at one - Kinnitty Castle in County Offaly.

                             **Use tabs above to view Itinerary, Prices & How to Book.**

Tour Highlights

ACCOMMODATION

  • 10 nights Accommodation – From City Hotel to Authentic Castle!

TRANSPORTATION

  • Rental Car including our Exclusive Reduced Excess Insurance Package

DINING OPTIONS

  • 10 Full Irish Breakfasts

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Dublin 'Hop-On, Hop-Off' 2-Day Sightseeing Double-Decker Bus Pass
  • Admission to Birr Castle & Science Centre
  • Admission to The Rock of Cashel

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Shop On Famous Grafton Street
  • Check-Out the Guinness Storehouse
  • Overnight at an Authentic Irish Castle
  • Take in The Rock of Cashel & Glen of Aherlow
  • Enjoy Stunning Views at Killarney National Park
  • Jaw-Dropping Southwest Scenery
  • Dinge & Slea-Head Rugged Beauty
  • Marvel at Connemara National Park & Kylemore Abbey

Dublin, County Dublin

Arrive at

Arrive at Dublin Airport, County Dublin

Arrive at Dublin Airport after your overnight flight from the U.S. (not included in quoted price!)

Dublin is Ireland's main airport - located just north of Dublin City.
If you are heading downtown, it takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes from the airport, depending on traffic.
There are 2 terminals at Dublin Airport, the second of which opened to air traffic in November 2010.
Most flights from the U.S. (on Aer Lingus, Delta, United, US Airways & American Airlines) arrive into Terminal 2.


Accommodation

Davenport Hotel - More Info - Dublin, County Dublin

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 2:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out time is before 12.00 noon.


Included Experiences

Dublin Red Bus 2 Day Hop-On Hop-Off

Dublin, County Dublin

Hop on-board any Red City Sightseeing Bus and enjoy the freedom to explore Europe’s friendliest city across two great routes. Your ticket is valid for 2 days affording you ample time to visit attractions in Dublin such as Trinity College, Dublin Castle, The Guinness Storehouse & Kilmainham Gaol, to name but a few. Looking for things to do with kids in Dublin? Take the hop-on hop-off bus to The National Wax Museum, Croke Park Stadium or Dublin Zoo. The close proximity of Dublin’s main attractions mean that each stop on the tour offers lots of activities and makes Ireland’s capital the ideal location for a City Sightseeing's open top tour. Commentary is available live via witty & knowledgeable driver/guides, who have all kissed the Blarney stone at least once! Visit All of Dublin’s free Museums & Galleries, ask your driver about the free walking tour, or just relax and enjoy the view. City Sightseeing makes it easy to discover the best that Dublin has to offer.


Overnight Location

Dublin, County Dublin

On the Map: Dublin, Ireland's Capital City is located on the east coast of the country, and is well served by infrastructure linking it to all parts of the Emerald Isle.

Dublin is a lively cosmopolitan city brimming with culture. You could spend your time strolling the streets soaking up the atmosphere, relaxing in its cafes and bars or you could check out its myriad historical, literary and cultural delights. The 8th century illuminated manuscript, the Book of Kells, must be viewed. It is on display at the impressive Trinity College, Ireland's first university (founded 1592) in the heart of Dublin. For the rest of your time, it is up to you how much you want to pack in. Phoenix Park (twice the size of New York City's Central Park), Georgian Dublin around Stephen's Green, Dublin Castle, the National Botanical Gardens, National Museum, Kilmainham Gaol and the Hugh Lane Municipal Art Gallery are all highly recommended stops on your tour. Then there's the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery.  A visit to Dublin's Temple Bar to experience the lively Dublin pub culture is a must, though many of Dublin's best bars can be found outside this area in the streets and laneways around Grafton Street, the shopper's street of choice. Purchasing a 'hop-on, hop-off' Dublin Bus Tour ticket is a great way to get around and see all the major sites at a very reasonable cost.


Must-See Sites

Trinity College, County Dublin

On The Map: Trinity College is located in the heart of Dublin City. Just south of the River Liffey, the campus grounds are bordered by Grafton, College, Pearse, Nassau & Leinster Streets.

Time spent in Dublin would not be complete without a visit to Trinity College. Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth 1st, it is one of the oldest universities in the British Isles, and the very oldest in Ireland. Standing on a self contained site in the very heart of Dublin, the College itself covers some 35 acres of cobbled squares and green spaces surrounded by buildings which represent the accumulated architectural riches of nearly three centuries. Although Trinity offers much of interest to the visitor, the crown jewel is without doubt the Book of Kells. The Book is an 'illuminated manuscript', globally celebrated for its lavish decoration. The manuscript contains the four Gospels in Latin based on a Vulgate text, written on vellum (prepared calfskin), in a bold and expert version of the script known as 'insular majuscule'. Written in the 9th century, it has been on display in the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin from the mid-19th century, and attracts over 500,000 visitors a year.


Grafton Street, County Dublin

On The Map: Grafton Street runs from Saint Stephen's Green in the south to College Green in the north

Grafton Street is without doubt Ireland's premier shopping street - in terms of retail rent, it's the fifth most expensive in the world! With beautiful historic buildings housing iconic Irish businesses such as Brown Thomas, Weir & Sons and Bewley’s Grafton Street Café, Grafton Street offers an experience that cannot be found elsewhere in the country. Since the 1980s, the street has been mostly pedestrianized, with the exception of a short stretch that runs between Nassau Street and College Green and contains the 18th century Trinity College Provost's House, home to the head of the college. If shopping's not your thing, Grafton Street is still worth checking out. It's a bustling, atmospheric spot, and high quality street performers including musicians, poets and mime-artists commonly perform to the shopping crowds.


Guinness Storehouse, County Dublin

On The Map: The Guinness Storehouse is centrally located in Dublin City at St. James Gate, just off Crane Street and south of the River Liffey. The Storehouse is a leisurely 20 minute stroll west of Trinity College.

Come and explore Ireland’s top visitor attraction, providing an unforgettable welcome and a magical journey deep into the heart of the world famous Guinness brand and company. The Guinness Storehouse is located in the heart of the Guinness Brewery at St James’s Gate, Dublin. Housed in an old fermentation plant, the seven-story visitor experience tells the epic tale of Ireland’s iconic drink and brings to life the heritage of Guinness from early days to growth as a global brand, known all around the world. The experience starts standing at the bottom of the world’s largest pint glass, which rises through the building.  It’s a dramatic story that begins over 250 years ago and ends in The Gravity Bar where visitors will receive a complimentary pint of Guinness while relaxing and enjoying spectacular views over Dublin. 


Dublin, County Dublin

Accommodation

Davenport Hotel - More Info - Dublin, County Dublin

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 2:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out time is before 12.00 noon.


Must-See Sites

Dublin Castle, County Dublin

Since its foundation in 1204 Dublin Castle has been at the heart of the history and evolution of the city.  Today, spanning an area of over 44,000 square meters (11 acres), the site contains 2 museums, 2 cafés, an international conference centre, 2 gardens, Government Buildings and the State Apartments which are the most important state rooms in the country. The grounds of the site are free to explore, as is the Chapel Royal, the Chester Beatty Library, the Garda Museum and the Revenue Museum.  Access to the State Apartments is by guided tour only and tickets may be purchased from the Apartments in the Upper Castle Yard.


Saint Patrick's Cathedral, County Dublin

On The Map: Saint Patrick's Cathedral is located in the heart of Dublin City, just south of the River Liffey, and west of such landmarks as Trinity College and Grafton Street. The Cathedral is located at the junction of Patrick Street and Upper Kevin Street.

Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral has contributed much to Irish life since its founding in 1191. The Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well, at which St Patrick himself reportedly baptized converts on his visit to Dublin. The writer and satirist Jonathan Swift was Dean of Saint Patrick's from 1713 to 1747, and is buried within the church. In a romantic twist, Esther Johnson (Stella) is buried next to Swift. Although never married, Swift had a life-long, intense and mysterious relationship with Stella, and she was an inspiration for much of his work. Handel's Messiah received its first performance there in 1742, sung by the combined choir of Saint Patrick's and Christ Church. Music has played an integral part in the life of Saint Patrick's since its foundation and it is the only cathedral in these islands to sing two services every day. Living Stones, the cathedral's permanent exhibition, celebrates Saint Patrick's place in the life of the city, its history and its role at the dawn of the third millennium. It emphasises that the cathedral is not a museum, but a building embracing the past to herald the future.


Temple Bar, County Dublin

On The Map: Temple Bar lies in the heart of Dublin City. Located on the south bank of the River Liffey, and just west of Trinity College and Grafton Street.

The lively and vibrant Temple Bar District - Dublin's Cultural Quarter, is well worth a visit. Temple Bar has preserved its medieval street pattern, with many narrow cobbled streets, and is home to many cultural organizations, such as the Irish Film Centre & Project Arts Centre. There is a great array of small galleries and stores to choose from, but Temple Bar is probably best known for being Dublin's major nightlife centre. The area comes alive after dark, with many pubs, restaurants and nightclubs to choose from. Temple Bar may not be for everyone, but can never be described as boring!


Dublin Museums, County Dublin

Dublin has long been recognized as a center of art & culture. The city is literally awash with interesting museums and galleries of all types and sizes.
It's impossible to make note of them all, but three of the best are:
The Chester Beatty Library: Alfred Chester Beatty, a New Yorker donated a fantastic collection of books to the city of Dublin. Highlights include papyrus scripts, valuable copies of the Koran, Buddhist & Far Eastern literature, as well as early mediaeval manuscripts.
National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology: Enter this museum and be transported back in time to almost 7000BC! Gold and other treasures recount a varied Irish history through Christian and pre-Christian times. A range of exhibitions also present artifacts from many other cultures and regions.
National Gallery: Here you can admire European works of art from the late Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century. As well as Irish artists, the Gallery also boasts works by Angelico, Goya, Gainsborough & Reynolds, to name but a few.


Birr, County Offaly

Accommodation

Kinnitty Castle - More Info - Birr, County Offaly

Castle
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 12:00 noon. 


Included Experiences

Birr Castle, Gardens and Science Centre

Birr, County Offaly

Today, you'll have the pleasure of visiting Birr Castle, Gardens and Science Center - the cost of admission is included with your tour package. Located in the town of Birr in County Offaly, it is the home of the seventh Earl of Rosse. As such, the residential areas of the castle are not open to the public, though the grounds and gardens of the demesne are publicly accessible. The castle grounds are also home to Ireland's Historic Science Centre, a museum of Ireland's historic scientists and their contributions to astronomy and botany. Birr Castle Demesne has been developed by the Parsons family over the last four hundred years. During this period, the Parsons family made unique contributions to astronomy, photography, engineering and botany. Birr Castle is the oldest inhabited home in the county. A main feature on the grounds of the castle is the great Leviathan of Parsonstown, an astronomical telescope with a 72-inch metal mirror erected by the third Earl of Rosse, which was, until 1917, the largest telescope in the world. Another recently opened feature in the grounds of Birr Castle is a firm favorite with children already - Ireland's largest tree house!


Enroute Sightseeing

Clonmacnoise, County Offaly

On the Map: Clonmacnoise is located on the banks of the River Shannon in the very middle of Ireland. The major town of Athlone is only a few miles to the north, through which the main M6 road passes. The M6 connects Dublin City (to the east) and Galway City (to the west)

The ancient monastic site of Clonmacnoise is situated at the crossroads of Ireland in County Offaly and dates back almost 1,500 years. St. Ciaran, the son of an Ulsterman who had settled in Connaught, chose the site in 545 AD because of its ideal location at the junction of river and road travel in Celtic Ireland. The location borders the three provinces of Connaught, Munster and Leinster. The monastery is on the east side of the River Shannon, in what was then the Kingdom of Meath, but occupying a position so central it was the burial-place of many of the kings of Connaught as well as those of Tara. The site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (10th  -13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and the largest collection of Early Christian grave-slabs in Western Europe. The original high crosses and a selection of grave-slabs are on display in the visitor centre. The long and varied history of Clonmacnoise is recounted in an audiovisual presentation shown in the visitor centre. There are also exhibitions that are dedicated to the flora, fauna and landscape of the region.


Overnight Location

Birr, County Offaly

On The Map: Birr is located right in the middle of Ireland - 42 kilometres south of Athlone, and 20 kilometres north of Roscrea.

The Heritage town of Birr in County Offaly in the centre of Ireland is home to Birr Castle Demesne which was developed by the Parsons family over the last four hundred years. During this period, the Parsons family made unique contributions to astronomy, photography, engineering and botany. Birr Castle is the oldest inhabited home in the county. A main feature on the grounds of the castle is the great Leviathan of Parsonstown, an astronomical telescope with a 72-inch metal mirror erected by the third Earl of Rosse, which was, until 1917, the largest telescope in the world. Another recently opened feature in the grounds of Birr Castle is a firm favorite with children already - Ireland's largest tree house! Birr is a designated Irish Heritage Town with a carefully preserved Georgian heritage. Birr itself has graceful wide streets and elegant buildings. Many of the houses in John's Place and Oxmantown Mall have exquisite fanlight windows of the Georgian period. Attractions in (or near) Birr include: Angling, Birdwatching, Light Entertainment, Gardens, Golf, Horse Riding, Mountain Climbing, Outdoor Pursuits and Touring.


Must-See Sites

Tullamore D.E.W. Distillery, County Meath

Situated right in the heart of Ireland, there is an incredible experience that has been waiting for you in Tullamore, County Offaly since 1829. Join us at the newly renovated home of Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey and immerse yourself in the history and magic that lies inside the walls of this 19th century bonded warehouse, where our whiskey making tradition began. With Tullamore D.E.W, it's hard to escape the power of three. Three natural ingredients, three varieties of grain, three distillations and a blend of all three types of Irish whiskey - pot still, malt and grain. Perhaps choose to enjoy a guided tour which blends audiovisual and traditional storytelling, which culminates in the raising a glass of complimentary Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey!


Killarney, County Kerry

Accommodation

International Hotel - More Info - Killarney, County Kerry

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check in time is after 2pm on your arrival day. Check out time is 12 noon.


Included Experiences

Rock of Cashel

Cashel, County Tipperary

One of the most visited sites in Ireland, The Rock of Cashel is a spectacular group of medieval buildings set on a rocky outcrop of limestone, looming above the town of Cashel, County Tipperary. There is a 12th Century round tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic cathedral, 15th century castle and the Hall of the Vicars. Long before the Norman invasion, The Rock of Cashel was the seat of the High Kings of Munster, although there is little structural evidence of their time here. Most of the buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries when the Rock was gifted to the Church. The complex has a character of its own, unique and native, and is one of the most remarkable collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture to be found anywhere in Europe. No need to pre-book - use your included admission voucher to visit anytime today!


Enroute Sightseeing

Glen of Aherlow, County Tipperary

On the Map: The Glen of Aherlow is located in County Tipperary in the southern midlands of Ireland. It stretches from the N24 road, just south of the heritage town of Tipperary, through sixteen miles of unspoilt countryside.

The Glen of Aherlow is a quiet country valley, secluded but not isolated, and affords some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable. The Glen sits between the Galtee mountains on the south and the Slievenamuck Ridge on the North. The Galtees, Ireland's highest inland mountain range, boast five spectacular corrie lakes, dominated by a variety of magnificent peaks including Galteemore at 3,018 ft. This expansive vista is further enhanced by the many streams cascading down the face of the mountain. The foothills are forested, as is the 12 miles of the Slievenamuck ridge, providing the walker with a variety of delightful woodland trails.


Overnight Location

Killarney, County Kerry

On the Map: Killarney is located in County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland. The town is reached via the N22 from Tralee/ Limerick (to the north) and the N22 from Cork City (to the southeast).

Killarney lies on the edge of the astoundingly beautiful Killarney National Park, with its three magnificent lakes and the spectacular MacGillycuddy Reeks mountain range. The park is also home to Muckross House and Gardens. Killarney is a wonderful base for all manner of activities including angling and water sports, golf, riding, orienteering, hiking, cycling, and canoeing. The town itself is quite small but full of charm - this you will soon see as you walk down the brick footpaths and pass curious old-style shop fronts. Killarney is well known for its excellent shops, restaurants and cosmopolitan appeal. It is also renowned for its evening entertainment including many singing pubs, cabarets, dancing venues, and banquets. Traditional Irish music can also be heard in many of the local pubs on a nightly basis.


Must-See Sites

Killarney National Park, County Kerry

On the Map: Killarney is located in County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland. The town is reached via the N22 from Tralee/ Limerick (to the north) and the N22 from Cork City (to the southeast).

On the southwestern edge of Killarney Town lies an untamed, rugged & mountainous country. The area includes the McGillycuddy's Reeks, Ireland's highest mountain range. At the foot of these mountains nestle the world famous lakes of Killarney. Here, where the mountains sweep down to the lake shores, their lower slopes covered in woodlands, you'll discover the 26,000 acre Killarney National Park . The distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls under ever changing skies, lends the area a special scenic beauty. The Park contains many features of national and international importance such as the native oakwoods and yew woods, together with an abundance of evergreen trees and shrubs. A profusion of bryophytes and lichens thrive in the mild Killarney climate. The native red deer are unique in Ireland, with a presence in the country since the last Ice Age. At the heart of the National Park is Muckross House and Gardens. The house, a late 19th century mansion features period furnishings and artefacts and is a major visitor attraction in itself. Killarney National Park was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1981 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).


Killarney, County Kerry

Accommodation

International Hotel - More Info - Killarney, County Kerry

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check in time is after 2pm on your arrival day. Check out time is 12 noon.


Must-See Sites

Ross Castle, County Kerry

On The Map: Ross Castle is located on the southern outskirts of Killarney, County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland. From Killarney town centre, head south on the N71/Muckross Road for Kenmare. Ross Road is right turn off the N71, and is well signposted.

Ross castle overlooks the Lower Lake in Killarney, and commands magnificent views of Purple Mountain, Innisfallen Island & Ross Island. The Castle is a typical example of an Irish Chieftain stronghold during the Middle Ages. The date of its foundation is uncertain, but construction was most likely completed in the late 15th century, by one of the O'Donoghue Ross chieftains. The castle is surrounded by a fortified bawn, and its curtain walls defended by circular flanking towers, two of which remain. Ross was the last Munster stronghold to hold out against Oliver Cromwell's infamous British forces, before eventually being taken by General Ludlow in 1652. The castle contains an impressive collection of 16th & 17th century oak furniture. Legend has it that Brian Boru, Ireland's most famous High King was educated on the site of the castle by the Monks in the 9th Century. Please note that this is a very popular attraction, and visitors may experience a delay entering the castle during the busy summer months.


Killarney to Kenmare, County Kerry

We appreciate that your time in Ireland is precious, and you simply won't be able to do absolutely everything. Completing the 110 mile Ring of Kerry, for example, might be a stretch on this tour. We do however highly recommend that you at least drive the section from Killarney to Kenmare (or vice-versa), which forms a portion of the Ring. It's only 30 kilometres/ 30 minutes each way on a narrow, winding road, but you are scenically rewarded at almost every turn. Highlights include 'Ladies View', so named for the excitement the vista illicited from Queen Victoria's Ladies-in-Waiting, during her famous 1861 visit. There's a little cafe and plenty of spots to pull in and admire the view that so stimulated the Royal Entourage 150 years ago! A little further along the road, you'll arrive at Moll's Gap. Set high on a rocky ridge, The Gap overlooks mountains, rivers, lush countryside and the famous Lakes of Killarney, with truly breathtaking views - Carrauntoohill, Ireland's highest mountain to one side, the Gap of Dunloe to the other. There's also an Avoca Store & Cafe at The Gap, selling the finest of Irish goods and souvenirs.


Ring of Kerry, County Kerry

On the Map: The Ring of Kerry (Iveragh Peninsula) is in County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland. Killarney is the usual starting point for people completing the Ring, although Kenmare is another good option for this purpose. The N70 road encircles the entire peninsula.

The Ring of Kerry is one of Ireland’s most scenic touring routes. At 110 miles long, it circles the awe-inspiring Iveragh Peninsula. You’ll feel as if you have moved into nature’s mystic arena, and truly you have, as you pass between soft mountains, through forest glades, around bogs, rivers, lakes and pristine beaches. The road between the magnificent MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountains presents secret passes and valleys dotted along the fabled shores of Dingle and Kenmare Bays. Ireland’s natural beauty sings throughout the Ring of Kerry. You may wish to explore several charming villages along the route, including Glenbeigh, Waterville, and Sneem. Stroll and talk to people—this is what makes your travel experience unique. The Ring attracted Ireland’s first settlers, and has a wealth of ancient sites. A 6th century monastery, clinging to the windswept cliffs of the Skellig Islands, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Staigue Stone Fort is an Iron Age stronghold dating from 300BC. This is also an area of Ogham Stones, the first mysterious forms of writing and art, nestled along the Ring. Follow the drive to Killarney by way of the Ladies View and the legendary Lakes of Killarney and the National Park. The Ring of Kerry is the stuff of dreams and lifelong memories.


Kenmare, County Kerry

On the Map: Kenmare is located in scenic County Kerry in the southwest of Ireland. The town is accessed via the scenic N71 road that connects the cities of Killarney (to the north) & Glengarriff (to the south).

Kenmare, with its pastel coloured houses, is along with Killarney, a usual starting point for the Ring of Kerry round trip. The small charming town, founded by a handful of Englishmen in 1670, has every tourist convenience imaginable, including 2 of the most luxurious hotels in Ireland, both of which have been awarded much coveted Michelin stars: The Park Hotel and Sheen Falls Lodge. Kenmare boasts a remarkable number of excellent restaurants and quality pubs for a town of its size, and has garnered a fantastic reputation as a gourmet destination in recent years. Owing to its enviable location adjacent to Kenmare Bay and the River Finnehy, all set against the backdrop of the Kerry Mountains, Kenmare's picturesque aspect is hard to match.


Killarney, County Kerry

Accommodation

International Hotel - More Info - Killarney, County Kerry

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check in time is after 2pm on your arrival day. Check out time is 12 noon.


Must-See Sites

Slea Head, County Kerry

On The Map: Slea Head is located on the Dingle Peninsula in the south west of Ireland. From Dingle town, head west on the R559 that encircles Slea Head and eventually returns to Dingle.

The Slea Head Drive is a circular route, beginning and ending in Dingle, that takes in a large number of ancient & megalithic attractions as well as offering stunning views on the western end of the peninsula. The route is clearly labelled by road signs throughout its length. To properly enjoy the Drive, a half-day should be set aside for the journey. The route is suitable for motorists, but is also ideal for cyclists: it is possible to hire a bike at a number of locations in Dingle.


Dingle, County Kerry

On the Map: Dingle is located in County Kerry on the beautiful southwest coast of Ireland. The town is most easily accessible via the N86 road from Tralee, a major town 50 minutes/ 50km to the east.

The residents of Dingle, or An Daingean as it is now officially known, are the envy of everyone in Ireland. They live in what many agree is the most beautiful part in the country, in a strikingly attractive fishing village with fantastic pubs, rousing music, great restaurants and more characters per head of population than anywhere in the world. The key to Dingle is to visit as many pubs as you can while there. Seek out the old pubs frequented by the locals, sit up to the bar, order a drink and prepare to be entertained! The Dingle Peninsula on which the town is located is littered with ancient archeological sites including stone forts and many beehive huts. Scenically, the Peninsula is an absolute delight with every turn of the road revealing more of the achingly beautiful landscape. One highlight is the Slea Head loop drive from Dingle which is easily driven in an hour or cycled in an afternoon. For the energetic, a day spent climbing Mount Brandon, the peninsula's highest, will be richly rewarded. The views from the top on a clear day are absolutely stunning.


Conor Pass, County Kerry

On the Map: The Conor Pass is located just northeast of Dingle town on the Spa Road.

The Conor Pass is the highest mountain pass in Ireland, and provides the most dramatic and scenic way of entering or leaving Dingle. This narrow, twisting road runs between the town of Dingle and Kilmore Cross on the north side of the peninsula, where roads fork to Cloghane/Brandon or Castlegregory. The views from the road are breathtaking, as the glaciated landscape of mountains and corrie lakes comes into view. From the scenic carpark at the summit there are views as far as the Aran Islands, located off the coast of County Galway


Doolin, County Clare

Accommodation

Churchfield - More Info - Doolin, County Clare

Guesthouse
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 2.00 pm & 5.00 pm on your arrival day. If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please contact the B&B owners in advance on 065 707 4209.

Check-out Time: 11 am


Enroute Sightseeing

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, County Clare

On The Map: Bunratty Castle is located in Bunratty Village - just off the main M18 motorway in the southwest of County Clare.

The Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. We invite you to wander through the castle and marvel at the finest collection of medieval furniture in the country, which brings to life a vital part of our Medieval past. Within the grounds of Bunratty Castle is Bunratty Folk Park, where 19th century Irish life is vividly recreated. Set on 26 acres, the impressive park features over 30 buildings in a ‘living’ village and rural setting. Meet and chat with the Bean an Ti (Woman of the House) and various street characters including the Policeman and Schoolteacher. Enjoy the tastes, scents, sights and sounds of this enchanting place as you stroll from house to house or around the charming village complete with school, post office, doctors house, hardware shop, printers and of course the pub!


Overnight Location

Doolin, County Clare

On the Map: The small village of Doolin is located on County Clare’s west Atlantic coast. The village is accessed via the R479 - a small country road that intersects with the R478 connecting the towns of Lisdoonvarna (to the north) and Lahinch (to the south).

People flock to Doolin from all over the world to sample wonderful, top quality traditional music in the local pubs. Until recently Doolin had only three pubs. There are now some new establishments on the scene but we recommend sticking to the old reliables: McGann’s, McDermots and O’Connor’s. Even at that you will be spoiled for choice. Each pub is full most nights with musicians and music lovers alike. Be sure to check out all three! The surrounding area has much of interest including the barren yet strikingly beautiful Burren region with, among other things, the 5,000 year-old Poulnabrone Dolmen. Also worth a visit is Doonagore Castle and of course the spectacular 650-foot high Cliffs of Moher, which are only a few miles from Doolin.


Must-See Sites

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

On the Map: The Cliffs of Moher are located on the western coast of County Clare. The Cliffs are accessed via the R478 road that connects Doolin (to the north) and the seaside town of Lahinch (to the southeast).

The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's top Visitor attractions. The Cliffs stand 214 metres (700 feet) tall at their highest point and range for 8 kilometres over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. O'Brien's Tower, constructed by Sir Cornellius O'Brien in 1835, stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs. From the Cliffs one can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South. There are two paths to take north and south along the cliff edge, providing spectacular views all the way.  Construction of an award winning eco-friendly Visitor Centre was completed in 2007. The interpretive centre named 'Atlantic Edge' contains state of the art displays and visitor facilities. The grass-roofed building is cleverly set into the hillside - a unique cave-like structure which minimises the visual impact on this fabulously scenic location. 


Poulnabrone Dolmen and Stone Fort, County Clare

On The Map: Poulnabrone Dolmen & Caherconnell Stone Fort are less than 1 kilometre apart, in the dramatic limestone Burren Region of County Clare, in the west of Ireland. Both sites are located just off the R480 road, which connects the towns of Corofin (to the south) and Ballyvaughan (to the north).

Poulnabrone Dolmen (pictured) is a Portal Tomb, and one of the most famous megalithic monuments in Ireland, mainly due to its memorable shape and easy access from the road. The thin capstone sits on two 1.8m (6ft) high portal stones to create a chamber in a 9m (30ft) low cairn. The site was excavated in 1986 and the human remains of more than 20 adults and children, plus other artefacts were discovered. Examination of these items allowed archaelogists to date the tomb to approx 3000 B.C. Just how the people of the time managed to get the truly massive capstone in place is unknown. Just 1 kilometre south of the dolmen, lies the impressive Caherconnell Stone Fort. Caherconnell is almost a perfect circle, and 140-145 feet in external diameter. It's walls are 12 feet thick and from 6-14 feet high, and it is an exceptionally well preserved example of stone ring-fort. The fort is in its original state, and its location, overlooking virtually all-surrounding areas, suggests a defensive settlement. This may not have been defensive in a modern military sense, but more for personal security from wild animals and raiders. Ringforts such as Caherconnell are thought to have been inhabited from 400-1200A.D.


Lahinch, County Clare

On the Map: Lahinch is a seaside town in County Clare, on Ireland's rugged western coast. The town is accessed via the N85 road from Ennis (to the southeast), or the more coastal N67 road from Lisdoonvarna (to the north) and Miltown Malbay (to the south).

The village of Lahinch is world renowned for two things: golf and surf. Lahinch Golf Club was founded in 1893 and has been confounding golfers from all over the world ever since. Matched only by Ballybunion in the famous links stakes, Lahinch is a must for anyone who loves the game of golf. The long sandy beach at Lahinch has long been a centre for surfing in the west of Ireland, but the recent discovery of a giant wave in the shadow of the Cliffs of Moher a few miles up the coast has brought dare-devil surfers flocking to Lahinch from as far away as South Africa and Hawaii. The result is that the village’s population of 800 swells to ten times that number each summer. The mix of golfers, surfers and bemused locals makes Lahinch a very unique place indeed.


Galway, County Galway

Accommodation

Kilbrack House - More Info - Galway, County Galway

B&B
Room Type: Double/Twin Ensuite

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 2:00pm & 6:00pm on your day of arrival. If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please call the B&B owners in advance on 091 590 802.


Overnight Location

Galway, County Galway

On the Map: Galway is a coastal city, located in County Galway in the west of Ireland. Galway is well-served by a good network of roads - the M6/N6 from Dublin (to the east) and M18/N18 from Limerick & Cork (to the south).

In a recent nationwide survey the people of Galway were found to be Ireland's happiest! And visiting Galway City, the capital of their county it is not hard to see why. It is a lively university city of narrow streets, quaint shopfronts, bustling pubs and stunning surrounding scenery. It has always attracted a bohemian mix of musicians, artists and intellectuals and that attitude is palpable as you walk the streets. Galway has been commercially important since the 11th century when it was a centre for trade with Spain and Portugal. In 1477 Christopher Columbus paid a visit. Galway earned the title “City of the Tribes” around that time, when it was ruled by 14 wealthy merchant families. Today it is lively, with loads of things to do, and is so popular that it can get very crowded in summer, especially during the annual Galway Races. The annual Arts Festival also attracts thousands, especially for its street parade, organized by the multi-award winning production company, Macnas. Its famous Druid Theatre produces and stages plays and has toured internationally, winning awards, including Tonys on Broadway.


Must-See Sites

Salthill, County Galway

On The Map: Salthill is a coastal suburb of Galway City in the west of Ireland. The seaside resort is located just 3.5 kilometres west of town.

Salthill, once a small seaside resort west of Galway City, is now an important suburb of this ever-expanding town. The Promenade at Salthill is approx. 2 miles long, and offers wonderful views over Galway Bay. On clear days, the hills of County Clare are visible across the bay, and benches are provided along the seafront. Aside from its great location, Salthill offers much to the visitor.  The Leisureland complex, with its host of children's entertainments, including an indoor heated swimming pool, is always popular with the young, while the 'golden half-mile' of casinos, pubs and gourmet restaurants cater to older clientelle. Galway Bay and its lapping waters will always be the main attraction, however, and the visitor has a host of safe, sandy beaches from which to choose. Swimming, sunbathing, sail-boarding, snorkelling, sea angling and high board diving, can be enjoyed here. For the less energetic, a stroll along Ireland's longest promenade, is strongly recommended, for the fresh Galway Bay sea air is a tonic in itself!


St Nicholas Collegiate Church, County Galway

The Collegiate Church of St. Nicholas is located in the heart of medieval Galway City, and boasts a rich, diverse history. Construction was completed in 1320, at a time when Galway was a small new town - a frontier settlement in the wild west. There are many fascinating monuments and memorials in the church. The baptismal font is over 400 years old and the dog carved into its side still keeps an eye on Galway’s newest citizens as they are baptised. The oldest inhabitant of the church is Adam Bures, whose grave marker dates from the 13th century and is fondly known as the Crusader. Items of interest also abound on the church's exterior, where one can observe a variety of carvings and gargoyles. The church has received many famous visitors through the centuries, including Christopher Columbus who prayed here during a visit to Galway in 1477. Less welcome were the Cromwellian troops who used the church as a stable for their horses after the siege of Galway in 1652. They are blamed for the headless and handless state of most of the carved figures inside the church. The church is open all day, every day, and visitors are most welcome.


Quay Street, County Galway

Galway's Quay Street is a bustling & interesting place for a stroll at any time - day or night. The street is narrow, charming, pedestrianized, and quite often thronged with shoppers, tourists and walkers. One of Galway's best-loved areas, Quay Street has something for everyone - from upmarket Boutiques to traditional Fish n' Chip shops. A variety of great pubs and restaurants abound, and you'll nearly always find Street Performers & Musicians plying their trade. Dillons Claddagh Gold on Quay Street are the original makers of the famous Claddagh Ring and are also Ireland's oldest jewelers, established in 1750. Bear left along the river at the end of Quay Street to view the Spanish Arch, constructed by Conquistadores in the 1500s. Overlooking the Arch, you'll find the Galway City Museum. This small but very interesting museum is packed with historical exhibits, and it's free!


Galway, County Galway

Accommodation

Kilbrack House - More Info - Galway, County Galway

B&B
Room Type: Double/Twin Ensuite

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 2:00pm & 6:00pm on your day of arrival. If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please call the B&B owners in advance on 091 590 802.


Must-See Sites

Connemara National Park, County Galway

On The Map: Connemara National park is located in County Galway in the west of Ireland. The main park entrance is close to the village of Letterfrack on the main N59 road that connects Clifden to the south, and Westport to the northeast.

Connemara National Park covers some 2,957 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands. Some of the Park's mountains, namely Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght, are part of the famous Twelve Bens or Beanna Beola range. Connemara National Park was established and opened to the public in 1980. Much of the present Park lands formed part of the Kylemore Abbey Estate and the southern part of the Park was at one time owned by Richard 'Humanity Dick' Martin, who helped form the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals during the early 19th century. The Park has a Visitor's Centre (open March to October), that offers an audio-visual presentation about the region. 4 rewarding hiking trails begin at the centre, and a tea-room, playground and picnic area are also available. As well as its great natural beauty, many remains of human presence can be found in the Park. The oldest are megalithic court tombs some 4,000 years old. There is also an early 19th century graveyard about which little is known. Ruined houses, a disused lime kiln, old sheep pens, an ice house, drainage systems and old walls in various parts of the Park, are all evidence of a greater population and more extensive use of these lands in the past.


Kylemore Abbey, County Galway

On the Map: Kylemore Abbey is located in County Galway, in the midwest of Ireland. The Abbey is accessed via the N59 road that connects the towns of Clifden (to the southwest) and Westport (to the northeast). 

Set in the Connemara mountains is Kylemore Abbey, a beautiful neo-Gothic Castle. Given it's picture-perfect location, Kylemore is often touted as Ireland's most romantic castle. Built by the English industrialist Mitchell Henry in 1868, visitors to the three reception rooms in the Abbey are touched by its history steeped in romance and tragedy. Kylemore Castle was sold to Benedictine nuns fleeing war-torn Belgium in 1920 and the Castle became an Abbey. The Community of Nuns re-opened their International Boarding School here and also established a day school for local girls. Mitchell Henry built the recently re-opened Neo-Gothic Church (under restoration) between 1877 and 1881 as a memorial to his wife following her untimely death. The Church, a ‘cathedral in miniature’, is a centre of reflection and prayer for many visitors. Visitors can also see the Mausoleum where the original owners are buried.


Sky Road, Clifden, County Galway

On The Map: The Sky Road drive begins in Clifden Town. Clifden is located on Ireland's west coast in the Connemara Region of County Galway. Clifden is reached via the N59 road from Galway to the southeast, and Westport to the northeast.

The Sky Road is an exhilarating 11km/7ml circular drive west of Clifden Town. The Sky Road is well signposted from Clifden. You will first pass Abbeyglen Castle Hotel (on your left), and after approx 400 metres beyond the hotel, take a look back towards Clifden. The 12 Bens mountains provide a wonderful backdrop to the town, and its two church spires, complete Clifden's distinctive skyline. The scenery along the Sky Road is quite simply, stunning. As you travel, the Sky Road separates into the lower and upper roads. The lower road takes you along the shoreline, and although pleasant, the upper road is more popular, owing to the commanding views it offers over the entire area. As the upper road rises, you are treated to breathtaking island & coastline views. There is a good-sized car park at the highest point of the upper road for wonderful photo opportunities. If you continue along the Sky Road thereafter, you will eventually join the main N59 Road, a few kilometres north of Clifden.


Celbridge, County Kildare

Accommodation

Celbridge Manor - More Info - Celbridge, County Kildare

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 2:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 11:00am.


Enroute Sightseeing

Belvedere House & Gardens, County Westmeath

On The Map: Belvedere House is located just south of the town of Mullingar in County Meath. The Estate is easily accesseed from the M6 motorewsay connecting Dublin & Galway. Exit the M6 at Junction 4 and proceed north on the N52 road for approx. 11 kilometres.

Belvedere House & Gardens is a magnificent 160 acre Lakeside Estate, replete with a fully restored 18th century Georgian Villa. The Estate includes a Victorian Walled Garden, The Enchanted Glen - a secret Faery Garden, and a number of 'Romantic Follies', including the largest in Ireland - 'The Jealous Wall'. Belvedere House was designed by the famous architect Richard Castles, and was built for Lord Belvedere in 1740, as an 'escape' from the ordeals of family life at his nearby main residence - Gaulstown House. Robert's wife, Mary Molesworth, spent 31 years under house arrest at Gaulstown, owing to a suspected affair, and led to Robert being known as The Wicked Earl! A different but related argument with his brother George, led to Robert erecting the Jealous Wall in 1760 to block his view of his brothers much larger house, Rochfort (now Tudenham) house!


Overnight Location

Celbridge, County Kildare

On The Map: Celbridge is located 23 miles west of Dublin City. It is most easily accessed by the R403 & R405 roads, which intersect with the main M4 Motorway connecting Dublin & Galway Cities.

The development of Celbridge commenced with the building of Kildrought House in 1720. The present day houses on Main Street and in the town center were built over the subsequent two hundred year period. Celbridge boasts several important historical buildings and famous sons. Number 22 Main Street was for a time occupied by Richard Guinness and his son Arthur was born there. Arthur went on to form the Guinness Brewery. Castletown House (pictured), was constructed in 1722, and is situated at the end of an avenue extending from the main street of Celbridge. Castletown is Ireland's largest and arguably finest Palladian Country House. Two features of particular note are the 80-foot blue and gold Long Gallery, and the main cantilevered staircase. Reputedly, only three staircases of this kind were ever constructed, and one lies at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, aboard the doomed Titanic. Celbridge Abbey was built in 1703, and is another beautiful structure, with many tales of woe to tell. In recent years Celbridge has expanded dramatically, yet most of the towns services and amenities still center on the single main street.


Must-See Sites

Boyne Valley, County Meath

On the Map: The Boyne Valley is a fairly large region located in the east of Ireland in County Meath. Only 30 minutes/ 20km north of Dublin City, the Boyne Valley is accessed via the N2 or N3 roads heading northwest from the city.

The Boyne Valley contains the largest and most decorated megalithic sites in all of Ireland and has been described as "the largest and most important expression of prehistoric megalithic art in Europe". The large Megalithic sites were built over 5000 years ago between 3800 and 3200 BC, built before both Stonehenge in England and the great pyramids in Egypt. Within a three square mile radius in the Boyne Valley are grouped more than 30 prehistoric monuments including the great passage tombs and their satellite structures, standing stones, barrows and other enclosures. The great sites of the Boyne Valley include Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth, Loughcrew, Fourknocks and the Hill of Tara. Neolithic communities built these sites over earlier sacred spots and it is suspected that they were used for a combination of different purposes, including use as burial tombs, sacred temples and astronomical observatories. The nearby towns of Trim, Slane and Navan make ideal bases from which to explore the area.


Depart From

Depart from Dublin Airport, County Dublin

Return to Dublin Airport at least two hours prior to your flight's scheduled departure. This will allow ample time to check in for your flight home.

After check-in and passenger security, browse the array of shops on offer at 'The Loop' in Dublin Airport. With an extensive range of stores, bars and cafes, any spare time you have will fly!


Ireland Vacation Pricing Low Season Mid Season High Season
From $1,160
From $1,364
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Your Price Includes

ACCOMMODATION

  • 10 nights Accommodation – From City Hotel to Authentic Castle!

TRANSPORTATION

  • Rental Car including our Exclusive Reduced Excess Insurance Package

DINING OPTIONS

  • 10 Full Irish Breakfasts

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Dublin 'Hop-On, Hop-Off' 2-Day Sightseeing Double-Decker Bus Pass
  • Admission to Birr Castle & Science Centre
  • Admission to The Rock of Cashel

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Shop On Famous Grafton Street
  • Check-Out the Guinness Storehouse
  • Overnight at an Authentic Irish Castle
  • Take in The Rock of Cashel & Glen of Aherlow
  • Enjoy Stunning Views at Killarney National Park
  • Jaw-Dropping Southwest Scenery
  • Dinge & Slea-Head Rugged Beauty
  • Marvel at Connemara National Park & Kylemore Abbey

Prices Based On

  • Prices are per person based on 2 people traveling together and sharing 1 room.
  • All Taxes & Fees Included
  • Risk-Free Cancellation Policy
  • Custom Priced Quote (Want to Add/Subtract Days? Let Us Know!)
  • Self-guided vacation package. Choose any date to begin your travels.
  • Traveling alone? No problem. Just ask us for a Single Supplement price.

“Great Trip”

Sep 21, 2017 by Tom L. Your Hometown: Connecticut

Jordan and the staff at Authentic Ireland listened to our needs and planned a fantastic trip for us . We did the self drive and had no problems what so ever including, all hotels, B&B, Car and pre Paid sightseeing. We did a southern loop including Dublin, Kilkenny, Cork county, Kalarney, the western coasts up to Galway and Connemara. venturing off the beaten path was the best of all. Get yourself lost on a country road and stop to talk to local farmers..They love it and provide great advice for a few secret spots! Thanks again Jordan. We will use and recommend you in the future!

“Ireland Adventure”

Sep 21, 2017 by Mariah. Your Hometown: Greensburg, IN

Edna assisted in planning a dream trip to Ireland for me and my friends, and I could not have been happier with the experience! From the beginning, Edna understood our desire to travel across Ireland on a small budget. She was quick to respond to my questions and willing to make last-minute adjustments when our plans changed. She reserved a rental car for us which was unbelievably easy to pick up and drop off and booked us at B&Bs with comfortable rooms, friendly hosts, and fabulous food. Ireland must be the most stunning place on earth, and I can't thank Edna and Authentic Ireland enough for sending me to this magical place.

I hope to begin planning a trip to Scotland soon and will certainly be using their services!

“A Great London & Scotland Visit”

Sep 21, 2017 by Joseph Galanti. Your Hometown: New Fairfield Ct USA

Another wonderful vacation made possible by Con Jager and Authentic Ireland! A trip full of history, beautiful places and friendly people is all anyone should hope for and that is what we found for two weeks. The hotels/B & B's/castles were great places to rest after busy days of tours, visits, and walking all over London and the English and Scottish countryside. Our guides and chauffeur were both teachers and pals for happy hours and days of busy but relaxed enjoyment. Thank you Con

“Wonderful Experience”

Sep 21, 2017 by Wendy. Your Hometown: U.S.A.

I had a wonderful experience with Authentic Ireland. This was the first international trip we've taken and Kati made it easy and very special. She worked with me to incorporate everything we wanted to see and do, took care of all the details, responded quickly, and answered all my questions. All we had to do was show up and have a great time. I highly recommend planning your next trip wherever it may be through Authentic Ireland. Thank you, Kati!

“Ireland 2017”

Sep 11, 2017 by Nicole. Your Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

The trip that Emma planned was absolutely amazing! The only thing I would've wished for was a place closer to the city center in Galway, but that's because I preferred parking and walking.
Having two full days in Dublin before picking up the rental car allowed plenty of time to go to the Guinness Storehouse, Jameson Distillery, Trinity College, and shop along Grafton Street.

Each of the hotels and B&Bs were comfortable. Breakfasts were extremely filling. The suggestions for site seeing, both in the cities and along the route were great.

Communication with Emma was wonderful. Any questions that I thought of were answered quickly.

I would definitely recommend Authentic Ireland to anyone planning a trip, and would definitely use them again in the future.

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