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8-Night Idyllic Ireland Vacation

Price: From $828 Per Person 8 Nights

The highlight of this vacation is a stay at captivating Lough Rynn Castle, set amidst the serene, rolling countryside of County Leitrim. Visit many of Ireland's most celebrated sights, as well as hidden gems, without feeling rushed during your 8-night tour. Highlights include Connemara & Kylemore Abbey, peaceful Glencar Waterfall, bustling Galway City, Bunratty Castle & Adare Heritage Village, the scenic majesty of County Kerry, the stunning Rock of Cashel & Ireland's most well-preserved medieval city - Kilkenny. This vacation also includes 2 nights in Dublin City, where you will enjoy an included 2-Day Double-Decker Bus Dublin Pass to informatively transport you to more than 30 of the Capital's top visitor attractions!

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

Tour Highlights

ACCOMMODATION

  • 5-nights of 4-star hotels, 1-night in an Irish Castle & 2-nights in an Authentic B&B

TRANSPORTATION

  • Rental Car including our Exclusive Reduced Excess Insurance Package

DINING OPTIONS

  • 8 Full Irish Breakfasts

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Dublin 'Hop-On, Hop-Off' 2-Day Sightseeing Double-Decker Bus Pass

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Guinness Storehouse Tour
  • The 8th Century Book of Kells at Famous Trinity College
  • Dublin Castle
  • Galway City & Cong, County Mayo
  • Ross Castle & Killarney National Park
  • Kenmare & the Ring of Kerry
  • Carrowmore Megalithic Site & Glencar Waterfall
  • Connemara National Park & Kylemore Abbey
  • The Rock of Cashel & Medieval Kilkenny

Dublin, County Dublin

Arrive at

Arrive at Dublin Airport, County Dublin

Arrive at Dublin Airport after your overnight flight from the U.S.

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.


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. 


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.


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

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 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.


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.


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.


Mohill, County Leitrim

Accommodation

Lough Rynn Castle Hotel - More Info - Mohill, County Leitrim

Castle
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out time is before 12.00 noon.


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

Mohill, County Leitrim

On the Map: Mohill is located in County Leitrim in the northwest of Ireland. From the main N4/M4 road connecting Sligo town (to the northwest) & Dublin City (to the southeast), Mohill is accessed via the R202, which intersects with the N4 just south of Carrick-on-Shannon.

Leitrim's name derives from the Irish Liath Druim, meaning "grey ridge."  In ancient times Leitrim formed the western half of the Kingdom of Breifne. The Kingdom of Bréifne (also Breffny, Brefnie, Brenny) was the traditional territory for an early Irish tribal group known as the Uí Briúin Bréifne. The Bréifne territory included the modern Irish counties of Leitrim and Cavan, along with parts of County Sligo.  Breifne means hilly in Irish, a description which describes the topography of this part of Ireland. It is also believed to mean a place of great beauty. Leitrim has a dramatic hilly and mountainous landscape in its northwest and is relatively flat in the southeast, each separated from the other by Lough Allen in the middle of the county. It is an unspoiled, peaceful land of great natural beauty, consisting of lofty mountains, deep valleys, pastures, lakes, rolling hills and rivers. Leitrim is not a landlocked county as it has a short length of Atlantic coastline (5km) between Sligo and Donegal in the northwest.


Must-See Sites

Glencar Waterfall, County Leitrim

On The Map: Glencar Waterfall lies about 8 miles north of Sligo town, and 5 miles west of Manorhamilton, just off the N16 road that connects the two towns.

With a drop of approx. 50 feet, Glencar Waterfall is not the largest in the world. It does however occupy a wonderfully scenic and romantic location, and is particularly impressive after rain. The setting and charm of the waterfall inspired Ireland's famous poetic son, W.B Yeats, and is mentioned in his poem, 'The Stolen Child'. The falls are accessed via a lovely wooded walk and on-site picnic facilities are provided. There are more waterfalls visible from the road, but none are quite as romantic as this one! The waterfall is adjacent to serene Glencar Lake on the Sligo / Leitrim border - a most enchanting area.


Boyle Abbey, County Roscommon

On the Map: Boyle is located in County Roscommon in the northwest of Ireland. The N61 road passes through town, just south of where it intersects with the major N4/M4 road that connects the cities of Dublin (to the east) and Sligo (to the north).

The famous Abbey at Boyle was the first successful foundation in Connacht of the Cistercian order of monks, which had opened its first Irish house at Mellifont, County Louth, in 1142. Though mutilated during the 16th & 17th centuries, when it was used to accommodate a military garrison, Boyle Abbey is nevertheless a very well preserved monastery. Dominated by a squat square tower dating from the 13th century, the Abbey has certainly retained its ability to impress visitors. The Abbey design was influenced by styles from Burgundy, from where Cistercians came to Ireland. The decorated corbels and capitals were likely carved by local masons, some of them members of the so called ‘School of the West’. This same School is responsible for creating some of the most inventive architectural sculpture of the 13th century in Ireland's west. A restored gatehouse dating from the 16th & 17th centuries houses an exhibition.


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.


Enroute Sightseeing

Quiet Man Bridge, County Galway

On The Map: The Quiet Man Bridge is located five miles from the village of Oughterard, in County Galway in the west of Ireland.

The Quiet Man Bridge is internationally famous as a location for the 1951 movie, "The Quiet Man", starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. The film is regarded as one of the top 100 ever made, and tourists by the busload stop to photograph it. Leam Bridge, as it is known locally, is in a condition almost identical to 1951. This is the bridge where Wayne's character, Sean Thornton dreams of his youth in the opening scenes of the movie and hears his dead mother's voice describing White O'Morn cottage. More than 50 years have passed since Irish-American director John Ford shot his classic movie, but interest in the film has never been stronger. Shot on location in the west of Ireland John Ford’s beloved romantic comedy The Quiet Man has been celebrated for its larger-than-life portrayal of the Emerald Isle. Most of the Quiet Man outdoor scenes were shot in various locations in counties Galway and Mayo - mainly around the scenic Maam Valley on the shores of Lough Corrib, Ashford Castle and the nearby village of Cong.


Enroute Sightseeing

Cong, County Mayo

On the Map: Cong is located in County Mayo in the midwest of Ireland. The village is 45 minutes/ 43km north of Galway City, and is most easily accessed via the R334/R346 road that intersects with the main N84 road connecting Galway & Castlebar cities.

Cong is without doubt most famous for being the location of John Ford's 1951 classic, "The Quiet Man", starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. The Quiet Man Cottage Museum allows visitors to relive the movie as if actually on-set.  Painstaking effort has ensured that all the furnishings, artifacts, costumes - etc. are authentic reproductions. The majestic remains of Cong Abbey are the relics of an Augustinian abbey founded in the 12th century by Turlough O'Connor, King of Connaught and High King of Ireland.  The Cross of Cong, an ornate processional cross intended for the abbey, is now in Dublin's National Museum. Ashford Castle, perhaps Ireland's most exquisite castle hotel is located just outside the village.


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!


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, County Galway

On the Map: Connemara encompasses a large area northwest of Galway City in the west of Ireland. It is most easily accessed via the N59 road that loops around the region and connects the cities of Galway (to the southeast) & Westport (to the northeast).

Northwest of Galway lies the rocky, barren, but breathtakingly stunning region of Connemara. This area is one of the few remaining in Ireland where the native tongue (Gaeilge) is still fluently spoken as a first language. Stop off in the fishing village of Roundstone, where currachs, old style featherweight rowing boats are still in everyday use. The village also boasts an impressive crafts complex, selling everything from teapots and sweaters to traditional Irish music instruments. Clifden, Connemara's capital is well worth a visit and the scenic Sky Road drive just outside town should not be missed.  From here travel north to see the exquisite neo-gothic Kylemore Abbey, nestled in a lush forest on the edge of Kylemore Lake. However long you spend in Connemara you will be constantly enchanted by the ever changing scenery of mountains and valleys, lakes and beaches and bays. This is Ireland's big sky country.


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.


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.


Enroute Sightseeing

Adare Heritage Village, County Limerick

On the Map: Adare is located just 20km southwest of Limerick City / 43km south of Shannon Airport. The main N21 road (connecting the cities of Limerick & Tralee/Killarney) passes right through the centre of the village.

Adare is a quaint picturesque place, lined with traditional thatched-roof cottages. Snuggled in a wooded and lush countryside setting, Adare is widely regarded as being Ireland's prettiest and most unique village. Situated on the river Maigue, a tributary of the Shannon river, Adare (Gaelic name: "Ath Dara" - the "ford of the oak" - from the combination of water and woodland) dates back, at least, to the early 13th century. Adare village has a rich wealth of heritage, as well as architectural and scenic beauty. Two groups of world famous, ornate, thatched cottages line part of the village's broad main street, punctuated with beautiful stone buildings, medieval monasteries and ruins. Situated in the centre of County Limerick, with just 15 minutes from Limerick City and 45 minutes from Shannon Airport, Adare Village is an ideal base from which to explore County Limerick's many visitor attractions such as Lough Gur and King John's Castle.


Enroute Sightseeing

Bunratty, County Clare

On the Map: Bunratty is located in the west of Ireland in County Clare. The main N18/M18 road connecting the cities of Limerick (to the south) & Ennis (to the north) passes right by the village. Shannon Airport is only 15 minutes to the west, also accessed via the N18/M18.

In Bunratty Village, one can enjoy the medieval grandeur that awaits in Bunratty Castle and its lively Folk Park. The castle, overlooking the River Shannon, is in excellent condition and well worth a visit. It is one of the finest surviving examples of an Irish tower house, and it's current peaceful and picturesque state belies its bloody and violent history. The strategic location of the castle on the river Shannon ensured it was the focal point of many battles, and it has it has been destroyed and re-built on at least eight occasions. The Folk Park adjoins the castle and vividly portrays what everyday life was like in rural Ireland about 100 years ago. It contains reconstructed farmhouses, cottages and shops, replete with authentic furnishings. The Park is a living museum: animals are tended, bread is baked, milk is churned, walls are whitewashed and roofs are thatched. You may visit an Irish farmhouse, watch the blacksmith fit a horseshoe, or attend a weaving demonstration. The village also reflects the fundamental changes that led to increased mobility in Irish society. Once you've explored the Castle & Folk Park, be sure to sample a relaxing cup of tea and freshly baked scones in one of the quaint thatched cottage cafes. The famous Durty Nelly's pub is in the heart of town, adjacent to the castle.


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).


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, 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

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.


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.


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.


Kilkenny, County Kilkenny

Accommodation

Ormonde Hotel - More Info - Kilkenny, County Kilkenny

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 4:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out time is before 12.00 noon.


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.


Enroute Sightseeing

Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary

On the Map: Cashel is located in County Tipperary in the southern midlands of Ireland. The main M8 motorway connecting the major cities of Dublin (to the northeast) and Cork (to the southwest) passes right by the town.

The Rock of Cashel (Carraig Phádraig), more formally St. Patrick's Rock, is also known as Cashel of the Kings. One of the most visited sites in Ireland, The Rock 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 buildings represent both Hiberno-Romanesque and Germanic influences in their architecture. 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.


Overnight Location

Kilkenny, County Kilkenny

On the Map: Kilkenny City is located in County Kilkenny, in the southeast midlands of Ireland. Kilkenny is well-served by a good network of roads - the M9/N10 from Dublin (to the northeast) and N9/N10 from Waterford City (to the south).

Kilkenny, or the Marble City as it is known, is one of Ireland's oldest towns, and proud of it. Its array of ancient buildings is unrivalled. It is renowned for being a vibrant cultural center, devoted to the musical and visual arts. Its two most impressive landmarks are Kilkenny Castle, founded in 1172 and privately owned until 1967, and St. Canice's Cathedral. The current structure of the cathedral dates from the 13th century, though this is nowhere near the beginning of its story, which is rich in folklore and legend. There is no shortage of pubs to explore and enjoy in Kilkenny and during the summer the city is always full of life. The summer also sees the city host an Arts Festival and a very highly regarded Comedy Festival called the Cat Laughs.


Must-See Sites

Saint Canices Cathedral, County Kilkenny

On The Map: St Canice’s Cathedral is located in the oldest part of Kilkenny City – an area known as Irishtown, located just north of downtown.

St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower are an essential part of the structural heritage in the vibrant medieval city of Kilkenny. This ecclesiastical site was founded in the 6th century and named after St Canice. Worship has taken place at this site for over 800 years. The Cathedral has wonderful stained glass that includes two windows from the Harry Clarke Studio, Dublin. Local stone masters The O’Tooneys carved some of the tombstones many of which are unique to the Cathedral and Kilkenny. The See Chair of the Bishop of Ossory dating back to 1120 can be seen inside the Cathedral. The Round Tower is the oldest standing structure in Kilkenny City. Tourists can enjoy climbing the Round Tower capturing great views of the city (weather permitting). St Canice’s Round Tower is one of only two Round Towers that visitors can climb in Ireland.


Kilkenny Castle, County Kilkenny

On The Map: Kilkenny Castle is situated in the heart of mediaeval Kilkenny City, in the southeast midlands of Ireland.

Kilkenny Castle stands dramatically on a strategic height, commanding a crossing of the River Nore and dominating the 'High Town' of Kilkenny City. Over the eight centuries of its existence, many additions and alterations have been made to the fabric of the building, making Kilkenny Castle today a complex structure of various architectural styles. The original castle was constructed in the early 13th century for the 4th Earl of Pembroke. The Castle later became the principal Irish residence of the powerful Butler family, and remained so for almost 600 years from 1391 to 1967. The Butler ownership ended when Arthur, 6th Marquess of Ormonde (1893-1971), presented it to the people of Kilkenny in return for a token payment of £50. Due to major restoration works, the central block now includes a library, drawing room, and bedrooms decorated in 1830's splendour, as well as the beautiful Long Gallery. A suite of former servant's rooms is the Butler Art Gallery, which mounts frequently changing exhibitions of contemporary art.  The Parade Tower is the Castle's conference venue.


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 $828 to $878 From $928 to $1,048 From $1,098 to $1,158

Your Price Includes

ACCOMMODATION

  • 5-nights of 4-star hotels, 1-night in an Irish Castle & 2-nights in an Authentic B&B

TRANSPORTATION

  • Rental Car including our Exclusive Reduced Excess Insurance Package

DINING

  • 8 Full Irish Breakfasts

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Dublin 'Hop-On, Hop-Off' 2-Day Sightseeing Double-Decker Bus Pass

Prices Based On

  • 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.
  • Prices are per person based on 2 people traveling together and sharing a room.
  • Traveling alone? No problem. Just ask us for a single supplement price.

“Excellent Vacation”

Oct 4, 2017 by Victor & Linda White. Your Hometown: Fishers, Indiana

Our Ireland vacation was a most enjoyable one. The self driven tour was everything we expected and more. Every B&B provided excellent service and the accommodations were top notch. Jordan was able accommodate our request to include a trip to Inishturk island. My wife was able to make contact with relatives she met for the first time. We are so thankful to Jordan for planning everything and making the adjustments we needed. Excellent service! We will definitely recommend Authentic Ireland to our friends.

“A magical vacation”

Oct 4, 2017 by John Connolly. Your Hometown: Madison, CT

Maggie set up an incredible itinerary. We stayed in beautiful hotels and experienced amazing sites that covered a wide array of the best that Ireland has to offer. She worked with me to customize the trip and the information she sent made negotiating the travel and choosing sites to visit very easy. There was not a single glitch. I recommend using Authentic Ireland without reservation.

“Glad we used Authentic Ireland”

Oct 4, 2017 by Jeff Peters. Your Hometown: Orange, CA

My wife and I wanted to take a trip to the British Isles for our 25th anniversay. We used Authentic Ireland to help plan our itinerary for 12 days in London, Edinburgh, and various locations in Ireland. Kati Lepisto, from AI, arranged for all of our lodging as well as the rental car in Ireland. She included a tour of the Scottish Highlands, and also recommended other activities to round out our trip. Everything worked out perfectly.

All of the hotels recommended by Kati were wonderful, and I was impressed with her thorough and helpful communication both before and during our trip.

Thank you Kati and Authentic Ireland!

“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!

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1. Click on the Green “Get Started” Button to the Right 

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Questions?

With offices in both Ireland & the U.S., we can offer you unrivaled support while you are in Ireland or Scotland. We truly believe all our clients deserve an extraordinary experience!

Call us toll-free, 1-888-443-5259 (US) or +353 01 293.3088 (international), and we will be delighted to answer all questions!

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