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9-Night Castles In The Mist Vacation

Price: From $1,128 Per Person 9 Nights

Stay at two different Irish castles! Our Castles in the Mist package includes two nights at Abbeyglen Castle & one night at Kinnitty Castle. A revitalizing two-night stay at The Lake Hotel in Killarney also beckons - truly one of the finest hotel views on the planet! Seeing is believing at the wonderful monastic settlement of Clonmacnoise, stunning Connemara, the charming town of Westport, Achill Island, The Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, The Rock of Cashel, The Boyne Valley and much, much more. Your perfectly-paced Ireland itinerary also includes two nights in Dublin, with a Double-Decker Bus Pass provided, to informatively transport you to the city's very best visitor attractions!

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

Tour Highlights

ACCOMMODATION

  • 4-nights 4-Star Hotel Accommodation
  • 3-nights in Authentic Irish Castles
  • 1-night at a 300-Year Old Georgian Manor
  • 1-night at a Traditional & Cozy B&B

TRANSPORTATION

  • Rental Car including our Exclusive Reduced Excess Insurance Package

DINING OPTIONS

  • 9 Full Irish Breakfasts

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Dublin 'Hop-On, Hop-Off' 2-Day Sightseeing Double-Decker Bus Pass
  • Admission to Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden
  • Admission to The Imposing Rock of Cashel

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • The Guinness Storehouse & Dublin's Temple Bar
  • The 8th Century Book of Kells at Famous Trinity College
  • Bustling & Vibrant Galway City
  • Ross Castle & Killarney National Park
  • Kenmare & the Ring of Kerry
  • Connemara National Park & Kylemore Abbey
  • Westport, Achill Island & Croagh Patrick
  • The Cliffs of Moher & Poulnabrone Dolmen
  • Ancient Wonders of the Boyne Valley

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

The Alexander Hotel - More Info - Dublin, County Dublin

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time on your arrival day is after 2.00pm. 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

The Alexander Hotel - More Info - Dublin, County Dublin

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time on your arrival day is after 2.00pm. Check out time is before 12.00 noon.


Must-See Sites

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.


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!


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.


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.


Connemara, County Galway

Accommodation

Abbeyglen Castle - More Info - Connemara, County Galway

Castle
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3:30pm, check-out is before 12:00 noon. Hotel will try and accommodate alternative times, just call on 095 21201.


Enroute Sightseeing

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.


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

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.


Must-See Sites

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.


Connemara, County Galway

Accommodation

Abbeyglen Castle - More Info - Connemara, County Galway

Castle
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3:30pm, check-out is before 12:00 noon. Hotel will try and accommodate alternative times, just call on 095 21201.


Included Experiences

Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden

Connemara, County Galway

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. Mitchell Henry built the recently re-opened Neo-Gothic Church 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 explore the 6-acre Victorian Walled Garden with it’s magnificent restored buildings. Discover woodland walks, lakeshore walks & nature trails throughout the 1,000 acre estate. Visitors can also see the Mausoleum where the original owners are buried. In the A.V. Room, attached to the Visitor Centre, get a sense of the history of Kylemore Abbey & Garden while viewing the twelve-minute video. No need to pre-book - use your included admission voucher to visit anytime today!


Must-See Sites

Westport, County Mayo

On the Map: Westport enjoys a coastal location in County Mayo, in the west of Ireland. The town is accessed via the N59 road from Clifden (to the south), or N5 road from Castlebar (to the east).

Westport is a postcard-pretty town with as lovely a main street as you'll be likely to find anywhere in Ireland. The town lies in the shadow of Croagh Patrick with Clew Bay and its 365 islands just to the west. While in Westport be sure to visit Westport House and climb at least a little of Croagh Patrick. Westport House dates from 1730 and offers everything from a dungeon to a zoo! Croagh Patrick is a 765-meter hill where St. Patrick is said to have banished the snakes from Ireland. This hill is climbed (often barefoot) by thousands of Catholic pilgrims each July. South of Westport are some stunning scenic drives leading into the Connemara region. A trip northwards will bring you to remote Achill island which is accessible by a small bridge. Even further off the beaten path is Belmullet in the northwest corner of County Mayo. Westport also boasts a great selection of traditional pubs, among them Matt Molloy's of the Chieftains. 


Achill Island, County Mayo

On the Map: Achill Island is located off County Mayo on the west coast of Ireland. The island is accessed via land bridge from the N59 road connecting the cities of Westport & Bangor. 

Achill Island is the largest island in Ireland at 60 square miles and is accessible from the mainland by a land bridge. Here you can visit the quaint villages of Dooagh and Dooega, the high cliffs at Slievemore and Minaun and the magnificent beaches at Keel and Keem, under Achill Head. No visit to the Island would be complete without taking a journey of scenic splendour on the famous Wild Atlantic Way Drive which circuits the island. Achill's beautiful unspoiled, remote scenery and clear waters make it ideally suited to outdoor pursuits. You can explore the island's peaceful countryside with a beach walk, hill walk, or even a road walk! You can rent bicycles on the island if you would like to cover more distance. You can climb the highest mountain on the island, Mt. Slievemore (about 1800 feet), with ease and have a remarkable view of the area, or opt take a walk up the third highest point, Mt. Minaun and walk along the Minaun cliffs.


Croagh Patrick, County Mayo

On The Map: Croagh Patrick is a 764 metres mountain, located just 8 kilometres southwest of Westport town in County Mayo.

Croagh Patrick is Ireland's sacred mountain, and has been since ancient times. In pre-Christian Ireland it was the focus of the harvest festival of Lughnasa, traditionally held around August 1. The mountain was especially important for women, who would sleep on the summit during Lughnasa to encourage fertility. According to Christian tradition, St. Patrick went up the sacred mountain at festival time in 441 AD. After fasting at the summit for 40 days, he banished all the snakes and demons from Ireland. The site quickly became an important place of Christian pilgrimage & a stone oratory dating from between 430 and 890 AD was recently discovered on the summit. Nowadays, as many as one million pilgrims and visitors make the trek to the top to pray at the stations of the cross, participate in Mass, do penance (in which case the rocky journey is undertaken barefoot!) or simply to enjoy the spectacular view.


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.


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


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.


Killarney, County Kerry

Accommodation

The Lake Hotel - More Info - Killarney, County Kerry

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin (Lake View)

Check in policies:

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


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).


Muckross House and Gardens, County Kerry

On The Map: Muckross House is located just 6 kilometres south of Killarney, County Kerry, in the southwest of Ireland. From Killarney, take the N71 south for Kenmare. The only vehicle entrance is located approximately 1km beyond the Muckross Park Hotel - on the right.

Muckross House, set close to the shores of Muckross Lake & amidst the beautiful scenery of Killarney National Park, was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the watercolourist Mary Balfour Herbert. William Burn, the well-known Scottish architect, was the designer. Building commenced in 1839 and was completed in 1843. Today the principal rooms are furnished in period style and portray the elegant lifestyle of the 19th century land-owning class. While in the basement, one can imagine the busy bustle of the servants as they went about their daily chores. During the 1850s, the Herberts undertook extensive garden works in preparation for Queen Victoria's visit in 1861. Between the months of April and July, Muckross Gardens are spectacularly adorned with the red and pink flowers of mature Rhododendrons. Other features include a Sunken Garden, Rock Garden and Stream Garden. An Arboretum, containing many trees from the Southern Hemisphere, was established in 1972. Muckross Traditional Farms are situated adjacent to Muckross House. These working farms recreate and portray the traditional farming methods, and way of life, of a typical local, rural community of the 1930s. The Walled Garden Centre incorporates the Garden Restaurant, Mucros Craft Shop and three Mucros Craft Workshops.


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.


Serenity at The Lake Hotel, County Kerry

For the next two nights, you'll stay in a Superior Lake View room at the Lake Hotel in Killarney. Each morning, you will be greeted by one of the most scenic sights in all of Ireland. Not a single modern structure intrudes on this most glorious & peaceful view of Lough Lein and the MacGillycuddy Reeks mountain range - Ireland's tallest. We don't expect you to be disturbed by the 12th century McCarthy Castle ruins at the edge of the lake, or the regular appearances of local red deer!


Killarney, County Kerry

Accommodation

The Lake Hotel - More Info - Killarney, County Kerry

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin (Lake View)

Check in policies:

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


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

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!


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!


Birr Castle, Gardens and Science Center, County Offaly

Birr Castle is 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!


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

Irish National Stud & Japanese Gardens, County Kildare

On the Map: The Irish National Stud is located in County Kildare in the eastern midlands of Ireland. The Stud is accessed at Kildare town, just off the M7 motorway, which connects Dublin to the east and Limerick to the west.

Established in 1946, the Irish National Stud combines an active role in the development and promotion of Irish bloodstock. One of the country's major tourist attractions, it is the only Stud farm in Ireland open to the public, and encompasses:
*The Irish National Stud - Home to some of Ireland's finest thoroughbreds.
*Japanese Gardens - The finest Japanese Gardens in Europe.
*Saint Fiachra's Garden - Woodland and lakeside walks.
*Horse Museum - a state of the art modern exhibition where the Sport of Kings comes to life.


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

Hill of Slane, County Meath

On The Map: The Hill of Slane is located just north of the town of Slane in County Meath. From Slane Town head north on the N2 road for less than 1 kilometre, making a left turn to arrive at the site.

Steeped in myth and history, the Hill of Slane towers 521 feet above the surrounding countryside, offering breathtaking views. On a clear day, the mounds of Newgrange and Knowth can be seen to the east, with the town of Drogheda and the Irish Sea beyond. The Hill of Slane was a very important site in prehistoric pagan times. The Hill has since become synonymous with Saint Patrick. It is here that Patrick is said to have lit his 'Paschal Fire', in direct defiance of the Pagan Druids at the nearby Hill of Tara. Seeing the flames, the Druids proclaimed that if Patrick’s fire was not put out immediately, it would burn forever in Ireland.... The rest is history! Amongst the interesting ruins on the Hill is 'The Motte', a mound that is probably the burial mound of Sláine, the prehistoric Fir Bolg King. The Motte is mysteriously aligned with other ancient sites, and may have had an astronomical significance. The Hill of Slane is also associated with a mythical healing well, purportedly used by the Tuatha Dé Danann to heal their wounds during battle.


Trim, County Meath

On The Map: Trim is located in County Meath in the Boyne Valley region of eastern Ireland. The town is accessed via the N3 & R154 from Dublin City (to the southeast) or via the R162 from Navan town (to the north).

The name Trim comes from the Irish 'Baile Atha Troim', which translates as 'the town of the ford of the alder trees' and its origin dates back to the 5th century A.D. Among its more recent claims to fame, is the filming of a major part of 'Braveheart' at Trim Castle (pictured). Trim is part of the Boyne Valley, located on the east coast of Ireland in County Meath, which contains the largest and most decorated megalithic sites in all of Ireland. It 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 burial tombs, sacred temples and astronomical observatories.


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 $1,128 to $1,178 From $1,248 to $1,428 From $1,518

Your Price Includes

ACCOMMODATION

  • 4-nights 4-Star Hotel Accommodation
  • 3-nights in Authentic Irish Castles
  • 1-night at a 300-Year Old Georgian Manor
  • 1-night at a Traditional & Cozy B&B

TRANSPORTATION

  • Rental Car including our Exclusive Reduced Excess Insurance Package

DINING OPTIONS

  • 9 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 Imposing Rock of Cashel

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • The Guinness Storehouse & Dublin's Temple Bar
  • The 8th Century Book of Kells at Famous Trinity College
  • Bustling & Vibrant Galway City
  • Ross Castle & Killarney National Park
  • Kenmare & the Ring of Kerry
  • Connemara National Park & Kylemore Abbey
  • Westport, Achill Island & Croagh Patrick
  • The Cliffs of Moher & Poulnabrone Dolmen
  • Ancient Wonders of the Boyne Valley

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.

“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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