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7-Night Coastal Gems Tour

Price: From $731 Per Person.
7 Nights

On our 7-night Coastal Gems Tour, you'll spend three nights at two of Ireland's most beautiful coastal locations - storied Galway Bay & Kinsale Harbor. During your three days in Galway, you'll have ample time to explore this vibrant city, and discover why it's such a big favorite among indigenous Irish! You'll also have the opportunity to visit some of Ireland's most famous western sights, including Connemara, The Cliffs of Moher and Burren Region. Foodie-lovers' Kinsale is located close to Ireland's most southerly point in County Cork, and boasts a great variety of attractions and distractions - from Blarney Castle & Stone to Killarney & The Ring of Kerry. Round off your 7 night tour with a stay in the Boyne Valley - a beautiful region, containing the largest and most decorated megalithic sites in all of Ireland. 

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

Tour Highlights

ACCOMMODATION

  • 3 Nights in Wonderful Galway - Ireland's City by the Bay
  • 3 Nights in Kinsale - The Gourmet Capital of Ireland
  • 1 Night in Ireland's Mystical Boyne Valley

TRANSPORTATION

  • Rental Car - Reduced Excess Insurance, Unlimited Mileage & All Taxes

DINING OPTIONS

  • 7 Breakfasts - Sumptuous Full Irish Breakfasts Each Morning

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Admission to Blarney Castle Park

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Explore Glorious Connemara National Park & Kylemore Abbey
  • Enjoy Spectacular Scenery on Clifden's Sky Road
  • Marvel at Killarney National Park & Muckross House
  • Visit Blarney Castle & Kiss the Famous Stone!
  • The Rock of Cashel Stunning Medieval Fortress
  • Trim Castle & The Legendary Boyne Valley

Galway, County Galway

Arrive at

Arrive at Shannon or Dublin Airport, Ireland

Arrive at either Shannon or Dublin Airport after your overnight flight from the U.S. (not included in quoted price!)
The destination for your first night in Ireland is Salthill, Galway City. Shannon Airport, to the south, is your closest potential arrival airport at just 1.25 hours drive away. Dublin is located on the opposite, eastern side of the country, and just over 2 hours drive from Galway.


Accommodation

Salthill Hotel - Galway, County Galway

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

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


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

Quay Street, County Galway

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


St Nicholas Collegiate Church, County Galway

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


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

Salthill Hotel - Galway, County Galway

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

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


Must-See Sites

Connemara National Park, County Galway

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

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


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.


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.


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.


Galway, County Galway

Accommodation

Salthill Hotel - Galway, County Galway

4 Star
Room Type: Double

Check in policies:

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


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.


Aillwee Cave & Birds of Prey Centre, County Clare

On the Map: Aillwee Cave is located in the north of County Clare in the west of Ireland. The Caves are off the R479 road, just west of the village of Ballyvaughan.

Although one of the oldest in Ireland, Aillwee Cave is still a fairly recent discovery. It is one of the few caves which has all the features of Clare underground - great caverns, bridged chasms, stalactites, subterranean rivers - and which is easily accessible to the general public. Before Aillwee Cave was opened to the public in 1976 its entrance was only a chink in a cliff face. The man who discovered the cave was Jacko McGann, a herdsmen on Aillwee Hill for many years. Mr. McGann explored much of the cave by candlelight. In 1973, cavers continued to explore as far as a massive fall of boulders that sealed the passage. The cavers mapped the cave passages, a total of 210m. In 2008, The Birds of Prey Centre opened at Aillwee Cave. The centre allows visitors a rare glimpse at these magnificent animals, some of which are endangered. Hawks, falcons, vultures, owls and eagles all feature in this most wonderful of settings.


The Burren, County Clare

On the Map: The Burren is located in the north of County Clare in Ireland's west. The closest town is Ballyvaughan to the north, but the Burren is also easily accessible from Doolin, Lisdoonvarna (to the west) and Ennis (to the south).

The Burren, or Boireann, meaning Great Rock, is in County Clare. It is, without dispute, one of the most unique - and strangest - landscapes in Europe.  The Burren occupiues approximately 250 square kilometers. Bounded by the Atlantic on the west and rocked by Galway Bay to the north, it is a multi-layered landscape where rare and delicate plants have adapted in order to thrive and flourish between harsh crevices. Stroll the meadows, be astonished by the boulders, and read the trail marks and footprints that the ice age and volcanoes left behind. The Burren is littered with ancient and megalithic sites. The most dramatic of these is the Poulnabrone Dolmen, an impressive 5,000 year old portal tomb. Poulnabrone is one of the most famous megalithic monuments in Ireland. Just how the people of the time managed to get the truly massive capstone in place, is a mystery which continues to baffle archaeologists.


Kinsale, County Cork

Accommodation

Trident Hotel - Kinsale, County Cork

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

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, County Clare

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

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


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.


Overnight Location

Kinsale, County Cork

On the Map: Kinsale is located in County Cork on Ireland's southern coast. From the main N71 road connecting Cork City (to the north) & Skibbereen/ Bantry (to the west), Kinsale is accessible via a variety of country roads.

Located just 16 miles from Cork City in a naturally protected harbour, Kinsale is one of the most picturesque, popular and fashionable towns on the southwest coast. Kinsale is a centre for yachting, sea angling, gourmet eating and golf. Restaurants in Kinsale pride themselves on their high reputation for culinary expertise, and the Good Food Circle has been organizing a Gourmet Festival here every autumn for over 25 years.  A charming town, its narrow streets are steeped in history and its harbour is always full of boats. Visit the museum housed in the French Prison or, just outside the town, the star-shaped Charles Fort with its spectacular views, before retiring to one of the town's many cozy atmospheric pubs.


Must-See Sites

Charles Fort, Kinsale, County Cork

Charles Fort is a classic example of a late 17th century star-shaped fort. William Robinson, architect of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, Dublin, and Superintendent of Fortifications, is credited with designing the fort. As one of the largest military installations in the country, Charles Fort has been associated with some of the most momentous events in Irish history. The most significant of these are the Williamite War 1689-91 and the Civil War 1922-23. Charles Fort was declared a National Monument in 1973. Across the estuary is James Fort designed by Paul Ive in 1602.


Kinsale, County Cork

Accommodation

Trident Hotel - Kinsale, County Cork

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.


Included Experiences

Blarney Castle and Park

Blarney, County Cork

Historic Blarney Castle is most famous for its Stone, which has the traditional power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it. The word 'Blarney' was introduced into the English language by Queen Elizabeth I and is described as 'pleasant talk, intended to deceive without offending.' The Stone is set in the wall below the battlements, and to kiss it, one has to lean backwards (grasping an iron railing) from the parapet walk. Many treasures are to be found on the grounds of the castle. The Rock Close, and its surroundings, is a curious place of ancient trees and far more ancient stones, by legend a garden of druidic origin and a centre of worship in pre-Christian days. The entire Blarney Castle Estate has an aura of magic and mystique with Wishing Steps, Witch's Kitchen, Druid's Cave and many other delights, telling a story of centuries past. No need to pre-book - use your included admission voucher to visit anytime today!


Must-See Sites

Cobh, County Cork

On the Map: Cobh is a picturesque town situated on Great Island in Cork Harbour off Ireland's southern coast. Just southeast of Cork City, the island is connected to mainland Ireland by both rail and road.

Cobh has a relatively short history by Irish standards. It was established in 1750, but has played an important role in Ireland's past. From 1848 to 1950, over six million Irishmen and women emigrated from Ireland and over 2.5 million of these departed from Cobh, making it the single most important port of emigration in Ireland. Many of those emigrating left from Cobh and sailed to America to start a new life. You can find out more about Cobh's role in Irish emigration at the fascinating "Queenstown Story" visitor attraction at the Cobh railway station. Highly recommended! Cobh is also famous for being the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic, which sank after striking an iceberg on Sunday April 14, 1912. Though a tragic story, Cobh has become quite a draw for romantic couples, ever since the release of the famous 1997 movie! Today, Cobh is a pleasant town with streets that climb up the steep slope of a hill to the top where the impressive St. Coleman's Cathedral stands. There are wonderful restaurants to choose from, many serving fresh seafood dishes.


Cork, County Cork

On the Map: Cork City is located off the southern coast of Ireland. As Ireland's second city, it is well served by good roads - The M8 northeast to Dublin, the N20 north to Limerick & the N25 east to Waterford.

In the bustling city of Cork (often referred to as 'Ireland's Second Capital'), stroll the river walk at the University and pop into the Glucksman Gallery.  Relax in a café, and hit Shandon Street, just a short walk from the main shopping district.  Climb the 120 foot steeple, and ring the bells of Shandon.  Soak up the city views as they fade into the countryside. Award-winning restaurants line the streets, and nightlife choices include Irish Traditional, classy nightclubs, theater, opera, plays, and dance.  (Take the haunted night tour of the city jail—it’s a great way to start your evening with a bang.) Of course, there’s the Jameson Old Middleton Distillery in east Cork.  Learn how Irish whiskey is made, and finish with a tasting. 


Blarney Castle and Stone, County Cork

On the Map: Blarney is located in County Cork in the south of Ireland. The village is a mere 20 minutes/ 11km northwest of Cork City. It is accessed via the R617, which intersects with the main N20 (Limerick City to Cork City) road just north of Cork City.

The impressive Blarney Castle, perched on solid limestone, dates from 1446 and is situated on magnificent grounds. The castle was constructed by one of Ireland's greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, and has been attracting attention beyond Munster ever since.To acquire 'The Gift of Gab' one must kiss the Blarney Stone - located just beneath the battlements at the very top of Blarney Castle. This involves bending over backwards at quite a height - perhaps not to be attempted by the faint-hearted! Rumor has it that if you kiss the legendary 'Stone of Eloquence', you'll never again be lost for words!


Old Midleton Distillery, County Cork

On The Map: The Midleton Distillery is located in County Cork, very close to Ireland's southern coast. Midleton town is just 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Cork City, off the main N25/E30 road connecting the cities of Cork & Waterford.

Home to the world-renowned brands of Irish Whiskey; Jameson, Paddy, and Powers, the Old Midleton Distillery presents historic Whiskey Tours, through the production of Irish Whiskey. The Whiskey's rich history is brought to life on guided tours of The Old Midleton Distillery. The Jameson tour commences with an informative audio-visual presentation. Guests, accompanied by a tour guide then follow the Old Distillery Trail through the various historic and architecturally unique buildings - Mills, Malting Houses, Corn Stores, Stillhouses, Old Offices and atmospheric Warehouses. Visitors can see the largest Pot Still in the world with a capacity of 32,000 gallons, and the Old Waterwheel manufactured in 1825 to provide motive power prior to the days of electricity, and still turning today. Each visit culminates in the Jameson Bar with an Irish Whiskey tasting session. You may even have the opportunity of becoming a qualified Irish Whiskey Taster, and be presented with a diploma! Finally, relax in the Centre's elegant restaurant specializing in country farmhouse fare, or perhaps browse through the lovely gift and craft shop.


Kinsale, County Cork

Accommodation

Trident Hotel - Kinsale, County Cork

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.


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.


Killarney to Kenmare, County Kerry

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


Ring of Kerry, County Kerry

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

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


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.


Trim, County Meath

Accommodation

White Lodge - Trim, County Meath

B&B
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 2.00pm & 6.00pm. If you expect to arrive outside these hours, please call the property on 046 943 6549


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. The farm 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 featuring woodland and lakeside walks, and the Horse Museum - a state of the art modern exhibition where the Sport of Kings comes to life. 
 


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

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.


Must-See Sites

Boyne Valley, County Meath

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

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


Depart From

Depart from Dublin Airport, County Dublin

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

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


Ireland Vacation Pricing Low Season Mid Season High Season
From $731
From $879
From $1135

Your Price Includes

ACCOMMODATION

  • 3 Nights in Wonderful Galway - Ireland's City by the Bay
  • 3 Nights in Kinsale - The Gourmet Capital of Ireland

TRANSPORTATION

  • Rental Car - Reduced Excess Insurance, Unlimited Mileage & All Taxes

DINING OPTIONS

  • 7 Breakfasts - Sumptuous Full Irish Breakfasts Each Morning

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Admission to Blarney Castle Park

Prices Based On

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

Destination Vacation

byPeter L PavlinaAuthentic Ireland Travel
Your Hometown: Boston

Great trip thanks to Michelle's great work!

Ireland Vacation

byJessica BrewerAuthentic Ireland Travel
Your Hometown: St. Cloud

We had a FABULOUS vacation! Jacoya was great to work with. Highly recommend!

Dream Vacation!

Your Hometown: Coronado

Our trip to Ireland was an absolute dream! Thank you, Tam, for taking the time to create a personalized, affordable trip for us. I highly suggest using Tam at Authentic Vacations to plan your trip to Ireland! You will have the time of your life! :)

Great Vacation. Fabulous Vacation Planner

Your Hometown: Palo Alto, CA

I cannot speak highly enough about the vacation planning services we received from Amanda. With only 8 days lead time before we were to get on a plane, Amanda arranged a 9 day vacation that will long be remembered. She was patient, kind and had a wonderful sense of humor that remained in place even as I constantly changed parameters on her. I would not hesitate to use Amanda or Authentic Ireland Vacations. I will certainly do so in the future.

Beautiful Ireland

byGwendolyn A GodfreyAuthentic Ireland Travel
Your Hometown: Zephyrhills

We worked with Lauren who arranged a fabulous Ireland trip for us and every detail was taken care of from start to finish. The hotels were wonderful and the Irish people are the very best. Don't hesitate to contact Lauren to plan your Irish vacation, you'll more more than satisfied.

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