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7-Night From Cottage to Castle Tour

Price: From $1051 per person 7 Nights / 4 People

Our Cottage to Castle tour offers you the opportunity to experience Ireland in a very unique way. For your first four nights you’ll rest easy in a beautiful Irish Cottage - Eden Retreat. Boasting all the amenities of a luxury home, this elevated property overlooks the surrounding Irish countryside. Live like a local, and enjoy everything Ennis town, and its famous surrounds has to offer. Next? An exquisite 5-star 19th Century Manor House Hotel awaits you, and it’s just short stroll from the heart of Cork City. And last, but not by any means least……your final taste of Ireland whisks you back in time again to another utterly luxurious and famous 5-star property, Dromoland Castle.

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

Tour Highlights

ACCOMMODATION

  • From Secluded Cottage to 5-Star Castle!
  • 4 nights at Wonderful Eden Retreat - Your Home from Home
  • 2 nights at a 5-Star Manor
  • 1 night at a 5-Star Castle

TRANSPORTATION

  • Rental Car - Super Cover Insurance, Unlimited Mileage & All Taxes

DINING OPTIONS

  • 3 Breakfasts - Sumptuous Full Irish Breakfasts in Cork & Dromoland

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Visit Ennis' Many Famous Traditional Music Pubs
  • Explore Bunratty Castle & Craggaunowen
  • The Cliffs of Moher & 5000 Year-Old Poulnabrone Dolmen
  • Marvel at Connemara & Kylemore Abbey
  • Visit Blarney Castle & Kinsale Town
  • Be in Awe of the Stunning Southwest Scenery of County Kerry
  • Stop-off at the Rock of Castle & Glen of Aherlow

Ennis, County Clare

Arrive at

Arrive at Shannon Airport, County Clare

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

Shannon is Ireland's second airport - located in the west of the country in County Clare.
Shannon is a small airport, with only one main road in and out of the facility.
This ensures that travelling through Shannon is a pleasurable, stress-free experience!


Accommodation

Eden Retreat - More Info - Ennis, County Clare

Self-Catering
Room Type: Nightly (6-)

Overnight Location

Ennis, County Clare

On the Map: Ennis is located in County Clare in the west of Ireland, only 20 minutes from Shannon Airport. Ennis lies just off the major N18/M18 motorway that connects the cities of Limerick (to the south) & Galway (to the north).

Ennis is the county town of Clare and is always pleasantly busy. It takes its name from the Irish word “inis” (island) as it is virtually surrounded by the River Fergus on which it sits. Its streets are narrow and attractive, many of them pedestrianized. The Friary at the bottom of Abbey Street, was founded by the O’Briens in the 13th century. Many of its original features survive and it’s well worth visiting. But the main attraction in Ennis is the locals' obvious love of traditional music. Every May the town hosts Fleadh Nua, an international celebration of Irish culture, while in November, the Ennis Trad Festival is held. But traditional Irish music of the very highest quality is on display in the pubs of Ennis throughout the year. It often seems that those in the town that can't sing or play an instrument are very much in the minority! The person who recently labeled Ennis the Nashville of traditional Irish music wasn't far wrong!


Must-See Sites

Ennis Pubs and Traditional Irish Music, County Clare

One of the terrific joys of a stay in Ennis, is the wealth and variety of pubs on offer - almost 100 in the greater Ennis area! Not only that, but Ennis is world-renowned as a hub of traditional Irish music in the west of Ireland, with regular sessions of great quality available year-round. Of Ennis' many great pubs, a few of particular note are:
The Poet's Corner, O'Connell Street: The poet's Corner is part of the 18th century Old Ground Hotel, in the heart of town. The bar is renowned for high quality traditional music sessions, as well as a fantastic bar menu of Irish food. Mouth-watering food options at a very reasonable cost!
Brogan's Bar, O'Connell Street: You'll be greeted by a charming old-world atmosphere and decor at Brogan's. An open fire is always blazing on cold nights, and there are many cozy niches and alcoves to occupy. Excellent traditional Irish music is a regular feature, and the food is good too!
Cruise's Bar, Abbey Street: Part of the Queens Hotel, Cruises is deceptively large, yet cozy and inviting - almost cave-like with the many exposed stone walls. The pub has developed a great reputation for fantastic traditional music, and is a buzzing hive of activity on weekends.
Michael Fawl's Railway Bar, O'Connell Street: If you're looking to experience a genuine 'Old Man's' pub, look no further than Fawl's. Complete with an old-style snug, Fawl's is quiet by-day, save for the odd older punter at the bar. By night the pub comes alive, particularly on weekends, when customers from all walks of life come to enjoy the unique atmosphere and highly-regarded Saturday night session.


Ennis Friary, County Clare

On The Map: The 13th century Ennis Friary is located at the southern end of Abbey Street in the heart of Ennis Town.

The origins of Ennis date back to 1240AD, when Donnchadh Caribreach O’Brien helped establish the Franciscan Order in Ennis, by his offer of hospitality to wandering Friars. Construction of the Friary began - the site was then an island on the river Fergus. The Friary contains numerous 15th/16th century sculptures carved in the local hard limestone. A carved image of St. Francis displaying the stigmata is evident in the nave. He carries a cross staff and wears the Franciscan habit. Under the south arch of the tower, an elaborate tracery canopy of the late 15th century was perhaps part of an ornate tomb.  The corbels supporting this are carved on one side with a bishop and, on the other, the Virgin & Child. The magnificent east window, with its five tall, narrow lancets, lights the chancel. The chancel once contained several royal and aristocratic tombs. Among those remaining at the friary are the canopy of the Inchiquin/O' Brien tomb and also the Creagh tomb which incorporates five sculptured passion panels from the much older MacMahon Tomb. Set into the back of this tomb is thirteen carved figures representing Christ and the Apostles, all dating from the mid 15th century. Visitors to Ennis Friary can also see the sacristy, an impressive structure with ribbed, barrel-vaulted ceiling. Leading out from the sacristy is the cloister area where part of the arcade has been reconstructed.


The Clare Museum, County Clare

On The Map: The Clare Museum is located on Arthur's Row - just off O'Connell Square and adjacent to the Temple Gste Hotel, in the very heart of Ennis Town.

The Clare Museum is located in a beautifully restored former convent built by the Sisters of Mercy congregation in 1861. The museum exhibition "The Riches of Clare: its people, place and treasures," occupies two galleries and incorporates the traditional method of displaying original artefacts from the county with modern interpretive tools such as colourful display panels, audio visual and computer interactive presentations, models, some replicas and commissioned art pieces. The collection comprises a large display of archaeological material of local provenance, and many locally collected artefacts never seen before in public. All showcases have been specifically designed with their contents in mind and environmentally conditioned to the requirements of the artifacts displayed in them. The concept of the exhibition is thematic, focusing on the lives and experiences of the people of Clare through the themes of Earth, Power, Faith, Water and Energy. And best of all...admission is free!


Ennis, County Clare

Accommodation

Eden Retreat - More Info - Ennis, County Clare

Self-Catering
Room Type: Nightly (6-)

Must-See Sites

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.


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.


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.


Ennis, County Clare

Accommodation

Eden Retreat - More Info - Ennis, County Clare

Self-Catering
Room Type: Nightly (6-)

Must-See Sites

Quin Village, County Clare

On The Map: Quin Village is located just 10km east of Ennis town. From Ennis, on the R469 road. The R469 is accessible from Ennis via either Station Road (past Ennis Cathedral) or the long and straight Clonroad. Ennis Bus & Train Station is located on right as soon as you turn onto the R469.

Quin is a quaint, unspoiled village in southeast County Clare. The village's main attraction, Quin Abbey (pictured), founded in 1433, is open to the public, and although mostly ruined, much of the structure remains. The abbey was built on the foundations of an earlier Norman castle, and evidence of its corner towers can still be seen. Father Hogan, the last Franciscan occupant of the abbey died in 1820 - his burial site can be visited on the grounds. Quin Abbey, though impressive, will likely not be the most well-preserved medieval structure you visit in Ireland. It's not very well known though, and you may well find yourself alone on the site, which we find very alluring! The village itself is a charming, peaceful spot, with a few very nice places to stop for lunch or dinner - we can highly recommend either the Abbey Tavern or Quincy's.


Knappogue Castle and Walled Garden, County Clare

On The Map: Knappogue Castle is located just 3.5 kilometres southeast of Quin Village in southern County Clare. Follow signs along the R469 road.

Knappogue Castle was built in 1467 by Sean MacNamara, son of Sioda (who built Bunratty Castle), and is a magnificent example of a medieval tower house. A wonderful feature of the castle and its grounds, is the beautiful walled garden (pictured). Dating from 1817, the garden is now restored to its former splendour. The tall and imposing walls of the walled garden are resplendent with climbing roses, grapevines and many clematis varieties. In the magical setting of Knappogue Castle, this is a romantic oasis to sit and picnic, or just escape the 'madding crowd'. In the 1920s, a cow belonging to a local farmer wandered into the ruinous castle, stepped onto a crumbling wood floor, and fell to its death. As compensation for the lost cow, ownership of the castle and its surrounding lands were granted to the farmer! The castle and lands continued to be used for grazing until 1966 when Mark Edwin Andrews of Houston, TX purchased the Estate. He and his wife (a prominent American architect), in collaboration with Shannon Development, carried out an extensive and sensitive restoration, returning the Castle to its former 15th Century glory. **Please note that Knappogue is only open from May to August each year.**


Bunratty, County Clare

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

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


Craggaunowen, County Clare

On The Map: Craggaunowen is located in County Clare, in the west of Ireland. From Ennis Town, take the R469, heading east towards the village of Quin. Drive through Quin, and approx. 6 kilometres thereafter, take a signposted left turn off the R469, to travel the last few kilometres to Craggaunowen.

Craggaunowen – the Living Past Experience is Ireland’s original award winning Pre-historic Park. Situated on 50 acres of wooded grounds, the Park interprets Ireland’s pre-historic and early Christian eras. Visitors can view replicas of a Crannóg, Ring Fort, Iron Age Roadway, and an outdoor cooking site. Crannogs are lake or lakeside settlements which were inhabited from the Mesolithic to the Early Medieval period. The name is derived from the Irish word 'crann', meaning tree. Crannogs may have developed from a habit of living on small natural islands, either as a means of exploiting the fish and wild fowl, or for providing security in times of danger. Craggaunowen Castle, built in 1550, stands defiantly on a crag overlooking the lake. Another important attraction at Craggaunowen is the 'Brendan Boat' - the leather-hulled vessel in which Tim Severin sailed from Ireland to the United States in 1976, re-enacting the voyage of St. Brendan the Navigator, reputed to have discovered America in the 6th century. Be sure to savour some wonderful homemade fare in the charming farmhouse tea-room! **Please note that Craggaunowen is only open from mid-April to September each year.**


Ennis, County Clare

Accommodation

Eden Retreat - More Info - Ennis, County Clare

Self-Catering
Room Type: Nightly (6-)

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

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.


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.


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.


Cork, County Cork

Accommodation

Hayfield Manor - More Info - Cork, County Cork

5 Star
Room Type: Manor Double

Check in policies:

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


Enroute Sightseeing

Adare Heritage Village, County Limerick

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

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


Overnight Location

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. 


Must-See Sites

Blarney, 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.

Blarney is a charming village, most renowned for its famous castle and stone. 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!


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

Accommodation

Hayfield Manor - More Info - Cork, County Cork

5 Star
Room Type: Manor Double

Check in policies:

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


Must-See Sites

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.


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.


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.


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.


Dromoland, County Clare

Accommodation

Dromoland Castle - More Info - Dromoland, County Clare

Castle
Room Type: Queen Anne Double

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3.00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out time is before 12.00 noon. Hotel Tel: 061 368 144.


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.


Enroute Sightseeing

Glen of Aherlow, County Tipperary

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

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


Enroute Sightseeing

Cahir, County Tipperary

On The Map: Cahir is located in the southern midlands of Ireland in County Tipperary. The town is in very close proximity to both the M8 motorway (connecting Dublin & Cork) and the N24 road (connecting Limerick & Waterford)

Cahir is a small heritage town, with a nice shopping area centred around the town square. Up to very recently, Cahir stood at the intersection of two of Ireland's busiest national routes: from Dublin to Cork, and Limerick to Waterford. As a result, the town was perennially plagued by heavy traffic, until it was eventually by-passed by newly constructed roads and motorways in the last few years. Cahir is now a far more pleasant location to visit and spend time in. Cahir is best known for the impressive Cahir Castle, located in town on an island of the River Suir. The castle is one of the largest & best-preserved in Ireland, and was originally founded in the 12th century. Much of the current structure dates from the 13th century. An audio-visual presentation of the castle's long and varied history is available on-site. The other location of note in Cahir is the Swiss Cottage. The 'Ornamental Cottage' was constructed around 1810, and primarily used for guest entertainment on the Cahir Estate.


Overnight Location

Dromoland, County Clare

On the Map: Dromoland Castle is located in County Clare in the west of Ireland. The castle is reached via the R458, a country road that intersects the M18 motorway between the city of Ennis (to the north) and Shannon Airport/ Limerick City (to the south).

Dromoland Castle is one of Ireland's grandest hotels and also one of its best-loved. The ancestral home of the O'Briens, barons of Inchiquin and direct descendants of Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, it is one of the few Irish estates tracing its history back to Gaelic royal families. Today, Dromoland is an oasis of tranquility. The grandeur of the castle itself, its magnificent furnishings and the surrounding lakes and parkland offer guests an experience almost impossible to find at other luxury hotels. It is a truly enchanting place.


Depart From

Depart from Shannon Airport, County Clare

Return to Shannon Airport three hours prior to your flight's scheduled departure. Shannon is a small, convenient airport, so 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 Shannon Airport.
Shannon is proud of its 'Duty Free' shops, and it should be: The concept of Duty-Free shopping was invented at Shannon in 1947!


Ireland Vacation Pricing Low Season Mid Season High Season
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Your Price Includes

ACCOMMODATION

  • 4 nights at Wonderful Eden Retreat - Your Home from Home
  • 2 nights at a 5-Star Manor & 1 night at a 5-Star Castle

TRANSPORTATION

  • Rental Car - Super Cover Insurance, Unlimited Mileage & All Taxes

DINING OPTIONS

  • 3 Breakfasts - Sumptuous Full Irish Breakfasts in Cork & Dromoland

Prices Based On

  • Prices are per person based on 4 people traveling together and sharing 2 rooms.
  • All Taxes & Fees Included
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  • 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.
Dec 5, 2016 by Donald Barratt. Your Hometown: Lombard

Our Vacation was outstanding. The hotel (City stay St. Augustine) in Dublin was centrally located to everything we wanted to visit. The staff there was courteous, and helpful.Our visit to Roscommon was grand, and our stay at Gleeson's B & B was also nice with great food.Authentic Ireland did a great job setting everything up, and making our vacation worry free.A million thanks to Lonna a job well done.

“5 days in Ireland”

Dec 5, 2016 by Dan Karns. Your Hometown: Dillsburg, PA

Authentic Ireland was referred to me by a customer/friend of mine....and... i am so glad he did. We worked with Shannon, one of the representatives, and i couldn't be more happy with the experience and expertise that she had regarding details of our trip. I told her when we were arriving and leaving Ireland, what were the "must do" things during our stay, and what kind of accommodations we wanted to stay in. within a day or two, she had a full trip package, with other recommended things to do while there, sent to my email. the price was very reasonable, and after going on the trip, i appreciated the fact we used Authentic Ireland to get everything set up. kudos to the site and staff, especially Shannon. anytime i had a question, she had an answer. regarding car rental, electricity usage, what kind of money to keep on hand, anything... she was so much help. thank you so much!, you made our 20 year anniversary "holiday" that much better! the only thing i can even think about regretting, was that we didn't spend enough time there we spent the previous week in London, and think we should have cut that shorter and spent more time in Ireland... but.... that can be fixed by another visit! thanks again! your friends in Pennsylvania!

“Ireland Adventure”

Dec 4, 2016 by Jesse. Your Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Had a great experience working with the Authentic Ireland associate! I probably asked 9 million questions (this being my first international trip I'd planned), and patience and courteousness definitely describes the person that personally handled my account.The trip was great as well, including an itinerary that was well chosen, then tweaked for us. Rental car was indeed perfect for our crew that was traveling, as well as the accommodations arranged for us. I'm more of a researcher, but the website definitely put me leaps ahead with suggested places to visit at our lodging locations, as well as places to stop along the way.One of the only things I would have done differently was the transportation for our time in Dublin. I was so glad that we did not rent a vehicle for Dublin, but the sightseeing bus tour passes were not the most convenient for our purposes, in retrospect. We would have been better served with normal city bus passes. I also would have passed on the castle stay in our trip, but perhaps we just caught them at a bad time, as everything was great there, except the smell of cat urine just on the outside of the side door near our room.Authentic Ireland definitely impressed both myself and the members of my family that joined us on this trip! Definitely recommend them! Really great trip and a good price!

“Wonderful First Trip to Ireland”

Dec 4, 2016 by Alyssa Sommers. Your Hometown: Mahwah, NJ

This was our first trip to Ireland. You guys did a wonderful job of taking care of all of the details in regards to hotels, sites to visit with passes and car rentals. Each hotel and bed and breakfast was wonderful. All establishments offered breakfast in the morning. They all had WIFI. After spending 2 days in Dublin we left for the west coast in the car we rented. We spent the next 6 days traveling around the west/southwest part of Ireland. Maggie was the person that we dealt with at Authentic Ireland and she was great- she noticed that our hotel on the last night was over 2 hours away from Shannon airport so she moved us to a closer location... and what a location a 5-star castle!! There are no other words then amazing!! When we come back which we plan to do... we will be staying there.

“Outstanding Vacation”

Nov 5, 2016 by Anthony M. Kolankiewicz. Your Hometown: Jerusalem

The company did an outstanding job of arranging our circumnavigational tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland over a period of 17 days. We did the driving ourselves with an upgraded rental car, which offered the utmost flexibility in sightseeing destinations and route options. Our accommodations were in a combination of country homes, B&Bs, hotels, and a couple of castles.. Even the weather generally cooperated over such an extended period of time; only one day and one evening of steady rain that interfered with our plans. Overall, it was a delightful vacation that encouraged us to return for catch the attractions we didn't have time to see. There were only two quibbles we would mention. First, some of the driving directions left a lot of details out, especially in trying to get through larger towns and cities, such as Galway. More details would have saved us lots of time. Second, we very much enjoyed every place we stayed with the exception of the Lissyclearig Thatched Cottage in Kenmare. Unlike all the other places we stayed, our hosts' main concern was saving money and doing everything on the cheap. No heat in the rooms despite a chilly, rainy night and two cloudy days -- very uncomfortable! No WiFi connection (the only place not to offer it during our entire stay in the country). Even the breakfast was second-rate. Few choices on the buffet table and canned fruit instead of the fresh fruit we received in every other location. Might be time to drop this inn from the inventory! Otherwise, a great trip that we would do again through Authentic Ireland.

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