A 4-day adventure including part of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, mixing famous locations like the Ring of Kerry, Killarney and Cork City, with lesser known sites such as Adare, Birr Castle and Garinish Island this tour is a taste of the real Ireland.
What to Expect
Day 1 After departing Dublin at 09:00 you'll travel west through the Midlands and the Slieve Bloom Mountains to the superb Birr Castle and Gardens. The castle itself is still a private home and it will not be possible to see inside, but the gardens are world famous and include the unique "Great Telescope" built by the 3rd Earl of Rosse in the 1840's, and the largest in the world for over 70 years.The 3rd and 4th Earls were both pioneers in scientific discovery and there's a fascinating exhibition on site. After Birr, the tour continues to the historic village of Adare just outside Limerick. Often called "Ireland’s prettiest village", Adare has a wonderful collection of thatched cottages and historic buildings including the ruins of a 15th century Franciscan monastery and the 13th century Desmond Castle - great for photos! From here it's about an hour and a half to Killarney - your base for the next two nights. Killarney has a great selection of bars and restaurants with live music every night.
Day 2 Today you tour one of the world’s classic routes, the Ring of Kerry - 100 miles packed full of interest. After departing Killarney on a clear day, there will be views to Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil after which you join the coast road through to Cahersiveen. There will be plenty opportunities for photos stops along the way with great views across to the Dingle Peninsula. Possible stops include Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace and Cahersiveen ring fort, before reaching the little fishing village of Portmagee. Here you can relax and sample local seafood for lunch, or alternatively cross to the island of Valentia for a visit to the Skellig Experience, where you can learn about the nearby rocky islands and the small community of monks who once lived there. In the afternoon you can take photos in Waterville, and then the top of Coonmakista Pass for one of the best views in the country. From here the road drops down to sea level for a visit to Derrynane House – family home of Daniel O’Connell. There are walks in the gardens and down to the beach, as well as the house itself. The tour continues on around the Ring with stops at Moll’s Gap and the Ladies View. There is then time for a short walk to the Torc Waterfall before arriving back into Killarney.
Day 3 The highlight this morning is a drive over the dramatic Caha Pass on the Beara Peninsula. The scenery here is just as impressive as the Ring of Kerry but the area receives much fewer visitors. Your visit here will give a true taste of Ireland’s South West. Descending from the mountains, the waters of Bantry Bay lie in front of you, and the tour follows the shore line to the little village of Glengarriff, where you can take a short boat trip to Garinish Island with its wonderful gardens and woodland walks. Look out for the large seal colony on the way across. In the afternoon the tour follows the West Cork coastal route through Skibbereen and Clonakilty, with a stop at the ancient Drombeg Stone Circle before arriving in the harbor town of Kinsale for the night. The town has a reputation for good food and drink and there are many restaurants to choose from.
Day 4 After a leisurely start to the morning you'll depart Kinsale for the short journey to Cork. After an introductory tour you'll have some free time to explore this vibrant city. The city center is built on an island in the River Lee, the two channels of which are spanned by many bridges giving many panoramic views. You may choose to visit the English Market, with its stalls selling foods from all over the world, ring the Shandon Bells in the 300-year-old tower of St. Anne's Church or marvel at the French Gothic spires of St. Finbarre's Cathedral. Or perhaps just spend some time shopping and enjoying lunch in one of the many bars and restaurants – the choice is yours. In the afternoon you will start your return journey towards Dublin, making a stop on route at the Rock of Cashel with its medieval monastery complex sitting high above the town, before arriving back into Dublin about 19:00.
- Transportation by top-of-the-range 16-seat Mercedes mini coach
- 3 nights bed and breakfast accommodation
What's Not Included
- Meals other than breakfast
- Visitor attraction entry fees
Tour departs from opposite the Kilkenny Shop, 6 Nassau Street, Dublin 2
Know Before You Go
• Drop off in Dublin on day 5 is scheduled for approximately 19:00
• Tour operates with a maximum of 16 passengers for a more intimate and personalized service
• Please bring suitable clothing and footwear for country walks