Printer-friendly Tour Itinerary Towns and Villages of Ireland Tour 2018

Back to the tour page

Stunning view from the water, captured on one of our tours of Ireland Stunning view from the water, captured on one of our tours of Ireland

The Tour Itinerary Sunday: Welcome to Ireland

Printer-friendly Tour Itinerary

Sunday's Itinerary

On arrival in Dublin Airport reclaim your baggage and enter the Arrivals Hall. Here in the Arrivals Hall you will meet your professional Irish driver-guide (one person).

There will be 3 Group transfers this morning between 07:00 am and 12:00 noon. Board your luxury air-conditioned coach and transfer to the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown.

Check in starts from 3pm and you can store your luggage at the hotel prior to check in.

At 1400 we will depart on a Panoramic Tour of Dublin City visiting Christ Church Cathedral founded by the Viking King Sitric almost 1000 years ago in 1034.

The cathedral crypt is one of the largest in the UK and Ireland, dating back to the 12th Century. Here in the crypt you can see the Mummified remains of the Cat and the Rat which were found in the cathedral organ and a rare 14th century copy of the Magna Carta. You will also have a unique opportunity to visit the Belfry and ring the Cathedral bells.
(Please note: Getting to the Belfry in Christ Church Cathedral involves climbing 86 stone steps in a medieval building and crossing the roof at the South transept – quite the experience !)

You will also visit the Guinness Storehouse at St. James’s Gate for a guided tour of the world famous brewery and afterwards enjoy a perfect pint of Guinness in the Gravity Bar, which is located at the top of a glass tower that commands spectacular views of Dublin City & County in every direction.

At 1900 this evening all participants will gather for dinner in Clayton Hotel Leopardstown restaurant where you will become acquainted with your fellow travellers and the coming days can be discussed at leisure with your professional Irish driver-guide.

Included Today

National Stud, County Kildare National Stud, County Kildare

Monday: Westwards Staying in Old Ground Hotel

Monday's Itinerary

After some much needed sleep and a hearty Full Irish Breakfast you will begin your journey across Ireland to the medieval town of Ennis in County Clare. Our route today will take us via Kildare & Limerick.

You will visit the Irish National Stud & Japanese Gardens. This is a state – run bloodstock farm, which was founded in 1900 by an eccentric Anglo – Irish colonel called William Walker. On finishing the tour of the stud farm take a walk through the Japanese Gardens.

You will visit Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, a formidable castle built in the 15th century. Its most important residents were the O’ Brien’s, Earls of Thomond, who lived there from around 1500 to the 1640’s. The Folk Park is a meticulous recreation of rural Irish life at the turn of the 19th century with people in authentic costume wandering the streets and giving demonstrations in traditional crafts and trades.

Tonight you will dine in the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis. The town of Ennis is located on the banks of the River Fergus and is the largest town in County Clare. The town can trace its origins to the 13th century and to the O’ Briens, Earls of Thomond who were the feudal overlords of this region in the Middle Ages. The towns winding lanes and ruined 13th century Franciscan Friary are remnants of Ennis’s medieval beginnings. Ennis is also famous for its music festivals and has some of Ireland’s finest traditional pubs.

Included Today

Craggy Inlet, as seen on our tours of Ireland Craggy Inlet, as seen on our tours of Ireland

Tuesday: Galway & ClareStaying in Old Ground Hotel

Tuesday's Itinerary

This morning bright & early we will depart for Doolin Pier on the Atlantic west coast of Clare. Here we will board our ferry and take a 1 hour cruise to view the spectacular 650ft high and 5 mile long Cliffs of Moher from the sea. We will return to Doolin Pier and continue up along the Atlantic seaboard to Galway City, known as the “City of the Tribes”.
(Please note: If sea conditions are not suitable for ferry travel today we will view the Cliff of Moher from above, on land.)

Our route will take us through the Burren, which is Gaelic for rocky land – an apt name for this vast limestone plateau. In the 1640’s, Cromwell’s surveyor described it as “a savage land, yielding neither water enough to drown a man, nor tree to hang him, nor soil enough to bury”.

On arrival in Galway you will have a tour of this ancient city including its famous Eyre Square. Take time for a ramble down Shop Street to Galway’s Latin Quarter where stands Lynch’s Castle, Galway’s grandest 16th century town house. Stroll up the bustling Quay Street with its many great pubs and lively street performers.

Overnight and dine in the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis.

Included Today

  • Cliffs of Moher Cruise
  • Evening Dinner
  • Old Ground Hotel(See website)
Waterfall on the Ring of Kerry, County Kerry Waterfall on the Ring of Kerry, County Kerry

Wednesday: Heading South Staying in the Sneem Hotel

Wednesday's Itinerary

This morning after breakfast you will set off for the pretty village of Sneem spectacularly nestled between the mountains and sea on the world famous Ring of Kerry. Our route will take us via the beautiful thatched village of Adare to County Kerry where you will visit Muckross House & Gardens, a Victorian mansion built in 1843 in Elizabethan style on the shores of the world famous Lakes of Killarney. Inside Muckross House, the elegant rooms are decorated with period furnishings. There is also a museum of Kerry Life.

Our route will take us on via the village of Kilgarvan to the beautiful town of Kenmare which was founded in 1670 by William Petty, Cromwell’s surveyor general. You will have free time to wander the streets of Kenmare famous for its pubs, craft shops and galleries.

This afternoon our route will see us journey along the southern shores of Kenmare Bay with some of the finest views in Ireland across the bay to the wild Beara Peninsula beyond.

Tonight you will dine in the Sneem Hotel

Sneem is an idyllic village composed of two squares linked by a bridge over the Sneem River which flows into Kenmare Bay immediately to the south of the village while to the north the village is surrounded by the rugged Iveragh Mountains. The village has a number of welcoming traditional pubs including D. O’ Shea’s, Sneem Tavern, Riney’s, The Blue Bull and Dan Murphy’s.

Included Today

Colorful trees in County Kerry Colorful trees in County Kerry

Thursday: Ring of Kerry Staying the Sneem Hotel

Thursday's Itinerary

This morning after breakfast we will set off on the world famous Ring of Kerry (Iveragh Peninsula). Our route will take us through Moll’s Gap a high mountain pass below which we will visit a Mountain Sheep Farm to see a sheep Dog Demonstration

We will journey on into the magnificent Killarney National Park and from Ladies View you will admire the beauty of the Lakes of Killarney from the very spot where Queen Victoria’s ladies – in – waiting did in 1861.

Our route today will take us on via the colourful town & villages of the Ring of Kerry including Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Coomakesta Pass with it magnificent views over Derrynane, home of Daniel O’ Connell, known as “The Liberator”, to Caherdaniel and on via the hamlet of Castlecove to Sneem.

This evening you will dine in D. O’ Shea’s Pub in the village of Sneem. Overnight in the Sneem Hotel

Included Today

  • Irish Breakfast
  • Traditional Pub Evening Dinner
  • the Sneem Hotel(See website)
  • Mountain Sheep Farm

Friday's Itinerary

After a hearty Irish breakfast this morning you will depart for the town of Thurles in Tipperary. Your route today will take you over the famous Cork & Kerry Mountains via the Irish speaking villages of Ballymakeery & Ballyvourney to the old market town of Macroom, where you will see Macroom Castle, once home of Sir William Penn, whose son was later to found the state of Pennsylvania.

We will travel on to the village of Blarney via the valley of the River Lee to visit Blarney Castle built in 1446 by Dermot McCarthy and here you will have the opportunity to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone.

You will have an opportunity for shopping at Blarney Woollen Mills where one of the largest selections of Irish arts, crafts & produce can be seen on display.

Our route will now take us north to Tipperary where we will visit Holy Cross Abbey founded in 1169 by the Benedictines. Holy Cross was supposedly endowed with a splinter from the True Cross, hence its name. Most of the present day structure dates from the 15th century and was built by Cistercians who took over the abbey in 1180.

Tonight you will dine in the Anner Hotel in Thurles. Thurles is located on a crossing of the River Suir in North Tipperary. In 1884 the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) was founded in Thurles to foster and preserve Ireland’s unique games and pastimes.

Included Today

Saturday's Itinerary

This morning after breakfast you will depart for Dublin. Our route will take us via Kilkenny considered by many to be Ireland’s loveliest inland city. Here we will visit Kilkenny Castle, a Norman Fortress overlooking the River Nore which was built in the 1190’s. Throughout the centuries Kilkenny Castle has undergone many alterations but was occupied until 1935 before being donated to the state in 1967.

In the heart of Kilkenny you will visit the Smithwick's Experience where the history of Smithwick's Ale which was brewed from the 1700's to 2014 is told within the former Brewery.

Take some time to stroll the medieval streets of Kilkenny and you may like to visit the Kilkenny Design Centre or enjoy a pint of Smithwick’s Ale in Kyteler’s Inn, a medieval coaching Inn where Dame Alice Kyteler once lived. In 1324 Alice was accused of witchcraft after four of her husbands died in mysterious circumstances.

This afternoon we will check into to the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown. In the evening we will all gather in the lobby of the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown and make the short journey to the The Merry Ploughboy, one of Dublin's iconic traditional venues, where you will enjoy a farewell dinner and an evening of Irish music, song and dance.

Included Today

National Park Killarney National Park Killarney

Sunday Departure Day

After a final great Irish breakfast this morning there will be 3 group transfers between 0500 & 1100 for you to choose from to get you to Dublin Airport for your return flight home.

Included Today:

  • Irish Breakfast
  • Airport Transfer
011 353 21 437 6600 (from USA)
00353 21 437 6600 (from Ireland & EU)