Printer-friendly Tour Itinerary 10-Day Deluxe Irish Castles Tour 2019

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Day 1 Itinerary

Welcome - you've arrived on your Irish castle tour. 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 three Group transfers this morning between 0700 am and 1200 noon. Board your luxury air-conditioned coach and make the short transfer to Dunboyne Castle Hotel where you can relax and unwind after your flight.

15:00 Check in time. Hotel reception will store your luggage prior to check in.

At 1900 this evening all participants will gather for dinner in hotel restaurant where you will become acquainted with your fellow-travellers and the coming days can be discussed at leisure with your Professional Driver-Guide.

Included Today

Day 3 Itinerary

After some much needed sleep and a hearty full Irish breakfast we will depart for the 5 star Lough Eske Castle majestically set on the shores of Lough Eske in Donegal. Travelling west your route today will take through Meath, the Royal County due to its history as the seat of the High King of Ireland.

Our first stop today will be at Trim Castle. Trim Castle is the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter built it over a 30 year period, finished in 1206.

Continue on through the lake region of Cavan and briefly cross the border into Fermanagh in Northern Ireland and along the shores of Lough Erne Upper and Lough Erne Lower to visit Belleek Pottery, one of the oldest potteries in the world dating from 1857.

Cross the border back into Donegal in the Republic of Ireland and travel on to Lough Eske. Leisurely afternoon on the grounds of Lough Eske Castle. Tonight you will overnight and dine in Lough Eske Castle Hotel and Spa. After dinner you might like to retire to the Gallery Bar for a nightcap before bed.

Included Today

Day 3 Itinerary

Leisurely morning on the grounds of Lough Eske Castle Hotel and Spa. Depart for the historic fortified walled city of Derry / Londonderry in Northern Ireland. The city fortifications are among the best - preserved in Europe and were completed in 1618 to defend the city from Gaelic chieftains in Donegal.

Afternoon guided walking tour of the historic walls with a local guide. The city walls are up to 8 metres (26 feet) in height and in places are 9 metres (29 feet) wide. They were completed in 1618 and were never breached.

Take some free time in Derry / Londonderry to visit the shops and cafes of Derry / Londonderry to get a flavour of Northern Ireland before returning to Lough Eske Castle Hotel. Again this evening dine in Lough Eske Castle Hotel and Spa

Included Today

Day 4 Itinerary

This morning after breakfast will depart for the Ballynahinch Castle for an unrivalled experience of true Irish hospitality. Formerly the home of “Humanity Dick” Martin and The Maharajah Ranjitsinhji, Ballynahinch Castle has been welcoming visitors to Connemara for over 250 years. This unique castle is spectacularly located on a private 450 acre estate of woodlands, rivers and walks in the heart of Connemara.

Your route south to Ballynahinch castle will take you to Drumcliffe in Sligo where you can read the epitaph on the grave of WB. Yeats.

Travel on to the beautiful Mayo town of Westport on the shores of Clew Bay. Take time to explore this unique and charming heritage town nestled in the shadow of Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s holy mountain where St. Patrick fasted for 40 days. I would suggest a stroll down the elegant tree lined Mall of Westport and wander along Bridge Street with its colourful and friendly mix of traditional shops and pubs.

Continue on via Leenane and along the shores of Killary Harbour, Ireland's only fjord on the Mayo - Galway border.

Travel on to Kylemore where you will visit Kylemore Abbey & Gardens, which is nestled at the base of Duchruach Mountain on the northern shores of Lough Pollacappul, in the heart of the Connemara Mountains. It is regarded as one of Ireland's most romantic buildings.

Journey down the spectacular Inagh valley with the 12 Bens of Connemara on your right and the Maumturks Mountains on your left as you travel to Ballynahinch.

Tonight you will overnight and dine in Ballynahinch Castle. After dinner you might like to retire to the friendly Fisherman's Pub for a nightcap before bed.

Included Today

Day 5 Itinerary

This morning after breakfast take time to explore at your leisure the extensive grounds of Ballynahinch Castle. Take time to stroll the estate's forest trails or simply sit in the tranquillity of the grounds listening to the song of the river as it makes its interminable journey to the sea.

Later this morning if the lure of the castle grounds are not too strong you will travel along the shores of the famous Galway Bay into Galway City, known as the "City of the Tribes".

You will have the afternoon free in Galway city, a small but vibrant city easy to explore on foot at your leisure with plenty of opportunities for shopping, seeing its historic sites or perhaps enjoying a leisurely afternoon drink in one of Galway's many legendary pubs.

Return to Ballynahinch Castle Inagh Valley.

Tonight you will overnight and dine in Ballynahinch Castle.

Included Today

  • Irish Breakfast
  • Evening Dinner
  • Ballynahinch Castle (See website)

Day 6

This morning after breakfast you will depart for the Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney, located on the lake shore of Killarney's famous Lough Lein with magnificent mountain and woodland views. Your journey to Killarney will take you down the Atlantic seaboard on the west coast of Clare via Galway.

You will see 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 the coast you will stand on the dramatic 650ft high and 8 kilometre long Cliffs of Moher to gaze out on the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. Further south in County Limerick take time to stroll the main street of the beautiful thatched village of Adare before travelling on to Killarney.

Tonight you will overnight and dine in Cahernane House Hotel After dinner you might like to retire to the Cellar Bar for a nightcap before bed.

Included Today

Day 7

This morning after breakfast you will set off on the world famous Ring of Kerry (Iveragh Peninsula) via Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Coomakesta Pass with it magnificent views over Derrynane, home of Daniel O’ Connell, known as “The Liberator”, to Caherdaniel.

Today you will have a traditional Irish pub lunch in The Blind Piper Pub in the village of Caherdaniel. Locals and visitors alike have been drinking here since 1865. The Blind Piper is Mici Cumba O'Sullivan who was born nearby in 1835 and became one of Ireland's most famous pipers.

Continue on via the pretty village of Sneem, Moll’s Gap, Ladies View and along the Lakes of Killarney to Killarney town. Tonight you will overnight and dine in Cahernane House Hotel.

Included today:

  • Irish Breakfast
  • Traditional Pub Lunch
  • Evening Dinner
  • Cahernane House Hotel (See website)

Day 8

This morning after breakfast you will depart for Killashee House Hotel set amidst over 280 acres of historic and intriguing gardens, walkways and parkland with magnificent views of the Kildare country side. 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.

Travel on to the village of Blarney via the valley of the river Lee. 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 and produce can be seen on display.

Rising out dramatically from the plains of Tipperary you will visit the Rock of Cashel. This was the seat of kings and medieval bishops for 900 years and flourished until the early 17th century. Brian Ború was crowned King of Munster here in 977 and he became High King of Ireland in 1002.

Tonight you will overnight & dine in Killashee House Hotel. After dinner you might like to retire to the contemporary Jack's Bar for a nightcap before bed.

Included today:

Day 9

Trinity College founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I on the site of an Augustinian monastery. Trinity College is also home to the Book of Kells, which is the most richly decorated of Ireland’s medieval illuminated manuscripts. The book contains the four gospels in Latin. Some of the dyes used were imported from as far as the Middle East.

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.

Guinness Storehouse at St. James's Gate for a 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 and County in every direction.

You will have some free time this afternoon to explore and shop in Dublin and we would also suggest you take a stroll up Grafton Street. Tonight you will overnight and dine in Killashee House Hotel.

Included today:

Day 10: Departure Day

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

Included today:

  • Irish Breakfast
  • Airport Transfer