On arrival in Dublin Airport, reclaim your baggage and enter the Arrivals Hall. Here, you will meet your Irish tour guide (who is also your driver). There will be three group transfers this morning between 0700 am and 1200 noon. To ensure a smooth start to your tour, it is advisable to aim for an arrival time in Dublin Airport before 11:00 am, as clearing immigration and reclaiming baggage typically takes around 1 hour.
15:00 Check-in time. Hotel reception will store your luggage prior to Check-in.
This afternoon, after all introductions have been made, you will depart on a tour of Dublin City, Ireland's capital city. Visit EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum. Voted, recently, as "Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction", this museum tour tells the story behind the millions of people who fled, or were forced from, Ireland over the past three centuries. Located in Dublin's Docklands.
No visit to Dublin would be complete without a visit to Guinness Storehouse. With an address at the world-famous St. James's Gate. Here you will tour the world-renowned brewery and enjoy a perfect complimentary pint of Guinness in the Gravity Bar — located at the top of a glass tower that commands spectacular views of Dublin City.
Evening free to relax and unwind at your leisure. Overnight in the Brooks Hotel.
|Time||Arrival Transfer details|
|Between 07:00 and 12 (noon)|| Dublin Airport|
There are 3 group airport transfers this morning, between 7am and 12 noon, from Dublin Airport to Brooks Hotel.
This morning after breakfast, you will depart for Ballynahinch Castle.
Ballynahinch Castle is 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.
Travelling west your route today will take you through Ballinasloe & Athlone, which is the centre of Ireland. You will visit Clonmacnoise. A medieval monastery on the banks of the River Shannon, founded by St. Ciaran in the 6th century. Clonmacnoise lay at a crossroads of medieval Ireland, linking all parts of the island. Sacked time and again by the Vikings, it nevertheless flourished for over 600 years.
We will continue west on our journey to Galway City, known as the "City of the Tribes". Today, it is a vibrant bustling harbour town with medieval origins and with a long tradition of Irish language, music, song, and dance.
We will travel on west of Galway City via the villages of Oughterard, Maam Cross & Recess into the wilds of Connemara, famous for its bogs, mountains and rugged coastline. Tonight you will overnight & dine in Ballynahinch Castle. Suggestion: After dinner, you might like to retire to the friendly Fisherman's Pub for a nightcap (Connemara Single Malt Irish Whiskey is just a suggestion) before bed.
Please note, although Ballynahinch Castle has undergone many modernising refurbishments over the past 250 years there are no elevators in the hotel. There is a full porter service, to carry your bags to and from the bedroom, but walking up and down the stairs, for anyone with mobility issues, can be quite difficult. Please, feel free to contact us should you have any such concerns.
This morning after breakfast, take some time to explore at your leisure the extensive grounds of Ballynahinch Castle. There are some who visit Ballynahinch Castle and never leave the grounds during their stay, such is the choice of activities available. Hiking the trails, taking a fly-fishing tutorial, playing tennis, biking, or simply sitting in the tranquillity of the grounds listening to the song of the river as it makes its interminable journey to the sea are all possibilities today.
This afternoon, if the lure of the castle grounds is not too strong, you will tour the sights of wild Connemara, famous for its bogs, mountains and rugged coastline. You will have free time in Clifden. Known as the capital of Connemara. It was founded in 1812 by the High Sheriff of Galway to create a "pocket of respectability" within the lawlessness of the area.
You will visit Kylemore Abbey. An historic building nestled at the base of Duchruach Mountain, on the northern shore of Lough Pollacappul — in the heart of the Connemara Mountains. It is regarded as one of Ireland's most romantic buildings.
Your return route to Ballynahinch Castle will take you via the spectacular Inagh Valley, with the rugged 12 Bens of Connemara on your right and the Maumturks mountain range on your left.
Tonight you will overnight and dine in Ballynahinch Castle.Please note, although Ballynahinch Castle has undergone many modernising refurbishments over the past 250 years there are no elevators in the hotel. There is a full porter service, to carry your bags to and from the bedroom, but walking up and down the stairs, for anyone with mobility issues, can be quite difficult. Please, feel free to contact us should you have any such concerns.
This morning after breakfast, you will depart for Cahernane House Hotel, situated less than 2 miles from Killarney National Park. The hotel is set in a beautiful mansion dating back to the 1870s and on impeccably manicured grounds.
Your journey will take you down the Wild Atlantic Way on the west coast of Clare via the famous Galway Bay, Dunguaire Castle and the fishing village of Kinvarra. You will see The Burren, which is Gaelic for rocky land—an apt name for this vast limestone plateau. In the 1640s, 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 Atlantic west coast, you will travel to the Cliffs of Moher. Braced against the ocean, on the coast of County Clare. Here you will stand on the dramatic 702ft (214m) high and 9 miles (14km) long cliffs, a Wild Atlantic Way signature discovery point, 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 Town.
Tonight you will overnight at Cahernane House Hotel.
This morning after breakfast, you will set off on the world-famous Ring Of Kerry. It is officially known as the Iveragh Peninsula. You will travel via Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Coomakesta Pass with its magnificent views over Derrynane, home of Daniel O' Connell, known as "The Liberator", to Caherdaniel. Travel on via the hamlet of Castlecove, the colourful village of Sneem and on via Moll’s Gap, Ladies View, Killarney National Park and along the Lakes of Killarney to Killarney town.
Stop off at the Blind Piper Pub. Here you will have a traditional Irish Pub Lunch. Located in the village of Caherdaniel, locals and visitors alike have been drinking here since 1865. Who is the Blind Piper, you may ask? The Blind Piper is Mici Cumba O'Sullivan, who was born nearby in 1835 and became one of Ireland's most famous pipers.
Suggestion: You might like to retire to the Cellar Bar for a nightcap before bed (I would suggest Jameson whiskey from the neighbouring County Cork which you will be visiting tomorrow).
Your route today will take you west to the "county bounds" under the wild Derrynasaggart Mountains, sometimes referred to as the Cork/Kerry Mountains and made famous in the ballad – "Whiskey in the Jar". Travel through the old market town of Macroom, where you will see Macroom Castle. Once home to Sir William Penn, whose son later founded the state of Pennsylvania. (This is a drive-by only, and is noted for historical reasons, as the castle is in ruins).
Travel on to the village of Blarney via the valley of the River Lee to visit Blarney Castle. Built on this site in 1446 by Dermot McCarthy. You will have the chance to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone. You will also have an opportunity to shop at Blarney Woollen Mills, boasting a huge selection of Irish arts, crafts and produce.
This afternoon we will visit the Jameson Distillery Midleton. You will experience a fully guided Jameson Experience Tour. Here you will find the world's largest pot still, with a capacity of over 30,000 gallons.
Our destination for tonight is the idyllic location of Faithlegg, County Waterford.
Tonight you will overnight and dine at Faithlegg Hotel. Located in picturesque woodland, offering stunning views over the Suir estuary in County Waterford.
After a hearty home-cooked full Irish breakfast this morning, we will set off for the Waterford Crystal. This world-renowned crystal factory is located in the Viking-founded city of Waterford—where extensive glass manufacturing was established in 1783. Learn the art of glassblowing from the professional craftsmen and take time to visit the store which is home to the largest selection of Waterford Crystal in the world.
We will continue on to Kilkenny for a visit to Kilkenny Castle. This imposing structure dominates the skyline of Kilkenny City. It has been an important site since Strongbow constructed the first building; a wooden tower, in the 12th century. William the Earl Marshall built the first stone castle on the site, in 1260.
Today marks the end of the Ancient Ireland Tour.
This morning there will be 3 group airport transfers between 0500 and 1100 to bring you to Dublin Airport for your return flight home.
|Time||Departure Transfer details|
|Between 05:00 and 11:00|| Brooks Hotel|
There are 3 group airport transfers this morning, between 5am and 11am, from Brooks Hotel to Dublin Airport.