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On this Small Group Coach Tour you'll travel from the rocky coasts to ancient castles, the Emerald Isle's west has so much to offer. This itinerary takes you to major Irish sites, the stunning Cliffs of Moher and the heartland of Gaelic culture & tradition. Visit the beautiful lakeside town of Killarney, the famous ring of Kerry and Blarney Castle where you can kiss the Blarney stone!
Departing Dublin you head west through the farmland and peat bogs of counties Kildare and Offaly. Our first stop is the Killbeggan Distillery - reputedly the oldest legal distillery in the world - and here you have time to relax with a glass of their famed whiskey. After a drink (or two!), you head to the banks of the mighty River Shannon and the ruined abbey at Clonmacnoise. Home to a large collection of stone crosses, ancient churches, and inimitable round towers, this holy site offers an insightful glimpse into Ireland’s spiritual past. We then stop in one of the area’s pretty villages where you can have lunch at a traditional pub, before travelling to Galway City, your home for the first night. With a lively atmosphere, Galway has no shortage of good pubs and restaurants.
From Galway City, it is only a short drive along the coast to the Burren, one of Ireland’s great natural treasures. This is a land of limestone pavements, barren hillsides, rare flora, early Christian settlements, and ancient stone monuments. After time to explore the area, we travel to Kilfenora, the “town of the crosses”. You can visit the town’s fabulous ancient cathedral before we stop for lunch in one of the area’s charming villages. In the afternoon we head to the incredible Cliffs of Moher, which drop almost 700 feet into the crashing Atlantic waves. Walk the stunning cliff trails as seabirds swoop through the clear air above you. And learn about the unique ecosystem in the excellent and award-winning environmental exhibition nearby. The tour then moves south through County Clare, passing its famous golf course on the way to the picturesque beach at Lahinch. From here we board a ferry across the Shannon Estuary to the lakeside town of Killarney. This energetic, charming area will be your base for the next three nights. The pubs here offer great food and most have live music in the evenings – your only problem is which one to choose! (B)
The tour today explores the wonderful Dingle Peninsula - one of the most scenic parts of Ireland and a heartland of Gaelic culture and tradition. The first stop of the day is the beach at Inch, a vast expanse of sand facing out into the Atlantic and very popular with surfers. From here increasingly narrow roads lead onto the peninsula itself through the town of Dingle and out to Slea Head. This is an area of ancient forts and prehistoric dwellings. The impressive views of the nearby Blasket Islands make this an excellent spot for panoramic photos. If the weather is pleasant, you can ramble along the beaches and cliff tops to fully appreciate the incredible vistas. Arriving back amidst the brightly coloured houses and jolly harbour of Dingle, you can spend the remainder of the afternoon enjoying delicious seafood in this idyllic setting. In the evening, we head back to Killarney, with time for an evening stroll in the National Park that envelops the town. (B)
Today you tour one of the world’s classic routes, the Ring of Kerry, a spectacular route through some of Ireland’s most visually spectacular areas. Heading out from Killarney in the morning, our first stop will be at Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil. After snapping some shots of its rugged majesty, we join the scenic coastal road through Glenbeigh and Kells on the way to Cahersiveen. Possible stops include the birthplace of Daniel O’Connell, and an impressive ring fort near Cahersiven. We then stop for lunch in the quaint fishing village of Portmagee. Alternatively, you can have a quick snack cross to the island of Valencia 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 make photo stops in Waterville, a favourite holiday place for Charlie Chaplin, and then at the top of Coonmakista Pass for one of the best views in the country. Winding down from the peaks to sea level, we head to Derrynane House, home of the family O’Connell. Daniel O’Connell, 'The Liberator of Ireland’, had a very strong bond with this place and you’ll understand why when you visit. Here, you can enjoy a walk in the scenic gardens or along the beach and explore the main house. The tour continues on around the Ring with stops at Moll’s Gap and the Ladies View. There is time for a short walk to the Torc Waterfall before arriving back into Killarney. (On some tours days 3 and 4 may be reversed) (B)
Today you head back east through the mountains of West Cork, weaving along the Lee Valley until we reach Blarney Castle. You will have time here to take in the castle grounds, and there may even be the chance to kiss the famous Blarney Stone and receive the “gift of the gab”! In the afternoon, the tour heads to the heritage town of Cahir, where there’s a distinctive island castle in the River Suir. The final stop of our tour will be in Kilkenny, a bustling city with a fine castle, a thousand-year-old round tower, and an impressive National Craft Centre. There’s also the chance for one last Guinness before hitting the road again for the last leg of a wonderful journey, arriving back into Dublin about 7.30 pm. (B)
Tour departs on Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays from May 01 - October 30; Wednesdays from May 03 - October 11; Tuesdays & Fridays from May 02 - September 29; Sundays from May 07 - December 17, 2023.
Hotel names will be advised three weeks prior to departure.