Description of Escorted Luxury Tour - Best of Eire and Northern Ireland ULIR04
- A picnic lunch on the scenic Ring of Kerry
- Dinner at Gaby’s a Killarney favorite
- A visit to Ireland’s National Stud
- Tasting Bushmills Whisky at its source
- A five-course tasting menu with wine at Ashford Castle
You board your flight for the overnight trip to the charming country of Ireland, justly known for its scenery and charming inhabitants.
Day 2 : Welcome to Ireland
You arrive in Shannon in the morning where your guide is waiting to take you to Adare in the County of Limerick. On your way you will take a drive along the famous Cliffs of Moher where Ireland meets the Atlantic Ocean. Stretching for five miles and rising over 600 feet above the sea, the cliffs are home to one of the major colonies of cliff nesting seabirds and one of Ireland's top visitor attractions. From the cliffs you can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay as well as the mountains in Connemara and Loop head to the South. Upon arrival at your hotel you have a chance to relax before enjoying dinner in the hotel's justly renowned restaurant.
Day 3 The Ring of Kerry and the Lakes of Killarney
After breakfast your guide will be ready to take you on a scenic tour around the Ring of Kerry which affords a journey through some of Kerry's most outstanding scenery around the Iveragh Peninsula. During your day you will travel through Killorglin, by Caragh Lake and Glenbeigh where you get your first view of the Atlantic at Rossbeigh. You will visit Dingle Bay, Kells and Cahersiveen where Valentia Island is visible offshore. Stopping for a picnic lunch at a scenic spot you continue on to Ballinskelligs and Coomakista Pass before arriving in Killarney. This evening, be our guest at Gaby's an outstanding seafood restaurant on Killarney's high street and one of our favorites.
Day 4 The Gaelic Tradition of Dingle Peninsula
Because of its location on the south west of County Kerry and the one time prohibitive Conor Pass, the Dingle Peninsula stayed true to its Gaelic roots with Gaelic still being the language spoken by moist inhabitants it is also a center of traditional Irish music. All this culture is surrounded by water and stunning scenery selected by David Lean as the location for his production of Ryan's Daughter. The town of Kirrary was fictional and created for the movie but the views are all real. You will climb over the Conor pass into Dingle and then tour around the peninsula stopping for a pub lunch along the way. You then return to your hotel.
Day 5 : Blarney Castle, the Rock of Cashel and Scenic Kilkenny
After breakfast you head for Blarney Castle where your "inner tourist" will probably build up the courage to bend over the ramparts of the castle to kiss the Blarney stone thus assuring a future life with the gift of the gab. You will then continue on to Cashel, home to the Rock of Cashel, one of Ireland's most spectacular landmarks; St.Patrick converted the local King Aenghus, here in the 5th century; Brian Boru was crowned King of Ireland on this spot in the early 11th Century. You have a country lunch before arriving in the city of Kilkenny, a vibrant place combining history going back to medieval times and a thriving crafts industry. While in the city you will see the Black Abbey so named because it was founded by Dominican monks who wore black garments. You will then visit Kilkenny Castle, an 800 year old castle situated on a high point of the city. You then check into your hotel, where dinner awaits.
Day 6 The National Stud and the Road to Dublin
It has been said that the Irish have a love affair with horse racing and horse racing has a love affair with the Irish. Today you will see this for yourself as you first visit the town of Naas which is surrounded by three major race tracks. Your next stop will be The National Stud where great thoroughbreds are born. You will tour the facility including The Museum of the Horse before having lunch and heading into Ireland's capital city, Dublin. Upon arriving you have a chance for some exploring from your centrally-located hotel before enjoying a pub dinner in the Temple Bar area.
Day 7 Dublin, Howth and the Tradition of Jury’s Cabaret
This morning you are met by your guide who both by car and on foot will introduce you to the historic and cultural portions of Dublin. You'll visit St Patrick's Cathedral and Trinity College a renowned center of knowledge and repository of the Book of Kells. You then drive to the nearby port of Howth, noted for its fishing fleet and seafood. You have the chance to walk off your seafood lunch by taking a walk along the stunning cliff walk before returning to the city. This evening a touristy but beloved tradition in Ireland, Jury's Cabaret will fill you with laughter and joy as you take a musical tour through Irish musical history.
Day 8 Monasterboice and the Birthplace of Titanic
After breakfast you will head up the eastern coast through the town of Drogheda before reaching the ancient religious settlement of Monasterboice which was founded in the 5th Century AD by St. Buite. Beside the building remnants, the area is famous for its 10th Century High Crosses in the typical Celtic cross design. The most renowned is Muiredach's High Cross, named for a 10th Century abbot and standing over 17 feet high. It is carved with scenes from both the Old and New Testament and is well preserved. After your visit and a stop for lunch you arrive in Belfast where you are given an orientation tour of the city. You are now in Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. Belfast was built on its textiles and shipbuilding. It was here in fact that the Titanic was built in the Harland & Woolf shipyards. After your tour you drive to your hotel which is located on twelve acres overlooking the coast of Antrim.
Day 9 Bushmills and the Giant’s Causeway
Your driver will be waiting to take you on a scenic coastal route starting with the Nine Glens of Antrim offering spectacular views of valleys, mountains and, most of all, the coastline. A stop at the Bushmills Distillery allows you the opportunity to sample one of Ireland's great contributions to civilization in what is the oldest licensed distillery in the world. Suitably fortified you continue along the coast to the strange sight of the Giant's Causeway, a natural phenomenon created from cooling lave over 50 million years ago and yet looking like large columns, carved by hand and placed at different heights next to each other. After your visit your head back to the hotel via the charming town of Ballymena.
Day 10 The North from Coast to Coast
Today you will travel from the Northwest Coast to the Eastern Coast. Your first stop will be the town or Armagh where St. Patrick founded his first church. You then move from County Armagh to County Fermanagh and its main city, Enniskillen which sits on an island between two portions of a lake before stopping at Belleek Pottery which had been turning out fine China for generations. After a tour of the factory you continue east to Donegal Bay where your hotel is located offering dramatic views from its veranda, the perfect place to plan your dinner at its award winning restaurant.
Day 11 W.B Yeats and John Wayne
After a hearty Irish breakfast you are taken to the nearby town of Drumcliff, the final resting place of Ireland's finest poet, William Butler Yeats. After visiting the site you return to the car and head towards Cong, the site of your next hotel. The scenery is stunning and also familiar since it was in this location where John Ford filmed his classic movie "The Quiet Man" starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. You will see some of the locations before arriving at your hotel, a former home of the Guinness family. Tonight you have a five course tasting menu in The Connaught Room accompanied by various appropriate wines selected by the sommelier.
Day 12 The Rugged Grandeur of Connemara
Today you will have full day in Connemara, one of the most scenic regions in Ireland. Its craggy mountain peaks, expansive sandy beaches and laced networks of lakes exemplify the peaceful solitude and rugged beauty of the west of Ireland. Connemara is not a town or County and you won't find it by name on a map. The name is given to the western portion of County Galway which lies between Lough Corrib and the Atlantic. Dominated by the Twelve Bens mountain range, dotted with lakes and fringed by the Atlantic coastline, its innumerable creeks, bays and little harbors make it one of Ireland's most memorable touring areas. You'll stop at the coastal town of Lahinch before arriving at Dromoland Castle one of Ireland's and the World's premier resort hotels.
Day 13 A Day of Leisure and a Grand Finale
We have left this day open for you to enjoy the many activities the hotel has to offer. For the more active it might be Golf, Tennis, Horse riding, and clay shooting or cycling. For the more sybaritic it might be a day at the spa. For nature lovers, there are many charming walking paths, within the 410 acres of the estate, for you to explore. At your request, the kitchen can prepare a picnic for you to take with you on your walk. Regardless of your chosen activity tonight you will dine well at the Earl of Thormond restaurant a fitting end to your Irish experience.
Day 14 Return to USA
In the morning you will be driven to the airport for your return flight to the US arriving back that same afternoon.
Escorted Luxury Tour - Best of Eire and Northern Ireland ULIR04 Starting point and other tours and villas nearby
You may be interested in these Luxury Travel Ideas:
Places Visited: Ireland, Cork, South-West Ireland,
Duration: 8 Day(s)