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Ireland

28 August 2023 - 9 September 2023

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This fabulous tour of Ireland includes the most scenic and interesting parts of this truly beautiful island. Stay in some of Ireland’s most charming hotels and enjoy delicious meals and the warm and friendly hospitality that is country-wide. Visit the Rock of Cashel, Youghal, Cork, Blarney Castle, the Beara Peninsula, the famed Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula, the Cliffs of Moher & the Burren, the captivating west coast region of Connemara, and, of course, the wonderful city of Dublin. Finish the tour via the Wicklow Mountains, Co Kildare and Co Wexford. The trip will be at a leisurely pace giving you plenty of time to explore and relax.

Ireland is a place to explore slowly, roaming through agricultural landscapes scattered with farmhouses, or enjoying a spirited drive across the mountain roads, or along the endlessly indented coastline. Discover traces of culture established long before Christianity, alongside the cosmopolitan energy of the towns and cities.

Highlights of Ireland

  • Visit some of Ireland’s famous landmarks, such as the Rock of Cashel
  • Drive some of the country’s best scenic drives, such as the Ring of Kerry, Beara & Dingle Peninsulas, & Wicklow Mountains
  • Kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle
  • Explore charming cities, such as Cork and Dublin
  • See the magnificent Cliffs of Moher
  • Marvel at the ‘moonscape’ of the Burren
  • Discover beautiful Connemara
  • Enjoy the Hooley Show at the famous Johnnie Fox’s pub
  • Visit the Irish National Stud, where some of the world’s best racehorses are bred

“We want to thank you for an absolutely fantastic trip to Ireland. It was by far the best driving tour we’ve done. The preparation was fantastic, the road book easy to use (no need for a TomTom) and the hotels were wonderful. Thank you for giving us so much enjoyment.” – M&P.G., Dorset

 

Route map
Price: €4,495 euros*
Price per person, sharing a double/twin room and one car, if booked before 31 December 2022
Price is €4,600 per person from 1 January 2023
Single Occupancy Supplement: Please enquire

Starts: 28 August 2023
Duration: 12 nights / 13 days
Mileage: 1,460 miles

What's Included?

  • An extensively researched and carefully designed itinerary to optimise your trip
  • Twelve nights luxury accommodation
  • Full Irish breakfast each morning
  • Dinner on eight evenings, with wine (half bottle per person)
  • Return ferry crossing from Wales to Ireland
  • Visit to the Irish National Stud
  • Visit the Straffan Steam Museum
  • Dinner & Hooley Show at Johnnie Fox’s pub
  • Tour Pack: Our comprehensive Tour Book (includes a brief history of Ireland, emergency details, maps and directions, accommodation information, and a very detailed account of sights and visits for each day), rally plate, pen/highlighter, road map etc.
  • Experienced & friendly Tour Guide, Sarah Dowding, and colleague, to ensure everything goes smoothly on the tour.

Itinerary

May be subject to change.

Day 1: 28 August 2023 56 miles

Take the Stena Line ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare, departing at 13.00. The crossing takes just 3 1/2 hours. A short drive of about 75 minutes to our first hotel and stay overnight in a stunning Georgian manor. This country house hotel is also home to one of Ireland’s best chefs, so dinner is a real treat in the Michelin-starred restaurant.

Day 2: 29 August 2023 126 miles

Drive to Kilkenny, Ireland’s only inland city, and also one of its finest, brimming with medieval treasures. Head to the Rock of Cashel – Ireland’s most fascinating ecclesiastical site, a lofty citadel that soars above the surrounding vale. Then it’s south to Cahir with its eponymous castle and the Swiss Cottage. Drive over The Vee, a fabulous road over the hills to Lismore. From there drive alongside the River Blackwater to Youghal, on the south coast. There is an optional lunch stop at the famed hotel and cookery school at Ballymaloe. Continue to Cork and visit the renowned Blarney Castle. Stay overnight in a beautiful hotel in Cork and dinner is included.

Day 3: 30 August 2023 143 miles

A wonderful drive down to Kinsale and then along the coast to Timoleague and Clonakilty. Visit the Drombeg Stone Circle and continue to Skibbereen, Ireland’s most southerly town, and see the Heritage Centre with its exhibition commemorating the tragic Great Famine. Continue to Ballydehob and Bantry and tour the magnificent Bantry House and Museum. Drive around Bantry Bay to Glengarrif and then drive the spectacular Healy Pass and on to Kenmare. Then it’s over Moll’s Gap and Ladies View to Killarney. Stay in a beautiful country house hotel for two nights. Dinner is included this evening.

Day 4: 31 August 2023 151 miles

Drive the stunning and famed Ring of Kerry. This is a very scenic route around the Iveragh peninsula with wonderful coastal and mountain scenery, as well as a warm Gulf Stream climate. Visit the lovely town of Kenmare, a colourful, friendly place and perfect place to while away some time. There is an optional circle to drive to Glengarriff and then over the Healy Pass and back to Kenmare. Continue down to Cahersiveen, and return over the mountains of Macgilycuddy’s Reeks. Take a tour of the splendid Muckross House. Dinner is at leisure this evening.

Day 5: 1 September 2023 149 miles

Head down to the Dingle Peninsula. Dingle is a lovely town to spend a while. Explore the Dingle Peninsula and the exceptionally scenic route to Slea Head. Head back over the Connor Pass and then travel north to Tralee. Drive over the mountains to Co Limerick and stay in a beautiful old coaching inn/hotel in one of Ireland’s prettiest villages, Adare. Dinner is included.

Day 6: 2 September 2023 186 miles

Leave Adare and head onto Limerick, an attractive and lively city, also renowned as a cultural centre. Visit Bunratty Castle, and then drive to the sea at Miltown Malbay and then north, hugging the coastline to see the Cliffs of Moher, rising 213 metres from the sea below and stretching for five miles along the Clare coast. Further north is the Burren National Park, a vast plateau of limestone, which supports the vast majority of Ireland native flora and fauna. Stay in a beautiful manor house hotel for the next three nights, located on the coast near Letterfrack in Connemara. Dinner is included this evening.

Day 7: 3 September 2023 138 miles

Enjoy a circular drive of Connemara and Co Galway with its beautiful coastal roads. It’s a land of panoramic views, rivers, lakes, endless stone walls, myths and legends. Sparsely populated, Connemara has been by-passed by mass tourism, yet it is much-loved by poets, artists and writers. There is an optional lunch stop at the lovely Ballnahinch Castle, and a chance to stroll around the lovely small town of Clifden. Dinner is at leisure this evening

Day 8: 4 September 2023 103 miles

Another day to explore the north of Co Galway. The route takes you past Doo Lough, with its memorial to those who perished in the Famine, and on to Louisburgh. Then skirt along the coast to the beautiful town of Westport, with its octagonal central area and lime tree-lined central canal. Visit the wonderful Westport House, just to the west of the town. Then head back to the manor hotel for dinner.

Day 9: 5 September 2023 180 miles

Leave Connemara and Galway and head across the centre of Ireland. Visit the Lodge Park House, Garden & Steam Museum at Straffan on the way to Dublin. Spend the next two nights in Dublin’s finest hotel in the centre of the city on the beautiful St Stephen’s Green. Stroll along the banks of the Liffey and indulge in a pint or two of the black stuff (Guinness). Dinner is not included on either evening as there are so many wonderful places to eat in Dublin and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.

Day 10: 6 September 2023

Spend the day exploring the delights of Dublin – magnificent architecture, excellent shopping, lively entertainment and cultural events, superb museums and galleries and a strong sense of history. There’s much to see, including the castle, National Gallery, Temple Bar and Trinity College. But no visit to Dublin would be complete with a visit to the Guinness Hop Store, birthplace of Dublin’s (and Ireland’s) most famous product.

Day 11: 7 September 2023 88 miles

Leave Dublin and drive south to Powerscourt House and Gardens, one of the most superb gardens in Europe. Drive through the secluded Wicklow Mountains to the Sally Gap and visit Glendalough, a monastic settlement founded in the 6th century. There is also a visit to the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens near Kildare. Stay overnight at the wonderful Powerscourt Hotel on the edge of the Wicklow Mountains.

Dinner will be at the famous Johnnie Fox’s, the highest pub in Ireland, accompanied by the renowned Hooley Show. We shall have transport to and from the hotel.

Day 12: 8 September 2023 90 miles

Enjoy a lovely day meandering over the Wicklow Mountains again to Avoca and Arklow. Head south to Wexford and visit the Irish National Heritage Park. Spend the final night at a delightful hotel on the water near Wexford. There will be a final dinner this evening.

Day 13: 9 September 2023 10 miles

It’s an early start to drive the 20 minutes to Rosslare to catch the ferry back to Wales at 07.30am. Arrive in Fishguard at 11.30am and depart for home.

Accommodation

All the accommodation is in individual, unique hotels that are of a very high standard, and often five-star. Due to the nature and age of these hotels the rooms vary from charmingly comfortable to utter luxury. We have hand-picked the accommodation for their unique atmosphere and style. Suitable parking is available each night.

“Thank you for all the hard work that went into planning the trip – and the lovely hotels.” C.C., East Sussex

Click here to see the Photo Book from the 2015 Ireland Tour

Travel to Ireland: Return ferry crossing from Fishguard, Wales to Rosslare, Ireland with Stena Line.

Requirements

  • Each person must have a passport (and any necessary visas for non-EU passport holders) valid for Ireland. All passports must be valid for six months after the end of the tour.
  • You will also need your vehicle registration documents, driving licence (a photo-card licence or international permit is best), and an international insurance green card.
  • Please check with your travel and motor insurers that you are covered for travel in Ireland.
  • You are also required to carry a warning triangle, first-aid kit, two fluorescent jackets, set of replacement bulbs and a national identification sticker.
  • The most important requirement is that you take pleasure in motoring through fabulous scenery, and relish individual, character hotels.

Payments

Full tour price: €8,990 euros for two people sharing a room and car
Booking Fee (non-refundable): €500 – paid below on booking
Deposit (non-refundable): €3,000 due before 31/12/22
Final Payment: £5,490 due before 28/6/23
(All subsequent payments after the initial Booking Fee of €500 to be via BACS only please)

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Ireland Tour Booking Form

TOUR PRICE: €8,990 euros per car/2 people (if booked before 31/12/2022). Price is €9,200 per car if booked after 1/1/2023

NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT: €500 (includes €300 booking fee)
SECOND PAYMENT (non-refundable): €2,000 euros (due before 31 December 2022)
OUTSTANDING BALANCE: €6,490 euros (due before 28 June 2023)

€ 500
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