Day 1 - Locke’s Distillery and Clonmacnoise
Savour the sights and tastes of the oldest licensed distillery on Earth at Locke’s Distillery and revere the magnificent 1,500 year old abbey of Clonmacnoise then delve into the hubbub of Galway City’s bustling bars and lively restaurants.
Leaving Dublin, you head west through the farmlands and peat bogs of County Kildare and Offaly. Locke’s Distillery is your first stop, 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.
You then lunch at a traditional pub in one of the area’s pretty villages before travelling to Galway City, your home for the first night.
It’s a city with a lively atmosphere and excellent restaurants and bars.
Day 2 - Burren, Kilfenora, Cliffs of Moher and Killarney.
Roam the Burren, home to some of Ireland’s most profound spiritual and natural experiences and marvel at the steep Cliffs of Moher and the stunning 700ft drop into the waves of the Atlantic Ocean then relax with traditional Irish music in the atmospheric pubs and bars of Killarney.
A short drive along the coast from Galway City lies the Burren, one of Ireland’s national treasures. It’s home to one of the earliest Christian settlements in Ireland and broad limestone pavements and rare flora.
After time to explore the area, you 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.
You then head to the incredible Cliffs of Moher. 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 you 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, so take your time sampling the superb collection of traditional pubs and live music.
Day 3 - Dingle Peninsula
Traverse the Dingle Peninsula, famous for its scenery and Gaelic culture and wander ancient forts and religious sites of the past at Slea Head then stroll the beautiful length of Inch Beach on your way to Dingle.
Today, your tour explores the fabulous Dingle Peninsula. Your first stop is Inch Beach, a vast expanse of sand stretching out into the Atlantic. Venturing down the narrow roads away from the beach leads you through the town of Dingle.
You continue towards Slea Head, an area loaded with 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, you head back to Killarney, with time for an evening stroll in the National Park that envelops the town.
Day 4 - Ring of Kerry
Tour the world renowned Ring of Kerry, hailed globally for its incredible scenery and cultural heritage.
Today, you explore the Ring of Kerry, a spectacular route through some of Ireland’s most visually spectacular areas. You head out in the morning, stopping first at Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil.
After snapping some shots of its rugged majesty, you join the scenic coast road through Glenbeigh and Kells on the way to Cahersiveen. Possible stops include the site of “The Liberator of Ireland” Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace and an impressive ring fort outside Portmagee.
You stop for lunch in the quaint fishing village of Portmagee. Alternatively, you can have a quick snack and head to the island of Valentia for a visit to the Skellig Experience. This excursion teaches you about the ancient community of monks who made the outcrop of rocky islands their home.
In the afternoon, there’s a photo stop in Charlie Chaplin’s “home away from home” at Waterville, before enjoying fine views at the top of Coonmakista pass.
Winding down from the peaks, you head to Derrynane House, home of the family O’Driscoll. Daniel O’Driscoll holds a special place in Irish hearts, as an emancipating force from colonial rule. Enjoy a walk in the scenic gardens here, as well as a visit to the main house.
Continuing along the Ring, you stop at Moll’s Gap and the Ladies View. Stroll a short way from here to the Torc Waterfall before heading back to Killarney.
(On some tours, days three and four are switched).
Day 5 - Blarney Castle and Cahir
Kiss the famed Blarney Stone within the walls of the medieval stronghold of Blarney Castle and explore Kilkenny Castle and its impressive craft centres.
Heading east through the mountains of West Cork, you weave along the Lee Valley until you reach Blarney Castle. You have time here to take in the castle grounds, and maybe 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 the tour is Kilkenny, a bustling city with a fine Castle, riverside walks, and an impressive National Craft Centre. There’s also the chance for one last Guinness before heading back on the road again for the last leg of the journey.
You arrive back into Dublin in the evening.