Day 1 - Belfast, Antrim Coast and Giant’s Causeway
Explore historic Belfast with an insightful city tour and learn about the tragic history of the world’s most famous maritime disaster in the museums and attractions of the Titanic Quarter then wander the glens and coast at Antrim, an area of outstanding natural beauty overlooking the superb Scottish coast and walk where giants fought and changed the earth at the unique and stunning Giant’s Causeway.
Departing Dublin you head north to Belfast, a city famed for its industrial heritage and turbulent past. You take a short city tour which covers the capital’s triumphs, tragedies and soul.
You then have time for lunch and exploring in the Titanic Quarter, a regenerated hub where the famous liner was built and launched in 1911. Here you can visit the award winning Titanic museum, board the HMS Caroline or take a black cab tour of the city.
Leaving bustling Belfast behind, you travel through the phenomenal scenery of the Antrim Coast and Glens, an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Moving along the winding roads from Ballycastle, you enter the awe inspiring setting of the Giant’s Causeway, a place where history and myth collide spectacularly with raw geological power.
Waving farewell to the giant’s steps, you head to Portrush, a charming fishing village and your home for the night.
Day 2 - Derry, Donegal and Glenveagh National Park
Marvel at the 17th walled city of Derry, with its famous 7 gates and bustling markets and immerse yourself in the ancient Gaelic culture of Donegal as you pass through its rugged mountains then experience the haunting beauty of the remote Glenveagh National Park
You head to Derry, the fabulous 17th-century walled city that boasts 7 ornate gates. Derry was designated as UK City of Culture in 2013, and you get time to explore its museums, galleries and excellent markets.
From here, you head to County Donegal, which boasts stunning scenery and a strong Gaelic heritage.
You then head into the picturesque Glenveagh National Park and past the soaring peak of Mount Errigal, before traveling through the traditional fishing villages of the area. Along the way there will be plenty time for walks, photos and soaking up the local culture before arriving at your overnight stop in Donegal.
Day 3 - Carrowmore and Achill Island
Wander amongst the ancient standing stones of Carrowmore and explore the bogs and misty moors of County Mayo then gaze in awe at the magnificent sea cliffs of Achill Island.
In the morning, you pass south along the coast near Donegal and into County Sligo. This area is home to the burial site of famed poet WB Yeats, and dramatic views of the gorgeous mountain, Benbulben. Outside Sligo Town lays Carrowmore, where you have the chance to visit the largest collection of megalithic tombs in Ireland, some of which date back over 6000 years.
Moving westwards, you enter County Mayo, an area ravaged by the Great Potato Famine. Winding roads curve through the picturesque farmlands, bogs and open moors, offering views of distant hills and the Atlantic coast, where you’ll visit the dramatic Achill Island.
Here you have time to savour the rugged sea and peaceful beauty.
From here it is a short drive to Westport – your base for the next two nights.
Day 4 - Westport and the Connemara National Park
Explore the Connemara National Park’s verdant marshes and incredible historical sites and stroll through the superb grounds at Kylemore Abbey then roam Clifden, site of the first transatlantic flight landing, and home to a delightful castle. Be enchanted by the seemingly infinite blend of earth and sky at sunset on the Sky Road and prepare to be stunned by the legendary Twelve Bens, the famous jagged mountain range of Connemara.
Westport and the Connemara National Park are the areas you explore today. The itinerary is flexible today and your guide will ensure you take the route that best suits the weather.
Your options include the beautiful house and grounds at Kylemore Abbey, the Connemara National Park, Clifden (the first transatlantic flight landed here), the Sky Road and the Twelve Bens of Connemara.
After an incredible day of exploration you return back to Westport, where you can dine on the delicious local seafood in the town’s top notch restaurants.
Day 5 - Galway City and Locke’s Distillery
Gaze into the past at the iconic 7th century ruins of Cong Abbey and walk the iconic locations of “The Quiet Man” on the scenic shores of Lough Corrib then enjoy the culture, sea views, and historic streets of Galway City.
Traveling through the heart of Connemara, you arrive in the town of Cong on the shore of Lough Corrib. This area was where “The Quiet Man” was filmed and you’re free to wander the local museum devoted to the movie. Alternatively, you can visit the magnificently restored 12th century Cong Abbey.
Your route then weaves through the Maam Valley, a stunning pass lined by gorgeous mountains. Exiting the valley, you head to Galway City, a vibrant harbour city that combines traditional market life with high quality restaurants and pubs.
You have free time to sample the town’s delicious seafood before we head to Locke’s Distillery for a tipple. This is the oldest licensed distillery in the country, and boasts a superb museum.
You then travel back to Dublin.