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Luxury Irish Castles & Hotels Tour (12 Night)
Accessed via Dublin Airport (slight adjustment for those using Shannon Airport), this luxury tour includes overnights in Ireland's Premier Hotels and Castles.
Your route will allow you to visit Ireland’s most popular sights including Trinity College and Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, the Monastic Settlement at Glendalough and Powerscourt House in Wicklow, Waterford Crystal in the South East, Blarney Castle and Kinsale in County Cork, Killarney and the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher and the ‘Burren Landscape’ of County Clare as well as the Aran Islands and Connemara in County Galway.
While in Ashford Castle, you will also have time to pop next door to the famed setting for that John Wayne Classic, ‘The Quiet Man’.
Your accommodations include the best that Ireland has to offer in terms of service, location and gastronomy, with tasting menus available upon request.
Overnights for this tour:
- Waterford Castle for 2 nights
- Park Hotel, Kenmare, County Kerry for 3 nights
- Dromoland Castle, County Clare for 2 nights
- Ashford Castle, County Mayo for 2 nights
- The Merrion Hotel, Dublin for the last 3 nights
Your Accommodation Options:
- Choice of Standard or upgraded rooms
- Hotels used may be amended upon request
Bunratty Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhun Raithe, meaning Castle at the Mouth of the Ratty) is a large tower house in County Clare, Ireland. It lies in the centre of Bunratty village (Irish: Bun Ráite), by the N18 road between Limerick and Ennis, near Shannon Town and its airport. The name Bunratty, Bun Raite (or possibly, Bun na Raite) in Irish, means the 'bottom' or end of the 'Ratty' river. This river, alongside the castle, flows into the nearby Shannon estuary. From the top of the castle, one can look over to the estuary and the airport. Bunratty Castle is now a very popular tourist attraction. The interior has been furnished by Lord Gort with tapestries and artifacts from various eras in the castle's history. Some of the sights include the 'great hall', dungeons an...read more
The Burren is a unique karst-landscape region in northwest County Clare, in Ireland and one of the largest Karst landscapes in Europe. The region measures approximately 250 square kilometres and is enclosed roughly within the circle comprised by the villages Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna, It is bounded by the Atlantic and Galway Bay on the west and north respectively. Strictly speaking the territory of the Burren or barony of Burren only contains the villages of Lisdoonvarna, Ballyvaughan, Fanore, Craggagh, New Quay/Burrin, Bealaclugga (Bellharbour) and Carron. The definite article (making it "the Burren") has only been added to the name in the last few decades, possibly by academics, as it had always been called Boireann in Irish and Burren i...read more
The Céide Fields is an area situated on the north Mayo coast in the west of Ireland. This location contains one of the oldest known field systems in the world. Using various dating methods, it was discovered that the creation and development of the Céide Fields goes back some five thousand years. This dates them before the building of the pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge. The Céide Fields Visitors Centre in North Mayo will certainly give you a unique experience. For this is not just another archaeological monument or visitor centre. Here you can indulge yourself in a vast prehistoric landscape, a natural wild ecology of blanket bog, dramatic cliffs and coastline, and a much acclaimed building, which has received Ireland's most prestigious architectural award. The disco...read more
Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin is the elder of the city's two mediæval cathedrals, the other being St. Patrick's Cathedral. It is officially claimed as the seat (cathedra) of both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic archbishops of Dublin. In practice it has been the cathedral of only the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, since the Irish Reformation. Though nominally claimed as his cathedral, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin uses a church elsewhere, St Mary's in Malborough Street in Dublin, as his pro-cathedral (acting cathedral). Christ Church Cathedral is located in the former heart of mediaeval Dublin, next to Wood Quay, at the end of Dame Street . However a major dual carriage-way building scheme around it separated it from the original mediaeval str...read more
The Cliffs of Moher (Irish: Aillte an Mhothair, lit. cliffs of the ruin, also known as the Cliffs of Coher from the Irish: Mhothair) are located in the parish of Liscannor at the south-western edge of The Burren area near Doolin, which is located in County Clare, Ireland. The cliffs rise 120 meters (394 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head, and reach their maximum height of 214 meters (702 ft) just north of O'Brien's Tower, eight kilometres away. The cliffs boast one of Ireland's most spectacular views. On a clear day the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay, as are the valleys and hills of Connemara. O'Brien's Tower is a round stone tower at the approximate midpoint of the cliffs. It was built by Sir Cornelius O'Brien, a descendant of Ireland's High King Brian Boru, in 18...read more
The Conor Pass is the highest mountain pass in Ireland. It is situated on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, on the road that crosses the peninsula between Dingle Town and the coast the other side. The Mountains the Pass crosses are the Brandon Mountains and contain Ireland's second highest peak Brandon Mountain at 3127 ft. From Dingle Town the road runs some 4½ miles rising to 1500 ft as it winds its way to the pass. There are wonderful views of the coast. At the Pass there is a carpark where you are confronted with this magnificent sight. The road then carries on down towards Brandon Bay past cliffs, a waterfall and lakes ...read more
There are so many things to see, to do, to explore, to experience on the Dingle Peninsula . . . from almost 2,000 archaeological sites, to more walking than you could fit into a year, to Fungie, a bottlenose dolphin who's been living at the mouth of Dingle Harbour since 1984. There is no other landscape in western Europe with the density and variety of archaeological monuments as the Dingle Peninsula. This mountainous finger of land which juts into the Atlantic Ocean has supported various tribes and populations for almost 6,000 years. Because of the peninsula's remote location, and lack of specialised agriculture, there is a remarkable preservation of over 2,000 monuments. It is impossible to visit the Dingle Peninsula and not be impressed by its archaeological heritage. When one ...read more
A small fishing village, also known as Fisherstreet, on a sandy bay some 3km from Aill na Searrach, the northern end of the Cliffs of Moher. Doolin is world-famous for its wealth of Irish folk music and in recent years has been attracting crowds to spontaneous sessions and festivals or 'fleadhanna' of Irish and international music. Lots of music pubs and restaurants. Overlooked by Doonagore Castle, an unusual circular tower within a walled bawn enclosure, which has been restored as a residence. Nearer the sea, Iron Age burial mounds dot the surrounding landscape. One of Doolin's claims to fame is that it is the main setting for the PlayStation 3 game Folklore. According to the game's storyline, the Netherworld, the world of the dead is a realm that can only be accessed from one place ...read more
Dublin is both the largest city and capital of Ireland. It is located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin Region. Founded as a Viking settlement, the city has been Ireland's primary city for most of the island's history since medieval times. Today, it is an economic, administrative and cultural centre for the island of Ireland and has one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city. The city has a world-famous literary history, having produced many prominent literary figures, including Nobel laureates William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. Other influential writers and playwrights from Dublin include Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and the creator of Dracula, Bram Stoker. It is ar...read more
Dublin Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath) off Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, is a major Irish governmental complex, formerly the fortified seat of British rule in Ireland until 1922. Most of the complex dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland. The Castle served as the seat of English, then later British government of Ireland under the Lordship of Ireland (1171–1541), the Kingdom of Ireland (1541–1800), and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1800–1922). Upon establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, the complex was ceremonially handed over to the newly formed Provisional Government led by Michael Collins. Dublin Castle fulfilled a number of r...read more
Dear Tony ~
Thank you for your Note. We arrived back in California last Friday evening and are now emerging from the jet lag fog. Thank you for checking in to be certain that all was going well while we were in Ireland. I appreciate your asking for feedback. I was planning to write to you.
First let me mention that John Fleming, our driver/guide, was superb. We thoroughly enjoyed his company throughout the week. He was consistently punctual, flexible and unfailingly courteous. He offered wonderful suggestions about places we might like to see. When he offered suggestions he never pressed us to follow his recommendations. But he was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable that we quickly discovered we especially enjoyed all that he suggested. Since John is from County Kerry he gave us a wonderful perspective, from many points of view, about the area. Also, we never had concern about his driving skills. We feel ourselves very fortunate to have made John's acquaintance and to have been in his very capable hands for seven days.
We so enjoyed the variety of accommodations you arranged for us, Tony. Hayfield Manor, Loch Lein Country Hotel and Ballynahinch Castle all were superb and their staffs welcoming, friendly, and helpful. Each property was furnished beautifully and we felt well cared for and relaxed at each place. The one disappointment was Hotel Gresham in Dublin. This hotel was so far below the caliber of the others that we were happy we had only one night there. I assure you that the staff at Hotel Gresham were very nice and helpful, but our room was totally lackluster. David looked at some of the other vacant rooms on the floor and noted that at least our room was larger than others. The furnishings were 1960's utilitarian, non-distinctive (think Soviet era blockhouse architectural style). We overlooked the roof and ventilation system of the building next door. The bathroom was big enough for one only. After our experience at Ballynahinch and other places this accommodation was a low point. I would not recommend that you reserve at this hotel for others.
Believe me, Tony, our disappointment with the Dublin hotel in no way affected our overall experience of the tour you arranged. Thank you very much for all the effort you put into making certain that we were pleased with your arrangements. I will mention your request for photos/videos to David to see if he has something to contribute to your website. Also, I am willing to be a "solid reference" for you and Irish Tourism if someone who is thinking of booking with you would like to talk with a person who has experienced your service.
Thank you again, Tony. You and John made our visit to Ireland a truly memorable experience.
David Sachs, Palo Alto, CA