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Best of Ireland Tour (14 Night)
This Best of Ireland Tour, our most popular tour, can be accessed using any of the Irish Airports and is a 14 night tour based on Ireland’s most famous sights including Trinity College and Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin, Powerscourt House & the Waterford Crystal exhibition in the South East, Blarney Castle and the Cobh Heritage Centre in 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 and Ireland's most visited attraction, the ancient Megalithic Tombs at Newgrange, just 45 minutes north of Dublin.
Depending on the airports used, the stopovers outlined below may vary in order but the same route will be covered.
This tour will leave the traveller with a wonderful array of memories of the diverse scenery and cultural differences that they will encounter from one side of the country to the other. While the accents and dialects of the spoken word will vary greatly while journeying from County Dublin in the East of Ireland to the western counties of Cork, Kerry and Clare, the one unchanging constant will be the level of friendliness, humour & welcome that you receive throughout your travels.
While the suggested tour itinerary clearly outlines how you will be able to visit many of Ireland’s most historical locations and attractions, make sure to take time-out to get to know the local people and their culture.
Overnights for this tour:
- County Wicklow for 1 night
- Waterford or Kilkenny for 2 nights
- Kinsale, County Cork for 2 nights
- Killarney, County Kerry for 2 nights
- Dingle, County Kerry for 1 night
- County Clare for 1 night
- Connemara for 2 nights
- Galway for 1 night
- Dublin for 2 nights
Your Accommodation Options:
- Superior & First Class Hotels
- Luxury Accommodation & Service in our 4-Star Country Manor Houses
- Deluxe Accommodation in our 4 & 5 Star Irish Castles
- Our Recommended & Handpicked B&B's, all rooms with private bath facilities
- Any Combination of the above
The Aran Islands are a group of three islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay, on the west coast of Ireland. The largest island is Inishmore; the middle and second-largest is Inishmaan and the smallest and most eastern is Inisheer. Irish is a spoken language on all three islands, and is the language used naming the islands and their villages and townlands. Take a short ferry ride to Inis Mor, the largest of the three Aran Islands, and island rich in the language, culture and heritage of Ireland, unique in its geology and archaeology and in its long tradition of gentle hospitality. Here is a place to sense the spirit of Gaelic Ireland, to touch the past, but with all the comforts and facilities of the present. Aran will take you back to an Ireland of Celts and Early Christians....read more
Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork, Ireland. It is near the River Martin. The castle originally dates from before AD 1200. It was destroyed in 1446, but subsequently rebuilt by Cormac MacCarthy, the King of Munster. It is currently a partial ruin with some accessible rooms and the battlements. There are many legends as to the origin of the stone, but some say that it was the Lia Fáil—a magical stone upon which Irish kings were crowned.The Blarney Stone is a block of bluestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney about 8 km from Cork, Ireland. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446. The castle is a popular tourist site in Ireland, attracting visitors from all over the world to kiss the Stone and tour the castle and its gardens....read more
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
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 Cobh Heritage Centre provides information on life in Ireland through the 18th and 19th centuries, the mass emigration, the Great Famine, and on how criminals were transported to Australia for petty crimes. It also has an exhibition on the history of the RMS Titanic, whose last port of call before it sank was Cóbh (then Queenstown). From 1848 - 1950 over 6 million adults and children emigrated from Ireland - over 2.5 million departed from Cobh, making it the single most important port of emigration. This exodus from Ireland was largely as a result of poverty, crop failures, the land system and a lack of opportunity. Irish emigration reached unprecedented proportions during the famine as people fled from hunger and disease. Many famine emigrants went initially to British ...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
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