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Best of the Wild Atlantic Way (12 Night)
Immerse yourself in one of the top driving routes in the world and discover the Wild Magnificent Ireland of your dreams!
This Best of the Wild Atlantic Way Tour is accessed through Shannon airport and is a 12 night tour based on the highlights of the spectacular coastal route that is the Wild Atlantic Way. The Wild Atlantic Way driving tour is the longest defined coastal route in the world and stretches for 2500km along Ireland’s western seaboard encompassing rugged mountains, freshwater lakes and miles of unspoilt pristine sandy beaches.
Along Ireland’s ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ where the Gaelic culture thrives and much of the population still speaks Irish as its first language, it is the people that might distract you from the wonderful sights to be seen. These warm-hearted and friendly communities that dot the landscape will welcome you with open arms and regale you with stories and the history of their areas.
By day enjoy the magnificent scenery including, The Inishowen Peninsula, The Cliffs of Moher, The Aran Islands, Killary Harbour and the stark Burren Landscape of County Clare as well as the Dingle Peninsula in Kerry. By night rest your weary bones by a roaring turf fire, accompanied by superb traditional Irish music in one of a myriad of welcoming pubs that dot the Wild Atlantic Way.
This tour includes two nights in Galway city which although a world away from the small coastal villages you have visited, is the perfect way to end your tour. Galway is the only large city where you can hear Irish spoken on the streets and is a vibrant city known for its selection of eclectic shops, pubs and restaurants.
Overnights for this tour:
- Dingle for 2 nights
- West Clare for 2 nights
- Connemara for 1 night
- Westport, Mayo for 2 nights
- Ballina, Mayo for 1 night
- Donegal for 2 nights
- Galway 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 have 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
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
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
Dún Aengus is the most famous of several prehistoric forts on the Aran Islands, of Co. Galway. Ireland. It is located on Inishmore at the edge of a 100-metre high cliff. Dún Aengus is an important archaeological site that also offers a spectacular view. It was built during the Bronze Age and dates from 1,000 B.C. or before. It has been called "the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe." The name "Dún Aengus" meaning "Fort of Aengus" refers to the pre-Christian god of the same name described in Irish mythology. The fort consists of a series of four concentric walls of dry stone construction. Surviving stonework is four metres wide at some points. The original shape was presumably oval or D-shaped but part of the cliff and fort have since collapsed into ...read more
The Gap of Dunloe is a beautiful glacial valley in the Macgillacuddy Reeks mountain range, which dominate the skyline of Killarney. Here you may enjoy an energetic walk or cycle its rough path. The scenery all around the famousLakes of Killarneyis breathtaking and there are many viewing points around the lakes as you see above. The three main lakes of Killarney occupy a broad valley stretching south between the mountains. The three lakes and the mountains that surround them are all within the Killarney National Park. The Lower Lake is nearest to the town, it is studded with islands and has Muckross Abbey and Ross Castle on its eastern shore. Why not take the Gap of Dunloe Trip, by horseback or pony and trap through the Gap, and then by boat across the Killarney lake to Ross Castl...read more
Glencolmcille or Glencolumbkille is a coastal town located on the southwest Gaeltacht tip of County Donegal, Ireland. Gleann Cholm Cille is still an Irish-speaking community though this is in decline; English has became the predominant language in recent years. The name translates into English as the Valley of Saint Columba. Saint Columba (Irish: Colm Cille) is one of Ireland's three patron saints (along with Saint Patrick and Saint Brigid). Colm Cille and his followers lived in the valley and the ruins of several of their churches can still be seen there. Following a dispute with the church about the right to copy religious manuscripts, Colm Cille went into exile on the isle of Iona off the west coast of Scotland. Between 4000 and 3000 BC, farming people settled in the area and ...read more
Glenveagh (Gleann Bheatha, "glen of life", in Irish) — covering 110 square kilometres of hillside above Glenveagh Castle on the shore of Lough Veagh (Loch Ghleann Bheatha), some 20 km from Gweedore in County Donegal, Ireland — forms the heart of the Glenveagh National Park (Páirc Naisiúnta Gleann Bheatha), the largest in Ireland. The network of mainly informal gardens displays a multitude of exotic and delicate plants from as far afield as Chile, Madeira and Tasmania, all sheltered by windbreaks of pine trees and ornamental rhododendrons. The gardens and castle were presented to the Irish nation in 1981 by Henry P. McIlhenny of Philadelphia who had purchased the estate in 1937. The park now has the largest herd of red deer in Ireland and golden eagle, fo...read more
This little town is world-famous due to its exquisite location beside lakes and mountains.Take a horse-drawn jaunting car ride through the grounds of the Killarney National Park to Muckross House and Gardens. Tour the house with a local guide to learn about the history and lifestyles of previous owners and perhaps stroll through the gardens on the shores of Muckross Lake. As well as being a perfect location from which to explore the south western region of Ireland, for centuries the Killarney Valley has been recognised far and wide as Ireland's most beautiful destination - being aptly titled as "Heaven's Reflex". It inspired Poet Laureate Alfred Austin to write - "If mountain, wood and water harmoniously blent, constitute the most perfect and adequate loveliness that nature presents, ...read more
This nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. The house stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney's three lakes, famed world wide for their splendour and beauty. As a focal point within Killarney National Park, Muckross House is the ideal base from which to explore this landscape.Muckross House was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the water-colourist Mary Balfour Herbert. This was actually the fourth house that successive generations of the Herbert family had occupied at Muckross over a period of almost two hundred years. William Burn, the well-known Scottish architect, was responsible for its design. Building commenced in 1839 and was completed in 1843.Originally it was intended that Muckross House ...read more
Admire breathtaking vistas of mountains, cliffs and beaches on Ireland’s most popular drive, the 100-mile Ring of Kerry. Starting from Killarney, heading around the Iveragh Peninsula and passing through Kenmare, Sneem, Waterville (favourite holiday spot of Charlie Chaplin that now has a statue of him to commemorate his love of the place), Cahersiveen and Killorglin. Popular points include Muckross House (near Killarney), Staigue stone fort and Derrynane House, home of Daniel O'Connell. Just south of Killarney, Ross Castle, Lough Leane, and Ladies View (a panoramic viewpoint), all located within Killarney National Park, are major attractions located along the Ring. The complete list of major attractions along the Ring of Kerry includes: Gap of Dunloe, Bog Village, Rossbeigh B...read more
Thank you for your wonderful assistance and for sending us on our way. We all enjoyed our travels and we took many of the roads less traveled to our next distination. The lodging throughout the vacation was wonderful and we enjoyed each place and the people there were wonderful. Your company did an outstanding job with everything you recommended.We saw rainbows, had wonderful weather (except for 2 days) and met some relatives. After 53 pubs, many pints of Guinness and some lively conversations we were ready to board our plane and come home thourghly happy with our Ireland Vacation.
Robyn & Dan Scott, Virginia, USA