ELEGANT IRELAND – 9 DAY, 5 STAR SELF DRIVE TOUR
Tour Categories: FOOD & DRINK TOURS OF IRELAND IRISH CASTLES SELF-DRIVE/PRIVATE TOURS
THIS TOUR DISCOVERS OUTSTANDING EXPERIENCES & WILL INTRODUCE YOU TO THIS CHARMING & MAGICAL LAND.
Welcome to Ireland
Dublin Castle, Dublin Zoo & National Museum
Experience Dublin’s Fair City! Dublin, capital of the Republic of Ireland, is on Ireland’s east coast at the mouth of the River Liffey.
Its historic buildings include Dublin Castle, dating back to the 13th century, and imposing St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded in 1191.
The Cities parks include the beautiful St. Stephen’s Green and the huge Phoenix Park, containing Dublin Zoo.
Visit the The National Museum of Ireland and explore Irish heritage and culture.
Trinity College & The Book of Kells
A must is a visit to Visit Trinity College , the oldest University in Ireland, founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth the First. The 8th century Book of Kells and the long room with its 200,000 books are the highlights of the College.
Visit the Guinness Storehouse for a connoisseur experience. This unique tutorial tasting session offers the ultimate experience where a trained specialist takes you on a sensual journey through the four variants of Guinness.
Enjoy a theatre performance in one of Dublin’s famous theatres, or marvel at the world renowned Riverdance Show (limited time performances).
When you depart Dublin to Waterford, you will travel via Glendalough – Valley Of The Two Lakes – and Monastic Site & Round Tour in County Wicklow, then onward to Wexford via the beautiful scenery in Wicklow.
Visit the Dunbrody Famine Ship, an authentic reproduction of an 1840’s emigrant vessel.
Continue to Waterford City, the Viking City founded in 914 A.D.
Enjoy a Titanic Trail walking tour of the town of Cobh when you travel to Cork. This is a fascinating guided tour that explores the town of Cobh which was the last port of call of RMS Titanic. Continue to Kinsale for a visit of the Desmond Wine Museum. It tells the romantic story of the Irish emigrants who colonized the wine trade throughout the world. The Museum is located in Desmond Castle, a 15th century Customs House.
Kinsale is on the southern side of Cork city. Flanked by two 17th-century fortresses overlook the River Bandon: the vast, star-shaped Charles Fort to the southeast, and the smaller James Fort on the river’s opposite bank.
The 16th-century courthouse building houses the Kinsale Regional Museum, with a variety of displays on local history and information about the 1915 sinking of the RMS Lusitania.
Loose clothing is advised – Cork is known as the culinary capital of Ireland, a city where you’re actively encouraged to gorge. And there’s no better introduction to Cork’s foodie scene than the fantastic English Market, now with a very international flavour.
Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral & St. Anne’s Church
Marvel at the Gothic Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral, designed by William Burges and consecrated in 1870, the Cathedral lies on a site where Christian worship has been offered since the seventh century right up until today.
Or ring the bells of Shandon at St. Anne’s church for a small fee. Church of St. Anne’s, Shandon was built in 1722. The walls of the building are 7 ft thick and the height to the tower is 120 ft. This is extended a further 50 ft for the “pepper pot” adornment on the tower. There are 132 steps to the top of the building. On top of the pepper pot is a weather vane in the form of a salmon, representing the fishing of the River Lee.
Cork is also home to Murphy’s Ale, the origin of this beer dates back to 1856, when James J. Murphy founded the Murphy brewery in Cork (Ireland) with three other brothers.
Gap of Dunloe
Your next venture was formed twenty-five thousand years ago during Ireland’s last ice age, the breathtaking Gap of Dunloe! Enjoy a tour of the Gap of Dunloe with a packed lunch, or lunch at kate kearney’s Cottage.
It was at this site that Kate distilled her famous poitín, ‘Kate Kearney’s Mountain Dew”, which was said to be “very fierce and wild, requiring not less than seven times its own quantity of water to tame and subdue it.” It was of course illicit.
You can “Walk The Gap” through the seven mile pass as it is an ideal location for hiking or alternatively you may wish to avail of the Pony and Carriage which are an optional mode of transport through The Gap.
Within the pass are five lakes: Coosaun Lough, Black Lake, Cushnavally Lake, Auger Lake, and Black Lough (north to south). These lakes are connected by the River Loe.
Between the first two lakes is an old arch bridge called the ‘Wishing Bridge’ so named because it is said that wishes made while upon it are destined to come true.
You can spend a morning on a Pony & Trap, meandering through the rugged Kerry Mountains. At the end of the trail you will find Lord Brandon’s cottage.
From there a small boat will take you across the 3 Lakes of Killarney, back to the 15th century Ross Castle. Your Gillie (boatman) will amaze you with his knowledge.
Kenmare and Limerick
On to Kenmare and Limerick and visit Adare and the Foynes Flying Boat Museum with an Irish Coffee making demonstration. From 1939 to 1945 Foynes was the centre of the aviation world traffic between the United States and Europe. It features the original Terminal Building including the authentic 1940’s cinema.
Irish coffee was invented in Foynes. Since Joe Sheridan made the first one in 1942 to warm up damp and miserable passengers, the Coffee has become a common drink around the world.
The spectacular Cliffs of Moher & The Burren.
The Cliffs of Moher. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean and bordering the Burren Area.
The Cliffs are one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights. Standing 230 meters above the ground at their highest point and 8km long, they boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland.
Enjoy a walking tour of the Burren Region.
The Burren is home to 75% of Ireland’s native flora & location of numerous ancient monuments including the Gleninsheen Wedge Tomb. The Tombs are two prehistoric wedge tombs located in the north central area of the Burren. A neck ornament dating from c.800 to 700bc, concealed in one of the limestone grykes is now displayed at the National Museum of Ireland (Kildare Street site) in Dublin. OK
Amaze at the 5,800 year old Poulnabrone Dolmen and Ballyalban Fairy Fort – home of the little men with green hats and orange beards! OK
Before arriving in Galway, stop at Moran’s Oyster Cottage for a sample of oysters and a glass of Guinness!
Enjoy a visit to Kylemore Abbey & Walled Gardens.
Home to a Benedictine order of Nuns for the past 100 years, Kylemore Abbey welcomes visitors to embrace the magic of the magnificent 1,000-acre estate.
The Castle was built in the late 1800s by Mitchell Henry MP, inspired by his love for his wife Margaret.
You can make a wish at the Giants Ironing Stone, meet the resident Connemara Ponies or enjoy wholesome food and home-baked goods in the Café or Garden Tea House. You may wish to sit in on one of the History talks that take place in the Abbey three times a day, or enjoy a tour of the Welled Garden.
You won’t want to miss a browse through the Craft and Design Shop for unique gifts including Kylemore Abbey Pottery, award-winning chocolates handmade by the Benedictine Nuns, Kylemore Abbey Luxury Caramel Sauce and Kylemore Jams handmade onsite in their Chocolate Kitchen!
The beautiful neo-Gothic Church is a short walk from the Abbey, nestled nearby is the Mausoleum where Mitchell and Margaret Henry are buried side by side. Later in the day enjoy a cruise on Killary Harbour. Ireland’s only fjord at Killary Harbour in Connemara boasts some of the finest scenery in the West of Ireland with the Connemara mountains to the south and the Mweelrea mountains to the north in Country Mayo.
Your final evening you will overnight in Galway. Day 9 Return to Dublin for your flight to return home.
Lady Morgan (Sydney Owenson) wrote
‘The ballad ‘Kate Kearney’ around 1800;
Oh! Have you not heard of Kate Kearney,
Who lives on the banks of Killarney;
From the glance of her eye,
Shun danger and fly,
For fatal’s the glance of Kate Kearney.
While her eyes are so modestly beaming,
You’d ne’er think of mischief she’s dreaming:
Yet oh, I can tell
How fatal’s the spell
That lurks in the eye of Kate Kearney.
O should you e’er meet this Kate Kearney,
Who lives on the banks of Killarney;
Beware of her smile,
For many a wile,
Lies hid in the smile of Kate Kearney.
Tho’ she looks so bewitchingly simple
There’s mischief in every dimple;
And who dares inhale
Her mouth’s spicy gale,
Must die by the breath of Kate Kearney.
In 1811, not long after this song appeared, John Lee Lewes, published, in his book Poems;
‘An Answer to the Celebrated Ballad of Kate Kearney’
Oh, yes, I have seen this Kate Kearney,
Who lives on the banks of Killarney;
From her love-beaming eye,
What mortal can fly,
Unsubdued by the glance of Kate Kearney;
For that eye so seducingly beaming,
Assures me of mischief she’s dreaming,
And I feel ‘tis in vain
To fly from the chain,
That binds me to lovely Kate Kearney.
At eve, when I’ve met this Kate Kearney,
On the flower-mantled banks of Killarney,
Her smile would impart,
A sweet joy to my heart,
As I gazed on the charming Kate Kearney;
On the banks of Killarney reclining,
My bosom to rapture resigning,
I first felt the smart
Of love’s fatal dart,
And the soul-soothing sigh of Kate Kearney