TRADITIONAL FAMILY TOUR – 11 DAY, SELF DRIVE TOUR

Group Size: 2 -26 Duration: 11 Days Price: $2,600.00

Tour Categories: FEATURED TOURS SELF-DRIVE/PRIVATE TOURS WILD ATLANTIC WAY TOURS

LIFELONG MEMORIES WILL BE MADE ON THIS LOVELY FAMILY TOUR AROUND THE ISLAND OF IRELAND.

Dublin to Belfast

Arrive at Dublin Airport and transfer to the Maldron Hotel (or similar) Belfast City for Overnight
 
The Port House. DublinEn-route stop in Belfast and enjoy a Panoramic Tour OR Visit Titanic Belfast
See some of the landmark sites such as City Hall and Queens University. Visit The Titanic Belfast Experience; a dramatic, innovative and exciting presentation of the real story of the Titanic.
 
This state-of-the-art exhibition takes visitors on a journey through the life of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, to her famous maiden voyage and tragic end.
Continue to your hotel for your overnight in Belfast City.

Giant’s Causeway & Game of Thrones® Sites.

Travel from Belfast to the north-east shores of Lough Neagh and Shane’s Castle. Built in 1345 by a member of the royal house of O’Neill, the castle ruins and its 2600-acre demesne near Randalstown was the scene of extensive filming for the Game of Thrones® series.

 
Outside the village of Ballygally lies Cairncastle the location for many other scenes from Game of Thrones®. Cairncastle has its own tale of the nobleman supposedly drowned along the coastline in 1588 as part of the ill-fated Spanish Armada.
Travel towards the picturesque town of Glenarm on the north Antrim coastline, the setting of many Game of Thrones® scenes.
 

Steensons Jewellers

Time permitting, pay a visit to Steensons Jewellers in the village, producer of many of the jewels featured in the hit TV Series. Continue on along the Antrim coastline enjoying the spectacular views, rolling hills and scenic villages.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Next Visit Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. One of Northern Ireland’s most famous landmarks, the bridge is suspended across a 20-metre chasm between the mainland and the tiny Carrick Island, with a 23-metre drop to the water below.

Finn McCool and The Giants Causeway

Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge,Warming your hands by a turf fire in an 18th century fisherman’s hut, you learn of the men who once earned their living here, on this deserted island beside the precarious Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.Encounter Northern Ireland’s favorite giant Finn McCool at the Giants Causeway Visitor Centre on the North Antrim coast. According to legend Finn McCool created the Giants Causeway by building stepping stones to Scotland to challenge the Scottish giant Benandonner!
 
The Visitor Centre explores the major themes of mythology, geology, landscape, ecology, culture and social history based on the UNESCO World Heritage site that consists of 40,000 basalt polygonal columns formed 60 million years ago after a volcanic eruption.
 
There are various interactive exhibits and short video presentations within five designated interpretive exhibition areas and the self-guided visit will culminate with a spectacular two minutes audio-visual projection of a volcanic eruption flowing over the walls and onto the floor.
 
Other services and facilities include a large craft and souvenir shop, Tourist Information and restaurant. To enhance the wider visitor experience around the site, a hand held audio guide is available in a range of languages which will bring the wider World Heritage Site to life and inform visitors of unique features to look out for across this amazing landscape. Guided tours of the site are also available.
 
Glengeigh National ParkThe walks and trails around the World Heritage Site have been upgraded, with the addition of a new accessible cliff top walk for families and people with disabilities. In 2015, Conde Nast Traveller magazine included hopping the stones of the Giant’s Causeway as one of the ’50 things to do in Europe before you die’.
After you hop around the “Giants Steps” it will be time for a visit to the Bushmills Distillery
Return to Belfast for overnight with your next days journey taking you to Westport, Co. Mayo.

Belfast to Westport, via the Spectacular Slieve League Cliffs

Discover extraordinary Slieve League (Sliabh Liag) and admire some of the best sea cliff views in Europe. To fully enjoy the spectacle of Sliabh League, walk to the cliffs. For over a thousand years, there was a Christian pilgrimage to these sacred mountains to appreciate their cultural heritage.
Overnight at The Breaffy House Resort, Castlebar  ,in the morning heading to Knock Shrine.
The Story of Knock in East Mayo began on the 21st August 1879 when Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of Knock Parish Church.
 
CorkThe Town of Westport is one of Ireland’s few planned towns, designed by James Wyatt in the 1700’s and today is one of 27 designated Irish Heritage Towns. But it is the people make a place what it is, the local people of Westport are the most warm and welcoming kind around and they give the town it’s colorful personality and character.
This evening you overnight again at The Breaffy House Resort, Castlebar and the following morning you depart Castlebar and journey to Galway through the Connemara region.
 
Connemara is a land of lakes and rivers, bogs and mountains. A land of small villages where Gaelic is still the spoken language and where little has changed little since the beginning of time. It is without a doubt the wildest and the most romantic part of Ireland.
A vast peninsula bordered by the arid and rocky coastline of Galway Bay in the south ~ a land characteristic for it’s stone walls and thatched cottages. On it’s northern shore the land is harsher and more secret, with spectacular views of the Ocean and the beautiful Fjord of Killary Harbour, as well as the steep mountains overlooking numerous lakes and large bog areas. Connemara is a real paradise for Nature lovers and those in search of strong emotions.

Kylemore AbbeyVisit Kylemore Abbey

Visit to Kylemore Abbey: Kylemore Abbey is located in the Kylemore Pass in Connemara. Mitchell Henry built the House in 1868, after having spent his honeymoon in the area. The architecture is best described as neo-gothic and the house still displays all the characteristics of that period. One of Kylemore Abbey’s most famous features is it’s miniature cathedral, built in 1870 and known locally as the Gothic church. Today, the abbey is home to the Irish order of Benedictine nuns. 
 
They bought the house in 1920, having fled their convent in war-torn Belgium in 1914.
They established a private school for young girls, which today is the renowned Kylemore Abbey International School for young girls. Facilities at Kylemore include a Visitor Centre, an exhibition housed in the main reception rooms of the house and a video which takes the visitor through the history of the house and its occupants.

Session in Ti Coili's. Galway City

The Bodhrán

Next you will visit a bodhrán maker (traditional Irish drum). Roundstone Music and Crafts is located in a former Franciscan monastery in Roundstone, in the heart of Connemara.
It is here that you will find the workshop of Malachy Kearns, better known as Malachy Bodhrán, who is famous for the manufacture of bodhráns, the oldest instruments that accompany traditional Irish music. Malachy makes bodhráns for the world famous Riverdance troupe.
 
Spend the rest of the day at leisure and enjoy great Music, Pubs & Restaurants in Galway.

Galway, a harbour city on Ireland’s west coast, sits where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Galway Life
The city’s hub is 18th-century Eyre Square, a popular meeting spot surrounded by shops and traditional pubs that often offer live Irish folk music. Nearby, stone-clad cafes, boutiques and art galleries line the winding lanes of the Latin Quarter, which retains portions of the medieval city walls.
The next morning has you departing Galway and to journey on to Kerry.

The Burren Region

 The Burren is a strange & unique region in Europe; it is a high plateau of porous limestone situated in Northern Clare. The limestone is bare, with no trees growing here or land covering the stone. But the Burren is not as deserted as we believe: the cracks allow different types of flowers to grow all year round. The rocks hide many caves like Ailwee.
 

Cliffs of Moher

Visit the Cliffs of Moher

Situated on the Atlantic Ocean and bordering the Burren region, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights. Standing 230 metres above the ground at their highest point and 8km long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. 
 
On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara. The cliffs reach their highest point just north of O’ Brien’s Tower built by Cornelius O’ Brien, a descendant of Brian Boru, to entertain his lady friends. 
 
A visit of the tower is also possible. The sweeping view across the Atlantic has recently been ranked the best ‘cliff-view’ on the planet by Conde Nast Traveler. The respected travel publication has voted the world-famous landmark at the top of a new chart of ‘ Nine Gorgeous Cliff Views That Rival The Grand Canyon’.
Take the Shannon car ferry and continue on to Killarney for your overnight at  The Lake Hotel, Killarney
You can enjoy a superb tour of the Iveragh Peninsula, which will give you the opportunity to discover the Ring of Kerry. Taking in spectacular scenery such as mountains, peat, bogs, lakes and magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean. 
 
Valentia IslandLeaving Killarney pass through Killorglin, famous for its Puck Fair, then to Glenbeigh where the cliff road affords panoramic views of the Dingle Peninsula & Dingle Bay. Passing through the peat bogs one arrives at the sea town of Waterville. Continue to Sneem Village, famous for its brightly colored houses.
 
Along the Ring of Kerry stop at a local farm for a sheepdog demonstration. Your visit starts with an overview of the different breeds of sheep, followed by an introduction to the farmer’s most important tools, his border collies. 
 
Next you will see a superb demonstration of sheep herding as the farmer with his dogs demonstrate how, by working together, he can take a flock of sheep from the mountain top to the sheep pen close to the farmyard.
 
Enjoy transportation of a different kind! A pony and trap (also known as a Jaunting Car) helps you discover areas of Killarney National Park that you might not otherwise visit. Relax aboard a jaunting car as your Jarvey (driver) takes you through the magnificent scenery of the National Park.
Overnight, bed and breakfast at The Lake Hotel, Killarney

Inch & Rossbeigh Beach’s

This morning explore the scenic area of Killarney & Continue onto the Dingle Peninsula via Inch Beach – a long beach bordered by dunes and made famous by David Lean’s movie “Ryan’s daughter,” Admire the Iveragh Peninsula and Rossbeigh Beach while having lunch in Sammy’s Restaurant, situated on the beach.
 
This afternoon we will explore the Dingle Peninsula Some of the finest coastal scenery to be seen in Ireland can be found in West Kerry, on the Dingle Peninsula, the most northern of the Kerry Peninsulas. This peninsula is famous for its Celtic, pre Christian monuments and Christian churches

The Gaeltacht Language

This is also a ‘Gaeltacht’ (Irish speaking) area, where the Irish language and traditional ways of life are preserved. Dingle town itself is a thriving fishing town and offers plenty of opportunity for shopping or simply savoring the atmosphere of a typical country Irish town with its plentiful pubs, narrow streets and busy harbor.
Skellig MichaelThe road around the Peninsula is truly spectacular. It passes through a chain of Mountains, called Slieve Mish. Slea Head, from Dingle, drive around the coast to Slea Head. Here the blue of the marine landscape surrounds the Blaskets Islands, deserted since 1953.

The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi

In the distance are the two rocky Skellig islands, where the ruins of an early Christian Monastery can be found.
Skellig Michael was used for filming scenes for both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
The Dingle Peninsula will charm you with it’s villages painted in bright colors and will bewitch you with the dramatic beauty of it’s landscapes. 
 
The road between Dunquin and Slea Head is dotted with beehive huts, forts and church sites. Prehistoric Dunbeg Fort is on a cliff top promontory with a sheer drop to the Atlantic and has four outer walls of stone. Inside are the remains of a house and a beehive hut as well as an underground passage. Beehive huts are circular stone buildings shaped like a beehive which were lived in by the Kerry monks.
Blarney Woolen MillsContinue around the peninsula exploring some of Ireland’s nicest & most picturesque local shops, pubs, cafes etc.

Next days adventure is Killarney to Dublin via Blarney & The Rock of Cashel.

Stop in the Town of Blarney and visit the Blarney Castle.
Here you will find the legendary Stone of Eloquence. Kiss it & you’ll never again be lost for words.

Blarney Woollen Mills

Enjoy some time for shopping at Blarney Woollen Mills. The presence of the Woollen Mills during the famine shielded Blarney from the worst effects of the famine, due to its employment of local workers.
In 1976 Chris Kelleher, himself a mill worker, bought the old mill property. Within a short period of time Chris & his family transformed the mill into what is perhaps the largest quality craft shop in Ireland.

The Rock of CashelThe Rock of Cashel

Possibly the most photographed site in Ireland, the Rock of Cashel towers over the town of Cashel from its perch on a 200-foot high outcrop of limestone. Once the seat of the Kings of Munster. St. Patrick visited the rock in 450 AD, while Brian Boru was crowned the first high King of Ireland here in the tenth century.
Granted to the church in the twelfth century, by the O’Brien clan, today the impressive stone walls enclose a round tower, a cathedral, a twelfth century Romanesque chapel and high crosses.
The Vicars Choral has been recently restored and its basement houses a small museum of artefacts found on the site. One of the leading visitor attractions in Ireland, in 2011 it was visited by Queen Elizabeth II on her historic first visit to the Republic of Ireland.

Upon arrival in Dublin enjoy a panoramic City Tour.

St Anne's Church. DublinEnjoy a panoramic tour of Dublin City. Here you will discover the north and south side of the River Liffey. This area offers great striking monuments such as the GPO (General Post Office) on the city main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street, or the Custom House along the quays, as well as the Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe. 
The south side appears more sophisticated with its vast Georgian squares, such as Merrion Square, where Oscar Wilde’s House can still be found (today owned by an American College), its colorful doors, along with Grafton Street and its quality shops. Not so far from St. Stephen’s Green, in Kildare St., you will see the house of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula. 
This part of the city is also dominated by the students of Trinity College, where the famous book of Kells is permanently exhibited in its library. The university is facing the medieval district where Dublin Castle and the two Anglican Cathedrals can be found.
Overnight at your hotel in Dublin.

Trinity College and the Book of Kells

The Long Library, Trinity College DublinTrinity College  was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth 1st on grounds confiscated from an Augustinian priory and is the oldest university in Ireland. The Campanile, erected in 1852, was built on what is believed to be the centre of the monastery. Built to further the education of the ruling Anglo-Irish families, restrictions were imposed to prevent Catholic from attending courses.
These restrictions were not fully lifted until the 1970’s. Trinity however admitted women in 1902, earlier than most British universities. Most of the main buildings off the main square were built during the Georgian period, some of which replaced older buildings.
Within its walls, visitors will be able to admire Parliament Square and its 18th Century edifices. Trinity College has had many famous students such as Jonathan Swift and Samuel Beckett who later became a lecturer in French at the university. The inter-denominational Church is very much worth a visit.

The Guinness Storehouse

The Guinness Brewery in Dublin is Europe’s largest stout producing brewery and home to the Guinness Storehouse. Opened in 1904, the Storehouse was an operational plant for fermenting and storing Guinness. Today it houses a very fine exhibition dedicated to the Guinness story.
Guinness StorehouseVisitors will discover what goes into the making a pint of Guinness – the ingredients, the brewing process, the time, the craft and the passion. The exhibition shows how the brew has been marketed and how it is today sold in over 150 countries. Once the tour has finished, the guest is invited to the Gravity Bar to enjoy their pint of Guinness. Regular demonstrations on the art of pulling a pint of Guinness also take place in the Storehouse.
Launched on the fifth floor in 2011, “Five” at Guinness Storehouse, includes a small replica authentic Irish Bar, an 18th Century inspired Brewers Dining Hall, and a restaurant named Gilroy’s where guests enjoy a Guinness gastronomical experience driven entirely by the Irish tradition of wholesome local produce.
Menus include local foods such as Ardsallagh goat’s cheese, Irish mussels from Carlingford and the Waterford Blaas bread supplied by MD Bakery in Waterford. This area will host from time to time live cooking demonstrations using Guinness in the recipe and it includes an interactive recipe sharing bank that allows visitors to take Guinness recipe cards home. Spend the balance of the day at leisure.
Overnight, at your hotel in Dublin
Transfer to Dublin Airport for your journey home.