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Britain & IrelandCountry Roads
Duration: 8 days Visiting: Ireland
In Dublin’s Fair city.
Welcome to Dublin. On arrival at Dublin airport, your airport transfer shuttle service leaves for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:00. Meet your Travel Director at 14:30 for an orientation tour that brings to life Dublin’s architectural treasures and history, stretching back more than 1,000 years. As you travel along O'Connell Street and the River Liffey you will see the Custom House, Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Castle. Walk the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College while accompanied by a university insider who will share insights into modern life and the establishment's impressive history. Then, enjoy VIP priority entry to the 9th century Book of Kells. Back at your hotel, join your Travel Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Reception with drinks and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
Cashel and Blarney, heading for Killarney.
Depart Dublin, and pass the famous Curragh Racecourse and green meadows where many of the finest Irish racehorses are bred. Driving south, stop to visit the spectacular Rock of Cashel, crowned with medieval buildings that dominate the flat countryside for miles around. Continue to Blarney Castle where you climb to the ramparts and kiss the magical stone to ensure a lifetime of eloquence. Head to Killarney, where you may fancy a ‘pint of porter.' This town on the lakes is famous for its lively pubs so in the evening why not join in the ‘craic’?
Ring of Kerry Experience.
In the morning, marvel at spectacular mountain and sea views as you travel the road that winds around the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula, better known as the Ring of Kerry. There is a chance to join a hike with a Local Expert along the lake shore and past the farmlands of the Muckross Estate, admiring the spectacular scenery. Walk by West Meadow Bay and see Muckross House. While there are no mountains to climb, walkers should be fit, have good walking shoes or boots, sunscreen and rain gear. For those who do not want to join the hike, the coach will return to Killarney, where the rest of the day is at leisure.
The Cliffs of Moher and on to Galway.
Cross the Shannon Estuary by ferry and enter County Clare. Stop at the Exhibition Centre and enjoy a walk along the Cliffs of Moher, raised approximately 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic waves. Then travel north across the Burren, a suddenly stark and barren landscape, scarred with interesting limestone creases. Journey to Galway, the City of the Tribes, and visit the lovely cathedral. Take in the scenery from your hotel, which is spectacularly set on the shores of Galway Bay.
Embark on a superb excursion through the Connemara National Park and see a wonderland of rivers, lakes and silent hills. Stop at lakeside Kylemore Abbey - a neo-Gothic mansion, occupied today by a Benedictine community of nuns who came from Ypres after World War I.
Majestic Ashford Castle.
Sitting on the edge of Lough Corrib and nestled on the border of County Galway and County Mayo, is the delightful Cong. You may recognise much of the town as it was used as the location in the 1952 film, 'The Quiet Man.' With free time to explore this quintessential Irish village, see the statue of the lead characters played by John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, and the ruins of the Medieval Cong Abbey. Then a short drive down the road leads you to the highlight of your travels, where a lone piper escorts you over the drawbridge to majestic Ashford Castle. Your exquisite hotel provides a romantic backdrop in superior surroundings, offering both relaxation and comfort. There are many opportunities to explore the vast estate, pamper yourself at the spa, or get to know the hawks and woodland surroundings at the hotel's falconry school. Dining at Ashford Castle ranks among the finest culinary experiences in the world. Creative cooking, locally sourced ingredients and an innovative menu await at your Celebration Dinner. Gentlemen, a jacket is required.
Across the Emerald Isle to Dublin.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the morning and perhaps a stroll on the estate? Then cross the midlands to Dublin where the rest of the day is free for independent activities and maybe some last minute shopping.
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Dublin airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.
Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
Dublin (Traditional) - Ireland
Located in the heart of the docklands, the Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane is walking distance from Dublin city centre shopping and iconic venues.
Killarney (Traditional) - Ireland
In the heart of the town centre, the Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa overlooks Killarney National Park and is the perfect location to enjoy the stunning scenery and the local 'craic.'
GALWAY (Historic) - IRELAND
Set on the coast, the Connemara Coast Hotel offers spectacular views of Connemara and continues a tradition in hospitality dating back to 1839.
Cong (Historic) - Ireland
Having undergone a magnificent $75m restoration, Ashford Castle offers timeless elegance, modern facilities and an unforgettable experience.