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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 surrounded by lush, green forest; 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.
Clip-clop your way through Killarney National Park, the first Irish National Park and a land of lakes and lore. A local "jarvey" will inform us of the history, legends and folklore of this beautiful setting while aboard one of these famous carts.
Adult Price: EUR 21.00
A tour de force of traditional Irish song, music and dance, Gaelic roots showcases Ireland at its best. Using traditional instruments, Irish dance and time-honoured folk songs, this energetic show will have you tapping your feet and singing along in no time.
Adult Price: EUR 34.00
A unique opportunity to walk with a local character through the streets of the "Quiet Man" location, a quaint and historic village. Visit the museum dedicated to the movie, hear the stories of the locals involved, and afterwards enjoy a drink in a local hostelry.
Adult Price: EUR 35.00
Join our local expert for an entertaining and informative stroll through this medieval jewel of the West. Dine this evening in one of Galway's best-loved taverns and raise a glass with our West of Ireland traditional musicians.
Adult Price: EUR 48.00
Enjoy a scenic drive along Dublin’s South Coast along the coastal towns of Sandycove & Dun Laoghaire, followed by fine cuisine and a glass of wine in one of Dublin’s well-known stylish restaurants.
Adult Price: EUR 64.00
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.
Our guests rate us
11502 independent user reviews received during the past year.
14 October, 2018
Trip: Book of Kells could have been eliminated.
Service: Katie Vaughn was an excellent tour director. She kept us well informed the entire time.
10 October, 2018
Trip: A good tour with some very good highlights.The tour was overstated when described as "Irish Elegance" in the Insight Vacations catalog - very little 'elegance'. Excellent bus driver and knowledgeable and entertaining tour host. Book of Kells, Irish scenery, Cashel, evening entertainment were very good. Ashford Castle and Connemara region scenery were exceptional. Could pass on Blarney. Other accommodation described as "traditional" was more like 3 star contemporary. Not enough time at Ashford castle for 9 holes of golf. Galway accommodation was miles outside of the town where there was nothing to do in the evening. Day 1 (flight to Ireland at my expense) and Day 9 (tour ended at breakfast) were part of the so-called 9 day trip. It would have been more honest to call this a 7 day tour. Day 8 was a travel day across central Ireland which was lacking stops or interesting scenery. Closing dinner in Dublin was not enjoyable due to crowded seating. Although the overall tour was enjoyable, I felt a bit short-changed. Met very nice fellow travellers on the tour.
Service: Generally a good itinerary but some accommodation was below expectations.
10 October, 2018
Trip: See previous comments. Very nice lodging, especially the Killarney Plaza.
Service: Our tour guide, Patrick, was very knowledgeable about Ireland and local areas. He kept us entertained. Alan,our driver, wheeled that 42 foot bus around like it was a little car. We especially enjoyed the thatched cottage where we stopped for tea and scones on the way to Killarney. The Gaelic show in Killarney was outstanding. We enjoyed seeing the statue of John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in the town of Cong where the movie "Quiet Man" was filmed. Ashford Castle was awesome as well as the "Hawk walk". We were kept busy but would have liked more free time to use the pools and spas at the hotels. Had a great time.
08 October, 2018
Trip: Overall, excellent, too bad weather caused cancelation of visit to the Cliffs
Service: Very good. Tore guide, Kathleen was knowledgeable, educated, humorous and entertaining.
07 October, 2018
Trip: Wonderful, interesting attractions and beautiful scenery!
Service: Wonderful trip! Ireland is a beautiful country with the friendliest people. And Ashford Castle was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.
03 October, 2018
Trip: The raging storm kept us from the Cliffs of Moher, but allowed us to see Bunratty. I would consider having 2 nights in Galway rather than Connemara. Ashford Castle was the best part of the trip!
Service: Insight customer service ensured that I had a pet free and smoke free room. The group size of 38 was comfortable, fewer seats on the made for spacious leg room. Tour director Katie and driver Malachy made the trip enjoyable, entertaining and educational.
02 October, 2018
Trip: Because we had a great tour guide, good accommodation and I loved Ireland
Service: I have travelled with Insight twice before and although I enjoyed the tours this one was the exceptional. Ann Allard was without a doubt the best tour guide. She made sure we saw as much as time allowed and the add-ons were great! She was also very knowledgeable. There was one thing I thought could be improved. The bus was to pick us up at the Airport and take us to the hotel, but apparently it had left about 10 minutes before we landed. Luckly we met a couple who were on the tour, so we took a cab at the cost of 43 Euro. If we hadn't done this we would have had a 2 hour wait at the Airport and missed the start of the tour. Our arrival at the hotel was disastrous! 4 bus tours arriving at the same time, tiny lobby, people sleeping everywhere, no safe storage for luggage. When the bags were bring deliver to the rooms, -mass confusion - some deliver to the wrong room. some went missing for while. Dinner was a repeat of the arrival confusion - we didn't get wine until a individual from our table finally went to the bar and got a bottle along a explanation - no clean glasses. It took a long time for dinner and dessert to arrive. Our return to Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane was much better on our return Sept 8/18. I think the guests would have been happier if we had received a explanation and a apology.
01 October, 2018
Trip: Before going to Ireland I looked up the many tourists sights to visit. On the tour we visited most and more. When the weather did not allow us to visit The Cliffs of Moher our tour guide, Katie Vaughan, took us to other places that we would not have seen or experienced.
Service: Thank you for making my vacation so headache free. You made all my arrangements, promptly, efficiently and kept me informed all through the process. I could not go wrong as you organized my trip so well. You answered all my questions and settled all my fears. I would most definitely recommend you to my friends and family. I absolutely loved The Irish Elegance Tour.
01 October, 2018
Trip: Saw lots of stuff in a short period of time.
Service: Satisfied with customer support. Did not have a lot of interaction. Mainly worked with my travel agent.
30 September, 2018
Trip: WE were pretty active ,Katie made the breaks between very appropriate .Still area of the hotel was beautiful in Galway but would have liked to be in the city.Hopefully,we will be back and would ask for Katie and Maleky(?) again
Service: Our travel agent did most of the work but our questions were answered well when we did call insight directly . It was somewhat misleading in the hotel for Galway-I did not catch that we were staying outside the city.I really would have liked to stay in the city, just like Dublin.I never found my Galway oysters.Next time I will check out the hotels better.
30 September, 2018
Trip: Scenary was spectacular. Stops to view the countryside were a plus. Quaint roadside stops for lunch & scones was a wonderful treat.
Service: Good trip with the exception of a couple of the hotels which were below average in terms of quality. Comfortable bus and a great guide made for a good road experience.
30 September, 2018
Trip: We loved the itinerary and the variety of options, but the timing was not detailed enough. We relied on a written daily plan posted in the hotel to keep us on track.
Service: The timing of our arrival and the readiness of our hotel room were not aligned. After traveling for over 12 hours, we had to wait in the hotel lobby for 3 hours before our room was ready. It was an exhausting travel day.