5D/4N - 2019 Escape to the South West

5D/4N - 2019 Escape to the South West

    Escape to the South West                                       

    5days/4nights, Dublin/Dublin

    2019 depart: Mon: 1 Apr-23 Sep (except 29 Jul) Tue: 23 Apr-01 Oct, Thu: 4 Apr-24 Oct (except 30 May) Sat: 4 May-21 Sep (except 1 Jun)  Sun: 7 Apr- 27 Oct & 1 Mar 29 Mar 2020

    B&B stays from: $1123 per person in twin share (s/supp $192)

    Hotel stays from: $1253 per person in twin share (s/supp $387)

day 01 sun Dublin-Killbeggan-Galway

Departing Dublin at 09.00am you head west through the farmland and peat bogs of counties Kildare and Offally. Our first stop is the Killbeggan Distillery – reputedly the oldest legal distillery in the world. Sample the local whiskey and discover the true spirit of Ireland! Further west you will reach the mighty Shannon River and the early Christian site of Clonmacnoise – with its collection of churches, stone crosses and round towers. After an afternoon stop in a traditional pub in one of the attractive little villages, travel into Galway City for your first night. This lively student town has no shortage of good pubs and restaurants.

day 02 mon Galway-Burren-Kilfenora-Killarney

From Galway City it is only a short drive along the coast to the Burren – one of Ireland’s great natural treasures. This is a land of limestone pavements, barren hillsides, rare flora, early Christian settlements and ancient stone monuments. You will spend most of the morning exploring this unique area. You will stop in Kilfenora, the “town of the crosses”, for a visit to the old cathedral and then have lunch in one of the pretty local villages. After lunch you will visit the stunning Cliffs of Moher, which drop almost 700 feet into the crashing Atlantic waves. Here you can walk the cliff top trails, watch the numerous seabirds or visit the award winning environmental exhibition. From here you travel south through County Clare passing the famous golf course and beach at Lahinch to catch the ferry across the Shannon estuary and into County Kerry to the beautiful lakeside town of Killarney – your base for the next 3 nights. The pubs here are great for food and most have live music in the evenings – your only problem is which one to choose! B

day 03 tue Killarney-Dingle-Slea Head-Killarney

The tour today explores the wonderful Dingle Peninsula – one of the most scenic parts of Ireland and a heartland of Gaelic culture and tradition. The first stop of the day is the beach at Inch – a vast expanse of sand facing out into the Atlantic and very popular with surfers. From here increasingly narrow roads lead onto the peninsula itself through the town of Dingle and out to Slea Head. This is an area of ancient forts and dwellings going back thousands of years and you will visit some of the best examples along the way. The views here are impressive with the nearby Blasket Islands rising dramatically from the sea and the mountains of the Ring of Kerry to the south. Weather permitting you will be able to walk on the beaches or along the cliff tops to fully appreciate the fabulous scenery. This area is very important in Gaelic literature and you will learn more during the day. The circuit of Slea Head leads back to Dingle town with its brightly coloured buildings and busy harbour. You will spend the rest of the afternoon here before returning to Killarney. If the weather is good you could take an evening walk in the Killarney National Park – just on the edge of town. B

day 04 wed Killarney-Cahersiveen-Portmagee-Coonmaskista-Killarney

Today you tour one of the world’s classic routes, the Ring of Kerry - 100 miles packed full of interest. After departing Killarney on a clear day there will be views to Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil after which you join the coast road through Glenbeigh and Kells to Cahersiveen. There will be plenty opportunities for photos stops along the way with great views across to the Dingle Peninsula. Possible stops include the Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace and Cahersiveen ring fort before reaching the little fishing village of Portmagee. Here you can relax and sample local seafood for lunch or alternatively cross to the island of Valencia for a visit to the Skellig Experience where you can learn about the nearby rocky islands and the small community of monks who once lived there. In the afternoon you make photo stops in Waterville - a favourite holiday place for Charlie Chaplin and then at the top of Coonmakista Pass for one of the best views in the country. From here the road drops down to sea level for a visit to Derrynane House – family home of Daniel O’Connell. There are walks in the gardens and down to the beach as well as the house itself. The tour continues on around the Ring with stops at Moll’s Gap and the Ladies View. There is then time for a short walk to the Torc Waterfall before arriving back into Killarney. (On some tours days 3 and 4 may be reversed) B

day 05 thu Killarney-Macroom-Blarney-Dublin

Today you head back east through the mountains of West Cork and the market town of Macroom; then along the Lee Valley to Blarney Castle. Here you will have time to visit the castle, explore the woodland walks and mystical Rock Close as well as visiting the village of Blarney itself – a good place for a bite of lunch and a bit of shopping. There may even be the chance to kiss the famous Blarney Stone, although in peak season it can be very busy. In the afternoon the tour continues on to the heritage town of Cahir with its impressive castle on an island in the River Suir. The final stop of the tour is Kilkenny, a bustling city with a fine Castle, riverside walks, the National Craft Centre and plenty pubs for one last Guinness before hitting the road again for the last leg of a wonderful journey, arriving back into Dublin about 19.30. B

Inclusions: twin share B&B or 3* hotel, breakfast daily, accommodation with private facilities, mini-coach transportation with maximum capacity of 16 seats, professional Irish driver-guide, local taxes and service charges.

Note: itinerary is subject to change

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