Arrive in Shannon airport. Pick up rental cars and make your way to Adare. The perfect location for your first day. You will meet a Discovering Ireland Vacation representative at your hotel for tea & coffee.
If you like you can visit the Adare Heritage Centre.
Adare is often described as the prettiest village in Ireland, with a collection of thatched cottages built around the Victorian Mansion of Adare Manor belonging to the Earl of Dunraven in the 1820s. The informative heritage centre uses models and audiovisual displays to explain the history of the area and is open from May to September.
Afterwards check into your rooms at Adare Manor and enjoy the beautiful surroundings before you have dinner in the castle that night.
One of Ireland's finest hotels and one of the leading hotels of the world, Adare Manor is a majestic five star hotel & golf resort, set around an 18th Century manor house in the village of Adare in County Limerick. Adare Manor offers a huge range of facilities from horse riding to fishing and golf and boasts exclusive Spa facilities. Less than an hours drive from Shannon Airport, Adare Manor is well placed for seeing the sights in and around Ireland's western counties of Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Cork, and Galway.
For more details of the hotel Adare Manor click here
After breakfast set out for your individual adventure. You might like to drive to the Dingle Peninsula.
Mike & Ann prefer to stay in local B&B's, always and this trip is set up for as such. So while our itinerary encourages group members to stay in local B&B's, some may prefer hotels, or castles. Members may choose to move straight ahead to Killarney to stay in a B&B or at the Artubus Hotel where the Traditional Irish Music Workshop & Show will be for us on the evening of Day #4. Staying up to 4 nights in one location while "Day Trekking" in different directions, they choose Dingle Peninsula, Ring of Kerry & Killarney, including Killarney Woolen Mills. Members who choose to stay in the hotel will need to make reservations for these night(s) well in advance.
The Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry
The most westerly peninsula in Europe and one of Ireland's most atmospheric places, the Dingle Peninsula boasts beautiful scenery, rugged charm and a true sense of Irish timelessness. The Dingle Peninsula holds a special place in the Irish consciousness, a place reminiscent of a past age, steeped in the lore of the land with many old and ancient sites. Dingle Bay famously has a resident dolphin named Fungie with regular boat trips to see him. Dingle is also where the archetypal Irish movies, Ryan's Daughter and the Playboy of the Western World were filmed.
Stay at a B&B.
After breakfast continue your self-drive tour. Maybe explore the Ring of Kerry.
Ring of Kerry, Co. Kerry
One the most famous and popular road circuits for tourists in the South West of Ireland, the Ring of Kerry, along the winding route of the N70, traverses the coastline of the Inveragh Peninsula, with a great many tourist sites along the way. Dramatic panoramas, majestic mountain slopes, ancient sites and twee towns are found along its 179km route.
Overnight at a B&B.
After breakfast make your way to Killarney where you will meet the group in the late afternoon for a visit of Muckross House and gardens.
The Muckross Estate forms the core of the fabulous Killarney National Park and at the heart of this is Muckross House, a fabulous Victorian country mansion set amid the wonderful scenery of Killarney's lakes. Built between 1839 and 1843, Muckross House is a neo Tudor style country mansion and once entertained Queen Victoria on her visit to Killarney in 1861. The House contains lovingly preserved staterooms and the grounds include working farm using traditional methods and fabulous gardens and parkland.
Afterwards check into your B&B in Killarney.
For more details of the Muckross House and gardens click here
Killarney - (Cill Airne)
Ireland's most famous country town, Killarney is a popular and wonderfully picturesque town set besides the lakes and mountains of the Killarney National Park. The Killarney National Park covers over 10 hectares of mountains and Lakeland. Besides the park is the inviting and bustling town of Killarney, which has welcomed and entertained visitors for 250 years and remains a hub of activity, bustling all year round.
In the evening take a workshop of traditional Irish music followed by a traditional music session at the Arbutus Hotel, Killarney. This is an exclusive event for Discovering Ireland Vacation guests only.
Overnight at a B&B of your choice in Killarney.
After breakfast check out of your B&B. Head off for a day of individual exploration. Overnight at a B&B of your own
After breakfast head off towards County Clare to meet up with the group at Dromoland Castle in Newmarket-on-Fergus. Check into your rooms and meet for dinner at the castle in the evening.
Overnight Dromoland Castle.
Dromoland Castle One of the top luxury hotels of the world, Dromoland Castle in Co. Clare, dates back to the 16th Century and is the ancestral home of the last High King of Ireland; Brian Boru. Dromoland is one of the most romantic and picturesque castles you will find and offers the utmost in luxury, blending old world elegance with modern day comforts and a complete range of five star facilities, activities and services. Dromoland entertained President George W Bush on his recent visit to Ireland and is well placed for visiting attractions like Bunratty Castle, the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. Dromoland Castle is just 8 miles from Shannon Airport.
For more details of the Dromoland Castle click here
Members may, as opposed to staying in a B&B, if they prefer, choose to stay additional nights #7 & #8 in Dromoland Castle as well as night #6, staying 3 nights in one location. Then, members can "Day Trek" to the Cliffs of Moher.
Members who choose to stay in Dromoland Castle these additional nights will need to make reservations for these night(s) well in advance.
The Burren, Doolin, other areas of County Clare, or even ferry over to the Aran Islands.
The Aran Islands, Co. Galway:
One of those quintessentially Irish places, the Aran Islands are a popular destination for visitors to the west of Ireland. These three rugged islands; Inishmor, Inishmaan and Inisheer are a place where the old traditions and native language of Ireland are kept very much alive. Access to the islands is by ferry at Galway or Rossaveal or by plane from Inverin.
Breakfast at hotel and check out. Set off for the next stage of your self-drive tour. Maybe visit the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. (Breath-taking scenery should be the "9th Wonder of the World!" In September, we will see the Puffins preparing to migrate with their young who were hatched & raised on the tiny crevices of the cliffs.)
The Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare
The Cliffs of Moher, in Co. Clare are one of Ireland's most photographed landmarks, where the world seemingly just drops into the ocean at its sheer cliff face. Standing 230 metres above the crashing Atlantic Ocean, they are a photo opportunity that's not to be missed. You are advised to dress warmly when visiting the cliffs because of the Atlantic winds blowing in off the ocean and during severe wind conditions access to the cliffs is closed.
Official site with information about new Visitor Centre:
Overnight at a B&B of your choice.
After breakfast continue your exploration. Maybe drive through the Burren region or visit Doolin.
The Burren, situated in north-west County Clare, covers over 300 square kilometres and is of extreme importance to geologists, botanists and archaeologists. The Burren is a beautifully scenic area and the area is crisscrossed with narrow pathways that make up the Burren Way, providing a haven for walkers and cyclists.
Also known as Fisherstreet, Doolin is widely regarded as the spiritual home of Irish traditional music. This tiny fishing village on the coast of County Clare on the west of Ireland, has just three pubs; O'Connor's; McGann's and MacDiarmada's, which are famous for their nightly musical entertainments.
Overnight at a B&B of your own choice.
After breakfast make your way to Galway where you'll meet with the group again. Take a Walking Tour of Galway City with a local guide.
Galway - (Gaillimh)
The gateway to Connemara and the rugged west of Ireland, Galway is a maritime city with a rich past and a vibrant cosmopolitan present, which manages to captivate all who visit the city. Known as the ‘City of the Tribes', Galway boasts medieval architecture, colourful boutiques and a great mix of traditional pubs with Irish music to sleek bars with cosmopolitan character. As well as the attractions of the city itself, Galway is the port of call if you want to get out to the Aran Islands or touring Connemara.
Walking Tour of Galway:
Experience the darker side of Galway's medieval past with turbulent tales of siege, rebellion and religious strife. Visit the scenes of public execution and the site of the gruesome Spanish Armada massacre. Explore the bloody origins of the Kings Head pub, the stern and unbending justice of Mayor Lynch and discover what became of Warden Bodkins hand!
In the evening enjoy a Medieval Banquet at Dungaire Castle,Kinvara .
Dunguaire Castle Mediaeval Banquet
Dunguaire Castle is a small 17th century castle on a rocky promontory, situated just outside the picturesque village of Kinvara on the shores of Galway Bay.
Following a warm welcome from our Butler at the door of the castle you savour a globlet of Mead (Honey wine) while you enjoy the music of the Fiddle and Harp. The Butler relates the history of the Castle after which you are invited to proceed up the spiral staircase to the Banquet hall. Here ‘King Guaire' is crowned and presides over our banquet for the evening. During dinner (a four sumptuous course meal with red and white wine) the Ladies regale you in song accompanied by the Irish Harp. King Guaire was famous for his hospitality and generosity, in this spirit a Claddagh ring is presented to one of the Ladies attending the banquet, to celebrate this special occasion. The Castle entertainers will inspire you with the profound, the humorous and the incisive words of Ireland's Literary Giants. Following dinner, the Castle Entertainers present a 35 minute programme of music, song, poems, and prose reading with some humourous scenes from Irish literature.
For more details of the Dunguaire Castle click here
Overnight at a B&B of your choice.
Connemara & County Galway holds a wealth of interests, to put it mildly. Members can travel in any direction for a fun-filled day. Once leaving the city of Galway the morning of Day 10, Days 10 through 13 are dedicated to Connemara & County Galway. Members may stay in the individual B&B of their choice, or some may prefer to move ahead to Ashford Castle as an option and stay multiple nights in addition to the one night in our itinerary. Optional nights are nights of Day #10, #11 & #13 with the whole group staying on the night of Day #12, attending the group dinner. Members who choose to stay in Ashford Castle additional nights will need to make reservations for these night(s) well in advance.
Breakfast at B&B and check out. Explore Connemara on your own as you head off. (Connemara is one of the most beautiful areas of Ireland. Take your time to soak up this uniquely warm & relaxing area with natural wonder, historical adventure and just plain fun! Fuchsias grow wild as giant hedges along the roadways. Another of Mike 's & Ann's favorite places in Ireland!) Interesting things to see are the Connemara National Park or Kylemore Abbey and Clifden.
Connemara, Co. Galway
Situated on the western edges of County Galway, the wistful mountains and boglands and the jagged coasts and sandy beaches of Connemara present some of Ireland's most idyllic scenery. From the Maumturk Mountains and the Twelve Pins, from Letterfrack to Cashel Bay, this is rural Ireland at its most picturesque and timeless best.
Kylemore Abbey, Co. Galway
Kylemore Abbey, located deep within the countryside of Connemara, is one of the most scenically set visitor attractions in Ireland. Built in 1868 the fabulous neo gothic mansion was transferred to an Abbey in 1920.
Clifden, 50 miles northwest of Galway, is the largest town in Connemara and is regarded as its capital. Surprisingly, it is not an old town, being founded at the start of the 19th Century by John d'Arcy, the local landlord, who lived in Clifden Castle, now a roofless ruin on the scenic Sky Road running westwards along Clifden Bay.
Overnight at a B&B of your choice.
After breakfast head off to another day of exploration.
Overnight at a B&B of your choice.
After breakfast make your way to Cong where you meet up with the group again. Take a guided tour of the "Quiet Man" locations in Cong before you check into Ashford Castle.
For centuries Ashford Castle has overlooked the shores of Lough Corrib, as one of Ireland's most magnificent castles and one of the most luxurious resort hotels in the world. Ashford Castle's long and distinguished history dates back to 1228 and Ashford has entertained such dignitaries as the Prince of Wales and President Ronald Reagan. Ashford Castle offers a full range of five star facilities with sumptuous accommodation and dining and a variety of activities from fishing, to falconry. Ashford is situated in the village of Cong, where the film the Quiet Man was set and is ideal for touring the Connemara area.
Enjoy dinner at Ashford Castle in the evening. Overnight Ashford Castle.
For more details of the Ashford Castle click here
Breakfast at hotel and check out. Head off for your final day of exploration. Overnight at a B&B of your choice.
After breakfast make your way to Bunratty in County Clare. Meet the group in BunrattyCastle and Folk Park in the afternoon.
Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Co. Clare
One of Ireland's premier attractions, Bunratty Castle and Folk Parks traces the history of life in Ireland. Bunratty Folk Park spans some 26 acres of land, with fabulous reproductions of traditional Irish country cottages and homesteads as well as typical houses, shops, stores and street scenes from Ireland during Victorian times. But the highlight to Bunratty is the fabulous castle, built around 1425 and restored to its former glory in 1954.
Afterwards check into Bunratty Castle Hotel.
Bunratty Castle Hotel
Situated in one of Ireland's most famous villages, Bunratty Castle Hotel lies a stones throw from the famous 15th Century Bunratty Castle and within stumbling distance of one of its medieval banquets. Bunratty Castle is situated halfway between Limerick City and Shannon Airport.
In the evening enjoy a Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle
Bunratty Castle, was built in the 15th century by the Earl of Thomond and stands on the banks of the Rathy River. From here The Earl ruled over his Chiefdom and entertained lavishly, in fact he was famous for his hospitality. Following this tradition of hospitality, the world renowned Bunratty Medieval Banquet is held twice nightly throughout theyear.
For over 40 years the Ladies of the Castle, aided and abetted by the Earl's Butler, have welcomed guests from the four corners of the globe to join them at The Earl's Banquet. The entertainment provided by the superb Bunratty Singers is a fitting compliment to a four course meal, a lively meal reception and of course good wine. We invite you to enjoy an unforgettable evening in the splendour of this magnificent castle.(Mike & Ann have enjoyed this banquet twice before - Excellent!).
For more details of the Bunratty Mediaeval Banquet click here
All group members MUST stay in Bunratty Hotel the last night before we fly home.
Breakfast and check out. Make your way to Shannon airport to drop off your cars and take your return flight to the
Total price (Land & air):
$3,974 per person sharing (based on 50 people)
$4,060 per person sharing (based on 30 people)
Estimated Flight only price:
$834.70 per person including taxes and fees
Group flights with Delta Airlines from Nashville, TN (BNA) to Shannon (SNN) via Atlanta (ATL) and return
including taxes and fees, based on today's price
Land only price:
$3,139.30 per person sharing (based on 50 people)
$3,225.30 per person sharing (based on 30 people)
Deposit due at time of booking:
$600.00 per person
Deadline for Deposit:
October 15, 2007
If you are interested in this tour please contact Mike & Ann Driver. Only 50 seats available on this tour.
Options - Luxury Additions
Supplement for different car types apply
Mobile phones rental:
$127.50 per phone for total duration of stay
Mobile phone rental for 15 days including $13.50 free call credit. Phone will be handed out at hotel on first night.
Supplement for luxury package:
$1,400 per person sharing
6 nights in 3 and 5 star accommodation (instead of 6 nights B&B at a local B&B):
2 nights B&B at the Arbutus Hotel, Killarney (instead of 2 nights B&B at a local B&B)
2 additional nights B&B in a Classic room at Dromoland Castle (instead of 2 nights B&B at a local B&B)
2 additional nights B&B in a standard room at Ashford Castle (instead of 2 nights B&B at a local B&B)