4 Centre Self Drive
The 4 Centre Tour is ideal for the traveller that wishes to see the best parts of Ireland, but would prefer not to be in different accommodation every night.
Overview for 12 night 4 Centre Self Drive/ Chauffered Tour of Ireland
This tour can be started from any of Irelands airports although the ideal situation would be starting from and returning to Dublin.
The 4 Centre Tour is ideal for the traveller that wishes to see the best parts of Ireland, but would prefer not to be in different accomodation every night. This tour means you will be based in 4 locations using them as a base from which to explore the surrounding areas. As a result, this tour is more relaxing and less hectic than other tours.
Your first excursion will depend on which airport you arrive at, whether it be Dublin, Shannon or Cork. Throughout the 12 nights you'll visit attractions such as Trinity College and Kilmainham Gaol in the capital. In the south east there's Powerscourt House, Kilkenny Castle and the Waterford Crystal exhibition. In Cork there's the Cobh heritage centre and of course Blarney Castle while the dingle peninsula and Killarney are your stops in Kerry, In Clare you'll visit the famous Cliffs of Moher and the Burren landscape. Just above Clare is Galway and from here you will see the Aran islands and Connemara. Finally, just 45 minutes north of Dublin you'll find the ancient Megalithic Tombs at Newgrange, Irelands most famous attraction as well as Trim castle and The Hill of Tara.
Even though the Tour itinerary provided clearly shows how you will be able to pack as many of Irelands most historical and beautiful attractions into your stay, it is advised that you take some time out to enjoy the people and culture, for the full Irish experience!
Overnights for this tour:
Included in your price:
Rental of a economy-size car. Included with your car is all compulsory insurances - Collision Damage Waiver insurance (CDW with an excess/deductible), theft protection insurance, location fee of €30, Road fund tax, sales tax at 13.5%, unlimited free mileage, third party liability insurance, 24 hour peace of mind breakdown cover.
Prices are per person based on 2 persons in each room with full Irish breakfast and taxes included. A single supplement will apply to rooms and car rental in the case of single occupancy.
Please note that we charge in Euros (€). Prices in other currencies are for indication only and subject to fluctuation.
Day 1: Dublin to Kilkenny
After collecting your rental car your first stop is the National Stud and Japanese Gardens where a Horse Museum tracing the history of the horse in Ireland using artifacts, illustrations and text is located. In fact the winner of the 2003 Californian ‘Breeders Cup Mile’ race is a National Stud horse, the 3rd in the last 9 years. The Japanese Gardens are situated in the grounds of the Stud Farm and were created between 1906 and 1910. They are planned to symbolise the 'Life of Man' from the cradle to the grave. On to Kilkenny - Long renowned as Ireland’s Medieval Capital, the city’s origins date back more than 1,500 years. Characterized by beautifully restored old buildings, Kilkenny City is small and compact enough to explore on foot, yet full of fascinating, historical buildings. Kilkenny Castle is a 12th century castle remodelled in Victorian times and set in extensive parklands. Also in Kilkenny is Saint Canice's Cathedral, the second longest of Ireland's medieval cathedrals. Built on the site of an earlier church, the major portion of the work that produced the beautiful Gothic structure was carried out in the middle of the 13th Century.
Days 2 & 3: While in Kilkenny
There are a number of exceptional day trips to be experienced from Kilkenny and all within easy reach. These include a trip to The Rock of Cashel and Cahir Castle in the neighbouring County of Tipperary. Cashel was once the seat of the Kings of Munster and capital of this southern province. The Rock of Cashel, which rears above the plain, dominated the land routes southwards. Kings of Ireland as well as Munster came to the Rock of Cashel and St. Patrick is known to have preached on the rock. Cahir Castle, once an important stronghold of the powerful Butler family, retains its impressive keep, tower and much of its original defensive structure and is one of Ireland’s largest and best-preserved castles. You can then travel on to Waterford where you will see the Waterford Crystal factory. An alternate route would be to visit the county of Wexford to the south east. This would allow visits to the Irish National Heritage Park, the 13th Century Tintern Abbey, Hook Lighthouse, Dunbrody Abbey, the Kennedy Homestead, ancestral home of JFK and finally the Dunbrody Famine Ship. An interactive exhibition re-enacts life on the Dunbrody as she carried her passengers from New Ross to the US and Canada 150 years ago. Visitors will experience life on board an emigrant ship as they explore the authentically recreated decks of the ship. The original Dunbrody was a three-masted barque built in Quebec, Canada, for the Graves family of New Ross, Co. Wexford in 1845.
Day 4: Kilkenny to Killarney
If you did not visit the Rock of Cashel or Cahir Castle while staying in Kilkenny, then make sure to visit them en route to Killarney. Otherwise, Blarney Castle awaits. Onwards to Killarney. With its three famous lakes and majestic mountain ranges, Killarney has been the inspiration of poets and painters over many centuries. The Killarney National Park is internationally renowned both for its scenic beauty and scientific interest. There are many walks and trails around Killarney including a 2-hour tourist trail around the town itself. You will also have a chance to visit Ross Castle, the Gap of Dunloe or simply take a stroll through the streets of this quaint town to enjoy the great pubs and enjoy the traditional Irish music on offer.
Days 5 & 6: While in Killarney
There are numerous day trips to be had while based in Killarney. The two most scenic drives in the area include the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula Driving routes, two of Ireland’s most picturesque drives.The Ring of Kerry includes visits to colourful villages, ancient heritage sites dotted around the peninsula including Skellig Michael just off the Kerry coast and Staigue Fort. The Dingle Peninsula has more interesting antiquities, historic sites and varied mountain scenery than any other part of Ireland. The main town Dingle is the most westerly in Europe and attracts large numbers of visitors each year, many of whom come to learn the Irish language in the surrounding Irish speaking district. Also in the area are An Dún Beag Promontory Fort from 800 BC as well as the Blasket Islands and Gallarus Oratory. Gallarus Oratory was built between the seventh and eight century and is the best preserved early Christian church in Ireland. On to Brandon Creek from where legend has it that St. Brendan discovered the North American continent in the 6th century. Alternative routes include day trips to Blarney Castle and the Titanic Train in Cork or the northern route to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren region of County Clare including Bunratty Castle. If you wish to stay closer to Killarney, take a wonderful walk or pony and trap through the Gap of Dunloe, returning to Killarney by boat across the Lakes of Killarney.
Day 7: Killarney to Galway
One of your longest but most dramatic days of your tour brings you from Killarney along the west coast to Galway City, Ireland’s festival capital. First stop will be the Village of Adare in County Limerick. Adare is regarded by many a seasoned traveller as Ireland’s prettiest village with its charming thatched cottages, manicured public park and ancient church. From Adare continue along the N20 towards Limerick City of ‘Angelas Ashes’ fame and home to King Johns Castle. Shortly after this, you arrive at Bunratty Castle. Built in 1425, this majestic castle was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour. Within the grounds of the Castle is Bunratty Folk Park where 19th century Irish life is vividly recreated. Continuing on to the magnificent ‘Cliffs of Moher’. The majestic Cliffs of Moher are without doubt one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights and overlook the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of West Clare. You then arrive at the village of Doolin. Doolin is world-famous for its wealth of Irish folk music and in recent years has been attracting crowds to spontaneous sessions in any one of its excellent pubs. Then it’s on to Galway via the lunar like Burren Region and the ancient Poulnabrone Dolmen Tombs.
Days 8 & 9: While in Galway
The hauntingly beautiful Connemara Region awaits you. Just west of Galway, situated on the most western seaboard of Europe, this unspoilt region boasts breathtaking scenery. The characteristic features of Connemara include its rugged, unpolluted coastline, dramatic mountains, numerous lakes and rivers and woodlands and the renowned Connemara National Park. Visit Kylemore Abbey and the Lough Inagh Valley as well as the spectacular Sky Road near the town of Clifden. You can also visit the fishing village of Roundstone and see how a ‘Bodhran’ (traditional Irish Drum) is made. Alternatively, you may prefer to take the ferry to the Aran Islands. Aran will take you back to an Ireland of Celts and Early Christians. Take a pony and trap, or a guided tour from the pier up the island to the stone fort of Dun Aengus. Dún Aengus is located on top of a 300ft high sea cliff and is one of the finest prehistoric monuments in Western Europe. This evening,back to the Quays area of the city for some of the best traditional entertainment in the country.
Day 10: Galway to Dublin
Todays journey to Dublin takes in some of Ireland’s most historical landmarks. First of these is the ancient monastic settlement at Clonmacnoise. This is an early Christian site founded by Saint Ciaran in the 6th century on the banks of the River Shannon and includes the ruins of a cathedral, eight, two round towers, three high crosses and a large collection of early Christian grave slabs. From here, we travel either to Dublin or take a slight detour to the megalithic tombs of Newgrange. One of the great wonders of the ancient world, Newgrange is older than Stonehenge, Mycenae or even the Pyramids of Egypt and is foremost among the passage-tombs of Europe. From here, we travel south to Dublin City. Dublin city centre is a compact area, with all points of interest being easily accessible on foot. As a result you will find a large number of walking tours available, the most popular of which include the “Historical Walking Tour” and the “Literary Pub Crawl”. You may of course wish to visit many of the sights in your own time either on foot or with the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus service that stops at all of the major attractions including Dublin Castle, Trinity Castle & the Book of Kells, Kilmainham Gaol, the National Museum of Ireland and The Guinness Storehouse to name just a few. Also whilst in Dublin visit the Jeanie Johnston Tall ship & Famine Museum situated at Custom House Quay in the city centre. The Jeanie Johnston Tall ship is an accurate replica of the original ship which sailed between Tralee, Co. Kerry and North America between 1847 and 1855. A tour of the ship enables visitors to understand what a daunting experience it was for the millions who left for North America during the famine, many never to return to the homeland.
Days 11 & 12: While in Dublin
Continue your sightseeing in Dublin today visiting the many historical and modern attractions that this cosmopolitan city has to offer. Other attractions include Christchurch Cathedral which was founded in the year 1030 by Sitric, King of the Dublin Norsemen, the James Joyce Centre & the Dublin Writers Museum. Of course, you may wish to take time out to shop in Grafton Street or any one of a number of narrow and quaint streets that the café strewn city centre has to offer. The Dublin Hop On Hop Off Bus is an excellent way of visiting many of Dublin’s most historic locations. This evening, why not spend some time in the Temple Bar area. This small area boasts a dazzling choice of restaurants, cafes, bars and shops to suit all tastes and pockets, all within easy walking distance of Temple Bar's many cultural centres and galleries. Its narrow cobbled streets are pedestrianised and are ideally suited to a leisurely stroll through the quarter. There is also the opportunity to experience an evening’s entertainment at any one of a number of excellent traditional Irish shows.
Day 13: End of Tour
Check out of your Hotel and bid farewell (for now) to Ireland!
|Jan-Mar & Nov-Dec||$1,033||$1,390||$1,808||$1,396|
|April & October||$1,033||$1,602||$2,059||$1,480|
|July & September||$1,287||$1,833||$2,458||$1,855|