Premium 5 Star Deluxe Luxury Accommodation
12 Days / 11 Nights
Our Signature Deluxe Tour of Ireland is one example of what we can do for the discerning visitor who is looking for something extra special. From palatial castles and manor houses to Ireland’s finest 5 star hotels, everywhere you go you’ll be staying in the best accommodation Ireland has to offer.
As with all our tours, you will not be mixed with any other groups and will have your very own exclusive Tourist Board Approved Irish driver/guide who will enlighten you with all the information you need about the wonderful sights you’ll see along the way.
This tour is customized to Arrive/Depart Shannon Airport. We can also customize this tour to Arrive/depart Dublin Airport.
Day 1: Arrive Shannon Airport
Upon arrival at Shannon Airport, you’ll be greeted by your personal driver guide for the next 11 nights. Your trip begins by passing over the legendary river Shannon, through the city of Limerick, founded by the Vikings, and on through the quaint thatched village of Adare. Our destination is Killarney, home to Muckross House and Gardens with its period furniture and landscaped gardens.This is where you’ll be given an introduction to the elegant lifestyle of the 19th century landowning class. We’ll also be taking a traditional horse and carriage ride through Killarney National Park passing Muckross Lake on the way and visiting Torc waterfall, before returning to Muckross House where your driver awaits you. There’ll be time to browse Killarney town and mingle with the locals before checking into your deluxe 5 star hotel. Massage or spa treatments can be booked here in advance.
Overnight Killarney 3 nights.
5 Star Hotel.
Day 2: Ring of Kerry
Your second day in Ireland sees you on one of the most popular drives in Ireland – the Ring of Kerry, offering unrivalled lake, ocean and mountain views – 100 miles of pure heaven. Along the way we’ll stop at the Bog village to take in its history and sample their famous Irish Coffee, take a stroll on Derrynane beach off the beaten track beside the former home of Daniel O Connell The Liberator. Again where no large coach tours can access Staigue Fort one of the largest and finest ring forts you are likely to see in Ireland dating of this site is Celtic period preceding St Patrick. We visit the beautiful village of Sneem on route to Molls Gap & Ladies View returning to Killarney. All in all, the Ring of Kerry is a unforgettable day out and a chance to sample a mystical and unspoilt region of Ireland that has attracted visitors for hundreds of years.
Day 3: Killarney / Dingle
The day begins at Kate Karney’s Cottage where a traditional horse and carriage takes you through a ‘U’ shaped glaciated valley created in the last ice age to Lord Brandon’s Cottage for lunch. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy an unforgettable trip through the three lakes of Killarney by boat to Ross Castle where your driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. Optional Day tour to Dingle: We’ll enjoy a leisurely stroll on beautiful Inch Beach before lunch in Dingle. And what could be better here than a freshly caught lunch of fish from local fishermen.? Then it’s on around Slea Head loop to visit the 2000 year old Beehive Huts (dwellings from 2000bc) and Blasket Centre for an audio-visual history of the area. Along the way we’ll also get to see ‘The Sleeping Giant of Ireland’ and the upside-down bridge.
Day 4: Killarney to Cork
If you’re a little sad to leave behind the beauty of Kerry and Killarney, don’t worry! There’s plenty to see and do as we make for historic Cork, stopping at Kenmare the Gaelic name for Kenmare is “Neidin” which translates to “Little Nest”. This “Jewel on the Ring of Kerry” nestles on the sea-shore and is cradled at the foot of the Cork and Kerry mountains. We continue to Druids Hill at Molly Gallivan’s, arriving at Glengarriff where we’ll take a short boat trip to the Italian Gardens on Garnish Island. This small island of 15 hectares is known to horticulturists all over the world as an island garden of rare beauty. Its centre piece is an outstanding Italian-style garden designed by Harold Peto. From here, we continue over the Sheehy Mountains to St. Finbar’s Island Church in Gougane Barra. Then it’s on to your luxurious 5 star hotel in County Cork, passing through traditional Gaelige speaking villages on the way. 5 Star Hayfield Manor Hotel is a five minute drive to the heart of Cork City.
2 nights at 5 Star – Hayfield Manor
Day 5: Cork
Today you have a choice to view places of interest from the following. Your driver guide will discuss with you and plan your day ahead:
English Market: Visit the English Market Queen Elizabeth visited this market on her historic visit to Ireland in 2011 it is one of the oldest of its kind, trading as a market since 1788 it pre-dates most of the other markets like it. Indeed Barcelona’s famous Boqueria market did not start until 80 years after The English Market first started to serve the people of Cork. It has survived the Famine, revolutions, wars, fire and economic decline.
Blarney Castle: No trip to Ireland would be complete without kissing the Blarney Stone, said to endow the speaker with extraordinary powers of eloquence, or what we call in Ireland ‘the gift of the gab’. There’ll be time to browse some fine traditional Irish craftsmanship at the Blarney Woollen mills.
Cobh Heritage Centre & Cobh Cathedral: This is where the Titanic last docked before its ill-fated journey. Here you can visit the heritage centre to hear the story of the great migration, when 2.5 million adults and children emigrated on ‘coffin ships’, steamers and great ocean liners. You’ll also learn about the historic sinking of the Lusitania off Cork harbour in World War 1.
Jameson Distillery: The Jameson distillery in Midleton, home of one of Ireland’s most famous whiskeys is our next port of call. And, of course, there’ll be a few samples on hand for you to try for yourself.
Kinsale, County Cork: one of the most picturesque, popular and fashionable resorts of the south-west coast of Ireland. Famous for gourmet restaurants Kinsale town nestles between the hills and the shoreline, a maze of narrow streets, never far from the water and little changed in many hundreds of years.
9/11 Memorial Garden: Visit the first memorial to the memory of the 343 fireman who died at the Twin Towers. It was provided by the late Kathleen Murphy who worked as a nurse in New York and was a personal friend of their chaplain, Father Michael Judge who also died on 9/11. There is one tree for each fireman as well as Father Judge and many of them have photographs and messages left by their families and friends who have come to visit the Garden over the years.
Day 6: Cork to Dublin
Today we are heading to Dublin to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College, St Patrick’s Cathedral and orientation of Dublin City with your driver. You have the opportunity to visit the Rock of Cashel on route to Dublin, Cashel has a very ancient history albeit only documented since the 4th Century. The Rock of Cashel, with its well preserved ecclesiastical remains, is one of Ireland’s most spectacular landmarks, rising above the surrounding plain and dominating the land. In the evening visit Temple Bar Dublin’s cultural quarter in the heart of Dublin City here you will find pubs with Irish music and a choice of excellent restaurants, or enjoy a night at one of Dublin’s many theatres with pre or post dinner. Overnight Dublin 3 nights 5 Star Hotel
Day 7: Wicklow
Heading south along the coast, you’ll be able to visit James Joyce Tower and 40 Foot Cove. The forty foot, which is a deep sea water inlet hidden amidst the rugged rock strewn coast of the enchanting seashore has for at least 250 years being a place where locals come to swim in the Irish sea all year round, even in the chilly almost freezing water of winter, if you’re feeling brave enough you can join the locals for a swim. The James Joyce Tower at Sandycove is a Martello Tower on Ireland’s east coast, a stout fortress built for defense against Napoleon’s fleet. Joyce stayed here as a guest of Oliver St. John Gogarty. Joyce also choose the tower as Leopold Bloom’s starting place in “Ulysses”. From here, it’s through the Wicklow Mountains, aptly named ‘The Garden of Ireland’, and scenic Glendalough with its sixth century tower and church. The Visitors’ Centre here has an excellent audio-visual tour, allowing you to learn all about the history of the area before returning to the luxury of your Dublin hotel.
Day 8: Newgrange to Dublin City
In the morning, we travel North of Dublin into the Boyne Valley County Meath and visit Newgrange designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO the Neolithic passages that pre-date the Pyramids of Egypt. Newgrange was constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Newgrange was built during the Neolithic or New Stone Age by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley. After Newgrange we visit a small village on the outskirts of Dublin for lunch and continue coastal to Howth a fishing and yachting port 15km north-east of the city centre, here you can take a walk along the promenade and mingle with the locals. Howth Head gives fine views of Dublin Bay and the Wicklow Mountains.
Day 9: Clonmacnoise & Cong
We depart the capital of Ireland and visit Clonmacnoice to see one of Irelands most decorated High Crosses. The monastery of Clonmacnoice (Cluain Mhic Nóis in Irish, meaning “Meadow of the Sons of Nós), is situated in County Offaly on the River Shannon south of Athlone, and is deemed to be one of Irelands most ancient monastic sites Clonmacnoice was founded sometime between 545 and 548 by Ciarán Mac a tSaor, until the 9th century it had close associations with the kings of Connacht. The strategic location of the monastery helped it become a major centre of religion, learning, craftsmanship and trade by the 9th century and together with Clonard it was the most famous in Ireland, visited by scholars from all over Europe. From the ninth until the eleventh century it was allied with the Kings of Meath. Many of the high kings of Tara and Connacht were buried here. Pope John Paul celebrated mass at Clonmacnoice on his historic visit to Ireland in 1979. Later, we travel onto the village of Cong in 1951 John Ford’s greatest movie “The Quiet Man” starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara and Barry Fitzgerald was made. It was set in the beautiful west of Ireland with filming being centred in the village of Cong and Ashford Castle. Ashford Castle is in the village of Cong County Mayo www.ashfordcastle.ie Overnight County Mayo 2 nights 5 Star Castle.
Day 10: Connemara & Clifden
Our day starts with a visit to Clifden Connemara passing the 12 Bens Mountains via the scenic Sky Road Drive with its sweeping vistas of the wild Atlantic. By now, you’ll have worked up an appetite, so we’ll stop off at Letterfrack for lunch, before ending the day with a visit to Kylemore Abbey and its spectacular views of Lake Pollacappul.
Clifden (Irish: An Clochán, meaning “bee-hive cell”) is a town on the coast of County Galway, Ireland and being Connemara’s largest town, it is often referred to as “the Capital of Connemara”. It is located on the Owenglin River where it flows into Clifden Bay.
Alcock and Brown
Made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919.They flew a modified World War I Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Clifden Winston Churchill presented them with the Daily Mail prize of £10,000 for the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in “less than 72 consecutive hours”
Kylemore Abbey originally a Castle was built by Mitchell and Margaret Henry from 1867 – to 1871. In 1920, The Irish Benedictine Nuns purchased Kylemore Castle along with 10,000 acres for a little over £45,000. Some of the lands were later purchased by the Land Commission and divided out among the tenants, and the Castle was converted into an Abbey.
Day 11: Clare & Limerick
Leaving Cong behind, we head towards Clare and the stunning karstic area known as the Burren, 100 square miles of limestone rock and a 5000 year old burial site – Poulnabrone. We’ll enjoy lunch in a small Irish village before visiting the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher otherwise known as the Great Wall of Thomond. Rising some 700 feet out of the Atlantic, this is one of Ireland’s most visited sites. We travel through Lahinch County Clare on route we stop at a memorial of remembrance dedicated to those who suffered and died during Tha Shein Ukrosh (indeed, the hunger). This was the first monument in all of Ireland dedicated to honour the famine victims of the mid-1800’s and specifically to remember the children who were lost during that time. Every Irish person, at home or abroad, lost a relation in that tragedy, whether they knew of them or not, and the story of how their descendants remember their ordeal and commemorate their memory is a moving one, indeed. You have the choice to visit Bunratty Castle & Folk Park or continue to Adare Manor to relax before you travel home the following day. Adare Village Situated in the south west of Ireland, Adare is regarded as being Ireland’s prettiest and most picturesque village, and is a haven for those wishing to escape and unwind taking in its medieval surroundings. Situated on the river Maigue, a tributary of the river Shannon, Adare is steeped in history dating back to 1200ad. Adare has been the subject of many rebellions, wars and conquests, leaving behind a legacy of historical monuments.
Overnight County Limerick 1 night 5 Star Manor.
Day 12: Depart Shannon Airport
Alas we transfer you from your Adare Manor to Shannon Airport with fond memories of the Emerald Isle and your driver, we say slan abhaile (safe home).