Arrive Shannon Airport, Depart Shannon Airport
The Taste of Ireland tour may be shorter for those with less limited time, but you’ll be surprised by how much we can fit into your week in Ireland!
The tour comes with accommodations and includes a traditional Irish night or medieval themed night. As with all our tours, your day to day itinerary will be as flexible as you require it to be, this is your private tour and comes with the services of a Tourist Board approved Irish driver guide.
Day 1: Arrive Shannon Airport & continue on to Blarney and Kinsale
Your trip to Ireland begins with passing over the legendary river Shannon, through the city of Limerick and on towards Blarney in County Cork. Well, no trip to Ireland would be complete without kissing the Blarney Stone, said to endow the speaker with extraordinary powers of eloquence, what we call in Ireland the ‘gift of the gab’.
There’ll be time to browse Blarney Woollen mills offering a selection of the finest traditional Irish craftsmanship before we move on to Cobh. This is where the Titanic set out on its final ill-fated voyage. You can learn all about how 2.5 million adults and children emigrated on coffin ships, steamers, and great ocean liners in the heritage centre here, as well as finding out all about the sinking of the Lusitania off Cork harbour in World War 1.
A short ferry ride, followed by a drive through some quaint country villages, takes us to Kinsale, said to be the gourmet capital of Ireland, where you’ll be spending your first night in superb surroundings.
Accommodation 4 Star Hotel Kinsale County Cork
Day 2: Kinsale, Kenmare & Killarney
Why not indulge yourself with a leisurely walk around Kinsale before we drive towards Charles Fort? This a classic example of a star fort with five bastions constructed in the late 17th century overlooking Kinsale Harbour. Further on along the south coast past beautiful Bantry Bay, we come to Glengarriff where a short boat ride takes us to the Italian Gardens on Garnish Island) known to horticulturists and lovers of trees and shrubs all around the world as an island garden of rare beauty. We then continue to Killarney over the Caha Mountains into 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.
Overnight Killarney 2 Nights
Gold Accommodation 5 Star Hotel
Silver Accommodation 4 Star Guesthouse
Day 3: The Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula
Today you have a choice the Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula
Your third day sees you on one of the most popular drives in Ireland – the Ring of Kerry with its 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, walk along Derrynane beach off the beaten track and visit the beautiful village of Sneem. All in all, this is a wonderful day out and an unmissable opportunity to sample a mystical and unspoilt region of Ireland that has attracted visitors for hundreds of years.
The charming village of Dingle is a one hour drive from Killarney. 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 and chips from the fishing boats? Then it’s on around the Slea Head loop to the visit the 2000 year old Beehive Huts and Blasket Centre for an audio-visual history of the area. Along the way we’ll also get to see ‘the sleeping giant’ and the upside-down bridge. We stop at the 8th century Gallarus Oratory and watch a traditional master crystal cutter at work. On the way back to your hotel in Dingle you can always have a nap – if you can take your eyes of the scenery! Then it’s time to relax with dinner and some traditional Irish music – the perfect end to a perfect day.
Day 4: Killarney to Galway
We depart Killarney and head for Galway City (City of the Tribesmen) via the River Shannon by ferry, Cliffs of Moher, Poulnabrone & the Burren. It is generally agreed that Galway was named after the river, which was known until recently as the Galway River rather than the Corrib. The Irish name for river is ‘Gaillimh’, but the precise meaning of this is disputed. One version has it that Gaillimh was the name of the daughter of an Iron-age chieftain who was drowned in the river. Recent finds of stone implements suggest that there has been human habitation at the site since Neolithic (New Stone Age) times.
Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher one of Ireland’s top Visitor attractions. The Cliffs are 214m high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometers over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. O’Brien’s Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs.
The Burren: The name Burren comes from the Irish – bhoireann meaning a stony place. The unusually geological formations of the region has lain unspoiled since the ice age and is composed of karstic limestone – the largest area of such in Western Europe
Poulnabrone dolmen is a portal tomb located in Co. Clare. It is one of the most famous dolmens in Ireland. The large capstone rises up from the limestone bedrock of the Burren, supported by two portal stones that are 1.8 meters high. The people that were buried in Poulnabrone dolmen were Neolithic farmers. The radiocarbon dates from the bones produced an age of 3800 to 3200 B.C. The name Poulnabrone literally means ‘The hole of the sorrows’
Overnight Galway 2 nights
Gold Accommodation 5 Star Hotel
Silver Accommodation 4 Star Hotel
Day 5: Day Tour to the Aran Islands or Connemara
Today we give you two choices a day tour to the Aran Island Inismór by ferry or day tour with your driver guide looping Connemara.
The Aran Islands encompass three thousand years of human history, and one billion years of natural history. Once part of a craggy ridge of limestone that extended from the Burren in County Clare, there is evidence of people living on the islands from as far back as 2300-2000 BC. These early settlers were most likely farmers who came from the Burren and the Irish mainland.
Dún Aonghasa is situated on the cliff side or south side of Inismór. It is a semi-circular stone fort overlooking the Atlantic. It is deemed to be one of the best examples of its kind in Europe. Archaeologists, scholars and tourists come here from all over the world and it is likely to be given the official status of a world heritage site in the near future.
Cong is known for its underground streams that connect Lough Corrib with Lough Mask to the north. It was also the home of Sir William Wilde, historian and father to prominent playwright, novelist, poet, and short story writer, Oscar Wilde. Cong also has a fine example of a ruined medieval abbey, The ‘Cross of Cong’ is now held in the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin. Cong was the filming location for John Ford’s 1952 Oscar-winning film, The Quiet Man featuring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara
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
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”
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.
Day 6: Galway to Bunratty
This morning you will have time to browse Galway City and mingle with the locals before travelling to Bunratty via Quin Village, Craggaunown & Bunratty Castle
Quin Abbey, just south-east of Ennis, was founded by the McNamara’s in the middle of the 14th century using some of the curtain wall of the Anglo-Norman castle built around 1280 by Richard de Clare. The cloisters were erected in1402 and remain one of the finest features of the abbey, which has a long history of suppression and violence. In 1584 Sir John Perrot, the English Viceroy of Ireland, had Donogh Beg O’Brien half-hanged, his bones beaten by an axe and hanged again from the steeple. Cromwell’s men sacked the Abbey again and the friars were murdered.
Craggaunown Castle built in 1550 standing defiantly on a crag overlooking the lake, the Living Past Experience is Ireland’s original award winning Pre-historic Park. Situated on 50 acres of wooded grounds, the Park interprets Ireland’s pre-historic and early Christian eras. It features a stunning recreation of some of the homesteads, animals and artifacts which existed in Ireland over 1,000 years ago.
Explore the Crannog, the Ring Fort, the Medieval Castle and the Brendan Boat a leather hulled boat built by Tim Severin who sailed across mid-Atlantic re-enacting the voyage of St. Brendan and the early Christian monks reputed to have discovered America centuries before Columbus.
Experience a reconstructed cooking site known as a Fulacht Fiadh a hunters cooking site common throughout the country. Hunting parties used them over a long period of time, from the early Bronze Age to the Elizabethan period. A rectangular hole was dug in low-lying land where it was sure to fill with water. This was clad on the four sides with wooden sections. Stones heated on the campfire were then used to boil the water in the wooden trough. A joint of venison was then wrapped in straw and put into the boiling water and cooked for a designated period.
The site on which Bunratty Castle stands was in origin a Viking Trading Camp in 970. The present structure is the last of four castles to be built on the site. Robert De Muscegros, a Norman, built the first defensive fortress (an earthen mound with a strong wooden tower on top) in 1250.
Overnight County Clare 1 night
Gold Accommodation 5 Star Castle
Silver Accommodation 4 Star Hotel
Day 7: Depart Shannon Airport
Alas we transfer you from your hotel to Shannon Airport with fond memories of the Emerald Isle and your driver, we say slan abhaile (safe home)
Please Contact Us to express your interest in this tour and specify your preferred month and dates of travel.
This tour can also be customized with 5 star properties.