A New Kind of Tour (Part 2)
A New Kind of Tour (Part 2)
Best of the West
May 3rd, 2018
The Best of the West tour is one of our newest, most intimate tours which takes you a little closer to the culture and history of Ireland. Take five days to explore one of Ireland’s most beautiful regions, with famous highlights like visiting Cliffs of Moher and kissing the Blarney Stone, to more “off the bean track” sites and adventures like sitting front and centre to a working sheep dog demonstration and taking in traditional live song and dance at local pubs. On a modern mini-coach, with a max of only 16 passengers, sit back and relax as your local driver and guide takes you to the heart of authentic Ireland.
Day 1: The tour beings! Leaving Dublin, we begin our journey west towards the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland – Kilbeggan. Here we’ll learn everything about making Irish Whiskey, uisce beatha – the water of life, from the bog to the bottle. From there, we head towards the River Shannon and the town of Athlone just in time for lunch at Sean’s Bar, the oldest pub in Ireland! Next up, the tiny village of Cong – made famous by the 1952 film The Quiet Man – before the scenic drive through the Maam Valley to Clifden. Tonight, we’ll be spending our evening at the Station House Hotel, built in the style of a traditional Railway utility building. For a delicious dinner made from the freshest local ingredients, we recommend dining at the old Stationmaster’s house.
Day 2: This morning we head to the bustling seaside town of Galway, along the Wild Atlantic Way. Whether you decide to do a spot of shopping, watch the buskers perform on the streets or even get cosy with a pint of plain in one of Galway’s many historic pubs, the City of the Tribes never disappoints. After lunch we visit the iconic Cliffs of Moher. Stroll along the cliff top trails, take in the tremendous views, and don’t forget to check out the visitor centre for Céad Míle Fáilte (a hundred thousand welcomes). We then make our way to Spanish Point for dinner at the Armada Hotel (where we’ll also be staying over night) with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Not ready to call it quits? Top off the day with a perfect pint around a log burning fire at Johnny Burkes pub inside the hotel.
Day 3: After an Irish breakfast, we head down to the Kingdom of Kerry. With its craggy coastline, striking scenery and rich historical sites, you’re spoiled for choice in this beautiful county. Once we reach the town of Killimer, we hop onto the Shannon Ferry making the journey into County Kerry where you experience the rugged nature of land and sea as you – ahhh – breathe the fresh, salty sea air. Keep an eye out, you might be one of the lucky ones and catch a glimpse of some dolphins. Once across, we continue to Tralee where we’ll be visiting the Kerry County Museum. A stroll through the Medieval Experience reveals the streets of Tralee as they were in 1450 AD with all the sights, sounds and robust smells of a bustling community. We then make the short trip to the lakeside town of Killarney where you’ll have the afternoon and evening free to explore the town as you wish! After dinner, we recommend visiting J. M. Reidy’s for some live traditional music. Finally, it’s time for some rest at the Killarney Riverside Hotel where you’ll be staying the next two nights.
Day 4: Today we embark on one of the most scenic drives in Ireland – if not the world – the Ring of Kerry. Filled with picturesque landscapes, stunning coastlines and beautiful villages, you’ll definitely be snap happy!. For lunch we’ll be stopping in the beautiful town of Kenmare; with loads of lovely boutiques and cafes lining the streets, the choices are endless. Onward to Kissane Sheep Farm for a truly memorable sheepdog performance. You’ll get a chance to meet the sheep in their natural environment and see the amazingly skilled border collie dogs at work rounding them up! Bonus: in the spring, there’s baby lambs to meet and in the summer months you experience how the sheep are shore. After that instant trip highlight, we head through the “Jewel in Kerry’s crown” Killarney National Park. Sitting at the foot of Ireland’s highest mountain range, Macgillycuddy Reeks, and home to Irelands only wild herd of red deer, the park is truly a spectacular spot of natural beauty. We then head back to the hotel before a bit of craic at the Jarvey’s Rest, where we will enjoy a traditional Irish dinner and show. This lovely pub still contains its original wooden floors, stonewalls, beamed ceilings and open fires which all set the most perfect atmosphere for a wonderful evening of song and dance.
Day 5: Leaving Killarney today we head east towards Blarney Castle for a chance to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence. However many legends there are of the origins of the stone, one thing is certain, the only way to experience the gift of the gab for yourself, is to kiss the stone! Hang about in Blarney Village for a spot of lunch and some shopping, after which we will make our way towards the Rock of Cashel. Legend has it the devil himself formed it when taking a bite out of a nearby mountain, breaking his teeth and then spitting the rock out which landed at the site in Cashel. However, the medieval buildings, built in 12th, 13th and 15th century, that sit on the rock are the true sight to behold. This sadly marks the end of the trip as we make our way back to Dublin.