Ring of Kerry, Killarney & Cork
Departures on Sundays from Dublin
April 7 to October 13, 2019
This four day tour focuses on the wildest part of Ireland. A region where the rugged coast deserves to win every beauty pageant there is. Where the local pubs are boisterous from noon until midnight. And where the castles look strong enough to fend off an entire empire. But it’s not all completely wild. More and more people are coming here because of the fantastic seafood, milder climate, and exceptional quality of life. So join this tour and experience the wild part of 'off the beaten' track Ireland.
Stay 2 nights in Killarney and 1 night in the harbour town of Kinsale.
DEPARTURE FROM DUBLIN: Nassau St, Dublin, Opposite the Kilkenny Shop
The tour departs at 9:00am and returns at approx. 7:00pm on Day 4.
Birr Castle & Adare
After departing Dublin at 09.00, you will travel west through the Midlands and the Slieve Bloom Mountains to the unique setting of Birr Castle and Gardens. The castle itself is still a private home and it will not be possible to see inside but the gardens are world famous and include the unique “Great Telescope” built by the 3rd Earl of Rosse in the 1840s and the largest in the world for over 70 years! The 3rd and 4th Earls were both pioneers in scientific discovery and there is a fascinating exhibition on site. After Birr the tour continues to the historic village of Adare just outside Limerick. Often called “Ireland’s prettiest village”, Adare has a wonderful collection of thatched cottages and historic buildings including the ruins of a 15th century Franciscan monastery and the 13th century Desmond Castle - great for photos! From here it is about an hour and a half to Killarney - your base for the next two nights. Killarney has a great selection of bars and restaurants with live music every night.
Overnight - Killarney
Killarney & Ring of Kerry
Today you tour one of the world’s classic routes, the Ring of Kerry - 100 miles packed full of interest. After departing Killarney, on a clear day there will be views to Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil, after which you join the coast road through to Cahersiveen. There will be plenty opportunities for photos stops along the way with great views across to the Dingle Peninsula. Possible stops include the Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace and Cahersiveen ring fort before reaching the little fishing village of Portmagee. Here you can relax and sample local seafood for lunch or alternatively cross to the island of Valentia for a visit to the Skellig Experience where you can learn about the nearby rocky islands and the small community of monks who once lived there. In the afternoon you make photo stops in Waterville and then the top of Coonmakista Pass for one of the best views in the country. From here the road drops down to sea level for a visit to Derrynane House – family home of Daniel O’Connell. There are walks in the gardens and down to the beach as well as the house itself. The tour continues on around the Ring with stops at Moll’s Gap and the Ladies View. There is then time for a short walk to the Torc Waterfall before arriving back into Killarney.
Overnight - Killarney
Beara Peninsula & Kinsale
The highlight this morning is a drive over the dramatic Caha Pass on the Beara Peninsula. The scenery here is just as impressive as the Ring of Kerry but the area receives fewer visitors. Your visit here will give a true taste of Ireland’s South West. Descending from the mountains the waters of Bantry Bay lie in front of you and the tour follows the shore line to the little village of Glengarriff where you can take a short boat trip to Garinish Island with its wonderful gardens and woodland walks. Look out for the large seal colony on the way across. In the afternoon the tour follows the West Cork coastal route through Skibbereen and Clonakilty, with a stop at the ancient Drombeg Stone Circle before arriving in the harbour town of Kinsale for the night. The town has a reputation for good food and drink and there are many restaurants to choose from.
Overnight - Kinsale
Cork City & the Rock of Cashel
After a leisurely start to the morning, you will depart Kinsale for the short journey to Cork City. After an introductory tour, you will have some free time here to explore this vibrant city. The city centre is built on an island in the River Lee, the two channels of which are spanned by many bridges giving many panoramic views. You may choose to visit the English Market, with its stalls selling foods from all over the world, ring the Shandon Bells in the 300-year-old tower of St. Anne’s Church or marvel at the French Gothic spires of St. Finbarre’s Cathedral. Or perhaps just spend some time shopping and enjoying lunch in one of the many bars and restaurants – the choice is yours. In the afternoon you will start your return journey towards Dublin, making a stop on route at the Rock of Cashel with its medieval monastery complex sitting high above the town, before arriving back into Dublin about 19.00.
Return to Dublin at 19:00
- Birr Castle & Gardens
- The Village of Adare
- The Ring of Kerry
- Glengariff and Garinish Island
- West Cork villages
- The Caha Pass on the edge of the Beara Peninsula
- Cork City and the English Market
- Rock of Cashel
- Transportation by top of the range Mercedes minicoach for a more personal experience with a maximum of 16 passengers on tour; Air conditioning as standard
- Services of an experienced local driver/guide
- 3 nights ensuite accommodations
- Full Irish breakfast daily