11 DAY IRELAND CASTLES, HOTELS, B&B’S Suggested Self Drive Ireland Itinerary
DAY 1 DUBLIN One night pre-reserved at Ashling Hotel, Dublin, two twin rooms with bath. A tourist in Dublin will never be stuck for things to do. St. Patrick's Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, Kilmainham Gaol and Dublin Castle are all must-sees. Culture vultures, as well as history buffs, will also delight in Ireland's capital as there are plenty of galleries and museums to choose from, including the National Gallery of Ireland. And there is simply no better way of getting to know Dublin than getting lost on its meandering, haphazard streets.
DAY 2 WATERFORD, One night pre-reserved at Waterford Castle, two deluxe rooms with bath. Take the private ferry to a secluded island with a luxury castle hotel and golf course on the outskirts of Waterford city. Built by the Fitzgerald family in 1160, around the time of the Norman Invasion, the Castle was also the home of an Italian Princess. The driveway was a rough track carved out a thousand years ago by medieval monks. This is a cloud-grey stonework fantasy place, with granite arches and stout, studded oak doors. Spend your time at the tennis courts, swimming pool, or the par 72 golf course measuring 6,790 yards.
DAY 3 KINSALE, One night pre-reserved at B&B, Kinsale, Co Cork, two twin rooms with bath. County Cork is filled with unique gourmet specialty producers - cheesemakers, basket weavers, and even an old fashioned English food market. Cork's pretty coastal town of Kinsale is just one of many places serving up mouthwatering seafood. Walk the colorful narrow cobbled streets down to the harbor, see the colorful shopfronts, and enjoy the scenic views. Visit the star-shaped Charles Fort with its spectacular views and learn about Ireland's history. The Old Course, one of the region's most challenging golf courses, is here, too. Known as the Pebble Beach of Ireland, the course juts into the Atlantic and rises hundreds of feet above high dramatic cliffs. It is surrounded by ocean on all sides.
DAY 4&5 KILLARNEY Two nights pre-reserved at B&B, Killarney, Co Kerry, two twin rooms with bath Killarney is a town on the shores of Lough Leane in southwest Ireland’s County Kerry. It’s a stop on the Ring of Kerry scenic drive, and the start and finishing point of the 200-km Kerry Way walking trail. The town's 19th-century buildings include St. Mary’s Cathedral. Across the bridge from the cathedral is Killarney National Park. Victorian mansion Muckross House, Gardens & Traditional Farms sits in the park. Killarney is a lively town with lots of of pubs and restaurants and traditional Irish music.
DAY 6 &7 DINGLE, Two nights pre-reserved at B&B, Dingle, Co Kerry, two twin rooms with bath. The Dingle Peninsula stretches 30 miles (48 kilometres) into the Atlantic Ocean from Ireland's south-west coast.The peninsula is dominated by the range of mountains that form its spine, running from the Slieve Mish range to Mount Brandon, Ireland's second highest peak. The coastline consists of steep sea-cliffs, broken by sandy beaches, with two large sand spits at Inch in the south and the Maharees to the north. The Blasket Islands lie to the west of the peninsula. The peninsula has something to offer to everyone. Among other things: sandy beaches safe for swimming, walking routes for all abilities, a thriving Irish language community, a rich musical tradition, fine dining, sea angling, arts and film festivals, talented craftspersons and some of the best surfing in Ireland.
DAY 8 & 9, Two nights pre-reserved at B&B, Galway, two twin rooms with bath. Galway, a harbour city on Ireland’s west coast, sits where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic Ocean. The city’s hub is 18th-century Eyre Square, a popular meeting spot surrounded by shops and traditional pubs that often offer live Irish folk music. Nearby, stone-clad cafes, boutiques and art galleries line the winding lanes of the Latin Quarter, which retains portions of the medieval city walls. Galway is about an hour from the Cliffs of Moher, Co Clare. The rugged Cliffs of Moher, looming above the pounding surf of the Atlantic Ocean far below, offer spectacular scenic vistas. A visit to the Cliffs, one of the most outstanding coastal features of Ireland, previously required a wind-blown scramble up a rocky incline. Now, a state-of-the-art visitor center describes the geology and history of the area and provides an indoor viewing platform of nature’s glory and the nesting grounds for many Atlantic sea birds. The Cliffs of Moher are just north of Shannon.
DAY 10 One night pre-reserved at Dromoland Castle, Co Clare, two deluxe rooms with bath. Dromoland Castle is spectacular. Before it became a luxury hotel in 1963, Dromoland Castle saw almost 400 years as the ancestral home of the O’Brien clan. Now it is the luxurious sister hotel of the prestigious Ashford Castle. Jacket and tie for gentlemen are required after 7 PM in the elegant, formal dining room and the book lined bar where guest often settle after dinner to join in the singing of popular Irish ballads. The sumptuous, ornate drawing room is an ideal haven for morning coffee and afternoon tea. Up the grand staircase are found the hotel’s premier rooms and luxurious suites and a portrait gallery of past incumbents of the estate. Smaller cozy rooms are located round a courtyard in the castle’s oldest part (1736) and have the same lavish amenities: robes, slippers, and masses of toiletries, fruit bowl, and a decanter of Irish Mist. Fishing, horse riding, and bird shooting can be arranged nearby, and tennis court and Dromoland’s golf course are here for you to use. Dromoland is approximately 10 miles from Shannon Airport.
DAY 11 TRANSFER TO SHANNON AIRPORT