15 Day Ireland Self Dive with 2 Night Stays

15 Day Ireland Self Drive with 2 Night Stays

Dublin at nightDay 1                     Arrive Dublin Ireland
Dublin, Merrion Hotel 1 night Room with private bath and daily Irish Breakfast
Enjoy your day in Dublin, Ireland capital. Take the Hop- on Hop –Off bus tour to some of the city’s most famous sites. Visit Trinity College to see the illuminated Book of Kells, and St. Patrick's, Ireland's national cathedral.  Visit the Guinness Storehouse in the heart of old Dublin, where you sample Ireland's most famous creamy stout. Enjoy storytelling, dinner and traditional music in a candelit Dublin pub: The Seanachi, the Irish word for storyteller, entertains with oral tales of fairies, Celtic warriors and legendary deed-doing. Tales are told and songs sung and everyone is made to feel welcome. With turf fire glowing a perfect setting in which to take you back through the romantic mists of time. History comes alive tonight!

Day 2-3                 Kinsale, Macdonald Kinsale Hotel & Spa, 2 nights Double Room with private bath and daily Irish Breakfast
Your tour of Ireland begins today. Traveling southeast from Dublin, you'll see beautiful seascapes and mountains.  Pass through Dun Laoghaire, a major ferry port with two enormous piers.  Gaze at the Wicklow Mountains, displaying a variety of colors; brown, grey, white, purple, and green.  Fertile farmlands with tin-roofed barns, whitewashed cottages and once-might fortresses line your route.  You'll make a detour inland to Glendalough (Valley of Two Lakes), where St. Kevin established his monastery in the 6th century.  See the remains of St. Kevin's Church, Cathedral, and St. Kieran's Church.  Feel the peace and serenity of the area as you travel back in time.  Returning to the Wexford road, you'll travel through the small towns of Arklow, Gorey, and Enniscorthy before reaching Wexford on the bank of the River Slaney.  Go for a walk to the waterfront through this harbor town's narrow streets.

ford CastleContinue west from Wexford to the town of Waterford, on the south bank of the River Suir.  Waterford was established as a settlement by Sitric the Dane around 850. If time permits,  visit the House of Waterford Crystal. Today Waterford is synonymous with fine crystal.  You will be able to see the Waterford Glass Works.  Waterford Glass was first produced during the late 18th century.  You can see the skill involved in the production of this priceless glass; blowing, polishing, and cutting. Visit the Treasuries at the Granary, the Irish “Museum of the Year” contains some of the most historic items, taking you through 1000 years of Ireland’s oldest city, from the wedding of Strongbow and Aoife, to a Georgian society ball and includes bronze, gold, silver and old Waterford Glass. 
Travel on to the quaint seaport of Kinsale, the jewel of Cork, with its cobbled streets and harbor where colorful yachts moor. West Cork is recognized for its natural beauty, with green hillsides reaching the water's edge. While in Kinsale , visit Cohb, the last port of call for the doomed Titanic . Enjoy a walking tour and retrace the steps and see the many places that still remain over a century since travelers embarked on their fateful voyage. Spend some time in the quaint seaside village and enjoy a cup of Irish coffee or perhaps a pint of ale.
While in Kinsale, visit the famous Blarney Stone or walk the tranquil gardens. Perhaps treat yourself to some quality Irish goods at the Blarney Woollen Mills.  Another good choice: Stop at Jameson Distillery in Midleton and enjoy the very best Irish whiskey tasting tour. The Jameson Experience Tour is a fully guided tour around the original Midleton Distillery which brings the stories of Jameson’s rich heritage to life. On this tour, a friendly Jameson Ambassador will guide you around some of our key buildings, including the warehouses and the Microdistillery. The tour finishes with your chance to do a guided comparative tasting of three famous whiskeys, one being Jameson.

RenvyleDay 4-5                 Killarney, Brook Lodge Hotel , 2 nights Double Room with private bath and daily Irish Breakfast
Traveling on to Killarney this morning along the rugged countryside.
Within the Killarney National Park is Muckross House-a magnificent Victorian mansion and one of the Ireland’s leading stately homes. The elegantly furnished rooms portray the lifestyle of the landed gentry, while downstairs in the basement one can experience the working conditions of the servants employed in the house. The gardens at Muckross House are renowned world-wide for their beauty. In particular they are noted for their fine collections of azaleas and rhododendrons, an extensive water garden, and an outstanding rock garden hewn out of natural limestone.
Muckross House is also home to a number of skilled craft workers who can be viewed using traditional skills in the crafts of weaving, bookbinding and pottery. Take a traditional horse-drawn jaunting car through the Killarney National Park to scenic Ross Castle, set on the shores of Lough Leane, Killarney's largest lake. Enjoy local stories by your jarvey and take in the great views of the mountains.
Enjoy the highlights of Ireland's natural scenery on the Ring of Kerry route. The road winds between the Macgillycuddy's Reeks Mountains on one side and the Atlantic coastline on the other. Drive through Killorglin and Cahirciveen to cross the bridge to Valentia Island.
Visit the Skellig Experience, which shows how hermits lived on the nearby rocky islands and how the islands featured in the Star Wars VII movie. Watch a shepherd and his skilled dogs round up sheep .Enjoy a casual lunch and stop in the pretty village of Sneem, winner of the “Tdiey Town Award”. Pause at Moll's Gap for panoramic mountain views and return to Killarney where the evening is free
Enjoy a visit one evening to HANNIGANS PUB . Pubs are the center of Irish life.  Many have been associated with Ireland's writers and historic figures.   You'll stop by for a welcome drink and intermingle with the good humored and open hearted Irish clientele.  The people are infectiously lively and quick-witted.  Their attitude toward life is charmingly distracted.  They thrive on the tales they tell each other, and life provides a constant source of them.  Experience an unforgettable evening of food and drink, and then join in with everybody for a lively sing-along.  In ancient Gaelic "uisge beatha (pronounced ish-ge ba-ha) has become the modern Whisky.  The toast is "slainte" (pronounced slawn-cha) or "to your health". The entertainment can vary from inspired singing, or toe-tapping music, dancing audience members or a colorful group of eccentric Irish characters, who will be long-remembered after you return home.

Cliffs of MoherDay 6-7                 Doolin,  Aran View Country House  1 night  with private bath and Irish Breakfast
Your first stop this morning is in the beautiful village of Adare, famed for its thatched roofs. 
Heading north Take a 20-minute ferry ride across the wide River Shannon Estuary and drive along the coast. Journey through part of the Burren, a region of rounded limestone hills. 
Aran View Country House in Doolin is a wonderful Georgian country house accommodation, set in the magnificent wilderness of the Burren Co Clare. The Aran View is a Georgian period house set on a hill commanding on of the finest view of the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands. You can set in one of our lounges, or weather permitting outside with a glass of wine and enjoy the breathtaking views and some of the most beautiful sun sets, you can imagine. All of our bedroomed are individually decorated keeping the Georgian period in mind. Enjoy and beautiful breakfast each morning, while looking on ocean.
Doolin is located on the west coast of Ireland. It is renowned as being a center for traditional Irish music. From here you can explore the spectacular Burren region, see ancient dolmens and stone circles, the Aran Islands and visit the Cliffs of Moher
Highlights: Poulnabrone Dolmen, Cliffs of Moher, Traditional Irish Music , O'Brien's Castle, The Burren

Day 8-9 Connemara, Renvyle House,   2 nights  room with private bath and Irish Breakfast
The Connemara National Park is situated 10 minutes drive from Renvyle House Hotel. It provides a unique opportunity to view the flora and fauna and boglands of Connemara at first hand.  There is a beautiful pathed walk to the top of the Diamond within the park.
Inis Bo Finne (Island of the White Cow) lies seven miles off Galway’s coast. Daily sailings with the "Island Discovery" ferry leaving from the pier at Cleggan. There are great morning and afternoon excusions on board Killary Cruises where you travel along the Killary Fjord and may even see a dolphin or two. There are sea angling trips with Connemara Boat Cruises, charter boat and trips with Cat na Mara and the Brazen Hussy at Derryinver pier which is about 10 minutes from Renvyle House.
You travel through the rugged countryside of Connemara, with its lake rimmed boglands dominated by craggy peaks of the majestic Twelve Bens mountain range, via Maam Cross and Recess to Clifden, capital of Connemara.  Near Clifden is a monument shaped like an aircraft's tail fin. It marks the spot where Alcock & Brown crash landed in 1919.  From the air, the ground looks flat and firm, but it's not, and it fooled them.  Lindbergh recommended this site for an airport, but instead it was built at Shannon.  Visit the Celtic Crystal Factory in Moycullen.  Celtic designs and motifs are used in this handcut and handblown clear and colored crystal.

Day 10-11            Derry,  Bishops Gate Hotel,   1 night  room with private bath and Irish Breakfast
The North -The northernmost reaches of Ireland hold special appeal. Herein lies the countryside that inspired the moving poetry of William Butler Yeats. Beyond Donegal narrow roads twist and turn around the wild, rugged coastline of County Donegal where villagers weave their tweeds and Irish is often the spoken language and that written on the signposts. The cottage demonstrates the harsh living conditions of the far north.

Bishop’s Gate Hotel is perfectly positioned within the historic city walls in the heart of Derry City’s Cathedral Quarter Set on a hill above the Foyne estuary, strategically close to the open sea, Derry came under siege and attack for over a thousand years.  You see the stout stone walls that encircle the city, and the magnificent Guild Hall, with its dozens of stained glass windows illustrating almost every episode of note in the city's compelling history. Entering the city of Londonderry, you will view the most notable and historic feature of the city – the Walls, which have been kept in a splendid state of preservation and are among the best-preserved city fortifications in the Western World. They rise to a height of 26 feet and in places are 30 feet wide.
Take a walking tour (approximately 45 minutes) along the broad expanse of the walls Almost a mile in circumference, they form a cobbled walkway around the Inner city and provide a unique promenade as you gaze out over the ever changing skyline.
You will see the layout of the original city within the walls still preserves its medieval plan with the four principal streets radiating from the Diamond at the center to the old gateways. You’ll also see the Guildhall, a handsome late Gothic building with its dozens of stained glass windows illustrating the city’s history.
The pedestrian-oriented city center and nearby modern shopping mall have a full selection of well-known stores where you can shop with comfort among a great variety of merchandise and goods on offer.

Craft village DerryDay 12-13            Portrush, Portrush Atlantic Hotel,   2 nights room  with private bath and Irish Breakfast
Travel the northern coast line, stopping for photos at the amazing ruins of Dunluce Castle. The Antrim coast is the most scenic in all Ireland, nine wooded river valleys running down to the shore. See the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, offering some heart-stopping views of the surf below. 
Visit the strange natural phenomenon at Giant’s Causeway, before a welcome drink at the Bushmill’s Distillery.

Day 14 Belfast, Europa Hotel,   1 night  with private bath and Irish Breakfast
Your destination is the capital of Northern Ireland. Belfast will surprise you! Belfast is a Victorian city built on the linen and shipbuilding trades. The ill-fated Titanic whose construction here in 1911 is still a source of civic pride and the subject of jokes. "Well mate," goes the saying, "She was all right when she left here." This cosmopolitan city still manages to keep its charm. On our panoramic tour, one of the sights you will see is Hillsborough Castle through its splendid wrought iron gates. Here the Good Friday Agreement was negotiated, agreed & signed as roadmap for peace, political stability and economic progress. Visit the authentic 19th century Crown Liquor Saloon, a restored national landmark, or the colorful Botanic Gardens. Perhaps visit the Titanic Belfast Museum and learn more about the ill-fated ship through state of the art displays. See the docks where this famous ship was built over a century ago.
Enjoy this dynamic city this evening with a visit to one of its many pubs!

Day 15                   Drive from Belfast Dublin Airport for your flight home

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