(Kilkenny, Waterford, Cork, Killarney, Dingle, Galway, Dublin)
This specially designed craft trail and artisan shopping tour of Ireland will take you to the very best places to see artisans at work and the little hubs and communities. Visit with an eclectic mixture of crafts people from glass blowers and cutters, pottery and ceramic artists, galleries, wool and textile workers as well as a host of other materials from traditional wood to modern metals. Discover regions celebrated for their clusters of craft workers from Kilkenny to Dingle Peninsula and Connemara to the West of Galway. There will be plenty of time to shop at the craft studios and in the centers such as Kilkenny Design Centre, Waterford Crystal, Green Street in Dingle and Quay Street in Galway City, and in the evenings you may well feel like heading to one of the local pubs to partake in some of the musical action.
All of our driver guides are experts on the areas you will be visiting on your tour of Ireland. We bring experienced driving skills, expert touring routes as well as knowledge and insight into the places you will be visiting and staying on your tour. Our driver guides will also recommend places to shop, have a drink, and dine in the various towns and villages and cities of Ireland. Your driver guide can arrange all kinds of activities, events and generally show you Ireland in such depth and quality that is only possible using a local expert. - Simply the best and most enjoyable way of seeing the Emerald Isle, in style! In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
The Mercedes S Class Sedan is the preferred vehicle for luxury individual group travel in Ireland. It has an elegant style and grace along with a smooth interior finished with leather, air conditioning, and electric windows, reclining seats and individual climate controls. It allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery in a space that is both comfortable and relaxing. We carry maps, guide books, water, fridge and music to make your journey as comfortable and entertaining as you wish. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
Enjoy the scenic drive from Dublin to Kilkenny today. Kilkenny is Ireland's foremost medieval city with a beautiful castle, cathedral, narrow cobbled streets and its own brewery. It is a wonderful walking city with the river running through the centre of its streets and a beautiful park located north of the Castle. Near Kilkenny are the beautiful villages of Graignamanagh and Inistoige where the movie "Circle of Friends" was filmed. Kilkenny County is also great for artisans with leather, pottery and contemporary designers populating the countryside. Kilkenny Design Centre is one of Irelands most authentic shopping experiences.
Butler house, an elegant Georgian townhouse located in the centre of historic Kilkenny City offers visitors the best of two worlds. Through the back door you will find Patrick Street, which leads to the commercial centre of the city. Here you will find an array of shops, bars and restaurants. Through the front door you will be surprised to find the internationally renowned Butler House Walled Garden. This charming Georgian garden was restored to its former glory in 1999 and boosts its own private entrance to the Castle yard and Kilkenny Castle. This is another unique feature of this wonderful house. Butler House boasts thirteen special rooms and suites, all with their own individual character. Designed to provide maximum comfort, each has a modern bathroom, and is decorated with soft coordinated fabrics and furnishings. The balance of old and new is prevalent throughout the rooms – contemporary furnishings are combined with the magnificent original features, which afford their guests an impressive sense of comfort and space.
Kilkenny has had a long reputation for being a hub of creativity and on this trail you will experience the master crafters work designing both unique and traditional crafts to suit all tastes. Kilkenny's Craft people make their own work using both traditional and modern techniques, from the white-hot furnace of the glass-blower to the throwing wheel of the potter. Spend time today discovering the artisanal side of life in Kilkenny and its environs as you are brought to various studios such as Nicholas Mosse Pottery, Jerpoint Glass, Chesneau Leather and Kilkenny Design Centre.
After getting your fill of the creative arts, and having had some time for lunch (not included) - there are lots of choices in Kilkenny, continue southbound towards Waterford, your destination for the day. The transfer should take approximately 2 hours.
One of the most acclaimed castle hotels in Ireland, Waterford Castle (4*) has welcomed and charmed the most discerning travellers for decades. The castle is a legendary luxurious retreat of world class standing, offering superb castle accommodation. Experience a wonderful sense of anticipation as you make the short crossing by ferry to the island and travel the beech-lined drive to Waterford Castle. As you enter the massive studded oak doors you will be embraced by the Castle’s 500 year history, the carved stone and wood panelled Hall, with its Jacobean style antiques and intricate original tapestries.
Make your way from Waterford to Cork today in the compfort of your private vehicle in the company of your knowledgeable driver-guide. After a tour of Waterford city with its historical quarter, you can enjoy the verdant scenery along the away on the route towards Cork.Corks Old English Market is a unique covered food and artisan market that dates back to the middle ages. The origins of the market can be traced back to James 1st in 1610, but the present building dates from 1786.The centre is populated with some of Ireland's finest gourmet restaurants and a trip to the English Market, the heart of the city is a must see. Here local artisans have been trading local delicacies under charming Victorian decor for almost two centuries. Among the speciality foods sold at the market are buttered eggs, pigs' feet known as Crubeens, tripe in milk and a host of specialty local fish. The transfer between Waterford and Cork is approximately 2 hours.
Welcome to The River Lee Hotel (formerly Jurys Cork Hotel) (4*). This luxury Cork hotel is the perfect vantage point from which to savor the city and everything that Cork has to offer. Now completely refurbished, The River Lee Hotel is a superb luxury hotel with a range of facilities and amenities. From the superb Fitness Center and magnificent Urban Escape Spa to the culinary delights of the Weir Bistro and the friendly, local bar. A beautiful setting on the banks of the River Lee, the hotel is the perfect base from which to explore all the delights which this great city has to offer, from its great music pubs to its bustling markets, and from its fascinating museums to its historic monuments.
Leave Cork today for the west! Todays destination is Killarney, but there is plenty to take in en route before your arrival...Kinsale Town has the enviable position in one of the most beautiful regions of Ireland protected on all sides by the ocean. Charles Fort on the hillside outside the town was designed just for the purpose of protecting this historical trading town. Around the town there are many beautiful beaches as well as the wonderful Old Head Golf Links which is at the tip of the peninsula. The town is noted as a gourmet capital and a visit to the numerous restaurants, cafes, shops and galleries is a must.The afternoon is dedicated to some of the crafts that are made in the area and can include stops at such places as a selection of Jewellery, Wood, Textiles and Ceramic designers who are dotted around the scenic peninsulas of West Cork. Discover the huge variety of handmade goods on offer, learn more about the processes behind the making of them and most importantly, have some fun along the way! Featured places on this trail are Skibereen, Clonakilty, Dunmanway and Baltimore.
Welcome to The Killarney Park Hotel (5*), Killarney, one of the premier 5 star hotels in this scenic part of Ireland. The warm smile and gentle service after a long days travel aren’t simply things this hotel offers, but rather a reflection of the great staff who work here. The log fire burns brightly, the concierge smiles warmly... your journey is over. The Killarney Park Hotel is situated on its own private grounds. This family owned, luxury hotel in Killarney, is committed to ensuring that every moment will be memorable, relaxing and enjoyable.
Your day today is spent traveling from Killarney to Dingle, located on the western most part of Ireland. Enjoy a hands on experience after you watch the master crafter at work, feel the raw materials, and perhaps even be tempted to make a purchase to have something to remember your trip by on your return. The professional craft producers you'll meet throughout the day will love to chat and tell you about their work, about why they do what they do for a living and why they live where they live. Featured places on this trail are Dingle, Listowel, Tralee, Killarney and the Ring of Kerry.Enjoy time at lunch at leisure (not included) en route.This afternoon will take you to Dingle Crystal which is an artisan producer of top quality crystal from an ex Waterford crystal master craftsman, Sean Daly. A trip to the workshop is a must to watch Sean at work as he designs unique and individual pieces of crystal to suit all tastes. The powerful cutting wheel is used to create designs of unique and exquisite precision. You can also view a stunning array of glassware from bowls to glasses from candlesticks to vases onsite.
The old world charm and elegance of Benners Hotel (3*) will captivate you from the moment you arrive. Dingle Benners Hotel is one of the most luxurious Dingle hotels, offering the best of both worlds - traditional Irish warmth and comfort coupled with the best of modern facilities. Situated in the center of Dingle Town, in the heart of West Kerry, Benners is regarded as one of the best located Kerry hotels, an the ideal base for touring the magnificent Dingle Peninsula and surrounding areas.
The destination today is Galway which is approximately 3.5hours from Dingle, though you will be spending the day meandering to your destination and stopping at sights of interest along the way. West Clare has some of Irelands most rugged and dramatic landscapes with shifting and sculpting stone creating unforgettable scenery such as the Cliffs of Moher, Burren Plateau and Islands. You may like to take a visit of the the spectacular Aillwee Caves in Ballyvaughan at the heart of The Burren. The ancient Dolmen at Poulnabrune is a relic to the intelligence of the first settlers in this remote lunar like landscape. The villages of Ballyvaughan and Kinvarra are quaint and two of the most pleasant and photogenic in Ireland.
This afternoon, delve into the local arts and crafts scene and spend time at Ceardlann, Spiddal Craft and Design Studios which is located at the entrance to Spiddal Village, just beside the beach, overlooking the beautiful Galway Bay, Cliffs of Moher and The Aran Islands. Here you will find 10 Craft workers designing, creating, making and selling their work.This unique and very accessible craft village, also called the Spiddal Craft Centre, and Ceardlann in Irish, is a "must stop" for visitors interested in Irish culture and craft.
At days end you'll be transfered to your accommodation in Galway.
Park House Hotel Galway (4*) is conveniently located in the heart of Galway's city centre. The hotel blends the warmth and personality of a boutique hotel with the style and luxury of a contemporary 4 Star international hotel. Guest accommodation comprises of 84 rooms divided into superior & deluxe rooms, suites and serviced apartments. The award-winning Park Restaurant is a favourite with locals and guests.
Galway is Irelands Gaelic language cultural and arts Capital. The city centre is famous for its lively ambience, street entertainment and wonderful shops, cafes and pubs. As the centre of the city is pedestrian this is best explored at leisure and taking the axis from Eyre Square through Shop Street, Quay Street and down to Claddagh Quay. For shopping we recommend Fallers of Galway, Kenny's Book & Art Store and the myriad of Claddagh Jewellery stores. The Latin Quarter is veritably buzzing from the eclectic legacy of a maritime past with the Spanish Arch and cobbled street fronts. Dining and pubs numerous and the Quays Bar, Naughton's Pub and Mc Donaghs for fresh fish and chips are all favorites. The Midlands of Ireland is an area rich in a landscape of blanket bog dispersed with lakes, castles and historic towns. The highlights of the region include the wonderful gardens at Birr Castle with its turn of the century telescope and beautiful walks. Leap Castle is reputed to be Irelands most haunted building and can be visited on request. Clonmacnoise is one Irelands golden age of monastic centres of learning, a sixth century city built by St Ciaran. There are many other stops of interest including Kilbeggan which has a fantastic distillery tour and Glasson which also makes a great dining break.
The Davenport (4*) is an elegant boutique hotel that is traditionally styled in keeping with the original building. Ideally located at Merrion Square in the heart of Georgian Dublin, The Davenport is within strolling distance of Trinity College, the National Art Gallery, St Stephen's Green and the shopping district of Grafton Street.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer in a private vehicle.
Citizens of other countries may require a visa. Please ask your Sales Advisor. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Ireland for the most up to date visa information.
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