(Dublin, Cashel, Kenmare, Doolin, Clifden)
Experience the mythical country of Ireland as you explore the rich history, fascinating culture and friendly locals as you travel from Dublin through bucolic countryside to Killarney and to Connemara on the rugged west coast. In the company of an experienced and knowledgeable driver-guide and in the comfort of your own touring vehicle, you can take things at your own pace and spend as much or as little time as you wish at the various sights of interest. Enjoy the cosmopolitan city of Dublin before traveling to Cashel - famous for its castle, stopping off at the medieval city of Kilkenny with its majestic castle en route. Admire the expansive English market, cathedrals and bustling city centre of Cork before touring the breathtaking coastal drive in West Cork. The Ring of Kerry is known world-wide as one of the most impressive coastal drives in the world - and rightly so! Take in the seascapes after touring the Lakes of Killarney and stunning mountainous views as you pass through the gap of Dunloe. Then visit caves in the botanist’s fantasy world that is The Burren - a micro climate limestone karst region in the West of Ireland, where mediterranean and colder climate plants grow side by side. Finally, complete your extensive tour of Ireland in Connemara - an area of wild open spaces of bogland, inlets, fishing villages and traditional pubs with live music. You are sure to remember this trip for many years to come!
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer in a private vehicle.
Spend the afternoon as you wish, perhaps visiting one of the many attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse or the Jameson distillery.
Located in the heart of the St James’s Gate Brewery, the Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s No. 1 Dublin Tourist attraction. The state of the art interactive museum and audio visual exhibition takes one on an incredible journey through the history and making of Guinness and includes some very entertaining advertisements that were used throughout the past fifty years. Finish off your discovery by sipping on a complimentary pint from the birds eye viewing room located at the top of the building and take in the panoramic views of the city and coast.
The Jameson Distillery provides a fascinating visit of its factory and introduces the visitor to the various stages that go in to the process of premium whiskey. At the end of the tour you can sit down and do a tutored vertical tasting of various whiskeys from around the world and you'll be sure to appreciate Jameson's premium whiskey all the more!
Other places of interest in the city include St Patrick's Cathedral, Christchurch and Trinity College incorporating The Book of Kells. You may also enjoy Irelands historic and cultural resourses at the world class museums on Kildare Street. There is also excellent shopping on Grafton Street and nearby Nassau Street as well as Dublin's European Style Boulevard of O'Connell Street.
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.
Spend the day discovering some of the highlights of the city and surrounding area in the company of your private driver-guide. Dublin City's Phoenix Park is the largest city park in Europe and is situated on the north side of the River Liffey in the city centre. The Park is home to famous landmarks such as Wellingtons Monument, The Papal Cross and Presidential residence. The Park also houses the Dublin City Zoo which is renowned for its collection of both tropical and arctic birds and animals that can survive in Ireland's temperate climate. This afternoon, you will be brought into the bucolic countryside outside of Dublin. Enjoy a visit of Powerscourt - a majestic Estate and Gardens in the Wicklow Mountains overlooking the Sugarloaf Mountain. The Gardens provide a fascinating juxtaposition between manicured formal gardens and the wild and beautiful backdrop of the Mountains. The village of Enniskerry is a pretty rural hamlet on the edge of the estate. Further along the Dublin Mountains which are famed for their views over Dublin Bay and beyond is Johnny Fox's pub, which is reputed to be the highest in Ireland. The seafood, memorabilia and lively atmosphere all day are what make this one of Ireland's most famous watering holes. At day's end you will be brought back to your accommodation in Dublin. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
You will be driven from Dublin to Cashel today. En route, enjoy a stop off at the city of Kilkenny - 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.
This afternoon you will travel into South Tipperary which is renowned for its rustic castles and ancient abbeys and lush farming landscapes. The World Heritage town of Cashel lies at the foot of the world famous Rock of Cashel. This towering monument has a unique collection of medieval buildings including a Fortified Castle, atmospheric Cathedral, Romanesque Chapel and Round Tower. The town of Cahir is famous for its Norman fortification, Cahir Castle as well as the Associated Hunting Lodge, known simply as the Swiss Cottage. Also in the immediate area there are the remains of once thriving monasteries at Cashel, Holy Cross and Attassel. Tipperary is also associated with evergreen valleys and mountainscapes of the Glen of Aherlow and the Vee Valley Drives. “In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site”.
As you travel from Cashel to Kenamre today in the comfort of your chauffeur driven vehicle, you will no doubt enjoy stopping off in the bussiling city of cork - the vibrant and independent southern capital of Ireland where locals enjoy the wonderful natural resources on their doorstep. The city is located on an archipelago of small islands created by the tidal River Lee. 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. There are two magnificent cathedrals either side of the river and many excellent galleries from the "Glucksmann" at University College to "Crawford" in the town centre.
The bucolic West Cork coastline calls this afternoon. Admire the views as you are driven along one of the most indented, varied and lush coastlines in Ireland. Among the highlights of this tour is the ancient Drombeg Stone Circle, the quaint fishing villages of Glandore and Union Hall as well as a possible detour to Ireland's most southerly peninsula, Mizen Head. There are also the pretty seaside towns of Baltimore with its islands and Schull with lots of nice shops and cafes to browse through. Glengariff is located at the foot of the Caha Mountains that separate Cork from Kerry. It is a dense lush sub tropical valley that is famous for its Bamboo Park, seal colony and Italian Gardens visited by boat from The Blue Pool in Glengariff. Inland from here is the solitary chapel on an island by the lake at Gougane Barra, one of Irelands most romantic locations. “In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site”.
At days end you will be driven to your accommodation for the night.
The Ring of Kerry is one of the most well known coastal drives in Europe. Sit back and prepare to be awed by the natural beuaity as you are brought on an excursion with your driver-guide today. Highlights of tour will take in the very best of this magical peninsula in a unique and unforgettable drive through the heart of the National Park. From Killarney and the Muckross Estate the narrow road winds up to Ladies View and Molls Gap where panoramic view of the lakes and distant peaks form a picturesque stop. We continue to explore this region in depth by travelling into the Black Valley where a blanket bog land is still harvested. Finally we ascend at the Gap of Dunloe driving though a magical valley of quintessential Irish beauty. Ending the tour, we can make a stop at Kate Kearney's Cottage where the adventitious can end the tour on foot or by horse drawn cart before returning to Kenmare. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
Topday you will leave Kenmare and make youer way to Doolin. Starting in the town of Dingle, the Peninsula tour is simply one of the most beautiful drives on Earth and one of the most natural environments in Europe. The Blasket Islands that are a group of historical islands with UNESCO World Heritage Status, uninhabited since 1953 can be visited by boat. The Blasket Centre in Dun Chaoin, on the tip of the Dingle Peninsula, celebrates the story of the Blasket Islands, their writers the native language, culture and tradition. There are also ancient beehive huts, a perfectly formed miniature oratory at Gallarus and countless ancient sights dotted amongst the epic landscapes which was the setting for many Hollywood movies including Ryan’s Daughter and Far and Away.
Countinue on your journey this afternoon as you enter into South County Clare - an unspoilt haven for those interested in rugged Atlantic seascapes and desolate beaches. Doonbeg (Irish for the small dunes) is home to a wonderful golf course on the edge of the ocean. At certain times of the year schools of dolphins and whales can be seen in the Shannon Estuary at Carrigtool and Loop Head. The market town of Kilrush is a excellent place to browse the colourful shop fronts and experience a traditional Irish town. The town of Kilkee is famed for its clean beach and Cliff walks and dramatic wild scenery of the unforgettable lighthouse walk at Loop Head. The area also has beautiful inland places to visit such as the market town of Ennis with Ennis Friary and nearby Quin Abbey. “In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site”.
Today you will travel from Doolin to Clifden, the capital of Connemara. Along the way, you will get to see the impressive Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare - one of Irelands most beautiful and must see natural attractions. They stretch for 8km & rise up to 214 meters above the Atlantic Ocean where gulls and sea life play below an awe inspiring panorama. The tour includes parking at the cliffs and entrance to the cliffs as well as use of the world class facilities at the visitor centre. There is an optional extra (not included in tour cost) to take the Atlantic Edge exhibition which illustrates this unique and fragile environment.
Continue on your travels this afternoon with your driver-guide as you make your way into West Clare with 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. We recommend a visit to visit to 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. At the end of the day, you will be dropped off at your accommodation in the heart of the picturesque town of Clifden. “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 southern shores of Connemara are famous for aqua marine waters, white sandy beaches and coastal villages with seafood bars and restaurants. Enjoy a day trip in the comfort of your own vehicle with your driver-guide today as you explore. The must see haunts on this tour are the villages of Roundstone with its beautiful Dogs Bay Beach and the quaint villages of Cashel, Carna and Carraroe. This is a breathtaking landscape of epic mountains, deep coves and rugged wildness unmatched elsewhere in Europe. There are lots of wonderful villages from Clifden, the alpine like Capital to Leenane on the banks of Killary Fjord as well as Roundstone with its beautiful beaches on the Western coast. The jewel of this rugged mountainous region is Kylemore Abbey and Walled Gardens as well as a serene chapel on the banks of the lake adorned with local Connemara marble and stained glass. A hike along the wilds of Killary Harbour as well as the deep valley at Delphi is also an option. 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 town of Clifden is famous for its live music at night and of course due to proximity to the ocean, has a great seafood tradition. The champions of seafood in this small town are Mitchells Restaurant which serves delightful platters of oysters, mussels, crabs and all the rest. Local hotels have excellent restaurants such as the Marconi at Foyle’s Hotel. We recommend checking out some live music in one of the local pubs which starts at 9.30 pm and finishes when the last Guinness has been cheerfully drowned!
Travel from Clifden to Dublin today stopping off in the cosmopolitan city of Galway and various other places of interest en route. Galway “City of the Tribes” is Irelands Gaelic language cultural and artistic Capital. The city is famous for its lively ambience with impromptu street entertainment. The Latin Quarter is veritably buzzing from the eclectic legacy of a maritime past with the Spanish Arch and cobbled street fronts. The Claddagh District where the world renowned symbol of Friendship is another area of interest. Further along the Claddagh the city opens to the Atlantic Ocean at Salthill, with promenades and beautiful vistas. The famous Galway Bay is a rustic drive to the beautiful and timeless villages of Spiddal, Barna and Furbo.
This afternoon, as you continue on your journey towards Dublin, you will pass through the Midlands - 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. “In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site”.
At day's end, you will be brought to you accommodation in Dublin.
A complimentary shuttle service is provided for guests of the Northwood Hotel to Dublin airport. The shuttle is available 24 hours a day.
The Cliff House is a luxury Georgian hotel situated on St Stephen’s Green, a quiet haven in the heart of Dublin’s finest shopping precinct. Its classic ambience and boutique style offers comfortable bedrooms that are beautifully designed with thoughtful attention to each detail. As you relax in your room, admire the views over St Stephen’s Green, only a stone’s throw from the historic centre of Dublin. In fact, just to the side of this charming hotel is the National Art Gallery and Trinity College Dublin, so if you are a culture lover, this hotel is ideal for you. You will not be disappointed by the quality of the food offered here: each meal is meticulously prepared with the best ingredients to create a traditionally Irish meal with a modern twist. Together with excellent service and a great atmosphere, your dinner will be an unforgettable treat.
Ladyswell House is a wonderful Guesthouse at the foot of the Rock of Cashel in the historic town of Cashel in Tipperary. The bedrooms are decorated to a very high standard and some rooms have wonderful views over the Rock of Cashel and are adorned with antique and curios. Breakfast is a treat featuring local artisan meats, homemade breads, jams and blueberry pancakes. Ladyswell is superbly located for both pubs and restaurants and is beside the world famous Chez Hans Restaurant which is located in a converted church.
Shelburne Lodge (c. mid-18th century) was the original house in the Kenmare area of the Petty - Fitzmaurice family William Petty Fitzmaurice (1737-1805), known as Lord Shelburne. Lord Shelburne was commissioned with the design of the town of Kenmare which was completed in 1775.As Prime Minister of Great Britain from July 1782 to February 1783 Lord Shelburne helped negotiate the Treaty of Paris 1783 which brought the conflict between Britain and America to an end.
Cullinan's Guesthouse is situated in the heart of Doolin, Co. Clare, and offers first class accommodation and exceptional cuisine in an idyllic setting overlooking the Aille river. The restaurant was accredited a RAI Dining Award in 2011, Michele Erdvig restaurant of the year award and RAC dining award. The restaurant is also highly recommended by Michelin, Frommers, Fodors, Bridgestone, and Georgina Campbell.
The Seamist House in is located overlooking the beautiful Quay in Clifden, Connemara and most aesthetically pleasing guesthouse properties. The exterior is beautifully arranged with local Connemara stone and beautifully kept gardens. The rooms are equally pleasing with decorations in style with the age of this turn of the century manor. Breakfast is a feat of local produce served in a lovely sunroom with views over town and bay. In keeping with the style of the house they have not provided televisions in the bedrooms, they do however have one in the sitting room with all the channels for guest's use. They also have introduced wireless access throughout the house for their guests.
The Crowne Plaza Dublin Northwood is located just minutes away from Dublin Airport which you can reach with a complimentary airport shuttle bus. Located within Northwood Park which consists of an extensive international business campus, a high quality residential village and numerous luxury amenities including a health & fitness centre, crèche, shops, restaurants and an 85 acre public park, this hotel is a property that we suggest if being close to the airport (particularly for an early morning flight departure) is preferred. Please note that it is located approximately 6km from Dublin city centre. While here, one can sample the culinary offerings at Cinnabar, a contemporary bar with views of the lake and surrounding park which offers a beautiful combination of contrasting Asian and Western design while creating a unique atmosphere to unwind in. Alternatively, there is an ‘east meets west' cuisine option at the onsite restaurant, Touzai, which features an Asian styled ambience.
Vanessa Oquendo ,
April 21, 2014
"Melissa Field was extremely helpful! She was courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly! She kept me updated on the status of everything and provided timely correspondence. She took ownership for any problems I had and remedied them. I had the most amazing time of my life in Iceland and Paris! I would not have experienced everything without the help of Kensington Tours."
Marilynn Weaver ,
April 21, 2014
"All of our guides were beyond fabulous! Our time in Dublin was much too short, would have loved to stay there at least one more full day. Would recommend extending this package to 15 days for any future visits. The train to Edinburgh was super! Beautiful scenery and great steak pies!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery Westlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bent over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangements made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
Jay Steffan ,
September 24, 2013
"We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and Normandy. We spent three nights in Paris and then enjoyed a seven night cruise on the Seine to Normandy with AMA Waterways. The time in Paris was well spent and has piqued our interest to return for a more thorough visit. Guide Wafaa Lankey was superb in our visit to Versailles. The Seine cruise was relaxing and beautiful. So many wonderful little towns and we wished we had more time in each one to explore and enjoy.
We traveled to Croatia and Slovenia using Kensington earlier this year which was a fantastic trip."
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