Castles of Ireland Self Drive Journey

Starts in
Dublin
Duration
8 Days
Price from
$1,669
Route
Dublin, Kerry

Explore Dublin and then drive west, staying in castle hotels along the way. You will have the opportunity to visit Galway, Clifden, unspoiled, beautiful Connemara, Gothic Kylemore Abbey, Clare, the Burren, and the dramatic Cliffs of Moher, the Dingle Peninsula, the remote Blasket Islands, Limerick city, the imposing Rock of Cashel, and historic Kildare Town.

SELF-DRIVE EXPLORER – Departs daily - 8-day/7-night package visiting Dublin, Galway, Connemara & Clare, The Dingle Peninsula and Limerick. Includes accommodation at castle hotels with breakfast daily, and a compact automatic rental car for 7 days.

Includes

  • Accommodations as per itinerary
  • Meals as per itinerary; breakfast (B), lunch (L), dinner (D)
  • Rental vehicle with outlined inclusions
  • Keytours 24-hour emergency assistance

Excludes

  • Items of a personal nature
  • Rental vehicle gas, parking, tolls, and all other items not listed as included
  • Entrance fees as per itinerary

Itinerary

Day

1

Arrival-Dublin

Castle and Manor House Hotels: Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel or similar accommodations

Welcome to Dublin! Upon arrival, pick up your rental car and drive approximately 30-minutes to your hotel. The remainder of the day can be spent exploring this vibrant and historic capital city with its many historic buildings, Georgian streets, and colourful gardens. Your first night is spent at a castle hotel in Dublin Area.

Day

2

Explore Dublin

Castle and Manor House Hotels: Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel or similar accommodations

Explore some of Dublin’s fine Museums and Galleries today. Visit Dublinia at Christchurch, which brings the turbulent History of medieval Dublin vividly to life. You should also stop by the 16th Century Trinity College, founded by Elizabeth 1, and now home to the famous illuminated manuscript, the Book of Kells. Don’t forget about the Guinness Storehouse for a tasting of this world-famous ‘black stuff” before you return to your hotel. (B)

Day

3

Dublin – Galway – Clifden

Castle and Manor House Hotels: Abbeyglen Castle or similar accommodations

Leave Dublin this morning and drive approximately 4-hours and travel across the rich midland pastures. Visit Belvedere House, Gardens and Park the magnificent early 18th-century stately home of Robert Rochfort, Earl of Belvedere. Arrive into Galway, which has long traded with Spain and the Spanish influences in the city are many. Continue to the Connemara region, famous for the savage beauty of its lake and mountain scenery and on to Clifden where you shall be staying in the wonderful Abbeyglen Castle which has a panoramic view of Clifden. Overnight in Galway Area. (B)

Day

4

Explore Connemara

Castle and Manor House Hotels: Abbeyglen Castle or similar accommodations

Today, drive approximately 1-hour and 30-minutes and visit Connemara National Park, where Connemara ponies and Irish red deer roam freely through 5,000 acres of scenic mountains, bogs and grassland. You can also visit the magnificent Kylemore Abbey - a beautiful mansion in a lakeside setting against a mountainous backdrop. Take a scenic drive through Leenane where you have the option to board the Sea Cruise through Killary Fjord. Another night will be spent in Abbeyglen Castle.(B)

Day

5

Connemara – Clare

Castle and Manor House Hotels: Cahermane House Hotel or similar accommodations

Leave Clifden and drive approximately 2-hours south into Clare, known as the “land of castles”.Travel on through the strange lunar landscape of the Burren region or visit the Cliffs of Moher a spectacular 5-mile long cliff, which rises almost 200m above sea level. Stop in the heritage town of Kilrush, before boarding a ferry to Tarbert (ferry not included) in north County Kerry. Trave on to the hotel for overnight. Overnight in Kerry area (B)

Day

6

Explore the Dingle Peninsula

Castle and Manor House Hotels: Cahermane House Hotel or similar accommodations

This morning drive approximately 2-hours and 30 minutes to Dingle Peninsula before arriving in Dunquin, on the westernmost tip of the peninsula, where you can visit the Blasket Islands Heritage Centre. This living history museum explores the dimensions of island living, from the land, the sea, and the language, to the weather and the seasons, as well as the distinctive character of the Blasket Islanders. Weather permitting you can embark on a 2- to a 3-hour boat trip around the nine main Blasket Islands. The islands are remote, unspoiled, unpolluted, and spectacularly beautiful and are home to an incredible number of breeding seabirds, with the surrounding seas home to dolphins, porpoises, Atlantic seals, and even the occasional whale or orca. Return to Ballyseede Castle for the night. (B)

Day

7

Limerick – Rock of Cashel – Kildare

Castle and Manor House Hotels: Barberstown Castle or similar accommodations

This morning, spend an hour or two in the medieval city of Limerick, either exploring its history and architecture or purchasing some of the splendid crafts on offer. Why not visit the Hunt Museum, an exhibit of one of Ireland's greatest private collections of art and antiquities? Leave Limerick and drive approximately 3-hours and travel eastwards towards Straffan in Co. Kildare. En route, a small detour will bring you to the imposing Rock of Cashel which rises dramatically from the flat countryside. The rock is crowned by a group of buildings, both ecclesiastical and royal, including a round tower, a 13th-century Romanesque chapel, and the beautifully restored Hall of the Vicar Choral. Continue through the rich pastures of Ireland's midlands before arriving in Kildare for your night in Barberstown Castle, a 13th-century castle, located in the heart of the horse-breeding County of Kildare. (B)

Day

8

Kildare – Dublin – Departure

In the morning, drive approximately 1-hour to Dublin airport and drop off your rental car before your return flight home. (B)

Book Your Trip

Price from
$1,669

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