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Country Roads of Ireland

Duration 12 days

Destinations visited :
  • Ireland
    ,

Let the luck of the Irish be with you on this 12-day guided tour across Ireland. Start the tour in Dublin, where you get up close to the Book of Kells, an ancient Gospel manuscript filled with mythical beasts and Celtic knots. In Kilkenny, try your hand at hurling, a 3,000-year-old sport, in a private lesson with a professional. A chef will share traditional Irish recipes at a farm-to-table feast in Killarney. You’ll see the Ring of Kerry, a mystical, verdant peninsula dotted with seaside villages. Finally, step onto Giant’s Causeway with it’s basalt columns carved onto the coast by volcanic lava, or a giant’s feet, if Irish myth is to be believed.

Take a look at your day-by-day itinerary or contact us on 0207 620 8952 to find out more.

DAY 1

Welcome to Dublin.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. On arrival at Dublin airport, transfers leave for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner with the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a meal with wine.
Hotel: Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

DAY 2

In Dublin’s Fair City.
Become acquainted with Dublin’s elegant squares during an orientation of the city. Discover famous O’Connell Street, Custom House and Dublin Castle. Enjoy your VIP priority entrance to the 9th century Book of Kells and a walk through the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College accompanied by a university insider, who will share their insights into modern life and the establishment’s impressive history. The afternoon is free to explore.
Hotel: Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 3

A Journey from Dublin to Cork.
In the morning, visit one of the country’s main racehorse breeding centres. Continue to the acclaimed 100 year old Japanese Gardens where you can ‘journey through life’ during a walk through the beautiful surrounds. Travel to the medieval city of Kilkenny, home of the world’s fastest field game. The ancient Celtic sport of Hurling is over 3,000 years old and Ireland’s national sport. Meet a player who will share his passion though a demonstration of skill. Continue through Cahir and see its imposing 13th century castle, featured in the film ‘Excalibur’, on the way to Cork. On arrival, your Travel Director will show you around the compact university city, with its vibrant waterfront and grand Georgian parades.
Hotel: Maldron Hotel South Mall, Cork.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 4

Across the Mountains to Killarney.
Travel to the ruined Blarney Castle. Will you hang upside down from the ramparts to kiss the stone and ensure a lifetime of eloquence? Travel across the majestic Derrynasaggart Mountains to the peaceful town of Killarney. For your Farm-to-Table dining experience, enjoy some Irish home cooking in the kitchens of chef John Sheehan. Join John and his wife, Freda for drinks and a personal insight into classic Irish recipes that are loved throughout the world. Then, settle down for a night of great food and drink in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
Hotel: Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 5

Ring of Kerry Experience.
Start your day with a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local jarveys. Take a leisurely excursion around the magnificent Ring of Kerry. Here, mountains, valleys, lakes and sea blend into a landscape that is breathtaking beyond words. Journey past lush lakelands and around towering cliffs as you appreciate sweeping sea views. Continue through delightful villages like Sneem and cross the peat bogs of the Black Mountains to Moll’s Gap to admire Queen Victoria’s Ladies View. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
Hotel: Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 6

Around the Dingle Peninsula.
In the morning, take to the wide skies, peaceful towns and coastal scenery of the Dingle Peninsula – the setting for the film Ryan’s Daughter. Drive to dramatic Slea Head at the peninsula’s far end, then continue through the picturesque thatched village of Adare and pass Limerick, famous for rhymes, before reaching your hotel located at the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way, with access to the Dromoland Castle Estate.
Hotel: The Inn At Dromoland.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 7

The Cliffs of Moher and Galway.
Journey to the Visitor Centre at the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Clare Coast before a delightful drive through the strange, rocky landscape of the Burren to Galway Bay. On arrival, see the Lynch Memorial and Church of St. Nicholas, where Christopher Columbus reputedly prayed before his voyages to America. See the Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President, John F. Kennedy.
Hotel: Connemara Coast Hotel, Galway.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner

DAY 8

Free day Galway or Aran Islands.
Spend a day at leisure to relax and enjoy Galway. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to the Aran Islands – a genuine highlight of the Wild Atlantic Way. With their cliffs and spectacular coastal views, the islands are a true Irish experience.
Hotel: Connemara Coast Hotel, Galway.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 9

Londonderry.
Continue on to County Sligo, stopping at a peaceful churchyard in Drumcliffe to visit the final resting place of Ireland’s famous poet, William Butler Yeats. Admire the Blue Stack Mountains of Donegal as you cross into Northern Ireland bound for the ancient walled city of ‘Derry. ‘ What better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland’s best storytellers, Ronan, as he takes you on a tour inside the city walls, still topped with cannons. Walk down steep Shipquay Street, with its elegant Georgian houses, to the Gothic Guildhall.
Hotel: Maldron Hotel Derry, Londonderry.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner

DAY 10

Walk in the Giant’s Steps on the way to Ballygally.
Journey to the legendary Giant’s Causeway, a geological masterpiece created by the cooling of lava which burst through the earth’s crust millions of years ago. Next, prepare yourself for miles of breathtaking beauty as you travel along the road clinging to the Antrim Coast. Continue onto your hotel, overlooking Ballygally Bay. For those who are brave enough, perhaps check out The Ghost Room, in one of the castle’s turrets? In the evening, please join us for a finale Celebration Dinner, where old-fashioned hospitality is blended with good food and wine for an experience that delights the senses.
Hotel: Ballygally Castle.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 11

The Antrim Coast to Belfast.
Continue around the Antrim Coast, past the huge Norman castle at Carrickfergus, to arrive in the Northern Ireland capital of Belfast. Meet Hilda, your Local Expert, for a passionate city tour including views of the City Hall, Queen’s University, the Parliament Building at Stormont and murals in different locations indicating political sentiments of local residents.
Hotel: Europa Hotel, Belfast.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 12

Depart Belfast.
Departure transfers arrive at Belfast George Best City Airport at 07:15 and Belfast International Airport at 08:00. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.
Meal: Breakfast

Authentic Dining

  • Killarney: Join John and his wife, Freda for drinks and a personal insight into classic Irish recipes that are loved throughout the world. Your Farm-to-Table experience is all about locally-sourced ingredients prepared with skill, so that you can taste the freshness in every mouthful.
  • Ballygally: The Irish call it ‘craic’ – the warm feeling resulting from the confluence of music, drink, good food, laughter, and conversation. And after circumnavigating the Emerald Isle, there’s bound to be a fair share of craic at your grand finale Celebration Dinner. Sláinte!
  • Dining Summary: 11 Breakfasts (B), 2 Dinners (D) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • Dublin: Enjoy VIP priority entrance to the Book of Kells and a guided walk though Trinity College with a university insider.
  • Kildare: Join an equine professional for a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish National Stud. Then visit the finest Japanese Gardens in Europe, for a ‘journey through life’ as you wander by the beautiful floral displays.
  • Kilkenny: Kilkenny has the greatest amount of All-Ireland titles of its national sport of hurling. Meet a player to gain an exciting insight into this unique Irish cultural experience, through a demonstration of skill.
  • Killarney: Hear the history, legend and folklore of Killarney from a local Jarvey, while on-board a famous jaunting car ride.
  • Londonderry: There’s no better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland’s best storytellers, Ronan, as he takes you on a tour inside the city walls. See the Gothic Guildhall and the Georgian houses of Shipquay Street.
  • Belfast: Meet Hilda, a true Belfast local, having lived in the same house her entire life. During your panoramic tour, hear the history of the city and learn why Hilda is proud of its progress and current prosperity. You’ll also see the City Hall, Queen’s University, Parliament Building at Stormont and murals in different locations indicating political sentiments of local residents.

Stay in Style

  • Killarney: In the heart of the town centre, the Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa overlooks Killarney National Park and is the perfect location to enjoy the stunning scenery and the local ‘craic.’
  • Galway: Set on the coast, the Connemara Coast Hotel offers spectacular views of Connemara and continues a tradition in hospitality dating back to 1839.
  • Londonderry: The Maldron Hotel Derry is the only hotel situated in Londonderry’s 17th century walls and very close to all that the city has to offer.
  • Ballygally: Ballygally Castle is a stunning 17th century castle which overlooks the golden sands of the bay and offers excellent facilities.
  • Belfast: The Europa Hotel is located in the heart of Belfast City Centre and offers elegant décor, a contemporary bistro and a relaxing piano bar.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Dublin: During your orientation with your Travel Director, see the Custom House, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Castle and the Georgian townhouses as you travel down O’Connell Street and along the River Liffey.
  • Cahir: See one of the largest castles in Ireland.
  • Cork: Relish this university city with its interesting waterways and grand Georgian parades of houses.
  • Blarney: Dangle from the ramparts to kiss the Stone of Eloquence, and never be lost for words again!
  • Killarney: Enjoy hearing of the history of Killarney during your city orientation.
  • Ring of Kerry: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and remote villages, as you travel the magical Ring of Kerry. Journey through Sneem, pass the Black Mountains, Moll’s Gap and admire Queen Victoria’s Ladies View.
  • Dingle Peninsula: Enjoy a scenic drive to Slea Head.
  • Adare: Experience a village walk through the main street lined with thatched cottages.
  • Cliffs of Moher: Stop by the Exhibition Centre and overlook the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.
  • Galway: Enjoy an orientation tour of the many landmarks in Galway such as the Lynch Memorial, Church of St. Nicholas, Spanish Arch and Eyre Square.
  • Drumcliffe: Visit the final resting place of Irish poet William Butler Yeats.
  • Giant’s Causeway: Learn about the towering hexagonal basalt columns – a geological spectacle to behold.
  • Ballygally: Explore this seaside town with your Travel Director.
  • Carrickfergus: See the immense Castle as your drive around it.
  • Scenic Drives: Irish scenery is some of the most beautiful in the world. Relax and admire the views as your travel past the Derrynasaggart Mountains, the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, Burren, the Blue Stack Mountains of Donegal and the Antrim Coast.

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight’s luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert’s fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included – you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.
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Country Roads of Ireland

Let the luck of the Irish be with you on this 12-day guided tour across Ireland. Start the tour in Dublin, where you get up close to the Book of Kells, an ancient Gospel manuscript filled with mythical beasts and Celtic knots. In Kilkenny, try your hand at hurling, a 3,000-year-old sport, in a private lesson with a professional. A chef will share traditional Irish recipes at a farm-to-table feast in Killarney. You’ll see the Ring of Kerry, a mystical, verdant peninsula dotted with seaside villages. Finally, step onto Giant’s Causeway with it’s basalt columns carved onto the coast by volcanic lava, or a giant’s feet, if Irish myth is to be believed.

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