With so many wonderful things to see and do in Ireland, it can be hard to know what’s really worth your time. Well, we’ve done that part for you and curated this tour which showcases the true highlights of Ireland.
From basking in the glorious views of Killarney National Park and Rossbeigh Beach, to learning how whiskey is made at Kilbeggan Distillery and getting up close and personal with stunning birds of prey, this tour has it all.
Throughout the booking process, our experienced team will be on hand to make sure every last detail is put in place to guarantee a holiday of a lifetime.
Accommodation – The Westbury Hotel, Dublin (2 Nights)
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur Transfer.
Activities – Explore Dublin.
Dinner – Wilde, Westbury
Upon arriving at Dublin Airport your personal chauffeur will be waiting to greet you, give you a hand with your bags, and make the short drive into Dublin to your accommodation for the next two nights, The Westbury.
This opulent five-star hotel in the heart of Dublin was voted the number one hotel in Ireland, and number 56 in the world, in the Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Awards.
Bursting with sophisticated style and Irish charm, you are sure to fall in love with The Westbury the moment you set eyes on it.
On your first day you will have the chance to explore Dublin. If you want to learn a bit more about Dublin’s past, why not check out the National Museum of Ireland or the Irish Emigration Museum. Or, if you’re looking to relax in some green space, head over to Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed park in Europe at 7 square kilometres. And if it’s some retail therapy you’re after, Henry Street is the place to go.
That being said, if you have had a long journey you may want to simply rest, relax, and enjoy the magnificent surroundings of The Westbury before your first full day of touring begins.
However you choose to spend your day, you will be sure to finish it on a high as you will be dining in the hotel’s WILDE restaurant this evening. Plenty of natural light and lashings of greenery provide a relaxing, tranquil atmosphere in which to enjoy Castownbere scallops, herb-crusted Wicklow lamb rack, Kerala coconut curry, and Cru Virunga chocolate fondant.
Accommodation – The Westbury Hotel, Dublin
Activities – Private Walking Tour of Dublin (Dublin Castle, Trinity College Library – Book of Kells, Temple Bar) Guinness Storehouse
Dinner – Winding Stair Restaurant, Dublin
Up first today is a private walking tour of Dublin, a city which is absolutely bursting at the seams with enchanting stories.
You will meet your expert tour guide in Dublin city centre and the tour kicks off with a visit to Dublin Castle which dates back to 1230 after King John of England decided that a castle should be built to defend Dublin. Its location is no accident as it was strategically placed such that the River Poddle would provide a natural barrier against any invading armies.
Serving many purposes over the years – defensive fortress, parliament, court, military base – Dublin Castle has played an instrumental role throughout Ireland’s history, and your guide will go into all the (sometimes grizzly) details.
From there you will wind your way past City Hall and on to Trinity College Library. Here you will get a chance to view some of the treasured artefacts they have on display, such as the Proclamation of the Irish Republic (1916), “Brian Boru’s” harp, which was crafted in the 14th century, and the Book of Kells, which was written in the 9th century. The Book of Kells is written in Latin and is considered one of the most important manuscripts in Christian literature. It was written by Columban monks and depicts the four Gospels.
After that you will head to Temple Bar, arguably the most famous spot in Dublin and certainly the nerve centre of the city’s social scene. Winding cobbled streets are packed with busy bars and cosy pubs where you will find talented musicians drumming up a lively atmosphere.
Next up is the Guinness Storehouse experience. Spread over 7 floors, you will learn how Guinness is made and what the key ingredients are. Interactive displays are on hand to tell you the history of this iconic Irish institution. You will then reach the gravity bar, which boasts unrivalled view across the Dublin skyline, and enjoy a crisp, cold pint of Guinness.
For dinner this evening you will be heading to The Winding Stair, a restaurant which also doubles, rather unusually, as a bookshop. With perfect views over the Liffey River and Ha’penny Bridge, it’s hard to find a better spot to enjoy dinner. The menu emphasises traditional Irish home cooking with dishes such as smoked ox tongue and Black Angus Irish striploin on offer.
Accommodation – Hayfield Manor, Cork (1 Night)
Activities – Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle and Stone, Cork
Dinner – Orchids, Hayfield Manor
Your first stop today is a visit to The Rock of Cashel, which certainly looks like it could have inspired one or two Game of Thrones settings. The Rock of Cashel is a collection of medieval buildings which are perched atop a small rocky ridge in “The Golden Vale”. As you stroll around these ancient buildings, you will wonder what it must have been like living here all the way back in the 12th and 13th centuries. The entire area is a wonderful sight to behold, but highlights include the round tower, gothic cathedral, and castle.
For your next stop your chauffeur will take you to Blarney Castle and Stone, a site steeped in myth and legend. The area around the castle is gorgeous, and the castle itself was built in the 12th century, so it’s seen plenty of sights over the years. The Blarney Stone, so the folklore tells, will bless anyone who kisses it with the “gift of the gab” or the ability to speak fluently and persuasively. After blessing yourself with the stone’s powers, you can enjoy a relaxing stroll in the many themed gardens which surround the castle.
It’s then off to the city of Cork, the culinary capital of Ireland. If you fancy sampling some fresh local produce, head to the architecturally stunning English Market on Princes Street where local traders sell their wares. St Fin Barre’s Cathedral is another must see attraction. It has over 1260 sculptures, stunning stained-glass windows, and a cannonball which weighs a staggering 24 pounds.
For breath-taking views across the entire city, make the trip to St Anne’s Church, home to the Shandon Bells, where you can climb to a 37m tall viewing platform and drink in the sights of Cork. Finally, if you fancy a picnic, there is no better spot than Fitzgerald’s Park.
This evening you will be staying in Hayfield Manor where you will dine in their prestigious Orchids restaurant. Here is where traditional Irish charms meets exquisite fine dining.
Accommodation – The Europe, Killarney (2 Nights)
Activities – Killarney National Park, Muckross House, Private Falconry Experience
Dinner – Panorama Restaurant, Europe Hotel
If you packed a camera, be sure to bring it on day four as you will be heading to Killarney National Park, the first ever national park in Ireland and one of the most beautiful areas in the entire country. Here you will find the famous lakes of Killarney, as well as the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland. The park is home to the last native herd of red deer in Ireland, so hopefully you will be lucky enough to spot them.
Having soaked up the sights Mother Nature has to offer; your chauffeur will take you to Muckross House to enjoy the splendour of Tudor architecture, as well as the pristine gardens which surround the house. Muckross House was given to the Irish Free State by William Bourn and Arthur Vincent, and the house and surrounding estate formed the original national park, which has now expanded significantly.
In the afternoon you will be treated to a falconry experience at Killarney Falconry. Falconry is an ancient craft, with humans learning to work in tandem with these incredible creatures thousands of years ago. You will get to watch on in delight as the birds perform incredible feats of aerial acrobatics before getting up close and personal with them as they swoop and land on your gloved hand.
Tonight, you will be staying in The Europe Hotel which is nestled on the shores of Lough Léin and enjoys magnificent views across the lough and over to the McGillycuddy’s Reeks beyond.
Dinner this evening will be served in the aptly named Panorama Restaurant. The hotel supplies the kitchen with produce from its own farm, ensuring you are served the freshest meat and vegetables possible.
Accommodation – The Europe, Killarney
Activities – Ring of Kerry, Gap of Dunloe, Rossbeigh Beach, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Sneem, Kenmare, Moll’s Gap
Dinner – The Brasserie, Europe Hotel
Day five is a real adventure as you set off on the Ring of Kerry route. Your journey begins by heading over the Gap of Dunloe, a slender mountain pass separating the McGillycuddy’s Reeks and Purple Mountain ranges. Your chauffeur will then make a stop off at Rossbeigh Beach, the perfect opportunity to snap some photos of the incredible views across the Atlantic Ocean.
You will then snake your way to Cahersiveen, a small, traditional Irish town and the ideal place to grab some lunch from a local café. After lunch it’s on to Waterville, a colourful seaside town, before heading to Sneem, which is known locally as “The Way the Fairies Went”. You will also pass through Kenmare, “the jewel in the Ring of Kerry”, before finishing your journey by heading over Moll’s Gap, another impressive mountain pass providing photo opportunities aplenty.
After a long day of touring, you may want to make use of The Europe’s first-class spa facilities before dinner which tonight will be served in The Brasserie which offers a more casual dining experience than The Panorama. Seared Irish beef carpaccio, Skeaghanore duck fillet, and wild mushroom risotto are but a snippet of the vast array of mouth-watering dishes served at The Brasserie.
Accommodation – Glenlo Abbey, Galway (3 Nights)
Activities – Adare Village, Limerick, Galway
Dinner – Pullman Restaurant, Glenlo Abbey
First on the agenda on day six is a trip to Adare Village which has a history dating back to the 13th century. Commonly referred to as Ireland’s prettiest village, you will soon see why. Old thatched roofed cottages, quaint churches, and Adare Castle combine to create the impression you have travelled back in time.
You will then visit Limerick, which sits on the winding banks of the River Shannon. Highlights here include King John’s Castle, St Mary’s Cathedral, and the Treaty Stone upon which was carved the Treaty of Limerick that marked the official surrender of Limerick to William of Orange.
From there you will be taken to Galway for a chance to soak up the atmosphere of this energetic city. Brightly coloured shopfronts, street performers, supremely talented musicians, and lively cafes and bars combine to bring an energy and buzz to Galway’s labyrinthine streets.
This evening you will be staying at Glenlo Abbey which is nestled in a huge country estate and enjoys views of Lough Corrib. The serene, quiet atmosphere of the estate provides the perfect backdrop to switch off and unwind. Dinner this evening will be served in The Pullman Restaurant, a truly unique experience as the restaurant is inside two original carriages of the Orient Express.
Accommodation – Glenlo Abbey, Galway
Activities – Clifden, Travel via Sky Road, Connemara National Park, Kylemore Abbey, Cong, Pat Cohan Bar
Dinner – Palmer’s Bar and Kitchen, Glenlo Abbey
First on the agenda on day seven is a visit to Clifden, a charming little market town. Pop into a local café and grab a coffee and cake before getting back on the road. Back on the Sky Road, that is, which takes you out of Clifden and up to a wonderful vantage point providing views of Clifden Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
You will then be driven through Connemara National Park, stopping at all the best photo spots, on your way to Kylemore Abbey. The Abbey cuts a striking figure as it’s light granite exterior stands in contrast to the dark waters and deep greens all around it. A new visitor experience, “From Generation to Generation”, allows you to hear about the personal stories of those who have lived, worked, and prayed at Kylemore. There are also wonderfully restored rooms which provide a vivid sense of what life would have been like there in days gone by.
You will then visit the small village of Cong, which feels very like an island due to the many streams which surround it. Here you will get a chance to visit the famous Pat Cohan Bar which shot to fame when the 1952 John Wayne movie “The Quiet Man” was filmed there. To this day there are still little reminders of the pub’s, and the village’s, claim to fame dotted around the place.
You will then return to Glenlo Abbey where tonight you will be dining in Palmer’s Bar and Kitchen.
Accommodation – Glenlo Abbey, Galway
Activities – Cliffs of Moher, Cliffs of Moher Cruise, Burren National Park, Private Sheepdog Demonstration
Dinner – Oak Cellar Bistro, Glenlo Abbey
After breakfast you will then make your way to the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations, which sit high above the dramatic coastline of West Clare. A unique visitor centre, carved into the rock in the style of a Hobbit-burrow, provides a space to learn more about the cliffs. O’Brien’s Tower marks the highest point of the cliffs, a staggering 702 feet above the thundering sea below.
You will then get to witness the true grandeur of the Cliffs of Moher by heading out on a cruise which gives you the perfect view of these truly incredible cliffs.
Your chauffeur will then take you to Burren National Park for a chance to explore this unique wilderness. Often described as “otherworldly”, you will soon realise this is an apt description as the vast expanses of exposed limestone rock make it look like something from another planet entirely. Indeed, the name Burren comes from the Irish “Boíreann”, which means “rocky place”. The limestone here was formed by sediment settling to the bottom of a tropical sea which covered nearly all of Ireland 350,000,000 years ago.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking Burren equals barren, as there is an abundance of wildlife and rare plants to enjoy. Keep an eye out for peregrine falcons, hen harriers, pine martens, feral goats, foxes, red squirrels, viviparous lizards, and butterflies.
Dog lovers will be excited by the next stop at Caherconnell where you will be treated to a private sheepdog demonstration. It’s a marvellous sight to behold as humans and dogs work as one to manoeuvre the sheep slowly but accurately around the field and into the pen. The ruins of Caherconnell Fort are also on the site and well worth exploring.
You will then head back to Glenlo Abbey where tonight you will be dining in the Oak Cellar Bistro.
Accommodation – Carton House, Maynooth (1 Night)
Activities – Kilbeggan Distillery, Newgrange Tour and Exhibition
Dinner – The Morrison Room, Carton House
If you have managed to make it to day nine in Ireland without trying any whiskey, we will be mightily surprised. But if you haven’t, fear not, for your first stop today is Kilbeggan Distillery where you will be taken on an enlightening tour and told all about how whiskey is made. You will also be given a fascinating insight into the history of Kilbeggan Distillery which first started producing whiskey in 1757. At the end of the tour, you will be treated to a couple of drams of Kilbeggan’s finest whiskey.
From there it’s on to the Newgrange Tour and Exhibition which showcases the world heritage site of Brú na Bóinne. This fascinating spot on the River Boyne is a site of key archaeological importance in Ireland, and indeed the world. Three huge passage tombs which were built some time around 3200BC are the stars of the show and contain vital remnants of megalithic art.
Your chauffeur will then drive you to your accommodation for your final evening in Ireland, Carton House in Maynooth. Here you will be served dinner in The Morrison Room, one of the most luxurious and striking dining rooms in Ireland. Head chef Charles Degrendele fuses fresh Irish produce with French flare to create tasting menus that are simply divine.
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur
After a thrilling adventure taking in the wonderful sights Ireland has to offer and creating memories to cherish for a lifetime along the way, your tour will come to an end.
Your chauffeur will be on hand to help you with your bags and take you to Dublin Airport where they will bid you a fond farewell.
Slán go fóill!