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SPIRIT OF IRELAND TOUR

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Tour Details

Experience the true spirit of Ireland on this luxury tour of the Emerald Isle. Ireland is a country known the world over for its charming hospitality, rich culture, and magnificent scenery.

One moment you’re in a lively city bustling with activity, the next you’re out in the vast expanse of the lush green countryside breathing in the fresh Irish air.

On this trip you will get to experience the very best Ireland has to offer. From jaunting car rides through Killarney National Park, to sampling fresh, local cuisine and, of course, some famous Irish whiskey.

From the moment you get in touch until the moment you leave Ireland, our experienced team will be on hand to make sure everything goes smoothly, ensuring a holiday to remember.

Arrival & Departure Location:

Arrival: Dublin International Airport
Departure: Dublin International Airport

Hotels

  • The Merrion, Dublin (2 Nights)
  • Mount Juliet, Kilkenny (2 nights)
  • Hayfield Manor, Cork (1 night)
  • Killarney Park, Killarney (3 nights)
  • Dromoland Castle, Newmarket-On-Fergus (2 nights)
  • Glenlo Abbey, Galway (1 night)
  • Carton House, Maynooth (1 night)

Points of Interest

  • Private Walking Tour of Dublin, Guinness Storehouse
  • Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains, Kilkenny
  • Waterford, Private VIP Tour of Waterford Crystal, Private Sheepdog Demonstration
  • Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle and Stone, Cork
  • Muckross House, Jaunting Car Ride through Killarney National Park, Ross Castle
  • Ring of Kerry, Gap of Dunloe, Rossbeigh Beach, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Sneem, Kenmare, Moll’s Gap
  • Private Falconry Experience, Inch Beach, Slea Head Drive, Dingle, Dunbeg Fort, Ballyferriter, Gallarus Oratory
  • Adare Village, Drive through Limerick, Bunratty Castle
  • Cliffs of Moher, Cliffs of Moher Cruise, Doolin Cave
  • Burren National Park, Private Burren Farm Experience, Galway
  • Dún Na Sí Amenity & Heritage Park, Kilbeggan Distillery

Included:

  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast
  • Bespoke itinerary
  • Premium vehicle & Private chauffeur
  • Admission to all activities
  • Local guides where appropriate
  • Personal travel co-ordinator
Map
Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Dublin

Accommodation – The Merrion Hotel, Dublin (2 Nights)
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur Transfer.

Activities – Explore Dublin.
Dinner – The Garden Room, The Merrion.

Upon touching down at Dublin Airport your chauffeur will be waiting to greet you, help you with your bags, and make the short drive into Dublin to your accommodation for the next two nights, The Merrion.

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.

However, if you have had a long journey you may want to simply rest, relax, and enjoy the magnificent surroundings of The Merrion before your first full day of touring begins.

This evening you will be dining in The Garden Room at The Merrion which, as the name suggests, looks out onto a pristinely kept courtyard garden complete with water features and statues. Scallop tartare with chorizo, dry aged grass-fed Irish rib eye steak, and caramelised peach soufflé are some of the delicacies on offer in this relaxed yet luxurious dining space.

Day 2Tour Dublin

Accommodation – The Merrion Hotel, Dublin
Activities – Private Walking Tour of Dublin (Dublin Castle, Trinity College Library – Book of Kells, Temple Bar) Guinness Storehouse
Dinner – Patrick Guilbaud, The Merrion

Up first today is a private walking tour of Dublin, a city which is absolutely bursting at the seams with enchanting stories and amazing attractions.

Your expert guide will meet you in Dublin city centre and the tour kicks off with a visit to Dublin Castle which was built in 1230 after King John of England decided that a castle should be built to defend Dublin. 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 gruesome) 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.

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 that give it that bold, distinctive colour and flavour. 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 Merrion’s Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud which has not one but two Michelin Stars. Both an 8-course tasting and an à la carte menu are available.

Day 3Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains, Kilkenny

Accommodation – Mount Juliet, Kilkenny (2 Nights)
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Activities – Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains, Kilkenny
Dinner – Lady Helen, Mount Juliet

Day three begins with a visit to Glendalough, an area known as “the valley of the two lakes”. An important archaeological site and home to many species of wildlife, Glendalough is a place of harmony and peace. Perhaps that is why back in the 6th century St Kevin founded a “Monastic City” here, building numerous churches and towers. It wasn’t always peaceful though, with Glendalough surviving many Viking attacks and eventually being destroyed by the Normans in 1214. You can hear all about this fascinating history at the interactive visitor centre.


From there you will be taken up into the Wicklow Mountains, situated in Ireland’s largest national park. Littered with glistening loughs, sweeping streams, and vast expanses of untouched forest, this area of Ireland provides the perfect chance to marvel at the wonders of Mother Nature. You will drive over the Great Military Road which stands as a reminder of Ireland’s often tumultuous past.

Your chauffeur will then take you along the winding roads to Kilkenny, a thriving cosmopolitan city. Numerous festivals are held throughout the year in Kilkenny, so keep that in mind for when you visit. Kilkenny Castle is one of Ireland’s most distinctive attractions and should not be missed. You can also learn more about the city’s rich history with a stroll along Ireland’s Medieval Mile, which will take you past Kyteler’s Inn, St Canice’s Cathedral, and a 100ft round tower.

Your accommodation this evening is the classy Mount Juliet which boasts a golf course designed by none other than the master himself, Jack Nicklaus. Dinner will be served in the Lady Helen restaurant which holds one Michelin Star and no less than four AA Rosettes, testament to the incredibly high standard of fine dining on offer.

Day 4Waterford, Private VIP Tour of Waterford Crystal, Jerpoint Park, Private Sheepdog Demonstration

Accommodation – Mount Juliet, Kilkenny
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Activities – Waterford, Private VIP Tour of Waterford Crystal, Jerpoint Park, Private Sheepdog Demonstration
Dinner – The Hound, Mount Juliet

First up on the itinerary today is a visit to Waterford, the home of the world-famous Waterford Crystal. It is also Ireland’s oldest city as it was founded in 914 by the Vikings who had a keen eye for its useful position on the River Suir.

There is nothing quite as refreshing in the morning as breathing in the fresh, salty sea air as you stand and admire the quay of Waterford which served as a vital trading link with Newfoundland in Canada. The riches which poured in from abroad allowed Waterford to build some truly stunning buildings in the 18th and 19th centuries.

You will then be treated to a VIP tour of The House of Waterford Crystal where the finest crystal in the world has been made for over 235 years. On the tour you will learn about each stage of this ancient craft, from mould making, blowing, and quality inspection, through to marking, cutting, sculpting, and engraving. You will get to see these master craftspeople at work and develop a true appreciation for the skill and patience required to create such impressive crystal pieces. There is a Crystal Café on site and a giftshop if you like what you see.


Dog lovers will be excited by the next stop at Jerpoint Park where you will be treated to a private sheepdog demonstration by Joe, a masterful shepherd. 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.     

You will then return to Mount Juliet where this evening you will be dining in The Hound, a more casual yet sophisticated dining experience. With a lush wall of flowers and views across the golf course to the mountains beyond, The Hound offers guests a luxuriously laidback space to enjoy roast Atlantic plaice, chateaubriand, and Cep mushroom risotto.

Day 5Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle and Stone, Cork

Accommodation – Hayfield Manor, Cork (1 Night)
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

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”. The entire area is a magical sight to behold, with highlights including the gothic cathedral, round tower, and castle. 

Your chauffeur will then 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 sights over the years. The Blarney Stone, so local legend has it, 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 charming 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 take great pride in selling the finest produce in Ireland. 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 24lbs.

For breath-taking views across the entire city, look no further than 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 where traditional Irish charms meets exquisite fine dining. 

Day 6Muckross House, Jaunting Car Ride through Killarney National Park, Ross Castle

Accommodation – Killarney Park, Killarney (3 Nights)
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Activities – Muckross House, Jaunting Car Ride through Killarney National Park, Ross Castle
Dinner – The Peregrine, Killarney Park

Having enjoyed a tasty breakfast your chauffeur will take you to Muckross House to admire 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.

You will then enjoy a thrilling Jaunting Car ride through Killarney National Park on the “park to castle” tour. Jaunting Cars are an ancient form of Irish transport where a lightweight, two-wheeled carriage is pulled by a single horse. As the breeze whizzes by your face, you will see St Mary’s Cathedral, thatched cottages, the McGillycuddy’s Reeks mountains, red deer, Lough Léin, and Ross Castle.


Ross Castle dates back to the 15th century and was the site of the last stand against Cromwell’s invading forces. Legend has it that O’Donoghue Mór, who built the castle, rests under the waters of the lough and once every seven years he can be seen rising from the depths on his noble steed, bringing everlasting good luck to those who spot him.

This evening you will be staying in Killarney Park where dinner will be served in The Peregrine, an energising and upbeat dining space purposefully designed to uplift your spirits and let them soar like the Peregrine. The food here will certainly have you floating on cloud nine.

Day 7Ring of Kerry, Gap of Dunloe, Rossbeigh Beach, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Sneem, Kenmare, Moll’s Gap

Accommodation – Killarney Park, Killarney
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Activities – Ring of Kerry, Gap of Dunloe, Rossbeigh Beach, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Sneem, Kenmare, Moll’s Gap
Dinner – The Porterhouse, Killarney

Day seven is a real adventure as you set off on the famous Ring of Kerry route. Your journey begins by heading over the Gap of Dunloe, a slender mountain pass separating the McGillycuddy’s Reeks mountains from the Purple Mountain range. 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 and a coffee 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”. The views are incredible on this stretch of the route, which is named “The Knot” because it ties the mountains and water together beautifully.


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.

This evening you will return to Killarney Park but rather than dining in the hotel you will be heading to one of Killarney’s most beloved eating spots, The Porterhouse. This family-run restaurant provides a quintessentially Irish dining experience. Fresh, local produce, cooked simply and served with a smile. For a bit of flare this evening, we highly recommend the fillet steak served on a roasting hot stone.

Day 8Private Falconry Experience, Inch Beach, Slea Head Drive, Dingle, Dunbeg Fort, Ballyferriter, Gallarus Oratory

Accommodation – Killarney Park, Killarney
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Activities – Private Falconry Experience, Inch Beach, Slea Head Drive, Dingle, Dunbeg Fort, Ballyferriter, Gallarus Oratory
Dinner – The Peregrine, Killarney Park

In the morning you will be treated to a falconry experience at Killarney Falconry. 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.

You will then be taken on a truly magical drive taking in some of Ireland’s most beautiful sights. Your journey begins at Inch Beach, an idyllic stretch of coastline offering ideal photo opportunities, before making your way to Slea Head Drive on the Dingle peninsula. The sharp, rocky coastline here contrasts perfectly with the warm welcome you will receive in Dingle, a friendly coastal village.


As the road winds on, you will come to Dún Beag fort which stands proudly on top of a steep cliff. You will then pass through the village of Ballyferriter, the perfect spot to grab a coffee and listen to the locals speaking in Irish. Finally, you will come to the Gallarus Oratory, an elegant little chapel with views over the Ard na Caithne harbour.

In the evening you will return to Killarney Park for a chance to try yet more delights on offer at The Peregrine.

Day 9Adare Village, Drive through Limerick, Bunratty Castle

Accommodation – Dromoland Castle, Newmarket-On-Fergus (2 Nights)
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

Activities – Adare Village, Drive through Limerick, Bunratty Castle
Dinner – Earl of Thomond, Dromoland Castle

First on the agenda on day nine 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 drive through Limerick, which sits on the winding banks of the River Shannon. Look out for 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 it is just a short journey to Bunratty Castle and the adjoining Bunratty Folk Park. The spot on which the castle is built has been occupied since the Vikings conquered parts of Ireland and has since been home to countless Irish nobility. While it did fall into disrepair eventually, Bunratty Castle received significant investment and renovation work in the 1960’s which has restored it to its former glory.           


The Folk Park is a collection of buildings typical to life in 19th century Ireland, with a drapery, pottery shop, post office, doctor’s house, and pub. This allows you to experience living in an entirely different era of Irish history, while kids will find endless fun on the fairy trail, walled garden, Viking playground, and animal enclosure with donkeys, ducks, deer, and goats.

Your accommodation this evening is Dromoland Castle which has been providing visitors with the finest place to stay since the 16th century. Set on a 500-acre estate and boasting its own golf course, Dromoland Castle is the height of luxury.

Dinner will be served in the Earl of Thomond Restaurant where you can tuck into yellowfin tuna tartare, roast Burren lamb, Kelly Rock oysters, and Irish lobster.

Day 10Cliffs of Moher, Cliffs of Moher Cruise, Doolin Cave

Accommodation – Dromoland Castle, Newmarket-On-Fergus
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur
Activities – Cliffs of Moher, Cliffs of Moher Cruise, Doolin Cave
Dinner – The Gallery, Dromoland

After breakfast you will 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.

You are then in for a special treat as you head to Doolin Cave for a chance to explore this magical underground world. Discovered in 1952, these caves were formed due to water carving away, over many millions of years, at the limestone rock which is a distinctive feature of The Burren area. Initially, the water forms tiny passageways, but over time these gradually expand to become big enough for people to move through, becoming caves.       


After a thrilling underground adventure, you will return to the daylight and make your way back to Dromoland Castle. Dinner this evening will be served in The Gallery where gorgeous antiques and portraits provide an ambience of grandeur.

Day 11Burren National Park, Private Burren Farm Experience, Galway

Accommodation – Glenlo Abbey, Galway (1 Night)
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur
Activities – Burren National Park, Private Burren Farm Experience, Galway   
Dinner – Pullman, Glenlo Abbey

After another delicious breakfast your chauffeur will 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.

Up next is a trip to Burren Farm Experience where you will learn all about traditional Irish beef farming. Children will love the guided tour sitting atop hay bales on the back of the farm’s tractor and trailer. There is also an old ring fort, ruined settlement, a forest, and Shantaghphubble Chapel to explore.      


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. 

Day 12Dún Na Sí Amenity & Heritage Park, Kilbeggan Distillery

Accommodation – Carton House, Maynooth (1 Night)
Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur
Activities – Dún Na Sí Amenity & Heritage Park, Kilbeggan Distillery   
Dinner – The Morrison Room, Carton House

First up today is a visit to Dún Na Sí Amenity & Heritage Park. Pronounced “doon na shee”, the park’s name means “the fort of the fairies”, a fitting name for this magical part of the country.

The park celebrates the stories and traditions that give Ireland such a rich cultural tapestry. It offers you a chance to learn about Irish folklore, and the delicate blend of art installations and natural beauty invite you to relax and reflect, the perfect time to look back on your holiday.

You will get an idea of how people lived 100 years ago by visiting highly detailed recreations of country homes and blacksmith’s forges. There is also a petting zoo, museum, café, playground, butterfly garden, and space to hear traditional Irish music.


You will then be driven to Kilbeggan Distillery where an enlightening tour will tell you all about how whiskey is made here. You will also be given a fascinating insight into the history of Kilbeggan which first started producing whiskey all the way back in 1757. When the tour is finished, you will be treated to a couple of drams of Kilbeggan’s finest whiskey.      

Your chauffeur will then drive you to your accommodation for your final evening in Ireland, Carton House in Maynooth. Dinner will be served in The Morrison Room, one of the most luxurious and opulent dining rooms in Ireland. Head chef Charles Degrendele fuses fresh Irish produce with French flare to create tasting menus that are simply divine.

Day 13Departure

Transport – Executive Vehicle & Private Chauffeur

After a fabulous golfing experience and playing some of the best courses on the Emerald Isle, you will be driven to Shannon Airport (or Dublin dependant on your outbound flight preference), where it will be time to bid your farewells. However, we hope to see you in Ireland again soon!

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