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Escape to the West, 5-Day Tour of Ireland

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holiday overview

Highlights / General details

Day 1:

Leaving Dublin, you head west through the farmlands and peat bogs of County Kildare and Offaly. Locke’s Distillery is your first stop, and here you have time to relax with a glass of their famed whiskey. After a drink (or two!), you head to the banks of the mighty River Shannon and the ruined abbey at Clonmacnoise. Home to a large collection of stone crosses, ancient churches and inimitable round towers, this holy site offers an insightful glimpse into Ireland’s spiritual past. You then lunch at a traditional pub in one of the area’s pretty villages before travelling to Galway City, your home for the first night. It’s a city with a lively atmosphere and excellent restaurants and bars.

Day 2:

A short drive along the coast from Galway City lies the Burren, one of Ireland’s national treasures. It’s home to one of the earliest Christian settlements in Ireland and broad limestone pavements and rare flora. After time to explore the area, you travel to Kilfenora, the “town of the crosses”. You can visit the town’s fabulous ancient cathedral before we stop for lunch in one of the area’s charming villages. You then head to the incredible Cliffs of Moher. Walk the stunning cliff trails as seabirds swoop through the clear air above you. And learn about the unique ecosystem in the excellent and award winning environmental exhibition nearby. The tour then moves south through County Clare, passing its famous golf course on the way to the picturesque beach at Lahinch. From here you board a ferry across the Shannon Estuary to the lakeside town of Killarney. This energetic, charming area will be your base for the next three nights, so take your time sampling the superb collection of traditional pubs and live music.

Day 3:

Today, your tour explores the fabulous Dingle Peninsula. Your first stop is Inch Beach, a vast expanse of sand stretching out into the Atlantic. Venturing down the narrow roads away from the beach leads you through the town of Dingle. You continue towards Slea Head, an area loaded with ancient forts and prehistoric dwellings. The impressive views of the nearby Blasket Islands make this an excellent spot for panoramic photos. If the weather is pleasant, you can ramble along the beaches and cliff tops to fully appreciate the incredible vistas. Arriving back amidst the brightly coloured houses and jolly harbour of Dingle, you can spend the remainder of the afternoon enjoying delicious seafood in this idyllic setting. In the evening, you head back to Killarney, with time for an evening stroll in the National Park that envelops the town.

Day 4:

Today, you explore the Ring of Kerry, a spectacular route through some of Ireland’s most visually spectacular areas. You head out in the morning, stopping first at Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil. After snapping some shots of its rugged majesty, you join the scenic coast road through Glenbeigh and Kells on the way to Cahersiveen. Possible stops include the site of “The Liberator of Ireland” Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace and an impressive ring fort outside Portmagee. You stop for lunch in the quaint fishing village of Portmagee. Alternatively, you can have a quick snack and head to the island of Valentia for a visit to the Skellig Experience. This excursion teaches you about the ancient community of monks who made the outcrop of rocky islands their home. In the afternoon, there’s a photo stop in Charlie Chaplin’s “home away from home” at Waterville, before enjoying fine views at the top of Coonmakista pass. Winding down from the peaks, you head to Derrynane House, home of the family O’Driscoll. Daniel O’Driscoll holds a special place in Irish hearts, as an emancipating force from colonial rule. Enjoy a walk in the scenic gardens here, as well as a visit to the main house. Continuing along the Ring, you stop at Moll’s Gap and the Ladies View. Stroll a short way from here to the Torc Waterfall before heading back to Killarney. (On some tours, days three and four are switched).

Day 5:

Heading east through the mountains of West Cork, you weave along the Lee Valley until you reach Blarney Castle. You have time here to take in the castle grounds, and maybe kiss the famous Blarney Stone and receive the “gift of the gab”! In the afternoon, the tour heads to the heritage town of Cahir, where there’s a distinctive island castle in the River Suir. The final stop of the tour is Kilkenny, a bustling city with a fine Castle, riverside walks, and an impressive National Craft Centre. There’s also the chance for one last Guinness before heading back on the road again for the last leg of the journey. You arrive back into Dublin in the evening.

Inclusion

Transportation by top of the range Mercedes mini coach for a more personal experience with a maximum of 16 passengers on tour.

Services of a professional driver/guide.

All road tolls and the Killimer - Tarbet ferry.

Exclusion

Gratuities, Meals and refreshments, Entrances to all Visitor Attractions.

Hours of operation

Tour is available:

Sundays All Year Round except December 24, 31.

Tuesday May - October.

Thursday April – October.

Departs at 9:00am, returns 7:30pm.

Location

Tours depart from Nassau Street, Dublin, opposite the Kilkenny Shop.

Additional Information

Because we believe in time off the bus and give you opportunities to take nature walks we recommend you bring suitable clothing and footwear for your tour. Ireland can be a wet place!! If you have mobility problems or special requirements please let us know when booking.

Participant restrictions

Child rate applies to children aged 5-15, based on 1 child sharing a room with parents or 2 children in a twin room. No children under 5 permitted.

Policies

Guests are requested to check in 15 minutes before departure.

Depending on the conditions and tours may return about half an hour earlier. In winter (November to March), som

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2. Discuss

Our destination specialists are here to help. They will have firsthand knowledge of the destinations that mean they can answer your questions, make suggestions and give relevant advice to put together your dream holiday.

3. Refine

Your own dedicated specialist travel advisor will help to carefully create your tailor made holiday and send you a detailed itinerary via email for you to look through and refine until you are 100% satisfied.

4. Confirming your holiday

Once your holiday itinerary has been agreed we will ask you to pay the relevant deposit, if applicable, or full payment if your holiday is departing within 14 weeks of booking. You will then receive your full confirmation, payment receipt and ATOL certificate via email within 24 hours of booking.

After booking service

Even after you have booked and paid for your holiday there are bound to be questions you have before you depart on your holiday. We pride ourselves with the Customer Care that we offer and are always here to assist with any pre or post departure assistance you require.

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Why not pay a low deposit to secure your holiday, call now for details! Full payment must be taken 10 weeks before departure unless your holiday includes a Cruise then we require this 12 weeks before departure

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