Day 1 Dublin – Kildare – Ennis
After meeting our tour leader and fellow travellers we leave Dublin and travel to County Kerry. Our first stop is the Irish National Stud in County Kildare, home to Ireland’s finest thoroughbred horses and renowned Japanese Gardens. We continue to Birr Castle, which is the home of the seventh Earl of Rosse. Known for the beauty of its gardens, which include the world’s tallest box hedges, wisteria and old roses, this is a fascinating site to explore. Our final destination today is Ennis in County Clare, where we enjoy a welcome dinner together. (D)
Overnight: The Old Ground Hotel (or similar)
Day 2 Ennis – Cliffs of Moher – Killarney
Departing from Ennis, we make our way to the UNESCO Geopark of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher. Here, we admire the diverse landscape of the Burren, home to a vast array of flora and seabirds. There are over 2,700 monuments in this region, some dating back over 6,000 years. All of this has led to the Burren being described as ‘one vast memorial to bygone cultures’. Later, we enjoy a one-hour Cliffs of Moher cruise. Gaze in awe at the sheer scale and uniqueness of this natural phenomenon, which towers over 700ft above the sea. This afternoon we drive to the town of Killarney, known as the gateway to the Ring of Kerry. Killarney is situated in the midst of breath-taking landscapes, surrounded by lakes and mountains. (B)
Overnight: Killarney Royal Hotel (or similar)
Day 3 Killarney – Ring of Kerry – Killarney
We spend today exploring the lovely Ring of Kerry with its spectacular scenery and ancient heritage. We make a short visit to the ‘Skellig Experience’, which tells of the Skellig monks and their lives in early Christian times. Our next port of call is Portmagee, a small picturesque fishing village full of brightly painted houses. Later we see Staigue Fort, an intriguing ring fort built between 300 and 400 AD. At the head of the River Sneem estuary we find the romantic village of Sneem, which is referred to as ‘the Knot in the Ring’. Brimming with traditional buildings, restaurants and craft shops, we will have time to explore Sneem before we return to Killarney. (B)
Overnight: Killarney Royal Hotel (or similar)
Day 4 Killarney – Kenmare – Kinsale
Our first visit of the day is to Muckross House where many of the rooms in this magnificent mansion have been restored to their original Victorian splendour. We then travel to the attractive town of Kenmare, nestled at the mouth of Kenmare Bay, before calling in at the 200-yearold cottage of Molly Gallivan, a widow who brewed illicit whiskey and sold it in her illegal pub! On Garnish Island we visit a garden of great beauty designed by Harold Peto and then arrive in the medieval town of Kinsale, one of the most picturesque and popular seaside resorts in the south-west, full of traditional bars, lovely buildings, narrow streets, and fascinating shops. We enjoy dinner together tonight. (B, D)
Overnight: Trident Hotel (or similar)
Day 5 Kinsale – Cobh – Kilkenny
This morning we enjoy a walking tour of Kinsale accompanied by a local guide. Learn about its history and maritime traditions and admire the 800-year-old Church of Saint Multose and the unique star-shaped Charles Fort. We then make our way to Cork, for a panoramic tour of the city before we head to the coastal town of Cobh, where we find the Jameson Midleton Distillery. Here we learn about the production of whiskey and taste what is considered by many to be the finest whiskey in Ireland! We then travel to Kilkenny, rich in medieval heritage and perhaps most famous for its imposing castle. This evening we enjoy a final dinner together. (B, D)
Overnight: River Court Hotel (or similar)
Day 6 Kilkenny – Dublin
Our route back to the capital takes us through the beautiful and dramatic Wicklow Mountains, travelling through heather-clad hills, lush vegetation, rocky foothills and delightful glens. On our way we stop at the village of Avoca, perhaps most famous for the ever-popular TV series Ballykissangel. Here we call in at Fitzgerald’s Pub, which featured in the programme. You will have time for a spot of shopping at the Avoca Woollen Mills before we travel back to Dublin where the tour ends. (B)
Pick-Up & Drop-Off
This tour commences from The Gresham Hotel, 23 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1, Ireland at 8:30am. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
Drop-off 5:30pm at The Gresham Hotel, 23 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1, Ireland. Please bear in mind that drop-off time is an estimate only – traffic can be unpredictable!
Back-Roads Touring have hand-picked an extensive portfolio of quality properties across Europe and to ensure the very best experience on each of our tours, hotels may vary to those listed in this itinerary.
Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.