14 Day 'Whole way round' Tour
14 day 'whole way round self-drive tour
Birr Castle Gardens
River Shannon
Inclusions: 14 nights accommodation, car hire and transfers, optional attractions and guided tours, Info Pack, maps, taxes, fees and financial protection.
Length of Trip
14 days, 13 nights
Exclusions: Some transfers (hotels are all within an easy walking distance of station), meals other than breakfast, optional activities unless stated, Flights, Tips, Visa's
Dates: Throughout 2013
Start/End: Dublin

Day 1 Dublin, County Wicklow, Wexford

SalteePick up hire car in Dublin and drive through County Wicklow – Ireland’s Garden County, where you could visit the impressive Powerscourt Estate with the beautiful formal gardens. A few km further south is the Powerscourt Waterfall – the highest waterfall in Ireland or Britain. From here you could come inland a bit to visit historical Glendalough, the ancient monastic settlement with plenty to see. Alternatively continue along the coast road and head for County Wexford and Curracloe Beach – a white sandy beach with never ending dunes.  (Overnight in Wexford City)
See more >> Dublin, Wexford

Day 2 Waterford

Cottages WaterfordToday you’ll drive into County Waterford. We recommend a visit to New Ross to visit the Dunbrody Famine Ship. Then head south to Ireland’s oldest city - Waterford, including a visit to the famous Waterford Crystal factory for a tour.  Visit the Viking Triangle including Reginald’s Tower, Bishops Palace and Chorister’s Hall. (Overnight Waterford)
See more >> Waterford

Day 3 Cork City, Dunvargen Castle, Blarney Castle

Blarney castleThis morning drive along the coast road to County Cork. Along the way stop off at Dungarvan Castle or the free Waterford County Museum before continuing on to Cork City. You may wish to stop off in Cobh – the last port where the Titanic Docked to pick up passengers before it sank. Here you can visit The Cobh Heritage centre – containing displays about many voyages and ocean liners leaving the port including Titanic. After lunch in Cork City, you can spend a bit more time in Cork visiting the Gaol, the Cathedral or perusing the English Market. However, one of the big draws just outside the city of Cork is the Blarney Castle and the opportunity to kiss the famous Blarney Stone!  (Overnight in Cork or Kinsale)
See more >> Cork

Day 4 Kinsale, Killarney

Kinsale coastVisit Kinsale this morningwith its little shops, winding streets and fishing boat harbour.  Also Charles Fort – one of the best preserved 17th Century forts in Europe. From here continue around the coast road to the fishing towns of Clonakilty and Baltimore before finishing the day in Killarney.
See more >> Kinsale, Killarney

Day 5 Ring of Kerry

Ring of KerryDrive the famous Ring of Kerry, one of the world's most famous coastal routes that takes you through Southern Ireland with spectacular views of sea and mountain. Encounter beautiful villages, coastal wildlife and much more as you take this day at your pace. We highly recommend packing a picnic to eat lunch at the most beautiful place you can find here!
See more >> Ring of Kerry

Day 6 Dingle Peninsular, Ennis

EnyistmonToday you will have the opportunity to explore the beautiful Dingle Peninsular. In the afternoon you will head north and cross the river Shannon by ferry. (overnight in either Ennis or Enistymon) 
Day 6+1  - Option to extend the tour with a day trip or overnight trip to the Arran Islands
See more >> Killarney

Day 7 Cliffs of Moher, Burren, Galway

MoherToday you’ll head into County Clare where you will visit the stunning Cliffs of Moher which tower along the western coastline of Ireland. Next you will head across the Burren region which many describe as a 'Lunar landscape' which lies in direct contrast to the great cliffs you saw in the morning. The day sees you end in Galway, a magnificent city of Irish culture and heritage which sits right on the edge of another national park.
See more >> County Clare, Galway

Day 8 Connemara National Park

ConnemaraThis morning you can have some time to enjoy the city of Galway or head straight north into the simply beautiful Connemara National Park. The region has a similar feel to the English Lake District with mountains and lakes of all colours, shapes and sizes. Your trip could include a visit to Kylemore Abbey before you end the day in either Westport or Ballina
See more >> Galway, Achill Island

Day 9 Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Derry wallsToday you will make the journey to Northern Ireland to Londonderry where you will spend the night. Londonderry – also known as Derry is the only completely Walled City in the British Isles. The walls were built in the 17th century as defences for early seventeenth century settlers from England and Scotland. Derry will keep you busy with its beautiful riverside setting, its several fascinating historical sites and the numerous museums, galleries and theatres, as well as thriving musical and literary scenes.  A walk around the walls in Londonderry reveals a splendid city crammed full with history, heritage, interest and vibrant cultural scene. The Tower Museum is a great place to learn more about the story of Derry, from its geological formation millions of years ago, right up to the present day.
See more >> Londonderry

Day 10 Giant's Causeway, Carrick-e-rede bridge

CausewayToday you’ll drive the Causeway Coastal Route. Visit Dunluce Castle – a medieval 17th century castle perched on rocky cliffs looking out to sea or the Old Bushmills whisky distillery. Visit the world famous Giants Causeway - NorthernIreland’s number-one attraction, the Giant’s Causeway (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) formed around 62 million years ago featuring approximately 40,000 hexagonal columns. The fascinating patterns you see in the causeway stones formed as a result of the red-hot lava crystallizing under conditions of accelerated cooling when it came into immediate contact with water. You can also make a stop off at the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge - for more than 300 years a rope bridge has provided the only form of access to Carrick-a-Rede island for local fishermen. It has now become one of Northern Ireland's best-loved attractions! Cross this 30-metre deep and 20-metre wide chasm and enjoy the uninterrupted views of Rathlin and the Scottish islands with this amazing cliff-top experience. You will then continue on into Belfast where you will stay the next two nights.
See more >> Causeway Coast

Day 11 Belfast

titanic dockToday you will explore Belfast. Like most cities of old, Belfast grew around its cottage industries in locales or quarters, from the old French term ‘quartier’. In Belfast the remnants of certain quarters still exist today. Cathedral Quarter is located closest to the waterfront and dominated by the beautiful Church of Ireland Cathedral, St Anne’s. It was here that Belfast grew from an obscure village to become the vibrant city that it is today. Close to the Cathedral Quarter is Queen's Quarter and its heart is the university from which it takes its name. It is an energetic, lively area of character and charm that fuses academia, entertainment, culture and commerce. Relatively new in name though not in spirit, the Titanic Quarter is located in the old shipbuilding yards of Harland and Wolff. This is the area that helped create Belfast in reputation and fortune. You can visit the brand new Titanic experience museum which extends over nine galleries, with multiple dimensions to the exhibition, drawing together special effects, dark rides, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features to explore the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way.
See more >> Belfast

Day 12 County Down, Mourne Mountains

MounreToday you will continue into County Down, a spectacular region of Northern Ireland that has picturesque, low rolling hills which roll directly into the contrasting Mourne Mountaina and SlieveDonard. The history of County Down stretches back over 7000 years and unsurprisingly plays home to wealth of ancient heritage sites. The most famous of these is Downpatrick, the area in which the patron saint of Ireland is said to be buried. You can visit Down Cathedral which stands on the site of a Benedictine Monastery, built in 1183. Saint Patrick's remains are buried in the graveyard. Magnificent stain glass windows, box pews and a beautiful organ case enhance this interesting building. The Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick is the starting point for any visitor who wishes to know more about Ireland’s patron saint. Or, visit Mount Stewart House; an 18th century house and 98-acre garden that reflects the rich history of the Stewart family. You will be staying in the Victorian seaside town of Newcastle. Newcastle combines high mountain passes with beautiful sandy beaches and has been recently redeveloped making it the perfect base.
See more >> County Down

Day 13 Newgrange, Dublin

MHeading south, your final journey back to Dublin will take you through the Boyne Valley which boasts Ireland's most popular holiday destinations and the most ancient sacred and mystical places on the island. Newgrange is a World Heritage Site believed to have been built in the late stone age about 5000 years ago. There are three large passage tombs which dominate the site which is one of the largest and most important prehistoric megalithic sites in Eurpoe. From here you will make your way down to Dublin where your tour concludes.
See more >> Boyne Valley

Day 14 Dublin

Temple barDublin can trace its origins back over 1,000 years. From a small Viking settlement it has evolved into one of the most vibrant capitals in the world. A city rich in cultural heritage, by walking the streets of Dublin you will see the many reminders from our past, from the beautifully illuminated Book of Kells dating from 800 AD, to our splendid Georgian architecture, magnificent medieval castles and fine cathedral. You will have tickets for the Dublin City Sightseeing bus which has been carefully designed to give you the freedom to explore and experience the history and culture of Dublin at your leisure. Using the bus you can visit all the main Dublin attractions along the route including Dublin Zoo and Trinity College (home of the Book of Kells). The entertaining Dublin tour guides will show you the city as only a native can. Your 24 hour ticket allows you to hop on and off as often as you wish.
See more >> Dublin

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