Castles and Gardens of Ireland - 8 Days Self Drive Tour (Hotel)
Dublin for 2 nights
Co. Limerick for 1 night
Co. Kerry for 2 nights
Co. Cork for 1 night
Co. Kilkenny/Carlow for 1 night
Note: Car hire not included in rates
Day 1. Welcome to Dublin!
Arrive in Dublin. In the afternoon, explore the attractions of Europe's most popular city. Dublin has a wealth of treasures for the visitor with cultural delights like St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin Castle, Trinity College to name but a few! For those who prefer a more relaxed look at the capital, a leisurely browse through the main shopping area of Grafton Street is an absolute must. Overnight in Dublin.
Day 2. Dublin and Wicklow
Today visit Co. Wicklow and enjoy some of the most beautiful countryside Ireland has to offer. Travel along the southern coastline to Bray for a photo stop before continuing deep into the heart of Wicklow's hilly countryside. Enjoy the magnifi-cence of the historic house and gardens at Powerscourt Estate. In the heart of Wicklow you can also visit Glendalough-one of Ireland's most impressive monastic sites founded by St. Kevin in the 6th Century. Here you can enjoy a guided tour of this famous site of natural beauty and spiritualism. Overnight in Dublin.
Day 3. Limerick, Bunratty Castle
Depart today for Limerick-Ireland's fourth city. Here you can visit the King John's Castle, a fortified 13th century Castle on 'King's Island' in the heart of medieval Limerick. The castle overlooking the river Shannon opens an exciting window on the lives and stories of the people through political upheaval, war and famine. In the afternoon take short drive to Bunratty Cas-tle and Folk Park, the most complete and authentic medieval castle in Ireland. The Folk Park features include a recreated village and a display of 19th century agricultural machinery, experience Ireland as it was in the old days. Overnight in Co. Limerick.
Day 4. Dingle Peninsula
Depart Limerick for a full day tour of the Dingle Peninsula with its breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean and sandy beaches as well as ancient and early Christian monastic sites and small Irish-speaking villages. You will reach the most west-erly point of Europe at Slea Head, from where you can watch a view of the offshore Blasket Islands. The largest of these, the Great Blasket island, was abandoned by its inhabitants in 1953. Weather permitting you can join the boat trip to see Fungie, a wild Bottlenose Dolphin, that choose to make Dingle Harbour his home. Overnight in Co. Kerry.
Day 5. Ring of Kerry
A full day tour of the famous Ring of Kerry. The drive to Moll's Gap is breathtaking with the picturesque lakes and mountains at Lady's View and the Torc Waterfall. If time allows, take a jaunting car in the Gap of Dunloe or stroll around Muckross House and Gardens where the nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney Lakes and National Park. Overnight in Co. Kerry.
Day 6. Cork, Kenmare & Garnish Island
Travel to Cork via the picturesque villages of Kenamre and Glengarriff. From Glengarriff you can take a ferry to Garnish Is-land (weather permitting , the boat operates from April to October). The Island has a wonderful history and its unusual mi-cro climate allows a range of exotic subtropical plant species to flourish. Then continue to Bantry and visit Bantry House. It is not only one of the finest historic houses in Ireland but it also commands one of the best views overlooking Bantry Bay in West Cork Overnight in Co. Cork.
Day 7. Kilkenny, Rock of Cashel
In the morning time to discover one of the Ireland's most popular city-Cork. Here you can visit the English Market. This wonderful market is a self-caterer's paradise with so many tasty delicacies to choose from it's hard to show restraint. The emphasis is on local produce, with cheeses, ham, buttered eggs, sausages, bread and smoked salmon on offer. In the after-noon depart Cork for Kilkenny and en route visit 3 of the most impressive castles in Ireland. Cahir Castle is one of Ireland's largest and best preserved castles. It is situated on a rocky island on the River Suir. Then take the direction to the Rock of Cashel. Towering over the town from its perch on a 200 foot high outcrop of limestone, the Rock was once the seat of the Kings of Munster. Finish your day by visiting the Kilkenny Castle. This 12th century castle remodelled in Victorian times and set in extensive parklands which were the principal seat of the Butler family, Marquesses and Dukes of Ormonde. Over-night in Kilkenny/Carlow.
Day 8. Departure Sl
This morning head to Dublin airport for your departure.