COUNTRY ROADS OF IRELAND 2018 13 days
Experience the wild, enchanting coastal routes as you explore the Emerald Isle. Along the way you'll encounter ruined castles, quiet lakes, natural wonders and legendary characters.
- Dublin: Enjoy VIP priority entrance to the Book of Kells and a guided walk though Trinity College with a University insider.
- Kildare: Experience a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish National Stud and wander through the beautiful Japanese Gardens.
- Kilkenny: Kilkenny has the greatest amount of All-Ireland titles of its national sport of Hurling. Meet a player to gain an exciting insight into this unique Irish cultural experience, through a demonstration of skill.
- Killarney: Hear the history, legend and folklore of Killarney from a local Jarvey, while on-board a famous jaunting car ride.
- Londonderry: There's no better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he takes you on a tour inside the city walls.
TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS
- Giant's Causeway: Learn about the towering hexagonal basalt columns - a geological spectacle to behold.
- Belfast: Your Local Expert will show you the City Hall, Queen's University, Stormont and the Belfast Murals.
- Cork: Relish this university city with its interesting waterways and grand Georgian parades of houses.
- Blarney: Dangle from the ramparts to kiss the Stone of Eloquence, and never be lost for words again!
- Ring of Kerry: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and remote villages, as you travel the magical Ring of Kerry. Journey through Sneem, pass the Black Mountains, Moll's Gap and admire Queen Victoria's Ladies View.
- Cliffs of Moher: Stop by the Exhibition Centre and overlook the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.
- Galway: Enjoy an orientation tour of the many landmarks in Galway such as the Lynch Memorial, Church of St. Nicholas, Spanish Arch and Eyre Square.
- Drumcliffe: Visit the final resting place of Irish poet William Butler Yeats.
Ballygally: The Irish call it 'craic' - the warm feeling resulting from the confluence of music, drink, good food, laughter, and conversation. And after circumnavigating the Emerald Isle, there's bound to be a fair share of craic at your grand finale Celebration Dinner. Sláinte!
Killarney: Your farm-to-table experience is all about locally-sourced ingredients prepared with skill, so that you can taste the freshness in every mouthful.
INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES
Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.
YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS
Board your overnight flight to Europe (Please ask about our great deals).
WELCOME TO DUBLIN.
On arrival at Dublin airport, transfers leave for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:30. Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner with the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
DAY 3 - RELAXED START
IN DUBLIN’S FAIR CITY.
Become acquainted with Dublin’s elegant squares during an orientation of the city. Discover famous O’Connell Street, Custom House and Dublin Castle. Enjoy your VIP priority entrance to the 9th century Book of Kells and a walk through the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College accompanied by a University insider, who will share their insights into modern life and the establishment’s impressive history. The afternoon is free to explore.
A JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE FROM DUBLIN TO CORK.
In the morning, visit one of the country’s main racehorse breeding centres. Continue to the acclaimed 100 year old Japanese Gardens where you can ‘journey through life’ during a walk through the beautiful surrounds. Travel to the medieval city of Kilkenny, home of the world's fastest field game. The ancient Celtic sport of Hurling is over 3,000 years old and Ireland's national sport. Meet a player who will share his passion though a demonstration of skill and learn how the Hurley is made. Continue through Cahir and see its imposing 13th century castle, featured in the film 'Excalibur', on the way to your spa resort hotel in Cork.
DAY 5 - RELAXED START
ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS TO KILLARNEY.
Your Travel Director will show you around the compact university city of Cork, with its interesting waterways and grand Georgian parades. Continue to the ruined Blarney Castle. Will you hang upside down from the ramparts to kiss the stone and ensure a lifetime of eloquence? Travel across the majestic Derrynasaggart Mountains to the peaceful town of Killarney. In the evening, savour the delicious flavours of freshly-prepared local cuisine. Join John and Frieda for a delightful evening and Farm-to-Table dining experience.
DAY 6 - RELAXED START
RING OF KERRY EXPERIENCE.
Start your day with a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local Jarveys. Then take a leisurely excursion around the magnificent Ring of Kerry. Here, mountains, valleys, lakes and sea blend into a landscape that is breathtaking beyond words. Journey past lush lakelands and around towering cliffs as you appreciate sweeping sea views. Continue through delightful villages like Sneem and cross the peat bogs of the Black Mountains to Moll’s Gap to admire Queen Victoria’s Ladies View. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Maybe take the opportunity to hire a bicycle and enjoy one of the many scenic trails around the lake or through the National Park?
AROUND THE DINGLE PENINSULA AND ON TO LIMERICK.
In the morning, take to the wide skies, peaceful towns and coastal scenery of the Dingle Peninsula - the setting for the film Ryan's Daughter. Drive to dramatic Slea Head at the peninsula's far end, then continue through the picturesque thatched village of Adare and pass Limerick, famous for rhymes, before reaching your hotel located at the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way on the Dromoland Castle Estate.
DRIVE TO THE CLIFFS OF MOHER THEN ON TO GALWAY.
Journey to the Visitor Centre at the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Clare Coast before a delightful drive through the strange, rocky landscape of the Burren to Galway Bay. On arrival, see the Lynch Memorial and Church of St. Nicholas, where Christopher Columbus reputedly prayed before his discovery of America. See the Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President, John F. Kennedy.
DAY 9 - RELAXED START
FREE DAY GALWAY OR ARAN ISLANDS EXPERIENCE.
Spend a day at leisure to relax and enjoy Galway. Perhaps join an optional experience to the Aran Islands - a genuine highlight of the Wild Atlantic Way. With their cliffs and spectacular coastal views, the islands are a true Irish experience.
Continue on to County Sligo, stopping at a peaceful churchyard in Drumcliffe to visit the final resting place of Ireland's famous poet, William Butler Yeats. Admire the Blue Stack Mountains of Donegal as you cross into Northern Ireland bound for the ancient walled city of 'Derry.' What better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he takes you on a tour inside the city walls, still topped with cannons. Walk down steep Shipquay Street, with its elegant Georgian houses, to the Gothic Guildhall.
DAY 11 - RELAXED START
WALK IN THE GIANT’S STEPS ON THE WAY TO BALLYGALLY.
Journey to the legendary Giant's Causeway, a geological masterpiece created by the cooling of lava which burst through the earth's crust millions of years ago. Next admire the hauntingly beautiful Dark Hedges. This stunning avenue of beech trees, planted in the 18th century. Continue onto your hotel, overlooking the golden sands of Ballygally Bay. For those who are brave enough, perhaps check out The Ghost Room, in one of the castle’s turrets? In the evening, please join us for a finale Celebration Dinner, where old-fashioned hospitality is blended with good food and wine for an experience that delights the senses.
DAY 12 - RELAXED START
FOLLOW THE ANTRIM COAST TO BELFAST.
Continue around the Antrim Coast, past the huge Norman castle at Carrickfergus, to arrive in the Northern Ireland capital of Belfast. Meet your Local Expert for a panoramic tour seeing the City Hall, Queen's University, Stormont and the Belfast Murals. In your free time, why not visit the Titanic Belfast, a state-of-the-art visitor centre and monument to Belfast's maritime heritage, where the Titanic was built.
Departure transfers arrive at Belfast George Best City Airport at 07:15 and Belfast International Airport at 08:00.
CLAYTON HOTEL BURLINGTON ROAD
DUBLIN (CONTEMPORARY) - IRELAND
THE KINGSLEY CORK
CORK (TRADITIONAL) - IRELAND
A sophisticated hotel close to the centre of bustling Cork.
KILLARNEY PLAZA HOTEL AND SPA KILLARNEY
KILLARNEY (TRADITIONAL) - IRELAND
In the heart of the town centre, the Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa overlooks Killarney National Park and is the perfect location to enjoy the stunning scenery and the local 'craic.'
THE INN AT DROMOLAND
DROMOLAND (CONTEMPORARY) - IRELAND
CONNEMARA COAST GALWAY
GALWAY (TRADITIONAL) - IRELAND
A hotel set on the coast offering spectacular views of Connemara
MALDRON HOTEL DERRY LONDONDERRY
LONDONDERRY (TRADITIONAL) - IRELAND
The only hotel situated in Londonderry’s 17th century walls and very close to all that the city has to offer.
BALLYGALLY (HISTORIC) - NORTHERN IRELAND
Ballygally Castle is a stunning 17th century castle which overlooks the golden sands of the bay and offers excellent facilities.
EUROPA HOTEL BELFAST
BELFAST (TRADITIONAL) - NORTHERN IRELAND
The Europa Hotel is located in the heart of Belfast City Centre and offers elegant décor, a contemporary bistro and a relaxing piano bar.
Departure Return Per Person