4. 6-Day Tour of Southern Ireland from Dublin
On this 6-day tour you'll visit the Ring of Kerry and the Cliffs of Moher, have a chance to kiss the magical Blarney Stone in County Cork, and much more!
Enjoy vibrant, musical Killarney and an action-packed night in medieval, yet cosmopolitan Galway, Ireland's seaside party town.
Day 1: Dublin - Glendalough - Kilkenny Castle - Waterford City
The 6 day all Ireland tour begins this morning at 9:00 AM in central Dublin. Leave the city behind and drive through rolling countryside to the Wicklow Mountains. Your first stop is the monastery ruins at Glendalough, the Valley of Two Lakes. This is an area of natural beauty and you'll have time at leisure to enjoy the local walks and trails and take some great photos of the ancient Celtic crosses and round towers. Afterwards, continue to medieval Kilkenny with its cobbled streets and famous red ale. Potential sights to explore at leisure include the Castle, Cathedral, Abbeys and Churches all dating back to the Norman period following the invasion of the 12th Century. Not far from Waterford Harbor on the south- east coast, Dunmore East is a relaxing spot to spend the evening with a handful of pubs and some great seafood restaurants.
Day 2: Waterford City - Waterford Crystal - Blarney Castle - Dingle Peninsula
Your day begins with a visit to the world famous Waterford Crystal factory. Stock up on fine cut glass at the outlet store or simply pause a while to watch the artisans at work. Afterwards, continue with a scenic drive through County Waterford and a panoramic drive- through Cork city. The highlight for many today is the world renowned Blarney Castle. Here, spend plenty of time (2 hours) visiting the Castle, with the chance to kiss the Blarney Stone (to receive the gift of eloquent speech also known as the gift of the gab). Surrounded by beautiful and majestic gardens, you may also shop for souvenirs at Blarney Woolen Mills, the world's largest Irish shop. After lunch, continue on your journey to the Dingle Peninsula and overnight among the last parishes before America.
Day 3: Dingle Peninsula - Slea Head - Killarney
Today, take the short drive to Dingle, a charming Gaelic speaking fishing village. Famed in many films like Far and Away and Ryan's Daughter, Dingle is celebrated for having the most pubs in Ireland for a town of its size, 52 pubs and 2000 people. You cannot forget Dingle's most famous resident, Fungi the Dolphin who you shall have time to visit in the early afternoon. Then it's off on a wonderful pleasant trip around Slea Head with amazing views of Sleeping Giant Island, the Blasket Islands, and Beehive Huts dating back to 2000 B.C. Regarded as the most beautiful Peninsula in the world by many photographic magazines, Slea Head has some of Ireland's most fabulous beaches and is definitely the highlight of Ireland's famed Wild Atlantic Way. This area is completely Gaelic speaking, and you may even get to hear some of the locals converse in this ancient language. Then it's back to Dingle where there is ample time for shopping in traditional arts and crafts stores, lunch in one of the many colorful pubs with local musicians playing some mystic tunes. Complete your day with a visit to Ireland's longest beach at Inch, connecting Dingle Peninsula to the Ring of Kerry before continuing on to your evening destination at Killarney where you'll stay for the next 2 nights.
Day 4: Killarney - Ring of Kerry - Killarney
Today, embark on the world famous Ring of Kerry. The day begins with a horse and cart ride through Killarney National Park (optional) or horseback ride through the park for the energetic and adventurous (optional). Next it's off on your journey that combines emerald pastures and villages with jaw dropping views of cliffs, mountains and ancient pagan forts. Highlights include vistas of the Skellig rocks, and the beautiful town of Waterville once home of the legendary Charlie Chaplin. After lunch, find yourselves in the homeland of Daniel O'Connell, known as the father of the nation and the man who brought Catholic emancipation to Ireland in the early 1800s. Your afternoon is packed with many highlights including Moll's Gap, Ladies View, Leprechaun Crossing, Killarney National Park, Lakes of Killarney, Torc Waterfall, and much more.
Day 5: Killarney - Cliffs of Moher - Galway
Leaving Killarney, your first stop will be a photo stop at the beautiful Bunratty Castle. Today's emphasis shall be the Wild Atlantic way, visiting Cliffs of Moher, the most popular natural tourist destination in Ireland and most spectacular cliffs in Europe. Rising over 700 feet in height, these cliffs are home to some of natures most majestic birds including puffins, gannets and many more. Doolin, the home of Irish traditional music is your lunch stop before continuing onwards to explore the Burren, a lunar landscape dating back 300 million years with unique features like underground rivers and waterfalls. Your journey takes you along the West Coast of Clare, and Galway Bay with fabulous vistas of the Aran Islands. Overnight in Galway, known as the city of the tribes and Ireland's cultural capital, with a vast array of fine seafood eateries, and home to an endless selection of traditional Irish music venues. Galway was also once home of Christopher Columbus, the famous explorer.
Day 6: Galway - Connemara - Dublin
Depart Galway and visit Maam's Cross and the Maam Valley, ravaged by the famine of 1845. This area evokes memories of the saddest time in Irish history when more than a million people died of starvation along your Western shores. Your lunch stop today is the charming village of Cong, famed by John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in the film Quiet Man. The village is home to Ashford castle, a regular haunt of the rich and famous and a wedding venue for a host of international stars. Have time to visit Cong Abbey before heading off on your short journey through the midlands back to Dublin inspired by a wonderful 6 day experience around Southern Ireland.