Holidays

Grand Tour of Ireland
Grand Tour of Ireland

Grand Tour of Ireland

Departure: Wednesday 18th July 2018

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Your Hotels

Dooley's Hotel, Waterford (1 Night)
(Overnight Bag Required)

Killarney Towers Hotel, Killarney (3 Nights)

Falls Hotel, Ennistymon (2 Nights)

Central Hotel, Donegal (2 Nights)

Stormont Hotel, Belfast (2 Nights)

Day 1
We take the afternoon ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare, then on to Waterford for an overnight stay at Dooley's Hotel located on the quayside in the centre of the town.

Day 2
Today we will travel on to Co. Cork, home of the legendary Blarney Woollen Mills with its extensive range of clothes, crafts and classic Irish souvenirs; the more energetic might fancy a climb up the nearby castle steps to kiss the Blarney Stone (entrance not included). Continue to one of Ireland's most popular towns set amidst spectacular mountains and countryside. Enjoy a 3 night stay at the Killarney Towers Hotel.

Day 3-4
A tour around the famous 'Ring of Kerry'. Savour 100 miles of spectacular scenery as you travel along the narrow coastal road of the Iveragh Peninsula. The journey begins at Killorglin, home of the world's oldest market, the famous Puck Fair, through Glenbeig. Continue through the villages of Rossbeigh and Kells, with their beautiful golden beaches to Caherciveen for lunch. Travel through Waterville and Derrynane, overlooking Ballinskelligs Bay to Caherdaniel, hometown of political hero Daniel O'Connell. Continue through Sneem, a quaint town with its own village green, and Kenmare to Moll's Gap, a cutting between bleak bogland and mountains. The winding road passes Ladies View, aptly named after Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting who were so impressed with the view of the lakes and the entrance to Muckross, finishing in Killarney.

A free day to enjoy Killarney, set in the Irish Lake District and internationally renowned for its scenic beauty with a myriad of pastimes to ensure you will never be left at a loose end. The most popular way to learn about the town and its lakes is to take a traditional Jaunting Car ride (included in tour price). The Tangney family has been running these excursions from the centre of Killarney for five generations. The tour runs through the Killarney National Park and along the edge of Lough Leane to Ross Castle. From here we catch the 'Lily of Killarney' to cruise across the lake (included in tour price) a memorable way to view the surrounding mountains. This afternoon there's free time to explore Killarney town.

Day 5
Depart Killarney after breakfast and make our through Co. Limerick and visit the unique Foynes Flying Boat Museum (entrance included) a unique chapter in the country's aviation history. Enjoy the attached Maritime Museum and if it's to your taste why not sample a traditional Irish Coffee, invented here at Foynes. In 1942, the chef at Foynes airbase, Joseph Sheridan, served whiskey in his coffees to help revitalise a group of weary passengers delayed by bad weather and a legend was born! From here it's a short journey to nearby Tarbert to take the 30-minute ferry journey across the River Shannan to Killimer. From here continue to Ennistymon, to the Falls Hotel for our next 2 nights stay.

Day 6
First stop is the Burren Visitor Centre (included in tour price), where the natural history of this enchanting region is revealed. Continue with a drive through the park to discover prehistoric limestone landscapes sheltering rare species of flora and fauna. Continue north to Ballyvaughan Bay and around Black Head and take the wonderful ocean drive past the Aran Islands as we continue onto the official Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre (included in tour price) for breath-taking views 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean.

Day 7
Take a quick look at the city of Galway, known as the City of Tribes, and famous today for a calendar crammed full of festivals and events celebrating everything from oysters to opera. Perhaps take a walk along the Old Quays to visit the Spanish Arch and the Claddagh, which pay testament to Galway's maritime history, or visit Eyre Square, a relaxing spot, amongst the maze of streets offering a variety of stores, pubs and restaurants. Then head north via Claremorris and Knock, home of the famous Knock Shrine which once saw half a million people greet Pope John Paul II. We continue on to Sligo on the banks of the River Garavogue, before completing the journey to Donegal for a 2 night stay at the Central Hotel.

Day 8
Free day in Donegal. Visits can be made to Donegal Castle, the abbey ruins or Magee's home of Donegal hand-woven tweeds. Alternatively enjoy a cruise around Donegal Bay (not included in tour price): the cruise is subject to tidal restrictions, takes approximately 80 minutes. All the attractions for this day are within walking distance of the hotel.

Day 9
Leaving Donegal today, travel across the border into Northern Ireland and over to the mighty Giants Causeway (included in your tour price). Created by volcanic activity a more romantic legend is that the giant Finn MacCool laid a path across the sea to his lady-love in Scotland. A regular shuttle bus escorts visitors from the visitor centre down to the shore. Following lunch travel along the Antrim Coast Road built in the 1800's to provide employment for famine-stricken workers, passing the spectacular scenery centred round the nine Glens of Antrim. Continue onto Belfast for a 2 nights stay at the Stormont Hotel Belfast.

Day 10
We begin our day with a Guided Tour of the city sights (guide included in your tour price) taking in the Botanical Gardens, Queen's University, the Waterfront Hall and the famous leaning Albert Clock. Close to City Hall and the Belfast Opera House is the Crown Liquor Saloon, a beautifully preserved Victorian public house with gas lamps and drinking snugs, owned by the National Trust. In the afternoon we will visit the new Titanic Belfast Visitor Centre (admission included in your tour). This iconic attraction opened in April 2012 in the heart of the city beside the slipways where RMS Titanic was built, and where visitors can re-live the entire Titanic story from her birth in Belfast to the fateful maiden voyage and her eventual discovery on the seabed. Return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 11
Leaving Belfast today, head down the East Coast to discover Ireland's capital city, Dublin. It's many attractions include the cathedral, castle, Trinity College, Ha'penny Bridge and Phoenix Park, plus a collection of museums and art galleries, cafe's, restaurants and many excellent shops. For a perfect finale to your holiday, you could even visit the Guinness Storehouse, home to Ireland's famous stout and the country's number one visitor attraction; visitors are treated to a free drink in the rooftop Gravity Bar with its panoramic views of the city.

Enquiries and booking call 01994 240908

Accommodation & Pricing

Hotel: See hotel listing opposite
Basis: Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
Price: £1100 per person

Supplements

Single supplement £220