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Escape to the West, 5-Day Tour of Ireland

Highlights / General details Day 1: Departing Dublin you head west through the farmland and peat bogs of counties Kildare and Offally. Our first stop is the Locke’s Distillery – reputedly the oldest legal distillery in the world. Sample the local whiskey and discover the true spirit of Ireland! Further west you will reach the mighty Shannon River and the early Christian site of Clonmacnoise – with its collection of churches, stone crosses and round towers. After an afternoon stop in a traditional pub in the village of Shannonbridge, travel into Galway City for your first night. Day 2: From Galway City it is only a short drive along the coast to the Burren – one of Ireland’s great natural treasures. This is a land of limestone pavements, barren hillsides, rare flora, early Christian settlements and ancient stone monuments. You will spend most of the morning exploring this unique area. You will then stop in Kilfenora, the “town of the crosses”, for a visit to the old cathedral and lunch in the village. After lunch you will visit the stunning Cliffs of Moher, which drop almost 700 feet straight into the crashing Atlantic waves. Here you can walk the cliff top trails, watch the numerous seabirds or visit the award winning environmental exhibition. You continue travelling south through County Clare passing the famous golf course and beach at Lahinch to catch the ferry across the Shannon estuary and into County Kerry to the beautiful lakeside town of Killarney – your base for the next 3 nights. The pubs here are great for food and most have live music in the evenings – your only problem is which one to choose! Day 3: The tour today will explore the wonderful Dingle Peninsula – one of the most scenic parts of Ireland and a heartland of Gaelic culture and tradition. The first stop of the day is the beach at Inch – a vast expanse of sand facing out into the Atlantic and very popular with surfers. From here increasingly narrow roads lead onto the peninsula itself through the town of Dingle and out to Slea Head. The circuit of Slea Head leads back to Dingle town with its brightly colored buildings and busy harbour. You will spend the rest of the afternoon here before returning to Killarney. If the weather is good you could take an evening walk in the Killarney National Park – just on the edge of town. Day 4: Today you will tour one of the world’s classic routes, the Ring of Kerry - 100 miles packed full of interest. After departing Killarney on a clear day there will be views to Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil after which we join the coast road through Glenbeigh and Kells to Cahersiveen. There will be plenty opportunities for photos stops along the way with great views across to the Dingle Peninsula. Possible stops include the Daneiel O’Connell’s birthplace and Cahersiveen ring fort before reaching the little fishing village of Portmagee. In the afternoon you will make photo stops in Waterville - a favorite holiday place for Charlie Chaplin and then at the top of Coonmakista Pass for one of the best views in the country. From here the road drops down to sea level for a visit to Derrynane House – family home of Daniel O’Connell. There are walks in the gardens and down to the beach as well as the house itself. The tour continues on around the Ring with stops at Moll’s Gap and the Ladies View. There will just be time for a short walk to the Torc Waterfall before arriving back into Killarney. Day 5: Today you will head back east through the mountains of West Cork and the market town of Macroom then along the Lee Valley to Blarney Castle. Here you will have time to visit the castle, explore the woodland walks and mystical Rock Close as well as visiting the village of Blarney itself – a good place for a bite of lunch and a bit of shopping. There may even be the chance to kiss the famous Blarney Stone although in peak season it can be very busy. In the afternoon the tour continues on to the Rock of Cashel with its mediaeval monastery complex sitting high above the town and finally Kilkenny, a bustling city with a fine Castle and Park, riverside walks, the National Craft Centre and plenty pubs for one last Guinness before hitting the road again for the last leg of a wonderful journey arriving back into Dublin about 7:30pm. Inclusion Transportation by top of the range Mercedes mini coach for a more personal experience with a maximum of 16 passengers on tour. Services of a professional driver/guide. All road tolls and the Killimer - Tarbet ferry. Exclusion Gratuities, Meals and refreshments, Entrances to all Visitor Attractions. Hours of operation Tour is available: Sunday: April 19 – October 4. Wednesday: May 5, 20. June 3, 17. July 1, 15, 29. August 12, 26. September 2, 16, 23. Departs at 9.00hr, returns 19.30hr. Location Tours depart from Nassau Street, Dublin, opposite the Kilkenny Shop. Additional Information Because we believe in time off the bus and give you opportunities to take nature walks we recommend you bring suitable clothing and footwear for your tour. Ireland can be a wet place!! If you have mobility problems or special requirements please let us know when booking. Participant restrictions Child rate applies to children aged 5-15, based on 1 child sharing a room with parents or 2 children in a twin room. No children under 5 permitted. Policies Guests are requested to check in 15 minutes before departure. Depending on the conditions and tours may return about half an hour earlier. In winter (November to March), some castles are not open but can be viewed from outside. If you are reserving for a single passenger, you must reserve a Single room. Double room can be booked ONLY if you are reserving for 2 or more. **All information requested must be supplied or booking is subject to automatic cancellation**