8 Day Ancient Ireland Mini-Group Tour 2020 Ring Of Kerry Version
An Adults-Only Tour For Max. 8 Guests
Live like royalty on a luxury tour of Ireland that gets you closer to Ireland’s best-loved attractions including the famous Ring of Kerry located on the Wild Atlantic Way. With only eight guests per tour, there is more time and freedom to explore your own interests. You will be staying in some of Ireland’s very best hotels, including two nights in Ballynahinch Castle – an idyllic retreat nestled in 700 acres of pristine walkways, rivers and woodland.
Day By Day
Relax and allow Ireland to wash over you during eight days of elegance and luxury on the Ancient Ireland Mini Group Tour, Ring of Kerry Version. Click on the days below to find out what adventures await you on each day of your tour.
Day 1 Itinerary
On arrival in Dublin Airport reclaim your baggage and enter the Arrivals Hall. Here in the Arrivals Hall you will meet your Irish tour guide (who is also your driver). There will be three group transfers this morning between 0700 am & 1200 noon. Board your luxury air-conditioned mini-coach and make the short transfer to the famous Brooks Hotel in the heart of Dublin city where you can relax and unwind after your flight.
15:00 Check in time. Hotel reception will store your luggage prior to check in.
This afternoon after all introductions have been made you will depart on a tour of the “Fair City” of Dublin, Ireland’s capital city visiting Trinity College which was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I on the site of an Augustinian monastery. Trinity College is also home to the Book of Kells , which is the most richly decorated of Ireland’s medieval illuminated manuscripts. The book contains the four gospels in Latin. Some of the dyes used were imported from as far as the Middle East.
No visit to Dublin would be complete without a visit to the Guinness Storehouse at St. James’s Gate for a tour of the world famous brewery and afterwards enjoy a perfect pint of Guinness in the Gravity Bar, which is located at the top of a glass tower that commands spectacular views of Dublin City & County in every direction.
Evening free to relax and unwind at your leisure. Overnight in the Brooks Hotel.
Day 2 Itinerary
This morning after breakfast you will depart for Ballynahinch Castle for an unrivalled experience of true Irish hospitality. Formerly the home of “Humanity Dick” Martin and The Maharajah Ranjitsinhji, Ballynahinch Castle has been welcoming visitors to Connemara for over 250 years. At Ballynahinch Castle, My Ireland Tour guests will enjoy the breathtaking Superior Bedroom. This unique castle is spectacularly located on a private 450 acre estate of woodlands, rivers and walks in the heart of Connemara.
Travelling west your route today will take you through Ballinasloe & Athlone, which is the centre of Ireland. You will visit Clonmacnoise a medieval monastery on the banks of the River Shannon founded by St. Ciaran in the 6th century. Clonmacnoise lay at a crossroads of medieval Ireland linking all parts of the island. Sacked time and again by the Vikings, it nevertheless flourished for over 600 years.
We will continue west on our journey to Galway City, known as the “City of the Tribes”. On arrival in Galway you will have a panoramic tour of this ancient city including its famous Eyre Square. Take time for a ramble through Salthill Promenade, a Wild Atlantic Way discovery point, or down Shop Street to Galway’s Latin Quarter where stands Lynch’s Castle, Galway’s grandest 16th century town house. Stroll up the bustling Quay Street with its many great pubs and lively street performers.
We will travel on west of Galway City via the villages of Oughterard, Maam Cross & Recess into the wilds of Connemara, famous for its bogs, mountains and rugged coastline. Tonight you will overnight & dine in Ballynahinch Castle. Suggestion: After dinner you might like to retire to the friendly Fisherman’s Pub for a nightcap (Connemara Single Malt Irish Whiskey is just a suggestion) before bed.
Please note, although Ballynahinch Castle has undergone many modernising refurbishments over the past 250 years there are no elevators in the hotel.
Day 3 Itinerary
This morning after breakfast take some time to explore at your leisure the extensive grounds of Ballynahinch Castle. There are some who visit Ballynahinch Castle and never leave the grounds during their stay, such is the choice of activities available. Hiking the trails, taking a fly-fishing tutorial, playing tennis, biking, or simply sitting in the tranquillity of the grounds listening to the song of the river as it makes its interminable journey to the sea are all possibilities today.
This afternoon if the lure of the castle grounds are not too strong you will tour the sights of wild Connemara. You will have free time in Clifden, the capital of Connemara which was founded in 1812 by the High Sheriff of Galway to create a pocket of respectability within the lawlessness of Connemara.
You will visit Kylemore Abbey, which is nestled at the base of Duchruach Mountain on the northern shore of Lough Pollacappul, in the heart of the Connemara Mountains. It is regarded as one of Ireland’s most romantic buildings.
Your return route to Ballynahinch Castle will take you via the spectacular Inagh Valley with the rugged 12 Bens of Connemara on your right and the Maumturks mountain range on your left. Tonight you will overnight and dine in Ballynahinch Castle.
Please note, although Ballynahinch Castle has undergone many modernising refurbishments over the past 250 years there are no elevators in the hotel. There is a full porter service, to carry your bags to and from the bedroom, but walking up and down the stairs, for anyone with mobility issues, can be quite difficult.
Day 4 Itinerary
This morning after breakfast you will depart for the Cahernane House Hotel situated on the edge of Killarney National Park. The hotels commands the most magnificent setting with the truly unique backdrop of the mountains, islands, woodlands and the 12th century McCarthy Mór castle ruins.
Your journey will take you down the Wild Atlantic Way on the west coast of Clare via the famous Galway Bay, Dunguaire Castle and the fishing village of Kinvarra. You will see The Burren, which is Gaelic for rocky land, an apt name for this vast limestone plateau. In the 1640’s, Cromwell’s surveyor described it as “a savage land, yielding neither water enough to drown a man, nor tree to hang him, nor soil enough to bury”.
On the Atlantic west coast of County Clare you will stand on the dramatic 214 metres (704 feet) high and 8 kilometres (5 miles) long Cliffs of Moher, a Wild Atlantic Way signature discovery point, to gaze out on the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. Further south in County Limerick take time to stroll the main street of the beautiful thatched village of Adare before travelling on to Killarney. Tonight you will overnight at Cahernane House Hotel.
Day 5 Itinerary
This morning after breakfast you will set off on the world famous Ring of Kerry (Iveragh Peninsula) via Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Coomakesta Pass with it magnificent views over Derrynane, home of Daniel O’ Connell (known as “The Liberator”), to Caherdaniel
Today you will have a pub lunch in The Blind Piper Pub in the village of Caherdaniel. Locals & visitors alike have been drinking here since 1865. Who was the Blind Piper? The Blind Piper is Mici Cumba O’Sullivan who was born nearby in 1835 and became one of Ireland’s most famous pipers.
Continue on via the pretty village of Sneem, Moll’s Gap, Ladies View and along the Lakes of Killarney to Killarney town. Tonight you will overnight in the Cahernane House Hotel.
Suggestion: You might like to retire to the Cellar Bar for a nightcap before bed (I would suggest Jameson whiskey from the neighbouring County Cork which you will be visiting tomorrow).
For guests who start their tour on Tuesday 30th June, today will be Saturday the 4th of July and will coincide with the annual Ring of Kerry Cycle. For this reason, certain roads will be closed and our usual route around the Ring of Kerry will be altered. There will be a later start to the day than normal and lunch will be served at an alternative venue to the Blind Piper Pub.
- Irish Breakfast
- Pub Lunch
- Cahernane House Hotel
Day 6 Itinerary
Your journey today will take you over the famous Cork/Kerry Mountains via the Irish speaking villages of Ballymakeery & Ballyvourney to the old market town of Macroom, where you will see Macroom Castle, once home of Sir William Penn, whose son was later to found the state of Pennsylvania.
Travel on to the village of Blarney via the valley of the river Lee to visit Blarney Castle. This world famous castle was built in 1446 by Dermot McCarthy and here you will have the opportunity to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone.
You will have time for shopping at Blarney Woolen Mills where one of the largest selections of Irish arts, crafts and produce can be seen on display.
This afternoon we will visit the Old Midleton Distillery – home of Jameson’s Whiskey – which has the world’s largest pot still with a capacity of over 30,000 gallons. After the tour you might like to enjoy a complimentary drop of Irish whiskey
Our destination for tonight is Ballymacarbry on the Tipperary/Waterford border to a family owned Irish Farmhouse for a unique overnight stay.
The idyllic setting of Glasha Farmhouse nestled between the Knockmealdown and Comeragh Mountains will give you a unique insight into rural Irish life. Tonight you will enjoy a hearty home cooked dinner and conversation with your Irish hosts.
Suggestion: After dinner you might fancy taking the three minute stroll to the Bridge Bar, a friendly authentic Irish pub to enjoy chatting with the locals over a pint of Guinness.
Day 7 Itinerary
After a hearty home cooked full Irish breakfast this morning we will set off for the world renowned House of Waterford Crystal in the Viking founded city of Waterford where extensive glass manufacturing was established in 1783. Learn the art of glass blowing from the professional craftsmen and take time to visit the store which is home to the largest selection of Waterford Crystal in the world.
We will continue on to Kilkenny for a visit of Kilkenny Castle. It has been an important site since Strongbow constructed the first building a wooden tower in the 12th century. William the Earl Marshall built the first stone castle on the site in 1260.
This afternoon you will once again be back in the “Fair City” of Dublin. Overnight at the famous Brooks Hotel .
Day 8 Itinerary
Today marks the end of the Ancient Ireland Tour, Ring of Kerry Version.
This morning there will be 3 group transfers between 0500 & 1200 for you to choose from to bring you to Dublin Airport for your return flight home.
DUBLIN Day 1 & Departure
- Trinity College
- Ancient Book of Kells
- Guinness Storehouse
GALWAY & THE WEST Days 2 – 4
- Galway “City of the Tribes”
- Cliffs of Moher
- Clonmacnoise Monastery
- Connemara Region
- Burren Landscape
- Thatched village of Adare
- Kylemore Abbey
- Stay in Ballynahinch Castle
KERRY & CORK Days 5 – 6
- The Ring of Kerry
- Killarney Nat. Park & Lakes
- Irish Pub Lunch & Music
- Blarney Castle & Stone
- Blarney Woolen Mills
- Jameson Distillery
THE SOUTH EAST Day 7
- Kilkenny Castle
- House of Waterford Crystal
- Traditional Farm Lunch
- Stay on a real Irish Farm
Meals & Accomodation
- 7 nights accommodation
- 3 Evening Meals
- 7 Full Irish Breakfasts
- 1 Traditional Irish Pub Lunch
- Trinity College
- The Guinness Storehouse
- Kylemore Abbey
- Cliffs of Moher
- Jameson Distillery
- Blarney Castle
- Kilkenny Castle
- House of Waterford Crystal
- Irish Tour Guide
- Group Airport Transfers
- All local taxes
- Porterage of one suitcase per person
- Luxury Air Conditioned Mini-Coach