Romantic Ireland Self-Drive Tour 8 Days
7 Night Tour From $839 pps
This tour arrives/departs from Shannon but these arrival/departure points can be customised to include other airports such as Dublin.
Attractions on This Tour
Burren Region, County Clare
The Burren, from the Gaelic word Boireann is an area of limestone rock covering imposing majestic mountains, and tranquil valleys with gently meandering streams. With its innate sense of spiritual peace, extraordinary array of flora and wildlife, and megalithic tombs and monuments older than Egypt's pyramids, the Burren creates a tapestry of colour and a seductively magical aura which few people leave without wanting to experience again.
Aillwee Cave, County Clare
In the heart of the Burren in County Clare, perched high on its Burren terraced mountain side with spectacular views of Galway Bay lies Ireland's premier showcave - an experience, which should be part of everyone’s visit to the Burren. Aillwee Cave welcomes you to its underground surprises, a place of wonder, beauty and discovery.
Burren Smokehouse, County Clare
The Burren Smokehouse Visitors Centre was established in 1995, to create a window for the smokehouse own products and other local gourmet products and crafts. It has become a popular tourist attraction in the North County Clare area and welcomes over 30,000 visitors from all over the world each year. Visit the Burren Smokehouse Visitor Centre and get a tasting of the Burren smoked salmon. You can discover mosaics inside and outside the shop, and look at the first kiln that was used when the Burren Smokehouse was first set up.
Doolin Cave, County Clare
Doolin Cave is one of Europe's most compelling cave attractions. It is a truly authentic experience and your only opportunity to see one of the largest free hanging stalactites in the world.
Dolphinwatch Carrigaholt, County Clare
Dolphinwatch was founded in 1992 in the Shannon Estuary. This family-run business headed up by Geoff and Susanne Magee offers a range of boat trips, which take you out into the waters off the Clare coast, where you can catch a glimpse of the dolphins who dwell there. In the hands of Geoff (a qualified Captain, with many years experience in commercial fishing and eco-marine tourism) and Susanne (who has run a local sailing school and lived by the sea all her life), you are guaranteed a truly unique experience.
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, County Clare
At Ireland’s premier visitor attraction you are invited to explore three wonderful experiences – the acclaimed 15th Century Bunratty Castle, the 19th century Bunratty Folk Park and the Village Street. The Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. Today, the castle stands peacefully in delightful grounds.
Bunratty Banquet, County Clare
Bunratty Castle, built in the 15th Century by the Earl of Thomond, stands on the banks of the Rathy River in Clare. During his rule, the Earl was known for hospitality and regularly lavished his guests with entertainment. The Bunratty Medieval Banquet is now held twice nightly throughout the year harking back to the Earl’s extravagant banquets.
Durty Nelly's, County Clare
Durty Nelly’s is one of Ireland’s most famous pubs and offers a truly unique Irish experience through its history and character. Often copied but never replaced, this truly unique piece of Irish heritage dates back to 1620. Enjoy the craic agus ceoil at the world-renowned Durty Nelly’s where there’s live Traditional Irish music seven nights a week and festivals all year.
Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary
The Rock of Cashel (Carraig Phádraig), more formally known as St. Patrick’s Rock is reputedly the site where a conversation ensued between Aenghus-King of Munster and St. Patrick in the 5th Century AD.
Swiss Cottage, County Tipperary
A delightful "cottage orne'" built in the early 1800s by Richard Butler, 1st Earl of Glengall, to a design by the famous Regency architect John Nash. Its interior contains a graceful spiral staircase and some elegantly decorated rooms. The wallpaper in the Salon manufactured by the Dufour factory is one of the first commercially produced Parisian wallpapers. The cottage is situated on an elevated site with access by stone steps. Please note that this is a very busy site and visitors may experience a delay during the Summer months
Roscrea Castle, County Tipperary
By command of King John of England, the Round Castle was built in 1213. Originally this structure consisted of a wooden motte and bailey fortification, but this was later rebuilt in stone in 1281 resulting in the castle which we now see today. Although from the outside the tower appears round, the interior is in fact octagonal in shape. It measures roughly 10.7 m (35 ft) with three floors and the walls are roughly 1.8 m (6 ft. 11 inches) in thickness. This tower stood at the edge of Lake Cré, which has since been drained.
Glengarra Wood, County Tipperary
Nature, woodlands, wildlife and walking - Find all this and more at Glengarra Wood. This mixed woodland s situated just 13km (8 mi) west of Cahir town in County Tipperary. Situated on Old Red Sandstone on the southern slopes of the Galtee Mountain, this park has been beautifully developed and is definitely well worth a visit. There are many fine specimens of trees including the giant California Redwood, which were planted during the time when the area was part of the Lismore estate.
Kilkenny Design Craft Centre, Kilkenny City
Based in the medieval city of Kilkenny the creative heart of Ireland, the Centre is situated in what was once the stables of historic Kilkenny Castle, and is fittingly located adjacent to the National Craft Gallery one of Ireland’s most exciting artistic venues.
Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny City
The magnificent Kilkenny Castle overlooks the River Nore and has guarded this important river crossing for more than nine hundred years. The castle gardens around Kilkenny Castle, with extensive woodland paths, rose garden and ornamental lake, are well worth a visit. A 12th Century castle, remodeled in Victorian times and set in extensive parkland, which was the principal seat of the Butler family.
Smithwick's Brewery Tour, County Kilkenny
Over 300 years ago in 1710, John Smithwick began brewing his first Ales - although the Smithwick’s story started long before then. He chose the site of an ancient monastery - St.Francis Abbey, to position his brewery. John was inspired by a tradition of brewing on this site, the foundations of which were laid four centuries earlier.
St. Canice's Cathedral and Round Tower, Kilkenny City
St Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower are an essential part of the structural heritage in the vibrant medieval city of Kilkenny. This site was founded in the 6th Century and named after St Canice. Cill Channigh is the Gaelic for the Church of Canice, the church that originally stood on the site in the 6th Century.Combining the early Christian settlement, the Round Tower, the Anglo Norman Cathedral and its rich cultural heritage makes St Canice’s Cathedral and its environs a must to visit while you are in Kilkenny.
Kilfane Glen and Waterfalls, County Kilkenny
Kilfane Glen and Waterfall is a rare beauty. Located 3.2km (3mi) north of Thomastown in Kilkenny it is a perfectly preserved example of a romantic era garden dating from the 1790’s. Within the confines of this excellently restored mini paradise are tiny bridges, ancient tress, wild foxgloves, ferns and many other examples of foliage, which are historically correct to the 18th Century.
Hook Head Lighthouse, County Wexford
Lighthouses have a magic and mysticism of their own, none more so than the 13th Century Hook Lighthouse which is located in the south-western corner of County Wexford. The present structure is about 800 years old and is the oldest operational Lighthouse in the world. When the Tower of Hook became fully automated in 1996 and no longer needed resident keepers, it was decided to celebrate its uniqueness by opening it to the public
Dunbrody Ship, County Wexford
Dunbrody was a 19th Century three masted sailing ship that brought many emigrants from Ireland to North America during and after the Great Famine. The Visitor Experience provides a unique insight into a period of history which shaped modern day Ireland and America. You will, first of all, view a 9 minute audio-visual presentation which gives the historic background to the Great Famine, and the reason why so many people were forced to emigrate on sailing ships like Dunbrody to America in the mid 19th Century.
Waterford City, County Waterford
Waterford City is Ireland's oldest city dating back to 914 AD. The city has a rich history with direct connections to the Vikings and the Normans. It is also home to one of Ireland's most famous exports, Waterford Crystal.
Waterford Crystal, County Waterford
The iconic House of Waterford Crystal in the heart of Waterford city, comprises of a brand new manufacturing facility, visitor centre and retail outlet. Visitors can enjoy all aspects of the manufacturing process through the factory tour and learn about both historical and contemporary production techniques through direct interaction with the craftsmen and the audiovisual materials.
Reginald's Tower Museum, County Waterford
Reginalds Tower is a circular tower, part of the town's defences, built in the beginning of the 13th century, with a second phase in the 15th century. It was also used as a mint, prison and military store. It has been restored and now houses an exhibition. Reginald's Tower is the oldest civic urban structure in Ireland and has played a pivotal role in the country's history. The precursor of this tower is believed to be Dundory, a Viking fortification built on this site during the 10th Century.
Christchurch Cathedral, County Waterford
The Cathedral has many architectural and historic features of special interest, including: Magnificent 18th Century Stucco Plasterwork Ceiling and Reredos; and the Macabre Tomb of James Rice (a fine example of a cadaver monument, depicting the horror of death and the glory of saints). It has been described as one of the most important late medieval monuments in Ireland.
St. Carthage's Cathedral, County Waterford
Through the imposing gothic gates of St. Carthage’s Cathedral, you will find an abundance of history. The Cathedral dates back to 1630, when it was built by the earl of cork – Richard Boyle. This is the structure, which you see today (although some of the structure has been altered since), but the first stone church to stand on this site was build in the 1200’s, and gravestones slabs from monastic times can be found on the wall of the cathedral.
Lismore Castle, County Waterford
Lismore Caslte is built on the site, which originally was occupied by Lismore Abbe. Established in the early 7th Century, Lismore Abbey was an important monastery and seat of learning. The castle has a long and illustrious past, with connections to the Earls of Cork and the Dukes of Devonshire. The 12th Duke succeeded to the title in 2004 and although he continues to live mainly on the family’s Bolton Abbey estate, his son William Burlington maintains an apartment in Lismore Castle. In 2006, he converted the derelict west range into a contemporary gallery know as Lismore Castle Arts.
Lismore Heritage Experience, County Waterford
Make sure to visit the Lismore Heritage Centre when you're in town. Here you can stroll through the Lismore Experience exhibition gallery which was recently refurbished. Come face to face with the historic figures who have shaped Lismore since its foundation in 636 including Miler McGrath, Walter Raleigh, Richard Boyle and the Dukes of Devonshire. Replicas of the ancient treasures of the town are on display.
Mount Congreve Gardens, County Waterford
Mount Congreve Gardens is made up of a staggering 70 acres (28.3 hectares) of planted woodland garden and a four acre (1.6 hectares) walled garden. This exceptionally beautifully and carefully designed expanse is the brainchild of Mr. Ambrose Congreve. Drawing his inspiration from Lionel de Rothschild and his garden at Exbury in Hampshire, England Congreve set about nurturing his own passion for Rhododendrons, Magnolias and Camellias.
Blarney Castle, County Cork
Blarney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland's greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, and has been attracting attention beyond Munster ever since. Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney, making it a world landmark and one of Ireland's greatest treasures.
Blarney Woollen Mills, County Cork
The Blarney Woollen Mills were built in 1823 and originally went by the name Mahony’s Mills. It was a great source of employment for the people of Blarney and the surrounding areas, producing tweeds and woollens of an excellent quality for sale both and home and abroad. Today the Blarney Woollen Mills is Ireland’s largest Irish gifts store, stocking an extensive range of Ireland’s finest home grown products. At the store you’ll find Waterford Crystal, Belleek Fine china, Royal Tara, Celtic Jewellery and not forgetting the infamous Aran Sweaters.
Cork City, County Cork
In the 7th century St. Finbarr founded a monastery on marshy land and so laid the foundations stones of Cork City – the name deriving from the Gaelic – corach meaning marshy place. Over the subsequent centuries, it survived the arrival of the Vikings, Normans and English and today it is Ireland’s second largest city (after Dublin)
St. Anne's Church and Shandon Bells, Cork City
St. Anne’s Church, which dates back to the 6th Century is on of Cork City’s most outstanding attractions. Standing at 37 m (121 ft) tall it towers above the city making a stunning impression on the skyline, which is visible from wherever you are in the city. The Church is probably most well known for its bells: The Bells of Shandon. Visitors can climb to the top of the church tower where the bells reside and enjoy spectacular views of the city below, as well as getting the chance to ring the infamous bells.
St. Finbarr’s Cathedral, Cork City
St. Finbarr’s Cathedral is situated in the centre of Cork City, Ireland. Designed by William Burges and consecrated in 1870, the Cathedral lies on a site where Christian worship has been offered since the 7th Century. Legend has it that St. Finbarr was the son of Amergin, whose tribe was descended from Eochaidh Muidmheadoin, brother of the king of Munster.
Cork City Gaol, Cork City
Cork is a city with a very rich historical and archaeological heritage - much of it still in evidence today. Part of this heritage, Cork City Gaol is located 2k (1.2MI) n/w from Patrick’s Street and while the magnificent castle-like building is now a major and unique visitor attraction, this Gaol once housed 19th Century prisoners!
Fota Wildlife Park, County Cork
A trip to Fota Wildlife Park, one of Europe's most modern wildlife parks, is thoroughly enjoyable as well as being educational too.The Park is set on 70 acres on the scenic Fota Island in the heart of Cork Harbour, only fifteen minutes from Cork City.
Garnish Island, County Cork
Ilnacullin, or sometimes Illaunacullin (derives from Oileán an Chulinn in Irish meaning “island of holly”) known locally as Garnish Island (properly Garinish Island or Garinis in Irish), is a very tranquil yet popular tourist attraction in Ireland, located in the small harbor of Glengarriff, County Cork which forms part of Bantry Bay. Ilnacullin is the name used by the National Parks and Monuments Service to differentiate it from Garinish Island in Co Kerry. The gardens are visited by thousands of people each year from all over the world and have been the subject of gardening programs on television.
Cobh Titanic Trail, County Cork
The Titanic Trail Cobh (Queenstown) in Cork, is a fascintating guided tour that explores the town of Cobh in Cork Harbour, which was the last port of call of the RMS Titanic. This Irish heritage walking tour takes visitors through the historic town of Cobh where the buildings, streets and piers have not changed since the Titanic’s sinking nearly 100 years ago.
Mizen Head, County Cork
Mizen Head Irish Lights Signal Station is Ireland's most Southwesterly Point and awardwinning in the Readers Digest Top 100 "Amazing Places of Britain and Ireland". At the end of the Mizen Peninsula, the cliffs of Mizen Head rise high above the Atlantic Ocean, where the currents meet from the west and south coasts and waves from the mid-Atlantic crash into the land. In all weathers, the Mizen is spellbinding. Expect an exhilarating and satisfying visit.
Ring of Kerry, County Kerry
The Ring of Kerry, also known as the Iveragh Peninsula is part of a mythical and unspoilt region in the south west of Ireland that has been attracting visitors for hundreds of years. The area is full of spectacular attractions and it’s natural beauty makes it the perfect center for outdoor pursuits such as golf, cycling, walking, water-sports and fishing.
Kate Kearney's Cottage, County Kerry
Nestled at the entrance to the world famous Gap of Dunloe lies Kate Kearney's Cottage, a 150 year old family-run establishment. At "‘Kate's" you will enjoy the tradition of hospitality made famous by the legendary Kate herself.
Killarney National Park, County Kerry
South and west of the town of Killarney in Co. Kerry is an expanse of rugged mountainous country. This includes the McGillycuddy's Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland which rises to a height of over 1000 meters. At the foot of these mountains nestle the world famous South and west of the town of Killarney in Co. Kerry is an expanse of rugged mountainous country. This includes the McGillycuddy's Reeks, the highest mountain range in Ireland which rises to a height of over 1000 meters. At the foot of these mountains nestle the world famous lakes of Killarney.of Killarney.
Ross Castle, County Kerry
Ross Castle sits on the edge of Killarney's lower lake and was built by O' Donoghue Mór in the 15th Century. The Castle came into the hands of the Brownes who became the Earls of Kenmare and owned an extensive portion of the lands that are now part of Killarney National Park. Legend has it that O' Donoghue still exists in a deep slumber under the waters of Lough Leane.
Muckross House and Gardens, County Kerry
Situated in the Killarney National Park, Muckross House and Gardens are among the most popular of Irish visitor attractions, with the house itself situated close to the shores of Muckross Lake.Muckross House was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife with building commenced in 1839 and completed in 1843. Today the principal rooms of the house are furnished in period style and portray the elegant lifestyle of the 19th Century landowning class.
Muckross Friary, County Kerry
This Franciscan Friary was founded in the 15th century and is in a remarkable state of preservation. The tower was added after the church was built and is the only Franciscan tower in Ireland which is as wide as the church. The cloister and its associated buildings are complete and an old yew tree stands in the centre. The monks were finally driven out by the Cromwellians in 1652.
Tangney's Jaunting Cars and Lakes of Killarney Cruise, County Kerry
Killarney Jaunting Cars is the perfect option to show you the hidden delights of Killarney National Parklands and the famous Lakes of Killarney that will forever captivate you by its beauty and charm. The Tangney Family’s intimate knowledge of Killarney and its surrounds derives from five generations of touring the scenic routes of the Killarney National Park.
Listowel Castle, County Kerry
The construction date of the earliest castle at Listowel dates to the 13th century but the present castle was probably built in the 15th Century by the FitzMaurices. The castle stands on an elevation on a steep bank, overlooking the river Feale, above the location of a strategic ford in Listowel town center.
Skellig Experience Centre, County Kerry
In the Skellig Experience Center you can experience many aspects of the offshore Skellig islands while remaining on the dry land, in a custom built, stone clad, grass roofed, prize winning building located right on the waterfront beside the Valentia Island bridge at Valentia, County Kerry!
Derrynane House, County Kerry
Derrynane House is the ancestral home of Daniel O'Connell, lawyer, politician and statesman. It is situated on 120 hectares of parklands on the scenic Kerry coast, 3.5kms (2.2mi) from Caherdaniel. The house and grounds have been preserved and are open to the public every day during the summer months and anyone touring the Ring of Kerry should make a point of visiting.
Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry
The Dingle Peninsula (or Corca Dhuibhne in Gaelic) is one of the most remote regions in Ireland. It’s staggering natural beauty and intriguing history has inspired a plethora of poets, singers and musicians and brought thousands of visitors to the region to see what so many speak of. The Dingle Peninsula lies in Ireland’s southwest and stretches some 48 kilometres - dominated by mountains and steep cliffs, intermittently broken by sandy beaches The famous Blasket Islands so eloquently written of by Peig Sayers lie to the western side of the peninsula. One of it’s most westerly villages Dún Chaoin is often jokingly referred to as "the next parish to America"
Dunbeg Fort, County Kerry
The location of An Dún Beag, or Dunbeag Promontory Fort, makes it one of the most dramatic archaeological sites on the Dingle peninsula. Archaeological excavations have shown that the earliest phase of construction on the site may have been as early as the 6th century BC. Although there is other evidence showing that there may have been intermittent temporary settlement much later in the 8th or 9th Centuries in relation to the inner fosse. This clochán structure was also possibly occupied in the 10th or 11th Centuries.
Gallarus Oratory, County Kerry
The Gallarus Oratory, a small, stone built chapel in the shape of an up-turned boat is one of the most famous landmarks on the Dingle Peninsula. The Oratory is built of stone without mortar, using “corbel vaulting”, a technique developed by Neolithic tomb-makers. The Oratory is a national monument in the care of the Office of Public Works and may be viewed free of charge.
Fahan Beehive Huts, Dingle,County Kerry
The Fahan Beehive Huts, also known as Caher Conor, are located on the south side of Mount Eagle, to the west of Dingle Town. The Caher Conor complex consists of five structures and the huts (or clochan in Irish) were probably once single family dwellings, attached to each other with via inter-connecting doorways - linking the huts together.
Siamsa Tire, County Kerry
Siamsa, pronounced “Shee-am-sa”, comes from the Irish language. The word itself expresses mirth and music, Tíre means ‘of the land’. At the heart of Siamsa Tíre lies a five person professional core group of full-time players supported by selected artists drawn from the local community but trained in the unique Siamsa style and idiom. Full-time and community performers integrate and blend into a dedicated and talented team.
Blennerville Windmill, County Kerry
Blennerville Windmill is a constant reminder of Ireland’s rich heritage and links with industry. Built in and around 1800 by Sir Rowland Blennerhassett, the windmill was in orperation for 30 years. In 1890 the windmills fell into disrepair, but in 1984 restoration began on the structure and Blennerville is now featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest working windmill in Ireland.
Ardfert Cathedral, County Kerry
Ardfert Cathedral has a Romanesque west doorway with outward pointing chevron decoration in the Anglo-Norman style. It is flanked by blind arcading with lozenge-stonework similar to that found in parts of south-west France. It also has a 13th Century east window and a row of nine lancets in the south wall. Two effigies of ecclesiastical figures of the late 13th or early 14th Century period are mounted on either side of the east window. The battlements were added in the 15th Century. The pre-12th Century block of masonry is clearly visible in the north wall.
Adare Castle and Heritage Centre, County Limerick
Snuggled in a wooded setting among the rich farmlands of the Golden Vale by the River Maigue, Adare is a model village dating from the time of the Norman conquest. Regarded as a fine example of a medieval fortified castle in Ireland Adare is home to one of a number of outstanding castles situated in County Limerick..
Limerick City, County Limerick
Limerick is Ireland's fourth largest city and has also been awarded the first ever City of Culture within the Republic of Ireland for 2014. There is lots to do with plenty of history, shopping and culture.
Frank McCourt Museum, Limerick City
Leamy House (formerly known as Leamy School) is a tudor-style, listed building with an interesting facade. The building was erected in 1843 through the munificence of William Leamy who, before he died some years earlier, left a large sum of money in trust for the education of poor Protestant boys. Due to dwindling numbers in 1880, the school became a National School for Catholic boys and thus it continued until 1953.
King John's Castle, Limerick City
King John’s Castle is a 13th Century Castle on ‘King’s Island’ in the heart of medieval Limerick City. The Castle overlooks the majestic River Shannon offering wonderful views of Limerick City.
Hunt Museum, Limerick City
The Hunt Museum houses a diverse collection of antiquities and fine and decorative art. It reflects the tastes and interests of the two people who formed it, John and Gertrude Hunt. There are artefacts from Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Olmec civilisation.
Foynes Flying Boat Museum, County Limerick
The Foynes Flying Boat Museum, housed in the original terminal building in Foynes, recalls that nostalgic era when Foynes became the centre of the aviation world from 1937 to 1945. Foyne's amazing story is told through a comprehensive range of exhibits and graphic illustrations featured throughout the original Terminal Building including in our authentic 1940's cinema; the Radio and Weather Rooms—complete with transmitters, receivers and Morse code equipment; the Brendan O'Regan restaurant and of course, the only full sized replica B314 flying boat.