Castles of Ireland Self-Drive Tour 8 Days
7 Night Tour From $1,373 pps
This tour arrives into and departs from Dublin, but can be customised to include Shannon as an arrival/departure point.
Attractions on This Tour
Dublin Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour, Dublin City
The Dublin Tour has been carefully designed to give you the freedom to explore and experience the history and culture of Dublin at your leisure. You will get the opportunity to visit all the main Dublin attractions along the route and these include Dublin Zoo, St Patrick’s cathedral and Trinity College (home of the Book of Kells).
Viking Splash Tour, Dublin City
Book a trip with Viking Splash Tours for a unique Dublin sightseeing experience by Land and Water. Viking captains will guide you on a fun and witty tour of Dublin City, taking in all the top sights including Viking and Medieval Dublin, Trinity College, Christ Church Cathedral, Georgian Dublin and much more!
Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin City
At the heart of the city of Dublin for almost a thousand years, Christ Church cathedral has a rich cultural history which can be traced from the Vikings and the Anglo-Normans to the present. Its diverse architectural and sculptural heritage remains a source of fascination to visitors and pilgrims alike who enter this hallowed space.
St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin City
Built in honor of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptized converts on his visit to Dublin.The parish church of Saint Patrick on this site was granted collegiate status in 1191, and raised to cathedral status in 1224. The present building dates from 1220. The Cathedral is today the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland (a church of the Anglican Communion).
Pat Liddy's Walking Tours, Dublin City
Pat Liddy is a well-known Dublin historian, author and artist who has developed a unique walking tour service for Dublin. Covering the inner city and, by advance request, the coastal villages, waterways, hills and intriguing suburbs, the tours are compiled by Pat Liddy himself based on his years of experience, historical research and the collection of anecdotal and legendary stories of Ireland's Capital City.
Trinity College and the Book of Kells, Dublin City
Trinity College is Ireland's oldest university. It was founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592. Due to its picturesque setting and the famous people connected with it - Oscar Wilde studied here - Trinity College is one of the city's main tourist attractions.
Dublin Castle, Dublin City
Since its foundation in 1204 Dublin Castle has been at the heart of the history and evolution of the city. Today, spanning an area of over 44,000 square meters (11 acres), the site contains 2 museums, 2 cafés, an international conference centre, 2 gardens, Government Buildings and the State Apartments which are the most important state rooms in the country.
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin City
The Irish Museum of Modern Art is Ireland's leading national institution for the collection and presentation of modern and contemporary art. The Museum presents a wide variety of art in a dynamic program of exhibitions, which regularly includes bodies of work from its own Collection and its award-winning Education and Community Department. It also creates more widespread access to art and artists through its Studio and National programs.
Guinness Storehouse, Dublin City
At Guinness Storehouse you’ll discover all there is to know about the world’s most famous beer. A dramatic story that begins 250 years ago and ends…where else - in the Gravity® bar with a complimentary pint of the black stuff.
Old Jameson Distillery, Dublin City
A visit to the Old Jameson Distillery is so much more than just a tour, it is an exciting and engaging experience, guaranteed to enlighten and entertain any visitor.
Butlers - Chocolate Experience, County Dublin
Butlers Chocolate Experience is ultimate chocolate discovery tour in Ireland. Based in the home of Butlers Chocolates a visit here is a must for chocolate lovers of all ages.
Kilmainham Jail, Dublin City
Built in 1796, Kilmainham Jail has an unique place in Irish History and was where for more than 100 years those who fought against the English occupation of Ireland were imprisoned and where many of them died, It is a sombre, even chilling, place to visit, but absolutely fascinating.
Phoenix Park, Dublin City
The Phoenix Park at 707 hectares (1752 acres) is a historic landscape of international importance and one of the largest designed landscapes in any European city. It was originally established as a Royal deer park in the 17th century. The Park is open 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, all year round and is home to Áras an Uachtaráin, the President’s House.
Dublinia, Dublin City
The Dublinia exhibition covers the formative period of Dublin's history from the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in 1170 to the closure of the monasteries in the 1540s. Dublinia is an unforgettable experience in a historically important location at the heart of Dublin City, the crossroads where modern and old Dublin meets.
Experience Gaelic Games, County Dublin
In Ireland our Gaelic Games and dance are part of who we are and what we do. At Experience Gaelic Games we give you the opportunity to come and experience this unique aspect of Ireland for yourself. You get to play the games, to watch a game, to dance – whatever suits you.
Dublin City Pub Crawl, Dublin City
Oh Dublin! Lacking in grand, elegant monuments, Dublin expresses its living history with her pubs – the lifeblood of an evolving city. Up and down every city street, whether cobbled or paved, the Dublin City Pub Crawl will expose the true Dublin pub scene, sharing with you the authentic soul of this magnificent capital.
Clonmacnoise, County Offaly
Clonmacnoise (pronounced in Irish: Cluain Mhic Nois, “meadow of the sons of Nos”) is a monastic site overlooking the River Shannon in County Offaly. The extensive ruins include a cathedral, castle, round tower, numerous churches, two important high crosses, and a large collection of early Christian grave slabs (the last two on display in the excellent site museum).
Kilbeggan Distillery Experience, County Westmeath
The Kilbeggan Distillery Experience is the last remaining example of a small pot still whiskey distillery in Ireland. It was licensed in 1757 and whiskey production continued for 200 years until 1957, when the distillery closed its doors. In 1982, the local people began restoring the old distillery and today it is open to the public as a Museum.
Connemara Celtic Crystal, County Galway
Celtic Crystal is situated in the Connemara Gaeltacht (an Irish language speaking area) in the village of Moycullen, 7 mi (12 km) from Galway City. Located on the site of the "old railway station", which formed part of the famous Clifden line, Celtic Crystal was founded in 1972. This family-run business has been pioneering the incorporation of Celtic designs and Gaelic motifs into its ornate Irish Crystal and it is proud to claim leadership in this field.
Claddagh Region, County Galway
Claddagh (meaning "the stony beach") is an area close to the city centre of Galway, where the Corrib River meets Galway Bay. It was formerly a fishing village, just outside the old city walls. It is just across the river from the Spanish Arch, which was the location of regular fish markets where the locals supplied the city with seafood as recently as the end of the 19th Century. People have been gathering seafood and fishing from the area for millennia.
Galway City Museum, Galway City
The Galway Museum is essentially a folk museum and it features a considerable number of artefacts related to the fishing industry, which was, and is an integral part of tradition in the city. The museum aims to provide a cross section of the antiques and implements that were historically used in Galway, reflecting its traditions. Artefacts include farm implements and tools as well as pieces of machinery. There is an impressive collection of military material, including arms.
Spanish Arch, Galway City
Thee Spanish Arch built in 1584, stands on the left bank of the River Corrib, where Galway's river meets the sea. The arch is the remainder of a 16th Century bastion, added to the town's walls to protect merchant ships from looting. At this time, it was known as Ceann an Bhalla (Head of the Wall).
Eyre Square, Galway City
Eyre Square was officially renamed Kennedy Memorial Park in 1965 in honour of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, who visited Galway City a short time before his assassination. Now a public park, the plot of land originally took its name from Mayor Edward Eyre who presented the land to the city in 1710.
Galway Cathedral, Galway City
Situated on the banks of the River Corrib in Galway City, Galway Cathedral is the most recently built of Europe's great stone cathedrals, and is the centre of a vibrant community. Galway Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora. The word "cathedral" is derived from the Greek "kathedra", meaning a seat; and indeed this seat is to be found within the sanctuary of the Cathedral.
Trad on the Prom, County Galway
Providing Irish song, dance and music from some of the most talented Irish musicians, dancers and singers in the country this is a showcase of contemporary Irish traditional culture that is not to be missed, with critics hailing it as “the best Irish show of the year”.
Connemara Marble Factory, County Galway
The mining of Connemara Marble is one of Ireland’s oldest indigenous industries. The Connemara Marble Visitor Center is located at Moycullen, 8 miles west of Galway City on the N59. The marble factory showroom and shop has Ireland's largest display of Connemara Marble jewellery, fashioned in gold and silver depicting the shamrock, harp, Celtic cross and the Claddagh ring.
Connemara Region, County Galway
Connemara (in Irish: Conamara), which derives from Conmhaicne Mara (meaning: descendants of Con Mhac, of the sea), is a district in the west of Ireland comprising of a broad peninsula between Killary Harbour and Kilkieran Bay in the west of County Galway or south west Connacht. The Conmhaicne Mara were a branch of the Conmhaicne, an early tribal grouping that had a number of branches located in different parts of Connacht.
Kylemore Abbey, County Galway
Known as Ireland’s most romantic Castle, Kylemore Abbey, located in Connemara, Co. Galway is the No.1 tourist attraction in the West of Ireland. Perfect for a family day out and easily accessible from Galway or Mayo, Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden offers visitors scenic photographic opportunities as well as woodland walks, garden tours, fascinating history, beautiful architecture, ample shopping in the craft shop and tempting homemade delights in the restaurant and tea rooms.
Clifden, County Galway
Clifden, nestled amidst breathtaking mountain scenery and beautiful rugged coastline is one of Ireland's most loved towns. Located in the West of of the county, Clifden is the largest town in Connemara, which of course is an outstanding jewel in Ireland's scenic crown. Below you’ll find information on some of the attractions in this beautiful area.
Connemara National Park, County Galway
Connemara National Park is situated in the west of Ireland in County Galway and covers some 2,957 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands. Some of the Park’s mountains, namely Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght, are part of the famous Twelve Bens or Beanna Beola range which are a dominant feature of the Connemara countryside.
Connemara Smokehouse, County Galway
Family owned and run by the Roberts Family since 1979, Connemara Smokehouse is the oldest smokehouse in Connemara and one of the oldest in Western Ireland. It is one of the few remaining smokehouses still specialising in smoking wild Atlantic salmon.
Maam Valley, County Galway
The quaint wooded town land of Maam can be found in the Connemara region. In the shadow of the Maamturk Mountains and situated ideally beside some great fishing lakes, this picturesque setting has a somewhat enchanting feel to it with numerous pre-historic and early historic sites scattered around the area.
Killary Fjord, County Galway
Killary Harbour/An Caoláire Rua is a fjord located in the West of Ireland in the heart of Connemara which forms a natural border between counties Galway and Mayo. It is 16 km (9.94 mi) long and in the centre over 45 m (148 ft.) deep. It is one of three glacial fjords that exist in Ireland, the others being Lough Swilly and Carlingford Lough.
Killary Cruises, County Galway
No visit to Connemara would be complete without a visit to Killary Fjord. The nine mile long inlet boasts some of the finest scenery in the West of Ireland, and because of its sheltered nature, its waters are always calm.
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.
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.
Caherconnell Stone Fort, County Clare
Caherconnell Stone Fort, situated 1km (0.6mi) south of Poulnabrone dolmen in the heart of the Burren Ireland, offers you the opportunity to visit an exceptionally well preserved example of the stone forts or stone ringforts, which are to be found in the Burren in Ireland. The fort is in its original state. Its position, overlooking virtually all-surrounding areas suggests a defensive settlement. Ringforts such as Caherconnell are thought to have been inhabited from 400-1200 AD.
Cliffs of Moher, County Clare
The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's top Visitor attractions in County Clare. The Cliffs are 214m high at the highest point and range for 8 kilometres over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of Clare. O'Brien's Tower stands proudly on a headland of the majestic Cliffs. From the Cliffs one can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as The Twelve Pins, the Maum Turk Mountains in Connemara and Loop Head to the South.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jameson Experience, Cork City
Follow the old distillery trail through mills, maltings, stillhouse, warehouses and kilns - some of these buildings date back to 1795. Unique within Ireland and Britain, you can also see the fully operational water wheel and large grain stores.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cahir Castle, County Tipperary
Cahir Castle, one of the largest castles in Ireland, is sited on an island in the river Suir. It was built in 1142 by Conor O'Brien, Prince of Thomond. Now situated in Cahir town centre, South Tipperary the castle is well preserved and has guided tour and audiovisual shows in multiple languages.
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.
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.
Kilkenny Traditional Irish Music Trail, Kilkenny City
The Kilkenny Traditional Irish Music Trail will take you on a journey of fun, music, stories, history, culture and always with bit of merriment to boot. Guided by two professional musicians, the tour meanders through Kilkenny’s bustling city centre streets stopping off at the most iconic traditional public houses the city has to offer.
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.
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.
Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre and Museum of Style Icons, County Kildare
A whole new generation and market recognises Newbridge Silverware as a major name in design for many aspects of their lifestyles - jewellery, accessories, gifts, kitchenware, leather wares and interiors. The craft facility at Newbridge Silverware is the last fully integrated manufacturing plant of its kind left in Europe. Today a team of fully skilled craftspeople continue to create whole range of cutlery and jewellery.
National Stud and Japanese Gardens, County Kildare
The world renowned National Stud is home to some of Ireland's finest thoroughbreds. Located only an hour from Dublin in Tully, County Kildare, this one thousand acre farm has been in use as a stud farm since 1900. A major tourist attraction, the stud also boasts the Japanese Gardens, a Horse Museum, Saint Fiachra's Garden and a Visitor Centre.
Brazen Head - Food, Fairies & Folklore Night, Dublin City
The Food, Fairies and Folklore night is a regular event hosted by The Brazen Head – Ireland’s oldest pub. The pub itself which dates back to 1198 has managed to retain the charm and characteristics of its past and in particular its patrons, who have included literary greats such as: James Joyce, Jonathon Swift and Brendan Behan alongside such famed revolutionaries as Robert Emmet, Daniel O’ Connell, Wolfe Tone and Michael Collins.