A Visit to the Emerald Isle
Explore the southern regions of Ireland on this ten-day itinerary which takes you on a road trip from Dublin on the east coast around the bottom of the island towards the Cliffs of Moher on the west. With culture and castles galore, legendary hospitality as standard and breath-taking scenery that explains the country's 'Emerald Isle' moniker, this is itinerary has something for everyone.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Begin your trip in the capital Dublin for a culture fix
- Enjoy spending time in the more rural southern regions where Irish hospitality comes to the fore
- Enjoy the breath-taking scenery
When To Travel
Day 1: International Flight
Begin your journey with an international flight (most likely overnight) into Dublin
Day 2: Arrival to Dublin
Welcome to Ireland! Your private driver will be waiting for you in arrivals with a sign carrying your name.
Your journey into Dublin is approximately 45 minutes, dependant on traffic conditions. On arrival to your hotel, relax and unpack.
Spend the afternoon exploring the great shops in Dublin such as Avoca, Cocoa Atelier and the Irish Design Shop.
Day 3: Dublin
Depart with your guide for a walking tour of Dublin. Take in the Book of Kells at Trinity College, the architecturally impressive cathedrals and Dublin Castle.
First timers should stop in for a drink at the Guinness storehouse, a fascinating insight into the family dynasty and histories behind the black stuff. The views from the gravity bar are second to none.
Day 4: Glendalough
This morning, check out of your Dublin hotel and depart for a day's touring with your driver-guide enroute to Cork.
An hour and a half outside of Dublin is your first stop, Powerscourt House & Gardens, one of the most beautiful country estates in Ireland. The winding pathways around the grounds lead from one hidden treasure to another and almost have the feel of a secret garden. It really is a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and ornamental lakes with secret hollows, rambling walks and beautiful walled gardens.
Enjoy a casual lunch in their café before continuing your journey towards Glendalough an area of outstanding national beauty which is the backdrop to a 6th century monastic site featuring 110ft stone tower, several churches and a cathedral all of which have a backdrop of the beautiful valley and two lakes.
Sit back and enjoy the countryside as your driver transfers you the three hours to Cork, where you can check into your hotel and relax for the evening.
- Less interested in gardens? Visit the town of Waterford and tour the famous glass making factory, Waterford Crystal.
Day 5: Cork and Kinsale
Based around an island near the mouth of the River Lee, Cork is renowned for its independent spirit that embraces its culture, heritage and vibrancy.
The city itself is relatively compact and boasts an excellent selection of cafes and restaurants that are testament to its rich culinary tradition. Meander through the medieval streets with your local guide to the Cork City Gaol for a taste of prison life in the 19th century as well as the Crawford Art Gallery and the Blackrock Castle Observatory. We would recommend eating lunch in the English market, one of the best covered markets across Ireland.
This afternoon head to the charming and historic town of Kinsale, located just south of Cork. The quaint cobbled streets are filled with seafood gourmet restaurants, independent shops and beautiful views of the yachts moored in the harbour.
After your visit your driver-guide will transfer you back to your Cork hotel for evening at leisure - why not visit a traditional Irish pub for dinner?
Day 6: Kenmare
This morning, check out of your hotel and depart for Kenmare, a small town and region in County Kerry.
Enroute stop off at Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the famous Blarney Stone located high up in the castle battlements. (Not one for those with a fear of heights!)
From the Castle, it is approximately an hour and half derive to your Kenmare Hotel, where you can check in and enjoy lunch at leisure.
This afternoon explore the nearby Killarney National Park, an area filled with a special scenic beauty due to the distinctive combination of mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls under an ever changing sky. Located in the park is a Victorian mansion, Muckross House, a beautiful property with lavish gardens which make for a lovely visit.
This evening relax in your country hotel and enjoy the facilities.
- Enjoy a traditional jaunting car ride around the beautiful national park
- Visit a local sheep farm for a sheep dog demonstration
Day 7: Ring of Kerry
Check out of your hotel and depart with your driver-guide this morning for a scenic drive around the Ring of Kerry (or Iveragh Peninsula to give it its correct name), a mystical and unspoilt region of Ireland that charms anyone who sets foot there with its spectacular beauty.
The coastline boasts white sandy beaches whilst inland the Ring of Kerry provides an amazing insight into the ancient heritage of Ireland; the Iron Age Forts & Ogham Stones are well worth a visit. To get the best vantage point of the magnificent landscape, give horse riding, cycling or hiking a try.
Your route will take you to the beautiful Avoca shop at Molls Gap - perfect for picking up some keepsakes and presents for loved ones. Lunch will be served in an excellent seafood restaurant near Sneem. After lunch enjoy the scenic drive to a chocolatier with stunning views over to Skellig Michael (of recent Star Wars fame) and the nearby visitor centre. After your day tour of the Ring of Kerry, your driver will transfer you an hour and a half to your hotel located in Adare.
Day 8: Cliffs of Moher
Relax and enjoy a lie in this morning, before departing with your driver-guide for the Cliffs of Moher, your journey is approximately an hour and a half from the hotel.
The majestic Cliffs of Moher, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, are one of Ireland's most spectacular sights. Located just north of Lahinch, the Cliffs rise from the Atlantic to heights of 214 m and stretch for 8 km along the coast. The Cliffs claim one of the most astonishing views in Ireland, and on a clear day the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as well as are the valleys and hills of Connemara.
In the afternoon explore the alien landscapes of the Burren, including the famous perfumery.
Day 9: Day at lesiure
Spend the day at your hotel, enjoying the facilities on your final day in Ireland.
Day 10: Farewell!
Your driver is on hand to transfer you to Shannon Airport for your international flight home.
Letitia, Rita and Susie are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.