Irish Itinerary Days 1-7
Dublin – Book of Kells – National Museum of Ireland – Waterford  Youghal  Kinsale  Drombeg Stone Circle  Blarney Castle  Baile na nGall  Dingle  Slea Head Drive – Cliffs of Moher  Poulnabrone –Galway   

Day 1

We will begin the Irish tour early afternoon with a visit to the National Museum of Ireland which houses a fantastic collection of ancient Irish artifacts from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages including exquisitely crafted gold jewellery, weaponry and everyday household items.  Its early Christian collection includes the internationally famous Tara Broach and Ardagh Chalice.  You will also be able to view a wonderful example of a female fertility stone carving, a sheelanagig as well as the Museum's Viking exhibition. Following our visit to the Museum we will meet at our Dublin Hotel in the early evening and have a get-together followed by our welcome dinner and a visit to a pub with live traditional music.  As our hotel is located in the heart of Dublin, good shopping and a myriad of restaurants, cafes and pubs are within easy walking distance.  

Day 2

A visit to Dublin would certainly not be complete without seeing the Book of Kells, a beautifully illuminated 1,000 year old manuscript.  It is one of Ireland’s greatest treasures and was written and illustrated by Irish monks more than 1,000 years ago.  It is housed in the Trinity College Dublin Library and we will start the day here. There will also be ample time to explore the centre of Dublin with its many attractions including Dublin Castle,  the Viking interactive exhibition or hop on a Dublin bus to take the city tour. The evening will be free.

Day 3

After checking out from our Dublin hotel, we will drive to Waterford on the south east coast of Ireland and visit the world famous Waterford crystal factory.  We will then drive to the charming seaside village of Youghal for lunch.  Once a Viking port, it was also home to the English privateer, Sir Walter Raleigh.  We will then drive to Kinsale in County Cork, a medieval fishing village and one of the most picturesque and historic towns on the south west coast of Ireland where we will spend the next two nights.  

Day 4

We will have the morning free in Kinsale and, after lunch, will take the short drive to the Bronze Age Drombeg Stone Circle.  Aligned to the Winter Solstice, the circle consisted of 19 stones of which 13 survive.  Nearby are the ruins of two stone houses and a fire pit.  

Day 5

We will check out of our hotel in Kinsale and drive to Dingle, County Kerry where we will be staying in a lovely coastal village, Baile na nGall, a short drive from the town of Dingle.  On the way to Dingle, we will stop and visit the world famous Blarney Castle with its kissing stone and stunningly beautiful gardens.  

Day 6

After a leisurely breakfast and a short walking tour of Baile na nGall, we will spend a goodly part of the day driving the Slea Head Loop.  The 46km drive is famous for its stunningly beautiful and often dramatic coastal views.  We will visit a selection of beehive houses, Iron Age Dunbeg Fort and the Gallarus Oratory.  Weather permiting we will have a picnic lunch at Slea Head.  Before our arrival in Dingle where we will spend a free afternoon, we will also visit the Celtic and Prehistoric Museum.  We will have dinner in Dingle and afterwards visit various pubs where we will be able to listen to traditional Irish music being performed.

Day 7

After checking out of our hotel, we will spend the day driving a beautiful route to Galway in County Connacht.  On our way we will visit the spectacular Cliffs of Moher.  Described by some as nature's masterpiece, the cliffs tower 214m above the sea at their highest point and stretch for 8kms along the coastline.  The Aran Islands can be seen in the distance from the cliffs.  We will also visit the Burren, an area of significant Neolithic archaelogical sites including the amazing Poulnabrone Dolmen.  We shall have a free evening in the city of Galway where we will spend the night.