Including 10 nights Hotel and B&B Accommodation based on two sharing
B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner
- Journey of discovery in a Driftwood mini coach tour vehicle,
- Services of highly trained professional Driftwood tour guide,
- 11 FULL days on tour,
- Ten nights’ accommodation,
- Ten Full Irish breakfasts,
- Most daily activities and visits,
- Entrance fees to Blarney Castle and Rock of Cashel,
- Shannon ferry tickets,
- All relevant taxes,
- Guaranteed tour price from the moment you make your deposit,
- Lots of laughs.
- Lunches and evening meals
- Some optional entrance fees and additional activity options, for example:
- Visit to Bantry House €8 or Muckross House €7.50,
- Visit to a working sheep farm – €7,
- Entrance to Bantry House and Gardens – €8,
- Jaunting Car ride in Killarney National Park – €15,
- Boat trip to Garinish Island – €15,
- Day trip to the Aran Islands – €25,
- Black Cab taxi tour of Belfast – GB£10,
- Boat trip to Slieve League Cliffs – €20,
- Hot, relaxing sea-weed bath – €25
We try and keep any extra costs to a minimum and these make up only a small part of the daily tour activities. Most of the places that we visit have free entry. The additional activities that you can avail of are popular ones which customers have truly enjoyed over the years.
Day 1: We’re off !
Meet at Grand Canal Hotel 08.10am 08.10am in Dublin and head for the south of Ireland
- Greet your guide, meet your fellow Driftwooders and board your super-comfy, slick Mercedes Benz/Volkswagen mini-coach for the adventure of a lifetime.
- Cross the border into Northern Ireland (remember, UK £ sterling required).
- Your first stop is guaranteed to be historic. Revel at the medieval tower and monastic ruin of Monasterboice, with its beautiful Celtic high crosses – the most impressive examples in Ireland of this unique form of sculpture.
- We’ll roll into Belfast, the vibrant capital of Northern Ireland.
- Enjoy lunch in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast.
You are then free to choose from the following options:
- The highly recommended Black Cab Tour of Belfast, explaining the origins of the Troubles era (Tour Option – £10 per person);
- Self-guided visit to the Titanic Centre, the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience (Tour
Option – £18.50 per person);
- Or free time to explore Belfast’s shopping and cultural attractions.
- Cameras at the ready! You’re about to begin one of the world’s most spectacular coastal
drives, the Causeway Coastal Route.
Stay overnight in the 17th
century hotel at Ballygally. Hotel is situated directly on the beautiful Antrim coast.
(Driving time for the day is 3.5 hours)
Day 2: Antrim to Derry
- Brave Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, suspended over the ocean and reached via a steep
descent. Enjoy views to Rathlin Island and, on a clear day, even Scotland (Tour Option – £7 per person).
- We continue along the Causeway Coastal Route, soaking up all the incredible natural scenery.
- Next, it’s time to experience the natural phenomenon that is The Giant’s Causeway. Walk in the footsteps of mythical Irish figure Finn McCool, by stepping onto 40,000 wave-washed hexagonal basalt columns.
- Game of Thrones fan alert! Look out for Theon Greyjoy stepping ashore at tiny Ballintoy
harbour. There’s an added chance to visit a former GoT set in an abandoned lime quarry.
- We hope you’re thirsty! Visit Bushmills, the oldest whiskey distillery in the world (Tour Option – £7 per person), followed by a sneaky photo stop at the iconic clifftop stronghold of Dunluce Castle.
Stay overnight and dining at the Georgian-era Beech Hill Country House
(Driving time for the day is 3hrs)
Day 3: Derry to Mayo
- We’ll pass historic city gates to enter Derry.
- Walk the ramparts of Ireland’s last remaining walled city on the excellent historic guided tour of Derry (Tour Option – £4 per person).
- Cross the border into the Republic of Ireland, and the euro currency zone (€).
Look behind you! Panoramic 360° vistas await you at the beautifully preserved Celtic stone ringfort at Grianán of Aileach.
- We’ll stop at Donegal town, with the option for a guided tour of 15th century Donegal castle.
- Honour Irish poet and Nobel Laureate, WB Yeats, at his final resting place.
Stay overnight in the luxurious Mount Falcon Estate. Enjoy delicious food, a
romantic woodland setting and a wealth of history.
(Driving time for the day is 3.5 hours)
Day 4: Mayo to Clifden
- Discover Ireland’s rich rural heritage at the Museum of Country Life’s modern exhibition space and Victorian landscaped gardens.
- Relax and explore the picturesque town of Westport, with its vibrantly painted streets and grand setting on Clew Bay.
- It’s time to soak up one of the most beautiful vistas in Ireland from the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick. Lose a sin with every step! We may also take a peek at the ruined 16th century Murrisk Abbey, and pay our respects at the nearby National Famine Memorial.
- Drive through the breathtaking Doolough Valley, with its fascinating famine history and historic links to the Choctaw tribe.
- On the mountainous shores of Killary Fjord, you’ll experience a hands-on visit to Tom’s sheep farm including a sheepdog demonstration.
Day 5: Connemara day
- We’ll dive deeper into Connemara today. You’re in good company! Oscar Wilde described this ‘wild mountainous country’ as, ‘in every way magnificent’.
- Take a self-guided tour of Kylemore Abbey – one of Ireland’s most scenic historic buildings.
- You will also have the chance to wander Kylemore’s wonderful landscaped gardens.
- What’s the classic postcard image of Ireland?
We think it’s the mirror lakes, stark mountains, and magical wilderness of the Inagh Valley. You’re headed there now.
- Time permitting, we’ll stop to learn about peat bogs and their role in Irish myths, history, literature and daily life Your Drifter will drop into the colourful village of Roundstone for lunch.
- How did we end up in the Caribbean?! Time to be amazed at the pure white sands and
crystalline water quality of Dog’s Bay / Gurteen beach.
Stay overnight at the centrally located Station House Hotel in Clifden.
(Driving time for the day is 2hrs)
Day 6: Clifden to Clare
- Your first option today is to take a guided tour of the storied 16th-century Aughnanure castle tower, ancestral home to the ferocious O’Flaherty clan.
- Then we aim for ‘the city of the tribes’ – Galway; it’s atmospheric, it’s buzzy and it’s full of tasty food options.
- Look out for traditional black-hulled Hooker sailing boats as we circumnavigate Galway Bay.
- We’ll have a perfect photo opportunity at coastal Dunguaire Castle, just outside the pretty village of Kinvara.
- Next is the bewitching beauty of the Burren region, with its limestone lunar landscape, and uniquely rich flora.
- Marvel at the Poulnabrone Dolmen, one of Ireland’s great archaeological treasures. It’s older than the pyramids!
Stay overnight at the Wild Atlantic Lodge in beautiful Ballyvaughan.
(Driving time: 3.5 hours)
Day 7: Clare to Dingle
- Hold onto your hat! It’s the world famous Cliffs of Moher. Stand in awe atop these magnificent 700ft high sea cliffs.
- Watch out for dolphins as we take a ferry across the mighty mouth of the Shannon – the longest river in Ireland or Britain.
- Your guide will select a lunch stop along the route.
- We move onward, to Tralee. The largest town in Kerry is home of the Rose of Tralee festival and a beautiful rose garden.
- Refresh yourself with an ice cold pint at the South Pole Inn. Hear the extraordinary tale of endurance suffered by its one time Antarctic explorer landlord, Tom Crean.
- Dingle awaits… Revel in a wealth of dinner and entertainment options, with plenty of free time to explore this bustling little town.
- There’s a pub for every 40 residents!
Stay overnight in y traditional Irish warmth and comfort Dingle Benners Hotel
(Driving time for day 2hrs 45mins)
Day 8: Dingle day
- This morning is yours to design. Relax and soak up Dingle’s charms, with the option for some quality downtime.
Or enjoy one or more of the following activities:
- Taste authentic locally-distilled whiskey and gin on a tour of Dingle Distillery (Tour Option – €15 per person);
- Meet Fungie the Dolphin, resident in Dingle Bay since 1983, on a boat trip (Tour Option – €15-20 per person);
- Keen golfers can take advantage of Dingle’s excellent links course. This is an all-day activity (Tour Option – Ask your guide about cost).
- Get ready! You’re about to experience some of the most beautiful sights in Ireland. The Rugged beauty and knife edge drops are guaranteed on the route around Slea Head, Europe’s westernmost point.
- Look out for the Blasket islands, a visit to the Dingle Crystal workshop, the holy Mount Brandon as well as picture perfect patchwork fields and cottages.
- Whatever you do in Dingle, don’t miss an Irish traditional music session or a stroll around the town’s plentiful art galleries and craft shops.
(Driving time for day 1.5 hrs)
Day 9: Dingle to Kenmara
- Enjoy a scenic drive along the southern coast of the Dingle Peninsula, with a photo stop and perhaps a stroll along the beach at Inch Strand.
- Next, we’ll pay a visit to the stunning Killarney National Park. Take a horse-drawn ‘jaunting car’ around this magnificent parkland (Tour Option – €15 per person).
- You can also admire the charming 19th century Muckross House Gardens and visit the nearby 15th century Muckross Abbey.
- A short hop on your bus and there’s a scenic walk and photo stop at the multi-tiered Torc
- After lunch, your Drifter will join the world famous Ring of Kerry scenic route. Prepare to have your socks knocked off! You’ll get the chance for at least one mountain top photo stop and even some craft shopping if time allows.
- We hit lively Kenmare in the early evening. Catch authentic traditional Irish music and
outstanding local food in the town’s many pubs and restaurants.
Stay overnight in the Lansdowne Arms is located at the very heart of picturesque Kenmare.
(Driving time 3hrs)
Day 10: Kenmara to West Cork
- This morning we head out onto the Beara.
- This peninsula is truly off the beaten track. Expect rugged roads, superb scenery and livestock-induced traffic jams a-plenty.
- One of our favourite pastimes here in Ireland is dancing around ancient stone circles. Luckily, the Beara peninsula has a plethora to choose from. No one truly knows what the circles were used for. So let your imagination run wild!
- We’ll gaze out over the cloud-wrapped Caha mountains with a rugged drive up the Healy
Mountain pass, Ireland’s bendiest road.
- We’ll board a boat to Garnish Island and the wonders of its Italian formal gardens (Tour Option – €16 per person). Look out for cheeky seals in and around the harbour area of Glengarriff.
- Visit stately Bantry House, one of the few grand Irish homes still in private hands; owned by the same family since the 18th century.
- There’s one more drive today, a coastal ride that snakes along Bantry Bay before cutting
- Random snapshots of beauty appear and disappear – a black stallion behind a stone wall; a mute swan on a misty lake; an elderly farmer outside his brightly painted cottage. We hope you’ll understand West Cork’s mantra, ‘a place apart’.
Stay overnight at the family-owned Gougane Barra Hotel, or Seaview
House Hotel in Bantry.
(Driving time for day 3hrs)
Day 11: West Cork to Dublin
Arrive back in Dublin at about 6pm
- Before we say goodbye, there’s still time for some of Ireland’s top highlights.
- We’ll trace the River Lee, passing through scenic countryside filled with charming cottages and typical Irish agriculture.
- Then it’s time to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. Afterwards, explore the extensive grounds and lush, landscaped gardens of Blarney Castle.
- We’ll grab lunch either close to Blarney or near our next stop, the monastery at the Rock of Cashel.
- A self-guided walking tour of the epic Rock of Cashel is a fitting way to end our odyssey.
- This is one of Ireland’s most iconic sights; its story combines elements you’ll have noticed everywhere on your tour: a deep and complex history; a stunning natural setting; marvellous architecture; and a heartfelt human aspect.
Arrive back in Dublin at about 6pm
(Driving time for day 4.5hrs)
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