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Quintessential Ireland

Ardmore, Kerry, Clare, Ashford Castle, Dublin

Including many of Ireland’s most quintessential sights and experiences from Dublin to the bewitching beauty of Ireland’s west, this privately guided luxury journey makes, we think, an authentic, stylish and enchanting introduction to the Emerald Isle.

At a Glance

  • Experience the very best of Ireland from East to West in authentic style

  • Discover the incredible landscapes of Kerry and the Burren

  • Enjoy the vibrant culture of Dublin

  • The services of a top private driver-guide have been included throughout.

  • A great option for both couples and families

Couples, Culture, Adventure, Family

Description

Arriving in Dublin, you will be met by our superb team on the ground and driven into town for two nights at the fabulous Merrion Hotel. In this fairest of cities, your guide will take you to explore the loveliest parts, including St. Stephen's Green, Trinity College with its famous illuminated manuscript The Book of Kells, and its most beautiful Georgian Squares, not forgetting of course the chance to sample a pint or two of the black stuff. If you'd like to explore around Dublin, then Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains and the Neolithic monuments of Newgrange and Knowth in the Boyne Valley are both very rewarding.

Leaving Dublin, you'll travel by road in considerable comfort down to the small town of Ardmore in County Waterford on Ireland's southern coast, where we've suggested wonderful Cliff House Hotel as your stay - a luxury Relais & Chateaux property sensationally set on a cliff-top overlooking the Irish Sea. In addition to enjoying Michelin-star dining and spa pampering, you can explore the coast in a sea kayak, go surfing and sailing, or gallop a horse along the beach, while keen golfers have a number of world-class nearby courses to choose from. If you'd prefer to take things a little easier, explore one of Ireland’s finest round towers, shop for Waterford crystal or take a guided foraging trip for edible plants along the shoreline. Between October and March, the hotel's resident marine biologist offers cliff-top walks to spot dolphins, porpoises and fin whales.

Continuing on through County Cork, you'll have a chance to kiss the Blarney stone at Blarney Castle, have a gourmet seafood lunch in Ireland's gastronomic Mecca of Kinsale and explore the centuries-old English Market in Cork, before arriving into Kerry. Staying at Ard Na Sidhe, one of Ireland's finest country house hotels, you'll be able to explore the lovely Dingle Peninsula with your guide, take a boat out to beautiful Great Blasket Island and learn about the unique Gaelic-speaking community renowned for its literature, and of course follow the classic Ring of Kerry.

Heading north, you'll pass through Limerick en route to County Clare with its extraordinary limestone landscape, the Burren. Staying at the small, stylish country retreat of Gregans Castle, the secrets of the Burren will slowly be revealed as you explore its prehistoric dolmens, fabulous wildflowers and holy wells. The remote Aran Islands, themselves a continuation of the Burren, make an absolutely wonderful excursion if you have an extra day to spare, while an evening stroll along the top of the huge Cliffs of Moher offers extraordinary views and thousands of seabirds wheeling beneath you.

Continuing on, you'll have a chance to stop for lunch in beautiful Galway City before heading into the wild and remote mountains and lakes of Connemara. This is truly Ireland at its most magnificent, and you'll meet Gaelic-speaking crofters and explore atmospheric Kylemore Abbey before you arrive at the sumptuous Ashford Castle on the shores of Lough Corrib. Parts of the castle date to the 13th century, and its rich history, idyllic lakeside position and five-star service make it a wonderful base in Connemara. We'd highly recommend enjoying the pampered luxury that Ashford Castle offers, and perhaps partaking in one of the estate activities such as learning the noble art of falconry horse riding or hanging a line from a boat on Lough Corrib.

Returning back to Dublin, you'll be able to explore the evocative sixth-century monastic complex of Clonmacnoise en route before enjoying a final night at The Merrion. A fine way to bid goodbye to Ireland is to let us arrange a private dinner for you with a seannachie or Irish story-teller, who will entertain you with folk tales and legends that stretch back into dim mist of Irish history.

Itinerary

Stay

Location/route

Overnight

HIDE IMAGES
Fly to Dublin
2 nights

Dublin City Centre

The Merrion
2 nights

Ardmore, Co. Waterford, Ireland

The Cliff House Hotel
2 nights

Killorglin, Co. Kerry, Ireland

Ard Na Sidhe Country House
2 nights

Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, Ireland

Gregans Castle Hotel
2 nights

Galway, Ireland

Ashford Castle
1 night

Dublin City Centre

The Merrion
Depart from Dublin

Location & Directions

Ardmore, Kerry, Clare, Ashford Castle, Dublin

When to go

It is very difficult to predict the weather in Ireland - in the summer from May to late September is generally seen as the most pleasant time to visit. Rainfall is difficult to predict - but Ireland does not receive as much as many are led to believe! In the winters, temperatures do fall, but there is nothing better than finding a remote pub with a roaring fire to sit beside after a long walk in the country.

Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

How to use our service

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Call us on +44 20 8682 5400 and speak to a destination specialist about what you want

Receive your bespoke vacation quote, then book online or over the phone

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