Ireland Self Drive Tour
Dublin – Pick up your rental car
Pick-up your rental car. Welcome to Dublin. Founded as a Viking settlement and one of Europe’s oldest cities, Dublin has been Ireland’s primary city for most of its history. Its Georgian architectural elegance combined with its cosmopolitan street life of trendy bars, elegant restaurants, numerous shops and classic popular pubs make this an irresistible destination. Drinking and conversation are the patrons’ principal preoccupation, and as many of the pubs serve good food it is the best place to enjoy good talk and fun. At night the city’s beautiful Merrion Square is floodlit.
First Class Burlington Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Grafton Street is a bustling pedestrian precinct whose arcades and lanes hold a treasure trove of boutiques and shops. Powerscourt Centre, an 18th century town house, is now a most unusual shopping center. Dublin Castle, located in the heart of historic Dublin, was originally built on King John’s orders to serve as a fortress.
Dublin – Russborough – Glendalough – Kildare – Waterford 189.9 km
Leave Dublin and drive to Russborough House, one of Ireland’s most beautiful houses situated near the Blessington Lakes in County Wicklow. From here your drive takes you to Glendalough, the Glen of Two Lakes, a glacial valley located in County Wicklow, then on to the county of Kildare which in pre-Christian times was the site of a shrine to the Celtic goddess Brigid and now is home to the Irish National Stud. On to Ireland’s oldest city, Waterford, where we have arranged your overnight accommodation. Founded by the Vikings in 914 AD, it is now synonymous with the famous crystal glass making, which has been manufactured in this city since 1783. Here in the High Street and Henrietta Street a number of restaurants have taken advantage of the area’s charm. As you have a drink at one of the city’s many pubs, relax and listen to the music of Ireland as you soak in the atmosphere.
First Class Athenaem House Hotel or similar
Waterford – Cork 123.92 km
The city of Cork was founded by Viking settlers as a trading port. Once fully walled, some of its wall sections and gates remain today. On the outskirts of Cork is the legendary Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle. Set high on the Castle battlements, tradition holds that those who kiss the Stone will be endowed with eloquence. Shopping in the village here is a pleasure, where there are a number of excellent outlets, including the world famous Blarney Woollen Mills. Try the traditional Barmbrack (Irish fruit bread) served with a cup of Irish tea.
First Class Silver Springs Moran Hotel or similar
Cork – Blarney – Ring of Kerry – Killarney 86.9 km
The Ring of Kerry drive is one of the most beautiful and scenic drives in Ireland. It takes visitors through mountains and past loughs, through the Killarney National Park, along stretches of the dramatic coast of southwest Ireland, to country houses and to pretty towns and villages. We have arranged your overnight accommodation at Killarney where you will find a wide choice of restaurants and traditional pubs.
First Class Dromhall Hotel or similar
Killarney – Limerick – Bunratty – The Burren – Galway 233.35 km
From Killarney drive through County Limerick, dotted with picturesque towns and villages, such as Castleconnell with its old world thatched cottages and medieval churches. Limerick City, capital of County Limerick, lies on the River Shannon and has a colorful history – its City Charter is older than that of London. Stop off at Bunratty Castle, one of the finest surviving examples of an Irish tower house. With a good selection of fine restaurants, Bunratty is a good place to stop for lunch. Continue through The Burren, an area that has some of the finest rchaeological megalithic tombs in Ireland, if not in Western Europe. Arrive at Galway city where we have arranged your overnight stay. The city has a reputation of an association with the Irish language, music, song and dance, making it an interesting and entertaining place to stay for the night.
First Class Courtyard by Marriott or similar
Galway – Connemara – Westport – Sligo 185.07 km
Leave Galway for the wild and beautiful region of Connemara, with its mountains, lakes and tumbling streams. Its unspoilt beaches and panoramic views have attracted many artisans whose handweaving, carving, pottery and jewelry studios are there to visit. Westport in County Mayo lies by the meandering Carrowbeg River. Among its picturesque features are its tree-lined, flower decorated promenade and the elegance and charm of its town center. Your drive now takes you passed sandy seashores, through the beautiful and varied landscapes of green and wooden valleys, lofty mountains and a wealth of prehistoric monuments (you’ll find the largest Megalithic cemetery in Ireland) to the busy market town of Sligo, where we have arranged your overnight stay. Here you will find a lively cultural scene including theaters and concerts. At dinner try traditional Irish Stew served with Boxty (Irish Latkes).
First Class Clarion Hotel or similar
Sligo – Cliffs of Magho – Londonderry – Giants Causeway – Antrim Glens – Belfast 312.21 km
Take the one-way 7 mile scenic drive to the top of the Cliffs of Magho where you can marvel at the immense panoramic views. Londonderry stands on the broad River Foyle, amidst the rounded Sperrin Mountains and the wild heights of Donegal. Almost uniquely to the British Isles, Londonderry has kept its defensive walls where you can walk and admire the various gateways, bastions, watchtowers and artillery pieces amidst splendid views. Your drive now takes you to the Giant’s Causeway, named the fourth greatest wonder in the United Kingdom. It is an area of some 40,000 interlocking basalt columns (the result of an ancient volcanic eruption) whose tops form stepping-stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. A drive up the Antrim Coast offers a great variety of scenery with attractive villages, limestone cliffs, and inland glens created by the tumbling mountain streams. Here the farms are arranged like ladders climbing the valley sides so that each has a share of the good land near the river and the poorer upland pastures. Arrive in Belfast, ringed by high hills, and river valleys, where we have arranged your overnight stay.
First Class Ramada Plaza or similar (2 nights)
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland (after Dublin). Historically, Belfast has been a centre for the Irish linen industry (earning the nickname “Linenopolis”), tobacco production, rope-making and shipbuilding: the city’’s main shipbuilders, Harland and Wolff, which built the ill-fated RMS Titanic, propelled Belfast on to the global stage in the early 20th century as the biggest and most productive shipyard in the world. Belfast is a constituent city of the Dublin-Belfast corridor, which has a population of three million, or half the total population of the island of Ireland.
Belfast – Mount Stewart – Boyne Valley – Dublin 217.26 km
From Belfast, visit Mount Stewart, a palatial 18th century house with richly decorated interior and magnificent formal gardens and lake at the site of the Temple of Winds. Drive through wooded landscapes and arrive at Boyne Valley, an extraordinary concentration of ancient and prehistoric sites. Newgrange, which dates to 3000 BC, predates both Stonehenge and Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza. Return to Ireland’s famous capital, the “fairy city” of Dublin.
First Class Burlington Hotel or similar or a First Class Airport Hotel.
Return your car to the airport for your return flight home.
- Upto 5 Pax: Citroen C4 or Similar
- 6-7 Pax: Renault Espace or similar
- 8-9 Pax: Renault Traffic or similar
- Manual Transmission
- Air Conditioning