This guided road trip is the perfect introduction to Ireland for newbies. Over the course of a week, you'll visit both classic icons as well as some off-the-beaten-path sites—paired with beautiful landscapes and gentle walks to breathe in the fresh air of Ireland’s spectacular Wild Atlantic Way. In the evenings, partake in the local pub experience with a pint of Guinness and traditional Irish music. The tour starts and ends in Dublin where you can bike and kayak to some of the capital's best sites.

Highlights

  • Journey around the Ring of Kerry stopping at Ireland's prettiest village (Adare)
  • Get some exercise at Killarney National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
  • Take an evening stroll at the Cliffs of Moher along a lesser-known path
  • Ride a boat to the Aran Islands near Galway Bay for ancient sites
  • Enjoy a night of luxury in an Irish castle with a spa and loads of activities

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin Dublin
Day 2 Ring of Kerry Tour Kenmare
Day 3 Explore Killarney National Park Kenmare
Day 4 Explore the Burren & Cliffs of Moher County Clare
Day 5 Boat to the Aran Islands County Clare
Day 6 Overnight at Ashford Castle Cong Co Mayo
Day 7 Return to Dublin - Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin

Sunset overlooking River Liffey

Welcome to Ireland! Upon arrival in Dublin, you'll transfer to your hotel in the city. Once you've dropped your bags, you'll have free time to explore the city any way you'd like. If you need some ideas, there are plenty of recommended landmarks, monuments, shops, and restaurants to keep you busy as you walk and/or bike all over town. 

For something unique, a favorite activity for locals is to kayak on the River Liffey, the waterway which forms the city’s main artery. To further the adventure, you can even paddle as far as the Guinness Brewery for a tour and then continue to the beautiful green spaces of Phoenix Park.

Day 2: Ring of Kerry Tour

Emerald green scenery en route to Kerry

It's time to meet your guide and head into the Irish countryside! Leaving Dublin this morning, you will head southwest to the Kingdom of Kerry. En route, you have the option to stop at in the village of Cashel County Tipperary and explore the medieval complex known as the Rock of Cashel or to visit Ireland's prettiest village, Adare in County Limerick where you will find craft shops, tea houses, boutiques, castle ruins, and traditional straw-roofed cottages.  

Later this afternoon, you will travel around the famous Ring of Kerry, stopping at some of the best viewpoints to take in this wondrous scenery. Some of the highlights along this journey include the picturesque towns of Sneem, Waterville, and Glenbeigh. Stretch the legs and work up an appetite for dinner with a walk around the Iveragh Peninsula stopping to explore Cahergal Stone Fort with the Skellig Islands as your backdrop—you will feel like you're at the end of the world.

Day 3: Explore Killarney National Park

Adare Manor
Adare Manor

After breakfast in Kenmare, you'll travel to Killarney National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Today's walk follows the old Kenmare Road, a stunning footpath in the uplands of the park. This is a perfect way to enjoy the Kerry countryside since the walk introduces you to Killarney's dynamic array of flora and fauna.

After a picnic or café lunch, you will visit Ross Castle, a 15th-century tower house on the edge of Lough Leane. In addition, Muckross Waterfall and Abbey are a delight and well worth a visit while here before continuing on to your accommodation this evening.

Day 4: Explore the Burren & Cliffs of Moher

Ireland's rugged western coast

Today, you and your guide will explore the magnificent Burren region of western Ireland. This fascinating limestone landscape is home to over 40 species of orchids and other rare flowers. The exuberant beauty of the flora is matched by its intriguing nature, with Artic-Alpine plants growing beside Mediterranean plants. In fact, the region is home to a unique farming culture, and you'll have the opportunity to meet a local farmer and visit their farm.

You will also visit a local sheep farm, where you'll get a chance to sheer sheep and witness first hand the special bond the talented sheepdogs have with both their handler and the sheep!

In the evening your guide will bring you to the Cliffs of Moher along a lesser-known path to experience the views away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds.

Day 5: Boat to the Aran Islands

A road in the Aran Islands

It's hard to resist the allure of one of the many islands that dot the Irish coastline, and today you will take to the sea and sail to the Aran Islands for an exciting day-trip. The history of these islands goes back millennia, and today, Gaelic is still the daily spoken language of the inhabitants.

Inishmór, the largest of the three islands is best toured by bike but can be done on foot as well. You'll explore Dún Aonghasa, the nearby Worm Hole, and the medieval ruins of the Seven Churches. Lunch will be served on the island before returning to Doolin while taking in the mighty cliffs.

Day 6: Overnight at Ashford Castle

Ashford Castle & Gardens

A trip to Ireland is, perhaps, not complete without a stay in a castle, and tonight you will stay in the 5-star luxury of Ashford Castle. Formerly the home of the Guinness family, this 800-year-old restored castle is set on 350 acres of luscious green lands and forests. There are many dining choices, bars, and activities on-site at Ashford and it is recommended that you use your time here to soak up the luxury and opulence, relax in the splendor and enjoy your night in a genuine Irish Castle. 

Activities available on-site include golf, tennis, fishing, falconry, equestrian, lake and boat cruises, clay shooting, and cycling. There is also an award-winning spa on the property.

Day 7: Return to Dublin - Departure

Temple Bar

This morning, you'll depart the castle and make your way back to Dublin. Along the route, your guide will stop along the way for some more exploration and adventure. Highly recommended is Clonmacnoise, an ancient monastic site near Shannonbridge and a top visitor attraction in Ireland.

Once in Dublin you'll either connect to the airport for your onward departure or stay in Dublin to explore the city further. If you choose the latter make sure to snag recommendations from your guide before parting ways. He or she can organize a great walking tour of the city for the afternoon which highlights some great historical and tourist spots to visit as well as giving you a great overview of the history of Dublin and Ireland in general. 

Map

Map of Classic Ireland Adventure - 7 Days
Map of Classic Ireland Adventure - 7 Days