Take delivery of your Hertz car at Shannon Airport and travel to Bunratty Folk Park within the grounds of Bunratty Castle where 19th century life is vividly recreated. Set on 26 acres, the impressive park features over 30 buildings in a ‘living’ village and rural setting. Continue your tour as you pass through the picturesque village of Adare, where the main street is lined with thatched cottages. Touring south you arrive into Killarney where you will overnight.
Tour the spectacular Dingle Peninsula and Slea Head. Slea Head is Europe’s most westerly point and its outlying historic Blasket Islands are known locally as the ‘next parish to America.’ The unsurpassed beauty of its rugged coastline and landscape inspired the famous film director David Lean to shoot his epic film ‘Ryan’s Daughter’ on location in the Dingle Peninsula. The landscape is dotted with ancient historic sites and early Christian dwellings such as the Gallarus Oratory [9th century Christian Oratory], Beehive Huts (early Christian Monks dwellings) and the Blasket Islands Interpretative Centre. The route passes through Milltown and Castlemaine before arriving at the beautiful fishing harbour town of Dingle, home of Dingle Oceanworld and Ireland’s favourite dolphin – ‘Fungi’.
This morning you tour north to the town of Tarbert where you can take the ferry across the River Shannon. Cross the Shannon from County Kerry to County Clare. Consider taking the Tarbert Ferry. See the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. This iconic natural attraction in County Clare is included in the popular Harry Potter film where wizard Harry and Dumbledore come searching for the soul of he-who-must-not-be-named. Everyone can see the magic that this place has to offer! Tour along Galway Bay into Galway City. See Spanish Arch & Claddagh District. Overnight in Galway.
Take the ferry to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. Tour the island and visit Dun Angeus, a 2,500 year old stone fort. Alternative option is to tour Connemara. Travel through the Connemara region which is known for its mountains, the Twelve Bens and the beauty of the landscape with its changing colors. Stop at the Connemara Marble Factory just outside Moycullen and then keep an eye out for “The Quiet Man” bridge outside Oughterard. Enjoy the breathtaking views as we drive through the Maam Valley in the shadow of the Maamturk Mountains. Continue on to the picturesque town on Leenane at the top of the Killary fjord and onto the famous and beautiful Kylemore Abbey, a former Benedictine Abbey and private school for girls. Take the scenically breathtaking Inagh Valley road by the 12 Bens Mountain Range back to Galway. Time permitting, you have the option to visit the village of Cong in County Mayo which was made famous as the set for the John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara movie “The Quiet Man.” Nearby is Ashford Castle, once the home of the Arthur Guinness Family. Overnight in Galway.
FAMINE MUSEUM & SLIGO
Tour to County Roscommon. Visit the Famine Museum at Stroketown. Continue north for a visit to 12th century Boyle Abbey. Visit Carrowmore Megalithic cemetery before overnighting in Sligo Town. If you have seen Brendan Gleesan’s recent film Calgary, you will recognise the unspoiled landscapes, imposing mountains and churning Atlantic from County Sligo where the film was shot.
Visit W.B. Yeats Grave at Drumcliff. Stop at Ballyshannon to visit Donegal Parian China. Continue on to tour Donegal, famous for its tweeds and woolen goods. You will have a chance to shop at Magee’s of Donegal, before you tour out along the coast to Killybegs. On to explore Donegal Town; stroll about this interesting old town with 16th century castle ruins, a 17th century church and a ship’s anchor shorn from one of Napoleon’s frigates when his fleet unsuccessfully tried to thwart the British in an Irish uprising in 1798. The center of town is diamond shaped, with streets spoking off in all directions with wool and tweed shops lining the street fronts. Overnight in Sligo Town.
KNOCK & COOLE
Tour south to Knock, where Our Lady appeared in 1879. On to Gort, where you visit Thoor Ballylee, the summer home of W. B. Yeats. Visit Coole, the former estate of Lady Augusta Gregory. You stop for the night at Bunratty and this evening you have the option to dine like the Lords and Ladies of the 15th Century at the Bunratty Castle Banquet. Overnight in Shannon.
Optional Add On:
Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle: $80.00 per person.
Enjoy a feast and entertainment at the Bunratty Medieval Banquet in Bunratty Banquet
DEPART FOR HOME
Travel to Shannon Airport where you will return your car rental and check in for your departure flight.