2020 IRELAND (WILD ATLANTIC WAY) TOUR
AN 11 DAY TOUR OF SOUTHERN IRELAND INCLUDING 8 DAYS DRIVING THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY
IF YOU DON'T HAVE A CLASSIC CAR OR MODERN SPORTS CAR YOU CAN HIRE ONE FROM OUR IRELAND ASSOCIATE IN DUBLIN
THIS IS WHAT OUR CLIENTS THOUGHT ABOUT OUR 2017 IRELAND TOUR:
2017 IRELAND WILD ATLANTIC WAY TOUR
"All back to normal after our lovely trip with you and Karen. Thoroughly enjoyed it and we will definitely go back to Ireland"
Bev and Ian: St.Albans, Hert's: Aston Martin Rapide: ( repeat clients, 6th tour )
"We loved our trip, the scenery was glorious, the food delicious, the hotels sumptuous, the driving sometimes hairy, and the company most congenial. Couldn't have been better, and the birthday treats cool. We have a marvellous time."
Ian and Janet: Mercedes SLC350: ( repeat clients, 4th tour )
"We both wanted to send a big thank you for a really great adventure through the best of southern Ireland We both had a great time - the route, the people, the hotels and the food, all first rate."
Anthony and Ros: Porsche 356: ( new clients )
DATES: AUGUST 12th-22nd ( 11 DAYS/ 10 NIGHTS)
COST per person: based on 2 people sharing a car and hotel bedroom
The fees are based in euros due to the uncertainty of predicting future conversion rates of £ sterling to euros.
The costs, per person, are based on two people per car sharing a hotel bedroom and include the following:
- Accommodation in 4 star stylish hotels ( 10 nights )
- 3 course dinners ( 10 nights )
- Breakfast daily
- Rally plate
- Comprehensive road book with daily itineraries and detailed daily route notes
- 2020 Michelin Ireland national map + Collins Ireland road atlas
- DK guidebook "Ireland "
- Irish Ferries outward daytime ferry from Holyhead to Dublin port with club class lounge seats and priority boarding
- Irish Ferries return daytime ferry from Dublin port to Holyhead with club class lounge seats and priority boarding
- Assistance of a Tour Director throughout the tour
- NOT INCLUDED ARE THE FOLLOWING :
- Lunches, snacks, coffees etc.
- Drinks with dinner including bottled water and coffee.
- Entry to places of interest eg.museums, gardens, etc.
- Autoroute tolls
The Wild Atlantic Way is a 2,500 km (1,553 miles) driving route passes through nine counties and three provinces stretching from Kinsale in County Cork, in the south to County Donegal's Inishowen Peninsula in the north. Along the route there are places and attractions which have been designated as points of interest for travellers.
Our route incorporates five days following the Wild Atlantic Way from Kinsale in the south near Cork up to Galway and beyond.
Our tour starts with a late morning car ferry from Holyhead in north Wales to Dublin Port. Upon disembarking the ferry we drive 100 miles south to Arthurstown near Waterford where our first hotel is based.
The following day we take a 10 minute car ferry then continue west to Cork. Our lunch stop is the Jameson Whiskey Heritage Centre after which we visit the Cobh Heritage Centre a fascinating museum dedicated to the story of the Titanic. followed by Blarney Castle before we arrive at our hotel for the next two nights, just south of Cork, in Kinsale.
The following day we relax around Kinsale. The following day we start to drive the Wild Atlantic Way which we follow for the next 7 days.
Heading west we stop to visit the Stromberg Stone Circle then across the Sheep's Head peninsula stopping to visit Bantry House and gardens then around the Beara penisula to Kenmare to our hotel for the next 2 nights overlooking the sea at Parknasilla. The next day you can relax around the hotel.
The following morning we drive around the majestic Ring of Kerry on the Iveragh Peninsula famous for its vistas of sea and mountains. Eventually our route takes us over Moll's Gap up to Killarney where we visit Muckross House and gardens before arriving at our hotel in Aghadoe overlooking the lake.
The next day continue around the Dingle Peninsula an ancient landscape dotted with early Christian churches, monastic settlements and Neolithic structures.Leaving the Dingle peninsula and the coast we continue drive north east up to Adare one of Ireland's prettiest villages where our hotel is based.
The next morning we take the 15 minute car ferry across the Shannon river into County Clare where we drive north up the coast along the Cliffs of Moher one of Ireland's most remarkable natural features where the limestone plateau of the Burren plunges 1,000 ft into the seas. Here we visit the Cliffs of Moher Experience a state of the art visitor centre. We then continue across the Burren, a vast limestone plateau through Galway then head 40 miles north-west to our hotel located overlooking Lough Inagh surrounded by mountains.
The following day we explore this beautiful mountainous region with its lakes firstly visiting a local castle then driving to Roundstone, a pretty fishing port . Our lunch stop is Kylemore Abbey and Gardens after which it's a scenic drive through the mountains and alongside lakes to our hotel, for the next two nights, in Cashel overlooking the coast.
The following day we enjoy a leisurely tour in the immediate lake and mountain region visiting Westport to the north before returning to our hotel to celebrate our last night in Ireland.
The following day, the 11th day of the tour, we drive across the mountains to Gallway where we take the motorway east to Dublin to catch an early afternoon ferry back to Holyhead, North Wales
Day 1 Wednesday August 12th Holyhead to Dublin Port to Arthurstown ( 100 miles )
Our tour starts with the 11.00am Swift car ferry from Holyhead, in north Wales, to Dublin Port, see photos below:
The ferry arrives at 13.00pm. Upon disembarking the ferry we drive 100 miles south to Arthurstown 15 miles south east of Waterford where our hotel, Dunbrody House, is based.
We then drive to the Cobh Heritage Centre a fascinating museum dedicated to the story of the Titanic.
Finally we visit Blarney Castle, where we can kiss the Blarney Stone, see photos below:
Our hotel faces the harbour in this picturesque fishing port, see photo below:
The Wild Atlantic Way is a tourism trail on the west coast of Ireland.The 2,500 km (1,553 miles) driving route passes through nine counties and three provinces stretching in the south from Kinsale in County Cork to County Donegal's Inishowen Peninsula in the north. Along the route there are places and attractions which have been designated as points of interest for travellers.
The route is well signposted with the WAW logo:
Our route initially takes us south-west to Timoleague where we stop to admire the abbey, see photo below:
We then continue to Clonakilty a delightful heritage town with colourful and traditional shop fronts whose hand painted old-style signs reveal their contents:
We then continue along the Wild Atlantic Way across the Mizen Head peninsula to Bantry a large market town and fishing port where our afternoon coffee stop is Bantry House and Gardens, a Georgian stately home with impressive gardens and outstanding bay views, see photo below:
Here there are two woodland walks, a walled garden and a tea room.The former stable block houses a fascinating exhibition on the failed attempt by the French Armada to invade Ireland via Bantry Bay in 1796.
We then drive around Bantry Bay to Glengarrif:
We then drive across the Beara peninsula and over the Healy Pass:
We continue on this mountain road to Ladies View where we stop to take photos of the stunning view. We then visit Muckross House and gardens a fine Victorian residence completed in 1843 by Scottish architect William Burn.In 1861 Queen Victoria stayed there as a guest of the Herbert family who landscaped the gardens in her honour.
Muckross is our lunch stop before returning to Parknasilla on a different scenic mountain route.
Day 6 Monday August 17th Sneem to Aghadoe, Killarney via the Ring of Kerry ( 91 miles )
Today we drive the Ring of Kerry across the Iveragh Peninsula a scenic route with wonderful coastal and mountain scenery.
Our route starts in Sneem a pretty village built around a village green where there is a statue to Steve "Crusher" Casey a local man and world champion wrestler. Our scenic route takes us clock-wise around the peninsula We eventually arrive in Glenburgh in the north where we turn inland and drive on a narrow road which makes its way up in the shadow of the Magillicuddy Reeks, ( the highest mountain range in Ireland), to Ballaghbeama Gap where on a clear day there are sweeping views across the windswept landscape. We then continue north-east to Killarney Lakes to our 5* hotel in Aghadoe Heights overlooking the lake.
Day 7 Tuesday, August 18th Aghadoe to Adare, Co.Limerick ( 170 miles )
Inch Point was the setting for the 1970 film Ryan's Daughter and in the bay there are often sea otters, seals and dolphins.
Dingle, our morning coffee stop, is Europe's westernmost town and is charming with brightly painted houses, traditional shop fronts and narrow streets all of which run down to the harbour, see photos below:
We then continue along the Dingle Peninsula passing Dunbeg Fort an iron age fortress.
Our route takes us past a set of clochans or beehive huts which are pre-historic dwellings constructed in unmortered stone.
Eventually we arrive at Slea Head the western most point in Europe where there are exhilarating views across Dingle Bay.
We then head to Stradbally over the Connor Pass, Ireland's highest route, winding its way to the 460metres, (1,500 ft ) summit
We then drive north-east to Tralee and drive over the mountains to Adare in Co. Limerick.
With its thatched cottages and spruce green Adare is one of Ireland’s prettiest villages beautified by the third Earl of Dunraven.
Adare also has an array of medieval buildings including three monasteries and Desmond Castle.
Our hotel, the Dunraven Arms, is based in the centre of Adare and is an ancient coaching inn with an international reputation.
Dinner, tonight, is in the hotel's famous restaurant.
Day 8 Wednesday, August 19th Adare to Lough Inagh, Co. Galway ( 185 miles )
We leave Adare and drive north -west to Foynes on the Shannon estuary then we head west to Tarbert where we catch the 15 minute car ferry across the Shannon to Killimer in County Clare.
Then we drive north, hugging the coastline along the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland's most remarkable natural features where the limestone plateau of the Burren plunges 300 metres ( 1,000ft) into the sea.
We stop at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre where there is a state-of-the-art display explaining the phenomena.
Further north is the Burren National Park, a massive plateau of limestone, which covers the whole of north-west Clare.
Our route then takes us via Ballyvaughan to Galway.
We then continue along the picturesque coast towards Roundstone through Cashel to our hotel overlooking Lough Inagh surrounded by mountains.
Set in spectacular scenery, in the heart of Connemara Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel rests on the shores of Lough Inagh, one of Connemara's most spectacular lakes.
The Lodge is surrounded by the majestic Mam Turks and spectacular Twelve Bens mountain ranges on all sides.
This boutique hotel occupies an elegant fishing lodge dating to 1880 and the colourful rooms are individually appointed with refined, traditional furnishings.
Dinner tonight is offered in the hotel's elegant restaurant with an oak-panelled bar
Day 9 Thursday 20th August Lough Inagh to Cashel via Westport ( 90 miles )
Today we visit Westport to the north returning in the afternoon to Cashel on the Connemara coast where our hotel for the next two nights overlooks Bertraghboy Bay.
Built in the 19th century this gracious country home was converted to a family run four star hotel in 1968 by the McEvilly family.
Situated in the heart of Connemara and nestling in the peaceful surroundings of 50 acres of gardens and woodland walks this little bit of paradise overlooks the picturesque bay.
Dinner tonight is in the hotel's restaurant.
Day 10 Friday, August 21st Cashel local excursion via Roundstone, Clifden and Letterfrack ( 60 miles )
Today we enjoy a circular drive of Connemara and Co Galway with its beautiful coastal roads, panoramic views, rivers and lakes.
In the morning our morning coffee stop is the nearby Ballynahinch Castle Hotel.
Ballynahinch enjoys a romantic setting on the river and is an idyllic retreat encapsulating the spirit of Ireland with its traditional Irish bar.
After coffee our route then follows the Wild Atlantic Way west along the coast from Cashel to Toombeola and then to Roundstone.
Roundstone is the most picturesque village on the Connemara coast and is perched high above the fishing harbour looking out over the island studied Bertraghboy Bay.
In the distance are the twelve Bens and Maumturks. Roundstone's vibrant culture has attracted craftsmen and artists and in summer the village hosts a regatta of traditional Galway hookers.
We then continue along the Wild Atlantic Way through Clifden to Letterfrack
Our lunch stop is Kylemore Abbey and Gardens near Letterfrack.
The abbey, which was built in the 19th century, is located on Lake Pollacappull and since 1922 has been home to a semi-enclosed order of Benedictine nuns.
Part of the abbey is open to the public but the biggest attraction is the walled garden laid out in 1860 with 21 glass houses, see photos below:
Afterwards you can enjoy a relaxing local drive among the local lakes and mountains back to our hotel in Cashel
Dinner tonight, the last night of the tour, is in the hotel's restaurant.
Day 11 Saturday, August 22nd Cashel to Dublin Port ( 185 miles )
We leave Co.Gallway behind us and head for Dublin Port where we are booked on the 14.30 Swift ferry.
We are booked in the Club Class lounge where you have your own dedicated seats with complimentary beverages and newspapers.
Our ferry arrives in Holyhead at 16.30. and you are free to make your own way home !