2023 IRELAND (WILD ATLANTIC WAY) TOUR

AN 11 DAY TOUR OF SOUTHERN IRELAND INCLUDING 8 DAYS DRIVING THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY

Ireland, join us on Ireland car tour

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: 2023 to be confirmed 

COST per person: to be confirmed

 

The fees are based on 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
  •  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
  • The 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

 

TOUR SUMMARY 

The Wild Atlantic Way is a 2,500 km (1,553 miles) driving route that 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 20 miles south to Powerscourt where our impressive hotel is located. There is an option to visit the stunning house and gardens of nearby Powerscourt House.

 

The following day we visit the impressive waterfalls at Powerscourt. Our morning coffee stop is the working wool museum at Avoca.

We then travel to Arthurstown near Waterford where our country house hotel is based.

On our third day, we take a 10-minute car ferry and 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 nights just south of Cork, in Kinsale facing the marina.

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 peninsula to Kenmare to our hotel for the next 2 nights overlooking the sea at Parknasilla.

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 returning to our hotel in Parknassilla.

The next day we 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 to drive north to Aghadoe overlooking the lake.

The following day we drive 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 then 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, 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

DRAFT ITINERARY

Day 1  Saturday,

Holyhead to Dublin Port.

Dublin Port to Powerscourt ( 20 miles )

Our tour starts with the 11.00 am Swift car ferry from Holyhead, in north Wales, to Dublin Port, see photos below:

Ireland, join us on Ireland car tour

Ireland, join us on Ireland car tour

The ferry arrives at 13.00 pm.

Upon disembarking the ferry we drive 20 miles south to Powerscourt in the Wicklow mountains.

Once we've checked  into our hotel, there is an option to visit on foot the nearby Powerscourt House and gardens

 

 

Day 2 Sunday

Powerscourt to Arthurstown,

The following day, after a leisurely breakfast, we visit the impressive waterfalls at Powerscourt. Our morning coffee stop is the working wool museum at Avoca

We then drive south to Arthurstown, 15 miles southeast of Waterford, where our country house hotel is based.

 

Dunbrody House
Ireland tour
This traditional country house hotel is set in extensive grounds which incorporate an Irish pub!
Ireland tour
Ireland tour
The hotel is renown for its cuisine and proprietor/chef is a TV celebratory
Day 3 Monday
Arthurstown to Kinsale, near Cork ( 141 miles )
After breakfast, we take a small car ferry across the estuary  then continue west to Midleton where we visit the Jameson Whiskey Heritage Centre, see photos below:
Waterford - Ireland tour
Waterford - Ireland tour
waterford - Ireland tour

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:

Blarney Castle - Irelandtour
Blarney Castle Ireland tour
We then drive to our hotel in Kinsale, 20 miles south of Cork.
Kinsale is regarded as the food capital of Ireland.
Our hotel faces the harbour in this picturesque fishing port, see photo below:
picturesque fishing port - Ireland tour
After checking in  we can stroll around  this colourful town, see photos below:
Ireland tour
Ireland tour
Tonight, dinner is in a local fish restaurant
Day 4, Tuesday
Kinsale to Parknasilla ( 150 miles )
We leave Kinsale, which is the start of the Wild Atlantic Way and we follow it for the next 6 days
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:
WAW logo

Our first visit is to the nearby Heritage Centre dedicated to the Lusitania, see photos below:

Ireland tour come & join us

Ireland tour come & join us

Our route then takes us southwest to Timoleague where we stop to admire the abbey.

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.

Our lunch stop is Bantry House and Gardens, a Georgian stately home with impressive gardens and outstanding bay views, see photo below:

Mizen Head peninsula
Mizen Head peninsula 1
Bantry
Bantry 1

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 Glengarriff:

We then drive across the Beara peninsula and over the Healy Pass:

Beara peninsula - IrelandTour
Our route then takes us via Kenmare to Parknasilla on the coast where our hotel for the next two nights is located overlooking a scenic bay, see photos below:
Parknasilla
Sneem
Day 5 Wednesday
  Parknasilla to Killarney return  
Today, after a leisurely breakfast, we enjoy relaxing around the hotel grounds with the option of taking a local boat trip. Late morning we drive via Kenmare up to Killarney Lakes on a scenic mountain route over Molls Gap.
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 Thursday

Parknassilla 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 of Steve "Crusher" Casey a local man and world champion wrestler. Our scenic route takes us clockwise around the peninsula.

We eventually arrive in Glenburgh in the north where we turn inland and drive on a narrow road that makes its way up in the shadow of the McGillicuddy 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  Friday

Aghadoe to Adare, Co.Limerick ( 170 miles )

Leaving Aghadoe we head north-west to Castlemaine where we head down to the Dingle Peninsula
Our route takes us through an ancient landscape on the most westerly landscape in Europe.

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:

Dingle
Dingle

We then continue along the Dingle Peninsula passing Dunbeg Fort an iron age fortress.

Our route takes us past a set of clachans or beehive huts which are pre-historic dwellings constructed in unmortared stone.

Eventually, we arrive at Slea Head the westernmost point in Europe where there are exhilarating views across Dingle Bay.

Dingle-peninsula.Join us on our Ireland car tour Slea head.Join us on our Ireland car tour Slea head.Join us on our Ireland car tour

We then head to Stradbally over the Connor Pass, Ireland's highest route, winding its way to the 460metres, (1,500 ft ) summit

Connor Pass.Join us on our Ireland car tour Connor Pass.Join us on our Ireland car tour Connor Pass.Join us on our Ireland car tour

We then drive north-east to Tralee and drive over the mountains to Adare in Co. Limerick.

Adare.Join us on our Ireland car tour Adare.Join us on our Ireland car tour Adare.Join us on our Ireland car tour

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.

Dunraven Arms hotel, Adare

Dinner, tonight, is in the hotel's famous restaurant.

Day 8 Saturday

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.

The cliffs of Moher.Join us on our Ireland car tour The cliffs of Moher.Join us on our Ireland car tour

Further north is the Burren National Park, a massive plateau of limestone, which covers the whole of northwest Clare.Burren National Park.Join us on our Ireland car tour Burren National Park.Join us on our Ireland car tour Burren National Park.Join us on our Ireland car tour

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.

Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel

Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel

Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel

Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel

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 Sunday

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.

Cashel House Hotel

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.

Cashel House Hotel

Dinner tonight is in the hotel's restaurant.

Day 10 Monday

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 Castle

Ballynahinch Castle

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.

Roundtone Roundtone

We then continue along the Wild Atlantic Way through Clifden to Letterfrack

Clifden.Join us on our Ireland car tour

Our lunch stop is Kylemore Abbey and Gardens near Letterfrack.

Kylemore Abbey and gardens

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 glasshouses, see photos below:

Kylemore Abbey gardens Kylemore Abbey gardens

Kylemore Abbey gardens

Afterward, 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 Tuesday

Cashel to Dublin Port ( 185 miles )

We leave Co. Galway behind us and head for Dublin Port where we are booked on the 14.30 Swift ferry.

Jonathan Swift crossing the Irish Sea

We are booked in the Club Class lounge where you have your own dedicated seats with complimentary beverages and newspapers.

Click here for a virtual tour of the Dublin Swift

Our ferry arrives in Holyhead at 16.30. and you are free to make your own way home!