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Package Tour | Insight Vacations | 12 Days Country Roads of Ireland

12 Days Country Roads of Ireland

Price: US$2303
Book by 2nd May 2010 to enjoy discounted price!

Departure Dates:
June: 7, 14, 21
July: 12
August: 2, 9, 23

Come join in the ‘craic’ on this convivial jaunt around the Emerald Isle, furnished with ruined castles, towering cliffs, quiet lakes and natural wonders. This is a well paced tour with two night stays in Killarney and Galway, as well as in Dublin. The driving days are of a reasonable length, with frequent stops offering splendid photo opportunities.

Modern hotels like the Europa in Belfast, contrast with the historic charm of Ballygally Castle Hotel with its original beamed ceilings, antique furniture and resident ghost. The Blarney Golf Resort is set amongst 170 acres in the beautiful Shournagh Valley.

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Itinerary
Day 01 Dublin Sightseeing

Welcome to Ireland! On arrival at Dublin Airport, your airport shuttle service leaves for the tour hotel at 08:00, 11:00 & 13:30. Later, your sightseeing tour of Dublin includes the elegant squares of Ireland’s ‘fair city’. See the famous O’Connell Street, Customs House and Dublin Castle. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Drink with your Tour Director and fellow guests.
Hotel: Burlington.

Day 02 Dublin - Kildare - Kilkenny - Waterford
(Breakfast)
Drive to Kildare for an informative visit to Ireland’s National Stud, one of the country’s main racehorse breeding centres. Visit the Japanese Gardens, laid out by Eida, a Japanese landscape artist invited to Ireland at the turn of last century. Move on to the medieval town of Kilkenny with free time to see St.Canice’s Cathedral and the Kilkenny Design Centre before continuing to your hotel in historic Waterford. Hotel: Dooleys.

Day 03 Waterford - Blarney (Breakfast / Dinner)
See history unfold before your eyes in Waterford as you view the 9th century Reginald’s Tower and the remains of the old city walls. Visit the Waterford Crystal showroom before a coastal drive brings you to Ireland’s second city of Cork, then continue to your hotel in Blarney. This afternoon visit the ancient castle of Blarney this morning. Will you dare to hang upside down from the ramparts to kiss the Blarney Stone, and ensure a lifetime of eloquence? Hotel: Blarney Golf Resort.

Day 04 Blarney - Killarney (Breakfast / Dinner)
Drive up the valley of the River Lee into the majestic Derrynasaggart Mountains, and continue to the beautiful scenery of the Dingle Peninsula, spectacular setting for the film Ryan’s Daughter. From dramatic Slea Head at the peninsula’s far end, make your way to the peaceful town of Killarney. Hotel: Killarney Towers.

Day 05 Ring of Kerry Excursion (Breakfast / Dine Around)
An excursion takes you around the Ring of Kerry on one of the world’s greatest scenic tours: see towering cliffs, lush lakelands, remote villages and, above all, Ireland’s highest mountain range, and view the three peaceful Lakes of Killarney. Return to Killarney and enjoy a highlight ride with the locals on one of the famous jaunting cars. Tonight your Dine-Around evening offers you the option of dinner at a selection of local restaurants.

Day 06 Killarney - Limerick - Galway (Breakfast / Dinner)
Drive via picturesque Adare to the city of Limerick and see St Mary’s Cathedral and medieval King John’s Castle. Now visit Bunratty Folk Park, which recreates the homes and lifestyle of rural Ireland over the centuries. Continue to the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher with breathtaking views of the Clare Coast before a delightful drive through the Burren, a strange, rocky landscape rich with wild orchids. Hotel: Maldron.

Day 07 Connemara Excursion (Breakfast)
In Galway, see St Nicholas Cathedral, the Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US president John F Kennedy. The beautiful rugged landscape of Connemara opens up a wonderland of rivers, lakes and silent hills en route to the famous marble factory, where you will tour the workshop. Visit palatial Kylemore Abbey before returning to your hotel.

Day 08 Galway - Belleek - Londonderry (Breakfast / Dinner)
Bidding farewell to Galway and Connemara, drive past Tuam to Clonalis House. This estate is the home of the O’Connor family, descendants of the last High Kings of Ireland. Meet the resident family and tour their home before driving through County Sligo to visit the Belleek Pottery Centre. Continue to Donegal County, and head north through the Blue Stack Mountains into Northern Ireland, settling for the night in the ancient city of ‘Derry’. Hotel: City

Day 09 Londonderry - Ballygally (Breakfast / Dinner)
Sightseeing with a local guide takes you inside the well preserved walls, still topped with cannons, and down steep Shipquay Street, with its elegant Georgian houses, to the Gothic Guildhall. Continue along the coast to the spectacular Giant’s Causeway, and hear the fantastic legends which surround this geological masterpiece created by the cooling of lava which burst through the Earth’s crust millions of years ago. Continue along the scenic Antrim coast to arrive at your hotel, overlooking the sandy beach of Ballygally Bay. Hotel: Ballygally Castle.

Day 10 Ballygally - Belfast (Breakfast)
Continue around the coast, past the huge Norman castle at Carrickfergus, to arrive in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. Meet your local guide for a panoramic tour of this unique city, with highlights including City Hall, Queen’s University and Stormont Castle. Hotel: Europa

Day 11 Belfast - Dublin (Breakfast)
Travel alongside the Mountains of Mourne to Drogheda, taking a short drive along the historic Boyne Valley, site of the Battle of Boyne where William of Orange defeated the forces of Catholic King James. Return to Ireland’s lively capital, Dublin, and spend a leisurely evening relaxing, exploring or perhaps taking in a famous Irish Cabaret show.
Hotel: Burlington.

Day 12 Dublin (Breakfast)
Departure transfers arrive at Dublin Airport at 07:30, 09:30 & 11:30.
Updated 19 April 2010
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