Boston MA | info@crystal-travel.com | 1.617.327.4242 

15 Day Westport to Kinsale | Wild Atlantic Way

Program Includes

Accommodation

  • Abbeyglen Castle Hotel Connemara (1 night)
  • Park House Hotel Galway (2 nights)
  • Hotel Doolin (1 night)
  • B&B Kilkee (1 night)
  • Dingle Benners Hotel (2 nights)
  • B&B Kenmare (3 nights)
  • Caseys of Baltimore (2 nights)
  • Trident Hotel Kinsale (2 nights)

Breakfast each morning except day of arrival

Transport

Hertz manual compact car with unlimited mileage, Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), theft protection (TP), value added tax (VAT), third party liability and location service charge (LSC)

Other Inclusions

  • Travel wallet, luggage tags and driving map.
  • Expert travel assistance throughout.

Optional Extras

  • Visitor Attractions
  • Room Upgrades
  • Car Upgrade
  • Chauffeur Driver
  • City Tours

Price is per person based on double occupancy during low season and is subject to availability at the time of booking.

15 Days / 14 Nights
Starts at Shannon Airport/ Ends at Shannon Airport

Highlights 

Aran Islands

Doolin's Singing Pubs & Cliffs of Moher

Picturesque Kenmare

Scenic Dingle Peninsula

Beara Peninsula

  Old Head of Kinsale

 

Westport to Kinsale Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Clew Bay & Killary Fjord

From Westport, the splendor of Clew Bay dominates this stretch of coast, and a cruise around Clew Bay is a graceful way to explore its scattering of islands and curious seals. Head west and the road weaves its way to the pretty town of Louisburgh, the village of Leenane and the fjord of Killary Harbour. One of only three fjords in Ireland (and the only one on the Wild Atlantic Way) Killary is nature’s playground. All sorts of adventure tours can be organized here from hiking and biking to canoeing, gorge walking, and archery.

Leave the imposing fjord in the rear-view mirror and travel on wards to Letterfrack through switchback roads and around a landscape peppered with lakes. Approaching Letterfrack, you will find the final resting place of pilot, surgeon, poet, politician, novelist and all-round wit, Oliver St John Gogarty, in the graveyard at Ballinakill. Then at last it’s on to Clifden where great food, great drink, plenty of places to stay and – even more importantly, perhaps – great music awaits.

Day 2: Derrygimlagh Bog & Beautiful Connemara

Leaving Clifden, it’s along this the stretch around Derrygimlagh bog that many transatlantic firsts were recorded. Guglielmo Marconi established the first-ever commercial transatlantic wireless station here, and pilots Alcock and Brown landed the first-ever transatlantic flight in 1919. The landscape of this part of Connemara is utterly unique. Simply take a deep breath and immerse yourself in silver lakes, purple mountains and orange fields.

Rossaveal is your gateway to the Aran Islands if you wish to spend the day there. The Aran Islands are a special place, where Irish language, culture and traditions have been preserved in a manner almost without equal. Back on the mainland, travel through small villages that are a joy to have dinner in before you arrive in Galway city for the night.

Day 3: Galway City (or Aran Islands)

Today is one of the few days on the Wild Atlantic Way when you can leave the car idle so take full advantage of this and explore Galway city this morning. In the morning you might like to walk the Promenade in Salthill and breath in the gorgeous sea air. When Irish people want to have a good time, they head for Galway. This pocket-sized medieval town is a microcosm for all that’s best in Ireland. From lively pub sessions, to choice city shopping, you’re going to want to get to know this bohemian spot.

If this isn't to your taste and you didn't take the day to explore Aran Islands yesterday, that would be a excellent way to spend the day. From Rossaveal (Ros an Mhíl) you can catch a ferry to any of the three islands for a day trip.

Day 4: The Burren & Doolin

Leaving Galway city centre, continue your journey west along Galway Bay to Balllyvaughan, with its picture-postcard thatched cottages. Botanists and naturists make this pretty village their base as they roam the Burren for the Arctic, Alpine and Mediterranean plants that blossom across this lunar-like landscape. The Burren takes its name from the Irish for “rocky place” – but despite this, it’s home to one of the most unique eco-systems in Europe.

For those keener on history than botany, take a detour from your coastal drive to the Burren in county Clare, and visit the Neolithic Poulnabrone Dolmen. Dating back to 4200BC, it’s a chunky slice of the past. Renowned for its incredible legacy of rousing traditional music sessions, settle yourself in one of the singing pubs in Doolin that are only a stones throw away from your accommodation.

Day 5: Cliffs of Moher & Kilkee

Heading south from Doolin, the Cliffs of Moher are your next big stop. Plunging into the Atlantic, these gigantic cliffs stand watch over the wild Atlantic. The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre tells the story of the cliffs, as well as introducing you to the thriving wildlife that calls them home. Continue south and before long you’ll hit one of Ireland’s surfing capitals: Lahinch. If riding Atlantic waves isn’t your idea of fun, you’re more than welcome to just watch those paddling into the surf offshore. Heading south again takes you to a poignant spot in Ireland’s maritime history: Spanish Point - where the Spanish Armada was wrecked in 1588.

You’re on the final leg of your route to County Clare’s Kilkee now. A picture-perfect seaside town, its charm has attracted some of history’s best-known figures, including actor Richard Harris, revolutionary leader Che Guevera, and Charlotte Bronte, who chose to spend her honeymoon here. Whether you’re taking a stroll along the golden sands of Horseshoe Bay, diving or dolphin watching, you’ll find the Atlantic at your side at every turn. 

Day 6: Ferry, Foynes & Fenit

From your accommodation, make your way all the way out to Loop Head. Stand in the shadow of its famous lighthouse as you gaze out at the angry Atlantic lashing against the cliffs below. On the way back to Kilrush and Killimer where you will take the ferry, stop off at Kilkee Cliffs and the Bridges of Ross (this is a little out of the way but will not disappoint). The ferry will take you across the Shannon Estuary into County Kerry where you will continue your coastal journey - but not before taking a detour to Foynes for a lesson in the history of aviation and an Irish coffee in the place it was invented.

From Foynes, head due west to Fenit. Along the way, you can enjoy the golden beaches and stunning cliff walks at Ballybunion. In Fenit, explore the story of one of the most famous Kerrymen: Saint Brendan the Navigator whose story encompasses encounters with sea monsters and devils. It has been a long day at this point so make your way to Dingle and settle in to your accommodation for the evening.

Day 7: Dingle, Dunquin & the Conor Pass

Blessed with an arty bohemian vibe (local weavers, cheesemakers, potters and jewellers call the town home), Dingle at the same time maintains a traditional heart that never seems to erode - unparalleled traditional pubs and friendly locals speaking beautiful Irish are two of Dingle’s claims to fame. Stay on the peninsula today or take a boat from Dunquin out to the Great Blasket - the biggest of the deserted Blasket Islands - and explore immaculate, sandy beaches.

Back on the mainland, creep along the north of the peninsula, before winding through the stunning Conor Pass road. The views along the Conor Pass are arguably without equal in Kerry, but some narrow passages will require strict concentration. Return to Dingle after a stop at The South Pole Inn, home of the Antarctic explorer, Tom Crean.

Day 8: Inch Beach, Killarney & Kenmare

Leave Dingle today and journey along the south coast of the peninsula to Inch Beach - three miles of beautiful white sandy beach that is perfect for a mid morning stroll. Stop off in Killarney for a couple of hours. The incredibly beautiful surrounding countryside makes Killarney a very special place. Explore Killarney National Park, the focal point of which is Muckross House and Gardens. The house is presented as a late 19th century mansion featuring all the necessary furnishings and artifacts of the period. For the active, walking and cycling are the best ways to see the National Park. There is a network of surfaced tracks in the Muckross, Knockreer and Ross Island areas of the park which are ideal for both cyclists and walkers.

After some time in Killarney, make your way to Kenmare where you will stay tonight. Kenmare's vibrant streets are lined with colorful knitwear shops, delis, cafés, pubs, and a gourmet fish and chip shop and is essentially a more cosy Killarney. Framed by beautiful estate hotels, and with a lively atmosphere throughout the year, Kenmare is a great place to linger for a few days.

Day 9: Ring of Kerry

Follow the twisting, turning Ring of Kerry through Sneem with its two picture-postcard little village squares. Your next stop is Derrynane and the ancestral home of lawyer, statesman and “The Emancipator” Daniel O’Connell, Derrynane House. Derrynane’s effortless beauty will lull you into wanting to stay around, maybe even forever. Continue along the peninsula towards Ballinskelligs Bay and the village of Waterville, where you’ll come across a bronze statue of Charlie Chaplin. The cinema legend enjoyed countless summers here with his family.

The next port of call is the Skellig Islands. The story of the monks who made Skellig Michael their home is engagingly told at the Skellig Experience on Valentia Island (connected via a bridge to the mainland) where exhibitions unravel the mystery of the monastery as well as introducing some of the island’s winged residents. You can take a boat to the Skelligs from Portmagee, but it’s always weather dependent due to the rocky nature of where you dock on the island. Return to Kenmare for the night.

Day 10: Kenmare

Enjoy some traditional gourmet dishes and afterwards take a walk around Reenagross park, a unique natural heritage area. For a more adventure filled day, visit one of the many equestrian centers located in the Kenmare Bay area and enjoy the scenic views around Kenmare on horse-back. Connect to the Past with Kenmare's Historical attractions such as Kenmare Suspension Bridge, Kenmare Stone Circle and Dromore Castle. 

Day 11: Beara Peninsula, Allihies village and Dursey Island

With and early start to the day, follow the road as it entwines and dips along one of the wildest but beautiful stretches of coastline – the Beara Peninsula. Stop off for some mid-day lunch in the colorful village of Allihies and even enjoy a pint of Guinness in one of its lively pubs. Visit Dursey Island which plays host to Ireland’s only cable car. Sit back and relax in the moment while taking in the scenic views and listen to the ruffling of the Atlantic Ocean. After a peaceful and relaxing day, a well deserved evening meal can be enjoyed in the maritime port village of Baltimore.

Day 12: Breath-taking Baltimore, Magical Mizen and The Sheep's Head Way

Enjoy the glorious, breathtaking scenic views of Baltimore. Activities such as  fishing, sailing and sea-angling can be enjoyed. Take a stroll around this charming village or take the ferry to Cape Clear Island or Sherkin Island, only a short distance away. To experience a further insight into the deep South West Peninsula, travel to Ireland's most southerly point, Mizen Head. The magic of Mizen includes the contrasting beauty of  sharp cliffs, jagged rock and a romantically located signal station. Take a walk across the Mizen head foot bridge and treat yourself to a well deserved cup of tea in the local Mizen cafe.

If you have taken a particular interest in the beauty of the South-West Atlantic peninsulas, take a trip to the neighboring Sheep's Head Peninsula. Awarded European Destination of Excellence, this jutting land is a spectacular vision and is a part of the sprawling collection of seascapes along the sheep's head way walking route. A second night in the beautiful Baltimore gives you time to unwind and recharge for a further leg of the South West coastal drive.

Day 13: Skibereen and Clonakilty

From Baltimore, set a course east along the Wild Atlantic Way. This route is dotted with beautiful, quaint little towns and villages which offer fine cuisine and many arts and crafts visitor centers. The market town of Skibereen, the most southerly town in Ireland is one such town with its world class food, unique shops and live traditional Irish Music. If the sun is shining, Inchydoney Island is also en route which hosts a beautiful Blue Flag beach, or stop off at the bustling town of Clonakilty, famous for its unique cuisine using its own traditional brand of pork sausage and pudding. The headland at the Old Head of Kinsale is  as dramatic as they come and is recognized as one of the Wild Atlantic Way’s standout views. Arrive in Kinsale for the final leg of the South-West Wild Atlantic Way route.

Day 14: The Old Head of Kinsale

Explore what Kinsale has to offer and enjoy some of its historical sights with many guided tours on offer. Known for its exceptional culinary cuisine enjoy a hearty bowl of local seafood chowder from the highly recommended Fishy Fishy Cafe. If one is feeling extremely energized take a trip to neighboring Cork city which is known for its high-street fashion retail stores. The city also offers many historical sights worth visiting. Enjoy the last night and unwind in the beautiful town of Kinsale and listen to some Irish traditional music and a take pleasure in drinking a fine pint of Irish Guinness.

 Day 15: Homeward bound

Feeling well rested and completely fulfilled, having explored the deep South-West Wild Atlantic strip, its time to head back to the airport having had a truly replenishing and enjoyable experience.

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