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

Amanda's Ireland (for First Timers) | 7 or 13 Day Self-Drive

Tour Inclusions:

Transport

Hertz automatic economy car (Group E) with:
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
  • Theft protection (TP),
  • Value added tax (VAT)
  • Third party liability
  • Location service charge (LSC)

Accommodation

    North

    • Hotel Belfast (1)
    • B&B Donegal (2)
    • Salthill Hotel - Galway (2)
    • B&B Doolin

    South

    • The Fairview - Killarney (2)
    • B&B Kilkenny (2)
    • Camden Court - Dublin (2)

      Other Inclusions

      • Deluxe travel wallet with comprehensive travel documents, luggage tags and driving map.
      • Expert service from dedicated sales guide before, during and after your trip.

      Optional Extras

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

      Make the most of your first time in Ireland

      My name is Amanda and my Great Grandparents were from County Kerry, Ireland. Although I never met them, my grandmother continued to keep their traditions alive throughout my childhood. So naturally, the first time I traveled to Ireland I wanted to see it all. With this tour I wanted to make sure a first timer in Ireland would have time to see everything. You can pick the North or the South route or combine them for an amazing 12-night trip around the entire island. View my profile here!

      Choose from two 6 night tours of Ireland taking in one half of the country each or combine both tours for an amazing 12 night trip around the entire island.

      Option a - North

      Highlights:
      Belfast City
      Derry City & Giant's Causeway
      Hills of Donegal & Yeats Country
      Galway City & Connemara
      Cliffs of Moher & Doolin

      Option b - South

      Highlights
      Cliffs of Moher
      Killarney & the Ring of Kerry    
      West Cork & Cork City
      Medieval Kilkenny & South East
      Dublin City Highlights

      From $699 per person

       

      Option 1 - North

      Day 1 - Dublin to Belfast

      Leave Dublin this morning for the short trip to Belfast. Driving time is around 90 minutes but there are lots of stops along the way to enjoy. First up is Newgrange, best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun. You may also wish to visit Drogheda and the Battle of the Boyne Centre commemorating the largest battle to ever take place in Ireland. At stake were the British throne, French dominance in Europe and Religious power in Ireland.

      Continuing north, stick to the coast for some beautiful scenery in the Carlingford area before arriving in Downpatrick. Here might be a good place to grab some lunch before visiting Castle Ward and St. Patrick Centre. The Centre is an exciting interpretative exhibition which tells the fascinating story of Ireland's Patron Saint. Continue to your hotel.

      Overnight in Belfast.

      Day 2 - Causeway Coast and Derry's Walled City

      Today is a long journey packed with things to do. The highlight will be the Giant's Causeway, 40,000 interlocking basalt columns which are the result of an ancient volcanic eruption, but there are plenty more wonderful attractions in the area. Dunluce Castle is a now-ruined medieval castle teetering on the edge of a cliff, the Bushmills Distillery still welcomes visitors, take the exhilarating rope bridge to Carrick-a-Rede island and enjoy a truly clifftop experience, and the Dark Hedges is a beautiful avenue of beech trees planted in the eighteenth century that have a haunting feel.

      From here it is on to the city of Derry for a quick tour around. Some sights to see include Derry's 17th century city walls, St. Columb's Cathedral, St. Augustine's Church, St. Eugene's Cathedral and the People's Gallery. Take a walk across the Peace Bridge to the other side of the River Foyle for a fantastic view of Derry City if you have time. Make your way to your accommodation in Donegal.

      Overnight at Donegal B&B.

      Day 3 - Donegal Touring

      Leave Donegal this morning and head even further west to the coast. The Slieve League sea cliffs are a vastly underrated attraction hidden up here in the north west corner of the country but are a jaw-dropping experience. Continue on up the coast along the Wild Atlantic Way. This is perhaps the most rugged and ultimately beautiful leg of the drive so be sure to drink it all in.

       Cut in east across Glenveagh National Park. There are a number of scenic walks in the park if you wish to stretch your legs or just sit back and take in all the beautiful flora and fauna. Return back to Donegal towards evening after a long but very rewarding drive.

      Overnight at Donegal B&B.

      Day 4 - Yeats Country & Galway City

      Leave Donegal and follow the Wild Atlantic Way to Sligo before embarking inland. You also have the option of continuing your Wild Atlantic Adventure as far as Enniscrone before journeying south. The Wild Atlantic Way provides you with some exceptional stopping points and photo spots. It is well sign posted so you won't miss a thing. Stop off in Sligo for lunch or tour Yeats Country while you are there.

      You will also go through the small town of Knock where Our Lady is said to have appeared in 1879. Continue on to your accommodation in Galway. Galway is a charming little city, so vibrant and full of life. Spent the evening exploring it's wonderful shops, pubs, and restaurants.

      Overnight at Galway Hotel

      Day 5 - Connemara Tour

      Today you will explore Connemara to your west. Journey along the Wild Atlantic coast through Clifden, the unofficial capital of the area, to Kylemore Abbey, a beautiful Victorian Castle, stunning Neo Gothic Church, and the largest Victorian Walled Garden in Ireland all set in a 1000 acre woodland estate. Make your way deeper into Connemara to Leenaun before cutting east for Cong in Co. Mayo. This is where The Quiet Man was filmed and is also home to Ashford Castle. Return to Galway towards evening and further explore this vivacious city.

      Overnight at Galway Hotel

      Day 6 - Cliffs of Moher & Doolin

      Leave Galway and continue on down the coast. See Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara and continue through the Burren where three quarters of Ireland's species of flowers are found. Continue a little past Doolin to see the world famous Cliffs of Moher in the afternoon before turning back towards Doolin again where you will stay tonight. Doolin is famous for it's singing pubs so you will have no shortage of traditional music tonight. If you have the appetite for more driving, the Wild Atlantic Way down to Loop Head is full of wonders.

      Overnight at Doolin B&B

      Day 7 - Return Home

      Make the short journey to Shannon Airport where you will fly home from.

       

      Option 2 - South

      Day 1 - Cliffs of Moher & Killarney

      Arrive in Shannon and take a quick detour to see possibly Ireland's most famous sight - the Cliffs of Moher, which rise to heights of almost 700 feet above the churning Atlantic swells. Walk along the top of the cliffs to O’Brien’s Tower for great views.

      Take your journey south to Killarney where you will spend the night. Killarney quite a big town by Irish standards and has everything that you might want for your first day in Ireland including craft shops, restaurants and bars with music. There is also the option of a Jaunting Car Ride where a Jarvey (driver and guide) will fill you in on any history or stories that will make the ride all the more memorable.

      Take this evening to enjoy the the town itself for tomorrow you will be touring.

      Overnight at The Fairview

      Day 2 - Ring of Kerry

      It is always recommended to take an entire day to travel the Ring of Kerry. Not only is it quite a long journey at 100 miles, but it is also a slow one as you will want to stop quite often to take photos, see the various landmarks, and view the spectacular Kerry scenery.

      Before you end your day stop off at Ross Castle built in the late 15th century by one of the O'Donoghue Ross chieftains or visit Muckross House & Gardens, a magnificent Victorian mansion and one of Ireland's leading stately homes. The Gardens at Muckross House are renowned world-wide for their beauty.

      Aside from these, we suggest Skellig Michael. 1300 years ago, early Christian monks built a remarkable hermitage at the top of this jagged ocean crag – then at the furthest limits of the known world. Steep steps are carved into the rock. Near the 213 meters (700ft) summit is a collection of ‘beehive’ monastic cells: solitary places for contemplation and prayer, as far from the distractions of civilization as it was possible to be. It can be reached by the adventurous – for a sometimes life-changing visit – on a small boat from Portmagee or Ballinskelligs.

      Overnight at The Fairview

      Day 3 - Cork City & Cobh

      From Killarney, it is only a short 50 mile drive to Cork city. If you have not had too much beautiful scenery, you can take the longer journey through West Cork. If not, there is plenty to do in Cork City, Kinsale and Cobh that will keep you occupied for the day. Between kissing the Blarney Stone, visiting the English Market or having lunch in Kinsale, you will have the first half of your day sorted.

      In the afternoon you could go to Cobh. Cobh is very much a Titanic town and has remained largely unchanged since RMS Titanic departed from Cork Harbour in 1912, with the streetscape and piers still much the same. There are a number of Titanic related thing to do in the town. Cobh was also a huge port for emigration during and after the Great Famine. From 1848 – 1950 over 6 million adults and children emigrated from Ireland – over 2.5 million departed from Cobh, making it the single most important port of emigration. From Cobh make your way to Cork, stopping for photos at the Rock of Cashel along the way.

      Overnight at Kilkenny B&B

      Day 4 - Waterford & Medieval Kilkenny

      Today you will explore the South East of Ireland. Start in Waterford which retains a long maritime history and also retains much of its Viking past. Today, Waterford is known for Waterford Crystal, a legacy of the city's former glass making industry. Glass, or crystal, was manufactured in the city from 1783 until early 2009, when the factory there was shut down. The Waterford Crystal visitor center in the Viking Quarter opened in June 2010.

      You may also like to visit Dunbrody Famine Ship or the Kennedy Homestead for different aspects of the areas history.

      Overnight at Kilkenny B&B

      Day 5 - Wicklow Mountains & Dublin

      Leave Kilkenny this morning for Dublin city. You will want to take the scenic route through the Wicklow Mountains to see some of Ireland's most spectacular views before you leave it behind for the city. For thousands of years people have been drawn to ‘the valley of the two lakes‘ for its spectacular scenery, rich history, archaeology and abundant wildlife. Glendalough is a remarkable place that will still your mind, inspire your heart and fill your soul. Continue through the Wicklow Mountains National Park with spectacular vistas on both sides before entering Dublin for the evening.

      Overnight at Dublin Hotel

      Day 6 - Dublin City Highlights

      Leave the car idle and use the open top bus tour as your mode of transport. It allows you to hop on and off at whatever attractions you choose along the route and should keep you entertained for a large part of the day. Be sure to visit the Guinness Storehouse and the Jameson Distillery among the other attractions along the route.

      We recommend visits to Glasnevin Cemetery and Trinity College to view the Book of Kells. Kilmainham Gaol is also an interesting place. Temple Bar is very lively at night, possibly a little too lively for some but there are plenty of options for everyone as Dublin is a substantial city.

      Overnight at Dublin Hotel

      Day 7 - Return Home

      Leave your city center hotel and take the short trip to Dublin Airport where you will return your rental car and go home.

       

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