Cinematic Ireland | 9 Day Self-Drive

Program Includes


  • Granville Hotel - Waterford (1)
  • Ballyseede Castle - Tralee (2)
  • Ashford Castle - Cong (1)
  • Glasshouse Hotel - Sligo (1)
  • Headfort Arms - Meath (2)
  • Alexander Hotel - Dublin (1)

Breakfast each morning except day of arrival


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.

 9 Days / 8 Nights
Starts in Dublin / Ends in Dublin
Luxury Castle Hotels

Tour Highlights

Waterford & Cork Cities

Tralee & Dingle Peninsula

Cliffs of Moher and The Burren

Cong & Connemara

Sligo & Fermanagh's Lakelands

Newgrange & Trim Castle

Dublin City Attractions

The camera loves Ireland. You will too!

Ireland has hosted its fair share of movies over the years, from blockbusters Saving Private Ryan and Braveheart, to smaller budget Oscar winners like Once and Philomena, to tear-jerking romantic comedies like PS I Love You and The Quiet Man.

The beautiful thing is that they were often filmed in areas that are somewhat less traveled. These are places of extreme natural beauty that many have seen but few actually get to visit. This tour aims to show you as many of these hidden (in plain sight) gems as possible, while also giving you the chance to relive some of your favorite scenes from spectacular movies.

*If you don't wish to stay in castles, we can arrange hotels and/or B&Bs for your convenience.

Day 1: William Wallace and D-Day Landing

Arrive in Dublin and proceed south through the Wicklow mountains where pockets of perfection can be found at every turn. These heady hills that have hosted Mel Gibson (Braveheart), Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey (Reign of Fire) and some fearsome Scandinavians (Vikings TV Series). Daniel Day-Lewis also filmed parts of My Left Foot here and loved them so much, he now resides there.

Be sure to take a hike into Wicklow’s mountains an take in the clean mountain air. You can even join part of the Braveheart Drive from Manor Kilbride through the West Wicklow Mountains past the peat bogs of the Sally Gap and Kippure Estate, which was used extensively for Braveheart.

The Sally Gap road features in many Irish made films like The General, PS I Love You, Reign of Fire, Veronica Guerin and continues past spectacular Glenmacnass Waterfall on the villages of Laragh and Glendalough.

From there continue on down the coast into Wexford to Balinesker Beach, Curracloe. This was the stage for the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, one of the most spectacular opening scenes of any film.

Machine gun positions and the massive x-shaped metal structures (dropped to prevent just such a landing) were built here. At a cost of more than $12 million, and over 11 weeks, 1,500 people, tonnes of explosives, and thousands of gallons of fake blood transformed a kilometre of the Irish beach into the bloody battlefield.

The actual filming took 15 days, after which every trace of the set was removed, and the beach painstakingly restored to its previous state. Check out Rosslare before making your way to your hotel in Waterford.

Overnight at Waterford Castle

Day 2: Waterford, The Blarney Stone

From Waterford you will take the south coast to Cork before curving back upwards towards the Dingle Peninsula. The journey itself is about 150 miles. Cork is approximately the half way point and is perfect to stop off as there is so much to do in the general area. You can kiss the Blarney Stone, visit the Titanic town of Cobh and learn all about its emigrant past, explore Fota Island, or stretch your legs by walking around Cork City itself and grab some lunch.

When you are ready to leave, continue your journey to Tralee where you will spend the night.

Overnight at Ballyseede Castle

Day 3: Explore Dingle Peninsula

Dingle Peninsula is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful areas in Ireland. As it is so close to the Ring of Kerry, it does not get the recognition it deserves, making it somewhat of a hidden gem. Stranger still, having appeared in some very famous films, it still plays second fiddle to its neighbor. The passionate Oscar-winning picture, Ryan's Daughter, captures the drama and romance of Ireland’s west coast. And who remembers Far & Away, the first movie Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman appeared together in after getting married? Large portions of that were also filmed on the beautiful Peninsula.

If you are up to the drive, take the Conor Pass to see some of the most spectacular views you are likely to see in the entire country. Out on the very edge are the mystical Blasket Islands – an archipelago off the Dingle Peninsula – famous for its storytellers. Take a boat to visit the mountainous main island – Great Blasket – to wander among the ruined cottages, then climb An Blascard Mór, spy dolphins and whales, and look west to America, as so many have done before. Back on the mainland, a visit to the Blasket Centre where its director provides moving insights into the islanders’ hard lives, the sorrows of emigration, and the literary heritage of the Blaskets.

Overnight in Ballyseede Castle

Day 4: Cliffs of Moher & Cong

Today will be another reasonably long day in the car. Save yourself 50 miles by taking the ferry across the Shannon Estuary. This will also give you a far more scenic drive as you follow Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way up the coast to the world famous Cliffs of Moher.

These majectic cliffs are a sight to behold in themselves and they are one of the reasons that many people visit Ireland each year. What people may not know is that The Cliffs feature is some very famous movies, including Ryan's Daughter, The Princess Bride, and even serve as the home to the cave that holds one of Voldemort's horcruxes in Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince.

Continue on up the coast and around Lough Corrib to Cong in Co. Mayo. Cong and Ashford Castle, your home for the night, is where the majority of The Quiet Man was filmed. The film won John Ford his fourth Academy Award for Best Director and starred John Wayne amd Maureen O'Hara.

Overnight at Ashford Castle

Day 5: Travel to Sligo

You can spend the morning taking a tour around Cong and the grounds of the castle before heading north toward Sligo. Take the route through Castlebar, Ballina, and Enniscrone so that you can sample some of the wonderful coastline. The movie Calvary starring Brendan Glesson, Chris O'Dowd, and many other well known Irish faces was shot in the little village of Easkey. Stop there to take a short stroll along the beach and take in any of the signature stopping points along the Wild Atlantic Way if you have time.

Take a drive around Lough Gill and under the shadow of Ben Bulben before returning to your hotel for the night.

Overnight at Markree Castle

Day 6: Castlecoole & Carlingford

You'll leave Sligo again this morning and head over to County Meath. As usual, we have a scenic detour that will take you into Northern Ireland for a little while. Miss Julie, a period drama similar to Downton Abbey and starring Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain, is set in the lush Lakeland county of Fermanagh. The stately elegance and vast grounds of Castle Coole are as seductive as the film itself.

Countinue through Armagh and Newry before taking a further detour to explore the scenery around Carlingford and Cooley, which is just another of Ireland's many hidden gems. Continue through Dundalk and onto your destination.

Overnight at Bellingham Castle

Day 7: Braveheart & Newgrange

There is plenty to keep you entertained today. You can also choose to take a break and enjoy your castle surrounds. From your castle, today you can head out to explore County Meath, where Mel Gibson’s Braveheart utilisted another slice of Ireland, this time featuring the Anglo-Norman pile that is Trim Castle. Give yourself plenty of time to snoop around the castle's nooks and crannies.

On the way you can stop in Drogheda. Drogheda was an important walled town in the English Pale in the medieval period. The Battle of the Boyne, 1690, occurred some 3.5 miles west of the town, on the banks of the River Boyne, at Oldbridge. From here you can also visit Newgrange, a 5,000 year old passage tomb that was constructed before the Pyramids of Egypt, and is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun.

Overnight at Bellingham Castle

Day 8: Dublin

From your castle this morning, take your car back to Dublin airport. You will use public transport to get around for the remainder of your trip. Dublin is very accessible by foot, bus, or Luas, but we recommend the open-top bus tour which allows you to hop on and off at any time.

Dublin is full of things to do and places to see. It is also the city responsible for the musical film, Once, which gathered a cult following here in America following its release and went on to win an Oscar for its most famous song, Falling Slowly. Stroll down Grafton Street and O'Connell's street and decide for yourself which of the buskers is going to be the next one to make a name for themselves. See the Book of Kells, Guinness Storehouse, and Jameson Distillery, Kilmainham Gaol and Glasnevin Cemetry with a massive amount of history between them.

Return to your hotel for your final night in Ireland.

Overnight at Clontarf Castle

Day 9: Go home

Take a shuttle from your hotel to the airport and return home.

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