Ireland 9 Days - Self Drive

Explore all the nooks and crannies of this remarkable country. Drive around the Ring of Kerry enjoying its spectacular rolling hills and soaring cliffs. On your way up the coast make sure to stop by the Cliffs of Moher, which reach a height of 702 feet tall. Shop for Irish sweaters while enjoying the festive atmosphere of Galway. Drive through the extraordinary landscapes of the Burren and the sheep strewn hills of Connemara. Be welcomed with open arms by the folks in Cork, and enjoy the local charm of Irish B&B owners. Experience the luxury of a night in a real Irish castle! Learn how the Irish produce whiskey. You can even use your vehicle to drive up to the home of long-lost relatives.

May 24: Day 1

Depart Washington, DC

United Airlines, Flight 126

Depart Washington, Dulles 10:25 PM

May 25: Day 2

Dublin

Arrive Dublin, Ireland: 10:25 AM

Arrive in Dublin and collect your bags and your rental car!

City Sightseeing Dublin Tour: One Ticket, 2 Routes! With live guide or multi-lingual commentary, there is no better way to see this cosmopolitan city! Enjoy our fun, friendly tour passing Dublin's top visitor attractions including the Guinness Storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin Zoo, and many more. Your hop on hop off ticket is valid for two consecutive days. Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. Departure from 9:00am Red Route; 10:00am Blue Route.

Accommodations: Buswell CMV Hotel

May 26: Day 3

Dublin and Cork

City Sightseeing Dublin Tour: One Ticket, 2 Routes! With live guide or multi-lingual commentary, there is no better way to see this cosmopolitan city! Enjoy our fun, friendly tour passing Dublin's top visitor attractions including the Guinness Storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin Zoo, and many more. Your hop on hop off ticket is valid for two consecutive days. Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. Departure from 9:00am Red Route; 10:00am Blue Route.

Adjust to driving on the left side of the road as you travel southwest to Cork. You can choose your own route, but we suggest making a few stop in areas of interest along the way. Perhaps make a stop in Kilkenny to visit the historic castle or take a walk in the many wonderful parks and gardens. You may also consider visiting the House of Waterford Crystal, where you can take a guided factory tour and purchase lovely souvenirs for your loved ones. While you're there, be sure to take an unforgettable walking tour of Waterford's rich and colorful city center. After a day of exciting sightseeing, make your way to Cork and check in to your B&B. Take the evening to relax or head into town for dinner to enjoy some of the local, traditional dishes.

Accommodations: Bed and breakfast

May 27: Day 4

Killarney

Wake up and enjoy a wonderful breakfast before heading off for a full day of splendid sightseeing. Just five miles northwest of Cork is the village of Blarney. Near the village, standing almost 90 feet in height, you'll find Blarney Castle. More than 300,000 people come annually to kiss its world-famous Blarney Stone in the hopes of gaining more eloquent speech.

Cobh, Ireland

Another interesting place near Cork is the small seaside town of Cobh, home to The Titanic Experience. The museum is housed in the town's original White Star Line building, the site where the last 123 passengers boarded the ill-fated Titanic. The aim of the exhibition is to bring to life the experience on board and to share the highs and lows of an early 20th-century, luxury cruise liner through clever set designs, audio visual aids and interactive exhibits.

After exploring Cork's surroundings, proceed west to Killarney, where you will check into your B&B and have the evening at leisure.

Accommodations: Bed and Breakfast

May 28: Day 5

Killarney

Ring of Kerry

After breakfast prepare for another day of exciting sightseeing. The most popular activity from Killarney is driving the Ring of Kerry, which is a scenic route along the coast; its beauty will amaze you. When driving along the ring you can visit The Muckross House, a mansion built in 1843, which is renowned for its beautiful landscaping.

Just south of Killarney on the Ring of Kerry is Killarney National Park. Home to Ross Castle, Loch Lein and Ladies View, tourists and locals alike frequently hike this park's lovely trails. Ross Castle's square medieval tower was built by the O'Donoghue clan on the shores of Loch Lein the 15th century. Now restored, the castle houses a collection of 16th and 17th century oak furniture. Ross Castle is also the departure point for boat tours on Loch Lein. After a satisfying day of sightseeing you'll return to your B&B in Killarney. Tonight enjoy the wide range of pubs and restaurants. Don't forget to make time to take a ride on one of Killarney's famous jaunting cars operated by local jarveys.

Accommodations: Bed and Breakfast

May 29: Day 6

Galway

Galway
Cliffs of Moher

After an early breakfast, load up the car and head north to Tarbert, where you'll catch the 20-minute ferry to Killimer. Once in County Clare, continue up the scenic road to the picturesque Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland's most popular tourist attractions. From the cliffs and from atop O'Brien's Tower, visitors can see the Aran Islands in Galway Bay as well as the Maumturks and Twelve Pins mountain ranges to the north in County Galway. From the cliffs you should travel inland through The Burren, a rocky landscape region where you can find extraordinary stone tombs and monuments that date back as far at the Neolithic period. The easiest way to access this unique landscape is by visiting the Burren National Park. After exploring this fascinating countryside continue your journey to Galway and check in to your B&B.

Accommodations: Bed and Breakfast

May 30: Day 7

Bunratty

Bunratty

Enjoy your final full day in Ireland as you like. Galway is known as Ireland's Cultural Heart and is renowned for its vibrant lifestyle and numerous festivals, celebrations and events. If you are burnt out on beautiful countryside, get lost in the city's bustling atmosphere. Galway has a vibrant and varied musical scene, three cinema complexes and intriguing landmarks. It hosts many sporting, music, and arts events. If you're in the mood for more adventure, travel west to the district of Connemara. The main town of Connemara is Clifden, and its surrounding countryside is rich with megalithic tombs and white, fluffy sheep. After you've finished exploring County Galway, travel south to County Clare. Here you will check into the Bunratty Castle Hotel and enjoy a medieval banquet.

BUNRATTY IRISH MEDIEVAL BANQUET - For over 40 years the ladies of the castle, aided and abetted by the Earl's butler, have welcomed guests from the four corners of the globe to join them at the Earl's banquet. You will reach the castle through the Entrance Cottage after taking a short stroll through the Folk Park to the Castle Gate. There a kilted piper will play a tune of welcome. A lively mead reception in the Great Hall will be followed by a four-course meal, served with red and white wines. Then enjoy the superb entertainment of the Bunratty Castle Entertainers, accompanied by the harp and violin. You are invited to enjoy an unforgettable evening in the splendor of this magnificent castle. (OPTIONAL AT AN ADDITIONAL COST)

Accommodations: Bunratty Castle Hotel

May 31: Day 8

Return to Dublin

Guinness Storehouse: Experience one of the world's best known brands in a totally unexpected way with 7 floors of exhibitions. Enjoy a pint in the new Gravity Bar situated at the very top of the building with a 360 degree view over Dublin. Duration: Self-Guided visit; recommend at least an hour to an hour and a half. Departure: Hours 9:30am - 5:00pm.

ACCOMMODATIONS: BUSWELL CMV HOTEL

June 1: Day 9

United Airlines Flight 127

Depart Dublin, Ireland 12:25 PM

Arrive Washington, Dulles 3:20 PM

Pricing

Europe Express Accommodations and Tour Package: $1,237.00

Deposit: $300.00

Flights for 2 Passengers (Upgradeable): $1,428.52

Flights for 2 Passengers (Non-upgradeable): $1,188.66

Rental Car: Estimated $400.00 - $500.00

Travel Guard Platinum Coverage: Approximately $300.00

(See www.travelguard.com for more details and coverage information.)

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