Ireland for the Connoisseur features Ireland’s most magnificent historic castles, grand manor houses and hotels and opportunities to experience cooking demonstrations and world class spas. You will have options to ride horses, fly-fish, play golf, hike on ancient paths, search for ancestors, enjoy Irish music, a night at the theatre and experience the warmth of an Irish pub and more. Simply take your time and immerse yourself in the elegant comfort of a bygone era and experience these luxurious properties which form the backdrop for your leisurely journey through Ireland.
Day 1 & 2: Dublin
Day 3: Dublin and Waterford
Day 4: Waterford and Cork
Day 5 & 6: Cork, Kenmare, Killarney and Dingle
Day 7 & 8: Killarney and Clare
Day 9: County Wicklow
Day 10: Depart Dublin
Day 1 & 2: Dublin
Arrive in Dublin where you will be met by a private car and transferred to the elegant Westbury Hotel for a 2 night stay in the heart of the city. Enjoy a walk through Stephen’s Green, Grafton Street and Temple Bar. Maybe fit in a visit to the Guinness Brewery at St. James’ Gate for a taste of the real thing. Tonight, perhaps enjoy a visit to one or two pubs once frequented by Joyce, Wilde and Behan.
Explore Dublin City. Highlights include Trinity College and the Book of Kells, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle, the National Gallery and Dublin Museum of Modern Art. Enjoy shopping in the Grafton Street area with its many fashionable boutiques, followed by Guinness and oysters in Davy Byrnes Gastro Pub.
Day 3: Dublin / Waterford
After breakfast, you’ll be met by your private driver guide and deluxe vehicle. Drive south to Kildare and enjoy a guided tour of the Irish National Stud Farm and a visit to the Japanese Gardens. Continue to the medieval city of Kilkenny. Take a tour of Kilkenny Castle and shop at the famous Kilkenny Design Centre. Have lunch at Kytelers Inn. Continue to Waterford for your overnight stay at the stunning Cliff House Hotel. Enjoy the superb hotel spa and dine in their award winning restaurant. Or tour Waterford City, and explore the ‘Viking Triangle.’ Waterford is one of Ireland’s oldest viking towns, including an award winning medieval museum, cultural heritage center, and much more.
Day 4: Waterford / Cork
Depart Waterford and drive to Cork. En route visit the historic seaport and market town of Youghal set attractively between hills and a broad expanse of the Backwater River. The nearby coastal town of Cobh was the departing point for many emigrants between 1750 and 1950. Tour the Heritage Center which recreates the experience, and provides genealogical services.
Continue through Cork for your overnight stay at Hayfield Manor. Tour Cork City and shop on Patrick Street. Cork is the cultural and economic capital of the south of Ireland. St Patrick’s Bridge, spanning the north channel of the River Lee, is a good point from which to begin a tour of the city.
Day 5 & 6: Cork / Kenmare / Killarney / Dingle
Visit famous Blarney Castle and kiss the stone of eloquence. Afterwards take a stroll through the gardens and see Badger Cave and the adjacent dungeons, which penetrate the rock at the base of the castle.
Then continue your drive west towards Kenmare. Take the scenic route through Clonakilty, Skibbereen and Bantry Bay. Arrive in Kenmare, a charming 17th century market town surrounded by the wild beauty of the Kerry Mountains. It once thrived on iron smelting, then became famous for lace and needlepoint. The town has plenty of old pubs, attractive shops selling crafts and gifts and good restaurants to suit every taste. You’ll stay 2 nights in The Park Hotel, which includes Samhas, one of the finest spas in Europe. You may also enjoy the option to participate in a cooking demonstration.
Drive to Killarney and visit Muckross House and Gardens surrounded by the Killarney lakes. Then drive to the majestic Dingle Peninsula, the setting for the film ‘Ryan’s Daughter’. See some of the most breath-taking views in Ireland at Slea Head and Connor Pass. There are a number of charming fishing villages dotted along the coast where you may wish to stop for lunch.
Day 7 & 8: Killarney / Clare
Depart Killarney and drive north towards Clare for your 2-night stay at Dromoland Castle, once the ancestral seat of the O’ Briens. Dromoland is one of the most famous Baronial castles in Ireland and dates back to the 16th century. Stately halls, elegant public areas, and beautifully furnished guest rooms are steeped in a timeless atmosphere that is unique to Dromoland.
Also include a tour to the lunar-like Burren region, famous for its unique flora and fauna, geology, and archaeology. Perhaps visit Ailwee Cave, containing an underground river and waterfall.
Visit the impressive Cliffs of Moher which drops dramatically 700 feet crashing into the pounding Atlantic below. The cliffs extend along the majority of county Clare’s coastline. There are towers at either end, from which you will get excellent panoramic views. With the luck of the Irish, you may even see as far as the Aran Islands.
Day 9: Co. Wicklow
Drive east to County Wicklow, where you’ll stay 1 night in the Powerscourt Hotel. From walking, jogging, hiking, cycling, golfing or traditional country pursuits like fishing or horse riding, Powerscourt Hotel offers countless ways to explore the picturesque surrounds of Wicklow, in what’s known as the Garden of Ireland. Tour Glendalough, founded in the 6th century by St Kevin, a hermit priest, these monastic ruins are some of the finest of its kind, and feature a near perfect round tower. You’ll love Wicklow’s spectacular scenery, rich history, archaeology and abundant wildlife.
Day 10: Depart Dublin Airport
After a leisurely breakfast, your driver guide will bring you to Dublin Airport to prepare for your return flight home.
Price: From $3,370 per person based on 4 people traveling.
- Private transfer from the Airport to your Hotel upon arrival.
- 9 Nights deluxe hotel accommodations with full breakfast daily.
- Pricing based on double or twin rooms, single supplement available on request.
- Private driver guide and deluxe vehicle for 7 days. Including all driver expenses.
- Deluxe portfolio of travel documents before departure.
- List of recommended pubs, restaurants, & places of interest.
- Accommodation taxes & service charges.
- Touring map of Ireland.
- Discount admissions booklet for area attractions.
- Concierge service in Ireland while traveling.
Airfare is additional:
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The Westbury Hotel, Dublin
One of the Leading Hotels of the World, The Westbury Hotel is renowned worldwide when it comes to luxury Dublin city hotels. Simply no other Dublin City hotel connects you with Dublin in the way that The Westbury Hotel does.
The Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore Co. Waterford
The Cliff House Hotel is a five-star, privately owned luxury hotel located close to Cork and Waterford. The building seems to cling to a cliff on the south side of Ardmore Bay where there has long been a fishing village, and a Christian settlement that pre-dates St. Patrick.
Hayfield Manor, Cork
Hayfield Manor, an Experience beyond the Best. At the 5 Star Hayfield Manor Hotel Cork, a family owned boutique luxury hotel, a visit is an experience in itself.
The Park Hotel Kenmare
Both Condé Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazine voted The 5 star Park Hotel as the Best Hotel in Ireland in 2012. A vibrant hotel with wonderful facilities like their Deluxe Destination Spa SÁMAS, SISLEY Treatments, Lap Pool, Cinema and daily lifestyle classes.
Dromoland Castle, Co. Clare
This luxury 5 Star Castle Hotel has an extraordinary history stretching back to the 5th Century, Dromoland Castle was originally the ancestral home of one of the few families of Gaelic Royalty; direct descendants of Brian Boru, the High King of Ireland.
Powerscourt Hotel, County Wicklow
Outstanding among luxury five star hotels in Ireland and set amidst one of the most scenic and historic estates in the country is Powerscourt Hotel, a 200-room resort showcasing Palladian-style architecture and offering guests a host of amenities.