Live like a Lord - Self-Drive Irish Castle Experience
7 nights from $1,245 per person
- Car Hire
- In resort assistance & 24 hour contact center
A unique Irish experience, living like a Lord in four different historic castles over the course of a week, as you take this independent tour around Ireland. Beginning in Dublin, you will spend your first two nights at the Clontarf Castle hotel, parts of which date back to the year 1172. After experiencing the vibrant city of Dublin, you will then drive west through the stunning countryside to Galway, for two nights in the charming Abbeyglen Castle Hotel.
Enjoy exploring the beautiful Connemara region, before heading south through Clare “the land of castles” to County Kerry. The following two nights will be spent at Ballyseede Castle, and from here you can explore the Dingle Peninsula and perhaps take a trip to the unspoilt Blasket Islands. Heading back east you will spend your final night in a 13th century castle in the heart of the horse-breeding county of Kildare. (ABT)
Arrival at Dublin airport where you will pick up your hire car, then take the short drive to Clontarf Castle on the outskirts of the city where you will stay for two nights. You will enjoying the welcoming ambience and historic backdrop of this castle hotel which dates back to the year 1172.
You have the whole day to enjoy Dublin, and can visit the magnificent St Patrick’s Cathedral and the 16 century Trinity College founded by Elizabeth I, home to the Book of Kells. Indulge in some shopping on Grafton Street, soak up the atmosphere of Temple Bar and sample some of the “black stuff” at the Guinness Storehouse. Overnight again at Clontarf Castle, where you can enjoy the evening relaxing by one of the huge original fireplaces.
Galway - Clifden
Leave Dublin this morning and head across the country to the West coast. On the way you can visit Belvedere House & Gardens, the magnificent stately home of the Earl of Belvedere. Set in 160 acres of parkland on the shores of stunning Lough Ennell, this 18th century mansion has been beautifully restored. Also worth a visit is Clonmacnoise – a captivating 6th century Christian site, with an abundance of the preserved ruins of churches and monuments. Continue to Galway, and take time to explore this historic port with its Spanish influences – wander the cobblestone streets and browse the handicraft shops. You will be spending the next two nights at the charming Abbeyglen Castle, relax in one of the comfortable rooms, admire the views of Clifden and soak up the history of the castle.
Today travel through the dramatic scenery of the Connemara region, famous for its spectacular lakes and mountains. Visit Connemara National Park where Irish red deer and ponies roam through 5,000 beautiful acres. Definitely worth a visit is the enchanting Kylemore Abbey, the oldest order of Benedictine nums in Ireland, in its beautiful lakeside setting. A suggestion for your return journey is board the Sea Cruise through Killary Fjord for you to discover the hidden beauty along the coast of Connemara. Enjoy your second evening at Abbeyglen Castle relaxing over a drink and a delicious dinner.
Connemara - Clare
Leave Clifden and drive south into County Clare – the “land of castles”. You can visit the spectacular Cliffs of Moher rising over 600 feet. You can opt to take the route through the heritage town of Kilrush and then board a ferry (additional cost) enjoying the views as you sail to Tarbert in north County Kerry. Then continue your drive south, pausing at the charming town of Listowel with its enchanting castle. Carry on to Ballyseede Castle in Tralee which will be your majestic home for the next two nights.
The Dingle Peninsula
This morning you will tour the Dingle Peninsula enjoying the breath-taking landscape as you drive to Dunquin at the westernmost tip. Here you will find the Blasket Islands Heritage center – a living history museum where you will learn about the distinctive character and language of the Islanders and the islands on which they live. You may embark on a 2-3 hour boat trip around the remote and spectacularly beautiful Blasket Islands, which are also home to dolphins, seals and an amazing array of seabirds. This evening you will return to Ballyseede Castle for the night.
Limerick to Dublin
Leave Tralee and head north-east, stopping in the historical city of Limerick. Here you can see 13th century St John’s Castle and visit the quirky Hunts Museum exhibiting Irelands greatest private collection of art and antiquities. Continue eastbound to the imposing Rock of Cashel – a fantastically varied historical site, the rock is topped by a mix of ecclesiastical and royal buildings, the majority dating back to the 12th and 13th century. Take the last leg of the journey to the horse-breeding county of Kildare, where you will spend your final night in the ancient setting of Barberstown Castle.
Drive to Dublin airport for your return journey
- Prices based on two adults sharing a room and car
- 8 days car rental
- 7 nights accommodation as listed or similar: Dublin 2 nights 4* Clontarf Castle or Fitzpatricks Castle; Galway 2 nights 4* Abbeyglen Castle; Kerry 2 nights 4* Ballyseede Castle; Kildare 1 night 4* Barberstown Castle
- 7 full Irish breakfasts
- Service charges & taxes at existing rates
- Heritage Island Touring Guide and Explorer Coupon
Note: Entrance fees to attractions mentioned in the itinerary are all optional and at additional cost
With offices in Dublin, Kerry and London we have the experience and resources to provide you with the very best vacation, partnering only with the most reputable operators to ensure you have a truly great touring experience.