Explore Ireland at your own pace! Start in the vibrant capital city of Dublin, where you’ll enjoy dinner at the oldest pub in town. Discover Ireland’s sunny southeast in the crystal city of Waterford. Then marvel at the spectacular scenery along the Ring of Kerry, an easy day-trip from your stay in Killarney. Learn about and experience the history of rural life in Ireland with a visit to Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. Spend your final night at Dromoland Castle, Ireland’s premier castle hotel, an easy drive to Shannon airport for your departure flight.
You can continue on with your vacation in Ireland returning to Dublin or continue north into Northern Ireland to explore more of the Emerald Island. Either way, this vacation is your chance to enjoy the Irish and their beautiful country.
- 1 night 4-star Dublin hotel
- Hop-on/hop-off Dublin city tour
- 1 dinner in Dublin
- 2 nights 4-star Waterford hotel
- 2 nights 4-star Killarney hotel
- Entrance to Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
- 1 night at 5-star Dromoland castle
- 6-day compact manual car rental
- Ireland road map
- Heritage Island cultural guide & discount map
- Daily breakfast
Day 1 – Arrive Dublin:
Arrive in Dublin to explore this cosmopolitan city,™s Celtic roots. While a settlement on the Liffey River appeared on a Roman map dated 140 A.D., Dublin became Dublin in 988 A.D. when Vikings sailed up the river, destroyed a small Celtic village, and established Dubh Lin (Dark Pool). Dubh Lin soon combined with another Celtic settlement, Baile Atha Cliath or town of the hurdles,, still the name of this city in Irish. Optional private transfers from the airport, rail station or a ferry port are available. (Dinner & accommodation, Dublin)
Heritage Island Essential Touring Guide to Ireland’s Visitor Attractions & Heritage Towns: saves you up to $600 at 98 of Ireland’s best known attractions, plus lists addresses, telephone numbers, operating hours and more. The essential visitor,™s guide, indeed!
-Dublin City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off tour Use your voucher to join this tour at one of 14 pick-up points around Dublin. Your ticket is good for a full 24 hours. (Tour operates daily departing every 10 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. March – October, every 15 minutes from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., November – February. Exchange your voucher for a ticket either at a kiosk or aboard the double-deck bus; your voucher is good on either the City Sightseeing or Gray Line route.)
Dinner at Brazen Head Pub Dating to 1198, The Brazen Head is Ireland’s oldest pub. Only a short walk from Christchurch Cathedral and The Guinness Brewery, The Brazen Head is famed for traditional beef & Guiness and Irish stews, plus seafood including steamed Irish mussels, smoked salmon, and cod encased in special beer batter. (Valid for Choice Dinner Menu. Arrive on your own for dinner until 9:00 p.m. Monday – Saturday and 7:00 p.m. Sunday. Please present voucher prior to ordering.)
Day 2 – Dublin to Waterford:
After your breakfast, pick up your rental car in downtown Dublin. (Breakfast, car rental, Dublin; accommodation, Waterford)
Note: If you have never driven in Ireland, we recommend you rent a car with an automatic transmission for reasons of ease of operation and safety.
Day 3 – Waterford:
Waterford in south-east Ireland on the River Suir (pronounced Shure) was founded by Vikings in the 9th century then captured by Anglo-Norman invaders of the 12th century leading to years of conflict between the English and Irish. In 1783 George and William Penrose founded a glass factory that produced what we know today as Waterford Crystal. (Breakfast & accommodation, Waterford)
Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre Explore over 200 years of glass making through exhibits of luxury pieces commissioned for celebrities, trophies produced for sporting events and exquisite art pieces before indulging in a little retail therapy, with time to unwind in their restaurant. (Open daily – free admission.)
Day 4 – Waterford to Killarney:
After breakfast, you start the longest driving leg of your tour, yet you still have ample time to stop in Cork to visit Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone (kiss only if you dare) or stop for lunch at the world-famous Fishy-Fishy CafÃ©, in Kinsale, County Cork for lunch on your own. (Breakfast, Waterford; accommodation, Killarney)
Day 5 – Killarney:
After breakfast you have your day free to explore the Ring of Kerry, or any of the many local attractions. Please note, during the summer months, the 105- mile Ring of Kerry loop is heavily congested, so be sure to leave early, or consider doing as the Irish do and explore the Dingle Peninsula just to the north. (Breakfast & accommodation, Killarney)
Day 6 – Killarney to Dromoland:
After breakfast you,™re off to Dromoland Castle by way of Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. (Breakfast, Killarney; accommodation, Dromoland) Your last evening is at the 5 Dromoland Castle in Newmarket-on-Fergus, County Clare, one of the most famous castles in Ireland and ancestral home of the O’Briens, a native Gaelic family who are descendants of Brian Boroimhe (pronounced: Boru), 11th century High King of Ireland.
Entrance to Bunratty Castle + Folk Park Built in 1425, Bunratty Castle is the most authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Furnished with over 450 items of medieval furniture and artifacts. Bunratty Folk Park is a living reconstruction 19th century Ireland, with a Village Street, Ireland School, Doctor,™s house, Pawnbrokers, Pub, Drapery, Printworks, Grocery, Hardware shop, Pottery and a Post Office. (Voucher Valid for admission to Bunratty Castle + Folk Park. Open 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (last entrance 4:15 p.m.) April to October; 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., November to March, (last entrance 4:00 p.m.)
Day 7 – Depart Dromoland Castle:
After breakfast, drive to Shannon airport to return your car prior to your flight, or start on your next Avanti destination. (Breakfast, Dromoland)