Indulge in Irish luxury with a custom tailored tour that welcomes you to the emerald glow of the countryside and the history of enchanting villages with a private chauffeur. Puffins circle the sky along the rugged edges of the Cliffs of Moher. Castles decorate the landscape with Victorian charm and medieval grandeur. Waterford Crystal glints in the sunlight. Lavish monasteries represent early Christianity. Relax on luxurious estates and bask in the pristine scenery for an Ireland tour steeped in extravagance, elegance, and beauty. Ireland is a land of legend, washed in exceptional beauty and welcoming locals. Your 8-day Ireland tour provides the grandeur of the legendary Emerald Isle complete with a private chauffeur and castle accommodations for an unforgettable adventure in ancient scenery and captivating warmth. An informal ambiance accentuates the historical importance of the cities, towns, and villages that lead to the old wonders punctuating the fields and hills. Your private chauffeur greets you at Shannon Airport upon your arrival and escorts you to Waterford City, stopping first at the Rock of Cashel.
Your introduction to the Irish landscape and cultural history begins with a retelling of a classic legend as you view the preserved cathedral. Spend time at Cahir Castle before finding comfort in your beautiful accommodations on the edge of the Waterford. Your time in the classic seaside city offers ample activities, from stretching your legs along the riverside to viewing a demonstration of glassblowing at the Waterford Crystal factory. View Reginald’s Tower and explore the remarkable 7th-century history of Lismore en route to Cork. Discover the cozy ambiance of your suite inside a fabulous manor in the evening. Spend time indulging in the charms of Cork and kiss the legendary Blarney Stone. Discover the grandeur of the Irish landscape around the Ring of Kerry before you find fascinating early Christian artifacts on the Dingle Peninsula. Meet with folk dancers that keep the Irish traditions alive and listen to the legends embossed in the dramatic scenery. Watch the landscape pass through the windows, as your private transfer whisks you away to the charming village of Adare. In the Burren, you can find fantastical natural landscapes before viewing the breathtaking magnitudes of the Cliffs of Moher and Doolin Cave.
(1) Enjoy the beauty, charm, history, and culture of Ireland with the luxury of a private chauffeur who guides you to must-see destinations and accommodations.
(2) Witness a fascinating glassblowing demonstration at the Waterford Crystal factory.
(3) Visit the preserved castle grounds of Blarney Castle before leaping at the opportunity to kiss the famous Blarney Stone.
(4) Discover ancient tombs while exploring the Burren, a remarkable mix of captivating landscapes and historic settlements in County Clare.
(5) Stand at the top of the famous Cliffs of Moher for unrivalled views of the Atlantic Ocean, Irish coastline, and flying puffins.
(6) Traverse the Ring of Kerry for a view of the Gap of Dunloe and Torc Waterfall located inside Killarney National Park.
(7) Walk along the remarkable Reasc Monastic Site, which contains conserved 6th century early Christian architecture and artifacts.
(8) Bask in unrivaled comfort and luxury while staying in renovated castles and manners across the Irish countryside.
Day 1 : Waterford - Arrive in Shannon to Explore Cahir and Waterford Castles
River Shannon trickles past the lush greenery of County Clare. The air carries the aroma of fresh grass as vintage homes shimmer with decorative ivy draping over their facades. The stone walls glint around open windows, and serene winding lanes stretch along the riverbanks. Your flight lands at Shannon International Airport, where your private chauffeur greets you upon arrival. You travel west, passing the city of Limerick, to reach the County Tipperary. The Irish countryside glows like an emerald, giving credence to Ireland’s nickname, the Emerald Isle.
A fortress stands atop the Rock of Cashel, which is also known as St. Patrick’s Rock. The rugged summit emerges out of the surrounding hills. The oldest elements of the castle date back to the 12th century with the round tower reaching 90 feet tall. The plateau offers a stunning view of the Irish landscape, spreading across patches of grass, sporadic villages, and the mountains rolling along the horizon. The Hall of the Vicars Choral was erected in the 15th century and filled with locals eager to assist in chanting during cathedral services.
The restored hall contains a small museum flush with artifacts excavated from the grounds around the Rock of Cashel. The chapel retains a unique Irish Romanesque design with sophisticated archways, two square towers, and a nave constructed without aisles. You listen intently to the story of how St. Patrick ousted Satan from a cave, which formed the rock rising out of the plain. The castle held the seat for successive kings of Munster until the Norman invasion in the 12th century. You continue to Waterford, where you can indulge in the comforts and luxury of a hotel situated inside a refurbished castle.
Day 2 : Cork - Experience Waterford and Lismore before Transferring to Cork
In the morning, the sunlight pours through the windows of your suite and shines over the wood panels and stone adornments. Jacobean antiques and stunning centuries-old tapestries accentuate the age and beauty of your castle accommodations. The aroma of fresh scones and herbaceous black tea fills the dining room. After the meal, your chauffeur leads you on a private tour of Waterford, the oldest city in Ireland. The foundations of Waterford date back to the mid-10th century. River Suir runs wide and deep, leading to the city’s bustling port. The waterfront represents the renewed atmosphere of the seasoned town with vestiges of Norman and Viking history hidden along the narrow streets and enchanting town walls. The silver and golden stones of Reginald’s Tower represent the first complete structure in Ireland to use mortar. The 13th-century walls stand more than 12 feet thick and were erected over a Viking wooden tower. The stones have smoothed over time, but continue to hold firm above the city.
You reach the House of Waterford Crystal, a factory offering demonstrations on the way the famous glass is made. Heat emanates from the blasting furnaces in the blowing room. A skilled artisan heats the glass until it bubbles, the molten elements glow red and orange. You watch, mesmerized by the elegant movements of the glassblower as he molds the crystal into new and exciting shapes. The first factory was erected along the waterfront in the late 18th century.
Day 3: Cork - Explore Cozy Cork City and Visit Blarney Castle for the Blarney Stone
Wake up in elegance in a five-star manor located on the two acres of shimmering emerald fields outside of Cork. The grace in the architecture and décor immerse you in the opulence of Irish aristocracy. After a delicious breakfast balancing the herbaceous flavors of Irish black tea with the sweetness of fresh blackcurrant jam on toast, you venture to Blarney Castle to touch your lips to the legendary stone. The castle was reconstructed in the 15th century after the 13th-century stronghold was destroyed.
The main keep creates a dramatic ambiance, embodying the type of castle in storybooks and fairytales. The thick stone and towering figure harbor the famous Blarney Stone, upon which Irish kings were crowned. You touch your fingers to the castle walls and notice the mixture of rough and smooth edges. The stone is in the battlements, supported by the strength of the surrounding wall. A guide helps spot you as you lie down, lean backward, and dangle over the steep drop. The stone is cold and smooth, offering those who kiss it the legendary gift of eloquence.
In Cork, you explore the city and enjoy the seaside ambiance emanating from the harbor. The two branching arms of River Lee enclose the city, giving Cork an island feel. Merchants in the English Market call to those passing by with offerings of fresh bread, delicious cheeses, and colorful peaches. The French gothic façade of St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral captures the imagination in its architectural similarities to Notre Dame in Paris. Outside of town, you stop in the Old Midleton Distillery for a welcoming introduction to the Jameson factory inside buildings dating back to the 18th century.
Day 4 : Kenmare - Discover Marvelous Landscapes and Culture at the Ring of Kerry
At breakfast, you indulge in the aromatics of blackcurrant jam, buttery scones, and delicious fresh cherries accompanying an herbaceous tea. Your private chauffeur greets you in the hotel lobby after the meal eager to lead you on the famous route circling the Ring of Kerry. The lovely villages and enchanting landscape provide a mystical ambiance stemming from the ancient mounds, vast beaches, and rolling mountains. Your own private chauffeur offers you freedom inaccessible to large groups or public transportation. You stay in towns and linger along the sands as long as you wish, keeping the pace you desire while reaching the Gap of Dunloe.
The glacial movement created a broad valley between the MacGillycuddy Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountain range. The parched landscape resembles scenery from mars when the sunlight casts an orange glow over the soil. The gap is located inside the 26,000 acres of protected slopes, woodlands, and lakeshore inside Killarney National Park. A different trail leads you to Torc Waterfall, a cascade over 70 feet above the rushing river. The water trundles over rocks as if rippling down a flight of stairs bordered by jade forest. Take the steps for a spectacular view of the falls before continuing to Kenmare, a charming bayside town glowing with colorful houses and quaint shops.
Day 5 : Kenmare - Find Stunning Coastline and Folklore on the Dingle Peninsula
Your accommodations in Kenmare provide a rich sense of Irish history in the region along with luxurious grounds spanning nearly five acres of tended gardens. The Victorian architecture and lavish furnishings offer a wealth of insight into the daily life of Irish aristocracy and how it fits into contemporary society. After breakfast, your chauffeur guides you to Tralee en route to your exploration of the Dingle Peninsula. You stop in the Siamsa Tíre, the community center upholding the traditions of Irish folklore, including the language and customs.
You meet with a number of the locals that keep the spirit thriving through classical music performances, dance, theater, and even live comedy acts. The Dingle Peninsula begins in County Kerry and stretches nearly 30 miles into the Atlantic. Steep mountains lead to precipitous cliffs plunging into the water and broken by slivers of sandy beaches. Stone forts from the Iron Age rise out of the hillsides alongside beehive huts texturing the plains.
Tractors continue to drive down the main road, and the scent of peat drifts through the streets of the sporadic villages. Locals fill the pubs around the peninsula telling stories, eager to welcome a new face to the crowd by sharing a pint. At Reask Monastic Site, you discover the 6th-century monastery carved from stone. A tall wall surrounds a narrow land leading to the Gallarus Oratory, a structure of dry stone shaped like an overturned boat and that dates back more than 1,200 years.
Day 6 : Clare - Indulge in the Rural Life of Adare and the History of Limerick City
The town of Adare exemplifies Irish charm. Thatched roof cottages erected in the 19th-century line the streets glinting with whitewashed walls. Craft shops and restaurants emanate the aromas of potpourri and dried tea leaves. The 13th-century monastery continues to decorate the main road with silver stones and a tall, dramatic tower. Anglers take to the shores of River Maigue, and fairytales come to life in the Fairy Hills at Knockfierna. The village offers a panoramic view of the Golden Vale. Adare Castle and Heritage Center reflect the fortified village and medieval castle on the banks of the River Maigue. The stronghold controlled the traffic on the waterway and remained a powerful figure for the Earl of Desmond.
You then reach the city of Limerick, which is surrounded by the broadening waters of River Shannon, as it enters the estuary. A blend of medieval and Georgian architecture provides a glossy façade, guiding visitors past the contemporary cafes and traditional pubs to reach the renovated castle. King John’s Castle dates back to 1200 and served as the center for military and administrative services for the wealthy Shannon region. Historical weapons and settlements range from Celtic, Viking, and Norman features, which are on display inside the castle walls.
Day 7 : Clare - Relish a Cruise along the Cliffs of Moher and Doolin Cave
The morning light pours through the grand windows of your castle accommodations, shining over foundations lain in the 5th century. The décor features furnishings and paintings of an aristocratic age, with plush suites designed for comfort and opulence. After breakfast, your private transfer escorts you to the Burren, a remarkable area of County Clare known for its limestone rocks formations and lush streams. A megalithic tomb is known as Poulnabrone Dolmen meaning “Hole of Sorrows,” was erected in the Neolithic era, possibly dating back to 4,200 BC. The 12-foot long slab rests over two sets of slender portal stones six feet tall.
The unspoiled corners of Ireland reveal themselves through the sporadic signs of historical settlements and the extraordinary lunar landscape leading to Galway Bay. The limestone rocks lay like carpet interwove with patches of grass. Stone stacks protrude from the silvery flatland with the azure waters of Galway Bay shimmering in the background. You Continue to the Cliffs of Moher, known for the dramatic drops into the Atlantic Ocean. The wind brushes against your cheeks and carries the briny texture from the water.
You can hear the waves crashing against the base of the limestone bluffs reaching as tall at 700 feet above the sea. From the lookout, you have a view of the Twelve Pins, a mountain range with sharp peaks piercing the sky at nearly 2,400 feet above sea level. A puffin glides through the sky before swooping down at high speed into the water in search of herring or capelin.
Day 8 : Shannon - Depart for Home
The riverside walkways offer a pleasant place to spend a morning in Limerick. Locals walk their dogs or jog while enjoying the fresh air blowing from the Wild Atlantic Way. Medieval lanes lead to the Georgian avenues where Aroma Coffee House provides exuberant tasty treats, including their celebrated raspberry muffins. Kayakers take to River Shannon, and the Hunt Museum opens its doors to the light-leafed trees along the medieval quarter. Your private chauffeur greets you in the hotel lobby after breakfast. When you are ready, your chauffeur escorts you to Shannon Airport where you check in for your flight home.