Luxury Castles and Manors of Ireland
Self Drive Tour or Luxury Chauffeured Tour
Experience the luxury and rich heritage of Ireland’s castles and manors. Immerse yourself in the splendour of Ireland’s castles, and ‘big’ houses, and travel back in time to uncover Ireland’s eternal beauty.
“We had a wonderful time in Ireland and I appreciate all the reservations you made and the expert guidance your company gave us.”– Monica Kobasic
Stay at the finest manor houses and the most luxurious castles on our self-drive or chauffeur-driven tour of the Emerald Isle. Whether you choose the independence of self-drive touring or the relaxed stress-free experience of a private driver guide, you will discover the rich heritage, stunning scenery and the warm welcome of the Irish.
To customize this itinerary, talk to one of our destination experts on 800.832.1848 or 212.757.5797.
- Arrive in Dublin
- Explore Dublin City, visiting St.Stephen’s Green & Temple Bar.
- Visit the medieval city of Kilkenny
- Explore Cork and the seaside town of Kinsale
- Stay at Carrig House, a luxury lakeside manor house in Killarney
- Tour the Ring of Kerry
- Explore the Dingle Peninsula
- Take an optional boat ride to the Skellig Islands
- Visit Galway City
- Stay in the luxurious Ballynahinch Castle,
- Discover the ethereal landscape of Connemara
- Tour the stunning Cliffs of Moher and the lunar-like Burren
- Return from Shannon Airport
Included in This Tour
- Private Car transfer to your hotel on arrival.
- 9 nights deluxe hotel accommodations with full breakfast daily.
- Self-Drive rental vehicle with unlimited mileage and CDW insurance. OR upgrade to the services of a Professional Driver Guide.
- Touring Map of Ireland & List of recommended pubs, restaurants and places of interest.
- An exclusive & extensive list of all the best craft trails and activities in Ireland.
- Deluxe portfolio of travel Documents & Personalized Itinerary.
- 24/7 Concierge service in Ireland while travelling.
- Discount admissions booklet for area attractions.
- Arrive: Dublin (DUB)
- Depart: Shannon (SNN)
Take the hassle out of booking flights. Ask about our best available Economy Fares as well as our Preferred Business and First Class Offers. Our air department experts can help with competitive rates. Just let us know your preferred dates and U.S. Departure City. We will do the rest.
- Breakfast Daily
Day 1: Arrive in Dublin Ireland
Get settled in after your journey. You may like to stroll Dublin’s historic Georgian Squares or walk through the vibrant Temple Bar area, where you can enjoy traditional Irish music. Stay 2-nights at the Fitzwilliam Hotel, overlooking St. Stephen’s Green and Grafton Street
Day 2: Explore Dublin City
We recommend getting a pass for the ‘Hop on, Hop off’ double decker bus tour of the city! It’s a fantastic way to get around at your own pace and see all the best sights. Highlights include Trinity College, Dublin Castle, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Stroll down Grafton Street, Dublin’s premier shopping area. Visit the Guinness Brewery at St. James’ Gate and enjoy a taste of the real thing right from the source. This evening perhaps you would like to attend the theater, or visit the Brazen Head Pub for their evening of traditional Irish folklore and storytelling.
Day 3: Visit the medieval city of Kilkenny
Meet your driver guide or pick up your rental car. Depart Dublin and drive towards Cork. En route visit the medieval city of Kilkenny, once the capital of Ireland in the Middle Ages. Tour Kilkenny Castle and shop at the Kilkenny Design Centre for fine Irish goods. Continue on to Cork where you’ll stay 2-nights at Hayfield Manor.
Day 4: Explore Cork and Kinsale
Visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous Stone of Eloquence. Explore the village of Blarney and shop in Blarney Woollen Mills. Tour Cork City and include a visit to the Shandon Bells, the Gothic style University College, St. Finbarr’s Cathedral, the English Market and the Crawford Art Gallery. Visit Cobh harbor, last port of call for the Titanic. Afterwards sample some Irish whiskey at Midleton Distillery. Continue to the picturesque fishing town of Kinsale. Enjoy a stroll through the narrow cobble stoned streets, and feast on fresh oysters for dinner.
Day 5: Visit West Cork and Kenmare
Depart Cork and travel to West Cork through the many quaint villages to Bantry. See the island garden of Garnish Island and stop off in the friendly market town of Kenmare. Afterwards continue to Killarney for a 2-night stay at the Carrig House, a luxury lakeside manor house with lush lakeside gardens, elegant antique-filled rooms and acclaimed dining. Relax after your journey. This evening you may wish to take a horse and carriage ride to Muckross House on the Killarney Lakes.
Day 6: Explore Dingle Peninsula or Ring of Kerry
Today visit the Gap of Dunloe and Kate Kearney’s Cottage, a cosy family-run bar and restaurant. Take a tour of the stunning Dingle Peninsula, the setting for the film ‘Ryan’s Daughter’. Experience some of the most breath-taking views in Ireland at Slea Head and Connor Pass. A number of charming fishing villages dot the coast where you may wish to stop for lunch. The town of Dingle is famous for its hiking, fishing and sailing by day, and by night for lively restaurants, pubs and a fantastic traditional music scene. Or you may prefer to tour the famous Ring of Kerry. For centuries, artists and writers have been inspired by this evocative landscape. Options include a boat trip to the Skellig Islands, a remote monastic settlement in early Christian times, raided by the Vikings in 810 AD.
Day 7: See Limerick, Bunratty Castle and Galway City
Drive north to Limerick, City of Culture 2014. See King John’s Castle before stopping in Bunratty where you will find the best-preserved example of a medieval keep in Ireland. You might like to have lunch in Durty Nelly’s beside the castle. In the afternoon continue on to Galway City, home to many artists and craftsmen, where you will find a number of excellent art and craft galleries. Galway is a vibrant city, rich with street theater, music, restaurants, great shops and pubs. Continue to the hauntingly beautiful Connemara, to luxurious Ballynahinch Castle, where you will stay for 2-nights.
Day 8: Explore Connemara and Westport
Enjoy a day exploring the ethereal landscape of Connemara, a Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) region. Here the moorland landscape is dominated by the Twelve Bens Mountains and fringed by a deeply indented coastline. Around Leenane and Cong, John Huston’s ‘The Quiet Man’ movie was shot, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Visit Kylemore Abbey; explore their beautiful gardens and pottery shop, then stop in the cafe for delicious tea and scones. You may wish to take a cruise on Killary Harbor, Ireland’s only fjord. Time permitting take a drive through the Delphi Valley. Immersing yourself in the magnificent scenery, while remembering the tragic famine history of this region, is an unforgettable experience.
Day 9: Tour the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren
Drive south to County Clare to visit the Cliffs of Moher, which soar 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic. Enjoy a stop at Ailwee Cave to see the underground river and waterfall. Explore the lunar- like landscape of the Burren region, famous for its unique flora and fauna, and views of the Aran Islands. This limestone landscape is dotted with druidic altars, stone-age fireplaces and 22 species of wild orchid. Enjoy your last night’s stay at the opulent Neo-Gothic Adare Manor House.
Day 10: Transfer to Shannon Airport for your flight home
After a hearty Irish breakfast, head to Shannon Airport for your return flight home. Drop off your rental vehicle or say goodbye to your driver guide.
The Fitzwilliam Hotel, Dublin
The Fitzwilliam 5 Star Dublin Hotel, Dublin’s most luxurious design hotel is located in the heart of the city. Experience the best of both worlds when staying at this chic haven, to one side the tranquility and calm of St Stephen’s Green and to the other, Grafton Street, Dublin’s
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. Winner of the Conde Nast Traveler 2012 Reader's Choice Awards, the hotel is discreetly nestled within beautiful walled gardens, a tranquil oasis in the vibrant city of Cork South West Ireland.
Carrig House, Kerry
This charming and meticulously restored Victorian residence has a sense of timelessness about it that has captured the imagination of poets and adventurers alike. Situated on the shores of beautiful Caragh Lake in Kerry, you will find the cleanest air in Europe, beautiful gardens and natural green woodlands with spectacular views across the still waters to the wildness of the Kerry Mountains. For the past 15 years Frank & Mary have operated a very successful Country House & Restaurant and have won many rewards for their hospitality and their Lakeside Restaurant. They are members of Ireland’s prestigious Blue Book.
Ballynahinch Castle, Connemara
Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is one of the finest 4 star luxury castle hotels in Ireland. Ballynahinch is theperfect blend of authenticity & comfort, set in a private 450 acre estate of woodland, rivers and walks in the heart of Connemara Co. Galway. This luxury, yet unpretentious Castle Hotel stands proudly overlooking its famous salmon fishery, with a backdrop of the beautiful 12 Bens Mountain range. Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is the perfect base for exploring Connemara. Recently, Ballynahinch was voted #1 hotel in Ireland by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine.
Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort, Co. Limerick
Adare Manor is a 19th-century manor house located on the banks of the River Maigue in the village of Adare, County Limerick, Ireland, the former seat of the Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, is now a luxury 5 star resort hotel.Situated in the heart of Adare Village in County Limerick, this Luxurious Castle Hotel in is steeped in history and is one of the finest 5 Star Hotels in Ireland.Four times winner of Ireland's leading five star hotel at The World Travel Awards. Experience high tea in the parlor, take a dip in the indoor pool, sit in the sauna, or walk through the magnificent resort grounds.
Travel Tips & FAQs
Passports & Visas
To enter the Republic or Northern Ireland, you need a valid passport. While e-passports are commonly used now, they are not a necessity to enter Ireland. UK citizens do not require a passport to enter Ireland, but carriers by air or sea require some form of identification with a photograph (usually either a passport or driving license with photo).
Citizens of the EEA member states (the 27 countries of the European Union EU, together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and many other countries including USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand do not require visas to gain entry to Republic or Northern Ireland.
What to Pack
Bring a sweater, even in summer; waterproofs to accompany all outdoor activities; sunglasses; comfortable walking shoes and an umbrella. The weather is changeable so go for layers that you can put on or take off as the temperature changes.
February to April: Highest temperatures range from 46 to 54°F
May to July: Highest temperatures are between 64 and 68°F
August to October: Highest temperatures hit between 64 and 57°F.
Winter air temperatures inland normally reach 46°F, while the coldest months are January and February.
April & September are considered the most pleasant and temperate months.
In the Republic of Ireland, the official currency is the euro (€). One euro consists of 100 cent. In Northern Ireland, pound sterling is the local currency (£). One pound sterling consists of 100 pence.
Gratuities and tips are discretionary and are not usually included in a bill. The general custom is to give 10% to serving staff in restaurants. Cafes might have a collection box at the till and bar staff are not tipped but you are free to offer “have one for yourself”.
Police, Fire, Ambulance:
Republic of Ireland, Telephone: 112 or 999
Northern Ireland, Telephone: 999
Plugs in Ireland are three-pronged, the same as in the UK and the electricity supply is also 230v. Adapters are widely available and its a good idea to bring a couple for your various gadgets.
Republic of Ireland: Bus Eireann
Northern Ireland: Translink
Leap Visitor Card is a prepaid pass that allows you to travel on all Dublin Bus, Airlink 747 buses as well as the Luas Light Railway Tram and DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) for up to 3 days.
Republic of Ireland: Irish Rail
Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Railways
The Dart (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) covers Dublin’s coast and city area from Howth and Malahide in north County Dublin via Dun Laoghaire in south County Dublin to Greystones in County Wicklow.
Luas light rail/tram service travels across the south and west of Dublin city including the city center areas.
Ireland functions on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the summer it becomes GMT+1, that’s Irish Standard Time (IST) in the Republic and British Summer Time (BST) in Northern Ireland.
For example, New York is Irish Time -5 hours & Los Angeles is Irish Time -8 hours.
English is commonly used throughout Ireland although Irish is the official language and there are Irish speaking areas called the Gaeltacht where it is the predominant language.
You will need either a full valid national driving license or an international driving permit. Cars in Ireland drive on the left-hand side of the road and both driver and passengers are required to wear seat belts at all times by law. Signposts in Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) areas are written in Irish (Gaelic) so familiarise yourself with both English and Irish spellings before you set off for those parts. Northern Ireland uses miles per hour, while the Republic of Ireland uses kilometers for signage and speed limits.
There are no vaccinations required to visit Ireland.
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Booking Enquiry for Luxury Castles and Manors of Ireland
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