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Four corners in seven days - A whirlwind Ireland itinerary and we're waiting to make it a reality
Seven Day Ireland Itinerary
As a destination, Ireland tends to do rather well at attracting visitors from all over the world. However, we have no intention of resting on our laurels when it comes to welcoming visitors from near and far. The raw materials for an unforgettable trip are all around us. We just help to shape them into the perfect experience for you. This seven day Ireland itinerary is designed to give you a taste of what you can expect.
As outlined on the homepage, there are quite a few different parts of Ireland that you can choose to explore but, given the distances involved, visitors often get a chance to see a lot more than they had expected.
To give a flavour of what's in store for you, we've tried to cram as much as we can into a 'four corners in seven days' tour. Essentially, this is to help with budgeting and to show where our service really comes into its own.
Squeezing four corners into seven days may not be everyone's cup of tea. Similarly, we've just covered the 'highlights' for this sample tour. The best thing about our service is that it's entirely suited around you and your interests. We don't offer a menu of package tours because that's not how we like to travel. Instead, we offer suggestions, guidance and the know-how to get it all organised as smoothly as possible.
A few points of interest before we begin:
There's no two ways around it, hotel accommodation in Ireland can be quite expensive. The good news is that, as impressive as some of Ireland's grand old hotels are, there are a litany of other quality options that ensure value for money can be found if you know where to look.
For the below tour, we've added something from across the spectrum. From modern boutique hotels to traditional heritage hotels and even some 'off the beaten track' options.
We've based this sample trip on what we'd consider a small group package i.e. anywhere from two to six people. For such a package, you could expect transport in a luxury people carrier. We can accommodate larger groups just as easily thanks to our luxury Mercedes mini-bus.
Having touched down in Dublin, you'll collect your luggage and be greeted by your driver/guide as soon as you enter the arrivals hall. If you're coming from North America, the majority of flights to Ireland arrive before lunchtime. That's ideal for easing yourself into the surroundings without going hell for leather on your first day.
From Dublin Airport, you'll be given a full welcome from your guide on the way into Dublin city. One of our favourite accommodation options in the city is Kelly's Hotel. Situated in the heart of Dublin's much loved 'creative-quarter', Kelly's is quirky, stylish and a lot of fun.
After settling in, and perhaps taking a quick power-nap, it's time to explore Dublin's highlights. Given the compact nature of Ireland's capital, many of our visitors opt to take a whistle-stop walking tour with their guide. However, there's always scope to factor in a more in-depth stop at somewhere like the Guinness Storehouse or Trinity College.
Dublin's dining scene is a speciality of ours so, once it's time for dinner, you won't be short of options.
One of our primary goals is to steer visitors away from the staid and the clichéd, a charge you could never level at The Little Museum of Dublin. After a wonderful breakfast, it's ideal to get a taste of Dublin's history before it's time to leave the capital.
Heading north from Dublin, the next stop is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Brú na Bóinne in County Meath. After visiting the 5,000 year old tomb at Newgrange, it's time for lunch before heading north, through County Louth and across the border into Northern Ireland.
Along the way, it's time for a history lesson. It would be impossible to visit Belfast without delving into the Troubles and Northern Ireland's recent past. A tour through Belfast's intriguing history takes a balanced look at both sides of the divide before it's time for dinner and a sample of some of Belfast's nightlife.
Having enjoyed some R&R at one of Belfast's finest accommodation options such as the Gregory guesthouse, it's time to hit the road early. We're heading further north to separate the fact from the fiction at the majestic Giant's Causeway. After testing your nerves at the nearby Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, we'll then head west, back across the border towards one of Ireland's truly under-appreciated gems, County Donegal.
For golfers, there's few better courses in Ireland than Ballyliffen. For adventurers, Donegal's west coast has some of the best surfing in Europe. Finally, if it's simply time for some luxury, Lough Eske Castle is one of the most picturesque hotels you're ever likely to stay in.
The wild west is upon us. From Donegal, we travel through Leitrim and Sligo before arriving in Mayo. Westport acts as the gateway to the beauty of Connemara. First port of call, Killary Fjord. We then move away from the coast, cutting inland through the awe inspiring Connemara countryside. Ensuring there's plenty of time for diversions on route, eventually we arrive in Galway. Inevitably, there'll still be plenty of time to revel in the city's legendary nightlife.
There's an abundance of accommodation options in and around Galway but for something a little bit special, we recommend The Twelve. It's everything that's good about Irish hospitality, perfectly located in the village of Barna, between the rolling hills of Connemara and the atmosphere of Galway city
From Galway, we once again venture south, following the coast road into County Clare. Passing through the otherworldly landscape of the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher are the next stop on the tour. After seeing how close we can get to the edge of the 400ft cliffs, it's once again time to venture further south crossing the Shannon estuary aboard the Killimer to Tarbert ferry.
Once we're back on dry land, it's just a short trip through the north Kerry countryside until we reach Killarney. Once, you're all settled into the beautifully ivy-covered Victoria House, there'll be plenty of time to explore the town and its eclectic mix of live music venues.
If you're in the mood for some exercise, it's time to choose between hiking boots and cycling gear. The Ring of Kerry is unmissable regardless of how you choose to experience it. And, while we're on the subject, a trip to Skellig Michael is an experience you won't want to miss.
After arriving back through Killarney National Park for a bite to eat, we head towards Ireland's southern capital, Cork city. With some of the country's finest dining on your doorstep, the luxury of Castlemartyr is an excellent option for the final night of your tour.
Depending on your travel arrangements, it may be time to depart for Dublin airport bright and early. However, if you're lucky enough to have some spare time, an ideal way to start your final day is at Cork's delightful English Market.
Saying goodbye to Ireland's 'real capital', we finally see some of the midlands on our way back to Dublin. The Rock of Cashel or the historic city of Kilkenny are perfect detours as we pass through the counties of Tipperary, Kilkenny, Laois and Kildare before arriving back in Dublin to round of the trip of a lifetime.
Total cost of this seven day tour of Ireland
First things first, here's what is included in the final price:
Accommodation - Whether you choose to stay in a luxury castle, a glamorous yurt in the woods or anything in between, we'll only deliver the finest accommodation on offer. The vast majority of locations also include breakfast as standard. If not, we will always organise an alternative.
Transport - Airport transfers, up to eight hours of driving time a day and all the associated costs such as fuel and tolls are covered in the final price of your package.
Guide - An expert, fully licensed driver/guide is the very least you can expect on your tour. However, we're a family business and we love what we do. As such, it certainly wouldn't be unusual for another guide to join you for at least part of your stay. We must stress that there will never be an additional cost on such occasions.
24 hour advice and support - We supply all our guests with a fully functioning smartphone with prepaid local calls and data availability for the duration of their trip. No matter the location or the time of day, we're on call to help deliver the best possible experience.
Fully customisable Ireland itinerary - You give us the idea, we make it happen. From the moment you contact us, we want nothing more than to give you the best possible experience in Ireland. We'll draft and re-draft your itinerary until you're entirely satisfied and even then, it's customisable up until the very last minute.
We're more than happy to offer advice and guidance (in fact we'd prefer it that way). However, we don't include travel to and from Ireland in the cost of the package. Similarly, you should also budget for personal travel insurance and daily expenses such as meals (other than breakfast) and admission to attractions.
How much will it cost?
We've put together a price calculator to help give you an idea of what you can expect. Not only that, we'll also put together a sample itinerary, unique to you. If you choose not to travel with us, that's quite alright, the itinerary is yours to use as you wish.