Deluxe Crafting Tour of Ireland
Self Drive Tour or Luxury Driving Tour
Discover the rich tapestry of Irish traditional crafts and contemporary design. Explore Ireland’s world famous crafts and design, immersing yourself in its creative treasures, within the evocative landscape that inspired them.
“Thank you for the great job you did arranging our trip to Ireland. Everything went wonderfully and the accommodations were the best.”– Elizabeth Zechman
For centuries, Ireland has been known for its fine crafts and exceptional artisans. Allow us to show you the heart of Ireland’s crafting community, while you also tour the stunning landscape of Ireland. Learn about the history of handmade Irish crafts, and how these traditions are still kept alive today. At the same time, encounter the vibrant world of contemporary Irish design and art. Our Deluxe Crafting tour is a hands-on experience. We can customize the itinerary, accommodating specific crafting interests, groups, couples, corporate events, etc. Speak to one of our Irish local experts at our office for assistance.
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 Trinity College and the Book of Kells, and the Dublin Writers’ Museum
- Drive to Connemara
- Discover the Connemara Gealtacht Craft Trail
- Visit Kylemore Abbey, and its Irish pottery studio
- Tour the stunning Cliffs of Moher and the lunar-like Burren
- Take a ferry to the Aran Islands, where Ireland’s native Gaelic is still spoken
- Visit Kilmurvey Craft Village in Dun Aonghasa
- Explore Kenmare & Kenmare Lace and Design Centre
- Tour the Ring of Kerry & visit Kerry Woollen Mills in Beaufort
- Visit Blackwater Woodturners in Killarney & explore the Dingle Peninsula
- Tour County Cork and take a class at Kinsale Pottery and Arts Centre
- Discover Barbara Hubert Bookbindery Gallery in the city of Cork
- Stay in Kinnitty Castle in County Offaly
- Return from Dublin
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: Dublin (DUB)
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. Stay 2 nights in Dublin
Arriving in Dublin Airport, enjoy your private transfer to Brooks Hotel for a 2 night stay. Dublin is a dynamic capital city, with a proud colorful past and a thriving present. Get settled in and explore your vibrant surroundings. Perhaps you’ll have a delicious dinner of oysters and Guinness tonight in Davy Byrnes gastro pub, a leisurely walk from your hotel.
Day 2: Explore Dublin City
Explore Trinity College and The Book of Kells, an exquisite illuminated manuscript, created by monks ca. 800. Check out the Dublin Writers Museum, Dublin Castle. Visit The Kilkenny Design Centre, whose unequalled supplier list is drawn from Ireland’s most eminent craftspeople and designers. The showrooms are brimming with the best of Irish craft and design. Dublin city never sleeps. In the evening, enjoy traditional live music and dinner in one of the many fine pubs. We’ll give you an insider’s list of our favorite places!
Day 3: Drive to Connemara. Stay 1 night
Pick up your rental car in Dublin City this morning and enjoy the scenic countryside as you drive west to Connemara, Co. Galway. Take part in the Connemara Gealtacht Craft Trail. This craft trail weaves through the picturesque Connemara Gaeltacht and the scenic Aran Islands. Visit Connemara Candles, Living Ginger Designs, and Alan Gaillard Stoneware Pottery. Enjoy visiting An Ceardlann, Spiddal Craft and Design Studios, located at the entrance to Spiddal Village, just beside the beach, overlooking the beautiful Galway Bay, Cliffs of Moher and The Aran Islands. Here you will find ten craftspeople designing, creating, and selling their work. Stay 1 night at the Abbeyglen Castle Hotel.
Day 4: Drive to Co. Clare. Stay 2 nights
Drive to County Clare today. On the way see the magnificent Cliffs of Moher, soaring 700 feet above the crashing Atlantic Ocean. Don’t miss the opportunity to walk on the Burren, with its lunar-like landscape, Stone-Age druidic altars, and exotic plant life. Visit Kylemore Abbey, and enjoy its beautiful Irish pottery studio, tearoom, romantic castle, and vast Victorian gardens. Stay 2 nights at The Old Ground Hotel in Ennis Co. Clare.
Day 5: Explore Co. Clare
Weather permitting, you might take a ferry to the Aran Islands, where Ireland’s native Gaelic is still spoken. Visit the thatched cottage shops in Kilmurvey Craft Village in Dun Aonghasa, featuring traditional Irish crafts. Traditional music sessions both organized and impromptu are held in the pubs on the islands. Enjoy lunch, culture, and genuine local hospitality as you explore the islands today. Make sure to visit Mary O’Flaherty’s knitting shop on Inishmor. The chances are she will be there hand knitting a new Aran sweater for her shop!
Day 6: Drive to Kerry. Stay 2 nights
On the way to County Kerry today, visit Kenmare, “little nest” in Irish, nestled between high mountains and the sea. Here you will find Kenmare Lace and Design Centre, and see some spectacular lace craftsmanship. From Kenmare, travel the winding route of the Ring of Kerry through the Iveragh Peninsula. Enjoy dramatic coastal panoramas, majestic mountains, ancient sites, and quaint towns along this popular route. Visit the 17th century Kerry Woollen Mills in Beaufort, situated on the Ring of Kerry. Here they have been creating fabrics and yarn from fine wool for over 300 years. Stay 2 nights at the Earls Court House Hotel in Killarney, County Kerry.
Day 7: Tour Killarney
Stop into Blackwater Woodturners in Killarney, for fabulous demonstrations and a warm welcome. Walk or take a horse-drawn carriage through the breath-taking Gap of Dunloe, found within the highest mountain range in Ireland. You might like to visit Kate Kearney’s cottage, now a cosy pub and restaurant. Visit the stunning Dingle Peninsula, once called “the most beautiful place on earth” by National Geographic Magazine. Explore and enjoy all that Killarney has to offer.
Day 8: Stay in Kinsale Co. Cork for 1 night
Drive through West Cork on the way to Kinsale, where you will stay 1 night at The Trident Hotel. Be captivated by Kinsale’s beautiful setting, with its long waterfront, narrow winding streets, colorful shops, galleries and cafes, and its picturesque, bustling harbor. Visit the Kinsale Pottery and Arts Centre, where you have the option to participate in a variety of classes! Tour the Cobh Heritage Centre, the port from which the Titanic set sail on her final voyage, and where 6 million Irish left their shores between 1848 & 1850 in search of a better life.
Day 9: Stay 1 night in Birr, Co. Offaly
Visit Cork City today before you head inland to Birr, County Offaly, for your final night stay at Kinnitty Castle. While in Cork tour the Barbara Hubert Bookbindery Gallery. Her handmade journals are exquisite articles. On the way to Birr, visit the Rock of Cashel, a spectacular group of medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale. For your last night in Ireland, relish in the splendor of Kinnitty Castle, and enjoy a delicious dinner in one of their restaurants.
Day 10: Drive to Dublin Airport for your return flight home
This morning, after a delicious Irish breakfast, drive to Dublin airport. Return your rental car and prepare for your return flight home.
Abbeyglen Castle Hotel, Clifden, Connemara
The Abbeyglen Castle Hotel is located on the aptly named Sky Road overlooking the quaint alpine like village of Clifden, Connemara. The Abbeyglen Castle Hotel is nestled in the romantic setting of the Twelve Bens with beautiful views overlooking Clifden Bay. The warm and friendly staff are always at hand to make your stay special, guaranteeing you an unforgettable experience. The Abbeyglen Castle Hotel is located close to Connemara’s major attractions, including Kylemore Abbey, and The Connemara National Park.
Brooks hotel, Dublin
Situated only minutes from Grafton Street in the fashionable heart of Dublin city, Brooks Hotel is the perfect place to stay. Most of the city’s key attractions are within walking distance to the hotel and include: the best shopping streets in the capital, St. Stephen’s Green, the Guinness storehouse, Dublin Castle, Trinity College and many popular art galleries, theatres, museums and entertainment venues. Luxuriously appointed rooms coupled with excellent food, fine wines and exemplary levels of customer care and service, are what make a visit to Brooks such a special and rewarding experience.
Earls Court House Hotel, Killarney
A very warm Irish welcome and a special experience awaits you at this 4 star Killarney Hotel. Set in its own grounds, in a great location, Earls Court Killarney is just a 7 minute gentle stroll to Killarney’s bustling town Centre, and near Killarney National Park and lakes. It is one of the few Killarney Hotels that is family run and owner managed. Earls Court Hotel is unique among Killarney Hotels for its splendid collection of antiques, period furniture, works of art and its many awards. We offer you old world tradition and a relaxed atmosphere.
Kinnitty Castle, Co. Offaly
Kinnitty Castle Hotel, located in the picturesque village of Kinnitty Co. Offaly, nestled in the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, offers the perfect setting for a romantic castle break in Ireland. Arrive up the winding avenue, opening into breathtaking views of the 13th century castle seated on 650 acres of parkland, inclusive of 60 acres of rolling lawns. Enter the lavish medieval revival castle, drenched in original features, heritage colors and regal atmospheres dating back to 1209. Wander through the fine settings of the Library Bar, The Sli Dala Restaurant and the Drawing Room all with magnificent character. Relax beside our unique open fires, enjoy the best of local cuisine prepared by our Executive Chef, Anthony Holland.
The Old Ground Hotel. Ennis, Co. Clare
A truly magical residence, that blends the warmth of a country home with the style of a contemporary luxury Irish hotel, The Old Ground Hotel is one of the leading 4 star hotels in Ennis, Couty Clare. Inside, the warmth of the blazing fire, is matched by the warmth of the welcome. Outside, the pretty winding streets of Ennis, and beyond, the rugged beauty of County Clare and the West of Ireland. Visit The Old Ground Hotel and soak up the atmosphere.
Trident Hotel. Kinsale, Co. Cork
The Trident Hotel boasts an enviable location right on the waterfront in beautiful Kinsale County Cork. Situated just a 5 minute stroll from many shops, cafes, galleries, and restaurants, The Trident Hotel is the ideal base from which to discover the fascinating history of Kinsale. Admire stunning views over Kinsale Harbor, explore the rugged landscapes and unspoiled coastlines of the wider West Cork Region, or simply relax and unwind in four star luxuries at The Trident Hotel.
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 it’s 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 Deluxe Crafting Tour of Ireland
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