Self Drive Tour or Luxury Chauffeured Tour
Experience the grandeur of Ireland's finest houses, castles and hotels. Explore the treasures of southern and western Ireland, the rich heritage of its cities, and its breath-taking landscape while you stay in its most luxurious accommodation and sample the best of Irish cuisine.
“I wanted to let you know that our trip was one for the ages. We had more fun than I could have imagined.”– Herb Bennett
Elegant Ireland is the perfect combination of city, country, luxury and culinary delights. Visiting the cities of Dublin, Kilkenny and Cork, and the stunning seascapes of the western counties, you will experience the rich and diverse histories and cultures of Ireland. Elegant Ireland aims to surround you with sensory delights. You will be staying in luxurious castles, the finest manor houses and 5-star hotels. Experience the genuine welcome of the Irish in warm, relaxing and elegant surroundings.
To customize this itinerary, talk to one of our destination experts on 800.832.1848 or 212.757.5797.
- Arrive in Ireland
- Explore Dublin City & County Wicklow.
- Visit the medieval city of Kilkenny
- Discover the city of Cork
- Visit the seaside town of Kinsale
- Tour the Ring of Kerry.
Recommended optional itinerary extension:
- Explore the Dingle Peninsula
- See the stunning Cliffs of Moher & the lunar – like Burren
- Explore beautiful Connemara.
Included in This Tour
- Private Car transfer to your hotel on arrival.
- 10 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.
- 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 Ireland.
Enjoy a private car transfer to your centrally located downtown Dublin hotel. Relax after your journey. Enjoy a horse and carriage ride through some of Dublin’s historic Georgian squares or walk through the Temple Bar area, which is fast becoming Dublin’s Left Bank! Stay in Brooks Hotel for 2 nights.
Day 2: Dublin City and County Wicklow.
Explore Dublin City. Highlights include Trinity College and Dublin Castle. Stroll down Grafton Street, Dublin’s premier shopping area. Visit St. Stephen’s Green, Europe’s oldest and most beautiful Georgian square. Take a trip to County Wicklow. Explore one of the most famous and enchanting places in Ireland, Glendalough (the valley of the two lakes) which is home to some of Ireland’s oldest and most interesting monastic ruins.
Day 3: Kilkenny & Cork.
Depart Dublin, and visit Kilkenny, Ireland’s best example of a medieval town, situated on the River Nore, forming the moat of Kilkenny’s magnificently restored castle. Continue on to Waterford and explore the beauty of this ancient Viking town. Tour the ‘Viking Triangle’ and pay a visit to the House of Waterford Crystal. Drive on to Cork where you will stay in 5 star boutique luxury Hayfield Manor for 2 nights.
Day 4: Discover Cobh Harbour and Cork City
Discover Cobh Harbour, the last port of call for the Titanic. Tour the Cobh Heritage Centre and experience Ireland’s fascinating emigration history. Visit their geneaology department where you can uncover your Irish heritage! Continue on and enjoy touring Cork City. See the Shandon Bells, the Gothic style University College, St Finbarr’s Cathedral, City Market, the Crawford Art Gallery, and much more!
Day 5: Kinsale & Killarney.
Visit the colorful and picturesque fishing town of Kinsale, Ireland’s cuisine capital. Be captivated by the town’s setting, its long waterfront, narrow streets, and slate-clad houses. The bulk of Compass Hill rises sharply behind the town, overlooking a natural harbour of great beauty where the Bandon River turns south towards the sea. This afternoon drive west to Killarney. Stay at the lakeside Carrig House with its lush gardens, elegant antique-filled rooms and acclaimed dining for 3 nights.
Day 6: Killarney & Gap of Dunloe.
Enjoy a tour to the breath-taking Gap of Dunloe, visit Kate Kearney’s Cottage and the lakes of Killarney in the National Park. Lough Leane, the largest of the lakes, has approximately 30 islands nestled in its waters. Enjoy spectacular views of the lakes and surrounding countryside from Aghadoe. Enjoy a delicious dinner in a local pub, with a pint of Guinness and some traditional Irish music. We’ll give you a recommended list of pubs and restaurants.
Day 7: Killarney & Ring of Kerry.
Today tour the world famous Ring of Kerry. For centuries, this kingdom of Kerry has inspired many artists and writers, where the contrasting mountain, lake, and coastal scenery is at its most spectacular. This trip promises some of the most celebrated, scenic attractions in Ireland, rugged landscapes, antiquities and attractive villages. From Waterville, you can see the Skellig Islands, early Christian monastic settlements, once raided by the Vikings in 810 AD.
Day 8: Depart Ireland.
Transfer to Shannon Airport for your return flight home.
Optional extension to this itinerary
Day 8: Dingle Peninsula & Dingle town.
Enjoy a tour of the wild Dingle Peninsula featuring Slea Head, Connor Pass and the colorful fishing town of Dingle. Stay 1 night at the Dingle Skellig hotel.
Day 9: Cliffs of Moher & the Burren.
Visit the Cliffs of Moher soaring dramatically 700 feet above the Atlantic. We recommend a stop at Ailwee Cave to see the underground river and waterfall. Explore County Clare’s lunar-like Burren region, famous for its unique flora and fauna, geology, and archaeology. Stay at the luxurious Ballynahinch Castle for 2 nights.
Day 10: Connemara & Cong.
Explore Connemara, the western region of County Galway, and one of Ireland’s Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) regions. The area around Leenane and Cong is where the movie “The Quiet Man” was filmed, with John Wayne and Maureen O’ Hara. Explore the charming fishing villages dotted along the coast where you may wish to stop for lunch. Visit Kylemore Abbey and the magical Delphi Valley.
Day 11: Depart Ireland.
Enjoy your Private Transfer to Shannon Airport for your return flight home. Slan abhaile!
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.
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.
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.
Dingle Skellig Hotel and Spa
Fáilte go dtíÓstánnaSceilge, the Dingle Skellig Hotel, situated on the most westerly peninsula in Europe and regarded as one of the finest hotels in Kerry. Since this Hotel in Dingle was constructed in 1969 its reputation for comfort, hospitality and service has excelled, this guarantees the holiday experience of a lifetime. From the moment you arrive at the Dingle Skellig Hotel in Dingle, the friendly staff will welcome you and make you feel right at home. Guests can enjoy a number of options while dining at The Dingle Skellig Hotel. Head Chef, John Ryan and his dedicated team are delighted to provide a number of offerings using fresh local produce.
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.
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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– Tim Dudich
“I wanted to let you know that our trip was one for the ages. We had more fun than I could have imagined.”
– Herb Bennett
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– John C. Granzow, CIMA
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– Leslie Wajda
“Trip was great – accommodations excellent.”
– Kathleen McCormack-Batterson
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– Donna Long
“The trip was really great. You did a fabulous job of picking the properties. Scotland is beautiful! It was a great trip. You scored again! Can’t wait for our next adventure.”
– Libby McGriff
“I wanted to let you know that the accommodations were fabulous throughout our trip. We were completely blown away, what a magnificent find. The house is simply breathtaking. A word on the drivers. I could not have asked for more accommodating or entertaining gentleman to escort us around. They were full of information, great stories, and advice. Really, really just wonderful guys all around.”
– Susanne McNeill
“A masterful job in creating and arranging such a phenomenal trip…”
– P.J. Fitzgerald
“We had a “dream trip” and you/your organization were a large part it making it all happen. Everything went smoothly and was more than we ever imagined! We are already talking about a return trip in a few years! Have to save our money. 🙂 Thanks again for all you did for us.”
– Nancy Capocy
“I cannot express how much I appreciate you making all the arrangements with such short notice & I just wanted to say Thank you again for all your help.”
– Susan Sanford
“All I do is talk about the wonderful trip, sites and your company and how we couldn’t have been happier with all the arrangements and people who set this wonderful trip up. Again thank you!!!”
– Janet Jenrick
“We had a wonderful time in Ireland and I appreciate all the reservations you made and the guidance your gave us.”
– Monica Kobasic
“I wanted to thank you for arranging a great trip to Scotland. The Channings, Culloden House, and Roxburghe House were fantastic…the best of accommodations, food, and customer service”
– Trina Girimont
“I wanted to thank you and Destinations Ireland and Beyond. We had an amazing experience. We loved all the hotels that you set us up with. Thank you for being so insightful, quickly giving us a speed course of Ireland and helping us decide where to go and what to see. I would highly recommend Destinations Ireland and Beyond as the best travel agency!”
– Donna and Ira Spector
“A lot of beautiful memories. THANK YOU for all of your planning and attention to detail,”
– Kathy Ross
“I just wanted to send you a thank you for all you did to make our trip the best! It was beyond our expectations! We loved all of our accommodations. I can’t say that I have a favorite because it all was perfect. We were not ready to come home and all look forward to visiting Ireland again.”
– Peg Cozzolino
“I want to THANK ALL OF YOU FOR A WONDERFUL TRIP. Ronelle and I had a marvelous time.”
– P.J. “Paul” Nicholson
“Thank You! for all your help arranging a wonderful visit to Ireland.”
– Ron & Jennifer Spielman
“Tim and I had a wonderful trip to Ireland thanks to your wonderful suggestions and arrangements. Everything was just perfect. We truly had a wonderful trip and are grateful for your services.”
– Jenny Popp
“Thank you for the great job you did arranging our trip to Ireland. Everything went wonderfully and the accommodations were the best.”
– Elizabeth Zechman
Booking Enquiry for Elegant Ireland
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