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Scenic Western Ireland

Take this opportunity to discover one of the most beautiful corners of the Emerald Isle as you explore the lakes and mountains of the Ring of Kerry.

Enter a stunning region of Ireland, crammed with breath-taking highlights. Enjoy four unforgettable excursions in the company of a knowledgeable tour manager, including delightful Bantry House overlooking the eponymous bay, lively southwest gateway Cork and Ireland's foodie capital, Kinsale. You'll also enjoy a boat trip to the renowned gardens on Garnish Island and not-to-be-missed tour of the Ring of Kerry.

What does this price include?

  • Five nights' dinner, bed and Irish breakfast accommodation at a three-star hotel
  • Return flights to Cork
  • A tour of the Ring of Kerry
  • A visit to the abbey ruins at Timoleague
  • A boat trip to Garnish Island
  • Visits to Cork, Cobh, Glengarriff and Kinsale
  • Entrance to Bantry House
  • Comfortable coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

  • Fly into Cork airport, meet your tour manager and transfer by coach to your hotel.

    After checking in, you'll have the rest of the day free to spend as you wish.

  • Our day begins with a drive through Clonakilty, birthplace of Irish hero Michael Collins, before we reach the village of Timoleague, where the ruins of its 13th-century abbey stand proudly at the water's edge. The abbey is one of very few early Franciscan foundations with extensive remains still standing in Ireland.

    From here we'll continue to the attractive harbour town of Kinsale, where a maze of narrow streets lined with galleries and shops are overlooked by its mighty 17th-century fort. Enjoy lunch with a view at the quayside (payable locally), where you'll find a wonderful choice of cafes and restaurants.

    Afterwards, you’ll return to the hotel where dinner is served.

  • A long but memorable day awaits, today, as you head to the celebrated Ring of Kerry. Stretching west from the picturesque town of Kenmare, this 110-mile circular route around the sublimely beautiful Iveragh Peninsula takes in a beguiling mix of stunning views and charming towns, rugged forest landscapes, tumbling waterfalls and the raging waters of the Atlantic. It's a rollercoaster of scenic wonder, and a feast of breath-taking land- and seascapes.

    During the day you’ll cross the magnificent Coomakista Pass, with its views of the Kenmare River, see Macgillycuddy’s Reeks from Molls Gap and catch sight of the monastic marvel of Skellig Michael out in the Atlantic. You'll also have the chance to explore pretty Waterville and rugged Cahersiveen.

  • Today you’ll head to lively, cosmopolitan Cork. The waterways, narrow alleys, Georgian avenues and myriad bridges make this historic maritime city a delight to explore. Highlights will include triple-spired St Finn Barre’s cathedral and the English Market, where you'll discover an astonishing array of fresh produce.

    Afterwards you’ll head to the historic and delightful seaside town of Cobh (pronounced Cove), the departure point for over three million Irish emigrants and final port of call, in April 1912, for the ill-fated RMS Titanic. After time to enjoy lunch, you may choose to visit the excellent Heritage Centre (entrance fee payable locally), where a multi-media exhibition tells the emotive story of Irish emigration through to the 1950s, and traces the town’s history back to the 1600s.

  • This morning you’ll enjoy a guided tour of Bantry House, the ancestral home of the Earls of Bantry, and still lived in by the family. Wonderfully situated overlooking the eponymous bay, and set in magnificent Italian gardens inspired by the travels of the 2nd Earl, this gem of a house is full of history, and showcasing eclectic antiques and artefacts from around the world.

    You’ll then head to Glengarriff. This delightful village, overlooking the waters of Bantry Bay and set against the backdrop of the rugged Caha Mountains, is a green oasis enjoying a balmy microclimate in which sub-tropical plants and even bamboos flourish. Explore its bars, cafés and gift shops before taking a short boat trip across the bay to the renowned island gardens of Garnish. The gardens here are laid out in beautiful walks, and offer floral colour from May right through until October. As we cross the bay, you’ll also visit Seal Island, with its resident colony of seals who love to pose for photos!

  • Depending on the time of your flight, you may have a few hours to make the most of the hotel’s delightful surroundings before you head back to the airport at the end of a wonderful few days in this beautiful and unspoilt part of Ireland.

Prices

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Hotels

The Celtic Ross Hotel

This family owned and managed hotel is situated on the coast road where the Wild Atlantic Way hugs the coastline at Rosscarbery Bay, on the edge of Rosscarbery village which sits on a hill behind the hotel about a 10 to 15 minute walk away.

Westlodge Hotel

The three-star Westlodge Hotel stands in landscaped gardens on the outskirts of lively Bantry, and is set to be extensively renovated in time for our 2020 departures.

Further Information

  • The transfer time from Cork airport to your hotel is approximately one hour, 15 minutes.
  • To avoid disappointment, please book any treatments direct with the hotel prior to arrival.
  • We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
  • We are often asked about gratuities on our Irish holidays. At the end of a tour it is customary to give a coach driver around £2-3 per person per day and a Tour Manager around £3-5 per person per day; a gratuity of £1 per person per day for dining/waiting staff in your hotel will also be greatly appreciated. In a restaurant leave about 10% of a bill (no need to tip in a bar) and around £2 for services such as hairdressing.
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