Four-City Tour Explores Ireland’s Bustling Cities and Quiet Countryside
On this six-night trip from Great Value Vacations, you’ll explore Ireland by car, staying in four different hotels along the way. Each stop gives you a different taste of the Emerald Isle’s varied character—from Dublin’s lively pubs to the idyllic countryside. This self-guided vacation includes round-trip airfare from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), or Chicago (ORD).
Day 1: Killenard
Killenard is found in central Ireland’s rolling, green countryside, one of the most untouched regions on the island. It’s only about an hour from Dublin, so day trips to the city are easy. There’s plenty to do in town, though. You can go hiking in the Slieve Bloom Mountains or make bets at one of several nearby horseracing tracks.
Accommodations: The Heritage Golf & Spa Resort features a spa, traditional pubs, and a golf course with lush fairways and more than 7,000 trees.
Days 2–3: Dromoland, near Shannon
Just north of Shannon, you can trace the footsteps of Pulitzer Prize–winning author Frank McCourt, go biking in the Ballyhoura Mountains, or catch a rugby match at Thomond Park Stadium. The Cliffs of Moher are less than an hour away. These 700-foot sandstone cliffs stretch across nearly 5 miles and are home to more than 20 species of seabirds. In some seasons, you’ll even see surfers out on the breakers.
Accommodations: Clare Inn Hotel lies just north of the Shannon estuary, with scenic views of the Clare Hills.
Days 4–5: Blarney
No trip to Ireland is complete without a visit to Blarney Castle. Here’s where you’ll find the famous Blarney Stone, said to confer the gift of gab on all who kiss it. While you’re in town, stock up on sweaters at Blarney Woollen Mills, a 40,000-square-foot retail store in one of the country’s oldest wool mills.
Accommodations: On a 170-acre wooded plot in the Shournagh Valley, Blarney Golf Resort is anchored by a John Daly–designed 18-hole golf course. The award-winning Inniscarra Restaurant serves traditional Irish cuisine, such as steamed loin of pork with spring cabbage and sweet cider jus.
Day 6: Dublin
Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, features a harmonious blend of Victorian pubs and stately Georgian townhouses with modern nightclubs and chic restaurants. Grafton Street, near Trinity College and St. Stephen’s Green, is filled with window-shoppers checking out the high-end stores. Throw back an irish whiskey or Guinness in one of the city’s cozy pubs, then learn about the drinks’ origins on tours of the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson distillery.
Accommodations: North Star Hotel, renovated in 2009 and located in Dublin’s city center, has a fully-equipped gym and Scandanavian spa.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.