Tour of Ireland's Capital, Countryside, and Castles
Few spots in Europe feel as timeless as the Irish countryside. The craggy, untouched coastline and rolling, startlingly green meadows dotted with herds of sheep and the occasional crumbling castle seem to belong to a faraway past, as though the Industrial Revolution never managed to jump the Irish Sea. Meanwhile, old castles, monuments, and museums capture hundreds of years of history in Dublin, Ireland’s capital city, but the town still retains a lively, youthful spirit, as evidenced by its pubs and nightclubs. Authentic Ireland Travel's seven-day, six-night Dublin and Castles of Ireland Tour provides a taste of all that the Emerald Isle has to offer, as guests follow a flexible itinerary with prearranged transportation and accommodations.
Click here to see a detailed itinerary of the trip.
Days 1–3: Visitors arrive at Dublin Airport, where they hail a cab to Pembroke Townhouse, an 18-century Georgian home in the business district that is now a luxurious hotel. Over the next three days, Pembroke becomes the base camp for exploring Dublin. Each traveler will be equipped with a three-day pass for a hop-on, hop-off bus tour, which shuttles to and from the city's landmark sites. On one of the days, a guided walking tour uncovers some of the more overlooked pockets of town. After a long day seeing the sights, feel free to wind down the day by gulping down a pint or two at one of Dublin’s inviting pubs.
Days 4–5: Travelers then will hop into a prearranged rental car for a journey across the isle to Connemara, a largely rural county on Ireland's west coast. Here, they’ll stay two nights in Abbeyglen Castle, a sprawling stone fortress with ivy crawling up its corner towers. The storybook structure features sumptuous guest rooms, where one can look out to views of the mountains and sea or practice climbing out the window on their ponytails. Nearby is Connemara National Park, a wild, protected area packed with bogs and lakes. On one of the days, a luxury catamaran tour will course through this area and across Ireland's one and only fjord. The tour includes a three-course lunch onboard the ship.
Days 6–7: A four-hour drive through Ireland's verdant rolling countryside terminates at Bellinter House, a country manor built in 1750 for a wealthy landowner. Here, travelers can rest up and reflect on their trip in between billiards in the stately games room or spa treatments in the adjoining bathhouse. If desired, it’s possible to tour Newgrange, a remarkable ancient tomb built into a large mound more than 5,000 years ago whose structure was seemingly designed to be filled with light at sunrise during the winter solstice.