Ireland is a warm, friendly country with an ancient culture where people are valued, accepted and equal. To commemorate Ireland's recent marriage equality milestones, Brendan Vacations' local experts have created a special itinerary featuring our LGBT-friendly hotels and friends, welcoming all to discover the unique hospitality of the Emerald Isle.
Your Private Chauffeur itinerary includes:
DAY 1 | ARRIVE IN DUBLIN
Welcome to Dublin! Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel by your private chauffeur. This afternoon, your voyage of discovery begins with a walking tour of the city. What better way to experience the capital city than by exploring some of its beautiful architecture, ancient city walls, and backstreets alive with history, heritage and culture with a Local Specialist. The rest of the day is free to explore more on your own. Overnight: The Merrion Hotel
DAY 2 | BOYNE VALLEY EXCURSION
Travel to the Boyne Valley in County Meath. This river valley was the cradle of Irish civilization and it supported a sophisticated society in Neolithic times. Witness this when you stop at the Bru-na-Boinne Centre to visit one of the ancient tombs at Newgrange or Knowth. Afterward, return to the city, where the balance of the day is at leisure.
Overnight: The Merrion Hotel
DAY 3 | DUBLIN / ARDMORE
En route to Waterford, visit Powerscourt Estate's glorious formal gardens. Dating back to the 1740s, the superb blend of gardens, sweeping terraces, statuary, and ornamental lakes together with secret hollows, rambling walks, walled gardens, and over 200 variations of trees and shrubs are a delight to behold. Next is Glendalough, the "Valley of the Two Lakes," famous for its early monastic ruins and scenic setting. Established by St. Kevin in the 6th century, this was once a famous place of learning, inhabited by thousands of students from Ireland, Britain, and Europe. Continue onto your luxury accommodations at the intimate Cliff House Hotel in County Waterford.Take time to take in the breathtaking views along the cliff walk.
Overnight: Cliff House Hotel
DAY 4 | CORK / KILLARNEY
Your day starts with a visit to the picturesque village of Blarney with historic Blarney Castle. The famous Blarney stone is set in the wall below the battlements high atop the castle, and to kiss it one has to lean backwards from the parapet walk! It's worth the trouble however - legend holds that the stone imparts the gift of eloquence for that kiss. Stroll across to the Blarney Woollen Mills where you can browse through the wide range of Irish clothing, crystal, linen, and handicrafts. Next stop Cork City where you can explore the English Market. Taste a mix of traditional Cork fare and exciting new foods from afar, from longstanding family run stalls. This afternoon continue on to the lively town of Killarney. Enjoy "the Town on the Lakes" renowned for its lively pubs and open, cheerful atmosphere, full of what the Irish call "craic!"
Overnight: The Malton
DAY 5 | RING OF KERRY EXCURSION
Travel the road that winds around the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula, better known as the "Ring of Kerry." Undoubtedly one of the most magical places in all of Ireland, here the mountains, valleys, lakes, and sea blend into an enchanting landscape. Take in views of the famous "forty shades of green" as you travel through this unspoiled land that has inspired artists and poets for centuries. Your chauffeur will take you to some of the quaint little towns along the route. Stop at Torc Waterfall where you will meet a local specialist for a guided walk to Muckross House where tales and the history of the National Park come to life.
Overnight: The Malton
DAY 6 | KILLARNEY / THE MUSTARD SEED AT ECHO LODGE
Heading north, visit the unique Flying Boat Museum at Foynes. It celebrates the Golden Age of Aviation, when this small town on the Shannon River was the central hub for routes between Europe and North America. Foynes is also the birthplace of Irish coffee, and you'll surely want to sample the warming beverage before continuing to The Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge. A unique hideaway, close by Adare, is legendary for its restaurant, orchard and herb garden, and just as legendary is Dan the owner, who bakes brown bread like no other.
Overnight: The Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge
DAY 7 | CLIFFS OF MOHER / ASHFORD CASTLE
Heading north, experience the critically acclaimed artisan St Tola's Goats Cheese with a visit to the farm where it's handmade. Meet the kids and learn how this cheese, located on the Burren Food Trail, became one of Ireland's most sought after artisan produce. Next stop the spectacular Cliffs of Moher. See this natural phenomenon from a different perspective aboard a cruise along the 5-mile shoreline. Gaze up at the sheer, craggy cliff face, rising 700 feet above you. Continue to majestic Ashford Castle, situated on its own 350-acre estate. It is undoubtedly a jewel in the crown of Ireland's most iconic hotels. Set on the shores of Lough Corrib, it dates back almost 800 years and was once home to the wealthy Guinness family. Take time to explore the grounds or venture out on a Hawk Walk.
Overnight: Ashford Castle
DAY 8 | CYCLE THE GREENWAY
This morning, take in breathtaking views of idyllic countryside, and some of Ireland's most dramatic mountains and coastline on a cycling adventure from Mulranny to Achill Island. The Greenway is Ireland's longest off-road cycling trail that traverses along the Wild Atlantic Way. Continue to Westport this afternoon. Bursting with charisma and continental flavor, multi-colored shop fronts jostle for attention in this cheerful coastal town with a great selection of shops, pubs and restaurants. This evening dine like royalty in Ashford Castle's George V Restaurant. The graceful setting, with rich, paneled walls and twinkling Waterford Crystal chandeliers, bestows a grand sense of occasion.
Overnight: Ashford Castle
Meals: Breakfast and Dinner
DAY 9 | CONG / DUBLIN
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before your journey back to Dublin. On the way visit Strokestown Park House, a Georgian Palladian mansion preserved with its original furnishing and fabrics. Once home to the Pakenham Mahon family, the six acre walled pleasure gardens were built on the site of a 16th century castle that belonged to one of the high kings of Ireland.
Overnight: The Merrion
DAY 10 | DEPART DUBLIN
Your chauffeur will transfer you to Dublin Airport, where it is time to bid farewell to your newfound friend and the delightful Emerald Isle. Safe travels!
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*Sample pricing is per person, land only based on double occupancy; varies by departure date and inclusions. Subject to change. Other conditions apply. CST#2084503-20