Ultimate Ireland

13 Days / 12 Nights

Ultimate Ireland
Ultimate Ireland

Trail-blaze around the charming idylls and the greenery of Ireland in comfort during this extensive 13-day luxury journey.

Daily Departures by Private Car and Guide

Featuring: Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Cork City, Kenmare, Kinsale, Ring of Kerry, Kilarney, Dingle Peninsula, Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Connemara and Galway. 

Included in Your Journey »

Accommodations: 

  • 2 nights in Dublin at The Merrion Hotel.
  • 1 night in Ardmore at The Cliff House
  • 2 nights in Shanagarry at the Ballymaloe House
  • 3 nights in Kenmare at The Park Hotel
  • 1 night in Ballyvaughan at the Gregans Castle Hotel
  • 2 nights at Ashford Castle
  • 1 night at Ballyfin Demesne

Included:

All service charges and taxes

Meals:

Daily Breakfasts at hotel, manor and castles.

Transportation and touring:

Private driver-guide in a luxury vehicle

Not Included:

Entrance Fees

Itinerary

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  • Day 1

    Arrive in Dublin.

    Tour of Dublin.

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    Arrive at Dublin Airport and proceed through immigration and pick up your baggage. Your driver guide will be awaiting you in the arrivals hall and will transfer you to your hotel, giving you a brief introduction to Dublin and Ireland on the way. The Driver Guide will introduce you to Dublin's River Liffey, the wide O'Connell Street, tranquil St. Stephen's Green, the seat of government at Leinster House and other public buildings. See some of Dublin's famous Georgian houses. Visit Trinity College's campus and the Old Library to view the priceless Book of Kells.

    Dublin has long been a center of art and culture. Stroll through the elegant Georgian streets of Merrion and Fitzwilliam Squares, shop in the elegant emporiums of Grafton Street and Powerscourt Townhouse, explore the collections of the National Museum and National Gallery, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and many fine small private collections. The range of art and artifacts is enormous, and you will have no problem spending many hours enthralled. The city is over a thousand years old, and many of the towns and settlements that surround it are equally ancient. Dublin has a wealth of historically significant and fascinating sights to explore.

    Overnight at The Merrion Hotel 5*.

  • Day 2

    Dublin

    Dublin City Tour / Shopping (b)

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    Adams and Butler have partnered with Luxury Ireland which is a bespoke shopping service in Ireland. We offer it as a complimentary service to all our clients. Clients are greeted in store by a Luxury Ireland Ambassador who will ensure visitors receive a warm Irish welcome, exceptional personal attention and a guaranteed 5 star service. They and a personal shopper will be at the client’s disposal throughout. Refreshments, such as champagne, freshly brewed coffee and freshly prepared snacks etc. are offered to enhance the experience. The service includes private consultations, private shopping and changing rooms, hands-free shopping, an alternative concierge service to choose a variety of gifts and items to bring to your hotel, and delivery of your shopping directly to your hotel. Clients’ specific requirements, likes, dislikes and sizes can also be sent in advance of arrival to help the stores prepare fully for the client’s arrival, ensuring individual attention, a relaxed atmosphere and the gift of time. Shopping can also be sent home overseas. Clients can also avail of tax-free shopping in Ireland which ranges from a discount of between 15-17%. Our ambassadors can help arrange this for you.

    Adams and Butler continually strive to provide a customized and unique experience for your clients. This service is valued at over €350 per person.

    Further explore Dublin and some of the sites that might be of interest include: The Guinness Brewery is on James Street, beyond Christchurch Cathedral. In this restored 1904 building discover all there is to know about the world famous beer. It all began in 1759 when Arthur Guinness started brewing his famous 'Porter' which is now produced around the world at the rate of over 10 million glasses each day. No visit to Dublin is complete without enjoying a pint with the best view of the city! The biggest unoccupied gaol in these islands, Kilmainham Gaol gives visitors a realistic insight into what it was like to have been confined in one of these forbidding bastions of punishment between 1796 when it opened, and 1924 when it closed. Leaders of 5 Irish rebellions between 1798 and 1916 were detained here. A visit to the gaol includes a guided tour & audio-visual presentation. Enjoy a tour of the graffiti of Dublin. Many make the journey to Dublin to worship at the altar of Ireland's foremost rock band, U2. The wall beside the studio where they made their initial recordings at Windmill Lane is now a psychedelic palaeographic shrine to the band.

    The Ark in Temple Bar for some creative and artistic activities suitable for all ages, Dublinia to discover the Medieval secrets of Dublin, Croke Park Experience which will catch the attention of all the sport minded, the exciting Viking Splash Tour or a visit to Butlers Chocolate Experience, one of Ireland’s top chocolate manufacturers.

    The River Liffey cruise from O'Connell Bridge is worth a try. In the evening experience The Irish House Party, (song, music and dinner) in a Georgian pub in Dublin’s Literary quarter. The Irish House Party represents a true picture of what gatherings were like in the Irish country side back in the day.

    Overnight at The Merrion Hotel 5*. (b)

  • Day 3

    Dublin - Kildare - Kilkenny - Waterford

    Tour towards Waterford via Kildare and Kilkenny (b,l,d)

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    Leave the city behind and tour towards The National Stud in Kildare. The National Stud, home of Irish race horses, and the Japanese Gardens in Kildare. The world famous Japanese Gardens are just outside Kildare Town in the 1,000 acre Tully estate, now known as The Irish National Stud. The gardens were laid out in their paths of beauty between 1906-1910 by Tassa Eida and his son Minoru, and have been carefully preserved as one of the gems of Ireland’s Heritage. The significance of the Japanese Gardens is not only artistic and horticultural but also religious, philosophical and historical. St. Fiachra’s Garden was created to celebrate the Millenium. There are 4 acres of woodland and lakeside walks. The center of the garden is dominated by fissured limestone Monastic cells and within these cells there are hand crafted Waterford Crystal rocks and plants such as ferns and orchids. Guided tours are given of the Irish National Stud, which is home to some of Ireland’s finest thoroughbred racehorses. Make your way towards Kilkenny.

    Lunch at Killkenny Design Centre In Killkenny city, start with The Killkenny Castle. It stands dramatically on a strategic height that commands a crossing on the River Nore and dominates the 'High Town' of Kilkenny City. Over the eight centuries of its existence, many additions and alterations have been made to the fabric of the building, making Kilkenny Castle today a complex structure of various architectural styles.

    Having visited the Castle cross the road and walk under the archway of the Kilkenny Design Center.. Walk under another archway and you will enter the gardens of Butler House which are well worth seeing. Return to the Parade and continue down the hill. Continue along High Street until you come to the last slipway on your right. Turn down that lane and you will reach Kieran Street. In front of you will be Kyteler's Inn. It was the home of the witch Dame Alice Kyteler. A functioning public house. On your left is the best example of a merchants house left in Ireland. It is called Rothe House. It comprises three houses in the one complex. The restored gardens are accessed via the lane running alongside. Continuing along Parliament Street we reach St Francis Brewery, home of Smithwicks.

    Dinner tonight will be at the hotel. At the award winning, Michelin star restaurant, which brings foodies from all over the world to this seaside village in West Waterford.

    Overnight at The Cliff House in Ardmore 5*. (b,l,d)

  • Day 4

    Waterford - Midleton

    Touring towards Cork. (b,l,d)

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    In the morning, tour via Youghal towards Ballymaloe House and later Ballymaloe Cookery School.

    Attend an afternoon cooking class at Ballymaloe Cookery School. Unlike any other cookery school in the world they are located in the middle of a 100- acre, organic farm of which ten acres are devoted to organic market gardens, orchards and greenhouses. This means that the students can learn to cook using the finest and freshest of ingredients. It also means guaranteed quality and variety - for instance, they grow over 40 different types of tomato alone! Plus, of course, it is incredibly peaceful and beautiful.

    Make your way to Ballymaloe House. The house, modestly described as “a large family farmhouse”, is indeed at the center of the family’s 400 acre farm, but with over thirty bedrooms it is a very large house indeed, and one with a gracious nature. The intensely restorative atmosphere of Ballymaloe is remarkable and, although there are those who would say that the cooking is ‘too homely’, there are few greater pleasures than a fine Ballymaloe dinner followed by a good night’s sleep in one of their thoughtfully furnished country bedrooms - including, incidentally, Ireland’s most ancient hotel room which is in the Gate House.

    Overnight at Ballymaloe House. (b,l,d)

  • Day 5

    Midleton - Blarney Castle - Cork City

    Tour Blarney Castle & Cork City (b,d)

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    Blarney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland's greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, and has been attracting attention beyond Munster ever since. Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney, making it a world landmark and one of Ireland's greatest treasures. For many of the visitors to Blarney, their first priority is to kiss the famous Blarney Stone high up on the Castle battlements. Tradition holds that those who kiss the Blarney Stone will be endowed with the gift of eloquence - "the gift of the gab", as the locals call it.

    Later visit Cork City. Tour around Cork city. You could spend a week exploring the Cork area and still not have seen all the highlights. The bells of Shandon, The English Market, St Finbarre's Cathedral, the Gaol, the Glucksman and Crawford Galleries are just a few of the highlights of the city.

    Dine at Ballymaloe House. There are five courses on the Ballymaloe Dinner Menu. It consists of a seasonal selection of soup, fresh fruit or garden salad starter. Second courses are a choice of homemade pâtés, fresh fish, pasta, bruschetta et cetera. Main courses usually cover six choices, fish, fowl, meats and vegetarian. Desserts are largely based on the fruits of the season and cheeses are mostly local. Friday starts with an 'Hors D'Oeuvres' buffet with a large selection of fresh shellfish, garden salads and homemade pâtés.

    Overnight at Ballymaloe House. (b,d)

  • Day 6

    Midleton - Kinsale - Kenmare

    Touring towards Kenmare via Kinsale. (b,d)

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    Start the day by heading down to Kinsale and maybe, if it is of interest, visiting the old fort there, with its ghostly lady, and the museum of wine – many families left Ireland to set up French Vineyards in the 18th Century – Hennessey, Chateau Lynch Barges, … .

    An ancient seaside town, Kinsale is full of style and character. It is also a winner of the National Tidy Towns Competition. Not only does this town claim to be the oldest town in Ireland, but it is also renowned internationally for the number and quality of restaurants in the town. It is hailed as the gourmet capital of Ireland. Fishy Fishy would be the place for lunch. Continue to tour towards Kenmare. Dining at the Park Hotel Kenmare is an experience in every sense.

    Overnight at The Park Hotel Kenmare 5*. (b,d)

  • Day 7

    Ring of Kerry

    Touring Ring of Kerry. (b)

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    The Ring of Kerry is the scenic highlight of Ireland, over 100 miles of stunning seaside with the mountains always beside you . Kerry is a land of contrasts - velvet green golf courses, empty golden beaches, rugged cliffs, exotic gardens, wild scenery, unchanged since the ice age, hidden communes of artists and writers, stone age monuments, and fish filled rivers and lakes. When going around the Ring of Kerry be sure to visit St Flanans Bay where the wild fuchsia carpets the countryside and the Skellig Chocolate Company for the best chocolate in the world.

    Overnight at The Park Hotel Kenmare 5*.(b)

  • Day 8

    Dingle Peninsula - Killarney National Park

    Touring Dingle Peninsula via Killarney. (b)

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    Day 8 – Touring Dingle Peninsula via Killarney The Dingle Peninsula has been inhabited for almost 6,000 years. The first settlers on the peninsula were nomadic hunters and gatherers who foraged on the coast for their food. Later Stone Age man and Bronze Age man were to build their tombs, erect their standing stones, and toil the land for the first time. The Celtic population arrived in the couple of hundred years before the birth of Christ and brought their ancestral goddess "Duibhne", after which the Dingle Peninsula has been named in Gaelic: Corca Dhuibhne, the seed or tribe of Duibhne. In the centuries that followed, the peninsula was to be visited by Vikings, Normans and English.

    On the way back visit Killarney National Park. The most familiar part of the National Park is the Muckross Demesne, of which the focal point is Muckross House. The House, to which there is an admission charge, is presented primarily as a late 19th century mansion. In the former stables of the House is a restaurant and craft shop. Muckross Gardens are renowned for their fine collection of rhododendron species and hybrids and azaleas. There is an extensive water-garden and a rock-garden on a natural limestone outcrop. Many tender and exotic trees flourish in the mild climate and sheltered location around the large expanse of informal lawn and in the Arboretum. Muckross Abbey, in the grounds, provides the visitor with a wonderful experience - follow the old narrow stairways to get a feeling of how the old monks would leave their living quarters and make their way to prayer. Donal McCarthy Mor founded the Abbey, a Franciscan Friary, in 1448. These well-preserved ruins were the burial place of local Chieftains.

    Overnight at The Park Hotel Kenmare 5*. (b)

  • Day 9

    Kenmare - Adare - Cliffs of Moher - The Burren

    Touring Cliffs of Moher and The Burren via Adare Village. (b)

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    Tour via Adare towards Gregans Castle Hotel. Adare is just the kind of Irish village that people everywhere dream about. It’s as pretty as a picture, with thatched cottages, medieval abbeys castles and designer boutiques. Visit the Cliffs of Moher, a sheer precipice 4 miles long rising to a height of 666 ft., one of the most impressive stretches of the coast in the West of Ireland. Then north across the Burren, an eerie, peculiar 193- square mile bare lunar like landscape of a limestone plateau dotted with Stone Age forts and megalithic tombs. In the narrow crevices that criss-cross this pavement flourish orchids, gentians and other rare flora. Hidden sites in the Burren include Cahercommaun Stone fort, The Burren Perfumery, Poulnabrone Dolmen Ailwee Cave.

    Overnight at Gregans Castle Hotel 4*. (b)

  • Day 10

    The Burren - Connemara - Ashford Castle

    Touring Connemara (b)

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    On the way to Connemara, stop by Moran's Oyster Cottage for lunch. This is just the kind of Irish pub that people everywhere dream about. It’s as pretty as a picture, with a well-kept thatched roof and a lovely waterside location. People from throughout the country beat a path here at every available opportunity for their wonderful local seafood, including lobster, but especially the native oysters (from their own oyster beds) which are in season from September to April (farmed Gigas oysters are on the menu all year). Then there’s chowder and smoked salmon and seafood cocktail and mussels, delicious crab salads - and lobster, with boiled potatoes and garlic butter.

    Set off for a tour of Connemara. Connemara is the area of Western Galway South Mayo bounded by the Atlantic Lough Corrib. It is an area beloved by artists poets who find magical inspiration in its wide open bogs its towering cloud capped mountains. Cottages nestle into hillsides where wild looking sheep with thick fleeces great curling horns freely graze. The rugged coastline is punctuated with little fishing villages, where you will see the traditional canvas built currachs black hulled Galway Hookers moored beside the lobster pot strewn piers. Learn about the Irish Bodhran, the Irish drum in Roundstone visit the Duc de Stacpoole at the Roundstone Art Gallery.

    Overnight at Ashford Castle 5*. (b)

  • Day 11

    Galway

    Exploring Galway. (b)

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    Start the day by exploring the medieval sea port and university town of Galway, one of Ireland’s largest cities. Then through the gentle midlands of Ireland, a land of sensuously curving rivers, rolling hills and wide open bogs where grouse and skylark song breaks the windswept silence. There will be hidden gardens to explore, and historic mansions to visit. Free evening at Ashford Castle.

    Overnight at Ashford Castle 5*. (b)

  • Day 12

    Ashford Castle - Ballyfin

    Transfer to Ballyfin Demense. (b)

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    Early transfer to Ballyfin demesne, to make it in time for lunch. Enjoy Ballyfin Demesne, free day before departure tomorrow. The house has long been admired as the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland, and after eight years of restoration, Ballyfin re-opened in May 2011 as a 5 star country house hotel like no other. It offers the very best of Irish hospitality in the most beautiful surroundings imaginable.

    Overnight at Ballyfin Demesne 5*. (b)

  • Day 13

    Ballyfin - Dublin

    Depart to Dublin. (b)

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    Depart for Dublin for your homebound flight or an onward journey. (b)

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