Arrive Dublin Airport and pick up your self-drive car and head north up the main highway. Or be collected by one of our best driver guides who will be guiding you for the rest of the trip.
Drive to Castle Leslie, this Castle Hotel in County Monaghan is nestled on 1,000 acres of undulating Irish countryside, dotted with ancient woodland and glittering lakes, Castle Leslie Estate Monaghan is one of the last great Irish Castle estates still in the hands of its founding family. Since the 1660s, the distinguished and somewhat individual Leslie family has lived on the Castle Estate. Now you too can experience some of the most unique and enchanting castle accommodation in Ireland. The Castle, at the heart of the Estate, offers authentic original interiors and old-style hospitality and is a complete respite from the world.
DAY 2 - Explore Co. Antrim & Overnight in Castle Leslie
After a full Irish Breakfast, either spend the day relaxing and walking the Glens of Antrim or tour to Belfast city - visit St. Anne's Cathedral with its maze-like floor and the city's Botanic Gardens, the Crown Liquor Saloon the Titanic Quarter, where the ill-fated ship was built. Return to Castle Leslie.
DAY 3 - Depart Castle Leslie & Overnight in Ashford Castle
Tour on the way to Ashford Castle.
Ireland’s grandest castle hotel, with a history going back to the early 13th century, Ashford is set in 350 acres of beautiful parkland. Grandeur, formality and tranquillity are the essential characteristics, first seen in immaculately maintained grounds and, once inside, in a succession of impressive public rooms that illustrate a long and proud history - panelled walls, oil paintings, suits of armour and magnificent fireplaces.
The castle has over 80 bedrooms and three restaurants: The Connaught Room, which is mainly for residents, is the jewel in Ashford Castle’s culinary crown and one of Ireland’s most impressive restaurants; at present it is only occasionally open; the larger George V Dining Room also offers fine dining; Cullen’s Cottage, in the grounds, offers accessible all-day informal dining. In addition, The Library and Drawing Room menus offer informal meals including Afternoon Tea.
DAY 4 - Tour Kylemore Abbey & the greater Connemara region
Touring from Ashford, learn about the Irish Bodhran, the Irish drum in Roundstone and visit the Duc de Stacpoole at the Roundstone Art Gallery. Killary Harbour, a glacial fjord, can be explored on a local cruise. Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine school, is awesomely beautiful and has a recently restored Victorian garden. Clifden, the capital of Connemara is known for its tweeds. Be sure to follow the Sky Road into Clifden, and if you have time visit some of the coral beaches out towards Roundstone. Letterfrack is home to Connemara National Park. Letterfrack Woodwork & Furniture College is located in the village where students design innovative and quality handcrafted furniture. Clifden or Roundstone would be the best places for lunch. A private cruise on a very stable 36ft motor catarmaran to some of the deserted islands could be arranged.
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.
DAY 5 - Tour Cliffs of Mohar & The Burren on the way to Adare
The Cliffs of Moher, a sheer precipice 8 km long and rising to a height of 203m, one of the most impressive stretches of the coast in the West of Ireland, remarkable especially at nesting seasons for the quantity and variety of seabirds there. Lisdoonvarna is a spa town with an excellent salmon smokehouse. September was, and still is, the peak month of the matchmaking season here and with the harvest safely in bachelor farmers flock to Lisdoonvarna in search of wives. The Spa Well also continues to attract the crowds. The Doolin Craft Gallery as well as selling treasures from all around Ireland is also worth visiting for its scrumptious food and stunning gardens - a plantsman's paradise. You will pass Lahinch Golf Course, famous for its impenetrable rough and its goats.
The Burren - Words simply cannot do justice to this eerie, peculiar 193-square mile area of ancient seabed that suffered glacial activity during its long history. The Burren is a 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, an amazing mix of arctic, alpine, temperate, and tropical vegetation growing side by side. Twenty-two varieties of orchids thrive here, nourished by underground rivers and rich soil. Today we see treeless meadows of limestone karst that forms natural pavement interspersed with lush flora. Scholars of history can scour the Burren for tombs, chambers, and dolmens (two stones that support a horizontal slab), traces of Stone Age inhabitants. To the north, the Burren is bounded by Galway Bay with the fishing port of Ballyvaughan, a noted centre for oysters, while to the west the Aran Islands stand out against the broad expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.
DAY 6 - Depart to Airport
Depart from Shannon Airport. Private transfer or return on self-drive.
Prices are subject to availability
For full details & bookings please contact us at:
+353 (1) 2889355