Tour from Dublin
Tours are priced individually according to the route, group size, distances & hours required, date(s) in question, start & end locations, overnight locations (where applicable) and remaining supply at time of booking.
Day 1: Dublin - Connemara - Galway
Day 2: Depart Galway - Burren Region - Cliffs of Moher - Dublin (ends)
"Erin, thank you so much for putting this Irish experience together for us. My grandmother always told of the beauty of the west coast and it certainly did not disappoint. With gratitude," - MF, Santa Barbara, California
Your driver will collect you from your door this morning and navigate the capital's busy rush hour streets while you sit back, relax and enjoy the introductory conversation.
The trip across country is mainly motorway, with rolling farmland, herds of grazing livestock and ancient peat bogs either side of the road. By mid-morning you'll arrive in Connemara, a wilderness famous for its spectacular scenery inlcuding mountain ranges, lakes and wild ponies.
Our first stop is typically in the tiny village of Cong, Co. Mayo. If you have ever seen the classic movie ‘The Quiet Man’, – this is where it was filmed with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. Highlights of the village include celebrity hangout Ashford Castle (one of the top 5 star resorts in Europe) and the haunting Augustinian Abbey ruins (626 AD). The village also has a handful of quaint pubs and souvenir shops which hark back to a time gone by.
This afternoon, continue towards Galway city, though the incredible landscapes of the Maumturk mountains, Lough Corrib and Maam Cross. This area was one of those decimated by the Irish Famine of 1845 - 52 which led to waves of emigration to the United States and far beyond. Ruined homes, farms and churches still stand in places as sad testament to those who once called these valleys home.
Perhaps make a short stop at the Atlantic village of Spiddal (an Spidéal), Co. Galway, where you’ll likely hear the native Irish language spoken in the coffee shops and on the sidewalk - much of the region has retained the Irish national tongue and is called a Gaeltacht.
By late afternoon you'll arrive in Galway, the west coast's principal city. Galway (or Gaillimh in Irish) is known for its laid back vibe and friendly population. Your driver will drop you off at the valet area of your hotel and you can freshen up and enjoy the late afternoon & evening at leisure.
Before the shops close, many guests like to visit Thomas Dillon's Claddagh Ring Shop at 1 Quay Street and Aran Sweater Market at 23 Quay Street. The beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven (Galway Cathedral) is also worth a quick visit.
This evening look forward to strolling through Shop Street, Quay Street, The Latin Quarter, Eyre Square and Spanish Arch as music fills the air. On long summer nights perhaps enjoy an ice cream or fish and chips on Salthill Promenade at Galway Bay. Meanwhile the local oysters pair amazingly well with Guinness - available in many of the pubs during oyster season.
Kennedy & Carr recommend:
Dine at: The Seafood Bar @ Kirwan's Lane (downtown), Pullman Restaurant (fine dining in a train carriage at Glenlo Abbey), O'Grady's on the Pier (Barna, 8km from downtown) or John Keogh's Gastropub (downtown)
Enjoy a second pot of Irish breakfast tea or coffee and relax as you look forward to the day ahead. Your driver will collect you at the agreed time and begin the journey south along a portion of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Wave goodbye to Galway Bay as you enter the Burren Region of Co. Clare. The Burren is a one-of-its-kind area of limestone rock and is the only location in the world where flora of Arctic, Mediterranean and Alpine origin flourish side-by-side.
Some popular highlights this morning could include a quick stop for photos and fresh air at Dunguaire Castle in Kinvara village and perhaps a brief visit to the ruins of Corcomroe Abbey - a haunting Cistercian Abbey which was built in very remote territory in the eary 1200s and which has lain in ruin for centuries.
Your road trip continues with raging ocean, sheer cliff faces and dolphin sightings all common features of the route – so make sure your camera is within easy reach!
By late- morning / early afternoon you won't be far from Cliffs of Moher and many guests will be feeling the first pangs of hunger at this stage.
A popular lunch stop is the village of Doolin with several pubs to choose from including O’Connor’s and Fitzers. During peak summer months Doolin can be seriously overcrowded with day trippers and coach groups - so many of our private clients will opt instead for nearby Liscannor where the Vaughan family have been running the Anchor Inn for decades - think seafood chowder, black pudding with foie gras, fish and chips, grass fed Irish ribeye and local monkfish paired with Guinness, excellent wines by the glass and all the usual soft drinks - ask your driver what he recommends on the day and take things from there.
Refreshed, we’ll arrive at Ireland’s number one natural attraction – The Cliffs of Moher! Take time to explore this incredible wonder at your leisure, strolling along the cliff edges and gazing out across the Atlantic Ocean! Clear days offer views of the Aran Islands and Galway Bay to the North – and the mountain ranges of Connemara beyond. You are now standing on the very edge of western Europe! The ‘Atlantic Edge’ exhibition offers a wealth of knowledge about the area and the gift shop has souvenirs to remember your visit.
Departing the area by late afternoon, enjoy a brief stop at Bunratty Castle (for photos & refreshments - the castle will be closed) before the final stretch of motorway to the capital.
Depending on your start time this morning, you'll usually arrive back in Dublin between 19:00 - 20:00 this evening. Look forward to an early night or to late dinner reservations and entertainment in the capital's bustling pub scene.
Kennedy & Carr recommend:
You will receive your ticket (featuring your booking number) via email immediately at time of booking. There is no need to print the ticket. If you wish, you can simply show it on your phone or tablet.