Ireland’s Best Castles
7-Day tour experience uniquely designed by Desmond Tours
Tour Highlights & Focal Points
Mainly beautiful Irish Castles and castle hotels but also attractions such as: • Dublin City • Glendalough • Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile • Waterford City • Rock of Cashel • King John’s Castle • The Burren • Cliffs of Moher • Galway City • Connemara • Kylemore Abbey
On arrival you will be warmly welcomed to Ireland by our friendly driver who will escort you to your awaiting vehicle. We will build the itinerary around your preferred time of arrival, allowing you full flexibility. To start off your castle tour, you will be taken to Clontarf Castle, just outside Dublin, where you will have the opportunity to sample a delicious full Irish Breakfast or a hearty lunch or supper, depending on your time of arrival. Continuing on from here, we make our way into Dublin City and you will experience a panoramic driving tour of the capital of Ireland. From Dublin, we will make our way South and depending on the group’s interests, we can include a drive through the scenic Wicklow Mountains and stop at the monastic site of Glendalough. From here, we will make our way to the first castle hotel of your tour, Kilkea Castle, which is one of Ireland’s oldest castles dating back to the 12th century.
Enjoy a wonderful overnight in Kilkea Castle
After your night in the lovely Kilkea Castle, your driver will pick you up and you will start the day by diving deeper into Ireland’s Ancient East and driving to the medieval City of Kilkenny where you can explore one or more of the following attractions: Saint Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower, you may wish to walk the “Medieval Mile”, visit Kilkenny Castle, explore the exciting Dunmore Caves, take a tour in the Smithwicks Brewery or get some shopping done at the Kilkenny Design Centre, located just opposite Kilkenny Castle. After lunch at the infamous Kyteler’s Inn, a historic pub with great atmosphere, music and food, established in 1324, we will make our way down to the Viking City of Waterford, where you will check into Waterford Castle, which is located on an exquisite 310-acre private island and which is accessed by a car ferry over the King’s Channel.
Enjoy a peaceful overnight in Waterford Castle
After setting back over onto the mainland, we will make our way to the Rock of Cashel, a historic site perched on an impressive hill with numerous ancient buildings such as a round tower, historic cathedral and a Celtic high cross – a fabulous photo opportunity not to be missed! We will leave the Rock of Cashel and make our way to King John’s Castle in Limerick, a 15th century castle located on the banks of the river Shannon. Here you may partake in one of the medieval activities that take place in the castle’s courtyard. From here, it is just an hours’ drive to another one of Ireland’s best castle hotels – Dromoland Castle.
Enjoy a fabulous overnight in Dromoland Castle
Today you can choose to make use of the castle’s fabulous amenities or if you prefer, another day of touring is also an option: A beautiful coastal drive on the Wild Atlantic Way via the Burren to the famous Cliffs Moher. En route, a possible photo stop is Dunguaire Castle and a quick visit to Poulnabrone Dolmen is also an option. A great alternative for our history buffs is a visit to the authentic Bunratty Castle and Folk Park with its 15th century castle and authentic old Folk Park. After lunch in Doolin (Cliffs of Moher Option) or at the famous Durty Nellies Tavern (Bunratty Castle Option), we will make our way back to Dromoland Castle, where you can enjoy some quality time making use of the wonderful facilities this castle has to offer.
Enjoy another fabulous night in Dromoland Castle
After your last night at the fabulous Dromoland Castle, your driver will pick you up and you will start the day by driving to the City of Galway, an excellent stop to stock up on some well needed Irish gifts. There will also be an opportunity to have a tour of the city, a visit to Galway Cathedral and a walk along Salthill promenade. We will have lunch in the city and will then make our way to Connemara by first driving to the little village of Moycullen, home of the green Connemara Marble. Continuing from here, you will experience the ruggedness of the beautiful mountains of Connemara, the serene lakes and of course everybody’s favourite – plenty of sheep along the way – or on the road in fact! We recommend an early check-in at Ashford Castle as this surely will be the highlight of your castle tour of Ireland.
Overnight in the luxurious Ashford Castle
Your driver will pick you up from Ashford Castle after a leisurely breakfast and for those of you who like movies, you will get the opportunity to have a photo stop at the scene of the opening of the film “The Quiet Man“. From there, several options are available, depending on the group’s interest: Ireland’s only fjord “Killary Fjord“, the beautiful fishing villages of Roundstone and Clifden, Kylemore Abbey and its walled gardens, a walk on Diamond Hill and many more attractions along the way. At the end of this day, there is always the opportunity to visit the closing scene of “The Quiet Man” en route back to Ashford Castle.
Lucky you! Another night in the fabulous Ashford Castle
Before you leave Ashford Castle, enjoy one last stroll through the castle grounds and say goodbye to the resident Irish wolfhounds on site. Then we will transfer you to Dublin Airport or transfer you to a hotel of your choice in Dublin and bid our farewells.
Tour prices and included services
In light of the difficult circumstances for tourism and travel, we have decided that our tour prices for the 2021 and 2022 season will remain unchanged from our 2020 rates and as such, will be priced from €420 per day of touring. Please contact us for an exact quote as prices vary depending on group size, itinerary chosen and length of tour.
Unless otherwise agreed, your tour price includes the following:
- Fully customised itinerary designed with your touring needs in mind.
- Scheduled stops at must-see locations and at lesser known hidden gems – Ireland’s best kept secrets!
- Live commentary, information, interaction and entertainment by an experienced, Failte Ireland approved guide and fully qualified driver.
- A real progressive Irish tour experience that mixes present day with the past and helps you to create memories that will last a lifetime.
- Scheduled pick up at your arrival location and drop off on departure to suit your individual schedule.
- We will supply the vehicle plus all associated costs including fuel, tolls, insurance and car-parks – your own dedicated personal group vehicle for your tour only.
- Fine food specialties can be prepared on request for special occasions – this helps to create another memorable moment during your Ireland Vacation.
- Recommendations on reputable hotel/accommodation choices, local Irish pubs, recognised taste restaurants and fun activities. Additional activity bookings for your tour on request.
- Driver overnight expenses (including accommodation & food)
- We know that organic tour changes can happen and if required, we will facilitate changes to include restaurant bookings and other schedule changes. This is your vacation and we want to ensure that it is an enjoyable and unique experience for you!
Booking this tour
We make the booking experience an easy and accessible one for you. We invite you to contact us today and we can check availability for your dates of choice and discuss all the details of your tour requirements. This helps us to design the best tour option and itinerary for you.
Tour prices start from €420 per day of touring as outlined above. A deposit is specified at the time of enquiry and this secures your preferred dates and tour driver. Once the deposit is received, a confirmation email is sent and the final payment for the tour will be due six weeks before the start date of your tour.