12-Nights Ireland's Hidden Gems - Self Drive
This independent itinerary is fully customizable around your interests and budget.
12 nights from $2656 per person
Supplier: Brendan Vacations
Dublin enjoys one of the loveliest natural settings in Europe. Dublin attracts visitors from around the world with its old world charm and friendly atmosphere. Most of the architecture dates from the 18th century, when Dublin enjoyed great prominence and prosperity. Also of interest are stately Georgian houses which front Merrion Square. O'Connell Street is considered the commercial center of Dublin. Perhaps the most memorable feature of Dublin is the traditional pub, where visitors can enjoy conversation over fine Irish brew. The city also offers many fine parks, including St. Stephen's Green and Phoenix Park. National Gallery's renowned collection includes works by such famous masters as Rembrandt and Monet. Trinity College's Old Library is home to the most cherished treasure, the Book of Kells, a manuscript of the Gospels. Admire Christ Church Cathedral and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Enjoy the exhibits in impressive National Museum. Self-guided walking tours include Old City Trail, Georgian Heritage Trail and the Cultural Trail.
Belfast is popular with travelers who come to discover the city’s physical beauty and renewed tranquility. Enjoy performances at the Grand Opera House, shopping along trendy Donegall Place and visiting numerous pubs along The Golden Mile. St. Anne’s Cathedral, also known as Belfast Cathedral, is the principal church of the Anglican Church of Ireland and contains stones from every county in Ireland. Located next to Europa Hotel, the Grand Opera House boasts an impressive mix of large productions of opera, ballet, musicals and drama. Known as the Big Ben of Belfast, the Albert Memorial Clock Tower was built in 1869 to commemorate the Prince Consort. Built in 1849 as one of Queen Victoria’s colleges, Queens University is one of the foremost universities in the British Isles. The classical-style building of Stormont, erected in 1928-32 to house the Parliament of Northern Ireland, stands 3.5 miles outside the city. The Prince of Wales Avenue is exactly one mile long and is bordered by rose beds containing 600 of the famous Korona roses noted for their scarlet blooms.
A town of churches, bridges and pubs, Cork is best known for Blarney Castle where you are invited to kiss the famed stone to acquire the "gift of gab." St. Patrick Street, the town's main thoroughfare, is good for shopping and people watching. See the Shandon bells in St. Anne's church. Those who are willing to climb the 134 winding steps to the top of the steeple will be rewarded with a wondrous view of the city, harbor and hills.
Londonderry (Derry) is a city of contrasts, culture, and heartwarming hospitality. Protective walls erected in 1614 present a good image of what the town’s fortification looked like more than 350 years ago and offer a splendid view over the roofs and buildings. The city’s architectural legacy retains many elegant reminders of fortunes gleaned from trade. Discover the grandeur of Georgian terraces and the ornate facade of the building that once housed the shirt and collar industry. The city offers history and heritage. Major attractions are the 17th-century cathedral and the neo-Gothic guildhall. The town square has been known since the 17th century as the Diamond and lies at the junction of the four principal streets, still following the medieval plan. Derry provides a convenient base for exploring Donegal County, one of the country’s most scenic areas in glorious wilderness. Located outside Londonderry, Dunluce castle is famous as the former residence of the great O’Neills clan. The Grianan of Aileach - which dates back to 1700 B.C., was originally a temple of the sun.
Galway is a city, a county, and an experience to be savoured and remembered. The historic city of the tribes dances to a beat uniquely it's own. There is a certain chemistry and vibrancy to this friendly university city, which many delight in, and few forget. Music, festivals, horse racing, pubs, restaurants, shops, theatres and most of all -Galway people, combine to create this atmospheric medieval city of culture. From this pulsating heart the rest of the county flows.
Galway Bay, immortalised in song, its beauty unchanging. Scenic Gaeltacht areas including the Aran Islands. Connemara, with the picturesque town of Clifden as its capital. Mountains, castles and stone walls, banks of turf, long sandy beaches, clear lakes, joyful leaping streams and flowing rivers. The mighty Shannon, delightful countryside punctuated by pretty villages, traditional pubs.
Photo used with permission
from Joe Desbonnet, www.galway.net
Sligo is the capital of the North West region and one of Ireland's largest towns. It accounts for one third of the population of Sligo County with some 20,000 residents. However, because of its regional status as a regional growth centre and gateway to the North West, its daily population expands to over 42,000. Sligo town is situated on the Garavogue River and is a thriving tourist, commercial and administrative regional centre.
Sligo is a beautiful county with a long Atlantic coastline, unspoilt countryside, mountains, lakes and countless other natural attributes to be seen. One of the world's most famous poets, and Sligo's adopted literary son, W.B. Yeats was inspired by the breathtaking landscape that abounds around Sligo, which prompted much of his poetry and his famous refrain - "Sligo, land of heart's desire".
The Regional Arts Centre houses a collection of J.B.Yeats paintings (brother of W.B Yeats) among other works of interest. Sligo hosts the International Yeats Summer School, an International Choral Festival, and a comtempary music festival to name but a few.
Sligo offers an excellent quality of life, with a wide range of sport and recreational facilities available. The Regional Sports Centre offers various pitches, indoor basketball courts, badminton, tennis, indoor soccer, a gymnasium and weights room, and a superb swimming pool. Championship golf courses compliment Sligo's extraordinary array of out door amenities. For the more energetic there are well developed GAA, Soccer and Rugby complexes. Other pursuits within the greater Sligo area include water-skiing, world class surfing, sailing, scuba-diving, sea and fresh water fishing, canoeing and mountaineering. Sligo Airport also hosts one of Ireland's most active flying clubs.
Sligo boasts a very vibrant nightlife, with a selection of nightclubs, live entertainment theatres and cultural attractions that offer variety and opportunity to meet all tastes.
The Dingle Peninsula is a top destination among tourists for all its attractions and activities. The Peninsula offers sandy swimming beaches, excellent surfing, walking trails, fine dining, and a variety of festivals. Families will enjoy visiting the Oceanworld Aquarium and Fungie, Dingle's most famous dolphin resident. The peninsula is also home to the highest concentration of archaeological sites in Ireland.
Valid Travel Dates
- Your selection of hand-selected accommodations from B&B's to castles, manors and hotels
- Full breakfast included daily
- Range of Hertz rental car options available from airport and city locations
- Your selection of pre-organized sightseeing
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