Classic Hidden Ireland Chauffeur Tour (Sample)
Here is a sample of our Classic Hidden Ireland Chaffeur Tour. This luxury car or mini-coach tour begins in our capital city of Dublin and then explores the very best of the western and south western seaboard regions along the Wild Atlantic Way, discovering the Counties of Mayo, Galway Clare and Kerry.
In the company of a great guide, this week long vacation brings together extraordinary scenery with Ireland’s rich heritage, shared in the company of scholars and others with time to walk, bike, golf, fish, relax, shop and explore castles, gardens and antiquities.
(This trip can be tailored to specific needs)
Accommodations for this tour can be chosen from a range of great hotels and country inns near along the way, including some of our favourites; Lough Inagh Lodge in Connemara, the Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa overlooking the Killarney Valley or the Park Hotel in nearby Kenmare).
At a glance…
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Days 1-2 – Dublin & Westport, County Mayo
Days 3-5 – Connemara Region & Galway City
Days 5-7 – West Clare & The Dingle Peninsula
Days 7-9 – Killarney & The Ring of Kerry Region
Sample 7 Day itinerary.
Depart Dublin and head west across the centre of Ireland to Rathcroaghan or Rath Cruachan, the ancient royal and powerful mythic centre of the west of Ireland. Here in the company of a local scholar we will explore the powerful story of this sacred site where archaeology and history merges with Mythic Ireland. Nearby, we take time to visit the powerful National Museum of Ireland’s Great Famine of the 1840’s and then cross into County Mayo and the picturesque market town of Westport located at the edge of the Wild Atlantic Way and beneath Ireland’s holiest peak, Croagh Patrick.
Westport has a host of wonderful features and in 2011 the town was voted the “Best Place to Live in Ireland”. The afternoon will allow for exploring this colourful place – but for the active and eager there will be an opportunity to ascend Croagh Patrick itself, take a refreshing stroll on Murrisk beach or perhaps see the sun descend from a sacred place of ritual significance since Neolithic times. Great food opportunities and pubs abound in Westport, among them, that of Matt Molloy’s, the home-base of the flautist with Irish traditional music super-group, The Chieftains.
Overnight Westport Region.
This morning’s tour takes us deep into the wilds of County Mayo and onto it’s great island of Achill right on the Wild Atlantic Way and surrounding countryside. This is the region from where a majority of the Irish Diaspora around the globe are descend from, a rugged and poor land but of outstanding beauty. Human history is evidenced on this landscape since the Stone Age and today’s journey will provide a fascinating introduction to the complex and rich story of Ireland and it’s people. (opportunities today to golf, hike or bike for anyone who wishes).
Overnight Westport Region.
Our tour today will take us along the some of the wildest landscape on the western seaboard along the Wild Atlantic Way before entering the region known as Connemara of County Galway.
Connemara is one of Ireland’s and Europe’s iconic landscapes, a wild place where rugged coastlines and blanket bogs dotted with countless lakes wrap around granite and schist mountains, overlaid with an extra-ordinary cultural history since Ireland’s stone-ages. Today we peel back the rich layers of this place in the company of one of the region’s most famous sons, the outstanding scholar, renowned archaeologist, historian and raconteur Michael Gibbons in a cultural adventure that’s sure to resonate long after our departure.
Later this afternoon, we enter Galway, the City of the Tribes with time to sample the bustling heart of this regional capital and the main city of our western seaboard before heading south around Galway Bay into the region known as the Burren.
Overnight Burren Region
The Burren is another of Europe’s most iconic landscapes, a rugged place of limestone karst home to a mind-blowing natural and cultural history. In the company of a local guide, we will examine aspects of the region’s spectacular array of archaeology and delve into the rich spiritual wealth of this land held within a vibrant community. We will meet some of it’s people and get close to see some of the unique flora of the Burren, among them Alpine, Mediterranean and Arctic rarities living side-by-side here at the edge of the temperate Atlantic.
Leaving the Burren, we will stop at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland’s most famous sea cliffs; a great bastion of 200 m (650 ‘) cliffs that fall to the Atlantic and overlook the islands of Aran. Continuing south, we cross the Mouth of the River Shannon into County Kerry travelling at first through the plains of North Kerry to the town of Tralee, we finally head west and meet another powerful landscape; the Dingle Peninsula.
Our destination and base for two nights here is the remarkable little town of Dingle (pop. 2000) located near the tip of this great finger of land and surrounded by ocean. It is a spectacular place of rugged beauty, once described by National Geographic Traveller as – “probably the most beautiful place on Earth!” It is home to a vibrant community, among them a truly incredible collection of traditional musicians, who’s presence provide an amazing oasis of culture.
Overnight Dingle town[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]
This morning we will take a leisurely tour of the nearby Slea Head area, the most spectacular region of the Dingle Peninsula.
In the afternoon there are opportunities to choose from a variety of activities prior to a free evening in Dingle with afternoon activity options to perhaps; explore Dingle township, sea-kayak in Dingle Bay, surf at Brandon Bay, horse ride, golf, hike or enjoy an archaeological tour of a mere handful but sample of the 3500 antiquities that dot this incredible peninsula
Leaving Dingle this morning, first stop will be at the beautiful Inch Beach for a short stroll before reaching the Killarney Valley and the foothills of Ireland’s highest and most magnificent mountains, the McGillycuddy Reeks. Away from our van or cars, this magical day’s journey will take us into the serene depths of the Killarney Lakeland, The Black Valley and Gap of Dunloe.
This is home territory for our company, where the we can think of no better place to share with you on our last day together! We will begin our day with a visit to the heart of the Killarney National Park, the magnificent House, Garden and Traditional Farms of Muckross. From here we will take a traditional fishing boat and slowly make our way on the famed river and lake system that drains the most rugged terrain in Ireland before reaching the headwaters in the Black Valley. En-route we will take a special picnic lunch before having the option thereafter of Walking, Biking or taking a Traditional Jaunting Car over the Gap of Dunloe.
This morning we head out on the most famous touring route in Ireland, The Ring of Kerry. It is a place of renowned scenery and one of the great road trips of the world. On this Hidden Ireland Tour, you will be treated to many hidden treasures along and off the route through Waterville, Cahedaniel, Sneem, Kenmare and Molls Gap.
And for the active, there is the option of visiting the off-shore monastery of Skellig Michael! One hour from Killarney, we leave the Ring of Kerry and head to the tiny fishing village of Portmagee to meet our boat for an off-shore voyage without equal on Earth! Our destination is the 6th century monastic rock-island known as Skellig Michael located 10 miles out into the Atlantic. One of Ireland’s only two UNESCO World Heritage sites, our purpose today is to walk in the footsteps of the extraordinary hermits that lived on this wild peak and sample the rich bird life of the area, among them Gannets, Puffins and Storm Petrels. This is our favourite place in the world. It is a sacred place that will remain etched in the soul forever.
Several of Irelands finest golf courses are located in the regions covered by this trip. Subject to availability, tee-times for those interested can be incorporated into a number of days on the itinerary.
Hiking & Biking:
Opportunities to engages the very finest hiking and biking of a world-class standard abound in the areas visited on this trip. At all levels, these activities provide un-rivalled means by which to connect to Ireland.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” type=”full_width” text_align=”left” padding_top=”20″ padding_bottom=”30″ css_animation=””][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”15427,15433,15441,15458,15482″ img_size=”800×600″ column_number=”5″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” type=”grid” text_align=”left” padding_top=”10″ padding_bottom=”10″ css_animation=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]
What a fabulous adventure you provided for us! You are an amazing ambassador for Ireland and we leave with a touch of sadness, but our hearts full of love for your wonderful Country. Thank you so much for opening our eyes and minds to Ireland’s rich history. Thank you for introducing us to the beautiful countryside, waters and of course people. It was literally a dream come through for us to visit Skellig Michael but the entire trip enriched our lives.
Karen & Gunnar – Dallas Aug 2015