On the first day of the Best of Ireland coach tour, you will arrive in Dublin Airport, where you will be collected by your coach and transferred to your accommodation for the evening. You will have free time for the afternoon to freshen up and rest after your morning’s travel. In the evening your guide will arrange a ‘get to know you’ dinner including a briefing about the trip and schedule for the coming days.
2 Dublin to Derry
Travel 337 km – Bus 4hrs 30 min approx:
After breakfast the group tour will kick start with a visit to Trinity College Dublin, to see the Book of Kells, before travelling north to Belfast.
Located in the heart of Dublin City, Trinity College is a modern college with an elegant period style and atmosphere. Walking through the cobbled courtyard, visitors will transported back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library building was constructed. The Old Library houses the Book of Kells, a 9th-century gospel manuscript, written in Latin on vellum (prepared calfskin). The Book of Kells is famous around the globe and celebrated for its lavish decoration.
From Dublin the group will travel to the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland. The Giants Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Nature Reserve. This world-famous landscape consisting of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns is the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. Local legend would argue that it was constructed as a bridge to Scotland when a giant from Ireland named Fionn MacCool was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner.
You will spend the evening in Derry City.
3 Derry to Westport
Travel 254 km – Bus 4hrs approx:
Day three of the Best of Ireland coach tour will begin with a walking tour of Derry City. Known as the ‘Maiden City’ as the city walls were never breached during siege, there is a wealth of period historical buildings and heritage sites within the old walled city.
Today you will also visit Croagh Patrick, a place of worship as far back as 3,000 BC. In the 5th century Croagh Patrick gained popularity as the mount from which Saint Patrick banished snakes from Ireland. Arriving at this iconic mountain you will have the option to take a short walk to a viewing point known as the ‘five fingers’.
Nearby Westport is a designated Heritage Town. The words picturesque and Westport go hand in hand. This busy little town has a lot to offer whether you are looking historic tours, scenic walks, gastronomy or bars with entertainment.
4 Westport to Galway
Travel 145 km – Bus 2hrs 30 min approx:
Today you have an exciting day ahead with trips scheduled to Killary Fjord, Kylemore Abbey and cross the heart of Connemara on your way to bustling Galway city.
Killary Fjord is located in the heart of Connemara and is one of three glacial fjords that exist in Ireland. Your coach will follow the shore of Killary Fjord stopping at the best locations giving you an opportunity to take that perfect landscape photograph.
Kylemore Estate was purchased in 1867 and transformed in to Kylemore Castle by Mitchell and Margaret Henry. In 1920 a community of nuns purchased Kylemore Castle, after their abbey in Ypres Belgium was destroyed during WWI. The nuns transformed the castle into Kylemore Abbey. Your guide will take you on a tour through this enchanting abbey and its adjoining gardens.
In the evening you will be transferred to the historic city of Galway for a walking tour. This lively city still maintains much of its medieval charm, with narrow streets, old shop fronts, ancient city walls, castles and cathedrals.
5 Galway to Killarney
Travel 210 km – Bus 3hrs approx:
Departing Galway City your tour will take you through the heart of the Burren, stopping to take pictures of this unique landscape and its most iconic monuments:
The spectacular Cliffs of Moher are also on the itinerary of the Explore Ireland coach tour for today. Stretching along the coast for over 8km and towering 214m above the Atlantic Ocean they are one of Ireland’s top attractions. There is also a fantastic visitor centre offering information about the area, cafes and bathrooms. Close to the visitor centre, you’ll find the iconic O’ Brien’s Tower with a viewing platform on its roof.
The group will then travel to Limerick for a tour of King John’s Castle, by the River Shannon. The settlement dates back to the era of the Vikings 922 AD and it was redeveloped to its current form around 1200 AD. The exhibition offers insight in to the daily lives of people living and working within this fortress.
In the evening you will travel south to Killarney, a bustling country town packed with good restaurants, bars and traditional pubs.
6 The Ring of Kerry
Travel 174 km – Bus 2hrs 45 min approx:
Today, the coach tour continues in one of Ireland’s most spectacular drives: the world famous Ring of Kerry section of the Wild Atlantic Way.
The Ring of Kerry winds its way around the stunning Iveragh Peninsula taking in some of the most dramatic scenery in Ireland. The tour follows the Kerry coastline in the foothills of the Macgillycuddy’s reeks, home to 9 of the 10 tallest mountains in Ireland. To the West you will have the perfect vantage point to take in the views of the stunning Kerry coastline including Rossbeigh and Inch beaches, Skellig and The Great Blasket Islands. Your guide will organize photo stops and short tours at key locations on your route on The Ring of Kerry.
Returning to Killarney you will visit Killarney National Park and Muckross House where your guide will take you on a tour of this majestic Victorian mansion, traditional farm and walled gardens.
You will stay in Killarney again today giving you the evening to explore this bustling town.
7 Killarney to Dublin
Travel 309 km – Bus 3hrs 30 minutes approx:
On the last activity day of the Best of Ireland coach tour you will leave Killarney and visit the magnificent Rock of Cashel, as well as Kilkenny Castle on your way back to Dublin city.
The Rock of Cashel, also known as Cashel of the Kings, was the seat of the High Kings of Munster. The rock was gifted to the Church in the 12th century and most of the buildings on the site date from that era. The oldest and tallest of the buildings is the iconic round tower (28 metres, or 90 feet), dating from 1100 AD.
Picturesque Kilkenny Castle showcases examples of several phases of development in Irish architectural styles ranging from a stone built moated Norman fortress, and the impressive 17th century classical gateway. The 18th century saw the building of the elegant, crescent shaped stables and the 19th century remodelling introduced the Castellated Baronial style with additional Ruskinian Gothic motifs.
We have also organise a bon voyage meal for the group as you return to your accommodation in Dublin.
After breakfast your Best of Ireland coach tour with us comes to an end. We will arrange a transfer to the Dublin Airport in the early afternoon for anyone travelling home today.
Ask the IrelandWays.com travel consultants about adding an extra night accommodation if you wish to take advantage of a day trip to County Wicklow and the 6th century monastic site at Glendalough, or just spend some time exploring the historic city of Dublin. Be magically transported back in time when you visit the National Museum of Ireland, sample a pint Guinness at its source with a tour or the Guinness Storehouse or simply relax strolling around Saint Stephen’s Green.