Escape to the South West
5 day tour

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Escape to the mystery and isolated splendour of Ireland’s West Coast.

Tour map

Highlights

Ferry
Distilleries
Gaelic Culture
Abbeys
Walks
Waterfalls
Castles
Beaches

Places you explore

 

Clonmacnoise - Scholars from all around Europe once visited this hugely influential abbey.

Galway Town - Stone clad buildings line the winding lanes and medieval walls of this ancient harbour city.

Cliffs of Moher - Behold an awe-inspiring 700ft drop into the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

The Burren - This national park is home to some of Ireland’s most profound spiritual and natural culture.

Dingle Peninsula - Glorious beaches merge with traditional Irish scenery in this land of Gaelic mystery and towering forts.

Ring of Kerry - Ireland's famous coastal route boasts some of the wildest views in Europe.

Torc Waterfall - Learn about the ancient curse that formed this waterfall and admire its impressive cascade.

Blarney Castle - Try to kiss the famed Blarney Stone amidst the walls of this gorgeous medieval stronghold.

Kilkenny - Step back in time as you walk narrow lanes of the Medieval Mile in this fascinating city.


Your journey


Explore one of Ireland’s most spectacular regions on this five day tour of Ireland.

You’ll capture Atlantic waves crashing against rugged cliffs, impressive castles looming over ancient monasteries, and cities bursting with myth and mystery.

It’s a tour that’s perfect for people who like their mountains mighty, their music merry, and their memories magnificent.


Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 08:45 (tour departs at 09:00) - Dublin Nassau Street Pick Up, Opposite the Kilkenny Shop, Nassau St, Dublin,
Finishes (approx.)
19:30 - Dublin Nassau Street Drop Off, Opposite the Kilkenny Shop, Nassau St, Dublin,
Luggage
You're restricted to 14kg (31lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items.
Discounts

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • Attraction tickets may need to be purchased in advance. More information is provided in your booking confirmation e-mail
Tour inclusions
  • All road tolls and the Killimer - Tarbet ferry
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • Tour accommodation

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Savour the sights and tastes of the oldest licensed distillery on Earth at the Kilbeggan Distillery
  • Revere the magnificent 1,500 year old abbey of Clonmacnoise
  • Delve into the hubbub of Galway City’s bustling bars and lively restaurants

Leaving Dublin, you head west through the farmlands and peat bogs of County Kildare and Offaly. Kilbeggan Distillery is your first stop, and here you have time to relax with a glass of their famed whiskey.

After a drink (or two!), you head to the banks of the mighty River Shannon and the ruined abbey at Clonmacnoise. Home to a large collection of stone crosses, ancient churches and inimitable round towers, this holy site offers an insightful glimpse into Ireland’s spiritual past.

You then lunch at a traditional pub in one of the area’s pretty villages before travelling to Galway City, your home for the first night. It’s a city with a lively atmosphere and excellent restaurants and bars.

Day 2

  • Roam the Burren, home to some of Ireland’s most profound spiritual and natural experiences
  • Marvel at the steep Cliffs of Moher and the stunning 700ft drop into the waves of the Atlantic Ocean
  • Relax with traditional Irish music in the atmospheric pubs and bars of Killarney

A short drive along the coast from Galway City lies the Burren, one of Ireland’s national treasures. It’s home to one of the earliest Christian settlements in Ireland and broad limestone pavements and rare flora.

After time to explore the area, you travel to Kilfenora, the “town of the crosses”. You can visit the town’s fabulous ancient cathedral before we stop for lunch in one of the area’s charming villages.

You then head to the incredible Cliffs of Moher. Walk the stunning cliff trails as seabirds swoop through the clear air above you. And learn about the unique ecosystem in the excellent and award winning environmental exhibition nearby.

The tour then moves south through County Clare, passing its famous golf course on the way to the picturesque beach at Lahinch. From here you board a ferry across the Shannon Estuary to the lakeside town of Killarney. This energetic, charming area will be your base for the next three nights, so take your time sampling the superb collection of traditional pubs and live music.

Day 3

  • Traverse the Dingle Peninsula, famous for its scenery and Gaelic culture
  • Wander ancient forts and religious sites of the past at Slea Head
  • Stroll the beautiful length of Inch Beach on your way to Dingle

Today, your tour explores the fabulous Dingle Peninsula. Your first stop is Inch Beach, a vast expanse of sand stretching out into the Atlantic. Venturing down the narrow roads away from the beach leads you through the town of Dingle.

You continue towards Slea Head, an area loaded with ancient forts and prehistoric dwellings. The impressive views of the nearby Blasket Islands make this an excellent spot for panoramic photos. If the weather is pleasant, you can ramble along the beaches and cliff tops to fully appreciate the incredible vistas.

Arriving back amidst the brightly coloured houses and jolly harbour of Dingle, you can spend the remainder of the afternoon enjoying delicious seafood in this idyllic setting. In the evening, you head back to Killarney, with time for an evening stroll in the National Park that envelops the town.

Day 4

  • Tour the world renowned Ring of Kerry, hailed globally for its incredible scenery and cultural heritage

Today, you explore the Ring of Kerry, a spectacular route through some of Ireland’s most visually spectacular areas.

You head out in the morning, stopping first at Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil. After snapping some shots of its rugged majesty, you join the scenic coast road through Glenbeigh and Kells on the way to Cahersiveen. Possible stops include the site of “The Liberator of Ireland” Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace and an impressive ring fort outside Portmagee.

You stop for lunch in the quaint fishing village of Portmagee. Alternatively, you can have a quick snack and head to the island of Valentia for a visit to the Skellig Experience. This excursion teaches you about the ancient community of monks who made the outcrop of rocky islands their home.

In the afternoon, there’s a photo stop in Charlie Chaplin’s “home away from home” at Waterville, before enjoying fine views at the top of Coonmakista pass.

Winding down from the peaks, you head to Derrynane House, home of the family O’Connell. Daniel O’Connell, ‘The Liberator of Ireland’, had a very strong bond with this place and you’ll understand why when you visit. Here, you can enjoy a walk in the scenic gardens or along the beach and explore the main house.

Continuing along the Ring, you stop at Moll’s Gap and the Ladies View. Stroll a short way from here to the Torc Waterfall before heading back to Killarney. (On some tours, days three and four are switched).

Day 5

  • Try to kiss the famed Blarney Stone within the walls of the medieval stronghold of Blarney Castle
  • Visit the gardens of Kilkenny Castle and roam the city's medieval lanes 

Heading east through the mountains of West Cork, you weave along the Lee Valley until you reach Blarney Castle. You have time here to take in the castle grounds, and there may even be the chance to kiss the famous Blarney Stone and receive the “gift of the gab”!

In the afternoon, the tour heads to the heritage town of Cahir, where there’s a distinctive island castle in the River Suir.

The final stop of the tour is Kilkenny, a bustling city with a fine castle, a thousand-year-old round tower, and an impressive National Craft Centre. There’s also the chance for one last Guinness before heading back on the road again for the last leg of the journey. You arrive back into Dublin in the evening.

Accommodation

 

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay one night in Galway* and three nights in the lively little town of Killarney.

 

 *Please note there are limited hotel options in Galway and the prices are above average in peak season. Additionally, if you book on the weekend, accommodation may be limited to Hotels or other expensive options.

 

How does the accommodation work?

Your tour excludes accommodation; but when you book, you can ask us to reserve local accommodation for you, or you can choose to reserve your own accommodation in the overnight locations.

 

I want Rabbie’s to book my accommodation, what happens now?

Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts. 

We'll reserve your room(s) with one of our preferred accommodation suppliers and you'll pay them directly when you check-in. Most accommodation hosts don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.

You won't be able to choose which Hotel/B&B you stay in, but we will confirm the named property and exact prices on your first day of tour. If it's important for you to know where you're going to be staying in advance, or if you want to stay in a specific Hotel/B&B, we recommend that you select the option to book your own accommodation.

 

What if I want to change my accommodation booking with Rabbie’s?

Plans can change, so we let you alter your accommodation choices for free within the first 48 hours of booking. After this time, amendments aren't guaranteed and carry a surcharge. Please contact rooms@rabbies.com if you have any questions.

 

I booked my own accommodation is there anything I need to do?

You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central.

 

What if I cancel my tour at short notice?

If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation. And occasionally you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.

 

What are the accommodation types?

We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre. We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard. The prices below are for guidance only.

 

B&B En suite

The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The cost is €45 - €60 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single en suite is €65 - €80 per night.

 

Hotels

Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price.

  • Hotel 3 star - €75 - €120* per person per night based on shared accommodation.

  • A single room at a 3 star hotel is €90 - €130* per night. *On some dates in spring and summer, room prices in Galway may go up to around €200.

Hostels

Please note, we're unable to book hostels for this tour at the moment. You may still be able to book hostel accommodation yourself if you choose to the option to book your own accommodation for your tour.

A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. The bathroom facilities are a short distance from the dorm room. Kitchen facilities are equipped so you can make your own meals. The cost based on dorm beds is £19 - £30 per person per night.

Please note that SYHA hostels only offer same gender dorms. Some independent hostels will offer mixed rooms (males and females together).

 

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, you can read our FAQs, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email rooms@rabbies.com.

 

FAQs

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.

What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of 48 hours for our one day tours, 15 days for two to nine day tours, and 21 days for 10+ day tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.

Can Itineraries change?

Your tour will always follow the itinerary as closely as possible. While there are ongoing coronavirus restrictions throughout the UK and Ireland, itineraries are more likely to change than usual as opening hours and capacities at many visitor attractions are reduced and subject to change. Your driver-guide will keep you up to up to date on the road, and we'll try to get in touch about any large changes prior to your departure.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

How do you cater for people with accessibility needs?

We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.

Do you take children on your tours?

We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance.

What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com , or check out our full FAQs .

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: We’ll never cancel your tour because of minimum numbers

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities


Customer reviews



BTA_2018.png Green Tourism Award Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 TC_2021_LL_TRANSPARENT_BG_RGB-01.png Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars
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