Staying at the very stylish Cliff Town House on St. Stephen’s Green, we spend the first two nights in Dublin. A local specialist guide will take us on a walking tour of Dublin and a visit to The Book Of Kells. (We recommend anyone wanting to explore Dublin’s wealth of attractions in more depth, organise an earlier arrival or add a few days at the end of the Tour).

The following day our first stop is at Powerscourt, probably Ireland’s finest gardens dramatically located at the foot of Sugar Loaf Mountain, before travelling through to the heart of Ireland; Athlone.

Athlone is an ancient stronghold of the Normans and we will use the mighty Shannon River to approach Clonmanoise, a 5th Century Monastic site, as the Vikings did, by boat.

Then off to explore the wildness and beauty of the Connemarra National Park. We stay within the gracious environs of Quay House, situated on the old harbour of Clifden.

A special dinner and palacial stay at the renowned Gregan’s Castle Hotel at Ballyvaughan.

Then to Baliingarry, our host is the irrepressible Dan Mullane whose personal history which includes travel to and a love of Australia, Bali and Africa imbues this supremely comfortable, renovated convent with a special magic. The following day we will explore the Burren, a vast limestone plateau bordering the sea with a unique botanical collection of Mediterranean and alpine plants, strikingly creviced limestone pavements and the dramatic Cliffs of Moher.

A two night stay in the Dingle, the capital of County Kerry.

After several days sampling the delights of the Baltimore, Sheep’s Head and Beara Peninsulas, we have one night in the charming town of Kenmare, staying at the renowned Park Hotel.

The last two nights of the tour are in pretty Kinsale. A visit to the Heritage Museum at Cobh which records the mass Irish emigration to Australia before a leisurely afternoon in Kinsale.

The tour ends in Cork.

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