This captivating holiday of contrasts is based in Rosscarbery, a historic and picturesque town overlooking a sandy cove on the rocky West Cork coastline. Splendid sightseeing includes the inimitable city of Galway, celebrated in story and song and brim full of quirky cafés, speciality shops and hidden treasures. The seaport city of Cork boasts impressive architecture such as stately City Hall and the Gothic St Finn Barre’s Cathedral with its triple spires. On another day we hop aboard a boat for the short sailing across the harbour to famed Garnish Island where you can discover beautiful gardens featuring rarely seen plants. Our final treats take in Kilkenny, a bijou yet charming city where historical treasures await around every corner and we are treated to a guided tour of dynamic Dublin – home to St Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse and the eccentric National Leprechaun Museum.
Day One. We journey to Cairnryan for our ferry crossing and make our way towards Galway and then check into our hotel for dinner, bed and breakfast.
Day Two. Enjoy a free morning in gorgeous Galway, a lively, compact city that packs a lot into its quaint winding streets. Early afternoon we continue to the excellent Celtic Ross Hotel for our four night stay.
Day Three. Our day kicks off with a guided tour of the seaport city of Cork taking in its historical landmarks and impressive architecture. An afternoon delight comes in the form of an excursion to the historic port and fishing town of Kinsale. Perhaps explore Charles Fort, a seventeenth century starshaped fort or the grand tower house known as Desmond Castle.
Day Four. A delightful day is in store at Bantry House & Gardens, a privately owned stately manor dating from the early eighteenth century. One of the grandest historic houses in Ireland, it commands spectacular views over Bantry Bay and is home to a fine collection of art and furnishings. Later we hop aboard a boat for the short sailing across the harbour to famed Garnish Island where you can discover beautiful gardens featuring some stunning and rarely seen plants.
Day Five. Free day to explore historic Rosscarbery with its attractive central square, Blue Flag beach and prettily decorated buildings. Have a game of pitch and putt, hire a pedal boat and spot wildlife at the lagoon or head out to nearby megalithic Drombeg Stone Circle. Maybe you’d rather relax in one of the traditional pubs or make use of your hotels superb leisure centre.
Day Six. We check out of our hotel and travel to quaint Kilkenny for some free time. Here the main attraction is the commanding castle with its inspiring art gallery. Elsewhere, perhaps visit Rothe House & Garden, a unique sixteenth century merchant’s townhouse or just enjoy a cuppa in one of the town’s traditional tearooms. From here we continue to our hotel in the Dublin area for dinner, bed and breakfast.
Day Seven. A fascinating guided tour of Dublin completes our Irish adventure. We then head for our ferry home.