From the heights of Moher to the shores of the Shannon, the west of Ireland is an area of such beauty that it defies description: winding streams cutting through verdant valleys, peaks rising from sea and land alike, each day more majestic than the one before. But don’t take our word for it: come and see for yourself on this luxury...
Kinsale – Ireland’s Premier Spot for Fine Food
Your first day in the Republic brings you to Kinsale, a delightful fishing village known for its immaculately preserved city center and its well-deserved reputation as the gourmet capital of Ireland. Echoing history from all epochs of the past, Kinsale boasts spectacular natural scenery, meandering cobblestone streets leading to old forts and manor houses, and perhaps the freshest and best-prepared seafood in the entire country. The area offers a number of challenging and picturesque golf courses, as well as an iconic lighthouse on the headlands of the Old Head of Kinsale, as well as a vast array of colorful and welcoming pubs filled with Irish spirits and Irish music.
Tralee – A Trip to Tralee
Today takes you north into County Kerry and up to its administrative and political center, Tralee. Tralee features some of the best historical sites to be found in Kerry, as well as more modern features that are sure to entertain. Celtic culture and the Irish language still thrive in this western outpost, as evidenced by the very popular Siamsa Tire, Ireland’s National Folk Theatre, which puts on concerts of traditional music and plays in Irish nearly every night of the year.
Amateur archaeologists will be wowed by Casement’s Fort and Caherconree, two of Ireland’s most impressive Iron Age structures, as well as the Christian Round Tower at Rattoo, adorned with Sheela na Gig, the Celts answer to gargoyles and chimeras. Those with a view towards more recent historical developments will be sure to enjoy the Kerry County Museum, highlighted by an exhibit depicting the way of life for the people of Geraldine Tralee, and the Kerry Camino, a walk following the route of Saint Brendan the Navigator and modeled on the pilgrimage route through Northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Should you visit Tralee in August, you’ll be fortunate enough to witness the renowned Rose of Tralee festival, celebrating Irish heritage and the beauty of Irish women.
Tralee – The Famous Ring of Kerry
Your third day is dedicated to one of the world’s greatest drives around the renowned Ring of Kerry, the crown jewel of Ireland’s incomparable countryside. Following the towering Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, a mountain range which houses the tallest peaks in Ireland and the awe-inspiring Coomloughra Valley, you’ll cruise past the swelling surf on Dingle Bay and catch a glimpse of the Skelligs. These two rocky islands are known for the gannet and puffins that call it home and a monastery from the dawn of Christianity that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Man-made beauty is on show as well, as you’ll pass through lovely the towns of Glenbeigh, Sneem, Cahersiveen and Waterville, and in view of the impressive Muckross House, Ross Castle, and Derrynane House, the former home of Daniel O’Connell. The final stretch brings you to the Ladies View, a spectacular overlook of Kerry National Park, and then down in sight of the Lakes of Killarney and the green forests of oak and yew that grow rampant throughout the Park. Your evening is spent in disarming Tralee.
County Mayo – Up the Coast to Mayo
Today takes you through the heart of Ireland’s west, passing through the unforgettable town of Killarney and stopping at two of the island’s most famous geological formations: the Burren and the iconic Cliffs of Moher. As one of the largest karst landscapes in Europe, the Burren will amaze you with its incredible diversity in wildlife as well as its handsome terrain, particularly the rough-hewn cliffs at Ailladie and the cave at Pollnagollum. Dominating the southwestern part of the Burren are the famous Cliffs of Moher, soaring up to 700 feet above the surface of the pounding Atlantic Ocean. The visitor center at the Cliffs was lauded by the Association of Heritage Interpretation as “one of the best facilities that the judges had ever seen,” and a ferry service allows visitors the chance to gaze at the awesome heights from the beach below.
A delicious and hearty Irish lunch in Galway will replenish your energy and gear you up for your voyage into Mayo, where a myriad of diversions await you. Fishermen will relish the running streams and deep bays that dot the area and provide the perfect habitat for all types of sport fishing, highlighted by the River Moy and its unparalleled salmon fishing, while those seeking the ardor and isolation will find their dreams answered at Clare Island and Achill Island, two of Ireland’s largest and most romantic isles.
Westport – Welcome to Westport
Your penultimate day in Ireland takes you to Westport, a one-of-a-kind village on Clew Bay that was named the best place to live in Ireland by the Irish Times in 2012. The view towards the sea in Westport is one of the most beautiful in the world, and you will have your breath stolen from you at every turn, from the pilgrimage church high above the colossal Croagh Patrick to the horizon shining off the sea and sand at nearby Clew Bay. The pubs are the best this side of Dublin, and music and arts festivals fill the calendar with everything from paper arts to bluegrass.
Shopping of all types can be had along the Carrowberg River running through the town, and the night scene is lively, engaging, and engrossing. With so much to see, do, and experience, it’s no wonder Westport was the first city on the planet to be covered fully in 3D by Google Earth.
Limerick – The Capital of Ireland’s West
Today, travel back south to the County and city of Limerick at the head of the River Shannon, one of the largest cities in Ireland and one its best-kept secrets. O’Connell Street, Limerick’s main drag, is known for its Georgian architecture as well as the shops that line its mile-long route, including Brown Thomas, the premier department store in Ireland. Some of the finest church buildings in the British Isles can be found in Limerick, with the St. John’s Cathedral and St. Mary’s Cathedral prominent among them. Visitors will also enjoy the sunsets over the River Shannon as seen from Bishop’s Quay and the imposing façade of King John’s Castle, which has stood on the shores of the Shannon for more than a millennium.
Limerick – Leaving Erin
Today sees you departing this fantastic country and returning home, full of stories, memories, and enchantment from this most beautiful spot on the globe.
- Wander Kinsale, an unrivalled beach town and the gourmet capital of Ireland, before relaxing by the side of Actons Hotel’s magnificent pool and steaming saunas
- Tour Tralee, the capital of County Kerry and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Republic
- Drive the Ring of Kerry and marvel at the rugged countryside of the Irish west, as well as the affable villages that dot the landscape
- Engage your naturalist side at the Burren, home to some of the most diverse species of flora and fauna in Europe
- Lose yourself in the wonder of the gigantic Cliffs of Moher and this remarkable collision of sea and shore
- Visit Westport, three-time winner of the Irish Tidy Towns Competition and voted the Best Place to Live in Ireland in 2012
- Discover the allure of Limerick, where the past and present merge to form a hidden gem of Irish cities
Gourmands and adventurers, sportsmen and shoppers will all find their pleasures in the singular beauty of Western Ireland. This weeklong vacation will give you a pleasing taste of this best this region has to offer, while titillating all of your senses and leaving you in eager anticipation for what tomorrow has to offer.
Begin in Kinsale and indulge your food fantasies at the culinary center of Ireland’s food renaissance before feasting your eyes upon the awesome Ring of Kerry. Admire the medieval architecture at Caherconree and King John’s Castle as well as buildings of a more popular kind as you take in an impromptu concert at one of the many pubs that brighten the night. Acquire or hone your painting skills at the Pontoon Bridge Hotel, or try to snare a salmon in the famous River Moy. Wherever your inclinations take you, they’ll be sure to find their place.
Come to the land sung of by poets, pined for by emigrants and praised by travelers the world round. Discover this beautiful isle filled with smiling faces and rolling hills, topped by jagged peaks and the strains of Celtic music. Whether you seek sea or stream, mountain or monument, castle, coast or kitchen, rest assured that all of them can be found here. Guard your heart: if you’re not careful, you might see it stolen away.
$2,795 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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