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Castles & Manors

Operated by: Brendan Vacations

8 Days from $3,200 per person
Ballynahinch Castle, Connemara

Countries Visited


Locations Visited

Connemara, Roscommon, Dublin, Killarney
  1. Day 1 Arrive Dublin – Afternoon Sightseeing

    Set your watch to the lively pace of Ireland's capital city—the springboard for our in-depth journey through the lush landscapes and enduring allure of Ireland. On arrival at Dublin Airport transfers will operate at 8:30 am, 11 am and 1 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Our exploration of Dublin with a Local Specialist will see us view St. Patrick's Cathedral and the colorful Georgian Squares. Spend some time at leisure exploring Dublin's pretty streets before joining your travel companions and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception celebrating traditional Irish flavors.

    meals Welcome Reception
    hotel Clayton Ballsbridge
  2. Day 2 Dublin – Kildare – Cashel – Killarney (2 Nights)

    We traverse picturesque landscapes to Kildare. Dive into culture and delve into Ireland's thoroughbred industry at the Irish National Stud. We'll have a rare opportunity to see the foaling unit, museum and of course the magnificent stallions that continue to make racing history. Our journey south brings us to the haunt of St. Patrick and the spectacular Rock of Cashel, where we will view its majestic ecclesiastical ruins with a Local Specialist. We continue to Killarney and enjoy an evening at leisure to soak up the lively atmosphere of one of Ireland's friendliest towns. Our home tonight is Great Southern, a Victorian-styled hotel built over 160 years ago.

    meals Full Breakfast
    hotel Great Southern
  3. Day 3 Ring of Kerry Excursion

    Enjoy a slow start to your morning, joining a Local Specialist for a leisurely guided walk at Torc Waterfall, strolling over wooded paths and lakeshore trails. We embark on an epic drive next, exploring the enduring beauty of the Ring of Kerry whose enchanting coastal landscapes have inspired writers and poets for centuries.

    meals Full Breakfast
  4. Day 4 Killarney – Cliffs of Moher – Galway – Connemara (2 Nights)

    The beautiful views continue as we visit the Cliffs of Moher that rise imposingly from the Atlantic, over 655 feet above the waters below. Continue to County Galway and visit the Connemara Marble artisan workshop, where you'll dive into culture and witness first-hand how this famous green jade-like marble is carved. Your home for the next two nights is the spectacular Abbeyglen Castle.

    meals Full Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Abbeyglen Castle
  5. Day 5 Connemara Excursion

    Drive through the 'savage beauty' of Connemara, as described by Oscar Wilde who was inspired by the region's craggy mountains, shimmering lakes and endless shades of green. We visit Kylemore Abbey, a magnificent castellated structure built as a family home and now inhabited by a group of Benedictine nuns. Venture into the secret nooks and crannies of its extensive walled Victorian garden, before returning to your castle accommodations for a delicious dinner.

    meals Full Breakfast, Dinner
  6. Day 6 Connemara – Westport – Roscommon

    Our journey takes us to Westport House where we'll connect with locals and indulge in a memorable Be My Guest lunch with tales of the Pirate Queen, and enjoy Banoffee and Baileys flavors in the Drawing Room of this stately 18th-century home. We continue to Roscommon, where our hotel this evening is Kilronan Castle Hotel, the ancestral home of the Tenison family and legendary Colonel King Tenison. A leisurely afternoon could see you take a relaxing cruise on the Shannon River.

    meals Full Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel Kilronan Castle
  7. Day 7 Roscommon – Strokestown – Dublin

    Our first stop today is Strokestown where we'll dive into culture and gain insights into Ireland's tragic potato famine history. Learn about the plight of starving Irish tenants, many of whom died or emigrated to the New World in the 1840s. This evening we return to Dublin for a Farewell Dinner celebrating an intimate encounter with the natural beauty and fascinating heritage of Ireland.

    meals Full Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
    hotel Clayton Ballsbridge
  8. Day 8 Depart Dublin

    We say a fond farewell to our newfound friends and Dublin today. You will be transferred to the airport, where your journey through the Emerald Isle comes to an end.  Return transfers will arrive at Dublin Airport at 7 am, 9 am and 11 am. Conditions apply.

    meals Full Breakfast

Meal Summary

12 meals: 7 full breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners.

Insider Experiences

Connect with Locals

  • Enjoy a traditional Be My Guest lunch hosted in the Drawing Room of a stately 18th-century home near the charming town of Westport

Stays with Stories

  • In Killarney, you will be accommodated at the Great Southern Hotel in the Town Center. Unlimited, free rail travel for Lord Kenmore was the clincher to acquire the land needed for this built over 160 years ago. Its prime central position next to the train station and marvelous Victorian features have ensured enduring popularity
  • Abbeyglen Castle, built in 1832 by John d'Arcy of Clifden Castle—Abbeyglen Castle Hotel is located along the famous Sky Road, overlooking the pretty village of Clifden
  • Kilronan Castle Estate and Spa, Co. set in green meadows and an ancient forest, Kilronan Castle - the ancestral home of the Tenison family - prides itself on its royal roots

Dive into Culture

  • Admire Ireland's finest thoroughbreds at the Irish National Stud Farm
  • Visit a Connemara Marble factory to see how this stone is crafted into jewelry and figurines
  • Visit the Irish National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park House, a stately 18th-century mansion

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Dublin, Cashel, Killarney, Sligo

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Walking tour in Killarney National Park
  • City tour in Dublin
  • Orientation of Killarney, Galway
  • Visit Irish National Stud, Rock of Cashel, Cliffs of Moher, Kylemore Abbey, the National Famine Museum at Strokestown Park
  • View Torc Waterfall, the grave of W.B. Yeats in Drumcliff
  • See Dublin's Georgian Squares
  • Scenic drive around the Ring of Kerry, through Connemara
Dates & Prices
Airfare is not included, but can be added to quote upon request
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
5 Jul 19 12 Jul 19 checkmark $3,300pp AARP members save an additional $100 Call 1-877-622-9109
19 Jul 19 26 Jul 19 checkmark $3,300pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
9 Aug 19 16 Aug 19 checkmark $3,300pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
6 Sep 19 13 Sep 19 checkmark $3,300pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
13 Sep 19 20 Sep 19 checkmark $3,300pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
4 Oct 19 11 Oct 19 checkmark $3,200pp AARP members save an additional $100 Request Quote Book Now
Optional Add-Ons

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.


Irish Ceilidh Evening

The Irish Ceilidh epitomises how music and dance were enjoyed in rural Ireland, especially on festive occasions. The craic - welcoming, jolly, fun and informal - is accompanied with plenty of food and drink. There's no more enjoyable way to understand Irish culture.
Adult Price: €65

Experience a Jaunting Cart Ride

Enjoy a traditional pony and trap ride through the beautiful Bourn-Vincent National Park. During your journey, your Local Specialist will share fascinating anecdotes about the area and Ireland.
Adult Price: €21

Celtic Steps

Enjoy a spectacular evening of Irish music, song and dance performed by champion dancers and musicians and showcasing the music of Kerry and beyond.
Adult Price: €36


Luxurious River Shannon Cruise

The longest river in the British Isles, the River Shannon is immortalised in songs and legends. Come with us for a cruise on this majestic river, through the beautiful rolling countryside of counties Leitrim and Roscommon. You’ll also enjoy refreshments on the luxurious Moon River Pleasure Cruiser.
Adult Price: €31

Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Friday, September 22, 2017
Hotel, castles and manor were fabulous....food was even better. !!
Best food on any of our Grand European trips....
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Excellent accommodations throughout the tour. The stops were well thought-out, with minimal bus rides between sights to be seen. The sights that we saw were truly well worth seeing, with enough free time to explore the local pubs and shops as we wanted.
I'd recommend this trip for any and all - truly a wonderful experience.
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Thursday, August 11, 2016
All accommodations, tours, transportation were as described. No glitches.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for your comments and recommendation! Grand European Travel
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Very impressed with all accommodations. Tours and guides were excellent. For a shorter tour of Ireland, I would definitely recommend this tour.
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Easy to book and confidence in the quality of the experience.
Excellent tour director, sights, meals and support for travellers.
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Thursday, October 8, 2015
Guide was great. Hotels were great.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for sharing Grand European Travel
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Thursday, September 24, 2015
The tour director (Evan) was fantastic.
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Wednesday, September 23, 2015
The actual tour company was Brendan Vacations
The name of the tour was Secrets of Ireland
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Great tour, although a little bit too busy for us old folks.Tour guide and coach driver were excellent.
Response from Grand European Travel:
The castles are what makes this trip so unique. It's no surprise that you wanted to spend more time there. Thank you for sharing your comments and suggestions. Grand European Travel
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Our accommodations were outstanding, especially the Ballyhaninch and Lough Eske castles. Would have liked a little more free time.
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Wednesday, June 3, 2015
This was a really nice trip. Fantastic tour, knowledgable guide, every thing was well planned and well executed.
Response from Grand European Travel:
The local people are just one of the wonderful things about visiting Ireland. We are so happy that enjoyed it. Thank you! Grand European Travel
Sunday, June 7, 2015
I took the secrets of Ireland tour. It was fantastic, with a knowledgable guide, fantastic driver and a nice mix of well known and lesser known placed. Ireland is lovely, the people are open and friendly. I had a great time.
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Friday, September 12, 2014
No problems with either Grand European or Brendan Vacations. This tour was great and we won't hesitate to recommend you or travel with you again.
This was an excellent tour with an 'exceptional' tour guide- Jane Horgan- who knew her country and it's history like the back of her hand and was more than willing to share it with us. The name of this tour, Castles and Manors, led us all to believe that we would be staying in Castles and Manors, which was not the case. We did stay at the Ballynahich Castle Hotel and the Lough Eske Castle Hotel which were estates in years gone by. All the accommodations were wonderful, however, and the wonderful tour and tour guide made up for any disappointment. At both, would have loved to have been able to order meals off their menus. We had a separate menu with chicken, fish (Hake both nights at Ballynahinch) and a pasta and had to sit watching other guests eat oysters, salmon, lamb, steak, etc. Also, dinner was a 3 hour affair- they took care of the private guests first as we sat waiting 45 minutes for our appetizer, another hour for our main course, and another 45 minutes for dessert. When dinner doesn't start until 7:30, this is kind of late for us senior citizens! All in all, however, this was a GREAT tour. We saw and learned so much.
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