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Irish Elegance

Operated by: Insight Vacations

8 Days from $2,735 per person
Stunning Ashford Castle

Countries Visited

Ireland

Locations Visited

Dublin, Cong, Galway Bay, Killarney
  1. Day 1 In Dublin’s Fair city.

    Welcome to Dublin. On arrival at Dublin airport, your airport transfer shuttle service leaves for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:00. Meet your Travel Director at 14:30 for an orientation tour that brings to life Dublin’s architectural treasures and history, stretching back more than 1,000 years. As you travel along O'Connell Street and the River Liffey you will see the Custom House, Guinness Storehouse and Dublin Castle. Walk the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College while accompanied by a university insider who will share insights into modern life and the establishment's impressive history. Then, enjoy VIP priority entry to the 9th century Book of Kells. Back at your hotel, join your Travel Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Reception with drinks and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.(Dinner with Wine)

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane, Dublin.
  2. Day 2 Cashel and Blarney, heading for Killarney.

    Depart Dublin, and pass the famous Curragh Racecourse and green meadows where many of the finest Irish racehorses are bred. Driving south, stop to visit the spectacular Rock of Cashel, crowned with medieval buildings that dominate the flat countryside for miles around. Continue to Blarney Castle where you climb to the ramparts and kiss the magical stone to ensure a lifetime of eloquence. Head to Killarney, where you may fancy a ‘pint of porter.' This town on the lakes is famous for its lively pubs so in the evening why not join in the ‘craic’?(Breakfast / Dinner)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.
  3. Day 3 Ring of Kerry Experience.

    In the morning, marvel at spectacular mountain and sea views as you travel the road that winds around the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula, better known as the Ring of Kerry. There is a chance to join a hike with a Local Expert along the lake shore and past the farmlands of the Muckross Estate, admiring the spectacular scenery. Walk by West Meadow Bay and see Muckross House. While there are no mountains to climb, walkers should be fit, have good walking shoes or boots, sunscreen and rain gear. For those who do not want to join the hike, the coach will return to Killarney, where the rest of the day is at leisure.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.
  4. Day 4 The Cliffs of Moher and on to Galway.

    Cross the Shannon Estuary by ferry and enter County Clare. Stop at the Exhibition Centre and enjoy a walk along the Cliffs of Moher, raised approximately 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic waves. Then travel north across the Burren, a suddenly stark and barren landscape, scarred with interesting limestone creases. Journey to Galway, the City of the Tribes, and visit the lovely cathedral. Take in the scenery from your hotel, which is spectacularly set on the shores of Galway Bay.(Breakfast / Dinner)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Connemara Coast Hotel, Galway.
  5. Day 5 Captivating Connemara.

    Embark on a superb excursion through the Connemara National Park and see a wonderland of rivers, lakes and silent hills. Stop at lakeside Kylemore Abbey - a neo-Gothic mansion surrounded by lush, green forest; occupied today by a Benedictine community of nuns who came from Ypres after World War I.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Connemara Coast Hotel, Galway.
  6. Day 6 Majestic Ashford Castle.

    Sitting on the edge of Lough Corrib and nestled on the border of County Galway and County Mayo, is the delightful Cong. You may recognise much of the town as it was used as the location in the 1952 film, 'The Quiet Man.' With free time to explore this quintessential Irish village, see the statue of the lead characters played by John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, and the ruins of the Medieval Cong Abbey. Then a short drive down the road leads you to the highlight of your travels, where a lone piper escorts you over the drawbridge to majestic Ashford Castle. Your exquisite hotel provides a romantic backdrop in superior surroundings, offering both relaxation and comfort. There are many opportunities to explore the vast estate, pamper yourself at the spa, or get to know the hawks and woodland surroundings at the hotel's falconry school. Dining at Ashford Castle ranks among the finest culinary experiences in the world. Creative cooking, locally sourced ingredients and an innovative menu await at your Celebration Dinner. Gentlemen, a jacket is required.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Ashford Castle, Cong.
  7. Day 7 Across the Emerald Isle to Dublin.

    Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the morning and perhaps a stroll on the estate? Then cross the midlands to Dublin where the rest of the day is free for independent activities and maybe some last minute shopping.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane, Dublin.
  8. Day 8 Depart Dublin.

    Your journey comes to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Dublin airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
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Price Includes

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Authentic Dining

  • Ashford Castle: One of the finest culinary experiences in the world - a delicious Farm-to-Table menu awaits at you.
  • Dining Summary: 7 Breakfasts (B), 2 Dinners (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • Dublin: Enjoy VIP priority entry to the Book of Kells and a guided walk though Trinity College with a University insider.
  • Killarney: Join a Local Expert for a one-hour hike on wooded paths and lakeside trails along West Meadow Bay.

Stay in Style

  • Dublin: Located in the heart of the docklands, the Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane is walking distance from Dublin city centre shopping and iconic venues.
  • Killarney: In the heart of the town centre, the Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa overlooks Killarney National Park and is the perfect location to enjoy the stunning scenery and the local 'craic.'
  • Galway: Set on the coast, the Connemara Coast Hotel offers spectacular views of Connemara and continues a tradition in hospitality dating back to 1839.
  • Ashford Castle: Formerly the home of the Guinness family, the magnificent Ashford Castle is now an award-winning hotel boasting sumptuous suites, antique furniture and unique historic features in a regal setting. Its recent multi-million-dollar renovation only adds to its allure. Set in a 350-acre estate in the countryside, it is the perfect destination for those looking for a romantic getaway or for guests who simply want to get back to nature. Expect warm Irish hospitality and charm aplenty.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Dublin: During your orientation with your Travel Director, see the Custom House, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Castle and the Georgian townhouses as you travel down O'Connell Street and along the River Liffey.
  • Cashel: Once the seat of the Kings of Munster. Visit the spectacular rock, reputed to be the site of the conversion of King Aengus by St Patrick.
  • Blarney: It is said that those who kiss the stone are bestowed with the power to persuade, flatter and coax. You are invited to dangle from the ramparts of Blarney Castle to acquire the gift of the gab.
  • Killarney: Enjoy hearing of the history of Killarney during your city orientation.
  • Ring of Kerry: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lakelands and remote villages as you travel the Ring of Kerry.
  • Shannon Estuary: Cross the estuary by ferry.
  • Cliffs of Moher: Stop by the Exhibition Centre and overlook the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.
  • Galway: See the stunning cathedral of the City of Tribes.
  • Connemara: Visit the turreted Neo-Gothic Kylemore Abbey, steeped in history and tales of tragedy and romance.
  • Cong: Enjoy time as you wish to explore this delightful, quintessential Irish village, used as the location for 1952 film, 'The Quiet Man.' See the statue of the lead characters played by John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, and the ruins of the Medieval Cong Abbey.
  • Ashford Castle: On arrival to Ashford Castle, you are escorted over the drawbridge by a lone piper for a majestic entrance fit for royalty.
  • Scenic Drives: The Irish scenery is one of the most beautiful in the world. Relax and admire the views as your travel along the Ring of Kerry and through County Clare, Burren and Connemara.

Dates & Prices
Airfare is not included, but can be added to quote upon request
  • Definite Departure
Price Discount Availability Price
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.

Killarney

Jaunting Car Ride

Clip-clop your way through Killarney National Park, the first Irish National Park and a land of lakes and lore. A local "jarvey" will inform us of the history, legends and folklore of this beautiful setting while aboard one of these famous carts.
Adult Price: €21

Gaelic Roots

A tour de force of traditional Irish song, music and dance, Gaelic roots showcases Ireland at its best. Using traditional instruments, Irish dance and time-honoured folk songs, this energetic show will have you tapping your feet and singing along in no time.
Adult Price: €34

Cong

The Quiet Man

A unique opportunity to walk with a local character through the streets of the "Quiet Man" location, a quaint and historic village. Visit the museum dedicated to the movie, hear the stories of the locals involved, and afterwards enjoy a drink in a local hostelry.
Adult Price: €35

Galway

Medieval City Walk With Pub Supper

Join our local expert for an entertaining and informative stroll through this medieval jewel of the West. Dine this evening in one of Galway's best-loved taverns and raise a glass with our West of Ireland traditional musicians.
Adult Price: €47

Dublin

Dublin Dinner And Coastal Drive

Enjoy a scenic drive along Dublin’s South Coast along the coastal towns of Sandycove & Dun Laoghaire, followed by fine cuisine and a glass of wine in one of Dublin’s well-known stylish restaurants.
Adult Price: €64

Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Martha Hawkins
Travel date: Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Service
the itinerary was diverse and inclusive the group was just the right size and extremely congenial the tour guide was top notch the accommodations were first rate
Vacation
in previous comment section, I gave details about why we thought it was a great tour
Charles Hawkins Iii
Travel date: Sunday, August 26, 2018
Service
Our dealings with Alyssa were smooth and clear. All questions answered quickly.
Vacation
This is the third time I have seen this field
Brian Compton
Travel date: Sunday, October 1, 2017
Service
The itinerary was excellent, wonderful venues, great hotels, terrific meals and optional entertainment. Driver was absolutely top notch. However, many of us found the tour director to be not up to the job. He would be describing something, stop and start off on another subject, saying he'd get back to finishing the original story but often did not. When later asked if he could finish the story, his reply was often snappy and unprofessional. Worse, he STILL wouldn't get to it! He was asked on 4 different occasions to please mention that one couple were on the tour to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. He said he would but never did. How hard is that? Nit-picky, but the name tags we were given were on a little clip and in very small print. You had to be standing very close to read peoples names. Other tours had much larger name tags on lanyards which to us seemed much better.
Vacation
I'm assuming by purchases you mean the optional experiences! The jaunty car depends entirely on the driver, some great, some just OK. Killarney Celtic Steps was absolutely excellent. The Whisky Trail is misleading in that you don't really get anything relating to whisky but the medieval history tour was good. The pub supper was good but 40 people jammed into one small room with some sitting on stools could have been better. The Lake Cruise taking you to Ashford Castle was OK but not really anything truly special. But, it was a nice way to approach the castle and be met with a piper. (Ashford Castle is the highlight of the tour.) The Dublin dinner and coastal drive was just OK. If we had to do it again we'd pass on this one. Although the food was excellent.
William Taylor
Travel date: Sunday, September 3, 2017
Service
Customer service was top notch. From the first phone call to book the trip, we were treated with genuine helpfulness and you felt that they really wanted us to have a trip of a lifetime. This was our third experience using GET and once again we were not disappointed.
Vacation
The itinerary was outstanding! Wonderful acommodations - Ashford Castle was the highlight of the tour- but all the hotels were first class. The tour director was great and local guides know their locations. All and all a delightful experience.
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Sunday, July 30, 2017
Service
I have traveled with Grand European in the past and will definitely do so in the future. They handled everything perfectly, flights, hotels, etc., it all went without a single hitch. Our Travel Director, Robbie Joyce, was excellent as was Pat our driver. They are a great pair.
Vacation
Well, I didn't really buy anything, just a few small things as mementos. When I travel I'm more intent on the travel experience than shopping. There isn't usually much time anyway.
Victoria Lauless
Travel date: Sunday, July 23, 2017
Service
We missed our initial flight out of the country. We re-booked our flight and called GE for support. A lady by the name of Pam was very courteous and supportive. She told us exactly what to do to catch our tour a day later. We couldn't have done it without her. Thank you Pam!!
Vacation
We chose this trip because we were going to stay in Ashford Castle. After the trip began we were told that we would be staying in Ashford Lodge due to a wedding that was booked for the same weekend. Our tour itinerary was switched around so that we were there on Wednesday instead of Friday. One member of our group had tried to book an activity at Ashford Castle for the Friday we were scheduled to be there. She was told that we were not scheduled and that she would need to wait until we got there to schedule her activity. This was in MARCH!!. Our tour guide said he didn't find out about the change until the Thursday before our trip. He continued to try to get information to share with us. It is a shame that he was left in the dark, but received the brunt of unhappy travelers. We should have been notified of the change when it occurred (March or before) and given some options, ex: 1) cancel 2) re-book 3) continue as changed. Instead the company chose not to tell us; therefore we were surprised and extremely upset at the way things played out. Honesty from the beginning would have been the RIGHT thing to do. Shame on your company for taking the low road instead of the high road!
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are truly sorry to hear about the issue with Ashford Castle.  Our Guest Relations department will be in touch with you shortly to discuss this further.
Friday, July 28, 2017
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Sunday, July 16, 2017
Service
Irish Elegance....Not really! Problems with the hotel in Dublin (no air conditioning, very hot even in June, out of city center in the remote financial center and with rowdy sports bar where there was no place for a cocktail or chair and little to walk to). Problems with our hotel at Connemara Coast Hotel. The hotel was too far from Galway to be able to enjoy the beautiful city and lively nightlife and shopping. The hotel room we were given at Connemara and my father was give was terrible! No safe, no airconditioning, no hot water for shower and water was rust colored with outdated plumbing. We called immediately to ask if we could have a room with a safe and were told there were none. Our ground floor room window looked at parking spots directly in front and into a neighboring house window meant we could not open window or curtain and maintain any privacy. This was the worst hotel experience we have ever had on any tour! An email to our tour guide the evening before was not responded to. When we insisted on a room with a hot shower in the morning we were magically moved 4 doors down to a lovely room with safe, view, new plumbing with hot water and clear water and windows that could be opened! The better rooms faced the lawn and ocean yet our tour guide warned when we drove to the hotel that most rooms did not have a view! This was not true! All tour guests should have had the same quality room! (The tour guide never talked to us or asked if our room problem was resolved, instead when we sought her out, she said she had problems of her own to deal with.) Why did the hotel put some of tour guests in worst possible dated rooms with plumbing problems? This was inexcusable. My 87 year old father never complained but never had a shower either as there was no hot water! Inexcusable! I think the Irish Elegance title rested on only 3 nights of our tour...the Plaza hotel in Killarney was lovely! The one night at Ashford castle was absolutely incredible and memorable! But you have to get Dublin (2 nights) and Connemara hotels (2 nights) fixed as that is over half the tour nights!
Vacation
Half the hotels were a disappointment. Tour guide gave no shopping tips or suggested locations (other than marble factory jewelry). She was rather detached from the group except for a few favorite friend/guests. Not enough time for shopping in Galway. Dublin and Galway/Connemara hotels were too remote and removed from shopping areas and sights. Our bus driver was wonderful and helpful! Would have been nice to play more music or Irish video on the long driving days.
Barbara Vosganian
Travel date: Sunday, June 11, 2017
Service
The tour director, Tom was very informative about the different sights and we learned a lot. The bus driver, John was always helpful.
Vacation
I bought an Irish Aran sweater that I love! It's a good way to remember our Irish trip.
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Monday, October 10, 2016
Service
Always good service.
Vacation
Great tour director, very knowledgeable.
Trusted Customer
Travel date: Friday, October 7, 2016
Service
Loved the helpful staff.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We apologize for any confusion. We will take a closer look at our materials and review them for any misleading information. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Grand European Travel
Thursday, October 13, 2016
Vacation
Some of the extra excursions write-ups were not clear as to what we were supposed to see and what we really saw. They make is sound exciting but the reality was not always as nice as they said!
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