Day 1 - After joining your holiday coach, the outward journey takes you westward to Wales with ample stops for refreshments and lunch opportunities en-route before arriving at the overnight hotel in North Wales. An evening meal is included here. Dinner and room only. Breakfast the next day on the ferry.
Day 2 - Dublin - An early start to Holyhead for the morning crossing to Dublin with breakfast included. Arrive in Ireland around midday and your driver will give you a brief orientation of the city and the main sights such as Christ Church Cathedral, Phoenix Park and Customs House. You will then have free time to explore its Georgian squares with impressive townhouses, bustling Grafton Street, St Stephen's Green, Trinity College with its glorious Book of Kells and the famous Ha'Penny Bridge over the Liffey. Continue to your overnight stay at 3* Talbot Hotel Stillorgan or Regency Hotel. Dinner, bed and breakfast.
Day 3 - Galway Bay - Depart Dublin today to head to vibrant Galway, the capital of the Gaelic West and the only city in the country where you might possibly hear Irish spoken on the streets. Famous for its Oyster Festival, it has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years. You can perhaps take a walk along the Old Quays to visit the Spanish Arch and the Claddagh, which pay testament to Galway's maritime history. Spend time in Eyre Square, a relaxing spot, amongst the maze of streets with a variety of stores and brightly painted pubs. Then head south through Kinvarra, a charming fishing village and continue via Corkscrew Hill, a famous winding road between Ballyvaughan and Lisdoonvarna. Check into 3* Fall Hotel in Ennistymon for your 2-night stay. Dinner, bed and breakfast.
Day 4 - Cliffs of Moher and The Burren - From the sheer drop of the Cliffs of Moher into the Atlantic to the stark moonscapes of the Burren, northern County Clare is a must for all visitors to this region. You will call at the Visitors Centre in Kilfenora for an introduction to the Burren (entrance included), a large limestone cap stretching for miles. The Burren is an anomaly in the Irish landscape and home to all manner of flora and fauna. Then continue to the Cliffs of Moher (entrance included) where you can stand in awe at the sheer might of the Atlantic Ocean.
Day 5 - Ennistymon to Killarney - Head south today to Killimer to take the 30 minute ferry journey across the River Shannon to Tabert. Continue via Listowel to the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, birthplace of the Irish Coffee (entrance included). In 1942, the chef at Foynes airbase, Joseph Sheridan, served whiskey in his coffees to help revitalise a group of weary passengers delayed by bad weather. A legend was born! Enjoy a guided tour of the museum, which includes a full size replica of the magnificent Boeing B-314, the quintessential Clipper Flying Boat. Complete the journey to Killarney with time at leisure in the town. Check in to 4* Killarney Towers Hotel for your 2-night stay. Dinner, bed and breakfast.
Day 6 - Ring of Kerry - The 100 mile circuit of the Iveragh peninsula is on every self-respecting fan of Ireland for a very good reason. The road winds past pristine beaches, medieval ruins, dramatic mountains and loughs (lakes) with ever-changing views of the island-dotted Atlantic. Follow the narrow coastal road to Killorglin, home of the famous Puck Fair with a stop at the Kerry Bog Village, which depicts the tough existence of Irish life in a typical 19th Century peat-cutting settlement (entrance included). Continue through Glenbeigh, Rossbeigh and Kells, with their beautiful golden beaches, to Cahersiveen. Then it's along the shores of Ballinskelligs Bay to Waterville and Caherdaniel. At Sneem, head inland onto the Moll's Gap, a dramatic cutting between the peat bog and the mountains. The winding road passes Ladies View and then into Killarney National Park.
Day 7 - Blarney Castle & Waterford - Start the day with a drive to Blarney Castle and take part in the long-standing tradition of kissing the Blarney Stone to receive "the gift of eloquence" (entrance included). NB: It is level ground to the base of the castle and there are rest areas along the way. However there are 123 steps to reach the top of the castle where the 'stone' is situated, so not suitable for people with walking difficulties. Continue to Waterford for an included visit this afternoon to the Waterford Crystal manufacturing facility (entrance included), retail outlet and visitor centre. Check in for your overnight stay at 3* Dooley's Hotel. Dinner, bed and breakfast.
Day 8 - Avoca and Wicklow Mountains - Depart Waterford via Enniscorthy and Arklow and onto Avoca, the setting for 'Ballykissangel' and home to Ireland's oldest working mill and Avoca Handweavers. Continue through the Wicklow Mountains back to Dublin for mid-afternoon ferry to Holyhead. It is recommendable to have a meal on board due to the evening arrival at the overnight hotel in North Wales. Bed and breakfast.
Day 9 - After a leisurely breakfast retrace your steps, with ample stops for refreshments. Continue back to local joining points arriving back mid/late evening.