The Emerald Isle

The Emerald Isle

Ker & Downey invites you to spend 11 glorious days uncovering the rich history of the Ancient Gaelic Trail in Ireland. Start by experiencing the breathtaking coasts of Connemara County, stay in centuries-old castles and country estates, enjoy the plentiful greenery of Killarney, and wrap up the trip with a few days in beautiful, upbeat Dublin. From the Wild Atlantic Way and beyond, this is an opportunity to experience the very best of the Emerald Isle.

Suggested Itinerary-at-a-glance:

  • Day 1:

    Arrive Connemara County / Ashford Castle

  • Day 2:

    Connemara County / Ashford Castle (B)

  • Day 3:

    Clare / Dromoland Castle (B)

  • Day 4:

    Clare / Dromoland Castle (B)

  • Day 5:

    Kenmare / Sheen Falls Lodge (B)

  • Day 6:

    Kenmare / Sheen Falls Lodge (B)

  • Day 7:

    Kenmare / Sheen Falls Lodge (B)

  • Day 8:

    Dublin / The Merrion Hotel (B)

  • Day 9:

    Dublin / The Merrion Hotel (B)

  • Day 10:

    Dublin / The Merrion Hotel (B)

  • Day 11:

    Departure (B)

Itinerary Description:

Upon arriving to Connemara County, prepare to take in a landscape of deep lakes and towering cliffs surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic. Embark on a private tour to Galway with Ker & Downey and let the magnificent countryside and timeless architecture reveal its 13th-century roots. From the ancient town walls and Lynch’s Castle, the oldest commercial building in Ireland, to the vibe of perpetual festivity coursing through the streets, the city is a banquet for the senses.

Continue along the trail to Clare County’s picturesque network of coastal cliffs, rivers, and lakes. Scale the iconic Cliffs of Moher with a conservationist ranger, soaking up knowledge and amazing views as you are taken to O’Brien’s Tower at the cliffs’ highest point for an unparalleled view of the coast. Take an intimate cruise on the lake and Ardnacrusha Lock, the deepest in Europe, before disembarking at Limerick’s city center where the Gaelic and Viking history resonates through the ancient streets.

Spend the next few days discovering the wilderness of Killarney and Kerry, a region of unbelievable mountains, woodlands, and wildlife. Find a wealth of land and coastal wildlife at Killarney National Park and Dingle Peninsula. Whales and dolphins populate the waters around the peninsula, and a cruise of the coast and past the towering Cathedral Rocks may net sightings of orca, bottlenose dolphin, or the giant basking shark. Exploring Cork and the town of Cobh on an island in Cork Harbor reveals ties to American history - many immigrants bound for Ellis Island departed from the docks of the island town, and it famously served as the last port of call for the fated vessels Titanic and Lusitania.

Finally, the remaining days are spent in modern Ireland’s capital: Dublin. The city itself is a time capsule for the history of Ireland - the Trinity College dates back to 1592 and houses important Gaelic works from Ireland’s antiquity, and the city’s Georgian district reflects the prosperity of the “Age of Elegance” in the 18th century. Perhaps the most exciting display of the country’s culture is found on Grafton Street, an avenue lined with high-end shops, cafes, and populated with lively street buskers leading to the beloved fountains, bronze statues, and lawns of the Green – St. Stephens Green Park.

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