ENJOY THE HIGHLIGHTS OF IRELAND WITH THIS METICULOUSLY PLANNED GLUTEN FREE ITINERARY
Choose any date of travel (this is an individual itinerary, not a group trip). All photos below provided by Pixabay.
Gluten Free Travel-Us has worked with Kensington Tours to offer you a meticulously planned journey to Ireland, with gluten free meals safely enjoyed throughout your trip. You'll discover the scenic splendor of the Emerald Isle with a private driver-guide who has expert local knowledge and insight into the best towns, monuments and historic sites. You'll begin this luxurious journey with a stay in Dublin, capital of the Republic of Ireland, and have a private guide lead you through medieval streets to renowned sites like St Patrick's Cathedral and the famous Guinness brewery. You'll marvel at coastal castles, and renowned Irish author James Joyce's Tower, and even magnificent views of the Wicklow Mountains. Then, you'll pass picturesque villages on your way to Cork, stopping at the majestic Rock of Cashel, a medieval stone complex perched up high in a vista of rolling green hills. You'll visit the Ring of Kerry with your private guide, take a scenic drive around the Iveragh Peninsula, and enjoy the natural beauty of Killarney National Park. You'll even find yourself overnighting in a stately castle in Shannon, with history reaching back to the 5th century. As always, Ellen will take care of all the sightseeing and dining details so that you can enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs. You'll relax during your trip with 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Days 1: Dublin (arrival day)
For your convenience, a private assistant will be waiting for you outside of airport customs, holding a sign with your name on it. They will direct you to your private transfer, and accompany you to your hotel for check-in. A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other tourist information will be provided to you on your first day. In addition to your pre-booked customized tours, you'll get recommendations on where to shop, have a drink, grab a bite, and discover lesser-known sites typically ignored by visitors. You'll have the freedom of being spontaneous, because your days have built-in flexibility. You'll get an introduction to Ireland with the depth and quality that's only possible with a local expert. This is simply the best and most enjoyable way of seeing the Emerald Isle, in style!
Days 2: Dublin
Meet your private guide at your hotel and set out on foot for a half-day walking tour of Dublin, exploring the highlights of the lively Irish capital. Stroll through the landscaped grounds of St Stephen’s Green, a public park dating back to 1664, followed by a walk through Merrion Square, with its impressive red brick Georgian townhouses. Stroll past the historic Dublin Castle, former seat of the English, along with the Lords and Kings of Ireland, now used for all State ceremonial events. Pass by Christchurch, built by the Anglo-Norman’s in 1172 to replace an earlier Church built by the Vikings in 1038. No visit to Dublin would be complete without a visit to St Patrick’s Cathedral, a highlight of your tour. Built in 1192, it is one of Ireland’s largest cathedrals, made famous by its former dean Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels.
Afterwards, check out the old cobbled lanes and hip establishments of Temple Bar, Dublin’s cultural quarter, and visit Trinity College where you’ll be able to see the 8th century Book of Kells, perhaps the world’s most beautifully illustrated book and gaze upon the 200,000 books of the long room. Conclude your tour back at your hotel. Enjoy admission to the Guinness Storehouse, granting you access for a self-guided tour exploring Ireland's number one visitor attraction, providing an unforgettable welcome and a magical journey deep into the heart of the world famous Guinness brand and beer company. This historical building is central to the heritage of both Dublin and Ireland, and has been continually updated to create a blend of fascinating industrial tradition with a contemporary edge. The seven floors of the Storehouse bring to life the rich heritage of Guinness, telling the story from its origins at St James's Gate in Dublin to its growth as a global brand, known all around the world. Included with your admission is a free Guinness (or non-alcoholic gluten free alternative) at the end of your self-guided tour.
Day 3: Dublin, Cork
With a private driver-guide, transfer from Dublin to Cork, discovering medieval towns and castles along the way. You’ll first set your sights on Kilkenny, Ireland’s foremost medieval town, located an hour and a half southwest of Dublin. Walk Kilkenny’s medieval mile, admiring historic buildings like the 13th century St. Canice’s Cathedral and tower at one end, passing the well-preserved 16th century Rothe House, centuries-old breweries and pubs, arriving to Kilkenny’s undisputed highlight, the iconic Kilkenny Castle. Take in 800 years of history as you visit this lasting symbol of Norman occupation, strolling through the manicured gardens and elegant rooms formerly belonging to knights and duchesses and earls. In the afternoon, continue into South Tipperary, an area renowned for rustic castles, ancient abbeys, and lush farming landscapes. Make a stop in the town of picturesque town of Cahir, where you can catch views of its 12th century Cahir Castle, one of the country’s largest. Continue to Cashel, where you’ll visit the grand Rock of Cashel, a fortified medieval religious complex gifted to the Church in the 13th century, easily one of Ireland's most spectacular attractions. Explore this massive site, taking in Celtic art and medieval architecture, ranging from a round tower and chapel to a cathedral and extensive graveyard. Conclude your day on arrival to your hotel in Cork.
Day 4: Cork, Killarney
Enjoy beautiful views of the bucolic West Cork coastline as you transfer from Cork to Killarney today with your private driver-guide. Just outside of Cork, you'll first visit the picturesque 15th century ruins of Blarney Castle, where legend has it a kiss of the Blarney Stone bestows the kisser the gift of the gab. Among the highlights as you continue your day, is a stop at the ancient Drombeg Stone Circle, also known as the Druid's Altar, a 2,000 year-old megalithic stone circle which evokes thoughts of a very different time. Along the coast, you'll get to stop at the quaint fishing villages of Glandore and Union Hall as well as an optional detour to Ireland's most southerly peninsula, Mizen Head. In Baltimore, you can walk out to the intriguing Lot's Wife, a white stone beacon with a stunning coastal view out across to the adjacent Sherkin Island. Continue to Glengariff, located at the foot of the Caha Mountains that separate Cork from Kerry, a dense lush sub-tropical valley with beautiful natural scenery. Inland from here is the solitary chapel on an island by the lake at Gougane Barra, one of Ireland's most romantic locations. At day's end you will arrive to your accommodation in Killarney for check-in.
Day 5: Killarney
Setting out today with your private driver-guide, embark on a discovery of one of Ireland’s loveliest regions, the Ring of Kerry. Poets, painters, writers, and musicians have all tried to convey the beauty of the Ring, with mountains, valleys, and lakes, blending into a palette of scenic splendor. You’ll travel through Molls Gap, a scenic mountain pass through the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, and Ladies View, offering a majestic viewpoint across Killarney National Park, then continue along the broad, dramatic coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula and through the charming villages and towns of Killorglin, Cahirsiveen, Waterville and Sneem, where your guide can point out a resort frequented by the famous and regal for its renowned Afternoon Tea. You'll also be able to stop and walk out to impressive ancient stone ring forts of Cahergal and Leacanabuaile, dating back to around 600AD, in addition to catching majestic viewpoints of the ever-changing Atlantic coastline all throughout your day. Your day will include a visit to Muckross House, a magnificent Victorian mansion and one of Ireland’s leading stately homes. The elegantly furnished rooms portray the lifestyle of the landed gentry, while downstairs in the basement one can experience the working conditions of the servants employed in the house. The gardens at Muckross House are renowned worldwide for their beauty; in particular they are noted for their fine collections of azaleas and rhododendrons.
Day 6: Killarney, Newmarket on Fergus
Transfer from Killarney to Newmarket on Fergus today in the company of your private driver-guide. You'll experience a day of exploration in the Burren and Cliffs of Moher, a UNESCO Global Geopark in West Clare. This area is ranked at the top of Ireland's most rugged and dramatic landscapes, with shifting and sculpted stone creating unforgettable scenery you won't want to miss. Discover the quaint and picturesque seaport villages of Kinvarra and Ballyvaughan, the former of which will allow you to catch views of the 16th century Dunguaire Castle, one of the most photographed castles in all of Ireland. In Poulnabrone, head out across a rocky, glacio-karst field worn away by ancient glaciers to view an impressive neolithic portal tomb, called the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a stone burial monument erected by some of the very first settlers to this remote, pitted landscape over 5,200 years ago. On arrival to visit the Cliffs of Moher, you'll head out along the pathways, walking to various viewing platforms for different lookout points out across what is easily one of Ireland's most iconic views - offering moments of contemplation and awe, as you gaze out across sheer, eroded cliffsides which drop dramatically down 700 feet to the North Atlantic below. Conclude your day in Newmarket on Fergus.
Day 7: Newmarket on Fergus
Meet your driver for a private transfer to the Shannon Airport. Approximate travel time is 15 minutes.
PLEASE NOTE: While the itinerary above is not a group tour and can be taken at any time, Ellen is looking to put together a similar GROUP experience in May 2020, and she has pricing for this available as well. Call her at the number above for details.