Escape to the South West - 5 Day Tour

5 Days Starts in Dublin & Ends in Dublin

Tour highlights

Explore one of Ireland’s most spectacular regions on this five day tour of Ireland.

You’ll capture Atlantic waves crashing against rugged cliffs, impressive castles looming over ancient monasteries, and cities bursting with myth and mystery.

It’s a tour that’s perfect for people who like their mountains mighty, their music merry, and their memories magnificent.

Itinerary

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Clonmacnoise & Locke’s Distillery

  • Savor the sights and tastes of the oldest licensed distillery on Earth at Locke’s Distillery.
  • Revere the magnificent 1,500 year old abbey of Clonmacnoise.
  • Delve into the hubbub of Galway City’s bustling bars and lively restaurants.

Leaving Dublin, head west through the farmlands and peat bogs of County Kildare and Offaly. Locke’s Distillery is your first stop, and here you will have time to relax with a glass of their famed whiskey.

After a drink (or two!), head to the banks of the mighty River Shannon and the ruined abbey at Clonmacnoise - home to a large collection of stone crosses, ancient churches and inimitable round towers, this holy site offers an insightful glimpse into Ireland’s spiritual past.

You will then have lunch at a traditional pub in one of the area’s pretty villages, before travelling to Galway City, your home for the first night. It’s a city with a lively atmosphere and excellent restaurants and bars.

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Cliffs of Moher & The Burren

  • Roam the Burren, home to some of Ireland’s most profound spiritual and natural experiences.
  • Marvel at the steep Cliffs of Moher and the stunning 700ft drop into the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Relax with traditional Irish music in the atmospheric pubs and bars of Killarney.

A short drive along the coast from Galway City lies the Burren, one of Ireland’s national treasures. It’s home to one of the earliest Christian settlements in Ireland and broad limestone pavements and rare flora.

After time to explore the area, you will travel to Kilfenora, the “town of the crosses”. You can visit the town’s fabulous ancient cathedral before your tour stops for lunch in one of the area’s charming villages.

You will then head to the incredible Cliffs of Moher. Walk the stunning cliff trails as seabirds swoop through the clear air above you. Learn about the unique ecosystem in the excellent and award winning environmental exhibition nearby.

The tour then moves south through County Clare, passing its famous golf course on the way to the picturesque beach at Lahinch. From here you will board a ferry across the Shannon Estuary to the lakeside town of Killarney. This energetic, charming area will be your base for the next three nights, so you can take your time sampling the superb collection of traditional pubs and live music.

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Dingle Peninsula

  • Traverse the Dingle Peninsula, famous for its scenery and Gaelic culture.
  • Wander ancient forts and religious sites of the past at Slea Head.
  • Stroll the beautiful Inch Beach on your way to Dingle.

Today, your tour explores the fabulous Dingle Peninsula. Your first stop is Inch Beach, a vast expanse of sand stretching out into the Atlantic. Venturing down the narrow roads away from the beach leads you through the town of Dingle.

You will continue towards Slea Head, an area loaded with ancient forts and prehistoric dwellings. The impressive views of the nearby Blasket Islands make this an excellent spot for panoramic photos. If the weather is pleasant, you can ramble along the beaches and cliff tops to fully appreciate the incredible vistas.

Arriving back amidst the brightly colored houses and jolly harbor of Dingle, you are free to spend the remainder of the afternoon enjoying delicious seafood in this idyllic setting. In the evening, you will head back to Killarney, with time for an evening stroll in the National Park that envelops the town.

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The Ring of Kerry

  • Tour the world renowned Ring of Kerry, hailed globally for its incredible scenery and cultural heritage.

Today, you will explore the Ring of Kerry, a spectacular route through some of Ireland’s most visually striking areas.

Head out in the morning, stopping first at Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil. After snapping some shots of its rugged majesty, join the scenic coast road through Glenbeigh and Kells on the way to Cahersiveen. Possible stops include the site of “The Liberator of Ireland” Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace and an impressive ring fort outside Portmagee.

Stop for lunch in the quaint fishing village of Portmagee. Alternatively, you can have a quick snack and head to the island of Valentia for a visit to the Skellig Experience. This excursion teaches you about the ancient community of monks who made the outcrop of rocky islands their home.

In the afternoon, there’s a photo stop in Charlie Chaplin’s “home away from home” at Waterville, before enjoying fine views at the top of Coonmakista pass.

Winding down from the peaks, your tour will head to Derrynane House, home of the family O’Connell. Daniel O’Connell holds a special place in Irish hearts, as an emancipating force from colonial rule. Enjoy a walk in the scenic gardens here, as well as a visit to the main house.

Continuing along the Ring, you will stop at Moll’s Gap and the Ladies View. Stroll a short way from here to the Torc Waterfall before heading back to Killarney. (On some tours, days three and four are switched).

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Blarney Castle and Stone, Kilkenny Castle

  • Kiss the famed Blarney Stone within the walls of the medieval stronghold of Blarney Castle.
  • Explore Kilkenny Castle and its impressive craft centers.

Heading east through the mountains of West Cork, weave along the Lee Valley until you reach Blarney Castle. You will have time here to take in the castle grounds, and maybe kiss the famous Blarney Stone and receive the “gift of the gab”!

In the afternoon, the tour heads to the heritage town of Cahir, where there’s a distinctive island castle in the River Suir.

The final stop of the tour is Kilkenny, a bustling city with a fine Castle, riverside walks, and an impressive National Craft Center. There’s also the chance for one last Guinness before heading back on the road again for the last leg of the journey. You will arrive back into Dublin in the evening.

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"We love travel as much as you do. We prefer it to any roller-coaster, movie, or concert. But there are a few things we don’t always love about travel. Like when you get stranded on a dark single track road. Or end up at a large hotel that serves frozen food made 1,000 miles away. Or when you see something incredible, and have no way of finding out what it is. So, our award-winning small-group tours take care of details and ensure you and your driver-guide’s adventures are free from the things that make travel less lovable.

Here’s how we deliver travel experiences you’ll love:

You learn from the best storytellers. And this is no overstatement. Our driver-guides are world famous for their knowledge, facts, quirky stories, history, and fairy-tales. They truly take you beyond the guidebooks and into your adventure.

You explore in top of the range 16 seat mini-coaches. This means you never get lost, you always take the scenic route, you have great views through large windows, and you’re free to sample the local tipple without worrying about driving.

You support the local communities. You do this because we take you to the lesser known attractions and recommend locally owned accommodation. What’s more, for every ton of carbon we use, we donate £10 to environmental and community projects.

You make your trip your own. We provide the timetable; and along the way you can choose where you want to eat, sleep and which attractions you want to see. So, if you want to stop off and feed a highland cow or maybe linger longer in the castle courtyard with a glass of wine, you can.

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go. When you choose to book with us, you’re going - no minimum numbers.

Guaranteed experience or your money back. If you feel you’ve not had the experience you deserved, and we’re at fault, we’ll give you your money back.

So, take a tour with us and learn to love travel even more than you thought you could."

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What's included

Places you will explore:

  • Clonmacnoise - Scholars from all around Europe once visited this hugely influential abbey.
  • Galway Town - Stone clad buildings line the winding lanes and medieval walls of this ancient harbour city.
  • Cliffs of Moher - Behold an awe-inspiring 700ft drop into the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The Burren - This national park is home to some of Ireland’s most profound spiritual and natural culture.
  • Dingle Peninsula - Glorious beaches merge with traditional Irish scenery in this land of Gaelic mystery and towering forts.
  • Ring of Kerry - Ireland's famous coastal route boasts some of the wildest views in Europe.
  • Torc Waterfall - Learn about the ancient curse that formed this waterfall and admire its impressive cascade.
  • Blarney Castle - Kiss the famed Blarney Stone amidst the walls of this gorgeous medieval stronghold.
  • Kilkenny - Survey the dominant and unmistakable three walled castle whilst roaming its splendid grounds.

Discounts:

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, Rabbie's Tours don't carry children under 5 years old).

Important information:

  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes.
  • One 15 kilogram bag per person.

Tour inclusions:

  • All road tolls and the Killimer - Tarbet ferry.
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach.
  • Air conditioning as standard.
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide.

Tour exclusions:

  • Entry fees to visitor attractions.
  • Tour accommodation.

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