This independent program allows the flexibility to explore on your own. We offer a selection of hotels to accommodate a variety of tastes and budgets. Drive times between the cities can vary, but average 1 - 4 hours in length and are dependent upon local conditions. Please note that this program is not escorted and therefore you will not have the services of a tour manager to assist with hotel check-in formalities and luggage handling. This program's unconstrained nature excludes group advantages associated with escorted tours.
Drivers must be at least 25 years old to rent a vehicle. Additionally, drivers must be 28 years old in order to rent a Full Size (Car Categories FVMR and FVAR).
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information,
check our Visas page.
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8 Day Irish Castles Fly & Drive
Please note that the following is a suggested itinerary. While the sites listed below may be visited independently, the package does not cover any applicable entrance or tour fees.
DAY 1 - Depart for Ireland Depart for Ireland
DAY 2 - Arrive in Dublin, Drive to Waterford Arrive in Dublin and pick up your rental car before leaving the city behind as you drive through Wicklow Mountains National Park for a glimpse into Ireland's wild side. The lush scenery and placid lakes are delicately wound through hills and valleys offering gorgeous views to begin your introduction to Ireland. Continue to Kilkenny City, considered by many to be the medieval capital of Ireland. The city is walker friendly and easy to navigate making it a wonderful place to stop for a meal and a pint. The city is also home to Kilkenny Castle, built in 1195 and has been added to and altered over the years to create a complex structure of various influences. Arrive in Waterford and take a stroll along the city quay, a mile-long promenade bursting with restaurants and shops while you explore Ireland's oldest city
Drive Time: 3 hours*
Distance: 130 miles*
DAY 3 - Waterford, Blarney Castle and Ring of Kerry En Route to Tralee Take the morning to see more of Waterford such as the House of Waterford Crystal that offers demonstrations of glass blowing and sculpting with incredible craftsmanship and unique designs. After, continue to drive to Blarney Castle and the famous Blarney Stone. Give the stone a quick kiss and see if the legends are true. Next, travel to Killarney National Park where you can drive the world-famous "Ring of Kerry" before arriving in Tralee for an overnight
Drive Time: 6 hours*
Distance: 250 miles*
DAY 4 - Bunratty Castle and Cliffs of Moher En Route to Clifden via Galway Depart Tralee this morning and turn north towards the city of Galway, enjoying the character and architecture of Limerick City along the way. You may stop to explore the city or continue to visit Bunartty Castle, with its imposing fortress-like architecture before heading to the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher along the Atlantic Ocean to bask in more of Ireland's natural beauty. The cliffs are a UNESCO Geo Park and run for about five miles, offering a chance to see the cliff nesting seabird colonies if you're up for the cliff top walk between Moher Tower and O'Brien's Tower. Continue to Clifden for a chance to relax after a full day of sightseeing
Drive Time: 5 hours*
Distance: 160 miles*
DAY 5 - Full Day in Clifden Enjoy the day in Clifden or drive to Galway which is the largest city in western Ireland but has a small town feel. Cathedrals, museums, castles, mansions and monuments abound in the city and offer the chance to see a variety of sites. However, any sightseeing in the city should include a trip to the Claddagh district on the western edge of the city. Claddagh was once a fishing village but its charming thatch cottages were replaced in the early 1900's as it was assimilated into the city. Despite this though, the traditional Claddagh ring design has become famous, both in and outside of Ireland and makes the perfect souvenir of traditional Irish culture. An entire day to explore the wonders of this city will leave you satisfied and eager for a chance to rest in one of its many pubs
Drive Time: 1.50 hours*
Distance: 57 miles*
DAY 6 - Drive to Dublin, Dublin sightseeing Today drive through the heart of Ireland from Galway to Dublin, the expansive capital city of Ireland. The city is divided into Northside and Southside by the River Liffey and nearly all of the city's major sights and attractions are concentrated in these center-city areas. In the southern part of the city find Trinity College, Merrion Square, Grafton Street and St. Stephen's Green. In the northern part of the city find more of the cultural attractions including the James Joyce Center, Dublin Writers Museum, Gate Theatre and the Hugh Lane Municipal Art Gallery. There is plenty to see and do, but don't rush through the city, take time to appreciate the city's roots and connection to the rest of Ireland and the world
Drive Time: 4 hours*
Distance: 200 miles*
Overnight: Dublin Area
DAY 7 - Full Day in Dublin The final day in Ireland is a full day to continue sightseeing in Dublin. Spend the entire day catching the sights that may have been missed yesterday afternoon and wander through the rest of the city. Head to the western area of the city to see the district of Smithfield with its cobblestones and towering cathedrals. Also in the western portion of the city is the most popular attraction, the Guinness Brewery and Storehouse. Spend the afternoon appreciating this staple of Irish culture and the perfect double tapped pints. Afterwards, head to the Phoenix Park and Environs to rest before venturing back into the bustling city center to continue exploring
Overnight: Dublin Area Meals: Breakfast
DAY 8 - Depart Ireland Drive to the airport and return your vehicle prior to your departure flight
*Please note that this is a suggested itinerary. Driving times and distances are estimated and can vary due to many circumstances, such as, specific route taken, hotel location, traffic, weather, road conditions, etc. GPS devices are recommended and can be rented locally.
Virgin Vacations itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
Faithlegg House, Waterford
This first class hotel is located on the Suir River Estuary.