Ireland Vacation Package – 10 Day Self Drive

10 Day Self Drive Overview

This package allows you to explore both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Explore castles, tombs, ports, museums, murals, beaches and headlands. Dotted along your journey you will be wowed by spectacular scenary, exceptional local food and world-famous entertainment. This tour takes you away from the typical beaten track with an opportunity to visit many lesser known attractions which can often be missed when attempting to make your Irish bucket list.

ouOur trip starts in Dublin where you can collect your car and begin your adventure. Minutes from the airport you’ll stop off at your first castle of many along this trip. Malahide castle is over 800 years old and is located only 20 minutes from the airport. Here you’ll be able to catch your breath after your flight while also soak up some of our history. You can get a light lunch here and stock up on some refreshments before making your way to New Grange, a 5,000 year old passage tomb that reflects our brilliance of our ancient ancestors. New Grange isn’t just a tomb it’s winter solstice lighting allowed people to mark a new year and features art work that would have influenced the Celtic designs which are synonymous with Ireland. Following this you’ll head for your accommodation and settle in for the night.

Day two you’ll awake and get your breakfast before heading to Belfast city. It takes an hour and a half to reach Belfast by motorway. Once you arrive in Belfast your first port of call is the Titanic Belfast, as one of Ireland’s top sights to visit it is not to be missed. This museum takes you through the build and history of the Titanic and also Belfast’s Boat Yards. The Museum is situated at the the top of the dock where the Titanic was built and includes a tour of the SS Nomadic where you’ll be able to experience first hand what it was like to be on-board on of the infamous White Star Vessel. The Titanic Belfast also features a gourmet restaurant where you can avail of lunch or refreshments. In the afternoon you’ll take a tour of Belfast in a Black Taxi. Your guide will take you through the history of “The Troubles” where you’ll learn how Catholic and Protestant extremists waged a civil war against each other. You will also visit famous sites such as Shankill Road and Falls Road, the Peace Walls and everything in between.

Depending on your energy levels as you leave Belfast, you’ll pass Belfast Castle where you can pop in and have a glance at this spectacular building the overlooks the city from a 400 foot hilltop. The castle today is used mainly for weddings and events but is open to the public to roam the grounds and is a popular destination for many tourists.

Following this you’ll make your way to Antrim (30 minutes) where you’ll settle down for the night. The following morning you will make our way to one of the most scenic spots in Ireland, Dunluce Castle. The castle situated on a small headland towering over the sea is a feat to engineer during its era. Built in the 1500’s it has stood the test of time as it gets battered by the Atlantic swell yearly.

Here you will discover the folklore and tales as well as spectacular views that will stop you in your tracks. There are guided tours available or you can roam through the castle at your own pace. Following this you can make your way to Portrush, a well known seaside town in Northern Ireland where you can sample some of Ireland’s fine seafood cuisine before making your way to London Derry. Here you’ll check into your accommodation and take the reset of the day to soak up some culture. London Derry has huge historical importance in Ireland’s history. Here you can walk the famous city walls as well as visit the museum of Free Derry and as the day comes to an end you can enjoy a nice meal and walk through London Derry. 

The following morning you’ll stick to the coast, starting off with a picturesque drive through the countryside as you take in golden beaches dotted along the coastline. Photo opportunities are around every corner and eventually you’ll come to your destination, The Doagh Famine Village. A unique tour that takes you through how Ireland has been shaped over the past 200 years and what it was like to live in Ireland during the famine. Following this you make your way out to Malin head to take in some of the spectacular cliffs and seaviews. After a bite to eat you’ll make your way down the opposite side of the headland exploring the coast and quaint Irish towns as you make your way towards Letterkenny where you’ll stay for the night.

The next day you’ll wake up in one of Ireland’s best kept secrets, Donegal. To start you’ll make your way towards the Gaeltacht. Another spectacular attraction is Fanad lighthouse and along the way there are ample amounts of golden, Caribbean-like beaches. One beach that’s stunning and a step above all the others is Gortnalughoge, with rolling hills dropping into the sea where fields blend into the sandy beach. Words do it little justice while pictures can capture the mystical vibes you can find here. Time moves slowly in Donegal and you can stop in number of the local towns and villages to grab something to eat at your own pace. The drive from Fanad Lighthouse to your next destination Arranmore takes about 2 hours 30 minutes. With stops and time to wander and see the sights this may take be around 4-5 hours in total.  If you thought time in Donegal went slowly then it definitely stops to a halt on Arranmore. After getting a short ferry you’ll check into you accommodation on the island. Here you’ll be able to chill out and enjoy the rest of the day at your own pace.

The next day will feel like a day off from traveling, you’ll be free to explore the island at your own pace. Rent a bike or take one of the many strolls that are well sign posted on the island. The main experience on Arranmore is the people, culture and lifestyle. You’ll be swept away by the friendly and welcoming locals who can be found in many of the pubs and restaurants. The  next morning you’ll catch an early ferry back to the mainland where you’ll make your way to Sligo town. On the way you’ll have the opportunity to visit Belleek Castle and Porcelain factory as well as the famous surfing town of Bundoran before arriving in Sligo. 

At this stage you’ll have been away from large populated areas for a few days so a busy town will be a welcoming sight. Sligo was home to WB Yeats and many other famous poets of Ireland, you’ll have a choice of options for sight seeing including Yeats Building, Drumcliff Church and Sligo Abbey. You’ll be able to stroll through the streets at your own pace experiencing the hustle and bustle of local life. Sligo has numerous award winning restaurants with unique dining experiences that you’ll only be able to find on the west coast of Ireland. You’ll be able to enjoy a night out in many of the Sligo pubs where you’ll often be able to see local musicians play traditional Irish music. 

The next day you’ll make your way right out to the one of the furthest points west of Ireland you can go, Belmullet. Here you’ll be again in a gaeltacht area where time stands stills. Here you’ll have whole beaches to yourself or else you can higher guides and tours to take you around this peninsula’s headland. After one night in Belmullet it time to visit Castlebar before making you may back to Dublin (approximately 3 hours) to catch your flight home.

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