Enjoy the very best of Cork County and the jawdropping southern Irish coast on this seven-day self-drive tour. You'll get the chance to explore Cork's charming city centre, the rugged coastline and Beara Peninsula, as well as a chance to experience a more relaxed pace of life on Cork's idyllic islands. Discover rich history and vibrant culture, marvel at beautiful architecture, explore some of the best art galleries and museums in Ireland, and be intrigued by unique shopping and dining options, including the English Market, with its stalls selling foods from all over the world. Of course, no visit to County Cork would be complete without a trip to Blarney Castle where visitors may kiss the Blarney Stone to receive the gift of eloquence. Visit the Beara Peninsula and discover Irish landscapes frozen in time, totally tranquil and unspoiled.
Included Unique Activities
- Kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle & Park
- Discover the history of the world's most famous ship at the Titanic Experience Cobh
- Explore Ireland's best-preserved Star-Shaped Artillery Fortress at Charles Fort
- Embark on a Food Tour through the Gourmet town of Kinsale
- Enjoy Afternoon Tea in a Historic 5 Star Castle
Kinsale Food Tour
Afternoon Tea at Dromoland
Titanic Experience Cobh
Blarney Castle and Park Admission
1 NightCountry Manor Inn
Country Manor Inn
Nestled in the County Limerick Countryside, close to Adare Heritage Village, is the Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge. This small hotel built in a victorian country residence is the perfect heritage hideaway location for people looking for a vacation stopover, civil ceremonies or to treat a beloved one for a weekend excursion in the countryside. Set on ten acres of gardens, the stylish house provides luxury accommodation, coupled with its world renowned restaurant. Located ten minutes from Adare, the Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge is also close to Shannon Airport - a mere 40 minute drive. The Mustard Seed is the only County Limerick Blue Book House and is the ideal base for people on a vacation in the South West of Ireland, wishing to visit the Dingle peninsula, the Cliffs of Moher or Killarney which are just a few hours drive away. This luxury Country House oozes style without pretention. The house combines the spaciousness and elegance of an earlier age with the comfort and amenities of today.
With 16 guests rooms, all uniquely designed, the Mustard Seed Country house welcome guests in a modern conformable environment, while making sure to preserve its old charm. Guest have choice between all kind of rooms, from standard bedrooms to suites. Some of the rooms are even welcoming guests' canine friends.
All Guestrooms Feature:
- Broadband Wi-Fi in reception and some bedrooms
- Power Shower
- TV & radio
- Gilchrist & Soames toiletries
- Complimentary Mineral Water
- Tea & Coffee making facilities
- Non-smoking rooms
- Room service
- Non-smoking hotel
- Disabled people friendly
- Pet friendly
- Meeting rooms
The Mustard Seed Restaurant:
Opened in 1985, the Mustard Seed Restaurant is one of the finest restaurant in Limerick, that everyone recommends without second thoughts for its award winning food. After 10 years of successful cuisine, the restaurant was moved to the countryside and joined the Mustard Seed to provide its guests with delicious dishes, the head chef Angle Pirev cooking accordingly to the ingredient availability with each season. Now owned by John Edward Joyce, the actual owner of the hotel, the restaurant goes on flourishing into the heart of county Limerick to the stylish Country House at Echo Lodge, welcoming both guests and locals as long as they love fine food and wine, every evening for 7pm to 9.15pm. May 2010 marked 25 years of the Mustard Seed restaurant and the restaurant is as successful as ever, as evidenced by its many rewards : Irish Breakfast Award in 2017 (Georgine Campbell), Best Customer Service in 2018 (Munster, RAI Awards) or the Host of the Year in 2019 (Georgina Campbell).
On the Map: Adare is located just 20km southwest of Limerick City / 43km south of Shannon Airport. The main N21 road (connecting the cities of Limerick & Tralee/Killarney) passes right through the centre of the village.
Adare is a quaint picturesque place, lined with traditional thatched-roof cottages. Snuggled in a wooded and lush countryside setting, Adare is widely regarded as being Ireland's prettiest and most unique village. Situated on the river Maigue, a tributary of the Shannon river, Adare (Gaelic name: "Ath Dara" - the "ford of the oak" - from the combination of water and woodland) dates back, at least, to the early 13th century. Adare village has a rich wealth of heritage, as well as architectural and scenic beauty. Two groups of world famous, ornate, thatched cottages line part of the village's broad main street, punctuated with beautiful stone buildings, medieval monasteries and ruins. Situated in the centre of County Limerick, with just 15 minutes from Limerick City and 45 minutes from Shannon Airport, Adare Village is an ideal base from which to explore County Limerick's many visitor attractions such as Lough Gur and King John's Castle.
2 NightsLandmark Boutique Hotel
Landmark Boutique Hotel
There is no better way to explore the vibrant city of Cork than by staying at the Imperial Hotel. Boasting an enviable location in the heart of Cork’s downtown area, countless restaurants, shops, museums, and historical sites are within easy strolling distance. The 4-star hotel exudes charm and style, and is the perfect backdrop to any visit to discover the local highlights. From your very first step over the threshold, be welcomed by a warm smile, marble floors, ornate cornicing and gleaming chandeliers – just a taste of the luxury to be found in the facilities at the Imperial Hotel. Unwind in the comfort of your guestroom or indulge in a relaxing spa treatment at the peaceful Escape Spa. Whatever the occasion, the Imperial Hotel is a quiet oasis of luxury perfect for your next visit to Ireland’s energetic Cork City.
As one of Cork City’s finest guest accommodations, the Imperial Hotel offers 125 spacious and welcoming bedrooms. All guestrooms are well appointed and tastefully decorated in muted, relaxing tones. Plush beds are adorned with crisp, white bed linens, and completed by an extensive range of guest services.
All Guestrooms Feature:
- Complimentary WiFi Internet Access
- Direct Dial Telephone
- Interactive HD TV
- Orla Kiely Toiletries
- Complimentary Mineral Water
- Tea/Coffee Making Facilities
- Trouser Press
- Iron/Ironing Board
- 24-hr Room Service
- Laundry Service
The Pembroke Restaurant:
Savor delicious fine dining at The Pembroke restaurant when staying at the Imperial Hotel. Sitting amid beautiful, elegant surroundings, choose from seasonal and innovative menus that expertly blend Irish and Mediterranean cuisine. With Cork's finest fish and meat markets just steps away, chefs prepare each meal with the freshest local ingredients. The Pembroke is an atmospheric space, pairing excellent food and great wines to create a truly memorable dining experience on any occasion.
Seventy-Six on the Mall:
Having been transformed by a recent renovation, Seventy-Six at the Imperial Hotel is the perfect place to stop for a glamorous cocktail or glass of wine. Take in the differing shades of blue sofas and chairs set against dark wood and marble countertops. At Seventy-Six, eat a light snack or pass time chatting with friends or family – making it ideal for any time of day.
Lafayette’s Brasserie invites you to sip on a warm coffee or share a medley of desserts with a friend or partner. Classical influences have transformed the space into a fusion of marble, impressive columns, and beautiful wall reliefs. The coffee shop is the perfect spot for a friendly catch-up or quick refresher before setting out to explore the city.
On the Map: Cork City is located off the southern coast of Ireland. As Ireland's second city, it is well served by good roads - The M8 northeast to Dublin, the N20 north to Limerick & the N25 east to Waterford.
In the bustling city of Cork (often referred to as 'Ireland's Second Capital'), stroll the river walk at the University and pop into the Glucksman Gallery. Relax in a café, and hit Shandon Street, just a short walk from the main shopping district. Climb the 120 foot steeple, and ring the bells of Shandon. Soak up the city views as they fade into the countryside. Award-winning restaurants line the streets, and nightlife choices include Irish Traditional, classy nightclubs, theater, opera, plays, and dance. (Take the haunted night tour of the city jail—it’s a great way to start your evening with a bang.) Of course, there’s the Jameson Old Middleton Distillery in east Cork. Learn how Irish whiskey is made, and finish with a tasting.
1 NightTranquil Central Hotel
Tranquil Central Hotel
Situated on the banks of the River Ilen, the sophisticated West Cork Hotel provides travelers an ideal base for exploring the adorable market town of Skibbereen and the stunning Cork County. The hotel features a fine-dining restaurant serving locally caught seafood and seasonal game as well as a bar that serves drinks and light meals.
Guestrooms at the West Cork Hotel are elegant, individually decorated, and some rooms boast beautiful river views.
All Guestrooms Feature:
- Coffee/tea maker
- Daily housekeeping
- Private bathroom
- Free toiletries
- Hair dryer
- Shower/tub combination
- Iron/ironing board (on request)
- Cable TV service
- Free WiFi
- Room service (limited hours)
Recently awarded AA Rosette Kennedy Restaurant, Skibbereen focuses on locally-caught seafood, locally-sourced, seasonal game and the finest of local herbs and organic vegetables to create unforgettable dishes. An extensive breakfast menu is served until 12 noon daily and Carvery Lunch is served daily with a great selection of dishes to choose from. The most popular lunch is the Sunday Carvery which features the Kennedy's famous dessert buffet. In the evening, the menu at the Kennedy Restaurant offers guests a great choice of courses made from fresh, local produce, and is paired with a newly revamped wine list to create the ultimate dining experience.
The Bridge Bar offers relaxed ambiance, old-world leather seating, and a dedicated bar staff offering visitors and locals the perfect place to enjoy a drink, delectable bar food, and good company. Food served 12:30 pm to 9 pm
On the Map: Skibbereen is located in County Cork, in the southwest of Ireland. The town is accessed via the scenic N71 road that connects the cities of Cork (to the northeast) & Kenmare, County Kerry (to the northwest).
This thriving town is the 'capital' of West Cork, and centre for all the agricultural, industrial and tourist activities of the region. Its streets are full of life and character and it is an ideal base from which to discover the delights of West Cork. You could easily spend days or weeks exploring West Cork, wandering up and down its lovely quiet roads. Although popular, it is never crowded like Kerry, and there are always delightful places to discover. Around each western headland, the unsuspecting visitor will discover coastlines dominated by scenic harbors and colorful fishing villages such as Glandore, Baltimore and Schull, secluded beaches and dozens of sparsely populated islands such as Sherkin and Cape Clear. These islands, which were once populated with Gaelic speaking colonies, now offer the visitor endless hours of exploring an old-world traditional Ireland.
2 NightsSuperior Comfort Hotel
1 NightSumptuous Country Inn
Sumptuous Country Inn
Bunratty Manor Hotel is located just minutes from one of Ireland’s most famous attractions – Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. As an intimate, family-run establishment, Bunratty Manor excels in providing comfort and all of the modern amenities required by today’s experienced traveler. Known for going the extra mile for their guests, the hotel owners, Noel and Fiona, strongly believe that personalized service is key to an enjoyable visit. Bunratty Manor makes for the perfect base when touring western Ireland, and is just a short drive from numerous Championship Golf Courses, and less than one hour from the world-renowned Cliffs of Moher. And with Shannon Airport only 10 minutes away, Bunratty Manor Hotel offers no better start or finish to your Ireland holiday.
Bunratty Manor boasts a selection of 20 bedrooms that elegantly fuse old world charm with contemporary comfort and amenities. Each guestroom features attractive furniture and décor to create a warm, relaxed and peaceful atmosphere.
All Guestrooms Feature:
- Luxury Ensuite Bathrooms
- Luxury Toiletries
- Direct Dial telephone
- Free Broadband Internet Access
- Tea/Coffee making Facilities
Noel’s at The Manor:
Noel’s at The Manor is arguably one of the most esteemed Shannon restaurants in County Clare. The restaurant features both Prix Fixe and À la Carte menus offering a wide array of local seafood, game, and meats that have been carefully prepared by the Manor’s talented chefs. A particular favorite that must be savored is their award-winning Seafood Chowder. The menu is accompanied by an extensive wine list, with selections to satisfy all tastes. You are invited to enjoy a pre- or post-dinner drink at the traditional bar, which boasts a variety of rare Scottish and Irish whiskeys, vintage ports, and spirits. After garnering so much attention for their excellent food and drink, reservations are highly recommended for guests and locals alike.
On the Map: Bunratty is located in the west of Ireland in County Clare. The main N18/M18 road connecting the cities of Limerick (to the south) & Ennis (to the north) passes right by the village. Shannon Airport is only 15 minutes to the west, also accessed via the N18/M18.
In Bunratty Village, one can enjoy the medieval grandeur that awaits in Bunratty Castle and its lively Folk Park. The castle, overlooking the River Shannon, is in excellent condition and well worth a visit. It is one of the finest surviving examples of an Irish tower house, and it's current peaceful and picturesque state belies its bloody and violent history. The strategic location of the castle on the river Shannon ensured it was the focal point of many battles, and it has it has been destroyed and re-built on at least eight occasions. The Folk Park adjoins the castle and vividly portrays what everyday life was like in rural Ireland about 100 years ago. It contains reconstructed farmhouses, cottages and shops, replete with authentic furnishings. The Park is a living museum: animals are tended, bread is baked, milk is churned, walls are whitewashed and roofs are thatched. You may visit an Irish farmhouse, watch the blacksmith fit a horseshoe, or attend a weaving demonstration. The village also reflects the fundamental changes that led to increased mobility in Irish society. Once you've explored the Castle & Folk Park, be sure to sample a relaxing cup of tea and freshly baked scones in one of the quaint thatched cottage cafes. The famous Durty Nelly's pub is in the heart of town, adjacent to the castle.
Rental Car including our Exclusive Reduced Excess Insurance Package
Points of Interest
Discover Aviation History at Foynes Flying Boat Museum
- Find both International and Traditional Irish foods at Cork's Famous English Market
- Browse beautiful Artwork at the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork City
- Stunning and Remote Beara Peninsula, Dursey & Garnish Islands
- Impressive Ancient History at Drombeg stone circle
- Ring the Bells of Shandon at St. Anne's Church
Lough Gur, County Limerick
Foynes Flying Boat Museum, County Limerick
Cobh, County Cork
The English Market, Cork, County Cork
St. Anne's Church and Shandon Bells, Cork, County Cork
Cork City Gaol, County Cork
Garnish Island, County Cork
King John's Castle, County Limerick
Available Tour Dates
Jan, Feb, Mar, Nov, Dec
From 1,558 per person
Available Tour Dates
Apr, May, Sep, Oct
From 1,678 per person
Available Tour Dates
Jun, Jul, Aug
From 1,798 per person
Your 2022 Price Includes
POINTS OF INTEREST
Prices Based On
"Christmas in Ireland"Jan 3, 2022
This Ireland trip was amazing, and Jennifer did a wonderful job planning it! We booked it fairly last minute (booked the experience Nov 1st for a departure date of Dec 20th), but despite that, Jennifer was able to create an itinerary that covered everything we wanted to do and stay in amazing locations. All of the pre-booked events worked out flawlessly, never ran into any issues! Jennifer was super helpful and answered all my questions; she made traveling during these Covid times way less stressful. Thank you, Jennifer and Authentic Vacations for an amazing Christmas in Ireland!
"Ireland Anniversary"Dec 31, 2021
This trip exceeded our expectations on every single level. Adina planned the absolute PERFECT Irish experience that enabled us to celebrate our third wedding anniversary better than we ever could have imagined. Every single step of the planning and booking experience was straight-forward, and we were always able to contact her if we had a question or concern. Michaela was also another agent we worked very closely with and her kindness is something I will always remember. I have already recommended AV to everyone I know, and we will absolutely be taking more trips through this agency in the future. This was the trip of our lives!!
"Experience family roots in Scotland"Dec 29, 2021
It took a while to get there after dealing with multiple delays because of Covid, but we finally made it to Scotland. Authentic Vacations worked with us so well for the initial plan and with all the necessary revisions. Our hearts were happy to see where my husband's grandmother was born. The accommodations were just right for us, and the experiences that they arranged were great and helped us to enjoy the beautiful country. Thank you!
"Beautiful Florida Vacation"Dec 26, 2021
I had never used Authentic Vacation before. They were great my trip was exceptionally well planned. Lonna was excellent to work with, she had all my answers and put us in beautiful hotels, she had also arranged all of our outings. Things went extremely smoothly. They are an exception to the rule.
"California Getaway/Wedding"Nov 19, 2021
After the cancelation of our Ireland trip, we were supposed to do just as everything closed down, I thought we would never get away. It took a while to get things figured out with this company but in the end, they came through and help me plan a trip to California. The hotels were perfect and everything else went as planned. Thanks, Lauren for helping us figure this all out.
"Worth The Wait - Birthday In Ireland"Nov 8, 2021
After two reschedules due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, we were thrilled to finally be able to make it to Ireland. It exceeded our wildest expectations. From quaint seaside B&Bs to a night in a castle to lovely boutique hotel, we had a varied and beautiful experience. We loved the ability to modify our itinerary as we went so that we could discover things on our own time. But, the planned pre-booked events all worked out flawlessly. Couldn’t Recommend Michele more. She helped us select a location for a return Covid PCR test and was available for any questions.
"Fantastic 46th Anniversary In Ireland"Nov 4, 2021
Finally, after postponing our trip twice due to COVID-19 we were finally on our way! Michelle, our Authentic Expert, was fantastic & everything was perfect! Our hotels were magnificent & everything was in order. We had absolutely no issues.
After our 3 nights stay at the luxurious Shelbourne, we set out for the following for a magnificent, unforgettable 12 days with Jimmy. We traveled 2058km through Galway, Connemara, Derry, Bushmills, Belfast, Trim & back to Dublin.
The highlights of the trip, besides the grand Jimmy, were the Wild Atlantic Coast, Connemara area, and the coast of Antrim which was absolutely incredible, some of the most beautiful scenery we have ever seen. The bonus was Jimmy’s audible historic narrations throughout our trip. We consider Jimmy a friend & will keep in touch.
Succinctly stated the only way to see Ireland is bypass. Having a personal driver was the only way to travel Ireland.
Ashford Castle was beyond our expeditions! So elegant and absolutely beautiful! The spa is a must. Walking the ground was stunning! I did the Hawk walk! I had my own Hawk, walked through the woods & let him go, a few minutes the Hawk flew back & landed on my arm. I cannot say enough about this experience. Afternoon Tea was certainly a must!
All the hotels recommended by Authentic Vacations were a very high standard.
"Hawaii Honeymoon & Birthday"Nov 1, 2021
Considering All, and COVID messing up a Scottish trip. Hawaii was lovely. Although the Hotel had troubles with their book keeping and no meals (continental breakfasts) were served due to Covid mandates. We did enjoy the place and getting a room on the water side with a lanai was key. Otherwise you would have a view of a parking lot or local road. Lots of wild roosters crowing around 3am. Very rustic and local.
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