Take this opportunity to discover one of the most beautiful corners of the Emerald Isle as you explore the lakes and mountains of the Ring of Kerry. Enter a stunning region of Ireland, crammed with breath-taking highlights. Enjoy four unforgettable excursions in the company of a knowledgeable tour manager, including delightful Bantry House overlooking the eponymous bay, lively southwest gateway Cork and Ireland's chic foodie capital, Kinsale. You'll also enjoy a boat trip to the renowned gardens on Garnish Island and this not to be missed tour of the Ring of Kerry.
See the astounding landscapes of the Ring of Kerry
Enjoy a guided tour of historic Bantry House and time to explore its beautiful gardens
Explore Glengarriff, Bantry Bay and delightful Kinsale
Visit Timoleague Abbey
A boat trip to Garnish Island and its famous gardens
Discover the delightful city of Cork
Fly into Cork airport, meet your tour manager and transfer by coach to your hotel. After checking in, you'll have the rest of the day free to spend as you wish.
Our day begins with a drive through Clonakilty, birthplace of Irish hero Michael Collins, before we reach the village of Timoleague, where the ruins of its 13th-century abbey stand proudly at the water's edge. The abbey is one of very few early Franciscan foundations with extensive remains still standing in Ireland. From here we'll continue to the attractive harbour town of Kinsale, where a maze of narrow streets lined with galleries and shops are overlooked by its mighty 17th-century fort. Enjoy lunch with a view at the quayside (payable locally), where you'll find a wonderful choice of cafes and restaurants. Afterwards, you’ll return to the hotel where you may have time for a swim or a walk through the grounds before dinner is served.
A long but memorable day awaits, today, as you head to the celebrated Ring of Kerry. Stretching west from the picturesque town of Kenmare, this 110-mile circular route around the sublimely beautiful Iveragh Peninsula takes in a beguiling mix of stunning views and charming towns, rugged forest landscapes, tumbling waterfalls and the raging waters of the Atlantic. It's a rollercoaster of scenic wonder, and a feast of breath-taking land- and seascapes. During the day you’ll cross the magnificent Coomakista Pass, with its views of the Kenmare River, see Macgillycuddy’s Reeks from Molls Gap and catch sight of the monastic marvel of Skellig Michael out in the Atlantic. You'll also have the chance to explore pretty like genteel Waterville and rugged Cahersiveen.
Today you’ll head to lively, cosmopolitan Cork. The waterways, narrow alleys, Georgian avenues and myriad bridges make this historic maritime city a delight to explore. Highlights will include triple-spired St Finn Barre’s cathedral and the English Market, where you'll discover an astonishing array of fresh produce. In the late morning you’ll head to the historic and delightful seaside town of Cobh (pronounced Cove), the departure point for over three million Irish emigrants and final port of call, in April 1912, for the ill-fated RMS Titanic. After time to enjoy lunch, you'll visit the excellent Heritage Centre (entrance fee payable locally), where a multi-media exhibition tells the emotive story of Irish emigration through to the 1950s, and traces the town’s history back to the 1600s.
This morning, you're off to Bantry Bay, where you’ll enjoy a guided tour of Bantry House, the ancestral home of the Earls of Bantry, and still lived in by the family. Wonderfully situated overlooking the eponymous bay, and set in magnificent Italian gardens inspired by the travels of the 2nd Earl, this gem of a house is full of history, and showcasing eclectic antiques and artefacts from around the world. You’ll then head to Glengarriff. This delightful village, overlooking the waters of Bantry Bay and set against the backdrop of the rugged Caha Mountains, is a green oasis enjoying a balmy microclimate in which sub-tropical plants and even bamboos flourish. Explore its bars, cafés and gift shops, and stroll the lush, shore-side Bamboo Park and the nearby Nature Reserve, both of which are packed with species normally seen in the Mediterranean. During your time here, you’ll also take a short boat trip across the bay to the renowned island gardens of Garnish. The gardens here are laid out in beautiful walks, and offer floral colour from May right through until October. As we cross the bay, you’ll also visit Seal Island, with its resident colony of seals who love to pose for photos!
Depending on the time of your flight, you may have a few hours to make the most of the hotel’s delightful surroundings before you head back to the airport at the end of a wonderful few days in this beautiful and unspoilt part of Ireland.
Five nights' dinner, bed and Irish breakfast accommodation at a three-star hotel
Return flights to Cork
A tour of the Ring of Kerry
A visit to the abbey ruins at Timoleague
A boat trip to Garnish Island Visits to Cork, Cobh, Glengarriff and Kinsale
Entrance to Bantry House
Comfortable coach travel and transfers throughout
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
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With more than 35 years’ tour-operating experience, Newmarket Holidays can provide escorted tours, river cruises, cruise holidays and resort-based stays that combine superb value for money and the highest standards of customer care. Having won Best Escorted Tours Holiday Company six years running at the British Travels Awards, the company has become one of the largest and most respected independently owned tour operators in the UK.
Newmarket Holidays offers a huge array of escorted tours, short breaks, long explorations and holiday experiences for just about every interest and activity level, with transfers, excursions, carefully chosen accommodation and many entrances included in the price. All holidays also include a friendly and knowledgeable tour manager to help you make the most of your trip and to ensure your holiday operates as smoothly as possible. And although much of your escorted tour is prearranged, you’ll still have plenty of free time to relax and the flexibility to do your own thing.
With Newmarket Holidays, there’s a whole world to explore, from the historic railways of the Isle of Man and the canals of Amsterdam to the exciting city of New York and the magical sight of the Taj Mahal in India. Alternatively, relax and unwind beside the blue waters of Lake Garda, enjoy a guided tour of Poland’s former royal capital or spend a few nights in the heart of Moscow in Russia. Newmarket Holidays has something special for all couples, groups, families and solo travellers, including romantic breaks in Paris, safari adventures in Kenya, Santa experience days in Lapland and rail journeys through the Italian countryside.
There’s also a choice of holiday types and themes, such as small group tours, rail holidays, UK and Ireland short breaks, Christmas markets and cultural experiences, as well as concerts and events. As a company that now focuses on UK, European and Worldwide air holidays, ocean cruises and river cruises, you can even choose how to travel to your chosen destinations. Not forgetting that Newmarket Holidays specialises in included and optional excursions to ensure your escorted tours are memorable from beginning to end.
When you choose an air holiday, you can either tour as many attractions and cultures as you can fit in or base yourself at a quiet resort and take your pick from a collection of excursions and day trips. This means that your holiday can be as adventurous or as relaxing as you wish. If a cruise is your ideal group tour, Newmarket Holidays has departures from nearly every major port in the UK and can take you to places in and around Europe, the Canary Islands, the Baltic Cities, Greenland, the Far East, Australia and Africa. You can also choose from a wide range of European and worldwide river cruises or select a Christmas and New Year river cruise along the Danube, the Rhine or the Seine River.
From the moment you book an escorted tour, resort-based stay or cruise holiday, you can have peace of mind that your money is safe because Newmarket Holidays is a member of ABTA and is licensed by ATOL. Also, the company has a 4.5 out of 5 customer rating, which is a testament to the quality of the escorted tours and the outstanding customer care provided by the team. But that’s not all. As Newmarket Holidays is all about offering the best value for money holidays, this competitive tour operator promises to price match any like-for-like escorted tour found cheaper elsewhere.
Please note: After many years of operation, Newmarket Holidays has decided to discontinue the UK and European coach breaks and tours departing from local pick-ups in the UK (as of 2019) to concentrate on its range of UK, European and Worldwide air holidays, ocean cruises and river cruises.
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