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Star Wars: The Last Jedi in Ireland, Wild Atlantic Way

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Active Ireland Coasts – The Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry and Donegal

12 days beginning Shannon and finishing in Dublin

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It’s no wonder Donegal was named the ‘Coolest Place on the Planet for 2017’ by National Geographic Traveller

Overviewicon Itineraryicon

This is a suggested tour itinerary for private departures, adjustable to best suit your specific wishes. Price based on how many travelers, your chosen package inclusions and your chosen level of accommodation.

 

Specific inclusions may vary depending on your specific chosen travel dates/day of the week and availability of attractions.

 

This tour begins from Shannon Airport and finishes in Dublin

 

TENTATIVE ITINERARY

Day 1

Arrival into Shannon Airport from your international overnight flight. You will be met by your driver/guide as you exit into the arrivals hall. Stunning scenery and friendly locals abound from the start!

 

Spend a leisurely day around the beauty of Killarney National Park. Sprawling over 10,236 hectares, this sublime park was Ireland’s first national park. Ross Castle and Muckross House draw big crowds, but it's possible to escape amid the country’s largest area of ancient oak woods, with panoramic views of its highest mountains. There’s gardens to explore, a waterfall and a herd of wild deer. A lovely intro to the idyllic landscapes of Ireland.

 

ON Sneem, Ring of Kerry area

Day 2

We’ve ample time to delve in and explore the lovely coastal areas of County Kerry over these few days, with a planned boat trip out to the Skelligs, weather permitting.

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens smashed box office records and introduced the world to the savage beauty of Skellig Michael, the legendary island off the coast of Kerry, where Rey finally tracked down the long-lost Luke Skywalker. Now, audiences are transported back to Earth's Wild Atlantic Way and Skellig Michael is featured more in depth in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Come explore this protected UNESCO World Heritage Site for yourself.

 

An early morning departure for Portmagee today, where weather permitting you will take a small boat to the magnificent Skellig Islands, which lie 8 miles (12 km) off the coast of Portmagee in South West Kerry. Rising majestically from the sea, Skellig Michael towers 714ft (218 metres) above sea level. On the summit of this awe-inspiring rock you will find a remarkably well-preserved sixth century monastic settlement. But will you spot some Porgs?? (OK, but there’s a fair chance of seeing some puffins, inspiration for the Porgs, at certain times of the year.)

 

Our day will also include time around the traditional fishing village of Portmagee, a place where cast and crew enjoyed the local food and culture.

 

 

*** Please take careful note:

(1) A trip to Skellig Michael is very weather, sea & tide dependent with a go / no

go decision only given by the boat captain the previous evening. The boats are open and carry a max of 12 persons on the exposed deck

(2) The boat journey is 8 miles, takes 1 hour each way, and sea sickness is very common

(3) Stepping off & back on to the boat can be daunting and requires care

(4) A visit to the monastery will entail a climb up 618 steps, ascending over 600 ft. It is a demanding climb and any person with health issues should consider carefully their own physical limitations before exploring this part of the site

(5) There have been serious accidents on Skellig Michael. You must remain on recognised paths, beware of falling rocks, uneven surfaces & steep gradient on steps that are extremely slippery when wet

(6) Children must be supervised at all times

 

ON Sneem, Ring of Kerry area

Day 3

Another fine day around County Kerry. Explore some of the lesser known parts of the Ring of Kerry, following the breathtaking roads that are squeezed between the wild Atlantic and the mountains of the MacGillycuddy's Reeks. Depending on weather, days 2 and 3 might be flipped. Our route meanders via Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Coomakesta Pass with it magnificent views over Derrynane, home of Daniel O’ Connell, known as “The Liberator” to Caherdaniel. More walking opportunities abound, perhaps going via the Old Butter Road. This outstanding well-marked trail has commanding views to the south of the spectacular Beara Peninsula & Kenmare Bay.

 

There is the option of lunch at The Blind Piper Pub in the village of Caherdaniel. Locals & visitors alike have been drinking here since 1865 and Sandra O Farrell, the publican will provide her usual good lunch and excellent pints. Who is the Blind Piper?? The Blind Piper is Mici Cumba O'Sullivan who was born nearby in 1835 and became one of Ireland's most famous pipers.

 

ON Sneem, Ring of Kerry area

Day 4

Free day to do whatever individuals decide in way of local activities in County Kerry; also another day for Skelligs/Ring of Kerry places of interest if weather restrictions on previous days. Yet another option is a leisurely day around Killarney, shopping and mingling with the locals. Perhaps enjoy a local jaunty car ride? Spoilt for choice! Your driver/guide is of course on hand for advice and assistance throughout the day.

 

Optional ACTIVE add-ons include: Climbing Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s Highest Mountain / Deep Sea Fishing / Motorised Kayak Trip / Horse Riding / *** - These are not included in the initial package price, available for the appropriate supplemental cost ***

 

ON Sneem, Ring of Kerry area

Day 5

A magical day on the Dingle Peninsula. Our route will go via some stunning scenery, sometimes down single-track lanes and, weather permitting, it may include the Connor Pass. An archaeological survey on this peninsular has identified more than 2,000 prehistoric sites – an amazing number for such a small area. Heaps to discover in this unique place!

 

Our day is set to include walking opportunities along the western end, a well-known scenic headland named Ceann Sibeal. It is becoming known as another Star Wars: The Last Jedi location, the rugged coastline and dramatic scenery here set the scene as parts of the ocean world Ahch-To.

 

Subject to schedules, perhaps enjoy an optional evening out at Siamsa Tíre, the National Folk Theatre of Ireland.

 

ON Tralee – castle accommodation, subject to availability

Day 6

A day of Ireland’s icons today! The Cliffs of Moher are one of the most impressive stretches of the western coast. Part of a UNESCO Global Geopark and Special Protection Area, these iconic rock stars soar to heights of 214 metres (702 feet) at their highest and are home to over 20 species of seabirds.

 

Inland, tour through the curious ‘lunar-landscape’ scenery of The Burren National Park. Dependent upon time and our chosen route, also possible is Aillwee Cave, formed 2 million years ago, and some prehistoric burial sites.

 

ON Kinvarra area

Day 7

Sea kayaking option this the morning. Meet your fully qualified kayak guide at an old stone fishing pier in the village of Kinvarra and go sea kayaking through deserted limestone islands, exploring sheltered coves and rugged coastline. Experience the abundant wildlife and friendly seals of Kinvara Bay; a sheltered inlet, part of the larger expanse of Galway Bay and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. This trip takes 3 hours but can be reduced to 2 hours if you wish.

 

PLEASE NOTE: Please Bring Warm Clothes / Booties or Old Shoes / Hat & Gloves / Swim Wear / Towel / Water / Sun Cream /It may be useful to have your swimwear on underneath your clothes, as you will be getting changed in the great outdoors

 

You might want to try some fresh Galway Bay oysters and a pint of Guinness or glass of wine in Moran's Oyster Cottage for lunch.

 

This afternoon, a drive via County Sligo into County Donegal.

 

ON Donegal, Letterkenny area

Day 8

County Donegal is delightful - miles of sandy coastlines, nature reserves of mountains, raised boglands, lakes and woodlands, a unique musical tradition and home to a large Irish speaking community. We have several days to revel in the beautiful landscapes and enjoy the great outdoors!

 

The most northerly point of Donegal’s Wild Atlantic Way – and indeed the country - is Malin Head. This was another stunning location used for filming Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It’s an unrivalled location, boasting many attractions along the cliff edge. Over millions of years the wild Atlantic has carved dramatic crevices into the rugged headland, such as Hell’s Hole – a long, deep, narrow chasm where the swells below churn and roar. About 16km (10 miles) north of the village of Malin is Banba’s Crown, named after one of the mythical queens of Ireland, which offers panoramic views of this magnificent coast. Here walking and biking opportunities abound!

 

Grianan of Aileach is another place of interest today, a place believed to have been the seat of the Kings of Niell. The site is now a National Monument, and consists of a massive stone ringfort, thought to have been built by the Uí Néills in the seventh century. The nearby remains of a well and tumulus (burial ground) are believed to be even older, possibly dating back to the neolithic age. From the top of Grianán of Áileach, you can take in a breathtaking, panoramic view of the beautiful Donegal countryside.

 

ON Donegal, Letterkenny area

Day 9

Our touring path will take us via the lovely Glenveagh National Park, a 16,000-hectare park nestled in the heart of the towering Derryveagh Mountains. This is home to the largest herd of red deer in the country and stunning lush green scenery. The park offers a castle, gardens and a series of walks to suit all levels.

 

Sea Safari & Marine Trail boat trip around Arranmore and the smaller islands is an activity today. The numerous offshore islands are havens of peacefulness and tranquility where nature and wildlife prosper without interruption. Cliffs, beaches, rocky outcrops, sea stacks, sea caves provide perfect habitats for marine life as well as superb photographic opportunities for visitors. Bird-watching opportunities abound, together with the possibility of spotting dolphins, seals and basking sharks.

 

ON Donegal, Letterkenny area

Day 10

Donegal – guest’s choice day! Your guide is again on hand for advice and assistance, but what you do today is up to you!

 

Donegal boasts a total of thirteen Blue Flag beaches and a variety of sporting adventures for all levels of adrenaline junkies! Options include: windsurfing, kayaking, kitesurfing, deep-sea-diving, stand up paddle boarding, horseback riding and coasteering – a water-sport involving a combination of low-level scrambling and swimming in suitable rocky coastal areas. Attired in a wetsuit, buoyancy aid and helmet, participants usually rock-hop along a stretch of coastline and sometimes swim in or jump into water that has been assessed beforehand as safe. *** - These activities are not included in the initial package price, available for the appropriate supplemental cost *** 

 

Perhaps you want to have more of a ‘down day’ – have a lie on a beach, meander a local town, shop or relax over a local plate of freshly caught seafood and a pint. Or maybe take a cooking class or delve into more of the coastal path walks (Sliabh Liag Cliffs is a marine paradise and a wonderful choice, as one example) or enjoy learning about the rich textile history of Donegal Tweed. Spoilt for choice as to how to spend your day!

 

Famed Donegal Tweed is made sourced from all local materials. Sheep thrive in local bogs and indigenous plants such as blackberries, fuchsia, and moss provide dyes. These trades are very much a family tradition, the art passed down through the generations. Ardara and Kilcar have been places for hand-made tweed and knits for over a century. Wonderful unique shopping opportunities plus a special chance to mingle with the locals are possible in these charming towns.

 

ON Donegal, Letterkenny area

Day 11

Today make the way south to the capital city of Dublin. En-route, visit two of Ireland’s top historical attractions. The Ulster-American Folk Park is perhaps the best of its kind in the world, examines why two million people left Ulster for America and Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries. It has more than 30 historic buildings, including a reconstructed emigrant ship and Pennsylvania farmstead brought alive by costumed guides. There is a library onsite for those that might want to investigate Irish ancestral roots.

 

Celtic folklore, the world of the mystical Ireland before the written word is an interesting topic. The New Stone Age Passage Graves at Newgrange are regarded as among the most impressive prehistoric monuments in Europe, dating from around 3200 BC, predating Stonehenge, Mycenae and the pyramids of Egypt. Step back through the mists of time, to almost the very start of history!

 

We will arrive into Dublin by approximately 6pm. Evening in Dublin is opened to enjoy as individuals choose.

 

ON Dublin

Day 12

Your package concludes after breakfast. Extend your stay to explore Dublin independently or fly home

 

Dublin is a great city, small enough to be easily walked. Discover this city of writers, of talkers, of churches, pubs, music and of Georgian architecture. See Dublin Castle, The Book of Kells, Writers Museum, Guinness Factory, stroll the alleyways of Tollbar, the banks of The Liffey and enjoy magnificent shopping on Grafton Street. Dublin’s Hop-on/Hop-off bus is a fun way to see the city’s iconic sites if you choose. Please discuss options with us, SGT is happy to assist with Dublin accommodation, tours and tickets as you wish.

 

 

 

Please note: All attraction opening times are correct at time of printing this website. While we will do our utmost to include all of the properties mentioned as central visits, we reserve the right to change an attraction should it become impossible to deliver a planned visit due to changes in opening days or times beyond our control.

 

Please note that your final day to day itinerary may fluctuate to accommodate variable opening times/days for listed attractions, special events and places of interest. Please discuss your needs with us for an individual itinerary with rate quote.

 

Oft imitated, never duplicated! This is an original SGT itinerary, property of Special Group Tours and to be used only with express permission/in conjunction with SGT & Discover Ireland Tours.

Inclusionsicon

What Your Tour Package Includes

This is a suggested tour itinerary and can be modified to best you your individual wishes.

 

Suggested tour package includes: # of touring days with vehicle & exclusive services of your driver/guide/companion, your accommodation for # nights while on the tour including full breakfasts, all taxes and tips other than those you may wish to give your guide. Your price also can include dinners and/or entrance fees to attractions or these items can be left out of the up front package/to be paid directly for maximum flexibility. Airport transfers, accommodation pre and post tour, scheduled city day tours/attraction passes/transport passes or theatre/event tickets can be added to your package as you wish, subject to availability.

 

SGT is at your service!

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The Special Group Tours Advantage is our unique and intimate understanding of what you expect traveling in the UK and Europe. We have not only visited but have spent many years living in and loving the cultures you will experience down the ‘B’ Roads and off the beaten track. We have worked with local suppliers and our guide/companion team for over a decade, creating unique special interest itineraries. Special Group Tours offers our “insider” knowledge to you.

 

The SGT Small Group Touring Concept is traveling with just 4 - 14 guests per departure. It is our aim to introduce you to the 'real' country and its people, not just ticking the boxes of a standardized route and treating you as an individual and not a number. Our concept allows for a leisurely touring pace and flexibility to get off the beaten track to discover hidden gems. Of course you'll see the major sites but so much more too!

 

At Special Group Tours, it is our priority that you have the most enjoyable holiday possible. You deserve it!