Day 1 Celtic Rider to Kilkenny (80 Miles/ 120Km)
- Great days drive, not too long as Kilkenny is a great little city and arriving in the afternoon allows time to visit recommended places.
Transfer to collect car(s), then enjoy our safety orientation course, both classroom and on the road along todays actual route.
Follow the pre-programmed route to Kilkenny city via the winding rural country roads skirting the Wicklow national park, passing through the four counties of Kildare, Wicklow, Carlow and Kilkenny.
Continue to Kilkenny medieval city as per the Garmin instructions.
Visit the magnificent Kilkenny Castle and St. Canices Cathedral and round tower, both in the town.
Day 2 Kilkenny to Kinsale (131 Miles/ 209 Km)
- Depart Kilkenny – todays drive takes you to the beautiful coastal gourmet town of Kinsale, official start of Celtic Rider’s Wild Atlantic Way tour.
First stop is Cahir and the great Cahir Castle, optional visit.
Continue to Lismore and another great castle. Lismore Castle is not open to the public but the Castle gardens are and are well worth visiting. Also Lismore hotel is quite nice for food. It was also the first hotel built in Ireland!
Onwards over the popular mountain pass called ‘The Vee’ with great views across 4 counties of lush Irish country side.
Continue to Midleton with an optional stop at the Old Midleton Whisky Distillery.
Next stop is the enchanting Blarney Castle, just outside Cork, to kiss the Blarney stone at the parapet of this great castle. The gift of eloquence is bequeathed to all who kiss this mystical stone.
Onwards to the exciting coastal town of Kinsale with its abundance of great restaurants. Also of interest is Desmond’s Castle in the Town, now a wine museum, and the great Charles Fort, found in your Garmin in ‘Favourites’
Check into your accommodation.
Day 3 Kinsale to Killarney (2 nights in Killarney) (145 Miles/ 232 Km)
- Departing Kinsale for Killarney. Killarney is affectionately known as the ‘jewel of the south west’. Todays drive is very interesting.
First stop is Drumbeg stone circle, also known as Druids Alter, this megalithic site is 3200 years old.
Onwards to Baltimore and Baltimore Beacon with great views over Baltimore Bay. Short walk to the beacon from the car park, be careful not to go to close to the edge of the cliffs.
Drive to the Beara peninsula, the warmest part of our island due to the warming influence of the Gulf Stream, and the amazing Healy Pass, a twisty mountain pass started to be built during the great famine years on the 1850s.
Continue to Molls gap via Kenmare, a great scenic mountain drive, then onwards to Killarney.
En route to Killarney stop at Ladies View, outstanding view over the lakes of Killarney, then Torc waterfall, short walk, are well worth it, both are saved in your Garmin in ‘Favourites’ and well sign posted too.
Killarney town nestles in Killarney national Park, surrounded by majestic rugged mountainous countryside including the MacGillycuddy Reeks, Irelands highest mountain range.
Check into Killarney accommodation
Day 4 Killarney to Killarney
- Either take a rest day and cruise the Killarney lakes taking in the majestic Mountain views and a pony and trap ride over the Gap of Dunloe, plus a bit of shopping, relax if you wish..
Alternatively, drive the world famous Ring of Kerry, and the incredible Gap of Dunloe, the most beautiful glaciated valley in Europe, a challenging drive but very much worth the effort.
Continue around the Ring of Kerry, and also drive the Skellig Ring, another awesome off shoot off the main Ring of Kerry route.
Continue back to Killarney accommodation
Day 5 Killarney to Dingle (77 Miles/ 132 Km)
- Drive to Dingle via Blennerville, optional stop at Blennerville windmill.
Today’s drive takes passes by a famous pub called ‘The South Pole Inn’ in Anascaul, ancestral home of Tom Crean, Arctic explorer.
Onwards to Ireland’s highest mountain pass, Conor Pass, with incredible ocean views of both sides of the Atlantic ocean.
Be careful as streams often run across the narrow road near summit of the pass.
From Dingle drive a truly mind blowing coastal road called the ‘Slea Head Drive’
A visit to the ‘Blasket Islands Visitor centre’ is advised.
Continue back to Dingle accommodation for the evening, great town for music and food
Day 6 Dingle to Doolin (147 Miles/ 234 Km)
- Depart Dingle, drive over Conors pass the opposite direction, great views of inland corrie lakes from the last ice age.
Follow route in Garmin to Brandon Head viewing point, stunning ocean views.
Continue to Tarbert for the delightful ferry crossing to Killimer in Clare.
Drive to the towering majestic cliffs of Moher, which is a World Heritage Site, famous the world over.
Return to Doolin accommodation, optional ferry from Doolin to the base of the cliffs of Moher, unbelievable amount of wild birds nest near the base. It’s very common to see otters, dolphins and whales.
Doolin is famous in Ireland as a traditional Irish music hub with live music daily in the quaint pubs in this little village
Day 7 Doolin to Westport (2 nights in Westport) (170 Miles/ 272 Km)
- Departing Doolin the drive along the coast to Murrooughtoohy and Blackhead is simply mind-blowing.
Murrooghtoohy is unique in all the world, a limestone beach, part of the Burren national park, covered in millions of boulders from the Ice age, beautiful wild orchids grow profusely among fissures in the rock, and the ocean is just a short 400 metre walk
In Ballyvaughan village there is a nice restaurant called Monks Kitchen, nice place for refreshments.
Skirting around Galway city todays drive is magical as it takes you through an ancient hauntingly beautiful landscape, a wilderness of moorland and brooding mountains, Connemara national Park.
Onwards to Clifden town, nice traditional Irish town, good place to stop for lunch. From Clifden town you will drive the aptly named ‘Sky Road’ with beautiful sea views.
Next must visit place is Kylemore Benedictine Abbey, set amongst a stunning backdrop, amazing gardens and good restaurant.
Onwards to Leenane, Irelands deepest fjord, Killary harbour, then drive the stunning Doo Lough mountain pass.
Onwards to Westport accommodation
Day 8 Westport to Westport
- Optimal rest day, hire a bicycle and ride the great western greenway, take a boat trip, alternatively drive to Achill Island, largest island off our coast.
Leaving Westport for Achill island along Clew bay, first optional stop is Burrishoole Abbey, saved in your Garmin in ‘Favourites’ set in lovely quiet countryside adjacent to a still lake.
Continue along the route to Mallarranny, and on to Achill sound, then drive over the bridge onto Achill island itself.
The drive across the island is very dramatic and wild, with a mix of great ocean views and mountain passes.
Onwards to Keem beach, a lovely Blue star beach, ideal place for a swim on a hot summers day.
Drive back to Westport for the evening and enjoy this wonderful town, voted best town in Ireland in 2012.
Day 9 Westport to Donegal (159 Miles/ 253 Km)
- Leaving Westport for Donegal todays drive takes you through the most remote part of Ireland, Ballycroy National Park.
Please visit Ballycroy National Park visitor and information centre, like all Visitor centres in Ireland, this place is beautifully designed and staffed by local people, very willing to inform tourists about the history and landscape of this outstanding wilderness of moorland, with the Nephin Beg mountains in the distance.
Visit Drumcliff burial place of W.B. Yeats, Irelands most beloved poet and storyteller. Mighty Benbulbin, a table top mountain, dominates the skyline.
Entering Donegal town, check out Donegal Castle and Magee’s tweed shop, conveniently located 100 yards from each other in the town centre.
Good restaurants are ‘The Harbour’ and ‘The Olde Castle’
Check into Donegal accommodation for 2 nights.
Day 10 Donegal to Donegal
- Today’s drive is short in distance but totally awesome.
- From Donegal drive to Killybegs, Ireland’s deep sea fishing port.
Continue to the highest sea cliffs in Europe, Slieve League Cliffs, via Carrick, turn right 100 mts after ‘The Rusty’ Pub. The drive up is beyond memorable as it the sight from the upper car park.
Continue back down from the Slieve League cliffs and drive to the Irish speaking village of Glencolumbkille.
Next is a great mountain pass drive over Glengash pass, some tight hairpins involved.
Continue on the route programmed on your Garmin GPS to Clooney, Glenties then on to Donegal accommodation.
Enjoy Donegal town for the evening.
Day 11 Donegal to Carndonagh – Inishowen Peninsula (112 Miles/ 178 Km)
- Leaving Donegal for Carndonagh on the Inishowen peninsula, we are now heading for the wild Glenveagh national park and castle.
Wild Irish red deer roam freely in Glenveagh national Park, as do Golden eagles.
Entering Glenveagh national park, note the towering mountains around you, most noticeable is Mt. Errigal, a quartzite capped mountain.
From Glenveagh visitor centre, take the dedicated mini bus to Glenveagh Castle, along Derryveagh lake, stunning castle, very interesting guided tour.
Drive onwards to Carndonagh town, on the wild Inishowen peninsula, most northern part of Ireland
Day 12 Carndonagh to Carndonagh
- Follow the route on your Garmin, first stop is 5 Fingers Strand, largest sand dunes in Europe.
Continue north to Bamba’s Point in Malin head, most northerly part of Ireland, enjoy awesome sea views.
Drive on to Fort Dunree, magnificent military museum towering over and overlooking Lough Swilly.
Next is the magical Mamore mountain pass, with wonderful ocean views from the viewing area.
Stopping at the Glenevin car park in Clonmany village, take the short walk along an ancient gorge to view Glenevin waterfall
Next must visit place is Doagh Famine village in Doagh Isle, an authentic small Irish village, see for yourself what life was like during the 1840s in Ireland.
Continue to Carndonagh accommodation
Day 13 Carndonagh to Belfast via the North Antrim Coast (228 kms, 142 miles)
Drive to the north Antrim coastal causeway route in Northern Ireland via Derry city. Regardless of whether you are a Game of Thrones fan or not, this is a special day’s drive for you. This days drive takes you past several sites used in the multi-award-winning TV Series.
The north Antrim coastal drive is a beautiful drive with several stops along the route.
The drive takes you past Dunluce Castle. Built c1500, the iconic ruin of Dunluce Castle bears witness to a long and tumultuous history. The castle is the set for House of Greyjoy in GOT.
Bushmills is also an optional visit with the one of the oldest Whiskey distilleries in the world located there.
Shortly afterwards the route takes you to the ‘Giants Causeway’, touristy but nonetheless worth visiting, a Unesco World Heritage Site. A remarkable rock formation to experience. If the tide has been and gone, explore the pools in the columns to see the minute sea life in the form of anemone, crustaceans, shrimp and the like. Cast your eye along the scenery for GOT settings.
Next place is Ballintoy harbour. Ballintoy is a beautiful little harbour with great sea views.You will find a nice café/restaurant, and also Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. Great fun and photo opportunity to walk across to the sea stack. This is about a 10 minute walk from the parking area. GOT fans will recognise the Iron Islands Harbour
From Ballycastle you can take the Torr head coastal section for a few miles, with nice views of Scotland, but the roads are narrow and steep, bear this in mind before deciding to deviate from the recommended route.
Drive onwards to Belfast and your accommodation via Cushendall.
The Cathedral Quarter for the evening for a drink and to eat. We also recommend the Black Taxi political tour which can be arranged by the hotel receptionist. Another option, although it takes a couple of hours, is the Titanic Museum, a monument to Belfast’s maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard in the city’s Titanic Quarter where the RMS Titanic was built.
Day 14 Carndonagh to Celtic Rider (185 Miles/ 295 Km)
- From Belfast it takes approximately two and a half hours to get to Celtic Rider.
Optional visit to the Titanic quarter in the morning, or just drive straight back to Celtic Rider Rental station.
- Returning to our rental station, we will assist with unpacking, check over of car and paperwork before arranging drop off to your hotel or Dublin Airport
Pricing & Details – *please note that we endeavour to keep all prices as stated below, however due to certain peak times some accommodation providers costs increase and this can be reflected on your quote. All prices below are ‘From’ the price stated but more often they are the actual price stated.
Category A - Compact Car
- From €6,400 Two People, One Room
- Volkswagen Golf, Opel Astra or similar
Category B - Saloon Car
- From €8,940 Four People, Two Rooms
- Škoda Octavia, Volkswagen Passat or similar
Category C - Minivan/People Carrier
- From €11,750 Six People, Three Rooms
- Ford Galaxy or similar
Although our chosen accommodation providers are a blend of four star guesthouses and hotels which were hand-selected by Paul Rawlins, it is possible to upgrade your package to a five star accommodation tour. Also, it is possible to request a night in a castle, on a golf course or somewhere that you can take a boat ride. Our team of Celtic Rider staff are on hand to assist with your every request, please inquire about any day trips or specific accommodation that you desire.
The Celtic Rider Package
- Transfer to and from Celtic Rider Rental Station from either Dublin City or Dublin Airport
- Accommodation in Irish owned B&B guesthouses of a very high standard, personally hand selected by Paul Rawlins, founder of Celtic Rider
Sit through our award winning 2 hour Safety Orientation Course specifically designed for drivers from countries that drive on the rights hand side of the road. This is guaranteed to enhance your overall touring experience here in Ireland and has proven to be an invaluable experience for all of our past clients.
- You are covered with fully comprehensive insurance and we request no damage deposit for car tours!
All of our car tours set off with a full tank of fuel, please bring your car back full. There is a gas station only 2 kilometres from our premises.
- All of our cars are set up with the latest Garmin Zumo 595. Our award winning tours are pre-programmed for each day’s route. You will receive a map and a detailed itinerary at the beginning of your tour.
Breakdown cover is included.
Celtic Rider merchandise for everyone! This is inclusive of a t-shirt, baseball cap, neck buff, fleece hoody, badges and embroidery patch
If you do not have enough room in your car for your luggage you are welcome to store your luggage at our dedicated Luggage Storage Room for free.
A full breakfast is included every morning at your lodgings.
Some of Our Small Print
Drivers must be over 25 years of age and hold a full car licence for a minimum of one year. If any passengers wish to drive this is ok subject to prior arrangement, we simply ask all prospective drivers to sign the rental agreement and take a photocopy of their driving license.
Please refer to our Terms & Conditions