Celtic Rider Ireland self-Drive Car Tours is officially approved by Tourism Ireland and Failte Ireland.
Proud Winner of National Small Firms association ‘Outstanding Small Business 2013’ awarded to Celtic Rider Motorcycle Rental & Tours Ireland.
Celtic Rider Motorcycle & Car Rental in Ireland has compiled a selection of award winning self-guided tours with routes and accommodation included in the price. This has taken quite some effort on our part but we feel it to be a wonderful option for our clients. We have found from our clients feedback from 2007, that they were extremely happy with our choice of quality Irish B&B or hotel accommodation and location in traditional towns and villages. All cars are fitted with Garmin Zumo 595 to get you to your accommodation without the hassle of getting lost. Also the Garmin can easily be set to avoid main roads etc., this guarantees to keep you on minor country roads. The choice is yours to make on a daily basis…
Day 1 – Celtic Rider Offices to Donegal.
- Transfer to collect Car, then at Celtic Rider, attend and enjoy safety orientation course.
Head North west along the N3, I recommend stopping at Lakeside Manor Hotel in Virginia for lunch, a nice hotel beside beautiful Lough Ramor , 50 miles from Celtic Rider, plenty of parking space at this quaint hotel
This drive briefly takes you through northern Ireland, along upper and lower Lough Erne.
There are no customs checks in Ireland anymore, the only difference you will notice are the speed signs are in miles per hour, not km.
Entering Donegal town, check out Donegal Castle and Magee’s tweed shop, conveniently located 100 yards from each other in the town centre.
Check into Donegal accommodation for 2 nights.
Good restaurants are ‘The Harbour’ and ‘The Olde Castle’
Call into Reels Pub, traditional music every evening, real turf fire
Day 2 – Donegal to Donegal
- Follow the Garmin route up through Barnesmore gap, a smugglers haven in time gone by.
Continue the drive to the stunning Glenveagh National Park and Castle in North West Donegal, with the majestic Derryveagh mountains all around you.
The Castle is set in a beautiful garden, nice to relax in for a while, have some refreshments and enjoy the short guided tour of the Castle itself.
Departing Glenveagh note Mount Errigal, Ireland’s most iconic mountain, with its quartzite top.
Continue driving along the route through wild and remote Donegal to Ardara, then drive the Glengash mountain pass.
Onwards to Carrick, then Teelin village, follow the route to ‘The Rusty’ a small old pub and just 100 metres after the pub you turn right to the start of the ascent to the highest sea cliffs in Europe, Slieve League Cliffs, at 2000 ft high.
The drive up is as memorable as the amazing view from the upper parking area, accessed by opening a farm gate on the way up.
Often there are trawlers fishing, they look like tiny dots on the Atlantic ocean from the summit of the cliffs.
Return to Donegal accommodation via Killybegs, Ireland’s deep sea fishing port, very photographic coastal town.
Day 3 – Donegal to Westport (2 nights)
- Departing Donegal head south , Drumcliff is where Ireland’s beloved poet W.B.Yeats is laid to rest. Benbulbin table top mountain dominates the skyline
Must visit is the ‘Ceide Fields’ Visitor centre, the oldest and largest stone walled village in the world, 5200BC
Drive south through Ireland’s most remote area, from Bangor drive Ballycroy National Park, please stop at the Ballycroy visitor centre, Europe’s largest expanse of blanket bog, local people working there will happily tell you the history of this region
View the Nephin Beg Mountains and look out for local people cutting turf
The drive to Mallarany is spectacular as it winds along the sea
There is a nice Abbey, Burrishoole Abbey, between Mallaranny and Newport, optional , saved in your Garmin in favourites, worth visiting
Check into Westport accommodation for 2 nights
Day 4 – Westport to Westport
- Leaving Westport for Maam Cross we are now heading for the spiritually haunting experience of Connemara national park, a magical drive
From Maam cross drive to Roundstone coastal village then continue to Clifden
From Clifden town take the aptly named ‘Sky Road’ with outstanding sea views are you drive higher and higher to the viewing area
Continue to Kylemore abbey for hot scones and freshly brewed tea This is a magnificent Benedictine Abbey in a stunningly beautiful wooded valley
Drive to Leenane village look at Irelands deepest Fjord, then drive the incredible and narrow Doo Lough mountain pass, the Gem of Mayo, with towering mountains on either side of you
Doo Lough Pass is steeped in history, some quite sad as many Irish people died of starvation along this pass during the great hunger, the famine years of the late 1840s.
There is a stone cross commemorating those who perished and a famine walk every year along this stunningly beautiful area. The words on the cross are very poignant and it is worthwhile to stop here for a short while.
Drive back now via Louisburgh and admire Irelands holy mountain ‘Croagh Patrick’ en route back to Westport
Day 5 – Westport to Bunratty
- Departing Westport drive to Leenane then skirt around Galway city.
Take the N67 coast road to Kinvara village, optional visit to Dunquire Castle, you can walk up a very narrow stone stairwell to the top of the castle
Next is Ballyvaughan, great pub/restaurant here called ‘Monks Kitchen’( favourites).
Optional visit to Aillwee caves, a subterranean cave deep under the Burren, a great tourist attraction. Park your car in the upper car park with fantastic views across Galway bay.
The Burren National park is unique in the world; it is a vast limestone plateau covering 400 sq kms(250 sq miles).
Next stop is Poulnabrone megalithic portal Tomb, many thousands of years old. You are now in the heart of the Burren National Park
Skirt around Ennis and continue to Bunratty Village.
Enjoy a four course medieval meal in Bunratty castle, or a traditional night of Irish food and dance in the Corn Barn, alternatively Durty Neely’s is a great old pub in the village
Day 6 – Bunratty to Bunratty
- Drive to Ennistymon and continue to the Cliffs of Moher, magnificent vertical cliffs towering over the Atlantic Ocean, shortlisted to be one of the great natural wonders of the World.
Travel onwards to Doolin, optional and exciting ferry ride to see the cliffs from the ocean, spectacular on a sunny day.
Follow the route north along the coast road to Blackhead, stopping at Murrooughtoohy car park.
Take a walk on this bizarre limestone beach with millions of boulders deposited from the last Ice age, and beautiful wild orchids living in cracks in the limestone rock. A short walk brings you to the ocean.
Continue along the route to Ballyvaughan then then drive to Lisdoonvarna (famous the world over for its matchmaking festival in Sept) via Corkscrew hill, very tight hairpins.
Follow the route to Kilfenora, interesting visitor centre there, optional, continue back to Bunratty accommodation via Carrofin.
Day 7 – Bunratty to Killarney
- Leaving Bunratty take the road to Killimer and jump aboard the ferry for the short crossing to Tarbert in Kerry.
Listowel, famous for horse racing, then Tralee and drive to Camp village on the Dingle Peninsula, described by the National Geographic magazine as one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
From Camp drive to Stradbally and take the road signed Conor Pass, a mountain drive with everything you could wish for as a motorist, mountain, sky and ocean views, awesome drive.
From Dingle drive along the coast taking in Inch beach and on Killorglin, famous for its Puck fair, to your destination, Killarney.
Killarney, affectionately known as the jewel of the south west is a great town, buzzing with great restaurants and pubs.
Check into Killarney accommodation
Day 8 – 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 route and deviate to drive the Skellig Ring, another awesome off shoot off the main Ring of Kerry
Day 9 – Killarney to Celtic Rider, Dublin
- Departing Killarney, the route today brings you through the agricultural midlands of Ireland.
From Killarney drive to Mitchelstown and on to Cashel and visit The Rock of Cashel, this is where Queen Elizabeth came on her historic visit to Ireland in May 2011.
The Castle was the seat of the high Kings of Ireland for over 1000 years, well worth visiting and good place to stop for refreshments before riding back to Celtic Rider.
Continue to Celtic Rider Rental station.
We will assist with unpacking the car, full check over and complete paperwork before arranging drop off to your Dublin 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
- €4,075 Two People, One Room
- Volkswagen Golf, Opel Astra or similar
Category B - Saloon Car
- €5,840 Four People, Two Rooms
- Škoda Octavia, Volkswagen Passat or similar
Category C - Minivan/People Carrier
- €7,650 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