Ancient East 6-Day Self-Drive Tour

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Book with Confidence

  • Guaranteed Departures
  • 5 Star Rated on TripAdvisor
  • Small Groups
  • Local Irish Guides

Self Drive Tours

  • Expertly Designed Itineraries
  • Support Concierge Service
  • Overland Ireland Virtual Tour Guide
  • Fully Comprehensive Insurance

  • Self-Drive
  • 6 Days

Your ancient east road-trip starts here!

Welcome to our Ancient East Self-Drive Tour. We have put together an amazing journey for you, jam-packed with stories and legends and the best the East has to offer. Prepare to swoon at impressive architecture, historical sights and enjoy our famous Irish “Céad Míle Fáilte” (a hundred thousand welcomes) while breathing in the fresh air!

You will visit the monastic city of Glendalough, hidden in the Wicklow Mountains and travel to Ireland’s oldest city, Waterford. Enjoy the Midleton Whiskey Experience and learn the secrets behind our most famous Irish Whiskey. Discover the real Ireland through exciting experiences and outdoor activities: kayaking, cycling, castles, hiking, biking and so much more. And before you leave, swing into Blarney Castle and give the Blarney stone a big kiss!

We will look after everything for you and Paddy, your virtual tour guide will be with you for each step of your journey, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

 

Book with Confidence

  • Expertly Designed Itineraries
  • Support Concierge Service
  • Overland Ireland Virtual Tour Guide
  • Fully Comprehensive Insurance

Paddy - The Pocket Pilot

Paddy the Pocket Pilot App

Every Self-Drive Tour booked with Overland Ireland comes with exceptional service, guided itinerary and extras, such as our Paddy the Pocket Pilot App, as standard. So, if you’re looking for an independent way to see Ireland with all the benefits and surprises of a guided tour with pre-booked “tried & loved” accommodation, you’re in good hands. But don’t take our word for it, check out our tour group reviews here.

What is included and excluded in your tour?

We are one of the only tour companies to include as much as we can into your tour price. We aim to have no hidden surprises or unexpected charges on your tour.

Our quest is to keep costs down and experiences up! We have worked really hard to get you the best deals up and down the country for you.

Included

  • Paddy the Pocket Pilot App
  • Top class accommodation in carefully chosen locally run guesthouses. We also have options of hotels and castle experiences
  • Car rental
  • A hearty breakfast each morning to set you up for the day
  • Detailed and easy to follow daily itineraries
  • Simple maps and instructions on how to navigate your way around our beautiful country
  • All entrance fees to all national parks on your itinerary
  • Tour support throughout your journey. We are always available for a chat should you need us
  • Daily hidden gem locations revealed by our expert guides
  • Daily food and entertainment recommendations
  • Smithwicks Brewery Tour
  • Waterford Greenway Bike Hire
  • Waterford Crystal Tour
  • Kayaking
  • River Cruise
  • Jameson Distillery
  • Kinsale Walking Tour
  • Blarney Castle

Excluded

  • Parking and motorway toll fees
  • Fuel - for you car and of course your body! Petrol, lunch and dinner are on your own!
  • Glendalough Monastery
  • Kilkenny Castle
  • Tintern Abbey
  • A driver guide (check out our fully-guided tours)
  • The self-control to leave stunning locations and be brave enough to discover all the other wonderful places on your itinerary
  • Some suggested activities and experiencesWe can arrange these for you, but you may be making payment directly to the activity/experience provider i.e. horse-riding, jaunting (horse drawn carriage)
  • Airfare to Ireland
  • Tips and gratuities

Tripadvisor Reviews

Map

Ancient East 6-Day Tour of Ireland

Itinerary

The-Ultimate-Tour-of-Ireland-Unique-Experiences-Off-the-Beaten-Path

Day 1Glendalough to Kilkenny

Switch on Paddy the Pocket Pilot App and leave the bright lights of the capital behind. Drive to Glendalough Monastery via the Sally Gap and Military Road unveiling the amazing scenery of the Wicklow mountains.

Glendalough perches itself in the glacial valley of the two lakes. Let our friends take you on a walking tour along the many trails.

Next stop is Kilkenny Castle which proudly displays one of the largest and expertly maintained Irish castles. Roam the grand rooms where the lords and ladies lived and admire the architecture, artwork and furnishings that were once owned by these great families.

A Kilkenny local will take you through the medieval quarter and you will finish your day enjoying a pint of Smithwicks at Ireland’s oldest brewery! Smithwicks was originally brewed by monks, so it is quite fitting after our monastic trip to Glendalough to continue our spiritual journey through the Emerald Isle.

Rest your head in Kilkenny before continuing on your road-trip of a lifetime.

Total driving distance & time: 175km – 2 hours 30 minutes, excluding stops

Day 2Waterford – The Sunny South East

Switch on your engine and travel towards the Sunny South East! It is said that Waterford experiences the nicest weather in the country so don’t forget your sun-cream and sun-glasses!

Jump out of the car and stretch your legs with a refreshing walk or cycle along Waterford’s Greenway Routes and trails. Hug the coastline and ride or hike into some beautiful forestry trails.

You cannot come to Waterford without a quick visit to the Waterford Crystal Centre.

After oohing and ahhing over the beautiful crystal creations, let the expert on all things Waterford, lets take you on a walking tour of the Viking Triangle in Ireland’s oldest city. Waterford predates Dublin by 74 years!

Spend your evening in the Seaport town indulging in the musical and culinary delights this fantastic stop has to offer. Our team would be delighted to make some reservations for you. Ask Paddy on your app and we will make it happen.

Total driving distance & time: 70km – 1 hour, excluding stops

Day 3Wexford – Hook Peninsula

Wexford is awash with stunning coastal villages and dramatic coastline. A county that is steeped in Viking and Norman history is definitely worth a visit on your tour of the Ancient East. You will have a wonderful time exploring the hidden treasures of Wexford.

Start your day by delving a little deeper into Irish heritage with a guided tour of Tintern Abbey and Gardens. Every type of person is said to have roamed Tintern Abbey: knights, monks, and scoundrels alike. You will hear all the stories on your tour!

Next up is a hike up to the world’s oldest operational lighthouseoverlooking the Hook Peninsula. Take the time to stroll around the headland and down to some of the castle ruins along the shoreline.

You will have the opportunity to explore the coastline by kayaktoday. See Ireland from a different perspective on the Irish Sea!

Before parking up for the evening, pick yourself up a roadside punnet of strawberries guaranteed to hit the spot!

Tonight you will lay your head down in Dungarvan village to stay in one of our carefully handpicked accommodations!

Total driving distance & time: 150km – 2 hours 30 minutes, excluding stops

Day 4The Copper Coast – County Cork

Meander at your leisure over the 25km of Ireland’s Copper Coastwith some pitstops for jealousy inducing photos before reaching your next destination – Youghal.

Youghal is a beautiful coastal town famed for it’s stunning shoreline. Here you will jump aboard the “Maeve Óg” boat and let Captain Tony take you on a guided light-hearted river cruise up the Blackwater River to Lismore in Waterford with plenty of stories to tell and uncovering areas of tranquil unspoiled natural beauty.

When your feet are back on solid ground you will take your road trip further to the fishing village of Ballycotton. Treat yourself to dinner in the nearby Ballymaloe House – a top favorite among our guests and guides alike.

Total driving distance & time: 55km – 1 hour, excluding stops

Day 5The Ring of Cork – Kinsale

You have without doubt heard about the Ring of Kerry, but today you will embark on the Ring of Cork Heritage Trail – All the beauty but none of the traffic of the Ring of Kerry.

Your first stop is the Titanic Experience in Cobh. This is one of the best experiences on tour giving you a really personal take on the tragedy that was the Titanic’s maiden voyage. It made its last port of call in Cobh and went on to seal its fate on the Atlantic ocean.

Next up is the Jameson Distillery in Midleton. Only a short drive from Ballycotton this is the perfect opportunity to learn how Ireland’s favorite whiskey is crafted. From the smoky taste of black barrel to the oaky flavors of the original this is perfect for the whiskey connoisseur in your group.

We will veer off the Ring of Cork to stay at our next destination – The Gourmet Capital of Ireland – Kinsale. You will enjoy some down time here wandering around the colorful streets and laneways. The town also has a great tradition of poetry, silver, gold and glassware manufacturing which can be seen throughout its local shops and galleries – boasting local talented artists.

Get a great night’s sleep in your locally run guesthouse this evening.

Total driving distance & time: 70km – 1 hour 30 minutes, excluding stops

Day 6Kiss the Blarney Stone!

Wake up and meet Barry! He is one of our favorite friends in Ireland and will bring to life the history of this picturesque harbor town. Listen to tales of the Spanish Armada, British Rule and the sharpening of swords from our local legend – Barry.

Before making your way back to Dublin’s fair city you MUST stop at Blarney Castle to kiss the stone! Legend has it that you will receive the gift of the gab (chatterbox) after giving it a big smooch. Many of us Irish owe our storytelling talents and yearns to the Blarney Stone! Now you know our secret!

We will arm you with great recommendations for things to see and do in Dublin if you have a couple of days left in Ireland. Or you could also link up with another Self-Drive Tour of the North or West of Ireland. The choices are endless.

Don’t forget to leave plenty of time to do your VAT return at the airport!

Total driving distance & time: 300km – 3 hours 40 minutes, excluding stops