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    | The Wicklow Mountains

    Self Drive

    Ireland’s Ancient East

    Deposit From: €502€502
    Region: South East – Wexford, Waterford & Kilkenny
    Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights

    All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.

      From: €1,950.00 Book Now

      Trip Overview

      Created by: Patricia Doe

      Rich in ancient history and shaped by the folklore of the past generations, explore the underrated mountain and coastal scenery in Ireland’s Ancient East on this private self drive tour. Stepping into Ireland’s golden age of saints and scholars and travelling through 5,000 years of history, enjoy a range of activities and experiences on your next Irish adventure to the Ancient East.

      Interacting with both the land and its people, explore this ancient region at your own pace through spectacular guided walks, paddling tours, car-free bike routes, and transformative cultural experiences. Relax in one-of-a-kind, luxury accommodation in Ireland’s Ancient East.

      On our Self Drive trips, enjoy the flexibility to travel at your own pace and benefit from passionate, local guides who will interpret the landscape and introduce you to the culture and history of Ireland on certain days. Leave the planning and reservations to us – we’ve identified the very best of each region to get a great sampling of the nature, history and culture of Ireland. Hikes and other outdoor activities match your ability levels. The minimum group size is two.

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      Day by Day

      Day 1 – Explore Cork City Read Less

      Day 1

      Explore Cork City

      Our Ancient East adventure kicks off in the cosmopolitan Cork city, the original capital of Ireland. Known as the Rebel County – to do with shifting allegiances You have a few different ways you can choose to spend your day – from the bustling stalls of the Victorian-era English Market to the fort-turned-Victorian prison atop Spike Island to the historic Ballycotton Lighthouse, Cork city and county has a wealth of fascinating sites.

      Day 2 – Bike the Waterford Greenway Read Less

      Day 2

      Bike the Waterford Greenway

      In order to revitalise disused Victorian-era railways, there’s been a recent surge in turning railways into greenways. The Waterford Greenway is a 46-km car-free cycling route. After picking up your bikes, head for the trail, where you’ll pass dramatic viaducts, ruins of Viking settlements and crumbling castle towers, former mills, exotic gardens and great iron bridges. Not only will you enjoy stunning views over the river and the bay, but you’ll bike along on a backdrop of the graceful Comeragh Mountains, ending in a picturesque coastal village. Now, all that’s left to do is wander the quays in search of ice cream or perhaps a hint as you await your transport back to your accommodation.

      Meals Included: Breakfast

      Day 3 – Medieval Kilkenny Read Less

      Day 3

      Medieval Kilkenny

      The medieval town of Kilkenny is certainly one of our best-kept secrets. An artsy, colourful town, Kilkenny is home to local artists such as ceramics and other hand-made crafts found in the craft village. Probably the most impressive sight in town is Kilkenny Castle. One of the most fascinating castles in Ireland, learn about the massive restoration process behind the castle, following clues back through the years to restore the castle to its former glory. As the hometown of Smithwick’s beer, you’ll certainly have to enjoy some of the local brews.

      Meals Included: Breakfast

      Day 4 – Canoeing along the Barrow River Read Less

      Day 4

      Canoeing along the Barrow River

      Starting in the lovely little town of Graignamanagh, meet your guide to pick up your canoes. Together, you’ll paddle the lapping waters of the River Barrow. Journey through woodlands and valleys, soaking up the region’s history, flora and fauna. Get ready to learn how to paddle rapids and weirs of the River Barrow as your guide helps you navigate a centuries-old system of river locks.

      Meals Included: Breakfast

      Day 5 – Glendalough Monastic Site Read Less

      Day 5

      Glendalough Monastic Site

      Glendalough Monastery is one of the oldest and most significant monastic and pilgrimage sites in Ireland. Founded by St Kevin in the 7th century as a respite from the world, it eventually grew into an important centre of learning, its scholars producing astonishing illuminated manuscripts as well as astronomical and mathematical texts. Not only is Glendalough’s history intriguing, its setting in the lush wooded valley of two lakes is stunning. Also, perhaps make the time to visit local potter Nicolas Mosse’s studio or learn about the age-old tradition of handweaving at a 300-year-old family-run establishment.

      Meals Included: Breakfast

      Day 6 – Wicklow Mountains National Park Read Less

      Day 6

      Wicklow Mountains National Park

      One of Ireland’s six national parks, the Wicklow Mountains are the epitome of Irish countryside. With your guide, pull on your hiking boots to trundle through the heather-topped Wicklow Mountains, following trails once traversed by pilgrims and monks. On your way, bask in panoramas of patchwork fields dotted with white fluffy sheep, each lined with hedgerows and old stone walls. With a few different options through the Wicklow Mountains, work with your guide to find the best one for you and your group. In the evening, tuck into a cosy pub for a satisfying end-of-trip pint.

      Meals Included: Breakfast

      Day 7 – Dublin & Departure Read Less

      Day 7

      Dublin & Departure

      Awaking in the Wicklow Mountains, it’s time to trade the quiet lakes and sun-dappled hills of Wicklow for the bustle and liveliness of Dublin, where you can continue your onward journey or make your way home. Looking for a second week in Ireland? Pair this trip with the next self-drive itinerary, Belfast, Giant’s Causeway and Donegal. (B)

      The itinerary is indicative only and may be subject to change at the discretion of Wilderness Ireland with regard to weather conditions and other factors.

      Self Drive
      Ireland’s Ancient East

      To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

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      The phone number field is not required but if you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter your telephone number including the country code.

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      Price from: €1,950

      Self Drive
      Ireland’s Ancient East

      For private departure enquiries, please complete the form below:

      Trip Details

      Accommodation Read More

      This self drive trip is graded classic and features accommodations chosen for their excellent location, service and comfort. Expect small, comfortable and characterful lodgings. You will have the choice between cosy B&Bs or 3-star family-run hotels or guesthouses, with options in towns or rural communities. Accommodation rooming is a choice of double or twin rooms, which are en-suite with a shower. You will also have the option to upgrade your accommodation standards to deluxe and luxury options in the same region.

      Single rooms are available upon request. If you would prefer a double room for single occupancy, a supplement will be charged depending on availability. If you require a single room, please get in touch and let us know.

      Meals Read More

      Each morning, enjoy a homemade breakfast of your choice at your accommodation. We will provide local suggestions for lunches and dinners, to be taken according to your own preferences.

      Inclusions Read More

      This trip includes the following:

      • 6 nights accommodation in classic hand-picked 3 star standard accommodations
      • A detailed itinerary and map outlining your itinerary, accommodations and stops
      • Breakfast every morning at your accommodation (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
      • The services of experienced and knowledgeable guides or local expert-led activities at various stages in the trip as stated in the itinerary (marked G)
      • Recommended stops, hikes and points of interest along the way
        24/7 hour in-country support

      This trip includes all accommodations and as well as some meals. It does not include drinks or any gratuities you may choose to leave.

      Grading Read More

      At Your Own Pace

      On this adventure, you will be accompanied by a Wilderness Ireland hiking guide for several days, who will be able to suggest and lead you on a range of hikes, from gentle, low-level rambles to challenging days visiting remote summits. Just let them know what type of hike you would like to do and they will be ready.

      On the other days of the trip, you will self guided and can explore at whatever pace you feel comfortable.

      Travel - Arrival and Departure Read More

      Your adventure starts in Cork where the closest airport is Cork International. Other options are to come through Dublin or Shannon. Car hire is available at the airport, or have a look at our Optional Extras listed below for more information on hiring a car with Wilderness Ireland.

      You can drop off your car at the airport of your choosing on the final day of your trip.

      Speak to an Expert

      Patricia Doe

      An avid cyclist and hiker, Patricia enjoys exploring Ireland’s wild landscapes every chance she gets u2013 she particularly loves the under-appreciated regions of Mayo, Connemara, Sligo and Donegal. Having spent nearly a decade in the hospitality industry, Patricia is an expert on Ireland’s luxury and unique accommodations. As Wilderness Ireland’s General Manager and head of the sales team, Patricia is ready to help make your Irish adventure spectacular.

      Ask Patricia a Question

      Difficulty Grades Explained

      At Your Own Pace

      On this adventure, you will be accompanied by a Wilderness Ireland hiking guide for several days, who will be able to suggest and lead you on a range of hikes, from gentle, low-level rambles to challenging days visiting remote summits. Just let them know what type of hike you would like to do and they will be ready.

      On the other days of the trip, you will self guided and can explore at whatever pace you feel comfortable.

      Find Out More

      Trip Reviews

      Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 1 review(s) of Self Drive – Ireland’s Ancient East



      Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us. Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

      That’s why we read each of our client’s reviews and although we don’t respond to all of them, if it’s glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.


      Reviewed on 21/09/2017

      The Bottom Line


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