5. Wicklow Mountain, Glendalough & Kilkenny Full-Day Tour
Enjoy a combined full-day sightseeing tour of some of Ireland’s most beautiful landscapes, including the 12th-century castle of Kilkenny, the rugged Wicklow Mountains, and the 7th-century monastery of Glendalough.
The first stop is Kilkenny Castle, majestically located on the banks of the River Nore. The craft capital of Ireland, you can visit the Kilkenny Art and Design Centre to get a better appreciation of the craft traditions of goldsmiths, sculptors, painters and more.
Stroll around the cobblestone streets, and visit Saint Frances Brewery, Ireland’s oldest. Admire the magnificent silk merchant’s mansion of Rothe House, containing priceless Viking artifacts. And walk in the medieval gardens to see historic varietals of fruit and veg, such as Gortahok cabbage and Blood of Boyne apples.
Enjoy lunch in one of the city’s artisan cafés.
En route to Glendalough, drive into the wild Wicklow Mountains of County Carlow. Watch as the landscape changes from lush green pastures and gentle valleys, to the glacial valleys of Wicklow Gap, giving it a cinematic quality that made it a popular location to shoot movies such as “Braveheart” and “PS I Love You.”
Continue over the mountains to explore the monastic site of Glendalough, where Christianity was re-introduced to Ireland after the Dark Ages. Learn about Saint Kevin, founder of the 7th-century monastery, and see intact architecture, such as St. Kevin’s Kitchen, Church and Round Tower. Meaning “Glen of 2 Lakes,” a hike around the glen’s lower lake takes less than 1 hour, while a walk around the upper lake takes just over 1 hour.
The final part of your epic journey takes you through the highest village in Ireland, known as Roundwood. Marvel at the Sugarloaf Mountains, which were higher than the Alps before the Ice Age. Pass Powerscourt Estate and the Glen of Imaal en route to Kilnacanogue. Your guide will regale you with stories about Ireland, and you’ll even be treated to some traditional Irish music as you drive back to Dublin.