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Time for part two of my 8 day trip to Ireland with Crafted Ireland. This trip was truly amazing, and each day brought new surprises and experiences. In case you missed it, check out Part 1 of the 8 day trip with Crafted Ireland!


10am: Begin Our Excursion to the Dingle Peninsula

We set out for the day leaving Killarney, driving through the countryside and making some friends (hi, cows!) The weather was determining our day and was supposed to get better later, so we took our time. We even made a quick stop at a local home for a cup of coffee along the way and had lunch in Dingle Town!

12pm: Exploring the Dingle Peninsula

Once cited as ‘the most beautiful place on earth’ by the National Geographic; the beautiful Dingle Peninsula was voted among the top 100 destinations in the world by Trip Advisor. Due to weather we almost did not go the Dingle Peninsula, but I am SO glad we did! The scenery was green, lush, and absolutely stunning. 

3pm: Stop at the South Pole Inn

On our way back to Killarney, we had to stop at the South Pole Inn which pays tribute to the great polar explorer Tom Crean. He was a member of three of the four major British expeditions to Antarctica during the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. During this expedition Crean’s 35 statute miles solo walk across the Ross Ice Shelf to save the life of Edward Evans led to him receiving the Albert Medal.


9:30am: Hard Hat Site Visit of Adare Manor

It was hard to contain our excitement on seeing Adare Manor! We had the privilege of being the first travel agents to do a hard hat tour – we could not even post or send photos because the renovation updates had not been publicly revealed yet! As rich in beauty as it is in history, Adare Manor is an architectural masterpiece with fine stonework and ornamentation, surrounded by gardens, majestic trees and world-renowned golf facilities. The legendary 18th- century Manor is perched along the River Maigue and has been transformed from a private home into one of the world’s premier luxury resorts. 

Book your stay at Adare Manor with Passport To Friday and receive:

+ Daily full Irish breakfast

+ Afternoon Tea for Two once during your stay, served in the Gallery

+ Complimentary valet parking

+ Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

+ Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

+ Complimentary Wi-Fi

10:30am: Helicopter Tour Over Ireland and The Cliffs of Moher

MY FIRST TIME EVER IN A HELICOPTER! This was truly one of the most magical experiences on my life. It was a gorgeous day, and the experience of being picked up at Adare Manor via helicopter then flying over the Irish countryside and Cliffs of Moher and being dropped off at Dromoland Castle (with an entire welcoming committee outside waiting for us!) was surreal.

11:15am: Site Visit of Dromoland Castle

Greeted in style by a parade of Dromoland staff members, we entered the historic Dromoland Castle and were immediately awestruck. With an extraordinary history stretching back to the 5th Century, Dromoland Castle was originally the ancestral home of one of the few families of Gaelic Royalty; direct descendants of the High King of Ireland. Dromoland overlooks its own golf course and a glistening lake, with magnificent lawns throughout. It felt like a fairytale, and ironically enough the CEO of Disney was checking in as we arrived as well!

Book your stay at Dromoland Castle with Passport To Friday and receive:

+ Daily buffet breakfast for two, served in restaurant

+ Complimentary one way or roundtrip airport transfer to Shannon International Airport

+ Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

+ Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

+ Complimentary Wi-Fi

12pm: Secret Ireland Experience

Next on our journey was a secret experience that we had no information on. The first part of our “Secret Ireland Experience” I cannot reveal – or else it would not be secret! After the first part, we continued on our secretive journey and pulled up to a stunning lake home. We ate a freshly made lunch while enjoying special entertainment – once again I cannot share! We then headed out on the lake for a boating experience complete with sweet treats, champagne, and traditional Irish cocktails.

5pm: Check In to Mount Juliet

After our very full day, we drove to and checked in at Mount Juliet located in County Kilkenny. It is a boutique luxury hotel with just 31 rooms and 2 presidential suites in the Manor House, with each hotel room individually designed and named. Aside from the main house, Mount Juliet is currently finishing a major renovation in the Hunter’s Yard area, created from the estate’s hunting stables and close to the leisure centre, spa, The Presidents Bar and only minutes’ walk from Mount Juliet House. We actually stayed in Hunter’s Yard, and it was updated and extremely comfortable – I loved the decor!

Book your stay at Mount Juliet with Passport To Friday and receive:

+ Daily continental breakfast for two at Lady Helen restaurant

+ Mount Juliet Estate Cremant Afternoon Tea for two

+ Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

+ Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

+ Guided Estate Tour

+ Complimentary Wi-Fi


9am: Traditional Horse & Hound Greeting

Such a fun tradition to be a part of the traditional horse and hound greeting at Mount Juliet – it’s something you have to se for yourself!

11am: Site Visit & Lunch at Ballyfin

Ballyfin is one of those places that lives up to its hype, and then some. Set at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains just over an hour from Dublin, Ballyfin has long been admired as the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland and after eight years of restoration, Ballyfin re-opened in May 2011 as a 5-star country house hotel like no other. It offers the very best of Irish hospitality in the most beautiful surroundings imaginable (horseback riding through the woods and fishing on the lake, yes please!) With only twenty rooms for the 614-acre estate, this 5-star luxury hotel is the perfect place to unplug and decompress and offers a high level of privacy as it is only open to guests. After a tour around the entire property and delicious lunch overlooking the gorgeous garden, we were sold!

Book your stay at Ballyfin with Passport To Friday and receive:

+ Daily breakfast for two, served in the restaurant

+ $100 spa credit

+ Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

+ Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

+ Complimentary Wi-Fi

4pm: Check In to Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links

We then drove to the coast for our final stop on our Irish journey. We checked in to Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links, located just a short drive from Dublin city centre and meters from the Velvet Strand overlooking the sea on Dublin’s north coast. While the hotel and golf course were renovated in 2007, the hotel used to be owned by members of the Jameson Whiskey family and still exudes 19th century elegance.

7pm: Dinner at Malahide Castle

Not ready to end our amazing trip, we ended on the perfect note with dinner at Malahide Castle. Located by the pretty seaside village of Malahide, Malahide Castle was both a fortress and a private home for nearly 800 years and is full of history. It retains its original architecture and feels like you are stepping back in time – we even heard (and possibly even experienced) ghost stories!


Head Back Home

As much as we all agreed we were NOT ready to go leave, we bid farewell to Ireland and headed back to the States. One extremely exciting thing about departing out of Ireland however is that you clear customs at the Dublin airport! That means when you land in the US, you don’t have to wait in a long customs line or get your bags and re-check them. Oh, the little luxuries in life.


Safe travels y’all!

Chelsea Rose Martin