Now in its 16th year, this trip gives participants the opportunity to relax and take life as it comes. The emphasis is very much on the social aspects and the fact that we all drive Alfa Romeo cars is almost incidental.
If you enjoy dramatic scenery, good company, fine dining, interesting conversation, then this event is for you! Apart from club members travelling from Britain, the event also attracts “Alfisti” from other European countries, notably from Germany and Holland. All are made to feel very welcome by Irish club members and it should also be noted that this is a “family friendly” event.
“There are no strangers here, only friends who have never met!”
The basic 5-day trip to the magical “Kingdom of Kerry” will take place between Thursday 1st – Tuesday 6th October, but it is also possible to extend this by a few days for any individuals that request it.
Our destination this year is the heritage town of Kenmare in County Kerry. Although we did pass through Kenmare in 2003, we have not actually stayed in this pretty town before. Known as “the Jewel on the Ring of Kerry”, the colourful town of Kenmare nestles at the foot of the Cork and Kerry mountains and is perfectly positioned as a base for exploring the South-West of Ireland. There is much more to Kenmare than just the beautiful scenery, with a range of activities available locally to suit the needs of golfers, cyclists, fishermen, ramblers, horse riders, bird watchers, artists and more!
Kenmare is fast becoming a gourmet centre and now boasts no less than two of “Ireland’s Top 100 Restaurants”. Dining out is a must, with many establishments serving up fresh seafood and innovative Irish cuisine.
Our first four nights will be spent at the Kenmare Bay Hotel & Resort in the heritage town of Kenmare, County Kerry.
Aside from the hotel itself, the complex also has a number of Holiday Homes (****) and Holiday Lodges (**** Superior). You will be able to choose which type of accommodation you want to stay in according to your own personal preference. Whatever your choice, all of the facilities of the hotel will be available to you and breakfast in the hotel Dining Room is included with all options.
All residents also have full access to the adjoining Leisure Centre (with Swimming Pool, Jacuzzi, Steam Room, Sauna, Sunshower and a Fully Equipped Gym & Weights Room). A range of Beauty Treatments are also available by appointment (and at additional cost).
The complex is just a short distance
(5 minutes walk along a lit way-marked path) to the town centre, where you will find shops, bars, restaurants and other attractions.
As usual, all participants will receive a Road Book containing all of the information that that they need, including maps, directions and suggestions for things to do.
Each of the Holiday Lodges is available to book for a minimum of 4 nights. Initially, they will only be offered to couples who know each other well and who agree in advance amongst themselves to share a property together.
The beds in each of the bedrooms may be made up either as one King Size bed, or two Twin beds according to your preference.
Those participating for the first time are likely to be allocated a room in a house with more seasoned travellers. You may, of course, request to share a house with particular friends or acquaintances and this will normally be possible (although not guaranteed).
If you feel that you would like to have more privacy, you can opt to stay in the main Hotel and the rooms there are just as comfortable!
For visitors from Britain and the
Continent, the final night (Monday) will
be spent at Day’s Hotel in Tullamore,
County Offaly. The main reason for this
is to enable us to have an easier drive
back to Dun Laoghaire for our return sailing on Tuesday. Irish Club members who wish to extend their weekend away are also welcome to join us in Tullamore if they wish.
Thursday 1st October
Club members from Britain and Continental Europe will travel to Ireland on the morning sailing (10.25 hrs) from Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire with Stena Line. A few may also fly directly to Ireland. They will then take a leisurely drive down to Kenmare during the afternoon.
Irish members are invited to make the most of the weekend in County Kerry by joining us this evening for a 4-night stay at Kenmare Bay Hotel & Resort. Traffic is also generally much lighter on a Thursday!
On arrival in Kenmare, you will be shown to your accommodation and once you have settled in with your new housemates, you will probably want to take a walk into the town for a meal and a few drinks. Many of the bars and restaurants get very busy at the weekend, so if you find somewhere you like the look of, it may also be a good idea to book a table for Friday or Saturday night! If the weather is inclement, The Bay Restaurant in the Hotel serves contemporary Irish and International cuisine using the best local produce. Bar Snacks are also available in the Courtyard Bar.
Friday 2nd October
Today, those Irish members who were unable to take the time to join us on Thursday, shall join us for a
3-night stay. For the rest of us, it is essentially a free day for you to relax and explore your surroundings. Your road book will contain ideas and suggestions for things to do. Kenmare itself offers excellent fishing, sailing, horse riding, cycling and walking. Golfers are spoilt for choice, with Kenmare Golf Club right in the centre of town and the Ring of Kerry Golf & Country Club just 4 kilometres away.
Saturday 3rd October
Another free day for you to do as little or as much as you like. Just to the North of Kenmare is Killarney National Park, with its extensive woodlands, magical lakes and mountains. Any hill walkers amongst you may like to tackle MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, the mountain range which includes “Carrauntoohil”, Ireland’s highest peak at 1039 metres. Those who prefer to drive may like to follow a route around the Ring of Kerry (arguably Ireland’s most scenic drive) or the Dingle Peninsular, but you should allow a full day for either of these routes.
Sunday 4th October
The only organised event, the Scenic Drive & Treasure Hunt, takes place today and will last all day. The route of some 95 miles will take you along the Beara Peninsula, with some magnificent mountain and coastal views. You can choose somewhere suitable to stop for lunch as you travel around (but don’t eat too much!).
In a break with tradition and by popular request, the prizes will be awarded during Dinner on Sunday evening, which hopefully everyone in the group will be able to attend. This will be held in a private function room at the Hotel (maybe also including some entertainment!).
Monday 5th October
We will leave Kenmare in the morning, taking a route via Tralee and Limerick to Tullamore. Suggested places to visit on the way include the Flying Boat Museum in Foynes, Co. Limerick (this year celebrating 70 years of transatlantic passenger flights), Birr Castle Demesne in Birr, Co. Offaly (especially for anyone with an interest in photography) and Locke’s Distillery in Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath, the World’s oldest licensed Whiskey distillery. Also, in Tullamore itself, is the Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre (although Whiskey is no longer produced in the town).
It is anticipated that many Irish members will want to travel home today, but can you be tempted to stay for an additional night in Tullamore?
Tuesday 6th October
Time to go home. Visiting Club members will travel back to Dun Laoghaire in time for the afternoon sailing (13.30 hrs).
The format of the trip will, as always, be very informal and any Club members joining us for the first time
will be made to feel especially welcome. There is only one organised event, which takes place on Sunday. The
remaining time will be yours to enjoy as you like.
Prices are based on two people travelling together and sharing a Twin or Double room. Supplements may be payable for Single occupancy of a Double/Twin room. Prices are valid until 9th August and any bookings made after that date will incur a €12 per person surcharge.
We have normally been blessed with good weather, but as you know, the weather in Ireland at this time of year can be variable, so you are advised to prepare for every eventuality.
The enclosed booking form should be completed and returned to the address given by the due dates together with the appropriate payment.
FOR MORE DETAILS PLEASE CONTACT NICK CLANCY BY EMAIL – firstname.lastname@example.org
All participants are advised that neither AROC nor the organisers of this event/trip are responsible for making any insurance cover or legal arrangements. Whilst personal insurance cover is not compulsory, it is your own responsibility to ensure that adequate cover (if required) is arranged in respect of Travel, Accident, Medical, Motor, Breakdown etc. to meet your individual circumstances.