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Things to do in Boyne Valley

Our most recommended things to do in Boyne Valley

From Dublin: Celtic Boyne Valley Tour

1. From Dublin: Celtic Boyne Valley Tour

Join this tour for a day of time travel, visiting the Neolithic tombs of Loughcrew, the predominantly Iron Age Hill of Tara, the 7th Century Christian monastery of Fore Abbey, the Hill Of Uishneach (the spiritual center of Ireland), and the Anglo-Norman Trim castle.  This Celtic tour along Ireland’s Ancient East brings you to the historically significant Boyne valley situated in County Meath (the Royal County) from where the ancient High Kings of Ireland ruled. The ‘Hill of Uisneach’ is arguably one of Ireland's most important ancient sites. It is the point at which the five provinces of Ireland met and where their Kings would celebrate the ‘festival of the fires’.  Visitors can also view the site where St Fechin founded a Christian monastery in the 7th Century. It’s believed that before his death, 300 monks lived in the community. Later, the monastery was set on fire 12 times. Among the remains on site, visitors can see St Fechin’s church, built about 900 AD. Next head to Loughcrew, the site of multiple passage tombs from the Neolithic age that are 5000 years old. Get up close and personal to pre-history in these cairns with its still-intact rock art, lavishly decorating the inside walls (built more than 500 years before the first pyramids). You then travel to Trim castle, the best preserved, most impressive example of Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland. It offers a spectacular insight into the lives and traditions of the people from the middle ages. Then, visit The Hill of Tara, best known for having been the royal residence of the ancient High Kings that ruled Ireland in Celtic times and beyond. It is said that a quarter of Ireland’s landscape can be seen from this hill. Take in this spectacular vista before heading back to the capital.

From Dublin: Boyne Valley, Newgrange Celts and Castles Tour

2. From Dublin: Boyne Valley, Newgrange Celts and Castles Tour

The Boyne Valley and the Boyne River extend through the counties of Meath and Louth in the east of Ireland to the sea at Drogheda. Explore this historically important and wonderfully scenic area on a guided tour from Dublin. This tour includes your entrance fee and skip the queue at Newgrange Monument and Bru Na Boinne. Discover the sites and monuments in this area that date back over 5,000 years. Learn about the story of Ireland and the Irish people that can be traced back in this valley to the first Neolithic settlers and their megalithic tombs and to the Celts and their pagan beliefs. Visit Trim Castle, the largest Norman Castle in Ireland and film location of the movie "Braveheart". Proceed to visit the Hill of Tara, the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland. Hear about the Viking Raids and the Norman Conquest of Hugh De Lacy. See the sites of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 and the major Irish Rebellions of 1641 and 1798. Finally, head to Slane Castle, home of the Marquess Conyngham, and the site where U2 recorded the Unforgettable Fire album, before heading back to Dublin.

Belfast and Giant's Causeway: 2-Day Guided Tour

3. Belfast and Giant's Causeway: 2-Day Guided Tour

On this 2-day tour from Dublin you’ll travel to Northern Ireland, which has been experiencing a new dawn after the end of 30 years of political violence. You’ll explore downtown Belfast as well as the glorious glens of Antrim. With its breathtaking scenery, welcoming local residents, unspoiled landscapes, and living history, Northern Ireland is sure to please. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Dublin to Belfast At 09:00 you’ll depart Dublin, heading north for the 2-hour drive to Belfast on the new Peace Highway. Your first stop will be St. Peters Cathedral in Drogheda, where you’ll find the fully preserved head of St. Oliver Plunkett! He was beheaded by the English in 1681 and his head now sits staring out from a glass box by the altar. Take a drive off the highway to visit the haunting ruins of Monasterboice. You’ll see the 10th-century round tower and learn how residents of the time took refuge from the Vikings. See some of the most beautiful Celtic crosses in Ireland, carved by hand by monks in the 9th century. When you arrive in Belfast you’ll have 2 hours’ free time. You might consider an optional and highly recommended Black Taxi Tour of the Falls and Shankill Roads. Alternatively, you can use the free time for lunch and shopping in the city’s bustling downtown area. Depart the city center for a drive to the docks to visit Belfast's number 1 attraction: The Titanic Experience! Spend 2 hours on a tour of the all-new Titanic Belfast. You’ll follow the story from the ship’s conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her infamous maiden voyage and catastrophic demise. Overnight in Belfast's historic downtown university quarter. Day 2: Belfast – Giant's Causeway – Dublin The tour departs Belfast on a drive through the rolling farmland of County Antrim to the north coast of Ulster. Your first stop will be the enchanting town of Ballintoy, which is home to the famed Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Don’t miss the truly amazing views of Scotland! Walk along the exhilarating rope bridge to Carrick-a-Rede Island. The rope bridge traverses a 30-meter-deep and 20-meter-wide chasm, and was erected by salmon fishermen. Visitors bold enough to cross to the rocky island are rewarded with fantastic views. Note that there is a fee payable to the National Trust for those wishing to cross the bridge. The Giant's Causeway has often been described as the 8th Wonder of The World, and once you’ve visited you’ll see why. The site features an estimated 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns that were formed during a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago. Visit the ultra-modern visitor center, which is included in the tour price. You’ll have an audio guide with earphones for your visit to the stones, and will hear the story of how the rocks were formed (available in many different languages) as you stand on them. After at least 2 hours exploring the Giant’s Causeway you’ll continue on to see the cliff-top ruins of Dunluce Caste, ancestral home of the MacDonnell Clan. On the return to Dublin you’ll have a short rest and relaxation stop with time for some refreshments. You’ll arrive back in Dublin with a wealth of songs, stories, and memories of Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway!

Best of Ireland 6-Day Backpackers Economy Tour

4. Best of Ireland 6-Day Backpackers Economy Tour

Mix with local characters, and get a unique insight into Ireland’s legends, landscapes and people on a week long tour of the island, north and south. Explore city life in Belfast, Derry and Cork, go to the rocks of the Giant's Causeway, walk along the Cliffs of Moher, tour the Dingle Peninsula, and enjoy a glass of the black stuff at the Guinness Brewery in Dublin. The tour takes in the highlights of Ireland’s four corners, including all the sights of Northern Ireland, and includes a night at a traditional Irish pub, plenty of opportunities to dance the night away, hikes through bogs and castle ruins, and much more. Day 1: Dublin - Belfast Depart from Dublin at 9:00 AM, and begin your adventure at Drogheda, where you'll see the preserved head of St. Oliver Plunkett in St. Peter’s Cathedral. Cross the border at South Armagh. A fascinating evening in Belfast awaits. Learn why “Lonely Planet” described the capital of Northern Ireland as one of the top 10 “Must-See” destinations on earth. You can take an (optional) Black Taxi tour to see the Peace Wall and political murals. With accommodation in the Downtown area of the university area, great nightlife will be on your doorstep, while the peaceful Botanic Gardens are a short stroll if you prefer to relax among the scent of roses. Day 2: Belfast - Derry Today you will cruise the beautiful north coast. See - and cross, if you dare - Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (seasonal and subject to a small optional charitable donation to the National Trust). Then, trace the footprints of Celtic giants as you walk the Giant's Causeway, Ulster's number one attraction since 2 million BC. Marvel at an estimated 60,000 hexagonal columns of basalt rock, formed by violent volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. Your guide will wax lyrical about how the giant warrior hero, Fionn McCool, built it to fight off the pesky Scots – according to local legend! You'll have plenty of time to take the high or low road hikes, before setting off for Dunluce Castle, ancestral home of the McDonnell clan. Learn how the castle came to ruin in 1639, when the kitchen collapsed into the sea during a great feast, and about the ghosts of the staff said to still linger. Spend the night in Derry, a jewel of a city for history buffs. Your accommodation will be in the ancient streets of the Downtown area, perfectly placed for the traditional music night at Peadar O'Donnells pub. Day 3: Derry - Galway Start the day with a hearty breakfast before an in-depth walking tour of Derry's historic walls (1601). Learn why the city is officially known as Londonderry, and the story of the long bloody siege of 1689. Go to the popular Bogside district, scene of the Bloody Sunday massacre of 1972, and inspiration for U2's classic anthem “Sunday, Bloody Sunday.” Next, drive through enchanting Sligo, visiting the sacred grave of the Irish poet and Nobel laureate, WB Yeats. Experience the archaeological richness of Ireland's northwest coast, before spending the night in Galway, the nation’s party capital. Your guide will take you to a cozy pub in the Latin Quarter for a glass of Guinness to the beat of electrifying Irish music and the sweet sound of the Gaelic language. Day 4: Galway - Dingle Today you will have the wild Atlantic Ocean by your side as you travel down the west coast, passing golden sand beaches, and maybe even a few dolphins and whales. Run around the lunar landscape of The Burren, the only place on earth where Alpine, Arctic, and Mediterranean flowers grow side-by-side. Hear about the horrors of the great Potato Famine of 1845-49 that saw more than a million Irish flee to the 4 corners of the globe. Next, gaze in awe at the Cliffs of Moher, and see why they were used as the “Cliffs of Insanity” in the movie “The Princess Bride.” Cross the River Shannon to Limerick, setting for Frank McCourt's blockbuster book, “Angela's Ashes.” Tonight you'll stay in your very own Irish pub, the Randy Leprechaun! Located in Annascaul on the Dingle Peninsula, it will be a great chance to mix with the locals and enjoy the characters of a genuine small village away from the tourist traps. Pull up a stool by the fire or dance the night away. In the morning, you can always take a swim with Fungi the Dolphin in Dingle Harbour, if you’re feeling brave. Day 5: Dingle - Killarney Take a short drive to the Gaelic-speaking fishing village of Dingle for some free time to shop and lunch in the charming center. Then, enjoy a scenic tour around Slea Head, with loads of time off the bus to take photos, or even take a wee hike. Your guide will tell you the folk stories and songs of the region as you visit Sleeping Giant Island and the famous 3 Sisters Mountains. Go for an (optional) horse-led car ride through Killarney National Park, and experience a tradition that has continued since the 1800s. You will spend the night in Killarney, a tour favorite for its huge range of activities on offer. Listen to traditional music, or discover great bars, restaurants and nightlife just steps from your hostel. Try singing a few of the songs your guide taught you during the day! Day 6: Killarney - Dublin Cross the Cork and Kerry Mountains, and kiss the Blarney Stone on top of Blarney Castle. Located in the rebel county of Cork, Blarney Castle is one of the most famous tourist sites in Europe, with great shopping opportunities. Kissing the Blarney stone isn't everyone's cup of tea, but a tour of the castle’s dungeons, caves and hidden bedrooms provides a great insight into a 12th-century masterpiece. Whether or not you need the gift of the gab, said to be yours after kissing the stone, dangling off the 300-foot battlements while being held by a middle-aged Irishman is too good an offer to turn down! After lunch, visit the beautiful Golden Vale, Ireland's finest agricultural land, and marvel at rolling fields and fresh pastures. Make your way through the battlefields of "Braveheart" for the tour’s grand finale in Dublin; a visit to the Guinness Storehouse. Say cheers to your guides and fellow travelers with a pint of the black stuff before you say your goodbyes.

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What people are saying about Boyne Valley

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 915 reviews

Our tour guide David was lovely and very knowledgeable. I especially enjoyed his dark humor and his allowance for ample snacking time along the way. Although the conditions in Boyne Valley were a bit treacherous at first (I went on 30th September 2022, when many a hapless umbrella was lost to the violent wind), I thoroughly enjoyed my experience and was glad to have booked the tour.

The 6 day trip through Ireland offered more than I expected. We have seen and visited many beautiful places. There were some interesting optional offers that could also be booked on site. The accommodations have always been fine. All in all a tiring but wonderful trip to get to know Ireland.

This is not a popular tour, but we really enjoy it. Because we have a wonderful guide, he introduce many stories to us.

The tour is full of awesome sights and our guide kept us laughing while teaching us a lot about the history of the area

Our guide Johnathon was very informative & entertaining! Not one minute of our 10hr tour was boring. Thanks Johnathon!