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Ireland: 5-Day Escape to the Southwest Tour

1. Ireland: 5-Day Escape to the Southwest Tour

Discover the scenic splendor of southwest Ireland on a comprehensive 5-day tour of The Burren, the Dingle Peninsula, and the fabled Ring of Kerry. Stop at historic castles and monasteries, and wander the colorful fishing villages to sample fresh seafood. Enjoy dramatic views from the Cliffs of Moher, and stroll along the vast stretch of Inch Beach watching the local surfers. Transportation is by small minicoach, with accommodation in quaint bed and breakfast guesthouses for a more intimate experience. Day 1: Depart Dublin and head west through the farmland and peat bogs of Kildare and Offally counties. Stop at Locke’s Distillery, reputedly the oldest legal distillery in the world. Sample the local whiskey to experience the true spirit of Ireland. Continue west to the mighty Shannon River, and vist the early Christian site of Clonmacnoise. Admire its collection of churches, stone crosses, and round towers. After an afternoon stop in a traditional pub in one of the attractive villages, travel to Galway City to check into your base for the night. This lively student town has no shortage of good pubs and restaurants to enjoy in the evening. Day 2: From Galway City it’s only a short drive along the coast to The Burren, one of Ireland’s great natural treasures. Marvel at the limestone pavements, barren hills, and rare flora. See Christian settlements and ancient stone monuments. You will spend most of the morning exploring this unique area, stopping in Kilfenora for lunch. Known as the “Town of the Crosses,” there will also be time to visit the old cathedral before driving to the Cliffs of Moher. Marvel at this natural beauty, where the cliffs drop almost 700 feet into crashing Atlantic Ocean waves. Take a walk along one of the cliff top trails, and watch the seabirds at work. Alternatively, visit the award-winning environmental exhibition to learn about the region’s ecology. Then, travel south through County Clare, passing the famous golf course and beach at Lahinch to catch the ferry across the Shannon Estuary and into County Kerry. Go to the beautiful lakeside town of Killarney, your base for the next 3 nights. The pubs here are great for food and most have live music in the evenings. Day 3 Today, you will explore the Dingle Peninsula, one of the most scenic parts of Ireland. Your first stop in this heartland of Gaelic culture will be Inch Beach, a vast expanse of sand facing the Atlantic Ocean popular with surfers. From here, increasingly narrow roads lead onto the peninsula itself, through the town of Dingle and out to Slea Head. This is an area of ancient forts and dwellings that date back thousands of years. Visit some of the best examples along the way. Enjoy views of the Blasket Islands as they rise dramatically from the sea. Marvel at the mountains of the famous Ring of Kerry to your south. Weather permitting, time will be allotted for a walk on the beach or along the cliff tops. Learn why the area is important in Gaelic literature. Then, head back to Dingle town with its brightly colored buildings and busy harbor. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure, before returning to Killarney. If the weather is good you could enjoy an evening walk in Killarney National Park, just on the edge of town. Day 4: Today, you will take one of the world’s classic routes, the 100-mile Ring of Kerry. Depart Killarney and enjoy the views to Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain. Join the coast road through Glenbeigh and Kells to Cahersiveen. Possible stops along the way include Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace, and the ring fort of Cahersiveen. Go to the little fishing village of Portmagee for a lunch of local seafood. Alternatively, cross to the island of Valencia and visit the Skellig Experience to learn about the small community of monks who once lived on the nearby rock island of Skellig Michael. In the afternoon, stop in picturesque Waterville, a favourite holiday destination for Charlie Chaplin. Stop again at the top of the Coonmakista Pass for one of the best views in Ireland. From here, the road drops down to sea level, where you will visit Derrynane House, the family home of Daniel O’Connell. You can stroll in the gardens and down to the beach, as well as look inside the house itself. Continue around the Ring, stopping at Moll’s Gap and Ladies View. There will also be time for a short walk to the Torc Waterfall before returning to Killarney. Day 5: The final day of your tour heads east through the mountains of West Cork and the market town of Macroom. Then, drive along the Lee Valley to Blarney Castle. Visit the castle and take one of the woodland walks to the mystical Rock Close. Explore the village of Blarney, stopping for lunch and a bit of shopping. There may even be time to kiss the famous Blarney Stone, although in peak season it can be very busy. In the afternoon, head to the Rock of Cashel to see the medieval monastery complex high above the town. Finally, go to Kilkenny, a bustling city with a fine castle and park, as well as some lovely riverside walks. Visit the National Craft Centre, or just hang out in one of the pubs for a last Guinness. Hit the road again for the final leg of your journey, arriving back in Dublin at approximately 19:30.

Ireland: Blarney Castle, Kilkenny & Irish Whiskey 3-Day Tour

2. Ireland: Blarney Castle, Kilkenny & Irish Whiskey 3-Day Tour

Discover the scenic splendor of southeast Ireland on a 3-day tour of the lush farmlands of Kildare, the stunning Wicklow Mountains, and the fabled Copper Coast road to Waterford. Stop at historic monasteries and castles, learn about the fateful voyage of the Titanic from Cobh, and go to the famous Waterford Crystal Factory.  Enjoy a more personal experience in this small group tour with maximum of 16 passengers on a top of the range Mercedes luxury mini-coach, while a quaint bed and breakfast accommodation for 2 nights provides a more intimate experience. Day 1: Depart Dublin for Cork, driving through the lush farm counties of Kildare, Laois, and Tipperary. Make a short stop in the heritage town of Cahir to see the ruined abbey and impressive castle on an island in the River Suir. Continue to Blarney on the outskirts of Cork. Visit the castle and take one of the woodland walks to the mystical Rock Close. Explore the village of Blarney, stopping for lunch.  There may even be time to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. After this, there is a chance to discover Jameson Whiskey Distillery and taste one of Ireland's favorite exports. In the afternoon, tour the beautiful coastline of West Cork, and see some of the magnificent beaches, tiny inlets and coves. End the day in the fishing village of Kinsale, where you will be based for the night. Kinsale is famous for its food, and the evening is free to wander the narrow streets, popping into traditional pubs and restaurants. Day 2: Explore some of the highlights of southeast Ireland, starting with the historic port of Cobh, the main departure point for Irish emigration in the 19th and 20th centuries. It was also from here that the Titanic ocean liner set forth on her ill-fated maiden voyage. Continue east to Waterford, traveling along the “Copper Coast” (a designated UNESCO geo-park for its spectacular beauty). Stop at the popular surfing beach of Tramore, before heading into Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city. Founded by the Vikings in the 9th century, it’s also famous for the Waterford Crystal Factory, which you are free to visit along with one of the excellent museums. Alternatively, explore the Viking Triangle on foot. In the late afternoon, depart for the busy city of Kilkenny with its fine castle and park, as well as some lovely riverside walks. Go to the National Craft Centre, or hang out in one of the pubs and enjoy a glass of Guinness! Day 3: Enjoy a free morning to explore Kilkenny before driving to the Wicklow Mountains. Marvel at some of Ireland’s highest granite peaks and see impressive valleys carved by glaciers. One of the area’s highlights is Glendalough, known as the “Valley of the Lakes.” Take one of the walking trails, or explore the ruins of the 6th-century monastery to see its round tower. The last section of your tour takes you into the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, before crossing the famous Sally Gap to descend into Dublin for an approximate 18:30 arrival.

Ireland: 3-Day West Coast Explorer Tour

3. Ireland: 3-Day West Coast Explorer Tour

Experience the beauty of Ireland’s wild west coast on a 3-day tour that takes you from the dramatic Maam Valley to the pretty villages of The Burren. Enjoy fantastic coastal views on a clifftop walk at the Cliffs of Moher, see the landing site of the first trans-Atlantic flight, visit the Quiet Man Museum, and much more. You will be traveling by small minicoach from Dublin for a more intimate experience. Day 1 You’ll take the fast road from Dublin west through the farmland and peat bogs of counties Kildare and Offally. The destinations today are on Ireland’s dramatic Atlantic Coast and the goal is to get you there as quickly as possible! The first stop is the village of Kinvara, where you’ll have a chance to admire Dunguaire Castle, perched on a rocky outcrop looking out over Galway Bay. From here it’s just a short drive to The Burren, which is one of Ireland’s great natural treasures. The Burren is a land of limestone pavements, barren hillsides, rare flora, early Christian settlements and ancient stone monuments. Spend a few hours exploring this unique area, stopping in one of the pretty local villages for lunch. After The Burren you’ll head to the stunning Cliffs of Moher, which drop nearly 700 feet straight into the crashing Atlantic waves. Walk along the cliff-top trails, watch the many seabirds, or visit the award-winning environmental exhibition. From here the tour follows the coastal road, and you’ll have stunning views across Galway Bay back to Galway City itself, which is your base for the next 2 nights. This lively student town has no shortage of good pubs and restaurants! Day 2 Galway lies at the edge of Connemara, which is the area you’ll explore today. Travel inland through the Maam Valley to the village of Cong on the shore of Lough Corrib. It is here that the classic film, The Quiet Man, was made. Visit the Quiet Man Museum or Cong Abbey. Continue through the heart of Connemara and stop to tour the lovely grounds and house of Kylemore Abbey. Continuing on, you’ll experience the majesty of Connemara National Park. Go to Clifden, where the first trans-Atlantic flight landed, and then drive along the Sky Road and take in the views of the 12 Bens of Connemara. Day 3 After a relaxed start to the day you’ll leave Galway behind and take some of the back roads through central Ireland on the way back to Dublin. The first highlight of the day is the early Christian site of Clonmacnoise, featuring a collection of churches, stone crosses and round towers beautifully situated on the banks of the mighty Shannon River. Following lunch in a local village the tour continues through an area of unique peat bog scenery that is typical of this part of Ireland. Your guide will explain both its environmental and economic importance to the country. The final stop on the tour is Locke’s Distillery, reputedly the oldest legal distillery in the world. Sample the local whiskey and discover the true spirit of Ireland! From here you’ll continue east to Dublin, arriving at around 7:00PM.

From Dublin: 3-Day Discover Northern Ireland Tour

4. From Dublin: 3-Day Discover Northern Ireland Tour

Day 1 Departing Dublin at 09:00, you will travel north towards the border with Northern Ireland. From here, it will be a short journey into the city of Belfast famous for its industrial past and turbulent history. After a short tour of some of the key areas of the city, you will arrive in the newly redeveloped Titanic Quarter, where you will have time for lunch and perhaps a visit to the award-winning museum. Other options here include a visit to the SS Nomadic, the last surviving White Star Line steamship, HMS Caroline, the fascinating Titanic’s Dock and Pump-House or perhaps take a black cab tour of the city. Later in the afternoon, you will leave the city and travel into the countryside of County Down for a visit to the world-famous house and gardens at Mount Stewart before arriving in the seaside resort town of Bangor - your base for the next two nights. Day 2   Today, you will follow one of the world’s great driving routes – the Causeway Coastal route through the beautiful scenery of the Antrim Coast and Glens. The tour follows the coast road from Larne to the world-famous Giant's Causeway. Along the way, you will makes stops in attractive historic villages such as Glenarm and Ballycastle as well as scenic attractions such as the Cushendun Caves and the many viewpoints along this stunning coastline. In the afternoon, you will have a chance to explore the incredible rock formations at Giant’s Causeway. Several places along the route were used as filming location for the TV series "Game of Thrones" and the last stop of the day will be at the stunning Dark Hedges - make sure your camera still has some battery power left.  From here, you will return back to Bangor for another night. Day 3  After another day full of contrasts and fascinating visits, start with a trip along the Ards Peninsula – a great favorite with holiday makers from all over Northern Ireland. At Portaferry, take a boat across the mouth of Strangford Lough to visit Castle Ward with its 18th century mansion, extensive gardens and grounds, estate walks and for "Game of Thrones" enthusiasts, the location of Winterfell and other scenes. From here, it will be a short drive to Downpatrick, site of the burial place of St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. You will have time for lunch here and perhaps a visit to Down Cathedral or St. Patrick's center. In the afternoon, the tour will continue along the coast with the brooding granite peaks of Mourne Mountains on one side and the Irish Sea on the other. After a detour into the heart of the mountains through an area of traditional farms with their fascinating field patterns and huge stone walls, you will reach the coast again on the shores of Carlingford Lough for the final stop of the day. From here, you will return back across the border and travel south to Dublin arriving around 19:00.

From Dublin: 3-Day Dingle, Killarney and Wicklow Tour

5. From Dublin: 3-Day Dingle, Killarney and Wicklow Tour

Day 1 Head south of Dublin and travel through the Wicklow Mountains to your first stop at the famous Glendalough. Here, enjoy some free time to admire the lovely lakes, learn more about their history at the visitor center, and bask in the serenity of the monastic city ruins. Afterward, continue your quest to the West and visit the traditional market town of Kilcullen for a lunch break. After lunch, travel to the Rock of Dunamase and the ruins of Dunamase Castle in the ancient plains of County Laois. Later on, visit "Ireland's Prettiest Village", Adare; where you can admire a superb collection of thatched cottages and old structures, including the ruins of a 15th-century Franciscan Monastery. Finally, head for County Kerry and the windswept Dingle Peninsula, a stronghold of Irish culture and language, where you will be staying in the town of Dingle for the next two nights. Day 2 Today, find out why the Wild Atlantic Way is known as one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world in the Dingle Peninsula. Enter the heartland of the Gaeltacht (the areas within Ireland where the Irish language is the principal tongue of the local people). Discover the best of the peninsula including highlights such as Conor Pass, Tóchar Maothaithe, the Beehive Huts, Slea Head, and Gallarus Oratory. After a day full of natural splendor, spend the night in Dingle. Day 3 Before leaving the Dingle Peninsula, stop at Inch Beach, where you can get a glimpse of your next destination, the Kerry Mountains and Killarney National Park. Pass by a few lakes and take a short walk to the Torc Waterfall, a 20-meter high cascade of water that originates high in the mountains. Break for lunch in the lively town of Killarney before making your way across country to the Rock of Cashel, a spectacular group of medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone. Take some time to explore its Round Tower, High Cross, and Gothic Cathedral. From here, enjoy a relaxing drive with time to reflect on the past three days as you make your way back to Dublin for the early evening.

Ireland's North Atlantic Coast 5-Day Tour from Dublin

6. Ireland's North Atlantic Coast 5-Day Tour from Dublin

Enjoy a scenic tour of Eire and Northern Ireland’s Atlantic Coast on a 5-day package tour from Dublin. Stay in quaint bed and breakfast accommodation in Portrush, Donegal, and Westport along the way. Go to the edge of Europe at Achill Island, explore the new Titanic Quarter in Belfast to see where the ill-fated ocean liner was built, marvel at the dramatic geology of the Giant’s Causeway, and immerse yourself in Gaelic culture. Day 1: Depart Dublin at 09:00 and travel north towards the border with Northern Ireland. From here it is a short journey to Belfast, famous for its industrial past and turbulent history. After a short tour of some of the city’s key areas, arrive in the newly redeveloped Titanic Quarter, where you will have time for lunch and a visit to the award-winning museum. In the afternoon, experience the contrast between the busy city center and the scenery of the Antrim Coast and Glens. Follow part of the coast from Ballycastle to the world famous Giant's Causeway. Marvel at the stunning coastal scenery, before checking into your overnight accommodation in the holiday town of Portrush. Day 2: Go to the walled city of Derry, designated a UK City of Culture in 2013. Enjoy some free time to explore the old city center, and visit one of the many museums or galleries. Then cross the border to the Republic of Ireland, traveling into one of the most remote and unspoilt areas of the country. Explore County Donegal’s dramatic scenery and Gaelic culture. Pass through Glenveagh National Park and the Errigal Mountains, before following the coast through traditional fishing villages. Stop for nature walks along the way, and soak up the local culture before checking into your overnight accommodation in Donegal. Day 3: Travel south along the coast from Donegal to County Sligo, and see the grave of the famous poet W.B. Yeats. Gaze at the mountain scenery of Ben Bulben, before exploring Sligo Town at Carrowmore, site of the largest collection of megalithic tombs in Ireland. Continue west into County Mayo to discover an area hit hard by the great potato famine, leading many to emigrate to North America. Drive through large areas of farmland, bog, and open moor, enjoying panoramic views of the distant hills. Return to the Atlantic Coast and Achill Island on the edge of Europe. Savor the peace and quiet of the beautiful area, before driving to Westport for your next 2 nights accommodation. Day 4: Today’s itinerary is weather dependent, and your guide will advise the best things to see. Explore the beautiful house and grounds of Kylemore Abbey, or marvel at the wilderness of Connemara National Park. Go to Clifden to see where the first transatlantic flight landed. Other options include the scenic Sky Road and 12 Bens of Connemara. Return to Westport for an evening at leisure, and the chance to sample some local seafood in one of the many excellent restaurants. Day 5: Enjoy a leisurely start to the day, before leaving Westport and going inland through the heart of Connemara. Visit the village of Cong on the shore of Lough Corrib to see where the classic movie “The Quiet Man” was filmed. Explore Cong Abbey, or the Quiet Man Museum, before driving through the Maam Valley to Galway City. Enjoy some free time for lunch, and to explore the vibrant city center. Return to Dublin, stopping at the old whisky distillery of Locke’s Distillery in Kilbeggan to learn about Ireland’s favorite tipple en route.

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What people are saying about Dublin

Matthew was not only a gentleman (always opening the doors for everybody, asking if we need the AC etc.) but he is also a very pleasant guide and safe but efficient driver. The hotel standard is good, clean B&Bs and the nicest hosts. I really enjoyed our programme and did not find to pay too much extra on the attractions that we visited. My favourite was definitely the cliffs of Moher. Thanks Matthew!!!

We had a great week on this trip! Jerome was very informative, accommodating and professional but fun! All of the accommodations were comfortable and the B&B owners were friendly and helpful. We enjoyed all of the planned stops along the way as well little extra stops Jerome would throw in. We highly recommend this trip!

Marcus was a phenomenal tour guide. He went above and beyond for us! Hope to come back and take another tour with him. It was a wonderful experience and best way to see Ireland!!

Fabulous time! We travelled to many places not included on the itinerary. Jerome the tour guide and the fellow passengers were lovely. Such wonderful memories

Stephanie was a great tour guide, sharing all kinds of history and personal experiences along the way. Would highly recommend!