Kilkenny
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Our most recommended Kilkenny Castle & Palace Tours

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.

Wicklow Mountain, Glendalough & Kilkenny Full-Day Tour

2. 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.

Day Tour of Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny

3. Day Tour of Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny

The first stop on this guided tour is Glendalough, known as the valley of the two lakes, and its 6th-century monastic site of St. Kevin. The guide will walk you through the ancient monastery of St. Kevin and explain some of its important buildings, their folklore and history, before giving you plenty of time to explore the valley yourself. Then travel through the Wicklow Gap and see some of the most beautiful scenery of the area and a few small rural villages. Once the group reaches Kilkenny, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the medieval Norman town and its top sites, like St. Canice's Cathedral, Rothe House, and Kilkenny Castle. Kilkenny is steeped in history and was once the capital of Ireland. It was also the location for one of Ireland’s earliest witch trials, the famous story of Dame Alice Kyteler and her servant Petronilla. Spend 3 hours in Kilkenny, explore Kilkenny Castle and have some lunch.

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

4. 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.

Kilkenny Self-Guided Walk: Shenanigans Medieval Adventure

5. Kilkenny Self-Guided Walk: Shenanigans Medieval Adventure

Discover Kilkenny as never before with this original interactive game experience. Using your cell phone, your challenge will start at the visitor kiosk video sign halfway up the hill to Kilkenny Castle. Simply open your e-mail link and your adventure will begin. Explore the charming streets of Ireland’s Medieval Mile Kilkenny. Discover amazing castles, Ireland’s only medieval merchants home, street art by local animators who have 4 Oscar nominations, beautiful abbeys, the famous witches home, and much more! Unlock the stories of Kilkenny and get recommendations for local cafes, pubs, and restaurants, all while you solve 17 riddles on your phone. Sharpen your senses, appreciate the most wonderful (and little) details around you and inspire your curiosity wherever you go next.

From Dublin: Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough & Kilkenny Tour

6. From Dublin: Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough & Kilkenny Tour

Embark on a guided day trip through the lush pastures of Ireland from Dublin. Tour the vast Wicklow Mountains and see the monastery of Glendalough. Lose yourself in the medieval lanes of Kilkenny. Depart from Dublin and set off on a luxury bus to Glendalough. As you journey out of the city, your guide will fill you in on many interesting facts and fun stories about Dublin. Arrive at Glendalough, considered one of the most beautiful corners of Ireland. Enjoy an optional guided tour of the monastic settlement and some free time to explore the area or relax at a local café. The more adventurous can opt to take a hike to the Upper Lake and return via a boardwalk (approx. 2.5 km). The route takes you past the Lower Lake through a stunning nature trail that leads deep into the valley and on to the Upper Lake. Continue to the Wicklow Mountains. As you drive, your guide will tell you about its geology and history. Pass through famous movie locations featured in P.S. I Love You and Braveheart. Stop for a 10-minute photo opportunity at the Wicklow Gap before a scenic ride to Kilkenny. Once you reach Kilkenny, have free time to navigate the narrow lanes and historic buildings. Admire its extraordinary castle where you can picnic, or enjoy lunch in the local pubs. Then, join an optional guided tour of the city before making your way back to Dublin.

Frequently asked questions about Kilkenny Castle & Palace Tours

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What people are saying about Kilkenny

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 741 reviews

Excellent tour, mainly because the guide Pat knew so much and told us so much about the region, its history, and contemporary life. Often guides tell you the standard that they know by heart, and sometimes you end up with just a bus transport from point to point; but in this case it was very different. Smooth driving by Alec. One point to note, there was no wifi onboard and no usb charging points.

Amazing one day trip. A lot of great information about the destination and the way! The guide is very attentive and funny. I'll search for a new trip soon.

We had a great guide Phil and a driver Alex, learned a lot, saw beautiful countryside, wonderful day.

It really was a great trip! Pat was the nicest tour guide, he was really carrying and lovely.

The tour was good, especial mention to our guide Pat and driver Alec. They were amazing!!