Enjoy the Luck of the Irish with a Best of Ireland Itinerary
Embark on a journey that will take you through the most beautiful and historic regions of the Emerald Isle on this 7-day or extended 12-day adventure.
Day 1 - Dublin
Upon your arrival at the airport in the morning, you are picked up by your driver and taken to your hotel to check-in and rest before you begin your exploration of Dublin
Let us show you Ireland’s capital city through the lens of a Dubliner, weaving through the streets of Ireland’s lively capital city. In this two-hour Dublin Walking Tour, we'll join a local historian for an overview of the city's rich history, from its early origins as a Gaelic village to the arrival of the Vikings, Normans, and the English. Along the way, we'll also get our bearings, discover great pubs and restaurants, and answer questions about life in Dublin—which means "black pool" in Gaelic—today.
No trip to Dublin is complete without a visit to the Old Library of Trinity College to admire the Book of Kells. Dating back to the ninth century, this book is one of the finest illuminated manuscripts in the world and a key artifact of medieval history. In this historian-led Book of Kells Tour with skip-the-line tickets, we will visit the book, explore Trinity College's famed Old Library, and examine Celtic artifacts at the National Museum of Ireland, revealing how the light of learning shined brightly in Ireland during the Dark Ages.
Enjoy dinner at one of Dublin's restaurants and then head to the pub to unwind.
Day 2 - Tara and Newgrange
After a leisurely breakfast, your driver will pick you up to explore Ireland's ancient heritage.
The Hill of Tara is a hill and ancient ceremonial and burial site near Skryne in County Meath, Ireland. According to tradition, it was the inauguration place and seat of the High Kings of Ireland, and it also appears in Irish mythology.
Newgrange is a prehistoric monument. It is an exceptionally grand passage tomb built during the Neolithic period, around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids
After exploring these ancient sites, your driver will return you to Dublin for some shopping and dinner.
Day 3 - Drive to Cork
After breakfast, you say goodbye to Dublin as your driver takes you south through the scenic Irish countryside on your way to County Cork.
Stop for lunch in Limerick, in Munster province in the south of the country. Its compact old town is known for the medieval-era St. Mary’s Cathedral and St. John’s square, which is lined with Georgian townhouses. Standing along the River Shannon, the 13th-century King John’s Castle is one of the city’s most recognizable sites.
Check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner at one of Killarney's fine restaurants.
Day 4 - Private Tour of Killarney National Park
After an early breakfast, your driver will meet you for a full day of exploration of Killarney Town and one of Ireland's most stunning natural parks. Marvel at the famous lakes of Killarney. Learn about how Killarney became one of the most visited towns in Ireland. Leave the car and take the opportunity to walk by the lakes and through. Killarney House & Gardens, Aghadoe, Muckross Gardens, Muckross Abbey, Torc Waterfall. Ladies View, Ross Castle, and some off the beaten path places that will remain a secret for now !! Ride in one of the region's famous horse-drawn jaunty carts.
Return to your hotel for a well-deserved dinner.
Day 5 - Galway
Today you have some time to sleep in and enjoy your breakfast before starting the scenic drive to Galway. Once you arrive it's time to explore.
Your guide for the day will immerse you in the songs, stories, trials, and tribulations of the people of Galway over the centuries. You’ll see how Galway has become one of the most attractive and liveable cities in Ireland in recent times, with a young population and a well-deserved reputation as a center for theatre and the arts. This tour will bring alive to you the bustle of medieval ‘Galvia’ where Irish was the native tongue, but where also the patter of Spanish was heard on streets teeming with visiting merchants and sailors from Andalucia. And in those same streets and pubs today you’ll still hear the lilt of Gaelic and the strains of Irish music played on the fiddle and on the uilleann pipes. Can you feel it? Welcome to Galway!
Day 6 - Connemara
Today you explore the stunning and rugged scenery of Connemara with your private driver and guide and take in some of the most spectacular scenic views in Ireland. Heading west from Galway city, the villages of Connemara will stretch out before you like a colorful road map of communities and hidden gems just waiting to be explored, from the bogs and lakes of the Gaelic speaking South Connemara to the mountain vistas of North and West Connemara. However, as dramatic and breathtaking as the landscape may be, all travelers know that memories and encounters are what make a journey unique.
Visit Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden Set in a dramatic landscape, Kylemore is an ideal destination for a day out. From its beginnings as a romantic gift in the 1860s to becoming home to the Benedictine Nuns in 1920, Kylemore is steeped in history and tales of tragedy, romance, engineering initiatives, model farms, royal visits, spirituality, and education. Experience the Victorian atmosphere of the restored rooms of the Abbey and neo-Gothic church. Explore the magical Victorian Walled Garden, nature trails and woodland walks. History talks and Garden tours throughout the summer. Dine at Mitchells Cafe or the Garden Tea House or treat yourself to crepes and ice cream at the Express Cafe. Explore the magical Fairy Village and say hello to the Connemara Ponies and pet rare breed pigs. Shop for unique handcrafted gifts including chocolate, pottery, and beauty products handmade on site.
If you are adventurous you can take a horseback ride along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way Gallop across white sandy beaches and through crystal clear water.
Return to Galway for dinner and a visit to a local pub to hear stories and immerse yourself in Irish life.
Day 7 - the Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty Castle
The Cliffs of Moher are the most popular tourist attraction outside of Dublin; attracting over 1 million visitors in 2015. Rising to over 6oo feet (200 meters) in places, they are among the highest sea cliffs in Western Europe, and stretch for about 2 miles (3km) along the Atlantic coast. From its exceptional vantage position, you will enjoy the views over Galway Bay; including the Aran Islands –a group of three small islands, where the Irish language is the primary means of communication.
At the folk park at Bunratty, you can experience life in 19th century rural Ireland. Here you will find a replica 19th-century village, complete with shops, a church, pub, and a school. Some of the historic buildings were actually dismantled brick-by-brick from their original, sites and rebuilt at Bunratty Folk Park.
The stunning castle was built for the McNamara Family in 1425. By around 1500, Bunratty Castle took on a more prominent role and came into the hands of the O'Brien’s; the most powerful clan in Munster –and kings of Thomond. Under their kingship, there was peace and political stability in this part of Ireland. However that all changed when the English King Henry VIII assumed control of Ireland in the mid 1500’s and the O’ Brien’s were forced to submit to the English King.
Return to Galway for your final night in southern Ireland.
Day 8 - Dublin or Drive to Belfast
If you are short on time, you can end your Irish adventure with a return to Dublin for your flight home, or you can continue north to explore Northern Ireland.
As you drive north with your driver, you will see more of the spectacular Irish landscape as you drive through small villages and towns.
Stop for lunch in historic Celbridge. Arthur Guinness, founder of the Guinness brewery, was born here in 1725 and this is commemorated by a wall plaque and, since 2013, a full-sized bronze statue. Nearby Castletown House was built from 1722 for William Conolly, who was Speaker of the Irish House of Commons. Its parklands lead down to a quite spectacular view of the river Liffey at its widest and most imposing. From the house, there are views of the remains of St Wolstan's Abbey, founded in 1202.
As you follow the lime-tree lined pathway back towards Castletown Gates, you will see Donaghcumper House and demesne across the river. The present house was remodeled in 1835 in Tudor revival style. Out the gates, and past the beautiful old stone Church of Ireland Christ Church and the ivy-clad walls of its graveyard, and walking up Main Street, you will soon come across the lovingly-maintained five-bay Kildrought House, built in 1719. Just across from it, the old Royal Irish Constabulary Barracks now houses Michelangelo's restaurant. Celbridge Abbey and its tranquil grounds regularly welcomed Jonathan Swift, when it was home to Esther Van Homrigh, the Vanessa he would eventually leave heartbroken.
Arrive in Belfast in time for dinner.
Day 9 - Belfast
After breakfast, spend your day exploring the capital of Northern Ireland. A former industrial powerhouse with a troubled past, Belfast has pulled off a remarkable transformation into a hip party town. It was the birthplace of the RMS Titanic, which famously struck an iceberg and sunk in 1912. This legacy is recalled in the renovated dockyards' Titanic Quarter, which includes the Titanic Belfast, an aluminum-clad museum reminiscent of a ship’s hull, as well as shipbuilder Harland & Wolff’s Drawing Offices and the Titanic Slipways, which now host open-air concerts.
Belfast's rich cultural heritage is reflected in its vibrant theatres, world-class musicians, and thriving visual arts scene. In the Cathedral Quarter, international and local street artists have brightened the neighborhood with their thought-provoking work, while the quarter's Black Box and MAC arts centers foster local talent. The annual Belfast Film Festival showcases the work of local and international filmmakers and the Belfast International Arts Festival is one of the largest arts festivals in the UK and Ireland. In May, the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival brings music, drama, poetry, street theatre, and art to the neighborhood.
Day 10- Giant's Causeway
After breakfast, it's time to head to the amazing Giant's Causeway, a natural phenomenon along the coast north of Belfast that has to be seen to be believed. The Giant's Causeway lies at the foot of the basalt cliffs along the sea coast on the edge of the Antrim plateau in Northern Ireland. It is made up of some 40,000 massive black basalt columns sticking out of the sea. The dramatic sight has inspired legends of giants striding over the sea to Scotland. Geological studies of these formations over the last 300 years have greatly contributed to the development of the earth sciences, and show that this striking landscape was caused by volcanic activity during the Tertiary, some 50–60 million years ago.
Your driver will stop at castles and rustic villages along the way. After the visit to the Giant's Causeway, head to the nearby village of Bushmills, home to the famed distillery of the same name. Visit the Bushmills distillery just a few miles from the Giant's Causeway Explore Dunluce and Carrickfergus Castles See some spots used for the filming of TV show Game of Thrones
Return to Belfast and enjoy its vibrant nightlife.
Day 11 - Titanic Museum
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel or a local restaurant. Continue your exploration of Belfast at one of its iconic attractions. Children and adults will enjoy the Titanic Belfast Experience. The museum tells the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way. There are 9 interactive galleries and you walk the decks of the last remaining White Star vessel, the SS Nomadic. Immerse yourself in the historic Slipways as you uncover the true legend of Titanic in the city where it all began.
You will have plenty of time to shop and dine at one of Belfast's fine restaurants.
Day 12 - Return Home
Your driver will take you to either Belfast airport or return you to Dublin for your flight home.