Welcome to Dublin, Ireland’s pretty capital and home of the famous Guinness beer! Located on the east coast at the mouth of the Liffey River, Dublin’s friendly locals are always happy to throw open their arms in welcome to visitors.
After making our own way to the hotel, we meet our small group tour leader and fellow travelers for a drink before a delicious welcome dinner at a nearby restaurant.
After breakfast we begin our tour of Dublin, learning about the city’s fascinating history and traditions. Highlights include a visit inside Trinity College, dating back to the late 16th century and home to an impressive list of alumni including Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde and Jonathon Swift. We tour Trinity College’s famous library and see its most prized possession, the Book of Kells. We also see Dublin Castle, the General Post Office, Parliament House, the Liffey River and the Temple Var district.
Our sightseeing continues as we visit some of Dublin’s local bars and pubs to sample delicious traditional Irish food.
In the afternoon, we make our way to Thomastown and Jerpoint Abbey, founded in 1180 and known for both its picturesque setting and the incredible stone carvings that line its walls. Later, we continue on to Kilkenny, where we enjoy dinner at the oldest inn in Kilkenny, Kyteler’s Inn.
[Breakfast and Dinner]
This morning we visit the stunning Kilkenny Castle, taking time to wander through the impressive Rose Garden and surrounding grounds. Built in the thirteenth century, Kilkenny Castle originally served as a defensive castle, due to its location close to the River Nore and several important trade routes. Continuously occupied until 1967, it was sold to the local council for a staggering £50! We continue on to the Michtelstown limestone cave for a guided tour.
After checking into our hotel, we have some free time before our afternoon walking tour of Cork. With its easy, laid back feel, Cork is a wonderful city to explore on foot and here we see the English Markets, St Patricks Street, Fitzgeralds Park, the Saint Fin Barres Cathedral and the Butter Museum.
Today we take the time to explore Ireland’s remarkable natural scenery with a drive to the coastal town of Glengarriff, where we take a ferry to Garnish Island. On the way to Garnish Island, we make a stop near the seal islands to see if we can spot any of the area’s local seals.
Afterwards, we head towards Muckross and the idyllic Killarney National Park. Home to Ireland’s largest forest of oak trees, Killarney National Park is situated in over 10,000 hectares of pristine, rolling countryside. This afternoon, we enjoy a stroll through the national park to the picturesque Torc Waterfall.
Upon our return to Cork, we have some time at leisure before our evening drive to Cobh, a pretty town with a lovely harbor area. Here, we have some free time to explore and seek out dinner at any of the restaurants and cafes on the harbor front.
We take the coastal route this morning on our way to Ballymaloe House and its famous morning tea.
Relish the experience of morning tea in one of Ireland’s most recognized restaurants at Ballymaloe House. Internationally acclaimed for being the birthplace of modern Irish cuisine and having won awards for the world’s best dessert trolley in 2019, combined with the picture-perfect scenery and charming country house setting, morning tea at Ballymaloe House is not to be missed!
After our morning tea, we continue on to Limerick, nestled on the banks of the River Shannon and overlooking the spectacular King John’s Castle. It is thought that the Vikings settled here in as early as 922AD, though these days Limerick is better known for its Georgian architecture and as the setting for Frank McCourt’s book, Angela’s Ashes. This afternoon we enjoy a city orientation tour.
We start our day by exploring the Limerick Milk Market where we have free time to discover the undercover markets at our own pace. Take the time to soak in the tantalizing aromas of the wide variety of fresh, local produce on offer and be tempted to buy yourself a mid-morning snack!
Next, we continue our journey to Killaloe for a scenic cruise on the waterways of the River Shannon and Lough Derg Lake before lunch in the quaint town of Killaloe. In the afternoon, we travel onwards to the vibrant city of Galway, located on the stunning west coast where the River Corrib meets the Atlantic Ocean.
[Breakfast and Lunch]
A wonderful day of exploration awaits us today, and we begin with a walking tour of Galway. Here, we uncover the rich history and culture of this proud city, visiting Eyre Square, Lynches Castle, Quay Street, the Spanish Arch, Galway City Museum, the Church of St Nicholas and the markets, known for its fresh cheeses and seafood.
The afternoon is a highlight of any trip to Ireland as we drive to Clare to see the famous Cliffs of Moher and the visitors center. Rising over 200 meters from the seabed, the rough, jagged cliffs stretching along the vast coastline are truly a sight to behold!
Upon our return to Galway, enjoy the night at leisure to explore the local restaurants and cafes.
A somewhat delicious start this morning as we make our way back to the Irish capital, Dublin.
Our first stop is in Kilbeggan at the Kilbeggan Whiskey Distillery, where we enjoy a distillery tour and finish with a tipple of this Irish staple, whiskey.
Next, we continue on to Kildare and visit the Irish National Stud and Gardens. Owned by the government, the Stud is a thoroughbred horse breeding facility that was established in 1946 and produces some of the most magnificent horses to be found in all of Europe. The Japanese gardens attached to the Stud are also believed to be the finest example of its kind in Europe and a wander around the property is an exercise in peace and serenity.
In the late afternoon we arrive in Dublin, where we enjoy a lovely farewell dinner at one of Ireland’s oldest pubs, complete with storytelling and traditional music.
[Breakfast and Dinner]
Our tour concludes after breakfast this morning, when we say a fond farewell to the beautiful country of Ireland and our new found friends.
Take a journey back in time as we meander through the picturesque villages of southern England. Explore ancient castles where history comes alive at every turn, discover mystical caves where legends were born, and enjoy spectacular coastal views in Exmoor National Park. Along the way relax in picture perfect gardens and relish some of England’s finest local produce.Explore more
Say hello to Scotland and immerse yourself in this fascinating and wonderful country. Step back in time and into the shoes of those who walked before us hundreds of years ago as we delve into the country’s rich history and explore medieval castles, villages and more. Be wowed by Scotland’s endless natural beauty and mingle with the locals of its vibrant cities on this small group tour that travels through Edinburgh, Inverness, Isle of Skye, Fort William and Glasgow.Explore more