Best of Ireland
Dublin, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Limerick, Killarney, Connemara, Galway, Lough Corrib Cruise, Titanic Experience plus Belfast, Northern IrelandBook now online
37 travelers max, dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departures||Scheduled Dates: Select a departure from May – October 2016|
|Departs||New York City (NYC); other gateways on request (flight schedule)|
|Highlights||Kiss the Blarney Stone, Ring of Kerry, Jaunting Car ride in Killarney National Park, Cliffs of Moher, Lough Corrib Cruise, Country Sligo, Belleek Pottery, Derry (Londonderry), Giant’s Causeway, Belfast, Titanic Experience, Dublin City Tour, Book of Kells|
|Themes||History & Culture|
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness.|
Join us on our 14-day Ireland tour package and take the time to savor exploring this beautiful and charming country, where people are friendly, service is great and the places to discover just go on and on.
There is no shortage of places to visit and things to see in Ireland. You'll kiss the Blarney Stone for good luck, see the Cliffs of Moher and cruise on the River Corrib. Travel through the Connemara Region, one of the most picturesque in all of Ireland, where Gaelic is still spoken, visit Derry and Belfast as well as the new Titanic exhibition, and enjoy the sites of Dublin, Ireland's lovely, intimate capital. Enjoy tourist class hotels, included sightseeing tours and more, all for an incredible discount price.
Take your time when traveling through Ireland. Although it's possible to drive the length of Ireland in less than a day and to traverse the width of the country in a few hours, we prefer to settle in and explore a particular region, whether on foot, on horseback or behind the wheel—mindful, of course, of wandering sheep on small back roads.
Dates, Prices & Options
Departure Dates & Prices
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
|Sun||May 15||2016||Sat||May 28||2016||$3149||$2849||Closed|
|Sun||May 29||2016||Sat||Jun 11||2016||$3149||$2849||Available|
|Sun||Jul 3||2016||Sat||Jul 16||2016||$3499||$3199||Available|
|Sun||Jul 17||2016||Sat||Jul 30||2016||$3499||$3199||Available|
|Sun||Jul 31||2016||Sat||Aug 13||2016||$3499||$3199||Available|
|Sun||Sep 4||2016||Sat||Sep 17||2016||$3149||$2849||Available|
|Sun||Oct 2||2016||Sat||Oct 15||2016||$3049||$2749||Available|
Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates, including extra hotel nights and separate airport transfers. Contact us about prices and availability.
Options, Excursions & Fees
|Best of Ireland|
|Single Room Supplement||+$699|
|Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle||+$60|
|Music & Dinner at a Pub||+$55|
|Gaelic Games Experience||+$40|
Flights & Departure Cities
|New York City (NYC)||included|
This package includes round-trip flights from the cities listed above. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.
Coming from somewhere else? Ask us about availability and prices for flights from other cities. Additional charges for flights from other cities are due within 24 hours of your reservation.
Note: NYC departures will be from either JFK or EWR based upon availability when you make your reservation. Your flight itinerary showing which airport that you are departing from will be emailed to you in 24-48 hours.
How to Make a Reservation
To make a reservation, simply select an available departure date and reserve online using our secure booking system. Or call us one of our travel specialists at 800-555-5765, Mon–Fri 9:30–6:00 Eastern time. But first, check out our Things to Know section.
We only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. This deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package, and is generally non-refundable (details). The balance is due 75 days prior to departure (or within 72 hours, if you're booking less than 75 days prior to departure), and can be paid by credit card, PayPal, check or money order.
Day 1: Depart USA. Depart USA. Your exciting trip to Ireland begins today as you depart for Dublin.
Day 2: Arrive Dublin. Upon arrival in Dublin, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Today is yours at leisure to discover Dublin independently. Make your way to one of its most famous sights and continue exploring the city at your own pace with an included hop-on, hop-off bus tour voucher (valid for 2 days), visiting a number of Dublin's sightseeing highlights. If by the end of the day the touring has left you feeling parched, stop by a traditional Irish pub for a complimentary pint of Guinness, courtesy of Friendly Planet. Accommodations: Academy Plaza Hotel or similar.
Day 3: Dublin. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel at your leisure. Take advantage of the hop-on, hop-off bus tour voucher again to uncover the wonders of this fair city. Dublin has it all, a charming mix of medieval, Georgian and modern architecture, a wealth of history, culture and literary tradition, wonderful shopping and dining. Dublin can trace its origins back over 1,000 years. From a small Viking settlement it has evolved into the vibrant capital city of Ireland. Later this evening, meet your fellow travellers, and enjoy dinner included at the hotel. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 4: Ireland's Midlands, Blarney Castle & Kerry. Today, you will board your touring coach, depart Ireland's capitol and travel to County Kerry. En route, stop in the town of Blarney for a visit to Blarney Castle. Dating from 1446, the castle is a tower house built on solid limestone. At the top of the Tower you will find the legendary Stone of Eloquence (Blarney Stone). Kiss it and you will never again be lost for words.
Enjoy some time for shopping at Blarney Woolen Mills. The existence of the Woolen Mills during the famine shielded Blarney from the worst effects of the great famine, due to its employment of local workers. The success story at the mills continued until a disastrous fire in 1869. By August 1871, the mill was once again operational with a labor force of over 200 and in 1976 Chris Kelleher, himself a mill worker, bought the old mill property. Within a short period of time Chris and his family transformed the mill into what is perhaps the largest quality craft shop in Ireland.
Continue through Ireland's Midlands to your hotel in the Kerry region. Accommodations: Randles Court Hotel or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 5: Ring of Kerry. Today you can enjoy a superb tour of the Iveragh Peninsula, which will give you the opportunity to discover the Ring of Kerry, taking in the spectacular scenery; mountains, peat bogs, lakes and magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean. Leaving Killarney, pass through Killorglin, famous for its Puck Fair and Glenbeigh, where the cliff road affords panoramic views of the Dingle Peninsula and Dingle Bay. Passing through the peat bogs, arrive at the sea town of Waterville. Continue to Sneem Village, famous because of its brightly colored houses. The road continues through the mountains to Molls Gap and Ladies View with superb views of the famous Lakes of Killarney.
Next, enjoy a ride through Killarney National Park by pony and trap, also known as a jaunting car, to discover areas of the park that you might not otherwise visit by foot. Relax aboard the jaunting car as your jarvey (driver) takes you through the magnificent scenery of Ireland's first National Park.
This evening enjoy dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants or pubs in Killarney town. Breakfast provided.
Day 6: Burren & the Cliffs of Moher. Travel northwards to Tarbert and take a short boat ride across the mouth of the river Shannon, landing on Clare's shore at Killimer. Travel along the coast to the Cliffs of Moher. The most majestic cliffs in Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher rise 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean and extend over four miles in length. On a clear day, you can admire the Aran Islands, the Connemara Mountains and the many sea birds that colonize this area to nest in the spring. Visit the Atlantic Edge Interpretive Center built into the natural landscape. The center is a huge domed cave that contains various exhibits showcasing the mighty Cliffs of Moher.
Later, enjoy a tour of the Burren Region, a strange and unique region in Europe. "Burren" means "large stones"; in fact, and its name describes this impressive scenery perfectly. Often described as lunar, the Burren is a high plateau of porous limestone situated in Northern Clare, between Ballyvaughan and Kilfenora. No trees grow here and no soil covers the stone, but the Burren is not deserted, as different types of flowers grow from the cracks all year round. The Burren Region is also historically rich, with many castles and monastic ruins. Continue to Limerick and check-in at your hotel. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure. Accommodations: George Hotel or similar. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle, $60. Take advantage of an optional Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle on the banks of the Raite River including transportation, entertainment, a four-course meal and wine.
Day 7: Galway & Lough Corrib. This morning travel to Galway. Upon arrival enjoy an orientation tour of the city. Galway City is a delight with its narrow streets, old stone and wooden shop fronts, good restaurants and busy pubs. The city has attracted many musicians and artists, which add so much to the character of the city.
Start at Galway's modern Cathedral, which was built between 1958 and 1965, and stands on the site of the old city jail. One of the largest and most impressive buildings in Galway City, its architecture draws on many influences. The dome and pillars reflect a Renaissance style, and other features, including the rose windows and mosaics, echo the broad tradition of Christian art. The Cathedral dome, at a height of 145 feet, is a prominent landmark on the city skyline. The exterior design may not be to everybody's taste, while the interior, with its high curved arches and central dome, has a simple but solid elegance.
Later, embark on the Corrib Princess and cruise the majestic River Corrib. The journey offers wonderful views of the historic monuments and scenery, which make this one of the most spectacular waterways in Ireland. While you cruise, enjoy an Irish coffee demonstration sampling this classic beverage and freshly made scones.
Continue to your hotel and enjoy the balance of the day at leisure. Later this evening enjoy dinner at the hotel. Accommodations: Clayton Hotel or similar. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 8: Connemara & Kylemore Abbey. Today, travel through the beautiful Connemara Region. Connemara is a land of lakes and rivers, bogs and mountains. In this area of small villages, Gaelic is still the spoken language and little has changed since the beginning of time. It is without a doubt the wildest and most romantic part of Ireland. Connemara is a vast peninsula bordered by the arid and rocky coastline of Galway Bay in the south, a land characteristic for its stone walls and thatched cottages. On its northern shore the land is harsher and more secret, with spectacular views of the Ocean, the fjord of Killary Harbour, as well as the steep mountains overlooking numerous lakes and large bog areas.
Enjoy some leisure time in the Connemara National Park, which encompasses 11 square miles from Letterfrack in the west to the peaks of the Twelve Bens Mountains. Stop at the visitors' center and learn about the park's unique landscape and wildlife.
Next, visit Kylemore Abbey in the Kylemore Pass in Connemara. Mitchell Henry built the house in 1868, after having spent his honeymoon in the area. The architecture is best described as neo-gothic and the house still displays all the characteristics of that period. One of Kylemore Abbey's most famous features is its miniature cathedral, built in 1870 and known locally as the Gothic church. Today, the Abbey is home to the Irish order of Benedictine nuns. They bought the house in 1920, having fled their convent in war-torn Belgium in 1914. Breakfast provided.
Day 8: Sligo, Carrowmore, & Donegal. Today, travel to Donegal via County Sligo. County Sligo's beautiful scenery was an inspiration for the Irish poet William Butler Yeats, who is buried at Drumcliffe Churchyard under loaf-shaped Benbulben Mountain. The lakes of Sligo, with their still waters and wooded islands are truly spectacular and form a striking contrast to the county's rugged uplands.
Visit Carrowmore Cemetery, the oldest Megalithic cemetery in Ireland, said to have had over 100 tombs, of which 60 still exist today. Each tomb is numbered and the central tomb has been restored, which enables visitors to see what the interior of a court tomb looked like when it was built over 5,000 years ago. Enjoy an in depth tour of this very ancient site, a must for visitors interested in archaeology.
En route to Donegal, stop at the Belleek Pottery factory. Belleek Pottery has been producing high quality Parian china since it was established in 1857. Visitors are invited to tour the factory and see first-hand how this world-renowned pottery is created. The visit commences with a short audio-visual demonstration, followed by a tour of the factory to see the pottery being removed from its molds, fired, and decorated by the artisans. The visit concludes at the factory's gift shop where visitors will have the opportunity to purchase souvenirs. Continue to Donegal for dinner and overnight. Accommodations: Jackson's Hotel or similar. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 10: Derry & Belfast. This morning, depart Donegal for Derry (or Londonderry), the second largest city and port of Northern Ireland. Upon arrival, enjoy a walking tour of the walled city founded in the 6th century by St. Columba. Selected as a major plantation project in 1613, and organized by the London Livery companies, it acquired the prefix London. In the same year, the walls of Derry were built to protect the town from the Gaelic chieftains in Donegal. A walk on the walls is a must on any visit to Derry as they are among the best-preserved fortifications in Europe. They are nearly 30 feet thick in some areas and rise to a height of 25 feet. Today, these walls separate two communities, the Bogside, a Catholic ghetto with its famous murals, and the Waterside, a Protestant enclave.
This afternoon, travel along the Antrim coast to Belfast visiting the Giant's Causeway en route. The Causeway was formed more than 60 million years ago when red-hot lava erupted onto the surface of the earth. It was quickly cooled by the sea, which crystallized and formed it into the 40,000 basalt polygonal columns that today form the Giant's Causeway. Legend tells a different story as to how this unique place was built by the mythical giant Finn McCool. Continue to Belfast. Accommodations: Europa Hotel or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 11: Belfast. After breakfast, enjoy a panoramic tour of Belfast City to see some of Belfast's greatest landmarks, including the leaning Albert Memorial Clock Tower, Opera House, City Hall, Crown Bar, Queens University, and Botanic Gardens. Also see some of the many murals on the Shankill and Falls Roads for an indication of how life was in Belfast during the "troubles" between the unionists and nationalists.
Visit the new Titanic Belfast Experience located in the heart of the city, which recreates the story of the world's most famous ship in a new iconic, six-floor building right beside the historic site of the original ship's construction. Opened in April 2012 to coincide with the centenary of its launch, the self-guided journey begins upon entering the building's giant atrium, where visitors are surrounded by the four massive walls which house the Titanic Experience. As you journey through the nine large galleries of the interactive exhibition, you will uncover the true story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her infamous maiden voyage. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in Belfast City for independent exploration. Breakfast provided.
Day 12: Strangford Lough, Castletown House & Dublin. This morning, enjoy a tour of the Ards Peninsula in County Down, Northern Ireland which separates Strangford Lough from the North Channel on Ireland's northeast coast. A number of towns and villages are located on the peninsula, such as the seaside town of Donaghadee, with the surrounding area known as the Ards district. Newtownards, situated inland from the peninsula, is the largest town in the area.
Next, take the ferry from Portaferry to Strangford. Visit Castletown House, Ireland's largest and earliest Palladian style house. The house was built between 1722 and 1729 for William Conolly, speaker of the Irish House of Commons and the wealthiest commoner in Ireland.
Continue to Dublin for overnight.
Accommodations: Gresham Hotel or similar. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Music & Dinner at a Pub , $55. Take advantage of an optional evening of festive entertainment at a local pub including a 3-course dinner, live music and transportation. (Price excludes beverages.)
Day 13: Dublin. This morning, set out on a panoramic tour to discover Dublin's Fair City. The north side of the River Liffey offers striking monuments such as the General Post Office (GPO) on the city's main thoroughfare, O'Connell Street, the Custom House along the quays, as well as Phoenix Park, one of the largest public parks in Europe. The south side appears more sophisticated with its vast Georgian squares, such as Merrion Square where Oscar Wilde's House can still be found, its colorful doors, along with Grafton Street and its quality shops. Not so far from St. Stephen's Green, in Kildare Street, you can see the house of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula. Visit Trinity College, the oldest University in Ireland, founded in 1592 by Elizabeth I. Within its walls, you will be able to admire Parliament Square and its 18th Century edifices. The visit of the ancient library, containing over twenty thousand manuscripts, is often surprising by its splendor. The 9th Century Book of Kells, famous for its precious illuminations, is exhibited in these premises as well.
The tour concludes with a visit to Christ Church Cathedral. King Sitric Silkenbeard built Dublin's first wooden church on this site in 1038. The Anglo-Norman Richard de Clare (Strongbow) built the current building in 1172. Ravaged by time, it was almost fully restored towards the end of the 19th Century. Christ Church possesses a crypt, which stretches nearly its entire length and much of the Cathedral's memorabilia is displayed here. Attached to the Cathedral is the Synod House, which houses Dublinia, an excellent exhibition of medieval Dublin.
Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure for some personal sightseeing, or some last minute shopping. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Gaelic Games Experience, $40. At Experience Gaelic Games, visitors are offered the opportunity to engage with the truly fantastic side of Irish Culture and everyday life. Learn more about, and then play, the unique Irish games of Hurling, Gaelic Football and Handball. (Requires a minimum of 10 passengers.)
Day 14: Dublin/USA. After a final Irish breakfast, bid farewell to Ireland as your journey comes to an end. Transfer to the airport for your return flight. You will arrive in New York later today. Breakfast provided. Passengers departing on an early morning flight will be provided with a boxed breakfast.
Loved experiencing the land of Ireland and its people. A great taste. Food was good, hotels were great, bus was roomy and comfortable. The tours were well planned and truly a taste of Ireland. There was so much done...that we could not have managed on our own.
Things to Know
- Do I need a visa or any other documents? Please review the requirements about which documents you need before you travel.
- Should I get travel insurance? Protect your travel investment with our comprehensive policies.
- What's the fine print? Read the terms & conditions for this package.
- I'm traveling solo. Can you help me find a roommate? Yes, you can connect with other travelers to share a room and avoid single occupancy rates.
- Can I bring my kids? Are there any age restrictions? To book this package, you must be 18 or older. Your traveling companions must be 8 or older at the time of travel.
- Tips about traveling in Ireland? Check our Fast Facts to learn about the best time to travel, what to wear, what to buy, currency conversion, tipping, weather, voltage & plugs, immunizations you should get, and more.
More Common Questions
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- Baggage Allowance On this program you are permitted one carry-on bag per person and one piece of checked luggage not to exceed 44lbs. The carry on must not exceed 18" x 10" x 8" so that it fits under your seat or in the overhead compartment.