Best of Ireland
Tour both Ireland & Northern Ireland: Dublin, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Limerick, Killarney, Connemara, Galway, Lough Corrib Cruise & Belfast
|Style||Value VacationTravel in larger groups than our Small Group tours, but at fantastic value prices. These group tour packages are operated by our carefully selected partners and may be shared with other English speaking passengers ensuring guaranteed departures. More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departures||Group Size||29 travelers max|
|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. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.|
|Already booked?||Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.|
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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.
- Round-trip flights from New York (JFK) or Newark (EWR) to Dublin, including taxes & fees
- All ground transportation and transfers
- Accommodations in Tourist Class hotels
- 15 Meals: 12 breakfasts & 3 dinners
- Comprehensive touring program including entrance fees
- Professional, English-speaking driver/guide
- Jaunting Car Ride in Killarney National Park
- Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle
- Music & Dinner at a Pub
- Guinness Storehouse
Why you'll love it
- Kiss the Blarney Stone and be endowed with the gift of gab.
- Photograph the Ring of Kerry's towering mountains, serene lakes, and sandy beaches.
- Marvel at the majestic Cliffs of Moher, rising 700 feet over the Atlantic Ocean and extending for miles.
- Cruise the River Corrib and learn how to make authentic Irish coffee.
- Admire the Neo-Gothic architecture of Kylemore Abbey, now home to Benedictine nuns who fled war-torn Belgium in 1914.
- Trek across the Burren Region, a high plateau of glaciated karst where various types of flowers bloom in its cracks.
- Learn how the world-renowned Parian china is produced at the Belleek Pottery factory.
- Explore Giant's Causeway, a magical place that some say was built by the mythical giant Finn McCool.
- Uncover the true story of the Titanic at the interactive Titanic Belfast Experience.
Itinerary at a Glance
- 1 Depart USA/Overnight Flight
- 2 Dublin
- 3 Ireland's Midlands, Blarney Castle & Kerry
- 4 Ring of Kerry
- Optional Excursion: Jaunting Car Ride in Killarney National Park, $17
- 5 Burren & the Cliffs of Moher
- Optional Excursion: Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle, $77
- 6 Galway & Lough Corrib
- 7 Connemara & Kylemore Abbey
- 8 Sligo, Derry, and Donegal
- 9 Giant's Causeway & Belfast
- 10 Belfast
- 11 Slane Distillery & Dublin
- Optional Excursion: Music & Dinner at a Pub, $77
- 12 Dublin
- Optional Excursion: Guinness Storehouse, $23
- 13 Dublin
- 14 Dublin/USA
Day 1 Depart USA/Overnight Flight
- Depart the USA on your overnight flight for Dublin
Day 2 Dublin
- Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel
- Balance of the day at leisure
- Meet your fellow travelers for an included dinner at your hotelFull Day Itinerary
Upon arrival in Dublin, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Most flights arrive early in the morning, but your hotel will allow you to safely store your luggage while you explore the city on your own. Today is yours at leisure to discover Dublin independently, or relax at your hotel. This evening, join your fellow travelers for dinner at your hotel.
Day 3 Ireland's Midlands, Blarney Castle & Kerry
- Visit Blarney Castle and kiss the Blarney Stone
- Time for shopping at Blarney Woolen Mills
Randles Hotel Killarney or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
Today, you will board your touring coach, depart Ireland's capital 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.
Day 4 Ring of Kerry
- Tour the Iveragh Peninsula
- Admire a sheepdog demonstration at a local farm
Randles Hotel Killarney or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
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 Moll's Gap and Ladies View with superb views of the famous Lakes of Killarney.
Along the Ring of Kerry, stop at a local farm for a sheepdog demonstration. Your visit will start with an overview of the different breeds of sheep, followed by an introduction to the farmer's most important tools, his border collies. Next, you will see a superb demonstration of sheep herding as the farmer with his dogs demonstrate how, by working together, they can take a flock of sheep from the mountain top to the sheep pen close to the farmyard.
This evening enjoy dinner on your own in one of the many restaurants or pubs in Killarney town.Optional Excursion: Jaunting Car Ride in Killarney National Park, $17
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.
Day 5 Burren & the Cliffs of Moher
- Take a short ferry ride across the mouth of the river Shannon
- Explore the Cliffs of Moher and the Atlantic Edge Interpretive Center
- Tour the Burren Region
George Hotel BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
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 place to nest in 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", an apt description for this impressive scenery. 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 into your hotel. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure.Optional Excursion: Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle, $77
Day 6 Galway & Lough Corrib
- Enjoy an orientation tour of Galway
- Visit Galway Cathedral
- Embark the Corrib Princess and cruise the River Corrib and experience an Irish coffee demonstration
Clayton Hotel or similar Breakfast & dinnerFull Day Itinerary
This morning, travel to Galway, a delightful city of narrow streets, old stone and wooden shopfronts, good restaurants and busy pubs. The city has attracted a bohemian crowd of musicians and artists, who add much to its character.
Upon arrival enjoy an orientation tour of the city. Start at the Galway Cathedral, built between 1958 and 1965 on the site of the old city jail. One of the largest and most impressive buildings in the 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 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 along, 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.
Day 7 Connemara & Kylemore Abbey
- Visit Connemara National Park
- Explore Kylemore Abbey
- Learn about traditional Irish musical instruments
Clayton Hotel or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
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 the 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.
Learn about the traditional craft of Irish musical instruments by visiting a bodhrán maker in Roundstone, in the heart of Connemara. It is here that you will find the workshop of Malachy Kearns, better known as Malachy Bodhrán. Malachy crafts these traditional Irish percussion instruments for the world famous Riverdance troupe, and he is currently the only full-time bodhrán maker in Ireland.
Day 8 Sligo, Derry, and Donegal
- Stop at the Belleek Pottery factory
- Enjoy a walking tour of Derry (or Londonderry)Full Day Itinerary
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.
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.
Visit 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.
Continue to Donegal for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 Giant's Causeway & Belfast
- Visit Giant's Causeway
- Stop at the Dark Hedges
Europa Hotel or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
This morning, depart Donegal, and 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.
Next stop at the Dark Hedges. This beautiful avenue of beech trees was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century. It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House. Two centuries later, the trees remain a magnificent sight and have become one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland. In fact, the iconic trees have been used as a filming location in HBO's epic series Game of Thrones, representing the Kingsroad. Continue to Belfast.
Day 10 Belfast
- Take a panoramic tour of Belfast City
- Visit the Titanic Belfast Experience
- Balance of the day at leisure
Europa Hotel or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
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.
Day 11 Slane Distillery & Dublin
- Learn about Irish whiskey making at Slane DistilleryFull Day Itinerary
This morning depart Belfast and travel to Dublin. En route visit Slane Distillery. There could be no finer setting in which to discover the nature of whiskey than Ireland’s mythical Boyne Valley. Housed within the 250-year-old stables of the iconic Slane Castle Estate, the guided distillery tour uncovers a history like no other. The new, state of the art working distillery pays homage to the resilient nature of Ireland's heritage and the surrounding lands.
Take a trip back in time as storytellers guide you through the fabric of the Conyngham family tapestry, chapter by chapter, and immerse you into the wonderful world of whiskey. Discover the ancient art of Irish whiskey making. Explore the whiskey distillery where three different types of Irish whiskey are made: Malt, Grain and Pot Still. Learn about the process behind the triple casked blend, the craftsmanship that goes into each of the three casks and the flavors and aromas that each cask contributes to the whiskey’s smooth yet full bodied character. Complete the interactive, immersive tour with a tutored whiskey tasting that allows you to assess this character for yourself by enjoying a sample of the signature triple casked blend,
Continue on to Dublin for overnight.Optional Excursion: Music & Dinner at a Pub, $77
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 12 Dublin
- Set out on a panoramic tour of Dublin
- Visit EPIC The Irish Emigration MuseumFull Day Itinerary
This morning, set out on a panoramic tour to discover the fair city of Dublin. 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 EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. This is a state-of-the-art interactive experience located in the beautiful vaults of the 1820 Custom House Quarter building in Dublin’s Docklands, the original departure point for so many of Ireland’s emigrants. It will inspire and guide you on a journey to discover the stories of Irish emigration around the world, from early times to the modern day.
Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure for some personal sightseeing, or some last minute shopping.Optional Excursion: Guinness Storehouse, $23
The Guinness Brewery in Dublin is Europe’s largest stout producing brewery and home to the Guinness Storehouse. Opened in 1904, the Storehouse was an operational plant for fermenting and storing Guinness. Today it houses a very fine exhibition dedicated to the Guinness story. Visitors will discover what goes into the making a pint of Guinness - the ingredients, the brewing process, the time, the craft and the passion. The exhibition shows how the brew has been marketed and how it is today sold in over 150 countries. Once the tour has finished, the guest is invited to the Gravity Bar to enjoy their pint of Guinness.
Day 13 Dublin
- Full day at leisureFull Day Itinerary
After enjoying a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, explore 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, visiting a number of Dublin's sightseeing highlights. If by the end of the day touring has left you feeling parched, stop by a traditional Irish pub for a complimentary pint of Guinness, courtesy of Friendly Planet.
Day 14 Dublin/USA
- Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA
Located in the heart of Dublin, in a historic building close to places of interest like Trinity College and Temple Bar, the Hotel Riu Plaza The Gresham is an ideal base for any exploration of the Irish capital. The hotel features a 24-hour fitness center.
The Academy Plaza Hotel is located in the center of historic Dublin. This modern seven-story hotel is just a short walk from shopping, Temple Bar, Trinity College, St. Stephen's Green, galleries and other famous city sights.
The 4 star Ashling Hotel Dublin is an International Award Winning property located near Heuston Station, Dublin Zoo, Kilmainham Gaol, Collins Barracks and on the Luas red line. The hotel is also only a short stroll away from St. James’s Gate, making it the perfect choice for Guinness Storehouse Hotels.The property incorporates 225 beautifully appointed bedrooms, Chesterfields restaurant and the stylish Iveagh Bar. The combination of friendly, professional staff, spacious rooms and a warm, welcoming atmosphere make this your choice in Dublin.
With panoramic views of the Kerry Mountains, the Randles Hotel Killarney is ideally situated just a few minutes' walk from Killarney town center. Famous for its Irish hospitality, guests will enjoy the comfort and elegance of an era long since passed complemented by the most modern of facilities.For a bit of relaxation, a visit to the Zen Day Spa is an absolute must. Featuring Aurora Organic products, it is the ultimate spa experience. Visit the Club Slante Leisure Center for an invigorating dip in the pool or relax in the steam room or sauna.
The George Hotel is conveniently located in Limerick city center, close to shopping and entertainment. The George Hotel boasts an eclectic mix of contemporary style and comfort in a premier central location.
The Clayton Hotel is conveniently located minutes from the center of Galway city, Galway Airport, and all major routes. Ideal for both weekend getaways and business events, it is the perfect base for exploring the local charm of Galway city. The Clayton Hotel caters to any traveler's needs and provides a warm welcome accompanied by friendly professional service. The Leisure Centre at the Clayton Hotel offers a range of complimentary facilities for guests of the hotel. Enjoy a swim in the 20-meter swimming pool, relax and unwind in the sauna or keep on top of your fitness regime while you’re away from home with the fully equipped fitness suite.
Located on the banks of the River Finn and Drumboe Woods, Jackson's Hotel & Leisure Centre is only a 25-minute drive from Donegal town. Jackson's Hotel has been a popular destination for family holidays in Ireland for more than 70 years. Our friendly staff, superb leisure facilities and a great location will have you returning time and time again.
Situated just outside of Letterkenny, the Clanree Hotel & Leisure Centre provides a comfortable base for exploring the Northwest of Ireland, and beautiful County Donegal. The hotel is perfectly located within a short distance of stunning coastal drives, beaches and signature discovery points of the famous Wild Atlantic Way. The health and fitness club includes an indoor heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, solarium and gym. The hotel also has an in-house beauty salon that offers a full range of treatments.
The Europa Hotel is built on the site of the old Great Northern Railway Station. It is conveniently located in the middle of Belfast’s “Golden Mile”, in the heart of the city. The Grand Opera House, historic Crown Bar, and the National Trust’s only public house property are just across the road. Several shops and award-winning restaurants, high-end entertainment and the business district are all within walking distance.
In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.
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- What should I know before I go? We've compiled a comprehensive checklist, including information on how to pay your balance due, flights & transfers, packing & luggage, and more.
- Do I need a visa or other documents? Are there any entry requirements? Please review the visa & entry requirements.
- Can I make changes to my trip? Want to upgrade your seats? Depart from another city? Stay a few extra days? Something else? Just ask!
- 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 time of travel.
- Should I purchase travel insurance? Yes! We recommend you purchase travel insurance to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. For your convenience, we offer a plan provided by Travelex Insurance Services.
- What's the fine print? Review the terms & conditions for this package.
- What should I know about Ireland? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
- What should I know about Northern Ireland? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
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