Ireland has a bigger number of fantasies and legends than you’d set out to accept. It has more stunning coastlines and superb mountains than your camera could catch. What’s more, there are sufficient exuberant bars to fulfill even the most committed of partygoers.
Departing Dublin you head north to Belfast.
Sightseeing at Belfast
A city famed for its industrial heritage and turbulent past. You take a short city tour which covers the capital’s triumphs, tragedies and soul.
Sightseeing at Titanic Quarter
You then have time for lunch and exploring in the Titanic Quarter, a regenerated hub where the famous liner was built and launched in 1911. Here you can visit the award winning Titanic museum, board the HMS Caroline or take a black cab tour of the city.
Sightseeing at Giant’s Causeway
Leaving bustling Belfast behind, you travel through the phenomenal scenery of the Antrim Coast and Glens, an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Moving along the winding roads from Ballycastle, you enter the awe inspiring setting of the Giant’s Causeway, a place where history and myth collide spectacularly with raw geological power. Waving farewell to the giant’s steps.
You head to Portrush, a charming fishing village and your home for the night.
Sightseeing at Londonderry
You head to Derry, the fabulous 17th-century walled city that boasts seven ornate gates. Derry was designated as UK City of Culture in 2013, and you get time to explore its museums, galleries and excellent markets.
Sightseeing at Glenveagh National Park
From here, you head to County Donegal, which boasts stunning scenery and a strong Gaelic heritage. You then head into the picturesque Glenveagh National Park and past the soaring peak of Mount Errigal.
Local Flavor (Fishing Village)
Traveling through the traditional fishing villages of the area. Along the way there will be plenty time for walks, photos and soaking up the local culture.
Arriving at your overnight stop in Donegal.
In the morning, you pass south along the coast near Donegal and into County Sligo. This area is home to the burial site of famed poet WB Yeats, and dramatic views of the gorgeous mountain, Benbulben.
Sightseeing at Sligo
Outside Sligo Town lies Carrowmore, where you have the chance to visit the largest collection of megalithic tombs in Ireland, some of which date back over 6000 years.
Moving westwards, you enter County Mayo, an area ravaged by the Great Potato Famine. Winding roads curve through the picturesque farmlands, bogs and open moors, offering views of distant hills and the Atlantic coast.
Sightseeing at Achill Island
You’ll visit the dramatic Achill Island. Here you have time to savour the rugged sea and peaceful beauty.
From here it is a short drive to Westport – your base for the next two nights.
Sightseeing at Cong Abbey
Galway lies on the edge of Connemara, the area you are exploring today. Alternatively, you can visit the magnificently restored 12th century Cong Abbey.
Sightseeing at Cong
From here, you continue through the heart of Connemara for a visit to the beautiful house and grounds at Kylemore Abbey, where the grand structures and magnificent man-made gardens are a treat for the eye and soul.
Sightseeing at Connemara National Park
Your journey then continues to Connemara National Park, where abundant wildlife resides amongst the ancient tombs and intimate woodland paths. You will view the truly magnificent Diamond Hill, a 500m peak that rivals any summit in Europe, and then on to Clifden, famous home of the first transatlantic flight landing.
Here you enjoy the unbroken and infinite majesty of the Sky Road, as well as the sharp peaks of the Twelve Bens of Connemara. This distinctive mountain range offers an excellent photo opportunity.
You head down and back for the night to your cosy residence in Westport.
Travelling inland through the Maam Valley to the village of Cong, you come upon the shore of Lough Corrib. Famously the setting for the film classic “The Quiet man”, you are free to tread the halls of the excellent local museum devoted to the movie.
You will be dropped off at your accommodation in Galway before the first tour returns to Dublin. The afternoon and evening are free to explore this lively university city. You will be collected from your accommodation the following morning by your new tour driver-guide.
Sightseeing at The Burren National Park
A short drive along the coast from Galway City lies the Burren, one of Ireland’s national treasures. It’s home to one of the earliest Christian settlements in Ireland and broad limestone pavements and rare flora.
Local Flavor (Village Tour) at Kilfenora
After time to explore the area, you travel to Kilfenora, the “town of the crosses”. You can visit the town’s fabulous ancient cathedral before we stop for lunch in one of the area’s charming villages.
Nature Walks at Cliffs of Moher
You then head to the incredible Cliffs of Moher. Walk the stunning cliff trails as seabirds swoop through the clear air above you. And learn about the unique ecosystem in the excellent and award winning environmental exhibition nearby.
Sightseeing at Killarney
The tour then moves south through County Clare, passing its famous golf course on the way to the picturesque beach at Lahinch. From here you board a ferry across the Shannon Estuary to the lakeside town of Killarney.
This energetic, charming area will be your base for the next three nights, so take your time sampling the superb collection of traditional pubs and live music.
Sightseeing at Dingle Bay
Today, your tour explores the fabulous Dingle Peninsula. Your first stop is Inch Beach, a vast expanse of sand stretching out into the Atlantic. Venturing down the narrow roads away from the beach leads you through the town of Dingle.
Sightseeing at Slea Head
You continue towards Slea Head, an area loaded with ancient forts and prehistoric dwellings. The impressive views of the nearby Blasket Islands make this an excellent spot for panoramic photos. If the weather is pleasant, you can ramble along the beaches and cliff tops to fully appreciate the incredible vistas.
Arriving back amidst the brightly coloured houses and jolly harbour of Dingle, you can spend the remainder of the afternoon enjoying delicious seafood in this idyllic setting.
In the evening, you head back to Killarney, with time for an evening stroll in the National Park that envelops the town.
Sightseeing at Carrauntoohil
You head out in the morning, stopping first at Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil. After snapping some shots of its rugged majesty, you join the scenic coast road through Glenbeigh and Kells on the way to Cahersiveen. Possible stops include the site of “The Liberator of Ireland” Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace and an impressive ring fort outside Portmagee.
Local Flavor (Fishing Village) at Portmagee
You stop for lunch in the quaint fishing village of Portmagee. Alternatively, you can have a quick snack and head to the island of Valentia for a visit to the Skellig Experience. This excursion teaches you about the ancient community of monks who made the outcrop of rocky islands their home.
Sightseeing at Waterville
In the afternoon, there’s a photo stop in Charlie Chaplin’s “home away from home” at Waterville, before enjoying fine views at the top of Coonmakista pass.
Sightseeing at Derrynane House
Winding down from the peaks, you head to Derrynane House, home of the family O’Driscoll. Daniel O’Driscoll holds a special place in Irish hearts, as an emancipating force from colonial rule. Enjoy a walk in the scenic gardens here, as well as a visit to the main house.
Sightseeing at Torc Waterfall
Continuing along the Ring, you stop at Moll’s Gap and the Ladies View. Stroll a short way from here to the Torc Waterfall before heading back to Killarney.
Overnight in Killarney.
Sightseeing at Blarney Castle
Heading east through the mountains of West Cork, you weave along the Lee Valley until you reach Blarney Castle. You have time here to take in the castle grounds, and maybe kiss the famous Blarney Stone and receive the “gift of the gab”!
Local Flavor (Village Tour) at Kinsale
In the afternoon, you change driver-guide and pass along the beautiful coastline south of Cork before arriving in Kinsale. This charming little fishing village is your overnight stop, so you can take in the delights of the “gourmet capital of Ireland”, with its first rate local restaurants and lively pubs. Savour your free evening whilst exploring the narrow streets and brightly coloured houses around your accommodation.
Overnight in Kinsale.
Sightseeing at Cobh
Leaving Kinsale in the morning, you make your way to the historic port town of Cobh. The major departure point for Irish emigration for the 19th and 20th centuries, this was the last port of call for the Titanic on its infamous maiden voyage. After unearthing the stories from Ireland’s past, you head east along the Copper Coast, a Unesco Geopark famed for its beauty and intricate histories.
Sightseeing at Waterford
You continue until you reach Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, founded by Vikings in the 9th century. Survey the wondrous craftsmanship at the Waterford Crystal factory, explore the selection of fine museums or wander the ‘Viking Triangle’ on foot.
In the late afternoon, you travel north away from Waterford and over to Kilkenny, a vibrant city with an impressive castle and parklands where you stay for the evening. WIth riverside trails, the National Craft Centre and a thriving pub and restaurant culture, you are certain to see why it was voted Ireland’s friendliest city!
Sightseeing at Kilkenny Castle
In the morning, you have free time in Kilkenny and its superb castle. Match the calm pace of life in the charming town centre and its fine craft centres.
Sightseeing at Wicklow Mountains National Park
You then head north into the Wicklow Mountains, where the National Park will impress you with its steep granite mountains and captivating green paths.
Sightseeing at Glendalough
The famous valleys open up before you, carved by ancient glaciers. You follow winding paths that lead to Glendalough, site of an awe-inspiring 6th century monastery at the heart of the park’s woodland trails. This offers a perfect opportunity for photography, from the verdant natural setting to the much admired round tower of the monastery.
After this, you head through the centre of the National Park to cross the famous Sally Gap, before descending the short distance to Dublin.