Get to the heart and soul of Ireland on this seven day tour of the country's past and present.
Clonmacnoise - A 1,500 year old abbey and the spirit of its ancient spirituality pervades this area. You’ll see to the heart of Ireland’s Golden Age of learning.
Kilbeggan Distillery - Learn the fascinating stories of the Locke family and enjoy a tipple of their finest whisky whilst you’re at it. The oldest licensed distillery on Earth has something for history buffs, whisky connoisseurs and thirsty amateurs!
Blarney Castle - Kiss the famed Blarney Stone amidst the walls of this impressive medieval stronghold.
Kinsale - Dive into the vibrant colours of this historic port town, where so much is a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds.
Cobh and the Titanic - Delve into the mystery and history of this coastal town, the last port of call for Irish emigrants on the famous ship’s ill fated maiden voyage.
Waterford - Set forth for tales of conquest and pillage in Ireland’s oldest city, founded by 9th century Vikings!
Kilkenny Castle - Survey the dominant and unmistakeable three walled castle whilst roaming its splendid grounds.
Wicklow Mountains - Soar to Ireland’s most impressive peaks then dive into its profound valleys, all carved by ancient glaciers.
Glendalough - Be awed by the “Valley of the Lakes”. Wander its wildly beautiful trails or explore the renowned monastery with its rounded tower.
Cliffs of Moher - Behold an awe-inspiring 700ft drop into the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
Dingle Peninsula - Glorious beaches merge with traditional Irish scenery in this land of Gaelic mystery and towering forts.
The Burren - This national park is home to some of Ireland’s most profound spiritual and natural culture.
Fast fiddles, flowing flutes, and foot-tapping beats: Ireland’s traditional music is undeniably distinctive.
And as you travel through the island you can’t help but relate the unique music to the remarkable landscapes and stories.
So, on this tour we let you discover the Ireland that inspired the music. You’ll immerse yourself in the tuneful tales of Blarney Castle, the melodious flavours of Locke’s Distillery, and the lyrical legends of the wonderful people of Ireland.
You’ll return home with a head full of delightful sights, fascinating stories, and majestic melodies.
Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)
Leaving Dublin, you head west through the farmlands and peat bogs of County Kildare and Offaly. Kilbeggan Distillery is your first stop, and here you have time to relax with a glass of their famed whiskey.
After a drink (or two!), you head to the banks of the mighty River Shannon and the ruined abbey at Clonmacnoise. Home to a large collection of stone crosses, ancient churches and inimitable round towers, this holy site offers an insightful glimpse into Ireland’s spiritual past.
You then lunch at a traditional pub in one of the area’s pretty villages before travelling to Galway City, your home for the first night. It’s a city with a lively atmosphere and excellent restaurants and bars.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 encapsulates the town.
Today, you explore the Ring of Kerry, a spectacular route through some of Ireland’s most visually spectacular areas.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. (On some tours, days three and four are switched).
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”!
After this, you visit the Jameson Whiskey Distillery. Here you have a chance to learn the history, find out how the drink is made, and taste a little yourself.
In the afternoon, you change tour guides 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.
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.
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!
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. You then head north into the Wicklow Mountains, where the National Park will impress you with its steep granite mountains and captivating green paths. 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 back to Dublin.
You stay one night in Galway*, three nights in Killarney, one night in Kinsale and one night in Kilkenny.
*Please note there are limited hotel options in Galway and the prices are above average in peak season. Additionally, if you book on the weekend, accommodation may be limited to Hotels or other expensive options.
Your tour excludes accommodation; but when you book, you can ask us to reserve local accommodation for you, or you can choose to reserve your own accommodation in the overnight locations.
Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts.
We'll reserve your room(s) with one of our preferred accommodation suppliers and you'll pay them directly when you check-in. Most accommodation hosts don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.
You won't be able to choose which Hotel/B&B you stay in, but we will confirm the named property and exact prices on your first day of tour. If it's important for you to know where you're going to be staying in advance, or if you want to stay in a specific Hotel/B&B, we recommend that you select the option to book your own accommodation.
Plans can change, so we let you alter your accommodation choices for free within the first 48 hours of booking. After this time, amendments aren't guaranteed and carry a surcharge. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central.
If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation. And occasionally you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.
We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre. We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard. The prices below are for guidance only.
B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard
The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other room in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is €35 - €42.50 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single standard room is €50 - €65 per night.
B&B En suite
The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The cost is €45 - €60 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single en suite is €65 - €80 per night.
Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price.
Hotel 3 star - €75 - €120* per person per night based on shared accommodation.
Please note, we're unable to book hostels for this tour at the moment. You may still be able to book hostel accommodation yourself if you choose to the option to book your own accommodation for your tour.
A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. The bathroom facilities are a short distance from the dorm room. Kitchen facilities are equipped so you can make your own meals. The cost based on dorm beds is £19 - £30 per person per night.
Please note that SYHA hostels only offer same gender dorms. Some independent hostels will offer mixed rooms (males and females together).
The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.
We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.
Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.
If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.
We have a cancellation period of 48 hours for our one day tours, 15 days for two to nine day tours, and 21 days for 10+ day tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.
Your tour will always follow the itinerary as closely as possible. While there are ongoing coronavirus restrictions throughout the UK and Ireland, itineraries are more likely to change than usual as opening hours and capacities at many visitor attractions are reduced and subject to change. Your driver-guide will keep you up to up to date on the road, and we'll try to get in touch about any large changes prior to your departure.
Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.
Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.
We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.
We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.
You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.
We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.
We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.
You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.
Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.
We advise you take out travel insurance.
You're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.
Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer
You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back
Guaranteed departures: We’ll never cancel your tour because of minimum numbers
Our eco-friendly tours support local communities