Southern Ireland Discovery
7 day tour

  • Cliffs of Moher tours
  • Clonmacnoise
  • Kilkenny Castle
  • Blarney Castle

Get to the heart and soul of Ireland on this seven day tour of the country's past and present.

Tour map

Highlights

Ferry
Distilleries
Gaelic Culture
Cathedrals
Walks
Waterfalls
Mountains
Abbeys

Places you'll explore


Clonmacnoise - A 1500 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.

Locke’s 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.


Your journey


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.


Tour Details

Departs
09.00 - Opposite the Kilkenny Shop, Nassau St, Dublin
Returns
18.30
Discounts

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • One 15 kilogram bag per person
Tour inclusions
  • All ferry and bridge crossings
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of a Rabbie's driver-guide
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • Tour accommodation

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Savour the sights and tastes of the oldest licensed distillery on Earth at Locke’s Distillery
  • Revere the magnificent 1,500 year old abbey of Clonmacnoise
  • Delve into the hubbub of Galway City’s bustling bars and lively restaurants

Leaving Dublin, you head west through the farmlands and peat bogs of County Kildare and Offaly. Locke’s 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.

Day 2

  • Roam the Burren, home to some of Ireland’s most profound spiritual and natural experiences
  • Marvel at the steep Cliffs of Moher and the stunning 700ft drop into the waves of the Atlantic Ocean
  • Relax with traditional Irish music in the atmospheric pubs and bars of Killarney

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.

Day 3

  • Traverse the Dingle Peninsula, famous for its scenery and Gaelic culture
  • Wander ancient forts and religious sites of the past at Slea Head
  • Stroll the beautiful length of Inch Beach on your way to Dingle

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.

Day 4

  • Tour the world renowned Ring of Kerry, hailed globally for its incredible scenery and cultural heritage

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).

Day 5

  • Kiss the famed Blarney Stone within the walls of the medieval stronghold of Blarney Castle
  • Explore Kilkenny Castle and its impressive craft centres

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”!

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.

On tours departing after March 2018, you also visit the Jameson Whiskey Distillery.

Day 6

  • See where the Titanic made its last fateful port of call before its ill-fated maiden voyage
  • Follow the rugged “Copper Coast” to Waterford, Ireland’s most ancient city
  • Discover Ireland’s Viking heritage or marvel at the exquisite craftsmanship at the famous Waterford Crystal factory

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!

Day 7

  • Roam Kilkenny Castle and its impressive craft centres
  • Traverse the Wicklow Mountains and the majestic national park, known as “the Garden of Ireland”
  • Witness the ancient structures at Glendalough, from the distinct high crosses to the 6th century monastic site

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.

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Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay one night in Galway, three nights in Killarney, one night in Kinsale and one night in Kilkenny.


How does the accommodation work?

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.


I want Rabbie’s to book my accommodation, what happens now?

Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts. You’ll pay your accommodation directly. Most don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.


What if I want to change my accommodation booking with Rabbie’s?

Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. A minimum amendment charge of £5.00 will apply.


I booked my own accommodation is there anything I need to do?

You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in.You can find a selection of hotels at hotels.rabbies.com.


Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central.


What if I cancel my tour at short notice?

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.


What are the accommodation types and what do they cost?

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 between €30.00 - €65.00 per night.



B&B En/suite

The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The expected cost for a room, based on two people sharing, will be between €40.00 – €50.00 per person per night.

The expected cost for a single room will be between €45 - €60 per night.


Hotels

Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The expected cost of Hotel is between €55 - €65 per person per night.


Hostels

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 is between €20 - €25 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).


I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, you can read our FAQs, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email rooms@rabbies.com.


FAQs

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

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.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

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.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.

What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of three days for our one day tours, and 21 days for longer 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.

What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

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.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

Do you take children on your tours?

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.

How much time do I get off the bus?

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.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

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.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

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.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

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.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance. You can click here for excellent rates.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com, or check out our full FAQs.

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or less

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Internationally recognised for our award winning experiences

Meet our guides

Meet more guides

Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 Green Tourism Award

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