Encounter folklore and fairy tales as you explore Ireland's breathtaking coastline and ancient cities.

Keep an eye out for elves and fairies as you journey over the green plains of Ireland. Visit medieval castles and ancient sites filled with folklore and whimsy. Take in the views of Ireland's rugged coastline, including the famous Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway. Don't forget to enjoy a pint of Guinness and some live music in one of Dublin's pubs.


Start
Dublin, Ireland
Finish
Belfast, United Kingdom
Countries
Ireland, United Kingdom
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
BMSA
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Walk through the unspoilt natural wonders of the Ring of Kerry

  • Scramble about the clustered pillars of Giant's Causeway

  • Explore the rugged coastline of the Aran Islands

  • Stroll through Belfast's city centre and learn about recent historical events

  • Revel in Dublin's energetic nightlife

Is this trip right for you?

  • As there are cobblestones in many Irish towns and cities, it's recommended that you leave any wheelie bags or cases at home and bring a backpack instead.

  • Ireland can be cold at night throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the season. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions, including base layers, hat, gloves, scarf, coat and anything else that you think may be applicable.

  • As accommodation on this trip is twin share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge (some exceptions may apply). Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, hotels in Europe can seem small by Australian or American standards, and often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart.

  • This trip is quite fast paced to make the most of your time in Ireland. We will take you on regular orientation walks, so you'll be on your feet quite a lot. While this may be tiring for some, it’s the best way to get your head around a place and to set yourself up for further discoveries.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 09 September 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Welcome to the Emerald Isle! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please check with the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the reception notice boards. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Spend the day exploring humming Dublin or drop into the pub for a pint of Guinness and a yarn. As we don't spend much time in Dublin as part of the trip we recommend you arrive a few days early to make the most of it. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • St Patrick Cathedral - EUR6
  • Guinness Storehouse - EUR18
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After some more time in Ireland's capital you'll enjoy a scenic train ride west to Killarney in the afternoon. Upon arrival you may want to join the group for a few pints at a local pub. You'll learn quickly that pubs are the heartbeat of Ireland, whether you're interested in guzzling beer or simply getting to know more about Irish culture, pubs are definitely an important part of any Irish adventure - the place for infectiously cheerful music, tall tales and making friends over a pint or two. The Irish take their beer seriously, so this is a great chance to taste a variety of rich 'real ales'. Get to know classic pub fare such as Irish stew, chowders and fish and chips, while also sampling less familiar dishes such as coddle, boxty and champ.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Prepare for picturesque rolling green hills and breathe in the salty coastal air as you travel along the Iveragh Peninsula, better known as the Ring of Kerry, a mystical and unspoilt region of Ireland. You'll pass through bucolic villages and enjoy views across some of Ireland's greatest beaches, beautiful lakes and rivers as well as some dramatic coastal scenery. Travelling by private vehicle will allow you to stop frequently at any of the numerous outlooks along the way for photos. There will also be time for lunch in one of the pretty villages along the way. Arrive back into Killarney in the early afternoon. If there is enough time perhaps head out to Ross Castle, picturesquely sitting on the shores of Lough Leane.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ring of Kerry Day Trip
Optional Activities
  • Killarney Ross Castle - EUR4
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a sightseeing tour and take in sweeping views during a scenic drive along the Dingle Peninsula before arriving in the city of Limerick, situated on the estuary of the river Shannon. Here you'll visit the recently refurbished King John's Castle, a medieval masterpiece. The castle's new exhibition brings to life over 800 years of dramatic local history, starting with its foundation by the Vikings, and features interactive exhibits, a medieval campaign tent and a blacksmiths forge. Explore King's Island and Englishtown, the oldest parts of Limerick, and make sure you pay a visit to 14th century St Mary's Cathedral.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • King John's Castle
Optional Activities
  • St Mary Cathedral - EUR2
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The magnificently precipitous Cliffs of Moher will leave you in awe with their sweeping views of the Irish coastline. The sheer rocky cliffs rise from the deep blue ocean and are topped with rolling green fields. The daring can walk to the edge and watch puffins nesting along the cliff face. Learn about the history of the famous site and it's feathered inhabitants at the Cliffs Exhibition. In the afternoon travel to the harbour city of Galway, capital of the county of the same name. While you're here, perhaps visit to the impressive Galway Cathedral. Its full name, the Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas, is far more elaborate than the simplicity of the structure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cliffs of Moher
Optional Activities
  • Galway Cathedral - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a day trip by ferry to the Aran islands, which have been crafted by centuries of blowing winds and smashing waves. The islands are one of the few places where the Irish language is still spoken on an everyday basis. We travel by foot to explore the native flora and fauna, with visits to the ruins of seven churches. There are also some remains from Bronze and Iron Age fortresses to be found. If you're lucky you may even spot a seal lounging on the rocky shore. We return to Galway for a free evening and time for more exploration. The best way to take in the spirit of this city is by attending a live performance in one of the many pubs, accompanied by a pint of Guinness of course.
Included Activities
  • Aran Islands Guided Day Trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Board a train to Dublin this morning and change there for another train to Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. We will be crossing the border from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland, so you'll need to switch your Euros for some Pounds at this point. Spend the afternoon wandering the streets of the bohemian Cathedral Quarter, or perhaps visit the leafy suburbs of South Belfast or the stately City Hall in Donegal Square. Make sure you also visit the revitalised waterfront area where you will find the Titanic Belfast monument on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard where the legendary RMS Titanic was built. The monument tells the story of the ship's ill-fated maiden voyage in 1912.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Belfast Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • SS Nomadic Museum - GBP7
  • Botanical Gardens - Free
  • Ulster Museum - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive to the iconic natural wonder known as The Giant's Causeway. This part of the rugged wild coast is home to roughly 40,000 basalt columns. The landmark has inspired artists and storytellers for centuries. Depending on the school of thought you wish to believe, they are either the result of an ancient volcanic eruption or the impressions of a giant's footsteps! Upon return to Belfast in the afternoon you have the option of joining a black cab tour to learn about The Troubles. Visit the areas that are synonymous with this historical period, such as Shankill Road, the unionist protestant area, the nationalist and catholic area, as well as the "Peace Wall". Explore the local neighborhoods to get more of a feel of this regenerated city. In the evening, say farewell to your group over one last pint.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Giant's Causeway
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned for the final day and you can depart at any time. You might want to return to Dublin by train or further explore Belfast. Your leader can be of assistance in organising train tickets back to Dublin. Additional accommodation can be booked in both locations (subject to availability). Please ask your travel agent at the time of booking.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

8 breakfasts

Transport

Train, Public bus, Private vehicle, Ferry

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights)

Included activities

  • Ring of Kerry Day Trip
  • King John's Castle
  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Aran Islands Guided Day Trip
  • Belfast Orientation Walk
  • Giant's Causeway

Dates & availability

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Important notes

ITINERARY CHANGES IN 2018
This trip will change direction and will start in Belfast before continuing on to the west coast of the Republic of Ireland. The trip will end in Dublin and will be reduced from 9 days to 8 days.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is available to be purchased for this trip. Please check details with your travel consultant.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Northern & Southern Ireland trips score an average of 4.5 out of 5 based on 6 reviews in the last year.

Northern & Southern Ireland, August 2017

Michael Hogan

Northern & Southern Ireland, June 2017

Vineeta Moraes