Ireland's Wonders Trip Notes

Travel from Belfast down to Dublin and experience the best that Ireland has to offer. Stalk along Giant's Causeway, experience the serenity of the Ring of Kerry and tour atmospheric Blarney Castle.

    • 8
    • BMKI
    • Total price tool tip
      USD $2,940
      CAD $3,130
      AUD $3,250
      EUR €2,260
      GBP £1,945
      NZD $3,850
      ZAR R29,580
      CHF FR2,785
      *
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    • Explorer
    • Comfort
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Print Version
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2015
Ireland's Wonders
Trip code: BMKI
Validity: 01 Jan 2015 to 31 Dec 2015
Ireland is not all about leprechauns and Guinness. It is a land of complex history, deep religious roots and staunch nationalism knitted together to form the unique fabric of modern Irish society. It is also a place of great beauty, with barren islands, castles ringed by ancient stone walls, weathered cottages, rolling green hills, rugged coastlines and rocky mountainsides that will leave most people breathless.
****A tip before booking****
Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.
This trip is run by our experienced sister company Peregrine Adventures. Your group is therefore likely to be a mixture of Intrepid passengers and other like-minded international travellers.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesEmergency contact
ThemesGroup sizeEmergency funds
MapYour fellow travellersVisas
ItinerarySingle travellersIssues on your trip
Also available to purchaseAccommodationWhat to take
We also recommendMealsHealth
Itinerary disclaimerTransportSafety
Culture shock rating Joining point Travel insurance
Physical ratingJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point instructionsA couple of rules
Optional activitiesArrival complicationsThe Intrepid Foundation
Money ExchangeFinish point Carbon offset
Spending moneyFinish point descriptionFeedback
TippingFinish point instructions
Style
Comfort
  • Comfort is your style of travel if you want the whole grassroots experience with more inclusions, meals and creature comforts. While accommodation is predominantly tourist class (3-4 star), on some itineraries there is the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend the night on a train or camp out in exotic places (without putting up your own tent of course). Along the way, you'll really experience the destination up close. You'll mingle with locals, enjoy a taste of their way of life and gain special insights from your leader. This is not luxury travel, but real world experiences - just with a softer landing!
Themes
Explorer
Map
Ireland's Wonders
Itinerary
Days 1-2 Belfast
Welcome to Northern Ireland!
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
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 can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). 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.
Birth place of the Titianic, Belfast is a compact city, there are many things to see and do. Wander the streets of the bohemian Catherdral Quarter, walk to the leafy suburbs of South Belfast full with restaurants and bars. Or visit City Hall in Donegall Square.
The following morning we get an opportunity to explore of Belfast on a city tour of the local neighborhoods to get more of a feel of this regenerated city. Using a Black cab the tour will take you into to the areas that are synonymous with "The Troubles" namely The Shankill Road the unionist protestant area and the Falls Road which is the nationalist and catholic area as well as the "Peace Wall". With a driver of each religion who can provide insight to the situation then and now, better than any one individual. We stop to discuss individual murals on the roads as well as memorials, stories and life in Belfast.
This afternoon we drive to an iconic natural wonder - The Giant's Causeway. This part of the rugged, wild, north Atlantic coastline is home to roughly 40,000 basalt columns which have 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!
Included Activities
  • Visit to Giants Causeway
  • Belfast guided walking tour
Days 3-4 Galway/Cliffs of Moher
We travel to Enniskillen Castle. Built in the 16th Century and is now home to the Fermanagh Country Museum. Built by Gaelic Maguires, the castle stands beside the River Erne.
We'll then move across the border and into Southern Ireland and to Galway where we'll spend the next two nights. You'll need to switch your Pounds for some Euros at this point.
Day 4 will start with a drive to Doolin, where you will embark on a boat tour along the spectacular Cliffs of Moher (weather dependent). The sheer rocky cliffs rise from the deep blue ocean, and are topped with rolling green fields.
You will also visit the 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.
Included Activities
  • Enniskillen Castle
  • Cliffs of Moher - Boat Tour
  • Galway Cathedral
Accommodation
The Eyre Square Hotel or Similar (2 nts)
Days 5-6 Ring of Kerry
You will visit St John's Castle in Limerick, a medieval masterpiece that has just undergone a major refurbishment, before taking in sweeping views during a scenic drive to Dingle Peninsula.
You will spend the next 2 nights at the Ring of Kerry.
You will embark on a sightseeing tour around the Ring of Kerry this morning, before tucking into a traditional Irish lunch at a local pub.
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.
Chowders, stews and fish and chips are Irish pub staples, but some of the more classic dishes like coddle, boxty and champ are definitely worth sampling.
If you just order a beer in an Irish pub, you'll get a Guinness. The Irish take their beer seriously, so this is a great chance to taste a variety of rich 'real ales'.
Included Activities
  • St John's Castle
  • Dingle Peninsula drive
Accommodation
Towers Hotel Glenbeigh or Similar (1 nt), Your Killarny Accommodation (1 nt)
Days 7-8 Blarney/Dublin
Today brings with it the opportunity to take in some history at Blarney Castle, built in 1446, and Jerpoint Abbey.
A ruined Cistercian abbey that dates back to the second half of the 12th century, Jerpoint Abbey is especially noteworthy due to its stone carvings.
We then continue onto Dublin for our farewell dinner.
Your tour will come to an end on the morning of day 8 after breakfast.
Included Activities
  • Blarney Castle
Optional Activities
  • Guinness Storehouse - EUR16
  • Trinity College tour - EUR10
Accommodation
Albany House or Similar (1 nt)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
  • Ireland's Wonders - Single Supplement (BMKI)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
  • Celtic Villages & Islands (BMKC)
  • Scotland's Western Wanderer (BMKS)
  • Highlights of Central Europe (AMKB)
Itinerary disclaimer
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
Culture shock rating

At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
Physical rating

Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
Included activities
Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
Optional activities
A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
Money Exchange
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in the following destinations: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain. All other European countries still have their own national currencies.
The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) or Bancomat as they are often referred to. Check with your bank in advance concerning the suitability of your account / card overseas and any international fees that will be applied.
You can obtain local currencies easily at airports and major train stations, but be sure to bring some extra emergency cash in a major currency that can be exchanged if the ATMs are not functioning.
When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place.
Credit cards are not always accepted in stores and restaurants. While travelling we recommend you carry some cash to pay for restaurant bills and other services. Change can be difficult to obtain so throughout the day, try to gain as many small denominations as you can.
You might be advised to take some of your money as travellers' cheques from a major financial institute. Travellers' cheques have security advantages, however please be aware that the exchange rates may not be favourable and that it is difficult to change Travellers' cheques in most countries. Be particularly aware that after hours money exchanges and hotel receptions carry high commissions- sometimes up to 20%.
For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothes.
Spending money
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Tipping
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.
The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest €1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest €2-€3 per day for local guides.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest €1-€2 per day for drivers.
Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €2-€4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
In total, we recommend you budget approx €5-€10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.
Important notes
OUR LOCAL PARTNER:
This trip is operated by Peregrine Adventures and you will be joined by other like minded Intrepid and non Intrepid travellers. Single travellers will share accommodation with another traveller of the same sex.
Group size
Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
Single travellers
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
Accommodation
The Eyre Square Hotel or Similar (2 nts), Towers Hotel Glenbeigh or Similar (1 nt), Albany House or Similar (1 nt), Your Killarny Accommodation (1 nt)
Meals
7 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Budget for meals not included:
Transport
Private minibus
Joining point
The Crescent Townhouse
13 Lower Crescent
Belfast
BT7 1NR
UNITED KINGDOM
Phone: +44 2890323349
Joining point description
Tucked away in the heart of the bustling Queen’s Quarter of Belfast, the historic Crescent Townhouse Hotel is within easy access to the town centre and trendy shops as well as some of Belfast's finest bars and restaurants. Behind the 19th Regency facade, the Crescent Townhouse Hotel is brimming with stories of Victorian Belfast, its maritime legacy and intriguing characters.
All rooms are en suite, equipped with 10/220 Volt adapters, outside Telephone Line, LCD TV with Multi-Channels and Cable, tea/Coffee making Facilities, hairdryer and Wi-Fi.
Joining point instructions
Belfast airport is located 28kms from the city center. Options for arrival transport include:
By TAXI
Metered taxis are available in taxi ranks outside the terminal. Journey time is 40 mins.
By BUS:
From the airport you can take the Airport Express 600, it departs every 20 minutes from the Europa Bus Center. The bus operates from 05:45 to 21:25.
Arrival complications
EUROPE:
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) please follow the instructions under the "Joining point instructions" in order to find our driver. Should you have any problems locating your driver, please call the number for our transfer company which can be found below. Should you continue to experience any difficulties, please call the emergency number for our local operations team which is available on the 'Emergency Contact' section of these trip notes.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Belfast
If you have any issues locating your driver please contact +44 (0)7775 571133.
Finish point
Albany House Hotel
84 Harcourt Street
Dublin
IRELAND
Phone: +353 14751092
Finish point description
Albany House is located in the heart of Dublin city centre. Set in a historic building, the hotel is walking distance from Grafton street and Temple Bar.
Albany House offers free wifi, 24 hour reception, safetly deposit box and breakfast.
http://www.albanyhousedublin.com/
Finish point instructions
If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.
Pre booked departure transfer to the airport:
If you have pre booked a departure transfer, you will be contact the transfer operator 24hrs before your flight to arrange pick up time. Please call +44 7733 448 902. Your tour leader will be able to assist you with confirming your transfer.
If you have any issues contacting the transfer supplier, please contact Hotelbeds on +34.660.409.789
Emergency contact
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Office can be reached on Tel: +49 (0) 8677 918 66 57.
Emergency funds
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES ON THIS TRIP (EXCLUDING RUSSIA, UKRAINE, TURKEY):
Australia: No - Not required
Belgium: No - Not required
Canada: No - Not required
Germany: No - Not required
Ireland: No - Not required
Netherlands: No - Not required
New Zealand: No - Not required
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: No - Not required
UK: No - Not required
USA: No - Not required
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
Health
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
Safety
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
Travel insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
Responsible Travel
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
Carbon offset
Carbon Offset C02-e 140.00 kgs per pax.
Feedback
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.