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
Belfast, United Kingdom
Finish
Dublin, Ireland
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?

  • 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, waterproof clothes/umbrella 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

Welcome to Belfast and the Emerald Isle! If you arrive early spend the day 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.
Included Activities
  • Belfast Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • SS Nomadic Museum - GBP7
  • Botanical Gardens - Free
  • Ulster Museum - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
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. As we don't spend much time in Belfast 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).
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 footstep! Upon return to Belfast in the afternoon perhaps visit the areas that are synonymous with the Troubles, 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Giant's Causeway
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning travel by public bus to the harbour city of Galway, capital of the county of the same name. We will be crossing the border from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland, so you'll need to switch your Pounds for some Euros at this point. While you're in Galway, 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
  • Hostel (1 night)
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
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 sea and are topped with rolling green fields. The daring can walk to the edge and watch puffins nesting along the cliff face (April to late July). Learn about the history of the famous site and it's feathered inhabitants at the Cliffs Exhibition. Next stop is the quaint village of Adare. Arrival into Killarney is in the late 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)
Included Activities
  • Cliffs of Moher
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. 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
Travel by train to Dublin, the proud capital of the Republic of Ireland. Spend the afternoon exploring the cobbled streets of this humming city or drop into the pub for a pint of Guinness and a yarn. Dublin has much to offer, so make sure you go out and maximise your time here. In the evening perhaps meet up with the group as it is time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • St Patrick Cathedral - EUR6
  • Guinness Storehouse - EUR18
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 Belfast by train or further explore Dublin and surrounding area. Your leader can be of assistance in organising train tickets back to Belfast. Additional accommodation can be booked in both locations (subject to availability). Please ask your travel agent at the time of booking.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts

Transport

Train, Public bus, Private vehicle, Ferry

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights)

Included activities

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

Dates & availability

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Important notes

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

ITINERARY
You don't have a lot of time in Belfast and Dublin at the start and the end of the trip respectively, so if you're keen to explore these spectacular cities in depth we recommend you arrive a day or two before the start of the trip and/or extend your stay at the end.

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 4.4 out of 5 based on 15 reviews in the last year.

Northern & Southern Ireland, September 2017

Christine Rawson

Northern & Southern Ireland, September 2017

Timothy Stroth