MAY 24 - JUNE 3, 2022
book this trip
This gem of a country has 30,000 castles, ancient sites, music, extraordinary scenery, and welcoming people. You’ll experience it all. Your unique lodgings include castle stays and visits, manor houses, and fine hotels with panoramic views and expansive grounds.
Dublin is the perfect place to begin your Irish travels. Stop into the Guinness Warehouse for a tasty pint and tales of the city. Enjoy a walking tour with your local guide and a pub crawl filled with storytelling, dance, and good cheer. From there, delightful Kinsale, the culinary hub of Ireland, awaits, as does immersion in Irish history and immigration.
Your next nights are a miracle of pristine nature, traditional music (tap your feet!), and local crafts. Enjoy a carriage ride through Killarney to Ross Castle. Stay in charming Dingle—music pours out the doors—and visit the Cliffs of Moher. Fall under the spell of Connemara and Galway with a crystal cutting demonstration, working sheep dogs, and the glory of a restored medieval castle and crofting village.
welcome to dublin!
Welcome to Ireland! Our tour will be a sublime mix of top spots and hidden gems. You'll be picked up at the Dublin airport and whisked to your hotel, the iconic Davenport Hotel. Settle in, and set out for your first adventure exploring Dublin town on the Hop On Hop Off bus to become acquainted with this bustling medieval city. Venture at leisure, and then check out the 360 degree views atop the Guinness Storehouse. Your evening is free to do as you please. You'll meet up with our group in the morning.
Enjoy a traditional Irish Breakfast and join our group to uncover the hidden corners of Dublin. This tour is the best introduction to the richness the city has to offer. It takes in many of Dublin's icons and guides you to some wonderful hidden spots, too. You'll visit EPIC, a stunning museum in Dublin's Docklands that tells the story of the Irish people who left Ireland and how they influenced and shaped the world!
Followed by some free time to shop, eat and explore before meeting up with our group to experience the vibrancy of Dublin's Irish music scene through the cultural quarter. Accompany two friendly musicians on a fun and educational tour through the hip, yet historic district, where you'll encounter Irish storytelling and music at its best.
Cobh / Kinsale
Today our driver will meet us in the lobby of the hotel, and we will strike out on our adventure. Our first stop will be Glendalough, a glacial valley in County Wicklow whose spectacular scenery, rich history, archaeology and abundant wildlife have fascinated people for thousands of years.
Next stop, Cobh (pronounced, "cove"), the port village from which 2.5 million of the six million Irish people emigrated to North America between 1848 and 1950. If you claim Irish descent, there is a good chance your ancestors left Ireland from this port on the South coast of Ireland.
We'll finish up our day in Kinsale, one of the most picturesque, popular and fashionable resorts of the south-west coast, fondly known as the "Culinary Capital of Ireland."
Discover Ireland's most popular scenic drive today, the Ring of Kerry. There will be plenty of photo stops along the way. We'll stop for lunch, take a stroll around Sneem, and stop at Moll's Gap for its panoramic views. Enjoy a free evening in Killarney, with time for dining independently and perhaps a visit to one of the town's lively pubs.
Blarney Castle / Killarney
Today we'll proceed to Blarney to visit the Blarney Castle. We'll journey West through rugged countryside in County Kerry, containing some of Ireland's most iconic scenery. You'll have time to check in to our central Killarney hotel, the International Hotel, before you travel back in time as you take a traditional Jaunting Car Ride through the Killarney National Park and on to Ross Castle, situated on the spectacular Killarney Lakes. Take in the sights of some of Killarney's most popular scenic hotspots, like the iconic high spire of St. Mary's Cathedral and the Deenagh Lodge and River as your private carriage takes a ramble through the magnificent landscape of Killarney National Park.
Your evening is free to do as you please.
Ring of Kerry / Killarney
Today we will explore the Dingle Peninsula, with sweeping views of Slea Head and charming Dingle, one of Ireland's most charming Bohemian towns. After exploring the peninsula, you'll have some free time to adventure off independently. We recommend renting an electric or traditional bike at Dingle Bikes on Strand Street, and hit the road on two wheels!
Today we'll head North and view the Cliffs of Moher, soaring 700 feet above the churning Atlantic swells. You'll walk along the top of the cliffs where, on a clear day, you can see great views of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. You'll cruise through the Connemara National Park and admire the incredible scenery where rugged mountains dominate the dramatic landscape. We'll spend two nights at the the authentic and unpretentious Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. We'll enjoy dinner at the Owenmore Restaurant at the castle, enjoying the glorious views while enjoying a delicious meal.
Limerick / Bunratty Castle / Adare Heritage Village
Today we have a later start. Our day begins with a visit to the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum, which recalls how a small village became one of the world's greatest hubs for air travel in the 1930's and 1940's. Then, we'll head to Bunratty Castle, the most complete and authentic castle in Ireland. The site on which Bunratty Castle stands was in origin a Viking trading camp in 970. You'll have plenty of time to shop and explore before we head to The Mustard Seed, our hotel.
At the Mustard Seed, we will enjoy an 8 course tasting menu that will excite the eyes and tantalize the taste buds to new extremes. Local suppliers and the best available ingredients are used to create a compilation of dishes to delight the palate.
Connemara / Cliffs of Moher
Today's jaw dropping scenery includes sightseeing on Sky Road and a visit to Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden. Home to the Benedictine nuns since 1920, this 1,000 acre estate makes an unforgettable day out. Don't miss out on having a pot of tea at The Tea House.
We'll visit Joyce Country Sheepdogs, part of a family run farm in Connemara. You'll have the opportunity to visit a working hill sheep farm and watch the Border Collie sheepdogs herding Blackface sheep. The farm is nestled between the Maumturk and Partry Mountains, just off the Wild Atlantic Way.
Galway / Ennis
Extend to Scotland Tour or Fly Home
Connemara / Kylemore Abbey
book this trip
On your final day in Ireland, you will have ample time to explore vibrant Galway City. Galway's compact shopping area is a hive of activity all year round and provides a wonderful shopping experience for visitors to the city. Street performers and buskers add music and color to the city's winding medieval thoroughfares, which are lined with an eclectic mix of old style and contemporary shops.
We'll then head South to the town of Ennis, situated at the heart of the county on a bend in the River Fergus. Ennis is the capital of County Clare and is certainly one of Clare's most characterful and picturesque centers - with its winding streets, historical buildings, and busy market town atmosphere. Fantastic Traditional Irish Music (Trad) can be heard nightly. Our home for the last night is the quaint Old Ground Hotel.
Today is the day we say, "Good-bye" to Ireland. You may either head to the airport to fly home or join us on a short flight to Edinburgh, Scotland to begin our Scotland adventure. Either way, we hope you have made a lifetime of memories of the Emerald Isle.
So, what did you think of this exciting Irish adventure? This custom, small-group tour was designed for our Watercolor clients. If you would like to see the full itinerary, please reach out to me, and I'll send it over to you. Put May 24, 2022 - June 3, 2022 on your calendar for this journey through the "Heart of Ireland."