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14 Night Around Ireland Private Group Tour
Your Group Tour of Ireland Includes
15 days/14 nights/27 meals
- Meeting, assistance & transfers on arrival & departure
- Sightseeing by luxury coach with driver/guide
- Accommodation in your choice of grade of hotels for 14 nights
- Full Irish breakfast daily
- 13 dinners including
- Traditional dinner at Abbey Tavern with authentic Irish entertainment
- 12 table d'hote dinners
- Visits and admissions to Trinity College Library, Guinness Storehouse, Hill of Tara, Newgrange, Giants Causeway, Belleek Pottery, Ulster American Folk Park, Lissadell House, Westport Country House & Park, The Quiet Man Tour, Kylemore Abbey, Dan O’Hara’s Heritage & History Centre, Connemara Celtic Crystal, The Burren Visitors Centre, Atlantic Edge Exhibition at the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, Jaunting Car at Gap of Dunloe, Blasket Centre Visitors Centre, Gallarus Oratory, Blarney Castle, Cobh Heritage Centre, Waterford Crystal Visitors Centre, Glendalough, The National Stud & Japanese Garden Centre, The Old Jameson Distillery
- Killarney three lake cruise
- All local taxes and hotel service charges
- Porterage for one suitcase
- Complimentary Tour Leader Places
This tour is available in 3 or 4 star hotels. The following are some examples of the hotels in each category.
- 3 Star Grand Canal Hotel, Academy Plaza, Arlington Hotel
- 4 Star Clontarf Castle, The Burlington, Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel
- 3 Star Days Hotel, Jurys Inn
- 4 Star Radisson Blu, Ramada, Park Inn
- 3 Star Travelodge
- 4 Star City Hotel, Ramada Da Vinci, Tower
- 3 Star Castlecourt Hotel, Clew Bay Hotel, Hotel Westport
- 4 Star Westport Plaza, Knockranny House Hotel
- 3 Star Forster Court Hotel, Jurys Inn
- 4 Star Harbour Hotel, Radisson Blu
- 3 Star Eviston House Hotel, Killarney Towers Hotel, Gleneagle Hotel
- 4 Star The Lake Hotel, Randles Court Hotel, Killarney Royal Hotel
- 3 Star Marina Hotel, Ramada Viking
- 4 Star The Fitzwilton, Athenaum
The Aran Islands are a group of three islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay, on the west coast of Ireland. The largest island is Inishmore; the middle and second-largest is Inishmaan and the smallest and most eastern is Inisheer. Irish is a spoken language on all three islands, and is the language used naming the islands and their villages and townlands. Take a short ferry ride to Inis Mor, the largest of the three Aran Islands, and island rich in the language, culture and heritage of Ireland, unique in its geology and archaeology and in its long tradition of gentle hospitality. Here is a place to sense the spirit of Gaelic Ireland, to touch the past, but with all the comforts and facilities of the present. Aran will take you back to an Ireland of Celts and Early Christians....read more
Belfast (from the Irish: Béal Feirste meaning "Mouth of the (River) Farset")is the capital city of Northern Ireland and the seat of devolved government and legislative assembly in Northern Ireland. It is the largest urban area in Northern Ireland and the province of Ulster, the fifteenth-largest city in the United Kingdom and the second largest city on the island of Ireland. The city suffered greatly during the period of disruption, conflict, and destruction called the Troubles, but latterly has undergone a return to a sustained period of calmness and growth. Originally a town in County Antrim, the county borough of Belfast was created when it was granted city status by Queen Victoria in 1888. The name, Belfast, is the anglicised version of the Irish Béal Feirste, which ...read more
Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork, Ireland. It is near the River Martin. The castle originally dates from before AD 1200. It was destroyed in 1446, but subsequently rebuilt by Cormac MacCarthy, the King of Munster. It is currently a partial ruin with some accessible rooms and the battlements. There are many legends as to the origin of the stone, but some say that it was the Lia Fáil—a magical stone upon which Irish kings were crowned.The Blarney Stone is a block of bluestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney about 8 km from Cork, Ireland. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446. The castle ...read more
Bunratty Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhun Raithe, meaning Castle at the Mouth of the Ratty) is a large tower house in County Clare, Ireland. It lies in the centre of Bunratty village (Irish: Bun Ráite), by the N18 road between Limerick and Ennis, near Shannon Town and its airport. The name Bunratty, Bun Raite (or possibly, Bun na Raite) in Irish, means the 'bottom' or end of the 'Ratty' river. This river, alongside the castle, flows into the nearby Shannon estuary. From the top of the castle, one can look over to the estuary and the airport. Bunratty Castle is now a very popular tourist attraction. The interior has been furnished by Lord Gort with tapestries and artifacts from various eras in the castle's history. Some of the sights include the 'great hall', dungeons an...read more
The Burren is a unique karst-landscape region in northwest County Clare, in Ireland and one of the largest Karst landscapes in Europe. The region measures approximately 250 square kilometres and is enclosed roughly within the circle comprised by the villages Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna, It is bounded by the Atlantic and Galway Bay on the west and north respectively. Strictly speaking the territory of the Burren or barony of Burren only contains the villages of Lisdoonvarna, Ballyvaughan, Fanore, Craggagh, New Quay/Burrin, Bealaclugga (Bellharbour) and Carron. The definite article (making it "the Burren") has only been added to the name in the last few decades, possibly by academics, as it had always been called Boireann in Irish and Burren i...read more
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a rope suspension bridge near, Ballintoy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny Carrick Island. The site is owned and maintained by the National Trust, spans twenty metres and is thirty metres above the rocks below. Today the bridge is mainly a tourist attraction, with 227,000 visitors in 2007. The bridge is now taken down every year in late October or early November, depending on weather conditions, having been put up in March. Carrick-a-rede means 'rock in the road'. It is thought salmon fishermen have been erecting bridges to the island for over 350 years. It has taken many forms over the years. In the 1970s it featured only a single handrail and large gaps between the slats. A version of the bridge, tested up...read more
Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin is the elder of the city's two mediæval cathedrals, the other being St. Patrick's Cathedral. It is officially claimed as the seat (cathedra) of both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic archbishops of Dublin. In practice it has been the cathedral of only the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, since the Irish Reformation. Though nominally claimed as his cathedral, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin uses a church elsewhere, St Mary's in Malborough Street in Dublin, as his pro-cathedral (acting cathedral). Christ Church Cathedral is located in the former heart of mediaeval Dublin, next to Wood Quay, at the end of Dame Street . However a major dual carriage-way building scheme around it separated it from the original mediaeval str...read more
The Cliffs of Moher (Irish: Aillte an Mhothair, lit. cliffs of the ruin, also known as the Cliffs of Coher from the Irish: Mhothair) are located in the parish of Liscannor at the south-western edge of The Burren area near Doolin, which is located in County Clare, Ireland. The cliffs rise 120 meters (394 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head, and reach their maximum height of 214 meters (702 ft) just north of O'Brien's Tower, eight kilometres away. The cliffs boast one of Ireland's most spectacular views. On a clear day the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay, as are the valleys and hills of Connemara. O'Brien's Tower is a round stone tower at the approximate midpoint of the cliffs. It was built by Sir Cornelius O'Brien, a descendant of Ireland's High King Brian Boru, in 18...read more
The Cobh Heritage Centre provides information on life in Ireland through the 18th and 19th centuries, the mass emigration, the Great Famine, and on how criminals were transported to Australia for petty crimes. It also has an exhibition on the history of the RMS Titanic, whose last port of call before it sank was Cóbh (then Queenstown). From 1848 - 1950 over 6 million adults and children emigrated from Ireland - over 2.5 million departed from Cobh, making it the single most important port of emigration. This exodus from Ireland was largely as a result of poverty, crop failures, the land system and a lack of opportunity. Irish emigration reached unprecedented proportions during the famine as people fled from hunger and disease. Many famine emigrants went initially to British ...read more
A small fishing village, also known as Fisherstreet, on a sandy bay some 3km from Aill na Searrach, the northern end of the Cliffs of Moher. Doolin is world-famous for its wealth of Irish folk music and in recent years has been attracting crowds to spontaneous sessions and festivals or 'fleadhanna' of Irish and international music. Lots of music pubs and restaurants. Overlooked by Doonagore Castle, an unusual circular tower within a walled bawn enclosure, which has been restored as a residence. Nearer the sea, Iron Age burial mounds dot the surrounding landscape. One of Doolin's claims to fame is that it is the main setting for the PlayStation 3 game Folklore. According to the game's storyline, the Netherworld, the world of the dead is a realm that can only be accessed from one place ...read more
Thanks for asking about our trip. Amazing. Wonderful. Fun. Magnificent. Great. Brilliant. And any synonym thereof.
Grab yourself a cup of tea or a Guinness - or two - put your feet up and loosen your tie and we’ll review the adventure and my impressions of Ireland.
The Cliffs of Mohr should be seen from land and from the water and from above. I was most impressed to see them from the water. They are beautiful. We did climb O’Brien’s Tower and saw the cliffs from there.
We did the Doolin Cave. I thought the man said 25 steps and I thought “We can do that after doing Cliffs of Mohr and O’Brien’s tower.” It wasn’t until we were ready to go on the tour that we found out it was 125 steps – down. What a price to pay to see a limestone formation figured to be 300 million years old. One thing for sure, I’ll never see anything like it again in my lifetime and “no”, I have no intentions to see it again unless they get rid of the 125 steps – one way.
Galway was fun. No one should miss the Connemara tour. You were so right to recommend taking some other tours so I didn’t have to drive everywhere. We never would have found everything we saw that day. It was a full day of sightseeing: the “Quiet Man Bridge” and replica cottage as well as the ruins of the original cottage, quaint villages, the stories, laughter, the peat trenches and walking on the bog, and most of all Kylemore Abbey. The sight of the reflection of that castle in the lake as you come out of the mountains is unforgettable. The gardens are beautiful. We had 3 hours there and it wasn’t enough. We took the ferry out of Galway to the large Aran Island. The only way to see the Island is by hiking or the pony trap. Our driver was Timothy and our horse Cappucino. What a wonderful afternoon, the outdoors, sun, sea air, fresh blackberries off the side of the road. We got to see some ladies knitting sweaters and mittens. Again, more stories and a better understanding of the people and culture. We did a 3 hour ferry tour of Galway Bay – history, fun, stories, drinks, and singing. The stories of the famine and the results were so interesting and intense especially as my family is from the Galway area and immigrated to the States in the mid 1800’s.
The best ring tour was the Ring of Dingle. We did a 4 hour tour with John O’Connor of Dingle which ended up being over 5 hours. After the tour he took us to a pub that served good food at a reasonable price on a Sunday evening and then picked us up and took us back to the hotel. He wouldn’t take any money for the extra tour time and the taxi ride back to the hotel. We saw the beehives, the Verder holdings and school, the stones, fairy rings, fort rings, the western most place in Europe, got drenched in the Atlantic in the waves (the beach where Ryan’s Daughter was filmed) – again not paying attention. It was a great afternoon. This is one tour I would do again and recommend to anyone.
Belfast was interesting and somewhat ….sad is the only word I can think of. It is kind of “dark” with an undercurrent of tension. We took a Black Taxi tour – the political one and went to the Shankill and Falls areas. One of the gates actually closed while we were there. The prison tour was excellent and made the history more alive. Belfast is not on my list of places to revisit but I would recommend the prison tour. The taxi driver was so nice and full of stories. He also told us to keep the tip. This was a recurring theme. The people were very nice especially at the Post Office.
Speaking of Post offices- a cute story… we went to the post office in Kinsale around 10 am and then back at noon. The lady there reminded us that they didn’t close till 5:05 pm if we had more to mail. We, of course, hasn’t been shopping yet but figured we were about done shipping boxes. Don’t you know, at 3:15 pm in we walk with 2 more boxes each. She just laughed and let us go to the front of the line. Again reminding us that we had 2 more hours to “shop and mail.” Back to the travellog.
Yes, we did the Rope Bridge – have the pictures and the certificate to prove it - as well as Giant’s Causeway. There is a bus down to the rocks at the Causeway and back. No bus to the Rope Bridge – it’s all pedal power. The views are wonderful. I have never seen rocks come out of the ground in columns. I recommend both of those attractions. Don’t forget Bushmills.
Dublin. Dublin. Dublin. What can you say? None of the superlatives are enough. There was more to see than what we could see in 4 days. Guinness, Trinity College, The Old Library, The Book of Kells. I spent two hours in the exhibit and could have stayed longer. The Hop-on Hop off tickets were a great purchase. We really used them. The Food, Folklore and Fairies dinner presentation was terrific. Being at the oldest pub in Ireland 1197 was an added bonus. The gentleman who does the presentation is quite a story teller. “ We may not believe in fairies but just in case….respect the fairies.” It is a 4 star evening which I wholeheartedly recommend. The GPO, Dublin Castle, the prison – so much history. To touch those walls where bullet holes can still be seen was an experience. I plan on returning to Dublin in a couple years to see what all I missed. The shopping was great!!
No trip to Ireland would be complete without a medieval meal. The Bunratty Castle is the place to go. What a fun night eating with a knife and your fingers. The entertainment was good. Not a dry eye in the house when they sang Danny Boy. The village was right out of a book complete with animals. A great place for families to visit. We did it in the early evening. There were real peat fires burning in the hearths and you were expected to add the peat if the fire was going out, which of course, I had to do.
There are so many stories and so many people willing to share those stories. Are you getting a theme here – stories – the very best part! Everyone was kind and helpful and you couldn’t have asked for anything better.
The accommodations you secured were very nice and, I don’t know how you did it, but got nicer as the trip progressed. Bea at the Atlantic in Doolin was so sweet. Her excitement about the soccer championship was infectious. The room was up the stairs but the room was very nice and she makes great French toast – one of my personal favorites.
Ireland…a country of cities and villages, highways and unnamed paved lanes, bacon and bread, potatoes cooked in every way imaginable, ruins and intact castles and cathedrals, laughter and sadness, light and dark, realism and fantasy, fairy rings and fort rings, Charles Fort, smiles and tears, war and peace, trains, cars, horse and traps, and buses and ferries, superstition and mysticism, feast and famine, rock walls, hedges and grazing lands, sheep and cows, mountains, sea and lakes. What more or less can I say?
Thank you for all your help in setting this whole trip of a lifetime in motion. We could not have done it without your guidance, input and recommendations. I am already recommending you to friends who have asked about the trip. I would make one suggestion. There is a National ticket you can buy to see attractions at a decreased or free rate. We asked about it at Giant’s Causeway and the gentleman told us all the attractions would be closed and it wouldn’t do us any good. Wrong. You might want to let people know something like that is available.
So now we have come to the end of this missive and I didn’t even kiss the blarney stone. That is for the next trip!! Obviously, I had a wonderful time and hope to plan another trip in a couple years to see what I missed and there was a lot that I missed.
I will include a couple pictures. You can use any part of this you want or put it in a file and on occasion pull it out to remind yourself of the happiness you brought to an old lady you never met.
Be well and thank you again.
Michelle Estadt, Wrangell, AK, USA