Departures on Sundays from Dublin
(May to October)
A fabulous 5 days spent searching out the scenic, historic and cultural highlights of Northern Ireland. With everything from the modern history of Belfast to the traditional Gaelic culture of Donegal, taking in dramatic seas cliffs, ancient castles and wonderful scenery, this tour will take you closer to the culture and history of Ireland and Northern Ireland. For a truly authentic Irish experience this is the tour for you!
Stay 1 night in Belfast, 2 nights in Derry and 1 night at Kilronan Castle in Roscommon
Belfast & Titanic Quarter
Leaving Dublin and Ireland for that matter, we head north towards Belfast, located in Northern Ireland. Our first stop today will be in the lovely seaside town of Carlingford on the Cooley Peninsula. Here you can grab some tea or coffee, get a few pictures of the peninsula or just stretch your legs on a short walk. Once back on the bus, we continue our journey north, passing The Mountains of Mourne whose peaks and rolling hills inspired C. S. Lewis to write The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and was also used as a backdrop in scenes of Game of Thrones. Arriving into Belfast we make our way to the Titanic Belfast Visitor Centre which was recently voted as the world’s leading tourist attraction. Here you can learn everything about the legendary RMS Titanic, from standing in the shipyard where it was built, all the way to its maiden voyage and subsequent place in history. The rest of the afternoon and evening are free to explore Belfast and everything it has to offer. Tonight, we will be staying at the brand-new Titanic Hotel Belfast which is conveniently located beside the visitor centre.
Overnight – Titanic Hotel, Belfast
Giants Causeway & Derry
After breakfast, we head north along the Antrim Coast for a visit to the famous Giant’s Causeway. Enroute we make a stop in the Glenariff Forest Park at the Glenariff Teahouse for some coffee or tea. With beautiful views of the park, the shop also has freshly baked scones available that are delectable. When finished we continue along the Antrim Coast until we reach the legendary Giant’s Causeway. The story goes the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill built the causeway to fight the Scottish giant Benandonner, others claim it was the result of volcanic activity millions of years ago. Whichever story you believe, what remains true is that the Giant’s Causeway is definitely a sight to behold and one that will leave you in awe.
From here we make our way to the historic walled city of Derry, which was the last walled city to be built in Ireland and the only city whose walls remain completely intact in the country. Upon arrival we will be met by a local guide and embark on a walking tour of the city to learn all about Derry’s turbulent past. Tonight, we have dinner at our hotel, City Hotel Derry, located in the heart of the city right beside the peace bridge.
Dinner & Overnight – City Hotel, Derry
Glenveagh National Park
Today we head west and back into Ireland towards Glenveagh National Park and Glenveagh Castle which is situated in the park. Glenveagh National Park is a remote and stunningly beautiful wilderness of rugged mountains, pristine lakes, tumbling waterfalls and enchanted native oak woodland, in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains, North West Donegal. Here we will be guided around the castle to learn of its history, but prior to that you can explore the park in all its natural beauty. After our tour and saunter around the park we make our way back to Derry for an afternoon free to explore the city as you wish. For dinner tonight, you’ll be sure to find something delicious in the many restaurants around Derry. Afterwards we recommend stopping by Peader O’Donnell’s for a pint or two. With 3 different bars on the premises and live music every night you are guaranteed a warm welcome, good time and the best pint of Guinness in Derry!
Overnight – City Hotel, Derry
This morning we leave the Walled City and make our way to Irish House in Donegal, where we will have an Irish coffee and a demonstration of how tweed sweaters were originally made as you watch the threads weave in and out on the old wooden loom. After our coffees we will make our way to the lovely town of Enniskillen where you can enjoy lunch and a stroll around town. From here we make our way to Florence Court for a guided tour of the house and gardens. Built in the 18th century, this Georgian mansion features exquisite decoration and fine Irish furniture, it was the home of the Cole family for over 250 years. The walled garden is a sight to behold in itself, and is part of an ongoing restoration project to bring it back to its original beauty from the 1930’s. Next, we head to Roscommon and our final overnight property – one of Ireland’s most luxurious castle hotels – Kilronan Castle. After checking into your room, we will be enjoying a lovely dinner in the Castle, after which you can enjoy a drink or some tea by the fireplace in the stunning drawing room.
Dinner / Overnight – Kilronan Castle, Roscommon
After enjoying a leisurely breakfast with time to explore the castle grounds and spa it is sadly time to make our way back to Dublin. Leaving Kilronan we will head to Arigna Mines (optional) where you can get a unique perspective into what coal mining life was like in Ireland from the 1700’s all the way to its closure in 1990. Once we make our way back above ground we head towards the ancient village of Kells. Enroute we will be stopping for lunch in Cavan, with loads of little cafes and restaurants you’ll be sure to find a bite to eat here. From here we make our way to our last stop on tour, Kells, part of Ireland’s Ancient East. This olden village was where the famous Book of Kells was written and protected for over 800 years before being moved to Trinity College in the 17th century. This quaint village is part of the reason Ireland is referred to as the Land of Saints and Scholars. When we finish exploring here we make our way back to Dublin and the end of our journey of Ireland’s Northern Highlights.
Return to Dublin by 7 pm
- Game of Thrones
- Giant's Causeway
- Florence Court
- Transportation throughout by modern touring mini-coach
- Services of an experienced local driver/guide
- 4 nights ensuite accommodation
- Full Irish breakfast daily
- 2 x table d’hote evening meals
- Admissions to: Titanic Centre, Giants Causeway, Walking tour of Derry, Glenveagh Castle, Florence Court