The Irish Trilogy
Departures on Saturdays from Dublin
(May 2 to September 26)
NEW FOR 2020!
This tour combines all 3 of our sightseeing adventures for a truly memorable holiday. Begin with our Causeway & Castles tour and discover the world class Titanic Centre and stunning Giant’s Causeway. Followed by an overnight stay in Dublin which leads to Ireland’s Ancient East where you can visit the medieval city of Kilkenny and enjoy the picturesque beauty of Cork. After another overnight stay in Dublin we embark on the final journey of this trilogy tour, the Best of the West. Discover the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s most famous coastline, the dramatic Cliffs of Moher, the amazing Ring of Kerry, and why not kiss the Blarney stone to wrap up this amazing 14 day tour.
ONLY 16 GUESTS PER DEPARTURE!
This COMBO TOUR features three popular itineraries: CAUSEWAY & CASTLES + IRELAND'S ANCIENT EAST + BEST OF THE WEST
2 nights in Belfast, 1 night in Donegal, 1 night Roscommon, 2 nights in Dublin, 1 night in Kilkenny, 2 nights in Cork, 1 night in Galway, 1 night in Spanish Point, 2 nights in Killarney
Depart Dublin & Slane
Departure Point – Collection from the Gresham Hotel in Dublin between 08:30am to 8:45am. Please meet out front of the hotel between these times.
Leaving Dublin this morning, and Ireland for that matter, we head north towards Belfast, located in Northern Ireland. But first we stop in County Meath at the brand new Slane Distillery, which is known typically for the massive concerts held at Slane Castle. This distillery was built within the surroundings of the 250-year-old stables and grain stores. Here we will learn everything about making Irish Whiskey, uisce beatha – the water of life. 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 will do a panoramic tour of the Falls and Shankill Roads to learn of the effects The Troubles had on the city and the entire island. Tonight, we will be staying, and enjoying dinner, at the brand-new Titanic Hotel Belfast, which is also conveniently located right beside the Titanic Visitor Centre where we will be heading in the morning.
Overnight – Titanic Hotel, Belfast
Belfast & Titanic Quarter
After breakfast, we make the long journey across the street for a visit 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 it was built all the way to its maiden voyage and subsequent place in history. When finished up at the centre, you can avail of our transfer to the city centre where the rest of the afternoon and evening are yours, free to explore Belfast and everything it has to offer. With countless options for dinner you’ll be hard pressed choosing, there’s Robinson’s Bistro which has been offering delicious pub food for over 100 years, or if you’re feeling like treating yourself you can check out Deanes, owned by famed Northern Irish chef Michael Deane.
Dinner/Overnight – Titanic Hotel, Belfast
Giants Causeway & Derry
Today, 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 when you do.
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. We then continue on to Donegal and the Abbey Hotel where we will be staying for the evening. Located in The Diamond, the main square of Donegal town, there are plenty of options for dinner, or a pint or two of Guinness, just a stone’s throw away.
Overnight—Central Hotel, Donegal
Donegal to Roscommon
This morning we 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
Kells & Dublin
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 where you can get a unique perspective into what coal mining life was like in Ireland from the 1700’s all the way to it’s 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. From here we return back to Dublin. You will be dropped off outside the Riu Gresham Hotel (23 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin) by 7 pm. The city is your's to discover on your own tonight.
Overnight—Dublin city centre hotel
Glendalough & Kilkenny
Departure Point for morning of Day 6: Collection from the Riu Gresham Hotel in Dublin between 08:30am to 08:45am. Please meet out front of the hotel between these times.
Leaving Dublin this morning we travel south to Co. Wicklow and the valley of the two lakes. Our first stop is nestled in the Wicklow Mountains National Park, at the Glendalough Visitor Centre. The Glendalough Valley was carved out by glaciers during the Ice Age and the two lakes, from which Glendalough gets its name, were formed when the ice eventually thawed. The Valley is home to one of Ireland’s most impressive monastic sites founded by St. Kevin in the 6th Century. From here we make our way onto historical Kilkenny with a guided tour of Kilkenny Castle. Built over 800 years ago, few buildings in Ireland can lay claim to a longer history of continuous occupation. The Castle’s interiors today capture the nineteenth-century lifestyle of the Butlers of Ormonde, while the architectural elements of the building and its historic landscaped parkland reflect a more varied history that spans the castles 800 years. Our hotel and dinner for the evening will be at the Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel, conveniently located across the road from the Castle.
Dinner/Overnight – Kilkenny Hibernian Hotel, Kilkenny
Waterford & Cork
Today we head down to the Viking city, Waterford, home to the world-renowned Waterford Crystal where we will be undertaking a tour of the factory. Here we will see first-hand how the exquisite pieces of crystal are made from the furnace to final engraving process that gives Waterford Crystal its signature look. This will be followed by a walking tour which will make Waterford and its heritage the high point of any Irish tour. Moving westward our next stop is Cork City where the evening is yours to discover. Dinner will be on your own choice tonight, and with some of the best eateries in the country you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking for an after-dinner cocktail, why not head to Cask, recent winner of Ireland’s bar of the year, conveniently located across the street from our hotel!
Overnight – Metropole Hotel, Cork
After breakfast we make our way south towards Kinsale, but first we have a guided tour of Charles Fort. Built in the 17th century this historic fort is one of the finest surviving examples of a 17th Century star-shaped fort, and much of the construction begun in 1678 remains. Next, we will have some free time in Kinsale one of Ireland’s most picturesque towns. Kinsale is known for its beautiful waterfront, brightly coloured shops and homes, and most notably the food. Hailed as the gourmet capital of Ireland, we will be embarking on a fabulous foodie tour of this scenic town to try everything it has to offer. The tour brings you on a gentle stroll which wends its way through this colourful town. We will stop at various eateries in Kinsale and meet some of the local characters and producers. These people are passionate about their culinary creations and you will learn their stories and more of the history of this unique part of Ireland. Arrive hungry!
Overnight – Metropole Hotel, Cork
Longueville & Kildare
Departing Cork, we make our way for the orchards of Longueville House. Here, we will learn about the process of making their award-winning cider, and with the entire production happening on site you could say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! Continuing on to Dublin we travel through the Curragh of Kildare for a guided tour of the Irish National Stud & Japanese Gardens. Touring with a guide you hear the behind-the-scenes story: stealing the show are the stallions whose racing track records enable them to command gigantic fees to cover mares. Maybe the hours-old foal you see (most are born between February and May) is destined to win the Epsom or Irish Derby. From here we return back to Dublin. You will be dropped off outside the Riu Gresham Hotel (23 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin) by 7 pm. Tonight is at your leisure.
Overnight—Dublin city centre hotel
Kilbeggan & Galway
Departure Point for morning of Day 10 – Collection from the Riu Gresham Hotel (23 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin) between 08:30am to 8:45am. Please meet out front of the hotel.
We leave Dublin this morning and begin our journey west through the midlands towards the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland – Kilbeggan. Here we will learn everything about making Irish Whiskey, uisce beatha – the water of life, from the bog to the bottle. Continuing westward we head towards the River Shannon and the town of Athlone where we’ll stop for lunch. There’s many choices in town, but we recommend a visit to the oldest pub in Ireland, Sean’s Bar. From Athlone we head directly to the seaside city of Galway where we will be staying this evening. The rest of your day is free to explore Galway as you see fit, you can catch some buskers on William Street or find yourself nestled in a cozy pub enjoying dinner, a pint of plain, and some traditional Irish music.
Overnight – Harbour Hotel, Galway
Aran Islands & Cliffs of Moher
This morning we leave Galway and make our way to the seaside town of Doolin, along the Wild Atlantic Way. Here we will board a ferry to Inis Oírr the most easterly of the Aran Islands, with the name reflecting that, Inis Oírr translates to East Island! While on the island you are free to explore and see what traditional Irish life entailed, the islands 260 permanent residents still converse in Irish!
After some free time on the island we get back on the ferry to experience the scale and majestic beauty of the Cliffs of Moher with a view that is truly breath-taking. From the Cliffs we make our way to Spanish Point for dinner at the Armada Hotel with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. After dinner you can enjoy the perfect pint around the hearth of a log burning fire at Johnny Burkes pub, which is attached to the hotel.
Dinner/Overnight – Armada Hotel, Spanish Point
After breakfast with views of the Atlantic Ocean as your backdrop we continue our journey through the Wild Atlantic Way and make our way down to the Kingdom of Kerry. With its craggy coastline, striking scenery and rich historical sites you are spoiled for choice in this beautiful county. Enroute we pass through Limerick on a panoramic tour of the city’s heritage precinct. From Limerick we make our way to the lovely village of Adare, where thatched cottages line the broad main street, here you can enjoy a coffee or a stroll through the quaint village.
We then continue on to Killarney where you will step back in time and experience Ireland’s most traditional mode of transport with a jaunting car tour. Learn about the history, folklore and the beauty of Killarney National Park and the majestic 15th century Ross Castle on the shores of Lough Leane. After checking into the hotel your evening is at leisure, so make sure you explore the town after dinner to catch some live traditional music at the many pubs lining the streets. One we recommend is J. M. Reidys, while it looks small from the outside, the pub has a sprawling interior with loads of cozy nooks that make it feel endless, and with live music almost every night of the year, you’re sure to enjoy a drink or two here.
Overnight – Killarney Plaza Hotel, Killarney
Ring of Kerry
Today we embark on one of the most scenic drives in Ireland, if not the world, the Ring of Kerry. Filled with picturesque landscapes, stunning coastlines and beautiful villages, it’ll be a wonder if there is any space left on your camera after this enchanting drive. As we make our way around the twists and turns of the Ring you will have plenty of opportunities for photos as well as tea or coffee in one of the many villages along the route. For lunch we will be stopping in the beautiful town of Kenmare, with loads of lovely boutiques and cafes lining the streets, your choices seem endless.
From Kenmare we head to Kissane Sheep Farm for a truly memorable sheepdog performance. The farm has been in the Kissane family for over 200 years and is situated on the doorstep of Killarney National Park with a stunning panoramic view of Moll’s Gap. You will be in awe watching on as the dogs’ movements are controlled by nothing more than a few whistles. After our demonstration at the sheep farm we head through the “Jewel in Kerry’s crown” Killarney National Park. Sitting at the foot of Ireland’s highest mountain range, Macgillycuddy Reeks, and home to Irelands only wild herd of red deer, the park is truly a spectacular spot of natural beauty. This evening we have dinner in our hotel followed by Gaelic Roots, a traditional Irish show in Killarney.
Dinner/ Overnight – Killarney Plaza Hotel, Killarney
Blarney & Cashel
Leaving Killarney today we head east towards Blarney Castle for a chance to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence (optional). Why the stone provides eloquence is shrouded in many different mythical origins, ranging from Queens to goddesses. However many legends there are of the origins of the stone, one thing is certain, the only way to experience the gift of the gab for yourself, is to kiss the stone. Besides the Castle, Blarney itself is a nice little village for a spot of lunch and some shopping, after which we will make our way towards the Rock of Cashel. Legend has it the devil himself formed it when taking a bite out of a nearby mountain, breaking his teeth and then spitting the rock out which landed at the site in Cashel. However, the medieval buildings, built in 12th, 13th and 15th century, that sit on the rock are the true sight to behold. From here we sadly have to make the final portion of our trip, and return back to Dublin.
You will be dropped off outside the Riu Gresham Hotel (23 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin) by 7 pm.
- Belfast & the Titanic
- Giant's Causeway
- Derry & Donegal
- Arigna & Kells
- Kilkenny Castle
- Waterford Crystal
- Charles Fort
- Doolin & the Aran Islands
- Cliffs of Moher
- Lahinch & Spanish Point
- Killarney & the Ring of Kerry
- Transportation throughout by modern touring mini-coach
- Services of an experienced local driver/guide
- 13 nights ensuite accommodation
- Full Irish breakfast daily
- 5 x table d’hote evening meals
- Walking food tour and tastings in Kinsale
- Walking tour of Derry & Waterford
- Gaelic Roots traditional Irish show in Killarney
- Admissions to: Titanic Experience, Giant's Causeway, Walking tour of Derry, Florence Court, Slane Distillery, Arigna Mines, Kilkenny Castle, Waterford Crystal, Charles Fort, Cider tasting at Longueville House, Irish National Stud & Japanese Gardens, Kilbeggan Distillery, Doolin to Aran Ferry, Jaunting Car ride through Killarney National Park, Kissane Sheep Farm, Rock of Cashel.