A thorough introduction to the Emerald Isle, this rail journey offers scenic and cultural highlights throughout both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
About the Tour
Irish whiskey, dramatic views, ancient castles and hallmarks of Irish culture greet you on this all-encompassing tour of Ireland. Begin in Belfast with a guided tour of the dynamic city, as well as visits to a Victorian prison and the Titanic Museum. As the expedition moves along to Bushmill, enjoy looks at not one, but two, castles against the dramatic shorelines of Northern Ireland. We tour a distillery in Bushmill, sampling fine Irish whiskey, then move on to one of the most renowned coastal sights in all of Ireland, Giant’s Causeway. Even more castles await our discovery as we continue toward Colaine and Derry. Crossing into the Republic of Ireland, Slieve League, the Connemara Coast, and Kylemore Abbey are just some of the points of interest to look forward to. The tour concludes with time in Dublin, where Irish heritage is brought to life through food, drink, and local entertainment. Awash with locations that capture the essence of Ireland, this tour is a great place to start as a newcomer to the Emerald Isle.
- Rail travel on board Irish Railways
- Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
- 13 meals, including dinner at The Merry Ploughboys Pub on your final evening
- Guided sightseeing tour of Belfast
- Excursion to Crumlin Road Gaol
- Visit to the Titanic Museum
- Coach trip around the Causeway Coast including the Giant's Causeway
- Time at Bushmills Distillery
- Tour of Derry
- Traditional Irish Whiskey tasting
- Visit Carrickfergus Castle, Dunluce Castle and Kylemore Abbey
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour manager
Day 1-3 – The Titanic Museum and Irish Whiskey Tasting
Meet your group and Tour Manager in Belfast. On arrival, we set out on a guided tour by coach before transferring to our hotel. We continue our explorations on the morning of Day 2, with a visit to Crumlin Road Gaol - a Victorian-era prison. After a tour, there's free time for lunch before we continue to the Titanic Museum, where you can discover the secrets of the world's most infamous ship. Day 3 sees us transfer to Bushmills, on the north coast of County Antrim. Along the way, we stop at Carrickfergus Castle and Ballycastle. Enjoy free time around this area of Outstanding Natural Beauty before we make our way to the Bushmills Distillery. Here we enjoy a delicious whiskey tasting. (Day 1 - D; Day 2- B; Day 3 - B, D)
Day 4 – The Giant’s Causeway
We visit one of Northern Ireland's most beloved attractions today - the Giant's Causeway. Next, we visit Dunluce Castle, an ancient site that had a starring role in Game of Thrones as Castle Greyjoy. Afterward, we transfer to Coleraine where you have free time before catching the train to Derry. On arrival, we set out on a guided walking tour of this town that sits on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. (B, D)
Days 5-6 – Slieve League and The Connemara Coast
We head out into the Irish countryside today, visiting Slieve League - one of the highest sea cliffs in all of Ireland. Soak up commanding views over the dramatic Atlantic coast before our drive to Glenveagh, where we enjoy a tour. The Connemara Coast enchants us on Day 6, as we enjoy a picturesque drive to Westport. Following free time, we continue to Kylemore Abbey. (Days 5 & 6 - B, D)
Days 7-8 – Dublin and the Merry Ploughboys pub
We catch the train back to Dublin this morning. After some time at leisure, this evening we enjoy dinner at a real Irish institution, the Merry Ploughboys pub. On Day 8 your tour concludes and you are free to make your way to the airport for your flight back home. (Day 7 - B, D; Day 8 - B)
The 4-Star Hilton Hotel in Belfast is located close to the city center, on the banks of the Lagan River. The Sonoma Restaurant offers a menu of traditional Irish cuisine, accompanied by fantastic views across the river from its floor to ceiling windows. The relaxed Cables Bar is an ideal place to unwind on an evening, offering a range of cocktails and wines along with tapas-style dishes. The guest rooms feature a flat screen television, a marble bathroom, a minibar and tea & coffee making facilities.
Bushmills Inn Hotel & Restaurant
The 4-Star Bushmills Inn Hotel & Restaurant is set in a stunning 17th-century lodge, just minutes away from The Bushmills Gallery. The traditional, yet comfortable, rooms feature modern amenities, such as a television, a hairdryer, tea & coffee-making facilities, and a room safe. The hotel itself boasts a restaurant, a patio, and a rustic bar, still lit by gas lights, which offers live music every week. You can also enjoy a movie screening in the boutique cinema in the hotel (payable locally).
In Donegal, we stay at the 3-Star Abbey Hotel. A local institution found at the heart of this historic Irish town, the Abbey Hotel is well-maintained, tasteful and very much a traditional hotel, combining modern amenities with a classic Irish feel. The Abbey Hotel doubles as a live music venue, hosting a variety of acts including Irish folk music amongst other styles. Each room features a television, tea & coffee making facilities and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Oranmore Lodge Hotel
The 4-Star Oranmore Lodge hotel was originally a manor house built in 1850 and has now been fully renovated. It is located a few minutes walk from Oranmore village. Amenities at Oranmore Lodge include Wi-Fi, flat screen televisions and tea & coffee making facilities. The on-site leisure center includes a fitness room, heated indoor pool, and hot tub for guests. Guests may also enjoy spa treatments (payable locally).
The Academy Plaza in Dublin is a family-owned 3-Star hotel in the city center. It is within walking distance of several landmarks, including Temple Bar, Croke Park Stadium, and St Stephen's Green. Each room has a cheerful feel to it because of the bright and stylish color palette, and come equipped with climate control facilities, a television, a safe, work-desk area, an iron and ironing board, toiletries, a hairdryer, tea & coffee making facilities, and Wi-Fi. We also have access to the on-site fitness room. The hotel has both a bar and grill, featuring a diverse drinks menu as well as a restaurant serving traditional Irish fare.
The Ashling Hotel in Dublin is a 4-Star facility overlooking the Guinness Brewery. The hotel is ideally located next to Phoenix Park and is close to Dublin Zoo, and the Collins Barracks Museum. Each room has a flat screen television, tea, coffee and biscuit supplies, a hairdryer, a safe, air-conditioning, and complimentary bottled water. The inhouse restaurant is famous for its 100-item buffet breakfast, and the bar offers a wide selection of drinks on its menu.
Many of our journeys in Ireland are on board Irish Railroads' new Intercity trains. These smart, modern trains are comfortable and air-conditioned. Other journeys are on board Irish Railroads' regional services. The Intercity trains include onboard Wi-Fi and power points, and on these trains, we travel through the stunning Irish scenery. Irish railroads operate on a very unique track gauge of 5 foot 3 inches - the only other place in the world where this particular gauge can be found is in Australia.
Tour Dates & Prices
Register for Free Notification of 2021 Dates & Prices
Enter your details below if you would like to be notified when 2021 dates and prices are available for Giants Causeway & Irelands North West.