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Cuisine & Culture: Dublin, Killarney & Galway

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Cities overflowing with history, culture and culinary prowess collide with the Emerald Isle’s impressive coastal scenery on this fascinating independent rail vacation.

9 days From $2,055 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2023 Tour code: MK-DKGR-23

About the tour

Where else can you kiss a stone said to bestow eloquence, sip freshly made Guinness beer, and look upon 700-foot cliffs towering over the powerful Atlantic Ocean than Ireland? This country may be known for its hearty spirit and rolling landscapes, yet there is much more to uncover. On this independent expedition, spend nine days traveling through the Emerald Isle's most unique destinations, ranging from capital cities and coastal towns to UNESCO World Heritage Sites beloved for their outstanding scenery.

Ireland's well-connected railway system makes it easy to venture between destinations, including Dublin, Cork, Killarney, and Galway. Each metropolis is a window into the country's proud heritage and unmistakable culture, and you are invited to immerse yourself in them all through fantastic excursions and optional tours. Walk through the history-filled streets of Dublin on a guided tour, visit Blarney Castle in Cork, savor local flavors on a food tour in Galway, and enjoy a view over Dublin with a beer in hand at the Guinness Storehouse. Between urban hotspots, find yourself surrounded by nature's incredible beauty at places like the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, and Burren National Park. While Ireland's land mass may be quaint, its charms know no bounds.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Dublin

More than 1,000 years of history greet you in Ireland's capital city as you arrive in Dublin today. A private driver meets you at the airport to transfer you to your downtown hotel. Once you have checked in, join a local guide in discovering fantastic sites throughout the city center on a walking tour. Spend two and a half hours meandering through the streets, soaking in as many sights as possible. Highlights may include Dublin Castle, Trinity College, and various pubs, cathedrals, and historic buildings throughout the city. Following the tour, you can continue exploring on your own or join an optional excursion to Teeling Distillery, Dublin's first new distillery in over 125 years. Overnight Dublin.

Day 2 - Train to Cork/Blarney Castle Tour

Make your way to Dublin's rail station this morning to board the train bound for Cork, situated on the southern coastline. It takes less than three hours to travel through the country, with lovely scenes of urban and rural destinations throughout Ireland's interior. Dive right into Cork's rich heritage on arrival with a visit to Blarney Castle, built in the 1400s. Walk through the well-kept gardens, the Family Room, the Rock Close, and several other parts of the property while learning about its colorful history and fascinating inhabitants. Do not forget to kiss the Blarney Stone! The remainder of your day is at leisure to explore Cork. Fitzgerald's Park is a lovely place to soak in the city's ambiance. There are numerous restaurants to grab a bit to eat and a fantastic 18th-century covered market, the English Market, in the city center. Overnight Cork. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 - To Killarney by Rail

The journey continues to another gem of southern Ireland, Killarney. Lakes, mountains, and heathered meadows surround this charming locale, and the Atlantic coastline is just beyond the city in the west. The rural landscapes fade into the backdrop as historic buildings and the colorful city center come into view, the combination inviting your exploration. After checking into your hotel, the remainder of the day is yours to explore this lively city independently. Overnight Killarney. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Ring of Kerry

The Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in Ireland; see for yourself on today's motorcoach tour of the Ring of Kerry. This day trip explores the dramatic 112-mile route and gives you plenty of chances to admire and photograph the breathtaking scenery. Look upon windswept mountains, craggy cliffs, and the stirring sea crashing against the coast. But the natural wonders are just part of the beauty; the Ring of Kerry's towns and small villages unveil the region's charms. After the tour, you are returned to Killarney with the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight Killarney. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 – Killarney at Leisure

Today is yours to discover Killarney and the surrounding region at your own pace. Venturing into Killarney National Park allows you to explore Muckross House, the Muckross Abbey Ruins, Ross Castle, lakes, forests, waterfalls, and more. In downtown Killarney, culture abounds in the most unexpected places. Enjoy art galleries, historical sites, fantastic eateries, and authentic pubs. Alternatively, joining an optional guided tour to the Dingle Peninsula opens your eyes to another perspective on western Ireland. The pretty town of Dingle and its surrounding coastal scenery are sure to leave a lasting impression. Overnight Killarney. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - Travel to Galway/Galway Food Tour

Even more of Ireland's scenic terrain lies ahead as you travel toward Galway. Your journey begins after breakfast as you travel north by deluxe motorcoach from Killarney to Limerick. The route ends at Limerick's train station, where you board a high-speed train to Galway, nestled on Galway Bay. Consider upgrading your travel experience to a private driver for a more exclusive and scenic transfer. Your drive can take you on a direct route between destinations or take you by way of the Cliffs of Moher.

While Galway's tale began over 800 years ago in the 12th century, its incredible gastronomic scene and vibrant atmosphere have allowed it to become the festival capital of the nation. Set out on foot and get a taste of Ireland one stop at a time. Galway is famous for its oysters and fresh seafood, yet your tastings do not end here. Traditional fare, locally produced delicacies, and more await your tastebuds. Spend the remainder of the day enjoying the city's fantastic amenities at leisure. Overnight Galway.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7 - Cliffs of Moher & Burren National Park

Rising over 700 feet above the tumultuous Atlantic Ocean below, the Cliffs of Moher are by and large one of the most impressive locales on Ireland's western seaboard. Its dramatic, emerald-hued cliffs and gorgeous water views are yours to behold on today's excursion. Admire the passing coastal scenes from the Wild Atlantic Way as a motorcoach takes you from Galway to the Cliffs of Moher. While there, set out on the Coastal Walk and drink in the 350-million-year-old landscapes of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your tour also includes a visit to Burren National Park, giving you another perspective on the region's rugged beauty. Overnight Galway. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 – Train to Dublin/Guinness Storehouse

Delightful vistas of Ireland's interior lead the way as you travel by train from the West Coast to the East. Your destination is Dublin, where you began this memorable Irish expedition. Because of the quaint size of the country, it takes just over two hours to get back to the capital. And what better way to settle in than with a pint of Guinness? This afternoon, enjoy admission to the Guinness Storehouse. Learn the history of this iconic beer's production while meandering through the venue's seven stories. Impeccable views over Dublin's skyline greet you from the top floor and its Gravity Bar.

Following the excursion, feel free to continue your explorations independently, perhaps by visiting Phoenix Park or perusing one of the local museums, such as the National Gallery of Ireland or Kilmainham Gaol. You may also join an optional tour of the Irish Emigration Museum for more structured sightseeing. Overnight Dublin.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 9 – Dublin

Your journey through the Emerald Isle concludes this morning after breakfast at your hotel. A private transfer to Dublin Airport accommodates flights departing after 1:00 p.m. If you aren't ready to return to daily life, consider staying in Ireland for a few more days with a Belfast post-trip extension. 

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Belfast Extension

Day 9 - Dublin to Belfast by Train/Belfast Walking Tour
Revel in the chance to admire yet another part of the country as you travel by train from Dublin to Belfast in Northern Ireland. This city also boasts capital city designation and is known for many things, including being the place where the Titanic was built. Belfast has a long and storied past. Modern structures meet the historical buildings that remain, and art installations and museums detail Belfast's history uniquely. Join a guided walking tour to explore the city. Highlights may include the Cathedral Quarter, the Spirit of Belfast, and Castle Lane, amongst other sights. Overnight Belfast.

Day 10 - Giant's Causeway
A gem of the northern coast, Giant's Causeway, awaits your discovery on today's excursion. This impressive site on the Causeway Coast is denoted by 60-million-year-old basalt columns - over 40,000 of them, in fact. Explore the beaches and look upon the cold Atlantic beyond the natural formations. From the moment you arrive, you see why this gorgeous area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight Belfast.

Day 11 - Belfast at Leisure/Rail to Dublin
The morning is yours to relax at your hotel or continue immersing yourself in the dynamic city of Belfast. You may wish to enjoy a traditional Irish breakfast in one of the local eateries or to get a taste of the region at St. George's Market. Dive into 9,000 years of Irish history at the Ulster Museum or tour the mighty Belfast Castle stronghold. You also have the chance to learn more about the "Queen of the Ocean" on an optional tour of the Titanic Experience.

Head to Belfast's train station this afternoon to join the rails once more. It takes just over two hours to cross back into the Republic of Ireland and arrive in Dublin. Check in at your hotel with the remainder of your day to enjoy the lively Irish spirit however you choose. Overnight Dublin.

Day 12 - Return Home
After exploring Belfast and the beauty of Northern Ireland, your tour concludes this morning. Enjoy a private transfer to Dublin Airport that accommodates departures after 1:00 p.m.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

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Irish Railways
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