Call to book1-877-929-7245
Tour Search
#Favorites

Signature Ireland: Splendors of the Emerald Isle

Save
You are viewing the 2024 itinerary. Select your departure year
20242025
13 days From $5,695 per person
Gallery
Map
Small Group

Discover the beauty of Ireland with first-class comforts, captivating coastal explorations, and journeys on heritage train lines, all while sipping the nation's finest drinks.

Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2024 Tour code: IPJ24

About the tour

Experience first-class amenities, chic accommodations, and fantastic traditions from the Emerald Isle on this premium tour of Ireland. Spend time in charming coastal cities, seeing how the ocean has influenced the nation's story, and driving along scenic byways paved with rugged beauty.

Combine this with train journeys on local and heritage lines, ferry rides, and scenic cruises in unimaginable locations to create an experience like none other. While learning the country's past and toasting to its future with pints of Guinness and the water of life, Irish Whiskey, you'll be enchanted by Ireland.

Unforgettable Experiences

Luxury Hotels
Luxury Hotels
Experience luxury at its finest with 4 and 5-star accommodations including Lough Eske, an authentic Irish castle.
Blarney Castle
Blarney Castle
Step into the realms of Irish folklore and mythology as we explore the magnificent Blarney Castle.
Wild Atlantic Way
Wild Atlantic Way
Sail into the wild Atlantic to view the Cliffs of Moher towering over the rugged West Clare coast.
Jameson Disillery
Jameson Disillery
Enjoy a tasting session at the prestigious Jameson Midleton Distillery, where some of the finest Irish whiskeys are made.
Dublin
Dublin
Explore lively Dublin and learn to pull the perfect pint at the Guinness Factory.
World-famous Titanic Center
World-famous Titanic Center
Visit the world-famous Titanic Center in Belfast, the very place where Titanic was designed, built and launched.
Irish National Stud & Gardens
Irish National Stud & Gardens
Dip your toes into the traditional world of horse racing at the Irish National Stud & Gardens.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Lively Dublin

Welcome to the beautiful Emerald Isle, where beautiful landscapes and gorgeous destinations go hand-in-hand. As your flight arrives in Dublin, make your way to the Dylan Hotel. This five-star hotel is surrounded by all the tree-lined plazas and enticing amenities this neighborhood is known for, and your afternoon is free to begin exploring them.

You could wander along the canal walkways, taking in Dublin's history, culture, and lively atmosphere. Or, you could visit EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum to discover how the Irish have helped shape the world. This evening, you meet your fellow travelers and Tour Manager for a welcome drink at the Ruby Room - a local Dublin pub - ahead of our first group dinner.

Overnight Dublin.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – An exciting Guinness Factory tour

Our first Full Irish breakfast is served at the hotel this morning ahead of the day's adventures. We set out into the city on a brief coach tour featuring some of Dublin's most famous attractions. Our expert guide shares fascinating insights while we enjoy panoramic views from the windows of iconic landmarks like Trinity College and Dublin Castle.

We then continue to the famous Guinness Storehouse. Our tour here introduces us to 'the black stuff', including its 250-year-plus story, how the beer is brewed, and how it is stored. Wander through the facility's seven floors to experience Guinness' living history, and enjoy tastings along the way. After savouring the sights, sounds, tastes, and aromas of Guinness, we learn how to pour the perfect pint. There's then time to head to the roof-top Gravity Bar, where you can sip a pint or two while soaking up 360-degree views of Dublin.

Following the tour, the rest of your day is at leisure to enjoy the city's ambiance. You may wish to taste authentic Irish whiskey at a local pub or to see Dublin Castle glowing in its evening lights.

Overnight Dublin.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 – Brilliant Belfast

Our first train trip lies ahead this morning as we transfer to Dublin's rail station to join the Enterprise Train to Belfast. Settle into your seat in First Class and watch the Irish landscapes unfold as we climb the Irish Sea coast and cross into Northern Ireland.

As we arrive at Lanyon Station in Belfast, we're greeted by Conor, an award-winning local guide. An innovative walking tour introduces us to hidden Belfast, with its significant sites and tucked-away treasures. This afternoon visit the world-famous Titanic Center. Explore at leisure learning about the construction of the ship and the stories of its passengers and crew.

This evening, we continue to our hotel, the exquisite Grand Central Hotel in the heart of Belfast, to dine at its award-winning onsite restaurant, the Seahorse.

Overnight Belfast.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 – Causeway Coastal Route

We begin our day on the road, driving north along the picturesque Antrim Coast, a region acclaimed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our first stop is in Glenariff National Forest at one of Ireland's most scenic coffee shops: Glenariff Teahouse. Sip your brew while looking over incredible ocean views, then collect your packed lunch from the shop and continue toward Giant's Causeway.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site destination is truly magnificent. Sit back and admire the giant hexagon rock formations tumbling down into the Atlantic Ocean. You can enjoy lunch on the rocky shore overlooking the water before we continue our journey.

Arrive at the ruined Dunluce Castle for a photo opportunity. Some of you may recognize as Castle Greyjoy from Game of Thrones, and then it is on to Derry City. The first thing we see here is the twelve Bogside Murals, known as the 'People's Gallery' before we stroll along the city's 17th-century walls. Our final stop today is Lough Eske Castle in Donegal. Once a private residence, this authentic Irish castle is now a five-star hotel and our home for the night. Enjoy dinner here and the evening to explore the castle and its grounds.

Overnight Donegal.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 – Wild Atlantic Way

Take to one of the nation's most scenic byways, the Wild Atlantic Way, for a day filled with breathtaking scenery. Gaze upon Mullaghmore Head, Ireland's premier surfing destination, and marvel at the gorgeous coastline as we cross into County Leitrim and head to Parkes Castle.

A guided tour introduces this 17th-century fortress, which was utterly neglected from 1677, when a tragedy occurred on the property, until the 20th century. Explore its Banquet Hall, Family Room, and Courtyard, among other sites. We then board a tour boat for a cruise to the town of Sligo. This idyllic destination is incredibly scenic, nested between the mountains, Atlantic, and Lough Gill.

Continuing south, we arrive in the vibrant city of Galway, a gem of Ireland's west coast and our base for the next two nights. Check into your Deluxe Room at the Hardiman Hotel before dinner with the group and an evening to relax or explore as you wish.

Overnight Galway.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Stunning Kylemore Abbey and the historic Connemara Railway

Back on the Wild Atlantic Way, we continue into the windswept landscape of Connemara and toward Kylemore Abbey. This spectacular waterside Benedictine nunnery was originally built in 1867 and converted to a monastery in 1920 by nuns escaping Belgium during the First World War. It's surrounded by acres of dramatic mountains and lakes and you can explore both the abbey and its gardens.

After our visit, we continue to Maam Cross Station for a round trip on one of Ireland's newest heritage trains, the Connemara Railway. This heritage railway takes us on a scenic ride through the picturesque landscapes of western Ireland. During the nostalgic journey, we pass by wonderful countryside, rolling hills, and along the rugged Atlantic coastline. Once the train stops, we head to the dining car to indulge in tea and scones.

We return to Galway this evening, where you have the evening to enjoy the city as you please. The city is also full of exceptional live music and there are plenty of traditional pubs and award-winning restaurants in the city center to enjoy dinner.

Overnight Galway.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 – The magnificent Cliffs of Moher

The first stretch of our travels today takes us into County Clare to the Burren Smokehouse. This family-run business has operated for over 30 years, providing the Emerald Isle with fresh, organic, smoked salmon. We learn its art today on arrival and, naturally, taste the fruits of their labors in the form of salmon tapas.

Then we head to Doolin Pier, where we experience a boat trip into the wild Atlantic Ocean to view the mighty Cliffs of Moher from below. Ireland's most iconic natural attraction and a UNESCO Global Geopark, the area is made up of towering cliffs that rise up out of the sea as waves crash against the jagged rocks below.

Following this incredible excursion, our day wraps up as we arrive at the Dunloe Hotel and Gardens, a luxury hotel overlooking Dunloe Gap in Kerry, just outside of Killarney. Enjoy dinner once you've checked in ahead of a night of relaxation.

Overnight Killarney.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Dramatic landscapes at The Ring of Kerry

Tradition holds firmly in Ireland, and we experience it first-hand on a traditional Killarney mode of transport - a Jaunting Car (horse-drawn carriage). Headed by a local jarvey, the ride takes us through verdant parklands and past historical structures to the heritage town of Kenmare. This small town's name means 'Head of the Sea,' and its waterside ambiance matches the title.

Enjoy some time to grab lunch in one of the local eateries or wander through its main distinct, popping in and out of shops. After, we transfer to Killarney via the incredible Ring of Kerry Road. Soak up the dramatic beauty of Ireland on this scenic drive through natural beauty, rolling hills and lush mountains bleeding into blue water.

Along the way, we see Torc Waterfall - a natural wonder, the breathtaking Moll's Gap, and Ladies View - a vantage point with amazing views. Arriving at a sheep farm, we enjoy a demonstration of their traditional practices. For dinner this evening, we head to Muckross House for an Irish Night in Quills farmhouse with traditional food and entertainment.

Overnight Killarney.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – Beautiful Dingle Peninsula

Grab your camera for this morning's scenic drive through the Dingle Peninsula. The mountains and foothills of the inland give way to craggy cliffs and pristine beaches, making the peninsula postcard-perfect. Our route reveals it all as we join Slea Head Drive on its epic journey along the coast, driving past Dunquin Harbor and onto the small town of Dingle.

This destination's fishing town roots show through its colorful, artistic exterior, making it a fantastic place to explore. You have some free time here to gaze at the boats in its harbor, grab a bite in one of the sixty-five pubs, or shop the local wares. We then follow the Dingle Peninsula to Killarney, where you're at leisure to visit any of the local eateries, grab a pint, or sightsee without the crowds of mid-day.

Overnight Killarney.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 – Legendary Blarney Castle and Cosmopolitan Cork

Leaving the ocean behind, we venture through County Kerry's rugged mountainscapes and head inland to the Rebel County itself, County Cork. On the way, we pause at the world-famous Blarney Castle. While much of this castle is in ruins, there's still a lot to explore. You can wander through its underground tunnels, dungeon, second-floor murder hole. It has immaculate outdoor grounds filled with interesting gardens, including one of Ireland's only (known) poison gardens.

We're introduced to the city at its old jail as we arrive in Cork. Cork City Gaol was built in a castle-like fashion and opened in 1824. Over its 100 years of operation, it gained some fascinating and harrowing tales, which we learn today as we tour. The evening takes us to our hotel, the Montenotte. While this fine establishment now boasts stunning designs and modern amenities, it began its journey as a family mansion in 1820. We enjoy dinner with our group in the restaurant, before time to relax at leisure. You could head to the hotel's Glasshouse Cocktail Bar for an inspiring city view.

Overnight Cork.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 - Titanic Experience and Old Midleton Distillery

This morning, we head to Cobh, a Victorian village known as Queenstown until 1920. With its colorful buildings and gorgeous cathedral, you might recognize it as the final port of call for the RMS Titanic. We learn more about this important part of the village's history at the Titanic Experience.

On arrival, we're given a replica ticket with the name of an actual passenger from its 1912 voyage. Spend some time exploring the exhibits with an expert guide, learning about the conditions on the ship and the things the passengers experienced - including the ship's most tragic night. At the end, you'll find out what the fate of your passenger was.

This afternoon we visit the Old Midleton Distillery. This property has buildings dating to 1790 and is a wonderful place to learn the craft of Irish whiskey. Tour the facility and learn about the distilling process from mash to bottle before tasting some of its most delicious products. After the tour, continue exploring Cork at your own pace. You could sample your way through the English Market or stroll along the Shandon Walk, a mile-long trail that immerses you in the architecture of Cork's oldest parts.

Overnight Cork.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 12 - Beautiful Irish National Stud & Gardens

After breakfast, we transfer to Cork Kent Station. Here, we take the train to Portlaoise, deep in the heart of Ireland's interior. On arrival, our coach takes us to Kildare, where a VIP visit to the Irish National Stud & Gardens teaches us the history and significance of the Irish thoroughbred in horse racing. Interactive technology takes us on this journey, during which you select and train your horse, choose the color of your jockey's silks, and see your thoroughbred during a simulated race.

After, we're guided outside to the property's lush gardens. Its Japanese Garden is nearly 120 years old and symbolizes the life of man. The St. Fiachra's Garden, dedicated to the patron saint of gardeners, pays tribute to Ireland's natural landscape. Lunch is available in the Japanese Garden.

We then continue to the village of Straffan in County Kildare where we check into Barberstown Castle, a fortress built in 1288 and now an elegant hotel. During your stay this evening, you could follow in the footsteps of Eric Clapton while exploring, as he owned this Irish castle for nearly a decade. Toast to a spectacular journey with your Tour Manager and fellow travelers with a pre-dinner drink, and then sit down to a private dinner in the Barton Room. Ending your expedition with modern fare in an age-old setting is a poetic representation of the country itself.

Overnight Kildare.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13 - Home

Our exciting tour through the Emerald Isle comes to a close this morning. Enjoy a final Full Irish surrounded by a 13th-century ambience, then bid farewell as you take a group transfer to the airport with your Tour Manager and newfound friends.

*Group Transfer flights be arranged after 11am.

*Private transfers/taxis can be arranged directly with the hotel if this timing doesn't work for all travelers.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Hotels

The Dylan Hotel, Dublin

The Dylan Hotel, Dublin

View hotel

Grand Central Hotel Belfast, Belfast

Grand Central Hotel Belfast, Belfast

View hotel

Lough Eske Castle, Donegal

Lough Eske Castle, Donegal

View hotel

The Hardiman, Galway

The Hardiman, Galway

View hotel

The Dunloe Hotel & Gardens, Kerry

The Dunloe Hotel & Gardens, Kerry

View hotel

The Montenotte Hotel, Cork

The Montenotte Hotel, Cork

View hotel

Barberstown Castle, Dublin

Barberstown Castle, Dublin

View hotel

Trains

Irish Railways
The Connemara Railway