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Dublin & the Enchanting Emerald Isle

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Small Group

Our highlights include the Ring of Kerry, Cork and Killarney, the legendary Blarney Stone, the Cliffs of Moher and Ireland's wonderful capital, Dublin.

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
20232024
9 days From $2,295 per person
Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2023 Tour code: GR-IRSA-23

About the tour

Rugged coastline, beautiful rolling hills and dramatic castles are all within reach on this tour of the Emerald Isle. Our highlights include the Ring of Kerry, Cork and Killarney, the legendary Blarney Stone, the Cliffs of Moher and Ireland's wonderful capital, Dublin.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - To Dublin

Meet your group and Tour Manager at your hotel in Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland. This gorgeous city is steeped in history and tradition, and is the perfect place to start our Irish adventure, with every turn revealing a myriad of historic architecture, welcoming locals and lively music. Tonight, we enjoy dinner together. Overnight Dublin.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Discovering Cork

We transfer into the center of Dublin by coach today, and take the train to Cork, for free time to explore. This afternoon, we visit the Jameson Distillery for a tour. Whiskey is one of Ireland's most famous exports, and Jameson Whiskey was brewed at this Bow Street site from 1780 to 1971, when it moved out of Dublin. In its heyday, this distillery was a community within the city, boasting numerous workshops, including a smithy, a coppersmith, and a saw mill. During the tour, we learn fascinating aspects of the whiskey distilling process, hearing about the method of triple distilling for a smoother taste. Afterwards, we also have the opportunity to enjoy a wee dram before transferring to our hotel in Cork. Overnight Cork.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Blarney Castle

We begin the day with a visit to Cobh, the last port of call of the Titanic in 1912. We continue to the famous Blarney Castle. One of Ireland's greatest treasures, this iteration of the medieval castle was built in 1446, but sources suggest that there have been dwellings here since perhaps the 12th century. Of course, the most famous attraction here is the Blarney Stone. Legend has it, if you hang upside down and kiss the stone, you are said to become extremely eloquent. Because of this, the world 'blarney' has become Irish slang for someone who possesses the 'gift of the gab'. There's time to explore the castle and its gardens, be sure to look out for the fascinating poison garden, filled with a number of nefarious plants, including wolfsbane, ricin, and opium. Afterwards, we continue to our hotel in Killarney for dinner. Later this evening, we are whisked off to the Celtic Steps Show for an evening of Irish music and dance. Overnight Killarney.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Killarney & the Ring of Kerry

We enjoy a scenic drive around the beautiful Ring of Kerry today, one of the most dramatic areas of scenery in Ireland. From the tumultuous sea, to the craggy windswept mountains and cliffs, experience the Irish countryside before our visit to the Kerry Bog Village Museum to discover more about Ireland's rural heritage. Here, we experience what the culture, living conditions and customs of Irish ancestors from the 19th century would have been like. The village offers an immersive experience, complete with thatched cottages, genuine antiques and realistic figurines. Later, we take a horse and carriage ride on the Jaunting Cars of Killarney. Step back in time with tales of a bygone era and Irish folklore, all while exploring the stunning views of Killarney National Park and the Lakes of Killarney. Jaunting Cars have been a traditional mode of transport in Ireland since the early 19th century, and they are a wonderfully unique way to see the Emerald Isle. Overnight Killarney. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - The Cliffs of Moher

We make our way to Galway via the dramatic Cliffs of Moher - Ireland's most iconic natural attraction and a UNESCO Global Geopark. Here, towering cliffs rise up out of the sea as the wild ocean, home to dolphins and sharks, crashes against the jagged rocks below. We arrive at a local smokehouse for a smoked salmon masterclass, enjoying a demonstration before a tasting of the delicious smoked salmon, with a glass of wine. Continuing, we visit the Burren Centre in Kilfenora, for a fascinating insight into local history. We then make our way to Kinvara, near Galway for the night. This evening, at our hotel, we have a chance to pull our own pint of Guinness - Ireland's iconic stout. Overnight Kinvara.

 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Connemara

We start our day with a visit to the Celtic Crystal Factory in Connemara, where we learn about glass cutting. We continue to Glen Keen Farm where we watch a sheep dog trial, followed by a delicious lunch and traditional entertainment. This afternoon, we visit Kylemore Abbey, a spectacular waterside Benedictine nunnery. Originally built in 1867, the abbey is surrounded by dramatic mountains and lakes. Next, we visit the 'Quiet Man' Cottage, a replica of the cottage used in the 1952 film of the same name. Overnight Kinvara.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Dublin

We return to vibrant Dublin by rail and check into our hotel. The city is steeped in history and tradition, with every turn revealing historic architecture, welcoming locals, and lively music. Overnight Dublin.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Dublin

Our day begins with a private, pre-opening tour of EPIC The Irish Emigration museum, where we discover how the Irish people have helped shape the world. We continue on a guided tour of vibrant Dublin, seeing the Book of Kells, an ancient codex written in around 800 AD. We visit Trinity College before a guided tour of Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison notorious in the 19th century. Later, we enjoy dinner at 'The Merry Ploughboys', one of the best traditional pubs in Dublin and the perfect way to end our explorations of Ireland. Overnight Dublin.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Tour Conclusion

Today your tour concludes and you are free to make your way to the airport for your flight back home. 

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

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.

Hotels

Maldron City Centre Shandon

Maldron City Centre Shandon, Cork

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Roganstown Hotel & Country Club

Roganstown Hotel & Country Club, Dublin

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Castelrosse Hotel Kerry, Killarney

Castelrosse Hotel Kerry, Killarney

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Train

Irish Railways

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Reviews

5.0 stars5.0 / 5 · 3 reviews

  1. 5 stars
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  5. 1 star
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Leni K, Debary, FL

5 stars

Submitted 18 Dec 2018

The entire vacation was perfect! Everything went exactly as planned, it was flawless!! We loved it and are already talking about planning another vacation with you!!

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Jack H, Bluff City, TN

5 stars

Submitted 21 Feb 2018

The route provided a great appreciation of Ireland and its landscape. The ability to interact with citizens both on the rail and while visiting the towns made us feel welcome. The itinerary arranged was spot on and was a fulfilling use of our days in Ireland.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Gregory M, Corvallis, OR

5 stars

Submitted 08 Feb 2018

Everything ran smoothly. The hotels were very nice and the hosts did a good job. We enjoyed the trip

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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