Experience the best of Ireland on a 9-day tour that takes you to the spectacular west coast, to Cork and Cobh in the southwest, and to Belfast and the Antrim coast. Spend a day exploring Dublin. Travel by rail and coach on a journey through this scenic and fascinating land.
Check in at Dublin Heuston Station for a 07:00 departure to Cork. Visit Blarney Castle (admission included) and kiss the Blarney Stone to acquire the gift of eternal eloquence. After time for lunch and shopping you’ll have a short tour of Cork city and a scenic journey alongside Cork Harbour to Cobh. This was the last port of call for the Titanic and where generations of Irish emigrants left for the New World. Visit the Cobh Heritage Centre, home of the Queenstown Story (admission included).
Travel by train from Cobh to Killarney, where you’ll check in at your centrally located B&B accommodation with ensuite facilities. The evening is free to explore the traditional pubs and restaurants and possibly for a walk to the famous lakes.
At 10:00 you’ll embark on a drive along the famous Ring of Kerry, largely a coastal drive around the Iveragh Peninsula, on one side of which is Dingle Bay. Take in lots of stunning mountain and coastal scenery. Pass through Sneem Village and see the Skellig Rocks, Macgillicuddy Reeks, and Carrantuohill, Ireland’s highest mountain. The route also includes Moll’s Gap and Ladies View, over the world-famous Lakes of Killarney. The evening is free to further explore Killarney. Overnight in Killarney.
Starting out at 07:30, you’ll transfer by road from Killarney to Limerick, passing through the lovely village of Adare. In Limerick you’ll have a short tour of the city that was the setting for the movie, Angela's Ashes. Head north to Bunratty Castle and Folk Village (admission and guided tour included). The next stop is at a traditional Irish Pub, O’Connor's of Doolin, where you’ll find reasonably priced seafood and pub grub (lunch not included).
It’s just a short drive from Doolin to the majestic Cliffs of Moher (admission included). Continue on to experience the unique, lunar-like landscape of the Burren, before heading along the shores of Galway Bay on a route that is regarded as one of Europe's top 10 coastal drives. Overnight in Galway city in 3 or 4 star hotel. Your evening is free to explore one of Ireland’s most popular cities.
At 10:30 you’ll transfer to the Connemara airport for a flight and tour of Inismór, the largest of the Aran Islands. Enjoy lunch at Kilronan before visiting the magnificent ancient fort, Dún Aengus, with its sheer cliffs and dramatic sea views. Your return flight and transfer back to Galway city will have you there with time for exploring and shopping. Overnight in Galway.
Depart Galway at 10:00 for a tour of Connemara including Kylemore Abbey and its lovely Victorian gardens. As you travel through Connemara you’ll see many Connemara ponies in their natural habitat. Transfer to Clifden, the capital of Connemara, where you’ll check in at either the Abbeyglen Castle Hotel, Station House Hotel, or Foyles Hotel in the center of town.
Your evening is free to explore this beautiful little town on the Atlantic Coast, filled with wonderful pubs and seafood restaurants. Dinner and overnight in Clifden.
At 10:00 you’ll leave Clifden on a tour of the Sky Road, Coral Beach, and spectacular coastal scenery. Visit Derrygimlagh Bog, the site where Alcock and Brown landed in 1919 after the first ever non-stop transatlantic flight. Return to Kylemore for lunch (not included), and then on through Connemara, enjoying spectacular mountain and lake scenery on the way back to Galway. Join the train to Dublin arriving at 21:45. Overnight in Dublin at a city center hotel.
Enjoy a leisure day in Dublin and use your Hop-on Hop-off Dublin City Sightseeing tour ticket (included) to see the city’s most famous attractions including the Guinness Brewery, Trinity College (home to the Book of Kells), Kilmainham Jail, Christchurch and St. Patrick's cathedrals, and lots lots more. Overnight in Dublin.
Check in at Dublin Connolly Station for a 07:35 departure for Belfast. On arrival you’ll board a coach and head north along the famous Antrim Coast road, crossing the lovely Glens of Antrim en route to Ballycastle and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge (if you wish to walk across the bridge there is a local charge of GBP 4.50).
Enjoy a glimpse of the Scottish coast on a clear day, and continue to the sunning Giant's Causeway (admission included). You’ll make a brief stop at Dunluce Castle before returning to Belfast to check in at your 4-star hotel in the city center. Overnight in Belfast.
After enjoying a full Irish breakfast (the famous Ulster fry), you’ll join the Belfast Hop-on Hop-off tour that explores the city center and also the Titanic Quarter, where the ill-fated ship was built). Visit the new Titanic Visitor Centre (admission included) and can see the last surviving White Star Line ship, The Nomadic. There’s also an optional visit to Crumlin Road Jail.
You’ll also see the murals of the Falls and Shankill roads and have plenty of free time for shopping and exploring the city center. Join the Railtours Ireland group returning to Dublin at 20:05 from Belfast Central Station, arriving Dublin Connolly Station at 22:15. Overnight in Dublin.