Explore the highlights of Ireland by rail in 10 days
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.
Following your flight, meet your group and Tour Manager at our hotel in Dublin, where tonight we all enjoy dinner together.
We leave Dublin behind and take the train to Cork, travelling in First Class. On arrival in Cork we take an excursion to the famous Blarney Castle - one of Ireland's greatest treasures. We then travel back into Cork, and check in to our hotel.
On Day 3 we are transferred to Cork city centre for a visit to the Jameson Distillery. Following our time here, we venture to the Titanic Experience, to discover the story of this doomed ship that sank over 100 years ago.
This morning we travel to the harbor town of Kinsale, where you are at leisure, perhaps to wander the streets and view the myriad of brightly colored buildings that line them. Kinsale also has a wide variety of delicious restaurants, so why not take the opportunity to enjoy a delicious lunch whilst here?
We continue to Killarney, situated amongst the sublime scenery of Killarney National Park, and check into our hotel for the next 2 nights. After dinner we are whisked away to the Celtic Steps Show, a spectacular evening of traditional Irish music and dance. From lively, jaunty tunes to slow and bittersweet ballads, Irish music has traditionally covered a whole score of emotions with fiddles, flutes, and drums, and we are fortunate enough to experience these incredible traditional displays in a delightful mix of the music through the ages.
On Day 5, we enjoy a drive around the beautiful Ring of Kerry, one of the most breathtakingly dramatic areas of scenery in the Republic of Ireland. From the tumultuous sea to the craggy windswept mountains and cliffs, enjoy this verdant piece of Irish countryside, before we pause, perhaps to enjoy a bit of lunch before we continue on to our next activity, a horse and carriage ride on the Jaunting Cars of Killarney. A jaunting car has 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.
We travel to Galway via the famous Cliffs of Moher, Ireland's most dramatic natural attraction, before continuing along the coastline of County Clare. On Day 7 we make a visit to the Celtic Crystal Factory in Connemara, where we enjoy a demonstration of glass cutting. We continue to Glen Keen Farm where we are treated to a sheep dog demonstration, followed by a buffet style lunch accompanied with traditional dancing and singing.
After a leisurely morning, we transfer to Galway Station to return to Dublin by Standard Class train. We enjoy a sightseeing tour on Day 9, including a visit to the Book of Kells, an ancient codex that is believed to have been written in around 800 AD. The intricate detail on this book is remarkable, and well worth lingering over.
We then visit the world famous Guinness Storehouse for a guided tour, exploring the history of this dark and iron rich stout that is famous internationally, and we enjoy a tasting before you spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure, perhaps exploring more of the fascinating city. This evening, we gather for a farewell dinner at 'The Merry Ploughboys', an Irish music pub where one can truly experience the lively culture of Ireland thanks to its live bands and lively atmosphere.
On Day 10 your tour concludes.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
We recommend that for this tour you arrange flights to and from Dublin airport, which is approximately 10 miles from your base in Dublin.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 14 verified reviews
The Enchanting Emerald Isle trip was very good. We enjoyed the places visited, but would like to have had more time in Dublin. The guided tours (Jameson, Kilmainham Gaol, Titanic Experience and Glen Keen Farm) were excellent, except for the guide picked up in Dublin--she was knowledgeable, but did nothing at the Book of Kells. The Royal Marine Hotel had excellent service, great rooms, and very accommodating personnel as did the Innisfallen. The Oriel left a lot to be desired. The Ardilaun was okay. The bus driver, Dan, was excellent!!! I understand the amount of people for the trip was doubled at the last minute, which wasn't fair for us or the tour manager. Excellent help in setting up the trip and answering our questions from Great Rail Journeys. Thank you.
Overall this was a wonderful tour that allowed us to see a good part of Ireland.Ireland does not have a lot of trains,so this tour has only 2 train trips.You will be on a bus for the majority of the tour travel.The hotels were wonderful with great staff.We had a great tour director named Paul and a lovely bus driver named Dan.The only thing not good is that I wish we had been given more free time in the small cities to do shopping.
Good trip although some of the hotels were not quite up to standard
We have never been to Ireland before. It was a well rounded introduction to the pleasures of the island.
Everything was excellent and I am now home for a rest!
Recurrence of a foot problem somewhat restricted my movement. Tour Manager sympathetic and suggested alternative activities that meant less walking.
I think that the guide was the best I have ever seen just the way he took care if all the people on the tour
I enjoyed the tour very much, and Chris Horrocks was in excellent form. The fact that the weather was unusually good was a real bonus. Everyone got on well with each other and I did not feel left out, despite being on my own.
Our tour guide, John Gilpin was wonderful. The overall experience was very good and we got to see a lot of Ireland. The trains were lovely and hotel in Killarney was just marvelous. There was way too much coach travel on this trip. In addition the other three hotels were in terrible locations except for the tram outside the door in Dublin. Hotel food was fair to poor most places
An excellent tour but not entirely relaxing!
Explore the highlights of Ireland by rail in 10 days