Call to book01904 521 936
Tour Search

Dublin and The Enchanting Emerald Isle

4.3 stars(9 reviews)
Small Group

Explore the highlights of Ireland by rail

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
9 days From £1,695 per person

2021 Tour code: IRS21

About the tour

Rugged coastlines, stunning rolling hills, dramatic castles, and a culture rich in legend; the Emerald Isle is as beautiful as it is fascinating, and we see the best of it on this holiday. Explore vibrant Dublin, see the iconic Blarney Stone, and admire the natural beauty of the dramatic Cliffs of Moher


What’s included


Day 1 - Dublin

We meet at the ferry* port in Holyhead for the crossing to Dublin, Ireland's lively capital. We transfer to our hotel just outside of the city.

*Please note: your luggage will travel on the ferry with you, rather than via our luggage

  • Breakfast
Day 2 - Dublin

Today we transfer into Dublin for the train to Cork, where you have time to explore. The centre is surrounded by waterways, creating an island of Georgian streets packed with great shops, pubs, and cafés. This afternoon, we visit the Jameson Distillery for a tour. Whiskey is one of Ireland's most famous exports, and we learn about the method of triple distilling for a smoother taste before enjoying a tipple.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Blarney Castle

We begin the day by calling at Cobh, the last port of call of the Titanic in 1912. We continue to the famous Blarney Castle. This iteration of the medieval castle was built in 1446, but it's believed there have been dwellings here since the 12th century. The castle is most famous for housing the Blarney Stone. Legend has it, if you hang upside down and kiss the stone, you'll become extremely eloquent. There's time to explore the castle and gardens. Look out for the poison garden, filled with nefarious plants including wolfsbane, ricin, and opium. We continue to our hotel in Killarney for dinner, before we're whisked off to the Celtic Steps Show for an evening of lively entertainment. The show combines authentic Irish music and dancing, and is a perfect way to soak up traditional Irish culture.

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

We enjoy a scenic drive around the dramatic Ring of Kerry today. From the tumultuous sea to the windswept cliffs and mountains, this is one of the most scenic areas in Ireland.

Next we visit Kerry Bog Village Museum. We explore thatched cottages filled with antiques, gaining an insight into the culture, living conditions, and customs of 19th-century rural Ireland. Later, we take a horse and carriage ride on the Jaunting Cars of Killarney, a traditional mode of transport here since the early 19th century. This unique experience takes us back in time with tales of Irish folklore, accompanied by stunning views of Killarney National Park and the Lakes of Killarney. Finally, we call by a local pub where we have the chance to pull our own pint of Guinness - Ireland's iconic ale.

  • 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, staggering into the distance. Over 20 species of sea birds, including puffins and razorbills, make their homes in the cliffs, and offshore, the waters are home to dolphins and sharks. We're indulged with a delicious traditional Irish seafood lunch before continuing to Galway, where we spend the night.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Connemara

We start today with a visit to the Celtic Crystal Factory in Connemara to learn about glass cutting. We continue to Glen Keen Farm where we watch a sheep dog trial, followed by lunch with traditional entertainment. This afternoon, we visit Kylemore Abbey. The abbey was founded in the 1920 and has served as a Benedictine monastery for nearly 100 years, and is a remarkable example of Victorian architecture. Later, we visit the Quiet Man Cottage, an exact replica of the cottage used in the 1952 film 'Quiet Man', starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Dublin

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

  • Breakfast
Day 8 - Discovering Dublin

Our guided tour on today, includes a visit to the Book of Kells, an ancient codex believed to have been written in around 800 AD. We visit Trinity College before a guided tour of Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison which was notorious in the 19th century. Later, we are treated to a farewell dinner at 'The Merry Ploughboys', known as one of the best traditional pubs in Dublin.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Home

Today, we return to Holyhead by ferry*, where our tour concludes upon arrival.

*Please note: your luggage will travel on the ferry with you, rather than via our luggage service.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

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.

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 holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Midleton Park Hotel

Midleton Park Hotel, Cork

View hotel

The Address Connolly Hotel

The Address Connolly Hotel, Dublin

View hotel

Oranmore Lodge Hotel

Oranmore Lodge Hotel, Galway

View hotel


Irish Railways

Enhance your holiday


UK rail to and from Holyhead


4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 9 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Mrs M Hemmelman

4 stars

Submitted 25 Oct 2019

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.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr A Poole

5 stars

Submitted 21 Jul 2019

We have never been to Ireland before. It was a well rounded introduction to the pleasures of the island.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr D Arnold

5 stars

Submitted 06 Jul 2019

Everything was excellent and I am now home for a rest!

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr A Harding

4 stars

Submitted 14 Jul 2018

Recurrence of a foot problem somewhat restricted my movement. Tour Manager sympathetic and suggested alternative activities that meant less walking.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr B Combs Jr.

5 stars

Submitted 26 Jun 2018

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

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mr J McDonald

5 stars

Submitted 05 Jun 2018

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.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Show all 9 reviews
Europe & UK by Rail 2021

Europe & UK by Rail 2021

The definitive guide to our 2021 summer & winter rail holidays to a wide range of destinations in Europe. When ordering for postal delivery, you will only receive our collection of European holidays. If you are interested in UK holidays, please download an ebrochure below.

Download brochure

Tailor made for you

Customise this tour with Great Rail Journeys Independent

GRJ IndependentEnquire
Dublin and The Enchanting Emerald Isle

Explore the highlights of Ireland by rail


Helen Laverack
Lynne Broadley
Luke Simpson
Related inspiration from our journey blog