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Dublin and The Enchanting Emerald Isle

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4.1 stars(32 reviews)
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Enchanting landscapes and a culture rich in legend

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
9 days From £1,595 per person

2023 Tour code: IRS23

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.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Holyhead and Dublin

Our holiday begins as we meet in Holyhead for the ferry to Dublin, spending the night at a hotel just outside the vibrant capital city.

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

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 – Cork

We transfer into Dublin for the train to Cork, where there's time to explore. Cork is officially Ireland's second city, and its beautiful centre is surrounded by pretty waterways, creating an island of elegant Georgian streets, ornate architecture, and a tangle of old alleyways. The streets are packed with exciting shops, pubs, cafés and restaurants, along with some fantastic museums and monuments, making Cork a delight to explore. This afternoon, we head to the Jameson Distillery where we enjoy an authentic taste of Ireland with a tour and whiskey tasting.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - Blarney Castle and Killarney

We begin the day at Cobh, the last port of call of the Titanic in 1912, before making our way to Blarney Castle. One of Ireland's greatest and most well-known treasures, the impressive castle was built in 1446 and it's here we see the iconic 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, including the poison garden, where you'll find wolfsbane, ricin, and opium. We continue to our hotel in Killarney ahead of tonight's entertainment: an authentic Celtic Steps show.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - The Ring of Kerry

Today we soak up the dramatic beauty of Ireland on a scenic drive around the Ring of Kerry, an area of tumultuous sea, windswept cliffs and mountains. Next, we visit Kerry Bog Village Museum, exploring the recreated thatched cottages for an insight into life in 19th-century rural Ireland. Later, we enjoy a ride on the Jaunting Cars of Killarney, a traditional mode of transport here.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 - Holyhead and home

After breakfast we return to Holyhead by ferry, where our holiday comes to an end.

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

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

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.

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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Belvedere Hotel, Dublin

Belvedere Hotel, Dublin

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Merriman Hotel, Kinvara

Merriman Hotel, Kinvara

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Lady Gregory Hotel, Galway

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The Randles Hotel, Killarney

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Train

Irish Railways

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

UK rail to and from Holyhead

Reviews

4.1 stars4.1 / 5 · 32 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (12)
  2. 4 stars
    (14)
  3. 3 stars
    (2)
  4. 2 stars
    (4)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Louisa

5 stars

Submitted 29/Sep

I thought the journey was excellent and good value. I loved all the travel and activities. The hotels were good on the whole and the food provided was better than I had expected I did not take either photos or videos so cannot answer the next question.

Collected by Trustpilot

R Warburton

4 stars

Submitted 28/Sep

Excellent tour and a great tour manager. Just a couple of comments. 1) could do with all hotels being in town and city centres not on the outskirts or in the countryside. 2) tried to pack too much in which led to many early starts in the morning.

Collected by Trustpilot

Briane Davies

4 stars

Submitted 27/Sep

Three of the hotels which we should have stayed at - were not available. The quality of the food at the replacement hotels was generally below standard. But our Tour Manager, Malcolm Rogers, was really excellent.

Collected by Trustpilot

M Rogers

4 stars

Submitted 14/Jul

More of a coach tour than a train tour, but some beautiful scenery and interesting places to visit. The hotels were generally good but it was disappointing that the meal was the same choice of chicken supreme or fish no less than 5 nights out of 8. The tour manager was excellent.

Collected by Trustpilot

Linda

3 stars

Submitted 7/Jul

Not the best GRJ holiday we have had. We were unlucky with the weather but even so we were disappointed with the monotony of the Irish countryside; almost exclusively fields of pasture. Very few crops and average scenery. Connemara was attractive and interesting but the ring of Kerry is very over rated. Blarney Castle was good, particularly the gardens. Against this the book of Kells was disappointing in Dublin but the long library was impressive. The food was poor; almost every night was chicken and mash. To cap it all several members of the party including us contracted Covid.

Collected by Trustpilot

Harry

5 stars

Submitted 28/Jun

The holiday was absolutely fantastic. There we seventeen of fellow travellers from the UK and nine from the USA. The holiday did try to pack a little too much in and didn’t allow a real rest day. The tour manager did very well but was left a couple of times trying to get ticket information from your head office.

Collected by Trustpilot

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