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
See the dramatic scenery the Emerald Isle is famous for, including the Cliffs of Moher, followed by a delicious, traditional Irish lunch
Be immersed in Irish tradition with a trip on Killarney's Jaunting Cars, and an evening at the Celtic Steps Show
Discover famous sights including Blarney Castle, home to the legendary Blarney stone, and Jameson distillery, for a tasting of Ireland's most famous export - whiskey
Explore Ireland’s lively capital, Dublin, and enjoy a farewell dinner at the famous Merry Ploughboys pubExplore Ireland’s lively capital, Dublin, and enjoy a farewell dinner at the famous Merry Ploughboys pub
1 night at the 4-Star Red Cow Hotel near Dublin, 1 night at the 3-Star Midleton Park Hotel near Cork, 1 night at the 4-Star Oranmore Lodge Hotel near Galway and 2 nights at the 4-Star North Star Hotel in Dublin
Inclusive luggage transfers from Dublin
Return ferry from Holyhead
Excursions & Entertainment
UK Tour Manager from start to finish
Food & Drinks
17 meals including 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 7 dinners
A farewell dinner with entertainment at the Merry Ploughboys Pub
What’s not included
Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged
Days 1-2 - 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. On Day 2 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.
*Please note: your luggage will travel on the ferry with you,
rather than via our luggage
Day 1 - Dinner
Day 2 - 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.
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.
Days 5-6 - The Cliffs of Moher and Connemara
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.
We start Day 6 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.
Day 5 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 7-9 - Discovering Dublin and home
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
Our guided tour on Day 8 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
On Day 9, 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.
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.
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.
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
Mr A Poole
We have never been to Ireland before. It was a well rounded introduction to the pleasures of the island.
Mr D Arnold
Everything was excellent and I am now home for a rest!
Mr A Harding
Recurrence of a foot problem somewhat restricted my movement. Tour Manager sympathetic and suggested alternative activities that meant less walking.