Experiencing Ireland

Sheep grazing on shores of Killary Harbour, County Galway, Ireland as setting su

A gray castle tower rises from the rocky green shores along a blue bay.

A long line of tall cliffs and headlands tower over the deep blue sea

Begin your Irish adventure in the city of Dublin before winding your south through traditional seaside villages, picturesque castles, and historic routes such as the Ring of Kerry, which takes you through spectacular coastal and mountainous scenery along the base of the highest mountain range in Ireland.

A 10-day customized itinerary

Location highlights

As Ireland’s capital, Dublin was at the epicenter of the economic boom of recent years. Greater Dublin’s population has swollen to 1.5 million; more than a third of the entire country lives here. The time has passed when aspiring Irish artists owed it to themselves to emigrate. Today they dig in. If Joyce and Beckett and Wilde could see Dublin today, they'd be back.
This attractive seaside town located at the mouth of Bandon River, has superb restaurants and fine buildings. It is also centrally located for visiting nearby areas, such as Clonakilty, famed as a centre for Gaelic culture and music. Castletownhead is another charming Georgian village. Bantry is ideal for exploring Bantry Bay and the Sheep’s Head Peninsula.
This is the busiest beehive of tourism in Ireland. The good news is that it's easy enough to resist Killarney's gravitational pull and instead explore the incredibly picturesque hinterlands that border the town on all sides. Of course it is always worth the trip into town at some point to sample the best of what this tourist mecca has to offer.
Ask an Irishman to recommend his favorite Irish city, and you're likely to hear, "Without a doubt, Galway." A major city by Irish standards, it still manages to retain much of the accessibility and congeniality of a small town. Galway has also earned the reputation of the unofficial arts capital of Ireland. The excellent Galway Arts Festival, held every summer, is perhaps the most accessible and friendly culture fest in Europe.

Itinerary highlights

Day 1—Dublin
Cead Mile Failte—Welcome to Ireland! Check into your hotel and then enjoy a half-day private tour of Dublin to get acquainted with the city.
Day 2—Dublin
Enjoy the day at your leisure sightseeing and exploring Dublin. You may choose to visit Grafton Street, which is Dublin’s main shopping street. Among Dublin’s most renowned sites for sightseeing are St Patrick’s Cathedral, Christchurch Cathedral, and the Guinness Storehouse.
Day 3—Kinsale
Today you will venture out into the country by driving south via the Wicklow Mountains, known as “The Garden of Ireland” because of the huge variety of landscapes it contains. Continue on to Waterford City, a fine example of a walled city. Here you can visit Waterford Crystal factory before arriving for the evening at Kinsale.
Day 4—Kinsale
This morning, you may wish to visit the poignant visitor centre in nearby Cobh. The town’s shipping past is recalled in its connection to the great disasters of the “Titanic” and “Lusitania.” In the afternoon drive north to Cork City, an important seaport. It attracted the attention of the Viking sea-pirates who eventually returned in later years to settle and trade.
Day 5—Killarney
Depart Kinsale and travel through the lovely coastal villages of West Cork—Clonakilty, Skibbereen and Baltimore and onto Bantry Bay. Continue on to your destination in Killarney after a day of sightseeing.
Day 6—Killarney
Today you will drive the Ring of Kerry route, which takes you through spectacular coastal and mountainous scenery along the base of the highest mountain range in Ireland, The journey takes you through villages and towns depicting typical rural life in Ireland.
Day 7—Galway
Say good bye to the Kingdom of Kerry, proceeding northwards via the Co. Clare coastline to the Cliffs of Moher. These great dark sandstone cliffs rise majestically from the Atlantic for almost five miles. Depart the Cliffs and continue northwards through the region of Co. Clare known as the Burren, a vast, bare, eerie limestone plateau that covers much of Co Clare. Arrive into the city of Galway, a beautiful city noted for its traditional Irish music and song.
Day 8—Galway
Today, enjoy the beauty of the West of Ireland with a drive through the area known as Connemara, a wild and beautiful region of mountains, lakes, tumbling streams undulating bog, unspoiled beaches and panoramic views. Visit the spectacular Kylemore Abbey en route.
Day 9—Dromoland Castle
After a leisurely start to the day, head southward to Newmarket-On-Fergus to spend your last evening in Ireland in Dromoland Castle which offers exquisite taste with which modern accoutrements have been added. Dromoland Castle dates back to the 16th Century, and priceless reminders of the Castle’s historic past are everywhere.
Day 10—Departure Day
Return Flight to the USA