Ireland – The Emerald Isle

BELFAST, GALWAY, DINGLE & KILKENNY

Discover Ireland from north to south starting with the legendary Giant’s Causeway and Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. Your Back Roads tour will take you through charming Irish villages and across rugged peninsulas, where sweeping views of the Wicklow Mountains create a dramatic setting for your Emerald Isle adventure.

From $4,345pp
All inclusive

Enquire here 

Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, County Galway.

DESTINATIONS

DUBLIN
BELFAST
DERRY
NORTH IRISH COAST
BALLYFARNON
CANNEMARA
GALWAY
THE BURREN
DINGLE
KENMARE
BLARNEY
KINSALE
MIDLETON
TIPPERARY
KILKENNY
DUBLIN

 

Tour Highlights

Enchanting Emerald Isle map.
Enchanting Emerald Isle map.

Back Roads Touring takes you on a twelve day adventure through the Emerald Isle.

Departing from Dublin, the tour follows scenic routes through cities large and small. The dramatic Irish coast is also highlighted, as are the green, windswept pastures.

Dine at an Irish country house, tour Belfast in a traditional black cab, and enjoy an Irish whisky tasting and tour.

There’s lots to see and do on the organised portion of the tour, however ample free time is provided on every Back Roads tour, allowing for independent exploration as well.

BELFAST, GALWAY, DINGLE & KILKENNY – FULL ITINERARY


Day 1 – Dublin & Belfast

The Titanic museum.
The Titanic museum.

We’ll start our trip back in time at the prehistoric site of Newgrange, before visiting the place where two crowned kings of England, Scotland and Ireland fought each other at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Then it’s onwards (and upwards) to the Hill of Tara before we sit down to a welcome dinner in Belfast. (D)

Overnight: Malone Lodge (or similar)

Day 2 – Belfast & Derry

You don’t have to delve deep into Northern Ireland’s past to see the influences oncontemporary culture. This morning begins with an escorted Black Cab tour to Belfast’s unique street art – its political murals. That’s followed by a visit to the Titanic Museum, where we discover the personal stories that surround this fateful ship. We continue to Ballyscullion Park, a historic private country house, where lunch will be waiting for us. Later, we explore Ireland’s natural geological wonders – the Giant’s Causeway, before arriving in Derry. (B, L)

Overnight: Beech Hill Country House Hotel (or similar)

Day 3 – Derry & North Irish Coast

Today, we stroll along the old city walls of Derry, before taking in the breathtaking views from Grianán of Aileach, an ancient stone fort. Later we drive to the beautiful Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal, stopping off at the Isle of Doagh Visitor Centre where we’ll listen to the local population’s heartrending experience of the devastating Irish Famine. (B)

Overnight: Beech Hill Country House Hotel (or similar)

Day 4 – Derry & Ballyfarnon

More fascinating history is in store at the Ulster-American Folk Park, where we learn why two million people sailed from Ulster to embark on a fresh life in the New World. We’ll then drive through County Fermanagh to County Sligo, following the coat tails of great Irish poet W. B. Yeats. That takes us to Drumcliffe Church where he was buried, and Parke’s Castle. (B, D)

Overnight: Kilronan Castle (or similar)

Day 5 – Ballyfarnon, Cannemara & Galway

The morning sees us in Westport, before visiting the award-winning Connemara Heritage Centre to gain a unique insight into Ireland’s past. As the day draws to a close, we’ll complete our journey with a walking tour through the harbour city of Galway. (B)

Overnight: Park House Hotel (or similar)

Day 6 – Galway

Today is yours to enjoy as you wish in buzzing, bohemian Galway. You could spend a pleasant few hours navigating the labyrinth of cobbled streets, lovely beaches and long promenade. Or if the weather isn’t up to much, there’s always the City Museum and National Aquarium. (B)

Overnight: Park House Hotel (or similar)

Day 7 – Galway, The Burren & Dingle

With Galway now behind us, the picturesque fishing village of Kinvara is our first port of call. We then travel across the Burren with its mysterious landscape of cracked glacial-era limestone pavements, rock formations and archeological sites. We round off the day with a visit to the magnificent Clifs of Moher, rising 120 metres above the Atlantic. (B, D)

Overnight: Dingle Benners Hotel (or similar)

Day 8 – Dingle Penninsula

We’ll begin in south-west Ireland’s jewel in the crown – the Dingle Peninsula, exploring countless historical sites, ancient churches and stone forts before stopping off at the Blasket Islands Centre. The afternoon gives us plenty of free time in the town of Dingle. (B)

Overnight: Dingle Benners Hotel (or similar)

Day 9 – Dingle, Kenmare & Blarney

Peaks and lakes are on the cards today. Time to wend our way up to the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks – the highest range in Ireland – and take in the views across the stunning Killarney Lakes. The mountain road from Killarney to Kenmare then takes us on to the 17th century Bantry House, renowned for its magnificentsetting and gardens. (B, D)

Overnight: Blarney Castle Hotel (or similar)

Day 10 – Blarney, Kinsale, Midleton & Blarney

The port and fishing town ofKinsale is where we’ll start our walking tour through history. You’ll then pick up plenty of fascinating facts about whiskey production at the Old Midleton Distillery. And after all that walking, what’s better than a nip of what many consider to be the finest whiskey in Ieland. (B)

Overnight: Blarney Castle Hotel (or similar)

Day 11 – Blarney, Tipperary & Kilkenny

Think fairy-tale ruins and magical spires. As we approach the final few chapters of our tour we find ourselves at the Rockof Cashel, with its 13th century Gothic cathedral and beautiful Romanesque church. It’s not a long way to rural Tipperary, but we carry on through to Kilkenny, Ireland’s ‘most perfect’ medieval city. (B, D)

Overnight: River Court Hotel (or similar)

Day 12 – Kilkenny & Dublin

Our last day sees us cross the huge expanse of Wicklow Mountains to Glendalough. We then travel on through wild and unspoilt terrain to Sally Gap before making our way down to the Powerscourt Estate. Back in the ‘fair city’ of Dublin is where our tour ends. (B)

 

Pick-up & Drop-off

  • This tour commences from The Brooks Hotel, 62 Drury Street, Dublin 2, Dublin, D02 TV06, Ireland at 8.30am. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
  • The tour finishes at 5.30pm at The Brooks Hotel, 62 Drury Street, Dublin 2, Dublin, D02 TV06, Ireland.

 


INCLUSIONS

  • 11 nights’ accommodation
  • Experienced driver/tour leader
  • Luxury mini-coach transportation
  • Full Irish breakfast daily
  • One lunch
  • 5 x evening meals
  • Famous Black Cab’ tour
  • Heritage walk with local guide in Kinsale
  • Irish whiskey tour and tasting
  • Included Entrances: Hill of Tara, Newgrange, Battle of the Boyne site, Titanic Museum, Giant’s Causeway, Doagh Famine Village, Ulster-American Folk Park, Parkes Castle, Connemara Heritage Centre, Cliffs of Moher, Blasket Islands Centre, Bantry House, Rock of Cashel, Glendalough & Powerscourt Estate.

EXCLUSIONS

  • Unless otherwise specified in the listed inclusions, airfares are not included in the tour price.
  • Driver/tour leader gratuity is at your discretion.
  • Lunches (unless otherwise stated), social drinks, meals on free nights,’ items of a personal nature and entrance fees when not listed in the schedule of inclusions.
  • Occasional optional evening theatre/festival visits and entrances not detailed in the tour inclusions.
  • Incidental expenses, such as room service incurred at hotels. All expenses are to be settled prior to leaving the accommodation.
  • Laundry costs and any shipping charges for the return of purchases made on tour, or for the return of property lost on tour.
  • Pre and post tour accommodation.
  • Unless otherwise listed in the inclusions, transfers are not included in the tour price.

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