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Ha'penny Bridge over the River Liffey in Dublin city centre
Caption: Ha'penny Bridge over the River Liffey in Dublin city centre
Caption: Cushendun © Tourism Northern Ireland / Brian Morrison
Caption: Crown Liquor Saloon Belfast © Tourism Ireland : Brian Morrison
Caption: Cliffs of Moher Close Up ©Tourism Ireland / Chris Hill
Caption: Belfast City Hall © Tourism Northern Ireland / Brian Morrison
Caption: Kilkenny Castle, Co Kilkenny © Fa´ilte Ireland / Tourism Ireland Photographer: Roselinde Bon
Caption: Cliffs of Moher_ ©Tourism Ireland : Chris Hill
Caption: Trinity College Library, Dublin
Caption: Temple Bar © Dublin Regional Tourism Authority and its Image Contributors. All rights reserved
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GBP £5,169.00
 Deposit 20%.
Prices are per person based on 2 people sharing a cabin/room. Single room supplement £1,095.00.

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Available journeys:

  • Cash Only Option 21 Jun - 05 Jul 2023 from £7,385 Book Now
  • 21 Jun - 05 Jul 2023 from £5,169 Book Now
Book online or call 0844 3350 197

Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Level 2 Requires moderate physical activity. You need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing steps and be comfortable with some periods of standing. Not suitable if you have limited mobility or require a wheelchair/mobility scooter.
Destination: Discover Ireland
North & South Jun 2023
Duration: 15 days / 14 nights
Flight information: Return international flights from London Heathrow Airport [LHR] to arrive into Dublin Airport [DUB] on Day 1 and return on Day 15
Pickup location: Dublin Airport [DUB]

Overview

21 Jun - 05 Jul, 2023

A complete tour of all the best Ireland has to offer. Enjoy the delights of the bustling cities of Dublin, Belfast & Galway as well as the history, culture, countryside and coastal beauty of the Emerald Isle

Step back in time and visit a variety of locations and prominent must-see historical sites on the glorious island of Ireland. Visiting both Northern Ireland and the southern Republic of Ireland, you'll visit city and country and see how history and tradition weaves its way into the modern and metropolitain life of Ireland.

From Dublin and Belfast, to the Giant's Causeway and the Ring of Kerry, the Wild Atlantic Way and the Blarney Stone, you're sure to fall in love with the charming villages, music-filled pubs, seaside towns along with all the traditional stories to make you smile and entertainment that's sure to make this a holiday to remember.

Itinerary

Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Welcome to Ireland
DAY 2 - Titanic Belfast - Northern Ireland's Capital
DAY 3 - The Giant’s Causeway & Scenic Antrim Coastline
DAY 4 - Donegal and the Ulster American Folk Park
DAY 5 - Exploring the “Wild Atlantic Way”
DAY 6 - Wonderful Westport Town & Yeats Country
DAY 7 - Captivating Connemara and Kylemore Abbey
DAY 8 - Gallant Galway & the Mighty Cliffs of Moher
DAY 9 - Discovering the Dingle Peninsula
DAY 10 - The Ring of Kerry & Killarney
DAY 11 - Kissing the Blarney Stone & the Rock of Cashel
DAY 12 - Historic Kilkenny
DAY 13 - Glendalough & the 'Garden of Ireland'
DAY 14 - In Dublin’s Fair City...
DAY 15 - Farewell to Ireland
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Welcome to Ireland

Cead Mile Failte……On arrival at Dublin, enjoy a panoramic drive through Dublin en route to your hotel before some free time to explore the city at leisure.

Check-in and rest up before joining up with your Tour Director and fellow group members for a welcome drink before dinner together, where you will learn about what awaits you during your time on the Emerald Isle.

Included meals: Dinner 
Accommodation: Ashling Hotel, Dublin 

DAY 2 - Titanic Belfast - Northern Ireland's Capital

This morning, after breakfast we set out north for Belfast. As we make our way into Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, we travel via the medieval coastal village of Carlingford in County Louth. Enjoy a relaxing stroll through this magical place, full of character and one of the best preserved and popular villages in Ireland. Enjoy a visit to the locally owned Carlingford Design House, showcasing the work of Irish designer’s various handmade jewellery and giftware.

Our tour then takes us across the border to Belfast where, on arrival we will enjoy a panoramic tour of this unique city. An important port on the eastern coast of the island of Ireland, Belfast is a large Victorian city, built on the linen and shipbuilding trades. It is the largest city in the north of the island and the capital of Northern Ireland. Highlights of Belfast include the impressive City Hall, Botanic Gardens and the Loyalist and Republican colourful walled murals which tell the tale of the 'Troubles'.

We will also visit the Titanic Visitor Experience. Here you can re-live the entire Titanic story from its birthplace in Belfast's shipyards to its fateful maiden voyage. After hotel check-in, rest up for a while before we gather in the evening to enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Europa Hotel, Belfast 

DAY 3 - The Giant’s Causeway & Scenic Antrim Coastline

After a leisurely breakfast, we set out for a day trip of the majestic Antrim coastline. We will travel along the picturesque coastline through the quaint villages of Cushendall, Cushendun, and Ballycastle before stopping at the picturesque Ballintoy Harbour. Recently made famous by the epic Game of Thrones series, it is one of the most popular visited filming locations.

Continuing along the coastal route, we approach the wonderful Dunluce Castle and, weather permitting have a photo stop, before arriving at our main feature destination of the day - the Giant’s Causeway. Northern Ireland’s top tourist attraction and only World Heritage Site, the Giant's Causeway is a dramatic coastal landscape consisting of around 40,000 polygonal basalt columns jutting out from the sea. Steeped in local mythology, you'll learn of the tale of its name and appreciate the spectacular natural wonder.

On our return to Belfast, this evening you can dine and explore the city at as you like. Perhaps check out Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, an area for a great night out, offering a range of fantastic pubs, restaurants and entertainment venues. Or stay closer by and pop across the road to the iconic and historic Robinsons Bar and The Crown Liquor Store to enjoy some local bar food and a pint with the locals.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Europa Hotel, Belfast 

DAY 4 - Donegal and the Ulster American Folk Park

This morning we leave Northern Ireland and head back to the Republic of Ireland, travel to Donegal Town.

We will stop along the way at the Ulster American Folk Park, just outside the town of Omagh in County Tyrone. A unique museum, it is dedicated to emigration and folk life, telling of the many emigrants who left these shores for the US and other locations. As you wander round the outdoor site, explore the 26 buildings, mostly original Irish thatched and American log structures, sail away to the new world on board the Brig Union life-sized emigrant sailing ship and discover two complete streets on old and new world sites. Daily demonstrations of life from the past include blacksmithing, spinning, printing and cookery.

We arrive in Donegal Town in the afternoon and enjoy some downtime before gathering for dinner this evening. Afterwards you may explore the abundance of pubs and scope out the venues hosting traditional Irish music and the Ceol Agus Craic!

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: The Mill Park Hotel, Donegal 

DAY 5 - Exploring the “Wild Atlantic Way”

After a full Irish breakfast, we start our day touring part of Donegal’s famous 'Wild Atlantic Way'. Donegal means “Fort of the Foreigners” after the Vikings who built a garrison here on the rugged and dramatic coast.

We depart Donegal town and take the coast road to Killybegs, one of Ireland’s biggest fishing ports and then on to the Slieve League Cliffs. Whilst almost three times higher than the Cliffs of Moher, they do not have the fame of their fellow cliffs.

From here, we continue our journey through the Glengesh Pass. Glengesh, whose name from the old Irish Gleann Geis, means Glen of the Swans - is one of two glaciated valleys that sculpture the northern edge of the Banagh Peninsula. Upon arrival in to Ardara, we enjoy some free time in the heritage village, famous for its spectacular scenery and hand woven tweed. You will have the opportunity to discover more about weaving traditions and purchase souvenirs to cherish.

We return to our hotel where you are free for the evening to enjoy the local hospitality.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: The Mill Park Hotel, Donegal 

DAY 6 - Wonderful Westport Town & Yeats Country

This morning, we set off south once again. Our drive today takes us through Drumcliff in County Sligo, where we stop off at the burial place of W.B Yeats, one of Ireland’s finest poets, set at the foothills of Ben Bulben Mountain.

We continue southwest through County Mayo to Westport. This vibrant, colourful Irish coastal town boasts tradition to the core. Located at the foothill of Croagh Patrick, Westport is a very popular spot along the west coast route. It is famous for its traditional Irish music culture where many famous musicians play nightly in the array on wonderful pubs. We check-in and enjoy dinner in the hotel. If time permits, why not head out to enjoy some of the ambience.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Clew Bay Hotel, Westport 

DAY 7 - Captivating Connemara and Kylemore Abbey

Today we set off to explore the rugged, yet serene area of Connemara. Home to the largest Irish-speaking section of the country, the rocky landscape, with serrated mountains and pearly lakes encapsulates some of Ireland’s most glorious scenic attractions.

The epitome of Irish culture can be recognized in this region, with the way of life coupling the native tongue. Here we visit Kylemore Abbey, the only Irish home of the Benedictine Nuns. Built originally as a castle, it is one of the best examples of Irish neo-gothic architecture. The estate features include a Victorian Walled Garden, restored Abbey reception rooms and Gothic church as well as a craft shop, pottery, and restaurant.

From here we head to the Dan O’Hara’s Homestead & Heritage Centre. This unique hill farm in the heart of Connemara is managed by Martin & Nora and their family. Showcasing the history, heritage, culture and traditions of the local area, it is home to cattle, sheep and the world famous Connemara Ponies. The visitor centre is based around a restored pre-famine cottage of Dan O’Hara who was forced to emigrate in the 1840s when he was evicted from his home. Enjoy the entertaining and educational demonstrations of traditional farming activities such as turf cutting, sheep herding or soda bread making on the open fire.

We return to Westport and enjoy dinner at leisure this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: Clew Bay Hotel, Westport 

DAY 8 - Gallant Galway & the Mighty Cliffs of Moher

An early start today for the longest day of the adventure as we travel southwest to Dingle in the Kingdom of Kerry.

First, we travel to Galway along the banks of Lough Corrib, passing through the villages of Maam Cross and Oughterard. Galway is also known as the “City of Tribes”, its name refers to fourteen important Anglo-Norman merchant families who lived there and dominated the life and trade of the city during the Middle Ages. Upon arrival in Galway City, we take a panoramic sightseeing tour before enjoying some free time to soak up the atmosphere of the famous Shop Street and Spanish Arch area.

We continue onwards through The Burren region of County Clare to the mighty Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland's most outstanding features and most visited sites. Rising sheer above the Atlantic below to nearly 700 feet and extending along the coast for nearly five miles, on a clear day you can see across to the Aran Islands. After an overview and introduction at the visitor centre, you can choose to walk along the cliffs and experience firsthand the magnitude and beauty of these mighty cliffs

From here we continue south towards to Killimer, take the short ferry across the Shannon Estuary to Tarbert and travel down to Dingle. Here we check-in to our central hotel base for the next three nights. After our long touring day, we gather for a later dinner this evening in our hotel before resting up for the next few days of exploring the beauty of Couty Kerry.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Templegate Hotel, Ennis 

DAY 9 - Discovering the Dingle Peninsula

The Slea Head Drive is a circular route, beginning and ending in Dingle, which takes in a large number of attractions and stunning views on the western end of the famous Dingle Peninsula. Today we will head out and drive this scenic route.

Many of Ireland's great Gaelic literary figures were born and raised on the great Blasket Islands, located a few miles off the end of the Dingle Peninsula. The Blasket Visitor Centre tells of the islands' fascinating heritage and culture, honouring the unique community who lived on the remote islands until their evacuation in 1953. Here, learn about island life, subsistence fishing and farming, traditional life including modes of work and transport, home life, housing and entertainment. The Centre details the community’s struggle for existence, their language and culture, and the extraordinary literary legacy the islanders left behind - with classics such as The Islandman, Twenty Years A-Growing, and Peig.

As we return this evening, you will be free to explore the famous town of Dingle at your leisure, a popular market town and fishing port.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: International Hotel, Killarney 

DAY 10 - The Ring of Kerry & Killarney

Today we have another exciting day as we experience one of the most picturesque drives in all of Europe - the famous Ring of Kerry.

As we head along the chartreuse coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula through the towns of Glenbeigh, Cahirciveen, Waterville and Sneem, sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacular views as we circle the mountainous MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. The 111-mile route takes in rugged coast, picturesque seaside towns and gloroious landscapes. This is Ireland as you have always imagined it!

We complete the tour via the Ladies View to Killarney, where this afternoon you are free to enjoy the wonderful lively town before we return to Dingle.

This evening, we will enjoy a casual dinner and music in a local pub - a true, authentic Irish experience!

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: International Hotel, Killarney 

DAY 11 - Kissing the Blarney Stone & the Rock of Cashel

We depart Dingle this morning and travel to the historic cathedral city of Kilkenny.

Our first stop today however is in the village of Blarney, whose Castle is one of the oldest landmarks in Co. Cork. Blarney Castle is best known for the famous “Blarney Stone,” which as tradition dictates confers the gift of eloquence upon all those who kiss it - will you be brave enough to lean back and kiss the stone?
The Blarney Woolen Mills flagship store is located nearby in this picturesque village and is housed in one of Ireland’s oldest and most authentic Woolen Mills. You will have ample time to shop or walk the surrounding grounds of the Castle.

As we make our way from here to Kilkenny, we will then stop at one of the most striking ecclesiastical ruins in Ireland - the mighty Rock of Cashel. This important landmark is a huge, complex site with unique character. The building predates the Anglo-Norman invasion and contains many historical and artistic treasures, including Ireland's oldest Romanesque wall painting. The abundant grounds also contain examples of intricate Celtic high crosses.

We arrive in the city of Kilkenny in the late afternoon. After checking-in, this evening we meet to enjoy dinner and later you may choose to take a stroll through this very popular and lively city.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Rivercourt Hotel, Kilkenny 

DAY 12 - Historic Kilkenny

After breakfast, we set out on a casual, fun-filled walking tour of Kilkenny with one of city's finest tour guide’s Pat Tynan. Pat has been conducting medieval walking tours for nearly 30 years and this is a wonderful way to experience and overview of the history of Kilkenny, a medieval town home to an imposing castle and cathedral.

We will enjoy time in the wonderfully grand Kilkenny Castle, built in 1195 by Norman occupiers before enjoying the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Kilkenny has deep religious roots and the town is home to many well-preserved churches and monasteries, including the imposing St. Canice’s Cathedral and the Black Abbey Dominican Priory, both from the 13th century.

This evening, we head out to enjoy dinner in the famous Kytler’s Inn in the heart of Kilkenny City, whose history dates back to 1263. This evening you will learn of the original notorious resident, Dame Alice Kytler and the captivating story of her accused witchcraft and marriages, which led to her execution. The evening will continue with music and entertainment.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Rivercourt Hotel, Kilkenny 

DAY 13 - Glendalough & the 'Garden of Ireland'

This morning, we bid farewell to Kilkenny as we set off east to visit County Wicklow, known as the “Garden of Ireland”.

First, we visit the famous village of Avoca. It is known for the oldest working mill in Ireland, famous for its knitwear, sold and exported worldwide as well as being the filming of the popular BBC series, “Ballykissangel”.

Then, in Glendalough, we visit St. Kevin’s Monastery. The beauty and tranquility of the lakes and the glacial-carved valley no doubt appealed to St Kevin, a hermit monk, who founded the monastic site near the Lower Lake in the 6th Century. Most of the buildings that survive today date from the 10-12th centuries. Despite attacks by Vikings over the years, Glendalough thrived as one of Ireland’s great ecclesiastical foundations and schools of learning until the Normans destroyed the monastery in 1214.

We arrive in Dublin, Ireland's capital, in the late afternoon. After check-in, we take a drive just outside the city to the popular, traditional Irish pub “Taylors Three Rock” to enjoy a farewell dinner with entertainment.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 
Accommodation: Camden Court Hotel, Dublin 

DAY 14 - In Dublin’s Fair City...

Today we head off to explore Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland and one of Europe's most vibrant cities.

Our day begins at the award-winning and world-famous Guinness Store House. Located in the heart of the historic St. James Gate Brewery in central Dublin, where the well-known ale is still produced to this day, the journey begins at the bottom of the 'world’s largest pint glass' and continues up through the seven floors filled with interactive experiences that fuse the long brewing heritage with Ireland’s rich history. At the top, you are rewarded with a pint of the famous brew in the scenic rooftop Gravity Bar.

Afterwards, we take a relaxed panoramic tour of Dublin. Although modern and cosmopolitan, Dublin still retains the grace and atmosphere of the 18th century when the city boomed. Along the way, spot many well-known sights and fine architectural buildings and monuments such as Trinity College, the statue of Molly Malone, Ha’penny Bridge over the River Liffey, Dublin Castle, Christchurch Cathedral and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The rest of the afternoon is free for you to independently explore the attractions of the city and enjoy at your own pace. Perhaps visit the Jameson Distillery, spend your last few euros at the shops on O'Connell Street or head to the lively Temple Bar area, where traditional Irish music fills the air of the bars.Suggested visits: (Payable locally if applicable) Dublin Castle, Kilmainham Gaol, Jameson Distillery, Epic Ireland Museum, National Museum of Ireland

Included meals: Breakfast  
Accommodation: Camden Court Hotel, Dublin 

DAY 15 - Farewell to Ireland

It is sadly time to say goodbye to Ireland as the tour draws to an end.

We will transfer you from the hotel to Dublin Airport in time to check in for your departure flight.

Included meals: Breakfast 

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More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • ATOL Protection (UK Travellers only)
  • International return flights from London Heathrow Airport [LHR]] to Dublin Airport [DUB] (UK Travellers only)
    • Regional UK airport departures may be available - please ask at the time of booking. Supplements may apply.
    • US/International travellers - international flights are not included, please arrange your own international flights
  • Meet & Greet at Dublin Airport on arrival
  • Transport as detailed in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • All activities, visits and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Meals as detailed in the itinerary
  • Local tour guide
  • Tour Director from The Big Journey Company (subject to minimum group size being reached.)

What's not included

  • Drinks
  • Gratuities 
  • All entrance fees to non-stipulated attractions
  • Visas, travel insurance
  • Any personal items and anything not mentioned under included in price above
  • Any meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Any optional activities offered
  • Any COVID tests or related entry & exit requirements

Important information

  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Check in is after 2:00-3:00pm and check out is before 10:00am, unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Cancellation 90 – 0 days prior to departure: cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable. Final payments are due 14 weeks prior to departure.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.
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Available journeys:

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Book online or call 0844 3350 197

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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