Country Roads of Ireland - Insight Vacations

Country Roads of Ireland (Summer 2017)

Duration: 13 days Visiting: Ireland

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

Experience the wild, enchanting coastal routes as you explore the Emerald Isle. Along the way you'll encounter ruined castles, quiet lakes, natural wonders and some legendary characters.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Welcome to Dublin

    On arrival at Dublin Airport, transfers leave for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 & 13:30. Later, join your Tour Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Reception with drinks and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

  3. Day 3 - Relaxed Start

    In Dublin’s Fair City

    (Relaxed Start) Become acquainted with Dublin's elegant squares during an guided tour. Discover famous O'Connell Street, Custom House and Dublin Castle. Enjoy your VIP priority entrance to the 9th century Book of Kells and a walk through the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College accompanied by a University insider, gaining their insight into modern life and the establishment's impressive history. The afternoon is free to explore.

  4. Day 4

    A ‘Journey through Life’ from Dublin to Cork

    Visit one of the country's main racehorse breeding centres and acclaimed 100 year old Japanese Gardens where you can ‘journey through life'. Move on to the medieval city of Kilkenny where you will learn about the ancient Celtic sport of 'Hurling' which is over 3,000 years old. Continue on past the imposing 13th century Cahir castle, featured in the film Excalibur, to your spa resort hotel in Cork.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Across the Mountains to Killarney

    (Relaxed Start) Enjoy an orientation tour around the compact university city of Cork, with its interesting waterways and grand Georgian parades. Continue to ruined Blarney Castle. Will you hang upside down from the ramparts to kiss the stone and ensure a lifetime of eloquence? Now cross the majestic Derrynasaggart Mountains to the peaceful town of Killarney. In the evening, join chef John Sheehan, and his wife Freda for drinks, and a personal insight into a classic Irish teacake recipe. Then, settle down to some tasty home cooking with the family, in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Ring of Kerry Experience

    (Relaxed Start) Start your day with a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local ‘Jarveys'. Then take a leisurely excursion around the magnificent Ring of Kerry. Here, mountains, valleys, lakes and sea blend into a landscape that is often breathtaking beyond words. Journey past lush lakelands and around towering cliffs affording sweeping sea views. Continue through delightful villages like Sneem and cross the peat bogs of the Black Mountains to Moll's Gap to admire Queen Victoria's ‘Ladies View'. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Maybe take the opportunity to hire a bicycle and enjoy one of the many scenic trails around the lake or through the National Park?

  7. Day 7

    Around the Dingle Peninsula and on to Limerick

    In the morning, take to the wide skies, peaceful towns and coastal scenery of the Dingle Peninsula - the setting for the film Ryan’s Daughter. Drive to dramatic Slea Head at the peninsula’s far end, then continue through the picturesque thatched village of Adare to Limerick, famous for rhymes, lace and elegant Georgian houses.

  8. Day 8

    Drive to the Cliffs of Moher then on to Galway

    In Limerick, see the Treaty Stone, St. Mary's Cathedral and medieval King John's Castle. Move on to the Visitor Centre at the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Clare Coast before a delightful drive through the strange, rocky landscape of the Burren to Galway Bay. On arrival, see the Lynch Memorial and Church of St. Nicholas, where Christopher Columbus reputedly prayed before his discovery of America. Also see the Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President, John F Kennedy.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    Free day Galway or Aran Islands Experience

    (Relaxed Start) Spend a day at leisure to relax and enjoy Galway. Perhaps join an optional experience to the Aran Islands - a true highlight on the Wild Atlantic Way. With their cliffs and spectacular coastal views, the islands are a true Irish experience.

  10. Day 10

    Londonderry

    Continue on to County Sligo, stopping at a peaceful churchyard in Drumcliffe to visit the final resting place of Ireland's famous poet, William Butler Yeats. Admire the Blue Stack Mountains of Donegal as you cross into Northern Ireland bound for the ancient walled city of ‘Derry'. What better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he takes you on a tour inside the city walls, still topped with cannons. Walk down steep Shipquay Street, with its elegant Georgian houses, to the Gothic Guildhall.

  11. Day 11 - Relaxed Start

    Walk in the Giant’s Steps on the way to Ballygally

    (Relaxed Start)Journey to the legendary Giant's Causeway, a geological masterpiece created by the cooling of lava which burst through the earth's crust millions of years ago. Next admire the hauntingly beautiful Dark Hedges. This stunning avenue of beech trees, planted in the 18th century, is more recently known as the Kings Road from Game of Thrones. Continue onto your hotel, overlooking the golden sands of Ballygally Bay. Those brave enough can check out the ‘ghost room’, in one of the castle’s turrets. In the evening, please join us for a finalé Celebration Dinner, where old-fashioned hospitality is blended with good food and wine for an experience that delights the senses.

  12. Day 12 - Relaxed Start

    Follow the Antrim Coast to Belfast

    (Relaxed Start) Continue around the Antrim Coast, past the huge Norman castle at Carrickfergus, to arrive in the Northern Ireland capital of Belfast. Meet your Local Expert for a panoramic tour seeing the City Hall, Queen's University, Stormont and the Belfast Murals. In your free time, why not visit the Titanic Belfast, a state of the art visitor centre and birthplace of the Titanic, a monument to Belfast's maritime heritage.

  13. Day 13

    Depart Belfast or Dublin

    Departure transfers arrive at Belfast George Best City Airport at 07:15 and Belfast International Airport at 08:00. An additional transfer will arrive at Dublin Airport at 08:00.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Dublin: VIP priority entrance to the Book of Kells and a guided walk though Trinity college with a University insider.
  • Kildare: Experience a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens.
  • Kilkenny: Gain an exciting insight into this unique Irish cultural experience, the ancient Celtic game of Hurling.
  • Blarney:Dangle from the ramparts to kiss the Stone of Eloquence, and never be lost for words again!
  • Killarney: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and remote villages, as you tour the magical Ring of Kerry.
  • Killarney: Hear the history, legend and folklore of Killarney from a local 'Jarvey', while on-board a famous jaunting car ride.
  • Cliffs of Moher: Stop by the Exhibition Centre and look out over the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.
  • Londonderry:What better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he takes you on a tour inside the city walls.
  • Giant's Causeway: Learn about the towering hexagonal basalt columns - a geological spectacle to behold.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Dublin: See Custom House, Dublin Castle and O'Connell St.
  • Kilkenny: See the Castle and visit the Design Centre.
  • Cahir: Stop for a photo of the massive castle.
  • Cork: Enjoy an orientation tour.
  • Dingle Peninsula: Enjoy a scenic tour to Slea Head.
  • Adare: See the main street lined with thatched cottages.
  • Limerick: See King John's Castle, the Cathedral and Treaty Stone.
  • Galway: See St. Nicholas Cathedral, Spanish Arch & Eyre Square.
  • Drumcliffe: Visit the final resting place of Irish poet Willain Butler Yeats.
  • Londonderry: See ‘Derry's Walls' and Gothic guildhall.
  • Carrickfergus: Drive around the immense Castle.
  • Belfast: See City Hall, Queen's University and Stormont Castle.
  • Scenic drives: Antrim coast, Connemara, Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Burren.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Ballygally: The Irish call it 'craic' - the warm feeling resulting from the confluence of music, drink, good food, laughter, and conversation. And after circumnavigating the Emerald Isle, there's bound to be a fare share of craic in the room at your grand finalé Celebration Dinner. Sláinte!
  • 11 Full Breakfasts (FB), 2 three-course Dinners (D); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Signature Evening (SE) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Ballygally: Ballygally Castle is a stunning 17th century castle which overlooks the golden sands of the bay and offers excellent facilities.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will guide you on your journey. Serving as your 'travelling concierge', this skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
  • A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Historic Pub Walk and Dinner

Join a local to hear about the importance of Belfast's pubs through the eras, stroll through the narrow streets before reaching a Victorian alehouse to enjoy a traditional supper and drinks.

Adult Price: GBP 36.00

Code: BEL0003

Titanic Experience

Follow the story of this ill-fated ship and her people, from the launch in this very city. Explore the exhibition in this stunning award-winning building, on the former site of the shipyard where Titanic was built.

Adult Price: GBP 18.00

Code: BEL0004

Port Of Cobh Excursion

Drive to the pretty riverside village of Cobh (pronounced "Cove") which was the last port of call for the Titanic. Explore the Heritage Centre and relive the story of the emigration of Irish people and the life of this once great passenger port.

Adult Price: EUR 22.00

Code: COR0001

Spirit of Derry

Before dinner this evening, take the chance to enjoy the unique and fun experience of learning the history of Derry and the North through storytelling, music and song in a local pub. A drink of your choice is included.

Adult Price: GBP 26.00

Code: DER0001

Irish Countryside & Glendalough

An afternoon drive takes you through the rural countryside of County Wicklow - the garden of Ireland. Pass through the pretty Wicklow Mountains to the picturesque setting of St. Kevin’s great 6th Century monastic site at Glendalough. After exploring the monastic remains return to Dublin via the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Adult Price: EUR 21.00

Code: DUB0006

Dublin At Its Best

Join your Tour director for a unique opportunity to dine at one of the Capital City’s top restaurants. A perfect way to spend your evening in this amazing city, famous for its easy-going charm and cultural heritage.

Adult Price: EUR 55.00

Code: DUB0012

Galway Walking Tour

The medieval streets of Galway are best  explored  with a local. Join our expert Galway guide for a stroll through history in this charming port city.

Adult Price: EUR 15.00

Code: GAL0002

Aran Islands

Embark upon a voyage of antiquity to the largest of the Aran Islands. Your guided tour of the island will also include a visit to the ancient fort of Dun Aengus.

Adult Price: EUR 49.00

Code: GAL0004

Celtic Steps

Enjoy a spectacular evening of Irish music, song and dance performed by champion dancers and musicians and showcasing the music of Kerry and beyond.

Adult Price: EUR 36.00

Code: KIL0003

Craic Agus Ceol

An afternoon foray into the Irish land of storytelling and fun with a modern day Seanchai (traditional storyteller). Enjoy this unique experience whilst sipping on an Irish Coffee, Whiskey or local Draft Beer.

Adult Price: EUR 24.00

Code: KIL0007

The Wild Geese Dinner

Enjoy fine dining in the atmospheric, doll's house like setting of an original 1820's cottage, in this most historic of Irish villages.

Adult Price: EUR 55.00

Code: LIM0003

Accommodation

 

Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane Dublin

Dublin (Traditional) - Ireland

Located in the heart of the docklands, the Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane is walking distance from Dublin city centre shopping and iconic venues.

The Kingsley Cork

Cork (Traditional) - Ireland

A sophisticated hotel close to the centre of bustling Cork.

Killarney Plaza Hotel Killarney

Killarney (Central) - Ireland

Killarney Plaza, Killarney

Castle Oaks House Hotel Limerick

Limerick (Scenic) - Ireland

Connemara Coast Maldron Sandy Road Galway

Galway (Scenic) - Ireland

Connemara Coast/Maldron Sandy Lane, Galway

Maldron Hotel Derry Londonderry

Londonderry (Traditional) - Ireland

The only hotel situated in Londonderry’s 17th century walls and very close to all that the city has to offer.

Ballygally Castle

Ballygally (Historic) - Northern Ireland

Ballygally Castle is a stunning 17th century castle which overlooks the golden sands of the bay and offers excellent facilities.

Europa Hotel Belfast

Belfast (Traditional) - Northern Ireland

The Europa Hotel is located in the heart of Belfast City Centre and offers elegant décor, a contemporary bistro and a relaxing piano bar.

GUEST REVIEWS & EXPERIENCES

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on 7663 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 10 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: It covered most of what visitors would expect from Ireland - green fields, stone walls, green fields. However, the visit to Glendalough was a disappointment, with masses of tourists spoiling the advertised "serenity". Food was a problem. While the quality was always high, the choices were limited. For example, we were taken to "Roys" (?), one of Dublin's top steak restaurants but steak was not on the tourist menu.

    Service: Tour Director excellent. She went out of her way to keep her charges happy

  • 08 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Country roads was what we asked for and received.

    Service: We're always happy with Insight customer service. The tour director's are second to none. They patiently answer questions no matter how often they are asked and deal with problems professionally and quickly.

  • 01 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was ideal; not overloaded, yet full of opportunities. The hotel accommodations were nice.

    Service: Insight tour staff were/are outstanding. The educational aspect, presented by the tour director, was unexpected, yet very well done and welcomed.

  • 29 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: This was our 3rd Insight trip and we have thoroughly enjoyed each of the country roads tours. The tour guides who have accompanied our tours have been knowledgeable and responsive to needs.

    Service: Correspondence was timely and accurate.

  • 28 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: As I indicated , enjoyable and interesting

    Service: The service was exceptional in all aspects, well organized and enjoyable. all accomadations were neat and comfortable. The tour director { Tom} was excellent and proved time and time again that he was very into our comfort and gave us information as the tour proceeded. He looked after me, as I was quite sick with a very bad cold and could not attend some of the functions. He even had the hotel send me some chicken soup in my room and checked himself how I was feeling. Above the call of duty to be sure and I thank him. We have been on a river cruise that your company also has interests with, Unaworld. excellent also. Planing on going on another cruise this year. Thank you for everything. Gary Dort

  • 27 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Excellent. Tom and Paddy couldn’t have been better.

    Service: On the Belgium/Netherlands tour we had to return feedback sheets prior to the end of the tour so you had no option but to say good. The final dinner was rushed, rude and unpleasant staff who obviously found us to be a nuisance to their day and we were back at our hotel by 8.00 pm which appeared to indicate “phew the tour is over”! Shame to have finished in this way as the tour had been excellent to that point.

  • 23 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We saw what we came to see- - the country-side and cities of interest.

    Service: Everything was well organized & efficiently conducted.

  • 20 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We learned and saw much of Ireland which we enjoyed.

    Service: Mosr of the option experiences where well worth the extra cost. The National Stud expert was too hard to understand plus he tried to hard to make jokes and seem authentic Irish. Try to find a different expert for that option.

  • 18 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great itinerary, a little too much driving. Would have liked to stop at a sheep farm. The Book of Kells was disappointing due to crowds and we never saw the exhibit.

    Service: Fabulous guide and driver. Great attention to detail. It was my birthday on the tour and the guide arranged for a few special things for me, as the travel agent hadn't notified them of the occasion.

  • 18 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: not enough time spent in the smaller towns . the pup crawl was a waste of time, would have enjoyed more time walking the villages . The food was boring. same breakfast every day ?? not enough verity over dinner and lunch.

    Service: customer service, especially the guide and the bus driver was outstanding. Arika knowledge and her presentation of the history was very inlighting. Our driver, Gerome , ability to menover the bus through some very tight places was outstanding

  • 18 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: I was very happy with the tour

    Service: It was all great.

  • 18 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: You hit all the must see destinations.

    Service: Well planned itinerary and great tour guide.

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Note prices displayed reflect available discounted rates (i.e. Early Payment Discount, Last Minute Deals). All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
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