Country Roads of Ireland

Britain & Ireland

Country Roads

Country Roads of Ireland end Belfast (Summer 2019)

Duration: 12 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 legendary characters.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Dublin.

    On arrival at Dublin airport, transfers leave for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner with the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a meal with wine.

  2. Day 2 - Relaxed Start

    In Dublin’s Fair City.

    Become acquainted with Dublin’s elegant squares during an orientation of the city. 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, who will share their insights into modern life and the establishment’s impressive history. The afternoon is free to explore.

  3. Day 3

    A Journey from Dublin to Cork.

    In the morning, visit one of the country’s main racehorse breeding centres. Continue to the acclaimed 100 year old Japanese Gardens where you can ‘journey through life’ during a walk through the beautiful surrounds. Travel to the medieval city of Kilkenny, home of the world's fastest field game. The ancient Celtic sport of Hurling is over 3,000 years old and Ireland's national sport. Meet a player who will share his passion though a demonstration of skill. Continue through Cahir and see its imposing 13th century castle, featured in the film 'Excalibur', on the way to Cork. On arrival, your Travel Director will show you around the compact university city, with its vibrant waterfront and grand Georgian parades.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Across the Mountains to Killarney.

    Travel to the ruined Blarney Castle. Will you hang upside down from the ramparts to kiss the stone and ensure a lifetime of eloquence? Travel across the majestic Derrynasaggart Mountains to the peaceful town of Killarney. For your Farm-to-Table dining experience, enjoy some Irish home cooking in the kitchens of chef John Sheehan. Join John and his wife, Freda for drinks and a personal insight into classic Irish recipes that are loved throughout the world. Then, settle down for a night of great food and drink in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Ring of Kerry Experience.

    Start your day with a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local jarveys. Take a leisurely excursion around the magnificent Ring of Kerry. Here, mountains, valleys, lakes and sea blend into a landscape that is breathtaking beyond words. Journey past lush lakelands and around towering cliffs as you appreciate 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?

  6. Day 6

    Around the Dingle Peninsula.

    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 and pass Limerick, famous for rhymes, before reaching your hotel located at the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way, with access to the Dromoland Castle Estate.

  7. Day 7

    The Cliffs of Moher and Galway.

    Journey 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 voyages to America. See the Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President, John F. Kennedy.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Free day Galway or Aran Islands.

    Spend a day at leisure to relax and enjoy Galway. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to the Aran Islands - a genuine highlight of the Wild Atlantic Way. With their cliffs and spectacular coastal views, the islands are a true Irish experience.

  9. Day 9

    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.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

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

    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, prepare yourself for miles of breathtaking beauty as you travel along the road clinging to the Antrim Coast. Continue onto your hotel, overlooking Ballygally Bay. For those who are brave enough, perhaps check out The Ghost Room, in one of the castle’s turrets? In the evening, please join us for a finale Celebration Dinner, where old-fashioned hospitality is blended with good food and wine for an experience that delights the senses.

  11. Day 11 - Relaxed Start

    The Antrim Coast to Belfast.

    Continue around the Antrim Coast, past the huge Norman castle at Carrickfergus, to arrive in the Northern Ireland capital of Belfast. Meet Hilda, your Local Expert, for a passionate city tour including views of the City Hall, Queen's University, the Parliament Building at Stormont and murals in different locations indicating political sentiments of local residents.

  12. Day 12

    Depart Belfast.

    Departure transfers arrive at Belfast George Best City Airport at 07:15 and Belfast International Airport at 08:00.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Dublin: Enjoy VIP priority entrance to the Book of Kells and a guided walk though Trinity College with a university insider.
  • Kildare: Join an equine professional for a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish National Stud. Then visit the finest Japanese Gardens in Europe, for a ‘journey through life' as you wander by the beautiful floral displays.
  • Kilkenny: Kilkenny has the greatest amount of All-Ireland titles of its national sport of hurling. Meet a player to gain an exciting insight into this unique Irish cultural experience, through a demonstration of skill.
  • Killarney: Hear the history, legend and folklore of Killarney from a local Jarvey, while on-board a famous jaunting car ride.
  • Londonderry: There's no 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. See the Gothic Guildhall and the Georgian houses of Shipquay Street.
  • Belfast: Meet Hilda, a true Belfast local, having lived in the same house her entire life. During your panoramic tour, hear the history of the city and learn why Hilda is proud of its progress and current prosperity. You'll also see the City Hall, Queen's University, Parliament Building at Stormont and murals in different locations indicating political sentiments of local residents.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Dublin: During your orientation with your Travel Director, see the Custom House, Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Castle and the Georgian townhouses as you travel down O'Connell Street and along the River Liffey.
  • Cahir: See one of the largest castles in Ireland.
  • Cork: Relish this university city with its interesting waterways and grand Georgian parades of houses.
  • Blarney: Dangle from the ramparts to kiss the Stone of Eloquence, and never be lost for words again!
  • Killarney: Enjoy hearing of the history of Killarney during your city orientation.
  • Ring of Kerry: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and remote villages, as you travel the magical Ring of Kerry. Journey through Sneem, pass the Black Mountains, Moll's Gap and admire Queen Victoria's Ladies View.
  • Dingle Peninsula: Enjoy a scenic drive to Slea Head.
  • Adare: Experience a village walk through the main street lined with thatched cottages.
  • Cliffs of Moher: Stop by the Exhibition Centre and overlook the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.
  • Galway: Enjoy an orientation tour of the many landmarks in Galway such as the Lynch Memorial, Church of St. Nicholas, Spanish Arch and Eyre Square.
  • Drumcliffe: Visit the final resting place of Irish poet William Butler Yeats.
  • Giant's Causeway: Learn about the towering hexagonal basalt columns - a geological spectacle to behold.
  • Ballygally: Explore this seaside town with your Travel Director.
  • Carrickfergus: See the immense Castle as your drive around it.
  • Scenic Drives: Irish scenery is some of the most beautiful in the world. Relax and admire the views as your travel past the Derrynasaggart Mountains, the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, Burren, the Blue Stack Mountains of Donegal and the Antrim Coast.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Killarney: Join John and his wife, Freda for drinks and a personal insight into classic Irish recipes that are loved throughout the world. Your Farm-to-Table experience is all about locally-sourced ingredients prepared with skill, so that you can taste the freshness in every mouthful.
  • 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 fair share of craic at your grand finale Celebration Dinner. Sláinte!
  • Dining Summary: 11 Breakfasts (B), 2 Dinners (D) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

STAY IN STYLE

  • Killarney: In the heart of the town centre, the Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa overlooks Killarney National Park and is the perfect location to enjoy the stunning scenery and the local 'craic.'
  • Galway: Set on the coast, the Connemara Coast Hotel offers spectacular views of Connemara and continues a tradition in hospitality dating back to 1839.
  • Londonderry: The Maldron Hotel Derry is the only hotel situated in Londonderry’s 17th century walls and very close to all that the city has to offer.
  • Ballygally: Ballygally Castle is a stunning 17th century castle which overlooks the golden sands of the bay and offers excellent facilities.
  • Belfast: The Europa Hotel is located in the heart of Belfast City Centre and offers elegant décor, a contemporary bistro and a relaxing piano bar.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

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.

Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.

Dublin Dinner And Coastal Drive

Enjoy a scenic drive along Dublin’s South Coast along the coastal towns of Sandycove, Dalkey & Killiney, followed by fine cuisine and a glass of wine in one of Dublin’s well-known stylish restaurants.

Adult Price: EUR 64.00

Code: DUB0005

Irish Countryside & Glendalough

An afternoon drive takes you through the rural countryside of County Wicklow - the garden of Ireland. With our Local Expert, we'll pass through the pretty Wicklow Mountains to the picturesque setting of St. Kevin’s great 6th Century monastic site at Glendalough. Afterwards, we'll explore the monastic remains before returning to Dublin via the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Adult Price: EUR 24.00

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

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

Blair's Inn

Soak up the atmosphere of a thriving family run public house, situated on an old butter road in the heart of the Cork countryside. With a local aperitif in hand, watch your host demonstrate how one of the dishes is made before sitting down to enjoy the same real Irish food in this most authentic of settings.

Adult Price: EUR 45.00

Code: COR0010

Gaelic Roots

A tour de force of traditional Irish song, music and dance, Gaelic roots showcases Ireland at its best. Using traditional instruments, Irish dance and time-honoured folk songs, this energetic show will have you tapping your feet and singing along in no time.

Adult Price: EUR 33.00

Code: KIL0008

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

Dinner at Durty Nellys

Tonight we'll experience dinner at the world-famous Durty Nelly's. Enjoy an excellent choice menu in this storied establishment that's almost 400 years old! Discover the place where the road rises up to meet you, and the wind is always at your back!

Adult Price: EUR 46.00

Code: LIM0004

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. This optional involves reservation and entrance pre-payments. Cancellation within 24 hours will incur a 50% cancellation fee.

Adult Price: EUR 49.00

Code: GAL0004

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

When your home is a castle...

Join the Earl of Antrim's butler George and housekeeper Elaine on an exclusive insight into the family and estate at Glenarm and Dunluce. We'll also see the day-to-day goings on and discover how the Earls have made this historic house fit with today's modern family. Then enjoy a stroll through the walled garden; 4.5 acres of lawns with imaginative herbaceous borders.

Adult Price: GBP 27.00

Code: BAL0001

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 a drink.

Adult Price: GBP 39.00

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

Accommodation

 

Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin.

Dublin (Traditional) - Ireland

Maldron Hotel South Mall, Cork.

Cork (Contemporary) - Ireland

Newly built Maldron Hotel South Mall is perfectly positioned in the heart of the city, overlooking the River Lee on Beasley Street and only a short walking distance to the cities sights.

Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.

Killarney (Traditional) - Ireland

In the heart of the town centre, the Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa overlooks Killarney National Park and is the perfect location to enjoy the stunning scenery and the local 'craic.'

The Inn At Dromoland

Dromoland (Tradional) - Ireland

Set in the heart of west-coast Ireland's beautiful County Clare, The Inn At Dromoland is situated on 450 acres of wooded countryside and features panoramic views of the Clare Hills and Shannon Estuary. Your spacious, traditional-style room will ensure a comfortable stay.

Connemara Coast Hotel

GALWAY (Historic) - IRELAND

Set on the coast, the Connemara Coast Hotel offers spectacular views of Connemara and continues a tradition in hospitality dating back to 1839.

Maldron Hotel Derry

Londonderry (Traditional) - Ireland

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

Ballygally Castle

Ballygally (Castle) - 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 (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
11478 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 13 November, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: I particularly liked the fact that the Itinerary included both the North and South as I had never been to the North. The diversity of the tour was great as it covered so many facets of the country. I had never been to the Aran Islands which was a most interesting day. The history and the culture as well as the beautiful landscape were all covered in near perfect weather!

    Service: Our guide Katy made the whole trip most enjoyable. She was quietly aware of the needs of individuals in the group which ensured that problems did not arise. Her delightful sense of humour added to the fun. Her description of her flock of 30 sheep was most entertaining for a Kiwi. Our drivers were all very experienced and capable as was demonstrated when our a trip to the monastic shrine in the Wicklow Mountains had to be aborted because another bus had broken down and was blocking the road. Insight tours are so reliable. As someone who has done many tours I like the fact that the hotels are comfortable, the luggage is looked after, transfers to and from the Airports are available and the optional extras are interesting and enjoyable. Thank you.

  • 29 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Interesting sites with excellent review by tour guide.

    Service: Excellent accommodations and tour guide. Tour guide was especially informative and helpful,made the trip exceptional.

  • 27 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: It was a thorough tour. The guide and bus driver were excellent . The two drawbacks were : the accomodations we stayed in for 2 nights , except inDublin , were not very good whereas all the hotels and inns where we stayed ONE night were excellent. Also , a few more meals ahould have been included. Overall though , it was an excellent tour.

    Service: Excellent

  • 26 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Visited parts of Ireland I had not seen. Different from other Ireland tours I had done.

    Service: The tour was good. Some of the hotels were not of the standard I have come to expect from tours I had done with other companies. Some hotels were not in the towns making it hard to gain a meal other than in the hotel.

  • 26 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: It was an extremely sweet trip.

    Service: Patrick, our tour director, was very knowledgeable & kept us entertained. He knew exactly what information to tell us and when to tell it.

  • 24 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Great route and stops and resturants

    Service: Price, itinerary, guide, sights, transportation all excellent.

  • 19 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Would have liked to stop at some places that lookd interesting on the way but realize that we have to have limits. Some places seemed to be associated with Insight.

    Service: Erica was very knowledgeable and Mike is an excellent driver. On occasion it was clear that Erica was impatient with some of us. On the whole an enjoyable experience.

  • 19 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: I enjoyed all the tours . Thank you .

    Service: Yes I would travel with insight again , I was happy with all my accommodations. The tour guide Erica *personal information removed by Feefo* was very knowledgeable and informative on the history of Ireland . The tours were excellent, the food delicious.

  • 19 October, 2018

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    Trip: It would have been 5 stars but for the hotel choice outside of Galway. That hotel was below the standard of the other hotels on the trip and was out of the city so dining was limited to their poor pub food. Loved all the stops on the trip. They were all “must sees” in Ireland and Northern Ireland. I would add that the trip to Cove should be included and not considered optional.

    Service: Customer service provided by your tour director was excellent. Aine’s knowledge was exceptional. She kept the discussions fun, informative and lively. Aine was always accessible and helpful. Extremely professional while performing her duties. And the bus driver, Paul, was also extraordinary. Very skilled in manoeuvring the narrow roads.

  • 17 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Could have passed on the Stud farm and Hurling demo.

    Service: We received everything we needed for the tour.

  • 17 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Very comprehensive. Experienced many facets of this country during the tour like history, food and drink and the weather!

    Service: Yes, would recommend to others and would consider Insight again. Good itinerary, excellent tour leader Erica.

  • 17 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: I like the itinerary that is why I selected this tour.

    Service: Trip was great. I just dont understand the concept of the seat rotation if one person was not part of the rotation process and doesn't exhibit any mobility issue.

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Last Minute Deals (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space. 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.