Britain and Ireland

Britain & Ireland

Country Roads

Country Roads of Ireland (Preview 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 13:30. 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 pleasant evening of dinner and 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 through Life 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 and learn how the Hurley is made. Continue through Cahir and see its imposing 13th century castle, featured in the film 'Excalibur', on the way to your spa resort hotel in Cork.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Across the Mountains to Killarney.

    Your Travel Director will show you around the compact university city of Cork, with its interesting waterways and grand Georgian parades. Continue 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. In the evening, savour the delicious flavours of freshly-prepared local cuisine. Join John and Frieda for a delightful evening and Farm-to-Table dining experience.

  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. Then 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 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 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

    Drive to the Cliffs of Moher then on to 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 discovery of 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 Experience.

    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 the golden sands of 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

    Follow 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 your Local Expert for a panoramic tour seeing the City Hall, Queen's University,the Parliament Building at Stormont and murals in different locations indicating political sentiments of local residents. In your free time, why not visit the Titanic Belfast, a state-of-the-art visitor centre and monument to Belfast's maritime heritage, where the Titanic was built.

  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: Experience a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish National Stud and wander through the beautiful Japanese Gardens.
  • 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.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Giant's Causeway: Learn about the towering hexagonal basalt columns - a geological spectacle to behold.
  • Belfast: Your Local Expert will show you the City Hall, Queen's University, the Parliament Building at Stormont and murals in different locations indicating political sentiments of local residents.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Adare: Experience a village walk through the main street lined with thatched cottages.
  • Cahir: See one of the largest castles in Ireland.
  • Carrickfergus: See the immense Castle as your drive around it.
  • Dingle Peninsula: Enjoy a scenic drive to Slea Head.
  • Drumcliffe: Visit the final resting place of Irish poet William Butler Yeats.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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!
  • Killarney: Your farm-to-table experience is all about locally-sourced ingredients prepared with skill, so that you can taste the freshness in every mouthful.

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 trips. 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.

Accommodation

 

Clayton Hotel Burlington Road

Dublin (Contemporary) - Ireland

The Kingsley Cork

Cork (Traditional) - Ireland

A sophisticated hotel close to the centre of bustling Cork.

Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa Killarney

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 Galway

Galway (Traditional) - Ireland

A hotel set on the coast offering spectacular views of Connemara

Maldron Hotel Derry Londonderry

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

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
10949 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 21 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Perfect. Saw all the places we wanted to visit. Everyone on the tour was happy.

    Service: Outstanding tour director. Among the best we have had.

  • 21 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Going on country roads was great--so much better than highway travel and large cities only. I would have preferred a few later starts, even by 1/2 hour, but overall the itinerary worked out very well.

    Service: Overall they did a really good job. I would have preferred more detailed information earlier however. For example, given a list of options, I wasn't sure how they fit into the day, how long they were, etc. Also, when I had trouble with flight arrangements at the end of the trip, I was not given full details on flights and hotels and so troubles ensued.

  • 21 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Thought all the sites chosen gave good perspective of history,political or cultural aspects of Ireland.

    Service: This was our second Insight Vacation and we had an absolutely wonderful time--Katie our Tour Director--made us feel like we were her personal guests/family to her country! We loved the sites chosen for experiences(history, political and cultural) and were really impressed when we told Irish friends--who informed us "even THEY haven't seen this or that!" We met new friends within our Tour Group who we've exchanged invitations to visit and correspond.Our hotels were excellent with the exception of one(we reported the conditions to Katie right away) and were happy with the resolution. Perfect holiday and LOVED Ireland!

  • 20 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: lt was Good short of excellent.

    Service: Except for the rough riding coach and reduction of leg room compared to previous Insight Coaches.

  • 20 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We were able to see so many places in Ireland and we certainly had a variety of experiences.

    Service: Trip went as planned!

  • 19 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Just the right amount of sightseeing and planned activities. Loved the 2 night bookings.

    Service: Wonderful sights with a guide that was a treasure of knowledge about Ireland, the history and the people.

  • 17 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We had a very thorough tour that was well organized and very interesting.

    Service: Yes We would use Insight again. This was our 3rd trip with Insight and all have been wonderful. They are very organized. We got to see alot and yet did not feel rushed. The tour director for our trip was amazing. She was knowledgable and personable.

  • 15 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: A very, very busy itinerary - a good way to see a lot of a country but the pace can be a bit frantic. With the exception of 1 hotel - all were up to the mark. The Connemara Coast Hotel however, falls far short of a 4 star hotel. The room was dirty (lots of dust bunnies); water pressure in the shower was weak to non-existent; there was hair in the bathtub; a resident spider; the sink taps leaked and there was no phone service - a promised repair did not materialize.

    Service: The attention to detail is second to none. We was our third trip, we have already booked our 4th.

  • 14 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Will be touring again with insight next year.

    Service: Super tour.

  • 14 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Information and experience at each location was well planned we feel we saw Ireland

    Service: Erica our guild was very knowledgeable and entertaining easy to approach and very helpful. Paul our driver worked miracles we were glad we did not have to drive those roads

  • 14 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Everything went well. Bus driver was a very good driver.

    Service: Good

  • 14 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great itinerary- quite varied. Would have been hard to squeeze anything else in but also provided us some time to explore on our own.

    Service: We had a great trip through Ireland. Our guide, Patrick, was great, very informative and entertaining. Tommy, our driver, was very easy going, relaxed, and a real delight. I appreciated all the extra leg room. 4 couples from our family were on the tour and all the men are over 6 ft tall and we didn’t feel cramped. The scenery was beautiful and I learned a lot about Irish history and politics.

*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.
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