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.

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 (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 (Contemporary) - Ireland

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 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
10664 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 17 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We had some busy days, but saw a lot of this amazing country in a very short time

    Service: Very good drivers, very informative tour director

  • 15 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Helped us see a lot of Ireland at a reasonable pace. The tour director and driver were excellent.

    Service: I certainly would recommend Insight Vacations to others and would consider another trip with them.

  • 15 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was very good. Not only did it include the standard stops but some unexpected ones too. I know due to travel times some stops need to be short but some were way too short. We have been on other tours and they all included two meals a day. This one did not. The stop Sligo was used to allow for a lunch break and a way to obtain British pounds before entering No. Ireland. The stop was too short to do both. Also the banks pointed out will provide euros but won't convert them to pounds unless you have an account with the bank. It's highly unlikely any foreign traveler has an account so it ended up being a waste of time. We finally found out from residents the Post Office does exchanges. If we knew that in advance we would have had time for lunch. Better yet, give more time and better information. Katie had advice at most stops for places to eat or visit. Maybe a map with written info would be better handed out as you leave the bus. Otherwise it's too much to remember.

    Service: Katie Vaughan and Paul, our driver, were so helpful and kind during our two week trip. After CIE cancelled our 'guaranteed departure' tour we had to fend for ourselves for a few days. Katie helped us to get over some problems. We (Tillistrand & Miller families) are very grateful.

  • 14 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: There were a few places I would have liked to go - such as Waterford.

    Service: Knowledgeable and entertaining tour guide, competent and polite driver. Well-chosen sites to see. Most lodging was satisfactory, some food choices were limited and/or few items to chose from.

  • 13 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great stops, great locations.

    Service: Our tour director was the best! Kaitie Vaughn was the best of several tour directors on Insight Vacations! Good personality, helpful and progessional - he best.

  • 13 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: This itinerary was a great example of what Ireland is all about

    Service: This was our first Insight Vacation and it couldn’t have beef better.. Country Roads was an excellent choice.. We especially liked how well it was organized and Katie Vaughan was a great tour director.. She was very personable and extremely knowledgeable..Katie is a good example of what a professional tour leader should be.. Paul was our bus driver who certainly is good at what he does. My wife and and I felt very safe on our trip as Paul is extremely capable of handling a big bus on narrow country roads. We would be happy to take another Insight tour and also recommend Insight Vacations.. The hotels were all top notch as was the food they provided.. One of our favorite stops on the tour was The Irish Stud. Spectacular ! Thank you Insight for making our trip so memorable and thank you Katie and Paul.. Jim and Geri Eaton

  • 12 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: While it is impossible to see absolutely all of Ireland in just 12 days, we saw a great deal in our time - it was varied and interesting. We were on the Country Roads trip, and consequently, we did not just sit on a motorway, but instead travelled the quieter roads, with fabulous views all around.

    Service: The bus was very comfortable - lots of leg room. The hotels were all excellent, with the exception of the Maldron in Derry/Londonderry (not our favourite). The breakfast was always very good, and the included dinners were wonderful, with a great selection for everyone. The tour guide was very informative with regard to the history and the sights, and provided us all with maps of the cities. It was all very organized - from the bus drivers (we had four), to the optional tours and the various hotels. Our rooms were always ready, and our luggage was delivered promptly. This was our first bus tour and I'm so glad we chose Insight. We would definitely recommend them to anyone.

  • 12 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Really great tour. It was really great to see so much of Ireland. Some stretches of 1-night stays were a little difficult to maintain, but we got to see the whole country! This included a great mix of large cities and small towns with the opportunity to see coastlines, rural areas, and urban areas. Absolutely wonderful!

    Service: All things customer service related were fantastic with this tour. Our arrival was delayed and we were given simple and clear instructions with how to get to our hotel with ease. Our tour director (Tom) was fantastic, energetic, knowledgeable, and interactive. Insight Vacations is a fantastic way to see a large area and small details.

  • 12 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The only time I didn't like the itinerary was when driving on main highways. Thankfully that didn't happen often. Perhaps could be improved by a couple more days in Northern Ireland.

    Service: Tour director, Tom Hogan, was excellent . Although we might have liked more time in the smaller towns, we recognize the schedule is important. No issues.

  • 11 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Not enough time in Dublin

    Service: The tour director and driver were wonderful, very knowledgeable.

  • 11 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Got to see a lot of the country which was my goal. Never having done an organized bus tour before, I will in the future, look for tours with two or three day stops overs rather than the one night stops. These left me without time to see some of the towns I would have liked to see more of. However, the itinerary was clear so not the fault of Insight, just my personal preference. Liked that our guide, Tom, got us to more popular places early so as to avoid the crowds. That was great.

    Service: The administration of the tour went flawlessly. Luggage, rooms, meals were handled efficiently and professionally. One thing that would have helped would have been communication just prior to the trip letting us know that Ireland was having a heat wave. Everyone (25 from 4 countries) on the tour packed according to internet weather forecasts which were wrong. A simple email letting us know the temps were so much hotter would have made packing easier and more beneficial.

  • 11 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Loved the sites visited on this tour. We saw the beauty of the countryside and small towns throughout Ireland, as well as the largest cities.

    Service: Tour was wonderful and guide made the trip go so smoothly.

*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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