Ireland is part myth and part folklore, yet when you visit it is 100% real. The traditions, customs, histories, and landscapes are all more authentic than you can imagine, and it all comes alive on this 7-day private tour. From James Joyce in Dublin to storytelling in Limerick, you will be ingratiated into the heart of Ireland, feeling its atmosphere and long-standing heritage. And on the way, you explore some of the most photogenic landscapes and destinations on earth.
Dublin – Making the Most of Your First Day
Gaelic accents fill the air as you touch down in the Irish capital, and they promise stories and myths, adventure, and a certain romanticism that only this island can provide. First impressions here are enduring as the people are welcoming and keen to make jokes, the architecture is laid-back and traditional to its core, the care-free atmosphere perfect for the first day of your vacation. Touch down in Dublin, and you will be met by your local guide for your short transfer to your boutique hotel in the city center, and you will quickly realize just how charming and compact this city center is.
Most transatlantic flights land in the morning, so you can really make the most of your first day. Your guide will take you south of the River Liffey, along Dame Street to the towering frame of Dublin Castle. This medieval fortress suggests grandeur and as you head inside and the Chester Beatty Library will impress. Hidden within here are illuminated manuscripts, the first in many mystical, near-mythical, sights you will encounter in Ireland. You can explore St Patrick’s Cathedral before embracing the old granite architecture of Merrion Square on route to St Stephen’s Green. There are some good museums you might want to visit, dependent on your energy levels – the National Museum, Archeology Museum, Natural History Museum – but you might prefer to check out Grafton Street before resting your feet for the days to come.
Dublin – James Joyce and Storytelling Folklore
Kilkenny – Green Landscapes and Colorful Streets
Kinsale – The Treasures of Ireland’s Oldest City: Quiet Harbor Tradition
Day 5 - 6
Kenmare – Classic Experiences on the Ring of Kerry
Limerick – Astonishing Cliffs and Local Experiences
Shannon – Departure
- Feel the folklore as you experience Irish storytelling in a Dublin bar
- Experience the tradition as you explore Waterford and Kinsale
- Encounter the green landscapes and marvel at their subtlety
- Be amazed by the coastline, with two days on the Ring of Kerry before the towering Cliffs of Moher
- Immerse yourself in Irish song and dance, more than once during the week
- Soak up the literary legend on a James Joyce walking tour through Dublin
- Feel the history of grand estates and castles, with stops in places like Powerscourt and Kilkenny Castle
- Relax into the countryside silence as you find bucolic landscapes around Glendalough and Killarney National Park, among others
So many stories emanate from Ireland as a country with a revered, near-mythical image as four-leaved clovers meet the gift of the gab. Even the photos of Ireland do not look real as the landscapes are grand yet bucolic, and impossibly green even beneath gray skies. This is the country of folk dancing and of Gaelic historical storytellers as the country provides a genuine welcome to all of its visitors. This seven-day handcrafted tour focuses on local traditions, providing an authentic journey through the heritage and highlights that make Ireland so special. Although your time is short, Ireland will be quick to impress with its inimitability, especially when your expert guides mix popular attractions with those places best known to locals.
Dublin is a romantic place to start, and you will have two days to ease into the Irish experience. It is a laid-back and relatively small city, easy to get around on foot and packed full of old-fashioned places. Spend your first day checking out some key sights, places that provide a primer for what is to come later on. Then follow the James Joyce trail through the narrow alleyways, following in the footsteps of Leopold Bloom and the author’s other characters. That evening, you can listen to a seanchai, a Gaelic storyteller, feeling how the atmosphere builds as the tales take on increasingly fanciful tones.
It will be off into the country on day three, the Wicklow Mountains a soporific place to change tempo and become one with the green landscapes. Explore Powerscourt estate for a sense of history, and then head to a monastic retreat for a very different past. Continue to Kilkenny and explore all the shops, where color mingles with the grandeur of the city’s castle. On day four, you will stay in the country’s heart, a morning in Waterford full of treasures and local moments. After checking out Cork, you can spend the night in Kinsale, a small harbor town that responds to so many Irish impressions.
The final three days are all about the west coast, where many of the country’s famous attractions are found. Places like Blarney Castle and the Cliffs of Moher do get busy, although you will probably agree that this is justifiably so. However, in Killarney National Park and along the Ring of Kerry, there are still places unchanged by tourism. So you can go off into limestone landscapes, explore medieval castles, wander along the dramatic cliffs, and check out tiny Gaelic villages. Your final night is in Limerick, where a poetic past is kept alive, and there’s storytelling to keep you company. Consider reading some of our travelers’ Ireland tour reviews for more ideas to perfect your dream Ireland vacation.
$6,755 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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