Dublin, County Mayo, Limerick, Killarney, County Laois, Ballyfin, Connemara
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Enchanting landscape, inspiring stories, captivating history, and an inviting ambiance encapsulate your Ireland tour offering the opportunity to stay in lavish hotels while enjoying first-class experiences without the high cost associated with extravagant travel. Your personalized experience brings to life the wonders of the Emerald Isle, form the windswept grass and endless panoramic views of the Cliffs of Moher to the ancient foundations of a 7th-century monastery on a secluded island. Visit...
Dublin – Arrive in the Captivating Pace and History of Ireland’s Capital
The city of Dublin rises along the wide bay and the winding waters of the River Liffey that flow directly into the harbor dividing the city in tow. Bridges crisscross the waterway connecting the north-south divide, crowned by the 18th century O’Connell Bridge. The archways support the structure reaching nearly 150 feet in length and almost 165 feet in width. Georgian architecture turns the cobbled lanes at the heart of the city into a picturesque scene highlighting the days Dublin acted as the second city to the British Empire, laid over the remarkable layers of 9th-century history featuring Vikings.
The scent of sausages, hops, and baked dough emanates from the pubs. Your flight lands at Dublin Airport, where your private transfer greets you upon arrival. Settle into the comforts of your gorgeous hotel situated within the famous Georgian architecture blending the enchanting qualities of the past with modern luxury. The remainder of the day is yours to explore Dublin at your leisure, experiencing the inspiring Irish shores at the docks or enjoying the communal spirit of the city’s oldest pub, the Brazen Head, which was established in the late 12th century near Christchurch Cathedral. Every night, live music fills the gallery with cultural classics reflecting the historical value and reputation of the Emerald Isle, Dublin, and the pub itself through the sounds of fantastical stories, fiddles, and dancing.
Dublin – Explore the Fascinating Past and Present Culture of Dublin
The scent of sizzling sausages fills the hotel dining room in the morning, accompanied by the aroma of herbaceous black tea steeping. Your guide greets you in the hotel lobby after the meal and escorts you through Dublin on a remarkable tour highlighting the rich history of the capital city beginning on the grounds of Trinity College. The vibrant and verdant scenery of College Green provides a warm welcome spanning 40 acres. Queen Elizabeth I founded Ireland’s oldest university in the 16th century. Cobbled squares and charming gardens continue to decorate the complex connecting to walkways leading to the priceless artifacts in the Long Room.
The prestigious university hosts an ambiance of philosophy, literature, and great the history within the treasured Old Library erected between 1712 and 1732. The Long Room encompasses 213 feet of the main chamber and houses 200,00 volumes of the library’s oldest and rarest books. Marble busts accentuate the unique scholarly ambiance of the library, highlighted by the scent of leather, paper, and polished floors. The library acts as the permanent home of the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript written in Latin and containing four Gospels of the New Testament. The book dates back to the 9th century AD and draws largely from the Vulgate, a 4th century Latin translation of the Bible commissioned by Pope Damasus I.
County Mayo – Venture West for a Scenic Drive to County Mayo
In the morning, the stores along Grafton Street open to the crowds along classical quarters. Singer-songwriters busk using Irish classics and original works while the scent of fresh flowers emanates from the marketplace. Jewelers set out elegant window displays in their boutiques and Bewley’s Oriental Café acts as a bridge connecting a relic from the city’s cultural elite of the 1920s with the modern sensibilities of the Dublin’s contemporary café-goers. You travel west after breakfast en route to County Mayo, stopping halfway in the city of Athlone located along the River Shannon. The waterway splits the former garrison town in two with many of the businesses and services located on the eastern bank and the solid stone of Athlone Castle rising out of the western bank.
Houses decorated with bright exteriors shine along the winding residential streets leading to historic pubs and antique shops. You take your time inside the 13th century Norman construct of Athlone Castle. Displays offer insight into the tumultuous history of the town through the ages, detailing life from the castle’s construction in 1210 to the siege by Protestant forces in the late 17th century, along with the infamous lightning strike of 1697, which ignited 260 barrels of gunpowder. A gripping Siege Experience takes place in the circular panoramic gallery, placing you at the center of a roaring battle from within the central keep showcasing the fierce fight during the Williamite-Jacobite War.
County Mayo – Discover Beguiling Landscapes and Towns in Connemara
Western Ireland’s coastline north of Galway Bay hosts captivating tiny inlets, sandy coves, neighboring islands, treacherous rocky points, rugged mountains and cozy thatched cottages around the vibrant protected lands of Connemara National Park. The charming coastal town of Roundstone stands on the arm of Bertraghboy Bay, nearly 50 miles northwest of Galway City. The quiet town remains a destination for resort-goers during the summer months and continues to draw artists and naturalists keen on experiencing the surrounding mountains and panoramic seascapes. The breeze carries a mixture of briny and herbaceous aromas capturing the seaside and grassy hills.
Fishermen move through the local harbor with the day’s fresh catch often featuring lobster, crab, shrimp, cod, and mackerel. Craft shops and cafes line the tranquil streets and commemorate the founding of the village in the 1820s. Celebrated art galleries in town host contemporary works connected to famous artists, along with pubs, bars, and hotels promoting local artists by featuring the work in their main galleries as well. You continue to the remarkable grounds of Kylemore Abbey, a 19th-century castle-turned monastery covering 40,000 square feet.
Limerick – Traverse Galway City and the Majestic Wild Atlantic Way
The Wild Atlantic Way stretches for over 170 miles along the Bay Coast starting from the village of Kinvara on the border of County Galway in the south and running to the village of Leenaun near Mayo County to the north. Your semi-private transfer escorts you away from a wealth of charms emanating from the castle grounds to reach the inviting ambiance of Galway City, which radiates a bohemian spirit emanating from the painted pugs with live music, bustling cafes, and welcoming street theater situated within the center of the medieval town walls.
Handcraft shops, bookstores, and musical instruments vendors line the cobbled lanes leading to the bridges arching over the rushing waters of the River Corrib. A stunning promenade runs alongside the coastal suburb of Salthill in Galway Bay connecting the comforts outside of the city center with the soothing briny aroma of the sea breeze. Galway Cathedral overlooks the River Corrib and boasts the title of Europe’s youngest cathedral, which was erected in the late 1950s. The remarkable architecture features grand stone blending Renaissance details with Romanesque and Gothic style. A marvelous rose window allows natural light to pour into the nave and shine over the Statue of the Virgin, which was crafted by a famous sculptor of German-Irish descent, Imogen Stuart.
You continue away from the Bay Coast to reach the Cliff Coast portion of the Wild Atlantic Way to view the famous panoramic views and scenic landscape of the Cliffs of Moher. The precipice reaches a height of over 700 feet above sea level overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The striations in the stone reveal the layers of history and the ways in which the water and weather have shaped the rugged coastline over time. The waves crash against the base of the rocks. The wind whips through the low-lying grass on the plateau. You watch as a puffin emerges from its nest hidden amidst the elements in a niche in the cliff. It can grow up to 12 inches in length and is known for its speed and versatility in the air, diving into the water while using its wings as thrust.
Limerick – Indulge in the Beauty of Limerick with a Day at your Leisure
After a delicious Irish breakfast, the day is yours to experience and explore the wonders of Limerick or the captivating activities of your accommodations located in one of the county’s celebrated historic manors. The stable near the grounds offers access to horseback riding through the lush forest, while a self-guided tour on the property provides historical context to the rich architecture and lavish garden leading to the local museum. In town, the treasures on the shores of the Abbey River reveal the upmarket neighborhood of Newtown Pery and the residential streets of Limerick’s second district, Irish Town.
St. Mary’s Cathedral is one of Ireland’s hidden gems. The structure was erected in the mid-12th century. Markings on the stonework have given rise to the convincing legend that defenders of the city sharpened their blades during sieges on the city by running their swords against the heavy stone of the cathedral. The ceremonial doorway was once the entrance to the former Royal Palace. The interior gives way to a timeline of Ireland and the city of Limerick dating back to early Medieval times.
A vaulted roof and gothic stained-glass windows allow natural light to pour over the preserved medieval floor tiles. Those more interested in ancient and prehistory can venture to Lough Gur located approximately 15 miles outside of Limerick. The grounds host a state-of-the-art heritage center providing insight to the more than 6,000 years of archeological history in the region beginning in the Neolithic period within the stone forts and burial sites.
Killarney – Cruise along the Lakes of Killarney and Explore Dunloe Gap
You set out into the Irish countryside early in the morning. The sunlight spreads over the famous greenery of the hills leading to the steep slopes and rugged summits of the surrounding mountains. The scenic drive brings you to the glistening waters of County Kerry’s 26,000 acres of Killarney National Park. The mountains reflect in the glassy surface of the pristine water. You board a boat and cruise along the placid waters of Lough Leane.
Forest islands rise out of the body of water, including the island of Innisfallen, which hosts the ruins of Innisfallen Abbey. The quiet ride along the water provides a fabulous panorama of the captivating countryside. You dock at Innisfallen to view the 7th-century foundations of the remaining 12th-century monastery. Legend states King Brian Boru, who ended the domination of the High Kingship of Uí Néill, was born on the island. The monks captured their time on the island and the surrounding history with 300 years of chronical marking the Annals of Innisfallen until their removal of the abbey in 1594. You continue to the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain passage between MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountain shaped by Glacial flows.
Killarney – Relish a Day Encircling the Famous Ring of Kerry
The fabled Ring of Kerry takes you along a circular route, 111 miles long within County Kerry. The gorgeous scenery reflects the wilds of Ireland inspiring landscape capturing scenic views of the coastline, woods, villages made of thatched-roof cottages, and hillsides strewn with stone. You travel with your semi-private tour to Torc Waterfall, approximately five miles from Killarney. The falls contain a series of drops, with the largest 60 feet high. The sound of the crashing water echoes across the mountain slopes.
The river rushes down the grades of Torc Mountain. The aromas of moss and windswept grass accentuate the scent of freshwater rushing over the stone. You continue to the Ring Forts at Cahersiveen. The two marvelous strongholds are located less than 2,000 feet apart and date back to the 10th century. Stairways on the interior walls represent an impressive design similar to a beehive hut. The smaller fortress contains outlines of four ruined houses in view of the Kerry mountains.
Loais – Drive to Ballyfin and Enjoy the Quiet Charms of the Village
The sublime scenery of Killarney provides an elegant image to wake up to. Woodlands spread beneath the mountain summits and the lakes reflect the beauty of their surroundings in the glassy water. The scent of herbaceous tea blends into the comforting aroma of a traditional Irish breakfast. Your semi-private transfer greets you at the hotel in the morning and escorts you through the heart of Ireland to reach the small village of Ballyfin in County Laois.
The landscape provides access to a hidden corner of Ireland often passed over for the more familiar names of County Cork, Limerick, Shannon, and Dublin. The pretty township of Abbeyleix provides visitors with tranquil views of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, while the village of Emo offers access to Emo Court, one of the grandest structures in all of Ireland. The neo-classical mansion was designed in the late 18th century with perfect symmetry in mind. Sash-style windows, pavilions, and balustrades shape the harmonious architecture. You arrive at the 600-acre property of Ballyfin Demesne, once home to the O’Mores and Wellesley-Poles.
The house was erected in the 1820s and remains an example of neo-classical architecture in design and décor, reflected in the ionic columns garnishing the portico. While on the property you have access to the activities provided by the five-star hotel and staff. Take time to enjoy a garden walk or learn the art of archery. You could also relish an introduction into traditional Gaelic games. For a quiet but inviting expedition, you venture to medieval Kilkenny to visit the dramatic castle located along the River Nore.
Loais – Depart for Home
In the morning, the scent of fresh scones and tea fill the atrium. The glass windows and ceiling offer a sensational view of the lush gardens. You indulge in the views of Ireland’s Midlands at breakfast before meeting your semi-private transfer in the hotel lobby. You take one last glance of the gorgeous décor of the hotel and the ways in which the paintings, chandeliers, and period furniture complement one another for a full picture of the life once lived inside the iconic Irish estate. You travel to Dublin International Airport with plenty of time to check in for your flight home, bringing an end to your time in enchanting Ireland.
- Bask in the comfort and attentive courtesies of an ultimate-luxury tour without the excessive cost
- Witness the marvels of Ireland’s natural landscape on excursions to the Cliffs of Moher and the Dunloe Gap
- Indulge in the enchanting culture of the Emerald Isle when exploring the fascinating history of Dublin, including a look at the ancient Book of Kells
- Relish an immersive journey into the battles of Athlone Castle during the impressive the circular panoramic gallery reciting the tumultuous wars
- Cruise the lakes of Killarney to reach Innisfallen Island, home to 7th-century foundations and 10th-century ruins of a secluded abbey
- Discover the remarkable legends associated with the 12th-century structure of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Limerick
- Uncover the fantastic characteristics of the Ring Forts at Cahersiveen, which date back to the 10th century
Your 10-day Ireland tour takes you beyond the charms of Dublin to reveal the majesty of the landscape, cities, and villages steeped in culture, history, and ineffable enchantment. The scenery protected ancient scholars from the turmoil of mainland Europe. Villagers carried on the traditions of their forefathers through oratory, music, and dance. Trails captivate visitors and locals with dramatic views made for trekkers, horseback riders, and cyclists eager to find a pure panorama. The exploration begins with your arrival in Dublin, where your private transfer escorts you from the airport to your hotel.
Dublin is the perfect city to settle into the inviting ambiance of Ireland. Georgian architecture accentuates the open spaces of the picturesque parks. The shadows of famous Irish writes linger in the streets, bookstores, and libraries, from Oscar Wilde to James Joyce, while the cobbled lanes lead to cafes, jewelry shops, and 18th-century architecture of the House of Parliament. County Mayo, the rural landscape of the west coast burst to life, featuring remarkably preserved castles, dramatic coastline, and majestic mountain summits. Whether spending time on the grounds of your gorgeous hotel learning the art of falconry or trekking along the private trails, you can explore the splendors of the rolling verdant hills leading to the quiet villages and captivating scenery of Connemara.
The Great Atlantic Way encompasses 1,600 miles along Ireland’s western seaboard. Travel along a portion of the great trail to view the fascinating cliffs, beaches, bays, and inlets before reaching Galway City, known for its historic streets, lively stories, and preserved culture. Stand at the edge of the Cliffs of Moher en route to the city of Limerick. The beauty of Limerick encompasses both the splendors of its past and the inviting contemporary ambiance. Whether enjoying the scenic grounds of your hotel or wandering through the prehistory of Lough Gur, you can find excitement, leisure, and opulence.
The pleasures of Killarney spread across the waters of the famous glassy lakes and the unique indentation of the landscape between two soaring mountains known as the Dunloe Gap. While exploring Killarney and the greater region of County Kerry, you can cruise the lakes, explore villages and ancient ring fortresses on the Ring of Kerry, and bask in the soothing comforts of your gorgeous hotel. Spend a day experiencing the seductive grandeur of Ballyfin Village during your final full day in Ireland. With endless outdoor pursuits and historical monuments, along with the country’s favorite pastime of looking for a good time, referred to in Gaelic as craic, your Ireland tour guides you through the small country and its huge reputation.
$3,995 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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