Majestic folklore, a history of magic, and the majesty of opulent castles will enchant you during your personalized Ireland family-friendly vacation. The emerald greenery spreading across the hills and dales lead to the dramatic cliffs soaring above the fierce Atlantic waters. Legends account for the fascinating scenery on which medieval castles continue to stand. From the bustling cobbled lanes of Dublin to the dramatic turreted towers of Kilkenny, the remains of an ancient abbey to the manicured...
Dublin – Arrive in the Charming City of Dublin with the Day at your Leisure
Dublin is a city of layers depicting traces of a Viking past from the 9th century and the majesty of architectural design form the 18th century. Georgian architecture decorates the cobbled lanes of the city center providing a sophisticated elegance accompanied by the charms of legendary pubs. Your flight lands at Dublin Airport, where your private transfer greets the family upon arrival. Grafton Street buzzes with activity from locals dipping in and out of the boutique shops to buskers performing with classical quartets or traditional fiddles. A flower stall adds touches of colorful petals to the brickwork of the surrounding Georgian facades.
After settling into the comforts of your luxury hotel at the heart of the city, the remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the welcoming ambiance of Dublin. Let the magic of Dublin lull you into the greater culture of Ireland inside a historic pub first opened in 1198. The Brazen Head is officially Ireland’s oldest serving the likes of Jonathan Swift and James Joyce during its long and affluent history. The evening turns into one of the enchanting legends and fascinating imagination as the pub fills with the aromas of traditional Irish cuisine. Performers sing rhythmic ballads and storytellers share the mythical tales of fairies, the Children of Lir, and the giant Finn McCool.
Dublin – Visit the National Museum of Archeology and Malahide Castle
The morning brings the subtle herbaceous aroma of steeping black Irish tea accompanied by the airy scent of soda bread. Your guide greets the family in the hotel lobby eager to introduce you to the beauty of Dublin beginning with the grounds of Trinity College. The Long Room is the main chamber and was erected in the 18th century to a length of 213 feet long. The kids listen intently to information about the Book of Kells, an illuminated 9th-century manuscript containing for four Gospels known for its history and stunning ornamentation. The National Museum is located inside a neoclassical structure erected in the 18th century as a military barracks.
The galleries display artifacts from prehistoric Ireland to the 19th century, including the coat Michael Collins, wore on the day of his death. Artifacts from the Bronze Age consist of solid gold bracelets, collars, and necklaces. You continue outside the city to reach Malahide Castle. The foundations date back to the 12th century on 260 acres of designated parkland. The stone turrets and embody the image of a fairytale fortification. The shops on the property reflect the heritage of the estate’s heyday along with small cafes serving tea, pastries, and sandwiches. Inside the castle grounds, the family can enjoy a haunted tour hearing the spooky tales of Malahide.
Killarney – Delight in a Visit to Kilkenny and Explore the Rock of Cashel
Locals of Dublin travel the paths of St. Stephens Green in the morning jogging around the emerald lake or strolling in the oasis of flowerbeds and manicured lawns in the 22-acre park. Your private transfer meets the family in the hotel lobby after breakfast leading you out of the bustling capital city to reach Kilkenny. The small city shimmers with dark gray limestone and has preserved the medieval architecture of narrow lanes and antique structures nestled between the castle and cathedral overlooking the River Nore.
Local artists and craftspeople celebrate their Celtic heritage in view of the spires soaring over St. Canice’s Cathedral, Ireland’s second-largest medieval cathedral. While in Kilkenny, you meet with a hurling expert for insight into the history of the sport spanning 3,000 years. The ancient Gaelic sport consists of players using a long stick to hit a ball between the opponents’ goalposts or over the crossbar similar to field hockey. You run around the field learning how to properly grip and swing the club to hit the sliotar, ball, less than three inches in diameter.
You reach the Rock of Cashel, also known as St. Patrick’s Rock located in County Tipperary. The kids are fascinated by the legends of the region as the guide explains how the St. Patrick banished Satan from the nearby cave resulting in the formation of the rock. The castle grounds acted as the seat of the reigning Munsters for centuries until the Norman invasion of the 12th century. The round tower reaches 90 feet tall. The 13th-century cathedral has a cruciform floor plan and a central tower. A massive wall surrounds the plateau with views over the verdant Irish countryside.
Killarney – Find Ross Castle, Cruise Lake Leane, and Taste Lorge Chocolate
Outside the town of Killarney, you find the picturesque Ross Castle rising out of the banks of Leane Lake. The structure was erected in the 15th century and maintains its dramatic features reflected in the calm waters of shimmering lake. The spiral staircase embodies the defensive nature of the castle grounds. The feature was erected in a clockwise direction because attackers would have their swords in their right hand when facing up. Those defending the castle would face down and have more power swinging their swords away from the central structure of the stairwell.
From the parapet provided safety to archers slinging arrows at attackers. From the elevated position, you can see the shores if Innisfallen Island and the remains of the 7th-century monastery. Take a boat across the tranquil water listening to the soothing sounds of the current lapping against the lakeshores. St. Finian the Leper founded the abbey during Ireland’s early Christian period Monks occupied by the area for nearly 950 years before abandoning the position in 1594.
Stroll around the tall grass and preserved stone walls symbolizing the layers of Christian history in Ireland before returning to the mainland and arriving at a popular Chocolatier. The aroma of caramel, coffee, and marshmallows fills the gallery. The windows provide a view over the lush Kerry countryside. Your instructor welcomes you to the dessert paradise and leads you into the kitchen for an introductory chocolate-making workshop. The kids can make and taste their favorite flavors, from milk chocolate truffles to dark chocolate with nuts while you sample more adult flavors like Baileys, whiskey, or rum butter.
Shannon – Enjoy a Tour Horseback Riding before Visiting Dromoland Castle
The morning light washes over dramatic mountain peaks creating the skyline above Killarney Town. The summits reach upwards of 3,280 feet above sea level contrasting the colorful, quaint shops lining the cobbled lanes of the historic city center. After a delicious breakfast, you visit the riding stables outside of Killarney for an expedition into the stunning Irish countryside of County Kerry and Killarney National Park. The horses are gentle and easy to ride through the calming scenery of Killarney’s more than 26,000 acres of protected landscape. The air fills with the aroma of oak wood showcasing the extensive native forest remaining on the island. Your guide points to a red deer grazing in the distance.
Males can reach 98 inches long and 51 inches tall. Your guide shares the legend of Fionn mac Cumail’s hunting trip cornering a white stag who turned out to be the goddess Sadb. After the riding excursion, you reach the city of Limerick on the banks of the River Shannon. Medieval and Georgian architecture provide a stunning reflection of tumultuous history lying beneath the glossy makeover. A boardwalk wanders along the edges of the riverfront, and the renovated castle shines with a brooding sense of Norman design. The curtain walls and towers were erected in the 13th century supporting massive gate towers.
Shannon – Bask in the Cultural and Regional Charms on Castle Grounds
In the morning, you find the aromas of a full Irish breakfast filling the dining room. The fragrant aroma of black Irish tea accompanies the traditional farmer’s rations of bacon, sausages, white pudding, baked beans, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, and potatoes. The family has the day to experience the captivating life of Dromoland Castle. The main house was erected in the 16th century while the grounds encompass 1,500 acres of ornamental gardens, protected woods, and manicured grass. Try your hand at archery under the guidance of an instructor on the vast property.
The kids quickly take to the proper stance with their feet and shoulders perpendicular to the target. They rest the arrow’s shaft against the edge of the bow and clip the nock against the string. The grip the string with the arrow resting between their knuckles before pulling back and letting the arrow glide toward its target. The Dromoland School of Falconry offers demonstrations, as well as close up experiences, of falconry. Your guide offers a fascinating history of the sport as you walk through the wooded trails reaching the serene grounds of the falconry school.
Shannon - Discover the Marvels of the Cliffs of Moher and Aillwee Cave
After breakfast, you travel to the western edges of Ireland to discover the stunning Cliffs of Moher along the Wild Atlantic Way. The charming seaside along of County Clare reaches heights of 390 feet above sea level at the southern end rising to over 700 feet north of O’Brien’s Tower with the untamed Atlantic waves crashing against the boulders and base of the bluffs. The visitor center offers information about the geological history of the region, as well as insight into flora and fauna of the cliffs. The coastal walkway is over 11 miles long providing unforgettable views of the Namurian shale and sandstone from which the cliffs were made over a period of 300 million years. The kids point to the Atlantic puffins swirling in the air.
They nest in the crevices dug into the bluffs and hunt by diving at full speed into the water for small fish using their wings for propulsion in the ocean. Their markings resemble penguins, from the white undersides and black plumage around the back and wings. Their bills and feet glow orange contrasting the tufts of grass growing from their nesting grounds. You continue into one of the oldest caverns in Ireland at Aillwee Cave, located deep in the terraced mountainside at the Burren. The cavernous limestone walls dig 3,380 feet into the landscape. You can hear the trickle of the underground river. Stalactites drip with moisture resembling melting icicles made from stone.
Shannon – Depart for Home
In the morning, golfers set out on the course at Dromoland Castle enjoying the crisp air and serene ambiance of the vast greenery. Horses roam through the trails leading into the woodlands on the castle grounds. The gothic revival architectural design of your castle accommodations combines the comforts of modern luxuries with the historical grandeur of Ireland’s former noble families casting a wide net of unique estates with captivating, immersive history. You sip a refreshing black tea while listening to the children retell their favorite moments from their time in Ireland. After breakfast, your private transfer meets the family at the hotel lobby and escorts you to Shannon Airport for your flight home.
- Hear the immersive legends, myths, and folklore ingrained in the heritage of Ireland inside Dublin’s oldest pub accompanied by songs, music, and cuisine
- Walk along the soaring edges of Ireland’s eastern shoreline at the Cliffs of Moher for an incredible view of islands, mountain ranges, and puffin colonies
- Indulge in sensational chocolate flavors during a private workshop at a celebrated chocolaterie in Killarney, where you make and taste your treats
- Wander the preserved castle grounds of the Rock of Cashel following in the legendary footsteps of St. Patrick
- Visit Innisfallen Island on Lake Leane for a majestic look at the remains of a 7th-century monastery, as well as fabulous views of Ross Castle
- Relish a tranquil horseback ride through Country Kerry and Killarney National Park idyllic panoramas and sensational wildlife viewings
- Delight in the sophisticated charms of Dromoland Castle with an archery lesson and visit to the falconry school located on the opulent estate
- Learn the proper ways to swing a club during a hands-on hurling experience offering insight into the rules and best practices of a 3,000-year-old game
The beauty of the Emerald Isle contains the lulling charms of history, legend, and scenery during your 8-day family-friendly Ireland vacation perfect for children of all ages. The folklore reads like fairytales, and the landscape looks like it stepped out of a storybook. Castles decorate the countryside, and cobbled lanes wind through the villages. Ruins rise out of hidden islands, and four-leaf clovers grow out of jade grass spreading across the fertile valleys. Whether in search of an active vacation to keep the kids engaged or looking for an educational getaway, Ireland provides the best of both worlds with bits of magic strewn along the way.
Your fantastic Ireland vacation begins with your arrival in Dublin, the capital of the Emerald Isle. Spend two days in the exciting cityscape brimming with legends, gorgeous architecture, classic pubs, and layers upon layers of history. Dublin’s personality captures the essence of greater Ireland by blending a community feeling into the shops, homes, and classic university grounds decorating the preserved cobblestone streets. From the archeological artifacts and artwork in the museums to castles bordering the city, essences of the Viking invasion or the sing-song lyrics of a famous legend, Dublin becomes the perfect introduction into the diverse but friendly culture.
Traveling through Kilkenny immerses you in the marvels of the Irish landscape and the captivating architecture of the colorful town. The legendary beauty of the scenery comes to life in the countryside with fertile fields brimming with shamrocks and rising hillock of topped by the Rock of Cashel. Learn the artistry involved in playing the sport of hurling before exploring the fascinating medieval castle once housing the seat of the Kings of Munster. Killarney offers a similar ambiance for visitors, with impressive scenery featuring rolling mountain peaks, shimmering lakes, and dramatic fortresses. Spend time exploring the sensational grounds of 15th century Ross Castle and ride a boat around Lake Leane to reach Innisfallen Island, home to the ruins of an ancient abbey. Relish a chance to sample chocolates in a chocolaterie with a tasting and workshop experience and traverse the breathtaking woodlands on a horseback excursion the entire family can appreciate.
Shannon and the beauty of County Clare are unparalleled in their spectacle. Relish an introduction to the noble life of the county at Dromoland Castle, and ancestral home immersing the family in exciting activities like archery, falconry, or hiking in search of the wildlife thriving on the protected landscape. Delight in visiting an authentic Irish farm for an introduction into sheepherding, crafting the perfect buttery scone, and tasting delicious cheese made on the property. The serene scenery of estates and farmland give way to the exhibition of the coastline at the Cliffs of Moher where the edges of the island plunge into the depths of the Atlantic. The untamed landscape has a thrilling effect at the cliffs and Aillwee Cave, the oldest cave in the country.
Zicasso works closely with the best Ireland tour operators to ensure that you have a fully personalized trip of a lifetime.
$3,195 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
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- 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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