Dublin, Co. Wicklow, New Ross, Waterford, Youghal, Blarney, Killarney, Dingle Peninsula, Adare, Limerick, Bunratty, Galway, Connemara, Knock, Co. Donegal
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departure.
A fire crackles inside the boisterous pub, filled with locals telling stories for everyone to hear. A new face is always welcome and invited to share a drink and a tale, whether fact or fiction, no one could ever say. This custom tailored Ireland tour for solo travelers through Dublin Killarney and Galway takes you through the sociable world of Ireland, where legends are as factual as history and as lyrical as songs. Traverse epic cliffs and visit medieval castles, where you will soon understand...
Ireland welcomes you with lavish greenery and towering coastal cliffs. Your luxury travel to Ireland begins when you arrive in Dublin and are met by your semi-private transfer. The city erupts with a specific energy, filled with historic charm and modern luxury. Buildings exude Georgian personality adding character and sensuality to the streets. The city’s rich heritage goes back to the 9th century continuing ethereal splendor up until the lavish cathedrals constructed in the 1700s. The city feels more like a village, steeped in familiarity. Founded in the late 16th century, Trinity College remains an iconic image of the city and adds to Dublin’s historic skyline.
The stone Georgian design blends effortlessly into the modern architecture mastery. Your local guide leads you through the jovial conversations along Grafton Street, the city’s premier shopping area, filled with the scent of blossoming flowers during the day and the sounds of magnificent buskers in the evening. The lively city fills with boisterous locals and visitors alike, where everyone joins in conversation, telling stories about their lives or the legends of the city and countryside. Everyone feels like family, laughing in cozy pubs and strolling past the songs echoing through the evening.
Time in the Gardens
The calm waters of the River Liffey run through the heart of Dublin. River barges drift under modern and antique bridges. Halfpenny bridge stretches across the river connecting neighborhoods in an elegant arch. After breakfast, your guide meets you at the hotel. You leave Dublin behind for the storied countryside away from the cityscape. You arrive in County Wicklow where coastline, woodlands, and an exceptional mountain range merge brimming with walking trails. The image of the Emerald Isle comes to life, overflowing with lush grass and verdant trees.
The glassy waters even reflect the color on the rippling surface. The town of Glendalough contains the image of the romantic Ireland landscape that draws people from around the world. Valley forest covers two dark lakes creating a tranquil ease in the isolated atmosphere. Two churches pop out of the center of a group of rocks. Locals whisper myths about the stones, having provided sacred milk for two orphaned babies. Many of the stones have made their way into the churches to house the restorative powers. You continue onward to New Ross, the town of John F. Kennedy’s ancestors, before reaching Waterford.
A Stone’s Throw
Taste the luxurious and hearty flavors of a traditional Irish breakfast. The plate almost overflows with bacon and sausages, fried eggs and potatoes, vegetables and soda bread, all cooked in creamy butter, accompanied by a cup of steaming tea. After your meal, you make your way out of Waterford and visit the seaport town of Youghal. Soon you arrive at Blarney Castle, home of the celebrated Blarney Stone. The castle was constructed in the 15th century and maintains its firm and powerful structure. The main keep towers over the countryside around 90 feet tall. The famous Blarney Stone stands at the top of a steep spiral staircase. The air is cool around the stone path, and your footsteps echo around you.
You can see the long drop between the battlements and the stone. A modern safety rail connects the walkway to the wall where you have to bend back, extend your body, and press your lips to the legendary cold stone. The view is stunning, overlooking the expanse of trees and rolling hillsides in the distance. The surrounding stone adds an earthen quality to the scents of pine and spruce. Kissing the stone gifts people with unparalleled speech, able to talk sweetly about everything and anything. As you continue your travels through Ireland, you can hear the smooth stories from locals encircling the island.
After breakfast, you meet you guide for an adventure around the breathtaking scenery along the Ring of Kerry. The circular route is over 111 miles long encompassing exceptional coastline where you watch the emerald grass turn to rugged rocks and slope downward into the Atlantic. At Ladies View, you have a panoramic view of the landscape, where reflective pools sit between two craggy mountain peaks. The jagged island of Skellig Michael rises to a peak of 716 feet, once settled by Coptic monks in search of solitude from the 6th to the 12th century.
Monastic buildings perch on an outcrop in the rock atop around 600 steps. The beehive cells wind around the church and a vegetable garden faces southbound in an attempt to protect the produce from the wind. The stellar beauty of the scenery is matched by the rugged history around the drive, including records of Vikings raiding the monastery on Skellig Michael in the 9th century. The brisk breeze swirls around the coast and brings a sea mist to the air. Gannets nest on the island ledges and glide in the wind.
Little Town on the Coastline
The wondrous mountains and placid lakes surround the town of Killarney. You wake up to the serene sounds of wildlife rumbling through the forest underbrush. The stories of local banshees could fill fairytale books but in Ireland the stories locals tell are not fairytales but legends, passed down from friends and family members, and verified by a witness. There is a rhythmic quality to the way people tell each tale, with fierce reassurance of its reality and a whimsical glint in their eyes.
After breakfast, you leave behind Killarney and the national park making your way around the Dingle Peninsula to Adare. Adare is often touted as Ireland’s, “Prettiest Village.” The town center has preserved the 19th century thatched cottages to create a picture perfect image of a charm. The whitewashed walls almost glow beneath the firm, angular thatched roofing. Gardens blossom and are trimmed around the doors and windows of the homes.
Historic religious houses date back to before the Reformation, the oldest dates to around the 13th century. A Franciscan friary was erected in the 15th century and now decorates the center of Adare Golf Club near the River Maigue. A stunning tower continues to stand and now casts a shadow over the golf course. The countryside is filled with enchantment for everyone to enjoy, where the people are eager to fill your ear with local history, whether historically documented or personally witnessed.
A Touch of Drama
The sunlight drifts above the exceptional historic estate of Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, an area dedicated to the life and times of Ireland in the 18th and 19th centuries. The 15th-century castle is well preserved, standing as a medieval fortress with honorable walls and halls filled with valor. Surrounding Folk Park takes visitors back in time to the witness the village life, where farmhouses and furnishings reflect Irish societies’ normal lifestyle. Continue to the dramatic Cliffs of Moher. When you reach the coastal edge of Ireland, the layers of rock stand beneath a carpet of green. The cliffs rise 706 feet above the stoic cobalt ocean.
The wind sweeps upward from the water and carries a casual mist. The elements, from dashing wind to crashing waves, have shaped the landscape into the breathtaking marvel that you see. The highest point is O’Brien’s Tower, a stone tower at the cliffs’ midpoint built in the 19th century. When the waves thunder against the rock, it echoes into the quiet sky. Witnessing the tremendous landscape confirms the stories that you have heard from the friendly locals from the moment you touched down in Ireland. The scenery has shaped the legends like the elements have shaped the scenery.
The medieval city of Galway sits on Ireland’s western coastline, filled with intimate people and an uncompromising connection to music. The River Corrib flows alongside the cityscape feeding into the Atlantic. The nearby castle was originally constructed in the 12th century allowing for the city to evolve around the protected lands of the stronghold. After breakfast, you meet your guide and venture out into the wilds of the countryside for an excursion to Connemara. The coastline around the peninsula lattices, filled with pockets of untouched and undiscovered beauty.
Small bays and coves hide around golden sand beaches. Long valleys stretch across the inland, giving way to dark-water lakes. The quartzite peaks of the Twelve Bens roll along the horizon. The highest peak reaches 2,392 feet tall with a rusty glint against the blue sky. Kylemore Abbey stands on the shores of the river like a palace, surrounded by emerald trees and quiet current of the water. The façade is 142 feet in width, made with granite. The interior holds 33 bedrooms. It was originally constructed to be a palace for a wealthy doctor but bought by Irish Benedictine Nuns in 1920.
Fit for a Poet
The countryside expounds emerald trees and grasslands. After breakfast, you are escorted to the sprawling greenery around Knock and the snow-white Catholic Marian Shrine. You continue to Drumcliff, a village in known as the final resting place of W.B. Yeats. An Irish High Cross dating to the 9th century marks the ruins of the 6th century St. Colmcille monastery. Yeats’s grave is marked with a pristine headstone near the open gravelly roadway. It reads, “Cast a cold Eye/ On life, on Death./Horseman Pass by.”
The words echo the rhythms you have heard throughout your trip, voiced in the traditional and not-so-traditional music that pours from pubs and people’s stories. Lough Glencar straddles the counties, fed by a picturesque waterfall careening through the trees. The nearby town of Donegal lines the canal, situated near the mouth of the river that feeds into the sea. The day is filled with quiet charisma, emanating from the soft pleasures of poets and lakeshores, rather than the drama of cliffs and crashing waves.
Back in Time
The countryside in the morning contains a quiet elegance, absent of people and almost primal in its solitude. A thin layer of morning dew washes over the grass. Your guide meets you after breakfast and takes you through the vast, elegant countryside returning to the bustling streets of Dublin. The city feels more powerful than when you first arrived, different than the tranquil calm of the countryside. Even the music along Grafton Street is filled with more raw energy, striving to tell a story that felt simpler along the lakeshores. The history is undeniable and embraces you, resurfacing as antique enchantment.
Laughter spills out of pubs and cafes. The Little Museum of Dublin is almost hidden in its small subterranean entrance. The museum houses the minute details that explain the evolution of the city and its people over Dublin’s 1,000-year history. It recently installed a permanent exhibition displaying the personal effects of U2. The museum explores the simple artifacts that combine to create a big picture. The city sweeps you up in its stories, whether told collectively by a gregarious group of people at the pub or shared in the antique Georgian facades on the street. The only add to the city’s joyful exuberance.
One for the Road
The familiar aromas of a full Irish breakfast linger around the dining room. The aroma of freshly cooked bacon is present before the sizzle. The city comes to convivial life, filled with people rushing to work, strolling over Halfpenny Bridge, sipping tea in a café watching other push forward to work. After breakfast, your private transfer will escort you to the airport for your flight home. You have discovered the magnificence of Ireland, cast in castles, set in stones, emanating from the friendly people and the exceptional stories they tell.
See what other travelers to Ireland had to say by visiting the Ireland tours reviews page.
- Travel around the majestic landscape known as the Ring of Kerry, filled with charming fishing villages, stunning mountains, and tremendous lakes
- Revel in the enchanting village of Adare, often touted as “the prettiest village in Ireland”
- Traverse the tremendous halls and stairways of Blarney Castle, home to the famous Blarney Stone
- Witness Ireland’s dramatic landscape at the magnificent Cliffs of Moher
- Enjoy the splendid scenic drive around Connemara, filled with unspoiled landscape and the beautiful Kylemore Abbey
- Discover the gregarious locals throughout Ireland, always eager to share a story with a new face
- Visit the hometown of John F. Kennedy’s ancestors in town of New Ross
- View the exceptional craftsmanship and concentration it takes to shape Waterford crystal at the Waterford visitor center
Musicians play along Grafton Street, strumming guitars and singing opera in the flourishing aroma of the flower market. Waves crash against the cliffs and spritz the air with moisture. You are in the land of poets and tradition, folk music and folklore; where every new face can be a new friend. This 10-day tour of Ireland through Dublin, Killarney and Galway is meant for solo travelers and amateur historians, those in search of countryside charm or longing for a gregarious getaway. Find the opulence of historic castles and the grandeur of thousands of years of history, beautiful Georgian buildings and the calming sounds of streaming waterfalls.
The journey begins in Dublin where your guide meets you at the airport. A half-day tour of the city takes you along the quaint and frequented cobblestone roads, spanning historic buildings and charming waterways. You make your way out of the city to County Wicklow: a lush region referred to as The Garden of Ireland. The landscape encompasses woodlands and lakes, mountains, and streams. Venture to the nearby town of New Ross, the ancestral home of John F. Kennedy. Tour the Dunbrody Famine Ship, which offers a cultural perspective of the historic plight of Irish emigrants.
Once in Waterford you can visit the cultural center for a tour and demonstration of how Waterford crystal is crafted. The following day you will make your way through the seaport town of Youghal, home to Sir Walter Raleigh, and continue to the most notable castle in Ireland, Blarney Castle. Tour the grounds and climb the historic staircase to kiss the Blarney Stone to be blessed with the gift of conversation. Stories abound and the people become more and more enthusiastic, eager to share the myths and histories around the countryside.
Killarney is a small, charismatic town in the heart of Killarney National Park. The beauty of the woodlands and lakeside is enchanting day and night. Venture through the scenic Iveragh Peninsula to witness the sensational “Ring of Kerry,” with charming fishing villages surrounded by mountains, valleys, lakes, and the seaside. Continue onward across the rugged landscape of Dingle Peninsula to the enchanting village of Adare and the views of St. Mary’s Cathedral and King John’s Castle. Explore the grounds of Buntratty Castle and Folk Park, guided by local specialists to forage for wild plants to accompany dinner.
Look over the seaside shores off of the exceptional Cliffs of Moher. In the unspoiled area of Western Ireland you see the landscape expand outwards to the Atlantic before visiting Kylemore Abbey and its secluded grounds. The Marian Shrine is the most popular Catholic Marian monument in Europe. Visit W.B. Yeats in the churchyard of Drumcliff and the town of Donegal. After breakfast, you wind your way across the scenic countryside returning to the friendly and heritage-rich city of Dublin. Your private transfer brings you to the airport where the friendly faces and enthralling stories of the countryside resound in your thoughts.
$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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