Perfect One-Week Ireland Vacation

A 7 day trip to Ireland 
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Celebrate both the unparalleled beauty and the inviting culture of Ireland during your custom-tailored highlights tour that will bring together the drama of the coastal cliffs and the charm of quintessential storytelling found along the Emerald Isle. In the evening, the pubs fill with the captivating sounds of music layering the night with epic legends passed down through the generations. Small towns with cobblestone streets contrast with the quintessential lush grasses and hills spreading across the landscape. Your immersive exploration between the countryside, the cityscape, and the charming villages will introduce you to fabulous castles, craggy islands, and the remarkable gift of gab from the Blarney Stone. 

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Dublin, Limerick, Killarney, Waterford, Youghal, Blarney Castle, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle, Galway 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Dublin – Arrive in Dublin with a Private Discovery of the Charming City

The dynamic city of Dublin captivates visitors with contemporary vibrancy blending effortlessly into the ancient, medieval, and Georgian history along the edge of Dublin Bay. Cobbled streets lead to classic pubs where the heritage of the entire Emerald Isle comes to life with music, singing, and dancing. You will arrive into Dublin International Airport, where your private transfer will be waiting for you at customs. Launch into the splendor of the city’s iconic highlights with your guide after settling into the comforts of your luxury accommodations in the heart of the city.

Your city tour will begin at Trinity College, which stands at the center of the city. Queen Elizabeth I founded the university in 1592, and it overtakes 40 acres of plush landscape intertwining the natural scenery with the cobbled squares and vibrant gardens. The masterpiece of symmetry between architecture and landscape retains a Georgian splendor stemming from the buildings erected during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. You will venture into the Old Library for a view of the vast gallery stretching 200 feet in length and referred to as the Long Room with approximately 200,000 of the library’s oldest books.

The building was completed in 1732 with a stunning barrel ceiling added in the nineteenth century. Marble busts of famous philosophers and writers stare from the edges of the gallery as if looking down on students and visitors passing through. The highlight of the library remains the Book of Kells, an enchanting illuminated Celtic and Christian iconography dating back to the ninth century AD telling the stories of four gospels written by hand on vellum.  After your tour, you can settle in for a lively dinner and a needed night of sleep as you get ready for all that is ahead.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 2: Limerick – Travel to Galway for Tradition and Visit Bunratty Castle

In the morning, the scent of strong black tea accompanies the aromas of a full Irish breakfast of bacon, an egg, soda bread, blood sausage, and pork sausage. Your private transfer will greet you in your hotel lobby when you are ready to introduce you to the countryside of Ireland and the charismatic city of Galway.

The city has a bohemian allure along the banks of the River Corrib where salmon often leap from the water. The medieval cobbled lanes wind between boutique shops selling handcrafted goods and musical instruments representing a touch of the lyrical history pertaining to the Fourteen Tribes of Galway. You will begin your exploration of the city at Eyre Square, which was designed in the eighteenth century. Shop Street leads away from the public square where buskers provide a pleasant ambiance, and street performers offer avant-garde pieces for passersby.

The Cathedral soars above the riverbanks with an elegant dome and superb rose window. The interior retains the Romanesque arches and subtle mosaics shining against sharp stonework and shimmering stained glass. Near Shannon Town, you stop at Bunratty Castle for a visit with the preserved fifteenth-century tower house in County Clare. The amazing architecture reminds you of a storybook with foundations lain in the tenth century by Norsemen for a trading camp. Charming cottages with thatched rooftops and quiet homes decorate the foot of the massive crenulated walls. The connecting folk park encompasses 26 acres with 30 buildings acting as a living rural village from the Middle Ages immersing visitors in the aromas, sounds, and sights of the time, as well as customary flavors emerging from a traditional pub.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Killarney – Limerick and the Cliffs of Moher en route to Killarney

Aside from the famous five-line verses of poems named after the city, Limerick shines with a gorgeous mixture of heritage and vibrant contemporary life along the quiet banks of the River Shannon. Georgian buildings glint against the backdrop of lush fields on the outskirts of town, and lively art galleries provide insight into the ways heritage has shaped the modern aesthetic of locals. Your morning tour of the city will begin at King John’s Castle, a brooding Norman structure that has towered over the banks of the river since the start of the thirteenth century. The interactive interior exhibition brings to light the history of Ireland and Limerick’s place at the heart of history revealing castle foundations erected by Vikings.

You will then venture outside of Limerick to reach the Cliffs of Moher along Ireland’s mesmerizing “Atlantic Edge.” The steep slopes rise out of the ocean to reach heights of up to 207 feet above sea level and span more than eight miles long. The wind blows over the exposed grass and carries a subtle scent of briny water below. The waves crash against the boulders and rock striations along the base of the cliffs continuing to carve the Namurian shale and sandstone. Atlantic puffins make their nests in the niches along the cliff breaking free from the stone and diving into the water to fish. They can grow up to 12 inches tall with a wingspan of 25 inches wide utilizing their sharp beak to catch their prey when hunting.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Killarney – The Stunning Towns and Scenery on the Ring of Kerry

In the morning, the sunlight washes over the colorful town of Killarney returning the glimmer to the nearby lakes and enthusiastic ambiance to the local shops. After breakfast, you will set out beyond the centuries-old cobblestones of town to explore the villages and the sparkling blue seascape along the renowned Ring of Kerry. At the edge of the shoreline, you will board a ferry bound for Skellig Michael, a rugged, uninhabited island approximately seven miles off the coast of the peninsula. The landscape may look familiar due to its setting as Luke Skywalker’s hideout Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.

The sharp, steep steps wind from the small port at the base of the island to a collection of Gaelic monasteries founded between the sixth and eighth centuries. The distinct structures once housing the monks on the island were constructed with a design similar to a beehive while the main place of worship had more of a pyramid shape. The monks grew small patches of vegetables on the unforgiving rocky island utilizing the fish and birds natural to the local habitat for sustenance as well. Gulls, puffins, and Razorbills perch on the cliffs and precarious slopes using the wind to propel them over the water when hunting. You can see a gray seal resting in the sparse sun on the black rocks near the water before you return to the Ring of Kerry on the mainland.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Waterford – Visit Blarney Castle and Stop in Charming Youghal

Part of Ireland’s allure derives from the gift of spinning a fantastical tale with endearing personality, the gifts of which spring from Blarney Castle. The powerful ruins of stronghold retain their fifteenth-century charm with visitors from around the world eager to kiss the renowned Blarney Stone. The castle belonged to one of the island’s greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, who placed the stone dangling nearly 20 feet above the entrance of the castle.

You will ascend the narrow, lofty stairs to reach the famous stone and will have some pointers from your guide on how to properly kiss the stone. You will lay on your back with your head dangling over the edge of the castle wall as a staff member holds onto your torso as you lean back and press your lips to the famous, ancient artifact still held classic architecture and known to bestow the gift of eloquence.

Continue to the ancient seaport of Youghal, the essence of charismatic Ireland as it emerges from the edges of the Blackwater River along the cobbled lanes of the small Irish market town. The former walls surrounding Youghal rise out of the lush grasses as a small reminder of the rebellions born from the pubs and shops in giving support to Oliver Cromwell and the likes of Sir Walter Raleigh. Gorgeous beaches fill with locals and visitors in summer who crave the warm sunlight and hot golden sands. The Clock Gate Tower adorns Main Street and retains seven centuries of myths, legends, and histories told by local storytellers sharing the fascinating tales of pain and love, rebellion and friendship, tragedy and generosity.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Dublin – Find the Heritage of Waterford before Returning to Dublin

Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city and was 1,100 years old as of 2014 with a rich history dating back to the invasion of the Vikings. The shoreline remains a busy port but is also known as the home of Waterford Crystal. Elements of the Viking past hold sway in the city across the narrow streets and historical town walls connecting the points of the Viking Triangle where three marvelous museums offer the best displays of Ireland’s Middle Ages. On the streets, Reginald’s Tower captures your attention as the oldest building in the city using mortar and dating back to the thirteenth century. The House of Waterford Crystal highlights a different history of the city thanks to the skilled artisans that transform malleable, molten glass into elegant crystal.

The factory continues to produce approximately 60,000 pieces annually accounting for 55 percent of the total output of the company resulting in glistening displays of creativity captured in vases, candlesticks, glasses, and even chandeliers. Stepping inside the Medieval Museum immerses you in the unearthed history that has shaped the culture of the county and surrounding country in glowing detail embodied in exhibits like the Great Parchment Book of Waterford, an original document providing minute details of life in the Middle Ages including accounts of the plague’s impact on the area.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Dublin – Depart for Home

Dublin is lovely in the morning, and especially so after you have explored the distinctive details of the Emerald Isle. You will find the city brimming with personality in the Georgian architecture and the sophisticated literary history including James Joyce and Oscar Wilde. After a delicious and satisfying breakfast and one last chance to take it all in, your private transfer will greet you in the hotel lobby and escort you to Dublin’s international airport for your flight home.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$2,795
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.