Irish Heritage Tour, an incredible ten-day road trip journey in Ireland packed full of culture and history where you can meet the locals and your Irish Heritage face to face beginning in Dublin and winding your way through counties Tipperary, Cork, Kerry, Galway, Clare and Limerick on this beautiful Emerald Isle. Travel by car or join an escorted Ireland tour where you can expect to be awestruck by the sheer beauty and remarkable history of this beautiful country on an unbelievable road trip journey featuring the most celebrated sights in Ireland. See Dublin, Kilkenny Castle, Cork, Cobh, Blarney Castle, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, Glenlo Abbey, Adare, Kylemore Abbey, Galway, and Connemara a look into Ireland’s ancient past.
Day by Day Overview of a Ten Day Ireland Road Trip Tour from Dublin to Killarney to Galway to Dublin
Touring Ireland should seamlessly combine contemporary and traditional features, giving you the opportunity to experience Irish city life one day and marvel at the unspoiled beauty of the Irish countryside the next. You could do this road trip by car but you may miss enjoying the scenic beauty and important historic places while behind the wheel, not know what you are seeing without the knowledge of a professional Irish tour guide, and loads of fun with family or making new friends one has on escorted Ireland tours.
Ireland group tour members and individuals can expect to be awestruck by the sheer beauty and incredible history of this beautiful country on this unbelievable road trip journey featuring the best of an Irish Heritage and Culture tour, which will take you to the most celebrated Irish attractions. You will even have the opportunity to be transported back in time to “old world Ireland”, a place where the locals still sing century old songs and continue to speak Gaelic to this very day. “That one single statement makes many a heart long for the sounds and songs of dear Ireland”.
Escorted Ireland Tours vs. Ireland Road Trip by Car
Anyone including families and Ireland Tour Groups can sit back, relax, and enjoy the Emerald Isle in comfort if they choose an escorted or guided Ireland tour as they travel by luxury touring coaches with an expert driver and guide who will meet them upon arrival at Dublin Airport. You could also do this road trip by car but then you would miss half the enjoyment of the trip because you are behind the wheel driving on the “wrong side of the road” instead of enjoying your trip. In addition, you would miss all the unique knowledge your local guide has to offer on an escorted Ireland tour. Either way, there are more advantages traveling on escorted Ireland tours versus by car.
The inclusions listed in this day-by-day adventure are based on what one would encounter as part of a group tour. You could mold this tour into whatever you like, stop wherever or however long you want if doing this road trip by car, an advantage. However, having done both in the past the escorted Ireland group tour allows you to sit back, enjoy the trip, with no worries about overnights or driving.
Seeing the Sights in Dublin
Day one begins with your arrival in Dublin, an experienced driver and tour guide will meet you unless you are doing this on you own and then you will need to get a rental car at the Dublin airport. Throughout the rest of this road trip, we will assume you opted for an escorted Ireland group tour which will start with an afternoon city tour of the fair city of Dublin.
Among the many sights to see are St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College and the ancient Book of Kells, a masterpiece of Calligraphy art featuring interlacing Celtic knots, patterns, human figures, mythical creatures, animals and text in vibrant colors and illuminated for your viewing pleasure. The Book of Kells is considered one of Ireland’s most important national treasures. No one knows exactly how long it took the Celtic Monks some 1200 years ago to create this masterpiece featuring the four Gospels of the New Testament in Latin depending on what you read it was created between the 6th and 9th century so some three years in the creation and well worth the visit.
See Christchurch Cathedral and the Shrine of St. Valentine, after whom the February 14th holiday is named. See the Georgian Squares featuring Palladian Architecture used during the reign of the four King George’s era. Leinster House (now the seat of Parliament), Phoenix Park which is the largest enclosed park in Europe, O’Connell Bridge and The Four Courts along the River Liffey before heading to your hotel in Dublin for an evening meal and good nights rest. Overnight at The Westbury Hotel 5 star hotel located on Dublin’s trendy Grafton Street, just one of many hotels in the area that is used for Ireland group tours.
Travel from the fair city of Dublin to Kilkenny & Cork
Day two leaving Dublin this morning travel via the 6th century monastic settlement at Glendalough which was founded by St. Kevin. See the many churches, round towers and cathedral in this Valley of the Two Lakes. Onwards to the medieval city of Kilkenny to see the wonderful Kilkenny Castle, once a medieval fortress built in the 13th century and later transformed into a renaissance dwelling by Thomas, the Earl of Ormond in the late 1500’s, who lavishly furnished his castle with priceless treasures. Then onto St. Canices Cathedral. Those who are able can climb to the top of the tower attached to the Cathedral to get the best view of this colourful city. Travel onwards through counties Tipperary and Cork to Ireland’s second largest city. Overnight stay at the Imperial Hotel, modern 4* spa hotel near Finbarre Cathedral and the Opera House in the centre of Cork, or other hotels in the area if you are traveling by car.
A Day of Touring to see St. Finbarre’s and Cobh
The morning of the third day members of the Irish Heritage Group Tour will visit St Finbarre’s Cathedral, a site that has been a place of worship since the 7th century. During the Siege of Cork in 1689, the Cathedral came under fire from Elizabeth Fort. When the steeple was demolished in 1865, a 24-pound cannonball was discovered which is now on display. Local legend says that if the Angel on the pinnacle of the sanctuary roof ever falls, the world will end.
The afternoon will be spent in Cobh, renamed Queenstown in 1849, a transatlantic port and the departure point for 2.5 million Irish people who embarked on coffin ships, steam ships and ocean liners to immigrate to America between 1848 and 1950. Less fortunately, Cobh was also the embarkation point for men, women and children deported to the penal colonies On 11th April 1912 Cobh was the final port of call for the RMS Titanic. Of the 123 passengers boarded in Cobh, only 44 survived. Return to Cork for an overnight stay at the Imperial Hotel.
Blarney Castle Kiss the World Famous Blarney Stone then to Killarney
Day four and it is time to put your lip gloss or chap stick on as today this escorted Ireland tour you travel to Blarney and visits Blarney Castle, home of the legendary Blarney Stone. According to legend anyone who kisses the stone receives the “Gift of the Gab”. No mean feat gripping the iron rails you lean far back and put you head down into the abyss until you are able to kiss the stone! Continue on to Killarney with its quaint and colourful streets for some leisure time. A vibrant town set in beautiful countryside, Killarney is renowned for its frequent festivals, horse races, songfests, and lake regattas. Overnight in Killarney at the Europe Hotel & Resort. Enjoy the serenity of Lough Lein and the majesty of McGillycuddy Reeks Mountain at this luxury 5* lake resort hotel, winner of the Irish Hospitality Award.
Tour World Famous Ring Of Kerry and the Black Mountains
Start day five as a day of wonderment at the breathtaking scenery of the Ring of Kerry, known by many as the most beautiful in all of Ireland. The Irish Heritage Group Tour will travel through quaint villages and towns in the middle of the black mountains. Delightful towns of Waterville, Killorglin, Sneem, Cahiriciveen and Molls Gap. After a wondrous photo-snapping day, you are back in time to take an afternoon stroll through the streets of Killarney at leisure. Tonight perhaps venture to a local pub and hear some traditional Irish music by the locals. Overnight at in Killarney at The Europe Hotel & Resort, rooms have private balconies with views of the golf course or lakes.
Touring the Spectacular Dingle Peninsula Today
Day six you head for the Dingle Peninsula, among the most stunning and beautiful scenic locations on earth by a photographer from the National Geographic. Drama, history and great beauty abound from the combination of mountain, coastline and ancient settlements. During the Irish Heritage Group Tour you will see stunning views all the way to the Blasket Islands. The excellent seafood, traditional music and pubs of this famous peninsula are irresistible and the locals still speak in the Gaelic Language. Overnight in your Hotel in Killarney, the Europe Hotel & Resort Luxury 5* lakeside hotel.
Charming Village of Adare, Cliffs of Moher, Glenlo Abbey in Galway
You are in for a treat on day seven on this Irish Heritage Group Tour driving to Adare, one of Ireland’s most charming villages. Visit the Farmers’ Market, the heritage and equestrian centres. In the afternoon you will see the spectacular and dramatic Cliffs of Moher with views of the Aran Islands. It’s then time to visit the Burren with its stark beauty, undulating grey slopes and unique flora and fauna, before arriving in Galway, the “City of the Tribes”. With its winding, medieval streets, the River Corrib and its bridges, cafes and pubs in abundance and the street performers, Galway is the perfect place to relax. Overnight in Galway at the stylish, 5 star Glenlo Abbey Hotel, a stately 18th Century Manor House with breathtaking views of the Lough and the mountains and its own private estate including golf course.
Castles, Abbeys and Kingdoms – Kylemore Abbey and then on to see the Gaelic Kingdom of Connemara
Start day eight after full Irish breakfast and an escorted tour of Kylemore Abbey, the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys, with its walled garden and Gothic Church set on Lake Kylemore. The Abbey is home to the convent of the Benedictine Nuns of Ypres. Today on your escorted Ireland tour you’ll see the rugged landscape of Connemara with its wild and desolate beauty, the ancient Gaelic Kingdom where it is even today still possible to “touch” the Irish Past and hear the ancient Gaelic spoken. An overnight to be remembered in Galway at Glenlo Abbey Hotel, your own castle on the shores of the lake.
From Galway cross the River Shannon to Dublin
As the end of our tour nears on day nine you venture on full day touring on the way back to Dublin. En route visit the Ancient Christian Monastic Settlement at Clonmacnoise, dating back 1500 years. Situated on the banks of the River Shannon this settlement was founded in 548AD by St. Ciaran and this once great medieval city is one of Ireland’s Great Holy Places, renowned as a Centre of Piety and Learning.
This afternoon free time in Dublin to enjoy its parks, shops, cafes and of course the numerous pubs with their live Irish music. Overnight in Dublin at The Westbury Hotel, a luxurious 5 star hotel in the centre of the cultural quarter with its restaurants, pubs and theatres, set between Trinity College and Stephen’s Green Park and Grafton Street.
Time to Say Goodbye to this Beautiful Country of Ireland
The last day and all tour members are escorted to the Dublin airport to start their journey home. On the way you and the many new friends you have made on the Irish Heritage Group Tour will be able to reflect on the amazing time you have had together before you finally bid farewell to the Emerald Isle.
Group Travel Tip
It is imperative to engage a reputable tour operator to help organize Ireland group travel vacations for family, friends, travel clubs, or Irish Heritage club members. Group organizers sometimes travel at reduced cost or even complimentary so plan in advance and get fifteen or more people to form a group and then work with the very best tour operators based in Ireland to handle your tour of Ireland group travel arrangements efficiently.