Ireland

With a name like "Emerald Isle", Ireland has a big reputation to live up to, and with a heap of luck and charm, it delivers in spades. A land of myth and legend, the real Ireland is inhabited by charismatic characters with a ready tune and a story to spin. A palette of green blankets peaty lowlands and bogs, soaring rugged cliffs and meandering rivers, while stone relics of the past adorn craggy peaks and nestle beside tranquil lakes. From the céad míle fáilte (a hundred thousand welcomes) that greets you to the majestic scenery that surrounds, this island has a powerful energy that will pull you back for more.

 

Where to Go in Ireland

The capital of Dublin is this small country’s largest and most engaging city, home to Guinness and the Book of Kells. Come for the museums, the elegant Georgian architecture and colorful history, the lively pubs and good craic (Dubliners’ unique humor and wit). The ‘Greater Dublin’ area includes the counties Meath, Kildare and Wicklow, offering excellent opportunities for day trips to ancient Celtic sites like Newgrange in the Boyne Valley, fine country estates, the Wicklow Mountains and the Glendalough Valley.

The Irish heartland is known as the Midlands, containing the counties of Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Offaly, Roscommon, Tipperary, and Westmeath. Home to medieval castles, peaceful lakes, and much of the country’s impressive and mysterious bogland, this remains one of the island’s less-visited regions. Come for gentle rivers and lakes, hidden trails, the monastic site at Clonmacnoise, the Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle, and Strokestown Park House and National Famine Museum.

In the sunny Southeast region, you’ll find the counties of Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny and Carlow. Come for the sandy beaches stretching between Dublin and Wexford, rolling countryside and quiet seaside towns, Ireland’s oldest city Waterford (founded by the Vikings), and the idyllic medieval center of Kilkenny.

Ireland’s Southwest (counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick) is known for some of the best scenic drives in the land. Come for a collection of Ireland’s most beloved tourist towns and attractions – the Blarney Stone, the Ring of Kelly, the traditional Dingle village, Killarney town, the magnificent Carrauntoohil mountain, the cultural and gourmet city of CORK, award-winning seafood, and gorgeous walking paths and panoramic views.

The counties of Clare, Galway, Mayo, and Sligo make up Ireland’s West Coast, a wild and rugged land with iconic places like the Cliffs of Moher and the Wild Atlantic Way. A land resonant with tradition and enchantment, this is Ireland’s largest Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) region. Come for the musical and artistic city of Galway, the soaring sea cliffs at Moher, the barren geology of the Burren, the astounding natural beauty of the Connemara, the beautiful Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden, the typical Irish countryside of Mayo, the legacy of Yeats in Sligo, and the ‘true Irish’ experience of the Aran Islands.

The North of the island of Ireland comprises counties set in both Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom) and the Republic of Ireland. The biggest city is Northern Ireland’s capital of Belfast, known for its troubled past, political murals, lovely Victorian atmosphere, and lively pub culture. Come for stirring local history and show-stopping landscapes: the fantastic Giant's Causeway, the mountains of Mourne, the dramatic ruins of Dunluce Castle, the Glens of Antrim, the hair-raising Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge, the varied landscapes and surfing beaches of Donegal, and the historic walled city of Derry.

 

Typical First-Time Itinerary for Ireland

Ireland is a small destination, yet there’s still so much to see! We would be happy to center your itinerary around any theme such as historical treasures, Irish ancestry, Irish literature, pubs and distilleries, nature and the outdoors, great estates and gardens, or a quest to find the real Ireland. The most-requested attractions for first-time visitors include the highlights of Dublin’s fair city, the Cliffs of Moher, the city of Galway and nearby Connemara with Kylemore Abbey, a drive around the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula, and a night in a castle hotel.

You can visit Ireland on any budget, choosing a self-drive program, private transfers or even the train and bus services. What’s more, Irish hospitality comes in all forms, from 5-star hotels to traditional B&Bs, historic Georgian farmhouses, and renovated castle accommodations.

What is Included?

In general, our custom travel itineraries include everything needed to ensure a smooth trip. This can always be modified according to your needs and where you are in your stage of planning:

  • Hotel accommodation with breakfast daily
  • Airport transfers
  • Transfers between destinations (whether by car, van, boat, train, ferry, etc.)
  • Private or group sightseeing as requested (including entrance fees)
  • Personalized support, with contact before, during and after your trip

We are also happy to provide when requested:

  • Flights between North America and Europe
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa assistance

Our programs do not include:

  • Optional gratuities to guides, drivers, yacht crew etc.
  • Laundry and personal items
  • Bottled beverages or alcohol, and meals where not listed
  • Hotel city tax