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Enchanting Emerald Isle

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
Killarney National Park
Tour Style: First Class
9 Days from $1,598 per person

Centuries of Irish heritage and culture are revealed on this adventure across the windswept valleys of Ireland from Dublin's Georgian Squares to the Anglo-Norman Kilkenny Castle on the River Nore. See the ‘lost' town of Newtown Jerpoint founded in the 12th century.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Embrace the whimsy and charm of Dublin, a multicultural modern city that celebrates its fascinating past and exudes an enduring sense of fun. On arrival at Dublin Airport transfers will operate at 8.30am, 11am and 1pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Meet your Local Specialist this afternoon for a guided city tour that will see us ramble past the elegant Georgian Squares and St. Patrick's Cathedral. A special Welcome Reception this evening sees us enjoying a fun night out at a classic public house in the city. Admire the authentic Victorian bar and walk up the original staircase from Trinity College, which was featured in the Michael Caine film 'Educating Rita'.

    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Roganstown
  3. Journeying through the lush green countryside, we stop at Strokestown Park House, a magnificent 18th century mansion preserved with its original furnishings and fabrics. In its old stables, we experience a Cultural Insight at the Irish Famine Museum where we will delve into the stories of the 1840s famine and see the haunting pleas of starving tenants on the estate and the response they received. We leave the fascinating historical evidence of the potato famine behind and continue onto the town of Enniscrone.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Diamond Coast
  4. Travel to the picture-perfect town of Westport and meet your Local Specialist for a walking tour. Learn about the town's heritage, from when it was first settled approximately 5,000 years ago, through to modern day times. Visit the Benedictine monastery of Kylemore Abbey, set against the striking backdrop of Lake Kylemore, and meander through its walled Victorian gardens. We continue to Galway, the ‘City of Tribes', where we'll view Galway Cathedral and spend the rest of the evening at leisure.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Connacht
  5. The sheer Cliffs of Moher plunge dramatically into the Atlantic Ocean providing endless ocean views which we will have an opportunity to admire during a morning visit. Later, we cross the Shannon estuary by ferry to Killarney, our home for the next two nights. Spend the evening at leisure soaking up some unforgettable Irish craic or delve into the town's fascinating history and culture.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Killarney Towers
  6. Dramatic vistas are ours to enjoy today as we circle the achingly beautiful Ring of Kerry – one of the most scenic drives on the Emerald Isle. See a breathtaking landscape that has inspired poets, artists and writers for centuries before returning to Killarney where you have the rest of the afternoon to explore this quaint town on your terms. Or stop at Torc Waterfall for a leisurely guided walk with a Local Specialist taking you along the lakeshore and past the farmlands of the 19th century Muckross Estate.
    meal(s):FB
  7. Kiss the famous Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle and receive the ‘gift of the gab' before browsing through Blarney Woollen Mills for Irish gifts, warm Aran sweaters and Celtic jewelry. Traveling to County Kilkenny, we'll discover the ‘lost' town of Newtown Jerpoint, founded in the 12th century and hear about the saint buried there who inspired the legend of Santa Claus centuries ago. Later, we meet local farmers Joe and Maeve O'Connell at their home, Belmore House, and hear the tale of the ‘lost' town before indulging in a delicious Be My Guest dinner.
    meal(s):FB, BG
    hotel:Kilkenny
  8. Visit Kilkenny Castle, an Anglo-Norman mansion that sits majestically over the River Nore. In the castle basement, you'll find the Butler Gallery, one of Ireland's most important art galleries outside of Dublin. Returning to the Irish capital, we'll visit Trinity College and the Book of Kells, said to be the world's most famous medieval manuscript. All that's left to say is a rousing sláinte or two while we enjoy a memorable Farewell Dinner at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum, marking the end of a magnificent journey through the Emerald Isle.
    meal(s):FB, FD
    hotel:Ballsbridge
  9. It's time to close the chapter on an unforgettable Irish vacation. We bid our newfound friends and Travel Director a fond farewell. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Dublin Airport at 7am, 9am and 11am. Conditions apply.

    meal(s):FB
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30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
10 Mar 18 18 Mar 18 checkmark $1,775$1,598pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
7 Apr 18 15 Apr 18 $1,825$1,643pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
14 Apr 18 22 Apr 18 $1,825$1,643pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
21 Apr 18 29 Apr 18 checkmark $1,825$1,643pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
28 Apr 18 6 May 18 $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
5 May 18 13 May 18 checkmark $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
12 May 18 20 May 18 checkmark $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
19 May 18 27 May 18 checkmark $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
26 May 18 3 Jun 18 $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
2 Jun 18 10 Jun 18 checkmark $1,895$1,706pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
9 Jun 18 17 Jun 18 checkmark $1,895$1,706pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
16 Jun 18 24 Jun 18 $1,895$1,706pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
23 Jun 18 1 Jul 18 checkmark $1,895$1,706pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
30 Jun 18 8 Jul 18 $1,895$1,706pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
7 Jul 18 15 Jul 18 $1,895$1,706pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
14 Jul 18 22 Jul 18 $1,895$1,706pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
21 Jul 18 29 Jul 18 $1,895$1,706pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
28 Jul 18 5 Aug 18 $1,895$1,706pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
4 Aug 18 12 Aug 18 $1,895$1,706pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
11 Aug 18 19 Aug 18 $1,895$1,706pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
18 Aug 18 26 Aug 18 $1,895$1,706pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
25 Aug 18 2 Sep 18 $1,895$1,706pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
1 Sep 18 9 Sep 18 $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
8 Sep 18 16 Sep 18 $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
15 Sep 18 23 Sep 18 $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
22 Sep 18 30 Sep 18 $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
29 Sep 18 7 Oct 18 $1,825$1,643pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
6 Oct 18 14 Oct 18 $1,825$1,643pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
13 Oct 18 21 Oct 18 $1,825$1,643pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
20 Oct 18 28 Oct 18 $1,775$1,598pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: $360 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: $10 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $78 per person.

Airport transfers: On arrival at Dublin Airport transfers will operate at 8:30 am, 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Dublin Airport at 7:00 am, 9:00 am and 11:00 am.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment

Meal Summary

7 nights, 7 full breakfasts, 5 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Travel to 12th century Ireland and explore the remains of the Lost Town of Newtown Jerpoint followed by a hearty Irish dinner with the O'Connells and a spot of Eton Mess

Cultural Insight

  • Visit Strokestown Park House, a stately 18th century mansion with walled gardens and woodlands, home to the Irish National Famine Museum

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Dublin, Westport and Killarney

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Dublin, walking tour in Westport
  • Orientation of Galway and Killarney
  • Visit Strokestown Park House, Kylemore Abbey, Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, Kilkenny Castle, Trinity College, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum
  • Scenic cruise across the Shannon Estuary
  • View St. Patrick's Cathedral, Galway Cathedral, the mountains of the Connemara, Torc Waterfall
  • See Dublin's Georgian Squares
  • Scenic drive along the Ring of Kerry

Reviews

Trip not yet reviewed
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Ireland must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Ireland.

  • The currency in the republic of Ireland is the Euro (€) and in Northern Ireland is the Pound (£). While it’s a good idea to bring some money with you, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive at your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Ireland. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine.  Culinary experiences to try include a full Irish breakfast, a visit to a chip shop, and hearty lunch at a good local pub.  And be sure to sample Irish national specialties including Irish stew, coddle, potato bread, corned beef and whiskey cake.

    Ireland is famous for its stout and beer, the most famous being Guinness. Other popular brands include Murphy’s Irish Stout, Beamish, and Kilkenny beer. Whiskey is also renowned with the most famous distilleries being the Old Midleton Distillery in Cork, the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin, and the Bushmills Distillery in Antrim.

  • The weather in Ireland is mild, moist, and quickly changeable. We suggest packing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Important items to bring include sturdy walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping in Ireland is less common than in the U.S. When dining in a restaurant, it’s appropriate, although not required, to leave a tip of up to 5-10 percent.  Leave your gratuity on the table rather than adding it to your credit card receipt to ensure that your waiter receives it.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Ballina

Irish Traditions and Song

Adult Price: € 27

Tonight, you'll enjoy Irish hospitality in a cosy local pub. Experience the folk tradition and enjoy a drink while locals sing and play music for you.

Galway

Galway Castle Banquet

Adult Price: € 67

Join us on a drive to Galway Castle where you'll begin your evening of medieval entertainment. This will be accompanied by a delicious dinner where wine will flow, and you’ll be treated to songs and the marvellous Irish art of story-telling.

Kilkenny

Sports and Music - Irish Style

Adult Price: € 27

Take advantage of this opportunity to learn about the ancient sport of hurling over a drink at the pub. Moving outside, you’ll enjoy a live demonstration by village locals and even have a chance to try your hand at this game, said to be the oldest and fastest field sport in the world. Later, a drink and live music will greet you on returning to the pub.

Irish Ceilidh Evening

Adult Price: € 65

The Irish Ceilidh epitomises how music and dance were enjoyed in rural Ireland, especially on festive occasions. The craic - welcoming, jolly, fun and informal - is accompanied with plenty of food and drink. There's no more enjoyable way to understand Irish culture.

Experience a Jaunting Cart Ride

Adult Price: € 21

Enjoy a traditional pony and trap ride through the beautiful Bourn-Vincent National Park. During your journey, your Local Specialist will share fascinating anecdotes about the area and Ireland.

Sligo

Luxurious River Shannon Cruise

Adult Price: € 30

The longest river in the British Isles, the River Shannon is immortalised in songs and legends. Come with us for a cruise on this majestic river, through the beautiful rolling countryside of counties Leitrim and Roscommon. You’ll also enjoy refreshments on the luxurious Moon River Pleasure Cruiser.

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