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Irish Elegance

Operated by: Insight Vacations

8 Days from $2,850 per person
APR - OCT 2022
Aerial view of Ashford Castle and grounds, Ireland

Countries Visited

Ireland ...more Ireland

Locations Visited

Dublin, Cashel, Blarney, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Galway, Connemara National Park, Cong ...more Dublin, Cashel, Blarney, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Galway, Connemara National Park, Cong
  1. Day 1 In Dublin’s Fair city

    Welcome to Dublin. On arrival at Dublin airport, your airport transfer shuttle service leaves for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:00. Meet your Travel Director at 14:30 for an orientation tour that brings to life Dublin’s architectural treasures and history, stretching back more than 1,000 years. Travel along the River Liffey, see Custom House, Guinness Storehouse, Christchurch Cathedral and St. Patrick's Cathedral. See the 9th century Book of Kells and a walk through the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College, accompanied by a Local Expert who will share their insights into modern life and the establishment’s impressive history. Back at your hotel, join your Travel Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner with drinks and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin.
  2. Day 2 Cashel and Blarney, heading for Killarney

    Depart Dublin, and pass the famous Curragh Racecourse and green meadows where many of the finest Irish racehorses are bred. Explore Blarney with Insight Choice. Choose to visit Blarney Castle and kiss the magical stone to ensure a lifetime of eloquence. Alternatively, meet a senior gardener for a tour of Blarney Gardens.Head to Killarney, where you may fancy a ‘pint of porter.' This town on the lakes is famous for its lively pubs so in the evening why not join in the ‘craic’?

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.
  3. Day 3 Ring of Kerry Experience Relaxed Start

    In the morning, marvel at spectacular mountain and sea views as you travel the road that winds around the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula, better known as the Ring of Kerry. Meet John for a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience as you visit his family-run seaweed farm to learn about sustainable farming practices that protect the wild Irish Atlantic coasts.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.
  4. Day 4 The Cliffs of Moher and on to Galway

    Cross the Shannon Estuary by ferry and enter County Clare. Stop at the Exhibition Centre and enjoy a walk along the Cliffs of Moher, raised approximately 700 feet above the pounding Atlantic waves. Then travel north across the Burren, a suddenly stark and barren landscape, scarred with interesting limestone creases. Journey to Galway, the City of the Tribes, and visit the lovely cathedral. Take in the scenery from your hotel, which is spectacularly set on the shores of Galway Bay.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Connemara Coast Hotel, Galway.
  5. Day 5 Captivating Connemara Relaxed Start

    Embark on a superb exploration of the Connemara National Park and see a wonderland of rivers, lakes and silent hills.Explore Connemara with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the magnificent, turreted Neo-Gothic Kylemore Abbey. Alternatively join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience and visit one of Ireland’s oldest oyster farms for a tasting. Learn about their commitment to biodiversity and work promoting sustainable packaging.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Connemara Coast Hotel, Galway.
  6. Day 6 Majestic Ashford Castle Relaxed Start

    Sitting on the edge of Lough Corrib and nestled on the border of County Galway and County Mayo, is the delightful Cong. You may recognise much of the town as it was used as the location in the 1952 film, 'The Quiet Man.' With free time to explore this quintessential Irish village, see the statue of the lead characters played by John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, and the ruins of the Medieval Cong Abbey. Then a short drive down the road leads you to Ashford Castle, the highlight of your travels. As you arrive a lone piper escorts you over the drawbridge.Your exquisite hotel provides a romantic backdrop in superior surroundings, offering both relaxation and comfort. There are many opportunities to explore the vast estate, pamper yourself at the spa, or get to know the hawks and woodland surroundings at the hotel's falconry school. Dining at Ashford Castle ranks among the finest culinary experiences in the world. Creative cooking, locally sourced ingredients and an innovative menu await at your Celebration Dinner. Gentlemen, a jacket is required.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Ashford Castle, Cong.
  7. Day 7 Across the Emerald Isle to Dublin Relaxed Start

    Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the morning and perhaps a stroll on the estate? Then cross the midlands to Dublin where the rest of the day is free for independent activities and maybe some last minute shopping.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Clayton Hotel Burlington Road, Dublin.
  8. Day 8 Depart Dublin

    Your journey comes to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Dublin airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 10:30.

    meals Breakfast
Irish Elegance Guided Tour Map
Price Includes

Additional Included Highlights

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Blarney: Visit the lush gardens of the Blarney Castle estate with a senior gardener.
  • Blarney: It is said that those who kiss the Blarney Stone are bestowed with the power to persuade, flatter and coax. But to do so, you must dangle from the ramparts! Visit Blarney Castle and see the famous Stone of Eloquence.
  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden: Visit the turreted Neo-Gothic Kylemore Abbey. This monastery was founded in 1920 for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I.
  • Connemara: Taste the unique flavours of DK Connemara oysters, bred in pure water that runs off the limestone hills of the Connemara National Park. Learn about the farm's sustainability initiatives in an enlightening experience. DK Connemara oysters lead the way in biodiversity and packaging for farming and advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production. Alternatively, enjoy a visit to the turreted Neo-Gothic Kylemore Abbey.

Well-being

  • : Our Well-Being Directors take a proactive approach to your welfare ensuring all well-being regulations are met (available on tours with 21 or more guests).
  • : Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxurious, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • : Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19.All Travel Directors, Well-Being Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols.
  • : We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues.
  • : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.

Travel Director

  • : "One person my guests love to meet is a real musician because they love Irish music and love to experience it in its own land."
  • : "One of the places I love to take our guests to that they would likely not find on their own or when travelling with anyone else is Nafplion, Greece. It's a beautiful seaside town with traditional Neoclassical buildings. I think it's the most charming town on the mainland of Greece."

Top Rated Highlights

  • Dublin: During your orientation with your Travel Director, see Custom House and travel along the River Liffey. See the Guinness Brewery, Christchurch Cathedral and St. Patrick's Cathedral.
  • Cashel: See the Rock of Cashel where St. Patrick preached.
  • Blarney: Visit the lush gardens of the Blarney Castle estate with a senior gardener.
  • Blarney: It is said that those who kiss the Blarney Stone are bestowed with the power to persuade, flatter and coax. But to do so, you must dangle from the ramparts! Visit Blarney Castle and see the famous Stone of Eloquence.
  • Killarney: Enjoy hearing of the history of Killarney during your city orientation.
  • Ring of Kerry: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and remote villages, as you journey the magical Ring of Kerry.
  • Shannon: Cross the Shannan Estuary by ferry. This large estuary is where the River Shannon flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Cliffs of Moher: Stop by the Exhibition Centre and look out over the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.
  • Galway: See the stunning cathedral of the City of Tribes.
  • Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Walled Garden: Visit the turreted Neo-Gothic Kylemore Abbey. This monastery was founded in 1920 for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I.
  • Cong: Enjoy time as you wish to explore this delightful, quintessential Irish village, used as the location for 1952 film, 'The Quiet Man.' See the statue of the lead characters played by John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, and the ruins of the Medieval Cong Abbey.
  • Ashford Castle: On arrival to Ashford Castle, you are escorted over the drawbridge by a lone piper for a majestic entrance fit for royalty.

Insight Experiences

  • Dublin: Tour Trinity College with a Local Expert, before marvelling at the ancient Book of Kells, created by monks and dating from A.D. 800.

Authentic Dining

  • Dublin: Join your Travel Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner, an opportunity to get to know each other over a meal with wine.
  • Ashford Castle: Dine on delicious Farm-to-Table fare in a stylish setting at Ashford Castle's iconic George V Dining Room.
  • Dining Summary: 7 Breakfast (B), and 4 Dinner with Wine (DW)

Make Travel Matter

  • Ring of Kerry: Visit a local seaweed farm striving to protect the fragile ecosystem of the wild Atlantic Irish coasts.
  • Connemara: Taste the unique flavours of DK Connemara oysters, bred in pure water that runs off the limestone hills of the Connemara National Park. Learn about the farm's sustainability initiatives in an enlightening experience. DK Connemara oysters lead the way in biodiversity and packaging for farming and advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production. Alternatively, enjoy a visit to the turreted Neo-Gothic Kylemore Abbey.

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

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April 2022
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$2,950
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$3,150
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Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Sunday, September 29, 2019
Service
Yes, I would recommend them. However, why no name tags. Surely, they don't cost that much.
Vacation
Most hotels good, except at Connemara Beach Hotel. Staying overnight at a castle was a highlight.
Steven Maly
Sunday, August 4, 2019
Service
Excellent response. Personable and very helpful.
Vacation
Excellent tour. Visited most desirable locations. Ashford Castle unbelievable. Best tour guide have ever had on a trip. Organized, loads of information and funny. Could not recommend higher. Only issue was lack of A/C in Dublin hotel. Other accomodations, perfect.
Martha Hawkins
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Service
the itinerary was diverse and inclusive the group was just the right size and extremely congenial the tour guide was top notch the accommodations were first rate
Vacation
in previous comment section, I gave details about why we thought it was a great tour
Charles Hawkins Iii
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Service
Our dealings with Alyssa were smooth and clear. All questions answered quickly.
Vacation
This is the third time I have seen this field
Brian Compton
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Service
The itinerary was excellent, wonderful venues, great hotels, terrific meals and optional entertainment. Driver was absolutely top notch. However, many of us found the tour director to be not up to the job. He would be describing something, stop and start off on another subject, saying he'd get back to finishing the original story but often did not. When later asked if he could finish the story, his reply was often snappy and unprofessional. Worse, he STILL wouldn't get to it! He was asked on 4 different occasions to please mention that one couple were on the tour to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. He said he would but never did. How hard is that? Nit-picky, but the name tags we were given were on a little clip and in very small print. You had to be standing very close to read peoples names. Other tours had much larger name tags on lanyards which to us seemed much better.
Vacation
I'm assuming by purchases you mean the optional experiences! The jaunty car depends entirely on the driver, some great, some just OK. Killarney Celtic Steps was absolutely excellent. The Whisky Trail is misleading in that you don't really get anything relating to whisky but the medieval history tour was good. The pub supper was good but 40 people jammed into one small room with some sitting on stools could have been better. The Lake Cruise taking you to Ashford Castle was OK but not really anything truly special. But, it was a nice way to approach the castle and be met with a piper. (Ashford Castle is the highlight of the tour.) The Dublin dinner and coastal drive was just OK. If we had to do it again we'd pass on this one. Although the food was excellent.
William Taylor
Sunday, September 3, 2017
Service
Customer service was top notch. From the first phone call to book the trip, we were treated with genuine helpfulness and you felt that they really wanted us to have a trip of a lifetime. This was our third experience using GET and once again we were not disappointed.
Vacation
The itinerary was outstanding! Wonderful acommodations - Ashford Castle was the highlight of the tour- but all the hotels were first class. The tour director was great and local guides know their locations. All and all a delightful experience.
Trusted Customer
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Service
I have traveled with Grand European in the past and will definitely do so in the future. They handled everything perfectly, flights, hotels, etc., it all went without a single hitch. Our Travel Director, Robbie Joyce, was excellent as was Pat our driver. They are a great pair.
Vacation
Well, I didn't really buy anything, just a few small things as mementos. When I travel I'm more intent on the travel experience than shopping. There isn't usually much time anyway.
Victoria Lauless
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Service
We missed our initial flight out of the country. We re-booked our flight and called GE for support. A lady by the name of Pam was very courteous and supportive. She told us exactly what to do to catch our tour a day later. We couldn't have done it without her. Thank you Pam!!
Vacation
We chose this trip because we were going to stay in Ashford Castle. After the trip began we were told that we would be staying in Ashford Lodge due to a wedding that was booked for the same weekend. Our tour itinerary was switched around so that we were there on Wednesday instead of Friday. One member of our group had tried to book an activity at Ashford Castle for the Friday we were scheduled to be there. She was told that we were not scheduled and that she would need to wait until we got there to schedule her activity. This was in MARCH!!. Our tour guide said he didn't find out about the change until the Thursday before our trip. He continued to try to get information to share with us. It is a shame that he was left in the dark, but received the brunt of unhappy travelers. We should have been notified of the change when it occurred (March or before) and given some options, ex: 1) cancel 2) re-book 3) continue as changed. Instead the company chose not to tell us; therefore we were surprised and extremely upset at the way things played out. Honesty from the beginning would have been the RIGHT thing to do. Shame on your company for taking the low road instead of the high road!
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are truly sorry to hear about the issue with Ashford Castle.  Our Guest Relations department will be in touch with you shortly to discuss this further.
Friday, July 28, 2017
Trusted Customer
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Service
Irish Elegance....Not really! Problems with the hotel in Dublin (no air conditioning, very hot even in June, out of city center in the remote financial center and with rowdy sports bar where there was no place for a cocktail or chair and little to walk to). Problems with our hotel at Connemara Coast Hotel. The hotel was too far from Galway to be able to enjoy the beautiful city and lively nightlife and shopping. The hotel room we were given at Connemara and my father was give was terrible! No safe, no airconditioning, no hot water for shower and water was rust colored with outdated plumbing. We called immediately to ask if we could have a room with a safe and were told there were none. Our ground floor room window looked at parking spots directly in front and into a neighboring house window meant we could not open window or curtain and maintain any privacy. This was the worst hotel experience we have ever had on any tour! An email to our tour guide the evening before was not responded to. When we insisted on a room with a hot shower in the morning we were magically moved 4 doors down to a lovely room with safe, view, new plumbing with hot water and clear water and windows that could be opened! The better rooms faced the lawn and ocean yet our tour guide warned when we drove to the hotel that most rooms did not have a view! This was not true! All tour guests should have had the same quality room! (The tour guide never talked to us or asked if our room problem was resolved, instead when we sought her out, she said she had problems of her own to deal with.) Why did the hotel put some of tour guests in worst possible dated rooms with plumbing problems? This was inexcusable. My 87 year old father never complained but never had a shower either as there was no hot water! Inexcusable! I think the Irish Elegance title rested on only 3 nights of our tour...the Plaza hotel in Killarney was lovely! The one night at Ashford castle was absolutely incredible and memorable! But you have to get Dublin (2 nights) and Connemara hotels (2 nights) fixed as that is over half the tour nights!
Vacation
Half the hotels were a disappointment. Tour guide gave no shopping tips or suggested locations (other than marble factory jewelry). She was rather detached from the group except for a few favorite friend/guests. Not enough time for shopping in Galway. Dublin and Galway/Connemara hotels were too remote and removed from shopping areas and sights. Our bus driver was wonderful and helpful! Would have been nice to play more music or Irish video on the long driving days.
Barbara Vosganian
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Service
The tour director, Tom was very informative about the different sights and we learned a lot. The bus driver, John was always helpful.
Vacation
I bought an Irish Aran sweater that I love! It's a good way to remember our Irish trip.
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