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Irish Highlights (Winter Season)

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
Temple Bar, Dublin
Tour Style: First Class
8 Days from $1,325 per person

Share a pint and some Irish craic with new friends and you'll wish you'd stayed longer – your journey from Dublin through Ireland's lush counties and charming towns a taste of what you will enjoy on the Emerald Isle. From cathedrals and castles to exquisite Waterford crystal, stately city squares and scenic coastal drives, there's a lot to say sláinte about.

This page shows Winter Season departures and itinerary; click here to see the main season version of this tour!

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Spend the morning relaxing or exploring this vibrant, friendly city. 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 Travel Director and fellow travelers this afternoon and view Trinity College, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Phoenix Park and the stately Georgian Squares with your Local Specialist. This evening enjoy a Welcome Reception where you join your Travel Director and fellow travelers at a traditional Irish pub – the perfect introduction to Dublin.

    meal(s):Welcome Reception
  3. This morning head towards Galway. See the Cathedral and enjoy some free time in the city. In Limerick view King John's Castle, St. Mary's Cathedral and the Treaty Stone during your orientation.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
  4. Start your day with a visit to Bunratty Castle and explore the Folk Park, a living museum dedicated to life in Ireland during the 18th and 19th centuries. Then continue to the Cliffs of Moher. See the history of the cliffs brought to life with a visit to the ‘Atlantic Edge' exhibition. After a picturesque coastal drive through the villages of Lahinch and Kilrush take the ferry across the Shannon estuary. Arrive tonight in Killarney, your home for the next two nights.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
    hotel:Killarney Avenue
  5. Today we experience Ireland's most scenic coastal drive around the Iveragh Peninsula, better known as the Ring of Kerry. It is undoubtedly one of the most magical and varied places in the whole of Ireland and is truly a photographer's delight. We will also see Daniel O'Connell's Cahirciveen, the fishing village of Waterville, the Black Valley and Moll's Gap. Here mountains, valleys, lakes and sea blend into a landscape that is often breathtaking beyond words.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
  6. As you are leaving Killarney this morning, cross the Kerry Mountains and travel through the colorful market town of Macroom and see the impressive Castle Arch. Once the gateway to Macroom Castle, it is now almost all that remains. Next stop is Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone and acquire the ‘gift of the gab'. Later visit the historic seaport town of Youghal, once home to Sir Walter Raleigh before arriving in Waterford. Dine tonight at your hotel.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Dinner
  7. This morning visit the House of Waterford Crystal for a Cultural Insight demonstration. Watch the master craftsmen at work during your tour of the workshop, and see the exquisite completed pieces in the showroom. Later stop in the town of New Ross and see the monument to John F. Kennedy who visited his ancestral family hometown in 1963. Visit the three-masted famine ship Dunbrody, and gain a Cultural Insight into the tragic plight of Irish emigration during the 1800s. Continue through County Wexford and the lush countryside of County Wicklow. Join your companions and Travel Director this evening for a Be My Guest Farewell Dinner, before continuing to your Dublin hotel.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Be my Guest
    hotel:Red Cow Moran
  8. Say goodbye after your unforgettable journey through the friendly Emerald Isle. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Dublin Airport at 7am, 9am and 11am. Conditions apply.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast

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.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.
  • Definite Departure
  • Festive Celebrations
  • St. Patrick's Day
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
27 Oct 18 3 Nov 18 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
3 Nov 18 10 Nov 18 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
10 Nov 18 17 Nov 18 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
17 Nov 18 24 Nov 18 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
24 Nov 18 1 Dec 18 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
1 Dec 18 8 Dec 18 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
8 Dec 18 15 Dec 18 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
Festive Celebrations
19 Dec 18 26 Dec 18 $1,425pp Request Quote Book Now
Festive Celebrations
25 Dec 18 1 Jan 19 $1,425pp Request Quote Book Now
Festive Celebrations
29 Dec 18 5 Jan 19 $1,425pp Request Quote Book Now
5 Jan 19 12 Jan 19 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
12 Jan 19 19 Jan 19 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
19 Jan 19 26 Jan 19 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
26 Jan 19 2 Feb 19 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
2 Feb 19 9 Feb 19 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
9 Feb 19 16 Feb 19 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
16 Feb 19 23 Feb 19 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
23 Feb 19 2 Mar 19 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
2 Mar 19 9 Mar 19 $1,325pp Request Quote Book Now
St. Patrick's Day
11 Mar 19 18 Mar 19 $1,375pp Request Quote Book Now
St. Patrick's Day
16 Mar 19 23 Mar 19 $1,375pp Request Quote Book Now
19 Mar 19 26 Mar 19 $1,375pp Request Quote Book Now
23 Mar 19 30 Mar 19 $1,375pp Request Quote Book Now
  • Festive Celebrations: Christmas and/or New Year Celebrations have been arranged for these departures.
  • St. Patrick's Day: This departure will be staying in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day.

Christmas & New Year’s Eve Highlights: The December 19th 2017 departure will celebrate Christmas in Dublin. The December 26th 2017 departure will toast New Year’s Eve in Waterford. And the December 30st 2017 departure will toast New Year’s Eve in Dublin. Each of these specially arranged festive meal celebrations will replace one of the included meals featured in the itinerary.

Christmas Day Is celebrated in Ireland on December 25th. The majority of businesses and organizations (except for hospitals) are closed on Christmas Day. Some smaller stores selling food may open however public transport services may not operate at all. Your itinerary may be affected and inclusions changed to accommodate closures.

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: from $230 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: $10 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $50 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
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips

Meal Summary

9 meals: 6 full breakfasts, 3 dinners.

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Traditional Irish fare with an Italian twist is served up at Glenealy Farmhouse near Dublin with the charming Fulvio family on hand to share their story

Cultural Insight

  • Explore the tragic history of Ireland's famine emigration at the Dunbrody Famine Ship Experience, a replica of one of the original famine ships used in the 1800s, and learn how delicate Irish crystal is crafted at the House of Waterford Crystal during a workshop tour

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Dublin

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Dublin
  • Orientation of Galway, Limerick, Waterford
  • Visit Bunratty Folk Park, the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney to kiss the stone and gain the ‘gift of the gab', Youghal, the Crystal Showroom at Waterford, the famine ship in New Ross
  • View St. Patrick's Cathedral and Phoenix Park in Dublin, King John's Castle, St. Mary's Cathedral in Limerick
  • See the Cathedral of Galway
  • Scenic drive of the Ring of Kerry

Optional Add-Ons

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.


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.

Celtic Steps

Adult Price: € 36

Enjoy a spectacular evening of Irish music, song and dance performed by champion dancers and musicians and showcasing the music of Kerry and beyond.

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.

Visit Muckross House and its Gardens

Adult Price: € 21

Come with us to Muckross House and its beautiful gardens. With a backdrop of oak-clad mountains, enjoy taking in the towering azaleas and rhododendrons as you meander along the shores of the lakes. The 18th century house contains some wonderful examples of furniture and paintings, including a portrait of King James VI, for whom Shakespeare wrote Macbeth.


Medieval Castle Banquet

Adult Price: € 69

Enjoy a banquet and medieval entertainment in the great hall of the castle. The court jester will make an appearance, as will the castle’s musicians and the ladies and gentlemen of the medieval court – giving you an evening you won’t forget.


Explore Waterford's Viking History

Adult Price: € 17

Join us in Waterford, where the history dates back as far as the Vikings. Your Local Specialist will bring the historic area to life through stories and anecdotes; one guest even described the trip as the "best history lesson ever".

Irish Folk Fun

Adult Price: € 27

During this evening of entertainment, you'll get the chance to experience Irish hospitality in the best folk tradition. Enjoy a drink while locals sing and play music for you.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Irish Highlights
Service rating : Barb Gardner was prompt, efficient, and helpful.
Vacation : Such a bargain for all that we experienced!
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Irish Highlights
Service rating : The trip was rather poor. I have taken 14 tours in Europe and South America ( and led some small tours myself) and was so disappointed with this trip. I have even taught high school for 33 years The main problem was with our courier Bernard Creeegan. He talked non-stop for 7 days with us trapped on the bus. He often repeated stories,jokes and stupid commits. I was also greatly disappointed that we were stuck on the bus most of the trip. There were very few stops and he just left us there on our own. He seldom guided us to sights, restaurants or pubs. He would just abandon us at the hotel in the afternoon. .And why did we have to take a 20 minute ferry boat ride (on the bus) on nowhere? He would drop us off in a town ,stay be the bus and didn't take us around even with the short free time he gave us And we fly through Dublin. I had really looked forward to seeing some of this great city on foot. I would believe the trip would have been much better and more exciting with that fool.Holy smoke (his favorite expression every ten minutes!) I was disappointed in Trafalgar This was my fourth trip with you: the other three were quite good Hopefully you do something about this experience and maybe for me. Sincerely yours,, Ron Hartemann
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.  We are very sorry that you were disappointed in your Travel Director.  We understand that they can definitely make or break a trip.  Please be assured that this will be addressed with Trafalgar in a discreet but specific manner. We appreciate you bringing it to our attention.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Vacation : Gentlemen, I just typed you a very long letter and tried to send it to you and it disappeared. Please contact me at 704-460-4636 and I'd be glad to express my feeling about this poor trip personally. Sincerly yours, Ron Hartemann
Monday, August 14, 2017
Service rating : The tour guide was awesome and the country was beautiful. The people were so gracious and friendly. It wasn't as expensive as I thought.
Vacation : It was a gift for my sixtieth birthday.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Happy Belated Birthday! We are so pleased that you enjoyed your trip and chose Grand European to help you plan it. 
Friday, August 18, 2017
Monday, June 5, 2017
Service rating : Well organized=Planned well to see a lot,
Vacation : Overall, very good. Purchased very little, very crowed to shop.
  • 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 24 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.

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