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Ultimate Ireland

12 Days from $6,288 per person

Style: Luxury | Pace: Comfortable

Welcome to the Emerald Isle. A storyteller's paradise, you'll explore the natural elements of this vibrant country, meeting some colorful characters along the way. From esteemed author and Dubliner Trevor White to Killarney locals and the lively performers of Gaelic Roots—who will teach you a few moves—you're in for a trip rich in history, fascinating local insights and lots of laughter! Bring along a notepad and an appreciation for creativity, as we’re certain you'll be inspired in this rugged, fairytale land.

Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

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Overview

Welcome to the Emerald Isle. A storyteller's paradise, you'll explore the natural elements of this vibrant country, meeting some colorful characters along the way. From esteemed author and Dubliner Trevor White to Killarney locals and the lively performers of Gaelic Roots—who will teach you a few moves—you're in for a trip rich in history, fascinating local insights and lots of laughter! Bring along a notepad and an appreciation for creativity, as we’re certain you'll be inspired in this rugged, fairytale land.

Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.

  1. Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. Welcome to Belfast, the energetic, memorable capital of Northern Ireland. On arrival at Belfast International Airport, you will be welcomed by a representative before a private transfer to your luxurious home for the next three nights. Located in the heart of Belfast City Center, you'll have time to get settled in your Executive Rooms before joining your Traveling Concierge and fellow traveling companions at 6:00 pm for an à la carte Welcome Dinner.

    meal(s):Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Europa Hotel (Executive Rooms)
  2. Delve into Northern Ireland's inspiring and heartbreaking history in Belfast. Begin the day by heading to the Titanic Belfast Museum for a tour—the museum and monument are located on the site where the RMS Titanic was built from 1909-1912. Meet Hilda, a true Belfast local having lived in the same house her entire life. During your panoramic tour, hear the history of the city and learn why Hilda is proud of its progress and current prosperity. You’ll also see the City Hall, Queen's University, Parliament Building at Stormont and murals in different locations indicating political sentiments of local residents. The rest of the day is yours at leisure. Why not ask your Traveling Concierge for tips on exploring the area or their advice on the best restaurants for trying local delicacies?

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Europa Hotel (Executive Rooms)
  3. No trip to Northern Ireland would be complete without a trip to Giant's Causeway, a rugged natural phenomenon that locals once believed was the work of giants. During a private tour with a local ranger, they will explain its ancient history and impressive geography. Next, you'll head to Londonderry with Ronan, a Local Expert and one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers. He'll share local tales and advise you on where best to head for lunch. The evening is yours at leisure, why not head back to your luxury hotel and make the most of its spa facilities?

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Europa Hotel (Executive Rooms)
  4. Today you'll make your way to vibrant Dublin. A haven for literary buffs and Guinness lovers, Ireland's unique capital is a hedonist's dream. Take a city tour with your Traveling Concierge to see O'Connell Street, Custom House and Dublin Castle, before heading to the Little Museum of Dublin after hours. This new experience looks to tap into Ireland's dynamic history in an animated way. You'll explore the museum with its founder, respected author Trevor White, who'll also provide you with a signed copy of his critically acclaimed book, 'Alfie.' Enjoy a glass of prosecco with him as you learn more about the lives of Dubliners. End the day with a Michelin-starred dinner at L'Ecrivain, famed for its delectable, classic French cuisine.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Dylan Hotel
  5. Head to the iconic Guinness Storehouse, where you'll get to explore the venue before it opens to the public, with a private opportunity to learn to pull the perfect pint. In the afternoon enjoy some free time in Dublin. Why not head to the National Museum of Ireland or the Dublin City Gallery? If more Guinness is on your mind, ask your Traveling Concierge for his local advice on the best pubs Dublin has to offer! End your day by relaxing in your luxury boutique hotel.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Dylan Hotel
  6. Enjoy a leisurely morning before heading to Glendalough, a glacial valley in County Wicklow, where you'll explore with a Local Expert. Head on to the medieval town of Kilkenny in southeast Ireland. Once here, you'll visit the local farmers market and enjoy a truffle tasting. From truffles to fudge, brownies and cakes, make sure you turn up on an empty stomach or stock up for the rest of your trip. End the day at Lyrath Estate, a beautiful, historic estate where you'll spend the night.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:Lyrath Estate
  7. Start your day in pretty Cashel, a small town in the south of Ireland, famous for its medieval buildings. See the spectacular Rock of Cashel, or St. Patrick's Rock, the traditional seat of the High Kings of Munster. Those looking to keep up with local Irish banter will enjoy a visit to Blarney Castle. Legend has it that kissing the Blarney Stone, a block of limestone built into the castle, gives you the gift of the gab. In the evening you'll enjoy dinner at the family-run Treyvaud's restaurant, which specializes in international cuisine. Later, try Irish dancing for yourself during a simple dance class with the Gaelic Roots, before settling in your VIP seats to watch the show.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:The Dunloe
  8. Enjoy a morning at leisure in the comfort of your luxurious, five-star hotel, before traveling through the breathtakingly beautiful Killarney National Park, where sweeping mountains, lush lake lands and valleys await you as you drive along the iconic Ring of Kerry. Return to Killarney to explore the vibrant land on a scenic jaunting car ride before ending your day at J.M Reidy's Bar. The bar, which used to be a sweet shop, is a favorite among locals and still holds its old-world charm, with its sweet-jar-lined shelves and hand-written pricing. Here you will be hosted for an evening of entertainment with traditional, live music played by local musicians.

  9. Wake up, head outdoors and take in the fresh, sea air, as you drive along the Dingle Peninsula. The area's craggy clifftops and rolling hills have inspired films such as 'Ryan's Daughter.' Head on to the village of Adare. Famous for its thatched-roof cottages and charm, this heritage town is a worthy detour for budding photographers looking to document their journey. Your travels continue to Limerick where your Traveling Concierge leads you an orientation of the city. While here you'll see St. Mary's Cathedral, the oldest and most historic building in Limerick, and the city's stone, where the Treaty of Limerick was signed in 1691.

    meal(s):Breakfast
    hotel:The Savoy Hotel
  10. Travel through beautiful Country Clare to admire the breathtaking views of the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. Continue to Galway, a harbor city that prides itself on its bustling streets and pubs, boutiques and quirky art galleries, where you'll explore with your Traveling Concierge. Journey on to the pretty village of Cong in County Mayo. Quaint in size but grand in character, this beautiful destination houses the famous Ashford Castle, where on arrival a lone piper escorts you over the drawbridge. This luxury hotel is where you'll stay the next two nights. Formerly home to the Guinness family, the hotel boasts sumptuous suites, antique furniture and unique historic features at every turn. The castle is set upon an idyllic 350-acre estate, making it a dreamy location for relaxing, romantic getaways. In the evening you will dine à la carte at the esteemed George V Dining Room, with delicacies including Ossetra Caviar, Skeaghanore Duck and Atlantic Tuna Tartare.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Ashford Castle
  11. Enjoy a relaxed start in your stately abode. During your leisure time why not head for a walk on its grounds and take in the plush exterior and crisp, fresh country air? Experience Ashford Castle Your Way with a choice between a unique falconry experience or scrumptious afternoon tea. Your final day culminates with a Celebration Dinner where you can share stories from the trip with your new-found friends, over dinner and wine.

    meal(s):Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:Ashford Castle.
  12. It's time to say goodbye or 'slán' to your fellow travelers, as a transfer takes you to Shannon airport. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.

    meal(s):Breakfast
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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.

  • 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.

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  • Definite Departure
  • Special Small Group Departure
Start Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
13 Jul 19 24 Jul 19 $6,975$6,288pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
17 Aug 19 28 Aug 19 $6,975$6,288pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
29 Aug 19 9 Sep 19 checkmark $7,050$6,355pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
Special Small Group Departure
5 Oct 19 16 Oct 19 checkmark $7,675$6,918pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 31 Request Quote Book Now
  • Special Small Group Departure: This departure indicates a tour limited to a small number of guests.

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 $2,420 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Traveling Concierge and Driver $159 per person.

Private Door to Door: Private door-to-door transfer service is available for guests traveling in a party of three or fewer on vacations to Europe, US, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and India. Private door-to-door transfers are not available on vacations to Australia and New Zealand. Private door-to-door transfers are limited from/to one address within a 50 miles radius of an international airport within the USA and include the gratuity for the driver with 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on bag per person permitted. No additional stops and/or drop-offs are permitted. All private door-to-door transfers are subject to availability and must be confirmed at time of booking. If private door-to-door transfers cannot be provided, a credit will be applied to the booking.

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.

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  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Michelin Dining Michelin Dining
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • 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

Included Dining

11 Breakfasts, 5 Dinners with Wine all with tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences

Dublin

  • Meet esteemed author Trevor White on a rare, personal after-hours tour of The Little Museum of Dublin, which he founded. You'll about his work, his life as a Dublin local and what it means to be a Dubliner. You'll also receive a signed copy of his latest book 'Alfie.'
  • Head on a city tour of Dublin with your Traveling Concierge, who will be able to share with you his expertise on the local area. You'll head to O'Connell Street, Custom House and Dublin Castle.
  • No trip to Ireland would be complete without a trip to the Guinness Storehouse. You’ll get the chance to explore the venue before it opens to the public, along with getting a lesson on how to pull the perfect pint.

Killarney

  • Rival Michael Flatley by learning how to Irish dance from the best of the best. The performers of Celtic Steps will give you a simple dance class before you later watch them take to the stage from your VIP seats.
  • Enjoy hearing of the history of Killarney from your Traveling Concierge.
  • Take a scenic jaunting carriage ride through Killarney National Park. From its sweeping mountains to lush lake lands, you'll be able to take in the breathtaking beauty of the Irish countryside in all its glory.
  • Visit J M Reidy's bar and enjoy a drink as you watch traditional, live music played by local musicians.

Belfast

  • Visit the Titanic Belfast with a Local Expert and hear about the ship's poignant history.
  • Take a city tour of Belfast with a knowledgeable Local Expert. You'll get to see the City Hall, Queen's University, the Parliament Building at Stormont and murals in different locations indicating political sentiments of local residents.

Giant's Causeway

  • Visit this iconic site on a private tour with a wildlife ranger and learn more about this majestic phenomenon.

Londonderry

  • Head to this pretty city with a Local Expert and arguably one of Northern Ireland's best Storytellers.

Glendalough

  • Enjoy visiting Glendalough Monestic Site by the guide of a Local Expert.

Cashel

  • Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century. See the spectacular Rock of Cashel, the traditional seat of the High Kings of Munster.

Blarney

  • It is said that those who kiss the stone are bestowed with the power to persuade, flatter and coax. You are invited to dangle from the ramparts of Blarney Castle to acquire the gift of the gab.

Ring of Kerry

  • Enjoy the beauty around you as you explore The Ring of Kerry.

Dingle Peninsula

  • Enjoy a scenic drive as you admire the area's craggy clifftops and rolling hills that have inspired films such as Ryan's Daughter.

Adare

  • Admire its beauty during a village walk. Famous for thatched-roof cottages and pretty streets, this quaint haven offers idyllic photo opportunities.

Limerick

  • Delve into the history of the city during an orientation with your Travelling Concierge. You'll get to see St Johns Castle, St Mary's Cathedral and the Treaty Stone.

Ashford Castle

  • On arrival to Ashford Castle, you are escorted over the drawbridge by a lone piper for a majestic entrance fit for royalty.
  • Live and dine like a royal at our stately abode and explore Ashford Castle Your Way. Once here you'll choose between a mouthwatering afternoon tea or a unique falconry experience.

Cliffs of Moher

  • Stop by the Exhibition Centre that overlooks the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.

Galway

  • Take in the beautiful surroundings on a guided city tour with your Traveling Concierge. You'll find bustling streets, fun boutiques and quirky art galleries in this vibrant harbor city.

 

Request a Quote
  • 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.

Print Itinerary

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Request a Quote
  • 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.

Print Itinerary
  • 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.

Request a Quote
  • 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.

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