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Discover Ireland in 12 days
12 DAYS, 11 NIGHTS | Wicklow Mountains, Kilkenny, West Cork, Killarney, Dingle, Cliffs of Moher, Connemara & Dublin
PRIVATE TOUR ITINERARY
Discover Ireland — see the best of Ireland in 12 days on your very own private tour. This beautifully guided journey begins in the Wicklow Mountains for a scenic tour through the Irish countryside. You'll tour around Ireland seeing iconic sites through Kilkenny, West Cork, Killarney National Park, Cliffs of Moher & the Aran Island, Connemara and Galway. Your tour ends in Dublin where you'll enjoy a private-guided walking tour. You'll visit the Old Library, Trinity College for an illuminating look at the remarkable Book of Kells. Discover Ireland!
Day 1) Arrive Dublin | Wicklow Mountains
Arrive Dublin Airport where you’ll be met by your chauffeur-guide. Depart for a scenic tour through the Wicklow Mountains National Park. You’ll visit the “Monastic City” of Glendalough, home to an early medieval monastic settlement situated in a stunning landscape. Continue your journey to Kilkenny for an overnight stay at an historical house situated in the center of Kilkenny City, adjacent to Kilkenny Castle.
Day 2) Kilkenny, Rock of Cashel & Kenmare
After some time to explore Kilkenny, depart for one of Ireland’s most historic and evocative sights: The Rock of Cashel. St. Patrick himself was here more than 1,500 years ago and, ever since, the Rock has been the spiritual heart of Ireland. Next, continue to quaint Kenmare, with its rows of vividly painted shop fronts and a go-for-a-stroll atmosphere. Enjoy a two-night stay at a hotel in the center of this quintessentially Irish town, known for its culinary specialties where you will enjoy a gourmet dinner.
Day 3) West Cork: Beara Peninsula & Garinish Island
Today, enjoy a whole excursion to the Beara Peninsula, a photographer’s paradise steeped in myths and legends. The mountains and valleys are rich in archaeological sites such as stone circles, wedge graves and other relics from the past. Admire scenic lakes cradled between the mountains and view some of the most beautiful scenery Ireland has to offer. You’ll visit Glengarriff, a 19th-century seaside village resort, and depart by ferry for the gardens of Garinish Island, designed by Harold Peto, situated in Bantry Bay and known for its exotic flora. Tonight, enjoy dinner at the hotel or walk to one of the gastronomic restaurants in Kenmare where traditional Irish music is played in the many pubs of this lively town.
Day 4) Killarney National Park on The Ring of Kerry
Today, enjoy a scenic drive to the spectacular drive through the Ring of Kerry to the Killarney National Park. Your'll view Molls Gap, Ladies View and Torc Waterfall, and where you will visit the evocative Ross Castle and the beautiful Muckross House & Gardens, all set against stunning beauty. You will also experience a jaunting car ride (horse carriage ride) in the National Park. Next, continue your journey to the pastel-painted, quintessentially Irish harbor town of Dingle for a two-night stay. Dingle is a lively Gaeltacht town of seafaring heritage, where instrumental music and song have a long tradition. You will explore the town, have an opportunity to soak up Gaelic tunes in one of the local bars and enjoy dinner at one of several excellent restaurants, all within walking distance of your hotel.
Day 5) Hawk Walk & Dingle Peninsula
Today, discover the Dingle Peninsula along the Slea Head Drive, one of the most scenic routes in Ireland. Your day will include a Hawk Walk, an incredible experience, where you will learn how to hold a hawk as they fly between all of you along the beach. You will visit the Blasket Island Heritage Center, with stunning views of the wild Atlantic coast and islands. The Blasket Centre is a fascinating museum, honoring the unique community who lived on the remote Blasket Islands until their evacuation in 1953. You will experience incredible coastal views, and, if time permits, visit a sheep farm for a sheep dog demonstration. Tonight, explore more of Dingle’s delights and dinner for which your driver-guide will make recommendations.
Day 6) Conor Pass & Cliffs of Moher
This morning, you’ll drive across Ireland’s highest mountain pass, the Conor Pass. You’ll follow the Wild Atlantic Way north, cross the Shannon estuary by ferry, and head to the sensational Cliffs of Moher, where you will find yourself leaning into the wind on the very edge of Europe, more than 600 feet above the waters of the North Atlantic. Next, arrive at your luxury country house hotel with its own private castle. The hotel is strikingly situated with magnificent views of the Atlantic and the Aran Islands. Tonight, enjoy a gourmet dinner at the hotel.
Day 7) The Aran Island of Inis Oírr
This morning, you’ll board a ferry at Doolin Harbor bound for the stark beauty of Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands. On arrival, enjoy a pony and trap (cart) tour of the island. On your return to the mainland, admire the Cliffs of Moher in the most spectacular way, from the sea. This afternoon, explore the intriguing, rocky and beautiful landscape of the Burren, including the Poulnabrone Dolmen and the ‘Hole of Sorrow’, probably the most iconic of Ireland’s megalithic structures. Enjoy a second dinner at the country house hotel.
Day 8) Cong & Clifden
Today, depart Doolin for the pretty village of Cong, filming location of the 1952 movie The Quiet Man which stars John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. In Cong, enjoy a short walking tour of the filming sites from the famous film and spend some time in The Quiet Man Museum, highlighting the film, its actors and local affiliations. Next, arrive at the pretty small coastal town of Clifden, where you'll check into a castle hotel in for a two-night stay.
Day 9) Connemara: Fjord Cruise & Kylemore Abbey
Today, you’ll explore beautiful Connemara, beginning with a cruise along Killary Fjord where you’ll enjoy spectacular uninterrupted views. The inlet boasts some of the finest scenery in the West of Ireland and because of the fjord’s sheltered nature, the waters are always calm. You will also enjoy a visit to Kylemore Abbey & Gardens, a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle. The abbey was founded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I. Built in 1868, the castle includes lovely Victorian walled gardens. On your return to your hotel, enjoy a beautiful scenic journey along the Sky Drive Road. Tonight, gourmet dinner, at your hotel.
Day 10) Galway & Dublin
This morning, continue your journey to Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Enjoy some free time for lunch and to explore this walkable and picturesque town. You may also visit the Galway City Museum where you will learn about the city’s early history from the Anglo-Norman Richard de Burgo stone castle of 1232 to Galway’s role as a medieval town and a trading port, as well as the influence of the 14 families who dominated commercial life here—hence its name as “the city of the tribes”. Next, continue to Dublin for a two-night stay at a centrally-located hotel.
Day 11) Dublin
Meet your local guide for a private-guided walking tour of Dublin, learning about its often-calamitous history, from the days of Viking raids to the hard centuries of British occupation to its remarkable literary legacy to the modern city of today. You’ll visit the stunning Old Library, Trinity College, also housing the remarkable Book of Kells, a gospel book, containing the four accounts of Christ’s life that form the New Testament of the Bible. It is one of the few precious survivals of an influential tradition of book production that flourished in the Irish Church in the eighth and ninth centuries. You will then have some free time to explore Dublin on your own. You may opt to visit to the Guinness Storehouse to learn the story of this legendary brewer, see some of the production and enjoy a pint of Ireland’s famous beer, or experience the Epic Immigration Museum, a truly interactive fascinating experience detailing the history of Ireland and its sweeping emigration of its people, or learn how whiskey is made at the famous Jameson Distillery. You may also finish your tour with an evening at the Celtic Nights Traditional Irish Dance Show if desired.
Day 12) Dublin Airport
This morning transfer to Dublin Airport for your return flight.
Included with this private tour:
11 nights’ accommodation in the hotels specified
11 full Irish Breakfasts
5 gourmet dinners with free choice from the menu
Travel in a luxury Mercedes minibus with extra wide seats; fully air conditioned, extra leg room, comfortable ride, and plenty of luggage space.
Professional chauffeur-guide with intimate knowledge of all the places
- All entrance fees and experiences as described in the itinerary
In this category we have hand-picked five-star guest houses or smaller luxury hotels. These lodgings are often family owned and offer a truly unique, authentic and welcome atmosphere where you are more likely to engage with local people than in a higher-end hotel. Some tours involve a mixture of both Superior and Luxury Boutique.
Through years of experience we have hand-picked luxury boutique hotels which are not only very comfortable in the traditional sense, but as importantly offer gourmet food, and an ambience of lasting memory. All our hotel choices are of unique character, range from 4-star to 5-star, and are either downtown, or enjoy a spectacular rural or village setting. Our detailed offer to you will specify the hotels recommended.
Just a few highlights:
Horse & trap ride in Killarney National Park
Pony & trap ride on Inis Oírr
Aran island boat trip and the Cliffs of Moher from the sea
Private-guided walking tour of Dublin
Guided walking tour of Cong
Killary Fjord cruise
2023 Guideline Prices
Choose your dates. Price is determined by season, accommodation, and the number of people in your group. Prices below are a guideline, and may change in accordance with your individual preferences.
From $6190 per person (group of 6 people)
From $7290 per person (group of 4 people)
From $7790 per person (group of 2 people)
All prices are in US dollars and based on sharing a room for double occupancy.
This tour can be customized to your wishes. Simply call, or email us with your specifics and we'll plan a program that's right for you.
We could not have been MORE pleased with all of our tour guides. Gerry was lovely our first day, giving us a tour of Dublin including a castle and views around the city. Eion could not have been more knowledgeable about Irish history and we learned so much from him and so enjoyed hearing the passion in his voice about his country. John was a perfect tour guide for us. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with him. We would highly recommend Wanderlust Tours in the future and hope to maybe “catch” another tour with your company in the future.
Jean Saunders - Maine