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The All Ireland Rail Coach Tour: Dublin to Dublin

Duration
7 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,297

What better way to see the Emerald Isle than by rail? This Ireland tour takes you to many of the country’s most famous sights, all with comfortable accommodation and reserved rail seats.


This 7-day locally hosted Ireland trip sets out early by rail from Dublin, taking you to Cork, Blarney, continue by motor coach to the Ring of Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher, from Galway rejoin the railway to Belfast. Enjoy an excursion to the Giant’s Causeway before returning to the capital.

Take an early train to Cork, travelling through Ireland’s longest railway tunnel. Then transfer to Blarney Village, home of the famous castle. Some dispute the wisdom of trying to kiss the namesake stone, but we’ll let you decide for yourself. Whether you come away with the gift of eloquence or not, you will come away with some wonderful photos and memories before returning to Cork for a brief city tour. Sample some Murphy’s and Beamish for a local alternative to Guinness, and tour the famous port town of Cobh, best known as the departure point for the RMS Titanic.

In addition to being a hub for live music in Ireland, Killarney is also the jump-off point for exploring the Ring of Kerry. This is rural Ireland at its finest with lakes and rocky outcroppings dotting the landscape. Star Wars fans may also recognise the Skellig Rocks from their recent appearance in ‘The Force Awakens.’ Go on to Limerick and walk in the footsteps of famous sons such as Frank McCourt, Terry Wogan and Richard Harris. Take a brief city tour, then visit Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. Take lunch in Doolan before arriving at the Cliffs of Moher, some of Europe’s highest sea cliffs. Then on the road to Galway, keep your camera ready for some shots of the rocky region known as the Burren.

Spend two nights in Galway, the Bohemian capital of Ireland, famous for its live music, arts scene, and hospitable pubs. During the day, take off for a tour of the Aran Islands by plane, and discover some of the pre-Christian history of western Ireland. Return to the mainland and set out the next day for Connemara. Explore the region including Kylemore Abbey and Letterfrack, and Derrygimlagh Bog, where Alcock and Brown crash landed their historic transatlantic flight in 1919. Explore Gaeltacht, a region where many people use Gaelic as well as English, before returning to Dublin on an evening train.

Set out for one more adventure, this time in Ireland’s north. Pass coastal villages and see historic areas such as the River Boyne. Climb into the Camlough Mountains and arrive in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. Board your coach bound for the Giant’s Causeway and the Antrim Coast, including the pretty towns of Carrickfergus and Carnlough. You can even glimpse the coast of Scotland on a clear day. Turn inland to visit Ballycastle and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, then return to the coast to see the Giant’s Causeway, where you’ll have about two hours to explore and take photos. Return to Dublin for your final night before departure.


 

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Duration
7 Days
Prices From:
US$ 1,297

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Cork, Blarney Castle and Cobh

Check-in for 07:00 departure from Dublin Heuston opened in 1844 as the headquarters of the Great Southern & Western Railway and is now the official principal station of Iarnrod Eireann, Ireland's national railway company. As your train departs, we travel in a south-westerly direction, through Dublin's western suburbs and then through the lush fertile countryside of Co. Kildare. Our journey takes us through the Curragh which is famous for its racecourse, home of the Irish Derby, and there are many stud farms in the vicinity. The final approach to Cork station is through Ireland's longest railway tunnel, which is a rather modest 1.2km. Arrive at Cork Kent Station, we transfer to our Railtours Ireland tour coach through Cork City to Blarney Village and historic Blarney Castle, built in 1446 by Dermot Mc Carthy. You will have time to kiss the famous stone, which is said to bestow the gift of eternal eloquence on those lucky enough to do so. There is also time for shopping and lunch at Blarney and we recommend that you have lunch there, as this will be the only opportunity during the day to have a substantial meal. Depart Blarney Castle for Cobh, via the city center and a short city tour. Cork's population is approximately 150,000 (Ireland's 3rd largest city after Dublin and Belfast) and is the only city center in Ireland that actually stands on an island, the River Lee divides and rejoins and either end of the city center. It is also home to Murphy's and Beamish, the Southern Capital's rival to Guinness. On arrival at Cobh, we will visit St Colman's Cathedral. We will then proceed down along the sea front passing the former White Star Line offices en route to the beautifully restored Victorian railway station/transatlantic terminal. This is now the Cobh Heritage Centre, home to the Queenstown Story. When Queen Victoria visited Ireland in 1849 she came to Cobh and the town was renamed Queenstown in her honor - it was renamed Cobh after Irish independence in 1922. Cobh was, of course, the final port of call of the RMS Titanic and this theme is well expounded. The center also houses much information about the Great Famine and subsequent Irish Emigration, 3 million Irish people emigrated from Cobh, (principally to the United States) including Annie Moore, whose statue is located in front of the heritage center. The Lusitania was torpedoed off the coast of Cork - marking the United States' entry into the First World War and the small number of survivors were brought to Cobh for refuge. Cobh is also the headquarters of the Irish Navy and you will most likely see some navy ships. Depart Cobh by train to Killarney. The rest of the evening is free and there is a large selection of cafes, restaurants and bars in Killarney town as well as many opportunities for live traditional Irish music entertainment.

Visitor Attraction Admissions included: Blarney Castle and Gardens & Cobh Heritage Centre.

Day 2

Ring of Kerry Tour

Enjoy your Full Irish Breakfast at leisure. You will be collected from your accommodation at 09:45 (or as directed by our Killarney representative) for your Ring of Kerry tour. There are plenty of stops along the Ring of Kerry for morning tea, lunch and photo stops etc. Ireland's highest mountains are located in Kerry and Carrauntouhil, which can be seen en route. It is the highest, standing at 1041 meters. We will make a stop at the Kerry Bog Village Museum, which gives people an insight into how people lived and worked in rural Ireland in the 18th century. The village is the only one of its kind in Europe. Later on, the approach to Waterville there are views (weather permitting) of the Skellig Rocks (islands), where Star Wars 'The Force Awakens' was recently filmed. We will make several photo stops, a stop for lunch and one final stop at the pretty village of Sneem, for about 30 minutes, or as directed by your tour leader. An essential part of any visit to Ireland, this tour circles the magnificent MacGillycuddy Reeks and runs through its many passes and valleys along the shores of Dingle Bay and Kenmare Bay. There is an unspoilt nature to Ireland's most beautiful region and the Ring of Kerry provides many unforgettable memories as it passes through the many picturesque villages such as Glenbeigh, Waterville and Sneem and returns via Ladies View, the famous Lakes of Killarney and through the Oakwoods of Killarney's magnificent National Park. At the end of the tour, you will be brought to the railway station at Killarney.

Day 3

Limerick, Cliffs of Moher, Galway

Enjoy your full Irish Breakfast at leisure. 07:30 Depart Killarney by road to Limerick to join the Bunratty Castle and Cliffs of Moher Tour. Arrive into Limerick where we will join our Railtours Ireland tour coach. Limerick has a population of about 90,000 and its city charter was granted in 1197AD, making it older than London! As we cross the river Shannon which is Ireland's longest river you will see views of King John's Castle to the right. The castle was completed in 1200 and marks the origins of the city. Limerick's most famous author, Frank Mc Court, grew up here and was the setting for his book, 'Angela's Ashes'. Limerick is also the birthplace of celebrated BBC radio DJ, Terry Wogan and Hollywood star, Richard Harris. We will pass the GAA grounds of Pairc na nGael --the home ground of County Limerick's Hurling and Gaelic Football teams. Limerick is also the home of Irish Rugby and we will pass Thomond Park, the Rugby stadium. After a brief city tour, we travel on to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. The castle was completed in 1425 and, after many years of neglect, has been restored to its former glory. There is also a folk park here which you will have time to explore. After the visit to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, we make our way to Co. Clare. There is a lunch stop at O' Connor's Pub in Doolin before arriving at the Cliffs of Moher, among the highest sea cliffs in Europe. There is plenty of time to visit Ireland's second most popular tourist attraction and your host will advise you of the departure time. From here we take the coast road for much of the way to Galway, with time for photos along The Burren. This is a national park and the word Burren comes from the Irish Language, it means 'rocky place'. It is a unique lunar landscape of limestone which was described in 1649 by one of Oliver Cromwell's men as: "No tree to hang a man, no water deep enough to drown him and no soil deep enough to bury him". Today the Burren is noted for its diverse Flora with few parallels elsewhere in Ireland or indeed, Europe. We continue along the coast road to Black Head, passing the quaint coastal villages of Ballyvaughan and Kinvara before joining the main road to Galway. At the end of the day, the coach will set you down at Eyre Square in the center of Galway City adjacent to your hotel (and the railway station). You will be directed to your hotel by your host and your evening is free in Galway.

Visitor Attraction Admissions included: Bunratty Castle and Folk Park & The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience.

Overnight at Hotel Meyrick or similar.

Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Hotel Meyrick

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Hotel Meyrick



    Superbly located, overlooking Eyre Square, Hotel Meyrick is elegance itself and combines Victorian grace with the best in Irish hospitality. The Grand Dame of Galway hotels, the Meyrick is just a 1-minute walk from both the train and bus stations. Guests seeking a city break ...

    Superbly located, overlooking Eyre Square, Hotel Meyrick is elegance itself and combines Victorian grace with the best in Irish hospitality. The Grand Dame of Galway hotels, the Meyrick is just a 1-minute walk from both the train and bus stations. Guests seeking a city break in Galway or requiring a corporate venue will find the city centre Hotel Meyrick an ideal choice. When staying at the Hotel Meyrick, you are within strolling distance of the best shops in Galway, theatres, bars with traditional Irish music and the many Galway restaurants of the Latin Quarter. Hotel Meyrick provides luxury accommodation on Eyre Square with complimentary wi-fi and complimentary access to the spa on the 5th floor.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Baggage storage
    • Bar
    • Breakfast Room
    • Business Centre
    • Currency Exchange
    • Dry Cleaning
    • Fax/Photocopying
    • Fitness Centre
    • Hot Tub
    • Laundry
    • Massages
    • Meeting/ Banquet facilities
    • Restaurant
    • Room Service
    • Sauna
    • Steam Bath

    More Details

Day 4

The Aran Islands tour by Plane

Enjoy your full Irish Breakfast at leisure. Depart via the Aer Arran mini-coach for transfer to Connemara Airport for your short flight to Inis Mor. Irish is the spoken language of the Aran Islands although the locals will be more than happy to speak to you in English. For many, the highlight of the tour is the formidable pre-Christian fort of Dun Aonghusa, with spectacular sea-cliffs on the western side and unspoilt views of the Atlantic Ocean. Flight times may vary occasionally to cater for the numbers flying. Notes on Aran: Your tour of Inis Mor begins and ends at the island's airport and includes stops at 'Seven Churches' (15 minutes), Dun Aonghusa (75 minutes) and Kilronan for lunch (45 minutes). Please note: Should weather conditions be such as to curtail flights you will be taken on an alternative tour to Connemara and refunded the difference. No further refund available should you decide not to go to Connemara for any reason.

Day 5

Connemara and Kylemore Abbey

Enjoy your full Irish Breakfast, check out of your hotel. 10:05 Depart from Galway Train Station and our conducted tour of Connemara leaves Galway to the village of Moycullen. From Moycullen, the road rises and falls towards the lovely village of Oughterard on the shores of Lough Corrib, traditionally regarded as Ireland's premier angling center. Now the gateway to Connemara opens, and the breathtaking colors of this unspoilt countryside are revealed in all their natural splendor. At Maam Cross, the Connemara "crossroads", there is a replica of the cottage used in the 1950's John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara film "The Quiet Man", which was filmed here. From Maam Cross our tour heads out to Leenane, Kylemore Abbey and Letterfrack, in the shadow of purple mountains rolling down to blue and green rocky valleys, reflecting the rich and varied colors of Connemara. There is a lunch break at Kylemore Abbey and Gardens, and 18th-century castle now owned by the Benedictine nuns who run an excellent pottery, gift shop and restaurant here. Letterfrack is one of Ireland's major national parks. The colorful town of Clifden has been one of Irelands leading holiday resorts for generations. It is an excellent touring centre beloved by the walker, the biker, the hiker or the fisherman. It was here too, at Derrygimlagh Bog, near Clifden that aviation history was made when Alcock and Brown crash landed after their historic transatlantic flight in 1919. Back at Maam Cross again and the road turns southwards now through the Screeb, Costello and Rossaveal. Rossaveal is the departure point for ferry boats to the Aran Islands and is also a major fishing port. We are now in the Gaeltacht or Irish-speaking area of Connemara where Gaelic or Irish is still the everyday spoken language of a bilingual people. Our tour of Connemara heads homewards towards Galway City now, along the shores of Galway bay, through the Gaeltacht villages of Inverin and Spiddal and looking out across the blue waters of the Atlantic at the unique limestone of the Burren and the hills of Clare. After your day's touring you will be returned to Galway Station. Upon arriving at Galway Station please present your Railtours Ireland ticket and travel pack at the ticket barrier and you will be directed to your reserved seats on the train, where you host will be waiting for you. Depart Galway to Dublin Heuston Station. Returning to Dublin Heuston at 21:45hrs.

Visitor Attraction Admissions included: Kylemore Abbey and Gardens.

Overnight at Gibson Hotel or similar.

Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Gibson Hotel

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Gibson Hotel



    The Gibson Hotel is chic and understated, with a music pedigree that runs deep, it is the ultimate urban retreat. Music lovers, art junkies, food fanatics - whatever your passion it's right on the doorstep of our Dublin hotel. The gibson gotel is modern yet ...

    The Gibson Hotel is chic and understated, with a music pedigree that runs deep, it is the ultimate urban retreat. Music lovers, art junkies, food fanatics - whatever your passion it's right on the doorstep of our Dublin hotel. The gibson gotel is modern yet comfortable, it's different and it's better, it's large, it's friendly and it's a building that is alive with great people from the moment you set foot until the moment you leave. Located right up on the third floor of The Gibson Hotel, the Hemi Bar is a great place to get away from the city centre madness and just chill out. The view from the terrace is pretty special and the buzz in the bar is even better.

    Facilities

    • Bar/Lounge
    • Business Centre
    • Computer Station
    • Currency Exchange
    • Guest Laundry
    • Gym
    • Parking
    • Restaurant

    More Details

Day 6

Giants Causeway & Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge hide

07:35 Depart Connolly Station, which was built in 1844 as the terminus of the Dublin & Drogheda Railway and is now the administrative headquarters of Iarnrod Eireann, Ireland's National Railway. We depart northwards through the Dublin suburbs, which soon give way to farmland. Soon we pass the exclusive coastal village of Malahide before we cross the wide Broadmeadow Estuary, followed by Rogerstown Estuary. Fine views of the sea appear as we pass through the coastal town of Skerries, followed by the fishing village of Balbriggan. A few kilometers further on we pass Gormanston, an Irish Air Corps military airfield --on the landward side. Red flags on the seaward side indicate military exercises are in progress. We travel through Drogheda. Immediately north of Drogheda we cross the \ historic river Boyne by a magnificent viaduct, with great views of the town. It was here that Oliver Cromwell put the entire population to the sword in 1649. At little further upstream is the site of the Battle of the Boyne, where [Protestant] King William of Orange defeated dethroned [Catholic] King James in 1690 --an event which is still celebrated annually by 'Orangemen' or 'Northern Protestants' on the 'Twelfth' of July. We now begin to climb into the foothills of the Camlough Mountains and border country. Arrive in Belfast, Ireland's second largest city, we will take a coach for the tour to the Antrim Coast and the Giant's Causeway. One of the city's principal landmarks can be seen upon arrival, the two Harland & Wolfe Cranes which are nicknamed Samson and Goliath. It was here that many great ships were built, most notably for White Star Line, whose ships included the Olympic, Britannic and (perhaps the most famous ship of all), RMS Titanic. Leaving Belfast, we proceed to the town of Carrickfergus for a short photo-stop and take the coast road north from here. Further north we arrive at the fishing village of Carnlough, where we stop for about 15 minutes. We continue on passing the coastal villages of Glenariff, Cushendall and Cushendun. There are stunning views of the sea to the right and the mountains or the Glens of Antrim to the left. Most impressive are the spectacular views of Mull of Kintyre, Scotland which is clearly visible on a fine day. Moving inland, we come to the town of Ballycastle, home to Ireland's oldest town fair. The Laamas fair dates from 1606 and takes place over the August bank holiday weekend every year. Our next stop is the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. We then head for Dunluce Castle for a photo stop before arriving at the Giant's Causeway, where we stop for about 2 hours. Leaving the Giant's Causeway, we head back to Belfast via the main road for the return journey to Dublin. Returning to Dublin Connolly at 20:15hrs.

Visitor Attraction Admissions included: Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

Day 7

Departure

You have said good- bye to the group and there are no more touring arrangements today. Consider staying on in Dublin or make your way to the airport for your onward journey.

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017: Daily except Tue, Fri and Sundays

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • Return Rail Tickets
  • Reserved Seats on the train
  • Railtours Ireland Host throughout
  • Visitor Attraction Admissions
  • Escorted Coach
  • Flight to Inis Mor, Aran Island
  • 2 Nights Killarney B and B
  • 2 Nights Galway 3 star or 4 star Hotel
  • 2 Nights Dublin 4 star Hotel

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Meals & beverages not specifically indicated in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please enquire.

TB RAILTOUDUB0116SG: DH371110
30 Dec 2017
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