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Ireland & the Emerald Isle Back Roads: Dublin to Dublin

Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,186

An in-depth circular Back Roads tour itinerary of Ireland’s lush green landscapes and coastal magnificence combined with the country’s colourful history and culture make this a must for anyone wishing to enjoy the very essence of the Emerald Isle.


Join one of our unique small group Back-Roads touring experiences (maximum 18 participants) that includes specially selected accommodations, transportation in purpose built Mercedes Benz Sprinters, sightseeing, special culinary experiences and a knowledgeable Tour Leader. Click here for all the EXCLUSIVE DIFFERENCES.

Starting in Dublin, head north to Belfast stopping along the way at the Newgrange Tomb, unbelievably older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids plus the site of the famous and bloody 17th Century Battle of the Boyne and the Hill of Tara, an ancient prehistoric site. Stay overnight in Belfast.

The next day visit “The Troubles” districts on the famous Black Cab tour and then carry on to the Titanic Museum, the largest Titanic Exhibition in the world. This is followed by journeying to the Giants Causeway, a mystic peninsula of stones allegedly reaching under the sea to Scotland. Continue to Londonderry for overnight.

BRTThe following morning, enjoy a walk on the ancient city walls after which travel to Grianan of Aleach, an Iron Age fort with amazing views over the nearby lochs. Drive along the coast to the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal then head to the Isle of Doagh Visitors Centre for a presentation on the Irish Famine (1845/1852). Return to Londonderry.

Start today with a visit to the Ulster-American Folk Park to learn about the mass immigration of the Irish to the New World. Leave Londonderry and travel to Belleek, home to Ireland’s oldest pottery then journey through WB Yeats’ country stopping at associated sites along the way. Overnight in Sligo.

Continue the following morning to the picturesque town of Westport. Then enjoy a visit to the Connemara Heritage Centre to learn about the history and heritage of the region. Arrive in Galway for a 2 nights stay with a walking tour of the city before overnighting.

The next day is completely free to explore Galway on your own.

Continue south visiting the prehistoric burial site of the Poulnabrone Portal Tomb from the Neolithic era followed by the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher which rise to a height of 120 metres/390 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Arrive at the Dingle Peninsula, the furthest westerly point in the country, for a 2 night stay.

The following morning, commence a very enjoyable tour of the peninsula with its wild beauty and quaint villages.

Leave the Dingle Peninsula to arrive in County Kerry where you will visit Macgillicuddy’s Reeks, the highest point in Ireland and also appreciate the beauty of the Killarney Lakes. Stop at the delightful town of Kenmare before travelling through the mountains via the rugged Healy Pass arriving at Bantry House on Bantry Bay for a visit. Continue to Blarney, near Cork, for 2 nights’ accommodation.

The charming port of Kinsale is next with its harbour filled with bobbing sailboats. Follow this with a visit to the Jameson Distillery for a tour and whiskey tasting.

Leave Blarney heading for Tipperary and the ruins of the Rock of Cashel, the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster dating back to the 12th and 13th Centuries. Arrive eventually at the well preserved and charming city of Kilkenny for overnight.

On your last day, return to Dublin with visits to Glendalough, site of early monastic settlements and Powerscourt Estate, a manor house with extensive cultivated gardens.


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Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,186

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Dublin to Belfast

The tour commences from The Gresham Hotel (23 Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin) at 8:30am. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.

Today you will visit the prehistoric site of Newgrange and the site of the Battle of the Boyne. Later explore the Hill of Tara before continuing to Belfast. Enjoy a welcome dinner.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Malone Lodge Hotel

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    Malone Lodge Hotel



    Owned by the Macklin family for over 20 years and having won numerous awards including Belfast Hotel of the Year, the hotel was totally refurbished in 2013, and the Macklin family have developed and invested in the hotel to make it one of the largest ...

    Owned by the Macklin family for over 20 years and having won numerous awards including Belfast Hotel of the Year, the hotel was totally refurbished in 2013, and the Macklin family have developed and invested in the hotel to make it one of the largest most charming independently owned hotels in Belfast. Known as "Belfast's hidden gem" the relaxed luxury of the hotel and friendly team create a wonderful warm atmosphere. The hotel is located in the popular Queens quarter of South Belfast with fantastic transport links to the all motorways, rail and bus links. Lisburn Road which is renowned for its unique shopping outlets is only a 5 minute walk from the hotel.

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Day 2

Belfast to Derry

After this morning's escorted tour of Belfast's political murals on a Famous Belfast Black Cab tour, you have time to visit the Titanic Museum. This afternoon you will visit the Giant's Causeway, the jewel in the crown on the beautiful coast of Antrim before arriving in Derry.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Beech Hill Country House

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    Beech Hill Country House



    Beech Hill Country House Hotel, gloriously set in 32-acres of woodland, lakes and tranquil well-tended gardens, is famed for its warm welcomes and fine food. Despite its rural location this imposing Georgian building stands just 2-miles from the walled centre of Londonderry. Also within easy ...

    Beech Hill Country House Hotel, gloriously set in 32-acres of woodland, lakes and tranquil well-tended gardens, is famed for its warm welcomes and fine food. Despite its rural location this imposing Georgian building stands just 2-miles from the walled centre of Londonderry. Also within easy reach are the Giants Causeway, the wild and dramatic scenery of County Donegal and the gentle, wonderfully scenic Sperrin Mountains. Beech Hill was a base for the US Marines in World War II. A memorial to the Marine Corps stands in the garden and every year Marines come from America and Europe to keep alive their links with the hotel and the city.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Conference Facilities
    • Fireplace
    • Laundry facilities
    • Restaurant

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Day 3

North Irish Coast

After a guided walk along the ancient city walls of Derry, you will visit Grianan of Aileach, an Iron Age fort offering stunning views over the nearby lochs. The coastal drive takes us to the Inishowen Peninsula in Donegal and the Isle of Doagh Visitor Centre where you will hear an alternative view of the devastating Irish Famine.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Derry to Ballyfarnon

At the Ulster-American Folk Park, examine why two million people left Ulster for the New World. Pass through County Fermanagh to County Sligo where we visit sites associated with W. B. Yeats, including Drumcliffe Church and Parkes Castle.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Kilronan Castle

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    Kilronan Castle



    One of Ireland's most luxurious Castle Hotels, Kilronan Castle is the ancestral home of the Tenison family and the legendary Colonel King Tenison. It is one of a few Irish castle estates that can trace its history back to royal families. The castle is surrounded ...

    One of Ireland's most luxurious Castle Hotels, Kilronan Castle is the ancestral home of the Tenison family and the legendary Colonel King Tenison. It is one of a few Irish castle estates that can trace its history back to royal families. The castle is surrounded by over forty acres of breathtaking Irish scenery, lush green pastures, ancient forests and historical points of interest. Approached by a meandering drive that passes acres of magnificent lawns, Kilronan Castle overlooks a glistening lake which commands the panoramic beauty of the surrounds. Our world class Spa and Leisure Centre is a treat not to be missed.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Concierge
    • Free Newspapers in Lobby
    • Free WiFi
    • Health Club
    • Library
    • Lift/elevator
    • Luggage Storage
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Restaurant
    • Safety Deposit Box
    • Sauna
    • Spa Services
    • Steam Room

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Day 5

Ballyfarnon to Connemara and Galway

Drive to Westport before visiting the award-winning Connemara Heritage Centre. We complete our journey today with a walking tour of the city of Galway.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Park House Hotel

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    Park House Hotel



    Since 1975 the Park House Hotel has been welcoming guests. The hotel, situated in the heart of Galway City centre, has earned a reputation for the excellence of it's food and the quality of it's service. Guests need only step outside the door to explore ...

    Since 1975 the Park House Hotel has been welcoming guests. The hotel, situated in the heart of Galway City centre, has earned a reputation for the excellence of it's food and the quality of it's service. Guests need only step outside the door to explore Galway City and it's wonderful surroundings. You will find a wealth of attractions from shopping, restaurants and bars, to museums, theatre, historical buildings, street entertainment and lots more. The Aran Islands, Connemara, the Burren and Cliffs of Moher are all easily reached for a day trip. There is always something happening in Galway with the many various festivals and events taking place throughout the year.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Bar
    • Laundry facilities
    • Restaurant

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Day 6

Galway

Today is free for you to explore Galway as you wish. Your guide will be on hand to offer advice on how to make the most of this fantastic city.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 7

Galway to the Burren and Dingle

Today you will visit the picturesque fishing village of Kinvara and travel through the lunar-like landscape of the Burren before stopping at the prehistoric burial site of the Poulnabrone Portal Tomb. This afternoon you visit the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland's most iconic attractions.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Dingle Benners Hotel

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    Dingle Benners Hotel



    Old world charm and elegance will captivate you from the moment you arrive. Dingle Benners Hotel is one of the most luxurous Dingle hotels, offering you the best of both worlds - traditional Irish warmth and comfort coupled with the best of modern facilities. Situated ...

    Old world charm and elegance will captivate you from the moment you arrive. Dingle Benners Hotel is one of the most luxurous Dingle hotels, offering you the best of both worlds - traditional Irish warmth and comfort coupled with the best of modern facilities. Situated in the centre of Dingle Town, in the heart of West Kerry, Dingle Benners is regarded as one of the best located Kerry hotels, an ideal base for you to tour the magnificent Dingle Peninsula and surrounding areas.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Babysitting Services
    • Concierge
    • Fireplace
    • Laundry Service
    • Lounge Bar
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Newsstand
    • Restaurant

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Day 8

Dingle Peninsula

Around the Dingle Peninsula you will uncover countless historical sites, ancient churches, stone forts and beautiful beaches before you visit the Blasket Islands Centre. This afternoon you have some free time in the beautiful town of Dingle.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 9

Dingle to Kenmare and Blarney

Today you will visit the MacGillycuddy's Reeks, home to the highest peak in Ireland, and the Killarney Lakes. You will take the mountain road from Killarney to the enchanting town of Kenmare, before you journey over the breathtaking Healy Pass to visit Bantry House, renowned for its magnificent setting.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Blarney Castle Hotel

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    Blarney Castle Hotel



    Welcome to the Blarney Castle Hotel which is a family run hotel since 1837, ideally located in the picturesque village of Blarney, just 10 minutes from Cork City. The Blarney Castle Hotel boasts old world charm and offers superior guest accommodation in Blarney. A short ...

    Welcome to the Blarney Castle Hotel which is a family run hotel since 1837, ideally located in the picturesque village of Blarney, just 10 minutes from Cork City. The Blarney Castle Hotel boasts old world charm and offers superior guest accommodation in Blarney. A short stroll to the left of Blarney Castle Hotel takes one into the magnificent grounds and gardens of Blarney Castle, where high up in the battlements is the famous Blarney Stone. While a short stroll to the right takes one into the unique Irish shopping experience that is the Blarney Woolen Mills.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Concierge
    • Laundry facilities
    • Restaurant
    • Safety Deposit Box

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Day 10

Kinsale and Midleton

In Kinsale enjoy a historical walking tour. Travel to the Jameson Midleton Distillery to learn about the production of whiskey and taste what is considered by many to be the finest whiskey in Ireland!

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 11

Blarney to Tipperary and Kilkenny

At the Rock of Cashel, one of Ireland's most popular icons, see the ruins of a medieval cathedral, a beautiful romanesque church and a striking round tower. Next you will travel through rural Tipperary to Kilkenny, Ireland's "most perfect medieval city", where you have plenty of time to relax or explore the different sights here.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

River Court Hotel

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    River Court Hotel



    This Kilkenny city hotel rests serenely on the bank of the River Nore, nestled in a private courtyard, secluded from the bustling and winding city streets. The Hotel is overlooked by Kilkenny's majestic 12th century castle; it is a place of warmth, friendliness and sheer ...

    This Kilkenny city hotel rests serenely on the bank of the River Nore, nestled in a private courtyard, secluded from the bustling and winding city streets. The Hotel is overlooked by Kilkenny's majestic 12th century castle; it is a place of warmth, friendliness and sheer contentment. Kilkenny City continues to be one of the most sought after locations for hotel breaks in Ireland. This hotel's superb location on the bank of the River Nore offers ease of access from all areas of Ireland. Kilkenny River Court Hotel is an ideal location for any event.

    Facilities

    • 24 Hour Reception
    • Bar
    • Laundry Service
    • Restaurant

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Day 12

Kilkenny to Dublin

Today you will cross the Wicklow Mountains to Glendalough, one of the best preserved monastic sites in Ireland. You then travel through the wild terrain of the Wicklows to Sally Gap before descending to the Powerscourt Estate. After exploring its beautiful formal gardens, you will make the short journey to Dublin where your tour comes to an end.

Drop-off 5:30pm at The Gresham Hotel (23 Upper O'Connell Street, Dublin). Please bear in mind that drop-off time is an estimate only - traffic can be unpredictable!

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2017 10, 24 Apr; 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29 May; 1, 5, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29 Jun; 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Jul; 3, 7, 10, 14, 21, 28, 31 Aug; 4, 7, 11, 18, 21, 25, 28 Sep; 2 Oct

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 11 nights’ accommodation
  • Driver/tour leader
  • Mini-coach transportation
  • Full Irish breakfast daily
  • 5 evening meals
  • Black Cab Experience
  • Kinsale Heritage Walk
  • Irish whiskey tour and tasting
  • Included Entrance Fees: Newgrange, Battle of the Boyne site, Hill of Tara, Titanic Museum, Doagh Famine Village, Ulster- American Folk Park, Parkes Castle, Connemara Heritage Centre, Blasket Islands Centre, Gallarus Oratory, Bantry House, Rock of Cashel, Glendalough & Powerscourt Estate.

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities.
  • Meals and beverages not specifically indicated
  • Pre and post tour accommodation.
  • Arrival and departure transfers

OTHER INFORMATION:

Mobility: The tour involves walking and requires guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.

The Back-Roads Difference

  • Learn about Belfast’s turbulent past and see the political murals on a Famous Black Cab tour.
  • Drive along the back roads of Ireland through stunning natural scenery, including the lunar-like landscape of the Burren.
  • Visit the award-winning Connemara Heritage CentreMingle with the locals, enjoy traditional Irish evenings, try local whiskies and perhaps a glass or two of Guinness.

TERMS & 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 BACKROADUB16SG: IRL 2 Oct 2017
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