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Ireland & the Emerald Isle Back Roads: Dublin to Dublin

Duration
12 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,659

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$ 3,659

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Dublin to Belfast

The tour commences from Brooks Hotel (59-63 Drury Street, Dublin) at 8:30am. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.

From Dublin, we venture to the prehistoric site of Newgrange and visit the Battle of Boyne for an exciting preview of what to expect over the days to come. Tonight, we arrive in Belfast and enjoy a delicious meal together.

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 - Londonderry

You don't have to delve deep into Northern Ireland's past to see the influences on contemporary culture. This morning begins with an escorted black cab tour of Belfast's unique street art - its political murals, followed by a visit to the Titanic museum where we discover the personal stories that surround this fateful ship. We continue to Ballyscullion Park, a historic private country house, where lunch will be waiting for us. Later, we explore Ireland's natural geological wonder - the Giant's Causeway - before arriving in Londonderry.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
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

Londonderry - North Irish Coast - Londonderry

Today, stroll along the old city walls of Londonderry and then continue the journey to the Isle of Doagh where we'll learn of the local population's experience of the devastating Irish famine.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 4

Londonderry to Ballyfarnon

A fascinating history is on the cards today at the Ulster-American folk park, where we learn why two million people sailed from Ulster to embark on a fresh life in the new world and make time for a pottery demonstration. The day ends in Ballyfarnon where we regroup for an evening meal together.

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 - Connemara - Galway

The morning sees us in Westport before visiting the award-winning Connemara Heritage Centre to gain a unique insight into Ireland's past. As the day draws to a close, we'll complete our journey with a walking tour through the harbour 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 yours to enjoy as you wish in buzzing, bohemian Galway.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 7

Galway - The Burren - Dingle

We meet with the picturesque area of Caherconnell and witness local sheepdog trials in action. We continue across the Burren and round off the day with a visit to the Magnificent Cliffs of Moher, rising high above the Atlantic.

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

We'll begin in south-west Ireland's jewel in the crown - the Dingle Peninsula before stopping off at the Blasket Islands Centre. The afternoon gives us plenty of free time to delve deeper and explore Dingle.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 9

Dingle - Kenmare - Blarney

Peaks and lakes are on the cards today. Time to take in the views across the stunning Killarney Lakes and onwards to Kenmare before the adventure continues with a visit to the iconic Blarney Castle. Legend has it, if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you will be blessed with the gift of eloquence. Tonight, make the most of your new found eloquence over dinner at the hotel.

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

Blarney - Kinsale - Blarney

The port and fishing town of Kinsale is where we'll start our walking tour through history and a stop at Charles Fort before returning to Blarney for the evening.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 11

Blarney - Tipperary - Kilkenny

As we approach the final few chapters of our tour, we find ourselves at rural tipperary and swiss cottage to then carry on through to Kilkenny, Ireland's 'most perfect' medieval city.

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 - Avoca - Dublin

Our last day sees us reach the 'fair city' of Dublin with a stop via Avoca and Huntingdon Castle where our tour ends.

Drop-off 5:30pm at Brooks Hotel (59-63 Drury Street, Dublin). Please bear in mind that drop-off time is an estimate only - traffic can be unpredictable!

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2018: Mar 5; Apr 9, 16, 19, 23, 30; May 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 38, 31; Jun 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25, 28; Jul 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 26, 30; Aug 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, 37, 30; Sep 3, 6, 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27; Oct 1, 4, 7, 8

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 BACKROADUB18SG: IRL
15 Jan 2018
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