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The Emerald Isle Small Group Tour

13 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,209

FIRST-CLASS | SMALL GROUP: 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 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. 

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.

The 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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13 Days
Prices From:
US$ 4,209

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Dublin

Historic and full of character, Dublin is where you’ll meet the group and begin your adventure. This evening is an opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers over a delicious welcome dinner.

Accommodation: Ashling Hotel (or similar)

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 2

Dublin – Belfast

After breakfast, we’ll make tracks to the fascinating Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre. Then, a visit to the Titanic Museum to discover the personal stories surrounding the infamous ship’s fateful journey. After a history-filled day (a taste of what’s to come), the evening will be yours to explore Belfast at your leisure.

Accommodation: Malone Lodge (or similar)

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Day 3

Belfast – North Irish Coast

You don’t have to delve deep into Northern Ireland’s past to see its influences on contemporary culture – and this morning’s Black Cab tour of Belfast’s street art and political murals will serve as proof. After an included lunch, it’s time to explore Ireland’s natural geological wonder – the Giant’s Causeway, before arriving on the North Irish Coast.

Accommodation: Redcastle Hotel (or similar)

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Day 4

North Irish Coast – Derry – North Irish Coast

After a morning spent exploring Londonderry’s old city walls with a local guide, we’ll board the mini-coach and head to the North Irish Coast for the day. At the Isle of Doagh, we’ll pay a visit to the Famine Village and Visitor Centre to gain an insight into Irish life during the time of the Great Famine. We’ll round off the day with some free time to relax back at the hotel.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 5

North Irish Coast – County Roscommon

More fascinating history is on the cards today! Kick things off with a visit to the Ulster American Folk Park, where we’ll learn why two million Irish people sailed away to start a life in the New World. A visit to the Belleek Pottery Centre (the home of Ireland’s oldest working fine china pottery) is on this afternoon’s agenda, before moving on to County Roscommon, where we’ll regroup for an included dinner.

Accommodation: Kilronan Castle (or similar)

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 6

County Rosscommon - Galway

After breakfast, we’ll pay a visit to the homestead of Dan O’Hara (he of the famous ballad), where we’ll gain a unique insight into prefamine life and culture. Then, it’s time to turn our attention to the harbour city of Galway where we’ll enjoy an evening of leisure.

Accommodation: The Dean (or similar)

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration2 Nights
Day 7


Today we’ll see the likes of the Spanish Arch, Galway Cathedral and Eyre Square on an orientation tour of the city. Then: the afternoon will be yours to spend exploring brightly coloured pubs, tasting local seafood and listening to the ever-present assembly of tuneful street performers. Buzzing, bohemian and utterly charismatic, you’re sure to fall for Galway’s many charms!

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 8

Galway – Cliffs of Moher – Dingle Peninsula

Out of Galway and onwards to the karst landscapes of the Burren. Before we reach our accommodation in the Dingle Peninsula, we’ll round off the day with a visit to the magnificent Cliffs of Moher – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that is bound to take your breath away. Tonight, share stories with your travel companions over an included dinner.

Accommodation: Dingle Benners Hotel (or similar)

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Day 9

Dingle Peninsula

Today will begin at one of the Dingle Peninsula’s most famous landmarks: the Gallarus Oratory, a unique stone chapel that resembles an upturned boat. After that, there’s one more stop in store – the fascinating Blasket Centre, which celebrates the history of the beautiful Great Blasket Island. Upon our return to Dingle, we’ll have plenty of free time to explore the quaint fishing port and dine at one of the many local restaurants at our leisure.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 10

Dingle Peninsula – Kenmare – Cork

Peaks and lakes are on the menu today! First, we’ll take in the views across the stunning Lakes of Killarney as we travel to pretty Kenmare, the ‘head of the sea’. Then, we have an appointment to keep with a true Irish icon: Blarney Castle. Legend has it that you’ll be blessed with the ‘gift of the gab’ if you kiss the famous Blarney Stone – a block of limestone built into the castle’s battlements. Tonight, we’ll make the most of our new-found eloquence over dinner in Cork.

Accommodation: Vienna Woods (or similar)

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Day 11

Cork – Kinsale – Cork

After boarding the mini-coach in Cork, the port town of Kinsale will be our first stop of the day where we’ll have some time to soak up fishing town’s laid-back atmosphere. Then, it’s time to turn our attention toward the world-renowned Jameson Distillery. After an afternoon tour and whiskey tasting, we’ll return to Cork to enjoy the evening at our leisure.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 12

Cork – Kilkenny

As we approach the final few chapters of the tour, we’ll stop in to admire the delicate detailing of a traditional cottage orné. After that, it’s time to spend the afternoon acquainting ourselves with Kilkenny – Ireland’s ‘most perfect’ medieval city. Our Tour Leader will take us for a leisurely walk around town before we come together for our last hurrah: a delicious farewell dinner. What an adventure it’s been!

Accommodation: The Hibernian (or similar)

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Day 13

Kilkenny – Dublin

After breakfast, we’ll return to cosmopolitan Dublin – where our tour will come to a close.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information


2024: Mar 10, 31; Apr 14, 21, 24, 28; May 5, 8, 12, 15, 22, 26, 29;
Jun 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 30; Jul 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 28, 31; Aug 4, 7, 11, 14,18, 21, 25,28;
Sep 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 29; Oct 2, 6, 16


  • 12 nights in first-class accommodations
  • 12 night small group tour (max 18 guests) including:
    • Professional driver/tour leader
    • Mini-coach transportation with air conditioning
    • Entrance fees to the following: 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.
    • Black Cab Experience in Belfast
    • Kinsale Heritage Walk
    • Irish whiskey tour with one tasting
  • Breakfast daily (excluding day 1), 5 dinners.


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


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 Blue-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.


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.

16 Oct 2024
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