Let’s Tour Ireland
Ireland is the second largest island in the British Isles. The six counties in the north “Northern Ireland”, is part of the UK. The South, is a self governing republic. Currency in the North is the pound, sterling. In the South they use the Euro.
To get a good feel for the island of Ireland you need to visit North and South spending at least a day in both Dublin and Belfast. The remainder of your trip is mostly scenic countryside and coast. Like any tour, you can’t see everything but a good way to get a feel for Ireland is to follow the coast right around the island – stunning views, great culture, music, port villages and towns and a very agricultural landscape.
Ireland had a turbulent past – some of which was not too long ago. Irish have traditionally emigrated to the North America for economic and religious reasons – often taking what were called “coffin ships” across the Atlantic – named because of the terrible conditions those on them had to suffer. There are plenty of opportunities to visit museums and places that figoured in Ireland’s past
- Pickup at Hotel / Airport – London / Dublin / Belfast / Shannon
(Allow 1 or 2 nights)
A good place to start and / or finish a tour.
- City Tour with local Guide – the best way to see Dublin
- Guiness Storehouse – home of the “black nectar”
- Old Jamison Distillery – Ireland’s most famous Whiskey
- Shopping – Dublin has great stores for shopping for Irish and other requirements
- Live Music – the Pubs of Dublin come alive in the evening with planned or spontanuous singing and performances !
- Merry Ploughboy – an evening of Irish entertainment – a mini “Riverdance” !
Belfast is a beautiful city – I prefer it to Dublin. The North of Ireland had its “troubles” between the 1960s – 1980s and I like to show people something of this. The political murals in Belfast and Londonderry are fantastic and very much worth seeing.
- City Tour with a local guide – the only way to see Belfast especially its recent history
- The Titanic – fantastic museum right in the docks where The Titanic was built
(1 night – Londonderry / Derry)
- The Antrim Coast – arguably the most stunning coastline in the whole of Ireland – the road hugs the coast, through the most gorgeous fishing villages
- Giant’s Causway – flanked by the North Atlantic and a landscape of dramatic cliffs, this is one of the world’s “must see” geologial sites – an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption
- Bushmills – Irish Whiskey distillery
- Londonderry / Derry – this border city with The Republic suffered most in “the troubles” – you can now visit the bogside museum and the murals depicting the issues that effected this city with a local guide – believe me it is grippingly interesting! There are also some lively music pubs that come highly recommended.
(2 nights Westport, 1/2 nights Galway, 1 night Doolin)
Ireland’s West Coast is legendary for its beauty, ruggedness, colourful towns and culture. In the evenings the pubs and streets are alive with music.
- Achill Island – isolated coastal drives and vistas
- Westport – centre of music and culture
- Killary Harbour – the largest glaciated fjord in the British Isles
- Connemara – the “Atlantic Drive” south to Galway is amazing with hardly any traffic on narrow one lane roads
- Galway – picturesque town and cultural centre – music at night
- The Burren – a great rocky expanse in Ireland’s County Clare – its ancient, awe inspiring stone structures make it one of the world’s truly unique places.
- Doolin – a tiny village on the West Coast of Ireland where it is said that there is music in the pubs every night of the year !
(2 nights Killarney / 1 night Cork)
- The Dingle – Europe’s westernmost point – green, rugged, and untouched
- The Ring of Kerry – Ireland’s most scenic route – 100 mile day trip following the coast of this most beautiful peninnsula
- Kinsale – historic port and fishing town in County Cork
- Cobh – known from 1850 until the late 1920s as Queenstown, Cobh is a seaport town and home to Ireland’s only dedicated cruise terminal. The fantastic Cobh Heritage Centre tells the story of the emigration on “coffin ships” to the USA, Cobh’s connections with The Titanic and the tragic sinking of “The Lusitania” off Cork harbour in 1915.
- Cork – regional centre – the “English Market” is an amazing food market
(1 night Waterford)
- Waterford – famous for its glass, sadly glass is no longer made commercially here although there is a fantastic museum where glass making is demonstrated.
- SS Dunbrody – emigrant ship, New Ross
- The Kennedy Homestead – where the Kennedy family lived before moving to the USA. John Kennedy visited here when he was President and his wife bequithed his rosary, which he was carrying when he was assassinated, to the museum
- Avoca Hand Weavers – interesting place to watch traditional weaving
- Wicklow Mountains – stunning area; almost leaving the best until last – dramatic mountain scenery just south of Dublin
- Drop off at Airport / Hotel – one more night in Dublin before flight home
- Cost for 10 days £8665 / $11,350 depending on final requirements including driver, van, fuel, guides in Dublin, Belfast & Londonderry, driver’s accommodation and food.
- All other costs – eg Customers accommodation etc, is in addition. These prices were last updated on 30 July 2018 when the exchange rate was 1.31USD to 1GBP; one of the very best exchange rates Americans have had in years !!
NOTE – this is just a suggestion…..you can pick and choose what you want to see if you want to see more or less.