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1 / 83

Ireland: Traditions of the Emerald Isle

11 days
On this adventure through the Emerald Isle, you’ll see that even the oldest traditions continue to thrive. Discover the country’s highlights, starting in historic Dublin and continuing on through County Cork, the Rebel County. After exploring the breathtaking Ring of Kerry, the mesmerizing Cliffs of Moher and the charming coastal city of Galway, you may find it hard to say goodbye to Ireland.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Dublin today.

Dublin 3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Dublin

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Ireland! Meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Dublin

Included meals: Breakfast

Take a comprehensive tour of Ireland’s capital city with a local expert leading the way.

• Pass through Phoenix Park, one of Europe’s largest walled green spaces and site of the presidential residence

• Travel along the banks of the River Liffey and see the legendary Guinness Storehouse

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral 

• Stop at Trinity College and view the illuminated Book of Kells

Enjoy a free afternoon in Dublin or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Irish Evening $99*pp Details

Enjoy this special evening of Irish food, music and live entertainment. Dinner will be served first, giving you a taste of traditional Irish dishes. You’ll then be treated to a live show of Irish music and dance. Join in the fun as you enjoy a merry and memorable night. Please note: The specific venue and day of the week for this optional may change due to availability.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Day 4: Free day in Dublin

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Dublin or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Powerscourt & Glendalough $79*pp Details

County Wicklow is home to some of the wildest and most spectacular scenery in Ireland, as well as two of the country’s most important historic sites. Your first stop is at the picturesque village of Enniskerry, where you’ll visit Powerscourt, an elegant country mansion with the finest formal gardens in the country. Later, continue on to Glendalough, which became famous throughout Europe as a center of Christian learning before it was sacked by Viking crusaders in the 10th century. You’ll also see St. Kevin’s Cross, the remains of the 6th-century cathedral and the remarkable Round Tower, thought to have been used by the monks as a place of refuge.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

County Cork 1 night Hotel info

Day 5: County Cork via the Irish National Stud & Rock of Cashel

Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to County Cork, stopping for several guided visits along the way.

• Visit the Irish National Stud farm in County Kildare, where world-class race horses are bred and trained

• Explore the Japanese Gardens of the Irish National Stud farm

• Take a tour of the iconic Rock of Cashel, commanding stone buildings that date back to the 12th and 13th centuries

County Kerry 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: County Kerry via Cork, Cobh & Blarney Castle

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Transfer to County Kerry today, stopping in Cork, Cobh and Blarney on the way.

• Pass through Cork, an island city with an impressive network of channels

• Discover the town of Cobh, once a launch site for ships bound for North America

• Visit the Cobh Heritage Center, whose exhibits tell the story of Irish emigration over the past 150 years

• Stop at Blarney Castle to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone

Day 7: The Ring of Kerry

Included meals: Breakfast

Make your way around the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. 

• Pass the pristine Lakes of Killarney

• Gaze across Dingle Bay to Dingle Peninsula

• Take in unsurpassed views of the Skellig Islands

• Explore the picturesque village of Sneem

Galway 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Galway via Bunratty Castle, the Cliffs of Moher & the Burren

Included meals: Breakfast

Head north to Galway today, taking time to visit a historic castle and view spectacular scenery en route. 

• Take a guided tour of the 13th-century Bunratty Castle

• Walk along the mesmerizing coastline of the majestic Cliffs of Moher 

• Pass through the Burren, a unique limestone plateau where fields of rock are dotted with wildflowers

Enjoy a free evening in Galway or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Castle Banquet Dinner $115*pp Details

Enjoy a feast fit for a king inside Dunguaire Castle, a 17th-century castle overlooking Galway Bay. Sip from a goblet of mead and learn the history of the castle before proceeding up the spiral staircase to the banquet hall, where you’ll enjoy a sumptuous, four-course dinner and an evening of live entertainment, including songs and stories. Please note: This excursion is seasonal from mid-April to mid-October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Day 9: Free day in Galway

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Galway or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Aran Islands $99*pp Details

Board a ferry across Galway Bay for a guided tour of Inis Mór, one of the three remote Aran Islands. An outpost of Irish culture that has remained essentially unchanged over the past few centuries, the Aran Islanders still speak Gaelic and rely on fishing and farming to make a living. Local crafts produced here include hand-knit “fisherman” sweaters. While you’re here, you’ll also visit the ruins of Dún Aonghasa, a prehistoric fort. Please note: This tour involves a fair amount of walking over somewhat rugged terrain. Travelers should be accustomed to moderate physical activity. This excursion is weather dependent, and weather conditions may also result in a rough sea crossing.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Dublin 1 night Hotel info

Day 10: Travel to Dublin

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Return to Dublin today, then say goodbye to your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner this evening.

Day 11: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue on to Belfast.

Add Belfast $299 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

The city of Belfast was once the largest in Ireland, the home of Irish linen and the most productive shipyard in the world, a place whose hills inspired Jonathan Swift to write Gulliver's Travels. Come discover the charming Victorian architecture of the cultural heart of Northern Ireland.

Belfast 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Belfast

Included meals: Breakfast

Journey to Belfast, the cultural heart of Northern Ireland, where you’ll get the local perspective of the city on a guided tour.

• Glimpse the copper-domed City Hall and the recently restored Grand Opera House

• Learn all about Belfast’s long history, from its origins in the Bronze Age and rise as an international seaport to its role in the conflict known as The Troubles

• Enter the Titanic Belfast galleries for a look at the vessel’s infamous history

Day 12: Free day in Belfast

Included meals: Breakfast

Spend a full free day in Belfast or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Giant's Causeway $79*pp Details

Pay a visit to the rugged Giant’s Causeway, a series of naturally formed hexagonal basalt columns. The columns, which you can walk on, are 60 million years old and originated as volcanic lava. A colorful local legend says that mythical giant Finn McCool built the walkway so that he could cross the sea to Scotland. Please note: Raingear is recommended for this excursion.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $89)

Day 13: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Cork, Ireland
  • County Kerry, Ireland
  • Galway, Ireland
  • Belfast, Ireland
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa requirements

In order to enter Ireland, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Airport & departure taxes

All airport and departure taxes for this tour are included in the total trip cost printed on your invoice.

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Clothing & packing tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling on this tour. However, it’s always advisable to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates.

Cuisine

Traditional Irish cooking is simple, relying heavily on meat-based dishes. Traditional Irish stew, bacon and boiled cabbage are always popular choices. Soda bread is delicious and very filling, as are Irish cakes, such as scones and Barm Brack. The thick black stout known as Guinness is a national institution in its own right. In recent years, Dublin has seen something of a culinary revolution, and the city now boasts an impressive array of new restaurants offering exciting and sometimes unexpected cuisine.

Transportation

On 2014 departures, round-trip flights arrive in Dublin and depart from Shannon (or Belfast on the extension). On 2015 departures, round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Dublin (or Belfast on the extension). Included transportation is by private motor coach. Most of the destinations are easily walkable, but you may want to spend your free time exploring Dublin by a combination of walking and public transportation. The city is serviced by numerous buses, and if you wish to take excursions on your own outside of Dublin, use the very efficient Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART) trains, which hit most locations on the coast.

Electricity

Ireland operates on the European standard 220 volts. For those on the post-tour extension trip, Belfast operates on 220-240 volts.

Time zones

Ireland falls on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT),which is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Currency

The euro is the currency you’ll be using on your tour (and the British pound on the extension). Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks, as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges. 

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/12/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Allie was the best

I can tell you how much I enjoyed my trip to Ireland. This was my first trip outside the United States and it was so amazing that I want to continue to see all the places I have on my list. Allie (spelling?) she was the best and most exciting tour guide. She was very passionate about what she was doing. She knew the history and the Irish Legends making everything she said seem like a dream. I can't say how much I enjoyed this trip. I have recommended GoAhead to anyone and everyone. I just want to say thank you for the lifetime experience that you guys gave me.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/21/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Tour Director

Had an excellent tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Tour Director Ali was the best, very informative, entertaining and helpful. Was lucky with good weather. Saw amazing sights and learned about the history and culture of Ireland. Excellent tour and well recommended.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/21/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Allie was the Best Tour Director

The trip was wonderful..the last hotel was a bit dicey, but the overall tour was so good it was hard to be critical. Allie, our tour director was a wonderful tour director..she mixed history with music and stories that gave you a wonderful understanding of the history you were experiencing. She offered side adventures that added even more to the experience. We had several drivers, but our main driver was Tommy. He was delightful. I fell in love with Ireland because of Allie and Tommy and all they taught us. Allie recommended several books that I have enjoyed reading once I got home.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/5/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

Everything about this tour exceeded my expectations. The accommodations, the included meals, the scenic views, and itinerary all proved to be excellent. We could not touch the value of this tour if we planned it ourselves. Our tour director, Allie, was the best. Her attention to every detail, individuals needs, and wealth of knowledge, was appreciated by all..

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/21/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: SC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Allie

This was my first tour and it was wonderful. The food was great, four of the hotels were really nice, bus drivers were great and having Allie as our tour guide was the best part. Her knowledge of Ireland was fantastic and her stories had us enthralled the whole tour. Don't know when I have ever had any more fun. All of our group were friendly and lots of fun. Made a lot of new friends. I'm 74 and some of the places we visited challenged me, but I think I did pretty good. Looking forward to futur tours, but would prefer to stay in the good old USA. The long delays in the airports were hard on me and my return trip was the worst since I had developed acute bronchitis the night before. No fault of the tour. I have already recommended your tour group to several friends and I think they will be contacting you in the future.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/5/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MS

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Allie is great;-)

The trip was amazing!!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/9/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Great Tour Director and Bus Driver

Highly recommend this tour. We had a wonderful time and saw more than what we would have seen if we had done the trip on our own. Tour Director kept us entertained on the bus with local music and family stories. He also added additional excursions that were not in the itinerary. Like a Jaunting ride (horse and carriage) through the park, which everyone enjoyed. Bus driver was excellent and got our bus through very narrow streets with ease. The hotels outside of Dublin could have been better, but they were clean and the food was good. One suggestion, if you book your airfare on your own, no need to pay the additional amount for the transportation to and from the airport in Dublin. We were left behind at the airport since we took a long time to get through customs and we took a local bus to the hotel which was a lot cheaper and left us right in front of the hotel. ( we did get reimbursed for the bus fare). Overall we loved it!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/9/2015

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: VT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

IRELAND ALWAYS A TREASURE

I have been travelling to Ireland for over 40 years. My last 5 trips have been with GO AHEAD TOURS and any of my future trips will be with them also. It is so relaxing to sit back and let the professionals do what they do best: TAKE CARE OF THEIR TRAVELLERS. Your don't have to worry about travel accommodations or where to stay. All the hotels more than met my expectations and the food was delicious. Ireland is a country that will always leave you wanting to return. The wit and charm of these wonderful make you readily feel at home. I would highly recommend any tour of Ireland to my family and friends and recommend they select GO AHEAD for all their travel adventures.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 6/9/2015

Number of Past Tours: 7

From: NY

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

A Most Enjoyable Trip

When I stepped out of the airplane, our tour director, was already there to greet me. This heralded his traits of conscientiousness and organization which informed the entire tour. There is much to enjoy of culture, history, music and just plain fun on this trip. This travel group was exceedingly friendly as were the people of Ireland, in general. There are some outstanding scenic visits-my favorite being the Cliffs of Moher. I would have preferred more attention being given to the outstanding literary heritage of this country. While one is free to explore this on ones own, it would have been welcome to have at least one event built into the tour. But, overall, though Dublin is not Rome , Paris or even Edinburgh, the warm atmosphere and cultural offerings make its somewhat shabby gentility a charming and most enjoyable venue.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/8/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AZ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

Matthew showed us around his "home" with love. With his personal stories (loved talking to his grannie and mom) and meeting his brother, he brought Ireland and it's people alive. His knowledge of the history of the country was amazing. We had an amazing time. is beautiful and we took the optional trip to the Aran Islands and it is worth every minute. We happened to be in Dublin the weekend of the Ireland/Scottland soccer match - imagine 10,000 Scots in kilts in Temple Bar area. We would recommend this tour and DEFINITELY our tour director Matthew. Go, enjoy Ireland.

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