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1 / 69

A Week in Ireland: Galway, Cork & Dublin

8 days
Spend a week in Ireland—a country you’ll never want to leave. From the Irish people’s sparkling wit and inviting pub culture, all the way down to the isle’s incredible emerald landscapes, this small country packs quite a punch. Waste no time getting to the core of Irish culture on a tour of its leading cities, Galway and Dublin, and its natural wonders, from the rocky Burren to the Cliffs of Moher.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 6 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 2 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Select entrance fees

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 1

Your trip begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to Shannon aboard an internationally recognized airline.

Galway2 nights Hotel info

Day 2

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to the Emerald Isle! A Go Ahead representative greets you at Shannon Airport after you clear customs and escorts you to your hotel in Galway. The rest of the day is free for you to begin exploring Galway. At tonight’s included welcome dinner, meet your fellow travelers.

Day 3

Included meals: Breakfast

This morning, your Tour Director introduces you to Galway, Ireland’s third-largest city. For 400 years Galway was an independent city-state—as recently as the 19th century, local citizens were still in the habit of setting their clocks 40 minutes behind Dublin time. Enjoy this afternoon at leisure in Galway. You might choose to visit the broad expanse of Eyre Square or visit the 16th-century Spanish Arch on the banks of the Corrib. Lovers of pub culture will delight in Galway’s traditional public houses, from The Quays, Murphy’s Bar, Monroe’s Tavern and so many more. Pubs aren’t just bars in the American sense of the word—they’re communal meeting houses where a civic spirit is nurtured over crisps, ale and good craic (Gaelic for fun). Tonight, consider joining our optional excursion for a castle banquet dinner (seasonal).

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 April to October.

County Cork1 night Hotel info

Day 4

Included meals: Breakfast

Depart Galway and travel through the limestone plateau known as the Burren. Stop to see the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, which rise 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. These are among the most dramatic views in Ireland, and film fans may recognize them as the “Cliffs of Insanity” from the classic movie The Princess Bride. Later, transfer to Cork, a city synonymous with the Irish spirit of rebellion. To this day, Corkonians refer to their city as the “real” capital of Ireland and to one another simply as “Rebels.” Enjoy a free evening to explore Cork, a city best seen on foot. This charming seaport spans both sides of the River Lee, and you’ll cross back and forth over the city’s web of canals as you walk about. You may want to stop in at the Princes Street Market (also known as the English Market) to peruse local specialties such as drisheen, an Irish black pudding.

Dublin3 nights Hotel info

Day 5

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Blarney Castle

This morning, visit Blarney Castle. This 15th-century fortress is known above all else for the legendary Blarney Stone, said to grant magical powers of eloquence to those who kiss it—which you can attempt by climbing the steep staircase to the top of the parapet and leaning out of the battlements. Later, continue on to Dublin. Enjoy the “forty shades of green” that Johnny Cash famously memorialized as your motor coach zips through the scenic Irish countryside. Your route will take you through the heart of Ireland, an area once ruled by the Kings of Munster and where a fiercely independent streak can still be found today.

Day 6

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: St. Patrick's Cathedral, Trinity College

A local guide leads a sightseeing tour of the city. Drive to Phoenix Park, the largest enclosed public park in Europe. Its grounds include the Arás an Uachtaráin (Presidential Residence). Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded by Ireland’s patron saint in A.D. 450, and then visit Trinity College, where you can view the illuminated Book of Kells in the university’s library. This afternoon is yours to explore the Irish capital at your leisure. You may wish to stop in at a pub in the Temple Bar neighborhood for a pint of Guinness or a glass of fine Irish whiskey. Or, you might meander from cafe to cafe as you take in the haunts of some of Dublin’s most famous writers. Tonight, opt to join a traditional Irish evening of song, dance and food.

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.

Day 7

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Discover Dublin at your own pace today. You might choose to quaff the perfect pint at the Guinness Storehouse. The storehouse is a relatively new attraction that encapsulates Dublin’s rare ability to cherish its past while looking forward to its future. The Storehouse rises seven stories above the city, and at the top, you’ll find Gravity Bar, where you can enjoy a complementary pint of Arthur Guinness’s world-famous dry stout while taking in panoramic views of Dublin. Alternatively, join an optional excursion to Glendalough, a romantic glen where St. Kevin founded Ireland’s most important monastery in the 6th century. The hermitage reflects the monastic discipline of its founder St. Kevin. Here you’ll find a collection of ancient dry-stone buildings, including an enormous round tower, one of only a handful remaining in Ireland. Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers for an included farewell dinner.

Optional Excursion - Glendalough $29*pp Details

County Wicklow has some of the wildest and most spectacular mountain scenery in Ireland, as well as many of the country’s most important historic sites. Journey through Wicklow’s captivating landscapes to Glendalough, which became famous throughout Europe as a center of Christian learning before it was sacked by Viking raiders in the 10th century. Here, you’ll see St. Kevin’s Cross, marking the place where the saint lies buried, the remains of the sixth-century cathedral and the remarkable Round Tower, thought to have been used by monks as a place of refuge. Your Tour Director will lead you on a tour of the site followed by free time.

Flight homefor a day

Day 8

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

A Go Ahead representative accompanies you to the airport for your return flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Galway, Ireland
  • Cork, Ireland
  • Dublin, 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’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & Packing Tips

Light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights is essential for your tour. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers are recommended for sightseeing. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any event—a lightweight jacket and emergency rainwear are advised. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you will probably feel more comfortable with something more formal to wear. Also, please be respectful and refrain from baring legs or shoulders when visiting churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to Ireland. It is always advisable to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling is the delightful variety of local cuisine. Traditional Irish cooking is simple, relying heavily on meatbased dishes. Pubs serve up hearty lunches, like traditional Irish stew. Soda bread is delicious and very filling, as are Irish cakes, such as scones and Barm Brack. The thick black beer 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 cuisine with continental European and Asian influences.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Shannon and depart from Dublin. Included transportation on this tour 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 reach most locations on the coast.

Electricity

Ireland operates on the European standard 220 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 will be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards, credit cards and traveler’s checks, which can be exchanged for cash at local banks, as needed. 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. Please note: With the conversion to the euro, it has been increasingly difficult to exchange traveler’s checks outside of Europe’s major cities—both at banks and shops—and they often attract higher fees.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it is 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: 10/18/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

WONDERFUL TOUR

My first time traveling solo. I was really happy to have gone on this Go Ahead tour. I had a wonderful. Despite dreary weather the first couple of days on this tour, thanks to remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo. We soldiered on through the countryside outside Galway and Connemara and had a wonderful time. Luckily the weather improved through the week and we had lovely weather by the time we got into Dublin. Can not express enough how beautiful Ireland landscapes are. The locals are most friendly people to encounter and happy to help a foreigner like myself with directions. A tour guide can sometimes make or break your experience and happy to say our tour guide Cornelious made our trip. He kept things light and funny, I learned a lot of Irish history and culture with lots of humor. Cornelious was accommodating whenever possible. Probably the best tour guide i've ever had. Also special thanks our driver Frank who was efficient with getting us to all our destinations on time.

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/18/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A Trip to Remember!

Although we arrived in Ireland amidst Hurricane Gonzalo, the tour forged ahead. In strong winds and cold drizzles, we visited the ancient coastal city of Galway, even more mystic in the rain. The unusual weather did not dampen anyone's spirit. Rather, it unveiled a fresh layer of Ireland that we wouldn't have seen otherwise. As we travelled from place to place, our Tour Director Cornelius entertained us with songs and local folk tales. His deadpan humor always made us laugh so hard throughout the journey. I also got to travel with a great group of people from different parts of the US showing great care for one another. The week simply went by too fast. I was very moved by the serene beauty of the Irish countryside and the hospitality of the Irish people. It has been indeed a trip to remember!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/27/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NE

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Great experience!

My wife and I had a great time. We had a great tour group, and Brian (Tour Director) and Paddy (Bus Driver) were very personable, well-informed and extremely helpful. They made the week memorable by integrating Ireland's history and current events with the places and sights we were exposed to during the tour. I learned a lot about Ireland's history, got a flavor for everyday life, and had a lot fun. Thanks

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/27/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: IA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Time

Thoroughly enjoyed our tour. Only complaint was the time spent in Dublin-very chaotic compared to the rest of this beautiful country. Brian, our director was extremely knowledgeable about his home land and made the trip even more interesting. Plenty of stops and enough free time to explore as much as a person chooses to. This was our first tour experience and would definitely consider another.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/20/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: UT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

A pleasure

I was blessed with not only an excellent tour director and driver, but a great group as well. Our director was very funny and informative-he really knew his history! The accommodations in Galway was very central-about a 5 minute walk from Eyre Square and lively down town pubs and shopping. We stayed across the way from Blarney Castle. It was a small town, very quaint, but thoroughly enjoyable. Our hotel in Dublin left a bit to be desired, however it was right in the heart of Temple Bar-so it was really give and take. Our director even made a few quick stops that we were expecting-such as the Rock of Cashel. That was a great surprise. All in all, it was a very enjoyable trip and a great introduction to the beautiful country of Ireland.

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 9/6/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CT

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

8 days in Cork, Galway City, and Dublin

The last days in Dublin were not so good! The street that the hotel, Temple Bar Hotel, was on was under construction and the bus could not get down the street. The hotel, for what ever reason, wouldn't or couldn't send someone down to gather up the luggage and schlep it a half block to the hotel, We had to schlep it. When we arrived at the hotel lobby- we were informed that the elevator was broken, and we had to "schlep" our selves up to the 4th (5th American) floor. Some of the "Guest" weren't young, as I am not. As far as I know there was no questioning as to who should stay on lower floors. I have bad Arthritis and it wasn't fun going up the stairs.Some people looked older then myself I don't think there was an effort to see if they preferred a lower floor. Fortunately the next day it was fixed. To make matters worse- my wife overheard that there was a service elevator that was available for our use. The tour leader did not even tell us that nor did the hotel! As far as getting to sleep in the same hotel- that wasn't possible until around 1AM. Our room was on the street where all the bars were and they went until late into the night/morning. In my opion I felt the tour director was indifferent or bored with doing his/her job.

 

Ed, Thank you for talking with me today, and for your feedback regarding your hotel. This is information that I will surely pass along to our operations team to discuss with the hotel directly. I’m glad your tour overall went well and I hope that we have the pleasure of welcoming you back on another Go Ahead Tour in the future.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 29, 2014

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/9/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NJ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

So Worth the Wait!

I have always dreamed of viisiting Ireland, and it has taken me decades to make it a reality. Go Ahead Tours made my dream come true and made my first visit out of the states a smooth one. The tour was fabulous - beyond my dreams. The tour director was Brian - I can't say enough good things about him. He was pleasant, had wonderful personal stories that would relate to where we were visiting and he also would sing (with some prompting from group) and entertain on the bus ride. Brian made sure he was available for any questions we had and made sure no one was left behind. While I traveled with several groups on the tour, I, personally, traveled alone. Brian always was checking to see if I was okay, making sure I never felt "lonely". I also asked Brian, if traveling on another tour or the same tour, could I requset him as a tour director - and I am happy to say his answer was yes. I would advise anyone traveling to Ireland, to request Brian for the Tour Director. Since my all too soon return to the states, I cannot say enough about Go Ahead Tours. I would recommend this company to everyone. I did have a few questions before the tour started, as this was the first time I ever traveled outside of the U.S. and everyone I talked to at Go Ahead Tours was pleasant and always made sure I had the answers I needed. I am looking forward to planning furture trips and all will be with Go Ahead.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/9/2014

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: KS

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful trip

My trip to Ireland was more than I could have expected! The land is beautiful. The castles, Cliffs of Mohrer, the sea, the history, the music was magnificent. Our tour director Brian was so knowledgeable and so kind. I'd return to Ireland if given the chance!

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 8/9/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: KS

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

bad air line reservation

The tour company took the cheap route at the expense of travelors and booked us with two connecting flights from Ireland to Kansas -- a total of 6 hours layover time in two airports with total travel time of 18 hours. I will never use them for airline reservations again.

 

Hello Janice, We are sorry to hear that your flight arrangements did not meet your expectations. One of the benefits of booking with Go Ahead Tours is that we are able to offer an all-inclusive price with airfare. Often at the time of booking, you are able to speak with one of our representatives here and choose from several flight options available at that time so that you are very comfortable with the airline you are flying, connection times and number of connections. Additionally, you are always able to submit specific flight requests and our flights team will do their very best to accommodate these. Another option, available on most tour itineraries, allows you to choose to book your own flights if you’d prefer. I am hopeful that if you are able to tour the world with us again, that we can provide a flight routing that you are more satisfied with.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | August 26, 2014

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/9/2014

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

All we expected and more

Our week in Ireland was indeed all we expected and more. The country itself was fabulous as were all of the experiences we enjoyed. We had been told that the people would be friendly and they certainly were. Our tour director was Brian and we really appreciated all of his insights, extra information, and recommendations, as well as his singing. Our wedding anniversary dinner as king and queen at the castle was unforgettable. GoAheadTours gave the four of us who traveled together the inspiration to return some today to do some exploring on our own. Thank you!

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