A Week in Ireland: Galway, Cork & Dublin 8 days
95.4% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
About This Experience
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.
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
6 nights in handpicked hotels
Breakfast daily, 2 three-course dinners with beer or wine
Private deluxe motor coach
Multilingual Tour Director
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
The vibrant, welcoming Irish people
It’s your chance to get the Gift of Gab
Galway’s vibrant traditional music scene
Guinness tastes best in Dublin
“Scenic” doesn’t do the Cliffs of Moher justice
You’ll see “40 shades of green” firsthand
Overnight Flight1 night
Galway2 nights - hotel info
Don’t be surprised if you end up at a pub singing “Galway Girl”
Breakfast (in flight), 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.
Discover Galway, the independent city-state turned college town
Optional Excursion - Castle Banquet Dinner
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, including The Quays, Murphy’s Bar, Monroe’s Tavern and so much 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, dine at our optional Castle Banquet dinner (seasonal).
Castle Banquet Dinner $115* pp
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
Cliffs of Moher or “Insanity”—whatever you call them, they’re amazing
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
Climb to the top of the castle, where the Gift of Gab is yours to take
Optional Excursion - Traditional Irish Evening
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 famous 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. Tonight, opt to join a Traditional Irish Evening of song, dance and food.
Traditional Irish Evening $99* pp
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.
Delve into Dublin, a small capital with a whole lot of charm
Trinity College, St. Patrick's Cathedral
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 one of the many pubs 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. There’s never a dull moment in Dublin, no matter how you plan to spend your time.
Drink up city views from the Gravity Bar or head to wild Wicklow
Optional Excursion - Powerscourt & Glendalough
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 into the countryside of Wicklow to visit Powerscourt House, where you can walk through Ireland’s most beautiful formal gardens, and Glendalough, a romantic glen where St. Kevin founded Ireland’s most important monastery in the 6th century. Powerscourt was originally created as a military stronghold in the 13th century but underwent considerable transformation 500 years later. During the 18th century, the seventh Viscount Powerscourt toured France’s Versailles, Austria’s Schonnbrunn and other famous estates throughout Europe; upon turning 21, the Viscount ordered Powerscourt to be remade in the image of his favorite castles. The new estate’s gardens took two decades to flourish, but today, they’re among Ireland’s most beautiful. Glendalough, by contrast, reflects the monastic ascetism 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.
Powerscourt & Glendalough $79* pp
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.
Passport & Visa
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 the Irish consulate for your specific entry requirements.
There are no major health risks when traveling to Ireland. It is always advisable to check with your doctor or health-care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.
Transportation / Walking on tour
Round-trip flights arrive in Shannon and depart from Dublin. Included transportation on “A Week in Ireland: Galway, Cork & Dublin” 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.
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 eventuality—a lightweight sports 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, remember that it is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
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 travelers checks outside of Europe’s major cities—both at banks and shops—and they often attract higher fees.
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.
Journey along the coast to the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, which rise out of the Atlantic Ocean to heights of more than 700 feet. See 300-million-year-old river channels cutting through the base of this awe-inspiring site.
Once ignored by the literary establishment, James Joyce is writ large in the new Dublin, with several monuments, celebrations and historical centers dedicated in his name. You can retrace the steps of Leopold Bloom, the main character of Joyce’s masterful Ulysses, with the “Ulysses Map of Dublin,” which your tour director will be happy to provide. Stops include Sandycove Tower (from Chapter One), Davey Byrne’s pub on Duke Street and the National Library of Ireland.
95.4% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
Ireland is indeed green,,beautiful and every meal is delicious! I loved the country side and the gardens I saw. The hotel rooms and their staffs were wonderful to their guests. There was free time to explore at your own pace. My favorite was going a short cab ride from the hotel to the Abbey Theater. The only thing that I should of had is knowledge of the Irish exit tax code system at the Dublin Airport. It was a near riot scene!! A tour with thirteen people is the ideal number to tour. Everyone loves Ireland and now I know why!!
Dream come true
I have waited and saved for a long time to take a trip to Ireland. I just got home and I am still in awe of the experience. I will treasure these memories forever. It was a dream come true. Our Tour Director Sean was perfect. He was kind, considerate, patient and knew his stuff. I will recommend this trip to everyone I know.
Best of everything
There's nothing that I would change about this tour. The tour director was an absolute delight and handled everything with grace and laughter. Very knowledgable and full of many stories. The tour was everything I had hoped for and more.
It was fun. It was Ireland. Our Tour Director was good.
Great Tour Director
Connie was very helpful. He went out of his way to secure reservations and recommend places of interest. He wanted to be sure we were happy. And he had a great sense of humor. The only problem I had was with the flight home. It was a sixteen hour travel day (including the time difference).The next trip I book, I will look into getting my own flights. Overall, it was a good tour.
Tour, Tour Director, & Bus Driver Were Wonderful!
We had a wonderful time and were very impressed with this tour and all the places we visited. Our tour director, Cornelius, was terrific and so was our bus driver, Tommy. They made you feel like you were personal friends and went out of their way to help, answer questions, and keep us informed. The pace on this Ireland tour was perfect and all our accomodations and their employees were very nice. The Irish are warm and welcoming. I highly recommend this tour!
Great, caring Tour Director
We had a "major navigation" problem declared as we taxied out from the terminal to start our trip. A two and a half hour delay put us behind the eight ball to start off with, however a call to the Go Ahead emergency number and a fantastic Tour Director saved our experience, wishing the tour was longer. The Galway and Dublin hotels were very fine - clean with attentive staff. However the same cannot be said for the hotel in Blarney. Several of our fellow travelers all had the same concerns re: working plumbing and somewhat shoddy maintenance within the rooms themselves. Great overview tour; would have enjoyed perhaps a full day of complete on our own experiences. Have never seen a Tour Director "work" so hard to please everyone, including one couple who were hoping for a more "cultural" experience, such as a directed museum tour. As for us, we were very satisfied with our Tour Director and the bus driver - how do they do all that in tight spaces?
Tour Director was great!
We loved everything about our tour of Ireland. We thought it was good value for the monay. Our tour director was Cornelius (Con) he was wonderful & we all fell in love with him! We would definitely go again on a Go Ahead Tour!
I can't say enough positive remarks about this vacation....truly one of the best of my life. This tour was a perfect fit for us. A lot of free time, mixed with some tours so you really get a piece of the history & understand the stories behind the folklore. Cornelius ("Con") was amazing! His dry sense of humor coupled with his easy-going personality and the front-of-the-bus singing kept us all thoroughly entertained throughout the week. I would definitely take another Go Ahead tour, or just let Con drive us around anywhere :-) Many thanks to Go Ahead for putting together a seamless vacation!
Our tour of Galway, Cork, and Dublin was just spectacular! The beauty of the country combined with the warmth of the people of Ireland really made it a wonderful experience for us. Galway was such a charming city with so much to do and see! It has it's own spirit and its own flavor! Our visit to Blarney Castle was magnificent. The grounds were absolutely breathtaking and Blarney House is just fascinating. I absolutely loved getting lost in the streets of Dublin. The city is so vibrant and there is so much to see and do and learn. Whether you like nature, archaeology, architecture or the arts, there is something for everyone here. Our hotels were absolutely wonderful. The breakfasts were fantastic as were the dinners that were included with the tour. It was nice that you had the option to eat at the hotel if need be. Travel to and from New York was efficient and easy. In addition, our bus driver, Patty was charming and wonderful, not to mention, a fantastic driver. Our tour guide Gavin, was also absolutely fantastic. He gave suggestions of what to do on our free time and was very knowledgeable about the history of Ireland. He promptly answered any questions we may have had and arranged for easy travel to and from our destinations. He had a wonderful personality and always seemed calm and ready to handle anything that came his way. Everything went so smoothly on this tour because of him. Everything was very organized and efficient. In addition, I really, really enjoyed the fact that this tour had a good balance of free time and scheduled itineraries. The optional excursions were also a wonderful way to provide choices based on different interests. I didn't feel over toured and enjoyed the trip thoroughly. I thought this might have been my first and last trip to Ireland but now I know that I would definitely love to return. I would definitely recommend Go Ahead Tours to friends and family. Thank you for such an amazing experience! Ireland is absolutely breathtaking.