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A Week in Ireland: Galway, Cork & Dublin

8 days
From the Irish people’s sparkling wit and inviting pub culture to the isle’s incredible emerald landscapes, this small country packs quite a punch. Get to know Ireland on a tour of its leading cities and natural wonders, from the rocky Burren to the Cliffs of Moher.

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

Tour Pace: You will walk for about 1.5 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets with some hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

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

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of Tour of Ireland

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Shannon today.

Galway 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Galway

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Ireland! Transfer to Galway to settle in to your hotel, then meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Galway

Included meals: Breakfast

On a guided tour, get a feel for the local energy and living traditions of Galway, Ireland’s third-largest city.

• Stroll past Lynch’s Castle, Galway Cathedral, the Druid Theater Company and the broad expanse of Eyre Square

• View the city’s medieval walls and Spanish Arch

• Peruse authentic Claddagh rings in a local shop

• Watch fishermen at work in the traditional fishing village of Claddagh

Enjoy a free day in Galway, or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Castle Banquet Dinner $115pp* Details

Enjoy a feast fit for a king inside Dunguaire Castle, a 17th-century tower house 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. Here, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous, four-course dinner and an evening of live entertainment, including songs and stories. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from mid-April through mid-October.

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

County Cork 1 night Hotel info

Day 4: Cork via the Burren & Cliffs of Moher

Included meals: Breakfast

Make your way to Cork, a city synonymous with the Irish spirit of rebellion, stopping en route to explore two of the country’s most dramatic landscapes.

• Travel through the limestone plateau called the Burren

• Explore the Cliffs of Moher, which rise 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean

• Embark on a guided walking tour of Cork, also known as the “Rebel City”

• Stop at the English Market, a traditional food hall best known for its butchers and fresh fish

Dublin 3 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Dublin via Blarney Castle

Included meals: Breakfast

Pay a visit to Blarney Castle en route to Dublin, the home of the legendary Blarney Stone, said to grant the “gift of gab” to those who kiss it.

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Dublin

Included meals: Breakfast

Experience the history and vibrancy of the Emerald Isle’s capital city with your guide leading the way. 

• Pass St Stephen’s Green and admire the Georgian architecture of Merrion Square

• Walk down Grafton Street to see the Molly Malone statue and Trinity College

• Stop in Phoenix Park, site of the presidential residence

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral

• End your tour with an included pint at a local pub in the Temple Bar district

Enjoy a free afternoon or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Irish Dinner & Show $99pp* 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. This optional is seasonal and runs from April through October.

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

Day 7: Free day in Dublin

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend the day exploring on your own or add an excursion. 

Later, join your group for a farewell dinner.

Optional Excursion - Glendalough $29pp* 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, with your Tour DIrector leading the way, you’ll see St. Kevin’s Cross, marking the place where the saint lies buried. In addition, you’ll view the remains of the sixth-century cathedral and the remarkable Round Tower, thought to have been used by monks as a place of refuge. Then, enjoy free time to explore on your own.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $39)

Day 8: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 6 nights in handpicked hotels

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

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Shannon today.

Galway 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Galway

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Ireland! Transfer to Galway to settle in to your hotel, then meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Galway

Included meals: Breakfast

On a guided tour, get a feel for the local energy and living traditions of Galway, Ireland’s third-largest city.

• Stroll past Lynch’s Castle, the Druid Theatre Company and the broad expanse of Eyre Square

• View the city’s medieval walls and Spanish Arch

• Peruse authentic Claddagh rings in a local shop

• Watch fishermen at work in the traditional fishing village of Claddagh

Enjoy a free day in Galway, or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Castle Banquet Dinner $115pp* Details

Enjoy a feast fit for a king inside Dunguaire Castle, a 17th-century tower house 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. Here, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous, four-course dinner and an evening of live entertainment, including songs and stories. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from mid-April through mid-October.

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

County Cork 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Cork via the Burren & Cliffs of Moher

Included meals: Breakfast

Make your way to Cork, a city synonymous with the Irish spirit of rebellion, stopping en route to explore two of the country’s most dramatic landscapes.

• Travel through the limestone plateau called the Burren

• Explore the Cliffs of Moher, which rise 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean

Enjoy a free evening in Cork, or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - An Evening in Kinsale $69pp* Details

Your evening begins with a visit to the star-shaped Charles Fort, specifically designed to withstand the devastating impact of cannon fire. Uncover the fort’s long history with your Tour Director before making your way to the nearby harbor town of Kinsale. A little village with a big past, this quaint community was the site of the 1601 Battle of Kinsale, a major turning point in the Nine Years’ War. Take time to explore this historic town’s narrow winding streets, artsy shops and lively bars on your own before rejoining the group for dinner in a traditional Irish restaurant.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $79)

Day 5: Cobh, Cork & Blarney Castle

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Get a feel for the many sides of Ireland, from charming villages to vibrant cities and iconic castles.

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

• Enter the Queenstown Story Museum, whose exhibits tell the story of Irish emigration over the past 150 years

• Embark on a guided walking tour of Cork, also known as the “Rebel City”

• Stop in the Princes Street Market (or English Market), a traditional food hall

• Visit Blarney Castle to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone

Dublin 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Dublin

Included meals: Breakfast

Transfer to Dublin this morning to experience the history and vibrancy of the Emerald Isle’s capital city with your guide leading the way. 

• Pass St Stephen’s Green and admire the Georgian architecture of Merrion Square

• Walk down Grafton Street to see the Molly Malone statue and Trinity College

• Stop in Phoenix Park, site of the presidential residence

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral

• Finish with an included pint at a local pub in the Temple Bar district

Day 7: Free day in Dublin

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend the day exploring on your own or add an excursion. 

Later, join your group for a farewell dinner.

Optional Excursion - Glendalough $29pp* 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, with your Tour DIrector leading the way, you’ll see St. Kevin’s Cross, marking the place where the saint lies buried. In addition, you’ll view the remains of the sixth-century cathedral and the remarkable Round Tower, thought to have been used by monks as a place of refuge. Then, enjoy free time to explore on your own.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $39)

Day 8: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your 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.

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: 6/13/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Pretty country site

I was at awe over the beautiful country areas. The abbeys were so grand with their vast gardens and huge castles. I felt as if I was in a different time period. Visiting Ireland should be on everybody's bucket list.

 

Hi Mary! Thank you so much for your great review. We couldn’t agree more that Ireland should be on everybody’s bucket list. We’re so glad you had a wonderful time, and we hope to welcome you on another Go Ahead tour in the future!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | January 14, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/3/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Beautiful!!!

This trip was AMAZING. Our tour director Kathy was so kind and professional, and our driver (forgot his name) was awesome and never complained about driving us everywhere despite the crowded city traffic. I highly recommend including Galendalough (if you are into nature and sight seeing) in your tour package because that place was OMG JUST PURE BEAUTIFUL. I just wish we could have spent more time there.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/14/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful trip!

This is a great tour for the value. Our guide was outstanding. There were many excursions included in the price of this trip. It was a wonderful experience.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/27/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: KY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Great Tour but?

The tour guide was interesting, witty, and very helpful. All of the hotels were great. Provided meals were also very good. Going through customs at Shannon was easy. Galway City was my favorite. We were near the town center. Make a point to walk down the main street of Galway. There are shops of al kinds; as well as, various street entertainers. We had some of the best pastries imaginable. Look for the long pretty leg painting??? We walked on the beach of Galway Bay and saw Claddagh. The castle meal and entertainment was also quite good. Cork had a wonderful indoor market (Princes Street Market). If you are a Titanic buff, you will love the museum at Cobh (formerly Queenstown). Cobh was the last stop the Titanic made before it headed toward New York. Dublin is a large city split by a river. If you are a history fan make sure to read up on the Easter, 1916 rebellion before you go. The obligate tourist attractions: the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, Book of Kells, and St. Patrick's Cathedral are fascinating, particularly for first time visitors. but! If you are tall (like me), there are only 3 seats on the bus, all in the very back, that provide adequate leg room. The traditional Irish evening was in a location that was extremely crowded. The entertainment was OK, but I would have enjoyed a more intimate, less packed site.

review photo review photo
1 / 2

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 11/3/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Jim and Frank are the BEST!

My fiancé and I just returned from our Ireland trip and have nothing but good things to say about the whole tour, the directors, and the driver! We were able to have time to do things on our own, do excursions with the group, and even arrange a spur of the moment trip to a rugby game! Phenomenal people and trip. Already trying to arrange another trip next fall with people from our tour. Trip of a lifetime. I will most definitely recommend Go Ahead Tours to family and friends!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/27/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NE

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Tour/ Trip

This is one of the Best Trip we had. It was well organized, every thing was on time, we followed a schedule and added few more interesting things on the way. It was comfortable without any rush. We started the day after breakfast, had time for lunch, used afternoons and had very good planned cultural and dinner activities. Group as a whole was pleasant and cohesive, we all got to know each other and made few good friends.Out Tour Director and Driver were super. Tour Director was very knowledgable about the culture, history and people. Driver was the Best you can ask for. They always did things above and beyond the call of duty, they made us almost part of their culture and family. Ireland was true treat of the senses. I am glad that i took the tour. I am looking forward to repeat the experience in future.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/19/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best tour guide

Matthew was a blast to travel with, he gave us way more than we expected, went out of his way to make the trip really personable. Got to know each and every one of us!!! Loved the trip and hope to go back to Ireland.

review photo
1 / 1

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/19/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: DE

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Excellent Tour

I think we had the best tour director in town! Matthew made the trip very enjoyable. He made bus stops at some quaint beautiful little towns, which we really enjoyed seeing. He was very informative, played some Irish music on the bus, and just made the ride from town to town go quickly. Galway was a fun town with all the pubs and shopping just around the corner from our hotel. The walking tour around town was very interesting. Would definitely go back to this town. Blarney was wonderful...hotel, restaurant - had a fantastic dinner at Christy's, shopping, convenience of getting to Blarney Castle and the beautiful grounds. Wish we had more time to spend there...maybe next time! Enjoyed all the sites in Dublin. Typical city but interesting seeing all the sites there. Don't miss the Temple Bar area and the Guinness tour. Had a delicious dinner at Flannigan's on O'Connell Street and also at Boxty in Temple Bar. Took the optional tour to Glendalough. Again, very interesting and just a beautiful place. Overall it was a fantastic trip and would highly recommend it to everyone!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/19/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great value

It was an amazing opportunity with a ton of extras! Excellent tour director that took us off the beaten path for several extra sights. The views were amazing and have several hundred pictures to prove it. I will definitely book another tour as soon as possible!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/3/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

50 Shades of Green!

I went on the Week in Ireland tour with my mother and Godparents and we had a blast. Our tour director Kathy was fantastic and always checked in before we had free time to make sure we had ideas to fill our time or to give us directions to anywhere we wanted to go/see. She was extremely knowledgeable and answered all of our questions easily. We had a great group on our bus also. My favorite places were Galway and Blarney, but the whole trip was enjoyable. Finally, a special shout out to our driver Arthur who navigated the crazy streets of Dublin with ease (traffic was the worst I've seen and I work in DC!).

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