A Week in Ireland: Galway, Cork & Dublin8 days
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Expert Tour Director
Sightseeing with local guides
Personalized flight options
Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers
Recommended by 93% recommend this tour Read Reviews 
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, Druids Lane 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 $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)
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 through Phoenix Park, one of Europe’s largest walled green spaces and site of the presidential residence
• Travel along the River Liffey and get a look at the legendary Guinness Storehouse
• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral
• Visit Trinity College to see the illuminated Book of Kells
Enjoy a free afternoon 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 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 $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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Ireland operates on the European standard 220 volts.
Ireland falls on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).
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.
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.
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I didn't worry about a thing!
A week in Ireland: Galway, Cork & Dublin was one of the best travel experiences I have had! I am an event planner by profession and I wanted to find a vacation where I didn't have to plan a thing! Go Ahead Tours did just that for me. I was able to pick a vacation and sit back and enjoy the ride. My trip to Ireland was filled with so much history, excitement and things to do/see. The tour gave you just enough activities to fill the majority of your day but also gave you enough time to see and do things on your own. My tour guide, Matthew was great! As were the bus drivers....especially Patty! We all learned so much from them that we thought we could maybe pass as locals...as long as we could get the lingo down! What I also loved about the trip was while we were en route to the next city, Matthew actually popped in little surprise stops along the way! We were able to experience locations we weren't expecting to be able to see. That really added to the experience! I cannot wait until next year when I go to Italy!
The Emerald Isle earns it name...
My trip to Ireland was fantastic. As expected in Spring in Ireland, it rained every day, but this did not deter our tour guide - Matthew. He joked that if you wait five minutes, the weather would change so always bring your sunglasses and umbrella. The cities selected, Galway, Cork and Dublin were awesome and we had plenty of time to explore them in the afternoons and evenings. I would only have wished to have had closer accommodations to the downtowns of Cork and Dublin. The Cliffs and Glendolaugh are unforgettable. I would return to Ireland and hike myself silly.
We knew we would have a great time with GoAhead, after Paris and London last summer, but we were totally blown away with Ireland. It was a great time. The people are so friendly, the tour was so well organized. Brian, our tour director, told us of so many things about Ireland that we would not have ever known. The hotels were so nice, the meals were great! Italy and Greece here we come!
Funny Tour Guide, Adorable Driver
My daughter and I took the "Week in Ireland" tour in September 2014 and had a great time. Cornelius, our tour guide, was a riot and kept us laughing with all his stories, songs, jokes and information about Ireland. He was entertaining, but also informative. We stayed in hotels that were convenient for site seeing and shopping, which really helps eliminate the need for transportation to get from place to place. The weather was wonderful and unusually dry (no rain at all) for that time of year. We had a great time and look forward to our next trip with Go Ahead Tours.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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