Build your tour
1 / 10
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
1 / 67

Grand Tour of Ireland

15 days
In terms of size, Ireland is on par with the state of Indiana. But, in terms of culture and history, this small isle is incomparable. Delve beyond the sheep-dotted green landscapes to the cities and villages that span the country, all the way from Dublin to Londonderry. Mingle with Dubliners in traditional pubs, pick up a souvenir in Waterford, drive along the Ring of Kerry and walk across Giant’s Causeway. After 15 days of exploring, you’ll leave feeling like a local (if you can even bear to leave at all).

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

  • 13 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 1

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

Dublin3 nights Hotel info

Day 2

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to the Emerald Isle! A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport after you clear customs and escorts you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or begin acquainting yourself with Dublin. At an included dinner this evening, meet your fellow travelers.

Day 3

Included meals: Breakfast

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

Join a local guide on a comprehensive sightseeing tour of the city. Drive past the River Liffey to Phoenix Park. The largest enclosed public park in Europe, Phoenix Park’s grounds include the Áras an Uachtaráin (the residence of the Irish president). Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded by Ireland’s patron saint in 450 A.D., and then explore Trinity College, where you might wish to view the illuminated Book of Kells in the university’s library.

Day 4

Included meals: Breakfast

Discover Dublin at your own pace today. Choose to stroll through St. Stephen’s Green or explore the Writers Museum. Or, join an optional excursion to the countryside of Wicklow to visit Powerscourt Estate, 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. Tonight, attend our optional excursion, a Traditional Irish Evening.

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.

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.

Waterford2 nights Hotel info

Day 5

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Irish National Stud, Kilkenny Castle

Leaving Dublin this morning, travel a short distance southwest to County Kildare. Visit the Irish National Stud farm, where world-class race horses are bred and trained. Explore the stables, where you are likely to glimpse the thoroughbreds being exercised or groomed. Continue to Kilkenny, Ireland’s best-preserved medieval town. Tour the imposing 12th-century Kilkenny Castle, built on a beautiful site overlooking the River Nore. Later, arrive in Waterford for an included dinner.

Day 6

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Waterford Crystal Factory, Rock of Cashel

Your Tour Director leads an informal tour of Waterford, followed by a visit to the Waterford Crystal factory, where you’ll learn about their world-famous crystal. Then, journey to the Rock of Cashel, an outcrop of limestone dominating the surrounding Tipperary Plain. On this rock stand the ruins of the ancient seat of the kings of Munster. You might wish to explore St. Patrick’s Rock, a perfectly preserved round tower, and Cormac’s Chapel, with its intriguing Celtic carvings. Return to Waterford for the night.

County Kerry2 nights Hotel info

Day 7

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Queenstown Story Museum, Blarney Castle

Stop in the fishing village of Cobh, which served as a launch site for ships bound for North America centuries ago. Here, you’ll visit the Queenstown Story museum, whose exhibits tell the story of Irish emigration during the past 150 years. Then, travel through Cork, Ireland’s second-largest city. Next, visit Blarney Castle, the 15th-century fortress known for the legendary Blarney Stone, said to grant magical powers of eloquence to those who kiss it. Spend the night in County Kerry, where dinner is included tonight.

Day 8

Included meals: Breakfast

Travel 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 and gaze across Dingle Bay to Dingle Peninsula. This afternoon, enjoy unsurpassable views of the Skellig Islands, before continuing to the picturesque village of Sneem, the “Knot in the Ring,” where brightly painted cottages surround the cozy market green. Make a stop in Killarney, where you’ll have some free time to explore its wealth of shops and facilities.

Galway2 nights Hotel info

Day 9

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

Continuing north to County Clare, visit Bunratty Castle and tour Bunratty Folk Park, which imaginatively recreates Irish life at the turn of the century. Then, take a stroll through the scenic town of Adaire. End up in Galway, which for 400 years 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. Tonight, enjoy a “royal” evening out at our optional excursion, the Medieval 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.

Day 10

Included meals: Breakfast

Today you’re free to explore the city of Galway on your own, or join an optional excursion to the limestone plateau known as the Burren. The excursion also includes a stop to see the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, which rise up 600 feet from the Atlantic Ocean.

Optional Excursion - Burren & Cliffs of Moher $35*pp Details

Journey along the coast to the famous Cliffs of Moher. Whether admired from a safe distance or at the cliffs' edge, the views from these heights will amaze you. Continue on to the Burren, an austere landscape known for its slate-grey rock fields dotted by rare wildflowers. Please note: This excursion is weather dependent, and your views may be impacted by fog.

Sligo1 night Hotel info

Day 11

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Kylemore Abbey

More wonderful scenery awaits as you travel across Connemara National Park, where you’ll visit Kylemore Abbey. Continuing through County Mayo, spend the night in the town of Sligo.

Derry Region2 nights Hotel info

Day 12

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Belleek Pottery

Journey through the landscapes immortalized in the poetry of William Butler Yeats, including the oddly shaped mountain that inspired Under Ben Bulben. You’ll also visit his grave in Drumcliffe churchyard. Crossing briefly into County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, take a tour to learn about the area’s iconic Belleek Pottery, whose distinctive basket-style design has been made since 1857. Arrive later in Derry, where a guided tour introduces you to the city. Travel to your hotel in the Derry region and enjoy dinner with your group.

Day 13

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a- Rede Rope Bridge

Embark on a full-day excursion to the Antrim Coast, where you’ll experience one of the world’s most unusual natural formations: the 60-million-year-old Giant’s Causeway, a path of towering columns in the ocean, formed by volcanic lava that cooled rapidly over white chalk. Afterward, brave souls will have the opportunity to cross the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, with spectacular seascapes all around.

Dublin1 night Hotel info

Day 14

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Drive through the rolling countryside of Ulster en route to Belfast. On your guided tour of Northern Ireland’s capital, glimpse the copper-domed city hall, the shipbuilding docks where the Titanic was constructed and the recently restored Grand Opera House. Continuing back into the Irish Republic, return for a final night in Dublin, with an included farewell dinner.

Flight homefor a day

Day 15

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

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

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

  • 13 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 1

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

Dublin3 nights Hotel info

Day 2

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to the Emerald Isle! A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport after you clear customs and escorts you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or begin acquainting yourself with Dublin. At an included dinner this evening, meet your fellow travelers.

Day 3

Included meals: Breakfast

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

Join a local guide on a comprehensive sightseeing tour of the city. Drive past the River Liffey to Phoenix Park. The largest enclosed public park in Europe, Phoenix Park’s grounds include the Áras an Uachtaráin (the residence of the Irish president). Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded by Ireland’s patron saint in 450 A.D., and then explore Trinity College, where you might wish to view the illuminated Book of Kells in the university’s library.

Day 4

Included meals: Breakfast

Discover Dublin at your own pace today. Choose to stroll through St. Stephen’s Green or explore the Writers Museum. Or, join an optional excursion to the countryside of Wicklow to visit Powerscourt Estate, 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. Tonight, attend our optional excursion for a traditional Irish evening.

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.

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.

Waterford2 nights Hotel info

Day 5

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Irish National Stud, Kilkenny Castle

Leaving Dublin this morning, travel a short distance southwest to County Kildare. Visit the Irish National Stud farm, where world-class race horses are bred and trained. Explore the stables, where you are likely to glimpse the thoroughbreds being exercised or groomed. Continue to Kilkenny, Ireland’s best-preserved medieval town. Tour the imposing 12th-century Kilkenny Castle, built on a beautiful site overlooking the River Nore. Later, arrive in Waterford for an included dinner.

Day 6

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Waterford Crystal Factory, Rock of Cashel

Your Tour Director leads an informal tour of Waterford, followed by a visit to the Waterford Crystal factory, where you’ll learn about their world-famous crystal. Then, journey to the Rock of Cashel, an outcrop of limestone dominating the surrounding Tipperary Plain. On this rock stand the ruins of the ancient seat of the kings of Munster. You might wish to explore St. Patrick’s Rock, a perfectly preserved round tower, and Cormac’s Chapel, with its intriguing Celtic carvings. Return to Waterford for the night.

County Kerry2 nights Hotel info

Day 7

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Queenstown Story Museum, Blarney Castle

Stop in the fishing village of Cobh, which served as a launch site for ships bound for North America centuries ago. Here, you’ll visit the Queenstown Story museum, whose exhibits tell the story of Irish emigration during the past 150 years. Then, travel through Cork, Ireland’s second-largest city. Next, visit Blarney Castle, the 15th-century fortress known for the legendary Blarney Stone, said to grant magical powers of eloquence to those who kiss it. Spend the night in County Kerry, where dinner is included tonight.

Day 8

Included meals: Breakfast

Travel 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 and gaze across Dingle Bay to Dingle Peninsula. This afternoon, enjoy unsurpassable views of the Skellig Islands, before continuing to the picturesque village of Sneem, the “Knot in the Ring,” where brightly painted cottages surround the cozy market green. Make a stop in Killarney, where you’ll have some free time to explore its many charming shops.

Galway2 nights Hotel info

Day 9

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

Continuing north to County Clare, visit Bunratty Castle and tour Bunratty Folk Park, which imaginatively recreates Irish life at the turn of the century. Then, take a stroll through the scenic town of Adaire. End up in Galway, which for 400 years 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. Tonight, enjoy a “royal” evening out at our optional excursion during a banquet dinner at a medieval castle (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.

Day 10

Included meals: Breakfast

Today you’re free to explore the city of Galway on your own, or join an optional excursion to the limestone plateau known as the Burren. The excursion also includes a stop to see the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, which rise up 600 feet from the Atlantic Ocean.

Optional Excursion - Burren & Cliffs of Moher $35*pp Details

Journey along the coast to the famous Cliffs of Moher. Whether admired from a safe distance or at the cliffs' edge, the views from these heights will amaze you. Continue on to the Burren, an austere landscape known for its slate-grey rock fields dotted by rare wildflowers. Please note: This excursion is weather dependent, and your views may be impacted by fog.

Sligo1 night Hotel info

Day 11

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Kylemore Abbey

More wonderful scenery awaits as you travel across Connemara National Park, where you’ll visit Kylemore Abbey. Continuing through County Mayo, spend the night in the town of Sligo.

Belfast2 nights Hotel info

Day 12

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Journey through the landscapes immortalized in the poetry of William Butler Yeats, including the oddly shaped mountain that inspired “Under Ben Bulben.” Stop at Drumcliffe churchyard to pay your respects at Yeats’ grave. Continue on to Derry for a guided tour before ending the day in Belfast with an included dinner.

Day 13

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Titanic Museum

Start your day with a guided tour of Northern Ireland’s capital, offering a glimpse of the copper-domed city hall, the shipbuilding docks where the Titanic was constructed and the recently restored Grand Opera House. The tour includes a stop at the acclaimed new Titanic Museum. In the afternoon, opt for a trip to the Antrim Coast, where you’ll experience one of the world’s most unusual natural formations. The 60-million-year-old Giant’s Causeway is a path of towering columns in the ocean, formed by volcanic lava that cooled rapidly over white chalk.

Optional Excursion - Giant's Causeway $105*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.

Dublin1 night Hotel info

Day 14

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, return to the Irish Republic to spend a final night in Dublin, with an included farewell dinner.

Flight homefor a day

Day 15

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

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

How's the weather?

  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Waterford, Ireland
  • County Kerry, Ireland
  • Galway, Ireland
  • Sligo, Ireland
  • Derry
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 the Irish 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. 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

Pack light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes 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 in something more formal. Also, remember that it’s preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Ireland. Be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

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

Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Dublin. Included transportation is by private motor coach. Most of the destinations are walkable, but you may want to spend free time exploring Dublin by using public transportation. The city is serviced by numerous buses. If you wish to venture outside of Dublin on your own, 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 and the British pound (in Northern Ireland) are the currencies you’ll 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 and credit cards. We suggest informing 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.

How's the weather?

  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Waterford, Ireland
  • County Kerry, Ireland
  • Galway, Ireland
  • Sligo, 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 the Irish 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

We recommend packing light, loose-fitting clothing that is easily layered. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes are recommended for sightseeing, as are a lightweight jacket and emergency rainwear. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you may also want to bring more formal attire. Please be respectful when visiting churches or other religious sites and refrain from baring legs and shoulders (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Ireland. Be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

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

Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Dublin. Included transportation is by private motor coach. Most of the destinations are walkable, but you may want to spend free time exploring Dublin by using public transportation. The city is serviced by numerous buses. If you wish to venture outside of Dublin on your own, 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 and the British pound (in Northern Ireland) are the currencies you’ll 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 and credit cards. We suggest informing 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.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/29/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: IA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

It really was a Grand tour!

We really loved our trip to Ireland. Sean our tour director was wonderful. He was very knowledgable and had wonderful stories to tell. The hotels we stayed in were pretty nice for the most part. My husband had a difficult time staying at The Temple bar Hotel due to the noise. Everywhere else was quite nice. We had 2 bus drivers Joe and Vincent and both were excellent. I will say this, you will spend a lot of time on the bus so if you get motion sickness pack lots of dramamine or go to the doctor prior to taking the trip for a prescription. Both my husband and I battled with motion sickness due to the bus and curvy roads. The itinerary was lovely we were able to see so much more than we would have been able to if we had traveled on our own. In my opinion the optional excursions were worth every penny especially the Traditional Irish Evening.

3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 9/29/2014

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: NJ

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Pretty but not much WOW!

I enjoyed the trip but found Ireland not that interesting. Three exceptions to that statement: The Cliffs of Moher were great and the people of Ireland were some of the most charming and delightful people I have ever had contact with. The third was the food in the "on your own meals". I thought I would be eating burgers while watching soccer or hurling matches on TV. The meals were good across the board and some were wonderful. I guess I am more of a museum and cathedral type than a country-side type. I am glad I went but I feel I've seen all that Ireland has to offer.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/29/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Ireland From a Sunny Perspective

Amazing sunny days, incredible scenes, around 1200 miles covered, and an outstanding tour director, Sean, created the successful recipe to our dream "Grand Tour of Ireland". Not until a cousin told me that I should pursue American/Irish dual citizenship, did I even consider a trip to Ireland. Then I immediately started saving for our trip. That was three years ago. By June I had my dual citizenship and by July, I was thrilled to have my Irish passport in hand. Although I couldn't use the passport since I had already booked and used my American passport, my Irish passport enjoyed many leprechaun opportunities to jump from behind a tree or find a place in front of a line of empty Guinness pints. I have to give a tip of the hat to our amazing driver, Vincent. To maneuver the narrow roads and curves like he did makes one's jaw drop. Sean is a keen teacher and organizer. He filled us with history day to day, from each locale, geologic formations, life, heritage, lrish language lessons and government. He balanced issues and made sure we understood the full picture, particularly in the Derry and Belfast region. We had a personal trauma in Dublin when my husband's wallet was "picked". We reported the issue and Sean made phone calls and follow-ups. My husband spent hours on the phone at the Temple Bar Hotel and the staff was more than willing to help him w/ phone use for around five hours. Although we missed a special dinner that night, we were on the road to recovery by morning. How lucky we were to see more Ireland than most Irish have a chance or willingness to experience. In fact, I over-packed. I just knew I would need my warmer tops, but I didn't. Only one day of real rain at the National Stud gave a need for more layers, but from that point on....imagine the Ring of Kerry in sunshine, Cashel in wall-wall blue, Cliffs of Moher without rain, and with a view. Imagine a day at Giants Causeway when we could see Scotland. My family heritage is Donegal and there was no way to drive up to Malin Head, home to my grandparents, but I could see the tip and Sean made sure I did. He took me aside and pointed to the homeland. Hotels and food were great. Although folks will grumble about Temple Bar Hotel, well, it is in the center of activity, lots of late night activity, The Temple area is also a gregarious location and place to enjoy Irish pub life. Sean made a point of directing us away from the "tourist" pubs and toward more local places. Great places. As for Temple Bar, just bring ear plugs. When you get your bearings and realize that you really aren't that far from the places you might want to visit, put on your hiking shoes and go. That's what we really enjoyed about so many of our hotels, we could walk and meet the cities. When the Ring of Kells tour was closed abruptly, we took that opportunity to visit Sisters of Mercy International on Lower Boggett. Once we had our clues so much unfolded. I have a friend and a Sister of Mercy who wanted me to contact a friend of hers at the center. We did and experienced "aha"...this was meant to be. There, a colleague of Sister McCauley, the founder, also created her own version of illuminati art. So, another tour without the lines. From city to city we could tell stories of how we enjoyed folks and ended up being less a tourist and more of one of them. One way is to know your history. Know and learn about Ireland before leaving. Research. Since we're from Montana, we knew the importance of Thomas Francis Meagher and his connection to the Irish tri-color. However, as a general, he led the Fighting 69th Irish at Antietam and Fredericksburg. After the war, he became Montana's first territorial governor. That wee bit of information endeared us to a history buff at the Munster in Waterford. He shared he Meagher flags and history collections, and insisted we would return again. For that kind of moment, we were blessed. So, failte to all, and particularly to Sean who led his "46" to Dublin and back again. Grand craic. (My photos are on my tablet, and won't move here so easily...I have so many pictures!)

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/7/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: WA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fantastic trip!

We just returned from the 15 day Grand Tour of Ireland and it was everything we had hoped for. The scenery was gorgeous and the people are so friendly. I felt an instant connection to the country. Our tour guide, Tom, did an excellent job. He was so informative about Ireland's history, mythology, customs, language, music--just everything! And our driver, Paddy, worked miracles maneuvering our bus through some really tight places, and all with a great smile! I would highly recommend this trip, this guide and this driver to everyone!

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 7/7/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AR

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

I am glad that I went with Go Ahead Tours

There is no way that I would have learned what I learned if I would have traveled on my own. Everything except some meals and souvenirs were included on the trip. We traveled around the entire island while listening about the history of Ireland. I would not have had the same experience on my own.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/7/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NH

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

The Grand Tour was Grand!

This active tour took us all around the perimeter of Ireland demonstrating its beauty and charm over and over. The tour had something for everyone: vibrant cities, classic castles, and phenomenal natural wonders! The highlights of the trip for me included the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher, and the Giant's Causeway. The fact that we could see castles and round towers interspersed in the landscape as we drove by on the bus was an added bonus! I often felt like I was in a magical place. Make sure to keep a trip journal because this is an action packed excursion! It is definitely 15 days of excitement!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/23/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: WY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

"Grand" is Right...

"Grand Tour of Ireland", June 23 - July 7 was fantastic, Brian, our "Tour Director" and Tommy our "Coach Chauffeur" made it a trip of a Lifetime...Brian’s fantastic humor and knowledge of the sites and cities we visited along with Irish history made everything very enjoyable and ready to hear more; and Tommy, wow, with the skills of a surgeon he drove the coach places that I would be hesitant to drive a car. While the trip was put together very well with a lot to see and things to do there was also a nice amount of time to relax, shop and mingle with some of the locals at Pubs watching the World Cup, listening to live music or getting a front row seat to "River Dancers". With "Go Ahead Tours" putting this all together and taking care of the luggage and accommodations it was Truly a VACATION to Remember...Thanks Again to Brian & Tommy for a Fantastic Vacation, both went Above & Beyond the job... I know everyone on the tour had a Great Time also...Tim

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/2/2014

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: NE

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Beautiful Ireland

Our tour director, Brian, was fantastic. Being an Irish native he made the tour come to life in his relating the history, culture and wonders of his country. Ireland is absolutely beautiful with its lush green landscape and shades of green everywhere one looks. It has a very colorful history some of which is extremely harsh, some very cruel, all of which make for a strong but friendly people. Our tour circled the Island visiting Waterford Crystal, Ring of Kerry, Blarney Castle, Giant Causeway, Irish Stud Farm, Rope Bridge to name but a few of the exciting stops we made. Although there was a bit of walking at times the pace was leisurely and relaxing. It was nice to spend at least two nights at each of our stops with reasonable times to be up and ready when leaving for the next hotel. Hotels by the way were quite nice and the food was excellent at each of them. This was our first trip to Ireland and we would go again to catch some of the many things that time did not permit us to do. Hats off to GoAhead for this enjoyable and enlightening tour. Harold Sutter

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/1/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Tour director and bus driver made this tour!!

We had a wonderful time on this comprehensive tour. If you are lucky enough to get Brian as your tour director, you are guaranteed a fabulous time! He possesses a fabulous gift for articulating complicated, vast historical knowledge with humor and understanding. Because our group was small, he was able to accommodate certain individual requests that made the tour really personal. As this was my fourth "bus" tour through Europe, I know that it's the guide that can make or break your tour, and Brian delivered more than 100% on every level. Our driver, Ed, engaged with all of us during the trip, and added another really pleasant dimension. For me, it was the first time the driver wasn't simply a 'chauffeur'. Lots of fun! I would suggest that the Guinness Storehouse tour somehow be included in the Dublin stay. We learned enough from cab drivers to know that this single industry was/is an important part of Dublin's history. A few people in our group wanted to experience the tour, and Brian was able to facilitate that on short notice. Our favorite hotel was the Granville in Waterford for both the atmosphere and dining experiences. Overall, the hotels all were excellent, however, I would have gladly paid a little more to have more dinners included so that we did not have to 'think' about dinner after a long touring day. Tour highlights include: Irish National Stud, Blarney Stone, Castle Banquet Dinner, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Those sites that required a climb were well worth the exhilarating effort! Ireland is a beautiful country with a rich history and this trip brought it all to light!! Slainte! Barbara

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/12/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: DE

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Memories of Ireland

This was my first experience with Go Ahead Tours and I was very pleased with the whole experience in Ireland. Our tour director Ali was great! She showed us every aspect of Ireland and knew so much about Ireland and the history. We had plenty of time to explore at our stops, and did not feel rushed. The scenery was incredible, and we were in small villages as well as big cities, and had an all around experience of the country that I will never forget. I have traveled to Europe before with friends, not on tour, but certainly it is much easier to let Go Ahead tours take care of everything for you. I would highly recommend the Grand Tour of Ireland. Spectacular....!

Show More Reviews