01 Dec Nine Days in Ireland
Travel to Ireland and experience the breathtaking natural beauty, friendly people and a rich history of culture and tradition. We based this nine-day sample itinerary off of a trip that our travel specialist Teresa planned and led for 12 people in May 2018. Follow along on her adventure through the Emerald Isle.
Day One: Arrive in Dublin
You’ll actually need ten days for this trip when you factor in travel time. We suggest you try to arrive in Dublin in the morning to take advantage of this 9-day Ireland tour.
Teresa and her group took a coach bus Southwest from Dublin, stopping first in Limerick. The city of Limerick lies on the River Shannon. This large, urban city has a big population compared to many other cities this group visited on their tour. One of the top sites to see here is King John’s Castle, a 13th century Castle that has been restored and reopened with interpretive activities and exhibitions, and a cafe to take in the views.
Their next stop was the village of Adare, one of Ireland’s most beautiful towns. Here you’ll find idyllic moss-covered buildings and colorful doors. It is designated as a heritage town by the Irish government.
Finally, the group arrived in Ireland’s premier resort town of Killarney. The town’s heritage, history, and location on the Ring of Kerry make it a very popular tourist destination and resort town. It is extremely picturesque and clean, with many things to see and do. The entire journey from Dublin to Killarney took about five hours including breaks. The group spent 2 nights at the charming Gleann Fia guest house.
Day Two: Full Day Tour on The Dingle Peninsula
Dingle is Ireland’s westernmost peninsula. It is a breathtaking area with much to explore, including many fascinating remnants of prehistoric Ireland. The peninsula is about 30 miles around, making it a great size for a day-long driving tour. Teresa’s group took advantage of this fact and spent the day visiting some of the sites the Peninsula has to offer, including Muckross House, Ross Castle, and Blarney Castle.
Muckross House is a 65-room Tudor-style mansion, built in 1843. The gorgeous castle is surrounded by more beauty, including Killarney National Park and Muckross Lake. Muckross House is the base for exploring this breathtaking landscape.
Ross Castle is the ancestral home of the famed O’Donoghue clan. It is open to the public with guided tours available. Finally, the group ended their day tour at Blarney Castle. The Blarney Castle is the medieval stronghold where the Blarney Stone is held.
Day Three: Cross the River Shannon to Bunratty Folk Park and The Cliffs of Moher
Teresa’s group checked out of Gleann Fia guest house after their second night and for their third night they stayed at Imperial Hotel Galway.
Bunratty Castle & Folk Park is located near the town of Shannon on the Ratty River. The current structure dates back to 1425, with history even before this date. Both the castle and Bunratty House are open to the public. The castle is famous for its medieval banquets. Bunratty Folk Park is an open-air museum featuring 30 buildings including the Ardcroney Church of Ireland.
The Cliffs of Moher run nearly 9 miles along the Atlantic Ocean. Not only are the cliffs one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Ireland, they are also recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The views speak for themselves and the cliffs can absolutely not be missed!
Day Four: Travel day through the counties Galway and Mayo
After one night at the Imperial Hotel Galway, Teresa and her group of twelve traveled north through Galway and onto the county of Mayo. They made stops at Kylemore Abbey and the Marian Shrine at Knock.
Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery on the grounds of Kylemore Castle. It was founded in 1920 in order to house the nuns who fled Belgium due to WWI.
Knock Shrine is a Roman Catholic pilgrimage site, which, according to legend, is the site of a “Marian apparition” (aka a “reported supernatural appearance”) that took place in 1879. Legend claims that the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saint John the Evangelist, angels, and Jesus Christ all appeared at the shrine. A number of people who visit Our Lady of Knock Shrine report cured illnesses or answered prayers.
The group then checked in for a 1-night stay at Ashford Castle. This medieval and Victorian castle-turned five star luxury hotel is where the movie “The Quiet Man” was filmed, which John Wayne fans will appreciate. Many other famous people have stayed here including Ronald Reagan, Robin Williams, and Brad Pitt.
Some members of Teresa’s group also booked tours at Ireland’s School of Falconry, located on the grounds of Ashford Castle. Here you can fly a Harris hawk around the spectacular grounds in a one-hour private Hawk Walk.
Day Five: Travel to Northern Ireland
Teresa’s group continued their adventure with a visit to the Giant’s Causeway, which gets its name from the legend that the columns you’ll find here are the remains of a causeway built by a giant. The columns actually formed from an ancient volcanic fissure eruption, but the name still stuck.
Carrick-A-Rede is a famous rope bridge that links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrick-A-Rede. It is 66 feet long and rises 98 feet above the rocks below. The bridge is open all year round and people may cross it for a fee.
Here the group stayed one night at the Inn on the Coast Portrush.
Day Six: Driving Tour of Antrim Coast
Antrim Coast has the official classification of an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”. The area encompasses the coastline that runs from Ballycastle in the north to Larne in the south. It also includes Rathlin Island.
The group spent much of day six exploring the Titanic Centre in Belfast. Titanic Belfast is a monument that opened in 2012 in order to honor Belfast’s maritime heritage. It is built on the site of the former Harland & Wolff shipyard in the city’s Titanic Quarter where the actual RMS Titanic was built. Inside you will find nine interpretative and interactive galleries about Belfast and, of course, the sinking of the Titanic.
After an afternoon exploring the Titanic, the group checked in for a 1 night stay at Clayton Hotel Belfast.
Day Seven: Two hour transfer to Dublin to see the famous Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse is one of Ireland’s most-visited tourist attraction. Visitors will find seven floors surrounding a glass atrium shaped in the form of a pint of Guinness. Here you can learn about the history of Guinness through various interactive exhibition areas. After their tour, they checked in for their last 2 nights in Ireland at the North Star Hotel.
Day Eight: Day spent exploring The Liberties area in Dublin
The Liberties Dublin is a colorful and eclectic district. This is where Old Dublin meets New Dublin. You’ll find an historic city quarter with a rich heritage, as well as media and tech hubs and universities.
Day Nine: Fly from Dublin to Edinburgh, Scotland
That concludes Teresa’s trip to Dublin, but check back for a separate post on the group’s time in Scotland, coming to the blog soon.
Call us today at 402-281-3022 to speak to one of our Ireland specialists or get started here.