12 Day Irish Classic Tour Itinerary
Day 1 : Dublin Arrival & Dublin Castle
Start in Dublin Airport with a group transfer to your hotel between 7:00 am and 12:00 noon. If your flight arrives later, transfer to the hotel at your own expense. At 2:00 pm tour Dublin to see elegant Georgian townhouses, pass St. Stephen’s Green and cross the River Liffey to view the Famine Memorial and drive along O’Connell Street. Take a guided tour through Dublin Castle, which was the seat of power and government for many centuries. In the evening meet your tour director over a welcome drink to discuss your trip.
Day 2 : St. Patrick’s Grave & Castle Ward
Drive north to visit Down Cathedral to see St. Patrick’s reputed burial site, marked by a huge boulder. Learn about his life and times in the nearby St. Patrick Centre. Visit the stately mansion of Castle Ward. This mid-Georgian mansion is an architectural curiosity of its time, built in two distinct architectural styles: Classical and Gothic. The house with its Victorian laundry, playroom and saw-mill shows you how the estate worked. Drive to Belfast and relax before dinner.
Day 3 : Titanic Belfast & Tour
This morning take a panoramic tour around central Belfast to see Victorian buildings, the imposing City Hall in Donegall Square and the shipyards where RMS Titanic was built in 1912. Visit Titanic Belfast to learn about this ill-fated famous liner through state-of-the-art displays. Then the rest of the day is free and you may like to take a look at the Crown Liquor Saloon, an ornate Victorian pub now a National Trust property.
Day 4 : Giant’s Causeway & Derry
Drive north along the scenic route of the “Nine Glens of Antrim,” for lovely views of mountains, valleys and coastline. Stop at the Giant’s Causeway, enormous hexagonal columns formed by volcanic activity 60 million years ago. Continue to Derry and join a local guide for a short walking tour around the defensive walls that encircle the compact old city.
Day 5 : Atlantic Donegal & Westport
Travel through the rugged countryside of Donegal, renowned for heathery hills, sheep and the many tweeds made from their wool. In Ardara visit Triona Design to sample freshly-baked scones with tea and see demonstrations of spinning and weaving. Stop in Donegal town to browse around and pause at W. B. Yeats’ Grave in Sligo, a region that he loved to write about. Drive to Westport and enjoy free time before dinner.
Day 6 : Westport House & Achill Island
Visit the stately Westport House, which contains a wealth of interesting portraits, furniture and silver. Travel around Clew Bay to Achill Island, joined to the mainland by bridge. Follow the Atlantic Drive to capture wonderful views of steeply-sloped mountains plunging into the shimmering Atlantic Ocean. See the Deserted Village, ruins of cottages abandoned during the 1840’s Famine.
Day 7 : Cliffs Of Moher & Bunratty Banquet
Travel through Maam Cross in the heart of Connemara and visit the Connemara Marble Factory. Stop in Galway and drive through the Burren to view the huge boulders of the Poulnabrone Dolmen. Walk along the majestic Cliffs of Moher, which rise 700 feet above the foaming Atlantic Ocean. At Bunratty check in to your hotel, right beside the Bunratty Folk Park and Durty Nelly’s Pub. Head to Bunratty Castle for a jolly medieval-style dinner where the lords and ladies serenade you.
Day 8 : Flying Boat Museum & Dingle Peninsula
Drive through the outskirts of Limerick and alongside the River Shannon to visit Foynes Flying Boat Museum. During the 1930’s and early 1940’s, aircraft landed on the River Shannon and the museum’s memorabilia recreates this era. Journey along the Dingle Peninsula for glorious scenic views. Stop in the town of Dingle and head to your hotel in Killarney.
Day 9 : Killarney & Jaunting Car Ride
Take a traditional horse-drawn jaunting car ride to Ross Castle for views of Lough Leane, Killarney’s largest lake. Drive to the delightful town of Kenmare where brightly-painted buildings are enhanced with flowers. View spectacular mountain scenery at Moll’s Gap and continue along part of the Ring of Kerry, pausing at Ladies’ View. Enjoy free time in Killarney.
Day 10 : Blarney Castle & Cobh Heritage Centre
Travel to Blarney Castle to climb to the top and kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence” and shop at the Blarney Woollen Mills. Next stop in Cobh, the last port of call for the Titanic. Visit Cobh Heritage Centre, which relates the emigrants’ story and drive through the town. Drive to Dungarvan to the Marine Bar for a creamy Irish coffee and an informal traditional music session. Continue to Waterford and join a local guide for a stroll around the historic city.
Day 11 : Waterford & Taylor’s Three Rock
Visit the House of Waterford Crystal to see how molten glass is blown into shapes before being cut by hand by experts and view priceless trophies. Stop in Kilkenny for a look around the prosperous medieval trading city and visit the Irish National Stud to learn about the valuable horse breeding industry. In Dublin, this evening’s destination is Taylor’s Three Rock Pub for dinner with traditional Irish songs and intricate step-dancing.
Day 12 : Tour Ends Dublin
Take a group transfer to Dublin Airport to arrive at 6:00 am, 9:00 am or 12:00 noon.
B: Breakfast; D: Dinner