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Irish Explorer | CIE Tours

Irish Explorer

  • 2019 Irish Explorer – 9 Days/8 Nights
feefo product rating
41 reviews
Starts Dublin
Ends Dublin
  • Tour Highlights
  • Itinerary
  • Dates and Prices
  • Reviews

Tour Highlights

Authentic Local Experiences

  • Gain unique insight into the history and heritage of the stunningly beautiful west of Ireland at Dan O’Hara’s Homestead, and enjoy a farmhouse lunch.
  • Enjoy a pint and see the handcrafted Game of Thrones door carved from trees seen in the series at Blakes of the Hollow Pub.

Dining Experiences

  • 8 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 7 dinners including Clontarf Castle Hotel welcome dinner, Nancy’s Bar in Ardara, and Abbey Tavern traditional Irish dinner and show.

Trip Highlights

Hotels

  • Clontarf Castle Hotel, Dublin (1 night)
  • Mill Park Hotel, Donegal (2 nights)
  • Hotel Meyrick, Galway (2 nights)
  • Killarney Avenue Hotel, Killarney (2 nights)
  • Herbert Park Hotel, Dublin (1 night)

Hotels

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Clontarf Castle Hotel, Dublin

Clontarf Castle Hotel, Dublin Description:

Steeped in Irish history, the Clontarf Castle Hotel offers guests all the charm and splendor of a royal experience. The magnificent entrance hall, tapestry-adorned walls, mysterious doorways and roaring fires create a luxurious, old-world feeling, while guest rooms all boast modern amenities for a comfortable visit. Located in the pleasant and peaceful suburb of Clontarf, this hotel is just a 10-minute ride from the city center and a 15-minute drive from Dublin Airport. Guests can treat themselves to international cuisine at Templar’s Bistro or enjoy a drink at the cozy bar.

Mill Park Hotel, Donegal

Mill Park Hotel, Donegal Description:

A warm welcome awaits you at this hotel which is built around its unique-styled Granary, along with a choice of 2 restaurants, bar and lounge. The restaurants specialize in local fresh produce, especially seafood from the nearby fishing port of Killybegs. 100 luxurious bedrooms ensure a great stay and use the fully equipped leisure and wellness center. Set in a quiet rural setting two miles from Donegal town. The hotel is a perfect base for touring County Donegal, including the awesome Slieve League Sea Cliffs.

Hotel Meyrick, Galway

Hotel Meyrick, Galway Description:

Opened in 1852, this property has undergone extensive renovations since then. Today, the hotel combines old-world charm with a modern approach to guest comfort. Guest rooms are decorated in contemporary themes. Enjoy the Oyster Grill Restaurant, one of Galway’s foremost restaurants, the tranquil Oyster Bar and the casual menu and fun of O’Flaherty’s Bar. Experience the rooftop leisure club with views of Galway Bay. Located on Eyre Square, in the very heart of Galway city, with many attractions and shops nearby.

Killarney Avenue Hotel, Killarney

Killarney Avenue Hotel,  Killarney Description:

This luxury hotel in Killarney is located just 10 minutes from the town centre and Killarney National Park. The common areas are elegant and bright, while rooms are classic and offer understated sophistication. Try dining on locally sourced food in the wood paneled Druids restaurant, or enjoy a drink, and live music on the weekends, in the hotel bar.

Herbert Park Hotel, Dublin

Herbert Park Hotel, Dublin Description:

This modern, bright property offers guests style and comfort with modern amenities. The bright, contemporary guest rooms feature king or twin beds, air conditioning and high-speed internet. The Pavilion Restaurant serves a superior quality breakfast buffet, with traditional full Irish breakfast as well as other choices. Located in the upmarket suburb of Ballsbridge, the Herbert Park is a 30-minute walk to the city center and is adjacent to the peaceful Herbert Park, U.S. Embassy and RDS Showgrounds.

Itinerary

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Irish Explorer 9 Days / 8 Nights / 16 meals

B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner

Day 1Dublin Touring & Glasnevin Cemetery Museum

Tour begins 2:00 PM at the Clontarf Castle lobby, a short ride from Dublin Airport, a few miles to the north of Dublin city center. Head out for a tour of central Dublin with a local guide to see elegant Georgian squares, public buildings, and monuments. Visit Glasnevin Cemetery Museum, Ireland’s national cemetery, a who’s who of modern Irish history. Join your group for a welcome drink followed by dinner in the castle hotel. (D)

Day 2Florence Court House & Blakes Pub

Visit Florence Court House, home of the Irish Yew. The original tree, discovered in 1760, can still be viewed on the grounds. Tour the magnificent 18th century mansion, renowned for its elaborate rococo plasterwork. Next, a CIE Tours exclusive: visit Blakes of the Hollow Pub, a Victorian bar that retains many features original to its founding in 1887. Famed author John McGahern, a regular visitor, described it as “one of the happiest and most beautiful bars in the whole of Ireland”. Take a photo by its official “Game of Thrones” door highlighting the series’ sixth season. Continue your travels north to Donegal. With its windswept hills where only sheep can thrive, Donegal is renowned for woolen production and tweeds. (B, D)

Day 3Slieve League Cliffs & Glengesh

Head to Teelin to reach the best viewing point of the Slieve League sea cliffs, the highest in Europe. Afterwards, sample home-baked scones with coffee or tea. Travel along the coast then head inland through the majestic Glengesh Pass for views of mountains and valleys to Donegal Town, a busy shopping town which was once a Viking port, Watch demonstrations of spinning and weaving at a local woolen shop. Enjoy an early dinner with a drink and music at the popular Nancy’s in Ardara. (B, D)

Day 4Belleek Pottery & Galway

Discover the secrets that have made Belleek Pottery one of the most enduring success stories of Irish craftsmanship during a tour of Belleek Pottery. You’ll go behind the scenes to see how this world-famous fine china is made. Travel south to Galway and embark on a cruise of Lough Corrib for unsurpassed views of castles and various sites of both historical and cultural interest (April 1 – October 21 departures). (B, D)

Day 5Scenic Connemara & Dan O’Hara Homestead

Explore scenic Connemara to admire how constantly changing cloud formations give granite hills, sparkling lakes and peat bogs an added dimension. Stop at the Connemara Celtic Crystal Factory where craftsmen demonstrate fine glass cutting. Travel through the picturesque scenery of hills and lakes to visit Dan O’Hara’s Homestead. Experience traditional methods of farming, see Connemara ponies, and have a light lunch. Return to Galway and enjoy free time before dinner. (B, L)

Day 6Cliffs of Moher & Killarney

Drive through Clare to view the Cliffs of Moher, which soar 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Walk to O’Brien’s Tower for views of the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. Drive through the pleasant countryside of Country Clare, which is dotted with ruined castles. Enjoy lunch on your own in a coastal village. Embark on a short ferry ride across the River Shannon Estuary. Arrive in Killarney and partake of the Whiskey Experience with dinner that includes a chocolate tasting. (B, D)

Day 7Ring of Kerry Tour

Head out to the Ring of Kerry, Ireland’s most famous and popular scenic drive. View Skellig Michael, a rocky offshore island that was featured in the film “Star Wars VII”. Take a group photograph among the breathtaking scenery. Immerse yourself in farm life with a sheepdog demonstration of herding flocks. Enjoy a casual lunch and continue on the scenic drive. Pause for panoramic mountain views at Moll’s Gap. In Killarney there is free time to discover some of the excellent restaurants and lively pubs. (B, D)

Day 8Blarney Castle & Dublin’s Abbey Tavern

Visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous stone or take a gentle walk through the lovely parklands and colorful gardens. Treat yourself to Irish-made goods at the Blarney Woollen Mills before traveling north. Head to the Abbey Tavern for Irish cuisine, and an evening of lively entertainment. (B, D)

Day 9Your Tour Ends in Dublin

Your tour ends after breakfast. (B

Dates and Prices

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Sep 2019
Oct 2019

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All prices listed below are per person, double-occupancy.
If you would prefer a single room, there is a single-room supplement of US $600.
Due to an unexpected government VAT increase your tour price
will also include a maximum $40 USD per person cost.
All charges will be converted to local currency when you purchase.

Start End Price
Sunday Aug 25, 2019 from Dublin Monday Sep 2, 2019 to Dublin 9 Days $3099 Guaranteed Small Group Sold Out
Sunday Sep 1, 2019 from Dublin Monday Sep 9, 2019 to Dublin 9 Days $2599 Guaranteed Call to book
Sunday Sep 8, 2019 from Dublin Monday Sep 16, 2019 to Dublin 9 Days $2649 Guaranteed Sold Out
Sunday Sep 22, 2019 from Dublin Monday Sep 30, 2019 to Dublin 9 Days $2599 Guaranteed Call to book
Sunday Oct 6, 2019 from Dublin Monday Oct 14, 2019 to Dublin 9 Days $2249 Guaranteed Call to book
Sunday Oct 13, 2019 from Dublin Monday Oct 21, 2019 to Dublin 9 Days $2149 Sold Out
Sunday Oct 20, 2019 from Dublin Monday Oct 28, 2019 to Dublin 9 Days $2599 Guaranteed Small Group Book Now

41 Reviews


Customer: Ms. Betty Lee Mcvaigh

Date: 12/27/2018

Vacation:
Every part of this tour in Ireland was great..very nice hotels with breakfast and dinner, great coach and driver to take us around the country. Great planning to see many sights. The hotel personnel were great, our bus driver was a master driver, and every day was planned with a little time to walk around on our own. My friend took care of the booking for the two of us, and had no problems at all. I would recommend CIE to all, and would definitely plan on their service if I take another trip.

Customer: Patricia Ann Quinn

Date: 11/07/2018

Vacation:
I would recommend CIE tours to anyone considering visiting Ireland, Scotland or England. Booking was easy and they provided all they promised and more.

Customer: Mr. John Riley

Date: 11/08/2018

Vacation:
My wife and I took the Irish Explorer tour. It was absolutely great. Hotels were first class; meals were great and the bus was very comfortable.

Customer: David Francis Duquette

Date: 05/21/2018

Vacation:
CIE Tours booking service was very easy to understand and use online. Talking to the operator was just as easy as the lady I talked to was well versed in her craft.

Customer: Mary Diane Hughes

Date: 08/12/2019

Vacation:
Customer service provided very good response to all my inquiries and provided them in a timely manner.

Customer: Martin J Hopkins

Date: 08/05/2019

Vacation:
Straightforward and responsive, helpful representatives.

Customer: Mr. Gidon Sela

Date: 08/06/2019

Vacation:
The tour guide was professional and friendly. I was wary of travelling with a group My wife and I had done a organised tour with another company several years ago and the group was not disciplined and there were arguments on the amount of free time and bus seating. These were non existent on our CIE tour. I don't know how much this was just luck with a good bunch of fellow travellers, and how much was due to the organizational.

Customer: Lorraine Daly

Date: 08/04/2019

Vacation:
Tour guide Dominick was awesome

Customer: Ms. Katrina Anne Kruse

Date: 07/21/2019

Vacation:
Everything went very smoothly and our tour guide, Murt O'Shea, was exemplary. He was the perfect guide.

Customer: John D Cima

Date: 07/21/2019

Vacation:
everything went well.the driver /guide was super

Customer: CIE Tours Customer

Date: 07/20/2019

Vacation:
Purchasing my trip was very easy through the website and working with Ian McCarthy. Even through multiple emails and questions, the booking service stayed patient and helped me book a great trip to Ireland.

Customer: Bridget Ann Gaughan

Date: 06/21/2019

Vacation:
we had no problems

Customer: Mary Grace Spencer

Date: 06/15/2019

Vacation:
Well organized. Good pace. Excellent tour guide/bus driver. Great combination of beautiful scenery, Irish history, Irish craft and art, way of life, traditions, notable historic events and people. 100% satisfied. Highly recommend and would use CIE for future trips in a heartbeat! Thank you!

Customer: CIE Tours Customer

Date: 06/04/2019

Vacation:
I used a travel agent for my first trip with CIE to Scotland and this time called and talked with a wonderful and extremely helpful CIE agent, Dara Revins. Excellent flight schedules and pricing and answered many questions about travel in general.

Customer: Mrs. Kelli Ruth Arasz

Date: 06/02/2019

Vacation:
The booking was simple, easy and user friendly. Everything made sense and made it extremely easy.

Customer: Brian Bromberg

Date: 05/31/2019

Vacation:
Booking was easy with CIE tours. No matter how many questions I had, I could call or chat online at any point, and get an almost immediate answer. Everyone I spoke to was clear about timelines by when I needed to do things, friendly, and upbeat, setting a good tone for a great trip.

Customer: Judith Price

Date: 05/31/2019

Vacation:
Last minute change from the Clontarf Castle Hotel to the Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel without an adequate explanation. Fitzpatrick, while a nice hotel, was not a good location for easily or quickly getting into Dublin. I was able to take the train from Dalkey, but missed sights in Dublin because of lack of time. I felt the trip had too many "shopping opportunities" rather than cultural or historic sights. Would have liked more time on my own at the Glasnevin Cemetery and did not like the local tour guide. Our tour guide/driver was wonderful: informative, organized, good sense of humor, and offered useful suggestions when asked. The agents with whom we spoke were extremely helpful; I think they were mainly from the New Jersey office. The backpack of information and items were also extremely helpful; adaptors, maps, guide, wallet, and itinerary. helpful; the adaptors, maps, wallet,

Customer: CIE Tours Customer

Date: 05/27/2019

Vacation:
We would highly recommend CIE and would tour with the company again. Everything was well-organized and our tour guide (Dominic) was knowledgeable, friendly, and hilarious. The Irish Explorer gives a perfect taste of some of the best bits of Ireland at an ideal pace.

Customer: Miriam E Scott

Date: 05/26/2019

Vacation:
Everything was easy. Ian was very helpful and took care of everything.

Customer: Dr Anthony Shapiro

Date: 05/25/2019

Vacation:
What a fantastic tour of Ireland . But the tour was made unforgettable by our guide Murt O’ Shea . What a fantastic guide . His stories , knowledge of history , humour & character were second to none . I cannot fault this tour with Murt as a guide . What a fantastic time ! “ 5 stars

Customer: Shawn Patrick Gillogly

Date: 05/26/2019

Vacation:
My recent CIE tours was incredible! The coaches are clean and modern, the hotel selections are amazing, and the food was awesome. I could spend a month in Dublin just enjoying the sites and people watching. My favorite stops on this tour were Blarney Castle and Blarney Woolen Mills, the towns of Killarney and Galway, and the Slieve League Cliffs. The scenery of Ireland's west coast is spectaular,

Customer: Agnes F Pavlick

Date: 05/26/2019

Vacation:
Very cordial and helpful.

Customer: Mr. Lawrence Jay Colgan

Date: 04/20/2019

Vacation:
We had a great trip. The hotels and activities were fantastic. There were just a couple of places that were not to our liking and our group agreed on them. They were the whiskey tasting and one restaurant, although in that restaurant they had the most adorable 10 year old boy playing the fiddle. He made up for the lackluster menu. The last night in Dublin was my favorite! We had a delicious dinner followed by music and dancing. I would love more of that. I would recommend this trip to friends.

Customer: CIE Tours Customer

Date: 04/04/2019

Vacation:
What a wonderful time we had visiting the Emerald Isle. Top Notch hotels, the food was absolutely delicious, no extras to pay for everything was included, that itinerary included everything we wanted to see and they were all so unexpected stops for photo opportunities and enough free time to make us happy along the way. Overall a wonderful experience and I will definitely you cie tours again in the future. Highly recommend. Our tour director Tony, went above and beyond everyday and exceeded our expectations. I have no negative comments whatsoever about the trip... only that it had to end.

Customer: Ms. Janet Elizabeth Evans

Date: 03/30/2019

Vacation:
I thought the majority of the tour was great but I didn’t like all the stops that were made to sell merchandise. We could of spent our time seeing sights. There was a couple questionable places that I didn’t like as well as one of the hotels

Customer: CIE Tours Customer

Date: 12/20/2018

Vacation:
I booked through travel agent - everything went smoothly

Customer: Mrs. Julia B Wander

Date: 11/15/2018

Vacation:
This tour was the first my husband and I every went on. It was fantastic. Enjoyed the driver,hotel,food, tours and planning. I recommended this tour to two of my friends. I would definitely use your tour company again.

Customer: Marsha Diane Lane

Date: 11/12/2018

Vacation:
Excellent! Very knowledgeable technicians.

Customer: CIE Tours Customer

Date: 11/12/2018

Vacation:
Yes

Customer: Terence David Donnelly

Date: 11/07/2018

Vacation:
Very organized and professional. Entire tour went without a hitch and we always felt taken care of

Customer: Patrick James Presto

Date: 11/07/2018

Vacation:
We had a great tour guide, Dominic. He was extremely knowledgeable and funny. He was a great driver and we did spend a lot of time traceling in the bus.

Customer: CIE Tours Customer

Date: 11/07/2018

Vacation:
Booking service was very efficient and helpful with any questions/concerns

Customer: CIE Tours Customer

Date: 11/08/2018

Vacation:
It was very easy to book myself.

Customer: CIE Tours Customer

Date: 11/08/2018

Vacation:
They listened to my individual requirements and made it happen.

Customer: Mr. John Kennedy

Date: 11/06/2018

Vacation:
Our tour guide and bus driver Dominick Nixon was the greatest. All accommodations were fantastic.

Customer: Miles Hart Larowe

Date: 11/06/2018

Vacation:
The booking service was user friendly, efficient, and accommodating. And, they did some good problem solving. Robert Wallace was considerate and helpful. On the downside different agents had varied responses to booking questions.

Customer: Judy Klock

Date: 11/07/2018

Vacation:
Top notch tour. Easy to book after choosing our tour from their catalog.

Customer: Mr. Lewis Arnold Marion

Date: 11/07/2018

Vacation:
The entire tour was well done, with the places we stayed and the meals we ate.I really enjoyed our guided, Dominick. Not only a great driver, but he knowledge of every area we went lint was outstanding.our amazing vacatu

Customer: CIE Tours Customer

Date: 11/07/2018

Vacation:
Booking was easy and convenient.

Customer: CIE Tours Customer

Date: 11/07/2018

Vacation:
Tour driver, Dominic, was fantastic. Knowledgeable and funny. Only complaint is the food. Breakfasts were always good. Dinners/lunch were the same everyday- blah. Hotels were very nice and in great locations. Unfortunately, we were there during unseasonably warm temperatures and most hotels don’t have air conditioning. Most in city centers, during World Cup, so opening windows was very loud. Just bad timing.

Customer: CIE Tours Customer

Date: 11/07/2018

Vacation:
Saving money by having driver/tour guide in one. Don't like it. Driving needs full attention so less of a connection/communication between tour guide and guests.

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