Grand Tour of Ireland with the Kirkman House Museum

14 days
Delve beyond the sheep-dotted green landscapes to the cities and villages that span the country, all the way from Dublin to Belfast. 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 two weeks of exploring, you’ll leave feeling like a local.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Dublin today.

Dublin 2 nights

Day 2: Arrival in Dublin

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Ireland! Gather with your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast

Take a guided tour of Ireland’s charming capital city. 

• Stop in Phoenix Park, site of the presidential residence, and then pass by the Guinness Storehouse 

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest church 

• Pass St Stephen’s Green and admire the Georgian architecture of Merrion Square as you go 

• See Trinity College and walk past the entrance of Grafton Street to the Molly Malone statue and the Temple Bar district 

Spend a free afternoon in Dublin or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Powerscourt Estate & Gardens $39pp* Details

Named the third most beautiful in the world by National Geographic, the Italianate gardens of Powerscourt Estate rival even the immaculately manicured flowerbeds of Versailles. Spend time wandering through these sprawling grounds and exploring the Palladian-style country house that lies at the heart of the property. Once a 13th-century castle, this opulent home underwent extensive renovations in the 1700s to transform it into the grand hall it is today.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $49)

Waterford 2 nights

Day 4: Waterford via Glendalough & Kilkenny

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Leaving Dublin behind, travel a short distance southwest to County Kildare. 

• Enter Wicklow Mountains National Park and make your way to the Glendalough Visitor Centre to learn about the historic site 

• Explore the ancient monastery, passing by the Round Tower, stone churches, and decorated crosses 

• Continue to Kilkenny, Ireland’s best-preserved medieval town 

• Tour the imposing 12th-century Kilkenny Castle, overlooking the River Nore 

• Pass by the Gothic St. Canice’s Cathedral, built in the 13th century 

After, continue on to Waterford.

Day 5: Waterford Crystal Factory & Rock of Cashel

  Included meals: Breakfast

Your Tour Director introduces you to some of Waterford’s legendary sites. 

• Visit the Waterford Crystal Factory to learn about its world-famous crystal 

• Journey to the Rock of Cashel, an outcrop of limestone dominating Tipperary Plain 

• View the ruins of the ancient seat of the kings of Munster, see Celtic carvings at Cormac’s Chapel, and explore St. Patrick’s Rock, a perfectly preserved round tower

County Kerry 2 nights

Day 6: County Kerry via Cobh & Blarney Castle

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On your way to County Kerry, get a feel for the many sides of Ireland, from small villages to vibrant cities and iconic castles. 

• Stop in the fishing village of Cobh, which once served as a launch site for ships bound for North America 

• Visit the Cobh Heritage Centre to hear tales of Irish emigration 

• Climb to the top of Blarney Castle to kiss the famed Blarney Stone, which is said to grant the “gift of gab” 

Tonight, head outside of Killarney and sit down to a hearty three-course dinner. After your meal, watch as talented musicians, singers, and prize-winning dancers put on a show filled with traditional Irish tunes and choreography.

Day 7: Ring of Kerry & Killarney National Park

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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 

• Explore the picturesque villages that line the Ring of Kerry 

• Stop for photos at Muckross Lake and Lough Leane in Killarney National Park

Galway 2 nights

Day 8: Galway via County Clare

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set out for Galway, stopping to explore County Clare along the way. 

• Visit Bunratty Castle, a 15th-century tower house located in Bunratty Village 

• Tour Bunratty Folk Park, which recreates Irish life at the turn of the century 

After arriving in Galway, enjoy a free evening or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Castle Banquet Dinner $115pp* Details

Enjoy a feast fit for a king inside Dunguaire Castle, a 17th-century tower house 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. Here, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous, four-course dinner and an evening of live entertainment, including songs, and stories. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from mid-April through mid-October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Day 9: The Burren & Cliffs of Moher

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend the day exploring some of Ireland’s most majestic landscapes. 

• Journey along the coast to the famous Cliffs of Moher and admire the panoramic views from the top of the cliffs 

• Travel to the Burren, an austere landscape known for its slate grey rock fields dotted by rare wildflowers

Sligo 1 night

Day 10: Sligo via Connemara National Park

  Included meals: Breakfast

Immerse yourself in the postcard-perfect scenery of Connemara, where you’ll visit Kylemore Abbey and its gardens. Later, spend a free evening in the town of Sligo.

County Monaghan 1 night

Day 11: County Monaghan via Ballybay

  Included meals: Breakfast

As you make your way through County Monaghan, stop to visit the town of Ballybay. You’ll have a free afternoon to explore the area at your leisure before continuing on to your hotel.

Belfast 2 nights

Day 12: Transfer to Belfast & sightseeing tour

  Included meals: Breakfast

Journey to Belfast, the cultural heart of Northern Ireland, where you’ll get the local perspective of the city on a guided tour. 

• Glimpse the copper-domed City Hall and the recently restored Grand Opera House 

• Learn all about Belfast’s long history, from its origins in the Bronze Age and rise as an international seaport to its role in the conflict known as “The Troubles” 

• Enter the Titanic Belfast Museum for a look at the vessel’s infamous history

Day 13: Giant’s Causeway

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

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. 

Please note: We recommend packing rain gear.   Gather with your fellow group members and celebrate your trip at a farewell dinner this evening.

Day 14: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Waterford, Ireland
  • County Kerry, Ireland
  • Galway, Ireland
  • Sligo, Ireland
  • Belfast, Ireland
Temperature Precipitation
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  • FEB
  • MAR
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Passport & visa requirements

• In order to enter Ireland and the United Kingdom, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry. 

• We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps. 

• There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. 

• If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific  entry requirements.  

Tour pace

• You will walk for about 1 hour daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and unpaved trails, with some hills and stairs. 

• Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour. 

• You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times. 

• If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team. 

Transportation & arrival information

• Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Dublin and depart from Belfast. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. 

• Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost. 

• All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. 

Baggage allowance

• Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. 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 baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that our travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and  other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. 

• One carry-on bag of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted. 

• Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag. 

Clothing & packing tips

• We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket  or rainwear. 

• A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing. 

• You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance. 

• It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis). 

Health

• There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour. 

• At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov. 

• If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered. 

• If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.

Cuisine

• Irish pubs serve up hearty lunches, such as the traditional stew of bacon and boiled cabbage. Soda bread is delicious, very filling, and served with many meals. Nibble a scone at afternoon tea, with a pat of high-quality butter from County Kerry. Guinness stout is an international sensation, but locals might favor Murphy’s, depending on where you are.

• Dublin has seen something of a culinary revolution, and the city now boasts an impressive array of new restaurants offering exciting cuisine with continental Europe, Asian, and even American influences. 

Electricity & air conditioning

• Ireland and the United Kingdom operate within 230-240 volts and use a Type G plug with three large, flat pins. 

• We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter. 

• The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel. 

• Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed. 

Connectivity

• Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. 

• There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. 

• Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges. 

Time zones

• Ireland and the United Kingdom are on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Time (ET).    • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 5pm on tour. 

Currency

• You will use the euro in Ireland and the Pound sterling in the United Kingdom. 

• Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. 

• We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. 

• You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. 

• Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

• International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour. 

Tipping

• At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind. 

• We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver. 

• If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide. 

• Tips can only be paid in cash. 

Purchasing excursions on tour

• Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour. 

• Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for excursions. 

• Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. 

• Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.

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