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8-Night Irish Explorer Tour

Price: From $1,490 Per Person 8 Nights

Spend either 8 or 9 wonderful nights discovering Ireland on The Irish Explorer Tour! This guided bus tour from CIE Tours visits a wide variety of locations, covering the entire island. Your trip begins in style with an overnight stay at imposing Clontarf Castle in Dublin. Breathtaking scenery awaits on the west coast, including world-renowned Wild Atlantic Way areas, such as The Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Connemara and Slieve League. Enjoy a rousing night of food and entertainment at The Abbey Tavern in Dublin and home baked scones with tea and coffee in Teelin. Explore artisan pottery and crystal factories, and shop for Irish products at famous woollen mills. Other tours and visits include Glasnevin Museum, Ulster American Folk Park, Donegal Castle, Belleek Pottery Factory, Lissadell House, Connemara Celtic Crystal Factory, Cliffs of Moher, Foynes Flying Boat Museum, Skellig Experience, Blarney Castle, Blarney Woollen Mills and much, much more!

If you have any questions about this guided bus tour or are interested in any of our other Ireland tours, our dedicated team of travel specialists are waiting to hear from you.  Simply click "Get Quote Now" to connect.

                             **Use tabs above to view Itinerary, Prices & How to Book.**

Tour Highlights:

ACCOMMODATION

  • 7-nights of 4-Star Hotel Accommodation
  • 1-night in an Authentic Irish Castle

TRANSPORTATION

  • Luxury Coach Transportation with Professional Driver/Guide

DINING INCLUSIONS

  • 8 Scrumptuous Full Irish Breakfasts
  • Welcome Get-Together Drink
  • Welcome Dinner at Clontarf Castle
  • Nancy's Restaurant in Ardara
  • Traditional Irish Dinner & Show at The Abbey Tavern
  • 4 Table d'Hote Dinners
  • Home-Baked Scones with Tea/Coffee in Donegal

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Connemara Ponies & Traditional Farming Methods at Dan O'Hara Homestead
  • Scenic Tours of Connemara & The Ring of Kerry
  • Belleek Pottery & Connemara Crystal Factory Visits
  • Sheepdog Demonstration with Local Farmer, Brendan Ferris
  • Tours of Dublin & Galway Cities with Local Guides

ENTRANCES & ADMISSIONS

  • Slieve League Cliffs
  • Glasnevin Museum
  • Ulster American Folk Park
  • Donegal Castle
  • Lissadell House
  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Foynes Flying Boat Museum
  • The Skellig Experience
  • Blarney Castle
  • Blarney Woollen Mills


EXPLANATORY NOTE:

The popular Irish Explorer Tour offers two slightly different tour itineraries:

Tour A - 8 nights / 15 meals (Listed Prices are for this Option):

  • Start in Dublin/ End in Dublin
  • Dublin 1 night
  • Donegal 2 nights
  • Galway 2 nights
  • Killarney 2 nights
  • Dublin 1 night

Tour B - Extra night in Dublin at end of tour - 9 nights / 16 meals:

  • Start in Dublin/ End in Dublin
  • Dublin 1 night
  • Donegal 2 nights
  • Galway 2 nights
  • Killarney 2 nights
  • Dublin 2 nights

Ultimate Peace of Mind: Click Here for Travel Insurance Information

Dublin (IE), County Dublin

Arrive at

Dublin Arrival (CIE), County Dublin

Arrive at Dublin Airport after your overnight flight from the U.S.
Airport Transfers: If you also book your flight with us when reserving your tour, transfers from/to the airport at the start/end of your tour are included free of charge. If you book your flights independently, a $30.00 per person transfer fee will be added to your tour cost (which covers arrival and departure transfers). Please note that transfers cannot be provided for flights arriving after 12:00 noon. In the unlikely event that your flight arrives after 12:00 noon, we recommend taking a taxi to your hotel.


Accommodation

Clontarf Castle - More Info - Dublin (IE), County Dublin

Castle
Room Type: Double/Twin

Overnight Location

Dublin (IE), County Dublin

Dublin Touring & Glasnevin Museum:
Your Irish trip starts at 2:00 pm when you meet your tour director at your Dublin hotel. Your hotel is luxurious Clontarf Castle, which traces its origins to 1172. It is a short ride from Dublin Airport and is situated a few miles to the north of Dublin city center in an upmarket suburb. Take a tour of central Dublin (pictured) to see elegant Georgian squares, public buildings and monuments. Visit Glasnevin Museum, Ireland’s national necropolis, which is a who’s who of modern Irish history and a fascinating insight into life in Ireland. It is the final resting place of Daniel O’Connell, Michael Collins, Charles Stewart Parnell, Brendan Behan and other prominent people. Enjoy a welcome drink with your tour director followed by dinner in your lovely castle hotel.


Donegal (IE), County Donegal

Accommodation

Mill Park Hotel - More Info - Donegal (IE), County Donegal

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Overnight Location

Donegal (IE), County Donegal

Ulster American Folk Park & Donegal Castle:
This morning drive north away from the city and through the heartland of Ireland to visit the Ulster American Folk Park near Omagh. Here you will see cozy cottages depicting a bygone way of life in rural Ireland with demonstrations of traditional crafts and skills, used by country people for centuries. Walk through a replica of a sailing ship and then view cabins as they would have been in colonial America when settlers traveled to Appalachia. Travel on to Donegal town for a tour of Donegal Castle (pictured), built by the O’Donnell chieftain in the 15th century. The castle is located in the central square of the town and it was expanded in the 17th century. Today it is furnished throughout in period style and a guided tour will fill you in on the history of the region. Check in to your hotel, which is located a few miles outside the town.


Donegal (IE), County Donegal

Accommodation

Mill Park Hotel - More Info - Donegal (IE), County Donegal

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Overnight Location

Donegal (IE2), County Donegal

Slieve League Cliffs & Glengesh Pass:
Head to the fishing port of Killybegs and on to Teelin. From here take a minibus ride to reach a point where you can get the best views of the Slieve League sea cliffs (pictured). These cliffs reach heights of 1,972 feet making them the highest in Europe. Enjoy breathtaking vistas as they drop to the wild Atlantic waves below. Back in Teelin, sample home-baked scones with coffee or tea. Travel out along the coast to Malinbeg for more awesome scenery and then head inland through the majestic Glengesh Pass for views of mountains and valleys. As Donegal is renowned for its tweed and knitting industries, visit a woolen mill to shop and see demonstrations of spinning and weaving. Enjoy an early dinner at the popular Nancy’s Restaurant in Ardara before returning to relax in your hotel.


Galway (IE), County Galway

Accommodation

Hotel Meyrick - More Info - Galway (IE), County Galway

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Overnight Location

Galway (IE), County Galway

Belleek China & Lissadell House:
Visit the Belleek Pottery Factory to see how the craftspeople shape and decorate clay, creating the world-famous fine china. This industry was founded in the 19th century to bring employment to the region and initially they created utilitarian wares for bathrooms before developing the production of delicate and decorative pieces. Visit Lissadell House, a magnificent country estate, built in the 1830s for the Gore-Booth family. This was the childhood home of Constance Markievicz, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising. Drive to Galway, check in to your hotel and join a local guide for a gentle walking tour around central Galway (pictured).


Galway (IE), County Galway

Accommodation

Hotel Meyrick - More Info - Galway (IE), County Galway

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Overnight Location

Galway (IE2), County Galway

Scenic Connemara & Dan O’Hara Farm:
Today explore scenic Connemara (pictured), to admire how constantly-changing cloud formations give granite hills, sparkling lakes and peat bogs an added dimension. This region is sparsely populated as the poor land does not support farming but is home to many sheep. You will see many tracts of bogland where people cut and harvest peat for home heating. Stop at the Connemara Celtic Crystal Factory where craftsmen demonstrate fine glass cutting. Drive through the picturesque scenery of hills and lakes to visit Dan O’Hara’s Homestead. See traditional methods of farming as well as Connemara ponies and have a light lunch. Return to Galway and enjoy free time before dinner.


Killarney (IE), County Kerry

Accommodation

Killarney Avenue - More Info - Killarney (IE), County Kerry

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Overnight Location

Killarney (IE), County Kerry

Cliffs of Moher & Killarney
Travel around Galway Bay to view the Cliffs of Moher, an impressive wall of rock that plunges to the Atlantic Ocean. The cliffs stretch along the coast for five miles and reach heights of almost 700 feet. Walk to O’Brien’s Tower, located on the highest point, 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 with time to relax or explore before dinner.


Killarney (IE), County Kerry

Accommodation

Killarney Avenue - More Info - Killarney (IE), County Kerry

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Overnight Location

Killarney (IE2), County Kerry

Ring of Kerry & Skellig Experience:
Take a drive around the Ring of Kerry (pictured), possibly Ireland’s most famous and popular scenic drive. You will see how every bend in 100 miles of road reveals breathtaking views as you travel between the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountains, and the heavily indented coastline. Meet a local farmer, Brendan Ferris, for a taste of farm life with a sheepdog demonstration of herding flocks. At the tip of the peninsula visit the Skellig Experience, which explains the history, flora and fauna on the nearby rocky island of Skellig Michael. This was the location for filming part of “Star Wars VII” in 2014. Enjoy a casual lunch and continue around the scenic drive. Pause for panoramic mountain views at Moll’s Gap. Back in Killarney enjoy free time for independent activities and discover some of the excellent restaurants and fun pubs.


Dublin (IE2), County Dublin

Accommodation

Herbert Park Hotel - More Info - Dublin (IE2), County Dublin

4 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Overnight Location

Dublin (IE2), County Dublin

Blarney Castle & Dublin’s Abbey Tavern Show:
Drive through the mountains into richer farming country on the way to Blarney. Climb to the ramparts of Blarney Castle to kiss the famous stone or, if you don’t feel like a climb, take a gentle walk through the lovely parklands and colorful gardens. Shop for Irish-made goods at the Blarney Woollen Mills before traveling north. Pause for photos at the stately Rock of Cashel (pictured), a limestone outcrop with picturesque ruins and continue to your hotel in Dublin. In the evening head to the Abbey Tavern for Irish cuisine, traditional songs and music as well as a lively display of step dancing.


Depart From

Dublin Departure (CIE), County Dublin

Your tour ends after breakfast this morning, after which you will depart for home from Dublin Airport.  After check-in, you'll have time to shop at the duty-free stores before boarding your flight for the journey home.


Ireland Vacation Pricing Low Season Mid Season High Season
From $1,490
From $1,825
From $2,255

Your Price Includes

ACCOMMODATION
  • 7-nights of 4-Star Hotel Accommodation
  • 1-night in an Authentic Irish Castle

TRANSPORTATION

  • Luxury Coach Transportation with Professional Driver/Guide

DINING INCLUSIONS

  • 8 Scrumptuous Full Irish Breakfasts
  • Welcome Get-Together Drink
  • Welcome Dinner at Clontarf Castle
  • Nancy's Restaurant in Ardara
  • Traditional Irish Dinner & Show at The Abbey Tavern
  • 4 Table d'Hote Dinners
  • Home-Baked Scones with Tea/Coffee in Donegal

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Connemara Ponies & Traditional Farming Methods at Dan O'Hara Homestead
  • Scenic Tours of Connemara & The Ring of Kerry
  • Belleek Pottery & Connemara Crystal Factory Visits
  • Sheepdog Demonstration with Local Farmer, Brendan Ferris
  • Tours of Dublin & Galway Cities with Local Guides

ENTRANCES & ADMISSIONS

  • Slieve League Cliffs
  • Glasnevin Museum
  • Ulster American Folk Park
  • Donegal Castle
  • Lissadell House
  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Foynes Flying Boat Museum
  • The Skellig Experience
  • Blarney Castle
  • Blarney Woollen Mills

Prices Based On

  • Prices are Per Person based on 2 people traveling together and sharing a room.
  • Single travellers are very welcome on the Irish Explorer Tour - life-long friendships are regularly formed with fellow passengers! Single travellers may have their own hotel room each night at an additional cost of US$348.00
  • All Taxes & Fees Included.

“Amazing Trip to Ireland”

Apr 3, 2018 by Charles Sullivan. Your Hometown: The Woodlands, Texas

Aisling did an excellent job, prepared and booked our 15 day honeymoon in Ireland! All the hotels were gorgeous, rental car pick up and drop off were painless. We traveled around the entire country and enjoyed all of the amazing scenery and friendly locals! I would recommend AuthenticIreland and Aisling to anyone looking to book their next trip overseas. 5 Stars, 100% Satusfied!

“Simply Amazing and Worry Free”

Apr 3, 2018 by Catie Friedrich. Your Hometown: Denver, Co

I just returned from this amazing adventure. Authentic Ireland made this vacation simple and worry free. I am ready to book my next vacation.

“Really Special!!”

Jan 24, 2018 by Phyllis + Norman Tunnell. Your Hometown: Pound Ridge

We have recently returned from a wonderful excursion of 2 weeks planned by Emma Tancred.She was responsive, understood our objectives, and made great suggestions to customize our itinerary. . Emma arranged the car, the insurance, accommodations from B+B's to lovely hotels, a car and driver to Newgrange. Our self drive tour began after spending 3 days in Dublin; then on to the Wicklow Mountains, Kilkenny, Kinsale, Kenmare, Doolin, and Galway.. We have experienced Ireland in all its magic and wonder. Thank you, Emma. You have our highest recommendation.

“Scotland in November”

Jan 24, 2018 by Meredith and Brian McArthur. Your Hometown: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Having just returned from our ten day tour of Scotland, I have had a few days to reflect on a wonderful journey. We were so impressed with the accommodations .con booked for us. Every one was exceptional. Our only suggestion for future travelers is not to stay in downtown Glasgow if you are driving a rental vehicle. We were given poor directions by the hotel staff and ended up driving around for about twenty minutes trying to find the parkade for which the hotel validated. We parked finally in one that apparently was the wrong one, and after a ten minute walk back to the hotel, were told they couldn’t reimburse us. It was 22£ that we needn’t have spent had the hotel clerk been clearer in her directions. To be fair, our information from the travel company did give directions to the appropriate car park, but a strange city can be confusing. It was a minor disruption in a fabulous trip. We had a great vehicle, and enjoyed the people, the food and the fabulous scenery along the way. Thanks Con for your sightseeing suggestions. We learned a lot of Scottish history. Some of the sites were closed for the winter, but we never ran out of things to see and do. The guest house owners were particularly friendly and helpful. We will return!

“2 day whirlwind tour of Dublin”

Jan 24, 2018 by John. Your Hometown: Long Beach, CA

I recently had a short, whirlwind trip to Dublin, Ireland, on my way to Cardiff, Wales where I was traveling to take a 3 day course. Dublin was wonderful! My first visit! Loved it!! No problems!! Can't wait to return.

Interestingly, traveling over on Aer Lingus, the day after Thanksgiving, the flight was almost empty, for whatever reason. Only about 50 of us onboard. That made for excellent inflight service!

Weather was ok, nice sunny days, and a bit on the chilly side (low to mid 30's) but was not a problem. while I currently live in southern California and have adapted to the Mediterranean climate, I am from the Great Lakes and cold weather generally doesn't bother me. I adapted!

Maggie arranged for me to ride the "Hop on" bus which worked out very nicely! You can 'hop on' and 'hop off'' as you please, for 1 fare. Took the tour of Dublin the morning of my first full day there! Saw it all. Then, after returning to my hotel, the Davenport, which is quite charming, I bravely set out on foot to see what I could see. They speak English, and I can read a map, and I had a wonderful time exploring. :) I might add that I had ongoing problems trying to connect to any networks while there. The hotel network was down. Fortunately, I am able to function without the iPhone :) ...so I adapted and it all worked out. I stepped into a souvenir store and got on their network to send emails and photos home. Saw many places...Grafton St, the Cathedral, the Guinness Tour, Trinity College, the Book of Kell's tour, the Whiskey Tour, the National Gallery...I fit a lot into 2 days...

Yes, I will have to return when I have more time, because there is SO much to see! But I have learned to take advantage of the opportunities that life presents...so I jumped at this chance to see a little bit of Ireland!

it was pointed out to me before leaving that Ireland is on the Euro, and the rest of the UK is on the Pound...so I needed Euros for Dublin then got UK currency in pounds when arriving in Cardiff.

Can't wait to return... :)

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