12 Day Authentic Southern Ireland Tour

Tour duration:

12 days

Tour starts:

Dublin Airport / Dublin

Tour ends:

Dublin / Dublin Airport

Trip Summary:

Tour price includes:

  • Private Arrival and Departure Airport Transfers 
  • Car rental with automatic transmission 9 days 
  • Car rental is based on inclusive rate (includes CDW & Theft) 
  • 11 nights in centrally located Hotels 
  • Full Irish breakfast daily (Except Day 1) 
  • Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Tour Bus – 2 Day Ticket
  • Local Taxes 
  • AA Roadmap of Ireland 
  • JTI booking assistance  
  • JTI emergency contact available while in Ireland 
  • JTI Travel App 

Visits & Admissions included to:

  • Glendalough Visitors Center 
  • Waterford Crystal 
  • Cobh Heritage Center 
  • Charles Fort 
  • Blarney Castle 
  • Muckross House 
  • Kenmare Sheepdog Trails 
  • Cliffs of Moher Visitors Centre 
  • Kylemore Abbey & Gardens 
  • EPIC Irish Emigration Museum 
  • Book of Kells at Trinity College 
  • Guinness Storehouse 

preview the

Tour Highlights

full tour

Itinerary

On arrival into Dublin Airport, you will be met by your transfer driver in the Arrivals Terminal and transferred to your city centre hotel where you can drop off your bags and start exploring Ireland’s capital city.  

 

Dublin City  

Today you can rest after your journey or you can head out and see what Dublin City has to offer. Dublin City is a truly remarkable place to discover, immerse yourself in its history, both ancient and recent. Wander down the old cobbled streets of Dublin and take in the local culture and fascinating history of this charming city. There are so many places to see and visit such as Trinity College, Dublin Castle, The Spire, Ha’penny Bridge, the River Liffey, Samuel Beckett Bridge, Temple Bar, Merrion Square and so much more. 

 

**Optional Extra** Dublin Castle 

Why not visit Dublin Castle, originally built in the 13th century on a site previously settled on by the Vikings. Ihas functioned as a military fortress, a prison, treasury, courts of law and the seat of English Administration in Ireland for 700 years. Rebuilt in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, Dublin Castle is now used for important State Receptions and Presidential Inaugurations. 

 

Accommodation: Dublin City Hotel – 1 Night 

Full Irish Breakfast 

 

This morning you will collect your car rental and depart Dublin. You will travel through beautiful Wicklow to Glendalough.  

Afterwards, you will continue on to Waterford for your next visit to the famous Waterford Crystal. 

 

Glendalough 

Travel through the beautiful area of Wicklow, past the Wicklow Mountains towards Glendalough. The name Glendalough means ‘valley of two lakes’ and it is renowned for its Early Medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by St Kevin, a hermit priest, but its natural beauty is second to none. Continue on to Waterford City. 

 

Waterford Crystal  

Visit the House of Waterford Crystal where you can enjoy a guided factory tour, afterwards you might like to pop in to the opulent retail store featuring the largest collection of the world’s most coveted name in crystal. 

 

Accommodation: Elegant Waterford City Hotel or B&B – 1 Night 

Full Irish Breakfast 

 

This morning you will depart Waterford and head to the beautiful coastal town of Cobh and explore. Afterwards, you will arrive in Kinsale where you will stay for 2 nights. 

 

Cobh Heritage Centre 

Stop off at the port town of Cobh and visit the Cobh Heritage Centre and discover the “Queenstown Experience”. Cobh is famous as the port of departure for over two million people who emigrated from Ireland in the century after the Irish famine of 1848. It was also the last port of call of the Titanic on its maiden voyage in 1912. Cobh’s history tells a fantastic story. Take some time to relax on the docks, maybe have a bite to eat and take in the amazing views.  

 

St. Colman’s Cathedral  

The Cathedral Church of St Colman, usually known as Cobh Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Cobh, Co. Cork.  The Cathedral opened in June 1879, the architectural style is Gothic Revival and it overlooks Cork harbour from a prominent position. The cathedral contains the only church carillon which, with 49 bells, is one of the largest carillons in Europe. St. Colman’s Cathedral is the only Irish Catholic Victorian cathedral to preserve its interior fully intact and is a sight to behold. 

 

**Optional Extra** Jameson’s Old Midleton Distillery 

You might like to continue on to Midleton in Cork and visit the Old Midleton Distillery which is home to Jameson Irish whiskey. Learn about the craftsmanship and complete the tour with a whiskey tasting. 

 

Kinsale 

Drive on to the quaint harbor town of Kinsale, known as the ‘Gourmet Capital of Ireland.’ Marvel at the colored houses dotted on the landscape and explore the boutiques, shops, restaurants and pubs. You will also discover Kinsale’s historic buildings, narrow streets, shops and galleries as you stroll around. It owes its unique character to the fact that it was a garrison town and significant port for over 300 years. Make your way to your Kinsale Hotel for the evening. 

 

Accommodation: Elegant Kinsale Hotel or B&B – 2 Nights

Full Irish Breakfast 

 

Today you will take a drive to Cork City and visit the famous English Market.  

Afterwards, when you arrive back in Kinsale, you can visit Charles Fort. 

 

Cork City  

Explore Cork City, a city more than 800 years old situated on the River Lee. It is the second largest city of the Irish Republic, lively and prosperous, with a keen sense of its own cultural identity. Situated in the heart of Cork City, the English Market is a roofed food market and has been trading since 1788. A mix of traditional Cork fare and exciting new foods from afar, combined with long standing family-run stalls contribute to the unique appeal and atmosphere of this market.  

 

Charles Fort  

Today you will visit Charles Fort which is a classic example of a late 17th century star-shaped fort. As one of the largest military installations in the country, Charles Fort has been associated with some of the most momentous events in Irish history. The most significant of these are the Williamite War 1689-91 and the Civil War 1922-23.   

 

Accommodation: Elegant Kinsale Hotel or B&B – 1 Night 

Full Irish Breakfast 

 

This morning you will travel to Killarney, with a stop off at Blarney Castle on the way. 

 

Blarney Castle 

Visit Blarney Castle, a 15th century McCarthy Castle. You will enjoy a stroll through the estate to the castle and then climb to the top and kiss the Blarney Stone. It is said that you will obtain the gift of eloquent speech by kissing the stone, otherwise known as ‘The Gift of the Gab!’ 

 

Muckross House and Gardens 

Visit the historic Muckross House and Gardens. This 19th Century Victorian Mansion depicts what life was like in Ireland during this period. Muckross House is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park, close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney’s three lakes, famed worldwide for their splendour and beauty. 

 

Spend the rest of your afternoon exploring Killarney town at your leisure. 

 

Accommodation: Elegant Killarney Hotel or B&B – 3 Nights 

Full Irish Breakfast 

 

Today you will take on the stunning Ring of Kerry drive. It is the most renowned Day Tour in Ireland. Throughout its 110 miles, you will travel around the MacGillicuddy Reeks and the Iveragh Peninsula, along the breath-taking Atlantic Coast, Dingle Bay and Kenmare Bay, returning to Killarney through the famed Molls Gap, Ladies View and Killarney National Park. En route are the lovely coastal villages of Glenbeigh, Waterville and Sneem and the thriving market towns of Killorglin and Caherciveen. The Ring embraces many points of historic and archaeological interest. 

 

Sheepdog Demonstration 

Stop off and watch a sheepdog rounding up the sheep. Situated between Kenmare and Killarney National Park is Kissane Sheep Farm. The famous panorama of Moll’s Gap is in the middle of the land, overlooking the farm and its sheep and lambs. See border collies in action rounding up the sheep, followed by a sheep shearing demonstration. Afterward, you can visit a traditional sheep working farm. 

 

**Optional Extra**Celtic Steps the Show 

This evening you might like to enjoy Ireland’s top traditional Irish Music, Song & Irish Dance Show which features seventeen World Irish Dancing Championship titles between the current cast of dancers and All-Ireland Champion singers and musicians. The show aims to provide a magical evening, taking its guests on a journey through the nation’s colourful past and history to present day Ireland, through the language of music, song and of course, dance. 

 

Accommodation: Elegant Killarney Hotel or B&B 

Full Irish Breakfast 

 

Today you are free to explore Killarney Town at your leisure. 

 

Killarney 

Today you are free to explore Killarney at your own pace. Perhaps make your way to Killarney National Park and take in the stunning scenery of mountains, lakes and woodlands. You might enjoy a visit to the stunning Torc Waterfall which is well worth a visit. If you enjoy walking, there are walking trails mapped out beside the Waterfall, which are most enjoyable.  

Also, you have other options such as a lake cruise, taking a jaunting car ride (horse drawn carriage) through the National Park or visiting Ross Castle.  

Or maybe you would just like to have a lazy day after a few days touring, have a bite to eat in one of the many cafes, bars and restaurants or do some gift shopping and soak up the atmosphere of this unique and cultural town. 

 

Accommodation: Elegant Killarney Hotel or B&B 

Full Irish Breakfast 

 

Today you will depart Kerry and travel along the west coast towards the Clare and the Cliffs of Moher. Later you will continue on to Galway for the balance of the day. 

 

Cliffs of Moher 

The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s top visitor attractions and are a designated UNESCO Geo Park. The Cliffs are 695 ft high at the highest point and range for 5 miles over the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare.  

Tour on through the Burren – an area of limestone hills which supports a wide range of flora. There are information points along the way, explaining the formation of the distinctive “Karst Landscape” which you are free to stop at. Continue on to Galway City for the balance of the day.  

 

Galway City 

Like most Irish cities, Galway wraps its arms around you like a Claddagh friendship ring. Enjoy exploring the pedestrianized streets of this vibrant city and view Eyre Square, the Spanish Arch, the Claddagh District and Galway Cathedral. Surrounded by pubs and cafés, you are sure to experience the true local atmosphere and culture of this much loved city.  

 

**Optional Extra** Irish Food Trail Galway 

Why not take the Irish Food Trail. This tour is steeped in our rich Irish history and of course our present, where Galway is today! You will hear some folklore stories and most importantly meet and dine with the local Irish people who are so proud of our heritage.  

 

Accommodation: Elegant Galway Hotel or B&B – 2 Nights 

Full Irish Breakfast 

  

Today you will travel to the Connemara region which is known for its mountains, the Twelve Bens and the beauty of the landscape with its changing colours. You will see the Connemara Marble Factory just outside Moycullen and then “The Quiet Man” bridge outside Oughterard. Enjoy the breath-taking views as you travel through the Maam Valley in the shadow of the Maamturk Mountains. Continue to Clifden where you will explore the Sky Road Loop, then tour through Letterfrack before arriving at the picturesque Kylemore Abbey.  

 

Kylemore Abbey 
Kylemore Abbey and Victorian Walled Garden was originally built as a Castle in 1867 as a romantic gift by Mitchell Henry, who was inspired by his love for his wife. Kylemore Abbey and the surrounding mountains and lakes are steeped in history. Learn of tales of tragedy, romance, engineering initiatives and royal visits.  

Afterwards, you will return to Galway City where you can continue your exploration and enjoy the local atmosphere through the abundance of pubs and restaurants. 

 

Accommodation: Elegant Galway Hotel or B&B 

Full Irish Breakfast 

 

This morning you will depart Galway and return to Dublin for your last couple of nights in Ireland. You have the option to return your car rental today if you prefer so as to avoid city parking fees. You will have tickets for the Dublin City Sightseeing Hop on Hop off Bus. This can act as your mode of transporttransferring you between attractions along with giving you a tour of the city. 

 

Dublin City Hop on Hop off Sightseeing Bus – 2 Day Ticket 

Explore the sights of Dublin City and enjoy commentary using the Dublin City Hop on Hop off Sightseeing Bus. Relax on a 90-minute city tour and then use the bus to transfer you between attractions. Dublin Castle, Christchurch Cathedral and St. Patrick’s Cathedral are all within a short walking distance of each other. The Guinness Storehouse and Kilmainham Gaol are just on the fringe of Dublin City. 

 

EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum  

Go beyond the stereotypes at EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum.  

Shortlisted for the Children in Museums Award 2017, EPIC is a modern museum situated in Dublin’s Docklands. It tells the moving and unforgettable story of the 10 million Irish people who left their homeland – and how they influenced and shaped the world. Experience this story in 20 breath-taking interactive galleries, complete with touchscreens, motion-sensor games and audio and video to bring these one-of-a-kind tales to life. 

 

**Optional Extra** Dublin’s Traditional Musical Pub Crawl 

This evening, you might like to experience the vibrancy of Dublin’s traditional drink and Irish music scene on a musical pub crawl through Temple Bar – Dublin’s cultural quarter! Accompany some musicians on a fun and educational tour through the hip yet historic district, where you will visit classic pubs and bars, enjoy the local culture and encounter Irish storytelling and music at its best.   

 

Accommodation: Dublin City Hotel – 2 nights  

Full Irish Breakfast 

 

Today you will again be able to explore Dublin using the Hop on Hop off Bus as your mode of transport 

 

Book of Kells  

Today you will visit Trinity College, a distinguished college attended by legendary writers such as Jonathan Swift, William Congreve and Oscar Wilde to name but a few. Here you will see the famous ‘Book of Kells.’ It is an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together. It was completed in 800 AD and is said to be the oldest (and most beautiful) book in the world! 

 

Guinness Storehouse  

Today you will visit the Guinness Storehouse and learn how the famous ‘blackstuff’ is made. Enjoy a complimentary pint of Guinness in the Gravity Bar with its panoramic views of the City. Sláinte! 

 

Accommodation: Dublin City Hotel 

Full Irish Breakfast 

 

This morning you will be transferred to Dublin Airport in plenty of time to check in for your flight home.  

 

Fly home with memories that will last a lifetime.  

 

Slán Go Fóill (Goodbye for now!) 

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