Excursions from Dublin
Dublin City Tour
You commence your tour of Dublin City today, a place where tradition and cultural heritage have merged seamlessly over the centuries to create a unique atmosphere. Your first stop is St Patrick’s Cathedral, to wonder at the majestic presence of this Dublin landmark. After your guided tour, you enjoy a panoramic tour of Dublin featuring The National Gallery, Four Courts, Leinster House (the seat of the Irish Parliament), the Georgian Square and O’Connell Street. You then stop at Trinity College and proceed through the grounds of this hallowed education site. You view the Book of Kells which has been described as “the most beautiful book in the world”.
Free time in the afternoon for your own personal sightseeing or shopping.
Malahide and Howth Tour
Travel north of Dublin city to the picturesque town of Malahide.
Visit Malahide Castle which was both a fortress and a private home for nearly eight hundred years and is an interesting mix of architectural styles. The Talbot family lived here from 1185 to 1973, when the last Lord Talbot died.
The house is furnished with beautiful period furniture together with an extensive collection of Irish portrait paintings, mainly from the National Gallery. The history of the Talbot family is recorded in the Great Hall, with portraits of generations of the family telling their own story of Ireland’s stormy history. One of the more poignant legends concerns the morning of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, when fourteen members of the family breakfasted together in this room, never to return, as all were dead by nightfall.
Many additions and alterations have been made to this romantic and beautiful structure, but the contours of the surrounding parklands have changed little in eight hundred years, retaining a sense of the past.
After visiting Malahide it’s time to move onto the little fishing village of Howth. Here you can take a walk down the pier or for those with more energy take a walk up Howth Head where you can enjoy stunning views of Dublin Bay.
Return to Dublin City Centre.
Irish Whiskey and Guinness Tour
Depart your hotel and transfer to the old market area of Dublin called Smithfield. Here you will visit the Old Jameson Distillery: Irish Whiskey can trace its history back to the 6th century. Almost like a tour of a working distillery you can follow the fascinating craft of whiskey making. Finally, the tour culminates in the Jameson Bar for a traditional Irish whiskey tasting.
Then take a leisurely walk before you visit the Guinness Storehouse. Discover all there is to know about the world-famous beer. It’s a dramatic story that begins over 250 years ago and ends in Gravity, the sky bar, with a complimentary pint of Guinness and an astonishing view of Dublin city.
Our Wicklow tour takes you southwards to the “Garden of Ireland”. You journey down through the picturesque town of Enniskerry and travel to Powerscourt Gardens. Beautiful formal gardens, steep terraces, flamboyant fountains, statuary and the dramatic backdrop of the Sugar Loaf Mountain make Powerscourt Estate one of the loveliest gardens in Ireland.
You travel further southwards to Glendalough, famed for its beautiful and historic scenery by two lakes. One of the most impressive clusters of medieval monastic monuments in Ireland is situated here as well as an interpretative centre. There are lovely walks by the lakeshore and in the surrounding hills.
See the pretty villages of Laragh/Clara, Rathdrum, Roundwood and Avoca which houses one of the oldest mills in Ireland - Avoca Handweavers before your return to Dublin.
Take a tour of Kildare, often known as the “Breeders County”. Our first stop is the Irish National Stud, Japanese Gardens and St. Fiachra’s Gardens: one visit – three different worlds. The 1,000 acre farm at Tully has been in use as a stud farm since 1900 when it was owned by Col. William Hall-Walker. It is home to some of Ireland’s finest thoroughbreds. There is a Horse Museum tracing the history of the horse in Ireland using artefacts, illustrations and text, and the skeleton of the legendary steeplechaser ‘Arkle’.
The Japanese Gardens are situated in the grounds of the Stud Farm and were created between 1906-1910. They are planned to symbolise the “Life of Man” from the cradle to the grave. St. Fiachra’s Garden was designed as a Millennium project and seeks to capture the power of the Irish landscape in its rawest state, that of rock and water. It has almost 4 acres of woodland and lakeside walks.
We will then travel to the Kildare Village shopping outlet where you can enjoy some shopping in a variety of boutiques.
Boyne Valley Tour
Join us for a full day tour of the historical Boyne Valley region. For thousands of years, the Boyne Valley was the centre of civilisation in Ireland and today hundreds of thousands of visitors are still captivated by the surviving monuments to past glories.
You travel to Mellifont Abbey - the first Cistercian monastery in Ireland founded in 1142 by St Malachy of Armagh, its most unusual feature is the octagonal lavabo. The visitor centre houses an interesting exhibition which includes fragments of carved stone masonry recovered from the Abbey during excavation.
Your final stop before our return to Dublin is the majestic Hill of Tara. Famous as the Seat of the High Kings of Ireland, the Hill of Tara has been an important site since the late Stone Age. Tara was a political and religious centre in early Christianity spread in Ireland, the site still retains its air of mysticism. Return to Dublin.
Travel to Kilkenny which is approximately 2 hours from Dublin. Kilkenny City – characterized by beautifully restored old buildings and winding slipways – is small and compact enough to explore on foot, yet full of fascinating historical buildings and contemporary shops, design galleries and restaurants.
The ancient city of Kilkenny – from the Gaelic “Cill Ceannaigh”, was named after a 6th century monk called St. Canice. His memory lives on in the beautifully preserved St. Canice’s Cathedral built overlooking in the city in the 13th century.
The Normans arrived in the twelfth century and their legacy remains in the superb and fully restored Kilkenny Castle. You will take a tour of Kilkenny Castle and then enjoy some free time to discover the many craft stores located in this medieval city. Return to Dublin in the late afternoon.
Travel northwards to Belfast which is approximately 2.5 hours from Dublin.
Enjoy a city tour of Northern Ireland’s capital which has been voted one of Europe’s most fashionable cities. See the birthplace of the Titanic and also see the Belfast City Hall: built in 1906, in classical Renaissance style, in Portland stone, the crowning feature of the City Hall is the main dome.
Belfast’s many parks, gardens and galleries offer a perfect haven to relax. Visit the Botanic Gardens: the rose garden and herbaceous borders were established in 1920. Construction of the Palm House began in 1839, and the Tropical Ravine, or Fernery, completed in 1889, is a fine example of horticultural Victoriana.
Belfast is teeming with a multitude of stylish bars, gourmet restaurants and some of the best shopping in the British Isles. Enjoy the atmosphere and return to Dublin in the late afternoon.
Cliffs of Moher Tour
You leave Dublin and transfer to the Burren area of County Clare. The Burren is a limestone plateau occupying an area of over one hundred square miles in North Clare on the west coast of Ireland. It is an area of scenic attractions where the clear light, reflected from the stone-grey hills, seems to radiate an air of timelessness, which is made more realistic by the presence of the many prehistoric remains that dot the fields and the valleys beneath. Here the unfolding layers of limestone form terraces on the slopes of the hills – a limestone desert but with a quick-changing landscape. Within a few miles may be seen verdant valleys, bright, green hills thick with hazel and bramble, while the grey heights are relieved by streaks of coloured vegetation contained in the fissures and rock joints.”
Then visit the Cliffs of Moher: one of the most visited places in Ireland, with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Aran Islands.
Return to Dublin. (This tour takes approx. 10-12 hours due to its distance from Dublin)
Giant's Causeway Tour
Depart Dublin and travel northwards along the motorway to Northern Ireland, where you will visit the Antrim Coast and Giants Causeway.
The Giants Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 and a National Nature Reserve in 1987. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the causeway every year. After a walk along the stepping stones and taking in the amazing views you will return to Dublin in your deluxe coach. (This tour takes approx. 10-12 hours due to its distance from Dublin.)