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Experience Ireland at its most opulent, onboard the Belmond Grand Hibernian and from the skies

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What's Included

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Private helicopter tour of the Cliffs of Moher
  • Two nights aboard the Belmond Grand Hibernian
  • Airport meet and greet and private transfers
  • Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

This is a tour like no other, a journey of non-stop indulgence, where you will experience the most exquisite places, excursions and hotels Ireland has to offer.

Starting your journey in Dublin, you’ll discover its historic highlights, from St Patrick’s Cathedral to Trinity Book of Kells, accompanied by a must-have tasting at The Guinness Storehouse. After this jam-packed introduction, you’ll hop aboard the opulent Belmond Grand Hibernian, a cross country train which easily competes with some of Dublin’s most prestigious hotels and restaurants. Once on board , you’ll glide through the idyllic Irish countryside in style, towards the second capital of this Isle: Belfast.

During your two-night stay, you’ll soon find yourself at the opposite end of the island, in Waterford. Here you’ll take a visit to Curraghmore House where you’ll be guided on a private tour of this quintessential 17th-century mansion.

After your royal railroad adventure, make your way to Ballyfin, stopping en route at the Irish Stud and Gardens, famous among Ireland‘s thoroughbred horse industry. You’ll then travel further still, back towards the 12th century at Kilkenny Castle, before heading to the former home of the Guinness family, Ashford Castle, where within its regal 350-acre estate you’ll learn falconry from the experts before resting your head inside its opulent walls.

After exploring the castle grounds via horseback, you’ll head to the breathtaking Connemara National Park for a guided hike, before the most memorable experience of them all: a private helicopter ride over the dramatic Cliffs of Moher. From here your pilot will fly you to Adare, where you’ll check in to the beautiful Adare Manor for the remainder of your stay.

Whilst here, you’ll visit a charming Georgian character house belonging to a local resident of the Lough Derg area, and be given a tour by the lady of the manor. As you make your way to Shannon Airport, you’ll have much to muse on from your opulent adventure and you’ll be sure to have the most unique stories to tell back home.

Example Trip Itinerary

Day 1-2

Dublin

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Airport meet and greet

Transfer

Limousine runway transfer to the Platinum Services Suite

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Dublin

Accommodation in Dublin

One night in Dublin One night in Dublin

Both the Republic of Ireland’s capital and largest city, Dublin is truly larger than life. A kaleidoscope of history and modernity, it is generous in its architectural and cultural offerings. Just a quick turn down a cosy laneway could lead you to the bustling restaurants and pubs of Temple Bar, or towards the ancient, yet indominable walls of Dublin Castle. For a city so rich in historic treasures, its bold spirit has not been left in the past. Internationally renowned for their lively spirit and fun-loving attitude, Dubliners certainly know how to grab the present moment with both hands.

trinity-college-library-ireland
Trinity Book of Kells Trinity Book of Kells

Trinity College’s Old Library and the Book of Kells Exhibition is a must see for all visitors to Dublin. Located in the heart of Dublin City, a walk through the cobbled stones of Trinity College Dublin will bring you back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library building was constructed.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Saint Patrick's Cathedral has been at the heart of Dublin and Ireland's history and culture for over 800 years. For centuries it was the largest enclosed space on the island and it remains the largest cathedral in the country. It has been visited by some of Irish history's most influential individuals from Cromwell, William of Orange and King James I, to Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert. We can organise a private vergers tour with behind-the-scenes access.

The Guinness Storehouse with connoisseur experience The Guinness Storehouse with connoisseur experience

The highlight of a trip to Dublin is a visit to the home of the 'black stuff'. Arthur Guinness founded the family business in 1759 at St. James's Gate. The Storehouse, impressively built in 1904 as a fermentation plant, is now an interactive museum on several floors, detailing how four simple ingredients are blended to create the famous stout. Finally, pull yourself up to the almighty Gravity Bar on the 7th floor for the most scenic complimentary pint in Dublin. The 360-degree windows afford exceptional views of the city. Here you'll experience a five-star Guinness tasting experience for the ultimate Guinness connoisseur. This intimate session takes place in a private bar where expert staff will be your personal guides on a sensory journey filled with tales and traditions.

Grafton Street Grafton Street

Enjoy a relaxing breakfast at your hotel and go on a walk along Grafton Street – which is right on your doorstep. The beating heart of Dublin City, this pedestrian street has shops galore to explore with many arteries running off with fantastic cafes, bars and restaurants.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Heuston Station

Days 2-4

The Belmond Grand Hibernian

Your Luxury Train

city-hall-belfast-eye
Belmond Grand Hibernian - Day one Belmond Grand Hibernian - Day one

Depart from Dublin Heuston Station in the early afternoon. Lunch is served on board as the train travels north along the coast and through the green Irish countryside. On arrival in Belfast set off on a fascinating black taxi tour to take in the city’s highlights. Then step back in time as you visit the Titanic Experience. This award-winning attraction uses special effects to recreate the history of the ill-fated ocean liner. Return to the train and enjoy a leisurely dinner followed by the evening’s entertainment.

Belmond Grand Hibernian - Day two Belmond Grand Hibernian - Day two

Awake to a tempting breakfast as the beautiful countryside passes by. Arriving at the historic Viking port of Waterford, you’ll disembark to visit Curraghmore House. Take an exclusive tour of the magnificent mansion and ground including a visit to the stables, then savour a delicious afternoon tea. The discovery continues as you head to the Bishop’s Palace where the director hosts a private after-hours tour. Marvel at the finest collection of 17th century Irish silver and enjoy a glass-making presentation featuring the oldest piece of Waterford Crystal in the world. A sumptuous dinner on board is complemented by a traditional music performance in the Observation Car.

Belmond Grand Hibernian - Day three Belmond Grand Hibernian - Day three

Savour your last breakfast aboard as the train returns to Dublin, where you disembark for your onward journey.

Days 4-6

Ballyfin

Private transfer to Ballyfin via Irish National Stud and Gardens Private transfer to Ballyfin via Irish National Stud and Gardens

The Irish National Stud and Gardens symbolises all that is great about County Kildare, the beating heart of Ireland's thoroughbred horse industry. Enjoy a tour to marvel at the grace and splendour of these horses at close quarters. Within the grounds are the famous Japanese gardens, created between 1906 and 1910. The gardens trace the passage of a soul from birth to death and beyond.

Accommodation in Ballyfin

Boating on the lake Boating on the lake

Enjoy a leisurely boat trip on the 28 acre lake or why not let the hotel butler take you out while you relax and enjoy the scenery. Arrange a Ballyfin picnic and this will be ready for you at a beautiful private location close to the lake.

Kilkenny Castle, Ireland
Kilkenny Castle Kilkenny Castle

Explore one of the most recognisable buildings in Ireland. Kilkenny Castle has been an important site since Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, also known as Strongbow, constructed the first castle in the 12th century. The property was given to the Nation in 1967 and the castle and grounds are now managed by the Office of Public Works.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Rothe House

 
rothe-house-and-garden-kilkenny-ireland
Rothe House Rothe House

Nestled in the centre of Ireland’s Medieval Mile, Rothe House and Garden is one of Kilkenny’s hidden gems. A visit is high on the list of things to do in the marble city. Built between 1594 and 1610 this was the home of the renowned merchant, landowner and mayor of Kilkenny city, John Rothe Fitz Piers, his wife Rose Archer, and their eleven children.

Days 6-9

Ashford

Accommodation in Ashford

Tullamore D.E.W. Distillery Tullamore D.E.W. Distillery

Set in the heart of Ireland, Tullamore D.E.W.’s Old Bonded Warehouse sits on the banks of Tullamore’s Grand Canal as it has since 1829. The fantastic visitor’s centre offers a peek into the life of Daniel E Williams, the creator of this infamous whiskey which still bears his initials today. Discover the state-of-the-art process as you get to intimately know this distillery’s whiskey and its history. The tutored tastings will give you a new appreciation of whiskey and the kind of knowledge you can happily annoy your friends with.

Celtic Roots Studio Celtic Roots Studio

The Celtic Roots Studio combines a workshop and gallery space with an interpretative centre and display of historic artefacts made from bogwood. This natural material was formed from trees that became engulfed in Irish bogs thousands of years ago and preserved in the low oxygen atmosphere of the peat. Now, discarded bogwood is reclaimed and slowly dried out over two years before it is carved and polished into contemporary sculpture and jewellery. The pieces are designed by Helen Conneely, who also makes personalised jewelry engraved with a message that connects the wearer with the 5,000-year history of the wood. Come and visit her for a unique and experiential immersion into this fascinating and historic medium.

Falconry at Ashford Castle Falconry at Ashford Castle

Get your learning gloves on at the oldest established Falconry School in Ireland. The school at Ashford Castle offers you the chance to fly a Harris hawk around the breathtaking estate of Ashford Castle in a private Hawk Walk. Within no time you will have one of the majestic birds on your arm in the picturesque woodland grounds of the castle. This is an experience you're not likely to forget, especially when your hawk first swoops down from a tree and lands on your gloved fist.

oysters-galway-ireland
Galway food tour Galway food tour

Brightly painted pubs heave with live music, while restaurants and cafes offer front row seats for observing buskers and street theatre. Remnants of the medieval town walls lie between shops selling handcrafted Claddagh rings, books and musical instruments, bridges arch over the salmon-stuffed River Corrib, and a long promenade leads to the seaside suburb of Salthill on Galway Bay, the source of the area's famous oysters. While it's steeped in history, the city buzzes with a contemporary vibe, thanks in part to students, who make up a quarter of the population.

Enjoy a walking tour of the city and experience the best of Galway’s local cuisine. Your local private guide will show you Galway’s hidden food treasures, from new artisans to traditional family businesses. Indulge your taste buds and get to see the best of this vibrant city.

Horseback ride at Ashford Castle Horseback ride at Ashford Castle

Your driver will take you back to Ashford Castle where you will explore the forest on horseback. The ancient forest is steeped in history and heritage and the beautiful woodland paths and spectacular scenery from the saddle will captivate novice and experienced riders alike. From the shores of Lough Corrib, Lough Mask and into the mountains of Connemara to the west, the area couldn’t be more magical for riding. Situated within easy walking distance of the castle, trail rides and lessons are available for all ages and abilities and are accompanied by an experienced guide. Hard hats and Jodhpur boots are provided.

irish-coastline-galway
Connemara National Park Connemara National Park

Your driver-guide will take you to Connemara National Park today. Michael Gibbons, a fantastic local specialist guide, will join you today and take you on a hike with some fun stories, history and heritage. Connemara translates as 'Inlets of the Sea' and the roads along the peninsula's filigreed coast bear this out as they wind around the small bays and coves of this breath-taking stretch of the Wild Atlantic Way. From Galway city, a slow coastal route passes some stunning hidden beaches and seaside hamlets. At the start of the Gaeltacht region west of Spiddal, the scenery becomes increasingly dramatic, with parched fields rolling to ragged shores. Connemara's starkly beautiful interior is a kaleidoscope of rusty bogs, lonely valleys and shimmering black lakes. At its heart are the Maumturk Mountains and the quartzite peaks of the Twelve Bens mountain range, with a network of scenic hiking and biking trails.

Michael Gibbons is one of Ireland’s leading field archaeologists. He was born and raised in the Connemara region. He has worked with the Department of Antiquities in Jerusalem and for the Museum of London City Excavation program. Michael is a member of the Nautical Archaeology Society and his current research interests include the archaeology of Irish uplands and islands, in particular the maritime pilgrimage tradition. He has carried out detailed research on some of the most important of these including Skellig Michael World Heritage Site.

cliffs-of-moher-ireland
Private helicopter over the Cliffs of Moher Private helicopter over the Cliffs of Moher

Step aboard a helicopter at Ashford Castle. You will enjoy a scenic flight over the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience is located almost midway along these spectacular cliffs and the site is home to an environmentally friendly visitor centre set into the hillside, O’Brien’s Tower – a 19th century viewing tower, and 800 metres of protected cliff side pathways, viewing areas and steps. It is a dramatic and awe inspiring view on the land, so viewing it from above will be a most spectacular experience. The helicopter will land in the Burren National Park where you will go on a guided Wild Kitchen Walk.

Wild kitchen Wild kitchen

Wild Kitchen is a unique food experience and involves guided walks on land and along the shore. You'll discover and identify delicious and edible wild plants such as seaweed, dilisk and sea spirulina. A wild food walk is such a great way to engage with nature and offers the opportunity to learn about the exceptional nutritional value and unique taste of wild plants. You'll learn how to identify them, what not to eat or touch, what’s in season, tasting as you go and all the while taking in the beautiful scenery of the Burren and the Wild Atlantic Way.

Flights & Transfers

Flight

Helicopter transfer to Adare

Days 9-12

Adare

Accommodation in Adare

Experience Georgian and Palladian Ireland at Lough Derg Experience Georgian and Palladian Ireland at Lough Derg

Today it's time to go behind the scenes of Lough Derg. A remarkable adventure awaits as you get to meet local people and undertake some very special activities, completely off the beaten path. You will visit nearby homes and characters around the Lough (Lake) Derg area. Meet your guide at Killaloe Harbour and begin your day along the stunning Lough Derg. This tour can be experienced both by car and by boat and whether you are on the water or off, the experience is truly amazing. On this tour you will be able to enjoy two different themes: Georgian Ireland and Palladian Ireland.

As you walk the driveway to this beautiful Georgian home, you are greeted by the Lady of the Manor, Carole, originally a film set-designer, her attention to detail is second to none. Receive a mini tour of the ground floor of this meticulously restored home with antique furniture and artefacts from all over the world. Salivate with a trio of local artisan cheese tastings in her country kitchen, paired with a homemade spiced chutney and an organic apple syrup. With open turf fires throughout and such an endearing host, this is a true sensory overload. Through a hidden door lies a private Shebeen, a once illegal Irish pub from times gone by, where barter was used instead of money to evade alcohol taxes. Lit only by candlelight and with an open peat/turf fire, savour a trio of award winning craft Irish gins or premium Irish whiskeys. You'll then move on to one of the first flat roof houses in Ireland, this manor is perched among some of the most spectacular maintained gardens with a view of Ireland's undiscovered lake lands. Receive a mini tour of the gardens and manor before you access the beautiful courtyard. Through here we find a private wine cellar and taste an Elder-flower sparkling wine which is produced from the manors own elderflower trees.

Horse drawn carriage at Adare Manor Horse drawn carriage at Adare Manor

Settle into a beautifully appointed carriage for a meandering 45-minute exploration of Adare Manor's enchanting 840-acre estate. There are many touches included to ensure a relaxed and comfortable journey, from toasty Irish lambswool blankets to an elegant table equipped with wine coolers and cup holders. You can pre-order drinks with the team before setting off on your tour - perhaps a bottle of champagne or a warming Irish coffee.

Irish Gundog Experience Irish Gundog Experience

In the days when Adare Manor was a private country estate, shooting season was one of the most important social events of the year. The game keeper would have kept a pack of highly trained gun dogs to assist in finding and retrieving game. Our trainer will demonstrate their important role with the most beautiful and eloquently trained Irish Labradors. In this charming activity you will get the opportunity to see Labradors at all
the varied levels of training, incorporating obedience, agility, marking, water work and ability to work as part of a team of trained dogs. You will also learn how to handle these wonderful dogs yourself. This is an inspiring look at the communication and collaboration possible between humans and dogs.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Shannon Airport

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