See the best of Northern Ireland: Giant's Causeway, Derry, Belfast and Dublin

Personalised journeys from start to finish

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Every detail taken care of

  • Personalised journeys from start to finish

  • Every trip helps support Conservation

  • Every detail taken care of

Suggested places to visit

Itinerary highlights

  • Visit the prehistoric megalithic sites of the Boyne Valley
  • Tour the UNESCO World Heritage Marble Arch Caves Geopark
  • Explore Glenveagh National Park and the 19th century Glenveagh Castle
  • Discovering the delights of Northern Ireland's capital, Belfast
  • See the natural wonder of Northern Ireland, the Giant's Causeway
  • Connoisseur experience at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin

What's included

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Private transfers
  • All tours mentioned in the itinerary
  • Full support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

This 12-day trip introduces you to the beauty of Northern Ireland from Donegal and Fermanagh to the cities of Derry and Belfast, finishing in the Republic of Ireland’s intoxicating capital, Dublin.

Your adventure starts as you travel through the scenic Boyne Valley to Lough Erne. From here you’ll explore Enniskillen Castle and marvel at the underground world at the Marble Arch Caves Geopark. Travel along the coast past the dramatic cliffs of Slieve League to reach Lough Eske Castle, your beautiful and historic home for the next few days.

Glenveagh National Park is a vast area of wilderness perfect for hiking – keep your eyes peeled for the majestic golden eagles that soar overhead. You’ll also get a taste for traditional life at Glencolmcille Folk Village and visit a weaving workshop to get an understanding on this ancient craft.

Prepare yourself for epic scenery as you discover Malin Head, Dunluce Castle and the awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway. As you pick your way across the hexagonal pillars, your mind will boggle at the sheer power of Mother Nature. The adventure continues in Belfast, Northern Ireland’s colourful and vibrant capital. You’ll take a black taxi tour that offers an overview of the city’s turbulent past as you visit iconic sights such as the famous murals. You’ll also travel back in time at the incredible Titanic Belfast, the birthplace of the ill-fated ocean liner.

Your final stop is Dublin, a city with an energy that’s just contagious. Discover its history at the Trinity Book of Kells and Christ Church Cathedral, then embrace the present with a connoisseur experience at the Guinness Storehouse and a pub tour.

Example trip itinerary

Days 1-3

Lough Erne

hill-of-tara-ireland
Private transfer to Lough Erne via the Boyne Valley Private transfer to Lough Erne via the Boyne Valley

The Boyne Valley, located in the northeast of Ireland and encompassing counties Louth and Meath, holds a UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is the largest and one of the most important prehistoric megalithic sites in Europe. From the summit of the Hill of Tara 16 of Ireland's 32 counties can be seen. Tara is one of the largest complexes of Celtic monuments in Europe and in reading its landscape, you are transported back in time to when the first settlers came 6,000 years ago. The Tara spiral is taken from a carving within the 5000-year-old Mound of the Hostages and is said to have reference to a life force pattern that reflects Tara's significance within Irish history.

Newgrange was built during the Neolithic or New Stone Age by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley. Built as a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance, Newgrange is best known for the illumination of its passage and chamber by the winter solstice sun on the shortest day of the year, December 21.

Accommodation in Lough Erne

Enniskillen Castle Enniskillen Castle

Enniskillen Castle, situated beside the River Erne in County Fermanagh, was built almost 600 years ago by the ruling Gaelic Maguires. Guarding one of the few passes into Ulster, it has been strategically important throughout its history. Today, the historic site houses two museums, Fermanagh County Museum and The Inniskillings Museum.

Florence Court Florence Court

Take a tour of this amazingly preserved Georgian home, one of the most important in Ireland. If you’ve time, walk one of the trails in the gardens and take in the beautiful Fermanagh countryside.

marble-arch-caves-geopark
Marble Arch Caves Geopark Marble Arch Caves Geopark

This UNESCO Heritage site is host to magnificent natural and man-made attractions including Tully Castle (a 17th-century ruin), Gortmaconnell Rock, Cuilcagh Mountain Boardwalk, Money Gashel Cashel (remains of a fortified settlement), Drumlane Abbey, Pollnagollum Cave and Whitefather’s Cave, as well as the titular Marble Arch Caves which you can enjoy a guided tour through.

Private transfer to Lough Eske via Slieve League Private transfer to Lough Eske via Slieve League

Sweeping down from the mountain of Slieve League are some of the highest cliffs in the world. From the top it's a steep 609m to the Atlantic down below. The nearby centre is full of information on the cliffs and surrounding areas.

You'll also stop by Belleek Pottery. Nestled on the banks of the River Erne, the striking building is home to the world-famous Belleek Fine Parian china. Discover the secrets that have made Belleek Pottery one of the most enduring success stories of Irish craftmanship with a tour through the workshop, talking to employees on the floor and visiting the museum.

Days 3-5

Lough Eske

Accommodation in Lough Eske

glenveagh-national-park-donegal-ireland
Glenveagh National Park Glenveagh National Park

The largest tract of land in the wildest part of Donegal, Glenveagh National Park incorporates moorland, mountains, lakes and woods within its 40,000 acres of wilderness. The park, the second largest in Ireland, was once owned by the American millionaire Henry P. McIlhenny and is now in the hands of the Irish government. You may be lucky enough to catch sight of soaring golden eagles which have been reintroduced into the area or chance upon a shy red deer.

glenveagh-castle-donegal-ireland
Glenveagh Castle Glenveagh Castle

Glenveagh Castle is a 19th-century castellated mansion built between 1867 and 1873. It was designed by John Townsend Trench, who appears to have imitated the style of earlier Irish tower houses adding an air of antiquity to the castle. Few of the great houses of Ireland are preserved in this condition, with their original furnishings, and in Glenveagh Castle one catches a glimpse of a lifestyle belonging to an earlier age.

Glencolmcille Folk Village Glencolmcille Folk Village

This folk museum is made up of six replica thatched cottages with original artifacts an utensils. Overlooking Glen Bay Beach in South West Donegal, this unique living museum was built and is maintained by locals, allowing a fascinating insight into the hardships of rural Irish life between 18-20th centuries. Don't forget to explore the craft shops to peruse locally-made knitwear or stop by the tearoom for a bowl of warming soup and an Irish coffee.

Eddie Doherty Tweed Eddie Doherty Tweed

Eddie Doherty learnt traditional Irish weaving by hand at the age of 16. Now, 40 years later, after two long stints with large Irish fabric companies, he uses Donegal wool to handweave pure wool blankets and tweed at his home in Ardara.

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Derry

Days 5-7

Derry

Accommodation in Derry

Derry city tour Derry city tour

Northern Ireland's second largest city continues to flourish as an artistic and cultural hub. Derry's city centre was given a striking makeover for its year as the UK City of Culture in 2013, with the new Peace Bridge, Ebrington Square and the redevelopment of the waterfront and Guildhall area making the most of the city's splendid riverside setting. There's lots of history to absorb here, from the Siege of Derry to the Battle of the Bogside and Bloody Sunday. A stroll around the 17th-century city walls that encircle the city is a must, as is a tour of the Bogside murals, along with taking in the burgeoning live music scene in the city's lively pubs.

Malin Head Malin Head

Occupying the most northerly point of the island of Ireland, Malin Head is an example of the beautiful rugged coastal landscapes to be found here. The scenic beauty of the area has captured the imagination of artists and even filmmakers, with Star Wars: The Last Jedi filmed in Malin Head. Nature lovers can enjoy spotting marine wildlife like seals, dolphins and sea birds while the Grianán of Aileach stone ring fort offers a stunning view of six surrounding counties. At low tide, you can also spot the wreck of the Twilight ship at the Five Finger Stand which sank in 1889.

Dunluce Castle Dunluce Castle

An atmospheric ruin, set against on a steep cliff edge in north County Antrim, Dunlace Castle is imbued with myth and fable. The castle dates back to 1500, when it was made by the MacQuillan family. A local legend says that the castle was abandoned after the kitchen collapsed into the sea, taking the cooks with it. The mystery of the castle has inspired writers and filmmakers alike: from C.S. Lewis’s Narnia to the TV series Game Of Thrones.

giants-causeway-sunset
Giant's Causeway Giant's Causeway

Shrouded in legend, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the greatest natural wonders in the United Kingdom. Thousands of hexagonal basalt columns stand against the wild winds and battering waves of the North Atlantic Ocean. Legend has it that the natural phenomenon was created by the Irish giant Finn MacCool after he was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Whether the honeycomb rocks were created by giants or intense volcanic activity is up to you to decide.

Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge

The Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge connects the mainland to the minuscule island of Carrickarede. At 30-metres above sea level, the elevated bridge was first made by salmon fishermen over 250 years ago. Once on the island, you can spot the island’s only building, a small fisherman’s cottage and look out onto the Atlantic Ocean.

Away A ‘Wee’ Walk Away A ‘Wee’ Walk

Get off the beaten track on a magnificent cliff walk to the Giant’s Causeway that will take your breath away. Escape the crowds and enjoy more of this coast than the average tourist ever sees. This walk is six miles long and once you reach the iconic Giant’s Causeway, you will have some time to explore the stunning natural rock formation.

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Belfast

Days 7-10

Belfast

Accommodation in Belfast

Black Taxi tour Black Taxi tour

Enjoy a Black Taxi tour of the city with a local and learn more about the history of the city as you go. See the famous Catholic and Protestant murals that depict the colourful history of the city. Learn about what life was like in the city during the Troubles and sign your name on the world famous peacewall.

Belfast city tour Belfast city tour

The capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast is a vibrant city, rich in history and cultural heritage. World-class theatres, music and visual arts are just some of the things that put this city on the map. The Cathedral Quarter is a must for culture-seekers while the fascinating Titanic Quarter allows visitors a chance to see the very place the infamous ocean liner the Titanic was built and enjoy the diamond-shaped Titanic Belfast experience.

titanic-belfast
Titanic Belfast Titanic Belfast

Located in the heart of Belfast, on the very slipways where the Titanic was built, Titanic Belfast is spread over nine galleries, with multiple dimensions to the exhibition. Drawing together special effects, dark rides, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features to explore the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way; from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her infamous maiden voyage and catastrophic demise. The journey goes beyond the aftermath of the sinking, to the discovery of the wreck and continues into the present day with a live undersea exploration centre.

belfast-castle-northern-ireland
Belfast Castle and Cave Hill Belfast Castle and Cave Hill

Belfast Castle is located in the Cave Hill area of north Belfast. It was built in the 1860s and is one of the city's most famous landmarks. For generations, Cave Hill has been synonymous with Belfast, with its imposing outline visible throughout the city. Named for the five caves located on the side of the cliffs, the area contains a wealth of natural, archaeological and historical features, including Belfast Castle. Its most famous feature, known locally as Napoleon's Nose, is believed to have been the inspiration for Jonathan Swift's novel, Gulliver's Travels. The park is home to the Cave Hill Adventurous Playground, archaeological sites, Visitor Information Area in Belfast Castle, ecotrails, walking and orienteering routes. The estate contains landscaped gardens and mature mixed woodland and offers superb views of the city from a variety of vantage points.

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Bread making class Bread making class

You are invited to join in a bread making class an 18th-century thatched cottage on the shores of beautiful Strangford Lough in County Down. Traditional griddle breads such as soda bread, potato bread, and wheaten breads are made in the farmhouse kitchen here and the local bread maker will be show you how to make these breads using local ingredients and traditional methods. Roll up your sleeves, put on an apron and have a go yourself, or simply sit back relax and enjoy the fruits of someone else's labour! Once the griddle breads are ready and have cooled down a little you will sit around the farmhouse family table and enjoy a lunch of local produce, finishing with traybakes, a Northern Irish sweet treat. You will be given a copy of all the traditional bread recipes so that you can try making them at home. Afterwards, enjoy a tasting of local gins.

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Dublin

Days 10-12

Dublin

Accommodation in Dublin

guinness-storehouse-connoisseur experience
Guinness Storehouse connoisseur experience Guinness Storehouse connoisseur 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.

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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. The Book of Kells is Ireland's national treasure, a 9th-century manuscript documenting the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ. The exhibition is on display inside the 18th-century Old Library building and includes access one of the world's most beautiful libraries, the Long Room, which displays 250,000 of Trinity College’s oldest and rarest books.

Christ Church Cathedral Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral is Dublin's oldest building and a place of pilgrimage for almost 1,000 years. Renowned for its beauty, architecture and exquisite floor tiles, it is home to the famous 12th-century crypt, one of the oldest and largest in Britain and Ireland. Perfectly located in the heart of medieval Dublin, it was founded in 1030 by Sitriuc, King of the Dublin Norsemen and was incorporated into the Irish Church in 1152 and eventually led by the famous Archbishop and patron saint of Dublin, Laurence O’Toole.

Over the years, Christ Church has borne witness to many significant events including the crowning of Lambert Simnel as Edward VI in 1487. Today, it houses the important Treasures of Christ Church which features manuscripts and ancient artifacts as well as a spectacular exhibition of original 16th-century costumes from the historical series 'The Tudors'. Designed by Emmy award winning designer Joan Bergin, the opulent costumes from the drama have travelled the world including a display in Macy’s New York.

dublin-ireland
Musical Pub Tour Musical Pub Tour

Dublin’s musical pub crawl takes participants to two city centre pubs where musicians, also acting as your guides along the route, demonstrate their Irish traditional instruments and tell the story of Irish music. This is a great way to participate in some Irish ‘craic’ (fun), song and a couple of pints.

Flights & transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Dublin airport

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