An epic exploration of Ireland's past and present, from east to west

Personalised journeys from start to finish

Every trip helps support Conservation

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

  • Explore the Irish capital with a visit to Trinity College’s Old Library and the Guinness Storehouse
  • Enjoy a musical pub crawl of Dublin
  • Wander through the remarkable Kilkenny Castle
  • Sample a drop of whiskey in the Jameson Distillery
  • Discover the charming coastline town of Kinsale
  • Drive along the scenic Ring of Kerry
  • Marvel at the dramatic Cliffs of Moher

What's included

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Private transfers
  • All tours specified 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 journey weaves the perfect patchwork of castles, forts, ancient markets and quaint colourful towns along Ireland’s epic coastlines and across its lush landscapes.

You’ll begin your journey in the multifaceted Capital of Dublin. Home to Ireland’s most profound historical sites, from castles to gaols, cathedrals to museums marking the very creation of the independent Irish state, you’ll find yourself transported back in time. Also home to the ‘black stuff’, a drink from the source at The Guinness Storehouse will bring you back to the present, for you to fully immerse yourself in the prevailing music scene of Temple Bar.

Sticking close to the coast, from here you’ll journey south. After rejuvenating the senses in the fresh air and the tranquillity of Glendalough, found in the heart of the impressive Wicklow Mountains National Park, you’ll begin your much-anticipated journey west, over to the medieval town of Kilkenny.

In direct contrast to this ancient town, you’ll soon find yourself travelling via the beautiful surrounds of the Waterford Greenway towards the lively cosmopolitan city of Cork. Really get a taste of Ireland at the Jameson Distillery before relaxing over in the picturesque town of Cobh – a place as quaint as it is colourful.

Further west in Kenmare, the Ring of Kerry awaits with its spectacular coastal views for you to enjoy for miles. Arriving in the outskirts of Limerick and resting in the castle grounds of the regal Adare Manor, you’ll then make your way to the famous city of Galway via the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher.

Finishing this epic journey in Galway, you’ll have a farewell feast to remember, exploring the variety of this city’s delightful gastronomy. Eat to your heart’s content, to depart this wonderful country in the best possible taste.

Example trip itinerary

Days 1-3


Flights & transfers


Private transfer to your hotel

Accommodation in Dublin

Two nights in Dublin Two nights 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 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.

The Guinness Storehouse The Guinness Storehouse

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.

GPO Witness History Museum GPO Witness History Museum

Dublin’s GPO is indelibly associated with the 1916 rising and the events that led to the creation of an independent Irish state. The stern grandeur of its façade,with the Irish flag flying proudly aloft, is an image that evokes a justifiable sense of heroism and nationhood. The General Post Office Witness History Museum is a brand-new immersive exhibition in the iconic GPO building in the heart of Dublin’s City Centre. GPO Witness History’s special effects, soundscapes and heartfelt testimonials from real people in extraordinary circumstances will captivate all age groups, from the curious, young international visitor to the well-informed history buff.

Dublin Castle Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle is the heart of historic Dublin. In fact, the city gets its name from the black tidal pool, which was on the site of the present castle garden, known in Classical Gaelic as 'Dubh Linn'. Generally, the state apartments, medieval undercroft and chapel royal are open to visitors to explore deep into the history of this beautiful city.

Kilmainham Gaol Kilmainham Gaol

Explore one of the largest unoccupied jails in Europe, covering some of the most heroic and tragic events in Ireland's emergence as a modern nation from the 1780s to the 1920s. Attractions here include a major exhibition detailing the political and penal history of the prison and its restoration and the tour of the prison also includes an audio-visual show.

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.

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.

Private transfer to Kilkenny via Glendalough Private transfer to Kilkenny via Glendalough

Glendalough gets its name from 'Gleann dá locha' which translates to ‘Glen of the two lakes' in the traditional Irish language. Situated right in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, Glendalough harbours one of Ireland’s most atmospheric monastic sites. Established by St Kevin in the 6th century, the settlement was attacked time and again by the Vikings, but nevertheless flourished for over 600 years. You'll also stop by Powerscourt Estate, one of the most beautiful country demesnes in Ireland, dramatically situated among Wicklow's mountains. Additionally, you'll get the chance to experience a traditionally Irish sheepdog demo.

Days 3-5


Accommodation in Kilkenny

Two nights around Kilkenny Two nights around Kilkenny

Built from dark grey limestone flecked with fossil seashells, Kilkenny is also known as 'the marble city'. Its unique medieval mile of narrow lanes and historic buildings strung between castle and cathedral along the banks of the River Nore is one of the southeast's biggest draws. Kilkenny is also a centre for arts and crafts, and home to a host of fine restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops.

Rothe House Rothe House

Nestled in the centre of Ireland’s Medieval Mile, Rothe House and Garden is one of Kilkenny’s hidden gems. The building was the home of a 17th-century merchant and consists of three townhouses, courtyards and gardens. The home was built for John Rothe Fitzpiers, who lived here with his wife and 12 children. Rothe was a successful merchant who made his business trading cloths and silks from the UK to Europe. The house contains a full collection of unique artefacts and there is even a genealogical research service available for patrons to help them retrace their Kilkenny family roots.

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 history is full of legends and stories involving earls, witches and visits from royalty. Marvel at the grand country house and wander among the beautifully manicured gardens and 50 acres of lush parklands. There's also a tearoom and even orienteering trails to discover.

Waterford Greenway Waterford Greenway

The world-class 45km Waterford Greenway runs from Waterford to Dungarvan along the route of an old railway line. Along the way you’ll travel over two stone viaducts and have the opportunity to stop at some local villages. The famous Mount Congreve Gardens are along the route and you’ll also encounter stunning sea views as you cycle the final stage into Dungarvan.

Private transfer to Cork via Waterford Private transfer to Cork via Waterford

Waterford city was founded by the Vikings some 1,100 years ago and had extensive trading links with Viking Settlements overseas. In the nineteenth century the city was the birthplace of the actor Charles Kean and the composer William Vincent Wallace, both, by coincidence, born in the same house! Discover over 1,000 years of history including four national monuments, two Cathedrals be introduced to the range of rakes, rogues, reprobates and revolutionaries who enlivened the city's history. You'll also visit Reginald's Tower, the oldest complete building in Ireland and the first to use mortar, as well as The House of Waterford Crystal.

Days 5-7


Accommodation in Cork

Two nights in Cork Two nights in Cork

Ireland's second city is first in every important respect, at least according to the locals, who cheerfully refer to it as the 'real capital of Ireland'. It's a liberal, youthful and cosmopolitan place, busily reinventing itself with spruced-up streets, revitalised stretches of waterfront, and an artisan coffee bar on every corner. There's a bit of a hipster scene, but the best of the city is still happily traditional; snug pubs with live music sessions, restaurants dishing up top-quality local produce, and a genuinely proud welcome from the locals.

Jameson Distillery Jameson Distillery

For over 200 years Dublin was the home of Jameson, but in 1975 the whole operation moved to the green expanses of Midleton, in county Cork and today, every drop of Jameson is produced here. This new home provided the space needed, as well as proximity to barley farmers and freshwater in abundance, key ingredients in Jameson Whiskey! Visit the workplace of Jameson to see for yourself where it all happens. After you receive a hundred thousand welcomes, be guided around these amazing grounds where you will come face-to-face with the largest pot still in the world, see our new micro-distillery in action, experience our live maturation warehouse and much more. With so many things to see, do, taste and learn, there really is no time like the present to explore the past.

Cobh tour Cobh tour

Cobh (pronounced 'cove') is located on a glittering estuary, dotted with brightly coloured houses and overlooked by a splendid cathedral. It's popular with Corkonians looking for a spot of R&R, and with cruise liners. Each year around 75 visit the port, the second largest natural harbour in the world (after Sydney Harbour in Australia). Cobh was also the final port of call for the Titanic. Here, a poignant museum commemorates the fatal voyage's point of departure.

Cork English market Cork English market

Dating to 1788, this is one of the oldest covered markets of its kind known to exist in the world with a great selection of delicious Irish produce. Although it might not be the largest, it is a bustling and pretty place. Lunch is available in the upstairs café and restaurant.

Kinsale Kinsale

The unique yachting harbour of Kinsale is one of many colourful gems strung along the coastline of County Cork. Narrow, winding streets lined with a fantastic range of top quality shops and boutiques with many unique designs and great gift ideas, galleries, lively bars and superb restaurants, and a handsome natural harbour filled with yachts and guarded by a huge 17th-century fortress make it an engrossing place to visit.

Charles Fort Charles Fort

This vast 17th-century fortification would be worth a visit for its spectacular views alone, but there's much more here. The 18th and 19th-century ruins inside the walls make for some fascinating wandering. It's 3km southeast of Kinsale along the minor road through Scilly; if you have time, hike there along the lovely coastal Scilly Walk.

Private transfer to Kerry via Blarney Castle Private transfer to Kerry via Blarney Castle

Historic Blarney Castle is most famous for its stone, which legend tells has the power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it. In the grounds of the castle the Rock Close is a fascinating place of ancient trees and far more ancient stones. Blarney Castle, set in acres of parkland filled with rare and unusual trees and plants, offers visitors the chance to stroll in one of the country's most spectacular gardens.

Days 7-9


Accommodation in Kenmare

Ring of Kerry Ring of Kerry

The 100-mile (160km) circuit of the Ring of Kerry, where dramatic mountain scenery meets stunning seascapes, is perhaps the most breath-taking of scenic drives in Ireland. Every turn in the road seems to offer a unique view, and the Ring of Kerry provides many unforgettable memories as it passes through picturesque villages such as Kenmare, Killorglin and Sneem. There are also opportunities to enjoy remote walks in the mountains on one of the many nature trails, particularly through Killarney National Park.

Slea Head Slea Head

Slea Head Drive is a 50km loop around superbly preserved structures from Dingle's ancient past including beehive huts, ring forts, inscribed stones and early Christian sites. Set against staggeringly beautiful coastal scenery, the landscape is especially dramatic in shifting mist.

Dingle Town Dingle Town

Framed by its fishing port, the peninsula's charming little 'capital' manages to be quaint without even trying. Some pubs double as shops, so you can enjoy a Guinness and a singalong among screws and nails, wellies and horseshoes. Dingle town is a truly cosmopolitan, creative place. In summer its hilly streets can be clogged with visitors; in other seasons its authentic charms are yours for the savouring. Although Dingle is one of Ireland's largest Gaeltacht towns, the locals have voted to retain the name Dingle rather than go by the officially sanctioned – and signposted – Gaelic name of An Daingean.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer to your hotel near Limerick

Days 9-10


Accommodation in Adare

Cliffs of Moher Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are a dramatic 14km (9 mile) length of Atlantic coastline at the southwestern edge of the Burren region. They run from their southern end at Hag's Head up to a maximum height of of 214m (702 feet) close to O'Brien's Tower, built in 1835 by Sir Cornelius O'Brien as an observation tower for the Victorian tourists, and the site remains one of the most popular sites in Ireland. From the tower, you can see out to the Aran Islands in Galway Bay, the Maumturks and Twelve Pins mountain ranges to the north, and Loop Head lighthouse to the south.

Burren guided walk Burren guided walk

The Burren (meaning 'great rock') stretches across northern Clare, a windswept, lunar-like landscape of barren grey limestone that was shaped beneath ancient seas, then forced high and dry by a great geological cataclysm. Wildflowers in spring give the Burren brilliant, if ephemeral, colour amid its stark beauty. Villages throughout the region include the music hub of Doolin on the west coast, Kilfenora inland and charming Ballyvaughan in the north on the shores of Galway Bay. South of Ballyvaughan, a series of severe bends twists up Corkscrew Hill. Built as part of a Great Famine relief scheme in the 1840s, the road leads to prehistoric and Iron Age sites including Gleninsheen Wedge Tomb, Poulnabrone Dolmen and Caherconnell Fort. Throughout the region, there are fantastic opportunities for walking and rock climbing. A part of the Burren forms the Burren National Park, the smallest of the six National Parks in Ireland.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer to your hotel in Dromoland

Day 10-12


Accommodation in Dromoland

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.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer to Shannon Airport

Use the navigation to jump down to a particular part of this example trip
What's your dream trip?

We design private journeys for people who wish to go beyond the typical and experiencing something truly special. Our amazing team of travel designers, concierges and local guides work together to create unique journeys that get deep under the skin of where you’re visiting.

Get in touch

Highlights of Southern Ireland

12-Day Example Trip
Prices start from
Simply complete the form below or give us a call
We'll get in touch within 24 hours and work with you to perfect the details of your trip.
Sit back and relax while we plan the perfect itinerary for you.

How we work

We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.

Every trip helps support Conservation.

From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.