(Dublin, Cork, Killarney, Ballyvaughan, Cong, Donegal, Belfast)
Close your eyes and conjure up all of the magical images you can think of when you consider the ancient land of Ireland - and then live it in person as you explore the length and breath of the country meeting up with colorful locals, tread on ancient sights and take in the majestic coastal views on a trip to Ireland that is sure to satisfy all of the senses..
A comprehensive circuit of Ireland taking in many of the country's highlights, stunning scenery and quintessential towns and villages from Dublin in the east to Cork in the south, Killarney and the Cliffs of Moher in the west, Donegal in the north west and Belfast in the north. From busstling cities to wild coastlines and multi-colored villages, this privately guided exploration of Ireland will have you immersed in Irish culture and heritage with just the right amount of independence and hand holding while staying in some premium, hand selected accommodations..
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer in a private vehicle.
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and accompany you on a private walking tour of the City of Dublin. Please let your guide know if there are any sights of particular interest to you. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
Spend the afternoon as you wish, perhaps visiting one of the many attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse or the Jameson distillery.
Located in the heart of the St James’s Gate Brewery, the Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s No. 1 Dublin Tourist attraction. The state of the art interactive museum and audio visual exhibition takes one on an incredible journey through the history and making of Guinness and includes some very entertaining advertisements that were used throughout the past fifty years. Finish off your discovery by sipping on a complimentary pint from the birds eye viewing room located at the top of the building and take in the panoramic views of the city and coast.
The Jameson Distillery provides a fascinating visit of its factory and introduces the visitor to the various stages that go in to the process of premium whiskey. At the end of the tour you can sit down and do a tutored vertical tasting of various whiskeys from around the world and you'll be sure to appreciate Jameson's premium whiskey all the more!
Other places of interest in the city include St Patrick's Cathedral, Christchurch and Trinity College incorporating The Book of Kells. You may also enjoy Irelands historic and cultural resourses at the world class museums on Kildare Street. There is also excellent shopping on Grafton Street and nearby Nassau Street as well as Dublin's European Style Boulevard of O'Connell Street.
Spend half the day exploring the beautiful area of County Wicklow - just south of Dublin. Wicklow is rightly known as the Garden of Ireland due to the spectacular natural scenery which couple mountains with lakes and meandering glens and a long coastline. The Sally Gap, a high mountain drive, is akin to being in the Wild West and the lush landscapes of Glendalough, the Glen of the two lakes, is nestled deep in the Wicklow Mountains. There are also the delightful villages of Roundwood and Avoca where picturesque mountains meet pretty hamlets. Powerscourt House and Gardens is a spectacular gem shadowed by the Sugarloaf Mountain and the estate is home to the largest waterfall in the British Isles of the same name. From here we continue south to Glendalough and the monastic ruins of St Kevin. The location is one of stunning natural beauty and you may like to take a short stroll around the lake.
This afternoon, enjoy an excursion to Blarney Castle and environs. North of Cork City is the famous town of Blarney with its castle and expansive park and the world renowned Blarney Stone. This must be kissed in a feat of acrobatic heroics to achieve the gift of eloquence. Also in the town is the excellent Blarney Woollen Mills superstore which has amongst the finest ranges of Irish goods anywhere in Ireland. The tour can be completed with a nice meal in Christy's pub or in one of the local restaurants in the square of Blarney. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
The bucolic West Cork coastline is among the most indented, varied and lush in Ireland. Enjoy the beautiful views as you are driven to Killarney today. Among the highlights of your tour is the ancient Drombeg Stone Circle, the quaint fishing villages of Glandore and Union Hall as well as a possible detour to Ireland's most southerly peninsula, Mizen Head. There are also the pretty seaside towns of Baltimore with its islands and Schull with lots of nice shops and cafes to browse through. Glengariff is located at the foot of the Caha Mountains that separate Cork from Kerry. It is a dense lush sub tropical valley that is famous for its Bamboo Park, seal colony and Italian Gardens visited by boat from The Blue Pool in Glengariff. Inland from here is the solitary chapel on an island by the lake at Gougane Barra, one of Irelands most romantic locations. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
Enjoy a day with your own private chauffeur driven vehicle with knowledgeable driver as you explore the Dingle Peninsula incorporating the Blasket Islands.The Dingle Peninsula is perhaps the most naturally beautiful tour in Ireland. This is due to a staggering combination of wild ocean scenery, ancient relics and a profusion of every sort of colour blossoming in the hedgerows. The Blasket Islands are definitely worth a visit as is the Heritage Centre that explains their story. Also there are wonderful Beehive Huts and a beautiful small church of perfect dimensions at Gallarus. At the end of the day your driver will bring you back to your accommodation. In order to give as much flexibility as possible, we have not included entrance fees and these can be paid in person on site.
Enjoy a private transfer to Ballyvaughan via Cliffs of Moher. The trip from Killarney to Ballyvaughan takes in the lovely bucolic landscapes of West Limerick and Clare as well as the heritage towns of Adare and Bunratty. Adare has often been touted as Ireland’s most picturesque town as it has many attractions of historic interest including castles, cathedrals, monasteries, and thatched cottages. Bunratty is a colourful village with a famous castle and folk village as well as Durty Nellies, one of Irelands most visited pubs. It’s also a great place to do a bit of shopping and explore the pretty village on foot. A great detour on this tour is to see the grounds of the famous five star Dromoland Castle estate near Ennis.
Enjoy a private transfer to Ashford Castle today, driving through the scenic Connemara National Park along the way.
A visit to the oldest established Falconry School in Ireland offers you the chance to fly a hawk around the spectacular grounds of Ashford Castle in a one hour private Hawk Walk. Within minutes of arriving, you will have a hawk on your glove and be setting off to fly your hawk or hawks in the gardens and woodlands surrounding Ashford Castle.
Meet your driver-guide for a private transfer to Donegal, visiting Knock Shrine along the way.
You'll spend the day today in the company of your driver-guide who will show you the sights in the area. Derry City is the second city of Northern Ireland and one of the finest walled cities in the country. It has a large town feel and is dominated by the River Foyle that sweeps through the town. The walls are a historic reminder of the troubles and murals, watchtowers and ramparts are interesting to visit. Around the city is the Ulster American Folk Park, an open-air museum which explores the historical link between Ulster and America, focusing particularly on the lifestyle and experiences of those immigrants who sailed from Ulster to America in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Enjoy the afternoon exploring the beautiful Northern coastline. The Inisowen Peninsula (and specifically Malin head) is Irelands' highest point and there are areas of unspoilt and natural beaches with lagoons and raging surf. Lough Swilly to the left and Lough Foyle to the right shape the landscape of this unique peninsula. There are numerous pretty seaside and country towns and villages full of rustic charm including Ballyliffin, Moville and Muff. The highlights of the peninsula tour include Greencastle built by Richard de Burgo in 1305, and the Martello Tower and Fort built in 1805 and 1811 to prevent the possible invasion by Napoleon through this strategic inlet. On the edge of the peninsula is Grianan of Aileach, an Iron Age Fort built by the ancient rulers of Ireland which is still one of the most impressive vernacular structures in Ireland.
Enjoy a private transfer to Belfast stopping off at the magnificent natural beauty of the Giants Causeway. Situated on the North coast of Ireland in County Antrim (about two miles north of Bushmills), the Giant’s Causeway is an area of approximately 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption; however the legend is more convincing for those who prefer a more colourful story. The Giant’s Causeway plays a major part of Ireland’s heritage, attracting visitors from around the world each year since it was first documented in 1693 and realistic sketches were published in 1740. The Giant’s Causeway has often been described as the Eighth Wonder of the World and was declared as Ireland’s first World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1986. Once you have visited, you will quickly see why it has become Ireland’s top tourist attraction!
After exploring this natural sight, continue onwards towards Belfast where you will be dropped off at your accommodation.
Welcome to Northern Ireland's Causeway Coast & Glens – an area whose breathtaking and rugged coastline merges into the romantic landscape of its deep silent glens and lush forest parks. The wonders don’t stop there as the region has been made famous by the Causeway Coastal Route which is seen as ‘One of the World’s Great Road Journeys’ and one of the most outstanding scenic touring drives in the world.
Take in a fun, friendly, and educational tour of the city of Belfast in one of the citys' famous Black Taxis. Belfast City is among the most fascinating places in the world to visit due to the evolving political and cultural shifts taking place on a continuous basis. The oldest quarter in the city, known as Cathedral Quarter, is located closest to the waterfront and dominated by the beautiful St Anne's Church of Ireland Cathedral. It was here that Belfast grew from an obscure village to become the vibrant city that it is today. In the city centre, Donegal Place is one of Europe's finest squares and many buildings from Belfasts' glory days as the second city of the British Empire remains such as the Opera House, Town Hall and The magnificent Queens University.
Enjoy the transfer from Belfast to Dublin stopping off en route at various places of interest. From Belfast there is an incredible range of archaeological and architectural treasures as you travel southwards to Dublin. To begin, there is the wonderful Mourne Mountains that sweep majestically down to the sea at Newcastle in Co. Down. An area of major interest is the archaeological region of the Boyne Valley with the prominent sights being Newgrange, The Hill of Tara, Knowth and Dowth, Slane Castle and The Battle of The Boyne site as well as a possible trip to Trim Castle where many scenes from "Braveheart" the Movie were filmed.
Enjoy an afternoon exploring the main mythological sites west of Dublin city. County Meath is a historical wonderland which has many attractions dating from ancient to medieval times. The Hill of Tara stands in the centre of this facinating county with commanding views in all directions and which was the seat of the ancient Kings of Ireland. Little remains but the outline of their kingdom, a church and a small cafe. Trim Castle to the west however is almost perfectly intact and one of Irelands most interesting castles. Used for many movie sets including Braveheart, the castle sits proudly on the banks of the Boyne and has many ruins in the area that make for an interesting walk.
A complimentary shuttle service is provided for guests of the Northwood Hotel to Dublin airport. The shuttle is available 24 hours a day.
The Brooks Hotel (4*) is regarded as one of the finest Hotels in Dublin City, located on Drury Street and within a few minutes walk of Dublin's famed Grafton Street, Temple Bar and Trinity College. Located in the cultural quarter of the city centre, Brooks Hotel is surrounded by an ecletic mix of high street stores and boutiques which makes it a perfect shopping destination. Enjoy luxurious chocolate from Cocoa Atelier or stylish and unique garments from Costume, both located beside Brooks on Drury Street. Walk the short distance to Grafton Street to enjoy the high end offerings of Brown Thomas or the explore the high street in Topshop, Marks & Spencers and Reiss. Within the hotel itself, bedrooms are decorated in a range of styles and are spaciously appointed to give ample sleep, work and relaxation space and furniture tends to be handcrafted from Galway. The on-site restaurant, Francesca’s Restaurant, is contemporary in design with soft leather furniture and intimate seating arrangements. The open-plan kitchen adds to the ambiance as award-winning head chef and his team set about preparing organic and artisan dishes with sourced locally ingredients. An affiliate of Good Food Ireland, Francesca’s is one of the top restaurants in Dublin city centre. Whisky enthusiasts will be in heaven in the Jasmine Bar, voted one of the ‘Great Whisky Bars of the World’ by Whisky Magazine and part of the Whiskey Trail of Ireland. Tastings in the jasmine bar can be arranged directly at the hotel. Relax and enjoy one of a hundred different whiskies from around the world, or sip on an exotic cocktail while enjoying an array of delicious dishes.
The River Lee Hotel (4*) is the perfect vantage point from which to savor the city and everything that Cork has to offer. Located approximately 1km from the famous English market in the city centre, and standing on a bend on the river, it is just a short stroll from the city centre, in a leafy waterside setting. A striking contemporary building, the River Lee Hotel has a series of tall and bright ground floor spaces opening onto a large sunny terrace overlooking the river. Quality natural materials such as wood, stone and glass provide a background for an interesting collection of contemporary art. The rooms are truly outstanding; all are bright and spacious, with large comfortable beds, four piece bathrooms and dedicated work spaces. They enjoy a range of panoramic views; across the city from the front facing rooms, over the leafy parkland of the Bishops Palace to the rear, or from the premium corner rooms directly onto rushing waters of the weir.
The Killarney Royal Hotel (4*) is situated in the heart of Killarney town. Offering a warm and cosy respite, this family run boutique 4 star hotel, awarded IGTOA Boutique Hotel of the Year 2012, is centrally located in the heart of Killarney Town, with all the majestic beauty of Killarney and Kerry outside its door. Killarney is famous for its busy streets with its many pubs and restaurants - all within walking distance of the hotel.On arrival, one can sit back and enjoy complimentary tea served by the wood burning fire before checking in, or alternatively in the cosy ambience of the luxurious bedrooms on offer. This boutique style property has various categories of room types while all are spacious and luxurious (from approx. 300 square foot in size and more) Air conditioning is throughout the property (not a given in hotels in Ireland!). Both lunch and dinner are served in the Candle Room onsite Restaurant where fresh, locally sourced ingredients are masterly prepared by the Head Chef to create attractively presented dishes bursting with flavour. The menu tends to feature traditional Irish cuisine as well as a range of game, meat and fresh seafood dishes. For a more casual experience, and a popular choice among the local population and guests alike, the constantly bustling Royal Bar and Bistro is testament to the exceptional food and service provided. The inviting Lounge area is the perfect backdrop to Afternoon tea which is served complete with delicious homemade pastries, sandwiches and cakes.
More of a country Manor House than a castle per se, Gregans Castle Hotel (4*) is the ultimate luxury hideaway set within the visually enchanting and unique Burren landscape with it's myriad botanical, archaeological and cultural treasures and with breathtaking views across Galway Bay. Owners Simon Haden and Frederieke McMurray manage this oasis of comfort together with their attentive staff. Irish hospitality and total relaxation prevail. All bedrooms are individually and elegantly decorated and are indulgently free from the intrusion of televisions.
In the Dining Room, the head chef and his team serve creative and modern dishes using fresh, local ingredients like organic Burren lamb and game, and fresh Atlantic fish and shellfish. Should you decide to dine here you are certainly in for a treat as they have received many awards for their food including 3 Rosettes from the AA for “culinary mastery and excellence”; the National Hospitality Awards' Best Hotel Restaurant 2012 and the Food & Wine Magazine Restaurant of The Year Award 2011. the extensive and ever-expanding wine list features some favourite wines from each continent, including a large selection of organic and bio-dynamic wines. If you fancy a beer or an apéritif while you’re browsing the dinner menu, stroll into in the Corkscrew Bar where the open fire is always glowing and you can sit back and relax in comfortable, luxurious surroundings. The popular lunch menu is also served here, and it’s the perfect place for afternoon tea after a day’s sightseeing or hiking.
For over 700 years, Ashford Castle and its 350 acre private estate have offered a myriad of ways to enjoy the hospitality of a castle in Ireland. From the imposing exterior one enters a richly decorated interior that speaks of centuries of care and love of fine craftmanship. Enjoy the award-winning gourmet offerings in the Connaught Room and George V Restaurants, a leisurely afternoon tea in the Drawing Room or pre-dinner drinks in the Prince of Wales Cocktail Lounge. The accommodation at Ashford Castle is unque in the spaciousness of rooms, the elegance of the furnishings and the comforts of gracious living. While vacationing on the estate, the choice of activities will fill many a happy day. Take the challenge of the castle's 9 hole private course, the Ashford Equestrian Centre or fishing the great lake and rivers on the estate.
Harvey's Point Hotel (4*) is a wonderful retreat located on the banks of Lough Eske in Co. Donegal. The hotel, built in an unobtrusive Swiss chalet style, boasts some of the finest rooms in the northern region as well as a panoramic restaurant that serves gourmet food par excellence. The hotel is a perfect location to relax, unwind and enjoy the tranquillity in an environment of refined service excellence.
Europa Hotel (4*) is superbly located in the heart of Belfast City Centre, and simply epitomizes indulgence. Step into the spacious grand foyer of this Belfast City Hotel and you’ll instantly feel a special warm welcome. Having undergone major refurbishment the hotel now boasts 272 exquisite bedrooms, making it one of the largest and most luxurious hotels in Northern Ireland, and the preferred choice of Prime Ministers, Presidents and many celebrities on their visit to Belfast.
Located in 85 acres of the mature woodlands of Northwood Park, Santry, the Crowne Plaza Dublin-Northwood (4*) has 204 bedrooms (all rooms have complimentary internet access). The property is located just minutes away from Dublin Airport which you can reach with a complimentary airport shuttle bus. Located within Northwood Park which consists of an extensive international business campus, a high quality residential village and numerous luxury amenities including a health & fitness centre, crèche, shops, restaurants and an 85 acre public park, this hotel is a property that we suggest if being close to the airport (particularly for an early morning flight departure) is preferred. Please note that it is located approximately 6km from Dublin city centre. While here, one can sample the culinary offerings at Cinnabar, a contemporary bar with views of the lake and surrounding park which offers a beautiful combination of contrasting Asian and Western design while creating a unique atmosphere to unwind in. Alternatively, there is an ‘east meets west' cuisine option at the onsite restaurant, Touzai, which features an Asian styled ambience.
Vanessa Oquendo ,
April 21, 2014
"Melissa Field was extremely helpful! She was courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly! She kept me updated on the status of everything and provided timely correspondence. She took ownership for any problems I had and remedied them. I had the most amazing time of my life in Iceland and Paris! I would not have experienced everything without the help of Kensington Tours."
Marilynn Weaver ,
April 21, 2014
"All of our guides were beyond fabulous! Our time in Dublin was much too short, would have loved to stay there at least one more full day. Would recommend extending this package to 15 days for any future visits. The train to Edinburgh was super! Beautiful scenery and great steak pies!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery Westlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bent over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangements made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
Jay Steffan ,
September 24, 2013
"We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and Normandy. We spent three nights in Paris and then enjoyed a seven night cruise on the Seine to Normandy with AMA Waterways. The time in Paris was well spent and has piqued our interest to return for a more thorough visit. Guide Wafaa Lankey was superb in our visit to Versailles. The Seine cruise was relaxing and beautiful. So many wonderful little towns and we wished we had more time in each one to explore and enjoy.
We traveled to Croatia and Slovenia using Kensington earlier this year which was a fantastic trip."
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