Ireland is known for its iconic sites and phenomenal scenery. Experience the country as you avail of any number of days in Dublin (or other destinations of your choice) choosing between private guided tours and/or time for independent exploring. Sit back and relax as you enjoy a multi-day small group tour from Dublin to Kilkenny and discover some of Ireland’s most treasured towns and dramatic coastlines. Beat the crowds and experience this charismatic country via the beautiful back roads, an ideal introduction to a diverse land dominated by wild, breathtaking vistas and a vivacious people prone to easy smiles. Meet local characters in ancient pubs, try Irish cuisine, drink in the pub featured in Ballykissangel, learn about the local whiskies and revel in the ambiance of towns and villages away from the tourist crowds.
Small group tours typically depart every second Monday from April 27- September 28, 2015 and are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 participants. In general, the maximum group size is 15.
Consider adding additional days to your trip with the services of a private guide and/or driver to see more of the country - your time on either side of your small group tour can be customized to suit your needs (and private guided tours can be added throughout your small group experience as desired).
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.
Meet up with your Guide and fellow travellers of your small group tour this morning. The rendezvous is at 08.30am at The Gresham Hotel, 23 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1, Ireland. Please ensure you are at the meeting point at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
Transfer to the small group meeting point using a local taxi. Please note that this is not included in trip price and is payable locally.
After meeting your tour leader and fellow travellers, leave Dublin and travel to County Kerry. Your first stop is the Irish National Stud in County Kildare, home to Ireland’s finest thoroughbred horses and renowned Japanese Gardens. Then travel to Birr Castle, which is the home of the seventh Earl of Rosse. Known for the beauty of its gardens, which includes the world’s tallest box hedges, wisteria and old roses, this is a fascinating site to explore.
Your final destination today is Ennis in County Claire, where you will enjoy a welcome dinner together.
Departing from Ennis, your destination is the UNESCO Geopark of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher. Here, admire the diverse landscape of the Burren, home to a vast array of flora and seabirds. There are over 2,700 monuments in this region, some dating back over 6,000 years. All of this has led to the Burren being described as ‘one vast memorial to bygone cultures’. Later, enjoy a one hour Cliffs of Moher cruise. Gaze in awe at the sheer scale and uniqueness of this natural phenomenon, which towers over 700ft above the sea.
This afternoon, depart to the town of Killarney, known as the gateway to the Ring of Kerry. Killarney is situated in the midst of breathtaking landscapes, surrounded by lakes and mountains.
Spend your day exploring the lovely Ring of Kerry with its spectacular scenery, fine beaches and ancient heritage. You will make a short visit to Valentia Island, where dramatic cliffs contrast with lush and colourful vegetation. Here you will find the ‘Skellig Experience’, which tells of the Skellig monks and their lives in early Christian times. Next is Portmagee, a small, picturesque fishing village full of brightly painted houses. Once a haven for smugglers and pirates, this is the perfect place to stop and enjoy the scenery. Later you will see Staigue Fort, an intriguing ringfort built between 300 and 400 AD. At the head of the River Sneem estuary you will find the romantic village of Sneem, which is referred to as ‘the Knot in the Ring’. Brimming with traditional buildings, restaurants and craft shops, you will have time to explore Sneem before you return to Killarney.
Your first visit of the day is to Muckross House and its delightful gardens. Queen Victoria once paid a visit here, and many of the rooms in this magnificent mansion have now been restored to their original Victorian splendour. Then travel to the attractive town of Kenmare with its colourful shop fronts, nestled at the mouth of Kenmare Bay, before calling in at the 200 year-old cottage of Molly Gallivan, a widow who brewed illicit whiskey and sold it in her illegal pub! Garnish Island is your next port of call, where you visit a garden of great beauty designed by Harold Peto. Arrive in the medieval town of Kinsale, one of the most picturesque and popular seaside resorts in the south-west, full of traditional bars, lovely buildings, narrow streets, and fascinating shops.
Enjoy dinner together this evening with your fellow travellers.
Enjoy a walking tour of Kinsale accompanied by a local guide. Learn about its history and maritime traditions and admire the 800 year old Church of Saint Multose and the unique star-shaped Charles Fort.
Make your way to Cork, for a panoramic tour of the city before you head to the coastal town of Cobh, where you find the Jameson Midleton Distillery. Learn about the production of whiskey and taste what is considered by many to be the finest whiskey in Ireland! Then travel to Kilkenny, rich in medieval heritage and perhaps most famous for its imposing castle.
This evening enjoy a final dinner together with your fellow travellers.
Your route back to the capital takes you through the beautiful and dramatic Wicklow Mountains, travelling through heather-clad hills, lush vegetation, rocky foothills and delightful glens. On your way you will stop at the village of Avoca, perhaps most famous for the ever-popular TV series Ballykissangel. Here call in at Fitzgerald’s pub, which featured largely in the programme. You will have time for a spot of shopping at the Avoca Woollen Mills before you travel back to Dublin where your tour ends.
Your small group tour concludes this evening in Dublin at The Gresham Hotel, 23 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1, Ireland. You may wish to further explore this vibrant city at your leisure.
Transfer using a local taxi. Please note that this is not included in trip price and is payable locally.
We will take you on a guided tour of Dublin City today. Our guide will show you Dublin’s major attractions such as Trinity College and the Book of Kells, perhaps the world’s most beautifully illustrated book. In the city centre region there is also St Patrick's Cathedral, Christchurch and the famous Guinness Brewery. There are a host of shopping and museums and galleries to explore in the historical Georgian district near St Stephens Green. We highly recommend the National Museum, Natural History Museum and the National Gallery to name a few. (Entrance fees not included). 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 an evening of hearty Irish fare and traditional Irish music in the16th century Abbey Tavern - a genuine tavern located in the lovely fishing village of Howth, with blazing turf fires, original stone walls flagged floors and gas lights. The "Traditional Irish Evening" in The Barn, features the Abbey Tavern singers and musicians with a live performance of music, song and Irish dancing. The Restaurant has a warm and unique atmosphere, and offers a tasty menu selection with local specialties from the Harbor each evening. The Pub is one of the oldest in Dublin and enjoys a genuine old world atmosphere. A car and driver service can be arranged if desired - please contact your Sales Advisor if you would be interested in adding this service for your evening. 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 Cliff House (4* Townhouse) is a luxury Georgian hotel situated on St Stephen’s Green, a quiet haven in the heart of Dublin’s finest shopping precinct. Its classic ambience and boutique style offers 10 comfortable bedrooms that are beautifully designed with thoughtful attention to each detail. As you relax in your room, admire the views over St Stephen’s Green, only a stone’s throw from the historic centre of Dublin. In fact, just to the side of this charming hotel is the National Art Gallery and Trinity College Dublin, so if you are a culture lover, this hotel is ideal for you. You will not be disappointed by the quality of the food offered here: each meal is meticulously prepared with the best ingredients to create a traditionally Irish meal with a modern twist. Together with excellent service and a great atmosphere, your dinner will be an unforgettable treat.
A former manor house dating back to the 18th century, the Old Ground Hotel retains its magnificent ivy clad exterior of historic yesterday, yet is filled with the modern elegance of a grand hotel. Encircled by plush gardens, a warm welcome awaits guest in the lobby where an open fire provides an ambience of comfort and relaxation not found at other Ennis, Ireland hotels.
Please note that your hotel may be the above, or a hotel of similar standard and will be confirmed prior to departure.
Killarney Royal Hotel is centrally located in the heart of Killarney Town, with all the majestic beauty of Killarney and Kerry outside your door. Luxurious hotel accommodation, exceptional and innovative cuisine created by the long standing chef, and the ideal abodeto return to after a day spent enjoying all that Killarney has to offer.
The Trident Hotel offers some of the best hotel accommodation in Cork. Tastefully decorated and with the most spectacular views of Kinsale harbour within 5 minuts walk of many shops, bars and restaurants.
Welcome to the Kilkenny River Court Hotel, a place of warmth, friendliness and sheer contentment. Nestled in a private courtyard, this four-star Kilkenny city hotel rests serenely on the banks of the River Nore. Secluded from the bustling and winding city streets, the Kilkenny River Court Hotel is overlooked by Kilkenny’s majestic 12th century castle. Kilkenny City itself offers prime shopping and dining experiences throughout its winding and cobbled street ways, all within ten minutes of the Kilkenny River Court Hotel.
Please note that your hotel may be the above or a hotel of similar standard and will be confirmed prior to departure.
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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