Uncover Ireland's many charms from lively Dublin to the Aran Islands and Ring of Kerry, on a journey that showcases the island’s natural treasures as well as its history and rich culture. 

Starting at: $6,492 * Price includes special offer * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The dramatic Cliffs of Moher  Cultural traditions reflected in modern life  Lively music in a pub. Credit: Brian Morrison, Ireland Tourism  Trinity College Library, Dublin  St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin  Early monastic site of Clonmacnoise  Connemara landscape with sheep  The Connemara landscape. Credit: Ireland Tourism  Connemara's Kylemore Castle, once an abbey and school   Landscape of the fabled Aran Islands  The Polnabrone Domen, the Burren  Muckross House and gardens, outside Killarney  The 15th-century Ross Castle, outside Killarney  The stunning mountain and coastal landscape of Ireland's Ring of Kerry  The Rock of Cashel, the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster  The 12th-century Kilkenny Castle

The Emerald Isle

13 days from $6,592 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Uncover Ireland's many charms from lively Dublin to the Aran Islands and Ring of Kerry, on a journey that showcases the island’s natural treasures as well as its history and rich culture. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

The Emerald isle journey was flawlessly paced and planned. Accommodations were the best available for each location on the itinerary. The service was attentive and thoughtful throughout. the cultural information was thorough, paced well and wonderfully delivered. A great trip!

- Serena K.

What a great overview of Ireland's political and religious history, its music, literature and arts. With the small group size, everyone is included in the lectures, activities and experiences. Wonderful adventure! 

- Previous Journeys Traveler

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

From the lively streets of Dublin to the windswept Aran Islands, Ireland is a land of great beauty where pre-historic monuments and medieval churches seem to appear around every corner and age-old traditions mingle with a vibrant contemporary culture. Immerse yourself in the magic of the Emerald Isle, exploring the interplay of past and present in the captivating cities of Dublin, Killarney, and Kilkenny. Experience ethereal landscapes rich in legend as you explore Connemara, Inishmore, the Cliffs of Moher, and the Ring of Kerry; and venture into castles and abbeys that tell the dramatic tale of Ireland’s history.

Highlights Include

  • Dublin: During a day in Dublin, take a guided tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the library at Trinity College—home to the medieval illuminated manuscript known as the Book of Kells.
  • Aran Islands and Galway: Enjoy a personal perspective on the Aran Islands, exploring local life in traditional Ireland on a tour of Inishmore with an islander. In the artistic hub of Galway, enjoy a dinner accompanied by lively Irish music.
  • Natural Wonders: Explore the enchanting boglands and mountains of Connemara and visit its stunning Kylemore Abbey. View the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, which stretch for nearly eight miles along the coastline of County Clare, and visit an prehistoric dolmen on your way through the Burren’s craggy lunar landscape. Then spend a day discovering the spectacular Ring of Kerry, including a stop at the intriguing Kerry Bog Village.
  • Killarney: Explore the vibrant town and Ross Castle by traditional jaunting car, and watch traditional weavers and potters at work on a tour of fascinating Muckross House. Witness a sheepdog demonstration and enjoy a dinner in a family-run guesthouse.
  • Blarney, Cashel, and Kilkenny: Visit well-known castles and historic sites such as Blarney and the Rock of Cashel, once home to the High Kings of Munster. In medieval Kilkenny, explore the 12th-century castle on a walking tour and enjoy time at leisure to discover the town.

The Emerald isle journey was flawlessly paced and planned. Accommodations were the best available for each location on the itinerary. The service was attentive and thoughtful throughout. the cultural information was thorough, paced well and wonderfully delivered. A great trip!

- Serena K.

What a great overview of Ireland's political and religious history, its music, literature and arts. With the small group size, everyone is included in the lectures, activities and experiences. Wonderful adventure! 

- Previous Journeys Traveler

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S. for Dublin, Ireland

Upon arrival in Ireland’s dynamic capital, check in to your hotel located on St. Stephen’s Green. Enjoy leisure time this afternoon before gathering at a local restaurant for a welcome dinner. (D)

Day 3 — Dublin

Spend the day discovering Dublin, a city that once drew writers and revolutionaries and is now a hub of entrepreneurship and hi-tech. On this morning’s tour, venture into Trinity College to see the extraordinary Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript drafted by monks around A.D. 800; and visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The remainder of the afternoon is free to pursue your own interests. You may wish to join your Smithsonian Journeys Expert and Tour Director for an optional walk to the National Museum of Archaeology, which you can visit at your own pace for a closer look at Ireland’s cultural heritage and natural history. (B)

Day 4 — Galway

Travel west across Ireland, stopping at the 6th-century Clonmacnoise, Ireland’s most important early monastic site and burial place of the last High King of Ireland. Arrive in province of Galway in the afternoon, and settle into your hotel in the village of Barna, just down the coast from Galway City. Gather for dinner at the hotel. (B,D)

Day 5 — Connemara

Just to the north lies Connemara, an evocative, rugged landscape of verdant mountains, lakes, and uninhabited boglands. During a full-day excursion, hear the legends of the bogs and visit beautiful Kylemore Abbey, built as a private home in 1861 and converted to a monastery in 1920. Take in spectacular views of the Twelve Bens mountain range in the background. At dinner tonight, enjoy traditional Irish entertainment and views of Galway Bay. (B,D)

Day 6 — Galway and Aran Islands

Ride a ferry across Galway Bay to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands—and part of the Gaeltacht, where Irish traditions and language hold strong. Meet an islander who shares a personal perspective on a tour of this windswept island of thatched cottages, limestone-covered landscapes, and early Christian sites. Experience the island’s most famous site, the mysterious Dun Aengus, a Celtic ring fort built on the edge of a Inishmore’s tallest sea cliffs. Take time to explore on your own before returning to the mainland in the late afternoon. Dine tonight at a restaurant in the village of Barna. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Killarney

Follow the coastline of County Clare to the iconic Cliffs of Moher, a wall of vertical cliffs that rise as high as 702 feet above the sea and stretch for nearly eight miles. Pass through the Burren, where craggy slabs of limestone create a vast, moonlike landscape, and stop to visit Poulnaborne Dolmen, a large Neolithic portal tomb that has revealed clues about Ireland’s earliest farming communities. Take the ferry south to County Kerry, enjoying views of the wild coast, and arrive in the late afternoon in Killarney, set in beautiful Killarney National Park. Tonight, you’ll have dinner with a local family in a Bed and Breakfast in Killarney. (B,D)

Day 8 — Killarney

Climb into a traditional horse-drawn jaunting car for a ride through the vibrant town of Killarney, and continue to 15th-century Ross Castle, the last stronghold to fall to Oliver Cromwell’s forces. Travel by boat to Muckross House for a tour of the elegant, 19th-century manor and its gardens. Stop in at the Kerry Folklife Centre to learn about traditional arts and crafts such as bookbinding, pottery, and weaving. (B)

Day 9 — Killarney and Ring of Kerry

Immerse yourself in the quintessentially Irish landscapes of the Ring of Kerry, where stunning emerald mountains give way to dramatic coasts. Follow this 110-mile route around the Ardagh Peninsula, stopping to visit prehistoric sites and take in extraordinary vistas along the way. One of your stops is the Kerry Bog Village, where you’ll step back in time among thatched-roofed houses, period furnishings, and traditional farming equipment showcase rural life in Ireland in the 19th century. Stop for an Irish coffee—and a demonstration of how to make them—at the village pub. On the return to Killarney, stop to witness an Irish sheep dog demonstration. Dinner tonight is at the hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 10 — Blarney, Rock of Cashel, Kilkenny

Travel southeast to the small town of Blarney just outside of Cork. On a visit to its famous castle, discover much more than the legendary kissing stone, exploring battlements and the castle keep, as well as its exotic gardens. After lunch on your own, continue to County Tipperary and the Rock of Cashel. Once home to the High Kings of Munster, the Rock is one of Ireland’s most important historic sites. Tour the ancient ruins, perched on an outcrop 200 feet above the town. Arrive in Kilkenny late this afternoon. (B,D)

Day 11 — Kilkenny

A small medieval city, Kilkenny is a thriving center of Irish history and culture. Enjoy a tour of 12th-century Kilkenny Castle, considered one of the country’s most beautiful, then embark on an informal walking tour, noting the many buildings constructed of black limestone or “Kilkenny marble.” The remainder of the day is yours to explore the town’s craft and design studios and well-preserved architecture and monuments on your own. (B,L)

Day 12 — Dublin

On the way to Dublin, stop for a visit to EPICThe Irish Emigration Museum, where a fascinating interactive exhibition depicts 1,500 years of Irish history. Reach your hotel just outside of Dublin in the mid-afternoon and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Tonight, celebrate your Irish adventure at a farewell dinner. (B,D)

Day 13 — Depart Dublin for the U.S.

Transfer to the airport this morning for your flight home. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)