Step into Ireland’s storied past on a journey from Dublin to the Dingle Peninsula where you'll explore ancient sites and meet artisans and farmers who carry on timeless Irish traditions. 

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary Request Quote or Ask Us A Question or Call 855-215-8690
 St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin  Trinity College Library, Dublin, home to the <i>Book of Kells</i>  Travelers in Dublin. Credit: Tourism Ireland  Ha'Penny Bridge, Dublin  Archaeological artifact, National Museum, Dublin. Credit: Tourism Ireland  Guiness Gates. Credit: Tourism Ireland  View of Newgrange. Credit: Tourism Ireland  Sunrise at Newgrange. Credit: Tourism Ireland  Ancient engravings at Newgrange. Credit: Tourism Ireland  Interior of Newgrange tomb. Credit: Tourism Ireland  Dunbrody Famine Ship. Credit: Tourism Ireland  Kilkenny street scene. Credit: Tourism Ireland  The 12th-century Kilkenny Castle  Lively music in a pub. Credit: Brian Morrison, Ireland Tourism  Blarney Castle. Credit: Tourism Ireland  Muckross House. Credit: Tourism Ireland  Muckross House and gardens, outside Killarney  Landscape of the Dingle Peninsula  Ring fort, Dingle Peninsula. Credit: Tourism Ireland  Traditional thatched stone cottage  The Rock of Cashel, the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster

Ancient Ireland: A Tailor-Made Journey

A Self Drive Journey

10 days from $4,800

Step into Ireland’s storied past on a journey from Dublin to the Dingle Peninsula where you'll explore ancient sites and meet artisans and farmers who carry on timeless Irish traditions. 

Request a Tailor-Made Itinerary

or call 855-215-8690

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Cliff Townhouse

Dublin, Ireland

Superbly situated at the edge of St Stephen’s Green, the Cliff Townhouse is a Georgian townhouse located just a few minutes away from Dublin’s main attractions. With just nine luxurious guest rooms, it exudes the feeling of an elegant family home rather than a hotel. Guest rooms feature large windows that flood the space with natural light and offer views of either St Stephen’s Pond or the Lancaster House. All are outfitted with an original marble fireplace ,Georgian antiques, and marble bathrooms. A highlight at the Cliff Townhouse is the exquisite cuisine, which features cooked-to-order breakfasts as well as a fresh seafood menu at the hotel’s stylish, wood-paneled restaurant. For a lighter fare dine at the marble-topped Oyster & Champagne Bar or sample tapas and cocktails in the vibrant, beach-themed Urchin Bar.

Number of nights: 2

Butler House

Kilkenny, Ireland

Located in the heart of Kilkenny, Butler House is a Georgian manor house built by the Earl of Ormonde in 1786 .  Inside, fine period features include a sweeping staircase, marble fireplaces, and decorative ceilings; and the ornate restaurant and tea room offer a delicious breakfast and afternoon tea. The house’s lovely walled gardens have direct access to the Kilkenny Castle Yard. The 13 rooms are spacious and comfortable, with décor that balances modern tastes with the original features of the house. In the Butler’s Pantry, the hotel’s main bar, vaulted ceilings, low lighting, and vintage armchairs create an intimate atmosphere.

Number of nights: 1

Waterford Castle

Waterford, Ireland

The 16th-century Waterford Castle sits on a private island in the River Barrow just east of Waterford and is only accessible by ferry.  Its 19 bedrooms are decorated with traditional fabrics, antiques, hand-painted tiles, and claw-footed bathtubs, and feature modern conveniences. Dining choices range from cooked-to-order breakfasts served in the castle conservatory to afternoon tea in the Fitzgerald Bar and fine dining in the award-winning Munster Room Restaurant. There is an even wider range of outdoor activity choices, including the 18-hole golf course, archery, falconry and clay pigeon shooting. Those interested in a more leisurely experience may prefer searching for wildlife while taking a stroll along the island’s extensive woodland trails.

Number of nights: 1

Ballymaloe House

County Cork, Ireland

Ballymaloe House is a wisteria-clad country manor built around the remnants of a 14th-century Norman castle. Along with an internationally acclaimed cooking school, it is part of an expansive farm estate run by three generations of the same family. The common rooms are elegant and warmly decorated, with fireplaces, portraits, and tall windows. Dining here is a highlight: menus showcase locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and the restaurant is spread across seven adjoining rooms, from the leafy conservatory overlooking the lake to the blue Yeats room. The 32 guest rooms are each unique, ranging from spacious suites in the main house to a cozy split-level twin in the medieval gatehouse. They feature Irish country décor, wifi, and other modern amenities, but no televisions. The hotel also has a swimming pool and tennis courts, a shop and café, as well as several walking trails on the grounds.

Number of nights: 2

Dingle Benners Hotel

Dingle, Ireland

Located on a hilly street in the heart of Dingle town, the Dingle Benners Hotel has been welcoming guests since the 1800s. The ground floor of this boutique hotel includes an inviting pub with book-lined walls and antique Irish furniture. It serves craft beers and whiskeys as well as a generous afternoon tea service, and light fare for lunch and dinner. The 52 rooms are bright and traditional, with rustic furniture and pictures from old Irish school books adorning the walls. The staff are friendly and helpful, with plenty of local knowledge to help you discover Dingle and its environs.

Number of nights: 2

The K Club

Kildare, Ireland

The K Club is an opulent, old world-styled hotel located approximately half an hour west of Dublin. This magnificent property is set within vast leafy grounds traversed by the River Liffey. It features two championship Arnold Palmer golf courses as well as the third largest spa in Ireland. The resort offers numerous dining options, ranging from an Asian-inspired eatery and a casual, golf-themed restaurant to an acclaimed fine-dining restaurant. Afternoon tea is served in the lavish Chinese Drawing Room, while evening drinks can be enjoyed in either the Media Puzzle Lounge or the cocktail bar. Guest rooms have been individually decorated with period decor, original paintings, and antiques, as well as modern amenities.

Number of nights: 1

Tailor-Made Benefits

Smithsonian Archivist Circle membership. Benefits include:

  • Recognition in the Friends of the Smithsonian Honor Roll displayed electronically on the National Mall in the Membership Reception Center
  • Invitation to a special welcome tour for new members at a Smithsonian venue
  • A Smithsonian Institution annual engagement calendar with full color images of exceptional art and artifacts
  • A complimentary Smithsonian museum guidebook
  • Subscription to the award-winning magazine Smithsonian
  • 20% discount at Smithsonian Museum Stores, 10% discount at selected dining facilities, at, and Folkways Recordings
  • Special member rate for tickets to the Smithsonian's IMAX® theaters and Einstein Planetarium
  • Admission to Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City
  • Weekday access to the Friends of the Smithsonian Reception Center

If you are already a member of the Archivist Circle or above, you will receive The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects by Richard Kurin.

Reading List

Highly Recommended

For the Love of Ireland: A Literary Companion for Readers and Travelers
The Book of Kells: An Illustrated Introduction to the Manuscript in Trinity College Dublin
By: Meehan, Bernard
DK Eyewitness Ireland (Travel Guide)
By: DK Eyewitness
A Traveller's History of Ireland
By: Neville, Peter

Also Recommended

Ireland: A Visual Journey Around the Counties of Ireland
By: Diggin, Michael, Zoeller, Peter
How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe (The Hinges of History)
By: Cahill, Thomas
The Celts: A Very Short Introduction
By: Cunliffe, Barry
The Famine Ships: The Irish Exodus to America
By: Laxton, Edward
Dubliners: Centennial Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
By: Joyce, James
In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Times to the Coming of the English
By: Carmel McCaffrey, Leo Eaton
Truth About Irish P
By: Eagleton, Terry
Ireland Unhinged: Encounters With a Wildly Changing Country
By: Monagan, David
The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook: Traditional Easy and Simple Recipies for Beginners to Experts for Saint Patricks Day, Christmas, Family Get-Togethers and More
By: Parragon Books
Ireland’s Green Larder: The Definitive History of Irish Food and Drink
By: Hickey, Margaret
Irish Fairy and Folk Tales
By: Yeats, William Butler
Ireland: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions)
The Celtic World
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.