Would you like to explore and experience the real Ireland? Well, look no further, as Irish Experience Tours have put together the perfect adventure plan that will captivate your eyes and heart as you explore the most dramatic landscapes of Ireland’s wild Atlantic coastline.
The Crean Tour commences in Dublin and brings you to the wilds of Connemara in the west and along the Wild Atlantic Way as far as Cork, where you can choose to end your tour or to continue for two more days and return to Dublin via the medieval city of Kilkenny and the monastic city of Glendalough. Experience jaw-dropping scenery, unique towns and villages full of vibrant colors and Gaelic culture, the roar of the wild Atlantic Ocean and amazing activities such as kayaking on the Lakes of Killarney, hiking on the Ring of Kerry and Dingle, or exploring the impressive Cliffs of Moher and the wild Connemara.
The Crean Tour is named after the famous Irish explorer Tom Crean, who was posted to Ringarooma, a vessel in the Royal Navy's New Zealand Squadron, that was ordered to assist Robert Falcon Scott's ship Discovery on its way to Antarctica. By 1914 he was back in Antarctica on an ill-fated Endurance expedition with Ernest Shackleton that ended with one of the most remarkable stories of survival against all the odds. Just like Crean, you will become an explorer, getting off the beaten track and charting unknown territories! You’ll travel in a small group with an experienced local guide, going to unique destinations and immersing yourself in local culture and Ireland’s beautiful environment.
Fáilte! Welcome, your tour begins as you leave Dublin city, the capital of Ireland, and make your way to the Boyne Valley. There you will take The King's boat tour along River Boyne in a 'currach' - an ancient Irish small sized boat that has been featured many times in the popular "Game of Thrones" TV series.
Moving onward through the stunning Boyne Valley area, your tour will head for the 'savage beauty' of Connemara. There you will settle into your accommodation in the heart of the Connemara National Park. After a tasty evening meal picked from some of the best local produce, you will then head for an evening stroll around the amazing Diamond Hill. Upon your return, visit a remote local Irish bar to enjoy a creamy pint of the black stuff!
You will spend two nights in the wilds of the Connemara region.
Enjoy a free day and get out and explore the savage beauty of Connemara. There are many excellent outdoor activities available in the region: you can navigate the stony path to the summit of Croagh Patrick, or, at your own expense, go kayaking through Killary Fjord or mountain biking in the valleys of Connemara. Return to your wilderness accommodation via the breathtaking landscape of Connemara and its lakes.
Today, you will catch a boat from Rosseveal to the largest of the Aran Islands, Inis Mór (Inishmore). Travel back in time as you spend a whole day on the Gaelic speaking island of Inis Mór. Miles of stone walls await as you explore the island by bike. After lunch and visits to the island's main attractions, you will head back by boat to Doolin where you will have time for a pleasant walk along the Atlantic edge to the highest point of the Cliffs of Moher, standing 214m (702 feet) above sea level.
From there, you will be taken to your accommodation in Killarney, located near to the Killarney National park.
You will have an entire day to freely explore everything on offer. Killarney is a great place to spend a few days, no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: kayaking on the lakes of Killarney, rock climbing or hiking through glaciated valleys, biking through the Killarney National park, climbing Torc Mountain for amazing views, or just enjoying the stunning scenery and doing nothing.
Optional activities are at your own expense.
Accommodation is located close to the town and park.
This morning, the tour will take you along the Ring of Kerry. Journey through County Kerry with amazing views at high altitude and regular stops for spectacular photos.
There, the tour will stop and you will have a choice: explore the path to Valentia Island and Bray Head (included in the price), or take a boat trip around the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Skellig Islands (€50 extra – very weather dependent), or, alternatively, opt to hire a bike and discover the island at your own pace (€15 extra).
After a day full of discoveries, you will check into your accommodation in the picturesque fishing village of Portmagee. This is also one of the best places in Ireland to join an evening stargazing.
Today, you will travel to the incredibly beautiful Dingle bay. The tour will stop at the Inch Beach, where you will have plenty of time to wander along the peninsula of sand and get lost in your thoughts. There, at your own expense, you can go surfing in the wild Atlantic ocean.
In the afternoon, you will visit the Dingle Whiskey Distillery (included in the price), a small local distillery, which offers generous samples of whiskey, vodka and gin.
You will spend the night on the edge of Dingle town, an excellent place with many restaurants and lively pubs.
Isolated from the rest of Ireland by the impressive landscape, the Dingle Peninsula will take you where the locals go. The tour will follow a coastal trail on windswept cliffs, perched above beautiful coastlines. After the Slea Head drive, you will make your way back around the peninsula to Dingle town, where you will be able to take part in a few optional activities, such as sea kayaking, paddle boarding, or horse riding. Stay overnight in Dingle.
This morning, you will leave Dingle and travel in the direction of County Cork. Cork is a small city with a relaxed pace of life. Today will be a relaxed cultural day. You will have plenty of free time to wander the streets of Cork, full of fantastic sights and attractions to see and things to do. Visit the bustling and colorful English market, enjoy a great guided tour of the Franciscan Well Brewery, take a half day trip to Blarney Castle and Blarney Stone or visit the ancient site of St Finbarr’s Cathedral. Stay overnight in Cork.
If you’re on the 8 Day tour, this is where you’ll bid farewell to your driver as your tour comes to an end. Irish Experience Tours hope you had a blast on your Irish journey!
From Cork, you will travel to the imposing Rock of Cashel, once the seat of the Kings of Munster. For more than 1,000 years the Rock was a symbol of royal and religious power - until rivalries saw Brian Boru, future High King of Ireland, take over in the 10th century.
Upon arriving in the medieval city of Kilkenny, you will be greeted by a local tour guide who will bring you on a walking tour around the medieval mile. Meet the witch Dame Alice Kyteler, hear all about rhymes, taverns, crime, punishments and much more.
In the evening you will have plenty of free time to discover the city’s many attractions, such as the Kilkenny Castle and St Canice's Cathedral, take a guided tour of the Smithwick's brewery, or just simply relax and enjoy the sights and sounds from a nearby coffee shop.
Stay overnight in Kilkenny.
This morning you will enjoy a unique Cultural & Heritage Experience where you will witness the ancient Celtic game of Hurling, the world’s oldest and fastest field game. Learn the rules and skills of the worlds oldest and fastest field game (3000 years old).
In the afternoon, you will bid farewell to the medieval city of Kilkenny and make your way to the monastic city of Glendalough. Wander the Glendalough valley and lakes, touching haunting medieval remains that stand long after Viking raids and the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
In the evening, you will arrive back in the city of Dublin. This is where your tour comes to an end.
Explore and experience the real Ireland with our small group adventure tours ranging from 1 to 13 days, with everything included from accommodation, transport, meals and fun!
Enjoy Ireland at your own pace
All our tours include gentle hikes, so you get to experience the real Ireland.
People for whom taking photos, meeting the locals and enjoying a long lunch are as important as the hike itself.
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All transport: Travel around Ireland in comfortable mid-sized coaches.
Departure: 8:30am in Dublin - 166 Parnell St., Rotunda, Dublin 1
Experienced tour guide: Expect entertaining commentary with insights into local secrets and extra support from your tour guide.
OPTION 1: 9 nights in a quad share accommodation in a variety of quality backpacker hostels & wilderness lodges. Upgrades to private twin and single rooms are available.
OPTION 2: 9 nights in a twin share accommodation in a variety of classic B&Bs and hotels. Upgrades to private twin/double and single rooms are available.
Meals: 9 breakfasts.
Top rated activities:
What’s not included?
Any optional activities highlighted above and not specified as included in the itinerary. These can be booked via your guide, often at an exclusive Irish Experience special price!
Sturdy walking shoes (ankle high), swimming gear, sunhat and sunscreen, rain jacket/trousers, warm fleece, hat and gloves, motion sickness tablets, water bottle, towel and toiletries, warm clothing and waterproof jacket, insect repellent, camera.