11-Day Tour of Southern Ireland

11 Days Starts in Belfast & Ends in Dublin

Tour highlights

Experience Southern Ireland like you've never experienced it before! This land offers abundant beauty along with cas­tles, churches and old monas­ter­ies, a beau­ti­ful coast­line, charm­ing sea­side vil­lages, and the friendly wel­come that you will find all over Ire­land – but with far fewer tourists. 

Plan your dream trip and let Old Sod Travel handle the details. Use Old Sod's pas­sion for traveling and knowl­edge of Ire­land to ensure that your trip is one that you will talk about for years to come.

Itinerary

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Arrive in Belfast

Arrive in Dublin today to be collected by your Irish Driver before heading 2 hours north to Belfast.

  • Tour Belfast City, including a two hour visit to the Titanic Belfast Museum. The museum offers great insight into the history of old Belfast and the construction of the ill-fated Titanic vessel.
  • If so inclined you might enjoy a 2 hour food tour of Belfast, taking in the best of Belfast cuisine and highlighting many of their famous pubs and restaurants.
  • Other options for today would be to take a Black Taxi tour of the  International Wall Murals and Falls Road with resident tour guides to brief you on the troubles.
  • Alternatively, visit the Gobbins today.  The Gobbins is a 3 mile cliffside walking tour. Carved out of sheer cliffs the hike involves a narrow walking path, tunnels and bridges over the crashing waves of the Irish Sea.
  • Check into Culloden Estate, which will by your home for the next two nights.
  • For dinner try one of Belfast’s many outstanding restaurants such as Mourne’s Seafood House or Shu.
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Visit Culloden Estate - Belfast/Antrim

  • This morning after breakfast, visit attractions like Carrickfergus Castle.
  • Summon your courage to cross the nail-biting Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.
  • Next, head to the UNESCO–listed Giant's Causeway and learn of the site’s ancient geology and mythology.
  • Stop for photos at Dunluce Castle en route to the Dark Hedges.
  • Visit the Bushmills Distillery and take a tour, sampling the product before returning to your hotel for dinner.
  • Alternatively enjoy a meal in town at Coppi this evening.
  • Back to your 5* hotel for the night and be sure to have a pint with the locals at the hotel bar or venture out to the Carrick or the Dirty Onion to enjoy the Belfast pub scene.
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Trip to Harvey's Point - Donegal

  • Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before grabbing your driver for a 2 hour drive to Donegal.
  • You may decide this morning to visit the Seamus Heaney Visitors Center (Nobel prize for literature!) echoing his life and his literature. Stop for morning tea there before continuing on toward Donegal
  • Another stop to consider is the walled city of Londonderry.
  • Depending on your preferences and the pace of your day, you may decide to visit Glenveagh National Park today.
  • Eventually make your way to your 4 star hotel in Donegal, dubbed the coolest place on the planet by National Geographic. Enjoy its magical location on the shores of Lough Eske.
  • Perhaps stop for a bite at  Peadar O’Donnell’s.
  • Head to Donegal town (12 minutes away) to the Reel Inn for pints and traditional Irish music and dance.
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Visit to the Slieve League Cliffs

  • The first stop this morning will be the breathtaking Slieve League Cliffs. The Cliffs are Europe’s tallest sea cliffs rising to a height of over 2,000 feet.  
  • Remarkably, on the slopes of Slieve League there are remains of an early Christian monastic site with chapel and beehive huts.
  • From the cliffs, head North into one of Ireland’s few remaining Gaeltacht  regions. To many people, this area is the real Ireland with its Gaelic traditions and crafts.
  • Visit Glenveagh National Park. At the center of the park on the edge of Lough Veagh is Glenveagh Castle, a late 19th century castellated mansion, built as a hunting lodge.  Enjoy afternoon tea in the tea rooms inside the castle. The Walled Garden is a horticultural masterpiece, as are the Italian Terrace and Tuscan Garden.
  • Return to your hotel and enjoy dinner tonight in the informal setting of the bar.
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Explore Yeats Country

  • Leave Donegal early this morning and travel 1 hour south, stopping  in Sligo and Leitrim to explore Yeats Country.
  • Perhaps visit Lough Gill and its uninhabited  Isle of Innisfree where Yeats spent his vacations as a child.
  • Climb aboard the Rose of Innisfree Tour boat at 12:30pm and allow George to serve you tea, scones or something from the bar, while regaling you with stories of Yeats, reciting his work and visiting his burial place.
  • Just 90 minutes from Sligo lies Ashford Castle. Built in 1228, the expansive 350 acre Ashford Estate lends itself perfectly to a range of activities, from country classic pastimes such as horse riding, fishing, falconry and shooting, to more modern activities such as golf, cycling, and kayaking.
  • The Castle is situated on the banks of Lough Corrib and the River Cong. Lough Corrib is one of the most famous fisheries in all of Ireland.
  • Enjoy dinner at the Castle or the Lodge where they offer fine dining in a more relaxed atmosphere
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Explore Ashford Castle

  • From Ashford you can explore Galway and the rugged Connemara Coast, one of the last few Gaelic speaking areas in Ireland. Described by Oscar Wilde as “wild mountainous country” “in every way magnificent” and where Beckett laments its rocky terrain.
  • Tour Galway Bay and Connemara. Marvel over the dramatic coastal scenery of the Wild Atlantic Way travelling through Furbo and Spiddal. Get off-the-beaten track in villages like Barna, Inverin, and Roundstone. Visit the Connemara National Park, Kylemore Abbey, Padraig Pearse’s cottage and the famine cottages.
  • Achill Island is a little further away. Marked by rugged mountains and peat bogs, the island is known for its tall sea cliffs and clean beaches.
  • Enjoy the beautiful grounds on the castle.  Have a picnic lunch along the River and enjoy the falconry demonstration at the castle (a must!!).
  • If in the mood for a formal Dinner tonight you’ll find it right in the Castle as the George V Dining Room.
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Cliffs of Moher

  • Travel down through Galway and along the coast road driving through the Burren and visiting the Cliffs of Moher.
  • Continue your journey south, stopping in Adare for lunch. This is a quaint village with thatched roofs and a nice place to stretch your legs.
  • Onwards to Killarney.  Stop at Muckross House for a traditional pony and trap ride through the grounds and up to the Torc Waterfall, all the while being entertained by your driver, the jarvey.
  • Once you’ve had enough of Killarney make your way 1 hour west to the fishing village of DIngle.
  • Check into your hotel, before heading out for dinner in one of several excellent restaurants in Dingle town.
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Explore the Dingle Peninsula

  • Today you can explore the Dingle peninsula. You might take a drive to Mount Brandonand hike the highest peak on the Dingle Peninsula. The 3 hour climb is amply rewarded with sweeping views of the Peninsula and the surrounding Atlantic Ocean.
  • Check out Eask Tower and enjoy the harbor views from this rustic stone tower.
  • A trip to Inch Beach would be time well spent. Located in the middle of Dingle Bay, Inch Beach offers great views of the Dingle Peninsula to the North and the McGillicuddy Reeks to the south.
  • On your way back to Dingle you should stop in Annascaul for a pint at the South Pole Inn. Polar explorer Tom Crean owned the pub for years after returning from the Shackleton Expedition.
  • Check out the Great Blasket Islands and revel in their untouched beauty.
  • In the afternoon take a Dingle Harbor Boat Tour or maybe a tour of The Dingle Brewery.
  • For dinner tonight you might try Doyle’s Seafood Restaurant. Head to O’Flaherty’s for a pint after dinner and hang with the locals!
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Stop at the Rock of Cashel

  • Leave Dingle early this morning and stop at the Rock of Cashel en route to Kilkenny. The Rock of Cashel is a fascinating group of medieval buildings steeped in history.
  • Continue on to Kilkenny, known as the Marble City, which is Ireland's most historic and compact medieval town. Its grand Kilkenny Castle was built in 1195 by Norman occupiers.
  • A guided tour of Kilkenny Castle is a nice way to explore Castle life through the centuries. A tour will take about one hour.
  • The town has deep religious roots and many well-preserved churches and monasteries, including the imposing St. Canice’s Cathedral and the Black Abbey Dominican priory, both from the 13th century. If you have time take a trip out to Jerpoint Abbey in Thomastown, a ruined Cistercian abbey, founded in the second half of the 12th century.
  • I recommend a late lunch in Langtons, Foodworks, or Zuni.
  • Finally continue to Dublin where you will check into the Merrion Hotel for the next two nights. Fine dining tonight in the Taste or in Patrick Guibauld restaurant at the Merrion.  Reservations are a must!
  • A trip to O’Donoghues which is just around the corner from the Hotel offers a true taste of Dublin pubs.
  • Tonight you might enjoy taking in a play at the Gaiety or the Abbey.
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Explore Dublin

  • A short walk from your hotel you might then enjoy a guided tour of Trinity College ending with a visit to the Book of Kells.
  • Following Trinity we can arrange  a private 2 hour walking tour of the city.
  • Perhaps head north of the River Liffey to EPIC Ireland Exhibit or head to the Dublin Writer museum or try the nearby James Joyce Center which runs various exhibitions throughout the year.
  • Afterwards take a stroll up Ireland’s premier shopping street, Grafton street, stopping in Davy Byrnes for lunch (a favourite of Joyces’) and if you are in the mood for a pint try Neary’s which was a favorite of Brendan Behan’s.
  • After lunch you might enjoy a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral or Kilmainham Gaol, which held some of the most famous political and military leaders in Irish history.
  • Take the Guinness Storehouse Tour. We can arrange a Connoisseur Experience if you are interested
  • A Literary Pub Crawl leaves from Dukes Pub every night at 7:30 PM. Alternately you can join a Traditional Irish Musical Pub Crawl.

Create your Custom Experience

(optional)

Please Note: This is a custom experience subject to actual pricing. You will be required to leave a $500 deposit per person. Once the reservation is created, a travel specialist will work with you to finalize the tour.

Tour operator

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In earlier times, Irish Americans returning home referred to their birthplace as the “Old Sod.” Today, Old Sod Travel is dedicated to connecting groups, families, companies, couples and golfers from around the world with extraordinary experiences on the Old Sod and the British Isles.

Our passion for the countries, culture and their incredible scenic beauty is matched only by our passion for helping our clients experience it for themselves.

Our focus is solely on highly customized travel to Ireland and the British Isles. This allows us to identify the best hotels and guesthouses, and to know the owners personally. We know the best hiking trails, golf courses and fish­ing guides. The best restaurants, pubs and scenic vistas.

We know where the good seats are at the Edinburgh Tattoo and how to get tickets for Wimbledon, Premier League  Soccer games or a Hurling match at Croke Park. We know which sites and attractions are truly worth seeing and where you’ll want to spend extra time.

The logistics of moving large families or groups around in this part of the world can be daunting.  Driving distances are often not what they might appear to be on a map. Outside of the cities, you won't be choosing between a Marriott and a Hilton.  One Corporate group wanted to visit an island off the Scottish Coast. There was one hotel on the island!  And getting them to the island required the charter of a bus and three "ferries". 

We are a small, independent business that has built an outstanding reputation for service and for designing the perfect British, Irish or Scottish vacation for our clients – at a cost that is about the same as if you planned it yourself. 

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