Complete Ireland Experience - 11 Day Tour

11 Days Starts in Dublin & Ends in Dublin

Tour highlights

Ireland has more myths and legends than you’d dare to believe. It has even more gorgeous coastlines and majestic mountains than your camera could capture. And there’s enough lively bars to satisfy even the most dedicated of party-goers. To experience all of it, join 'Complete Ireland Experience', Rabbie's Tours' most comprehensive tour!

Delve into the tragic history of the Titanic, follow in the footsteps of giants, and get to know the Irish pub life. Experience the richness of Ireland’s culture from North to South with this complete 11 day tour of the Emerald Isle.

Itinerary

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Belfast City, Glens of Antrim, and the Giant's Causeway

  • Explore historic Belfast with an insightful city tour.
  • Learn about the tragic history of the world’s most famous maritime disaster in the museums and attractions of the Titanic Quarter.
  • Wander the glens and coast of Antrim, an area of outstanding natural beauty overlooking the superb Scottish coast.
  • Walk where giants fought and changed the earth at the unique and stunning Giant’s Causeway.

Departing Dublin, head north to the the border of Northern Ireland. A short journey from the divide lies Belfast, a city famed for its industrial heritage and turbulent past. For a historical feast, take a short city tour, which covers the capital’s triumphs, tragedies and soul. Discover the Titanic Quarter, a regenerated hub where the famous liner was built and launched in 1911. Exiting its excellent museums and attractions by the afternoon, you can choose to board the SS Nomadic, the final surviving White Star Line steamship or explore the fascinating Titanic Dock and Pump house.

Leaving bustling Belfast behind, your tour will move through the phenomenal scenery of the Antrim Coast and Glens, an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Moving along the winding roads of Ballycastle, you will enter the awe inspiring setting of the Giant’s Causeway, where history and myth collide spectacularly with raw geological power. Waving farewell to the giant’s steps, head to Portrush, a charming fishing village that will be your home for the night.

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Derry, Donegal, and Glenveagh National Park

  • Marvel at the 17th century walled city of Derry, with its famous seven gates and bustling markets.
  • Observe the ancient Gaelic culture of Donegal as you pass through its rugged mountains and thriving natural views.
  • Experience the haunting beauty of the remote Glenveagh National Park, home to a stunning Scottish castle.

In the morning, make your way to Derry, the fabulous 17th century walled city that boasts seven ornate gates. Designated as UK City of Culture for 2013, it offers museums, galleries and excellent markets for the curious traveler. Explore the old city before returning south to the Republic of Ireland. From here, you will head to one of the most remote and unspoiled areas in the country, County Donegal, which offers stunning scenery and inimitable Gaelic culture. Passing through the romantically haunting Glenveagh National Park and the soaring peak of Mount Errigal, you come to the traditional fishing villages of the area. These offer plenty of opportunities for good food, sights and to soak up the local atmosphere before stopping in Donegal for the night.

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Carrowmore, Achill Island and County Mayo

  • Wander among the ancient standing stones of Carrowmore, beneath the dramatic mountain scenery of Ben Bulben.
  • Range over the bogs and misty moors of County Mayo, with its unbeatable views across to distant mist-drenched hills.
  • Gaze in awe at the magnificent sea cliffs of Achill Island.

In the morning, pass south along the coast near Donegal and into County Sligo. Home to the burial site of famed poet WB Yeats, the land here offers dramatic views of the Ben Bulben mountains, ideal for photos. Outside Sligo Town lies Carrowmore and the largest collection of megalithic tombs in Ireland, some of which date back over 6000 years. Moving westwards, you will enter County Mayo, an area ravaged in the past by the Great Potato Famine. Winding roads curve through the picturesque farmlands, bogs and open moors, offering views of distant hills and the Atlantic coast, where you’ll visit the dramatic Achill Island. Right on the edge of Europe, the steeply rugged sea cliffs give way to the peaceful beauty of the interior of the island. After this, head to Westport, your home for the next two days.

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Connemara, Clifden, and Kylemore Abbey

  • Stroll through the superb grounds at Kylemore Abbey.
  • Connemara National Park opens up for you, from verdant marshes to the awesome Diamond Hill, the 500m high centerpiece of the park.
  • In Clifden, the site of the first transatlantic flight landing, you’ll find densely packed beauty and history amidst the delightful castle and first rate views.
  • Enchanting vistas along the Sky Road offer a seemingly infinite blend of earth and sunset among the clouds.
  • Prepare to be stunned by the legendary Twelve Bens, the famously jagged mountain range in Connemara.

Galway lies on the edge of Connemara, the area you are exploring today. Alternatively, you can visit the magnificently restored 12th century Cong Abbey. From here, you will continue through the heart of Connemara for a visit to the beautiful house and grounds at Kylemore Abbey, where the grand structures and magnificent man-made gardens are a treat for the eye and soul.

Your journey then continues to Connemara National Park, where abundant wildlife resides among the ancient tombs and intimate woodland paths. You will view the truly magnificent Diamond Hill, a 500m peak that rivals any summit in Europe, and then on to Clifden, famous home of the first transatlantic flight landing. Here you enjoy the unbroken and infinite majesty of the Sky Road, as well as the sharp peaks of the Twelve Bens of Connemara. This distinctive mountain range offers an excellent photo opportunity, before you head down and back for the night to your cozy residence in Westport.

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Lough Corrib and more of Connemara

  • See the iconic locations from “The Quiet Man” on the scenic shores of Lough Corrib.

Travelling inland through the Maam Valley to the village of Cong, you will come upon the shore of Lough Corrib, the famous setting for the film classic “The Quiet man”. You are free to tread the halls of the excellent local museum devoted to the movie.

You will be dropped off at your accommodation in Galway before the first tour returns to Dublin. The afternoon and evening are free to explore this lively university city. You will be collected from your accommodation the following morning by your new tour driver-guide.

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Cliffs of Moher & The Burren

  • Roam the Burren, a national treasure of Ireland, beautiful and mysterious in equal measure and home to some of Ireland’s most profound spiritual and natural experiences.
  • Marvel at the steep Cliffs of Moher and the stunning 700ft drop into the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Unwind with traditional Irish music in the atmospheric pubs and bars of Killarney.

A short drive along the coast from Galway City lies the Burren, one of Ireland’s national treasures. A region of broad limestone pavements, rare flora and ancient stone monuments, this elemental reserve is home to one of the earliest Christian settlements in Ireland. After a thorough exploration, you will travel to Kilfenora, the “town of the crosses” and it’s fabulous ancient cathedral and superb collection of religious artifacts. After lunch in a charming village, head to the incredible Cliffs of Moher, which drop nearly 700ft into the fierce Atlantic Ocean. Walk the stunning cliff trails as seabirds swoop through the clear air above you. Learn more about the unique ecosystem here in the award-winning environmental exhibition nearby. The tour then moves south through County Clare, passing its famous golf course on the way to the picturesque beach at Lahinch. From here, board a pretty ferry across the Shannon Estuary to the lakeside town of Killarney. This energetic and charming town will be your base for the next three nights, so take your time sampling the fine collection of traditional pubs and music.

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Dingle Peninsula

  • Traverse the Dingle Peninsula, famous for its natural scenery and as a bastion of Gaelic culture.
  • Wander ancient forts and religious sites of the past at Slea Head, whilst walking Ireland’s easternmost point.
  • Stroll the beautiful length of Inch Beach on your way to Dingle, with its views of offshore islands and the powerful mountains of Kerry.

The tour navigates the fabulous Dingle Peninsula today, the scenic heartland of Gaelic culture and tradition. Your first stop is Inch Beach, a vast expanse of sand stretching out into the Atlantic that’s popular with extreme sports fans. Venturing down the narrow roads away from the beach leads you through the town of Dingle, popular for its dolphin tours. You will pass on towards Slea Head, a promontory loaded with ancient forts and millennia-old dwellings. Captivating views of the nearby Blasket Islands rising dramatically from the sea make this an excellent space for photos. If the weather stays pleasant, you can ramble along the beaches and cliff tops to fully appreciate the incredible vistas. A landscape steeped in Gaelic literature, you have the chance to learn about its influence on Irish literary culture.

Arriving back amidst the brightly colored houses and jolly harbor of Dingle, spend the remainder of the afternoon enjoying delicious seafood in this idyllic setting. In the evening, you will head back to Killarney, with time for an evening stroll in the National Park that borders the town.

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The Ring of Kerry

  • Tour the world renowned Ring of Kerry, hailed globally for its incredible scenery and cultural significance. Spectacular photo opportunities abound!

Today, you will tour the Ring of Kerry, a spectacular route through some of Ireland’s most historically and visually striking areas. Head out in the morning for over 100 miles of unbeatable scenery, stopping first at Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil. After snapping some shots of its imposing size, you will join the scenic coast road through Glenbeigh and Kells on the way to Cahersiveen. Possible stops include the site of “The Liberator of Ireland” Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace and an impressive ring fort outside Portmagee, your stop for lunch. This quaint fishing village offers a chance to relax whilst indulging in the local seafood. Alternatively, you can head to the island of Valentia for a visit to the Skelling Experience, where you learn about the ancient community of monks who made the outcrop of rocky islands their home.

In the afternoon, there’s a photo stop in Charlie Chaplin’s favorite holiday “home away from home” of Waterville before a trip to the very top of Coonmakista pass and the divine views it offers. Winding down from the peaks, you head to sea level on the way to Derrynane House, home of the family O’Connell, whose most famous son Daniel O’Connell holds a special place in Irish hearts as an emancipating force from colonial rule. Stroll in the scenic gardens and explore the main house where so much Irish history was forged. Continuing along the Ring, you will stop at Moll’s Gap and the Ladies View, offering two stunning sights perfect for memorable pictures. Stroll a short way to the Torc Waterfall before heading back to Killarney. (On some tours, Days 7 and 8 are switched).

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Blarney Castle and Stone, Jameson Whiskey Distillery

  • Kiss the famed Blarney Stone amidst the walls of the medieval stronghold of Blarney Castle.
  • Roam Kilkenny Castle and its impressive craft centers.

Heading east through the mountains of West Cork, weave along the Lee Valley until you reach Blarney Castle, the impressive medieval fortress that lies on the outskirts of Cork. You will have time to take in the castle grounds and wander its woodland trails. Visiting the nearby village, you may even get the chance to kiss the famous Blarney Stone and receive the “gift of the gab”!

After this, you will visit the Jameson Whiskey Distillery. Here you will have a chance to learn the history, find out how the drink is made, and taste a little yourself.

In the afternoon, you will change driver-guide and pass along the beautiful coastline south of Cork before arriving in Kinsale. This charming little fishing village is your overnight stop, so you can take in the delights of the “gourmet capital of Ireland”, with its first rate local restaurants and lively pubs. Savor your free evening whilst exploring the narrow streets and brightly colored houses around your accommodation.

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Cobh, Waterford, and Kilkenny

  • See where the Titanic made its last port of call before its ill-fated maiden voyage.
  • Follow the rugged “Copper Coast” to Waterford, Ireland’s most ancient city.
  • Discover Ireland’s Viking heritage or marvel at the exquisite craftsmanship at the famous Waterford Crystal factory.

Leaving Kinsale in the morning, make your way to the historic port town of Cobh. The major departure point for Irish emigration for the 19th and 20th centuries, this was the last port of call for the Titanic on its infamous maiden voyage. After unearthing the stories from Ireland’s past, head east along the Copper Coast, a Unesco Geopark famed for its beauty and intricate histories. You will continue until you reach Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city, founded by Vikings in the 9th century. Survey the wondrous craftsmanship at the Waterford Crystal factory, explore the selection of fine museums or wander the ‘Viking Triangle’ on foot.

In the late afternoon, you will travel north away from Waterford and over to Kilkenny, a vibrant city with an impressive castle and parklands where you stay for the evening. With riverside trails, the National Craft Center and a thriving pub and restaurant culture, you are certain to see why it was voted Ireland’s friendliest city!

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Kilkenny Castle, Wicklow Mountains, and Glendalough

  • Roam Kilkenny Castle and its impressive craft centers.
  • Traverse the Wicklow Mountains and the majestic national park, known as “the Garden of Ireland”.
  • Witness the ancient structures at Glendalough, from the distinct high crosses to the 6th century monastic site.

In the morning, you will have free time in Kilkenny and its superb castle. Match the calm pace of life in the charming town center and its fine craft centers. You will then head north into the Wicklow Mountains, where the National Park will impress you with its steep granite mountains and captivating green paths. The famous valleys open up before you, carved by ancient glaciers. Follow winding paths that lead to Glendalough, site of an awe-inspiring 6th century monastery at the heart of the park’s woodland trails. This offers a perfect opportunity for photography, from the verdant natural setting to the much admired round tower of the monastery. After this, head through the center of the National Park to cross the famous Sally Gap, before descending the short distance to Dublin.

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"We love travel as much as you do. We prefer it to any roller-coaster, movie, or concert. But there are a few things we don’t always love about travel. Like when you get stranded on a dark single track road. Or end up at a large hotel that serves frozen food made 1,000 miles away. Or when you see something incredible, and have no way of finding out what it is. So, our award-winning small-group tours take care of details and ensure you and your driver-guide’s adventures are free from the things that make travel less lovable.

Here’s how we deliver travel experiences you’ll love:

You learn from the best storytellers. And this is no overstatement. Our driver-guides are world famous for their knowledge, facts, quirky stories, history, and fairy-tales. They truly take you beyond the guidebooks and into your adventure.

You explore in top of the range 16 seat mini-coaches. This means you never get lost, you always take the scenic route, you have great views through large windows, and you’re free to sample the local tipple without worrying about driving.

You support the local communities. You do this because we take you to the lesser known attractions and recommend locally owned accommodation. What’s more, for every ton of carbon we use, we donate £10 to environmental and community projects.

You make your trip your own. We provide the timetable; and along the way you can choose where you want to eat, sleep and which attractions you want to see. So, if you want to stop off and feed a highland cow or maybe linger longer in the castle courtyard with a glass of wine, you can.

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go. When you choose to book with us, you’re going - no minimum numbers.

Guaranteed experience or your money back. If you feel you’ve not had the experience you deserved, and we’re at fault, we’ll give you your money back.

So, take a tour with us and learn to love travel even more than you thought you could."

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What's included

Places you will explore:

  • The City of Belfast - A city steeped in the history and heartaches of Ireland.
  • The Titanic Quarter - See the regenerated waterfront where the Titanic was constructed and explore the tragic histories of the people who built it.
  • Giant's Causeway - Feel the power of Irish giants in the unique and breathtaking coastal formations of the Causeway.
  • Portrush - Relax in this small but charming coastal resort town.
  • Derry - Enter the only completely walled city in Ireland and the British Isles where markets, spires and museums await within.
  • Donegal - Venture into this land of castles, rugged coasts and thick forest, where Gaelic culture is writ large and proud.
  • County Mayo - Explore the typical Irish scenery and magnificent wildlife of this land with a tragic past.
  • Westport - Sweep past Atlantic views and across verdant soil around this pretty bay front village.
  • Cong - This scenic town in the heart of Connemara has the beauty of its ancient abbey, as well as more modern strains of culture within the “Quiet Man” Museum.
  • Kylemore Abbey - A refuge for Benedictine nuns fleeing World War 1, this incredible Neo-Gothic building is steeped in the scars and bravery of world history.
  • Connemara National Park - Stunning vistas and superb wildlife abound within this famously serene park.
  • Clifden - The “Capital of Connemara”, this historically significant site is where the first transatlantic flight landed.
  • The Sky Road - 11km of heaven, you’ll see the Ireland only usually glimpsed on postcards and travel blogs. Visually arresting landscapes offer views that will fill your senses.
  • The Twelve Bens - The towering peaks of twelve mountains above a rare bog habitat and pristine lakes, this is a dramatic area that always teems with wildlife.
  • Galway Town - Stone clad buildings line the winding lanes and medieval walls of this ancient harbor city, all accompanied by the strains of traditional music pouring from cozy pubs.
  • Cliffs of Moher - Behold an awe-inspiring 700ft drop to the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The Burren - A true treasure of Ireland: beautiful and mysterious in equal measure. This national park is home to some of the nation’s most profound spiritual and natural culture.
  • Dingle Peninsula - Glorious beaches merge with traditional Irish scenery in this land of Gaelic mystery and towering forts.
  • Ring of Kerry - Travel over 100 miles of beauty and intrigue, with something for all the senses along this classic tour route.
  • Torc Waterfall - Learn of the ancient curse that formed this waterfall and its inimitable cascade.
  • Blarney Castle - Kiss the famed Blarney Stone amidst the walls of this impressive medieval stronghold.
  • Kilkenny - Survey the dominant and unmistakable three walled castle whilst roaming its splendid grounds and market town.

Discounts:

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, Rabbie's Tours don't carry children under 5 years old).

Important information:

  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes.
  • One 15 kilogram bag per person.
  • This tour combines two of our trips. This means you swap your bus, guide, and a few of your friends during the journey.

Tour inclusions:

  • All ferry and bridge crossings.
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach.
  • Air conditioning as standard.
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide.

Tour exclusions:

  • Entry fees to visitor attractions.
  • Tour accommodation.

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