Fast fiddles, flowing flutes, and foot-tapping beats: Ireland’s traditional music is undeniably distinctive. And as you travel through the island, you can’t help but relate the unique music to the remarkable landscapes and stories.
On this tour, you will discover the Ireland that inspired music. You’ll immerse yourself in the tuneful tales of Blarney Castle, the melodious flavors of Locke’s Distillery, and the lyrical legends of the wonderful people of Ireland.
You’ll return home with a head full of delightful sights, fascinating stories, and majestic melodies.
Leaving Dublin, head west through the farmlands and peat bogs of County Kildare and Offaly. Locke’s Distillery is your first stop, and here you will have time to relax with a glass of their famed whiskey.
After a drink (or two!), head to the banks of the mighty River Shannon and the ruined abbey at Clonmacnoise - home to a large collection of stone crosses, ancient churches and inimitable round towers, this holy site offers an insightful glimpse into Ireland’s spiritual past.
You will then have lunch at a traditional pub in one of the area’s pretty villages, before travelling to Galway City, your home for the first night. It’s a city with a lively atmosphere and excellent restaurants and bars.
A short drive along the coast from Galway City lies the Burren, one of Ireland’s national treasures. It’s home to one of the earliest Christian settlements in Ireland and broad limestone pavements and rare flora.
After time to explore the area, you will travel to Kilfenora, the “town of the crosses”. You can visit the town’s fabulous ancient cathedral before your tour stops for lunch in one of the area’s charming villages.
You will then head to the incredible Cliffs of Moher. Walk the stunning cliff trails as seabirds swoop through the clear air above you. Learn about the unique ecosystem in the excellent and 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 you will board a ferry across the Shannon Estuary to the lakeside town of Killarney. This energetic, charming area will be your base for the next three nights, so you can take your time sampling the superb collection of traditional pubs and live music.
Today, your tour explores the fabulous Dingle Peninsula. Your first stop is Inch Beach, a vast expanse of sand stretching out into the Atlantic. Venturing down the narrow roads away from the beach leads you through the town of Dingle.
You will continue towards Slea Head, an area loaded with ancient forts and prehistoric dwellings. The impressive views of the nearby Blasket Islands make this an excellent spot for panoramic photos. If the weather is pleasant, you can ramble along the beaches and cliff tops to fully appreciate the incredible vistas.
Arriving back amidst the brightly colored houses and jolly harbor of Dingle, you are free to 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 envelops the town.
Today, you will explore the Ring of Kerry, a spectacular route through some of Ireland’s most visually striking areas.
Head out in the morning, stopping first at Ireland’s highest mountain, Carrauntoohil. After snapping some shots of its rugged majesty, 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.
Stop for lunch in the quaint fishing village of Portmagee. Alternatively, you can have a quick snack and head to the island of Valentia for a visit to the Skellig Experience. This excursion teaches you 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 “home away from home” at Waterville, before enjoying fine views at the top of Coonmakista pass.
Winding down from the peaks, your tour will head to Derrynane House, home of the family O’Connell. Daniel O’Connell holds a special place in Irish hearts, as an emancipating force from colonial rule. Enjoy a walk in the scenic gardens here, as well as a visit to the main house.
Continuing along the Ring, you will stop at Moll’s Gap and the Ladies View. Stroll a short way from here to the Torc Waterfall before heading back to Killarney. (On some tours, days three and four are switched).
Heading east through the mountains of West Cork, weave along the Lee Valley until you reach Blarney Castle. You will have time here to take in the castle grounds, and maybe 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 it a little yourself.
In the afternoon, you will change tour guides 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.
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, you will 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, travel north away from Waterford and over to Kilkenny, a vibrant city with an impressive castle and parklands where you will 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!
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, the 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, you will head through the center of the National Park to cross the famous Sally Gap, before descending the short distance back to Dublin.
"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."View Profile
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Places you will explore:
Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, Rabbie's Tours don't carry children under 5 years old).