The Royal Atlantic - 5 Day Rail Tour

5 Days Starts in Dublin, Heuston Station & Ends in Dublin, Heuston Station

Tour highlights

By train to the South, Southwest & West of Ireland

This tour covers a large part of the Wild Atlantic Way. Head South to visit Cork, Blarney Castle & the Ring of Kerry, West to the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, the Aran Islands in Galway Bay.

Itinerary

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Blarney Castle, Cobh and Killarney

  • Check-in for 07:00am departure from Dublin Heuston Station.
  • Arrive into Cork Kent Station for 09:35am, then transfer to your Railtours Ireland tour coach through Cork City to Blarney Village and historic Blarney Castle and Gardens, built in 1446 by Dermot Mc Carthy. You will have time to kiss the famous stone, which is said to bestow the gift of eternal eloquence on those lucky enough to do so. There is also time for shopping and lunch at Blarney and it is recommended that you have lunch there, as this will be the only opportunity during the day to have a substantial meal.
  • Depart Blarney Castle for Cóbh, via the city center and a short city tour.
  • On arrival at Cóbh, you will visit St Colman’s Cathedral. You will then proceed down along the sea front passing the former White Star Line offices en route to the beautifully restored Victorian railway station/transatlantic terminal. This is now the Cóbh Heritage Center, home to the "Queenstown Story". The center also houses much information about the Great Famine and subsequent Irish Emigration; 3 million Irish people emigrated from Cóbh (principally to the United States), including Annie Moore, whose statue is located in front of the heritage center.
  • Depart Cóbh by train to Killarney.
  • The rest of the evening is free and there is a large selection of cafés, restaurants and bars in Killarney town as well as many opportunities for live traditional Irish music entertainment.

Visitor Attraction Admissions included: Blarney Castle and Gardens & Cóbh Heritage Center. 

Overnight Stay: Killarney City Center

Free Upgrade to 4* Hotel in Killarney subject to availability.

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Ring of Kerry Tour

  • Enjoy your Full Irish Breakfast at leisure. 
  • 09:45am - You will be collected from your accommodation (or as directed by Railtours Ireland Killarney representative) for your Ring of Kerry tour.
  • There are plenty of stops along the Ring of Kerry for morning tea, lunch and photo stops etc. Ireland’s highest mountains are located in Kerry and their highest peak, Carrauntouhil, standing at 1041 meters, can be seen en route. You will make a stop at the Kerry Bog Village Museum, which gives an insight into how people lived and worked in rural Ireland in the 18th century. The village is the only one of its kind in Europe. Later on the approach to Waterville there are views (weather permitting) of the Skellig Rocks (islands), where Star Wars 'The Force Awakens' was recently filmed. The tour will make several photo stops, a stop for lunch and one final stop at the pretty village of Sneem, for about 30 minutes or as directed by your tour leader.
  • An essential part of any visit to Ireland, this tour circles the magnificent Macgillycuddy's Reeks and runs through its many passes and valleys along the shores of Dingle Bay and Kenmare Bay. There is an unspoiled nature to Ireland's most beautiful region and the Ring of Kerry provides many unforgettable memories as it passes through the many picturesque villages such as Glenbeigh, Waterville and Sneem and returns via Ladies View, the famous Lakes of Killarney and through the Oakwoods of Killarney's magnificent National Park.
  • Evening free in Killarney.
Overnight Stay: Killarney City Center.

Free Upgrade to 4* Hotel in Killarney subject to availability.

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Bunratty Castle & The Cliffs of Moher

  • Enjoy your full Irish Breakfast at leisure. 
  • 07:30am - Depart Killarney by road to Limerick to join the Bunratty Castle and Cliffs of Moher Tour. 
  • Arrive into Limerick where you will join your Railtours Ireland tour coach. Limerick has a population of about 90,000 and its city charter was granted in 1197AD, making it older than London! As you cross the river Shannon, which is Ireland’s longest river, you will see views of King John’s Castle to the right. The castle was completed in 1200 and marks the origins of the city. Limerick’s most famous author, Frank Mc Court, grew up here and used this place as the setting for his book, ‘Angela’s Ashes’. Limerick is also the birthplace of celebrated BBC radio DJ, Terry Wogan and Hollywood star, Richard Harris. We will pass the GAA grounds of Páirc na nGael – the home ground of County Limerick’s Hurling and Gaelic Football teams. Limerick is also the home of Irish Rubgy and you will pass Thomond Park, the Rugby stadium. After a brief city tour, you will travel onto Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. The castle was completed in 1425 and, after many years of neglect, has been restored to its former glory. There is also a folk park here, which you will have time to explore.
  • After the visit to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, make your way to Co. Clare. There is a lunch stop at O’ Connor’s Pub in Doolin before arriving at the Cliffs of Moher, among the highest sea cliffs in Europe. There is plenty of time to visit Ireland’s second most popular tourist attraction and your host will advise you of the departure time. From here, take the coast road for much of the way to Galway, with time for photos along The Burren, Ireland's famous national park. The word Burren comes from the Irish Language, it means ‘rocky place’. It is a unique lunar landscape of limestone which was described in 1649 by one of Oliver Cromwell’s men as: “No tree to hang a man, no water deep enough to drown him and no soil deep enough to bury him”. Today, the Burren is noted for its diverse Flora with few parallels elsewhere in Ireland or, indeed, Europe. Continue along the coast road to Black Head, passing the quaint coastal villages of Ballyvaughan and Kinvara, before joining the main road to Galway.
  • At the end of the day, the coach will set you down at Eyre Square in the center of Galway City, adjacent to your hotel (and the railway station). You will be directed to your hotel by your host and your evening in Galway is free.

Visitor Attraction Admissions included: Bunratty Castle and Folk Park & The Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience. 

Overnight Stay: Galway City Center

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Connemara and Kylemore Abbey

  • Depart Galway and enjoy your tour of Connemara towards the village of Moycullen. From Moycullen the road rises and falls towards the lovely village of Oughterard on the shores of Lough Corrib, traditionally regarded as Ireland’s premier angling center. Now the gateway to Connemara opens, and the breathtaking colors of this unspoiled countryside are revealed in all their natural splendor. At Maam Cross, the Connemara "crossroads", there is a replica of the cottage used in the 1950s John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara film "The Quiet Man", which was filmed here. From Maam Cross your tour heads out to Leenane, Kylemore Abbey and Letterfrack, in the shadow of purple mountains rolling down to blue and green rocky valleys, reflecting the rich and varied colors of Connemara. There is a lunch break at Kylemore Abbey and Gardens, an 18th century castle now owned by the Benedictine nuns who run an excellent pottery, gift shop and restaurant here. Letterfrack is one of Ireland’s major national parks. The colorful town of Clifden has been one of Ireland's leading holiday resorts for generations. It is an excellent touring center beloved by the walker, the biker, the hiker or the fisherman. It was here too, at Derrygimlagh Bog, near Clifden that aviation history was made when Alcock and Brown crash landed after their historic transatlantic flight in 1919.
  • Back at Maam Cross again and the road turns southwards now through the Screeb, Costello and Rossaveal. Rossaveal is the departure point for ferryboats to the Aran Islands and is also a major fishing port. You are now in the Gaeltacht or the Irish speaking area of Connemara where Gaelic or Irish is still the everyday spoken language of all bi-lingual people.
  • Your tour of Connemara heads homewards towards Galway City now, along the shores of Galway bay, through the Gaeltacht villages of Inverin and Spiddal and looking out across the blue waters of the Atlantic at the unique lime-stone of the Burren and the hills of Clare. After your day's touring you will be returned to Galway Station. Upon arriving at Galway Station please present your Railtours Ireland ticket and travel pack at the ticket barrier and you will be directed to your reserved seats on the train, where your host will be waiting for you.

Visitor Attraction Admissions included: Kylemore Abbey & Gardens.

Overnight Stay: Galway City Center
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Aran Islands

  • Enjoy your full Irish Breakfast at Leisure.
  • Depart Galway City for transfer to Inis Mór, the largest of the three Aran Islands. Irish is the spoken language on the Aran Islands, although the locals will be more than happy to speak to you in English. For many, the highlight of the tour is the formidable pre-Christian fort of Dún Aonghusa, with spectacular sea-cliffs on the western side and unspoiled views of the Atlantic Ocean. Transfer times may vary depending on the season.

Notes on Aran: Your tour of Inis Mór includes stops at 'Seven Churches' (15 minutes), Dún Aonghusa (75 minutes) and Kilronan for lunch (45 minutes).

  • Depart Galway for Dublin Heuston Station. Returning to Dublin Heuston at 09:45pm.
  • Depending on your day of departure tours on Day 4 and Day 5 may be reversed. 
  • You can also extend your stay to visit Northern Ireland with the Giant's Causeway on a 6 day tour.

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Tour operator

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In association with Iarnród Éireann, Irish Rail, Railtours Ireland First Class offer Independent Travellers the chance to see a great portion of Ireland that they would not ordinarily be able to experience comfortably in 1 or more days.

All tours / vacations with accommodation included are guaranteed departures. With fast, comfortable Intercity trains and luxury coaches we offer wonderful vacations.

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The Railtours Ireland First Class team: Peter, Jennifer, Fiona, Melena, David and Mervyn - all Ireland experts are here to advise, plan and book your Railtours Ireland First Class vacation. We look forward to welcoming you to Ireland and on board our service. 

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What's included

  • Return Rail Travel
  • Reserved Seats on the train
  • Railtours Ireland Host throughout
  • Visitor Attraction Admissions
  • Escorted Coach
  • 2 Nights Killarney B+B / Free Upgrade to 4* Hotel
  • 2 Nights Galway / 3*/4* Hotel
  • Full Irish Breakfast

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