Titanic Rail Trail & Wild Atlantic Way 11 Day Tour

11 Days Starts in Dublin, Heuston Station & Ends in Dublin, Connolly Station

Tour highlights

Travel South, South West, West, East, North and North West.

New for 2018 - an eleven day tour that encompasses almost everything that Railtours Ireland do (and they can add on Waterford as an extra day tour if you wish). This tour includes the highlights of Ireland with the theme of the ill fated Titanic story. Visit Cork and Blarney Castle and Cóbh near Cork City, the ship's last port of call. Travel to Belfast where she was built and explore Clifden in Connemara, where Jack Phillips, the Titanic's wireless operator worked for Marconi before the fatal voyage. This tour also takes in Ireland's most famous attractions, such as The Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, The Ring of Kerry, Bunratty Castle, The Giant's Causeway, Galway Bay on the wild Atlantic Coast, and the Hills of Donegal. The tour finally returns to Dublin from Sligo town in Ireland's North West. The Wild Atlantic Way and Causeway coast are well covered in this very comprehensive tour.

Itinerary

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Blarney Castle, Cobh and Killarney

  • Check-in for 07:00am departure from Dublin Heuston Station, opened in 1844 as the headquarters of the Great Southern & Western Railway. As your train departs, travel in a south westerly direction, through Dublin's western suburbs and then through the lush fertile countryside of Co. Kildare. Your journey takes you through the Curragh, which is famous for its racecourse, home of the Irish Derby. The final approach to Cork station is through Ireland's longest railway tunnel, which is a rather modest 1.2km.
  • 09:35am - Arrive into Cork Kent Station and transfer to the Railtours Ireland tour coach through Cork City to Blarney Village and historic Blarney Castle, 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 Railtours Ireland recommend 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. Cork’s population is approximately 150,000 (Ireland’s 3rd largest city after Dublin and Belfast) and has the only city center in Ireland that actually stands on an island - the River Lee divides and rejoins on both ends of the city center. It is also home to Murphy’s and Beamish, the Southern Capital’s rival to Guinness.
  • 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". When Queen Victoria visited Ireland in 1849, she came to Cóbh and the town was renamed Queenstown in her honor – it was renamed Cóbh after Irish independence in 1922. Cóbh was, of course, the final port of call of the RMS Titanic and this theme is well expounded. The center also houses much information about the Great Famine and subsequent Irish Emigration. Three million Irish people emigrated from Cóbh (principally to the United States) including Annie Moore, whose statue is located in front of the heritage center. The Lusitania was torpedoed off the coast of Cork – marking the United States’ entry to the First World War. Cóbh is also the headquarters of the Irish Navy and you will most likely see some navy ships.
  • 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 Town Center
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Ring of Kerry Tour

  • Enjoy your Full Irish Breakfast at leisure. You will be collected from your accommodation at 09:45am (or as directed by Railtours Ireland representative in Killarney) for your Ring of Kerry tour.
  • There are plenty of stops along the Ring of Kerry for morning tea, lunch and photos etc. Ireland’s highest mountains are located in Kerry and Carrauntouhil, which is Ireland's highest peak, can be seen en route. Your tour will make a stop at the Kerry Bog Village Museum, which gives people an insight into how people lived and worked in rural Ireland in the 18th century. 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, the Ring of Kerry provides many unforgettable memories as it passes through the various picturesque villages such as Glenbeigh, Waterville and Sneem and returns via Ladies View, the famous Lakes of Killarney and Killarney's magnificent National Park. At the end of the tour you will be brought to your hotel in 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.
Overnight Stay: Killarney Town Center
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Limerick, Cliffs of Moher, and Galway

  • 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 the 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 - 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 McCourt, 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. Your tour 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, 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 there, 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, you will 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, meaning ‘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. In the evening you are free to explore Galway and rest.

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

Overnight Stay: Galway City Center
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Aran Islands Tour

  • Enjoy your full Irish Breakfast at leisure. 
  • Depart Galway for transfer to Inis Mór, the largest of the 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.

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).

Please note: Should weather conditions be such as to curtail the transfer to Inis Mór, you will receive a refund for this portion of the tour.

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Connemara and Kylemore Abbey

  • Enjoy your full Irish Breakfast, then check out of your hotel.
  • Depart from Galway Train Station on your conducted tour of Connemara, leaving Galway to 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 Derrigimlagh 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 Irish speaking area of Connemara where Gaelic or Irish is still the everyday spoken language of all bilingual people. 

Overnight Stay: Clifden Hotel

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Clifden

  • Enjoy your Full Irish Breakfast at leisure. 
  • Depart Clifden for your morning tour of the Sky Road, Coral Beach - spectacular coastal scenery. Visit Derrigimlagh Bog, the site of the Marconi transmitting station where Jack Phillips worked as a wireless operator. He left in 1911 and joined the Titanic, and went down with the ship as he sent the final distress messages. This also is the site where Alcock and Brown landed in 1919, after the first ever non-stop transatlantic flight. Return to Kylemore for your lunch stop (not included).
  • Continue your tour through Connemara enjoying spectacular mountain and lake scenery on your way back to Galway.
  • Depart Galway for Dublin Heuston. Returning to Dublin Heuston at 09:45pm.
Overnight Stay: Dublin City Center
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Discover Dublin - Free Time

This is your leisure day in Dublin during which you can use your 'Hop On - Hop Off' Dublin city sightseeing tour ticket.
This 'Hop On - Hop Off' tour will take you to Dublin's most famous attractions, including The Guinness Brewery, Trinity College, which houses the Book of Kells, Kilmainham Jail, and Christchurch and St. Patrick's Cathedrals, plus many more.

Overnight Stay: Dublin City Center
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Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

  • Check-in is 20 minutes prior to Train Departure Time. Customer Service Desk at Connolly Station where Railtours Ireland Check-In representative will be in their yellow jacket! 
  • 07:35am - Depart Connolly Station, which was built in 1844 as the terminus of the Dublin & Drogheda Railway and is now the administrative headquarters of Iarnród Éireann, Ireland’s National Railway. Depart northwards through the Dublin suburbs, which soon give way to farmland. Soon you will pass the exclusive coastal village of Malahide before you cross the wide Broadmeadow Estuary, followed by Rogerstown Estuary. Fine views of the sea appear as you pass through the coastal town of Skerries, followed by the fishing village of Balbriggan. A few kilometres further on you will pass Gormanston, an Irish Air Corps military airfield – on the landward side. Red flags on the seaward side indicate military exercises are in progress. Travel through Drogheda. Immediately north of Drogheda, cross the historic river Boyne by a magnificent viaduct, with great views of the town. It was here that Oliver Cromwell put the entire population to the sword in 1649. A little further upstream is the site of the Battle of the Boyne, where [Protestant] King William of Orange defeated dethroned [Catholic] King James in 1690 – an event, which is still celebrated annually by ‘Orangemen’ or ‘Northern Protestants’ on the ‘Twelfth’ of July. Your train will now begin to climb into the foothills of the Camlough Mountains and border country.
  • Arrive into Belfast, Ireland’s second largest city, where you will take a coach for the tour to the Antrim Coast and the Giant’s Causeway. One of the city’s principal landmarks can be seen upon arrival, the two Harland & Wolfe Cranes which are nicknamed Samson and Goliath. It was here that many great ships were built, most notably for White Star Line, whose ships included the Olympic, Britannic and (perhaps the most famous ship of all) RMS Titanic.
  • Leaving Belfast, proceed to the town of Carrickfergus for a short photo-stop and take the coast road north from there. Further north, you will arrive at the fishing village of Carnlough, where you will stop for about 15 minutes. Continue on passing the coastal villages of Glenariff, Cushendall and Cushendun. There are stunning views of the sea to the right and the mountains or the Glens of Antrim to the left. Most impressive are the spectacular views of Mull of Kintyre, Scotland, which are clearly visible on a fine day. Moving inland, come to the town of Ballycastle, home to Ireland’s oldest town fair. The Laamas fair dates from 1606 and takes place over the August bank holiday weekend every year. Your next stop is the famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Head for Dunluce Castle then for a photo stop before arriving at the Giant’s Causeway, where your tour will stop for about 2 hours.
  • Return to Belfast city center for your overnight stay in Belfast City.

Visitor Attraction Admissions included: Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

Overnight Stay: Belfast City Center
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Belfast City and Titanic Belfast

  • After enjoying a Full Irish Breakfast (the famous Ulster Fry) at your leisure, you will join the Belfast Hop-On-Hop-Off tour which not only explores the city center but also the Titanic Quarter (see the original dock where the doomed liner was built). Visit the Titanic Visitor Center (admission included), where you can see the last surviving White Star Line Ship "The Nomadic". You will also see the murals of the Falls and Shankill Roads with plenty of free time for shopping and exploring. 
  • Depart Belfast from Great Victoria street station for Derry by train at 03:10pm. 
  • Arrive at Derry Waterside station at 05:25pm, where you will be met for your private transfer to Harvey's Point Hotel.
  • Check in and relax, enjoy dinner (included).

Visitor Attraction Admissions included: Hop on Hop Off City Bus Tour & Titanic Visitor Center.

Overnight Stay: Harvey's Point Hotel, Dinner, Room & Full Breakfast
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Harvey's Point

After a full Irish Breakfast, relax and enjoy the luxury of Harvey's Point. Perhaps enjoy a cooking demonstration or wine tasting (Tuesdays & Thursdays). There are lots of lovely walks in the beautiful surroundings of the Blue Stack Mountains.

Enjoy evening dinner (cabaret dinner on Wednesday nights).

Overnight Stay: Harvey's Point Hotel, Dinner, Room & Full Breakfast
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Slieve League Cliffs, W B Yeats graveside and train journey to Dublin

After breakfast and check out, you will enjoy a tour to Slieve League, Ireland's highest cliffs, on the Wild Atlantic Way. Your tour will continue along the Donegal coastline, stopping for a short visit at the graveside of William Butler Yeats at Drumcliffe and onwards to Sligo town, where you will join the train for Dublin arriving at Connolly Station, Dublin at 06:00pm.

For organized groups of 10 or more adults Railtours Ireland have group tours with additional services.

Overnight Stay: Dublin City Center

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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.

Discover our range of tours from Ireland's Ancient East to the Wild Atlantic Way!

Experience a Car Free Care Free vacation in Ireland!

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
  • Transfer to Inis Mór the largest of the Aran Islands
  • 2 Nights Killarney 4* Hotel
  • 2 Nights Galway 4* Hotel
  • 1 Night Clifden 4* Hotel
  • 3 Nights Dublin 4* Hotel
  • 1 Night Belfast 4* Hotel
  • 2 Nights Harvey's Point with Dinner both nights
  • Full Irish Breakfast Included

Note: Check-in is 20 minutes prior to Train Departure Time. Customer Service Desk at Heuston Station where Railtours Ireland Check-In representative will be in their yellow jacket!

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