Discover the best of Ireland’s pristine southeast, including Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone, the Copper Coast, Waterford, the Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough. With an experienced local guide to show you around, you’ll take in the picturesque harbor town of Kinsale, the maritime history of Cobh, and ancient and contemporary sights in Kilkenny. From beautiful beaches to ancient monasteries, traditional pubs to gourmet restaurants, this small group tour limited to 16 people will show you Ireland’s natural beauty and historic treasures.
Day 1: Dublin – Cork – KinsaleMeet your small group and guide in central Dublin, and travel by minicoach through the lush farming counties of Kildare, Laois, and Tipperary, with a short stop in Cahir. Then head on to Blarney on the outskirts of Cork. Spend time exploring the woodland walks and mystical Rock Close. Visit the village of Blarney, a good place for lunch and a bit of shopping. Check out Blarney Castle, and see the famous Blarney Stone.In the afternoon, explore the coast of West Cork with its historic villages, beautiful beaches, inlets, and tiny coves. At the end of the day, reach the attractive fishing village of Kinsale – famous for its food – where you’ll spend the night. Have time at your leisure to pop into the artsy shops, traditional pubs, and gourmet restaurants. From Kinsale, you can walk less than two miles (3 km) to Charles Fort, where you can explore the 17th-century, star-shaped fort.Overnight: 3-star hotel or B&B in KinsaleDay 2: Cobh – Waterford – Kilkenny (B)After breakfast, board your minicoach for a short drive to Cobh, a port town known for its maritime history. Your guide will explain the history of Cobh, known as the gateway for Irish emigration through the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as being Titanic’s last port of call. Follow the road along the Copper Coast, a UNESCO geopark with beautiful scenery and a fascinating history. Stop in Tramore – a popular beach for surfing, before you reach Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city. In Waterford, spend time exploring the Viking history of the ancient town, visit the Waterford Crystal factory, or check out one of the excellent museums. In the late afternoon, travel north to Kilkenny, a bustling city with a castle, riverside walks, and plenty of pubs and restaurants.Overnight: 3-star hotel or B&B in KilkennyDay 3: Kilkenny – Wicklow Mountains – Glendalough – Dublin (B)In the morning, you’ll have free time to explore Kilkenny. Visit Kilkenny Castle, wander through the 17th-century streets, check out the medieval cathedral or the National Craft Center, After a couple of hours seeing Kilkenny, board your minicoach and drive north to the Wicklow Mountains where you'll find some of Ireland’s highest peaks. Soak in the dramatic mountain scenery as you stop in Glendalough, meaning Valley of the Lakes, where you'll have the choice to hike some of the beautiful trails or explore the ruins of a 6th century monastery.Once you have taken in the rugged beauty of Glendalough, travel through the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, and cross the famous Sally Gap on your way to Dublin, approximately an hour’s drive away. Arrive in Dublin in the evening to conclude your tour.