Road Trip: Ireland
take The Road less traveled
May 20 - June 1, 2018
From breathtaking landscapes and enchanting castles, to other-worldly formations...
take the roads less traveled and explore the sights and secrets of Ireland.
Today you embark on your journey to Ireland! Pack your jacket and a camera as you set off for the Emerald Isle!
ARRIVE in Ireland
When you arrive in Ireland you will pick up your rental car.
After settling into your hotel, grab a bite to eat in the famed Temple Bar area of downtown (make sure to stop by during daylight hours, it gets a little crazy at night).
Then, enjoy the city by checking out some of the most popular sites!
Here's a list of the sites you can see/explore:
Upper O'Connell Street (City Sightseeing Shop)
Abbey Street / Abbey Theatre
EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum
National Art Gallery
College Green (Irish Whiskey Museum & Dublin Visitor Centre)
Dame Street / Temple Bar
Dame Street / Dublin Castle
Christ Church Cathedral
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Teeling Whiskey Distillery
Royal Hospital Kilmainham
National Museum of Decorative Arts & History
St. Michan's Crypt
St. Michan's Church
Brian Boru Pub
Do make sure to check out Ireland’s prestigious academic institution, Trinity College. The college sits in Dublin’s city center and boasts alumni including esteemed literary legends such as Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, and Samuel Beckett. Founded by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592 for the exclusive use of Protestant men, the university now welcomes all religions and genders. Tourists from the world over come to wander the historic cobblestoned campus and see the Book of Kells, a prized medieval manuscript housed in the Trinity College Library.
The Book of Kells located within the walls of Trinity College Dublin was written around 800AD. This beautiful and fascinating masterpiece is considered the greatest example of medieval illumination for over 1,200 years.
Described in the Annals of Ulster in 1007 as ‘the most precious object in the western world,’ the historic and cultural significance of the Book of Kells has only increased over time.
You'll stay the next 2 nights in Dublin
Enjoy meeting family
Today is a day for connection with family, new and old.
Enjoy your time together!
Rock of cashel
This morning, you'll check out of your Dublin hotel and hit the road!
On the way to Cork, stop by the town of Kilkenny and the Rock of Cashel.
Kilkenny is an awesome little city in Ireland.
Explore the town in the morning, have lunch, and then continue your road trip, heading to the Rock of Cashel next.
Overlooking the Plains of Tipperary, the Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most historic sights. This was the seat of the ancient kings of Ireland. St. Patrick baptized King Aengus here in 450 AD. Now visitors arrive every day to tour this historic complex of buildings.
You can tour the Rock of Cashel in about an hour, but make sure you also walk downhill to the much less visited and just as awesome Hore Abbey.
When you arrive in Cork, check into your hotel and hit the streets!
Downtown Cork is a maze of bridges that span the River Lee and connect the marshlands and small island where the city center was built. It’s a city that’s best explored by foot, where sights like the towering St. Finnbarr’s Cathedral literally spring from the streets.
When visiting what locals call “the real Irish capital,” ring the famous Shandon Bells in the church looking over the city, or go deep into an Irish prison in the dungeon-like Cork City Gaol.
It’s also a city that’s often used as a base for visiting the Blarney Stone—the famous stone that’s believed to bring eloquence to anyone who gives it a kiss.
You'll stay overnight in Cork
This morning, you'll check out of your Cork hotel, and explore the surrounding area before heading to Killarney.
Where the River Lee flows out of Cork and into the Atlantic Sea, Cobh sits wrapped in the protective arms of its Cork Harbor surroundings. This picturesque port town was known as Queenstown until the late 1920s, and of the 6 million Irish citizens who immigrated to North America, it’s believed nearly half of them waved goodbye to their homeland here on the shores of Cobh. Even more infamous is the tale of the Titanic, which departed on its doomed North Atlantic crossing from right here in Cobh. Tours today still detail the time the Titanic spent in Cobh—including the original wooden dock that the Titanic’s passengers walked on.
Titanic Experience Cobh is located in the original White Star Line Ticket Office in the centre of Cobh, the departure point for the final 123 Passengers who boarded Titanic on the morning of April 11th 1912. The tour is presented in two parts, the first is an immersive audio visual tour retracing the footsteps of the 123 Passengers. With Fourth Officer Boxall as your virtual guide and with the use of innovative audio visual technology and replica set designs visitors will experience what life on board would have been like on board for those passengers.
The second part of the tour examines how it went wrong. Using computer generated graphics to recreate the collision and subsequent sinking, film analysis of Titanic on the seabed and expert interviews these interactive exhibits allow visitors to find out how and why the Titanic sank on that fateful night. Touchscreen computers allow you to look at personalities on board the ship and in particular the fate of our 123 Queenstown passengers.
Around lunchtime, travel to Kinsale, one of Ireland’s most picturesque towns. With colorful, winding lanes, fabulous restaurants, and a nearby golf course, Kinsale attracts a lot of visitors during the summer months. It’s also the starting point of the Wild Atlantic Way.
Your roadtrip will take you on/off parts of the Wild Atlantic Way throughout your journey. Consider taking part of this roadway up the coast to your hotel in Kilarney, where you'll stay for 2 nights.
Ring of Kerry
After breakfast, drive south on the Ring of Kerry to Portmagee.
Take Skellig Ring to Portmagee where you will board a ferry to Skellig Michael.
Sail on a grand adventure to the majestic Skellig Islands, which lie 7 miles off the west coast or Ireland.
The first amazing sight is of the Small Skelligs and its snow covered-like appearance, when seen from a distance. Upon sailing closer you realize it is 75,000 nesting gannets that cover the Island.
Onwards to Skellig Michael to marvel the monks, who built the monastery on this remote island 600ft above sea level.
See locations where scenes from Episode VII and Episode VIII of the Star Wars franchise were shot. You will quickly see why this incredible location was such an attractive inclusion for the production team in the Star Wars universe.
Skellig Michael also features birdlife in abundance - puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes to name a few all call these islands home throughout the year. You may also just encounter whales, dolphins, sunfish and even basking sharks roaming the surrounding waters.
After you return to the mainland, set off to explore the Ring of Kerry.
As you cruise along the Atlantic Coast on this spectacular mountain road through the towns of Kells, Derrynane, and Glenbeigh, you’ll find a number of impressive sights, with various stopping points and photo opportunities. From Ross Castle and Muckross House to Torc Waterfall, Bog Village, and the glacial valley of the Gap of Dunloe, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled and your camera out.
The ring also passes the golden beaches of Inch Beach, the Lakes of Killarney, the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountains, Ladies View, and Dingle Bay looking out to the Dingle Peninsula.
The coastal side of the loop offers a taste of the Wild Atlantic Way, and in County Kerry’s Waterville, visitors tend to stop for photos with the waterfront Charlie Chaplin statue.
As with many ring roads, there is little room to pass at some points. It’s good to note that all tour buses travel counterclockwise from Killarney and that self-driving travelers can head clockwise for less traffic.
At the bottom of the Ring of Kerry, you'll take a detour onto the lesser known, Skellig Ring.
Skellig Ring is a predominantly coastal road that offers panoramic views of its namesake, the Skellig rocks. While it might be the Ring of Kerry’s lesser sister, it certainly is far more impressive.
From the highest point of the road you can climb the hill on the seaward side of the saddle in twenty minutes or so for the most magnificent views out to the Skellig Islands, across to the Dingle Peninsula and the Blaskets, and inland to the Iveragh Mountains.
The Dingle Peninsula:
slea Head Route
This morning, you'll check out of your hotel and set off for the Dingle Peninsula.
Hidden away on Ireland’s southwestern coast, Dingle is at the heart of the Dingle Peninsula, and a popular starting point for both the Dingle Way long-distance hiking trail and the Slea Head driving route, which loops around the scenic headland, passing by Europe’s westernmost point at Slea Head.
The drive passes through the village of Ventry which is on the coast and has a good beach for swimming and water sports. Then the drive winds through cliffs and offers views of the Atlantic Ocean as it nears Slea Head. Scenes from Ryan's Daughter and Far and Away were filmed near here. The Slea Head Drive continues through wild landscapes and several villages. One of the highlights is the Gallarus Oratory, the best preserved early Christian church in Ireland. The drive also passes through fishing villages and mountainous regions, including Mount Brandon, the second highest mountain in Ireland.
The Connor Pass is an absolute highlight that cannot be missed. It starts just outside the town of Dingle and ends on the other side of the peninsula near the village Castlegregory. It is Ireland's highest mountain pass. It is a narrow, twisting road surrounded by sharp drops and lakes. As such, buses are prohibited from driving this road.
Just off the very westernmost point on the peninsula you will find the Blasket Islands. Until the 1950s these islands were inhabited and from Dunquin, on the mainland, you can still see the remains of the main village on the Great Blasket island. Many of the old inhabitants became famous writers and poets and the Blasket Centre has a fascinating exhibition on the literary heritage of the islands.
A large part of the peninsula is designated as a so called "Gaeltacht". This means the Irish language is the primary language spoken here. Road signs, for example, are all in Irish language.
After exploring the Dingle Peninsula to your liking, drive north to Dromoland, where you'll check into your hotel for the next 2 nights.
Aran Islands- Inis Oirr
Bunratty Castle Banquet
The Aran Islands are one of Ireland’s most unique destinations, but most visitors only admire them from afar. Today, you'll take a round-trip ferry from Doolin to Inis Oirr to give you the whole day to explore independently and visit sights that others only dream about...
Make your own way to Doolin Pier in time for a 10am departure. Set sail on the around 1-hour and 15-minute journey to Inis Oirr, the closest and smallest of the Aran Islands, and enjoy spectacular views of Galway Bay and the Cliffs of Moher as you cruise out across the Atlantic.
From the moment you step aboard the gangway, you are treated to a feast of maritime activity, including dolphins following our wake! There is an air of anticipation as the ship sails ever closer to the island. Inis Oírr is just 30 minutes away, and reassuringly visible from Doolin pier.
The voyage to the island pier passes some of its famous landmarks en route – the iconic Plassy shipwreck, O’Brien’s Castle and the Dun Formna stoneage fort on the hill, the white sandy beach with its crystal turquoise waters and possibly the most beautifully located graveyard in Ireland. Coming down the gangway is almost like stepping back in time, where it is easy to picture life in times gone by.
On this island, you can (for example) visit an authentic cottage, where you can learn about the traditions, customs and clothing of the Aran Islands. Take a guided tour on a pony and trap, and enjoy the sensation of being transported at a leisurely pace along tiny roads, surrounded by an impossible vista of stone walls stretching in every direction.
Rent a bicycle and explore the nooks and crannies in your own time. Let the children play in the fantastic adventure playground built on the sand. Feast on a lunch of the freshest seafood in one of the island's charming pubs.
Choose to return at 2pm or 4:45pm, arriving back to Doolin pier with a treasure trove of memories of an unforgettable day.
This will give you some time to go back to your hotel, change (drop off any souvenirs you may have purchased) and get ready for your late dinner banquet at Bunratty Castle.
Arrive a little before the starting time of your banquet at Bunratty Castle in County Clare, so you won’t miss a thing.
Please note the characters you meet throughout the evening are playing a part of someone who might have existed during the medieval times.
This 2-hour banquet is being thrown by Earl of Thomond. Be greeted at the castle’s front entrance by a playing piper in a kilt, then cross over the drawbridge into the castle and be offered a ‘Bite of Friendship’ by your host.
During this experience, make a toast with honey mead, watch the crowning of the Earl and his lady, and be serenaded by Irish music. Enjoy a 4-course meal by candlelight in a traditional medieval banquet hall with long wooden tables and wooden benches. You're in store for a lovey night filled with food, friendship, music, and a few surprises.
Cliffs of Moher
Check out of your hotel and take off on the road to Co. Clare.
Start your day by exploring The Burren, one of Ireland’s most unique and photogenic landscapes.
Stretching over 160 square km, the Burren, derived from the Gaelic word Boireann meaning ‘rocky place’, is one of the most visited attractions in the Shannon region.
Aptly named, the karst topography is characterized by its unusual limestone formations, naturally sculpted through acidic erosion over thousands of years. The natural landscape is an otherworldly terrain - a giant jigsaw of rocks, made up of grikes (fissures) and clints (isolated rocks jutting from the surface), with pockets of lush greenery poking between the expanses of bare rock.
Before heading to the Cliffs of Moher, stop by Fitzpatrick's Pub in Doolin. The local seafood is particularly good here, and the cliffs can become especially crowded between 11am and 4pm. This will be a great way to dodge the masses, fill your bellies and see the village of Doolin.
With allegedly more musicians per square mile in this county than anywhere in the world, it’s unsurprising that this small fishing village is hailed as the capital of Irish folk music. Musical traditions still reign strong today, and those looking for an authentic taste of traditional Irish music won’t have to look far in Doolin.
You may want to come back here again for dinner, as the village’s three historic pubs, Gus O’Connor’s, Mcdermott’s and Mcgann’s, all host nightly music sessions, where you can hear Gaelic poetry set to music and admire the soulful timbre of traditional instruments like Celtic harps, tin whistles, fiddles and Irish flutes. Musicians from all over the globe visit Doolin in search of the genre’s roots, and a number of events throughout the year bring together local and international musicians for impromptu jam sessions.
After lunch, drive the short distance to the Cliffs of Moher.
Towering 702 feet above the Atlantic Ocean at their highest point and stretching for five miles along the water, the world-famous Cliffs of Moher define the rugged west coast of Ireland. They are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ireland.
Once at the cliffs, you can wander a number of winding coastal trails and pathways, capture photos of the dramatic scenery, and walk out to peer over cliff edges at the waves below. The onsite underground Visitor Centre features educational exhibits and a number of arts and crafts gift shops, while the viewing platform atop the historical O’Brien’s Tower provides stellar views stretching west to the Aran Islands, north to Galway, and out along the Atlantic Coast.
When you've finished watching the sun set from the Cliffs of Moher, drive north to your hotel in Galway.
You'll stay 2 nights here.
This morning you will head west along the southern shores of Connemara, looking out across beautiful Galway Bay. As you pass through the picturesque villages of Barna, Furbo, Spiddal and Inverin, you will see thatched cottages, dry stone walls, mountains, woodlands, rivers and streams, lakes, Connemara ponies, amazing beaches and unspoilt bogs and deserted islands.
Your first scheduled stop of the day could be Pearse’s Cottage. Patrick Pearse was one of the leaders of Irish Nationalism and a signatory to the Irish Proclamation of Irish Independence, read out by him outside the GPO in Dublin during the Easter Rising 1916.
Then it’s on through Connemara’s hidden jewel, Bothar na Scragoige. View the wilderness bog landscape and experience the tranquility and isolation of Connemara.
Stop by your castle hotel, Ballynahinch Castle, to check into your accommodations for the next two nights. Then, after you've put your things down, head back out on the road to explore the rest of the Connemara!
Head out along the Wild Atlantic Way. To your left will open up the iconic Dog’s Bay Beach stretching a mile out into the Atlantic.
Next is Derrygimlagh Bog (Wild Atlantic Way – Signature Point). This remote site was the centre of the communications (Marconi) and aviation world (Alcok & Brown) in the beginning of the 20th century. After travelling through Clifden, the capital of Connemara, you head skyward.
Renowned worldwide for its heart stopping twists and turns, the Sky Road (Wild Atlantic Way – Discovery Point) swoops and soars above the Atlantic Ocean. The views and photo opportunities from this ‘Discovery Point’ have to be seen to be believed.
Next stop to explore and hike in the Connemara National Park.
Your final stop of the day is at the magical 19th century limestone and marble Kylemore Abbey.
Tucked in the shadows of the mighty Seven Pins Mountain range, Kylemore Abbey cuts a striking figure against its majestic backdrop. A Benedictine monastery founded in 1853, the Abbey took seven years to build and remains in use today as an all girls’ school governed by Benedictine Nuns - the only Benedictine Community in Ireland - as well as opening its grounds to tourists. With its idyllic surroundings encircled by woodlands and postcard-worthy façade fronted by a glistening lake that perfectly reflects the grand building, Kylemore Abbey has fast become one of County Galway’s most popular iconic sights.
While parts of the 1000-acre estate remain closed to the public, visitors can tour many of the most impressive sights, including the magnificent Gothic Chapel and the Abbey’s beautifully restored main hall. The 6-acre walled Victorian Gardens are another highlight, where pretty walkways, 19th-century flowerbeds and a series of greenhouses are divided by a gurgling stream and enclosed by a brick and limestone wall. The onsite crafts shop and café, where the nuns serve up home-cooked food, are also popular, with the teahouse terrace offering wonderful views over the nearby Connemara National Park.
12p - Hawk Walk
2pm- Lunch reservations
(inside Ashford Castle)
You'll check out of your hotel this morning and travel to Ashford Castle!
Massive, flamboyantly turreted, Ashford is the very picture of a romantic Irish castle. This famed mock-Gothic baronial showpiece, dating from the 13th century, and rebuilt in 1870 for the Guinness family, has been wowing visitors like President Reagan, John Travolta, Brad Pitt, and Pierce Brosnan—who got married here—ever since.
Nearly bigger than the entire neighboring village of Cong, it is strong on luxury and service, yet maintains a relaxed atmosphere in which guests of all ages feel totally at ease. Kids immediately associate the castle with Hogwarts... and better yet, you don't have to stay here to see the grounds!
While a small fee will allow you entrance to the grounds and gardens, lunch reservations will allow you a sneak peak inside the castle (closed to guests not staying the night).
After your meal, head outside to have a truly unique experience...
Ireland’s School of Falconry is the oldest established falconry school in Ireland. During your one hour private Hawk Walk, YOU fly their Harris hawks.
Your instructor will introduce you to your hawk and, within minutes, you will be setting off around the magnificent woodlands to fly your hawk free. As you fly the hawks, your instructor will explain about the hawks’ exceptional eyesight, their speed and agility and how the hawks were trained. The hawks will follow you from tree to tree through the woods before swooping down to land on your gloved fist. This is truly a one of a kind, lifelong memory.
Once you have finished exploring Ashford Castle, continue on your day by driving north to Northern Ireland.
You'll be leaving the country of Ireland and entering Northern Ireland. The border is almost non-existent (you'll know you are in Northern Ireland when the yellow broken line on the left side of the road - changes to a solid white line. ... and when the speed limit signs change from KM/Hr to MPH).
Still, have your passports ready!
You'll check into your Northern Ireland hotel for just one night.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
After checking out of your hotel this morning, begin exploring the area with a stop by Dunluce Castle.
Surrounded by 100-foot cliffs on all sides, Dunluce Castle commands a dramatic location on the North Antrim Coast. One of the most picturesque castles in Northern Ireland, it may date as far back as the 14th century, although records only confirm its existence back to 1513, when it belonged to the MacQuillen clan. Later the headquarters of the MacDonnell clan, the castle was surrounded by a village until a fire wiped it out in 1641.
Today, the mainland courtyard of the castle leads downhill to a narrow crossing where you’ll find buildings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Dunluce Castle is thought to have been the inspiration for Cair Paravel in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and has been the site of movies such as Jackie Chan’s The Medallion.
Just a few minutes down the road is the UNESCO World Heritage site, The Giant's Causeway.
The Giant's Causeway is a cluster of approximately 40,000 basalt columns, around 50,000,000 years old rising out of the sea on the Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland. The area draws thousands of tourists each year who come to marvel at and photograph this natural wonder.
These rock formations get their name from an old legend stating that Irish warrior Finn McCool built the path across the sea to face his Scottish rival, Benandonner. There are several variations of the story from this point, but each one ends with Finn dressing as a baby and scaring off Benandonner, who thinks the disguised Finn is actually the child of a giant and is too afraid to face his opponent. On his way back to Scotland, Benandonner tears up the path behind him, leaving just what exists today on the Northern Irish coast and the Scottish island of Staffa, which has similar rock formations.
While the legend surrounding Giant’s Causeway makes for an interesting story, geologists have a different explanation for the creation of the Giant's Causeway: volcanic activity. It’s said that millions of years ago, a volcanic eruption produced a lava flow that cooled quickly from both the top and sides, shaping the lava into hexagonal columns. Over time, the elements have continued to sculpt these columns into various shapes, and some are known to resemble objects. Notable formations include the Chimney Stacks, Giant's Harp, and Honeycomb, all of which are favorites of visiting photographers. Spot these formations and other stunning views framed by the windswept cliffs on your walk over the columns to the edge of the sea.
Then, the brave-at-heart have the opportunity to cross the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Carrick-a-Rede is an abandoned fishing island located just a few miles from the Giant’s Causeway. This 65-foot-long bridge is built from rope, and the views from it are arguably some of the best in Ireland.
Considered one of the world’s scariest bridges, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is not for the faint of heart. Spanning a chasm that is almost 100 feet deep and nearly 70 feet wide, this Northern Ireland bridge connects Carrick-a-Rede Island to the mainland and attracts a quarter of a million visitors every year. The original structure was built by fishermen more than 300 years ago, and as recently as the 1970s, the bridge had only one handrail and large gaps between the slats.
The current bridge is less than 10 years old and is made of wire and Douglas fir. There is no record of anyone falling off the bridge, but it is not uncommon for visitors to get cold feet after crossing once, requiring a boat to bring them back to the mainland.
Your last sight of the day will take you to Dark Hedges.
Off the Antrim Coastal Road, you will find one of the most unique and most photographed attractions in Northern Ireland: a row of trees known as the Dark Hedges. Planted by the Stuart family back in the 18th century, these beech trees are now overgrown and intertwined, creating a tunnel along the stretch of Bregagh Road that once led to Gracehill, the Stuart family manor.
Legend has it that the trees are haunted by a mysterious gray lady who weaves in and out of the trees at dusk.
In addition to being a popular subject to artists, the trees also serve as a frequent backdrop for wedding photographs and have been use for scenes in the show Game of Thrones, representing the Kings Road.
When you're done seeing these remarkable sites, drive back south to Dublin. You'll stay the night near the airport for your morning flight, tomorrow.
Depart for CMH
Today you will bid farewell to Ireland. You'll return your rental car at the DUB airport and board your flight home.
United Airlines Confirmation: MYS7K2
DEPARTING on United flight: UA0515
May 20, 2018 at 6pm
CMH to ORD (arriving at 625pm)
Departing on United flight: UA0152
ORD to DUB
ARRIVING May 21, 2018:
DUB at 1045am
DEPARTING on United flight: UA0022
June 1, 2018 at 920am
DUB to EWR (arriving at 1135am)
Departing on United flight: UA4099
EWR to CMH
ARRIVING June 1, 2018:
CMH at 415pm
Vehicle is a, standard (2 or 4 door)
(like an Opel Insignia or similar)
manual transmission, no air conditioning
Budget Rental Confirmation: 27116936US0
Due at pick-up: $244.21
Picking up at DUB (Dublin Airport):
May 21, 2018 at 1130am
Dropping off at DUB (Dublin Airport):
Dropping off June 1, 2018 at 9am
Camden Court Hotel
Family Room, 2 beds, nonsmoking
Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa, Cork
1BR Suite 2 beds, nonsmoking
Old Weir Lodge
Superior Triple Room, Private Bathroom
3 Twin beds, nonsmoking
Newmarket on Fergus:
Inn at Dromoland
Family Room, 1 Bedroom
1 Double Bed and 2 Twin Beds, nonsmoking
Menlo Park Hotel
Classic Twin Room
1 Queen Bed and 1 Twin Bed, nonsmoking
Coleraine (Northern Ireland):
The Lodge Hotel
1 King Bed, nonsmoking
Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport
1 Double Bed with Sofa bed
1 Double Bed and 1 Double Sofa Bed, nonsmoking
The temperature in Ireland between May and September tends to be in the 60s -- sometimes a bit warmer (into the 70s) and sometimes a bit cooler (high 50s). Planning to wear layers is key to smart packing for Ireland. Also, Irish weather is quite changeable - it can be windy, sunny, and rainy all in one day!
We recommend you bring one medium-sized suitcase (smaller is fine!) and a day bag (example: small back pack or purse). A medium-sized suitcase is about 28 in. (height) x 17 in. (width). You can keep the day bag with you on the mini-coach (there's a nice overhead area above your seat) and your other suitcase will go in the back of the mini-coach which you can access during the day if needed.
A few reminders...
- Pack lightly!
- You will need to carry your bags from your car into the hotel and possibly up steps. Many local guest houses do not have elevators.
- Remember, Ireland is a modern country. If you forget something, you can probably buy it there
Here is a suggested packing list:
- Passport and travel documents such as airline tickets (with photocopies)
- 1 pair waterproof hiking shoes. You will be doing easy hikes in valleys and trails, which may be wet and/or muddy.
- 1 other pair of shoes of your choice
- Tops - long sleeve and short sleeves that you can layer
- Fleece top and / or 1 warmer sweater
- Long pants:
- One pair of jeans
- One pair of lighter weight pants
- Socks and underwear
- Personal effects such as a watch/alarm clock, jewelry, medications, and bathroom items
- Windproofwaterproof jacket
- Hats - we like to bring a baseball style cap (for those sunny days) and a warmer hat (for those windy/cooler days)
- Waterproof jacket. Optional: rain pants
- Lightweight umbrella
- Sunglasses and sun block
- Camera with battery charger. Please see the section "Electrical Items, WiFi, Mobile - Cell - Smart Phones" for additional information.
- Wash cloth. Irish bathrooms do not typically include wash clothes/face clothes.
- Small flashlight
- Electrical items such as cell phones, tablets, e-book readers, laptops, power cords, plug adapters, electrical transformers, etc. Please see the section "Electrical Items, WiFi, Mobile - Cell - Smart Phones" for additional information.
- Most of the accommodations have hair dryers but the Irish don't usually keep them in the bathroom. Look for the hair dryer in a dressing table drawer, bedside table, or a closet.
Irish Dress Code
- The Irish tend to dress quite casually so you won't need any fancy clothes for dining out.
- There are opportunities to have laundry done on the free day of each tour.
- Self-serve laundromats are not common. You will drop off your clothes the night before or in the morning and then pick them up later in the day.
What time does the Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet start?
The banquet starts at 845pm and goes until 11pm
What is included in the Bunratty Castle Medieval Banquet?
- Entrance fees
- All taxes, fees and handling charges
- Unlimited wine
- Live entertainment
- 2-hour medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle in County Clare, Ireland
- Be greeted by the music of a kilted piper before watching a crowning
- Enjoy a 4-course meal with wine and honey mead in a traditional medieval-themed banquet hall
- Vegetarian options are available upon request at the time of booking
- Listen to beautiful melodies played on an Irish harp and fiddle
- No beer available
The Euro (€) is the official currency of the Republic of Ireland. In Northern Ireland (U.K.), the British Sterling Pound (£) is the official currency. U.S. dollars are not accepted.
Want to check the current exchange rates? Here's a foreign currency converter: http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/
In Northern Ireland, you will need British Pound Sterling.
ATMs are readily available in Northern Ireland.
Our recommendation is to use ATMs, credit cards, and avoid travelers checks. Banks have odd opening and closing times and smaller towns may not have the capability to exchange foreign currency. Some banks in Ireland don't cash travelers checks any more.
ATMs are available in the Dublin airport and all across Ireland.
Check the back of your debit/ATM card to verify it is a Cirrus or PLUS account. If you don't see Cirrus or PLUS and the debit card is a MasterCard or Visa, look for an ATM with your card's logo (MasterCard or Visa) and your debit card should work there.
If you have any questions about using your debit card abroad, please check with your bank.
Also, it is a good idea to let your bank know when and where you're traveling to and to ask if there are foreign transaction charges.
For credit and debit cards, Visa and MasterCard are commonly accepted.
** For U.S. credit cards when doing a transaction in Ireland, you may be asked if you'd like the amount processed in US dollars or the local currency, Euros (Republic of Ireland) or Pound Sterling (Northern Ireland). We recommend choosing the local currency so you will get the best exchange rate. If you choose US dollars, typically a 3.5% additional fee is added to your total.
Should I take money (Euros or Pound Sterling) to Ireland with me?
We recommend obtaining about €100 in cash (denominations of 20s or smaller) from your home bank prior to your arrival in Ireland. You can then take out more money from an ATM as needed during your trip.
When traveling in Ireland, one strategy is to use cash for smaller purchases and your credit card elsewhere.
Chip and Pin Credit Cards
- Ireland has "Chip and Pin" technology for their credit cards. Irish people enter a PIN with all their credit card transactions. If you have a "Chip and Pin" credit card, you will be asked to enter your PIN with a transaction.
- American credit cards typically have "Chip and Signature" technology. Your credit card can be inserted into the slot for chip cards and a receipt will print out for you to sign.
- Ireland is a very connected country! WiFi is available in the majority of your accommodations and at bars, coffee shops, etc.
Mobile / Cell / Smart Phones
Check with your current carrier to see if an International plan is available.
Check if your phone can be unlocked and is compatible with different SIM cards. You can then buy a SIM card and a calling/data/text plan in Ireland
- Most of the accommodations have hair dryers but the Irish don't usually keep them in the bathroom.
- Look for the hair dryer in a dressing table drawer, bedside table, or a closet.
Q: What do you need to run a U.S. or Canadian electrical device in Ireland?
A: There are two parts to the electrical equation: Voltage and the Electrical Plug Adapter.
The first part - Voltage. Ireland and the U.K. has 240 volt currency and the U.S./Canada has 110 volt.
- Check the electrical device's power supply and see if it accepts voltage from 100 to 240.
- If YES, you do NOT need anything to convert the voltage.
- If NO, you need to buy an electrical transformer to convert the voltage. This can be purchased at most hardware or home stores.
- Please Note: Many computers, tablets, phone chargers, and camera battery chargers have power supplies that accept 100 - 240 volts so you would NOT need a transformer (also known as voltage converter). For example, this camera battery charger accepts 100 - 240 volts.
The second part - Electrical Plug Adapter
- The Ireland and United Kingdom electrical plug has three large prongs.
- To plug in your device, you need an electrical plug adapter. The technical name is Type G. This can be purchased at a hardware or home store.
Here's a picture of an Irish electrical outlet. Notice how there's an On/Off switch with each plug. When you see the red, that means On.
Here are a couple of electrical charging examples:
- Charging your cell phone and the power supply accepts 100 - 240, you only need the electrical plug adapter.
Cell Phone Charger plugged into ---> Plug Adapter plugged into -----> Electrical socket
- Charging an item that needs the voltage transformer, you need the transformer and the plug adapter.
Electrical Item plugged into ----> Voltage transformer plugged into ---> Plug Adapter plugged into -----> Electrical socket
price Per Person:
PAID IN FULL
*Prices and availability are subject to change and are not guaranteed until completed through the booking process.
INCLUDED IN THE QUOTE
- Round trip airfare
- Car rental*
- Standard, Manual
- Picking up and dropping off at DUB airport
- Hotel accommodations** (some include breakfast)
- 2 nights in Dublin (first stay)
- 1 nights in Cork
- 2 nights in Kilarney
- 2 nights in Newmarket on Fergus
- 2 nights in Galway
- 1 night in Coleraine (Northern Irealnd)
- 1 night in Dublin (second stay)
- Titanic Experience: Original White Star Line Ticket Office
- Skellig Michael Ferry and Tour
- Inis Mor- Aran Islands ferry from Doolin
- Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle
- Hawk Walk
- Most taxes and fees
- Airlines taxes and fees
- Tour taxes and fees
- Service fees and commissions
*Car rental is payable onsite only
**Some hotel reservations require you to pay taxes, VAT and resort fees onsite onsite
- Access fees to most sites (payable onsite only), unless included in a tour/experience
- Fuel/extras for car rental
- Most meals/beverages (unless included in hotel and/or tour)
- Some hotels may require payment of city taxes, VAT and resort fees onsite
- Tips to guides, drivers and hotel staff
- Optional Travel Insurance
- Standard ($137)
- Cancel for Any Reason ($179)
SUGGESTED PAYMENT SCHEDULE
There are two payment options available to you.
*payment schedule does not include insurance costs. Insurance is due within 10 days first payment.
(most secure, least likely to change in price and availability)
Full payment due now ($5875) (plus insurance)
(car rental is paid onsite)
(prices and availability are subject to change and are not guaranteed until completed through the booking process and payment is in full)
(some items have a slight increase with this option, additionally there is a $100/pp fee added to the bill for this delayed payment option)
Ask for pricing breakdown.
- A completed registration form (per person)
- Photo copy of picture/information page of each traveler passport emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Credit Card Authorization form with copy of credit card and Government issued photo ID (like a drivers license or passport)
- Please make sure the credit card belongs to the driver of the rental car
- Payments not received on time will result in reservation cancellation without refund.
- Additional bookings after the final payment deadline may result in higher prices, less availability and additional administrative fees.
- Fee amounts imposed are at the discretion of Zone Travel.
Cancellation in writing must be received by Zone Travel prior to departure for appropriate refund on the land tour cost minus the following fees. Airline penalties are not part of the percentages below and vary based on each individual airline policy.
- 30 Days Prior or less: 100% of tour cost
Commissions and Travel insurance are non-refundable.
TRAVEL INSURANCE - AVAILABLE FOR ALL PASSENGERS
Zone Travel LLC strongly suggests purchasing Trip Cancellation insurance. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider as most U.S. medical coverage will not cover you outside of the country.
Insurance costs are based on the total tour cost, including air taxes and charges listed under "Included."
Approximate amounts can be given at time of reservation in order to purchase the appropriate amount of insurance.