The Ultimate Fortnight in Ireland


The Ultimate Fortnight in Ireland

14-Day tour experience uniquely designed by Desmond Tours

Tour Highlights & Focal Points

• Dublin City • Guinness Storehouse • Trinity College • Newgrange • Belfast • Titanic Experience • Giant’s Causeway • Bushmills Whiskey Distillery • Derry • Sligo • Donegal • Knock Shrine • Aran Islands • Connemara National Park • Killary Fjord • Kylemore Abbey • Cliffs of Moher • Bunratty Castle • Dingle • Slea Head Drive • Killarney • The Ring of Kerry • Kenmare • Rock of Cashel • Jameson Whiskey Distillery • Blarney Castle • Kilkenny Castle • Wicklow Mountains • Guinness Lake • Glendalough

Day 1

On arrival you will be warmly welcomed to Ireland by our friendly driver who will escort you to your awaiting vehicle. We will build the itinerary around your preferred time of arrival, allowing you full flexibility. Depending on your time of arrival, we can start off your vacation with a Full Irish Breakfast or a hearty Irish Lunch in Dublin City in Temple Bar. This will help you to immerse yourself straight away into the Irish culture! We will then take a scenic drive through Dublin City taking in the Georgian Quarter, Phoenix Park and upon returning to the city centre, we will have the option to visit Trinity College and the Book of Kells, St Patrick’s Cathedral and many other attractions. The evening is free for shopping, Irish music in Temple Bar and your driver will of course recommend the best places to eat in Dublin for you.

Enjoy an overnight in Dublin, the lively capital of Ireland

Day 2

The next morning your driver will pick you up from your accommodation and your destination for today is the City of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Before leaving Dublin, visit the Guinness Storehouse and take part in a fantastic tour during which you can pull your very own pint of the “black stuff”- a great photo opportunity! On the way to Belfast, we will take in the Neolithic site of Newgrange with its 5000-year-old passage tomb which is well-known for the winter solstice illumination. After visiting this fabulous ancient site, we head into Northern Ireland and make our way to the bustling City of Belfast. An evening at your disposal – you can experience another completely different culture and enjoy Belfast’s nightlife and hospitality.

Enjoy an overnight in the bustling City of Belfast

Day 3

After breakfast, our first port of call is the famous Harland and Wolff Titanic Visitor Experience where you can enjoy a fabulous self-guided tour showing you the location where the actual Titanic was built. After lunch at the Titanic Visitor Centre, we will make our way to the mythical Giant’s Causeway, where you can visit the interpretation centre that will explain how this natural wonder was formed and the fantastic myths and legends surrounding this site. For those interested, we may visit some of the locations used in the filming of the TV series “Game of Thrones” (e.g. the very popular “Dark Hedges”). Another thrilling experience that can be incorporated in today’s itinerary is to walk across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, yet another exciting photo opportunity! On our way to Derry, a stop at Bushmills Whiskey Distillery is also an option, where fine quality Irish Whiskeys can be tasted.

Enjoy an overnight in the walled City of Derry

Day 4

We will spend the morning doing a walking tour of the famous Walls of Derry, passing the Guildhall. This is a must-see when visiting Derry, after which a visit to the Bogside Centre and the Free Derry Corner is essential to understand Derry’s troubled past. Upon leaving the City of Derry, we will carry on to Grianan of Aileach Stone Ringfort, a great place of history built in the 6th century. We will now carry on to visit the fabulous Belleek Pottery Experience, which was founded around 160 years ago and is world famous for its pottery produce. From here we make our way to Donegal Town where your driver will recommend the best places to shop, eat and drink.

Enjoy an overnight in the lovely Town of Donegal

Day 5

In the morning, we will visit Donegal Tweed, a really interesting exhibition of weaving and an opportunity to browse through the beautiful shop to pick up some authentic Irish goodies. Upon leaving, we will make our way to the Town of Sligo but before this another fantastic photo opportunity awaits – Classiebawn Castle. We will then have the opportunity to visit the grave and visitor centre of the famous Irish writer W.B. Yates. Your driver will recommend Shells Restaurant in Sligo for a tasty lunch. From here, we will begin our drive further South towards Galway. En route we will stop at Knock Shrine, which is a religious site famous for the apparition of our Lady of Knock. We will soon reach the bustling City of Galway, listed in Lonely Planet Travel Guides as one of the “must see cities in the world” and the city that was elected as the 2020 Capital of Culture. The evening may be spent relaxing but Galway’s’ exciting pub and traditional music scene is calling!

Enjoy an overnight in Galway, the city of tribes

Day 6

Your driver will pick you up and you will start the day by driving to the little village of Moycullen, home of the green Connemara Marble, an excellent stop to stock up on some well needed Irish gifts made on site. Continuing from here, you will experience the ruggedness of the beautiful mountains of Connemara, the serene lakes and of course everybody’s favourite – plenty of sheep along the way – or on the road in fact! For those of you who like movies, you will get the opportunity to have a photo stop at the scene of the opening of the film “The Quiet Man“. From here, several options are available, depending on the group’s interest: Ireland’s only fjord “Killary Fjord”, the beautiful fishing villages of Roundstone and Clifden, Kylemore Abbey and its walled gardens, a walk on Diamond Hill and many more attractions along the way. At the end of the day, there is always the opportunity to visit the closing scene of “The Quiet Man” en route back to Galway.

Enjoy another night in the bustling City of Galway

Day 7

This morning your driver will transfer you from your accommodation to Rossaveal Ferry Port. From there, you will take the ferry to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. On the island, you can hire a horse and cart with a driver if desired and visit the fabulous historic Dun Angus Fort. You surely will enjoy this jaunting cart ride around the island or depending on the group’s interests, the rental of bicycles is also an option. We recommend that you have lunch at Joe Watty’s Pub before enjoying the exhilarating ferry ride back to Rossaveal Port. We will organise a transfer back to Galway City and for a special dining experience for your last night in Galway, dinner at Aniar Restaurant followed by “Trad on the Prom”, an exhilarating Irish Dance Experience.

Enjoy your last night in Galway

Day 8

Your friendly driver will pick you up from your accommodation in Galway. We will leave the city of tribes and will embark on a new adventure. Today we have two options to make our way to the coastal town of Dingle. A beautiful coastal drive on the Wild Atlantic Way via the Burren to the famous Cliffs Moher with photo stop at Dunguaire Castle and a quick visit to Poulnabrone Dolmen. Or alternatively, a visit to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park with its 15th century castle and authentic old Folk Park is also a great alternative. After lunch in Doolin (Cliffs of Moher Option) or at the famous Durty Nellies Tavern (Bunratty Castle Option), we make our way onto the beautiful village of Adare, a fabulous opportunity for a photo stop with quaint thatched Irish cottages. In the afternoon, we continue onto the Dingle peninsula, and end our day in Dingle Town, one of Ireland’s foodie capitals, which is also home to the Dingle Gin Distillery.

Overnight in the coastal foodie Town of Dingle

Day 9

In the morning we start with a drive around the beautiful Dingle Peninsula. On the way, this will be your opportunity to visit an ancient Beehive Hut (an 8th century type of accommodation used by monks and farmers alike, and also recently featured in the Star Wars Movies). Also if you like arts and crafts, a visit at the pottery factory of Louis Mulcahy is going to be a highlight of your tour. Immerse yourself in authentic Irish history at the Blasket Islands visitor centre and you can be the first of your group to find “The Sleeping Giant” during this exciting drive around the peninsula! For those of you who like animals and a great highlight for families too, you can cuddle an Irish lamb too. We now continue onto Killarney, which is located just one hour drive from Dingle Town. Upon arriving in Killarney, we will visit Muckross House, the famous 19th century Victorian mansion where Queen Victoria visited in 1861. A short drive leads us to the dramatic Torc Waterfalls, another Killarney highlight. In the evening you will have a great choice of shops, music and restaurants at your disposal.

Overnight in the famous Town of Killarney

Day 10

From Killarney, we will explore one of the highlights of your trip to Ireland – the famous Ring of Kerry. A driving route through the magnificent landscape that County Kerry has to offer: dramatic mountain and lake scenery, the majestic Atlantic Ocean and quaint villages along the way. We begin the day by stopping at one of the great attractions along the Ring of Kerry, Kerry Woollen Mills, where you can experience a guided tour of the factory and shop for some authentic Irish crafts and gifts. Continue along the Ring of Kerry with numerous photo opportunities and a visit to Waterville, the place where Charlie Chaplin loved to spend his vacations. For the golf enthusiasts on board, the opportunity to play a round of golf at the great facilities in Waterville. We continue onto the bustling town of Kenmare, a great stop for a late lunch and to enjoy some more shopping. Return to Killarney for some evening entertainment. If desired, The Celtic Steps dance show, an experience to remember!

Enjoy another night in the bustling Town of Killarney

Day 11

Leaving Killarney, there are multiple fantastic options on how to make our way to Ireland’s Ancient East and to the medieval city of Kilkenny. For the whiskey lovers, a stop at the Jameson Distillery in Midleton is a must (stock up on some of the most authentic Irish whiskeys only available on site). If you like your history, a visit to the Titanic Experience in Cobh where the last stop of the famous Titanic was is also a great option. Alternatively, the authentic Blarney Castle with its famous “Kiss the Blarney Stone” experience is a great stop along the way. The Rock of Cashel, a historic site perched on an impressive hill with numerous ancient buildings such as a round tower, historic cathedral and a Celtic high cross – is also a fabulous photo opportunity not to be missed on the way to Kilkenny. Upon arrival in Kilkenny, be prepared for fantastic music and delicious food – we recommend Kyteler’s Inn, a historic pub with great atmosphere, music and food, established in 1324.

Overnight in the medieval City of Kilkenny

Day 12

Today explore one or more of the following great attractions that Kilkenny City and County have to offer: for the history buffs Saint Canice’s Cathedral and Round Tower, walk the “Medieval Mile” and a visit to Kilkenny Castle. Your driver can also take you to Dunmore Caves or Kells Priory, which are both located just outside of Kilkenny. For any golfers interested, a visit to world-famous Mount Juliet Golf Course is a must! In the evening, you can get some shopping done (for example at the Kilkenny Design Centre, opposite Kilkenny Castle). We recommend Anocht Restaurant for a great dining experience with views of Kilkenny Castle.

Enjoy another great night in Kilkenny

Day 13

In the morning before leaving the medieval city of Kilkenny, take a tour of the Smithwicks Brewery and then we will make our way towards the mythical Wicklow Mountains. Enjoy a scenic drive to the monastic site of Glendalough, located just outside the pretty village of Laragh. Here in the mountains the famous TV program “The Vikings” was filmed and we can take a drive to Sally Gap and take a photo of the famous “Guinness Lake“. We are sorry, but there is no actual Guinness in this lake! In the afternoon, we recommend that you take a leisurely stroll around the lakes of Glendalough and enjoy a hearty dinner in The Wicklow Heather Restaurant.

Enjoy a peaceful night in Wicklow

Day 14

In the morning, before making our way into Dublin, we recommend a stop at Avoca – here you can find great Irish produce on display and you might even find something you’d like to take home with you! We will bring you to Dublin Airport or transfer you to a hotel of your choice in Dublin and bid our farewells.

Tour prices and included services

Our tours are priced from €390 per day – please contact us for an exact quote as prices vary depending on group size, itinerary chosen and length of tour.

Unless otherwise agreed, your tour price includes the following:

  • Fully customised itinerary designed with your touring needs in mind.
  • Scheduled stops at must-see locations and at lesser known hidden gems  – Ireland’s best kept secrets!
  • Live commentary, information, interaction and entertainment by an experienced, Failte Ireland approved guide and fully qualified driver.
  • A real progressive Irish tour experience that mixes present day with the past and helps you to create memories that will last a lifetime. 
  • Scheduled pick up at your arrival location and drop off on departure to suit your individual schedule.
  • We will supply the vehicle plus all associated costs including fuel, tolls, insurance and car-parks – your own dedicated personal group vehicle for your tour only.
  • Fine food specialties can be prepared on request for special occasions – this helps to create another memorable moment during your Ireland Vacation.
  • Recommendations on reputable hotel/accommodation choices, local Irish pubs, recognised taste restaurants and fun activities. Additional activity bookings for your tour on request.
  • Admission fees to attractions and additional tours may incur an additional fee.
  • Driver overnight expenses (including accommodation & food)
  • We know that organic tour changes can happen and if required, we will facilitate changes to include restaurant bookings and other schedule changes. This is your vacation and we want to ensure that it is an enjoyable and unique experience for you!

Booking this tour

Tour prices start from €390 per day of touring as outlined above. We make the booking experience an easy and accessible one for you. We invite you to contact us today and we can check availability for your dates of choice and discuss all the details of your tour requirements. This helps us to design the best tour option and itinerary for you.

A deposit is specified at the time of enquiry and this secures your preferred dates and tour driver.  Once the deposit is received, a confirmation email is sent and the final payment for the tour will be due six weeks before the start date of your tour.