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  • Ireland: Gems of the Emerald Isle
Overview

Explore the Rugged Beauty of the Ireland with Boundless Journeys

This itinerary takes you on a scenic journey through Ireland, starting in Dublin and exploring regions of natural beauty and historical significance.

You’ll hike iconic landmarks such as Ben Bulben in Sligo and the Cliffs of Moher, experiencing breathtaking views. Visit the ancient royal site of Uisneach and learn about Ireland’s history and mythology. Witness the ‘savage beauty’ of Connemara National Park, explore the unique Burren National Park and the Dingle Peninsula.

Visit the Great Blasket Island and learn about the rich literary legacy behind the abandoned settlements. In Killarney National Park, boat on the Lakes of Killarney, explore Ross Castle, and hike through lush valleys and the foothills of the Macgillycuddy Reeks mountain range.

Throughout the journey, you’ll have the chance to meet and interact with local people, from historians and musicians in Galway to farmers in Connemara and conservation charity workers in The Burren, gaining insights into Irish culture, traditions, and way of life.

In the evenings, there is time to savor local music (perhaps even enjoy a bit of dancing!), indulge in excellent fresh seafood, lamb and other local specialties. Stroll through the colorful towns of Galway, Dingle and Killarney, and enjoy glorious sunsets and mighty craic throughout the journey.

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Itinerary &
Accommodations

Itinerary & Accommodations

Day 1

Transfer to Dublin to Sligo

  • Activity Overview: Van transfer with several short stops along the way.
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Activity Length: 3-4 hours

You will meet the group in Dublin today and enjoy a group lunch together where you will get to know your guides and fellow adventurers a little better before leaving the city. After lunch we embark on a two and a half hour drive, heading west through the centre of Ireland.

Along the way we will stop in the heart of Ireland's rolling green midlands at the Hill of Uisneach, one of Ireland's ancient royal sites. Here you will learn a little of Ireland's mythology and history, courtesy of a local historian, that will help to set the scene for travels ahead.

Onwards to Sligo where you will join the group for our first dinner together. As you savor a delicious meal in one of Sligo's fantastic restaurants, you'll have the opportunity to bond with your fellow adventurers, building camaraderie for the exciting journey ahead.

Accommodations
Sligo City Hotel

Sligo City Hotel
Sligo, Ireland

Ideally situated in the city centre of Sligo, the Sligo City Hotel offers 61 newly renovated rooms next to the city’s famous O’Connell Street, which offers extensive shopping, riverside restaurants and cosy bars.

Day 2

Magical Sligo

  • Activity Overview: Hike
  • Activity Level: Moderate, on rough road with 1800' elevation gain
  • Activity Length: 4 miles

Sligo's landscapes have provided inspiration to generations of writers and artists and today's destination is one of the most iconic landmarks in the region. Ben Bulben cuts an impressive silhouette on the horizon and it's here we will head on our hike today, passing the ruins of old farming huts along the way.

Reaching the flat summit, you'll be rewarded with awe-inspiring panoramic views that stretch across the picturesque countryside and the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Strandhill, nestled along the Irish coast, is a premier surf destination boasting a charming seaside village atmosphere and breathtaking ocean view is where we will spend this evening. You will have the opportunity to enjoy dinner on your own before heading back to town.

Accommodations
Sligo City Hotel

Sligo City Hotel
Sligo, Ireland

Ideally situated in the city centre of Sligo, the Sligo City Hotel offers 61 newly renovated rooms next to the city’s famous O’Connell Street, which offers extensive shopping, riverside restaurants and cosy bars.

Day 3

Connemara

  • Activity Overview: Hike
  • Activity Level: Moderate, on well-maintained trails
  • Activity Length: 4-5 miles

Oscar Wilde described Connemara as 'a savage beauty' and heading south for today's hike, it's easy to understand why.

Granite peaks give way to heathery bogland and wild valleys open out to sea vistas. Today's hike starts in Connemara National Park and takes in the best that the landscape has to offer. Along the way your guide will introduce you to the flora of the blanket bog ecosystem that characterises this part of Ireland's west coast.

We will stop at a local sheep farm to watch the sheepdogs at work and learn a little about farming life on Ireland's west coast. You will spend this evening in a country house hotel nestled amidst the enchanting landscapes of Connemara, enjoying a captivating ambiance of refined beauty and warm hospitality.

After dinner, those who wish can seek out any of a number of "trad" music sessions taking place nearby. In Dingle, it is still common for talented musicians to spend their evenings playing together in a local pub, and it is delightful to witness this Irish tradition.

Accommodations
Rosleaggue Manor

Rosleaggue Manor
Connemara, Ireland

Resting on the quiet shores of Ballinakill Bay on its own private woodland, Rosleague Manor in Connemara has been discreetly converted in to a first class hotel with 19th Century charm and character intact.

Day 4

Galway and The Cliffs of Moher

  • Activity Overview: Walk
  • Activity Level: Easy, on gravel trails
  • Activity Length: 3 miles

This morning we will meet a historian and traditional musician in Galway where your introduction to the city will be by way of his local knowledge. Galway City is a vibrant and cultural hub on Ireland's west coast that captivates visitors with its colorful streets, lively atmosphere, rich history, and an abundance of arts, music, and culinary delights.

You will have the chance to browse the galleries and boutiques that line the colorful cobblestone streets of the city before continuing our journey southwards. Here we will enjoy an afternoon hike on the iconic Cliffs of Moher.

The Cliffs of Moher are a majestic natural wonder on the western coast of Ireland, that showcase dramatic cliffs plunging into the Atlantic Ocean, offering awe-inspiring vistas and a breathtaking experience of raw, coastal beauty. Away from the visitor center crowds your guide will introduce you to the many nesting seabirds that inhabit the sheer rock face.

Accommodations
The Doolin Inn

The Doolin Inn
Doolin, Ireland

Resting on the quiet shores of Ballinakill Bay on its own private woodland, Rosleague Manor in Connemara has been discreetly converted in to a first class hotel with 19th Century charm and character intact.

Day 5

The Burren National Park

  • Activity Overview: Hike
  • Activity Level: Moderate, on rough limestone rock
  • Activity Length: 6 miles

The Burren region is geologically unique, formed by glacial actions millions of years ago the exposed limestone that characterizes the region hosts an incredible array of wildflowers, including dozens of species of orchids. Millennia of human interaction with the landscape cultivate optimal growing conditions for the unique flora of the region.

We will meet with The Burren Beo Trust, a charity working tirelessly to conserve and protect the unique landscape of the Burren region in Ireland while promoting sustainable farming practices and fostering community engagement and appreciation for its natural heritage.

Next, we will hike near the hill of Slieve Carran, in the Burren's otherworldly limestone terrain, encountering diverse flora, captivating rock formations, and breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscape.

Accommodations
The Doolin Inn

The Doolin Inn
Doolin, Ireland

Resting on the quiet shores of Ballinakill Bay on its own private woodland, Rosleague Manor in Connemara has been discreetly converted in to a first class hotel with 19th Century charm and character intact.

Day 6

The Dingle Peninsula

  • Activity Overview: Walk
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Activity Length: 4 miles

This morning we continue our adventure along the Wild Atlantic Way. We will head to Ireland's westernmost peninsula, The Dingle Peninsula where our first hike will start from one of Ireland's highest mountain passes, The Conor Pass, offering incredible views of the surrounding countryside, mountains and corrie lakes as well as Atlantic islands.

Our home for the next two nights is Dingle town, a charming coastal settlement in Ireland's Dingle Peninsula, known for its vibrant atmosphere, colorful streets, traditional music scene, and picturesque waterfront. This evening offers another opportunity to explore the pubs and traditional music scene of Ireland in Dingle town where some of the country's best musicians play.

Accommodations
Benners Hotel

Benners Hotel
Dingle, Ireland

Centrally located on the main street in the colorful town of Dingle, Benners offers traditional Irish warmth and comfort, coupled with modern facilities.  Relax in Mrs. Benner’s bar, and sample the best in Irish cuisine. Afterwards, retire to the comfort of your well-appointed guestroom, or enjoy the lively atmosphere in town. Benners reflects the history and uniqueness of this special part of Ireland.

Day 7

The Blasket Islands

  • Activity Overview: Walk
  • Activity Level: Easy, on grassy trails
  • Activity Length: 4 miles

Today we'll explore the narrow sheep paths that weave across the largest of the Blasket Islands, the Great Blasket. We will head out on a small boat from the picturesque Dunquin Pier and spend the day exploring this small island.

Inhabited until the 1950s by a community who left behind a strong literary legacy, today the islands are eerily silent, with abandoned cottages still huddled on the island's slopes. The Blasket Islands have a rich literary heritage, as the community that inhabited the islands until the 1950s left behind a remarkable legacy of Irish-language literature, including memoirs, novels, and poetry that capture the unique island life, language, and folklore of the Blaskets. The islands are home to a myriad of seabirds, and whales, dolphins and seals are regular maritime visitors.
This evening, we will dine at Manning's Emporium, a founder of the "Slow Food" movement, where they specialize in locally-produced and grown artisan meats and cheeses.

Accommodations
Benners Hotel

Benners Hotel
Dingle, Ireland

Centrally located on the main street in the colorful town of Dingle, Benners offers traditional Irish warmth and comfort, coupled with modern facilities.  Relax in Mrs. Benner’s bar, and sample the best in Irish cuisine. Afterwards, retire to the comfort of your well-appointed guestroom, or enjoy the lively atmosphere in town. Benners reflects the history and uniqueness of this special part of Ireland.

Day 8

Killarney National Park

  • Activity Overview: Walking
  • Activity Level: Easy, with 915 feet elevation gain
  • Activity Length: 4 miles

We leave Dingle behind this morning, heading into Kerry's interior and yet another of this region's lovely peninsulas. Boating out on the Lakes of Killarney today, you will get a view of some of Ireland's highest peaks from the water.

We will have the opportunity to explore Ross Castle, a medieval tower house overlooking the lakeshore before hiking a section of The Kerry Way long distance trail. From Muckross House, we follow the trail past a tumbling waterfall and into the hills, taking in the lush, leafy valleys of Ireland's oldest National Park and the heathery open expanse of the foothills of the Macgillycuddy Reeks mountain range.

Accommodations
Killarney International Hotel

Killarney International Hotel
Killarney, Ireland

Nestled in the heart of the old town, with a location just moments from Killarney National Park, the 4-star International Hotel Killarney has been welcoming guests with our blend of traditional hospitality and comfort for more than a century. It is one of the best family-owned hotels in Killarney.

Day 9

The Ring of Kerry

  • Activity Overview: Coastal hike
  • Activity Level: Easy, on grassy trails
  • Activity Length: 5 miles

For a last blast of Atlantic air we head into the southern part of the Iveragh Peninsula, also known as the Ring of Kerry. Here we leave the main tourist track behind, the landscape becoming increasingly wild and windswept and head into the Skellig Ring for a cliff top hike on a remote peninsula.

Experience the rugged beauty of Kerry's coastline on a captivating coastal hike, where dramatic cliffs meet the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean.The silhouette of the majestic Skellig Islands will be our constant companion as we walk. We will enjoy a final night celebratory dinner in town this evening where we will celebrate our time together with a final pint of Guinness.

Accommodations
Killarney International Hotel

Killarney International Hotel
Killarney, Ireland

Nestled in the heart of the old town, with a location just moments from Killarney National Park, the 4-star International Hotel Killarney has been welcoming guests with our blend of traditional hospitality and comfort for more than a century. It is one of the best family-owned hotels in Killarney.

Day 10

The Rock of Cashel

  • Activity Overview: transfer back to Dublin
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Activity Length: 3.5 hr drive

After breakfast this morning we will transfer back to Dublin, stopping en route at The Rock of Cashel. The Rock of Cashel is a historic site perched atop a limestone outcrop, showcasing a magnificent collection of medieval buildings, including a striking Gothic cathedral and a round tower. Its dramatic silhouette against the Irish sky and its rich architectural heritage make it an iconic and awe-inspiring landmark.. We will have lunch in its shadow before making our way back to Dublin by mid-afternoon.

Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary due to weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these or the order visited should the need arise.

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Dates &
Prices

Dates And Prices

2024
Trip Length

10 Days

Trip Dates

May 14-23, 2024

Aug 20-29, 2024

Sep 10-19, 2024

2024 Land Cost

From $6995 Per Person


Single Supplement

First two reserved:$1395

Additional:$895

See single supplement policy below.

Pricing Notes

MAKE IT PRIVATE

9+ Guests: $6,995 per person

5 to 8 Guests: $7,495 per person

Make it Private price is based on Land Cost only, and a guarantee of the specified number of guests in double occupancy. For groups smaller than the numbers shown, or those requiring single occupancy, we reserve the right to adjust the per person price. Additionally, some trips have minimum group sizes. Please call 1-800-941-8010 for details.

 

What's Included

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Accommodations are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability.

Single Supplement for Scheduled Group Departures. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement. This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.

If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and request a roommate but one is not available, you will receive a $500 reduction from the standard single supplement (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary for your specific trip).

Single Supplement for Custom Tours. Custom Tour prices are generally based on two or more participants; therefore, single supplements for “solo” Custom Tours will vary and are available upon request.

What To
Expect

What To Expect

Physical Activity

Boundless Journeys' trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active, and have a positive attitude and spirit of adventure. Ireland: Gems of the Emerald Isle is rated 2, easy to moderate, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). The walking and hiking on this trip averages 3-5 hours a day. Most of our walks are on trails and greenways with only occasional vehicle support.

Meeting Point

Dublin, Ireland, approximately 9 a.m. Pick-up time will depend on your choice of pre-tour hotel.

Departure Point

Dublin, Ireland, 4pm.

Traveling To and From

Most Convenient Airport:
Dublin (DBL)

Meeting Time and Place:
Your guide(s) will meet you on the first day of your tour at your choice of the following two hotels (please be dressed for walking):

  • 12 pm Dublin City Center

Departure Time and Place:
Your guides will provide a drop-off at the Dublin Airport by 3pm on the last day of the trip. Please schedule your flights accordingly.

Preparing for This Trip

It is very important that you realistically assess your physical condition with regard to the demands of this trip. The more well-prepared you are for the activities, the more you will enjoy yourself. As a general guideline, we suggest that you engage in easy to moderate aerobic activities (such as walking, hiking, jogging, or cycling) for at least 30-45 minutes several times a week for 4-6 weeks before the trip. If you live in a flat area, try to incorporate some stairs into your workout, or use a treadmill with varying incline capability (consult your doctor before undertaking any new fitness program). Please contact us if you have any doubts regarding your physical match with this tour.

Weather

Ireland's weather conditions can vary greatly, even in the course of a single afternoon. It is not uncommon to have deep blue skies followed by "soft" weather (the local term for a bit of rain), and of course, the trademark Irish rainbow. Then the cycle begins again. Therefore, it is essential to be prepared for a variety of conditions — including dressing in layers and wearing quick-drying clothing. Waterproof hiking boots are not a bad idea either, as mornings are often dewy and the grass can be long.

You may obtain more detailed weather information by visiting www.weatherbase.com.

Ireland

June

High: 64
Low: 46

July

High: 70
Low: 50

September

High: 62
Low: 51

When to Go

Ireland enjoys a milder climate than you might expect, and spring comes quite early. By May, flowers are in full bloom, including the many varieties of orchid. Lambs are everywhere at this time of year as well. June brings longer days, with excellent light well into the evenings. July and August are the height of summer and days tend to be warmer and perhaps a bit drier, although weather can change at any time. September brings fewer crowds and cooler temperatures, perfect for hiking through the countryside.

Guides

Featured Guides

About Our Guides

With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work—the mark of a truly great leader—our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own. Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.

From $6995 / person* *airfare not included
10 Days
Reserve This Tour
  • Departure Dates: May 14-23, 2024
    Aug 20-29, 2024
    Sep 10-19, 2024
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Activity Level 2 Easy to Moderate

Easy to moderate walking and hiking, 3-5 hours per day.

Read about our Activity Levels
  • Group Size: 4-16 Guests

Make it Your Own!

This trip can be your own adventure by taking over one of our scheduled dates, or we can request a fresh one.

Prefer a Custom Tour?

Questions?

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1-800-941-8010

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