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Ireland Tours September 2023

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Ireland Travel Guide

Embarking on Ireland tours means exploring a land of mythical landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. Ireland, often called the Emerald Isle due to its lush greenery, offers an enchanting experience to all who visit. From the rugged cliffs of the Wild Atlantic Way to the bustling streets of Dublin, tours to Ireland are filled with diverse attractions. The charm of Ireland lies in its picturesque countryside dotted with castles and ancient sites, as well as its lively cities with their own unique appeal. Whether you're interested in tracing your ancestry, experiencing the legendary hospitality of the Irish, or exploring ancient ruins, touring Ireland provides a captivating blend of old and new. With an Ireland tour, you'll find yourself immersed in a culture rich in folklore and tradition, set against a backdrop of breathtaking natural beauty. So, prepare for an adventure that will take you through the heart of one of Europe's most beloved destinations. With tour operator volume buys plus our low everyday prices you can save up to 40% versus assembling the same itinerary on your own! Book your Ireland tour today with AffordableTours.com, your discounted tour headquarters. View Ireland Tour Deals and Discounts

Ireland Travel Guide
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Ireland Travel Guide

Ireland Tours Highlights

  • Cliffs of Moher: A highlight of tours to Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher are a breathtaking natural wonder on the country's west coast. Rising dramatically from the Atlantic Ocean, they offer stunning views and are a testament to Ireland's natural beauty. The cliffs are a perfect spot for photography and bird watching.
  • The Giant's Causeway: Located in Northern Ireland, The Giant's Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a geological marvel. The area consists of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of ancient volcanic activity. Its unique formation makes it a must-visit attraction when touring Ireland.
  • Dublin's Trinity College and The Book of Kells: In the heart of Dublin, Trinity College is known for its historic campus and as the home to The Book of Kells, a stunningly illuminated manuscript created by Celtic monks. This cultural treasure is a highlight of Ireland tours, offering a glimpse into medieval Ireland.
  • Blarney Castle: Famous for the Blarney Stone, which, according to legend, endows anyone who kisses it with the gift of eloquence, Blarney Castle is a popular stop on tours to Ireland. The castle's lush gardens and mystical rock formations add to its allure.
  • Ring of Kerry: A scenic drive along Ireland's southwestern coast, the Ring of Kerry is a staple of touring Ireland. It winds past pristine beaches, medieval ruins, and charming villages, offering spectacular views of Ireland's rugged landscapes.

Ireland Tours Travel Tips

  • The currency in Northern Ireland is the pound sterling, not the Euro – something to keep in mind while visiting northern Ireland and venturing further south.
  • While Ireland does not have the same requirements for tipping as some places do, there are certain tipping rules you must follow. For example, if you have table service in a restaurant, you should leave a tip of 10% to 12%. Tip taxi drivers up to 10%, as long as they offer good service.
  • The Irish weather is changeable, so you need to dress in layers when visiting Ireland. Make sure you wear waterproof shoes too and carry a brolly (umbrella) for unexpected downpours.
  • City buses will not stop in Dublin unless you flag them down, even if you are standing at a stop. Therefore, make sure you stick out your arm and wave when you see a bus approaching. It is also considered common courtesy to thank the driver when you get to your destination.
  • Winter days are especially short in Ireland, with the sun setting around 4:00 p.m. On the other hand, some days in summer can be extremely long, with sunset occurring around 10:00 p.m.
  • Many places close on Sunday in Ireland. Those sites that do open do not open their doors until around 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon.
  • While Irish people do speak English, they do use a lot of slang terms when speaking, which can make communication difficult. Before you go on your trip, you may want to research some of the slang phrases they use. For example, courtin' translates to dating and houl yer whisht means please be quiet.

Ireland Tours Things To Do

  • Dublin Castle
    Dublin Castle

    Until 1922, Dublin Castle served as the seat for the English administration of the government in Ireland. While most of the current construction dates back to the 1700s, the origins of the structure go back to the days of King John, who was declared Ireland's first Lord in 1177.

    Best Time to Visit

    While June through September has the best weather, July and August have the warmest temperatures. During the latter part of summer, it tends to get more crowded and the climate becomes more humid.

     

    You Should Know

    Dublin Castle is the place where the inauguration of Ireland's Presidents is held. A popular Dublin attraction, Dublin Castle once was the site of a Danish Viking fortress in the tenth century, before becoming a Norman Fort in the 1100s. King John created a newer and stronger castle in 1230, so it could be used as a city defense.

  • Trinity College and The Old Library – The Book of Kells
    Trinity College and The Old Library – The Book of Kells

    Considered the most prestigious college in Ireland, Trinity College is an elite academic institution in Europe. It has been given special acclaim in the fields of literature, law, and the humanities. Its library features the Book of Kells – a beautiful medieval manuscript that highlights the four Gospels.

    Best Time to Visit

    Usually, the spring and fall are better times to see the sights. The Old Library is open from May through September and October through April, beginning at 9:30 a.m., and closes each day at 5:00 p.m., except October through April, when it closes at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

     

    You Should Know

    Normally, a tour of the college includes a visit to the Old Library and its famous exhibit of the Book of Kells. Besides the Book of Kells, the Old Library features a large collection of impressive manuscripts and books. 

  • Kinsale
    Kinsale

    Located 176 miles from Dublin, the colorful harbor town of Kinsale sits on Ireland's southern coast in County Cork. The courthouse in town is home to the Kinsale Regional Museum, which includes information on the 1915 sinking of the Cunard passenger liner, the RMS Lusitania, during the First World War. A German submarine sank the ship off the Old Head of Kinsale. The event resulted in the deaths of 1,198 passengers, with 761 people surviving. Because American passengers lost their lives during the ship's sinking, it spurred the U.S. to get involved in the war.

    Best Time to Visit

    Visit during May, June, or September when the weather is more pleasant.

     

    You Should Know

    Besides its historical attractions, Kinsale is known for its love of gourmet cuisine. The town holds several yearly gourmet food festivals. Religious sites you will want to see include St. Multose's Church (Church of Ireland), built in 1190, and the St. John the Baptist Church, a Catholic denomination church built in 1839.

  • Killarney National Park
    Killarney National Park

    Near the town of Killarney in County Kerry, Killarney National Park has the distinction of being Ireland's first national park. The park was established in 1932 through the donation of the Muckross Estate to the Irish Free State. You can bike, hike, or drive through the park.

    Best Time to Visit

    Most travelers visit the park in the summer. However, if you want to go when it is less crowded plan a trip in May or September. The park is open year-round.

     

    You Should Know

    The park is made up of 25,425 acres. Within the site is the only herd of wild indigenous red deer. In 1970, the herd's population was only 11 but it has since expanded to around 700. About 141 different species of birds can be found in the park as well, some of which include pipits, peregrine falcons, nightjars, ospreys, and wood warblers. Main attractions include sites, such as Muckross House. Ross Castle, Torc Waterfall, and the O'Sullivan Cascade.

  • Dingle
    Dingle

    Dingle is a small port town, which sits on Ireland's Dingle Peninsula in the southwest. The peninsula is known for its sandy beaches, rugged landscape, and hiking trails. At Dingle's waterfront is a statue of the dolphin, Fungie, a long-time resident of the harbor.

    Best Time to Visit

    Dingle can be visited anytime, but the best time to go and experience good weather and fewer crowds is May or September.

     

    You Should Know

    The Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium is home to otters, sharks, and penguins. To the southwest, you will find Dun Beag, a historic promontory fort. The peninsula itself is a great place to walk and view nature.

  • Cliffs of Moher
    Cliffs of Moher

    Located in County Clare, the Cliffs of Moher are one of the most popular sites in Ireland, attracting over one million travelers annually. The cliffs, which are 14K or 9 miles long, rise up to a height of 214 meters or 700 feet at the highest point, which is north of O'Brien's Tower.

    Best Time to Visit

    Visit the cliffs in March to view the puffins and from spring to summer to see the wildflowers blossoming.

     

    You Should Know

    At the end of March, the Atlantic puffins arrive at the cliffs, which begins the bird's nesting season. You can see hundreds of birds. During the spring and summer, you can spot seals and dolphins from the top of the cliffs, as well as hares. Feral goats live close to Hag's Head at the attraction.

  • Galway
    Galway

    A harbor city on the west coast of Ireland, Galway sits where the Atlantic Ocean and River Corrib meet. The main hub of the city is Eyre Square, which goes back to the eighteenth century. Shops and traditional pubs that feature Irish folk music line the square while stone-clad galleries and cafes in the Latin Quarter sit along winding streets beside medieval city walls. 

    Best Time to Visit

    Mark your calendar for a visit from May to September. You'll see fewer crowds in May or September.

     

    You Should Know

    Galway has more pubs than any other place in Ireland – about 475. Also, it is home to the longest place name in the country, the townland of Muckanaghederdauhaulia. The city also boasts the largest Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking) area in Ireland.

  • Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone
    Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone

    A place that motivates day trippers away from Cork, the Blarney Castle features keeps and battlements that date back to the 1200s. The bucket-list favorite Irish attraction displays some reconstructed areas as well as the neo-Gothic designed  Blarney house, which stands next to the castle.

    Best Time to Visit

    Usually, the late spring, June, or early fall is the best time to see the site, as the crowds are fewer and the temperatures are more inviting.

     

    You Should Know

    Blarney Castle is home to the famous Blarney Stone. Legend says that you will be given the gift of Irish gab if you can kiss the stone. However, you must kiss the stone by leaning backward, or, basically, upside down from a great height. The block of limestone that represents the stone was built into Blarney Castle's battlements in 1446. Before you kiss it, and as you wish, the stone is wiped with an antimicrobial wipe.

Ireland Tour Packages

The best time to tour Ireland largely depends on what you're looking for in your travels. Ireland's climate is generally mild, with frequent changes in weather.

  • Spring (March to May)

    Spring (March to May) sees the countryside coming to life with fresh greenery and flowers, making it a beautiful time for touring Ireland. It's less crowded, and the weather is relatively mild.

  • Summer (June to August)

    Summer (June to August) is the peak season for tours to Ireland. The weather is warmer and generally drier, ideal for outdoor activities and exploring the countryside. It's also the time for numerous festivals and events.

  • Autumn (September to November)

    Autumn (September to November) offers a chance to see the autumnal colors in the Irish landscape. The weather is cooler, and there are fewer tourists, providing a more tranquil experience when touring Ireland.

  • Winter (December to February)

    Winter (December to February) can be cold and wet, but the festive atmosphere in cities and towns adds a special charm to Ireland tours. It's a good time for city tours and cozy pub experiences.

Ireland Tours Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are Ireland Tours?

    Ireland tours typically begin in Dublin and return and end there. They usually cover the major attractions that tourists like to see, such as Dublin Castle, the Cliffs of Moher, and Killarney National Park. Towns and cities, such as Kinsale and Galway are also typically included in the itinerary.  

  • What’s Included in an Ireland Tour?

    When you tour Ireland, your transportation, hotel stays, admission costs, transfers, and professional guide services are all part of the Ireland tour package. Some meals are also included, usually breakfast.  

  • What’s the Best Ireland Tour?

    Once you determine how much you can spend, the best Ireland tour will be the one that meets your travel expectations and travel availability. Talk to a travel representative about the Ireland tours that are available in both the high and low travel seasons of the year.  

  • How Much Do Ireland Tours Cost?

    What you pay for an Ireland tour will depend on when you elect to travel and the length of the trip. You can find tours to Ireland that last 7 days that cost as low as $1,500 per person.  

Learn More About Ireland Tours

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    Raise a Glass: Discovering the Best Bars in Ireland

    When it comes to pub culture, few countries do it better than Ireland. For centuries, pubs have served as the cornerstone of Irish social life, providing a place for friends, family, and even strangers to gather over a pint of Guinness or a dram of whiskey. With so many pubs to choose from, it can…

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    Review: Focus On Ireland With Insight Vacations

    Luscious green countryside and dramatic coastal scenery made this Focus on Ireland with Insight Vacations tour an exceptional journey.

  • What Are The Best Insight Vacation Experiences?

    Makes your voyage even more memorable by participating in Insight Vacation Experiences and Authentic Dining opportunities in all of their destinations.

  • Watch: Local Experiences With Trafalgar

    Trafalgar ensures their guests connect with locals who are passionate about their culture and proud to share their unique knowledge and experiences with you. From staying in charming hotels to uncovering the destination’s best kept secrets, here are some ways Trafalgar makes sure their guests get an inside view of the culture. Watch the top local…

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    Review: From Ireland’s Ancient East To The Wild Atlantic Way by Globus

    By: Francis Larmore, CTA and Senior Travel Consultant My wife Susan and I went on a great new trip titled From Ireland’s Ancient East to the Wild Atlantic Way by Globus. We arrived two days early so that we could have more walking-around time in Dublin’s city center. We were able to visit the National Gallery…

  • Review: Iconic Ireland and Ashford Castle With Brendan Vacations

    By: Darlena Hernandez, Travel Consultant Iconic Ireland is just absolutely amazing! From the numerous shades of green, to the Wild Atlantic Way, there is something that is sure to mesmerize you! I have to say, the people of Ireland are most welcoming, filled with pride for their country, and are so willing to tell you…


Reviews for Ireland Tours and Vacations

This was a top shelf experience.

Jane Z

CIE Tours is a class act! 4-star lodging, great tours and tour director and guides, and no problems along the way.

Peter P

The rooms were fine. Some of the showers difficult to get into because of the height of the bathtub. Some of the tour guests had to take sponge baths because they couldn’t get into the shower safely. Hotels did not have enough fans for guests when the weather got warm . The rooms were very uncomfortable when the weather warmed.

Jessica B

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