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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Breathtaking, lush landscapes combined with vibrant cities and historic attractions—all of this and more await you on this guided Ireland tour, including Northern Ireland. Starting and ending in Dublin, explore Ireland in depth and hear exciting stories of its rich history, legends, and myths. On an Ireland tour, you expect to see amazing scenery, and this tour does not disappoint. See the 668-foot Cliffs of Moher on Ireland’s west coast, offering breathtaking views of rugged cliffs dropping into the ocean. Join the Ring of Kerry, a 100-mile drive with sparkling seascapes and mountains dotted with brightly painted farmhouses. In Northern Ireland, visit awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway, basalt columns formed millions of years ago by volcanic eruptions. On the amazingly green Dingle Peninsula—perched on Ireland’s westernmost tip and dominated by the range of mountains—enjoy one of Europe’s most dramatic drives passing seaside villages, ancient monuments, and views of the Blasket Islands. On this tour of Ireland, you’ll also visit some of its vibrant cities—including Dublin, Belfast, and Galway—and charming towns, including Killarney. Stop in Adare, founded in medieval times and known today as one of Ireland’s friendliest and prettiest villages and in Waterford, enjoy a guided tour of the House of Waterford Crystal, where you’ll see the highly skilled artisans at work in the production of this famous crystal. Visit Kilkenny famous for its medieval architecture and Norman castle. In Northern Ireland, visit Derry, one of Ireland’s best-preserved fortified cities, and Downpatrick, burial place of Ireland’s Patron Saint. This value-minded tour through Ireland is a dream vacation!

  1. Day 1
    ARRIVE IN DUBLIN, IRELAND
    Check into your hotel. At 3 pm, meet your Tour Director and travel companions for an afternoon orientation drive through statue-lined O’Connell Street and elegant Georgian squares to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity College. End the day with an optional dinner evening at the Guinness Storehouse.
  2. Day 2
    DUBLIN–DOWNPATRICK, NORTHERN IRELAND–BELFAST
    On your northbound route today, pass Drogheda, scene of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, then through the fertile landscape of the Boyne Valley, known for its prehistoric passage graves. Cross the border into Northern Ireland, and drive past the Mountains of Mourne to Downpatrick, the burial place of Patrick, Ireland’s Patron Saint, and on to the vibrant city of Belfast, where the Titanic was built. Later, why not join a Local Guide on a “living history” tour, including a visit to the fascinating Titanic Belfast Experience?
    Today’s Distance: 125 mi/ 202 km (B)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    BELFAST–GIANT’S CAUSEWAY–DERRY–DONEGAL, IRELAND–SLIGO
    First stop this morning is awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, let the province’s story unfold as you head for the city of Derry before returning to the Republic to visit Donegal, the ancient town founded by Danish Vikings and home of the O’Donnell Clan. Drive along Donegal Bay with its small fishing ports and hidden beaches before arriving in Sligo.
    Today’s Distance: 197 mi/ 316 km (B,D)
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  4. Day 4
    SLIGO–GALWAY–CLIFFS OF MOHER–LIMERICK
    Travel farther south to Galway, a popular seaside destination and a buzzing cosmopolitan district with vibrant shops, and a busy café and bar culture. Cross the limestone plateau of The Burren to visit the spectacular 668-foot Cliffs of Moher. Tonight, you might like to join an optional medieval banquet.
    Today’s Distance: 181 mi/ 290 km (B)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  5. Day 5
    LIMERICK–ADARE–DINGLE PENINSULA–KILLARNEY
    Start your day with a stroll through Adare, a village known for its prize-winning thatched cottages. Then, take in the breathtaking scenery of the Dingle Peninsula, where the 32-mile Slea Head drive affords magnificent vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. See the Blasket Islands and hear about the way of life and unique literary achievements of its inhabitants prior to their evacuation in 1953. The next two nights are spent in the popular resort of Killarney.
    Today’s Distance: 156 mi/ 253 km (B)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  6. Day 6
    KILLARNEY. RING OF KERRY EXCURSION
    At Killorglin, join the Ring of Kerry for a 100-mile coastal panoramic drive featuring sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly painted farmhouses, winding lanes bordered with subtropical vegetation, and spectacular views of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View. Back in Killarney, a special optional adventure: take a horse-drawn jaunting car along the national park lakeshore for pictures of Ross Castle.
    Today’s Distance: 100 mi/ 160 km (B,D)
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  7. Day 7
    KILLARNEY–BLARNEY–WATERFORD–TRAMORE
    More scenic beauty as you head over the Kerry Mountains into County Cork. Stop in Blarney, famous for its Stone of Eloquence, with time at your leisure to see the castle and shop for Irish crafts and handmade crystal. After lunch, drive past Cork, the country’s second-largest city on the way to Waterford, where a guided tour of the House of Waterford Crystal is included. Spend the night at the nearby seaside resort of Tramore. Later, consider an optional pub tour.
    Today’s Distance: 142 mi/ 229 km (B,D)
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  8. Day 8
    TRAMORE–KILKENNY–DUBLIN
    On the last leg of your journey on the way to Dublin, visit Kilkenny to wander the Medieval Mile and learn about its Norman heritage. An optional Irish cabaret evening, including dinner, dance, song, and laughter would be an exciting finale to your vacation.
    Today’s Distance: 120 mi/ 193 km (B)
    Meals:   Breakfast
  9. Day 9
    DUBLIN
    Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
    Meals:   Breakfast

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Inclusions

Meals:
Full Irish breakfast daily; 3 three-course dinners with choice of menus

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Accommodations

Dublin: The Bonnington Dublin Hotel
Belfast: Leonardo Hotel Belfast
Sligo: Southern Hotel Sligo
Limerick: Limerick City Hotel
Killarney: The Parkavon Hotel
Killarney: Killarney Court Hotel
Tramore: Majestic Hotel

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Questions & Answers

Question: Do you book our air fare or us??

We can book air or you can book it yourself--whichever you prefer. For a quote, feel free to call us at 1-800-935-2620.

Question: Are all prices shown in US dollars?.

All prices shown are in US dollars.

Question: Does lodging include a choice of beds? Are twin beds available?

Bed choice is entirely dependent on the accommodation, however most hotels will offer the option for two twin beds.

Question: Will there be an opportunity to see Carrick a Rede, the swinging bridge just a few miles from the Giants Causeway? While in Dublin will we get to see the Book of Kells at Trinity?

You can absolutely visit these locations on days listed with free time, however the tour director generally does not permit guests to branch off on their own on days that have a set schedule.

Question: Are any meals included.

Yes some meals are included: Full Irish breakfast daily; 3 three-course dinners with choice of menus

Question: Do we get picked up at airport or do we need to find our own travel. Tips I assume are not included.

Transfers are not included but can be purchased at the time of your booking.

Question: From where does the tour depart

Dublin, Ireland.

Question: What is the mode of transportation between cities?

Guests are transported by motor coach between cities. Cosmos motor coaches are fully air conditioned and equipped with WiFi.

Question: Are all accommodations en suite?

Yes, they are.

Question: How much free time do you have in the evenings?

Independent travelers love all the free time provided by Cosmos. Most optional excursions are in the afternoons or evenings, so travelers can choose if they want to take part in an excursion, or explore on their own.

Question: Does the tour company arrange round trip transfers to and from the airport?

Yes, we can purchase transfers at an additional cost through Cosmos.

Question: How many people are on this tour on average and what is the transportation?

Cosmos utilizes a motor coach for their land tours with an average group size of 36 to 40 people.

Question: Can you quote roundtrip airfare from Miami?

We can quote roundtrip airfare from almost any major airport in the United States.  Just select Optional Requests when requesting a quote and select your airport from the drop down list.  

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.2
Accommodations
3.8
Itinerary
4.5
Professional Staff
4.6
Repeat with Operator
4.3
Value for Money
4.1

Ratings based off 120 reviews - currently showing 61 reviews with comments only

Truly an amazing experience! We had a wonderful guide, a library of information! Our driver was so sweet and kept us safe on the roads each day. I could not recommend this tour any more, the BEST way to see all of Ireland's treasures!

This was an amazing trip, one that exceeded our expectations in every way. Our tour guide was exceptional and really gave us an informative overview of the life and culture of Ireland, not to mention she has quite the witty sense of humour. Our driver was top notch and always made us feel welcome and safe even on those extremely narrow and winding roads.

Affordable Tours takes the guesswork out of international travel. We covered an enormous amount of territory, visiting each of the most important sites and learning about the places in depth. Everything was well streamlined and comfortable.

This Cosmos tour hit all the highlights for visiting Ireland and Northern Ireland in 9 days, so it's understandable that the schedule was busy. Our Tour Director and our coach driver were simply the very best - nothing compares to having Irish locals guide with you! Our group was fairly large at 48, but we all got along well and everyone was very respectful of the time. Our director had a system of rotating seats so everyone had a chance to get good views during the trip. Hotels were quite decent and almost all centrally located. Two of the 3 included dinners were okay, but the 1 dinner at Killarney Court Hotel was absolutely atrocious (soggy frozen fish, very salty & fatty sliced ham, or unappetizing vegetable curry), and should be re-evaluated by Cosmos. However, overall a very good tour and gladly recommend to others for good value.

This tour exceeded every expectation! Our director was extremely knowledgeable about Ireland. She went above snd beyond for all passengers. It was such an incredible tour for our whole family!

Everything was great! Our tour guide and driver were top notch! Very knowledgeable and professional. Would definitely travel with Cosmos again!

Tour operator in Ireland and coach driver were fantastic. They made this trip very memorable and I would book again with this company b/c of these individuals.

The Irish Discovery tour by Cosmos is jam-packed with opportunities to see and experience much of what Ireland has to offer. The tour around the major cities and coastlines in 9 days gives wide variety. We found ourselves wanting more time at certain sites but short stops are a necessity when a tour includes so many venues, all of them worthwhile. Hotels are well chosen as is the plentiful meals. Having a well informed tour guide who almost continuously teaches about Irish history, customs, taboos while telling compelling and funny stories set our tour apart.

Great experience! Tour driver and guides are very professional, efficient, accommodating, and friendly. Visited places as advertised.

The tour guide was friendly and very knowledgeable and informative. She made the trip very pleasurable.

OPERATOR'S STAFF WAS KNOWLEDGABLE AND HUMOROUS. AMOUNT OF TIME AT EACH LOCATION WAS SUFFICIENT FOR THE AMOUNT WESAW VS. THE TIME WE HAD.

I would recommend this trip to anyone. Clyde, our tour guide was knowledgeable and kept things running smoothly. David, our driver was excellent also. I very much enjoyed the whole trip.

I enjoyed my irish discovery vacation very much thanks a lot to a tour director Peter and driver Margaret they are very professional and very helpful I found out a lot about ireland its beautiful country people are very friendly I am very happy with my tour

While the tour was as described, we found that we missed having a Welcome meeting at the start of the tour and we only interacted with tour companions at random encounters and there were no name tags. Additionally, we have enjoyed free bottled water on previous tours. The tour manager, while extremely knowledgeable, he did not provide options for those of us who do not enjoy shopping and cafes. At times we felt he was annoyed with our questions and he never asked how we enjoyed the tour of Guinness or came around to say good morning and how are you doing at breakfast.

tour guide, Keenan and driver Gerry made the trip very enjoyable. 

I felt frustrated with the misleading language used in regards to tour events. It seems very strange to ask guests to pay for things like city tours. Then to spend a lot of time in Blarney, without preparing guests for the cost of visiting the main attraction. And I'm not sure why the Wicklow Mountains were even included on the tie itinerary, when in reality the closest we got to them was seeing their name on a sign.

Overall the experience was perfect for my elderly parents. When just traveling with my significant other I will next time inquire about the average age of travelers. The hotel accommodations were overall OK. Except the first hotel we stayed in which was unsatisfactory due to a broken window in our room and a run down hotel interior.

Our tour director was exceptionally knowledgeable and made the trip a great experience. Our driver was highly skilled and put us at ease

The driver was professional, experienced and always drove safely. The tour guide was informative, funny and answered questions as best he could. Both guide and driver were polite and helpful.

I really liked the fact that we explored the northern part of Ireland. However, the pace going from city to city the last half of the trip felt a bit rushed and too much time was spent in shopping destinations like Waterford and Blarney. However, overall I enjoyed the trip.

Appreciated our knowledgeable and personable tour guide.

Our tour guide Hugh and driver Yarrick were both awesome! Great job!

We very much enjoyed our first visit to Ireland, even though it was early March. It was cold and windy, but the attractions weren't all that busy, and we didn't have long lines for any optional activities.

Wonderful interaction and provide reasonable prices.

We cannot be more pleased with both the tour guide and the driver! Katherine knew her stuff and took excellent care of us all; and Joe was a virtuoso at handling the bus! We would most certainly use your services again.

every day went well. our experienced guide, Liz made everything perfect.

The tour guide decided to use his own system for rotating passengers which caused us to be on one side of the coach at all times and always have the same people sitting by us. This was unfortunate because so many of the good views were on the other side of the coach and also because we did not get to know as many people as on a previous tour where they rotated through both sides of the bus.

This was an excellent trip, exceeded our expectations. Our tour guide Liz was outstanding and the drive John can't be praised enough. I would definitely do it again. The only problem we ran into was exchanging money. However you can use a card everywhere. For those of us likings to keep currency in our pockets, it's difficult. Even for small purchases.

The Cosmos tour guide Simon was knowledgeable and witty, the bus driver Emon was exceptional (the roads are mighty narrow in Ireland). We were meet at airport and brought back to airport. We had photo stops along the way to places we were going to. It went by to fast, did not feel like 9 days (time flies when you are having fun). The excursions purchased were worth it, especially Taylor Family evening with dinner and show.The Jaunty car ride was informative and driver was funny.

The tour director, Peter, and the bus operator Sean were very good. The tour director was very knowledgeable. Hotels were a little out of the way. One hotel the hot water was very poor. I formally traveled with Cosmos and Globus but did not get any discount for

Our vacation was amazing! Ireland is a beautiful country. The best part of our trip was our tour director Liz and our driver Donie. They made our Cosmos trip truly enjoyable!!! They are wonderful ambassadors for Cosmos and Ireland!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip - covered everything I expected and more and would book again.

Wonderful in every way! Our tour director, Kevin was delightful, informative and had wonderful humor. Our driver, Sean was very skillful. As a former bus Dover myself, Sean was outstanding. The hotels, staff,and itinerary were superb. We will definitely keep Cosmos in our minds and will tell our friends.

It was a fantastic vacation. Out guide did an outstanding job of giving background information concerning the history and culture of Ireland. The lodgings provided were excellent. My husband has back and hip problems which often causes him to have difficulty sleeping. Not so in the rooms we were provided as the beds were extra comfortable. We thoroughly enjoyed this trip to Ireland, my dream since I was a little girl due to having family ties to the country of Ireland.

The Irish Explorer experience/tour was absolutely amazing, loved the tour and the professionalism of the tour director. She was extremely knowledgeable and was of great assistance.

Dingle and The ring of Kerry we too similar. Remove one of these. Add on sheep dog demo. I suggest more time at the Giant causeway maybe add the rope bridge. Spend a little less time with the same countryside views. I'd perfer 2 nights near Blarney Castle. Spend an entire day at the castle. Maybe 2 nights in limerick.The mill at Avoca was marked as a paid admission? This was a 5 minute demo that I could not see or hear. This stop could be removed from the tour to have more time at better places. It was a long stop and no choices for lunch. Just the cafe at the mill.

Introduced to tour operator which we had not used in past Cosmos which provided a good service and travel package with outstanding travel director. We have used Viking and Trafalger for all prior trips.

I should be clear about my answer concerning accommodations... they did not meet my expectations because, for the price, I was expecting budget hotels. Instead, they exceeded my expectations. And the tour operator was amazing - very knowledgeable and entertaining; he even grabbed a guitar and sang for us in a pub.

This trip was not up to my expectations! I understand that Ireland in 9 days will require hours of bus/coach time and will also require a strict schedule. I don't understand why there was not time to stop for at least one of the castles that were open to tours on our trip. We passed 3 that were right on the road. The tour guide pointed to the castle and said we could stop down the road for excellent pictures (we were given 5 minutes). We came to experience more of the Irish culture and current life than so much history that was repeated two or more times. A complete repeat of historical info was not needed each time there was an overlap of leaders/clans/royals. The guide's script (provided by Cosmos ??) could put an insomniac to sleep. The best and most helpful information was given by the local guide in Belfast. He was honest and shared a more realistic description of the "troubles" (a word he did not use) then and now. I found it odd that our itinerary gave the impression that we would visit different sites, when several of the "visits" were actually from the bus or pointed out across the bay. Ireland is a fantastically beautiful and friendly country. I am so glad I had the opportunity to journey around the entire island. I have been on and thoroughly enjoyed several river cruises. This land trip showed me that I am definitely not a land trip tourist.

A wonderful tour. Could not have wished for more

It was a marvelous way to see all of Ireland. I was please with every stop we made. The optional tours were awesome, this allowed you to pick and choose if you wanted to go to attend them or not. We had a lot of fun at the pub tour enjoying drinks and an Irish performance. There was a seat rotation on the bus so everyone got to have different views throughout the trip. Our tour guide was absolutely amazing. You could tell she really loved her job and the history about Ireland.

I really had a wonderful time, the country of Ireland is beautiful, I would like to take this tour again with my husband next if he stop working so much! We as people need to enjoyed life more everyone need to go on vacation, because we are not going to live forever!

The guided tour greatly exceeded my expectations

Our tour director, Finola, is very knowledgeable and spoke clearly and even was very funny. I learned a lot about Ireland from her. Our driver, Pat, was very good in maneuvering the coach. He always offered a helping hand with a smile.

Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and very interesting. Our driver was very professional and extremely personable. Both of these gentlemen made the trip enjoyable. We were hit by the first major hurricane in Ireland in 50 years. Schools were closed for 2 days. The tour guide and driver handled it very professionally. Safety first, but rearranged our schedule so as to not miss the Ring of Kerry.

Irish Explorer tour: This was our first Cosmos tour. We had a very nice tour director. With a bus full of 48 tourists, we all got along easily. We attended several optional excursions- all worthy of attending. Hotels were fine - The last hotel in Dublin, Jury's Inn, wass in the downtown area. Easy to walk to all tourists attractions. Everything worked out fine with us. We are happy with this Cosmos tour.

The Ireland trip was wonderful. Our guide and driver were both very knowledgeable of the island and its history. The countryside is lush and beautiful all around Ireland. The people were friendly. Be sure to take a jacket. Several of the other passengers on this tour had been on other Globus tours before and said that this is typical of the tours.

Everyday was a new adventure and sharing experiences with our fellow travelers.

My friend and I had a wonderful trip to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland! We took the Irish Explorer 2016 tour and we were not disappointed. We had an excellent tour director. Knowledgeable, funny and caring for our group, she was an absolute gem!!! The tour was great and the timing for rest stops was impeccable. The historic landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the simple raw beauty of the Irish island is something we will never forget. Definitely, another trip via Cosmos or Globus is in the making....

My Sister and myself had the best vacation in Ireland! Hotel\'s were excellent, food superb, tour Director very personal, intelligent, knowledgeable! Our coach was very comfortable and our driver was extrordenary! She drove with confidence and ability. We had 44 other passengers, a great mix of ages!

We loved our trip. Everything is better than we expected.

The Cosmos tour of Ireland: was fanatstic.

Our fantastic tour guide increased our enjoyment of an already fantastic trip.

The tour operator and the driver were fantastic. They kept us going throughout the tour and, even though we had some rain, they found ways to insure that we were not bored.

Our nine day trip to Ireland far exceeded our expectations. Our Cosmos tour leader was extremely knowledgable, organized, and compassionate.

I did not care for our tour guide. He did nothing to try to make the group meet each other. He did not address a situation in a professional manner which caused discord among the group. His directions were confusing as not enough detail were given. I think Cosmos should have done a better job of describing the extra tours in detail..one was a pub evening. That trip turned out to be a tour of a darling fishing village with a local guide and a stop at a pub with our own entertainment and drinks. The Jaunting Car rides were a waste of money. We wanted to see the whole country which this tour offered. We loved all the little towns and the beautiful scenery.

The trip was very enjoyable. Only point we would like to add that there should have been some more time alloted for Dublin sightseeing and some free time in Belfast and Dublin.

Our tour guide in Ireland was very knowledgeable and helpful.

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