Immerse your family in the myths, magic, and vivid culture of Ireland on a clockwise journey around the island, from cosmopolitan Dublin to the wild, windswept Aran Islands off the western coast. Kiss the Blarney Stone, sail beneath the iconic Cliffs of Moher, kayak the River Liffey, and try your hand at traditional crafts and Irish cooking. Cap off the experience with a stay at a historic castle with royal roots.
Fáilte go hÉireann—Welcome to Ireland! Arrive in Dublin and transfer to your hotel in the heart of the Irish capital. Meet up with your expedition leader, who will join you for the entire trip. Enjoy a spooky ghost tour of the city center on foot, then gather for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Today, see Dublin from a different point of view, exploring by kayak! Learn about the city’s fascinating history as you glide under the historic bridges of the River Liffey. Or head down to the Docklands to visit EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum—an interactive experience celebrating the Irish diaspora. Spend the rest of the day exploring Dublin at your own pace.
Head south to the Wicklow Mountains, and meet with a local farmer to watch his dogs expertly herd sheep against a backdrop of granite peaks, glaciated valleys, and blanket bog—a rare peatland habitat. Visit ancient Glendalough, Irish for “the valley of two lakes,” where a double granite archway leads to a monastic hideaway founded by the sixth-century hermit St. Kevin. Take a short hike to the stunning lakes that give this valley its name, then retreat to the medieval city of Kilkenny for the evening.
Explore the bucolic countryside surrounding Kilkenny on two wheels. Hop on a bike and follow a car-free trail along the River Barrow, stopping for lunch in a charming village. This afternoon, choose a guided tour of the formidable Kilkenny Castle, built in the 13th century and now beautifully restored, or join a hands-on family craft workshop rooted in Kilkenny’s rich artisan heritage.
Enjoy a scenic drive to the medieval Blarney Castle, home to the legendary Blarney Stone. Climb the tower to kiss the stone—a tradition that according to Irish folklore, is said to impart the “gift of gab.” Continue to the town of Killarney, the bustling gateway to Killarney National Park—Ireland’s first national park—and make a stop along the scenic Ring of Kerry driving route. This afternoon, our Kid to Kid Connection brings us to the Killarney School of Music for a high-stepping time with local children.
Discover the spectacular Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass that splits the Purple Mountain massif from Macgillycuddy’s Reeks—Ireland’s highest mountain range. Opt to hike through or traverse the famous pass in a horse-drawn cart. Then join a local guide in his open wooden boat for a glide across the placid lakes of Killarney. This afternoon, explore historic Killarney on your own.
Venture north to County Clare and set sail for the beautiful Aran Islands, where Gaelic traditions thrive and the Irish language is still spoken. Dock in charming Inis Oírr, where colorful fishing boats bob in tranquil waters along white-sand beaches. Join a chef at home to roll up your sleeves and learn the art of making traditional Irish soda bread. Catch an island ferry back to the mainland, passing beneath the towering Cliffs of Moher along the way. This evening, check in to Dromoland Castle, whose thousand-year lineage goes back to Ireland’s high king Brian Boru.
Today, soak up the splendor of your historic surroundings as you experience castle life at your leisure. Set off on a falconry walk; hit the links; or explore the estate by horse-drawn carriage, bicycle, or horseback. Or simply relax by one of the roaring fires. This evening, gather for a farewell dinner in the castle dining room.
After breakfast, transfer to the Shannon Airport for your flight home.