Active Ireland | EF Ultimate Break
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EuropeActive Ireland

Active Ireland

12 days, 5 cities30
See dates and prices

From $3179 with flightsPayments as low as $126

A person standing at the edge of a large grassy cliff looking out at the view with their hands on their hips and more cliffs in the background
A person standing at the edge of a large grassy cliff looking out at the view with their hands on their hips and more cliffs in the background
A very long and skinny footbridge suspended over the water connecting a large rocky and grassy island
A large rocky cliff overlooking the ocean with grass at the top of the cliff during a cloudy sunset
A group of sheep grazing on a pasture with water and more land in the background
Trip Type:
Activity Level:
Vaccination is currently required for this trip. Chat or call us with questions.

Why go?

This adventure is for those who don’t just want to see Ireland, but conquer it. Go beyond the pub by hiking your way along the Emerald Isle’s most beautiful and iconic landmarks. You’ll come home with both a sense of accomplishment and a photo reel that’s simply unreal.

Picture yourself

  • Standing at the foot of Torc Waterfall’s 66-foot cascade

  • Summiting Carrauntoohil–Ireland’s highest point

  • Experiencing the raw power of the Cliffs of Moher

  • Walking in the footsteps of giants at Giant’s Causeway

What you'll get

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers

  • 10 nights in handpicked accommodations

  • 10 breakfasts

  • 2 dinners and 1 lunch

  • Expert Tour Director

  • 24/7 support from our travel gurus

  • 7 iconic hikes with a local guide

  • Entrance to the Cliffs of Moher

  • Admission to the Titanic Museum

Full trip itinerary

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Overnight Flight

    Board your overnight flight to Dublin. Find your seat, pick a movie, and then try to get a wee bit of shuteye. The majesty and raw beauty of Ireland awaits.

  • Day 2: Arrive in Dublin + Welcome Dinner

    Your first true taste of Ireland is the city of Dublin, the capital and largest city in Ireland! Enjoy a walking tour and see Temple Bar, St Stephens Green, and Grafton Street.

    In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner of local cuisine and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!

    Today's highlights:

    • Meet an EF representative at the airport.
    • Transfer to your accommodations and check in.
    • Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
    • Take a guided walking tour of the city.
    • In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner of local cuisine and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!
  • Day 3: Killarney National Park & Waterfall Walk & Travel to County Kerry

    Lace up those hiking boots and charge your phone—today you’ll be exploring the first national park in Ireland, encompassing over 25,000 acres. Keep an eye out for the only herd of red deer on the mainland then stand at the foot of Torc Waterfall—which having been in the same spot forever, makes you wonder why anyone would need to be told not to chase a waterfall in the first place? Looking at you TLC.

    Hike Stats:
    3 hours
    TIME
    7.75 miles
    DISTANCE
    Flat
    ASCENT
    Easy
    DIFFICULTY
    

    Please note: All outdoor and hiking activities are weather dependent and may be adjusted on tour due to local conditions.

    Today's highlights:

    • Explore the most extensive native forest remaining in Ireland.
    • Cross Old Weir Bridge—after checking for trolls.
    • Walk the Trail of Two Lakes.
    • Relax in front of Torc Waterfall while being thankful you already used the bathroom.
  • Day 4: Hiking Carrauntoohil

    Today’s hike is a beaut, so this isn’t the day to skip breakfast. We would recommend the traditional Irish spread of a rasher of bacon, pork sausages, fried tomato, toast, as well as white and black pudding—but it turns out you can’t actually hike while napping. After breakfast, prepare to climb to the top of Carrauntoohil, the highest point in Ireland at over 3,400 feet.

    Hike Stats:
    9 hours
    TIME
    7.4 miles
    DISTANCE
    5,600 feet
    ASCENT
    Hard
    DIFFICULTY
    

    Please note: All outdoor and hiking activities are weather dependent and may be adjusted on tour due to local conditions.

    Today's highlights:

    • Begin your adventure at Kate Kearney’s Cottage, a 150-year-old bar nestled at the entrance to the world-famous Gap of Dunloe.
    • Watch for jaunting cars, light, horse-drawn carriages used here due to the narrow, winding roads that are often too difficult for motor vehicles.
    • Climb the notorious ‘Ridge of Reeks Traverse’ while trying not to think of Game of Thrones.
    • Take in unbelievably long views overlooking the sprawling countryside to the southwest and Dingle Bay.
    • Reward yourself for completing the hardest hike of the trip with a taste of something smooth yet fiery to warm your belly.
  • Day 5: Walk the Cliffs of Moher & Travel to Galway

    Now we’re talking. Ireland’s top tourist attraction features over 8.5 miles of stunning view after stunning view. Ruggedly wild and utterly beautiful, the sheer cliffs will make you want to peer over the edge—albeit on your stomach after inching towards them at an absurdly slow pace. And since you won’t be climbing down the cliffs yourself, check out the Moher Visitor Centre to see the underwater caves beneath the cliffs and a bird’s-eye view of the cliffs from above—which is fitting since there are over 60,000 that nest on the cliffs.

    Hike Stats:
    2 hours
    TIME
    3.75 miles
    DISTANCE
    400 feet
    ASCENT
    Medium
    DIFFICULTY
    

    Please note: All outdoor and hiking activities are weather dependent and may be adjusted on tour due to local conditions.

    Today's highlights:

    • Hike along the edge of world-famous cliffs reaching heights of over 700 feet.
    • Drop your jaw as you take in the view of a lifetime, drop your jaw a little more—then take a mental picture. Because no photo could ever do a view this magnificent justice.
    • Enjoy a scenic drive from the Cliffs of Moher to Galway.
    • Stop at The Burren, a dramatically sparse landscape of rocks, caves, and prehistoric sites.
    • Meander along the banks of the River Corrib to Galway Bay. Then meander back, since people just don’t meander enough anymore.
  • Day 6: Hike Connemara National Park

    Try not to feel like you’re going in circles as you climb the figure-eight circuit of two looped trails that begin at the National Park visitor center. The lower loop features boardwalk sections that stretch over sections of rich bog land, while the upper loop provides gorgeous views of the Connemara region. As if the trail layout wasn’t confusing enough, the name of the place you’re hiking is Diamond Hill—but it turns out there aren’t any actual diamonds. Sorry lassies and lads.

    Hike Stats:
    3 hours
    TIME
    3.8 miles
    DISTANCE
    1,266 feet
    ASCENT
    Medium
    DIFFICULTY
    

    Please note: All outdoor and hiking activities are weather dependent and may be adjusted on tour due to local conditions.

    Today's highlights:

    • Gaze into the distance at inspiring views of the Twelve Bens, the sharp-peaked summits of a mountain range, while agreeing that 13 would have been too many Bens.
    • Discover remnants of the past by looking for the 4,000-year-old megalithic (carved from large stones) tombs found in the park.
    • Search the skies for the plethora of meadow pipits, skylarks, and European stonechats, as well as the birds of prey that chase them, that inhabit the area.
    • Climb Diamond Hill while wondering what the difference between a hill and a mountain actually is (none officially according to the U.S. Geological Survey—thanks for nothing).
  • Day 7: Free day in Galway & Optional Gaelic Games

    Sleep in and give your hiking boots a break—today you’ll have some free time on your hands. Find yourself a cozy pub (they aren’t hard to find), and wander the historic streets of Galway until you decide it’s about time for more pints at another hilariously named pub.

    Today's highlights:

    • Explore Galway on your own until you finally succumb to the irresistible smell of boxty (Irish potato pancakes) like a true Galwegian.
    • Find out why Galway is nicknamed ‘City of the Tribes’ as you discover the sheer variety of coats of arms on display.
    • Pick up an authentic Aran wool sweater to stay warm for the next hikes—but mostly to wear around your apartment this winter.
    • Follow your ears to a venue playing some traditional live music that happens to pair wonderfully with a pint or dram.

    Free time suggestions

    Your prayers are answered: The Galway Cathedral, the youngest of Europe’s grand stone cathedrals, overlooks the River Corrib and features a blend of styles including Renaissance, Romanesque, and Gothic. It is beautiful by day, but even more stunning when lit by spotlights at night.
    Piece of work: The Galway City Museum features two main sections. The first focuses on the heritage of Galway, giving you some background on the city you’ve been exploring. The other section focuses on Irish artists from the second half of the 20th century—which makes us wonder where the section about the other half is…

    Gaelic Games & Irish Step Dancing (extra cost)

    Enter one of the Emerald Isle’s 2,200 local Gaelic Clubs to learn the basics of traditional Irish games. Then show off your newly acquired hurling skills before a pub lunch and Irish step dancing lessons to top it all off.

    Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

  • Day 8: Bike the Great Western Greenway & Travel to County Sligo

    Trade those hiking boots for, well, sneakers as you ride along this off-road trail. Located in the county Mayo, which is just around the corner from mustard, relish, and ok, you get it—the trail follows the route of a former railway line. Then, trade two wheels for however many a bus has these days and head to County Sligo to finish your day—and begin your night.

    Hike Stats:
    2.5 hours
    TIME
    11.2 miles
    DISTANCE
    270 feet
    ASCENT
    Medium
    DIFFICULTY
    

    Please note: All outdoor and hiking activities are weather dependent and may be adjusted on tour due to local conditions.

    Today's highlights:

    • Bike along the Great Western Greenway and fulfill your dream of actually coasting along the coast.
    • Pretend you have a cramp, then ‘accidentally’ find that small bottle of whiskey in your bag as you raise a toast to the view.
    • Take a guided sightseeing tour of Sligo.
    • Try some local oysters from Lissadell and give thanks to the sea gods as you enjoy the bounty of the wild Atlantic.
  • Day 9: Hike Slieve League

    While not nearly as famous as the Cliffs of Moher, what the sea cliffs of Slieve League lack in popularity—they more than make up with height. Reaching nearly 2,000 feet, three times taller than their popular counterparts, you won’t be thinking of anywhere else when looking down from here. Or anything other than maintaining your balance for that matter.

    Hike Stats:
    4.5 hours
    TIME
    5 miles
    DISTANCE
    2,600 feet
    ASCENT
    Medium
    DIFFICULTY
    

    Please note: All outdoor and hiking activities are weather dependent and may be adjusted on tour due to local conditions.

    Today's highlights:

    • Get your heart pumping as you stand atop some of the highest sea cliffs in Ireland.
    • Walk single file (just pretend you’re back in elementary school) as you navigate the aptly named One Man’s Pass.
    • Take in dramatic views of the cliffs and sea below from Bunglass Viewpoint, the most popular place to take photos.
    • Get your adrenaline back in check by unwinding with some of your new friends over a nice dinner on your own.
    • Turn it right back up after dinner, since Sligo has a large student population and a vibrant nightlife.
  • Day 10: Travel to Fermanagh + Walk the Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail

    Are you ready to walk and roll? Because today you’ll be listening to, no wait, you’ll be walking the ‘stairway to heaven,’ a wooden boardwalk that’s part of the Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Trail. Built to protect the picturesque landscape around it from erosion, it offers views so scenic that it has garnered its own fair share of fans on social media.

    Hike Stats:
    3 hours
    TIME
    7.5 miles
    DISTANCE
    Flat
    ASCENT
    Easy
    DIFFICULTY
    

    Please note: All outdoor and hiking activities are weather dependent and may be adjusted on tour due to local conditions.

    Today's highlights:

    • Hit the ground hiking for your first adventure in Northern Ireland.
    • Look to the peak of Cuilcagh mountain (over 2,100 feet) to see both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland at the same time as the mountain straddles the border.
    • Travel to Belfast by bus while imagining just how much whiskey they could make with all the peat you’re passing.
    • Head out on a guided sightseeing tour in Belfast.
    • Take advantage of included entry to the Titanic museum—we recommend starting to practice your best ‘Jack!’ now.
  • Day 11: Giant's Causeway + Farewell Dinner

    For your last full day of adventure in Ireland it’s time to go big—really big. Like Giant’s Causeway big. Some (scientists) say this unique geological formation is result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption, others (everyone else) believe that an Irish giant by the name of Finn MacCool built it—so he could fight a Scottish giant. Either way, it’s a stunningly beautiful spot to watch the crashing sea.

    Farewell Dinner
    Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.

    Please note: All outdoor and hiking activities are weather dependent and may be adjusted on tour due to local conditions.

    Today's highlights:

    • Travel by bus to coast while trying your best to remember what the friendly giant’s name was in The BFG.
    • Walk among the nearly 40,000 basalt columns of the Causeway.
    • Put yesterday’s sightseeing tour to good use and find a bar so you can raise your glass to an amazing trip. Sláinte!
  • Day 12: Fly Home

    Beannacht mo chairde!
    Translation: Goodbye, friends! Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?

    –OR–

    EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS

    1. Double the fun
    A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.

    2. Go ahead or stay behind
    Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.

    Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.

    Activities will take place rain or shine, however the hiking routes may change based on local conditions. Any changes are at the discretion of the guide.

Traveling with us helps the EF community plant trees, at no extra cost to you.

Reviews


Overall rating: 5 out of 5
Based on 30 authentic traveler reviews
  • What a way to see Ireland!

      Diana, traveled Aug.. 2021

    I could not have picked a better way to see Ireland. This tour really goes off the beaten path to show you Ireland’s true beauty. Carrauntoohil was definitely the biggest challenge physically and mentally, but after completing that I feel like I can do anything now! It was a no joke hike with lots of loose rock and scrambling up and down rock formations, so ... See more

  • The Stunning, Beautiful, Majestic Trip of a Lifetime!

      Garrett, traveled Aug.. 2019

    Wow. Just wow. This was an amazing adventure that I will never forget. All of the hikes were absolutely stunningly beautiful. Some, like the trek up Carrauntoohil, were challenging but most definitely worth it. The views were like nothing I've seen before. Of course, this trip wouldn't have been the same without Gavin leading the charge! He was always in g... See more

  • Ireland in a new way

      Anonymous, traveled Sep.. 2022

    Hiking around Ireland is the best thing to do if you want to explore Ireland in a new way. Tom was amazing and was incredible on all the hikes with support and encouragement.

  • Active is active, but fun nonetheless!

      Mannie, traveled Aug.. 2022

    The group was amazing! This is the best trip I’ve taken in a while. Our leader, Gavin the Great, provided the best experience. He gave incredible recommendations and led us through the difficult activities. The active part of the trip denotes a high level of activity. I am an avid cross fitter and hike (nature walks) occasionally, and the hikes on this trip... See more

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