Active Ireland | EF Ultimate Break
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Active Ireland

12 Days  •  5 Cities 11

From $2969 with flightsPayments as low as $268

Travel Styles:

Why Go?

Extraordinary destinations, one of the best accents in the world, and more gorgeously green landscapes than you can shake a stick at (they don’t call it the Emerald Isle for nothing). Welcome to Ireland. Get ready to explore more than the expected—challenging you to hike, bike, and walk your way to jaw dropping views. Over the course of 12 days, you’ll see world-famous attractions, visit and explore 4 cities, and in all likelihood, start to wish some of the cozy pubs were in your neighborhood at home. So, go ahead and have yourself a grand time—with the proper amount of shenanigans and pints mixed in of course.

What are the top highlights?

  • Hike and bike along some of the most scenic stretches in all of Ireland
  • Pose at the base of Torc Waterfall and wish you had that kind of water pressure at home
  • Stand speechless at the Cliffs of Moher while trying to come up with some good puns
  • Climb to the top of Carrauntoohil, the highest point in Ireland
  • Try a variety of pints and drams at a nearly endless array of pubs
  • Traverse the appropriately named ‘One Man’s Pass’ along the crest of a mountain
  • Drive the scenic Ring of Kerry and stop at breathtaking lookouts

Your trip includes

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers
  • Tour Director & local guides
  • Private deluxe motorcoach
  • 6 days of hiking and biking Ireland
  • 10 nights in hand-picked accommodations
  • Welcome Dinner
  • Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
  • One lunch

Accommodations

You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.

Click here for examples of where you'll stay.

Flights

Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:

  • Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
  • Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
  • Flights are booked with major airlines
  • 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
  • One checked bag included on most flights
  • Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure

Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.

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 to Dublin, the capital of Ireland! Once you arrive and drop your bags off at the accommodation, take a stroll to St. Stephen’s Green, Grafton Street, and Temple bar, where pub culture, literary history, and all-around charm await.

    Today's Highlights:

    • Meet an EF representative at the airport.
    • Transfer to your accommodations and check in.
    • Get familiar with the area around your hotel with an introductory walk with your Tour Director.

    In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner of local cuisine 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
    

    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.

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

    Day 4: Hiking Corrán Tuathail

    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
    

    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.

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

    Day 5: Explore the Ring of Kerry

    Clear your camera roll and prepare to become Instagram famous as you traverse the must-see Ring of Kerry, stopping at each amazing panoramic vista, castle, or ocean view.

    Today's Highlights:

    • Encounter magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Lakes of Killarney, Macgillycuddy’s Reeks, and more.
    • Pick your jaw off the floor after a day of unreal views, and head back to County Kerry for some nighttime free time.

    Free Time Suggestions
    Irish Whiskey Experience: The Irish Whiskey Experience in Killarney is the perfect masterclass for aficionados and new-comers alike. Buy a ticket and sign up for a class of your choice—from taste-testings to cheese plate pairings.
    **Irish Cuisine: The Irish know comfort food. Try the shepherd’s pie, corned beef & cabbage, or Guinness beef stew.

    Day 6: 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
    

    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.

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

    Day 7: 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

    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).

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

    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: Free day in Galway & Optional Aran Islands

    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…

    Afternoon on the Aran Islands(extra cost)

    Take a ferry ride to the Aran Islands, where old traditions and iconic Irish countryside are hanging on strong. Don't miss Dún Aengus, a 2,000-year-old fort with walls that go right to the edge of a cliff high above the sea.

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

    Day 9: 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
    

    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.

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

    Day 10: 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
    

    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.

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

    Day 11: Travel to Dublin

    It’s back to where it all started for one final day in the Emerald Isle. We know you’ll make it count.

    Today's Highlights:

    • Travel by bus back to Ireland’s vibrant capital city, Dublin.
    • Spend the afternoon doing exactly as you please.

    Free Time Suggestions
    Book of Kells: Head to Trinity College for a chance to see the Book of Kells—a pristine 1,200-year old illustrated collection of biblical stories—up-close.
    Jameson Distillery: Sick of stout? Switch things up in favor of the strong stuff with a guided tour and whiskey tasting at the Jameson Distillery Bow St.

    Farewell Dinner
    Share some last laughs and revisit the best moments of the trip at this included farewell dinner with the group.

    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.

Reviews

Overall rating: 5 out of 5
Based on 11 authentic traveler reviews
  • 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

  • More than just a trip, a true adventure.

      Emma, traveled Aug 2019

    Absolutely incredible. The carefully crafted itinerary and unique activities showed us Ireland with more depth than just being a tourist, but left us feeling like actual travelers. While the hikes were a bit more challenging than I expected, that challenge is truly what brought our group together and made the experience so memorable. Gavin is by far the best... See more

  • What a way to see Ireland!

      Diana Day, 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

  • Your calves will thank you afterwards

      Cailin Filardo, traveled Aug 2021

    I will preface this review by saying that this trip is not for the faint-hearted, but I can guarantee that it will take your breath away (both figuratively and literally). Hiking through the whimsical Irish countryside was such a rewarding experience. If you like a challenge and going off the beaten path, this trip is for you. Also, our TD Gavin was an absol... See more

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