From the Cliffs of Moher and lush green fields of the countryside, to massive urban parks, the Emerald Isle takes beautiful scenery to the next level. But there’s more to Ireland than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. Have a pint at the Guinness Storehouse, feel like royalty atop Blarney Castle, and learn Irish history at every step of the way. At night, the pubs abound with live music to keep the good times going in one of the most photogenic and friendly countries in the world.
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What are the top highlights?
- Make friends with locals and enjoy live music in Ireland’s pub scene
- Stand in awe at the Cliffs of Moher, 700 feet above the Atlantic
- Kiss the Blarney Stone and receive the “gift of gab”
- Drive the scenic Ring of Kerry and stop at a few breathtaking lookouts
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Tour Director & local guides
- Private deluxe motorcoach
- 7 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Welcome Dinner with food & drinks
- Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
- Authentic local dinner in County Kerry
- Entrances to the Blarney Castle & other select attractions
You’ve selected an UltimatePlus departure. Nice choice! You’ll be staying at upgraded hotels throughout your trip. Each property is located in a safe and convenient area to ensure a comfortable stay, in rooms that are only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Actual accommodations will be made available to you 30 days before your trip.
Looking for our standard accommodations? Choose a departure date without the starburst icon, and you’ll stay at a combination of boutique hostels and hotels.
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.
- Day 1: Overnight Flight
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.
- Land at the airport and meet a waiting EF representative.
- Transfer to your hotel to check in and check out your room.
- Get familiar with the area around your hotel with an introductory walk with your Tour Director.
In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Mixer with your fellow travelers. Then it’s on to wherever the craic—Irish for ‘good times’—takes you.
- Day 3: Sightseeing in Dublin
Today, see the best Dublin has to offer with a local guide on a tour of the city. Afterwards, enjoy a free afternoon in this bayside Irish capital.
- Enter St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the 800-year-old church named after the famous saint.
- Explore Trinity College, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities, and see the storied library that inspired Hogwarts’ own.
- Sample Dublin’s natural beauty and urban escape at Phoenix Park—the largest park in Europe.
Free Time Suggestions
Book of Kells: Stick around Trinity College after your tour 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.
- Day 4: Explore Kilkenny
Continue by bus to Kilkenny a small city full of Irish charm, medieval architecture, and the most iconic ale in the country. Get ready to eat, drink, drink again, and be very merry.
- Watch the emerald hills roll along as you head from city to countryside.
- Arrive in Kilkenny and check in to your accommodation.
- Join a local guide for a walking tour of Kilkenny and "The Medieval Mile,” featuring 14th-century castles, inns, and towers.
- Raise a glass of Smithwick’s, Ireland’s best red ale that has been brewed since 1710, on a tour of the famous brewery.
Free Time Suggestions
Kilkenny Design Centre: Buy yourself something nice at the Kilkenny Design Centre. Here you can find handcrafted, artisanal gifts from all over the country. It’s like Etsy, but you can touch stuff before you buy.
Bridie's General Store: From the outside, Bridie’s General Store looks like an old-fashioned store to buy groceries or souvenirs. And it is. But continue to the back and find a full service pub (indoor and outdoor seating). Talk about a winning combination.
Kilkenny Castle: We promised you medieval architecture, and Kilkenny Castle delivered. Originally built in 1195, the castle has had a full makeover, and is open to the public for guided tours of its stunning interior and gardens.
- Day 5: Travel to County Kerry via Blarney Castle
Shamrock shake things up as you leave Kilkenny behind for the quintessential Irish countryside of County Kerry’s rolling hills, tranquil lakes, and plenty of sheep. On the way, stop at the famed Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone.
- Board your private bus from Kilkenny to County Kerry, taking in the pristine Irish countryside along the way.
- Stretch your legs—and your lips—at Blarney Castle. Legend has it that those who smooch the namesake stone are bestowed with that iconic Irish charm: the gift of gab.
- Continue on to County Kerry and enjoy an authentic, included local dinner.
Free Time Suggestions
County Kerry Pubs: County Kerry is known for its raucous pub scene. Locals and visitors alike drink and sing with the bar band well into the wee hours of morning.
Irish Cuisine: The Irish know comfort food. Try the shepherd’s pie, corned beef & cabbage, or Guinness beef stew.
- Day 6: 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.
- 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.
Killarney National Park: Need more outdoors time? Take visit to the wondrous expanse of Killarney National Park. Where else can you find mountains, castles, woodlands, and waterfalls all in one place?
- Day 7: Travel to Galway via the Cliffs of Moher
You’re off to Galway, a city famous for live music, street performers, and art shows. On the way, stop at the Cliffs of Moher for breathtaking views of the coastline.
- Gawk at the Cliffs of Moher—limestone walls of rock that dominate the coast for five miles and rise to staggering heights of 700 feet
- Arrive in beautiful Galway and take it all in on a walk along the banks of the River Corrib, gaze at the picture perfect Galway Bay, then get stoked for a night out in a new town.
Free Time Suggestions
Quay Street: Quay Street is a pub-crawler’s heaven. Pick a starting point, have a pint, and see where it takes you.
Buskers: Busking, or street performing, is basically Galway’s favorite pastime. Catch the best fiddle player you’ve ever seen on one corner, and a blazing banjoist on the next.
- Day 8: Free Day in Galway or Optional Aran Islands Excursion
Raise your glass, here’s to one more rowdy day on the Emerald Isle! We know you’ll make it count. Before heading out for the day, take a moment to reflect on all the Guinness, rolling meadows, hearty food, and craic you’ve had. Ready? Go make some memories!
Free Time Suggestions
Eyre Square: The end of the rainbow in Galway leads to Eyre Square—a bustling center of shops, cafes, and art, though no known pot of gold sightings—yet.
Irish Coffee: Vodka Red Bull’s Irish cousin packs a caffeinated punch of coffee, whiskey, and Bailey’s. Please enjoy responsibly.
Share some last laughs and revisit the best moments of the trip at this included farewell dinner with the group.
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: Fly Home
Slán libh, a cháirde!
Translation: Goodbye, friends. Before you head from Galway the airport in Dublin, make sure to take one more group photo and grab that final drink. But this isn’t goodbye because you can always get the gang back together for another trip soon. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, we have a couple ways to keep your vacation going.
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.
Overall rating: 5 out of 5
Based on 13 authentic traveler reviews
This trip is worth itCarley, traveled Oct 2021
This trip was mind blowing, breathtaking views and super fun! Gavin was amazing he had stories to tell we sang songs and he gave us extra activities!
Hands down the time of my life!Kenneth, traveled Sep 2021
My first time outside of the country. I had such a blast. My tour guide Gavin was the best part of the trip! He was so in-tune with the group and knew a lot about Ireland. If there was a way to book a new trip and select him as a guide again I would! I have already began telling my friends to book with EF. I couldn’t imagine trying to book and plan a better ... See more
Best trip ever!Matthew, traveled Sep 2021
The Grand Tour of Ireland was an amazing experience! This was the first time I was able to travel in over a year, and what a comeback it was! I loved all the different cities we visited, and seeing all the amazing sights around the coast was breathtaking. Gavin was an amazing tour guide! Any chance you get, ask for Gavin as your guide! Super knowledgeab... See more
Sláinte!William, traveled Sep 2021
Over a year after the pandemic and I was reluctant about traveling. Flights were troublesome and extra documents were everywhere. All my worries faded quickly within the first couple days. Our group was placed into the care of Gavin, one of the kindest people I've ever met. Along our journey Gav led us through the highlights of the country and introduced us ... See more