13 Days
Duration
Nationwide, Northern Coast, Wild Atlantic Way
Location

Wild Atlantic Way, Galway, Connemara, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Dingle Peninsula, Kilkenny, Inis Mor, Glendalough, Belfast, Giants Causeway, Game of Thrones, Donegal  & Derry

Departs from: Dublin
Day: Tuesdays
Time: 8.30am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an extension of our Crean tour, combined with the amazing highlights of Northern Ireland. This is an epic trip that will truly take you beyond the guidebooks. This tour ensures you delve into every Irish myth. You will see all the beautiful coastlines, experience local pubs boisterous from noon until midnight to the wildest parts of Ireland. So, join this full Giant Irish tour, while going further off the beaten track.

The Shackleton tour is named after one Ireland’s most famous polar explorer, Ernest Shackleton, who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic, and one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. Like Shackleton, you’ll be able to make your own mark on Ireland, discovering hidden trails, lakes and peaks.


SHACKLETON TOUR INCLUSIONS:

All transport: You’ll travel in our comfortable mid-sized coaches around Ireland.

Experienced tour guide: Expect entertaining commentary, insight into local secrets and extra support from your tour guide.

Accommodation:

OPTION 1: 12 nights’ quad share accommodation in a variety of quality backpacker hostels & wilderness lodges.  Upgrades to private twin and single rooms are available info@irishexperiencetours.com to book.

OPTION 2: 12 nights in a twin share accommodation in a variety of classic B&Bs and hotels. Upgrades to private twin/double and single rooms are available info@irishexperiencetours.com to book.

Meals: 12 breakfast

Top-rated activities:

  • Exhilarating climb to the summit of Croagh Patrick
  • Sea kayaking in Clew Bay or Killarney Lakes  or Dingle Harbour (optional extra)
  • Overnight in the wilderness of Connemara/Westport Region
  • Biking excursion along the Great Western Greenway, Killarney National Park (optional extra)
  • A whiskey tasting tour of Dingle Distillery (optional extra)
  • A ferry ride across the river Shannon
  • Scenic bike ride around Aran Islands
  • Experience the Cliffs of Moher Atlantic Edge Track
  • Explore the ancient woodlands of Killarney National Park
  • Titanic Museum Belfast
  • Black taxi tour of Belfast suburbs & peace walls (optional extra)
  • Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge
  • Discover the ancient fort of  Griannan of Aileach
  • Gentle hikes along the causeway coast
  • Giants Causeway
  • Historical walking tour of Derry City
  • Game of Thrones Locations
  • Ulster/American Folk Park
  • Trek to the Old Monastic City of Glendalough
  • Medieval walking tour of Kilkenny City
  • Learn to play the ancient Gaelic game of hurling (optional extra)

What’s not included?

Any optional extra activities above and not specified as included in the itinerary. These can be booked via your guide, often at an exclusive Irish Experience special price!


WHAT TO BRING

Sturdy walking shoes (ankle high), swimming gear, hat and sunscreen, rain jacket/trousers, warm fleece, hat and gloves, towel, motion sickness tablets, water bottle, towel and toiletries, warm clothing and waterproof jacket, insect repellent, camera.


Please note:

  • All rates are in EURO, per person, and are subject to change.
  • Luggage should be restricted to 15kg in a single bag, plus a small daypack.

Additional information

Departure Point8.30am Jurys Inn, Moore St Plaza, Parnell St, Store Street, Dublin, Ireland
AccommodationHostel, B&B
1

Day 1: Dublin to Westport/Connemara

Failte Romhat; (Welcome), Your tour starts when we leave the capital city of Dublin and make our way to the Boyne Valley, for The Kings boat tour along the Boyne river in a ‘currach’, ancient small sized boats that has featured many times in Game of Thrones.

Onwards through the stunning Boyne Valley area, we’ll head for Galway city. Here you’ll have some free time to wander around this medieval city.

From there it is then through the ‘savage beauty’ of the Connemara region. Here we will settle into our accommodation at the foot of Croagh Patrick on the edge of Connemara. Before a tasty evening meal in a local pub (optional) we will go for a wee stroll around some of the coastal path of Murrisk loop, followed by a pint of the black stuff.

2

Day 2: Westport & ‘The Holy Mountain

Enjoy a free day and get out and explore the savage beauty of the Connemara Region. There are many excellent outdoor activities available in the region, with your guide you can navigate the stony path to the summit of Croagh Patrick, or if climbing a mountain is not your thing , at your own expense, go kayaking along Clew Bay, or bike along The Great Western Greenway or just spend some time around the historic Westport town and visit it’s attractions. Return to our wilderness accommodation, via ‘savage beauty’ of the Connemara region and its lakes and valleys.

If you don’t fancy doing any of the activites, you can spend the afternoon in Westport, take a guided walking tour, visit Westport house or catch a trad session in a local pub.

3

Day 3: Inis Mor & Doolin

Today we catch a boat from Rosseveal to the largest of the Aran Islands, Inis Mor. Travel back in time as we spend a whole day on the Gaelic speaking island of Inis Mor. Miles of stone walls wait as you explore the island by bike.

This morning we will catch the ferry to Inis Mor, the largest of the 3 Aran Islands. After the 40 mins boat trip, you can choose to explore the island by foot, bike, bus or horse and cart. Travel back in time as we spend a whole day on the Gaelic speaking island of Inis Mor. Miles of stone walls wait as you explore the island by bike. After lunch and visits to the islands main attractions, such as Dun Aongas and the wormhole, home of the Red Bull diving experience.Inis Mór is the largest of the three Aran Islands (7,635 acres) and includes several ancient stone forts and churches among its antiquities. Most impressive of the stone forts is Dun Aengus. It is semicircular, resting on the edge of a perpendicular cliff rising 100 metres out of the ocean.

In the evening we will catch the ferry back to Doolin

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Day 4: Cliffs of Moher & Dingle Peninsula

This morning we will have time for a pleasant stroll along the Atlantic edge to the highest point of the Cliffs of Moher standing 214m (702 feet) above sea level. You will see the gradual rise of the cliffs in the distance, depending on the weather, the waves of the Atlantic crashing below at the base of the cliffs.

You will walk along until you reach the highest point of the Cliffs of Moher standing 214m (702 feet) above sea level, where views of the Dingle Peninsula and Loop Head in the South, the Aran Islands to the West with the Twelve Pins and mountains of Connemara to the North can be seen on a clear day. O’Brien’s Tower is near the highest point and serves as an excellent viewing platform, as has been the case for hundreds of years.

From there we will take a ferry crossing over Ireland’s longest river, The Shannon, we’ll follow the road over the Conor Pass , Ireland’s highest mountain road, before arriving at your accommodation in Dingle.

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Day 5: Full Day Dingle Peninsula

This morning/afternoon  you will be able to opt at your own expense to take part in a few optional activities such as boat trip with Fungie the dolphin, sea kayaking, paddle boarding, horse riding or visit a local whiskey distillery. Or just wander around the town and visit the colourful shops.

After lunch you will meet up with your guide and take the famous Slea Head drive. Isolated from the rest of Ireland by the impressive landscape, this tour of the  Dingle Peninsula will take you where the locals go. We will follow a coastal trail on windswept cliffs, perched above beautiful coastlines. Once described by National Geographic as the most beautiful place on earth, we drive along the edge of the peninsula with the wild Atlantic ocean to our left and the patchwork green fields to our right.

A gentle loop walk gives wonderful views over Clogher Beach, Ceann Sibeal, the headlands of Ceann Sratha, An Dun Mor, Mount Brandon, Eagle Mountain and the Blasket islands.

After the walk we will return to to Dingle town where you will have time to relax and unwind in a nice cosy pub. Enjoy the fresh catch of the day while sipping on some locally brewed beer or whiskey.Top it all off with some local Murphys Ice Cream , made from the fresh milk of the Kerry cow. You will also have some time to walk the towns colourful streets and go souvenir shopping.

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Day 6: Ring of Kerry to Killarney

Early this morning we travel to Valentia Island around the Ring of Kerry,  a journey through County Kerry with amazing views at high altitude with stops regularly for spectacular photos. See Dingle bay where not only nature but also Dingle itself is incredibly beautiful. Here you can opt to view a sheep dog demonstration.

From there we will arrive on Valentia Island. You can either opt to explore the trail to Valentia Island and Bray Head with your guide (included), take a Eco boat trip around the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Skellig Islands ( €50 extra – very weather dependent ) or opt to hire a bike and discover the island at your own pace (€15 extra).

After a full day of discovery, we spend the night on the edge of Killarney National Park, which is an excellent place with lots of restaurants and lively pubs.

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Day 7: Full day Killarney National Park

You have a full free day to fully explore everything on offer. Killarney is a great place to spend a few days, no matter what your past-time of choice is. Options include: kayaking on the lakes of Killarney, boat trip on the lakes with a bike ride or hiking through glaciated valleys, biking through the National park, climb Torc Mountain for amazing views, or just enjoy the stunning scenery and do nothing.

Optional activities are at your own expense. Accommodation located close to the town and park.

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Day 8: Killarney to Kilkenny

This morning we leave Killarney and travel in the direction of County Kilkenny.

En route we will take Cork city . Cork is a small city with a relaxed pace of life. Today is very much a relaxed cultural day and you’ll have plenty of free time to wander the streets of Cork, with some fantastic sights and attractions to see and do. For example, the bustling and colourful English market, ,a visit to the ancient site of St Finbarr’s Cathedral or you can choose to spend your time at the world renowned Blarney Castle and Gardens.

From there, we will take in the imposing Rock of Cashel, once the seat of the Kings of Munster. For more than 1,000 years the Rock was a symbol of royal and religious power; until rivalries saw Brian Boru, future High King of Ireland, take over in the 10th century.

Arriving in the medieval city of Kilkenny in the evening .

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Day 9: Free Day Kilkenny

This morning you will enjoy a locally guided walking tour of Kilkenny with Pat Hynan.  Hear stories, from wealthy tradesmen to bishops and witches, Kilkenny has seen it all.  A Witch who murdered her four husbands? A Mayor who fathered 25 children! A pass time involving Kilkenny Cats!  A Spinning Cage outside the Tholsel for troublemakers! A public burning of Petronella the maid in 1324! Roaming Pigs in Graveyards and the town centre! Black Death, Whippings, Burnings, Crime, Jails, Theft and Prostitutes? Stories not to be missed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In the afternoon you can choose to enjoy a unique Cultural & Heritage Experience where you will experience first hand the ancient Celtic game of Hurling, the world’s oldest and fastest field game. Learn the skills of the worlds oldest and Fastest field game (3000 years old).

You will have plenty of free time to discover the city’s many attractions, such as the castle, the Canice cathedral, take a guided tour of the Smithwicks brewery or just simply relax and enjoy the sights and sounds from a nearby coffee shop.

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Day 10: Kilkenny to Dublin

This morning we will make our way to the monastic city of Glendalough. Wander the valley and lakes, touching haunting medieval remains that stand long after Viking raids and the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

In the late afternoon we arrive back in the city of Dublin.

11

Day 11: Dublin to Belfast

We leave the south of Ireland and make our way to County Antrim in Northern Ireland.  You will arrive in Belfast City around 12.00pm and drive straight to the fantastic Titanic Museum.

This museum extends over nine galleries, with multiple dimensions to the exhibition, drawing together special effects, dark rides, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features to explore the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way; from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her infamous maiden voyage and catastrophic demise. The journey goes beyond the aftermath of the sinking, to the discovery of the wreck and continues into the present day with a live undersea exploration centre.

Afterwards, you will have plenty of time to explore the city by foot before checking in to the accommodation in the evening and then discovering the nightlife of what this great city has to offer.

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Day 12: Belfast to Derry

Today is a truly packed day – From Belfast, we will be taking the breath-taking Antrim coast road. This coast road has been compared to the Great Ocean Road in Australia and California and you will see why. En Route we will take in several Game of Thrones locations.

Along the way, we visit the stunning Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge where you can sway Indiana Jones’ style over the choppy Atlantic Ocean below. This will be followed by a trip to the North’s top tourist attractions The Giants Causeway. The Giant’s Causeway, renowned for its polygonal columns of layered basalt, is the only World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. Resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, this is the focal point of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has attracted visitors for centuries.

Finally, before we head towards Belfast City, it’s time to visit our Game of Thrones locations.  The beautiful Ballintoy Harbour or Pyke Harbour in the series, the ‘The Dark Hedges’, aka the Kings Road and a photo stop at Dunluce Castle, used as Castle Pyke.

From there it will take just over an hour to reach Derry city centre where you will have up to 2 hours free time to wander around this great city before checking into your accommodation. The historical city of Derry is Irelands only walled city. Yes the place where the infamous event of Bloody Sunday occurred, that inspired the famous U2 song, ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’.

13

Day 13: Derry to Dublin

This morning we take you on an award-winning guided tour of Derry City. The tour has been described by many as possibly the Best Walking Tour on the Island of Ireland and is for many people who travel with us, the highlight of their 3 days.

With over fifty natural and built attractions in the region, such as Derry’s Walls, The Bogside, The Peoples Gallery (Murals) The Bloody Sunday Story, The History of the Apprentice Boys, The Marching Season Traditions. The walking tour has been listed by many as one of the best experiences they have had on their travels anywhere.

From there we will head back down south but not before visiting one of Irelands most beautiful views.  The Stone Fort of Grianán of Aileach sits on a hilltop in Inishowen County Donegal. 250m above sea level, the stone fort was probably first built on an earthen rath.

The view from Aileach is breathtaking. The glistening waters of Lough Foyle and Lough Swilly are clear, as is the form of the entire peninsula. A windy and exposed place, Grianán has been a silent witness to the history of Ireland.

En route back down south, we will visit the entertaining Ulster American Folk Park.

Immerse yourself in the story of the brave emigrants who made the journey across the Atlantic to America hundreds of years ago.

Wander through the thatched cottages and log cabins and meet costumed characters who will show you traditional crafts, tell you a few stories and maybe even share a bit of their good food.

Arrive back in Dublin at 6.30pm approx

Tips: Walk the Peace Bridge if you have time and check out The Guild Hall Museum.

Return to Dublin and bid farewell to your driver 🙂

Irish Experience Tours are small group tours based on a fixed itinerary where you stay with the same guide and group of travellers.

Think of it as a road trip experience, where your guide takes you on a once-of-a-lifetime journey, with plenty of awesome stops along the way showing you the real Ireland!

What’s included?

Activities

  • Cliffs of Moher hiking excursion
  • Canoe trip along the ancient river Boyne
  • Dunmore & Bray head walks
  • Killarney National Park visit
  • Ferry cruise to Aran Islands
  • Half-day Glendalough trek
  • Kilkenny Medieval Walking Tour
  • Inis Mor cycling excursion
  • Hike the Holy MT region
  • Free time in Dingle, Killarney and Kilkenny
  • Entrance fee to Titanic museum & Ulster folk museum
  • Giants Causeway
  • Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge
  • Historical Derry City Walking Tour

Accommodation

  • Hostels/Guesthouses (upgrades available)
  • 9 breakfasts

Transport

  • Private vehicle, canoe, ferry boat, bicycle, walking
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • Bus transport around Northern & Southern Ireland

Group Leader

  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
  • Local knowledge, entertaining commentary and bookings service from your tour guide
  • Special deals on optional activities

What’s not included?

Any additional optional extra activities not specified as included in the itinerary. These can be booked via your guide, often at an exclusive Irish Experience special price!

 Freetime

  • Plenty of free time in Belfast, Westport, Killarney & Connemara National Park & Cork City, Doolin & Dingle villages.
  • Experience local Irish Pubs with traditional Irish Music.
  • Many of the walks and hikes give you time to share the experience with like-minded travelling companions.

We’ve chosen high-quality accommodation in a variety of hostels, bed and breakfasts, Guesthouses, wilderness lodges, cabins and historic hotels.

To request an accommodation upgrade, please email us (info@irishexperiencetours.com) to book.

Quality – Hostel ­& Lodge:

Rest up for next day’s adventure in atmospheric and centrally located hostel & lodge accommodation. All prices are based on per person sharing

Quad-share accommodation is included with your tour. You can choose to upgrade your accommodation to a single or twin/double private room (subject to availability).

(*single room supplement €25 per person per night)

(*double/twin room supplement €15 per person per night)

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Classic – Bed & Breakfast ­& Hotel

Enjoy a warm Irish welcome in charming and locally owned Bed & Breakfast & Hotel accommodation.

Twin-share accommodation is included with your tour. You can choose to upgrade your accommodation to a single or twin/double private room (subject to availability).

(*single room supplement €30 per person per night)

To request an accommodation upgrade, please email us (info@irishexperiencetours.com) to book.

Please note: 

Twin/Double upgrades are based on two people sharing and can only be booked if you are travelling with a companion.

Accommodation: 12 nights’ quad share accommodation in a variety of quality backpacker hostels & wilderness lodges.  Upgrades to private twin and single rooms are available info@irishexperiencetours.com to book.

12 nights in a twin share accommodation in a variety of classic B&Bs and hotels. Upgrades to private twin/double and single rooms are available info@irishexperiencetours.com to book.