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

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

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.

This is an extension of our Crean tour, combined with the amazing highlights of Northern Ireland. This is a longer 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 tour and the full Giant Irish tour, while going further off the beaten track.


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

Meals: 12 breakfast

Top rated activities:

  • Evening Hike around Diamond Hill
  • Sea kayaking in Killary Fjord (optional extra)
  • Overnight in the wilderness of Connemara Region
  • Moutain biking through Connemara Valleys (optional extra)
  • Exhilarating climb to the summit of Croagh Patrick
  • Whiskey tasting tour of Dingle Distillery
  • 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
  • Optional black taxi tour of Belfast suburbs & peace walls
  • Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge
  • Hiking along the causeway coast
  • Giants Causeway
  • Historical walking tour of Derry City
  • Game of Thrones Locations
  • Trek to the Old Monastic City of Glendalough
  • Medieval walking tour of Kilkenny City
  • Learn to play the ancient Gaelic game of hurling

What’s not included?

Any additional activities 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 Dublin -166 Parnell St, Rotunda, Dublin 1
1

Day 1: Dublin to Connemara

Failte Romhat; (Welcome), Your tour starts when we leave the capital city of Dublin and make our way to the wild west of Ireland.

Along the way, we will visit the historical Trim Castle, home of ‘BraveHeart’ an impressive Norman Castle, situated on the banks of the river Boyne. Onwards through the stunning Boyne Valley area, we’ll head for the ‘savage beauty’ of the Connemara region. Here we will settle into our accommodation overlooking Irelands only Fjord at Killary. After a tasty evening Barbecue, eating some of the best local produce, we will then head for a nighttime walk around the amazing Diamond Hill. Upon return, we will visit a remote local Irish bar to enjoy a creamy pint of the black stuff!!!

2

Day 2: Connemara & ‘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, you can navigate the stony path to the summit of Croagh Patrick,  or at your own expense, go kayaking through Killary Fjord or mountain biking through the Lost Valleys of Connemara. Return to our wilderness accommodation, via ‘savage beauty’ of the Connemara region and its lakes and valleys.
3

Day 3: Inis Mor & Cliffs of Moher

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. After lunch and visits to the islands main attractions, we head back by boat to Doolin leaving us time for an evening hike along the Atlantic edge to the highest point of the Cliffs of Moher standing 214m (702 feet) above sea level.

From there we will take a ferry crossing over Ireland’s longest river, The Shannon, before arriving at your accommodation in Killarney located near to the National park.

4

Day 4: 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, rock climbing 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.

5

Day 5: Killarney to Valentia Island

This morning we drive “the Ring of Kerry “, a journey through County Kerry with amazing views at high altitude with stops regularly for spectacular photos.

From there we will stop and you can either opt for a three-hour walk to Valentia Island and Bray Head  (included), take  a 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 will check into our accommodation in the picturesque fishing village of Portmagee. This is also one of the best places in Ireland to join an evening stargazing.

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Day 6: Valentia Island to Dingle Peninsula

Today we travel to the Dingle bay where not only nature but also Dingle itself is incredibly beautiful. We stop at Inch Beach, where you will have plenty of time to wander along the peninsula of sand and get lost in your thoughts. Here at your own expense, you can go surfing in the wild Atlantic ocean.

In the afternoon we visit the Dingle Whiskey Distillery (included), a small local distillery which include generous samples of whiskey, vodka and gin.

We spend the night on the edge of Dingle town, which is an excellent place with lots of restaurants and lively pubs.

7

Day 7: Full day Dingle Peninsula

Isolated from the rest of Ireland by the impressive landscape, the Dingle Peninsula will take you where the locals go. We will follow a coastal trail on windswept cliffs, perched above beautiful coastlines. After the Slea Head hike, we will make our way back around the peninsula to Dingle town, where you will be able to take part in a few optional activities such as sea kayaking, paddle boarding or horse riding. Overnight in Dingle.

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Day 8: Dingle to Cork

This morning we leave Dingle and travel in the direction of County Cork.  Cork is a small city with a relaxed pace of life. 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,  enjoy a great guided tour of the Franciscan Well Brewery, a half day trip to Blarney Castle & Stone or a visit to the ancient site of St Finbarr’s Cathedral –

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Day 9: Cork to Kilkenny

From Cork, 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, you will be greeted by a local tour guide who will bring you on a walking tour around the medieval mile. Meet the witch Dame Alice Kyteler, rhymes, taverns, crime, punishments and much more.

In the evening 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. Overnight in Kilkenny.

10

Day 10: Kilkenny to Dublin

This morning you will 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).

In the afternoon we bid farewell to the medieval city of Kilkenny and 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.

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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 hostel in the evening and then discovering the nightlife of what this great city has to offer.

12

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 Hostel. 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

Today this afternoon we will head back to the Republic but not before we take you on an award-winning a 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.

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?

  • Bus transport around Northern & Southern Ireland
  • Local knowledge, entertaining commentary and bookings service from your tour guide
  • All accommodation, quad share – (upgrades available)
  • Some meals and a selection of activities (as indicated on each tour’s itinerary)
  • Special deals on activities

What’s not included?

Any additional 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 Killarney National Park, Galway & 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 backpacker accommodation in a variety of hostels, wilderness lodges, cabins and historic hotels.  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).

Budget – Hostel ­

€1,019 per person quad sharing (*single room supplement €25 per person per night)

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

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

Classic – Bed & Breakfast ­

€1,382 per person double/twin room (*single room supplement €30 per person per night)

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

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.

Please note that at some destinations your private room will include an ensuite bathroom and some it won’t.