Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - September 12th, 2015 Last Updated:
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Introduction

We’re all a little bit Irish come March 17th, but if you’re in the market for something more meaningful than a pint of green beer, hop aboard this delightful 9-day adventure to the Emerald Isle. Yeats’ grave, Cork, Blarney Castle, the karsts of the Burren, traditional music in a local pub... seriously, it doesn’t get much more quintessentially Irish than this. We mix the essential sites and time in the villages and country to really round out the experience. Even if Ireland isn’t the Old Country for you, this trip will make you feel as though you’re back home.

  • Drink a pint and listen to traditional music in a local pub
  • Visit the famous sites of Newgrange and Drumcliffe
  • Learn how to bake traditional goodies
  • Sail to the Aran Islands
  • Kiss the Blarney Stone for the gift of gab
Duration: 9 days
Start/Finish City: Dublin to Cork
Service Level: Standard
  • Great value, reasonable prices, quality experiences
  • Comfortable and varied tourist-class accommodations chosen for location and character
  • Mix of public and private transport for the best overall experience
  • All the top highlights included, plus plenty of time to explore on your own
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Classic
The trips we've built our reputation on.

Designed for maximum variety, these trips are geared towards travellers searching for a healthy mix of active exploration, uncommon landscapes, amazing wildlife and local cultures.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Highlights of Ireland (EQHI)

Day 1 Dublin

Arrive at any time. We recommended arriving a day or two early to fully explore this lively city. With many sightseeing options – like the Temple Bar area, Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery – any extra time here will be well-used.

Day 2 Sligo

Enjoy a half-day tour of Newgrange, built in 3200 BC. After, head northwest to Sligo.

Newgrange was built over 5,000 years ago, making it older than the pyramids in Egypt. Built during the Stone Age by a farming community, Newgrange is now listed as a UNECO World Heritage Site. This ancient complex seems to be something like an ancient temple for pagan worship. it covers over one acre and is decorated with megalithic art. There are two other main buildings and throughout the region as many as 35 small mounds.

After our tour at Newgrange, we'll drive northwest to the town of Sligo, near the border of Northern Ireland. The name Sligo means "Shelly River" in Gaelic. Its rugged landscapes and uncrowded streets make this one of the most picturesque places in all of Ireland. A walkway along the Garavogue River is full of cafés, shops and restaurants while Sligo Abbey (built in 1253) demonstrates gorgeous ancient architecture. Stop by the quirky statue of Yeats, paying tribute to the works of the poet who immortalized Sligo in his poems.

Days 3-4 Galway (1L)

Head out for a walk around Ben Bulben mountain and visit Drumcliff and Yeats' tomb. Arrive in Galway for a fantastic storytelling walk of its history all told whilst strolling though the medieval heart of the city. On Day 4, enjoy a half-day walk through the Burren, a unique Irish landscape, with a visit to a farmhouse to sample a local Irish grannie's cakes. Use the rest of the day to visit some other highlights in the area.

Drumcliff is famous as an early Christian site with the remains of a round tower, a high cross, a monastery and, in the Drumcliff churchyard, Yeats' tomb. The detailed architecture and humble grave make for an interesting stop before the trip to Galway.

Galway started as a fishing village around Galway Bay. It became a walled city in 1232 and some sections of the wall can be seen today near the Spanish Arch. Today Galway is a thriving, bohemian city popular for its beaches, winding promenade and cobblestoned streets with colourful shops and cafés. This is a great city to listen to traditional music in a pub while sipping away at a real Irish Guinness.

From Galway we'll travel south to visit the beautiful Burren. This region in County Clare is famous for its barren landscape with unique rock formations along with diverse plants and animals. The area contains archaeological sites like tombs, burial chambers and the famous Celtic high cross.

Days 5 Aran Islands

Head to the Aran Islands to visit the Viking Fortress and scenic cliffs, Ruins of Seven Churches and a seal colony. Overnight on these charming islands.

Day 6 Killarney

Return to the mainland and continue on to Killarney. Orientation walk on arrival, then enjoy free time to visit the town or the national park. Opt to rent a bike and get around on two wheels.

Days 7-8 Cork

Take a public bus to Cork, the destination for the next two nights. In the afternoon, visit Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone. On Day 8, enjoy a CEO-led orientation tour of the city and free time to see the sights of Cork.

As the second largest city, Cork will feel like a metropolis compared to the teeny villages you've been visiting. Built on the River Lee, the city is built on islands created by the channels cutting through the city. Cork is known for its many universities, theatres, art schools and general diversity and culture. With many immigrants settling in the inviting city, it's easy to find different types of foods, shops and cafés lining the streets. Definitely make some time to hit up a traditional pub, listen to some music and drink a pint or two – Murphy's Irish Stout hails from Cork.

Nearby sights we'll visit include the Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone. The Blarney Castle was built nearly 600 years ago and has become one of the most famous sights in Ireland. The "Stone of Eloquence" is found at the top of the tower and you'll need to hang upside down and kiss the renowned Blarney Stone for the gift of gab.

Enjoy a final night out on the town with your group and toast a pint to this beautiful island!

Day 9 Cork

Depart at any time. We recommend staying an extra day or two to fully experience all this city has to offer.

What's Included

Newgrange tour (half-day). Drumcliff and Yeats' tomb visit. Burren walks with farmhouse visit. Baking demonstration with grannies. Storytelling walking tour of Galway. Aran Islands. Blarney Castle and the Blarney stone visit. Cork orientation walk. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Drink a pint and listen to traditional music in a local pub, visit the famous sites of Newgrange and Drumcliffe, learn how to bake traditional goodies, sail to the Aran Islands, kiss the Blarney Stone for the gift of gab

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Group Leader Description

This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager, leader and driver - this person is experienced in the routes travelled and will organize and lead the meal preparations and has experience in cooking a variety of local and international dishes for large groups.

As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.

We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 14, avg 12

Meals Included

1 lunch.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. On truck trips in Africa, aboard the M/S Expedition or our Galapagos yachts, while trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow EUR250-350 for meals not included.

Transport

Public bus, private van/bus, boat, walking

Solo Travellers

We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels/guesthouses (8 nts).

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops

Joining Hotel

Fleet Street Hotel
19-20 Fleet Street
Temple Bar
Dublin
Ireland
+353 1 6779342

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack or light sports bag, whichever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack. Luggage space on public transport is limited. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels (max. 15-20 mins walking), hopping on and off public buses and up and down stairs.

Checklist

Suggested Items:
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•Sun hat, sunblock, sunglasses
•Personal clothing for mild to hot weather that can fluctuate
•Sturdy walking shoes or boots with good grip
•Toiletries (biodegradable)
•Alarm clock
•Water bottle
•Money belt
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Documents:
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•EUR cash
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Visas

Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

All visitors to the EU (European Union) and EEC (European Economic Community) countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand passport holders do not need a visa to visit the Schengen area (see below), however they may not stay longer than three months in any 6-month period.

Please note that the UK and Ireland are NOT part of the Schengen agreement.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Tipping

It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2). Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO or skipper did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €20-25 per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Dublin:
Dublin Castle- 5 EUR
Christ Church and Crypt- 6 EUR
Guinness Storehouse- 16.50 EUR
Jameson Distillery- 13 EUR
Historic Dublin city tour

Killarney:
National Park- rent a bicycle to visit main sites in the park
Boat ride on the lake
Gap of Dunloe (time permitting)
Hike Carrauntoohil (time permitting)

Cork:
Shandon Church
Cork University
English Market
Cork County Gaol (old jail)- tours about 10 EUR
Fitzgerald Park
Titanic Museum- train and Museum is about 16 EUR




Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Planeterra is G Adventures’ non-profit foundation created to make a positive difference in the communities where G Adventures takes travellers. Planeterra supports sustainable social and environmental solutions in destinations travellers love to visit.

As travellers, it’s natural to want to give back to the places we’ve come to love. But to truly impact poverty, we work to build self-sufficiency, not dependency.

Planeterra partners with grassroots organizations with firsthand knowledge of local culture and true community needs. This ensures that solutions come from the people we support. Then G Adventures brings travellers to visit, fuelling sustainable local income in these communities. This model is helping many rural and marginalized communities on their way to self-sufficiency because they are harnessing the power of the tourism industry as a force for good. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit planeterra.org.

MAKE EVERY DAY COUNT
Fifty percent of our planet lives on less than $2/day. For the price of a coffee, you can make every day of your trip count by giving back to the communities you visit through Planeterra.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking).

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.