On this 11-day journey through southern Ireland, you'll eat, drink, and travel like a local. In Dublin, you'll see highlight landmarks on walking tours plus imbibe at the famous Jameson Distillery and Guinness Storehouse. Then hit the road and enjoy the stunning scenery of counties Cork, Kerry, and Galway as you take boat trips, visit the Cliffs of Moher, embark on nature hikes, tour historic villages, and much more.


  • Tour the Jameson Distillery and Guinness Storehouse in Dublin
  • Visit caves, orchards, and a prison island in County Cork
  • Take boat trips in Killarney and hike the Black Valley
  • Explore the Dingle Peninsula and stroll the Cliffs of Moher

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Walking Tour Dublin
Day 2 Guinness & Jameson Tour, Visit St Patrick's Cathedral Dublin
Day 3 Drive to Cork, Visit Dunmore Cave & Fruit Orchard Cork 
Day 4 Cork City Gaol Tour, Visit Blarney & Cobh Cork
Day 5 Drive to Kinsale, Military Forts & Ghost Stories Kinsale
Day 6 Drive to Killarney, Lake Trip & Black Valley Hike Killarney
Day 7 Drive to Dingle, Archaeological Tour of the Dingle Peninsula Dingle Town
Day 8 Drive to Galway via the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Galway
Day 9 Whiskey Distillery Tour & Irish Dancing Galway
Day 10 Drive to Dublin, Musical History Tour  Dublin
Day 11 Depart Dublin  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin, Walking Tour

Experience historical treasures and modern areas like the Silicon Docklands
See highlights of Dublin like the Silicon Docklands
Welcome to Ireland! This nation has been a republic since it won independence from Britain in 1921. Since then, it has retained its cultural heart while moving with the times. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the capital of Dublin—a captivating mix of old and new Ireland. Upon arrival at Dublin's airport, a driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel in the colorful city center.
After checking in and dropping off your bags, you'll head right back out to discover Dublin's history and culture on a guided tour. During this two-hour walk led by a local historian, you'll learn about the city's growth from a Gaelic village through its settlement by the Vikings, Normans, and English and to the modern city it is today. The walk begins at the iconic Gresham Hotel, and from there you'll stop at highlights like the statue of James Joyce, the 393-foot (120 m) Spire of Light, and the monument dedicated to The Liberator, Daniel O'Connell, who won Catholic emancipation for Ireland.
See a more modern side of Dublin as you cross the River Liffey to the Silicon Docks, the European home of giant tech companies. Continue on to hotbeds of Irish culture and history like the Temple Bar district, the 19th-century Olympia Theatre, and the 15th-century Dublin Castle. The tour finishes with visits to City Hall, Wood Quay (the remains of the largest Viking settlement outside Scandinavia), and the 11th-century Christchurch Cathedral.  

Day 2: Guinness & Jameson Tour, Visit St Patrick's Cathedral

Visit the source of Ireland's famous Jameson whiskey

Two of the most popular attractions in Dublin are the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Whiskey Distillery. You'll visit both today on fully guided, skip-the-line tours that last about four hours. After breakfast, you'll meet your guide just off Smithfield Square in Dublin's old warehouse district. This is where the Jameson Distillery is located. You'll go for a tour and tasting to sample various whiskeys from the Jameson collection, including small-batch labels that few know about. Throughout the tour, your guide will reveal insight into Ireland's long and storied whiskey heritage.

The experience continues at the Guinness Storehouse, Ireland's number-one tourist attraction. Skip the lines and enjoy a tutorial about this famous brew while sipping the perfect pint of dark stout. Learn how Guinness is made as you visit the various floors, which are packed with engaging exhibits. One highlight is the world's largest pint glass, which rises seven stories through the factory's atrium. It's an unforgettable experience that reveals the magic of Ireland's most beloved export.

After the Guinness Storehouse, you'll take in some more history with a visit to St Patrick's Cathedral. This icon of medieval Dublin dates to 1191 and is the largest church in Ireland. The church was built on the spot where, supposedly, St Patrick himself baptized Celtic Christian converts back in the fifth century. Besides fascinating artifacts, the church houses the tomb of famous Dubliner Jonathan Swift, who wrote "Gulliver's Travels." 

Day 3: Drive to Cork, Visit Dunmore Cave & Fruit Orchard

Kilkenny Castle, which dates to the 12th century
Pick up your rental car and start your road trip as you leave Dublin on the 80-mile (129 km) drive south to the medieval town of Kilkenny. Originally a monastic settlement, the site was founded as a town after a Norman invasion in the 12th century. The scenic 1.5-hour drive will take you alongside rolling green hills dotted with sheep and separated by hedgerows. Upon arrival, you'll check into your hotel and will have the rest of the day free to explore Kilkenny's medieval cobbled streets and walk along the banks of the River Nore.
If you want something more adventurous, head just north of town to Dunmore Cave. This network of limestone caverns features plenty of macabre lore, like the story of how a Viking leader massacred 1,000 people here in 928 CE. Ghost stories aside, a visit along its subterranean walkways is fascinating, as the cave features unique calcite limestone formations.

After doing some light spelunking, you'll have the option to drive south of Kilkenny and visit Highbank Organic Farm. This working farm and its apple orchards are part of the county's rich history and date back to the 17th century. Here, you can gather apples, make your own refreshing apple drink, and enjoy some whiskey or cider. At the end of the afternoon, you'll hop back in the car for another two hours and continue on to County Cork, where you'll overnight in the capital of Cork.

Day 4: Cork City Gaol Tour, Visit Blarney & Cobh

Guided Visit of Cork city Gaol ( Former Prison in Ireland)
Take a guided tour of Cork City Gaol, a former prison
Plan your trip to Ireland
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Today you'll experience the highlights in and around Cork, Ireland's second-largest city. First is a visit to Cork City Gaol. The word "gaol" is the archaic spelling of "jail," which is exactly what this imposing fortress structure was. During the 19th century, it housed both male and female inmates who committed crimes within the city limits. On a guided tour, you'll wander the wings, the grounds, and spend a few minutes locked in one of the old cells—to get a taste of 19th-century Irish prison life.
Later, you'll leave the city and take a scenic drive to a couple of the most famous towns in County Cork: Blarney and Cobh. In the former, you'll visit the 15th-century Blarney Castle. If you want, hike up to the tower and kiss the famous Blarney Stone to see if it blesses you with the "gift of the gab."

Then continue to Cobh. This harbor town is in the history books as the embarkation point for millions of Irish emigres who left the country during the 19th and 20th centuries. It was also famously the Titanic's last port of call in 1912. You'll have some free time here, during which you can visit the Gothic St Coleman's Cathedral and stop at the Titanic Exhibition. Afterward, you'll return to Cork.

Day 5: Drive to Kinsale, Military Forts & Ghost Stories

Charles Fort
Take a tour of Charles Fort, which was built in the 17th century
A short drive today takes you 30 minutes south of Cork to the coast and Kinsale. This harbor village is famous for a few things, including its gourmet cuisine, colorful houses, and Charles Fort, one of the largest military fortresses in the country. It was built in 1670 to defend the harbor, and is remarkably well-preserved to this day.
You'll witness these highlights on a scenic walk through Kinsale that will take you from the town center down to the harbor, where the star-shaped fort overlooks the water. After touring the fortress, you'll stop for a pub lunch and then dive deeper into local lore on a "ghost tour" led by local actors. During this spooky jaunt, you'll learn about Kinsale's vivid and sometimes macabre history via its colorful historical characters. 

Day 6: Drive to Killarney, Lake Trip & Black Valley Hike

See the highlights in and around Killarney, like Ross Castle
After breakfast, hop back in the car for the 55-mile (89 km) drive northwest out of County Cork and into County Kerry, another gem of Ireland's southern region. After about 1.5 hours, you'll reach your destination of Killarney, a medieval town on the shores of Lough Leane. This region is filled with wonders, including national parks, castles, mountains, woodlands, river valleys, and waterfalls. It's also a major stop on the Ring of Kerry, the famous 111-mile (179 km) circuit route that passes some of the most incredible scenery in southern Ireland.
Today, you'll experience many of the highlights of Killarney, starting with a leisurely boat ride across the glassy lake. Keep an eye out for 15th-century Ross Castle, which overlooks the water. After the ride, lace up your hiking boots for a trek through the Black Valley. Don't let the name fool you—the rugged countryside here is really quite beautiful, as it's filled with mountains and waterfalls. The name itself derives from the fact the region was the last place on mainland Ireland to be connected to the electrical grid in the 1970s. After the hike, you'll continue to your hotel in Killarney.

Day 7: Drive to Dingle, Archaeological Tour of the Dingle Peninsula

Archaeological Tour of the Dingle Peninsula
Visit ancient archaeological sites on a tour of the Dingle Peninsula
An hour's drive this morning takes you 40 miles (64 km) to the western end of Ireland and the Dingle Peninsula. Here, you'll embark on a three-hour tour of the area's archaeological wonders. There are many to see, too, as this peninsula boasts around 2,500 sites dating back over 7,000 years. A typical tour includes visits to four different sites.

The highlights you'll visit span history, ranging from the Neolithic Age to the medieval era. Stops can include a dry-stone bridge, early Christian monastic sites, a famine burial ground, beehive huts, ancient rock art, sacred wells, and the earliest Irish alphabet written in stone (Ogham script). At the end of the tour, you'll head to the town of Dingle, where you'll overnight. 

Day 8: Drive to Galway via the Burren & Cliffs of Moher

Burren Landscape
Explore the karst landscapes of the Burren Geopark
You'll cover the longest distance of your trip today as you leave Dingle behind and continue about 160 miles (257 km) north up the rugged Atlantic coast into County Clare. Break up the three-hour drive with plenty of sightseeing, stopping first at the Burren Geopark. Ireland's smallest national park comprises 204 square miles (503 sq km) of otherworldly karst topography, including rocky limestone formations, caves, and coastal cliffs like the famous Cliffs of Moher. After a stop to hike around, you'll break for lunch at the Burren Perfumery, where you can not only grab a bite to eat but make your own fragrance, too.
In the afternoon, continue on to the Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland's most stunning natural wonders. These towering sea cliffs rise 698 feet (213 m) in places with sheer walls that drop right down to the Atlantic. Enjoy a coastal hike here and follow that with a stop for tea (or a dram of whiskey) in the colorful village of Doolin. Then continue north for 1.5 hours to the famous harbor city of Galway, where you'll overnight. 

Day 9: Whiskey Distillery Tour & Irish Dancing

Micil Distillery Tour
Sample some fine Irish whiskeys on a distillery tour 
Galway is famous for a few things, such as its colorful bohemian spirit, its legacy of art and music, its incomparable pub scene, its historic landmarks dating to the Middle Ages, and its fine food and drink. It's that last one you'll focus on first as you enjoy a 1.5-hour tour of the Micil Irish Whiskey Distillery. More than a production facility, Micile is in the history books for being Galway's first legal distillery in over 100 years. The tour includes an overview of this rich history as well as a tasting of fine Irish spirits.
In the evening, you'll enjoy a helping of more Irish culture with traditional music and dance performance. Trad on the Prom is the premier such event in the nation, and as such has won numerous awards for being one of the best concert experiences in Ireland. This show is both contemporary and traditional, featuring artists who have performed with other star productions like Riverdance, The Chieftains, and Lord of the Dance. So sit back and enjoy a raucous night of entertainment from world-class musicians and world-champion Irish dancers.

Day 10: Drive to Dublin, Musical History Tour

Find cozy pubs and live music in Dublin's lively Temple Bar area

Drive 2.5 hours due east today on the 130-mile (209 km) return trip to Dublin. Upon arrival, drop off your rental car and check into your hotel, then make the most of your final day in Ireland. For a memorable end to the trip, you could join a local musician for a guided tour through Dublin's musical heritage, visiting city landmarks like Dublin Castle and the Molly Malone statue as you learn about how Ireland's history, culture, and music intertwine. Later on, continue the theme with an evening of live music in one of the city's many cozy pubs.

Day 11: Depart Dublin

Golden sunset over the River Liffey in Dublin

Your great adventure through Ireland ends right where it began: in lovely Dublin. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport, where you'll bid Ireland a fond farewell and catch your flight home. Slán! 

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Map of Adventure in Southern Ireland: Dublin, Cork, Killarney & Galway - 11 Days
Map of Adventure in Southern Ireland: Dublin, Cork, Killarney & Galway - 11 Days