Experience the unmatched natural beauty of Ireland with this charming 10-day family trip that takes you from historic Dublin down to Cork, across the Killarney National Park, and through the lush, unspoiled Hidden Heartlands. Along the way, you and the kids will explore castles galore, kiss the Blarney Stone, sail to the Aran Islands, and discover the warmest of welcomes in the country known as the Emerald Isle.


  • Kiss the famous Blarney Stone 
  • Explore the 350 million-year-old Dooley Cave
  • Sail to the ancient Aran islands
  • Spend the night in a luxury castle 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Dublin, Walking Tour of the City Dublin
Day 2 Kilkea Castle & Falconry Castledermot
Day 3 Drive to Cork, Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle & Kinsale Kinsale
Day 4 Drive to Kenmare, Woodland Fairy Treasure Hunt Tralee
Day 5 Explore Killarney National Park, Boat Trip & Ring of Kerry  Tralee
Day 6 Drive to Doolin, Doolin Cave & St. Tola's Goat Farm  Doolin
Day 7 Ferry to the Aran Islands, Inishmore, Kilronan & Dún Aonghasa Fort Doolin
Day 8 Explore the Hidden Heartlands & Kinnitty Castle, Drive to Birr Birr
Day 9 Drive to Dublin, EPIC Interactive Museum & Jeannie Johnston Famine Ship Dublin
Day 10 Depart Dublin  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin, Walking Tour of the City

Grafton Street Dublin
Welcome to Dublin!

Welcome to Ireland! Arrive in Dublin and settle into your city center accommodation before heading out to explore. Guided by a local historian, you and your family will travel back in time as your guide brings Dublin's history to life, from a small Gaelic village to the arrival of the Vikings, Normans, and English and the flourishing European city it is today. Start at the iconic Gresham Hotel before weaving through historic O'Connell Street and passing highlights such as the James Joyce Statue, the Spire of Light, and the O'Connell Monument.

Cross the River Liffey and admire the contrasting views of Christchurch Cathedral in the city's medieval heart to the west and the gleaming steel and glass towers of "Silicon Docks" to the east. Take in the sight of Dublin Castle and fascinate the kids with stories of its famous guests, including "Dracula" author Bram Stoker, who worked there from 1866 to 1878. Your tour finishes with visits to City Hall, Christchurch Cathedral, and Wood Quay, where kids can let their imaginations run wild as they learn about the site of the largest Viking settlement outside Scandinavia. 

Spend the evening at one of the city's many great family-friendly restaurants, and try a pint of "the black stuff"; no visit to Ireland is complete without a sip of Ireland's famous Guinness!

Day 2: Kilkea Castle & Falconry

Falconry, Kilkea Castle
Enjoy a spot of falconry at Kilkea Castle

This morning, get ready for a truly wonderful family day out as you take a trip to Kilkea Castle, a carefully preserved 12th-century gem enclosed in 180 acres (73 ha) of enchanting woodland. Built in 1180 and resided in for centuries by Ireland's rulers, Kilkea is one of the country's oldest inhabited castles. Explore the lavish interior before heading out to discover the estate gardens and a stroll through beautiful Mullaghreelan Wood, which has two lovely walks, perfect for little legs.

Enjoy lunch in the castle before participating in one of the many activities on offer, including archery, shooting, and horse riding. Kids will love trying their hand at falconry and making friends with the majestic falcons, owls, and hawks. After a thorough exploration of the grounds and a spot of afternoon tea, head to the Irish National Stud & Gardens in County Kildare. Meet the magnificent thoroughbreds, and learn about Ireland's grand horse racing history before discovering the kid's play area, complete with fairy trails through woodland and all manner of swings, slides, and climbing frames. 

Day 3: Drive to Cork, Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle & Kinsale

Rock of Cashel
Kids will love playing in the ruins at Blarney Castle 

Set off on a family road trip to Ireland's southwest, known for its stunning scenery and friendly, welcoming towns. An hour from Cork, you'll find the small town of Cashel in County Tipperary. The Rock of Cashel, a medieval ecclesiastical site of Gothic and Romanesque-style buildings, is a perfect stop for a stretch of the legs. Continue to the "Rebel City" of Cork, also referred to as the "real capital" by Corkonians, and wander around this quirky, vibrant town as you discover its grand Georgian avenues and charming 17th-century alleys. 

You'll find plenty of great eating spots in Cork, so settle in for a cozy pub lunch before heading just out of town to the evocative 15th-century ruins of Blarney Castle. Perfect for families, the castle's grounds are a secret garden writ large with dungeons, caves, and mossy banks that will entice the kids' imaginations. Don't miss the famous Blarney Stone, where legend states all who kiss the stone will be bestowed with "blarney," a uniquely Irish combination of eloquence, charm, and flattery! 

It's a short drive south to Kinsale, the foodie capital of Ireland, and your base for the night. Check in at your hotel, and if the kids need to burn off any more energy, take the Scilly Walk to the star-shaped 17th-century military fortress, Charles Fort. Let the kids explore the tunnels and climb the lookouts before deciding which of the many award-winning restaurants or pubs to dine in. 

Day 4: Drive to Kenmare, Woodland Fairy Treasure Hunt

Fairy Trail
Discover the Kenmare fairy trail
Plan your trip to Ireland
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

This morning, head west to the small colorful town of Kenmare. With a charming and relaxed vibe, plenty of good restaurants, and a great location on Kenmare Bay, it's a particularly family-friendly spot. Ireland is known for its fairy tales and folklore; today, you and the kids will stroll through the nearby woods as you take part in a woodland fairy treasure hunt. Task the kids with spotting the eighteen tiny dwellings of the mysterious Tuatha Dé Danann (fairies) as you uncover the colorful secrets nestled along the scenic trail and under the shelter of trees. 

Afterward, head back to Kenmare for a bite to eat before exploring nearby Molly Gallivan's Farm and Cottage. Experience Céad Míle Fáilte (a hundred thousand welcomes) at the two-hundred-year-old cottage where you and the kids can get a taste of early nineteenth-century farm life. Visit the farmyard and pet the animals before stopping at Molly's old tea room and indulging in some tasty treats. It's just over an hour's drive to Tralee in County Kerry, where you'll overnight. 

Day 5: Explore Killarney National Park, Boat Trip & Ring of Kerry 

The Ring of Kerry
Explore Ireland's magnificent Ring of Kerry 

After a hearty Irish breakfast, rally the kids and explore the Killarney National Park. You'll begin with a relaxing boat trip across one of Killarney's picturesque lakes as you soak up the panoramic mountain views from your warm, glass-covered boat. Disembark in the remote Black Valley and discover the area's numerous waterfalls and charming six-arch bridge or opt for a more strenuous but rewarding hike along one of the valley's breathtaking trails. 

Lunch in Killarney town and explore Ross Castle with the kids and the atmospheric 13th-century Muckross Abbey. In the afternoon, discover the breathtaking mountain and ocean views as you take a relaxing drive around the Ring of Kerry. Stop at the picturesque towns of Sneem, Waterville, and Glenbeigh along the way, and don't miss the ancient Cahergall Stone Fort that dates back to 600 CE. 

Afterward, continue through Tralee to the stunning Ballyseede Castle Hotel. Set in 30 acres (12 ha) of private gardens and woodland, the castle is the former home of the Blennerhassett family, whose generations lived there from 1590 until 1965. Settle into your sumptuous rooms, indulge in an evening of cozy luxury as you recount the day's highlights, and enjoy the warm log fire and stunning views.

Day 6: Drive to Doolin, Doolin Cave & St Tola's Goat Farm 

Irish Goat Farm
Pet the friendly goats at St Tola's farm 

Bid farewell to your fairy-tale castle setting this morning and drive to the lively port village of Doolin. Set at the foot of the majestic Cliffs of Moher and nestled in the heart of The Burren region, its beautiful setting, colorful houses, and warm welcome have made Doolin a favorite stop for many. Explore the famous cliffs, rising 700 feet (214 m) from the Atlantic, and don't miss the Doolin Cave. The kids will be amazed to find Europe's largest stalactite, measuring a whopping 24 feet (7.3 m), as you explore the 350 million-year-old underground world.

After a bite to eat, head to St Tola's Goat Farm in County Clare. The kids will love petting and feeding the cheeky Saanen, Toggenburg, and British Alpine goats while you learn about the farm's commitment to sustainability. Discover how the farm makes its artisanal goat's cheese before trying the delicious cheeses for yourselves. Back in Doolan, spend the evening in one of the village's celebrated pubs, where you'll find the warmest of welcomes, live music (Doolan is considered the home of traditional Irish music), and great home-cooked Irish fare. 

Day 7: Ferry to the Aran Islands, Inishmore, Kilronan & Dun Aonghasa Fort

Hire a bike and explore
Hire a bike and explore family-friendly Inishmore

After breakfast, you and your family will take a ferry and sail over to the Aran Islands that dot the coastline around Doolin. Spend the day exploring the beautiful Inis Oírr ("East Island"), Inis Meáin ("Middle Island"), or Inis Mór/Inishmore ("Big Island"). The best way to explore Inishmore (the most family-friendly of the islands) is on two wheels, so hire some family bikes, explore the ancient churches and settlements, and make your way to the island's colossal Iron Age fort of Dún Aonghasa.

One of the most magnificent ancient monuments in Europe, the evocative ruins set among awe-inspiring views make a great natural playground for the kids. Enjoy a picnic with a view as you dine atop one of the highest points on the island before making your way to the gorgeous Kilmurvey Beach with its vast stretch of white sand, perfect for kids (and adults) of all ages. As the sun goes down, head back to Dooley, where the evening is yours to spend as you wish. 

Day 8: Explore the Hidden Heartlands & Kinnitty Castle, Drive to Birr

County Leitrim
Explore the stunning scenery in County Leitrim

After yesterday's island hopping adventure, you'll venture two hours east inland this morning toward Birr and Ireland's Hidden Heartlands in Country Leitrim. Spend a leisurely few hours exploring the quiet roads, lakes, and rivers and weave your way through peaty bogland and the sites of ancient Celtic rituals. There are plenty of historic abbeys, monasteries, and castles along the way to break the journey, stretch your legs and fire the kids' imagination, particularly Leap Castle, famed as the most haunted place in Ireland! 

Wander the grounds and halls of the beautifully restored 19th-century Kinnitty Castle, where you can stroll the nearby walking trails, hire bikes, take a horse-riding trek in the Slieve Bloom mountains, or take out a stand-up paddleboard on the nearby River Shannon. Discover the imposing ruins of Glinsk Castle as you explore the beautiful woodland trail before heading to Birr and checking in at your overnight accommodation. 

Day 9: Drive to Dublin, EPIC Interactive Museum & Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship

Jeannie Johnston ship
The Jeanie Johnston Ship on Liffey Quay

Drive back to Dublin today and see any sights you missed when you arrived. A must-see is the extraordinary EPIC Museum, consistently voted Europe's top tourist attraction. Fascinating for kids and adults alike, follow the inspiring stories of Irish emigrants who traveled across the seas to the US, Canada, South America, Australia, and New Zealand in search of a better life. Follow their journeys through highly interactive displays as you discover how these everyday men and women became politicians, poets, scientists, artists, and presidents.

Continue delving into Ireland's history with a tour of the Jeanie Johnston Ship. Moored on the Liffey Quayside, the vessel is a working replica of the 19th-century ship that carried thousands of Irish emigrants to North America as they fled the Great Irish Famine in search of a better life. Younger ones will love exploring the upper decks and pretending to be sailors, while below deck, you'll hear the remarkable stories of the passengers and discover what life on board was like for those attempting the arduous journey. 

Back on the quayside, treat yourselves to a classic takeaway lunch of fish and chips before taking a final stroll around the city's cobbled streets. In the evening, you'll be spoilt for choice with the vast number of traditional Irish pubs or child-friendly restaurants to dine in, where you'll be assured a warm welcome as you settle in and recount your favorite memories of your trip. 

Day 10: Depart Dublin

Depart Ireland
Fare thee well Dublin

It's your last day in Ireland. Depending on your flight time, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and one last look across the River Liffey before heading to the airport and dropping off your rental car. Go dté tú slán! (Safe travels!)

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