Celebrating 50 Years | 1967 - 2017
Escorted Tours & Cruise Vacations

Best of Ireland Tour

From $1599 (was $1849)

12 Days

Includes 16 meals on tour

Passport Required

View Dates and Prices

(Click the map to enlarge)

Best of Ireland Tour

Tour Starts: Dublin, Ireland

Tour Ends: Dublin, Ireland

Day 1

Depart for Dublin

Your adventure begins as you depart on your transatlantic flight. Overnight in flight.

Day 2

Arrive Dublin

Arrive in historic Dublin, capital city of the “Emerald Isle.” If you purchased airline tickets from YMT Vacations, a YMT representative will welcome you and transport you to the hotel. For those guests on early morning arrivals into Dublin, a traditional Irish breakfast will be available for purchase at your hotel. The great thing about Dublin is that the city is compact, so the shops and restaurants, the River Liffey and many of the highlights are easy to explore on foot. This evening meet your fellow travelers and learn about the exciting days ahead, then relax over a welcome dinner. (D)

Sandymount Hotel or similar

Day 3

Dublin

This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of the highlights of this richly historical city. See the Bank of Ireland, built in the 18th century to house the Parliament; and Leinster House, where the government convenes today. Stop to see famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral, originally built in 450 AD, then rebuilt in 1191. This afternoon is at leisure and you have plenty of time to visit Trinity College to see the Book of Kells, a 9th-century version of the Christian gospels (entrance fee applies) or take a stroll down Grafton Street in the center of Dublin. (B)

Sandymount Hotel or similar

Day 4

Dublin to Waterford

Today, we begin our motor coach tour of Ireland heading south to our first destination, the Rock of Cashel – a cluster of historic ruins that sits on a towering hilltop rising 200 feet above the surrounding plains. This afternoon we arrive in Waterford, the oldest city in Ireland and home to the famous crystal. We have an included tour of the factory where you can learn about the manufacturing process, following which there will be time to browse the gift shop and largest Waterford Crystal collection in the world. (B)

✦ Fitzwilton Hotel or similar

Day 5

Waterford to Killarney

This morning we continue on to Cobh, the Titanic’s last port of call in 1912. Learn the history of the town when we visit the Cobh Heritage Centre and watch the multimedia exhibition in the Victorian Railway Station. Cobh was also the departure point for over 2.5 million emigrating Irish, the majority to the US, and you’ll learn their full story as it is told in the exhibition. Next we visit Blarney Castle, one of Ireland’s oldest and most historic castles. Explore the castle, and if you want to climb the 125 steps of the spiral staircase, perhaps kiss the Blarney Stone, so you can, as tradition says, acquire the “Gift of the Gab.” Our tour ends today in Killarney where you spend the next two nights. (B, D)

Killarney Oaks or similar

Day 6

Ring of Kerry Excursion

This morning we take one of Europe’s most famous drives, the Ring of Kerry, offering spectacular scenery of lakes and rivers on the Iveragh Peninsula. Back in Killarney this evening, perhaps you’ll want to relax at the hotel or explore the village at your leisure. (B)

Killarney Oaks or similar

Day 7

Killarney to Galway

Today our first stop is Bunratty Castle & Folk Park to see one of the most complete and authentic medieval fortresses in Ireland. Built in 1425, the castle was restored in 1954 to its former splendor and contains 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries and works of art. You will have time to wander through the castle where the upper floors and restored rooms are accessible by spiral staircase. There will be time to explore the surrounding park, with its cottages that appear just as they would have in medieval times. Next, we drive through the scenic Burren area, stopping to view the picturesque Cliffs of Moher, with incredible views of the Atlantic. We arrive in the Galway area by late afternoon. (B, D)

✦ The Connacht Hotel or similar

Day 8

Galway to Sligo

Today, we first travel through the beautiful and rugged landscape of the Connemara region, then, on through the quiet hills and maze of gentle lakes and rivers. Next we visit the palatial Kylemore Abbey, majestically nestled at the base of Druchruach Mountain. Our drive continues through Westport, and today’s journey ends late this afternoon when we arrive in the Sligo area. (B, D)

Hotel Radisson Blu Sligo or similar

Day 9

Sligo to Belfast

This morning we enjoy a delightful 30-minute visit to Belleek Pottery, learning about the history and creation of delicate Irish porcelain with time to buy souvenirs in their store. Next, we visit the Ulster and American Folk Park, a living history settlement with outdoor and indoor exhibits showing Ireland in the mid-1800s, and the story of how and why so many Irish immigrated to America. Our tour continues east to Belfast for the next two nights. (B, D)

Park Inn Belfast or similar

Day 10

Giant’s Causeway

Today enjoy a scenic excursion all the way to the North Channel of the Irish Sea. We drive along the beautiful coastal road and take in stunning scenery. We spend time exploring “The Giant’s Causeway,” a UNESCO World Heritage Site with remarkable rock formations made up of over 40,000 hexagonal stacks. The stacks are said to be 50 million years old, and some are up to 40 feet tall!. (B)

Park Inn Belfast or similar

Day 11

Belfast & Dublin

This morning we make an included visit to Titanic Belfast, the new $150 million Titanic visitor experience in the city where the doomed liner was built. Here you will see full-scale reconstructions and learn about her conception, through her construction and launch to her infamous maiden voyage and catastrophic demise in 1912. 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 center. We will continue on a panoramic motor coach tour of the city taking in sights such as the impressive Parliament buildings at Stormont, Belfast City Hall and the murals of the Falls Road. In the afternoon we drive south to Dublin for your final evening in Ireland and a farewell dinner at the hotel. (B, D)  

Sandymount Hotel or similar

Day 12

Depart Dublin for Home

Today, bid farewell to Ireland, taking home a suitcase full of memories and stories to share about your YMT Irish vacation! *The stacks are said to be 50 million years old and some are up to 40 feet tall.

Note: By their nature, all tours vacations involve a certain level of physical activity. While YMT tours have been designed with our guests in mind and are not physically demanding, this tour does include walking and periods of standing during the sightseeing and visits. You will also encounter steps and some uneven ground along the way, particularly at older, historical sites.

Please note that this is a proposed itinerary; the actual itinerary may vary due to season, special events, or weather. Because our tour arrangements are often made a year or more in advance, YMT Vacations reserves the right to alter the itinerary. Itinerary changes are made to improve your vacation experience, as well as respond to any unforeseen circumstances that mandate alterations. By their nature, all tours vacations involve a certain level of physical activity. While YMT tours have been designed with our guests in mind and are not physically demanding, this tour does include walking and periods of standing during the sightseeing visits. You will also encounter steps and some uneven ground along the way, particularly at older, historical sights.