Irish Rail Tours
Discover Cork, Kerry, Galway and Dublin on this 10 night rail tour of Ireland. Experience such places as Cork City with its remarkably preserved Georgian Buildings and one of Ireland’s most famous attractions, Blarney Castle. Explore the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula and In Galway travel to the amazing Aran Islands and the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren.
The best of Ireland by Rail 10 night tour is best accessed by Dublin airport. On arrival in Dublin Airport, travel into the city and take a train from Dublin to Cork City. Cork City’s narrowed tapered streets and Georgian architecture give the city a continental feel. The city has fantastic shopping, sightseeing and entertainment opportunities and on this tour we will use it as a base to discover the seaside town of Cobh, the last port of call for millions of Irish emigrants and Blarney where the world famous Blarney Castle is located. From Cork travel west to the Kingdom County of Kerry! Here discover the amazing Ring of Kerry as well as the unspoiled Dingle Peninsula.
After Killarney travel Galway where you will have ample time to explore this festival capital and see the city’s sites. A day trip to Inis Mór in the Aran Islands has been included for you, as has a day trip to the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher. The final leg of your 10 night rail tour is a 2 night stay in our capital city, Dublin. Here with your city sightseeing ticket you can see such places as Trinity College and the Book of Kells, The Guinness Storehouse and Christchurch Cathedral but to name a few places.
Day 1: Cork City
After arriving at Dublin Airport, travel by train to the City of Cork. Cork City’s narrow streets and Georgian architecture give the city a continental feel. The city has a great number of great places to visit including the well renowned Cork City Gaol, The Church of Saint Anne Shandon and St Fin Barre’s Cathedral. First stop on your list of places to visit may be the English Market, a covered fruit and vegetable market established in the 1600s and a famous Cork meeting point. From here you can easily explore the city centre on foot perhaps making your way to Paul Street noted for its ethnic restaurants, chic bars, trendy bookshops and boutiques.
Day 2: Cobh & Blarney Castle Day Tour
Travel to Blarney where you will have plenty of time to explore the Castle grounds at your leisure. A must see is the Rock Close area and Poison Garden where the world’s most poisonous plants are kept behind large cage like structures. After, climb the ramparts of Blarney Castle to kiss the Blarney Stone where legend says you will be awarded with the ‘gift of the gab’ which is the skill of great eloquence! After Blarney hop on the coach again and travel onward to Cobh. Cobh is famous for having been the last port of call for millions of Irish emigrants escaping their harsh lives here in Ireland and also for being the last port of call for the Titanic. Two excellent museums explore these events in greater detail; the Cobh Heritage Centre & the Titanic Experience. Saint Coleman’s Cathedral in the town is also well worth a visit. After free time in Cobh, your coach returns you back to Cork city where the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Day 3: Cork to Killarney by Rail
Begin the next stage on your Irish rail tour with a scenic train journey from Cork to Killarney in county Kerry. For your first day in Kerry we recommend that you take in Killarney and the surrounding attractions. You may decide to visit Muckross House and Gardens on the outskirts of the town or take a tour around Killarney national park by horse and carriage. One of the main attractions in Killarney is the town itself with its colourful shops, cute cafes and ample fine restaurants. There is always plenty of traditional Irish music on offer in Killarney in its many old style pubs!
Day 4: The Ring of Kerry
Today we have pre-booked a Ring of Kerry bus tour for you. On your tour discover landscapes of magnificent beauty alongside the backdrop of the grand MacGillycuddy Reeks mountain range, rivers and rolling countryside. Along the way, you will encounter larger bustling towns to the more traditional quaint Irish villages. Visit such places as Glenbeigh which holds the famous Kerry Bog Village, a cluster of reconstructed cottages dating back to the 1800’s, Cahersiveen, the principal town of the peninsula and Sneem with its brightly painted buildings and quaint village green. Return to Killarney via Ladies View, a famous stopping point to view the three Lakes of Killarney in all of their splendour.
Day 5: The Dingle Peninsula
This morning hop on the coach to do a comprehensive day tour of the Dingle Peninsula which offers some of Ireland’s best scenery and spectacular views. The Dingle Peninsula or the Corca Dhuibhne as it is named in our native tongue is believed to have more than 2000 ancient monuments, the locals here speak fluent Irish and the town is well known for its fantastic traditional music and dance culture. On your travels you will discover Dingle Town with its brightly coloured shops and Slea head which is known to be the most westerly point in Europe and has astonishingly beautiful view especially of the nearby Blasket Islands. Your tour also takes in the countryside where David Lean filmed ‘Ryan’s Daughter’ and the landscape backdrops for the Irish scenes of film ‘Far and Away’.
Day 6: Killarney to Galway by Rail
Set off early this morning and take a scenic train journey from Killarney to Galway. Galway is the principle city of the West of Ireland and a lively University City. In fact, Galway is often referred to as Ireland’s Festival capital due to the frequent festivals that the city holds. Due to its compact size, the city can be explored easily on foot and you will find many bars to quench your thirst as well as many great restaurants with an excellent food offering. We recommend that you take a stroll down Shop Street where on any given day you are sure to find a variety of buskers and other street performers. Shop Street contains Galway's best preserved ancient building, Lynch's Castle and numerous old brick buildings, bright storefronts and a great selection of excellent shops.
Day 7: The Cliffs of Moher & Burren Day Tour
It is few people that visit Ireland and not take in a trip to Ireland’s most famous attraction, the Cliffs of Moher! Travel by Galway Bay and stop first at the village of Kinvara, where Dunguaire Castle can be found. Dunguaire Castle was built in 1520 by the O’Hynes clan; its name derives from the Dun of King Guaire, the legendary king of Connacht. Continue through the Burren where you will witness a lunar landscape like you have never seen before, the Burren is home to numerous ancient monuments including the 5,800 year old Poulnabrone Dolmen Tomb. Settle at the coastal village of Doolin in County Clare for a lunch stop before visiting the 200-metre high Cliffs of Moher. Revel in astonishing views over the Atlantic Ocean and the Aran Islands and take some time to appreciate the natural beauty of the cliffs before returning to Galway.
Day 8: Aran Islands
Depart early morning for your journey to Inis Mór, the largest of the three the Aran Islands. Protected from outside influence due to their remote location, the Aran Islands display the traditional Ireland that the rest of the country has largely left behind. Learn about the Aran Jumper and traditional crafts such Basket Weaving. On Inis Mór, you will still find the traditional horse and trap and hear the Gaelic language spoken as the first language. There are more than 50 different monuments of pre-Christian importance on the islands, the most popular being the fort of Dun Aonghasa which stands dramatically against the cliff edge over the western part of the Island. After a long day to explore the island at your leisure take the return ferry back to Rossaveal and the return shuttle back to Galway City.
Day 9-10: Return to Dublin by Rail & Dublin Sightseeing
This morning check out of your hotel and travel by rail back to Dublin City, arriving in time to take in some of its most famous visitor attractions. If the weather is nice you might decide to talk a walk in Dublin’s famous ‘Stephen’s Green’ or check out the shops and cafes on Grafton Street, stopping like many people do to take a picture with Molly Malone, one of Dublin’s most famous statues. You may feel like learning more about Ireland’s political history by taking a trip to Leinster House where the current parliament sits or Dublin Castle which was the seat of English rule from the 13th Century. Dublin Castle also houses the Chester Beatty Library which displays manuscripts, prints, miniature paintings and early printed books from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. The Chapel Royal with its fine plaster decoration and carved oaks and galleries can also be visited at Dublin Castle. This evening, take another opportunity to check out Dublin’s traditional music and pub scene. The Cobblestone and the Auld Dubliner are famous venues and many of our past customers have enjoyed a drink or two in Kehoe’s Bar, one of last great heritage pubs of Dublin, this pub retains much of its Victorian trappings leaving the visitor feeling like they have stepped back in time!
Day 11: End of Tour
This morning, check out of your hotel for the journey home.
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