The Very Best of Ireland

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The Very Best of Ireland

The Very Best of Ireland

The Emerald Isle has captured the hearts of travellers for centuries.  A fairytale land of rolling hills dotted with castles and ringed by rugged seaside cliffs, it will pull you into its magic.  But Ireland is much more – a vibrant, proud culture underlies the friendly Irish charm that greets visitors.  Ireland is a fascinating place where history mingles with the present, where tradition is fiercely maintained despite modernization, and where food and drink are a joyous part of daily life.  Join us as we distill the old and the new in a perfect journey through the Very Best of Ireland! 

The Very Best of Ireland


  • Dublin
  • Cashel
  • Kilkenny
  • Killarney
  • Dingle
  • Ennis
  • Galway
  • Sligo
  • Derry / Londonderry
  • Antrim Coast
  • Belfast


  • Guinness Storehouse Brewery Tour
  • Drinks at the Gravity Bar
  • Irish Gastropub Welcome Dinner
  • Walking tour of Dublin
  • Trinity College and the Book of Kells
  • Kilmainham Gaol
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Kilkenny Brewery Visit
  • Killarney National Park
  • Muckross House and Gardens
  • Muckross Farms Open-Air Museum
  • Dingle Fresh Seafood Dinner
  • Famine Cottages
  • Slea Head Promontory
  • West Kerry Brewery


  • Gallarus Oratory
  • Irish Immersion Lesson in Ennis
  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Galway Walking Tour
  • Sligo Craft Beer Luncheon
  • Bloody Sunday Walking Tour of Derry
  • Giant’s Causeway
  • Old Bushmills Distillery Tour and Tasting
  • Dunluce Castle
  • Belfast Walking Tour
  • Titanic Belfast Museum
  • Troubles Tour of Belfast Murals
  • The Crown Liquor Saloon and Gin Palace
The Very Best of Ireland

Some testimonials from Ireland Tour Director Craig Bresett’s recent travellers:

“What a great experience. We would not hesitate to recommend your tours – our tour exceeded our expectations in every way!!” Greg and Ronda L.

“We had an exceptional trip. Craig was amazing.  Very knowledgeable and professional. This was our first tour and it was fun, informative and a very rich experience.” Mark, Ashley and Jonathan R.

“My husband and I have travelled three times to Europe with Craig as our tour guide.  Craig is very knowledgeable about Europe and appears to get great pleasure in sharing it with others.  We always felt we got more than our money’s worth because Craig respects that to travel often means people work hard to save for special lifetime memories.  We would not hesitate to travel again with Craig and hope to in the near future.”
Bob and Mary F.

2023 trip has limited space.  SIGN UP SOON!


July 18 – 28, 2023


Per Person + Air Based on Double Occupancy
All prices in US dollars.  Payment in other currencies possible – contact us.

Book Your Ireland Tour Now!

Day 1: Welcome to Ireland!

We begin our tour in the late afternoon meeting in the hotel lobby and heading to, where else, the world-famous Guinness Storehouse.  After a tour of the brewery, we’ll ascend to the Gravity Bar, where we’ll learn how to pull a perfect pint.  This evening, we’ll dine together at a local gastropub, and perhaps enjoy some trad (traditional music) and craic (good times!) together after dinner. Sleep in Dublin (2 nights) / Bus: none / Walking: Moderate
Meals provided: Dinner

Day 2: The Soul of Dublin

Our local guide will take us on a journey through the heart of the city, exploring history both ancient and modern, and getting a feel for the soul of the city.  We’ll visit Trinity College, and take a look at the lavishly illustrated 1200 year old Book of Kells in the Trinity Library.  The rest of the day is yours to explore with some great advice from your tour director – perhaps you’ll want to visit one of the new craft breweries in town or take a tour of the Jameson Irish Whisky distillery. Sleep in Dublin / Bus: none / Walking: Moderate Meals provided: Breakfast

Day 3: Jailhouse Rock
Kilmainham Gaol, infamous as the prison used for political dissidents, is now an evocative reminder of the Irish struggle for independence.  After our guided tour, we’ll hit the road, venturing through the green Plain of Tipperary to the Rock of Cashel – the centre of religious life in Ireland during St. Patrick’s time.  Our home for the evening will be nearby Kilkenny, where we’ll savour the ancient craft of independent artisan brewing while dining at Sullivan’s Brewing Company Taproom.  Perhaps some after dinner trad tonight?
Sleep in Kilkenny (1 night) / Bus: 3 hours / Walking: Moderate
Meals provided: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 4: Olden Days and Olden Ways

After breakfast we’ll head west to the edge of Killarney National Park where we’ll visit the Muckross House and Gardens – the best example of Victorian architecture in the Republic of Ireland. After our guided tour through the mansion you’ll have some time to explore the gardens and take tea in the onsite café. We’ll also visit the adjacent Muckross Farms open-air museum where costumed guides showcase 1920’s Irish farm life. The contrast between the stately mansion and the simple farmhouses couldn’t be starker. We’ll end the day in Dingle, dining on local seafood right on the bay!
Sleep in Dingle (2 nights) / Bus: 4.5 hours / Walking: Moderate
Meals provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5: The Best of the West
Today we take a round trip journey on the Dingle Peninsula, the western most point of Ireland.  We’ll experience this very traditional Gaeltacht (Irish language) region with our local guide.  Stops may include the Famine Cottages, the Beehive Huts, Slea Head Promontory, West Kerry Brewery, and Gallarus Oratory.  Back in Dingle, you’ll have the rest of the afternoon and evening to enjoy Dingle’s many pubs (trad nightly), and perhaps take a boat ride out into the bay to visit Fungie, Dingle’s resident dolphin.
Sleep in Dingle / Bus: 1.5 hours / Walking: Moderate
Meals provided: Breakfast
Day 6: The Broad Majestic Shannon
Perhaps no other song distills the Irish experience like the Pogues’ “The Broad Majestic Shannon” – give it a listen!  Today we cross the River Shannon to visit the quintessentially Irish town of Ennis, where our good-humoured local guide Ollie will immerse us in the culture of Ireland, and show us the best places in town for food and drink.  After lunch, we’ll head back out to the coast to visit the stunning Cliffs of Moher.  Tonight, we’ll dine in style at a traditional Irish restaurant in Galway.
Sleep in Galway (2 nights) / Bus: 6 hours / Walking: Moderate
Meals provided:  Breakfast and Dinner
Day 7: My Own Dear Galway Bay

After an orientation walk starting in Eyre Square, you’ll have the rest of the day to explore this gem. The real joy of Galway is its lively street scene and the amazing array of traditional musicians performing daily. And the craft beer scene is “hopping”! The adventurous may want to take the ferry to the nearby rugged island of Inishmore (of the Aran Islands) and visit the 2000 year old Celtic fortress Dun Aengus today.
Sleep in Galway / No Bus / Walking: Light to Moderate (your choice)
Meals provided: Breakfast

Day 8: Alternative Ulster
As we journey north, we’ll stop in Sligo for a craft-beer infused lunch. Then we’re off to Ulster – the ancient Irish province that is now mostly in the United Kingdom. Derry / Londonderry has a long history, but most significant is its role in the 20th century and the “troubles” that plagued Northern Ireland for decades. We’ll take a very special tour with our local guide, who will explain local connections to the troubles and 1972’s Bloody Sunday.
Sleep in Derry (1 night) / Bus: 5 hours / Walking: Moderate
Meals provided: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 9: Whiskey in the Jar
We’ll be spending most of the day on Northern Ireland’s wild Antrim Coast. First we’ll follow in the rather large footsteps of Finn MacCool along the Giant’s Causeway. Then we’re off to Old Bushmills – the world’s oldest whiskey distillery – for a tour and a wee dram (or two). After a break for lunch, we’ll head back to the coast to visit the iconic Dunluce Castle before heading to Belfast where after a short orientation walk you’ll have the evening to explore.
Sleep in Belfast (2 nights) / Bus: 3.5 hours / Walking: Strenuous
Meals provided: Breakfast
Day 10: Titanic Troubles
On our full day in Belfast, we’ll visit the impressive Titanic Belfast museum that tells not just the story of the building and sinking of the ship, but the story of Belfast itself. Later, our driver will take us on a tour of the Shankill and Falls Road area to see the political murals and learn about how the Troubles affected the people of Northern Ireland’s capital city. Tonight, we share a farewell feast at Belfast’s oldest pub and toast each other and our time together with a pint or two! Sláinte!
Sleep in Belfast / Bus: 3.5 hours / Walking: Strenuous
Meals provided: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 11: Slán Leat!
After breakfast, your tour is over. Whether you are flying home or continuing your journey, you’ll find Belfast and Dublin’s airports easy to get to from our hotel. If you’re staying on, your tour director will be happy to give you some advice! Slán Leat!
Meals provided: Breakfast

The Fine Print – What You Get:

Not so much fine print: 
We believe in up front pricing, not a hard-to-read long list of extra costs.
Group Size: We run small group tours, less than half the size of a normal big bus tour. Our average group size is 14-18 travellers, plus a tour director and a driver.
Transportation: Most transportation is in a private chartered coach. Lots of free space on the bus to stretch out and relax! Transportation to and from airport is your responsibility. Dublin and Belfast are well served by train connections to the airports.
Activity level:  This tour is suitable to people with a basic fitness level. You will need to carry your own bags, climb hotel stairs, and keep a leisurely to moderate pace on city walking tours. This trip is suitable for adults. It is not suitable for young children.
Accommodations: We choose generally smaller, family-run hotels, in the 3-4 star category, that are close to the action, rather than large impersonal hotels in some industrial park outside of town. All rooms have private ensuite bathrooms with shower or bathtub. Most rooms are doubles.

  • Solo travelers: You may choose to pay extra for one of the limited number of single private rooms, or you can room with another solo traveler in the group of the same gender and skip the extra fee.  See the registration form for specific prices.
  • Couples: Couples will usually share a room with one double or queen bed (large King beds are not common in Europe).
  • Two friends traveling together: Two friends or siblings traveling together will be roomed together with two beds in a twin room. Note: some European twin beds share one headboard but they will always have separate sheets.
  • Triple room: A typical triple room will be one double bed and one single bed.

Sightseeing tours and attractions: This is the main reason you are in Ireland, and we understand this! Led by your tour director, and local guides when appropriate. Entrance fees to all attractions are included. Most tour companies sell many of their attractions as expensive “optional excursions” which add up really quickly. Not us.

Meals: Breakfasts are always included. Note that because we stay in characteristic Irish hotels, breakfasts will reflect local preferences . Many lunches/dinners are on us – the rest are up to you. See itinerary for breakdown.

Gratuities: Unlike most tour companies who ask you to pay a “mandatory” tip to the driver and guide, with us tipping is not required.

Book Your Ireland Tour Now!