Castles & Classics - The luxury tour of Ireland

      Galway, Killarney, Dingle

      8 reviews
      Duration: 7 days
      Group size: 1 - 16
      Castles & Classics - The luxury tour of Ireland
      Galway, Killarney, Dingle

      8 reviews

      Duration: 7 days
      Group size: 1 - 16

      About this trip


      You’ll never forget checking into a world famous Irish Castle hotel, a 12th century fortress, and enjoy sleeping in its luxurious bedrooms. 

      This tour features all the fantastic activities and experiences Essential Ireland Tours are famous for, but the extra magic is the luxury accommodation and the small group size (8 - 16 tour guests only).

      You’ll have the travel experience of a lifetime in some of the world’s best hotels and stately homes. We leave nothing out and the attention to detail on this tour is exceptional.Great memories, fun experiences, gourmet food and wine, luxury Castles, an epic VIP tour of Ireland.

      note: This tour itinerary may occasionally need to operate in reverse direction or certain days may be swopped if logistically required. In this eventuality, the activities, sights or locations visited on the tour will not be affected. 

      What’s included

      • Hotel
        5 Star Castles, hotels and luxury Guesthouses
      • 1 Gourmet dinner & lunch
        A fine evening meal by private Chef (wine included)
      • All activities
        no hidden extras or "optional" activities

      Available Packages

      Per person sharing double/twin bedroom
      Available until 2 days before departure
      Deposit: €500
      solo-traveller / single-supplement
      Available until 2 days before departure

      solo/single traveller with a big bedroom all to your self

      Deposit: €500


      Day 1
      Dublin to Ashford Castle

      [9.30am] Depart central Dublin. Pick up in one central location City’s south-side (The Harding Hotel, just in front of Christchurch Cathedral). We’ll enjoy some fun and informative commentary on Dublin’s attractions to the beautiful Irish countryside.

      [10.30] Stop outside Dublin for a welcome-coffee! You’ll have an itinerary Q&A session with Stephen McPhilemy, our Co-Founder and Chief Tour-Guide.
      Then onward to the idyllic village of Cong, one of Ireland's most beautiful spots and scene of the Hollywood classic 'The Quiet Man'

      [12.30] Enjoy free time for lunch in charming Cong.. 

      [1.30pm] Checkin to Ashford Castle, the worlds most beautiful and luxurious Castle Hotel. The warm welcome from the staff is an experience in itself.

      [3pm] explore the exquisite gardens, perhaps ride some of the Castle's horses through the woods, fish on Lough Corrib for salmon or pike or relax in the award-winning spa.

      [5pm] Gather in the Prince of Wales Bar for a welcome drink, courtesy of Stephen and the Essential Ireland team.

      Optional dinner in the Castle Dungeon...

      Your Organizer

      Essential Ireland Tours & Travel Ltd.
      8 reviews
      Famous for our small-group, VIP-style, Ireland Tours (8-16 guests) 🇮🇪 Created by award-winning Irish Tour-guide Steve McPhilemy (Rick Steves' right-hand man in Ireland for over 20 years) & Irish-American travel-enthusiast Patrick Wade to provide wonderful, fun & value-for-money Irish experiences for our friends, family and international guests.


      This was a wonderful adventure into Irish history and culture. We have toured with Stephen before and knew his skill at organizing and presenting. This time we went north, to stay in Belfast and Derry, and to see parts of Ulster and Ireland that were new to us. The group was small and great. The itinerary was almost always surprising and fun, from meanders around Queens University to Derry's walls to early monastic ruins to Belfast's neighborhoods. The weather was not always cooperative, but Stephen and the group found ways to find fun and fascinating places. For us, one of the treats was Glenveagh National Park and the stunning beauty around it. We would certainly recommend Stephen's True North to others who want to enjoy the culture and history.
      By Eric M for 'True North' - Northern Ireland & Donegal, 5 days/4 nights on Oct 11, 2023
      So much history and a contrast to the Republic of Ireland. We were looking for a small true Irish tour and we really got it with Essential Ireland Tours. Stephen has lived there all his life so his knowledge and history and great stories added so much to everything! We enjoyed the small group and our hotels and dinners! Belfast was so interesting with the Black Taxi tour and the new Titanic museum, as well as city hall and the glass dome up top of it he shopping mall! Then the Giants Causeway, Dunluce Castle. On to Derry and the museum and a walk on top of the walled part of the city. Then on to Glenveagh National Park and Castle and beautiful gardens! So much, such interesting landscapes and of course Stephen's fun stories and the history of all these places! Just go, treat yourself to a fabulous adventure with Essential Ireland Tours! We loved every minute.... even the rain showers!
      By Sheila B for 'True North' - Northern Ireland & Donegal, 5 days/4 nights on Oct 04, 2023
      Wonderful trip. Steohen was a wonderful guide. He had us all laughing & having a good time. He was telling stories (and singing) on the bus & at the sites. Loved, loved, loved Milltown house & Dingle. Beautiful setting & very nice people. We learned a lot about the Irish people and some of the history. Highly recommend Essential Ireland Tours
      By Mark M for Wild Atlantic Way 7 days (Killarney, Dingle & Galway) on Oct 03, 2023
      the trip was wonderful. the tour guide and host Stephen McPhilemy is fantastic. His singing of Irish songs and great humorous stories are can't miss experiences. he is very knowledgeable regarding Ireland and its history. With small groups and a generous amount of free time this was a very good experience for us Gary and Terri Paden Monterey California
      By Gary P for Wild Atlantic Way 7 days (Killarney, Dingle & Galway) on Sep 28, 2023
      When my husband and I were planning a trip to Ireland, he wanted a bus tour and I really, really did not. I like creating my own itinerary and having the freedom to set our own schedule. But he found the Essential Ireland site and, the more I read about it, the more I was convinced. If you are on the fence like I was, there were three things that tipped the scales for me: 1) The small group (no way was I going to be part of a group of 40 on a massive coach bus), 2) Having more than one night in most places. I didn't want to spend the whole time on the bus, and then unpack and repack every day, even if that meant getting to fewer places, and 3) The extra experiences included. We booked the Wild Atlantic Way tour, which starts and ends in Dublin. The tour itself doesn't do a lot IN Dublin, so we flew in a couple days early to explore it and take some tours. The tour had us 2 nights in Killarney, 3 nights in Dingle, 1 night in Galway, with stops in between the towns such as the Rock of Cashel and the Cliffs of Moher. Stephen McPhilemy, company owner and our tour guide for the week, is truly amazing. A student of history, he was able to teach us so much about the country's history, as well as the current political and cultural landscape. The bus rides passed quickly because it was so interesting to listen to him. When we stopped at historical sites, he was able to give us an informative tour of the spot. Add in that he is also a singer and taught us a few songs! Noel, our bus driver, was a gem. He was skillful at navigating the twisty, narrow roads and always so helpful with the luggage. He's got a great sense of humor and knows a few magic tricks to boot! The itinerary for the week was a nice mixture of events & experiences planned for us and free time to explore on our own. Stephen and Noel made recommendations for the free time; always nice to have the opinion of the locals! The extra experiences really set this tour apart. We were able to take part in a falconry experience in Dingle. Falcons and owls flew to our hands (posing for a picture, of course), and then we had a tour of the aviary. One night, we participated in a Druid ceremony to welcome the autumnal equinox; it was a very special moment. We had a private performance from Riverdance entertainers. We got to sample Dingle Whiskey, see a demonstration of glass cutting, see a sheep shearing, and hold baby lambs. Such a great mixture of experiences! (We had family touring Ireland on their own during this same week and they were gobsmacked when I told them all we had done and learned!) It should be obvious by now that I highly recommend this tour company!
      By Lynn L for Wild Atlantic Way 7 days (Killarney, Dingle & Galway) on Sep 27, 2023
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