‘Ireland Unravelled’ 5-Day Small Group Tour
Monday-Friday, tour starts and ends in Dublin.
Let Munsterbus Tours take you on an intimate journey exploring Ireland, visiting Kilkenny, Cork, Kerry and Galway before returning to the capital city having really maximised your 5 days on tour. Immerse yourself in this amazing authentic experience, visiting many key attractions and even more hidden gems as we unravel mystical and magical Ireland with you. The itinerary is not only designed to offer you the best experience possible but also it allows for free time to explore on your own too. Share this cultural Irish delight with a group of up to 16 fellow travellers, you will see, feel, taste, breath and live the ultimate Irish experience over 5 fun filled days. Small group travel is about authentic experiences and no matter how much planning and research you apply yourself an organised tour can often be much more cost effective than going it alone. Not only will your experienced guide enhance your travels but having someone else make all the arrangements for you creates a stress-free tour leaving you to savour and enjoy your small group experience. We believe that attention to detail is key to an unforgettable journey, so it starts from the moment you contact us and it continues on the road with your guide creating a genuinely special experience. This is undoubtedly a bucket list opportunity, let our expert guides take you on the most unique Irish adventure ever!
Ireland Unravelled Highlights:
- Depart Dublin 10am, visiting:
- Lough Tay, Guinness Lake
- Glendalough Mountains
- Smithwicks Experience, (optional)
- St Canice Cathedral
- Kilkenny Castle
- The Rock of Cashel
- Cork city
- English Market
- Blarney Castle
- Gougane Barra
- Healy Pass
- Highlights of The Ring of Kerry to include:
- Killarney National Park
- Moll’s Gap
- Ladies View
- Torc Waterfall
- Jaunting car ride (optional)
**Celtic Steps extravaganza, spectacular Irish Music, Song & Dance show. (optional)
- Adare village
- Bunratty Castle
- The Cliffs of Moher
- Mini Cliffs
- Boat ride to see cliffs from another angle (optional)
- Clonmacnoise Abbey
- Kilbeggan Distillery
Arrive back in Dublin @ 6pm approx.
Ireland Unravelled full itinerary
Day 1: Unravel and unwind as we leave the hustle and bustle of Dublin city behind, you will first visit Lough Tay, known as ‘The Guinness Lake’, this is one of the most scenic and photographed locations in Wicklow. The shape of the lake with the white sand at the top makes it look like a pint of Guinness hence the name. Immerse yourself in Ireland’s ancient east as we explore Glendalough, home to one of the most important monastic sites in Ireland. Despite attacks by Vikings over the years most of the buildings that survive today date from the 10th through 12th centuries. Glendalough is one of the top attractions on Ireland’s Ancient East. We then travel to Kilkenny, ‘the marble city’, for those brave enough you can climb the tower at St Canice Cathedral for spectacular panoramic views across this stunning medieval city. Having stopped for lunch we then have a photo stop at Kilkenny Castle, this 12th century castle, steeped in history. Walk in the footsteps of Earls, Strongbow and the ‘bogey-man’ of Irish history, Oliver Cromwell and let your imagination bring to life a Norman invasion, you will be fascinated by this remarkable site. You can then enjoy some free time to further explore this town, a crafts hub with shops along its winding lanes selling pottery, paintings and jewellery or alternatively enjoy The Smithwick’s Experience, immersing you in the history of Ireland’s oldest ale! Discover the craft and see how for generations this has been a favourite tipple of many, after your guided tour sample a cool pint of Smithwicks and let your taste buds decide if it will become your drink of choice too! After a wonderful start to this tour relax and unwind that evening in Kilkenny maybe with a Guinness or Smithwicks for educational purposes of course!!
Day 2: We set off to visit the spectacular Rock of Cashel, no matter what direction you approach from it sticks out on the landscape and you will be awestruck by its imposing beauty. Legend has it that the devil took a bite from a mountain located nearby and when he spat it out it became ‘The Rock of Cashel’…. Also, Shamrock gained its symbolism here when St Patrick plucked it and used it as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity. The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most spectacular archaeological sites literally steeped in history, enjoy the folklore and decide for yourself weather the devil could truly have created such an amazing attraction. As you debate the possibilities with your fellow travellers we make our way to Cork city, known locally as ‘The Real Capital’! We will bring you to The English Market in the heart of Cork City, watch the hustle and bustle of this busy working market, enjoy the aromas and soak up the atmosphere in this iconic building and after a leisurely lunch we take you from The famous Rock of Cashel that morning to an equally popular stone in the afternoon where we visit Blarney Castle. Here you will witness the worshiping of a stone, let us catch you by the ankles and turn you upside down to kiss the ‘blarney stone’ said to give the gift of eloquent speech. Take your turn to kiss the stone and you decide, is it fact or just a ‘load of blarney’….. explore the stunning gardens and the wonderful woollen mills where you might even treat yourself to an Aran jumper, a great souvenir! After a day visiting rocks, stones, cathedrals and markets spend the evening in this very cosmopolitan city and enjoy the wonderful restaurants and many music venues Cork has to offer.
Day 3: Gougane Barra is one of the most romantic settings for a proposal or a wedding in Ireland, if you plan on popping the question during your visit do let us know and we will be camera ready and have bubbly on ice to toast you! This location is again surrounded by mystery and folklore, here St Finbarr and a fire breathing, slimy creature with ferocious claws called Luiwee had an epic battle which lasted for 5 days and 5 nights until Finbarr finally won the day. Luiwee left the lake and slid down the Lee Valley gouging out the two river channels visible to this very day. St Finbarr decided to settle in the area, founded a monastery and Cork was born. Soak up the scenery in this haven of peace and tranquillity, in the middle of the lake there is an island with a nineteenth century oratory and the ruins of an ancient monastic site dating back to the 6th century. From Gougane Barra we travel to Glengariff 1st before taking ‘The Healy Pass’, a famine road created in 1847, littered with rocks and sheep, when you reach the highest vantage point stop and admire the view, this is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular mountain roads in the whole of Ireland, it is strikingly beautiful and unspoilt. After you savour the moment we will travel to the colourful town of Kenmare for lunch before we explore The Highlights of The Ring of Kerry including Moll’s Gap, Ladies View where you will first see the spectacular three lakes of Killarney and then onto Torc Waterfall. Take your time to soak in the views @ each of these historic and breath-taking locations. For those interested we can arrange a Jarvey ride traveling in a horse drawn jaunting car, a unique way to see Killarney’s National Park, quintessentially Ireland! After a day of saints, mythical creatures, famine and awe-inspiring scenery we spend the night in Ireland’s number one tourist town, Killarney. Prepare to be spellbound if you wish to join us that evening visiting The Celtic Steps extravaganza, this is a traditional Irish music, song and dance show featuring a cast of World & All Ireland Champions. This is sensational show and a dramatic end to another fantastic day on tour.
Day 4: Leaving the Kingdom of Kerry behind we first visit the quaint little ‘chocolate box’ village of Adare, renowned as one of Ireland’s prettiest towns. This designated heritage village with its delightful thatched roof cottages, antique shops, boutiques, tea rooms, lively pubs and medieval monasteries it is the typical scenic town you would expect to see in Ireland, a must stop for a photo opportunity. From Adare to Bunratty Castle, once the site of a Viking trading camp in 970 it is now Ireland’s most complete standing medieval fortress. Take a step back in time with this window into Ireland’s history again another great photo opportunity before we travel up through the rugged west coast to visit the truly amazing Cliffs of Moher and Burren region. Towering above The Atlantic Ocean the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions. Of course, it is no surprise that some ‘tall tales’ surround the cliffs, there is a legend of unrequited love where a sea witch who was smitten with the Irish hero Cu Chulainn chased him across the Cliffs, lost her footing and was dashed against the rocks. Hags Head is the name given to the most southerly point of he cliffs as they resemble a woman looking out to sea, where legend has it Mal, the old hag fell to her death. So be warned, watch your step as you hover above the Atlantic Ocean, there is a sheer drop of 700 feet from a comparatively flat meadow, simply breath-taking. Harry Potter fans will recognise the large cave at the base of the cliffs and wildlife enthusiasts will delight at the variety of birds the area attracts. If you look south towards Spanish Point you might catch a glimpse of Kilstiffen, another legend has it that the city sank when its chieftain lost a golden key in battle, once every 7 years the city with its golden roofs may be seen shining far below the surface. Weather permitting, you have the option to take a boat ride to view these magical and spectacular cliffs from yet another angle. After you digest all this folklore we go to the lovely little fishing village of Doolin for lunch, they even brew their own local craft beer ‘Dooliner’ and for educational purposes of course you might wish to sample a pint or two. We also include a visit to the mini cliffs with stunning views across Galway Bay and the Aran Islands before we head to ‘The City of Tribes’. After a day of thatched cottages, medieval fortresses, lost cities and lost love we stay overnight in Galway the city of Tribes, home to Spanish Arch, Shop Street and the Latin Quarter where you will be spoilt for choice with the selection of quirky pubs, talented musicians and street performers. A superb ending to yet another fascinatingly magic and mystical day.
Day 5: We start our final day on tour by visiting the wonderful town of Salthill, with a 2km long promenade, known locally as ‘the prom’ it is Ireland’s longest seaside promenade overlooking Galway Bay and The Aran Islands. Take a stroll or relax with a coffee, (or something stronger if you prefer!) in one of the many bars and restaurants along the prom, soak up the atmosphere and the spectacular views, on a clear day you feel as though you can reach across the bay and touch the Clare Hills. From Salthill we travel cross country to visit Clonmacnoise, with its ruined cathedral, seven churches, two round towers, high crosses and the largest collection of early Christian grave slabs in Western Europe, here you will find a vast story told in stone that keeps alive Ireland’s legacy of The Land of Saints and Scholars. The monastery was founded by St Ciarán in the middle of the sixth century, and his cow also features heavily in Irish folklore. This was no ordinary cow, it was a dun cow, (greyish in colour) she was an excellent milker and legend has it that she had the ability to supply the entire monastery with milk! Her hide became a relic and a stone where she fell and broke her hip a pilgrim station @ Clonmacnoise and she was commemorated in The Book of The Dun Cow. Whilst today it boasts a sense of calm and serenity @ its height it was a bustling settlement with many craftsmen, labourers, farmworkers, markets etc. You will be fascinated by the amazing biblical scenes carved on the crosses, this was a way to spread Christianity @ a time when few could read or write. Literally steeped in history, Clonmacnoise has survived many Viking attacks and it was destroyed for the final time in 1552 by the English where it lay in ruins for hundreds of years. Enjoy wandering around one of Ireland’s holiest and most significant monastic sites and savour the peace and tranquillity you will experience there. Leaving the spirits to rest at Clonmacnoise we enjoy spirits of a liquid kind at the Kilbeggan Distillery, the oldest distillery in the world! Discover the history of authentic artisan Irish whiskey and of course no visit is complete without sampling it yourself. Here you will find whiskey is still being produced using ancient traditions passed on from generation to generation. Situated along the picturesque River Brosna this is an excellent place to culminate our few days unravelling Ireland.
- 5 full days touring.
- 4 nights’ accommodation, 2 x hotel, and 2 x guesthouse inclusive of breakfast daily.
- Professional, knowledgeable tour guide
- Air-conditioned luxury 16 seat Mercedes Sprinter
- Entrance fees to The Rock of Cashel €8, Blarney Castle €18, The Cliffs of Moher €6 & Kilbeggan Distillery €14.
- All relevant tolls and taxes
- A little bit of history, some tall tales, (always the ‘truth’ of course!) and a few laughs on the route too.
- Smithwicks Experience €15
- Cork City Gaol €8
- Jaunting car ride €15
- Celtic Steps Extravaganza €30
- Boat ride @ Cliffs of Moher €15
- Lunches, evening meals and drinks
FAQ about our small group multi day tours:
- Are these tours suitable for persons with mobility concerns?
Yes, these tours are suitable for all levels of fitness and any walking would just be a stroll. The vehicles are not wheelchair accessible, but we can stow a light weight fold away wheelchair in the luggage compartment. You must advise us before booking the tour if you will be using a wheelchair or mobility aid and we will make every effort to accommodate your requirements. If you need to travel with a service dog we must be notified before booking your tour, due to accommodation restrictions and consideration for fellow travellers we might not always be able to facilitate this request.
- Are these tours suitable for solo travellers?
Yes, it is an ideal and safe way to travel, you will meet lots of others on tour to share the experience with. We do charge a single supplement to cover the additional cost of accommodation as regular room prices are based on two sharing.
- Is there much free time on tour?
Yes, we want you to truly embrace the Irish culture and hospitality so there are optional activities daily which you can choose to do or have this additional free time instead to explore the area yourself. Each day we have you at your hotel/guesthouse for approx. 5.30pm and you can enjoy a relaxed evening or maybe you might join others in the group for dinner, you decide.
- What time and where do tours depart from?
The 5 Day Ireland Unravelled departs from Dublin city centre at 10am on Monday morning and the 3 Day Irish Jolly departs from Kent (train) Station in Cork at 10am on Wednesday morning. All tours end in Dublin city centre on Fri evening approx. 5.30pm, you must make your own transfer/accommodation arrangements on that evening.
- Are there any luggage restrictions?
With up to 16 persons on board we do have to have to be mindful of available space so each guest is allowed a standard size suitcase and one piece of carry-on luggage each.
- What do I need to bring on tour with me?
A camera, phone, hat and gloves in winter months, sunglasses, sun cream and dress in layers so you can add or remove depending on the weather. Of course, you must always bring a sense of humour or you are not permitted to join the group!
- What type of accommodations will we be staying in?
We use very reputable hotels and guesthouses and they are all chosen to add to the overall experience, they are always conveniently located within walking distance of the relevant town you are staying in overnight and all have ensuite facilities.
- What type of vehicle will we be traveling in?
All our groups travel in comfort on board a luxury 16 seat Mercedes vehicle with superior quality and safety features. The luxury reclining seats offer spacious leg room, full climate control, free Wi-Fi on board with USB connections in each section. Offering complimentary chilled water for all our guests, just sit back, relax and enjoy the experience.
- Are there age restrictions on these tours?
We set a minimum age of 10 years old.
- Is there a toilet on board?
No, there is not a toilet on the vehicle but there are lots of natural breaks along the way.
- What to wear on tour?
Comfortable shoes, i.e. trainers or hiking boots would be ideal, a rain jacket and a sweater should cover all eventualities. Formal wear is not required as these tours are very casual.
- Can I pre-book a specific seat?
No, you cannot book/secure a specific seat and in the interest of fairness we encourage everyone to move around each day, this is left to the discretion of your driver/guide to manage.
- Are we guaranteed departure for all tours booked?
Yes, all tours are guaranteed to depart once a minimum of two persons has booked a specific date.
- What happens if I arrive late for a tour?
Our cancellation policy applies if you do not present yourself as scheduled for a tour.
- Are the itineraries flexible?
The itineraries are pre planned but there is always an element of flexibility, our professional driver/guides will pace the tour to suit the group and ultimately, we want the experience to be as relaxed and enjoyable as possible for all on board. Sometimes weather conditions might also change plans but the overnight destinations always remain the same.
- Who are the tour guides?
Our guides are highly trained professionals, our tours are not scripted and no two are ever the same. They will share many stories and anecdotes on route (mostly true!) and of course there will be lots of laughs along the way too.
- Is the luggage on the same vehicle and who is responsible for moving it?
Yes, the luggage is kept in the storage compartment of the vehicle and you will be responsible for moving your own bag to and from your accommodation, anyone who requires special assistance will of course receive same.
- How do I book a tour?
We would be delighted to welcome you on one of our multi day small group tours, to secure a place we recommend you book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment at a later stage. We keep groups to a maximum of 16 persons so tours do book up quickly especially in peak season. You can make an instant booking using our on-line calendar by paying a deposit, (payment in full is required if booking less hat 60 days before the tour commences), alternatively you can contact us via mail or phone if you would like to discuss further.
- What is the cancellation policy?
Our cancellation policy can be reviewed in detail in our terms and conditions section, we are happy to transfer a booking to an alternative date, subject to availability with a minimum of 30 days’ notice, deposits for group tours are non-refundable.
- Dietary requirements, can these be easily catered for?
If you have any special dietary requirements, please do advise us when booking your tour and we will in turn inform your hotel/guesthouse of same, every effort will be made to facilitate your requests. Restaurants in Ireland generally cater well for all types of dietary requirements, so you should have lots of choice on route.
- Do the group eat/ socialise together in the evenings?
That varies depending on the group, if you do wish to dine together your driver/guide can assist you with making a group reservation for dinner.
- Is a gratuity included in the price of the tour?
No, this is entirely at your discretion, you will see how passionate and enthusiastic your driver/guide is and how attentive they are to your needs throughout the tour, typically guests would tip approx. €10 per person per day on tour if they enjoyed the experience.
We at Munsterbus Tours put a lot of thought and planning into these tours so you don’t have to! We want you to just book a suitable date and let us take care of the rest, for a stress free, professional, entertaining and authentic tour contact us today and let the journey begin, our experience will ensure you enjoy your experience!
**If your preferred travel date is listed as ‘fully booked’, please do contact us to see if we can accommodate you, firstname.lastname@example.org
**We do not charge any additional fees for credit/debit card use
Price Per Person
Single Supplement: €250
Departure Dates 2019
13th, 20th & 27th May
10th, 17th& 24th June
8th, 15th & 22nd July
5th, 12th & 26th August
9th & 23rd September
Get in Touch
Contact us with any additional queries: email@example.com