Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Landscape of Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

Heart of Ireland in 8 Days Tour

Rick Steves Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
5.0 . Excellent
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
8 days
From: $ 2,195 $ 274 / day
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  • Visit the Ennis and Ireland's Dingle Peninsula
  • Experience some of Europe's wildest natural beauty and most ancient Christian sites.
  • Visit the famous Slea Head Drive the most beautiful road in Ireland
  • Tour the strikingly situated Great Blasket Centre, a close-up look at the language, literature, and traditional Gaelic Blasket community.
  • Walking tour of Dingle Town, learning about its seafaring heritage, rich history, and perhaps a bit of local gossip.

Short Description

Tight on time? The Heart of Ireland in 8 Days — Rick's personal "best of" distillation of our two-week Best of Ireland tour — starts in Ennis (just down the road from Shannon Airport) and ends in Dublin. Each day along the way, in the good hands of your Rick Steves guide and local experts, you'll be amazed at all you'll experience in a mere week of touring the Emerald Isle: must-see historical sites, charming towns, music-filled pubs, artisan visits, and walking tours — including the Rock of Cashel, the Cliffs of Moher, Ennis Friary, Adare Village, Dingle Town, the Dingle Peninsula, the Great Blasket Centre, the Brú na Bóinne archaeology site, crystal cutting, whiskey tasting, and more. Join us for the Heart of Ireland in 8 Days!

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Ennis
End City Dublin

Trip Includes

A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups

Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Ireland come alive for you

All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 18 group sightseeing events • Cliffs of Moher • Ennis orientation walk • Ennis Friary • Adare visit • Dingle folk concert • Walking tour of Dingle • Whiskey tasting • Gaelic music evening • Dingle's Slea Head Drive • Crystal cutting demonstration • Blasket Islands Heritage Centre • Gallarus Oratory • Rock of Cashel • Dublin walking tour • Trinity College • Book of Kells • Kilmainham Gaol (when possible) • Brú na Bóinne archaeology site...and more

All group transportation from Ennis to Dublin

7 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels and B&Bs

All breakfasts and half your dinners

All tips for guides and driver

Free stuff including Rick Steves Ireland guidebook, moneybelt and earplugs

Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit

Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee

Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015

50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans

Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing.

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Day 1: Welcome to Ireland

We'll gather together at our hotel at 2 p.m. for a meeting. Then we'll take an orientation walk around Ennis, beginning with a tour of the Friary. Afterward we'll get to know one another over a hearty "Welcome to Ireland" dinner together. This evening we'll meet one of Ireland's preeminent storytellers, or seanchaί, who will tell us tales of Ireland's magic, myth, and mystery. Sleep in Ennis (1 night). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Ennis to Dingle Town

After breakfast we'll pack up and board our comfy bus, setting course for Ireland's Dingle Peninsula. En route we'll stop to visit the dramatic Cliffs of Moher, where you'll find yourself leaning into the wind, teetering on the very edge of Europe, more than 600 feet above the churning waters of the North Atlantic and County Limerick's lovely village of Adare. At the end of our drive we'll arrive in the pastel-painted, quintessentially Irish harbor town of Dingle. Tonight we'll enjoy a gourmet dinner of local specialties at our guesthouse. Sleep in Dingle (3 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 3: The Dingle Peninsula

It's a great day to experience some of Europe's wildest natural beauty and most ancient Christian sites. We'll start our day with a crystal cutting demonstration from a master craftsman, then hop aboard our bus with our local expert to follow the famous Slea Head Drive, our vote for the most beautiful road in Ireland. We'll stop to tour the strikingly situated Great Blasket Centre, where we'll get a close-up look at the language, literature, and daily life of a traditional Gaelic Blasket community. Working up a thirst, we'll find relief with an Irish whiskey tasting. Following free time to soak in more of Dingle's charms and enjoy dinner on your own, we'll rendezvous for an intimate evening of Gaelic tunes. Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 4: All Day in Dingle

This morning we'll have a lively walking tour of Dingle Town, learning about its seafaring heritage, rich history, and perhaps a bit of local gossip. After lunch on your own and time to explore, we will see Dingle from another angle and hopefully meet its famous dolphin, Fungie, as we take a boat cruise around Dingle Bay. Your evening is free, so no doubt you'll return to Dingle town with a pub in mind, ready for as much dancing and singing with new friends as you can handle. No bus. Walking: light.

Day 5: The Rock of Cashel and Dublin

Today we'll bid goodbye to Dingle as our bus transports us across the Emerald Isle to Dublin. On our way we'll stop to tour one of Ireland's most historic and evocative sights: the Rock of Cashel. St. Patrick himself was here more than 1,500 years ago, and ever since, the Rock has been the spiritual heart of Ireland. From the craggy remains of the cathedral and castle to the views stretching out across the Plain of Tipperary, this is where the Irish in you will stir from head to toe. Upon arrival in Dublin we'll stretch our legs with a neighborhood orientation walk, followed by dinner together. Sleep in Dublin (3 nights). Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 6: The Historic Heart of Dublin

This morning we'll take a walking tour through Dublin, learning about its often calamitous history, from the days of Viking raids to the hard centuries of British occupation, to its remarkable literary legacy, to the modern city of today. We'll end at Trinity College for an illuminating look at the remarkable Book of Kells, a jolt of Irish creativity that helped pull Europe out of the Dark Ages. The rest of your day will be free to take in some of Dublin's other world-class sights, such as the National Museum or Dublin Castle. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Prehistoric Tombs and onto Dublin

Today we'll drive an hour out of Dublin to one of Europe's premier archaeological sites: the ancient tombs of Brú na Bóinne. Predating Stonehenge by a thousand years and the pyramids at Giza by 500, these massive "passage tombs" of Newgrange and Knowth are windows into a mysterious, pre-Celtic Ireland, just as it was pulling itself up and out of the Stone Age. This afternoon we'll return to Dublin to tour Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum, the final resting place of more than one million Dubliners, including many of Ireland's national heroes and heroines. Tonight we'll compare notes and celebrate our marvelous week together over a farewell dinner. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. You can fly out of Dublin's handy airport, or take the ferry to Wales for further adventures in the British Isles. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Slán leat!


Checking price
Price From $ 2,195
Price Per Day: $ 274 per day
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  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 625

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Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Heart of Ireland in 8 Days Tour

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Company Reviews


We went on the My Way Best of Euope 14 day tour last month. Excellent tour. So much to see!!! We loved it!! I would highly recommend it if you are an independent traveler who doesn't want any stress.

Highlights of the Lowlands

My first, and definitely not last, Rick Steves tour. Our guide was spectacular and the lodging nice at every location. I was blown away with how good the food was at every group meal.


Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 28

Cancellation Policy:

our tour deposit is 100% refundable for 30 days from the date it is received, unless noted otherwise below. After 30 days your deposit becomes nonrefundable, and will be forfeited should you decide to cancel your reservation. Deposits made 60–90 days before a tour departs become nonrefundable on the final payment due date. If you book a tour less than 60 days before its departure date, the entire tour cost becomes non-refundable after 7 days.

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