Highlights
  • With a National Trust expert, explore Giants Causeway and learn the history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Visit a working Irish farm where you will get the opportunity to milk a cow and try your hand at baking traditional Irish soda bread.
  • Learn about the history of Northern Ireland with a field trip to the political murals in Belfast and an excursion to the parliament of Northern Ireland.

Journey from the natural wonder that is the Giants Causeway to the rugged seacoast of the Southwest as you experience the unrivaled beauty of Ireland. Walk the Walls of Derry, and discover Northern Ireland’s troubled history in Belfast. Witness the haunting beauty of the Inishowen peninsula in county Donegal and journeying south, explore the stone age passage tombs of Newgrange. Learn about Irish emigration while in Cork and encounter some of Ireland’s greatest treasures — its people — as you meet a Member of Parliament in Belfast and dine with local families in county Cork.

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Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport

30
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
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87% Recommend

4.5 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 2
Value
4.5 Guide
4.6 Activities
4.5 Lodging
4.3 Transportation
4.4 Meals
4.3
Stride Take

TBD

Ireland’s Coasts from North to South

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Road Scholar .

S

Recommends

Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism. January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:
https://vimeo.com/41612444

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:
https://vimeo.com/43273083

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

D

Recommends

Best trip I ever took! October 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Loved the variety of different hotels, the expertise of the individual tour guides, the meals and especially the beautiful countryside. All 17 of us on the t rip got to know each other well, thanks to the kindness, the personality and the organizational skill of Mark, our tour director. Keep up the good work!
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Operator Road Scholar

C

Recommends

Sunrise, Sunset, Learning Photography August 2016

5.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
Road Scholar offers many tours starting in Utah. The one I took focused of photography of the National Parks in Utah, with a professional photographer traveling with us. The schedule was set up such that we would get "the golden light" at each of the parks. Those not familiar with the term must know that the best light occurs at either sunrise or sunset, when the impact of the sun on objects is diffused by having to travel through the earth's atmosphere on a diagonal rather than vertically.

As such, you can now expect that sleep will be an issue as you will get to bed late and rise early. But the territory is beautiful at all times, and more so illuminated by the golden light.

In order to maximize your sleeping ability, the tour is only offered in the spring and the fall. Doing this in the winter would be pretty cold and require special equipment to traverse the snow. Doing it in the summer would basically mean no sleep as the daylight is so long.

A great learning experience in beautiful territory.
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Operator Road Scholar

J

Recommends

Thank you Road Scholar July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Thank you Road Scholar Staff for planning a wonderful introduction to Cuba today. My previous knowledge was from people who felt they had to leave Cuba more than fifty years ago. I learned from qualified professors, tour guides and from talking to Cuban people from different parts of Cuba who work in different kinds of jobs. I could see how the Cuban people have come together to meet the challenges of the past and to prepare for a brighter future.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

R

Recommends

Thank you Road Scholar! July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar tours are the best bang for your buck

Operator Road Scholar

N

Recommends

Fabulous! July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This is a fabulous program for young and old. The instructors are great with kids and adults. The activities are very well organized and varied. My grandson is already making plans for next year.

Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: In Transit to Program

In Flight

Day 2: Arrival Day, Belfast

Meals: Dinner

Jury's Inn Belfast

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Arrivals continue, with free time for those who have already arrived. Before dinner we will have an Orientation in the hotel. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities and answer any questions you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: A seated three course dinner will be taken in the hotel dining room with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure to unpack, relax and prepare for the program ahead.

Day 3: Belfast Murals, Stormont, Belfast

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Jury's Inn Belfast

Breakfast: A full Irish breakfast in the hotel dining room. Choices vary but will include a variety of eggs, bacon, sausages, tomato, potatoes, cereals, fruit, toast, pastries and jams served with water, juices, tea and coffee.

Morning: Enjoy an illustrated talk on the colourful and evocative murals of Belfast, followed by an expert-led field trip to the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont.

Lunch: Lunch will be served at a local restaurant such as Molly's Yard in the city centre.

Afternoon: This afternoon, enjoy an expert-led motor coach ride around this endlessly fascinating city.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions should you wish to further explore Belfast.

Day 4: Amargh & St. Patrick’s Cathedrals, Belfast

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Jury's Inn Belfast

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We begin this morning with a lecture on "The Legend of St Patrick: Ireland's Revered Saint". We depart by motor coach for Armagh where we will experience an expert-led visit of Armagh Cathedral and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Lunch: Lunch will be served at a local restaurant such as 4 Vicars in the centre of Armagh.

Afternoon: Following our excursion in Armagh, we will return to Belfast by motor coach for free time.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 5: Transfer to Derry, Giant’s Causeway

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: City Hotel Derry.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We board the motor coach to transfer to Derry, stopping en route to enjoy a field trip to Bushmills Whiskey distillery, the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery having first been operational from 1608.

Lunch: Lunch will be served in the village of Bushmills.

Afternoon: This afternoon we visit the Giant’s Causeway, a natural amphitheatre made up of hexagonal shaped basalt rocks, and a UNESCO world heritage site. We will begin in the capable hands of a National Trust expert as we explore the site, before some free time to allow you to make the most of this breathtaking natural phenomenon. The transfer to Derry then continues.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 6: Derry’s City Walls, The Inishowen Peninsula, Derry

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: City Hotel Derry.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Discover why Derry is regarded as one of the best examples of a walled city in Europe as we set out on foot with a local expert. Following the walk, we depart by motor coach for a field trip to the Inishowen Peninsula to take in the spectacular coastal scenery.

Lunch: Served in a traditional Irish pub in the seaside town of Culdaff.

Afternoon: Our field trip around the Inishowen Peninsula continues.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 7: Transfer to Galway, Yeats at Drumcliff, Galway

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Salthill Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We depart by motor coach for Galway – the cradle of Gaelic culture in the West and often referred to as the “city of tribes”, as it was home to 14 famous merchant families. We’ll make a stop at Drumcliffe, the final resting place of famed Irish poet W.B Yeats. Yeats is remembered as an important cultural leader, as a major playwright and as one of the very greatest poets of the century. The epitaph on his gravestone is well known: “Cast a cold eye / On life / On death / Horseman, pass by!”

Lunch: Lunch will be served in a restaurant en route.

Afternoon: The transfer to Galway continues.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 8: Connemara, Galway

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Salthill Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we travel by motor coach for a full day exploring Connemara. A broad peninsula between Killary Harbour and Kilkieran Bay in the west of County Galway, Connemara has long been regarded as the real emerald of Ireland. Expect to see Cong, the Quiet Man and Kylemore Abbey – the oldest Benedictine abbey in Ireland.

Lunch: Served in Kylemore Abbey.

Afternoon: We continue on to explore the sleepy seaside villages of Connemara, stopping at Lough Inagh Lodge in the village of Recess. Enjoy the opportunity to try an Irish Coffee in this beautiful old hunting lodge, nestling on the shores of Lake Inagh. Our day continues with a visit to the award winning Cnoc Suain Heritage Centre for an insight into the rural folklore, traditions and way of life in the west of Ireland.

Dinner: Served at a restaurant in the village of Spiddal.

Evening: Return to Galway by motor coach after dinner, followed by free time.

Day 9: Galway City

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Salthill Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Take in an informative lecture on “The Celts and the West of Ireland”, followed by an expert-led walking orientation of Galway City in the company of a local historian.

Lunch: Served in a traditional Irish restaurant, Ard Bia on the river at Spanish Arch.

Afternoon: Free time.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 10: Transfer to Cork, Cliffs of Moher & the Burren

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We board the motor coach to transfer to the city of Cork. En route will we stop to take in the natural wonders of the world-famous Cliffs of Moher, with time to linger by the cliffs which rise like a cathedral into the sky some 700 feet above the wild Atlantic Ocean. We’ll then continue onwards towards the Burren to meet a local expert, who will lead us through one of the largest karst limestone landscapes in Europe, stopping for a short hike on its moon-like terrain.

Lunch: Taken in a pub in the village of Kilfenora.

Afternoon: We continue on to Cork City. Ireland’s second largest city, Cork was founded in the 7th Century and is today a bustling, lively little city.

Dinner: Three course served and plated dinner In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 11: Cobh, The Queenstown Centre, Cork.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Imperial Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We travel to Cobh by motor coach, where we will be treated to an expert-led walk of this attractive port town, followed by a visit to the Queenstown Story exhibition. Here we retrace the steps of 2.5 million adults and children who emigrated from Ireland on coffin ships, early steamers and finally on the great liners.

Lunch: Taken out at the Queenstown Centre.

Afternoon: Free time in Cork after returning to the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner will be taken with local host families in Carrigaline.

Evening: Spend some time this evening getting an insight into life in a modern Irish home as you enjoy dinner with your host family.

Day 12: Transfer to Killarney, Blarney Castle

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Earls Court House Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We depart Cork by motor coach for Killarney, via Blarney Castle – home of the famous Blarney Stone. Tradition dictates that the gift of eloquence is conferred on all those who kiss the stone!

Lunch: Served in Blarney.

Afternoon: We continue on to Killarney. We’ll have a short orientation walk around the local area before enjoying an Irish coffee demonstration.

Dinner: Three course served and plated dinner In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 13: Ring of Kerry, Killarney

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Earls Court House Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We begin with a talk and slide show, “A Ramble Down the Ol’ Bothrain”, before we depart by motor coach with a local expert to explore the Ring of Kerry. The Ring of Kerry is made up of spectacular coastal and mountain scenery, enveloping the towns of Glenbeigh, Cahersiven, Waterville and Sneem. We’ll enjoy a visit to Muckross House en route, a magnificent Victorian mansion spectacularly situated close to the eastern shore of Muckross Lake

Lunch: Served in Cahersiveen.

Afternoon: The field trip continues.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 14: Transfer to Dublin, Waterford, Tramore

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ashling Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Depart by motor coach for Dublin, Ireland’s capital city and your final destination. On the way we’ll visit the world-famous Waterford Crystal visitors centre.

Lunch: Enjoy a community hosted lunch in the seaside town of Tramore, County Waterford.

Afternoon: The transfer to Dublin continues.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 15: St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Ashling Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Orientate yourself to Dublin with an expert-led field trip of the city, including visits to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Dublin Castle.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Free time.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Enjoy an evening on one of Dublin’s many renowned theatres.

Day 16: Brú na Bóinne, Dublin

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ashling Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Board the motor coach for an expert led visit of Brú na Bóinne in nearby County Meath. Brú na Bóinne comprises the Neolithic burial chambers of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. Their survival through more than 5,500 years reflects the sophistication of their design and ingenuity of the Stone Age men who constructed them.

Lunch: Served at Causey Farm.

Afternoon: Spend the afternoon at Causey Farm, a family run cattle and sheep farm. Meet the family, stroll through the farm and discover the traditional practices of Irish farming.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 17: Glendalough, Dublin

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ashling Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We begin with a lecture on “Christian & Monastic Ireland”, before boarding the motor coach and departing for Glendalough. First established in the 6th Century, Glendalough is a Christian Monastic site magnificently situated in a glacial valley between two lakes.

Lunch: Served in Wicklow.

Afternoon: The field trip continues.

Dinner: A farewell dinner at the hotel with an evening of traditional Irish music and song.

Evening: Your farewell continues.

Day: 18: Program Concludes, In Flight

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast: In the hotel. Some participants may depart prior to breakfast.

Morning: Transfer to Dublin Airport (DUB) for onward flights. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future.

Dates & Pricing
Checking price

Price From

$ 3,955

Price Per Day:

$ 220 per day
 
  • Select Custom Arrangements to get to and from Road Scholar-provided airfare for your program
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.
Details
Trip Includes
  • 16 nights of accommodations
  • 4 expert-led lectures
  • 20 expert-led field trips
  • 5 hands-on experiences
  • 1 performance
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes
Meals Included:

16 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches and 14 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Accomodations

Jury's Inn Belfast: 3 nights  Belfast

Modern hotel located in the heart of the city next to Belfast Opera House.         

 

City Hotel Derry.: 2 nights  Derry

City Hotel Derry enjoys an idyllic location perched on the banks of the River Foyle, within 5 minutes walking distance of the historic Derry Walls. These walls remain the oldest complete defensive walls in Ireland.

 

Salthill Hotel: 3 nights  Galway

The hotel boasts views over Galway Bay, Clare Hills Salthill Promenade.

 

Imperial Hotel: 2 nights  Cork

AVEDA Lifestyle Salon and Spa.

 

Earls Court House Hotel: 2 nights  Killarney

Earls Court House Hotel Killarney stands on its own grounds, located 7 minutes gentle stroll to Killarney’s bustling town centre. The olde world charm and relaxed atmosphere makes it your ideal base for exploring the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula and Killarney National Park.   

 

Ashling Hotel: 4 nights  Dublin 8

The Ashling is located in the heart of historic Dublin adjacent to Heuston Station, Dublin Zoo, Kilmainham Gaol and on the Luas red line.

Start City
Belfast
End City
Dublin

Trip ID#: IreCoaRoa

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