Ireland Summer Highlights 2021
Land in Ireland and most travel preconceptions are immediately answered. It’s green and serene, the valleys stretching out beneath wispy layers of mist. This is a majestic country, a destination where culture and nature flutter together on the breeze.
The Emerald Isle delights and this experience showcases both the iconic and unknown. It’s an example of what you can do in Ireland for a summer vacation in 2021.
Day 1 - Dublin
Dublin Walking Tour with a Local
Dublin is a colorful city with a complex history. And Dubliners love a good yarn (story). This is a capital where stories whisper from the walls. See these stories come to life on a walking tour guided by a knowledgeable local.Stroll across the green lawns of Trinity College, where prominent Irish thinkers once pored over their studies. Move through the cool gardens of Dublin Castle, a British stronghold erected in 1204.Follow the history of the country's long struggle for independence, punctuated by bullet holes on O’Connell Street. Hear your footfalls ring on cobblestone and follow your nose into a fine pub in the Temple Bar area for a pint of Guinness and a plate of fish and chips.
The Merrion Hotel Dublin
The Merrion Hotel Dublin occupies four restored townhouses in the city's beating heart. Doormen in top hats open the way to a tastefully decorated interior with such storied artwork that audio headsets are available for a detailed self-guided tour.At the end of each day, you’ll be tempted to forego the city’s many great food options to get your fill of the hotel’s three fantastic restaurants. Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud is the only eatery in Ireland able to boast two Michelin Stars - it’s footsteps away from your room.Quite simply, this is Dublin’s finest hotel, for service, gastronomy, location and experience.
Day 2 - Dublin
James Joyce Literary Tour in Dublin
Explore the streets of James Joyce’s Dublin, in the footsteps of Leopold Bloom. You can see the pages unfold as you turn corners and chapters on cobblestone lanes. Recreate scenes from Ulysses and utter immortal phrases. Feel the poetry as you discover places that inspired Joyce’s words. You’ll stop at the James Joyce Centre and explore some of the contradictions and complexities to his work, not least the different versions of Ulysses. Afterward, your local guide will show you to a literary pub for a pint. Round out your Dublin education with a lesson on how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness!
Guinness Connoisseur Experience
Guinness is among the world’s most popular beers. But it simply doesn’t taste the same outside Ireland. You need to try it fresh, at the brewery. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Guinness Storehouse is Ireland’s number one tourist attraction. Skip the queue with this Connoisseur Experience. Sample a variety of sumptuous Guinness blends in the exclusive bar while learning about the iconic beer’s recipe and history from expert bar staff. Go behind the scenes with a master brewer to discover more about how Guinness is brewed. With this connoisseur knowledge, select your favorite brew and enjoy a pint or two against an expansive backdrop at the Gravity Bar, before exploring the museum at your own pace. Sláinte!
Day 3 - Tipperary to Kinsale
Rock of Cashel Heritage Tour
The Rock of Cashel is a relic from Ireland’s foggy past. Set on an outcrop of limestone, this collection of medieval buildings is like something out of a fairytale. Visit the site on a private tour, early or late in the day, when you can experience its majesty on your own, without the crowds.Explore the plateau and its buildings of weathered brown stone. Gaze up at the buildings while your guide details their construction, including that of the 28-meter round tower, built nearly 1,000 years ago.Learn the site’s history, shaped by abbots, earls, and wars, as the sun plays on the buildings and the rolling green countryside.
Kinsale Town Tour
Kinsale is a brightly painted town built around a historic harbor. Explore the harbor and surrounding area on a private tour that provides perspective from land and sea.Visit Charles Fort, a star-shaped fort built in 1682. It dominates a promontory from which British soldiers stood watch for centuries. Wander the city itself, passing buildings painted lime green, hot pink, purple, and orange. Pop into art galleries and cafes, meeting the locals who bring the town to life. Finally, see the harbor town from the water, aboard a private yacht. Enjoy Irish whisky as you look out at the colorful collection of cute homes and the bustling harbor.
Day 4 - Killarney
Highlights of Killarney Tour
In the company of a professional guide, see horse-drawn carts move along tidy streets with historic buildings, and farther afield, witness the glittering Lakes of Killarney reflecting green mountains. This tour of beautiful, historic Killarney is whatever you want it to be. Get better acquainted with the region’s history at the palatial Killarney House, once the seat of the Earls of Kenmare. Hike in Killarney National Park, the country’s oldest, in search of the island’s only herd of red deer. Dip paddles into the serene waters of one of the region’s many lakes and bays, visit historic buildings like Ross Castle, or immerse yourself in the town’s famous nightlife.
The Europe Hotel & Resort, Killarney
A cool wind sweeps the surface of Lough Lein, scattering reflections of the McGillycuddy Reeks as you look on, coffee in hand, from the patio of the Europe Hotel. Here in southwestern Ireland, the draw of Killarney National Park is matched only by the nearby rugged coastline, where the famous greens give way to the Atlantic Ocean. Connect with this incredible landscape at this thoroughly modern hotel.ESPA at The Europe is renowned throughout the country. Indulge your body in this sensuous spa that combines holistic wellness with abundant natural beauty, most notably in the outdoor infinity pool that melds into the Lakes of Killarney.
Day 5 - Killarney
Ring of Kerry Tour
The Ring of Kerry encompasses one of the most beautiful areas in a country not lacking in beauty. From patchworks of green pastures to Iron Age forts, this private, guided tour offers one photo op after another. Unfortunately the Ring of Kerry is packed with visitors, although most of them follow the same circular day trip route. With a private guide you can go against the grain, to avoid any crowds. Move through a glacier-carved landscape with peaks on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Walk through Kenmare, flanked by brightly colored houses. Hike through the fresh air of Killarney National Park. Explore ancient monasteries that speak to the region’s deep connection to religion. Try your hand at world-class golf courses and fishing spots.The Ring of Kerry is many things, and this tour will go wherever you want it to.
Day 6 - Adare
Horse and Carriage Tour in Adare
Adare Manor is a manor house with a history stretching back hundreds of years. Sitting on the banks of the River Maigue, the manor is a celebrated example of a calendar house, featuring 365 windows, 52 chimneys, and other elements that symbolically represent the measurement of time. See the estate from the perspective of an 18th-century earl, in a charming horse and carriage.Cuddle up beneath a lambswool blanket and take in the surroundings to the soundtrack of clip-clopping hooves. See the sun reflect on the fast-moving river while a heron prowls its bank. Gaze up at inspired architecture as you move into the manor’s shadow.
Stay at Adare Manor
The River Maigue flows rapidly past the imposing Adare Manor. With its hundreds of windows, dozens of chimneys, and watchful gargoyles, the building is as stately as when it served as home for the Earls of Dunraven.Inside, share warm conversation with other travelers around a crackling fireplace or search out a nip of Irish whisky in the Tack Room underground speakeasy. Enjoy the lavish furnishings in your room, with butler service.Golfers will appreciate the meticulously maintained, paradisiacal championship golf course, widely considered among the best in Europe. And anyone can borrow a retro bicycle to explore the nearby village of Adare, a postcard-worthy collection of thatched-roof cottages and antique shops.
Day 7 - Cong
Cliffs of Moher Scenic Helicopter Tour
A patchwork of farms and homesteads. Towering sea cliffs. Tumbling waterfalls, spilling into the roiling Atlantic Ocean.From the grassy top of the Cliffs of Moher, the ground suddenly falls away more than 150 meters to the ocean below. Absorb the staggering scale of one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions from a private helicopter!Taking off in the idyllic countryside, your pilot will bring you over the cliffs and let you marvel at them from a spectacular vantage above the waves. Look for waterfalls, jutting promontories, and the ruined Moher Tower.With a helicopter you completely avoid the crowds and see so much more than the visitor car park and main boardwalk.
Stay at Ashford Castle
Magisterial turrets, opulent antique furnishings, sparkling Lough Corrib, and sprawling lawns and gardens containing all of Ireland’s forty shades of green. The former residence of the Guinness family, Ashford Castle is an accommodation of singular eloquence.Sip delectable cocktails in the Prince of Wales bar after an afternoon of clay-pigeon shooting. Catch a matinee at the 32-seat cinema before heading out horseback riding. Explore the property’s magnificent manicured gardens.Escape to your own little home at the Hideaway Cottage, a converted boathouse on the shore of Lough Corrib, with a private pier and gated gardens.
Day 8 - Cong
Best of the Burren Tour
The Burren is a sprawling landscape of glaciated karst that looks like the surface of the moon. With its expanse of limestone pavements, the Burren might at first seem barren, but your private guide will reveal how this unique ecosystem is full of life.Stroll along the unyielding surface, past colorful flowers thriving in long cracks (or grikes) in the limestone, visited by more than twenty species of moths and butterflies. Hear the region’s history and legends, and explore caves and archeological sites, including portal tombs. The Burren is a massive landscape. Many people only visit a selection of main sites along the main route. With a private guide you can discover so much more, away from the main trails, deep into the wilderness. It’s all customised to your interests and how long you want to spend in The Burren.