Follow us on:

Ireland – A Destination Showcase

  • Ireland
  • OVERVIEW
  • ITINERARY
  • HIGHLIGHTS


itinerary Map

Ireland – A Destination Showcase

16 Days

Experience the myths, charm and culture of the Emerald Isle with this tailor-made programme, specially designed to showcase Ireland at its finest.

Beginning in Belfast, this destination showcase takes guests to explore the rugged Causeway Coastal Route then south-west to eat oysters in Galway and hike on the Burren landscape in County Clare. Further south, guests will encounter beautiful scenery on the Ring of Kerry route and learn of the country’s emigration history before the trip concludes in vibrant Dublin.

GET IN TOUCH
  •   
  •   
  •   
  •   

ITINERARY HIGHLIGHTS



Day One: Arrival to Belfast

Day Two: Belfast – History & Heritage

Day Three: Stones and Thrones

Day Four: From Field to Table

Day Five: Galway

Day Six: The Burren

Day Seven: The Cliffs of Moher

Day Eight: A Castle in the Country

Day Nine: The Kingdom of Kerry

Day Ten: Killarney National Park

Day Eleven: The Ring of Kerry

Day Twelve: Ireland’s South Coast

Day Thirteen: Colourful Cobh

Day Fourteen: The Capital City

Day Fifteen: Dublin – History & Heritage

Day Sixteen: Onward Travel

Contact our Creative Planners Now


HIGHLIGHTS

VIEW ALL HIGHLIGHTS


Day One: Arrival in Ireland

Travel north to Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland. Perhaps begin with a panoramic tour; compact and intimate in size, the city boasts a rich legacy of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture.

Your first hotel is located in the very heart of the historic Cathedral Quarter and is a sophisticated blend of Victorian grandeur and Art Déco-inspired modernity.

 

 

Day Two: Belfast - History & Heritage

In the 18th and 19th centuries Belfast became Ireland’s pre-eminent industrial city. Ship-building thrived, and the city was the birthplace of the most famous ship in the world: RMS Titanic. See the huge cranes of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, affectionately known by the locals as Samson and Goliath, before visiting the award-winning Titanic Belfast museum.

Belfast is also known for its turbulent political past. A privately reserved guide will take you on a walking tour to learn more of how ‘The Troubles’ began, the people involved and their place in the conflict, and the effects on the city. It also shows how far the city has progressed since the ceasefires and Peace Process. It delivers an honest, objective and engaging insight into the conflict.

Day Three: Stones & Thrones

Northern Ireland was one of the best spots to film Game of Thrones because of its rugged, wild and barren scenery. See where Ned Stark beheaded a deserter of The Night’s Watch and where Catelyn Stark captures Tyrion Lannister on suspicion of trying to murder her son, Bran; the caves in which Melisandre was brought ashore to give birth to the shadow baby; and where Renly Baratheon set up camp while vying for the Iron Throne.

Though not featured in the TV show, The Giant’s Causeway has a name worthy of the Kingdom of Westeros, and a similar scenic splendour. A private guide will take you on a tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site; the lasting consequences a volcanic eruption some 60 million years ago, created an area of approximately 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, not unlike a giant jigsaw puzzle.

Day Four: From Field to Table

Your foodie experience begins in the warmth of the kitchen in an 18th century thatched cottage on the stunning shores of Strangford Lough. A local baker will then show you how he makes his traditional breads then you’ll be invited you to roll your sleeves up and try it under his watchful eye!

Next, take an in-depth tour of the only distillery in Northern Ireland to be given a licence in 125 years. Your tour will offer you the opportunity to create your own serve and to sample the single estate gin or whiskey.

At the end of the day, meet an oyster and mussel farmer. Visit his idyllically located oyster beds and learn how he cultivates and harvests his Oysters from seedling to fully mature. You may have the opportunity to harvest your own oysters to enjoy with your seafood feast!

Day Five: Galway

Travel to Galway. It was originally formed from a small fishing village then became a walled town in the year 1232. The city is compact and easy to explore on foot and brimming with brightly painted pubs and independent shops between medieval streets and sight-seeing spots.

Join where a private guide will take you on a walking tour to some of the city’s foodie highlights – from the best-known spots, including the famous Galway Market, to some lesser known gems. At each stop, a specially prepared treat will be waiting for you to try.

Further south, your accommodation is idyllically situated overlooking the unique Burren landscape and is an oasis of comfort and genuine Irish hospitality.

Day Six: The Burren

Explore The Burren, a special place, full of wonder and other-worldly beauty. This limestone plateau resembles a lunar landscape and is made up of an extraordinarily rich geological, botanical and archaeological heritage.

A local guide will take you on a walk, bringing this unexpected landscape to life.

Following your walk, a private demonstration by working farm dogs will be arranged. See these impeccably trained dogs respond to their individual whistles as they work with both cattle and sheep.

Day Seven: The Cliffs of Moher

The Wild Atlantic Way is where the wild Irish landscape collides with the dramatic Atlantic seascape; County Clare is home to some of the route’s most beautiful highlights.

Make your way to the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs are the crowning glory of the County Clare coastline; like a viewing platform for prehistoric giants who wish to peer over the edge of Europe, they provide an unrivalled view across the vast boiling wildness of the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Day Eight: A Castle in the Country

Travel onwards to your next accommodation. This castle hotel offers modern-day luxury and impeccable service with an extraordinary history to match. The beautiful 16th century castle was originally the ancestral home of one of the few families of Gaelic royalty, the O’Brien clan, who were direct descendants of legendary Irish King Brian Boru.

Set on 450 acres of parkland, the sprawling Estate has much to offer. Perhaps try your hand at falconry, and archery, or a relaxing horse ride through the picturesque estate.

 

Day Nine: The Kingdom of Kerry

Travel to County Kerry in the gorgeous south-west corner of Ireland which has long been celebrated for its beauty. Killarney is very much at the heart of Kerry and is without a doubt one of the country’s top destinations, known for its excellent shops, restaurants and cosmopolitan appeal.

Your accommodation is set in peaceful private grounds and surrounded by the famous national park from which it takes its name, the property could not enjoy a more picturesque setting.

This evening, dine ‘at home’ with a local family. The Irish are renowned for their good spirits and great craic and this evening is genuine Irish hospitality at its very best.  There are no menus or waiters; you will be treated as guests of the family. Expect a wonderful evening, eating traditional fare which is usually prepared and cooked by the host.

 

Day Ten: Killarney National Park

Spend the day in Killarney National Park. There are many established walking and cycling routes, however the beauty of the Park is that it offers numerous options still very much in their ‘undiscovered’ state. Sight-seeing highlights include Muckross House, an imposing mansion built in Elizabethan style, and the Gap of Dunloe, a beautiful glacial valley.

Spend the evening visiting a selection in pubs in Killarney in the company of a talented musician and storyteller. She is an accomplished Sean Nós singer – Sean Nós is a style of unaccompanied traditional Irish singing – and a multi-instrumentalist. She effortlessly sings and plays in between the chats and the stories.

 

Day Eleven: The Ring of Kerry

Spend the day exploring the Ring of Kerry. Following the coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula, the route is one of Ireland’s most famous drives. It encounters some of the country’s finest landscapes, weaving around storm-bashed coast, steep mountains, ancient ruins and welcoming villages.

A privately reserved boat will take you on a trip circling the Skellig Islands. Monks settled in solitude here during the 6th century; from the water, see the 1,000-year-old steps the monks carved into the rock, and the beehive huts they lived in. The larger of the islands is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and recently took a starring role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

 

 

 

Day Twelve: Ireland's South Coast

Visit Kinsale – with its crooked streets, slate hung houses and bow-fronted shops, it is one of the prettiest small towns in Ireland. Take time to explore the historic streets and the many independent shops and galleries found tucked away.

Join a unique culinary adventure here. A local guide will take you foraging on the coast for wild shellfish, seaweed and plants. Return to the town to visit two different eateries, with a dish specially prepared for you at each. Along the way you will meet local characters and producers, allowing you to discover their stories and the history of this charming part of Ireland.

Day Thirteen: Colourful Cobh

Travel to the harbour town of Cobh, which was formerly known as Queenstown following the visit of Queen Victoria in 1849. A private local guide – a specialist on Cobh’s history – will take you on a gentle walking tour during which the rich heritage of the harbour side town will be explored.

The port is known for its maritime and emigration legacy, and a history intrinsically linked with great ships, majestic liners and adventurous tales of the sea. It was once the main departure point for emigrants travelling to America and was the last port of call for the ill-fated RMS Titanic.

Day Fourteen: The Capital City

Set on Ireland’s east coast, Dublin is an essential stop for any visitor to the Emerald Isle. With a history that stretches back over 1,000 years, there is much to be discovered. Today, the city is regarded as one of the liveliest and most atmospheric in Europe.

 A privately reserved local guide will take you on a walking tour to discover the origins of Irish dancing and visit some of the landmarks of Irish cultural history in the city including underground Gaelic bars where you can listen to some live traditional music.

Check-in to your final accommodation. Widely considered the finest hotel in Dublin, its understated listed Georgian exterior gives no indication of the sumptuous, graceful elegance inside.

Day Fifteen: Dublin - History & Heritage

Two special visits are arranged today.

Begin with a visit to EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. Here, step through several themed galleries with a private tour guide who will give you a unique insight into the compelling story of how Irish emigrants and their descendants helped to influence and shape the world.

To follow, a privately reserved in-house guide will take you on a tour of the award-winning GPO Witness History visitor centre. On Easter Monday 1916, a band of rebels stormed the General Post Office building, seizing control and making it their headquarters during the fierce fighting of Easter Week. The Easter Rising set into motion a chain of events which would ultimately lead to the creation of the Irish Republic.

Day Sixteen: Onward Travel

Your chauffeur-guide accompany you to Dublin Airport for onward travel.

 

  •   
  •   
  •   
  •   

HIGHLIGHTS

VIEW ALL HIGHLIGHTS

THINGS TO DO

DUBLIN HIGHLIGHTS

The wide boulevard of O’Connell Street, passing the General Post Office, scene of the 1916 Easter Rising and birthplace of the Irish Nation.

THE SKELLIGS

Skellig Michael is named by Lonely Planet as one of the top regions in travel for 2017. One of only two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country, this inhospitable rock rising out of the Atlantic covers an area of less than 50 acres. Monks settled on the rock during the 6th century; perched on a ledge and reached by an amazing 1,000-year-old stairway is an isolated early Christian monastery.

THE ENGLISH MARKET, CORK

has been serving the people of Cork for more than a century. A myriad of artisan and speciality producers have helped develop Cork County into Ireland’s flagship food region. It has a gourmet reputation among the finest in Europe.

THE GIANT’S CAUSEWAY

Northern Ireland’s first and currently only World Heritage Site (awarded 1986) is the stunning Giant’s Causeway. It is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty frequently referred to as the Eighth Natural Wonder of the World. Discover the lasting consequences a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, which created an area of approximately 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, not unlike a giant jigsaw puzzle.

KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK

As you travel on horse-back, enjoy stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

TITANIC BELFAST

This world-class modern museum is housed in a striking aluminium-clad building reminiscent of a ship’s hull. Here, you can walk the decks, travel to the depths of the ocean and uncover the true legend of RMS Titanic in the city that built her. Don’t forget to step aboard Titanic’s little sister, SS Nomadic, which carried passengers to the mighty ship.

 

PLACES VISITED

BELFAST

Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland. The 19th century was a golden age for the city; it experienced the full force of the Industrial Revolution and in 1888 was granted city status by Queen Victoria. Compact and intimate in size, it boasts a rich legacy of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture.

GALWAY

Galway is the official European Region of Gastronomy 2018. The region stretches from green fields and rich farmlands to the unique karst landscape of the Burren and into Galway city, the trout fishing capital of Europe, and along the wild, rugged Atlantic coast. Galway has one of the highest densities of restaurants in Ireland and includes two of the country ‘s Michelin Star restaurants: Aniar and Loam. Galway is a city with a proud seafaring tradition and Galway Bay is one of the most celebrated oyster fisheries, where the native Irish oyster is widely prized as a delicacy in the later months of the year.

KILLARNEY

Located by the three lakes and mountains of the Killarney National Park, Killarney is well known for its excellent shops, restaurants and cosmopolitan appeal. During the summer months, the lively on-street musical entertainment complements the meandering of tourists and locals alike. On bright evenings, one can browse in a bookstore, admire art or savour the delights of homemade ice cream or a finely prepared lobster.

THE BURREN

The Burren is truly is a special place full of wonder, beauty and discovery. It is a karst landscape made up of an extraordinarily rich geological, botanical and archaeological heritage with parts of the region classed as a National Park. This limestone plateau resembles a lunar landscape; in the spring and summer months, great colour abounds against the stark landscape. Ruined forts and castles and numerous prehistoric sites dot the landscape; the region has been aptly described as ‘one vast memorial to bygone cultures’.

THE RING OF KERRY

Is possibly Ireland’s most famous scenic drive. It encounters some of the country’s finest landscapes, weaving around a breath-taking mosaic of rugged, storm-bashed coast, steep mountains, medievalruins, slate-coloured glacial lakes and welcoming towns and villages. As you might expect, there are many wonderful photo opportunities.

CLIFFS OF MOHER

Selected as one of the Signature Experiences of the Wild Atlantic Way, the Cliffs of Moher are a breath-taking Discovery Point. They are the crowning glory of the Co. Clare coastline. Like a viewing platform for prehistoric giants who wish to peer over the edge of Europe, they provide an unrivalled view across the vast boiling wildness of the Atlantic Ocean

KINSALE

One of the prettiest small towns in Ireland, with its crooked streets, slate hung houses and bow-fronted shops.It has a long and chequered history. The Battle of Kinsale in 1601 was the ultimate battle in England’s conquest of Gaelic Ireland.  The Irish forces and their Spanish allies were defeated which signified the end of the old Gaelic order, Irish resistance and marked a turning point in the history books. For over 300 years it was a garrison town and port of consequence, which left a legacy of Georgian and Victorian architecture.

DUBLIN

Dublin is steeped in history, with Viking, medieval and Georgian influences all having left their marks. Since the time of the Vikings, Dublin has been the principal gateway to the Emerald Isle. The medieval city, with its intimate knots of small alleys and broad streets south of the river, was developed in Norman times around St Patrick’s Cathedral and Dublin Castle, and later came to symbolise British rule in Ireland. The 18th century was the “Age of Elegance”, a time of relative prosperity when the Irish gentry set about remodelling the city into one of elegance, replete with graceful terraces, wrought-iron balconies and fanlight doorways. The city became Ireland’s capital with the establishment of the Republic of Ireland in 1937, and today is regarded as one of the liveliest and most atmospheric in Europe.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • "Probably the best of the best in the UK and Ireland for organising amazing trips. They know their stuff, have fantastic relationships with suppliers and always go the extra mile."

    Rob Arrow, Al Tayyar Group

  • "Lovely suite. Fabulous private tours. Everything has exceeded our expectations. "

    William A Heim, Client

  • "I had the most wonderful time with you and learned so much...What you offer is rare and much needed in the truly exclusive travel world. "

    Jean Newman-Glock, Signature Travel Network

  • "You were the heart and soul of the trip….I truly admired your sunny personality, sense of humor, organization and professionalism.  You also demonstrated  that a guide’s work is never done as you were constantly researching….. Did you ever rest??? "

    Sharon Delano, Frosch

  • "We want to thank you and the team from Dream Escape.  All six of us in our group had a wonderful time, and we all agreed we owed that in large measure to the work of Dream Escape. From the onset of working with you, you demonstrated a tremendous knowledge about all the activities we wished to pursue —from playing golf to dining at excellent restaurants to seeing historical sites and the Tattoo and Fringe Festival.  And, then you executed "

    Thomas Cohen, Client

  • "THANK YOU a zillion times over for choosing/assigning Rosie to be with this family.  She MADE the trip for them – there’s no other way to put it! "

    Jill Jergel, Frontiers International Travel

  • "Our holiday in Scotland now tops their lists of best trips…… To their growing list of amazing and memorable first-time experiences, our sons may add fishing for trout and salmon on the River Tay; steering a motor boat on Loch Ness; and taking private guided tours on Culloden Moor Of the eight full days we were in Scotland, Alex and Mattie thought each and every day was the best"

    Michael Guadarrama & Trammi Nguyen, clients of Peter Carideo. CRC Travel

  • "All six of us were deeply moved by the whole experience. Bravo Dream Escape "

    Max Levy, Direct client

  • "Thank you Karen and all of the staff and guides affiliated with Dream Escape…..the Flemings are having an awesome tour of Scotland. You all have made me look like a star! "

    Joni Gerace, The Travel Society, LLC

  • "Thanks for all your help and we can chalk this one up as a big success!   Our anniversary celebration was all we could have hoped for "

    Clients of Courtney Regan, Affiliate of Brownell Travel

  • "Rosie was MORE than outstanding – she went out of her way to help us in every regard...She was so knowledgeable – we all loved her"

    Jill A. Jergel, Frontiers International Travel

  • "I cannot thank you, Nicola and all the Dream Escape “clan” for the wonderful care & attention you have provided, and are providing for my clients"

    Cindy Evans, Travel Consultant

  • "I hope I have another opportunity to work with Dream Escape in the near future. The company is so professional, yet approachable and easy to work with. It has been a pleasure!"

    Carole McFarland, Universal Travel

  • "Dream Escape is delivering in a superb manner. Jim Johnston is a great driver and one of the best guides we've had - I wish to very much thank the Dream Escape Team for fulfilling a Dream…"

    Donald M. Davis, President, Luxury Travel, Inc.

  • "Thank you all so much it's great to have trusted friends on the ground to take care of our clients!"

    Peter Carideo, CRC Travel

  • "The trip was great.... Dream Escape is the name of the game"

    Ann Lipschitz, Worldview Travel

  • "Your level of service is just outstanding"

    Debra Fini, VWTI

  • "Dream Escape don’t just organise trips – they create adventures"

    Financial Times, How to Spend it

  • "It was, without doubt, one of the most spectacular weekends I have ever had"

    Country Life

  • "David Tobin’s an ace at getting inside private castles and estates and he’s well connected.... "

    Conde Nast Traveller Magazine

  • "The level of service they provide is outstanding. They truly care about every aspect of the trip to ensure you have a fantastic stay. Rosie is a hidden gem of a tour guide. Just fabulous."

    Yvonne Malka, Signature Travel Network, April 2018