Asset 5 arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up articleAsset 31 Asset 2 Asset 7 Asset 6 Asset 7 Asset 15 Asset 16 cartAsset 51 cart-filledAsset 52 checkAsset 50 Asset 3 chevron-up chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up close comment-new comment-filledAsset 11 double-caret-down double-chevron-downAsset 55 double-chevron-upAsset 56 email-new email-filledAsset 14 Asset 2 fullscreen-close fullscreen-open gallery gallery-filledAsset 15 Globe gridAsset 17 grid-filledAsset 18 headphones-new headphones-filledAsset 19 heart-filled heart-open interactiveAsset 73 linkAsset 48 loadingAsset 45 Artboard 1 minus mutedAsset 29 muted-filledAsset 30 ng-border Asset 8 pauseAsset 40 pause-filledAsset 39 Asset 12 Asset 13 playAsset 33 play-filledAsset 32 plus NG_AD_Iconography_111317_JY_v2 Asset 3 replay Asset 11 Asset 10 Asset 4 SearchIcon shareAsset 34
Ireland Private Expedition
tripDetail_slider_img1 MOBILE

9 days

from $8,325 AUD trip_detail hint icon

($5,695 USD)

Prices are per person, based on twin share occupancy. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange. The expedition price will be finalised at time of booking.

trip_detail module icon Private Expedition

trip_detail module Light icon Light trip_detail hint icon

Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives on bumpy roads, and easy hikes.

Premium trip_detail hint icon

Premium expeditions are led by a National Geographic expert, an expedition team, or top guides, and tap into National Geographic's worldwide resources to allow for in-depth exploration and special access to sites and experts in the field. Itineraries are fully planned, with some free time. Accommodations are high-end or best available. Ground transportation and most meals and activities are included in the trip price.

Enquire Now

Expedition Overview

trip_detail expedition map image
EXPEDITION OVERVIEW
  • Explore the stunning Irish countryside during private, in-depth tours of The Burren, Connemara, the coastal landscapes of County Kerry, and more.
  • Wake up amid the regal splendor of Ashford Castle, a meticulously restored medieval retreat and a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World.
  • Watch sheep-herding and turf-cutting demonstrations, chat with chocolate makers, and meet a breeder of championship racing stallions.
  • Walk atop the iconic Cliffs of Moher, and then pop into a nearby pub to enjoy a pint and some traditional Irish music.
Itinerary

The picture-perfect landscapes of the Emerald Isle hold stories of a celebrated and ancient history—a narrative told through the crumbling castle ruins, carved Celtic crosses, and mysterious beehive huts that dot the country. Uncover Ireland’s past as you stroll medieval Kilkenny, encounter Gaelic culture on the rugged western coast, and delve into the literary legacy of Dublin. Then take in some of the Irish countryside’s more surprising scenery: the stark limestone beauty of The Burren, and the raw, windswept coastlines of Connemara.

Day 1: Arrive Dublin, Ireland

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Land in Dublin, transfer to your hotel in the heart of the city, and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Consider a stroll through the landscaped gardens of St. Stephen’s Green; or visit the Guinness Storehouse and sip a pint of the famous black brew at the Gravity Bar, which offers panoramic views over the skyline.

Day 2: Dublin

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Set out on a private city tour, beginning at Trinity College. The university’s Old Library harbors the legendary Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript created around 800 A.D. Examine some of the book’s intricately decorated pages before continuing to the city’s historic center. See exquisite examples of Georgian architecture at the Georgian Squares; and visit the National Museum of Ireland's archaeology branch to browse its collection of Celtic antiquities, Viking artifacts, and the fascinating bog bodies excavated from the country’s peat bogs. Cap off your tour at the old-fashioned Sweny’s Pharmacy, featured in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses.

Day 3: Kilkenny

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Travel to medieval Kilkenny, stopping en route at the Irish National Stud. Founded in 1900, the stud has a long history of breeding championship racehorses. Meet a breeder and stroll the stalls for an up-close look at the center’s prized “living legends.” Then continue to Kilkenny, where you’ll be greeted by a local guide for a stroll along the “Medieval Mile” of enchanting alleyways and historical buildings. Continue to Kilkenny Castle for a private tour of its grand rooms and gardens, followed by an evening at leisure.

Day 4: Waterford/Blarney Castle/Killarney

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Today, travelers may choose from two itineraries on the road to Killarney. Opt to start the day at the House of Waterford Crystal for a private tour of the factory, where artisans hand craft and cut the world-famous glassware. Continue to Blarney Castle, home to the legendary Blarney Stone. Tour the castle and climb the tower for your chance to kiss the stone—a ritual that is rumored to grant you the “gift of gab.”

Alternatively, you may choose to start your day at Blarney Castle, and then continue west to Killarney National Park in County Kerry. Explore this serene sanctuary in a horse-drawn jaunting car, riding along lake shorelines framed by rolling hills. See the Knockreer House, and visit Ross Castle—site of a resistance to Oliver Cromwell’s Roundheads during the Irish Confederate Wars.

Day 5: Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Choose between two of Ireland’s most scenic driving routes today: the Ring of Kerry or Dingle Peninsula. Travelers who opt for the Ring of Kerry will loop through rolling emerald mountains, past sparkling lakes and pristine beaches, with options to stop at the Staigue ring fort, Derrynane House, and Ross Castle. Or choose to trace the rocky, wave-beaten coastline of the Dingle Peninsula. See the ancient beehive huts that dot the waterfront landscapes, walk through the seemingly endless shallows at Inch Beach, stop at a local pottery shop, and tour colorful Dingle town.

Day 6: The Burren National Park/Cliffs of Moher

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Drive through the dramatic limestone karst landscape of The Burren National Park en route to one of Ireland’s most iconic sites: the towering Cliffs of Moher. Trace the coastline on foot and take in views of the sheer cliff faces, which drop over 700 feet into the wild North Atlantic. Continue to the tiny town of Doolin—a hub for traditional Irish music. Pop into one of the pubs for a festive “trad session,” and then continue to your hotel, nestled in the heart of the Burren.

Day 7: The Burren/Galway/County Mayo

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

This morning, visit the family-owned Hazel Mountain Chocolate factory to learn the history behind this small shop and taste their award-winning bean-to-bar chocolate. Take a private tour of festive Galway before continuing to Ashford Castle—a majestic gateway to Ireland’s western reaches and a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World. This 800-year-old castle has been meticulously restored to its royal glory and now offers a sumptuous retreat amid the wild landscapes of County Mayo. As a National Geographic guest, you’ll have the exclusive opportunity to step back in time with the onsite historian, who will share tales from the long and colorful history of the castle.

Day 8: Connemara/County Mayo

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Begin your day on a private tour of the Dan O’Hara Homestead and get a feel for traditional farm life in Connemara across the centuries. Watch demonstrations in turf cutting and sample the farm’s delicious home-baked goods. Continue to the Sky Road—a scenic route that follows the spectacular Irish coast over sheep-dotted hills, past vertical cliffs and long beaches, and through lively towns. Stop for a sheep-herding demonstration before returning to the castle. This evening, soak in your sumptuous surroundings at Ashford. Take a walk or bike ride through lush woodlands, enjoy dinner in the elegant George V Dining Room, and enjoy a nightcap while shooting billiards in the game room.

Day 9: Shannon/Depart

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Transfer to the airport in Shannon and catch your international flight home

What to Expect

This trip has an activity rating of light; travelers should be physically fit and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods, navigating uneven or slippery terrain, and climbing stairs without handrails. Excursions include city walking tours, visits to archaeological sites, drives on winding roads, and easy hikes.

Accommodations
Throughout the expedition, you’ll stay in accommodations selected for their exceptional quality, location, and character, including Ashford Castle, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World.

Expedition Team
Top private guides will accompany you throughout the trip, and local experts will meet with you along the way as described in the itinerary.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Our accommodations are selected for their exceptional quality, location, and character. Below are several of the accommodations featured on this expedition.

1 /4

Ashford Castle - Mayo, Ireland

Built by the Normans some 800 years ago and owned for nearly a century by the Guinness family, Ashford Castle, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, is a medieval gem set amid the gorgeous countryside north of Galway. Many of the 83 guest rooms are located in the oldest, most atmospheric part of the castle. Each room is individually decorated with antiques and period textiles and outfitted with modern amenities, including Wi-fi, a Bluetooth speaker, cable television, electric blinds, and a USB charger. The lodge features three restaurants, a lavish bar and billiards room, a library, and state-of-the-art fitness center.

2 /4

Ashford Castle - Mayo, Ireland

Built by the Normans some 800 years ago and owned for nearly a century by the Guinness family, Ashford Castle, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, is a medieval gem set amid the gorgeous countryside north of Galway. Many of the 83 guest rooms are located in the oldest, most atmospheric part of the castle. Each room is individually decorated with antiques and period textiles and outfitted with modern amenities, including Wi-fi, a Bluetooth speaker, cable television, electric blinds, and a USB charger. The lodge features three restaurants, a lavish bar and billiards room, a library, and state-of-the-art fitness center.

3 /4

Ashford Castle - Mayo, Ireland

Built by the Normans some 800 years ago and owned for nearly a century by the Guinness family, Ashford Castle, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, is a medieval gem set amid the gorgeous countryside north of Galway. Many of the 83 guest rooms are located in the oldest, most atmospheric part of the castle. Each room is individually decorated with antiques and period textiles and outfitted with modern amenities, including Wi-fi, a Bluetooth speaker, cable television, electric blinds, and a USB charger. The lodge features three restaurants, a lavish bar and billiards room, a library, and state-of-the-art fitness center.

4 /4

Ashford Castle - Mayo, Ireland

Built by the Normans some 800 years ago and owned for nearly a century by the Guinness family, Ashford Castle, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, is a medieval gem set amid the gorgeous countryside north of Galway. Many of the 83 guest rooms are located in the oldest, most atmospheric part of the castle. Each room is individually decorated with antiques and period textiles and outfitted with modern amenities, including Wi-fi, a Bluetooth speaker, cable television, electric blinds, and a USB charger. The lodge features three restaurants, a lavish bar and billiards room, a library, and state-of-the-art fitness center.

PRICES & DATES

  • date Nov 1-Dec 31, 2019
  • 2 People $11,687 AUD ($7,995 USD)
  • 4 People $8,763 AUD ($5,995 USD)
  • 6 People $8,325 AUD ($5,695 USD)

Prices are per person based on double occupancy and do not include international airfare to/from your destination. Single traveler prices are available upon request. Surcharges may apply to certain travel dates based upon international or local holidays, as well as local events and festivals. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange and subject to change. See the terms and conditions for this trip for more information.

  • Transfers upon arrival and departure
  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary

What's Not Included

  • Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities