Ballynahinch Castle, where you can stay on our castle tours of Ireland Ballynahinch Castle, where you can stay on our castle tours of Ireland
Ballynahinch Castle, where you can stay on our castle tours of Ireland The sun setting over the Irish coast Irish locals fishing on the lake at Kylemore Abbey Glendalough, monastic site visited on some of our Ireland tours Traditional Irish music performed for visitors on a Tour of Ireland Sheep grazing on the Irish coastal clifftops

Castles and Backroads Tour 2018 Explore the road less travelled

2018 Tour Summary

On the Castles and Backroads tour of Ireland, see the true face of Ireland as you explore not only the top tourist attractions, but also the road less travelled. Designed for a maximum group size of 20 guests, this unique tour offers the perfect blend of Ireland's best-loved destinations and its best-kept secrets. Stay in real Irish castles as you uncover the hidden charms and unmissable sights on your Ireland tour.

  • Dublin & East

    Trinity College and the famous Book of Kells. The world-renowned Guinness Storehouse. Staying in the Gresham Hotel.

  • West Coast

    Kylemore Abbey, Connemara National Park, Killary Fjord Cruise, The Burren, The Cliffs of Moher. Staying in Abbeyglen Castle Hotel.

  • Central Ireland

    Kilkenny Castle, The Rock of Cashel, Tullamore Distillery. Staying in Kinnitty Castle Hotel.

Key Tour Information

  • Stay in Irish Castles
  • 7 days / 6 nights
  • €1,545 to €1,595
  • Max. 26 Guests (extra space)
  • Space to Spread Out
  • No sales pitches
Info & Tour Map Accommodation Luxury Transport Dates & Prices Compare all Tours
  • Sunday:

    Welcome to Ireland
    Staying in the Gresham Hotel

  • Monday:

    The Journey West
    Staying in Abbeyglen Castle

  • Tuesday:

    Wild Connemara
    Staying in Abbeyglen Castle

  • Wednesday:

    Galway and Connemara
    Staying in Kinnitty Castle

  • Thursday:

    Central Ireland
    Staying in Kinnitty Castle

  • Friday:

    The Fair City of Dublin
    Staying in the Gresham Hotel

  • Saturday:

    Departure or onward journey
    Skip to the full Tour Itinerary...

Tour Accommodation Stay in real Irish Castles

Stay in authentic Irish castles on this Castles and Backroads Tour of Ireland. We are very proud of the range of luxury accommodation we have put together for this unique journey. These castle hotels are family-owned, just like ourselves, and we have a long standing relationship with all the accommodation providers we use.

We know and trust the hotels we use for our tours, and we choose them carefully based not only on their star rating, but also on their location, service, value and character. With 28 years of experience offering tours of Ireland, we have the knowledge, the experience and the local contacts to design the perfect accommodation package for your vacation in Ireland.

Luxury Transport

On a tour vacation, the journey can be just as important as the destination. That's why our vehicles are all of the highest standards both in terms of luxury and reliability. For our tour vehicles we use 35-seater coaches, but limit the number of participants to 26. This gives you more space to spread out, relax and enjoy the wonderous scenery. This smaller group size is a core principle in our tours.

  • Extra space to spread out
  • Tinted Windows
  • Panoramic Outlook
  • Air Conditioning
  • On-board Fridges
  • Luxury Cushioned Seats

Tour Prices

Arrival Departure Price Per Person Availability
Sun 27 May 2018 Sat 02 Jun 2018 € 1545 Spaces Available - Book Now!
Sun 10 Jun 2018 Sat 16 Jun 2018 € 1545 Spaces Available - Book Now!
Sun 24 Jun 2018 Sat 30 Jun 2018 € 1545 Spaces Available - Book Now!
Sun 08 Jul 2018 Sat 14 Jul 2018 € 1545 Spaces Available - Book Now!
Sun 29 Jul 2018 Sat 04 Aug 2018 € 1595 Spaces Available - Book Now!
Sun 23 Sep 2018 Sat 29 Sep 2018 € 1595 Spaces Available - Book Now!

By booking with My Ireland Tour, you are agreeing to our Terms and Conditions

Compare our Tours

Click here to view summaries of all our tours

Tour Name Duration Price Group Size  
10-day Iconic Scenes of Ireland 10 days / 9 nights €1,290 - €1,790 Max. 26 ppl Details
15-day Iconic Scenes of Ireland 15 days / 14 nights €2,485 Max. 26 ppl Details
6-day Iconic Scenes of Ireland 6 days / 5 nights €1,075 Max. 26 ppl Details
Discover Northern Ireland 6 days / 5 nights €995 Max. 26 ppl Details
Deluxe Irish Castles Tour 10 days / 9 nights €1,990 to €2,290 Max. 26 ppl Details
Ancient Ireland Mini-Group Tour 10 days / 9 nights €2,290 to €2,590 Max. 8 ppl Details
The Castles and Backroads Tour 7 days / 6 nights €1,545 to €1,595 Max. 26 ppl Details
Towns and Villages of Ireland Tour 8 days / 7 nights €1,350 Max. 26 ppl Details
Celtic Explorer Tour of Ireland 7 days / 6 nights €1,200 Max. 26 ppl Details
Customized Private Tour Any duration Any budget 2 - 100 ppl Details
View Summaries of all our Tours
A stunning Connemara lake A stunning Connemara lake

Explore the Road Less Travelled

The Castles and Back Roads Tour takes you into the heart of the authentic Ireland we know and love. Explore off the beaten track to uncover true Irish culture and the hidden secrets of this enchanting landscape.

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Attractions on this Tour Click an attraction to find out more

Stunning sea view, captured on one of our tours of Ireland Stunning sea view, captured on one of our tours of Ireland

The Tour Itinerary Sunday: Welcome to Ireland

Printer-friendly Tour Itinerary

Sunday's Itinerary

On arrival in Dublin Airport reclaim your baggage and enter the Arrivals Hall. Here in the Arrivals Hall you will meet your professional Irish driver-guide (one person).

There will be 3 Group transfers this morning between 07:00 am and 12:00 noon. Board your luxury air-conditioned coach and make the short transfer to the Gresham Hotel where you can relax and unwind after your flight.

At 19:00 this evening all participants will gather for dinner in the Gresham Hotel restaurant where you will become acquainted with your fellow travellers and the coming days can be discussed at leisure with your professional driver-guide (one person).

Included Today

View over the River Shannon View over the River Shannon

Monday: Westwards Staying in Abbeyglen Castle

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Monday's Itinerary

After some much needed sleep and a hearty full Irish breakfast we will depart for Abbeyglen Castle majestically set on the Sky Road overlooking the town of Clifden in Connemara, County Galway. Travelling west your route today will take through County Offaly to the town of Tullamore.

Your first visit will be Tullamore D.E.W. Distillery, where you can learn about the art of Irish whiskey-making and discover the secret that gives Tullamore D.E.W. its unique complexity with a tour of Triple whiskey tasting.

Travel on via Galway into the wilds of Connemara via the villages of Oughterard, Maam Cross and Recess to Clifden the capital of Connemara which was founded in 1812 by the High Sheriff of Galway to create a pocket of respectability within the lawlessness of Connemara.

Tonight you will overnight and dine in Abbeyglen Castle Hotel. After dinner you might like to retire to the Lounge for a nightcap (Connemara Single Malt Irish Whiskey is just a suggestion) before bed.

Included Today

Kylemore Abbey, visited on our Castle Tours of Ireland Kylemore Abbey, visited on our Castle Tours of Ireland

Tuesday: ConnemaraStaying in Abbeyglen Castle

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Tuesday's Itinerary

Today you will tour the sights of wild Connemara famous for its bogs, mountains, lakes and rugged coastline. You will visit Kylemore Abbey, which is nestled at the base of Dúchruach Mountain on the northern shore of Lough Pollacappul, in the heart of the Connemara Mountains. It is regarded as one of Ireland's most romantic buildings. Continue on via Connemara National Park to Leenane (The film location of "The Field" featuring Richard Harris as The Bull McCabe).

At Nancy's Point just outside Leenane Village you will board the "Connemara Lady" for a spectacular 90 minute cruise on Ireland's only fjord. Cruising the sheltered Killary Harbour fjord is the ideal way to take in the dramatic sweep of the landscape, as you pass between the Twelve Bens and the Maam Turk mountains to the South, in County Galway; and the Mweelrea mountains to the North in County Mayo, as well as the views out to the Atlantic at the mouth of the fjord. The fjord's sheltered waters are perfect for mussel farming and you will see the ropes at several points on the fjord. You will also see some circular salmon farms, closer to the shore. Sheep dot the hills and now ramble freely over the remnants of potato ridges which stand testimony to The Great Famine of the 1840's. Return to Abbeyglen Castle via the rugged & lonely Inagh Valley.

Tonight you will overnight & dine in Abbeyglen Castle Hotel. After dinner you might like to take a short stroll into Clifden and enjoy a drink in one of its many fine pubs - E.J Kings, Lowry's or Griffins to name a few!

Included Today

The stunning Cliffs of Moher, as seen on our Ireland Tours The stunning Cliffs of Moher, as seen on our Ireland Tours

Wednesday: Wild Atlantic Way Staying in Kinnitty Castle

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Wednesday's Itinerary

This morning after breakfast we'll depart for Kinnitty Castle in the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in County Offaly. This unique castle has had a long and turbulent history from the Normans in the 12th century to its destruction by Republican Forces in 1922 to the present day. It now stands an intimate and cosy castle hotel.

Your journey to Kinnitty Castle will take you along the Wild Atlantic Way down the west coast of County Clare via the famous Galway Bay.

You will see the Burren, which is Gaelic for rocky land - an apt name for this vast limestone plateau. In the 1640s, Cromwell's surveyor described it as "a savage land, yielding neither water enough to drown a man, nor tree to hang him, nor soil enough to bury".

On the coast you will stand on the dramatic 650ft high and 8 kilometre long Cliffs of Moher to gaze out on the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean.

Continue east via County Limerick to Kinnitty. Tonight you will overnight and dine in Kinnitty Castle. After dinner you might like to retire to the Dungeon Bar for a nightcap before bed.

Included Today

The Rock of Cashel (Tipperary, Ireland) The Rock of Cashel (Tipperary, Ireland)

Thursday: Central Ireland Staying in Kinnitty Castle

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Thursday's Itinerary

This morning after breakfast you will tour the counties of Tipperary and Kilkenny. Rising out dramatically from the plains of Tipperary you will visit the Rock of Cashel. This was the seat of kings and mediaeval bishops for 900 years and flourished until the early 17th century. Brian Ború was crowned King of Munster here in 977 and he became High King of Ireland in 1002.

You will have a unique home cooked lunch experience today on a family farm outside Kilkenny. After lunch your hosts will give you a demonstration class in making delicious traditional home baked scones.

After lunch you will visit Kilkenny Castle which has been an important site since Strongbow constructed the first building a wooden tower in the 12th century. William the Earl Marshall built the first stone castle on the site in 1260.

Take time to stroll the medieval streets of Kilkenny and you might want to visit the Kilkenny Design Centre or take time for a pint of Smithwick's an Irish Red Ale from Kilkenny. Return to Kinnitty Castle where you will overnight and dine.

Included Today

The vibrant and outward-looking city of Dublin, where our Ireland Tours start and finish The vibrant and outward-looking city of Dublin, where our Ireland Tours start and finish

Friday The Fair City of Dublin

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Friday's Itinerary

After breakfast this morning you will make the short journey to the "Fair City" of Dublin, Ireland's capital. Here you will explore some of the capital's best-loved attractions.

Trinity Collegefounded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I on the site of an Augustinian monastery. Trinity College is also home to the Book of Kells, which is the most richly decorated of Ireland's medieval illuminated manuscripts. The book contains the four gospels in Latin. Some of the dyes used were imported from as far as the Middle East.

The Guinness Storehouse at St. James's Gate for a tour of the world famous brewery and afterwards enjoy a perfect pint of Guinness in the Gravity Bar, which is located at the top of a glass tower that commands spectacular views of Dublin City and County in every direction.

You will have free time this afternoon to explore and shop in Dublin and we would also suggest you take a stroll up Grafton Street. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner and a mighty evening of Irish music, song and dance at the Merry Ploughboy Pub.

After a great night we will make our way to the Gresham Hotel in Dublin City to get a good night's rest for your journey home in the morning.

Included Today

Dingle, Kerry, Ireland Dingle, Kerry, Ireland

Saturday: Departure

After a final great Irish breakfast this morning there will be 2 group transfers between 0500 and 1100 for you to choose from to get you to Dublin Airport for your return flight home.

Included Today

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Why this Tour?

This seven-day tour of Ireland encourages you to take a closer look at the authentic face of Ireland. See the sights and live the culture that the locals know and love. Staying in real castles during your Ireland tour, you will be exploring not only the best-loved destinations of the Emerald Isle, but its best-kept secrets, too. As well as visiting the unmissable tourist attractions of Dublin and the West Coast, you will be heading off the beaten track on a voyage of discovery.

Kinnitty Castle Hotel, Ireland

Stay in Castles

On this Ireland tour, you will be staying and dining in real Irish castles. Live like royalty as you make yourself at home in these historic buildings. Your accommodation includes Abbeyglen Castle and Kinnitty Castle (pictured above).

The Cliffs of Moher

Unmissable Sights

While showing you the hidden charms of Irish culture and history, the Castles and Backroads tour ticks all the right boxes when it comes to Irish vacations. See the Guinness Storehouse, the Book of Kells, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, the Rock of Cashel and more.

A real Irish traditional music session in a Pub in Ireland

Truly Irish Experience

On this Ireland tour, you are invited to discover the true face of Irish culture. You will share a home-cooked lunch with an Irish family on their working farm. Learn how to bake traditional Irish scones. Enjoy celtic music and dance in a real Irish pub.

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Karin Michelussi

Reviewed in October 2017

My sister and I have talked about going to Ireland for several years and finally decided in 2017 to just do it. We looked into several tour companies and I have to say, choosing My Ireland Tour was one of our best decisions. We had an amazing time and loved everything about the trip, from seeing the best that Ireland had to offer to enjoying the time on the bus with our tour guide, George Graham.

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Richard Brengelman

Reviewed in October 2017

Karen and I had a wonderful trip with My Ireland Tours. We made new acquaintances, gained respect for Ireland's history, enjoyed the magnificent views and in general just had a wonderful time. We must admit that George Graham, our tour guide, was the highlite of the tour. His sense of timing and humor, his knowledge of the land and it's history "made the tour".

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David and Larraine Lewis

Reviewed in July 2017

Our tour of Ireland from Dublin down to the southwest coast, up to Galway and back to Dublin from June 20-29, 2017, was a pure delight. From the time Ted, our driver/guide picked us up at Dublin Airport to the time we ended in Dublin, we saw a beautiful country which surprised us with its diverse terrain. We were pleased to extremely pleased with our guest houses and hotels.

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Chris Riley

Reviewed in July 2017

Just returned from a 8 day vacation of Ireland through "My Ireland" tours and had a great time. The trip was well planned and delivered without any issues. All accommodations exceed expectations and Pat our bus driver was very friendly and knowledgeable of every city we visited. I highly recommend 'My Ireland" tours if you are looking t plan a vacation in Ireland. Looking forward to returning to Ireland.

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Mike Curtis

Reviewed in July 2017

The "BEST" that we could hoped for! My wife and I were celebrating our 30th anniversary during the Deluxe Castle Tour. The tours, accommodations, the food, and our tour guide Tom were outstanding! Every day was a new treat with the different tours and accommodations. Only having 26 people on the tour was perfect size, plenty of room to spread out on the bus. We made friends for life and memories we will cherish forever.

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Lori Bledsoe

Reviewed in July 2017

We had an amazing tour of Ireland on the 10-day Iconic Scenes itinerary. Kristel, in the office, was so helpful with questions and guidance. With a smaller bus holding only 40 people and only 26 people on the tour, this allowed the group to spread out get to know each other. From the time he picked us up at the Dublin airport to the time he dropped us off to go home, our driver/guide, Tom Lavin, handled every detail with ease and professionalism.

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TheSymphony06

Reviewed in June 2017

We thoroughly enjoyed our Deluxe Castle Tour! Every detail was met. Kristel, in the office did a great job in planning and attending to the details of our trip and accommodations. Every place we stayed was beautiful. The places we visited on the tour were interesting and fun. Tony our tour guide is simply the best! He was very informative and has a very nice singing voice!

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Betty Kubiak

Reviewed in June 2017

We just returned from the 15 day Iconic Scenes of Ireland - North & South tour. Can't say enough wonderful things about Tom Lavin, our driver/guide. He went above and beyond to make sure all 22 of his passengers had the most memorable experience ever. He gave us an historical background of Ireland and all the places we visited with his unique style and sense of humor.

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Julia T

Reviewed in November 2016

I had a fantastic time on the Iconic Scenes of Ireland tour. I spoke with Kristel prior to the tour, who was always helpful and friendly. We visited beautiful locations, stayed in great hotels and learned so much about Irish history. Special thanks to our driver-guide, Tom, for such a great tour! He did a wonderful job with telling stories and making sure everyone was enjoying themselves and taken care of. I would recommend My Ireland Tour to anyone wanting to visit Ireland.

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Your Tour Driver-Guide

A tour vacation is only as good a the tour guide. And we're proud to say that our tour guides are the best in the business. Don't take our word for it: just see how past guests have reviewed our amazing driver-guides.

Your driver-guide (one person) is your chauffeur and your expert tour guide for the duration of your tour of Ireland. Experienced specialists in their fields, our driver-guides are expertly knowledgeable in all aspects of Irish life, history and culture. All our Driver-Guides have an impeccable safety record. Your personal driver-guide will have one goal - to ensure that you have an unforgettable and enjoyable Irish Tour.

In specific, specialist locations, you may be joined by a local expert who will guide you through the fine details of local history drawing on their background and local knowledge. For example, you will often have a local-specialist when visiting Derry/Londonderry and Belfast on our Northern Ireland Tours.

About My Ireland Tour A family-run business based in Cork

Proudly independent, reassuringly local. My Ireland Tour was established by the O'Gorman family in 1989. 28 years later, we're still an independent and family-run business based right here in Cork, Ireland. Your vacation will be personally managed by one of our dedicated team of local experts, and you can speak to that same person each and every time you are in touch.

Our reputation has been built over many years through the personal attention we give our Customrs, and the detailed planning that we put into each and every tour we create. If you have any questions, please just get in touch. Eric O'Gorman and the rest of the team look forward to chatting to you and showing you what makes Ireland such a magical place.

What makes us different?

Best Value

As one of Ireland's leading tour operators, we get the best rates in the best hotels and attractions, and so can give you the very best price. We encourage you to compare our tours and see how we offer the best value tours in the market.

Group Size

With My Ireland Tour, you will be touring in a group that's half the size of our rivals. That's means more space, more comfort, and a much more personal experience for you. We use extra-spacious coaches, and we still leave plenty of empty seats so that you can spread out.

More Included

We pride ourselves on having one of the most inclusive packages on offer, giving you even better value. Airport transfers, a full Irish breakfast each morning, 3-course dinners, entrance to all attractions, all excursions, all accommodation in the best hotels and more.

No Sales Pitches

With My Ireland Tour, there is no up-selling, no arm-twisting, no sales-pitches. We have included all the extras in your tour. So your driver-guide (one person) is there to look after you, not to sell you add-ons or hidden extras.

Guaranteed to Run

Once you've booked your space, the Tour is Guaranteed to run. That is not something most of our rivals can say. We never cancel tours or change dates. There are no minimum numbers to make the tour run and no caveats for changing dates. With My Ireland Tour you can relax - your tour vacation to Ireland is guaranteed.

Compare our 2018 Tours

Click here to view summaries of all our tours

Tour Name Duration Price Group Size  
10-day Iconic Scenes of Ireland 10 days / 9 nights €1,290 - €1,790 Max. 26 ppl Details
15-day Iconic Scenes of Ireland 15 days / 14 nights €2,485 Max. 26 ppl Details
6-day Iconic Scenes of Ireland 6 days / 5 nights €1,075 Max. 26 ppl Details
Discover Northern Ireland 6 days / 5 nights €995 Max. 26 ppl Details
Deluxe Irish Castles Tour 10 days / 9 nights €1,990 to €2,290 Max. 26 ppl Details
Ancient Ireland Mini-Group Tour 10 days / 9 nights €2,290 to €2,590 Max. 8 ppl Details
The Castles and Backroads Tour 7 days / 6 nights €1,545 to €1,595 Max. 26 ppl Details
Towns and Villages of Ireland Tour 8 days / 7 nights €1,350 Max. 26 ppl Details
Celtic Explorer Tour of Ireland 7 days / 6 nights €1,200 Max. 26 ppl Details
Customized Private Tour Any duration Any budget 2 - 100 ppl Details
View Summaries of all our 2018 Tours
idyllic Irish Coastline idyllic Irish Coastline

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Questions about this tour?

What's Included?

This is one of the most inclusive Ireland tour packages available anywhere in Ireland. Click below to find out just how much is included in the price.

See what's Included

Will the tour run?

Yes, like all of our Ireland bus tours our Castles and Backroads Tours are guaranteed. Unlike many rivals there are no minimum numbers for the tours to go ahead. Rest assured: we do not cancel tours or change dates.

Can I extend the tour?

Yes. You can extend this tour of Ireland simply by letting us know what else you would like to do on your vacation to Ireland and we can arrange it for you.

Prices & Availability Castles and Backroads Tour 2018

Arrival Departure Price Per Person Availability
Sun 27 May 2018 Sat 02 Jun 2018 € 1545 Spaces Available - Book Now!
Sun 10 Jun 2018 Sat 16 Jun 2018 € 1545 Spaces Available - Book Now!
Sun 24 Jun 2018 Sat 30 Jun 2018 € 1545 Spaces Available - Book Now!
Sun 08 Jul 2018 Sat 14 Jul 2018 € 1545 Spaces Available - Book Now!
Sun 29 Jul 2018 Sat 04 Aug 2018 € 1595 Spaces Available - Book Now!
Sun 23 Sep 2018 Sat 29 Sep 2018 € 1595 Spaces Available - Book Now!
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Paying for your Escorted Tour of Ireland

Deposit Amounts

Tour Name Deposit Amount
10-Day Iconic Scenes of Ireland Tour 2018 €300.00 per person
15-Day Iconic Scenes of Ireland Tour 2018 €500.00 per person
Ancient Ireland Mini-Group Tour 2018 €450.00 per person
Castles and Back Roads Tour 2018 €400.00 per person
Deluxe Irish Castle Tour 2018 €400.00 per person
Discover Northern Ireland Tour 2018 €300.00 per person
6-Day Iconic Scenes of Ireland Tour 2018 €300.00 per person
Towns and Villages Tour Tour 2018 €300.00 per person
Celtic Explorer Tour 2018 €300.00 per person

Payment Information

Balance Payments
The full balance is due 60 days before your tour
Currency:
All payments are in Euros
Credit Cards & Fees:
We do not charge any fees for paying by credit card. We accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express
Children's Rate:
Children ages 8 yrs - 17 yrs inclusive receive a 10% discount on the prices. Children must share a room with a least 1 adult. Our tours do not cater for children 7 yrs or younger. You must be 18 or over to travel on our Mini-Group Tours.

Single-Occupancy Supplements

Tour Name Single-occupancy Supplement
10-Day Iconic Scenes of Ireland Escorted Tour 2018 € 350
15-Day Iconic Scenes of Ireland Escorted Tour 2018 € 600
Ancient Ireland Mini-Group Tour 2018 € 500
Castles and Back Roads Tour 2018 € 350
Deluxe Irish Castle Escorted Tour 2018 € 500
Discover Northern Ireland Tour 2018 € 275
6-Day Iconic Scenes of Ireland Escorted Tour 2018 € 250
Towns and Villages Tour Escorted Tour 2018 €250
Celtic Explorer Tour 2018 €200

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