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 26 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 29 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 34-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
  • On-board Toilet Facilities

Please note: The Coach shown here is one of four 34 Seater Coaches we use on our Max. 26 Guest Tours. For any reason, should one of these become unavailable for your tour we will endeavour to provide you with an equally luxurious and comfortable touring vehicle.

Tour Prices

Arrival Departure Price Per Person Availability
Sun 27 May 2018 Sat 02 Jun 2018 - fully booked
Sun 10 Jun 2018 Sat 16 Jun 2018 - fully booked
Sun 24 Jun 2018 Sat 30 Jun 2018 - fully booked
Sun 08 Jul 2018 Sat 14 Jul 2018 - fully booked
Sun 29 Jul 2018 Sat 04 Aug 2018 - fully booked
Sun 23 Sep 2018 Sat 29 Sep 2018 - fully booked

The Deposit for the Castles and Back Roads Tour 2018 is €400 per person
The Single Occupancy Supplement is €350

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

Compare our 2018 Tours

Click here to view summaries of all our 2018 tours

Tour Name Duration Price Group Size  
6-day Iconic Scenes of Ireland 6 days / 5 nights €1,075 Max. 26 ppl Details
10-day Iconic Scenes of Ireland 10 days / 9 nights €1,290 to €1,790 Max. 26 ppl Details
15-day Iconic Scenes of Ireland 15 days / 14 nights €2,385 to €2,485 Max. 26 ppl Details
Towns and Villages of Ireland Tour 8 days / 7 nights €1,350 Max. 26 ppl Details
The Castles and Backroads Tour 7 days / 6 nights €1,545 to €1,595 Max. 26 ppl Details
Deluxe Irish Castles Tour 10 days / 9 nights €1,990 to €2,290 Max. 26 ppl Details
Celtic Explorer Mini-Group Tour 7 days / 6 nights €995 to €1,200 Max. 12 ppl Details
Discover Northern Ireland 6 days / 5 nights €995 Max. 26 ppl Details
Ancient Ireland Mini-Group Tour 8 days / 7 nights €2,290 to €2,640 Max. 8 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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

idyllic Irish Coastline idyllic Irish Coastline

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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.

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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

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Arrival Departure Price Per Person Availability
Sun 27 May 2018 Sat 02 Jun 2018 - fully booked
Sun 10 Jun 2018 Sat 16 Jun 2018 - fully booked
Sun 24 Jun 2018 Sat 30 Jun 2018 - fully booked
Sun 08 Jul 2018 Sat 14 Jul 2018 - fully booked
Sun 29 Jul 2018 Sat 04 Aug 2018 - fully booked
Sun 23 Sep 2018 Sat 29 Sep 2018 - fully booked

The Deposit for the Castles and Back Roads Tour 2018 is €400 per person
The Single Occupancy Supplement is €350

Compare all our 2018 Ireland Tours

Paying for your Escorted Tour of Ireland

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.

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The General Post Office

The General Post Office of Ireland The General Post Office of Ireland

The General Post Office of Ireland had many homes before finally settling on its current location of O'Connell Street, on January 6th 1818. It is most famous for housing the Irish Rebels during the Easter Rising of 1916.

The building was destroyed by fire during the uprising and was left unattended until the Irish Free State government set about restoring it. The General Post Office now acts as a visitor centre and sheds an amazing light on some of Ireland's darkest days and the country it was to become.