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

Celtic Explorer Mini Group-Tour 2018 Go Beyond a Conventional Tour

2018 Mini-Group Tour Summary

Experience up-close all that is Ireland when you join this Mini-Group Tour, strictly limited to 12 people. More than any other tour, The Celtic Explorer is designed to portray the fullest diversity of Irish life, new and old. As well as covering all the must-see tourist spots, your journey takes you deeper into the real Ireland that the locals know and love. Yours is an exploration through history, through culture and through Ireland's sweeping green landscapes.

Witness first-hand the vibrant outlook of Dublin, and compare it to Galway, once the "City of the Tribes" but loved today as an artistic haven. Experience the cultures and crafts that make Ireland so unique - its brewing, tweed and pottery.

Take a journey beyond. Discover the preserved history of the Aran Islands, where the Irish language and traditional way of life are woven into the fabric of local culture. See the quaint fishing villages that pepper this untamed Atlantic coastline. Standing atop the tall and rugged Slieve League Cliffs, look westward toward the Brave New World, as generations have done before.

  • Dublin City

    St Patrick’s Cathedral, Guinness Storehouse, the General Post Office Tour.

  • Athlone & Galway

    Clonmacnoise, Galway City.

  • Aran Islands

    Inishmore, Dun Aonghasa Fort, Kilronan.

  • Donegal & Sligo

    Lissadell House & Gardens, Belleek Pottery, Triona Tweed Design.

  • Enniskillen and Border

    Cruise on Lough Erne, Devenish Island .

Key Tour Information

  • 7 days / 6 nights
  • €995 to €1,200
  • Max. 12 Guests (extra space)
  • Space to Spread Out
  • No sales pitches
Skip to tour dates & prices Skip to the Tour Itinerary

A tour that takes you beyond the myths and legends to explore the real Ireland...

Irish History

From the cobbled city streets of Galway to the Celtic crosses of Clonmacnoise ancient monastic settlement, breathe in the history and heritage of yesteryear.

Irish Culture

Ireland is a pageant of poetry and dance, stories and song — as you will witness for yourself in the artistry of Galway City and the traditional Irish pubs of Dublin.

Irish Landscapes

Meandering mountains and craggy cliffs. Do not forget your camera on this diverse exploration of Ireland's world-renowned landscapes. From the towering cliff tops of Slieve League to the rolling lowlands of County Meath.

Info & Tour Map Accommodation Luxury Transport Dates & Prices Compare all Tours
  • Sunday:

    Welcome to Ireland

  • Monday:

    General Post Office Tour, Clonmacnoise

  • Tuesday:

    Aran Islands

  • Wednesday:

    Donegal and Sligo

  • Thursday:

    Slieve League Cliffs, Triona Design

  • Friday:

    Cruise on Lough Erne

  • Saturday:

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

Tour Accommodation Premium Hotels

You will be staying exclusively in premium hotels, all of four-star quality and better.* 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.

We are very selective in getting just the right accommodation for each specific tour and we are very proud of the selection of hotels we have put together. Some of these hotels are family-owned, just like ourselves, and we have a long standing relationship with them all.

* Most hotels on this tour are four-star hotels, and all are of four-star quality or better, though some do not have an official star rating.

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 Celtic Explorer Mini-Group tours of Ireland, we use custom 16-seater Mercedes-Benz coaches, allowing plenty of room to spread out. The Celtic Explorer Mini-Group Tour is strictly limited to 12 People. These are executive-class tour vehicles designed specifically for this purpose, offering the very pinnacle of comfort and safety. Enjoy the air-conditioning, luxury cushioned seats and the stunning views of Ireland from the tinted windows. Sit back, relax and take in all Ireland has to offer.

  • Extra space to spread out
  • Tinted Windows
  • Panoramic Outlook
  • Air Conditioning
  • Luxury Cushioned Seats

Tour Prices

Arrival Departure Price Per Person Availability
Sun 06 May 2018 Sat 12 May 2018 - fully booked
Sun 03 Jun 2018 Sat 09 Jun 2018 - fully booked
Sun 02 Sep 2018 Sat 08 Sep 2018 € 1200 Spaces Available - Book Now!
Sun 30 Sep 2018 Sat 06 Oct 2018 € 995 Spaces Available - Book Now!

The Deposit for the Celtic Explorer Mini-Group Tour 2018 is €300 per person
The Single Occupancy Supplement is €200

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
Sliabh Liag Cliffs, Donegal Sliabh Liag Cliffs, Donegal

Strictly Limited to 12 People

This tours gets you closer. With a maximum of 12 people on the tour, you will get more time, more attention and more space throughout your stay in Ireland. The Celtic Explorer Mini-Group Tour is designed to show you the widest range of attractions - Ireland's best-loved hot spots and its best-kept secrets.

Attractions on this Tour Click an attraction to find out more

Sligo in Northwest Ireland Sligo in Northwest Ireland

The Tour Itinerary Sunday: Welcome to Ireland

Printer-friendly Tour 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 (1 Person). There will be 3 Group transfers this morning between 0700 am & 1200 noon. Board your luxury air – conditioned coach and transfer to the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown.

Check in starts from 1500 and you can store your luggage at the hotel prior to check in. At 1400 we will depart on a Panoramic Tour of Dublin City visiting St Patrick’s Cathedral, founded beside a sacred well where St. Patrick is said to have baptised converts around AD 450. The writer and satirist Jonathan Swift, whose best known work is Gulliver’s Travels, became Dean of St. Patrick’s in 1713. His grave and epitaph are situated near the entrance of the cathedral.

You will also visit the Guinness Storehouse at St. James' 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.

At 1900 this evening all participants will gather for dinner in Clayton Hotel Leopardstown restaurant, where you will become acquainted with your fellow travellers, and the coming days can be discussed at leisure with your professional Irish driver-guide.

Included Today

Clonmacnoise, Co. Offaly Clonmacnoise, Co. Offaly

Monday Heading West

Monday's Itinerary

After some much needed sleep and a hearty full Irish breakfast you will journey into the heart of Dublin City this morning to visit The General Post Office (GPO) on bustling O’Connell Street, Dublin’s main thoroughfare. The GPO became a symbol of the 1916 Irish Rising when Irish Volunteers & Irish Citizen Army seized the building on Easter Monday 1916 and Patrick Pearse read out the Proclamation of the Irish Republic from its steps. The Rebels held out for a week before British artillery shelling forced them to surrender, but as WB Yeats was to write, matters had “now changed utterly” and a “terrible beauty was born” You will have a guided tour of GPO Witness History, a highly interactive and spectacular visitor attraction which focuses on the 1916 Easter Rising, the aftermath of this rebellion and also how Ireland has developed since.

We will then depart for Galway City, known as the “City of the Tribes”. Travelling west your route today will take you through Ballinasloe & Athlone, which is the centre of Ireland. You will visit Clonmacnoise a medieval monastery on the banks of the River Shannon founded by St. Ciaran in the 6th century. Clonmacnoise lay at a crossroads of medieval Ireland linking all parts of Ireland. Sacked time and again by the Vikings, it nevertheless flourished for over 600 years.

On arrival in Galway you will have a tour of this ancient city including its famous Eyre Square. Take time for a ramble down Shop Street to Galway’s Latin Quarter where stands Lynch’s Castle, Galway’s grandest 16th century town house. Stroll up the bustling Quay Street with its many great pubs and lively street performers. Tonight you will dine in the Maldron Hotel Sandy Road.

Included Today

Horses on Aran Island Horses on Aran Island

Tuesday Aran Islands

Tuesday's Itinerary

This morning bright & early we will travel west to Rossaveal Pier in South Connemara overlooking Galway Bay, where we will board a purpose built ferry that will take us on a journey to Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. The island of Inishmore is 8 miles long and 2 miles wide and is world famous for its austere landscape criss-crossed with drystone walls, spectacular coastal scenery and several prehistoric stone forts. On arrival on Inishmore you will tour the island by local minibus. Protected for centuries by their isolated position, the islands are a stronghold of traditional Irish culture and language. Your tour today will also include a visit to the spectacular Dun Aonghasa promontory fort, which is perched on a cliff 100 Metres above the roaring Atlantic Ocean.

You will also have some free time in the village of Kilronan, the largest village on the Aran islands, which are famous for their distinctive knitwear. You might like to shop for a traditional Aran sweater in Kilronan.

Return by ferry to Rossaveal and travel back to Galway. Tonight you will dine in the Maldron Hotel Sandy Road.

Included Today

Lissadell House in Ireland's Northwest Lissadell House in Ireland's Northwest

Wednesday Donegal

Wednesday's Itinerary

This morning after breakfast we will depart for Donegal in Ireland’s far North West. Donegal is home to some of Ireland’s wildest scenery and is famous for the natural beauty of its rugged coast, windswept peninsulas and golden beaches. Our route today will take us through the Northwest counties of Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Fermanagh.

You will visit Lissadell House & Gardens, beautifully located in the shadow of the iconic Benbulben Mountain. Lissadell House was built in 1833 by Sir Robert Gore Booth and WB Yeats was a frequent visitor to the house in the 1890’s. Today Lissadell House is the home of the Cassidy Family, who have lovingly restored the house and gardens to their former glory. The Cassidys will welcome you with a guided tour of their house & gardens.

Travel on via the quiet county of Leitrim before crossing the border into Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, where you will visit Belleek Pottery founded in 1857 for a guided tour.

Our journey will take us back across the border into the Republic of Ireland and onward to Donegal. Tonight you will dine in the Mill Park Hotel.

Included Today

Sliabh Liag Cliffs, Donegal.jpg Sliabh Liag Cliffs, Donegal.jpg

Thursday Slieve League Cliffs

Thursday's Itinerary

This morning after breakfast we will travel west along the shores of Donegal Bay, via the Atlantic Fishing port town of Killybegs for a tour highlight - the Slieve League Cliffs are the highest accessible marine cliffs in Europe. Here you will meet our local guide who will take you on a short walk to a commanding viewing point of these spectacular cliffs rising dramatically out of the wild Atlantic Ocean.

Our journey will continue on via Glengesh Pass, on our way to the heritage town of Ardara, which is known as the weaving capital of Donegal. You will visit Triona Design to hear how the Mulhern family have dedicated their lives to protecting and nurturing the skill, craft and heritage of traditional Donegal Tweed. Your tour of Triona Design will include seeing Master Weavers at work on traditional Looms that have been used for centuries, and hear the history of how people in rural Ireland lived in times gone by, and how all the family were involved in knitting, spinning and hand weaving.

Take some time to stroll the streets of Ardara, famous for its traditional Irish pubs. Return to Donegal town. Tonight you will dine in the Mill Park Hotel.

Included Today

Merry Ploughboy Pub in Dublin Ireland Merry Ploughboy Pub in Dublin Ireland

Friday Northern Ireland

Friday's Itinerary

This morning after breakfast we begin our journey back to Dublin, by crossing the border into Northern Ireland as we travel to the town of Enniskillen, which occupies an island between Upper and Lower Lough Erne.

We will Cruise on Lough Erne which boasts a rich combination of natural and historic sights and is a haven for many species of water birds. You will visit Devenish Island where St. Molaise founded a monastery in the 6th century. The most spectacular sight on this tiny wind swept island is a perfectly preserved 12th century round tower which stands 82ft high.

We journey on crossing the border back into Cavan in the Republic of Ireland before continuing via the county of Meath to Dublin. This afternoon we will check into to the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown.

This evening we will all gather in the lobby of the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown and make the short journey to the The Merry Ploughboy, one of Dublin's iconic traditional venues, where you will enjoy a farewell dinner and an evening of Irish music, song and dance.

Included Today

National Park Killarney National Park Killarney

Saturday Departure Day

After a final great Irish breakfast this morning there will be 3 group transfers between 0500 & 1100 for you to choose from to get you to Dublin Airport for your return flight home

Included Today:

Why this Tour?

Smaller Groups

With a limit of just 12 people in your group, you will be closer to the action. More time, more attention and more space for you.

Range of Attractions

This tour takes you beyond a conventional tour to show you the real face of Ireland, known and loved by the locals.

A Cultural Delight

Find unique culture, history & landscape around every corner and discover an Ireland Tour like no other.

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 Celtic Explorer Mini-Group 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 Celtic Explorer Mini-Group Tour 2018

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Arrival Departure Price Per Person Availability
Sun 06 May 2018 Sat 12 May 2018 - fully booked
Sun 03 Jun 2018 Sat 09 Jun 2018 - fully booked
Sun 02 Sep 2018 Sat 08 Sep 2018 € 1200 Spaces Available - Book Now!
Sun 30 Sep 2018 Sat 06 Oct 2018 € 995 Spaces Available - Book Now!

The Deposit for the Celtic Explorer Mini-Group Tour 2018 is €300 per person
The Single Occupancy Supplement is €200

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.

Find your Way Around


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.