Around Ireland in 12 days. Ultimate boutique Ireland vacation

The Ultimate 12 Day All Ireland Tour

12 days in Ireland North, West, South and East

Twelve days touring Ireland, this is truly the trip of a lifetime to the Emerald Isle. And, to ensure maximum comfort on board our luxury air-conditioned Mercedes mini-coach, it’s limited to twelve guests per tour.

Visiting the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, driving the Wild Atlantic Way, through Donegal to Westport and Galway. The Cliffs of Moher, the delights of Dingle and Killarney and then through Cork, Kilkenny and Wicklow.

This trip undoubtedly encapsulates our motto – ‘Discover the Heart and Soul of Ireland’.

Leap Year Ireland movie location. 12 day Ireland Tour

Scroll down to learn more and see our 2024 tour dates

The Best Towns in Ireland and a Castle Stay

Kilkenny Castle 12 day boutique Ireland tour

Highlights of this tour include three double-night stopovers – in Westport, Dingle and Kinsale. Three of the best places in Ireland in which to immerse yourself in Irish music and culture and engage with Irish people while experiencing everything that makes Ireland unique. Create memories at iconic places like the Giants Causeway, the Cliffs of Moher, Galway and the Ring of Kerry. You’ll stay in a castle and also the ancient city of Derry/Londonderry.

Irish History, Culture, Music and Scenery

This journey of Ireland will take you through the millenia – from pre-historic, through rebellions and famine, through to modern day. Explore neothlithic tombs, ancient Celtic stone forts, and medieval Irish castles. Marvel at the skill involved in traditional Irish crafts and try your hand at our national sports.

Enjoy the camaraderie of Irish pubs – converse with locals as your ear adjusts to our diversity of Irish accents. Let your emotions see-saw, as your feet tap to merry tunes and your eyes fill listening to sad songs of Ireland.

Be blown away by the fresh air of the Wild Atlantic Way coastline and majesty of our glacial valleys. And, most of all, let’s have ‘the craic’ – the very best of Irish fun while

12 day Ireland, Northern Ireland Tour, Irish Castle

Ireland 12 day Itinerary (click on each day to open full details)

Day 1 Dublin to Northern Ireland

Departing Dublin at 8.30am, we make our way to one of our secret gems, a little known neolithic tomb with some well preserved rock art. Then, we head to Northern Ireland where we have a number of choices. Shortly after crossing the border, there is an option of doing the newest visitor attraction in Northern Ireland – the Game of Thrones Studio Tour (optional activity – cost: approx €45).

In Belfast, you have the option of the captivating Belfast Political Tour with local guides or the Titanic Experience (optional activity – approx. cost – Titanic €23.50, Belfast Tour €18).

Sleep in a castle tonight, overlooking the sea at the Ballygally Castle Hotel.

Total driving time today: Approximately 2hrs 45mins

Day 2 Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast

We’ll take the scenic route along the coast and through the Glens of Antrim to the Giants Causeway (admission included in tour price), . If the weather favours us, there’s an option of a hike along a cliff-top path, for those who are feeling adventurous.
A tasty lunch in a nearby pub or cafe follows, before doing a tour of Dunluce Castle (admission included in tour price).

We then make our way to our overnight stop in one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe – Derry/Londonderry (LegendDerry).

Overnight tonight at the Shipquay Hotel, in the heart of the city.

Total driving time today, approximately 2hrs 15mins.

Day 3 Derry to Donegal

Start the day with a guided walk atop the Walls of Derry, where you’ll get the history from a local guide (included in tour price).  Into County Donegal, we visit an ancient hilltop Celtic stone fort with 360° views of the surrounding countryside.  

We might stop into the town of Letterkenny for lunch and then it’s off on the back roads to Glenveagh National Park, with its bleak history, gothic style castle and stunning gardens overlooking a glacial lake. Keep an eye out for wild deer and golden eagles.

Another scenic drive through the hills of Donegal brings us to our overnight accommodation on the Atlantic’s Edge at the Waterfront Hotel, Dungloe, Co. Donegal. This hotel has a gym for those who may have some energy to burn off!

Total driving time today, approximately 1hr 45mins.

Day 4 Donegal to Westport, County Mayo

A visit to one of Ireland’s few remaining handweavers is first on today’s list, then one of our favourite drives over mountain passes to Europe’s highest accessible sea cliffs, Sliabh Liag. This will be another chance to stretch the legs and take in the fresh sea air (or just sit and absorb the majesty of ocean meeting mountain).

As we journey towards Westport, we’ll take lunch and some time in Donegal town. Afterwards a quick stop at the grave of one of Ireland’s Nobel Laureate’s, poet WB Yeats and interpret the fine example of a medieval high cross nearby.

The next two nights sees us stay at the centrally located Wyatt Hotel in Westport. Westport has good restaurants and pubs with great music – one of which is owned by Matt Molloy, flute player with The Chieftains, who are attributed with bringing Irish traditional music to a global audience over five decades.

Total driving time today is approximately 3hrs 30mins.

Day 5 Connemara and Kylemore Abbey

A day of opportunities – to relax and stroll around the town or to strike out into the ‘savage beauty’ of Connemara. We visit Kylemore Abbey (included in tour price) – it’s easy to spend significant time there in the house and wonderful gardens.

We’ll return to Westport via Ireland’s only fjord and the beautiful Doolough Valley, where you’ll learn of a tragic event in Irish history that’s linked to it. We’ll also stop at the foot of Ireland’s pilgramage mountain, Croagh Patrick, which overlooks our stark but memorable National Famine Monument.

Overnight tonight – again Westport. Total Driving time today, approximately 2hrs.

Day 6 Westport to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher

Time to continue our way south. Our first stop is Galway, where you’ll spend an enjoyable couple of hours exploring this historic, vibrant, diverse, university city. The narrow pedestrianised streets at its heart, create a warm lively atmosphere with some great street entertainment (and some that smack of ‘student hustling for beer money’!).

Then it’s on to the famed Cliffs of Moher, which stand proud above crashing Atlantic waves (admission included in tour price). We time it to arrive when most of the day’s visitors have left, thus enhancing our experience.

Our accommodation tonight is either the Lahinch Coast in the seaside town of Lahinch, just 15 mins from the Cliffs.

Day 7 County Clare to Dingle

Start your morning with a pre-breakfast stroll along the beach and clear the cobwebs with that fresh Atlantic air. If the tide is in, are you brave enough to take a dip (sea temp about 15°c/58°F)?

We have two choices with our onward route to Dingle. Continue the scenic route along the coast, taking a short car ferry ride across the Shannon Estuary, or loop around through the picturesque village of Adare, with its cute row of thatched cottages.

Today, we visit the farm of a lovely couple, Bridget and Seamus (included in tour price). Here, you will witness the amazing bond between shepherd and dog and learn all about life in this remote rural area, with the sea to its front and the mountains at its back.

Overnight: Dingle for the next two nights. It’s a great little town – winner of Foodie Town of Ireland, great music and lots of pubs for its size! It boasts bookshops, galleries, craft shops and more. And – probably the best ice cream in Ireland, made right here in the town!
It’s also one of the areas where our native tongue (Gaeilge) is spoken. We’ll teach you a ‘cúpla focail’ (a couple of words), so you should at least be able to say ‘Hi’ by the time we get there.

Accommodation: Dingle Skellig Hotel or Benner’s Hotel. Total driving time today is approximately 3 hours 15 mins.

Day 8 Active Dingle and Slea Head scenic drive

Today is all about freedom of choice – active – or simply chilling (or shopping!).
Choose from golf, horse riding, scenic drive with history and crafts, or relax at the hotel’s spa, pool and hot-tub. Or, you might like to take a gentle boat ride around the bay.* Take a stroll around the town and browse its galleries and craft shops and sip a coffee of locally roasted beans.

We can arrange horse-riding along a beach, sea kayaking or traditional boat rowing in Dingle harbour. We’ll also take the Slea Head Drive – described as one of the top 10 scenic drives in the world- on which we’ll see beehive huts similar to those on Skellig Michael (Star Wars location).

Total time driving today approx 1.5 hours.

*All activities mentioned are optional with additional cost. Golfers may have to get a taxi back from the links. Golf costs approx €130 (including club hire). P.S. -There’s also an opportunity for laundry here!

Day 9 The Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park to Kinsale

We move south east today, towards County Cork and our destination of Kinsale.

Firstly, we visit Killarney National Park – 26,000 acres of native forest of oak, yew and Scots pine. We’ll take a short stroll through the forest to beautiful Torc Waterfall and then, the options of a jaunting car* (a carriage ride around the fantastic scenery of forests, mountains and lakes) or a hike. Along the way, visit magical Muckross Abbey and keep an eye out for wild native red deer and other wildlife. *Optional extra, Jaunting car from €15 (prices subject to change)

When we’ve filled our lungs with fresh air and phones with amazing images, it’s time to continue our journey. Our final leg of the day brings us to Kinsale.

Kinsale is a colourful coastal town, where they’ll try and persuade you away from Guinness to try the local brew – ‘Murphys’. It also has quite the reputation for food along with sailing and watersports.
Accommodation for the next two nights – Acton’s Hotel, overlooking the water and just a stroll from everything.

Day 10 Kinsale Medieval Forts and Jameson Distillery Tour

We start the morning with a guided tour of 17th century Charles’ Fort and hear tales of Irish, English, Spanish and French involvement (some very good interactive displays in there also). There’s the option of taking the ‘Scilly Walk’ to the Fort, or, if you’re not feeling so energetic, hop on the bus.

We take a scenic coastal drive to Old Head, and hear of the sinking of the Lusitania, the wreck of which lies just 11 miles off the coast. Learn about conspiracy theories, the role of an Irishman in her sinking and how a US billionaire gifted it to the Irish State.

The afternoon is for a guided tour of the home of Jameson Whiskey.

Overnight tonight is Acton’s Hotel again. Total time driving today approx 1.5 hours.

Day 11 Blarney and the Rock of Cashel to Kilkenny

It’s an early start for Blarney, to get ahead of the crowds. Home of the castle, famous stone, and quite magnificent gardens (admission included in tour price). Of course, this is where, upon kissing the Stone, you’ll miraculously be endowed with the gift of eloquence (aka the ‘gift of the gab’).

Onwards then, to the Rock of Cashel – a collection of the most important medieval buildings in Ireland. From Cashel it’s off to our final overnight destination of Kilkenny. We plan to arrive mid afternoon. This gives time to check-in and explore the city, with its Medieval Mile, magnificent castle and narrow ancient streets.

Overnight accommodation: The Pembroke Hotel – within strolling distance of the centre, yet far enough away to allow peaceful rest.

Day 12 Kilkenny to Dublin via Wicklow

It may be our last day on tour, but we’ve lots more to see and do.
After some free time in Kilkenny, we make our way east towards the beautiful Glendalough in Co. Wicklow. If you’re a fan of Irish-themed romantic movies, this formed the backdrop for the wedding venue in ‘Leap Year’. Along the way we’ll make some photo stops at yet more striking views, and the original Hollywood!

After lunch we head towards Dublin and maybe call for a farewell drink in one of Ireland’s Highest Pubs, Johnnie Foxes. We’ll arrive back to Dublin around 6pm, having done almost a full circuit of Ireland – north, south, west and east.

That brings us to the end of our great Ireland adventure. You’ll have traversed the highways and byways on your Ireland trip – hitting the big ticket names, but also uncovering some secret gems. And, on your Anam Croí Ireland tour, you’ll not just have discovered the heart and soul of Ireland, but made new friends along the way.


From €2,965.50* per person sharing. Single Supplement: €595**

Check out our Offers Page for full details of all offers

*Applies to 22nd April and 30th September 2024 departures. June 3rd, July 16th, August 26th 2024 departures €3,295pp sharing (10% early booking discountfor June, July and August if booked before 30th November 2023)

**This is soley the supplement charge from our hotel partners. Anam Croí Ireland Tours does not impose any other additional charge for solo travellers.

What’s Included/What’s Not


  • 11 nights accommodation (including castle stay)
  • 11 nourishing breakfasts
  • 12 full days on tour with services of an experienced, professional driver-guide (in our luxury, air-conditioned Mercedes mini-coach)
  • All driver and transport related costs (including fuel, tolls, parking, driver accommodation and meals)
  • Entrance fees to:
    • Giants Causeway
    • Walls of Derry/Londonderry Guided Walking tour
    • Donegal Castle
    • Kylemore Abbey and Gardens
    • Cliffs of Moher
    • Working Sheep Farm with sheep herding demonstration
    • Jameson Distillery guided tour and tasting
    • Charles Fort
    • Rock of Cashel
    • Blarney Castle and Gardens
    • Lots of history, culture, music and song. Some of the best scenery and fresh air in the world. Great food and drink. Insights into Irish language and sport, and of course, great “craic”.

Not Included

  • Any activities/attractions fees other than the above
  • Meals/drinks other than breakfast
  • Pre/post tour accommodation or Airport transfers (we will provide hotel recommendations for Dublin)

2024 Ireland Tour Dates

(10% off peak prices)
(10% off peak prices)

Keep updated with Ireland Offers and More

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