Experience IrelandThis island gem enchants visitors with medieval castles, windswept cliffs and a warm, welcoming culture.
Virgin Vacations' Ireland vacation packages are one of the most affordable, enriching and immersive ways to visit the Emerald Isle. With escorted tours, independent travel and city stay vacations, you'll find a variety of ways to experience this beloved destination. You'll discover Ireland's must-see highlights like Dublin, the Cliffs of Moher, and the Lakes of Killarney, plus we know you'll find a few hidden gems on your own must-do list!
Most Ireland vacations begin in Dublin, where you'll have the opportunity to take an insider's tour of this charming city's major attractions, including Dublin Castle, St. Stephen's Green, St. Patrick's Cathedral and Trinity College, home to the legendary Book of Kells. With a 24-hour transit ticket, you can also hoist a delicious pint at the Guinness Storehouse and make a toast to Ireland while you sit up late enjoying a traditional music session. (Looking for something a bit stronger? Enjoy a tour of the Jameson Whisky Distillery!)
If you're traveling on your own, you can book tours such as the Guinness Storehouse or the Irish Whiskey Museum as part of your vacation package. Plus, you can get out of Dublin for the day with a rail trip to the west coast, where Ireland's wild Atlantic shorelines beckon with crashing waves, towering cliffs and the unique landscapes of The Burren.
For an all-inclusive Ireland vacation, try an escorted tour. You'll leave Dublin for the southwest, en route to picturesque Killarney. On the drive through the Wicklow Mountains, you'll want to stop for quite a lot of photos, and a few attractions as well. Take a tour of the Waterford Crystal Factory and discover the amazing craftsmanship that goes into making the finest crystal in Europe. Waterford is also Ireland's oldest city, with origins dating back to the days of Viking longships.
And, of course, no tour of Ireland is complete without a visit to Blarney Castle. Even if you aren't up to the interesting contortions required to kiss the Blarney Stone and acquire that fabled Irish "gift of gab," you'll want to tour the castle's spectacular grounds. Dating back to the 14th century, the remnants of Blarney Castle's keep and its stunning gardens are a beautiful addition to any vacation. From there, you'll travel west into Killarney, gateway to the Ring of Kerry.
A legendary beauty spot, the winding coastal road showcases the southwestern region of the country in all its glorious grandeur. It's arguably one of the most spectacularly scenic drives in the world. Highlights here include the Muckross House estate, the Staigue stone fort and Ross Castle. From ancient mountains reflected in tranquil lakes, to remote villages where colorful historic houses cluster on the high street, southwest Ireland's charm has been drawing visitors for hundreds of years. For an extra treat, ride through the scenic park by horse-drawn cart. These jaunting carts have been a popular way to view the lakes and mountains since the nineteenth-century.
As you turn towards the west coast of Ireland, you'll enjoy Bunratty Castle, a wonderful cultural attraction in County Clare. Its origins date back to the 10th century. Within its walls, you can experience castle life in medieval times, right down to the tapestries hung on the walls. The nearby Folk Park provides a unique insight into life in 19th-century Irish villages.
Another important stop on Ireland's west coast are the Cliffs of Moher. These massive cliff-faces have been battered by the Atlantic Ocean for thousands of years. From as high as 700 feet, you can look down at the churning ocean crashing against the rocks and view some of Ireland's most spectacular seascapes. Do they look a little familiar? The Cliffs of Moher had starring roles in The Princess Bride as "The Cliffs of Insanity," as well as cameos in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, among many other movies.
Continuing north, into Galway, you'll leave behind the crashing waves and the gulls for a lively city with a thriving arts scene: Galway. Explore the Galway City Museum, which reveals the importance of Galway as a seafaring town since the Middle Ages. The Lynch Stone and Galway Cathedral are also must-sees. Charming Quay Street is lined with bohemian restaurants and lively, authentic pubs that make for a great place to converse with the local residents.
Throughout your trip to Ireland, you'll stay in fantastic Irish hotels that provide the fabulous hospitality and service that Ireland is famous for. What are you waiting for? It's time to experience Ireland with Virgin Vacations!