Below is a selection of some of the most popular tours in Ireland but at Personal Tours Ireland we can tailor your tours to suit your requirements, so don’t be afraid to ask for special arrangements as we will be delighted to oblige.
Dublin – Popular Tours
Located in the heart of the St. James’s Gate Brewery, the Guinness Storehouse® is Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction. It’s the home of the Black Stuff, the heart of Dublin and an unforgettable start to your Irish adventure.
The journey begins at the bottom of the world’s largest pint glass and continues up through seven floors filled with interactive experiences that fuse our long brewing heritage with Ireland’s rich history. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with a pint of perfection in our world-famous rooftop Gravity Bar. Now that’s our kind of higher education.
Located in the heart of Dublin city centre, the Teeling Whiskey Distillery is the only operational distillery in Dublin, the first of its kind to open its doors in over 125 years. The Teeling Whiskey Distillery is Dublin’s newest destination for whiskey fans or for anyone with an interest in Dublin’s long, historical association with Irish whiskey.
Come and experience first-hand the sound, smell and feel of a fully operational distillery, as the first Dublin whiskey is distilled for over 40 years.
Set in the heart of Dublin, a visit to the Old Jameson Distillery is so much more than just a tour, it is an exciting and engaging experience, guaranteed to enlighten and entertain any visitor.
Re-live the story of John Jameson & Son through the history, the atmosphere and above all the taste. Follow the path through malting, milling, mashing, fermenting, distilling and maturing. You will discover the time honored secret of how three simple ingredients- water, barley and yeast – are transformed into the smooth golden spirit that has always been and continues to be Jameson Irish Whiskey.
After the Tour, all visitors are rewarded with a Jameson signature drink and lucky volunteers are selected to participate in a tutored whiskey comparison and earn a much coveted personalised Whiskey Taster Certificate.
Jeanie Johnston is a replica of a three masted barque that was originally built in Quebec, Canada, in 1847 by the Scottish-born shipbuilder John Munn.
The replica Jeanie Johnston performs a number of functions: an ocean-going sail training vessel at sea and in port converts into a living history museum on 19th century emigration and, in the evenings, is used as a corporate event venue.
She made her maiden emigrant voyage from Blennerville, Co. Kerry to Quebec on 24 April 1848, with 193 emigrants on board, as the effects of the Famine ravaged Ireland. Between 1848 and 1855, the Jeanie Johnston made 16 voyages to North America, sailing to Quebec, Baltimore, and New York. On average, the length of the transatlantic journey was 47 days.
The most passengers she ever carried was 254, from Tralee to Quebec on 17 April 1852. To put this number in perspective, the replica ship is only licensed to carry 40 people including crew.
Temple Bar (Irish: Barra an Teampaill) is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin, Ireland. The area is bounded by the Liffey to the north, Dame Street to the south, Westmoreland Street to the east and Fishamble Street to the west.
Unlike other parts of Dublin’s city centre, it is promoted as Dublin’s cultural quarter and has a lively nightlife that is popular with tourists. Popular venues include The Palace Bar, The Temple Bar Pub, Oliver St. John Gogarty’s and The Auld Dubliner (fine boys bar).
Kilmainham Gaol is a former prison in Kilmainham, Dublin. It is now a museum run by the Office of Public Works, an agency of the Government of Ireland. Many Irish revolutionaries, including the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, were imprisoned and executed in the prison by the British.
Today the building symbolises the tradition of militant and constitutional nationalism from the rebellion of 1798 to the Irish Civil War of 1922-23. Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848,1867 and 1916 were detained and in some cases executed here. Many members of the Irish Republican movement during the Anglo-Irish War (1919-21) were also detained in Kilmainham Gaol, guarded by British troops. Names such as Henry Joy McCracken, Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin, Charles Stewart Parnell and the leaders of 1916 will always be associated with the building.
Northern Ireland – Popular Tours
The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It is located in County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland, about three miles (4.8 km) northeast of the town of Bushmills. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986, and a national nature reserve in 1987 by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. In a 2005 poll of Radio Times readers, the Giant’s Causeway was named as the fourth greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom.
The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal, although there are also some with four, five, seven or eight sides. The tallest are about 12 metres (39 ft) high, and the solidified lava in the cliffs is 28 metres (92 ft) thick in places.
Dunluce Castle is a now-ruined medieval castle in Northern Ireland. It is located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antrim, and is accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. The castle is surrounded by extremely steep drops on either side, which may have been an important factor to the early Christians and Vikings who were drawn to this place where an early Irish fort once stood.
It is first documented in the hands of the McQuillan family in 1513. The earliest features of the castle are two large drum towers about 9 metres (30 ft) in diameter on the eastern side, both relics of a stronghold built here by the McQuillans after they became lords of the Route.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
A short coastal footpath leads to Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. On the way, there are wonderful vantage points to stop and take in the natural beauty. The geology, flora and fauna have won Carrick-a-Rede recognition as an area of special scientific interest. Fulmars, kittywakes, guillemots and razorbills breed on the islands close to the rope bridge.
The rope bridge originally consisted of a single rope hand rail which has been replaced by a two hand railed bridge by the National Trust. Once you reach Carrick Island, the reward is seeing the diverse birdlife and an uninterrupted view across to Rathlin Island and Scotland. There is only one way off the island – back across the swinging bridge! Don’t look down!
Titanic - Belfast
Titanic Belfast, located at the heart of Titanic Quarter – only a short walk from Belfast’s city centre, is not only an architectural triumph for the city, but it houses the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience.
The iconic six-floor building, featuring nine interpretive and interactive galleries that explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Titanic, as well as the City and people which made her, is an unmissable experience which brings history to life in an unforgettable way.
In the small village of Bushmills, settled on the banks of the river you’ll find the oldest working distillery in Ireland. A place where family and friends have worked for generations, in a small Northern Irish village that for over 400 years has kept to the philosophy that hand crafting small batches is the way to produce beautifully smooth tasting Irish whiskey.
Ballymoney born Joey Dunlop (1952-2000) is universally acknowledged as the greatest motorcycle road racer of all time. Amongst countless victories he holds the record of 26 wins at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races.
Joey Dunlop: King of the RoadsThis exhibition will showcase three of Joey’s motorcycles, racing leathers, motorcycling trophies and photographs. Joey’s trademark yellow crash helmet will also be on display.
West Coast – Popular Tours
Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher are Ireland’s most visited natural attraction with a magical vista that captures the hearts of up to one million visitors every year.
Standing 214m (702 feet) at their highest point they stretch for 8 kilometres (5 miles) along the Atlantic coast of County Clare in the west of Ireland.
From the Cliffs of Moher on a clear day one can see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, as well as the Twelve Pins and the Maum Turk mountains in Connemara, Loop Head to the south and the Dingle Peninsula and Blasket Islands in Kerry. O’Brien’s Tower stands near the highest point and has served as a viewing point for visitors for hundreds of years.
Welcome to a place of ancient history, Patrick’s sacred mountain, and a rich vein of archaeological heritage. Croagh Patrick is situated five miles from the picturesque town of Westport and the mountain’s conical shape soars majestically above the surrounding countryside.
Magnificent views of Clew Bay and the surrounding south Mayo countryside are to be had from all stages of the ascent of the mountain. Follow the steps of Patrick and in doing so meet people from far and near.
Teach na Miasa, The Croagh Patrick Visitor Centre, is situated in Murrisk on the Pilgrim’s path at the base of Croagh Patrick mountain and opposite the National Famine Monument. Make sure to call and visit.
The Burren, Ennis Co. Clare
The Burren is a region of County Clare in the southwest of Ireland. It’s a karst landscape of bedrock incorporating a vast cracked pavement of glacial-era limestone, with cliffs and caves, fossils, rock formations and archaeological sites.
On the Atlantic coast, the precipitous Cliffs of Moher are home to thousands of seabirds, including puffins. Nearby Doolin village is a renowned centre for traditional Irish music.
Skellig Island - Star Wars
Skellig Michael was uninhabited before its monastery was founded. Folklore holds that Ir, son of Míl Espáine, was buried on the island, and a text from the 8th or 9th century states that Duagh, King of West Munster, fled to “Scellecc” after a feud with the Kings of Cashel, although it is not known whether these events actually took place.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens sent the global box-office into hyperdrive. Since 1977, the record-breaking movie franchise has travelled through more than a few galaxies. For Episode VII the cast and crew jetted into a little town called Portmagee, County Kerry, on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. While the hotly anticipated Episode VIII came back for more than just a taster of this incredible stretch of coastline, with filming taking place from the tip of Donegal down to the rocky shoreline of Cork…
Rising improbably from the Atlantic, one of the highlights of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, Skellig Michael has attracted both admirers and those seeking solitude for centuries. It was on this jagged rock that 6th century monks carved hundreds of stone steps to the summit, where they established an isolated monastery.
“ONE OF THE WORLD’S
TOP ISLAND DESTINATIONS
That this feeling, this authenticity,
has survived the modern world
is nothing short of miraculous”
The Aran Islands are located just off Galway and Doolin. A true Irish experience awaits, locals speak Irish as well as English in a setting of Celtic churches of historical significance including World Heritage site Dun Aonghasa which is set on dramatic 300 ft cliff edge. The Aran Islands are a great choice for special holiday or break and has various accommodation options including Bed & Breakfasts, Hotels, Hostels, & Ireland’s newest Glamping establishment.
Connemara National Park
Situated in the West of Ireland in County Galway, Connemara National Park covers some 2,957 hectares of scenic mountains, expanses of bogs, heaths, grasslands and woodlands. Some of the Park’s mountains, namely Benbaun, Bencullagh, Benbrack and Muckanaght, are part of the famous Twelve Bens or Beanna Beola range. Connemara National Park was established and opened to the public in 1980.
Much of the present Park lands formed part of the Kylemore Abbey Estate and the Letterfrack Industrial School, the remainder having been owned by private individuals. The southern part of the Park was at one time owned by Richard (Humanity Dick) Martin who helped to form the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals during the early 19th century.
Wild Atlantic Way
Planning a visit to the Wild Atlantic Way? Then you’re in for a treat! This 2,500km stretch of glorious rugged coast along the west of Ireland is home to soaring mountains, jutting headlands, breath-taking cliff faces and lush green forests. Whether you’re seeking an epic adventure or a remote, tranquil getaway, you’ll find it here, on the world’s longest coastal touring route.
What’s more, you can now pick up your very own Wild Atlantic Way passport; a unique souvenir of you or your family’s completed journey along this exceptional route. Not only is it a genuine passport to paradise, it also gives you the chance to meet locals in the many towns and villages dotted along this winding coastline. A quick chat with a local and you’ll soon have insider knowledge on incredible local hidden gems – not to mention where to stop for your next picnic or coastal panorama.
Strandhill Sligo - Surfing
Strandhill is situated at the western base of Knocknarea on the Cúil Irra peninsula, 5 miles west of Sligo town, and is Atlantic facing. Although the main part of the village lies within the townland of Strandhill, it also extends into the townlands of Killaspugbrone and Carrowbunnaun. The area is well known for surfing.
Strandhill is a vast beach break capable of holding huge waves in the right conditions. Surfing is usually best when the tide is on the push in from mid to high tide. At low tide only a big swell will provide a decent wave, whilst at high tide the waves tend to rebound off the promenade, reducing the power and form closer to shore. This rebound effect at high tide can also make for unusual currents or rips with large erratic barrelling waves that slam against the rocks.
Located in the heart of the Burren In County Clare. Forty minutes from both Galway and Shannon. Perched high on its Burren terraced mountain side with what has to be one of the most spectacular views of Galway Bay. It is a must for all who find themselves in the area.
The Burren is a place full of wonder, beauty and discovery. Let the staff at AILLWEE CAVE welcome you to the dramatic underworld of this area. Expert guides will accompany and inform you during your leisurely tour. The tour consists of a 30 minute stroll through the beautiful caverns – over bridged chasms, under weird formations and alongside the thunderous waterfall which sometimes gently sprays the unsuspecting visitor! Unique Cave Features Marvel at the frozen waterfall and explore the now extinct brown bears bones (ursos arctos).
South of Ireland – Popular Tours
Rock of Cashel
It’s huge, it’s complex, it’s iconic, there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world and it’s right here in Cashel at the heart of Tipperary. The Rock of Cashel (Carraig Phádraig), more formally St. Patrick’s Rock, it is also known as Cashel of the Kings.
Reputedly the site of the conversion of Aenghus the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century AD. Long before the Norman invasion The Rock of Cashel was the seat of the High Kings of Munster, although there is little structural evidence of their time here.
Most of the buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries when the rock was gifted to the Church. The buildings represent both Hiberno-Romanseque and Germanic influences in their architecture.
Waterford Crystal is one of the few companies today, which still practises the ancient craft of mould making. Very little has changed in this craft over the centuries.
Wooden moulds and hand tools are used by our Master Blowers to shape the molten crystal.
The wooden moulds and hand tools are made from beech and pear wood, which are a smooth wood, which has a high tolerance to heat. Even so, due to the searing heat of the crystal these moulds have a relatively short life span of approximately 7-10 days.
Lismore Castle is the Irish home of the Duke of Devonshire. Located in the town of Lismore in County Waterford in Ireland, it belonged to the Earls of Desmond, and subsequently to the Dukes of Devonshire from 1753.
The Dingle Peninsula or Corca Dhuibhne stretches 30 miles (48 kilometres) into the Atlantic Ocean from Ireland’s south-west coast.
The peninsula is dominated by the range of mountains that form its spine, running from the Slieve Mish range to Mount Brandon, Ireland’s second highest peak.
The coastline consists of steep sea-cliffs, broken by sandy beaches, with two large sand spits at Inch in the south and the Maharees to the north.
The Blasket Islands lie to the west of the peninsula.
The peninsula has something to offer to everyone. Among other things: sandy beaches safe for swimming, walking routes for all abilities, a thriving Irish language community, a rich musical tradition, fine dining, sea angling, arts and film festivals, talented craftspersons and some of the best surfing in Ireland.
Ross Castle is located just outside the town of Killarney on the Ross Road. It is very well signposted and easy to find. Originally the home of an Irish Chieftain (O’ Donoghue Ross) Ross Castle Killarney was probably built in the late 15thcentury.
The castle is a typical example of the stronghold of an Irish Chieftain during the Middle Ages. It sits on the banks of Lough Leane on a majestic site looking out on to the lake and Inisfallen Island (home to a 7th century monastery).
It is reputed to be one of the last strongholds of significance to fall to Cromwell’s forces in the 1650’s.
The Stone of Eloquence
For over 200 years, world statesmen, literary giants, and legends of the silver screen have joined the millions of pilgrims climbing the steps to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence. Its powers are unquestioned but its story still creates debate.
Once upon a time, visitors had to be held by the ankles and lowered head first over the battlements. Today, we are rather more cautious of the safety of our visitors. The Stone itself is still set in the wall below the battlements. To kiss it, one has to lean backwards (holding on to an iron railing) from the parapet walk. The prize is a real one as once kissed the stone bestows the gift of eloquence.
Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a scenic drive around the Iveragh Peninsula in southwest Ireland’s County Kerry. Its 179km-long, circular route takes in rugged and verdant coastal landscapes and rural seaside villages.
Skellig Michael, a rocky island with an abandoned 7th-century Christian monastery, is a major destination point, with several boats from Portmagee making the 12km crossing during the warmer months.
Kilkenny Castle stands dramatically on a strategic height that commands a crossing on the River Nore and dominates the ‘High Town’ of Kilkenny City. Over the eight centuries of its existence, many additions and alterations have been made to the fabric of the building, making Kilkenny Castle today a complex structure of various architectural styles.
The original Anglo-Norman stone castle was built for William Marshal, 4th Earl of Pembroke (c.1146-1219) during the first decade of the thirteenth century. Kilkenny Castle later became the principal Irish residence of the powerful Butler family for almost 600 years.