Explore the beautiful north of Ireland with this fantastic one-week, small group tour!
Meander along the gorgeous Antrim coastline and be wowed at the geologic wonder, the Giant's Causeway. Explore castles and gardens, go to Ireland's most northerly point at Malin Head, tour the protest murals of Belfast's storied past, and step back in time with an overnight stay in an Irish country manor home. Tour a lighthouse and go to the top for incredible views. Hop aboard a ferry and spend the night on the remote Gaelic island of Arranmore. All this and more on the Go North tour - please see below for all the details.
Come and discover amazing sites, hidden gems, and the beautiful unspoiled wonders in the north of Ireland!
Go North Tour Itinerary
Read all about this fantastic one-week tour taking you to the best back roads sites, quaint coastal towns, and majestic scenery in fantastic northern Ireland!
Click "+" to read about a specific day or click "expand all" to read the entire itinerary. Slainte! (Irish for Cheers!)Expand all
Welcome to Ireland! You arrive in Dublin and check in to your city center hotel overlooking the River Liffey. Nothing is planned for this day so you can relax and explore Dublin as you’d like. Then off to bed with you for a good night's sleep, for tomorrow begins what we hope will be one of your best experiences yielding a lifetime of happy memories!
Highlights: Cooley Peninsula, Megalithic Tomb, Medieval Town of Carlingford, Belfast Wall Mural Tour, Harbor Town of Carnlough
Meet your guide and trip participants and begin your Irish adventure. You'll leave Dublin and follow a trail where myth and reality collide in great battles, ancient sites, and epic tales.
Passing the lush green countryside of the Boyne Valley, your journey continues towards the ancient border of the Ulster province, the mountainous Cooley Peninsula. Winding through small back roads, you’ll find a magnificent example of a Portal Dolmen. This megalithic tomb is a delicate balance of large stone boulders each weighing many tons and supporting a massive capstone. Legend has it that a giant carried the 35-ton capstone all the way from Scotland!
On the northern side of the peninsula, you’ll come to the beautiful town of Carlingford. Home to a wealth of medieval structures including the imposing 12th Century King John’s Castle whose panoramic views overlook oyster rich Carlingford Lough. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the town and sample some of its fine cafes before you follow the lough inland and make your way towards Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland (UK).
Hit a bustling Belfast where you’ll get a behind-the-scenes tour of Belfast’s storied past and the inside scoop from a local cabbie. The large-scale murals and massive peace wall are amazing and not to be missed!
Afterwards you’ll journey to your final stop of the day - the beautiful harbor town of Carnlough. Here you'll spend the night in one of Northern Ireland's most historic hotels, once owned by Sir Winston Churchill.
Highlights: Antrim Coastline, Glacial Valley of Glenariff, Giant's Causeway, Country Town of Culdaff
After a great "Ulster Fry" (a breakfast that will fill you for days!), you travel north along the amazing Antrim coast road. Considered one the great scenic roads of the world, this winding route opened up Ireland's northern glens, which till its completion in 1842, were only accessible by sea.
First up, you'll wander through the Queen of Antrim's famed nine glens, beautiful Glenariff. Take a stroll in the heart of this magnificent glacial glen, along a waterfall walkway, flanked by lush ferns and mossy woodland. You'll then pass quirky coastal towns and ride high above the crashing waves, to grasp sight of Scotland on the fantastic Torr Head drive.
Then onwards to experience the Giant's Causeway and its weird geological landscape stacked with thousands of hexagonally-shaped stone columns descending into the ocean. This natural wonder has attracted visitors for hundreds of years and its geological importance has made it a World Heritage site.
You then head back into the Republic of Ireland to the lesser-known and amazing Inishowen Peninsula. Your overnight stay is in the quiet, country town of Culdaff.
Highlights: Inishowen Peninsula, Malin Head, Overnight at an Irish Country Manor House, Historic Town of Rathmullan
Leaving Culdaff, spend the morning exploring Inishowen which, while sparsely populated, is Ireland's largest peninsula. Packed full of ancient relics, stunning vistas, deserted beaches, and thatch-roofed cottages, you'll head right up to the northernmost point of Ireland, Malin Head. After a tasty lunch, you'll continue your travels through beautiful Inishowen past small towns, unusual crosses and an ancient mountain pass with gorgeous views of the Lough Swilly fjord.
After a fun day of exploring, you'll head north to the historic town of Rathmullan on the shores of Lough Swilly. In 1607, after years of failing revolts against the English forces, the infamous Flight of the Earls took place. Signaling an end to the old Gaelic order, this event saw the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell boarding a ship, leaving Ireland forever.
You settle in to enjoy wonderful Rathmullan House, your home tonight. This beautiful, early 1800s Country Manor House is set amidst mature trees on beautifully-tended grounds fringed by a two mile long sandy beach. Relax with in one of its elegant period parlors, play some tennis or even croquet on the front lawn. There's also a lovely indoor heated pool and steam room. It's a short stroll into town along the serene shoreline where you can enjoy traditional music and grab a pint or a bite to eat. You can also check out the House's excellent restaurant, which serves locally sourced produce (much from its walled garden) or sample a local craft beer in the House’s own Tap Room bar.
Highlights: Fanad Head Lighthouse Tour, Doe Castle, Carrigart, Overnight on Arranmore Island
After a relaxing night in Rathmullan, your journey takes you north along the wonderfully scenic shores of the Fanad Peninsula. This stunning coastline has an infamous maritime history and the setting for many a tale of tragic wrecks. Along twisting cliff top roads at the end of the headland, you'll find the Fanad Head Lighthouse. Set spectacularly on sheer cliff walls it silently guides ships in the thunderous North Atlantic. Enjoy a private tour, experience the wonderful history, and go up to the top for thrilling views from this historic lighthouse!
Your adventure continues over a beautiful bridge to the Rosguill Peninsula and the lovely town of Carrigart for lunch. Next stop – the enchanting Doe Castle. Flanked by water on three sides and a moat in the front, this shining, white castle was the stronghold of Clan Suibhne, the Sweeneys.
Your journey then takes you by the mighty Donegal mountains of Muckish and Errigal and down through coastal towns to Burtonport. Here you board a ferry and sail through a narrow passage and out to the Gaelic speaking island of Arranmore, your home base tonight.
The island holds a community of around 500 people and in summer, many students visit to practice their Gaelic language skills. In the mid 1800s, many of the islanders were evicted and eventually settled on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan (USA) creating a lasting bond between the two isles. Have fun exploring the beach and quiet rural byways and then head to one of the local pubs for some food and the chance to mingle with the locals over tasty brews and cheery ballads.
Highlights: Glenveagh Castle and Gardens, Two Nights of Music and Fun in Ardara Town
Say farewell to lovely Arranmore Island and enjoy another pleasant ride on the ferry to the mainland. You then travel south of Mount Errigal for inspiring views of the Poisoned Glen. From here you set out for to Glenveagh National Park, a place of spectacular natural beauty and the setting for the fantastic Glenveagh Castle. Built in the 1870s as an idyllic Victorian retreat, it hosted a variety of celebrities from the 1940s to the 1980s before being donated to the Irish people. Enjoy a tour of the castle and wander through the enchanting network of formal gardens displaying a multitude of exotic plants and watch the skies for golden eagles!
Wandering Donegal's quiet country roads past waterfalls and picture perfect towns, takes you to one of the finest examples of a Portal Dolmen in Ireland. Megalithic burial sites like this have left many to wonder about the ancient Irish who walked this land over 5000 – 6000 years ago.
For your overnight stay, you arrive in the town of Ardara (pronounced Ar-drah). This Donegal treasure is set near the sea, flanked by mountains and famed for its traditional tweed weavers, woolens, and talented musicians. With Ardara’s great bars and chatty locals, you won't have far to go to sample delicious local food and lively Irish music. Cozy in as you’ll spend the next two nights at your country hotel in the heart of the village.
Highlights: Donegal Mountain Passes, Gaelic Speaking Glencolmcille, Standing Stones, Amazing Beaches
Your Sunday drive on Donegal’s Glencolmcille Peninsula stops by a magnificent waterfall and onto one of Ireland's most beautiful beaches. With huge sand dunes and ancient sea caves, it has a rich history of smuggling, tragedy, and romance.
Traveling on a forgotten access road through a breathtaking Donegal valley and mountain pass, you’ll dodge sheep and mountain goats down to the Irish cultural hotspot of Glencolmcille. Famed for its Gaelic speaking community and early Christian standing stones, it is surrounded by megalithic tombs, incredible beaches and awe-inspiring landscapes.
Onwards to the tip of the peninsula and a hidden cove enclosing an impossibly pretty beach. Enjoy sweeping views to Rathlin O’Birne Island, a bird sanctuary whose lighthouse was once the most powerful light in the world. Along the way you’ll stop for refreshments with a chance to peruse some of the great local crafts produced from Donegal artisans. After a fun-filled day, you return to Ardara to enjoy the delights of this lovely town.
Highlights: Boa Island Statues, Ancient Passage Tombs, Vibrant Dublin City
Say farewell to festive Ardara as you head once more over the Irish / UK border to an island on Lough Erne. Here in a forgotten cemetery you’ll find strange pre-Christian stone figures whose enigmatic forms may be related to the Celtic goddess of war. Leaving the island you’ll hug the lakeshore to lunch in the wonderful town of Enniskillen. Placed strategically at the joining of upper and lower Lough Erne, this medieval town has great bars and cafés along the length of its vibrant main street.
After exploring Enniskillen, you’ll head back over the border to the Republic and go to Sliabh Na Caillighe – the Hill of the Witch. Here you find one of Ireland’s greatest treasures, the Loughcrew Cairns – a range of ancient tombs rarely visited by foreigners. These ancient passage tombs were spiritual centers for Ireland's first farmers and are older than the Egyptian pyramids. Within the main tomb are astonishing carvings showing an alignment to the equinoxes making this tomb possibly the oldest celestial calendar on earth!
As you leave with thoughts of incredible Stone Age builders, your trip takes its last ride towards Dublin. Make the most of your last night in this vibrant and fun city. You depart your Go North Tour with new friends, great tales of history, astonishing beauty, and memories to last a lifetime!
Slan Beo!! Irish for "Goodbye, live life!"
Need a printable version?Download a printable Tour Itinerary
Need a printable version?Download a printable Fact Sheet
Go North Tour Fact Sheet
On the one-week Go North tour, you discover Ireland's best off-the-beaten-track sites in the north of Ireland!
- Stride the Giant’s Causeway and Antrim’s stunning coastline with its peaceful glens, and go to Ireland’s northerly top at Malin Head
- Unwind overnight at a splendid Irish Manor home by a beautiful, pristine beach
- Explore gorgeous Glenveagh Castle and Gardens set on a vast glacial lake and valley
- Enjoy a ferry ride and stay overnight on the Gaelic-speaking Arranmore Island
- Visit the Gaelic-speaking town of Glencolmcille with its early Christian standing stones
- Rove Donegal's astounding peninsulas with spectacular beaches, rugged headlands and tour a lighthouse
- Discover medieval Carlingford town and get a secret cab tour of Belfast’s storied past
- Revel for two nights in fun Ardara, famed for its Donegal weavers, musical pubs, and culture
- Unearth a startling Stone Age tomb with a solar alignment and ancient star charts
- Counties visited: Donegal, Antrim, Fermanagh, Louth, Meath, Dublin
|Tour Length||One-week tour of the north of Ireland with 7 full days of touring and 8 overnights|
|When to Go||Ireland is best from May to September – Lively towns, colorful countryside, and long days of light. Plus, it’s always off-season with our back roads tour style|
|Small Groups||Enjoy the small group experience with a maximum of 14 people per tour|
|Transportation||Travel Ireland’s back roads in a Mercedes mini-bus with comfortable, reclining leather seats and brilliant views above Ireland’s many stone walls and hedgerows|
|Accommodations||Stay in small towns in beautiful, local B&Bs, Guesthouses, and Boutique Hotels|
|Meals & Dining||Hearty traditional Irish breakfasts are included in your tour package. Enjoy free time for lunch and dinner to discover fun restaurants to suit your unique taste.|
|Tour Guides||The best Irish guides – experts with years of tour guiding experience|
|Start & End Points||The tour starts and ends in Dublin, Ireland at a beautiful hotel in the heart of the city center!|
|What to Pack & FAQs||
We've compiled an extensive Trip Prep & FAQs page to answer all your questions
2018 Go North Tour Dates and Prices:
- June 25 - July 2
- September 3 - 10
- September 24 - October 1
- $2631 (USD) per person based on double occupancy. Early Booking Special - Save $120 - The Go North tour is now $2511
- Our upfront price has no hidden costs or excursion fees. For solo travelers, there is a $375 single supplement.
- Guaranteed departures. No worries if the tour doesn't fill up to the maximum, our departures are always guaranteed.
- Included in the tour price: 7 full days of touring in a mini-bus with your expert Irish guide, 8 nights accommodations, site entrance fees, local tours, Arranmore Island ferry, and full Irish breakfasts
- Not included in the tour price: Airfare to/from Dublin, lunches, and dinners
2018 Tours Are Open for Reservations!
All prices are in U.S. dollars and per person (based on double occupancy). Our upfront price has no hidden costs or excursion fees. For solo travelers, there is a $375 single supplement.
- Go North tour: $2631. Early Booking Special - Save $120 - The Go North tour is now $2511
Full payment is due when you reserve your tour. Your payment options are Visa, MasterCard, Discover, PayPal, or Check.
Guaranteed Departures. No worries if the tour doesn't fill up to the maximum, our departures are always guaranteed.
Combination Special! Double or triple the fun and create your own vacation package. In Summer 2018, combine 2 tours and save $100. Combine 3 tours and save $200.
What's Included in the Go North Tour Price?
- 8 nights of accommodations in local guesthouses, historic hotels & one night in an Irish Country Manor home. Based on double occupancy (Monday through Monday). For solo travelers, please see the 'Solo Travelers' section below.
- 7 days of touring and sightseeing (Tuesday through Monday)
- All admissions into historical sites and local tours
- Ferry to/from Arranmore Island
- Daily Irish breakfast
- Touring in a comfortable Mercedes mini-coach with your experienced Irish tour guide
- Our upfront price has no hidden costs or excursion fees
- When you make a reservation, you receive a confirmation email with details about the meeting hotel in Dublin's city center. All departures are guaranteed.
- If you want to come to Dublin a few days before the tour or stay longer after the tour, you'll receive information about how to book additional nights at the Dublin hotel in your confirmation email.
What's Not Included in the Tour Price?
- Airfare to / from Dublin, Ireland
- Lunches and dinners
- Personal expenses / Gratuities
- If you are traveling solo, there is a $375 single supplement.
- You can have your own room OR share a room with another solo traveler of the same gender.
- If you choose to share a room and we can provide a roommate, the $375 single supplement will be refunded 30 days prior to your departure date.
We pride ourselves on our native Irish guides who combine a depth of knowledge and history about their homeland with a fun and easygoing approach to showing you the best of Ireland.
Our flexible style allows each guide to bring their own unique talents and personality to our tours. Each tour was exclusively designed by co-founder and lead guide, Phil Ryan - from unique places he's discovered firsthand to centuries old castles, crosses, and forts.
When you're in Ireland, you want more than a tour guide, you want a friend to show you the hidden secrets - that's where Inroads Ireland comes in.
Our guide Emily was knowledgeable on a variety of subjects, passionate, caring, has a variety of interests, accommodating, flexible, funny, warm, easy going, and has a great singing voice. Emily truly wanted all of us to have a safe and wonderful experience on her tour of the country she so clearly loves. From the moment we met her we felt at ease, informed, safe and well-guided. Thank you for offering us this wonderful travel adventure and experience! We plan to travel with Inroads Ireland again and we would highly recommend this tour company!Donna and Gordon from Madison, Wisconsin, USA
- Take in Ireland in a comfortable mini-coach, small enough to navigate Ireland's twisting and narrow back roads and get you to the off-the-beaten-track places.
- The Go North tour includes a relaxing ferry ride to and from Arranmore Island.
John was very informative and made the tour incredibly enjoyable. He told marvelous stories, led us in song, and was able to answer practically every question we threw at him. Also, he handled the roads in a very experienced manner and I truly felt comfortable with him driving - even on narrow and winding cliff roads!Janie from Tampa, Florida, USA
Our guide was great from the moment we started. Overall she was one of the reasons this was such a great experience. She could easily deal with all the varying needs and personalities on the trip making sure we all were taken care of. If I come back to Ireland, I would love to have Emily as a guide again. This was a great experience. It was my first time in Ireland and I felt that I really got a great flavor of the country and people.Karen from Buffalo Grove, Illinois, USA
Our guide Phil shared his love of Ireland and his incredible depth of knowledge in a way everyone could enjoy. He's an extraordinary host who made each person feel welcome and included in the adventure. He has great taste in music and enjoys "setting the scene" with both traditional and modern tunes. He knows great places to eat, and, he's a great driver!Phyllis from Los Angeles, California, USA
An important part of any Irish vacation is a great place to stay and a relaxing night's sleep.
All of your accommodations (B&B, guest house, or boutique hotel) have been carefully selected for their excellent location in the small towns (step out your door for food, drinks, shopping, music, and evening walks) and the high level of comfort each room provides. Add to that your welcoming Irish host and a good time is guaranteed
- Stay in locally owned, beautiful B&B's, guesthouses, and hotels
- Each room has a private bathroom (en suite)
- A delicious and hearty Irish breakfast is included
- When making a reservation, you will have the option of choosing a room (Double, Single, or Triple) and your sleeping arrangements
- If you are not sharing a room, there is a single supplement of $375.
- If you are traveling solo, you have the option of sharing a room with another solo traveler of the same gender.
- You will be charged a $375 single supplement. If we are able to provide a roommate, the $375 will be refunded 30 days prior to your departure date.