Travel to southern Ireland in Summer 2017 with this spectacular one-week, small group tour!
Visit an ancient stone circle, explore an Irish tower house castle, be amazed by the mountains and lakes of Killarney National Park, and enjoy traditional Irish music in Dingle Town for two nights. Go inside a medieval monastery, touch Celtic crosses and their intricate carvings, and marvel at the colossal Cliffs of Moher. Wander through gorgeous castle gardens and try a taste of whiskey at Ireland's oldest whiskey distillery. All this and more on the Go South tour - please see below for all the details.
A foodie's paradise - dine at Chef Paul Flynn's renowned restaurant (The Tannery) in Dungarvan, enjoy fresh seafood (how about mussels in a white wine/garlic sauce?), have a bite of delicious brown bread topped with Irish butter, and explore amazing food options (lamb, steak, and delicious vegetarian options) all across southern Ireland. And did we mention desserts? Amazing fruit and cream pies, banoffi (a pie with banana, caramel toffee, and cream), carrot cake, rhubarb crumble with fresh whipped cream, and sticky toffee pudding (just to name a few) - yum!
You will walk the land, capture the spirit, and find Ireland forever in your heart!
Go South 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 glorious southern 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 hotel in the heart of the city center.
If you have time, check out some of the excellent tours of the city and sample Dublin’s unique bars and restaurants. 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: 8th Century Celtic High Cross, Medieval Norman Monastery, 6,000 year-old Ancient Tomb, Harbor Town of Dungarvan
Meet your guide and your trip participants and begin your exciting travels in Ireland. Leaving Dublin and heading south, you’ll discover an incredible 17-foot Celtic High Cross, standing watch since the 8th Century. High crosses like this one and their intricately carved designs have inspired the faithful through the ages and became integral to Irish culture, history and art.
You’ll then journey further south to one of the largest medieval churches in Ireland. Built in the 13th Century, this beautifully restored Cistercian Monastery was founded by the Normans at one of the most strategic points in the country along the River Barrow. This serene waterway has enabled passage inland for thousand of years and is still used today by colorful barges and river cruisers.
Lost among a maze of small farm roads in bucolic southern County Kilkenny, you’ll find a 6,000 year-old megalithic tomb! This precariously, balanced structure will boggle your mind as to how the Stone Age Irish erected such large stones at this impressive site.
Onto County Waterford where your overnight stop is the lovely harbor town of Dungarvan on Ireland's southern Atlantic shore. Your beautiful Georgian guesthouse is owned and operated by one of Ireland’s leading chefs and around the corner is his renowned restaurant. The night is yours to relax, eat, drink, and be merry!
Highlights: 9th Century Round Tower, Kinsale, Ancient Stone Circle, Coastal Town of Schull
Amazing views as you travel along the scenic southern coast to see Ireland's finest example of a medieval Round Tower. Multi-story stone towers like this were built over a thousand years ago by pious monks and endured a long and turbulent history.
Enjoy free time and a lunch break in the town of Kinsale. Known for its excellent cafes, you’ll have fun meandering streets of colorful stores, and taking in its beautiful harbor.
Continuing on, you find a tranquil Stone Circle with a mystifying solar alignment. This secluded site was of great importance to the early Irish who aligned its axis to the setting sun of the winter solstice.
You then head to your final stop for the night, the fantastic town of Schull on the glorious Mizen Peninsula. Enjoy this wonderful small town, stroll along the Atlantic coast or check out one of the local pubs. With luck, there'll be traditional Irish music In Hackett's Pub just a short stroll from your comfortable hotel.
Highlights: Mizen Head Signal Station, Bantry, The Beara Peninsula, Colorful Town of Kenmare
A magnificent day as you travel through some of the most visually stunning parts of Ireland. First, you head to the Mizen Head Signal Station perched on Ireland's most southerly point. Stroll this rugged headland, learn about lighthouses along the coast, and visit the keeper’s quarters via a beautiful arched bridge spanning a deep ravine.
Moving northwards leads you to the town of Bantry. Wander its old streets and gaze upon a statue of 6th Century Saint Brendan, possibly the first European to find America! As you leave, you'll have fine views of the beautiful bay and can spot palm trees in this unusually tropical region.
You then follow an amazing route through the Beara Peninsula over countless switchbacks and a high mountain pass for inspiring views and down to your overnight town of Kenmare. This magical Kerry town is full of quaint shops, lively bars, and great traditional Irish music, all close to your beautiful local B&B.
Highlights: Killarney National Park, Ross Castle, Slea Head Drive, Gallarus Oratory, Dingle Town
Saying goodbye to Kenmare, your route takes you to the MacGillycuddy's Reeks, the largest mountains in Ireland, and home to the spectacular Killarney National Park. A photographer's dream...you may well wish for an extra pair of eyes! You'll make your way over the pass at Moll's Gap and work your way down by Killarney's captivating lakes, waterfalls, and panoramic vistas.
Your next stop is a tour of the fantastic 15th Century Ross Castle, nestled in the heart of Killarney National Park. The ancestral home of the O’Donoghue Clan stands proud on the edge of beautiful Lough Leane.
The views keep coming along coastal roads and sandy beaches flanked by green hills as you make your way to the Dingle Peninsula. You take a trip around the dramatic landscape of the Slea Headland. This Gaeltacht (or Irish speaking) area is rich in archeological sites including the Gallarus Oratory and is Ireland's most westerly shore.
You'll then make your way back to Dingle town. This charismatic fishing town is filled with colorful buildings and many fine places to dine or shop. Have fun discovering pubs that double as hardware or shoe stores and you’ll be staying for two nights in the town’s best boutique guesthouse!
There are many interesting things to do such as shopping, biking, golfing, fishing, horseback riding, and hill walking. Take a walk to see Dingle's wild mascot, "Fungi the Dolphin" who is almost always found in the mouth of the harbor making new friends and showing off.
Or you could find a nice bar or coffee shop to while away the hours and strike up a conversation with some of the friendly characters to be found in Dingle. Enjoy another wonderful night in this enchanting town!
Highlights: River Shannon, Cliffs of Moher, The Burren, Irish Tower House Castle, Town of Ballyvaughan
You depart Dingle heading over the Slieve Mish Mountains through northern County Kerry and on to Ireland's longest river, the Shannon. This ancient river has moved trade for thousands of years and boarding a ferry, you’ll feel its gentle flow and cross to the geological wonders of County Clare.
Stopping in seaside towns, where surfers and horses stride grand beaches, you'll head north to one of the world's most spectacular sights, the Cliffs of Moher. Looming over 700 feet above the smashing force of the Atlantic Ocean, these sheer and majestic cliffs are simply not to be missed!
From the cliffs, you’ll pass north to the amazing Burren landscape, designated a Special Area of Conservation. Often likened to lunar rock, the Burren's large and seemingly barren area is remarkably full of life. Once a seabed of carboniferous limestone, it rose up and eroded over thousands of years to form a vast array of cracks and fissures. These provide hidden shelter for a unique range of flora, with Alpine and Arctic plants living alongside Mediterranean plants.
You’ll then break further from the road down a forgotten country lane to discover an Irish Tower House Castle hidden along the shores of the Atlantic. Moving north, you'll arrive at the small town of Ballyvaughan. Set amongst the Burren's rocky rolling hills, this harbor town is your home for the night. Try their renowned local chowder or sample one of the many varietals of whiskey available at O'Loclainn's pub.
Highlights: Birr Castle Gardens, 19th Century Telescope, Ireland’s Oldest Whiskey Distillery, Vibrant Dublin City
Start your day meandering through the Burren hills and go through the Slieve Aughty mountains to the fantastic Birr Castle Demesne. Explore the estate’s formal gardens, terraces, and the tallest box hedges in the world. While there, you’ll be amazed to discover the immense Victorian telescope, Leviathan. For over 70 years it was the world’s largest reflecting telescope, the Hubble of its day with many major discoveries!
You have time to linger on the Birr Castle grounds, its science center, and café or stroll around this lovely town’s fine selection of shops, bars, and restaurants.
After lunch your trip takes you to Ireland’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery. You’ll take a fascinating tour through over 250 years of production, see its innovative old workings, and get a chance to sample their fine whiskey from the new wing.
You’ll then head back to Dublin and your last night in the Emerald Isle. Enjoy a meal in one of the many fine restaurants, savor the final hours of your Go South tour, and cherish a lifetime of incredible memories!
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 South Tour Fact Sheet
On the one-week Go South tour, you discover Ireland's best off-the-beaten-track sites in southern Ireland!
- Explore a fantastic medieval Irish Castle and an 800 year-old Norman Abbey
- Connect with the ancient Irish as you stand in a millennia old Stone Circle aligned to the setting sun of the winter solstice
- Be amazed by the Beara Peninsula's mountain passes and gorgeous lakes in County Kerry's Killarney National Park
- Relax for two nights in Dingle town with its colorful pubs, traditional Irish music, and serene beauty
- Enjoy a tour of Ireland’s oldest whiskey distillery and roam through the gardens at Birr Castle
- Discover millenia old Celtic high crosses with their intricate stone carvings, a Round Tower, and an ancient Monastery
- Marvel at the colossal 700 foot high Cliffs of Moher and the Burren's unique, rocky landscape
- View the thrilling southern Atlantic coastline and learn about lighthouses at spectacular Mizen Head Signal Station on Ireland's most southerly point
- Travel without crowds on scenic, back roads to lively small towns
- Counties visited: Cork, Kerry, Clare, Kilkenny, Waterford, Offaly, Dublin
|Tour Length||One-week tour of southern 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|
Stay in small, coastal 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 & dinner to discover fun restaurants to suit your unique taste|
|Tour Guides||The best Irish guides – experts with years of tour guiding experience|
|What to Pack & FAQs||We have compiled an extensive Trip Prep & FAQs page to answer all your questions!|
|Start & End Points||The tour starts and ends in Dublin, Ireland at a beautiful, historic hotel in the heart of the city center|
2017 Go South Tour Dates and Prices:
- May 22 - 29
- June 19 - 26
- July 3 - 10
- July 17 - 24
- August 21 - 28
- September 11 - 18
- September 18 - 25
- $2497 (USD) per person based on double occupancy. Our upfront price has no hidden costs or excursion fees. For solo travelers, there is a $275 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-coach with your Irish guide, 8 nights accommodations, site entrance fees, local tours, River Shannon ferry, and full Irish breakfasts
- Not Included in the tour price: Airfare to/from Dublin, Ireland, lunches, and dinners
2017 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 $275 single supplement.
- Go South tour: $2497
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 2017, combine 2 tours and save $75. Combine 3 tours and save $150.
What's Included in the Go South Tour Price?
- 8 nights of local guesthouses or hotels 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
- Daily Irish breakfast
- Touring in a comfortable mini-coach with your experienced Irish tour guide
- Ferry across the River Shannon
- 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.
- 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 $275 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 $275 single supplement will be refunded 30 days prior to your departure date.
We pride ourselves on our native Irish guides - Emily, John, and Phil - 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 the best. She gave us safe passage with her excellent driving skills, her dialogue with us was personable and at the same time was most informative. It was like taking a trip with someone you had previously known---she was very approachable. She attended to the different needs and expectations of all 13 travelers. She presented information in an entertaining and folksy manner. I have only good things to say. Thank you for finding this gem!Vic and Gladys from South Euclid, Ohio, USA
- Take in Ireland in a comfortable Meredes 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 South tour includes a relaxing ferry ride across the River Shannon.
I have been trying to compose a decent thank you since before we arrived home. Nothing seems special enough to express our appreciation. So I'll just say thank you SO VERY MUCH for the best vacation we have ever had.
What a luxury to leave the driving - and everything else! - in your very capable hands. Everything went so smoothly. You really know how to take care of your passengers. From relating Irish history to the sing alongs - it was all so much fun. Good craic! I was impressed with the kindness and respect you showed everyone in your care. Thank you again John - we enjoyed every minute of our Inroads Ireland trip thanks to you!Donna & Mark from Elyria, Ohio, USA
I really appreciated the opportunity to see sites that many others do not have the opportunity to and that I otherwise would not be able to find. Our guide was very informative and made the tour incredibly enjoyable. He told marvelous stories 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! All of the accommodations were very comfortable and everyone there was very helpful. I really feel like I got a great feel of the Irish south in just a week. Thank you!Janie from Tampa, Florida, USA
Our guide was a delight - engaging, knowledgeable, a tour de force when it comes to all things Ireland. Ancient, Celtic, Roman, modern, fantastical, you name it - a bottomless source of information, stories, and anecdotes. I had an amazing time on the tour!Matt from New York, New York, USA
I enjoyed our guide John's style of guiding with his personal interaction with the group, a wealth of interesting information on sites visited, history, politics, culture, language, sense of humor, poetry recitations and readings (very special), music (both singing and CDs), and his spontaneity (buying fresh strawberries for us down a country lane). Thank you!Diane from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Thank you for making each of us welcome and bringing a group of strangers together in such a way we all felt comfortable. I am unable to convey the gratitude and appreciation I have for your integrity, your professionalism, all your amazing stories, and being able to balance each day so well. I hope to return and without any doubt we will be booking through you again...having the certainty that all things are taken care of is such a spoiling vacation!!Jill from University Place, Washington, 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 boutique 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, Triple, or Single) and your sleeping arrangements.
- If you are not sharing a room, there is a single supplement of $275.
- 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 $275 single supplement. If we are able to provide a roommate, the $275 will be refunded 30 days prior to your departure date.