Go South Tour

Travel to southern Ireland in Summer 2018 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. Enjoy a leisurely cruise on the River Shannon 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.

You will walk the land, capture the spirit, and find Ireland forever in your heart!

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2018 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!)

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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: 8th Century Celtic High Cross, Medieval Norman Monastery, 6,000 year-old Ancient Tomb, Harbor Town of Dungarvan

Meet your guide and 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 renowned chefs and around the corner is his fantastic 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. Founded by Saint Declan, this site is one of Ireland’s earliest Christian settlements. Explore the church ruins and discover its incredible stone carvings and ancient standing stones.

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 walking along 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 music happening 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, Muckross Abbey, 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.

You next take a gentle stroll by beautiful fields and grazing deer as you come to the 15th Century Muckross Abbey. Walk beneath the vaulted cloisters and gaze upon the centuries old yew tree in the central courtyard and imagine life in an abbey 500 years ago.

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 Dingle'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 pub 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: Ferry Across the River Shannon, Cliffs of Moher, 15th Century Irish Tower House Castle

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.

Passing through 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 head east to a fantastic 15th Century Irish Tower House Castle. Explore what it was like to live here in the 1400s by wandering the rooms of its four floors and survey their lands from the stunning roof top vista.

Your overnight town is Ballina (in County Tipperary) along the River Shannon. With its sister town across the river, Killaloe (in County Clare), you have two picture perfect Irish riverside towns with pubs, great restaurants, walkways along the river’s edge, and a beautiful 18th Century stone bridge with 13 arches. Your hotel overlooks the river and you can stroll into town for delicious food and stop by Liam O’Riain’s pub for a pint and traditional Irish music.

Highlights: Privately Chartered Cruise on the River Shannon, Kinnitty Castle, Ireland’s Oldest Whiskey Distillery, Vibrant Dublin City

Start your day with a relaxing cruise on Ireland’s finest waterway, the River Shannon. Your privately chartered boat picks you up from your hotel’s pier and you’ll learn about the history of the area and explore serene Lough Derg and enjoy breathtaking views of Counties Clare and Tipperary.

As you meander back towards Dublin, you have two fantastic stops along the way. First, enjoy lunch in the Dungeon Bar at the 19th Century gothic revival Kinnity Castle in the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains. Marvel at the impressive architecture, the grand rooms, suits of armor, and lovely grounds. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch sight of The Monk, a benevolent ghost known to roam this castle.

After lunch your next stop 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!"

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Go South Tour

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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
  • Enjoy a tour of Ireland’s oldest whiskey distillery and a visit to the Dungeon Bar at Kinnity Castle
  • Be amazed by the Beara Peninsula's mountain passes and gorgeous lakes in County Kerry's Killarney National Park
  • Enjoy a privately chartered cruise on the leisurely River Shannon and into Lough Derg
  • Unwind for two nights in Dingle town with its colorful pubs, traditional Irish music, and serene beauty
  • 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 along Ireland's western Atlantic coast
  • 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, Tipperary, 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 smile
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, 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 hotel in the heart of the city center

2018 Go South Tour Dates and Prices:

  • May 21 - 28
  • June 18 - 25
  • July 9 - 16
  • July 23 - 30
  • August 27 - September 3
  • September 17 - 24

Tour Price:  

  • $2635 (USD) 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.
  • 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

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 South tour: $2635

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 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
  • Leisurely cruise on the River Shannon and into Lough Derg
  • 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

Solo Travelers

  • 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.

Tour Guides

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 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

Transportation

  • 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 two experiences on the River Shannon: 1. A leisurely cruise of the river and Lough Derg and 2. A ferry ride to cross the river.

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

Overnight Stays

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 smile

  • 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, Single, or Triple) and your sleeping arrangements.

Solo travelers:

  • 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.