Your Dream Journey Ultimate Ireland Journey

Andrew Harper Travel Journey Overview


Belfast, Dublin, County Cork, Galway, County Mayo, Cork, Kenmare, County Laois

Duration: 19 days

Starting at: $25,305 per person

Experience the myths, charm and culture of the Emerald Isle on this spectacular journey. Explore the contrasting cities of Dublin and Cork alongside the sprawling countryside and natural beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way and Killarney National Park. Discover that there are no wrong turns as your chauffeur-guide takes you off the beaten track to explore the rich history and cultural heritage of Ireland. Their stories and fun facts will live long in your memory. Through our partner, Dream Escape, an Andrew Harper Travel advisor will plan a trip fit with lavish accommodations, exclusive visits, inspiring adventures and an incredible train journey to ensure a truly enchanted passage through this captivating country.

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Day 1 BELFAST

A local chauffeur-guide will meet you at Dublin Airport and provide a safe and comfortable journey into Northern Ireland and its capital city, Belfast. Compact and intimate in size, it boasts a rich legacy of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture. This evening perhaps visit The Crown Bar, also known as the Crown Liquor Saloon. This Victorian Gin Palace is the most famous pub in Belfast. The incredible architecture is complimented by period gas lighting and cozy snugs built to accommodate the pub’s more reserved customers during the Victorian period.

Enjoy an overnight stay at a 5-star accommodation. Contact an Andrew Harper Travel advisor for more information.

Day 2 BELFAST

Late in the morning, meet your chauffeur guide and spend the afternoon exploring the city. Most the city’s main streets radiate out from Donegall Square where you can see magnificent City Hall which was commissioned to reflect Belfast’s newly-granted city status. See the nearby Grand Opera House, and St. Anne’s Cathedral - a magnificent Romanesque building from which the Cathedral Quarter of the city takes its name. See many political murals found across the city - historical, sporting, industrial and literary; these pieces of public art provide a real insight into the local culture and traditions. At the end of the day head into the Titanic Quarter to see the huge cranes of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, affectionately known by the locals as Samson and Goliath, before visiting Titanic Belfast. It consists of nine galleries that create a fascinating and interactive way in which to tell the story of the ship, which sunk on its maiden voyage in 1912.

Enjoy an overnight stay at a 5-star accommodation. Contact an Andrew Harper Travel advisor for more information.

Day 3 Belfast

Alongside Belfast, the Causeway Coast was named by Lonely Planet as the number one region to visit in 2018, as well as having been rated as one of the Top Five Road Trips worldwide. Its ever-changing tapestry of scenery and colors, set against a dramatic coastal backdrop that will take your breath away. In recent years the route has become popular with fans of Game of Thrones, with many filming locations found dotted along the route. The pièce de résistance is the Giant’s Causeway, which was justifiably awarded World Heritage status in 1986. A privately reserved local guide will help you discover this area of outstanding natural beauty that is frequently referred to as the ‘Eighth Natural Wonder of the World’.

Enjoy an overnight stay at a 5-star accommodation. Contact an Andrew Harper Travel advisor for more information.

Day 4 DUBLIN

Take a giant step back in time with a visit to the Brú na Bóinne or the Boyne Valley. It’s a landscape riddled with passage tombs, sacred hills, monastic ruins and bloody battlefields. Some sites predate Egypt’s pyramids, giving it the moniker, the ‘Irish Valley of the Kings’. In recognition of its understanding universal value, the area was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1993. Continue south thereafter to Dublin, the Republic of Ireland’s vibrant capital city.

Stay Overnight The Merrion

The Merrion

This gracious 142-room hotel (19 suites) occupies four beautifully restored 18th-century Georgian townhouses in a fashionable downtown district.

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Day 5 DUBLIN

The day commences at The Irish Emigration Museum, which allows you to step through 20 themed galleries with a private tour guide to learn tales of triumph and tragedy, great success and loss that will give you a deeper understanding of Irish people and culture. Later, meet a privately reserved local guide to venture off the beaten track to discover the origins of Irish dancing and visit some of the landmarks of Irish cultural history in the city. Explore underground Gaelic bars, and listen and dance to some live traditional music. Your guide, who comes from a family of Irish dancers, will entertain and educate throughout the experience, ensuring you have a fun afternoon and learn a few dance steps along the way.

Stay Overnight The Merrion

The Merrion

This gracious 142-room hotel (19 suites) occupies four beautifully restored 18th-century Georgian townhouses in a fashionable downtown district.

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Day 6 DUBLIN

Meet your personal guide to discover Dublin’s culinary highlights on a special walking tour through the city. Your guide will entertain with snippets on the history of Irish food and the city along the way, pointing out interesting and quirky architecture as you pass. You’ll be taken into a range of independently-owned shops and eateries where you’ll have the opportunity to meet some of the local purveyors and makers who will be more than happy to share their stories and experience. At each stop, a specially prepared treat will be waiting for you to try. Spend the afternoon at leisure, perhaps taking time to shop for souvenirs and gifts for friends and family back home. Grafton Street is the city’s most fashionable walkway, while the Design Centre, set in the 18th century, is full of independent boutiques.

Stay Overnight The Merrion

The Merrion

This gracious 142-room hotel (19 suites) occupies four beautifully restored 18th-century Georgian townhouses in a fashionable downtown district.

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Days 7-10 DUBLIN, COUNTY CORK, GALWAY, COUNTY MAYO

This morning experience the highlight of your trip as you step aboard The Grand Hibernian and into a shimmering world of indulgence — contemporary carriages inspired by Dublin’s architecture, fine cuisine enhanced with local delicacies and an ever-changing backdrop of Ireland’s celebrated landscapes. Settle in to your elegant private cabin and anticipate an unforgettable journey. Each day brings a new adventure, with highlights including inspiring destinations, world-class cuisine and traditional entertainment as evening falls.

Stay Overnight Belmond Trains

Belmond Trains

With an iconic portfolio of luxury trains, cruises, hotels and safaris worldwide, Belmond curates exceptional travel experiences around the globe.

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Day 11 CORK

The train returns to Dublin Heuston Station where a local chauffeur-guide will meet you to travel south to Cork, Ireland’s southernmost city. It has a history dating back to the 6th century; it was founded on islands in an estuary, where the River Lee joins the world’s second largest natural harbor. Waterways circle the city center crossed by over 20 bridges. Hilly neighborhoods stacked with colorful houses climb the river banks; combined with narrow alleys and Georgian architecture.

Enjoy an overnight stay at a 5-star accommodation. Contact an Andrew Harper Travel advisor for more information.

Day 12 CORK

Enjoy a private walking tour with a specialist guide in the port of Cobh; a place that is known for its maritime and emigration legacy. Cobh was the main embarkation point for the millions that left the country either through convict transportation or emigration. The tour combines the fascinating Titanic Trail with a visit to the Queenstown Story at Cobh Heritage Centre. Remarkable displays capture the human reality of emigration, and the significant importance of the port in world affairs such as the sinking of RMS Titanic and Lusitania.

Enjoy an overnight stay at a 5-star accommodation. Contact an Andrew Harper Travel advisor for more information.

Day 13 KENMARE

Today discover the magnificence of the Beara Peninsula. It is a route considerably less traveled than its more famous northerly neighbors, however it delivers stunning scenery at each turn on the road. It is an area of rugged and dramatic landscape with finger-like promontories stretching out into the Atlantic Ocean.

Stay Overnight Sheen Falls Lodge

Sheen Falls Lodge

This lavish manor occupies an idyllic 300-acre estate above Sheen Falls and Kenmare Bay, just south of Kenmare.

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Day 14 KENMARE

Following on from the brief visit taken whilst on board the Grand Hibernian, return to the Killarney National Park. It is a place renowned for its beauty; Ireland’s highest mountains raise a jagged edge to the sky while at their feet rest three still lakes, studded with little islands. Reserved privately, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the majestic settings of Killarney with falconer and hawk. It’s hard not to be impressed by the ability of the trained birds and the relationship they have with their human partners. You’ll then have the chance to be the falconer - get up close and enjoy the interactive experience as the hawks showcase their hunting techniques, swooping down from tree tops and weaving through branches, before gliding majestically to land on your gloved fist with all the weight of feather.

Stay Overnight Sheen Falls Lodge

Sheen Falls Lodge

This lavish manor occupies an idyllic 300-acre estate above Sheen Falls and Kenmare Bay, just south of Kenmare.

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Day 15 KENMARE

Following the coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula, the Ring of Kerry is possibly Ireland’s most famous scenic drive. It encounters some of the country’s finest landscapes, weaving around a breath-taking rugged, storm-bashed coast, steep mountains, medieval ruins, slate-colored glacial lakes and welcoming towns and villages.

Stay Overnight Sheen Falls Lodge

Sheen Falls Lodge

This lavish manor occupies an idyllic 300-acre estate above Sheen Falls and Kenmare Bay, just south of Kenmare.

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Day 16 COUNTY LAOIS

Travel to your final property, Ballyfin. Described as a “Regency mansion house with classical grandeur, set in sprawling grounds of lakes and rolling hills”, Ballyfin has long been admired as the most lavish Regency mansion in Ireland. Originally built in the 1820s, the house reopened in 2011, after eight years of restoration. This property has joined the prestigious Relais & Châteaux collection, and garners widespread acclaim for its unique combination of modern luxury with romantic period detailing. It offers the very best of Irish hospitality in the most beautiful surroundings imaginable. Spend the day enjoying the lavish amenities of this awe-inspiring property.

Stay Overnight Ballyfin Demesne

Ballyfin Demesne

Regarded as one of the architectural gems of Ireland, this restored 1826 Regency mansion is owned by Chicago businessman Fred Krehbiel.

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Day 17 COUNTY LAOIS

The Irish National Stud is the beating heart of Ireland’s thoroughbred industry. A private guided tour delves into the history, spanning over a hundred years. A source of national pride, the stud is the home of equine royalty, immaculately-bred stallions who can be seen and admired alongside protective mares, frolicking foals and athletic yearlings. Watch them at close quarters, marvel at their grace and grandeur while also learning of Ireland’s triumphs on the turf in the widely-acclaimed museum.

Stay Overnight Ballyfin Demesne

Ballyfin Demesne

Regarded as one of the architectural gems of Ireland, this restored 1826 Regency mansion is owned by Chicago businessman Fred Krehbiel.

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DAY 18 COUNTY LAOIS

Spend the day enjoying the beautiful property. The hotel has been designed as a home-away from-home, making the experience entirely intimate. Enjoy estate-grown food prepared by award-winning chefs, take part in wine and whiskey tastings in the cellar, enjoy treatment in the spa, swim, or simply spend an afternoon in the large library, finishing with a fireside cocktail in the Ballyfin Bar. Feel free to ask the Butler to take you on a leisurely boat trip on the lake, and enjoy a sumptuous picnic in a private location, or take a tour of the demesne in a carriage led by a pony. There are also many exciting outdoor activities offered. Master the ancient art of archery, or embark on a horse ride – there is over 600 acres to be explored.

Stay Overnight Ballyfin Demesne

Ballyfin Demesne

Regarded as one of the architectural gems of Ireland, this restored 1826 Regency mansion is owned by Chicago businessman Fred Krehbiel.

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DAY 19 DUBLIN - DEPARTURE

A local chauffeur-guide will bring the trip to a conclusion by providing a transfer to Dublin Airport.

Prices are per person, based on two people sharing, except where noted. Room categories, dates of travel and change to services will affect the price. Dollar conversions shown will fluctuate throughout the year. Contact the Andrew Harper Travel Office to customize this itinerary to fit your needs.