FAMILY ADVENTURE IN SOUTHERN IRELAND

Regions

Southeast, Southwest

Starting Point

Dublin

Best time to travel

All year

Recommended Length

10 - 14 days

Best for

from 4 years

Activity Level **

3/5

This tour takes you to the most beautiful places in the Southeast and -west of Ireland. Discover historic castles, towns and monasteries, experience exciting wildlife and enjoy thrilling fun outdoor activities for the whole family while you travel through the beautiful Irish landscape made of rolling green hills, scenic coastlines and dramatic mountain ranges. Surfing, cycling or kayaking are only a few of the activities waiting for and you will also experience Irish wildlife on specialized tours on land and water.

Family Adventure Holidays

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

✓ iconic landscapes of the Wicklow Mountains, Ring of Kerry and the Dingle peninsula
✓ explore Irish history while visiting ancient castles and monasteries at Glendalough, Cashel and Blarney
✓ join the 'craic' in the lively and historic towns along the southern coast
✓ Fota Wildlife Park and whale and dolphin watching tour off the Dingle coast
✓ cycling, hiking, SUP and surfing in gorgeous unspoiled Irish scenery
✓ learn about the Irish horse breeding tradition at the National Stud

 

Family Adventure Holidays

TOUR OVERVIEW

Day 1 - arrival - overnight in Co. Wicklow (80km)
Day 2 - Russborough House - Adventure Park - overnight in Co. Wicklow (80km)
Day 3 - Glendalough - surfing / SUP - overnight in Wexford (120km)
Day 4 - Waterford Crystal - cycling the Waterford Greenway - overnight in Cork City (180km)
Day 5 - Fota Wildlife Park - overnight in Cork City (50km)
Day 6 - Blarney Castle - overnight in Killarney/Kenmare (100km)
Day 7 - Gap of Dunloe cycling and boat tour - overnight in Killarney/Kenmare (40km)
Day 8 - Dingle Peninsula - eco and wildlife boat tour - overnight in Killarney/Kenmare (150km)
Day 9 - Rock of Cashel - overnight in Kilkenny (200km)
Day 10 - National Stud - overnight in Dublin 130 km
Day 11 - departure

 

DETAILED ITINERARY

DAY 1 - WELCOME TO IRELAND
Welcome to Ireland! After your arrival, you will pick up your car and drive to Co. Wicklow in the south of Dublin. The area is characterized by a long rocky coastline with sandy beaches and the beautiful Wicklow Mountains National Park with high mountains, scenic valleys and lush forests.
Overnight in Co. Wicklow.

DAY 2 - RUSSBOROUGH HOUSE - BIRD OF PREY CENTER
This morning you will visit the magnificent Georgian Russborough House built in the 18th century. Learn about the houses’ colourful history and admire the wonderful interiors and collections on a guided tour before discovering the great outdoors on the 300 years old estate, where you can enjoy walks, trails and the beautiful gardens. Russborough House also holds the Irish Birds of Prey center, where you can get close to over 40 different birds of prey, including eagles, kites and owls.
An afternoon of family fun activities is waiting for you as you will visit one of the adventure activity centers in the area and get active with cycling, kayaking, SUP, climbing or zip-lining in the beautiful area around the Blessington Lakes.
Overnight in Co. Wicklow.

DAY 3 - THE VALLEY OF GLENDALOUGH - SURFING
Explore the beautiful valley of Glendalough in the morning, a glacial valley with two calm lakes and the remains of an early Christian monastic settlement on its shores. Glendalough is one of Ireland's most important monastic sites and today you can still admire the well preserved round tower, the remains of the cathedral and the beautiful high crosses. Take a stroll along the lake shores in the beautiful valley before continuing to Blessington for some outdoor family fun.
An exciting water adventure is waiting for you in the afternoon as you will enjoy an introduction to surfing on one of the sandy beaches along the eastern coast. The calm waters of the Irish sea are perfect for beginners and smaller surfers and you will have time to practise your new skills after the introduction with the whole family.
Overnight in Wexford/Waterford

DAY 4 - WATERFORD CRYSTAL - CYCLING ALONG THE WATERFORD GREENWAY
Dive into the world of crystal in the morning as you will get a first-hand experience on how world-class Irish crystal is produced as you visit the traditional production halls of the famous Waterford Crystal. Learn how crystal is made and how the master blowers carefully craft the most beautiful shapes and sculptures with the hot material. An unforgettable experience that will leave the whole family in awe of the craftsmanship of the skilled crystal masters.
A relaxed cycling tour along the Waterford Greenway is waiting for you in the afternoon. The greenway runs all the way from Waterford to Dungarvan and takes you through the peaceful interior landscape of Co. Waterford until reaching the coast shortly before Dungarvan.
Overnight in Cork.

DAY 5 - FOTA WILDLIFE PARK
Spend today in Fota Wildlife Park, the largest wildlife park in Ireland. Set in the heart of Cork Harbour, you will be able to come face to face with exotic and native animals across the extensive grounds and learn about the conversation and breeding program of endangered species. Of course, the children will also be able to let off some steam at on various adventure playground or enjoy the train ride across the park.
Overnight in Cork.

DAY 6 - BLARNEY CASTLE
You will visit one of Ireland’s most iconic castles today, the magical Blarney Castle, home to the famous Blarney Stone, also known as the stone of eloquence. Discover the ancient walls of the castle, admire the impressive Blarney Stone and venture through the magical gardens and romantic rock close..
Enjoy the rest of the day at your own pace to stroll through Cork city or take the scenic drive along the beautiful southern coast of western Cork.
Overnight in Kenmare/Killarney.

DAY 7 - GAP OF DUNLOE TOUR
The Gap of Dunloe is a narrow mountain pass between the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Purple Mountains. A unique tour will take you today to the see the beauty of the mountains, lakes and historic roads of Killarney and the Gap of Dunloe in the most traditional way. Start your journey on a vintage bus taking you into the picturesque terrain of the mountains, where you will then cross the Gap of Dunloe on a relaxed traditional jaunting car ride before taking an open roof boat tour back to Killarney. A truly unique and traditional Irish experience that the whole family will enjoy.
Overnight in Kenmare/Killarney.

DAY 8 - DINGLE PENINSULA
The Dingle peninsula is steeped into history, culture and tradition and is also known as a designated Gaeltacht area, where Irish language and culture is part of every day life. Discover the beautiful scenery of the green peninsula with sandy beaches, cozy bays, traditional villages and panoramic views across the Atlantic ocean. A wildlife and eco tour will take you out to the fresh waters around Slea Head, the most western point in Europe, to learn more about the history of the area and to encounter some of the native sea life - including seals, dolphins and whales.
Overnight in Kenmare/Killarney.

DAY 9 - ROCK OF CASHEL - KILKENNY
The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland’s most spectacular archaeological sites and has been known as the seat of the high kings in ancient Ireland. Set on a hill, overlooking the beautiful surrounding area, you can today visit the ruins of the complex, including Cormac’s Chapel and the Vicar’s Coral Hall, and learn about monastic life in medieval Ireland.
Continue to Kilkenny, Ireland’s most famous medieval city, where you have the afternoon to venture through the small lively alleys with it’s traditional shops, cafes and bars.
Overnight in Kilkenny.

DAY 10 - NATIONAL STUD
Today you will visit the jewel and pride of Irish horse breeding, the National Irish Stud in Kildare. The beautiful extensive area invites you to venture among the studs and to learn about the tradition, history and success story behind Irish horse breeding and racing. Depending on the time of the year, you might be lucky to encounter one of the famous stallions in their traditional home. The National Stud is also home to the beautiful Japanese Gardens.
Continue to Dublin, where you have the rest of the afternoon free to explore some of the highlights of Ireland’s bustling capital. Visit the Irish leprechaun museum, learn about Irish immigration at Epic or take the city like a Viking on the iconic Viking splash tour!
Overnight in Dublin.

DAY 11 - DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport and departure

 

Family Adventure Holidays

SERVICES INCLUDED

 

Family Adventure Holidays

- accommodation in family friendly hotels with leisure facilities
- private car hire for the entire trip
- activities, visits and tours as outlined with a certified, English speaking guide where desired/required
- all taxes and insurances for the activiities
- expert travel planning, trip preparation and 24/7 on-tour support

Family Adventure Holidays

TIMES & RATES

Family Adventure Holidays

Description

Family Adventure Holidays

GALLERY

Family Adventure Holidays

Family Adventure Holidays

Contact us for a quote

Talk to us to get a quote for this tour or let us design a tour just for you. 

 

Family Adventure Holidays

TRAVEL TIPS

When to travel
With its mild climate and its easy access, Ireland is a country that can be visited all year round. The most popular time to travel is between May and September with July and August being by far the busiest months.
Ireland's eastern coast tends to be drier and warmer than the western part, where, especially over the winter months, the conditions can be stormy, cold and wet. Temperatures all over Ireland hardly ever fall below 0 degrees though. From late October to mid March, the days tend to be quite short, so if you are looking at touring, the longer days of the year would be more suitable.
Ireland usually sees the driest and warmest season in May and June, making the time perfect for outdoor activities all across Ireland when the often boggy underground has dried up. While there is a chance of storms due to the hurricane season across the Atlantic, September can bring some lovely late summer weather with mild and sunny days, especially on the east coast.

How to travel
With an annual passenger volume of almost 33 mio in 2019, Dublin airport is by far the busiest airport in Ireland. To compare, Shannon Airport in the west saw around 1,7 mio passengers while Cork airport saw just under 300,000 passengers over the same period.
Dublin serves an extensive network of destinations and airlines, connecting Ireland to mainland Europe and North America. Direct routes are also operated to the UAE and Asia. The best European hubs to connect to Dublin are London Heathrow, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
In Ireland, the easiest way to get around is by rental car. The bus network is extensive and connections are frequent, but public transport mainly connects the main centers and it can be challenging to travel in rural areas or off the beaten track. The Irish train operates a centralized system through Dublin, so depending where you want to go, the journey might be intricating due to the detour to Dublin.

Travelling with children
The wealth of exciting ancient history, outdoor opportunities and fantastic scenery makes Ireland a great destination to visit with the whole family. The country is not large and a good road network makes it easy and reasonably fast to travel across the country.
Though Ireland would not be considered to be a beach destination by many, Ireland offers some extraordinary long sandy beaches with calm waters, which are perfect for swimming, surfing or watersports. Further, Ireland has some exciting marine wildlife and it is possible in many places to spot seals, dolphins and whales in their natural habitat.
Ireland’s rich cultural and historical heritage includes ancient castles, vibrant cities and fabled creatures. Many sights exploring the mythical world are laid out for kids and offer great entertainment for old and young.
Hotels and B&Bs offer family accommodation with family rooms or separate lodges to house larger family groups. Restaurants nearly always offer a kids menu or will prepare smaller portions. It is always possible to request a cot or high chair for small kids.

What to bring
It is not a myth that it rains a lot in Ireland, so whenever you travel, the most important thing to bring is a waterproof jacket. Umbrellas might be used in urban areas, though rain is often accompanied by strong winds, making the use of umbrellas often challenging.
Comfortable and decent shoes are essential as no matter where you go or what you plan to do, you should prepare to walk quite a bit, also in the cities. If you are planning on hiking, waterproof hiking shoes or boots are advisable as trails are not always well maintained and often lead through boggy and wet terrain.
Even though people tend to be obsessed with the weather, temperatures are moderate and never get extremely low or high. Warm evenings are rare, even at the height of summer, so always prepare for chilly evenings with a warmer jumper, cardigan and jacket.
The sun gets surprisingly strong over the summer months, so sun lotion, a sun hat and sunglasses are recommendable. A small backpack or handbag will be perfect to carry your belongings when out and about.
While people enjoy a casual style in their routine or when outdoors, especially the younger generations love to dress up in the evening, so you should also pack a nice outfit if you plan to hit the town in the evenings.

 

For more practical travel advise and general information on visiting Ireland, please follow the link below.

 

Family Adventure Holidays

* The minimum age is based on the overall tour, some activities can require a higher minimum age, this will be advised at proposal stage. While not all activities are suitable for very small children, we are happy to tailor the tour to meet your specific wishes and needs.

**  The activity level is based on the amount of tours and activities included (1 - few tours and activities with a lot of free time, 5 - a lot of tours and activities with little free time). The activity level does not reflect the difficulty of the activities or tours included. Itineraries can be tailored to match the preferred level of activity.

Image by Sander Lenaerts

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