The family will enjoy the irresistible mythology and fascinating history of the Emerald Isle when exploring castles, artifacts, and farms on your handcrafted family Ireland tour. Kiss the Blarney Stone for the legendary gift of gab. Shape clay and metal into elaborate pottery or delicate jewelry inspired by Celtic designs. Cycle through preserved woodlands connected to pristine reflective lakes. From the history of Vikings to the natural drama embodied in coastal cliffs, the enchanting tales passed down for generations to colorful architecture brightening antique towns, the family will uncover the splendor of authentic Irish culture.
Create memorable treasures for your time in Ireland by crafting authentic pottery and Celtic jewelry guided by local Kinsale artists
Bask in the authentic flavors of Ireland with an Irish cooking class focusing on the tastes of fresh ingredients cultivated on the property
Traverse the historical grounds of Blarney Castle to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone and real antique dungeons
Wander the trails overlooking the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher for a stunning panorama of the Wild Atlantic Way
Discover glistening lakes, serene woodlands, splashing waterfalls, and remarkable castles cycling Killarney National Park
Uncover the marvelous layers of history in Dublin where Celtic, Viking, and Medieval artifacts reveal a distinct culture
Witness the unique beauty and stunning allure surrounding the 9th century Book of Kells
(Day 1): Dublin – Arrive in Dublin with an Introduction to the Historical City Streets
(Day 2): Dublin – Relish an Exciting Guided Treasure Hunt across Dublin
(Day 3): County Cork – Bask in a Luxury Train to Blarney Castle and County Cork
(Day 4): County Cork – Visit Kinsale for a Celtic Pottery and Jewelry Making Class
(Day 5): County Cork – Explore an Organic Farm before an Irish Cooking Class
(Day 6): County Clare – Enjoy the Killarney Landscape and Lakes on a Bicycle Tour
(Day 7): County Clare – Discover the Cliffs of Moher and Relax on an Irish Estate
(Day 8): Shannon – Depart for Home
Relish a first-class experience on the ultimate 8-day family-friendly Ireland tour calling to families with children, teens, and young teenagers interested in famous castles with a little bit of folklore, active exploration with a taste of authentic cooking. Travel across the lush Emerald Isle between Dublin and County Clare uncovering age-old traditions and fabulous stories intertwining with the unique landscape. Hunt for treasure, kiss the Blarney Stone and traverse the depths of an elegant estate accessing the layers of ancient, medieval, and contemporary history informing the daily culture.
The family adventure around Ireland begins with your arrival in Dublin. The charming city once acted as Britain’s Second City behind London but has since captivated locals and visitors with preserved Georgian architecture and displays of lavish historical artifacts. From the grounds of Trinity College to the dining room of an antique Pub, the family can hunt for treasure and enjoy the fascinating ambiance of the city’s foundations dating back to the 9th century. Enjoy a luxury train ride to Cork County for an introduction to the enticing city and surrounding countryside.
Traverse the standing grounds of Blarney Castle from the legendary stone to the dungeons. Visit the colorful seaside town of Kinsale for a lesson in Celtic jewelry and gorgeous pottery before spending time on a working farm established in the 1700s. Learn archery or spend time exploring an estate on horseback. At the Ballymaloe Cookery School, the family can indulge in the art of cooking for insight into organic farming, cooking demonstration, and flavors of authentic Irish cuisine.
Venture into County Clare for a family bike ride through Killarney National park. Discover the fabulous lakes, antique castles, and fascinating woodlands, as well as the powerful rush of Torc Waterfall. Arrive at your accommodations inside a castle overlooking the vast estate in County Clare. The Cliffs of Moher climb above the Atlantic Ocean with a visitor walkway providing views over the bluffs and onto the horizon. Visiting a traditional Irish farm offers live demonstrations of sheep herding and shearing, while also allowing the family to pet and feed the lambs revealing the variety of wonder found in Ireland.
Your flight lands at Dublin International Airport, where your private transfer greets you upon arrival. After settling into the comforts of your luxury accommodations at the heart of the city, your guide greets the family in the lobby eager to introduce you to the fascinating history encompassing the former Second City of the British Empire. Layers of history create an enrapturing atmosphere along the shores of the River Liffey running through central Dublin. Georgian architecture provides an ambiance of sophistication and elegance while the buskers performing on Grafton Street offer the spirit amid cobblestone lanes and quiet cafes.
The National Museum of Ireland opened in 1877 showcasing uncovered artifacts ranging from Celtic metalwork to 8th-century jewelry, Iron Age weaponry to 12th-century dinnerware. Your guide provides legend and mythology with the stunning artifacts bringing the past to life for the entire family. The Iron Age “bog bodies” inside the Kingship and Sacrifice exhibit shows four figures from the midland bog preserved with unique details. The Medieval exhibition highlights the Viking presence on the island including Scandinavian ecclesiastical material from the 11th and 12th centuries later absorbed into Irish culture.
What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation
In the morning, the aroma of a delicious Irish breakfast fills the hotel dining room highlighting the savory scent of thick bacon and fried eggs. The family sets out on a treasure hunt across Dublin following in the footsteps of Vikings, Celts, and knights. At the steps of Trinity College, your guide leads the family into the intense halls of the Old Library erected in the 18th century. The college was originally founded in 1592 on a 40-acre plot of land tended with cobbled squares, manicured gardens, and priceless artifacts. The permanent exhibition hosts the Book of Kells, a collection of 9th-century illuminated manuscripts consisting of the Books of Durrow and Armagh.
The display is located inside the Long Room, where 200,000 antique books emanate the aroma of leather-bound covers and crisp paper. The library houses famous Irish figures like Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, and Samuel Beckett. While you enjoy learning more about the Book of Kells, the kids bask in the legend connected to Brian Ború’s harp. The hero defeated the Danes at the Battle of Clontarf in the 11th century soon becoming the Island’s patron saint of music. While the harp dates back to the 14th century, long after Ború’s passing, it is still the oldest discovered instrument in Ireland.
What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast
You board the first-class train car in the morning bound for Cork County. The comfortable seats and wide windows offer a luxurious scenic ride across the Irish countryside. The emerald grassland becomes clear with intermittent sheep and cows grazing on the lush landscape. The train arrives in Cork City, where the English Market has bustle daily since the 18th century. The scent of artisan bread and fresh fruit blends beneath the vaulted ceilings. The spires of St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral glint with limestone gray framing the intricate rose and stained-glass windows.
Your guide escorts you out of the city on the short drive to Blarney Castle, home to the famous Blarney Stone. The 15th-century edifice was erected on the foundations of earlier fortifications and retains an air of pride amid the partial ruin. The kids are excited to climb the stairs following the footsteps of Irish chieftain Cormac McCarthy. The legend of the Blarney Stone grew from MacCarthy’s ability to speak eloquently in court after kissing the stone, then using the stone inside the parapet. A member of the castle staff supports you as you dangle upside down over the parapet to reach the stone, in the tradition of kissing the smooth, cool boulder. You then head down into the dungeon creating a buzz of anticipation for the kids eager to view a real castle prison as if from a storybook.
What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast
After breakfast, the family ventures to the town of Kinsale situated on the quiet bay. The masts of boats, fishing boats, and yachts wade in the calm water along the coastline of County Cork. The houses and shops are painted with pastel colors bringing a vibrant sheen to the winding cobbled lanes. The 17th-century fortifications of Charles Fort continue to watch over the shoreline with a star-shaped design. 18th and 19th-century ruins speckle the landscape inside the walls two miles outside of Kinsale embodying the battles with soldiers in 1921 before the British withdrew from the area.
You continue to the Kinsale Pottery and Arts Centre for an introduction into the artistry of crafting pottery and making jewelry in the tradition of Celtic designs. Local artists welcome you into the gallery providing an introduction to shaping clay. The scent of drying soil fills the room. The kids love the hands-on activity, digging their fingers into the soft, wet clay while forming a dish. You choose to try your hand at threading and knotting a piece of Celtic jewelry by twisting the long metal shaft and tinkering it into the iconic Triple Spiral symbolizing the goddess Epona.
In the morning, you can spend time enjoying the activities provided on your accommodations 220-acre estate. Enjoy a horseback ride through the calming greenery or learn to angle on a guided salmon tour. The kids quickly take to the archery lessons offered on the grounds, learning how to properly stand perpendicular to the target, place the shaft of the arrow tight against the bow, and pluck the string by arching their arm back. You continue to the Ballymaloe Cookery School, which hosts an organic farm and fabulous herb garden.
Your instructor guides you through the little wooden gate entering the steps of the welcoming park landscape filled with the aromas of mint and jasmine. The herbs thrive within the manicured hedges acting like natural barriers between the wild plants. Fruits grow like ornaments and you can hear the light trickle of a creek rushing through the water garden. The kids wander through the Celtic maze and wildflower meadow before sampling the treasures in the soft fruit garden where gooseberries, blackcurrants, and blueberries grow. Step into the kitchen for a demonstration of traditional Irish cuisine before partaking in the cooking preparing an authentic Irish dinner.
The elevated flavors of the previous night’s home-cooked meal linger in your mind at breakfast before the scent of Irish black tea fills the dining room. The kids share their favorite moments from the cooking class, remarking on the delicious flavors of the berries they found in the garden. Your private transfer escorts you out of County Cork and into County Kerry for a day cycling through Killarney National Park. The protected landscape encompasses oak and yew woodlands, as well as gorgeous lakes. The waterways are interlinked but maintain distinct ecosystems.
You cycle along the banks of Lough Leane’s seven square miles noticing the blooming algae while Muckross Lake reaches the edge of Torc Mountain slopes. Common chaffinch and goldcrest twitter around the oak trees. Ross Castle reflects in the water with towers dating back to the 15th century. The feature acted as the last stronghold in Munster that succumbed to Cromwell’s forces. The interior stairway has a unique angle making it hard for swordsmen ascending the stairs to fight against the castle defenders. You easily find Torc Waterfall on a small trail outside of Killarney town.
The day begins with the intense landscape of the Cliffs of Moher along the Wild Atlantic Way. The family visit begins at the visitor center atop the vertical bluffs. The ocean churns with untamed waves crashing against the rocky base below. The scenery looks familiar as a scene from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The vast headlands shine with dark limestone wet from the wind carrying the water over the striated façade. On a clear day, your panoramic view stretches from the Aran Islands to the hills of Connemara. The elements shaped the cliffs over 300 million years.
The kids point to a flock of Atlantic puffins who build their nests in the deep crags carved into the rocky bluffs. The birds can grow up to 12 inches tall with a sharp, stout bill helping them dive into the rough seas from great heights. Continue to a local farm where goats and sheep roam across the lush scenery. The farmer highlights the importance of every animal on the farm including the dogs who help herd the sheep into the pen when it is time for sheering. The kids can feed the lambs, letting the baby animal’s soft snout nuzzle into your child’s palm.
At breakfast, the kids talk more about how the sheep felt during the feeding the previous day. They share their stories with equal excitement recalling their favorite moments in Ireland. Your private transfer greets the family in the hotel lobby ready to escort you to Shannon Airport for your flight home. You could spend time in town and visit the Clare Museum for insight into the riches of the region uncovering 8,000 years of authentic artifacts or wander around the historical grounds of Ennis Friary church. Instead of returning home, you could continue the family adventure in Scotland or England rounding out the fascinating mythological connections with Ireland.
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