Ireland, often referred to as the Emerald Isle, is known for its lush landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. What better way to explore this enchanting country than by embarking on a train tour? Ireland rail vacations offer a unique and comfortable way to experience the country’s diverse landscapes, charming cities, and historic sites. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the highlights of Ireland train tours, from iconic destinations to the incredible experiences they offer.
○ Duration: 9 days
○ Starting price: $1999
This rail tour- Ireland By Rail, starts in Dublin, before heading to the capital city of Northern Ireland, Belfast. Mesmerizing museums, historical monuments & churches await you in Dublin during your Hop-On/Hop-off sightseeing excursion. You will have the opportunity to explore Glendalough, Powerscourt, the Wicklow Mountains, and Kilkenny, a medieval town famous for its building and castle before hopping on the incredibly popular Dublin-Belfast train that will provide you with some of the most scenic views of the island of Ireland. Then, visit the Giant’s Causeway, an ancient volcanic eruption site that will take your breath away with its unique landscape and ambiance. Enjoy the storytelling of one of the largest cruise ships ever built “Titanic” during your Titanic Belfast experience before returning by train back to Dublin where the tour ends.
● Highlights of the tour
1. Discover Highlights of Dublin on a Hop On/Hop Off bus sightseeing tour
2. Explore the scenic beauty of Wicklow Black Castle, the mountains, and their valleys
3. Travel to Kilkenny, the town known as “Marble City” famous for medieval buildings and castle
4. Experience the story of the Titanic at the World’s leading attraction, Titanic Belfast
5. Visit the UNESCO site of Giant’s Causeway on the north coast of Northern Ireland
Ireland rail tours take you to some of the most captivating destinations in the country, each with its own unique charm. It is one of the most beautiful European Train Tours. Here are the key destinations you can expect to explore:
1. Dublin: The journey often begins in the lively capital, Dublin. This bustling city is known for its historic landmarks, including Trinity College, the Guinness Storehouse, and Temple Bar. Stroll along the River Liffey or visit Dublin Castle for a taste of the city’s rich heritage.
2. Cork: Located in the south of Ireland, Cork is a city brimming with culture and character. Explore the English Market, visit St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral, and don’t forget to kiss the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle for the gift of eloquence.
3. Galway: Known for its vibrant arts scene and lively atmosphere, Galway is a city where traditional Irish culture thrives. Shop along Quay Street, take a walk along the Claddagh and enjoy the lively pubs with traditional music.
4. Cliffs of Moher: One of Ireland’s most famous natural wonders, the Cliffs of Moher offer breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. These dramatic cliffs rise to over 700 feet, providing awe-inspiring scenery and fantastic photo opportunities.
While exploring these destinations, you’ll have the opportunity to travel along iconic train routes such as the Wild Atlantic Way. This scenic coastal route offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and takes you through charming villages, making it a highlight of your journey. Here are some beautiful routes that you can experience on rail tours Ireland-
1. Dublin to Belfast: This scenic route takes you from the bustling streets of Dublin through the picturesque Irish countryside to the vibrant city of Belfast.
2. Dublin to Cork: Journey from the capital city to the charming city of Cork, passing through rolling hills and green landscapes along the way.
3. Dublin to Galway: Enjoy breathtaking views of the Irish coast as you travel from Dublin to the lively city of Galway.
4. The Wild Atlantic Way: This coastal train route offers spectacular views of the rugged western coastline of Ireland, taking you through towns like Westport and Ballina.
5. The Ring of Kerry: Explore the stunning landscapes of County Kerry, including mountains, lakes, and coastal cliffs, on this iconic train route.
6. Dublin to Sligo: Pass through the heart of Ireland’s lush countryside and enjoy scenic vistas on your way to the historic town of Sligo.
7. The Westport to Achill Island Line: Experience the beauty of Achill Island, Ireland’s largest island, accessible via this picturesque train journey from Westport.
Enjoy the taste of Guinness, learn all about the Titanic, and visit some of Ireland’s most famous sites, including the Giant’s Causeway in this wonderful tour of Ireland!
DAY 1 – USA/ CANADA – DUBLIN
Take your flight to Dublin.
DAY 2 – DUBLIN ARRIVAL
Arrive at Dublin International Airport, transfer to your hotel, and free time for the rest of the day. Optional Tour: Teeling Whiskey Distillery tour and tasting in Dublin (1 hour). Explore the only operational distillery in the city with a guided tour. The tour covers the whiskey-making process, sample Teeling Whiskey, and sign the hangout area walls.
DAY 3 – DUBLIN
After breakfast, embark on a hop-on/Hop Off bus sightseeing tour of Dublin, exploring its main scenic attractions, including Georgian Squares, and Phoenix Park, and optional visits to places like Grafton Street for shopping and the Temple Bar District for its vibrant culture and folk music. The afternoon offers free time for exploring Trinity College, founded in 1592, or taking an optional tour of the Guinness Storehouse.
Optional evening activities include the Dublin Darkside Walking Tour exploring the city’s mysterious and haunted side, an active small-group cycle tour of Dublin, or a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher to witness their breathtaking beauty. Another option is the Skip the Line Guinness and Jameson Irish Whiskey Experience Tour in Dublin, offering an engaging tour of the original Jameson distillery and a visit to the GUINNESS STOREHOUSE, where you can enjoy a complimentary pint of Guinness while learning about its history.
Overnight in Dublin.
DAY 4 – DUBLIN – WICKLOW – KILKENNY – DUBLIN
After breakfast, embark on a guided day tour to explore the beauty of Wicklow, known as the Garden of Ireland, famous for its rolling hills, peat bogs, and dramatic waterfalls. You’ll also visit Kilkenny, renowned for its 12th-century castle, offering you a chance to enjoy a pint of Kilkenny.
Overnight in Dublin.
Optional evening activities include the Skip the Line Traditional Irish Night Show at Belvedere. Enjoy a 3-course dinner of Irish cuisine while being entertained by professional Irish folk musicians and dancers, giving you a taste of Ireland’s music and dance culture.
DAY 5 – DUBLIN – BELFAST
After breakfast, make your way to the train station to catch a train bound for Belfast. Enjoy the picturesque Irish landscape from your comfortable train seat before reaching Belfast. Upon arrival, head to your hotel for check-in, and the remainder of the day is yours to enjoy at your leisure.
Overnight in Belfast.
Optional activities in Belfast include the City Sightseeing Belfast Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour, where you can explore historic Belfast on an open-top double-decker bus with the flexibility to hop on and off at various scenic attractions. Other tour options include the Belfast Bike Tour with BYO Drinks, which offers a unique way to pedal around the city, stopping at historic pubs and top sights such as Titanic Belfast and Belfast Cathedral.
DAY 6 – BELFAST– GIANT CAUSEWAY – BELFAST
After breakfast, embark on a journey to the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Legend has it that the Irish giant Fionn Mac Cumhaill built the causeway to meet the Scottish giant Benandonner for a legendary fight. After exploring the Giant’s Causeway, return to Belfast in the late afternoon. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the city at your own pace.
Overnight in Belfast.
DAY 7 – BELFAST
After breakfast, visit Titanic Belfast (entrance included), a renowned attraction opened in 2012, dedicated to the RMS Titanic’s history. The remainder of the day is free for exploration. You can opt to visit HMS Caroline, St George’s Market, the Botanic Gardens, city hall, or the Ulster Museum.
Overnight in Belfast.
DAY 8 – BELFAST – DUBLIN
Today, after breakfast, you will make your own way to the Belfast train station to board the train back to Dublin. Upon your arrival in Dublin, you will be transferred to the Airport hotel.
Overnight in Dublin
DAY 9 – DUBLIN – USA/CANADA
Today, you will be transferred to the Dublin International Airport by shuttle from the hotel to check in for your onward flight.
This tour often includes various inclusions to make your journey comfortable and memorable. Typical inclusions may consist of:
● 7 nights’ accommodation on a twin-sharing basis in centrally located hotels or similar
● Daily buffet breakfast at the hotel
● Arrival and departure Airport transfers
● Service of English-speaking tour guide during the tours
● Sightseeing as per the itinerary
1. Day tour to Wicklow and Kilkenny from Dublin
2. Day tour to Giant’s Causeway from Belfast
3. Entrance to Titanic Belfast Experience
● 1 day Hop On–Hop Off Bus city sightseeing pass with Dublin Bus
● Return train tickets between Dublin and Belfast (Standard Category)
● International round-trip airfare from various gateways
● All air taxes and fuel surcharges
● All local applicable taxes
Ireland boasts a rich history, and a train tour is the perfect way to explore its ancient castles. One of the most famous is Blarney Castle, where you can kiss the legendary Blarney Stone. Legend has it that kissing the stone endows you with the gift of eloquence. Beyond Blarney Castle, there are many other castles to explore in an extended tour, each with its own intriguing stories.
The Cliffs of Moher are just one of Ireland’s many natural wonders. You can’t miss this legendary destination on tours of Ireland. Others include the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Northern Irish coast. Marvel at the striking hexagonal basalt columns formed by volcanic activity and enjoy a walk along the coastal trails.
Your Ireland train tour will often include accommodation in carefully selected hotels. You can expect comfort and convenience on your Ireland vacation, allowing you to rest and rejuvenate after your daily adventures.
One culinary experience not to miss is the traditional full Irish breakfast. This hearty meal typically includes sausages, bacon, eggs, black and white pudding, and much more. It’s the perfect way to start your day and experience the authentic taste of Ireland.
Ireland is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on your preferences. Summer (June to August) offers pleasant weather and longer daylight hours. Spring (March to May) is ideal for vibrant green landscapes, while autumn (September to November) provides stunning foliage. Winter (December to February) offers a quieter and more intimate experience.
Booking your Ireland train tour is a straightforward process. We at Indus Travels offer online booking options, making it convenient and efficient. It’s advisable to book your tour well in advance, especially if you plan to travel during the peak tourist season.
Packing for your Ireland rail tour is relatively simple. Essentials include comfortable clothing for sightseeing, as well as layers for varying weather conditions. Don’t forget to bring a good pair of walking shoes for exploring castles and natural sites. Additionally, an adapter for electrical outlets is handy for charging devices.
Selecting the right rail tour is crucial to ensure your journey aligns with your interests and preferences. Here are some steps on how to choose the perfect tour:
● Consider the duration: Think about how much time you have available for your journey and choose a tour that fits your schedule.
● Identify your interests: If you’re passionate about history, prioritize tours that feature historical sites and landmarks. For nature enthusiasts, tours covering Ireland’s natural wonders are ideal.
● The kind of experience: Whether you seek a relaxed and leisurely rail journey or an action-packed adventure, there’s a rail tour tailored to your needs.
Ireland’s breathtaking scenery, historical sites, and unique experiences make train tours a memorable adventure. Enjoy picturesque landscapes from the comfort of your train seat and disembark to explore ancient castles, natural wonders, and charming cities.
For those seeking an extra touch of luxury, consider the Belmond Grand Hibernian, a luxurious train tour offering exquisite dining, opulent cabins, and a journey through Ireland’s most stunning landscapes. This is a remarkable way to experience Ireland in style.
Past travelers who have embarked on Ireland rail tours with Indus Travel often share their experiences.
Robert from New York says, ” I booked Ireland train tour- Ireland Express By Rail with Indus and it was a great experience. The itinerary is smooth and takes you to major spots in the country. My wife and I traveled to Ireland and had a great time.“
In conclusion, touring Ireland by train is a unique and memorable experience. From the captivating destinations to the breathtaking landscapes and historical sites, Ireland’s rail journeys offer a wealth of experiences just waiting to be discovered. There are many train tours of England, Ireland, and Scotland awaiting to be explored.
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