Northern Ireland – Beyond Belfast Cultural Tour


Picturesque coastal towns and villages, green pastoral fields, soaring cliffs, wild barren landscapes, the crash of the ocean, the laugh of a local. Northern Ireland is romantic, authentic, a home away from home where both old and modern seem to cohabit seamlessly on a small island in the middle of the sea.

Packed with history and tradition, on this private tour of Northern Ireland your days are spent exploring famous and off the beaten track sites of natural, cultural and political interest. A world renowned food scene means your evenings are spent dining in style and with the promise of a pub just around the corner, music and laughter are never far away.

Your trip to Ireland will surprise and delight you, but the people of Ireland will stay with you, long after your journey has taken you home.

Activity Level

Speak to your travel designer about how active you like to be on vacation.
This trip can be adapted to include easy, moderate or more challenging hikes, or you can choose to do a less active version.

We will pair you up with a guide who is most suited to your activity level. 


Day One – Welcome to Dublin

On arrival in Dublin, you’ll be met by a private driver who will whisk you directly to your city centre hotel. Take some time to settle in before joining a local historian for an engaging walking tour of the lively capital city. Explore some of Dublin’s best-known attractions, while also enjoying the benefit of local knowledge by visiting spots hidden off the tourist trail. Later this afternoon, enjoy some free time, before dining in the hotel’s restaurant or in one of the many delightful eateries that pepper the streets of this vibrant, capital city.

Instead of the walking tour, you also have the option to meet with a local genealogist, delving into your family’s rich history and chatting over your ancestral connections.

Overnight: The Merrion, Dublin
Included meals: None

Day Two – Kingdom of Mourne

Leaving Dublin and the south of Ireland behind, head north to the small coastal town of Newcastle. Today you will meet a local biking expert and cycle an awesome circular route that meanders from the largely undiscovered Mournes coast to the foothills of the high Mournes, offering unique views in every direction. The highest and most dramatic mountain range in the northern part of Ireland, these mountains and hills are riddled with 18th century smuggler’s routes and its peaks capped with dramatic granite tors.

This region is diverse in every sense, offering insights into the natural, built and social heritage that makes the ‘Kingdom of Mourne’ what it is today, including the stunning Greencastle Castle dating from as far back as the 13th Century.

Today’s cycle will be tailored to your own requirements.

Overnight: Conlyn House, Newcastle
Included meals: Breakfast and dinner

A woman riding a bike in Ireland

Day Three – Irish dancing experience

From the middle of the 17th century, charismatic dance masters would travel from village to village in Ireland. Dressed in brightly coloured clothes and carrying a staff, they would teach dancing to the local people. Later, the tradition of gathering after the harvest at a crossroads for a dance became established. Breathing new life into these traditions, Josephine weaves her magic through an interactive, one-of-a-kind Irish dancing experience.

Your time begins with a welcoming cup of tea or coffee, along with a slice of traditional home-made barmbrack. Then you will learn to master the dance steps for yourself!

Later today you will visit some of the megalithic monuments dotted around the area, dating back thousands of years. This evening, have a delicious dinner by the promenade.

Overnight: Conlyn House, Newcastle
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day Four – The hISTORY OF belfast

After a short drive this morning you’ll arrive in Belfast, a city that has been the scene of bloody battles and civil strife for hundreds of years. Today you are going to delve right into this history, meeting a local who lived through it.

Visit Crumlin Road Gaol, (known locally as ‘The Crum’), which held prisoners since 1846 but took a leading role in the detainment of Republicans and Loyalists during ‘The Troubles’.

Later, explore and experience the famous West Belfast murals from the comfort of a black taxi with a local who will share their take on the political and historical background as well as their local knowledge. Sign your name on the world-famous Peace Wall, that has divided catholic and protestant communities in Belfast for years.

Overnight: The Merchant, Belfast
Included meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day Five – Belfast Food tour & The TITANIC experience

You may prefer to skip breakfast this morning as you join a couple of locals on a private food tour of Belfast. Start in the historic St George’s Market, meeting producers, and tasting yummy local products, before heading around Belfast to visit traditional bars, world-class shops and more, eating and drinking some of the best local food and drink along the way.

This afternoon, make your way to Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. Enjoy the ultimate Titanic day out with a White Star Premium Pass which includes the award-winning guided Discovery Tour, entry to the Titanic Experience and SS Nomadic, the last remaining White Star vessel.

Overnight: The Merchant, Belfast
Included meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day Six – Gobbins Cliff Path & The Causeway Coast

Today, tackle one of the most dramatic hikes in Europe, the Gobbins Path. Originally opened in 1902, it was later abandoned in the 1960s until it’s rebirth in 2015. The Gobbins Path experience takes you along a narrow path hugging the dramatic cliff face, across spectacular bridges amid the swirling waves of the North Channel. Traverse hidden tunnels under the Irish Sea, climb rugged staircases carved into the cliff face and duck into caves once home to smugglers and privateers.

Afterwards, follow a stunning coastal route – the “secret” way to visit the Giant’s Causeway. Admire castle ruins, dramatic cliffs, stunning beaches and picturesque harbours and even visit a few places that inspired and appeared on HBO’s Game of Thrones. The grand finale is at the spectacular Giant’s Causeway – octagonal columns of rocks created by feuding giants or volcanic activity – myth or science, you decide!

Overnight: Bushmill’s Inn, Bushmills
Included meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day Seven – Rathlin Island Boat Trip

Sail along the Causeway Coast to Rathlin Island – many tales of myth and mystery surround Rathlin Island, though the most famous tells of Robert the Bruce. In 1306, the Scottish King was driven from Scotland by Edward I of England and took refuge on Rathlin where he watched a spider persevering again and again to bridge a gap with its web. Eventually it succeeded. Taking heart from the spider’s efforts, Robert the Bruce returned to Scotland and eventually regained his crown.

You’ll take a boat out to the island and explore by foot today, visiting the bird sanctuary and discovering the lighthouses on the island’s east and west coasts. At certain times of year you may even spot the resident island Puffins!

Overnight: Bushmills Inn, Bushmills
Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Scenic coastline view in Ireland

Day Eight – Depart

This morning, check out of your hotel and your guide will drive you to the airport of your choice.

Included meals: Breakfast

What’s included

  • 7 nights accommodation based on 2 people sharing a room
  • Private driver guide from Day 1 to Day 8 inclusive
  • Private airport transfer on Day 1
  • Meals as listed in the above itinerary (lunches are a mixture of bagged and cafe)
  • All entry fees, activities and hikes mentioned in the itinerary
  • All ferry travel throughout this itinerary
  • Gratuities for local services and experiences

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance 
  • Flights 
  • Any accommodation, meals, entrance, fees and activities not mentioned in the inclusions
  • Gratuities for your main driver guide


Speak to your travel designer to find out what accommodation and vehicle upgrades are available for this tour. 

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