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Things to do in

South East Ireland

Our most recommended things to do in South East Ireland

From Killybegs: Coast Boat Tour to Sliabh Liag Cliffs

1. From Killybegs: Coast Boat Tour to Sliabh Liag Cliffs

Board a well-outfitted vessel with capacity for 96 people at the new Killybegs Marina. Marvel at the passing super trawlers as you sail out through Killybegs Harbor. Check out the two lighthouses stationed at the harbor's mouth which are over 170 years old. Pass Drumanoo Head, once the loading point for passengers boarding the Lusitania before making the long journey to the USA. From there, head by Fintra's blue flag beach, the island of Inisduff, and Muckross Head, a popular spot for rock climbing with its dramatic rocky overhangs. Hug the coastline until you reach Carrigan Head with its characteristic Napoleonic tower. As circle the tower, catch your first glimpse of the amazing Sliabh Liag Cliffs, standing at 601 meters above sea level. Travel along the cliffs before turning back. Take in views of the vast Donegal Bay, which affords views of four different counties at once. Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife, including various species of birds, dolphins, tuna, and whales.

Cliffs of Moher Full-Day Tour from Limerick

2. Cliffs of Moher Full-Day Tour from Limerick

Experience the highest cliffs in Europe on this full-day tour from Limerick. Embark on a journey to the historic city for the Burren and the Cliffs of Moher. Admire the stunning natural biodiversity of Galway Bay and stop at Bunratty Castle. Hop aboard the spacious and climate-controlled bus at Arthurs Quay in Limerick. Lean back and take in the views on the comfortable drive. Stop along the way to view King John’s Castle and the River Shannon. Continue to County Clare to explore the Cliffs of Moher. Spend 1.5 hours to enjoy the geological beauty of the cliffs. Receive a complimentary ticket to the award-winning Atlantic Edge exhibition which examines all aspects of the mighty cliffs. Depart the Cliffs of Moher for Doolin village, where a pint and lunch in a traditional Irish pub can be purchased. Along the way, enjoy superb views of the Atlantic Coast and Aran Islands. Visit one of the unusual limestone landscapes of the lunar-like Burren where the Arctic, Alpine, and Mediterranean flowers flourish side-by-side. If it's the right season, see one of 26 different types of orchids that grow on Galway Bay. Drive along Galway Bay and take a rest stop at Bunratty Castle. Imagine the days when Norman knights, Gaelic warriors, and jousting chieftains hung out at the hallowed spot. Depart from Bunratty Castle and drive back to your meeting point in Limerick. 

From Dublin: Cahir and Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour

3. From Dublin: Cahir and Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour

Set off on board a luxury, air-conditioned bus and watch Dublin's urban cityscape give way to the rolling, green hills of the Irish countryside. Drive through several areas of interest, including the Galtee Mountains and the Curragh in County Kildare, which is home to Ireland's National Stud Farm. First, arrive at Blarney Castle which is known around the world for its famous Blarney Stone. Kiss the stone and receive the “gift of the gab." Be sure to explore the rest of Blarney Castle as well as its lush grounds and woodland walks. Discover the scenic Rock Close by taking the Wishing Steps.  Depart Cork and arrive at one of Ireland’s 7 Wonders, the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary. Explore the Hall of Vicars, Cormack’s Chapel, the Celtic Cathedral, the Round Tower, and the surrounding grounds filled with ancient high crosses. Admire one of Ireland’s oldest Romanesque wall paintings inside this world-famous historical landmark. For your final stop of the day, visit one of Ireland's largest and best-preserved castles, Cahir Castle. The Castle was built in the 13th century, to house the Butler family. Built as a defensive castle it still boasts a lot of the original structure. Afterward, return to Dublin city center to complete your tour.

Ireland: 5-Day Escape to the Southwest Tour

4. Ireland: 5-Day Escape to the Southwest Tour

Discover the scenic splendor of southwest Ireland on a comprehensive 5-day tour of The Burren, the Dingle Peninsula, and the fabled Ring of Kerry. Stop at historic castles and monasteries, and wander the colorful fishing villages to sample fresh seafood. Enjoy dramatic views from the Cliffs of Moher, and stroll along the vast stretch of Inch Beach watching the local surfers. Transportation is by small minicoach, with accommodation in quaint bed and breakfast guesthouses for a more intimate experience. Day 1: Depart Dublin and head west through the farmland and peat bogs of Kildare and Offally counties. Stop at Locke’s Distillery, reputedly the oldest legal distillery in the world. Sample the local whiskey to experience the true spirit of Ireland. Continue west to the mighty Shannon River, and vist the early Christian site of Clonmacnoise. Admire its collection of churches, stone crosses, and round towers. After an afternoon stop in a traditional pub in one of the attractive villages, travel to Galway City to check into your base for the night. This lively student town has no shortage of good pubs and restaurants to enjoy in the evening. Day 2: From Galway City it’s only a short drive along the coast to The Burren, one of Ireland’s great natural treasures. Marvel at the limestone pavements, barren hills, and rare flora. See Christian settlements and ancient stone monuments. You will spend most of the morning exploring this unique area, stopping in Kilfenora for lunch. Known as the “Town of the Crosses,” there will also be time to visit the old cathedral before driving to the Cliffs of Moher. Marvel at this natural beauty, where the cliffs drop almost 700 feet into crashing Atlantic Ocean waves. Take a walk along one of the cliff top trails, and watch the seabirds at work. Alternatively, visit the award-winning environmental exhibition to learn about the region’s ecology. Then, travel south through County Clare, passing the famous golf course and beach at Lahinch to catch the ferry across the Shannon Estuary and into County Kerry. Go to the beautiful lakeside town of Killarney, your base for the next 3 nights. The pubs here are great for food and most have live music in the evenings. Day 3 Today, you will explore the Dingle Peninsula, one of the most scenic parts of Ireland. Your first stop in this heartland of Gaelic culture will be Inch Beach, a vast expanse of sand facing the Atlantic Ocean popular with surfers. From here, increasingly narrow roads lead onto the peninsula itself, through the town of Dingle and out to Slea Head. This is an area of ancient forts and dwellings that date back thousands of years. Visit some of the best examples along the way. Enjoy views of the Blasket Islands as they rise dramatically from the sea. Marvel at the mountains of the famous Ring of Kerry to your south. Weather permitting, time will be allotted for a walk on the beach or along the cliff tops. Learn why the area is important in Gaelic literature. Then, head back to Dingle town with its brightly colored buildings and busy harbor. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure, before returning to Killarney. If the weather is good you could enjoy an evening walk in Killarney National Park, just on the edge of town. Day 4: Today, you will take one of the world’s classic routes, the 100-mile Ring of Kerry. Depart Killarney and enjoy the views to Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain. Join the coast road through Glenbeigh and Kells to Cahersiveen. Possible stops along the way include Daniel O’Connell’s birthplace, and the ring fort of Cahersiveen. Go to the little fishing village of Portmagee for a lunch of local seafood. Alternatively, cross to the island of Valencia and visit the Skellig Experience to learn about the small community of monks who once lived on the nearby rock island of Skellig Michael. In the afternoon, stop in picturesque Waterville, a favourite holiday destination for Charlie Chaplin. Stop again at the top of the Coonmakista Pass for one of the best views in Ireland. From here, the road drops down to sea level, where you will visit Derrynane House, the family home of Daniel O’Connell. You can stroll in the gardens and down to the beach, as well as look inside the house itself. Continue around the Ring, stopping at Moll’s Gap and Ladies View. There will also be time for a short walk to the Torc Waterfall before returning to Killarney. Day 5: The final day of your tour heads east through the mountains of West Cork and the market town of Macroom. Then, drive along the Lee Valley to Blarney Castle. Visit the castle and take one of the woodland walks to the mystical Rock Close. Explore the village of Blarney, stopping for lunch and a bit of shopping. There may even be time to kiss the famous Blarney Stone, although in peak season it can be very busy. In the afternoon, head to the Rock of Cashel to see the medieval monastery complex high above the town. Finally, go to Kilkenny, a bustling city with a fine castle and park, as well as some lovely riverside walks. Visit the National Craft Centre, or just hang out in one of the pubs for a last Guinness. Hit the road again for the final leg of your journey, arriving back in Dublin at approximately 19:30.

Cork: Cahir Castle and Rock of Cashel Tour in Spanish

5. Cork: Cahir Castle and Rock of Cashel Tour in Spanish

First, visit Cahir Castle. Located on a rocky island in the Suir River, Cahir is one of the best preserved castles in all of Ireland. It kept its impressive keep, tower and much of its original defensive structure. From here, travel to the picturesque city of Cork which is located between two channels of the River Lee. The compact nature of the city provides a cozy atmosphere and everywhere is easily accessible on foot. You will have 2 hours time to explore the city, the narrow streets and bridges, the bustling English market and St Finbarr’s Cathedral with its magnificent bell towers. There is also the opportunity to ring bells yourself in the 300 year old St Anne’s church! Heading back towards Dublin, make a final stop at one of the most iconic locations in Ireland – The Rock of Cashel. A spectacular set of medieval buildings set in a huge rock. It includes a Circular Tower, the traditional Irish Celtic Cross and a Gothic Cathedral. You will arrive back in Dublin around 7:30 - 8:00 PM.

Ireland's North Atlantic Coast 5-Day Tour from Dublin

6. Ireland's North Atlantic Coast 5-Day Tour from Dublin

Enjoy a scenic tour of Eire and Northern Ireland’s Atlantic Coast on a 5-day package tour from Dublin. Stay in quaint bed and breakfast accommodation in Portrush, Donegal, and Westport along the way. Go to the edge of Europe at Achill Island, explore the new Titanic Quarter in Belfast to see where the ill-fated ocean liner was built, marvel at the dramatic geology of the Giant’s Causeway, and immerse yourself in Gaelic culture. Day 1: Depart Dublin at 09:00 and travel north towards the border with Northern Ireland. From here it is a short journey to Belfast, famous for its industrial past and turbulent history. After a short tour of some of the city’s key areas, arrive in the newly redeveloped Titanic Quarter, where you will have time for lunch and a visit to the award-winning museum. In the afternoon, experience the contrast between the busy city center and the scenery of the Antrim Coast and Glens. Follow part of the coast from Ballycastle to the world famous Giant's Causeway. Marvel at the stunning coastal scenery, before checking into your overnight accommodation in the holiday town of Portrush. Day 2: Go to the walled city of Derry, designated a UK City of Culture in 2013. Enjoy some free time to explore the old city center, and visit one of the many museums or galleries. Then cross the border to the Republic of Ireland, traveling into one of the most remote and unspoilt areas of the country. Explore County Donegal’s dramatic scenery and Gaelic culture. Pass through Glenveagh National Park and the Errigal Mountains, before following the coast through traditional fishing villages. Stop for nature walks along the way, and soak up the local culture before checking into your overnight accommodation in Donegal. Day 3: Travel south along the coast from Donegal to County Sligo, and see the grave of the famous poet W.B. Yeats. Gaze at the mountain scenery of Ben Bulben, before exploring Sligo Town at Carrowmore, site of the largest collection of megalithic tombs in Ireland. Continue west into County Mayo to discover an area hit hard by the great potato famine, leading many to emigrate to North America. Drive through large areas of farmland, bog, and open moor, enjoying panoramic views of the distant hills. Return to the Atlantic Coast and Achill Island on the edge of Europe. Savor the peace and quiet of the beautiful area, before driving to Westport for your next 2 nights accommodation. Day 4: Today’s itinerary is weather dependent, and your guide will advise the best things to see. Explore the beautiful house and grounds of Kylemore Abbey, or marvel at the wilderness of Connemara National Park. Go to Clifden to see where the first transatlantic flight landed. Other options include the scenic Sky Road and 12 Bens of Connemara. Return to Westport for an evening at leisure, and the chance to sample some local seafood in one of the many excellent restaurants. Day 5: Enjoy a leisurely start to the day, before leaving Westport and going inland through the heart of Connemara. Visit the village of Cong on the shore of Lough Corrib to see where the classic movie “The Quiet Man” was filmed. Explore Cong Abbey, or the Quiet Man Museum, before driving through the Maam Valley to Galway City. Enjoy some free time for lunch, and to explore the vibrant city center. Return to Dublin, stopping at the old whisky distillery of Locke’s Distillery in Kilbeggan to learn about Ireland’s favorite tipple en route.

Northern Ireland 3-Day Tour from Dublin

7. Northern Ireland 3-Day Tour from Dublin

Travel beyond the headlines of Northern Ireland’s notorious “Troubles” and discover a land of spectacular natural wonders as you explore the wild Atlantic coast, see the stunning steps of the Giant’s Causeway, go to the battlefields of the Battle of the Boyne, and much more. Choose from a backpacker’s budget option, staying in shared dormitory style hostel accommodation, or choose an en suite room at a budget hotel or bed and breakfast accommodation if you would prefer a bit more privacy. Learn about the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 that brought the peace process to an end, and see evidence of the 30-year conflict at the Bloody Sunday Murals in Derry. Take a tour of Belfast, now classed as one of the top 10 cities in the world by Lonely Planet, and meet fun-loving local characters from both the Ulster-Irish and Ulster-British communities along the way. Day 1: Dublin - Belfast city (overnight Belfast) Choose from one of two central Dublin collection locations and you'll be on your way. Your first stop this morning is at Monasterboice, a monastic settlement dating back to 501 AD. This ancient monastery is home to the best-preserved and most intricately carved Celtic crosses in Ireland. A fully intact stone round tower also keeps watch over the horizon for marauding Vikings.  By late morning you'll arrive in Belfast. Discover why Lonely Planet regards Northern Ireland's capital as one of the top 10 'must-visit' cities on Earth. Your driver will show you highlights including City Hall, Queen's University, Albert's Clock, Botanic Gardens, and much more.  With plenty of time at leisure to explore the city, the political “Black Taxi” tour (optional) is strongly recommended to view the Peace Wall and infamous political murals. The drivers are locals and can explain what life was like in Belfast during the conflict of 1969-1998. This evening you'll stay downtown, in a most lively area with great pubs and restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets. Live music venues are plentiful, and Belfast is well known for its great nightlife. Day 2: Belfast - Giants Causeway - Letterkenny A glorious touring day cruising the Beautiful North Coast. You will initially visit the Dark Hedges, famed by Game of Thrones. Then it's the jackpot visit of the day - you will trace the footprints of Celtic Giants, and walk the Giant's Causeway. A UNESCO world heritage site, and the proud location of an estimated 60,000 hexagonal columns of basalt rock formed by cataclysmic violent volcanic eruptions a long long time ago. Your guide will wax lyrical about how the giant warrior-hero (Fionn McCool). You'll continue to the nearby city of Derry where you'll spend the afternoon. There will be plenty of time at leisure after an excellent in-depth walking tour of Derry's walls with a local guide. Learn why the city is officially known as Londonderry and the story of the long bloody siege here in 1689. Your guide will take you down to the well-known Bogside district, the scene of the Bloody Sunday massacre in 1972, and the inspiration for U2's classic anthem 'Sunday, Bloody Sunday'. Just across the border lie the hills of Donegal. You'll stay overnight in the town of Letterkenny for a flavor of rural Ireland. Day 3: Letterkenny- Sligo - Galway - Dublin After breakfast this morning, you'll head down a portion of the west coast's Wild Atlantic Way in the Republic of Ireland. Your journey takes you through the poetic heartland of Co. Sligo, W.B. Yeats country. Visit the final resting place of the Nobel laureate in Drumcliff Abbey, and admire the beautiful Benbulben mountain referenced in many of his poems. Further along the road lies Ireland's premier surf venue and beach at Strandhill, Co. Sligo, and you will have some leisure time here for refreshments. Your final stop before returning to Dublin is Galway where you have free time to explore. Perhaps you might like to visit some wonderful local seafood eateries, or try a pint in one of the fantastic pubs. You then take a scenic drive back to Dublin, arriving back at approx. 7:00 PM.

Ireland: 3-Day West Coast Explorer Tour

8. Ireland: 3-Day West Coast Explorer Tour

Experience the beauty of Ireland’s wild west coast on a 3-day tour that takes you from the dramatic Maam Valley to the pretty villages of The Burren. Enjoy fantastic coastal views on a clifftop walk at the Cliffs of Moher, see the landing site of the first trans-Atlantic flight, visit the Quiet Man Museum, and much more. You will be traveling by small minicoach from Dublin for a more intimate experience. Day 1 You’ll take the fast road from Dublin west through the farmland and peat bogs of counties Kildare and Offally. The destinations today are on Ireland’s dramatic Atlantic Coast and the goal is to get you there as quickly as possible! The first stop is the village of Kinvara, where you’ll have a chance to admire Dunguaire Castle, perched on a rocky outcrop looking out over Galway Bay. From here it’s just a short drive to The Burren, which is one of Ireland’s great natural treasures. The Burren is a land of limestone pavements, barren hillsides, rare flora, early Christian settlements and ancient stone monuments. Spend a few hours exploring this unique area, stopping in one of the pretty local villages for lunch. After The Burren you’ll head to the stunning Cliffs of Moher, which drop nearly 700 feet straight into the crashing Atlantic waves. Walk along the cliff-top trails, watch the many seabirds, or visit the award-winning environmental exhibition. From here the tour follows the coastal road, and you’ll have stunning views across Galway Bay back to Galway City itself, which is your base for the next 2 nights. This lively student town has no shortage of good pubs and restaurants! Day 2 Galway lies at the edge of Connemara, which is the area you’ll explore today. Travel inland through the Maam Valley to the village of Cong on the shore of Lough Corrib. It is here that the classic film, The Quiet Man, was made. Visit the Quiet Man Museum or Cong Abbey. Continue through the heart of Connemara and stop to tour the lovely grounds and house of Kylemore Abbey. Continuing on, you’ll experience the majesty of Connemara National Park. Go to Clifden, where the first trans-Atlantic flight landed, and then drive along the Sky Road and take in the views of the 12 Bens of Connemara. Day 3 After a relaxed start to the day you’ll leave Galway behind and take some of the back roads through central Ireland on the way back to Dublin. The first highlight of the day is the early Christian site of Clonmacnoise, featuring a collection of churches, stone crosses and round towers beautifully situated on the banks of the mighty Shannon River. Following lunch in a local village the tour continues through an area of unique peat bog scenery that is typical of this part of Ireland. Your guide will explain both its environmental and economic importance to the country. The final stop on the tour is Locke’s Distillery, reputedly the oldest legal distillery in the world. Sample the local whiskey and discover the true spirit of Ireland! From here you’ll continue east to Dublin, arriving at around 7:00PM.

Athlone: Dead Centre Brewing Tour and Craft Beer Tasting

9. Athlone: Dead Centre Brewing Tour and Craft Beer Tasting

Discover the secrets of the brewing process on a guided tour of the Dead Centre Brewing facility in Athlone. Find out about each step of the process from sourcing materials to bottling the brews. Savor craft flavors with a beer tasting experience. Meet your guide at Dead Centre Brewing and begin your beermaking adventure. Hear about the brewing process in clear, simple-to-understand language. Cover aspects of the process such as brewing, fermentation and packaging. Listen as your guide tells you about how they source local ingredients to brew with and return waste materials to the food chain. Be in-the-know as you find out about the array of beer styles brewed on site. Take in the stunning, uninterrupted views of Athlone Castle and St Peter and Paul's church. Complete your tour by tasting some of the beers that you have heard so much about.

Ireland's Hidden Heartlands Private Whiskey Trail

10. Ireland's Hidden Heartlands Private Whiskey Trail

As you depart Dublin for the west, your whiskey expert driver/guide will entertain you as you sit back and enjoy the rolling Irish countryside. Your first tour is Kilbeggan Distillery, which includes a master class in the tasting of Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, Kilbeggan Single Grain, and Tyrconnell Single Malt. Next, you will visit one of Ireland’s most authentic towns, Athlone. Enjoy some free time here and grab lunch, then your host will take you for a visit to Sean’s Bar, Ireland’s oldest pub. The bar has its very own whiskey brand and you’ll enjoy a tasting of Sean’s Bar Single Malt and Specially Blended Irish Whiskey. Another quick transfer by road will have you at the home of Tullamore Dew, one of the biggest Irish whiskey brands in the world. Take a tour of the impressive state-of-the-art Tullamore Distillery and enjoy a premium tasting. Afterward, you'll return to Dublin and be back in the downtown area around 6:00 PM.

Other Sightseeing Options in South East Ireland

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What people are saying about South East Ireland

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 487 reviews

Any tour depends first on the guide. JEROME was OUTSTANDING. Rabbies (the local operator) provided great accommodations. The places we stopped for lunch were for locals--what I was hoping for. The trip was exactly as described on the Rabbies website (whether you like the amount of time in each location/activity is up to the individual). I never felt rushed but Jerome kept us on a schedule.

I loved Cahir Castle and appreciate that we stopped up the road to get a picture of the castle on the rock from a distance. Kissing the Blarney stone was not on my bucket list! Missing that 1.5 hour line to the top of the castle and walking through the beautiful grounds is the best way to enjoy this site.

Large boat with plenty of seating. Holds a lot of people comfortably! Just check you are at the right pier. It’s the one furthest out of town past the Ahoy Cafe. Location is correct on Google maps which I hadn’t checked as didn’t have signal !

Lovely tour with multiple stops at beautiful locations. The freedom and time given is enough to enjoy the beautiful views. While driving in the bus you will have a great view of the surrounding area.

Excellent excursion! I would highly recommend when visiting each of the castles to take your time to take it all in. Of course, be sure to kiss the Blarney Stone!