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South East Ireland

Day trips

Our most recommended South East Ireland Day Trips

Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Kilmacduagh Abbey & Galway Day Tour

1. Dublin: Cliffs of Moher, Kilmacduagh Abbey & Galway Day Tour

Embark on a guided day trip to discover the iconic Cliffs of Moher by bus. Visit Galway and its stunning surrounding landscape and see famous landmarks, including Dunguaire Castle and Kilmacduagh Monastery. Depart Dublin at 6:45 AM and journey through the flat open plain of the Curragh. Pass the Irish National Stud thoroughbred horse breeding facility as your guide shares a wealth of history and information. Head to the ruins of Kilmacduagh Monastery and its roundhouse—unique for the way it leans over by more than 2 feet. Spend 15-20 minutes here. Then, arrive at the Cliffs of Moher for a view of the Atlantic Ocean and explore on your own for around 1.5 hours. Go to the visitor's centre for the interactive Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience with a large multimedia screen displaying a bird's-eye view from the cliffs, and a video from the underwater caves. Next, discover the lunar landscapes of The Burren with a 15–20-minute visit and hear about the many secrets of this atypical landscape, home to the warmest ground temperature in Ireland. Arrive in the city of Galway, where you will have around 1 hour to explore on your own. Discover its old-world charm on cobblestone streets that evoke an authentic Ireland of times gone by. Then drive along the coastal route of the Wild Atlantic Way to Kinvara, passing Dunguaire Castle and the 12 Bens mountain range along the way. Return to Dublin and get dropped off at the meeting point at around 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM.

Dublin: Giants Causeway, Dark Hedges, Dunluce & Belfast Tour

2. Dublin: Giants Causeway, Dark Hedges, Dunluce & Belfast Tour

Tour the coastline of Northern Ireland on a day trip from Dublin in a comfortable bus. Follow your guide as you visit iconic sights, including the Giant's Causeway, the Dark Hedges, Dunluce Castle, and Belfast. Depart Dublin and travel North, stopping at a service station along the way for breakfast, to buy lunch, and to stretch your legs. Your first attraction is to take a 5-minute photo stop at the famous and picturesque ruins of Dunluce Castle. Afterward, head to the Giant's Causeway, formed from about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. Enjoy at least 2 hours at the UNESCO World Heritage Site and get up close to the hexagonal columns, often referred to as the "8th Wonder of the World." Take in the fantastic views of the Irish Sea and then spend around 20 minutes traveling along the avenue of intertwined beech trees known as "Dark Hedges." Planted in the 18th-century by the Stuart family, the beautiful sight was used in the Game of Thrones series and the Transformers movie. Lastly, go to Belfast to see the capital of Northern Ireland and the birthplace of the Titanic ocean liner. Stop next to Belfast City Hall and spend approximately 1.5 hours exploring the city. Do some sightseeing, shopping, and grab some food before continuing the journey home.

Cliffs of Moher Full-Day Tour from Limerick

3. 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. 

Dublin: Kilkenny, Wicklow, & Glendalough with Sheepdog trail

4. Dublin: Kilkenny, Wicklow, & Glendalough with Sheepdog trail

Admire the tower of Glendalough, the wild beauty of the Wicklow Mountains, and the medieval city of Kilkenny on a full-day guided tour from Dublin. Depart from Dublin and make your way directly to Kilkenny, a town that was once the medieval capital of Ireland. Enjoy walking down the cobbled streets and visit the Black Abbey and the Cathedral of Saint Canice. After that, travel through the Wicklow Mountains to your next stop. Visit the monastic site of Glendalough. Hollywood Blockbusters like ‘P.S. I Love You’ and ‘Braveheart’ have been filmed here. Explore the area renowned for its ruins, magnificent lakes, and waterfalls. Finally, head over to a sheepdog farm and watch a sheepdog herd with his master. Look at the Border Collies using a tactic called “The Eye” on sheep. Witness a shepherd and his dog at work and watch how they herd a flock of sheep.

From Dublin: Howth Coastal Half-Day Bus Tour with Live Guide

5. From Dublin: Howth Coastal Half-Day Bus Tour with Live Guide

Discover the charming seaside village of Howth on this half-day Coastal Tour. The tour includes a return bus journey from Dublin to Howth Summit and its famous fishing village. Take in the incredible views of the cliffs of Howth during a guided walking tour and then enjoy free time to explore the picturesque Howth Village at your leisure. Get a glimpse of the 19th-century Martello Tower, and stroll past the medieval ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey. Take the opportunity while you are there to try some of the best seafood and fish and chips that Dublin has to offer. This leisurely excursion is the perfect way to enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour.

Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour from Dublin

6. Blarney Castle Full-Day Tour from Dublin

Visit Ireland’s most famous castle on a full-day tour from Dublin. Enjoy free time to explore the city of Cork and visit Blarney Castle. Stroll in the footsteps of St Patrick at the Celtic Crosses and Round Tower. Meet your guide at Paddy's Palace in Dublin and hop aboard a comfortable and climate-controlled van for a scenic drive through green fields and dairy farms of the Golden Vale of County Cork. Enjoy panoramic views of the Galtee Mountains and County Tipperary. Stop in Cork on banks of the River Lee and spend an hour of free time exploring the city at your own pace. Have the option to visit the historic English Market, or marvel at the architecture of St. Finbarre’s Cathedral. Drive on to Blarney Castle, home of the legendary Blarney Stone. It’s said that if you kiss the stone you will receive the “gift of the gab” for 7 years. Pucker up and kiss the stone or snap a picture.  Explore the castle grounds and gardens to discover the Witch's Cave. Take advantage of the tax free shopping at the Blarney Woollen Mills and craft shop. Step back in time at the evocative Celtic Crosses and Round Tower. Depart for Dublin on a path through the Golden Vale of County Tipperary and arrive back in the city at night. 

Dublin 2-Hour E-Bike Tour with a Local Guide

7. Dublin 2-Hour E-Bike Tour with a Local Guide

The story of Dublin comes alive as you explore the city by electric bike. This 2-hour small group activity makes it possible for you to enjoy the sights and sounds of Dublin in a way that really immerses you in Dublin life. Because e-bikes are used, this fun activity is accessible to all. The tour company is fully insured and the idea behind the tour is that a large area can easily be covered, giving visitors a great orientation of the city in an informative, stress-free manner. A local guide will lead your tour and provide a history of the capital with a typical Dublin wit. See a side of Dublin that’s not typically mentioned in the guidebooks. The tour is designed for small groups (a maximum of 10 people), meaning that the tour is tailored in its approach, allowing for lots of time to ask questions. With the tales your guide has to tell, you most definitely will not be bored! There is no better way to explore an area than by cycling. Ride around the streets of Dublin on an e-bike and you’ll have lots of time and energy to take in more attractions afterwards!

Dublin: Giant's Causeway, Dark Hedges & Titanic Guided Tour

8. Dublin: Giant's Causeway, Dark Hedges & Titanic Guided Tour

With an early start in Dublin this tour is designed to take you to the best locations in Northern Ireland to ensure with the limited time you have that you will make the most of the day ahead. Enjoy a relaxed journey and listen to the stories and history from the guide as we take you on an adventure you will never forget. The first stop of the day is at the Giant’s Causeway. This UNESCO world heritage site is truly a view to behold. With Thousand of interlocking basalt columns spreading across the coastline you will discover how the strange rock formation was formed thousands of years ago due to a volcanic eruption. Or maybe it is the legend Finn McCool himself that created the rock formation as he battled with the Scottish Giant? Dunluce castle is just around the corner. Spend 10 min here taking in the views from the Atlantic Ocean and hear the waves crash against the rocks. Experience the castle from a spectacular angle. Situated on the sheer cliff edge the ruins are truly majestic and have a lot of history and myths locked up in the walls. A perfect spot for a memorable photograph! As we travel through the Glens of Antrim we will visit the Dark Hedges. Made famous (Not that it was needed) by the hit TV series “ Game of Thrones” as the Kings road you will have the opportunity to walk along the avenue of Beech trees. Planted over 200 years ago as a stunning entrance to James Stuart’s new house it still lives on and still impress visitors today. Reaching Belfast we have one last stop and definitely another highlight of the day. The world renowned Belfast Titanic Exhibition extends over nine galleries, with multiple dimensions to the exhibition. From special effects, rides, full-scale reconstructions and interactive features you will explore the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her infamous maiden voyage and catastrophic demise. The journey goes beyond the aftermath of the sinking, to the discovery of the wreck and continues into the present day in the Ocean Exploration Centre. With the entrance ticket included in the price of the tour this is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this attraction. When time allows we will stop in Belfast city to have a quick break before heading back to Dublin, where you will be home in good time to have a great night out to finish a great day out!

From Dublin: Celtic Boyne Valley Tour

9. From Dublin: Celtic Boyne Valley Tour

Join this tour for a day of time travel, visiting the Neolithic tombs of Loughcrew, the predominantly Iron Age Hill of Tara, the 7th Century Christian monastery of Fore Abbey, the Hill Of Uishneach (the spiritual center of Ireland), and the Anglo-Norman Trim castle.  This Celtic tour along Ireland’s Ancient East brings you to the historically significant Boyne valley situated in County Meath (the Royal County) from where the ancient High Kings of Ireland ruled. The ‘Hill of Uisneach’ is arguably one of Ireland's most important ancient sites. It is the point at which the five provinces of Ireland met and where their Kings would celebrate the ‘festival of the fires’.  Visitors can also view the site where St Fechin founded a Christian monastery in the 7th Century. It’s believed that before his death, 300 monks lived in the community. Later, the monastery was set on fire 12 times. Among the remains on site, visitors can see St Fechin’s church, built about 900 AD. Next head to Loughcrew, the site of multiple passage tombs from the Neolithic age that are 5000 years old. Get up close and personal to pre-history in these cairns with its still-intact rock art, lavishly decorating the inside walls (built more than 500 years before the first pyramids). You then travel to Trim castle, the best preserved, most impressive example of Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland. It offers a spectacular insight into the lives and traditions of the people from the middle ages. Then, visit The Hill of Tara, best known for having been the royal residence of the ancient High Kings that ruled Ireland in Celtic times and beyond. It is said that a quarter of Ireland’s landscape can be seen from this hill. Take in this spectacular vista before heading back to the capital.

From Dublin: Full-Day Game of Thrones Filming Locations Tour

10. From Dublin: Full-Day Game of Thrones Filming Locations Tour

Visit some of Northern Ireland's most iconic Game of Thrones filming locations on this guided tour from Dublin. Stop halfway for a short break and comfort stop and enjoy onboard entertainment during the journey, including a Game of Thrones quiz to see who will be crowned King or Queen in the North. Arrive at Tollymore Forest Park, where you'll enjoy a 3-kilometer trek and discover several iconic locations, including where the Night's Watch first encountered the White Walkers and where the Starks found the dead Direwolf and her litter of pups. After your morning trek, travel to Strangford, a small fishing village where you will break for lunch. After lunch, visit Old Castle Ward, the location of Winterfell from season one. Take a 3-kilometer afternoon trek around the estate to visit locations including Walder Frey's Twins and Robb Stark's Camp in the Riverlands.  As your return trip to Dublin begins, stop for a quick visit to Inch Abbey, the location where Robb Stark was declared King in the North. Your guide will provide real wool Stark cloaks, Stark banners, and replica swords and shields for photo opportunities.

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Frequently asked questions about South East Ireland Day Trips

What are other things to do than Day Trips that are worth visiting in South East Ireland?

The other unmissable things to do in South East Ireland are:

Other Sightseeing Options in South East Ireland

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What people are saying about South East Ireland

This tour is worth the price if you want to see a few key locations in Ireland in a day! Our guide was very knowledgeable of the locations we visited on the tour and Ireland in general and shared a lot of interesting information, so that was a positive addition to the overall tour experience. The Cliffs of Moher are breathtaking if the weather is in your favor, and luckily, we had partially sunny skies the entire time we were there with this tour! The only downside to the tour is we didn't get much time to walk the Cliffs of Moher or explore Galway. You really need at least 3 hours each to explore both places pretty thoroughly - 1.5 hours just isn't enough time.

This tour was fantastic. We packed in so much in one day, which was wonderful. Our tour guide Tony was upbeat, fun and informative. His commentary was paced perfectly, and gave enough information to keep things enteresting but not so much you get overwhelmed. I loved everything I learned! He also kept us on track without ever making us feel rushed. And of course our driver Thomas was wonderful. Again, I never felt rushed and always felt safe. It’s a great value for the price, and I would recommend it to anyone.

Peter was very knowledgeable and friendly. He gave good advice about what to do at each location we visited. I feel like I learned a lot about Ireland in a short time. I'm very glad I booked the tour with Finn McCool. If I ever come back to Ireland I will book another tour.

An amazing coastline which we would have totally missed if we hadn't done the tour.

Driver was very friendly, bus was comfortable and we got to see a lot in a day!