Explore Ireland with Spike! 2024


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6 days, 5 nights
Availability : April 18-23, 2024
Min Age : 18

April 18-23, 2024

SOLD OUT! This tour is currently SOLD OUT but you can join the waiting list in the event that any openings become available or in case we announce a 2025 tour!

Is Ireland at the top of your “bucket list?” This trip is built for you. The tour is planned for a first-time visitor to Ireland… and Spike will lead the tour!  The best of authentic Ireland:

  • Magnificent castles & churches
  • Modern European cities like Dublin and Galway
  • Small charming villages like Doolin and Kilkenny
  • Ancient ruins and heritage sites steeped in Irish mythology
  • Breathtaking cliffs & jaw-dropping landscapes featured in Hollywood films
  • And of course, plenty of pubs & pints!
With a maximum group size of 16 people, you get an up close and personal tour with several tour guides.  We will travel Ireland in our own private, first-class motorcoach. You’ll enjoy a relaxed pace and flexible itinerary. This trip is perfect for solo travelers, couples, or families. (In fact, two people save $1,000 by sharing a room!)  There is also another Ireland trip specifically planned for photographers the following week which visits completely different locations and you will have the option of combining both trips! (I plan alternative activities if you’re not into photography.)
Tour Details

Your dream trip to Ireland and you don’t have to do a thing – I’ve planned the whole tour for you! I’ve hand-picked the accommodations, dining, expert tour directors and local guides. Enjoy seamless transportation in a comfortable motorcoach built for 30 but I’m only bringing 8 to 16 guests to keep it small and fun. You’ll get VIP access to Ireland’s most iconic sites.  As your guide and travel partner, I invite you to embark on this captivating tour for an unbeatable price. Find out why I keep returning to the Emerald Isle!

SALE: Save 10% Now
Book Now for only $3,239 
or $2,739 per person* for double occupancy!!!
*bring a friend or family member and share a room to save $500 each.
Regular Price: $3,594 when sale ends
$500 deposit to reserve your spot.

Why April?
One of the best kept secrets about Ireland is that its “sunniest” months are actually April & May. Peak high tourist season is May through the summer. So by arriving in April, we escape all the crowds, the rainiest season and the high prices. In some places, you may feel like we have the country to ourselves!

Departure & Return Location

We will fly in and out of Dublin Airport (DUB).  Your flight should depart the U.S. on April 16 to arrive on April 17 before our 5pm welcome dinner. Your departing flight should be after 12:00pm (noon) on April 23.

Price Includes:

  • 5 nights hotel accommodation
  • Transportation by luxury minibus for entire tour
  • Most Meals (2 dinners, 4 lunches and 4 breakfasts)
  • Entrance fees for all tours & attractions
  • Several fun, engaging & knowledgeable tour guides
  • Online & printed guide to area attractions, restaurants, pubs and shopping for each town we visit
  • Grab-and-go water & snacks on the minibus
  • Welcome gift upon arrival
  • Adventure, fun, memories, and the luck o' the Irish!

Price Excludes:

  • Airfare (but I'll help you plan it!)
  • Arrival airport shuttle to Dublin
  • 3 dinners not provided so that you can enjoy Dublin, Kilkenny and Galway on your own (but you're welcome to join me if you wish!) Dining suggestions will be provided.
  • Alcohol (except at Guinness Brewery)
  • Room service fees & personal expenses

April 18Arrive In Dublin

Begin your Irish adventure in Dublin, a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and modern charm. Check in your hotel room and shake off the jet lag. We will meet for an early welcome dinner and tour orientation. And if you still have energy, we will wander through the cobblestone streets of Temple Bar, known for its lively pubs, traditional music, and vibrant atmosphere.
HOTEL: DUBLIN (2 nights) …if you choose to arrive in Dublin even earlier, I can provide hotel info for discounted rates.

April 19More Dublin Delights

On our second day in Dublin, we will do a walking tour of the city, led by my friend Dara who does tours around the world but was born and raised in Dublin. We will trace Ireland’s stone age roots and its Viking origins as we visit Dublin Castle and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. We’ll learn about the roots of Ireland’s struggle with the British Empire as we see the GPO, Parliament House and Trinity College. And then on to modern times we stroll along the River Liffey and learn about Ireland’s customs, music and culture. We will visit one of the oldest public libraries in the world (Ireland’s first) where you’ll see some of rare books dating back to the late Middle Ages. Other sights we may see (depending on time) include Christ Church, Grafton Street, St. Stephen’s Green, and more.
After lunch, we’ll visit the Guinness Storehouse to learn about Ireland’s most famous beer and enjoy panoramic views of the city from the Gravity Bar while we drink a pint at the brewery. (An alternative activity will be available for those who don’t enjoy beer.)
You’ll have an opportunity to enjoy dinner on your own and explore Dublin at night if you wish!

April 20Glendalough and Kilkenny

After breakfast, we depart Dublin and head south to Glendalough, a monastery founded in the 6th century. The ancient site flourished until the English destroyed it in 1398. Most of the buildings you’ll walk through will be a thousand years old, backed by a beautiful, serene valley with tranquil lakes and lush woodlands.
We’ll eat lunch together and then continue our journey to picturesque Kilkenny. Narrow Medieval alleys snake between an imposing castle and a historic 13th century cathedral, craft studios, traditional pubs and riverside walks. After checking in to our hotel, you can spend the afternoon enjoying the city’s warm hospitality and vibrant atmosphere in this town that was the capital of Ireland more than once in Ireland’s turbulent history. Enjoy dinner on your own, shopping and maybe a pint of ale in a bar haunted by Ireland’s last witch?

April 21Rock of Cashel, Limerick and Doolin

In the morning, we’ll drive west to the iconic Rock of Cashel, a medieval fortress perched high on a hilltop, offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Explore the ancient ruins, including the impressive Gothic cathedral and round tower, while immersing yourself in Ireland’s rich history. Then we will stop for lunch in Limerick and continue our journey to Doolin, a charming coastal village renowned for its traditional Irish music. We’ll enjoy a delicious dinner together – your choice of traditional Irish fare or the freshest seafood caught that morning by the town’s fishing boats. Then an evening of lively traditional music and authentic Irish hospitality in one of Doolin’s cozy historic pubs.

April 22Cliffs of Moher, Dunguaire Castle and Galway

Depart Doolin in the morning to the majestic Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most breathtaking natural wonders. Marvel at the sheer cliffs towering above the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy panoramic views of the rugged coastline. (Yes, Harry Potter was filmed here!) Learn about the fascinating geology, wildlife, and history of the area. Then, we visit Dunguaire Castle, built in 1520 and beautifully restored for tours. Lunch together and finally arrive in Galway, a vibrant city renowned for its artistic atmosphere, colorful streets, and lively pub culture. Explore the boutique shops, and watch street performers as we enjoy our last night in Ireland, filled with lively music, warm hospitality, and the charm of this captivating city, reflecting on the incredible experiences and memories you have made throughout your Irish adventure. Dinner on your own… or join me!
HOTEL: Galway

April 23Return to Dublin... and home

Bid farewell to Galway in the morning, our luxury coach will take us back to Dublin Airport for an afternoon flight home. (Or our motorcoach will take you back to central Dublin if you’re extending your stay!)

What To Expect:

Details:  You will book your own flight to leave America April 16 and arrive in Dublin on April 17. Current airfare is about $800-900 round-trip from Detroit but expected to drop. I will give you tips on when to buy and where to look. I leave airfare to you for two reasons: some people choose to use miles/points, and because some people choose to extend their stay in Europe by arriving early or staying longer.  (This trip is designed so that most full-time workers will only have to take 4 vacation days.)

Once you arrive at the Dublin hotel, we take over and take care of you for the next 6 days and 5 nights! Our small group (between 8 and 16 participants MAX) will travel in a 30 seat minibus so everyone can spread out for comfort and views! I do small tours so you get my full attention! Some days require a reasonable amount of walking that a person of average health can handle. For example, our leisurely Dublin tour is 2.5 hours but all within one square mile of the city. None of our coach rides are longer than 90 minutes between stops each day (except for the 2 hour ride to the airport on the final morning). Whether this is your first trip to Ireland – or anywhere – I guarantee you’ll have a fun time, see amazing sights, make new friends and return home with amazing photos and stories!

There is an option to combine this tour with my photography tour the following week and see so much more of Ireland that wasn’t included in the first week… even if you’re not a photographer!  I will customize alternative activities for those who wish to continue the journey. For example, while we are photographing the coast of Dingle, I might set you up with a tour of the Dingle Distillery or a boat tour or learn how to make Irish pottery in a craftsman’s workshop. You’ll find that I customize my tours to make sure everyone gets the most of their visit to the Emerald Isle. (Email me for more info)

Please note: These trips are 18+ (legal drinking age in Ireland)

We will provide lots of info leading up to the tour including what to wear, what to pack and recommendations for restaurants, pubs and other “must do” attractions for your free time… yes, you’ll have free time too!

Your guides for this tour:

  • Spike! Your Irish host with the big mouth I have traveled the world - including Ireland 5 times - and now I've been given more time to explore! I love sharing my passion for travel and adventure which is why I founded this small-group travel company 10 years ago to help you fulfill your bucket list! My first journey to Ireland was in 1996 (I tended bar!) and I've been back several times: most recently to take my daughters to the home in which my grandmother was born. It was incredible to show my kids the small town, the family business and the church in which they were married!
  • Dara McCarthyDara is a Dubliner with a degree in History from University College Dublin. He's a "Fáilte Ireland" approved official tour guide for Dublin City and Ireland. He's been a tour guide for over ten years and he always "skips the line." Dara has guided some well-known actors, politicians and journalists but you'll be the VIP on this tour. His name "Dara" is Celtic and is actually quite common in Ireland since the 1st century AD.
  • othersI bring assistants and other guides into the fold as needed along our journey... and you'll love our luxury coach driver who is not only a wealth of information being from this corner of Ireland, but he's also very funny!
More photos coming soon... here's just a few:

DOCUMENTS NOTE: You must have a passport that is valid for the entire duration of your entire stay in Ireland (or a visa to enter Ireland if you’re a U.S. green card holder). Refunds will not be given because you did not secure a valid passport or green card in time for this trip.

LIMITATIONS NOTE: For this trip. we require you to be reasonably fit in order to casually walk from location to location. We also require that you are able to handle your own luggage/bags, and enter/exit the vehicle without assistance. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make a trip challenging and we can answer all questions. Ireland’s restaurants are very accommodating to those with food allergies.  When you send your tour deposit, you certify to us that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions that would create a risk for yourself or for others on the trip or alter the group’s travel plans.

CANCELLATION NOTICE:  In the event that you have to cancel your “Explore With Spike” trip, we make every attempt to replace you with another paying traveler but if not, your payments are non-refundable. The best way to protect yourself against unforeseen changes in your travel plans is to purchase travel insurance… which costs about $50 for this tour.

Ireland 2024 Cancellation Policy

Travel Insurance Recommendations

Questions? Email us! travel@explorewithspike.com

WEATHER NOTICE: Ireland isn’t exactly known for its sunny weather, but what it can be known for is the amazing light, stormy seas and moody clouds. We are headed to Ireland in it’s driest season (March-June sees the least precipitation) but that doesn’t mean we won’t see rainfall – we probably will.  We will adjust the tour locations each day as necessary for comfort but we continue in all weather. For photographers, you can be sure we will keep a close eye on the weather throughout each day to make sure I get you in the right place, at the right time, for the best photos. Regardless, keep your gear protected because we shoot in all conditions. Rain and fog makes great photographs too! 

COVID-19 NOTICE:  We will be traveling from location to location in a coach all day long. So we kindly ask you to take precautions if you have symptoms or feel sick, for example wear a mask and notify your guides so they can care for you. We follow each country’s guidelines; Ireland does not require proof of vaccinations at this time. If this changes, we will let you know. We do not offer a refund if you can not attend a tour due to changing Covid-19 guidelines. Explore With Spike’s tour guides, pros and staff are fully vaccinated and boosted. We wish to be respectful to each other and the people of Ireland. Kind people are our kinda people!