6 Day Ancient Ireland Tour

Relax on a journey of discovery to Ireland's Ancient East. Explore Viking history, Norman castles and spectacular scenery.

Visit Kilkenny and Waterford, Ireland's historic capitals. Stroll craft studios and quaint seaside villages. See a 6th century monastery in Ireland's largest National Park. Savour the foodie mecca of West Cork.

🏆 Winner of Best Ireland's Ancient East Tourism Experience at the 2019 Irish Tourism Awards

€1,959.00 pps*
*Single Supplement EURO €315
Estimated $ USD 2019 Price: $2,115 (based on $1 = €0.86)
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An animated green map of Ireland with cartoon houses, round tower, pint of Guinness, Dolmen and castles dotted around the country Artboard 1
Driftwood Van
Dates+Availability
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Lots of Space! Limited Spaces (3 or Less) Sorry, Fully Booked!

2020

April 2020

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July 2020

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Start:
Finish:
Price:
Spaces Status:
€1,959.00 Per person sharing

Notre Dame / Navy NFL Game in Dublin Discount applies for 30th August 2020 Departure.

All tours are charged in EURO. Single Supplements apply to Single Room Occupancy.

A 15% deposit is all we need to secure your tour online. All our departure dates are guaranteed.

Time to relax and explore historic Ireland
Smooth and comfortable Mercedes-Benz tour vehicles
Tour historic castles and traditional Irish culture
What's Included

All Driftwood tours are flexible. Your 6 Day Driftwood Ancient Ireland Tour is no different.

Unmissable activities are included. Where there are great options, we’ve left the final decision up to you. Feel free to choose your evening meals and lunches. All additional tour options are marked clearly below.

What's Included
  • A journey of discovery in a super-comfy, slick Mercedes Benz/Volkswagen mini-coach
  • The services of a highly-trained and professional VagaGuide tour guide
  • 6 full days on tour
  • 5 nights' accommodation
  • 5 delicious and filling hot Irish breakfasts
  • Most daily activities and visits (see Tour Options below for extras)
  • Entrance into Jerpoint Park to see history unearthed and hear amazing stories
  • Entrance onto the Dunbrody Famine Ship, an exact reproduction of an 1840s emigrant vessel
  • A guided tour of the Jameson Distillery, the undisputed home of Irish whiskey
  • Entrance into 13th century Tintern Abbey

For your information - below are a list of options you can choose while on tour.

Lots of flexible options while on tour!
  • Blarney Castle
    €18.00
    Kiss the Blarney Stone and explore lush gardens.
  • Kilkenny Castle
    €8.00
    Self-guided tour of 12th century Kilkenny Castle.
  • St Canice’s Cathedral
    €7.00
    Self-guided tour of historic cathedral and round tower.
  • Smithwicks Brewery Tour
    €15.00
    Guided tour of Smithwicks brewery in Kilkenny. Estd. 1710.
  • Titanic Experience Cobh
    €10.00
    Historic museum exhibition about Cobh, the Titanic’s last port of call.
  • Medieval Museum
    €7.00
    Historic exhibition including a 13th century chamber.
  • Viking Museum
    €5.00
    Waterford's Viking history in Ireland’s oldest civic building.
  • House of Waterford Crystal
    €14.00
    Guided tour of glass-making factory and craft workshop.
  • King of the Vikings 3D
    €7.00
    Virtual reality experience depicting Waterford's Viking history.
  • Bishop's Palace Musum
    €7.00
    Museum of 18th century Georgian Waterford.
  • Ros Tapestry
    €8.00/€7.00 Seniors
    Exhibition of large-scale embroidered tapestry depicting Norman history.
Vagabond, Always going that extra mile
Unfortunately our tour prices do not include Flights / Insurance / or Dublin Accommodation
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Reviews

Our Guests Feefo Reviews

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Our Guests Trip Advisor Reviews

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Another Great Driftwood Tour
A few years ago we did the 11 day Driftwood Tour and were very pleased with our experience. We decided to return and take the 6 Day Ancient Ireland Tour. Once again we were very happy with the tour. The guides are very knowledgeable and tell good stories about Irish history without being boring and also tell you some fun, interesting facts.
TripAdvisor RatingView on Trip Advisor
6-day Ancient Ireland Driftwood tour was better than I imagined
This tour was jam-packed with activities, but it didn't feel like it. Although we saw many sites, we felt relaxed at the end of every day. That's because the tour guide was fabulous and knew just what we would like to do and how much we could tolerate. She was fun, funny, charming, knowledgeable, and a good driver. Everyone on the tour was crazy about her.
TripAdvisor RatingView on Trip Advisor
WARNING- Driftwood/Vagabond may become habit forming! (6-Day Ancient East Tour Review)
I just completed my third tour with Driftwood in two years, so I feel like it's only fair to warn others that you will have so much fun with this company that you will want to come back again and again...and again! Start budgeting accordingly. Thanks to Driftwood/Vagabond for yet another great tour!
TripAdvisor RatingView on Trip Advisor
Photos
Graveyard in Glendalough, Wicklow
Visit the 6th century mountain monastery of Glendalough
Ornately decorated museum hall in Kilkenny Castle, Ireland
Explore Kilkenny, Ireland's medieval capital and craft centre
Copper Coast in Waterford with green patchwork fields and cliffs
Fall in love with the spectacular Copper Coast in Waterford
Characterful guide Joe O'Connell at Jerpoint Abbey
Take a fun guided tour of the historic ruins at Jerpoint Park
Colourful streetscape at Stone Mad Gallery in Kinsale
Savour the foodie mecca of coastal Kinsale in West Cork
A view of Ballycotton harbour during the sunset with fishing trawlers and other boats in view.
Stay in quaint seaside villages like Ballycotton in Cork
Waterford city quays in Ireland's Ancient East
Explore Viking history in Waterford, Ireland's first capital
Accommodation

A hot shower after a woodland stroll. A real fire. A pint. We assure you that wherever you stay with us, you’ll love it.

We put great effort into selecting accommodation on Driftwood tours. No large, impersonal hotels here! Your tour will overnight in locally-owned establishments (in some cases for generations). Receive a heartfelt welcome, often from the hoteliers themselves.

Border between sections

Waterford Castle, Co. Waterford

Vikings and Normans sailed up the River Suir to establish Ireland’s oldest city at nearby Waterford. Now you can follow in their footsteps at Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort. It is set on an enchanted 310-acre Private Island, accessible via a short crossing on the resort's private car ferry. A jewel in Ireland's Ancient East, the Island Resort offers the very best of Irish hospitality on the most beautiful surroundings imaginable.

Waterford castle exterior facade
Waterford Castle Hotel
Waterford Castle lobby interior fireplace

Dunbrody House, Co. Wexford

Dunbrody Country House Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel in Co. Wexford. Located on the dramatic Hook Peninsula on Ireland’s south coast, Dunbrody House is owned and operated by husband and wife team Kevin & Catherine Dundon. Set in 300 acres of parkland, 1830s Dunbrody really is the perfect stay after a long day exploring the south-east coast.

The exterior view of Dunbrody House and Gardens with blue skies and flowers in view
The interior design of a main bedroom in Dunbrody House with the bed, georgian style mirror and armchair in view

Pembroke Hotel, Co. Kilkenny

This 4 star boutique hotel in Kilkenny is situated on Patrick Street, Kilkenny’s most exclusive street, right in the centre of a city rich in medieval heritage and alive with a vibrant arts culture. With over 400 years of history and a vast array of beautiful countryside to explore, Pembroke Kilkenny provides the perfect city-centre base for guests of all ages looking to make the most out of everything Ireland has to offer.

"Feel instantly refreshed as you walk into your room, put your bags down and settle in for your stay."
Interior of Pembroke Hotel bar and restaurant
Interior design of the mainbedroom in the Pembroke Hotel

Bayview Hotel, Co. Cork

The 4-star Bayview Hotel is a fine manor house nestled on the Cliffside of the beautiful fishing village of Ballycotton. It offers luxurious accommodation and stunning ocean views. Hear the waves crashing as you wake up in the morning in this amazing location. The hotel has lovely gardens, which lead to miles of sandy beaches for you to enjoy.

"Our family run hotel is dedicated to providing modern luxury with the charm and warmth of bygone days."
Exterior of Bayview Hotel with a view of the bay and the fishing boats
Beautiful views from the Bayview Hotel overlooking Ballycotten Bay

Actons Hotel, Co. Cork

Actons Hotel is situated in heart of the colourful historic harbour town of Kinsale also referred to as the Gourmet Capital of Ireland. Over the years Actons of Kinsale has established a reputation for its exceptional location with Kinsale holding some of the most breath-taking views one can imagine.

"Here at Actons, we have gained a reputation for highly personal and genuine guest care for all travelers"
Exterior view of Actons Hotel with views of the harbour views
Interior design of a harbour view main bedroom

Blue Haven, Co. Cork

Gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way, the Blue Haven Hotel will welcome you with open arms. Just a stone's throw from dozens of great restaurants, lively bars and interesting craft shops. You will love their seamless blend of boutique and contemporary luxury, whether you're relaxing in the lounge with a coffee, enjoying Tapas & Fine Wines in Aperitif, or sampling the Seafood in their Fish Market.

"The Blue Haven prides itself in delivering the ultimate in
friendly, efficient and personal service to its customers"
Interior design of Blue Haven's main bedroom
Hotel bar and restaurant interior at Blue Haven
Itinerary
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Ireland's Ancient East Tour Intro & Highlights

Time to look east! Explore amazing history and culture in the cities, castles and gardens of Ireland's Ancient East.

  • Explore amazing cities like medieval Kilkenny and Viking Waterford.
  • Savour a memorable night in an elegant Irish castle hotel.
  • Stunning scenery in Wicklow Mountain National Park and along the Copper Coast.
  • Incredible history at Glendalough, Cahir Castle and Blarney Castle Gardens.
  • Take an Irish whiskey tasting tour at the historic Jameson Distillery.
  • Visit Cobh; named one of Europe's most beautiful small towns by CondĂ© Nast Traveler in 2019.

⬇️ SCROLL DOWN TO DISCOVER WHAT HAPPENS EACH DAY ⬇️

Celtic cross gravestone in graveyard with sunlight lens flare in Glendalough, Ireland
Explore the 6th century mountain monastery of Glendalough
Exterior of Kilkenny Castle with lawn in the foreground, Ireland
Storm the castle at Kilkenny

Day 1: Wicklow National Park

Begin your journey of discovery from the Grand Canal Hotel in Dublin at 8.10am, bound for Kilkenny.

  • Explore the 6th century mountain monastery of Glendalough.
  • Cross the wilderness of Wicklow Mountains National Park.
  • Discover the Bronze Age Rathgall Hill fort, one of Ireland’s largest ringforts.
  • Explore the charms of historic Kilkenny.
  • Your accommodation tonight is at the centrally located Pembroke Hotel.

The average driving time today is 3 hours 30 minutes.

Celtic cross gravestone in graveyard with sunlight lens flare in Glendalough, Ireland
Explore the 6th century mountain monastery of Glendalough
Smiling Driftwood tour group standing in an old arch in Glendalough, Ireland
Archway at Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains National Park

Day 2: Kilkenny History & Crafts

Ambling southward, the tour moves from medieval Kilkenny to Viking Waterford.

  • Enjoy free time in Kilkenny to explore craft studios and admire quaint independent shops.
  • Take a craft beer tour at Smithwick's or a cathedral tour at St. Canice's.
  • Enjoy a charismatic guided tour of the ruins at Jerpoint Park.
  • Step onboard the Dunbrody Famine Ship; an exact replica of a 19th century Irish emigrant vessel.
  • Unwind at Waterford Castle Hotel or Dunbrody Country House for the next 2 nights.

The average driving time today is 3 hours 30 minutes.

Couple exploring colourful shops in Kilkenny, Ireland
Explore Kilkenny, Ireland's medieval capital
Joe O'Connell, guide at Jerpoint Park in Kilkenny
Guided tour of Jerpoint Park's storied ruins

Day 3: Stay in a Castle

A free-roving day exploring Waterford and Wexford in Ireland's Ancient East.

  • Today is yours to design. Relax at your hotel or explore the Hook Peninsula in Wexford.
  • Take a guided tour of the world's oldest operational lighthouse at Hook Head.
  • Enjoy a guided tour of Norman-built 13th century Tintern Abbey.
  • Drop by a quaint fishing village at Fethard-on-Sea.
  • Your accommodation is once again at Waterford Castle Hotel or Dunbrody Country House.

The average driving time today is 2 hours 30 minutes.

Hook Head lighthouse and buildings
Climb the world's oldest operational lighthouse at Hook Head
Tintern Abbey and river viewed from between stone battlements
Visit 13th century Tintern Abbey

Day 4: Waterford Crystal Tour

Today takes a scenic route from Waterford to quaint Ballycotton in East Cork.

  • Discover the delights of Waterford; Ireland's oldest city, established by Vikings in the 10th century.
  • Admire the pinnacle of Irish craft excellence with a guided tour of House of Waterford Crystal.
  • Meet the Norsemen at the Viking Museum, housed in an 800 year old tower.
  • Drift along the gorgeous Copper Coast with charming villages, secluded coves and dramatic sea stacks.
  • Gaze out across the Celtic Sea from your lodging at the Bayview Hotel in Ballycotton.

The average driving time today is 2 hours 30 minutes.

VagaGuide Mark meets a Viking in Waterford, Ireland
Meet the Vikings in Waterford
Road along Copper Coast at sunset with flowers in foreground and ruins in the background
Ride along the scenic Copper Coast

Day 5: Whiskey Tour

Today starts with a countryside amble toward the quaint market town of Midleton, Cork.

  • Taste Irish whiskey on a guided tour of the 18th century Jameson Whiskey Distillery.
  • Cobh is an optional port of call; a historic maritime town located on an island in Cork Harbour.
  • Irish history buffs will appreciate an optional detour to BĂ©al na Bláth, site of the ambush and assassination of Michael Collins.
  • Choose from a menu of amazing restaurants and colourful streets in Kinsale, Ireland's gourmet capital.
  • Your accommodation is at either the Blue Haven or Actons Hotel in Kinsale.

The average driving time today is 3 hours.

A smiling Driftwood tour group on a guided tour of the Jameson Whiskey Distillery in Midleton, Ireland
Guided tour of the 18th century Jameson Whiskey Distillery
Bright and colourful shops in Kinsale
Explore the picture perfect town of Kinsale

Day 6: Blarney & Cashel

Turning towards home, your tour takes in some amazing sights on the journey from Cork back to Dublin.

  • Kiss the famous Blarney Stone and explore the lush gardens at Blarney Castle.
  • Alternatively, see the colourful stalls and meet friendly locals at the English Market in Cork city.
  • Admire Celtic crosses and ruined cathedrals at the Rock of Cashel.
  • Grand Canal Hotel in Dublin is the final stop between 5-6pm. Hugs all round for your new Driftwooder friends.

The average driving time today is 4 hours.

Stallholder laughs with customers at English Market in Cork City
Sample the delights of the English Market
Celtic crosses in graveyard with tall tower and church at Rock of Cashel
Tour the epic Rock of Cashel
Dates+Availability
arrow
Lots of Space! Limited Spaces (3 or Less) Sorry, Fully Booked!

2020

April 2020

MoTuWeThFrSaSu
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930   

May 2020

MoTuWeThFrSaSu
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

June 2020

MoTuWeThFrSaSu
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930     

July 2020

MoTuWeThFrSaSu
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

August 2020

MoTuWeThFrSaSu
     12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      

September 2020

MoTuWeThFrSaSu
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930    

October 2020

MoTuWeThFrSaSu
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 
Start:
Finish:
Price:
Spaces Status:
€1,959.00 Per person sharing
Enquire Now

Notre Dame / Navy NFL Game in Dublin Discount applies for 30th August 2020 Departure.

All tours are charged in EURO. Single Supplements apply to Single Room Occupancy.

A 15% deposit is all we need to secure your tour online. All our departure dates are guaranteed.

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