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6 Day Ancient Ireland Tour

6 Day Ancient Ireland Tour

6 Day Ancient Ireland Tour


The story of Ireland is one of invasions and integration: Viking; Norman; Cromwellian. Nowhere tells that tale better than Ireland’s Ancient East region. Wander through 5,000 years of history; from the wilderness of Wicklow, a mountainous rebel haven, to Ireland’s first capital city, Waterford; from the medieval heritage of elegant Kilkenny, to the bloody battles, gorgeous maritime setting and gourmet delights of Kinsale.

This small group, guided tour will lead you on a journey of discovery through one of Ireland’s most off-the-beaten-track regions. Spend 2 nights in one of Ireland’s finest castle hotels, located on its own island in the River Suir.

2019 Tour Dates

April 14, 28; May 12, 26; June 9, 23; July 7, 21; August 4, 18; September 1, 15, 29; October 13.

View 2019 Itinerary Here

About This Tour

Eastern Ireland has so many hidden treasures, the greenest and sunniest (all things are relative!) part of the island which has been long been kept under wraps as a favourite holiday destination of the Irish people. But now the secret is out and Driftwood tours are opening the way to experience this fascinating and beautiful corner of Ireland.

View of Glendalough

Walk among ancient history at Glendalough

Leaving Dublin, the tour follows the coast down to the Wicklow Mountains and the Ancient Monastic site of Glendalough before crossing over the mountains (the largest area of upland Wilderness in Ireland) and dropping down into the central plane of Ireland before heading to the medieval city of Kilkenny.

Waterford Castle Hotel

Waterford castle at night

Over the next few days, we explore the very south-east of Ireland, mainly in the counties of Wexford and Waterford. This includes the Hook Head Peninsula and its famous lighthouse, the Dunbrody Famine Ship, The Ross Tapestry and of course a visit to the House of Waterford Crystal.
The tour then follows the south coast eastwards towards County Cork, diverting up into the Comeragh and Knockmealdown Mountains to visit a working monastery and enjoy one of Ireland’s most scenic drives.

A view of Cork City on the River Lee

St Patrick's Quay in Cork city

The last two nights are spent in Cork, Ireland’s largest county, with some famous bucket-list stops
along the way. For example, the Jameson Distillery, Cobh (the last port of call of the Titanic and centre for embarkation for millions for Irish people heading for the ‘New World’), The Blarney Stone, Cork city’s English Market and Kinsale, Ireland’s gourmet capital.

The overnights have been carefully selected to give a variety of local experiences, from a night in the heart of Kilkenny city, to staying in the 5 star Waterford Castle Hotel on its own private island or overnighting by the sea on Ballycotton Bay and in picturesque Kinsale.


Kinsale, a stunning spot on the tour

The tours leave from Dublin city centre at 08.10am on the first morning and get back about 6 pm on the last day. So we would advise arriving at least the night before and if you would be planning to fly out on the last night, then not to book a flight before 9 pm.

Find out more about the Top Sites on our 6 Day Ancient Ireland Tour.



  • The Wicklow Mountains - Ireland’s largest single area of upland Wilderness
  • The Knockmealdown Mountains and the Golden Vale of Tipperary
  • The Comeragh Drive through some of the least visited Irish mountains
  • The Hook Head Peninsula and the unspoilt ‘Copper Coast’ of Waterford

    Wicklow Mountains

    Drive through the Wicklow Way


  • Kilkenny Castle, St Canice’s Cathedral and the Round Tower  - all within Kilkenny City
  • Loftus Hall - The most haunted building in Ireland
  • Jerpoint Park - Hear the fascinating story of the ‘lost town’ of Jerpoint
  • Altamount House and Gardens - A great example of a Robinsonian style garden
  • Blarney castle and gardens - Kiss the world famous stone or get away from the crowds and explore the extensive grounds of the castle.
  • Visit the grave of Santa Claus

    Kilkenny Castle

    Visit the historic Kilkenny Castle


  • Glendalough 5th Century Monastic Site nestled in the Wicklow Mountains
  • Rathgall - Ireland’s largest ancient Ringfort
  • The Hook Head Lighthouse - the world’s oldest continually working lighthouse
  • The Ardmore Round Tower

    A peacock in prime position

    A peacock in prime position


  • The Dunbrody Famine Ship and the harrowing story of the Irish famine
  • The Ross Tapestry and the story of the arrival of the Anglo Normans in Ireland
  • Cobh/Queenstown - Centre of mass emigration and last port of call of the Titanic

    Dunbrody famine ship

    Take a journey back in time at the Dunbrody Famine Ship


  • Waterford Crystal Factory - The World’s most famous crystal producer
  • Jameson Distillery in Midleton - Arguably the home of Irish whiskey
  • Stephen Pearce Pottery - A household name (in some households)

    Waterford Crystal

    Visit the famous Waterford Crystal


  • Kilkenny - Ireland’s medieval capital and only inland city
  • Waterford Castle Hotel - Intimate five star luxury on its own private island
  • Kinsale - Ireland’s attractive gourmet capital
  • Ballycotton Bay on the south coast of County Cork

Check out the top experiences in Ireland's South East here.

What's Included

  • Journey of discovery in a Driftwood mini coach tour vehicle
  • Services of highly trained professional Driftwood tour guide
  • 6 FULL days on tour 5 nights’ accommodation including two nights in a luxury 5 star castle hotel
  • Six Full Irish breakfasts (enough to keep you fuelled to dinner!)
  • Most daily activities and visits, including:
  • Entrance fees to Jerpoint Abbey, House of Waterford Crystal, Jameson Distillery, Ferry tickets
  • All relevant taxes
  • Loads of laughs

AND...Your departure is guaranteed once we have confirmed your booking (we have never cancelled a tour, that's a promise)

We try and keep any additional costs to a minimum and these activities account for only a small part of the daily activities on tour. Most of the places we visit are free to enter. The additional activities we do offer are ones that have proved to be a big success with customers over the years.

  • Blarney Castle - €15 per person
  • Kilkenny Castle - €8 per person
  • Queenstown Experience - €10 per person
  • The Ross Tapestry - €7 per person
  • Smithwichs Brewery - €15
  • Bishop's Place Museum - €7

Tour Pricing and Currencies

All tour prices and payments are in Euro only. The US Dollar prices above are a guide only, we can only quote exact prices in Euro.

View 2019 Itinerary Here

Key Points

  • Vehicle:Super-comfy and very smart 16 seater mini-coach
  • Activity:Short strolls around museums, houses and gardens
  • Pace Of Tour:Free time in local communities and a relaxed pace of tour with minimal driving.

Travellers Tales


When I saw that Driftwood was offering a new tour to the Ancient East this year, I couldn't wait to sign up. Although my expectations were really high after my earlier 7-Day Treasure Ireland and 6-Day Northern Island tours, I was not disappointed!

WARNING- Driftwood/Vagabond may become habit forming! (6 Day Ancient East Tour Review) - November 2017

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