Ireland vacation by train

“An eight day vacation around Ireland, traveling without a car, but taking in Belfast, Dublin and Galway, as well as the magnificent Aran Islands.”

Highlights

Dublin | Guinness Storehouse | Walking tour Dublin | Galway | Inis Mór | Belfast | Cathedral Quarter | Titanic Quarter

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Travel flight free

Traveling to Ireland flight-free has never been easier, thanks to the number of ferry routes existing between the Emerald Isle and mainland Britain. The most convenient route for this rail tour would be from Holyhead in North Wales, to Dublin. Holyhead is well-connected by the mainline rail network. There is also an overnight service from Liverpool, or you can travel from Cainryan in Southwest Scotland to Belfast and from there connect by express train to Dublin. 

Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
We are continually increasing our range of public transport vacations for those who actively choose low-carbon transport. "Explore Ireland by Train" is a unique touring vacation for car-free visitors. We grapple with the timetables of connecting trains, and add in walking and taxi tours and day trips to make sure you get the most from your visit. Not having a car in tow can transform your experience, both of cities and especially on an island – exploring on foot helps you to properly engage with the environment and experience the place at a more appropriate, slower pace. There are few vehicles on the Aran Islands in any case, and no car ferries! The Aran islands themselves are a very unusual environment, due to isolation from the mainland over many years. This is still officially a "Gaeltacht" or Irish-speaking area.

We design our public transport vacations by imaginatively joining together the routes and options so that you can still experience the highlights of the country whilst respecting the environment.

We carefully choose business partners who match our values, preferring to work with smaller, family-run businesses committed to the long term sustainability of the environment and the local economy.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

For us, true sustainability means promoting and helping to maintain a way of life, where the economic benefit from tourism can make a genuine difference. That’s why we work almost exclusively with local, family-run businesses, not with large corporate organisations. We build close and lasting relationships with our business partners, based on mutual trust and an unerring commitment to customer satisfaction. We carefully select these partners to ensure that they share our values of sustainable and responsible travel.

When we decided to add Ireland to the company's range of vacations, we set out to take an "all Ireland" approach, offering both North and South and encouraging visitors to explore the whole island, regardless of the border. One of the company founders, Robert Kidd, grew up in Belfast during "the troubles". As part of this particular vacation, we encourage you to get to know Robert's city as it is today, without overlooking the past. Belfast has changed dramatically in recent years, and welcomes travelers from all over the world with open arms. We include a black taxi tour to enable you to see the further-flung corners and gain insight into the history, culture and politics directly from a local. Tourism is vital in providing economic stability and ensuring that peace prevails throughout the local community.

All of our vacation packs include "Robert's Recommendations", our specific tips on places to visit, places to eat and places to shop locally, all of which have been researched by us, and many of which are off-the-beaten track.

Climate

3 Reviews of Ireland vacation by train

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 31 Jul 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We enjoyed the walking tour of Dublin and the black taxi tour of Belfast because we learned so much from the knowledgeable guides.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Walk rather than take taxis when you can because you see so much of the cities and sites when you walk.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I guess it reduced environmental impact by having us ride public transportation rather than renting a car.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


We were very happy with the vacation. The accommodations were quite nice and the tours that were arranged were excellent and all ran on time and as expected. The app the tour company provides is helpful in providing all documents and other travel information online.

Reviewed on 27 Apr 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The overwhelming beauty of grassy green hills blocked into rectangles by stone walls capturing white fluffy sheep! [I am quite the romantic.] Next to that, the stunning quantity of stone works: walls, round lookout towers, castles and forts with craftsmanship to make my head spin. Fortunately the wet weather chased but didn't catch me until the last night in Dublin ... I took a wrong turning coming out of a pub, it started raining, harder and harder but I was stubborn and wouldn't look at my phone until I was drenched. Lucky that I did as I was walking at a fast clip directly away from Ariel House. I need to work in here that the accommodations provided, mostly B&Bs, where utterly magnificent, from poster beds to giant bear-clawed bathtubs ... hugely romantic.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be ready to hit the ground running on your free days/times as one day isn't enough anywhere. Do the research, know what you want to do, don't hesitate to jump on the Hop-on/Hop-off buses. And bring layers with rain gear so nothing can get in your way. Be ready for some sore muscles and wonderful dining! :-)

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Everywhere it is clear that Ireland is a tourist destination particularly for Americans. The hospitality industry in Ireland is first class and everyone just wants you to have a terribly good time. We all benefit.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I am both a McCann and a Mayo and this was a grand visit to the 'Mother Country'. My only complaint is that my girlfriend was in Greece and Italy rather than with me ... long story but she planned/paid for her trip before we were together.

Reviewed on 28 Aug 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Traveling by bike on Inis Mór. No real plans on the island. We just biked around and stopped at anything we found interesting. Great relaxing day.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Go to some of the local pubs, like Garavn's in Galway. Sit at the bar, and have a chat with some of the locals. Much of Ireland has rapidly changed in the lest 10-
15 years, and a great way to understand that is to hear how from the locals.

Belfast has some of the best restaurants I've ever been to at such a reasonable price. Both the Barking Dog and the Ginger house do not disappoint.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Where we went was heavily depends on tourism as it's industry. By going to independent tours in Belfast) or visiting local shops (like the sweater market on Inis Mór) we were supporting the people of the area.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Amazing!

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