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Gardens of Ireland Tour | Small group tours Ireland

On this Gardens of Ireland tour, we will explore the lush and green trees and shrubs of the gardens of the Emerald Isle, from the dramatic Powerscourt House, the impressive kitchen Garden of Kylemore Abbey, to the secretive Anne’s Grove discrete cottage garden. We will walk through romantic Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains, stroll through peaceful parkland in the National Botanic Garden, and learn about the many species of flora and fauna, both ornamental and practical. Ireland is also an island of stunning cliffs, beautiful lush scenery, and ancient history, so this Gardens of Ireland tour also include castle visits and city tours.

Our Gardens of Ireland small group tour lasts 10 days. It ranges from the bustling capital of Dublin with its historic flora often sheltered in glasshouses in the Botanic Garden to idyllic Killarney with its rugged Kerry peninsula and charming Muckross House, as well as to the natural beauty of the Connemara. We will learn about Ireland’s rich heritage and gardening history with an opportunity to visit award-winning gardens, public gardens showing a variety of plant collections in these botanical gardens. We also explore the Wicklow Mountains, Waterford, Limerick, historic Galway and Ulster.

Gardens of Ireland Itinerary

The Gardens of Ireland Small group tour begins in Dublin, a city abounding in historic and literary heritage. We take a walking tour of the city, while learning about its long history. Originally settled by Vikings it is home to Trinity College and the famous Book of Kells, the Abbey Theatre where Irish playwrights have long premiered their works, Dublin Castle, St Patrick's Cathedral and many fine Georgian squares. Dublin is home of the National Botanic Garden, Ireland’s premier botanical and horticultural establishment. We then travel to Waterford, exploring the Wicklow Mountains and Powerscourt, one of Europe's most splendid gardens. We also take in the historically significant site of Glendalough, beautifully set in a valley between two lakes.

Next stop on our escorted tour is Killarney, the popular resort centre of County Kerry. This town is well placed to explore the dramatic landscapes of the world renowned Ring of Kerry, and Muckross Gardens, set in Ireland’s premier national park, combining an outstanding collection of plants with the wild scenery of Ireland. Afterwards, we explore Connemara and Carrickfergus, before heading to Belfast, where the Gardens of Ireland Small group tour concludes.

If you are interested to view more Emerald Isle highlights, including the Cliffs of Moher, Giant's Causeway, and other UNESCO World Heritage Sites, do see the itinerary of our Historic Ireland tour. You can explore our country profiles on Britain and Ireland with all the other group departures. We also offer other garden tours across Europe. To learn more, you can read our article on Odyssey's garden tours.

For more details, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.




Frequently Asked Questions about Gardens of Ireland tour

Our Gardens of Ireland tour takes you to many exciting destinations, sometimes several in one day. To ensure your safety and comfort, you will be escorted at all times by an Odyssey Program Leader and will be travelling around Ireland in a small coach.

Tipping is not standard practice in Ireland, compared to the United States for example, but it is normal to tip for excellent service. Odyssey’s tour price includes gratuities and necessary tips.

One of our stops is the Kylemore Abbey, a Benedictine monastery which was once a 19th century castle residence. Today, visitors can go on a guided history tour of the Abbey (note that parts of the Abbey are off-limits as they are the nuns’ private enclosure and education rooms), and explore the six-acre restored Victorian Walled Garden in the Connemara countryside, one of the last walled gardens built during the Victorian period in Ireland. Divided in two by a mountain stream, the eastern side of the Victorian Walled Garden features a formal flower garden, while the western side features a vegetable and herb garden. Visitors can also go on guided walks to discover more of the 1,000-acre estate, and stop for tea at any of the estate’s three dining establishments. See our itinerary to read about the other gardens we will be visiting.

Articles about Ireland

PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

Overview: This evening, we meet in the hotel for a welcome dinner and program orientation.

Accommodation: Castle Hotel or similar.

Overview: This morning, we embark on a half-day guided city tour of Dublin’s key sights, including a visit to the Book of Kells exhibition at Trinity College. In the afternoon, we head to the National Botanic Gardens for a private guided tour, along with a visit to the nearby private Tyrrelstown House Gardens. This estate has been home to the Wilkinson family for centuries, and the family are still actively engaged in the upkeep and maintenance of the property’s gardens and arboretum.

Dublin is a city that abounds in historic and literary heritage. Originally settled by Vikings it is home to Trinity College and the famous Book of Kells, the Abbey Theatre where Irish playwrights have long premiered their works, Dublin Castle, St Patrick’s Cathedral and many fine Georgian squares. Dublin is home of the National Botanic Garden, Ireland’s premier botanical and horticultural establishment.

Accommodation: Castle Hotel or similar.

Overview: This morning, we enjoy a guided tour of the Powerscourt Estate & Gardens. We then head to Glendalough, where we have some free time to explore the town and grab some lunch. Travelling out of the Wicklow National Park, we stop in Tullow for a guided visit at the Altamont Gardens, a large old-world garden, before continuing on to Waterford.

We arrive in our hotel in time for dinner.

Accommodation: Waterford Marina Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today, we explore the House of Waterford Crystal visitor attraction during a half-day tour of Waterford, which showcases the works of the famed local crystal manufacturer. After exploring Waterford, we then head to Killarney, making a stop in Tullow to visit Annes Grove House and Gardens.

Accommodation: Killarney Dromhall Hotel or similar.

Overview: Today, we make an anticlockwise trip around the Ring of Kerry, stopping at various attractions and notable vantage points en route. Highlights of the day include a visit to Kenmare, known for its legacy of lace-making and intricate lace work. After exploring this magical location, we enjoy dinner together in a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Kallarney Dromhall Hotel

Overview: This morning, we enjoy a tour Muckross House & Gardens, before travelling down to Bantry, in the far south-west of the country. Bantry House and its gardens are one of the must-see sites of Southern Ireland. This historic country house occupies an enviable position overlooking the Bay of Bantry, and has some of the most impressive and grandiose gardens in the area. On the return journey to Killarney, we stop for photos and sightseeing along the spectacularly scenic Wild Atlantic Way.

Accommodation: Killarney Dromhall Hotel or similar.

Overview: As we make our way from Killarney to Galway, we stop at King John’s Castle in Limerick , and also at Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. After these visits, we head up to Galway for some free time before dinner.

Accommodation: Maldron Hotel Sandy Road or similar.

Overview: Today, we make a full day excursion into the Connemara National Park region from Galway, following an anti-clockwise route. We enjoy visits to four different garden sites from the Trail, including Kylemore Abbey and the Victoria Walled Garden.

Accommodation: Maldron Hotel Sandy Road or similar.

Overview: On our journey from Galway to Belfast, we stop to visit the extraordinary gardens at Antrim Castle. These 400 year old gardens are unmatched in Northern Ireland. A £6m restoration project, which received generous support from Heritage Lottery Fund, has now preserved this historic site for generations to come.
Following a visit to Antrim, we transfer to Belfast for the farewell dinner.

Overview: After breakfast in the hotel, we say our farewells and the program draws to a close.

The dramatic scenery of The Ring of Kerry, the Burren and the Connemara National Park.
The National Botanic Gardens in Dublin.
The outstanding gardens of Powerscourt and Muckross House.
The historic cities of Dublin, Waterford and Antrim.
The romantic site of Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains.

What’s included in our Tour

  • 9 nights hotel accommodation in en-suite share twin rooms.
  • Typical local breakfast daily and some evening meals.
  • Touring by comfortable and modern coach.
  • Transport and field trips as indicated.
  • Services of a tour leader throughout the tour.
  • Applicable entry fees and services of local guides.
  • Gratuities and necessary tips.
  • Detailed Tour Information Booklet.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • International airfares and departure taxes.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature.
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