For at least 1400 years, up to the ninth century, the civilization of Ireland remained uniformly Celtic. Then, in the year 795, came the first of the Viking attacks, on Lambay Island in Dublin Bay. This was the beginning of more than two centuries of attack and invasion which had a devastating effect on Ireland, and on the Irish monasteries in particular.
For over 100 years the Vikings consolidated and extended their power through unremitting aggression. Although their political power declined rapidly after this, as a people the Vikings were soon thoroughly absorbed into the religious and political life of the country, adopting the Irish language and Irish customs, intermarrying and intermingling. Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork and Limerick all began as Viking settlements, and, even after their absorption into the Gaelic culture, the commercial interests of the newcomers kept them centered in these areas.
- Wicklow Mountains where Vikings TV show is filmed
- Reginald’s Tower
- Christchurch Cathedral
- Dunmore Cave
- Viking River Cruise & Clonmacnoise
- Viking Splash Tours
Inclusions & Extras
- Granville Hotel- Waterford (2)
- The Imperial – Cork (2)
- Sheraton – Athlone (1)
- Maldron Hotel Cardiff Lane – Dublin (2)
Breakfast each morning except day of arrival
Hertz manual compact car with unlimited mileage, Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), theft protection (TP), value added tax (VAT), third party liability and location service charge (LSC)
- Travel wallet, luggage tags and driving map.
- Expert travel assistance throughout.
- Visitor Attractions
- Room Upgrades
- Car Upgrade
- Chauffeur Driver
- City Tours
Price is per person based on double occupancy during low season and is subject to availability at the time of booking.
Day 1: Wicklow Mountains & Waterford
This morning leave Dublin to see the delightful scenery of the Wicklow Mountains. In these Wicklow Mountains, the History Channel’s Tv show Vikings is filmed almost exclusively. The Powerscourt Estate and the areas around Lough Dan and Lough Tay are especially spectacular. Continue Glendalough and walk through the site to see its round tower, church ruins and Celtic crosses.
On Christmas night in the year 835 the pagan Vikings raided the monastery of St. Kevin at Glendalough. The Vikings would have carried out the raids on Christmas night in the expectation that the valuable relics of the monasteries would be on display and in the hope of capturing large numbers of prisoners that could be sold as slaves. Continue your drive south to Waterford and visit Reginald’s Tower, first built by the Vikings in 914 it formed an apex of the triangular settlemt known to this day as the Viking Triangle. After dinner, take a walking tour around the narrow streets of the historic city. Overnight in The Granville Waterford
Day 2: Viking Triangle
Today you will take a day tour of Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny. First head north to Kilkenny and explore the town, visiting its famous castle. Slightly north of Kilkenny is Dunmore Cave. Stopping to pick up some litter, the story goes, a guide at Dunmore Cave discovered a treasure trove of silver coins, ingots, bracelets, bronze buckles and rare silk. Some of the hoard remains on view at the cave’s visitor centre today – alongside details of a darker legend. Bones discovered in the inner recesses of the cave may be evidence of a terrible Viking massacre here in 928AD. Next you can head out to Wexford enjoying the drive and maybe picking up some strawberries along the way. Routes connecting Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford make for some great driving trips, ranging from the cities themselves to all the rivers, beaches, festivals, castles and cafés in-between. Overnight in The Granville Waterford
Day 3: Cork City
Today you will continue along the coast to Cork city. The city has a more peaceful Viking history. The Monastery which once stood there was attacked a number of times but the Vikings and monastic community eventually managed to coexist peacefully and through the Vikings seafaring and trading abilities. They intermarried with native Irish and established Cork as an important trading center. Not a lot of Viking Cork remains but that was its origin. Just outside Cork you will find and kiss the famous Blarney Stone in order to receive the “Gift of Eloquence”. If that is not your thing, move to Cobh – the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic. This is where the last 123 passengers boarded the supposedly unsinkable luxury liner and there are some great tours you can take including Titanic Experience and a wonderful walking tour. Cobh was also the point of emigration for millions dreaming of a better life during and after the Great Famine. Overnight in The Imperial Hotel, Cork
Day 4: West Cork
Today you will travel along the famed Cork coastline through charming little towns of Skibereen and Clonakilty. It might be nice to see Kinsale from the sea. A local fisherman will share his local knowledge with you on a tour in his boat The Spirit of Kinsale – taking you out across the Harbour, past the Charles Fort and right to the Atlantic’s edge. It’ll only take an hour. From there take your scenic drive around West Cork, venture out on Mizen Head to Ireland’s most southerly point. The Beara Peninsula is especially pretty and is a great alternative to the Ring of Kerry. Overnight in The Imperial Hotel, Cork
Day 5: Rock of Cashel & Viking River Cruise
Leave Cork this morning for the geographical heart of Ireland, Athlone. Your first stop is the Rock of Cashel. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century. The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion. Next you will go to Birr where you can stop for lunch. Be sure to take a walk around the grounds of Birr Castle while you are there. Continue on your journey to Athlone where you can embark on a Viking themed river cruise and see Athlone Castle. Overnight in Sheraton Hotel, Athlone
Day 6 & 7: Viking Splash Tour & Dublin
Leave Athlone this morning and make your way to Dublin where you will leave your car and rely on public transport. If you didn’t take the Viking river cruise in Athlone (and even if you did), take a Viking Splash Tour of Dublin to get to know the city by land and by water. For the rest of the trip, use the open-top bus tour. Hop on and off at any attractions that you may be interested in, which include the big ones like Guinness, Jameson, and Trinity College where the Book of Kells is housed, but also Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison now museum, Glasnevin Cemetery, featuring a who’s who of modern Irish history including Daniel O’ Connell, Michael Collins, Éamon de Valera, and over a million other stories, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the national cathedral for the Church of Ireland. Overnight in Maldron Hotel Cardiff Lane
Day 8: Return Home
Make your way from your hotel to Dublin Airport where you will return your rental car and fly home.
We are more than happy to include a flight quote separately to your package so that you can decide if you would like to book with us or on your own. While booking flights can seem straight-forward, there are often hidden fees or classes of service that do not include seat assignments, meals or checked bags. We have been booking flights since 1985 and know the best routings and have great contracts that mean we often have better prices than what you will see online.
In Ireland, we generally try to book hotels that are at a 4 star level or higher. In some situations, we will book some 3 star or B&B properties but we do require them to be at a certain standard. We try to ensure a member of the team have stayed at each property in recent years or that we have done a site inspection.
Your first vacation quote, and up to two revisions, for trips of 9 or fewer days, and 45 days in advance of travel, are complimentary. If an itinerary requires further revisions subsequent to this, we will require a non-refundable deposit of $75 per person in order to continue.
If you are requesting a quote for a vacation that is 10 days in length, or with travel dates within 45 days, or to a non-core destination, a deposit of $75 per person will be required in order for us to begin working on your proposal.
Planning deposits can then be put towards the cost of the trip should you decide to proceed with the booking.