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Ireland

The Best of Ireland: A Week on the Emerald Isle

Program No. 22088RJ
Go off the beaten path and learn the story of Ireland as you speak with locals, taste authentic cuisine, discover ancient traditions and enjoy expert-led excursions to historic sites.
Length
9 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
2,999
Flights start at
850

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 19 - Apr 27, 2023
Starting at
2,999
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding April 26, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

May 3 - May 11, 2023
Starting at
3,049
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding May 10, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

May 10 - May 18, 2023
Starting at
3,049
May 17 - May 25, 2023
Starting at
3,049
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding May 24, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

Jun 7 - Jun 15, 2023
Starting at
3,049
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding June 14, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

Jul 5 - Jul 13, 2023
Starting at
3,049
Special Offer

Enroll in this date preceded by the corresponding June 28, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

Jul 26 - Aug 3, 2023
Starting at
3,049
Aug 9 - Aug 17, 2023
Starting at
3,049
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Aug. 16, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

Aug 23 - Aug 31, 2023
Starting at
3,049
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Aug. 30, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

Sep 6 - Sep 14, 2023
Starting at
3,049
Sep 20 - Sep 28, 2023
Starting at
3,049
Oct 11 - Oct 19, 2023
Starting at
3,049
Special Offer

Enroll in this date preceded by the corresponding Oct. 04, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 19 - Apr 27, 2023
Starting at
3,799
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding April 26, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

May 3 - May 11, 2023
Starting at
3,859
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding May 10, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

May 10 - May 18, 2023
Starting at
3,859
May 17 - May 25, 2023
Starting at
3,859
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding May 24, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

Jun 7 - Jun 15, 2023
Starting at
3,859
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding June 14, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

Jul 5 - Jul 13, 2023
Starting at
3,859
Special Offer

Enroll in this date preceded by the corresponding June 28, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

Jul 26 - Aug 3, 2023
Starting at
3,859
Aug 9 - Aug 17, 2023
Starting at
3,859
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Aug. 16, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

Aug 23 - Aug 31, 2023
Starting at
3,859
Special Offer

Enroll in this date followed by the corresponding Aug. 30, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

Sep 6 - Sep 14, 2023
Starting at
3,859
Sep 20 - Sep 28, 2023
Starting at
3,859
Oct 11 - Oct 19, 2023
Starting at
3,859
Special Offer

Enroll in this date preceded by the corresponding Oct. 04, 2023 departure of “The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future” (#22092) and save $200 off the total combined price.

At a Glance

From the ancient structures of Cashel to the academic legacy of Trinity College to the cultural hub of Dublin, experience the best of Ireland on this week-long learning adventure. Proud locals and knowledgeable experts take you off the tourist trail to show you the true meaning of their country’s heritage sites and centuries-old traditions.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to a mile with some stairs in historic buildings.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Hear from a local expert as you walk the historic countryside of the Ring of Kerry.
  • Explore historic Trinity College.
  • Learn the story of Irish emigration to America and visit Cobh, the point of embarkation for millions of Irish setting sail for the New World.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city and several meals on your own. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials. Give us a call to combine this learning adventure with select dates of "The Best of Northern Ireland: Past, Present and Future" (#22092) for even more learning in Ireland!
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Book of Kells
by Bernard Meehan
Written by the keeper of manuscripts at Trinity College, this book features 110 color illustrations, including enlargements, of some of the more spectacular decorations in this most famous of medieval manuscripts.
Opened Ground, Selected Poems 1966-1996
by Seamus Heaney
The publication of Heaney's book Death of a Naturalist in 1966 changed Irish literature -- and poetry worldwide -- forever. Dive into the physical and emotional rhythms of Irish life in this volume, which chronicles the Nobel Laureate's best work from the last 30 years.
The Truth about the Irish
by Terry Eagleton
An irreverent A-to-Z guide to all things Irish by a native son and shrewd comic commentator, who casts aside many myths, starting with the first entry - A for alcohol (the Irish have the lowest per capita consumption of alcohol in the E.U., after Greece and Italy).
Sun Dancing, A Vision of Medieval Ireland
by Geoffrey Moorhouse
This wonderfully inspired combination of scholarship and historical fiction, set at the monastery on Skellig Michael, carries the reader back to Ireland's early monastic tradition.
How the Irish Saved Civilization
by Thomas Cahill
This bestselling history tells the generally unknown story of Ireland's preservation of classical learning in the Dark Ages, revealing how the saints and scholars, monks and scribes labored to reproduce the important texts that spread as they evangelized Europe.
Dubliners
by James Joyce
James Joyce's unsurpassed collection of short stories depicting ordinary life in Dublin among the lower middle class -- a milestone in the history of prose fiction.
Ireland Map
by Michelin
A colorful map of Ireland at a scale of 1:400,000, featuring insets of the road approaches to major cities, as well as an index to cities, towns and villages.
For the Love of Ireland
by Susan Cahill (Editor)
Organized geographically, this rich anthology introduces Ireland through the words and lives of such luminaries as James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, Frank McCourt and Samuel Beckett.
Eyewitness Guide Ireland
by Eyewitness Guides
This superb guide is a wonderfully illustrated introduction to the country, featuring photographs, maps and short background essays on history and culture.
Ireland, In Word and Image
by Jay Adlersberg
Jay Adlersberg's visual celebration of Ireland is accompanied by literary excerpts and poetry from Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and many others. With 75 gorgeous color photographs.
A Brief History of Ireland
by Richard Killeen
Killeen traces the successive waves of warriors and colonists through the Celts, Vikings and Normans to Henry VIII, the era of rebellion and patriots to modern times in this brisk, measured history.
Irish Fairy and Folk Tales
by W.B. Yeats
Edited by the Nobel Prize-winning poet who spearheaded the Celtic Renaissance in the early 20th century, these enchanting stories introduce a cast of changelings, ghosts, mermaids, demons, saints, priests and fairies.
The Hill Bachelors
by William Trevor
No one writes better short fiction than William Trevor. This collection of 12 stories captures the life and people of rural Ireland.
In Search of Ancient Ireland
by Leo Eaton, Carmel McCaffrey
This spirited, illustrated history, the companion to a PBS documentary series, traces the foundation, archaeology and legends of ancient Ireland from 9000 B.C. to 1167 A.D. with style and substance.
Birds of Ireland, An Introduction to Familiar Species
by James Kavanagh
A fold-up, laminated card featuring color drawings and short descriptions of commonly encountered Ireland birds.
Ireland, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by James Mc Elroy
Organized geographically, this anthology of short stories and tales by contemporary Irish authors captures the spirit, history and allure of Ireland.
Connemara Mollie, An Irish Journey on Horseback
by Hilary Bradt
Hilary Bradt (publisher of Bradt Guides) recalls her journey across rural Ireland among the people of Galway, Mayo, Clare and Kerry in the 1980s in this sweet -- and sublimely affecting -- memoir.
The Celts: A Very Short Introduction
by Barry W. Cunliffe
A concise, revealing social history of the Celts by a reigning authority and popular writer.
A Course Called Ireland
by Tom Coyne
Not just a quest to play every seaside course in the Emerald Isle (60 by the time he got to Ulster), Tom Coyne's entertaining portrait of Ireland, its people, pubs and quirks illuminates "Uncommon Acts of Irish Hospitality."
A Traveller's History of Ireland
by Peter Neville
From the Celts to the Norman invasions to modern-day Ireland, this short history is highly recommended for those who would like a brief overview of the Emerald Isle through the centuries.
17 Reviews
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5 Average
(5) Review left 10/03/2022

Our tour of Ireland was delightful and very educational. This was our first Road Scholar Program but we certainly would like to do more. Our guide Frank was very good at making sure the trip went well and that people's needs were met.

(5) Review left 8/24/2022

Absolutely wonderful experience. Beautiful country side, friendly people, Road Scholar personnel were accommodating, knowledgeable, and very friendly, absolutely perfect.

(5) Review left 8/19/2022

This was an amazing trip. Our tour guide, Brendan Doherty, was the epitome of the perfect tour leader. He was so knowledgeable of the history of Ireland, that you felt that you too knew Ireland. Brendan was so concerned about the safety and health of all of us. As an example, Brendan made sure that every meal had a dairy-free option for my son. In Ireland with the fabulous cheeses and milk products, dairy free is difficult. But Brendan was always checking with the restaurant folks to make sure of the dairy-free options. The tour itself was a great introduction to the beauty of Ireland. It had just the right number of tours and free time. Brendan had many great suggestions for free time fun. Our hotels were comfortable, but Ireland was experiencing a heat wave for a few days. Our hotel in Cork was not air conditioned, so that meant some uncomfortable nights. The hotel itself was so beautiful and the staff were very accommodating. Location of the hotel in Cork and Dublin was perfect. We easily walked to some incredible sights and restaurants. One evening in Cobh, a town close to Cork, we had dinner with a local family. Our host was so delighted to have us that any awkwardness disappeared immediately. It was a great way to learn about everyday life in Ireland. What a special night that was. If I had to rate this tour, it would be a 10 out of 10: great guide, beautiful scenery, right number of tours and free time, lovely hotels with great locations, amazing food, comfy bus and excellent driver and reasonably priced.

This reviewer did not give a star rating. Review left 8/07/2022

This was a fantastic trip with great people, beautiful sites, great food and drink. Jim Ward made the trip enjoyable and provided a lot of information. It all ended too quickly.

(5) Review left 8/06/2022

The Best of Ireland (South) is an excellent program - perfect for one's first foray into Ireland. I learned quite a bit and eagerly look forward to a return trip to continue exploring the Emerald Isle.

(5) Review left 8/05/2022

Road Scholar's program "The Best of Ireland" is a "must do" for first time visitors to the Republic of Ireland. The program is well planned, educational, and a stress-free way to enjoy the experience. Road Scholar provides top-level educational leaders that really enhance the experience. The educational aspect is mixed with wonderful accommodations and food, a lot of fun, and opportunities for free time exploration.

(5) Review left 7/22/2022

The program was well planned, the accommodations, transport, meals, etc. were fine, and the leader outstanding.

(5) Review left 5/22/2022

This tour gives such a full, rich experience of Ireland! One day you are in an interactive museum about the Irish emmigration to America and the next you are cradling a baby lamb on a traditional Irish sheep farm. You'll photograph gorgeous wide landscapes on the Ring of Kerry, and see up close amazing gold jewelry crafted many years B.C. and preserved in a peat bog. You'll hear wonderful stories -- often peppered with good Irish humor -- and great Irish music. For us, the thread through all of it was a wonderful guide and the lovely people we met in our group. Lots of wonderful memories to hold onto!

(5) Review left 5/13/2022

Great week!

(5) Review left 5/02/2022

This was my first Road Scholar trip (Best of Ireland) and it was a great experience. The seven days flew by but gave me a real understanding of the Irish people and culture. Our group was small and everyone got along well. Can't wait to go on another adventure!

(5) Review left 9/20/2021

The Best of Ireland: a Week on the Emerald Isle is a wonderful introduction to this beautiful land with a incredible history. The people we met were welcoming and lively. Hint: never try to spar verbally with the Irish. To your delight, likely lose.

(5) Review left 9/18/2021

Wonderful opportunity to learn about Ireland while experiencing the beauty of the country.

(5) Review left 9/16/2021

What a trip! We highly recommend The Best of the Emerald Isle. Didk Daley helped us make good use of any free time. We’ll worth the money. 10,000 thanks

(5) Review left 6/24/2019

Road Scholar allows you to focus on the experience and not get bogged down in maps, driving, stays, etc. I could just enjoy Ireland w/o having the stress of driving, finding hotels, etc. The background information given by our host allowed to understand and absorb the sights, and not simply gloss over them.

(5) Review left 6/09/2019

This trip was a best-ever adventure for my three friends and me. It was truly a well-planned sampler of all things Irish and a wonderful introduction to a beautiful country and its welcoming people.

(5) Review left 4/22/2019

I came away from this program proud of my 1/4 Irish heritage. I was very moved by our visit to Cobh, the port where my great-great-grandfather likely embarked for America in the early 1800s.

(5) Review left 4/22/2019

I found the tour's mix of structured and free time to be just right. The physical demands rating of "3" was accurate overall, but some days the amount of walking and climbing stairs was not very much at all. The various presenters and entertainers were all quite good. Our hotels' locations were convenient, allowing those who wanted to explore more in the evenings to find restaurants and bars nearby.






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.