Southwest Ireland: Kerry, Cork & Kinsale

  • Overview
    Starts at



    9 days

    Activity Level


    Our moderate adventures are similar to our easy adventures, but you’ll spend more time on your feet.
    Minimum Age


    Ideal Age



    7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners

    Set off to the Emerald Isle for an exciting family vacation! The Southwest of the country is famous for many things, from the calm and scenic sailing waters rich with marine life, to the rolling green hills of the country side, and your family will experience it all.

    Travel the Countryside of County Cork

    Each day will bring a new adventure and incredible and calming views of the dramatic coastline, cute seaside towns, and rolling green hills that seem to go on forever.

    Learn to Sail in Kinsale

    Kinsale is famous for its sailing culture and heritage. For centuries, sailors would dock in Kinsale harbor as a place to rest after days out at sea.

    Stay in a Castle

    Your family will be treated like royalty while staying in a 16th century castle and have fun exploring the old halls and manicured grounds.

    Set Sail on a Sea Safari

    The small coastal fishing village of Baltimore is quaint and its waters are home to over 20 species of whale and dolphin.

    Explore Vast National Parks

    Ride bikes through the Gap of Dunloe, hike in the Slieve Mish Mountains, ride horses down rugged pathways, and relax in quintessentially Irish pubs for tea and snacks.


  • Itinerary

    Day 1

    Fly to Shannon, Ireland

    Days 2-4

    County Kerry

    Bunratty Castle

    Begin your Ireland adventure at Bunratty Castle, a 15th-century tower house that’s the country’s most complete, authentic medieval fortress. Naughty kids beware: We’re visiting the dungeon!

    Tea and Scones

    Get settled into our very own castle, where tea, scones, and relaxation await us.

    Welcome Dinner

    Get to know our guide and fellow travelers better over dinner in the regal surroundings of the castle’s two-star AA Rosette-awarded O’Connell Restaurant.

    Stay in a Castle

    Your home for the next few days is an authentic castle. With a history dating back to the 16th century, Ballyseede Castle has not lost any of its historic or royal charm. Set in the heart of beautifully well-manicured grounds with ivy climbing the outer walls, every day feels like living in a dream. Adorable donkeys and the property manager Mr. Higgins, the Irish Wolfhound, are playful and known to make kids giddy with excitement.

    Friends Across Borders: Irish Step Dancing

    Meet local Irish children and learn traditional step dancing and words to an Irish song, making for a fun and exciting insight into the country’s folk culture.

    Slieve Mish Mountain Horseback Ride

    Explore the Slieve Mish Mountain range on a leisurely horseback ride through the countryside.

    National Folk Theatre of Ireland Option

    Enjoy the culture and arts of Ireland during a special performance at the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, a unique and meaningful experience for us!

    Local Sheep Farm on Kerry Way

    Watch as sheep dogs run through the fields and keep the herd of sheep together. The way that the farmers and dogs work as a unit puts precision on display.

    Hike the Dingle Peninsula

    Hike into Irish history, journeying along the magnificent shores of Ventry Bay toward ancient ruins and beehive huts. You’ll also stop for a “spot of tea” at the Stone Cottage Café.

    Explore Dingle

    Enjoy free time in the quaint village of Dingle, filled with art galleries, colorful buildings, craft shops and, of course, Irish pubs.

    Days 5-6

    West Cork

    Cycle in Killarney National Park

    Pedal through Killarney National Park along the many pathways that wind past castles, lakes and ancient forests.

    Horse-Drawn Carriage Through the Gap of Dunloe

    From the lakeshore, you’ll climb aboard a horse-drawn carriage to ride through the narrow pass of the famous Gap of Dunloe. Disembark at Kate Kearney’s Cottage, a quaint, 150-year old pub.

    Sea Safari

    Head to the fabled Irish waters to see whales and dolphins up close, one of the most exhilarating experiences a family vacation can offer!

    Cape Clear

    Stop at the tiny, Irish-speaking Island of Cape Clear, rich in cultural heritage including megalithic standing stones, church ruins and a 14th-century castle.

    Bushes Bar (Adults)

    Take some time to relax and chat with fellow travelers over a pint in Bushes Bar.

    Baltimore Castle (Kids)

    Aargh, matey! Explore the grounds of Baltimore Castle and Pirate Exhibition. Learn about the legendary pirate raid of 1631 and even pretend to be a pirate yourself!

    Days 7-8


    Sea Kayaking Along the West Cork Coastline

    The West Cork coastline is as extraordinary as it is dramatic. There are no shortage of cliffs, coves or green fields to admire on this kayaking adventure. Look for sea birds, seals and edible seaweed. Kayaking is leisurely and suitable for all ages and experience levels.

    Kinsale Ghost Tour

    Walk through the old fishing village and hear tales of the spirits that still roam the streets. Accompanied by local actors, this is street theatre that’s sure to make you jump and giggle while learning a little along the way.

    Introduction to Sailing Option

    You’ll enjoy an epic family adventure, hopping on a boat to learn the basics of sailing in one of the most famous harbors in the world.

    Archery and Climbing Option

    If you’d prefer (or if the sailing lesson is cancelled due to rough seas), enjoy a morning of several activities, including archery and an introduction to climbing. (Option)

    Walk to Charles Fort

    Get your ground legs back with a short walk to the largest star shaped fort in all of Europe! Seeing the ruins of Charles Fort will transport you back in time as you hear tales of battle, smuggling and the crazy visitors that have passed through Kinsale over the last few centuries.

    Day 9

    Depart Shannon

  • Dates & Prices

    2020 Dates


    Adult $5490
    Teen $5490
    Child $5290


    Adult $5490
    Teen $5490
    Child $5290

    Additional Info

    Smart Traveler Advantages

    Book a trip 9 months ahead of the day that you want to leave and get a free GoPro and Travel Protection!

    Triple Discount

    $300 discount for children under 12 sharing with 2 adults

    Single Supplement

    Additional $990 for single accommodations

    Alumni Discount 

    If you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices.

    Travel Insurance

    We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. We’ve received great feedback about Travel Insured – you can learn more about the benefits of travel insurance there.

    Price Includes

    All entrance fees, accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation, private bilingual guide throughout, all meals, bottled water & snacks in the vehicle.

    Guaranteed departure. Surcharge applied to groups smaller than 4 guests.

  • Hotels

    Ballyseede Castle

    Ballyseede Castle is located in County Kerry. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, a hair dryer, room service and TV. The hotel has a restaurant and lounge.

    Casey's of Baltimore

    Casey’s of Baltimore is located in West Cork overlooking the harbor and Ilen River estuary. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, telephone and a hair dryer.

    Trident Hotel

    The Trident Hotel is spectacularly set on the water’s edge in Kinsale, in a prime location for guests to enjoy the stunning views. Recently refurbished the Trident has 75 guestrooms, all with breath-taking views of the harbour and enchanting town of Kinsale. Along with many onsite activities enjoy this properities taverns, lounges and easy access to the Kinsale Wharf.

    Thomson Family Adventures will attempt to adhere to this itinerary and its hotels as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or availability) may necessitate changes in the accommodations.

  • Extend Your Trip
    • Extension
    Starts at



    3 days

    Activity Level


From the Blog

Read the latest from our team, get inspired, and learn about the best family travel destinations.

Visit our Blog

Starts at



9 days

Activity Level


Active trips revolve around multi-sport activities that keep your family outside and having fun! Your family will spend more time interacting with the elements and exploring than sitting on a beach or inside of a museum. These activities are not always physically demanding but they can be and do require a basic level of fitness.
Starts at



11 days

Activity Level


Active trips revolve around multi-sport activities that keep your family outside and having fun! Your family will spend more time interacting with the elements and exploring than sitting on a beach or inside of a museum. These activities are not always physically demanding but they can be and do require a basic level of fitness.