Festivals in Ireland

Calendar of Events in Ireland

Festival fever: 30 festivals in Ireland

Ireland’s calendar is popping with big, cozy, quirky, arty, sporty, foodie festivals from January to December. Here are 30 to try:

Entertainment.ie – Festival Calendar

A comprehensive list of Festival Events in Ireland by County.

Why not browse through our Tours to match your chosen Festivals

NOTRE DAME VS NAVY - IRELAND - Aug 28th - Sept 6th 2020 - 10 Day Escorted Game Vacation - $4,495.00 - GAME TICKETS INCLUDED

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Enjoy this 10 Day Escorted Tour of Ireland (August 28th - September 6th 2020) $4,495.00

Day 1: Friday 28th August 2020 - Welcome to Ireland

Trinity College, Dublin. IrelandArrive at Dublin Airport, meet with your driver and your English speaking guide.Upon arrival into Dublin, enjoy a panoramic tour.

First discover the north side of the River Liffey. This area offers great striking monuments such as the GPO (General Post Office) on the city main thoroughfare, O'Connell Street, or the Custom House along the quays, as well as the Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe.

The south side appears more sophisticated with its vast Georgian squares, such as Merrion Square, where Oscar Wilde’s House can still be found (today owned by an American College), its colourful doors, along with Grafton Street and its quality shops.

This part of the city is also dominated by the students of Trinity College, where the famous Book of Kells is permanently exhibited in its library.

Visit Epic Irish Museum of Emigration

EPIC Irish Museum of Emigration, Dublin IrelandEPIC The Irish Emigration Museum is a state-of-the-art interactive experience located in the beautiful vaults of the 1820 Custom House Quarter building in Dublin’s Docklands, the original departure point for so many of Ireland’s emigrants.

It will inspire and guide you on a journey to discover the stories of Irish emigration around the world, from early times to the modern day. Over the centuries, some 10 million people have left the island of Ireland.

At EPIC you can step through 20 themed galleries to find out why people left, see how they influenced the world they found, and experience the connection between their descendants and Ireland today.

Immerse yourself in the stories of some of the most remarkable tales of sacrifice, endurance, adventure, and discovery the world has ever known. EPIC brings these amazing stories to life in a unique and spectacular way. Spend the balance of the day at leisure. Overnight, bed and breakast at your Dublin hotel or area.

Day 2: Saturday 29th August 2020 - The Game

Notre Dame v Navy

It will be the third meeting between the Fighting Irish and the Midshipmen to take place in Ireland.

College football is one of the greatest spectacles in world sport and to bring it back to Ireland is wonderful.The Fighting Irish and Midshipmen previously played in Dublin in 1996 and 2012.

"In 2012, it was one of the greatest airlifts in all of sports with more than 35,000 people coming from the United States to witness the beauty of Ireland and the extravaganza that is Navy-Notre Dame and we expect just as many people to return in 2020

The Notre Dame vs Navy American Football Game - Aviva Stadium,Dublin, Ireland.

Overnight, bed and breakfast at your Dublin hotel or area.

Day 3: Sunday 30th August 2020 - Dublin to Derry

Slane CastleThis morning we will depart for Derry. En-route, visit Slane Castle

Slane Castle, set in the middle of a 1,500 acre estate in the heart of the historic Boyne Valley, has been the Conyngham family home since 1701. The current owner is Lord Henry Mount Charles and his distinguished family fought on both sides of the Battle of the Boyne.

The Castle itself displays the collective talents of some of Ireland and England’s most distinguished architects and includes the famous Gothic ballroom. The parklands were laid out by the distinguished landscape architect, Capability Brown.

For over 25 years Slane Castle has been hosting famous Rock Stars at the now world famous open air rock concerts held within the great natural amphitheatre below the Castle. Madonna, Queen, Robbie Williams, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Oasis and REM are just some of the bands that have performed in a magical spot between the Castle and the River Boyne.

Slane CastleVisitors will have the chance to both visit the castle and enjoy a tutored tasting of a range of Irish Whiskeys including their very own Slane Castle Irish Whiskey. This well balanced whiskey is a unique blend of premium single malt and grain whiskeys carefully chosen by three generations of the Conyngham family.

Upon arrival into Derry, enjoy a walking tour of the walled city Derry is the second largest city in Northern Ireland and has a moving history that you can experience walking along the still-intact city walls. See Guildhall, Derry's town hall, which fell victim to a bomb attack in the 1970s and has now been rebuilt.

Check in to your hotel.Overnight, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Derry or area.

Day 4: Monday 31st August 2020 - Giants Causeway & Bushmills

Giants CausewayThis morning we journey around the North Coast of Ireland.Visit Giants Causeway

According to legend Finn McCool created the Giants Causeway by building stepping stones to Scotland to challenge the Scottish giant Benandonner!

The new Visitor centre explores the major themes of mythology, geology, landscape, ecology, culture and social history based on the UNESCO World Heritage site that consists of 40,000 basalt polygonal columns formed 60 million years ago after a volcanic eruption.

There are various interactive exhibits and short video presentations within five designated interpretive exhibition areas and the self guided visit will culminate with a spectacular two minutes audio-visual projection of a volcanic eruption flowing over the walls and onto the floor. Other services and facilities include a large craft and souvenir shop, Tourist Information and restaurant.

To enhance the wider visitor experience around the site, a hand held audio guide is available in a range of languages which will bring the wider World Heritage Site to life and inform visitors of unique features to look out for across this amazing landscape. Guided tours of the site are also available.

The walks and trails around the World Heritage Site have been upgraded, with the addition of a new accessible cliff top walk for families and people with disabilities. In 2015, Conde Nast Traveler magazine included hopping the stones of the Giant's Causeway as one of the '50 things to do in Europe before you die'.

Continue to Bushmills Distillery

Bushmills DistilleryThe Old Bushmills Distillery in north County Antrim is the world’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery having received its licence to distill in 1608. The present distillery was built in 1885 after the original had been destroyed by fire.

A guided visit commences with an excellent short film on the history and distillation of Irish whiskey, followed by a 20-minute tour of the distillery. The visit finishes in the distillery pub where all are invited to partake of a wee Bush (a sample of Bushmills Whiskey).

The Duration of the formal tour is 45 - 60 minutes. There are no set tour times except for guided group tours which must be booked in advance. The last bookable tour time for groups is 1pm. There are no Sunday group bookings taken.

Children under 8 years old are welcome to visit the Distillery but are not permitted to join guided tours. The tour is not suitable for persons with walking difficulties or wheelchair users.

The distillery has a restaurant and a sales outlet. Bushmills Irish Whiskey is now owned by Diageo, one of the world’s leading premium drinks businesses. Overnight, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Derry or area.

Day 5: Tuesday 1st September 2020 - Derry to Donegal

DonegalToday explore County Donegal - This breath-taking county promises wild landscapes blanketed in bog and heather, isolated white sandy beaches and a roughly hewn coastline.

And when you need a break from the elements, cosy little pubs are at hand to provide you with some hearty grub, shelter from the windy headlands and good company.

Get away from it all this spring in Donegal, a county that will force you to kick back, slow down and admire the view.

Visit Glenveagh National Park and Castle

A spectacular 16,500 hectares (40,000 acres) of scenic mountains, lakes, glens and woods, with a herd of red deer, Glenveagh is one of Ireland's protected natural parks managed by the State.

Glenveagh National Park and CastleA Scottish style castle within the estate is surrounded by one of the finest gardens in Ireland, which contrast with the rugged surroundings. The Visitor Centre houses exhibitions and an audio-visual show on the area. The Visitor Centre is accessible for visitors with disabilities and has a cafe / restaurant.

A return shuttle minibus service is available to bring clients from the visitor centre to the area of the castle and the gardens. Built in the years 1870 - 1873, the castle consists of a four storey rectangular keep.

The last private owner was Mr Henry McIlhenny of Philadelphia who bought the estate in 1937. Henry McIlhenny was an Irish American whose Grandfather John McIlhenny grew up in Milford a few miles north of Glenveagh.

After buying the estate Mr McIlhenny devoted much time to restoring the castle and developing its gardens. In 1983 he bestowed the castle to the nation along with its gardens and much of the contents. Morning and afternoon teas are served in the castle tearooms all season.

Overnight, bed and breakfast at your Donegal hotel or area.

Day 6: Wednesday 2nd September 2020 - Donegal

Triona designThis morning, we will visit Triona Design -Triona Design is a family run business that caters for visitors wishing to learn the art of hand weaving or to pick up a piece of authentic Irish tweed. Based in Ardara, County Donegal, the Donegal Tweed Centre tweed is still woven with the same traditional skills that have been used for centuries.

The workshop employs three full-time weavers and a selection of full-time and seasonal staff to ensure that all aspects of their clients visit is covered. As well as manufacturing fine Donegal tweed and wool garments, visitors can also learn the fine art of hand weaving tweed.

Continue to Slieve League , Europe's highest sea cliffs, although less famous than the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Slieve League's Cliffs reach almost three times higher, but you won’t really notice.

The site is largely untouched by tourism and walks through a largely unspoilt landscape give visitors a spectacular view of the coast and the cliff face. To enter, you need to open a farm gate and more important you need to close it behind yourself – Sheep roam freely in this area.

Slieve leagueThere is fantastic views of the sea and the Sligo Mountains. Donegal Bay can be clearly seen as you walk towards the terrifyingly high top of Slieve League and there is a small lake at eye level. A short walk will take you to the right of the amazing cliff face of Bunglas (which literally means end of the cliff).

One Man's Path will take you to the summit of Slieve League but the climb must be approached with extreme caution as it is very dangerous.

The ruins of a church with some early Christian hermitages lie near the pass. Returning from the summit by foot, one will pass the ruin of a watchtower at the end of Carrigan Head. Walking on the eastern side of Slieve League there is a magnificent wilderness of rocks, streams and a deep rugged valley to your left. Return to your hotel - Overnight, bed and breakfast at your Donegal hotel or area.

Day 7: Thursday 3rd September 2020 - Donegal to Galway

Campview FarmThis morning we will depart from Donegal for Galway. En-route, visit Campview Farm

A fully functional family run agricultural farm. Its current mixed enterprises include dairy, beef and sheep. The farm operates with 30 lambing ewes and a herd of 40 spring calving cows in which the calves are reared from birth for the beef enterprise.

Visit the farm with a guided walking tour around the farm covering the history of the farm, a guided tour of the farmyard, its facilities including the milking parlour, tour of the farmland to view the dairy cows, sheep and potatoes.

Visit Arigna Mining Experience

The Arigna Mining Experience is a centre dedicated to the coal mining history of Arigna over a period of 400 years, local geology and coal, as well as new forms of renewable energy. It is Ireland's first museum dedicated to coal mining.

With the closure of the mine in the 1990s, the site was redeveloped as a cultural destination. The tour includes a visit to the mines, with many of the tour guides being former miners.

The tours bring visitors down into the mining main tunnel, which was only four feet high when it was used as a mine, but has been widened and deepened to allow for public access.

As with the collections, the tour tells the social history of the mine, how miners worked, the rituals and customs of the mine, as well as its central role as the main employer in the area. The site also retains some spoil heaps, which demonstrate the scale of the mining that was taking place during the sites operation.

Continue to Galway and check into your hotel - Overnight, bed and breakfast at your hotel in Galway or area.

Day 8: Friday 4th September 2020 - Galway

Collegiate Church of St Nicholas of MyraToday enjoy the beautiful city of Galway. We will start the day with a Walking tour of the City

Galway City is a delight with its narrow streets, old stone and wooden shop fronts, Good Restaurants and Busy Pubs. The city has attracted a bohemian crown of musicians and artists, which add so much to the character of the city.

A visit can start at Galway’s modern Cathedral, which was built in 1965. The visit can then continue across the Salmon Weir Bridge and along the trout stream to the Collegiate of St Nicholas of Myra, which was built in 1320.

The Collegiate is close to Nora Barnacle’s house (Mrs James Joyce) and to the famous Lynch window from which the English language receive the word to Lynch (hang).

The Kings Head GalwayThe visit can then continue along Shop Street to The Kings Head,Galway

It is worth a visit to this pub in order to get the true version as to how the pub got its name.

Along Shop Street there is evidence of the splendour of the rich merchants houses during the time that they controlled the commercial life of the City ~ Lynch’s house being an excellent example.

The visitor will conclude on Eyre square the accepted centre of Galway City.

On the western side of the square is Browne’s doorway which is all that remains of a mid-17th century merchants house.

The square also has a statue to Padraig O’Conaire a noted Irish writer and a courious rusted metal sculpture representing the famous Galway hooker ~ a boat which is unique to Galway - Enjoy a long lunch to enjoy free time shopping.

The Corrib PrincessLater, cruise the River Corrib - The Corrib Princess sails from Woodquay in the heart of Galway city, along the famous Steamers Line, which is the lakes traditional trade route.

The journey takes passengers along the majestic River Corrib and onto the lake providing visitors with a guided commentary in a number of languages on the historic monuments and natural amenitieson this waterway that leads to the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland.

There is an abundance of wild life and the Corrib has a peace and tranquillity all of its own. The normal sightseeing tour is 90 minutes in duration with indoor seating for guests and tea/coffee plus traditional scones are included during the cruise.

Irish coffee demonstrations can be organised during the cruise. Evening dinner and entertainment cruise options are also available - Overnight, bed and breakfast at your hotel n Galway or area.

Day 9: Saturday 5th September 2020 - Aran Islands

Colourful Boats in IrelandThis morning we will depart for Clare. En-route we will divert to the Aran Islands

The three Aran Islands, Inisheer, Inishmaan and Inishmore, standing out in the Galway bay, form a mass of limestone, similar to the Burren’s geology.

Today, the inhabitants live essentially off fishing and tourism, while remaining strongly attached to Gaelic traditions.These islands are the last real “Gaelthacht” of the modern Ireland. Inishmore is the largest of them, it is covered in old stone walls and little fields.

On the West Coast of the island, majestic cliffs drop into the wild Atlantic ocean.This area is dominated by Dun Aengus, one of the most impressive Neolithic forts in Europe.

A trip to the islands offers a journey through time, as well as an encounter with the old Ireland, the mythical Ireland.For this reason, the islands are quite fascinating.

Dun AengusVisit Dun Aengus - Perched spectacularly on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic ocean, this is the largest of the prehistoric stone forts of the Aran Islands.

It is enclosed by three massive dry-stone walls and a "chevaux-de-frise" consisting of tall blocks of limestone set vertically into the ground to deter attackers. The fort is about 900m from the Visitor Centre and is approached over rising ground.

There is access for visitors with disabilities to the Visitor Centre but the route to the fort is over rough terrain in parts that is not suitable for wheelchairs. The small visitor centre contains some displays on the history and geology of the area.

Please note that the group will catch the ferry at Rossaveal Port and catch the return ferry to Doolin Port.

Check into your hotel.

Overnight, dinner, bed and breakfast at your Clare hotel or area.

Day 10: Sunday 6th September 2020 - Farewell

Transfer to Shannon Airport for your journey home.


Highlights & Inclusions

Book of Kells

Epic Irish Museum of Emigration

Slane Castle

walking tour of the walled city

Giants Causeway

Bushmills Distillery

Glenveagh National Park and Castle

Triona Design

Slieve League

Donegal Bay

Campview Farm

Arigna Mining Experience

Walking tour of Galway City

The Kings Head,Galway

The Corrib Princess

Aran Islands

Dun Aengus

Hotels or Similar

TBA, Central Dublin - 3 Star - 2 nights

Waterfoot Hotel,Derry - 3 Star - 2 Nights

Station House Hotel, Donegal - 3 Star - 2 Nights

The Connacht Hotel, Galway - 3 Star - 2 Nights

Treacy's West County Hotel, Co. Clare - 3 Star - 1 Night

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