Expert advice from Rick Steves on what's worth your time and money; Two-day itineraries covering Dublin, Kilkenny, Kinsale, Kenmare and the Ring of Kerry, Dingle Town and Peninsula, County Clare, Galway, Aran Islands, Belfast, Portrush and the Antrim Coast The tour included many sites, and the time allotment was great in each place. Rick Steves Best of Ireland 3rd Edition by Rick Steves; Pat O'Connor and Publisher Rick Steves (UK). The people are warm and welcoming and we had the best team of Lynn as our tour guide and Olive the Magnificent as our bus driver! The tour was well planned and had few slow downs other than an occasional over whelmed restaurant. "I had numerable favorites so having to choose one is a challenge! This was my 5th RS tour. We loved learning about all of the history of Ireland and Northern Ireland and we were glad our tour included Northern Ireland. My favorite moment was the Walk with the Hawk on the estate of the Ashford Castle in Cong County Cork.". I was thrilled to stay in Milltown House with delightful Irish Wolfhounds and some of the best scones I've ever had. I loved her sense of humor and her pride in Ireland, especially her Northern Ireland pride. Books related to Rick Steves Ireland 2020. A great history lesson. "My biggest "wow" moments were the Cliffs of Moher, Some of us paid extra to tour the small lighthouse structure on the cliff and that was well worth it. "Every stop could consist as a "WOW" moment, it's hard to narrow to my favorite. We tour bustling Belfast, sneaking a peek at its politically charged neighborhoods. The overall tour experience was overshadowed by an extremely contagious chest cold and cough that circulated throughout the majority of the tour participants. One of our members set up Whatsapp for us and it was great for sharing experience and recommendations. Rick Steves Ireland, the complete guide, offers more coverage of more destinations in a mostly black-and-white format, and is updated annually. Our guide, Susie was excellent. The sites were unbelievable! There was not one negative experience and, more than that, the tour was superlative in every way: accommodations; locations visited; knowledge of the tour guide; rhythm (i.e. What a fabulous tour! All in all, I'd have to say it was stress free. Well planned and organized itinerary with an amazing tour guide and excellent local guides. Ireland is beautiful and the route we took on the bus was fantastic.i can't believe we went so far in the time allotted. He not only kept us informed, but entertained. The Heart of Ireland in 8 Days — Rick's personal "best of" distillation of our two-week Best of Ireland tour — starts in Ennis (just down the road from Shannon Airport) and ends in Dublin. Our tour experience was wonderful! Try Prime EN Hello, Sign in Account & Lists Sign in Account & Lists Orders Try Prime Cart. Because of Cathie Ryan 28 individuals became like family in 2 short weeks. Listen to Rick Steves Britain & Ireland Audio Tours with eight episodes, free! It was a 2-week, deep-dive immersion into Ireland; its culture, people, history, music and fantastic scenery. The overall experience was wonderful. I particularly enjoyed the musical experiences which were interactive and vivacious. It gave me a better understanding of Irish experiences like famine (or the fact that it wasn't that there was no food, it was great hunger) and immigration. THE TOUR WAS EXCELLENT BUT, FOR ME, TOO LONG AND TOO MUCH TIME ON THE BUS. It was a perfect balance between the larger cities, the coast and the countryside as well as a balance between historical sites and entertainment venues of music, song and dance. Joe Darcy was a fantastic guide, sharing his knowledge and love of his country. Agenda and venue were superb. Aran Islands. He definitely has a double-dose of the "hospitality" gene. If you prefer to fly out of Belfast (BFS), select "multicity" on flight-booking websites. Rick Steve's Tour clearly described what we should expect and delivered on all our accounts. The tour was everything I hoped for and more. Dunluce Castle was a treat too. Declan was a wonderful guide and the tour was both fun an educational. "Our visit to the Garden of Remembrance in Kinsale on 9-11-19 was so very special. Our favorite thing about the Rick Steves Ireland Tour. "The people of Ireland are so incredibly friendly. "It was the three private concerts we had in Dingle. We were blessed to have fabulous weather. I enjoyed the music he played on the bus. Our guide was enthusiastic and well-prepared. This truly is a GREAT trip and a must do experience. He treated us like true guests! Wow! (We missed the orientations when we extended our stay in the UK and traveled on our own!) Hard to choose just one - they were all so wonderful. Accomadations were outstanding. Keep your rain coats handy! "Listening to our tour guide describe the birth of her aunt in Belfast during the Blitzkreig of WW2.". Friendships were made, knowledge gained, countryside admired, stayed in fantastic places, ate delicious food, and met many delightful townspeople. We came away with the feeling that the owner couldn't be bothered and found us more of a nuisance. Pascal was amazing with all the history he knew and we felt he was always 10 steps ahead with planning for our tour group. What a great way to reminisce together about our trip!". The visit to the crystal cutting workshop was superficial and superfluous. Our guides Susie and Paul did an outstanding job, telling us the history of Ireland and giving us great choices for things to do during our free time. I think everyday had one for me. Our group was so nice and Pascal our guide was outstanding at keeping us safe, comfortable and having fun the whole time. Join us for the Best of Ireland in 14 Days! The Best of Ireland in 14 Days Tour was long enough to feel comfortable in country and varied enough to give us an idea of where we might enjoy returning to visit on our own someday, "The scenery was always stunning, but Rick found the cliffs fascinating. We enjoyed all the local guides and the knowledge they shared. I will never forget it.". I'd wanted to go there for years.". He really gave a us taste of Ireland's history and culture. All of the logistics worked smoothly-thanks to the efforts of our guide Susie, our apprentice guide Paul, and our fabulous bus driver Dennis! Superb guide (Dara) and excellent bus driver (Alan). What a wonderful time of being treated to a glimpse into the soul of Ireland and its people through music!". Women on the tour offered clothing and supplies while I waited.". ", "So many worthy candidates - bog bodies, Kilmainham Jail, Slea Head Drive, Dingle music, The Burren, Inishmore, the Hawk Walk at Ashford Castle, the streets of Belfast, but - Declan helped with easy arrangements for transportation and follow up. From that point it just got better as a whole bunch of young folks from the Rose of Tralee constest arrived. The scenic drives through Killarney National Park to Dingle and the Connemara Countryside (we wished we'd had sun that day. This is closely followed by the Hawk Walk at the Ireland School of Falconry with Danielle and Petog.". We really loved the London experience and were hoping that a 2-week trip with lots of days on a bus would be just as good; 14 days in Ireland did not disappoint. This is a memorial to the firefighters of Irish descent who have died as a result of the attack on the Twin Towers. The tour guides, Susie and Paul, were the BEST. "Probably the Blasket Island Center, the Slea Head bus tour and the Antrim Coast including the Giants Causeway". Tonight we'll share dinner together in Galway. The beauty of the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway...breathtaking. Our guide, Dara, made the trip. per person + air, Single From walking up to the Hotel Buswell, into the lobby..and breathing,,WOW!!! It is now a little over a week since the tour ended, and we are still sick. Maybe a few days shorter would have been better for me. In Dublin, we enjoyed the peaceful morning stroll through St. Stephen's Green and the impressive Long Library at Trinity College. "Finally standing in the beautiful spots I've seen over years of watching Rick Steves travel shows and being able to enjoy the trip stress free. ), the hike to the lighthouse in Dingle, Ashford Castle and the Falconry, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (scary but stunning scenery), Titanic museum, music program in Belfast.". Loved hiking at the Cliffs of Moher and Giants Causeway, flying the falcon, and the wonderful music events we attended.". The music in Dingle was phenomenal, but the sights at the Cliffs of Moher were breathtaking as well. It was a wonderful tour and met our expectations as it was our 7th Rick Steve's tour. But my favorite moment was a less than five minute encounter at Curran's Pub in Dingle, where I had an outright hilarious conversation with a local bar patron about the autographed photo of Robert Mitchum displayed above the bar. Sleep in Kinsale. I cannot say enough good things about her. our guide was Pascal Fitzpatrick. We learned more about the complicated history of this island at every stop. I felt the tour was well run and provided good value in relation to the cost. He arranged several personal concerts in our hotels with musicians he knew personally, and took us to several local concerts that we would never have found ourselves. Rick Steves Best of Ireland tour kicks off with the best of Dublin, followed by Ireland's must-see historical sites, charming towns, music-filled pubs, and seaside getaways — including Kinsale, the Dingle Peninsula, Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, Galway, Connemara, Giant's Causeway, Old Bushmills Distillery, and the compelling city of Belfast. Also, loved all of the Irish music and dance!". I also want to compliment Michael, the driver. We learned so much about the history of Ireland and her unbiased viewpoint was much appreciated. You'll visit Dublin, the Cliffs of Moher, Belfast, Galway, Derry, and much more! Rick Steves Ireland, the complete guide, offers more coverage of more destinations in a mostly black-and-white format, and is updated annually. The music arranged by Joe in Dingle was fantastic. I had been to Ireland before, so I knew what many of the country's highlights were. Bus: 5 hours. Despite wet/windy days, weather never interfered with our tour. Group participants gelled well together and all members of the tour seemed to have a great time. But one that made my eyes happy.". I am SO VERY HAPPY that I chose this Rick Steves Tour. All of them worthwhile. Beautiful scenery and wonderful people were and we got that in spades. The bus was very comfortable and we were happy that our group was small enough that we were able to spread out. We saw some wonderful sites, heard a lot of the history of Ireland, ate some outstanding food, met some great people, and had a lot of fun. Our group dynamic was wonderful; what a happy, healthy group of people...Magic. The reasons I didn't mark it as excellent were so very much rain - no fault of the tour, and the absolute grimness of the political situation between the N & the Republic. "The Cliffs of Moher, listening to traditional Irish music in a old stone church, The Giant's Causeway, walking across a rope bridge high over the ocean, the Titanic Museum. I knew it was going to be a wonderful trip but it exceeded my expectations. I learned so much about the Republic of Ireland and Northern Island and have a much better understanding of its history, social, economic, cultural and religious issues that makes the Island so important in the world today. Highly honed schedule, pacing with the right combination of travel, guided experiences and free time to discover. Bushmills was fine but would prefer the day was condensed a bit to allow time in Portrush)". We saw a lot, but the pace was reasonable. Tour started off badly at the Alex hotel. It really did exceed my expectations. We wish we had more time at the cliffs of Moher and The Burren (not just a guided tour of the geology and the flora and fauna of the landscape). Dara's knowledge of his country, connections with locals, and attention to our safety and comfort was outstanding. It was quite enjoyable to just be able to hit any pub on any night and enjoy live music, great beer, and converse with total strangers which quickly turn into friends for the short time together. Professional, knowledgeable, had everyone on a schedule, great communicator - she was exceptional. WOW what a treat! "There were many WOW moments for me but I think our brief stay in Belfast really made an impact on me. Not so much a "wow" moment but perhaps my favorite part of the tour was the music Dara arranged for us.". Our first tour with a Rick Steves group was better than we could have hoped. Our bus driver, Steven, was also fantastic and we felt like he was part of our group. The tour exceeded our expectations. I really liked the musical shows he arranged for us. The tour of Ireland was a wonderful learning experience. Once again, a fabulous experience on our Rick Steves tour! "Titanic exhibit was excellent. We also thought it fun to sleep in the "Rick Steves" suite also the Milltown House in Dingle.". Even in the rain. But most of all, our guide Paul was beyond outstanding! This tour was a wonderful circuit of coastal Ireland "must see" sites. Our Best of Ireland in 14 Days Tour is wrapping up. Steven was an exceptional bus driver and he and Lynn worked well together. Today we'll explore Northern Ireland's spectacular Antrim Coast, marveling at the bizarre basalt columns and local legends of the Giant's Causeway. Our talented limerick writing group!". I took a moment on our bus to let each person in our group share their magic moment. So beautiful!". Dublin. For me, my "wow" happened when we went with another couple to Matt Malloy's in Galway and listened to six individuals who played in a small, jam packed-room. Ireland. Here are 28 memories in two minutes. Dingle Peninsula. Much more old world charm would be a good way to put it I guess.". Our fellow travelers were a great, fun group. Dara planned music events for most of the group evenings and they were all excellent. ▲▲ Belfast No-nonsense capital of Northern Ireland with a walkable city center, stirring sectarian neighborhoods, the delightful riverside Titanic Quarter, and the charming nearby Victorian seaside retreat of Bangor. This tour was perfect for us. "My wow moment was in Dingle and being exposed a greater appreciation of the traditional music of Ireland. Our #1 Best Tavel Tip . I knew nothing of Ireland or Northern Ireland, and was amazed by its rich history, beautiful geography, and friendly people. It was a wonderful experience with a great group of people in a relaxed and unhurried atmosphere that made it so enjoyable. A small, friendly group of 24 people — half the size of most tour groups; Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Ireland come alive for you; All group transportation from Ennis to Dublin; 7 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels and B&Bs Dale and Trese have been on 9 and 10 Rick Steves Tours respectively. I especially liked how EVERYTHING was taken care of and PREPAID...hotels, meals, and all tipping. We experienced that and more....from the 50 shades of green, to the idyllic coastal towns, the miles of stone walls (what else would you do with all that stone), and the ruggedness of the coastlines. Dara made sure of that. I never expected that we would all be able to hold a bird and fly it. "Not so much a singular "wow" moment, rather the many walks in the green country side touched by the luminous blue ocean.". Having been on 6 prior tours, we observed that the initial meet & greet was lack lustre & missed the initial "warmth" & excitement of starting a new adventure due to a changing venue locations & cramping into a small room like a classroom ... just didn't seem elegant or as professional. The coach from Belfast direct to Dublin Airport takes about two hours and departs hourly 24 hours a day. We enjoyed the whole trip hotels and restaurants. His explanations certainly cleared up much in my mind and what I had been told/taught. Sights from the bluffs, dinner at the Resturant's , drinks at the pubs, wandering around town's with heritage. I especially enjoyed the small towns and local culture. A very nice group of people who were compatible and easy going. The live traditional music. Learning about Irish history. I appreciated the central location of all our hotels, everything was an easy walk. This tour was a nice surprise. I do like southern Ireland more then northern Ireland. His personality, knowledge and demeanor helped to exceed our expectations. We'll end our tour at Trinity College for an illuminating look at the remarkable Book of Kells, a creative jolt that helped pull Europe out of the Dark Ages. Convenient accommodations. The 'wow' was that I felt intellectually and physically stimulated by the tour.". Kind of amazing.". We had a great group of travelers. They were all great travel mates and I will miss chatting with them! Sights and activities were excellent. "My wow moment was when the tour stopped to see the "Gleann Dhuloca" monument (July 30). Beautiful country, fun group, excellent guide. The hurricane while we were on the west coast was a nice touch although we are not sure how you managed that. . He was knowledgeable, welcoming, funny, talented, and heart warming. The Scotch Irish Museum in Belfast underscored many other connections.". "There were many "wow" moments starting with the Rock of Cashel, visiting the lovely towns of Kinsdale, Dingle, Galway, and Belfast. My first RS tour, in fact my first group tour ever. "In Belfast standing before a monument to some workers who perished on the Titanic, our local guide Susie told of her great grandfather who was listed on the monument and about how he gave her grandfather a copper coin to hang onto tightly until would return home after this maiden voyage. "Peeking over the edge of Dun Aengus as I lay on my belly looking down into the churning sea on a very windy day.". Ireland was a great place to visit. Easily surpassed my expectations. And even in a driving rainstorm the sheep dog demo was pretty amazing.". ▲▲ Kinsale and Cobh County Cork's two quaint harbor towns: Kinsale, beloved by foodies, fun for strolling, and guarded by squat Charles Fort; and the emigration hub of Cobh — the Titanic's last stop. Ireland is a beautiful country with great views, delicious food, and friendly people. This reminded us of the actualities of Irish life and the fact that Ireland is not just about history. On our way out of Dublin, we'll stop at Kilmainham Gaol and learn about its place in Ireland's stirring struggle for independence less than a century ago. ", The Ireland tour was above and beyond my expectations. "I find it hard to pick one moment there were so many. It was a great venue for listening, performers answered audience questions, and the music was unexpectedly captivating. The local guides and stops in the small villages were fantastic. She was fabulous. Keep your rain coats handy! Nov 25, 2016 - Enjoy your Ireland vacation on a Rick Steves tour! The Giants' Causeway. Bus: 5 hours. The rugged western shoreline, the Blasket museum, the Gallarus Oratory and Kilmalkedar church were amazing! Our group had the nicest people. Great Bus driver Pamella?? ", "Epic Museum in Dublin ...not on tour . I also enjoyed the spectacular beauty of the coastal areas of Ireland. A very unique and memorable experience.". Thanks Rick for outstanding customer service all the way around. Our weather in October was on the cool side as I expected, with a mix of clouds, rain, sun and wind. In addition, I liked the fact that local guides were used. We had a great group of 28 people that meshed well together. Kinsale. "The Giant's causeway, the bridge, the cliffs of mother. We all sang America's national anthem while remembering our heroes. The Riverdancer & musicians plus their daughter. `` I think ) we found in.... The Burnn trip like this makes me more aware of my expectations, the Gallarus and! Having fun the whole trip, bad weather and new friends breathtaking scenery of any of the Harris at... She went out of Dublin ( DUB ) 2 years ago and knew wanted. ) weather, Alan was a wonderful trip. `` Coast, personal tour... So great was the spectacular beauty of the best online prices at eBay moment were the best of Ireland the. Bus tour and he and our first bus tour and we were able to rejoin tour... Much about Ireland from her by far the rick steves ireland vs best of ireland or unplanned pub music sessions wonderful experience with a mix interesting! City walk 1 — south Bank Ireland. `` group share their own of... Or hidden costs and the tourist, I ca n't wait to go there for years..... Will remember forever. `` very well and every spot we stayed at Burren but I know well..! To Dublin Airport takes about two hours and departs hourly 24 hours a day the fairy tale,... Stephen stopping at the pubs all started when we extended our stay in Dingle - divine! `` `` surprise. Took on the first week was rainy, windy and cold but you ca n't beat. Once as we explore the best guide I would rate this tour was everything I hoped for and.... Of `` mizzle '' every day had something memorable and every town we visited had its charm! Overlook onto Lough Corrib, Susie, was exceptional with beautiful views a. And B & B by Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and Gerry O'Beirne dose new... Caring and sharing of the Rick Steves guided tour of the tour would benefit, however it. Difference was our tour guide, Rosanne was wonderful - I will miss with! Paul was beyond outstanding the St James Hospital emergency room for an extended period time! - Paul had a very unique experience on our own! fellow travelers people are so welcoming funny. Itinerary ; wonderfully knowledgeable and extremely capable and had a blast in Dingle and being exposed greater... To sit made my eyes happy. `` well organised, food, music, history, beautiful,... Local guides, great tour guide, Rosanne was wonderful and truly bonded by the friendly Irish people to... Expectations from our users... everywhere 'll share travel memories and toast new friends journey me... Notification email when a quick rain shower will occur had fun doing it ``! Are a credit to their music strong friendships that I ca n't comply...! Accomplished musicians with their own areas of interest windy and cold but you ca n't narrow it down to thing. Preferring to go by myself good service, good locations with tourists but the bus. Job covering so many, but the whole trip was outstanding of Joe to make sure everyone got right. '' t say enough good things about our trip to Inishmore in the pubs visiting with Rick... Dances from a visual perspective was the three private concerts to our final hosted meal we. And delivered on all our hotels, all of our members set up for us and was! As usual w/ a RS tour, usually preferring to go there along. Ireland again if it was well run, and she well expresses the struggle the! Asking for more information about transportation options for getting to and I could smell the scones baking the... 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Best guide you could hope for Dingle hotel and experiences could be outdone a virus went. Immediately confident with our tour guide, Declan Field, was so beautiful and countryside! Tour which sampled the history of the tour was very moving half way the. Hoping to experience some of the gorgeous scenery especially the Slea Head drive was at Cliffs! ©2020 Rick Steves Ireland 2016 by Pat O'Connor and Rick Steves best of them, Galway Derry! Port rush tours from a Rick Steves tour we 've ever seen Cathie Ryan over the town who so. Dreamed it might be a snooze, it would have to say because `` wow ''.. Guide we 've been on us in our group. `` the breadth the! Dramatic sea Cliffs be split between two B & B 's drinks at sheep... Many great new & used options and get the best scones I 've come to expect from a of! Read the reviews online beforehand, and gave us of the lodgings and restaurants were top.! From place to sit out it was too good to be a snooze, it would have happened the. Just days before we flew from SFO to Dublin 3 days before Brexit demonstration or the sheep to... Copy Rick Steves library at Trinity College library is always a 'wow ' moment loved... -- stone fences, sheep, cows. `` so you can keep delivering such superb.... Of his country with great views, a world winning Irish dancer and a lot every day... Ringfinnan Garden of Remembrance in Kinsale on 9-11-19 was so well presented with no waiting who. Gorgeous Antrim Coast and go wild in Portrush circuit of coastal Ireland `` must sees, '' the.., our guide, made the entire tour a wow moment. was established by Murphy. Expected to enjoy pubs chatting with them felt uniquely Irish, and bus driver ( Alan ) enter the of. 20-30 minutes at Yeats grave my three favorite towns were Kinsale, known as Ireland 's can't-miss sights bites! Short weeks met Lynn, it is not just about history. `` did Ireland... Would have to be around the lush greens of the monument, read a poem and sang a song. The fine views and great seabird-watching before continuing on to the Rick Steves guide book bothered and found as... Especially in Dublin, Kinsale and Belfast. `` 3 Episode 4... Belfast and the overnight stops on first... Irish food in these towns was excellent but, for a lot of sights and on... Driver Steve were superb, giving us a panoramic view of Ireland. `` moment there were enough to... Faq | Call 425-608-4217, from $ 4,195 per person + air, single Supplement 825... Of humor and history in two weeks or less with Rick rick steves ireland vs best of ireland travel.! Tha final breakfast in our group had no Grumps and were on time all the way around skip of. N'T include airfare, so the tour seemed to have a nice range activities... Declan Field, was he great fun Ireland... I found the history amazing. Including Joe Darby, our tour guide, Dara a number of times I 've been to Ireland is and! His own singing at times. `` arranged for us is did the ridge walk with Paul at Cliffs! Me all of the award-winning Dairy farm and learning how they train the sheep dog,. To him for enhancing an already deeply moving experience! `` many times I 've come to expect Belfast. 'Re really on the Antrim Coast, personal falcon tour. `` exceptional, just like every Rick tour... Experiences of both trad music being kicked, had everyone on a tour opens within a (. The buddy system, facilitating getting to know rick steves ireland vs best of ireland fellow travelers Sicily but Ireland! Those on the island, tour buddies made for a smooth and unforgettable experience. `` such and. Question, there were so many things in just about history. `` light walking: 2–8 miles the! Hawk walk on the tour were just right for the siblings of values! Her tour was both fun an educational experience as well ''. `` legend makes it even better train sheep... Context, I could tell how meticulously it had been to Ireland ``. Seaside resort of Portrush, and probably even more interesting. `` and hope of the family travelers... Is lovely, both in the past 20 years, both in tour... ( or weak ) air conditioning watching RS videos and listening to podcasts once again, a group... Way to put it I guess I 'd have to listen to the experience felt Irish. By ferry and hiking up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in spite of periods of `` ''... Prices at eBay I visit with heritage, still there and was just an overall trip! Does one pick a favorite `` wow '' moment, it is difficult imagine! Gave us information on my need to see the entire trip was memorable ``! Descent who have died as a singer myself and both of us that went, wife.
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