• Ha' Penny Bridge in Dublin
  • Evening of Traditional Irish Music
  • Rock of Cashel Ruins
  • Kinsale Pub
  • Blasket Islands
  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Aran Islands
  • Market in Belfast
  • Slán leat!

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Best of Ireland in 14 Days Tour

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. All along the way, Rick's guides will share their stories to draw you in to the Emerald Isle, and the friendliness of the people will surely steal your heart. Join us for the Best of Ireland in 14 Days! 

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 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 tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 27 group sightseeing events • Dublin walking tour • Trinity College • Book of Kells • Kilmainham Gaol tour (when possible) or Powerscourt Gardens • Rock of Cashel • Kinsale walking tour • Charles Fort tour • Sheep farm tour • Dingle's Slea Head Drive • Blasket Islands Heritage Centre • Gallarus Oratory • Irish musical evening • Burren nature walk • Cliffs of Moher • Boat ride to Aran Islands (weather permitting) • Aran Islands minibus tour • Dun Aengus Fort • Connemara drive • Cong visit • Ashford Castle School of Falconry • Drumcliff visit • Derry coach and walking tour • Dunluce Castle • Giant's Causeway • Old Bushmills Distillery tour • Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge (weather & season permitting) • Guided tour of Belfast...and more
  • All group transportation from Dublin to Dublin
  • 13 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels and B&Bs
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff including Rick Steves' Ireland guidebook, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2014
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Ireland

Meet your guide and fellow tour members at our hotel around 5 p.m. After a group meeting, we'll enjoy a traditional Irish dinner together, followed by an orientation walk through the heart of Dublin. Sleep in Dublin (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: The Historic Heart of Dublin

This morning we'll take a walking tour through Dublin, learning about its rich history from the days of Viking raids to the hard centuries of British occupation to the proud and progressive city of today. We'll end 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. You'll have the rest of the day free to feel the pulse of a city thriving with street poets and musicians. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 3: Kilmainham Gaol and Ruins

On our way out of Dublin, we'll stop at Kilmainham Gaol (when possible) and learn about its place in Ireland's stirring struggle for independence less than a century ago. Then, overlooking the green Plain of Tipperary, we'll tour the ecclesiastical center that thrived in St. Patrick's time: the evocative ruins of the Rock of Cashel. Our day will end with dinner together in the picturesque harbor town of Kinsale, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 4: Kinsale and Charles Fort

This morning we'll be treated to a walking tour that brings Kinsale's past to life, places its story in the wider sweep of history, and makes the stony sights much more than buildings. Inspired by all we've learned, we'll continue on to explore the massive and (for its time) revolutionary Charles Fort which overlooks the harbor. You'll have the afternoon and evening free to make your own discoveries in Kinsale, known as Ireland's gourmet capital. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: strenuous.

Day 5: Killarney National Park and Dingle

Today we'll take a scenic drive along the forests (Ireland's largest), mountains and lakes of Killarney National Park. Then we'll balance-off this peacefulness with a visit to a local sheep farm, marveling at its talented dogs in action. We'll end our day in Dingle, where we'll enjoy dinner together and one of the country's best traditional music scenes. Sleep in Dingle (3 nights, groups may be split between two B&Bs). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 6: Gaelic Heritage

It's a great day to experience some of Europe's wildest natural beauty and most ancient Christian sights. We'll hop aboard our bus with our local expert to follow the famous Slea Head Drive, our vote for the most beautiful road in Ireland. We'll stop to tour the strikingly-designed Great Blasket Centre, where we'll get an intimate look at the language, literature and daily life of a traditional Gaelic Blasket community. Tonight we'll return to our home village, Dingle, with as much dancing and singing with new friends as we can handle. Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 7: Roam the Dingle Peninsula

Today is all yours...free on the Dingle Peninsula. Take a long walk along the local paths and lanes, hire a bicycle and pedal the scenic 30-mile Dingle Loop, sail for the day to the rugged Blasket Islands, or simply savor your generous Irish breakfast and hang out in town. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 8: Cliffs of Moher and the Burren

This morning we'll drive through County Clare to the dramatic Cliffs of Moher, where you'll find yourself leaning into the wind, teetering on the very edge of Europe, more than 600 feet above the churning waters of the North Atlantic. Farther up the road, we'll tour the rocky moonscape of the Burren to learn about its unique ecosystem and hardy prehistoric residents. Tonight we'll share dinner together and sleep in Galway (2 nights, groups will be split between three B&Bs). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 9: Galway and the Aran Islands

Weather permitting, this morning we'll hop aboard a ferry bound for the stark beauty of Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. There you can join your guide for a minibus tour 'round this dramatic island, including the site of its ancient, cliff-hanging Celtic fortress, Dun Aengus. Or, you'll have plenty of time to set out on foot, hire a pony cart or pedal a bike to explore this windswept island on your own. Boat: 2 hrs. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 10: Connemara Countryside

Today we'll drive through the Connemara region, enjoying the beautiful Irish countryside. We'll stop in the charming town of Cong — where Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne filmed "The Quiet Man" in 1951, stroll through the picturesque abbey ruins and visit the hawks of Ashford Castle. Then we'll drive north to County Mayo and Westport, where we'll settle in for the evening. Sleep in Westport (1 night). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: To Northern Ireland

We'll seamlessly cross into Northern Ireland today. In Derry, a local guide will take us on a tour of the town, sharing stories about "The Troubles" and the infamous "Bloody Sunday" of 1972. Then we'll drive on to the nostalgic seaside resort of Portrush, where we'll have dinner together and sleep (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 12: Antrim Coast and Old Bushmills

Today we'll explore Northern Ireland's spectacular Antrim Coast. We'll tour the romantic, cliff-top ruins of Dunluce Castle, then marvel at the bizarre basalt columns and local legends of the Giant's Causeway. After taking time to fortify yourself with a wee dram at the venerable Old Bushmills Distillery, you can test your nerve (optional, wind permitting) teetering across the scenic Carrick-a-Rede rope footbridge. Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 13: Belfast and Return to Dublin

This morning we'll drive to Belfast, the vibrant capital of Northern Ireland. We'll start with a rolling tour that takes us along reminders of the past decades' Troubles, including the striking political murals of Shankill and Falls Road, then we'll join a local guide to learn about the city's great industrial era and the remarkable Titanic, which was launched from Belfast's shipyard in 1911. After a relaxing drive back to Dublin — completing our circumnavigation of the Emerald Isle — we'll kick up our heels at a classy farewell supper together, where we'll share travel memories and toast new friends. Sláinte! Sleep in Dublin (1 night). Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 14: Tour Over After Breakfast

You can fly out of Dublin's handy airport, or take the ferry to Wales for further adventures in the British Isles. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Slán leat!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Ireland in 14 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  5. Walk ½ mile uphill at the Giant's Causeway.

Reviews

Ray

Poulsbo, WA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well organized and thought out. We saw many things we would certainly not have seen if we had been on our own. Great restaurant choices and a great group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep dog demonstration."

Doug

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the whole trip/tour. This was our 4th Rick S. Tour and like the others the tour guide and the other vacationers were fun people to be with. I really enjoyed the sea coast locations with their B & B's. An enjoyable part of the tour is the free time one gets to explore on their own. The group meals are also fun

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I mentioned that I like the Sea/Ocean. The Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Island with the Fort Dun Aengus were fantastic."

Sylvia

Alamo, CA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent tour. We loved Kinsale and Dingle and we appreciated that we saw a lot of Ireland and its special historical sites in a short amount of time. We enjoyed being outside and the walking and hiking with beautiful landscapes surrounding us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our "wow" moments were probably the Dingle peninsula and the ancient burial site as well as the stone circles. I would have loved to see more circles related to labyrinths and spending more time at the mansion on the lake. Our granddaughter's Wows were the cliffs, the hawks, the pubs, and the hike to the swinging bridge. I would like to suggest that the guide provide a way to get box lunches on days when we are stopping at a town for lunch where we might want to walk/see instead of cafe."

Mikkie

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip! Everything about it was great. Our tour guide Rozanne was terrific & so was our bus driver Stephen. All the people on our tour were very nice. The accommodations, the food, & the Irish people were amazing. Ireland is such a beautiful place & we were so blessed with perfect weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many "wow" moments! We saw a rainbow like no other from our room in Dingle (which was Robert Mitchum's room when he filmed "Ryan's Daughter") I can't begin to describe all the amazing cliffs & ocean views. The beautiful countryside with all its different shades of green & the farm animals grazing."

Gary

Monroe, LA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

it was very well planned and there were no mishaps along the way. we loved steve the guide, he was very knowledgeable everywhere we went. he was able to get us into places and see people sing and play their instruments and dance for us. steve took us to most fascinating places and he was able to obtain the best guides to really give us a better understanding what happened and why it happened . Steve and Pascal the driver was absolutely the best. gary joyce

Favorite "WOW" moment

"there were several wow moments. the first was how friendly the people were, i felt that we were truly welcomed to Ireland. i guess the second was Trinity College and the library with all the books and the quietness there. the third were the ruins of the forts and castles and the churches . i didn't expect them to be massive and the expert workmanship of the stones . it bogged my mind i learned so much more history about where i came from, just loved every minute of the trip ."

Edward

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The accommodations were all good. The rooms were clean and the staff were pleasant.

Cheryl

Haines, AK

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 14-day Ireland tour was outstanding. It surpassed my every expectation! While I was initially reluctant about joining a bus tour, I am very grateful I joined this tour. The group size was ideal. It was a treat to relax in an air conditioned bus equipped with wi-fi and a restroom! Every need was planned for and met. Our guide made sure the experience was tailored for our group's needs!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I knew this question was coming and still I find it difficult to pinpoint a favorite. The Dingle Peninsula and its music was idyllic. The crystal work by Sean Daly is beautiful! Kinsale was a very sweet place that made me feel like I was in authentic Ireland. Derry was sobering and inspiring. The Giants Causeway left me speechless. The Aran Islands and Dun Aengus were breathtaking! And, I've been telling family and friends about the sheep dogs. Amazing they are!"

Sara

Fort Wayne, IN

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I throughly enjoyed the "Best of Ireland in 14 Days". The scenery was beautiful. We had toured Scotland so I wasn't sure if Ireland would be too much the same but it wasn't. Each day there was something new and interesting to see. I loved the music in the pubs. The people of Ireland were extremely friendly and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands, Dunluce Castle, and the Giant's Causeway all qualify for "wow" moments. The rocky cliffs and blue water were spectacular in all these places."

Grady

Casper, WY

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very relaxed tour of Ireland with a very knowledgeable guide. Stephen was fun and kept us well informed about everywhere we went and added many personal stories about the region that made it even more interesting. His depth of knowledge of the history of Ireland and each region made the experience so much more valuable than just touring the countryside, which was beautiful in itself. The sense of history all around us was enthralling and humbling. The countryside was amazing everywhere.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most amazing thing was seeing how crystal is made at the Dingle Crystal factory and watching the master crystal maker create beautiful crystal right before our eyes. The whole process is just amazing how he takes a regular piece of glass and creates a masterpiece by hand. That is something to be seen by everyone, a true master at work. A unique experience in this day of mass produced objects to see a work of art created by hand and then be able to own a piece of that art for later memories."

Regis

Durham, NC

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephen was an exceptional tour guide. The 14 days was a great opportunity to bond with the other tour members, Stephen, experience the people and sights of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep sheering, the hawk release and return, the rope bridge and the hostility in Belfast between the Protestant Unionists and Catholics."

Carolyn

Monroe, LA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour to Ireland was a great experience because it was well-planned and our guide Steve was not only fun but knowledgeable. He was thoughtful and was always making sure everyone was having a good time. I also appreciated our drive Pascal Fitzgerald who skillfully drove us. I appreciated the care in which there was a local guide at each site to give us more in-depth history. We certainly enjoyed the group times together. I would highly recommend others travel with a Rick Steves tour group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many "wow" moments it is hard to pick just one. The Ireland scenery was beyond my expectations. Everyday was fun and exciting. It was amazing to experience the history of Ireland."

Grady

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic and Stephen was an excellent guide. He was always doing everything he could to make the experience more memorable, interesting and fun. I think it was a great overview of Ireland's history, people and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many. Loved the concert in Dingle and all the music in the pubs, the sheep dogs were amazing, the Aran Islands were fantastic. Ireland provided so many breathtaking views and scenery, that each time you went around the corner or to a new location it was amazing. We were also very fortunate to have fantastic weather that made everything that much better."

Ann

Santa Barbara, CA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We arrived in Dublin 2 days ahead and used some of RS pretour suggestions; this enabled us to adjust to time change and to see sites not on tour. Our group was very congenial consisting of families, couples and single travelers. Stays of 2 - 3 days in an area allowed us to settle in a bit; our free time expanded our viewing of the area as a group of 28 certainly does not want to see all the same things nor be together always. Our driver, Pasca Fitzgerald was a very special part of our tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the music! I loved the congeniality of the Irish people! I loved the humor, the storytelling. Loved the pub spirit - so different from "bar life" in the US. When looking for a quiet moment will think back to the Potbellies & their music in Kinsale."

Josephine

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a very good experience over all. I did a lot of really cool things while I was in Ireland and it was a great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment of the trip was when we got the tour of the the Titanic in Belfast."

Katherine

Haines, AK

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I want to let you know this was my very first tour and it was awesome. I like the tour itinerary. I would have like more time in the places we stop at, because there was more I would have liked to have seen and ever place was so very interesting. Charles Fort was my favorite stop, it was a beautiful day and I took a lot of pictures. I really enjoyed our tour dinners together, the restaurant were super good and my favorite was The Blue Haven.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite stop was Charles Fort, it was sunny day and the view was spectacle. My restaurant The Blue Haven. The Castle stop for coffee and the guided visit about the hawks and the hawk flying,was super."

Pamela

Clarksville, TN

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip to Ireland was a trip of a lifetime. We booked the trip as a 25th wedding Anniversary gift to ourselves.Everything was first rate,even the Irish weather was cooperative, and we had very few rainy days. Our tour guide, Stephen was exceptional. His knowledge of Irish history gave us a better understanding of the struggles of Ireland.We felt the tour package was a good value for our money

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the Giant's causeway. I had seen pictures of the area, but to see the basalt column in person was priceless. Mother Nature is amazing!"

Jeffrey

Williston, VT

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had an excellent Tour. Our itinerary was just right. Our guide, Declan, was superb!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. The scenery was great, time in the pubs, concerts and our "hawk walk" were all very special. We had a special interaction with a local priest in dingle. Declan had scheduled a concert for us on Saturday evening. We attend weekly mass and the local church mass schedule conflicted with the concert. We inquired where other masses might be in the area. An elderly monsignor held a private mass for us in his dining room."

Arlene

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour of Ireland -

Elizabeth

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I ended the tour with an experience of the history, culture and soul of this great country and its remarkable people in large part due to the efforts of our guide, Declan Field. He sang to us, played Irish music CDs, brought the history to life so that the current complexities in the north were more understandable, regaled us with the myths and with contemporary lore, including accents from different Irish counties.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't limit it to just one! 1)When the hawk landed on my arm and lingered a while at Ashford Castle. A unique connection with a living being of a very different species. 2)The concert in Dingle with the elderly fiddler with such a glow radiating from her. 3)The chance encounter with a woman near the "rope bridge" who was researching my ancestral family for a friend in the U.S."

Erin

West Lawn, PA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful tour of Ireland! This was our sixth tour with Rick Steves. While I could have planned the trip myself, we wouldn't have had Declan, our guide, to make it as rich and memorable. We enjoyed learning about the Irish history, hearing the music, and seeing the incredible landscape. Thank you Rick and company for making it a fantastic trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite WOW moment is knowing that each day will be full of new and exciting sights, foods, and experiences. One day might have hawk walks and bog hops, the next might be listening to Irish music and seeing sheep frolic in the fields, while another might have amazing views of the cliffs and a rope bridge. Each day was a fun memory filled surprise!"

Patricia

Lancaster, SC

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Declan, was awesome! He is so talented and so humorous and very organized. We had so many little surprises. We attended 2 concerts, had first-hand experience with the hawks. There was just too much for me to list. The scenery was awesome. I so enjoyed Declan's sensitive attention to the history and culture of the country. Ireland will forever be one of my most favorite trips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments, I have difficulty choosing one, but the Cliffs of Moher was probably my most favorite. God's beauty is so evident in the scenery and majesty of Ireland."

Fanny

Citrus Heights, CA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

the tour was very organized, including all the towns and sites that are special to see in Ireland. I felt that I had truly seen the Island completely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the giants causeway was is a fun site to see. also in belfast standing in the outline of the titanic ship where it was built."

Brad

Mchenry, IL

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything that I had hoped. The experience was not just in the travel alone, but the interactions wight he other people in the group and especially with our guide, Declan. He was the reason that this tour was such a success. Even at the initial meeting it was easy to see what a great time we were going to have together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was stepping off the boat onto Blasket Island. Only my new friend Gayle and I made the trip and we had the island almost completely to ourselves. We spent the afternoon imagining how the people lived on the island."

Carol

Kent, WA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an absolutely wonderful tour of Ireland... many thanks to Rick Steves (and company) for another incredible vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I name just one WOW moment? I think that I'll just go with my favorite town...Dingle! My husband and I enjoyed staying 3 days in this lively town with its great music and delicious food. We also loved the free day to explore and hike the beautiful trails. Three days in Dingle = many WOW moments."

Elizabeth

Stoughton, WI

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The sequence and selection of locations, hotels, and sights, was perfect! Declan's narrative throughout the tour provided us with a rich introduction to Ireland's history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially enjoyed the tremendous cliff views on the western and northern coastline."

Diana

Canton, GA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fantastic from start to finish, including the weather. It would have been nice to do more walking but then that would cut back on the places that we would have seen. Hmmm perhaps a 21 day Ireland tour. Dingle will always bring smiles. And Ok as a former volunteer for a raptor rehab in Colorado the falconry school at Ashford Castle was a delight especially when Inca caught that hare.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of Kilmainham Gaol still haunts me. But really the entire trip was a WoW having never traveled to Europe it was incredible."

Blanca

Spring, TX

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Visiting Ireland was all that i had anticipated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we Visited the school of falconry, we were able to see the falcon hunt a hare and the falcon trainer had already given us information on what could happen if the falcon caught a hare."

Patricia

Manchester, WA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful vacation with the Rick Steves tour. Our tour leader was well prepared and knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had three wow's. Flying the falcon. Visiting the Dingle Crystal factory. Bike riding on the Aran islands."

Edward

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything went like clockwork! Even the driver was always on time! Food was great! Sunshine was in abundance!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day there was as least 2 Wow moments...what seine-re!"

Donna

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

The country was incredibly beautiful.The Itinerary , food and accommodation were all good. . This was my third Rick Steeves tour and it made me, "once again", appreciate how incredible the first two tours were. Having a guide who is from the country you are visiting makes a difference. The local guides were all GREAT! The guide for this tour appeared to be very introverted, and I got the STRONG impression that she did not really enjoy interacting with people in a group!.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry centre experience. Having that hawk land and take off from your arm was thrilling."

Kurt

Manchester, WA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour and we were impressed. Over the years, my wife and I have visited sixty-five countries. Most of our travel has been on our own so a fully guided tour is a relatively new experience for us. Although our group was congenial and Rozanne outstanding, we prefer to travel with fewer people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flying a hawk at the School of Falconry"

Carol

Johns Creek, GA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our family's first experience traveling together overseas. My husband and I were a little concerned about how our teenagers would feel about traveling in a group of adults but our concerns were needless. The other tour members offered almost as much enrichment and entertainment to my daughters as the tour itself. It really was priceless to be able to travel through Ireland and have the opportunity to learn about the history, geology, culture, and cuisine with ease.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd have to say that there was a "wow" moment just about every day on our tour. Probably the most unique "wow" was at Ashford Castle in Cong at the School of Falconry. Not only did we enjoy the experience of having a hawk take off and land from our gloved hands but also witnessed the hawk chase and capture a rabbit out of the bush. A little disturbing but was truly nature in action."

Lorraine

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The most educational trip I have experienced. All guides were great and good leaders. Accommodations fabulous. I did expect a more physically active tour and was frustrated about all of the bus/prescribed time. I thought there would be more outdoors time[INVALID] hiking, for example. But I understand the need to get from place to place. Everyone associated with RST was most professional. I would rethink the word "strenuous" when describing any of the day's events. There were others who felt confined.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were blessed with great weather, so all of the vistas and coastal scenery was fabulous. I was also grateful to get such a detailed presentation about Irish history and resulting culture. I hope I can retain most of it! Free day was by far my best day."

Linda

Codrington, ON

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first Rick Steves tour & I would certainly take another & encourage others to do so also. Can't say enough good about it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the school of falconry"

Teri

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 06/15/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steves tour after using his guidebooks many times and it was all I hoped it would be. This itinerary seemed to be honed perfectly through much experience. Not a minute was wasted but I didn't feel over scheduled either (left at a decent hour in the am and didn't get in too late). So glad to go around the entire island and see the contrast between the north and the republic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! The day on the Dingle Peninsula was wonderful. I also really enjoyed the falconry and the sheep dogs."

Judith

Acton, MA

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful introduction to Ireland by our experienced and caring tour leader Susie. Expert maneuvering of the bus along the narrow roads by bus driver Dennis. Gorgeous scenery, particularly along the Republic's various western peninsulas and Northern Ireland's Antrim coast. We are such independent travelers that this was our first ever tour, but it won't be our last tour with the expert guidance of a Rick Steves Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit on our "day on our own" to the hauntingly beautiful Great Blasket Island off of Dingle Peninsula on a perfectly sunny, warm day. In Northern Ireland, it was exploring the wonder of the Giant's Causeway."

Kevin

Des Plaines, IL

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was another great Rick Steves tour experience. All the hotels were outstanding, particularly those in Dingle, Galway, and Portrush. And all the restaurants arranged by the tour were great. Every meal was excellent

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was visiting the Great Blaskett Island off the Dingle Peninsula. It was so scenic and beautiful."

Julia

Maitland, FL

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved everything. My biggest surprise was how delicious the food was, and I gained the pounds to prove it, because former Ireland visitors had expressed a much different food experience. However, my "favorite" wow moment was on the Derry tour and the road/murals in Belfast. It was surreal to be in locations where I had read about and seen violence from the conflict, and for many years thought I would never actually feel safe enough to go to those locations. Thank you for taking us there."

Carla

The Woodlands, TX

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, we felt our tour was an "under promised and over delivered" experience - we expected Ireland to be a nice place to visit but we found it amazing. We had beautiful weather, our guide Suzie was fabulous, the itinerary was outstanding, the hotels/BB's were great, the food was very good and the tour group was the right size with wonderful people. Ireland has an incredibly interesting history and it was fascinating learning the real story.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list but they include the School of Falconry at Ashcroft Castle, the jaw dropping West Coast Ireland scenery including all the walks and hikes and walking across the Carrick a Rede rope bridge. A real wow moment for my husband was finding that both of his surnames were included in the original tribes of Galway."

Frank

Fort Pierce, FL

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

THE TOUR WAS AMAZING. EVERYONE IN OUR GROUP GOT ON GREAT. IT REALLY FELT LIKE A BIG HAPPY FAMILY. TOUR GUIDES SUZIE AND TARA WERE THE BEST. THE PACE OF THE TOUR WAS SUCH THAT YOU NEVER FELT RUSHED. THIS WAS MY FIRST RICK STEVES TOUR. IT WON'T BE MY LAST!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"THERE WERE SO MANY "WOW" MOMENTS ALL THROUGHOUT THE TOUR. THE FIRST WAS WHEN WE FIRST LEFT DUBLIN AND SAW THE BEAUTY OF THE IRISH COUNTRYSIDE. THE IRISH MUSIC CONCERT AT ST. JAMES CHURCH AND THE MUSIC SHOP IN DINGLE WERE AWESOME AND BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES. THE 19 YEAR OLD IRISH DANCER WAS AMAZING, WE WERE VERY FORTUNATE THAT HE WAS THERE THAT DAY. I WAS AMAZED AT THE NATURAL FORMATIONS AT GIANTS CAUSEWAY. SO MANY "WOW" MOMENTS!!"

Pauline

Hingham, MA

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour - loved the activity level and the type of people who take your tours. Our leaders were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I hated Dublin - but have come to realize that I am not a big city person. Loved Galway though. Loved being Kinsale and finding a pub where there was authentic Irish music playing. That was magical. There was Santa Claus, a guy from Waking Ned Devine and a host of other drop ins. Was quite special. I found the Ireland I had been looking for."

Kathaleen

Surprise, AZ

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Susie and all hired guides were excellent. I love the pace, fellow travelers too. And of course ireland speaks for its self. Lodging very good too. Our bus and driver were terrific too. We totally understand why Rick Steves tours are so popular, long time fans, but first tour and hope to go again. We had almost perfect weather too. Loved our B and B in Galway, rooms were smaller, but hosts lovely and food excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The dog show at the sheep farm, the titanic story, Susie's style. Susie made the trip for us: knowledgeable, helpful, positive and must get an Aplus plus for her and for Rick for hiring her. The views, food, beer, free time were all so enjoyed."

John

Surprise, AZ

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed all aspects of the tour. Ireland was all I expected and more. We had so many experiences including great scenery,, fun and entertaining Irish music, and getting a perspective of the history of Ireland. Our tour director style helped for very good group cohesion and we enjoyed making new friends as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought the sheep ranch was a very good experience. My favorite scenes were pastoral scenes with sheep and cattle grazing. Watching the dogs herd the sheep was a top experience, but then again the Cliffs of Moher ranked right up there. Music concerts we attended were top notch as well."

Linda

Bend, OR

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Itinerary well planned and [INVALID]d. Guide was articulate, sensitive, enthusiastic throughout. Meals were varied and better than expected. First time traveling in this size group, and it was a bit overwhelming first days in Dublin. If 20 were the maximum, would have no qualms in booking all my travels w rick Steve's tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the trail above the Giants Causeway and peering down at the blue Atlantic and the ant-like humans scattered on trail and rocks below"

David

Akron, OH

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well-organized and well-executed. The bus was waiting for us each morning and moved us to each stop without trouble. Each day was full of interesting sites and sights, and we were treated very well by the tour guide, driver, local guides, and "attraction" hosts. My wife and I had a remarkably good vacation, and I am impressed with the professional yet personal attentions of the Rick Steves' hosts. Great work!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The overall experience was a WOW for me. Steve and Monaghan Steve (our driver whose last name eludes me) were simply excellent; they were great representatives of the Emerald Isle! If I had to choose my favorite spots, I would choose Kilmainham Gaol, The Rock of Cashel, Kinsale, Dingle and the Ring of Dingle, the Aran Islands/Dun Aengus visit, Yeats' grave, and the Derry and Belfast political sites. (As a retired English teacher, I love the literature and history of Ireland.)"

Robin

West Hills, CA

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Ireland was wonderful. Our tour guide Stephen was the best in the world! Also our driver Stephen was the best driver in the world! Both of these men helped to make Ireland come alive for us. Our "tour family" was one of the best we have had in our 5 Rick Steves tours. Even when we had such thick fog at the Cliffs of Mohar we were't able to see them we still had a great time laughing about our situation and both Stephen's helped us make the best of some bad luck.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many WOW moments - The Falconry, the Sheep Farm, the scenery on our drives, the food (we didn't have a bad meal)all was wonderful. Aran Islands, the Burren, Meeting a woman in Dingle working at a co-op craft store that actually lives on Blasket Islands and purchasing some wool scarves she makes on the island, talked with her about her life on the island that was real WOW moment for me. We even found a book she wrote at a local book store, bought it and had her autograph it!"

Robert

Mason, OH

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

More than I expected. The landscape was beautiful, in spite of a couple fog limiting days. We were very fortunate that rain was never an issue on this particular tour. The tour afforded a close look at the people and culture of Ireland, the history of the island (including the separation between the Republic and Northern Island), and a better understanding of the "troubles", both in the past and present.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know that I can pick a "wow" moment. The tour was different from my past tours with Rick Steves - Italy and Spain. There wasn't the great cathedrals or works of arts. I just enjoyed the overall experience. I have to say, I did particularly enjoy the Pubs and the traditional Irish music throughout the Republic."

Sandra

West Chester, OH

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic trip, actually better than anticipated. I was a little worried about all the time on a bus, but our tour guide, Stephen, thoroughly entertained us with his story-telling and songs. I actually looked forward to time on the bus!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't have a specific "wow" moment. We ran into some fog on our cliff days and they could have been a "wow" moment, but I loved the towns of Dingle and Kinsale! The townspeople were so nice and we enjoyed looking in the shops and visiting the many pubs. The music in the pubs was a highlight."

Lynda

Bluffton, SC

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great food, warm weather and no rain helped to make this an extraordinary trip. Went to the Cliffs of Moher even though they were completely shrouded in mist.Interesting museum. Steven and Steven were superb. Steven the driver got us out of many tight spots.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Falconry"

Cynthia

Columbus, OH

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was Fabulous ! The itinerary was perfect. We had great weather except for fog at the Cliffs of Moher and Giant Causeway. The Aran island made up for the cliffs. The group was wonderful and we all had a great time! Our guide Stephen was the best ever , along with our driver Stephen. I wouldn't change a thing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are several Wow moments as usual. Kinsale was such a colorful seaside "Tidy Town",the sheep farm with its beautiful scenery along with the sheep,the School of Falconry we all enjoyed,and the rope bridge.The three nights in Dingle was relaxing yet busy. It had wonderful food and pubs with great music(John Benny's Pub).Our B&B(Heatons) had the best breakfasts! We also had a wine and cheese get together by our guide on a sunny day. The best Wow was our Guide Stephen who entertained us daily!"

Frank

West Hills, CA

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyable, entertaining, educational. We had a great time with a great bunch of people

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep dogs and the falconry"

Jud

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour. It was my first time to Ireland and basically I went because my wife's grandfather was from Ireland and she wanted to go. The experience greatly exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably standing in the 1600 BC ring fort, looking out to sea and realizing the antiquity of it all--trying to grasp what it must have been like for the people that first built it."

Shirley

Citrus Heights, CA

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my 5th Rick Steves tour and as always the trip was well worth every penny. It was busy, but still time to enjoy and explore the villages and towns on your own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was being there in Dublin for the 10K mini marathon that happens every year. It is the largest women's only race in the world. Women, families everyone poured into Dublin in buses, vans, cars, etc. In our country we have separate races for all our various "causes". In Ireland the various groups all race on the same day supporting their "causes". The male participants had to sign up as women. Talking with and interviewing all the different women was a real thrill."

Angela

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our Ireland Tour!! Dara was a fabulous tour guide!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Falconry!!"

William

St Louis, MO

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guides (Dara/Dave) and driver (Pascal). Roomy bus with WIFI !! Food was very good and we loved the music and culture. The people were met throughout were very friendly. Our tour group was a good mix of age and personalities. Dublin, Kinsale, and Dingle were excellent. Galway, Aran Islands and Derry were very good. Devil's Causeway and the Rope Bridge were a bit of a strain for amount of walking and experience. Would have preferred more time in Belfast and better local guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Music at St James Hall and Herilhy Music store concerts. Dingle peninsula, and city of Derry."

Devoni

Sugar Land, TX

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

How about WOW! From the time we met our charming tour guides and fun group members in our Dublin hotel until the ending with a delicious dinner back in Dublin, everything about this tour met and exceeded our expectations. We thoroughly enjoyed discovering and experiencing the beauty, culture, music, people and history of Ireland with Dara, Dave and Pascal, and our new friends. Once again, a Rick Steves tour fed our passions for history and travel. Thanks for a great trip around the Emerald Isle!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can anyone pick just one "wow" moment, when each day of a Rick Steves tour provides at least one! The whole tour is a succession of "Wow, Wow, Wows!" However, if I have to point out one, or two, the falconry walk and talk and participation stands out. Retrieving and sending a hawk into flight is a unique experience. Standing among the ruins of the mysterious 2000 year old Dun Aenghus, and carefully peering over the edge of the beautiful cliff face at the ocean below, is another highlight."

Yvonne

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Ireland has the most beautiful scenery and the friendliest people you'd ever want to encounter. Unfortunately, early June is not the best time of year to do it because the rain meant our enjoyment of two major stops on our tour were effectively canceled. It also meant that the fairly long walks into Dingle from our B&B were rather unpleasant in driving ,cold rain. So, pick later in the summer for a trip to Ireland. That said, I'm still glad I went. The good days were glorious!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Aran Islands. That was what my preconceived notion of Ireland was all about: wild crashing ocean against steep, sheer cliffs , rocky plains, wild flowers in bloom, cottages enclosed in stone walls, sheep on the hillside, views that went on forever."

Richard

Silver City, NM

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned, well organized, well conducted, well enjoyed.

Cynthia

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful way to see Ireland! Our tour group was great, the commentary informative and the pace just right. I have used the Rick Steves books to travel in Italy Spain and Britain. They have always been a great help. This trip was a true vacation since so many of the details of travel were taken care of by Dara and Dave. I could never have seen so much of the country on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite Wow moment is hard to choose. From a historical perspective, greater insight into the potato famine and the troubles in Northern Ireland are much appreciated. From a nature perspective, the Cliff scenery (Moher and elsewhere) were outstanding. Also loved the time in Dingle."

Judith

Westlake Village, CA

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Didn't know what to expect as we have only used your books(since1986) on our earlier trips to Europe. The tour group was a wonderful mix of young and older and 4 kids who were awfully good and real troopers. We got enough "blarney" from Dara our guide. Dara and Dave were great. It was great fun in Dingle , meeting Dara's father and talking to him and hearing the family play. Loved the idea of being with someone's home for a short time. We saw so much and B&B's were great with great food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Book of jells and Arian islands and of course Mr. Herlihy. Dara was excellent. He helped everyone with everything that was needed and and seemed to be able to fix and emergencies that came up. Dave helped us out with our next tour to Eastern Europe this September with train questions. These guides were great."

Mark

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' Tour and we had very high expectations. Those expectations were met and indeed were VASTLY exceeded! Rozanne was simply superb-- she was extremely knowledgeable, wonderfully personable and very much in tune with and attentive to the needs and interests of each member of the tour. The local guides were wonderful, especially at Kinsale, Dingle, and the Burren. It was apparent that Rozanne had a strong personal relationship with them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery, history, congeniality of the group and the local people were all so interesting and enjoyable that I am unable to pick a single experience as a favorite. Rozanne's buddy system to assure that no one would be left behind was a great way to facilitate group interaction. The group really came together and we made many new friends."

Bill

Renton, WA

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Like many Americans, I have direct ancestral lineage to Ireland. I'd never been there and it was calling my name. What better way than to join a Rick Steves tour. This tour was everything I hoped for. The members integrated wonderfully, Rozanne is a warm caring and knowledgeable leader, the hotels, B&Bs and selected restaurants excellent, the driver friendly and skilled. Our third tour and definitely not our last

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several. The 50 shades of green, the working dogs at the Kissane sheep farm, everything 'Dingle', watching my wife communicate with the hawk. Probably, the drive around the Dingle peninsula proved to be the biggest "wow""

Susan

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My experience was overwhelmingly positive. I was skeptical of being part of a tour since we usually travel on our own, but my apprehensions were unfounded. My husband and I had plenty of time to be on our own, pursuing our specific interests while also having the opportunity to socialize when we wanted to. The tour was planned so beautifully with a great deal packed into the experience. We participated happily in everything that was offered to us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think it was braving the wind and rain to get up to Dun Aengus to have the sun come out and reveal that incredible view. Slay Head was also incredibly beautiful and the concerts in Dingle at the Courthouse Pub and at St James Church were really Wow moments. Too many from which to choose."

Michael

Madison, AL

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is difficult for me to come up with the appropriate superlatives that sufficiently describe how wonderful this tour was. All elements of the tour worked together to provide an awesome experience. The lodgings were great, the bus was very comfortable, the bus driver was such a incredible professional and even the weather cooperated. Most importantly, the RS tour guide along with the local guides were all outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle and the Dingle peninsula tour."

William

Springfield, VA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good. Pat is a great guide, knowledgeable of the Country and is a great administrator always having everything ready to go at the right time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Derry was a great city with a great local guide. Great tour of the area with all the murals on the city buildings."

Mary

Hemet, CA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is the first time that I have taken an organized tour. I was totally amazed how wonderful this trip ended up being. This Rick Steve's tour is the real thing and an excellent value.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Belfast tour was one of my favorites. I feel like I understand what happened on Bloody Sunday. As with all travel it is not just a holiday but a college class that fills in the holes of my education."

David

Ormond Beach, FL

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have come to expect from Rick Steves a well organized tour to great destinations with knowledgeable, friendly guides and our trip to Ireland was no exception. I feel we could fully appreciate the beauty and the people of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the drive through the rural countryside the most."

Mark

Ormond Beach, FL

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent time management allowed us to truly experience the Best of Ireland in 14 days. As an experienced traveler, it is obvious that much thought and planning has gone into developing this tour. Our guide, Pat, was excellent in every way. Our driver, Dennis, was also very good. The local guides we had were all high quality. Many kisses of the Blarney Stone between them! The food was a pleasant surprise... really good. Loved Kinsale, Dingle and Portrush as base towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the hiking on the Dingle Peninsula, the Aran Islands and Giant's Causeway area in the north. The food was a nice surprise, too."

Carol

Olympia, WA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I fell in love with Ireland! Everything was just super first class. Our guide, Pat passed on his love of Ireland, his vast knowledge of the country and lots of interesting stories from his many years of traveling there. My husband and I were absolutely impressed with Rick Steves Tours! We have recommended your company to our friends and family. For sure we will travel with you again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but I especially enjoyed the town of Dingle and that whole area of southern Ireland. The weather was sunny and warm; the scenery so breath taking and the local guide was wonderful as well. Our local guide in Belfast at the Titanic Shipyard was unforgettable. Her story of her great grandfather being on the Titanic was just so special. But really all the local guides were great! And we loved the friendly people of Ireland!"

Klaus

Olympia, WA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a well organized tour, the right balance of activities and free time. HOtels and herestaurants were great. It hit all the highights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To me it was the whole experience and how it was presented."

Daniel

Ormond Beach, FL

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole tour was excellent! Pat is one of the best tour guides that I have ever had. He is exceptionally well organized, knowledgeable, helpful, & friendly. He obviously knows about places of interest that most guides don't get to. Dennis, our driver was also excellent. Not only a skilled coach driver, he was very helpful & friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just about everything was interesting, but the Cliffs, archaeological sights & information, & Dingle stand out. Food was consistently very good & I would be willing to pay a bit extra to have more meals included."

Ward

Urbana, OH

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Recently had an extraordinary experience of traveling in the extraordinary country of Ireland with extraordinary people. We were guided by Pat a very knowledgable, articulate, enthusiastic, considerate and convivial person. His knowledge and enthusiasm enhance the experience immeasurably. Pat's skill in bring the places and events, past and present, to our attention was extraordinary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The 'wow' moment for me was the Falconry demonstration. Walking thru the beautiful woods watching the amazing bird thru the trees and landing on peoples arms was magical. The hawk was extraordinary with an extraordinary handler. This exemplified the unique advantage of being on a Rick Steves' Tour as it very unlikely that an unguided traveler would have such an experience."

Scott

Fargo, ND

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was one of the best vacations I have ever had. As far as I am concerned the tour was absolutely perfect. I liked the fact that on the bus, Pat played relevant music and had several contests that in additions to his descriptions of the physical countryside and historical and political context really made the long bus rides interesting. I also really liked the use of local, specialized guides and the blocks of free time we had to explore on our own. Pat was extremely knowledgeable and helpful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many it is hard to say, but I was particularly impressed with the abundance of live music and the variety and quality of the food."

Carol

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An unimaginable and incredible adventure around Ireland. Took too many photos but not enough time at each location, so I need to return to discover more in-depth of favorite spots. Pat our tour guide was very informative and charming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kinsale in SE IRE, Northern Ireland,especially Portrush and Giants causeway."

Hugh

Bend, OR

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Right from the start our guide, Declin, was impressive. His knowledge of Irish history and customs seems unsurpassed. He is intelligent and talented as well as having great PR. The tour itself was fun and informative. Even Joe, the bus driver, was well informed, courteous and helpful. In my view the trip set the bar so high it may not be surpassed any time soon.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry was fascinating as well as educational. It was a beautiful day and the bird's performance was exceptional."

Patricia

Bend, OR

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent with a few incidents listed below. We would consider taking another Rick Steves tour. Maybe a few too many ruins. Would have loved to see at least one really good museum on the famine and history of Ireland. Maybe in the Galway region or have our free day in Galway instead of Dingle where there would have been more options.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour guides in Derry and Belfast were incredible in defining the long lasting history in Northern Ireland. The hawk walk and the sheep farm were fun breaks from the many ruins we toured."

Kenneth

Poulsbo, WA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt like we saw the authentic Ireland, and not the touristy Ireland. Declan was a fantastic Guide, we had a great driver, and the local guides were also excellent. The falconry school was the highlight, but there were many other great experiences including the Rock of Cashel, Powerscourt Gardens, the sheep farm, the Burrens, the Aran Islands, and the many rock forts and churches. Visit the Michael Collins ambush site was a special treat. The food, music,and people were also great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry school."

Marilee

Troutdale, OR

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour could not have been better. It was a wonderful mix of sights, culture and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the sunset one evening in Dingle"

Lisa

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a fantastic experience. I was super impressed by how friendly and welcoming the Irish people were, and I really enjoyed their sense of humor and the traditional Irish music. The countryside is amazingly beautiful, and the cities and villages were interesting and fun. Our guide, Declan, was awesome, and the food was great. I had a wonderful time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorites were the concerts in Dingle, the sheep farm, and the visit to Drumcliffe (where W.B. Yeats is buried)."

Nolan

Greensboro, NC

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My overall tour experience was very good. It was a great tour, well planned, and it gave us a chance to travel around the entire country from Dublin, to Belfast. Declan was tremendous in sharing his knowledge of the history of Ireland, while interjecting music, and songs he sang, along with some good Irish humor. Why Very Good instead Outstanding? I have a bad right knee (deteriorated cartilage-bone on bone), so some of the tour areas- the Burren, Grand Causeway, tested my limits.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably , the Cliffs of Moher and the Burrren -so overwhelming for sites. And, the friendliness of the Irish people we met- the Pubs were all great, some terrific food, great service. You felt appreciated everywhere. Willie, at the Harbour Bar & Bistro, Portrush-was outstanding,and at his encouragement we ate at the Harbour Bistro . The Best overall meal we had in Ireland."

Robert

Schererville, IN

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We are extremely happy to have chosen Ireland as our 2014 travel destination. This tour took us to all the places we wanted to go and made all the arrangements!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher were spectacular and we were fortunate to see it on a clear day! Really enjoyed the "personal" concert in Dingle at the music shop. A great benefit from a Rick Steves Tour!!"

Cheryl

Conyers, GA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was "grand" to borrow an Irish term! This was our 4th Rick Steve's tour and it lived up to our expectations. Our guide, Declan, was very personable, organized and a font of all things Irish! We quickly bonded with our fellow tour members and together enjoyed learning about the history and experiencing the culture of Ireland. True to the rumors, the people of Ireland were very warm and welcoming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "hawk walk" at Ashford Castle was an exciting surprise. Never did I imagine that a hawk would fly out of the woods and sit on my arm! Educational and fun! The music was another favorite - whether it was singing along in the local pubs or enjoying the concerts and Irish dance in Dingle. Learning about the "troubles" from a local guide helped us better understand the emotional force of this historical struggle and we felt the emotion as we signed the peace wall."

Diane

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time I'd been outside the US. I wanted to go to Ireland since my Great Grandparents were born there. This was a wonderful trip all around. A great tour guide and a wonderful group of people! Everywhere we visited and all our hotels and b&b's were great! The food was terrific also, it's a good thing we did a lot of walking!! Our bus driver was super. I am glad I didn't have to do the driving since the roads were very narrow at times (and because they drive on the other side)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not sure I had one wow! It was all amazing! The countryside was all so pretty and the coastal towns just beautiful. I loved seeing the sheep and cattle, and at this time of the year, the babies."

Robert

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well organized with an excellent itinerary. Tour guide Declan kept us entertained with Irish history and topical music on the bus between stops. Restaurant choices for group meals were very good, as were the recommended places to eat on our own. Lots of highlights, including the Kinsale history tour, Dingle Irish music concerts, and hiking at the Giant's Causeway. Belfast was fascinating. This was our fourth Rick Steves' tour and one of our favorites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say, but probably the Irish music concerts. The sights and the history were great, but the concerts were informal and in intimate venues (a small church and a music store) and featured excellent local musicians. A wonderful way to identify with the local people, their talent, and their sense of humor."

Tom

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my wife and my first tour outside the US. It was outstanding! Our guide, Declan did a great job leading,guiding, educating and entertaining us. The mix of group and personal time was just right. The use of local guides/experts added to the depth of our experience. The use of small hotels and B&B's added to the enjoyment of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't really have a single wow moment, just a wow experince overall"

Diane

Port Moody, BC

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Declan, and driver, Joe, were simply outstanding. The group was the right size (27), and a great mix of people. The accommodations were clean, comfy, with great breakfasts. The group dinners were always off a wonderful menu selection. Did I enjoy my first Rick Steves trip? You better believe it!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There 2 moments. The first, at Dunluce Castle, was when I discovered I was a decendent of the conquerors. My family crest, that I purchased earlier, was a match to the crest on the wall. Yahoo, I'm a partial land-owner in Ireland. The second moment was when I saw my great-uncle's name on the memorial wall the the Titanic shipyards."

Mike

Jamestown, NC

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour in Ireland covered everything I expected to see. I learned a lot about Ireland that I didn't preciously know.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was learning about the hawks and falcons at the School of Falconry. Having the falcon land on my arm was a incredible experience."

Darlene

Jamestown, NC

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was perfect from start to finish. I saw everything in Ireland that I wanted to see. The ease of traveling on a comfortable bus with an Irish guide and driver who knew all about Ireland made it a relaxing, entertaining and educational journey. I spent 3 days before and 3 days after the tour in Dublin staying in a private home. Even my hosts there were impressed with what a thorough tour of Ireland I had received.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments. I think the Cliffs of Moher were probably the most breathtaking, but the variety of landscapes were a surprise to me. I expected all of Ireland to be green fields filled with sheep so was surprised to travel through the Burren and the mountains. It was all beautiful in its own way."

Linda

Troutdale, OR

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't say enough good things about my Rick Steve's Ireland tour! From Susie to Maryann from the home office. Everyone in our group was great with no one complaining and we all had a great time together. Everything was very well organized and always something to look forward to. The meals were wonderful and lots of it also! I think I gained a few pounds too! Pascal our bus driver was THE BEST.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was seeing the Cliffs of Mother which was spectacular. Maybe even more than that is going to where the Titanic was built and where she took off from on her maiden voyage. Susie told such a moving story of her Great Grandfather having a part of the building of the engines and the " two pennies" that were given to her Grandfather and his brother, and he lost his life on the voyage."

Kathleen

Mesa, AZ

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

1st trip to Ireland, v. much enjoyed countryside, history, sights, guide, assistant and driver. Dublin great, Kinsale a delight, sheep herding demo so-so, prefer more time at Mudross, had to choose between the Abbey ruins (fab!) and the rest. Dingle time great, Cliffs of Moher super, Inishmore nice for island experience,loved Ashford; Derry/Belfast ok. Musical experiences a treat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kathleen's journal says "Best day ever" for when we did the Giant's Causeway, Carrick a Rede and Dunsale Castle. Also loved the Scilly Walk back from Charles Fort to Kinsale, great views and flowers. Also concert at St. James in Dingle with Eoin Duignan."

Mary Ann

Minnetonka, MN

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Supperb as usual. Loved traveling the whole island.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Belfast after reading & hearing about all the conflicts over the year."

Karen

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fourth RS trip--need i say more ??

Todd

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! A perfect balance of free time and organized sites/events. Very well organized. A nice variety of things to see that were well choosen. I was very impressed with how smoothly and seamlessly everything went - even when the unexpected events that come with traveling occurred. When we arrived at an attraction, there was virtually no waiting to begin. The restaurants and hotels/B&Bs were extremely well choosen. Really, really great tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment would be walking the cliffs above the Giants Causeway. Spectacular. My other favorite activity would be visiting the sheep ranch where we got to see the herding demonstration, and watching how they shear the sheep. We also really just liked seeing the countryside, exploring the towns, and hanging out in the local pubs listening to the music and chatting. My least favorite was definitely the Aran Islands - not worth the travel time at all."

Betty

Swanton, VT

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thought the pace, people, food, and scenery were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the grounds of Muckross Mansion."

Kenneth

Swanton, VT

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was very enjoyable. Great guide and just a overall fun time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It had to be Dingle. A great community with beauty, arts and lots of history."

Darlene

Edmond, OK

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time in beautiful Ireland. I loved the people. We have been to England and Scotland a couple of times and there is a marked difference in the people. The pacing of the trip was great. We didn't leave until 9 most mornings so it wasn't so hectic like other trips we've been on. The tour guide was very informative and always had good suggestions for restaurants and activities for us to do during free time. My experience was very positive and I would go again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many things I really enjoyed. I loved doing things I wouldn't typically do on my own. I loved flying the falcon and the sheep farm was very interesting."

Sharon

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time and saw all of the places "advertised" for the tour and more! Appreciated the group size. (Wish it could be evn less, but am sure that would be cost prohibitive.). We were glad that this tour went all the way around the island. We enjoyed Susie. She shared so much that we could not get from just a book.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know that I can single out one thing. I enjoyed the whole thing and the diverse things I saw and did."

Dean

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour was good. I enjoyed all from Kinsale in south to Portrush in Northern Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the Giants Causeway. What an amazing stack of stones in such a uniform pattern!"

Judy

Mill Valley, CA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For me, the tour guide "makes it, or breaks it". And Susie, our wonderful guide throughout Ireland truly "made" our tour the most wonderful, fun, informative visit to Ireland that we could ever have imagined. We told her on our last day that Rick Steves was lucky to have her aboard, and so were we! Thanks to her, and to everyone behind the scenes at Rick Steves Tours for a very special time, and one that we won't forget soon. We also liked the pace of the tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dingle Peninsula was the most memorable place for us, due to the folk music we heard at the music store, and the small chapel; our lovely b+b, which was 5-star with it's accommodations and breakfasts; and our memorable walk to the lighthouse along the scenic bluffs."

Meredith

La Verne, CA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There is always a fair amount of luck involved in the make-up of any tour group, we hit the jackpot on this one. Not only was it an extremely gregarious band of travelers, the country and itinerary was pitch perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Falconry School in Cong."

Stephanie

Placerville, CA

Tour: 05/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Was a wonderful tour (as usual with a RS group, made fast friends). So much to see, do and try. And all so green!!! We had pretty great weather too. Local guides (Tommy, Don, etc. were all super) and our guides were also helpful and very knowledgable too. Kept the group together, paid attention to everyone, made sure food orders were right. Special shout out to Susie for letting me know that Travelguard would help find my luggage...9 days later it appeared finally, but they were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many to list, but flying Inca at Ashford will always be a treasured moment. Also, the music of Dingle, the buffet at the inn in Dingle and porridge with Bailey's!"

Patricia

Bowie, MD

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was not only my first Rick Steve's tour, but also my first trip out of the US! I was not disappointed in anything on this trip. The bus driver was fantastic-I was so impressed with not only Steven's driving but his help and great smile every morning! Our group was so much better than I dreamed! I felt like I was traveling with old friends by the second day...at the end, I hated saying good-bye.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! I loved Dingle, and Milltown House was fantastic! The Falconry School...the flowers, the FOOD! Kinsale was such a picturesque town. Powerscourt Gardens were beautiful. The Giant's Causeway, Bushmills Distillery...our visit to Sean Daly's crystal cutting workshop--the Blasket Island Center. And we loved all the bookstores! (our luggage was a lot heavier going back---too much love maybe...)"

David

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was excellent, loved the music, food, and the history!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The music in Dingle at the pubs, the Folk History church concert, the dinner and music at the Courthouse Pub, and the show at the Music store. It was just amazing!"

Dave

Ferndale, WA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Ireland was beautiful, everything worked out so well for us. The scenery, lodging, food, compatibility of the group, itinerary, could not have been much better. Even the weather was exceptional!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Powers Court Gardens, but as far as activities, I would have to rate our visit to the sheep ranch, watching the dog's work, and the experience at the falconry school at Ashmore Castle as tops. Beyond this, the countryside and coastal scenery were even better than we had hoped."

Kathleen

Ferndale, WA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations! I've always wanted to go to Ireland and I wasn't disappointed. I loved every minute of it and this was facilitated by our tour guide, Stephen. He is an excellent communicator of history and I so appreciated this. He has a good sense of timing, like when to insert history, stories, music or quiet when we're on the bus. His voice doesn't have that 'tour guide blast,' so you can sleep if need be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Dingle on our free day, we walked along the bay. It was lovely. Also, the first night we arrived in Dingle we had a reception at the Milltown B&B. It was a warm welcome after a long day, so nice not to have to go out for dinner. They provide a light dinner with wine and great desserts. School of Falconry was wow, Powers Court Gardens, Inishmore, and so many more."

Pandora

Revere, MA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

On my third rick steves tour i would have to say it was perfect. Stephen was a superior guide! Knowledgeable-entertaining and he could pick a restaurant better than anyone.Our tour group members were so cohesive, kind, and fun that every single day was better than the day before!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment i didnt expect was at the falconry school! having the hawk land on my arm was amazing! also have to add that walking across the rope bridge was something i was determined to do and did accomplish! will never forget it!"

Deborah

Springboro, OH

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I thought the tour was well paced and there was certainly plenty to see and do. All of the B&Bs were nice and comfortable. There was plenty of free time at most places. Though, in some instances I wish we had started a little earlier than we did so that we might have had just a little more time at various stops. Sometimes I felt like we were a bit rushed to see a site. The tour also had an interesting mix of history, current events, music and beautiful scenery that made every day special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing some of the centuries old manuscripts like the Book of Kells was very impressive."

Jeannie

Belton, TX

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the best traveling experience I have ever had. The country is beautiful,friendly & historic. The schedule was well paced & fascinating. The group was congenial & eager to share the experience. Stephen McPhilemy was the perfect guide. He loves his country & eagerly shared its culture & history. I felt as if we were welcomed into his home & he was the perfect host. I left Ireland feeling as if I was leaving alittle of me behind but taking alittle of Ireland home with me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many-loved going out on boat at Dingle(the sea is such a part of Ireland). Loved flying the hawk at the school of falcolnry. Loved hearing the music in the pubs."

Carole

Atlantic Beach, FL

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good itinerary (very important to me), good accommodations, pleasant companions, knowledgeable and friendly guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the clean, natural scenery that is fresh, organic and wholesome with no plastic, neon, asphalt, huge lit parking lots."

Lorna

Fayetteville, GA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole tour was a wonderful blend of exciting sights, lots of free time to explore by yourself, plus amazing food and Irish music. Ireland is a beautiful country with wonderful friendly people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our free day in Dingle was so relaxing. we walked up to the lighthouse along the coast with new found friends, ending with a delicious lunch at Cul Sairon. the Irish music and dancing in Dingle was amazing, and the food all over Ireland was wow!"

Tom

Annandale, VA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour guide (actually very good bus driver as well). Well organized, saw a lot of interesting things.

Teresa

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Organized, thought provoking, knowledgeable guide; funny and flexible. Needed a little more time in Derry though. Driver of the bus was terrific. Unlike Spain did not have access to a computer with internet in each hotel. Caused some communication kerfuffles with keeping lines of communication open "back home" I did not bring a WI FI device. You should inform your participants that most hotels will not have internet Spent far too much time in internet cafes. Not providing wine at dinners?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Belfast though large was quite intriguing. Dingle peninsula was entrancing, especially the arranged music evenings. I love Birds of Prey so the falconry opportunity at the Ashford HOtel is very high on my list. Loved all of the hotels except the Balcony it was awful, (descrepit bathroom) but the propritess was lovely."

Terry

Ada, MI

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve tour and I hope to do another one. I like the small group and I will say that everyone seemed to bond. I felt we got our money's worth out of the trip. I wasn't sure about the free time we were given but I really enjoyed exploring on my own with my husband. The accommodations were fine and the food was surprisingly delicious. I felt safe being driven around by Dennis who I would also rate as outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment would be the trip to the Aran Islands. Particularly when we stopped at a graveyard on a hill overlooking the ocean. The Celtic crosses and other headstones, some slightly askew, the long grasses wafting in the wind on an overcast day. Just something about it made it surreal and memorable."

Georgia

Topeka, KS

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour had a balance of fun and information. Although there was travel to cover the country I didn't feel there was too much time on the bus. I knew very little about the history of Ireland so appreciated the explanations of the structures and monuments along the way. The landscape is breathtaking! The people are wonderful, very friendly and happy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a tough one to answer. Obviously the Cliffs of Moher are very special. Watching the Border Collies work with the sheep was a favorite stop for me because I've owned Border Collies. I was so impressed with the charm of Kinsale and Dingle."

Judy

Kings Beach, CA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Unfortunately I was the first of seven 'tourers' to come down with some kind of 24hr virus. Pat and Dara handled it beautifully. Dara stayed behind making sure I did 'get-well stuff' and we took the train to catch up with the group. The sightseeing was marvelous, however the handling of am unexpected and unpleasant situation( it has been years since I have been laid low like that) was professional and helpful. I look forward to your get together at Edmonds, WA come January.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"You will probably laugh but when we were at the sheep farm I was standing close behind someone holding a newborn lamb over her shoulder. I was petting the newborn lamb with its pleading eyes and would have gladly taken it back home with me if it was allowed. The dolphin of Dingle Bay was fun to watch playfully circling the boat."

Craig

Ada, MI

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well thought out: 1) group size, 2) itinerary, 3) mix of group and on-your-own lunches and dinners, 4) mix of structured and free time. I'd suggest adjusting the day trip out of Portrush to allow for more time at Giant's Causeway and less time at Carrick-A-Rede.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giant's Causeway, except for the premature departure. That is a place for sightsavoring, not sightseeing, and we did not have a chance to savor it."

Joel

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding vacation.

Rosalie

Dunedin, FL

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary was good for me, with free time at most destinations. I especially liked being in Dingle for 3 nights and having a free day with no planned activities. Early on Pat asked travelers to take turns in the front seats, which worked well. And generally all were considerate of others, except for tall people wanting to be in front, making it difficult for shorties like me to see (and sometime hear.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to pick out just one--the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, the Giant's Causeway, the Dingle Peninsula, and the harbor at Kinsale, all beautiful and interesting, yet different. The size of the City Walls in Derry--still intact after 400 years, was amazing. The Peace Wall in Belfast evoked memories of the Berlin Wall."

Willo

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was looking forward to music, and music is what I got! In addition to several performances in small concert settings and in pubs, Pat played appropriately themed music on the bus - everything from Dennis Day to the Beatles. And of course, the Chieftains. Added to that was the charm of the smaller towns, the stunning scenery and the tales, both mythical and factual, of Irish history. Aside from the tummy bug that took several of the group down for a day or so, this was a near-perfect vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ooh, hard! I looked forward to much and was never disappointed. I guess it was the unexpected that wowed me, e.g.: The glorious contemporary art and craft in the Blasket Center. A stroll with an old Bishop in a churchyard. A restaurant where we actually had room to move our shoulders AND savor good trad music and tap dance."

Margaret

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was fantastic. We saw so many wonderful sights and got to experience an amazing variety of Irish culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My personal favorite "wow" moment was when I tagged along with a new friend I met on the tour and we biked the Sla Head Drive along the Dingle Peninsula. I never would have imagined that I would ever do something like that- but it was SO WORTH every little muscle ache. The views were intoxicating and I got to experience them at my own leisurely pace instead of bussing through on the coach- I've never seen views like I saw that day. I felt like I was living in a post card."

Allen

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guides. Good trip. Good choice on what to see. The locals were friendly and helpful. Dress for anything. It is kind of chilly in May, and the wind can blow through travel gear. The bus was great, the driver was great, and courageous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Music in Dingle. It is just out there. Concerts six nights a week (alternating venues each night) followed by music in the pubs, no cover, just buy a beer and stay as long as you want."

Vivian

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I enjoyed the tour. The group of travelers was an outstanding group, very nice people. Unfortunatey, many caught the flu and I was uncomfortable considering I might also get sick. The tour was fast paced, we covered a lot and Pat was very informative. I only wish we had a little more free time. I know it's a crowded schedule so that may not be possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kinsale and Dingle were my WOW spots."

Bernard

Marana, AZ

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tried a Steeves' tour for the first time. Prior tours have all been with Tauck. So, we feared a big drop=off in quality. Not the case. This tour was different but not inferior to the Tauck experiences. We appreciated the more active energetic approach to touring each day. Less emphasis on gourmet meals and more on seeing the country. A nice surprise, and what we had hoped for. I have specific pros/cons about aspects of the tour which I mention below, but I would consider another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Aran Islands tour was a highlight. Obviously, the Cliffs of Moher was inn top, too. But I most enjoyed just seeing the countywide and the varying beauty of the respective regions."

Robert

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Declan was friendly, courteous, informed, concerned for our experience and welfare. He sang Irish tunes and told sometimes personal experiences from Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say since the entire tour was very good , even outstanding. I guess I could say the personal sharing by Declan stands out as beyond expectation! No wonder he has 18 or more years with Rick."

Heather

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Magical. Lovely balance of brain infusion that would satisfy any history junkey and visual delights of nature. The state jewels were the Irish people; so warm and whitty. Only disappointment: would have enjoyed going thru Titanic Museum as well as local guide's tour (it is an interest of mine). Pretour: so glad we saw New Grange & national archeological museum.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! Loved the feeling of being in a Jane Austin movie at Powerscourt. The physical beauty of the rolling green hills dotted with sheep. Having a hawk land on my hand and to give it food. The amazing kindness and humor of the Irish people. The astounding coastline and ocean. Quotes from Oscar Wilde and Yeats left me wanting more."

Jim

Willits, CA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Great tour, but too much eating and not enough exercise. As a non-drinker, I wasn't able to participate in the pub experience, but this is my problem not the tour's. Since the pub scene is a big deal in Ireland, I was not able to enjoy that part of the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not known for having "wow" experiences, but I thoroughly enjoyed the music in Dingle and the trip to the Aran Islands (Innismore)."

Kathleen

Des Moines, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour truly captured Ireland's history, culture, politics, music, and geography, from the cities to the villages! We returned home with the soul and beauty of Ireland in our hearts. We loved every minute of every day, and I can't imagine how it could have been a better experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher, inspite of brutal wind(!), to the peacefulness and secluded beauty of the Aran Islands, realizing we were on the most western edge of Europe, were everlasting memories for me."

Martin

Des Moines, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was excellent! While Spring in Ireland's beautiful, I truly thought Declan brought it all to life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I know understand the passion the Irish have, given their history well over a thousand years old."

Jean

Willits, CA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved Ireland. Stops and activities well planned. Feel like I got an in depth experience of Ireland. Felt I was exposed to Ireland historically, culturally, geographically. Wish there was a 3 week tour of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1-The Great Blasket Center. 2-The day on Inishmore. 3-Listening to Martin tell about "The Troubles" while in Derry. 4-the walk with Declan from the Giant's Causeway up the cliff to the pathway along the cliffs. 5-Being on that little lump of land in the North Atlantic at the other end of the Carrack-a-Rede rope bridge. 6- Music concerts in Dingle at St James Church and the next night at the music store. Seven-the walk from St James Fort along the Scilly Walk to Kinsale harbor."

Karen

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fabulous and more than met any expectations I had about taking a Rick Steves' tour. The mix of scenery, stopping at the various locations on the tour and resting on the coach was perfect. We saw truly wonderful historical sites and learned much about Ireland and the history of this beautiful country. The hotels, B&Bs, and food were mostly excellent. The flow of the tour seemed just right - we were busy every day and tired at night, but not exhausted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many favorites, but going to the Aran Islands was just spectacular! Also, going to the Falconry School was very special and something we would never have done if we had travelled independently."

Ronald

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day was an adventure, no disappointments. Just the right amount of everything. RS slogan should be: put those little puppies to bed every night happy, tired and well fed (it works). Glad we paid att to travel light and be ready to walk. Learned as Americans we should be more humble, we are nothing in the big picture of history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aran islands Falconry school"

Peter

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very good pace and good casual style. The introduce your buddy event is a great start.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The music and pub life of Ireland. This was available in most towns and Declan was very knowledgeable of where the music was. The lunchtime play in Dublin was fantastic."

Carol

Kenmore, WA

Tour: 05/04/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved: *shopping was not featured. *tipping was not allowed. *opportunity to do unique things like the falconry event. *just enough free time. *Declan singing/telling stories on the bus. *the places we stayed...much nicer than expected. *the included meals-all delicious! *our bus driver-very friendly and able. *all the included things...more than expected. *people we met *pub/pub music The weather was much colder than expected. That wind & rain was a surprise. Did not love that!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No specific thing. It was all wonderful."

Shelley

Vicksburg, MI

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland exceeded our expectations! We really got a taste of the local folks especially in Dingle! Stephen was an excellent guide; he made the history fun and had soooo many stories to tell. We loved his crazy Irish humor! Dara was an added bonus, and a big bonus at that. He was also very knowledgeable and fun and very helpful with anything we needed. This was our second trip in 8 months and again we were THRILLED!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Dingle Peninsula drive along the ocean with views of the cliffs and green rolling fields. Dingle was my fav town and it was extra special with it being Dara's home town. The concert at Dara's Dad's music store with Irish local musicians playing including Dara and his Dad was amazing. There was a fire burning and they served us Irish coffee...it was MAGICAL. I also loved the concert at the old church in Dingle."

Janice

Coupeville, WA

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been to Europe several times.This was my first visit to Ireland and first Rick Steve's tour. It won't be the last of either. We were the first tour of the season so we got a few days of cold and rain but many more beautiful days. It has been 7 weeks since I got home and a day hasn't passed without remembering something delightful from the trip. Over the years I had seen enough pictures, paintings and films to know that Ireland was beautiful. Truly, I didn't have a clue until this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Highlights - Dingle; the town, people, music, history, scenery, food! I could have stayed there for weeks. The trip to Innishmore, the Cliffs of Moher, the School of Falconry and Cong, Dunluce Castle and Derry, one of the places on earth that I thought would never be blessed with peace but, thankfully, was."

Joseph

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Because Rick Steves was reluctant to tell us in a timely manner just when the actual tour would start, we incurred an additional two day's hotel fee. This was because we booked our flight on a "Best Guess" scenario through a discount booking agent. The discount was contingent on an early booking. Aside from that bad start, the actual tour was outstanding, with so many great experiences they would be hard to list. Stephen and Dara were outstanding, entertaining and were a wealth of information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to single out just one. The stay at Dingle would get my vote. There was an Irish music event, followed by Dara's father and two accompanists giving an excellent musical demonstration. The time just flew."

William

Webster Groves, MO

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was action packed. We had a tour guide plus an apprentice so it added to the overall experience having 2 great guides with us. The hotels were good overall, the food terrific, the bus well operated. The tour experiences like the falconry particip, the music concerts we attended ad hoc, the bque which was added were big pluses. Stephen was very entertaining and knowledgeable and told the funniest stories. Dara pitched right in and was very caring and concerned with everyone's well being.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The weather! There were several: falconry school, history lessons, crystal cutting, music, food, sheep dog exhibition, Aran Islands, Burren, Dingle Peninsula, N. Ireland and Giants Causeway, people on tour and the Irish."

Carleen

DuPont, WA

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Ireland tour was magical. The beauty of the land and the warmth and generosity of the Irish people really made our two weeks there an experience I will never forget. Tour guides Steve and Dara made us feel like family and by the end of the second day, the entire group felt like friends we'd known forever. The accommodations, site visits, meals and local tour guides all exceeded expectations. Each experience from sheepherding to hiking the Giant's Causeway was exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many possibilities here, some scenic and historical, and some from interacting with the people of Ireland. On the scenic side, the drive along Slea Head Drive was a true wow moment. The vista of the sea, the rocks and the fields was incredible. There are so many wow moments of interaction with the people, but one really stands out. In Dingle, Dara and his family arranged an Irish music concert in their music store just for us. They made us feel that we were part of their family."

Denise

Daytona Beach, FL

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this tour so far with rick steves or otherwise by far has been the best tour i have ever been on. i think what made the tour was steve the tour guide, he is outstanding and i cannot say enough positive about him. he brought the group of us together and it was enjoyable from the moment we met the first evening until we left the last day. i had been on another rick stoves which was great but this tour exceeded by expectations. i will continue to go on rick stoves tours, they rock.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"so many wow moments. the landscape in ireland is beyond belief. cliffs of mohr, giants causeway. its all good. the wow really was the tour guides dara was interning during this trip and he is excellent as well, he fits in perfectly to the rick stoves group."

Nancy J

Cheney, WA

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed everything about the tour. We had an excellent tour guide, Stephen McPhilemy, very knowledgeable and entertaining! We enjoyed getting to know both him and Dara Herlihy. Every day was memorable. Just being in Ireland was exciting to me as it was home to my grandfather and his family and many other Irish ancestors. I was overwhelmed by the history of the place, going back so far in time and in the most part a tragic history. The scenery was spectacular. The weather just right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting off the airplane in Dublin and knowing, I was in Ireland, home to many of my ancestors. "now I have tasted the water, touched the earth and smelled the heather, seen and heard the foxes and the birds. I have walked a little piece of the earth [the Curry family] once called home. We are not all dead and gone. Just going and coming" McCarthy Coyle. I [INVALID]ed my family name where the author had his family name."

Scott

Vicksburg, MI

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. The guides were both fantastic. Steven had great stories and Dara was very personal and friendly. Dingle was a highlight as Dara shared his father along with their music store which was a great homey touch. This is our second tour and both have been very well organized with great acomodations. We will be back on another tour soon and are recommending to all our friends and family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the Dingle music store and the drive on the Dingle peninsula."

James

Renton, WA

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very pleasant, informative experience. The tour provided a good variety of orienting us to the local dining, musical and informative historical experiences. The scenery was spectacular; varying from beautiful green countryside with a variety of sheep and other areas such as the Cliffs of Moherer, the Giant's Causeway, to medieval castles and pleasant villages. Like other Rick Steve's tours, I felt that it enabled us to really appreciate the culture, arts, and history of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hawk release at Ashford castle was my "wow" moment."

Linda

Renton, WA

Tour: 04/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I love the diversity of activities. Each day provided several different opportunities to experience the beauty and history of Ireland. I appreciate the free time to explore on my own. Would have preferred to spend more time in Belfast. While the visit to the Titanic site was informative and the local guide very knowledgeable in providing her personal story, I would have preferred to spend more time in Belfast learning about the "troubles" rather than being at the Titanic site.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to choose just one "wow" moment when most days had one. However, releasing the hawk was a truly unusual, as well as unanticipated experience. The music in Dingle was exceptional. Steve and Dara's ties to Dingle made the experience even more enjoyable. Being rescued by Dara when we got lost in a rainstorm late at night was a special accommodation on his part."

Dawn

Centennial, CO

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour, and I couldn't be happier with it. The sights visited were outstanding. I felt both welcomed by the local residents and intellectually stimulated by the quality of guides and the history presented. The bus we traveled on was excellent, and the driver, Dennis, was very proficient and careful on the many narrow roads we traveled on. What special memories I will have of this tour! Thanks so much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Giant's Causeway was my most memorable outdoor experience."

Nancy

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was so well organized that we were able to really appreciate and understand the history of Ireland,the people and the beauty of the land.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really loved the total experience....no one moment comes to mind, I will give it some thought."

Carolyn

Macon, GA

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is just gorgeous, even in the rain. This tour doesn't include everything worth seeing but it's a good start. Our guide was well informed and lots of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sun coming out and the landscape just glows. Unfortunately the Cliffs of Moher were socked in all the way to the bottom, but I can't blame that on you."

Carole

Kalispell, MT

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just when we think the RS tours can't get any better, along comes our guide and provides us with an unbelievable tour of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to enumerate, but perhaps it was arriving at the Cliffs of Moher (after 2 previous visits on our own) only to find them completely fogged in with not a single cliff to be seen. Declan, in his wisdom, provided us with a bit of Irish liquid refreshment, and let us wander or dine on our own. And before the bus was to depart, the fog had lifted enough to provide a pretty spectacular view of the famous cliffs."

Catherine

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was so full of joyful, historic, musical good times. Declan was an outstanding guide and didn't miss adding lots of extras to each day. I would go with him on any tour anywhere. His knowledge, musicality, and sense of fun made for a totally enjoyable time. Our bus driver, Dennis, was a miracle man as he guided that huge bus down narrow country roads. The group size was just right and there was lots of mixing and matching at meals and events so you got to know everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"An evening spent in the music store in Dingle for a small concert was so wonderful. We got to hear a true cross section of Irish music from fiddles to step dancing. I would love to be there again anytime."

J Patrick

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great time, great group, great guide, great driver, good weather other than the Cliffs of Moher, but our guide made up for it with an Irish toast with Bailey's Irish Cream in the fog and rain. Wonderful history and excellent local guides. Would highly recommend it to friends and family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's Causeway."

Priscilla

Mission Viejo, CA

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been to a total of RSTours and that in itself is a testament to the quality of these tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick only one big moment just like it is hard to pick the best tour. The giant causeway and the view over the Irish Sea looking at the not so distant Scottish Islands was quite amazing. I learned a lot about the country's history. Ireland is distinctly beautiful and the Irish people were very friendly."

Sally

Manhattan Beach, CA

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Accommodations were excellent, group meals were outstanding. Declan adds to the tours with his personality, singing and poetry, and his history talks are never boring but are completely informative. The local guides were excellent and such a good idea. It gave a different and refreshing flavor to each important place we visited. I truly felt I was listening to an expert each time. I loved the choices of places to visit, with a great mix of culture and nature. Outstanding in every way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very difficult to decide, but I guess it was the beautiful raw scenery on the drive to the Kissane Sheep Farm, and then the sheep dog demonstration and sheep shearing. It was so lovely and yet educational about the plight of the sheep farmers and the falling wool prices.The drive through Killarney national park was beautiful, and we finished the day with a wonderful group dinner at the Global Village in Dingle."

Michael

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Simply incredible. We saw so much more than should be possible, and upon reflection, probably have a much better understanding of the places and people we visited than had we just figured it all out on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While taking us through the country and building upon the layers of history, making it both fun, entertain and informative I finally feel like I have real understanding of Irish history and culture. When I felt that for the first time...WOW."

Bill

Kalispell, MT

Tour: 09/29/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

we had just a great time! We had previously been to Ireland twice prior to this, but this tour, and our guide made it very informative, well paced, excellent meals, and gave us a much better insight to Ireland than we had achieved on our prior trips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Answering this question for me is like trying to answer the question "what is your favorite country in Europe, South America, Asia" Each is a unique experience onto itself."

Robert

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our very first Rick Steves tour and our first ever group tour! We had nothing to compare to, so we took the tour with no expectations. WOW!! We loved it!!!! We loved our guide. We loved Bart, our bus driver. We loved having only 28 people on the tour. We loved Ireland. To sum up our experience.....we loved it!!!!!! :-)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many of our firends have already asked us this question and we've had a difficult time answering. We had many WOW moments. First, the scenery was breath taking. The Irish people were very welcoming, friendly and fun. We are birders and the trip to the falconry was an awesome surprise!!"

Marianne

Tampa, FL

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour far surpassed my expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to name. I loved the contrasting styles and experiences. One moment we were touring a castle and the next time a sheep farm. Outstanding thought process went into each step of the trip."

Jeanne

Tigard, OR

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

we were lucky enough to have blue skies and warm weather for much of our trip. We had a great group on our tour, a fun and extremely skilled bus driver, and a fantastic tour guide. We had excellent accommodations, fantastic food, great Guinness, and wonderful music ! Our guide, had fun surprises and had great recommendations for restaurants , activities and music. I had a great time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I surprised myself by walking across the rope bridge, and it was a once in a lifetime experience to "go hawking" at Ashford Castle! Not to mention having an Irish coffee in their bar."

Alena

Columbus, OH

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although this was my four Rick Steves tour, every day exceeded my expectations. From the beginning (with 70 degree sunny weather in Dublin!) to the end (getting pretty much drenched at Giant's Causeway), I truly enjoyed it all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"#1 was when everyone got to fly the hawk at the falconry. A very close second was viewing the cliffs at the Aran Islands."

Cherill

Lopez Island, WA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Much exceeded my expectations. Guides were knowledgeable and humorous. Accommodations were very nice. Food was wonderful and varied.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Falconry at Ashford Castle. Irish Coffee at Prince of Wales Bar."

Edward

Freeland, WA

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide made a great trip a sensational one. He was full of stories about Ireland. He told us the history of his Ireland, the politics then and now, and the pubs to go to to hear good music. The accommodations were good, the food above average and the bus comfortable with plenty of room.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry at Ashford Castle."

Robert

Tampa, FL

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep farm and Bushmills"

Roderick

West Vancouver, BC

Tour: 09/22/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We learned a lot about Irish history, especially as far as the English were concerned. Also enjoyed the music and the changes in style from the south to the north. Stephen was a very good tour guide with lots of interesting stories. An understanding of the separate cultures in Northern Ireland between Catholics and Protestants was eye-opening. Especially the drive through Shankill Road area and through the 2 sets of gates (still used from time) into the Falls Road area.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ashford Castle and the Falcon Centre nearby. Kilmainham Gaol with its history very good. Titanic Centre in Belfast."

Donald

Fayetteville, PA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole concept of small group, detailed balanced plans and a great experienced tour guide made for an excellent experience. This was our 1st Rick Steves tour not likely our last. Question can they all be this good...god willing we'll find out in the near furture. From other more experienced Steves travelers the food events and B & B's have improved, we were very pleased with both.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aran Islands and our brief time with the falcon."

Cathryn

Fayetteville, PA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first reaction is "WOW"! This Ireland trip has definitely tied with our first Rick Steves trip back in 2000 on the Best of Europe in 21 Days as the very BEST!! From the moment we all met our guide Berry, had introductions and got our buddies, everything started to click. It wasn't long before we were becoming life-time friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our surprise visit to Ashford Castle and to the School of Falconry. Learning about the birds and then having the opportunity to launch and retrieve our Hawk Mya was amazing. Also Kissane Sheep Farm. Overall, the sheer beauty of Ireland. Plus the Irish people. They are so proud of their country and history and that came through every day."

Sharon

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great experience! I kept thinking as the tour progressed that we would hit a boring or just a less-than-fantastic day, but it didn't happen. Every day had it's own unique aspect and the local guides' enthusiasm and passion made each stop come alive. Our guide really kept the group entertained and engaged, and he made sure to point out sites that had special significance to individual tour members, such as an ancestral castle or the shooting location of a favorite film.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very hard to choose just one, but I think the visit to the falconry school and feeding the hawk was definitely an unexpected and wonderful wow moment. On the opposite end of the emotional spectrum, Kilmainham Gaol and the Famine Trail were both incredibly powerful visits."

Bruce

Indio, CA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour, and guide, and the numerous sights and tours were outstanding. Ireland is a beautiful country, and we saw much of it. Accommodations were very nice, and the restaurants and meals included were among the best we have had on our four tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We enjoyed the Dingle pennisula, the sheep farm, the falconry/hawks, and the many pub crawls and music. All were "wow" moments."

Matt

Kent, WA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide! Great group of people! The tour was busy, with lots of moving and packing and unpacking and a bit tiring, but we saw a lot and did a lot!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was very good, and there were lots of great moments, but no single moment that I could identify as a favorite wow moment."

Steve

Adamstown Nsw,

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A meticulously planned and executed tour with a guide who never failed to create enthusiasm in his group for Ireland, its people and history. Excellent accommodation and dining options throughout the tour made life very pleasant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The opportunity to try falconry at Ashford Castle (Irish School of Falconry) fulfilled my long held wish to try this sport. It also connected us with a part of Irish heritage that few see or experience during their visit to Ireland."

Hans

Fayetteville, PA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First and foremost. Our guide is tied as the best tour guide I've ever had I've modified my concept of Ireland as a paradise to Ireland as a paradise for really tough people. From rocks in the west to troubles in the north and from persecution in the past to guarded optimism today, the Irish have to be strong in body and mind ... and stubborn as hell ... they are. And this tour let me see it all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots to pick from. Number one to me was the opportunity to experience falconry by retrieving, feeding and launching a bird off my gloved hand. What a rush! Second would be the Titanic memorial in Belfast although not enough time was spent there. Suzie Millar, the grand-daughter of a crew member killed when it sank, brought the experience to life. No knocks on the other wows ... they seemed to get better each day. I would not eliminate any of them."

Angela

Cedaredge, CO

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fabulous trip seeing a lot and learning a lot. It WAS a bit fast-paced and busy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to partake in "hawking" at Ashford Castle; and the cliffs at Dun Aenghus"

Brian

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent tour (our 7th!). Really did an excellent job of covering the history, economics, social structure and culture of Ireland. Also a very well balanced view on the situation with Northern Ireland. The scenery was terrific, and the falcon school was terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was Inishmore - a really fabulous day (might not qualify as a "moment", but nonetheless.... The falcon school was a close second - not something I ever thought I'd do!"

Carol

Delmar, NY

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was beautiful, the Irish people wonderful, and our tour group was filled with bright and enthusiastic travelers. Our itinerary never disappointed; each day was filled with new adventures, delicious food, and stunning scenery. However, our tour guide made the trip extra special. He made each of us feel well-cared for, while he efficiently led us around Ireland enthusiastically showing us its amazing sites and carefully explaining its long and complicated history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, but some of the outstanding ones were the visits to Inishmore, Giant's Causeway, and the Burren. I also now have a better understanding of the "Troubles", based on our visit to Derry and Belfast. (Unfortunately, the guide in Derry was very weak, but despite that we were still able to understand the enormity of what happened there on Bloody Sunday.)"

Donald

Delmar, NY

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was wonderful, and we felt that the tour gave us a complete experience of the varied places there. We never could have done as many things or learned as much if we had been traveling on our own. And everything was made so convenient for us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kinsale was really memorable. A charming harbor town with music in the pubs, a terrific local tour, and important connections to Irish history in general."

Larry

Cedaredge, CO

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again a great group of travelers ready for a "Rick Steves" experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconery experience at Ashford castle was amazing!"

Robin

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/15/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first group tour and we were wondering whether we would like it or not. We wound up loving it! The group was wonderful, we were always doing something interesting, Our guide was extraordinaire!! We like trips where we are on the "go" and this definitely fit our bill! We were given a small amount of time to do our own thing which was also good. Suggestions were given to fill our "down" time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the working sheep farm! Watching the dogs work was wonderful. We also learned about the plight of the sheep farmer. We also loved the small towns, Kinsale, Dingle, Port Rush were off the beaten path and lovely! Being near the water for much of the trip was great. Views were great."

Sean

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 4th Rick Steve's tour and everything was as expected!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Our day on the Antrim Coast that included Giant's Causeway, Bushmill's Distillery tour, and the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge. 2. Falconry experience at Ashford Castle 3. John Kissane sheep farm"

Margaret

Monterey, CA

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is only the second organized tour I have taken in my life, and it was outstanding! The hotels and B and B's were wonderful, and the breakfasts and group dinners were excellent. The VERY BEST thing about the trip was the incredible history and culture that our guide shared as we made our way around Ireland's perimeter. We were well-prepared for each stop on the itinerary. The pace was perfect, and our local guides were fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide surprised us with a stop at Ashford Castle, a mini-Versailles. Besides getting a glimpse of this elegant property, we had a falconry demonstration with the opportunity for each tour member to put on the leather glove and have Swift, the Harris Hawk, dive from the tall trees and land on our arm. The falconer was a young man who gave the most interesting talk about birds of prey. This stop was totally unexpected and so memorable!"

Denise

Holliston, MA

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I did not want to go on a tour, based on the experience I had many many years ago, but my husband insisted. However, I chose the tour and I definitely made the right choice. We are in the "active adult" phase of lives and yet at the end of the tour, I could have gone on for two more weeks. Handling our own bags (and not having to have them in the hall @ 6:00am) and having free time to explore was great! Pace was perfect! Food was great! Accommodations were comfortable and inviting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just one? Okay - I really enjoyed the School of Falconry at Ashford Castle. I approached the outing thinking I might just watch, but what fun in such a beautiful setting! Our guide was very personable, patient, and informative and made it seem so easy. I'm so glad I participated. My husband videoed my turn on my phone and my 2 1/2 year old grandson loves watching "Grammy and the Bird.""

Tom

Santee, CA

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was only my second Rick Steves' tour, and like the last one (nine years ago - Wow! That long!), this tour of Ireland was fantastic. I can't say enough good things about our guide. Her always calm, interesting, enlightening and fun commentary was a highlight. Our small group of traveling companions were great to be with. Traveling with others who embrace the Rick Steves travel philosophy is one of the best parts of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was just a brief moment on a trip filled with with many memorable events, but our unexpected visit to Ireland's School of Falconry was great fun - something I never would have planned to do on my own. What a thrill to hold a Harris Hawk!"

Patricia

Port Townsend, WA

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really loved our tour of Ireland. Everything was so well organized and seamless, I felt like a kid on a really long school field trip...with surprises around every corner! We were lucky to have a great guide, and a great mix of people. I didn't want the tour to end, and have been listening to music I bought in Dingle ever since.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was more than one. The falconry, getting to fly a falcon at that beautiful estate. The working sheep farm, and the surprise story teller at dinner in Dingle."

Chuck

Edgewood, WA

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Ireland tour was as fantastic as we had hoped – scenery, history, food, tour members, guide, bus and bus driver, and overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no single "wow" moment. It was all "wow". We especially liked the smaller towns, the countryside and the outstanding weather given that it was almost Fall."

Rick

Middleburg Hts, OH

Tour: 09/13/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time. For the first time in Ireland, this was the perfect tour. I am going back in March 2014 to my favorite spots.

Rick

Xenia, OH

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great, super, outstanding, everybody should go, our guide is the best ever!!! The history and culture were brought to life by the experiences, the music and our guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The swinging bridge, Dublin, the meals with the group. There are so many but our guide's stories and songs may be the best. I think Declan made the wow moments better!!"

Linda

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was very enjoyable. The combination of the natural beauty and opportunity for local experiences made this trip well rounded with not as much museum time as other trips we have taken. The country is beautiful, the locals were engaging and fun loving and the history is very interesting. Due to the timing of our trip we were able to see the local sports in action such as Hurling and Gaelic football.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I will never forget the day we spent on the Cliffs of Mohr and The Burren. The sites were interesting and spectacular. But what made this day my wow moment was the 60 mph wind gusts and rain that greeted us at the Cliffs and followed us to the Burren. It was scary and exciting at the same time. It highlighted the fury of the west coast weather that the hardy folk of Ireland have successfully endured. I also really appreciated the musical events that we were able to attend in Dingle."

Benjamin

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall tour was great. Good people and good guide. I believe the guide did not give a unbiased view of the "troubles" and the relationship between the Rep of Ireland and Northern Ireland, given that he was a "Cork man".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was looking forward to a "wow" moment at the School of Falconry, but for some reason we did not go there. I'm not sure why. Although it's not listed as part of the official tour, many people comment on what a great time they had there. Not us! The Giants Causeway and rope bridge at Carrick-a Rede were a "wow" dispute the weather."

William

Ellicott City, MD

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher"

Barbara

Bremerton, WA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Ireland and it was wonderful! I enjoyed the history in Dublin and the quaint town in Kinsale. The many beautiful old churches, the uniqueness of Giant's Causeway, and seeing and hearing the Gaelic music was great. I heard, but could barely see, a young man's feet tapping quickly to some Gaelic music. The Cliff's of Moher were awe-inspiring. I enjoyed the Aran Island of Inis Mor. It was interesting that the plants were similar to those here in WA.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the Cliffs of Moher. Declan gave us shots of Bailey's Irish Cream before our very windy trek up to the viewpoint area. The view of the cliffs was breath-taking. Four men and women from our tour group, hooked arm-in-arm, were blown down due to a large gust of wind. It was the strongest wind I have ever been in. It was exciting!!"

Nikki

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I discovered while on this two week tour (my first) that I had maintained an eroneous concept about the "tour experience". In the past my family and I had always researched and planned our own trips to Europe and I had looked at "those tourist buses" with some distain. I WAS WRONG! This trip with our ever-flexible, very versatile, talented guide was a surprise and a delight from start to finish! It could not have been better! I felt fortunate to be traveling with this group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Could not possbily isolate any one place or exeperience really. However an enormous surprise was the stunning beauty of Port Rush and the 55 Degrees Restaurant there with it's utterly breathtaking views. Will not be forgetting how it felt to walk into the dining room and have my breath taken away by those sights!"

Susan

Dallas, TX

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was everything I expected and more. The itinerary, transportation, lodging and staff met or exceeded all of my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Castles, Castles, Castles."

Alicia

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The quality of most restaurants. It was a nice surprise."

Edward

Xenia, OH

Tour: 09/08/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We really enjoyed our time in Ireland. The people were extremely friendly and enjoyable to be around. Our trip was well planned. An appropriate amount of free time was included.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially like our visits to Dublin, Kinsale, and Dingle. The provided meals were excellent."

Garry

Coeur D'alene, ID

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephen was an exceptional guide. His knowledge and passion for anything Irish was especially appreciated. I think I finally understand the "troubles." Susie was also exceptionally knowledgeable, personable and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was especially moved with the visit to the Rock of Caschel. It was certainly a "thin place.""

Roberta

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour of Ireland provides you with more than facts. It offers experiences you have never had before and will always remember. Irish coffee in Ashford Castle. Falconry-having a Harris hawk land on your leather gloved arm, eat the meat provided, and casting him off to fly. Live Irish music in small local pubs and church. Entertaining stories about the people and the Irish culture. Great memories!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow! Up close and personal with a Harris hawk. "Swift" flew from the tree and landed on my arm. I could really see his beady eyes, sharp beak, and talons. I love birds and now have a new respect for the Harris hawk."

Steven

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fun and educational. Nice country to drive through and friendly locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The conflicted history of the two parts of the island and how very recently they have been killing each other over religion and nationalism."

Jean

Front Royal, VA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome! Our trip to Ireland began a new chapter in our lives--Retirement! This was our first tour experience. Our Tour Guide; Assistance, and Driver, Bart created deeply memorable experiences that will be replayed in our minds over and over again for the rest of our lives. Rick Steves' personal values ran through the entire tour, creating a holistic experience of Ireland like no other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the thrill on my husband's face as he handled the hawk at Ashford Castle was top of over 100 WOW moments! Dave's was watching Jean's face as she walked through the historical farms in Killarney National Park. She so enjoyed talking to the folks working there."

Irma

Coeur D'alene, ID

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful experience! I loved the friendly people, beautiful scenery, fun pubs and great music. Stephen and Susie really made Ireland-both historically and currently--come alive for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many: music in the pubs of Dingle, crossing the rope bridge in the wind and rain, Bart maneuvering that large bus on those tiny country roads, and the beautiful Aran Islands on a picture-perfect day!"

Nancy

Moses Lake, WA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had not thought about going to Ireland until my In-laws asked if we would like to go on the same trip. I would have rather gone to Scotland and England, everything turned around once I met the people and recovered from my butt burning fight across the pond. My taste for beer improved with my first Pint pulled at O Neill's Pub along with their Fish and Chips. Thinking that this might be the extent of their cuisine I was also pleasantly surprised by many of the meals that we ate.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Killarney National Park horse cart ride and the BEST The School of Falconry at Ashford Castle. Loved meeting Colin the keeper and Swift the Hawk. Delightful experience."

Jim

Holland, PA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time. Our guide was fantastic! He was extremely knowledgeable and his personality was worth the price of the trip. Our assistant was equally informative and very helpfully at all times. I would be glad to travel again with your tour company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but the surprise visit to Ashford Castle and the Falcon ( Hawk ) flying was my highlight. The overall scenery of Ireland was also a wow factor but the background info from our guides contributed to the enjoyment of the experience. The local guides were also very informative especially Tommy in Dublin,Stephen in Derry and Sussie in Belfast. I also loved the island trip to Innsmore. It helped that the day was bright and sunny. We all overcame some incriminate weather."

Christopher

Wenatchee, WA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Our guide is great guide , very entertaining and knowledgeable. Bart was fun and much more interactive than drivers in the past, Very helpful when my wife and I became ill on the way thru Belfast. Our assistant will be a great guide in the future and was very helpful. this group had less interaction than past groups between group members, but a nice group of people. For instance most had breakfasts at separate tables ( though part of that was the way the dinning rooms were set up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the Burrens and felt a longer stop or stops there would have been good. Also the hawks were amazing"

Kevin

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time. I learned so much and saw so many great sights. The locals in Ireland where always happy to talk with us and our guide always had great recommendations. I would recommend this tour to everyone!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting in a small pub in Westport listening to local musicians play folk music. While they were deciding what to play next a local gentleman starting sing a wonderful solo ballad. Makes me smile every time I think about it."

Sandra

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I left our passports, my newly purchased perfume & my night gown in the hotel. They were all returned to us in the next town. Dublin, Kinsale, Dingle, Aran Island (Inishmore) were great. I liked the walled city in Belfast, city hall Wanted to spend more time in Cong. I hated Portrush, the stay was too long (2) nights. It should have only been a stopover on the way to somewhere nicer. I liked the Dunluce Castle and the Giants Causeway and the rope bridge. The Dublin Zoo, & Irish Museum was.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The howling wind, rain & cold in Portrush. The Indian Restaurant in Galway was excellant."

Sheila

Buford, GA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We could not have been more satisfied, in fact, the tour actually exceeded our expectations! While I am sure all the Rick Steves tour guides are professional and good at what they do, we were THRILLED and so very luck to have had our tour guide and his assistant. His passion for what he does and extensive knowledge of the history and culture of Ireland and Northern Ireland add so much to the overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The three days in Dingle were the highlight of our trip as we were so very interested in seeing local musicians perform their music for us all three nights. Our guide arranged musical events for us as well as he and his assistant accompanying us, which made the experience even more enjoyable. The Cliffs of Moher were breathtaking and we were also treated to a special surprise of Irish coffee at the Ashford Castle with a tour of the Falconry as well. WOW-how interesting for us all!!"

Edward

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We are still on the road with little time for open ended questions. We enjoyed everything we saw, the people on the tour. Loved our guides.

Elaine

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/06/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We are still on the road with little time for open ended questions. We enjoyed everything we saw, the people on the tour. Loved our guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Conomarra driv. Rock formations"

Keith

Austin, TX

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was everything I thought it would be and wanted it to be. The weather was great. We only had one day of rain and I enjoyed it. It gave us a glimpse of what Ireland weather can be like. I really enjoyed the education that I received in the history of Ireland and the music was fantastic. Also the scenery was breathtaking. The group was great and ours was the best as a tour guide. What more could one want.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but one would be the dancing at the Dingle Music Shop. Hard to believe a person can move their feet that fast."

Catherine

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic trip. Guide and Driver made the trip a grand one for me, my daughter and 24 others. Within the 14 day tour our group had become close traveling buddies-I say this because the tour members immediately began chattering without being prompted at the 1st meet/greet. Lodgings and breakfasts were alll good. I enjoyed our guide's historical discussions and his insight into the Irish people's thoughts and lives. I felt safe with Pascal's driving.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"2 favorites: watching dogs herd sheep at a sheep farm; learning falconry where each tour member took a turn with hawk Inca standing on our gloved arm before sending her flying through the air to land and return to another's gloved arm. Don't imagine these experiences happen on other tours."

Marie

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fantastic! The hotels and/or B&Bs were of very high quality, the meals we ate together were thoughtfully selected, and our guide was beyond superb! The itinerary was varied and well executed and the pace, while busy, not over-whelming. And the country is wonderful! People were friendly and helpful and it was very clean.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many were 'WOW' moments, but the first was the Dingle peninsula. It was there where I first truly understood that Ireland truly is "40 Shades of Green"."

John

Blacklick, OH

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour and based on my experience I would do it again. Small group, plenty of sites to visit and just enough free time made this memorable. Ireland and its people are wonderful. We had a good group to travel with as we all got along and everyone seemed to be very considerate of time and travel needs. No complaining/whining was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure I can pick out one wow moment. They were all wow as each one surpassed in a different way the previous one. I enjoyed the country side much better than Dublin though we spent several days before the tour in Dublin."

John

River Falls, WI

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well run- very good tour guide - accomdations where excellent to good - restaurant recommendations for group meals where very good. ideas for day trips and places to see as a group and on your own where very good. Good pace of travel - stayed in most places more then one day so we got to see the area well. Free time was well planned out - didn't get to much of anyone person on the trip - everyone moved around and made acquaintances well, no one took over the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery of Ireland and the people of the country where the wow moments of the trip. People made you feel accepted and welcome."

Bob

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the educational experience particularly. You think you know everything but find out you really are ignorant. We try to avoid pointing to one thing and then the overall experience pops out. The countryside, the people, the long history, small villages and each ones unique character. Our guide made it come together. The anarchist flavor in the murals in Belfast left me concerned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The human and geological history lessons"

Janet

Hobart, IN

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This Ireland in 14 Days was the best 2 weeks in our recent history. From start to finish, we were thrilled, and wanted to bring the whole group home with us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Do not publish this part since it would spoil the surprise for those on wonderful trip, but since my husband and I announced that we were celebrating our 60th year together (although the date is not until December 4th), I was allowed to carry the wonderful falcon, Inca out to the launching or hunting at the Ashford Palace Falconry. That was awesome for both of us, and at the end my husband and I were given an extra treat of sending Inca off with joined gloved hands!"

Richard

Fairfax, VA

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the perfect combination of structured activities and free time for me. The people on the tour were uniformly nice and friendly, but the nicest and friendliest of all had to be the guide and driver, Pascal. Both went above and beyond the call of duty in their jobs, so I cannot say enough good things about them. At the end of the tour, I felt that they were no longer your employees, but my friends, and I knew I'd miss them both a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a tough one! The Cliffs of Moher and the Giant'ss Causeway were spectacularly beautiful and probably my favorite places. But I was most wowed by our visit to Ashford Castle's School of Falconry, where everyone was able to "land and launch" Inca the Harris hawk."

Jo

Hugo, MN

Tour: 09/01/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fabulous experience led by a great guide and shared by a wonderful group of people. We got a great sense of Ireland, historically and culturally. Every time you turned around, there was another beautiful view or landscape.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"School of Falconry at Ashford Castle"

Douglass

Sachse, TX

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves' tour experience and I don't think that my wife and I could have made a better choice in touring Ireland. Our tour group was made up primarily of experienced tour participants with a smattering of first time tourers. The group soon became a fairly close knitted group and using a 'buddy system' that paired up individuals who would look out for each other through out the day's events brought people even closer. I do not recall any incident that broke that bond.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say that two added events produced the most 'wow factor. The first was the visit to the extraordinary Powercourt Gardens even though as a photographer I would have liked to have had more time there. The second was a side trip to Ashford Castle grounds and Ireland's School of Falconry. I do believe that everyone enjoyed the opportunity to handle a falcon and many had opportunity to repeat that process several times. I would highly recommend these two events."

Joan

Richland, WA

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a delightful tour. Our guide was very knowledgeable and it was obvious she dearly loves Ireland. The people in our tour group were all outgoing and friendly and we mixed together easily. Thoroughly enjoyed all the small towns, the geography of the coast line, and the green fields. Our needs were carefully attended to, the restaurants our guide chose for our group meals were first rate and the food was delicious. I would definitely recommend this tour to friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We went walking one evening in Kinsale; heard some "trad" music that sounded good so stepped into a crowded pub. The atmosphere was congenial and a group of older men were ensconced in a corner booth with their instruments. What wonderful celtic music we listened to for the next hour or so as we sipped our beer. That was the best little pub, that had music playing, that we were in on the trip."

Helen

Austin, TX

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. Our group bonded almost immediately. Our guide was very knowledgeable and fun. I enjoyed each day. Loved the walking and physical side of this tour. Really hands on, or in this case, legs on. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday had WOW moment or moments."

Tori

Austin, TX

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Loved meeting our fellow travelers; great group, nice and informative guide and bus driver. Very good to get up and go every day. Amazing history and resilient people of this ancient land of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Dublin, hotel location primo! Next best were Kinsale and Dingle. Wish we could have lingered longer. The Rock of Cashel & Cliffs of Moher were very special. Great trad music both in pubs and at a more private concert in a church nearby. Excellent performances by fine local musicians. Gorgeous Powerscourt and Ashford Castles. Falconry a big hit. Portrush and The Giant's Causeway was the best with the geologic formations of basalt. Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge a good confidence builder."

Diana

Austin, TX

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good itinerary for a "backdoor" type experience. A lot of variety in our tour considering we traveled over 1000 miles in two weeks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The isolated experience of the people on the Aran Islands. So much sunshine and good weather throughout the tour."

Susan

Camano Island, WA

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can honestly say that I had a brilliant time in Ireland! Part of this was due to the activities my traveling companion and I chose to do in Dublin before the tour began, but most of it was the diversity of the cities we visited and the many sites the tour provided. The bus was comfortable and the driver very adept in his driving skills and most pleasant socially.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The opportunities to hike offered me many wow moments! The many cliffs we hiked to were exhilerating! I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to hike on our own at Compass Hill above the town of Kinsale, the Cliffs of Moher, the Giant's Causeway, Powerscourt, on the Aran island and the Carrick-a-Rede area. However, I would have preferred more time to hike the Giant's Causeway especially."

Lucia

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This Ireland trip was our first tour with Rick and we found that every part of our tip met or exceeded our expectations. Traveling companions were all way fun, no grumps and lots of laughs were had as we went down the road. This group was alive and ready to experience Ireland. Our guide and bus driver are excellent professionals, providing security, safety, confidence and cooperation time and again. The placement of dinners on Steve was excellent as was the selection of restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1, The surprise session with the Falconer and falcon. Participating, learning, engaging with the falcon, terrific grounds at the castle/hotel. All in all, great. 2. The concerts and gatherings to enjoy trad music was a true highlight. Especially at Tommie O'Sullivan's in Cork and at the church the next evening. 3 The tour in Derry given by Martin, the first class tour leader 4. The time spent with Mary on the Burren, discussing the grave site, the vegitation etc 5. The Stone Circle."

Keith

Bainbridge Island, WA

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was by far exceeded my expectations in content, accommodations and food. This was not my first trip to Ireland. our guide communicated to all of us with respect, clarity, dignity and knowledge, all with a bit of humor. The guides at the "local" stops were very informative and personal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "wow" moments: Visiting the Ireland School of Falconry....and ....The lecture/talk given to us in Derry. Now that I think more about the trip, the last night dinner in Dublin was another "wow" for me."

Richard

Richland, WA

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I felt that we came away a whole lot more informed about Irish history and got to see most of the sights that we had hoped to see. It is hard to compare this with three prior Rick Steves' experiences considering the different countries, different guides, different group make-ups, and our own changing selves (as in aging). Hotels and provided meals were all very good, as were the local tour guides. I was also impressed with the Irish people who were friendly and helpful at all times, pretty mu

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many of the famous sights along the northern coast were quite impressive, but the "wow" moment for me was having a shot of Bailey's Irish Cream on my oatmeal in the morning - what a neat discovery that must be repeated often in the future! Another "wow" was a bunch of old guys sitting around a table in a pub and just jamming" with their Irish music - from their souls. Neat!"

Paul

Spring, TX

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was well organized; local guides gave an in-depth account of the particular subject. Choices of lodging and dining were excellent. Our guide was a delightful, resourceful and knowledgeable guide. She is a value to your organization.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visits to Derry and Belfast. As usual the press we receive in the states about Northern Ireland concentrate only on the bad. We were delightfully surprised at the enterprise obvious in both cities."

Penny

Spring, TX

Tour: 08/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Two weeks in Ireland was absolutely wonderful - our guide is knowledgeable, pleasant, organized, helpful - all with a sense of humor. The weather was unusually nice - only a couple of sprinkles the entire time, the food way beyond our expectations,hotels comfortable and centrally located, local guides knowledgeable and easy to learn from, bus comfortable, other travelers delightful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure I can pick out one "wow," - Dingle Peninsula and the time spent at the Blaskett Island Center was very intriguing! So many authors from that small environment! I purchased a book from one of the residents and look forward to a first hand account."

Donna

Orleans, ON

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The style of the tour was exactly what we were looking for, with the combination of group interaction and free time, and especially the many opportunities for active touring such as hikes and city walking tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to choose one! The breathtaking scenery on the Dingle Peninsula brought tears to my eyes. I loved learning about the history of the areas we visited, from ancient to 20th century events."

Susan

Redwood City, CA

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steve's Best of Ireland tour was perfectly designed for our first visit to Ireland. The itinerary included all of the key sights on our must do list. Having free time and longer than one night stays in towns led to personal discoveries we will always remember. Ireland is beautiful and we were extremely fortunate to have seen it all with the nicest group of people from across the United States and Canada.

Randy

Ft Wayne, IN

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide was excellent. He made the trip exciting with his knowledge and songs. The local tours guides were excellent as well. They gave context to the sights and helped us to understanding the history and signficance of what happened.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle with its musicians. We attended 2 unplanned music concerts and got to hear Irish musicians and an Irish dancer. This was great to experience the arts anc culture of the island."

Bob

Loveland, CO

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a very rewarding experience. Most contributed by the organization and execution of the Rick Steves service and guides. The other most contributing was the people that comprised the tour group, by design or accident the group was very congenial and compatible. The personalities were exceptionally well linked.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not a moment but a day..........in northern Ireland . Giants Causeway, the castle. and the other stuff organized for that day."

Bill

Boise, ID

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip. Not having to drive was a blessing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cliffs of Moher and all the quaint seaside villages. The village of cong was fascinating."

Kevin

Orleans, ON

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful opportunity to see and experience Ireland. I really felt that the journey was organized as a trip through this country's history with Dublin setting the stage describing the Middle Ages and Viking contributions then moving along to Kinsale to see how the events there set the stage for all that has followed. The final act was the visit to the North to see and learn of the recent events concluding with hope and promise of the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving through the West coast areas before and after the sheep farm visit. It was spectacular and scenic."

Patricia

Arlington, TX

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip. I had toured Ireland twice before on my own using Rick Steves' book and that has its own rewards but enjoyed new sights on this tour. Hearing the myths and history of the country made everything we saw (and heard) so much more meaningful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Maybe not a "wow" moment but really enjoyed the little town of Kinsale which was so much fun. Delicious food, lots of history, great guides, magnificent scenery. Of course the views from the Slea Head Drive and the Antrim Coast."

Marie

Warwick, NY

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall tour experience was excellent...more than we ever expected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite WOW moment was two. When our guide, asked us our connections with Ireland, if any, and I said my grandparents were born in Ireland and he responded "Welcome Home". WOW! The same thing happened with a local during one of our free times. It has been my dream to go to Ireland to honor my mom and grandparents and at age 72 was finally able to realize that dream. Thank you."

Jeanne

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a terrific trip. Loved it all. I have recommended your tours to everyone!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick one. Either it was Declan singing on the bus or a new wonderful geological wonder ( giant's causeway, the burren. the cliffs, the rock walls) the was something new and wonderful every day."

Richard

Shoreview, MN

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent group of people in our tour group. We did have some younger people, while most were retirement age. Our tour guide, Declan was outstanding. The tour days were full, but enjoyable and we had sufficient time on our own, to further explore areas where we stayed. We got a good history lesson on the people of Ireland. We really enjoyed interacting with local people, as they were very friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All the scenery of the countryside was spectacular, but the cliffs of Mohr were my highlight."

Susan

Burleson, TX

Tour: 08/25/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. I enjoyed it all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to say! it was all great."

Elaina

Hudsonville, MI

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our experience in Ireland was our very first trip to Europe. Our guide, Stephen McPhilemy, was the absolute BEST in my book and has set the bar high in terms of future tours we take. Our B&Bs were well-appointed, clean, and the hosts most helpful. We received our materials well in advance, which aided us in planning the few extra days we stayed. Dennis, our driver, was very helpful and accommodating. Overall, an outstanding experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The second week Stephen had a surprise for us: we went to Ashford Castle and had an Irish coffee in the bar. AND, due to a cancellation, we were able to go to their School of Falconry to take one of the Harris hawks for a walk and feed him...AWESOME!!"

Krissy

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Great trip. I did find a group of 28 a bit too large - difficult to get to know everybody.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giants' Causeway Kinsale - Kitty O She's musical evening was great, likewise the 2 musical nights in Dingle Dublin was great Northern Ireland exceeded expectations. Aran islands was a great day."

Jane

Selbyville, DE

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A memorable trip and Ireland is at top of my list of places/countries I have visited. This was my first Rick Steve's tour and it was far greater than my expectations. The lodging, transportation, food, sights, tour group members and Stephen were all superb. A beautiful country with friendly, fun loving passionate people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip was "wow" moments! But just the varied colors of green were breathtaking. I now know why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle."

Karen

Cedar Falls, IA

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour of sights, experiences, learning, and fun. Our tour guide, Stephen, was exceptional. Not only was he highly knowledgeable, he was a great communicator (story teller) and a funny, funny guy. He had us rolling in laughter on the bus. We thoroughly enjoyed this tour and highly recommend to anyone who wants to experience the essence of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our surprise visit to Ashford Castle for Irish coffee in their exquisite bar, followed by the falconry exhibit and opportunity to participate. On top of that, there happened to be a period movie or TV show being filmed on the grounds, which was fun to see."

Judy

Georgetown, TX

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My 14 days in Ireland with your tour was fabulous. From the itinerary, to the accommodations, to the great group of travelers and especially our outstanding guide, Stephen, I've never had a better experience. I'm terribly afraid this tour may have spoiled me for all future travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a special treat, Stephen took us to Ashford Castle for a mid-morning Irish coffee in the Prince Edward room - and a lesson in falconry. How unexpected and special!"

Gale

Rockford, MI

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephen McPhilemy, our tour guide extraordinaire, made the time go by on the bus with his knowledge of history, his Irish Storytelling skills, and his comedy. I'm afraid that all future tour guides will never reach the bar that he has set. Our trip seemed to be equally balanced between history, sights, and events like dog herding, and falconry, which we loved. Stephen took us right to the heart of Derry and Belfast, so we could get a true sense of the places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle Peninsula and Falconry. The beauty of the land, and the closeness we had with a bird of prey. Also the herding dogs, they were great!"

Nancy

Wenatchee, WA

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful, but tiring to get all those sights in that two week nutshell. Wish it could have been longer with more free days. Guess I should have stayed on to do a little exploring on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ashford Castle: who could resist Irish coffees, falconry lessons, and watching the actors, in period dress, on the grounds, for a film on Mary Queen of Scots? More than a wow moment....a wow day!"

Lee

Hudsonville, MI

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was great...thank you!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ashford Castle"

Constance

Fallbrook, CA

Tour: 08/18/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful trip because it had a perfect combination of all the important sites all over the country, informative, interesting and entertaining narrative from our guide, and surprises that were not on the itinerary. We have taken many guided tours with different companies and this is among the best we have ever taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moments are too many to pick one. They would have to include all the experiences along the way with locals in pubs where we heard amazing music, a music store in Dingle where we saw the Irish National dance champion and heard wonderful local musicians, and a "surprise" trip to the Falconery School at Ashford Castle in Cong."

Tracey

Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 08/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For me the trip was special because Rozanne knows people in most of our stops so we weren't just tourists but friends of a friend! I felt we received special attention/ care in most of our stops because of her relationships with our hosts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cycling Innishmore island! Number 2 - The night at Tommy O'Sullivans Bar. Great music and food! Great Local experience."

Cynthia

Ft Worth, TX

Tour: 08/11/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This being our first Rick Steves tour, we weren't sure what to expect. We've taken many cruises and like the fact that you unpack once, while you're out exploring, the ship is "home base". I wasn't sure if I would enjoy moving from hotel to hotel via bus several times in 2 weeks, but I've changed my mind. What a wonderful way to see a beautiful country and learn so much of its rich history. So glad it included NI. My overall tour experience was so amazing, I'm already planning our next RS tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several favorite "wow" moments, so I'll try to rate them. #1 - Cliffs at Dun Aonghasa World Heritage Site on Inismor, Aran Islands, #2, Cliffs of Moher, #3 Giant's Causeway World Heritage Site, #4 Derry & the Derry City Tour by Martin Mc Cossan about Bloody Sunday, #5 The School of Falconary at Ashford Castle, #6 Dingle & the Dingle Peninsula"

Katherine

Round Rock, TX

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Over the course of the tour we transformed from being a collection of strangers to the clan McSteve, for our leader Stephen McPhilemy. Steve insured we all knew each others names early in our adventure and how to use our free time wisely. Those two facts were key.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry. That was the experience of a lifetime. I realize that we were oh so fortunate to have this opportunity and it was just so hot damnable cool!"

Sue

Quesnel, BC

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have always dreamed of visiting Ireland and whatever I imagined Ireland to be was made 100 times more wonderful having taken this tour. I wholeheartedly embrace Rick's travel philosophy; lots of walking and exploring to met local people. I loved the variety of our tours' experiences; historical, cultural, physical, culinary, music, song and dance! The travel pace was great, with cherished free days! Our tour group was wonderful- like minded, friendly people who I will keep in touch with!

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Everything"-sounds to good to be true-but unless I was to group my wow moments into categories the list would still be so long. Meeting locals and taking their photos and hearing and recording their stories was a highlight and something I'm eager to put together. Walking to and from the Dingle races on a rainy free day was one "wow" moment for me. Not to bet on the races but to get close to the horses, jockeys and the excited crowds. I loved the variety of all the activities."

Neva

Auburn, WA

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I hoped it would be and more. This was my 8th Rick Steves tour and I keep coming back because each one is unique and I come away knowing so much more about each country and it's people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything in Dingle! The beautiful countryside, Slea Head drive, great traditional music, the great B&B with delicious breakfasts, the wonderful dinner at Out of The Blue, hiking to the lighthouse, seeing the Harry Clark windows at the Diseart Chapel and seeing the 18 yr. old Irish grand champion dancer perform at Siopa Ceoil. Also I was facinated with the Burren with all the different flowers, plants, and rock formations. I wished we had more time to explore it."

David

Lebanon, IN

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great tour. Our guide was a wonderful guide with lots of humor. Our tour group was also great and a lot of fun to travel with.

Kanene

Lebanon, IN

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was beautiful. Our guide was fantastic and the tour was full of amazing history, great unique experiences, delicious food and amazing scenery. Our fellow travelers were interesting, polite, well traveled and great fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I saw the stone fences with sheep grazing on the pastures and an ancient castle on the hill beyond. Doing falconry was a close second."

William

Attleboro, MA

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Ireland tour was fantastic! The tour itinerary was well planned and every detailed meticulously worked out. We were not rushed as adequate time was allotted for each stop on our tour. The tour guide was outstanding and one of the reasons the we had such a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment from the tour was the visit to the Ashford Castle and the School of Falconry. We started with an Irish coffee in the hotel and then had a presentation by the staff at the school of falconry. The highlight of the visit was flying a hawk and having her land on my arm. Our tour guide arranged this visit as an extra that was not listed as part of the normal tour. It certainly was one of the highlights of the trip that neither my wife or I won't soon forget."

Charles

Lebanon, IN

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed the entire tour around the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. With an entertaining and knowledgeable guide and a very competent bus driver, the trip was a breeze. Whoever ordered up the weather was our hero as we only had rain part of one day and a heavy mist on parts of two days. I expected to see rocks, rock walls, rock everything and multiple hues of green but I was just overwhelmed by them. The welcoming character of the Irish was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can you only have one? Dunluce Castle, the Rock of Cashel, and the serendipitous opportunity to attend a class at the Ireland School of Falconry were right at the top of the list."

Michael

Thorntown, IN

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day on the tour was something new and exciting. Our guide did an excellent job of keeping us informed and entertained while on the buss. He made recommendations about what and where to go for entertainment and food when we were free. Each town was different and exciting. Music styles varied at each town and pub. This was one the highlights for me. Each person on the tour was special and fun to get to know. We all liked different things and I learned to enjoy these differences as I got

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Kinsale listening to Big Lehum make music!"

Elizabeth

Oxford, MI

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was visiting Ashford Castle in Cong where we were treated to a hawking lesson and each got to fly Inca, the hawk, two times!"

Sandra

Philadelphia, PA

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations! My tour guide was absolutely wonderful. He was very enthusiastic, knowledgeable of the areas, the culture, the language, the customs, and was a great story teller and singer. He loves Ireland and loves being a tour guide; these qualities are so evident. With his guidance all tour members quickly blended together into a nice, harmonious group and looked after each other. Our bus driver, Dennis, was wonderful, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed all aspects of the tour, but one of my highlights was the visit to Ireland's School of Falconry and a hands-on turn (actually 2 turns) having a hawk land on my glove and then sending him on his way again. I was also wowed by the Giant's Causeway and also the rope bridge which I crossed. Due to my fear of heights, this was quite an accomplishment for me. Our guide explained so much of Ireland's history, including the religious and political situations that I wasn't very aware of."

Kathy

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful experience..... Just the right amount of scheduled and free time.... Felt we saw a lot and did justice to the places we visited. Got a real taste of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The school of falconry at Ashford Castle.... he had trained hawks land on our gloved hand and take off again.... very cool......."

Melissa

Attleboro, MA

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide "made" the trip. His vast knowledge, story telling and enthusiasm were superb. Our bus driver, Dennis was also fantastic. He was an excellent driver. The trip itself was a perfect "taste" of Ireland. We enjoyed the varied choice of cities and towns that we visited. We loved the varied Irish music that Stephen exposed us to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The experience at Ashford Castle with the falcons and the demonstration of sheep dogs herding the sheep were tour highlights. The Giant's Causeway was also fabulous! The Dingle hotel, Castlewood was the best! The breakfasts there were fantastic!!"

Edward

Portland, OR

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The itinerary - excellent. The right mix of old structures, scenic vistas, natural wonders, quaint towns, history, music, food and culture. The guide - awesome. Half the value of the trip is being with Stephen. His knowledge, ability to communicate it, his approach to travelling, how he handles the group and adjusts to conditions is the best money can buy. We really got close to Ireland due to his efforts. Singing on the bus and telling stories - priceless!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A "wow" moment beyond all other "wow" moments: The falconry session at Dunluce Castle. Steve was able to use his connections and his budget flexibility to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity to get both Irish Coffee and a falconry session at Dunluce Castle. That session was a fantastic experience, beyond any expectation, and a very special treat. It's very likely you'll hear that same thing from others on this trip."

Denise

Laguna Niguel, CA

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was great, but it was our guide, Stephen, made the places, the people, the history, and the music come alive! Plus, I can't remember having laughed so much in a long, long time. I have a history of being an inveterate solo traveler, but can't image having had the same intensely interesting experience if I had just done it on my own. Stephen was great in so many ways, and my trip to Ireland is one I'll never forget. Many thanks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our 'Surprise Visit" to Ashford Castle, and the Falconry School. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd have the opportunity to 'fly' a hawk, not once, but twice!"

Karen

Okemos, MI

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flying the hawks!"

Ronald

Norwood, NY

Tour: 08/04/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Magical! Well designed and excellently led. Tour guide -- and coach driver -- could not have been better. Beautiful countrysides, hills, mountains, seacoasts, lakes, wildlife, sea life, flowers -- and people! "Real" "Irish" music, in situ. "Living history"; after The Troubles (1960s-'90s), an example of hope for solving other world difficulties (e.g., Palestine--Israel). Outstanding lodgings. Delicious meals. Companionable and interesting travel colleagues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sorry: only one? A. In Dingle, the evening of music by Eoin Duignan (piper and whistle player) and others in St. James' Church. B. Dunluce Castle ruins. C. The dogs working at Kissane Sheep Farm. D. In-role interpreters, at Muckross Traditional Farms, Killarney National Park. E. Irish Coffee, leisurely, in sumptuous Ashford Castle -- and the raptor experience. F. Derry -- all. F. Lagan Legacy museum, on the M.V. Confiance, docked on the Lagan R., in Dublin. G. Great Blasket Centre."

Anne

Springfield, NJ

Tour: 07/28/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Over the past 34 years I have traveled to Ireland 7 times prior this trip. This experience was one of the best trips I have made to the land of my grandparents. There were numerous places I had never been to before and so much new information our guide and the other experts who lead specific tours gave us was a true bonus. We experienced the true feel of the Irish people and culture we wanted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was standing on the edge of the cliffs overseeing the Giants Causeway and looking out at Scotland. The sky was clear, the wind blew steady, and looking down at the hexagon pillars as the sea crashed upon them was magnificent."

Marshall

Springfield, NJ

Tour: 07/28/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour. Our tour guide and driver Dominic were great. The accomodations were all good and well positioned to city centers. The sites chosen on the tour were excellent. Generally one of the best tours we've taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really enjoyed Dingle. The visit to the Blasket Island Museum was much better than anticipation. Having a botanist to help explain the Burren was really great. The Giants cause way visit was exhilarating."

Margo

Frederick, MD

Tour: 07/28/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We travel lots of places in & out of the US without a guided tour but when we need more information than we would get on our own we would always choose a Rick Steve's tour if available because of the quality of the guides & the small groups. This tour was no exception.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After hearing the rousing story of Irish independence, I felt sure that eventually Northern Ireland would join the Republic. Then at breakfast one morning when we were discussing that topic the bus driver said something like, "They wouldn't want to join now because we're controlled by the Germans." Wow! how much more complicated & diverse it is-just like the US. Nothing is simple. Good to be reminded."

Charlotte

Frankfort, IN

Tour: 07/28/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. There was the right balance of free time and time with the group. The food was excellent and the places we stayed overnight were very nice. What a surprise to have such a big bus for only 23 people! It made the trip more relaxing. All of the tour members were considerate and easy to get along with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really liked the sheep farm and the Giant's Causeway."

John

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 07/28/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Ireland 14 Days Tour was well worth the investment and I heartily recommended it already to a number of my friends. The itinerary focus on gaining a real feel for the people and culture was extremely successful. I had no idea a tour could be so in depth and enjoyable in only 14 days of travel. I appreciated the suggestions to travel light and will try to encourage my family to do the same in their future travels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the Irish music nights in Dingle were amazing and the level of talent provided my "wow" moment. Gerry O'Beirne's guitar in the St. James Church and Billy Crosby's keyboard at the ? restaurant left me totally awestruck. Crosby's band had two singers that should be on the T.V. show "The Voice"."

Anne

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 07/28/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the tour and learned more than I ever could have imagined about Ireland. Declan gave us all of the info we needed to enjoy our tour. We had a congenial group and there was just enough "group time" and "on our own" time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It had been raining something fierce and Declan pointed out that the water was rushing down the mountainside at an unusually rapid rate. We made a brief stop at Torc Falls and it was wilder than Niagara Falls!!!"

Jodi

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 07/28/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide's vast knowledge and teaching background complemented the tour greatly and his storytelling was enlightening and engaging. The assistant guide was always so delightful to work with as well... happy and helpful and I loved all of the treats we sampled along the way that she passed out to us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Amsterdam, at the Rijks Museum, the guide there didn't really hold up her end of the bargain (she spoke too quietly and her descriptions of the art wasn't very interesting). When she finished, our guide stepped in and got all of us re-engaged and interested in the art, the artists and the history, basically taking us through the museum again. He was so impressive to say the least!"

Patricia

Otis, OR

Tour: 07/28/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was the star experience, of course, but our guide was so informative, and an excellent story teller and singer. He arranged some wonderful, intimate concerts featuring local musicians and dancers, and all of the arranged meals were delicious. On a couple of occasions during our free time he suggested locations or activities that would be of particular interest to me. Our fellow travelers were an enjoyable bunch--good humored, always on time, welcoming to those of us traveling singly.

Tim

Lithia, FL

Tour: 07/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour - got to see all of Ireland's top locations. Starting with Dublin and going around the island. Tour guide (Barry) was one of the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Especially enjoyed the Western and Northern coasts with highlights being the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, and the Giant's Causeway, and the Rope bridge."

Marcia

Fort Pierce, FL

Tour: 07/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Ireland tour was relaxing, informative, and fun. We couldn't have asked for a nicer group to share the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. The falconry, where a falcon followed our group through the forest as he landed and took to flight from each of us, listening to local Irish music in the pub in Kinsale was very entertaining as was watching the sheepdog demonstration. Renting bikes to go on a little excursion on the Dingle Peninsula was fun as well as just riding on the bus and seeing the changing terrain along the way."

Evan

Lithia, FL

Tour: 07/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fantastic as we had our tour guide and he did a fantastic job of making sure everyone was enjoying themselves and having a good time at each location. He also did a great job of keeping even some more lackluster, in my opinion, sites more interesting. Our assistant also did a fantastic job in Belfast when she explained the titanic incident that occurred near there and the site it was created and did a amazing tour of the city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giants's Causeway was the best moment of the tour as the view of the ocean was spectacular and the way the rocks were was very amazing it was fantastic."

Marie

Lithia, FL

Tour: 07/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour which I would recommend to anyone wishing to visit Europe. The Irish people were friendly and welcoming. There were quite a few tourists in Ireland, which I hadn't expected, but the tour did a good job overall in avoiding large crowds or mobs of tourists.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved Giant's Causeway. The descriptions and pictures couldn't prepare you for this unique location. I only wish we had been able to spend more time there and perhaps enjoy a picnic lunch."

Don

Fort Pierce, FL

Tour: 07/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scenery and friendly people of Ireland were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry demonstration at the castle was wonderful."

Richard

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 07/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour went well from the starting meet and greet till the farewell dinner. Even the weather cooperated except for the first few days being in the tail end of an abnormal Irish hotspell. Seeing the country from an elevated seat in a bus is much better than driving a small car always behind a tall hedgerow, even though we did rent a car for four days after the tour was over. The people were friendly and the food was much better than the expected stereotype of boiled potatoes and cabbage.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two actually. The 1st was scenic drive thru Killarney Nat'l Park with its 40 shades of green countryside, rolling hills, woods and pastures. We also stopped at a working sheep farm and got to see the border collies work and sheep sheared. Many of us remarked that this is what we thought Ireland would look like. The 2nd was after we left Cong and we stopped at Ashford Castle Hotel. While on the grounds we did a wonderful walk thru the forest with an actual falcon flying to each person."

William

Valrico, FL

Tour: 07/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Incredible guides made our journey through a beautiful and historic countryside a magnificent experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The story of Susie Millar's Great Grandfather had us crying in the Park in Belfast."

Nancy

Stephenville, TX

Tour: 07/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour! Enjoyed every minute. Excellent guides, especially Barry, pre-tour information, accommodations, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle peninsula, Murrin cliffs, and Linsale. Also loved the falconry demonstration at Ashford."

Trafford

Stephenville, TX

Tour: 07/21/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was even better than I expected. The country is beautiful and the history is very interesting. I love Ireland. I mixed some with the locals. Everyone was very friendly, great personalities, and great sense of humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dingle Peninsula. Everything about it, especially the scenery!"

Craig

Lenexa, KS

Tour: 07/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. The guide did a great job with a solid group of travelers. It was the right pace for a two week adventure. The highlights were the Cliffs of Maher, and our visits to Kinsale, Dingle, the sheep farm, the Famine monument, Westport, and Donegal. The lowlight was our stop in Galway: lodging was subpar and the music, from supposedly the music center of Ireland, was less than enthralling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning that Belfast and Derry are beautiful places and not the war torn places the media in America makes them out to be. We had a chance to visit the Titanic area (briefly), Queens University, the botanical gardens, and the wonderful market in Belfast and the city walls and city of Derry...places that I didn't know existed. I thought Belfast was just Falls and Shankill Roads and the marches and the bombs. Our guides made them places where real human beings live."

Dennis

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 07/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 6th Rick Steves tour and once again it was right up there with all the others. Another great group of people and an excellent tour leader.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dingle peninsula was maybe the favorite part of the tour."

Judy

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 07/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again(#6) a wonderful trip. Great guides, driver, food , everything. Just wish the trips were longer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Boat trip around Blasket Island"

Joe

Portland, OR

Tour: 07/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was memorable, enjoyable and educational. The individual stops along the tour were very well planned and made complete sense. Our tour guide was knowledgeable, caring and had a wonderful sense of humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite tour moment was listening to music in a pub in Dingle."

Glenn

Roseville, CA

Tour: 07/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great! We arrived Dublin two days early, and stayed two days after, so we could explore a little more on our own - so glad we did. Our guides did a fantastic job as Tour Leader and Asst Tour Leader - couldn't ask for better. The hotels were great as usual. Pascal, our coach driver, was amazing - I swear he could park a coach in my hip pocket and I wouldn't even know it was there! The weather was amazing, although the locals were concerned in that it hadn't rained in 3 weeks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't say there was a particular "wow" moment - mostly a series of insights and small joys such as a good pub, listening to traditional Irish music in Galway or Dingle, meeting interesting folks along the way, even if for a brief chat while on queue. Probably our most memorable were the Eco Boat Tour we took in Dingle on our own, and Stephen's guided tour of Derry."

Carol

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 07/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the second trip to Ireland, I did this tour five years ago with my husband and this time I took my granddaughter. It was amazing just like the first time. We both loved every minute of the tour and the group as always was wonderful. Great music, amazing guides, good food, wonderful accomdations , and this time the weather was actually a little too hot, but much better then rain. Five years ago we had amazing weather, but not as hot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the special extra things that our guide did. His singing songs for us, the one act play we went to in Dublin, the music in Dingle, the sheep farm and the castle in Donagal."

Nicholas

Kensington, MD

Tour: 07/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is fascinating and the 14-day tour captured its history, culture, and struggle for Independence. A memorable part of the trip was exploring Irish music by night while touring the Irish countryside by day. The tour guide and local guides made the trip most enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In our trip to Greece, visiting the Acropolis could easily be cited as the "wow" moment. Ireland is different. I found two "wow" moments. One was enjoying the local music scene in Dingle. Scores of musicians present wonderful music nightly. A few days later we saw the City of Derry and could feel the political and religious differences that have divided the city for years. Experiencing the division that is still so close to the surface can be considered a "wow" moment."

Susan

Kensington, MD

Tour: 07/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the overall tour, the variety of sights, scenery, music, free time, hiking. Enjoyed the group camraderie very much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a tour guide who sang to us on the bus! Ireland is kind of a combo wow--scenery, people, history, politics. Declan's ability to synthesize with humor and song put it over the top."

Gracie

Arlington, TX

Tour: 07/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ever since first reading (listening to the audiobook) Frank Delaney's outstanding book, Ireland, (2005), the Emerald Isle has been on my wish list, and I've been "preparing" for it ever since. After lots of reading, studying and thought, decided a group tour designed by RS professionals was the way to maximize the enjoyment. *****Our expectations were high! The actual tour exceeded our expectations!***** (Part of this will be repeated in answer to Q #16)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is not a fair question for this tour! :-) Too many to name only one! Simply soaking up the gorgeous scenery was a huge highlight[INVALID]and one (among MANY!) of those "WOW! Look at that view!" sites: everywhere we looked in the Connemara region... with a special callout for Cong. For a man (my husband) who's watched the John Wayne/Maureen O'Hara movie, "The Quiet Man," dozens of time, this was a special treat!"

Shannon

Jacksonville, FL

Tour: 07/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned so much about Ireland. Every place we visited was great! The food was great! Just an amazing trip all around! I have not one negative thing to say

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning about the troubles in Derry."

Ronald

Sherwood, OR

Tour: 07/14/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had seen several of Rick Steve's DVD's on Ireland and I'll admit I questioned if I wanted to spend 14 days their. However, everyone I had talked to about Ireland said it was a great trip and highly recommend we go. After spending 14 days in Ireland, I'll also admit, it was one of the best trips I've been on. The scenery is beautiful, the small towns have so much character and history, the pubs are lively and fun and the Irish people are extremely friendly and make you feel very welcome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Okay, my wow moment was the sheep farm. I couldn't believe how well trained the dogs were. I was also impressed with pubs, each village had countless pubs and all of them had some form of music, and yes I like Guinness. Then I really was impressed with the cliffs of Moher and could have spent hours exploring the area."

Susan

Boulder, CO

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought this was an excellent trip for many reasons. Our guide was exceptional. The places we visited were all wonderful spots. The only problem was I could have spent more time at every one of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several but I guess I'd have to say going "hawking" was the best wow moment."

Thomas

New Oxford, PA

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was everything I expected and more. The tour guide did a terrific job of running and directing. The fellow tour members were super. We couldn't do everything in 12 days of travelling but we caught most of them. Now it is time to go through the books and analyze/document what we saw and what we missed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single favorite. Kensale: the music provided by Riorden and Walsh. The tour by Don Herlihy. Dingle: the ride around the peninsula. The music at St. James and at the Music Shop. Cong: Ashford Castle, the Falconry School, and 'Quiet Man' locations. Derry: walking the wall and Peace Bridge. Portrush: the Giant's Causeway and dunluce Castle. Dublin; the historical sites."

Marsha

Omaha, NE

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I knew I would like Ireland the country and it's people. But what I didn't know was that I would LOVE the country and it's people. They are so open and welcoming. I would go back again in a heart beat. Not to mention meeting some very nice people in the tour group. I now have some new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to go to Ashford Castle and going on a Hawk walk. The experience of having a hawk land on my arm and being that up close and personal with that beautiful bird will be with me for a long time to come."

Frank

Pinehurst, NC

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the entire tour, especially the small towns and scenic stops. Our guide kept everyone entertained with his hilarious Irish stories, but we also got great insight into the sectarian strife that has troubled Ireland for centuries. We were blessed with warm and dry weather for the entire two weeks, necessitating purchase of some short sleeve shirts, since we came prepared for cooler temps. The music concerts and pub shows in Dingle which were recommended were memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The surprise stop at Ashford Castle and the school of falconry were my favorite "wow" moment, but there were plenty of others. The Antrim Coast was fantastic, as was Dun Aenghus on Inishmore."

Erica

Lloydminster, AB

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

14 days in Ireland with no rain! Who can complain about that. Ireland was everything I always imagined it would be. Green, beer, sheep and more green. The scenery just made our bus days so enjoyable. But its the people you meet that make the trip. Everyone is so welcoming. Having Irish ancestry, I loved seeing the whole country and learning about the past and present. I wouldn't hesitate to return and would recommend the tour to everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide - 100% made the trip for us. But seriously, sitting on the grass on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher people watching and soaking up the views was an amazing experience. Fishing in Dingle, watching the sheep dogs in action and doing the hawk walk were definite highlights of the tour. Overall I just really loved the coast lines, pub atmospheres and the Irish people. Such beautiful scenery all throughout Ireland."

Tim

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So well organized and thought out. Very pleasant accommodations and meal choices. Our guide was a very engaging and energetic guide and we had the great privilege to meet his beautiful family and share some personal time with him. Ireland has produced some of the world's best literature and it is easy to see how people could be inspired there. Very hearty people with lots of stories to tell.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The pubs and music on the south and west coasts. Incredible crack- Kinsale, Dingle and Westport. Great to see the music scene being supported there."

Bill

Stilwell, KS

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

It was a very good trip. The two weeks of no rain and warm temperatures helped. It was a good overview of the country. Our guide really made the tour a great pleasure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry school. Hunting with the hawk and having it land on my hand was something I would have never experienced without the tour."

Nina

Portland, OR

Tour: 07/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the best trips to date, with a total of 8 Rick Steves' trips Knowing little about Ireland's history, our guide filled us in on what's been happening over the last 500 ~years. He is a great story teller and fan of Irish music and he shared both with us. We are still waiting for the top 1-2 stories that he didn't tell.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I believe this was a unscheduled event orchestrated by our guide. We were ushered into the Ashford Castle, served Irish coffee(the best), and then trooped through the woods on a hawk walk. Everyone of us got to have the hawk land on our gloved left arm and have the hawk do a stare down with us. The walk back to meet the bus was beautiful."

Jacqueline

Nanaimo, BC

Tour: 06/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What can I say? This was our first RS tour, and it exceeded all of our expectations. We wanted to visit Ireland, the dates were right and off we went. From the moment we met our guide and the tour members, our experience was terrific! Wonderful people, exceptionally well organized tour. It was fun to stay in so many bed and breakfasts and have contact with local people. We both really enjoyed and appreciated the ample free time. I especially liked the 2 and 3 night stops in most places. Great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was when my husband (of Irish ancestry) put on his flat top hat and became an instant Irishman! He felt right at home in a country of red haired, pale skinned people. The hawk experience at Ashford Castle was another "wow" moment. There are too many more to mention them all."

Jeff

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 06/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This experience was a combination of fun and education, and a good blend of the two. As per usual with RS tours, we had a good group that was interested in history and culture (and food!). The total number of folks was a bit high for a Rick Steves' tour. Please arrange similar weather for our upcoming tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most memorable "wow" moment was our local guide in Derry (Martin) discussing "The Troubles" and his own experience. The most fun "wow" moment was biking on the Aran Islands in perfect weather, especially when some teenage tourist tried to show off and pass me on the upper road (hah, how do you say "eat my dust" in Gaelic)."

Michael

Rutland, VT

Tour: 06/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 5th tour with Rick Steves. So far I've completed the Best of Eastern Europe, Best of Great Britain, Paris and the Heart of France, Best of Bulgaria, and now the Best of Ireland. The guides and the tours have been fantastic, and I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every single one. This summer's tour of Ireland however was the best one yet!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment took place in O'Sullivans Courthouse Pub in Dingle the first time I heard Theresa Horgan sing. The pub was filled with a vibrant mix of tourists and locals. The boistrous crowd was joking and laughing and drinking, and taking pictures, and sharing stories, and ordering frothy pints of Guinness. The mood was a bit raucous but friendly and fun. Then Theresa began to sing. Within 10 seconds the crowd went silent. Everyone was just captivated by the sound of her voice."

Kathleen

Arlington Heights, IL

Tour: 06/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a good combination of locations and destinations. The timing was good, the guide was not only an expert with a great sense of humor, he had established relationships with many of the "locals" along the way which provided us with a few extra treats and VIP treatment. The tour left me with a solid feel for the country, history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After spending two days in Dublin we set out for the Irish countryside. My first glimpse of Ireland's beauty was a the Rock of Cashel. The rolling hills and push green landscape brought tears to my eyes. The scenery only got more magnificent from there."

Sally

Evanston, IL

Tour: 06/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very pleasant, unusually fabulous weather, felt like I saw a lot and was told a great deal of interesting history, well organized schedule, good food, enough free time, nice places to stay.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Music in the Irish Pubs."

Bonnie

Arlington, WA

Tour: 06/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed our tour guide as he was always going above and beyond to make the trip very enjoyable. He was extremely knowledgable with history and current events. The tour group was a mixture of many states in the US and they all had many stories to tell about families and travels. The accommadations were great and I loved not having to cook -great food and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably Kinsale as it seemed like a happy place. The colorful buildings Irish music, abundance of history, Irish humor."

Benjamin

El Cajon, CA

Tour: 05/19/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 9th Rick Steves tour. Each group we have traveled with gets better and better and this was one of the best. Our guide was knowledgeable, personable, and with such a good sense of humor that he could be a stand-up comedian. The local people are super friendly. Our hotels, country inns and B&Bs were all charming, well managed, clean and centrally located. We learned much of Ireland's history from ancient times through the current day(without taking sides in todays "troubles").

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In our free time we visited many of the local music pubs. This by itself was worthy of a separate tour if one could be arranged. Stephen is also a musician and introduced us to several performers."

Clyde

Coupeville, WA

Tour: 05/19/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It exceeded my expectations and was good to gain a deeper sense of the deep and complicated history of Ireland's influence on the world's cultures. Our guide was the perfect guide in every sense.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It has to be the Giant's Causeway for the geology, and the thousand-year-old Church in the Dingle area. One of the " WOW" moments was the personal lesson and then the experience of actually handling a falcon; a real surprise and the perfect ending of a perfect day!"

Albert

Durham, NC

Tour: 05/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Ireland was great from beginning to end. Our driver ,Pascal, was superb. He was a wizard at guiding our coach over narrow roads and through tiny passages. Having had motion sickness all my life I was so thankful for his driving skill.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I guess my "wow" moment was the Giants Causeway . The scenery there and on the Dingle Peninsula was incredible."

Weather

Ireland / Dublin

Dublin Weather

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Dublin before your tour begins, use Rick Steves' Ireland guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try a pint in a cozy pub, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Dublin that we will not be doing as a group: Hop-on/Hop-off bus tour; National Museum; National Gallery; Dublin Castle; Dublin Writers' Museum; Guinness Brewery and Gravity Bar. You may also enjoy visiting the Brú Na Bóinne archaeological site, home to the Newgrange burial tomb (shuttle bus available from Dublin). For complete details, see your Rick Steves Ireland guidebook.

Transportation

Most tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

Dublin is a major transportation hub, making additional travel before or after your tour quite easy. As many flights connect through London, a quick visit is easy to add just before or after your Ireland tour. Both Rick Steves' Great Britain and Rick Steves' London guidebooks have London sightseeing, hotel, and restaurant suggestions.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips and decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

If you need more information about additional European travel or for specific questions about your tour, contact the Tour Department at 425/608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Ireland: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Packing

For ideas on what to pack, check Rick's Packing List and our Women's Packing List.