• 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! 

Dates & Prices

Sorry, we're unable to access departure availability at this time. Please try again later or contact us at 425-608-4217, Monday-Saturday between 9 am and 5 pm.

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 28 group sightseeing events • Dublin walking tour • Trinity College • Book of Kells • Powerscourt Gardens • Rock of Cashel • Kinsale walking tour • Charles Fort tour • Sheep farm tour • Crystal cutting demonstration • 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 Aenghus 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 2015
  • 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 “Welcome to Ireland” 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: Rock of Cashel

On our way out of Dublin, we’ll stop at Powerscourt, home to Ireland’s best aristocratic gardens. After visiting the expansive estate, we’ll continue on to the green Plain of Tipperary where 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, group 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 start our day with a crystal cutting demonstration from a master craftsman, then 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, group 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, marveling 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. Then we’ll tour the romantic, cliff-top ruins of Dunluce Castle. 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

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today.  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

Elizabeth

Temecula, CA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. Beautiful scenery and nature once you leave dublin. On about day 11, I stopped listening to Stephen, as I was overwhelmed with history and dialogue. Will recommend the trip to everyone I talk too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the falcons sacuary. I have never experienced anything like that in my life."

Barbara

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our group of 18 included very nice people all. No complainers or people making us late. We all enjoyed looking at the scenery out of the windows of the bus and hearing about the history of Ireland. We shared lots of laughs. It was a whirlwind of many sights in 14 days, and I had to quickly write down the details of each day before I forgot them! I got a great overall look and feel of Ireland and now if I want to go back, I'd know which were my favorite places that I need to spend more time in

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have been thinking about this question throughout the trip! I think I best loved seeing the border collies shepherding the sheep, flying the Harris hawk at Ashford Castle, and walking around the Giant's Causeway. The scenery of the rolling hills and fields of Ireland, as well as the rugged coastline will stick in my dreams for years to come. I also loved talking to and watching the Irish people. They were so friendly and made listening to the glorious music in the pubs even better!"

Tom

Van Nuys, CA

Tour: 10/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

First Rick Steves tour and first time to Ireland. Covered a lot of ground but saw most major sites/attractions, and some we'd not known of. Great job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to identify a favorite. Our tour group of 18 was a Wow ! Everyone was friendly and we enjoyed each others' company and camaraderie. Ashford Castle School of Falconry, because it was unique, and was an interactive experience as opposed to just viewing something. Guidebook history and our guides bring out how relatively small kingly conflicts and interests in Ireland and England, and their outcomes, have so influenced the course of history in later centuries."

Lynn

Kelowna, BC

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We have been to Ireland before on our own. We felt we needed to return and going on this tour was a great idea. We got to see the real beauty of Ireland and understand the history of the country. The sites we saw were amazing. We had wonderful experiences, for example. The coast guard doing a helicopter rescue exercise on the ferry coming back from the Arran Island. I know Rick didn't arrange this but it was fun all the same. So these are a few of the great moments of the tour. I

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Belfast was one of my WOW moments. Seeing where them Titanic was built and standing on the site. The young lady who gave the tour had a personal family connection with the building of the Titanic and that made it very special to hear her story."

Karen

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fabulous tour! A huge thank you to Dara for creating such a wonderful experience. His love and in-depth knowledge of Ireland - the people, music and land - came through on a daily basis. He provided just the right amount of guidance, honoring the fact that we were all expert travelers and didn't need to be hovered over at every moment. We were fortunate to be on a tour of only 16 travelers. It provided the opportunity to get to know and appreciate everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no one favorite, as everyday brought new learning about the country. We loved Dingle and the Music Shop and Crystal Demonstration, the School of Falconry was totally wonderful!"

Frederick

Kelowna, BC

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our 3rd Rick Steves tour and as with the others we were not disappointed. It was different in many ways than the others in that it took in more of the Irish countryside and ruins rather than churches/museums which suited me just fine. The timing of our moves to the next location were just about right although looking back it would be nice to spend more time in some of the places just to go and explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably going to Belfast to the site of the Titanic shipyard. Susie, the local tour guide was fantastic with her knowledge and speaking ability and the fact that her Great Grandfather worked on the Titanic and perished on it just made the experience feel so very real."

Philip

Salem, OR

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dana and I have relied extensively upon Rick's guidebooks for trips to Italy in 2006, to Germany, Austria and France in 2998 and to the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary in 2011. Part of the fun has always been to try to "out-Rick Rick", that is, to have authentic back door experiences but to spend even less money than it appears Rick would have done. But we ran out of time to do this, hence we chose the tour, which exceeded our every expectation. We'll be back for more!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Discovering Dingle and its environs. Guide Dara resides there, so there's no question that he leaned towrd giving us a Wow there. But it is inherently a Wow. Music show at the Dingle music shop was outstanding, as was the gin ice cream at Murphy's. B and B was the best accommodation on the tour, and the peninsula drive was breathtaking."

Pat

Port Townsend, WA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were so lucky that we didn't get too much rain. We saw a lot we hadn't seen on our own, 6 years before--sheep dogs, falconry, Powerscourt Gardens, Rock of Cashel, all of Northern Ireland, and much more. We loved Kinsale and Dingle (especially the Heaton Inn).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although we've seen sheep dog trials before at Scottish Games, we've never seen a dog working on a steep rocky hill as much as a half mile away! But my favorite moment was the falconry--I would LOVE to have my own hawk!"

Patricia

Newbury Park, CA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip by far exceeded my expectations. Dara our tour guide and Pascal our driver were both very friendly and since our group was so small, only 16 total, we got the opportunity to talk to them and learn more about their parts of the country and family life. Dara had many unplanned surprises for us including a trad music session in his fathers music shop in Dingle.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were quite a few "Wow" moments, but tied for first would be the Falconry School at Ashford Castle where we got to catch and release a hawk and walking a cross the Carrick-a-Rede Bride on the Antrim coast. The view was awesome."

Anne

Port Townsend, WA

Tour: 10/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good variety of activities, excellent weather, good company and an excellent guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Falcon Center"

Mary

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second tour of Ireland with your company and it truly was fantastic. Our guide Susie was amazing in many ways. She consistently focused on how to help our great traveling group make the most of our time, gave great insight and history of Ireland and amazed us with her knowledge and experience with the Titanic. The group I traveled with was exceptional and I will miss them so much. We all seemed to meld together and had great fun at every stop.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The weather was amazing. Loved Seamus the Irish wolf-hound."

Mary

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was terrific. Great people, great guide, great food, great accommodations, beautiful scenery and a great variety of things to do and see. I thought it was a perfect mix of group time and free time with lots of recommendations given by our guide for places to eat and things to see during our free time. The selection of sights and local guides were also wonderful. I am so happy that the tour included Northern Ireland as well as the Republic of Ireland as it was beautiful.

Sara

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I loved the tour; it was the experience of a lifetime. I loved Susie, the local guides were wonderful, and I fell in love with Ireland and the Irish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher."

John

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. Virtually everything we did was worthwhile. A good balance between group activities and personal tour time. It was well organized; the hotels were good as were the meals. We were very lucky to get good weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was at the sheep farm in the mountains. It was a beautiful setting and watching the dogs herd the sheep was great. The talk by the owner was very touching about their struggle to economically survive the low price of wool after several generation."

Louise

Omaha, NE

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Ireland and first "land Tour". The trip was wonderful and I can see another Rick Steve's tour in the future. Susie,our guide,was exceptional with her historical talks and connection to the Titanic. Our tour group bonded together well and that made the tour very special. Joe,the driver added another special component to the trip with his cheerfulness and banter. The scenery was impressive and the people so very friendly. Overall a great tour!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually when we got home, people asked us about our favorite part of the trip and that is very hard to answer. ALL of the trip was our favorite! The one WOW moment that stands out was the Ashford Castle Falconry School. It was exciting to have the falcon come to my gloved arm and feed. That experience stands out. Also the trip to the Titanic shipyard was special because of Susie's talk about her great-great-grandfather's connection to the ship."

Michael

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent experience. Traveled to so many highlight sights on a tour of the perimeter cities and tons of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Too many highlights to be selective. traveling with a well matched set of fairly like-minded tourists. Led by a smart, well informed, sensitive tour guide, who seemed to know exactly what the sensitivities and preferences were of each person on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing and hearing Seamus Begley, renowned Gaelic singer and musician (two-button accordion) in the "Music Store" in Dingle. It was a last-minute arrangement that our tour guide (Susie Miller) set up with the proprietor of the Music Box Store. Hearing Begley was, for me, the highlight of the trip."

Ellen

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt the tour was well put together. It covered lots of interesting places and the lodging were very nice. Our bus driver, Joe, was a great driver but also a added a great personality to our group. The highlight of our tour was our tour guide, Susie Millar. I thought she was pretty objective in presenting the history of Ireland, and in explaining the "troubles" and religious and political difficulties that the Irish have faced. She was always pleasant, witty, and considerate of everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the tour of the shipping yards in Belfast was my "wow" moment. Susie Millar added such a personal touch as her grandfather had help build, and then gone down with, the Titanic. We saw his name on the plaques, held the two pennies her father had received from her grandfather before sailing, and then had the opportunity to purchase the book she wrote about his story."

Elsie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great experience, the tour was well planned giving us a first class understanding of the sites we visited. We had a good group with similar interest and friendly manner. Towards the end, however, we were tired of going in and out of the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the beauty of the Dingle Peninsula."

Lawrence

Canyon Country, CA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again, a great tour experience! Irish history and culture exude from Stephen. A great way to become acquainted with the land, lore of and people of the Emerald Isle.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to select just one. Ashford Castle School of Falconry and Giant's Causeway are at the top of my list."

Barbara

Goleta, CA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was seamless from meeting to leaving. The tour guide was incredible - his humor, knowledge, leadership, camaraderie, professionalism and follow-through was the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning about Ireland through the eyes of a native. I left the trip with an urgency to track down my roots in the hope they would be Irish! Also the scenery on the northern coast."

Glenda

Burlimgame, CA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Stephen was the one that made the trip. Ireland reminded me a lot of Northern California coastline and Oregon and Washington coastline. When it's clear and sunny it's beautiful. Dublin is a vibrant city and where you hear lots of music and where people enjoy their team sports and friendly and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was at Westport in Matt Molloy's Pub. Where they were playing music, a group of musicians taking turns singing, playing guitars, electric guitars,drum and flutes. Singing Irish folks to Elvis Presley and everyone singing along. Tour of the Valley of the Boyne with Mary Gibbon's . The day before the tour started I saw NewGrange with Mary Gibbon's tour.It started me off on the trip to understanding Ireland."

Kitty

Tahoe Pines, CA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Was very lucky to have Stephen as tour guide...he added so much to our understanding of the country, it's history and politics...as well as the traditional music. The places we stayed were really nice....local guides were interesting and everything was done efficiently and well...with good humor too. I had been a little worried about the 'strenuous' events as I have a new hip and am also 80 years old....but....piece of cake. Anyone my age, not decrepit, can handle the rope bridge and long walks

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While the countryside was gorgeous and the scheduled stops and events excellent in every way....my favorite thing about the trip was the guide 's on-going commentary, explanations and chatter....as well as his singing! I was floored by the friendliness, helpfulness and general niceness of the Irish people...so experiencing IRISH was the best thing for me."

Vern

Springfield, VA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw a lot of Ireland and the weather actually cooperated. Ireland is the friendliest country I have ever visited; the people were marvelous. This is the first tour we have been on and it was made thoroughly enjoyable by Stephen and Dennis and thr Rick Steve's policies. We were entertained, enlightened and well cared for throughout the tour. We are so impressed, we are contemplating future Rick Steve tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pubs and music. Stephen always steered us well."

Pamela

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Ireland was full of sites and history, very well organized. Our tour guides were fully knowledgeable and our B&B hosts were warm, welcoming and helpful! The people of Ireland are fun-loving and friendly. Our whole tour was fantastic!

Kristine

Belmont, CA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great way to experience Ireland! Tour was so comprehensive, Stephen an outstanding, conscientious guide, we learned so much history, folklore, stories, and culture from him, lovely accommodations/meals, and we were able to do far more with this Tour than traveling on our own. With just 27 travelers in our group, we got to know everyone and feel like family. Plus this tour was just plain fun, thanks to our terrific guide Stephen McPhilemy !

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Time spent experiencing the Cliffs of Mohr, Giants Causeway, and Rope Bridge, plus walking the Peace Bridge in Derry...so special."

Joseph

Green Bay, WI

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Pleasant sites, tour bus, accomadations and tour guide. This was our first Rick Steves or any tour. We will take another in 2015. Quite impressed with the entire experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Falcon exhibit"

Gerald

Belmont, CA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. I received a comprehensive picture of Irish history, culture and people. Much of this was due to our very capable guide, Stephen. He was on top of everything from answering questions on where to eat lunch to the deeper issues relating to Ireland's struggle for freedom. He introduced us to Irish folk songs by leading us in singing on the bus and we were well primed for fun times in the pub. His stories were excellent and a highlight. It was a fun, unforgettable trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorites: Ashford School of Falconry, Cliffs of Moher, Derry, Irish music especially Big Liam and Tiny Ger."

Thomas

Glenview, IL

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephen was outstanding. It appears as if he knows EVERYONE in Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was my third trip to Ireland and everything was a "wow" moment (except for the Aran Islands). The trip to the Aran islands was a bust. Cancel that part of the trip and substitute a trip to Kylemore Abby instead."

Robert

Monterey, CA

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We saw and did just what we wanted out of this tour. Stephen was a wonderful guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Doing the 'Falcon Birds""

James

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 09/28/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the people we traveled with and Stephen is an outstanding guide. I enjoyed the history we learned. I feel I have a much better understanding and appreciation of Irish History. Stephen's history background, ability to weave a tail, and sense of humor made the time in the bus fun. The planning for the trip took us to outstanding scenery and gave us a great overview of different parts of Ireland. I also liked the size of group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The exposure to Irish music in Dublin, Kinsale, and Dingle."

Kathleen

Ames, IA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel that I was able to experience Ireland through all the senses-seeing the beautiful landscapes and shorelines; feeling the wind, rain and sunshine, and walking on and touching incredible geological formations; tasting delicious seafood and soups and lots of potatoes; smelling the freshness of the air and the wonderful whiskey aroma at Old Bushmills; and hearing delightful Irish music, both traditional and current, on the bus and in person in pubs and at concerts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lying flat on my stomach and looking over the cliff at Dun Aengus on Inismore Island, watching the waves crash against the rocks and seeing all the beautiful shades of blue in the water: the magnificence of nature!"

Stephen

Parker, CO

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, amazing guide (Declan), helped me understand the Irish culture, turbulent past, very fun side trips like falconry and sheep dogs. Food was fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giants causeway."

Frank

Long Valley, NJ

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is my third Rick Steves tour in 3 years. I just love traveling in small groups.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the food in Dingle, Ireland."

Sally

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the huge dose of Irish history, culture and music we got on tour. There are so many things that will always stand out in my memory -- the awesome countryside kept me glued to a window on all our drives. I had studied quite a bit of Irish history in preparation for the trip and the places we visited did a lot to cement the knowledge in my head. I have usually thought of more exotic places offering a great experience, but no more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "hawk walk." Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected to be that close to a hawk and not be terrified by the experience."

Darrell

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day in Kinsale and hiking back from the fort on the bay."

Peggy

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent as usual with the Rick Steve's group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to work with a live hawk was incredible plus the play at Beweleys in Dublin."

John

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, it met all my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the beautiful green countryside."

Jane

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing!! Even better than I expected. I really don't know where to start. The scenery, the food, the people, the history, the stone walls, the sheep.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but one that really stands out is the lunch theatre at Begley's. The actress, Hilda Fay, was amazing. This was such a totally unexpected experience. One other moment(s) was Declan's singing... it was delightful."

Donna

Paradise Valley, AZ

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was probably seeing the Cliff's of Moher, but it's hard to pick just one moment."

Walt

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/26/14

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

Dingle and the southwest corner was great but the last week could have been eliminated. Belfast was definitely a downer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is the first time in ten tours that there was no "wow" moment."

Sharon

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Far exceeded my expectations. Dara brought such pride, knowledge and enthusiasm to every day. Our small group of 20 hardy souls, quickly became friends. Our delightful, talented, amd professional coach driver, Pascal Fitzpatrick, kept us safe and always on schedule. A trip to long remember.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The folk music night at The Dingle Music Shop was magical. Poetry, music, and story-telling made for a truly unique Irish experience."

Edward

Olmsted Falls, OH

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed the tour very much. This was my 2ed your of Ireland. On the 1st tour in 2002 we used Rick's tour book and went on our own for 3 weeks. We loved it but this time we did not have to do the driving and we had great guides. We also met nice people to tour with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dingle scenic tour was outstanding."

Jay

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time for us on a guided tour: the experience was beyond our expectations. All elements of the tour were excellent. The tour guide,Dara, was efficient, entertaining, helpful and fun! The selection of tour stops and sites to visit were outstanding. We particularly enjoyed learning the historical aspects of the places we visited: the local guides (and Dara) made the information come alive. The tour schedule provided just the right combination of planned activities with individual free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many 'wow' moments; but the most emotional one was the walk around the Derry city walls. Our guide, Martin McCrossan, brought home the impact of the "Troubles" (Northern Ireland Conflict) and the progress that has been made by the people of Northern Ireland to resolve their differences."

Robert

Warrenton, OR

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've wanted to go to Ireland for 30+ years. This was a great, no stress trip, well organized, well paced, with a great group and tour leaders/drivers/guides. Probably the best vacation of my life. Well worth the extra money (and from talking to others who have gone with other tour groups, it probably worked out to actually costing less in the long run, due to all the costs NOT covered with non-Rick Steves tours). Fantastic trip and people!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one. But we really loved the music in Dingle. Our tour guide, Dara, really did a great job of providing lots of opportunities to experience the traditional music, and the evening of music, stories, and poems from local folks at his Dad's music shop was a real highlight!"

Rebecca

Seaside, OR

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flying a falcon"

Andrew

Kennett Square, PA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The countryside and the history was fascinating. We appreciated the connection that was made in our stops with the local cultures and seeing the beauty of Ireland. We enjoyed the musical Pub Crawl and the live music almost everywhere we travelled. Dara provided local information that made us feel comfortable when we explored the towns. This is our second trip with Rick Steve's tours and we have tried other touring companies and they do not compare.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many and it's difficult to pick between views in the countryside and the culture. I was impressed by the Giant's causeway but enjoyed exploring the centuries old buildings."

Jacqueline

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my first Rick Steves tour. I am very pleased and impressed. It was a great trip! We had a super lead tour guide, an incredible good bus driver, great local guides, good hotels accommodation and restaurants. The activities were interesting and fun. I enjoyed learning more about the history of Ireland, the local activities, the people, the beautiful landscape and coastline and more. Overall, a very memorable experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. Some of them as follows: Nature: The Cliff of Moher, the Giant's Causeway, the rolling pastures and cottages, the centuries old stone walls and structures Local experience: Evening at music store in Dingle, Falconry, sheep dog herding, small villages charms History: The Titanic museum and others Bus: Pascal's driving skill in tight streets with obstacles. Darah: calm, collected and caring nature."

Wilma

Homer Glen, IL

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was well planned and executed. Great itinerary with many wonderful guides who were both knowledgable and interesting. Barry was without question, the best guide we have ever had. Lots of Wow moments and great experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many WOW moments but my favorites would be the Dingle Peninsula and the Giant Causeway."

Sue

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. Our guide, Barry, was fantastic. I think he made the experience. The trip was very organized, education and fun. We had amazing weather!!Our fellow travelers were interesting and friendly. No grumps included! It was relaxing to have all the details taken care of in advance. We were all seasoned travelers and it was nice to have someone else organize for us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many moments. Getting away from Dublin, which is an international city, and arriving in Kinsale, was the first wow moment. Finally in the country! This was why we were in Ireland. We ran into the mayor of Seattle and the Seattle Police Pipe and Drum band, while in Galway. We are from Seattle and that was very exciting for us. The mayor was very friendly and he said he knew Rick Steves. He encouraged us to ride bikes in the Aran Islands, which we did the next day."

Andrea

Kew Gardens, NY

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So my husband Bob and I had never taken a tour and were a bit concerned. Well, this was the best vacation and experience we've ever had. The accommodations were nice, the folks in the tour were awesome, and then Barry, well, Barry is about the nicest, smartest, funniest and patient person I've ever met. He is the perfect guide for his country. We will be taking another Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to characterize. Was it Dun Aengus on Inishmore? Was it the Cliffs of Moher or the Giants Causeway. Or was it walking down to Kinsale Harbor and falling in love with a town and a country all at once. Or was it flying a hawk at the Irish School of Falconry located at Ashford Castle. I just don't know. What I do know is that I fell head over heels in love with Ireland, it's people and it's countryside."

Sue

Little Rock, AR

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The only thing that keeps this tour from being outstanding is that it was too busy. However, this was our first "tour" after traveling on our own for a long time. We saw and did things that we would never have gotten around to on our own but we are used to a more leisurely pace. I'm not sure we are ready to give up that freedom of pace quite yet.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm told that my moment was the hawk landing on my arm but I was honestly so terrified that without the pictures I wouldn't remember a thing. My husband says my mouth was so wide open the bird could have flown in!"

Joanne

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide Barry, was exceptional. He was well prepared each day, and that made everyone relaxed and happy all the time. He had a wonderful disposition, and a talent for entertaining with Irish stories and folklore. He really MADE the tour with his personality. He also took care to acknowledge everyone else's contributions, and highlight their talents.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Avenue of the Giants, and the dramatic Antrim coastline. I wanted to be out in nature the whole time I was in Ireland, and there was plenty of opportunity. Another experience I treasure was the trip to the Aran Islands and the Fort Dun Angeaus."

Geof

Port Huron, MI

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Barry was the best Rick Steves guide we've experienced. It is hard to find words to adequately describe his knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion for Ireland. Itinerary was wonderful, and we were lucky to have fabulous weather. Local guides were very knowledgeable. As usual, the tour provided experiences unavailable to the average traveler such as special location for our visit to the Titanic Memorial, crystal cutting demonstration, School of Falconry. Northern Ireland excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't site just one: Dingle Peninsula, Cliffs, Antrim Coast, Belfast and Derry, Titanic Memorial, Aran Islands"

Pauline

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was so much more than I expected and I expected a lot because we were going with friends of ours who had already done a RS Tour and loved it! Our guide, Barry, was definitely one of the highlights!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many "wow" moments in Ireland because it seems like everywhere you look you are saying "wow"... I guess what I keep telling family and friends about the trip is that somehow Barry arranged for us to have two weeks of beautiful sunny weather in Ireland which made the scenery,hiking and touring even more wonderful!"

Ann

Carmel, IN

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's Tour...and wow, what an experience! It was two solid weeks of being immersed in the Irish culture, its people, history, politics, music, literature, and countryside. And, in addition, I met quite interesting, caring, and lovely people in our tour group. It was a fun and busy time. I needed to come home and get some rest!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the visit to the School of Falconry at Ashford Castle. The experience of having a hawk swoop down from the forest and land on my arm was awesome! And our guide, Barry, was able to video it in slow motion for each one of us!"

Tom

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience from start to finish. Barry and the local guides were always informative and engaging. Barry went out of his way to accommodate the individual interests of the tour members. We had a great tour group made up of interesting and personable individuals. We enjoyed great weather with almost no rain - better than we had any right to expect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, so it's difficult to pick a favorite. I especially enjoyed the times we spent in local pubs and the opportunities to talk to the Irish patrons, particularly the time in Kinsale when we met Barry's parents."

Victoria

West Olive, MI

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Barry was an excellent tour guide, historian, and travel agent. This trip to Ireland exceeded all my expectations, and Barry was the biggest reason why. I am already in the process of choosing my next Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a tough one....there were several! The School of Falconry, Giant's Causeway, and Belfast would be at the top of my list."

Thomas

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour. Included everything from history to Irish stories and culture to wonderful music to spectacular scenery. All the guides were great, our primary guide was outstanding. Although I don't know that i have any Irish heritage, I concluded that I must have since I identified so much with the music and the land.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose. I suppose the spectacular scenery, particularly around Dingle and on the Antrim coast. But also the Irish music that we heard in the pubs and other venues. ."

James

Little Rock, AR

Tour: 09/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since this was our first land tour, I didn't have any clear expectations. But I'm convinced that they were all met if not exceeded. The overall itinerary, the local guides, the accommodations (with one notable exception) - everything was first rate. But the difference between a very good trip and an outstanding trip was our guide Barry. He was an absolute delight from start to finish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick a single "wow" - the coastal scenery was spectacular, especially on the Slea Head Drive around the Dingle Peninsula. Most of the itinerary included things we would have done if traveling on our own. Something notable we probably wouldn't have done was the "Hawk Walk" at Ashford Castle. With our very personable host, Connell, and Maya the Harris hawk, we had a memorable morning."

George

Hockessin, DE

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent historical background, good accommodations and meals, great itinerary, fellow travelers, and guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher and Giant's Causeway"

Mary

St Augustine, FL

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fabulous. Stephen was a great tour guide, telling stories and making sure we were prepared for the next activity. I am a vegetarian and he worked some magic at every restaurant if there was not a choice for me listed on the menu, I really appreciated his thoughtfulness. My travel mates were truly great, not a grump among them, everyone was respectful of each other's space. There were not any glitches in hotel accommodation or activities that I noticed. Overall a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery, touring through the Irish countryside and seeing the quiltwork patterns of the fields,with sheep grazing in the meadows, then traveling along the coast and seeing the waves crashing against the rocks and cliffs. If I were traveling in a car I don' t believe I would have had the same view. Who would have thought I would have been grateful to be on a bus?"

Walter

Falmouth, ME

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is hard to put in 500 words since what made this tour was the interaction with Stephen, the people on the bus and the music and pub scene of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Falconry was very unexpected and a Wow."

Ed

St Augustine, FL

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour. It will serve as a standard for any future tours we may take. It is a very high standard and I really doubt that any future tour will surpass it or even equal it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beer! Seriously, we seen a lot of great things in our travels and Ireland just added to that experience. The wow moment for me was the whole concept of Rick Steve touring and it worked! Small group of likeminded people, plenty of time to enjoy the various stops with local experts, great accommodations, sufficient personal time to unwind and have time with new friends. As for particular experiences, the falcons were the best. Doubtful if we will ever experience anything like that again."

Carole

Hingham, MA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very nice people, outstanding guide and driver and the luxury of learning about all the different parts of Ireland and their people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count: Kilarney, Cliffs of Mohr, Dingle and all the tiny towns we visited. I loved the music in Dingle with "big Liam" and the Music Box - outstanding entertainment. What a wonderful night when we dined at Stephen's B&B. His cousin is indeed an exceptional chef. A perfect ending to a wonderful day."

Dennis

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephen, tour guide, was very knowledgeable and entertaining. He really helped to bring the tour group together quickly. The local guides were excellent in pointing out the cultural and historical aspects of the various areas. The diversity in the geography of the areas visited was great. My wife is a vegetarian and she was well taken care of at meals. This was our second tour and we will certainly book more in the future. We will highly recommend Rick Steves' tours to friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were numerous ones. The Cliffs of Moher was right up there."

Patrice

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Much of the trip was a re-visit for us (2002) --- but, what a difference to tour and be so well informed, and to have all of what we saw framed in an historical and cultural context. The tour was well organized and managed, our travel mates so friendly, and the stellar experiences gave us access to Ireland on an intimate level.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rather than "wow" I would say "special", because it was the more intimate interactions that made the tour have meaning: Big Liam and Gerry (?) singing at Kitty O'Shea's in Kinsale; the welcome buffet at Milltown House in Dingle; the concert at the music shop in Dingle; "playing" with Inca the Peruvian Harris hawk at Ashmore Castle; watching the All Gaelic football match and rooting for Donegal in the Ballyvaughn pub; our limerick contest; scones at Wee Cottage; and chats with the locals."

Helen

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First tour we ever experienced-Rick Steves is local and we liked what was promised. All was realized in spades!! Lovely country with a variety of things to see from the "Tidy Towns" to local music to awesome scenery. Appreciated the history which our guide Stephen and all the local guides provided. Free time enough to explore and eat on our own. Stephen engineered moments like the chance to learn about Irish Football when they played the finals. Felt safe with driver Dennis.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So glad we got to the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland-not to be missed. The Giant's Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede Rope footbridge, Dunluce Castle, the Wee Cottage for scones and tea, and the Bushmills Distillery made for an unforgettable day. Big Wow for us was the celebration of our's and Mike & Mel's anniversaries at the Milltown House B&B with Big Liam serenading all of us and Deidre's great buffet."

Sherrill

Eugene, OR

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For this trip, my husband went to study the history of Ireland and I went along. I don't think that it was only our Rockstar guide and the Rick Steves format that made this one of the best trips ever. The people we met, the Irish and the others in our group, were wonderful and the scenery had a quiet beauty. We also enjoyed the wry Irish humor along with learning the derivation of many of our words and phrases.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was when I realized that as we drove and walked through cities and towns, it became evident that the majority of the population enjoyed a consistently comfortable standard of living. Our guide, Stephen, told us that although the Irish are prone to hyperbole (e.g., the often used phrase, the best in the world), they also knock individuals who get too far ahead. He also mentioned that there are government programs for the less fortunate."

Douglas

Eugene, OR

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. It was a wonderful experience, which met all of our positive expectations, and none of our concerns before hand materialized. There were things I'd have liked to have seen that we didn't, but wouldn't have traded some we did see for them. Such as New Grange and more about Brian Boru and places associated with him. Some things in Dublin we couldn't find time to see were the Guinnis museum and the National Archiology displays...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the interactions with Stephan's friends and cousin, collectively. We expected to learn a lot and enjoy beautiful scenery, but getting to know a few Irish people to the degree we did was a pleasure."

Charles

Littleton, CO

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was exactly what we have come to expect from a ETBD experience - great tour guide, friendly co-travelers, seeing the best/most important sights, and clean, comfortable accommodations close to the action.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow"'s on this trip - history walks, hawks, Inishmore, and the scenery, but my favorite "wow" moment was the Titanic tour and talk. I have seen the traveling Titanic exhibit and knew a lot of the background, but our local guide brought us a close-up of the human side of the story. Seeing the exhibit building from the outside and the steel posts marking the scaffolding gave a true sense of the immensity of the ship."

Priscilla

Littleton, CO

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think this was our best ETBD tour yet. It was a combination of a beautiful country, interesting and informative discussions on the history of the area, a great guide, people on the tour who were friendly/open to experiences, and the warmth of the people we met.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many -- I enjoyed the local history walks, flying the Harris hawk, the trip to Inishmore, and the breathtaking scenery. My favorites moments were spent at the concerts in Dingle. I appreciated being able to attend two (& appreciated that the ticket cost was subsidized by our tour). I loved the small venues (compared to a concert hall) and the personal connection I felt to the musicians. I also appreciated the opportunities we had to meet local musicians in Kinsale and Dingle."

Mary

East Falmouth, MA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was impressed by the excellence of our guide. Also, the way we saw so many things-more than we could have possibly done on our own. The food was always good and the hotel rooms fine. We also had so many opportunities that we would never have found on our own. For instance, two concerts in Kinsale that we wouldn't have known about.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one. I loved the Cliffs of Moher."

Edwin

East Falmouth, MA

Tour: 09/14/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first ever accompanied tour. Skeptical from the beginning, we quickly settled in to enjoy the tour itinerary, our fellow travelers and the outstanding guide. The pace was good, the attractions very appropriate for the sophisticated tour members, and had variety we all enjoyed. Outstanding in all respects. We look farward to anolther Rick Steves trip next year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Far too many to even list."

Susan

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I hardly know how to talk about the overall experience without superlatives, which end up sounding corny. But the bus was comfortable, the accommodations mostly excellent, food outstanding, experiences in each city informative and worthwhile (only two "misses"), and the people a great mix which I expected of those who would take a RS tour. We moved at a fast clip and packed a lot in. I feel like I know Ireland more than could be expected for 14 days. I'd recommend without hesitation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sheepdog demonstration. Was a real WOW. Day on Aran Island because we were OUTSIDE walking in fresh air. Antrim Coast. Again OUTSIDE walking in fresh air. We were fortunate to have great weather. Two hours in Belfast was not enough - GREAT city, should have had at least one night; could have been a WOW.Check out The Gregory Guest House."

Elaine

Bell Buckle, TN

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First trip to Europe. We were very impressed with the friendliness of the people of Ireland. The accommodations were very nice. Food good. Knowledge of tour guides was very impressive. Motor coach driver was excellent! Overall an UNFORGETTABLE tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day we forgot our camera and left it at a restaurant in Inishmore. It was not until we were getting off the minivan at the next stop did we realize it was missing. Mr. Bertie Mullen, a driver of another minivan was talking with the driver of our minivan called the restaurant and then he went and retrieved it. The KINDNESS and INTEGRITY of this man was a definite "WOW" moment for my husband and me."

Teressa

Mooresville, NC

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Heart of Ireland was our third RS tour and we are already registered for the April 19th 21 Day Best of Europe Tour. Your tours give us the luxury of not having to sweat all the planning details and still have time to explore locations on our own. The best of all worlds!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Honestly the "wow " moment for us was our amazing guide, Declan and our bus driver, Stephen! Both reflect the very best of the Rick Steves organization. Declan not only was extremely knowledgeable but his singing voice was amazing. How many people have the opportunity of being serenaded across Ireland. Our driver, Stephen, always greeted us with a wonderful smile and a kind word."

Margaret

Apple Valley, MN

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Bus and driver were excellant. Guide was wonderful, full of history, stories and general great humor. Went to places I would not have gone to on my own. Experienced many new things like falcon flying that were just spectatular. Hotels and B and Bis were quie nice. The peopl of Ireland were the best part of the trip. Kind, helpful and willing to share their stories with us. Our only complaint would be the lack of time at some locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to Ashfor Castle and learning about hunting birds and then getting to acturally fly a falcon."

Janine

Douglas, AK

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the tour was excellent, largely due to great organization and an even greater guide, Declan. Our driver, Stephen was also wonderful. Our days were packed with activities--and would have loved to have an additional free day in between. However, there were only a few items that I would drop (Falcons and Great Blasket) Would have loved more time on the Burren--was way too short and believe we should have spent a day in Belfast. Fellow travelers were very nice!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One highpoint was the Ghost Tour in Kinsale--I would recommend that be added as part of the tour. Absolutely hilarious, with real history included. Favorite days were Aran Island trip--was great to have full day there! and hike above Giants Causeway. Another highpoint was the music-- the concerts arranged for us in Dingle and visiting pubs for music. Was a wonderful experience."

James

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Met all expectations again. I enjoy that my only obligation is to be on time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was the Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland. Guide was very good in showing where everything was in the ruins."

Harold

Mooresville, NC

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Heart of Ireland was our third RS tour and we are already registered for the April 19th 21 Day Best of Europe Tour. Your tours give us the luxury of not having to sweat all the planning details and still have time to explore locations on our own. The best of all worlds!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Honestly the "wow " moment for us was our amazing guide, Declan and our bus driver, Stephen! Both reflect the very best of the Rick Steves organization. Declan not only was extremely knowledgeable but his singing voice was amazing. How many people have the opportunity of being serenaded across Ireland. Our driver, Stephen, always greeted us with a wonderful smile and a kind word."

Thomas

Olive Branch, MS

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was absolutely great! This was our second Rick Steves tour. Both were well worth the money and we totally enjoyed each one. Our Italy trip was very different from our Ireland trip. Less history/art in Ireland but more quaint and musical. Our guide, Declan, was tremendous! He took very good care of us, showed us wonderful sights, provided history and stories that were very personal to him, and sang wonderful Irish songs while on our bus rides from place to place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sorry, but I have two. The day at the sheep farm on the Dingle Loop where we saw Fly the border collie round up a herd of sheep and the day at the School of Falconry, having a majestic falcon land on each of our arms and then take off to the nearest tree. Both were absolutely fantastic and a true memory of a lifetime!"

Gretchen

Happy Valley, OR

Tour: 09/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 3rd RS tour and I have yet to be disappointed in anything. Declan was super efficient and knowledgeable. Steven, our bus driver, kept us safe on those narrow country roads. The participants of this tour were less cohesive as a group. I think the groups of 4 (as opposed to couples) stayed together at meals, walking etc. This is just an observation...not a problem.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Aran Islands...Inishmore. Dun Aengus on the cliffs. It was a beautifully sunny day with white billowing clouds. The day before we were nearly blown off the Cliffs of Moher and barely saw them thru the fog and rain. So having a second chance just a day later made Inishmore even more lovely."

John

La Crosse, WI

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good. Happy to have visited the north too. Kinsale-VERY touristy...like visiting Vale, Colorado and saying you visited Colorado. There must be some place on the coast similar but less packed with tourists. Many of our destinations were VERY touristy. Perhaps Ireland has largely joined the "modern world culture" Consider Ring of Kerry and Shellig Michael World Heretage site. Irish music is now world music...mostly it is gone from pubs!!??? Galway looks interesting...more time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To show your tourists some unfamiliar culture I STRONGLY suggest teaching your tours about the Travelers....different language, different world view, different history. I am sure you can find a way to do this even if locals will say it can not be done. Seeing Beaty Exibit...wow Slea head, blasket, Cliffs of Moher, Burren, Aran good"

Beverly

Lacrosse, WI

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think Ireland is a necessary trip. There are so many thrilling sights. We all seem to be part Irish. Dublin was busy, streets crowded with young workers and tourists - very much like our big cities. We had a very good group of fellow travelers. We enjoyed their company. The hotels were good. Dingle (Castlewood House) stood out as one of the most attractive places we've ever stayed and the breakfasts were fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher and the Antrim Coast"

Beth

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thirteen days of sunshine in IRELAND!!! What could be better! We had a wonderful group of people, all who were interested in learning about the environ and the history of the areas in which we traveled. We enjoyed a nice balance of activity as well as bus travel, and got a great first-taste of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning about the famine and the fact that all in Ireland were not affected by the potato blight was a shock! The history of the fight for Irish independence was so interesting and, as we were there at the time leading up to the vote for Scottish independence, it made it all the more meaningful."

Marcia

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first time traveling out of the US and your staff and guides made it a wonderful experience! We can't thank all of you enough! There are definately more Rick Steves Tours in our future!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's hard to pick since every day was a WOW moment for us. I guess if I had to choose the School of Falconrey was so great on so many levels!"

Jesus

Springville, UT

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall we very much enjoyed our trip to Ireland. We were very lucky to have a wonderful group of very nice, friendly people as our tour mates. The lodging and accommodations were comfortable. Our tour guide and bus driver were very nice and by the end of the trip felt like good friends. I felt like we got to see so much and learned so much about Ireland, the Irish people and their traditions. Very Nice trip for sure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking up and around the Blaskett Island. It was a beautiful sunny day and the views were breathtaking!"

Thomas

Henderson, NV

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Flawless logistics Incredible Guide Great scenary Great History lessions Great food (big surprise) Excellent travel companions And thank God for Pascal, the driver...would not be caught dead (or maybe would be) driving on those roads

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to [INVALID] from."

Keith

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great itinerary, great guide and great driver. Enough free time and a congenial group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gaol in Dublin and the Irish countryside. Also, the free time spent on the Aran islands."

Marilyn

Damascus, MD

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall we had a great time. Our guide, Susie, was exceptional and easy going. Ireland is so beautiful and I feel like we saw its beauty. Some days were a little hectic because of how busy the itinerary was and we felt we could have spent a little more time at several sites but the schedule was tight. Our bus driver was truly amazing at navigating the bus and my husband was very impressed!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the visit to the Titanic shipyard was it. We were able to see the room that the engineers used and the blueprints of the ship. We were also able to see areas most tourist would not be allowed to go."

David

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/05/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was terrific. Our guide, Susie, was great, and the local guides at each stop were also wonderful. We loved Dublin, but we loved Kinsale, Dingle, and Portrush even more. The small Irish seaside towns were absolutely fabulous. Lots of good food, beautiful coastline, great Irish music. We loved the sheep farm, the falconry school, riding horses on the beach in Dingle, bike riding on Inis More, eating fresh lobster, seeing the castles and historic ruins, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments - riding a horse on the beach in Dingle, flying a falcon from my arm and having it return, eating fresh lobster in a small seaside town, hearing great traditional Irish music, seeing the Book of Kells, seeing the behive huts and castles, seeing places in Derry and Belfast where key events of the 70's played out....and so much more."

Sue

Valencia, CA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What's not to love about Ireland? This tour had what I wanted and more! We were able to see so much of Ireland yet it wasn't a frantic pace. Our guide, Barry, showed each of us individual attention and made the tour feel tailor made. Our driver, Dennis, was terrific especially on those narrow country roads. And amazingly, there was no rain! Without reservation, I recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see Ireland, from big city to small town, and from ancient history to modern times.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The people and culture of Ireland - it's so rich and more different than America than I would have thought before visiting. Barry did a great job of using bus time to teach us about Ireland, including music from the region we currently were in. Don't miss the pubs!"

Rita

Aurora, CO

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In a word, spectacular! It seemed like every place we visited was more beautiful and intriguing than the last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was packed with "wow" moments! If choosing just one, I would say The Irish School of Falconry. It's not everyday that I get to have a falcon land on my heavily gloved hand!"

Su

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful trip to Ireland. Loved the people, music and history. The scenery was beautiful and enjoyed going into Northern Ireland and learning more about the "troubles". Our tour guide Barry was the best and we really appreciate the great rain-free weather he arranged for the trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really enjoyed the Cliffs of Moher and going out to the Aran Islands. But the forty shades of green will be a memorable vision of the country."

Kevin

Colchester, VT

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent trip. Our Guide, Barry, made direct "connections" with us and the history, music, culture, and language of Ireland. Loved the friendliness of the local people. Landscape was spectacular. Was it possible to get "drunk" on sights & scenery? We'll have to return again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The museums in Dublin were grand, but the best for me was the WEST. There were amazing variations in the landscape. Dingle, Westport, and the Inishmore were among my favorites. Later in the North, Barry got us to the Giant's Causeway early - we were among the first visitors that morning. Could not stop taking shots of the changing light on the landscape. I love Irish music and the Dublin pub crawl was a "must" as a highlight."

Gay

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just the best: Barry, our guide, and Dennis, the driver. You just can't have a superb trip if the guide and driver are not wonderful. Next (in no particular order): our hotels (especially Buswells in Dublin and Adelphis in Portrush - perfect location, great beds and baths), our meals (every breakfast was just top-notch, our shared meals were terrific, and Barry gave us good tips so our indpendent meals were just as great), the places we visited and the local guides who showed us the highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The opportunities to meet locals and learn from them (the 87 yer old gentleman who sang for us in Derry, the B and B owner who showed me how to eat a soft-boiled egg in an egg cup, the young woman who played the harp for us, the woman who taught us how to fly a harris hawk at the falconry school, many musicians, restaurant staff)"

Deborah

Edmond, OK

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was absolutely fabulous! Barry was always prepared and used the most beautiful adjectives throughout Ireland to describe the sights. We are 100 percent pleased!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry experience!"

Suzanne

Colchester, VT

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It never rained once! I never thought going to Ireland would mean no rain. I realize that R.S. Tours has no control over this, but it really adds an additional positive to the experience. Anyway, I had more fun than I ever had anticipated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Burren with the Poulnabrone Dolmen. It's amazing that such a site exists, with its wildflowers from north and south of the country growing in crevices. The limestone rocks are so unstable that only the local cows can graze there. I did not realize how extensive the Burren was until we traveled through the area for miles seeing only these rocks on either side, some even going up the sides of mountains."

Sherry

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved Ireland, it was so much more than I expected. It was not only beautiful but the people were very friendly and the food outstanding. I expected to enjoy the music but found I was inspired by it, flowing over into listening to the music of each region and attaching the melodies to the scenery as we traveled through it. Our tour guide Barry was exceptional, giving us a sense of the strength and integrity of the people of the land.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Dingle, at The Music Store, Michael, whom I believe to be the proprietor, in the midst of talking about music and instruments, picked up his mini-accordion and played almost a full concert. Just sitting there on a stool in this tiny shop he joyfully played for 2, my husband and I. He exuded character and caring for his land."

Douglas

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time on this tour! Our guide, Barry, was excellent. His enthusiasm for all things Ireland is infectious. His knowledge is extensive and added much to our experience. We experienced great sights, culture, history, music, and food. Every day was filled with great adventure. The pace of the tour was busy, but our bits of free time made everything manageable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's very hard to say because the tour was filled with so many wonderful adventures! Almost every day I found myself thinking, "This is going to be my favorite 'Wow' moment.""

John

Newport, RI

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this tour a great deal. It is our fourth tour and the first for a single country. Stephen, our tour guide, studied history and was very knowledgeable of the country and its people. We spent two delightful weeks visiting cities and areas that I found unique and significant, especially the most ancient of ruins and restored buildings that we visited. The whole experience was an adventure, and we quickly became closely allied with our fellow tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Rock of Cashel was my favorite site. The age of the place is amazing, as is the baptism of King Aengus in 450 AD. I find the ancient sites to be the most interesting. The restoration of the small church next to the castle was beautifully done."

Marian

Torrance, CA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our second tour and it was great. Enjoyed all the places we went and the history of the area.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dingle Peninsula was amazing, tucked away, peaceful, charming and great music."

Pamela

Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall was great, a wonderful group of people lots of good info from our guide. Food was amazing everywhere we went.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Falconry and the draw bridge"

Patricia

Thornton, CO

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We loved touring Ireland although it seemed we spent a lot of time on the bus. That was to be expected because we had a lot of ground to cover in 14 days. We enjoyed the small coastal towns of Dingle, Kinsale,Cong more that the big cities (Dublin, Belfast, Galway). The cities had a lot of history but they were crowded and quite littered. Our hotels were pretty good (Friar's Inn in Kinsale and Castlewood House in Dingle were excellent)however, Hotel St George in Dublin was very disappointing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I LOVED Powerscourt Gardens. It was so nice to step off the bus and walk around the absolutely gorgeous grounds and ponds of the estate. It was a beautiful sunny day and I couldn't stop taking pictures. Slea Head Drive was breathtaking too as were the Cliffs of Moher."

Donna

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the falconry."

Vicki

Redondo Beach, CA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour with your company and we will be back! Stephen did any outstanding job. The pace was great and the itinerary was super. We would recommend more of a hiking boot for this tour, however. Hiking Giant's Causeway, etc. was a bit more than just a comfortable walking shoe. We lucked out with amazing weather - just a tiny bit of rain the first day - how did you arrange that? We loved the amount of free time we had too. Great job!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the Falcon experience! The castle and the grounds were awesome too. The really "wow" hotel was the Castlewood in Dingle - right out of a magazine! Breakfast was amazing! Our favorite stop!"

Gerald

Thornton, CO

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

At the time I thought there was an awful lot of time spent in the bus but looking back there is no other way to see asmuch of Ireland as we did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tough to pick just one. Slea Head Drive was spectacular and one of my favorites."

James

Venice, FL

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very interesting and perfectly led by our super tour guide Declan. Of all of our 7 Rick Steves tours I felt Declan was in my top 2. He even sang Irish songs to us on the bus, and if we had any concerns or questions he was quick to help and resolve any situation. The sights were spectacular. As per usual on a RS tour we see things we otherwise would never have known about or visited. That may be the best thing one can say about a RS tour, not to mention making great friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Traditional Irish music in the pubs of Dingle. Also the beauty of downtown Kinsale and the unique Giant's Causway."

Patricia

Johnstown, OH

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I traveled together on this tour so are filling out this evaluation together. We both agree that of all the tours we have been on, this was the most fun. The pre tour planning was very helpful. Our guide was terrific. Our fellow travelers were enjoyable and had like-minded goals. The scenery and ruins were beautiful. The locals were friendly and helpful. The pubs were welcoming. The coach driver was skillful. And, as a bonus, the food was delicious.(Lots of fresh seafood.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husband's "wow" moment came late in the tour. The trip to Ireland was my idea and he approached the tour with little enthusiasm. However, after viewing the scenery, learning the history, talking to the people, listening to their music in pubs and other venues, and just generally having fun, the moment hit him. "Wow! I want to return to Ireland, stay a week or two in Dingle and/or Dublin." I, too, find it hard to pick one moment, but still think about the Harris Hawk that landed on my glove!"

Patrice

Venice, FL

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip! Declan is the best guide. He provided Irish history in an interesting manner. And he can really sing! The tour members were very easy to get along with and really cared about each other. The itinerary was just wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stone fences, the Giants' causeway, the traditional music, and the Irish dancing."

Robert

Mission Viejo, CA

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This tour covers too much ground for 2 weeks. Lots of bus rides with many minor sights along the way. The emphasis on international food didn't seem to reflect the spirit of Ireland. There were far to many ruined rock piles reflecting mostly minor historical tragedies and not enough living breathing intact Ireland past or present. Ruined churches , abbeys, manor houses of the past are much more interesting when in other places where the same structures are intact. A balance would be nicer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The city of Dublin with its pubs, museums, Temple Bar area, Grafton Street was a "wow." Unfortunately most of this city's attractions are not on the tour. Visiting Bri na Bourne was definitely "wow" experience, again not on the tour. The story teller at the concert was definitely a "wow" in the true Irish tradition."

William

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A great tour covering the essential places to visit. I wish we had more sun, but this is Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giant's Causeway. It was a nice day and climbing on the rocks was fun. Cliffs of Moher a close second - it was cloudy and started to rain at the end of our visit."

Margo

Westlake, OH

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour went beyond my expectations. Everything was so well-run, right from sign-up to the closing group dinner. The Pre-Tour Planner was full of helpful hints and information. I also enjoyed having the Rick Steves' Ireland 2014 Guidebook for pre-reading, making notations during the trip, and re-reading after the trip. Along with my pictures, it will serve as a great reminder of this marvelous tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of Declan's commentaries, songs, poetry, story telling, and historical, cultural information provided "wow" moments for us each and every day. Perhaps the most moving talk was about the history of "The Troubles" as we were traveling to Derry. I found Dingle and Kinsale to be charming, the Cliffs of Moher dramatic, the Connemara countryside very scenic, and the Burren and the Giant's Causeway unique and fascinating. It's impossible to choose one site. All of our stops were wonderful."

Carol

Loveland, OH

Tour: 08/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had such a good time, great food, good company, and it was such a learning experience for me. Thoroughly enjoyed myself and looked forward to getting up each morning.Declan made it so interesting with all his little tidbits about the different areas we were in and the history of the Irish people and their customs.The scenery was so much more beautiful than I expected also. Declan is a gem and Pascal, the bus driver, couldn't have been nicer or more helpful.We were in good hands!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The breathtaking scenery of the western Irish coast and the stacked stone walls of the farmland."

Dale

Twisp, WA

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Golfing at Cheann Sibe'al on the Dingle Coast on our free day."

Glenda

Twisp, WA

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed this trip to Ireland. I have been to Ireland before on another trip. I thought this trip was well organized and allowed plenty of time to explore my own interests.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the Ashford School of Falconry. Walking through the forest with the falcon swooping down to land on your outstretched hand."

Wayne

Fredericksburg, VA

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was well organized and exactly as advertised. Our guide was professional and well informed. All of the hotels were very nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was the old stone fort on Innishmore"

Carla

Bend, OR

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The sights, sites, and people of Ireland were outstanding. We enjoyed Dublin, the countryside, small villages, and our island visit. The two weeks flew by!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the special Irish music concert in Dingle. It was an optional excursion, and I am glad that I attended. It was a magical evening. There are too many "Wow" moments to recount."

Gregg

Hillsborough, NC

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Ireland but my fourth RS tour. The tour arrangements were handled in the same very high quality we have come to expect of all aspects of the RS experience. Our guide was very competent, personable, and kept the group flowing smoothly. The itinerary provided an excellent mix of small town and larger city venues. I would recommend this tour to our friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments but perhaps the two that come to mind most readily were the Dingle Peninsula and the Giants Causeway/Rope Bridge. The scenery was just outstanding. We also really enjoyed the traditional music in the pubs in Dingle."

Nancy

Panama City, FL

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Everything was excellent, except a few times I felt we were shorted time at a site in order to be back to the lodging earlier than necessary. Was this because of driver's time sheet? We were exposed to a lot of different experiences and am happy we did both Republic of Ireland as well as Northern Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really enjoyed the Falconry since that was a new experience for me; I have seen ruins, hiked, viewed scenery and heard history before, but Falconry was new."

Thomas

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Weather was beautiful, geography and greenery overwhelming, pub life delicious and golden to the tastebuds and ears, tour route and sites well reasoned and enthralling, We felt this was our "loveliest" vacation ever, and using the recent young set vernacular: "deadly" (awesome)!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were so glad you included the Dingle Peninsula , something other tours do not. The local guide was tremendous and enthusiastic, embodying everything we expected when we thought of Irish when we booked our tour."

Karen

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery, Dingle Peninsula, Cliffs of Moher, Great Causeway and Portrush area made the trip. Galway and Belfast were my least favorite. I love seeing the dogs herd sheep and the falconry. I loved the people, THE MUSIC, and the sites. This was my favorite trip."

James

Largo, FL

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour guide, Rozanne, was the primary reason I enjoyed the tour. She was very personable, knowledgeable and well organized. She was also very attentive to the needs and questions of the group. I also especially enjoyed the more "hands on" activities e.g. the falcon and sheep shearing demonstrations. Of lessor importance in my opinion, were some of the guided tours e.g. the Burren moonscape and Rock of Cashel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd have to say the Cliffs of Moher. The scenery was spectacular!"

Mary

Elk River, MN

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the itinerary. We were able to see so much of the Ireland coast and get to Northern Ireland. Our guide was fantastic. She is so knowledgeable and very caring about her group of travelers. She went above and beyond! Our local guides were also excellent. We had a great group of travelers. I enjoyed interacting with them all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a Wow from the people we met to the scenery we saw. I was apprehensive about the hawk walk at the School of Falconry but it turned out to be a highlight of my trip."

Connie

Largo, FL

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We loved not having to try to drive on the other side of the road and having the logistics of the lodging already planned. We thought, Rozanne, our tour guide was outstanding. She gave us the information that we needed whether it was directions or background history and also gave us quiet time. We usually like to travel on our own, but found the tour group to be very congenial. We would have liked to spend more time at the major sites- Cliffs of Moher and Causeway of the Giants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the natural geographic sites-Cliff of Moher and Causeway of the Giants. The Aran Island was very interesting. We also liked seeing the Book of Kells display at Trinity College. Seeing Derry and Belfast about the "troubles" was most interesting and informative."

Chris

Panama City, FL

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The " light- house walk' (and beyond) in Dingle. We walked about 10 mi that sunny day and enjoyed every minute of it"

Sandra

Fredericksburg, VA

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I had always wanted to visit Ireland and it was beautiful, as expected. However, I felt the tour was a bit of a let down. I know it is a lot to ask to see a whole country in two weeks, but I felt it was a bit rushed in some spots and too slow in others. There were times you barely had enough time to hit the high points of a town or a site from a quick stop on the bus. No time to really look around or linger over a cup of tea or sit and enjoy the view. Other times there was overkill.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was probably at the Kissane Sheep Farm. It wasn't exactly a "wow" but it was wonderful to see the dogs work and marvel at the harsh landscape on the working sheep farm. The best moment was hearing the co-owner state that all the animals there, sheep and dogs alike, were allowed to live out their natural lives on the farm and none were slaughtered. A beautiful, yet rugged place and a very hard life lived out there. Nice for perspective."

Carol

Hillsborough, NC

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful 14 days! Every day I learned something new and saw amazing scenery. There was a good feeling of camaraderie in the group and our tour guide was very warm. Our bus driver was careful but efficient and the food and lodgings were excellent. I would recommend this tour to everyone!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick just one "wow" moment. I loved the Giant's Causeway such spectacular scenery! I also loved having a day on our own in Dingle such a cute town. The falconry was amazing, too. I loved standing in the place where the Titanic was built. It really brought history to life. But some of my favorite memories were of the beer and music in the pubs at night!"

Joseph

Kirkwood, MO

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour of any kind and we choose the Rick Steves' Tour because of the videos, the whole "Europe by the Back Door" approach, and the commitments required of each tour member. The Tour was everything we hoped for and more. Rozanne was fantastic, the overall and daily planning were excellent, local guides were great and our fellow Tour members were lots of fun. Tremendous Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to name only one. The Cliffs of Moher and the Giants Causeway were spectacular. The Irish music (and, of course, the Guinness) in the pubs, especially in Kinsale and Dingle, was outstanding. Golf on the Dingle Golf Club was great fun. Walking through the streets of the many towns and cities and being greeted warmly by everyone we met was definitely a "wow"."

Virginia

Oak Brook, IL

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour alone & I had a great time. My tour guide Rozanne, was wonderful. She made sure that everyone was well taken care of. If I needed anything, she was right there to meet that need. Our bus driver was exceptional also. He new how to drive that bus around the tightest corners. The people on the tour with me were also wonderful. No one---was troublesome at all. I'd like to keep in touch with everyone of them. My next tour may be to Germany.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I learned so much about the history of Ireland. Things that I would never have the time to research for myself. The country itself was so beautiful."

Paula

Campbell, CA

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just the right amount of time to experience all the wonders of Ireland!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This had to be how much of the countryside was in it's natural beauty and not ruined by chain franchises. The other wow moment was finding my husband Phil's relatives in Scartaglen. We hired a private driver on our day off in Dingle and hit the jackpot."

Joyce

Lafayette, CA

Tour: 08/17/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it. I look forward to doing another Rick Steves tour. The tour was much more relaxing than I thought it was going to be. Liked all the hikes/walks we did. Loved how we had the chance to get out and do things and not just be shuffled around on a bus. We've done a lot of traveling on our own using Rick Steves' tour books but it was really nice to have someone else do the planning AND driving.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well, there were 3: The Falconry, the sheep herding, and I really liked that day we went to the country pub for BBQ and music, such a neighborhood kind of thing to do. These 3 experiences were things that we never would have done had we been touring on our own."

Philip

Newcastle, OK

Tour: 08/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First group tour for me, and it was as good as it possible could have been. Small group of compatible individuals with wide variety of backgrounds and interests. Ireland is my ethnic heritage and it was an enlightening experience to see County Mayo where my ancestors came from.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick a particular moment. However, an "off tour" experience made the trip additionally worthwhile. Found a woodturner from Cork at a farmer's market in Kinsdale. We are staying in touch. I'm sending him some wood (bird's eye maple) that he is unable to get in Ireland and he's sending me some witch elm that I can't get in the states."

Jane

Bloomington, MN

Tour: 08/10/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was very satisfied with all elements of the trip. Even the bus trips were okay because the day was broken up with stops here and there. The food was great. The music fun. The sites were beyond my expectations. What a beautiful country. And, I learned a lot about Irish history. Just what I have come to expect for a Rick Steve's tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Antrim coastline."

Robin

Safety Harbor, FL

Tour: 08/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour exceeded all of our expectations! I cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed it. This trip was at the top of our "bucket list" and our expectations were high. Susie exceeded them in every way possible. Each day just when we thought we had seen the most awesome landscape, we saw something even more awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher were my husband's favorite but I thought the day we spent at the "Careeck-a-rede" rope bridge showcased Ireland's shores at their very best!"

Irene

San Jose, CA

Tour: 08/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great, fun experience. A nice balance between group activity and time on our own, or with other tour friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the music at the Music Store in Dingle."

Carl

Canandaigua, NY

Tour: 08/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great landscape views. Excellent accommodations. Very congenial travel group who were very compatible and friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hearing Susie give the history of her great-grandfather being lost on the Titanic and then showing us the pennies he had given to her grandfather."

Judith

Orange, CA

Tour: 08/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was over-the-top wonderful. Better than we expected! Everything was so professionally and smoothly done...we did not have to worry what "surprise" might be headed our way. It is obvious that much thought and planning was put into every detail of the tour. It was great that everyone involved knew so much history and was able to impart it to us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheer beauty of Ireland! What else can I say. It is more beautiful than pictures can relate."

Linda

Newcastle, OK

Tour: 08/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip with Rick Steves, and it won't be our last. From the start of the process, we were kept well-informed. We knew what to expect on the trip, and we were well-prepared with additional information. The hotels, meals, tour guide/assistant, bus/bus driver, and local guides were uniformly terrific. It was a beautiful two weeks!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's almost impossible, but if I had to pick one, I guess my favorite was the tour of the School of Falconry at Ashford Castle. Flying a hawk was the greatest! (I showed photos to my parrot.) But how can you compare that to the Slea Head Drive or the windswept Giant's Causeway or walking in the Burren? What about all the wonderful people we met in Kinsale and Dingle? Or just opening the door to our room at the Castlewood House and finding such a beautiful, relaxing spot?"

Linda

Lexington, KY

Tour: 08/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The food and lodging was lovely. Susie was great. I loved seeing such a variety of things. From city to fishing villages, to islands, farms, sea coast. History and present day blended.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coast of the north. The Giant's causeway."

Rene

Lake Stevens, WA

Tour: 08/10/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Ireland is amazingly beautiful and I enjoyed getting to know its people and history very much. The walking tours with local guides were all outstanding and very worth while. The places that we stopped and our experiences were well chosen: a fabulous mix of natural beauty (Cliffs of Moher, Dingle peninsula), history (Dublin, Kinsale, Derry, Belfast), and culture (crystal cutting, musical sessions).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flying the hawk at the school of falconry was my wow experience. The teacher (Keelin) was extremely knowledgeable about the hawk's behavior and she did a running commentary the whole time, providing insight into what the hawk was doing and why. Our hawk Inca was beautiful and it was a privilege to be that close to her and to learn to fly her."

Jason

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 08/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall my experience of Ireland was terrific! I enjoyed all aspects and was continuously moved by the underlying mystical, resilient, and breathtaking ways in which the Celtic culture, landscapes, people, stories, and music all combined to make a lasting impression. I would do the entire tour again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was my first taste of "Guinness" straight from the source. :) Seriously, it was when we walked into the cathedral at the Rock of Cashel, it was raining, and then the sun came out as we walked outside into the cemetery with the view of the entire valley!"

Margaretha

Portland, OR

Tour: 08/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Superb.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Falconry School!!! (Hawk Walk at Ashford Castle) More "wow" moments: The Cliffs of Moher Burren Nature Tour (I would have like to have more time exploring the Burren) Giant's Causeway (I would have enjoyed more time there as well) Dunluce Castle Killarny National Park I could add more but wouldn't know where to stop. It was all good."

Betsy

Woodbury, MN

Tour: 08/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a delightful experience! Susie did a great job throughout the whole trip. Her knowledge of Ireland and her passion for sharing the pride she had in her country was evident the whole time. Loved the food, the Irish people, the scenery and we had a wonderful group that really came together and had fun! Not a grouch in any of them. It was great having a 14 and 16 year old along as well! I always love the history and learning about how the country has evolved.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the coast in Northern Ireland - Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Reded Rope Bridge. Absolutely gorgeous!!"

Walt

Portland, OR

Tour: 08/10/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group, guides and driver. The Itinerary covered the major sites. The food was good (although too much...!...I gained a few pounds...). There was sufficient time to cover individual interests.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My interest was a bit different. My second novel takes place in 11th century Ireland (Dingle and Ivernagh peninsulas). So on my "free" day in Dingle, I took a 10 miles hike in the Caragh valley (Ivernagh peninsula). So my "wow" moment was off-tour!"

Darlene

Everett, WA

Tour: 08/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am sold on the perfectly balanced, organized agenda of a Rick Steve's tour. I was given such a stunning Irish feast of beauty, history & humanity - The Universe at it's best. The Ireland tour was such a well-oiled machine. I can be a bit of a control nut; but it was so wonderful to just let go & "go for the ride" - letting others do all of the work, decision making, & research...I just had to show up. I loved that some personal free exploring time was included. I LOVED my tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"School of Falconry in Cong - beautiful to experience the hawks! A nice surprise. Kenmare Stone Circle - I had always wanted to touch those stones & lay in the middle of the circle - so excited to have felt the energy zinging! St. Bridgid's Well - to connect with such a beautiful soul was priceless. Our tour members - they were so loving, interesting and fun; we all felt such an easy connection & camaraderie as though we'd been neighbors for yrs. Dingle concert night & pub barbecue/music."

Kathryn

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 08/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour had it all; the better known sites, the small town flavor, incredible scenery, well-crafted history lessons, comfortable travel, and companions who weren't the least bit cranky. We were surprised to learn that Ireland is a great destination for foodies. It's the perfect length for a tour--but we were jealous of those who extended their trips here. Our tour guide was phenomenal; I'd take a trip with her again in a minute.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd never have thought to visit a school of falconry, but having a hawk swoop and land on my arm - unforgettable!"

Carole

East Wenatchee, WA

Tour: 08/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rozanne is the best tour guide........warm, friendly, caring, knowledgeable, with all the extras like where good music is played, where to have a dining experience, other things to do in free time etc etc. Rick Steve Tours haven taken care of me and educated me with fun and flair.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WOW of the Ireland tour was Ireland....history, scenery, food, drink, comaraderie, says it all."

Margaret

Moline, IL

Tour: 08/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of our best Rick Steves' tours so far. Ireland was beautiful with clean, bright, flower filled cities and and towns. The food was a real surprise-delicious, local and mostly organic. Our accommodations were delightful, especially the smaller B & B's. They gave great personalized service and attention and offered wonderful breakfasts. It was a well panned tour that included many interesting stops along the longer bus trips. Yes, I want to go back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a tossup between the wind swept Cliffs of Moher and the equally wind swept Aran Islands."

Janice

Houston, TX

Tour: 08/03/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great tour guide in Rozanne and quality people on our tour with varied interests and knowledge that made the whole experience a worthwhile and pleasant journey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think watching the dogs herd the sheep was my 'wow' experience. I loved "throwing" the hawk as well."

Edward

Oak Park, IL

Tour: 08/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had the most wonderful time and the tourmates were very congenial. Not one person did we not wish to spend time with. The Irish cities, towns and countryside all have their may charms as do the Irish themselves. Their friendliness and humor is infectious. Perhaps to counter the sadness and hard times past. The itinerary and fun activities, the meals, our caring guide and skilled driver, no disappointments. We were lucky with the weather as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one wow moment with the bounty of beautiful and dramatic scenery but maybe getting to play with Inca, the hawk at Ashford Castle. We each got a turn to wear the glove and have her land on it and then to cast her off into the air to await her next partner. We've seen falconry demonstrations but never had such an intimate encounter with a bird of prey."

Pam

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 08/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Ireland tour was the best "official" tour I have attended. Rozanne was awesome and all the stars and moons must have been in line because all the participants were terrific together, laughed together, teased each other, and had all around great personalities. Not one poopie head in the bunch. Dennis our driver was very good too. How he made some of those left and right hand turns on those narrow streets with that big 'ol bus and not hitting anything took skill.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't just name one "wow" experience, the whole two weeks were wow. But I did love the sheep herding because I'm a big animal lover, to include the falcon experience. The scenery was awe inspiring, and all our pictures will not do it justice. You just have to stand there and be in the moment."

Gail

Coronado, CA

Tour: 08/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

"Couldn't have been better!"

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day we had another "wow" moment.... there was a certain thrill, though, when I put my fingertips over the cliffs at the fort on Aran Island, gulp. Oh, wait a minute, maybe I should mention my excitement of flying a falcon. How about .... well, this could go on and on. Just take this trip and see for yourself;)"

Kim

Broken Arrow, OK

Tour: 08/03/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 1st Rick Steves tour and I would not hestitate to take another one. It was more than I expected. Small group of 27 travelors, wonderful tour Guide Rozanne. Great weather and temperatures, scenery was spectacular, the Irish are so warm and welcoming. Pubs were a blast and our activities were grand! I spent my birthday on the Aran Islands soaking in the cliffs and Atlantic sea beauty. I was surprised at our group dinner by a birthday gift and dessert from my fellow travelors.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really can't give you a "wow" moment because in my opinion.... all of it was a "wow" moment. Kinsale, Dingle, Galway, Portrush, Dublin, cliffs of Moher, sheep herding, Falconry, Aran Island were all so fantastic."

Jocelyn

Granum, AB

Tour: 07/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since I had never experienced traveling with a tour group before (and I do travel extensively!) I was a bit apprehensive, however, the Rick Steves' tour of Ireland was excellent! I had never been to Ireland before, and I wanted a mixture of local and cultural sites, from all over the country, to give me a feel for the rich and vast history of Ireland, and this tour was great at providing a satisfying collection of experiences. Stephen was an excellent tour guide, and our group meshed very well!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the Falconry School was my favorite. We have hawks on our Ranch, and experiencing such a majestic bird, as a falcon, landing on my arm was breath-taking. The birds are all so beautiful! I have seen demonstrations before, but I have never been invited to participate and that was excellent! It was also just our group tromping around in the forest, and it was a welcome break from the 'tourist crowds', nice and intimate!"

Wayne

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 07/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Awesome experience! Loved the scenery, the people, the music and learning the history! Our guide, Stephen did such a great job weaving it all together. Need to give credit to our driver, Stephen Great having him on the tour, as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many!!! Loved the town of Kinsale, and the walk alon the Scilly walk. Loved Dingle with all its music. The walk out to the light house was outstanding! We even saw Dungi the dolphin from the shore. Then there was the Giant's Causeway. Walking across the Carrick-de-Rede Rope Bridge was cool; Visiting Dun Aonghasa on the Aran Islands was amazing."

Judy

Roseville, CA

Tour: 07/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing! All of it: Pub-crawling, Guinness tasting and whiskey tasting. I loved all the Tidy Towns and the hotel in Dingle who served porridge with Baileys Irish cream. The food was delicious including the best scones in Kinsale and the best dessert banoffee in Portrush. Our guide, Steven, was the best "in the world". He was very knowledgeable about Ireland's history and an amazing storyteller and singer. We also had a wonderful bus driver, also named Steven. I highly recommend this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm going to cheat! My favorite town was Dingle. The best scones "in the world" are in Kinsale. The Kissane sheep herding was amazing, watching the dogs and the trainers was incredible. The Cliffs of Moher were breathtaking(literally). And topping off my "wow" moments is tea at Ashford Castle and being able to participate in the Falconry with the hawk landing on my arm and them sending him off into the forest. Wonderful trip!"

Kelly

Renton, WA

Tour: 07/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great group. Great tour guide. Your marketing about " No grumps allowed" works. Ireland is beautiful. We had the best bus driver " In the world".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coffee at the castle, followed by the school of Falconry was unreal."

Marla

Surprise, AZ

Tour: 07/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was like a well oiled machine! It ran very smoothly and was even more than I expected. We had a vast array of interesting travel companions which made for an interesting and fun trip! Enjoyed the big cities but truly adored the quaint small towns and villages. Meeting and mingling with the locals was a delight. The countryside is beautiful and lush.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The moment we came into view of Ashford Castle! Not only was I awestruck, but had the privilege to have tea and biscuits in the beautiful bar lounge. What a treat!"

Robert

Surprise, AZ

Tour: 07/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A good combination of set tours and free time to explore on my own. Excellent tour director and bus driver..made for an informative safe tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hawk experience."

Mary

San Jose, CA

Tour: 07/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where do I begin? My husband and I have dreamed of touring Ireland for almost 40 years. I was a bit concerned, as our expectations were high (as anything would be after dreaming about if for so long!) We were not disappointed at all! Our trip exceeded our wildest hopes. We definitely want to return to Ireland on our own as our list of sites to see actually grew after our visit. We would like to travel to other countries as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This may not be your typical answer, but my favorite "wow" moment was visiting Belfast. I was somewhat familiar with Irish history before my trip and was aware of the continuous struggle for Irish freedom including the Troubles. Seeing first hand the Peace Wall, the sectarian neighborhoods, and the many murals throughout the city was very poignant for me. It is one thing to read about the fragile peace in Belfast, but it is certainly quite another to experience the city."

Carol

Salem, OR

Tour: 07/27/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was very pleased with my Ireland tour. I had a great time and the sights were great. Each day brought more great adventures and sights to see. Most of the B & B's that we stayed in were more than I had expected with wonderful breakfasts. Our bus driver was an expert driver and such a nice guy. This was my first time on a Rick Steve tour and I would definitely go on another.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It really is hard to point out one thing that was the best. Each day brought something different. I think that being able to visit the Ashford Castle and the falconry experience was a bit extra special. The castle was beautiful and being able to have that beautiful bird land on my hand was something I never had expected to experience. It was great."

Barrie

Wellsville, NY

Tour: 07/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Mohr, Aran Islands, and Giant's Causeway!"

Carol

Wellsville, NY

Tour: 07/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable - lots of history and insight learned about the Irish. Guide Stephen made all most exciting through his enthusiastic storytelling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one WOW, but a collective eye-opener for scenic beauty, sheep and dogs, Irish porridge, pub music."

Kelly

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For how busy we all were, I still felt like there was enough free and down time which was great! Didn't feel like I missed out on anything, thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery of course! Hikes, trails, and view points were insane."

Lisa

Renton, WA

Tour: 07/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

500 character limit is not enough to express what an amazing trip this was. Every aspect of the tour was perfect. Stephen added such a wonderful element to the trip. Our bus driver (also Stephen) was just delightful and how he drove that bus on some of the roads is still a mystery to me. The group was a perfect mix. The hotels, restaurants and sightseeing choices were perfect. There is no way we could have done, seen and most importantly experienced Ireland the same on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. If I can only choose one it would be Giants Causeway and purposefully getting there at the time we did to enjoy the beauty without the crowds. It was a very special experience and would have been very different within an hour. That's just one example of why we only do RS tours. I'm choosing 2: coffee in Ashford Castle and the school of Falconry. What a wonderful surprise. Again made possible only because of our wonderful guide Stephen."

Thomas

Durango, CO

Tour: 07/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second RS tour. To be honest I did not think another tour could be as much fun as our first RS tour (Village Italy in 2013) but this one was. We had a blast. Our tour group was great and reinforced that a RS tour attracts like-minded travelers. The itinerary was varied and every day was simply fun, educational, and engaging. I was not totally sold on going to Ireland, but I was wrong - this is a great tour. Naturally, my wife knew better thank goodness.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"OK - I cannot list one WOW moment. But here they are. Listening to Big Liam in Kitty O'Shea's pub in Kinsale, Giant's Causeway, and having a hunting hawk land on by fist at the falconry demonstration. A fourth would be the little stone church from 600 AD made totally of loose laid stones. OK - also the portage with Bailey's Irish Cream on top. I also have to say that our tour guide, Stephen, was a wow moment every day. He was simply terrific."

Mary Ann

Durango, CO

Tour: 07/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful country and what a wonderful tour guide, Stephen, who introduced us to Ireland . . . its culture, its history, its love of music/art/literature, and of course, its friendly people. Biggest surprise? The fantastic food from porridge (oatmeal) served with Bailey's Irish Cream in Dingle to a six-inch high piece of Banoffee (think banana cream pie on steroids) in Portrush. This was our second tour with Rick Steves and we are already planning our next adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tough question. Loved watching the working sheep dogs at Kissane Farm; standing on the Cliffs of Moher; listening to Big Liam in a Kinsale pub; strolling through the Trinity College Library; experiencing Kilmainham Gaol; and seeing the amazing dancer, musicians, and singers in Dingle, where we even had a Texas barbecue in Tommy O'Sullivan's backyard! Hard to choose, but the biggest "wow" for me: climbing on the rocks at Giant's Causeway on a beautiful sunny morning before the crowds arrived."

Carla

Albany, CA

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful trip with a fantastic guide and a great group of fellow travelers. Barry brought Ireland alive for me, in culture, humor, and history and I learned so much about this lovely country and its people. We saw and did so much in our two weeks together and had experiences that I could have never created for myself, including having a falcon fly to my wrist and meeting the great-granddaughter of a tradesman who helped build and died on the Titanic. Amazing trip...thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! But here's one: sitting in an Irish pub in Kinsale with Barry (our guide) and his parents, and hearing a group of musicians (and whoever wanted to join them!) playing and singing stirring Irish folks songs. One of the performers was 95 years young, still singing, laughing and clearly loving life."

Marissa

Roseville, CA

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I could not have planned a better trip to Ireland. Absolutely wonderful! I saw so much, was relaxed, and had a great time! I would recommend this tour to anybody!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I skipped the mini-bus tour, rented a bicycle and rode around Inishmore (Aran Islands). It was so beautiful and allowed me enjoy the serenity and beauty that surrounds all of Ireland. I loved it! (The boat ride to see puffins on the Blasket Islands was totally awesome too! Oh and climbing atop the Giant's Causeway was indescribable! There was so much to love!)"

Grace

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We absolutely loved every moment of this tour. Fantastic guide, beautiful and friendly country, and a great group of traveling companions. Would recommend this tour to everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The quaintness of Kinsale, the rugged beauty of the Dingle Peninsula, the Aran Islands, the cliffs of Moher, the Giant's Causeway and the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge were all fantastic moments. But I also loved the experience at the sheep farm, the pub singing and Celtic harp playing in Kinsale and the crystal cutting in Dingle-they were small, personal glimpses into life in Ireland. And the falconry at Ashford Castle was an incredible experience."

Debbie

Mill Creek, WA

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Ireland was one of my favorites of the seven we have done so far. A combination of beautiful weather, amazing scenery, warm friendly locals, and an energetic, knowledgable guide set it apart. My only negative was the bus; 28 people to unload using only the front door took too long and in some instances the group had already started walking before the last person was off the bus. I understand the side door can't be opened when there is a safety concern, but in two weeks it was only used once.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite reflections from the tour include the session at Dalton's in Kinsale where a young man in his 90s was belting out "Why I Wear a Kilt." It had us in tears. The hawk walk at Ashford Castle where we flew a Harris Hawk. The good fortune to come across some Connemara Ponies and spend time rubbing behind their ears. The excellent cuisine choices in the Irish restaurants and the opportunity to interact with the ethnic diversity which is now Ireland."

David

Austin, TX

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best Rick Steves tour we have been on. Food, tour group, guide, bus & driver, Irish people, Ireland itself were all first-rate. Ireland is a rolling postcard.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Interaction w/Mary at Tap Tavern - a truly crusty individual who appears to find newcomers an irritation but is actually a great Irish character. A fun, entertaining visit enjoyed over a few (several) pints of Smithwick's. School of Falconry was seriously cool, too."

Cynthia

Georgetown, TX

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was our sixth tour and although we have loved them all,this was the very best. Our guide was absolutely delightful, attentive to everyone, funny, agreat story teller and exposed us to all aspects of Irish culture. Ireland has the friendliest people and the entire country beautiful. We left loving all aspects. Great experiences at observing Dingle crystal being created and the sheep herder terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all a WoW."

Jeannie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves' tour and I had no idea what it was going to be like other than from Rick's TV shows and the printed information sent prior to the trip. It exceeded any expectations I had and was a wonderful experience, especially with Barry Moloney as the tour guide and the great group of people in the tour. I chose the Ireland tour because it fit my schedule rather than any preconceptions about the place; it also exceeded my expectations in its beauty and the history provided.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Giant's Causeway: it was jaw-dropping amazing to see what nature created. The sheep farm border collie herding demonstration was great. I also really appreciated Barry's well-planned and organized multimedia presentation of information, historical and otherwise. His balanced articulation of the multiple perspectives involved in the Lusitania and modern "troubles" of Northern Ireland were so helpful in a deeper understanding of issues I had only a superficial knowledge of previously."

Rebecca

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour! Barry was great fun and went out of his way to help us. It was our first tour group and we look forward to our next one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Falcon"

Larry

Richards, MO

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip. Barry our guide did a wonderful job of managing our trip. The food selections provided by the tour were outstanding. The local guides were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was the Giants Causeway."

Karen

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was our 4th Rick Steve's tour that knocked my socks off! I keep wondering how every tour can top the one before it, but it does. Barry Moloney, our tour guide, worked hard to personalize the trip for each of us. Ireland and Irish history came alive for me and I felt so welcome there. It was all about the people...the wonderful, warm, song-filled, story-sharing, joyous people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In the 1970's I was in Belfast visiting family. On this 7/2014 trip, our guide, Martin McCrossan shared the history of "the troubles" and touched my soul with his expression of how Belfast is now at peace. I could feel it. His words gave me hope for world peace. Near the end of the tour we stopped in front of a Presbyterian church and one of the members, 86 year old William O'Laughlin came out to join us and sang, "Wind in the Willows." Tears poured down my face..."

Douglas

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my sixth RS tour and possibly the best. To the extent it's the best, I would have to credit the guide, Barry. The things that set him apart were his caring attitude and his sense of humor. He went out of his way to befriend every member of the group in a very genuine way. He REALLY wanted to make sure you were having a good time and getting the most out of the tour. He was obviously and understandably very proud of his country without being obnoxious about it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Castlewood House B&B in Dingle. All I could think when I saw it was "wow.""

Mary

Roseville, CA

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very much enjoyed our Ireland tour. The towns, countryside, people, music and food were all great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't limit it to one moment. My top favorites were an Eco tour around the Blasket Islands, bicycling on Inishmore, and visiting the Giant's Causeway."

Skip

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is an extraordinarily beautiful island. The people have endured terrible suppression. I had been to Belfast in the late 1970's when they searched everyone at every store. Most of the tension is gone. I am both "Green" and "Orange" and was unsure if I could admit that there. Then someone explained the Irish flag is green white and orange for Gaelic tradition of Ireland, orange representing the followers of William of Orange in Ireland, and white representing the aspiration for peace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Recognizing that Ireland was at peace and the meaning of the flag, the warmth of everyone we talked to and the fun of singing in the pubs, told me that I was home at my roots."

Teresa

Austin, TX

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was clearly outstanding and the majority of the reason is because of Barry Moloney. He was excellent!!! Barry just went above and beyond to make sure ever member of our tour was getting a rich Irish experience. We found out about history, music, and the food of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The School of Falconry at Ashford Castle was my greatest experience. Thanks to Barry, I have a video of the experience so that I can relive it."

Robert

Mill Creek, WA

Tour: 07/20/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Ireland is such a wonderful place to visit whether on your own or with a tour; stunning beauty everywhere, warm, friendly, colorful people, and this time beautiful weather. Barry, our tour guide did a masterful job of bringing the history and culture of Ireland to life. I left Ireland with a much better appreciation of its strategic importance to England and why my ancestors chose to leave a country they surely loved.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The session in Kinsale where there were multigenerational musicians playing nonstop all evening including some US songs to make us feel included. Joan and Frank at their B&B in Galway...we had stayed there in 2009 so it was like a homecoming. The falconry experience at Ashford Castle. The B&B in Dingle. The personal experience related by our local guide in Belfast. The sheep herding demonstration in Kilarney National Park."

Barry

Murray, KY

Tour: 07/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

everything as expected from a Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giants causeway"

Ellen

Boulder, CO

Tour: 07/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dara was gracefully vigilant and the most amazing guide. Each day was better than the last. The amount of free time was balanced so well with the organized activities. The hotels and organized meals were perfection.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Falconry, Dingle Crystal, Derry."

Peter

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 07/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Whole lot of fun from beginning to end. Excellent exposure to Irish history, culture, scenery,... Perfect mix of structured and free time. Excellent guides. Would definitely recommend this tour to friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Traditional Irish music in Dingle. Dara got us access to three concerts with amazingly talented musicians. Falconry was pretty "wowwy" as well."

Margaret

Murray, KY

Tour: 07/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellently organized and extremely informative. Dara, Pascall, and Abe were a great team and greatly contributed to the overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow-momentS!! -- the shores-- cliffs along the coast all the way around Ireland. And the Giant's Causeway. And the sheep-herding dogs! No one moment."

Sandy

Goldendale, WA

Tour: 07/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour to Ireland was magical...everyday was full of surprises and just when you thought "it doesn't get better than this the next day proved us wrong". So well planned out and every detail covered. Our guide Dara and his assistant Abe were outstanding and they made each of us feel very special. And then there was Pascal our bus driver...he was an excellent bus driver and we were all glad to have him at the wheel. They made our tour of Ireland perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant Causeway was very impressive and to enjoy that hike without a cloud in the sky made this my favorite "wow" moment. Followed closely with our time in Dingle. Dara put a hometown "wow moment" into each day we were there."

James

Pittsburg, CA

Tour: 07/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Just fantastic, a wonderful experience with getting to know the local people not just in observation but actually participating in their food and music. Our guide, Dara, was outstanding in all aspects of the tour and he also brought a very person "Irish Born" interaction with each of us. I really felt cared for, by both Dara and Abe during the entire tour. The accommodations were the best I have had on any of my five Rick Steves tours and the Dingle accommodations were a 5 star plus experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several the two that stand out in my mind were the two Irish singing concerts in Dingle and participating in the Falconry at Ashford Castle. We each were allowed to put on the leather glove and bring the Falcon home to our hand, feed it, and then send it off into the trees. The other WOW was our group they were just so positive and full of participation it was wonder to travel with them all for two weeks."

Allan

Salt Spring Island, BC

Tour: 07/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

the tour was fantastic,the rooms we had were great,the food superb. My hip and knee flared up just before the trip. So I skipped some of the walking tours of the cities but was able to keep up for most of the sites. (I was slow walking & didn't want to hold up the tours for the rest)My Daughter took lots of Pictures so I didn't feel I missed anything. Both Dara, Abe & Pascal were very good to me and are great Guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The concert in Dingle at Dara's dads book store,also the dingle peninsula"

Sandra

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 07/13/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour itself was excellent, just enough planned and unplanned time and great optional activities such as the traditional Irish music concerts in Dingle. The group got along exceptionally well adding to the overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The various cliffs - Moher, Dun Aenghus, and the Giant's Causeway. We come from a part of the world with great coastlines, but these were really great. Second place would have to go to the concerts and third to the falconry."

John

Lynbrook, NY

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience was simply outstanding Declan was simply amazing. his knowledge, his gift of gab and musical voice kept us entertained during those long bus rides through the Irish countryside. The group was great we meshed well and really enjoyed each others company. A great experience one that my wife and I will remember for a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday was a wow moment from Kinsale to Dingle to Frank and Joan's bed and breakfast with unbelievable hospitality in Galway. The cliffs of Mohr, the giant causeway, The Irish music in the pubs the warmth of the people and the great restaurants. The tours of Derry Northern Island and the tour of the Titanic shipyard in Belfast given by the great granddaughter of a designer and victim of the titanic. These tours were also emotional for the guides and us"

Jordyn

Centre, AL

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is stunning beyond belief. The music is pure perfection. And the Irish people are so friendly they should win the award for friendliest country on earth. That being said--how could a tour NOT be good in a location so grand?! Our tour guide was organized, driver was talented at driving in tight locations, tour members were kind, the bus had WiFi (a most pleasant surprise) and I only wish that I was still in Dingle listening to the music at St. James Church.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How do you pick? God showed out in Ireland, the blues and greens are bluer and greener than we have at home. At some point every day I would say to Him, "Wow. You outdid Yourself here." From the Cliffs of Moher to Giant's Causeway to the music of Dingle, every day had a "wow moment" of its own."

Sandra

St Louis Park, MN

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Beautiful country, beautiful people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Moher Cliffs"

Velores

Otsego, MN

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Never realized there was so much history in Ireland. And, it is the most beautiful Europen country I have visited. I would recommend your tour in Ireland to those that want to visit Ireland. The people on the tour were great and fun to be with. Spent lots of hours with them in the evening. Exchanged email with several so we can keep in touch. The places we visited and stayed were amongst the best places in Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to climb the top of a fort and the a Cliffs. Watching the dogs round up the sheep is something I thought I would never seem everything ai did and see was a "wow" moment."

Allen

Napa, CA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first tour and I really enjoyed myself and Declan was great

Helen

Napa, CA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my 3rd trip to Ireland. 1980 and 2005 It is so interesting to see the changes in the country over the years First time everyone was Irish. Food Irish Beer warm. Next time mix of nationalities. Food more international Everytime the people the people so warm and friendly

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Extra music that Declan arranged for us"

Andrew

Napa, CA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

tour great and guide great

Adam

Napa, CA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

everything great

Lara

Springfield, MO

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought that the towns that we visited were wonderful. It was cool to see how different they all were and the Irish people are so friendly and welcoming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giants Causeway was really neat. We were able to get there early, so we had it almost to ourselves. The views were amazing! I also loves visiting the Falconry and getting to fly the hawk. Really cool experience."

Robert

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Busy, full, fun, informative, bumpy (roads and boats), great tour guide (Declan)and bus driver (Dennis). Great tour group, many characters. Ireland is, of course, very green, but the best part of the tour and the country to me is the people. The locals & tourists are easy to talk to, usually the language was not a barrier, they are very patient with "my accent" and my questions. These are friendly, fun people to get to know and they are happy to talk about their country, jobs, hobbies, sports.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite is tough. There were many moments that stand out. I think the most-wow were the tours of Northern Ireland's Derry and Belfast. This is not because these are part of England, but because it linked all the history, the stories of the "troubles" and the Irish wish to unite all of Ireland vs. the desire for peace. These cities are worth a stay to visit and see more."

Paula

Vista, CA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Steves tour so we knew it would be fun and well-organized to optimized our time in Ireland. It was everything I hoped it would be. As always, informative and fun ( not always an easy combination). Our fearless leader was grand!!! Our group was such an interesting mix of people..under ordinary life situations you would never have an opportunity to meet such a diverse crowd. Some of us will remain friends for a long time to come. Thanks for a fantastic experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Is is nearly impossible to define just one... The Giants Causeway was awe- inspiring , yet the morning at the falconry school was a once in a lifetime experience. My favorite town was Dingle. The people were grand, the food was fabulous, our lodging was outstanding. The "peace wall" in Belfast was a wow but for different reasons: sad, eye-opening and moving all at the same time."

Ginny

Danville, CA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After 8 independent trips to Europe with Rick Steves' books in hand, my husband & I took this wonderful tour of Ireland. I wondered how we would feel about the bus - we actually looked forward to the drive time, because we got to hear Declan sing, tell stories & explain Irish history. Because we usually plan our own trips, I would have added a few things not included, but might have missed things that we enjoyed. The local guides added an element that we would have missed on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle - more that one moment, but my favorite. I loved the town, the Shea Head tour, the restaurants - Global Village (group dinner), Chart House, The Half Door; the pubs (O'Flaherty's); and the beautiful guest house (Castlewood); and most of all the music - Siopa Ceoil is not to be missed. Loved the pubs of Ireland - good food, Guinness and lots of craic."

Janet

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Declan and Dennis, our bus driver, were personable and had good senses of humor. I enjoyed traveling with each of them. Bus rides were shortened by the history, songs of the areas, a Capella songs sung by Declan, Irish humor and some oddities of Ireland. Dennis provided good driving entertainment in tight spots. Good fellow travelers topped it all off.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Signing the Peace Wall in Belfast - I know it will get re-painted and the likelihood of anyone seeing what I wrote is minimal, but this was a very powerful emotional "Wow" moment for me after hearing about all The Troubles and history of violence and war in Ireland."

Beverly

Osprey, FL

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My goodness this was such a great trip!! Our guide Declan Field was really amazing. Brought the history of Ireland alive everyday. He sang to us, read poetry and played music from every county we traveled through on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WOW moments were many. Guess I was most impressed with the Irish people, and the music was so terrific! The concert we went to at the church in Dingle and all the pubs with so many talented performers."

Pamela

Fircrest, WA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment I had was when we toured the Cliffs of Moher. The most beautiful sight I've ever experienced."

Melissa

Gaithersburg, MD

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Nice combination of beautiful scenery, fascinating history, interesting cities and villages, excellent accommodations, enjoyable music and great fellow tour members. Overall a wonderful and memorable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wonderful coastal scenery."

Laurence

Fircrest, WA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Saw all of the sights and learned a tremendous amount. He made the tour interesting and had added features, such as a play, live music, very entertaining. Declan gave me a new perspective on the country. Wow what a tour. Timing and arrangements were well in advance and we always knew what was going to be going on.

Dennis

Tampa, FL

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After experiencing the Rick Steves' Heart of France Tour in 2013 we were convinced there would never be a better trip. We were wrong! Our trip to Ireland this year was absolutely spectacular. Rosanne was a fabulous tour guide and demonstrated a passion throughout the two week tour. The bed and breakfasts, the food and the Irish city highlights showed us a side of Ireland that we didn't expect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Closing Kitty O Se's in Kinsale...Trad Routes, the band, remarked that we were the first couple from a Rick Steves' tour that stayed past 10pm. We felt so welcomed that we were part of the Irish crowd. If we had to pick a close second we'd have to say looking down over the Cliffs of Moher."

Patricia

Glen Allen, VA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I started out this tour on a low note[INVALID]unexpectedly without my roommate/tour companion. But, I have always had wonderful groups of people on R S tours and this tour group was no exception. There should never be any hesitation in claiming that R S has great groups[INVALID]the friendliness of my tour mates turned this trip around into a fantastic, happy experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our 3 night stay in Dingle was my favorite. The experiences there made you really feel what it was like to live in rural Ireland both now and in the past. If I can ever return to Ireland, I would fly into Shannon airport and travel through the countryside from the southeast all the way up the west coast to the north. I was fascinated with the scenery in counties Kerry, Clare, Mayo and Galway,as well as the Aran Islands."

Bonnie

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We want to do it again!! I ha never been out of the country before and had some concerns. Traveling with this nice small group with a competent leader was like a safety net around me. If I was to plan a trip, I wouldn't know where to begin. Rick did it all. It took a lot of stress off so I didn't have to worry, just go with the flow!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick just ONE! My husband's was the Blaskett Islands. Even though it inhabitable, he loved going to the museum and learning about it. He never knew those people existed. For me, I think just experiencing Dublin. The people,the homes,the town,the feeling that was there. We took a free day and did the hop on hop off bus trip, and spent the better part of the morning at the zoo with all the locals. The animals were amazing, and the way they housed them even more so!"

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."

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."

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."

William

Mountain View, CA

Tour: 06/29/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

More than expected! Had never been on a tour before and now am anxious to go on another. I felt the tour was perfect for our family - husband, wife and twin 16 year old young men. We were busy and engaged the entire time. Free time was a great plus. Loved the other people on the tour. We all quickly got close.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving in Dublin and settling-in before the tour. Much anticipation!"

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.

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."

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!"

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 ."

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."

Daniel

Fort Wayne, IN

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I have always wanted to visit Ireland and this trip was the perfect way to do so. We had a wonderful trip guide and all of the local guides were both knowledgeable and entertaining. This was our fifth Rick Steves tour and the accommodations were the best we have ever had. There was a very good mix of planned time and flexible time. Everything from our guide to our driver, to our meals, to the sites we visited, to our fellow travelers was top notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As I mentioned, this was our fifth Rick Steves tour and always before it was easy to identify the "wow" moment. It wasn't as easy this time. I think the moment that has stayed with me the longest, was when our local guide at the Titanic Museum, Susie Millar, told the story of her great-grandfather and showed us the two 1912 pennies he had left with his boys before setting sail on that voyage."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Mary Anne

Watsonville, CA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very, very nice. Our group of people was friendly and thoughtful and I felt very comfortable with everyone. The sights, sounds, food, history, music and walking/hiking was great. I appreciated the time we had to do our own touring outside of the group experience. The weather was a real plus! It was extra special for me to have a room to myself by default. The only thing I missed was not taking enough pictures and not seeing the puffins...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having the tour guide share the information about my grandma with his acquaintance in Westport. I was looking for relatives and/or to find where my grandma lived before coming to the states in 1903. Stephen's acquaintance, Darren Madden found my grandma's home and took me there. He drove me around Clew Bay and then to Newport so I could see the area where she had lived. It was a special treat for me, very emotional and I will always be grateful to Stephen and Darren for taking the extra time."

Mary

Casper, WY

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was exactly what I expected and exactly what I didn't expect. Every place was unique and had it's own special gift to open. While I hated leaving one place, it was so exciting to go to the next. We've all seen the lovely pictures of Ireland, but to stand in those places and breathe in the history, the scenery, and the people made my heart sing. I didn't think I would enjoy a trip as much as our RS tour in Scotland. I can see that each one brings it's own special experience. Fun, Fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Those little, crowded pubs full of singing and noise... I was disappointed when I had just had too much fun during the day and needed to head back to the room before the music started."

Vickie

Santa Barbara, CA

Tour: 06/27/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip to Ireland was super. According to my friend who was born and raised in Ireland, our itinerary was the best he had ever seen. (He had been asked by many others to review other group tours....) Our guide Stephen was terrific. Everything ran efficiently and smoothly without that rushed feeling. I enjoyed the free time to explore what was of interest to me and also appreciated the input from the OUTSTANDING guides throughout the many stops. The country itself is amazingly beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"....well it wasn't exactly the planned tour that was MY "wow" moment. I LOVED the pub scene. The music, the people and joy is just infectious. I'm not much of a drinker (like a drink once a week or so) so it wasn't the drinking that made it so much fun. The crowd is just so friendly and welcoming. Everything is so spontaneous...dancing, singing and solo singers encouraged from the crowd. It's just plain fun!!"

Karen

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great food! Fabulous Hotels/BB! Wonderful sights, and interesting experiences. I have enjoyed sharing my WOW experiences with all my friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Fabulous food Declan really picked some wonderful restaurants that served organic and local food beautiful presented. The falcon experience was probably the top experience, but walking the beach and seeing the surfers at Portrush really surprised me. The Castlewood House(B&B)in Dingle was beyond anything I expected. The most important information was Northern Ireland and all the facts leading up to the visit. Declan and local tour guides really helped me understand the issues. Bog jumping"

Sharla

Quincy, CA

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely fantastic first tour! Our fortieth Wedding Anniversary trip to ourselves was perfect. The planning, the dining, the driving all done for us by the Rick Steve's Tours experts. All we had to do was sit back,learn, and be entertained by our fabulous guide Declan and driver Dennis.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday there was a wow moment! My favorite at this moment was walking through Dingle fields where my Grandmother was raised."

Gayle

Lancaster, SC

Tour: 06/22/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland in 14 Days tour was a wonderful experience. Our guide, Declan was excellent. The tour was filled with history, music, outdoor activities and great fun. The tour was a wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How could I possibly choose-food, accommodations, entertainment. I think I had a wow moment each day!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!!"

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."

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."

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."

Ted

The Woodlands, TX

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was simply outstanding in every aspect: Ireland was as beautiful as I thought it would be (the weather we had on this tour was unusually good - very little rain and lots of sunny days). The Irish people (both in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) were very friendly. The tour hotels/B & B's were very good...it seemed they got even better as the tour progressed. The hotel/B & B owners/operators were extremely accommodating. The places and towns we visited were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many: Seeing in Dublin where the Irish independence movement started; the mountains & lakes of Killarney; the sheep farm; the Irish music in Dingle; the Slea Head drive; the Cliffs of Moher; The Falconry school - having a hawk land on my arm; Seeing the flags of the 14 tribes of Galway and driving through a small town seeing all the businesses owned by people with my surname; Carrick-a-Rede rope footbridge; in Belfast: Shankill & Falls Road; the Titanic shipyard and our guide, Susie"

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"

Lawrence

Reno, NV

Tour: 06/08/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We are a retired couple who are well traveled but never taken a Rick Steves' tour. We tend to take a mix of independent travel and small group guided travel. We shy away from large tour groups and were somewhat hesitant to join a group of 28. Our experience with our tour was exceptional; the pacing, the accommodations, and the itinerary. Of course, the warm and dry weather came as an added bonus. Saving the best for last, we want to acknowledge our tour guide Susie, aptly aided by Tara.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stunning scenery, the wonderful old castles, forts and churches..."

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

Michele

Akron, OH

Tour: 06/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't say enough good things about our travels with Rick Steves to Ireland. I have taken one other trip to Europe with a college tour company and it too was great, but what I really liked was the small group size. I will only travel with groups that size from now on, and I do plan on taking another trip with Rick Steves. I also like the idea of seeing the regular tourist haunts, but love seeing the unusual things. Everyone I talk to about our trip hears great praise

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no one "wow" moment. I enjoyed everything on this trip."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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!!"

Richard

Silver City, NM

Tour: 06/01/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

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."

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."

Laura

Redmond, WA

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time and really enjoyed getting to know Rozanne and the other people on the Tour. I learned so much about Ireland (the good and the bad) and would visit again with the right opportunity. The length of the Tour was about perfect and the break in Dingle was very nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all a 'Wow' moment, but the area of the Famine was one of the top. The Book of Kells and the Library at Trinity College was my favorite though."

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."

Mikel

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 05/30/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I think you should add at least one night in a castle.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Multiple: Dingle area Castle filmed by Count of Monte Cristo"

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."

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""

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."

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."

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."

David

Medina, WA

Tour: 05/25/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great. Best ever tour (our second Rick Steves)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Without a doubt the Falconry School where we all got to "fly" the hawk was my favorite part of the tour. I also enjoyed finding plants growing in the crevices of the rock in the Burren"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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)."

Teresa

Poulsbo, WA

Tour: 05/18/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Declan, and our bus driver, Joe, were both absolutely outstanding! The ride on the bus was a rich journey through history as related by Declan. He augmented that with music from the region and sometimes even sang to us. He told us funny stories from his own personal Irish experiences. He really brought the country to life for us. I appreciate his sense of humor and his knowledge of Ireland. Joe was such a nice fellow. Very courteous and looked out for all of us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite 'wow' moments were: At the Irish School of Falconry where we learned about the birds and we each got to hold a hawk and launch it. Another 'wow' moment was at the Titanic Museum in Belfast. Our local tour guide was the great-grandaughter of a man who perished on the Titanic. She had two coins that he gave to her grandfather before he left on the Titanic. We got to hold them in our hands! History brought to life. I was also 'wowed' by all of the ancient architecture in Ireland."

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."

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"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

Gilbert

Toms River, NJ

Tour: 05/11/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour in a great country. Highly recommend this tour to everyone, the country side the people you meet the music the food the history there is just so much I wish that it was much longer. I will be back for sure and a big thanks to the guide Stephen how helped make it all possible

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the whole trip"

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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.

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."

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."

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."

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...)"

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."

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."

Dan

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first trip to Ireland. It was our good fortune to have Pat O'Conner and Dara Herlihy as guide and assistant. Pat was great, of course, and Dara had that local knowledge that proved so important when several tour members got sick. We would do the tour again if we did not have other places yet to see. History, scenery, people, music,and pubs, what more could one ask for? A beautiful country and friendly people, well displayed by our guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not good at picking a favorite "wow" moment. There were too many great moments...and days...to single out one. Dublin, Kinsale, and Dingle are special places. Dunluce Castle, Rock of Cashel, Aran Islands, too many to name. And we had many special moments in the pubs of Dingle, meeting people and listening to great music."

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."

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."

Joel

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/09/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding vacation.

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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.

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.

Transportation

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.

Many 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 to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

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; Kilmainham Gaol; 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.

Packing

For advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick’s packing tips.