• 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

from $4,095 + Air

Optional Single Supplement $725

See Tour Dates

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

2015

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 • Glasnevin Cemetery & Museum • 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 begin 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 Glasnevin Cemetery & Museum, the final resting place of many of Ireland’s national heroes and heroines. Then 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 visit 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

William

Rockford, IL

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall experience was wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As far a one WOW moment, it would be difficult for me to narrow to only one. There were many moments that I would classify as WOW moments."

Michael

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my 5th RS tour and as usual it was great. It was well organized and well paced. We had only 18 people on the tour and this was great! Recently the tours have been getting bigger and bigger which dilutes the personal approach we like in a RS tour. This felt like one of our earlier tours. A nice change was it seems like the hotels each year seem to be nicer and nicer which is good as far as amenities but not as quirky. I'm not sure what I like more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Even though it was raining the Hawk school was amazing. Music in Dingle was really cool. Belfast and the Peace Wall was sobering and sad. As well as the bonfires being prepared."

Patricia

Davenport, IA

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Aside from the sights, food, music, history, culture, etc., the pacing was great. We had only one night where we stayed only one night, the others were two to three nights with day trips. The schedule also allowed for a little "chill time" upon arrival in late afternoon, and also experiencing the pubs without worrying about reporting to the bus too early. That made it even more fun and relaxing.

Elaine

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour. It was particularly nice to have only 18 people on this particular tour. This was our 6th Rick Steves experience and the smallness of the group led to much more understanding of who we were traveling with. Ireland is a beautiful and diverse country. It was nice to be able to see all the different parts with their different climates and geography. Would have liked to have spent more time in Galway.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning about the varied history of this country and realizing that is has only been a separate republic for a short time in it's history. Despite this, it's history spans back for centuries. I had not previously understood Ireland's relationship with England."

Tom

Duxbury, MA

Tour: 06/28/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife Kris and I have talked about visiting Ireland for many years, but there were too many other counties we also wanted to first visit. Finally in fall 2014, we decided that 2015 was the year for Ireland and we booked this tour. We were not disappointed in the least. Our Ireland tour was met or exceeded the other four Rick Steves tours we have been on in terms of the historic sites, the natural beauty, the people, the culture and, of course, the food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No questions it was the three days in Dingle. I truly felt like a temporary local and very much at home in Dingle thanks to Declan Field and his introductions. I don't have a drop of Irish blood in my body, but if I was to come back in my next life as an Irishman, Dingle is where I would want to live."

Patricia

Longwood, FL

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing. Wonderful tour guides and coach driver. I enjoyed getting to know the other tour members. A small group like we had traveling together really made the trip so enjoyable. The itinerary was excellent, I enjoyed staying away from the more touristy areas and experiencing the country on a more local basis as we did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! But I must count the view of the ocean from the Slea Head drive in Dingle as breathtaking. The blue sky, green landscape, turquoise water and white waves is a picture that will remain in my mind forever. The music in Dingle, the Aran Islands, and the Bogside murals tour in Derry were other memorable moments."

Katherine

Murrysville, PA

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a first-time Rick Steves traveler, the Ireland itinerary exceeded my expectations. I was thrilled and felt truly blessed to have Cathie as our guide. Her deep knowledge of Irish folklore, history, and culture made this trip special. And of course, the music! She not only gave us insight to the importance of music in Irish culture, the sound of her beautiful voice in such sacred places as the Galarus Oratory on the Dingle peninsula brought a tear to our eyes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Bogside murals in Derry, the lovely drive through the Connemara area, and Dun Aengus on Inishmore (Aran Islands) were some of the high points. And of course, the music! The concerts at St. James and the music shop in Dingle with the charming Seamus Begley and Donnagh Hennesy (George Clooney look-alike!) were wonderful. And Cathy's singing, especially at the Coffin ship and Famine memorials, Rock of Cashel and ther Galarus Oratory!"

Anthony

Murrysville, PA

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a marvelous tour. I really don't have anything to complain about except the weather could have been a little warmer. I enjoyed all of the places we visited. The group that we were with was small and everyone was friendly and web all got along well. I couldn't have been happier with the experience and I will definitely consider taking another Rick Steves' tour in the future. Ireland is a very interesting country to visit. We learned a great deal about Ireland's history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed seeing the murals about the northern Ireland troubles that were painted on the buildings in Derry and having a tour by one of the artists. That brought all of the history that we had learned up to that point together for me. As far as a nature set, climbing to the Dun Aengus fortress on Inishmore was just an incredible experience."

Pat

Claremont, CA

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A well-paced, very comprehensive tour of Ireland. Exceeded my expectations of a long-awaited "girl trip" with my daughter and sister. This tour experience has created life-long memories for all of us and I would certainly consider future jourmeys with you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, it was riding in a jaunting cart in the Aran Island of Inishmore with my 17 year old daughter and a local farmer who lived on the island all his life; he was a font of knowledge and full of stories to tell. For my daughter, it was definitely the "hawk walk"on the Ashford Castle grounds; a truly magical momemt for all of us who chose to partake."

Pamela

Fate, TX

Tour: 06/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This being my first (but not last) Rick Steves tour didn't know what to expect. From the first day to the last great experience. If I could have picked a guide, never never could I have gotten anyone better than Cathie. I really liked the balance of planned time and free time. However, that being said, we were in Dublin to long. Drop me into ANY big city and a day or two at most is enough. There all the same. I really liked the smaller towns and villages much better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course the cliffs and countryside are breathtaking It's very hard to pick one. May have a wow moment when I go over all my pictures and have time to really reflect. This whole trip is a wow trip/moment."

J.C.

Berkeley Springs, WV

Tour: 06/21/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Thr tour far exceeded our exceptations. My family and the others on our tour (all long time travelers) agreed Rick Steves is the best way to tour Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dingle Area. The most beautiful part of a very beautiful country."

Heather

Davis, CA

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think what I really appreciated most was the expertise and enthusiasm of all the local guides. They were so knowledgeable and gave the tour that added information and fascination you can never get on your own. Our guide, Roxanne, was also a "wow". She was up-beat, positive, helpful, knowledgeable, and fun."

Rose

Santa Fe, NM

Tour: 06/19/15

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

First Rick Steves tour. I had never heard of him until someone else suggested this tour, and I thought it was extremely heavy handed and pretentious to keep hearing, "Rick says..." and "Rick likes..." I was totally turned off by that. My only change would be more time in Northern Ireland. Loved the scenery throughout the whole country, but I always felt rushed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Murals in Derry; opportunity to meet one of the artists and have him explain the murals."

Mark

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing trip. I love the 1. No grumps allowed. 2. Dress in a "Spartan" fashion. 3. Be fit. The team leader Dara was an awesome and very enthusiastic individual. I would highly recommend him for continued service. He is young, colorful, energetic and has a very Irish "Colorful" vocabulary. He was sincerely interested in everyone on the trip, and when there were minor medical injuries he took a very dedicated and thorough approach

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highlight for me was the "Falcon" demonstration with the Harris Hawk. Amazing!"

Patricia

Port Orange, FL

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I never expected Ireland to capture my heart as this tour did. The food (duck, lamb, seafood) was extraordinarily delicious and beautifully presented, the lodgings were charming and comfortable, the countryside breath-taking, the history fascinating, the people relaxed, fun-loving and welcoming, and our guide Dara the best ever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can you beat the falconry school at the Ashcroft castle where each tour member gets to have a hawk land and take off from a gloved arm, although Dingle was my favorite stop."

Paul

Aurora, CO

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves Tour and we are impressed enough to look for other tours to go on with Rick Steves Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think I enjoyed our 3 days in Dingle the most of any of the places we visited. The opportunity to catch and release the Harris Hawk at Ashford Castle was a bucked list experience that I didn't even know I had."

Connie

Andover, CT

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I didn't think that anything could beat the 2010 "Paris and the Heart of France" tour but this one did. It was a prefect mix of city and small towns. We experienced history, music, scenic vistas and plenty of outdoor activities. We even had great weather! Our tour guide-Dara- was superior. The group was terrific as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can hardly pick one moment as I seemed to be saying "wow' every day. My first wow was the view from Heaton's in Dingle across the bay to the green, green hills under a blue sky. my favorite moment was Dara singing with his father. Who can forget the Harris Hawk experience?"

Patrick

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was 14 unforgettable days of seeing stunning sights ... learning fascinating Irish history ... savoring local food and fabulous desserts (nothing beats Irish ice cream) ... enjoying live, traditional Irish music in pubs, churches and at the wonderful Music Shop in Dingle ... forming new friendships with fellow travelers ... and laughing more than I ever thought possible. And our amazing tour guide Dara Herlihy -- special shout-out to our driver Eddie -- made it all possible. Go raibh maith agat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"With so many awe-inspiring and breathtaking sights to choose from, my favorite "wow" moment (and I think my wife would agree) came on the very first day of the tour -- The Long Room at Trinity College in Dublin. This is the massive main chamber of the Old Library and is filled with 200,000 books. Truly, it was like something out of a Hollywood movie (in fact, it appeared in a "Harry Potter" film). If you're a book lover, this is an experience you'll cherish always."

Carolyn

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour. It more than met our expectations. Scenery and itinerary were wonderful, as expected. Dara made this the best tour ever! He was sensational! Not only was he a good tour guide, he helped us to better understand the character of the country and its people. Our group got along extremely well and we very much enjoyed each other thanks to Dara. My only concern now is that my next Rick Steve's tour will have another guide; hard act to follow.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. The Long Room at Trinity.....didn't expect that at all.Good surprise factor. Cliffs of Mohr, of course and the rope bridge. We arrived early to Dublin and took a train to Belfast and met up with Suzie Miller who gave us a tour of all things related to the Titanic. She was amazing. She let us tour the Titanic Museum on our own. That was one of our highlights. Also enjoyed the Dingle Peninsula and Blasket Island"

Marilyn

New York, NY

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an outstanding trip and met my expectations in every way. May I mention that this is my 15th trip with Rick Steves Tours and, as usual, I travelled with very congenial tour members, an organized schedule, fine food, time for my own interests....... and above all, an excellent tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That has to be the falconry lesson. The picture of me with the Harris Hawk on my mitted arm has been blown up to 8 1/2 X ll. EVERYONE will see that photo. The lesson was an amazing experience."

Chizuko

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 12th RS tour as Ireland was never high in my travel destination. It's so green and beautiful, but it's cold and rains all the time, who wants to go there for vacation, I had wondered. This tour changed my notion of Ireland. Food we were served at restaurants and hotels (or B$B) were so delicious and beautifully presented as if we were in Paris. Irish people were so warm-hearted and so funny. Our tour was filled with laughter and music from the beginning to the end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Eleven of us took a boat ride to the rugged Blasket Island. I enjoyed walking around the island looking through the windows of abandoned stone houses, imagining the kind of life those islanders lived."

Sally

Aurora, CO

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very impressed from the start with how friendly and outgoing my travel companions were and how many were frequent Rick Steves travelers. What a luxury to find that our group of 27 was going to be travelling in a 52 passenger bus - a window seat was always available. I liked that no morning did our group's call to depart happen before 8:30am. Of course how could I not like that for each tour our tickets were waiting so we were not, dinners with the group on 1st nights in a city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What a surprise that included in the falcon demonstration at Ashford Castle that each of us had an opportunity to catch and release a Harris Hawk - a bucket list moment."

Barbara

Ogdensburg, NY

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my expectations in all respects. Excellent food and wines everywhere. Wonderful group of 27. Fantastic guide! Dara is amazing. Enjoyed all stops and excursions. Well worth the money!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falcon experience at Ashford Castle. To have every member of the group participate was just incredible. Our tour guide was another WOW for 2 weeks straight! He made the trip fun for everyone."

Carl

Ogdensburg, NY

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a two week jaunt through Ireland lead by a man who knows and loves his country, it's culture, and definitely its humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several: The wonderful Irish personality of our Rick Steves leader! He made each day a "Wow"! Falconry The music in the pubs and the music shop in Dingle Learning to really understand the issues behind "The Troubles". These problems are similar all over the world, and the better we understand them, the better the chance for solutions."

Andy

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were blessed on this tour with an excellent and fun guide in Dara, easy camaraderie and good humor within the group, and decent weather (relatively few 'soft' days). That's not to leave out Ireland itself, a beautiful country with warm, witty people, a deep love for music, and a fine selection of high quality adult beverages. Fine craic overall.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed many fine concerts, beautiful sights and fun times in pubs, but one moment that stands out for me is a more reflective one: eating a lunch on isolated, quiet Great Blasket island, looking toward the mainland hidden in the mist, wondering what it must have been like to scratch out an existence for those who lived there."

Barbara

Perth, ON

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved that we learned about Ireland and its history. Loved the laughter and the fun, the music and the beauty of Ireland. It was so nice not to have to worry about tipping-great not to have to be digging out money all the time and worrying about whether it's enough etc. Dara our guide made the getting-to-know-you process fun and effective.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Bogside Murals"

Cindy

New Smyrna Beach, FL

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic trip. After many years touring Europe independently I discovered RS Tours. This trip to Ireland was way beyond my expectations. I loved every thing about it; variety of places chosen , the accommodations, great local guides, the history,language, landscapes and food. Our guide Dara Herlihy was incredible with his humor and helpfulness, friendliness and knowledge of all that's Ireland. Our days were filled with stunning sights and musical sounds and plenty of laughter.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Dingle peninsula; I could have stayed there for weeks. We experienced so much music and fun; learning about the Irish language from Dara and his Dad and being at the concert at the Dingle Music Shop. Then finding *Gin* ice cream at Murphys, who knew? And there was the experience of flying a Harris hawk at the Falconry School and watching the sheep dogs rounding up the herds at the Sheep Farm. All of Ireland was gorgeous, dramatic and fascinating...and very "user friendly"."

Lance

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Another wonderful Rick Steve's trip! I loved learning all about Ireland ancient and more recent history and enjoying her amazing beauty. Our guide and driver were both wonderful, as were the accommodations and meals. Can't wait for my next trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to limit to just one, so I won't. Here are a few: Visiting Dun Aonghasa in the Aran Islands was amazing: both the scenery and the fort. Another incredibly cool event was the "Hawk Walk" at the School of Falconry at Ashford Castle."

Dianne

Nepean, ON

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time what with our great tour guide - Dara and all the wonderful people on our tour. We all bonded very well and had lots of fun and great moments to cherish. A trip to remember for sure

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many "wow" moments but for myself it was getting to know the history of Ireland and its wonderful beauty. All the tour guides in our various cities and towns were great and all knew their history, etc. My greatest tour was the Bogside Artists murals tour in Belfast - fascinating and next was my visit to the Blasket Islands."

Beth

Elgin, SC

Tour: 06/14/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Ireland tour was outstanding from beginning to end. I felt like I got the Total Irish Experience. We learned about the history, language, music, art, literature, food and drink--such rich traditions still present in everyday Irish life. The country itself is beautiful beyond words with a variety of vistas to enjoy. And the Irish people are truly the friendliest folks around. We had many opportunities to find the Holy Grail of Rick Steves travel--interactions with the locals!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment came in Derry when we were given a walking tour of the Bogside murals by Tom Kelly, one of the artists himself. Using art and images to interpret the tragic Troubles that have torn apart the community and to reflect the hope for peace and reconciliation, the artists seem to be trying to find a way forward."

Marilyn

Vacaville, CA

Tour: 06/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very plead with my first Rick Steves tour. Everything went flawlessly. It was wonderful to have two tour guides for the price of one and Paschal was a wonderful bus driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the Falconry."

Gale

Alsip, IL

Tour: 06/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

"Fantastic". Thoroughly enjoyable. Pat, Cathie and Paschal(driver) went out of their way to ensure a memorable experience. I am highly recommending this tour to family & friends. I came away with a genuine "feel" for Ireland, it's people, and what it means to be the Irish. I personally enjoyed the pace of the tour, how active we were. Our guides, Pat & Cathie, exuded a heartfelt, spiritual love of Ireland that made my journey all the more enriching.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Touring Derry & West Belfast in the North made the "struggles" real. I could feel the tension of everyday life. For those moments, I felt like I was living in an area of civil unrest. Additionally, I will always be grateful for Pat & Cathie's ongoing intervention to help me get to the Knock Shrine. For me, that was a "must do" on my trip and they made it a reality. Thank you."

Joan

Nashville, TN

Tour: 06/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Yesterday I had x-rays done on my wrist and it showed I have a broken wrist. I fell in Kinsale Ireland, before dinner and no drinks. I waited until morning to let Pat know as I did not want to put a dampner on any ones trip. Everyone was helpful and kind and I still had a great time. On my London tour 21st no really knew I had an injury. The traveling companions, the sights and information, the food, the amazing rooms helped me to stay positive. Thank you all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm thankful for the kindness of the people on the tours. Wow to the concerts in Dingle. Pat is great and Cathie was an extra special bonus. Fall and all I'd do it again!"

Paul

Wilmette, IL

Tour: 06/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time on a group tour and very pleased with the entire experience. Pat and Cathy were the ideal guides and we learned so much about the history and culture of Ireland from them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When the Harris Hawk landed on my arm."

Mary

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 06/07/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely fabulous. The guide Pat was on target with all organization and very knowledgeable about culture and history. The guide apprentice Cathie provided an excellent complement to Pat with her beautiful voice, insight into the music life, warm demeanor, and ability to make quick phone calls to secure info or music reservations. The people on the tour were a delight. Every part of the two weeks blends into an outstanding memory!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hawk-flying, the Giant's Causeway, and the rope bridge."

Nancy

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was a dream come true. Ireland is beautiful, the people are and welcoming, the accommodations the best I've had, food was off the charts, and Rozanne, our prescient, caring, and lovely guide made it come together flawlessly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list. But opening up the doors to our incredible rooms with consistent large and yummy Irish breakfasts every day, WOW'd me."

Audrianne

Gowanda, NY

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this wonderful tour. It covered history, music, scenery, local customs, and regional food. Our guide was excellent. The coach driver was friendly and skilled. The group was diverse, as expected, but very cooperative, fun, and friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's Causeway was a highlight for me. Not only was is scenic, but there was a great opportunity for exercise."

Gary

Bozeman, MT

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide and a very interesting country. The people that live there are also interesting and very friendly to tourists. Our tour group was very compatible and got along well with one another. The driver was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow' moment was at the falconry school. Appreciated the opportunity to visit the facility and get to work with a falconer and have a Harris Hawk available for the demo with each of us as individuals. That was a very unique experience for me."

Thomas

Urbandale, IA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized. Our tour guide was extremely well informed & personable. The B&B's were comfortable to fabulous. Each stop had a local guide who enriched the site. I'd recommend the tour to everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day was one "wow" moment after another."

Jean

Urbandale, IA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was so much more than I imagined. We were able to see so many different sights and the scenery was fabulous. I didn't realize the tour would be so wonderful. The b&b's were great,preferable to hotels. The food was great for me, salmon twice a day many days. Tour guide was exceptional, kind, accommodating. Bus driver very skilled in negotiating roads and traffic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Scenery with ocean in sight so many times, loved the North Atlantic in Portrush as walked 'home' from group dinner. The ocean, its sounds, the long daylight was awe inspiring."

Bob

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first Rick Steves tour. We didn't want to drive and I had done an extensive Europe tour using "Europe on $5 a Day". I think I got the best of both with the tour. We had a great guide, Rozanne, and an excellent driver, Dennis. I think we saw more on the tour than we expected. We understand the Irish and Ireland better. Great weather, B & B's, food and tour group. I enjoyed the "Tidy Towns" and pubs. I liked all the green and cattle on the farms. Local guides were great too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Of course, I liked the Falconry a lot. The sheep farm, crystal factory, Dingle town and B & B were great. Grafton St. and Temple Bar in Dublin were wild and crazy. I enjoyed the dinners!"

Pat

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/05/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was well organized, lodgings and food very good. A good overview of Ireland. When I got home I was glad that I had written a journal, because we did so many things; I needed it as a reference! Our driver excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot think of just one special moment. I really enjoyed the time at O'Sullivan's Court House Pub -- good music and Texas BBQ, the hawk walk and fly, the sheep farm and hikes at the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-rede rope footbridge."

Dianne

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 05/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. Much more than I could ever had expected. Guide was great. All the Irish were so nice and helpful. I now see why there are so may Ireland tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every time we stopped for a local tour or new town was a WOW experience."

Rose

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/31/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephen --IS--Ireland! What a perfect combination of tour guide and historian. Stephen anticipated our needs and personalized the trip for everyone. He enlivened each bus trip by singing Irish ballads and pointing out any unique features of the landscape we were passing between stops. His indepth commentary enriched our understanding of the rich and changing complexities of Irish culture and politics. He bridged the gap for us between Gaelic history in the past and now.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For Nancy it was the Falconry at Ashford Castle! Brilliant! For Rose it was the Cliffs of Moher! Glorious, ....and so much more!!"

Carleen

Albany, OR

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was unforgettable. Having been on the Best of France tour last spring, I had been concerned prior to our departure that there would not be enough to see and do to fill two weeks, and that the food would be mediocre Brit fare. I couldn't have been more wrong on either count. The range of things we saw and did was not just surprising but wonderful. It was a very active 2 weeks, with lots of walking, which was great. Our fellow travelers were fun and interesting as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the School of Falconry and the opportunity to handle a beautiful hawk on the spectacular grounds of Ashford Castle. The falconer clearly loved his work and his birds, and it was thrilling to be able to actually have the hawk on my wrist and send her off to hunt then return to me. A close second was the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede hike over the rope bridge."

Nancy

Villa Park, IL

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd RS tour. We especially liked our small group of 16 people. We also appreciated the usual attention to weeding out complainers, etc. and the expectation of punctuality on the part of the group. We would personally have liked our dinners a bit later because we often ate lunch late and after arriving at each destination, we had very little "down" time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Connemara Hills, Slea Head Drive and the falconry demonstration We were "gobsmacked" by the performance of the Irish national dance champion at the music shop concert in Dingle."

Kathy

Park Forest, IL

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Utilizing a Rick Steves tour was a great way to see Ireland. It provided an opportunity to see a large portion of Ireland, and provide enough insight to where we might like to stay longer, should we ever return to Ireland. I liked the variety of museums, landscapes, history, entertainment, art, nature.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Biking in Dingle and walking to the top of Eask Tower overlooking the Dingle Peninsula and Atlantic Ocean. Doing the "bog hop" was also quite fun. Scenery was breathtaking."

BJ

Bryan, TX

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great overview of Ireland, learning much of the history and hearing the traditional music which makes this country so special. The extra-small group helped our tour members to get to know each other and bond quickly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the fantastic scenery was a "wow", especially the Dingle Peninsula and the many other coastal views."

Howard

Vernon, BC

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves Tour and like Portugal it was outstanding. I say this despite fact that as only Canadian I was the only one to have to pay 25% extra due to the huge drop in Canadian dollar from time I decided to go and payment date. The tour was well organized and included lots of nice extras. The simple fact that a professional driver is provided is huge when one sees the roads that have to be negotiated. All guides were enthusiastic and even passionate about their country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Caroline Keane came to hour B and B in Dingle and put on a stellar performance. She was later to get stiff competition from a world class Irish Tap Dancer. Very enjoyable."

Roger

Harrison Township, MI

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I would like to recognize Joe and Travis for a outstanding job leading our trip through Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I beleive the experience of Falconing at the Guiness Castle was a oustanding event that everyone should enjoy."

Rick

Albany, OR

Tour: 05/24/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour of Ireland. I didn't believe anything could have been better than our 2014 tour of the Heart of France but in some ways it was it was better but mainly it was different, which was great. All of our local guides were great which really made the tour outstanding for us. The food and accommodations (except the one in Dingle) were first rate. The accommodation in Dingle were just to far from the town especially since it was the only place that we stayed three nights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Falconry was a great moment. Having the Hawk land on your arm was great and the visit to the Falconry was entirely unexpected. All the little side trips - sheep ranch, crystal etching place, Bushmills, etc were all great."

Jean

Corning, NY

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Ireland. Our guides were professional and fun to be with. We saw a lot of the country an their comments were very helpful in understanding the area, the history and the culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The B and B Castlewood. It was definitely a WOW place to stay. Totally unexpected."

James

Tifton, GA

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A friendly, amiable, multi-age group; a sincere, loveable, and informative lead guide; a phenomenal assistant guide (who added so much); a comfortable coach for travel driven by a skillful and interesting driver; and that was just the start. We knew how beautiful Ireland is, but with Barry, Cathie, and each of the local and event guides, we learned so much of the people and events that shaped Ireland's culture, history, national identities, and vast emigrations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Surprisingly, for me it was standing on the wall in Londonderry, overlooking the Bogside neighborhood, rain pouring down and wind whipping our hoods and umbrellas off, as our local guide told us the ouster of the Presbyterians, history of the uprisings, and "the troubles" in that city. He brought the sufferings of the Irish people to life as never before. Normally the quaint towns, austere hills, lush Northern Ireland farms and stunning coastlines give me the 'wow" moments - but not this time."

Lisa

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my 4th RS trip and I say that this is the best ever trip! Reasons? - wonderful intimate B&Bs and awesome guides/driver who showed us the beauty of Ireland and its excellent food, thought provoking guides in Northern Ireland and Dublin.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheer windswept cliffs of Dun Aengus on Aran Islands with just you and the infinity beyond"

Wendy

Princeton, NJ

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best Rick Steve's tour I have yet to experience and it was my fifth. The tour guide was outstanding, most of the accommodations very good to excellent and appreciated being given more dinners rather than big lunches.t

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The demonstration of the border collies herding sheep; it was like viewing a beautiful dance.b"

Diana

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What an amazing tour! Ireland, its people, history, geography, and music are all fascinating. We were so lucky to have both Barry and Cathie. Barry somehow seemed to be able to personalize the tour for each member of the group. Cathie's singing and stories put the icing on the cake. This was our first Rick Steves tour (we have previously used his books and traveled on our own). We saw a lot more than we would have on our own in the same period of time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wonderful moments. But for me, visiting the memorial cross for the 900 famine victims and weaving a St. Bridget's cross to leave there was most moving. My Irish ancestors came to America because of the great hunger."

Francis

Fargo, ND

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

On a much earlier business trip to Dublin I knew any future tour I took of Ireland should focus on the people, the music, and the land. This tour did that and then some. There is a rich Irish culture that Barry Moloney brought alive with his great knowledge of Irish history, his humor, and his ability to relate to my personal background.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The concerts and the Land."

Blaine

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The weather was typically uneven, my wife and I couldn't shake colds for the entire trip, yet the experience exceeded our expectations. This being our fourth RS tour, we knew the quality of every aspect of the tour would be satisfying. But, the bonus was in the having Cathie in partnership with Barry. Details covered below.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On one of the last days of the tour, we were riding in the bus along the north coast with the late afternoon sun washing the green landscape. The connection of the land, the history, the people, the culture, the place we had come to know so much more fully all came together for me as we listened to Cathie's beautiful voice sing a sad lament about Rathlin Island, which we could see in the distance. A powerful moment that still brings tears to my eyes these several weeks later."

Cindy

Southlake, TX

Tour: 05/22/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Barry made our tour so enjoyable! Cathie's beautiful music added to the already wonderful experience. And we couldn't have asked for a better group of people to share it with either. I was very impressed with our drive, Dennis. To maneuver through those narrow streets is a feat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. But I think the meals were always a "wow" because I did not expect such wonderful food. Also the beauty of Ireland provided many "wows". I especially liked hiking the Cliffs of Moher", cycling on Aran Island, hiking at Giant's Causeway and the hawk walk at Ashford Castle."

Mary

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour to Ireland was great because of Declan Field our tour guide. He was incrediable!!! His personality was so warm, helpful,knowledgeable and fun. He shared so much of the grass roots of the real Ireland with us because he has lived there and knew and understood the Irish culture, hardships and growth. The places we visited were sorted in a way that there never was to much of one kind of thing, which kept it interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When Declan broke out in song!! Also our concert in Dingle."

Ronald

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Declan was amazing. What a talent. He grew up in Cork, Ireland. He knows his history and folklore and is an accomplished story teller and would break out into song when it helped tell the story. He certainly contributed to making this tour an outstanding value and adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Ciffs of Moher and the Burren. Fascinating!"

Louis

Olympia, WA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the Best of Ireland tour - excellent value for the money!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One "wow" moment was launching and landing "Inca," the Harris Hawk, at the Ireland School of Falconry at Ashford Castle. Others were the Cliffs of Moher, Giant's Causeway, and Irish music concerts in Dingle."

Sylvia

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As a single traveler, I felt very welcomed into the travel family during our 14 day tour of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the entire trip, each day was a new adventure, and especially the use of local guides throughout the tour."

Sean

Springfield, IL

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Declan was great. Would have been nicer with a group more diverse age-wise (it was a retiree crowd).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cashel Rock was great. Could have used more time - the tour guide was amazing and the time alotted was too short to appreciate it."

Edward

Kissimmee, FL

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The local guides were wonderful. The group meals were terrific. The bus and driver were a memorable experience. The history of Ireland provided by Declan plus his engaging personality made this a truly wonderful trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery and beauty of the entire country were awesome."

Kathleen

Oxford, CT

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole tour...from start to finish, was terrific!! I loved our tour guide, Declan. He was fun, knowledgable, just a kind, and nice person, always helpful and personable. I loved everywhere we went. Each day was a new and wonderful place to see and explore. I loved all of the outdoor hikes we took and all the magnificent scenery we saw. The food was delicious, fresh, and hot. I loved all of the Irish people, they were ALL kind, friendly, and welcoming.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say the cliffs of Moher. That was magnificent!!! Unparalleled natural beauty."

Paul

Oxford, CT

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was another great experience with Rick Steves and if we go someplace else in the future I'm sure we'll use him again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the views were amazing and hard to separate but I did like the Aran Islands (might have been because we had the sun the most of the day)"

Marcia

Helena, MT

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 5 th Rick Steves tour and as before they never disappoint. The quality of lodging was very comfortable group meals always delicious & unique, wide range of activities, very knowledgable local guides including our guide, Declan, who kept us entertained with his jokes & singing and a compatible group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was the stay in Dingle - it's harbor location,lodging, food, pubs, music -especially the 2 concerts we attended ( thank you, Declan),scenery, history on the drive around the peninsula, craftsmen making crystal & stained glass windows of Diseart."

Tim

Buckeye, AZ

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was amazing. We really appreciated having Declan as our guide, sharing his knowledge and love of his homeland with us. His explanations of the history of the places we visited made it much more rewarding than just going there and reading signs about the sights. We saw and experienced things on this tour that we probably would not have done if we were on our own. The camaraderie of the group added a lot to the enjoyment of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view of the Plain of Tipperary from the Rock of Cashel tops the list. The hawk walk was a great experience, and different from anything we have ever done."

Julie

North Palm Beach, FL

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking out to the lands' end along the coast from Dingle, through cow pastures, past the lighthouse, watching the tour boats circling looking for a dolphin playing in the harbor. This was on our day with free time. Also our trip to the Rope bridge was on a day of fierce wind, so exciting. Giants Causeway was a really dramatic setting."

Ashley

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 05/17/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As with our previous Rick Steves tour, it was superbly organized and everything went very smoothly. The selection of sites was very diverse and we were always informed and entertained in equal measure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick favorites as the Irish countryside is so gorgeously verdant, and you can NEVER see too many sheep, but I think my "wow" day was the Giant's Causeway, because I am REALLY into enormous, polygonally fractured columns of basalt :) Crossing the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in near gale force winds was a blast as well! My next two favorites were the day at the Ashford Castle grounds with the beautiful hawks and the day on the Aran Islands with the cliff-hanging fortress Dun Aengus."

Noel

Larkspur, CA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a wonderful time. Pace of travel was just right with the right amount of free time. Irish people were wonderful--welcoming, never an unkind word. Music in the pubs and at the concert was fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick one moment as each day provided new experience. The day we did Bushmills Distillery Tour, Goants Causeay, Rope bridge and castle at the end where we had our group picture was a "one-day" wow moment."

James

Hinsdale, IL

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really came away feeling that Rick is able to separate the wheat from the chaff to make the most of what is always limited time to cover a culture and the sights. Was very pleased with the mix of group time and time on own which allowed exploration without loss of organization and moving forward at efficient pace. Lucky to find a group of great people, friendly and entertaining, with no 8 balls.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Waking up in another country and feeling perfectly comfortable!"

Terry

Folsom, LA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking out over Galway Habor where my ancestor was shipped off in the mid 1600's...a personal moment, but very moving."

Stephen

Folsom, LA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guides, hotels and bus travel were excellent. Already thinking about our next Rick Steves Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge... and the 3 breakfasts at Castlewood B&B in Dingle! Thank you Brian!"

Janetta

Larkspur, CA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was a great way to see rural Ireland without having to drive ourselves. There was a great balance between indoor (e.g., museums)and outdoor (beach/rock/cliff) activities, with a helpful overview of Irish history. The shared meals with our fellow travelers were great, but also appreciated free time to explore local pubs and restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No particular moment, but loved the Giants Causeway, Cong, bus tour of Belfast, and the incredible scenery everywhere."

Joseph

Whitsett, NC

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very interesting tour, Susie was great, the weather was unseasonably cool and windy. The Cliffs of Mohr were in a fog bank. Rick needs to work on controlling the weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and Susie's surprise re: the Titanic."

Janet

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour so we felt we knew what to expect. We were not disappointed! I feel that I saw the real Ireland; the small towns, beautiful countryside, and vibrant big cities. The history of Ireland was fascinating and gave real insight into the pride the people have in their country. I am convinced that to really know a country one must go beyond the tourist areas and experience how the people truly live.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being a "nature girl" at heart, I loved the Antrim Coast and Portrush. Also the Giants Causeway was magnificent! Perhaps the most exciting moment was crossing the rope bridge at Carrick-Rede. I love that we got to go to the Aran Island of Inishmore. Such a memorable experience!"

David

Tiffin, IA

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great. Learned a lot, made new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several: 1) working with the hawk at the falconry school 2) pubs: singing along the many Irish songs I already knew. Esp, Playing guitar and leading singing a few times in some of those places. 3) sheep dogs: I'm a farmer. and have seen many competitions between stock dogs. But the excellence of the Kissane dogs was far above anything I ever saw in the Midwest, and maybe even a little better than the Basque sheep dogs I've seen working in Utah."

Deirdre

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group was very nice; I enjoyed getting to know the whole group. Susie was great and informative. We asked a lot of questions, and she could answer most. The places we stayed were good to great. I loved the small towns and villages where we overnighted. The coolness of the climate was a bit of a surprise to me, and we were never deterred from our sightseeing because of it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry exhibit at Ashford Castle was very cool, and so was the visit to the sheep farm to see the dog herding and sheep shearing."

Jonah

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/15/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where to begin? The pacing, the number of individual experiences, the amount of unstructured time, the emphasis on history, the music, the local guides, the other participants, the sensitivity to bio breaks, all were just a perfect balance. We completely relaxed on this trip and felt very well taken care of and really do have a very full sense of Ireland which frankly is not an easy place or history to understand.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the church in Dingle to hear the local music. My spine was tingling and I was floating in a joyful state. Also just the comraderie of going to 150 year old pubs with random tour mates and drinking much Guinness and Irish Whiskey.....and even singing Being in the Design Studio for the Titanic was also very special especially hearing Susie tell us about her personal connection."

Steven

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Tour Guide, Stephen, was exceptional. His humor, tour pace, historical commentary and even his attempts to teach us classic Irish songs exceeded expectations. The tour itinerary was well thought out and we enjoyed the hotel/B&B choices. Staying at Stephen's hotel, Milltown House, and meeting Seamus was a nice personal touch. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Holding and feeding the hawks as Ashford Castle and watching the sheep dogs in action."

Ronald

Sisters, OR

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide Stephen. Made this entire vacation entertaining, informative and relaxing. There was just the right mix of activities and personal time. The 14 days went by very fast. Each day was organized and clearly communicated to everyone. The transportation used seemed at first to be very large but turned out to be perfect for our size group. We all had enough personal space so that we never felt crowded. As a side note, the driver (Dennis) was beyond outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip was one continuous WOW moment as the history, culture and scenery of Ireland was presented to us on a daily basis. Some of the most memorable moments were the trip to the Aren Islands, the Giant's causeway and the visit to the Dingle Crystal studio where Sean showed us his amazing skill at cutting glassware."

Deborah

Fairbanks, AK

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour immensely, from our tour guide Stephen, our driver Dennis to fellow travelers- all contributed to make this a wonderful trip. The music concerts whether planned or impromptu were all enjoyable. The sites we visited were all well chosen.Stephens knowledge of Ireland, the unbiased history and stories he shared as well as his singing voice (!)made the bus rides something to look forward to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As far as scenery The Giants Causeway was my favorite place to visit seconded by the towns of Kinsale and Dingle. I could easily move to either place! My " Wow" moment, as simple as it was- being in the kitchen at Milltown House with Deirdra and 3 other tour friends learning to bake her Irish soda bread, blueberry scones and banana bread!"

Ann

Roanoke, VA

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour and you can always count on his high standards. Our guide Stephen, was over the top great and our bus driver Dennis, was not only a very good driver, but made you feel safe. The Irish people are some of the most welcoming people in the world.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful landscapes of the Irish countryside, from the Giant's Causeway to the Cliffs of Moher."

Gerald

Roanoke, VA

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

from start to finish, this was a memorable tour, Stephen is an exceptional guide, well versed and has a great sense of humor. His knowledge of his homeland is remarkable and it shows in his presentations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was a wow moment"

Janet

Sisters, OR

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our expectation was met and exceeded. Each day was full of knowledge, laughter, and touching moments. Our rooms clean, beds like clouds, food like no other. We loved our Ireland tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Causeway was my wow moment. How beautiful, amazing, took my breath away. To touch it ,see it, walk it was amazing."

Randall

Fairbanks, AK

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very enjoyable, the high point was our guide Steve. His knowledge and insight along with his unbiased historical information on the religious situation was very enlightning.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't decide if it was Seamus of Dingle or the Falconery."

Jackie

Oklahoma City, OK

Tour: 05/10/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a lot colder in Ireland than I was prepared for. A winter coat would have been welcome. There are a hundred colors of green everywhere. It is so beautiful and the people we met were really nice and always helpful. The food was much more than I had expected. They do eat a lot of potatoes but they also have great cooks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were at a beautiful castle with formal gardens and a falcon landed on my arm and took food from my hand. Very exciting for me. Another day we were at Milltown House in Dingle and I went to the kitchen for a bread making class. This lovely young woman poured things into a bowl, right from the bag, mixed with her hand and put the dough into pans an into the oven. That was the bread for breakfast and it was very good. I can't wait to try."

Karen

Carlsborg, WA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've been a follower of the Rick Steves travel philosophy since taking his Europe Through the Back Door class at the UW Experimental College in 1979. Early on I never thought I'd be the group tour type, but these days I'm happy to let Rick & his tour staff do the planning & logistics, and just enjoy the experience. Best of Ireland was right up there with my best trips ever, whether solo, couple or group. Our group of 14 travelers were easygoing, flexible & fun to get to know.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The animal lover in me would pick the sheep herding demonstration & the School of Falconry at Ashford Castle. The geologist's daughter would choose the stunning Giant's Causeway & the Burren. The Slea Head Drive & the Antrim Coast for "wow" scenery. The Texas Barbecue & music at the Courthouse Pub, & the concerts at the church & Siopa Ceoil for "wow" nights out. Celebrating my birthday in Dingle! And Niall Ward is a "wow" hidden gem of a taxi driver in Dublin."

Elizabeth

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Especially appreciated the information on what's happening now in Ireland and the history of the Irish. Loved all the places we "toured" and most of the restaurants hosted by Rick Steves. B&B's higher quality than we expected. Far exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Peace Wall in Belfast. Stone Fortress on the Aran Isles. Antiquity."

Assunta

Danville, CA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have traveled independently in Europe.This was our first guided tour and what a outstanding experience! Dara, our Guide was superb! Pascal, our Driver, was marvelous and a great driver! My first love has always been Italy, but after taking this Tour of Ireland with Dara and Pascal, Ireland is right up there with Italy. We plan on taking other Rick Steve's Tours, as this was such a wonderful experience. Thank you for the trip of a lifetime!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments. Some that really stood out were learning about the Blasket Islands. I had absolutely no knowledge of this area. The Falconry School at Ashford Castle was a real highlight. The Aran Islands, other than the boat trip over, were magnificent. Walking over the Giant's Causeway was a really WOW moment...never thought I could do it!!! Had the weather cooperated, the Bhurren would have been a WOW moment. The Irish People are a WOW moment, so kind & welcoming."

Richard

Danville, CA

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't say enough about the positive experience that I had on your 14-day tour of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The tour maintained adherence to the daily-posted schedule. Also, I found that the quality of food and service for the tour-provided meals was beyond my expectations. I'm looking forward for the opportunity to do another Rick Steves' tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of "wow" moments, but two activities stand out: (1) The falconry on the grounds of the Ashford Castle, in which myself, as well as other tour members, were able to see the various types of falcons/hawks, and put on a falconer's glove for flight and retrieval of the Peruvian Red Hawk (Inca); (2) The Giant's Causeway, in which there were unique geological formations, and the walk across a 150-foot (approx.) rope bridge, on a windy day."

Ann

Victoria, BC

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This may have been my favourite tour yet. The Irish scenery is spectacular and I loved the fact that were able to get out and enjoy it. Many of the sites we visited meant walking through beautiful country (and wind and rain and hail) to reach them, and those walks were as enjoyable and important as the sites themselves. Despite the weather I wouldn't have missed any of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Crossing the Carrick a Rede bridge in a 30mph wind; seeing the Giant's causeway, ditto. The Aran Islands. The Dingle Peninsula. The falconry. How can I choose?"

Linda

Salt Springs, FL

Tour: 05/08/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this tour immensely. Ireland is beautiful, and the people are warm and friendly. Our small group (14) got to know each other quickly, were all on the same page to have a good time, and no whiners or grumps.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many-a group dinner at a pub that ended with a "hen" party and some of our tour members up dancing with the locals, a picnic on the cliffs under the lighthouse at Dingle, the Slea Head Drive coastal views, the rain lifting over the Cliffs of Moher and seeing the waves, blowing rain on the Burren, the views from Dun Aengus, walking with the hawk at Ashford Castle, the Antrim Coast, the Giant's Causeway, hanging on to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge."

Mary

Venice, FL

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was my third Rick Steve's Tour and once again I was extremely impressed I have only positive and happy thoughts. I would not change anything, but the weather. Our group was very compatible and the guides were beyond great. The tour schedule provided an excellent variety and sights

Barry

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fabulous trip. Declan had the details down pat and ensured we all had a good time. Joe was also a good help. We saw and experienced a lot on the trip, but also had time for activities of our own interest.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to choose, but the falconry demonstration and participation was a once-in-a lifetime experience."

Arlen

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first experience traveling internationally and the decision to go with Rick Steves Ireland tour was assuredly the best. Our tour group was small which allowed us to get in and out of places easily as well as learn about each other quicker. Our tour guides, both Declan and Joe, were outstanding as they shared their local knowledge of the various locales, accompanied the town visits with Irish music, both recorded and live singing, and helped us gain understanding of Irish history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment for me was visiting the Giant's Causeway. This took my breath away. Seeing it in photographs is one thing but experiencing it in person was beyond words. It is a spectacular natural phenomenon complete with an Irish origin folk tale. We were able to experience it without a crowd of people due to the timely scheduling by our guide. The Cliffs of Mohr was equally amazing, but it was so rainy and windy, it took away some of the enjoyment."

Robert

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a great way to experience Ireland through the food, culture, history, music and scenic beauty. With our guide Declan, we were able to explore the country efficiently and get a great overview in two weeks, including Northern Ireland which was important to me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have several "wow" moments: Reading aloud from James Joyce's "Dubliners" in Seney's Pharmacy in Dublin. Watching a simple breakfast of porridge become a culinary production at Heaton's Guesthouse in Dingle. Attending the Kensale College production of "The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde. Standing on the cliff edge of the Dun Aengus Fortress on the Aran Island of Inishmore. Listening to live music in Dingle."

Cheryl

Houston, TX

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I knew our tour would be good thanks to recommendations from friends who had gone on previous tours, but this tour far exceeded my expectations. We had a great group of people and were blessed with exceptional guides. We saw so many wonderful sights and each day was interesting and informative. I really enjoyed having some free time to explore on my own. I also appreciated having such an extensive amount of information and maps in the guide book provided by your company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wonderful experiences, but I think my favorite "wow" moment had to be the hawk walk. Loved the learning about the birds , but never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would have the opportunity to have a hawk land on my hand . It was totally awesome!"

Robert

Venice, FL

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was one of the finest tours I have experienced, and I am a world traveler so I nave a background for viable travel. What made the 14 days in Ireland so exceptional when the weather was so shitty? We had 17 fellow tourists, so the small sized group made for intimate fellowship, but the extraordinary leadership from our guides who were professional n any definition. The skills we enjoyed could be described as their confidence, motivation, effort, caring, responsible, initiative and informed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire trip far surpassed what we expected and well worth the costs."

John

Vacaville, CA

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic trip. Having a tour director who has done this trip for 15 years provided us with unique insight to the local customs and favorite haunts. Declan scheduled us into venues prior to the onslaught of other tours. We were able to see the magnificent sights without having to compete with others. Our small group became a very cohesive unit that enjoyed each other's company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was not a big wow moment for me, just several little wow moments. While we visited most of the "must see" venues, it was the little things that made this trip for me. Declan's familiarity with the Dingle music scene resulted in our group attending a concert by local musicians in a church one night and other local musicians in a music store the next. I throughly enjoyed sitting in an Irish pub drinking Guinness and watching football with the locals."

Mariah

Livermore, CA

Tour: 05/03/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an awesome and well planned tour! Declan did a super job of giving us the history, background and sense of the culture through out our tour. We also enjoyed our assistant tour guide, Joe! Our driver, Eddie, was superb.

Christine

Seattle, WA

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our 3rd Rick Steves' tour and on every one we have really enjoyed the guides and what they bring to the tour. Steven could really "spin a good yarn" about life in Ireland. His presentation was more like a conversation than a lecture. For instance we would never have known about the "Tidy Town" competitions if we were on our own. With Steven's input, all the local guides and the excellent itinerary, we were able to get a real sense of the country and really fell in love with Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, it was the hawks of Ashford Castle. I volunteered to carry the hawk, on the glove, into the forest which surrounds the castle. It was the whole ambiance of the castle, the gardens and the forest plus the information the guide was telling us. Everyone in the group was able to put the glove on and when a piece of meat was put in the palm the hawk would fly to it. When we returned I was able to carry the hawk back. It was an experience that has really stayed with me."

Barbara

Burlington, VT

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour met and exceeded my expectations. Stephen was a fun, friendly and knowledgeable guide mixing the right combination of history, mythology and culture. The local guides were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a toss up between the Cliffs of Mohr and the Giant's Causeway. Both were fantastic - But I can't ignore the experience of traveling to the Aran Islands and climbing to the top of the island and seeing more cliffs."

Karen

Leavenworth, WA

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole three days/nights in Dingle was a "wow" experience! Loved all the pubs, shops and restaurants (particularly the ice cream stores!). Everyone very friendly and wonderful sights everywhere. The traditional music concert at Dingle Music Shop was amazing and so much fun. Our guide, Gary, on the local town tour was especially knowledgeable and interesting to talk with."

Patricia

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I appreciate the Rick Steves approach to tours and prefer them to any other tours we have tried. Touring with a group always means that one has to leave some things sooner than you would like in order to see more things. We did several visits that I would not have picked but found very enjoyable. No one can control the Irish weather. We had good luck in seeing many places in sunshine. Some places were all gray and rain limited what we could do some other days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dunluce Castle was the most gorgeous spot that we visited, partly because we saw it in sunshine. We did not get to spend much time there and I was sorry that I spent quite a bit of that time having tea instead of exploring. I also liked being able to visit Inishmore, another spectacular place with an interesting history."

Cynthia

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is wonderful, complex, inviting, musical, humorous and endearing! (and cold and rainy in April) Great guide, compatible travelers, excellent accommodations, amazing food. (Thanks Ireland. I gained 5#)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"UNFAIR question! I was constantly challenged, trying to comprehend Irish history. Our guide does/did his best of course. but it is complicated. Speaking to a shopkeeper in Westport, I asked if she was familiar with shops in Derry, her response was, "Oh no, that's in Northern Ireland." I was astonished, "Northern Ireland" was less than three hours away, a short drive by my standards, but her message was clear, that is a different country."

John

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Good guide, good fellow travelers, and beautiful countryside. I enjoyed the small B&B/Hotels in city center with the chance to chat with some of the innkeepers. Would have liked more contact with the locals - a lunch or dinner with some local civic group? The local guided walks were very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having the oratory all to ourselves. Having a chance to contemplate it without it being mobbed was special. Thinking back to the people who built it and the many generations who have passed by it since was awesome."

Chris

Oakland, CA

Tour: 04/26/15

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour experience was exceptional. From the superb team of Stephen and Dennis to the really nice folks in the group, to the incredible scenery and friendly people along the way, it was a great experience. Stephen's breadth of knowledge is astonishing; he's never at a loss for an answer to any question. I feel privileged to have had the best guides and accommodation anywhere. Everyone clearly loved what they were doing and it showed. All in all, a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is so difficult. So many moments were great. Glasnevin Cemetery was sobering and inspiring; the interactive displays in the museum were excellent. Kinsale and Charles Fort were beautiful. The Burren and Inishmore were like another world. The stone forts and tombs were amazing. Derry was beautiful but sad, with reminders of so much strife. Hopefully the peace process can continue. Belfast made me want to spend more time there. Probable my favorite area was the Dingle peninsula."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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.

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."

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."

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!

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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""

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Rebecca

Seaside, OR

Tour: 09/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flying a falcon"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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"

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."

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."

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. ."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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?"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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"

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."

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!"

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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.""

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

Nancy

Sequim, WA

Tour: 08/31/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful, both in terms of the itinerary, the very knowledgeable and articulate guides, and the excellent balance of tour time and free time. As much as I was looking forward to visiting Ireland and Northern Ireland, I had thought there might be a lot of beautiful scenery, which there was, but suspected that there might be a lot of "filler" activities that wouldn't be all that interesting. I was wrong about that and really couldn't ask for a more absorbing tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's just too hard to pick a specific "wow" moment for me because I kept having that feeling, but Giant's Causeway was spectacular."

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."

Donna

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/29/14

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the falconry."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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!"

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."

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"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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"."

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."

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?"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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;)"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!)"

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."

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."

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..."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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.""

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

Adam

Napa, CA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

everything great

Andrew

Napa, CA

Tour: 07/06/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

tour great and guide 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"

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

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."

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"

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.

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."

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."

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."

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"

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!"

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!"

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!!"

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."

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."

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."

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"

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!"

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..."

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"

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."

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"

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"

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."

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"

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."

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.