• Ha' Penny Bridge, Dublin, Ireland
    Ha' Penny Bridge in Dublin
  • Pub fiddler, Temple Bar neighborhood, Dublin, Ireland
    Evening of Traditional Irish Music
  • Rock of Cashel, Cashel, Ireland
    Rock of Cashel Ruins
  • Pub in Kinsale, Ireland
    Kinsale Pub
  • Great Blasket Island, Ireland
    Blasket Islands
  • Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland
    Cliffs of Moher
  • Biking on Inishmore, Aran Islands, Ireland
    Aran Islands
  • Portrush
  • St. George's Market, Belfast, Northern Ireland
    St. George's Market in Belfast

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | Call 425-608-4217

Best of Ireland in 14 Days Tour

from $3,895 per person + 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

2019

    • Apr 21–May 4 (Su–Sa)
    • $3,895 + Air

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    • Apr 26–May 9 (Fr–Th)
    • $3,895 + Air

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    • Apr 28–May 11 (Su–Sa)
    • $3,895 + Air

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    • May 17–May 30 (Fr–Th)
    • $4,095 + Air

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    • May 19–Jun 1 (Su–Sa)
    • $4,095 + Air

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    • May 24–Jun 6 (Fr–Th)
    • $4,095 + Air

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    • Jun 2–Jun 15 (Su–Sa)
    • $4,095 + Air

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    • Aug 25–Sep 7 (Su–Sa)
    • $4,095 + Air

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    • Aug 30–Sep 12 (Fr–Th)
    • $4,095 + Air

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    • Sep 8–Sep 21 (Su–Sa)
    • $4,295 + Air

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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 29 group sightseeing events • Dublin walking tour • Trinity College • Book of Kells • Kilmainham Gaol • Rock of Cashel • Kinsale walking tour • Charles Fort • Sheep farm • Crystal cutting demonstration • Dingle's Slea Head Drive • Great Blasket Centre • Gallarus Oratory • Irish musical evening • Burren nature walk • Cliffs of Moher • Boat ride to Aran Islands • Aran Islands minibus tour • Dun Aengus fort • Connemara drive • Cong • Ashford Castle School of Falconry • Drumcliff • Derry coach and walking tour • Dunluce Castle • Giant's Causeway • Old Bushmills Distillery • Titanic Belfast • Belfast coach and walking tour • Discover Ulster Scots Center…and more
  • All group transportation from Dublin to Belfast
  • 13 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels and B&Bs
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (or books) and a moneybelt
  • 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 2019
  • 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 your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions 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 of 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 at 5 p.m. After a group meeting, we'll enjoy a "Welcome to Ireland" dinner together, followed by an orientation walk through the heart of Dublin. Sleep in Dublin (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: The Historic Heart of Dublin

This morning we'll take a walking tour through Dublin, learning about its rich history from the days of Viking raids to the hard centuries of British occupation to the proud and progressive city of today. We'll end our tour at Trinity College for an illuminating look at the remarkable Book of Kells, a creative jolt that helped pull Europe out of the Dark Ages. You'll have the rest of the day free to feel the pulse of a city thriving with street poets and musicians. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 3: Kilmainham Gaol and Ruins

On our way out of Dublin, we'll stop at Kilmainham Gaol and learn about its place in Ireland's stirring struggle for independence less than a century ago. 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 hours. 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 hour. 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 hours. 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 hours. Walking: moderate.

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). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 9: Galway and the Aran Islands

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 hours. Bus: 2 hours. 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 School of Falconry at 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 hours. 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 hours. 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, we'll visit the romantic, clifftop ruins of Dunluce Castle. Bus: 3 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 13: Belfast and the Titanic

This morning we'll drive to Belfast, the vibrant capital of Northern Ireland. We'll begin at the Titanic Belfast visitor experience, located on the very site where the great ship was built. After lunch, we'll join a local guide for a walking tour of historic Belfast. A visit to the Discover Ulster Scots Center will provide a glimpse into the rich heritage of this influential Protestant group, known in the United States as the Scotch-Irish. Then we'll board our coach for a rolling tour that takes us along reminders of the past decades' Troubles, including the striking political murals of Shankill and Falls Road. Our day will end as we kick up our heels at a tasty farewell supper together, where we'll share travel memories and toast new friends. Sláinte! Sleep in Belfast (1 night). Bus: 4 hours. Walking: light.

Day 14: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. You can fly out of Belfast or Dublin's handy airports. For those not ready to return home yet, both cities are a great jumping off point to Paris, London, Amsterdam, and many other exciting destinations. 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.

Physical Demands

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 (possibly several blocks) 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 a half-mile uphill at the Giant's Causeway, and navigate cobblestones and difficult terrain at ancient sites.

Reviews

Marjorie

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. I had a nice time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Holding the Harris hawk in Cong."

Colleen

Woodstock, GA

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the tour. Dara, the tour guide, is absolutely wonderful as is the bus driver Dennis. Dennis is a driver with plenty of skill on those skinny roads. Dara made us walk a lot but we gained no weight! We saw all the sights, had plenty of free time and plenty of exercise! Weather was not good, except for a beautiful sunny day in Belfast, but you don't go to Ireland for the weather. The group was great. We were all 55+ so none of us felt like we were fish out of water.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know that I have a wow moment - the sights were all so good, they were fabulous."

Norma

Cypress, TX

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

WOW, Where do I start. I just got back from the 14 day Tour of Ireland. It exceeded my expectations in so many ways. The tour guide Dara was fantastic!! keeping us informed as we traveled from town to town about the specific area's history, music, local food, entertainment, etc. He was awesome!!! Ireland itself was also amazing!, the people, the history, the beauty of the land, just cant's say enough! This was my first Rick StevesTour & I loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Sheep Farm watching how the shepherd handled the dog and sheep, was awesome, but I really cant't pick just one, the amazing views of the landscapes, the mountains, the ocean views, amazing places !!! Just love them all."

John

Waverly, IA

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very pleased with the itinerary. It gave us a great mix of learning about the culture and history as well as experiencing the beauty of Ireland. The local guides were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We got an impromptu lesson on how to drink Guinness at a local pub in Dublin. The people in Ireland are so welcoming and willing to be helpful."

Paul

Woodstock, GA

Tour: 09/28/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steves personnel, tour guide Dara and Dennis the bus driver are great ! Dara did a great job in giving us info on Irish history and culture, as well as helpful info on where to eat, find an ATM, and where to find good trad music. Dennis is an "all world" driver, who got more than one round of applause for his skill. Dara, and all the local guides were enlightening and dispensed their message with wonderful Irish wit. Hotel choices were smart, and well-located.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The drive north from Leenane was spectacular."

Regina

Forestville, CA

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is an amazing place and this tour gave me the opportunity to see it up close and it turned out to be beyond my expectations. The key to making Ireland come alive was our guide Declan Field. He told us Ireland's story, played the range of Irish music and talk of his country with passion and commitment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving on the Slea Head Drive, hanging slight over the edge, turning to look one way at the green field on one side and the blue water on the other."

Kathleen

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best tour guide, Declan, and driver, Caroline. My husband and I were so happy with everything. We loved the places we visited. Lots of outdoor experiences. A good mix of organized tours and free time. Our first ever Rick Steves tour definitely exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved all the natural beauty of Ireland. But the wow experience was being able to interact with the falcon one-on-one. I knew we were going to visit a falconry but didn't realize we'd be allowed to participate in the flights and landings."

Kenneth

Camano Island, WA

Tour: 09/23/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Best of Ireland in 14 Days Tour was everything we had hoped for and more. The music, the history, the scenery, the people of Ireland were outstanding. Declan did a masterful job of introducing us to the wide variety and range of Irish music and musicians while on the bus and in the pubs. The history of Ireland, as Declan explained, was interesting, complex and hopeful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for me was crowding into a pub in Dingle, finding a seat with my Guinness and enjoying the locals Irish music. That to me said "where else but in Ireland"!"

Kristine

Riverwoods, IL

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a thoughtful, inventive and very full experience of Ireland in all it's complexities. The exposure to the ancient and current history of Ireland was extremely valuable especially as the country faces the Brexit issue. How a group as compatible as ours was got together is mystery. A very congenial touring experience! And that's quite a lot to say after 14 days together!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't point to any singular experience - there were many, different WOW moments for me. From the Irish wolfhounds in Dingle to Cathie singing soulfully in an ancient church. How can one forget the sadness in the Kilmainham Goal and the monument to the vicitms of the Great Hunger in the Connemara countryside? the stunning beauty of the Irish coastline? listening to Led Zepplin's Stairway to Heaven on the to the Giant's Causeway? the joy in bog jumping? the fun of the Ghost Tour in Kinsale?"

Michael

Riverwoods, IL

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good, very interesting, an excellent cross-section of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dublin city scenes, Trinity U. library, Book of Kells, jumping up and down on the bog."

Frank

Bloomingdale, IL

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall tour was very good. Our Tour Guide Cathie was exceptional. It was very obvious that she loved what she was doing and her love for Ireland. Very informative about the history and people of Ireland. I must also give a lot of credit to our bus driver Steven. Very personable and excellent driver. Each stop was very interesting and I felt as though I did see "The Best of Ireland" All hotels were very nice also.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giants Causeway"

Cordelia

Durham, CA

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my 3rd RS Tour so I knew what to expect. Since I have gotten older,the stamina aspect of the tour was more taxing. However,by the end I had been steeped in so many aspects of "Ireland" that I was thankful I had been part of our most congenial group. I won't forget the pain and pride of Kilmainham Gaol, the Atlantic churning just below the walls of Dun Luce Castle, jumping on the bog and the bus itself hopping along on the roadways built on the bogs, the endless neat cottages and sheep!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were lots of little moments. Not all occurred while with the group. One instance happened when my two friends and I helped a woman from Moscow at the airport in Belfast on our way home via Heathrow. We were all a bit unsure about the Gate/Group. Tatiana haltingly approached us for advice; I ended up getting to know her a bit before boarding our mutual plane. She flashed a thumbs up and a "thank you my American friend" to me. That was a "wow" moment NOT on the itinerary!"

Melanie

Owatonna, MN

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful trip! The depth of music, history, culture and especially the history of emigration was so interesting and unexpected. Our guide Cathie was amazing! Her knowledge, experience and gift of sharing her music at the perfect times added much to our journey through Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was not expecting to find out more about my Irish ancestry but discovered a more correct way to spell a great grandparent's surname ! This should help with further research."

Michael

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a lovely tour: great tour group, fabulous guide, gorgeous scenery. It hit the trifecta. History was covered at every stop and on the coach. The complete package.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A tie between Kilmainham Gaol and having a hawk land on my gloved arm."

Marcia

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience. Better than I anticipated. But a thank you goes out to all the others in our group that signed up for that date. They were a great group. And not enough can be said about Cathie. Except - she deserves a raise. What a charm she is.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Always more than one, but we took the eco boat trip out of Kinsale, and it was fantastic. Better than the Cliffs of Moher as we were up close to them. Beautiful. And seeing the Blaskets by sea was very interesting."

Linda

Bloomingdale, IL

Tour: 09/21/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-paced. We had the right amount of your time and free time. We feel like we saw all of Ireland! So much lore than if we had tried to do it on our own! And having a guide with us when needed was so beneficial! Great trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland! I couldn't stop taking pictures!"

Robert

East Lyme, CT

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful country, people we met along the way were pleasant and helpful in answering our questions about their country. Easy travel via bus through the countryside, safe feeling with our driver ( Pamela) , navigating the narrow roads. Felt we got a good glimpse of Ireland in a very short time--14 days, wish it was longer!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moment was the bright sunny day on Aran Islands, second WOW was all the music we heard in the pubs, on our boat ride, and church concert night."

Janis

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end everything went as laid out and planned according to all the information and correspondence from Rick Steves. Overall it was an amazing experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very difficult to put into one, but one wow moment was the view from the ruins atop the climb on the Aran Island."

Mary

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The history of Ireland has long been confusing to me. Now, thanks to Dara and our many guides, I finally understand why it has been so difficult for me to grasp the various conflicts in Ireland's history. I look forward to reading more about Irish history to cement what I learned. The combination of history, culture, arts, city, country, old, and new made this a very memorable and enjoyable tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick just one. The first was leaving Dublin, arriving at the Rock of Cashel, and seeing gorgeous green fields stretching off to the horizon. Visiting the School of Falconry and having a Harris Hawk land on and take off from my arm was a huge lifetime "wow" moment. Finally, the drive around Slea Head Peninsula was one "wow" moment after another. It was a stunningly beautiful day."

Carrie

San Tan Valley, AZ

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Hotels were very nice and comfortable. Town of Dingle was bustling and easy to get around. Although I enjoyed the time at Cliffs of Moher, it was so over-run with tourists that it took some of the enjoyment away. Aran Islands was quaint and beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Falconry was amazing. Which we had more time to explore the beautiful grounds of Ashford Castle."

Joel

Selah, WA

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had just come from Scotland on a self-guided tour and I was great to get to Ireland and have someone else do the driving and also most of the thinking. The itinerary was good and allowed us to see the countryside and also get some of the history. The only reason I did not give an "Outstanding" rating is personal preference of spending more time in the smaller towns and countryside and less in the larger cities. The music and the small pubs were really fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views from Dun Aengus on the Aran Islands were stunning. We had a perfect day."

Rita

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my husband's and my 10th Rick Steves Tour. As always it was outstanding. However, this tour was different than most of our previous tours in that the focus was fantastic scenery versus ancient or famous sites and museums, which is what we prefer. Not that this is a complaint-it was just a different focus. It also focused on the music culture of Ireland, which was wonderful and something not experienced before on previous RS tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Dingle at the White House Pub/Bistro there was an entire wall of memorial pictures and artifacts in honor of the New York Fire/Police Dept. members who lost their lives during the terrorist attack on 9/11. That touching memorial wall brought tears to my eyes, and it clarified the point our guide Dara emphasized over and over on the close connection Ireland has to the USA because so many people from Ireland have immigrated to the US."

Diane

Port Ludlow, WA

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dara made this tour very memorable. His energy and enthusiasm were contagious. His love of Ireland and his desire to please the tour members were outstanding. The scenery was beautiful, the Irish people were friendly and the history of the country was very interesting. The music, the food and the tour members were wonderful. We were very lucky to have such an informed tour director and conscientious bus driver. They had to be the best pair to staff this Best of Ireland Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The drive around Slea Head was so beautiful. When I think about Ireland and the scenic coastline, this drive met all of my expectations. The sun came out in wonderful locations, which made for a very scenic day. The movie locations that we passed made for a picture perfect drive!"

Donald

San Tan Valley, AZ

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent choice of towns and cities to visit. I would have liked to have just one more day to explore Belfast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falcons and hawks of Ashford Castle."

Dennis

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the overall tour was fantastic. The tour went as described in the material reviewed before signing up. The actual tour was better than described. Our group was very compatible and there were no issues with the group. The history relayed all throughout the tour peaked my interest and I plan on reading more about it at home. I can not think of any improvements to the itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but to name one I would say the working of the dogs at the sheep farm. Simply amazing!"

Payton

Mill Valley, CA

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent, from the scenery, to the music and Irish dancer in Neligan's Pub in Dingle, to the falconry at Ashford Castle, it was all fantastic. Please consider "talking up" the optional/on your own, "multi-media/dance/music" performance in Galway at the small theater. I thought it was a wonderfully intimate production, well done with Irish dancing beyond the hard-shoe clogging. There was quite a bit of the soft/ballet type dancing as well as a 4 piece band of musicians which were top quality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"School of Falconry at Ashford Castle. This was a unique and thrilling experience for me, something I would never have discovered if I were doing my own tour organizing. Thanks again Rick and staff, for providing such marvelous travel activities on your tours."

Julia

Plantation, FL

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I expected a professionally run tour but this exceeded all our expectations. The tour guide Dara was exceptional; Pamela the motor coach driver did a great job and was personable as well. The itinerary was well thought out and filled our days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole day in Connemara including the falconry and the walk through town to see the quiet man sites. Also the musical experiences were unexpected and the musicians were so talented. Also driving through the tidy towns and finally becoming acquainted with and making friends with the people on the tour."

James

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip exceeded the already high bar set by earlier tours. Dara was the best guide we have had. He was so knowledgeable and provided us with a view to the local culture we could never get by ourselves. He quickly got to know us and his guidance on additional activities and experiences on our free time was on target with our personalities. Our driver Pamela also was exceptional and participated with the group so she became an integral part of the team. She really enhanced our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Falconry lesson was an unexpected and exceptional experience."

Janice

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/16/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first trip to Ireland, our 6th Rick Steves tour, and I couldn't have been happier with our guide Dara, driver Pamela and our journey around Ireland. The pace of the tour was perfect as well as the amount of walking, accommodations and food. Our amazing guide Dara made sure we had the opportunity to hear wonderful Irish music nearly every where we went.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I experienced a myriad of wonderful new places on this tour and only with going through my pictures was I able to remember everything. Our visit to Ashford castle, experiencing the falconry school and taking the hawk walk truly was a very special event."

Terry

Sublimity, OR

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the moment our group got together, we bonded. Part of the overall experience was just this special group, the BEST TOUR GROUP IN THE WORLD. I loved the history, the beauty of the country, the exercise, the variety of experiences, the food, and the time to explore on our own. It all made for a great time. It was our first Rick Steves tour, and probably not our last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think learning about the Great Famine throughout the tour's 14 days, and how life changing it was for Ireland as an historical era, was so enlightening. The whole history was so amazing. As for places/things to see, the scope of the stone fences and their place in the culture was so interesting. The Cliff's of Moher, Aran Islands and Giant's Causeway were all spectacular. The music/entertainment was great!"

Peter

Sublimity, OR

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour was exceptional. The guide was both knowledgeable and courteous. The local city guides were experienced and professional. The bus was clean and almost new. The driver was amazing, a true professional and very cautious. We loved Ireland and can't wait to book another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Dingle tour guide. In an hour, he taught a history course that could be described as college level."

Sue

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end, this tour exceeded our expectations. What began with reluctance about an organized tour, booked because of fear (terror) of driving on the "wrong" side of the street, ended in new friendships, wonderful cultural experiences and sobering historical awakenings.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching my husband dangle over the edge of Dun Aengus trying to get the perfect picture! Is he crazy? So many wonderful sites and sounds! Music especially. From the private session at our Dingle hotel to the concert in town, to the Pubs holding session, all good. The Falconry at Ashford Castle; an unexpected treat! Wouldn't have taken anything out. Although my husband was not excited by the sheep farm. Definitely a tourist moment. (OK, we ARE tourist :( )"

Janet

Sublimity, OR

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful to experience and learn about Ireland and its history. We were looking for a tour that was well planned and allowed us to sit back and enjoy which was exactly what we got!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The experience in Dingle was wonderful. The wonderful music, the town and our accommodations were great."

Judey

Albany, CA

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our group meshed together instantly before Pascal even entered the room so it made for a most pleasant traveling. There were several couples who had either traveled together before or who were from the same town but everyone was very fluid in terms of interacting with others. Put that together with an exceptional tour guide, a Rick Steves Itinerary and Ireland, and the experience wildly exceeded our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several 'wow' moments. Here are some of them: - Dingle - all of Dingle but especially the trad music concert which included some dance; taking a boat out to see , Funghi, where we stayed at Connemara, the food, the people, the conversations! All of Dublin & Dingle Carrying a Harris hawk on my arm at the falconry school! Watching the sheep herding by the dogs and the sheep shearing Epic Museum, learning more about the Famine (on our own time) Visiting the 'wall' in Belfast"

David

Sublimity, OR

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great experience with the best tour guide (Pascal), and bus driver (Dennis). They took great care of us, very attentive, and protective.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the last dinner we had together in Belfast. The whole countryside and coast is a wow."

Gregory

Loveland, CO

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland What a beautiful country. Learning about the history and culture of the island was fantastic. Our guide was very knowledgeable and interesting to lessen to as we toured. As is always the case with Rick Steve's tours the local guides where fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WOW- the country side and the small port villages WOW"

Lori

San Bruno, CA

Tour: 09/14/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I knew the natural beauty of the country would be a highlight for me and I was not disappointed. I was in awe at every turn of the bus and every stop we made. It is simply a breathtakingly beautiful country. Pascal, our tour guide was the best. His humor, knowledge of history, and storytelling were additional highlights of this trip. Our bus driver, Dennis was just as amazing and a delight to have on the trip. The tour group was great and we had a lot of fun getting to know one another.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite moments included hiking up to Dun Aengus in Inishmore - the view once you get up to the top was stunning. The Giant's Causeway was another WOW moment. The formations, hiking trails, and views of the coastline were mind-boggling. The natural beauty of the country, history, music, people, and food were all extraordinary and created one big WOW."

Nancy

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time! We had a great group of people from Canada and the US. There was lots of extra room on the bus so we were never crowded. I always felt I had enough personal time as well as touring time. The agenda was fabulous and our guide Declan and bus driver Caroline made the trip everything it could be! I chose a tour because I wanted to enjoy the scenery and surroundings and culture without having to figure out what to do or what to see. The accommodation were all good to great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Truthfully my wow moment came when we stopped in front of "The South Pole Inn" I never expected to actually see this place in my lifetime. I have lived in the Canadian arctic and know the story of the incredible Endurance and Shackleton expedition. I wish I could have seen the inside and had a pint in honor of these amazing men. To hear Declan's story and see his photograph of his grandfather with Tom Crean as well as the statue with his puppies was an absolute hi-light for me."

Kathleen

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic from start to finish! Well paced, extremely informative, food and accommodations excellent, very good allowance of free time. We left Ireland with a better understanding of its history and appreciation of its natural beauty and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Trinity College and the Giants Causeway."

John

Port Townsend, WA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I am happy that I decided to book a Rick Steves tour, after hearing good reports from friends who have taken other Steves tours. The tour guide and coach operator were great, and both of them made the tour quite educational as well as pleasurable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No favorite. Every day had some spectacular moments, sights, etc., even days that included stops that were way too crowded and touristy for my taste (Cliffs of Moher as an example; fortunately, that stop did not encompass the entire day)."

Glenn

Mariposa, CA

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour. All have been great, but this was the best one yet. One key reason was the venue itself: Ireland offered a delightful combination of fascinating history, beautiful scenery, friendly people, and wonderful live music. The other key reason was our Rick Steves tour guide, who was truly outstanding. He was knowledgeable, helpful, talented, a good story teller, and just downright likable. He implemented the Rick Steves format (which we love) perfectly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was no single wow moment, but rather a series of them as our tour guide was able gradually to connect the dots of the long and complicated history of the Irish people and their relationship with the U.K. He was able to do this with a combination of interesting "lectures" (often when riding the bus) and visits to key sites from that history."

Pamela

Winnipeg, MB

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I don't have a negative word to say about the experience. The accommodation and food was outstanding. Our tour guide Declan was exceptional; he was organized, friendly, entertaining, informative, patient and so much fun! Our bus driver Caroline was excellent. She navigated the roads with ease and confidence. She is friendly and engaging, and I thoroughly enjoyed laughing and socializing with her during our stops. This was my 60th birthday celebration, and it was perfect!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. What immediately comes to mind was the surprise musical concert after supper on our first day in Dingle. I also particularly enjoyed the Falconry School at Ashford Castle, including the amazing experience of flying the Harris hawk! Once in a lifetime opportunity."

Lee

The Villages, FL

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed hearing about Ireland's turbulent history. Very much enjoyed the Pub life and Irish music. Beautiful scenic views and countryside. Accommodations were first class . Trip dinners were great with the only exception the first group dinner.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The panermatic seaside views. Beautiful country and loved our stay in Dingle."

Marguerite

Richmond, TX

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We looked forward to this Tour for over a year, and it did not disappoint. This is by far the best tour I have ever been on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, loved the town of KINSALE, so beautiful, and appropiately winning the Tidy Town award. The Michael Collins Ambush Memorial site very meaningful to me, we calim him as a distant cousin. The lovely Guest House in Dingle, The Cliffs of Mohr,, and the Titanic Museum. Just to mane a few."

Kevin

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Superb. Every aspect of this tour exceeded my expectations. Declan, our tour guide was very informative and had a great sense of humor. Having been born and raised in Cork he had great sense of place and great pride in his being Irish. Caroline, our driver, was amazing in her abilities to navigate some of the most demanding roads I have ever seen. And she did it with ease and, again, a great sense of humor. The lodgings were excellent, perfectly located and plush. Included food was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"ALL of the west coast of Ireland."

Dan

Richmond, TX

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Declan is a wonderful guide. His knowledge of Ireland, and stories about where we were going and what to look for was very valuable. To me, it seemed that Declan personalized this trip with each person on the tour, a rare gift. The bus, coach, we were in was very comfortable. Our driver, Caroline, is a true professional in handling the bus in all conditions we had, from general driving, city driving, winding roads, etc. The group of people on the trip were enjoyable to be sharing this trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My personal favorite moment was spending time in Donegal because my grandmother was born there. My next favorite moment was everything we did on the tour."

Katherine

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful. I expected the beautiful scenery, but I equally appreciated the fascinating history of Ireland, the engaging storytelling, hearing Irish spoken on the street, and so much more. In other words, the culture. A suggestion: 26 people is too many for a tour group, in my view. It adds to the time taken for logistics (toilet breaks, crossing streets, etc.), cuts down on one's unstructured free time and reduces group flexibility.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the falconry and having a Harris Hawk swoop down to land on my gloved arm!! Other great moments: singing along with everyone in a pub to the traditional "Wild Mountain Thyme" being played by bevy of Irish musicians. Enjoying the unbelievable green rolling landscapes and seascapes of the Dingle Peninsula."

Jeffery

Troy, OH

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow what a trip! It was very informative and packed with so many things to do. Declan was such a great guide. He was knowledgeable. The man was a walking enclopedia on Irish history. He plays the guitar and sings to us on the bus. What can't he do. As usual we met some a great people who we hung out with together. No grumps just a great group of people. Can't forget Caroline the bus driver which we all relied upon to get us safely on those narrow roads. Even the day we had gale force winds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Hawk at the falconier. So neat we all got to have Hawk land on each persons arm."

Amy

Troy, OH

Tour: 09/09/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing trip. Declan was an outstanding guide. He was very knowledgeable about the history of Ireland. I learned so much. The accommodations were beautiful and the food was excellent. I would reccomend this trip to anyone. I don't have a single complaint.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I have to pick out a wow experience it would be the falconry experience. That day was absolutely amazing."

Monica

Port Angeles, WA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was pleasantly surprised by all aspects of the tour. It was great that Lynn is Irish,loves her country and sharing it with others. I enjoyed the local guides and their personal history in their town. The pace was great. It was nice to have 2 days at all but Westport. We had enough time at each place we visited. I appreciated few commercial stops. The free time was great. I loved the immersion into history, music, and poetry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having Pudding the Hawk on my arm."

Daniel

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Pretty much covered the highlights of Ireland. Way too much bus time on some days. Not enough personal experiences with the locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dingle experience, the music programs in Dingle, the sheep dog, the beautiful coastline scenes."

Grant

Fairview, OR

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved learning the history of Ireland and visiting the Wild Atlantic Way. Our guide Lynn was knowledgeable and helpful throughout the tour. She made our trip the experience we were expecting. We went home feeling we experienced the specialness of the Irish culture. Appreciated learning a detailed history of the "uprising" and the "troubles". Lynn is an exceptional teacher!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to narrow it down to one favorite "wow" moment. Loved the excitement of Dublin but then Kinsale and Dingle were so authentic in Gaelic culture and history. Each place we visit we became more enamored with the Ireland experience. If I had to narrow it down to one wow moment it would be Galway and the Aran Islands. Loved the youthful excitement of Galway. Loved meeting the locals of the Aran Islands and learning the history. A most beautiful part of Ireland."

Charles

Port Angeles, WA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first organized tour of any kind that I have participated in and it shattered my expectations. I feared that it would be like the tour bus I witnessed at the Grand Canyon when a bus pulled up, emptied, people walked quickly to the canyon rim took some pictures, visited the restrooms and rushed back to the bus. The Rick Steves tour was nothing like that. It was a tour of wonderful sights and, just as important, a cultural and educational tour. Wonderful tour! Will do another!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was at Dun Aonghasa on Inishmore looking out over the flat, windswept, barren landscape and seeing cows grazing in the distance. These people have to be special to make something out this, I thought."

Linda C

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really saw Ireland-I mean REALLY SAW IT! Our days were jammed pack with little time to nod off, which is the reason this trip rates very high to me. The beauty is just as I imagined, and the history our leader, Lynn Corken, provided was the piece to bring it all together. And the music-I felt I had come home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cong Village, was my wow moment. It started with an early morning walk through this quaint, beautiful village on a quiet Sunday morning heading for Ashford Castle. My joy was the unexpected: The Castle was preparing for some event and a few of us, quite by accident, saw a piece of this: All of a sudden, out of the trees came a herd of dogs followed by a beautiful white horse. This incredible sight came down towards us and passed right by. The picture I captured of the prancing horse! Wow!!"

Stanley

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really excellent itinerary and tour guides! Only gripe is quality of some of the "sleeping quarters"!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle Peninsula! Could have stayed there for a week!"

Erika

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We learned a lot about the country and the places we visited. I loved the group size, since we could have some extra space on the bus as needed, and it wasn't overwhelming getting to know everyone. Everyone was luckily very timely and our weather was perfect, so we were very lucky to hit everything we expected to do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am obsessed with dogs, so staying in Dingle and getting to hang out with 2 Irish Wolfhounds was amazing! I also loved seeing the sheep herding and then getting to visit with and pet the dogs there as well."

Kathryn

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our tour of Ireland was truly amazing - the beauty, the history, the music, and of course, our very knowledgeable and enjoyable tour guide, Lynn. The only reason I did not rate it outstanding was the accommodations at two of our locations were sub-par, and two were problematic. The tour was well-paced with sufficient group time and time on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments it's difficult to pick just one. The scenery was spectacular, the history moving and insightful, the experiences of seeing crystal being created, sheep being herded, and the "hawk walk" were very memorable. And I loved the charm of the people and the music."

Jennifer

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall, we had some fun experiences on this tour. The tour group was good and we enjoyed the Irish countryside and pub life. I would not describe it as phenomenal with the reasons outlined below.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dingle Loop was very pretty and the music in Dingle was lovely, we enjoyed the sheep-herding demonstration (the shearing not so much) and the falconry experience. The Giant's Causeway hike was a standout as well."

Michele

Vacaville, CA

Tour: 09/07/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptionally well organized tour. All guides and our bus driver were everything I could have wanted. I was happy to skip overly touristy-gimmicky spots such as the Blarney Stone and Bunratty Castle in favor of longer stays in more quiet places. Yes, I did love Dingle, but every place we visited was special in its own way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The vibrantly green, pasture-walled Irish countryside. I loved the Giant's Causeway, the Cliffs of Moher, and so much else as well--but it's the country scenery that will stick with me most. Especially haunting were the walled pasturelands that have not been used since The Great Hunger."

Carl

La Verne, CA

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a very busy, intense experience. It kept us going, and tired. But it was all well worth it. This was our 3rd RS trip, and all have been wonderful. But this was probably the best. Special notice and appreciation goes to our tour guide, CATHIE. She was OUTSTANDING! Incredibly organized and attentive to detail; a dynamo of a person with limitless energy and creativity. Extremely warm personally and a joy to travel with. And her singing ... oh, her singing! It was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was when our guide, Cathie , sang us Irish ballads and other songs, in very special places. That happened frequently, so my favorite Wow Moment was actually many moments. As far as places, they were probably The Cliffs of Moher and Duncluce Castle."

Jim

Mill Creek, WA

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I have done 6 tours with Rick Steves. This was truly one of the best. I attribute it to our wonderful guide, Kathy. She made this trip for us. All the Rick Steves guides we've had so far were great, but Kathy was over the top. Great tour, great guide, great bus driver (Pam), great everything!!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"too many to list, ........... but; Kathy singing us Irish songs along the way and also explaining the significance of the songs she sang. Wow, what a wonderful guide!!!! The first song she sang us was in Dublin at the statue of Molly Malone. So cool. We all joined in. Being a John Wayne fan (big time), I really enjoyed visiting Cong, and exploring that beautiful little town."

Walter

Michigan City, IN

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Most incredible tour, history culture food and fun

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The county Mayo drive."

Linda

Aberdeen, SD

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was perfect.It was my first time in Europe and Ireland was a dream come true.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Falconry and the sheep farm.The scenery was spectacular"

John

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

great hotels, great selection of cities and tours, wonderful bus driver and guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"suspension bridge"

Peter

Houston, TX

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour had less free time than the other RS tours we've been on. I would probably cut out the Book of Kells, as the museum was crowded and I got nothing from walking through it. The weather was frequently poor, but Ireland is a rock in the North Atlantic so it was expected and I was equipped. I learned a lot about Irish history and culture, and that's why I signed up. I enjoyed the pubs, the rugged scenery, the food and the museums. Don't take my criticisms wrong - this was a great tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into a pub in Dingle to find a mosh pit dancing to "Rattl'in Bog"."

Rob

Fort Wayne, IN

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. Really enjoyed falconry and watching the border collies. Loved watching a Riverdance performer at a pub....arranged by Cathy. We enjoyed the countryside more than the cities. Heasrons BNB was outstanding. Very nice rooms and amazing food. The group dinner in Portrush was art a restaurant with a nice view, but service was below par and food was mediocre. Loved the rope bridge...again thanks to Cathy. Would recommend waterproof shoe!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Views at Cliffs of Moher and the Giants Causeway. Visiting Du Luca Castle."

Jean

New Berlin, WI

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am amazed when I think back on all we did and saw! Never felt overwhelmed by the itinerary! I learned so much about the history, the culture, the music and politics of Ireland which helps in appreciating how Ireland is what it is today. We had a wonderful group of people to travel with which makes it fun. The whole experience was top notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many moments that I really can't pick a favorite. Since I've been home, each day a memory will come to me and I'm amazed at how much we experienced. The glass cutter who worked for Waterford, the sheep herding, jumping on the bog, hawk flying, hiking awesome sites, and so forth! We had fantastic musical and dancing entertainment, too. Thank you for everything this tour offered! Loved it all!"

Janet

Danville, CA

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved our first Rick Steve's tour. My husband and I felt there was such a comfortable mix of independent time and group time. Our group size allowed us to visit sites and restaurants easily. Each magical place was prefaced with the history, culture, and traditional music of that unique area. The organization and planning details came off perfectly, maximizing our time in each region. This tour Represented the best of Ireland in all of our experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! I loved the hawkwalk at Ashford Castle. It was simply incredible watching these beautiful birds in flight and a once in lifetime experience to be able to launch one myself. Crossing Carrick a Rede rope bridge over this magnificent coastline was breathtaking. Walking in the footsteps of my Scotch-Irish ancestors in Northern Ireland was so emotional and meaningful. The joyful Irish music and soulful ballads that Cathie sang was always a wow moment!"

Janiece

Michigan City, IN

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This a was wonderful experience! The guide, Cathy, brought Ireland to life for us especially the Ireland told through her beautiful singing voice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many favorites....The cooking class at our B&B in Dingle, and the local young man (home from his recent performance in River Dance) who danced for us in a local pub, and I always enjoy the bonds created within our tour group."

Steven

New Berlin, WI

Tour: 09/02/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our first time to Ireland and we were expecting a wonderful experience. With that in mind the tour met and exceeded our expectations. We had a wonderful group and our guide Cathie not only gave us great guidance, and thorough Irish history, she also graced us with her wonderful voice through her music. She also made sure to give plenty of suggestions for how to spend free time, even going to the extent of reserving tickets and seats for evening music and entertainment.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but if I had to pick one, it would be the day we hiked the Giants Causeway along the Antrim Coast. In addition to that, the walk across the rope ridge at Carrick-a-Rede and the the tour of DunLuce castle made for a fantastic day."

Robert

Danville, CA

Tour: 08/31/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again our tour was excellent. Our guide Susie is a great representative for Rick Steves's Tours. Our tour group was once again a delight to travel with. We are getting ready to book our 8th tour Eastern Europe for 2019.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really liked the Titantic Tour in Belfast."

Mary

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 08/31/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It exceeded my expectations. Lots of variety, great tour companions. The herding and shearing of sheep was great. so was the whole falconry experience at Ashford Castle. And the tiny town of Cong, the stuff of dreams. You could almost see a leprechaun in the bushes behind the ducks in the stream! And what a contrast to Innismore which turned out to be less than the best due to drenching RAIN- an Irish phenomenon I'm told- and the hundreds of bicyclists wobbling about in the muddy road.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love dance, so my "wow" moment was a former Riverdance dancer performance with 2 terrific musicians at the Dingle bookstore. Amazing!!! I think that Susie's arranging of performances outside of bars was especially nice so we could really hear the music and see the dancers. Although, we loved Matt Malloys, it was packed!! This is not to undercut the breathtaking vistas, castles, rolling pastures and rocky slopes! All wonderful. Ireland is so much more than we imagine."

John

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 08/31/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Couldn't have been better:Our guides, hotels, food, music and of, course the Irish people and gorgeous landscapes!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two for me: the Falconry event at Ashford castle and the last night in Belfast with the story teller, musicians and dancers."

Ginna

Middlefield, CT

Tour: 08/31/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour! Just the right balance of planned and free time; wonderful local guides who know their home turf well and love to share it; we met and made new friends in our tour group and just had a truly memorable experience overall. I am so glad we chose this tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour was a wow for me but I think the most moving moment was the personal story our guide Susie shared in Belfast. I won't mention any details so I don't ruin the experience for future tour participants, but it was beautifully told."

Carol

Glendora, CA

Tour: 08/31/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Susie was awesome. She made Ireland come to life for us. We feel like we really know Ireland. Our group was outstanding. We were all very prompt and meshed together effortlessly. Our driver Dennis was awesome negotiating some very narrow roads with great skill, courteousness, and most importantly safety. It goes without saying how beautiful the towns and countrysides were. Overall we had a better experience than we thought we would and have so many wonderful memories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ashford Castle was spectacular!"

Linda

Sequim, WA

Tour: 08/31/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Felt I got an in-depth view of Ireland as a whole, with a very knowledgeable guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One HUGE wow! But most of all, the people left a lasting impression."

Gregory

Yakima, WA

Tour: 08/31/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We travel alot, taking 4-5 vacations a year - usually on our own rather than a cruise or group tour. But IRELAND was our best vacation ever! The Rick Steve's tour left all the good parts of travel and took over the difficult parts, so we could just enjoy our time together and experience a different country and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting in the large comfortable tour bus and being able to watch the beautiful country side go by with no stress about traffic, roads or navigating maps. Being high up allowed us to see so much more than if we had traveled by car as most of the roads in Ireland are lined with stone walls or hedgerows which block your views of the countryside. Also, only having 28 people on a 50 person bus allows everyone to have a window seat and/or extra room whenever they wanted it. THANK YOU!!"

Arleen

Saco, ME

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was my fifth Rick Steves tour and by far the BEST! The energy level throughout the entire tour was amazing. The tour was well planned out with many options for our free time. Dara was always ready to help make plans for as many tour members that wanted to explore different avenues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "wow" moments. The harbor cruise in Dingle and the Giant's Causeway. Unforgettable!!!!"

David

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dara made the trip a true lifetime experience. His knowledge and enthusiasm made each day a great day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't have a "wow" moment. Very few of those in my life. I can say the was never a bad moment. And there were wonderful experiences everyday. Great trip"

Kent

Bothell, WA

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was truly an amazing time. All our Rick Steves tours have been great but this Ireland trip was very special. The country, sites, food and especially the people made this trip so memorable. We had such a wonderful time bonding with our tour mates and this partly came about due to our fantastic guide Dara. He was so much fun, energetic, funny and knowledgeable . Ireland is the best ever and so was this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments on this tour....one had to be the beautiful sunny day for our day trip to the Aran Islands. The weather made everything sparkle on an already beautiful trip. The people were fabulous and the sights were so beautiful. Also, one other, at the Cliffs of Moher. When we got there everything was socked in and overcast but we walked to the top anyway. When we got to the top all of a sudden the clouds lifted and we were treated to the beautiful cliffs."

Kyle

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

They say there are 40 shades of green in Ireland... I think I saw 37 of them. The tour group was a great mix of friendly people, our driver Caroline, was a hoot. The experiences I had will live in my memory for quite some time. There is truly something to be said for "the wearing o the green" and the warmth of the Village locals was truly amazing. If you've ever had an interest in Ireland, this is a terrific "overview" of the country(s) - the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"oh gosh... "playing" with the Hawks at the Falconry School at Ashmore Castle is unforgettable. Seeing "Fungi", the Bottle nose Dolphin, in the bay of Dingle was a treat and going to the UNESCO site - The Giant's Causeway was truly an experience. Also 1) Getting caught up in a "stag party" (bachelor party) in Dingle was a hoot and 2) Running into an elderly gentleman on the Scily trail walking back from Fort Charles to the town of Kinsale where he regaled us with stories, jokes and kindness."

Jill

Watertown, WI

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first RS tour and it exceeded my expectations! Dara and our driver, Caroline, were the best! The local guides were great, each made their tour enjoyable and educational. I learned so much history. Group time and personal time was a nice balance. I enjoyed every one of my tourmates; it was a great bunch of caring people. Meals and hotels were exceptional. Dara gave us great suggestions for our personal time. Time on the bus never seemed long, Dara made the bus time enjoyable, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a wow moment, but if I had to chose a few; the sheep farm and the falconry, Giants Causeway, Aran Islands, and the highlight, our time in Dingle! Really enjoyed all the music!"

Susan

Bothell, WA

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was fantastic! I felt that I got to know the real Ireland - the history, the culture, the language, the food, the land and the people. The pace was not too fast, not too slow, but just right. Our tour guide was fabulous and made us feel that we were the best group he's had the pleasure of guiding. I know he makes everyone feel that way! Our bus driver, Caroline, was an added bonus since she became a real part of our group. I can't think of one thing I'd change.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments that it's difficult to choose. I suppose my favorite part of the tour was our visit to Dingle. We stayed in a beautiful hotel, Castlewood House, and met wonderful people, thanks to our tour guide, Dara, who lives there. The first night we went to the pub that he owns and I sang with his Uncle Seamus. That was a "wow" moment for me! I'm not sure it was such a "wow" moment for the others, but they were still very complimentary. We had a wonderful group!"

Michael

Longmont, CO

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, this was the most"fun" experience of the four Rick Steves tours we've been on. There were fantastic sites, great Irish whiskey and music, and a perfect guide, Dara, to bring the history and culture all together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a toss up between the Celtic fortress, Dun Aenghus, and the Giant's Causeway. Impressive man made and natural wonders."

Marjorie

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I have traveled to many parts of the world, on our own and on business. However, this was our first organized group tour. It was great - a perfect blend of group activities and time on our own. The itinerary highlighted well known sites as well as places less traveled. We enjoyed it all. The food, the sites, the guides, and group members were all memorable and fun. I would highly recommend this trip to others; newbies to travel and those with lots of stamps in their passports.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wide array of music in Dingle, the accommodations there, and the hawks at Ashworth Castle were highlights for me. There was history and beauty everywhere. The Titanic Museum was a personal wow -- we went back a second day to really see it all as well as other sites in the Titanic Quarter. I came away appreciating Belfast's efforts to recast itself as a modern and vibrant destination."

Jennine

Everett, WA

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my FIRST tour. What a wonderful experience. Starting with the people in Rick's office, to DARA our outstanding guide, to Caroline who got us EVERYWHERE safe and sound to all the tour guides and people in between; this tour was awesome. Not enough positive superlatives to describe this experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I went to Ireland to see Pope Frances. Picked up the tour after. A very tough act to follow. The coordination of the overall tour; with it's combination of Go-go-go activities interspaced with Adequate free time to roam and explore. This was my first trip to a European country (2 countries) and being able to see and do SO much was only possible with the format used by this company. The activities were fun, informative, enlightening, did I say fun(?), and the experience incredible."

Nancy

Spokane, WA

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Ireland was everything I wished for. It was wonderful. The saddest part is when it ended. We appreciated that most days started about 8:30 and an occasional day to sleep a little longer. We also appreciated have breakfast available so we didn't have to spend time finding it ourselves (even if it meant we didn't visit the local bakeries as much). Having the tours lined up and the local guides was great. Saved time and were all so informative. Well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. Dingle was a highlight. We loved Neligan's, a local pub. The music and dancing were a definite highlight. We did the afternoon wildlife sea tour and it was great too. Seeing the Causeway in N Ireland was wonderful, along with the Cliffs of More and the Buren. The local tour guides we had, the places we stayed, the food we ate, and the people we met were outstanding."

Laurie

Littleton, CO

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing! The experience was so much more than I could have imagined. The scenery was amazing. The sites chosen by Rick Steve's were a good mix of the traditional sites visitors want to see, as well as some somewhat out of the way places. The out of the way places and experiences from them made this experience unforgettable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had so many 'wow' moments on this trip, I don't think I could pick one. The experiences we had in Dingle were my most memorable. The town had so much to offer, from our harbor cruise to local concerts, plus so much more. The concerts we attended at both the church and the record shop, as well as the pub let us experience traditional Irish culture with singing, dancing and musicians. Gave me goosebumps. Our tour guide, Dara, made all of our 'wow' moments happen."

Wanda

Longmont, CO

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing adventure. The people were very welcoming and the scenery was outstanding! All of the guides did an exceptional explanation of the trials that the Irish people have had to endure! I enjoyed hearing their versions of the struggles but how they discuss rather than argue the points.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were sitting in a bookstore in Dingle for a concert listening to the most beautiful voice I had heard in a long time accompanied by an outstanding vocalist playing the accordion and telling wonderful stories about the music being sung. He had just performed for the Pope that Sunday and played all over the world. The stories were so poetic it brought tears to my eyes. One of the dancers from Riverdance also performed and had also performed for the Pope! All in one night!! Outstanding night!!!"

Yvonne

Nashville, TN

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is an amazing country - beautiful scenery, varied and interesting history, friendly people. We were thrilled to experience it in the company of 24 delightful fellow travelers, an extraordinary tour guide - Dara - and a "rock" for a bus driver, Caroline. This was our third Rick Steve's tour and it more than lived up to our expectations! Plus, the weather was beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh my! Every day had a "wow" moment in some form or fashion. I cannot name just one. What I will remember 25 years from now was the easy camaraderie of the group members and the fun times we had on the bus, during our events, and at meals."

Ron

Nashville, TN

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a remarkable on-site course on Irish culture, history, and geography, along with 27 co-learners who enjoyed having a good time. The tone was set by Dara Herlihy, our guide, who helped us become a group and continually gave us fascinating glimpses of Irish life from the inside. Wonderful spirit and camaraderie among the group and with Dara. His Dingle connections enabled us to get some bonus exposure to Irish music, dance, and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting in Dara's pub, Neligan's, and watching from five feet away as the two O'Shea brothers traded percussion solos--one with his feet and the other with an Irish drum. Their rhythms were so creative and complex, I felt like I was watching Joe Murello and Elvin Jones trade eights. Thank you, Dara, for making it possible!"

Harry

Coupeville, WA

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful, intense, delicious, satisfying, warm and friendly experience. Our group bonded quickly under Dara Herlihy's great leadership. For me, I particularly enjoyed spending most of our time away from the tourist horde-sites and more time immersing ourselves with people in a variety of locations all around Ireland. I felt as we learned by doing, even though our guides were uniformly excellent We EXPERIENCED Ireland. I still wake up, two weeks later, wondering if I'm there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our day on Inishmore in the Arans. Perfect weather gave us one wow after another. Climbing to the 11th Century fort and seeing the entire island, from the Atlantic to Galway Bay. And experience quite a different perspective on Ireland from those who live on the Arans. It made me want to go back and explore all three Arans and savor their unique, wonderful culture."

Maureen

El Granada, CA

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was terrific and the people on the tour with us where great to be with. We made many new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dara, the tour guide, was my "wow." His attention toward the tour group and his attention to detail made the tour as terrific as it was."

Gary

Spokane, WA

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dara and Caroline made our visit to Ireland great. The personal involvement of both of them made me feel like we had been traveling with friends. The free time I along the tour took away the rushed feeling I have experienced on other tours.Geat trip can' wait to go on another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Love Dingle and Dara' Dad.At Dara's recommendation I took the boat ride out of Dingle harbor around the Island it was a great way see part of the coast line and get some history on the people who lived on the island. We spent 3 nights in Dingle and loved the music,taverns,food,accommodation and the people."

Hal

Upland, CA

Tour: 08/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been to Europe a number of times, including one prior RS tour. This was our best trip to Europe ever. The tour covered so much territory with so many great experiences in such a short time. Our tour guide Lisa was great! The subject matter guides were knowledgeable and engaging. Ireland is a beautiful and friendly country. We were provided so much important history of Ireland and have a better understanding of what the Irish have been through.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guide, Lisa, coordinated three nights of music in Dingle. We had a private Irish music concert at our B&B, followed the next night by an Irish music concert in an old church, followed the next night by an Irish music concert and Riverdance dancer in a quaint music shop. These unexpected experiences made Dingle one of our favorite towns."

David

Chapel Hill, NC

Tour: 08/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second tour with Rick Steves and it was again a fun and entertaining experience with a great itinerary as well as great guides and traveling companions. We feel we truly got the flavor of Ireland, both modern and historic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While there were many wonderful historic, cultural, and scenic moments, seeing the Gallarus Oratory was the most unusual thing we saw and something I didn't even know existed."

Robert

Parker, CO

Tour: 08/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a fantastic time! Everything was planned out so all I had to do was get to Ireland. Lisa our tour guide was wonderful. Our second day in Ireland the Pope arrived thus there were challenges and Lisa did a great job of moving things around so that we could see what we wanted and see the Pope. Unfortunately we missed Kilmainham Gaol due to the Pope and his travel plans but she was able to substitute Muckross House; this was a wonderful trade as this was one of my favorite things we saw!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment ended up being the Dingle Peninsula. Slea Head drive was great and introduced me to the Blasket Island and the people. I knew some about the authors and the struggles of the people the the center really opened my eyes. The next, our free day, we took the ferry out the the Island to continue our experience."

John

Herndon, VA

Tour: 08/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic, it exceeded expectations. Our guide, Lisa was excellent and went out of her way at least twice to assist individuals with unique request, including my request to visit the South Pole Inn while we were in Dingle. Stephen, our driver was friendly and competent. Without exception I found the food very good and the accommodations comfortable, clean and inviting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle and its vibrant music scene was certainly a high point for me. Lisa arranged 3 concerts featuring a variety of Irish music. The performers were talented and performed a nice cross section of local music."

Twyla

Upland, CA

Tour: 08/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour, best I've experienced yet. Being able to travel all over Ireland through this tour was more than we could have done on our own. Our driver Steven was patient and very careful. And fun! We rented a car for a week after the tour and appreciated Steven more. Driving is not easy on those narrow winding roads. We brought back many wonderful memories that we have been sharing with family and friends. We now have a better understanding of the history of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I wasn't prepared for the beauty of Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher were stunning and then if that wasn't enough we were treated with a double rainbow. The Giant's Causeway was incredible in beauty and folk tales. There are too many "wow" moments to choose just one. The castles, the countryside, the sheep and cows,the stone fences and houses, the churches, the museums and the stunning history, I loved it all!"

Wayne

Edwardsville, IL

Tour: 08/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Ireland tour was great. We enjoyed the group and especially our tour leader, Lisa.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking with the hawk was a great experience."

Nancy

Perth, ON

Tour: 08/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 9th Rick Steves Tour- fabulous like all the others. The itinerary was great and I really felt I got to see all the highlights, learn about the history, art, literature and fully experience the aliveness, mystery and magic of Ireland. Our guide Lisa and our driver Stephen were very skilled and so much fun. They easily instilled a sense of ease and camaraderie in our group and I loved Lisa's sparkle, her infectious laugh and her impeccable story telling skills.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of "wow" moments- the music in Dingle; the every changing, beautiful landscape; the moment when I made eye contact with the hawk sitting on my forearm. Also, the food - the wonderful breakfasts, especially the SCONES at our hotels, the great pub food, the meals shared with our group. I LOVED the food!!!"

Bobbi

Parker, CO

Tour: 08/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour group. Good mix of activity and free time. Lisa was amazing. She kept us on task and did an terrific job finding workaround for the Pope visit. Food, accommodations and the planned itinerary was perfect. The guides were very informative and really engaged in the conversations. Never felt safer with our legendary driver Stephen.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was a quite a few "wow" moments but my favorite was the Cliffs of Moher. The beauty was spectacular. I will always remember the humor and the friendliness of the Ireland people."

Sandra

Markham, ON

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is a lovely place to visit, with amazing vistas, delicious food and lots of music. The tour guide was amazing and the travel companions were fun and friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose only one. One was the experience of flying a falcon. Another wow was crossing the rope bridge. Dinning at 55 North Restaurant in Rushport at sunset overlooking the ocean is memorable. Listening to Irish music at a Kinsale pub."

Doug

Medina, OH

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 2nd tour, and Joe and RickSteve's Tours hit the ball out of the park. Joe brought a deep understand and love of Ireland shine thru all our activties. There were the usual unexpected issues (hotledoor couldn't beopened, late participants, but Joe (and our fabulous driver Pamela) madeit allhappen with ease and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Falconry at Ashford castle, and the 2nd day in Portrush (devil'scsudway, bushmills tour, swinging bridge and castle ruins)."

Miriam

Dunedin, FL

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful tour - I was able to eat all I wanted and drink all the pints I could handle because with all the walking, climbing and hiking I did, I knew there wouldn't be much weight gained.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moments were when we shared meals together and got do know each ohter."

Winifred

Yorktown Heights, NY

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip excellent guide joe and driver Pamela My only suggestion would be to consider portage especially in some of the older hotels the stairs are steep in Dingle and Galway a fall could be serious even with a simple bag. The participants at least some of us are older and steep stairs are a problem. I really love the iternary and the participants were so very funny and kind.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Kinsale and Dingle and the visit to the titanic in Belfast"

Diane

Medina, OH

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was better than i expected and i had pretty high expectations going in since i had been on one previous Rick Steve's tour before. I can't say enough good things about the whole experience. great group to travel with, great tour guide, great bus driver, wonderful country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Hawk walk since that was something i would not have considered doing myself. It was a great experience and very educational."

Melissa

Arlington, MA

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was as perfect as a trip could be! It was organized, fun, and fulfilling. We had a fabulous guide, saw so many sights, and got to experience local culture. As a solo traveler I immediately felt comfortable in the group; the tour had a great balance of together time and time on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's Causeway. We had seen so much beautiful scenery and we were nearing the end of the tour so I thought I'd had my fill of "wow" moments - but we got to the Causeway right when it opened so it was quiet, and the sky was blue, and we had lots of time to explore. It was so peaceful and stunning and it absolutely took my breath away."

Barbara

Venice, FL

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Though this was our first, it was easy to see why some in our group had been on as many as eight Rick Steve's tours. Great primary tour guide, great secondary tour guides, a great bus driver and great traveling companions made every aspect of this tour both memorable and pleasant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While there were many, the most unexpected "wow" experience was the opportunity to handle a red tailed hawk on our falconry outing."

Arthur

Vallejo, CA

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first organized tour so we were not exactly sure what to expect. I must say everything was fabulous. We had a great tour guide who was very knowledgeable about the places we visited. Everything was so easy for us. We basically just had to be on the bus at the specified time. As far as the bus was concerned, it was a very clean, large, comfortable bus which allowed everyone to stretch out if they wanted. This was so much nicer than the smaller tour buses that we are used to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a hard one to answer because everyday was great. One of the things that stood out were all of the little things that were included that we probably would not have experienced had we done this trip on our own. For example, in Kinsale, our guide told us about his favorite bar in town that had music and singing one evening. So after dinner, the entire tour group went to this little bar and had a great time. On another evening, a musical family was brought in to perform for us."

Janice

Durango, CO

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour of Ireland with wonderful guide and driver who made Ireland feel like home. We saw all the major sites we wanted to see. A major "side trip" was jumping on the bog! Hearing local music, stories and history enriched each day. Pascal was wonderful at sharing and making it "real". Dennis our driver was great, and a highlight of the trip was when we could talk to him about his experiences and thoughts. A fun trip with lots of laughter and fun experiences in a magical land!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments to many to pick one but I really loved the Giants Causeway. However the surprise River Dance performer at our music night was amazing! Thanks Pascal!"

Beverly

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour and it was just as fabulous as my first tour. I love that I was able to experience the best of Ireland in 14 days. I don't think I could have experienced the best of the culture and people of Ireland in a self planned trip; having local guides makes all the difference.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't say that there was just one "wow" moment. Each day was a new adventure with a new "wow" moment. I enjoyed it all! The herding dogs, Harris Hawk experience, music in Dingle and Galway, fabulous views, funny and kind Irish people, history and stories, excellent food, and new friends in my fellow travelers were all part of my daily "wow" moments."

Darrell

Chanhassen, MN

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought I had a good idea of what to expect Ireland entailed before I went...and it was what I expected. So, it was a good trip, but it's hard to compare with Switzerland for example in my case. I enjoyed the small towns, the music, and learning more deeply about the "troubles".This is my second Rick Steve's trip and will be doing a third next year to Italy. Both trips were well organized, efficient, well guided, and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought I already had a sense of Ireland so I'm not sure I had a "wow" moment, but perhaps the closest thing to that might be Pascal...I loved his sense of humor, his knowledge of Ireland's history, and willingness to help any time. Was a bit surprised with Belfast in a good way. City center combination of the old and new was visually attractive to me. I do wish people wouldn't discard their cigarette butts on the street."

Mark

Charlestown, MA

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was impressed by just about every aspect of the tour. Pascal and Dennis were the best as guide and driver. The hotels and bed and breakfast accommodations (with one exception) were far superior to what I was expecting. The group meals were outstanding and all of the restaurants were wonderful. Arriving at tour sites and not having to deal with tickets or lines was a treat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot. If I have to pick one, I'll go with the Kissane Sheep Farm."

Judy

Charlestown, MA

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour,but I can't imagine any tour being better than our experience with Pascal. Every stop was perfectly planned, including bathroom stops. The sleeping accommodations and meals were excellent. I was afraid that two weeks might be too long, but it was just right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to choose a favorite as there were so many, but if I had to choose I guess it would be the sheep herding demonstration. Watching the control of that little dog amazed me. Of course, all of the views on our stops had me saying wow over and over again."

Elizabeth

New York, NY

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and smoothly run by Pascal. The group was punctual and pleasant. The sites visited were amazing. It was our first time in Ireland and we loved the country. It was a good itinerary. We added more time at either end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first dinner in Dublin was a lovely restaurant, as was the dinner in Dingle at the B and B. The hawk walk at Ashford Castle was very special, as well as the Burren."

Richard

Ny, NY

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 13 tour of Ireland was satisfactory in almost every respect. The accommodations were very good, a couple were excellent. The bus was large, clean, well-maintained and professionally handled by Dennis. The stops, both for comfort and for touring, were well-chosen. I always felt that the stops were made with the welfare of the tour group uppermost in the mind of Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Here's the "wow" in the trip. When asked what I wanted to do most in Ireland, I said, "Get in lots of traditional Irish music." Which 4 of us did for 8 or 9 of the nights. Pascal, seeing that we were working hard to accomplish our goal, actually arranged for a salon type concert for the group by George Murphy in the hotel in Port Rush. That was above the call of duty. George was a perfect finish for our tour."

Kelly

Portland, OR

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was able to see and experience so much of the country in two weeks, much more than if I had tried to arrange transportation, lodging and event admissions on my own. The friendly and skilled guides (plural because I considered driver Dennis a guide as well) were the perfect shepherds, down to making sure there would be ample bathrooms where we were going.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The somewhat expected wow: I have dreamed of visiting the Cliffs of Moher for nearly a decade.Finally seeing them was emotional and awe-inspiring and comfort zone pushing. The unexpected: The sweet chat I had with the vicar at Drumcliffe Church. She spotted me filling out a prayer request and offered an in-person prayer. My good health should continue and my true love is probably on his way!"

Robert

Carnation, WA

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Pascal is a great guide, very well informed on Irish history thru the centuries and especially about the last hundred years. He made the whole tour interesting and fun, provided lots of knowledge about each town and cite visited and answered many many questions from everyone always providing insight into differing views of the Irish people, without bias. I came away with a great impression of the Irish peoples struggles through the last couple centuries.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Bushmills Distillery tour was very interesting as well as the Dingle Crystal factory visit. It's hard to pick just one thing as the country is like no other I've visited in Europe, very beautiful throughout, plus all the different sites visited. Plus we had a fantastic group!"

Robert

Durango, CO

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland has beautiful natural features, but visiting Ireland is more about the Irish people, their culture and their history. This tour did a marvelous job of making sure we saw beautiful landscapes and coastlines, but where it excelled was bringing us the culture and history of the Irish. From small venues with local musicians, to historical walking tours with local guides, to getting us excited about the hurling championship (Up Tyrone), we felt like cousins of locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Facing the strong winds on the Cliffs of Moher."

Karen

Durango, CO

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had great traveling companions. Loved our guide, Pascal. His stories, knowledge of the history and general helpfulness were outstanding. The people of Ireland were just great to meet and friendly to talk to. Our favorite accommodation was Heatons in Dingle. The food was excellent and service way above par. Just can't say enough good things about Heatons. Getting our laundry done there was wonderful for 15 euros for whatever we could stuff in the bag.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giants causeway was a highlight for me. I loved the hiking and the amount of time we were given there. The glass cutter was amazing to watch work, but the Giants Causeway was still probably my most WOW moment."

Bill

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

At the top of my nine tours along with Villages of Italy. Excellent itinerary and folow through with all details. Exceeded my expectations given all of the planned events and wonderful additions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"View from Giant's Causeway and the Falconry school experience."

Catherine

Carnation, WA

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed the schedule of events and the camaraderie of the other people on the bus. We were lucky to have consistently good weather so were able to get off and see the sites. We called it Pascal weather because not matter what the morning weather report, as soon as we got there the weather was fine. I gave it a very good because sometimes it felt rushed or, when we got inside the museum there was not a guide nor time to listen to the headsets.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the night life in Dingle. Michael at the Music Store was wonderful and the music and Thomas O'Shea's dancing was terrific."

Susan

Calgary, AB

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour. The style of travel with a smaller tour group and a mix of planned and free time was great, I really enjoyed enjoyed learning about the history and culture of Ireland. I don't think I would have learned as much traveling on our own. It was nice to leave the logistics to someone else and be able to relax and enjoy the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard. Noteable moments included: the concerts we attended, Dingle Crystal, the sheep herding demonstration, and the falconry. The scenery was spectacular so it is hard to isolate one thing."

Kenneth

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 08/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. We saw and learned so much more than we ever could have even attempted on our own. Our guide, Dara, was organized, committed, and truly wanted to share all aspects of his country with us. From an overall impression of the land and people to understanding their history and spirit. Music played a large role and we truly experienced traditional and popular music as it related to the spirit and culture of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"See above"

Brian

Mililani, HI

Tour: 08/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 6th RS tour. Although you have to see some of the must see sights of the larger cities we often enjoy the quaintness and people of the small towns. Most of this tour revolves around these small towns and outdoor sites and scenery. We have always enjoyed the guides and the camaraderie of similar minded travels. You learn so much more about the history, sites, and culture on these tours vs going on your own. My only complaint is I wish the weather had been better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the private music concerts that Dara set up for us. It was very intimate and gave us a great sample of the Irish music heritage that they are so proud of."

Jeffrey

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/12/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Good guides, interesting itinerary. Too much time in the bus, and a very uncomfortable bus environment. Too structured as to time, no time to explore, meet and get to know people, interact with our guides. Shocked at what "strenuous" meant; what we consider light walking was strenuous, way too sedentary and slow-paced for us. Several restaurant choices for group meals were loud and uncomfortable. But beautiful scenery, interesting history, and a strong sense of the pride in the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our Belfast guide's story about her great-grandfather being lost on the Titanic and her family having his things handed down over the generations. Very touching."

Paula

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 08/12/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a our 3rd RS tour and it was very different from the other 2 in that it was more scenic and outdoorsy. The other 2 were definitely more museum oriented. We enjoyed this tour and Dara was great. I would caution and emphasize that this is an outdoor active tour not the typical museum stuff so definitely bringing the right attire, waterproof gear would be beneficial. All in all we enjoyed this tour and you cant beat the scenery, breathtaking.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me the giants causeway was the most amazing site."

Heather

Aldergrove, BC

Tour: 08/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experiences far exceeded my expectations.I feel so fortunate to have traveled with such a great group of people; we really gelled well together. Dara was an exceptional tour guide.I felt privileged to have done and seen so many amazing things and I thoroughly enjoyed the music and history. The scenery was breathtaking and the food was delicious.The accommodation was great and I especially loved staying at Clonmara in Dingle.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many "wow" moments, but I must say our music and dancing experience after dinner at Coco's Restaurant on our farewell evening really stands out for me.We had the top floor of Madden's Bar to ourselves and were treated to exceptional music, singing, and dancing.Such talent!!"

Jack

Indpls, IN

Tour: 08/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything absolutely exceeded expectations! With all the information available before the trip we felt very prepared to take on travel outside of the US. I can't say enough about the Rick Steves' Books, Web Site, online forums, Travel Guides, Bus, Bus Driver and Hotels. It's obvious a lot of preparation goes into making this a top-notch Tour. I thought that with 14 days of touring I would be ready to come home by the end but I loved every minute of the tour and didn't want it to end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is just cruel making me limit to a Single "Wow" moment. Hmm, Tour of Cong, Quiet Man Location & Hawk Walk! Or Giant's Causeway! Or Bushmills Distillery Tour! Or Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge! Or Kinsale and Silly Walk! Or Dingle (The whole Town)! Wow! Ok, If you make me pick I guess the Giant's Causeway. But I'm not sure, it's really hard to favor one thing."

Becky

Glendive, MT

Tour: 08/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guides, loved them all. Overwhelming amount of history! The rooms were great,bus was great. My only complaint would be the Farm restaurant. I did not enjoy the starter, meal or dessert. I would recommend fewer group meals as they are hard to pull off; serving everyone at the same time( unless it is buffet style.) I would have liked to see a working bog for my own curiosity.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was taken by how neat and tidy all of the towns are. They could use more garbage cans available to the public."

David

Hoover, AL

Tour: 08/12/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a great trip: fun guide, beautiful scenery, wonderful group. Though anticipated, the only thing that kept this from being outstanding was the weather - one of the major sites (Cliffs of Moher) was not visible. Rain, mist and drizzle were with us nearly every day. That being said, the weather didn't slow us down, but it would be easy to imagine how spectacular some of the scenery would have been with a little more sunshine. One plus - we saw a bunch of rainbows - no pots of gold!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" was the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. I have a fear of heights, so this was a challenge. The crossing was a thrill - the return in a strong cross wind was a high-pucker experience!"

Dave

Liberty, MO

Tour: 08/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Ireland 14 Day Tour is a great way to see a healthy slice of Ireland and Northern Ireland, either for travelers that may only get one chance to see this great Island, or as a taster for others that will return in the future and have an idea of what and where they might wish to visit. Our Guide, Susie, and Driver, Michael, were both very professional, engaging, and great fun to be around!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two great "wow" moments, on this tour. On a personal level, visiting Cong, a village that featured heavily in one of my favorite films, "The Quiet Man", was a highlight for me. The other was touring the HMS Nomadic - the only surviving White Star Line vessel. It has been preserved not only for being the last reminder of a bygone era, but also for being the tender vessel for 1st and 2nd Class Passengers boarding the Titanic on her only voyage - almost like being on the great ship herself!"

Roger

Andover, MN

Tour: 08/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been to Ireland twice before and a lot has changed in that country over the past 15 years. This tour was the first with Rick Steves and a much more in depth experience. Crystal factory, sheep herding, falcon demonstration, dolphin boat chase, Aeron Island tour, music/dance performance, Trinity College and the Book of Kells, Jameson distillery, Boyne Valley tour and the Titanic museum. Just a great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The connection of our tour Guide Susan and the two coins from here great grandfather before he left on that cruse. A real connection and a fabulous museum tour. A great country to visit."

Cindy

Mckinney, TX

Tour: 08/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very nice tour. We had a great group of people. Received a lot of information about Ireland, met and visited with some of the locals. Scenery was beautiful! Susie and Micheal make a great team. They play well off each other. Overall a most memorable trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very much enjoyed Dingle. Was a great town with lots to do!The Giants Causeway and Dunlace Castle. Felt it really gave me a sense of what Ireland was."

Martin

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 08/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed learning about the Irish culture and history and the beautiful scenery it offers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No WOW moment, enjoyed most of the adventure."

Robin

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 08/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the beginning to the end, all was wonderful. I had never been to Ireland and of course wanted to learn as much as I could about their country. The reason I love going with Rick Steves is due to the fact that I know years of research and feedback have gone into the tour, capturing the spots and information that have proven to be most satisfying to the majority of people. Naturally, there are places I would have loved to have stayed longer, but I'm happy I got to see/experience all I did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking down and seeing the Giant's Causeway! Just like the Grand Canyon, pictures don't do it justice. You have to see it for yourself. I also loved being in Dingle and the musical shows we were able to see which were so intimate. I felt like we were experiencing some typical Irish music and dance. The sheep farm was also a highlight. Loved seeing the Book of Kells and the library at Trinity."

Gail

Ardmore, PA

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite tour so far of R Steves. The perfect length and experiences with the exact amount of free time. It had history, beauty, exercise, new experiences, excellent food and perfect tour guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorites 1 County Cong and the hawks 2 giant Causeway 3 cliffs of Moher 4 library at Trinity 5 Dingle and Slea Head Drive 6 Aran island"

Nancy

Millstone Twp, NJ

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The last time I was in the Republic of Ireland was over 40 years ago (!) I was looking forward to revisiting some of my favorite places, Dublin, Aran Islands, Connemara, and discovering other places I hadn't been to. BOI was an immersion in Irish history, literature and music. The scenery was stunning, the traditional music was stirring, and the Irish engaging, friendly and witty.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giant's Causeway and the murals in Derry and Belfast. Ireland is one big WOW, but discovering Northern Ireland with its beautiful coastline and difficult history was special to me. l I have two Irish grandmothers and a keen interest in Irish politics and history. Lynn's experience and knowledge of Irish history and the Troubles personalized the story of Ireland for me."

Merry

Anderson, IN

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was well plannedwith a variety of sights, foods and experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle peninsula & Giants Causeway"

Connie

Orange, CA

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our two week adventure in Ireland was absolutely terrific. This was our second experience with a Rick Steves' tour - we loved the Best of Italy trip we had taken last October, and we liked the Ireland experience even more. Our tour group was very compatible, fun to be with, conscientious about being places on time, interestingly varied in background and travel experience. As was true with the Italy trip, we enjoyed the balance between guided tours/group activities AND personal time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many ... among them, the Rock of Cashel, the Hawk Walk at the castle in Cong, and the day we spent on Inis Mor. The most memorable day, without a doubt, was the day we spent in Northern Ireland going from the Giant's Causeway to the Carrick-a-rede Bridge to Dun Luce castle. In terms of historical 'wow', I would identify our walk through Kinsale with Barry as especially terrific."

David

West Lake Hills, TX

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great trip from beginning to end. Lynn was an excellent tour guide and a pleasure to be with for the entire time. The other tour members were also a joy to hang out with!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Quite a few: Giant's Causeway. The scenery was spectacular! Loved the music and dancing in Dingle. Hawk walk was great!"

Georgia

Jacksonville Beach, FL

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Jam packed days filled with beautiful scenery, fascinating history and some amazing buildings built centuries ago that are still standing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Beautiful scenery every day even on rainy days. The hawk walk has to rate as a highlight."

Arthur

Birmingham, MI

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was a comprehensive and varied experience of history, culture, geography, and city/small town life. Our tour director Lynn was informative and was a constant reminder of important practical issues of safety, theft and remembering passports. Our bus driver was a remarkable fit/strong woman who could handle our bags with ease. She also had a hurling stick and ball on board and she taught me a few hurling skills.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I suppose it was the scenic coast stops. All quite beautiful and breath taking. We were lucky to have had clear viewings and occasional sunshine."

Robert

Washington Crossing, PA

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th RS tour and second this year, having completed a very special Village Italy tour in May. This Ireland tour for me was simply the most fun I've had in all of our tours. The country and its people are wonderful. We had a super fun guide (Dara) and our tour group was a great mix of like minded folks who kept the good times going for the entire trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Ireland 14 day tour is well balanced with strong content all around the country. A wow moment for me personally was the experience at the School of Falconry at Ashford Castle."

Harold

Valencia, CA

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great! Ireland is my favorite place to go so, I knew I would have a great time. People there are, for the most part, happy, helpful and friendly. We made some new friends. Guinness is my favorite beer! Music is everywhere, at homes, in pubs, on the streets. Every family seems to have one or more musicians. Not my first visit, won't be my last!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought the sheep farm would be boring, but the border collies are so cute and smart, it turned out to be really fun. And I thought the falconry at Ashford Castle would also be boring, but it wasn't. Our teacher at the falconry, Danielle (Danni), was the best! She was equally adept handling the birds as well as our group of 28. She was patient with everyone. She really enjoys what she does and it made our experience most pleasurable. Slea Head Drive! The music of Niamh & Peter in Dingle"

Pat

Washington Crossing, PA

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour has to be ranked at the top of our tour experiences with Rick Steves. From our extraordinary guide Dara and the intrepid bus driver, Denis to the mix of people in our group this was a winning combination. Add the that the beauty of Ireland and the people we met along the way and you have the ingredients for a great tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, there was a wow moment every day. The landscape of Ireland is breathtaking. We hiked the Giants Causeway and visited the Burren. The small towns of Kinsale and Dingle are inviting and quaint while Dublin is a manageable bit city for tourists."

Pamela

Seneca, SC

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For a first time passport user, I was thrilled with the Ireland tour. I really didn't know what to expect, and was thoroughly happy with every moment of my trip. I continue to enjoy the wonderful memories by listening to the CD that I picked up from a terrific concert in the Dingle music store. My only problem now is how to top this experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How do I choose between the cliffs of Moherand giants causeway and Dingle? Ireland was incredibly beautiful, and the people were, without exception, the friendliest people I have ever met. Maybe I should just say that it was the Irish people who provided me with my favorite wow moments. It was as if each of them had been put on that beautiful green country for the express purpose of trying to see that everyone who visits Ireland will fall in love with her. They succeeded. I did."

Susan

Chicago, IL

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and we were very impressed. From our first meeting until the end, we had a great time with this group of 28. Also, it was our first time to Ireland and it was amazing. We enjoyed all of the people, the countryside, the tours, the food, the pubs, the music, learning the history of Ireland, and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Dara" was our favorite wow! His knowledge of Ireland never ceased to amaze us. And his love of Ireland was charming. From the beginning, he made everyone feel comfortable and was always willing to answer our questions. Dennis, was a great coach driver, we were so glad that we were passengers and not drivers! We loved all of our stops, and Dingle was our favorite."

John

Bismarck, ND

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was more than I expected. Really enjoyed the geopolitical information and thought the trip was well planned out. The sites we visited were spectacular and well explained. Our tour guide was a hoot and very knowledgeable and he added several special touches like musical performances. The local guides were terrific. I like having a tour where everything is planned out and I don't have to think about rooms and transportation. Our tour guide had all bases covered. It was a great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The music in Dingle. Fantastic!"

Stephen

New Orleans, LA

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very good tour of the highlights of Ireland. Dara was an excellent guide. His enthusiasm and sense of humour were contagious and kept the group interested and informed. Dara went out of his way to arrange musical performances for our group. Dennis was an excellent bus driver and also interacted well with the group. The hotels were of higher quality than I had expected which was a pleasant surprise. The coach was clean and comfortable. Overall, an enjoyable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I went to Ireland wanting to see the countryside and natural sights. I was impressed with the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway. One of my favorite experiences was one I didn't expect: the tour of the Bushmills distillery. I found that fascinating and I'm not a whisky drinker."

Mary Louise

Bismarck, ND

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had fun from start to finish. Ireland has so many wonderful natural features as well as historical ruins. Irish people were so welcoming and friendly. Despite the suffering from famine, followed by the rising and the troubles, the Irish people continue to to celebrate life with their music, laughter and colorful way of speaking. We both feel privileged to have had this experience. Having been a farming family, we preferred the smaller communities to the large cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was walking the "Giants Causeway". I was in awe of the natural features and loved being able to hike the entire trail system there."

Augusto

Ashburn, VA

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of Ireland, and the people, of course. Dara, our guide, was a major contributing factor in learning about the past and present of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the music and dance in Dingle."

Janet

York, SC

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour and we were delighted! We enjoyed the itinerary which I believe avoided some of the more touristy venues in favor of historical and cultural sites. Our tour guide, Dara, is an amazing young man who we now believe must know just about everyone in Ireland! The musical presentations in his bar and music shop provided a wonderful opportunity for us to hear outstanding traditional Irish music!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When Dara made it possible for us to visit the Ulster Scots Center in Belfast where I was able to consult a genealogist about my search for ancestor records. When Dara stopped the bus so I could take a picture of the church where my 2nd great grandfather signed a petition to Parliament in 1835! I told him I felt like the captain had turned the cruise ship around for me to take a picture!"

Deidre

Manlius, NY

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a pleasure to explore the cities and villages of Ireland. Our tour guide told so such about the history, culture, and music of Ireland Every day offered new and exciting experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle and the music!"

Douglas

Pensacola, FL

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Joe and our bus driver were excelent, personable and flexible. Joe expertly answered a multitude of questions I raised.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kinsaill from which my ancestor emigrated. Dublin museum of Archaeology before the tour, and early Christian sites throughout."

Stephana

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was above and beyond what I was expecting. Our tour guide, Joe, was amazing as was our bus driver Steven.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well there were so many "wow" moments. I think for me it was the hawk walk at Ashford Castle. But above everything I saw on the tour, the Irish people were the most memorable. Inviting, welcoming, helpful and always smiling!"

Michael

Millersburg, OH

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour was well constructed and executed. I really felt like we experienced Ireland and saw the highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giant's Causeway, Dingle Peninsula, Ashford Castle and falconry"

Lorri

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

28 people are too many for a comfortable group. That said, Joe was amazing and the places we stopped were clearly given careful thought and outstanding planning. I enjoyed the fact that when the bus days were long, there were stops along the way to break it up. The coach and driver were also great, and I appreciated that Stephen (the driver) was part of our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If we had arrived at the Cliffs of Mohar when it opened or had more than 2 hours and time to get away from the crowds, it probably would have been that. However, I think it was the impromptu audience participation concert in Dawson's Tavern/Pub in Kinsale."

Amber

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very scenic [INVALID]ion of small towns - we felt like we were discovering small gems around the countryside. Local guides were enthusiastic, well informed, and good-humored. Evening snippets of entertainment felt informal - not staged - and intimate. Not sure how you managed to arrange having Tomas dance for us at the B and B in Dingle, but that was spectacular.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not "wow," but extremely sobering: Standing on top of the city wall in Derry and gaining a better understanding of how fraught the conflict has been throughout Northern Ireland."

Elizabeth

Burke, VA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first solo travel adventure and this tour really met my needs. Communication with your office plus use of the guidebook (all along the way:) helped greatly in my planning before departure. And while on travel, having all the details of transportation, sightseeing, accommodations and many meals taken care of for me, freed me up for truly taking in the whole of Ireland and meeting great travelers along the way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giants Causeway and Dunluce Castle all in one perfect day! Their natural magnificence speaks volumes..."

Eleanor

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My fourth Rick Steves tour, and this may have been the best. Joe (our guide) and Stephen (our driver) were fantastic and made our travels fun, intimate, and seamless. Everyone in the group was enthusiastic, friendly, and inclusive (28 people is too many, however). The itinerary, though full, did not feel rushed; we had frequent fun stops on travel days. We were always treated with totally Irish hospitality, and had plenty of opportunities to experience excellent local food, music, and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to choose: Dublin historic sites and museums, Dingle concerts, hawk walk at Ashford Castle, Kinsale pubs, the ancient ruins on Inishmore, the Giant's Causeway, local food, beer, and whisky all consumed in good company."

Charles

Arroyo Grande, CA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Met my goal of learning more Irish history, seeing the major sites, and seeing the countryside that I had not seen on my 2 previous trips to Ireland. This was basically a bus tour,not a walking tour. The seating was cramped with the saving grace that we only had 28 travelers for 50 seats. I noticed a coach that was our same size, but with less seats allowing for much more legroom and more comfortable seats than ours. For tours with lots of miles, this would be the way to go.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the rock walls of Inishmore. Not exactly a "wow" but certainly interesting."

Bobby

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very impressed with our guide, Joe Darcy. He was knowledgable, friendly and made me feel at home throughout the whole trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hanging out in the pubs listening to trad in Dingle."

Charles

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Joe was organized, knowledgeable, and very entertaining. The local guides were, without fail, excellent. Food "events" were very good with opportunities to try different cuisines of a given region. Choice of sites to visit were, in typical Rick Steves fashion, interesting, accessible, and with the exception of the Cliffs of Mohrer, not overrun by other travelers. We had a good mix of traveling companions who seemed largely compatible as well as diverse in background.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very difficult to pick out a "wow" moment from so many experiences. I would have to say that the ancient fortification of Dun Aengus on the Aran Islands and the entire Dingle experience are the two that stick out for me the most."

Gary

Rainier, OR

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip! Joe is an amazing guide. We really appreciate his energy and knowledge. The history and beauty of Ireland is breath taking. This experience will be forever in our hearts and minds. Thanks

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry experience was unexpected to say the least. It was great,to see the smiles and expressions on the faces of our group was great. A great time it was for all of us. Thanks"

Lanning

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

If I could do it all over again, I would jump at the chance. I loved Declan, our primary guide, and I liked that he seemed to know everyone in every town we visited. I'm not sure if it was just luck, but the folks in my group were an outstanding group of people. I learned almost as from them about travel and life in general, as I did from the tour itself [INVALID] no grumblers : ) There were no parts of the trip where to walking was too difficult.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I've been traveling a lot since I retired almost two years ago. I'm getting to be a pretty jaded guy; it's becoming harder to actually be wowed. But I don't have to be wowed to love what I'm doing on any particular journey. Good experiences are good experiences, wows or no wows. If I had to pick one moment that was most unusual, let's say, I'd have to choose experiencing the hawk flight, having it come to us and perch on our wrists. That's something you definitely don't experience every day."

Sharon

River Edge, NJ

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the minute we met out tour guided, Declan, until we sadly had to say goodbye, our tour was wonderful. We enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers and made some new friends. This was the first time my husband and I took an organized tour; we had always been "do it yourself" travelers. We were very happy with the schedule, the choice of restaurants and the itinerary. Declan was a wealth of knowledge we would not have gained on an independent tour. He even sang to us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The days in Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula were definitely a wow! I even walked out past the lighthouse on the harbor during a free afternoon and loved the scenery and solitude. Our hotel in Dingle was spectacular, as were the meals there. The tour we had of the peninsula was very special, and our fun evenings in the local pubs were a bonus that all added up to a WOW!"

Herbert

Ashburn, VA

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The narrators were quite good. Notably good was Tommy Graham with his tour of Dublin and Declan Field with his evein tour of parts of Dublin the first night and his constant narration throughout our travels. We also had good guides at multiple sig sites. There were some 'hotel' challenges. The tub in the B&B in Kinsale was outright dangerous--nothing to prevent slipping in a narrow tub.Only scaldingly hot water in Europa hotel shower.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walk about the Giants' Causeway (Declan's six mile hike) or the bus trip, with stops, on the Dingle Peninsula. OR Dunluce Castle"

Judith

Orangevale, CA

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marvelous! Simply marvelous! We experienced so many aspects of Ireland - ancient/modern, cultural, political, natural, religious, economic, - overall a very well-rounded experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"MUSIC - everywhere! I went to several concerts (some as part of the tour, some on my own) and did a musical pub crawl - loved to see all ages playing. The concert at Siopa Ceol in Dingle was exceptional! The Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, and The Giants Causeway- awesome!"

Kenneth

Orangevale, CA

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a nice mix of history, nature, music and dance. We learned and experienced so much in that 14 days. By the end of the tour I felt that I had a very good overview of the country, history, and its people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour had several wow moments for me but the one I enjoyed the most was the Giant Causeway and optional 6 mile hike."

Kelley

Constantia, NY

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an amazing time. Declan was a great guide; in addition to telling us about the history of each area, there was a focus on music. Declan sang, we heard live music in Pubs, a B&B, hotel and the Music Store in Dingle. I came home with 6 cd's. The interaction with the musicians made it all special. I enjoyed the wide variety of areas the tour covered. Kinsale and Dingle were my favorites. My two favorite day guides were Tommy in Dublin and Barry in Kinsale.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher"

Erin

Columbus, OH

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations- Declan was friendly and taught me so much about Ireland's history. I loved most of the stops, the accommodations were lovely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle was at the top of my list- experiencing the music of Ireland in a small setting was amazing. It was a great place for a day off as well. The walking tours were amazing and had beautiful views!"

Dennis

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great! I enjoyed seeing the beauty of Ireland and learning about the history all at the same time. Our tour guide, Declan was fantastic!!! He shared his knowledge of the country with us in a delightful way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I was riding on the bus and listening to Declan explain the history of Ireland and Northern Ireland. I never understood why there was all the strife and violence in Northern Ireland. Now I have a better appreciation of it. I noticed a statue I have seen many times before. It is a statue of Robert Emmet. Since I knew the history of Ireland, now I understood the significance of it."

Richard

River Edge, NJ

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Declan was a fantastic guide. He was knowledgeable, energetic, and caring. The bus driver, Pamela ,got the bus to places where I would not drive a car.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giant's Causeway and the hike of the Red Trail."

Larry

Brandon, SD

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Remain enthused with Rick Steves tours. Central locations, great transportation, interesting educational opportunities. Unfortunately the hotels might be improved. At kinsale there were two electrical outlets. not in use. But one would not accept a plug and the remaining outlet was sorely inadequate for charging multiple mobile devices and a CPAP. In Galway the stool would not recharge except slowly ( 20-25 minutes) staff responded but when they arrived the tank had recharged itself. In

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The two stops where significantly more time was desired as the Scotch Ulster Center and the military based center in Belfast."

Patricia G.

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Ireland and Northern Ireland are the most beautiful places I've ever seen! I loved the trip, loved our group, and would go back to both countries again in a heartbeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's impossible to pick just one moment, but spending the evening in Dingle, on the lawn at the B&B, sitting in the sunshine, was certainly a memorable evening. Driving along the cliffs to the Blasket Centre the next day was also amazing."

Patricia

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland has a wealth of scenic beauty, cultural heritage, music, and history. The tour allowed us to learn more about these than we probably would have as independent travelers. The tour was very well organized

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to live music many evenings."

Lynne

Lafayette, LA

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My e first RS tour was outstanding. Our guide, Lynne, is very personable. Excellent bus, very clean with onboard facilities and a great driver, Dennis. He took those "close to the edge" curves with ease. I enjoyed everything I saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments: Cliff of Moher, Cashel Rock, Giants Causeway. However, none of these would have been as "wowing" without Lynne's narrative. Kilmainham gaol as a unique experience as was the Burren, not something one would be peat as a tourist destination."

Michelle

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first trip to Europe. Loved every minute of it. I still can't believe how much we saw in the 2 weeks. Our tour group was compatible and fun which added to the experience. Lynn Corken was the best!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pick one moment. The Cliffs of Moher were breath taking, I so enjoyed visiting Inishmore. The prehistoric fort of Dun Aonghasa was amazing!!! We had a local tour us around and give us the history of the island."

Gary

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an especially nice group of people. After 5 tours we realize the others account for 50% off the fun on the tour. Good job attracting people who are like us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dublin, Kinsale, Dingle were the highlights for me."

Ronald

Corpus Christi, TX

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We (Ron & Judy) are providing our combined input on this one Evaluation form. Being our first Rick Steves Tour, we were very impressed with the entire tour model. Having the Rick Steves Tour Book to read ahead of the tour was a new wrinkle; it made us feel more prepared for the experience. The bus transportation was safe & dependable; the hotels were generally comfortable; the food was good; the tours interesting and exciting. Lynn was great! Our fellow travelers were great also!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was the Dingle Peninsula Loop trip (the Slea Head Drive), including the interesting Blasket Island Visitors Center and the fantastic coastal scenery along the way. But I must say that I also enjoyed the visits to Portrush and Belfast, and the "living history" encountered there. Judy's "wow" was the trip to Inishmore Island and the hike up to Dun Aengus fortress."

Anita

Commerce City, CO

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First, our guide, Lynn was amazing. She was able to make the history of both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom come alive. Our bus driver, Dennis, was also stellar. He and Lynn both took very good care of my 15 year old daughter when she was feeling sick from the bus rides. The activities were wonderful. We most enjoyed the Giant's Causeway, the Dingle Peninsula and the Slea Head Loop, the music in Dingle, the ghost tour in Kinsale, the town of Kinsale in genderal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have three. The Slea Head Loop Drive was stunning, as was our stop to take pictures. Driving up to the Rock of Cashel and visiting the ruins there was also amazing as was the Giant's Causeway. I could have spent more time at the Causeway exploring the hiking trails because the scenery was so beautiful."

Mary

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What made my experience of Ireland especially significant was the many ways in which Lynn shared her knowledge of Ireland from the viewpoint of someone who grew up in Belfast during the late 1960s. Lynn's passion about justice and her knowledge of history and literature were life-giving throughout the two weeks we experienced the best of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire experience was WOW for me in light of my hopes and dreams of learning more about the rich heritage that is ours from the traditions and treasures of Ireland. The scenic beauty, the hospitable people, the historic landmarks, and of course, the musical heritage energized me every day along the way from Dublin to Belfast. Another dimension of the WOW for me was that after the Best of Ireland tour, I had more travel skills in finding my way to other places throughout Ireland."

Lacey

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was my first trip to Europe and it could not have been better! Everything was near perfect . Our guide was outstanding, tour mates were just a great bunch, bus driver was so good, food was excellent.... I could go on and on. It was amazing how well planned out it was to make sure that we saw everything we did. Just amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many!! I truly thought the school of falconry was such a unique experience. Totally unexpected! Also loved the town of Dingle and the music and dance was so much fun. Also have to mention the Cliffs of Moher and the trip to the Aran islands."

Jill

Brandon, SD

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my husband and my second Rick Steves tour. Last year we went on the GAS tour..Germany, Switzerland and Austria. We had an amazing experience so when we left for Ireland, I wondered.....will this tour be as wonderful as last year? Well...i didn't think it was possible, but our Ireland trip was even a little bit better than last year..and last year was a "10".. Ireland was a "10 +"!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were truly plenty of WOW moments on the Ireland tour but standing on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher was my favorite. Seeing the amazing beauty and feeling the thrill of standing close to the edge! WOW..what an experience. The beauty of Kinsale and Dingle, the Hawk walk at the Ashford Castle, the morning at the sheep farm, the trip to the Aran Islands....so many great experiences. OH and the MUSIC....WOW!!."

Barbara

Lafayette, LA

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous experience. So well planned. I loved the history and all other educational aspects of the trip. Our guide, Lynn Corken, was simply wonderful. Loved her sense of humor as well as her lovely accent. She was very knowledgeable. The whole country was simply beautiful and fascinating. I arrived in Dublin on Wednesday morning and had most of that day, Thursday and Friday until the tour group met that evening. Those days were filled and still so much remains to be seen in Dublin.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were "wow" moments every day. From the beautiful flowers everywhere to the villages to the coastline. I truly enjoyed every event and tour experience. In addition to the beauty of Ireland the history was full of wow moments."

Jodi

Lake Stevens, WA

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This is our sixth RS tour. There were about 24 participants. Unfortunately there were three seperate groups of people who came on the tour as groups. A group of six, a group of five and a group of four. I appreciate that they came together as individual groups, but they stayed together all the time, to the exclusion of the rest of the group. It was very noticeable and did color my experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we visited the small stone church on the Slea Head drive that has been standing since 500 AD! Amazing!"

Joseph

Jefferson, NC

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful first tour experience, creating a lifetime of memories

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Traditional music in pubs, both arranged and on our own"

Donna

Jefferson, NC

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The views were spectacular, the history enlightening and our tour guide and driver were amazing! I would love to return and re-visit many places and add on some others!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the majestic scenery! I loved the cliff views from The Eask, Dun Aengus, Giant's Causeway and Dunluce Castle. They were all "take your breath away" moments."

Wanda

Spearfish, SD

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was good overall. The bus seemed a bit more crowded than the buses that we had on previous tours. And there was no tray, no cup holder, and no pocket to store things. However, the bus driver was excellent! How he was able to maneuver through such narrow places was astounding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The seaside cliffs that we were able to see were "wow"! And the Titanic museum was also "wow" - more than expected."

Gary

Spearfish, SD

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

All of our previous Rick Steves tours have been outstanding. Unfortunately, I cannot rate this tour so highly. It seemed like we were being hurried along. When a local tour was complete, there was no time for any independent exploration. Example: the Dunluce Castle, we had 10 minutes at the end of the tour for a toilet break and back to the bus. We returned to the hotel an hour and a half before meeting for dinner. And we were to meet for dinner at 16:30. So much of the afternoon was wasted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Inishmore (Aran Islands) was great! I have never seen so many rock walls. The cliffs along the seashore below the fortress were unexpected, and very nice. (The Cliffs of Moher were shrouded in fog, so unfortunately we missed that.)"

Kimberly

Dallas, TX

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The guides were fantastic, especially Lisa. Hotels were largely fantastic, food was incredible, good mix of sites visited and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's Causeway."

Fred

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. I didn't think ahead of time much about the experience of meeting the other people on the tour because I was so focused on what I would be seeing. As it turns out, making new friends and talking with other like minded travelers added greatly to the overall experience.

Sherry

De Pere, WI

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd Rick Steves tour and this time we brought 4 of our friends with us... Lisa was under pressure from our friends to live up to the expectations we promised them....and she definitely went above and beyond. Lisa was an amazing tour guide and made our vacation wonderful and relaxing, and the countryside of Ireland was absolutely beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the Giants Causeway was my Wow moment. The geologic formations were mind boggling and I even enjoyed the "162" steps on the way back!!"

Karen

Durham, NC

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was very comprehensive. I felt that I saw everything Ireland had to offer. It was the perfect mix of small villages and big cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The drive from Kinsale to Dingle and the Slea Head Drive. So much beauty and the dramatic hills and valleys."

Gail

Rome, GA

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, my experience was better than I expected in some areas. I enjoyed meeting and traveling with people from different areas. I think in some areas we stayed longer than was needed and in other areas we just "breezed thru". I know it's hard to cover it all in that period of time. I really had a hard time with the food, I am not a seafood person and I am not a person who will eat anything. Had a great grilled cheese sandwich in Dingle(LOL).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really have three[INVALID]- the Cliffs of Moher, even though it was rainy and foggy we finally got a decent view. Dun Aengus was amazing and it was a great day for going, weather was beautiful. Giant's Causeway was fantastic to see and the weather was good, had been rainy but cleared up so we really had some great views."

Robert

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We liked the tour, but felt that itinerary could have been better balanced, with more time in some places and less in others. In particular,. two nights in Dingle and one in Portrush and one in Kinsale would have been enough. Belfast deserved at least two nights, and a day going around the Ring of Kerry, and a night in Derry would have been good additions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We liked lots of things, but there was no real Wow moment for us."

Terry

Nepean, ON

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide was very well informed, always pleasant and ready to help and so was our driver. Local guides provided a good mix of legend, tall tales and historical facts. The scenery was beautiful throughout the trip and best on the coast. Enjoyed the history both recent and from long ago. Restaurants and cafes were great. Local people were extremely polite and friendly. Music and dancing was very lively and enjoyable. We enjoyed the company of the other members of our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Re-visiting Northern Ireland, especially Londonderry and Belfast and seeing it at peace (I emigrated from Belfast shortly after the start of the most recent and violent outbreak of the troubles). On a more universal scale, the coastal scenery provided a spate of WOW moments, especially the Slea Head loop."

Jeff

Stanwood, WA

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Susie and Michael both were exceptional. They made the trip fun and exciting and it was by far better than I thought it would be. You have true professionals on your team.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the free day in Dingle, my wife and I had booked an EcoCruise to see the puffins and other seabirds. We saw 3,000+ nesting pairs of puffins, dolphins, gannets, sea lions, red deer, and many other birds. The weather was perfect and Cathedral Rocks was breathtaking."

Terry

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the size and make up of the group and the comfortable atmosphere that our guide and bus driver created! The sites visited were amazing and Susie Millar did a great job of helping us on some of the hiking options that the group could take. I love that she stepped right up and led those that wanted to on alternate routes to and from our adventures! The Music was terrific particularly the husband / wife (Peter/ Niamh) team at the music shop in Dingle and the Music fest in Belfast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two: 1) The Ireland School of Falconry was just so unexpectedly exciting and amazing.. the scenery was absolutely beautiful (you felt like you were transported back in time) and launching a falcon is something I never thought I would do! 2) The music performances and getting involved in the dancing / singing was so much fun!"

Mary

Stanwood, WA

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was awesome and everything I thought it would be. Susie was an awesome guide and Michael the bus driver was excellent. They both had a great sense of humor and made each day special. Weather was great and the combination of city, town, and country was well balanced. This tour was a great way to experience Ireland and to be able to see and enjoy the lovely coast and countryside.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our free day in Dingle. My husband and I had pre-booked an Eco Safari to see puffins and other seabirds and marine mammals. We weren't disappointed and saw 3,000+ nesting puffins, gannets, dolphins, seals and stunning scenery including Cathedral Rocks. We were 16 miles out into the Atlantic and the weather was perfect!"

Brenda

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was great! This was the first tour I've ever gone on so wasn't sure what to expect. Our tour guide, Declan, was fantastic and our bus driver, Pamela, was a pro. It was a good group of people with several other solos like me. The tour was a great mix of site seeing, history, socializing and free time. I really liked that the bus was full sized so you could have your own seat if you wanted. I saw more on that trip than I would ever been able to see on my own. Great trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, many wow moments as Ireland is fantastically beautiful, but my favorite wow moments was handling the hawk at the School of Falconry. I've always been a bit afraid of the birds, but this was a great experience!"

Sheila

East Longmeadow, MA

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations in every way - all around fantastic guide and wonderful balance of historical perspective, cultural experience and social and musical ambiance of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I met actual second cousins on the first day of the tour in Dublin and in two subsequent cities. I fell in love with Ireland as well as my new-found Irish relatives ensuring that I will be an annual visitor."

Margaret

Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide, great tour speakers at each stop, great group, great pace...I could go on!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought all of it was a "wow" moment. Was very impressed with the gorgeous scenery and the beautiful warm and friendly people."

Kristin

Laguna Hills, CA

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my third RS tour, and I couldn't be happier with the guides on these tours...knowledgeable, organized, helpful, etc. The sites and experiences were just what I was looking for on a trip to Ireland.

Cheryl

Maplewood, MN

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour and a great way to experience so much of Ireland. The trip had everything[INVALID]history, visits to castles and scenic sites, a great tour group, music and fun! Declan was a great guide and his passion for Ireland, knowledge of history, and musical talents really added to the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's too hard to pick one "wow" moment but my favorite experiences were Slea Head Drive, the hawks at Ashford Castle, the Giant's Causeway, and all the Irish music we enjoyed."

Judith

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Several years ago, I toured Ireland with a different company. I loved the scenery and people and wanted to return. This tour was an entirely different tour with the Cliffs of Moher being the only repeat for me. It too was different because of the rolling mist the day we were there. This was my second Rick Steve's tour and I was not disappointed. It was everything that I expected from the small group to a knowledgeable guide. It was a truly memorable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "WOW" moments, but two that stand out were Slea Head drive and the Giant Causeway. I also enjoyed the Aran Islands."

Andrea

Spokane, WA

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great tour. Saw a lot, learned a lot, did a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking at Giant's Causeway"

Gary

Spokane, WA

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time. Our guide was excellent, very knowledgeable and entertaining. All of the day guides were also great. We saw and did so much more than we could have on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At the Falconry School when we each caught and released the hawk."

Timothy

Redding, CA

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour and the tour companions. Katie was multifaceted and an excellent tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ghost ship memorial. It was moving all by itself, but Kathie sang a mournful song that pushed the experience over the top."

Lisa

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There is something very real and rustic about Ireland, and our guide Cathie led us to understand what this country and its people are all about. This was our third RS tour. They were all fantastic, but this one was unique and special which touched our hearts. The well rounded itinerary was a perfect mix of nature, history, ancient sites, cities and towns, and most of all the music and culture of the Irish people. We had a great group and an amazing guide. It was an incredible experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved it all - from the breath-taking and majestic Cliffs of Moher and Dun Aengus, to witnessing the talented Border Collies in action, looking into the eyes of a hawk at Ashford Castle, and the live music and dance!"

Elyse

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was really good. The people were nice. The hotels were basically good. We did have one broken shower but I don't remember which hotel. I loved almost everywhere we went. However I do feel there was a little too much packed in to some of the days. For example, I would cut the crystal cutting on day six and the Burren on day 7. It would be nice on day 7 to have more time at the Cliffs of Moher. Also, I don't understand why we go to Bushmills when it is inactive?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aran Islands, Dunluce Castle and Rock of Cashel."

Cathy

Windsor, CT

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour and it was a very positive experience overall. We highly recommend this tour and plan to take more Rick Steve's tours in the future. Our tour guide, Cathy Ryan, was exceptional as was our bus driver, Dennis.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is tough! I especially enjoyed the Aran Islands and Giant's Causeway - both spectacular."

David

Granbury, TX

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My Tour experience far exceeded more than what my expectation was going in. Cathie did an outstanding job of keeping us on schedule so we were able to experience ALL of what Ireland had to offer! Her knowledge of the history of Ireland and her back stories made the experience even more rewarding. The hotels and restaurant's were great and Dennis our driver was awesome! Also all the Tour members were great and made the experience memorable!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Giants Causeway, Cliffs of Moher, and the towns of Kinsale and Dingle! Also the music / pubs and the people of Ireland!"

Gerald

Windsor, CT

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an exceptional experience. The tour was well organized and provided an excellent survey of the landscape, culture, history and people of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The tour fully met my expectations. In my past travels walking tours have been a favorite activity but I also found that group sizes of 15 or more diminished the experience, particularly with city noise. My concern over the group size was unfounded due to Cathie's and local tour guides' use transmitters.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There we many "wow" moments, but I would say that the upper path along the Giant's Causeway was particularly notable."

Thomas

Pueblo, CO

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I love the "no hassle" of the Rick Steve's Tours. Everything is planned out and you just need to show up. The meals and hotels are always top notch. Our tour guide, Cathie, was very informative and became part of our group family in no time. Ireland is unbelievably beautiful, and the sights planned on the tour were fabulous! There was a good balance between small villages and bigger metro areas to get a good taste of each.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite part of the tour was the Aran Islands, specifically Inishmore and Dun Aengus. The cliffs were amazing! Giants Causeway and The Cliffs of Moher were just as impressive."

Jodie

Lititz, PA

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I felt as if this tour gave us a real flavor for Ireland, and Northern Ireland, having visited both small towns, rural areas and large cities. The places visited were definitely some of the most scenic. I loved the small towns with their colorful houses, and their flower boxes hanging from the buildings overflowing with colorful flowers. We also enjoyed visiting the old castles ruins, church ruins, etc. and learning the history surrounding them. Overall a very good sampling of Irish life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was visiting Gallarus Oratory, a place of meditation and worship built in 700 A.D. This building is still standing and looks as it did when it was first built. It is still watertight to this day!! It is made of dry stacked stone with no mortar! My second wow moment was the Falconry Experience outside of Dingle. This was an optional activity. We got to have a Barn owl, an Eagle Owl, a Golden Eagle, and a Harris Hawk fly to and perch on our heavily gloved hand."

Brian

Lititz, PA

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I very much enjoyed this tour of Ireland. It was my second Rick Steves tour, so I had some idea what to expect. The leadership provided by Cathie was outstanding, and really made this a memorable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed pub life with lots of variety of music and beer. I enjoyed the time at the Kissane Sheep Farm. The sheep herding was fascinating, but the real highlight for me was watching the sheep shearing. I had never seen sheep being sheared, something I've always wanted to do. I even got to hold a freshly shorn fleece. I got lanolin all over my hands, but I didn't care! Finally, I was amazed at the engineering of the Gallarus Oratory, built with no mortar and still standing after 1300 years!"

Virginia

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 3rd tour with your company.....the first 2 were wonderful, but this one far surpassed the other 2 trips. Ireland is the most beautiful place I've ever been including all the beautiful places here at home! Our guide, Cathie, was the absolute best....she and her country touch your heart. Everything about her was endearing; she made the whole experience so much richer. Part of going to France and Italy was the wonderful food; the food in Ireland was ok, but I didn't care!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow for me was our drive around the Dingle Peninsula!!! I've seen the Washington and Oregon coasts and coastal Maine and Nova Scotia, but the Dingle Peninsula topped them all! The Cliffs of Moher and The Giants Causeway were also wows. Apart from scenic experiences my other favorite was the visit to the Ireland School of Falconry....and the day the gentleman brought birds of prey to our B&B in Dingle....I love birds and it was quite a treat to have them on my arm!!"

Donna

Wetumpka, AL

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the best vacations I have ever had. The Ireland landscapes were unparalleled, and the people were some of the friendliest I have ever encountered. I have traveled extensively in Europe and this was a wonderful experience that will always be at the top of my list.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had lots of "wow" moments on this trip just starting with the landscape and history, but I loved going to the sheep farm. While watching the sheep demonstration, I was "wowed" by the intelligence and skill of the dogs in herding the sheep. Can't imagine the training that goes into making them great working dogs."

Don

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved learning about the Irish history. Our guide did a great job with the details that were pertinent to our locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day, at the end of the day, I though " This day was really cool". But best memories were the music and dancing in the pubs in Dingle."

June

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my dream vacation. Top of the bucket list. Thank you for making this xperience so very special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm sorry I don't have one moment to describe. I never stopped being "wowed". I'm surprised how much of Ireland's history I didn't know. This trip changed my understanding completely."

Donna

Camp Hill, PA

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle B&B. The staff and breakfast were outstanding. Titanic experience. Sheep dog bringing in the sheep."

Carol

Gold Canyon, AZ

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful experience on our 14 day Ireland tour. It did not disappoint. The only complaint was that the tour ended to soon...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was differently Aran Islands and the Celtic fortress,Dun Aengus. What a fabulous rugged country...its beauty is unique in every way."

Jennifer

Hampden, ME

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent trip to see a large portion of Ireland in a short period of time. The group was a pleasant mix of personalities, and the mixture of tours, restaurants and shopping was very well balanced. Our guide was from Ireland, which made the side stories and songs very charming! The weather was unbelievably cooperative, thus making the proverbial icing on the cake!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hawk (falconry) experience is the obvious choice for a "wow" experience, but there were others. The simple visit to the fire fighters' memorial in Kinsale on July 4th was poignant and brilliant on the part of our guides (Barry and Joe) --and Alan's video later made it even lovelier. We had our own unique experience with an eighty-something shop keeper in Dingle who mostly sold hardware and house holds goods...and a little alcohol on the side. The scenery, too, was wow!"

Pat

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't imagine a better Ireland experience than our two week tour. It certainly didn't hurt that the weather was fantastic! Add to that interesting sites, musical experiences in the pubs, an engaging and knowledgeable tour guide in Joe, and a friendly group of travelers and you end up with a fabulous two weeks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It surprised me that my "wow" moment was the visit to the Aran Islands/ Inishmore and Dun Aengus. Maybe because it didn't have the crowds of other places we visited that I found it a profoundly moving experience. Also, our nights singing with the musicians in the Kinsale pub."

Brad

Camp Hill, PA

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour of the island. The stops and hotels were all very well planned. The sights were amazing from the Giants Causeway to the cliffs of Mohar to the barrens of Connemara. I learned a lot about Irish history as I am descended from both the Catholics in Cork and the Presbyterians in Cavan/Derry. Dublin was exciting with so many sights. Hoisting a pint at the top of the Guinness warehouse was awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highlight of the trip was the 2hour concert in Dingle where we were entertained by authentic Irish singers, dancers and musicians. Yes Ireland is surrounded by an array of sights along the ocean but the Irish culture was what I wanted to observe and absorb. You nailed it in Dingle. Another special moment for me was when the local guide in Kinsale said 'Welcome Home' to me as I walked on land where my ancestors lived over 170 years ago."

Stephen

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't think of going on a tour any better than this. Everything was great. Our tour guide was the best!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fabulous tours that were arranged everyday. All were excellent."

Gail

Greer, SC

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed Joe very much. He was fun, very knowledgeable about Ireland's history, easy going and put up with us! The tour was exceptional...all I imagined. Alan, our driver, was the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Goodness, impossible to choose. I loved each and every day. However, the Cliffs of Moher rates a little higher."

Don

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good group of people on the tour. My previous tours had been to "art countries" (Italy and Spain), so this tour to a place where history was the main focus was an interesting contrast. Tour guide was very personable, and contributed to the understanding of numerous tricky historical issues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour was over 4th of July, so both the visit to the 911 memorial park outside of Kinsale and later that evening when a singer in a pub transitioned to God Bless America, and was joined by everyone in the pub (fewer than half of which were Americans), I was truly impressed. The Irish people impressed me throughout the trip with their friendliness and willingness to engage. But the God Bless America moment was, for me, the Wow Moment."

James

Mason, MI

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour.Very well planned with a good balance of group activities and free time. Our tour guide, Joe, was very knowledgeable and made the tour very enjoyable and educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were "wow" moments every day. My favorite was the giants causeway. What a spectacular geologic formation. And we arrived early in the day before the crowds."

Robert

Hampden, ME

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time. This group had a different makeup from our last tour but just as good. We made friends and learn a lot. I was amazed at how much I learn even though I visited family as a kid several times! I understand the country and its troubles at a different level .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Ashford Castle & Falconry School 2. Talking with a 5th generation Hardware store/ Pub owner in Dingle!"

Rachel

Laurel, MS

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was all about the folks. The people of Ireland are friendly, outgoing, fun-loving, direct, witty, with a touch of sarcasm. I felt right at home. Joe Darcy was our captain, and he is the best. Alan, our transporter, is super-professional, patient, a great source of information, and a great photographer. I absolutely loved our group. We really clicked. We all love life and learning. Scenery is gorgeous and food was even better than expected. Pace was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Without question, the hawk!"

Hugh

Greer, SC

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall this was an enjoyable trip. While Ireland was in a heat wave, we enjoyed the views, native culture and new friends. Due to the heat wave and hotels with no A/C, sleeping was a little uncomfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time we spent in Dingle was very enjoyable. The local tours, food, music and views were wonderful. Also, enjoyed Cliffs of Moher; what views."

Jody

Littleton, CO

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steves' group tour was a wonderful experience for us. Pascal gave us insight into the people and history of Ireland. Our guided tours filled us with more information than we could have gleaned on our own. Our fellow travelers were a joy to be around and our chances to meet the people of Ireland were numerous and comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1.Renting bikes in Kinsale, biking on the "wrong" side of the road out to James' Fort, and swimming on a local beach with hurling-playing families, and playing in the sand with the children of Rwandan refugees from Cork City. 2. Sea Safari 6 hour boat trip and hike around Blasket Island with Billy as our captain. 3. Singing Ireland's national anthem as the only Americans left in a Dingle bar after the doors were locked after closing time."

Jack

Redmond, WA

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My expectations were exceeded in every way: Pascal was great; walking tours were exceptional; accommodations were very nice; Frank, our bus driver was safe and skilled; and the itinerary was very nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery along the western coast was out of this world. I am an outdoor person so it takes a lot to really impress me."

Jeff

Chico, CA

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very good overall experience. All was smooth, well planned. As with our previous Rick Steves tour (Europe in 14 Days) a very good mix of scheduled events such as town or site tours and free time to explore on our own. We have a fantastic leader who combined his knowledge and love of Ireland with humor and a desire to make Ireland come alive to us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many.. For natural beauty and experience, the drive around Slea Head was a huge "wow." The other "wow" would be the evenings in nearly every town we visited. Some more than others but being able to walk around and enjoy the music and the unique and safe streets in the towns of Ireland was a daily "wow.""

John

Pacifica, CA

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. We have never traveled in Europe prior to this and felt that a tour would be a good introduction. It was. Our guide was excellent. He paid attention to all of the participants in a very professional manner, while managing to be personable, as well. The tour ran on time, daily, with our activities planned so that we were quite comfortable and rarely crowded. We never had to wait! The people on the tour, mostly vets of Rick's tours, were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say it was the food. Along with the great scenery, the history, and the people we met there, the quality of the food was astonishing. We had no expectations going in, so it was a pleasant surprise. The scones at Millwood House were delicious (I had never met a scone I liked prior to my stay there). We are seafood lovers and we found several opportunities to try dishes that were new to us. The Guinness is better there than it is here, as well."

James

Morgan Hill, CA

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our second time in Ireland, first time in N. Ireland. Different tour company than the first time, and we enjoyed this one more. Why? Hmmm ... fewer castles and churches, more pubs, music, culture, local tours, some different scenery, time to choose our own activities. Our group on this tour bonded very well together and adhered to the "no grumps" policy. We found the itinerary well balanced with ample time at most venues. We were very fortunate with the perfect weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to choose just one wow moment. From the falconry (both experiences, in Dingle and at Ashford Castle), the music in the pubs, the small towns of Kinsale and Dingle, to the picnic on the grounds of Muckross House, to the night of July 11th in Belfast as the bonfires lit up the city, we enjoyed several wow moments on our tour."

Marianne

Parker, CO

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great trip. I pretty much liked everything....some just a wee bit better than others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula. The people, the music...in Dingle town. It's what I imagined Coastal Ireland to be. Also, I was fascinated by both the Blasket Islands and the Aran Islands...their ruggedness and seemingly inhospitable terrain . Also, I enjoyed Trinity College..esp the Long Reading Room and the book of Kells. Beautiful"

Kenneth

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What I like best about the tours are how well everyone gets along with each other and how caring the guide and driver are in making sure everyone has a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really enjoyed Dingle. The small town feeling, scheduled music events, and the B&B were fantastic."

Jo Anne

Chico, CA

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the perfect experience of Ireland. This active 14-day tour hits every high point we were eager to see in that beautiful land. I especially love the route around the coasts. Our guide, Pascal, "is Ireland"! He knows it all intuitively and in-depth, is engaging and humorous, and kept solid control of the schedule and our needs. A gem! Icing on the cake: we were exceptionally fortunate to have a rare almost 100% sunny, warm days. This was indeed a trip we will always remember.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the Giant's Causeway and the Antrim Coast. Scrambling about on Finn McCool's stepping stones (!), hiking out to the basalt columns, taking the 160 steps up to the glorious cliff path... just gorgeous."

Craig

Burien, WA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour exceeded our expectations, never having done a bus tour or been to Ireland. The beauty, music, and history were amazing. The accommodations and food were excellent, way above what we expected.We particularly enjoyed all of the great seafood. Our guide Dara was superb, keeping us all together as one and filling our days with keen insights, great music, and delightful humor on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For both my wife and me, the last day in Belfast seemed to bring out a spiritual connection with our Scots Irish roots. What we learned at the Ulster-Scots Centre was amazing. The special music event (with three musicians, three dancers, and a narrator) on our last night in Belfast was a fitting end to all of the great Irish traditional music we experienced the entire two weeks."

Dale

Renton, WA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent group of people. Dara was a very good guide. Ireland has very friendly people and the sites visited were great. Most Ireland cities are small enough they are easy to walk.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was watching the sheep dog work with the sheep at the ranch. Very smart and well trained dog."

Theresa

Lombard, IL

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The pace was perfect with a few days in each city. Our guide, Dara was incredible. He was informative, listened well, answered our questions and had a great sense of humor. I really got a flavor for the entire island and each stop had its own personality. I think my favorite was Dingle.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "WOW" moment was the Belfast Peace Walls. There was a difference that I sensed once we crossed the border into Northern Ireland. Terrible things were done on both sides. The walls portrayed trouble letting the past go, and the struggle to find peace. There was true emotions in that place."

Judy

Des Moines, WA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our/my guide Dara was over the top amazing! He is very knowledgeable about history, music and land features of Ireland. Very enjoyable how he tied the music together,either by a local song that spoke of the land, town or by a famous musician from the specific area. Dara and Caroline, our bus driver worked so well together I was amazed to find out they had just met at the start of our trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a Harris Hawk land on my gloved arm."

Olive

Coeur D Alene, ID

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great adventure! It was educational, entertaining, and rejuvenating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I choose just one? The hawk walk at Ashford Castle and the private concert in Belfast certainly stand out. I never dreamed I would ever have a hawk rest on my arm. It's one of the coolest things I've ever experienced. The concert in Belfast was especially good. It was an intimate setting with three musicians, three traditional dancers, and a traditional story teller. It was neat to see the ancient method of storytelling brought to life in the present."

Sarah

Saskatoon, SK

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have travelled extensively but this was my first tour (other than day trips) and I was thoroughly impressed. Everything was well organized and the tour touched on all the highlights Ireland has to offer. A big part of my positive experience was our guide, Dara, and our coach driver, Caroline. Both were engaging and easily became part of the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think I can narrow it down to one "wow" moment! I enjoyed it all! On the personal achievement side, a "wow" moment was conquering some fears and crossing the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge - not only did I cross once but had to cross back too!"

Laurie Beth

San Diego, CA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel like I learned and saw so much. The trip was very comprehensive of the entire island.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kinsale and Dingle compete for wow! However every day had at least one wow."

Weather

Ireland / Dublin

Dublin Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email, as well as in your online customer account. About one month prior to the tour departure, in your customer account you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

Flights

Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements are completely up to you.

Most tour members arrange to fly into Dublin and out of Belfast ("multicity" on flight-booking websites). Belfast has two easy-to-access airports. There are also hourly buses from Belfast to Dublin Airport if you prefer to fly in and out of Dublin.

We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options for getting to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves Ireland guidebook.