• 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 $3,695 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

2020

    • Apr 5–Apr 18 (Su–Sa)
    • $3,695 + Air

    Opportunity to experience Easter in Ireland

    Join Waitlist
    • Apr 19–May 2 (Su–Sa)
    • $3,895 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Apr 24–May 7 (Fr–Th)
    • $3,895 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Apr 26–May 9 (Su–Sa)
    • $3,895 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 10–May 23 (Su–Sa)
    • $4,195 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • May 15–May 28 (Fr–Th)
    • $4,195 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 17–May 30 (Su–Sa)
    • $4,195 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • May 24–Jun 6 (Su–Sa)
    • $4,195 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • May 29–Jun 11 (Fr–Th)
    • $4,195 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Jul 19–Aug 1 (Su–Sa)
    • $3,895 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • Aug 30–Sep 12 (Su–Sa)
    • $4,195 + Air

    Join Waitlist

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 2020
  • 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

Anne

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I loved the efficiency offered by the tour of Ireland. We were immersed in the country, with insider information everywhere we stopped. In addition to our Irish guide and Irish coach driver, we had local guides at each stop. We were introduced to wonderful Irish music, ended up meeting some of these musicians in pubs along the way. When horrible weather (Hurricane Lorenzo) arrived, we had good options to replace places that proved unsafe for the group. A great experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the Giants Causeway!"

Jenny

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had read the reviews online beforehand, and thought there were so many glowing comments that it was too good to be true. However, the Best of Ireland tour was so well planned, so well organized and such a good value that we hope to do another RS tour. We are experienced travelers and didn't consider ourselves 'tour' people, but the size of the group, quality of the guides and the trip destinations were first rate. Our group had No Grumps and were a really fun bunch! We will miss them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many "wow' moments - like the gorgeous green landscapes, the wonderful music, the million and one sheep, the Guinness, and the history. But my favorite moment was a less than five minute encounter at Curran's Pub in Dingle, where I had an outright hilarious conversation with a local bar patron about the autographed photo of Robert Mitchum displayed above the bar. I will carry that moment with me for all time."

Marjorie

Red Wing, MN

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

With an Irish born guide I felt like we fit into the Irish culture immediately and enjoyed every minute of the tour. Yes, we experienced wind and rain which we felt added to our understanding of Ireland's "forty shade of green". This was our second Rick Steves' tour and found it as enjoyable and well managed as the first tour! Our guide was extraordinary on both tours!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had numerable favorites so having to choose one is a challenge! I think it would have to be our visit to the falconry where the individual experience with a hawk was thrilling!"

Robert

Red Wing, MN

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beautiful country and lovely, friendly people. The first week was rainy, windy and cold but you can't control the weather. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves non the less. Our tour guide and driver were wonderful! All those on the tour seemed to get along with no personality conflicts. I enjoyed myself immencely!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's Causeway by far!"

Carl

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour. Well paced, educational, and great group of fellow travelers. Our tour guide, Lynn, and our bus driver, Steven, ensured that our travelling needs and expectations were met throughout the trip. The local guides provided a helpful, added perspective to historical and scenic sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most memorable moment for me (thus, my "wow" moment) was the drive through the Doo Lough Valley between Galway and Westport. The majestic and stark landscape was totally unexpected, but mesmerizing. The historical significance (depicted by the Famine Cross, Croagh Patrick, and the Coffin Ship) associated with the valley and the strains of "Danny Boy" and "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen" played on the bus speakers while driving through the Valley, put it over the top for me."

Webb

Manhattan Beach, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I hoped for and more. I loved the places we visited, but the best part for me was learning about the history, culture and people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many amazing places and events that I can't really choose one. Well, maybe I can. We had lots of rain during our tour (forewarned and forearmed), so it was magical when the sun came out and the colors of the countryside radiated their brilliant green."

Richard

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As with the other tours we've done, we saw and did much more than we would have figured out on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to pick one. The Giant's Causeway and surrounding area was quite spectacular. And even in a driving rainstorm the sheep dog demo was pretty amazing."

Anne

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't imagine a more worthwhile vacation experience! The trip was beautifully planned with a perfect combination of scheduled and unscheduled time. The activities were so varied; I never could have planned such a lovely compliment of experiences by myself. One of the reasons the activities were so meaningful was that each had an experienced and passionate tour guide or owner showing us around. This was in addition to our most amazing Rick Steves tour guide, Dara Herlihy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't say just one....falconry, hiking giant's causeway and rope bridge, Arran Islands, watching the sheep dog gather sheep, walking around the Burren with Mary Howard, Irish coffee with Dara, watching an artist hand-cut crystal, weaving demo, Irish traditional music, the incredible friendliness of the Irish people everywhere we went, our incredible guide Dara and a fabulous group of fellow tour members."

Brenda

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I had a wonderful time. It was fun, relaxing and we learned a lot. This was the most music filled tour we have taken and we loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "Wow" moment is divided between two days where one was the falconry demonstration we took. Having a large bird of prey land on your hand is a humbling experience. The other "Wow" was our guide's ability to take a rainy afternoon in Dingle and turn it into a fun musical and Irish coffee filled afternoon."

Sylvia

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned and organized itinerary with an amazing tour guide and excellent local guides. Such a beautiful country and friendly people -- especially with Dara's help in connecting us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giant's causeway and the entire Antrim Coast"

Barbara

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was one beyond my wildest dreams! I've wanted to go to Ireland for most of my life and finally gave myself (and my husband) this tour as a 70th birthday gift. We went to Dublin 3 days before the tour to get acclimated then met Dara and our tourmates. As a group of 27 (I think) we found a mix of interesting and highly compatible new friends. Dara was outstanding!! (but more about him in the next section) Every one of the guides we had along the way was exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to credit Dara with the biggest WOW! As a singer myself and both of us music lovers, Dara made sure to provide us with live music almost everywhere we went. Beyond that, his depth of knowledge, his humor, his energy, his consistent care for each of us at all times, went far beyond the "call of duty". He always gave us plenty of enriching commentary as well as time to reflect. I am eternally grateful to him for enhancing an already deeply moving experience!"

Pamela

Safety Harbor, FL

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was fantastic. Dara so obviously cared about Ireland - Dingle, his home in particular - and family that he made us all feel that we were more than just visitors. This trip had so much history to learn and it was very moving. The scenery is about the most beautiful I have ever seen. Even in the rain. And the music was wonderful - I will always think of Ireland when I hear Celtic music.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is really a toss up between the ride around the Dingle Peninsula and the visit to the Antrim Coast. Trying to put the experience into words is like looking at your pictures when you get home - they just cannot capture the colors, smells, vistas - just unbelievably beautiful. I really can't pick between the 2."

Robert

Athens, GA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Superb guide (Dara) and excellent bus driver (Alan). Good hotels, excellent food. Tour well planned and paced. However, there were too many people on the tour: I have travelled with OAT, Road Scholar< Adventures Abroad, and Odyssey and NEVER had this many people on a trip, for the price charged this was not acceptable. Also, I have NEVER had to carry my luggage further than from the door of my room to inside (or vice versa) on this trip we had to carry luggage as far as a quarter mile.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Titanic exhibit was excellent. Music in the various bars always outstanding."

Steven

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had been to Ireland before, so I knew what many of the country's highlights were. The tour hit all of them. The best part of the tour, however, was Dara, the guide. He gave us deep insights into both the Republic and Northern Ireland [INVALID] the people, the music, the politics [INVALID] everything I could have wanted. Dara planned music events for most of the group evenings and they were all excellent. Overall, the tour exceeded even my most optimistic expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a tough question. My first thoughts were either the Falconry demonstration or the sheep dog demo. Then I remembered the tour of Slea Head. I think I said "wow" most often during this time. Not so much a "wow" moment but perhaps my favorite part of the tour was the music Dara arranged for us."

Laurie

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Really loved this tour and the amazing sunny weather almost the whole time made it even better. A very nice group of people who were compatible and easy going. Our first RS tour was 8 years ago and I was surprised by the upgrade in hotels. Not necessary for me but of course always nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoying the Irish music in Dingle!!"

Mark

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent tour; good mix of structured activities and free time to explore on our own. Local guides were for the most part excellent, with a couple of minor exceptions. Tour guide Susie was outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the sheep dog herd the sheep."

Regina

Richmond, VA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great itinerary; wonderfully knowledgeable and considerate tour guide; pleasant and witty companions. We saw numerous parts of Ireland: the cities, the countryside filled with villages and shores, the ruins, the museums. We heard great music and attended traditional concerts from inspired Irish artists. We learned the history of Ireland from fables through The Troubles and then saw the sites that made them more than stories. We ate delicious and varied foods and slept in nice hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments from which to choose. The top of my list would be learning about falconry and having a hawk land on my arm, eat from my hand, and take off with a gentle sweep of the arm. Watching Kate shepherd sheep was wowing too. But seeing all the diversity of Ireland would be the most enlightening part of the trip."

Rob

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was likely the best European trip I've had either with the RS organization or several on mine own. The scenery, history, food, friendly people and the excellent tour leader all came together to make this a very special experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to choose a single wow moment, what may be the high point was Titanic Belfast, mainly due to personal connection of Susie to it. Also,I think the falconry and crystal cutting demonstrations stand out because of the enthusiasm of the local demonstrators but the incredible Cliffs of Moher and Dun Aengus are magnificent scenery. And I cannot forget the live music and all the friendly, open people on the entire island."

Vera

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Susie , was fantastic. Irish countryside is beyond beautiful. It was wonderful to spend three nights in Dingle, especially since some of us came down with colds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was very excited to go to the Aran islands. But the wow moment was crossing the hanging rope bridge and the Giant's Causeway."

Jack

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Extremely informative. We ended the tour with an unusual appreciation for Irish history and culture. The chemistry of our group was terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway."

Joanne

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was beautiful- more so than I expected Our guide, Susie, was warm, funny and knowledgeable. Our local guides were so enthusiastic and knowledgeable. We had a large tour group yet everyone was very nice and got along. all around it was a wonderful tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Falconry was phenomenal. I never expected that we would all be able to hold a bird and fly it. The setting was so beautiful and we got to walk all around the property. Now if we would have stayed there...just kidding, lodgings were also great."

Mary

Salem, MA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonder feel of being a part of the culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Views of the countryside - the falconry - the sheep, cows."

Dave

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Ireland was a great place to visit. Our guide, Susie was excellent. Biggest problem we had was catching a cold during the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Where do I begin: Irish history Landscape Friendly people"

Steve

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland exceeded my expectations in all ways. The countryside was much more beautiful than I imagined, the people friendlier...and the Guiness was much better than we get here in the US. One suggestion: spend only 20-30 minutes at Yeats grave. It wasn't worth an hour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but two stand out: the sheep herding demo and the falconry."

Janeen

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great group of 28 people that meshed well together. Tour included a wide variety of experiences and food experiences. I loved the smaller boutique style hotels and charming towns with pubs, music, history and shopping.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Highlight was actually renting electric bikes and exploring the Irish countryside among sheep, cows, farms and narrow roads out to the Atlantic Ocean. The weather was no nice we were able to wade in the water. Weren't expecting that. Loved hiking at the Cliffs of Moher and Giants Causeway, flying the falcon, and the wonderful music events we attended."

John

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Highly honed schedule, pacing with the right combination of travel, guided experiences and free time to discover. Great combination of history, current events, scenery, science and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Great weather made the country amazing! Sessions at local pubs and meeting musicians at the Dingle Music Shop. The EPIC in Dublin - on our own. Oban Distillery, Dingle Gin at their distillery, and breakfast crepes at Heatons."

Charles

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was great and missed outstanding due to buss seating appropriate for school children. Jamming into seats shorter than even the worst of the budget airlines was unnecessarily uncomfortable seeing 1/3 of the buss unoccupied. Rooms were good, venues good, meals good and sights were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The musical event in St. James Church, Dingle. The Piper, Guitarist, Concertina and Accordion Players were incredible! A close second was watching the kids at the Climate Strike in Belfast."

Laurel

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best part was our guide, Joe. He was knowledgeable, welcoming, funny, talented, and heart warming. He made the group gel and fostered comraderie. Great scenery, hotels, food, and activities. Loved,loved, loved it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the 9-11 garden on 9-11. There were so many wow moments, I can't pick one."

Robert

Taylor, MI

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was as beautiful as we dreamed it might be. Joe Darcy was a fantastic guide, sharing his knowledge and love of his country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to the Garden of Remembrance in Kinsale on 9-11-19 was so very special. We all sang America's national anthem while remembering our heroes. Dingle, and the rest of western Ireland offered unmatched beauty."

Charlotte

Burleson, TX

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great experience on our 2 week tour of Ireland. The tour included many sites, and the time allotment was great in each place. Most hotels and lodging were great, and we enjoyed the free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We got to go to the 9/11 Memorial Garden near Kindle on 9/11. It was one thing I will remember forever."

James

Granbury, TX

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The sites were unbelievable! I greatly appreciated the "on your own" time that was worked into the schedule. Our guide was very knowledgeable, engaging and fun. Long drives were nicely broken to prevent road weariness.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were fortunate enough to visit the Kinsale 9/11 Garden of Remembrance in 9/11 which was very moving. Beyond that special event, all the opportunities to see and photograph Ireland's beautiful shorelines was awesome."

Donna

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the very first meeting with our tour guide and the tourist, I felt a warm welcome. Through out the tour I could feel the caring and sharing of the entire group, including Joe Darby, our tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many WOW moments from our tour it is difficult to pick one. * Joe Darby, our tour guide, made the entire tour a WOW! * Visiting Ireland's tribute to 911. * Watching the sheep herding and sheering. * The views of Ireland. * Genuine Camaraderie among the tourist. * So many more."

Janet

Temple, TX

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is beautiful! We were blessed to have fabulous weather. Our tour mates became family very quickly. We fell in love with the gorgeous scenery especially the Slea Head Drive close to Dingle. We also enjoyed meeting the Irish people and hearing their stories from our great tour guide Joe and listening to their music. The food was wonderful and the comaraderie at meal time and bus time was one of the best we've ever had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were in Kinsale on 9/11 and our local guide Barry took us to the Ringfinnan Garden of Remembrance. It was established by Kathleen Murphy, who was a nurse in New York City on 9/11. She planted a tree for every fireman who lost their life on that day. One of our tour members led us all in singing the Star Spangled Banner. It was very moving as we saw a flag and nameplate for each person. It warmed our heart to know that the world cried with us on that awful day. It is a beautiful garden."

Ingrid

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had an outstanding trip led by an outstanding guide, with an outstanding group of travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not so much a singular "wow" moment, rather the many walks in the green country side touched by the luminous blue ocean."

Mary Ann

Rockford, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I have traveled in Europe previously using Rick Steves'guide books, but we had never done a tour before. We had been to Ireland 4 years ago and knew we wanted to return. Neither of us wanted to drive, so the tour seemed like the answer, and it was. It exceeded our expectations in every way. It was a perfect combination of time with the group and time on your own. I thought the itinerary was excellent. The coach was very comfortable with plenty of room.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a very unique experience on September 11th. We were able to visit The Garden of Remembrance near Kinsale. This is a memorial to the firefighters of Irish descent who have died as a result of the attack on the Twin Towers. It was truly memorable for all of us. We were fortunate to have a very talented singer on our tour and he was able to lead us in our national anthem. It was a moment I'm sure none of us will every forget. It was outstanding of Joe to make time for that."

Reuben

Oxford, MI

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The hotels were very enjoyable - good food, good service, good locations. Finn's Table in Kinsale was memorable. Trying to get my head around the history will be an ongoing challenge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing in the prison where Plunkett and Gifford's 10 minute marriage occurred. Chills, tears, anger, understanding."

Margie

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I truly enjoyed this beautiful country, the history, the music and the friendly, welcoming Irish people. I also was surprised and delighted that the food and the beer were so good. A big thank you to our tour guide Declan for making this tour even more enjoyable with his music and his wit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher, listening to traditional Irish music in a old stone church, The Giant's Causeway, walking across a rope bridge high over the ocean, the Titanic Museum. There was no one "wow" moment."

Joane

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking at Giants Causeway."

Ron

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I are fortunate to have taken numerous RS Tours prior to our Ireland tour. This tour/Country is an all round winner! We have come to expect great tours and guides from RS...we are thinking this tour may have exceeded our expectations. Our guide, Declan Field is a seasoned professional that added unique value and experiences throughout the tour. We enjoyed the beautiful, clean Ireland but the people really mad the tour special! Very glad we went on this tour...highly recommend.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow(s) were the constantly spectator scenery...welcoming locals and outstanding food."

David

Cadillac, MI

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide, Declan Field, was magnificent. We enjoyed all the local color, music and art information he provided. He even sang some songs and ballads. Our tour members were wonderful and we all meshed well. This was our 4th Rick Steves tour and we look forward to more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle Peninsula and Cliffs of Mohr."

James

Tyrone, PA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was fantastic! Declan was a great country guide. His personality, knowledge and demeanor helped to exceed our expectations. He arranged several personal concerts in our hotels with musicians he knew personally, and took us to several local concerts that we would never have found ourselves. His attention to detail was superb. He kept the entire trip on schedule with some good natured prodding. The accommodations were fine. The restaurants were top-notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was checking into the St James Hospital emergency room for an unexpected case of colitis and diverticulitis. But we were able to rejoin the tour in two days. Declan helped with easy arrangements for transportation and follow up. Other than that, the scenery and music were memorable."

Ted

Milton, GA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again another Rick Steves tour exceeded my expectations. Our tour guide, Declan, was outstanding. The stops on the tour were truly representative of the breadth of Ireland and its history, the hotels were great and the tour members were very compatible. I continue to be thankful for being able to have visited the iconic sights of Ireland; but, even more, I value the opportunity to have learned so much about the complex history of Ireland and its people thanks to Declan.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was in Dingle and being exposed a greater appreciation of the traditional music of Ireland. Music is everywhere in Dingle! In particular I was enthralled with the surprise musical presentation in our B & B by Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh and Gerry O'Beirne. What a wonderful time of being treated to a glimpse into the soul of Ireland and its people through music!"

Richard

Buckeye, AZ

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As this was our second Rick Steve's tour and had such a wonderful time on the first one. This one matched and or exceeded all of our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of Ireland and its Peoples where amazing. For Debby her wow moment was the 10 year old Irish Dancing Girl in Dingle at the Record Store where Declan had arranged for our group to attended a concert. For me all of the Beautiful Scenery."

Kathy

Cadillac, MI

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our fourth Rick Steves tour, and it did not disappoint! Since I am Irish, it was very exciting for me to see many of the places I've been hearing about from family and friends for years. I thought our accommodations were even nicer than I expected, and the food was better than I expected. Since I love Irish music, I was excited to have so many opportunities to hear live music. Our hikes and walks were challenging, but the views they afforded were very worthwhile.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved seeing the Cliffs of Mohor. We were fortunate to have a nice sunny day. We hiked up both sides and truly appreciated the views from the top."

Susan

Needham, MA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an outstanding Best of Ireland Tour with our esteemed guide Declan!The trip exceeded our expectations while at the same time matched our equally wonderful previous Rick Steve's tour to France. From the outset of meeting our very congenial group of tour buddies to our final hosted meal, we had an overall wonderful trip. We loved learning about all of the history of Ireland and Northern Ireland and we were glad our tour included Northern Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our overall "wow" moment was the full realization that we were on such a fantastic tour with such an excellent guide, in Declan. The combination of history, music, and unparralled beauty of the Island, tour buddies made for our Wow moment. The one unique event which I wasn't expecting to be so great was the trip to the Ireland School of Falconry! We loved too that the tour included the sheep dog demonstration!!!"

Michael

Yacolt, WA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is beautiful and full of history. Our tour guide Lynn Corken provided us with fun and exciting details of the sights and the people who make Ireland so special. The tour was well planned and had few slow downs other than an occasional over whelmed restaurant. The people of Ireland made our short visit enjoyable, they were always helpful and pleasant to be around. Give Olive our bus driver 100% for her driving and personal care of us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The swinging rope bridge at Carrick-a-rede was truly the biggest wow for me. The scenery of Ireland was breath taking and the people were like old friends. The people of Ireland were truly the wow."

Barbara

Elizabethtown, PA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again, I was very pleased with the overall tour experience. I thought the itinerary was very well balanced and our guide, Lynn, was perfect and our bus driver, Olive, was amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to chose from! But if I had to pick one, it would have to be the Titanic experience in Belfast."

Gene

Silverthorne, CO

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The people on the tour were similar to us - we liked everyone no complaining or awkward moments - just lots of fun. We had some time to ourselves which was appreciated while still enjoying being informed about the history and sights we saw. We will try to go back and stay in one or two places that we loved. A very good overview.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry experience at Ashford Castle was one of many "wow" moments. The Dingle Peninsula, the Cliffs of Moher, and Trinity College and the Book of Kells were inspiring. We also thought it fun to sleep in the "Rick Steves" suite also the Milltown House in Dingle."

Elizabeth

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip exceeded my expectations on every level: excellent guide; wonderful group; amazing history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's impossible to name one. Loved the energy and history of Dublin and the Literary Tour. Loved the town and surrounds of Dingle; loved the physical beauty of Ireland and the sea and landscapes. Really appreciated the guide's knowledge and personability."

Carrie

Keller, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Couldn't have asked for a more delightful, fun-filled time. The tour guide (Lynn), coach driver (Olive), and group were as well-blended as I've experienced on a RS tour. We never missed a beat on arrival times and the weather cooperated far better than we could have imagined. Each day brought a new delight. Highly recommend.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Underestimating the history and amazing strength, spirit, and hope of the people of Ireland. Love RS tours much because of the education for each country I visit. I didn't realize the kindred spirit Ireland feels with America. They love to remind us they populated America. Sláinte!!"

Nancy

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had been wanting to visit Ireland for years and this trip was the perfect way to experience the whole island! From the big cities - Dublin, Galway and Belfast - to the charming smaller towns - Dingle, Cork and Portrush - Ireland is enchanting. The people are warm and welcoming and we had the best team of Lynn as our tour guide and Olive the Magnificent as our bus driver! They were very simpatico and we were surprised to find out it was their first time working together!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although seeing the Cliffs of Moher was really breathtaking, I'm a professional musician (piano and vocals) and it was a real kick to sit in with the band in Dingle where we all played "The Ashokan Farewell" complete with Irish accordion, flute and banjolin (a cross between a banjo and a mandolin)! It was just lovely. Such a fun and memorable evening!"

Richard

Clifton Park, NY

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Lynn Corken was excellent. Our driver,Olive, was great. The tour provided a great overview of Ireland. The Friar's Lodge in Kinsale and the Miltown House in Dingle were poor. Local guides were very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single moment, but the whole tour was "wow"."

Nancy

The Woodlands, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First of all, our tour guide Lynn was excellent! We learned so much about the history of Ireland and her unbiased viewpoint was much appreciated. I've told friends that if they ever visit Ireland, they need to go to both The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to get the full Irish experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments starting with the Rock of Cashel, visiting the lovely towns of Kinsdale, Dingle, Galway, and Belfast. Our drives through the beautiful countryside we lovely! I also love going to the Castles. Spectacular!"

Marilyn

Marana, AZ

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyable 14 day Irish experience. The People, Castles, rocks, multi shades of green and music delighted our senses. Great food, wonderful group of travelers and a terrific guide. I would personally like to stay in Kinsale another day and Dingle. I sent my husband to the Aran Islands and I stayed in Galway to experience a wonderful walking tour about the "Women of Galway". I even found a vegetarian restaurant and sat outside and people watched.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was in Dingle, the music and Irish dancing! Joyful evening listening to wonderful musicians, a world winning Irish dancer and a 10 year old dancer."

Charles

Catonsville, MD

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding, as noted. The bus was comfortable, the rides were not overly long, and we all became friends with Olive McDonnell, the driver. Olive was like a member of the family of travelers. Our group melded very well and quickly, and I believe that we went beyond being friendly to being friends. I knew nothing of Ireland or Northern Ireland, and was amazed by its rich history, beautiful geography, and friendly people. I would highly recommend this tour to my friends, and have already done so

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Antrim Coast was the most beautiful and spectacular coastal landscape that I, as an experienced landscape photographer, have ever seen. Despite touring in midday, the worst time for landscape photography, the vistas were absolutely incredible. I made what will probably be some of the best landscape photographs I have ever done."

Jerry

The Woodlands, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Ireland was a wonderful learning experience. I felt a strong connection to the complex culture of a country (or more accurately today, two countries) that have had such a huge impact upon the past 150 years of the United States. I also enjoyed the spectacular beauty of the coastal areas of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the monument to Molly Malone in Dublin and realizing I was standing at the origin of a folk song I learned to sing in the sixth grade in a small town in Kansas."

Doug

Kennewick, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was truly outstanding. Everything went smoothly and it made great use of our time in Ireland. This was our second RS tour and we will be doing more. Our tour guide, Rozanne was truly amazing! In addition to our other RS tour, we've done a number of other tours with other companies. Rozanne was clearly this best guide we've ever had. She obviously cared about us and worked diligently to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves and getting the best possible experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but my favorite was the Ireland School of Falconry at Ashford Castle with Danielle and Petog (her Harris hawk)! A very unique and memorable experience."

Donna

Queen Creek, AZ

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour, we have two more scheduled the next 2 months. Ireland was brought to life thanks to our tour guide, Rozeanne and our fantastic driver, Mark. The participants respected one another, enjoyed each other immensely and truly bonded by the end of the tour. I believe the success of the tour was mainly due to Rozeanne's kindness to the participants, her knowledge of Ireland, the smooth working relationships between Mark and her and her contagious enthusiasm for Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Truly, the entire tour."

Julia

Kennewick, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fabulous time on this tour, and I believe it all started when we met Rozanne. She has a calming, caring presence about her that I believe telegraphed to all of us on the tour; we all seemed to enjoy each other greatly. And the tour agenda was excellent, giving us a sense of Irish history and culture, and it gave us a great understanding of how Ireland, and Northern Ireland, got to where they are today.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Kinsale tour with Don Herlihy because of the great understanding he gave us of Irish history. This is closely followed by the Hawk Walk at the Ireland School of Falconry with Danielle and Petog."

Geraldine

Bend, OR

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We enjoyed learning about Ireland, its culture, history, and peoples. We enjoyed several opportunities to experience traditional Irish music and dance. It was also important to learn about Northern Ireland and the Troubles.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's Causeway was spectacular and the legend makes it even more interesting. We were impressed by the friendly people and the traditional music and dance."

Ruth

Eugene, OR

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding! Good and active[INVALID]just as I'd hoped. Great group of fellow travelers[INVALID]friendly, fun, prompt, and not a complainer among them. Enthusiastic, personable, knowledgeable tour guide, local guides, and driver. Great choice of things to see, experience, and learn about, and ample independent time with astute suggestions for 'getting out there.' I feel so privileged to be a beneficiary of Rick Steves' positive and longstanding relationship with the Irish people. What a way to travel!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually, it would have to be a tie between the up close and personal experience with the Harris hawk at the falconry school and the Giant's Causeway, with a trek to the top of the headland suggested by our driver, Mark."

Susan

Placerville, CA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was amazing and wonderful in every way - yes, even the weather! So much interesting and sometimes sad history, friendly and open people, and of course beautiful scenery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's Causeway was wow, wow, wow! From the legend of Finn McCool (our guide Rozanne suggested viewing the tale in the visitors center before heading out) to the magnificent and unusual terrain that makes up this area....I could have explored and marveled for days! PS- we love playing the "wow moment" game. My husband and I get into enthusiastic discussions about our tour whenever either one of us says "wow moment." What a great way to reminisce together about our trip!"

John

Placerville, CA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An incredible journey to the home of my Keltic ancestors. Our Guide , Rosanne was wonderful and truly made all of our group feel at home. She brought our group together in a way I have never experienced. In the end everyone felt like an extended family.Our driver also gave us insight and guided us to areas of our tour we would otherwise have never experienced. They made a great team giving us a well rounded experience. Rosanne also went out of her way to get me information on my O'Reilly roots.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giants Causeway Roseanne"

Karen

Everett, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Having done the shorter Ireland tour in 2016, we really enjoyed many of the places we'd already been as well experiencing the rest of Ireland/Northern Ireland on this trip. We were enriched by the history of Ireland, culturally and geographically. An educational experience as well as a lot of fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WOW may not be the term to use, but we were fascinated and of course disturbed by the many "troubles" of the people in Ireland, particularly in coming to realize that the Great Famine is more factually described as the Great Hunger. We were equally impressed by the genuine commitment of the people, as described by our tour guides in Northern Ireland/Belfast/Londonderry, never to return to the way it was 1968-1998 - No matter how Brexit turns out!"

Curtis

Brighton, MI

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour director and bus driver were wonderful and all the local guides were well versed in the history and culture of Ireland. We enjoyed all the activities and special events. Everything moved quickly without hesitation, yet we did not feel rushed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The last day in Belfast. We really enjoyed the Titanic museum. It really made you feel as if you were there. It was great to learn in more detail the building and demise of the ship."

Jill

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kinsale - what a charming area, with the most wonderful guide. Would like to have stayed longer."

Sharon

Brighton, MI

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed learning the history of Ireland and seeing the beautiful landscape. The bus was very comfortable and we were happy that our group was small enough that we were able to spread out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed the music venues and the vistas of the Giants Causeway and Cliffs of Moher."

Betsy

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 14-day Best of Ireland tour was everything I had hoped. It offered city time, Irish history and, most importantly for me personally, the opportunity to enjoy the country's beauty with great hikes, dogs and hawks, pubs and picturesque hotels (Milltown in Dingle). Our tour leader Susie Millar was a pleasure, our fellow traveling companions compatible, respectful and fun to be with, and the pace of the tour was just right with a full, tight schedule but ample time to ourselves. Loved it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd have to say Giants Causeway was my "wow" moment. Not crowded, beautiful day, unbelievable scenery. Runners up would be Barry's entertaining tour in Kinsale, Muckross (could have stayed longer to walk the grounds and arboretum!), the hike to the lighthouse in Dingle, Ashford Castle and the Falconry, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (scary but stunning scenery), Titanic museum, music program in Belfast."

George

Centennial, CO

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Declan - our tour guide - made our experience memorable right from the start. He is very capable and has a great sense of humor and history. He made everyone feel comfortable. The tour itinerary had different experiences - which worked fine - as in a diverse group there's always going to be differences of opinion. But everyone got along fine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher - even though the weather was terrible! It was a challenge just to walk out to the overlooks - but worth every step."

Enoch

Eden Prairie, MN

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves Tour. My first was the My Way Alps Tour, which I thought could not be topped. I was wrong. This Best of Ireland tour was even better - probably due in large part to the long experience and multiple talents of our tour guide, Declan Field. This truly is a GREAT trip and a must do experience. I will recommend The Best of Ireland Tour to everyone that I know. One constructive comment - Slow down, Declan. You walk fast. Let the group keep up with you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had several favorite "WOW" moments on out tour: Learning about the incredible and fascinating history of Ireland and the Irish people - their struggles and their triumphs; Killmainham Gaol; the many different Irish music concerts we attended; the food; the sheer beauty of the Irish countryside and seacoast - especially Kinsale; Dingle and Slea Head Drive; Inishmore Island; the Falconry experience, the Cliffs of Moor and the Giant's Causeway; Derry and The Troubles and Belfast in general."

Terri

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was just as we expected for a Rick Steve's tour. Having been on 6 prior tours, we observed that the initial meet & greet was lack lustre & missed the initial "warmth" & excitement of starting a new adventure due to a changing venue locations & cramping into a small room like a classroom ... just didn't seem elegant or as professional. Anyway, the tour itinerary was great & it was a lovely group of people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day exploring the Aran island of Innishmore & the castle ruins at the top."

Patricia

Centennial, CO

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great! There was so much Irish history to absorb [INVALID] the Irish fight for independence, the civil war, the Great Hunger, and the current situation with Brexit. The history was fascinating, and our tour guide was great in explaining all of it. Scenery was beautiful. Too much time on the bus some days maybe, but I know it was necessary to get from place to place. I think, for me, the trip was a little too long. Maybe a few days shorter would have been better for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery was beautiful -- stone fences, sheep, dramatic sea cliffs! Also, enjoyed learning about the Blasket Islands and their history."

James

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several of the local musicians that gave private concerts to our tour group."

Debra

Wadsworth, OH

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again, a fabulous experience on our Rick Steves tour! Everything was just as we anticipated: well-planned, well-organized, free time, unique experiences, cultural immersion and more. We were not disappointed and come back with such knowledge and love for Ireland and its people. Declan was amazing in his knowledge and insight of the history, and he shared everything openly. His explanations certainly cleared up much in my mind and what I had been told/taught. LOVE!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, but I guess I'd choose the Burren experience with our local guide. It was such a different thing to see, and seeing it up close with our guide, who pointed out so many details, really makes it stand out for me."

Steven

Irvine, CA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a wonderful tour with great people who hustled and were on time all the time. The food was great. The scenery was enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "hawk walk"! It was an incredible site to behold as this bird of prey came flying to my gloved hand!"

Randy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful overall experience with knowledgeable, friendly and articulate guides, beautiful sites, and unique experiences combined with compatible and friendly group of fellow travelers. A great history lesson. Good amount of physical activity. Comfortable bus with skilled and friendly driver. Convenient accommodations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hawk feeding at Ashford Castle."

Gary

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Ireland is a beautiful country with great views, delicious food, and friendly people. It was quite enjoyable to just be able to hit any pub on any night and enjoy live music, great beer, and converse with total strangers which quickly turn into friends for the short time together. Itinerary, as always, was perfectly done with a very knowledgeable guide and outstanding driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to handle the Harris hawk for an extended period of time at the Falconry school."

Joe

Wadsworth, OH

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A truly wonderful adventure that we except from Rick Steves. This was our fourth RS tour. It had a great balance of visiting historical places, outstanding natural sights and small picturesque villages. There was the perfect mix of structured and free time. On the bus there was the ideal amount of our guide Declan's entertaining and informative background stories and Irish music. It was clear Declan had a love and pride of Ireland. Great food without corned beef was a surprise, .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was the three private concerts we had in Dingle. Dingle is well known for the great music in the pubs. We didn't have to first try to find a pub that had good music with a place to sit. We didn't have to listen to the other patrons talk and sing during the music. We also didn't have to stay out late. Instead we had the very best Irish musicians in a perfect intimate setting. Many were accomplished musicians with their own original CD recordings. Dingle was a great little town too."

Gary

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Believe the tour covered important areas in every city we visited. Free time was important to allow each tour participant the opportunity to explore their own areas of interest. Our tour guide, Declan, enhanced every moment with his personal knowledge and recollections of life in Ireland. Fourteen day's is clearly not enough time to see and experience everything but I believe we were able to experience some memorable opportunities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our walk along the Giant Causeway was memorable. The falconry school was an unexpected experience."

Mary Ellen

Glendora, CA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very nice experience and enjoyed most of the places we stayed at. Declan was very knowledgeable about the history and politics of Ireland. I enjoyed the music he played on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the landscapes of Ireland"

Eleanor

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the Ireland tour so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Some of the most memorable times were visiting the School of Falconry at Ashford Castle, enjoying the Dingle Peninsula, staying at Castlewood B&B and the wonderful musical events in the evening with Declan."

Barbara

Chester, VA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first bus tour ever and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We felt the tour offered us the complete Irish experience, from the history, to the beauty of the land, to the local entertainment, to the local restaurants/pubs. We were able to experience it all. Joe Darcy and Mark Whelan absolutely added to the overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was very personal. My great grandfather came from the Dingle area and thanks to the undying efforts of Joe we found a Priest at a church in Ballyferriter. In the Priests office we were able to see the handwritten record of my great, great grandparents marriage in 1838. Plus, handwritten birth records for the siblings of my great grandfather. This was a very personal, emotional and moving experience that never would have happened without the perseverance of Joe "

Ralph

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of my top 5 guided tours! Joe provided a very personal tour of his country with patience and respect. At no time did we feel like strangers in a foreign country. He treated us like true guests!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a private music and dance performance in our Dingle hotel. Truly unique and truly special. This made us feel like VIPs!"

Jim

Santa Ana, CA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful experience touring Ireland, both the Republic and Northern Ireland. We learned all about Ireland's history and had really interesting experiences of both trad music and people interactions in the pubs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow experience was by far the unexpected or unplanned pub music sessions. One in particular was in Dingle and believe it or not the session was going strong by 5:30 with almost no one in the place. From that point it just got better as a whole bunch of young folks from the Rose of Tralee constest arrived. Terrific music and local participation - can't be beat."

Gabriele

Wauna, WA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour and met our expectations as it was our 7th Rick Steve's tour. The tour members were great fun and Joe Darcy, our guide was great fun and knowledgeable about the history of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's causeway was awesome, Dingle was enjoyable, loved the Irish Wolfhounds, the whole tour was great."

Shirley

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Delighted to be in Ireland...I found the country engaging, beautiful and lots of fun! The organization of the tour was efficient, thorough and packed full of information...a good mix of group activities, with free time factored in. My guide, Joe, was most helpful with individual plans and was definitely engaged with those of us on the tour during our group time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of Kinsale! Everything in this sweet town....from the tour guide, Barry, to the colorful town buildings, market, the craic, seafood.... was The Best!"

Kerri

San Diego, CA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our wonderful tour guide Joe Darcy, bus driver Mark, our local guides, and our wonderful group of travelers (new friends!), all brought their "A" game, which made for an exceptional experience! This was our 2nd RS tour, and our first 14 day tour! Initially, we weren't sure if 14 days would be too long, but, It was perfect. We saw and experienced so much of Ireland. Each day, I was certain that we'd seen as much beauty as there could possibly be, and then the next day, more to behold.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Antrim Coast, Giants Causeway, Carrick a-rede rope bridge! The scenic drives through Killarney National Park to Dingle and the Connemara Countryside (we wished we'd had sun that day. RS can't do everything!) Learning so much Irish history. Each vibrant and well maintained small town. Castles and Forts galore! Friendly locals. Great music. Our talented limerick writing group!"

Randall

Manhattan Beach, CA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My past travels to Europe always included a Rick Steves guide book. There was never a doubt what guide I would refer to. I had always heard about the Rick Steve's tours, so when my brother went on two of these and was thoroughly impressed I had to go. It really did exceed my expectations. Joe Darcy, our tour guide was the absolute best host. He not only kept us informed, but entertained. The local guides were always the best and Mark, our driver, always kept us safe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Irish coast was truly beautiful and majestic. I just loved it"

Rebecca

Prior Lake, MN

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was the 50th country I've been to and I have to say it's one of the most beautiful. A large part of it's beauty is the overwhelming friendliness of it's people. Never have I felt more welcome than I did in Ireland. Absolutely everyone strikes up a conversation. It's truly lovely. I can't wait to go back to see more of this breathtaking country!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giants Causeway was the favorite "wow" moment in a trip full of wow moments. The natural beauty of the cliffs, the wonderful hiking was an experience I'll never forget."

Timothy

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All the elements of a good Rick Steves tour were here. Limited group size of 27. Good travelers--no complainers and people on time for all events and check ins. Great tour leader in Joe. The local guides were knowledgeable and presented in a way that maintained my interest. Great food and good accommodations. Good balance of structure and free time so the tour did not wear me down.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many highlights that were arranged by Joe. For me, my "wow" happened when we went with another couple to Matt Malloy's in Galway and listened to six individuals who played in a small, jam packed-room. I felt there was something magical about being there. The music arranged by Joe in Dingle was fantastic. I rate the Hawk experience highly. The scenery at the Cliffs of Mohr, the Aran Islands and the Giant's Causeway were also high points."

Sara

Shoreview, MN

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was phenomenal, in spite of periods of "mizzle" every day. We loved our tour guide, Joe Darcy, and we couldn't have asked for a more congenial group of fellow travelers. We learned so much from the individual city guides, especially Tommy in Dublin and Barry in Kinsale. The musical experiences that were arranged for us were not only enjoyable, but educational as well. We were given enough time at each stop, both to shop and to enjoy pubs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was the guided tour of the Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin. Our guide was excellent and her tour was very moving. We learned so much about the history of Ireland on our guided tours, especially in Dublin, Kinsale and Belfast. I was inspired to purchase several books about Irish history to find out more."

Kathleen

Everett, WA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing experience - learned of the history of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and had fun doing it. It was a perfect balance between the larger cities, the coast and the countryside as well as a balance between historical sites and entertainment venues of music, song and dance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "Wow" moment was attending the School of Falconry at Ashford Castle. I can't think of anywhere else in the U.S or abroad that I would have had a chance to put on a glove and literally have a falcon eating out of my hand! It was a very Harry Potter experience - the Castle, the Owls and Falcons, walking back to town along the waterway via the woods and the weather cooperated by providing a warm sunny day, unforgettable experience."

Sandra

Blaine, WA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was hesitant to join a group tour, usually preferring to go at my own pace when and where I please. This tour was a nice surprise. The entire tour was so well organized from hotels, to meals, local guides, driving, sightseeing, etc. Our group dynamic was wonderful; what a happy, healthy group of people...Magic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I live in a bird-lover's paradise where there are great blue herons, eagles, hawks and falcons. Many times I've seen demonstrations of hawks and falcons up close but have never been closer than a few feet. At Ashford Castle falconry, I quickly volunteered, before knowing what for, Dara said I would clean cages,but I hoped it would be to assist with a falcon. Well, I was allowed to handle a Harris hawk, Pudding, walk with her, let her fly & return to my hand; all of us had a turn. Phenomenal!!"

Gary

Everett, WA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Falconry experience"

Daniel

Pacific Grove, CA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent! RST provides just the right amount of structured and free time. Add a dose of new friendships with like-minded people on tour and that's a winning recipe! The trip was significantly enhanced by Dara Herlihy who went way beyond "just showing us sights." We dd that, of course, but learned much about what it means to be Irish, with a complicated past and present, and calling out the many ways the Irish and Americans are linked. Plus, we enjoyed non-stop fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really likes the sheep dog exhibition, the cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, Portrush, and even gritting Belfast. However, what I enjoyed the most was the several (it might have been as many as a dozen) different music events which were all tremendous. One of the singers spoke about how the Scotch Irish were often called "Willies" for King Wm. and when they went to the Appalachians, they were tagged hillbillies. The Scotch Irish Museum in Belfast underscored many other connections."

Therese

The Colony, TX

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Ireland tour far exceeded expectations. This was my first Rick Steves tour and I thought we'd be roughing it. Instead we had almost all beautiful four-star hotels and fantastic meals. The tours were varied and well presented with no waiting. Our guide Dara and bus driver Dennis were exceptional and took great care of us. We especially loved the opportunity to blend with the locals, learn their history, sample the beer (lots of samples) and have personal concerts of Irish music.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We especially enjoyed our stay in Dingle, probably because our guide Dara lives there and was proud to show us his hometown. The Castlewood House B&B was exceptional with beautiful views. We met people all over the town who were so welcoming. We enjoyed concerts of Irish music and dancing every night. We even got to see Fungie the dolphin and taste the famous Dingle gin!"

Barbara

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first RS tour, in fact my first group tour ever. It ran just like a well oiled machine. Surprised to have such a deluxe bus complete with a great driver and Wi-Fi, and with plenty of room to spread out a bit. Some of the hotels were borderline deluxe! (Normally these would likely be out of my budget)! So that was another pleasant surprise. I appreciated the central location of all our hotels, everything was an easy walk. All in all, I'd have to say it was stress free.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Irish people seem to have a genuine warmth and sparkle. I wanted to experience first hand the Irish wit. I got it in spades. And the countryside is spectacular. The 40 shades of green are a treat alone, but throw in a beautiful coastline and ancient castles, churches, etc and it's a almost a visual overload. But one that made my eyes happy."

Kathleen

Temecula, CA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable, memorable, and a lot of fun due to Dara. I felt each day we packed in a lot of sights and it was well organized and planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge and the Cliffs of Moher and all the fabulous coastline near Dingle. I especially liked Kinsale and Portrush also. Such great seaport towns."

Mark

The Colony, TX

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent and fun taste of Ireland. Dara our tour guide was fun, informative and knowledgeable about his country and its history, especially many facts of local history all around Ireland. Our group of twenty-five tourists bonded like a family very quickly and laughter never stopped. Dara was sure we got a wide variety of Irish music and Irish culture. From musicians of all ages to dancers who stomped their talents and entertained our tour family, the experiences and fun were continuous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the 'beehive" huts and ancient castles that house the Irish for centuries, their strong hearts and hard work ethic demonstrated why the Irish culture is so prominent in the world today. Trinity College and The Book of Kells, Trinity College campus and wonderful city of Dublin. So many Wow moments make me want to do it all again."

Galen

Topeka, KS

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Ireland was fantastic. This was our 3rd Rick Steve's tour, and while we have really enjoyed all our tours I think this may be the best. Dara is a top notch tour guide. He really gave a us taste of Ireland's history and culture. We really enjoyed our stay in Dingle, his home town. He introduced us to his family, his pub and his music store. The experience really made it a personal experience. We enjoyed all the local guides and the knowledge they shared.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to pick one "wow" moment. Overall I think it was the exposure Dara gave us to the people, music, culture and food and drink of Ireland that made this an exceptional trip. He was the best guide you could hope for. As we have also found on previous Rick Steve's tours, the people that made up the group were great traveling companions. Rick Steve's tours attract the type of people that are interested in experiencing the people and culture of a country."

Kristin

Gold River, CA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steves tour and we had high expectations from our previous tours. We expected the guide to be friendly, knowledgeable about the country's history, culture, art, politics, etc. And what did we get on this tour? Dara Herlihy. Hmmmmm. He was all we expected and MORE! He was a stand-up comedian and had us laughing all the time. He definitely has a double-dose of the "hospitality" gene. He always made sure everyone got the right meal; crossed the streets safely; etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from. The Giants' Causeway. The School of Falconry. The live traditional music. Every day was a WOW."

Robert

Gold River, CA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Better than outstanding! Dara was our guide and wow, was he great fun! A little context, I had a heart attack 9 days before we flew from SFO to Dublin. I had clearance from my cardiologist, and he said have fun and don't overdo anything. Cumulatively, my wife and I walked @65 miles in total (tour time and free time) We had spectacular food in wonderful establishments, pub, casual and formal. Lots of perfectly prepared fish and vegetables for me. Oh jeez, only 500 character limit????

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday was a wow moment. Dara made sure of that. The scenery, local people, and other tour members couldn't have been better. Learning about local politics, history, (the troubles) medical care, positions on Brexit, nothing was off limits. Local music, sheep herding, wool shearing, castles, ferry rides (we saw Fungie), traditional wool weaving, falconry (A falcon landed on my arm!), Dennis our wonderful bus driver, tidy towns, talking to locals in pubs, beating the Germans to rest stops, DTR!"

Mary

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing tour. Our guide, Dara, made the trip. This was our third tour with Rick Steves and the group of people we had was absolutely amazing. We all got along and throughout the trip formed very strong friendships that I want to keep alive. As always, RS delivers what is promised. A once in a lifetime experience of a country in a unique and personal way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is like asking a parent who is your favorite child! I think Day 5 was my "wow" moment. The drive from Kinsale to Dingle through the Killarney National Park was breathtaking. It was one amazing vista after another and the stops along the way in small towns for lunch or breaks added to the experience. The stop to see the sheep dogs in action and learn the struggles to keep the sheep industry alive brought a perspective to the reality of living in such beauty."

William

Chickaloon, AK

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since retiring 6/2015 we have spent 379 days traveling/touring/cruising/RVing Spain, French Riviera, Costa Rica, Panama, Caribbean, Singapore, Florida, Canada and USA. We are not rookie travelers. Ireland was 2nd highest total $, so frankly I was skeptical of the value. I can now say it was well worth it. VERY well organised, food excellent, Guinness smooth, fellow travelers wonderful, Cathie Ryan OVER the top good! Pamela SO professional, Irish towns/history and ruins - SO WELL PRESENTED!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Gallarus Oratory was architecturally and engineeringly(?) incredible. Dingle overall my favorite. And Dunluce Castle was magnificent to see today and to imagine how it must have been in it's heyday. The Ancient Burial mounds at Newgrange we visited on our own the day before the tour and it's difficult to comprehend how they were constructed 5,000+ years ago. Loved visiting the Dairy and Sheep farms as well. Am I to only pick ONE WOW moment? No fair!"

Marcia

Chickaloon, AK

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Liked the regional snacks Cathie (and fellow tour members) shared on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving around the corner on the approach to Rock of Cashel. What a stunning sight. And the local guide displaying the coins her great grandfather received from his daddy shortly before his ill-fated working departure on the Titanic."

Frank

Ashland, OR

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Words and pictures alone cannot describe my incredible experience in Ireland. My soul was touched to its very depth by the people, music and history, all orchestrated by one of the most competent guides I've ever experienced. Cathie led us on a journey that exceeded my expectations, even after watching RS videos and listening to podcasts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's difficult to say because "Wow!" was something expressed each day, and often more than once. To nail it down to one thing I'd have to say it was the people and music to which we were exposed. We experienced "sessions" in every town and practically every night, and it was interacting with the people that kept us wanting to return."

Robin

Devon, PA

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves Tour and we were so lucky that Cathie was our guide! She was amazing!! Organized, warm, talented singer and a wonderful storyteller, Cathie made our trip so memorable!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Either the Giant's Causeway or Carrick-A-Rede. We were so happy that Carrick-A-Rede was part of our tour."

Barbara Lynn

Victoria, BC

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very thorough coverage of history and culture of Ireland. I enjoyed having busy days yet the choice of participating or not.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cycling the Dingle peninsula!"

Mary

Arlington, WA

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

How do you begin to evaluate a tour when the tour guide is a professional Irish singer! Did I luck out or did I luck out? When I saw Cathy Ryan's face, I recognized her immediately and thought it was a mistake. I never get this lucky. Her beautiful voice telling about the history of Ireland in song and words made this trip unforgettable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to ride in a pony cart on the Aran Island of Inis Mor."

Jim

Granger, IN

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cathie is the best and the group was great. I can't believe you can keep delivering such superb experiences. We love the mix of people who become friends for an adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The music of Dingle, the cliffs of Moher, and the Giants Causeway. Music to the fullest and scenery that can't be beat."

Carol

Ashland, OR

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We chose the Ireland tour hoping to experience the scenic beauty of the country. We experienced that and more....from the 50 shades of green, to the idyllic coastal towns, the miles of stone walls (what else would you do with all that stone), and the ruggedness of the coastlines. Ireland was a feast for my eyes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Linen was an important industry of Ireland. My Ireland WOW was the "weaving of the linen." The threads were the friendliness, openness, and sense of humor of the people we met in the Pubs (no one is a stranger), the Cliffs of Moher, the Carrick-a-Rede, the nightly music sessions in Pubs, the songs, and the perseverance and sacrifice of individuals for their country. And weaving all the threads together was our one-of-a-kind, fabulous guide Cathie Ryan."

Brenda

Eugene, OR

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cathie our guide was wonderful. Full of knowledge, she loved to sing and laugh. The tour people were fun to be around and became like family. Enjoyed all the tours but one and that was the Burren but I have never been one on the study of rocks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher was just beautiful. Most of Ireland was beautiful but I think I took the most pictures at the Cliff of Moher."

Gregg

St Louis, MO

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

2nd Rick Steve Trip, 1st to ireland. I am an American of Irish descent so this trip was high on my list. Our tour guide Lynn did a great job of helping us understand the "Plight of the Irish" thru the centuries. We learned how it molded the country and the people, still there and those who came to America. We enjoyed our new family of tour partners and highly recommend the Rick Steve's experience to other's interested in learning more about Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to our tour guide describe the birth of her aunt in Belfast during the Blitzkreig of WW2."

Donna

Tonawanda, NY

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed the tour, Lynn Corken was a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. Group participants gelled well together and all members of the tour seemed to have a great time. Already booked two Rick Steve's tours for 2020. Group size was good. Bus driver Steven was friendly & very skilled.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My biggest "wow" moments were the Cliffs of Moher, Some of us paid extra to tour the small lighthouse structure on the cliff and that was well worth it. Giant's Causeway, Dingle & Falconry were exceptional as well. The evening at the music school in Dingle was another highlight, would happily repeat all of the above experiences!"

Philip

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lynn is very knowledgeable, and she well expresses the struggle of the Irish people, both in the past 200 years and currently. Extremely interesting is the contrast between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as the ethnic vs religious differences of the Irish people. In contrast to the above is the overall optimism of the Irish and the beauty of their country. This tour was very culturally educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry experience. This is something I had never experienced before, and it was amazing!"

David

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good food and lodgings, and wonderful music and dance. Sights and activities were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cliffs of Moher."

Dana

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was wonderful! We knew upfront that it was going to be a strenuous tour and it didn't disappoint! I was amazed at the amount of Irish history learned on the tour and Lynn was just amazing. I loved her sense of humor and her pride in Ireland, especially her Northern Ireland pride. The group of 25 tour members got along very well and we didn't have any issues. Steven was an exceptional bus driver and he and Lynn worked well together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say my "wow" moment was the change of landscape in the short difference between the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren. Ireland is only the size of Indiana, yet there are so many different landscapes in such a small area, I was just amazed. Slea Head Drive and Giants Causeway didn't disappoint either!"

Fran

Elwood, IN

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely loved the tour. I know so much more about Ireland and understand the differences between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were at Dick Mack's Pub in Dingle where there was a man who made belts. My husband had a belt made and afterwards we sat at the bar and had a pint. Someone had brought a Bodhrán into the pub. The bartender was trying to play it when the belt maker took over and proceeded to play it and sing. We recorded him on video. What a "wow" moment."

Kathleen

Woodbury, MN

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lynn Corken was outstanding! I cannot say enough good things about her. Professional, knowledgeable, had everyone on a schedule, great communicator - she was exceptional. Give her a raise!! The trip was just wonderful. We covered so many interesting places. I was thinking that this would be a very good trip but it far exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments it is hard to say just one. What I most enjoyed was the humor with our guide, Lynn, bus driver, Stephen and all the lovely Irish people we met along the way."

Greg

Travelers Rest, SC

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lynn was one of the best guides I have ever traveled with. We have done about nine Viking tours and other tours and she is by far one of the most passionate knowledgeable and objective tour guidance we have ever experienced. She is a superstar.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Port rush tours from a visual perspective was the best. For me the " WOW" moment were the history lessons given by Lynn. Her presentation, knowledge and presentation of the Irish history was better than anything I experienced in college or graduate school. She was one of the most effective teachers I have ever encountered."

Michael

San Antonio, FL

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the very first moment I met Lynn, it was like being with a long lost cousin. She was a delight to be in her presence and an exceptional guide throughout the entire tour. On one hand I'd like to do this tour again in case I missed anything the first time. Extremely happy about this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably too many to list, but would include Trinity College, The music in Dingle, Blasket Islands, Cliffs of Moher, and definitely the School of Falconry."

Vicki

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconers"

Melinda

South Euclid, OH

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour filled with sites important to Ireland's history and culture. Tour Guide Lynn Corken is passionate about sharing Ireland and did a wonderful job covering so many topics and so much history. I liked that the tour covered both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland; it covers big city life, small town life and farm/country life. Great music, great food, great tour companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had lots of favorites and "wow" moments. Trinity College library, watching Gaelic football in O'Neills pub Dublin, understanding Irish history and its struggles to secure freedom from British rule, watching the sheep herding, Dingle and the concert in the Music Shop, flying hawks at the School of Falconry at Ashford Castle, Cliffs of Moher and hiking the Giants Causeway."

John

Winnipeg, MB

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guides AND driver were very skilled and professional. They worked very hard to make the tour easy and very enjoyable. I enjoyed the way we had time to explore things on our own. In addition, I liked the fact that local guides were used. Having a down day mid way through the tour was a good idea. It allowed us to catch up on things and do laundry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Day 9 Aran Islands it was so much more beautiful than the Cliffs of Moher (far too crowded)"

Marta

Boonton Township, NJ

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I have been on a variety of tours in the past 20 years, both in the staes and abroad. The critical factor for us is did the company meet our expectations. I selected Rick Steve's Tour because of the places we would visit as well as the experiences that the tour would provide. Rick Steve's Tour clearly described what we should expect and delivered on all our accounts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every step of our journey provided me with something new and different. I, truly cannot account for a particular "wow" moment because there wasn't a moment when I wasn't "wowed.""

Nancy

Redmond, OR

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour, with spectacular scenery, charming Irish folks and a fascinating history brought to life by our excellent guides, Susie and Paul, as well as local experts. Along with the "must sees," the tour provided a nice range of activities beyond the standard touristy stops. Appreciated multiple opportunities to experience traditional Irish music and dancing. Felt like I gained new insights into complexities of Ireland's past as well as its people and strong ties to America.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Through rain and shine, Ireland's rolling green countryside was a continual "wow," not to mention the striking beauty of the Northern coast. Favorite "wow" moment occurred on one of our free evenings when I heard a brilliant concertina player at St. Nicholas church in Galway ("Tunes in the Church" series). It was a great venue for listening, performers answered audience questions, and the music was unexpectedly captivating. I had the feeling I was in the presence of a master."

Janice

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Ireland in 14 days tour was a positive experience from the very first email correspondence to tha final breakfast in our Belfast hotel. The tour guides, Susie and Paul, were the BEST. All along our route, facts and fun and/or funny stories were shared. It is a trip I will never forget.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was all amazing and each and every single day we had more "wow" experiences. It was my first trip to Ireland and it was ALL WOW!"

James

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flying the hawks at Ashford Castle"

Peggy

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every tour stop was an added value to the tour; e.g., the working sheep dog and the shearing of a sheep was so interesting. This is something I would not have experienced if I had traveled on my own. I was quite apprehensive prior to the tour as: a: I had not ever been on an organized tour; b: I was travelling as a single. Within the first 24 hours, my fears were gone. We had a fun, cohesive group that was also inclusive. We had the luxury of two guides, a benefit to us all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"What wasn't? I loved the Dingle Peninsula -- the scenery, the inn, the music. Despite the rain, the Slea Head Drive was spectacular. Also, I loved the Antrim Coast. The rock formations piqued my imagination. Looking out over the Wild Atlantic Way evoked images of unknown ancestors venturing across the sea toward a new home, to an elusive dream. One regret: not spending time in Donegal. Perhaps this tour needs to be 15-day!"

Diana

Tracy, CA

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour covers a wide range of experiences. All of them worthwhile. Our guides Susie and Paul did an outstanding job, telling us the history of Ireland and giving us great choices for things to do during our free time. Denise the bus driver is one of the best in the RS world. We had a great group of travelers. One of our members set up Whatsapp for us and it was great for sharing experience and recommendations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was the people of Ireland and how friendly they are. We had a blast in Dingle despite the rain. Slea Head drive was amazing. We went to the Dingle Races and stood on the rail as the horses ran by. We spent rainy days in the pubs visiting with the locals, making new friends and listening to trad music. I could have spent another day or two there. My next WOW moment was the Falcon Walk at Ashford Castle, then the Giants Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede bridge."

Pamela

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guides were both amazing. Friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The tour group members were all awesome as well. We all got along well and enjoyed each other's company. We absolutely loved the experience. Eve though there was quite a bit of driving, there were enough things to enjoy and see that broke up the drives. It was very well planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's causeway, the bridge, the cliffs of mother. Also, loved all of the Irish music and dance!"

Susan

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was a wonderful circuit of coastal Ireland "must see" sites. It was well planned to include historical & cultural heritage as well as current events & attractions. All of the logistics worked smoothly-thanks to the efforts of our guide Susie, our apprentice guide Paul, and our fabulous bus driver Dennis! The hotels were in terrific central locations, the bus was always on time, the local guides were great, the food was always good and sometimes exquisite. Well done! Bravo!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's Causeway was a big surprise. I had not heard as much about it as other attractions and it completely exceeded my expectations. The incredible geology combined with the whimsical legend of giant Finn McCool was enchanting! While we wandered through the fairy tale site, a lone musician played on Irish pipes adding to the magic."

Carol

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Best of Ireland tour was enjoyable, with the overall experience heightened by the superb guidance of Susie Miller with Paul Corken doing a wonderful job as tour apprentice. I appreciated seeing so much of the Republic of Ireland and of Northern Ireland and was delighted with visiting picturesque towns of beauty and historical significance rather than tourist attractions such as Blarney Castle. I believe the tour would benefit, however, by including an additional day in Belfast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I cannot narrow my favorite "wow" moment to only one. I was thrilled to stay in Milltown House with delightful Irish Wolfhounds and some of the best scones I've ever had. My room was above the kitchen and I could smell the scones baking in the morning. At Ashford Castle School of Falconry, I had an amazing time walking with Inca the Peruvian Harris Hawk. Giants Causeway was another highlight. I'd wanted to go there for years."

Robin

Bellbrook, OH

Tour: 08/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was truly amazing from start to finish. From our wonderful tour guide to all the people who were with us on this trip was outstanding. Friendships were made, knowledge gained, countryside admired, stayed in fantastic places, ate delicious food, and met many delightful townspeople. All the planned stops were perfectly run. I enjoyed the walking and being able to do exploring on our own time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How does one pick a favorite "wow" from so many. Here's my list: *The scenery was magical *The sheep farm herding and shearing very impressive *The falconry experience was probably one of my favorite - learned so much about these birds of prey"

Todd

Portland, OR

Tour: 08/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour of Ireland. Very comprehensive (i.e. I feel like I now know Ireland). Joe was a great tour guide, right up there with the best of the 5 Rick Steve's tours we've been on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The people of Ireland are so incredibly friendly. I think all americans should experience that and bring it back home."

Douglas

Roselle, IL

Tour: 08/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Comprehensive & well-planned tour of Ireland (its scenery, history, people, music) in two weeks. Joe was an excellent guide who adapted our plans to the changing weather, Alan was a good driver. Great group. The local guides & the variety of experiences helped us to gain a greater appreciation of Ireland. I liked the free times so we could walk around the various towns. I was especially grateful for the free day at Dingle so we could travel to Skelly Michael and see more of the Ring of Kerry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Amazing variety of experiences, but I really liked the many walks we had-in the various towns, Giants Causeway, Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, Torc waterfall, & along the coast at the Great Blasket Centre. The warmth of the people, pub life & music, beautiful gardens, witnessing the Liffie River swim in Dublin & the Galway run, Northern Ireland murals, & the falcon walk. Spending time with my son & brother."

Elizabeth

Roseville, CA

Tour: 08/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my 5th RS tour. However, it has been five years since our last. True to form, this tour did not disappoint. During the pre-planning, I showed the itinerary to my boss, born and raised in Ireland (now in CA). She was thrilled that it included all of the major historical sites, towns and cities, and areas of interests. Afterward, we felt that we "knew" Ireland. The guide, Joe Darcy, was so humorous and knowledgeable. Fellow tour members (minus one or two) were enthusiastic and friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say... Breathtaking scenery of the Giant's Causeway and west coast, personal falcon tour."

Kristina

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 08/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always, we are impressed with the Rick Steves Tour experience. We firmly believe that we could not cover the ground, nor do it so well, if we were traveling on our own. Ireland was everything we had hoped it would be, and we appreciated the historical rooting, the efficiency of the site seeing, the insider perspective to the Irish life and culture and all of the little extras! Joe was everything I've come to expect from a Rick Steves Guide. Thank you!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In one word: scenery! But, I'd have to say my favorite day was the Giant's Causeway and the Carrick-a-Reed bridge - probably because the weather was sheer perfection. It highlighted the striking scenery in such awe inspiring color. I will never forget it."

Trese

Belmond, IA

Tour: 08/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic adventure exploring the history, politics, culture, food and drink of this island. Joe Darcy sang to us, danced for us and prepared us well to venture forth and discover. We became a tight community, spurred on by our dinners together and shared experiences. We have been on many Rick Steves tours, and this one ranks up with the best of them. Kudos to the Rick Steves company for finding such a gem of a person with Joe Darcy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to know locals was the most exciting activity. In the Belfast, Crown bar, we asked and were allowed to join a couple on their first date from Match.com. We got to know them well as they each confided in us about their families, work and political views, and most interestingly-about their relief that we'd joined them as they were too nervous to converse. Surprisingly, we bumped into them again the next day and exchanged contact information."

Chris

Edmond, OK

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow! What an amazing tour, we saw so much of Ireland, I can't imagine trying to see all of the sites we toured on our own. Our tour was outstanding from the sights to the hotels to the food! We have been on several of Rick's tours and our guide Dara was with out a doubt one of our best guides, he was personable, knowledgeable and with out a doubt the best at giving us details such as timing of meals and breaks. I think I would only see Ireland again if it was with Dara!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a new wow moment, by far seeing the Dingle peninsula, and the day of Giant's causeway was the best of our tour. The music performance we went to in Dingle was so memorable."

Evelyn

Edmond, OK

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every aspect of the tour was outstanding From hotels, all foods, tours and local guides. Ireland is beautiful and the route we took on the bus was fantastic.i can't believe we went so far in the time allotted. The people were so nice everywhere and our tour family was lots of fun. The bus was so nice and the driver even nicer.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the Titanic exhibit."

Jen

Brentwood, TN

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I expected to see a beautiful and green countryside, but I was blown away by the spectacular coastline and mountains! The beauty of Dublin and the Tidy Town contenders was completely unexpected. I learned that Ireland is a country primarily made up of small towns. As we drove towards each one, Dara told us of the significant people and events concerning that town and then played a relevant song. He taught me how to use the Shazam App so now I have a curated list of Irish music!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Hawk Walk at Ashford Castle's School of Falconry was an experience I never thought I would ever have, and in such in a fabulous setting!"

Jarod

Austin, TX

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dara was an amazing guide, and I couldn't imagine a better way to see Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Giant's Causeway in person was incredible!"

Karen

Aberdeen, WA

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best guide best trip and best travel buddies. It just all went so well and every spot we stayed overnight was set up so well. I loved the Irish wolf hounds at our b&b on the Dingle peninsula and the walk around Ashford castle topped off by the hawk soaring around us at the falconry. Wonderful trip also because our bus driver (Pamela)was spectacular at her job!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Finally standing in the beautiful spots I've seen over years of watching Rick Steves travel shows and being able to enjoy the trip stress free. All the planning the guide does takes all the stress out so you can enjoy every minute."

Karla

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 13th R.S. tour and I would rate this tour as being in the top 5! My husband and I are already talking about returning to Ireland. The country is beautiful, the people are very welcoming, the music is fantastic and fun...and the food was better than what we have had in France! I also enjoyed my fellow tour members. They were all great travel mates and I will miss chatting with them!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments for me but I think our brief stay in Belfast really made an impact on me. Even though the 30 year span of the Troubles (1968-1998) is not exactly a pleasant time in history...I find that I want to learn more. I think it is important to know these types of conflicts can happen and perhaps we can learn how to prevent these from reoccurring in the future. It was a true eye opener for me!"

Dwight

Brentwood, TN

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great way to see Ireland! Tour guide was Outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the close-up music experiences."

Kristi

Boerne, TX

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Far exceeding our expectations, the food, music, and places we visited were wonderful! Our guide Declan brought to life centuries of history and culture through his talks, storytelling, and even his own singing at times. Our bus driver Stephen was a master at maneuvering narrow roads and parking spaces, allowing us to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Narrowing many great moments down to just one is difficult, but the views of the rugged coastlines in contrast to the lush green landscapes were amazing! I especially enjoyed hiking the pathways along the Cliffs of Moher, Giants Causeway, and Dun Aengus, which offered fantastic vantage points for viewing sheer cliffs and beautiful shades of blue water."

Ching

Monroe Township, NJ

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was well organized and gave us a panoramic view of Ireland. It gave us a more in-depth understanding of Irish history and culture, and met all our expectations. We wish we had more time at the cliffs of Moher and The Burren (not just a guided tour of the geology and the flora and fauna of the landscape). The visit to the crystal cutting workshop was superficial and superfluous. We came away with the feeling that the owner couldn't be bothered and found us more of a nuisance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few, but the most impressive was the 'hawk walk', and the peace wall in Belfast with all the graffiti and messages was a very moving experience."

Nancy

Helotes, TX

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded our expectations. Since this was our third Rick Steves tour, we didn't think that our previous guides and experiences could be outdone. We were pleasantly surprised when they were! Declan is a super guide and has put a lot of time and heart into planning his tours. Being a native of Ireland, he can relate to the many aspects of Irish culture and politics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't narrow it down to only one "wow" moment. The Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway were both spectacular. The Hawk Walk on the grounds of Ashton Castle was an amazing experience."

Robert

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Declan was a wonderful guide and the tour was both fun an educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just seeing all the pre-Norman structures dotting the landscape. And of course the Guinness beef stew on Aran."

Scott

Akron, OH

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I felt the tour was well run and provided good value in relation to the cost.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Um, didn't really have one."

Mark

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scenery was stunning. The whole trip was well planned. I was concerned about too much bus time but the longer bus days were broken up with side attractions that were really good. But the main difference was our tour guide, Declan Field, was outstanding. I really liked the musical shows he arranged for us. I would do another Rick Steve's tour without a doubt.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giants Causeway. Absolutely beautiful."

Debra

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Had a great time, came home pretty tired. They did a good job with the buddy system, facilitating getting to know our fellow travelers. There were sites I wished we could have stayed longer and sites where we could have stayed less.

Kathy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed it very much and now feel very grounded in Irish history and politics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The music in Dingle -- the three concerts, one in our hotel, another in a church and the third in a bookstore (with Declan singing)were a total treat! And for Irish music lovers who need to be in bed by 10pm, and couldn't go to one of the 50 bars and pubs in town, it was a mercy. We appreciated the concerts very much."

Michael

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It is difficult to imagine an experience better than this. All the accommodations were fabulous, the meals were great, and most importantly the firmness of mattresses was just right for my sometimes balking back. Cathie's singing while one the bus was a joy to all on the tour, and she left us asking for more. I enjoyed the limerick contest and "2 truths and a lie". I also want to compliment Michael, the driver. He was equally fun to be with and we all enjoyed his company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was when the tour stopped to see the "Gleann Dhuloca" monument (July 30). Cathie explained the significance of the monument, read a poem and sang a haunting song of the tragedy. The bus got very quiet, and I got tears in my eyes when I realized that my ancestors of 170 years ago could have been subjected to this kind of British arrogance. We observed a moment of silence in their memory. After leaving this momument, we continued on and saw the "Coffin Ship". Very somber moment."

Randy

Lancaster, PA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

With Cathie as our guide, and with the excellent local guides, this tour was one of our best travel experiences ever. We had the right (for us) balance of activities and free time. The breadth of the activities really expanded our view. We learned and enjoyed much more than we would have if we had toured Ireland on our own. Our driver Michael was truly a part of our wonderful group of travelers, all of whom embraced the Rick Steves travel philosophy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most interesting and unexpected moment was our tour of the award-winning dairy farm and meeting the Hynes family. This reminded us of the actualities of Irish life and the fact that Ireland is not just about history. The work they are doing with their high-tech, humane, and sustainable farm is amazing, and the impact they are having for farmers around the world is truly inspirational. The brief tour at the Burren with enthusiastic Mary Howard was fascinating."

Susan

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best tour I've ever experienced. Ireland is picturesque; has an extraordinary history and friendly people. Because of Cathie Ryan 28 individuals became like family in 2 short weeks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Most moving - Doo Lough Valley Most scenic - Slea Head tour. The rugged western shoreline, the Blasket museum, the Gallarus Oratory and Kilmalkedar church were amazing! Spent my free day on Blasket island – simply amazing!"

Sharon

Dayton, KY

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was wonderful due to the people of Ireland! They were gracious and sincerely friendly wanting to share their county with visitors.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To my great surprise and wonderment, our tour guide sang to us. WOW what a treat! Cathie Ryan has a voice of an angel!"

Sylvia

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wowie Zowie - - it was a super excellent tour. I learned so much about the history of Ireland, the people, the politics, their customs, culture, language and got to experience it all. It was excellent because of the outstanding tour guide Cathie Ryan. She made learning so much fun! And she had so much passion for sharing her knowledge with us. What a memorable tour this was for me. Also the site specific tour guides were excellent (sorry I can't remember all their names).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "WOW" moment was the stop along the side of the road in Doolough Valley to see the Famine Memorial. Cathie asked us to have a moment of prayer in memory for the Hungry Poor during the Great Famine who were denied food by their fellow man. This gave me a moment to think what I can do at the local level to prevent this kind of suffering in my community."

William

Miramar Beach, FL

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife, Chris, and I have been on Rick Steves' trips 8 times and this trip was one of the best and I put the blame (praise) on our leader Cathie Ryan who all of us came to realize was the Spirit of Ireland. Her laughter, singing, storytelling and genuine love of all things Ireland, which included each and everyone of us on this trip infected us all and created an experience that was greater than the sum total of events this trip offered.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Belfast standing before a monument to some workers who perished on the Titanic, our local guide Susie told of her great grandfather who was listed on the monument and about how he gave her grandfather a copper coin to hang onto tightly until would return home after this maiden voyage. Well, as she said that her great grandfather was never to return home she picked a large copper coin out of a cloth purse to show us a most precious momento. That was a special moment for me. Cathie's singing!"

David

Friendswood, TX

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our family had such a wonderful time. Cathy was our guide and her passion for Irish history, music, and culture just flowed through the entire tour. Her spirit was just wonderful. She helped our family learn the rich Irish history. Our coach driver, Michael helped guide us through safely and actually helped us connect with our second cousins in Ireland. We were also blessed with a wonderful group of people that toured with us. By the end of the trip, we all felt like family!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I asked Michael, our driver, for help with sources to complete my ancestor tracing in Dundalk... He said I know a someone in Dundalk by that last name, let me get you in touch with him... And, to find out that we were related! Amazing!"

Constance

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Surprise would be the watchword! No rain and great food, neither of which was expected. Beautiful scenery and wonderful people were and we got that in spades. Our tour guide and driver were exceptional, just like every Rick Steves tour we've been on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The daily anticipation of what we would see, the history we would learn and the wonderful food we would have was a "wow" moment. Our group was very cohesive, no outliers. One special moment did occur at our farewell dinner, Robert Warden wore his clan kilt outfit to our fest and wowed everyone who saw him."

John

Seaman, OH

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great. The food was excellent and much better than I expected as I've not heard that Ireland is famous for its food. Accommodations were all great, with the usual issues with small showers in Europe. I thought the itinerary was great. It was a good mix of churches and castles, along with natural beauty, and a good view of the Irish culture with the food, music, and pub experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide, Cathie Ryan, and her wonderful singing to us multiple times. She is a great example of the Irish culture, with her Irish music background and her knowledge of the country. Can't say enough about her."

Pamela

Lancaster, PA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall experience was better than I could have imagined! The food was great, the hotels comfortable, our guide excellent, and the scenery incredible. I had high expectations because, after all, this was a Rick Steves Tour, but my expectations were surpassed at every turn!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to pick only one "wow" moment because everything was so good. I thought a while about this and decided to pick an experience that actually was not on the tour, but was recommended. We saw a show called "The Wild Atlantic Way" in Westport which was excellent...Especially because many of the sights shown or talked about were already experienced and presented in a fun and educational way."

Christine

Miramar Beach, FL

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our 8th Rick Steves Tour and I can honestly say that it has been the best. The country was beyond my expectation and our guide Cathie Ryan was the best we have ever had. The group was fun and lively and friendly. The hotel picks were above grade and very lovely and was our dinners together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WOW moment was the entire 2 weeks. Every day and experience just kept getting better and better. I learned to love the music and the color GREEN everywhere."

Susan

Wake Forest, NC

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour and wonderful guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Epic Museum in Dublin ...not on tour . Visited it on free time."

Joseph

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 6th Rick Steves and I loved it. Blown away by the scenery and really surprised at how good the food was!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I've two, the first was the discovery of Dingle Gin, now my favorite libation and the second was the Burren. The local guide, Mary ? brought that desolate stretch of rock to vibrant life."

Cheri

Lake Elsinore, CA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour because it was like a sampler plate of historic and beautiful Ireland sites. Made me want to go back for more and gave me some ideas about where I'd like to focus my time next time. Being clear about behavior expectations at the beginning of the tour really helped focus the group on keeping things positive. Cathie Ryan is a wonderful guide. She made Ireland come alive with her songs and stories. Micheal is a skilled driver who made maneuvering skinny roads look easy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was sitting at Matt Molloy's in Westport as community members gathered with their instruments to play music. Without realizing it, I ended up sitting front and center next to a guitar player who leaned his case next to my chair as they played. The accordion player had a beautiful instrument and was a perfect example of the vim and vigor of Ireland."

Helen

Chesapeake City, MD

Tour: 07/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Fun tour. Nice group of people on the tour and a beautiful country to explore. We enjoyed the fact that this tour is mostly outdoor adventures and not stuffy museums.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Some of my favorites were exploring the town of Kinsale, hiking to the lighthouse in Dingle (on our own), the Cliff of Moher, the Aran Islands area and trying our hand a falconing."

Eddy

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 07/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was just about perfect. The scenery, activities and learning about the history and culture made the Ireland tour magical. Of course, it helps when we had a really cohesive, fun group of people to travel with (not that RS has any control over, but that is the type of people who we seem to keep encountering on these tours.)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, but probably a tie between the hawk walk at Ashford Castle and Slea Head drive in Dingle."

Laura

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 07/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From Dublin to Belfast, and everywhere in between, this was a fabulous trip! Our group was smaller than usual, 20 people, and we quickly bonded during fun-filled activities and shared dinners. Although we had experienced similar activities on our RS tour to Scotland last summer, they were made fresh by experiencing them in a different country and with other people. The hotels were all nice, especially in Dingle where a master chef fed us French toast and other culinary delights each morning.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "wow" moment that I most enjoyed was the hike/walk on the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs and the dramatic view to the sea were spectacular!"

Rhonda

Sargent, TX

Tour: 07/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ireland School of Falconry!"

Robert

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 07/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was everything and more that I have grown to count on taking a Rich Steve's tour. Ireland was just beautiful and the places that we saw during the tour were first rate. Everything went as planned. It was nice leaving the driving and planning to someone else and just seating back and taking in the rich history and sights of Ireland. We really saw a lot of the country in 14 days and I felt that nothing was missed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being able to get that close to the Cliffs of the eastern coast was a real breathtaking moment for me."

Karen

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 07/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

No hiccups. Tour delivered on the promise.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Belfast. Learning, first hand, about the long lasting conflict that persist. Meeting the people."

Balwinder

San Jose, CA

Tour: 07/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

my overall experience was outstanding,I do not see any field of this trip to complain.Tour Guide Lynn Corken was very knowledgeable about Irish history which was very helpful to understand what happened in the past and present.She was always there to assist us and Driver Allen was excellent driver, he was very professional driving on twisty and narrow roads,I admire his driving skill.Hotels was very nice especially in Dingle Heaten hotel, Food was out of this world in that hotel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"clear ocean water and greenery all over in the Ireland,sheep farm."

Jeffrey

Kentfield, CA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was wonderful. With the exception of some intense rain at times, it was perfect. As an introduction to a country I have not been to in the past, it was a true joy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not sure I can recall an specific "wow' moment. The entire trip could be described as such."

David

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour guide was fabulous. Pascal was friendly and positive. He handled every situation well. Generally, the tour went very well and lived up to our expectations. Most accommodations were right at the heart of the area. The pace of the tour was a little erratic. Our "off" times were sometimes too long and we had a difficult time filling them with activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher were a wow moment. They were beautiful and inspiring. The Titanic museum was also inspiring. The immensity of the ship was clearly outlined by the enormity of the dry dock. The Belfast "Peace Wall" was imposing and impressive."

Ron

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great tour experience! It was everything and more of what I expected. We have always wanted to see the Emerald Isle and your 14 day Dublin to Belfast adventure provided a vivid and in depth view of Ireland. Amazing Rick Steves tour guides, wonderful fellow tour members and NO GRUMPS for sure!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose but if I had to pick just one I'd have to say it was our visit to to Inishmore in the Aran Islands (stark beauty for sure). I especially enjoyed the exhilarating blast of North Sea air when I laid down to take an over the edge picture of the angry surf at Dun Aengus. It set me free!"

Dan

Portland, OR

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We arrived in Dublin a few days before the official tour started and were able to get to some fun sites based on the Rick Steve's book suggestions. When the tour launched, I was was really impressed with our guide's good humor, communication and organizational talents. Every day we learned about the people, history, music and natural wonders of Ireland. I felt at ease and excited about what was around the next corner every day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I honestly felt like every day had several wow moments. A few really stick, though: *The music; especially the musicians that were invited to perform for us *at* the Dingle Bed and Breakfast. Caroline Keane and Teresa Horgan were so talented and joyous. * The Kilmainham Gaol tour guide. She was so passionate about the history and people. Her tour actually felt like a long epic poem, recited by a single actor. * Dún Aonghasa on Inishmore -- it was ancient, not overrun with tourist"

Jeffrey

Mather, CA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Disclaimer: This was my first Rick Steves' tour. This beautiful country is rich in history and tradition that made my visit educational and entertaining. The pace of the tour was perfection. The local guided tours gave us a wealth of information at each stop. However, there was plenty of time to go and explore on our own. Pascal, Paul and Pamela (driver) absolutely made this an experience of a lifetime. Their commitment to customer service is second to none.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hawk walk at Ashford Castle was by far, the biggest "WOW" moment of the tour. Perfect weather, great scenery, an informative and entertaining local guide and last but not least, a hawk!!"

Marjorie

Fox Island, WA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderfully planned by your staff and I enjoyed every day of it. Would do it again and would recommend it to others. Great sites and locations seen in Dublin,Kinsale,Dingle,Galway(Aran Islands),Port Rush(St. Andrews Golf), and Belfast(Wall/Titanic). So much to see in so little time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything we saw was a "wow" moment. Especially the Aran Islands and Titanic Museum. Would do it all over again !!"

Shannon

Mather, CA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour with a variety of activities and sights that kept us engaged, educated, and entertained. Our tour guides made it a wonderful experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoying the Irish countryside and coastal scenery and experiencing the land of my ancestors."

Rosa

Marysville, WA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour and it did not disappoint. I didn't know what to expect but it was amazing! I was so impressed by the knowledge of the guides and how organized everything was. The entire tour flowed so effortlessly and I feel that the guides were the reason for this. I would have liked to spend more time in Cong. The Hawk walk was awesome but I really wanted to see the Cong museum and spend more time in this lovely town but there wasn't enough time. This tour was fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments but my favorite would be the music/dancing."

Lisa

Aledo, TX

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Once again, I loved getting to be in another place with people I just met who, for the most part wanted to experience Ireland in a similar manner. LOVED Pascal AND Paul!! As usual, the RS tour guides do their job because they WANT to. That lends itself to an outstanding adventure w/ a leader/guide who knows the area/history/local personality like no other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Surviving the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge! TWICE!! (once on that tiny island, one has to cross again to get back!) While most who go across that little bridge do not have a fear of heights, I do. It was terrifying, TWICE! It also gave me a confidence that I can do something that I am scared of, but still need to do. And the fact that Pascal and Paul were encouraging without being pushy. A wonderful combination!"

David

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well done tour. Saw all the key sights (now we expect that on any Rick tour) and many musical evenings, both planned and spontaneous. We got an up close visit with the Irish people. We went on the a Rick tour specifically so we'd have friends to visit the pubs with. Not necessary! The Irish people are very friendly, happy to have us join them on any night in the pubs of Dublin, Dingle, Galway. However, we did see things, as usual, that we would never have seen with out the tour and Pascal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was being asked onstage to play music with a couple of singers in Kinsale. Very memorable. Also getting to fly the hawk at Ashford Castle. Also on the list was the Giants Causeway and the rope bridge, time in Dingle walking the town (great local tour guide) and out to the old lighthouse, and the music we had there, all three nights."

Rex

Pasadena, CA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had some trouble with canceled, flights and theft before we even got out of the US. And some digestive tract issues. None of this is on Rick Steves tours...but that is what takes it down one peg from outstanding. Loved the boardwalk in Portrush.....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I imagine it is unique to me....the scars on the door posts of St. Maltus in Kinsale from the soldiers sharpening their swords was the most touching sight (and feel...I went back later) for me. I was deeply touched by the uillean pipes solo in the musical review we attended in Westport. My wife was moved to tears by an opera singer busking in a square in Derry. Idiosyncratic moments. We thoroughly enjoyed walking to the mouth of Dingle Harbor on the free afternoon in Dingle...gorgeous walk."

Sharon

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour started out wonderfully, then the coughing started. It felt like we were the bus tour with the black plague. So that clouded my experience a bit. But it didn't stop anyone for more than a day or so from participating in all the wonderful sights, music and local tours. As on previous RS tours, so much is packed into two weeks, information, food, history, science, culture and sights, more than can realistically be arranged by one family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments include: 1. The private performance at the Millhouse in Dingle by Theresa Horrigan and Caroline Keane. Talented, cute, and great fun. 2. The tour of Kilmainham Goal with red headed Rebecca. 3. Kinsale 3. The Burren; so sad it was pouring. Would have loved to spend more time here. 4. The Ashford School of Falconry 5. Atlantic Notes performance in Westport. Add this to the must do list. 6. Titanic Experience 7. Ireland vs Northern Ireland contracts, and the wall in Belfast."

Lucy

Concord, MA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide was excellent, sites and pace could not be better

Leslie

Milwaukie, OR

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was stunningly beautiful, from towering cliffs dropping into the sea to the grassy fields quilted with stone walls. From the ruined castles and colorful villages full of music to the passionate storytelling of the tour guide at Kilmainam Gaol, we felt Ireland's poignant history come alive, from the Vikings to the Troubles. Our tour felt like it was planned just for us by a dear friend who wanted to make our trip was as adventure-filled and educational as possible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At Ashford Castle I tried falconry for the first time. The harrier hawk took off from a tree on the hill and came swooping low to the ground, landing so delicately on my gloved fist. We looked right into each other's eyes. I was surprised that such a powerful bird felt so light."

Grace

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Pascal Fitzpatrick was fantastic, Very friendly and informative, He was easy to talk to and understand, He really made the tour a wonderful vacation. He always looked out for us and seemed to really care. The places we went to were great everyone was friendly and very knowledgeable, Beautiful Country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were way too many to choose from. Flying the Hawks, The Cliffs of Moar, Walking threw Belfast across the Bridge uniting Northern and Southern Ireland. The Sheep Farm and the Puppies. The Castles Pascal's Stories and walks."

Diane

Newcastle, WA

Tour: 07/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very wary of taking a tour because I had a bad tour experience 10 years ago with a different company. Since then I had traveled on my own or with friends making our own itinerary. This was completely different. A big plus was having less people, we had 28 on our' tour and that was more manageable and we weren't crowded on the bus. I also felt that I got much more historical and other information about Ireland than I would have on my own and we saw so many wonderful places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several: School of Falconry at Ashford Castle, Giant's Causeway, the "tidy towns" we stayed in, music in the pubs in the evenings, the Irish people, and the murals in Derry."

Melanie

Lowell, IN

Tour: 07/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exploring Ireland and its history with this marvelous group was so fabulous! I have travelled Europe on my own (with RS's guidebooks) and was anxious about group travel. I was worried there would not be enough bathroom stops and not be an efficient use of time. Those worries were silly. Our tour guide, Dara related so well to each individual and his positive attitude was contagious. Looking at the itinerary, I thought we had too much free time however, I found the tour perfectly planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My time in Kinsale: Don's tour gave fabulous historical perspective and highlighted its beauty. It was as if I was transported back in time; I could just see the ships sailing into the harbor. Our group meal and ambiance at Kitty O Se's was so excitingly "Pubbish." Free time allowed me to explore the Bodhran. The lady in the Kinsale Crystal shop spent time showing me videos and sharing her love of playing it. She said locals would be playing at Dalton's Pub that evening--it was great!!"

Pete

Slidell, LA

Tour: 07/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being of Irish descent I was in awe of being in Ireland. I will go back again, and will spend more time in Dingle, fell in love with it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting 2 cousins that I did not know for the first time. Attending River Dance at the Gaiety Theater. Although this was not a part of the tour,by going to Dublin 3 days prior to the tour starting it gave me the opportunity to get tickets and see the show. Dingle is calling back to visit for me to return. Blasket Island exhibit center I found information on my grandmother which amazed me. Entering Belfast for the first time, seeing the fences and gates separating the Catholics and Protestants."

Dean

Lowell, IN

Tour: 07/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marvelous! 1st R Steves' tour for my wife and me-it exceeded expectations, even though we've used the books for nearly 20 years; lived in Germany four years in early 2000s. Dara was the consummate guide. And Stephen was a great bus driver, BTW. We're good at "being local" but Dara took it way beyond-loved rural and village-especially the music. Dara was funny, informative, extremely personable in a very appropriate way! I think he made everyone feel special; I know Melanie and I did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Music, musicians, and pub scene in general! Fun doesn't describe it. What a great adventure...so many talented musicians - such variety of ages, instruments and songs. People were enjoying drinks, but not getting drunk! One evening in our Westport hotel, over a dozen locals sat in the lounge singing traditional Irish songs. Sang like a choir, but wasn't organized for tourists - just spontaneous! Better than a movie!"

Janet

Rutland, VT

Tour: 07/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour experience was everything that we had hoped. We enjoyed the beauty of Ireland, learned more of the history of the country and its struggles and loved the music. We enjoyed meeting and visiting with the local people. The fact that Rick Steves Tours uses local guides is a definite plus as opposed to having an American guide travel with us to Ireland. Our guide clearly loves his country and shared that with the tour, exposing us to the culture of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow to the musical talent that seems to be everywhere and so part of the Irish culture. The countryside is so beautiful that it is hard to pick one area as a favorite but loved the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway as well as the Dingle Peninsula. Loved the quaint villages and the many shades of green."

Richard

Rutland, VT

Tour: 07/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel we got a great overview of Ireland on this tour. We couldn't see everything in two weeks, but we got a sampling of it. The difficult history of Irish politics and conflict is especially jarring when reviewed in the midst of all the physical beauty of the countryside and towns. Our guide had a special talent for, and knowledge of traditional music, and we were treated to many opportunities to share and participate, extending each tour day with optional pub or concert visits.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially enjoyed the breathtaking beauty of the countryside with the "Tidy Towns" The view of Kinsale from Charles Fort stands out in my mind, probably because they had sailing classes going in the harbor on a sunny day perfect for sailing small boats in a harbor."

Claire

South Euclid, OH

Tour: 07/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience was very good. I enjoyed our tour guide Dara Herlihy: he was enthusiastic, caring, attentive, and went above and beyond for each member of the group. The local guides at each site were knowledgeable and enhanced the experience by giving each place a personal touch. The other tour members were like-minded and enthusiastic about engaging with the Irish culture and each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Falconry at Ashford Castle. This was an experience that I have never had before and one that I would never have taken on my own, however one that I would not trade. It gave me more perspective for the field and also was thrilling to take part in."

Karen

Slidell, LA

Tour: 07/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour far exceeded my expectations. I am in love with Italy and didn't think there was room in my heart for another country, so went in thinking it would just be a nice trip. Wow, was I wrong! I love Ireland, the music, the culture, the food, the people; I can't wait to return. Whoever said Disney was the happiest place on earth hasn't been to Ireland! We had the absolute best group of 28. No grumps; just one big happy family. So much fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments, but Giant's Causeway took my breath away the most. It was beautiful, fascinating, mind-boggling, exciting all rolled into one. I loved Dingle, and expect to return."

Ron

Marysville, OH

Tour: 07/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, great guide (Dara), outstanding bus driver (Stephan) great travel mates

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite wow moment were Irish dancers and musicians"

Andy

Glendale, CA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a great time. Declan was a terrific guide and Mark was a fantastic bus driver. Both offered great insights and conversations. Our group bonded well and everyone was a joy to be around. I loved the fact that Declan provided us with un-watered down Irish history with all its tragedy and triumph before we'd enter a particular location, that provided excellent context to what we'd see. This is our second Rick Steves tour and both have been absolutely fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't really say I had a wow moment. I'm not sure Ireland is a "wow" place the way Italy or other countries in Europe are. For me, the sum of Ireland was greater than the collection of its parts, so my overall experience was absolutely satisfying even without a single defining wow moment. I did particularly like the rugged west coast (Cliffs of Moyer, fort on Inishmore Island, Devil's Causeway). I also really enjoyed most of us (including Declan and Mark) watching a big band at 7 in Galway."

Kimberly

Woodridge, IL

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never been on a Rick Steves tour before. I was thrilled each day, by what we saw and everything having to do with being on a tour. Our personal guide was amazing. He told us about what we saw, the history, and sometimes even sang songs to us on the bus having to do with these things. He went above just being our guide - letting us know about places that Rick Steves and he would recommend for dining, entertainment. He even got group concert tickets for an event. (Wanted to comment more...)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many "Wows" to pick just one. The Giant's Causeway took my breath away. Nothing can describe going from pictures at home to actually being there and seeing it in all its majesty. Being together with the best guides - our own personal guide and each of the guides at locations where we stopped. And our group was amazing - everyone so friendly, punctual (and early - so we'd be ready to go). Such a fabulous experience all the way around!"

Don

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where to begin? Right out of the blocks, I have to say Declan was an awesome tour guide - his insights, commentary and singing were tops. I loved how he would interject history, song, and cultural background along the way. It made the bus trips fly-by. Mark, our driver, was amazing, navigating country roads that were barely a lane & half wide like the pro he is. He joined in the outings as well and fit right in like one of us. I'm out of space, so in a word - Outstanding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to mention - but I loved the sheepdog demonstration, the hawk walk, and the Giants Causeway, which we hiked extensively. The cliffs of Mohr and ruins were amazing, but so were the pubs and music at night. Kinsale was our favorite, with Dingle a very close second and that Slea Head drive was amazing. Oh, and we loved the Dingle Crystal tour and that Music School presentation in Dingle that night! See, too many 'wows' to mention just one!"

Laura

Bowie, MD

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was very well organized. Some of the hotels weren't so good. As the two weeks went on, more and more was crammed into each day. I felt very rushed by the end of the tour. Also, the tour guide (who was great) only gave us 1 hour for lunch several times which was very hard to do when you have to go to a restaurant to eat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Grand Central Hotel room in Belfast."

Anthony

Downers Grove, IL

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I think we had the Best guide possible in Declan. He went above and beyond to make sure we were enjoying as much as we possibly could, and we learned so much Irish history. Our time on the bus even included music to fit the areas we were driving thru. Accomodations were very comfortable and the food amazing. Thank you for a vacation to remember!!

Karen

Windsor, CO

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I didn't know what to expect, but I definitely got what I paid for and more! Declan Field is a master tour guide. He showed us and told us Ireland's history through the windows of the bus, walking the roads and dirt paths plus touring the castles, towns, and landmarks! He shared a part of himself by singing songs to us, telling us stories and taking care of us!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many: Rock of Cashel, Cliffs of Mohrer, Dun Aengus, but Slea Head Drive along the Wild Atlantic Way was by far so beautiful and the history so rich!!! Tied with that would be the Cliffs of Mohrer, where Declan handed out shot glasses and poured each one of us a shot of Irish Cream Whiskey and gave a toast to us before our tour. I will always remember that!!"

Justin

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Ireland does not need 14 days. This tour unfortunately is best for those with Irish ancestors and not English and not Church of England. There are some interesting parts, but much seemed trivial. I am comparing this tour with the one immediately before it, small towns in Italy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Finding the Ivy restaurant in Dublin."

Nancy

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

This trip was unpleasant. The guide was set on adding more walking/hiking than was called for. At the end of a visit he would say"Who wants to join me on a longer walk?" Also he arranged un scheduled evening events that required transportation that many people opted out of. I wish we had seen more churches/cathedrals. We saw way too many bogs and cliffs and not enough of Dublin.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tasting Dingle Gin and Fever Tree tonic water."

Diane

Stamford, NY

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When I returned home, I was asked if the trip met my expectations, and I replied, without hesitation, that it exceeded them. Once again, this tour had a good blend of activity and free time and included meals and chances to get out on our own. Dara was a wonderful guide and would add unexpected stops, such as the Kenmare stone circle or a hike into a waterfall. His music and narration of historical events and bios of people added to our understanding of years of Irish history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick one moment. Actually handling a falcon on our walk was unexpected and exciting. The performances at Michael's music shop in Dingle were wonderful. Crossing the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge was terrifying, but worth the experience. The "wow" is that a Rick Steves Tour provides opportunities that you might not even consider as an independent traveler."

Mahlon

Mapleton, IA

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I could not have asked for a better experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway were beautiful."

Christopher

Juneau, AK

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Both our guide Dara and our bus driver Allen were great. Dara has a amazing know of Ireland and it's history. Allen is a very skilled driver and made us feel safe even on the very narrow roads.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many Wow moments on the tour. I did not expect the sheep dog hurding demo. That was fun and very impressive."

Suzanne

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an amazing tour! I have been recommending your tours since I arrived back home. Wow! Great guide, great food, great stops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Both the sheep dog demo as well as the falconry were probably my top two 'wow' moments. And the fact that every single day we had 'wow' moments was amazing to me. The more personal the tour portion with the local people the better. Big cities didn't really do it for me but learning how a local crystal-smith made his trade after starting at Waterford decades ago was really valuable."

Timothy

Milaca, MN

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was a 14 day Ireland tour. From beginning to end the accommodations, food, bus driver and tour guide were more than we could have hoped for. Our driver Alan conversed with us and was interested in sharing with us, our story and his. Dara gave us a great balance of information and guidance, and then the freedom and encouragement to explore on our own. He didn't hold our hands or expect to much out of us. Dara provided opportunities we would not have had on our own. Wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Perhaps the last day with our tour guide in Belfast. She knew her city and was connected to its past. Her ancestor sailed on the Titanic and left some pennies with his sons which she showed us. They are still in the family. She was also able to tell us the story of the troubles because she experienced them. The British Open was going on in Portrush, and while in Belfast we found a hospitality tent where we were invited to hit on a simulator, received a golf ball and tokens. Fantastic!"

Gail

Parkland County, AB

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end this tour of Ireland continued to surpass my expectations. It deepen my understanding of the culture, history and people. The itinerary showcased Ireland's beauty and connected history and current events along the way. An amazing holiday - wonderful hotels, delicious food & an incredible travel group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While I was going to say my wow moment was at the Cliffs of Moher because of hike and the breathtaking scenery, it really was learning about the history and impacts of colonialism, hunger and emigration on Ireland."

Judey

Alberta Beach, AB

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a fantastic time with great weather. Thanks for arranging that. ??Travel was smooth and easy, accommodations and meals were super. I so enjoyed hearing the music and talks from people of the region while on the bus. I would have liked maybe, more poetry and short ( or long) stories made available. Great trip. I realize it is mostly American one these trips, however perhaps a bit more awareness of nationalities of other travelers in the group. Canadians. Sorry.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day there was a wow!!"

Joe

Olympia, WA

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall this tour was an excellent experience. I appreciated the balance between free and structured time and our guide Dara was terrific. The scenery on the tour was dramatic and breathtakingly beautiful. I enjoyed learning about the history, land, and politics of Ireland. We listened to some great music throughout the tour! The tour group was a nice collection of interesting people who enhanced the experience...nice to have no slackers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to choose one moment so I will opt for two: The ruins of the bronze age fort on Aran Island was a wow moment as was the Giants Causeway."

Collette

Mapleton, IA

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour did a great job of encompassing all the aspects of Ireland that we wanted to see! Our tour guide, Dara, was very knowledgeable about the area and did a great job " taking care of the group". Our accommodations were outstanding as was the food & service!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moments were the Cliffs of Moher and the Ireland School of Falconry."

Deborah

Wrightwood, CA

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful first time visit to Ireland and Northern Ireland! The variety of activities, experiences, and sights made the tour engaging and enjoyable. Dara was well-versed in Ireland's history, and his story-telling ability was excellent! A great experience overall!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a few extra-special moments but a true favorite was the school of falconry and having the opportunity to interact with the hawks. Having the majestic bird land on me was an exhilarating experience!"

Ashlyn

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing!! Honestly couldn't have been better!! From the sights and vistas to the experiences and people, I don't think I'd ask for anything different!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Cliffs of Moher from a boat was so surreal! The views and the height was just plain breathtaking! Though I did love this, there's no way I can choose only one wow moment! Looking over the edge of Dunangus Fort was also spectacular! Giant's causeway was so cool and bouncing on a bog was fun as well!! Overall, there were so many highlights that picking just a few seems so difficult! I wouldn't change a thing about this tour!"

Robert

Clarksville, MD

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour and we really enjoyed ourselves and met a wonderful set of people. The mix of free time and scheduled time was perfect. The no tipping policy and no pushing of additional excursions made the whole trip a wonderful experience. We had been on previous tours where we were constantly trying to figure out who to tip and how much and where the tour guide was always pushing additional excursions (for additional money). There was none of this on our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the puffins lining the rocks on the Cliffs of Mohr. The Irish Open was occurring nearby on the day we were supposed to go to cliffs, so our tour guide changed plans on the fly and we took a boat to see the cliffs from the sea. There were hundreds of puffins lined up on the rocks and we were right next to them. The Dingle Peninsula was also fabulous."

Patti

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The scenery was absolutely stunning. It shocked me that the Burren was so different from the rest of Ireland. I enjoyed viewing the Cliffs of Moher from the water. I have seen it from the top and seeing it from the bottom was a unique experience. Visiting the Aran Islands was very enjoyable. Hiking up to Dun Angus and crawling to the edge and looking over is an experience I will never forget. Driving thru Portrush and seeing where the Open golf tournament was to be was a treat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to Ashford Castle and seeing the falconry demonstration was my WOW moment. Having the Harris Hawk fly on to my arm is a day I will never forget. I live in a place that has falcons flying overhead all the time. This is the first time I got to hold one and see it upclose."

Kevin

Campbell, CA

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I had a blast! Overall we had a very good tour group and fantastic weather. Pascal and Pamela from Fitzpatrick were top notch. We never had any question they had things well in hand - even with detours due to the Irish Open. The local guides were also very good and you could see their passion for the local town. The amount of exertion (hauling luggage up stairs and down streets) and visiting sites was on par with our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a good question. Spending 3 days in Dingle was a highlight for me. I didn't think it would be, but we found it a nice city to enjoy the food and music. We were also impressed by the Tidy Towns effect on local towns. The boat ride to the Cliffs' of Mohr gave us a completely different perspective. The deep impact of Irish history was also a wow moment."

Carolyn

Beavercreek, OH

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was really a great experience. There were a couple places we couldn't go due to road construction. But Pascal found substitutes that were very good. We saw the Cliffs of Moher from the ocean rather than up on the cliffs. I really think it was better because there was a better view of the cliffs. And I loved the substitute sheep farm Pascal found. It was fascinating watching the border collies herd the sheep.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really didn't have a "wow" moment. But my favorite music moment was in Dingle when Caroline Keane and Tom Delany came to our bed and breakfast and played for us. It was wonderful watching them both just absorbed in their music."

Page

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After traveling with Rick's books for years, this was our first RS tour and it far exceeded our expectations. It's hard to imagine a better way to see so much of beautiful Ireland and get such a deep understanding of the history and culture in a single trip. Everything was perfectly organized. Our guide, Pascal, was fantastic- he's very knowledgeable and a great storyteller. We all loved our driver, Pamela. All the local guides were superb, especially Barry in Kinsale.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was filled with many WOW moments, but I was particularly struck by the less well known places such as the beautiful Connemara and Burren regions. It was very moving to learn about the Troubles through guided walks in Derry and Belfast as well as to write on the peace wall. It was particularly interesting to be there for the July 12 bonfires and parades. All the music was fun, especially in Dingle."

Larry

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves' tour and it did not disappoint. Pascal and Pamela (our guide and driver) helped make the tour exceptional. Pascal is an amazing story teller who led us on a journey through the beauty, history and culture of Ireland and her people. We packed more into a 2 week trip than would have been possible on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday seemed a "wow" moment. Dinner in Belfast while watching the Orange Order Parades and the music in Dingle were my two favorite "Irish" experiences."

Edward

Highlands Ranch, CO

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was interesting and very enjoyable. Pascal Fitzpatrick's knowledge of Ireland was impressive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Republic of Ireland in general. Giants Causeway is always fascinating."

Mark

Buckley, WA

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was fantastic. Our guide Pascal was phenomenal and added some great experiences for us to enjoy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting to experience the cliffs of Moher from a boat was great. The view was amazing."

Karen

Canton, MA

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

While we have used Rick Steves' guidebooks on countless trips to Europe, this was our first Rick Steves Guided Tour and it surpassed our expectations. Pascal was amazing and all the local guides charming and knowledgeable. The logistics were flawless, and we were able to have experiences that we would never been able to have on our own. Our fellow travelers were a delight, not a "grump" among them, and it was the perfect blend of group and free time. Absolutely wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "Wow" moments from the scenery, the hike along the Giant's causeway with the gulls flying overhead, to the haunting music, especially in Dingle where my husband got to play his flute with Michael. Of course there was the amazing moment where the falcon landed on my outstretched arm and the fun of watching the dogs corral the sheep. But the biggest Wow for me was our tour guide in Belfast and her story about her great-grandfather who went down on the Titanic. A trip full of Wows!"

Linda

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was absolutely perfect! We were able to see everything we wanted to see in Ireland and more. The balance of group activities and self exploration was ideal. I think what made our trip so memorable is Pascal, our guide. He is a fabulous storyteller and he really made Ireland "come alive".

Kelle

Fort Smith, AR

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a fantastic tour, with a great group of people. Joe Darcy is is a wonderful guide, and Steven maneuvered the curves and narrow streets like, well, a pro! The hotels and meals (especially breakfast in Dingle) were very good. Ireland is gorgeous- I'm very glad we came. Already planning a return visit

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day brought a new wow. Loved the scenery, the castles, Cliffs of Moher, the falconry, Giants Causeway, pretty much everything. And don't forget the pub music - great fun."

Jim

Fort Smith, AR

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Joe Darcy was a superb tour guide, and Steven was a great bus driver. We all enjoyed hanging out with both. The sights, activities and meals were all very memorable, in a good way. We had a terrific group, and that really made the trip. The city tour guides were outstanding, especially Suzie in Belfast. Can't say enough about them. I'd bet Joe's salary (should be twice what he's being paid) there isn't a person in our group who could list all the fun things we did - there were so many.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dunluce Castle on the coast was the 'wow wow' of dozens of wow's. I posted on social media that we loved this medieval structure so much we were thinking of purchasing it and turning it into a B&B - a friend wanted to go in on the property with us! Listening to our tour guide, Joe Darcy, sing was memorable. The french toast at our hotel in Dingle. The live music in Dingle. The group dinners in Galway and Port Rush. Listening to Joe read the limericks our group penned. Getting to know our group."

James

Superior, CO

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. I was sure glad I did not try to drive in Ireland and left the tricking stuff to our two capable bus drivers. The local guides supplemented information provided by our guide Joe. His stories, songs and limericks made each day memorable. The hotels were not quite as I expected from staying in small places recommended by Ricks guide books in the past. They were extremely nice and the breakfast at each was great (particularly in Dingle).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow moment was hiking around the Giant's causeway and hearing of the tales of old. The weather was nice and we could almost see Scotland."

Jennifer

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was excellent. I enjoyed all the sites we visited and the planned activities, learning about the history of the country and gaining a better understanding of the Troubles period, and experiencing the warm hospitality of the Irish people. We had great weather, and when it did rain, it never came when we were outside hiking or walking. I liked the activity level of this tour and hiked and walked as I could in the time frame allowed at each place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I always have many "wow" moments on a Rick Steves tour. I enjoyed the impromptu music concerts we attended in a church, music shop, pub, or our hotel; the hikes along the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway, walking to a waterfall in Killarney National Park, walking to James Fort and taking a boat back to Kinsale, visiting the falconry school at Ashford Castle and having a hawk land on my arm (a highlight), walking to the top of Dun Aengus, visiting Inishmore in the Aran Islands ..."

Margo

Spokane, WA

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

the overall tour exceeded my expectations. Joe made everything so wonderful with exceptional times of relating the history of the sites we were able to visit. The background brought so much meaning to the place. Our bus driver Steve, was and amazingly adept driver on the narrow roads and very kind. The food, the organized time and free time seemed to to be well thought out. Joe was a wonderful tour guide full of joy, confidence, and interest in everyone. He should get a raise for sure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say that most every day was so special and enjoyable that I'm not sure if there was one moment I could pinpoint as exceptional."

Sherlyn

Youngsville, LA

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Joe Darcy was a phenomenal guide, and our group, peppered with wit, bonded with him immediately. Our 22 year old grandson accompanied us, and was so comfortable with this delightful group. The green colors of Ireland are exquisite, and the music had me singing to myself after a few days. Having read Frank Delaney's Ireland, I was primed for the storytelling, and loved every minute of the dramatic tales.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many WOWs. Kayaking in Dingle Bay! The flowers! The group was a definite WOW! Musicians on the streets! Emigration museum, Cliffs of Moher, fjords, Kensale, Dingle hotel."

Jim

Youngsville, LA

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A most enjoyable tour with a fantastic tour guide (Joe) and a great group of travelers. The giant's causeway was spectacular and a great hike. The tour has really sparked my interest in Irish history, especially the great hunger years and the revolution for independence in 1919-21. The Emigration museum in Dublin (not on tour but 50% discount if you mention Rick Steves) was well worth the visit. The breakfasts and homemade chocolate cake in Dingle were delicious. Overall a fantastic tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to name a favorite. The giant's causeway with its spectacular geological formations and hikes along the paths there. The beauty of the Irish countryside was constant and made the bus rides enjoyable, as did the occasional afternoon pub break. The entire tour was a "wow"."

Mary

Superior, CO

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fun tour. Joe Darcey was a great tour guide. Very organized, knowledgeable and a fun guy. He sang, often making his own humorous lyrics, danced and taught us to dance and held a limerick contest. There was lots of laughter on this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Joe's unique humorous way of teaching us to dance Irish style. Joe lined up local musicians to perform up at the hotel so we could skip the bar scene a few times too. Very thoughtful."

Oscar

Redondo Beach, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First Rick Steves Tour and exceeded expectations. Coordination, tour guide, bus transportation, places visited and local guides were of the highest caliber.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"School of Falconry and The Cliffs of Moher"

Thomas

Livermore, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Ireland Tour is the Best Tour of Ireland! My wife and I had an outstanding time. Our tour leader, Lisa Tully, was extremely well-organized, energetic, and generous of her time, knowledge, and passion for her homeland. She gave us excellent tips on where to eat, where to hear the best music, where to get the best pint. As with all RS tours, our guides had and shared a deep knowledge of the history of each place, and showed how that history is reflected in Ireland's story.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Father Malcolm's story of Columba and Finian was a rip! Ireland is famous for its stories and for its story tellers, and it was great to get such a rich sample of both. The visit to the falconry center was brilliant! Usually we just get to see these birds at a distance. Getting to hold them and work with them was an unforgettable experience for us both! The tours through Derry and Belfast were inspiring in the way they presented the transition from war to tolerance and peace."

Lynda

Altamont, NY

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our recent trip to Ireland was wonderful! The balance of free time and guided tour was perfect. The itinerary gave us a "wee" bit of everything Ireland has to offer. The hotel's and B & B's we stayed at were lovely. Both my husband and I would of liked an extra day in Westport rather than Portrush. There seemed to be more to experience in Westport. We walked around Portrush but there just was not much to do. Westport was much lovelier with more pubs, shops and friendlier people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was probably the Cliffs of Moher and the falconry school experience. Simply breathtaking. Driving thru the countryside was stunning. Our driver Mark was awesome! My husband enjoyed the Giants Causeway and Dingle."

Karla

Gresham, OR

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 1st Rick Steves tour. I felt very comfortable to be myself & use the tour as a jumping off point to see even more on my free time. The guide & driver were a great team, & had us in mind all the time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The people. Specific town guides, tour companions, locals & our tour guide! I am more globally aware because of them."

Margaret

Livermore, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic time, seeing wonderful sights, learning all about the history of Ireland, enjoying the music and food. Well run and paced.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Either holding a falcon on my fist (very hard to top that!) or dancing to traditional Irish music in an Irish pub."

Suzanne

Tigard, OR

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I'm still learning, after 3 other RS tours, that it's ok to pick and choose adventures to avoid exhaustion . However it is so hard to eliminate such worthwhile activities. Local guides were wonderful,so knowledgeable and passionate! Lisa, our tour guide and Mark, our busdriver were so personable. While on the road on the 4th of July, Mark decorated the tour bus for the holiday. Lisa and Mark chose American and Irish patriotic music to play on the bus. Great tour members were ALWAYS on time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"MANY wows. The concert in the old church in Dingle. The private performance at the lodging in Dingle. The Giant's Causeway. Aran Islands. And though I'd often fall asleep on the bus, I'd always open my eyes to a more beautiful and amazing landscape."

Lori

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I got a real feel of Ireland. Enjoyed all the local guides. Days were filled with the right amount of activities with some free time to do what we wanted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow moment was The Giant's Causeway. Very unique and beautiful landscape and we got to take an amazing hike."

Bruce

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This our second Rick Steve's tour and it measured up to what we experienced on the first tour: great guide and bus driver; great hotels and B&Bs; great restaurants; great variation of sites of interest; and great tour mates! One thing was different from our first tour and that was that the tour guide didn't talk the entire time on the bus ride and this gave our brains a little more "down time", which was appreciated. The Republic of Ireland trumped Northern Ireland for food, music and lodging.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sites and towns we visited were all excellent. My favorites: Towns: Kinsale and Dingle. Sites: Giants Causeway and Aran Islands Experiences: falconry lesson in Cong and pastor's speech at Duncliffe Church Bus ride route: Dingle Peninsula Local exert: Barry in Kinsale"

Joanne

Redondo Beach, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was more than I expected. Lisa was terrific and Mark our bus driver. If I had to give a rating of 1-10 with 10 being the best I would rate a 20??Loved it and would definitely recommend the trip Joanne

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time in Dingle was my favorite but really all of it was fabulous"

Lorne

New Westminster, BC

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved our tour and would definitely take another Rick Steves tour. Felt that overall we saw more and learned more about Ireland and her history than if we had done this trip on our own. Excellent tour guides throughout the trip as well, starting with Declan and Kieran and at each of our stops as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several wow moments but will separate scenic from informational. Favourite scenic wow moment had to be the scenery on the Dingle Peninsula. We had a beautiful sunny day and the views were breathtaking. Favourite informational wow moment was our tour of Kilmainham Gaol. Our tour guide, Peter, was outstanding. His description of the gaol's history and those who walked through its doors was riveting and told with such sincerity."

Ann

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding due to the excellent tour guide Declan Field. He was engaging, knowledgeable and entertaining. His knowledge of Ireland can not be denied. The tour's agenda was very well planned and I felt that I saw a large portion of Ireland because of the tour plan.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moments was: The Burren... The local tour guide was outstanding in her lecture explaining the ecosystem of the Burren and showing plants in this unique ecosystem. 2) Dingle coast- What a beautiful place. The 3 day stay was great in Dingle."

Bonnie

Columbia, SC

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I don't need my pictures to recall the green valleys,not wearing cliffs, clear and lapping seas, grazing sheep and cows, stone walls, and the glorious flowers everywhere, whether in fields or planters. I could go on about the history learned, the Irish melodies that make you tap your feet, charming myths (which lack something without the Irish lilt), and all the grand places we went and new experiences we had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Burren. Rocks wherever you looked that made it look desolate. But our tour guide, so knowledgeable and enthusiastic, showed us that there was life teeming.in the crevices - flowers, plants, shrubs, and even trees."

Susan

Elkins Park, PA

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was one of the best groups I have been with on a Rick Steves Tour. That says lots since with one exception, they have all been good. I had a better time than I had anticipated in part because of this exceptional group of people, but also overall the weather was warmer and sunnier than had been predicted. Declan and Kieran were the usual wonderful guides I have come to expect on Rick Steves Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was initially thinking of writing about one of the magnificent vistas that we saw such as the Cliffs of Moher, the Blasket Islands but decided that my favorite "wow" moment was visiting the school of falconry and having a turn catching a hawk on my arm and letting it go."

Sandra

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the itinerary was very well planned. From the time of our first reception evening it was a very well run tour. With the ice broken between fellow travelers, we were immediately among friends. The musical diversions were great, and I enjoyed the way 'coach days' were broken up with side stops i.e. getting out to see a real bog. and the Byrne (sp?) Arranged meals were very good too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On June 26th we had a glorious day spent along the west coast cliffs, at Ballinagree, Carrigagulla Bridge. I also found the stop at The Beryn (Sp.?), for rock formations were fascinating and the docent was outstanding."

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 the Itinerary section of your online customer account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying in the Documents section of your customer account.

Flights

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

Most tour members arrange to fly in and out of Dublin (DUB). The bus from Belfast to Dublin Airport takes about two hours and departs hourly 24 hours per day. If you prefer to fly out of Belfast (BFS), select "multicity" on flight-booking websites.

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.