• 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

2019

2020

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

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    • 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

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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

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!"

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!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!!"

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."

Lucy

Concord, MA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

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!"

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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!!

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."

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."

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!!"

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!!"

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!"

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!"

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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".

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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 ..."

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."

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"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

Pamela

Anchorage, AK

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour and I was apprehensive that it might be like the old movie,"If It's Tuesday, This Must be Belgium". Thankfully, my experience was quite the opposite! The group size of 28 proved to be fine, though at first I thought it might be too large. The "buddy system" worked very well for accounting for people, but almost as importantly, helped us to get acquainted and "bond". Our tour group was a compatible group of people who helped each other enjoy our adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's really hard to boil down. I enjoy natural and historic sites and we had a good mix of both, as well as cultural events and "experiences", such as the falconry and sheep dogs. Dingle as a community seemed to provide all the elements of a great trip, plus we were blessed with great weather. I also appreciated learning more of Ireland's political history, past and present, including the communities in Northern Ireland."

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."

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."

John

Sherwood Forest, CA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic trip, great guides, great driver, & great people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aran Islands and the hawk walk"

Melita

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my second tour and it met my expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was not a particular "wow" moment but instead a lasting "wow" impression about the recent history of the troubles in Ireland. Visiting Northern Ireland and specifically seeing the walls and gates still in existence in Belfast and hearing the stories of our guide about living through the troubles was by far the most impactful aspect of the trip."

Elizabeth

Creston, WA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip from start to finish was a Class A experience!! All very well organized. Loved all the education about Ireland, the history, people, culture, etc. Beautiful countryside with all the rock fences!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the traditional music and dance, though disappointed I didn't get to see and hear more."

Robert

Creston, WA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was excellent, that includes Lynn, she is friendly & cares very much about her tour members. Local guides were awesome as well. ready to go again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moor & school of falconry."

Peter

Yuba City, CA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I especially liked the western part of the Country with the rock walls, barren quality, and open areas. Dublin, Kinsale, and Dingle were best. The coach was comfortable. I was unfamiliar with the history of Ireland and enjoyed learning.

Robin

Almira, WA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every moment of the whole tour. Wouldn't change a thing

Favorite "WOW" moment

"EVERYTHING!!!! The traditional Irish music concerts and dancers that were arranged for us was the cherry on the top."

Robert

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

very good information on Irish history, geography, literature ,music, social life. Outstanding guide, Lynn was able to convey in a very human way the resilient nature of the Irish people. I danced with my wife for the first time in many years in a Dingle pub.That was fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A very subtle visit to Yeats grave, the setting and the small book of poems in the church, the time of day we visited late afternoon."

Robert

Hartline, WA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So much to see and learn two weeks was not enough. It truly is the emerald isle, so many shades of green. I had a great time learning about where some of my ancestors came from, the history and the conflicts. Would go again if there was not so much world to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was in awe of how many rocks had to be moved just to get a little soil to grow anything. Coming from the dryer area of Washington State I had trouble visualizing enough rain to make that little soil grow a crop. On a more personal level I was blown away to find that I could be related to our guide Lynn Corken, or at least from the same clan. Amazing!"

Suzanne

Olympia, WA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although I have been on 2 prior tours with you, this was my first time to travel solo. I was a little anxious, but I felt very comfortable with our diverse group of travelers. Everyone was very nice. I am looking forward to taking more tours on my own with you. I felt Ireland would be a safe first solo trip as they speak English and are known to be friendly and I am 1/4 Irish. And Lynn is a font of knowledge as well as a patient answerer of nervous questions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to decide. I loved all of Ireland, the people, the sights, the food. I especially liked Dingle. The Milltown B & B were super nice. I loved their dogs, too. And I felt close to my ancestors who hailed from nearby Tralee."

Anita

Hartline, WA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the Ireland tour. I loved the green countryside. (We're not used to so much green. We're from Eastern Washington, though we DO love where we live.) The people were very friendly and helpful. The places we stayed were awesome, the meals delicious, and the itinerary was a great blend of city, countryside, churches, castles, animal life, people watching, and gift store opportunities. AND...I didn't have to check my suitcase going home, crystal bowl shipped home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't just name one! I loved the sheep farm and the hawk walk. I loved hiking along the Atlantic, seeing the Giant Causeway, viewing the Cliffs of Moher, going to the largest Aran Island, and walking across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge."

Victor

Surrey, BC

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There is so much packed into this tour that it is hard to summarize. We were impressed with finding music everywhere and the wonderful people of Ireland. Everyone we met seemed so happy to meet us and wanted to make our visit pleasant. We feel that we were taught a great deal of the history as well as the current challenges facing Ireland. And certainly were encouraged to return.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had a number of wow moments, but I think my favourite was the Gallarus Oratory, a 1500 year old stone structure that survived."

Wende

Sherwood Forest, CA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very educational tour with magnificent scenery. As much as could be was packed into this experience. Would have liked another day in Belfast. Maybe tour distillery in Dingle instead of Bushmill and not stopped at Ballycastle to allow us to arrive in Northern Ireland earlier. Tour was extremely organized and hassle free. Lynn, our tour guide was fantastic as was our bus driver, Pascal. Way more was packed in than we could have ever planned ourselves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery was breathtaking everywhere, especially on the causeway, so everyday had "wow" moments. Loved the falconry at Ashford and the fact that we got to work with falcons on the beautiful castle grounds. Also loved seeing and hearing the history and current status of Northern Ireland."

Alan

Athena, OR

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I believe yor tour guide was the key ingredient to the wonderful meshing of people and Ireland. Even though she was a taskmaker she combined respect and discipline with history an folklore. She cathie needs a bonus. Rick will never find a more beautiful voice for singing or a guide. Thank u Rick for employing cathie Ryan

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being with my wife sketching on the pier at Kinsley. Sorry bout the spelling. Portrush for pics at the British open. Meeting an Irish couple at dinner. Getting to sing an play guitar at our hotel who hosted a duo groupe. The church near the causeway. The dolphins nxt to the ferry at th at an visit. The music in single. The music an most of the food"

Nancy

Madison, WI

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle Peninsula, Blasket and Giants Causeway."

David

Madison, WI

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience learned a lot of history of Ireland, the people and land.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"School of Falconry at Ashford Castle. Being able to release a hawk and have it return to your arm was a great trill. Enjoyed Dingle Peninsula, Blasket Islands, and Giants Causeway."

Jill

Evanston, IL

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Even though the tour itinerary is amazing, the actual tour exceeded my expectations! Our tour guide was delightful. Her knowledge and musical interludes added to an exceptional experience. The nightly accommodations were very comfortable, and the luxury coach made travel relaxing. I appreciated the 3-night stay in Dingle about halfway through the trip, with a free day in the middle to recharge. Group dinners were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow seemed like a spontaneous moment that I call Baileys and Bogs. At the Famine Memorial, we disembarked from our coach in the driving wind and rain. Hearing the story of those hardest hit in the Great Potato Famine, we all raised a wee dram of Baileys in their honor. Then, lining up in two rows facing each other on the adjoining spongy terrain, we could tell there was something afoot! Alternately jumping up and down on the bog and feeling the wavy vibrations was an "Unexpected Wow""

Sandy

St Augustine, FL

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderfully memorable way to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary! This was our second RS Tour, and like the first, it was very comfortable travel on our bus. The driver, Michael, was very accommodating and skillful. Included meals were very good, some outstanding. Most breakfasts were beyond expectation!! Accommodations, like meals were very good to outstanding. As a 70 year old traveller, I feel the comfort of these tours and flexible parts of the RS schedules, works well for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two: watching our fellow travelers, an 80-year-old couple, dance a rousing Irish two-step during a pub visit, and from the bus, spotting an 8-yr-old (Traveller?) boy in his colorful, miniature pony cart, driving from a kitchen chair."

Laurie

Westerville, OH

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steves tour and again, we had an absolutely wonderful trip...this really exceeded all my expectations! Our tour guide, Cathie, serenaded us with beautiful music and great story telling, and bus driver Michael provided safe and comfortable travels between stops (along with a fun personality!). We enjoyed a fun group of travelers in our group along with great accommodations and yummy and fun group meals! All good! I'm in love with Ireland!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was probably our tour of the coast in Dingle. The trip by bus was breathtaking. Then, on our free day we followed up with the Eco-Tour which sailed from Dingle around the Blasket Islands and this allowed us to appreciate the area from the water. Gorgeous!"

Rick

St Augustine, FL

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I very much enjoyed the diversity of places and assorted experiences during our journey. It provided an excellent cross-section of Ireland's landscape and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on the Cliffs of Moher with my wife, Sandy, on that gloriously clear summer-solstice morning, and reflecting upon our marriage, 50 years ago, on the opposite side of the ocean before us."

Betty

Idlewylde, MD

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded all my expectations! We covered all the places on my wish list. We were so fortunate to have marvelous weather (most of the time) which was a nice surprise. We were also fortunate to have a good group of compatible, fun travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's like asking one to pick their favorite child. Each moment was glorious in its own way, however, our boat trip to Blasket Islands was filled with wow moments."

Virginia

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was pleasantly surprised every step of the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't prioritize my wow moments. However, I was amazed, surprised, and mystified by the way in which our entire group of unknowns-to-eachother was able to rise to the occasion and be, at a minimum, amiable and open to all. I pile the credit on our guide, Cathie Ryan, for her upbeat and learned ways. She was adept at herding some of the unherdable and showing cheer throughout."

Scott

Alameda, CA

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our fourth Steves trip. We loved Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle, 5 star Castlewood House breakfast, Blasket Island all day adventure, Inishmore, and the Derry murals."

Larry

Westerville, OH

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The RS Ireland tour was a terrific experience-the places we visited, the food, the live music all were outstanding. The coach rides through the countryside with Irish music playing was like listening to a soundtrack of a beautiful (and live) movie just outside the coach window. On the last day of the tour in Belfast while taking photos I was asked for directions and I actually knew where to direct them. I guess the trip turned me into an Irishman-my new Irish cap probably helped the image.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The weather was great overall but one of my many wow moments was a rainy day in County Connemara. We had a simple group ceremony with a jigger of Bailey's Irish cream around the Famine Cross in the driving cold rain. Then we jumped in two big lines facing each other and felt the bog vibrate under our feet. Extraordinary experience."

Susan

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This has taken me some time because I wanted to give my impressions without using overwrought superlatives. I wanted to write a review as wonderful as the tour. I'm finding it difficult. The trip exceeded my expectations. The guide Cathie, bus driver Michael, tour members, food, hotels, music, sights and various personal special moments combined and aligned to make this a uniquely meaningful and enriching tour. I learned a lot about myself as well as about Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was nearly the first of many wow moments - when Cathie began singing Molly Malone in Dublin at the statue. I think it was the first time we heard her voice and it gave us a taste of all the beautiful music to come. There would be many more instances when her singing and musical knowledge provided heartfelt context to the places we visited."

Terry

Hixson, TN

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Though I have followed Rick Steves Guidebooks on previous trips to Europe, I wasn't sure what to expect from a tour. I originally thought the price was high, but now feel like it was worth every penny. I was impressed with the travel experience and knowledge of my fellow tour participants. I had thought the free time allowed would be too much, but the tour guide kept us so busy it was actually good to have a little rest. The trip was a nice balance of history and natural beauty.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was trying to decide between the Rock of Cashel and Dun Aengus, as I've always loved Castles. Then I thought of how beautiful Dingle Town and the Milltown House was with their great setting right on the water. That's a place I'll always remember and hope to return to one day."

Richard

Springfield, VA

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fourth RS tour and is now tied with Best of Adriatic for my favorite. Favorite events were the local tour in Dublin, the Hawk Walk in Cong, the Aran Islands, and the Bushmills distillery tour. Dara's extremely instructive talks on Irish history were a true highlight for me. He needs to put them in a book; they are that good. Pamela, our driver, was not only extremely professional as a driver, she added a lot to the group as a whole with her outgoing and friendly personality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The last night of the tour, after our final group dinner, Dara set up an optional music session with The Belfast Story (Live Show). On a tour with many Wow moments, this topped the list."

Susan

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our guide, Dara. He was very knowledgeable, entertaining, hard-working. This was our first Rick Steves tour, and we were very happy with it. The itinerary and accommodations were all excellent.

Naomi

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great tour! Loved the guide, group, and layout of the trip. It was the perfect balance between group activities and alone time to do as you wish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hawk walk through the magnificent castle was my "wow" moment of the trip but I could easily list 10 others!"

Rachel

Holly Springs, NC

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Trip of a lifetime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher."

Catherine

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third and best Rick Steve's tour. Ireland is wonderful -- beautiful scenery, peaceful, friendly people, lots to do. The choice of sites to visit was excellent and the local guides were superb. Loved every minute of it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved learning about the Blasket Islands and people. Wish we could have spent more time at the museum. Dingle Peninsula is spectacular."

Beth

El Dorado Hills, CA

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 3rd RS tour-14 Days Best of Europe (2017), 14 Days in Greece (2018) and this year (2019) was Ireland. Ireland caught me off-guard, it exceeded my expectations and I look forward to returning there some day (after I've visited more places on my bucket list). What a diverse tour - we did so many different things, we saw so many different places, the food was great, the information (i.e.: history, current events, music, politics, religion) was plentiful. All of it was phenomenal!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just how beautiful the whole country is-the terrain and the people. It seemed like every place that we visited, my thought was: I could live here and I'm not saying that because I was on vacation-I truly fell in love with Ireland! I was born and raised in up-state Vermont (known as the Green Mountain State) and Ireland gave a whole new meaning to the word green! And the people-above and beyond friendly. I was tickled to be in Portrush and witnessed them getting ready for the British Open."

Marianne

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have taken many Rick Steves Tours and this one was one of my favorites. The wonderful people, the rich history, beautiful landscapes added up to an extraordinary experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This was one of those trips that you really cannot limit it to a single moment. The entire trip was a wow."

Sara

Denver, CO

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my favorite tour by far. It was a perfect mix of city and country, group/solo activities, and bus/walking time. Everything seemed to flow together so seamlessly. The members of the tour all got along really well, looked out for each other, and we still keep in touch. The food and drink was perfect, never a bad meal. The people and scenery of Ireland was absolutely amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"From the history of Dublin to the beauty of the Connemara countryside, there were so many "wow" moments. But, I'd have to say it was Dingle. The town holds a peacefulness and calm to it that makes you feel completely at home. Our local guide was fantastic on the walking tour. The B&B had friendly staff, wonderful views, and a huge bonus- it had Buddy. Next door were two more dogs. It was heaven. The Antrim Coast is a close second. The beauty and memories that I found there won't be forgotten."

Debra

Junction City, OR

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour itself was outstanding. The only reason I gave it a Very Good rating is because of the weather which I understand Rick Steve's has no control over. I was expecting rain and mild temperatures but the wind could be bitter and that was not really mentioned so I wasn't as prepared as I might have been and it did detract from my overall experience. Other than that the tour was wonderful. Our guide Rozanne was excellent and picked wonderful restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to Cong and getting to hold a falcon. That was totally wicked awesome!"

Kristine

Rochester, NY

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fourth Rick Steves tour and we were very pleased, as always. Our guides were outstanding, accomodations were clean, comfortable, and centrally located, food was delicious, and Mark was a great bus driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but I loved the hike at Giant's Causeway. Also, the drive along the Dingle Peninsula was just beautiful, and staying in Dingle for three nights and partaking in the local music scene was definitely a high point."

Robert

Springfield, VA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 4th RSE tour and it was outstanding. Ireland is a beautiful country and the Irish people are very warm and welcoming and great conversationalists. Rozanne, our guide, and Mark, our bus driver, made every aspect of the tour work seamlessly. The group meshed very well and were a lot of fun. The visit to Northern Ireland was very impactful and eye-opening. And, the availability and quality of traditional Irish music was a great way to cap off many of the days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Each day brought a new "wow" moment. A few of my highlights were seeing the Book of Kell's, the Dingle "experience," Inishmore, Derry, and the Giant's Causeway. Ashford Castle was beautiful and having the hawk on my arm as we walked the path was fantastic. Upon reflection, I think my most thought-provoking moment was in Derry where I got a better understanding of The Troubles and the hope our wonderful guide has for the future of his divided country."

Carl

Blanco, TX

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The strict timeline took a little adjustment, but was necessary, given all of the things we did. Cannot imagine a better tour experience. We learned so much about Ireland and Northern Ireland. Lots of little "oh, by the way" kinds of insights that differentiated this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rozanne arranged for a couple of special traditonal Irish music venues that were, for me, the best experience that we wouldn't have experienced without her involvement."

William

Junction City, OR

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is amazing, we had an awesome time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Irish People, the pubs and the Music."

Blair

Gresham, OR

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour - great cities/towns as well as great stops between overnights. Rozanne Stringer did a wonderful job - she is extremely knowledgeable and was a very caring guide. Kinsale and Dingle were great stops and our guesthouse in Dingle (Castlewood) was an extraordinary treat. My husband and I enjoyed learning about Irish history and were impressed with the hospitality of the Irish people from hotel personnel to taxi and bus drivers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a toss-up between the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway. The views were spectacular!"

Nancy

Ballwin, MO

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Music in Dingle!"

Mary Ann

Springfield, VA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding -- we were exposed to the breathtaking beauty of Ireland, it's culture and history. Traveling to both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland was an important experience for me. Also visiting Dingle was very special--so beautiful! I appreciated Rozanne's superb understanding of Ireland and the way she assisted everyone to make sure they had experiences tailored to their interests.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several[INVALID] but the most unforgettable experience was visiting the Coffin Ship monument and the drive through Connemara region where the potato famine hit so hard. I am now doing more research on the famine as a result. Another would have to be the hiking along the Giant Causeway in Northern Ireland. Extraordinary! Finally, the Gallarus Oratory was fascinating."

Thomas

Santa Rosa, CA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time on a tour of rick Steve's can not say enough how great a time we had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The over all beauty of the country side. Love the rock walls and tidy towns."

Linda

Marana, AZ

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous! Pascal made sure that we had a taste of all that Ireland had to offer - from the big cities, to the small town pubs, music, culture, history and unforgettable scenery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time we spent in Dingle was wonderful. We had a wonderful taste of small town Ireland, its people, the music, the food and the scenery of the Dingle Peninsula. Seeing the former houses of the people who fled because of the potato famine brought Ireland to life."

Leonard

Windsor, CA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour very much as it went very smoothly and filled with fun and educational attractions each day. Rick Steves is the way to go traveling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked hiking the cliffs along the Dingle area and visiting the Aran Islands."

Kristin

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow! Everyday was a new discovery. I learned so much about Ireland's past, present, and future. I woke up each day excited about what we are going to do next, but sad that I was leaving another beautiful area. Having Pascal, Olive, local guides and the Rick Steves' books was a Godsend. Pascal reference the books throughout the trip to help us with picks and area information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was so many wow moments everyday, but I think the Slea Head drive and learning about life in the Blasket Island was incredible."

Marie

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The overall tour was fabulous in terms of being introduced to new cultural and culinary experiences, the cohesiveness of the group, a knowledgeable tour guide and both competent and friendly bus driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was training the falcon."

Wendy

Winter Park, FL

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 5th RS tour and it was outstanding ! I cannot imagine how I could have seen more of Ireland or learned more about it's history and people than during this 14 day tour. Every part of the tour exceeded my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick one moment but the Giant's Causeway was unexpected as was our glimpse into what life was like on the Blasket Islands."

John

Winter Park, FL

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my fifth RS tour and fully met or exceeded all expectations. Pascal was a well informed and enthusiastic guide with plenty of pride for his homeland of Ireland. The pace was busy but enjoyable. The people were fun and well informed as expected for a RS group. Olive was a delightful addition to the tour as well as an accomplished coach driver. Ireland's history, while tragic, is a testimony to the perseverance of it's people. The scenery was outstanding, music great and Guinness cold.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As with every RS tour I have taken, the "wow" is always the other people on the tour. They make the tour fun and are always seasoned travelers who have great stories of past travels and suggestions for future trips."

Toni

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went on this trip alone at the recommendation of someone who has been on many Rick Steve's tours - alone. She convinced me that it was safe on these tours as you are never really alone. I got out of my comfort zone and signed up, granted I was scared, but I did it! It was the best decision I have ever made! Every stop we made, every hotel/bed & breakfast we stayed in, our Rick Steve's guide Pascal, and every individual tour guide, ALL were unbelievably WONDERFUL!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment would be The Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland... Such an amazing site!!"

Christina

Windsor, CA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded expectations, very organized, excellent informative presentations, numero uno tour guide Pascal and driver and right hand person, Olive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hawk walk!"

Gail

Newport, OR

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful in every way. Ireland is simply an amazing place. The tour was the perfect combination of stays in interesting cities, great small towns, maybe most of all seeing the beautiful countryside.Just as much; getting to meet and visit local people; everyone we met was so friendly, outgoing, and helpful. And I'm so glad that the trip included several days in Northern Ireland. It increased my understanding of the totality of "Ireland".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were way too many to name just one, but overall I would say that the three days in Dingle were the biggest amount of "wow", as the entire time was one outstanding "wow" moment after another. Oh, and the biggest unexpected "wow" moment was being able to have a hawk land on my arm and take off again. I had just expected to watch a display of such things at the Falconry Centre."

Keith

San Jose, CA

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Ireland was outstanding and full of memories for a lifetime. Our Rick Steve's Guide, Dara Herlihy, was excellent. His passion and love of Ireland was contagious and made you want to learn more about the beautiful country, the culture and the people. The locale guides were also very good. This was our second RS Tour and we will definitely being doing more RS tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. Listening to trad Irish music, the West Coast, the Falconry School, Dingle Peninsula."

Conrad

Newport, OR

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dara is a unique & inspirational guide who related very well with all tour members. He continuously humored & nurtured everyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many "wow" moments from the wonderful Irish musical scenes to the outstanding beauty & the wonderful Irish people. The Dingle pub scene was very enjoyable not to mention the falconry experience too!"

Steve

Poway, CA

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. Beautiful country and we lucked out with good weather most of the time. Our tour guide, Dara, was outstanding! The accommodations and food were all excellent! What really made the experience even better was the outstanding group of people we traveled with for two weeks. This was our 4th Rick Steve's tour and I would highly recommend this tour to future travelers!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved our trip to the Aryan Islands followed a few days later to the Causeway. Tremendous views and spectacular hikes along the coast."

Alan

Alexandria, VA

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour lived up to expectations and then some. Except for a trip to Israel, this was the best guided tour I have taken. Just from reading the itinerary it seemed as if we would be spending lots of time on the bus but we were always learning, listening to music or enjoying the scenery. Even the rest stops usually had some point of interest to recommend them (thatched houses in Kenmare, Yeats' grave). The amount of ground covered in two weeks was amazing. I also appreciated the Irish music.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Falcon landing on my arm. Beyond words. Light streaming through the Gallarus oratory was quite a spiritual experience for me and I could imagine with ease the monks who prayed there thousands of years before. Arriving at the Giant's causeway ahead of the crowds so it seemed as if we had the whole place to ourselves. The almost perfect weather."

Penny

Leawood, KS

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was so much more than I expected. The people, the music, the diversity of landscape and our guide made it a extremely pleasurable and relaxing experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I believe the falconry at Ashford Castle was my favorite but there were many " wow" moments. The boat ride on the Dingle coast, the giants causeway and the hike to the top of Dun Aengus. It was all fun."

Allan

Arvada, CO

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent variety of sites and activities. We were immersed in the culture and history of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Local music on several evenings in Dingle."

Tim

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves Tour. I wasn't sure I would like it, but it was great. So much was taken care of for us by the tour guide that I would not be able to do on my own, traveling on my own without a LOT of extra work. We always walked into special tour events because everything was prearranged for us. The same for meals and even meals on our own time was taken care of if we wanted. Couldn't have been better

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't say I have one, but maybe four. The Dingle Peninsula, the Cliffs of Mohr, the Ashford Castle Falconry school and the Giant Causeway. The Stunning beauty of natural sites and the special treat of handling a hawk was great."

Mark

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a fun and exciting trip. We saw a lot of interesting places and learned a lot about the geo/political background of Ireland. The local guides were interesting and shared good information.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry event was the neatest. If was fun to hold the hawk and watch it glide and land on all the people. The grounds of the Ashford castle were neat to walk through. Second was the Fungi tour. I loved the boat tour and the visit to various rock coves more than the short visit by Fungie. I like getting out on the water."

Donald

Ventura, CA

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Ireland tour exceeded my expectations. The Irish countryside is beautiful and I particularly enjoyed the Cliffs of Moher and Inishmore. the trip to Inishmore was a high point and one of the reasons I chose this tour. Our incredibly energetic and and engaging guide, Dara, brought Irish history and culture to life with stories and discussion of contemporary issues. He saw to it that everyone had a good time. I particularly enjoyed the Irish music events he arranged.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was the falconry experience. I was just expecting to see a demonstration and talk provided by an expert handler. It turned out to be something very different. I had the opportunity to have the hawk used for the demonstration land on my arm, take a food reward, and then launch the bird to a nearby tree from which it would fly to the next individual. Everyone in our group got to do this. The experience was just amazing. We got to see this magnificent bird up close and personal."

Linda

Fairway, KS

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour far exceeded my expectations, which is hard to do since this was my 5th Rick Steves tour. Dara, our guide, was exceptional! I didn't think the other guides I've had could be outdone, but Dara made it happen. He was especially engaging, funny, extremely knowledgeable, and made sure our every need was satisfied.I very much appreciated his personal insights and involvement of family. We truly got to understand the culture even better because Dara has such passion and love of his country

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, but the falconry experience at Ashford castle was incredible. The Dingle peninsula boat ride to see the shoreline and catch a glimpse of Fungi were special, and of course the Cliffs of Moher and Giants Causeway were amazing."

Michelle

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

the tenor of the entire tour was lets enjoy ourselves get to know Ireland and each other. I was well put together with numerous adventures all around the island. I don't know how you did it but the weather although rainy was perfect each time we had those Photo Opportunities producing thousands of lovely shots. Our tour guide Dara (more about him below) did a great job building us up for the experiences as in how do you cheer on an Irish Music group etc (ok out of words)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"two... sorry not just one - Giants Causeway - I love rocks and that place was magical. hands down magical Dara Got us there 30 minutes before the full on tourist crowds which made for some amazing photo shoots and explorative opportunities. Also seeing Fungi in the Bay at Dingle cool thing indeed - then since Dara is from Dingle he regaled us that evening with numerous photos of him frolicking with him when he was there non tourist times."

Steven

Hampden, ME

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 6th Rick Steve's tour and best RS tour so far. It exceeded our expectations in almost every aspect. The scenery was exceptional, the food was overall excellent, and the itinerary kept us busy but not exhausted. Our fellow tour members were all friendly and we " gelled " into a close knit caring group. The biggest surprise was how much I enjoyed the Northern Ireland part of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say because so many fantastic moments. I think that the Giant's causeway and the Antrum coast was spectacularly beautiful. We were lucky to have good weather that day. My favorite moment of the tour was the Falconry visit. I did not know quite what to expect but it was one of the " coolest things" I have ever experienced."

Ann

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fabulous. Everyone in our group was very congenial. We all got along great which on some tours can be a problem. Our Tour guide Dara Herlihy was the best. He took us everywhere and made sure each one of us was having a good time He made his hometown of Dingle come alive for us. The accommodations at every town were top rate. My husband and I live in Edmonds, WA and had never been on one of the Rick Steves tours. We hope to do one again sometime.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think that my favorite "wow" moment of the tour was the beautiful countryside. Especially the Giant Causeway. And learning the history of the Blasket Islands."

Nancy

Western Springs, IL

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our second Rick Steves tour and it was just as wonderful as the first. Dara, our guide was funny, informative, attentive to all our needs, and went out of his way to ensure each of us had a good time. Favorite town was Dingle...never stop using the Castlewood...what a special treat!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the music "sessions" in the pubs!"

Kathleen

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved everything about our journey in Ireland. Our guide, Declan, was simply wonderful as was our driver, Micheal. We were impressed with how much we experienced in our 2 week trip. We learned so much about the history of the area and the beauty of this country stole my heart.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was riding along on the bus and viewing the landscape of rolling green hills, dotted with sheep. The views along the western Atlantic were stunning."

Julie

Hayward, CA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland has always been on my bucket list of places to visit. I had looked for a tour that did not go to kiss the Blarney Stone. This tour was so rich in history and, being a musician, I especially was looking forward to hearing some good music. This tour gave me both. The accommodations were wonderful, the group dinners helped bring our group together, and every night there was music. Overall, it was a great experience with some really nice people and exceptional guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of wows, to pick one, for the pure exhilaration of it, I would go with Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge. Then I would go with Dingle music. Oh, and the hawk experience. So fun and the grounds of the castle gorgeous."

Kevin

Baldwin City, KS

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I wanted to see the Irish countryside - and I got exactly what I wanted. I'm a very happy camper; or tourist........

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd heard that Ireland has more castles per square mile than anywhere, and that was very true. Each and everyone, whether we visited it or merely passed by, was a cool glimpse into the past. I loved it."

Sara

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall it was a nice trip. It was so full of great sites that we we didn't get a lot of time at all of them, so that was a little disappointing. It makes me think I'll have to make another trip and keep exploring. The history of Ireland is complex. Our guides did a great job sharing it with us. The people are warm and friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sites were all amazing but for me, my big WOW moment was walking into the Trinity College Old Library. This was the most beautiful library I've ever entered. It was awe inspiring. I could have spent hours here."

Debbie

Alpharetta, GA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was more than I had wished for! Since this was my very first trip out of the US, I certainly chose the best company to go with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two - the view from my bedroom window in Dingle, looking at the bay and the mountains that came down and met the water. The second were the gardens at Ashford Castle. I would have been content to have stayed in either place forever."

Harold

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

After using RS books and guiding myself through more than 20 European adventures for the last 29 years, I was somewhat apprehensive about doing a tour with 26 other people (you can read this as not being in control). I found the tour to be totally relaxing and a wonderful relief from having to do it all myself. The group and our interactions and relationship was a real highlight. Our guide, Declan, was really terrific, as was our bus driver, Michael.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The people of Ireland were wonderfully engaging and friendly."

Elaine

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Declin was an outstanding guide

Lonnie

Olympia, WA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The best of our eight R.S. tours, our guide was the outstanding. Great combination of history, story telling and entertainment. Declan was our guide and deserves five stars, he could sing, play and probably dance if we asked. Should be an instructor for your other guides on how to make a tour an enjoyable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When Declan arranged a special concert for us at our hotel. Something we will not forget."

Donna

Olympia, WA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip, terrific guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Special surprise concert at hotel."

Nancy

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was unique because it combined the enjoyment of tourist sights, like the Rock of Cashel and the Giant's Causeway, with enlightenment through learning Ireland's religious and political history. I enjoyed the beauty and wonder of my surroundings but experienced many somber times as I was confronted with the struggles people endured in the forming of the Irish people and culture I was coming to know. It is a trip I will never forget.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Hynes dairy tops the list because I was so impressed with their use of technology and the grass research they are a part of; secondly, having Cathie as our guide was one continuous 'wow'-her joy, knowledge and talent added so much! And lastly, Day 10 - the Connemara Countryside, was a beautiful combination of tourist sights and events (Cong/falconry) and sobering reality as we visited memorials of The Great Hunger. I also enjoyed The Titanic Experience, Dingle Crystal and the food!"

Michelle

Mercer Island, WA

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really had a great time. As always all guides were fabulous. Accomadations were excellent. The itinerary was the best one that I was able to find.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As with every rick steves tour I have experienced there were many wow moments. But as beautiful as the scenery was my wow moments were the interactions I had with the local people. They were so welcoming and warm and funny!"

Dan

Colorado, CO

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide, Cathie, turned a good tour experience into a spectacular one with her personality, knowledge, professionalism, infectious laugh, and especially her singing. She is truly a treasure and a superstar within the Rick Steves company. This was our second Rick Steves tour and the tour guides are amazing and a big step above other tour companies. The local guides are hand picked and terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" moments its hard to choose. A standout was the dairy visit. The passion of that family for its dairy operation was an inspiration, and a very good tour of their dairy."

Craig

Chicago, IL

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 5th RS tour, and we'll keep coming back. Each is special and enjoyable in its own way, and this one was no different. The itinerary, guide and group were all exceptional, the best combination we've had so far. We covered a lot of ground and saw a lot of extraordinary sites. The local guides were knowledgeable and enjoyable to listen to. The group meals were well planned and had a good variety of delicious and local options. I really felt that I got a good feel for Ireland's history

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Inishmore in the Aran Islands. A beautiful day on an isolated island with a long, fascinating history highlighted by Dun Aengus Fort from 1000 BC. Dramatic scenery, ancient ruins, ferry rides and excellent shopping all in one day! Some seals even came by to check us out when we stopped at the coast. Also, sitting in a pub one night with a handful of tour members and a lot of locals for the weekly "sing along" trad music session (and not knowing some of the songs everyone else knew). Drinking G"

Mary Kay

Chicago, IL

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been on five RS tours now, and while they have all been great, this one was special. I feel like I really got to know Ireland – the history, the culture, the geology, the food and beer, the people, a little of the language and, especially, the music. Cathie Ryan is just a gem, Stephen, our driver, was a hoot, and the group was a delight. We even found things to laugh about standing on the Cliffs of Moher (at least, that's where they told us we were!) in the fog and rain.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow poignant – the GPO and Kilmainham Gael in Dublin; Wow joyful – the session in Dalton's pub in Kinsale and three nights of music in Dingle; Wow overall – the Hyne's dairy farm in Cork."

Patricia

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Though I have traveled internationally, this was my first "tour" experience. It was suggested by friends who visited Ireland in the past that a tour would be a more enjoyable experience because of the narrow roads, etc. The 14-day tour was a very thorough, authentic, and enjoyable experience. While the itinerary included a multitude of historical/notable sites and diverse experiences, it also included enough "free" time to individualize the experience and allow for solo or group leisure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"More than one, but I loved the visit to the dairy farm and learning how technology has enhanced individual oversight of each animal for product safety and animal concerns. But in addition to learning about the industry standards that need to be met, economic influences, and all that goes into running a successful farm, it was special to witness the family working in partnership - not only on the farm but giving back by sharing time and expertise with under-developed countries."

Martin

Brentwood, TN

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our family tour group included our 21 year old daughter, 19 year old son and my wife and me. My wife has long wanted to tour Ireland and better understand her roots. With my last name being Schweinhart, I have always recognized Germany as my heritage, but a DNA test last year revealed 48% Irish ancestry and so this trip took on new meaning. Also, we thought our kids were done traveling with us but they both agreed that they wanted to see Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were just so many to chose from. All of the music during the entire 14 days was top notch. ---the sheep herding dog demo, the Giant's Causeway, the family dairy farm, all of the castles, the charm of Dingle, the Guinness, the Irish whiskey, the Pubs, their food and character. But to nail just one---the beautiful scenery of Ireland; the cliffs, the stones, the green, these were definitely the WoW moments for me."

James

Nanaimo, BC

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I went because of my wife and friend's decision. I looked forward to it because of the history. Then I fell in love with the country, the people and the music. What an unexpected surprise!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Now this is tough. There were so many: seeing the GPO The Irish stew at the Brazen Head pub, Dublin The wind blowing up water on the lake between Killary Fjord and Westport. Trinity College library. Breakfast at Castlewood B&B in Dingle. Having a falcon land on my arm at Ashford Castle. The east strand in Portrush early in the morning. The Crown Pub cubbies, Belfast. and no.1; The view from the top at the red trail before we descended the cliff stairs to Giant's Causeway."

Lynne

Nanaimo, BC

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Ireland in 14 Days Tour exceeded even my very high expectations for a Rick Steves' tour. The itinerary was packed with authentic experiences that made me feel I was truly getting to see the real Ireland and know the Irish people. Everything was brought to life by our wonderful Tour Guide, Cathie, who is an Irish treasure. She was a perfect guide in every way, but the fact that she sang Traditional Irish songs to us was a highlight of my time in Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favourite "wow" thing about Ireland was the cheerful, friendly, positive attitude of the Irish people. I didn't meet a "grumpy" person during my time there! :>)) My favourite "wow" moment was our stay at the beautiful Castlewood House, in Dingle, where we were treated to a superb dinner (in Heatons Guesthouse next door), followed by a private performance of Traditional Irish music, by the talented Muireann and Gerry, in the living room of the B and B. It was a perfect evening!"

Brian

Nanaimo, BC

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was simply outstanding in every way. The content and comfort were superb and the personnel could not have been better. The itinerary was perfect with more than one day at each location and the tour group was truly compatible. The people in Ireland were friendly and the views spectacular.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The emerald green landscape was always present and the history of the country and people were facilitating. The miles and miles of dry stonewalls were a sight etched in my memory and the Irish pubs were friendly and frequent."

Terry

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

1st trip to Ireland and it was wonderful. This is our 2nd Rick Steve's tour and we'd recommend you. Dara was great, he always had good music on the bus which was about the area we were in or the artist was from there. Also he gave us good suggestions where to hear live music and where to eat.our bus driver, Pam was wonderful. A great driver and really nice person. I felt we were able to see a lot of Ireland and heard a lit of history. Thanks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many I can't pick just one."

Catherine

Oakwood, OH

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What an adventure! I loved seeing sites all over Ireland and meeting people on our tour as well as the natives. Ireland exceeded my expectations; it is as lush and green as I imagined and the castles, villages etc are beyond scenic. I definitely want to return to Dublin, Dingle and to drive again on the coast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A unique and big "wow" was the falconry school. It was so cool to hold a hawk on my arm; I did it twice and have really good slow motion pictures to capture the moment. Dublin and Dingle ( I could spend a lot of time at Milltown House ) were wows too and the Bureens and the pubs and the music and the scones. Almost everything was a "wow'."

Mark

Zachary, LA

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The pace of the tour was well done. I really enjoyed the mixture of history and culture of the areas provided by our tour guide, Dara, and each of the local guides. The lodging, food, and activities provided were excellent and enjoyable. Also, there were always options for activities and entertainment on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Hawk Walk had to be one of the best "wow" moments. The guide from the Falconry school was good at handling the hawk and working with each of our group to ensure everyone was ready for the encounter. The grace of the hawk in flight was awesome to see close up."

Jennifer

Somerset, NJ

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have never been so sad to leave a place as I was to leave Ireland! This tour surpassed all others that I have been on. From the inimitable charm of the Irish people to the astounding vistas and the diversity of activities to the comfortable hotels and bountiful food to the captivating history and culture to my fantastic guide, driver, and fellow travelers, I could not find a single flaw in this experience. I would recommend this tour to anyone who is thinking of traveling to Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the hawk walk at Ashford Castle. I have witnessed several bird-of-prey demonstrations, but they have all been strictly hands off. I assumed this one would be similar. I never expected to have the opportunity to put on the glove! For an animal lover, just standing close to a bird like that is cause for joy but to feel the gentle impact of the hawk landing on my arm was a poignant and exhilarating experience that I will never forget."

Deborah

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lots of everything- history, culture, music, shopping, pubs, scenery and outdoor adventures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The concert and dancing in Dingle. Authentic and excellent music, a ten year old dancer who wowed us completely and a break with Irish coffee!"

Marilyn

Chapel Hill, NC

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The scenery, the history, the people and the music - all great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the young dancer (10 years old?) and the musicians in Dingle"

Lesley

Sharonville, OH

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Ireland tour was all that I have come to expect from a Rick Steves tour. Well planned and executed with fun and precision by our wonderful guide. Ireland is a beautiful country filled with delightful people. We were very fortunate with the weather, which was lucky

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle is fantastic!"

Gloria

Coeur D Alene, ID

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great trip! This is our second Rick Steve's tour and can't imagine choosing another tour group. We had outstanding tour members and everything was well organized as we expected. We loved our tour guide Susie! She is a rock star. The food was great and the scenery was amazing! I wish we could move to Dingle and live at Castlewood Inn! A big thank you to Susie, our tour members and Rick Steves!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giants causeway was so beautiful and stunning. There were so many " wow" moments it is hard to pick one."

Margaret

Asheville, NC

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour with RS and I was extremely happy. I had traveled with another tour op and there was no comparison. Everything went like clock work.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of Ireland..."

Glen

The Villages, FL

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Susie our guide) made this a great trip. She really knows Ireland (both parts). Accommodations were very good and in excellent locations for each of the towns and cities. As always I am amazed at the skill of our driver on the narrow and winding roads.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our falconry experiences at Milltown House (Dingle) and Ashford Castle. Our second "WOW" was when Rick dropped in on our farewell dinner."

Joan

The Villages, FL

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour reality was exactly as written up in the advance information. Loved how the tour brings the culture and history of the country alive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the entire time we spent on the dingle penninsula"

Ed

Chapel Hill, NC

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beautiful, beautiful country. The coastlines and rolling countryside are magnificent. Dublin was terrific - very walkable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one thing. The totality of Ireland and North Ireland was a composite "wow." See #2."

Linda

Lewisberry, PA

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time Rick Steve's tour participant. I couldn't be more excited to let you know how great the tour was and how great our guide, Susie Millar was. There were stops at both vibrant cities and beautiful serene villages. Our accommodations were wonderful, meals delicious (loved trying that full Irish breakfast) and enough free time to explore on our own. Susie provided the interesting history of Ireland from the past to the present as we traveled. We even had a surprise visit from Rick!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Finding the pub in Dingle with the name of our family lineage was a highlight. I loved the color green everywhere, sheep and stone walls. Susie's story about the sinking of the Titanic and her two pennies. Many "wow" moments."

Judy

Enola, PA

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. We could not have had a more pleasant, informative and helpful tour guide in Susie. The places we toured and the hotels/inns we stayed in were great. I especially want to thank your staff for ensuring that the bedding in our room was feather-free. I feel the itinerary was spot on with the amount of time allotted for touring and then free time for us to explore on our own. The food at both breakfast and dinners was great. We were definitely well fed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The village of Kinsale! Both my sister and I fell in love with this place."

Sandra

Charleston, WV

Tour: 05/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always, this tour provided the right combination of planned tours and activities and free time, with the extra bonus of several optional evening concerts and walks. We spent more time in the countryside than in cities, which is what I prefer, with spectacular scenic drives, stops in quaint villages and opportunities for exploring and taking photographs. All the tours of forts, castles, jails, villages, parks, and cities provided opportunities to learn the history of each area.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was particularly interested in opportunities to hear traditional Irish music, and this tour did not disappoint! Our tour guide went above and beyond to direct us to great pubs where we could enjoy music on our own, plus scheduled three optional programs (two in Dingle, one in Belfast) that were highlights of the week. Also the hawk walk at Ashford Castle was a highlight. Rick popped in for our last dinner in Belfast, so what could be more WOW than that!"

Deborah

Canton, MI

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful that tour that exposed us to far more history, culture, and wonderful sites than my husband and I would have encountered traveling on our own. I especially enjoyed the natural beauty of the scenic route along much of the Wild Atlantic Way and the opportunity to visit the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher and the Giants Causeway. Our Tour Guide created a fun and truly memorable once-in-a-lifetime experience for us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"From a historical perspective, our tour of Kilmainham Gaol was a very informative and moving experience. Our guide Dave did a great job bringing history to life and creating a meaningful tour. I appreciated the fact that our tour was among the first of the day so it was not at all crowded. From the natural beauty perspective, both the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway were fabulous but i enjoyed the more spacious and interactive exhibits at the Causeway."

Dawn

Peachtree City, GA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland's beauty is bested only by the charm of her culture. Aside from busy cities, the intrinsic warmth of the Irish is as abundant as the rocks. After a week we felt like we had been gone a month, exciting and no trepidation. I rave to everyone to do this tour, 7 days aren't enough. Wonderful bus, great meals, just-right sized group. Full days w/flexibility built-in to soak in local flavor & fun. They have stone walls older than our country - really puts petty daily concerns into perspective.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How does one describe the contentment of feeling at night that if I didn't wake up in the morning, that That day was my best ever? If I never trace my roots to Ireland I'll remain convinced that this is my ancestral home. The history of the struggles for freedom and loss often brought me to tears. The innate resiliency, humor, & music set me smiling until my cheeks ached. History is my husband's love, so the Dunluce Castle & falconry made his trip. I fell in love with sheep."

Raymond

Centreville, VA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When we planned this trip we wanted to be sure we got to see ALL of Ireland and this tour exceeded our expectations. I really felt like I not only got to see all Ireland has to offer but more importantly, I got to experience Ireland. Every aspect of the tour was flawless and that is because of our guide, Dara. He brought his country to life and made sure we saw everything on the itinerary and more. The whole experience could not have been any better!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The music has to rank at the top of my WOW moments. Dara, our guide, arranged several evening music venues for our group so that we could experience a variety of instruments, vocalists, and styles to really get a sense of Irish music. From the Dingle music store concert, with decaf Irish Coffees, to the music nights in the pubs each offered us a chance to really experience Irish music. My second WOW moment would have to be falconry at Ashford Castle, a unique experience in a beautiful setting."

Barbara

Centreville, VA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We booked the Rick Steve's Best of Ireland tour because we wanted to experience all of Ireland. Many other companies only do the Republic of Ireland. This tour exceeded our expectations. Our guide Dara and bus driver Michael worked so well together that we felt like we got two guides! Each day of the tour was so well planned that we felt we arrived at each sight at just the right time, thus experiencing minimum crowds and no waiting in lines.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry experience at beautiful Ashford castle was amazing!"

Clare

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a wonderful experience. So much more than I thought it would be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking at the Giant's Causeway."

Kathy

Eugene, OR

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Definitely the best tour I have ever been on. I have always wanted to go to Dingle, especially and the fact that Dara was our guide was great for me. He is so tied to all the irish music and especially great about making sure we saw the "real Ireland"...and we did. The local craftsmen, musicians, etc were wonderful. Wish the bus had had wi fi and it would have been easier to accompany my many photos with narrative...still sorting those out as to where they were taken.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure this was a "wow" but I was actually moved to tears as I sat in the sun at the Giant"s Causeway and listened to the birds and the softly whispering sea. Ireland is both rugged and gentle and very beautiful. I felt like I had come home."

Leigh

Ocala, FL

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Ireland, and I guess all my life I felt like I had some attachment and that I would one day like to visit. From our first day in Dublin I felt like I belonged there. The tour was a perfect way to get a real feel for Ireland and its people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I didn't have just one WOW moment. Everyday was a"Wow Day",from the Rock of Cashel, Cliffs of Mohr, Giants Causeway, Aran Islands, Irish music and Pubs.Our guide Dara made each day a" WoW Day" by making sure we all got the best experiences where ever we were, along with his stories , his love for his land was catching."

Charles

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dara, the guide, and Michael, the driver, were worth the cost of the trip for entertainment without anything more. The local guides were all excellent. Everything we saw was justly included in The Best Of Ireland. Most remarkable, everyone on the tour was friendly and up for a party, definitely our best tour in this regard. The weather was also near-miraculous--14 dry, sunny days in a row--in Ireland!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't narrow it down to one."

James

Canton, MI

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife (Deborah) and I had a great guide (Dara), a fun group, and nearly perfect weather (cool and sunny). The history, music, scenery and people made it memorable. We were able to see much more than we could have seen traveling on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. The Giant's Causeway was spectacular. The history which was presented at Kilmainham Gaol was very moving. We were fascinated by the ruins of various castles, and the part they played in the country's development. The music in the pubs of Dingle was amazing. The Titanic exhibit in Belfast was breathtaking. Our exposure to The Troubles experienced in Derry and Belfast helped us understand a complex part of modern Ireland."

Rebecca

Oregon, IL

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour couldn't have been better. I've been to Ireland twice before, traveling independently, but I found that on the tour I saw and learned things that I never did on my own. Our tour guide and bus driver were excellent, and the other members of the group were very congenial and fun. I loved the itinerary. The activities were varied, interesting and entertaining. The hotels and B&Bs were comfortable and accommodating. We also had perfect weather!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to decide! We saw so many beautiful and interesting places and heard lots of great traditional music. If I had to pick just one, I guess it would be the Giant's Causeway because it is so unusual and dramatic."

Timmy

Batesville, AR

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour and I thought it was great. In the past my wife and I had planned all of our own trips and had a great time on them. We did not know if we would like a group tour but were very pleasantly surprised at how well this tour worked and how nice the other members of the tour were. We learned a great deal on this trip and had plenty of free time to explore on our own. Our tour guide Dara was exceptional and a real pleasure to be around. Can't wait for our next Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think my favorite "wow" moment was when we stepped on to the peat bog and Dara had us divide up in to two groups. He had us stand in two lines about 6 feet apart and then one group was told to jump up and down. When the line opposite to us jumped we could feel it on our side and could actually see our side bouncing up and down when they jumped. Then we would jump and could see the other line bouncing. It was great!"

Sandra

Danville, IL

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a fantastic tour! Ireland is

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The music in Dingle could not be bested. We went to a bar on Wednesday for music and dance, then the church on Thursday, and a music store on Friday. Each was wonderful in its own way. The falconry was a close second - - what an experience to have a falcon come to my hand! I loved it. And Dara's playfulness, his enjoyment of his coutry and his job, is close behind. It was a short two weeks!"

Joe

Eugene, OR

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Almost everything about this tour came off smoothly. Everything was well organized. The pre-trip materials and the "no grumps" policy set the tone for tour members to be co-operative and open for surprises. Our guide, Dara, was a big jokester, yet he also was respectful to everyone, was very conscientious and organized. The various speakers were very informative and entertaining. Food was good. The accommodations were mostly very good--especially the Buswell and Europa Hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the Giant's Causeway was the most spectacular. We had some fun experiences in the pubs."

Jon

Citrus Heights, CA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our fifth RS tour, and as usual, it was fantastic. Seeing Ireland was much about the natural beaut and history, and not as much about buildings and art as we experienced in Italy and France. That this tour was so grand is reflected in that at the start of the tour (the first night!) my wife had a serious injury that potentially could have been much worse, yet we both thought by the end that this has been a fantastic trip. If someone missed the pub life, they really missed out!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As usual, hard to pick 1. The Falconry school was hard to beat, coupled with the gorgeous walk to the hotel and on the hotel grounds. Giant's Causeway coupled with Dunluce Castle/The Wee Cottage came close. Third place goes to Cliffs of Moher/Barren or perhaps to the drive to and stop about Blasket Islands."

Ann

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good mix of countryside and city. Lots of good music.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too hard to choose any one thing but loved the sheep farm."

Joan

Batesville, AR

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Ireland with tour guide Dara and bus driver Michael exceeded all of my expectations. Because of time constraints and reliance on Rick's books and videos on previous trips, we decided to give a Rick Steves' tour a chance. It was an excellent decision. The trip included an amazing amount of information about the history of Ireland, its people, politics, government, and culture. I was extremely impressed with how much fun and educational a group tour could be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was when our group was in a Dingle pub, Neligans. Members of our group sang with local musicians, and learned to line dance. Before the night was over, locals and group members alike were singing, dancing, and keeping time with the music, with everyone totally engaged. This experience was what I hoped to have in Ireland; not just be a tourist observing local customs but being an active participant."

Karen

Bend, OR

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations in many ways. The tour guide was very knowledgeable, helpful, and caring. Although, there were times when we were "on our own", there were always recommendations for places to eat or things to do. Additionally, I think we had a very good mix of people on our tour which added to the positive energy and elevated the overall tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't have one specific "wow" moment as there were so many interesting, beautiful, and educational experiences along the way, with each different enough not to be truly comparable."

Stephanie

Port Angeles, WA

Tour: 05/12/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first Rick Steve's tour, and definitely not my last! My experience went beyond my expectations, in that I didn't expect to leave part of my heart in Ireland! The entire tour was smooth, efficient and full of adventure and learning opportunities. All the little details were taken care of, from smooth check-in in each hotel, to driving up in the middle of nowhere and finding our local guide standing there to greet us to arriving as a group dinners at fine dining local restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giants Causeway, a World Heritage Site on the beautiful North Antrim coast really blew me away! Just imagining the geological event that caused these mystical formations to develop is really mind-boggling! And I enjoyed the hiking trails following the coastline East from the Causeway, it was a clear day and we could even see Scotland!"

Janice

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 4th RS tour and it did not disappoint. Declan was an outstanding tour leader providing with his own personal accounts of growing up in Ireland, plus a history of the country. His musical ability, plus his sense of humor added to the joy and entertainment of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the pub experience in Dingle. Not having experienced a lot of Irish music, I was surprised at how much I liked it. The beat, difference instruments and the people made it very appealing. We had a lovely concert in the Dingle Music Shop which featured a young married couple. She played the fiddle and he played an accordion type of instrument. We also had the pleasure of seeing a young Irish dancer, Declan playing the guitar, and the owner of the shop also performing."

Anne

Haymarket, VA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful accommodations and food at our designated hotels and restaurants. Declan is a superb guide with his knowledge and love of Ireland, his singing and story-telling, and unlimited energy! Our bus driver, Stephen, did an outstanding job of navigating the narrow roadways and getting us to our destinations in a timely manner. Bus ride was very comfortable and we had plenty of restroom stops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! I was just awed by the beautiful landscapes and the cleanliness of Ireland, all the sheep and cows. I particularly enjoyed the border collie herding abilities, the sheep shearing, and how each guide was so knowledgable about their particular areas of expertise."

Mark

Haymarket, VA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time. First and foremost, our tour guide Declan was just great. He provided a measured commentary where required, sang, played complementary music, and above all, genuinely cared about the members of the tour and ensured our well being and enjoyment. The tour was thoroughly enjoyable and educational with highlights all along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was taking a hike along Dingle Bay past the lighthouse and up to the cairn. Wonderful weather and sights."

Pat

Clearwater, FL

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Declan, was very knowledgeable and helpful. Everyone in the group was great. Of course, the sites were amazing. So, the guide, the people and the country ... all fabulous. What else is there to say? ??

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was having a falcon land on my arm!! A close second was the Giant's Causeway."

Laurie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The was the smoothest tour I have ever experienced. In fact, it was too smooth. Travel to me is about the unexpected, the strange, the unusual. This tour flowed with no obstacles in a well trod path. I learned a tremendous amount about the history and music of Ireland, much of it from Declan, a true star guide. There were more additional tours included than I appreciate, many repeating the same history I had heard before. I would prefer a smaller tour with mixed nationalities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking along cliffs by the Blasket Center. Forget the museum[INVALID]get out into nature and sense the spongy ground under your feet, experience the wind and cold that these people lived with, meet other people not on your tour and not Americans."

Jeanne

Mason, OH

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour from every standpoint - tour guide, places visited, logistics, food and fellow travelers. We saw much more than we would have on our own - and we didn't have to do the driving! Our guide Declan translated his personal love of Irish music, art and history into our bus drives and tour stops and into our own hearts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The days in Dingle - from the beautiful B&B with the amazing breakfast, to the extra Irish music experiences that Declan arranged for us, to the beautiful scenary of the Slea Head drive. Second place goes to the walk along the Giant's Causeway - amazing views on a beautiful day."

Betty

Libby, MT

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a friendly country! Declan made the Irish tales come alive for us and shared in the wonderful music. We had a wonderful tour group and I would rate the trip as one of the best of my ten Rick Steves' trips.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments in this itinerary. As usual the days just seem to get better as the trip goes on. Spring and the beautiful wild rhododendrons, iris, and hawthorn made the trip fabulous for me as a gardener. I loved the small plants of the bog and the Burren. Maybe the WOW moments were the hikes along the cliffs and ruins."

Dave

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour experience. Declan (the guide) was beyond amazing - from his organizational skills, interpersonal skills, knowledge of everything Ireland-related, ability to help, etc, etc, etc. The itinerary was very good and well thought out. This is the first tour we've ever taken - and it was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Its hard to limit the 'wow' moment to one instant from the tour. So I'll give some impressions. The beauty of the country; the spirit of its people; the wealth of knowledge imparted to us by Declan."

Douglas

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th Rick Steves' tour and we continue to be impressed. The guides are always top of the line, and hotel quality was the best we have experienced (not to say that prior hotels were not good, but they sometimes lacked elevators or good internet service). Having internet on the bus was great, but reception in the north was a little spotty. Rick continues to have a perfect balance of organized vs independent time, and he picks a great balance of places to visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Irish music and the falconry visit."

Marcia

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 05/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First time doing a tour and it was the perfect way to experience Ireland. I enjoyed meeting new people and getting to know them, but mostly I LOVED seeing Ireland and having the whole thing planned for me. There were things we did on the tour we would have never thought to do on our own. Our guide Declan immersed us in the culture as only a native who truly loves his country could do.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day we spent in Northern Ireland exploring the Giant Causeway was probably the most wow of all the wow moments."

Donald

Greenwood, IN

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Generally very pleased. However would be better if tours begin and end in same city. Connections add time and travel complications. Fellow tour members were overall very compatible. Enjoyed all the opportunities to hear Irish music.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Great Blasket Island and Aran islands and Dun Aengus. Also enjoyed Nat'l Archeological Museum in Dublin( not on tour). Outstanding NOT wow moment - Cliffs of Moher ( see below )"

Aly

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An amazing introduction to the natural and historic wonders of Ireland!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing adorably awkward puffins near the Blasket Islands and learning about how different inks were made for the Book of the Kells."

Donna

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is more than a tour, it is an education and opens up my mind and heart!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite Wow moment would have to have been the hawk in the falconry."

Florence

Greenwood, IN

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations! It helped that we had sunshine on all but two of our days of the tour (and it wasn't bad weather on those days actually). Our group was cohesive and very friendly... and punctual. Lynn was just wonderful. I enjoyed her stories and explanations and her sense of fun. Pamela as our driver was also an added plus. She was so friendly and willing to share her opinions and experiences. I think it gave me a great overview of Ireland! Can't wait to go back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dun Aengus on the Aran Island.... for the views and the history. Loved Dingle too. The town was lovely to walk through and the hotel with dogs made it so homey and nice. The ability to go to pubs and enjoy the music at the various places was also outstanding (and I don't drink but still attended). Worst place: Cliffs of Moher It was crowded and commercial and it wasn't worth it...even for the views."

Donald

East Greenville, PA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The whole tour exceeded my expectations! We had just the right amount of planned events as well as free time to explore on our own. Lynn was great! The local tour guides were great as well. But don't forget the bus driver! Pamela, thank you for driving us safely!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was just around the next corner! This was our first time in Ireland and 'just around the next corner' was a new sight or adventure! Castles, monuments, churches, countryside, cliffs, ocean views, talking to locals, hiking, music, having a drink with new friends and learning the history and politics of Ireland. What a way to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary!"

Kevin

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent experience overall. I loved all the cities and sights we visited. Loved the insights provided by our tour guide; Lynn. She was extremely knowledgeable about all things Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to identify a single WOW moment. I would identify the highlights as the Rock of Cashel, Music venues in Dingle, Cliffs of Moher, Dun Aengus, the Falcon Walk in Ashford Castle and our walking tours in Derry and Belfast."

Thomas

Alexandria, MN

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We were interested in learning about ireland...from history to culture to geology. Our tour did a very good job at presenting us with experiences to learn a great deal about Ireland in a short amount of time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing rocks! Seeing how the geology of Ireland dictated how the land was used. Seeing how rocks were used in buildings and fences. Seeing how the magnificent topography was shaped by the bedrock. Giants Causeway was mesmerizing."

Julie

Alexandria, MN

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful trip! I felt like It was full of beautiful and new sights, great guides that taught about the history and culture of Ireland, a nice group of people to travel with, good food, great weather, and time to explore on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved everything about our time in Dingle!"

Mary

Mission Viejo, CA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and exceeded our expectations in every way. We research extensively before we take a trip and try to find the little hidden gems in the countries that we visit. This tour did all of that for us and even included some activities and sights we would not have seen on our own. For example - with the RS tour we went to Ashford Castle for the Hawk Walk. On Inis Mor, the little Leprechaun house was pointed out to us. I'm out of space with so much more to say...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was absolutely amazed by the Giant's Causeway. It was so much larger and more beautiful than I expected. I have never seen anything like this anywhere else in the world. It is truly a spectacular work of nature! We had plenty of time to walk all the way around to the seeming end, have a picture taken in front of the Organ, hike up the multitude of steps, and hear the story of the giants."

David

Redlands, CA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful scenery, weather and music. Though we toured mid-May there was virtually no rain for the two week journey.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flying a Harris hawk at the School of Falconryat Ashford Castle. Being a geology geek Giant's Causeway is also a highlight."

Dona

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was not high on my list of places to visit, so my expectations were not high. All the sites that we visited were interesting and Lynn imparted valuable information about all of them. I also learned about the "troubles" and am able to appreciate what the Irish have been through and what they are going through. The fact that Brexit is happening now was also important. The sheep were a big plus. Lynn made sure that we also experienced Irish music in various venues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Because of my children's ages, "The Princess Bride" was watched many times at our house. Seeing the Cliffs of Moher and learning that they were "the Cliffs of Insanity" and seeing them in person was a big thrill for me."

Donald

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour did not disappoint. It had city, country, beauty, history, and everything in between. Lynn, our tour guide, was simply outstanding. The itinerary was well researched. Thank you for another great Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The music, flying the hawks, and learning about the complicated history of this island."

David

Ellicott City, MD

Tour: 05/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a great tour. As with most RS tours, there just isn't enough time to cover everything but this gives you a really good feel for the countryside, the people and the culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the Burren. The local guide did a great job showing us the unexpected flora growing in this very rocky area. Really could have spent more time there. And, of course, the "Hawk Walk" at the castle."

Tim

Roseville, MN

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had little knowledge of nor real interest in a tour of Ireland. However, on each Rick Steves tour we have taken, someone has mentioned how much they liked the Ireland tour. I now know what they meant. From the heartfelt music, to the magnificent scenery, to the warm and welcoming people, the country won me over. It was a fun trip with a great guide and friendly fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many outstanding panoramic scenes, especially of the Irish coast, that I can't pick just one. So instead, in a more relational vein, I would say that the group dinner in the Claddagh Heritage Center was fantastic. The setting was intimate, the food was outstanding, the bonhomie was warm and convivial as we celebrated two group birthdays and enjoyed a toast or three. And we finished up learning to make Irish Coffee - who could top that!"

Gabriela

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was really beyond anything I expected. It was so well organized & orchastrated. We've used other tour companies but Rick Steves Tours surpassed them all. No complaints. If you are a healthy active individual this tour is for you. Some days there is alot of walking &/or stairs, cobblestone streets, and confined areas but all very doable, you can always take a day off & stay in the hotel but you'll miss out of what you came to see. (Just an option). We loved the buddy system.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult question to answer. To many wow moments, from the hotels to the restaurants, to the towns, to the nature,to all the beauty Ireland has to offer."

Robert

Wheeling, IL

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The experience was fantastic, particularly for those of us who had never been to Ireland and those of us who have roots there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First seeing Dublin, having never set foot in Ireland at all."

Mary

Orlando, FL

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 1st Rick Steves tour. The Best of Ireland trip was very well constructed. Our guide Cathie, bus driver Mark and the entire tour group were congenial. Reviewing all my photos and remembering the many activities that were included in the trip. Cathie is an exceptional guide. She prepared us for our activities, provided a list of activities that we could do in our free time, sang beautifully. Mark drove over many very narrow and close roads. Excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WOW! There are more than 1 - - Visiting the School of Falconry at Ashford Castle and flying Puton, a 3 year old female Harris Hawk - Watching the Kate, the short haired sheep dog, herd the sheep given verbal instructions from her trainer in a normal voice (or whistle) - Visiting the dairy farm and seeing all the technology used - Jumping on a bog"

Amy

Vernon Hills, IL

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful... great guide and driver, incredible stops and sights, nice hotels, and a fun group with whom to share adventures. I was very impressed with the itinerary and how we were able to fit everything in while still having plenty of free time along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dingle Peninsula and the Giant's Causeway were highlights of the trip for me... so much natural beauty and wonderful people."

Ross

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time on our first tour. Our tour guide shared so much Irish and local history at each location. The Tour Guide really made the trip. The tour group was from all over the country from different careers and backgrounds. Yet there wasn't anyone that I wouldn't love to sit down with and share a meal with today. While Cathie needed to keep a schedule to get everything in, it was really well done and never felt rushed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Don't know if I had just one. But visiting Blasket Island was a special treat."

Linda

Wheeling, IL

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was our first European tour. I'd recommend it to anyone. It was packed with great events, but gave you freedom to explore on your own or to take time to go a different way. We, my husband and I just loved the whole trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many wows to list."

Kathy

Richland, WA

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 3rd Rick Steves tour and it was wonderful! We absolutely loved Cathie , our tour guide. She was so knowledgeable about all things Ireland, plus sharing her love of music with us was a real highlight! The tour covered all of the things that we wanted to see in Ireland and was just the right length. Our bus driver, Mark, was also wonderful and provided his perspective on Irish sports and good places to go and eat (like specific pubs).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the Hawk Walk. I wasn't sure I wanted a giant bird to land on me but after watching the others, I took my turn and was so glad that I did! My other favorite wow moments were at the Giants Causeway and Carrick a Rede. I was too chicken to do the rope bridge (heights are not my friend) but loved seeing everybody else do it."

Kimberley

Eastlake, OH

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My trip to Ireland was outstanding. Not only did our guide, Cathie , share her knowledge of Ireland, she shared herself. She told us personal stories about her life and family in Ireland. Cathie also sang songs of old, some in Gaelic, with her tremendously beautiful voice. I feel like we were friends.That she cared about everyone on our trip,shined through in her enthusiasm for Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dublin was great. Learning a lot of the history was really interesting, but my aha!moment was the Rock of Cashel. It was just the first of many sights Ireland, in my mind, would look like.Each stop was something unique."

Nancy

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time I had ever taken an organized tour. I normally do it on my own with the help of Rick"s travel books. I did not know what to expect. From the moment I met our tour guide Cathie at the first get together and the people in our group I knew that I had made the right choice. I found the tour to be well organized informative every day full of adventure but enough free time to explore on our own. Posting the next days activities was the best. Our driver Mark was the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think going to the falconry was the one of the wow moments. I had never done something like that. To have the bird fly onto your gloved hand and feed and then release. Wow. There were a lot of wow moments. The country and its people. They were so welcoming and full of life. The singing, the dancing , the Pub moments with the Irish people. What joy it brought to my soul. Seeing Belfast in the flesh after watching the news night after night was sobering to see and hear about the conflict."

Curtis

Fullerton, CA

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an outstanding experience on the Ireland 14 day tour. I did not know what to expect, but the incredible organization of the bus trips, hotel reservations, food venues, and the spectacular tour guide in Cathie and the safe driving (and assistant tour guide) of Mark were the best. The overall coordination of the Rick Steves' group to achieve a great experience for all of us was incredible - not having to worry about anything except being on time made for the best vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of it was a "wow" moment, for different reasons along the way. I can list each of the towns, stops, or just watching the country side from riding in the bus as wow moments - but the entire trip was spectacular."

Richard

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 05/03/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Fabulous tour, guide and driver. Only prior such trip was twice with Trafalgar many years ago and this far exceeds those two. Seeing both countries in a coach with a toilet and only half full was great. Cathie was the best and provided many "potty" stops too. While it was expensive it was a good value and I would recommend it to anyone. The mostly 2 and even 3 nights at each stop were appreciated. Also, the no tipping policy and paid admission to all venues was appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure if there was any wow other than the whole tour and the whole island; perhaps Cathie was the wow. However, I wish there was a way to shorten the days and allow more free time or opt out of things. For example, my wife was so tired that she stayed back on day 12 and missed much that was so close. If the bus coach could have made a return trip to the hotel and back out again it would have been good. Too much was crammed into that day and too much time spent at the causeway and Dunluce."

Nancy

Grand Rapids, MN

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is such a beautiful country with an intriguing history. I learned so much that I didn't know or realize about that history. I'd been to Ireland twice before and my favorite discovery was the town of Kinsale. I'd go back to that charming town in a second! Our tour group was terrific - and Pascal took it over the top. He took care of us very well!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two mentions here. I loved all the traditional music. It was great that Pascal could arrange to have the music start earlier just for us! The night I got to sit next to the musicians and chat with them between songs was my favorite. My other mention is Pascal himself. He was so knowledgeable, but my favorite thing were his stories, whether real-life or fairy tale. I didn't dare go to sleep on the bus for fear I'd miss a story!"

Sean

Kent, WA

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

'Best of Ireland in 14 Days' is the famous Irish Welcome, delivered with style. I can't tell you how much fun we all had. The tour is historically comprehensive (Derry was a personal favorite), efficiently planned, with the right amount of free time to feel relaxed and on vacation. The personnel involved, from home-grown guide Pascal, and Dennis the world's best bus driver, to the guides at individual sites, were all first-class.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In County Mayo, seeing the failed farms and potato fields from The Great Hunger. Pascal showed us where to look to see the ghosts of rows of ruined potato crops. All those families, farms, and people scattered to the winds, some of them my relatives. It was a very moving experience for me."

Lacey

Fairfield, IA

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour might be a bit demanding for me, but I had no problems following the schedule or the physical demands. The guide, bus driver, accommodations (for the most part), restaurants and activities were all amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments! I'd say the Antrim Coast with the hike at Giant's Causeway was tied with the Cliff of Mors. At the Giant's Causeway, the hike was exhilarating, the scenery spectacular and the weather most cooperative! I loved having the walk narrated too! The visit to the Cliff of Mors was breathtaking. Again we had beautiful weather."

John

Montgomery, TX

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good, learned a lot about Irish history

George

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Ireland tour was a wonderful experience. A great balance between cultural experiences, history, current events insight, cuisine and beautiful views of the Irish countryside. Pascal was excellent: he was knowledgable and enthusiastic to share that knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was feeling the depth, presence and reality of Irish history and identity. The past still lives in the present for the Irish."

Charlotte

Twin Peaks, CA

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time loved everything we did. The hotels were beautiful and the food great. All the people in our tour we so nice made many friends

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the music in the bars. Watching the dogs move the sheep to a whisle. The whole country is beautiful very clean. When we shopped the people in the stores were very helpful. my wow moment i believe the dogs"

John

Kent, WA

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was what I've come to expect from Rick Steves Tours: Well-designed tour with a good balance of guided activities and free time. Consistently good activities, excellent guides, and the benefits of a good tour group who know the ins and outs of a Rick Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First choice: The scenery and the story of the people of Great Blasket Island was amazing! Others: The reality of the Kilmainan Jail. I enjoyed Derry and Belfast more than I expected. The tour and guides really brought the reality of the troubles to life and provided very interesting context and background. It wasn't one moment, but the many enjoyable and interesting conversations with Irish people we met in pubs, restaurants and shops. We felt like honored guests in their country."

Ina

Boise, ID

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I absolutely fell in love with Ireland, from it's history to the wonderful people. I loved being the pubs, the music was so much fun, people singing, telling stories, I wish we had places like that here in the States. Pascal was just the best, he told funny stories, his suggestions for places to go eat or pubs to visit was always spot on! My sister got sick the second day of our tour and he went above and beyond to help her.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was arriving in Dingle, I thought it was the cutest place I have ever seen and so beautiful at night. I wanted to move there and if I had the money, I would be moving there right now! I have to say just to have been in Ireland, with all it's history and beauty, every stop was a "wow" moment."

Susan

Whittier, CA

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were really happy about the pacing of the trip, especially that it allowed us to have time on our own with the benefit of our guides expertise. We never felt rushed or in a "hurry up and wait" situation which we had experienced with past tours. We felt that the places chosen to stop were well worth the time and that we experienced a fair mix of what Ireland had to offer us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The WOW day I think was our visit to the Giant Causeway, along with the rope bridge and Bushmills Distillery. It was especially nice as the sites were so close together so there was a lot of bang for our buck that one day. Other WOW experiences were at Ashford Castle and the falconry school, Dun Aengus on Inishmore and The Rock of Cashel."

Sandra

Atwater, CA

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first Rick Steves tour experience surpassed my hopes and stayed my fears of traveling on tour. The daily routine was energetic but not too full. Timing was great for me, not too early or too late. A group beginning as strangers ended as friends. LOVED IRELAND AND THIS TOUR!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Entire Day 3 of our tour was my "wow". The visit to Kilmainham Gaol and the history of Irish independence, all throughout our tour. The Rock of Cashel and St. Patrick's Cross inspiring my faith and love of my church. The drive into Kinsale and the surrounding country is beautiful. The walk from Charles Fort back to town is lovely. The farmers market and friendly folk. The fun at Kitty O Shea's! Dinner at Max's Restaurant, cozy and romantic. Kinsale struck a chord in my soul. I will return!"

Mary Ellyn

Appleton, WI

Tour: 04/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour. I was last in Ireland 25 years ago visiting the country and my relatives in Dublin and I didn't think that experience would be surpassed. But I have to say that this tour definitely did surpass my expectations. There was a great mix of being with the tour group and being on our own. We stayed exactly the right amount of time at each location. And the local guides were superb. Our hotel in Dublin was excellent. We went early and they were extremely helpful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are several WOW moments: The music in Dingle. The blue skies in the Aran Islands. Hearing about the Troubles. Getting a current perspective on Brexit. The unexpected excellent meals!"

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.