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

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

Best of Ireland in 14 Days Tour

from $3,695 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $725

See Tour Dates

Rick Steves Best of Ireland tour kicks off with the best of Dublin, followed by Ireland's must-see historical sites, charming towns, music-filled pubs, and seaside getaways — including Kinsale, the Dingle Peninsula, Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, Galway, Connemara, Giant's Causeway, Old Bushmills Distillery, and the compelling city of Belfast. All along the way, Rick's guides will share their stories to draw you in to the Emerald Isle, and the friendliness of the people will surely steal your heart. Join us for the Best of Ireland in 14 Days!

Dates & Prices

2020

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

    Opportunity to experience Easter in Ireland

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    • Apr 10–Apr 23 (Fr–Th)
    • $3,695 + Air

    Opportunity to experience Easter in Ireland

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

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

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

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    • May 1–May 14 (Fr–Th)
    • $4,195 + Air

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    • May 3–May 16 (Su–Sa)
    • $4,195 + Air

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    • May 8–May 21 (Fr–Th)
    • $4,195 + Air

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

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

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

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

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

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    • May 31–Jun 13 (Su–Sa)
    • $4,195 + Air

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    • Jun 19–Jul 2 (Fr–Th)
    • $4,195 + Air

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    • Jul 5–Jul 18 (Su–Sa)
    • $4,195 + Air

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    • Jul 12–Jul 25 (Su–Sa)
    • $4,195 + Air

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

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    • Jul 26–Aug 8 (Su–Sa)
    • $3,895 + Air

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    • Aug 23–Sep 5 (Su–Sa)
    • $4,195 + Air

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

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    • Oct 4–Oct 17 (Su–Sa)
    • $4,195 + Air

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What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Ireland come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 29 group sightseeing events • Dublin walking tour • Trinity College • Book of Kells • Kilmainham Gaol • Rock of Cashel • Kinsale walking tour • Charles Fort • Sheep farm • Crystal cutting demonstration • Dingle's Slea Head Drive • Great Blasket Centre • Gallarus Oratory • Irish musical evening • Burren nature walk • Cliffs of Moher • Boat ride to Aran Islands • Aran Islands minibus tour • Dun Aengus fort • Connemara drive • Cong • Ashford Castle School of Falconry • Drumcliff • Derry coach and walking tour • Dunluce Castle • Giant's Causeway • Old Bushmills Distillery • Titanic Belfast • Belfast coach and walking tour • Discover Ulster Scots Center…and more
  • All group transportation from Dublin to Belfast
  • 13 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels and B&Bs
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (or books) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 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

Barbara

Sequim, WA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again I was thrilled with my tour. The entire trip was memorable - great guide, great group, great moments and now memories to share. Pascal was easy going, knowledgeable, and articulate, and he kept us all on schedule and showed us a really good time. Every place we went was interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, but for me being a serious photographer I really enjoyed spending time at the Giants Causeway and the Cliffs of Moher."

Mark

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time on the tour. Everything went like clockwork and Pascal went above and beyond in providing great stories, information , direction , recommendations during our trip. He was a book of knowledge in providing a history lesson on Ireland. I'd like to also mention our driver Dennis. He did a fabulous job of getting us to each destination safely and on time. Thanks Rick for outstanding customer service all the way around. Mark

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The countryside."

Kelly

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was wonderful. Pascal was amazing with all the history he knew and we felt he was always 10 steps ahead with planning for our tour group. We enjoyed all of the stops on the trip and all of the locations we visited. Our bus driver Denise was amazing with his driving ability and he was so very polite. We enjoyed the whole trip hotels and restaurants. If I had to pick one thing that wasn't my favorite I think it would be Belfast. I just was not really a fan.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I am not sure I realistically had a wow moment. I felt the whole trip was beautiful the people of Ireland were beyond friendly."

Jere

Newberg, OR

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great group on the tour. Accomadations were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

". The evening we saw the Riverdancer & musicians plus their daughter."

Larry

South Portland, ME

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Ireland was, as we learned the Irish are likely to say: "perfect!" "brilliant!"

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many worthy candidates - bog bodies, Kilmainham Jail, Slea Head Drive, Dingle music, The Burren, Inishmore, the Hawk Walk at Ashford Castle, the streets of Belfast, but - The number of basalt columns at the Giant's Causeway is amazing! The setting of the gorgeous Antrim Coast plus the legend of the giant warrior Finn MacCool just added to the experience."

Cary

Rio, IL

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip to Ireland was everything we hoped it would be. There was a healthy mix of walking tours, sight seeing, hiking, and free time. I particularly enjoyed the musical experiences which were interactive and vivacious. I felt we received many experiences through our Rick Steves Tour that we would not have been able to have arranged on our own. This tour did an e ceptional job of arranging authentic cultural experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "WOW" moment includes a whole day starting with a hawk on my arm, a spectacular meal, and trad music for dessert on my birthday! But really with warm weather and new friends, October in Ireland was a dream!"

Barbara

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptionally well planned, grand highlights of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"there were so many but the west coast sites were awesome. Cliffs of Moher and Giants causeway. Dingle Peninsula and Slea Head drive was at the top as well"

Pamela

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is such a beautiful country. Full of friendly people, exceptional music, and of course, Irish coffee! This tour was perfect for us. We mainly wanted to see the coastline and countryside, hear a lot of local music, and just soak up the atmosphere ... and that's just what we got, in abundance!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many. Usually along the coastline ... which we got to see/experience quite a lot. Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Giant's Causeway, Dingle Peninsula are just a few."

Victoria

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

So very active! Everyday I learned something new about the history, culture and people of Ireland. This is a very busy tour so be prepared for a lot of movement from one place to the next. Absolutely loved the opportunity to experience so much of the island.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the Blasket Island Center, the Slea Head bus tour and the Antrim Coast including the Giants Causeway"

Kim

Morristown, NY

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful tour experience. This was my first Rick Steves tour and went by myself. The tour group was very welcoming and everyone seemed to get along very well. We saw so many impressive and interesting sites in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. We learned more about the complicated history of this island at every stop. Since we were on tour in mid-October, we heard many of the guides speak about the possible effects that Brexit would/could have on both countries.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! I was especially moved by the Giant's Causeway. It was thrilling to walk around on this world-famous site."

Gloria

California, MD

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I knew it was going to be a wonderful trip but it far exceeded my expectations. Ireland is a beautiful country and the Irish people are so welcoming, friendly, and witty. The tour was meticulously planned and coordinated. Our guide Dara and our driver Pamela were both exceptional in their roles and fun people to be around. Our group had the nicest people. The local guides and stops in the small villages were fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We did so many things in just 14 days, it is difficult to identify a favorite "wow" moment. I think everyday had one for me. But If I had to choose, my favorites were Dingle, Cliffs of Moher, Slea Head Drive, the Burren, and the Giants Causeway as well as all the little villages we stopped in daily."

Elizabeth

Park Falls, WI

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beautiful country, fun group, excellent guide. Rick Steve's Tours comes through again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking back to Kinsale from the fort, along the ocean. Love being able to do a group tour and have those moments of solitude."

Lori

Plant City, FL

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first time I was going to be traveling solo and the first time trying a tour. I was hesitant to book a tour because I didn't want to be a "fifth wheel." I need not have worried at all! I had a wonderful group of people who were very welcoming and asked me to join them at meals and during free time. I may have arrived in Dublin alone, but I was traveling with 28 friends (I include Dara in that category) in no time. I had the time of my life!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a "wow" moment for me, but if I had to pick one thing it would be the sheep dog demonstration at Kissane Farms. I owned a Border Collie years ago and it was fascinating to see a working dog in action doing what she was bred to do."

Audrey

Tustin, CA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dara really gave this tour a sense of the REAL Ireland. This was my 4th tour and instead of droning on an on about history on the bus to put me to sleep, he showed me what the Irish are like, and what they fight for and why. I'm always the youngster on these tours so it was nice to have an even younger guide who was honest, funny, caring, knowledgeable and added depth to my visit of my great grandparents homeland. (Plus he was a joy to watch) LOVED IT!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"28 people and Dara really brought us together. As they he invited us all in to his home, his life. Definitely would love to see Dingle again!"

Lesley

Port Washington, NY

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Ireland tour was above and beyond my expectations. Our guide, Dara, introduced us not only to Ireland's history and culture, but also to his family while we were in his home town. No better way to feel welcome! The variety of options each day was extraordinary - glass carving, Guinness brewing, sheep herding and shearing, the Burren - all were incredible because of the people sharing their knowledge and skills - and the music! I don't think I've been so entertained on a daily basis

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Music in Nelligan's Bar/Dingle; climbing to Don Aeongus in pouring rain; sharing meals with new friends"

Sharon

Wausau, WI

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am not always a fan of organized tours, but this was fantastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really liked the Giant's Causeway day"

Muriel

Meridian, ID

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We can't say enough about how much we enjoyed this tour. The pace, selection of sites, accommodations, meals, all above and beyond our expectations. The one element that consistently pulled it all together was our guide, Dara. He kept us laughing, well informed,and happy. Dara's knowledge of his country, connections with locals, and attention to our safety and comfort was outstanding. Love his quick, Irish wit!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a tough question, there were so many "wow" moments. The ancient ruins, natural beauty of the coast, the Burren, Dingle, Kinsale."

Christine

Waikoloa, HI

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great?? Tour Great Guide Dara?? Great Bus driver Pamella?? It was wet/rainy cold, all to be expected--special Irish effects that followed us but didn't stop us?? The personality and trip skills,along with the knowledge of the country by Dara and Pamella truly enhanced the experiencing of Ireland These two individuals gave us s Wow everyday??! They are Assets to the company!!! Left Ireland with love for the Country People foods music History Culture??????

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of it??????Was a wow"

Evelyn

Madison, WI

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am well-traveled, have been on tours with other companies and many overseas trips, but this was my first RST experience and I was, to be honest, skeptical. Our group of 5 friends decided that this tour would cover the most of the country for the best price so we signed up. And, we lucked out! It was a fantastic tour in just about every way. We had a terrific guide and a superb group of fellow travelers, many of whom were repeat RST-ers. There was not a "grump" among us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many "wows" to choose just one: breath-taking landscapes & seaviews, a great deal of wonderful music, a hawk landing on my arm, fighting my very tangible fear of heights to cross the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge (OMG), hiking up to Dun Aengus in the slashing rain and spending the rest of that day in my squelching-wet shoes?? Some of that sounds unpleasant but those experiences are stand-out on this, my 3rd and very best trip to Ireland."

Edwin

Meridian, ID

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the best ever! Dara made it come alive! I learned so much about the Republic of Ireland and Northern Island and have a much better understanding of its history, social, economic, cultural and religious issues that makes the Island so important in the world today. Dara kept me laughing and smiling, yes, and singing and foot stomping, He kept us safe. He attended to every detail along the way. All was perfect; city guides, b&b, hotels, meals, transportation, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is a toss up between Slea Head Dingle Peninsula and Antrim Coast. Dunluce Castle was a treat too. The entire trip was a wow. All of the guides were wonderful...including Mary Howard on the Burden, Michael O'Connor, Barry, Tommy and too many to name."

Catherine

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful itinerary covering so many highlights of south and north Ireland. It was a very very good experience with lovely people on the bus and in the places we visited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Slea Head drive and the Dingle peninsula. The live concerts in the pubs Dara set up for us several times."

Gordon

Farmington, MN

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A+. Our first Rick Steves Tour became our best trip ever. Ireland's beauty was breathtaking, easily earning the "Emerald Isle" title. Equally memorable was the welcoming warmth of the people and their modern links to the land and their history. My experience was much more than a scenic tour of an interesting island. The artful blending of the story of the land and the story of the people made Ireland unique and wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can think of no day on the tour that I didn't have many Wows, but the one that stands out isn't the gorgeous land and sea-scapes or the rich culture per se. It is about a bird. The Falconry demonstration at Ashmore Castle was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to intimately enter the life of a spectacular predator. Each of us got to don the glove, catch a huge Harris Hawk, look into its remarkable eyes, feel its amazing strength, feed the animal, and toss it up to fly away. Unforgettable."

Barbara

Farmington, MN

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was outstanding. It provided an understanding of Ireland's past and present, equally balanced. We experienced Ireland's big cities and small, quaint villages. We enjoyed beautiful Irish music and dancing provided by local talents. I loved the drive along the Dingle Penninsula, the hike along the Giant's Causeway, the view of the Cliffs of Mohr, the sheep farm, the boat ride to see Dingle Bay and Fungi and the crystal cutting tour and demonstration. I loved it all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a most difficult task. The lush greens of the Emerald Isle are never to be forgotten. The beauty of the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway...breathtaking. We were treated to musical experiences from energetic rhythmic dance to ethereal tones of folk ballads."

Mary Ann

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved my Ireland 14 day tour! Such a beautiful and friendly country. Our tour guide, Susie, and bus driver, Stephen, were especially wonderful as were my fellow travelers. I enjoyed the well planned itinerary and all the local guides/tours/restaurants/pubs/music! Our weather in October was on the cool side as I expected, with a mix of clouds, rain, sun and wind. Nothing that the right layers and rain gear couldn't handle. I was glad I took rain boots with me!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beautiful Dingle Peninsula and the local music/dance performance in town stand out as one of many Wow moments."

Michelle

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a fabulous tour! Ireland was amazing! Our group was wonderful! And I can't say enough good things about our guide, Susie! She was so knowledgeable about the country and the history. And her sense of humor had us all laughing! She was a total joy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher and the Giants Causeway. So beautiful!"

Betty

Shelbyville, MI

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was wonderful. I learned so much about Ireland's history and political struggles. The countryside was breathtaking and the Irish people are the friendliest I have ever encountered. Our lodgings, group dinners and cultural activities were terrific.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose. I loved the working sheep farm, the music and dancing, but best of all was the hike along the Antrim coast in Northern Ireland"

Barbara

Winnebago, IL

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I knew it was going to be a wonderful trip but it exceeded my expectations. Ireland is such a beautiful country and the Irish people are so friendly, charming and witty. The tour flowed really well, I could tell how meticulously it had been planned. Our guide Susie and our driver Stephen were both exceptional in their roles and exceptional people to be around.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but when I tell people about my trip I always start with the Falconry class so I think that is my favorite "wow." It was such a lovely day, and it was a lovely walk to see the birds. I conquered a bit of fear inside me too, when I held the hawk. I love to re-watch the video of my time with the hawk."

Carol

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd RST experience following a 7 day tour in London last year. We really loved the London experience and were hoping that a 2-week trip with lots of days on a bus would be just as good; 14 days in Ireland did not disappoint. Each place we visited had a unique character and story to offer. Our guide was enthusiastic and well-prepared. Just in case there is a person reading this who thinks that a bus ride might be a snooze, it is not! We had so much fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My biggest surprise was Belfast. I don't know exactly what I expected, maybe something that was somewhat war-torn, but it was beautiful and vibrant.Don't count out any part of Northern Ireland."

John

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized. I had a great time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I saw the castles and the history."

Valerie

Guthrie, OK

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an overwhelmingly good experience. The guide was knowledgeable and extremely capable and had a great sense of humor. All the participants were cheerful and just a nice group of people. The experiences and sights met or exceeded all my expectations. I'd go again in a second!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The opportunity to experience falconry first hand was a great WOW moment."

Kathleen

Alexandria, KY

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a well organized tour. The size of the group was just right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's Causeway."

Bonita

Portland, OR

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Iteland is lovely, both the scenery and the people. I have never met such kind and generous people. Our tour guide Susie and driver Steve were superb, giving us a local perspective while caring for our health and safety. I laughed alot! Our group had the nicest people. It was delightful. The local guides and stops were fantastic and the hotels were fabulous! I can't think of a single improvement.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep dog experience and bring on the sheep farm...the live music and dance....and the things I did on my own like Newgrange, Jenny Johnson Ship and Potato Famine Museum."

Karin

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I am SO VERY HAPPY that I chose this Rick Steves Tour. The entire experience from beginning to end was totally Top Notch. Where do I start? From walking up to the Hotel Buswell, into the lobby..and breathing,,WOW!!! To the initial fun meeting with Susie and our group..our buddy system in which we made sure that our little herd was well shepherded by Susie..To meeting Stephen our driver..We visited places and learned SO MUCH from Susie ..I loved the time of year that we went..it was like home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WOW!!! So many!! It would be when the falcon landed on my outstretched hand, looked in my eyes..and flew effortlessly and magnificently up into the air at Ashford Castle Also.since I had never read much about N. Ireland,seeing the powerful beauty of the Giants Causeway where Susie and Stephen took us first thing in the morning to beat the crowds.oh and Dun Aengus on Inishmore where I could feel the land and the sea. Stephen stopping at the overlook onto Lough Corrib,Susie reading Yeats."

Thomas

Shelbyville, MI

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Agenda and venue were superb. Can"t say enough about our guide, Susie. She was fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. Sights from the bluffs, dinner at the Resturant's , drinks at the pubs, wandering around town's with heritage. Lot's of history and good people."

Gerry

Albany, OR

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Tour itself was fantastic, Paul was very informative with info about all aspects of Ireland. We saw, tasted and heard Ireland at it's very best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was our stay in Kinsale...with the food fest going on and the music...it felt like the real Irish experience to me."

Janet

Lodi, CA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I truly enjoyed the Best of Ireland tour. Each city or town that we visited had charm and a unique history. I appreciated the nuanced and thoughtful historical background that our wonderful guide, Paul, provided as we moved from the Republic to Northern Ireland. We were blessed with some wonderful sunny weather, especially on the Slea Head Drive and even when there was rain, it was worthwhile to see as much as we could of the day's destinations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A surprise WOW moment for me was when I got to do the falcon walk. As our group moved forward, I was the one holding the beautiful Harris hawk on my arm. A thrilling experience. I think our stay in Dingle provided several WOW moments: the Slea Head Drive, the Blasket Island Center, and live, lovely music all 3 nights of our stay. Also, the friendly Irish people were helpful and guardian angels more than once as we made our way around new cities."

Peggy

Albany, OR

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour itself was amazing! We saw some wonderful sites, heard a lot of the history of Ireland, ate some outstanding food, met some great people, and had a lot of fun. The only negative about this trip was a virus that went through the bus like wildfire, starting very early in the tour. By the end of the tour, most of us had succumbed to it. It is now a little over a week since the tour ended, and we are still sick.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had been to some of these places before, so we didn't experience the "wow" moments at places such as the Cliffs of Moher or the Giant's Causeway this time as we did on our first visit. These are definitely "wow" places! One of my favorite places was Dingle, where our B&B was right on the bay and we had the most amazing views. We also happened to be in Dingle during a food festival, so got to experience a local festival with good food, music, and lots of people."

Katy

Monterey, CA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed the trip. Fabulous guides, great itinerary, very informative, well paced.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Peeking over the edge of Dun Aengus as I lay on my belly looking down into the churning sea on a very windy day."

Mary

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt that I got a very comprehensive tour of primarily coastal areas of Ireland. It was all that I expected. I was a bit concerned about what it would be like for me as I was the only person who didn't know anyone on the trip. When faced with my husband's health decline, I chose to go by myself. My fellow travelers were friendly and accepting of my situation. I also was the only one who didn't drink. There wasn't any pressure to drink.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed going over to Innishmore by ferry and hiking up to the dramatic fortress above the sea. I hadn't expected to enjoy the Titanic exhibit in Belfast but it was actually quite interesting and worth seeing. The weather provided "wow" moments as the rain fell heavily on and off throughout the days. I think the Irish people, at least in the Republic, provide "wow" moments on a regular basis. They are so friendly and helpful!"

Sheila

Port Townsend, WA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful trip. Great tour guide. Learned a lot. Saw a lot. Wonderful experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many. Loved Dublin, Kinsale, Dingle. Went to Abby Theatre which was not on our itinerary. Loved seeing the hawks. Climbing up to the top of Innis Mor. Seeing the best museum I've ever seen before: Titanic in Belfast. Not enough time for that."

Michael

Henderson, NV

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Paul made the tour great for us. There were 6 of us that went, my wife and I, my parents and my aunt and uncle. For my mother and I hearing the stories/history & seeing the places were what we were most interested in. My wife got sick during the trip and Paul had Allen of coach driver run her over to a clinic while in Dingle so she could get some meds. I really enjoyed talking with Nikky, one of your Seattle IT guys that was the assist on the tour. I am an IT guy as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking though Dunluce Castle was incredible. My dad and I did the ridge walk with Paul at the Giant's Causeway, what a view. The walks in the little villages were highlights. Seeing the falcon fly and land on our arm was very cool. I do like southern Ireland more then northern Ireland. Much more old world charm would be a good way to put it I guess."

Gary

Monterey, CA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. Despite wet/windy days, weather never interfered with our tour. We packed in so much, but never felt rushed.To see so much of Ireland was fantastic.Accommodations were very comfortable, activities enjoyable, and group dinners tasty. But most of all, our guide Paul was beyond outstanding! Paul was truly the best guide I have ever had on a tour! Being from Ireland, Paul provided a special perspective on historical/current events. Our coach drive Allen was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We did so many things in just 14 days, it is challenging to identify a favorite "wow" moment--I think everyday had one! My favorites were the Cliffs of Moher and The Giants Causeway. A small museum we found in Dublin focusing on the Famine was also very interesting."

Mary

Boise, ID

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 2 of 5

The tour was well run, and our tour guide, Paul, was excellent. The overall tour experience was overshadowed by an extremely contagious chest cold and cough that circulated throughout the majority of the tour participants. Many, including myself, became quite ill.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The history and politics of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are both fascinating and complex. Sites and statues commemorating those who fought and, often, lost their lives in the pursuit of independence were particularly meaningful."

Michael

Oak Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was informative even though both the wife and I were ill part of the time, no fault of the tour. The hurricane while we were on the west coast was a nice touch although we are not sure how you managed that. We got a lot of current and ancient Irish history which I am still trying to understand. A bit surprised there any Irish left after the religious revolts and troubles. And then there is Brexit which I now understand nobody understands. We came away with a good feel for Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to differentiate between the falconry and Dingle. Both were exceptional. And the Hurricane was neat also although our guide may not agree."

Rosemarie

North Haven, CT

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire tour which sampled the history, culture, geography and natural beauty of Ireland. Unfortunately, we lost a day and a half of individual and group activities due to the tropical storm that blew into the west coast of Ireland while we were on the Dingle Peninsula. Lisa scheduled a baking activity to help with the weather-related changes and overall made the best of an uncontrollable situation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "stand out" event for me was the visit to the Falconry School in Cong. It was fascinating to hear about the individual owls and hawks from the falconer. It was thrilling to be able to participate in a flying activity for one of the Harris Hawks, as well."

Derwood

Oak Ridge, TN

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the most fun tour. Food was great. Enjoyed every activity.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The burren was such a unique place. I am so glad I got to go there."

Patti

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was on one other RS tour (the Best of the Adriatic) so I had a good idea of what to expect in the structure and overall feel. I feel immediately confident with our tour guide Lisa Tully and bus driver Mark. Both were friendly, knowledgeable, and competent. I was the only traveler completely alone so I was motivated to engage in all experiences so I knew I'd have a good time before we even started. Almost all of our hotels were great. there was one,The Friar, wasn't the best. Great!trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many great experiences and opportunities. Hard to choose just one - they were all so wonderful. My favorite moment was the Walk with the Hawk on the estate of the Ashford Castle in Cong County Cork."

Pamela

Damascus, OR

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the Ireland tour. Everything was great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say, we loved the Titanic museum, it was wonderful and unexpected. The falconry was fun, the castles. It was great."

Richard

Sylvania, OH

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Ireland exceeded my expectations. The country is beautiful and the overnight stops on the tour were just right. Lisa was a superb guide; very down to earth and full of valuable information. She went out of her way to please the folks in our group. In addition to the magnificent scenery, the special events like the hawk walk, sheep farm and music concert in Dingle were wonderful, enriching experiences. I especially enjoyed the small towns and local culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tough to choose just one. Slea Head Drive and Giant's Causeway were spectacular."

Roger

New Smyrna Beach, FL

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was a great trip well coordinated by Lisa.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giants causeway"

Helen

Oak Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Kind of interesting , but followed a Rick Steves Scotland which was fabulous. Tour started off badly at the Alex hotel. We had to wait one and a half hours to get in to our room. Accommodations at Dingle were fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falcon experience and Pastor Malcom."

Cheryl

Sylvania, OH

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfectly paced and thoughtfully planned to feature a great variety of scenery and activities in this beautiful country, with a great guide and skilled bus driver to lead the way. All of our fellow travelers were fun, thoughtful, and caring about our experiences and one another. I had always heard Ireland was a beautiful country with friendly people, which it is, but I don't think I was prepared for the variety of spectacular scenery day after day and hour after hour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to select one, but one of my favorite exceptional memories was the traditional Irish music concert at centuries-old St. James Church in Dingle. The experience felt uniquely Irish, and the musicians projected such a love of their heritage, as well as exceptional talents!"

James

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the whole trip, bad weather and all. We were prepared for weather events. Our tour guide Lisa is outstanding as a host and guide. The group of people are all terrific traveling companions. Everything we did in Dublin, Dingle, Galway and Belfast were lots of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first three days in Dublin was a real "wow" moment. The city, the history, and the rich variety of things to see and do, plus the first class Alex Hotel, were just great. The other decent "wow" moments were being in Dingle, Galway, and Belfast, experiencing the city life and the surrounding countrysides."

Anne

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking the Giants Causeway!"

Margaret

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My goal for the tour was to see the entire island of Ireland, understand the history, culture and politics. This tour came pretty close. We very good fellow travelers and a fabulous guide, Pascal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our trip to Inishmore in the Aran Islands was an odd choice given the rough seas and wild weather we experienced that day. It gave me a real sense of the place-Irish speaking, rocky landscape, isolated in the wild Atlantic. Kind of amazing."

Joan

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

THE TOUR WAS EXCELLENT BUT, FOR ME, TOO LONG AND TOO MUCH TIME ON THE BUS. OF COURSE, THE MORE THAN TYPICAL AMOUNT OF RAIN DETRACTED SOME FROM THE ENJOYMENT OF A COUPLE OF EXPERIENCES ( SHEEP HERDING DEMONSTRATION, FERRY TRIP TO INISHMOOR) BUT DIDNT IMPACT IN THE LEAST THE REST OF OUR TOUR. MY THREE FAVORITE TOWNS WERE KINSALE, DINGLE AND WESTPORT. THE AREA MUSICIANS AND STEP DANCERS WERE HIGHLY TALENTED AND THE IRISH FOOD IN THESE TOWNS WAS EXCELLENT.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"THE SCENERY ALONG THE DINGLE PENINSULAR WAS AMAZING !"

Mark

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Easily surpassed my expectations. Our fellow travelers were a great, fun group. Tour guide (Pascal) was amazing - great stories, right balance of talking and letting us enjoy things on our own, very knowledgeable on pubs, restaurants and things to see/do. Hotels were generally very good, food better than expected. And of course, the best Guinness to be had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two of them: 1. before the tour started, on our first morning in Dublin, we found an open pub to watch the Ireland-Scotland match in the rugby world cup opener. Full house, serving Guinness at 8:30 AM - I did not have any - but it was the best 'full Irish breakfast' of the trip. 2. The Trinity College library is always a 'wow' moment, loved the Book of Kells as well."

Dell

Port Orange, FL

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

At first I was apprehensive about this trip. My concern was not having the flexibility with a scheduled tour. Boy was I wrong! The tour was awesome, greatly exceeded my expectations. our guide was Pascal Fitzpatrick. What a wonderful guide! He made everyone feel comfortable and safe. He was very knowledgeable and shared many stories and facts along the way. (buy in a fun and enthusiastic way) We learned a lot about Ireland, it's history and politics. He kept the group involved.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I find it hard to pick one moment there were so many. I kept thinking to myself he can't top what we did and saw today...and he did. The music in Dingle was phenomenal, but the sights at the Cliffs of Moher were breathtaking as well. We were treated to a night of music by local musicians AND a few dances from a member of the Riverdance troupe. It seems Pascal knows everyone in Ireland! And he seems genuinely liked by everyone...everywhere! He and our driver Pamela make a great team!"

Berta

San Jose, CA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Pascal had amazing stories to tell about Ireland and his knowledge was wonderful. I loved his big heart as we all really felt card by him

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husband and i went to the bar in Dingle with the famous dancer that usually dances at night. He didn't dance that night so Pascal actually got a hold of the dancer and got him to dance at the bar we went to the next night. I was so impressed that he took action on my need to see the dancer. I loved the personal touch that we all got to experience."

Richard

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Incredible. Incredibly wet! Pascal did an awesome job keeping everyone's spirits up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ferry trip ride back from the Aran Islands - ask Pascal. Dingle. Kinsale. Dingle. Kinsale. Dingle."

Vicki

Alexandria, TN

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and it exceeded all of my expectations! The tour was well planned and communicated. I especially liked the daily itineraries posted in the lobby and took a picture as a reminder of the times. Each day's list had excellent planned activities and great suggestions for our free time. We were wonderfully exhausted every night!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to name one "wow" moment. Aran Islands, Inishmor Island and Dun Aenghus Fort: Raining and windy. Didn't know if we could make it up and back but we did! Some hot Irish stew and the best apple tart warmed us up and we celebrated our success! Dingle & Slea Head; so beautiful & great music! Kinsale was easy to walk and very interesting. Giant's Causeway rugged and interesting. I didn't know what to expect in Belfast but was pleasantly surprised."

Robert

West Columbia, SC

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great! We enjoyed the scenery immensely, particularly the spectacular coastline, and the Giant's Causeway, but also the village and towns we stopped at or stayed in. Dingle was a particular favorite. Meeting the people was a lot of fun and a great learning experience, but most of all we enjoyed the music sessions in the pubs and restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Paschal set up an optional music and dance session at the music store in Dingle. The music was great but even better was the dancing. We were sitting less than a foot away and in danger of being kicked, had he been less skilled. It was really a once in a lifetime experience and I wouldn't have traded it for anything. Everyone was talking about that for the rest of the tour."

Jenny

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent tour. The time allowed at various cities, locations and sites, the overall history of Ireland and specific insights to local and regional history, plus specific information on restaurants, pubs, etc made my experience of Ireland feel all-encompassing. The tour group was surprisingly homogeneous in our overall outlooks and attitudes which made our 2 weeks together very easy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Trinity College in Dublin was amazing!"

Frances

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding! We could not have had a better guide than Pascal or a more convivial, interested group of traveling companions. The orientation to each town where we stayed was great and made our independent explorations more enjoyable and easier. (We missed the orientations when we extended our stay in the UK and traveled on our own!) Pascal's knowledge of history, music, culture, and literature elevated the trip beyond all expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No way to pick just one "Wow" moment. Here are some of my favorites: Being in Ireland and absorbing its history just days before Brexit. The music and culture. The Burrens and Mary Howard - could have spent the day with her! Slea Head drive Dunluce Castle Blasket Island Center and the history of the people who lived on the island"

Sheila

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall tour experience was outstanding! Our tour guide, Lynn, was extremely well organized, attentive, and knowledgeable about everything Irish. Our bus driver, Steven, was also fantastic and we felt like he was part of our group. From Dublin to Belfast, and every stop along the way, the Best of Ireland Tour exceeded all our expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments. In Dublin, we enjoyed the peaceful morning stroll through St. Stephen's Green and the impressive Long Library at Trinity College. The small, picturesque harbor towns of Kinsale and Dingle with their unique musical experiences and warm, friendly people were delightful. Another highlight was the spectacular view of the Atlantic from Dun Aengus Fort on Inishmore Island. The rich green countryside with grazing cows and sheep was mesmerizing!"

Diane

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As a retired corporate event planner, I know how much planning and preparation goes into a tour so that the experience appears "seamless" but still unique and fun. I love having the pre-planning in place so that I can concentrate on the history, people and experiences I was aware of the pros and cons of so much US tourism to Ireland. Some 'unspoiled' spots are now filled with tourists but the cities and businesses are thriving. The dilemma of travel I guess.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two "wow" experiences: the School of Falconry and the tour of the "barrens". The guides, information and uniqueness of venues were fascinating. It was such fun to learn about the hawks and to have an opportunity to fly/land them. The guide at the barren land was so informative and passionate about the signs of growth/beauty in what would appear to be a forlorn landscape. The physical beauty of the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway took my breath away."

Marjorie

Red Wing, MN

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sherry

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good tour. As usual w/ a RS tour, we saw a lot & learned so much. Lynn was helpful and we appreciated the local guides. The reasons I didn't mark it as excellent were so very much rain - no fault of the tour, and the absolute grimness of the political situation between the N & the Republic. It is not below the surface and I returned home heavy hearted about it. The Brexit madness adds a looming darkness to the situation. So perhaps gaining this awareness shows how very much I learned

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The day on the Antrim coast. And it was glorious weather too. The hiking at the giants causeway & walk across the rope bridge were a great visual feast an relief from so much bus time & rain."

Richard

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Red Wing, MN

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's Causeway by far!"

Carl

Lake Forest Park, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Webb

Manhattan Beach, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Bryan

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded our expectations. We loved the people of Ireland, the history, culture, politics and sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! Loved Dublin, Book of Kells & Long Library. Wow moments were Fort Charles & Dun Aonghasa Fort"

Pamela

Safety Harbor, FL

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sylvia

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giant's causeway and the entire Antrim Coast"

Brenda

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Anne

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steven

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Libertyville, IL

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't say enough good things about this tour. Everything was perfect. Our guide, Dara, added personal touches that brought Ireland alive for us, such as arranging for us to hear traditional music in several places, introducing us to his mom and dad, and more. The itinerary and scope of the tour were just right for the two weeks we traveled. We saw a lot, but the pace was reasonable. I loved every minute of it, and I can't wait to go back for another adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just one? I can't comply so... Everything Dingle: music/music shop/Neligans Bar. Falconry demo, Giant's Causeway & rope bridge. Learning about Irish history. Brown bread. Enchanting land- and seascapes. And the Irish people. Definitely the people."

Robert

Athens, GA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sue

Kaysville, UT

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have had the pleasure of traveling on many of the Rick Steve's tours. The Ireland tour was exceptional as well!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moments are experiencing the history and culture of a country. Ireland is a beautiful country with wonderful people. I particularly enjoyed the sights and people of Northern Ireland."

Dave

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding! It was a 2-week, deep-dive immersion into Ireland; its culture, people, history, music and fantastic scenery. We enjoyed the tour immensely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were just too many to single out one. We were blessed with a few sunny days and one of which was on a tour of the Dingle Peninsula. That certainly merited a 'WOW'! But every day had a WOW in some manner."

Laurie

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoying the Irish music in Dingle!!"

Diane

Sequim, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was absolutely a great experience. The trip was well crafted and our tour mates were fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was the little things. The beautiful views, a great meal, the great dog at the sheep farm. The relaxation of getting on the bus and being taken care of."

Mary

Salem, MA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonder feel of being a part of the culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dave

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the sheep dog herd the sheep."

Rob

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Ephrata, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first tour with a Rick Steves group was better than we could have hoped. A wonderful guide, a smooth driver, a compatible and interesting group, and fabulous sunny weather gave us the best introduction to the welcoming, beautiful countries of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Best of Ireland in 14 Days Tour was long enough to feel comfortable in country and varied enough to give us an idea of where we might enjoy returning to visit on our own someday

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery was always stunning, but Rick found the cliffs fascinating. We joked about taking a "tour of cliffs" in Ireland - the cliffs at Howth, Kinsale's fort's high walls, the road leading to Slea Head, the Cliffs of Moher, those at Dun Aengus on Inishmore, the cliff-top castle at Dunluce, and the cliff walk to the Giant's Causeway. For Kathleen, an unexpected experience was working with the Harris hawk at the School of Falconry at Ashford Castle. Beautiful and exciting!"

Jack

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janeen

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Regina

Richmond, VA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Vera

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Everett, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steve

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charles

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 10th RS tour and I am often asked which is my favorite. I used to say Sicily but now Ireland is #1! Susie is a superlative tour guide, and a native with many personal stories to share. The scenery is just astonishing and we saw it under perfect weather conditions; I admit the latter cannot be guaranteed! I found the history simply engrossing, 22 rebellions and every one a failure! You couldn't make up the Irish tale of woe if you tried!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first taste of Murphy's ice cream in Dingle - divine!"

Joanne

Camarillo, CA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robert

Taylor, MI

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janet

Temple, TX

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Granbury, TX

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charlotte

Burleson, TX

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charles

Bothell, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary Ann

Rockford, IL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ingrid

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Laurel

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janette

Tyrone, PA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steves's tour and it couldn't have been better! From start to finish, we had a wonderful time. Our tour guide, Declan, was so personable and expert. I especially liked how EVERYTHING was taken care of and PREPAID...hotels, meals, and all tipping. I have no idea how Rick Steves Co. is able to put together such companionable groups, but we certainly enjoyed getting to know all the members of our group...and it was a perfect size too. Can't wait to take our next journey!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The number of times I sat on the bus, looked out the window, and just said, 'Wow!'"

Nancy

Oxford, MI

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I got my luggage back on day 7 of the tour... Airline Finally found and delivered it. Women on the tour offered clothing and supplies while I waited."

Reuben

Oxford, MI

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ron

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Margie

Sunriver, OR

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joane

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking at Giants Causeway."

Ted

Milton, GA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Tyrone, PA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Buckeye, AZ

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Needham, MA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathy

Cadillac, MI

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Cadillac, MI

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle Peninsula and Cliffs of Mohr."

Carrie

Keller, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Leann

Battle Ground, WA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. What a fantastic trip, met a wonderful group of people, stayed in some super hotels and B&B's. Our tour guide was the best you could ask for and Ireland was beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Crossing the Carrick-A-Rede Bridge - very scary, but I did it."

Gene

Silverthorne, CO

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Richard

Clifton Park, NY

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Yacolt, WA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Heather

White Rock, BC

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There was not one negative experience and, more than that, the tour was superlative in every way: accommodations; locations visited; knowledge of the tour guide; rhythm (i.e. combination of activities and 'down time'); bus driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There wasn't one "wow" moment...I would say that the overall "wow" was the quality of education about the history, archaeology, politics, geography, literature of Ireland....all presented in an accessible manner. The 'wow' was that I felt intellectually and physically stimulated by the tour."

Nancy

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

Elizabethtown, PA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Burton

Battle Ground, WA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience with a great group of people in a relaxed and unhurried atmosphere that made it so enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know if I can narrow it down to just one but the Giants Causeway stands out as well as the many ancient castles."

Nancy

The Woodlands, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elizabeth

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marilyn

Marana, AZ

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Charles

Catonsville, MD

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jerry

The Woodlands, TX

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Doug

Kennewick, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Julia

Kennewick, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Darlene

Missoula, MT

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I could not have been more pleased with our Ireland tour. Rozanne gave us information above and beyond what was in the tour guide books that made our stop in each town interesting and exciting. The Tour guides we had for each town gave us information on what to find in each town. We particularly enjoyed the accommodations and concerts. Because of the comments of our tour guides we felt comfortable to use our spare time to explore the town's, their shops, galleries and restaurants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My husbands favorites would be that there were no extra or hidden costs and the listening devices. Mine would be that I found literally everyone interesting, kind, and welcoming. I felt not only at ease with my companions but also with all our accommodations and the people that we met in the towns. Everyone was friendly and helpful."

Donna

Queen Creek, AZ

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Truly, the entire tour."

Teresa

Redmond, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is a beautiful country and our Rick Steves tour made us appreciate it even more with experiences that brought history, culture and landscape and together. It gave me a better understanding of Irish experiences like famine (or the fact that it wasn't that there was no food, it was great hunger) and immigration. Travel like this makes me more aware of my values here at home in the United States.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday there were wow moments on our tour. I think what makes the best "wow" moments are experiences that normal travelers don't get to participate in like the falconry experience. Danielle was wonderful sharing her knowledge and expertise with Putog the Harris Hawk and it was very enjoyable and memorable."

Geraldine

Bend, OR

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ruth

Eugene, OR

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Placerville, CA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giants Causeway Roseanne"

Susan

Placerville, CA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Everett, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Curtis

Brighton, MI

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Sioux Falls, SD

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Excellent tour...good stops/hotels/local guides. glad we did the 14 day tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giant's Causeway.....(fyi Day 12 was brutal...could skip the rope bridge....liked the Dingle Distillery Tour on our own. Bushmills was fine but would prefer the day was condensed a bit to allow time in Portrush)"

Jill

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sharon

Brighton, MI

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Betsy

Wheaton, IL

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Randy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hawk feeding at Ashford Castle."

James

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gary

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Patricia

Centennial, CO

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Enoch

Eden Prairie, MN

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

George

Centennial, CO

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gary

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Eleanor

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the Ireland tour so much!

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Terri

Port Coquitlam, BC

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Steven

Irvine, CA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary Ellen

Glendora, CA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the landscapes of Ireland"

Debra

Wadsworth, OH

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Joe

Wadsworth, OH

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Shirley

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

Chester, VA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jim

Santa Ana, CA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sara

Shoreview, MN

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ralph

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Rebecca

Prior Lake, MN

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gabriele

Wauna, WA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Timothy

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kerri

San Diego, CA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Randall

Manhattan Beach, CA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Linda

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is our RS second tour and it was fabulous! Each day provided a new and wonderful experience and the times we spent with locals gave us a great insight into what it is like to live in Ireland. Loved the choice of towns to visit as well as activities along the way. Highly recommend!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to choose just one. Cliffs of Moher, Giants' Causeway, local musicians playing for us in Dingle, falconry at Ashford Castle, Titanic Museum, everything was amazing."

Gary

Everett, WA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Falconry experience"

Robert

Gold River, CA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Everett, WA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Daniel

Pacific Grove, CA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kristin

Gold River, CA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

The Colony, TX

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Therese

The Colony, TX

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Menlo Park, CA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Galen

Topeka, KS

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sandra

Blaine, WA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Barbara

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Temecula, CA

Tour: 08/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Amsterdam, NH

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding. Robin and I were on a first-time tour of ANY kind and long-time Rick Steves travel guide users.This was literally the best vacation we have taken while on the continent.Cathie Ryan is a Irish Treasure and made the two weeks better! The Tour Guides were terrific. Each was excellent with things that stand out. Barry was our favorite but all were passionate guides with a good mix of info and Irish humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher...despite the rain."

Barbara Lynn

Victoria, BC

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cycling the Dingle peninsula!"

Robin

Devon, PA

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Ashland, OR

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Frank

Ashland, OR

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Brenda

Eugene, OR

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jim

Granger, IN

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

William

Chickaloon, AK

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marcia

Chickaloon, AK

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mary

Arlington, WA

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

San Antonio, FL

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Philip

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Fran

Elwood, IN

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kathleen

Woodbury, MN

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

David

Sebastopol, CA

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cliffs of Moher."

Greg

Travelers Rest, SC

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Donna

Tonawanda, NY

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Melinda

South Euclid, OH

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Gregg

St Louis, MO

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Vicki

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconers"

Dana

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 08/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Peggy

Encinitas, CA

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Susan

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Pamela

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Diana

Tracy, CA

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Janice

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Carol

Virginia Beach, VA

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

James

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flying the hawks at Ashford Castle"

John

Winnipeg, MB

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Marta

Boonton Township, NJ

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Redmond, OR

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Robin

Bellbrook, OH

Tour: 08/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Douglas

Roselle, IL

Tour: 08/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Elizabeth

Roseville, CA

Tour: 08/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Todd

Portland, OR

Tour: 08/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kristina

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 08/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Trese

Belmond, IA

Tour: 08/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jarod

Austin, TX

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Jen

Brentwood, TN

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Chris

Edmond, OK

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Karen

Aberdeen, WA

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Evelyn

Edmond, OK

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was the Titanic exhibit."

Karla

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Dwight

Brentwood, TN

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great way to see Ireland! Tour guide was Outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the close-up music experiences."

Robert

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Kristi

Boerne, TX

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Nancy

Helotes, TX

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Mark

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giants Causeway. Absolutely beautiful."

Scott

Akron, OH

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Um, didn't really have one."

Debra

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Kathy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Ching

Monroe Township, NJ

Tour: 07/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Michael

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Sylvia

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

Joseph

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

Cheri

Lake Elsinore, CA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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!"

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."

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!"

Pamela

Lancaster, PA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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."

Randy

Lancaster, PA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

John

Seaman, OH

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

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

Favorite "WOW" moment

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

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!"

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.