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  • Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland
    Cliffs of Moher
  • Dingle, Ireland
    Dingle Town
  • Pub musicians, Kinsale, Ireland
    Irish Musical Evening
  • Kilkenny Castle
  • Rock of Cashel, Cashel, Ireland
    Rock of Cashel
  • Dublin Walking Tour
  • Dublin's River Liffey

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

Heart of Ireland in 8 Days Tour

from $2,595 per person + air

Single Supplement $825

See Dates & Prices

Tight on time? The Heart of Ireland in 8 Days — Rick's personal "best of" distillation of our two-week Best of Ireland tour — starts in Ennis (just down the road from Shannon Airport) and ends in Dublin. In the good hands of your Rick Steves guide and local experts, you'll be amazed at all you'll experience in a mere week of touring the Emerald Isle: must-see historical sites, charming towns, music-filled pubs, artisan visits, and walking tours — including the Rock of Cashel, the Cliffs of Moher, village of Adare, Dingle, the Great Blasket Centre, Kilkenny Castle, Glendalough, the Brú na Bóinne archaeology site, crystal cutting, whiskey tasting, and more. Join us for the Heart of Ireland in 8 Days!

Dates & Prices

2022

    • Jul 10–Jul 17 (Su–Su)
    • $2,695 + Air

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    • Apr 24–May 1 (Su–Su)
    • $2,595 + Air

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    • May 15–May 22 (Su–Su)
    • $2,695 + Air

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    • May 22–May 29 (Su–Su)
    • $2,695 + Air

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    • May 29–Jun 5 (Su–Su)
    • $2,695 + Air

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    • Jun 5–Jun 12 (Su–Su)
    • $2,695 + Air

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    • Jun 12–Jun 19 (Su–Su)
    • $2,695 + Air

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    • Jul 3–Jul 10 (Su–Su)
    • $2,695 + Air

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    • Sep 4–Sep 11 (Su–Su)
    • $2,795 + Air

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    • Sep 11–Sep 18 (Su–Su)
    • $2,795 + Air

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    • Sep 18–Sep 25 (Su–Su)
    • $2,795 + Air

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    • Sep 25–Oct 2 (Su–Su)
    • $2,795 + Air

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What's Included

You'll get at least 18 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on our Heart of Ireland tour:

  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Village of Adare
  • Dingle walking tour
  • Irish music evening
  • Dingle's Slea Head Drive
  • Crystal cutting demonstration
  • Great Blasket Centre
  • Gallarus Oratory
  • Irish whiskey tasting
  • Rock of Cashel
  • Kilkenny orientation
  • Kilkenny Castle
  • Glendalough
  • Dublin walking tour
  • Trinity College
  • Book of Kells
  • Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum
  • Brú na Bóinne archaeological site

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • 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 group transportation from Ennis to Dublin
  • 7 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 (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2022
  • 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.

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Ireland

We'll gather together at our hotel at 2 p.m. for a meeting and orientation. Then we'll take a short drive 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. Afterward we'll get to know one another over a hearty "Welcome to Ireland" dinner together.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in Ennis.

Day 2: Ennis to Dingle Town

After breakfast, we'll pack up and board our comfy bus, setting course for Ireland's Dingle Peninsula. En route we'll stop to visit County Limerick's lovely village of Adare, brimming with thatched cottages and flower gardens. At the end of our drive we'll arrive in the pastel-painted, quintessentially Irish harbor town of Dingle. After a walking tour, we'll enjoy a gourmet dinner of local specialties followed by an evening of Gaelic tunes.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 5 hours. Sleep in Dingle.

Day 3: The Dingle Peninsula

It's a great day to experience some of Europe's wildest natural beauty and most ancient Christian sites. 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 situated Great Blasket Centre, where we'll get a close-up look at the language, literature, and daily life of a traditional Gaelic Blasket community. The remainder of the day is free for you to soak in more of Dingle's charms and enjoy dinner on your own.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in Dingle.

Day 4: The Rock of Cashel and Kilkenny

Today we'll bid goodbye to Dingle as our bus transports us across the Emerald Isle to Kilkenny. On our way, we'll stop to tour one of Ireland's most historic and evocative sights: the Rock of Cashel. St. Patrick himself was here more than 1,500 years ago, and ever since, the Rock has been the spiritual heart of Ireland. From the craggy remains of the cathedral and castle to the views stretching out across the Plain of Tipperary, this is where the Irish in you will stir from head to toe. Upon arrival in Kilkenny, we'll take an orientation walk through the medieval town center and visit Kilkenny Castle, a symbol of Norman occupation since the 12th century. After a walk through its restored Victorian interiors and extensive parklands, your evening is free for dinner and traditional music in one of the many atmospheric pubs.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 5 hours. Sleep in Kilkenny.

Day 5: Medieval and Monastic Heritage

This morning we'll head back in time with a visit to Glendalough, Ireland's most impressive monastic settlement. We'll visit the iconic Round Tower, ruined churches, and the lakes that give Glendalough its name. Then we're off to Dublin, where we'll get oriented and enjoy dinner together.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Dublin.

Day 6: Prehistoric Tombs and Dublin

This morning we'll tour Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum, the final resting place of more than one million Dubliners, including many of Ireland's national heroes and heroines. Then we'll drive an hour out of Dublin to one of Europe's premier archaeological sites: the ancient tombs of Brú na Bóinne. Predating Stonehenge by a thousand years and the pyramids at Giza by 500, the massive "passage tombs" of Newgrange and Knowth are windows into a mysterious, pre-Celtic Ireland. Late this afternoon we'll return to Dublin and set you free for exploration and dinner on your own.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in Dublin.

Day 7: The Historic Heart of Dublin

This morning we'll take a walking tour through Dublin, learning about its often-calamitous history, from the days of Viking raids to the hard centuries of British occupation to its remarkable literary legacy to the modern city of today. We'll end at Trinity College for an illuminating look at the remarkable Book of Kells, a jolt of Irish creativity that helped pull Europe out of the Dark Ages. The rest of your day will be free to take in some of Dublin's other world-class sights, such as the National Museum or Dublin Castle. Tonight we'll compare notes and celebrate our marvelous week together over a farewell dinner.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Dublin.

Day 8: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. You can fly out of Dublin's handy airport, or, for those not ready to return home yet, Dublin is 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 Heart of Ireland in 8 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel, then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  5. Navigate cobblestones and difficult terrain at ancient sites.

Reviews

David

Mankato, MN

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The accommodations were over the top in each city! Meals provided by the tour were excellent! Stephan was a font of knowledge and very entertaining! Bus driver, Allan, was better equipped to navigate the Irish roads than I!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle... music, food, quaintness, Dingle Peninsula with Blasket Island history, Dingle gin and whiskey."

Dawn

Oceanside, CA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the tour! Our guide was amazing, kept us on track and had amazing insights on the history and politics of every place we visited. Each hotel we stayed at was comfortable and close to the activities. The bus driver Alan navigated the small roads so smoothly that I never worried about being on the 'wrong' side of the road. ?? My fellow travelers were an awesome group. We connected with a couple of them during the trip, but didn't connect with others until the last dinner, which was a shame.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Glendalough, but wish we could have spent a little more time there. It was raining when we arrived, but the skies cleared just when we left the visitor center to walk around the area. My husband and I walked toward the lakes, but had to turn back before getting to the lake to make sure we didn't miss the bus."

Maryanne

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland and it's people are amazing so it is hard to go wrong. The tour was pretty smooth if an adjustment to Irish time (I thought only Italian time was a thing). The tour guide is clearly a professional with a strong knowledge of history and current events. Very entertaining.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher even in torrential rain. To be there nearly by ourselves it was a spectacular moment. And we beat the Germans!"

Scott

Asheville, NC

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephen was an incredibly knowledgeable guide, and I personally think he missed his calling doing stand up comedy. I was very impressed with how the guides everywhere dealt with minor inconveniences making them so the tour members did not even notice them. This is my third European tour, but first with Rick Steve's. The professionalism and knowledge of the Rick Steve's group is what set's them apart!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was conversing with a bar tender in Dingle. This was where I realized that in certain portions of the world political conversations are not taboo, but welcomed. Not only that, differing view points are encouraged because it makes the conversations more interesting."

Joe

Asheboro, NC

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great way to experience Ireland from the coastal towns to the city of Dublin.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say Slae head drive and Bru na Boinne"

Bercedis

Durham, NC

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The Rick Steves website implied that our tour group should feel like friends, that we'd should occasionally try to hang out with people outside our own traveling party. That didn't happen. With the exception of 2 women, we had minimal contact with other folks, although we tried. In fact, at the end of the trip one of those 2 women told me that I was the friendliest person on the trip. What a hoot! I'm introverted and shy, but the website led me to believe that I should try to connect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The night life of Dublin."

Gerard

Oceanside, CA

Tour: 10/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful time. We had a great tour guide, Stephen. He is knowledgeable about everything Ireland, passionate about his work and has a good sense of humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This may sound gross, but seeing the burnt and decapitated head of Oliver Plunkett. I mean WOW!! how do you top that? It's unforgettable!"

Richard

Denver, CO

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good tour. Learned lots about Ireland and it's unique history, as well as current events.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher were spectacular."

Cherryl

Newport, WA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide was great. We are very happy with the service. It was so much fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time in Rome was full of the history of the area. You need to be sure and keep our guide and not lose her."

Michael

Newport, WA

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very fun and great way to get to know what it is really like in this part of the area.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Dingel what villages were really like. The people were very special and they were very friendly."

Beverly

Coquille, OR

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful tour in a beautiful country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Travelling the Dingle Peninsula on a beautiful sunny day. Plenty of photo opportunities."

John

Austin, TX

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have traveled through Ireland before years ago by ourselves and enjoyed the experience. This tour put what we saw within a historical and cultural context that we missed earlier. We enjoyed all of the tour guides, some more than most.. Joe is a winner, keep him.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite site was the Glendalough settlement and my favorite moment was watching the dancer from the Riverdance performers."

Mary

Austin, TX

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a wonderful view of ireland w our guide, joe. From introductions in ennis 'til farewells in dublin, double thumbs up! Every detail was covered even flapjacks in kilkenny. Joe introduced our themes, sang, encouraged limericks, culture with james joyce, many wonderful on site docents. It was grand and fun mixed together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wows from history. However meeting river dance dancer and his mom and dad and sister was pretty special. They can dance!"

Jill

Libertyville, IL

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a wonderful way to experience Ireland for our first time! The locations visited and distance traveled was perfect for the length of the tour. There was a good balance of structured and free time. We experienced Ireland's history, culture and natural beauty. But most of all, the people and their charm!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really enjoyed Glendalough which combined history, religion and natural beauty. The hike was wonderful!"

Bonnie

Palmetto, FL

Tour: 10/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Joe was delightful. Well versed, a great sense of humor and quite talented. Our locations were splendid and the scenery beautiful. Would have preferred a little more time in Kilkenny and perhaps a little less time in Dublin. Thought we could see a lot in 8 days but 10 would have been ideal. Had my own time constraints so chose a little less time. All in all this Rick Steves trip did not disappoint and the traveling companions were wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher."

Suzanne

Orangeburg, NY

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never been to Ireland before but knew many people who had and raved about the country. Overall I loved it, both the natural landscape and the towns and Dublin. Although we didn't speak to that many Irish people, those we spoke with were very friendly. Clearly people love their country. I enjoyed just about every aspect of the trip - the scenery, our guides, the activities, museums, the bus ride, accommodations and food. Only the weather which was often drizzly could have been improved.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hmmm, hard to say as there were many. The Cliffs of Moher were stunning. The weather was dramatic with a stiff wind and a constantly changing sky. The design of the park and visitor's center was beautiful. It was great that we arrived early in the day, maybe the first bus, and so didn't have to contend with crowds. Enjoyed the Newgrange burial mounds outside of Dublin. Would have liked more time there but understand that it wasn't possible."

Carol

Spokane, WA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The places we visited, our guide, the hotels and group meals were wonderful. There was a good amount of free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Mohr were spectacular."

Mark

Rio Rancho, NM

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience in a beautiful country, great guide (Stephen). The tour had a nice pace, nice selection of sites, and enough time to go out on our own or with a few others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had many favorite moments, difficult to pick. Certainly the cliffs of moher and the Dingle peninsula brought out some wows. And the surprises in Dingle--the eagle, falcons, and owls; and David Geaney's performance in the living room at Milltown House. And of course Stephen's many stories and songs on the bus."

Danette

Newton, KS

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved that everything was planned from start to finish! Even with the pre-planning, our guide - Stephen - was able to "throw in" a few extra stops along the way. I also enjoyed meeting the other participates on my tour from all over the US & Canada.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyone asks me what my favorite part was. That is so hard to pinpoint! I loved it all! I especially enjoyed the nights we were able to hear authentic "jig - Irish music" as I am an avid dancer and music lover! I also enjoyed being outside and seeing the countryside, learning about the history of Ireland and important events."

Gregory

Suisun City, CA

Tour: 10/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great time, the time flew by.

Joseph

Oneonta, NY

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great! Everything was well organized, on time and of high quality.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When a golden eagle landed on my arm at the Falconry. Another when we got off the bus to enjoy the view of the Dingle coastline."

Lucy

Oneonta, NY

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, great guide! Loved everything. Spectacular immersion into Irish culture, music and history. I was worried that the bus riding would be tedious and involve too much sitting, but each day's riding was broken up into segments with touring various areas at each stop. Our wonderful guide Dara while on the bus would share the history of each area we were riding through, accompanied by all kinds of music played by or composed by someone connected to the region.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many: Singing "the sounds of silence" acappella in the Hole in the Wall bar, falconry, watching the various musicians in the pubs and at the Music Shop, the glass cutting, the Dingle seascape, the whiskey tasting (I thought I hated whiskey), the Glenlevin cemetery,painted woodwork ornaments in Kilkenny Castle hall, the beauty of Glendalough area,the ancient Bru na Bonne tombs, the gold ornaments at Heritage Museum in Dublin."

Yvonne

Flagstaff, AZ

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall it was good to very good. Schedule was adhered to and check in and out of hotels a breeze. Busses were very nice. Thanks for giving us room to "spread out". Very large festival going on in Dingle, so was unable to experience the charm I was so looking forward to. Please don't schedule Dingle when this festival is going on. Their gin is our new favorite!

Jim

Westerville, OH

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Met and exceeded all my expectations. Dara was an exception tour guide. Olive did a great job driving the bus. Accomodations were very nice. The meals were very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Anything that Dara, our tour guide recommended. The music in the pubs was excellent. The Falconry in Dingle capped off one of the best days I've had in a while."

Ellen

Chevy Chase, MD

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Ireland and Dara, tour guide, made the trip! Ennis was a little jewel; surprising since I had been through the town before. We all enjoyed it as brief as it was. Further, I enjoyed the Bus experience from Shannon Airport to Ennis. It was so special, chatting with the driver and observing the relationships with his passengers and then the passengers with one another. Dingle, I love! Visited there before but each time, the physical beauty stands out. Also, enjoyed the local guides everywhere!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coming so close to my Grandfather's homeplace in Tipperarey as we drove from Kilkenny to Dublin. Relearning the Irish Independence struggles and finally seeing their leaders again in Dublin. The cemetery in Dublin was remarkable! And, the archelogical visit was amazing too."

Randal

Springfield, IL

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour overall. Great itinerary, locations, hotels, guides, history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Facts about Irelands history. Wow!"

Joanne

Gillespie, IL

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dara was amazing. I started the trip by leaving our passports in Ennius. He took care of everything! Olive was a fantastic driver and had a wonderful sense of humor. We enjoyed eating with both Dara and Olive. That is a great idea to have them eat with us. Also we had a great group to tour with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Rock of Cashel Hole in the Wall in Kilkenny -- very entertaining!,,"

Robert

Flagstaff, AZ

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The local guides brought out an appreciation for the Irish history and beauty of the country. I would have rather had an extra night in Ennis, Dingle or Kilkenny than in Dublin. The friendly and talkative locals really made the trip enjoyable. Like all Rick Steves tours, only having 25 people on the tour made the bus rides comfortable and getting to know your tour mates.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher were breathtaking. Dingle was my favorite overnight. The crystal cutting demonstration, falconry at Milltown House and the Dingle Distillery tour (on our own) were highlights of the trip."

Susan

Snyder, NY

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-paced while packing a lot in. As always on any "touring" vacation, you would like to spend days rather than hours at a given site, but that is a compliment to the great places visited, not a complaint about time allotted. I truly loved Ireland: the history that is too often tragic; the surprisingly wild geography; the culture (who doesn't love the literature, pubs and music); but most of all the people, who are charming, witty and as interested in you as you are in them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Mohr/Slea Head Drive/Falconry Exhibition in Dingle/Bru Na Boinne Sorry, can't pick just one. Dingle itself was wonderful, even though it was crowded from the annual food festival. Great pubs and musicians."

Joanne

Springfield, IL

Tour: 10/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was fabulous, from beginning to end.

Robert

Toronto, ON

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Expectations were exceeded daily. While given a lot of information about upcoming activities, it never ruined surprises. Each day was something to look forward to. Events each day started and ended at a decent hour. I never felt rushed or bored. The pace was comfortable and balanced. We never spent too much time on the road, and we had sufficient time at each stop to experience and explore at our own pace. We saw a lot of churches, castle ruins, and gravestones, but each site was unique.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Coastal Dingle was enthralling. The quaint seaside town oozed charm and character. We spent two days there, but I would gladly spend more. The visit (especially the coastal drive) to the Blascaod centre and then Gallarus Oratory was spellbinding. As a first time visitor to Ireland I was impressed with its rugged beauty. It often felt we were the only tourists and had Dingle to ourselves. Discovering and experiencing Irish traditional music was enchanting."

Deborah

Landisville, PA

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves trip so we had a general idea of what to expect. The itinerary, bus experience and overall tour were excellent! Stephen was an outstanding guide and made Ireland come alive for us! We enjoyed his Irish songs and appreciated his insight about Ireland in the past and current Irish issues. The trip was timely as everyone was discussing Brexit and implications for Ireland. We have a deeper understanding for Ireland and its' struggle to be independent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving through the Irish rolling countryside while listening to " 40 Shades of Green" by Johnny Cash. The moment is etched forever in my mind! 40 Shades of Green is now on my playlist and makes me smile!"

Mary

Pewaukee, WI

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful trip to Ireland. We loved walking around the quaint little towns and popping into the Pubs. People were so friendly everywhere we went. The country is so beautiful! We had a really good group of fun people traveling with us. With Stephen as our guide, we felt we experienced the best of Ireland and it's culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher. Breathtaking."

Tom

Pewaukee, WI

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephen is fantastic, knowledgeable, witty and did a wonderful tour

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle"

Joseph

Bloomington, IL

Tour: 09/29/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved it! Everywhere, especially rural areas, people were friendly, engaging and unfailingly polite. We had the #1 Ireland guide in Stephen. Great info, stories and songs. Entertaining, educational and humorous. His compatriot Dennis kept the wheels on the bus going round and round up and down twisting, steep and narrow roads. Loved the mix of rural/coastal and Dublin. When the sun comes out, the beauty of Ireland overwhelms the senses. Good travel buds. Our 4th RS trip, won't be our last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher (even on a windy/rainy morning), Dingle (and Dingle gin), Milltown House (which provided a relaxing atmosphere, along with great food and drink and the birds of prey experience), the crystal cutting demo, the sun dappled Blasket Islands, The Rock of Cashel, Kilkenny Castle, Dublin (and its pubs) and the tombs of Brú na Bóinne."

Gay

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beautiful Ireland did not disappoint! Even with rain I loved it. (Was prepared with rain gear)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher were breathtaking! Just amazingly beautiful!"

Bruce

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A lot of interesting places in the short time we had.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of the tour was informative, but I liked the Dublin tour quite a bit. Very well done."

Lynda

Pine River, MN

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An absolutely wonderful time. The rain seemed to not be much of an issue because I was having such a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Blasket tour was a surprise and so fulfilling to experience. Of course it really helped because it was a beautiful sunny day, but offered a real perspective on Ireland and it's history."

Cheri

Roswell, GA

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Schedules were well-kept. Briefing Information locations and Irish history on-site was valuable before hand.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Mohr for its beauty and mystery."

David

Saint Paul, MN

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Despite the rainy weather the trip was a delight. Excellently organized.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coastal scenery around Dingle. Plus the Emigrant Museum in Dublin that wasn't part of the tour."

Russell

Katy, TX

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Joe and our driver, Olive, made our trip outstanding. We were able to enjoy the history and learn the culture of the country and its people because of these two individuals. Olive kept us on time and Joe did a great job of teaching as we went.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the Dingle Peninsula. The scenery was incredible and everything we learned was interesting."

Barbara

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Joe our guide, was extremely knowledgeable, personable, and well organized. Also he was a great speaker. Each day we spent on the trip was varied, and meaningful. Overall it was an excellent way to see the countryside and to learn about the history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ride around the Dingle Peninsula."

Robert

Albuquerque, NM

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a revelation. Historical facts I had been aware of were explained, amplified, and placed in cultural context. Scenery and villagrs, towns, people were wonderful. Travel companions were all great and every single tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wife and Itook a short hike on the coastline opposite Basket Islands. The waves pounding the rocKY shore, the long Feely green grass, blue skies and fresh wind combined to create an exhilarating, spiritual moment."

Steven

Scottsdale, AZ

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good mix of activity and free time. Saw all the "must see" sights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the drive on the Dingle Peninsula."

Carolyn

Elyria, OH

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third Rick Steve's tour with my husband and it did not disappoint! It was a wonderful experience with each day a new adventure. From our first meeting as a group that first day to our last dinner together it was nothing but fun. What a beautiful country! Joe our guide was fantastic, entertaining and extremely knowledgeable. Our tour group was great, new friendships made. Olive our tour bus driver was equally superb even, as we said, kicka _ s! So many great memories!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dingle Peninsula. Words really cannot describe how beautiful that part of the country is. And we had picture perfect weather that day to make it even more spectacular. It was just plain breathtaking!"

Joseph

Elyria, OH

Tour: 09/27/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was beautiful, lives up to it's title the Green Isle. Tour bus driver, Olive did such an amazing job driving all those narrow roadways! Learned so much about the history and culture of Ireland. Joe, our tour guide was funny, very knowledgeable and really gave us a taste of being Irish for a week.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the New Grange site and realizing it was older then the pyramids!"

Carol

North Aurora, IL

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The caliber of historic sights and the organization of day trips was excellent. The guide makes or breaks the entire tour however and our guide leader Stephen will remain the most memorable of the trip. His humor, his patience, and his endless stories passed the time riding on the bus and provided an honest and authentic sense of Irish culture and history. He brought each sight to life for all of us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time in Dingle, walking through the towns of Adare and Ennis, the Cliffs of Moher, Sled Head Drive and the Rock of Cashel."

Allison

Sherman Oaks, CA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where do I even start? I never wanted my tour or Ireland to end! It was really well planned and I feel like we made the most of our 8 days in Ireland. Stephen was an excellent guide. He was so funny, helpful, straightfoward and extremely knowledgable. It really was invaludable having a bus and a guide through our experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a meal prepared for us by a Michelin-star chef in Dingle at Milltown House! He specially made a vegetarian meal for me which was so delicious. Add in the beautiful setting, it was amazing."

Michelle

Duluth, MN

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

FLawless, perfect. Best learning experience to know Ireland. The learning was presented by some of the best Irish wit I've heard, ever!, in my Irish family, by the guide, Stephen! On time, safe travels throughout southern Ireland with great drivers. Local guides equally excellent as Stephen! Fantastic experiences everyday with local people as well as the museums and sites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing Dingle. Bed and Breakfast homes were full of love and warmth from the locals. Felt so absorbed by their care and culture. I have traveled much but this was an experience that was truly special. These homes provided wonderful foods, one group dinner prepared by a chef, a presentation by a wonderful writer,and wonderful experience with falconry. There were three beautiful dogs to welcome us too. They provided dog affection for those of us who were missing our own dogs back home."

Joy

Westminster, CO

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a lovely group of co-travelers and our tour guide was very knowedgeble. We had a bus problem and he handled it very efficiently.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The night in Dingle, Ireland when we heard local musicians and watched a young girl dancingmto Irish music."

Timothy

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephen was just an incredible tour guide. He made everything so wonderful.

Alysa

Fresno, CA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was a great introduction to Ireland. I had never been before and I enjoyed learning about the culture and history from our guide. I felt that this tour was much more relaxed than other RS tours I've done in the past with less walking and an easier pace.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite part of the tour was the time we spent in Dingle. I enjoyed the music and the experiences we had there."

John

Duluth, MN

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour in addition to using your guidebooks for self-touring Italy X2, France, and England and Scotland. All have been great. The tour was well organized and Stephen our guide showed a wealth of knowledge relating to the trip. Particularly interesting was his teaching of a broad history of Ireland from prehistoric times through the present day. It was light hearted and never too much at a time. He shared his own experiences of "The Troubles" without any malice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Trinity College's Museum was exceptional in many ways. The pre-historic bodies preserved in peat bogs were really something special, as was the Viking exhibit and the gold jewelry display. The EPIC Museum of Irish migration in Dublin was a great site- I suggest it be most highly recommended as a free time activity for almost anyone."

Janet

Elburn, IL

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first Rick Steve's tour exceeded all expectations! It was an example of reality actually meeting or exceeding the promise of marketing brochures. Loved the small group, the centrally located lodging with character and the overall content of the tour. Not a detail was overlooked. Everything was well organized and executed flawlessly. What a treat to have all the planning, logistics, and decisions of a complicated trip handled by professionals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was not just one moment---but rather a collection of moments. It has to be riding through the Irish countryside in our comfy bus while listening to our guide's informative and entertaining "stories" and background information. What a wonderful way to learn so much about Ireland--both the history and the current environment."

Barbara

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the sites visited BUT the informative commentary of the history and legacy of the sites made each visit memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The character, beauty, history, and all over "people warmth" made the town of Dingle sit deeply in my heart!"

Judith

Spokane, WA

Tour: 09/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was extremely pleased with the entire tour - it exceeded my exceptions, which were quite high. I found the size of the group and everyone adhered to the general principle of not complaining and rolling with the punches. Given a bus breakdown on the first day on the bus, I would say that we were tested in that respect and passed with flying colors. I was extremely pleased with the high quality of the group dinners and I thought generally the amount of time spent at various sights was good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would have to be Dingle and the opportunities that Stephen arranged for us. The B&B was an exquisite setting. The chance to be part of his falconry program was a fun extra. Really my 'wow' moment extended beyond Dingle to throughout the tour as Stephen offered us a totally entertaining way to get a better understanding of Ireland today and its history. In Dingle, the concert by his friend, the reading by another were great examples. His stories carried on that theme throughout the tour."

Amy

Flagler Beach, FL

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was well organized and a truly fun experience. The scenery was outstanding and the Irish people were welcoming and friendly. I highly recommend the (8) day Ireland tour for anyone that wants to see the countryside like a local. Having local guides in each city is fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick a "favorite" because there are so many. But included in that list is Dingle in general, Irish music both organized and unorganized, the National Cemetery, Book of Kells, the Mounds and the FOOD!"

Christina

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was wonderful! Dara is an excellent guide and you can tell he loves showing his country to people. Everything went smoothly. I learned so much about Irish history and saw so many interesting and beautiful places. The tour group quickly jelled into a group of friends, making the whole experience that much better, especially for me as a solo travellor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry!!!! This was listed as a 'bonus' activity, and what a fabulous bonus it was! We thought it would be just a demonstration, but it was participatory. Everyone who wanted to got to don a glove and have a falcon and then an owl land on their gloved hand. And I held a giant 13-pound eagle on my glove, too. Since I had just read "H is for Hawk", a memoir about training a goshawk, this event was truely special!! Thank you, Dara!!!"

Janet

Paso Robles, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Interesting discussion about Irish history. Loved the green coutryside

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Music in Dingle pubs; visit to cemetery in Dublin; last supper in Dublin"

Patricia

Beverly, MA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip abroad and I'm very happy I picked a Rick Steve's Tour. My entire experience was excellent from meeting my tour group and guide Dara. That group meeting was warm and welcoming and set the tone for the trip. Hotels had there own wonderful flavor about them,many delicious breakfast choices, bus extremely comfortable. Dara and guides very knowledgeable. I haven't learned, seen, laughed or eaten this well in along time. My world has opened up because of this R Steves tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Glendalough was my wow moment. Experienced the river, stunning grounds and peaceful, spiritual acres of natural beauty. Daras idea to picnic outside was a good one because the weather was sunny. The round tower and tour of cemetery was a good way to take me back to the time some of the old structures were built. Fascinating to learn how long they have stood the test of time. Guide here was knowledgeable & detailed. Made me want to learn more about the Monks who lived here."

Stephen

Paso Robles, CA

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was a good tour. Our 6th with Rick Steve's. There were not as many wow moments as we've experienced on past tours.

Ross

Flagler Beach, FL

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dara was great. Loved Olive, our bus driver. Friendly tour group of diverse people but like minded people who enjoy history, and learning about other cultures. Bus was confortable. Dara had a great system of integrating music, history, etc., within every place we went. His preparation and attention to detail was why we love Rick Steves Tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle. Could have spent more time there, hiking and shopping. Loved the pubs and local musicians. The concert and dancing at the Dingle Music shop was so enjoyable/special/memorable."

Richard

Waunakee, WI

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry experience in Dingle"

Mark

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephen was so passionatel about his country it became contagious. He was informative and responsive and well aware of the idiosyncrasies of our group. He brought Ireland to life from medieval times to the present. He did a magnificent job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle falconry was the wow for me but I loved the whole Dingle experience. The dancer was amazing as well."

Margaret

Cincinnati, OH

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephen did a fantastic job of being our tour guide. He made history come alive through his narriative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really loved the falcon presentation and the owls. They did a wonderful job. We enjoyed being in Dingle and the Cliffs of Mohr."

William

Fairport, NY

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was full of wonderful moments, including beautiful scenery, great beer and really friendly locals at pubs, restaurants and coffee shops. My favorite part, though, was hearing about Ireland's history from our guide - who was not only well versed in it, but who also told funny and compelling personal stories about the last 30 or so years.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I never expected to experience falconry first hand anywhere. That the opportunity was provided on this trip was awesome. The birds were amazing."

Sara

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This Ireland tour exceeded my expectations. The people, the landscape, the pubs, I loved everything about Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry experience in Dingle was one of the coolest experiences of my life!"

Susan

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved everything about the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The drive down the Dingle peninsula."

Martin

Webster, NY

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Guide Stephen made every day enjoyable, educational and entertaining with his stories

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tough to top to musical pubs in Dingle"

Carol

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was surprised at every step with the quality of the tour, our tour guide, our accommodations, the careful planning for our needs, the excellent food at each of our dinners, and the extras our guide provided for us. Truly a wonderful experience. Our bus driver, Olive, won applause for her driving skills on narrow streets and roadways. But most especially, our guide, Stephen, was funny, warm, knowledgable, and took us all under his wing. The tour couldn't have been better planned.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Dingle, Stephen was able to get the top Irish dancer in World competition to dance for us, and we were the envy of folks back home for having seen him. He also gave us the chance to have eagles, falcons, and owls sit on our gloved hands in Dingle. Unexpected and amazing! But the tour, as planned, was exactly what I had hoped for; I learned so much, fell in love with Ireland."

Louis

Sister Bay, WI

Tour: 09/15/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Tour Guide Stephen made the tour especially enjoyable. He was very knowledgeable, a great story teller and very funny. He pointed intricate things out to us that really enhanced the quality of the tour. Not only that, he really got into his subject matter with enthusiasm. All of the hotels and B&Bs were exceptional especially in Dingle. Clonmora was particularly enjoyable. The Falconry was a fun activity as well. Olive was a very good driver and handled that bus on narrow roads.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite wow moment was Dingle with its beautiful restaurants, shops, seaside marina and entertainment at the music shop. The singer and the Irish Dancer were a real treat."

Ann

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I have travelled extensively. Tour guides make the experience and Pascal was as good as I have experienced. I enjoyed all our stops. My biggest negative was several of our hotel stays. (See below.) While I liked our local guide in Ennis, I thought the Priory tour was boring and should have been optional, at best. I didn't think that the cemetery tour in Dublin was worth the time. Would have liked to have had more time at the Cliffs of Moher. I felt like we did a lot of backtracking while driving

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Perhaps being among the first to arrive at the Cliffs of Moher."

Penny

Hoover, AL

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour of Ireland, my grandfather's homeland!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting St Patrick's Shrine."

Mary

Shady Cove, OR

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Experience was great, but too short of a trip to see a lot. Loved Dingle and Kilkenny, but was very disappointed in Dublin. Too crowded and dirty. Ended up going to a movie in our free time. Still very sad that you include the last day as a "day". The dinner the night before should be the last "day". A lot of people have left by morning and all leave that morning anyway.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was the library at the Book of Kells. Really astonishing."

Jeffrey

Landenberg, PA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very strong tour, driven by Pascal's passion, story telling, and organization. First RS tour so we had pretty high expectations that were met.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle"

Anna

White Salmon, WA

Tour: 09/13/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Pascal's knowledge and energy made this tour amazing. It helped, of course, that our fellow travelers were great companions. This was my second RS Ireland tour - the first being the 14-day full island tour in 2011. This recent tour gave me a little repeat but that was fine since it was some of the best parts - Dingle and Rock of Cashel etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry experience was pretty WOW. I knew of the association of the falconry program relationship to the Milltown House because I follow Stephen McPhilemy's FB page for the hotel. But, stopping and enjoying it was a total surprise. It was amazing. Another wow was Glendalough and Newgrange."

William

Ashburn, VA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. Our Guide, Dara, was great and I recommend him and this tour without any reservation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The guides, the accommodations, the coach, the entertainment were all top notch."

Mary

Ashburn, VA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was all great! Had a wonderful time and saw so many things! Had great tour guide and city tour people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle peninsula"

Kathryn

Potsdam, NY

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

(Don't tell Dara, but he was so very Outstanding!! It could go to his head! Just kidding.) Dara made the tour so educational, fun, interesting and care-free. He made us feel welcomed and cared for. He is so knowledgeable and proud of his country and passed that on to us. He seemed to know everyone in the country! And everyone seemed to really like him! For very good reasons!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dingle Peninsula was beautiful and the village was just as I imagined an Irish village to be. I felt at home. It was wonderful."

Leslie

Norman, OK

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was so interesting and well organized! Stress free traveling and our guide was so good! We all loved Dara. All of the people we met in Ireland were so funny and sweet. Thank you!!

Elizabeth

Afton, MN

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic!! Ireland is such an absolutely beautiful country!! Everyday was well planned with ride time, tour time, on your own time and bathroom and meal breaks. Dara was so knowledgeable and gave us so much history and background for each place we saw. I learned a lot! He also played some great music on the bus, usually connected to the area we were in at the time. We had a great group of people on our tour and Dara was very fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several! Dingle , Slea Head drive, The blasket Islands, The green countryside with the sheep, Glendalough, Wicklow mountains, Rock of Cashel, Powerscourt estate, and the energy level in Dublin, And of course the everpresent Irish humor and wit!!, cant beat it!!! Some of the local tour guides were so very funny!!!"

Eileen

North Augusta, SC

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well planned. It was nice to not have to worry about anything! We were so busy but it was so informative and exciting. We had a great group and all looked after each other. Dara was wonderful. Would love to redo it all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So hard to choose! But really enjoyed our walk around Dublin; and loved Dingle! Our local tour guides were amazing! And the B&B in Dingle was so lovely."

Nancy

Norman, OK

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour after many years of traveling independently, and our group agreed that we are now believers! From not having to plan and not having to drive to great hotels to the information shared while on the bus, it exceeded our expectations in every respect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the Rock of Cashel. But also seeing the warmth and friendliness of the people - from hotel staff to people in pubs to store clerks, everyone was so welcoming and helpful. People in the smaller towns would come up to us on the street to see if we needed directions."

Bj

Norman, OK

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We all loved this tour. We were especially impressed with the seamlessness of it. We credit our tour guide, Dara, for this. I loved not having to book so many accommodations and at the same time,this was an active tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Rock of Cashel with its setting and history. I could feel the past there overlooking the Plains of Tipperary."

Louis

North Augusta, SC

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the fact that I was on a tour. The traveling from place to place was an added pleasure, since I didn't have to drive and we received valuable information on the way. And, after we arrived at our next destinations, each local tour was great also, with wonderful hosts.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The best was the cliffs of Moher and the Dingle peninsula. I love the coast line and it was breath taking and the history and local culture and people made it a joy. Outstanding."

Jacque

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this tour very much. It was the right amount of walking and bus travel. We especially enjoyed the bus driver, Michael, and our guide, Dara. In addition each of the site guides was exceptional including the Whiskey Museum in Dublin, Mary the walking tour guide in Dublin, the gentleman who was our guide at Glasevin Cemetary, etc. ALL were entertaining and informative with lots of charm.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Clif of Moher were amazing, but I also was in awe at every hill, field, sheep herd, etc. Each bend in the road brought more to look at. I'd say the one road and views that really stood out for me was the narrow road on the Dingle Pennisula. That was WOW for me."

Kathrine

Fitchburg, MA

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never taken a Rick Steves tour before but I was very impressed with the tour guide Sara's knowledge of the history of Ireland. He did a fabulous job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really loved the Dingle Peninsula, the countryside and views were spectacular and the bus driver Michael waa fantastic."

Kathleen

Pensacola, FL

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. Dara was a wealth of information on Ireland's culture and history. The accommodations were all very nice and the group suppers were superb. The bus was very comfortable also.The local tour guides were also top notch. I am so glad I did not attempt visiting Ireland on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The bus tour along the Dingle coast - WOW!"

Bob

Norman, OK

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It's a great place with good people. Dara did a particularly good job w the history and cultures. He was forthright and balanced and dodged no questions. He did a great job and I commend him. We were in Dublin at the time of the Gaelic football tie breaker- a very special event and one necessarily scheduled only a week or two in advance. This routinely is a significant cultural and historical event and as a tie breaker, more so. Our final dinner was scheduled during this. Flexibility would -

Favorite "WOW" moment

"-have been good. Dara did his best to enable us for the event-really above and beyond. For his sake and ours a change in venue or time would have been best"

Rick

Norman, OK

Tour: 09/08/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dara, our guide, was incredible. Loved his choice of restaurants, music and poetry on the bus and seamless management of our tour. Local guides, especially Mary in Dublin, were excellent. Accommodations were terrific, especially the inn in Dingle.

Jeff

Medina, OH

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very enjoyable. This was our 1st tour ever with any tour company. We have always done our own planning an logistics when travelling. We have used Rick Steve books since 193 on our travels abroad.

Sherman

Sierra Madre, CA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was the very first for my wife and me. Not just our first RS tour but any tour. After hearing of positive reviews from my brother and sister-in-law from them going on several Rick Steve's tours, we decided to go. We loved Ireland and the tour. Our experience was top notch and better than anticipated! I found that the itinerary was perfect for the amount of time allotted. It won't be our last RS tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many but my favorite was hiking along the Cliffs of Moher. It was incredibly beautiful. My others were the falconry experience at the Millhouse Inn and listening to music in the pubs."

Paul

Town & Country, MO

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What made our tour of Ireland so special was having Pascal as our guide. His local knowledge of where we were combined with his sense of humor and story telling was extra special. We did your Best of Europe Tour earlier this year, and I didn't think it could be topped. I truly felt like I got a real feel for Ireland and all its beauty, as well as its culture and friendly people. It made me think twice about why I wouldn't just live there permanently....

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two "wow" moments.... First, getting to Cliffs of Moher before anyone else, and then lagging a little behind our group so that I could stand alone at cliff's edge and just take it all in. Second, a couple of us took a short hike out to the lighthouse in Dingle where, once again, we stood in awe of Ireland's beauty. And as an added bonus, we saw Fungie!"

Deborah

Sierra Madre, CA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

1st tour ever. I tried not to read up on the trip too much so that I could experience the trip as it unfolded. It was well planned and Pascal was a great guide. He never seemed to tire of explaining everything to us. The local guides have a a different perspective and insight which was very much appreciated. Overall it was a well oiled machine and everything seemed flawless from a participants perspective.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were directed to a pub in Dingle that was touted as having the best Guinness. I don't normally drink beer but tried it. And it was like nothing I ever tasted before. It was even better than what they poured at the Guinness factory"

Amy

Apo, AE

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the very beginning my Mother and I felt well cared for. The hotels were true to description. Our Guide Pascal was amazing. He took such wonderful care of us. I loved all of the Irish history that we were exposed to. I can tell that Pascal truly loves his work because he went the extra mile to schedule extra events not on the schedule that added greatly to the experience. I don't think I want to travel any other way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite WOW moment was the Falconry we went to in Dingle. I have always wanted to do that, and I was an amazing surprise to find that we got to hold so many Birds. The members were so knowledgeable and gave a great performance. But, really it is hard to pick just one event!"

Margaret

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very compact and felt we saw so much in the 7 days! The history and culture and the knowledge that Pascal had was wonderful! Very efficient and always on time! We had a great group!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything was fabulous but the " wow" moment was the day to the Cliffs of Moher including the drive that was spectacular! Our bus driver that day Alan was a great driver too on those narrow roads! Another "wow" was the 2 nights in Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula! We want to go back!! It was hard to leave Dingle!"

Stephen

Highland Village, TX

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding! Pascal was great, the bus was comfortable, and the group was friendly, flexible, and well-suited to this type of tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The stop in Dingle at the Falconry display was stunning. I never imagined having trained birds of prey sitting on my hand or arm! And such magnificent birds; falcon, owls, and a Golden Eagle! The rescue, rehab, and training those folks do is beyond commendable. Advertise this experience! Not especially "Irish", but still spectacular. Dingle Crystal was another highlight. The skill and artistry displayed was singularly unique. So inspiring we ended up buying several pieces from their shop!"

Andrea

Weybridge, VT

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I have to start by saying I'm not really the 'organized tour type' - I've travelled for work internationally on my own a good deal and my husband and I usually arrange our own trips. So the positive is the tour provided a good overview of the sites and hit some real highlights; the negatives were the hotels were not where I would have stayed and there was too little 'free time.' But I learned a lot and appreciated the large bus with plenty of room to spread out (I was worried about the bus!)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher by far. They are wonderful and we got there early before any other bus arrived so could really enjoy the raw beauty and walk around freely and get great photos without having to dodge people. Would want to go back here if I get back to Ireland again."

Jana

Mesquite, TX

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the Ireland tour. The balance of free and tour time is perfect. The scenery and history really made the tour. Our guide Pasqual made the history come alive. I would love to go back and see all of Ireland next time. This tour whets the appetite.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery was amazing. It's appropriately called the "Emerald Isle". But the falconry experience in Dingle was a one of a kind experience. Loved being able to experience those magnificent birds firsthand."

Patrick

Wellesley Hills, MA

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

I'll be right up front. I don't like to travel on bus tours. I like to explore on my own but the people that invited us on the tour like to travel this way so I agreed. Too structured for my taste. Oh well

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wasn't one as I had been to Ireland twice before"

Shannon

Town & Country, MO

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was actually our 2nd tour of the year, and we loved it!! Ireland was wonderful, Pascal was an outstanding guide, and the others on the tour were wonderful (for the most part). Did come across one couple who didn't seem to be on-board with the group tour philosophy...just not friendly, but that's okay. Everyone else was very friendly and fun! We did have an illness/cold go around that hit about 6 of us, but that happens. Would like an extra day in a cute village, one less in big city.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was our time in Dingle. I loved the small village, the trip along Slea Head Drive (in spite of the fog and limited views), the concert, and the falconry was awesome! Dingle was so beautiful, I actually wish we had one more day there, and one less in Dublin. Went on a hike to the lighthouse and got to see Fungie, which was cool! Loved Dingle!"

Virginia

Manchester, NH

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first tour and traveled alone. Fabulous time! Completely educated on Ireland, loads of fun, great food, great weather. So sad to leave! Comfortable travel, lovely people.....would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many of them but peering at Kilkenny Castle at night on a walk."

Deb

Kearney, NE

Tour: 09/06/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour and it was even better than I had anticipated. Great tour guide, hotels, meals and planned activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My first "wow" was just seeing Ireland for the first time. The beauty of it was stunning!"

Frank

Beavercreek, OH

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of my best ever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Druid ruins north of Dublin that pre-dated the pyramids and Stone Henge."

Robert

Salem, OR

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No particular "wow" moment. Just a steady level of excellence."

William

Walpole, NH

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall quality of the tour lived up to my expectations of the Rick Steves name. Very well organized, expert leaders and guides, wonderful food. Best of all were the relationships made on the way. Can't wait for the next trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher were a great sight, but for me the best moment was the Rock of Cashel. The medieval ruins were simply spectacular. The comments of the guide helped put the significance of the sight in historical perspective, adding to our understanding of the role of the sight in Irish history."

Mark

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was as comprehensive a look into Ireland and its conflicted history that I could imagine possible, given the necessarily brief timespan of the tour. Lisa Tully kept things interesting, informative, lively, and on time. She can really run a tour. And the guides at the various sites were articulate and funny as well as knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Rock of Cashel. The visit to the cathedral started in driving rain, giving the huge ruin an even more dramatic aspect. The visit ended in brilliant sunshine, making the stone gleam, changing the structure's image from grim to grand."

Barbara

Dumfries, VA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Best tour ever. We have been on many tours with other companies but this one really was the best. We met so many wonderful people on this trip and plan on keeping in touch with two other couples. We are already talking about another trip with RS.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ireland was wonderful and the people were so friendly and welcoming. All of it was a "wow" moment."

Anya

Smyrna, GA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was varied and lots of fun. I learned so much and connected with my tour group members, the guide and the people we met along the way. Of course there are highs and lows but I honestly believe this is the best "bang for my buck" that I've every been on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Rock of Cashel. I knew very little about Irish history, the history of Munster and St. Patrick. On the bus, Lisa explained about the history/story of Saint Patrick and background information about the fort-turned-church. It helped me get a big picture view on both the importance of the site and its beauty."

Gary

Ames, IA

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Lisa verbally explained as well as posted the next days activities would be so there wasn't any surprises & were able to be prepare physically & mentally. Her delivery of the facts & history as we progressed thru the tour was seamless & entertaining with just enough quite time to reflect & enjoy the scenery. I a lot of interesting historical sites & learn a lot about Irish culture history as well as current events. My wife & I met some great people in our travel group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher, definitely GOD's works. The history of Ireland & it's people. The access we where provided because of the respect for the Rick Steves brand."

Lisa

Walpole, NH

Tour: 09/01/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and it far exceeded our expectations. We really enjoyed our overall experience and loved Ireland. The countryside is beautiful and the people in Ireland are so friendly. Our guide, Lisa was amazing and made the tour interesting and fun. We loved all the places we visited and enjoyed the local guides and walking tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was the Cliffs of Moher and my husband loved the Rock of Cashel."

James

Milwaukee, WI

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It surpassed my expectations. Dara was so knowledgeable and the scenery was magnificent. I liked all of the hotels and I liked the balance of tour time/free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many but probably the Cliffs of Moher because the weather was so clear. I also loved the Dingle Peninsula and in particular the Blasket Center. I had never heard of these islands before and the center, which was beautiful, told the story and plight of the islanders."

Patricia

Hillsborough, NC

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Could not have ever imagined how much I learned and how much fun I had. It was a magical trip

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, I don't know where to begin. We did it all from touring a structure that predates Stonehenge and Egypt's pyramids to watching the Irish football championship game end in a tie, but I think the very best part was how warm and welcoming the people are."

Larry

Stevens Point, WI

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Everything went as advertised. We had a great time.

Mary

Stevens Point, WI

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I wanted to learn about the Irish culture and this tour did not disappoint. The scenery was amazing. We got very lucky as everyone on the tour was friendly and interesting to talk to. We had many laughs along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Irish scenery is beautiful, museums are great and the pubs are so much fun. Dara always prepared us in advance as to what to expect."

Jennifer

Easley, SC

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Having never been on a tour, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I hoped to learn a bit about the culture, and maybe some of my heritage. I got that and so much more! I learned the history and culture of this beautiful country. I met her people and fell in love with them. I can't say enough about this tour. The only bad thing I can say about it is that it ended. I fell in love with Ireland. I will be back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Dingle! There were so many wow moments, but Dingle was amazing! Our guide, Dara, introduced us to his family there. We watched Gaelic football at his pub, listened to beautiful Irish music at his dad's music shop, performed by his cousin. How could you not fall in love with a place where you are made to feel like family?"

Janet

Farmville, VA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time on our tour, It was everything we had hoped it would be!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"First seeing the Cliff of Mohr."

Bonnie

Holland, MI

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This entire evaluation is for myself and my husband, Don. All was well organized. We had a great group of travelers and a fabulous guide. We learned a lot about the history, the policies and culture of Ireland. We laughed a lot and had experiences we would not have had as independent travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was more than one! For a natural "wow" the full rainbow over Dingle Bay was spectacular. the loop drive around Dingle Peninsula was the big "wow" with fabulous views and ruins and learning about Great Blasket Island and its history. For our particular tour, the evening in Kilkenny at the Hole in the Wall pub singing and sharing was an evening that will never be duplicated."

Linda

Dudley, MA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I heard about the "Irish experience" and now know what that means! It may have been one of the shortest Rick Steves tours that I have taken but definitely not short on the wonderful memories that I have of this beautiful country with the warmest people that I have ever met.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Have more than one "wow" moment but listening to Dara's cousin Maeve sing and play the squeeze box was a highlight of the trip. Seeing Newgrange was also a "bucket list" moment."

Mark

Melrose, MA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well structured itinerary, very knowledgeable guide, congenial handling of a large group with good humor to help bring us together into a 'family' while touring together for a week. Especially thought that the balance of structured time and 'free time' was just right, as was the mix of cultural, historical, and natural sites. Bus drivers were excellent, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Interior of Kilkenny Castle, especially the picture room."

Moira

Monroe, WA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great. Dara orchestrated everything perfectly. We had traffic issues in Dublin when we headed out for a tour but he managed to juggle things around so we didn't miss out on anything. He was a great tour guide and very knowledgeable on Irish history and current politics. Everything we did was fun and very educational. I have been asked countless times what I liked best about my trip. The tour guide and tour was the best. I fell in love with Ireland will go back.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of Glasnevin was a wow moment as I never realized so many Irish heroes were buried there and the history of this place. Also the churches in Ennis and around are so ornate compared to the outside stones. I can't believe we actually got to touch the casket of Daniel O'Connell. Dingle was a lot of fun and Dara treated us as one of the family with open arms. The culture and meeting such nice people of Ireland was very nice too."

Robert

Dudley, MA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Truly an Irish experience. We have made a lot of Rick Steves tours (7) and have had great guides, but no one like Dara. He was the warmest and most engaging guide ever. The sites were awesome. My wife is a huge photographer and she got tons of great pictures that she is getting rave reviews on social media. Dara was just great with help on restaurant choices and directions. He also taught us all about Irish football. The trip fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine: falconry. How cool is that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle peninsula was just breathtaking. I could live in Dingle Town. As I mentioned above, the falconry experience is something that I will never forget."

Ralph

East Setauket, NY

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were awed by the cliffs of Moher, and thoroughly enjoyed the Irish culture, friendliness, warmth and music and good time vibe at the pubs. We especially liked the private concert we got at Dara's music store."

Anne

Peachtree City, GA

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My trip to Ireland was more than I could have imagined. From the time I met up with my tour in Ennis I knew I had made the right chose. I came to Ireland to visit the birthplace of my Grandparents and find out what Ireland is like today. Every place we went every stop along the way was great I would not change a thing. I accomplished my mission and so much more. I have totally fallen in love with Ireland and the Irish people I plan to return next year at this time

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we were in Dingle I got a call from home letting me know that my good friend Mary's son had passed away. We were about to attend a concert at Siopa Ceoil An Daingin A music shop in Dingle featuring local artists The girl singing Cuisle found out what happened and sang a song in Gaelic or Irish my friends first language and dedicated it to her. The people there were so supportive .I had just met them but I felt so at home. WOW!!"

David

Carrollton, TX

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

- Well planned & executed (A Swiss watch)! - Authentic, Gregarious, Knowledgeable Guide (Stephen is incredible!) - Evocative Mix of Natural, Historical, & Religious Sites in Urban and Rural Settings - I feel I really got to know & appreciate the struggles and triumphs of the Irish people from the time of the Norman invaders up to the Irish War of Independence - Fun! Irish pubs are everywhere - In each city, Stephen guided us to the ones w/sing alongs (Slainte!) - Safe, Comfortable Transport

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry experience at Milltown House was unexpected and thrilling! Everyone was grinning ear to ear as the falconer put the owls and hawks through their paces. The speed of the hawks alternatively flying around the house roof top and diving for the falconer's switch was breathtaking. But we were just getting started. We then donned leather gloves to take turns "flying the birds" back and forth across our makeshift aerial circle. Lastly, we all took pictures holding a 13lb brown eagle."

Nancy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I learned about Ireland, espeically the culutre, history and spirit of the people. Stephen was a very professional and polished guide. We enjoyed the baking Demo in Dingle and the music and dance presentation in Dingle. Also the Falconer was pretty amazing. Enjoyed Kilkenny castle and dinner.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The bus rides with Stephen were really excellent; his singing, story-telling and hunor were lovely. The countryside, the castles."

Carol

Gulf Breeze, FL

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fun interesting tour. Stephen is so funny during our bus trips to tell us about the country and his childhood there. Makes it more personal and relatable. He does many extra things which enhances our trip. His history knowledge is amazing and I don't know how he remembers all those dates!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Falconers in Dingle."

Linda

Carrollton, TX

Tour: 08/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip planning was easy: we simply had to show up and enjoy beautiful Ireland! As first-time Rick Steves trippers, this was the least stressful vacation we've ever taken. Knowing that we could trust your trip planners to arrange a wonderful experience at every step was tremendous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry experience in Dingle was something I'd never thought I'd be able to do, so it was a complete surprise that it was included. It was thrilling. We were supposed to have a cruise around Dingle Bay and maybe see Fungie the dolphin. I was really looking forward to this, but it rained that day, and the cruise was never mentioned. To my knowledge, I don't know that this event was replaced with anything else."

Daryl

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had never thought I would like an organized tour. This has changed my mind. I saw and learned so much. We could never have done this on our own. Kieran and Olive were a great pair, making everyone feel included and taken care of. The local guides were so knowledgeable and down to earth. This absolutly increased my appreciation for the history, culture, arts, industry and current life from Ennis to Dublin. Couldn't have been better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. The best was our evening in Dingle at the Dingle music store. Kieran set up a special informal music night for us. We met some local and visiting musicians who provided the most wonderful Irish music and running commentary. A short "intermission" included Irish coffee and an opportunity to talk with the musicians and locals. Glendalough was majestic and mystifying. My grandparents and many ancestors before them were born nearby. So this had a special meaning for me."

Karen

Sun City Center, FL

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 2nd RS Tour and our guide Kieran was so knowledgeable. Ennis was a cute town and we had way too much fun in the Dingle pubs meeting many kind and hospitable locals and out of towners. Moving on to Glendalough, many agreed there was not enough time spent there. Kilkenny was good, though the French restaurant had an unusual limited menu for our group. Dublin is a bustling city. Don't miss the Jameson and Guinness tours. The Dublin hotel's A/C was a welcome treat,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment(s) were watching the exquisite finesse Olive, our bus driver, used In navigating around Ireland. And just as phenomenal was playing with the birds of prey at Dingle Falconry which was my MAIN reason for visiting Ireland. I like animals."

Richard

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was my first group tour experience, and the first time I participated in a Rick Steves Tour. It was also my first visit to Ireland. It was an outstanding trip! Our tour guide Kieran was excellent: His depth of knowledge about Ireland was impressive and he kept us entertained with his wit and musical talent. Our tour bus driver Olive was also especially skilled navigating the country roads and freeways as well as warm and good-humored.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While staying in Dingle we enjoyed an evening of traditional Irish music at the Siopa Ceoil (including a number or two when our guide joined in playing the uilleann pipes and tin whistle). the musicians were excellent to hear play and also to chat with - a very personnel connection for us."

Karen

Mentor, OH

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely wonderful! My third tour with Rick Steves and will continue to use this company

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Falconry demonstration in Dingle"

Kay

New Berlin, WI

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfectly balanced indoor, outdoor, bus time, and cultural activities. Loved every moment! I am a Rick Steves' tour veteran and will count this trip as one of the best. Kieran was an outstanding guide/host. His Irish heritage was a plus for all of us. Not to mention his wonderful musicality and how personal that was. He paced things very well and was a great resource for our inquiries related to restaurants and local information. The group meals and hotels on this trip were all wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The coastline on our drive around the Dingle peninsula was amazing! We were blessed with a beautiful day and I was so happy to have an excellent bus driver in Olive."

Leo

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had always wanted to visit Ireland and this bucket list trip exceeded my expectations. Our guide was well versed regarding the history of the land and readily shared his knowledge of traditional Irish music. Kieran's talent on the Ilun pipes blended well with the local musicians he played with during a thoroughly entertaining nite in Dingle. Itinerary was wonderful with unforgetable sights and experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wows! Cliffs of Moher, Slea Head Drive, having a Golden Eagle perched on my arm,the Rock of Cashel, Neolithic mounds. Most touching moment came during our trad music session in Dingle. The guitar player talked with my wife and I during a break and then sang an impromptu composition to us."

Michael

Wimauma, FL

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Guides were knowledgeable and articulate. Pace was good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Falconry experience at Milltown House, Dingle"

Brett

Knoxville, TN

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience. Ireland was what one would hope it would be. The trip was relaxing because I didn't plan it! The guides were knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The pace was busy but reasonable and there was free time to do more exploring g on ones own as well. I prefer a busy pace where you learn and see a lot. I would do another rick steves your for sure

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The night of music in Dingle was special. People were so talented and appreciated and entertaining. Also the lovely young dancer was special. It felt like we were in someone's home. So glad Kieran, our guide, played as well. Really a special experience"

Michele

Chandler, AZ

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

First of all the weather was perfect. We had a delightful tour group. Please continue to emphasize you need to be in good shape to get the most from these tours. They are packed with activities and you don't want to miss a thing.Got in all my steps and more everyday. I feel I got a real Irish experience

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Glendalough was breathtaking, walking around the lakes was magical. Could have spent the entire day there. Great place for pictures"

Lafray

Plain City, UT

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved our tour of Ireland! The scenery was so beautiful and the people so friendly. I'll never forget the falconry experience. I also loved the concert of traditional music. It was such a treat to hear Kieran on the pipes. I loved learning about local history. I liked how there were so many places and events packed into the tour. I loved every minute of it!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick one moment. But generally speaking, it was the spectacular views. The view of the ocean from the Cliffs of Mohr and being able to see for miles from the top of the mound at Bru na Boinne were probably my favorites. They were breath-taking!"

Ron

Plain City, UT

Tour: 08/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being my first experience traveling outside theUSA, I really didn't know what to expect. The Heart of Ireland tour far exceeded any expectations I had. My wife and I had a very good time. I feel very lucky to have had Kieran as our tour guide. We had a good group, good weather, a great bus driver and Ireland with all it's beauty and history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite experience wa the little concert put on for us at the Dingle Music Shop. Being a country person, I enjoyed the country settings very much."

Glenn

Sedro Woolley, WA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved getting away from work. Took about 4 days to relax and not dream or worry about business in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. Stephen, the Irish guide was great and loved his singing. Birds of Prey and Irish dancing in Dingle was special. Will go back to Ireland again.

Connie

Arlington, VA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a GREAT tour. We are independent travelers, but have liked Rick's guidelines for other travels (Middle East) and we were very happy to try as our first organized travel trip. Pleased with pace and depth of the tour activities and information. Good mix of self time and group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very fun activities at Dingle, organized by Stephen and felt unique to have his input with local community. (falconry, chef, wolfhounds, cheese shop sampling, belt making, crystal demo, etc). My biggest surprise was how fascinating the Blasket Islands Center was."

David

Arlington, VA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a tour filled with magical moments ... first real tour we have ever taken, and it will not be our last ... especially with Rick Steves

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dingle experience ... led by Stephen ... from a great Bed and Breakfast stay, to experiencing falconry, incredible cuisine, and amazing dancing and singing."

Barry

Lagrange, GA

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The overall experience was not as good as all our previous tours thru Rick Steves Tours. Too many people on this tour (27) that was made up of some large families who stayed as their own nucleus group. This made for limited group interaction which is one of the plus attractions of RS. Some of the attractions included on the tour were poorly presented. Our guide on the earth mounds was terrible because she presented a broken and non-informative history. Our hotel in Dingle(B&B) was not clean.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The birds at Dingle which allowed us to hold several large birds *eagle, hawk, etc"

Sally

Blanchester, OH

Tour: 08/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed every minute of the trip. Ireland was beautiful and Stephen was an excellent guide!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My friends renewed their wedding vows at Stephen's B&B. He made the arrangements for a druid Priestess to come perform the ceremony. our entire group joined in which made it very special!"

Laura

San Diego, CA

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was amazing. Our guide was excellent; a great story-teller as well as knowledgeable about Irish history, and was able to put the sights we visited into a historical context. Then when visiting new sites would hand us off to equally knowledgeable local guides. The tour was well organized, the hotels were excellent and the group dinners were delicious. Even our fellow travelers were good company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to choose between visiting Glendalough and having a Golden Eagle land on my hand. But then again visiting Dingle and touring the peninsula are a close second."

Robert

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I liked the breadth of the tour as far as both geography and history. It was really good to see various snapshots of Ireland ranging from rural, seaside Dingle to urban Dublin, and the breadth of history from prehistoric burial tombs predating the pyramids to modern politics. We really enjoyed the historical perspective of our guide who grew up on both sides of the North Ireland border and was happy to share his perspectives on the troubles as well as current Irish politics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the range of history from prehistoric to modern. Our guide's expertise in genealogy and willingness to talk about current Irish politics was great."

Nicholas

Tampa, FL

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

As usual, the Rick Steves' tour standards were met. However, Ireland did not offer as much excitement as some of my other tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Neolithic tombs and the Dingle peninsula."

George

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. Just the right amount of traveling on bus. Very impressed with our tour guide, Stephen McPhilemy and our bus driver, Olive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything!"

Julie

Wyndmoor, PA

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every moment in Ireland on this tour was more than I could have ever expected! The beauty of land and sea-spectacular! I enjoyed bus rides because of the stories of political/historical information, as told by Stephen McPhilemy, along the way. Always surprising, interesting, meaningful, and many times humorous--leaving me so enthused to learn more about Ireland! The Pubs, singers, bands, dancers-so much fun! The weather was 60-70 with alternating sunshine/showers-awesome for walking a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our stay in Dingle!!! ...Falconry, chef's meal, David's dance performance, concert by Mickey Harte, walks by the water,fish/Chips in the rain, bookstore concert, most gorgeous B&B ever, Irish soda bread/scones baking lessons, bar tasting of local brews, the horse down the way..."

Jennifer

State College, PA

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephen was very knowledgable and personable...I had a wonderful time!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Glendalough was absolutely breathtaking. I would have loved to have had more time there for hiking."

Christine

Coralville, IA

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience! Learned so much and feel we really saw the very best of Ireland. Our guide Stephen was so knowledgeable and brought everything to life. What a great storyteller! Great group of travelers as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Milltown House in Dingle and all of the experiences there."

Elias

Duarte, CA

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a great time!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour was excellent!!"

Rebecca

Meridian, ID

Tour: 08/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Stephen was wonderful and did a great job sharing the Irish life. I think my favorite things were our time in Dingle and Glendalough. The opportunity in Dingle to interact with the peregrine falcon, owls and eagle was amazing. Glendalough felt like "fairy land". It was so peaceful and rejuvenating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The monastic village at Glendalough was a very spiritual experience."

Bryan

Sarasota, FL

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was amazing ! Well organized and educational . Our guide was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pinpoint just one. Cliffs of Moher, Dingle Peninsula , Irish dancing-singing and music in the pubs."

Suzanne

Edmond, OK

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had so much fun because we met up with tour members from our last RS tour. We enjoyed Stephen our tour guide. It's great to have a local who lived and grew up in the country. He has lots of great stories to tell.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The night of music in Dingle really showed off the culture. It was great to see so many locals having fun together on stage. Loved the town of Kilkenny and shopping at the outdoor market to get a picnic to take to Glendalough."

Alice

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I love to travel and have always done it on our own. To be honest the only reason we went with a group is so that my husband didn't have to drive in Ireland (my fear, not his!).We were hesitant about a "tour group herd" experience. Wow, we were blown away. Not only did we feel that we still had an authentic travel experience in Ireland, we believe we were able to do things with our tour guide that we would never have thought of on our own(Dingle falconry!). Truly amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For us, travel is all about small wow moments.Going to a farmers market in Kilkenny to pick up picnic lunches then eating by a lake in Glendalough;having a beer at Dick Macks in Dingle;seeing the Cliffs of Moher; staying at Milltown B&B. Exploring the Dingle peninsula, seeing the countryside,the 600 year old church, Rock of Cashel."

Steve

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 08/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first group tour with a commercial company. We were skeptical but hopeful about what it would be like. The tour far exceeded our expectations! Good sized group, comfortable bus, the hotels and food were better than we expected (especially the group dinners! Really good). Our Guide Stephen was great and his extra touches (falconry!) and the local guides all added a lot. The pace was good-- plenty to do but good times to rest or go on your own. Having teens on the trip was great

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably falconry, but also Cliff of Moher, Slea Head and Gallarus Oratory"

Gerrie

Des Moines, WA

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

People, music, history and scenery. Stephan's awesome-detailed and entertaining! Above and beyond, he videoed my whistle at the Cliffs of Moher and gave us a late-night Dingle ride home. Mark drove the bus skillfully. Enjoyed all the tour members! During independent time I took a lesson with Francis at Custy's and went to 6 pub sessions. Chatted with locals at the bar in Dublin. Hotels were great, charming B&B, castle view in Kilkenny, central in Dublin.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As a musician the music wowed me. Some of us went to pub sessions almost every night. Live music was great. At the cozy Dingle Music Center the show had nationally known guests Sean Gavin and Seamus Begley who went to play at a pub later. The "trad" music spoke to the heart of the Irish people and me."

Scott

Bloomsburg, PA

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour was excellent. The guide was friendly, knowledgeable, helpful, and a great storyteller! The bus and driver were excellent, too. The pacing, sites, amount of free time, mix of urban and rural, and accommodations all were exactly as we had hoped. We can't think of a thing we would change.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We think it's a tie between the Cliffs of Moher (awe-inspiring nature) and the tombs at Brú na Bóinne (equally awe-inspiring ancient tombs)."

Scott

Spartanburg, SC

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Second trip with your team and we will be excited to use you again. Having everything planned and scheduled makes sure you get the most out of a once in a lifetime trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher"

Elizabeth

Spartanburg, SC

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We not only toured the Heart of Ireland but experienced the heart and soul of Ireland. Surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, we were immersed in the culture of a land filled with people fond of their history, literature, music, food and drink. And they shared it all willingly with us. Every tour and experience gave us a real sense of not only Ireland of the past but the Ireland of today.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although the natural wonders were breathtaking, I truly loved hearing multiple generations perform traditional Irish music at our concert in the little music store in Dingle. It doesn't get any better than that!"

Stephen

Eugene, OR

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had an excellent experience, helped by our un-Irish sunny weather, but mostly due to our fantastic guide, safe and smooth driver, selection of hotels and restaurants, and timing to avoid crowds. Greatly impressed with the organization of the tour and the personnel involved.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The combination of a wonderful meal including seafood chowder and Irish stew, whiskey tasting, and a song rendition from our guide Stephen was amazing. Additionally, just seeing the deep, deep green as we traveled the west of Ireland was soothing to the soul."

Kathy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. I don't know how they can have so many wonderful things in an 8 day tour. In particular we loved the Raptor experience with the Raptor sanctuary trainers. Having a Hawk or a Peregrine Falcon land on your arm was amazing. Walking on areas where Vikings were buried, seeing ancient building fortifications that existed since the 1200's and gaining understanding of Irelands hard fought history was a bonus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking into the Mounds that were ancient burial grounds from 300-3000 BC were incredible."

Barbara

Arlington, TX

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful few days! Our experience was completely positive. We were shepherded around the island by GREAT guides at a pace that was neither too slow nor too tiring. The agenda included so many amazing sights and the narrative was entertaining and educational. I felt as though we got an excellent, if brief, look into the authentic culture of Ireland and I understand so much better the history and struggles of the country. It made me love Ireland!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Among so many amazing sights it's hard to choose a moment. Loved seeing the ancient structures, the quaint streets, the GREEN countryside, the sights and sounds of Dublin. But looking out over the coast of the Dingle Peninsula was something I'll never forget."

Laura

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I've visited many bustling cities lately, and it was time for a slower, pastoral experience. Ireland didn't disappoint! I came to Ennis a day early to rest up and walk around on my own and then was thrilled to meet up with interesting and intelligent tour members the following day. I fell in love with the Dingle Peninsula and I loved everything Dublin had to offer. I did appreciate the transitional stay in Kilkenny so as not to shock my senses from Dingle to Dublin.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not sure I had a wow moment, but I did just have a restorative stay in Dingle. It helped that our guide was from the town and had his friends cook for us and entertain us. I loved the B&B and eating dinner there with the other tour members. And the falconry was so fun! Never done that before."

Mark

New York, NY

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour planned and guided very well and enjoyably. We saw the sights we wanted to see on a first trip to Ireland and we felt we had enough time at the sites and enough free time to see other things we wanted to see. (We did add 2 days in the Galway area and 2 days in Dublin to complete our Ireland adventure though.) Further, the travel arrangements seemed well planned to optimize our tour; e.g., the Cliffs of Moher, which we saw at 9am before the onslaught of buses after 10am.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the official tour route: the Long Room in the Trinity College Library combined with the Book of Kells, Slea Head drive and falconry demo (these latter 2 things in the Dingle area). Free time "Wow" moment: I made a personal pilgrimage to the Handel Hotel site on Fishamble street in Dublin where the archway entrance to the old music hall still stands; this was the site of the first performance in history of Handel's "Messiah"."

Jack

Arlington, TX

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought it was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle Peninsula at Slae Head!"

Patricia

Homewood, IL

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was beautiful, welcoming and fascinating. I learned a great deal about the history and struggles of the people which helped me to connect with the essence of the country. I loved learning the stories behind a place or event. Also, each place we visited had a unique character with so much to enjoy and appreciate. Everything from the hotels, the food, the music, our tour guide and the people we encountered added to the richness of the overall experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is the hardest question to answer but I especially felt the "wow" sensation while driving through the countryside of gorgeous green shades on our way to Dingle and then the spectacular scenery on the Dingle Peninsula. That was outstanding! It has to be one of the most beautiful and peaceful places on earth."

Tom

Homewood, IL

Tour: 07/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything we expected. We have been on 5 Rick Steves tours, so we expected a lot! Stephen is a great guide. His stories on the bus were a highlight of the trip. His shared personal experiences helped us understand the complicated social and political landscape in Ireland. The trip was a good balance between big and small town experiences. Ireland is about the culture and people much more than museums, or galleries, and the tour focused on those areas.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle was great from the pubs to the scenery. The Irish Wolfhounds and the Golden Eagle were great surprises."

Alan

Houston, TX

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great itinerary. Very good guide and great fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Blanket Island visitors' center."

Jane

Conway, NH

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I could not be happier with my Rick Steve's tour! It was well organized, with great tour guides!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every moment was a wow moment. I particularly liked the tour of the Dingle peninsula."

Patty

Conway, NH

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip of a lifetime. My sister and a friend accompanied me on this epic trip. I felt welcomed in every town we visited. The locals bent over backwards to make our visit memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can I pick a wow moment? There were so many! The Gaelic tunes in a session in Dingle, Irish step dancing for our entertainment, Whiskey tasting, in Dublin. Relaxed breakfasts in a bed and breakfast with the ghost of Robert Mitchum breathing in my ear. Spectacular scenery on the west coast."

Dan

Belfair, WA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

For a pair of 60+ age travelers, we had a very goodexper ience. Driver was great (as usual), Dara was very good, and local guides super. Weather did not cooperate, but we are from the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, so we felt right at home.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle was our favorite stop. My wow moment was having a "bird of prey" land on my arm. Incredible moment."

Nancy

Auburn, CA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second R S tour , 8 day Ireland, and it was great. We enjoyed our Tour guides , Dara, knowledge of Irish and Gaelic history along with his music while we moved along with the bus from Ennis to Cliffs of Moher and onto the Dingle peninsula. Accommodations were all excellent along with every meal scheduled Loved the crystal glass cutting experience and the Shea Head Drive that lead to the Aran Island Celtic peoples history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery from the bus ride was beautiful. Colorful villages and some stops for lunch lead us to our next town and what the town offered up. Surprises at each stop over. Our last RS best of 21 days of Europe spoiled us, but this 8 day Ireland experience was just as great. The guides make all the difference!"

Minerva

Mooresville, NC

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the tour itinerary was fantastic and highlighted the beauty of Ireland. Dara was informative and entertaining, presenting Irish history and culture in a way that makes me want to return. The bus rides never felt long. Everything was well-planned and organized but there was also quite a bit of flexibility as well. There was a balanced amount of free time and group activities. Kilkenny walking tour was a waste but all the other walking tours and guides were fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Dingle, the falconry experience and the evening of Irish music that Dara arranged for the group will remain unforgettable. Also loved the Blasket Visitor Center and Brú na Bóinne. My biggest "wow" moment, tho, will have to be all the wonderfully warm and friendly Irish people I met."

Michael

Mooresville, NC

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dara was a fantastic guide and kept us informed, educated and entertained. I didn't get much from the Kilkenny city tour, but the rest were good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry demonstration at Dingle was the best."

Rhoda

Santa Cruz, CA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Dara was a great guide. All of our accommodations were great except the one time we stayed one night. That hotel was horrible. So, glad we did not stay more than one night. The bed was horrible. Loved all the historic sites and the historic information. Food was incredible and loved all the music in Dingle. The one concert at the music shop was a bit tight and too hot, but the music was great. I would have liked a better selection of sights to see in Dublin. Would do another trip with you!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, but I really liked the Dingle Penisula. Also, Dingle Town was so fun. Also, I loved the Rock of Cashel"

Larry

San Diego, CA

Tour: 07/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized and covered all the highlights in comfort with a well seasoned guide. Was a very active tour and really enjoyed it. Thought it was a great value and the size of the group was perfect. Ennis was a great start point.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle Pen and the time in Dublin. Loved the Gravedigger watering hole and the cemetery tour."

Jeffrey

Goshen, IN

Tour: 07/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was impressed with how complete the service was, from the preparation material, to the site locations within the tour, to the competency of the guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I had to pick one "wow' moment it would be seeing the Book of Kells. I had read about it in my history of Ireland reading many years ago and to see it in person was exciting and spiritual. Secondly, the Dingle Peninsula - its overall beauty, charm, and history."

Theresa

Yonkers, NY

Tour: 07/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved every aspect of the trip. Joe was attentive and responsive to everyone's needs. He was also well informed and hilarious. The overall tour plan was excellent....enough activity and enough on our own time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Wow" were the Cliffs of Moher. I also really appreciated meeting the local musicians, dancers and authors. Each local tour guide was also first rate--warm and funny."

Peggy

Fort Washington, PA

Tour: 07/19/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed all aspects of the trip-- the beautiful scenery, crossing the River Shannon, seeing historic sites, and hearing the guides' insights into Irish history, culture and politics. The tour members were all congenial and good buddies. We researched our Irish ancestry at Epic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No one moment, I enjoyed all, especially the Cliffs of Moher, the Book of Kells (my 2nd time) and Bru na Boinne. Fortunately, we had lovely June weather. By chance, my "buddy" identified an ancestor in the Dublin cemetery and verified her lineage in the cemetery museum."

Shelby

Hermitage, TN

Tour: 07/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour and it did not disappoint. We loved the experience and greatly appreciate all the time and energy the guides take into making our trip a wonderful one. We are huge believer in the Rick Steves tour experience and thank you for providing us another fantastic European trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A few: 1. The bus drive around Dingle Peninsula - our driver Olive is an incredible woman! The way she maneuvered our large tour bus on the curves and narrow roads was amazing! The scenery was beyond anything I've ever witnessed and exactly how you imagine Ireland looking. 2. The private concert in Dingle with traditional Irish music. It was very intimate and felt like we were a part of their family. I loved this experience."

William

Fair Lawn, NJ

Tour: 07/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We squeezed a lot into an 8 day tour. We had an excellent guide, Joe Darcy, and a wonderful group from all parts of the USA and a great family of four from Canada. My only regret is that the tour had to end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "Dead Zoo", the Natural History Branch of the National Museum. It really is out of the 19th Century. The only comparison I have for it is the much smaller natural history museum at McGill College in Montreal."

Mary

Eugene, OR

Tour: 07/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were delighted with Joe as a guide. It was my second trip to Ireland and he made this time a much Richer experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing St. Patrick's Cross was fantastic."

Diane

Ossining, NY

Tour: 07/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 8 day Heart of Ireland tour was wonderful. We visited places I would not have visited on my own. Everything, from the bus driver to the tour guides was excellent.

Catherine

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip abroad and my first Rick Steve's Tour. I loved that we had a friendly and knowledgable tour guide (Lisa), a competent bus driver (Dennis), and access to several expert local guides at each stop to enrich our experience. The hotels were always comfortable and fantastic, and the tour hit all the right places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was visiting the Bru Na Boinne Nowth ancient tomb complex, and touching a giant stone with a prehistoric carving that was 5000 years old."

Karen

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved that our tour started with smaller towns in Ireland and ended with the big city. Seeing the coastal beauty of The Cliffs of Moher and towns such as Dingle and Kilkenny gave us the beauty and greenery of Ireland. Anytime we mentioned to anyone where we had been in Ireland, they always had good words to say about these small towns. Our trip ended in Dublin, the big city of Ireland. This was definitely a contrast to the previous small towns, but there was a lot to see and do as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of Dingle. The people were friendly. There was beautiful scenery since this was a coastal town. We walked the shores in the daytime and visited the pubs in the evening. I would definitely return to Dingle."

Allison

Roanoke, VA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really enjoyed this trip. First time with a Rick Steeves tour (longtime lovers of his radioshow and books). Will be looking to Rick Steeves in the future for more tours. Will likely be trying a "My Way" tour in the future as not all events/food were aligned with our interests. (Can't please everyone!)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two of my favorite sites were the Book of Kells (literally moved me to tears) and Knowth. I loved the Book of Kells because I am a Christian, and an Education for Ministry graduate - and I had read a book about it prior to visiting. Knowth was amazing - simply because of its age, and then because of its art!"

Bernadette

San Antonio, TX

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My 2nd time overseas, 1st time in Ireland, 1st time on a tour, & 1st time traveling with someone who has never done any of this. The "Taste of Ireland" tour fulfilled exactly what I needed. Eased us both into the "hows and whats" of Ireland while minimizing my direct involvement is setting all of this up. The balance of places and activities, with free time to explore was great. I would recommend this tour to others having similar traveling needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ireland itself. If narrowed to one place, Cliffs of Moher, although the nature areas were awesome. And for me personally, the various conversations I had in the peace and quiet of the early morning hours while having my morning walkabouts for coffee."

Gregory

Gig Harbor, WA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was just right for our family in terms of the length of the tour as well as the amount of free time and touring time. We did wish we had one more night in Kilkenny which could have been offset by one less night in Dublin. Our tour guide, Lisa Tully, was fantastic and brought such great energy to our tour. Her knowledge, bright personality and wonderful demeanor contributed to an overall wonderful experience for our family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite "wow" moment was in touring the area around Dingle and the Blasket Islands. This was amazing as we encountered some stunning scenery and had a wonderful visit at the Blasket museum."

Linda

Cypress, CA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Ireland Tour was an exceptional experience. The incredible guide and guest guides, pristine countryside, historic sites, lovely hotels and inns, excellent food, wonderful tour members, and great weather all added up to make this trip a once in a lifetime adventure. Seeing Ireland has always been a dream of mine. The tour made it all possible in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Cliffs of Moher will always stand out in my mind as a big "wow". It is such an unspoiled and picturesque destination."

Vicki

Canby, OR

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall it was nice to see the history of Ireland and to learn about the people in the past and enjoy the people in the area today. They were friendly and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think I liked the Slea Head Drive the most. Beautiful scenery and very interesting historical sites; the Great Blasket Centre and the Gullarus Oratory. I purchased a piece of crystal in the beehive design to remember that prehistoric building."

Scott

Canby, OR

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall it was excellent. Lisa was engaging and very knowledgeable. The places we saw an the local guides all added to the overwhelming adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The amazing history and age of many of the places and castles etc. I think in Ireland it was the energy of the local host in Kilkenny and the Hurling game and how the country enjoys that, even bought a hurling Jersey. Might have been the Long hall in Dublin."

Katherine

Snohomish, WA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My husband and I had fun exploring and learning about Ireland. We experienced first hand their beautiful culture. With the help of the tour guides we also learned of their history. What impressed me most was how welcoming the Irish were to the tourist and how they thought highly of Rick Steves Tours for giving them exposure to share their land.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The pictures of the Cliffs of Moher do not do it justice. Seeing it in person was absolutely breathtaking!"

Kevin

Grapeview, WA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Sorry for delay.. Good news is that I rarely go a day without thinking about the Tour. What a great experience and would definitely do another tour with the Tour group. Lisa especially made the Tour special from her approach to leading the group, to engaging individuals and making sure everyone felt included. She has a Talent for guiding and also create a welcoming space within which to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick but my favorite town was Dingle and being able to spend a couple days in the a community to get to know it better than a quick pass through. Also loved the Glendalough Park and Monastic site. Want to go back and hike there."

Nancy

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 07/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I joined this group tour to accompany my friend and it was a very well run tour. My only concerns about it flowed from it being a group tour...where I didn't have the flexibility I'm used to. That said, I was impressed with how buttoned up the tour was. I found the tour to be a great value. I enjoyed the tour guide Lisa and our merry band of travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to an Irish bar in Kilkenny and feeling the camaraderie, joy, and pride in the Irish culture."

Lyn

Long Beach, CA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful program of guided portions, optional activities, rest time and free time to make the tour feel customized for an individual experience. The Irish people went out of their way to be helpful, cheerful, and quite funny. The 27 tour members were team players, and we had no cliques or incidents.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher and Slea Head were beautiful. We got very lucky with the weather, and the sunshine made the greens and blues very vivid."

James

Blandon, PA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have traveled with Rick Steves' Tours 8 times and have never been disappointed. The itineraries are well thought out and offer enough free time along with group time. The tour guides are very knowledgeable and Steve was no exception. The additional activities that were offered in Dingle were exceptional and a very pleasant surprise. Steve was both informative and entertaining and very personable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "WOW" moment was meeting the people of Ireland. The local people that we met were friendly and outgoing and we did not feel like strangers. The Irish people have a well deserved reputation for being welcoming and friendly."

Ann

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great mix of activities with just enough downtime. Stephen our guide was fantastic, a great storyteller and very entertaining. I learned so much about the history and culture of Ireland, and really enjoyed all of the activities. The tour size was an advantage, the accommodations were good and the food was excellent! This was my first Rick Steve's tour, and Stephen set the bar high for tourguides; I'm already looking forward to planning my next trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the stay in Dingle was my favorite part"

Kris

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again the Heart of Ireland in 8 Days tour proved to be outstanding. The hotels, buses, daily excursions, and all the added adventures Stephen arranged were great. This was my 3rd tour and I have loved all of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Falconry show in Dingle was really cool. That is something I would never have thought to do on my own. We had a beautiful day for it and to be able to watch these birds of prey perform and then have a chance to put on the glove and have them land on each one of the tour members was unforgettable. I even have a slo-mo video of the bird landing on me to view years from now."

Tom

Dayton, OH

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour and found it to be an excellent way to not only enjoy but to learn an great amount about Ireland. Our tour guide Stephen not only had a vast knowledge of the country, but was entertaining as well with his singing and his story telling. All in all a very enjoyable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher....pictures really don't do this landmark any justice. You have to visit the Cliffs to appreciate there grandeur."

Mary

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The "8 Day Tour of Ireland" was fabulous! The gorgeous countryside, the warm people, the lively pubs/eateries, the music ... all filled our spirits and souls!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was actually several moments ... viewing the incredible beauty of the country! From the countryside to the coast line to the "Tidy towns" ... it was breathtakingly beautiful and charming! (Dingle was our overall favorite town!)"

Kelly

Frisco, TX

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the entire experience. Dara Herlihy was an excellent tour guide full of energy,& knowledgeable. He has the true heart of a tour guide. He was very kind, accomodating, Fun and full of spirit. We loved all his stories that added to the experience. We were there for milestone birthday's and he made an extra effort to make it a fantastic experience. The tour guides were knowledgeable and excellent as well. I loved the gorgeous scenery as well. All the places we went to were spectacular.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Slea Head drive was spectacular and breath taking. Tim the tour guide was excellent. The bed and breakfast in the Dingle Peninsula, Clonmara was wonderful. The host family was excellent, the meals were presented well and delicious. The Falconry experience was beyond our expectations. The topping on the cake. Seeing a world Irish dancer, as well as the family of talented musicians and singers."

Marie

Halfmoon, NY

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was planned perfectly. We saw everything that was important to see. Dara Herlihy was outstanding. he helped in every way he could; knowledgeable, funny, and caring.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to Dara's knowledge of Ireland and being around happy Irish people was great."

Nancy

Festus, MO

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Scenery"

Elizabeth

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I love the Rick Steves' travel philosophy, and have used his guide books on two prior European trips. This was my family's first group tour, and the experience was amazing! Our guide and bus driver were friendly and extremely knowledgable about the history and culture of Ireland, the sights were amazing, the hotels better than I expected and the included meals were wonderful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The towns of Dingle and Kilkenny were my favorites, with the day of the Slea Head Drive providing the most amazing scenery of the entire trip. Slea Head is a definite "must" for any trip to Ireland!"

Jennifer

Moorhead, MN

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour with Lynn was nothing short of amazing. It was the perfect mix of fun, educational, inspirational, relaxing, and adventurous. I was nervous going as a single traveler, but Lynn and the rest of the travelers were welcoming and kind. I also enjoyed the mix of guided tour time and independent exploration time. I can't wait to go on my next Rick Steves Tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher and the Dingle Peninsula were stunning!"

Anne

Leesburg, VA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour ever, so we went in with some reservations. But, we were very pleased! It was well organized, but not stressful. Our guide Stephen McPhilemy was knowledgeable, pleasant, and funny! Our driver Mark was also lovely.There were definitely some sites I would have liked to spend more time at, but I completely understood the time restrictions. We especially appreciated the fact that we had a good mix of tour time and personal time. The people on the tour were very pleasant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sights on the Dingle Peninsula."

Richard

Olympia, WA

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I appreciated our guide,Stephens thoughtfulness in providing several "extras" that can only be provided by someone with local connections and desire to provide the best experience possible. He is very knowledgeable about all aspects of Ireland, and probably knows more about America than many Americans

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would be difficult to pick just one. I liked everything from the scheduled sights/stops to seeing the county side as we drive around Ireland, to the great people in our group, and of course our guide Stephen and driver Pat."

Janet

Olympia, WA

Tour: 04/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our third Rick Steves tour, Heart of Ireland in 8 days was absolutely outstanding! Our guide, Stephen, has the exceptional ability to make the Irish history come alive every step and bus mile of the trip,even after guiding these tours for so many years! His personal stories of his youth in the North were eye opening and entertaining. The highlight sites of the Itinerary, very clean and well-chosen hotels, & meals, were first rate in our book!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle and staying at the Milltown B&B were WOW on such beautiful waterfront inlet. All the activities surrounding our stay in Dingle were great. Highland dancer, Guitarist, Celtic religious woman, the bread and scones baking one afternoon, falconry, feeding lambs on way to very interesting Blasket."

When To Go & Weather

Any time between April and October is a good time to visit Ireland. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for offering fewer crowds, mild weather, and the full range of tourist fun. Summers come with longer days and better (yet still mild) weather, but larger crowds, which mostly effect Dublin.

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 tour 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 tour account.

Flights

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

Most tour members arrange to fly into Shannon (SNN) and out of Dublin (DUB) — "multicity" on flight booking websites. Ennis, where our tour starts, is an easy half-hour bus ride from Shannon Airport.

Note: If you plan to spend a few days in the UK as part of your itinerary, you'll find a better selection of post-tour Dublin–London flights to choose from than pre-tour London–Shannon flights.

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.