• 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 Liffey River

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

Heart of Ireland in 8 Days Tour

from $2,295 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $725

See Tour Dates

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. Each day along the way, 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, Adare Village, 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

2020

    • May 10–May 17 (Su–Su)
    • $2,595 + Air

    Filling Fast
    • May 24–May 31 (Su–Su)
    • $2,595 + Air

    Join Waitlist
    • Jun 21–Jun 28 (Su–Su)
    • $2,595 + Air

    Filling Fast

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Ireland come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 20 group sightseeing events • Ennis Friary • Ennis walking 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 walking tour • Kilkenny Castle • Glendalough • Dublin walking tour • Trinity College • Book of Kells • Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum • Brú na Bóinne archaeology site…and more
  • 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 (or books) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2020
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2–4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2–6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2–8 miles of walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Ireland

We'll gather together at our hotel at 2 p.m. for a meeting, then take a walking tour around Ennis, beginning with its friary. Afterward we'll get to know one another over a hearty "Welcome to Ireland" dinner together. Sleep in Ennis (1 night). No bus. Walking: light.

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 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 and County Limerick's lovely village of Adare. 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. Sleep in Dingle (2 nights). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: light.

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. Bus: 3 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 4: The Rock of Cashel and Kilkenny

Today we'll bid goodbye to Dingle as our bus transports us across the Emerald Isle. 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 meet a local guide for a walking tour of the medieval town center. Your evening is free for dinner and traditional music in one of the many atmospheric pubs. Sleep in Kilkenny (1 night). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 5: Medieval and Monastic Heritage

This morning we'll visit Kilkenny Castle, a symbol of Norman occupation since the 12th century. After a walk through its restored Victorian interiors and extensive parklands, we'll head further 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. Sleep in Dublin (3 nights). Bus: 4 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 6: 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. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Prehistoric Tombs and Dublin

Today 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, these massive "passage tombs" of Newgrange and Knowth are windows into a mysterious, pre-Celtic Ireland, just as it was pulling itself up and out of the Stone Age. This afternoon we'll return to Dublin to tour Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum, the final resting place of more than one million Dubliners, including many of Ireland's national heroes and heroines. Tonight we'll compare notes and celebrate our marvelous week together over a farewell dinner. Bus: 2 hours. Walking: moderate.

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

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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.

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."

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."

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!"

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.

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!!!"

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."

Richard

Waunakee, WI

Tour: 09/20/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry experience in Dingle"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!!!"

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."

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."

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.

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."

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."

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."

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"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!"

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.

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!"

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."

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"

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

Larry

Stevens Point, WI

Tour: 08/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Everything went as advertised. We had a great time.

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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"

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."

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!"

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."

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"

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."

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."

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"

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

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."

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.

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!"

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"

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."

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."

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..."

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."

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."

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!!"

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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)."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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.

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

Stephen

Wayne, NJ

Tour: 07/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our very first tour with any operator and my wife an I had a great time! We would definitely do it again. In fact, we heard that Rick Steves is doing a tour of Turkey and this is a destination that my wife has wanted to do, but for security reasons I was not comfortable with the idea. As part of a Rick Steves tour I will consider it. I think the overall experience was very good. From our tour guide Stephen and his knowledge of Ireland it made us feel very comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wow moments that I'm not sure there is one in particular. We did not expect to be flying falcons and doing that at our bed and breakfast where we stayed while enjoying a gin and tonic from the distillery right across the street made it feel as if we were with family. Having a chef come in and cook us a meal and seeing bread made right in the kitchen made me feel at home."

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."

Diana

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour exposed me to a great breadth of Ireland, from the rugged coastline of the Dingle peninsula to the urban excitement of Dublin. I loved the natural & ancient sites of Glendalough, Slea Head drive, & Bru Na Boinne best. I could have used more time at those places! The traditional music played in the pubs in Dingle and Ennis was excellent!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Slea Head drive was spectacular! The rugged cliffs, rocky shores, fields dotted with white sheep, 40 shades of green, and ancient sites were all I ever hoped to see and more! The road is very narrow and without a shoulder, and my wow moment came when I looked out the bus window & saw straight down - far down - to the crashing waves below! It was definitely a thrill! It was great to enjoy the scenery from the bus window and leave the challenging drive to our talented bus driver Michael!"

Mark

Lisle, IL

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A Kieran made it a seamless experience. His knowledge of the country and their music made for a most enjoyable trip. You are blesses to have Kieran in your team.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Intimate music concert and the time spent with the birds of pray. Fantastic having a Golden Eagle on your arm."

James

Mill Creek, WA

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

First time visiting Ireland. Tour was well-organized and tour leader was clearly knowledgeable in the country's history, culture and customs. Guest tour guides were excellent in Ennis, Dingle, Kilkenny and Dublin. Food was outstanding. Hotel accommodations were less than expected based on previous Rick Steves tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The bus tour, with stops, through the Dingle peninsula was amazing."

Samina

Bronx, NY

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Surpassed expectations. Tour leader was very knowledgeable, conscientious and made sure that we knew important themes and historical figures, artists and sites. Lively, current, smart, and humanistic - would highly recommend. Finally, tour leader was supportive and respectful of dietary allergies and made sure that we had alternatives. We felt safe, understood and that we were in the right tour group! This was not a typical tour of Ireland!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to recount! Each day begin to build meaningfully on the activities of the last. We connected to various important aspects of Ireland, such as movement organizing, and the great significance of the land to life and even death!"

Joy

Kansas City, MO

Tour: 07/05/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves' guided tour after many independent European trips using his guide book recommendations and it did not disappoint! I loved the mix of big city, small town and countryside as a way to get a feel for all of Ireland. Our guide, Kieran O'Hare could not be beat. His love for Ireland, personal experience living and attending college there, and his contacts throughout the country made this an extraordinary experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That is a tough question because I have two. I loved the Slea drive along the coast for its' rugged beauty and the story of the Blasket Island people, but our private concert of Irish music in Dingle was really special since we were able to hear Kieran play the pipes with musicians he had known for years. I felt like I was in the middle of the movie, "Once.""

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!)"

Susan

College Station, TX

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My husband and I do a lot of traveling on our own. We were hesitant to book a tour but decided that we really needed to be able to just enjoy a trip for once and not have the worry of planning all of the details. Ireland has been on our list of places to visit for awhile because of my husbands family tree. Dara Herlihy was a fantastic tour leader and the other tour participants were very fun and made the experience even richer. Overall experience was amazing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had a ton of wow moments. Really loved the town of Dingle and the drive around the Dingle Peninsula was incredibly beautiful. I also loved the day we spent at hiking around Glendalough."

Cara

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first-time Rick Steves tour won't be our last one! The tour was extremely well organized yet fluid enough to adapt to weather. Dara was outstanding - fun, energetic, smart and kind. He paid attention to each of us, and always put us first.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening the to extremely talented musicians and watching the energetic dancers on both of our nights in the Dingle Peninsula. All were amazing. Thank you Dara!"

Richard

Riverside, IL

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was our 3rd RS' trip and uneven compared to the others. Examples include sandwiches that sat on a warm bus for 5 hours (coolers?) before lunch. The boat ride on the agenda for Dingal was changed to a $15 (10 paid for by RS fee) concert at Dara's father's store. Instead we went to a pub (music was free) to watch the World Cup. During our introductions I expressed my interest in W.B. Yeats. On our own I discovered a world-class Yeats exhibition (since 2006) at the Dublin library.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We liked wandering around Dingal, and the falconry demonstration was engaging. We enjoyed the Blasket Centre and the Gallarus Oratory. The Kilkenny castle was amazing. We also enjoyed St. Stephens Park in Dublin. Our favorite destination was Glendalough - the dramatic combination of history and nature."

Tracy

Roseville, MN

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Any expectations I could have had prior to the tour would have been far surpassed. Ireland is beautiful, the people are friendly and gracious, Dara was a joy as our guide, and we had a fun group of travelers. The music in Dingle was wonderful. This tour was an add on to another tour I took the following week, and it was the most enjoyable of my two weeks in Europe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments, hard to pick only one....music in Dingle, falconry experience, Slew Head Drive, the old library at Trinity College, the scenery."

Patti

Madison, WI

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What I enjoy most about Rick Steves tours is the opportunity to connect with and learn from people.This tour had tons of that! From Dara's leadership and guidance peppered with his true passion and love for Ireland and the people, history, culture, music and food and many local guides and welcoming hotel staff. I've never been to a place so welcoming! Now I know why people rave about Ireland. Rick Steves travelers are also some of the coolest people I've met. This was a wonderful vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Irish people created these daily. A few that were extra impactful were: Chats with the front staff gentleman at the Ground Hotel. A discussion at the Clare info center with two local ladies. A private tour in Ennis with Ollie. Meeting Dara's family and the local music experiences in Dingle. The discovery of books, music and movies thanks to Dara to continue learning. The Jeannie Johnson tall ship, GPO Witness museum and Museum of Emigration after hearing the local history & stories."

Doug

East Lansing, MI

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall experience was very good. I was impressed with the group, especially there curiosity and openness. I was also glad that they were all physically able to engage in all the activities. Combining rural west of Dingle with urban Dublin was an excellent idea. Tour guide was solid, professional and fun. Local guides were very, for the most part. I do think that the transition from Dingle to Dublin needs some thinking.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being entertained by Seamus Begley with friends and family was a true highlight, followed closely by the music and Irish whiskey tasting at the Herlihey pub. Howth was also very compelling."

David

Vestavia Hills, AL

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall I was very pleased with the experience. You did the little things needed to show us you value our time by going the extra mile to ensure our vacation was enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Overall the beauty of the country stood out every day. This will seem odd but last night on the Discovery Channel there was a segment on Killkenny. They told the story our local guide told us about the lady that poisoned several of her husbands and eventually her servant was blamed for witchcraft and burnt at the stake. Anyway, making this connection was a fun moment."

Mitchell

College Station, TX

Tour: 06/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We found the tour to be a tremendous experience. Of course, there was Ireland, which was wonderful, but the entire tour was well organized and well thought out. We debated quite a bit about doing the organization and driving ourselves or taking the tour. We are so glad that opted for the tour. What made the tour special beyond the having the details organized was the truly outstanding tour guide, Dara Herlihy, and the wonderful fellow tour participants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula was my favorite part of the tour. Prior to the tour, I was looking forward most to the Dingle Peninsula so this was not a surprise. However, Dara's connections in Dingle made the evenings special. The traditional music and dancing were excellent and fun (Nelligans: Meabh, Gearoid and Niamh; Siopa Ceoil: Seamus and Donogh). The mornings and evenings were also lovely at our guest house on the bay."

Angela

Avon Park, FL

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was fast paced and comprehensive. The scenery across Ireland is spectacular. I would not have wanted to navigate the roadways on my own. Kudos to our extremely competent driver Olive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher were spectacular. Everything about the Dingle peninsula - lodging, food, pubs, crystal cutting, falconry."

Beth

Moorpark, CA

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very good tour of Ireland with a nice mix of scenic country drives, interesting historical sites and informative city walks and museums. The tour was well-paced and provided a good introduction to the Irish culture and its friendly people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Slea Head Drive was amazing! The morning was wet and rainy, which for me just made it seem more Irish. The scenery was spectacular, and I was intrigued by the stories at the Blasket Centre. Bonus that the sun came out in time for a Dingle gin & tonic at the falconry center."

Julie

Richmond, IN

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My son and I have been on five Rick Steves tours and this one was definitely one of the best! My mom joined us this time as well. We really enjoyed Ireland and going places in Ireland that would have been difficult to navigate on our own. We continually choose Rick Steves because of the focus on history and culture and because of the knowledgeable tour guides and local guides that make everything so fun, interesting, and easy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dara arranged a falconry experience for us. I never really thought I would like falconry, but it was actually really fun. It was definitely one of the highlights of our tour. My mom absolutely loved it! And we also got some great falconry pics! I also thought the Library at Trinity College was amazing."

Rosetta

Indooroopilly, QLD

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very good tour leader (Dara), very good hotels, very good food. Tour was accurately described in the information. Happy I did it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Bru na Boinne and Glasnevin Cemetery. Loved the aura of history and souls that had passed through those places."

Julie

Conway, AR

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Accommodations and coach were excellent. Our tour director was great too. I especially enjoyed the music he chose to highlight various Artists from Ireland. Overall, a good balance of group activities and the freedom to do our own thing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Mohar and the Dingle Penninsula."

Nicholas

Treasure Island, FL

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour, saw amazing sights, learned many things about the history of and modern day Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher were spectacular. Almost every view from either the bus or one of the stops we were at felt as if it were in ultra HD. Even at the old grounds hotel it seemed like the grass was a little greener."

Paul

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Falconry session held in Dingle. Actually, everything about Dingle, it's a wonderful town and area, including Blaskett Island."

Timothy

Moorpark, CA

Tour: 06/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour is exactly as advertised--a fast-paced introduction to the spectacular country of Ireland, its history, music, and the people and their way of life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, the Cliffs of Moher were the highlight, in large part because the weather was sunny and absolutely perfect when we were there. We appreciated the chance to get to the cliffs early in the day, and we had plenty of time to explore. The Slea Head Drive was spectacular, also."

Thomas

Frisco, TX

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 4th tour with Rick Steves Europe ... we just booked our 5th tour because of the incredible value! A great itinerary combined with exceptional local guides, most importantly our leading guide Dara. Dara took the time to engage each member of our tour, to ensure a memorable experience. We recommend Rick Steves Europe to our colleagues, friends, and family.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the faces of our family (including three sons, our Mom, and my wife's brother) take in the scenery, appreciate their ancestry, savor their meals, engage in talk with and laugh at the jokes told by Dara Herlihy!"

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."

Susan

Lawreneville, GA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed the entire tour. Everything was well planned and Dara did a great job.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our favorite moment was in Dingle. The town is lovely and we felt honored to meet Dara's parents and have them sing and play for us. We loved the couple that played for us in the bar, and the world champion river dancer. We also loved the Milltown Hotel, which was right on the water."

Andrew

Friday Harbor, WA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fast-paced, exciting, and truly most enjoyable tour for me and my family. I now appreciate and understand a whole lot more about Ireland, its history and culture - often quite a different story than that learned during my time in Northern Ireland over 50 years ago!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On Slea Head Drive, a road so narrow around tight bends and cliff faces that buses/trucks may only travel clockwise, our bus came face to face with a car at the worst possible place. No way could the bus back up, leaving that task to the car driver who obviously could not handle the situation and got in a panic. Our gallant guide Dara jumps out, opens the car driver's door, takes over the car, proceeds to reverse at high speed for about 1/4 mile, then calmly reenters our bus to great applause!"

Nicholas

Richardson, TX

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beyond superb, this was my first time with Rick Steves and it will not be the last by any means. The care, consideration, planning, and thought that went into the whole experience was very evident each and every single day. Dara was amazing, Pamela never ceased to amaze me with her driving skills, all the guides were the cream of the crop, and all the people we visited with very warm. It truly made me proud of my own Irish roots and exemplified what the country is about and stands for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every single day in the country side; my breath was constantly taken away by the scenery. I always felt this serene sense of calm and well-being with the beauty of my surroundings. I never did and I never will be tired by it."

Edward

Granger, IN

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RSE tour and it more than lived up to our expectations. Our tour guide, Dara, was outstanding. He was a true local and obviously had an amazing love for and knowledge of his country, Ireland. We had a great group and by the middle of the tour it was like you were traveling with extended family, everyone was intellectually curious and enthusiastic to experience new adventures. It was very organized, the hotels were way better than expected and the meals were fantastic.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dingle Peninsula and the locals we met, many of Dara's family, really made the trip so real. Falconry and Glendolaugh were also "wow" moments. When our driver, Pamela was negotiating the Dingle passes and an oncoming car could not get out of the way, Dara got out of the bus and drove that person's car backwards up the hill so we could pass the treacherous curves, that was a classic Dara moment one that we all will never forget!!!"

Rachel

Canoga Park, CA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my fourth Rick Steve's tour, and by far, the best tour I have been on. The itinerary was full, but did not feel rushed. There was a good mix of countryside/small town living and city life. The stop in Dingle provided an excellent introduction to Irish culture with music, dancing and pub life. This was my mom's first time out of the country and watching her fall in love with traveling, thanks to Rick Steve's, meant the world to me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was the drive through Dingle peninsula. Words can't describe the beauty of the Dingle coastline. Definitely a drive I will never forget."

Anne

Spokane, WA

Tour: 06/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a short but enjoyable tour we were so grateful to have been on. It was so nice to travel by coach from where we could see the countryside better without the worries of driving the narrow roads ourselves. Dara was a wonderful guide and always available to answer questions thoroughly and thoughtfully. He also gave us a great taste of his Irish sense of humor!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the natural beauty of the Dingle Peninsula and all the very ancient sites on this tour. Irish history is fascinating but so much of it quite sad, and so I wouldn't describe my response to learning it (or rather putting the pieces I knew together) as "wow". I think I might have preferred this tour even more in reverse with Dublin first and the rural areas last because I felt I had a much better grip on Ireland's history after the Dublin visit, giving context for the rest of the trip."

Brianna

Cresson, PA

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing trip! We had a great tour guide who told great stories and showed and told us so much of Ireland. It was stress free and very well organized!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Just learning all the history and seeing some very old site!"

Nancy

Stoystown, PA

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well planned from sights to meals. Steven our guide was knowledgeable about everything. He was fun and included everyone. We had a great group of friendly people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cliffs and Dingle"

William

Hermitage, TN

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my third RS tour and definitely my favorite. Ireland has so much to offer as a destination, and with a talented guide like Stephen and an enthusiastic friendly group to share the experiences with, it made for a great travel adventure. The amazing landscapes and seashores, idyllic villages and fun interactions with the locals made for a great experience. One tweak I might suggest is starting the tour in Galway instead of Ennis, taking one of the Dublin days to spend an extra day there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour had several "wow" moments. Easily, the Cliffs of Moher, Sleigh Head Drive, and the Rock of Cashel were truly amazing things to see. But I believe the whole experience of being in Dingle was the highlight for me. Every thing about our experience in Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula was what we had hoped Ireland would be."

Philip

Cardiff By The Sea, CA

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was very enjoyable. We learned about Ireland's history and it's effects on our present world. The tour is well planned and organized. Our guide, Stephen, showed us unique places and things, so that we could get a glimpse of what the country is about. Wish we could have done some more outdoorsy/nature activities, such as biking, hiking, or kayaking.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the coast line. My favorite places are at the waters edge."

Rick

Tulsa, OK

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Incredible tour, even though we arrived a day late due to American Airlines. Stephen McFilemy was a tremendous guide, and kept in touch with us via FaceBook while we were trying to catch up to the tour group. The Irish people both natives and immigrants) could not have been friendlier!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was an unscheduled stop to kill a couple hours in Drogheda on the way to Knowth. I had mentioned to Stephen that I was Catholic, and he asked me if I wanted to go to the local church to light a candle and say a prayer. I said sure. Little did I know that St. Peter's Church contained not only the preserved head, bones, and prison door of St. Oliver Plunkett, who was executed in 1681, but also a small, wooden relic of The Crucifix! Both very big deals to a Catholic. Miraculous!"

Alicia

Canby, OR

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful! It was an action-packed week. And we had lovely weather to boot. My only wish is that I would have scheduled more time in Ireland. . . I was so sad to leave!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick any one moment. I think I fell in love with the people and culture more than anything. It seemed that everyone we encountered was warm and engaging. The pubs and music were great! As for places, Dingle was probably my favorite stop."

Joseph

Easton, PA

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

1st and foremost, our tour guide, Stephen McP, was excellent - professional, knowledge, personable and witty. He even could sing a little. Highlights were Dingle, Cashel, Kilkenny, Glendalough & Dublin. Less interesting were Ennis, the Blasket Center, and crystal cutting. Is Galway too far to begin the tour there? More time at the Cliffs of Moher - to walk further down the trail - and in Kilkenny would have been nice. The North Star hotel in Dublin wasn't very conveniently located.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Technically not part of the tour, but the most fun I had was on the Musical Pub Crawl in Dublin. As mentioned in the tour book, these 2 local musicians were really funny, as well as very talented. Glendalough was beautiful, and the Rock of Cashel, Kilkenny Castle, and the Cliffs of Moher were all impressive."

Merlin

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

1. Great tour guide - Stephen McPhilemy was interesting, experienced and hard working. Very personable. 2. Wonderful people on the tour - all were easy to get to know and interact with. 3. There was the right mix of guided and non-guided experiences. 4. The sponsored meals were always good, and there was a lot of variety when we were out looking. Stephen's suggestions made it easier to navigate the locations and food choices. 5. Ireland is such a wonderful location.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We landed a day ahead of the tour and found our way to Ennis. We had no idea it was such a beautiful, historic town. As we explored, I was surprised by how many people resembled my family. It seemed like every time we turned a corner there was someone with the same facial features, complexion, and stature- even their teeth. I checked a map and realized how close Ennis was to Tralee, where my grandmother was born in 1900. That was a real wow moment for me."

Kenneth

Boca Raton, FL

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great education by our guide on Irish history. Some amazing natural sites and vistas, as well as ancient human forts, churches, monuments and memorials.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher."

Donna

Windber, PA

Tour: 06/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It's so hard to put into words how wonderful our trip to Ireland was. The country is so beautiful and the people are so friendly! The group we were a part of was so nice. Our tour guide, Stephen, was awesome! He is such a great storyteller and shared so much history as we traveled. He also taught us Irish songs (he can sing, too!) that made the pubs more fun because we could sing along. I could go on and on but I will just say that this trip so much fun and I hope to go on many more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh my, there were so many "wow" moments. I liked every place we went, but my favorite was Dingle. The peninsula is beautiful and the view of the bay from our hotel was great. My favorite pub, Kyteler's, was in Kilkenny. The musicians were great and we had so much fun singing along with the songs Stephen taught us. I miss Ireland and our group so much!"

Nancy

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Heart of Ireland greatly exceeded my expectations. Dara made all the difference! He really knew each person very quickly and offered so many "extra" choices. The two optional music nights in Dingle made the trip even more special. And, the falconry at our hotel in Dingle was amazing. I thought that this tour would be relaxing and just show us lovely things. It was so much more. The hotels were all wonderful, but the animals at Milltown house in Dingle made a big hit with all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wonderful memories! The Slea Head drive was amazing. We did have fantastic weather that day. Views were spectacular. I loved the music nights. They added so much to the fun times."

Jessica

Orange Park, FL

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

10 out of 10! Our tour guide Dara was very knowledgeable about the country. The area itself was amazing, and the prescheduled stops/events were not overcrowded.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That would have to be our first night in one of the puns. We were lucky enough to listen to the locals singing. The entire pub was singing. I was blown away by how much everyone cares about their country. It was beautiful and profound."

Garrett

North Highlands, CA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves' tour, and it was a great experience. From our guide Dara, to our amazing bus driver Olive, to a great group of merry travelers every day was a good day. Almost all of our group looked at every event and stop with a level of joy for the experiences. Great music, great camaraderie, and a healthy dose of Irish humor was only made more special by the beauty of the Irish countryside.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The opportunity to take part in the falconry experience was a bucket list item for me, so that was extremely special. I was awestruck by the beauty of Glendalough. But one of the things that truly stands out was the visit to "The Hole in the Wall" a small Irish bar in Kilkenny with a loft/attic area where people gather to sing songs and tell jokes, to interact not as Americans or Irish or French or wherever one might have come from, but as human beings."

Catherine

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous at every level: Dara and the local guides were excellent Dara builds community so I felt connected to every traveler in our group the sites we visited were interesting and beautiful the food was delicious the music delighted me the immersion in local culture made the trip very special

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falcon experience at Milltown House in Dingle."

Robert

Halfmoon, NY

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have traveled very successfully on our own in the past. (3Trips) In each case we used Rick Steves materials. Our trips were between a month and 2 weeks. We did a Rick Steves Tour to save on planning time and to get better access to important sites, local tours, museums, etc. We were most pleased with the itinerary, the schedule, the hotels, and restaurants included. Our guide was outstanding!!! We truly feel that Rick Steves provided a quality tour on all the important parameters.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"MY favorite "wow" moment was learning about the 1916 Uprising in Dublin from the local tour guide; and then going with our guide to the Confession Box Pub where plans where made for the uprising; and then to the Post Office to see the bullet marks/holes."

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."

Sandra

East Amherst, NY

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time on our tour of Ireland. Dara, our tour guide, was very entertaining and helped us with anything we needed. We loved his stories;jokes; and info re Ireland's history and current events. His orientation tours were extremely helpful for when we went off on our own exploring. We could not have asked for a better tour guide. We also loved our bus driver Olive, who had amazing driving skills on the narrow roads in Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The cliffs of Moher were a "wow" moment with breathtaking views. Even with the high winds, we managed to take some beautiful shots of the cliffs."

David

East Amherst, NY

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall experience was great, the itinerary was great. The only thing I did not like the amount of time on the bus(but I understand it was like that because of the fact that the towns are far and few between). I would definitely recommend a Rick Steves tour to anyone. Thanks,David Reinecke

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Mohre were beautiful"

Cathy

Ann Arbor, MI

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our Ireland trip. Our Guide, Dara was absolutely THE BEST! We loved being in Dingle & meeting his parents, seeing his store and watching him interact with the locals. Of all the places we stayed, Dingle was the most enjoyable. Dingle lodging: easy to walk to/from town. The bus was comfortable and the driver, Olive, was exceptional. I was great to connect with a friend/colleague in Dublin. Liked staying at a place for more than 1 night.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Going to the EPIC museum in Dublin."

Clement

Elm Grove, WI

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great overview of Ireland during One Week Tour. Perhaps will sign up for the Two Week Tour when I retire! Both Tour Guide Dara and Driver Olive were friendly, upbeat, and full of energy. A great combination!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dara was at his prime every day, with stories, entertainment, history, and humor, as only Dara can express. Knew when to step it up, knew when to step it down. He was at his best in Dingle! He single-handedly made the tour Awesome! He reminded me of a child in a candy store: smiling and having a ball every moment!"

Sandra

Schaumburg, IL

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have heard wonderful comments about the Rick Steve tours. R.S. Ireland tour was my first R.S. tour and it did not disappoint in any regard. Dara Herlihy our amazing guide welcomed us the first day and set a relaxed tone to our group. He went through the tour basics and got us prepared for our tour and he was there every step of the way for us. Ireland was amazing, from our guide(s), to the transportation, hotels, food, and the kind people of Ireland. Outstanding!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say Dingle. I remembered saying to someone, if the tour ended now I'd would leave a happy person and it was only our 2-3 day of the tour. The fact that they spoke Gaelic was charming to listen to. The town was quaint and easy to get around. It happened to be the home of our guide Dara and we were so lucky to be introduced to family, music, laughter and yes dare I say some dancing in the pub!! Slainte!"

Marilyn

St Louis, MO

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the entire tour from the beautiful landscapes, to the friendly Irish citizens, the wealth of knowledge of all the tour guides, to suggestions by Dara on restaurants and taxi, to the food, fun night life, and music. Ireland was as beautiful as I expected. The tour had no hitches. It all fell into place perfectly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Slea head drive tour was my "wow" moment. The sights were beautiful, we were able to get out and see sights along the way. The guide provided botanical, historical, landmark, historical details. I also enjoyed the Blasket island museum. The Gallarus Oratory was another amazing historical site that day."

Niraj

Manalapan, NJ

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour with Dara. He was exceptionally knowledgeable and very much part of Irish culture. This guy even has a bar and a music store which she used as part of his tour experience. I found this to be a unique and exceptional aspect of this tour. He was very personable and knowledgeable. This is our second tour with Rick Steves. I have actually been reading Rick Steve's tour books since 1990 and now I regularly take his tours as my children are grown up enough to appreciate

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I got to see the cliffs of Mohr..."

Gail

Ball Ground, GA

Tour: 06/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very information, gorgeous weather and very personable guide, Dara. First time in Ireland and glad I wasn't with a huge tour group. The tour took us "Off Grid". For the most part avoided the "Tourist Hot Spots".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"German Tourists in Dublin asking me for Directions in Dublin. Since I was a "Lone Wolf" Solo Traveler, and ""blended" in the with " Natives"having stereo typically Irish Characteristics IE Red Hair/green eyes and acted I like I lived there all my life, I enjoyed and relished in the part of being a Dubliner. Even though I probably send the Germans the wrong way! The Blaskets Islands Area felt a very strong connection there."

John

Venice, FL

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful trip! We were blown away by Ireland's rugged beauty and 40 shades of green. The Cliffs of Moher, Dingle Peninsula and the castles, ruins and cathedrals along our way to Dublin were all outstanding places to visit! Most of all Stephen was a fantastic tour guide who definitely enriched the whole experience with his humor, storytelling and kindness! We can't wait to go back!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Again we were enchanted with the beauty and majesty of the Cliffs of Moher, the Dingle peninsula and the Whitlow Mountains! Loved all the sheep and cows!"

Nancy

Arlington Heights, IL

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing! This was our 2nd Rick Steve's tour, as we toured Italy 2 years ago. We would never travel Europe any other way! Everything is taken care of & we were able to just enjoy ourselves. We had a fun & friendly group of 15 Americans with the best Irish tour guide. Alan, our bus driver, was a very kind man with impressive driving skills, especially during our detour through the Wicklow Mountains.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher were definitely a highlight with the incredible views. Falconry at Stephen's B&B was an exciting experience in a beautiful setting."

John

South San Francisco, CA

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide, Mr.McPhilemy was the heart and soul of Ireland. We experienced the culture, history and magic of Ireland in a way that was personal and enriching. We were blessed with a small group, 15, This gave everyone more "space" It also allowed our guide to really shape his tour to who we were rather than some rigid schedule.( which I doubt is this companies style) I really felt that Steve invited us into his home, which he literally did at one point.Alan was a great driver.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many.Real Irish music and dancing in a small theater that Steve arranged.Sharing his "birds with us.(The experience of a 40lb golden eagle on your forearm! )The sacred mounds were powerful and the majesty of the cliffs."

Nancy

Rolling Meadows, IL

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first trip to Ireland and Europe for that matter so I really had no idea what to expect! Thankfully all of the Rick Steves resources came in handy as I prepared for my trip so once I got there I felt ready for anything! Stephen, our tour guide was fantastic in so many ways! He gave us a wonderful history lesson at each place we visited, added humor where appropriate and was always providing additional insight he thought was relevant. Stephen brought this tour to life!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If I had to pick just one it probably would be our evening in Dingle listening to Gaelic tunes, sipping Irish coffee and watching two amazing Irish dancers! "The Music Shop" was an inviting, warm and intimate setting where we got a top notch performance along with your typical Irish welcome. Michael, the owner was as excited to play for us as we were to be there! The music consisted of an accordion, a violin, a guitar and of course singing by all three musicians! It was a stellar performance!"

Daneen

Chicago, IL

Tour: 06/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had been to Ireland previously, but this tour made me see Ireland in a different way. Stephen, our guide, set the tone by providing context to certain events in Irish history as Allen, our driver, expertly motored us through the countryside. Stephen's descriptions of historical events breathed life into events that had transpired generations or centuries and set the stage for the next stop. This trip exceeded my expectations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When Stephen invited the tour group to his Dingle B & B, I was blow away at his hospitality He poured Kerry Beer and Dingle Gin to tour members. Then, as we soaked in the beautiful view, he offered Dingle Whiskey as his wife passed out delicious scones. Next, we participated in falconry where tour members interacted with barn owls and a falcon. Set against the bucolic Dingle Bay, it became almost surreal to me, and it has become a cherished memory for me."

Douglas

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Because this was our first guided tour, we didn't know what to expect. Our arrival at Shannon airport was uneventful and a quick taxi ride took us to our hotel in Ennis. All the hotel and BnB accommodations were similar to our previous Europe experiences. The places selected for the tour gave us a good understanding of the both the Irish people and their history. The bus was amply outfitted for our travel with plenty of room to spread out and converse with our fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One of the many wonderful experiences was the traditional Irish music event that Kieran organized at the music shop in Dingle. We saw some singing and dancing to traditional Irish songs followed by some Irish coffee. Kieran even played his Irish bagpipes, which I had never seen before."

Patricia

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our tour of Ireland! Our guide, Kieran did an outstanding job in so many ways! The trip was organized in a way that we experienced so many opportunities such as working with a falconer that had trained an assortment of wild birds that ended up with us holding them on our own arms as he offered food to them. Fantastic! Irish music offered after supper that was so beautiful. We bought 2 CDs to take home too! There was time to explore a variety of towns, filled with so much history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Driving through the countryside, seeing the ancient stone walls built so long ago that still stand, and the hand built cottages. By the sea we saw so much beauty and a new way of life from so long ago. Fantastically beautiful views of the ocean as we explored every day. Going to an Irish pub to enjoy original Irish music, Irish beer,and to hear bagpipes and singing with the happy crowd. So much fun! We made so many good friends on our tour, and so enjoyed each other's company. Wonderful friends."

Matt

Pasadena, CA

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful way to see Ireland and learn along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The beauty of the area around Dingle."

Jeannie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall tour experience was great. We were aided by having mostly nice weather which makes sightseeing much more interesting as sights are more visible and the sun always makes things look more beautiful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the Dingle Peninsula. The history of the area was fascinating - the B&B was great and the falconry show fascinating. Loved the Dingle Glass Factory and the cutting demonstration. Ennis was a lovely little town and a great place to begin our tour. At Davy Byrns pub in Dublin it was Bloomsday, June 16, and we were treated to lovely local color and singing by men and women who were having such a good time!"

Gerald

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great trip which my wife and I really enjoyed. Kieran was excellent, both in terms of his knowledge and entertainment skills. Amanda was also excellent and fun to be with. Particularly enjoyed the music, including the live entertainers as well as the recorded music he played on the bus. Bus driver was also very good. Accomodations, other than for the Kilford Arms Hotel in Kilkenny City, were excellent. The Kilford Arms was an extremely tired facility, with our room being particularly dirty

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Dingle Peninsula tour."

Ann

Pasadena, CA

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fun group, great guide, bus driver...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Music in dingle. Falconry was an unexpected delight."

Jamie

Blacksburg, VA

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip was outstanding overall! I've never been on a tour so I wasn't sure what to expect. The quality of the food, accommodations, and activities went far beyond my expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm not sure I can pick a favorite. I loved the music on the sun porch , and the concert at the pub in Dingle. The Falconry was really cool. All the historical sites were awesome. The Dingle peninsula was probably my favorite part, but it was all wonderful."

Nora

Christiansburg, VA

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything went so smoothly. Well-organized, excellent guide, wonderful accommodations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. While in Dingle, Kieran arranged for two musicians (sorry, can't remember names) two play for the group. Their songs, friendliness, and stellar talent was incredible. The Cliffs of Moher were breathtaking. Photographs can not do it justice (glad it wasn't raining!). The Glasnevin Cemetery was incredible. I do believe I could have stayed all day and listened to our excellent host."

Angela

Mequon, WI

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Being our first tour, we really didn't know what to expect but was looking for the "backdoor" experience. I think in Dingle, we achieved the backdoor experience. However for the rest of the tour, well it was a little disappointing. I had very high expectations given all the wonderful reviews and being a Rick Steves admirer for years. I do not think at this point we would choose to return.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The accommodations at Dingle, the Clonmara and the drive around the Slea Head Dr. Also the music concert in Dingle."

Art

Mequon, WI

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Overall I enjoyed the tour and would recommend it to friends. I found the group size to be fine and would not like a tour with a larger group. Most of our hotels were okay except for Kilkenny, which was terrible, and I would never stay there again or recommend it to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"we found Dingle to be the best part of the trip and enjoyed our whole time there. The drive we took around the Dingle Peninsula was great."

Regina

Jonesboro, AR

Tour: 06/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Amazing!Did tons of fun stuff that I never would have done if I had just gone to Ireland by myself. The guided tour was well worth it and everyone was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of it was excellent, but Trim castle was probably my favorite because we got to go to the top of the castle. The views were spectacular. Those stairs were narrow!"

Mary

Placerville, CA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the entire tour. Especially enjoyed the knowledgeable local guides who really had a handle on the history of their areas. Seeing Ireland for the first time was magical. Being on a Rick Steves Tour let us feel like we were really experiencing the people, culture, environment and wonderful food that locals enjoy. I have been on other tours that do not give as much individual time to explore on your own. Our RS tour gave us time and opportunity to explore the local towns & cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Cliffs of Moher in person were amazing! I knew they would be beautiful but being there was so much more than I expected. A picture cannot do justice to being there in person and experiencing how gigantic they are and how beautiful the scene is with wind blowing and birds gliding down along the cliffs. Looking out at the horizon I felt like I could see the curvature of the earth. I also enjoyed the interactive exhibits at the Vistor's Center which were very sophisticated."

David

Placerville, CA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience with the right blend of guided tour and time on our own. The sights to see and the Hotels were well chosen, interesting and a feast for the eyes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow moment for me was the cemetery where Michael Collins and the other founders of the Irish Republic were buried, it was like visiting Arlington."

Kerith

Fishersville, VA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Completely amazing! Ireland is now officially by far my favorite country in the world (I truly thought nothing could top Rome, Italy but Ireland has done it!). Although 8 days was a pretty quick pace to see the Republic from one end to the other, I was very surprised that I did not feel rushed. There was plenty of time to gawk at everything, ask questions, and feel in the moment. Lynn was fabulous and very knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many responses on here will say "Cliffs of Moher" or "Rock of Cashel" but honestly I'm gonna say the Irish ceol (music) show in Dingle. We listened to traditional Irish music (which just makes you want to dance!), had delicious Irish coffees, and were taught songs in Gaelic. Since I knew a little Gaelic already, I was asked to pick a Gaelic song and the musicians actually played/sang it for me! Even more magical, a cat jumped in my lap! It felt like the quintessential Irish experience."

Danielle

Norfolk, VA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher - really breath taking! Could have stayed up there all day."

Mary

Modale, IA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour experience so going in I was not sure how I would like it. I have traveled independently and have always cringed when I saw multiple tour buses parked at a site. I thought this tour was great because we were able to get to sites early in the day before the crowd. We had travelers that were all on time so no frustration there. The tour took us to sites that I may not have gone to if I had I had planned the trip on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the Cliffs of Moher was my favorite wow moment. I loved hiking up the trail and breathing in the beauty and grandeur of the moment."

Mary

Highland Park, IL

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've always wanted to go to Ireland, but decided to do a tour because I wasn't really interested in driving myself. I've seen Rick Steves on TV for years now and really relate to his sensibilities. This tour did not disappoint on any level. The tour bus was very comfortable, our driver, Steven, was wonderful. Lynn, our guide was very well organized and good at her job. The others in our group were very pleasant to get to know, I enjoyed them very much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Slea Head Drive was absolutely stunning. Blasket Islands. Cliffs of Moher. Dingle. I loved the music in the pubs."

Robert

Fishersville, VA

Tour: 06/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Good craic! My wife and I turned 50, daughter graduated from college, son opened new business, Irish heritage on both sides, so this was a perfect celebration. Saw so much beauty, packed so much in, ate and drank and heard so much good stuff, learned so much history, liked and loved our group and guide so much. Blessed by such great weather. We love the Irish!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle Siopa Ceoil. True Rick Steves moment. Unassuming music shop, real trad music, daughter knows Gaelic, requests song, group performs on the spot unpracticed, shop cat relaxes on wife's lap. Good craic! Dingle Slea Head Drive. Thought it would be Cliffs of Moher, even better than I imagined. But absolutely fell in love with the Drive, ready to move to Dingle now!"

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!"

Patrick

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour was great,the bus was nice and clean,our accommodations were fantastic and our tour guide was the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cannot give you one wow moment everything we saw was a wow moment"

Holly

Dallas, GA

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our second RS tour. Lisa was an eager, enthusiastic guide! We covered a lot of territory and saw some really great places. Beautiful and dramatic views everywhere you look, several memorable moments that Lisa arranged for us, and incredible weather! It was so great to really experience the authenticity of Ireland and get immersed in the culture - historically and geographically, along with folklore, music and absolutely adorable villages. Even learned a little Gaelic along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have three: 1. The musicians Lisa arranged for us in Dingle. AMAZING. 2. Slea Head Drive. BREATHTAKING. 3. Our local guide in Dingle, Stephen, was amazing. Thoroughly enjoyed his orientation tour of the town and his hospitality/chats at Milltown House."

Mary Ellen

Austin, TX

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the trip of a life time! The tour guide was excellent, the country beautiful. We learned so much history & the ways of the Irish people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have been asked that many times since I returned home & it's been hard to single out one moment. I think the overall spirit & beauty of Ireland is the thing I have taken home."

Tim

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding overall. Our Tour Guide, Lisa, was phenomenal! Great city tours (one exception - will tell you about later). Loved the historical perspectives from each tour. ALL the accommodations, both hotels and restaurants were excellent. At certain points we felt a bit rushed. A little more "on your own" time might have been nice, but an 8-day tour will probably have some feelings like this from schedule limitations alone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have three "wow" moments. First, the authentic music arranged at the Bed and Breakfast in Dingle (the quality was unbelievable). Second, of course, the Cliffs of Moher where the views, wind and overall experience is truly breathtaking. Third, the Slea Head Drive scenes were amazing."

Gail

East Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely loved the tour. Our guide Lisa Tully was so approachable and knowledgeable about Irish history. She helped our group really come together! Based on tour reviews before we traveled, we were afraid that the hotel would be sub-par in Kilkenny, but it seemed that the tour scheduler must have listened to the feedback and switched the hotel. The hotel was just fine in Kilkenny and every other destination for that matter!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We enjoyed Bru na Boinne. It was so interesting and hard to believe how intelligent and creative people must have been in 3200 BC!"

Yuchen Lu

Green Valley, AZ

Tour: 06/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Was well organized and Lisa was a great tour guide. I believe we all enjoyed her very much. Ireland sure is beautiful and the history of the country was amazing. All was great . The only hard thing for me , 72 years old, was the distance we needed to walk for the last two, three days to get to places as scheduled. Thanks. It was a memorable trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The rolling hills , do green and fresh !"

Elissa

Allentown, PA

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first solo travel experience and it was fantastic! The group was friendly and fun. We quickly became "family". In our free time, I was confident to explore on my own. There was always someone inviting me to join them if I wished. The food at the group meals was great and lots of it! Our tour guide was excellent and knowledgable. I particularly enjoyed the added excursion at the Falconry. Looking forward to my next Rick Steves' Tour!

Deborah

Butler, PA

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful experience!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not one particular moment. We loved the beautiful countryside and the charm of the small towns of Ennis, Dingle, and Kilkenny. Ireland did not disappoint in any way!!"

Micheala

Ponce Inlet, FL

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time our tour was well organized and educational and of course fun We went to castles and churches and archeology sites with music and pubs thrown in

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow moment was when we went to the falconry in Dingle We got to have a hands on experience with all the birds enjoy a Dingle Gin and Tonic and kiss a couple of the cutest wolfhounds"

Steven

Bloomington, MN

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Kieran and Hailee were absolutely superb. Great group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"40 shades of green! Awesome!!Dingle drive."

Mary Anne

Mentor, OH

Tour: 05/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 4th Rick Steves tour. As always, the tour was exactly as promised with a great guide, a well-planned itinerary and a good group of fellow tourists. Definitely money & time well-spent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't possibly pick one - drive around Dingle peninsula, Newgrange, Cliffs of Moher were all "wow" moments."

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."

Shihua

Burlingame, CA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This is the 2nd time for me on RS tours and 1st for my husband. I had Outstanding experience the first time on tour to Slovenia/Croatia. That was my first tour ever and I always used that tour as a yardstick to compare with others later on (I had done 12 others since 2011). In terms of education/history/cultural experience, that one was always on the top. But this one was a little disappointing. Local guides were fine. Lodging was good but we would like to learn more about Ireland.

David

River Forest, IL

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 5th RS tour and a favorite. We heartily endorse touring as "temporary locals" to provide insights on people and their cultures. The warmth and humor of the Irish people (in particular our guide, Stephen) are justifiably well known. Stephen added some unique extras to the tour - falconry (!), trad music concert, whisky and cheese tastings in Dingle - which further personalized our tour. His recommendations regarding "off the beaten path" experiences and restaurants are "spot on".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Ireland is a truly beautiful land with a tragic history and both were presented to show how each has affected the Irish people. The Cliffs of Moher, Glendalough, Rock of Cashel, the Book of Kells, and Dingle (including falconry) were all favorites."

Elizabeth

London, ON

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had planned the tour about six months ago. After a few trips with other tour companies, we find that the RS's tour format best fits our tastes. Dingle was my favorite place. It was a lovely little town. Our B&B had beautiful flowers in the garden and the breakfasts were nicely presented. I took many photos of the garden and the breakfast plates. I even picked up a business card for our return sometime in the future. Our guide Stephen arranged some additional activities in Dingle. I liked the

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher were breath-taking. I have watched the cliffs on TV many times, but I was finally there in person! It was my "wow" moment from my trip."

Mary

River Forest, IL

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The country was beautiful, the "special" events were such great fun and our guide was the best! The people of Ireland were so very friendly and helpful. Such a great people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher were fabulous. Their size and the dropoff were amazing."

John

Leesburg, VA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour, and in fact, our first tour ever. We have traveled in Europe on our own, but thought to try a tour this time, and we were not disappointed. In fact, it added so much depth to our understanding of the country, something we never would have had on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry demonstration at Milltown House in Dingle. It was a welcome surprise, and something we would likely never have experienced if it hadn't been for the tour. And we loved the tour of the Dingle Peninsula. So beautiful."

Cynthia

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed learning the history and values of Ireland and experiencing the lush green scenery. Hotels and meals provided were good. Stephen had great stories of growing up and living in Ireland. I also appreciated Stephen setting up an afternoon with falconry experts, and also an evening at the Dingle Music Shop! Ddrawback of the trip was the last day we were in Dublin and we went to Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher were amazing. It was a little windy, but still enjoyed it. Wish we could have had about 30 minutes longer there."

Diane

Palo Alto, CA

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed tour group experience and visiting Ireland more than I could have hoped for. Travel on bus was both educational and entertaining learning about Irish history, culture and current events. Stephen's wicked humor, limericks,poetry recitations and singing were icing on the cake. Comfortable with group on comfy buses, good timing for nice rest stops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stephen added experiences not on tour such as falcon experience, wiskey tasting, concert in Dingle, feeding the lambs. Food was delicious at group dinners and service excellent. I was a bit apprehensive about traveling alone but it was a welcoming group and I was never sad being solo & was invited to join others @ meals & during unstructured time & made new friends."

Mario

Katy, TX

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was a blast from beginning to end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher!"

Vishakha

New York, NY

Tour: 05/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My experience with RSE in Ireland was great. As promised, the days were active and we did/saw/learned a LOT. I'm happy I chose this tour. It had a good amount of tour time & free time. I really appreciated that. I also enjoyed the small tour size & the little hotels. The only one part that didn't work for me was the day we got to Kilkenny. After an already long day, the almost 2 hour tour of Kilkenny felt v long for me, it wasn't gripping/exciting. It was the only not so great experience I had

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm trying to decide exactly what was the "wow" part of this trip. I don't think I can pick one. Cliffs of Moher! Glen da loch! Knowth! Blasket center! Lots of great stuff. But maybe I can. SLEI HEAD DRIVE. I wish we did more there. Maybe a walking tour!"

Patricia

Salida, CO

Tour: 05/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour was much more than I expected. Joe Darcy was an amazing guide, and shared so much history with our group. He's engaging, funny at times, and an incredible 'true' storyteller. Everyday was packed full of interesting sights, and activities. All of the tour guides at the various points of interest were really good. I can't believe how much we experienced in a one week tour! The meals were really good, the music was amazing, and the accommodations were very nice, for the most part.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Honestly, I can't really name one favorite 'wow' moment. There are so many WOW moments throughout Ireland. It's an absolutely amazing country. It's been on my husband and my bucket list, as we both have Irish grandparents. And, each day, we would think that what we did and saw was the best ever, and then the next day came, and we felt the same way again..."

Weather

Ireland / Dublin

Dublin Weather

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

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

Flights

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

Most tour members arrange to fly 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.