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

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

Best of Ireland in 14 Days Tour

from $3,895 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $725

See Tour Dates

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

Dates & Prices

2018

2019

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Ireland come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 29 group sightseeing events • Dublin walking tour • Trinity College • Book of Kells • Kilmainham Gaol • Rock of Cashel • Kinsale walking tour • Charles Fort • Sheep farm • Crystal cutting demonstration • Dingle's Slea Head Drive • Great Blasket Centre • Gallarus Oratory • Irish musical evening • Burren nature walk • Cliffs of Moher • Boat ride to Aran Islands • Aran Islands minibus tour • Dun Aengus fort • Connemara drive • Cong • Ashford Castle School of Falconry • Drumcliff • Derry coach and walking tour • Dunluce Castle • Giant's Causeway • Old Bushmills Distillery • Titanic Belfast • Belfast coach and walking tour • Discover Ulster Scots Center…and more
  • All group transportation from Dublin to Belfast
  • 13 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels and B&Bs
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Rick Steves Travel Store credit to use toward guidebooks for your trip
  • 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 2018
  • 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/interrupt your tour

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

Itinerary

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

Day 1: Welcome to Ireland

Meet your guide and fellow tour members at our hotel at 5 p.m. After a group meeting, we'll enjoy a "Welcome to Ireland" dinner together, followed by an orientation walk through the heart of Dublin. Sleep in Dublin (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: The Historic Heart of Dublin

This morning we'll take a walking tour through Dublin, learning about its rich history from the days of Viking raids to the hard centuries of British occupation to the proud and progressive city of today. We'll end our tour at Trinity College for an illuminating look at the remarkable Book of Kells, a creative jolt that helped pull Europe out of the Dark Ages. You'll have the rest of the day free to feel the pulse of a city thriving with street poets and musicians. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 3: Kilmainham Gaol and Ruins

On our way out of Dublin, we'll stop at Kilmainham Gaol and learn about its place in Ireland's stirring struggle for independence less than a century ago. Then we'll continue on to the green Plain of Tipperary where we'll tour the ecclesiastical center that thrived in St. Patrick's time: the evocative ruins of the Rock of Cashel. Our day will end with dinner together in the picturesque harbor town of Kinsale, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 4: Kinsale and Charles Fort

This morning we'll be treated to a walking tour that brings Kinsale's past to life, places its story in the wider sweep of history, and makes the stony sights much more than buildings. Inspired by all we've learned, we'll continue on to explore the massive and (for its time) revolutionary Charles Fort which overlooks the harbor. You'll have the afternoon and evening free to make your own discoveries in Kinsale, known as Ireland's gourmet capital. Bus: 1 hour. Walking: strenuous.

Day 5: Killarney National Park and Dingle

Today we'll take a scenic drive along the forests (Ireland's largest), mountains, and lakes of Killarney National Park. Then we'll balance-off this peacefulness with a visit to a local sheep farm, marveling at its talented dogs in action. We'll end our day in Dingle, where we'll enjoy dinner together and one of the country's best traditional music scenes. Sleep in Dingle (3 nights, group may be split between two B&Bs). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: light.

Day 6: Gaelic Heritage

It's a great day to experience some of Europe's wildest natural beauty and most ancient Christian sights. We'll start our day with a crystal cutting demonstration from a master craftsman, then hop aboard our bus with our local expert to follow the famous Slea Head Drive, our vote for the most beautiful road in Ireland. We'll stop to tour the strikingly designed Great Blasket Centre, where we'll get an intimate look at the language, literature, and daily life of a traditional Gaelic Blasket community. Tonight we'll return to our home village, Dingle, with as much dancing and singing with new friends as we can handle. Bus: 3 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Roam the Dingle Peninsula

Today is all yours...free on the Dingle Peninsula. Take a long walk along the local paths and lanes, hire a bicycle and pedal the scenic 30-mile Dingle Loop, sail for the day to the rugged Blasket Islands, or simply savor your generous Irish breakfast and hang out in town. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 8: Cliffs of Moher and the Burren

This morning we'll drive through County Clare to the dramatic Cliffs of Moher, where you'll find yourself leaning into the wind, teetering on the very edge of Europe, more than 600 feet above the churning waters of the North Atlantic. Farther up the road, we'll tour the rocky moonscape of the Burren to learn about its unique ecosystem and hardy prehistoric residents. Tonight we'll share dinner together and sleep in Galway (2 nights). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 9: Galway and the Aran Islands

This morning we'll hop aboard a ferry bound for the stark beauty of Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. There you can join your guide for a minibus tour 'round this dramatic island, including the site of its ancient, cliff-hanging Celtic fortress, Dun Aengus. Or, you'll have plenty of time to set out on foot, hire a pony cart or pedal a bike to explore this windswept island on your own. Boat: 2 hours. Bus: 2 hours. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 10: Connemara Countryside

Today we'll drive through the Connemara region, enjoying the beautiful Irish countryside. We'll stop in the charming town of Cong (where Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne filmed The Quiet Man in 1951), stroll through the picturesque abbey ruins, and visit the hawks of Ashford Castle. Then we'll drive north to County Mayo and Westport, where we'll settle in for the evening. Sleep in Westport (1 night). Bus: 4 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: To Northern Ireland

We'll seamlessly cross into Northern Ireland today. In Derry, a local guide will take us on a tour of the town, sharing stories about "the Troubles" and the infamous "Bloody Sunday" of 1972. Then we'll drive on to the nostalgic seaside resort of Portrush, where we'll have dinner together and sleep (2 nights). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 12: Antrim Coast and Old Bushmills

Today we'll explore Northern Ireland's spectacular Antrim Coast, marveling at the bizarre basalt columns and local legends of the Giant's Causeway. After taking time to fortify yourself with a wee dram at the venerable Old Bushmills Distillery, we'll visit the romantic, clifftop ruins of Dunluce Castle. Bus: 3 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 13: Belfast and the Titanic

This morning we'll drive to Belfast, the vibrant capital of Northern Ireland. We'll begin at the Titanic Belfast visitor experience, located on the very site where the great ship was built. After lunch, we'll join a local guide for a walking tour of historic Belfast. A visit to the Discover Ulster Scots Center will provide a glimpse into the rich heritage of this influential Protestant group, known in the United States as the Scotch-Irish. Then we'll board our coach for a rolling tour that takes us along reminders of the past decades' Troubles, including the striking political murals of Shankill and Falls Road. Our day will end as we kick up our heels at a tasty farewell supper together, where we'll share travel memories and toast new friends. Sláinte! Sleep in Belfast (1 night). Bus: 4 hours. Walking: light.

Day 14: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. You can fly out of Belfast or Dublin's handy airports. For those not ready to return home yet, both cities are a great jumping off point to Paris, London, Amsterdam, and many other exciting destinations. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Slán leat!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Ireland in 14 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

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

Reviews

Gary

Spokane, WA

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Dara and Caroline made our visit to Ireland great. The personal involvement of both of them made me feel like we had been traveling with friends. The free time I along the tour took away the rushed feeling I have experienced on other tours.Geat trip can' wait to go on another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Love Dingle and Dara' Dad.At Dara's recommendation I took the boat ride out of Dingle harbor around the Island it was a great way see part of the coast line and get some history on the people who lived on the island. We spent 3 nights in Dingle and loved the music,taverns,food,accommodation and the people."

Jill

Watertown, WI

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first RS tour and it exceeded my expectations! Dara and our driver, Caroline, were the best! The local guides were great, each made their tour enjoyable and educational. I learned so much history. Group time and personal time was a nice balance. I enjoyed every one of my tourmates; it was a great bunch of caring people. Meals and hotels were exceptional. Dara gave us great suggestions for our personal time. Time on the bus never seemed long, Dara made the bus time enjoyable, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day was a wow moment, but if I had to chose a few; the sheep farm and the falconry, Giants Causeway, Aran Islands, and the highlight, our time in Dingle! Really enjoyed all the music!"

Nancy

Spokane, WA

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Ireland was everything I wished for. It was wonderful. The saddest part is when it ended. We appreciated that most days started about 8:30 and an occasional day to sleep a little longer. We also appreciated have breakfast available so we didn't have to spend time finding it ourselves (even if it meant we didn't visit the local bakeries as much). Having the tours lined up and the local guides was great. Saved time and were all so informative. Well done!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. Dingle was a highlight. We loved Neligan's, a local pub. The music and dancing were a definite highlight. We did the afternoon wildlife sea tour and it was great too. Seeing the Causeway in N Ireland was wonderful, along with the Cliffs of More and the Buren. The local tour guides we had, the places we stayed, the food we ate, and the people we met were outstanding."

Yvonne

Nashville, TN

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is an amazing country - beautiful scenery, varied and interesting history, friendly people. We were thrilled to experience it in the company of 24 delightful fellow travelers, an extraordinary tour guide - Dara - and a "rock" for a bus driver, Caroline. This was our third Rick Steve's tour and it more than lived up to our expectations! Plus, the weather was beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Oh my! Every day had a "wow" moment in some form or fashion. I cannot name just one. What I will remember 25 years from now was the easy camaraderie of the group members and the fun times we had on the bus, during our events, and at meals."

Jennine

Everett, WA

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my FIRST tour. What a wonderful experience. Starting with the people in Rick's office, to DARA our outstanding guide, to Caroline who got us EVERYWHERE safe and sound to all the tour guides and people in between; this tour was awesome. Not enough positive superlatives to describe this experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I went to Ireland to see Pope Frances. Picked up the tour after. A very tough act to follow. The coordination of the overall tour; with it's combination of Go-go-go activities interspaced with Adequate free time to roam and explore. This was my first trip to a European country (2 countries) and being able to see and do SO much was only possible with the format used by this company. The activities were fun, informative, enlightening, did I say fun(?), and the experience incredible."

Kyle

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

They say there are 40 shades of green in Ireland... I think I saw 37 of them. The tour group was a great mix of friendly people, our driver Caroline, was a hoot. The experiences I had will live in my memory for quite some time. There is truly something to be said for "the wearing o the green" and the warmth of the Village locals was truly amazing. If you've ever had an interest in Ireland, this is a terrific "overview" of the country(s) - the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"oh gosh... "playing" with the Hawks at the Falconry School at Ashmore Castle is unforgettable. Seeing "Fungi", the Bottle nose Dolphin, in the bay of Dingle was a treat and going to the UNESCO site - The Giant's Causeway was truly an experience. Also 1) Getting caught up in a "stag party" (bachelor party) in Dingle was a hoot and 2) Running into an elderly gentleman on the Scily trail walking back from Fort Charles to the town of Kinsale where he regaled us with stories, jokes and kindness."

Maureen

El Granada, CA

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was terrific and the people on the tour with us where great to be with. We made many new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dara, the tour guide, was my "wow." His attention toward the tour group and his attention to detail made the tour as terrific as it was."

Wanda

Longmont, CO

Tour: 08/26/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an amazing adventure. The people were very welcoming and the scenery was outstanding! All of the guides did an exceptional explanation of the trials that the Irish people have had to endure! I enjoyed hearing their versions of the struggles but how they discuss rather than argue the points.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We were sitting in a bookstore in Dingle for a concert listening to the most beautiful voice I had heard in a long time accompanied by an outstanding vocalist playing the accordion and telling wonderful stories about the music being sung. He had just performed for the Pope that Sunday and played all over the world. The stories were so poetic it brought tears to my eyes. One of the dancers from Riverdance also performed and had also performed for the Pope! All in one night!! Outstanding night!!!"

John

Herndon, VA

Tour: 08/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic, it exceeded expectations. Our guide, Lisa was excellent and went out of her way at least twice to assist individuals with unique request, including my request to visit the South Pole Inn while we were in Dingle. Stephen, our driver was friendly and competent. Without exception I found the food very good and the accommodations comfortable, clean and inviting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle and its vibrant music scene was certainly a high point for me. Lisa arranged 3 concerts featuring a variety of Irish music. The performers were talented and performed a nice cross section of local music."

Nancy

Perth, ON

Tour: 08/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 9th Rick Steves Tour- fabulous like all the others. The itinerary was great and I really felt I got to see all the highlights, learn about the history, art, literature and fully experience the aliveness, mystery and magic of Ireland. Our guide Lisa and our driver Stephen were very skilled and so much fun. They easily instilled a sense of ease and camaraderie in our group and I loved Lisa's sparkle, her infectious laugh and her impeccable story telling skills.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot of "wow" moments- the music in Dingle; the every changing, beautiful landscape; the moment when I made eye contact with the hawk sitting on my forearm. Also, the food - the wonderful breakfasts, especially the SCONES at our hotels, the great pub food, the meals shared with our group. I LOVED the food!!!"

Wayne

Edwardsville, IL

Tour: 08/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Ireland tour was great. We enjoyed the group and especially our tour leader, Lisa.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking with the hawk was a great experience."

Sandra

Markham, ON

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland is a lovely place to visit, with amazing vistas, delicious food and lots of music. The tour guide was amazing and the travel companions were fun and friendly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to choose only one. One was the experience of flying a falcon. Another wow was crossing the rope bridge. Dinning at 55 North Restaurant in Rushport at sunset overlooking the ocean is memorable. Listening to Irish music at a Kinsale pub."

Arthur

Vallejo, CA

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first organized tour so we were not exactly sure what to expect. I must say everything was fabulous. We had a great tour guide who was very knowledgeable about the places we visited. Everything was so easy for us. We basically just had to be on the bus at the specified time. As far as the bus was concerned, it was a very clean, large, comfortable bus which allowed everyone to stretch out if they wanted. This was so much nicer than the smaller tour buses that we are used to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That's a hard one to answer because everyday was great. One of the things that stood out were all of the little things that were included that we probably would not have experienced had we done this trip on our own. For example, in Kinsale, our guide told us about his favorite bar in town that had music and singing one evening. So after dinner, the entire tour group went to this little bar and had a great time. On another evening, a musical family was brought in to perform for us."

Winifred

Yorktown Heights, NY

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip excellent guide joe and driver Pamela My only suggestion would be to consider portage especially in some of the older hotels the stairs are steep in Dingle and Galway a fall could be serious even with a simple bag. The participants at least some of us are older and steep stairs are a problem. I really love the iternary and the participants were so very funny and kind.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Kinsale and Dingle and the visit to the titanic in Belfast"

Melissa

Arlington, MA

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was as perfect as a trip could be! It was organized, fun, and fulfilling. We had a fabulous guide, saw so many sights, and got to experience local culture. As a solo traveler I immediately felt comfortable in the group; the tour had a great balance of together time and time on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's Causeway. We had seen so much beautiful scenery and we were nearing the end of the tour so I thought I'd had my fill of "wow" moments - but we got to the Causeway right when it opened so it was quiet, and the sky was blue, and we had lots of time to explore. It was so peaceful and stunning and it absolutely took my breath away."

Barbara

Venice, FL

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Though this was our first, it was easy to see why some in our group had been on as many as eight Rick Steve's tours. Great primary tour guide, great secondary tour guides, a great bus driver and great traveling companions made every aspect of this tour both memorable and pleasant.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While there were many, the most unexpected "wow" experience was the opportunity to handle a red tailed hawk on our falconry outing."

Doug

Medina, OH

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 2nd tour, and Joe and RickSteve's Tours hit the ball out of the park. Joe brought a deep understand and love of Ireland shine thru all our activties. There were the usual unexpected issues (hotledoor couldn't beopened, late participants, but Joe (and our fabulous driver Pamela) madeit allhappen with ease and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Falconry at Ashford castle, and the 2nd day in Portrush (devil'scsudway, bushmills tour, swinging bridge and castle ruins)."

Diane

Medina, OH

Tour: 08/19/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was better than i expected and i had pretty high expectations going in since i had been on one previous Rick Steve's tour before. I can't say enough good things about the whole experience. great group to travel with, great tour guide, great bus driver, wonderful country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Hawk walk since that was something i would not have considered doing myself. It was a great experience and very educational."

Darrell

Chanhassen, MN

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought I had a good idea of what to expect Ireland entailed before I went...and it was what I expected. So, it was a good trip, but it's hard to compare with Switzerland for example in my case. I enjoyed the small towns, the music, and learning more deeply about the "troubles".This is my second Rick Steve's trip and will be doing a third next year to Italy. Both trips were well organized, efficient, well guided, and fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought I already had a sense of Ireland so I'm not sure I had a "wow" moment, but perhaps the closest thing to that might be Pascal...I loved his sense of humor, his knowledge of Ireland's history, and willingness to help any time. Was a bit surprised with Belfast in a good way. City center combination of the old and new was visually attractive to me. I do wish people wouldn't discard their cigarette butts on the street."

Mark

Charlestown, MA

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was impressed by just about every aspect of the tour. Pascal and Dennis were the best as guide and driver. The hotels and bed and breakfast accommodations (with one exception) were far superior to what I was expecting. The group meals were outstanding and all of the restaurants were wonderful. Arriving at tour sites and not having to deal with tickets or lines was a treat.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a lot. If I have to pick one, I'll go with the Kissane Sheep Farm."

Elizabeth

New York, NY

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and smoothly run by Pascal. The group was punctual and pleasant. The sites visited were amazing. It was our first time in Ireland and we loved the country. It was a good itinerary. We added more time at either end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The first dinner in Dublin was a lovely restaurant, as was the dinner in Dingle at the B and B. The hawk walk at Ashford Castle was very special, as well as the Burren."

Susan

Calgary, AB

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour. The style of travel with a smaller tour group and a mix of planned and free time was great, I really enjoyed enjoyed learning about the history and culture of Ireland. I don't think I would have learned as much traveling on our own. It was nice to leave the logistics to someone else and be able to relax and enjoy the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard. Noteable moments included: the concerts we attended, Dingle Crystal, the sheep herding demonstration, and the falconry. The scenery was spectacular so it is hard to isolate one thing."

Beverly

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour and it was just as fabulous as my first tour. I love that I was able to experience the best of Ireland in 14 days. I don't think I could have experienced the best of the culture and people of Ireland in a self planned trip; having local guides makes all the difference.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't say that there was just one "wow" moment. Each day was a new adventure with a new "wow" moment. I enjoyed it all! The herding dogs, Harris Hawk experience, music in Dingle and Galway, fabulous views, funny and kind Irish people, history and stories, excellent food, and new friends in my fellow travelers were all part of my daily "wow" moments."

Kelly

Portland, OR

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was able to see and experience so much of the country in two weeks, much more than if I had tried to arrange transportation, lodging and event admissions on my own. The friendly and skilled guides (plural because I considered driver Dennis a guide as well) were the perfect shepherds, down to making sure there would be ample bathrooms where we were going.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The somewhat expected wow: I have dreamed of visiting the Cliffs of Moher for nearly a decade.Finally seeing them was emotional and awe-inspiring and comfort zone pushing. The unexpected: The sweet chat I had with the vicar at Drumcliffe Church. She spotted me filling out a prayer request and offered an in-person prayer. My good health should continue and my true love is probably on his way!"

Judy

Charlestown, MA

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour,but I can't imagine any tour being better than our experience with Pascal. Every stop was perfectly planned, including bathroom stops. The sleeping accommodations and meals were excellent. I was afraid that two weeks might be too long, but it was just right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to choose a favorite as there were so many, but if I had to choose I guess it would be the sheep herding demonstration. Watching the control of that little dog amazed me. Of course, all of the views on our stops had me saying wow over and over again."

Richard

Ny, NY

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 13 tour of Ireland was satisfactory in almost every respect. The accommodations were very good, a couple were excellent. The bus was large, clean, well-maintained and professionally handled by Dennis. The stops, both for comfort and for touring, were well-chosen. I always felt that the stops were made with the welfare of the tour group uppermost in the mind of Rick Steves.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Here's the "wow" in the trip. When asked what I wanted to do most in Ireland, I said, "Get in lots of traditional Irish music." Which 4 of us did for 8 or 9 of the nights. Pascal, seeing that we were working hard to accomplish our goal, actually arranged for a salon type concert for the group by George Murphy in the hotel in Port Rush. That was above the call of duty. George was a perfect finish for our tour."

Karen

Durango, CO

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had great traveling companions. Loved our guide, Pascal. His stories, knowledge of the history and general helpfulness were outstanding. The people of Ireland were just great to meet and friendly to talk to. Our favorite accommodation was Heatons in Dingle. The food was excellent and service way above par. Just can't say enough good things about Heatons. Getting our laundry done there was wonderful for 15 euros for whatever we could stuff in the bag.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giants causeway was a highlight for me. I loved the hiking and the amount of time we were given there. The glass cutter was amazing to watch work, but the Giants Causeway was still probably my most WOW moment."

Bill

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

At the top of my nine tours along with Villages of Italy. Excellent itinerary and folow through with all details. Exceeded my expectations given all of the planned events and wonderful additions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"View from Giant's Causeway and the Falconry school experience."

Robert

Durango, CO

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland has beautiful natural features, but visiting Ireland is more about the Irish people, their culture and their history. This tour did a marvelous job of making sure we saw beautiful landscapes and coastlines, but where it excelled was bringing us the culture and history of the Irish. From small venues with local musicians, to historical walking tours with local guides, to getting us excited about the hurling championship (Up Tyrone), we felt like cousins of locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Facing the strong winds on the Cliffs of Moher."

Janice

Durango, CO

Tour: 08/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour of Ireland with wonderful guide and driver who made Ireland feel like home. We saw all the major sites we wanted to see. A major "side trip" was jumping on the bog! Hearing local music, stories and history enriched each day. Pascal was wonderful at sharing and making it "real". Dennis our driver was great, and a highlight of the trip was when we could talk to him about his experiences and thoughts. A fun trip with lots of laughter and fun experiences in a magical land!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments to many to pick one but I really loved the Giants Causeway. However the surprise River Dance performer at our music night was amazing! Thanks Pascal!"

Becky

Glendive, MT

Tour: 08/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guides, loved them all. Overwhelming amount of history! The rooms were great,bus was great. My only complaint would be the Farm restaurant. I did not enjoy the starter, meal or dessert. I would recommend fewer group meals as they are hard to pull off; serving everyone at the same time( unless it is buffet style.) I would have liked to see a working bog for my own curiosity.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was taken by how neat and tidy all of the towns are. They could use more garbage cans available to the public."

Kenneth

Castro Valley, CA

Tour: 08/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful experience. We saw and learned so much more than we ever could have even attempted on our own. Our guide, Dara, was organized, committed, and truly wanted to share all aspects of his country with us. From an overall impression of the land and people to understanding their history and spirit. Music played a large role and we truly experienced traditional and popular music as it related to the spirit and culture of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"See above"

David

Hoover, AL

Tour: 08/12/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a great trip: fun guide, beautiful scenery, wonderful group. Though anticipated, the only thing that kept this from being outstanding was the weather - one of the major sites (Cliffs of Moher) was not visible. Rain, mist and drizzle were with us nearly every day. That being said, the weather didn't slow us down, but it would be easy to imagine how spectacular some of the scenery would have been with a little more sunshine. One plus - we saw a bunch of rainbows - no pots of gold!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" was the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. I have a fear of heights, so this was a challenge. The crossing was a thrill - the return in a strong cross wind was a high-pucker experience!"

Paula

Indianapolis, IN

Tour: 08/12/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a our 3rd RS tour and it was very different from the other 2 in that it was more scenic and outdoorsy. The other 2 were definitely more museum oriented. We enjoyed this tour and Dara was great. I would caution and emphasize that this is an outdoor active tour not the typical museum stuff so definitely bringing the right attire, waterproof gear would be beneficial. All in all we enjoyed this tour and you cant beat the scenery, breathtaking.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me the giants causeway was the most amazing site."

Jack

Indpls, IN

Tour: 08/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything absolutely exceeded expectations! With all the information available before the trip we felt very prepared to take on travel outside of the US. I can't say enough about the Rick Steves' Books, Web Site, online forums, Travel Guides, Bus, Bus Driver and Hotels. It's obvious a lot of preparation goes into making this a top-notch Tour. I thought that with 14 days of touring I would be ready to come home by the end but I loved every minute of the tour and didn't want it to end.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is just cruel making me limit to a Single "Wow" moment. Hmm, Tour of Cong, Quiet Man Location & Hawk Walk! Or Giant's Causeway! Or Bushmills Distillery Tour! Or Carrick A Rede Rope Bridge! Or Kinsale and Silly Walk! Or Dingle (The whole Town)! Wow! Ok, If you make me pick I guess the Giant's Causeway. But I'm not sure, it's really hard to favor one thing."

Brian

Mililani, HI

Tour: 08/12/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 6th RS tour. Although you have to see some of the must see sights of the larger cities we often enjoy the quaintness and people of the small towns. Most of this tour revolves around these small towns and outdoor sites and scenery. We have always enjoyed the guides and the camaraderie of similar minded travels. You learn so much more about the history, sites, and culture on these tours vs going on your own. My only complaint is I wish the weather had been better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really enjoyed the private music concerts that Dara set up for us. It was very intimate and gave us a great sample of the Irish music heritage that they are so proud of."

Dave

Liberty, MO

Tour: 08/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Best of Ireland 14 Day Tour is a great way to see a healthy slice of Ireland and Northern Ireland, either for travelers that may only get one chance to see this great Island, or as a taster for others that will return in the future and have an idea of what and where they might wish to visit. Our Guide, Susie, and Driver, Michael, were both very professional, engaging, and great fun to be around!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had two great "wow" moments, on this tour. On a personal level, visiting Cong, a village that featured heavily in one of my favorite films, "The Quiet Man", was a highlight for me. The other was touring the HMS Nomadic - the only surviving White Star Line vessel. It has been preserved not only for being the last reminder of a bygone era, but also for being the tender vessel for 1st and 2nd Class Passengers boarding the Titanic on her only voyage - almost like being on the great ship herself!"

Martin

Fort Myers, FL

Tour: 08/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed learning about the Irish culture and history and the beautiful scenery it offers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No WOW moment, enjoyed most of the adventure."

Cindy

Mckinney, TX

Tour: 08/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very nice tour. We had a great group of people. Received a lot of information about Ireland, met and visited with some of the locals. Scenery was beautiful! Susie and Micheal make a great team. They play well off each other. Overall a most memorable trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very much enjoyed Dingle. Was a great town with lots to do!The Giants Causeway and Dunlace Castle. Felt it really gave me a sense of what Ireland was."

Roger

Andover, MN

Tour: 08/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been to Ireland twice before and a lot has changed in that country over the past 15 years. This tour was the first with Rick Steves and a much more in depth experience. Crystal factory, sheep herding, falcon demonstration, dolphin boat chase, Aeron Island tour, music/dance performance, Trinity College and the Book of Kells, Jameson distillery, Boyne Valley tour and the Titanic museum. Just a great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The connection of our tour Guide Susan and the two coins from here great grandfather before he left on that cruse. A real connection and a fabulous museum tour. A great country to visit."

Merry

Anderson, IN

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was well plannedwith a variety of sights, foods and experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle peninsula & Giants Causeway"

Nancy

Millstone Twp, NJ

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The last time I was in the Republic of Ireland was over 40 years ago (!) I was looking forward to revisiting some of my favorite places, Dublin, Aran Islands, Connemara, and discovering other places I hadn't been to. BOI was an immersion in Irish history, literature and music. The scenery was stunning, the traditional music was stirring, and the Irish engaging, friendly and witty.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giant's Causeway and the murals in Derry and Belfast. Ireland is one big WOW, but discovering Northern Ireland with its beautiful coastline and difficult history was special to me. l I have two Irish grandmothers and a keen interest in Irish politics and history. Lynn's experience and knowledge of Irish history and the Troubles personalized the story of Ireland for me."

Connie

Orange, CA

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our two week adventure in Ireland was absolutely terrific. This was our second experience with a Rick Steves' tour - we loved the Best of Italy trip we had taken last October, and we liked the Ireland experience even more. Our tour group was very compatible, fun to be with, conscientious about being places on time, interestingly varied in background and travel experience. As was true with the Italy trip, we enjoyed the balance between guided tours/group activities AND personal time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many ... among them, the Rock of Cashel, the Hawk Walk at the castle in Cong, and the day we spent on Inis Mor. The most memorable day, without a doubt, was the day we spent in Northern Ireland going from the Giant's Causeway to the Carrick-a-rede Bridge to Dun Luce castle. In terms of historical 'wow', I would identify our walk through Kinsale with Barry as especially terrific."

David

West Lake Hills, TX

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great trip from beginning to end. Lynn was an excellent tour guide and a pleasure to be with for the entire time. The other tour members were also a joy to hang out with!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Quite a few: Giant's Causeway. The scenery was spectacular! Loved the music and dancing in Dingle. Hawk walk was great!"

Georgia

Jacksonville Beach, FL

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Jam packed days filled with beautiful scenery, fascinating history and some amazing buildings built centuries ago that are still standing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Beautiful scenery every day even on rainy days. The hawk walk has to rate as a highlight."

Arthur

Birmingham, MI

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was a comprehensive and varied experience of history, culture, geography, and city/small town life. Our tour director Lynn was informative and was a constant reminder of important practical issues of safety, theft and remembering passports. Our bus driver was a remarkable fit/strong woman who could handle our bags with ease. She also had a hurling stick and ball on board and she taught me a few hurling skills.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I suppose it was the scenic coast stops. All quite beautiful and breath taking. We were lucky to have had clear viewings and occasional sunshine."

Gail

Ardmore, PA

Tour: 08/05/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite tour so far of R Steves. The perfect length and experiences with the exact amount of free time. It had history, beauty, exercise, new experiences, excellent food and perfect tour guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorites 1 County Cong and the hawks 2 giant Causeway 3 cliffs of Moher 4 library at Trinity 5 Dingle and Slea Head Drive 6 Aran island"

Augusto

Ashburn, VA

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of Ireland, and the people, of course. Dara, our guide, was a major contributing factor in learning about the past and present of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the music and dance in Dingle."

John

Bismarck, ND

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was more than I expected. Really enjoyed the geopolitical information and thought the trip was well planned out. The sites we visited were spectacular and well explained. Our tour guide was a hoot and very knowledgeable and he added several special touches like musical performances. The local guides were terrific. I like having a tour where everything is planned out and I don't have to think about rooms and transportation. Our tour guide had all bases covered. It was a great trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The music in Dingle. Fantastic!"

Harold

Valencia, CA

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great! Ireland is my favorite place to go so, I knew I would have a great time. People there are, for the most part, happy, helpful and friendly. We made some new friends. Guinness is my favorite beer! Music is everywhere, at homes, in pubs, on the streets. Every family seems to have one or more musicians. Not my first visit, won't be my last!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought the sheep farm would be boring, but the border collies are so cute and smart, it turned out to be really fun. And I thought the falconry at Ashford Castle would also be boring, but it wasn't. Our teacher at the falconry, Danielle (Danni), was the best! She was equally adept handling the birds as well as our group of 28. She was patient with everyone. She really enjoys what she does and it made our experience most pleasurable. Slea Head Drive! The music of Niamh & Peter in Dingle"

Deidre

Manlius, NY

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a pleasure to explore the cities and villages of Ireland. Our tour guide told so such about the history, culture, and music of Ireland Every day offered new and exciting experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle and the music!"

Janet

York, SC

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour and we were delighted! We enjoyed the itinerary which I believe avoided some of the more touristy venues in favor of historical and cultural sites. Our tour guide, Dara, is an amazing young man who we now believe must know just about everyone in Ireland! The musical presentations in his bar and music shop provided a wonderful opportunity for us to hear outstanding traditional Irish music!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When Dara made it possible for us to visit the Ulster Scots Center in Belfast where I was able to consult a genealogist about my search for ancestor records. When Dara stopped the bus so I could take a picture of the church where my 2nd great grandfather signed a petition to Parliament in 1835! I told him I felt like the captain had turned the cruise ship around for me to take a picture!"

Robert

Washington Crossing, PA

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 7th RS tour and second this year, having completed a very special Village Italy tour in May. This Ireland tour for me was simply the most fun I've had in all of our tours. The country and its people are wonderful. We had a super fun guide (Dara) and our tour group was a great mix of like minded folks who kept the good times going for the entire trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Ireland 14 day tour is well balanced with strong content all around the country. A wow moment for me personally was the experience at the School of Falconry at Ashford Castle."

Pamela

Seneca, SC

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For a first time passport user, I was thrilled with the Ireland tour. I really didn't know what to expect, and was thoroughly happy with every moment of my trip. I continue to enjoy the wonderful memories by listening to the CD that I picked up from a terrific concert in the Dingle music store. My only problem now is how to top this experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How do I choose between the cliffs of Moherand giants causeway and Dingle? Ireland was incredibly beautiful, and the people were, without exception, the friendliest people I have ever met. Maybe I should just say that it was the Irish people who provided me with my favorite wow moments. It was as if each of them had been put on that beautiful green country for the express purpose of trying to see that everyone who visits Ireland will fall in love with her. They succeeded. I did."

Susan

Chicago, IL

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour and we were very impressed. From our first meeting until the end, we had a great time with this group of 28. Also, it was our first time to Ireland and it was amazing. We enjoyed all of the people, the countryside, the tours, the food, the pubs, the music, learning the history of Ireland, and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

""Dara" was our favorite wow! His knowledge of Ireland never ceased to amaze us. And his love of Ireland was charming. From the beginning, he made everyone feel comfortable and was always willing to answer our questions. Dennis, was a great coach driver, we were so glad that we were passengers and not drivers! We loved all of our stops, and Dingle was our favorite."

Stephen

New Orleans, LA

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was a very good tour of the highlights of Ireland. Dara was an excellent guide. His enthusiasm and sense of humour were contagious and kept the group interested and informed. Dara went out of his way to arrange musical performances for our group. Dennis was an excellent bus driver and also interacted well with the group. The hotels were of higher quality than I had expected which was a pleasant surprise. The coach was clean and comfortable. Overall, an enjoyable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I went to Ireland wanting to see the countryside and natural sights. I was impressed with the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway. One of my favorite experiences was one I didn't expect: the tour of the Bushmills distillery. I found that fascinating and I'm not a whisky drinker."

Mary Louise

Bismarck, ND

Tour: 08/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had fun from start to finish. Ireland has so many wonderful natural features as well as historical ruins. Irish people were so welcoming and friendly. Despite the suffering from famine, followed by the rising and the troubles, the Irish people continue to to celebrate life with their music, laughter and colorful way of speaking. We both feel privileged to have had this experience. Having been a farming family, we preferred the smaller communities to the large cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was walking the "Giants Causeway". I was in awe of the natural features and loved being able to hike the entire trail system there."

Elizabeth

Burke, VA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first solo travel adventure and this tour really met my needs. Communication with your office plus use of the guidebook (all along the way:) helped greatly in my planning before departure. And while on travel, having all the details of transportation, sightseeing, accommodations and many meals taken care of for me, freed me up for truly taking in the whole of Ireland and meeting great travelers along the way!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giants Causeway and Dunluce Castle all in one perfect day! Their natural magnificence speaks volumes..."

Charles

Arroyo Grande, CA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Met my goal of learning more Irish history, seeing the major sites, and seeing the countryside that I had not seen on my 2 previous trips to Ireland. This was basically a bus tour,not a walking tour. The seating was cramped with the saving grace that we only had 28 travelers for 50 seats. I noticed a coach that was our same size, but with less seats allowing for much more legroom and more comfortable seats than ours. For tours with lots of miles, this would be the way to go.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the rock walls of Inishmore. Not exactly a "wow" but certainly interesting."

Douglas

Pensacola, FL

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Joe and our bus driver were excelent, personable and flexible. Joe expertly answered a multitude of questions I raised.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kinsaill from which my ancestor emigrated. Dublin museum of Archaeology before the tour, and early Christian sites throughout."

Lorri

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

28 people are too many for a comfortable group. That said, Joe was amazing and the places we stopped were clearly given careful thought and outstanding planning. I enjoyed the fact that when the bus days were long, there were stops along the way to break it up. The coach and driver were also great, and I appreciated that Stephen (the driver) was part of our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"If we had arrived at the Cliffs of Mohar when it opened or had more than 2 hours and time to get away from the crowds, it probably would have been that. However, I think it was the impromptu audience participation concert in Dawson's Tavern/Pub in Kinsale."

Stephana

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire tour was above and beyond what I was expecting. Our tour guide, Joe, was amazing as was our bus driver Steven.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Well there were so many "wow" moments. I think for me it was the hawk walk at Ashford Castle. But above everything I saw on the tour, the Irish people were the most memorable. Inviting, welcoming, helpful and always smiling!"

Amber

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very scenic [INVALID]ion of small towns - we felt like we were discovering small gems around the countryside. Local guides were enthusiastic, well informed, and good-humored. Evening snippets of entertainment felt informal - not staged - and intimate. Not sure how you managed to arrange having Tomas dance for us at the B and B in Dingle, but that was spectacular.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not "wow," but extremely sobering: Standing on top of the city wall in Derry and gaining a better understanding of how fraught the conflict has been throughout Northern Ireland."

Michael

Millersburg, OH

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour was well constructed and executed. I really felt like we experienced Ireland and saw the highlights.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giant's Causeway, Dingle Peninsula, Ashford Castle and falconry"

Charles

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Joe was organized, knowledgeable, and very entertaining. The local guides were, without fail, excellent. Food "events" were very good with opportunities to try different cuisines of a given region. Choice of sites to visit were, in typical Rick Steves fashion, interesting, accessible, and with the exception of the Cliffs of Mohrer, not overrun by other travelers. We had a good mix of traveling companions who seemed largely compatible as well as diverse in background.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Very difficult to pick out a "wow" moment from so many experiences. I would have to say that the ancient fortification of Dun Aengus on the Aran Islands and the entire Dingle experience are the two that stick out for me the most."

Bobby

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was very impressed with our guide, Joe Darcy. He was knowledgable, friendly and made me feel at home throughout the whole trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hanging out in the pubs listening to trad in Dingle."

Eleanor

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My fourth Rick Steves tour, and this may have been the best. Joe (our guide) and Stephen (our driver) were fantastic and made our travels fun, intimate, and seamless. Everyone in the group was enthusiastic, friendly, and inclusive (28 people is too many, however). The itinerary, though full, did not feel rushed; we had frequent fun stops on travel days. We were always treated with totally Irish hospitality, and had plenty of opportunities to experience excellent local food, music, and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to choose: Dublin historic sites and museums, Dingle concerts, hawk walk at Ashford Castle, Kinsale pubs, the ancient ruins on Inishmore, the Giant's Causeway, local food, beer, and whisky all consumed in good company."

Gary

Rainier, OR

Tour: 07/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great trip! Joe is an amazing guide. We really appreciate his energy and knowledge. The history and beauty of Ireland is breath taking. This experience will be forever in our hearts and minds. Thanks

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry experience was unexpected to say the least. It was great,to see the smiles and expressions on the faces of our group was great. A great time it was for all of us. Thanks"

Kelley

Constantia, NY

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an amazing time. Declan was a great guide; in addition to telling us about the history of each area, there was a focus on music. Declan sang, we heard live music in Pubs, a B&B, hotel and the Music Store in Dingle. I came home with 6 cd's. The interaction with the musicians made it all special. I enjoyed the wide variety of areas the tour covered. Kinsale and Dingle were my favorites. My two favorite day guides were Tommy in Dublin and Barry in Kinsale.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher"

Dennis

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was great! I enjoyed seeing the beauty of Ireland and learning about the history all at the same time. Our tour guide, Declan was fantastic!!! He shared his knowledge of the country with us in a delightful way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I was riding on the bus and listening to Declan explain the history of Ireland and Northern Ireland. I never understood why there was all the strife and violence in Northern Ireland. Now I have a better appreciation of it. I noticed a statue I have seen many times before. It is a statue of Robert Emmet. Since I knew the history of Ireland, now I understood the significance of it."

Richard

River Edge, NJ

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Declan was a fantastic guide. He was knowledgeable, energetic, and caring. The bus driver, Pamela ,got the bus to places where I would not drive a car.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Giant's Causeway and the hike of the Red Trail."

Herbert

Ashburn, VA

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The narrators were quite good. Notably good was Tommy Graham with his tour of Dublin and Declan Field with his evein tour of parts of Dublin the first night and his constant narration throughout our travels. We also had good guides at multiple sig sites. There were some 'hotel' challenges. The tub in the B&B in Kinsale was outright dangerous--nothing to prevent slipping in a narrow tub.Only scaldingly hot water in Europa hotel shower.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walk about the Giants' Causeway (Declan's six mile hike) or the bus trip, with stops, on the Dingle Peninsula. OR Dunluce Castle"

Kenneth

Orangevale, CA

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was a nice mix of history, nature, music and dance. We learned and experienced so much in that 14 days. By the end of the tour I felt that I had a very good overview of the country, history, and its people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour had several wow moments for me but the one I enjoyed the most was the Giant Causeway and optional 6 mile hike."

Lanning

Honolulu, HI

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

If I could do it all over again, I would jump at the chance. I loved Declan, our primary guide, and I liked that he seemed to know everyone in every town we visited. I'm not sure if it was just luck, but the folks in my group were an outstanding group of people. I learned almost as from them about travel and life in general, as I did from the tour itself [INVALID] no grumblers : ) There were no parts of the trip where to walking was too difficult.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I've been traveling a lot since I retired almost two years ago. I'm getting to be a pretty jaded guy; it's becoming harder to actually be wowed. But I don't have to be wowed to love what I'm doing on any particular journey. Good experiences are good experiences, wows or no wows. If I had to pick one moment that was most unusual, let's say, I'd have to choose experiencing the hawk flight, having it come to us and perch on our wrists. That's something you definitely don't experience every day."

Judith

Orangevale, CA

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Marvelous! Simply marvelous! We experienced so many aspects of Ireland - ancient/modern, cultural, political, natural, religious, economic, - overall a very well-rounded experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"MUSIC - everywhere! I went to several concerts (some as part of the tour, some on my own) and did a musical pub crawl - loved to see all ages playing. The concert at Siopa Ceol in Dingle was exceptional! The Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, and The Giants Causeway- awesome!"

Sharon

River Edge, NJ

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the minute we met out tour guided, Declan, until we sadly had to say goodbye, our tour was wonderful. We enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers and made some new friends. This was the first time my husband and I took an organized tour; we had always been "do it yourself" travelers. We were very happy with the schedule, the choice of restaurants and the itinerary. Declan was a wealth of knowledge we would not have gained on an independent tour. He even sang to us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The days in Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula were definitely a wow! I even walked out past the lighthouse on the harbor during a free afternoon and loved the scenery and solitude. Our hotel in Dingle was spectacular, as were the meals there. The tour we had of the peninsula was very special, and our fun evenings in the local pubs were a bonus that all added up to a WOW!"

Erin

Columbus, OH

Tour: 07/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded my expectations- Declan was friendly and taught me so much about Ireland's history. I loved most of the stops, the accommodations were lovely.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle was at the top of my list- experiencing the music of Ireland in a small setting was amazing. It was a great place for a day off as well. The walking tours were amazing and had beautiful views!"

Larry

Brandon, SD

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Remain enthused with Rick Steves tours. Central locations, great transportation, interesting educational opportunities. Unfortunately the hotels might be improved. At kinsale there were two electrical outlets. not in use. But one would not accept a plug and the remaining outlet was sorely inadequate for charging multiple mobile devices and a CPAP. In Galway the stool would not recharge except slowly ( 20-25 minutes) staff responded but when they arrived the tank had recharged itself. In

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The two stops where significantly more time was desired as the Scotch Ulster Center and the military based center in Belfast."

Michelle

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first trip to Europe. Loved every minute of it. I still can't believe how much we saw in the 2 weeks. Our tour group was compatible and fun which added to the experience. Lynn Corken was the best!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pick one moment. The Cliffs of Moher were breath taking, I so enjoyed visiting Inishmore. The prehistoric fort of Dun Aonghasa was amazing!!! We had a local tour us around and give us the history of the island."

Jill

Brandon, SD

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my husband and my second Rick Steves tour. Last year we went on the GAS tour..Germany, Switzerland and Austria. We had an amazing experience so when we left for Ireland, I wondered.....will this tour be as wonderful as last year? Well...i didn't think it was possible, but our Ireland trip was even a little bit better than last year..and last year was a "10".. Ireland was a "10 +"!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were truly plenty of WOW moments on the Ireland tour but standing on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher was my favorite. Seeing the amazing beauty and feeling the thrill of standing close to the edge! WOW..what an experience. The beauty of Kinsale and Dingle, the Hawk walk at the Ashford Castle, the morning at the sheep farm, the trip to the Aran Islands....so many great experiences. OH and the MUSIC....WOW!!."

Lacey

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was my first trip to Europe and it could not have been better! Everything was near perfect . Our guide was outstanding, tour mates were just a great bunch, bus driver was so good, food was excellent.... I could go on and on. It was amazing how well planned out it was to make sure that we saw everything we did. Just amazing!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many!! I truly thought the school of falconry was such a unique experience. Totally unexpected! Also loved the town of Dingle and the music and dance was so much fun. Also have to mention the Cliffs of Moher and the trip to the Aran islands."

Ronald

Corpus Christi, TX

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We (Ron & Judy) are providing our combined input on this one Evaluation form. Being our first Rick Steves Tour, we were very impressed with the entire tour model. Having the Rick Steves Tour Book to read ahead of the tour was a new wrinkle; it made us feel more prepared for the experience. The bus transportation was safe & dependable; the hotels were generally comfortable; the food was good; the tours interesting and exciting. Lynn was great! Our fellow travelers were great also!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was the Dingle Peninsula Loop trip (the Slea Head Drive), including the interesting Blasket Island Visitors Center and the fantastic coastal scenery along the way. But I must say that I also enjoyed the visits to Portrush and Belfast, and the "living history" encountered there. Judy's "wow" was the trip to Inishmore Island and the hike up to Dun Aengus fortress."

Barbara

Lafayette, LA

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous experience. So well planned. I loved the history and all other educational aspects of the trip. Our guide, Lynn Corken, was simply wonderful. Loved her sense of humor as well as her lovely accent. She was very knowledgeable. The whole country was simply beautiful and fascinating. I arrived in Dublin on Wednesday morning and had most of that day, Thursday and Friday until the tour group met that evening. Those days were filled and still so much remains to be seen in Dublin.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were "wow" moments every day. From the beautiful flowers everywhere to the villages to the coastline. I truly enjoyed every event and tour experience. In addition to the beauty of Ireland the history was full of wow moments."

Patricia

Fort Collins, CO

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland has a wealth of scenic beauty, cultural heritage, music, and history. The tour allowed us to learn more about these than we probably would have as independent travelers. The tour was very well organized

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Listening to live music many evenings."

Lynne

Lafayette, LA

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My e first RS tour was outstanding. Our guide, Lynne, is very personable. Excellent bus, very clean with onboard facilities and a great driver, Dennis. He took those "close to the edge" curves with ease. I enjoyed everything I saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments: Cliff of Moher, Cashel Rock, Giants Causeway. However, none of these would have been as "wowing" without Lynne's narrative. Kilmainham gaol as a unique experience as was the Burren, not something one would be peat as a tourist destination."

Gary

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an especially nice group of people. After 5 tours we realize the others account for 50% off the fun on the tour. Good job attracting people who are like us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dublin, Kinsale, Dingle were the highlights for me."

Anita

Commerce City, CO

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First, our guide, Lynn was amazing. She was able to make the history of both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom come alive. Our bus driver, Dennis, was also stellar. He and Lynn both took very good care of my 15 year old daughter when she was feeling sick from the bus rides. The activities were wonderful. We most enjoyed the Giant's Causeway, the Dingle Peninsula and the Slea Head Loop, the music in Dingle, the ghost tour in Kinsale, the town of Kinsale in genderal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have three. The Slea Head Loop Drive was stunning, as was our stop to take pictures. Driving up to the Rock of Cashel and visiting the ruins there was also amazing as was the Giant's Causeway. I could have spent more time at the Causeway exploring the hiking trails because the scenery was so beautiful."

Mary

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What made my experience of Ireland especially significant was the many ways in which Lynn shared her knowledge of Ireland from the viewpoint of someone who grew up in Belfast during the late 1960s. Lynn's passion about justice and her knowledge of history and literature were life-giving throughout the two weeks we experienced the best of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire experience was WOW for me in light of my hopes and dreams of learning more about the rich heritage that is ours from the traditions and treasures of Ireland. The scenic beauty, the hospitable people, the historic landmarks, and of course, the musical heritage energized me every day along the way from Dublin to Belfast. Another dimension of the WOW for me was that after the Best of Ireland tour, I had more travel skills in finding my way to other places throughout Ireland."

Donna

Jefferson, NC

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The views were spectacular, the history enlightening and our tour guide and driver were amazing! I would love to return and re-visit many places and add on some others!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the majestic scenery! I loved the cliff views from The Eask, Dun Aengus, Giant's Causeway and Dunluce Castle. They were all "take your breath away" moments."

Sherry

De Pere, WI

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd Rick Steves tour and this time we brought 4 of our friends with us... Lisa was under pressure from our friends to live up to the expectations we promised them....and she definitely went above and beyond. Lisa was an amazing tour guide and made our vacation wonderful and relaxing, and the countryside of Ireland was absolutely beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say the Giants Causeway was my Wow moment. The geologic formations were mind boggling and I even enjoyed the "162" steps on the way back!!"

Kimberly

Dallas, TX

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The guides were fantastic, especially Lisa. Hotels were largely fantastic, food was incredible, good mix of sites visited and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's Causeway."

Fred

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour. I didn't think ahead of time much about the experience of meeting the other people on the tour because I was so focused on what I would be seeing. As it turns out, making new friends and talking with other like minded travelers added greatly to the overall experience.

Jodi

Lake Stevens, WA

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This is our sixth RS tour. There were about 24 participants. Unfortunately there were three seperate groups of people who came on the tour as groups. A group of six, a group of five and a group of four. I appreciate that they came together as individual groups, but they stayed together all the time, to the exclusion of the rest of the group. It was very noticeable and did color my experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we visited the small stone church on the Slea Head drive that has been standing since 500 AD! Amazing!"

Wanda

Spearfish, SD

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was good overall. The bus seemed a bit more crowded than the buses that we had on previous tours. And there was no tray, no cup holder, and no pocket to store things. However, the bus driver was excellent! How he was able to maneuver through such narrow places was astounding!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The seaside cliffs that we were able to see were "wow"! And the Titanic museum was also "wow" - more than expected."

Gary

Spearfish, SD

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

All of our previous Rick Steves tours have been outstanding. Unfortunately, I cannot rate this tour so highly. It seemed like we were being hurried along. When a local tour was complete, there was no time for any independent exploration. Example: the Dunluce Castle, we had 10 minutes at the end of the tour for a toilet break and back to the bus. We returned to the hotel an hour and a half before meeting for dinner. And we were to meet for dinner at 16:30. So much of the afternoon was wasted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Inishmore (Aran Islands) was great! I have never seen so many rock walls. The cliffs along the seashore below the fortress were unexpected, and very nice. (The Cliffs of Moher were shrouded in fog, so unfortunately we missed that.)"

Joseph

Jefferson, NC

Tour: 07/15/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful first tour experience, creating a lifetime of memories

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Traditional music in pubs, both arranged and on our own"

Gail

Rome, GA

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, my experience was better than I expected in some areas. I enjoyed meeting and traveling with people from different areas. I think in some areas we stayed longer than was needed and in other areas we just "breezed thru". I know it's hard to cover it all in that period of time. I really had a hard time with the food, I am not a seafood person and I am not a person who will eat anything. Had a great grilled cheese sandwich in Dingle(LOL).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I really have three[INVALID]- the Cliffs of Moher, even though it was rainy and foggy we finally got a decent view. Dun Aengus was amazing and it was a great day for going, weather was beautiful. Giant's Causeway was fantastic to see and the weather was good, had been rainy but cleared up so we really had some great views."

Terry

Nepean, ON

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour guide was very well informed, always pleasant and ready to help and so was our driver. Local guides provided a good mix of legend, tall tales and historical facts. The scenery was beautiful throughout the trip and best on the coast. Enjoyed the history both recent and from long ago. Restaurants and cafes were great. Local people were extremely polite and friendly. Music and dancing was very lively and enjoyable. We enjoyed the company of the other members of our group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Re-visiting Northern Ireland, especially Londonderry and Belfast and seeing it at peace (I emigrated from Belfast shortly after the start of the most recent and violent outbreak of the troubles). On a more universal scale, the coastal scenery provided a spate of WOW moments, especially the Slea Head loop."

Jeff

Stanwood, WA

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Susie and Michael both were exceptional. They made the trip fun and exciting and it was by far better than I thought it would be. You have true professionals on your team.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the free day in Dingle, my wife and I had booked an EcoCruise to see the puffins and other seabirds. We saw 3,000+ nesting pairs of puffins, dolphins, gannets, sea lions, red deer, and many other birds. The weather was perfect and Cathedral Rocks was breathtaking."

Mary

Stanwood, WA

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was awesome and everything I thought it would be. Susie was an awesome guide and Michael the bus driver was excellent. They both had a great sense of humor and made each day special. Weather was great and the combination of city, town, and country was well balanced. This tour was a great way to experience Ireland and to be able to see and enjoy the lovely coast and countryside.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our free day in Dingle. My husband and I had pre-booked an Eco Safari to see puffins and other seabirds and marine mammals. We weren't disappointed and saw 3,000+ nesting puffins, gannets, dolphins, seals and stunning scenery including Cathedral Rocks. We were 16 miles out into the Atlantic and the weather was perfect!"

Karen

Durham, NC

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This tour was very comprehensive. I felt that I saw everything Ireland had to offer. It was the perfect mix of small villages and big cities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The drive from Kinsale to Dingle and the Slea Head Drive. So much beauty and the dramatic hills and valleys."

Terry

Pleasanton, CA

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the size and make up of the group and the comfortable atmosphere that our guide and bus driver created! The sites visited were amazing and Susie Millar did a great job of helping us on some of the hiking options that the group could take. I love that she stepped right up and led those that wanted to on alternate routes to and from our adventures! The Music was terrific particularly the husband / wife (Peter/ Niamh) team at the music shop in Dingle and the Music fest in Belfast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two: 1) The Ireland School of Falconry was just so unexpectedly exciting and amazing.. the scenery was absolutely beautiful (you felt like you were transported back in time) and launching a falcon is something I never thought I would do! 2) The music performances and getting involved in the dancing / singing was so much fun!"

Robert

Tallahassee, FL

Tour: 07/13/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We liked the tour, but felt that itinerary could have been better balanced, with more time in some places and less in others. In particular,. two nights in Dingle and one in Portrush and one in Kinsale would have been enough. Belfast deserved at least two nights, and a day going around the Ring of Kerry, and a night in Derry would have been good additions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We liked lots of things, but there was no real Wow moment for us."

Andrea

Spokane, WA

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great tour. Saw a lot, learned a lot, did a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking at Giant's Causeway"

Judith

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Several years ago, I toured Ireland with a different company. I loved the scenery and people and wanted to return. This tour was an entirely different tour with the Cliffs of Moher being the only repeat for me. It too was different because of the rolling mist the day we were there. This was my second Rick Steve's tour and I was not disappointed. It was everything that I expected from the small group to a knowledgeable guide. It was a truly memorable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "WOW" moments, but two that stand out were Slea Head drive and the Giant Causeway. I also enjoyed the Aran Islands."

Kristin

Laguna Hills, CA

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my third RS tour, and I couldn't be happier with the guides on these tours...knowledgeable, organized, helpful, etc. The sites and experiences were just what I was looking for on a trip to Ireland.

Cheryl

Maplewood, MN

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour and a great way to experience so much of Ireland. The trip had everything[INVALID]history, visits to castles and scenic sites, a great tour group, music and fun! Declan was a great guide and his passion for Ireland, knowledge of history, and musical talents really added to the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's too hard to pick one "wow" moment but my favorite experiences were Slea Head Drive, the hawks at Ashford Castle, the Giant's Causeway, and all the Irish music we enjoyed."

Gary

Spokane, WA

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time. Our guide was excellent, very knowledgeable and entertaining. All of the day guides were also great. We saw and did so much more than we could have on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At the Falconry School when we each caught and released the hawk."

Margaret

Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide, great tour speakers at each stop, great group, great pace...I could go on!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I thought all of it was a "wow" moment. Was very impressed with the gorgeous scenery and the beautiful warm and friendly people."

Brenda

Saint Louis, MO

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the tour was great! This was the first tour I've ever gone on so wasn't sure what to expect. Our tour guide, Declan, was fantastic and our bus driver, Pamela, was a pro. It was a good group of people with several other solos like me. The tour was a great mix of site seeing, history, socializing and free time. I really liked that the bus was full sized so you could have your own seat if you wanted. I saw more on that trip than I would ever been able to see on my own. Great trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, many wow moments as Ireland is fantastically beautiful, but my favorite wow moments was handling the hawk at the School of Falconry. I've always been a bit afraid of the birds, but this was a great experience!"

Sheila

East Longmeadow, MA

Tour: 07/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations in every way - all around fantastic guide and wonderful balance of historical perspective, cultural experience and social and musical ambiance of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When I met actual second cousins on the first day of the tour in Dublin and in two subsequent cities. I fell in love with Ireland as well as my new-found Irish relatives ensuring that I will be an annual visitor."

Thomas

Pueblo, CO

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I love the "no hassle" of the Rick Steve's Tours. Everything is planned out and you just need to show up. The meals and hotels are always top notch. Our tour guide, Cathie, was very informative and became part of our group family in no time. Ireland is unbelievably beautiful, and the sights planned on the tour were fabulous! There was a good balance between small villages and bigger metro areas to get a good taste of each.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite part of the tour was the Aran Islands, specifically Inishmore and Dun Aengus. The cliffs were amazing! Giants Causeway and The Cliffs of Moher were just as impressive."

Jodie

Lititz, PA

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I felt as if this tour gave us a real flavor for Ireland, and Northern Ireland, having visited both small towns, rural areas and large cities. The places visited were definitely some of the most scenic. I loved the small towns with their colorful houses, and their flower boxes hanging from the buildings overflowing with colorful flowers. We also enjoyed visiting the old castles ruins, church ruins, etc. and learning the history surrounding them. Overall a very good sampling of Irish life.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was visiting Gallarus Oratory, a place of meditation and worship built in 700 A.D. This building is still standing and looks as it did when it was first built. It is still watertight to this day!! It is made of dry stacked stone with no mortar! My second wow moment was the Falconry Experience outside of Dingle. This was an optional activity. We got to have a Barn owl, an Eagle Owl, a Golden Eagle, and a Harris Hawk fly to and perch on our heavily gloved hand."

Brian

Lititz, PA

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I very much enjoyed this tour of Ireland. It was my second Rick Steves tour, so I had some idea what to expect. The leadership provided by Cathie was outstanding, and really made this a memorable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed pub life with lots of variety of music and beer. I enjoyed the time at the Kissane Sheep Farm. The sheep herding was fascinating, but the real highlight for me was watching the sheep shearing. I had never seen sheep being sheared, something I've always wanted to do. I even got to hold a freshly shorn fleece. I got lanolin all over my hands, but I didn't care! Finally, I was amazed at the engineering of the Gallarus Oratory, built with no mortar and still standing after 1300 years!"

Virginia

Charlotte, NC

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 3rd tour with your company.....the first 2 were wonderful, but this one far surpassed the other 2 trips. Ireland is the most beautiful place I've ever been including all the beautiful places here at home! Our guide, Cathie, was the absolute best....she and her country touch your heart. Everything about her was endearing; she made the whole experience so much richer. Part of going to France and Italy was the wonderful food; the food in Ireland was ok, but I didn't care!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wow for me was our drive around the Dingle Peninsula!!! I've seen the Washington and Oregon coasts and coastal Maine and Nova Scotia, but the Dingle Peninsula topped them all! The Cliffs of Moher and The Giants Causeway were also wows. Apart from scenic experiences my other favorite was the visit to the Ireland School of Falconry....and the day the gentleman brought birds of prey to our B&B in Dingle....I love birds and it was quite a treat to have them on my arm!!"

Gerald

Windsor, CT

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an exceptional experience. The tour was well organized and provided an excellent survey of the landscape, culture, history and people of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The tour fully met my expectations. In my past travels walking tours have been a favorite activity but I also found that group sizes of 15 or more diminished the experience, particularly with city noise. My concern over the group size was unfounded due to Cathie's and local tour guides' use transmitters.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There we many "wow" moments, but I would say that the upper path along the Giant's Causeway was particularly notable."

Donna

Wetumpka, AL

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the best vacations I have ever had. The Ireland landscapes were unparalleled, and the people were some of the friendliest I have ever encountered. I have traveled extensively in Europe and this was a wonderful experience that will always be at the top of my list.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had lots of "wow" moments on this trip just starting with the landscape and history, but I loved going to the sheep farm. While watching the sheep demonstration, I was "wowed" by the intelligence and skill of the dogs in herding the sheep. Can't imagine the training that goes into making them great working dogs."

Elyse

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was really good. The people were nice. The hotels were basically good. We did have one broken shower but I don't remember which hotel. I loved almost everywhere we went. However I do feel there was a little too much packed in to some of the days. For example, I would cut the crystal cutting on day six and the Burren on day 7. It would be nice on day 7 to have more time at the Cliffs of Moher. Also, I don't understand why we go to Bushmills when it is inactive?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aran Islands, Dunluce Castle and Rock of Cashel."

Timothy

Redding, CA

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed the tour and the tour companions. Katie was multifaceted and an excellent tour guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The ghost ship memorial. It was moving all by itself, but Kathie sang a mournful song that pushed the experience over the top."

David

Granbury, TX

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My Tour experience far exceeded more than what my expectation was going in. Cathie did an outstanding job of keeping us on schedule so we were able to experience ALL of what Ireland had to offer! Her knowledge of the history of Ireland and her back stories made the experience even more rewarding. The hotels and restaurant's were great and Dennis our driver was awesome! Also all the Tour members were great and made the experience memorable!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved Giants Causeway, Cliffs of Moher, and the towns of Kinsale and Dingle! Also the music / pubs and the people of Ireland!"

Cathy

Windsor, CT

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour and it was a very positive experience overall. We highly recommend this tour and plan to take more Rick Steve's tours in the future. Our tour guide, Cathy Ryan, was exceptional as was our bus driver, Dennis.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is tough! I especially enjoyed the Aran Islands and Giant's Causeway - both spectacular."

Lisa

Puyallup, WA

Tour: 07/06/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There is something very real and rustic about Ireland, and our guide Cathie led us to understand what this country and its people are all about. This was our third RS tour. They were all fantastic, but this one was unique and special which touched our hearts. The well rounded itinerary was a perfect mix of nature, history, ancient sites, cities and towns, and most of all the music and culture of the Irish people. We had a great group and an amazing guide. It was an incredible experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved it all - from the breath-taking and majestic Cliffs of Moher and Dun Aengus, to witnessing the talented Border Collies in action, looking into the eyes of a hawk at Ashford Castle, and the live music and dance!"

Carol

Gold Canyon, AZ

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful experience on our 14 day Ireland tour. It did not disappoint. The only complaint was that the tour ended to soon...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was differently Aran Islands and the Celtic fortress,Dun Aengus. What a fabulous rugged country...its beauty is unique in every way."

James

Mason, MI

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour.Very well planned with a good balance of group activities and free time. Our tour guide, Joe, was very knowledgeable and made the tour very enjoyable and educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were "wow" moments every day. My favorite was the giants causeway. What a spectacular geologic formation. And we arrived early in the day before the crowds."

Jennifer

Hampden, ME

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent trip to see a large portion of Ireland in a short period of time. The group was a pleasant mix of personalities, and the mixture of tours, restaurants and shopping was very well balanced. Our guide was from Ireland, which made the side stories and songs very charming! The weather was unbelievably cooperative, thus making the proverbial icing on the cake!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The hawk (falconry) experience is the obvious choice for a "wow" experience, but there were others. The simple visit to the fire fighters' memorial in Kinsale on July 4th was poignant and brilliant on the part of our guides (Barry and Joe) --and Alan's video later made it even lovelier. We had our own unique experience with an eighty-something shop keeper in Dingle who mostly sold hardware and house holds goods...and a little alcohol on the side. The scenery, too, was wow!"

Brad

Camp Hill, PA

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic tour of the island. The stops and hotels were all very well planned. The sights were amazing from the Giants Causeway to the cliffs of Mohar to the barrens of Connemara. I learned a lot about Irish history as I am descended from both the Catholics in Cork and the Presbyterians in Cavan/Derry. Dublin was exciting with so many sights. Hoisting a pint at the top of the Guinness warehouse was awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The highlight of the trip was the 2hour concert in Dingle where we were entertained by authentic Irish singers, dancers and musicians. Yes Ireland is surrounded by an array of sights along the ocean but the Irish culture was what I wanted to observe and absorb. You nailed it in Dingle. Another special moment for me was when the local guide in Kinsale said 'Welcome Home' to me as I walked on land where my ancestors lived over 170 years ago."

Don

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very good group of people on the tour. My previous tours had been to "art countries" (Italy and Spain), so this tour to a place where history was the main focus was an interesting contrast. Tour guide was very personable, and contributed to the understanding of numerous tricky historical issues.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tour was over 4th of July, so both the visit to the 911 memorial park outside of Kinsale and later that evening when a singer in a pub transitioned to God Bless America, and was joined by everyone in the pub (fewer than half of which were Americans), I was truly impressed. The Irish people impressed me throughout the trip with their friendliness and willingness to engage. But the God Bless America moment was, for me, the Wow Moment."

Rachel

Laurel, MS

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was all about the folks. The people of Ireland are friendly, outgoing, fun-loving, direct, witty, with a touch of sarcasm. I felt right at home. Joe Darcy was our captain, and he is the best. Alan, our transporter, is super-professional, patient, a great source of information, and a great photographer. I absolutely loved our group. We really clicked. We all love life and learning. Scenery is gorgeous and food was even better than expected. Pace was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Without question, the hawk!"

Robert

Hampden, ME

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time. This group had a different makeup from our last tour but just as good. We made friends and learn a lot. I was amazed at how much I learn even though I visited family as a kid several times! I understand the country and its troubles at a different level .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1. Ashford Castle & Falconry School 2. Talking with a 5th generation Hardware store/ Pub owner in Dingle!"

Stephen

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't think of going on a tour any better than this. Everything was great. Our tour guide was the best!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The fabulous tours that were arranged everyday. All were excellent."

Pat

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't imagine a better Ireland experience than our two week tour. It certainly didn't hurt that the weather was fantastic! Add to that interesting sites, musical experiences in the pubs, an engaging and knowledgeable tour guide in Joe, and a friendly group of travelers and you end up with a fabulous two weeks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It surprised me that my "wow" moment was the visit to the Aran Islands/ Inishmore and Dun Aengus. Maybe because it didn't have the crowds of other places we visited that I found it a profoundly moving experience. Also, our nights singing with the musicians in the Kinsale pub."

Gail

Greer, SC

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed Joe very much. He was fun, very knowledgeable about Ireland's history, easy going and put up with us! The tour was exceptional...all I imagined. Alan, our driver, was the best.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Goodness, impossible to choose. I loved each and every day. However, the Cliffs of Moher rates a little higher."

Hugh

Greer, SC

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall this was an enjoyable trip. While Ireland was in a heat wave, we enjoyed the views, native culture and new friends. Due to the heat wave and hotels with no A/C, sleeping was a little uncomfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time we spent in Dingle was very enjoyable. The local tours, food, music and views were wonderful. Also, enjoyed Cliffs of Moher; what views."

June

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my dream vacation. Top of the bucket list. Thank you for making this xperience so very special.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'm sorry I don't have one moment to describe. I never stopped being "wowed". I'm surprised how much of Ireland's history I didn't know. This trip changed my understanding completely."

Don

Gilbert, AZ

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved learning about the Irish history. Our guide did a great job with the details that were pertinent to our locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day, at the end of the day, I though " This day was really cool". But best memories were the music and dancing in the pubs in Dingle."

Donna

Camp Hill, PA

Tour: 07/01/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle B&B. The staff and breakfast were outstanding. Titanic experience. Sheep dog bringing in the sheep."

Jeff

Chico, CA

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very good overall experience. All was smooth, well planned. As with our previous Rick Steves tour (Europe in 14 Days) a very good mix of scheduled events such as town or site tours and free time to explore on our own. We have a fantastic leader who combined his knowledge and love of Ireland with humor and a desire to make Ireland come alive to us.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many.. For natural beauty and experience, the drive around Slea Head was a huge "wow." The other "wow" would be the evenings in nearly every town we visited. Some more than others but being able to walk around and enjoy the music and the unique and safe streets in the towns of Ireland was a daily "wow.""

Kenneth

Peoria, AZ

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What I like best about the tours are how well everyone gets along with each other and how caring the guide and driver are in making sure everyone has a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We really enjoyed Dingle. The small town feeling, scheduled music events, and the B&B were fantastic."

Jo Anne

Chico, CA

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the perfect experience of Ireland. This active 14-day tour hits every high point we were eager to see in that beautiful land. I especially love the route around the coasts. Our guide, Pascal, "is Ireland"! He knows it all intuitively and in-depth, is engaging and humorous, and kept solid control of the schedule and our needs. A gem! Icing on the cake: we were exceptionally fortunate to have a rare almost 100% sunny, warm days. This was indeed a trip we will always remember.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved the Giant's Causeway and the Antrim Coast. Scrambling about on Finn McCool's stepping stones (!), hiking out to the basalt columns, taking the 160 steps up to the glorious cliff path... just gorgeous."

Marianne

Parker, CO

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great trip. I pretty much liked everything....some just a wee bit better than others.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Dingle and the Dingle Peninsula. The people, the music...in Dingle town. It's what I imagined Coastal Ireland to be. Also, I was fascinated by both the Blasket Islands and the Aran Islands...their ruggedness and seemingly inhospitable terrain . Also, I enjoyed Trinity College..esp the Long Reading Room and the book of Kells. Beautiful"

John

Pacifica, CA

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. We have never traveled in Europe prior to this and felt that a tour would be a good introduction. It was. Our guide was excellent. He paid attention to all of the participants in a very professional manner, while managing to be personable, as well. The tour ran on time, daily, with our activities planned so that we were quite comfortable and rarely crowded. We never had to wait! The people on the tour, mostly vets of Rick's tours, were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to say it was the food. Along with the great scenery, the history, and the people we met there, the quality of the food was astonishing. We had no expectations going in, so it was a pleasant surprise. The scones at Millwood House were delicious (I had never met a scone I liked prior to my stay there). We are seafood lovers and we found several opportunities to try dishes that were new to us. The Guinness is better there than it is here, as well."

Jack

Redmond, WA

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My expectations were exceeded in every way: Pascal was great; walking tours were exceptional; accommodations were very nice; Frank, our bus driver was safe and skilled; and the itinerary was very nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery along the western coast was out of this world. I am an outdoor person so it takes a lot to really impress me."

Jody

Littleton, CO

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steves' group tour was a wonderful experience for us. Pascal gave us insight into the people and history of Ireland. Our guided tours filled us with more information than we could have gleaned on our own. Our fellow travelers were a joy to be around and our chances to meet the people of Ireland were numerous and comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1.Renting bikes in Kinsale, biking on the "wrong" side of the road out to James' Fort, and swimming on a local beach with hurling-playing families, and playing in the sand with the children of Rwandan refugees from Cork City. 2. Sea Safari 6 hour boat trip and hike around Blasket Island with Billy as our captain. 3. Singing Ireland's national anthem as the only Americans left in a Dingle bar after the doors were locked after closing time."

James

Morgan Hill, CA

Tour: 06/29/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was our second time in Ireland, first time in N. Ireland. Different tour company than the first time, and we enjoyed this one more. Why? Hmmm ... fewer castles and churches, more pubs, music, culture, local tours, some different scenery, time to choose our own activities. Our group on this tour bonded very well together and adhered to the "no grumps" policy. We found the itinerary well balanced with ample time at most venues. We were very fortunate with the perfect weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to choose just one wow moment. From the falconry (both experiences, in Dingle and at Ashford Castle), the music in the pubs, the small towns of Kinsale and Dingle, to the picnic on the grounds of Muckross House, to the night of July 11th in Belfast as the bonfires lit up the city, we enjoyed several wow moments on our tour."

Laurie Beth

San Diego, CA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel like I learned and saw so much. The trip was very comprehensive of the entire island.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Kinsale and Dingle compete for wow! However every day had at least one wow."

Gena

Lyons, GA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A life changing experience. Between the history, music, people, landscape, amazing food and drink, relationships built, fun, interactive experiences, perfect weather, best tour guide and driver (their chemistry with each other and us was unparalleled), I wanted to move to Ireland immediately!! What a fantastic culture to be connected to in my heritage. The tour was extremely well organized. We were able to see all the sites before the crowds and Caroline's driving had us all cheering! Bravo

Favorite "WOW" moment

"To many to name, but I will try: 1. Walking through Dublin and feeling completely at home 2. Private concert @ Dingle Music Shop 3. Falconry school 4. Historical walks with local guides 5. Folk concert in Dingle @ St. James Church- Pauline Scanlon (huge fan now!!) 6. Killarney National Park 7. Stone Circle and the little towns we saw along the way 8. Kinsale and Charles Fort 9. Rock of Cashel 10. Kilmainhan Gaol"

Marlene

Renton, WA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First of all, not a drop of rain the entire 14 days! The scenery was beautiful, hotels great for the most part and all the cities very clean and safe. All the local guides did a great job and made it interesting letting you know what you wanted to see more of on your own time. I especially likes the tours of the sheep working farm, crystal cutting demonstration and the Titanic Museum. And of course, our fellow travelers, our guide and Carolyn our bus driver are what made it especially fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially liked the Titanic Museum in Belfast. It was so well done and a lot of thought went into establishing the museum."

Judy

Des Moines, WA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our/my guide Dara was over the top amazing! He is very knowledgeable about history, music and land features of Ireland. Very enjoyable how he tied the music together,either by a local song that spoke of the land, town or by a famous musician from the specific area. Dara and Caroline, our bus driver worked so well together I was amazed to find out they had just met at the start of our trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a Harris Hawk land on my gloved arm."

Dale

Renton, WA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent group of people. Dara was a very good guide. Ireland has very friendly people and the sites visited were great. Most Ireland cities are small enough they are easy to walk.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment was watching the sheep dog work with the sheep at the ranch. Very smart and well trained dog."

Sarah

Saskatoon, SK

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have travelled extensively but this was my first tour (other than day trips) and I was thoroughly impressed. Everything was well organized and the tour touched on all the highlights Ireland has to offer. A big part of my positive experience was our guide, Dara, and our coach driver, Caroline. Both were engaging and easily became part of the group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't think I can narrow it down to one "wow" moment! I enjoyed it all! On the personal achievement side, a "wow" moment was conquering some fears and crossing the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge - not only did I cross once but had to cross back too!"

Olive

Coeur D Alene, ID

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a great adventure! It was educational, entertaining, and rejuvenating.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How can I choose just one? The hawk walk at Ashford Castle and the private concert in Belfast certainly stand out. I never dreamed I would ever have a hawk rest on my arm. It's one of the coolest things I've ever experienced. The concert in Belfast was especially good. It was an intimate setting with three musicians, three traditional dancers, and a traditional story teller. It was neat to see the ancient method of storytelling brought to life in the present."

Theresa

Lombard, IL

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The pace was perfect with a few days in each city. Our guide, Dara was incredible. He was informative, listened well, answered our questions and had a great sense of humor. I really got a flavor for the entire island and each stop had its own personality. I think my favorite was Dingle.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "WOW" moment was the Belfast Peace Walls. There was a difference that I sensed once we crossed the border into Northern Ireland. Terrible things were done on both sides. The walls portrayed trouble letting the past go, and the struggle to find peace. There was true emotions in that place."

Craig

Burien, WA

Tour: 06/24/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour exceeded our expectations, never having done a bus tour or been to Ireland. The beauty, music, and history were amazing. The accommodations and food were excellent, way above what we expected.We particularly enjoyed all of the great seafood. Our guide Dara was superb, keeping us all together as one and filling our days with keen insights, great music, and delightful humor on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For both my wife and me, the last day in Belfast seemed to bring out a spiritual connection with our Scots Irish roots. What we learned at the Ulster-Scots Centre was amazing. The special music event (with three musicians, three dancers, and a narrator) on our last night in Belfast was a fitting end to all of the great Irish traditional music we experienced the entire two weeks."

Virginia

Marietta, GA

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour. I thought the whole experience was so well organized. Have traveled on 15 Europe trips using RS book, but do see advantage of a tour. We are ready to sign up for another. There were a couple of mornings when there was only 50-60 minutes between breakfast and time to depart which was rushed. Having a buddy was a great way to get to know her and to expedite leaving a place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The concert in Dingle sitting outside at the Milltown House Hotel. It represented real Irish/Gaelic music. It was a beautiful evening - just a MAGIC moment."

Sharon

New Bremen, OH

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an excellent overview of Ireland and its history and culture. The balance of activity, education, fun, and downtime was just right. And the weather was wonderful (although a bit hotter than expected)!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The pub music experience with the locals in Kinsale was fantastic! It was all played and sung with such heartfelt passion and we were welcomed to participate, which really made the evening special. Then Declan, our guide, set up another couple of special evenings with other concert performances that were great fun, also."

George

Dalton, MA

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I had read about Declan, our tour guide, in other reviews but I was not prepared for Declan in person. He was amazing! His stories, often told in character voice were the highlight, of our bus time during the tour. The weather during the tour was hot but spectacular! Clear blue sky to complement the lush green roiling hills;and we had expected overcast sky. What a surprise! Our bus driver Dennis amazed us with his excellent driving skills; threading his way down the narrow Irish lanes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two items certainly top the list of a trip of "wow"s. The visit to Dun Aengus on Inishmore and hte g;glorious green scenery of the Dingle Peninsula. A close third were the Irish people themselves!"

Francis

Marietta, GA

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife & I have now made 17 one month trips to Europe from Spain to Greece using Rick Steves books and information from the TV shows. Rick and the RS organization have certainly influenced our lives in a positive way, for which we are extremely grateful. This was our first RS tour. It exceeded my expectations. We had been to Ireland for a week once before, but only experienced it in a minimal way. The tour was a delight, giving us a comprehensive, efficient experience of the entire island.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The grandparents of Mary McLaughlin, my grandmother, came from Derry. What a thrill the tour of Derry was , however short a time, knowing that some of my DNA comes from there!"

David

North Oaks, MN

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall it was quite wonderful. The travel and itinerary were well organized, the tour guide was excellent, as were the local guides. The scheduled vs free times were just right. We were very impressed, and hope to do another Rick Steves tour in the future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Traveling into Northern Ireland brought home to me the real divisions between the two Irelands. Here were the fences and the murals and the flags that testify that the hatred and violence of the "Troubles" were not that long ago. Though hard feelings may not be on the surface right now they are not far below it. Declan's talk on the history and troubles on the bus was both insightful and moving."

Michael

New Bremen, OH

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I felt that this was a well-organized and well-[INVALID]d tour of Ireland. While Dublin was large and bustling, the Western part of the country was scenic and a bit more "personal." The scenery was great throughout the 14 days, and there was ample opportunity to connect with the citizens of the country. Declan was an excellent host and a thoughtful commentator, giving use useful insights into what made each local area tick and the history that developed the land.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sharing a few songs with local musicians at Dalton's Bar in Kinsale. Kind, warm people they were!"

Margaret

Oxford, OH

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first experience as part of a tour group. Great overall "introduction" to Ireland [INVALID] right amount of time in each location. Variety of activities to peak our interest. Liked having "free" time built in to explore my own likes/interests. There are places I would like to return to. Liked the size of the group [INVALID] manageable for eating out, bus, room accommodations, etc. [INVALID] opportunity to get to know each other. Accommodations & meals for the most part were very good. Like having local guides.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Free day in Dingle. Opportunity to take a walking tour of the town. Enjoyed a day out on the water -- tour of cliffs, Blasket Island, puffins, seals, good weather. Also liked our exposure to Irish music in Dingle -- three small "concerts" -- at the B & B, St. James church, and music shop. Like being a part of a community -- everyone friendly and welcoming. Great B & B outside of town on the harbor."

Christopher

Hamilton, OH

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Found the walking tours and the history lessons by the tour guide Declan and other tour guides, very engaging and enjoyable. The historic architecture and the descriptions and stories attached to them explained by Declan and the other fantastic guides were exceptional. For the time that we had to spend it was balanced. We had a nice balance of tour time and free time. Rick Steves has the tour industry pretty much perfected.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The many spectacular scenery of Ireland that the tour provided."

Cynthia

Hamilton, OH

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the most memorable experience of my life,besides my marriage & the birth of my children of course. The people we toured with were wonderful! I am thankful that Rick Steves prepares people not to be grumpy & to "go with the flow" & be prepared! The food wasn't just your usual food.The "surprises" from Declan became some of my WOW moments.My deepest thanks go to him for my "Crying Place." A good crying place! The most beautiful place he shared with us, in his country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Wow moment for me happened to be one of the surprises that the tour guides provide! We pulled the bus over so near the edge of the Atlantic Ocean while the waves were crashing against the rocks. I have tried to describe it but I can't possibly describe the beauty I saw that day. I didn't want to leave. This was the "Crying Place" the place that moved me so deeply. Thank you."

Curtis

Tigard, OR

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour took advantage of Ireland's most memorable sites which we visited. Good pace eery day in terms of walking and riding. Local guides were very knowledgeable and articulate and explained the history and culture of the island very well. Country was very beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In my opinion, I like the "Coasts" of Ireland. By that I mean Dun Aengus, Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway. The beauty of this various coasts was spectacular and made for some beautiful photos. And Honorable Mention goes to the Hawkwalk."

Don

Belcarra, BC

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Extra-ordinary high temperatures were a negative issue. (Not that Rick Steve's Tours could have predicted or done much about it) I expect that my age (79+) didn't help. Hopefully, the hotels will be better prepared and have more fans available in the future. We certainly now have a greater knowledge of Ireland's history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Antrim Coast/Devil's Causeway and Cliffs of Moher"

Pam

Camas, WA

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Declan was excellent and made the tour lots of fun. We enjoyed his humor and singing, too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had always heard of Dingle so really wanted to see it. I was surprised when we arrived, because I thought it was on the cliffs. The B and B was a great place to stay and we enjoyed the town and side trips to the Blasket Island center and to the cliffs of Moher. It was beautiful. Also enjoyed being able to have the Harris Hawk land on my arm. That was great."

Donna

Belcarra, BC

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Declan was an extremely knowledgeable guide. History came alive and was an unbiased account of life and times during the many years of struggle, revolutions, wars etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle accommodations and the tiny feel of the village and life. Cruise ship traffic will definitely ruin the small town ambiance. Intimate and very personal Siopa Ceoil Dingle Music shop and the church concerts. Declan performed. Definitely worth it. Cliffs of Moher and Burren areas and the most passionate tour leader on the Burren. Inishmore for the day Seeing the troubled areas of Northern Belfast"

Marcel

Jamestown, RI

Tour: 06/22/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Rick Steves Best of Ireland itinerary was just perfect. We enjoyed all of the out-of-the way experiences and found the clockwise coastal tour of Ireland to be just what we wanted.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falcon experience was very special, and I enjoyed learning about Ireland's historic past and present from our guide Declan and the local guides."

Craig

Salt Lake City, UT

Tour: 06/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was everythingI expected from a RS tour! Great tour mates, great guide, great driver! This was my first Irish experience and conversations with the locals every place we stayed was very informative and welcoming. The Irish do "talk your ears off" but in a good and charming way. The pubs are the best places to learn everything Ireland. The land has a special rugged beauty about it. I think we all had 14 great days to live and absorb a wonderful culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher! Birds wheeling and cawing. A dolphin breaks the water's surface. The "hawk walk" with your outstretched gloved arm watching the hawk land on your arm! Amazing all."

Ernest

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland turned out to be much more than I originally expected. The sights, the food, the incredibly warm and welcoming people. So much sad history but so much perseverance. The world could learn a lot from the Irish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Do I have to pick one? Musically, the husband, wife, and son in Dingle; the history of Belfast (with dancers). Scenically, Giant's Causeway. Architecturally, Derry, Belfast, and the assorted castles. The Hawk Walk was in a category all its own.And then there were the Irish people themselves, who time and again were the friendliest, warmest folks who were always eager to tell and show us anything and everything they could think of to keep us busy and have a great time there."

Julia

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 06/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The expertise and passion of our guide made the tour unforgettable. Cathie's love for her country shown through and was infectious to the group. I learned more about Ireland from Cathie than I did in any history class, including reactions to current struggles. The countryside is gorgeous, with so many shades of green I've never thought possible, with fields of cows and sheep, and ruins. The tour has a fantastic mix of activities, including walking tours and ruins exploration.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The free day on Dingle, when we rode bikes to the base of Eask Tower and hiked up for a 360 view. Wow! Then later we biked out to the lighthouse for the sunset. Also, playing "Q*Bert" on the Giants Causeway."

Nancy

Indian Harbour Beafh, FL

Tour: 06/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Irish people charmed me, especially our tour guide Cathie. The Irish history and struggle for independence moved and fascinated me. The scenery on the Antrim coast inspired me. It was breathtaking.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My Wow moment was when, we were in the Gallarus Oratory Area. Our whole group gathered in the small ancient stone beehive chapel. Our guide Cathie sang a hymn in Gaelic . A bird flew through the chapel as she finished the song. Amazing goosebumps moment.."

James

Indian Harbour Beach, FL

Tour: 06/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Ireland trip was oustanding from beginning to end with a very well designed itinerary, conveniently located and nice hotels and a comfortable coach ride along the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While the entire trip was a "wow" event, my two favorite parts were our time in Dingle and our visit to Portrush (Giant's CauseWay and Carrick-A-Rede)."

Laura

Lincolnshire, IL

Tour: 06/17/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had spectacular weather! The activities were interesting. I did feel that some days were too rushed - for example, in Donegal, we had the choice of either having a sit-down lunch or touring the castle. I did not know that the tour bus would be a big coach bus; although comfortable, it was more problematic with motion sickness issues. A few days had too much time on the bus. The cliffs of Moher were too crowded to enjoy.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cathie singing a song to us at the Coffin ship memorial. It was a deeply moving moment - almost a prayer. Truly a heart felt moment, especially after seeing all the small farm plots surrounded by stone walls and hearing the story of the people being turned away starving because the landlord was "busy"."

Julie

Lancaster, CA

Tour: 06/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved this tour. We were blessed with fabulous weather. Only took out my jacket one morning. Probably the best food and for sure the best music entertainment. Bus time wasn't balanced and good variety of sights to see. I always love the artisan additions to the tour and always wish there was just one more artisan demo but that is just me. On this tour I think a pottery stop - noticed a few in Dingle but not sure where else - or maybe someplace that does weaving would be a good addition

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our free day in Dingle... riding bikes (delivered right to us) and hiking up to Eask tower for an amazing view (so amazing) and picnic lunch, back to Milltown for a gin and tonic and on to dinner, an outdoor woodfired pizza place, and then biking to the lighthouse for the sunset. The cows had made their way to the lighthouse and we found them milling around by our bikes when we climbed up from the rocks after the sun set. Just part of the adventure."

Dan

Lincolnshire, IL

Tour: 06/17/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The 2-week tour was highly intensive in both breadth and depth. I believe that I came away with a good understanding of Ireland, its people and its history (from ancient to modern). There was good variety provided for a wide range of interests. At the end, while exhausted, I believe that I got great value from the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour itself was great. Cathie, our tour guide, made it a "wow" experience. We saw and experienced many things, but Cathie provided a deep insight into the history, music, spirituality and very human struggles of the Irish people as no other provided. To that, I have to add the two falconry experiences that we had offered special meaning to me. A definite "wow" moment was to be able to hold a great Eagle Owl and Golden Eagle on my arm."

Sharon

Eugene, OR

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent and I had a really wonderful time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"too many to list."

Katherine

Los Osos, CA

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an absolutely wonderful time on the "Best of Ireland" tour! Rozanne is an amazing tour guide, and every town, stop along the way, local guide, restaurant, etc., etc., couldn't have been better. Our bus driver, Caroline, was an integral part of our group. She and Rozanne worked hand-in-hand to give us all the best experience possible. I appreciate how our tour included so many fabulous places to visit... both well known and those less traveled. Bravo to everyone at Rick Steves!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to [INVALID] a favorite "wow" from two weeks of "wows", but I will focus on two. I loved the Great Blasket Center and the Burren. Both experiences were well beyond anything I could imagine. The Slea Head Drive that we took on the way to the Blasket Center is simply stunning. It was interesting to learn about the people who lived on the Blasket Islands, and the life they built there. The Burren and its unique ecosystem is fascinating, and our local guide Mary is an absolute delight."

Caitlin

Portland, ME

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was an exceptional tour and all included experiences and sightseeing met my expectations. Even the "rest stops" added value and gave us time off the coach to stretch our legs as well as enjoy more local features like the Torc Waterfall and the sunken gardens at Muckross House. Occasionally, however, those stops left us wanting more. For example, a little longer in Adare to investigate the monastery and thatched cottages.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't pick one! Flying the hawk at Ashford Castle, the Dingle Peninsula drive & Blasket Center, and the day on the Antrim Coast with Giant's Causeway, Dunluce Castle ruins, and yummy whiskey sampling at Bushmills."

Richard

Richmond, VA

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved Ireland and it's friendly people. I'm glad the tour spent a minimal amount of time in the cities (a day in Dublin and a day in Belfast) and instead got us out in the beautiful countryside. We had a good group of easy-going tourists. While we enjoyed our time with them, we also enjoyed some time and some dinners to ourselves. Roxanne was a great guide. She has so much knowledge of the country and it's people. I was so impressed by how efficiently she moved us along.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" day was in Dingle. We started off with the crystal cutting demo, did the Slae Head Drive with the wonderful Tim Collins, had a great dinner, went to an Irish music concert at a church, then my wife and I had a wonderful pub experience. Quite a day."

Ruth

New Albany, OH

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is my third Rick Steves tour,and I have enjoyed my two prior tours very much.I enjoyed most aspects of this tour of Ireland,but some aspects felt very rushed.I would have enjoyed spending more time in the national park,some of the charming small Irish towns we stopped in for quick bathroom breaks or a rushed lunch,like in Donegal.Some of the time,when we had to get lunch on our own, we barely had enough time to shop for food,or eat,and go to the bathroom before we had to be back on the bus.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The amazing Irish landscape; the Cliffs of Moher, Dingle peninsula, and Giant's Causeway."

William

Olympia, WA

Tour: 06/10/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the first travel tour my wife and I had taken and we really enjoyed it. The tour guide, Rozanne was great and did a good job of educating about the history of Ireland and keeping us informed regarding the daily schedule. The food and accommodations were very good and the coach and driver were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't say that there was a particular "wow" moment for me in the trip. I really enjoyed the history and culture supplied by the local guides. I think my wife's and I's favorite time was a walk we took on our free day in Dingle along the sea cliffs past the lighthouse."

Pat

San Clemente, CA

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A great trip. The Ireland countryside simply beautiful, our guide Lynn was outstanding. Her knowledge of the country, the history was superior, our local guides were all good. I so enjoyed getting to know the other members of our tour, they added an extra dimension to the trip. With a few exceptions, the accommodations were very good. Whereas I have used Rick's guides for other trips, this is my first Rick Steves tour..and probably won't be my last

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to pick one. The Irish countryside, the falconry in Cong, the Cliffs of Moher, the towns of Dingle and Kinsale top the list."

Judi

East Hampton, CT

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As always, this was a great tour. This was our 11th tour with Rick. We had a great group of first time Rick Steves "virgins". Lynn (our guide) and Dennis( bus driver) were a great pair. We learned a lot of history about Ireland and enjoyed a lot of music. The countryside and cliffs were wonderful and the weather gods were on our side.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Although there was a lot of great scenic moments, my "wow" would be holding and flying with the Harris Hawk and holding the golden eagle which was a bonus at Stephen's place in Dingle. All the music in Dingle and the pubs were also fantastic."

Doug

West Linn, OR

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was terrific. I felt as though we learned so much about Irish history and its people. Lynn was a wonderful guide who gave us hours of useful information while we rode the bus together. She also was so helpful when my wife, Peggy, came down with an upper respiratory infection. The choice of towns to visit was great. It gave us a real feel for the country. We especially enjoyed visiting Northern Ireland, a country that was too dangerous to visit 52 years ago.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "hawk walk" was especially fun. I think everyone enjoyed the chance to fly a bird."

Marilyn

Calgary, AB

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Our guide Lynn was fabulous! Very knowledgeable and fun. She was able to navigate successfully through the very complex history of Ireland, and I think we all left with a far greater understanding than when we arrived.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments - but my highlights were definitely the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway, which were two of my primary reasons for going to Ireland. The scenery was absolutely amazing! For activities - the sheep dogs and the falconry were completely fabulous!"

Sheryl

Columbus, OH

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was everything I had hoped it would be. Members friendly and inclusive. We did a wide variety of activities with everyone mixing. People were respectful and on time everyday. This was a fabulous way for a single woman to travel.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Music! Music! Music! In Dingle, 3 great nights of folk music, dancing, great entertainment. Street entertainers. Learning Irish bagpipes from Scottish bagpipes. Tour members as drummers or dancers. Lynn's love of Van Morrison. It made my heart sing."

Elisa

Prescott, AZ

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great way to see a lot of Ireland, from cute villages to castles to beautiful beach walks all the while getting a daily history lesson. With the narrow roads, it was nice to leave the driving to our excellent driver, Dennis. Lynn is enthusiastic about sharing the history, as well as current events. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the dinners provided. All the restaurants were exceptional and we had great dinner options.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's Causeway was a beautiful hike and the weather cooperated which made it extra special."

Barbara

Edmond, OK

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour, and it was fantastic! Our guide, Lynn, was wonderful [INVALID]- knowledgeable, organized, fun, and very dedicated to giving us a full view of Ireland's countryside, history, people and music. She and Dennis, our bus driver, were a great pair. Our fellow travelers were delightful, weather cooperated for the most part, and we got to see so many of the out of the way spots in Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were quite a few -- hard to choose between the Cliffs of Moher, the Antrim Coast and the Giants Causeway."

Michael

Edmond, OK

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Have used Rick's books for years. Decided this time to do the tour. Couldn't be happier with that decision. Highly recommend touring with Rick. Very good value.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a hard one. Almost impossible to pick out one "wow" moment. Maybe it was the last day when I realized the trip was really going to end. I was ready for more."

David

East Hampton, CT

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour of Ireland history from its early history of Viking invasions to the present. My special interest was the battle for their independence from Great Britain to today's separation between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, and its continue hope for a united Ireland. Lynn, our tour guide, gave us an appreciation of the culture and the different "tribes" of Ireland. She also gave us a personal view of her family's history in Northern Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Once again, too many from..the beautiful and rough countryside, the friendly people we met. But if I really had to pick one, it would be the Cliffs of Moher. The height of the cliffs to the sea were breathtaking, a bit scary with great hiking trails."

Margaret

West Linn, OR

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again the Rick Steves organization knocked it out of the park. This is our second trip with your organization. We were so impressed with our first experience(Spain) that we decided to book a second trip.Our guide Lynn was outstanding as were every one of our guides in different cities. I thought I knew a fair amount of Irish history and I learned so much. It was pretty much perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was in Ireland 52 years ago(1967) hitchhiking with girlfriends for two+weeks. We were not able to visit Northern Ireland we were told it wasn't safe. I was really looking forward to this part of the trip. It didn't disappoint. Thanks to Lynn and the local guides I have a much better understanding.I am so hopeful for all of Ireland. It was amazing to return after 52 years and see prosperity,diversity&young people being able to make a life in their homeland."

Neil

Lebanon, TN

Tour: 06/08/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish this was another terrific Rick Steves tour. Our fellow travelers were congenial, intelligent and interesting, with no complainers. Lynn, our guide, was informed, organized and funny. Our tour was a combination of cities large and small and a healthy dose of Irish countryside and rugged coastline. Local guides were very knowledgeable and made their talks interesting. Narrow, winding roads were of no concern with our well seasoned driver Dennis.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to name just one but for me the EPIC Immigration Museum in Doublin was high on the list. From the potato crop failures of the 1840s to the long arduous trip to America and other destinations the tale was told in an interesting way. Amazing to see the contributions of the Irish people through the years. Science, technology, medicine, inventions, entertainment, writing, and other fields were well represented."

Vicki

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was great!!!! I loved Ireland! The scenery is breathtaking, the towns were lively and the people are fantastic, helpful and very friendly. Joe our tour guide was fantastic, full of information and very helpful. Michael, our bus driver was amazing guiding us through some very narrow places! Also, had the best group of tour mates to enjoy this trip with. Dublin was a great city to wander through with a lot going on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had many "wow" moments!!! But, I must mention all the conversations that I had with the local people. We actually had people stop to help us with directions when we were looking at our maps. I so appreciated that fact that they enjoyed talking to us. That is why I like traveling and the Irish did not disappoint me. The falconry was fun...never thought I would ever have a bird of prey happily land on my arm."

Deborah

Port Republic, MD

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour of Ireland. The pace of the tour was just right and the balance of information, walking tours and free time was comfortable. Joewas sensitive to the mood of the group and had a good combination of history, language and musical selections on the bus rides. I liked that we hit the high spots and managed to time it right so as not to deal with too many big crowds.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moments were many- just the simple act of walking into the Mill town Inn and looking out the window of our room over the beautiful Dingle harbor view was one.Another was walking along Derry's walls and realizing all the history those walls had experienced. A third special moment was having the bus make a quick stop in Annascaul (near Dingle)so we could see the South Pole Inn that the Arctic explorer Tom Crean owned"

Deborah

Roswell, GA

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a wonderful tour. Our guide, Joe Darcy, was knowledgeable, interesting, and loads of fun. The group was extremely congenial and participative. Our driver (and basically the assistant tour guide), Michael, was also extremely helpful and fun to be with. In short, the trip was great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry school and getting to hold / fly the falcon."

Marilyn

Manotick, ON

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Rick Steves tours came highly recommended and they didn't disappoint. The guides were all very knowledgeable and of course very Irish. They knew their history and shared it with enthusiasm. They love their island and it was obvious which in turn helped us to understand and appreciate its beauty as well. Each stop had sites to see and things to discover which made the entire trip an on going amazing experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments but when you partner man with a bird of prey well how can you beat that? The venue at Ashford with its spectacular grounds, fountains and castle were breath takingly beautiful. The falcon was magnificent and very well behaved to have 28 eager travellers handle it and feed it. Fantastic experience! And we have the pictures to prove it."

James

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had no bad experiences on the trip. Joe was very organized and I felt that he kept things under control. Altogether, it was a very nice trip, and well worth the time and money. My fellow travelers were not at all grumpy. I enjoyed spending time with each and every one of them.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably Hawking at Ashford Castle was the peak of the trip for me."

Kathy

Olympia, WA

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time. Guide Joe, driver Michael, and all my fellow travelers made this an unforgettable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No single "wow" moment. Here are my favorite "wow" moments. Reading from "The Dubliners" in Sweny's Pharmacy. Being offered poitin in Dingle's Siopa Ceoil Holding a hawk during the hawk walk at Ashford Castle."

Michael

Peyton, CO

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well put together tour. The only problem we had was a movie set blocking one of the roads we need to travel, our bus driver, Michael, knew a way around, so no problem.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would have to say my wow moment was at the falcon walk where we each got to "fly" the hawk. That was really cool."

Jeff

Manotick, ON

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptionally organized, the best tour guide, Joe Datcy, great knowledgeable private guides, very clean bus with an excellent driver, Michael, super accommodations, dining plus. THE BEST ???????? Enjoyed the pace with some personal, private times. Great guests, a lot of fun and good laughs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Falconry tour at Ashford. WOW ??"

Newton

Nashville, TN

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The overall plan of places visited and number of nights stayed at each of the overnight locations were excellent. Every town or area visited was special and the "best site or town visited" was every one of them for their own unique character and ambiance. Our Rick Steves Tour Guide, Joe, was beyond excellent and his sidekick, our driver Michael , was not only excellent at negotiating the roadway challenges, he added so much to our Irish Experience. I have recommended this tour to friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"ALL OF THEM, but the Falconry School experience was truly special."

Polly

Toccoa, GA

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and went smoothly. Joe was a great source of information and help. There was an excellent balance between scheduled activities and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry school was the "wow" for this trip"

Lorena

Peyton, CO

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first RS tour, and excluding a high school European tour decades ago, my first "organized" travel tour. So I don't have much to compare it with. I was excited to try out an organized RS tour (I've used the RS guidebooks extensively) and it did not disappoint! Our tour guide and bus driver were excellent. The choice of places to stay and eat was superb. The sites we visited & local guides were fun & interesting. Our companions were awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments, it's hard to say. Visiting the Aran Islands and having the sun come out for almost the entire time. The Titanic Belfast & EPIC Immigration (Dublin) museums. Driving the Wild Atlantic Way and viewing the scenery. I'm a history buff, so I found the visit and local guide for Dunluce Castle to be awesome, and the visit to the Rock of Cashel."

David

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide (Joe), great tour group, beautiful country, wonderful people, what's not to like!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking down at the beach from Dunluce Castle - so many beautiful places in Ireland, but that view was unexpected. The many shades of green and the azure blue water were stunning! It resulted in one of my favorite photos from the trip. The friendliness of the Irish people was also definitely up there on my wow list. I had a great time conversing with folks, in the pubs, on the streets, hiking, just about everywhere."

Robert

North Bonneville, WA

Tour: 06/03/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual, the tour was well organized and full of information, music, and humor. There is considerable bus time but it's broken up well with day stops. I suppose the only way to avoid lengthy bus time is to go on the the once city tours. Nevertheless, it was well worth the time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the music scene in Dingle as well as the dramatic coastline in Northern Ireland."

Barbara

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 2nd RS tour...fabulous and rain-free! So many beautiful places, lots of walking, teaching on history, culture and current events, fun tour 'extras'(music, birds, crystal demo), outstanding bus driver (Caroline), terrific tour group and the best tour guide ever-Pascal! It's not good unless I'm exhausted at the end, and I was:D

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On Inishmore, we took a horse & cart to the South end of the island and walked on a spongy grassy trail through acres of sea grass and rabbit warrens, surrounded by Manx Shearwaters flying overhead to look towards Inishmaan. Sunny and absolutely still, we were the only people there. Close 2nd: The amazing substitute bird adventure arranged by Pascal as Ashford Castle was under lockdown. Terrific once in a lifetime opportunity to hold Harris Hawk, owls and Golden Eagle. 1st class presentation"

Joanne

Lincoln Park, NJ

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

AMAZING!!! From the gorgeous green meadows to the imposing church & castle ruins; the bustling cities & (my favorites) the small towns; sheep farm demonstrations, concerts, falconry experience; nature experiences of the Scilly Walk in Kinsale, Cliffs of Moher & Giant's Causeway, and of course, the lighthearted reenactment of "The Quiet Man" in Cong. Most importantly the warmth and personalities of Pascal, his assistant Caroline & fellow tour members made it a fabulous experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Despite the cancellation of our visit to Ashford Castle and the hawk experience, we fortunately were the first group to enjoy the falconry experience at Milltown House. WOW! We thoroughly enjoyed having a hawk, falcon, barn owl, eagle owl & golden eagle perched on our arms...eye to eye! It was just our group with lots of time for photos...a treasured memory indeed! Another WOW was our private concert at Milltown by the very talented Caroline & Donagh...what a special treat!"

Marilyn

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed the many outdoor excursions. Travel group was friendly and courteous. We learned a lot of history

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Aran Island Fortress, Clifts of Maher and Dingle"

Peter

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can only think of one word to describe our 14 days in Ireland, unbelievable. We had beautiful hot sunny weather(got a sunburn) while being schooled in Irish history, food, and music.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole tour was a "wow" moment. What stands out was the hawk experience at the Milltown house in Dingle, and to see how alive and vibrant Belfast has become after the troubles it has experienced."

Curtis

Richland, WA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the luscious green rolling fields with both sheep and cattle laying together. So content and full. Kinsale was a lovely village and the bed and breakfast was outstanding. So much history and this was thoroughly explained by our wonderful guide Pascal. The tour was an experience made possible by Pascal and our bus driver Carolyn. The best in the world! Thank you. My son and his wife are starting out like we did with a 14-day Europe with guide Cary. They have a different guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Luscious green fields not requiring irrigation. The stone fences built by hand."

Patricia

Iowa City, IA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first trip to Ireland. The itinerary allowed us was a terrific way to see a lot of the island, learn about the history, enjoy the culture and meet new friends. It was particularly interesting to be in Ireland during a time when the abortion referendum was happening.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hanging over the cliff at Dun Aenghus. Looking into the water and seeing the power nature had over the fort took my breath away."

Janice

Richland, WA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

When my DNA showed me at 44% Irish, I knew I had to visit. So many beautiful sights and amazing countrysides. The houses are so neat and well maintained. Kinsale was picturesque, Cliffs of Moher was breath taking (didn't was to look down) and the Giant's Causeway a sight to behold. Enjoyed the climb! Our tour guide Pascal and Carolyn our bus driver made this unforgettable experience. Thank you and we will see you again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Giant's Causeway was a awesome sight as well as a great exercise. Loved the magnificent formations."

Benjamin

Cordele, GA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There are a lot of components that make a trip enjoyable and memorable and the Ireland tour definitely brings together all the elements: travel ease, quality hotels/B&Bs, great food, great guides, and friends (tour members). This was our second Rick Steve's trip and more will definitely be in our future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two actually stand out. We visited the Giants Causeway on a beautiful sunny day and we were rewarded with a memorable "wow" day. I had to list a second event because it is so different than the natural beauty of the causeway and that was the falconry exhibition. The hands on exhibition at the Milltown House was unbelievable being able to have the variety of birds inches away was another "wow" event."

Rachel

Phoenix, AZ

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour had just the right mix of education, conversation & downtime. We really enjoyed the local flair, flavor and experiences that were available. It was excellent that the smaller coastal cities have such lively people who want to make conversation! We had many enjoyable afternoons speaking with local business owners & towns people. I would highly recommend this tour to people of all ages!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The giants causeway!! Was an amazing world heritage site!"

Thomas

Westerville, OH

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Pascal, our guide, was outstanding. Caroline, the bus driver, was excellent. Barry, one of the local guides, was excellent. It was relaxing having all the great attractions already lined up for us. This was just a wonderful, memorable experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed the music in Dingle very much. Hearing Pascal discuss the history of Ireland was wonderful. The Cliffs of Moher were incredible. I enjoyed the castles."

Jim

San Mateo, CA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about the tour was so enjoyable. Never a dull moment. It was a delightful, funny, and energetic group of people on the tour. Everyone was compassionate and considerate and always on time so we never missed out on anything. Pascal our guide was a delight. So knowledgeable and articulate and enjoyable to listen to. One of his stories was so captivating, I felt like I was actually there. Always a new surprise around every corner. I can't stop talking and thinking about my experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow! That's a tough one. Many "Wow" moments. Hiking in such exquisitely beautiful places such as the cliffs of Moher, Inishmore, and my favorite the Giants causeway. Spectacular. One of many of my "Wow" moments I would say would be able to hike the Giants causeway. 8 months ago, I was not able to walk because of a back issue. I would have had to cancel my trip. But, I had a miracle, and I was able to enjoy every minute of my trip."

Patricia

Westerville, OH

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

EVery day there was something wonderful and exciting to look forward to. The food was terrific. THe bus was spacious, clean. THe bus driver was a delight. Our tour guide was the best. Pascal is a historian and comedian who artfully wove together stories of Ireland, music, literature, and the present. He handled everything and everyone with diplomacy and tact. He was always working and focused on the task at hand while preparing for the next day, the next stop.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Rock of Cashel was spectacular. The Cliffs of Mohr were beautiful. The Aran Islands were deeply moving."

Patrick

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour provided an excellent overview of nearly the entire island of Ireland. Our timing at the various excursions was exceptional and we enjoyed no delays and very efficient use of our time. We had a nice balance of free time with the outstanding group meals, music and local tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Cliffs of Moher were incredible and further enhanced by an exceptional day. But the greatest "surprise & wow" moment for me was the special predatory bird presentation. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to actually hold a golden eagle, an eagle owl, a barn owl and see a falcon demonstration; this was exclusive for our group at our B&B - wow!"

James

Westminster, CO

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's trip and it exceeded our expectations in every aspect. We have travelled extensively in Europe previously and felt that the Rick Steve's tour was exceptional. The itinerary, guides, lodging, socializing, and food made for a perfect travel experience.l

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is a difficult question because we felt there was a "wow" moment (or two) each of our 14 days. Visiting the Giants Causeway on a perfectly clear, sunny Irish day was incredible! The hike in this beautiful setting was unforgettable and worth a thousand pictures. We were given adequate time to walk the breathtaking trail system and still have time to visit the impressive visitor's center of this World Heritage Site. Our early arrival allowed us to be ahead of the crowds."

Judy

Mount Vernon, WA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Irish Sun Gods smiled on us with 14+ straight days of sunshine! Rare, I know! Coming from Seattle that was amazing (we packed for rain). This was our 2nd Rick Steves Tour to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary (Did Best of Italy tour to celebrate our 30th). We loved the mix of big cities (Dublin, Belfast & Londonderry), and small towns (like Kinsale, Kenmare, Dingle & Westport),plus the cliffs, beaches & countryside, amazing cuisine, excellent guides & driver, incredible music. The best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many "wow" experiences(besides the incredible sunshine!) We were disappointed in advance to learn we couldn't go to Ashford Castle for Hawk Walk because of a private event, but our incredible guide topped that and brought a master birds of prey trainer to us in Dingle with multiple birds, plus in the town of Cong (where Ashford Castle is) we got to do a fun tour of John Wayne and The Quiet Man movie. My other favorite was Portrush Beach Strand -- so unexpected!"

Gary

Iowa City, IA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded expectations in every respect. The combination of the sights with the information provided by Pascal and local guides in helping to understand the history and character of both the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland made for an exemplary travel experience. The choices in time allocation and "covering the ground" on such an ambitious tour were excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two moments were a dead heat for favorite "wow" moment. One was the falconry demonstration in Dingle with Kingdom Falconry. I have seen a number of falconry demonstrations over the years but never with this variety of birds, the quality of the commentary, and the chance for everyone to have contact with most of the birds. The second was the description of the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland by Pascal. I never understood the genuine nature of the conflict."

Anne

Cordele, GA

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This trip to Ireland was everything I expected and more. In addition to see seeing the wonderful natural wonders of the country, the historic castles, monasteries, and churches, the crafts and musicians, we had an added bonus of great weather for most of the trip.The food was delicious and the people were so welcoming. The green of the fields and pastures surpassed the iconic pictures that one always sees in brochures. Seeing all this in person was fabulous.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the falconry encounter. Our experience was at the bed and breakfast in Dingle due to Ashford Castle being closed to the public. I think the change in schedule was an added bonus. We were able to interact up close and in person with falcon, owls, and a golden eagle. It was exhilerating to be able to be so close to these beautiful birds of prey."

William

Brentwood, TN

Tour: 05/27/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As with other RS tours we have taken, an emphasis is on the history and culture of the countries visited. That was especially the case for Ireland. I believe what makes RS tours so much fun are the personalities of people attracted to Rick's tours. No one takes anything too seriously and we all laugh so much.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I particularly enjoyed the sheep dog demonstration but there were many other "wow" moments."

Judith

Danville, CA

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have gone on a number of coach tours and this was the best! The guide can make or break a trip and Dara definitely made it. Maybe it was also the beauty of the county which was so foreign to me, the group of wonderful people we were with or the balance of activities, sights and free time or a combination of all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! The Trinity Library, the absolutely breathtaking Co. Kerry scenery and the Cliffs of Mohr, and Cong with Ashford Castle! And then the amazing vastness of the Giants Causway! The beauty of Ireland was fabulous as was the weather. Seeing the difference between Dublin and Belfast was so amazing."

Kristi

Bremerton, WA

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This Best of Ireland tour exceeded my expectations at every turn and made it a dream come true. Our tour group and tour guide, Dara, met as strangers on Friday but became a friendly, boisterous, fun-loving family by the end of the tour. Thank you for the joy of meeting each of you! The tour itself was phenomenal. Each day brought new facets of Irish history, the Irish people, beautiful vistas and delicious food. Everything was taken care of for us. We were spoiled everyday for two lovely weeks.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday of the tour brought "wow" moments but these were my favorites: 1. Walking over the stones at the Giant's Causeway; I was really looking forward to this site and was not disappointed. 2. Crossing the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Not as scary as I thought. 3. Holding and feeding the Harris hawk at Ashford Castle. Fantastic! 4. Listening to traditional Irish music and watching step dancing at Dara's pub and other venues. Toe-tapping Irish music really puts a person in a good mood."

Judith

Canton, CT

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour (altho we have used his guidebooks extensively) It surpassed all expectations and I cannot imagine using another tour company in the future. It was fun, extremely organized, and provided a wide assortment of activities. Group time and alone time was well-planned. Demanding and relaxing activities were well-balanced. We interacted with the local culture extensively.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! I especially loved the hawk experience, Slea Head, the Great Blasket Centre, the concert in Dara's music shop, Dun Aengus, and learning about Ireland's sad history."

Katharine

Victoria, BC

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a comprehensive and hugely fun introduction to a complex and charming island nation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to count. But favourites included the walk around Dublin with our local guide, the Dingle Peninsula experience, the Giant's Causeway and the morning with the hawks!"

Laura

Clearwater, MN

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day I was awed by the trip experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The music venues and charm of Dingle."

Paul

Santa Clara, CA

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is a rather energetic but well planned and fairly comprehensive tour of Ireland. Part of the energy came from Dara, the world's most energetic tour guide, but the tour itself created a lot of energy. There are lots of interesting or beautiful things to experience on this tour. Be sure to schedule a couple extra days in Dublin if you like museums or old tombs, as even a well planned tour can't cover everything in 14 days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Great scenery, great music, great people, great food. A uniformly wow tour. The falconry was a special treat I would never have thought of on my own."

Allen

Clearwater, MN

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour group. Fantastic weather. Local or city guides expanded "local" experiences. Dara was another 'Rick Steves' guide making valuable contributions to our overall tour experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Music in Dingle."

Richard

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although the attractions were great (see "Wow! Moments"), we had a combination of tour guide, tour driver, to-a-person a wonderful group of people, and God-granted miraculous weather that made our tour an outstanding one-of-a-kind experience. For the most part, the accommodations were great, the site tour guides were helpful, and the food was delicious, but it was the people with whom I shared the tour that made this tour outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I had four "Wow!" moments: (1) The evening of music at Dara's Music Shop! (2) Holding a Harris Hawk at the Ashford Castle Falconry School! (3) Crossing the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and seeing the vista from the top of the hill on the other side! (4) Visiting the Titanic Exhibition! This was more than I had hoped for (though we spent only two hours there, I could have easily spent four!)"

Catherine

Lilburn, GA

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There is not one part of this trip that was not amazing. Tour Guide Dara was unbelievable. His warm personal contact with every person daily made the trip. He added many options each day that enhanced our travels. HOTELS great. Bus driver great. WEATHER great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Staying in Dingle for three nights. The drive around the area was breath-taking. Never have I seen something so beautiful. The food at Castlewood was out of this world. Dara's dad and the concerts will delightful."

Robert

North Pownal, VT

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I feel completely satisfied with the tour as it was everything that I could have hoped for. The tour was well thought out, thorough, and perfectly executed. A big surprise for me was how close we all became as the tour progressed. Our guide had a great deal to do with that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many to count. The "goodbye" dinner was a heartwarming experience where it was quite evident how much we all meant to each other."

David

Salinas, CA

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. It was comprehensive, well coordinated, interesting and informative.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Moher.. Thought we could have been there about a half hour longer. For such a spectacular spot it was difficult to experience the majesty of the cliffs and then spend some time in the museum. Though I do understand that some wanted to take a picture look around and then leave. Not exactly my style. Perhaps we could have left the hotel a half hour earlier. On the subject , the Causeway was also very beautiful and spectacular but I thought we could have spent a half hour less ther"

David

Maricopa, AZ

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I've visited Ireland three times on my own before going on this RS Tour. I learned so much more thanks to the guides we had during the tour. The tour group was such a great group of people that quickly connected and became friends. The weather was warm and dry for the entire two weeks, so very unIreland like. A nice mix of hotels, but staying at the Castlewood in Dingle was exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How much a difference a great guide made in the tour. Our guide Dara set up traditional Irish music for us at almost every town on the tour. He gave great suggestions on where to eat and what restaurants to avoid at each stop. He made time for everyone on the tour and introduced us to many family members and told great stories about each of them. I can't imagine having a better guide."

Nancy

Maricopa, AZ

Tour: 05/25/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The entire trip was amazing, this was my first Rick Steve's tour but won't be my last. Our guide, Dara, brought to life the history of Ireland and a deeper understanding of the Irish people. Every stop brought a new adventure, it is hard to pick a favorite moment or place.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is so hard to pick, the Falconry was amazing but the most moving event was the peace wall in Belfast. Probably because it was the most unexpected. Favorite location was Dingle, best food, music, meals, scenery, and hotel."

Susan

Brenham, TX

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized. It could not have been more efficient. The balance between group activities and free time was ideal Our tour guide, Declan, was so knowledgable and obviously had been doing this for years. He added so much to our experience. Our bus was clean and comfortable and we had the best driver, Pamela. She was a steady, calm driver under all conditions. The hotels and B&B's were super. Many had waterfront views. It was an ideal, in depth, overview of Ireland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW was staying in Dingle town for 3 days and feeling very much at home there. The 3 concerts that we had and the pub music were superb! I plan on returning. Finding more of my Irish roots was also a WOW moment."

David

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I did back-to-back Rick Steves tours starting with a 10 day Scotland tour. Even though I am of Scottish descent the 14 day Ireland tour was my favorite of the two. Contributing factors were the tour guide, the make up of the tour group, and the friendly Irish people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Dingle and the Dingle peninsula were by far my favorite parts of the tour. The town of Dingle was a very nice compact small town that happened to have 52 pubs, good food, and great music. My wife and I were the only ones from our group to attend an Irish football game . . . what a hoot!"

Beth

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From start to finish this tour was exceptional! The beautiful mountains, the fields so lush and green containing hundreds of sheep surrounded by stone fences, the bogs, the quaint towns, the castles, the vistas of the Atlantic ocean along the Giant's Causeway, the distilleries and pubs, the excellent food, the friendly Irish, the wealth of history and of course, our guide, Declan, made this tour the best!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Dingle Town! It was such a quaint and charming place filled with shops, lovely accommodations, delicious seafood, and some of the best and most interesting pubs I have ever encountered. Having some free time, my husband and I even attended an Irish football game where the locals explained the rules and seemed very amused that 2 Americans enjoyed the game."

Teresa

Mobile, AL

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wow!! AMAZING!! AWESOME! UNBELEIVABLE TRIP!! WOULD DO IT AGAIN IN A FLASH!! Many thanks to Declan for being an awesome tour guide and showing us the beauty of his country. The scenery was breathtaking and the people were very warm and friendly. The whole trip was full of "craic" aka...Fun and GOOD TIMES. We left with many wonderful memories from a "Trip of a Lifetime"!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite WOW moment would be Inishmore Aran Island and the cliffs at Dun Aonghasa!!!! Amazing!!!! Stunning!! No words to describe the beauty of this place. When I left the US I really thought my Wow moment was going to be Cliffs of Moher. Although the Cliffs of Moher are beautiful, Dun Aonghasa takes the winning prize for the Unbelievable "takes your breathe away" scenery!!"

Rick

Fairhope, AL

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved the tour. Our guide Declan was fantastic and was over the top about ensuring everything was looked after. He was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about Irish history, art and culture. Also really enjoyed the use of local tour guides to give additional color and insight to the areas we visited. The transportation was first class and our bus driver (Pamela) was excellent as well. Having that level of comfort and quality in our coach as well as not being too crowded is a big deal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pretty much everything, however, Declan brining in local musicians for a private concert in Dingle was amazing in addition to the local concerts he brought the group to. Falconery, Bushmills tour and Aran Island trip also highlights"

Alan

West Lafayette, IN

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well run, fascinating tour. Great selection of sites. Great commentary by the guide, Daclyn.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Columnar basalt at Giant's causeway."

Kern

Shoreline, WA

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding, exceeded our expectations at every turn.We've followed the Rick Steves independent travel methods since the early 80's, but this was our first Rick Steves tour. Declan, our guide, was fantastic- knowledgeable, engaging, and seemed to know everyone at every stop. He kept moving without ever being heavy handed. Pamela, our driver, was simply amazing on the narrow roads such as on the Dingle Peninsula. The balance between group time and personal time was just right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was the Dingle Peninsula. We had a great weather day. Spectacular scenery, water that was better than Caribbean blue crashing on the rugged Irish coast. Tim Collins added a great deal with his knowledge of the area. A close second was the Giant's Causeway- my wife has wanted to visit there as long as I can remember and we had great morning there."

Susan

Oak Park, IL

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I loved the variety of sights, sounds, & activities. Everything was well-organized. I saw & did much more, and ate better, than I ever would have on my own. I found this trip to be work, though. We kept a very tight, fast schedule, and I could have used more time to process & relax. I felt stressed in a way I didn't on my previous RS trip to keep going. I appreciated learning more about the history of Ire., but it was painful. Also, ending the trip in ugly N.Ire. made for a unpleasant finish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dingle--the gorgeous green land, the wonderful music (even a private concert-!), the Gallarus Oratory, and the great inn with artful breakfasts."

Noreen

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

One of the best vacations I've ever had!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking around the Cliffs of Moher, Dun Aengus fortress, Giant's Causeway, and seeing the border collies at the sheep farm and walking with the hawk."

Susan

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent overview of Ireland, encompassing both urban Dublin and the charming countryside. Our guide Declan was outstanding, keeping us organized and entertained. The tour had a nice mix of group sightseeing and free time. My favorite village was Dingle, where we had a full day to explore/shop/hike on our own. So glad we did Northern Ireland, too, to get the full picture of the island.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Flying the hawk at the gorgeous Ashford Castle's School of Falconry was very special. So too was the music scene in Dingle, where we enjoyed local musicians every night."

Daniel

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Deklan the guide and Pamela the driver were exceptional in every way. Lucky we had them and Rick is lucky to have them also. Only bad experience was the hotel in Portrush. We actually considered finding another room in another hotel. Mold in bathroom. Stained carpet and what is up with windows not opening. Crazy. The staff was very polite and did what they could so nothing against them. Bed and Breakfast in Dingle was outstanding as it was quiet, clean, modern and the breakfasts were top notch

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Made some great new friends as there was about 8 of us who all clicked and enjoyed Pub crawling and laughing. Giants Causway was good as we beat the crowds. Awesome scenery. People on the whole Island were nice, polite and seem much more civilized than our country. Had a weird experience meeting a authors wife and his dogs in Dingle. It was supernatural and I still get a chill. Best times were had by people/things we found on our own."

Kim

Boise, ID

Tour: 05/20/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Ireland was my husbands trip choice, however, I was blown away by the beauty of the country and the people. It will not be our last trip. Declan was an excellent tour guide, he made the country come alive with his words and wonderful voice. His knowledge of art and history made it come alive for us all. Our travel companions were such a great group as well. This was not our first Rick Steves tour but it was the best one so far. Pamela was a wizard guiding us safely from town to town.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved Dingle. Wonderful pubs and great food. The music was hauntingly beautiful. The countryside so lovely. The Hawks were a great experience as well. Hike at the Giant's Causeway."

Brian

North Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour in every way. Loved the accommodations, itinerary, meals, excursions, there was nothing that wasn't perfect. Our guide, Susie,, was one of the best we have had on all our trips, very personable and conversant with all things Irish. We were 4 Canadians amongst 23 Americns and the group gelled very quickly. I have a problem remembering names but finally mastered them all towards the end of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visit to the falconry."

Vivian

Hinsdale, IL

Tour: 05/18/18

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our trip was well-paced. We felt like we made the best use of our time while still having plenty of time to relax and absorb the culture, the experience and the lovely people of Ireland. We loved learning about the history of Ireland, spending time in the local restaurants and pubs, the music scenes in Dublin and Galway. Spending time in the countryside, Killarney National Park, Slea Head Drive, the Giants Causeway. Like nowhere else we've ever been. Still dreaming about it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are so many. Hard to choose but Giants Causeway stands out. It was spectacular. Also Milltown in Dingle and the charm of the town and the people there. Our host, Stephen, and, of course the wolfhounds Seamus and Siorese made watching the sunsets special."

Weather

Ireland / Dublin

Dublin Weather

Pre-Tour Planning

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Ireland: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews, and articles, plus recommended books and movies.

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. About one month prior to the tour departure, we'll email you directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as the complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

Transportation

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

Belfast has two easy-to-access airports. In addition, there are hourly buses to Dublin's airport. Since Dublin is a major transportation hub, it makes additional travel before or after your tour quite easy.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines.

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing on Your Own

If you arrive in Dublin before your tour begins, use the Rick Steves Ireland guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try a pint in a cozy pub, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are suggestions for sightseeing in Dublin that we will not be doing as a group: National Museum, National Gallery, Dublin Castle, Dublin Writers' Museum, Guinness Brewery and Gravity Bar, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum. You may also enjoy visiting the Brú Na Bóinne archaeological site, home to the Newgrange burial tomb (shuttle bus available from Dublin). For complete details, see the Rick Steves Ireland guidebook.

Packing

For advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick's packing tips.

Special packing note: We use an audioguide system for many of our sightseeing and museum tours. If you wear a hearing aid, we strongly recommend bringing headphones that go over your ears to allow you to fully enjoy these tours.