Virginia Travelers wrote:
We are booked for this trip and looking forward to hearing from others that are.
We are booked on this tour in September. Please send a review after your tour.
Cattitude and Claudia - Thanks for the reminder about the APP. We went to Israel and Jordan in October 2018 and were able to use it.
We leave for Ireland in 2 weeks and we have our green book and Rick Steve's book and are ready to go. How did you enjoy your trip? Were there any unexpected highlights, places, or events that you can share ?
I wrote reviews on both the itinerary and the food/hotel posted under the regular Best of Ireland category vs the Best of Ireland Small Group. Confusingly there are Small Group tours under both categories. Itineraries are pretty much the same, though a few hotel differences. Thinking about it a year later I'd say my favorites were the Titanic Museum and Kylemore Abbey. The abbey in part because we had perfect weather and really enjoyed the drive out to it and the time in the garden. Derry and Belfast were surprisingly nice after years of seeing bombed out images of Northern Ireland. Our TD also surprised us with a boat cruise on Loch Corrib to our hotel and a sheep herding demo. We were very happy with the tour. In contrast to the England, Scotland, Wales tour, this one has more focus on scenery and less on castles/churches.
Thanks Claudia. The Abbey and the boat cruise both sound fascinating and we are definitely looking forward to the Titanic museum. We will read your other reviews.
Crackeroo - We returned from Ireland Small Groups on July 24th and must say that it was an outstanding trip! The TD (Joe) and our driver (Garry) were the best and they worked well together to make it a fun visit. We learned so much history and now have a very good understanding of the struggles between Irish Catholics and British Protestants over the years. We had rain all day only once during the Ring of Kerry visit. For the most part it was cool, partly sunny and cloudy with only a few days of periodic rain. We were very lucky! We arrived in Dublin a day early and would recommend that. It gave us an opportunity to visit the Irish Museum of Archaeology which is a superb museum during the day and visit some Dublin pubs later on in the day. The highlight of the trip for us was the two night stay at Ashford Castle and our Falconry experience. Staying at the Castle is an experience we will never forget. It is simply unbelievable! We booked Falconry on our own months before the trip and that allowed the two of us to spend about 90 minutes alone with the birds and the trainer. It was a fantastic experience walking through the grounds with birds flying on and off our arms. Simply amazing! We also loved the many small towns along the way - Galway and Kilkenny were our favorites. Of course seeing the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway were also highlights. When all was said and done the thing that was the best part of the trip were the Irish people. They are so welcoming and friendly and we were glad to have met them!
I did this trip a year ago and it was one of my favorites. I agree that the stay (for small group travelers only) at the Ashford Castle was a real highlight. (Be sure to walk into the little town of Cong where the movie "The Quiet Man" with John Wayne was filmed. If you enjoy films you will find this interesting and there is a great little bar where John Wayne and the cast hung out after filming.) If you are interested in the history of the "Irish Troubles" and you will be in Dublin a day or two early, you might consider seeing the Kilmainham Gaol, a jail in Dublin where many revolutionaries were imprisoned (some were executed here) and the tour gives you a great background of that history. I also found the Glassnavin Cemetery (very park-like) very interesting as some of the revolutionaries are buried here (including the famous Michail Collins, who was portrayed by Liam Neeson in the film of the same name). The background I got from these two tours helped me understand the history of the country as we toured.