We'll end our day in Dingle, where we'll enjoy dinner together and one of the country's best traditional music scenes. It's a great day to experience some of Europe's wildest natural beauty and most ancient Christian sights. 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.Sleep in Dingle (3 nights, group may be split between two B&Bs). 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. 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. Farther up the road, we'll tour the rocky moonscape of the Burren to learn about its unique ecosystem and hardy prehistoric residents. This morning we'll hop aboard a ferry bound for the stark beauty of Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands. Today we'll drive through the Connemara region, enjoying the beautiful Irish countryside. We'll seamlessly cross into Northern Ireland today.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. You can fly out of Belfast or Dublin's handy airports.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. 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."Too many to mention." The tour was an excellent experience that provided many good memories.The beautiful scenery, the Irish people, the music, and my tour group were the best.
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. Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today."My favorite wow moment of the tour would have been our day at Ashford Castle. Third of all was the members of the tour: totally delightful!The grounds were stunning, the weather was perfect and our activity of falconry was very unique and special. "I don't have just one "wow" moment: I loved flying the hawks; loved all the musical concerts; loved the bonding that went on during the "hurricane;"loved that we were able to go to Northern Ireland (I never felt that I would ever be able to visit Belfast after all The Troubles in recent history); loved the small towns and the rugged coast line." This tour was yet another outstanding Rick Steve's tour as we have come to expect.I was very impressed with the caliber of the experience in terms of strong organization and logistics, great and informative tour guides, wonder balance between group time vs. He was so personable, passionate about all things Ireland (especially music, family and Dingle), fun-loving, organized, helpful, hard-working, knowledgeable, always available, enthusiastic!individual time and also a very informative tour guide. I feel that we had the "perfect storm" (a little hurricane humor! Second was just the fact that we were in Ireland with its spectacular scenery and friendly people.Our day will end with dinner together in the picturesque harbor town of Kinsale, where we'll sleep (2 nights). 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. Today we'll take a scenic drive along the forests (Ireland's largest), mountains, and lakes of Killarney National Park.You'll have the afternoon and evening free to make your own discoveries in Kinsale, known as Ireland's gourmet capital. Then we'll balance-off this peacefulness with a visit to a local sheep farm, marveling at its talented dogs in action.With Dara, and the local tour guides, we learned so much about the history and culture of the Republic and Northern Ireland. Our trip to the Aran Islands had to be cancelled due to the weather but our guide Dara scrambled to arrange a local guide of Galway (Brian Nolan- superb) and also arranged a personal concert by two extremely gifted musicians.It truly was "The Best of Ireland." "There were many. This was also a great time to get to know some of our fellow members better as we waited out the storm in comfort of our hotel lobby aided by pints of Guinness." Great tour guide and excellent local guides. "Many wow moments with the musical opportunities but the Falconry School expericience was memorable." Ireland in 14 days was an excellent tour. One of the musicians played the uilleann pipes: incredible.In addition, we were treated to an extra lake cruise which allowed us to experience the area of Cong and the castle from a different perspective." Beautiful scenery, FANTASTIC food, wonderful travel companions, a remarkable tour guide (Dara), cool temps (we're from Houston after all, and crave cooler weather! The tour was well-organized with meaningful activities.), quaint towns, fantastic and authentic Irish music (thanks many times to Dara), Plan B success, breathtaking views, historical revelations, and truly charming people. Dara was an excellent tour guide and helped the group to bond and have an enjoyable time.