We booked The All Ireland Plus 8 day tour. Fiona and Peter were so helpful in making the arrangements and answering our questions well in advance of our trip. We covered nearly all the Emerald Isle in 8 days (more coach than rail as rail simply doesn't go everywhere). Coaches were warm and comfy, and we loved all the narration - this is definitely an island of story tellers! We could easily see that coordinating all the tours for an 8 day excursion so complex as there were different tour guides each day - but all easily identifiable in their yellow jackets! The itinerary does call for long , full days, but hey, that's what we came for it was all so gorgeous! Charming scenery sounds of nature all around, rain fresh scents, and delicious food and drink - a feast for the senses!
While we were blessed with mostly sunny afternoons, rain or shine, we had the best time soaking in the greenery (which more than met our expectations), and all the rain, rushing creeks, streams and rivers we can only dream in California's long drought. The coast was spectacular and visiting Cliffs of Moher, Inis Mor and Giant's Causeway are musts!
Tour guides were so friendly, patient and funny - typical of most of the folks we ran into in Ireland - such warm, friendly people all so proud of their counties - truly, we couldn't pick a favorite. The music, dancing and warmth of the pubs at the end of the day felt so cozy and fun and all the hotels provided excellent accomodation and service. Our favortite was the Galmont in Galloway as it had a beautiful pool and spa that made for the perfect soothing balm after a long day of touring. We easily walked over 14,000 steps a day.
The only hiccup was that one morning, our cab did not meet us in Dublin to take us to the rail station, but another cabbie who saw our plight, came to the rescue, got us to the train station in the nick of time and refused to take any fare!
In October, light layers, scarves, rain jackets and hats were more than enough to keep us warm and dry, and we enjoyed a bit of dress up for dancing as well!
Ireland is definitely a trip to check of the bucket list - what an amazing people and locale!