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“Ireland as you imagined”
Review of Ireland West Tours

Ireland West Tours
Ranked #12 of 39 Outdoor Activities in Galway
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Ireland West Tours provides the perfect solution for those that do not want to have the restraints of a Coach Tour but don't want the strains of a self drive tour. We provide private personalised tours where the customer gets to choose the timetable, itinerary and pace of the tour. We bring you to see the real West of Ireland and we bring you to places where the tour buses don't go.
Reviewed 10 May 2016

We were limited to 1 day in Connemara and wanted to make the most of it. After much research we chose Ireland West Tours, and were fortunate to have Jim Parslow as our guide for the day. At the end of the day we were so thankful with our decision, and wouldn't have done it any other way. I had emailed Jim in advance a list of highlights we wanted to see if time was available. He was prompt picking us up at our hotel, and once in his vehicle went over the list with me, remembering every item. Jim grew up in Galway, and has a great knowledge of the Connemara region and many stories to tell. His main concern for the day was that we saw what we wanted to see, and had all the time we wanted to spend in each location. The drive out to Connemara was surreal with breathtaking views of the mountains, lakes, and of course sheep. Jim stopped any where we asked for photo opportunities. A photographer by trade, he took professional family photos of us as well at many of the stops. We began with stops at Quiet Mans bridge, followed by a 360 degree view of the panorama in the Peacockes Hotel viewing tower. A true highlight was driving down an old unpaved road in the hills of the Inagh valley with spectacular views of the the rolling hills, sheep grazing, mountains and lakes in the distance. So many photos were taken here. The best part is we were the only car on the road. Coach buses are unable to access this road, and it is an experience you don't want to miss. These are the roads you imagine when you picture Ireland in your mind. They are still here, just don't tell anyone. We stopped at Kylemore Abbey for photos but did not enter due to our limited time. Jim was helpful here knowing the best spots for photos of the abbey. Instead of touring the abbey we entered Connemara national park and walked the yellow trail. Here we met Connemara ponies, a baby lamb, and experienced more amazing views of the Diamond mountains. We wanted to see the Killary fjords, so Jim drove along the coast stopping at a beach and points along the way to view this natural spectacle. Amazing views, sights, and sounds. We covered everything on our list and more. I HIGHLY recommend Ireland West tour for several reasons. Jim's knowledge of the region and access to the backroads were undeniably a highlight to our stay in Ireland. He is a skilled driver, photographer, and story teller. Guides are not just drivers that drop you off at each sight to enjoy. Jim went everywhere with us, hiked the trail in Connemara park with us, and was just an overall pleasure. Every minute in his car was filled with so much information, and humor. I agree with other reviewers that 5 stars is just not enough.

Thank emptynest16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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33 - 37 of 72 reviews

Reviewed 20 April 2016

Based on comments here, we booked a day with Ireland West Tours. We were so lucky to have Jim Parslow as our guide! Even after also visiting Dublin, Galway, the Aran Isles, Killarney and one tiny village where we searched for ancestors, we still think of that Sunday as the highlight of a 10-day visit. Jim was keenly knowledgeable, empathetic and amusing, as well as intuitive in figuring out what we would most want to see. And afterwards he was kind enough to forward the title of a book we discussed, as well as the rock from the Atlantic fjord I accidentally left in the car, to the next hotel where we staying. Several of the places Jim took us were far off the beaten path and could never have been accessed by a tour bus but provided us with wonderful memories. Well done, Jim!

Thank Elaine A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2016

I called Jim at Ireland West Tours looking specifically for a day touring around Galway to do photography. The minute I mentioned this to Jim, he started talking about light and times of day and I knew I was on to the right person! So I hired Jim for a 12 hour tour, starting at 6.30 am (sorry, Jim! :) ). I was able to tailor the day, as to what I wanted to see and where I wanted to go. As I specifically wanted to do some landscape photography, I trusted Jim with the places he recommended and he did not let me down! There was a plan A, B and C based on the light of the day, the types of scenery he thought I might like and those special spots off the beaten tourist tracks. We went up winding roads through almost unspoiled countrysides, along stunning coastal routes and through lovely villages. Jim was on hand to offer tips and advice as I'm a bit of an amateur. We stopped at any spot I wanted to or that Jim thought might make a nice photo opportunity (he didn't stir me wrong once :) ). The day started off overcast but towards midday, rays of sunshine started breaking through and we chased the light, ending up with sunset at Killary Harbour and Lough Inagh Valley. I could not have asked for a better trip and Jim was a fantastic guide! Along with photography tips, there were plenty of stories about the areas we were passing through and the history of particular spots. At the end of the day, Jim dropped me off at my hotel near Recess, exhausted but absolutely delighted with the day and the some 500 photos I took. Thanks for such a wonderful day, Jim! I could not have asked for a better trip!

1  Thank Jan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2016

Jim was wonderful had a great tour of the Connemara back roads one day and then a trip to cliffs of moher the next. rain even held off for us! would definitely recommend this private tour well worth it. And Jim is a really great guide and person!

Thank dianekelseywalt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 December 2015 via mobile

We have traveled quite a bit and taken many tours. Quite simply, this tour is top notch and Jim is a master tour guide: expertly knowledgeable, flexible, and most importantly, completely invested in you having a wonderful time. He is easy-going, kind and there was never an awkward moment.

We saw so much that we would never see on a big bus tour and certainly would never find on our own (and we are adventurous!) We saw amazingly sights from Maam Cross to a national park to a fjord. And yes, we fed gorgeous Connemara ponies and adorable donkeys.

It was a magical day with a true area expert. Jim gave us great advice for the rest of our trip. Book this tour - It's an incredible value, makes a great use of your time and is like hanging out with an old friend. We will certainly book again to see another area when we return to Galway!

3  Thank Mfarquar_MA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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