My husband and I booked the 11 Day Ireland Driftwood tour that covered the entire Island in a... read more
My husband and I booked the 11 Day Ireland Driftwood tour that covered the entire Island in a... read more
A few years ago we did the 11 day Driftwood Tour and were very pleased with our experience. We decided to return and take the 6 Day Ancient Ireland Tour. Once again we were very happy with the tour. The guides were Mark and Pat. Mark was our guide on our previous tour and we were happy to see him again. The guides are very knowledgeable and tell good stories about Irish history without being boring and also tell you some fun, interesting facts. This tour goes at a good pace, usually departing the hotel around 9 to 9:30, giving you plenty of time for breakfast. You arrive at your next hotel around 5pm. I like that they make a loop through town and point out things you can see and do during your own time in the evening and also point out different restaurants. All the places we stopped for lunch were quite good and all the evening restaurants were top notch. All the hotels were clean and had very friendly staff. A full, filling breakfast is included at each hotel. A few of our favorite stops were the monastic site at Glendalough, the tour of Jerpoint Park, Hook Head Lighthouse and the Rock of Cashel. In Waterford you must try the Viking virtual reality experience, what a fun time. We will always remember the coffin ship exhibit that we visited which tells the sad tale of the famine and what the passengers endured. If you are going to Ireland for the first time this is the best way to go. We certainly hope to come back again for another tour and hope we see Mark and Pat again.
This tour's itinerary was well planned: it was well paced with enough time to enjoy the attractions we visited, and included a variety of things to see - castles, towers, stately homes, bogs, beautiful scenery, history, Celtic rings, the occasional museum. The van we travelled in was comfortable. Our guide, Tim, was terrific. He was knowledgeable and very personable. He gave good guidance regarding where to eat and what to visit when we had free time. His information regarding history and Irish folklore was delivered in an interesting way. Our accommodation was good over all, always with great breakfasts. I would recommend this tour to anyone wishing to travel to and get an overview of Ireland.
Hello Jill D, thank you for your 5* review of your Driftwood Journey of Discovery. All our tours weave their way through Ireland with plenty of history and culture along the way. You can't beat a good hearty Irish breakfast to set you up for the day! Hope to see you again in Ireland, Rob Rankin, Owner.
What fun, what beautiful sites, what wonderful, and I do mean wonderful folks. Outrageously beautiful and very good music. Then there was the food... Awesome, delectable, delicious, and meticulously prepared plates. Also, there was plenty of "shop 'til you drop" opportunities, that included all of the tourist stuff plus local fare... And the sweaters! WOW! I'm a sweater guy and one thing I do regret is only purchasing one.
First I must mention the staff and tour guides. They were fun, caring, responsive and pretty! Aislinn and Bebvin, went over and beyond the call of duty. Babette and I love them to death. They were very informative and well trained. Babette and I are disabled, myself rather severely but I can still walk with the aid of wrist crutches. They went out of their way to make us comfortable. One minor point, no cup holders.
On to the music... They played music in the spacious comfortable 16 person Mercedes mini tour bus, there were 14 of us. so we had traditional and modern Irish music for 7 days on the road. Everywhere we went there were street players and singers. the night life was so much fun. I don't drink but I can tell the quality of the craft beers by the aroma. These folks can brew some great suds. Galway was great with lots of shopping, maybe the next time we will spend a night there. the highlight of the trip for Babette and I was Dingle. What a fun town! What luxurious accommodations at the Emloch House (heated bathroom floors and fluffy robes)! There was just the proprietor to run the house so she gave us house keys when we returned late for our revelry. The Irish breakfasts at this B&B were the best we had on the trip. And I wish I could remember the proprietors name, but she was gracious and lovely to all of us. I've never stayed with 13 other people at a place where everyone had nothing but high praise for the Emloch House B&B.
We were clued into the Sheehy's Anchor Down Restaurant. Definitely a great find. I'm very picky about my restaurant food because I am a superior gourmet cook, so I expect well prepared, decent presentation, properly served and damn well better be tasty. All of my expectations were met. Our first afternoon we had lunch there (very family friendly). I think Babette hade sole and I had muscles. I wanted to take the sauce with me. The following evening I had the cod and it was also perfect. There was not fancy presentation but acceptable and the flavors and aromas surpassed all other senses. Don't miss out on Sheehy's.
while you are there; three doors down is a music shop where the owner and there family really knew there stuff. Babette love Irish music... I like it too, but she is a fanatic. She got her music and I bought a nice penny whistle and a harmonica for a gift. While my wife was talking to the owners wife she discovered that they were having an in house concert that night. so we bought a couple of tickets for about 10 euro and we were treated to a priceless display of musical passion. here is the kicker, about half the people preforming were from the USA. all the musicians were concert quality artist. A piano player from Michigan played with the owner on his squeeze box.Then there was a family from New York City, two teens, Mom and Grandma. the 3 prior played a string trio of Irish classics and ballads and there was more... The highlight was everyone who could play jamming together while a dancer from the Riverdance Tour, he was amazing and I still watch my video I took of him. What fun, the coffee and cakes for intermission were very good. after the concert we went to a couple of the clubs, including one that had three stories of different kinds of Irish music... take your pick. We had desert there which was great and the food I saw coming out of the kitchen looked and smelled amazing. But that was the norm all over the island nation of Ireland, not the exception. They are serious foodies.
Well... I'm about to surpass 5000 words and I have about 15000 more for these types of stories and I didn't even touch the other incredible sites and castles with the vistas we enjoyed.
The only reason I can't give them 5 stars is because they advertised 4 star accommodations and there were a couple of place that did not meet our expectations. I was told that they would work at improving that. I do understand that finding 4 star B&B's for a small group is a difficult task. But there was one place where our fellow travelers had to bring our luggage up to our third floor room and the were stairs and steps everywhere. Did I mention I'm disable and require aid to walk? I would rather cross a train track with a locomotive bearing down than deal with stairs. the staff seemed nonplussed, the devil may care, in my opinion...Iwas not staying at the . We were supposed to have ground floor or next to elevator access. Even though it was an Irish National Holiday, I left and found us accommodations at another hotel when everyone told me that it would be impossible. So I give them 4 stars... so, so close to five stars but for the 2.5 dim stars for that un-named B&B in Glenngarriff.
Hello Joe, our GM has been in touch with you directly about your comments about the accommodations. Thank you for the review overall and we are glad to hear you found our VagaGuides top notch.
I was part of a group of 9 who just completed the 11 day Driftwood tour of Ireland. All of us had nothing but praise for this tour and our driver/guide Tim Orr. Tim was informative and funny and extremely helpful to all of us, but particularly to my 100 year old mother who was enjoying her first trip in Ireland.
I had visited Ireland before but this tour took us to new areas that were both beautiful and interesting and with fewer competing tourists.
Thank you Vagabond for a wonderful experience.
Hello Loretta J R, thank you so much for your 5* review, We very much enjoyed showing you around Ireland, such a honour to have your mom on tour, she shows us all that travelling can continue for your whole life. Tim is indeed a super guide and we are lucky to have him on board. We like to go off the beaten track and away from the crowds where possible, luckily in Ireland, there are hidden gems everywhere, Kind regards, Rob Rankin, Owner.
This was our second trip with Vagabond. Two years ago we did the southern trip, and we loved it, so we figured we’d finish off the island by heading up north. When they advertise it as active, it is, indeed, but not murderously so. If you like to walk/hike, and don’t mind an occasionally rough terrain (walkable but—for a seventy-year—carefully), you’ll be fine. Our group this time was a total of four couples, three American and one Irish (actually, she of the Irish couple was actually a Vagabond employee on her own vacation). We represented the country well—New York, Texas and Oregon. As with the first time, everyone mixed easily, and there wasn’t anything to worry about on that score. Highlights were the Black Cab in Belfast, the walking tour of Derry, and the Giant’s Causeway, which we walked to from far away over gorgeous territory. My wife and I did not chicken out at the rope bridge: we chickened out looking at the pictures of the rope bridge months in advance, but everyone else seemed to enjoy it. A nice bike ride on the penultimate day was great fun for people like us who discovered that even if we hadn’t ridden since the 1970s, we still had it in us. It’s a mostly level ride, if you’re worried about that. For the record, our guide was Rhys, and like our earlier guide for the other trip, he kept us amused and informed and feeling as if we were in good hands. I can’t imagine a better way to visit the Irish countryside than with a Vagabond tour.
Dear R1068GHjimm, thank you for joining us again on a Vagabond Small Group Tour of Ireland. Such super news you liked us so much you came back. You know what they say 'You never forget how to ride a bike' and it sounds like you did'nt. The Magnetic North Adventure tour is fairly new so it is wonderful to receive a 5* review, thank you and kind regards, Rob Rankin.
Simply Lovely trip with 14 delightful fellow travelers, we began strangers and rapidly became friends. Our "fearless leader"/tour guide was Jason. A brilliant, considerate, funny & charming young man showed us many out of the way sites where larger groups would not have been able to access. Oh be prepared to be wowed with Vagabonds choice for each evenings accommodations...... some evenings you will feel like a royal princess... other evenings will find you in a snug magical room set in the middle of the Gougane Barra with newborn lambs outside your window. Magical tour to get a glimpse of what Ireland is all about. I would suggest packing a size larger pants because the breakfast are IMPRESSIVE !!
Hello DTousche, we do like going off the beaten track and this definitely includes are choice of hotels too! So glad you liked them. The food in Ireland is so good, extra stretchy pants are mandatory! Thank you for your 5* review. Kind regards, Rob Rankin, Owner.