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Reviewed 24 October 2019

This tour is an excellent introduction to Ireland, circumnavigating the island. Our group was wonderfully cohesive and fun, and our tour guide, Andrew Duggan, was outstanding. He combined a love of Ireland with knowledge and enthusiasm that he shared to prepare us for, and immerse us in, each experience. We loved the Giant's Causeway, the Black Cab Tour in Belfast, the Cliffs of Mohrer, Mount Falcon Estate, the Wild Atlantic Lodge, Dingle Sheep Farm, Bantry, Cork and the Rock of Cashel. The numerous catch o' the day specials were outstanding (hake!) and cocktails of Bushmills or Jamesons and ginger ale were enjoyed each night. Travelers should wear layers, a waterproof outerlayer and waterproof shoes, pack lightly, and pace themselves to avoid getting too tired. To the tour company, I would recommend eliminating the Titanic Experience, the distilleries and breweries, and the Blarney Stone because they are all time stealers. I recommend finding somewhere other than the Clifden Station House to stay and spending 2 nights at Mount Falcon to enjoy the amenities the resort has to offer on the off day. Earlier arrivals, perhaps by 3:00, would provide an opportunity to savor what each town/place has to offer rather than 6:00 p.m. arrivals when shops, attractions, and museums are already closed and only restaurants and pubs remain open. I would recommend this tour, and this specific company, to anyone who wants to thoroughy enjoy a trip to Ireland. From the initial contact with the office staff to the considerate and competent tour guides, Vagabond/Driftwood does not disappoint!

Date of experience: October 2019
4  Thank OKtravelfriends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vagaboss, Owner at Vagabond Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2019

Hi OKtravelfriends, thanks a million for the five star review. We are delighted to hear you had an excellent time with Andrew on your 11 Day Discover Ireland tour. It's a great option to see almost all of Ireland. Thank you for all your recommendations and suggestions. We will definitely take all your feedback on board. Rob Rankin, Owner.

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Reviewed 24 October 2019

This tour was an excellent way to visit the southeast corner of Ireland. Our knowledgeable tour guide, Bebhinn O'Malley, loves Ireland and she brings the refreshing charm and accent of the Wild Atlantic Way to her interesting narratives. The accommodations are nice-to-luxurious in the Pembroke Hotel, Waterford Castle, Bayview Hotel and Blue Haven Hotel. For travelers in October, pack lightly and bring LAYERS of casual clothing with a waterproof (not water-resistant) outer layer and waterproof shoes. For the tour company, I recommend having smaller groups (maximum 8) on short tours so travelers can get to know one another better and savor their shared experiences. Also, I recommend eliminating the Blarney Stone (time stealer), and the distillery and brewery tours. Arriving at all the hotels by 3:30 p.m. would allow time for travelers to enjoy local flavor, walk or swim along beaches, and spend extended time in museums. (Leaving the towns at 9:00 a.m. or even 10:00 a.m. does not allow any shopping/discovery time in the closed shops and offices.) Arriving at 6 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 or 7:00, leaves no time to explore and/or get the feeling of each town's environment other than pubs. For Bebhinn, 5 stars. For the itinerary without the changes, I award 4 stars but with the recommended changes, it would have been a 10!

Date of experience: October 2019
2  Thank OKtravelfriends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vagaboss, Owner at Vagabond Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 11 November 2019

Hi OKtravelfriends, thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us. We're happy to hear you enjoyed your tour with Bébhinn. A lot of time goes into our itineraries and we love to show our guests all we can. We leave earlier to avoid crowds to make it more enjoyable for our guests. We will definitely take your comments on board and review itinerary times. Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience. Rob Rankin, Owner.

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Reviewed 21 October 2019

This was our first group tour, and our first visit to Ireland. The tour exceeded our expectations. There were a lot of wonderful stops, including some with more time to explore - that is obvious by looking at the itinerary. Our tour guide, Pat, really made the trip special which seemed to be the general consensus amongst our entire group. His knowledge and way of sharing the history both ancient and more recent really set the context around the sites we were visiting. I think we both came away with more knowledge and respect for the history of Ireland. We were well prepared thanks to the FAQ and tips provided by Vagabond. I would definitely go on another tour with Vagabond (including into Scotland should they expand).

Date of experience: October 2019
2  Thank Beth_sage
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vagaboss, Owner at Vagabond Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2019

Hello Beth_sage, thank you for such a wonderful 5* review. We are very pleased you chose us for your first ever group tour and it was a good experience. Pat is a super guide indeed. Small Group Tours are the way to go. Kind regards, Rob Rankin, Owner.

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Reviewed 16 October 2019

Our recent 7-day Driftwood tour was incredible! The small bus tour is the way to go and I can't recommend Vagabond Tours highly enough. Many of the places you visit simply aren't feasible with a larger tour bus. It's so much better with just a dozen or so people. So many fascinating tour stops, so much history to absorb. Some major sites, of course, but many out-of-the-way places and roads where the scenery is non-stop. In addition, the quaint guesthouses are a perfect complement to the tour. We had two guides during our tour, Aisling and Pat. Both were excellent in their own right. Our first guide, Aisling, gave us info on pop culture and the vernacular lessons. Our second, Pat, was absolutely outstanding with his depth and detail on Irish history. He is the perfect soundtrack to fabulous tour; a true walking / talking encyclopedia. 'The folk' are definitely on his side as he managed to arrive at seemingly every destination just as the rain stopped!

A couple of Driftwood 7-day Treasure tour tips for future bookings -
1. Don't opt for a sit-down lunch if you want to see any of the small towns (Tralee, Kenmare, Bantry, etc.) as you have very limited time. Bring snacks and eat as you explore or find some quick take-away sandwiches.
2. Galway is superior to Dingle for general shopping, if you're into that.
3. The Fish Box in Dingle is outstanding! Order 1 starter and 1 main for 2 people (trust me).
4. If the weather is nice on your trip to Garnish Island, skip the house tour (40 min), plenty to see outside.
5. Take the optional driving tour around the peninsula on your Dingle day.
6. Most important - lean on the Vagabond folks prior to booking to find out which tour Pat is doing and book that one!!

Date of experience: September 2019
3  Thank EubieQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vagaboss, Owner at Vagabond Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2019

Hello EubieQ, some great top tips there for future travellers, thank you. Our tour guides are amazing and truly love Ireland and it shows. Thank you for your 5* review. Small group tours are really the way to go. Rob Rankin, Owner.

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Reviewed 15 October 2019

Just got home from the most wonderful 11 day tour of Ireland with Vagabond! I echo a recent review from Sherpa... The route, the various town-specific tours selected for us, the amazing historic sites, and the incredible natural beauty of Ireland were all outstanding. Equally outstanding were some of our accommodations - I was scurrying around taking pictures of gardens at several of our hotels! The small tour and bus size allowed for exploring off the main highways and getting to know our guide and fellow travelers - normally I would say "what a hoot", but given we just got back from Ireland, I'll say "what great crack!" Our guide, Andrew Duggan, has set the gold standard. His knowledge and love of history and his country, love of amazing natural places, humor, and willingness to share all that generously with us took this trip over the top. If all of that isn't wonderful enough, we were told the company owner has a policy of offsetting the carbon footprint of each tour by planting native trees! I highly highly highly recommend this tour and company to anyone looking to visit Ireland! (Just read the tips for writing a great review (after the fact) - so I'll add this: What to bring - layers! The weather was great - everything from full sun to full rain and everything in between, sometimes in the same day. Layers!)

Date of experience: October 2019
2  Thank Callie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vagaboss, Owner at Vagabond Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 5 November 2019

Hello Callie P, thank you for your kind words and 5* review. It's wonderful to hear about your Driftwood experience with Andrew. Activities and accommodations are carefully selected to ensure the very for our guests so we're delighted you enjoyed them.
Responsible tourism is at the heart of what we do. We planted 110 trees in 2016; 150 in 2017; and 170 in 2018. We have also recently installed solar panels at VagaHQ. Thank again for the great review and for your helpful tip. Rob Rankin, Owner.

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