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Reviewed 26 October 2019 via mobile

My 75 year old Mother and I took the Castles & Kingdoms tour with 10 other Americans and it was truly a wonderful experience! Edel was our bus driver/guide extraordinaire. Edel and the sites of beautiful Ireland made this a trip of a lifetime.

One is always nervous when embarking in small spaces with a group of strangers. Edel set the tone for a light-hearted and fun loving gaunt through the south western coastal area. We stayed in a castle one night and met true sheep-herders who still use dogs to get their sheep off the mountain to their farm (not the commercial sheep dog demonstration). We took a horse drawn buggy to a beautiful old abbey. We explored ring forts, Ireland’s version of Stone Henge, the Cliffs of Moher and the Cliffs of Kilkee. We are at some adorable pubs and restaurants and the food was truly top quality! I was shocked as I never really thought of Irish food as excellent fare, but every meal was wonderful!

The ONLY bummer was that we came so late in October we weren’t able to see Skittery Island and the other boat adventure that was advertised for the tour. Edel didn’t give us a chance to feel sorry for ourselves though, as she instantly thought up something creative for us to do instead (I think that day we saw the Cliffs of Kilkee, which were stunning and IHO better than the Cliffs of Moher!). There were no massive crowds and it was a lovely hike down the cliff on a safe, paved trail.

Overall, it was astounding and SO worth it! The small group truly felt like a family by the end, so don’t hesitate to sign up even if you are on your own. One of our favorite travelers was a woman who was traveling solo! We chose to eat together often, even when we could choose to eat on our own! If you do the tour, make sure to ask for Edel as your guide. She is adorable and makes the whole adventure that much more fun. Bravo, Vagabond!

2  Thank Ann S
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vagaboss, Owner at Vagabond Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2019

Hello Ann, thank you so much for your 5* review. It's fantastic to hear both you and your mother had a great experience on your castles and kingdoms tour with Edel. It sounds like you really experienced all of the activities. We're sorry Scattery Island wasn't available but the Kilkee Cliffs are certainly a great replacement. We always aim to avoid the crowds to make it more enjoyable for our guests, the hidden gems are the best anyway. Thanks again for the great review. Rob Rankin, Owner.

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Reviewed 24 October 2019

I highly recommend the Vagabond 12 day Giant Irish Adventure Tour. WHY?

1. the spectacular natural beauty of Ireland, especially the north and west coast
2. the varied daily activity and the pace of each day and the options we had
3. the interesting and different accommodations (it was obvious there was a good relationship with the hotels/inns and many of the pubs we stopped at for lunch)
4. THE GUIDE - Damian was so knowledgeable and well versed in Irish history and stories, archeology, geography, etc. He took us to places we never would have found on our own. He was professional, responsible, a great storyteller, witty, sensitive, and he went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure each person had a great experience. He gave context to all the places we saw. It was an education and a very enriching experience.
5. We were fortunate to have a very cohesive group of 12 people.

Date of experience: October 2019
1  Thank Diane D
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vagaboss, Owner at Vagabond Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2019

Hello Diane, thank you so much for your kind recommendation and 5* review. We really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with us. We do have great relationships with our suppliers as we have been visiting many of them from the beginning. We're delighted to hear you enjoyed your time with your group and Damian, he is a great character. Thanks again for the the great review. Rob Rankin, Owner.

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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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