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Then we'll board our coach for a rolling tour that takes us along reminders of the past decades' Troubles, including the striking political murals of Shankill and Falls Road. You can fly out of Belfast or Dublin's handy airports.Our day will end as we kick up our heels at a tasty farewell supper together, where we'll share travel memories and toast new friends. For those not ready to return home yet, both cities are a great jumping off point to Paris, London, Amsterdam, and many other exciting destinations Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead."Too many to mention." Ireland was as scenic as I had imagined from films such as "The Quiet Man" (and visiting the village of Cong where the movie was filmed was an added treat).We enjoyed performances of several traditional Irish music groups thanks to our guide Dara. Yes, it rained a third of the time but the right rain jacket made that manageable. "Probably our stay in Galway where we experienced the hurricane.With Dara, and the local tour guides, we learned so much about the history and culture of the Republic and Northern Ireland. I was very impressed with the caliber of the experience in terms of strong organization and logistics, great and informative tour guides, wonder balance between group time vs.It truly was "The Best of Ireland." "There were many. individual time and also a very informative tour guide.
"When the hurricane Ophelia came through and we were right there I got to witness the fierceness of a hurricane. All of the hotels were great, the food excellent, and Irish music was over the top. "I don't have just one "wow" moment: I loved flying the hawks; loved all the musical concerts; loved the bonding that went on during the "hurricane;"loved that we were able to go to Northern Ireland (I never felt that I would ever be able to visit Belfast after all The Troubles in recent history); loved the small towns and the rugged coast line." This was my first time on an organized tour group and the first time with Rick Steves.It was well organized and led by Pascal, and while the weather was not the best, we still had a great time."I guess to the "wow" moment for me, was learning that parts of Northern Ireland are still very divided with neighborhoods in Derry and Belfast still divided by walls much like Berlin had been. We had a good mix of down time and group activities.We'll stop to tour the strikingly designed Great Blasket Centre, where we'll get an intimate look at the language, literature, and daily life of a traditional Gaelic Blasket community. Tonight we'll share dinner together and sleep in Galway (2 nights). There you can join your guide for a minibus tour 'round this dramatic island, including the site of its ancient, cliff-hanging Celtic fortress, Dun Aengus. We'll stop in the charming town of Cong (where Maureen O' Hara and John Wayne filmed in 1951), stroll through the picturesque abbey ruins, and visit the hawks of Ashford Castle. In Derry, a local guide will take us on a tour of the town, sharing stories about "the Troubles" and the infamous "Bloody Sunday" of 1972. Today we'll explore Northern Ireland's spectacular Antrim Coast, marveling at the bizarre basalt columns and local legends of the Giant's Causeway. This morning we'll drive to Belfast, the vibrant capital of Northern Ireland.Tonight we'll return to our home village, Dingle, with as much dancing and singing with new friends as we can handle. Or, you'll have plenty of time to set out on foot, hire a pony cart or pedal a bike to explore this windswept island on your own. Then we'll drive north to County Mayo and Westport, where we'll settle in for the evening. Then we'll drive on to the nostalgic seaside resort of Portrush, where we'll have dinner together and sleep (2 nights). After taking time to fortify yourself with a wee dram at the venerable Old Bushmills Distillery, we'll visit the romantic, clifftop ruins of Dunluce Castle. We'll begin at the Titanic Belfast visitor experience, located on the very site where the great ship was built.
Our trip to the Aran Islands had to be cancelled due to the weather but our guide Dara scrambled to arrange a local guide of Galway (Brian Nolan- superb) and also arranged a personal concert by two extremely gifted musicians. " Beautiful scenery, FANTASTIC food, wonderful travel companions, a remarkable tour guide (Dara), cool temps (we're from Houston after all, and crave cooler weather!