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Ireland Small Group Tours

I have always been very skeptical of the idea of travelling with a group tour. I automatically pictured a coach of 50 people being herded from A to B and blindly following the crowd.

I honestly was so pleasantly surprised by Ireland and how accessible a small group tour made it. We had considered public transport and it just made towns like Dingle seem so inaccessible so then we changed direction to a small group tour. We found one with only 14 passengers (4 of which was ourselves) and hoped aboard. We got to see all the towns we wanted to see without any hassle and had so many activities lined up which we could opt out of if we wanted, so we felt we had control. I don't drink whisky, my husband does. So our guide dropped me into the shops while my husband attend a distillery with the group. I thought this was great.. I could do what I liked and wasn't tied to the group.

Anyway, I think a small-group tour is definitely worth considering as it can bring you to the remote locations without hassle. We travelled with a company called Overland Ireland (who I would highly recommend) but there are other operators so you can shop around to see what you think!

Posted by
82 posts

Another option to consider is traveling independently at your own pace, stopping as you wish. Then taking small group tours from there. There are several small group tours from Dublin into the beautiful Wicklow Mountains for example!

Posted by
14285 posts

Welcome to the Rick Steves forum with your first post.

As you go forward with travel you may want to do a lot of reading here to see how others are managing trips to Europe both independently and on group tours. These forums are very helpful!

I enjoyed Rick's 14 day Best of Ireland tour. His tours have 24-28 people, not the big 50 person tours. We did 3 nights in Dingle with a full day around the Dingle peninsula and a whisky distillery in Northern Ireland among other things.

I'm curious to ask if you've traveled other places in Europe? Where are you going next? What research did you do before settling on this tour company? How much did you wind up tipping your driver/guide? (I see this is suggested on their website)

I'm asking additional questions because I find myself feeling a bit skeptical of a first time poster who is touting a certain tour company. Although this forum is provided by a company that sponsors tours to Europe, they generously allow other tour companies to be discussed. It's good to know alternatives as long as the reviews are from travelers themselves and not the companies.