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What is a good tour company for touring Ireland?

I have been researching tours of Ireland. We are in our mid 70s and would prefer a tour to doing it ourselves.
I have found some that look good. One is Rabbles. I found others from Gate 1, which we have friends that have used before and enjoyed the tour.

Posted by
246 posts

My mom and I used Royal Irish Tours. It was great. I went in July so a few people younger than 30 travelling with parents but most were in thier 60's and 70's. We saw a lot, hotels were well located not sure if it makes a difference but they are a Canadian company so most if not all of the people on the tour were Canadian. If they offered tours in other places than the UK I would look at them for future travel.

Posted by
9799 posts

I have not taken an overnight tour with Rabbies but multiple one day tours and they have all been excellent.

There are many tour companies offering tours of Ireland. Odysseys Unlimited has one:

https://odysseys-unlimited.com/tours/europe/enchanting-ireland/

I have taken three tours with them and have signed up for two more in 2022. Excellent company. Great customer service. Small groups, great hotels. The price quoted on their webpage includes airfare but you can call for just the land price.

Are you looking for anything specific?

Oh, you do know that the owner of this travel forum offers two tours of Ireland? (LOL)

Posted by
21202 posts

We have used Odysseys Unlimited for S America with great success so I would recommend them.

Posted by
767 posts

Not to be obvious but I felt the Rick Steves tour of Ireland was excellent.

Posted by
219 posts

Having taken five Rick Steves tours that were all terrific (but not to Ireland), I am obviously a fan and would probably choose one of his tours. His tours are my first choice inside Europe.

I have traveled once with Gate 1 - a wonderful tour of southern India. I would certainly travel with them again, particularly outside of Europe. One caveat - This was one of their “Discovery” or “small group” tours, limited to 22 travelers. Their standard tours are cheaper, but can have as many as 40 travelers - too many for my taste.

I have also traveled twice with OAT (Overseas Adventure Travel) to Myanmar/Laos and Morocco, and these were also very good tours. They limit their groups to 16, so they are probably more expensive, but not crazy expensive.

I have heard good things from other travelers about Odyssey Unlimited and Road Scholar.

When choosing a tour, you need to look at the details carefully and focus on what is most important to you. What is the itinerary? How many nights do you spend at each location? Where is the hotel located? How much free time is provided? Does the tour cover your “must-sees” or will there be free time for you to do these on your own? What meals are included? Are there optional tours that add to the cost? What is the tipping policy and how much will that add to the cost? How many people will be in the group? What is their cancellation policy and what was their track record during the pandemic? You get the idea.

Also, I always add some independent time before and/or after the tour. Never regretted doing that!

Posted by
1163 posts

I have traveled with both Odysseys and RS. Both are great tour companies. I look at the itinerary first and foremost before I decide. I would not travel with a company that travels with more than 26 or 27 people. I had a tour to Morocco with OAT for 2020 which sadly didn’t happen. I did notice that they nickel and dime you for extra excursions but I liked their itinerary and would have traveled with them except for covid.

Posted by
2 posts

I used CIE tours with my daughter - at the time she was 14. They were very accommodating to our particular needs and helped the between destination travel be interesting and flexible.

Posted by
259 posts

If you’re looking for a tailor made trip give Audley Travel a look.

Posted by
1954 posts

I went on the Rick Steves 8 Days Heart of Ireland tour which was wonderful but have regretted I didn’t take the 14 Days Best of Ireland tour. Take a look at the itineraries for each and decide if one of them appeals to you. His groups are limited to 24 to 28 people. Friendly, congenial and well-traveled people.
And, they don’t nickel and dime you or ask for tips or take you to shops specifically for shopping. His tours are all about the culture and history of Europe. When you sign up for a tour, your price is locked in.
I’ve taken 7 tours with RS and enjoyed them very much!

Posted by
153 posts

Driftwood is a tour option with Vagabond Tours of Ireland, and the maximum group size is 15. They are a great company with wonderful tours. I did get tire of changing hotels every night except one on our 12 day tour, though.