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Grand Tour of Ireland

15 days (13 days in 2017)
Travel beyond the green, sheep-dotted landscapes to the cities and villages that span the country, all the way from Dublin to Derry. Mingle with Dubliners in traditional pubs, pick up a sparkling souvenir in Waterford, drive along the Ring of Kerry and walk across Giant’s Causeway. After two weeks of exploring, you’ll leave feeling like a local (if you can even bear to leave at all).

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers

Tour Pace: You will walk for about 1 hour daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and unpaved trails, with some hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 13 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of tour of Ireland

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Dublin today.

Dublin 3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Dublin

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to the Emerald Isle! Settle in, then meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast

Take a guided tour of Ireland’s charming capital city.

• Pass St Stephen’s Green and admire the Georgian architecture of Merrion Square

• Walk down Grafton Street to see the Molly Malone statue and Trinity College

• Stop in Phoenix Park, site of the presidential residence

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral

• End your tour with an included pint at a local pub in the Temple Bar district

Day 4: Free day in Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day exploring Dublin on your own or add excursions.

Optional Excursion - Powerscourt & Glendalough $89pp* Details

County Wicklow is home to some of the wildest and most spectacular scenery in Ireland, as well as two of the country’s most important historic sites. Your first stop is at the picturesque village of Enniskerry, where you’ll visit Powerscourt, an elegant country mansion with the finest formal gardens in the country. Later, continue on to Glendalough, which became famous throughout Europe as a center of Christian learning before it was sacked by Viking crusaders in the 10th century. You’ll also see St. Kevin’s Cross, the remains of the 6th-century cathedral and the remarkable Round Tower, thought to have been used by the monks as a place of refuge.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $99)

Optional Excursion - Traditional Irish Dinner & Show $109pp* Details

Enjoy this special evening of Irish food, music and live entertainment. Dinner will be served first, giving you a taste of traditional Irish dishes. You’ll then be treated to a live show of Irish music and dance. Join in the fun as you enjoy a merry and memorable night. Please note: The specific venue and day of the week for this optional may change due to availability. This optional is seasonal and runs from April through October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Waterford 2 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Waterford via County Kildare & Kilkenny

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Leaving Dublin, travel a short distance southwest to County Kildare.

• Visit the Irish National Stud farm, where world-class race horses are bred and trained

• Explore the stables and glimpse thoroughbreds being exercised and groomed

• Continue to Kilkenny, Ireland’s best-preserved medieval town

• Tour the imposing 12th-century Kilkenny Castle, overlooking the River Nore

Day 6: House of Waterford Crystal & Rock of Cashel

  Included meals: Breakfast

Your Tour Director introduces you to Waterford’s legendary sites and exports.

• Visit the House of Waterford Crystal to learn about its world-famous glassware

• Journey to the Rock of Cashel, a cluster of medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone dominating the Tipperary plain

• View the ruins of the ancient seat of the kings of Munster and see Celtic carvings at Cormac’s Chapel

County Kerry 2 nights Hotel info

Day 7: County Kerry via Cobh & Blarney Castle

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Get a feel for the many sides of Ireland, from small villages to vibrant cities and iconic castles.

• Stop in the fishing village of Cobh, once a launch site for ships bound for North America

• Visit the Queenstown Story museum to hear tales of Irish emigration

• Climb to the top of Blarney Castle to kiss the famed Blarney Stone, which is said to grant the “gift of gab”

Later, arrive in County Kerry for the night.

Day 8: Ring of Kerry

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel around the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. 

• Pass the pristine Lakes of Killarney  and the dramatic Dingle Bay

• Take in unsurpassable views of the Skellig Islands, then explore the picturesque villages that line the Ring of Kerry

Galway 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Galway via County Clare

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set out for Galway, stopping to explore County Clare along the way.

• Visit Bunratty Castle and tour Bunratty Folk Park, which recreates Irish life at the turn of the century 

After arriving in Galway, enjoy a free evening or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Castle Banquet Dinner $125pp* Details

Enjoy a feast fit for a king inside Dunguaire Castle, a 17th-century tower house overlooking Galway Bay. Sip from a goblet of mead and learn the history of the castle before proceeding up the spiral staircase to the banquet hall. Here, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous, four-course dinner and an evening of live entertainment, including songs and stories. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from mid-April through mid-October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $135)

Day 10: Free day in Galway

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Galway on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Burren & Cliffs of Moher $45pp* Details

Journey along the coast to the famous Cliffs of Moher. Whether admired from a safe distance or a the cliffs’ edge, the views from these heights will amaze you. Continue on to the Burren, an austere landscape known for its slate-grey rock fields dotted by rare wildflowers. Please note: This excursion is weather dependent, and your views may be impacted by fog.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $55)

Sligo 1 night Hotel info

Day 11: Sligo via Connemara National Park

  Included meals: Breakfast

Immerse yourself in the postcard-perfect scenery of Connemara, where you’ll visit Kylemore Abbey and its gardens. Later, spend the night in the town of Sligo.

Belfast 2 nights Hotel info

Day 12: Belfast via Derry

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

On your way to Northern Ireland, journey through the landscapes immortalized by the poetry of William Butler Yeats. 

• Stop at Drumcliffe churchyard to pay your respects at Yeats’ grave

• Continue on to Derry, Northern Ireland’s second-largest city, for a guided tour before heading to Belfast

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Belfast

  Included meals: Breakfast

Start your day with a guided tour of Northern Ireland’s capital.

• Glimpse the copper-domed city hall

• Pass the shipbuilding docks where the Titanic was constructed and learn about the ship’s ill-fated journey at the Titanic Belfast galleries

• View the recently restored Grand Opera House

Enjoy a free afternoon or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Giant's Causeway $89pp* Details

Pay a visit to the rugged Giant’s Causeway, a series of naturally formed hexagonal basalt columns. The columns, which you can walk on, are 60 million years old and originated as volcanic lava. A colorful local legend says that mythical giant Finn McCool built the walkway so that he could cross the sea to Scotland. Please note: Rain gear is recommended for this excursion.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $99)

Dublin 1 night Hotel info

Day 14: Transfer to Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Return to the Irish Republic to spend a final night in Dublin. Then, say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner.

Day 15: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 11 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of tour to Ireland

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Dublin today.

Dublin 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Dublin

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to the Emerald Isle! Settle in, and then meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Dublin

  Included meals: Breakfast

Take a guided tour of Ireland’s charming capital city.

• Pass St. Stephen’s Green and admire the Georgian architecture of Merrion Square

• Walk down Grafton Street to see the Molly Malone statue and Trinity College

• Stop in Phoenix Park, site of the presidential residence

• Step inside the soaring St. Patrick’s Cathedral

• End your tour with an included pint at a local pub in the Temple Bar district

Spend the day exploring Dublin on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Powerscourt Estate & Gardens $39pp* Details

Named the third most beautiful in the world by National Geographic, the Italianate gardens of Powerscourt Estate rival even the immaculately manicured flowerbeds of Versailles. Spend time wandering through these sprawling grounds and exploring the Palladian-style country house that lies at the heart of the property. Once a 13th-century castle, this opulent home underwent extensive renovations in the 1700s to transform it into the grand hall it is today.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $49)

Waterford 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Waterford via Glendalough & Kilkenny

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Leaving Dublin, travel a short distance southwest to County Kildare.

• Enter Wicklow Mountains National Park and make your way to the Glendalough Visitor Centre to learn about the historic site

• Explore the ancient monastery, passing by the Round Tower, stone churches and decorated crosses

• Continue to Kilkenny, Ireland’s best-preserved medieval town

• Tour the imposing 12th-century Kilkenny Castle, overlooking the River Nore

• Enter the Gothic St. Canice’s Cathedral, built in the 13th century

Day 5: Waterford Crystal Factory & Rock of Cashel

  Included meals: Breakfast

Your Tour Director introduces you to Waterford’s legendary sites and exports.

• Visit the Waterford Crystal Factory to learn about its world-famous crystal

• Journey to the Rock of Cashel, an outcrop of limestone dominating Tipperary Plain

• View the ruins of the ancient seat of the kings of Munster, see Celtic carvings at Cormac’s Chapel and explore St. Patrick’s Rock, a perfectly preserved round tower

County Kerry 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: County Kerry via Cobh & Blarney Castle

  Included meals: Breakfast

On your way to County Kerry, get a feel for the many sides of Ireland, from small villages to vibrant cities and iconic castles.

• Stop in the fishing village of Cobh, which once served as a launch site for ships bound for North America

• Visit the Cobh Heritage Centre to hear tales of Irish emigration

• Climb to the top of Blarney Castle to kiss the famed Blarney Stone, which is said to grant the “gift of gab”

Later, enjoy a free evening in County Kerry or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Irish Music & Dance Show $99pp* Details

Tonight, head outside of Killarney and sit down to a hearty three-course dinner. After your meal, watch as talented musicians, singers and prize-winning dancers put on a show filled with traditional Irish tunes and choreography.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Day 7: Ring of Kerry

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel around the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers some of Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. 

• Pass the pristine Lakes of Killarney

• Explore the picturesque villages that line the Ring of Kerry

• Stop for photos at Muckross Lake and Lough Leane in Killarney National Park

Galway 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Galway via County Clare

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set out for Galway, stopping to explore County Clare along the way.

• Visit Bunratty Castle, a 15th-century tower house located in Bunratty Village

• Tour Bunratty Folk Park, which recreates Irish life at the turn of the century 

After arriving in Galway, enjoy a free evening or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Castle Banquet Dinner $125pp* Details

Enjoy a feast fit for a king inside Dunguaire Castle, a 17th-century tower house overlooking Galway Bay. Sip from a goblet of mead and learn the history of the castle before proceeding up the spiral staircase to the banquet hall. Here, you’ll enjoy a sumptuous, four-course dinner and an evening of live entertainment, including songs and stories. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from mid-April through mid-October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $135)

Day 9: Free day in Galway

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day in Galway on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Burren & Cliffs of Moher $45pp* Details

Journey along the coast to the famous Cliffs of Moher. Whether admired from a safe distance or a the cliffs’ edge, the views from these heights will amaze you. Continue on to the Burren, an austere landscape known for its slate-grey rock fields dotted by rare wildflowers. Please note: This excursion is weather dependent, and your views may be impacted by fog.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $55)

Sligo 1 night Hotel info

Day 10: Sligo via Connemara National Park & Kylemore Abbey

  Included meals: Breakfast

Immerse yourself in the postcard-perfect scenery of Connemara, where you’ll visit Kylemore Abbey. Later, spend the night in the town of Sligo.

Belfast 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Belfast via Derry

  Included meals: Breakfast

On your way to Northern Ireland, journey through the landscapes immortalized by the poetry of William Butler Yeats. 

• Stop at Drumcliffe churchyard to pay your respects at Yeats’ grave

• Continue on to Derry, Northern Ireland’s second-largest city, for a guided tour before heading to Belfast

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Belfast

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Start your day with a guided tour of Northern Ireland’s capital.

• Glimpse the copper-domed City Hall

• Pass the shipbuilding docks where the Titanic was constructed and learn about the ship’s ill-fated journey at the Titanic Belfast Museum

• View the recently restored Grand Opera House

Enjoy a free afternoon or add an excursion.

This evening, say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner.

Optional Excursion - Giant's Causeway $89pp* Details

Pay a visit to the rugged Giant’s Causeway, a series of naturally formed hexagonal basalt columns. The columns, which you can walk on, are 60 million years old and originated as volcanic lava. A colorful local legend says that mythical giant Finn McCool built the walkway so that he could cross the sea to Scotland. Please note: Rain gear is recommended for this excursion.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $99)

Day 13: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Waterford, Ireland
  • County Kerry, Ireland
  • Galway, Ireland
  • Sligo, Ireland
  • Belfast, Ireland
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & Visa Requirements

In order to enter Ireland, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the Irish consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & Packing Tips

We recommend packing light, loose-fitting clothing that is easily layered. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes are recommended for sightseeing, as are a lightweight jacket and emergency rainwear. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you may also want to bring more formal attire. Please be respectful when visiting churches or other religious sites and refrain from baring legs and shoulders (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Ireland. Be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

Traditional Irish cooking is simple, relying heavily on meat-based dishes. Traditional Irish stew, bacon and boiled cabbage are always popular choices. Soda bread is delicious and very filling, as are Irish cakes, such as scones and Barm Brack. The thick black stout known as Guinness is a national institution in its own right. In recent years, Dublin has seen something of a culinary revolution, and the city now boasts an impressive array of new restaurants offering exciting and sometimes unexpected cuisine.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Dublin. Included transportation is by private motor coach. Most of the destinations are walkable, but you may want to spend free time exploring Dublin by using public transportation. The city is serviced by numerous buses. If you wish to venture outside of Dublin on your own, use the very efficient Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART) trains, which reach most locations on the coast.

Electricity

Ireland operates on the European standard 220 volts.

Time Zones

Ireland falls on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Currency

The euro and the British pound (in Northern Ireland) are the currencies you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards and credit cards. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

How's the weather?

  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Waterford, Ireland
  • County Kerry, Ireland
  • Galway, Ireland
  • Sligo, Ireland
  • Belfast, Ireland
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & Visa Requirements

In order to enter Ireland, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the Irish consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & Packing Tips

We recommend packing light, loose-fitting clothing that is easily layered. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes are recommended for sightseeing, as are a lightweight jacket and emergency rainwear. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you may also want to bring more formal attire. Please be respectful when visiting churches or other religious sites and refrain from baring legs and shoulders (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Ireland. Be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Cuisine

Traditional Irish cooking is simple, relying heavily on meat-based dishes. Traditional Irish stew, bacon and boiled cabbage are always popular choices. Soda bread is delicious and very filling, as are Irish cakes, such as scones and Barm Brack. The thick black stout known as Guinness is a national institution in its own right. In recent years, Dublin has seen something of a culinary revolution, and the city now boasts an impressive array of new restaurants offering exciting and sometimes unexpected cuisine.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Dublin. Included transportation is by private motor coach. Most of the destinations are walkable, but you may want to spend free time exploring Dublin by using public transportation. The city is serviced by numerous buses. If you wish to venture outside of Dublin on your own, use the very efficient Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART) trains, which reach most locations on the coast.

Electricity

Ireland operates on the European standard 220 volts.

Time Zones

Ireland falls on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Currency

The euro and the British pound (in Northern Ireland) are the currencies you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/ATM cards and credit cards. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/6/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fabulous Tour

First time for us to take a tour instead of doing it on our own. First of all we had an excellent tour director!! Cathal is knowledgeable, inspiring and he made the tour become alive with history, poetry, music, humor and a great personality. He got to know all of us in the tour. Loved the comfort and flexibility and the hotels were very nice. In particular, the Granville Hotel in Waterford. We also liked that we had some free time to pursue our own interests. Our driver was also very skilled and we felt very safe with him. Overall the entire tour was great and also the rest of the people on the tour were very nice and friendly. Yes, we are already thinking about our next tour. Silvia and John

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/5/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing trip with the BEST tour director!

This trip was amazing! I'm still in awe that I was able to see an entire country on one trip. The country is gorgeous, the people are lovely, food was great (get ready for potatoes) and the Go Ahead staff (director Cathel & driver Steven) made the trip memorable! Our director "Mr. C" kept the trip exciting by telling us history of places we were passing, playing local music and answering all our questions (we kept them coming), it was never a boring ride on the bus! I'm in love with Ireland and will definitely be back!

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/21/2015

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: CO

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Tour Director

Isabella was very good. Friendly, knowledgeable and organized. My wife and I both feel like a tour director who was a native of Ireland could have brought more personal experiances, family history and current Irish happenings to the tour and made it even better.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 8/3/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

decent value for the money

As with any land tour there never seems to be enough time to see everything. All in all a very well run tour. Tour director was great, very well informed and helpful. We wouldn't have minded missing the national stud farm. Seen one horse you've see 'em all, and that is form folks who have horses. In our opinion we would have appreciated the additional time to roam the town of Killkenny after visiting the castle. Plenty of free time in Dublin and the location of the hotel was perfect. There were some problems at the Dublin hotel. Many in the group found that their room keys didn't work the 2nd day. Easy fix but annoying. Also no adaptors available at the front desk altho you could buy one. Finally on the last nights farewell dinner the hotel listed one of the menu choices incorrectly. Just a bit sloppy in our opinion. Other minor nit to pick was the day slated for Sligo. There was a big music festival slated for the day we were supposed to spend there so they moved us down the coast an hour to a nice hotel but in a very isolated spot. Personally I would have loved to spend the night in Sligo just for the music. They're worry was the noise level and access for the bus. Except for the detour at Sligo all the hotels were right in the middle of town, and in easy walking distance from most of the major sights.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/7/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Excellent , Fabulous, just Grand!!!

This is my first time with Go Ahead Tours and for sure it will not be the last, the tour could not have been any better! I travel alone and was not hesitant to do so given that I knew I would be meeting others in the tour group. Truly the Grand Tour of Ireland was Grand. I have no complaints about any part of this tour. I just returned from the trip, the time of year for Ireland was September in my opinion. Not too hot and not too cold. We did have some rain, but it's Ireland so of course it rained. I would not have expected any different, it added to the experience. Definitely take a rain jacket and a warm jacket, thinly lined just enough to keep you warm without the bulkiness of a heavy coat. Sean, our tour guide, was absolutely phenomenal. He was very knowledgeable and was just excellent in educating our group with the history and places of Ireland. Sean was very approachable, his personality was spot on fun and it was a pleasure to deal with him. Our tour bus driver, Paddy, was another person that made our tour safe and fun to be on. We were amazed how well he navigated through some of the narrowest of roads throughout the country side. Both were very professional and informative. Tour groups are made up of various individual personalities and to be able to manage these many levels of personalities I give both Sean and Paddy a job well done. My next tour is going to be of Italy and that will be the grand tour as well. How can you not do the entire country. The price was in line with what Go Ahead arranges. To have done this on my own it would have cost far more and I am sure I would not have seen the entire country and would not have gotten the historical commentary that Sean provided. The air travel, hotel, some meals and transportation is a huge thing to plan on your own, thank goodness for Go Ahead Tours. Very impressed and as I mentioned to friends before I went on the trip, "let's see how this tour goes because it will determine if I go through Go Ahead again". Well it is making me book another tour for next year! I look forward to many more travels with Go Ahead.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/6/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

Sean was our amazing tour director who scheduled us to see the sites at the most convenient times, without a ton other visitors! Due to his local knowledge of Ireland and her history, we learned so much about the past and the culture and saw more of Ireland in two weeks than most people from Ireland have seen in a lifetime! Sean tweeked our itinerary to give us more time at the best spots! Despite a negative visitor on the trip, and an older couple who were continually late and falling behind, Sean kept his cool and patience, turning out a fantastic grand tour of Ireland. I would travel anywhere with Sean as the guide! Coupled with Paddy, our driver, we saw so many places I would never has visited by car!

review photo review photo review photo
1 / 3

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/7/2015

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: AZ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Great Trip to Value

GoAhead does a very good job of hitting all the top spots on your tour and the value is excellent. We just completed our third trip with GoAhead and will return again. Our director, Sean, (Ireland) was fantastic! I believe GoAhead does a fabulous job at hiring very knowledgeable individuals to lead you on your tour. I commend not only GoAhead but Sean for doing a fantastic job. Our bus driver was also wonderful. Thanks

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/9/2015

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: KS

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Everyone's a little bit Irish after this trip!

The Grand Tour of Ireland was in a word FANTASTIC! It was the best way to see this lovely country and all it has to offer. Our tour guide was friendly, knowledgeable and very pleasant as were our bus drivers. We were able to cover a lot of ground in the time we had and it wasn't until I consulted a map after returning home that I realized just how much of the Emerald Isle we saw. Some of my favorite moments included the visit to the Irish Stud Farm (beautiful horses!); Waterford; Galway; Queenstown; Giant's Causeway and Titanic Belfast. The local tour in Derry was also very informative. It provided the perfect context for the days we spent in Northern Ireland. Kylemore Abbey was also a must-see, even in the rain. All in all, it was a great trip and I highly recommend it.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 6/1/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Tour insurance lacking

We loved the tour, although the airline cancellations an attitudes were truly abominable. We had trip insurance though, and sent in all the appropriate info. Because we were late arriving in Dublin, thanks to the airline, we had to take a taxi to our hotel. Go ahead instructed us to get a receipt for the ride which we did, but Seven Corners refused to reimburse us for the taxi ride. What's the point of getting a receipt? Go ahead does great tours, we will do more in the future, but we will make our own reservations, I think, and plan to arrive two days earlier than the tour start date, to be sure we are there on time. Oh, and we will take only carry ons, as our checked baggage took a detour thru Kansas city and so arrived more than two days later than we did.

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Dear Ruth, Thank you very much for continuing to travel with Go Ahead, and for choosing us for your most recent adventure to Ireland! We were sorry to learn that you had a negative experience with the insurance company and the airline. We have contacted the insurance company on your behalf to find out more about what could be done, and what had been done already. With the policy you purchased, you are eligible for up to $120 per covered participant, per day delayed, which is the amount that you were refunded in this case. Unfortunately, no additional refunds are available to you through the insurance policy you purchased at this time, but we’re glad to see you were able to get the full reimbursement to help cover expenses incurred during your delay. Thank you again for traveling with us and for writing your review. We are so pleased that you will travel with us again, and we hope to welcome you onto another Go Ahead tour soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 08, 2015

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/15/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AK

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Outstanding tour guide and drivers

I am in the process of transcribing my journal from my "Grand Tour of Ireland." It was a wonderful tour and provided exactly what I wanted: a thorough tour of the major sites of Ireland with trouble-free logistics. Our tour director, Cathal , was fantastic: a history teacher who was able to impart his knowledge of Irish history as we traveled. He was also unflappable and well-organized. Several participants were delayed by a day and a half, but he coped with their late arrival without a problem. For the most part the hotel accommodations were excellent: convenient, comfortable, and efficiently run. I would recommend GAT without question to anyone desiring a tour. My only improvement on this tour would have been an introductory evening so the participants could become better acquainted. Otherwise, I am delighted to have been able to take this tour.

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