Grand Tour of Ireland

15 days
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About This Experience

In terms of size, Ireland is on par with the state of Indiana. But, in terms of culture and history, this small isle is incomparable. Delve beyond the sheep-dotted green landscapes to the cities and villages that span the country, all the way from Dublin to Londonderry. Mingle with Dubliners in traditional pubs, pick up a souvenir in Waterford, drive along the Ring of Kerry and walk across Giant’s Causeway. After 15 days of exploring, you’ll leave feeling like a local (if you can even bear to leave at all).

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 13 nights in handpicked hotels

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

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

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

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Doze all the way to Dublin on your overnight flight

Your trip begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to Dublin aboard an internationally recognized airline.

Dublin3 nights - hotel info

Day2

It may be a small capital, but it sure packs in a lot of charm

Breakfast (in flight), Dinner

Welcome to the Emerald Isle! A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport after you clear customs and escorts you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or begin acquainting yourself with Dublin. At an included dinner this evening, meet your fellow travelers.

Day3

From parks to patron saints, explore Dublin’s riches and relics

Breakfast

St. Patrick's Cathedral, Trinity College, Book of Kells

Join a local guide on a comprehensive sightseeing tour of the city. Drive past the River Liffey to Phoenix Park. The largest enclosed public park in Europe, Phoenix Park’s grounds include the Áras an Uachtaráin (the residence of the Irish president). Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded by Ireland’s patron saint in 450 A.D., and then explore Trinity College, where you might wish to view the illuminated Book of Kells in the university’s library.

Day4

Bono all the way to Yeats, get to know the city of artistic greats

Optional Excursion - Powerscourt & Glendalough

Optional Excursion - Traditional Irish Evening

Breakfast

Discover Dublin at your own pace today. Choose to stroll through St. Stephen’s Green or explore the Writers Museum. Or, join an optional excursion to the countryside of Wicklow to visit Powerscourt Estate, where you can walk through Ireland’s most beautiful formal gardens, and Glendalough, a romantic glen where St. Kevin founded Ireland’s most important monastery in the 6th century. Tonight, attend our optional excursion, a Traditional Irish Evening.

Optional Excursions

Powerscourt & Glendalough $79* pp

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.

Optional Excursions

Traditional Irish Evening $99* pp

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.

Waterford2 nights - hotel info

Day5

This morning, it’s back to the races…race horses, that is

Breakfast, Dinner

Irish National Stud, Kilkenny Castle

Leaving Dublin this morning, 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, where you are likely to glimpse the thoroughbreds being exercised or groomed. Continue to Kilkenny, Ireland’s best-preserved medieval town. Tour the imposing 12th-century Kilkenny Castle, built on a beautiful site overlooking the River Nore. Later, arrive in Waterford for an included dinner.

Day6

It’s true—no one does crystal quite like Waterford

Breakfast

Waterford Crystal Factory, Rock of Cashel

Your Tour Director leads an informal tour of Waterford, followed by a visit to the Waterford Crystal factory, where you’ll learn about their world-famous crystal. Then, journey to the Rock of Cashel, an outcrop of limestone dominating the surrounding Tipperary Plain. On this rock stand the ruins of the ancient seat of the kings of Munster. You might wish to explore St. Patrick’s Rock, a perfectly preserved round tower, and Cormac’s Chapel, with its intriguing Celtic carvings. Return to Waterford for the night.

County Kerry2 nights - hotel info

Day7

Brightly painted vistas welcome you to this small fishing village

Breakfast, Dinner

Queenstown Story Museum, Blarney Castle

Stop in the fishing village of Cobh, which served as a launch site for ships bound for North America centuries ago. Here, you’ll visit the Queenstown Story museum, whose exhibits tell the story of Irish emigration during the past 150 years. Then, travel through Cork, Ireland’s second-largest city. Next, visit Blarney Castle, the 15th-century fortress known for the legendary Blarney Stone, said to grant magical powers of eloquence to those who kiss it. Spend the night in County Kerry, where dinner is included tonight.

Day8

These 112 miles enclose the most incredible scenery in all of Ireland

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 gaze across Dingle Bay to Dingle Peninsula. This afternoon, enjoy unsurpassable views of the Skellig Islands, before continuing to the picturesque village of Sneem, the “Knot in the Ring,” where brightly painted cottages surround the cozy market green. Make a stop in Killarney, where you’ll have some free time to explore its wealth of shops and facilities.

Galway2 nights - hotel info

Day9

Travel all the way back to the turn of the century

Optional Excursion - Castle Banquet Dinner

Breakfast

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

Continuing north to County Clare, visit Bunratty Castle and tour Bunratty Folk Park, which imaginatively recreates Irish life at the turn of the century. Then, take a stroll through the scenic town of Adaire. End up in Galway, which for 400 years was an independent city-state. As recently as the 19th century, local citizens were still in the habit of setting their clocks 40 minutes behind Dublin time. Tonight, enjoy a “royal” evening out at our optional excursion, the Medieval Castle Banquet Dinner (seasonal).

Optional Excursions

Castle Banquet Dinner $115* pp

Enjoy a feast fit for a king inside Dunguaire Castle, a 17th-century castle 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, where you’ll enjoy a sumptuous, four-course dinner and an evening of live entertainment, including songs and stories. Please note: This excursion is seasonal from April to October.

Day10

Peer down over the Atlantic Ocean from a staggering 600 feet

Optional Excursion - Burren & Cliffs of Moher

Breakfast

Today you’re free to explore the city of Galway on your own, or join an optional excursion to the limestone plateau known as the Burren. The excursion also includes a stop to see the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, which rise up 600 feet from the Atlantic Ocean.

Optional Excursions

Burren & Cliffs of Moher $35* pp

Journey along the coast to the famous Cliffs of Moher. Whether admired from a safe distance or at 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.

Sligo1 night - hotel info

Day11

See Galway your way (we hope this includes a stop or two at a pub)

Breakfast

Kylemore Abbey

More wonderful scenery awaits as you travel across Connemara National Park, where you’ll visit Kylemore Abbey. Continuing through County Mayo, spend the night in the town of Sligo.

Derry Region2 nights - hotel info

Day12

Green, green and more green—just a taste of today’s backdrops

Breakfast, Dinner

Belleek Pottery

Journey through the landscapes immortalized in the poetry of William Butler Yeats, including the oddly shaped mountain that inspired Under Ben Bulben. You’ll also visit his grave in Drumcliffe churchyard. Crossing briefly into County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, take a tour to learn about the area’s iconic Belleek Pottery, whose distinctive basket-style design has been made since 1857. Arrive later in Derry, where a guided tour introduces you to the city. Travel to your hotel in the Derry region and enjoy dinner with your group.

Day13

Make your way through landscapes worthy of poetry

Breakfast

Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a- Rede Rope Bridge

Embark on a full-day excursion to the Antrim Coast, where you’ll experience one of the world’s most unusual natural formations: the 60-million-year-old Giant’s Causeway, a path of towering columns in the ocean, formed by volcanic lava that cooled rapidly over white chalk. Afterward, brave souls will have the opportunity to cross the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, with spectacular seascapes all around.

Dublin1 night - hotel info

Day14

Encounter the docks where the Unsinkable Ship was built

Breakfast, Dinner

Drive through the rolling countryside of Ulster en route to Belfast. On your guided tour of Northern Ireland’s capital, glimpse the copper-domed city hall, the shipbuilding docks where the Titanic was constructed and the recently restored Grand Opera House. Continuing back into the Irish Republic, return for a final night in Dublin, with an included farewell dinner.

Flight homefor a day

Day15

Wave goodbye to the Land of a Thousand Welcomes

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

A Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your return flight home.

Print This Page

About This Experience

In terms of size, Ireland is on par with the state of Indiana. But, in terms of culture and history, this small isle is incomparable. Delve beyond the sheep-dotted green landscapes to the cities and villages that span the country, all the way from Dublin to Londonderry. Mingle with Dubliners in traditional pubs, pick up a souvenir in Waterford, drive along the Ring of Kerry and walk across Giant’s Causeway. After 15 days of exploring, you’ll leave feeling like a local (if you can even bear to leave at all).

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 13 nights in handpicked hotels

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

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

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

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Doze all the way to Dublin on your overnight flight

Your trip begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to Dublin aboard an internationally recognized airline.

Dublin3 nights - hotel info

Day2

It may be a small capital, but it sure packs in a lot of charm

Breakfast (in flight), Dinner

Welcome to the Emerald Isle! A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport after you clear customs and escorts you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to relax or begin acquainting yourself with Dublin. At an included dinner this evening, meet your fellow travelers.

Day3

From parks to patron saints, explore Dublin’s riches and relics

Breakfast

St. Patrick's Cathedral, Trinity College, Book of Kells

Join a local guide on a comprehensive sightseeing tour of the city. Drive past the River Liffey to Phoenix Park. The largest enclosed public park in Europe, Phoenix Park’s grounds include the Áras an Uachtaráin (the residence of the Irish president). Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, founded by Ireland’s patron saint in 450 A.D., and then explore Trinity College, where you might wish to view the illuminated Book of Kells in the university’s library.

Day4

Bono all the way to Yeats, get to know the city of artistic greats

Optional Excursion - Powerscourt & Glendalough

Optional Excursion - Traditional Irish Evening

Breakfast

Discover Dublin at your own pace today. Choose to stroll through St. Stephen’s Green or explore the Writers Museum. Or, join an optional excursion to the countryside of Wicklow to visit Powerscourt Estate, where you can walk through Ireland’s most beautiful formal gardens, and Glendalough, a romantic glen where St. Kevin founded Ireland’s most important monastery in the 6th century. Tonight, attend our optional excursion for a traditional Irish evening.

Optional Excursions

Powerscourt & Glendalough $79* pp

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.

Optional Excursions

Traditional Irish Evening $99* pp

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.

Waterford2 nights - hotel info

Day5

This morning, it’s back to the races…race horses, that is

Breakfast, Dinner

Irish National Stud, Kilkenny Castle

Leaving Dublin this morning, 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, where you are likely to glimpse the thoroughbreds being exercised or groomed. Continue to Kilkenny, Ireland’s best-preserved medieval town. Tour the imposing 12th-century Kilkenny Castle, built on a beautiful site overlooking the River Nore. Later, arrive in Waterford for an included dinner.

Day6

It’s true—no one does crystal quite like Waterford

Breakfast

Waterford Crystal Factory, Rock of Cashel

Your Tour Director leads an informal tour of Waterford, followed by a visit to the Waterford Crystal factory, where you’ll learn about their world-famous crystal. Then, journey to the Rock of Cashel, an outcrop of limestone dominating the surrounding Tipperary Plain. On this rock stand the ruins of the ancient seat of the kings of Munster. You might wish to explore St. Patrick’s Rock, a perfectly preserved round tower, and Cormac’s Chapel, with its intriguing Celtic carvings. Return to Waterford for the night.

County Kerry2 nights - hotel info

Day7

Brightly painted vistas welcome you to this small fishing village

Breakfast, Dinner

Queenstown Story Museum, Blarney Castle

Stop in the fishing village of Cobh, which served as a launch site for ships bound for North America centuries ago. Here, you’ll visit the Queenstown Story museum, whose exhibits tell the story of Irish emigration during the past 150 years. Then, travel through Cork, Ireland’s second-largest city. Next, visit Blarney Castle, the 15th-century fortress known for the legendary Blarney Stone, said to grant magical powers of eloquence to those who kiss it. Spend the night in County Kerry, where dinner is included tonight.

Day8

These 112 miles enclose the most incredible scenery in all of Ireland

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 gaze across Dingle Bay to Dingle Peninsula. This afternoon, enjoy unsurpassable views of the Skellig Islands, before continuing to the picturesque village of Sneem, the “Knot in the Ring,” where brightly painted cottages surround the cozy market green. Make a stop in Killarney, where you’ll have some free time to explore its many charming shops.

Galway2 nights - hotel info

Day9

Travel all the way back to the turn of the century

Optional Excursion - Castle Banquet Dinner

Breakfast

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

Continuing north to County Clare, visit Bunratty Castle and tour Bunratty Folk Park, which imaginatively recreates Irish life at the turn of the century. Then, take a stroll through the scenic town of Adaire. End up in Galway, which for 400 years was an independent city-state. As recently as the 19th century, local citizens were still in the habit of setting their clocks 40 minutes behind Dublin time. Tonight, enjoy a “royal” evening out at our optional excursion during a banquet dinner at a medieval castle (seasonal).

Optional Excursions

Castle Banquet Dinner $115* pp

Enjoy a feast fit for a king inside Dunguaire Castle, a 17th-century castle 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, where you’ll enjoy a sumptuous, four-course dinner and an evening of live entertainment, including songs and stories. Please note: This excursion is seasonal from April to October.

Day10

Peer down over the Atlantic Ocean from a staggering 600 feet

Optional Excursion - Burren & Cliffs of Moher

Breakfast

Today you’re free to explore the city of Galway on your own, or join an optional excursion to the limestone plateau known as the Burren. The excursion also includes a stop to see the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, which rise up 600 feet from the Atlantic Ocean.

Optional Excursions

Burren & Cliffs of Moher $35* pp

Journey along the coast to the famous Cliffs of Moher. Whether admired from a safe distance or at 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.

Sligo1 night - hotel info

Day11

See Galway your way (we hope this includes a stop or two at a pub)

Breakfast

Kylemore Abbey

More wonderful scenery awaits as you travel across Connemara National Park, where you’ll visit Kylemore Abbey. Continuing through County Mayo, spend the night in the town of Sligo.

Belfast2 nights - hotel info

Day12

Green, green and more green—just a taste of today’s backdrops

Breakfast, Dinner

Journey through the landscapes immortalized in the poetry of William Butler Yeats, including the oddly shaped mountain that inspired “Under Ben Bulben.” Stop at Drumcliffe churchyard to pay your respects at Yeats’ grave. Continue on to Derry for a guided tour before ending the day in Belfast with an included dinner.

Day13

Make your way through landscapes worthy of poetry

Optional Excursion - Giant's Causeway

Breakfast

Titanic Museum

Start your day with a guided tour of Northern Ireland’s capital, offering a glimpse of the copper-domed city hall, the shipbuilding docks where the Titanic was constructed and the recently restored Grand Opera House. The tour includes a stop at the acclaimed new Titanic Museum. In the afternoon, opt for a trip to the Antrim Coast, where you’ll experience one of the world’s most unusual natural formations. The 60-million-year-old Giant’s Causeway is a path of towering columns in the ocean, formed by volcanic lava that cooled rapidly over white chalk.

Optional Excursions

Giant's Causeway $105* pp

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: Raingear is recommended for this excursion.

Dublin1 night - hotel info

Day14

Encounter the docks where the Unsinkable Ship was built

Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, return to the Irish Republic to spend a final night in Dublin, with an included farewell dinner.

Flight homefor a day

Day15

Wave goodbye to the Land of a Thousand Welcomes

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

A Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your return flight home.

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. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Clothing & Packing Tips

Pack light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes are recommended for sightseeing. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any event—a lightweight jacket and emergency rainwear are advised. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you will probably feel more comfortable in something more formal. Also, remember that it’s preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare 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.

Grand Tour of Ireland "Grand"

First of all, let us tell you how pleased we were with "Go Ahead Tours". Their handling of the logistics was outstanding from start to end. We did not have to handle our bags except at the airport. Our tour director, Johnathan, was fantastic. He is very knowledgble and kept us informed of the facts about Ireland as we made our way through the country. Ireland is so full of history and is a beautiful country, I only wish everyone could visit there. We can not tell you what it is really like. You must experience it for yourself. Go Ahead Tours coach (bus) was first class and so was our driver, Kieran. When and if you decide to tour Ireland, I hope you would consider Go Ahead Tours.


5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/29/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: IL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Highly underated vacation spot

Ireland was BEAUTIFUL! I would do it again in a heartbeat if given the chance!

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/16/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: IA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Sean

Gave us an overall history lesson of Ireland including politics and what has happen in his world, economics and sights and sounds.

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/16/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Best Tour Director and Best Time Ever

My first time in Ireland. Tom is an amazing tour director. In addition to teaching us the history of the country he read passages of Irish literature and poetry that were pertinent to each area we visited. He also taught us how to write limericks and encouraged us to do so. In the background, he always played wonderful lively Irish music. It takes a lot of time and a lot of caring to make Ireland come alive in such a magical way. Tom's warmth and charm made each passenger feel special. To me, Ireland's greatest asset is its people and Tom is a prime example of why that is so. Thank you Go Ahead and thank you Tom----I had the time of my life!!! i

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/24/2013

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing Tour!

Ireland is an amazing place to visit! The countryside is so green and beautiful and the people are so friendly! I loved this tour because we were able to see so much in such a small amount of time and I know that we wouldn't have been able to do it all on our own! We had great extra excursions and our tour director, Tom, did a great job of finding other small extras that made the trip even greater! We couldn't have asked for a better bus driver (Great Job Paddy!) and Tom was a wonderful storehouse of interesting information and had a great sense of humor! My husband and I truly had a wonderful time on our trip! Couldn't have asked for a better holiday!

review photo review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/24/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: KS

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Wonderful grand tour of Ireland

I truly enjoyed the tour of Ireland. Tom, the tour director, was diligent in providing a balance between exploring both modern and ancient Ireland while giving ample time for exploration and shopping. Ireland is a beautiful country and the people are warm and welcoming. I learned much about the history and the connections between the US and Ireland. The experience was fantastic and I hope to return again (and again)! Thanks to Paddy, our bus driver, for getting us to our destinations safe and on time. He and Tom were a great team.

review photo review photo review photo review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/24/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

First Tour

This was the first time my wife and I had ever been out of the country. We were very apprehensive about all the things that could or would go wrong. We felt that it would be best to have a tour company book everything for us so we would have one place to contact for complaints or problems. We also wanted to book a tour that would not move us every night so we would have some exploring time on our own.. We can honestly say that they were patient with us, many phone calls for information. We also never had a problem. Everything went very smoothly from the very beginning of the trip with booking or our Airline, flight and seats. When the tickets came everything was as booked. About the tour - Hotels with the exception of one, were as advertised. The one change I think was for the better at least as to location in Dublin, all were good. The meals provided were good and varied. Locations visited - We really enjoyed them. We would liked to have had a little more time at Kylemore Abbey, place is beautiful and relaxing. We were hoping to visit a woolen mill that would take us through the entire process of getting the wool from the sheep to a finished product. About the tour director - Tom - he was a hoot. He filled in dead time on the bus with entertaining and educational materials. I don't know how they assign tour directors but ask for him if you can. The bus driver - Paddy was great, professional and helpful as well. Ask for him as well. He keeps the bus spotless. Go Ahead Tours - I think the evaluation of the company you use is wouold you use them again and would you recommend them and the tour. The answer to both is a resounding yes. We will be planning a trip to Scotland next year as well as taking another three or four people with us

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/17/2012

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great tour director!

The Grand Tour of Ireland was our first trip to this beautiful island. We had all sorts of fanciful notions about the place, but the reality was sobering and enlightening. The land of fairies, poets and celtic bands lies under the feet of modern Ireland. This is a beautiful land of rolling hills, rocky mountains and green, green fields...and the great thing about this tour is that is provided an opportunity for those who really wanted to enjoy the natural beauty of the countryside to SEE it. From Dublin to the west, where we goggled at the beauty of the Ring of Kerry, up the western coast to Sligo, north to Belfast and its contentious arguments between Catholic and Protestant groups, and then back down the east coast to Duplin, we were served a delicious smorgasbord of natural delights. This is a wonderful country. The history of Ireland, sadly, has been violent and long suffering. Our excellent tour director proved a veritable historian. How can anyone hold so much information in their memories is beyond me? But as we rolled along through the countryside guided by our driver, Paddy, our tour director Tom told the story of the Irish from the earliest known times down to the present. One cannot gain an appreciation for modern Ireland without understanding of its history, its tragedies, its people, and its modern problems. And Tom certainly was able to tell us the stories of the times of trials. At the same time, his appreciation for the art and poetry of this land was remarkable. We were read poems by Yeats, played music from old and modern Irish musicians and of our own musicians who had been influenced by Irish music, and told stories from the myths and about heroes of ancient Ireland. I think that these were the things my wife and I were hungry for especially, for we come from a country only a couple of hundred years old--where modern culture and the frenetic pace of life tires one and leaves one searching for greater meaning and roots in a deeper ethic. Once outside the cities and factories and bars, we found that in the Land itself; in the small towns and rural countryside; in the desolation of the burren; the rocky, craggy mountains; the silver ocean and bays; and in the silence under grey, Irish skies.. If entertainment, songs and the merriment of bar-life is your thing, you will certainly find that in the towns and crossroads throughout Ireland. If cold castles dark are your thing, there are those in plenty...in ruin or in reconstruction all over the landscape. And if shopping and hand-crafts are your things, there are plenty of small, bright, curious shops to peruse. But if it is the Land that you hunger for, she lies waiting for all who would return to their roots in the Old Country. Green, lovely Ireland is still there. Go and find her. GoAhead provides a simple, economical way to go and see. And Tom can take you there, tell you the stories and look after you. It is great not to have to worry about so many of the details...like where to eat, where to stay, driving in an unknown country (with unfamiliar traffic rules) and security issues, or getting places on time. In this tour...and in past GoAhead Tours we've taken...I've seen how difficult it is to shepherd 20-30 travelers, satisfying all the divergent interests and still maintaining an attentive interest in each person's needs. It is a job for Hercules...or should I say, Cuchulain? Well done, Tom. Best regards Edward and Patsy North Carolina

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5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/24/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

Although we have traveled extensively, this was our first tour with Go Ahead Tours and our first trip to Ireland. We were very impressed with our Tour Director, Tom, who was extremely knowledgeable about Ireland in general and the areas in which we traveled in particular. Go Ahead Tours has a real gem in Tom and we will certainly plan our next tour with Go Ahead Tours. An incredible value for the price! Carolyn and Terry

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/24/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AZ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A wonderful experience

I'd wanted to visit Ireland as long as I can remember and The Grand Tour of Ireland was a wonderfully diverse experience. Our tour director, Tom, was knowledgeable and provided a colorful background of Irish history, culture, music, and myths. I experienced the beautiful countryside, the cities, the factories - and the shopping. The tour was organized well and ran on time. We had local guides who provided additional information and background. A mixture of organized travel and optional time to explore on our own was provided. I will fondly remember the time I spent in Ireland, along with our tour director and our bus driver, Paddy.

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5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/24/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

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