Best guided tour: Ireland in 5 days

Old May 5th, 2007, 02:39 PM
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Best guided tour: Ireland in 5 days

Hello
I hope you can help me. We have just found out we can visit Ireland the first week of June. (very close!!) We will have 6 days. My husband, my 17 year old son and I would prefer an escorted tour because my husband wants to relax a bit more, (no driving/directions/etc); he's been really overworked lately.

We are interested in ancient sites, castles, and nature. We grew up in New York, so we move fast and cover a lot of ground, but I know in a tour group that doesn't matter. We'd love to find a tour group that is fun and gets a lot accomplished.

We will 2 bags each because we have 3 more weeks to travel after Ireland, so public transportation sounds unattractive.

How can we have fun on an escorted tour seeing the Southeast and maybe West parts of Ireland in so few days? We do not have plane reservations yet, so we could fly into Dublin and out of Galway to Amsterdam. (which sounds efficient).

PLEASE PLEASE would you help me figure this out? I have so little time to plan.

Thanks so much
margie
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Old May 5th, 2007, 02:45 PM
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It would be difficult to tour Ireland in a week even with a guided tour. Moreover, relaxing won't be part of the agenda if you change hotels every night.

I would check with the major tour companies and see if anything they offer meets your needs.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 03:37 PM
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Hello again,
I've been looking at the tour companies. So far what I've found are 6 - 14 day tours. I realize I can't see Ireland in 5 days. I'd like to see a few highlights though!

A castle, some of the natural wonders, and perhaps an ancient site would do.

Thank you so very much for any help anyone can provide.

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Old May 5th, 2007, 03:50 PM
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Most tours by American based tour companies are for 2 weeks.

European tour companies might have shorter packages.

There is no guarantee that anything will be available for the particular dates you have chosen. I gather you have already paid for your airline tickets. It is hard to get a tour package if you buy your airline tickets first and have particular dates.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:09 PM
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some problems:

Tours aren't usually offered for 5 days.

you simply cannot "move fast and cover a lot of ground" - no matter what you are used to in NY. Driving in the scenic W/SW parts of the country you would be LUCKY to average 40 mpg - and even less on a tour bus.

There ain't nuthin' relaxing about a guided tour - especially the "1 week to see all of Ireland" variety. You have to pack and put your bags in the corridor by 7 a.m. every morning, finish breakfast by 8:00 and sit on a bus for then next 6-10 hours.

If you only have six days for Ireland and want to fly out of Galway - I'd fly into Shannon, rent a car and spend the entire time in a relatively small part of western Ireland. That would be a lot more restful/relaxing than a rushed coach tour (even IF you could find one)

Plus short "in country" bus tours are really geared to older folks and not 17yo's or their 30/40-something parents.

(Nothing to do w/ whether to tour or not -- but Why do you need 2 bags each?? 4 weeks doesn't mean you need 4X the clothing . . . .)
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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:36 PM
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Hi Margie,

We spent 10 days in Ireland and only visited the south and west. We flew into Shannon, had a taxi pick us up and drive us to Killarney, where we stayed for 3 days, then took another taxi to Galway & stayed there for 5 days. We visited relatives in Spiddal, which is 12 mi. out of Galway.

We took a day tour on a sightseeing bus out of Galway. Worked out well for us as we didn't want to drive either.

Unfortunately, you will be on a whirlwind visit of Ireland and won't get to see a lot of things. There is no such thing as "hurry" in the Irish language. They move at a very slow pace.

I would like to suggest that you visit this website: www.irelandexpert.com

Patricia Preston is an expert on Ireland. She does organized tours 3 times a year and is always sold out. She helped me plan our trip to Ireland a couple of years ago. She is very helpful and will give you some itinerary ideas. Distances in Ireland are much further apart than you think. The roads are narrow and travel is slow there.

Check out Pat's website and post what you would like to do there. She will advise you. She answers her posts very quickly also.

Good luck. Have a great trip.

May
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Old May 5th, 2007, 09:41 PM
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Pat Preston(IrelandExpert) is wonderful. Also another wonderful lady is Michele Erdvig( IrelandYes) both of their web-sites are very helpful.
I've said this many times, Ireland is a place to slow down, meet the people and you'll see beautiful scenery all over the island. You might want to find a base and relax.
Good Luck, Joan
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Old May 5th, 2007, 10:31 PM
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Here's another huge recommendation for Pat Preston and Michele Erdvig, and their websites. Incredible resources for visiting Ireland.

I'm not sure why, with 3 more weeks after, you are alloting only 6 days for Ireland, but you will probably want to pick one or two areas.

For next June, we plan to visit Ireland, but don't want a fully escorted tour, and don't really want to drive ourselves all over.

Our plan is to rent a car, spend several nights here and there, and take guided day tours (reasonably priced, favorable hours, they pick you up wherever you're staying) for seeing the "major" sights in each area.

You say you want to "get a lot accomplished", but also "relax a bit". Best might be to split your time between Dublin and Galway, or just select a region, the West, OR the Southeast, or two, and explore all of that.

My brothers (separately and together) have been to Ireland many times. They fly in to Dublin or Shannon, rent a car, drive to a larger town wherever, then visit the tourist office (or have the owner of their B&B make recommendations) to set up "excursions".
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Old May 6th, 2007, 07:36 AM
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Like others I don't know of nor do I think you'll find a 5 day tour. I would suggest flying into Dublin and taking any of the numerous day trip offerings. There are several tour companies which offer these tours.With your criteria it's probably the best option.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 07:43 AM
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I haven't used this company but have a look.

www.irishcitytours.com

They offer at least four day and half-day tours. There are other such companies as well.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 10:44 AM
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Hello again
After a bout with the flu, I just want to pop back in and thank everyone for their generosity and help.

I WISH we had more days to spend in Ireland!!! We are only able to fit in 5 days before a job in Holland.

I am going to write Ireland Expert and Ireland Yes right now. The trip is SO close and it is completely out of character for me to have this so unplanned.

If nothing else, we will stay in Dublin and do some day trips; hoping to be able to get back to Ireland and tour properly in the future.

Thanks again.
Margie
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Old May 18th, 2007, 05:18 PM
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Hello again
I have a question about the services of Michele at IrelandYes.com. Has anyone here used her to plan a trip? One thing I am curious about is whether or not she gets a kickback from hotels, etc. We had reserations at a nice hotel in the Temple Bar area, and she told us it would be loud there; (but in our ROOM?), and urged us to move to a different hotel. At the time, I felt happy and relieved, as if she had spared me a bad experience. Later, I got to wondering if she advised moving to another hotel, (one she specifically recommended) because she got a kickback.

Does anyone know if this is the case?

Thanks
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