Ireland planning


Sep 27th, 2015, 05:05 AM
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Ireland planning

I'm planning a trip to Ireland for summer 2016 and have started reading and making lists of what we would like to see. Work schedules mean this needs to be a 9-12 day trip, probably in first half of June. It's a trip, too, not a vacation, want to see as much as possible in that time.
We do not drive on trips. I know -- that's very limiting! We like history, art, and nature but very little shopping. Ring of Kerry excursion is a must on this trip.
We have traveled very successfully with Globus in the past on a Reformation trip to Germany and on a Normandy trip to France by spending 3 days on our own in Berlin and Paris & then joining a tour that carries us around the countryside. Getting up early is no problem but being taken places that we have no interest in is and I'm having a problem finding a good tour of Ireland. Would prefer to avoid Waterford crystal.
The Globus hotels seem to be in more out of the way parts of the cities and towns than usual; I like to walk early in the morning before breakfast and after dinner. I also want to extend the trip by just one or two nights in Dublin and it is easier not to switch hotels but can, if necessary.
Globus tours are and Hotels on first, shorter tour look better located than the ones on the second trip, which includes wonderful sounding Aran Islands.
I saw an old post on the forum that mentioned C.I.E. and I will start looking at their tours. I'm used to Globus and try to avoid ones that travel too many miles -- learned that on first trips to England/Scotland and Italy with them.
Found an excellent Odyssey tour but it is only offered once in the summer and the time was when I absolutely can't get away from work.
Another old post mentioned Rabbies and Timberbush Tours. Timberbush seems to just go to Scotland but there are Rabbies tours in Ireland. They seem to operate very differently than the companies like Globus -- we are responsible for finding our own hotels, b & b, etc. Has anyone toured with Rabbies before or have another tour company to recommend?
CLBtravel is offline  
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Sep 27th, 2015, 07:35 AM
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Rick Steves has an 8-day Ireland tour. I took their Paris tour this summer and liked it. They use centrally-located hotels. Their Ireland tour concludes in Dublin, so it would be easy to add on a few days at the end.
Edward2005 is offline  
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Sep 27th, 2015, 08:44 AM
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Edward2005 wrote: "Rick Steves..."

There's the red rag.
Padraig is offline  
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Sep 27th, 2015, 10:00 AM
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Thanks for the Rick Steves advice. I looked at that tour earlier as well and don't think it had the Ring of Kerry drive which is important for us. I am using Rick Steves' Ireland book and one by Lonely Planet to come up with my list of places to visit. As well as a couple recent Ireland trip reports from this forum.
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Sep 27th, 2015, 12:23 PM
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St Rick takes you where he likes and forget everywhere anyone else likes. Go for it, then come back at some time and see Ireland.

Rabbies I admit bias, I know a couple of the drivers and they know their stuff, CIE reports always say how good the driver and guide are but nothing of substance about anything else.

I don't do tours and never will, not for me and having worked in "tour hotels" I value my time more than someone else's 6.30am to 6.30pm schedule and in bed by 9pm before the locals even think of going out.

If you want to see Ireland at your own pace then you can take public transport and local tours, sort your own accommodation and just base in 3 or 4 hubs like Dublin, Galway, Killarney and another option.
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Sep 27th, 2015, 12:47 PM
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Having been on a couple of tours, my travelling partner and I think the next time we will go on our own and book excursions from a base city. We don't like one night stands, and we can't remember everything we learned from tour escort because we probably fell asleep on the long bus ride. When we found a town or village we liked, we could not stay longer because we had to be on the bus at a certain time. There are positives and negatives about a tour, and of course, it depends on where one is travelling, but we have decided to tour on our own without driving.
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Sep 28th, 2015, 06:45 PM
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A friend of mine who is very independent, and yet loves to travel on tours was very happy with the DHTour group. Sorry, I myself haven't used them, as we do our own thing but she raved about this tour. I think she has been on 2 now. their site is Hope you have an amazing time in Ireland! It's hard not to!!
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Sep 28th, 2015, 06:56 PM
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"St Rick takes you where he likes and forget everywhere anyone else likes."

LOL - that's the point of a guided tour.
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