Ireland without a car

Feb 10th, 2010, 08:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Ireland without a car

I am hoping to travel this summer with my 22 year old daughter and have decided I do not want to the stress and responsibility of driving myself. I know this is the recommended way to see Ireland and I especially want to see the western part of the country. I don't want to be on a massive tour bus with the hordes seeing the standard tourist sights. Can anyone recommend a small mini-van tour or touring company? Where should we begin? Shannon rather than Dublin? Any ideas that don't cost a fortune?
learning123 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 08:52 AM
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1-800-GOSHAMROCK, Irish Tourist Board will at least give you a listing of companies and a wealth of info on the Emerald Island
Palenque is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 09:14 AM
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I spent 14 days in Ireland in 2003 with my 15 year old daughter. We did mostly the Irish bus system. We landed in Dublin and then took the DART to Dalkey (about 10 miles from Dublin), the we took a larger train to Waterford. From there we took the Irish buses to Kinsale, Dingle (our favorite), Lisdoonvarna, and then back to Dublin. We really did not like Dublin too much after being on the Western Coast. It was truly beautiful.
lrock is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 09:52 AM
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For something like Irock's travels be sure to investigate the Irish Rambler Pass (from Irish Tourist Board) that covers buses (often more viable than trains, which in Ireland are good on just a few key routes) and trains.
Palenque is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 10:10 AM
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I appreciate your advice. Thanks.
learning123 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 04:23 PM
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But back to the original question. Can anyone recommend a private mini-van or small tour group from their own personal experience? We also don't want to drive in Ireland. Thanks.
Marie93 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 04:49 PM
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lrock - did you submit a trip report on your 2003 trip? I would love to know details.
azzure is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 04:52 PM
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Not from experience, because I live in Ireland and drive a car, but these guys have a good reputation:

Their product is pitched at the young or young at heart. And, I gather, they don't cost a fortune.
Padraig is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 08:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
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i have been ti Ireland three times over the years and i am so happy for you that you get to go. the first time i did not have a car and the last two times i did. honestly i found it more stressfull to not have a car. it is so easy to get around that there realy is no problems. driving through Cork city and Dublin did prove to be a bit of a chalange but if you are staying on the west you would have no problem. to have the freedom to go and see what you want when you want is priceless!
travelingrodney is offline  
Feb 13th, 2010, 08:54 AM
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We (2M, 1F, casual acquaintences)arranged a tour with Tony Woods in Ennis, Co. Clare. Tony's Dad, Sheamus took us on a loop from Ennis to Lahinch, tha Cliffs of Moher, Doolin for lunch at Gus O'Connor's (RIP), the Burren, Corofin and back to Ennis for reasonable rate.

Most towns of any size will have a Taxi service you can book for local tours.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Feb 27th, 2010, 06:39 AM
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Marie93: We had great luck a few yrs ago w/O'Shea Travel. Anthony in Boston & his brother Seamus near Killarney really customized a mini=van tour for my husband & I w/our teen son. Not very cheap, but they will work w/you. We could not (IMO) have enjoyed the scenery as much if we'd been driving. Good luck!
runnerjefff is offline  
Feb 27th, 2010, 07:20 PM
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Thanks for these replies on a small van tour. I will investigate. And if anyone else has a suggestion, I'd be glad to hear it.
Marie93 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2010, 07:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We used Kennedy Coaches and our wonderful minivan driver and guide, Stephen, took great care of us throughout our entire journey. He knew all sorts of hidden backroads, small villages and off-the beat treasures ~ and kept us away from crowds. We were able to see Ireland from a local's perspective. We were very sad to part company with him. Check them out at
Arabella is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 07:44 AM
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Here's an option:

Fairly centralized location and they combine B&B with personalized touring.

Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 07:32 PM
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I have traveled to Ireland many time and there are really no tour companys with small buses, all are the larger motor coach types. You can take small tours to various sights from major cities like Galway or Dublin. You best bet would be to land in Dublin and hangout there for a few day then go back to the airport and pick up a car. It will give you freedom and you will see a lot more. There is a brand new highway from Dublin (N4) that will take you across the county in a few hours. If you check with your hotel I am sure they could find you a privite drive as the ecomony is not that great there but I bet it would cost plenty. Renting a car is the only way to go other than a motor coach tour.
Erov is offline  

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