18731
Ireland
The Best of Ireland: The Coast, the Countryside and Dublin
Discover ancient relics on the Islands of Aran, enjoy an exclusive dinner in Glenlo Abbey, explore the beauty and history of Dingle Peninsula and learn about the Dublin of James Joyce.
Rating (4.93)
Program No. 18731RJ
Length
15 days
Starts at
2,999
Flights start at
675
71 Reviews
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4.93 Average
Wayne
(5)
Excellent itinerary, with most of the time spent on the spectacularly beautiful west coast of Ireland -- but enough time also allocated for Dublin. I learned a lot about different aspects of Ireland -- history; topography; wildlife; folklore; history; politics; literature; you name it. Our guide, John O'Shea was helpful, funny, and full of blarney! Our group of 22 also proved very compatible -- but I guess that's to be expected on Road Scholar trips! The one disappointment was a poorly done dinner with a local family in Killarney where we were paired with various local families. Was much more formal and less conversation that I expected -- hopefully this will be improved, as many in our group found it didn't match up with our expectations. But this one negative shouldn't obscure that many, many positives of this trip. Overall, definitely a trip worth taking.
Joyce
(5)
This trip was absolutely "the best". Our group was diverse but traveled well together. Our group leader was superb and we had great weather!!
Susan
(4)
The local guides at the various points of interest were fabulous! Road Scholar does a great job of organizing their programs.
Craig
(5)
The Best of Ireland program offered by Road Scholar is a great mix of urban Irish life starting in the small town of Killarney and finishing in the larger urban setting of Dublin between which is a week of travel up through the lush and immensely beautiful West Coast of Ireland all the way from the Iveragh and Dingle Peninsulas up through Galway and the Cliffs of Moher and the Island of Inis Mor to County Donegal and remote Glencolmcille. Literary scholars and historians as well as geologists and botanists will be pleased with the local guides who provide in-depth knowledge and a uniquely Irish entertainment of speech.
Mary
(5)
This program is well thought out-progressing from the green rolling hills of Ireland movies cannot capture and concluding in modern Dublin with its blend of edginess and tradition.
Susan
(5)
Wonderful way to see most of Ireland. Would highly recommend RS trips for their care for details and educational value. Great value for the price as well.
Paula
(5)
Excellent trip to Ireland. Lovely scenery, a well-informed guide and coordinator. All of the guides provided good insight and information about the stops on our itinerary. We had a great group of participants who were all friendly and compatible. Our weather was great most of the time and we had excellent meals.
Charles
(5)
The trip was amazing. We can't say enough great things about the whole trip. Working with Roads Scholar before we left was wonderful. Every day on the trip was better than the day before. Impossible I know. We'd do it again.
Sue
(5)
Not just a trip, a learning, enriching experience. A joy to be a group that was inclusive and humurous.
Janice
(5)
If you enjoy learning a great deal about Ireland, this is the program for you. We met wonderful people in our group and wonderful people in Ireland. Two highlights were an evening home visit with a host family and a visit to a boy's school where we entertained with music and learned about Ireland's educational syste.
David
(5)
The best trip you could take for a wonderful and education of Ireland the beautiful island nation.
Lill
(5)
This trip was a dream come true. The itinerary was not overly ambitious and the free time built in to the schedule was much appreciated for shopping or visiting points of interest not included in the tour. The size of the group was very manageable and the Group Leader, plus his Mentee, were delightful. The educational opportunities provided by the local experts, performers, guides, etc. were top-notch and were what made the trip so memorable. I had been researching a trip to Ireland and had found one that I thought I would take, until I visited with friends who had just returned from a RS trip to Cuba and had been very satisfied with the experience. So, I browsed through the catalog, found this trip (West Coast, Countryside and Dublin) and booked it for less money and more days than the other trip I had been considering. Thank you, Road Scholar, for providing a wonderful, economical travel experience. (I am already looking at a possible RS trip to Churchill, Manitoba, to see the polar bears!)
Rick
(5)
This excursion provides a balanced blend of organized touring and "free time" to experience the wonderful environment, culture and history of Ireland from its west coast to Dublin. The coastal walks and views were extraordinary. The experiences shared with your new traveling Group friends or discussions with the local Irish at the pubs are memorable. This wonderful taste of Ireland will make one want to return.
Becky
(5)
The breadth and depth of this adventure--from spectacular countryside, to person-to-person encounters with Irish citizens, to city explorations, to knowledgeable instructors--make this an outstanding Road Scholar experience. Whether this might be your first trip to Ireland, or you've visited this country before, this is an excellent adventure!
Vicki
(5)
This Road Scholar tour truly showcased the beauty, history, and people of Ireland. Our group of 24 stayed in comfortable hotels and had most meals provided with many choices. Fresh fish options were abundant. The coast included beautiful drives along the Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula. We were blessed with sunshine every day until our arrival in Dublin. Other highlights of the coast included the stunning Cliffs of Moher and a day at Inis Mor. The green countryside included so much beauty of small farms and fields with sheep and cows. Meeting the locals added more learning experiences. Listening to a local Celtic singer at Inis Mor, having dinner with a family in Killarney, watching and meeting young Irish dancers, listening to readings of poetry during a dinner at Glenco Abbey, and learning to play a pipe flute with a local music teacher made this much more than just the typical sightseeing trip. The schedule allows for some personal time. I chose on the last day in Dublin, a completely free day, to take a train to Belfast to spend the afternoon with a friend. I highly recommend this program for its variety, value, well-designed itinerary, and inclusion of sometimes missed places and people in Ireland.
Karen
(5)
Road Scholar has put together the perfect Ireland adventure. The presenters were ALL fantastic as was the itinerary. Because of what we learned and experienced, to us, it was worth way more than what we paid! Do yourself a favor, don't "do Ireland" on your own, you will be missing the real "heart" of the country if you do.
Nancy
(5)
So glad we chose to take The Best of Ireland trip! A great opportunity to experience a variety of beautifully scenic landscapes, small towns, and cities without the stress of driving and navigating. Educational activities were well planned and executed. Local tour guides and bus drivers at each site enriched the experience. Lodgings were comfortable and meals were tasty. Our program manager Andrew was super!
Cynthia
(5)
Anyone who has ever wanted to go to Ireland can not miss this program! The education, cultural experience, group leaders, places chosen to visit, planning and attention to detail will make this a memorable and enjoyable trip! Best of the Best! A+
Carol
(5)
Spectacular scenery, interesting history and a schedule filled with activities. One of the best Road Scholar trips we have taken.
Theresa
(5)
My Road Scholar experience was wonderful! From start to finish the trip was easy to schedule and complete. Everyone that I spoke with was very helpful. I enjoyed everything very much. The beauty of Ireland was overwhelming....I am so glad that I participated in a Road Scholar adventure!
Barbara
(5)
A wonderful program, would highly recommend, beautiful scenery, friendly people , well organized with enough free time to enjoy,
Susan
(5)
Road Scholar far exceeded my expectations for a wondrous tour of the Best of Ireland. We were overwhelmed by the raw and wild beauty of the western coast. All expert guides were excellent at communicating in an entertaining way the rich history of Ireland. Our Tour Group Leader (Andrew Gavin)had innate talents for navigating the daily routine and informing and entertaining us en route. The result is a 100+ percent successful tour result. Vini, vidi, ami (I loved it).
Margaret
(5)
It truly was the Best of Ireland!
Catherine
(5)
Trip to Ireland was wonderful. Amazing sites, local experts so informative, group we travelled with were interesting and fun. Beautiful landscapes. An extremely successful trip. Highly recommend
Patsy
(5)
Wonderful trip well planned by Roadscholar. Educational and fun!!
Judith
(5)
What a wonderful program. The educational benefit of the tour by local leaders, experts, and professors was worth more than any other organized tour. The age of the participants was a plus also.
Margaret
(5)
I would like to see what others from this tour have answered!!
George
(5)
The Best of Ireland was a great trip! Even better than it sounded in the brochure. Tour guide Brian was perfect. Fellow travelers were congenial. Educational events/tours/lectures were well planned and led by excellent local people well versed in their fields. The private expert-led tour of bronze-age gold treasures in the National Museum was one of the highlights of the trip - and my life. I was a solo participant and was very well looked after. Thank you, Road Scholar! George Carnahan
John
(5)
I loved this tour and our guide, Alan, was fabulous. We are returning home with a much deeper understanding of the Irish history and culture and with amazing photographs of the outstanding beauty of Ireland. I am so glad we choose this tour with its emphasis on the West Coast of Ireland. I believe it is the most beautiful seascapes in the world.
Michael
(5)
This trip is a must for natural wonder lovers and those who wish to be immersed in a wonderful culture. To a person all those we interacted with were warm, welcome, and wonderfully humored! We learned much about the Irish and their amazing country!
Barbara
(5)
So many rich and varied experiences-a feast for my eyes, my ears, and my heart.
Teri
(5)
Road Scholar makes it easy, educational and informative to travel abroad.
Janet
(4)
If you enjoy learning about the different aspects of country and people, this would be a rewarding experience for you
Diana
(5)
The Ireland tour far exceeded my expectations. Road Scholar took care of everything they promised in their brochure. Eating our way through the Irish countryside, seeing magnificent panoramic views and best of all, meeting warm and welcoming locals. The folklore and history never got old......there was something to see and do for everyone. I was paired up with an artist and his family for dinner. As an artist, I appreciated the effort to place me in his lovely home!
Patrick
(5)
If you are interested in learning about the culture and history of Ireland and want to experience breathtaking scenery, warm and friendly people, then this is most definitely the program for you. We absolutely loved it.
Carolyn
(5)
My husband, brother and sister and I just returned from a fabulous Roads Scholar trip to Ireland. We spent 2 weeks traveling around Ireland and visiting interesting and beautiful areas. We learned so much about Ireland and its people and experienced all the beauty and charm that island can offer. I highly recommend this trip. It surpassed all of our expectations.
Lydia
(5)
Road Scholar out performed my expectations! All aspects were carefully managed with efficiency and respect. Our leader Kate Mitchell was FANTASTIC! We loved her full of life enthusiasm and wit! I plan to use Road Scholar again next year!! Lydia Bush - Florida
Mary
(5)
This truly is the "best" of Ireland. A great trip to learn about Ireland and its diverse regions.
Ronald
(5)
I learned about the wonders of Irish people, history , customs, and the land.
Lynette
(5)
It was like going on a field trip every day with experts in areas ranging from the arts to science to history. Being able to stay in one city for more than a few days gave me good insights into the area. Our group leader, Laura, was fabulous!
Ramona
(5)
We had a wonderful time on the Best of Ireland Program! It was well organized, a great learning experience, and an opportunity to see much of Ireland without the hassles of driving, worrying about accommodations, or carrying our bags from place to place. We highly recommend it!
Leonard
(5)
Ireland is a relatively small country so you can see a great deal of it in two weeks. It is also spectacularly beautiful in many areas which adds excitement and pleasure. But most of all, this trip to Ireland is about wonderful, quirky, and hospitable people who are proud to share their history and culture. We loved it!!
Sharon
(4)
Ireland is a beautiful country with very friendly outgoing people who help to make your trip very worthwhile and interesting.
Bonnie
(5)
My husband and I LOVED this trip. In two weeks, we learned so much about Irish culture, both rural and urban, including their language, music, sports, history, geography, and more! If you are of Irish ancestry, be sure to visit the genealogy department of the National Library in Dublin. Experts will guide you through their many databases. No appointment necessary! Do this when you are free for the afternoon. Bring your ancestors' names, birth dates, whatever you can to help with the process. This trip was both a mystical and magical experience for me. Our Irish guide, Laura Daly, and all our experts were fantastic! A beautiful country, a beautiful people!
Patricia
(5)
Our first Road Scholar trip was just as informative and enjoyable as my friends had said. The Irish countryside was beautiful, and 2 weeks were filled with information from local guides. Both the participants and guides were delightful, and my life was enriched by learning about the history and friendliness of the Irish people first-hand.
Dianne
(5)
A great trip to see and enjoy Ireland while learning about ones heritage.
Joanne
(5)
This program not only provided educational material but also beautiful scenery and a true picture of the Irish hospitality and warmth. I learned so much about Irish history and was totally reenergized on my return. I would definitely recommend this program.
Beverly
(4)
"The Best of Ireland" Road Scholar tour was wonderful!
Jackie
(5)
So far, your new website seems to be much better. I have only used it a few times since it was launched but the experience was good.
Bethany
(5)
I haven't used it. My husband does all the arrangements. However, I will use it in the future.
Anne
(5)
Our trip was a delight in every way. Education was woven into the daily activities in such a way that we learned so much but never felt that we were being 'educated'. The itinerary was a perfect balance between tours and free time. Hotels were top notch, always ready for us and the meals were wonderful. Special shout out to our delightful guide, Alan Ralph, and the other 22 travelers who all contributed to making every day an adventure and a joy!
Karen
(5)
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip; even though this was early in the season we had wonderful weather, made new friends and overall would highly recommend this program. This was our first Road Scholar trip but will not be our last.
Deborah
(5)
We had a wonderful time on our trip. The weather cooperated better than might be expected but we still were happy to have rain gear and scarves and fleece. We enjoyed the places, the food and the instructors and our fellow travelers. We especially appreciated our guide Alan Ralph. We learned a lot about the Irish experience and people. It was our first Road Scholar Trip and it will not be the last.
Tamara
(5)
Well organized and every day was fun!
Shirley
(5)
If you stay in Ballyshannon (instead of Killybegs), I recommend using your free night to visit the Thatch Pub up the street from the hotel. Classic Irish pub, very friendly, and if you are as lucky as I was you will enjoy music, stories, jokes, and dancing, but most of all, you will enjoy the company of Irish men and women. Then on the next night when the whole group goes there, you will be heartily welcomed back.
Carol
(5)
A wonderful trip, and a great learning experience, but I feel I have only scratched the surface of a fascinating country.
Eileen
(5)
"The Best of Ireland" delivers! A wonderful overview of the land and its people! If you are lucky, you will have Stephen Delaney as your tour guide! The Emerald Isle is magic!
Vibeke
(5)
The best of Ireland - how would I know? We visited mostly the west coast and were enthralled by its beauty, magnificent ruggedness and the genuine friendliness of its people. We learned so much from our instructors, taxi drivers train ride neighbors, pub staff and our guides. The beer, the whisky and the glorious seafood we sampled is possibly reason enough to revisit the beautiful island. We were especially fortunate with the weather and feel we have truly visited one of the most remarkable quietly brilliant wonders of this earth.
Sarah
This reviewer did not give a star rating.
My trip ran beautifully, had the perfect guide, Maeve Henry, and a very congenial group. Nonetheless, I would recommend coming with a partner, friend, or group of friends if possible, rather than alone. I like it that we had plenty of timeon our own, but it could be lonely. I am someone in my group will send a photo of me reading on Yeat'S tomb at Drumclif.
Jane
(5)
Fascinating trip made even more so by the incredible Andrew Gibbons as Group Leader. Highly recommended for anyone who wants a more thorough understanding of Ireland past and present.
Gerhard
(4)
Be prepared for rain! The tour was enjoyable and a good learning experience. Some reorganization of the Dublin days is called for, including an initial tour of the city so the participants can get an overall feel for the city.
Ellen
(5)
I loved this trip. The country’s beauty goes without saying, and we saw much of it – from the seacoast vistas of County Kerry, the Cliffs of Moher and the rocky shores of the Aran Islands to the cosmopolitan landscapes of Dublin and Galway. Cottages, castles and keeps, neolithic court cairns, cathedrals and abbeys, this trip had them all. Even better than the landscapes though, were the insights into culture and history we acquired. We met and learned from local folk at every stop- historians, and botanists, hurling players and Irish dancers, experts on Joyce and Yeats, fishermen and sheep farmers. Accommodations and travel arrangements were comfortable, and making everything run smoothly was our incredible guide, Beibhinn O’Conner. She enlivened our bus trips with lectures on Irish language, politics, history and current events, and even arranged some special stops and activities based on the interests of the members of the tour. This trip has a nice balance between planned time, and time to explore on your own. Beibhinn was invaluable in providing guidance for that free time – suggestions about what to see, where to eat, even how to get your laundry done. And, she has a wonderful sense of humor!!!!
Heidi
(5)
This trip was fantastic! Our guide was Beibhinn O'Connor and she was excellent. She shared so much information with us about history, politics, current affairs, etc. and all of it was presented in a very balanced manner. I learned so much from her. I loved her warm, engaging manner! She made this trip the excellent trip that it was. She was even able to line up an inexpensive laundry service for us about half-way through the trip, which was much appreciated. This trip began on the west coast of Ireland, where we saw so much natural beauty, and I enjoyed it so much! We all learned to love the GAA and Hurling due to Beibhinn's enthusiasm. I can't imagine a better trip for my first Road Scholar trip. In my opinion, Beibhinn can practically walk on water! Everything about the trip went off without a hitch.
Dariel
(5)
We learned a very great deal that we could have not done on our own - the visiting instructors were fabulously knowledgeable and passionate about their areas o expertise.
Mary
(5)
I agree with all the previous glowing reviews and would only add a thank you to fellow participants on our trip for contributing to this wonderful experience.
Linda
(5)
This program was outstanding in every way! I especially appreciated group leader, Stephen Delaney, who was very knowledgeable, organized and humorous. I learned a great deal about Ireland (history, literature, sports, music, etc.) and gained respect for the Irish people, history and culture. I liked the flexibility and free time very much; it gave a good balance to a well-planned program, which exceeded my expectations. We had a great group - and even great weather!
Linda
(5)
This was my first experience with Road Scholar and it was great. Stephan made everyday enjoyable.
Jessica
(5)
This was my first international trip with Road Scholar and it definitely exceeded my expecations. Our Group Leader, Stephen, was beyond fabulous. The program ran smoothly, accommodations and meals were lovely and other instructors were entertaining and educational. We were also extremely lucky to have an absolutely great group of co-travelers. Wonderful program!!
Michael
(5)
Entertaining, informative,delightful. This program met or exceeded expectations in every way. We had a great group of fellow travelers and not too many and Steven, our leader I was the best I've ever seen. Great trip! Mike & Linda bigley
Ferris
(5)
From start to finish this program was perfectly planned and organized. Our guide, Stephen, was remarkable. Extremely knowledgeable, kind, and humorous. He always had excellent suggestions for our free time and knew the best restaurants and places for us to go to and explore. I had visited Ireland before as a tourist but this program gave me the opportunity to see the "real Ireland", interact with the people and see places that I had not seen before and have experiences that I would not have had on my own. It was everything that I had hoped it would be.
Susan
(5)
This was hands down the best Road Scholar trip we have had! The itinerary is perfect, the balance between city and country just right, and the tour leader, Stephen, is a master! Everything - hotel, food, buses and drivers, speakers - were all outstanding. And Stephen's wonderful jokes were the icing on the cake. Can't recommend this trip enough!





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