I'm back and sufficiently recovered from a couple weeks in Europe. What a trip! My mother, niece and I had a blast. I wish we could have stayed longer. That's usually the best indication for a successful trip. For those who don't follow me on social media (if you're not... why?), I planned this trip as a birthday gift to my mom. She'd not been to Europe, and I was more than happy to accompany her on her first trip abroad. I'll write a few different posts regarding this trip, but today's post will focus on the tour company I used. By the way, this post is not sponsored in any way.
When deciding on how to see Ireland with my mother, I knew fairly early I wanted to use a tour group. I figured this would be the best way to visit several top locations, not have to worry about figuring the driving, and it would also give us a chance to learn a bit about the history of Ireland.
There are several tour companies in Ireland, and I'm guessing they're all fairly similar when it comes to what sites they incorporate into their trips. I chose the 10-day Iconic Scenes of Ireland tour with the company "My Ireland Tour" after researching several sites, and getting feedback from friends. Their website was cleanly designed and very easy to use. The staff was quick to respond when I had a few questions or needed to make an adjustment. The booking process was seamless.
As the title of the tour suggests, this tour was 10 days long. There were 25 people in the group, and the driver, Tony, played double duty as he was the tour guide as well. The bus we used to get around in was clean and spacious. It had free wi-fi most of the time, and there were USB ports at each seat for charging our devices.
We stayed in a total of five hotels which were all rated at 4-star. Some were nicer than others, but most of them were quite lovely. I will say there were two locations that barely made the 4-star rating (in my opinion), but all were clean, and their staff very kind and accommodating. All hotels offered free wi-fi, and the tour cost included hearty full breakfasts and dinners at each hotel. Lunch was often something we needed to take care of ourselves, but it was included on two of the ten days. And as a side note, our bags were always ported for us, to and from the bus/hotel room. We never had to handle our own bags, which is really a lovely extra touch. A few people on the tour noted that on other tours they'd taken, they had to handle their own luggage, and it was a real treat to not have to worry about that part of transitioning from hotel to hotel.
The other guests on our tour were fun and outgoing. We all really got along well, which made the trip even more special. Enjoying breakfast and dinner at the hotel, with the group, gave us a chance to get to know one another. By the end of the 10 days, it seemed like I was traveling with old friends.
A large reason this trip went so smoothly was the excellent care given by Tony, our driver/guide. He was incredibly knowledgeable about each area we visited as well as places along the way. And he did a terrific job keeping the history-telling interesting with his pace and timing. Tony also gave us an idea of living life in Ireland today with information on things like how their government works, their taxes, their school system, the cost of living etc. It was all so fascinating. If I didn't know better, I'd swear Tony was a teacher in a previous job!
Tony wasn't the only guide we had on the trip. At several stops there were location guides, hired by the individual historic sites, who would tell us all about the grounds and history of the location. All of them were terrific, though a couple of them really stood out as exceptional! Again, all of this helped make the tour more enjoyable than traveling these sites unaccompanied. This was my third trip to Ireland. I'd been to several of the locations on this tour, but it was new for me because of the terrific guides and information!
My mom and I had such a terrific time, I find it difficult to believe it could have been any better. I plan on taking other tours in the future, and hope it's as good as this one. If you're thinking about visiting Ireland, definitely take a look at My Ireland Tour options to see if they have a trip that fits your needs. If you have any questions for me about this tour, feel free to message me, or leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer you as soon as possible!
Watch this space for my recap of the hotels we stayed in. There are a couple I'd love to return to upon my next self-guided trip to Ireland. Thanks for reading!