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Highlights
  • Visit the Ennis and Ireland's Dingle Peninsula
  • Experience some of Europe's wildest natural beauty and most ancient Christian sites.
  • Visit the famous Slea Head Drive the most beautiful road in Ireland
  • Tour the strikingly situated Great Blasket Centre, a close-up look at the language, literature, and traditional Gaelic Blasket community.
  • Walking tour of Dingle Town, learning about its seafaring heritage, rich history, and perhaps a bit of local gossip.

Tight on time? The Heart of Ireland in 8 Days — Rick's personal "best of" distillation of our two-week Best of Ireland tour — starts in Ennis (just down the road from Shannon Airport) and ends in Dublin. Each day along the way, in the good hands of your Rick Steves guide and local experts, you'll be amazed at all you'll experience in a mere week of touring the Emerald Isle: must-see historical sites, charming towns, music-filled pubs, artisan visits, and walking tours — including the Rock of Cashel, the Cliffs of Moher, Ennis Friary, Adare Village, Dingle Town, the Dingle Peninsula, the Great Blasket Centre, the Brú na Bóinne archaeology site, crystal cutting, whiskey tasting, and more. Join us for the Heart of Ireland in 8 Days!

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8
Rick Steves Travel Reviews & Ratings
100% Recommend

5.0 out of 5
Excellent 8 Great 0 Average 0 Disappointing 0 Terrible 0
Value
4.9 Guide
5.0 Activities
5.0 Lodging
5.0 Transportation
5.0 Meals
5.0
Heart of Ireland in 8 Days Tour

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Rick Steves.

M

Recommends

Our Rick Steve's "Best of Italy Tour," starting in Varenna, October 18, through Rome, November 3, 2015. January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We flew into Milan and toured the town on our own a few days. Then we took the train to Varenna on Lake Como to formally start our Rick Steves tour with our guide, Lisa Anderson. She was excellent; very organized, helpful to a fault, and took us to a lot of out-of-way places not on the itinerary. What I liked most was the mixture of planned activities and time our own own; a nice balance which I believe gave us a good feel for the people, culture, and historical places we toured throughout Italy. You can read any itinerary for this trip and learn about what you're going to see, but getting to know your traveling companions (there were 28 of us) well, share food (and a cold- achoo!) made it all the better. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who would really like to get a taste of Italy from Rome north. I had no interest in visiting Italy before, but would go back in a heartbeat. I especially enjoyed our time high up in a ski village in the Dolomite Mountains. Seeing the "big three" of Venice, Florence, and Rome was great, but I also enjoyed seeing Pisa and Assisi, and spending time in places I had never heard of before - Cinque Terre , Siena, and Orvieto. While I know you can't pick your tour hosts, I would give the highest marks to our guide Lisa, her assistant, Alex, and our bus driver extraordinaire, Adrian. They helped put an excellent adventure over the top. Kudos to you Rick Steve's! We'll book another one of your tours in the next few years.
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Operator Rick Steves

M

Recommends

Great Tour of Paris July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My family and I took the seven day Paris tour run by Rick Steves and had a great time. Excellent guide and perfect mix of scheduled events and free time. The specialist guides in the museums provided essentially a college level class on art history and appreciation which made it all the more special. The accommodations were well located and nicely sized. The mix of free time was excellent for my photography so I never felt rushed nor did we hold up the group. We look forward to booking another Rick Steves tour sometime in the future.
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Operator Rick Steves

BH

Recommends

Excellent! October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We went on the My Way Best of Euope 14 day tour last month. Excellent tour. So much to see!!! We loved it!! I would highly recommend it if you are an independent traveler who doesn't want any stress.

Operator Rick Steves

M

Recommends

Absolutely fantastic tour! October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just got back from the Best of Scandinavia Tour. It was absolutely fantastic in every respect: Great venues and sights, great food and lodging, great local tour guides, a wonderful group to travel with, but the best part was having two fantastic professional guides with us every day to make everything come to life and help us connect in a very meaningful way with the cultures and lands we were there to experience. This is my second RS tour and I would say both have exceeded my expectations. I would highly recommend RS tours to anyone looking to travel in this part of the world!!
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Operator Rick Steves

CW

Recommends

Rick Steve's tours are the best! October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We had a glorious time in Europe. Rick Steve's tours are the best way to learn about the various country's history, people, and culture. Great recommendations for places to eat when you're on your own. Fun meeting people in the tour group.
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Operator Rick Steves

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Ireland

We'll gather together at our hotel at 2 p.m. for a meeting. Then we'll take an orientation walk around Ennis, beginning with a tour of the Friary. Afterward we'll get to know one another over a hearty "Welcome to Ireland" dinner together. This evening we'll meet one of Ireland's preeminent storytellers, or seanchaί, who will tell us tales of Ireland's magic, myth, and mystery. Sleep in Ennis (1 night). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Ennis to Dingle Town

After breakfast we'll pack up and board our comfy bus, setting course for Ireland's Dingle Peninsula. En route we'll stop to visit the dramatic Cliffs of Moher, where you'll find yourself leaning into the wind, teetering on the very edge of Europe, more than 600 feet above the churning waters of the North Atlantic and County Limerick's lovely village of Adare. At the end of our drive we'll arrive in the pastel-painted, quintessentially Irish harbor town of Dingle. Tonight we'll enjoy a gourmet dinner of local specialties at our guesthouse. Sleep in Dingle (3 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 3: The Dingle Peninsula

It's a great day to experience some of Europe's wildest natural beauty and most ancient Christian sites. We'll start our day with a crystal cutting demonstration from a master craftsman, then hop aboard our bus with our local expert to follow the famous Slea Head Drive, our vote for the most beautiful road in Ireland. We'll stop to tour the strikingly situated Great Blasket Centre, where we'll get a close-up look at the language, literature, and daily life of a traditional Gaelic Blasket community. Working up a thirst, we'll find relief with an Irish whiskey tasting. Following free time to soak in more of Dingle's charms and enjoy dinner on your own, we'll rendezvous for an intimate evening of Gaelic tunes. Bus: 3 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 4: All Day in Dingle

This morning we'll have a lively walking tour of Dingle Town, learning about its seafaring heritage, rich history, and perhaps a bit of local gossip. After lunch on your own and time to explore, we will see Dingle from another angle and hopefully meet its famous dolphin, Fungie, as we take a boat cruise around Dingle Bay. Your evening is free, so no doubt you'll return to Dingle town with a pub in mind, ready for as much dancing and singing with new friends as you can handle. No bus. Walking: light.

Day 5: The Rock of Cashel and Dublin

Today we'll bid goodbye to Dingle as our bus transports us across the Emerald Isle to Dublin. On our way we'll stop to tour one of Ireland's most historic and evocative sights: the Rock of Cashel. St. Patrick himself was here more than 1,500 years ago, and ever since, the Rock has been the spiritual heart of Ireland. From the craggy remains of the cathedral and castle to the views stretching out across the Plain of Tipperary, this is where the Irish in you will stir from head to toe. Upon arrival in Dublin we'll stretch our legs with a neighborhood orientation walk, followed by dinner together. Sleep in Dublin (3 nights). Bus: 6 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 6: The Historic Heart of Dublin

This morning we'll take a walking tour through Dublin, learning about its often calamitous history, from the days of Viking raids to the hard centuries of British occupation, to its remarkable literary legacy, to the modern city of today. We'll end at Trinity College for an illuminating look at the remarkable Book of Kells, a jolt of Irish creativity that helped pull Europe out of the Dark Ages. The rest of your day will be free to take in some of Dublin's other world-class sights, such as the National Museum or Dublin Castle. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Prehistoric Tombs and onto Dublin

Today we'll drive an hour out of Dublin to one of Europe's premier archaeological sites: the ancient tombs of Brú na Bóinne. Predating Stonehenge by a thousand years and the pyramids at Giza by 500, these massive "passage tombs" of Newgrange and Knowth are windows into a mysterious, pre-Celtic Ireland, just as it was pulling itself up and out of the Stone Age. This afternoon we'll return to Dublin to tour Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum, the final resting place of more than one million Dubliners, including many of Ireland's national heroes and heroines. Tonight we'll compare notes and celebrate our marvelous week together over a farewell dinner. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. You can fly out of Dublin's handy airport, or take the ferry to Wales for further adventures in the British Isles. Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. Slán leat!

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 2,195

Price Per Day:

$ 274 per day
 
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 625
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Trip Includes

A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups

Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Ireland come alive for you

All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 18 group sightseeing events • Cliffs of Moher • Ennis orientation walk • Ennis Friary • Adare visit • Dingle folk concert • Walking tour of Dingle • Whiskey tasting • Gaelic music evening • Dingle's Slea Head Drive • Crystal cutting demonstration • Blasket Islands Heritage Centre • Gallarus Oratory • Rock of Cashel • Dublin walking tour • Trinity College • Book of Kells • Kilmainham Gaol (when possible) • Brú na Bóinne archaeology site...and more

All group transportation from Ennis to Dublin

7 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels and B&Bs

All breakfasts and half your dinners

All tips for guides and driver

Free stuff including Rick Steves Ireland guidebook, moneybelt and earplugs

Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit

Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee

Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2015

50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans

Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing.

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 28
Start City
Ennis
End City
Dublin
Cancellation Policy:

our tour deposit is 100% refundable for 30 days from the date it is received, unless noted otherwise below. After 30 days your deposit becomes nonrefundable, and will be forfeited should you decide to cancel your reservation. Deposits made 60–90 days before a tour departs become nonrefundable on the final payment due date. If you book a tour less than 60 days before its departure date, the entire tour cost becomes non-refundable after 7 days.

Trip ID#: HeaIreRic

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