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Best tour companies in Ireland

by Stacy
Best tour companies in Ireland

Whether it’s the captivating sceneries or the beautiful accents that seem to roll of their tongues, the Irish are definitely a very welcoming people. That’s why going to Ireland to experience all this diversity is top on people’s lists and companies such as Irish Experience Tours are here to actualize your dreams.

Ireland is a fairly small island with a population of 4,898, 479 according to the latest 2019 World Population Review. This is inclusive of both the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland as ‘Ireland’ is a general term of the whole island.

From the beautiful castles, culture, food, history, vibrant people, endless sceneries and all that Ireland has to offer, it’s no wonder people will travel miles and miles just to go and behold the scenes for themselves. It’s one thing to read about it but another experience all together to be there physically.

There are a lot of touring options for you if you’re planning to travel to Ireland you’ll be spoilt for choice. Whether you want to go on hiking tours, walking tours, multi-day tours, etc., you will make memories and hopefully get an Irish accent while at it.

Shamrocker Adventures

Tourradar Rating: 4.5/5

Shamrocker has been in existence since the year 1999 and the main mission has been to provide independent travelers an opportunity really to explore and make memorable discoveries of Ireland. They ensure they give you in-depth insights into the area by introducing you to local people who show you what it really means to be Irish and really who doesn’t want that?

To show how dedicated they are to ensuring that they help you make long lasting memories, they have a ‘book and go guarantee’ feature which basically means that they never cancel any trips. That’s commendable because what they’re telling you basically is that no matter what happens on their end, they’ll go far and beyond to make sure you don’t miss out on any experiences.

  • Been in existence since 1999
  • Accommodative trips of all budgets and timeframes
  • Award winning tours of Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • Passionate guides who are Irish and selected locally

Wild N’ Happy

Tourradar Rating: 4.7/5

Wild N’ Happy are strong believers that Ireland is to be experienced and not wasted in buses or vans looking through the depressing window. That is why they take you to those off beaten tracks that you normally wouldn’t know about and immerse you into breathtaking landscapes. You’ll get to meet new people who are all brilliant and vibrant in all their different ways, experience the diverse activities as you get schooled on the rich ancient histories.

Since their satisfaction comes from your satisfaction with the experiences, Wild N’ Happy ensure they get the best guides for you. The guides are passionate, professional, fun and well informed with the local scene as most of them if not all, are Irish. Therefore, they will provide with a real sense of really what Ireland what it is today from the commentary, activities as well as book beds, you are guaranteed of a fun filled educational experience.

The one-day tours as well as multi-day tours with a specialization on small group sizes. Small groups have been proven to be the best to deal with in that they are easier to navigate, getting to explore more places that large groups wouldn’t be able to access. This will also ensure that every member is included and is able to participate fully and freely.

  • Small group sizes
  • Experience in history, culture, food and a variety of activities
  • Off the beaten track adventures
  • Professional and passionate guides who uncover the hidden gems of Ireland for you
  • High-quality personalized tours
  • Environmental and Cultural responsible tourism

Overland Ireland – Small Group Tours

Tourradar Rating: 4.7/5

Overland are like many other touring companies these in the sense that they prefer to work small sized groups with a maximum of 14 people on the tour. This maximizes the experience and allows for the group members to interact and get to know each other and luckily form lasting relationships that go beyond the tour.

Touring with Overland Ireland will feel more like a road trip than your ordinary bus journey from point A to B. This because they will integrate you to the local scene for that real and true Irish experience by taking you through the off beaten paths. These paths are always the ones to reveal Ireland’s hidden gems while experiencing beautiful sights along the way.

If you’re one to create a bucket list for destinations you travel to, don’t hold back sharing it with your guide as they will ensure that you tick off everything on your list. Overland Ireland is all about making lasting memories of fun times and remarkable experiences.

It wouldn’t be a truly Irish tour if you didn’t get to interact with the people. They are an enthusiastic bunch who are very welcoming and are ever excited to show you their hometown. This is always the magical bit of the whole entire trip. Meeting real people with real experiences.

By choosing from the Jewel tour and picking the 7-day tour of the Emerald Explorer, you will be treated to breathtaking sceneries, history, culture, wildlife along the way, and don’t forget about castles. The tour starts from the rugged coastline of Connemara to the beautiful Kinsale using the stunning Wild Atlantic Way. You will unpack the beauty that lies in Ireland and you have the option to go kayaking with dolphins in the Dingle Bay. This tour will start you from €1,349 per person and it is worth every penny.

  • Small group sizes
  • Off beaten paths to behold Ireland
  • Friendly passionate and professional guides
  • Great combination of culture, scenery and activities

Irish Experience Tours

Tourradar Rating: 4.6/5

Irish Experience Tours was founded in the year 2010 and what makes it a good choice to organize your tours, is that it consists of 100% Irish members who know their country and are eager to show it off. They are all about the outdoors and therefore you should expect to spend less time in the vans/buses and more time exploring.

Good to note is that their stops are adventures on their own as you could find yourself stopping to go for a walk to a hidden waterfall, stopping by a castle, sea food tasting opportunities or local festivals you stumble upon on your way. Basically all these stops are tailored to provide very great photo opportunities for you.

Irish Experience Tours take you off the beaten paths in Ireland immersing you into the local scene. Not just the people but to everything that makes Ireland tick basically. From climbing the Holy Mountain to staying in the small intimate fishing villages as you travel along the Wild Atlantic Way. Enjoy the local cuisine which is mainly seafood and get to see the vibrant local people in their element as they go on about their business, such as craftsmanship, or go kayaking with the beautiful dolphins at Dingle Bay.

What’s amazing still, is that you don’t have to pay extra to get to see the out-of-the-way scenic places on your to-do list as these are included in your package. If for example, you choose the 7 day – North & West Ireland Small Group Tour, it will include a visit to the Musem Belfast, a beautiful walk along the Antrim Coast and Slieve League Cliffs, biking along the gorgeous Great Western Greenway and so much more, starting at €704 – €800 per person.

  • Optional activities en-route your destination to choose from
  • Local guides with rich Irish knowledge
  • Off beaten tracks for deeper personal experiences
  • Comfortable hikes and stunning sights

Rabbie’s Tours Ireland

Tourradar Rating: 4.7/5

Rabbie’s Tours Ireland has been in existence since 1993 and they are still doing it right because they have managed to stay current with the ever-changing times.

They cater to small group sized tours of up to 16 people and with each trip there comes with it a knowledgeable driver guide with information on the sights, secrets as well as stories of all the places you’ll visit. You’ll also get a chance to support the local communities so be on the look-out for that.

Whether you’re looking for a 1-day tour of Glendalough, Powerscourt & the Wicklow Mountains or the 5-day tour of the Escape to the South West or want to take a longer 11-day tour to get the Complete Ireland Experience, you will have a beautiful experience with Rabbie’s Tours Ireland.

Get immersed in Irelands picturesque sights that are almost at every corner you turn, and enjoy the warm welcome from the Irelanders who are ever so eager to introduce their ways to others. This creates a beautiful learning experience that results in long lasting memories.

  • Small sized groups of up to 16 people
  • Guaranteed departures
  • Eco-friendly tours aimed at supporting local communities
  • Multi-award winning company

Tips to consider when travelling to Ireland

Travelling to foreign countries requires one to have prior knowledge of the place to avoid feeling totally lost. That’s why listing a few things will be important for you to mentally prepare yourself.

Swimming caps are a must-have in the pool

You might be thinking that is quite a weird thing to start the list off but you do need to have a swimming cap on. This applies to the young ones as well so try and purchase this beforehand. Should you however forget to do so, then don’t worry as most hotels will have them available for purchase. The price will be anywhere from 3 to 5 Euros for each swim cap.

Renting a car in Ireland is a better option

Ireland might be small but there is a lot to be explored and if you want to do at your own time then it wise for you to rent out a car for the duration you plan on being in the area for. It is not only convenient for you in terms of creating your own schedule but with the predictable unpredictable weather, you can move around comfortably.

You can book a car prior to you arriving in Ireland to pick it up upon landing in the car to begin your adventures then. You can use Car Rental UK or look out for more rental companies.

Look right before crossing

In most countries the rule is to always look left, right and left again. However, when you get to Ireland expect things to be different. In Ireland, you are to look right first and you will find many markings indicating ‘LOOK RIGHT’ on the pavements. Most intersections will have this to at least help accustom you to their way of doing things. When you leave the cities for the countryside then you need to remember this on your own.

Flag down the bus

This happens quite often in Africa where you flag down your bus as it won’t stop otherwise. The only reason a bus would stop without you flagging it down would be that a passenger has reached their destination.

The same applies to Ireland. If you see your bus approaching, then stick your hand out to signal the driver that you want to board.

Get a heritage card

To unlock even more places where you can visit, it is a good idea to get yourself a heritage card that is roughly €25. This is a card that brings you closer with all the amazing heritage sites. This is because you get free admission into places such as castles, war memorial gardens, national parks etc. this is definitely the first thing you want to get before you start exploring. Plus, it gives you free access for a whole year.

FAQs

Can I stay in a castle?

This is an important question because who doesn’t want to live in a castle even for a day? You can actually rent out a castle but they are ridiculously pricy which is understandable because this is not your ordinary B&B or hotel; it’s a castle after all. Here are a few castles for rent in Ireland:

  • Kilkea Castle
  • Ballaghmore Castle
  • Slane Castle
  • Portlick Castle
  • Springfield Castle
  • Darver Castle

Check any of the castles above and in case you want more options, check out this site.

How is the weather in Ireland?

The weather in Ireland is dependent on what time of year it is. The good thing is that it rarely experiences extreme temperatures as it is quite mind and temperate. Having said this, you could experience different seasons in a day so you ought to be prepared for the worst but hope for the best.

What’s the best time of year to travel to Ireland?

Anytime is the best time to travel to Ireland since all year round there are spectacular scenes to be seen. Summers have longer days with the daylight going till 10 pm. This means that you can get to experience the exciting activities longer. Be it kayaking with the dolphins or hiking, the experience is only prolonged for maximum entertainment.

Between June and August are the busiest months with tourists from all over the world visiting the area and during these times, it is wise to place reservations ahead of time. If you prefer a more relaxed environment, then the best months to travel will be April/May or September/October where you won’t have to deal with the crowds of people.

What currency is used in Ireland?

The Euro is the currency that is recognized by the Republic of Ireland whereas the British pound is the legal tender recognized in Northern Ireland.

Another tip when it comes to money is that you should use up all your coins as you can’t change the coin into another currency.

Is tipping a must in Ireland?

Tips are not required or even expected in Ireland but like in other cities or countries, tipping is normally a good gesture especially if you’ve had good service. When at a restaurant and you want to tip your waiter/waitress, a 10% tip will be enough.

If you find a service charge added to your bill, then don’t pay a tip. Some hotels usually have this charge added so just check.

Tips are not expected for cab drivers, counter services or even bartenders.

In conclusion, Ireland is generally a very beautiful country and a go-to destination for all nature photographers obsessed with mother nature’s sceneries that tend to wow you every single time; it really never seems to disappoint. To relieve your mind from the stresses of this world, that’s a place to consider visiting for some downtime.

Knowing the best tour companies in Ireland is the first step into planning an unforgettable experience. Make sure you take advantage of the tours that immerse you into the local culture because that is the best and only way you can truly experience the beauty of Ireland.

 

 

 

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