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I was surprised how well organized and coordinated this 4 day trip was for me. From the representative at the train station to each location we visited everything was great. I specifically thought the Galway hotel was in a great location adjacent to the pedestrian street, music and restaurants. The Killarney B and B was quirky - but clean with an outstanding breakfast in a good location. I was pleased with each day of the trip and definitely recommend.
This was a great tour and our guide Bob Beatty was excellent. He was knowledge friendly and super nice. The trip was well coordinated but you are on the bus and the trains for long stretches of time. The trip included a 2 night stay at a bed and breakfast in Killarney. We found from others that they had an option for a hotel which we did not have. The B and B was not great, there was black mold in the shower and the owner was not that friendly. The other downside was lunch on day 4 in Commemara. The tour takes you to Kylemore Abey, which is beautiful, but lunch was at the cafeteria on the grounds and it was terrible. I better option would have a lunch stop in many of the cute towns along the one.
All in all this was a fun trip, the
country and the Irish people are fantastic.
Meeting our guide, Norman, at Heuston station went smoothly. Train ride to Cork was pleasant, a car is reserved for Rail Ireland travelers. Our visit to Blarney Castle and the woolen mills was very pleasant, weather was lovely, flowers in the gardens were magnificent. Not sure the reason, but we traveled by coach rather than train to Killarney. Killarney has grown quite a bit in the 18 years since my last visit. Our B and B was basic but fine, however it was not an easy walk to town. That probably depends on your age. Also it was located on a busy street where the coach couldn't stop. Our guide would walk from the coach to meet us, then together we would walk the several blocks back to the coach. Many people on the tour stayed at a hotel in the city. We weren't given the opportunity for this upgrade by Viator. The people we spoke with booked directly with Railtours. The Ring of Kerry was quite crowded. Weather at Cliffs of Moher was quite windy and cold, to be expected. There is a lovely new visitor center there. Most disappointing was the day we arrived in Galway, the viewing spot above the city had too many other coaches and we were prevented from stopping to see and photograph the beautiful Galway Bay. Our hotel was conveniently located downtown. Norman was our guide for the first 3 days of the tour. I marveled at how he was able to keep track of the number of travelers on the coach, as many were on day trips, and were picked up at different locations. He did a fine job. The fourth day we were scheduled to visit Connemara, but we were both very tired and decided to skip our prepaid tour and take the train back to Dublin. The train ride back was quite crowded, and our bags had to be stowed in the bike room, not the most convenient. These overnight tours are better suited to younger, more agile travelers, in my opinion.
Great way to see the other side of Ireland. Loved that it had rail components trains are faster and less swerving than the all-bus transport. The places we stayed were nice, the tours we took we great, and it always felt like we had enough time at each of the places we visited. Would definitely recommend!
Our 4 Day Ring of Kerry, Limerick, Cliffs of Moher, Galway and Connemara trip was wonderful. Our tour guide for the first several days was Jonathan an he was one of the best we have ever had for guides. His knowledge of history, literature, politics, economics, folklore was excellent and we were delighted that he talked much of the time since he wasn't the driver too. His humor and caring attitude was excellent and we loved his quotations of poetry and music the whole trip. Our scenic views were spectacular and this made our vacation one of the best ever. I highly recommend this tour by Viator and Ireland Railtours. Their coordination and handling of all of us tourists was excellent.... they practically held our hands to guide us where we needed to be. It was a great vacation and I would love to do this trip again someday!