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Old 09-20-2019, 07:24 AM
 
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I posted this in the Travel Forum but thought I might have better luck here. We are fit and mobile mid to late 60's and want to go to Ireland in May for 2 weeks. Looking at several higher end small group tours but not really group socializers. Anyone try getting a private tour of Ireland once they arrived in say Dublin? I see a company that offers a private car but not sure about that either. I don't want my husband driving us on those small winding roads -- not crazy about his aggressive driving and want to avoid arguments.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:35 AM
 
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Hi, Franny.

Coincidentally, my wife and I are leaving this coming Wednesday for a 10-day trip to Ireland. We'll be spending three nights in Dublin and then renting a car and driving around the country for a week.

We don't do group tours either, but sometimes hire a private guide in various cities around the world when we travel. We've had good experience with a company called With Locals, and have used their guides from Rio, to Paris, to Bangkok. Here, for example, are a few of their tours from Dublin, some of which that are as short as an hour-and-a-half, and some that are full daytrips of 10+ hours. There's even one of 14 hours that will take you all the way to the other side of the country to see the Cliffs of Moher.

https://www.withlocals.com/s/ireland/dublin/?adults=2

In addition to these standard trips and excursions, you can contact the tour guides directly and create and arrange for your own multi-day personalized itinerary of anything you want to do. The itinerary and the price are completely up to you and the individual guide to negotiate.

The main site has little bios of the guides and even short videos, so you can choose a guide who might seem compatible to what you are looking for. Here is the bio and video for Kate, one of the guides in Dublin who also does longer private tours to, for example, the Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough, and Kilkenny.

https://www.withlocals.com/host/katek639344d7f/
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Haiku
5,029 posts, read 2,823,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrannyBear View Post
I see a company that offers a private car but not sure about that either. I don't want my husband driving us on those small winding roads -- not crazy about his aggressive driving and want to avoid arguments.
Driving in English-style driving countries is a hoot for Americans, especially if you get a manual transmission car. It takes a bit of getting used to driving on the left side of the road, and shifting with your left hand. The turn signal lever is on the wrong side too - even after 3 weeks I would still flip the wipers on instead of the turn signal.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:02 AM
 
674 posts, read 905,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
Hi, Franny.

Coincidentally, my wife and I are leaving this coming Wednesday for a 10-day trip to Ireland. We'll be spending three nights in Dublin and then renting a car and driving around the country for a week.

We don't do group tours either, but sometimes hire a private guide in various cities around the world when we travel. We've had good experience with a company called With Locals, and have used their guides from Rio, to Paris, to Bangkok. Here, for example, are a few of their tours from Dublin, some of which that are as short as an hour-and-a-half, and some that are full daytrips of 10+ hours. There's even one of 14 hours that will take you all the way to the other side of the country to see the Cliffs of Moher.

https://www.withlocals.com/s/ireland/dublin/?adults=2

In addition to these standard trips and excursions, you can contact the tour guides directly and create and arrange for your own multi-day personalized itinerary of anything you want to do. The itinerary and the price are completely up to you and the individual guide to negotiate.

The main site has little bios of the guides and even short videos, so you can choose a guide who might seem compatible to what you are looking for. Here is the bio and video for Kate, one of the guides in Dublin who also does longer private tours to, for example, the Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough, and Kilkenny.

https://www.withlocals.com/host/katek639344d7f/
Wow thank you so much. I would LOVE to hear about your trip when you return. Are you at all concerned about the driving? We heard from some younger people that it did take quite a bit to get used to and the roads are quite challenging. We also are thinking of doing Dublin on our own but then trying some sort of private tour. I will do more research on your recommendation.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:44 AM
 
Location: NYC
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I have been to Ireland many, many times since the 1950's (yikes!).

My general recs, I don't do tours so can't weigh in on that, is that Dublin is good for a few days, then head south to Wicklow. The coastal areas are nice as are the Wicklow mtns, Glendalough, Powerscourt.

If you are limited for time I would strike out directly for the west coast & spend a week wandering there, marketed now as "The Wild Atlantic Way". Kerry alone is an especially lovely area to linger & drive around one of the peninsulae & Killarney Park... I could easily spend an entire week just there. But Cork to Galway is worthwhile, perhaps even further north to Westport & some of the sparsely populated mountainous areas in Donegal. The Aran Islands, ferry from Galway, is really worth an overnight on any visit. Private BnB's are regulated & rated by the ITB & great for overnights.

The roads can be challenging for us & during the summer the west coast roads are more crowded now, that's why off season is recommended, but bring your rain jacket.

I have never been to the North - a separate country - but understand it's now a very interesting locale, especially Belfast & for Game of Thrones fans.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:48 AM
 
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My wife and I have done many self guided tours. There are outfitters who will arrange hotels, book dinner reservations, provide transfers, etc all for one fee. You travel alone and at your own pace.

Check into Country Walkers, VBT and if France interests you, Walk in France. I would recommend all of them.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:55 AM
 
8,343 posts, read 12,092,360 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrannyBear View Post
Wow thank you so much. I would LOVE to hear about your trip when you return. Are you at all concerned about the driving? We heard from some younger people that it did take quite a bit to get used to and the roads are quite challenging. We also are thinking of doing Dublin on our own but then trying some sort of private tour. I will do more research on your recommendation.
No, we've been to Ireland before and drove around the country that time as well. We also did the same in New Zealand a few years ago., where they also drive on the left.

The roads in Ireland are a bit challenging because they are narrow and many of the road signs are indecipherable. One thing I would definitely do is get all the insurance you can purchase from the car rental company. (And Ireland is the only country where I recommend that.) But even that can be challenging. The regular insurance that we're used to here in the U.S., collision damage waiver or CDW, doesn't completely cover you there; it just limits your liability to about $2,000 - $2,500. You need to purchase "Super CDW" to remove that last $2000 and even that doesn't cover tire or wheel damage, if for example, you scrape a rim against a curb. You have to pay an additional 6 -10 per day for that over and above the CDW and the SCDW. It's quite a racket, but necessary if you don't want any surprises at the end of your trip. There have even been newspaper articles about the problem as well as the horror stories from tourists who didn't purchase the insurance.

https://www.irishcentral.com/opinion...p-off-tourists
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
354 posts, read 526,710 times
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I was in Ireland last year on a small group tour. After seeing the roads and experiencing some rough driving weather, I would never drive in that country except in the cities. I don't see the point. You are looking at the road all the time trying to not drive off a cliff next to the ocean. I would rather have the bus driver do the work and I can relax and enjoy the views.

I travel with OAT. No more that 14-16 in a group and really excellent tours.
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:50 AM
 
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Following this thread.

Anybody got any experiences with Brendan Tours? I hear they do group and private hire tours of Ireland (and Scotland).
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:24 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
7,088 posts, read 3,912,446 times
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We are planning a trip next spring - originally to Ireland, but now my daughter wants to add London and a few days in England and a ferry to Ireland for about a week visit. That seems a bit involved to me. Has anyone attempted that? (Fly into London, ferry ride to Ireland, and fly out of Dublin or Shannon?)

They do have trains in Ireland.
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