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local tour group or not?

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local tour group or not?

I'm planning my trip to Ireland the first two weeks of August. I have contacted a local tour group (Exploring Ireland) to make an itinerary, rental car, and B&B. It seems that we are to stay at a new B&B every night or close to it. I don't want to see a lot of museums and other tourist places, I would like to know the best places that I can stay a couple of days and enjoy the quaint towns. My daughter wants to even see a sheep or two. My questions are:

1. Should I go with this tour company?

2. Should I try and find my own B&B when I get there? Is this difficult?

3. Which places will I find rugged coastline, quant towns (non-touristy), welcoming pubs, a castle, and forests? Is this too much to ask for in a location? To find these, in which direction should I travel?

4. Where is Barret's castle located? Need to visit, part of my family history.

This is mine and my daughters trip of a lifetime together. I want it to be full of wonderful memories, not touristy stuff.

Any thoughts?

Mahalo (thank you)


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1. Re: local tour group or not?

That castle is on the n20 outside mallow town county cork southern ireland. Very general quiry. Coastline from kinsale to killorgan kerry is nice. Kinsale skibbereen bantry kenmare are all nice. Forest best one on that run is killarney national park. Good pubs too many to chosse.

Arlington, Virginia
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2. Re: local tour group or not?

It sounds like you would do better planning the kind of trip YOU want rather than the kind of trip the tour company is offering. Most of the people on this forum have easily planned their own trips to Ireland, booking their own flights, rental car and B&Bs. It may take you some time to do the research, etc., but I think you'll end up happier with the result.

I'd start out by reading a few guidebooks and the Top Questions about Ireland (to the right of this screen). Consult a map of Ireland as you read to get an idea of where places are. Even with two weeks, you don't have time to cover the entire island of Ireland. Create an itinerary based on your interests and decide where you want to base yourself. (It sounds like you'd rather stay in one place several nights and do day trips as opposed to traveling along and staying in a different place each night.)

Once you have come up with an itinerary, look at the reviews of B&Bs for each location. (Go to the specific forum, e.g. Kenmare, and then click on "Hotels" at the top of this page. Then choose "B&B's") Once you find some B&Bs that appeal to you, contact them via phone or email to make a booking. If you don't want to be tied down to a set itinerary, make a booking for your first and last night in Ireland and then take all your B&B contact info with you so you can make bookings on the road. Just remember that this will take time away from your sightseeing and that the first 2 weeks of August is still in the midst of tourist season, so you might not get your first (or second) choice of B&B.

Finally, read as much as you can about renting a car in Ireland. (There's lots of info on TA about that!) Insurance is an issue you should pay particular attention to.

Enjoy your planning and enjoy your trip!

Edited: 01 May 2013, 15:08
Reno, Nevada
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3. Re: local tour group or not?

Plan it yourself. No organized tour can be as good as what you plan for yourself. Remember that the middle-man is just charging you a fee for what you could have done for yourself. Doing less in Ireland is doing more.

Ireland "No Ka Oi"


Venice, Florida
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4. Re: local tour group or not?

1) I wouldn't, with my biggest problem being vouchers, in August and the car hire.

2) I would pre-book Some (or most), but 'on-the-fly' IS possible.

3) Anywhere and in almost any direction -- Ireland IS an island. ;-)

4) Which ONE? There are TWO. One in Cork and the other in Mayo / Galway mountain area.



Cork: britainirelandcastles.com/Ireland/County-Cor…

I actually visited Mourne Abbey, this past October. It IS off the beaten path. I'll be staying just down the road, again, this June.

Facebook: https:/…201297159951306


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5. Re: local tour group or not?

Thanks for the advice on the different towns.Killarney is a must see for me.


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6. Re: local tour group or not?

It sounds like you are right about doing this on my own. I just need to find the time and resources. What about the insurance is the issue? When I usually rent a car it's not a problem. Would I call a local rental co. in the U.S. that contracts over there? I would like to have it all organized prior to my arrival.

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7. Re: local tour group or not?

Also thank you for the web site info. I'll use those!

8. Re: local tour group or not?

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