Ireland

Tour Length
8 days
From
US$1319
Overview Reviews

  • Kristin
  • Kristin
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries
Ireland
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Giants, Leprechauns, and a kiss of the Blarney Stone

10 Sep 2013 - 18 Sep 2013

The first word that comes to mind was WOW! Traveling to Ireland was the first "real big" trip I've taken. I'd been dreaming of going for years and since I'd get going alone I thought a tour was the best way to see it all....and Contiki doesn't disappoint!
My tour manager was Roxy. I can't begin to say enough good things about her- she's funny, knowledgable, entertaining, always has a smile on her face, and knows how to get us going. Our coach was masterfully navigated by Mark who can drive a bus as if it was a compact car.
A Contiki tour is full of non-stop places to see- many included and a few additional add ons (I highly recommend doing EVERYTHING). We saw Dublin, Trinity College, Temple Bar, Belfast, Giants Causeway, Derry, Galway, Aran Islands, Blarney Castle, Jameson distillery, Guinness brewery, Cliffs of Moher, Cork, Kilkenny, trad bands, Irish dancers, cows, sheep...lots of pubs and it was ALL magical!
Last but not least- the people! I met so many new friends that are part of some of the best experiences of my life. I won't forget the Auzzies, Canadians, and fellow Statesmen who I shared an amazing adventure with! They all helped make the trip what it was!
I will definitely be taking another Contiki tour in the future!

Review written Oct 2013

My Contiki was: Amazing, Adventure, Fantastic friends

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  • Linds416
  • Linds416
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries
Ireland
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Ireland October 5-13 2012

05 Oct 2012 - 13 Oct 2012

I had an absolutely amazing time! Sara, our tour manager, was fabulous! She made the trip that much better. She was organized, educated and funny. I lost my sweatshirt on the trip and even though she totally didn't have to she found out what happened to it after the trip was over and messaged me on Facebook about it. 100% dedication.

I saw everything I wanted to see and partied with awesome new people. I met some people I'm going to travel half way around the world to vist some day. Ireland is beautiful and I couldn't have had a better time with a better group of people!

Review written Oct 2012

My Contiki was: Beautiful, Thrilling, Fabulous

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  • Jennieva30
  • Jennieva30
  • Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 12 Countries
Ireland

Ireland 2012

21 Sep 2012 - 29 Sep 2012

I just arrived from the 9 day Ireland tour and what an amazing trip!! Contiki you yet again have exceeded my expectations. We made it out to Dublin, Cork, Kilkenny, and the Aran Islands to name a few. These trips are a two for one package because I feel as if after every tour I come back with another stamp in the passport but more importantly the friends that you come back with! Melts my heart!! :)

Review written Oct 2012

My Contiki was: Amazing!!, Wonderful, Beautiful

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  • Taylor
  • Taylor
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries
Ireland
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Incredible.

21 Sep 2012 - 29 Sep 2012

On this tour I was fortunate enough to go with 3 close friends of mine, right away I realized that whether I came with a group, or went alone, it wouldn't have mattered.
Everyone on the bus got along, no problems chatting with one another or hanging out at the pubs. I made friends on this trip that will last for a lifetime.
Our tour manager, Michelle, was incredible. As soon as we went for our meeting she was very welcoming, had a good sense of humour, and her knowledge of Ireland was extensive. She knew a lot of authentic pubs and little shops in Ireland and could answer any question. She put a lot of emphasis on respect during the tour and for our bus driver as well, Steve. I don't think we could have asked for a better driver, he was patient when people were late, he helped us with our luggage, and came to all the excursions with us. He definitely made himself present during the tour and became friends with a lot of us.
The whole tour was incredible, from Dublin to Cork, to Kilkenny, but what stood out for me the most was Northern Ireland and Galway.
In Northern Ireland we had a guide named Ronan and he was absolutely phenomenal. It would be a crime if Contiki ever decided to pass on this tour, but I doubt they ever would. He is an absolute superstar, completely unbiased to either the Catholics or Protestants, and speaks only of fact and RARELY personal opinion. He speaks eloquently and with humour to keep the group engaged.
While all of Ireland is beautiful and historical, Northern Ireland has such a unique story and history that makes it very impacting.
Galway is such a beautiful town, a lot of the shop lined streets are decorated and pedestrian only, making it simple to navigate and safe to roam about, of course still using caution at your own discretion.
The hotels weren't the Bellagio, but a lot of them offered free wifi, breakfast, a place to shower and sleep which is definitely the essentials. There were only two hotels outside of the city, this being Derry (we all went and hung out at the hotel bar) and our last nights stay in Dublin (and the cab ride cost about 10 Euro solo!) so none of us were complaining.
I would EASILY recommend Contiki and this tour and only hope that someone else is lucky enough to have Michelle and Steve show them Ireland.

Review written Oct 2012

My Contiki was: Beautiful, Impacting, Worth it

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Ireland
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Time of my LIFE!!!

30 Mar 2012 - 07 Apr 2012

Loved every minute of it!!! Our tour guide was beyond great and I met some amzing new friends! I wish I was still in Ireland!! So much to see and do- You must book this tour if you every wanted to see Ireland and have the best company!

Review written May 2012

My Contiki was: Amazing, Beautiful, Adventurous

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  • BiancaCal
  • BiancaCal
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries
Ireland
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Best week of my life

17 Jun 2011 - 25 Jun 2011

Accommodations were great! My favorite part was being at the top of the cliffs on the Aran Islands, it was absolutely incredible and breath-taking. I Would go on this tour again any day.

Review written Feb 2012

My Contiki was: incredible, fun, night life

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Ireland
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I fell in love with Ireland

20 May 2011 - 28 May 2011

One thing you always hear about Ireland is that the people are so nice and it's true! From the moment I got off the plane in Dublin I felt welcome. Not only did I fall in love with the people, but the culture and the land. Everything was simply breathtaking. One of the best parts was Northern Island and our tour with Ronan in Derry. Standing where Bloody Sunday took place and hearing how Ronan described growing up there is something I truly will never forget. Aside from the places we visited and the things we experienced, I truly believe it wouldn't have been the same had I not been with the amazing group I was with. Our Tour Manager, Jason, was amazing from his knowledge about the country to his personality and making sure we all had the time of our lives. I made some great friends and have a whole new list of places to visit because of them. I also came back with a new vocabulary thanks to some of my new aussie and kiwi friends. It was more than I could've expected and I would recommend it as one of the best ways for a twenty something to travel. Planning my next trip as I write this! :)

Review written Nov 2011

My Contiki was: memorable, fun, trip of a lifetime

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  • NOttina7
  • NOttina7
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries
Ireland
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Ireland 2011

07 Oct 2011 - 15 Oct 2011

Just got back from my trip to Ireland!! It was Amazing!! We had such a great time and experienced so many interesting things! Me and my friend are already planning our next trip to Paris for New Years next year. Our trip through Northern Ireland was very informative and eye opening, I had no idea that the ongoing troubles were all so real still. . .it was very cool to hear it from someone who experienced it and our tour guide for that part of the trip couldn't have been better (Rolan I believe his name was?!) We had a great time in Derry and Belfast and loved the trip back down South to the Giants Causway, stop over in Sligo and the added bonus of the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge (which was one of mine, and my travel companions favorite experiences). The Blarney Castle was amazing, and although it was too foggy to see the Cliffs of Moher, the walk up and surrounding area was cool too see. Heading down through Galway was one of my favorite points as well, loved the city and the night life. Cork and Kilkenny also had to be two of my favorites, The whole West Coast was basically awesome, from the day-time sites, green landscape and nights ending with drinks, fun and some awesome new friends!
Our tour-guide, Stu, was awesome, he was very friendly, informative and interactive with day to night events. He made our trip that much more enjoyable!! Sad to hear he is leaving Contiki!! He will be a definite loss, but we were happy to be his last tour, we had a blast!!
Our driver - Gordon (Flash) was also very friendly and pleasant to be around! He also seemed to know so many things about the tour which was nice. . . however the bus was not my favorite part, it was very small and uncomfortable for long rides and was either FREEZING cold or very hot and a lot of people seemed to get sick from being confined without windows for such long periods of time.

We traveled with 6 people, which after meeting and talking to the rest of the travelers on our bus, seemed crazy, everyone was alone or with MAYBE one other person, and i think going forward I would do the same, as it def. gives you more opportunity to meet new people and make bonds that could last forever (although we def. were able to do that as well).

All in all we had an AMAZING time. I cant think of a better word to describe it. I am so happy Contiki was recommended to me and I will make sure to recommend it going forward. . .I can honestly say that I was not a big fan of the crazy schedule, as it didnt give much, if any, down time, but i understand that to see all we saw, it has to be somewhat regimented on a day-to-day basis.

Me and my friend have already begin to plan to travel to Paris with you for New Years 2012. I look forward to taking many more Contiki trips in the future!!

Thank you Contiki for making our trip one I will remember for a lifetime!!

~Nichole Ottina

Review written Oct 2011

My Contiki was: Amazing, A perfect mix of culture and fun, The trip of a Lifetime!

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Ireland
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The Letdown

23 Sep 2011 - 01 Oct 2011

First I would like to say that this is my first trip out of country hopping the pond. Ive wanted to come to Ireland for years to experience its history, country, people, and beauty. I was so excited when my travel agent suggested this tour...as someone who is socially awkward i found the prospect of a group tour encouraging. I would get to see a lot in a friendly group atmosphere and be able to make a lot of friends who were here for a similar purpose. This was not the case.

Every day as rushed. Up for breakfast and on the road by 8 most days. Very limited time in even the biggest location. we only had 1.5 hours at Blarney castle which is not long enough to do hardly anything other than kiss the stone. By the end of it i felt i had seen more of the inside of the bus than anything else. We seemed to speed through our days to get to the hotel as quickly as possible for the partying to begin. While i wanted to see some pubs and live music i did not take this trip to drink myself stupid every night, and that is what this tour catered to.

Our tour manager was nice enough, played music, games, kept it interesting enough (i heard he did a better job than other tour managers) but definitely seemed to flock to and plan more for the party animals on our tour. But when its your last tour and your boss actually gives you the task of drinking your weight in alcohol why should we expect anything else but an over emphasis on the drinking. Also, the racial jokes were seriously unappreciated...i would have rather heard the paris hilton one. The point is to make everyone feel included, not cater to one specific group on the tour.

Only twice was our hotel actually in town. The rest of the time if we wanted to stay to experience some of the night life we had to taxi back to our hotel which was usually at least 25 euro which is stupidly expensive. The hotel upgrades were not worth the increase in taxi fare, i would have rather stayed at another budget hotel and actually been in the town, not outside of it.

And the group on the tour was less than friendly. It was a very high school like mentality with lots of gossip, rumors, and unwelcoming cliques. Im too old for crap like that...i havent had to deal with that mentality since high school and it was miserable to deal with it on a tour bus for 7 days.

Ireland is beautiful. I would not let this tour dissuade me from coming back. Our bus drivers were amazing and very friendly. The people in Ireland are very friendly and the history is worth exploring. I will absolutely be returing. But i will rent a car and explore on my own. The best I can say for this tour is that it showed me the places i would like to spend more time. Other than that, I would absolutely not recommend it to anyone.

Review written Oct 2011

My Contiki was: Rushed, Beautiful, Irritating

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Ireland
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Not what I expected!

23 Sep 2011 - 01 Oct 2011

Let me start with Ireland in general was gorgeous. I had a lot of fun and I do not regret going. Basically I wish I went with a different tour group whether it be with Contiki or someone else. I imagine that Contiki in general does a good job but we were cursed with a tour 'manager' (as he referred to himself a million times) who was on his last tour so he didn't really care. He was partial to the party animals and didn't even attempt to get to know anyone else. He demanded tips and when writing our reviews basically told us what to write as well as hounded those who actually took time to write a review as opposed to just checking the boxes. One night I was late for dinner and he gave me heck about it the rest of the night. I was 5 minutes late as I was trying to reach my family in regards to my 3 year old being in the emergency room. Turned out to be just an ear infection but instead of asking me if everything was ok when I arrived late, he was awful to me. But when his class pets were late, he had NO problem with it. He also gave false information about Ireland. Our manager wasn't very well educated on Ireland nor was he polite by any means. We had two tour-mates leave do to his attitude and the way he allowed others to treat them. My biggest problem was his rush to get us back to the hotels to get the partying on as opposed to staying in the sites. For example, the rock of Cashel was a 45 minute stop. We didn't even get to go in which was supposed to be included in the tour, we had to pay to go in. Same with Jameson. I called contiki before I left to make sure Jameson was included. Our manager said I was lied to by customer service and said he would try to squeeze it in. Finally he squeezed it in at a cost of 10 Euro a piece. It was supposed to be included. I didn't end up going. My second biggest problem was our hotels were supposed to be central. We were not. We were usually 10 - 20 minutes away so taxi's sure cost us a pretty penny. As I said, I am glad I went but never again will I do a Contiki as this has left me with such a sour taste for the company. I will also be spreading the word on how awful it was. I am grateful the opportunity I had and the friends I met. wish I went a different route but I am still glad I went.

On a positive note, the last night at the Merry Ploughboys was amazing. I loved it. So was Aran Islands. Unless you are an athlete or good cyclist, do not take the bike ride as instructed as you will not get to see the entire Island. Another huge regret but our tour manager misinformed us stating we wouldn't see the entire island if we didn't take the bikes (as opposed to the guided tour or the horse carriage ride). Also, you have to pay for your own transportation around Aran Islands AFTER you already paid the extra just to go to the island. Oh how Contiki really got all us :)

Review written Oct 2011

My Contiki was: Beautiful, Disappointing , Insane

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  • takeMEaway
  • takeMEaway
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 3 Countries
Ireland
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tour Review

17 Jun 2011 - 25 Jun 2011

Ireland was a trip of a lifetime! I didn't know it was possible for a group of strangers to have so much fun together.

Review written Aug 2011

My Contiki was: Satisfying, Breathtaking, Exciting

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Ireland
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Tour Review

18 Sep 2010 - 25 Sep 2010

I found this tour to be to be a waste of money and wish we have of done Ireland ourselves. The tour guide wasnt the friendliest of people and treated us like we were kids on a school bus excersion. I felt like she looked down on us because we didnt chose to do all the options and she also built everything up to be "wow" moments which lead to several let downs. I also did not like how she told us how to fill in our customer feedback form at the end of the trip. I dont recommend this trip as value for money, if you are going to go to Ireland, hire a car and do it yourself.
All the sights seemed repetative and it wasnt at all what I hoped for after a previous Contiki tour. This tour has put me off ever travelling to Ireland again and maybe recommending Contiki to friends.

Review written Oct 2010

My Contiki was: Boring, Structured, Repetative

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  Back to Overview

Backstage Pass

Our backstage pass includes all of this and more, and it's free as part of your trip.

Exclusive Accommodation

  • 7 nights twin-share hotel accommodation
  • 11 meals: 7 continental breakfasts & 4 three-course dinners
  • An experienced & professional Tour Manager & Driver team
  • Modern, air-conditioned coach with electrical outlets for charging
  • Sightseeing tours of all major cities plus orientations in all other destinations
  • Hotel tips, local taxes & service charges

Exclusive Team

  • An experienced & professional Tour Manager & Driver team
  • Sightseeing tours of all major cities plus orientations in all other destinations

Exclusive Food

  • 7 continental breakfasts
  • 4 three-course dinners

Exclusive Inclusions

  • See Trinity College, the Monument of Light, Parnell Square and St. Stephen's Green
  • City tour of Belfast with a Local Guide
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Me Time

  • Giant's Causeway
  • Walking tour
See More

On a budget?

  • The average cost per day for this tour is US$164
  • You only need a US$200 deposit to book and pay in full 45 days before you travel.
  • Pay in installments, with Contiki Easy Pay
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