What a fantastic trip! Over two weeks in Ireland seeing the country and doing everything from climbing tall ocean cliffs, holding a baby lamb, sleeping in castles, and discovering the history, heritage, beauty, and of course the friendly people of Ireland first-hand. We couldn’t have done it without Des, and the amazing service offered by Desmond Tours. We are experienced and picky travelers, and have used all sorts of tour companies. Desmond Tours is the best tour company we've ever experienced.
Along with another couple - our good friends - we planned a 16 day trip for 2020, but of course that was postponed due to COVID-19. A tough situation, but Desmond Tours was exceptionally accommodating. From the moment Des picked the four of us up at the Dublin Airport at 5:00am (!), and until he dropped us off 16 days later, safety was tops. He disinfected the coach nightly, supplied fresh masks upon demand, lined up everything in advance with no surprises, and helped my wife, who is less physically able, to be safe and enjoy every minute of the trip.
Des is such a friendly, engaging, funny guy with a gift for bringing Ireland to life. Every minute with him was so relaxed and fun. We did a grand circle, from Dublin to Donegal to Galway, Killarney, and Kilkenny, staying 3-4 nights each place. Des took care of all the driving, routes, sights along the way, and day trips from our hotels. Each day was extraordinary and memorable. We were super comfortable in the Mercedes motor coach. Our pace was leisurely and relaxed, with plenty of rest, stops to eat and have a pint, and enjoy Ireland without the rush.
It is hard to explain just how much better this sort of private tour experience is than group tours delivered by even the most exclusive large companies. We had the benefit of a private guide with decades of in-country experience, a deep knowledge and passion for Irish history, culture, and people, and a singular focus on delivering the trip of a lifetime. For a price similar to what we’ve paid for a high-end "all inclusive” tour in other places, we enjoyed a much more personalized and flexible experience. Really - whatever we wanted to see and do, Des made it happen. We chose our own hotels and food to suit our preferences exactly, with Des's guidance before and during the tour. Weather looks bad tomorrow? No problem - Des adjusted, planning something better for rain, and took us to our outdoor explorations the next day. When we wanted to go off the beaten path and see parts of Ireland most tourists never see, Des got us there and back in plenty of time to enjoy a great meal and a pint of Guinness.
We totally recommend Desmond Tours. Whether for just a few days or a multi-week odyssey, if you want the best Irish holiday that money can buy - best value, best experience, fine-tuned to your wishes, most fun, Des is your ticket!