Rick Steves Best of Ireland tour kicks off with the best of Dublin, followed by Ireland's must-see historical sites, charming towns, music-filled pubs, and seaside getaways — including Kinsale, the Dingle Peninsula, Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, Galway, Connemara, Giant's Causeway, Old Bushmills Distillery, and the compelling city of Belfast. This morning we'll take a walking tour through Dublin, learning about its rich history from the days of Viking raids to the hard centuries of British occupation to the proud and progressive city of today.

All along the way, Rick's guides will share their stories to draw you in to the Emerald Isle, and the friendliness of the people will surely steal your heart. Meet your guide and fellow tour members at our hotel at 5 p.m. We'll end our tour at Trinity College for an illuminating look at the remarkable Book of Kells, a creative jolt that helped pull Europe out of the Dark Ages. On our way out of Dublin, we'll stop at Kilmainham Gaol and learn about its place in Ireland's stirring struggle for independence less than a century ago.

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""Wow" moments seemed to come daily due to Cathie's warm guidance!

For scenic beauty, I was especially impressed with the Antrim coast including Giant's Causeway and the Carrick-a-rede bridge.

Your guide will help you with any post-tour planning, leaving you well prepared for the road ahead. You'd think by now they would have had enough of Americans, but they go way beyond what they need to do to serve the customer. This tour is thoughtfully designed to pack a lot in, and cover a lot of territory, while still giving down time to do whatever.

We had a very good group of folks and that added to the pleasure.

Cathie arranged it, and we had to rush to stay on schedule, but he was a delightful story teller.

His individual blessing for all who wanted it (and everyone in our group did) was sweet.

During slack times, Cathie was always busy texting or calling ahead to verify or take advantage of opportunistic arrangements for our group.

"One of my most memorable activities was one of those opportunistic moments.

I thought all of the cities and towns we visited were excellent!