Our Wild West Irish Tours travelers (Wild Westies) are your best TripAdvisors!

Here are some of our latest reviews, comments and testimonials.

Sue and Warren S.  – US

We had the most exciting time in Ireland with Wild West Irish Tours.
We met at the airport at the yellow sculpture and our guide/driver was waiting for us. It was so exciting to meet all of our travel companions for the week. All of them from the beginning were delightful and fun loving. We knew this was going to be the trip of a lifetime!
After a wonderful lunch stop we headed to our Bed & Breakfast. Upon arrival the landscape was all inspiring. I was hoping we would be near Benbulben and it was more beautiful than any picture.
Geraldine was so delightful and friendly as we introduced ourselves. She immediately made us feel right at home. Each morning we were treated to some of the best Irish breakfasts possible. Each day was filled with various activities, beautiful sites, Irish history and so much fun. We especially loved walking and horseback riding on the beach. Slieve League was also a favorite with beautiful views from atop the high cliffs. The border collie demonstration of sheep herding was amazing also.
Every day was special and we enjoyed getting to know our group and sharing this memory of a lifetime with them. All of them felt like friends and family before leaving. Special thanks to all our drivers/guides for keeping us safe and sharing their knowledge of Ireland with us.
Also, special thanks to Michael, Geraldine and Beatriz for planing this amazing tour for us and making us feel so special the whole week. Sligo is forever in our hearts!
Sue and Warren S. – US

Donna P.  – US

Wild West Irish Tours
Amazing! Magical! Beautiful! Indescribable!
These are some of the words that I could use to describe my experience on my Wild West Irish Tour. But they are just words…
In order to adequately convey the wonder of this trip for me, you would have to have access to my feelings…and those, I’m finding, I’m having trouble putting words to. But I will try:
I felt Welcomed…from the moment I arrived in Dublin Airport, by WWIT, then by Geraldine, an absolute treasure, at Yeats Lodge, by my fellow Wild Westies, none of whom I knew before this experience, now whom I consider not only friends but family, and, of course, welcomed by the gracious people of the Emerald Isle…
I felt Inspired…as our tour guides made thousands of years of Irish history, myths, folklore and legends magically come to life…
I felt Happiness… as each morning I watched the sun rise over a mist-shrouded Benbulben right there in my own “backyard”, and then later, as the sun parts the rain clouds, revealing a kaleidoscope of rainbows…
I felt Wonder…by the seemingly endless lush green landscapes, dotted with fluffy white “clouds” and by how much brighter the stars seemed in the vast expanse of the night sky in Sligo…
I felt Awed…riding horseback on a breathtaking beach on the Wild Atlantic Way…(I mean, how did I get so lucky to do this???!!)
I felt equal parts Excitement and Anxiety…as I climbed the trail at awe-inspiring Slieve League, and, with the help of some of my fellow Wild Westies, left the fear I had suddenly found about 1/3 of the way up far behind and made it to the top, achieving a personal milestone that a year ago for me would have been unthinkable….
All of which leads me to feel Changed…not to sound dramatic…but I really am forever changed by this experience…
Wild Westie Donna P.

Sheila and Bob S.  – MD

There are not enough superlatives to describe our trip with Wild West Irish Tours.

Beginning with our arrival at Dublin Airport and our meet up at the Yellow Sculpture to our departure from Dublin, our days and evenings were full of adventure, fun, learning, excitement, marvels and wonders!

Our guides and bus drivers provided amazing in depth information about Ireland ancient and new!

I cannot stop telling people about our delightful hosts at the B&B including Epi the donkey.  This is a trip not to be missed.

Thank You Michael, Geraldine & Michael our hosts, and our fellow Wild Westies.

Sheila and Bob S.

Daniel H. – US

Daniel is a photographer from Richmond VA, who joined our tour, with a personal desire to capture the Donegal landscapes through his camera lenses…

He shares with us the beauty of this tour on his website.

Here is his testimonial. Enjoy!

 

“After a nine-day tour of County Donegal, with a fine group of travelers. We started as strangers and ended friends.

Our main base was in Lecany, Inishowen, Co. Donegal, a wonderful place of beauty with great hosts, breakfasts and a warm peat fire burning when we returned each evening. We covered many miles touring the coastline and interior areas of interest, including castles, bays, loughs, ancient monastic sites and some fine pubs. And to categorize the photos of these locations we visited was just about impossible.

We had an enjoyable time thanks to Neil, who had the depth of knowledge and the gift of gab. Thanks also to Neil for his hospitality and music.

Thanks also to our fellow travelers for their photos, too.”

 

This is the link to Daniel’s Website!

https://donegal.myportfolio.com/vmfa

Daniel Harrington Photography

Photos of County Donegal

Patricia O. And Family- US

It was the luck of the Irish when my daughter, who I was visiting in Richmond, and I happened by your booth and Ireland brochures at the St Patrick’s Day Festival and met Beatriz. Although visiting Ireland was a long-time wish, I wasn’t then actively considering such a trip.

Still, I explained what I was looking for in a two-generation family trip to Ireland:  A comprehensive but not overwhelming 7-10 day tour, a look at our Irish roots in four different counties, flexibility, affordability and no driving.  Not hesitating, Beatriz recommended your Wild West Atlantic Way tour. With a large enough group, and with a similar cost, we could sign up for a private tour with our own driver, allocate time for stops in ancestral areas, and even request limited genealogy assistance. It sounded just right and possible.  We needed some time for us all to work out schedules, budget, details and dates, but it all came together, and the six of us – my husband Larry and I, daughter Lauren and son-in-law Kevin, son Stephen and his girlfriend Ashten – were on.

This was my family’s first visit to Ireland/Northern Ireland and it unfolded into a wonderful, magical time.  Ireland’s unusually lush, green, rocky landscape is stunning.  We were treated to so much beauty while there – along with kindness, consideration, friendliness and knowledge.

Our 10-day whirlwind included castles and cliffs, hills and holy wells, waterfalls and mist, churches and graveyards, sheep and sheepdogs, caves and shipwrecks, and stones, steppingstones and stone walls EVERYWHERE.  Dermot and Senan, always on time and in good humor, set the tone for each day’s events, answered many questions, and drove us safely to our numerous destinations.  Pius, our County Clare walking guide and a national treasure, introduced us to the Burren and its beautifully rocky landscape.  A natural and assured teacher, he generously shared history and legends of Ireland, as well as its Celtic spirit and spirituality. A counterpart in Sligo, Captain George, aboard the Rose of Innisfree, steered us across Lough Gill to another time and place, and reintroduced us to WB Yeats while narrating Yeats poems.

We also touched base with our family roots, working in two afternoon stops at several ancestral townlands in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. We found churches where my great-great-great grandparents married, their children were baptized and married, my great-grandmother’s home, and a graveyard where relatives lie buried. I deeply thank Geraldine for confirming and adding her expertise to my research, and for mapping out these locations.  She and Senan also took us into the hills to see the ruins of a small neighborhood of abandoned stone “famine” homes, providing a clearer picture of what our ancestors in counties Clare and Sligo likely faced in the 1840s. Sharing with my children these visible links to our Irish heritage was a wonderful and powerful experience.

High points also included meeting Joe the sheepdog, and Martin, his smart, funny, equally entertaining owner.  Laura charmed us with her good nature and humor, along with her dancing, singing and story-telling skills.  Mary, Kathleen and Audrey welcomed us warmly at each of our three inns, greeting us every morning with pots of coffee and tea and breakfast cooked-to-order. Even the weather cooperated, running the gamut from balmy to blustery, and misty and chilly – a treat for those of us escaping  Florida’s heat. The late sunsets were glorious.

You all make a great team – professional, personable and welcoming. You worked well with each other and with us to tailor what turned into a top-notch tour. Making this decision to travel was, in words Senan might say, “Sound. Sound!”  I feel as if Dermot, Senan, Geraldine, Mary and Pius now are old friends. Thank you all for helping to make this an amazing, spiritual, educational, and “brilliant” experience for our family. To borrow from Yeats, we human children indeed got away to the waters and the wild – to a world full of delight.

And finally, as it turns out, we actually traveled as a party of seven.  Our first evening in Ireland, our daughter and son-in-law told us she was expecting their first child – our first grandchild.  Truth be told, this was the greatest highlight of our visit. In this land of our ancestors, it felt as if we were coming full circle.

Thanks again for everything ~

Patricia O. and Family

Cathy P.   –   US

This tour surpassed our expectations!!  The B&B was beautiful, the hostess was fantastic and our tour guide was fun and engaging!
Hope to do another tour with Wild West Irish Tours in the future.
Mary G.N. 1

Mary G.N.   –   US

Wild West Irish Tours did an amazing job the past 11 days on our tour.
Trip of a lifetime! Thank you!💚

Janelle C.   –   US

Loved my adventure on Wild West Irish Tour Signature group. Geraldine at Yeats B&B made us feel right at home & she served the most delicious breakfasts to start our day. Each tour guide & bus driver was very well informed about the area & showed us many magical/mystical places.

Kudos to Michael & his entire group for their special service. A small group made it easier for us to get to know each other & 7 strangers I met on the first day had become family by the end of the tour. Would recommend contacting WWIT & planning a trip!

Janelle C. – US

Donna H.   –   US

These pictures don’t do justice to the true beauty that is Ireland. The incredible shades of green, the majestic mountains and rolling hills, the lovely lakes and breathtaking shoreline, and of course, the genuinely warm and welcoming Irish people.
Thank you so much, Geraldine, for your hospitality during our stay! I thoroughly enjoyed staying at your lovely B&B!
Truly the best vacation I’ve ever taken.

Stacy K. – US

The 148th Open is in full swing at Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. From just across the Pond, in Florida, my heart swells as I watch the television coverage span the surrounding countryside highlighting landmarks I have just experienced with Wild West Irish Tours. Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle, Causeway Coastal Route flood my memories. And that was just the last day of our Wild Atlantic Way Tour!

Eight days earlier, our tour began with castles, fairy trails, folk villages, hiking the Burren, and a hearty dose of craic! The next day our travels took us on the Wild Atlantic Way, which was a personal dream of mine. I am a lover of great roads. That day my dream unfolded in front of me as we passed lighthouses, wild rock formations, and gorgeous strands! Not only did we get to gaze at the Atlantic Ocean from a different point of view, we got to motor across it to the breathtaking Aran Islands. I attended an outdoor Mass said in Gaelic on an island off the coast of Ireland. I had to pinch myself! The Cliffs of Moher awaited our return, as did a few pints.

County Sligo delivered Yeats, Ashleigh Falls, Killary Fjord, Doolough Pass, and Croagh Patrick where I got to witness young girls in their riding gear riding their Connemara Ponies. What a simple unexpected delight in the presence of greatness! Powerful stories accompanied ancient ruins, tombs and monuments. We met a dog, a river, and a myth, all named Finn. Waterfalls, wildflowers, patchwork farmland, craggy cliffs, winding roads comprised the next few days. I remember looking at a map while researching, and pointing to a dot called Malin Head vowing that I would get there someday.

Dreams DO come true! It was dramatic and exciting. The waters and the wild had stolen my breath and heart!

I Believe!!

Debby B. – US

This was my third trip to Ireland, my second Wild West Irish Tour. I knew it would be amazing but I didn’t know that it would be so completely different from my other two trips.

There were seven people in our group so we were able to always sit together at restaurants and fit in a van, without being split up into separate groups. We bonded over delicious Irish food, foot-tapping Irish music and lovely fireplaces. We parted as friends, tearfully. We had great sympathy for the large tour buses as they drove by, pulling over for seconds as drivers pointed at the treasures we were exploring up close with a guide to share the history, the stories and significance of these most special places.

There were many places that were off the beaten path, places that no tourist would know about or be able to find. Places that were marked centuries ago, places that would take your breath away. I had seen mountains in Ireland but nothing that prepared me for the beauty of the Connemara area. I thought I had seen the burren when I did a self drive tour but the burren we were introduced to by our guide was in a while other world. I was not prepared for what I saw and learned.

Our boat ride across a lake to an inhabited island, so rich in history with awesome ruins, was a photographer‘s dream. Again, our guide gave us a wealth of information as we explored.

Our second boat ride was to an Aran Island, another photographer’s paradise, but then all of Ireland would qualify for that. There was so much to see on that small island as we rode along on our horse-driven cart. And the lunch we had there was amazing. One lady in our group bought a head wrap at a small shop and as she paid for it she found out it was designed and hand made by the mother of the young man that waited on us.

We left there and were able to see the Cliffs of Moher by boat-how special was that! We were amazed by the birds at the sea stack! There was so much more, beautiful castles, abbeys, waterfalls, lakes, seashores, sheep, the “Quiet Man” bridge, and medieval type villages and towns. And food? All of our food was fresh, locally grown and AMAZING! They don’t have Walmarts there, they have butcher shops so you don’t have the processing we have here.

And accommodations? We had two wonderful b&b’s which provided genuine, warm Irish hospitality. The breakfast each day was delicious, filling, and a great start to a day of exploration. Our schedule was relaxed and not set in stone so there was always time to make a stop to shop or slip down a local road to see another hidden gem.

Another highlight was the music. We had world known Irish musicians perform just for us and we also heard local musicians. One of my personal favorites was the sheep herding demonstration-it was so much more than sheep herding. The scenery itself at that location was so beautiful my husband didn’t believe I took the pictures I had. It’s THAT beautiful.

I left Ireland feeling full in spirit and overflowing with so many emotions. Thank you , Wild West Irish Tours, for providing us with the best.

Eileen D. – US

Nine days next to Heaven! I had been to Ireland before, twice actually, but I wanted my children and grandchildren to experience it too. My dear husband said, “Plan it!”, and off I went to the Internet to explore my options to visit Ireland once again, this time with 10 other people tagging along.

When I came across Wild West Irish Tours, I knew I had found exactly what I needed for my active family. After reading reviews and talking to Trish I was comfortable booking the trip and airline tickets for the family, almost a year in advance. It did not take much convincing, but am certain that some in the family thought it could be a trial to have so much togetherness.

Excitement built, and I worried about everything since this was my BIG idea. I worried for nothing! From takeoff to landing and the drive from Dublin to our first stop at a castle in Nenagh, the excitement continued. Considering we were all a little bleary-eyed after our overnight flight, the beauty of the countryside and the lilt of Irish accents, of our driver and our guide, captured everyone’s interest and kept us awake.

Hosts at the B&B in Clare, where we would stay for three nights, made us feel comfortable and very welcomed. Our guide introduced us to the historical gems of Clare. Bunratty Castle’s great big Irish Wolf Hounds were a favorite of our animal loving kids. Our trip to the Aran Island, our guide introduced us to the very slim “door to Heaven” that I am proud to say my family made it through!

Our days were full of tours, activities, and new friends- human and animal! Our ears became accustomed to our driver’s strong Donnegal accent. Riding the 14 passenger bus on the challenging roads was no problem and we relaxed between stops along our Wild West of Ireland Way. On one of the overlooks, my granddaughter found a four leaf clover! Certainly a good luck omen.

On our way to Sligo, our next stop for three nights, we detoured for a splendid tea and a visit to Achill Island. Overlooking the Dugort Stand, laid a pristine stretch of beach that our grandchildren immediately ran off to. A quick tour, on our bus, we viewed high cliffs and overlooks. A taste of Achill that will call us back, just beautiful!

Arriving at our accommodations in Sligo, we were welcomed by Eppy a very friendly donkey. Once again our animal lovers were charmed. We were again welcomed in our lovely accommodation, a beautiful home where we would be for three nights. Two of the nights our host arranged for entertainment after dinner that introduced our family to Irish dancing, harp, and whistle. The third night our host had a cake with candles for my birthday! The very best place on earth to have a birthday party. We visited a sheepdog demonstration, petting the dogs and holding small lambs put smiles on all our faces. Tours about the poet Yeats, and the stories of the Spanish Armada, a golf outing for guys and seaweed baths for the girls all part of our perfect time in Sligo.

Onward to Donegal and a rustic farmhouse where we were met by a handsome Irish Setter. Just out of the bus he was an instant friend that we were told would lead us to the beach. He did just that. The next morning, we decided to spend time on the beach. The kids had a grand time jumping the waves with Finn.

In the afternoon we boarded the bus for a coastal drive and lunch. After a second night and a great breakfast, we had an early departure for the ferry heading off to the most Northern Point of Ireland and then on to the Giants Causeway. Rain shortened our time climbing the strange and impressive rock formations. After lunch at a nearby pub, we boarded the bus for the longest ride yet, back to Dublin and to an amazing hotel for two nights.

Once settled with our rooms, our guide took us to Clondalkin, the birthplace and early home of my grandfather Patrick Brady. It was a sentimental journey for me.
I had visited twice, once at age 18 and again 20 years ago with my husband. This is what the trip was about. It was important to me to show them the Irish Tower just down the road from the house where he was born. There is a new museum and garden where his home once was and we spent time with a guide there learning about the Tower, which is the best preserved in all of Ireland. This is my gift to the next generation, an understanding of who came before them.

We had a farewell dinner back at the hotel. Our sons did a wee pub crawl with the older grandchildren. Grandpa and I went to bed.

We had one full day in Dublin, taking in Trinity College and the Book of Kells, Grafton Street, and the Jameson Whiskey tour. Turned in early for our early morning flight home!

Each and everyone has told me “It was a trip of a lifetime”. It surely ’twas!

Rita T. – Maryland, US

My husband Mel and I were privileged to enjoy the Wild West Irish Signature Tour. It was a wonderful experience, far beyond our expectations! Each day was packed with adventures, new experiences, and learning about the history and culture of Ireland, yet there was never a feeling of being rushed or herded about like a typical tour. Everything about how the tour was organized was excellent and everyone involved was top-notch – the drivers, the expert guides, and our wonderful host at Yeats Lodge, Geraldine. We could not have felt more welcome in Ireland.

We learned so much from the experts who took us around places like Carrowmore, Inishmurray, and the Spanish Armada shipwreck sites. But don’t think of dry, dusty lectures. These experts were engaging storytellers who leavened their learning with charm, wit, and tales from Irish myth. Highlights for me were an evening walk from the Lodge to see Yeats’ grave in Drumcliffe churchyard, the boat trip around the Isle of Innisfree while our captain read the Yeats poem, and the trip to the uninhabited island of Inishmurray with its ancient ruins. But really there were too many highlights to list them all! A nice touch were the “surprise” evening entertainments that were brought to us at the Lodge – Irish dancing by an All-Ireland champion and a demonstration of Celtic cultural traditions. And I can’t forget the evening of traditional Irish music at a Sligo pub. Maybe it’s something in the Irish air, but I did things I didn’t think I was capable of – I rode a horse for the first time in my life and climbed to the very top of the Slieve League cliffs!
The Wild West Irish Tours team do everything they can above and beyond to meet the needs and interests of their guests. One evening Geraldine drove my husband and I to the town an hour away where my grandparents were from. She helped me find the specific townlands where they grew up and the graves of my great-grandparents. I don’t think we would have been able to find these places on our own without her local knowledge. She made similar special trips with other guests in our group who had local relatives. And this in addition to running the Lodge with its spacious, comfy, and spotlessly clean rooms and serving up a varied menu of lovely breakfasts!
If you want to explore the real Ireland beyond the typical tourist places, immerse yourself in Irish history and culture, and have adventures outside your comfort zone, Wild West Irish Tours is the only way to go.
Thanks again Michael and Trish, Geraldine, Dave, and all our expert guides!

Bob, Becky, and Ashley

Ardath – New Jersey

Lois E. – Illinois

I just completed my first “Heart of the Wild West” Signature tour.

I say my first because I know I will go on another one. You learn so much about Ireland. We met with archaeologists, historians, artists and musicians. Everyone was so friendly, accommodating and fun. The other people on the tour were great. This was my first small tour and I will never go on a coach tour. We visited places that coaches could never go to.

I loved the fairy glen, beaches and the B and B that we stayed in for the week. Many thanks to Michael, Trish, Geraldine and the entire Wild West Irish Tours team, the new friends I made for a great and unforgettable experience.

Elaine & David

Jacquie and Janelle

Sue K. – Saugerties, NY

My husband and I signed up to take the Wild West Signature Tour several months before it was scheduled to leave. I eagerly read every post and blog on Facebook I could about the tour, which whetted my appetite for our trip. But nothing could have prepared me for how truly wonderful and amazing it was.

Our experience in Ireland on the Wild West tour was above and beyond what we had wished for. It is difficult to capture the essence of our time in words, but I will try!

First, we saw places that were magnificent in beauty. We traveled to see gigantic cliffs that rose majestically from the sea.

Our wonderful guide, Dave, took us to a local castle where we took an interesting tour. Our tour guide shared stories and trivia that brought the former occupants of the castle back to life. We followed the tour with a boat ride on a beautiful lough. Our captain quoted Yeats’ poetry and told us of his life in this region of Ireland. It was fascinating and loads of fun!
The most memorable and incredible place we went to was an uninhabited island. We sailed in a fishing boat in the open sea, passing a seal colony in our way there. Daryl, our captain shared stories with us of the sights we passed along our voyage of almost an hour! We were accompanied by Auriel, an archeologist who led us ashore once we reached the island. I cannot capture what that experience was like. What I can say is that several of our group was moved to tears once we reached the upper part of the island.
We were able to explore a monastery built in the 6th century. We entered structures where the monks slept and served mass 15 centuries ago. We saw ruins built by pagan people with Celtic crosses carve over the original symbols. It was incredible. Auriel taught us the significance of symbols and linked them to the history of both the island and of Ireland.
Alongside the monastery were the remains of a self-sufficient village of ten families who lived in the island until the 1940s! What stoic, hard-working people they must have been to live in such a harsh but surreally beautiful place.
One fun day we were led on the trail of a survivor of the shipwrecked Spanish Armada by guide Eddie O’Gorman. It was remarkable to know that someone made the trek on foot to the places we saw, including a beautiful waterfall. We had such fun reading poetry from Yeats and acting out a play about the events of so long ago.
There are so many hidden, precious gems we were taken to on our tour. Wonderful Geraldine, who was both our B & B host and guide took us to a holy well which had once been a site of worship for pagans and now houses a shrine to St Patrick. Nearby we saw caves in which Catholic priest served mass in hiding for fear of punishment from the English.
It is impossible to describe every place we saw in the scope of a trip review. Just know that, if you join a Wild West tour, you will see places that will forever change you. That sounds dramatic, I know, but to go to these sights is a deeply moving experience.
Our amazing guides would pull off the road in various spots and before we knew it we would be standing before an ancient site full of history and intrigue. Dave and Geraldine shared their passion and love for Ireland with us in such a way that we fell in love with it too.
Our B & B was perfect. We had spectacular views of Benbulben from our room. Breakfast was amazing! Geraldine even arranged for a birthday cake for my husband on his birthday! And several nights we spent together watching an Irish dancer or hearing Dave play a traditional Irish harp and tin whistle. Out last night we had a visit from a Celtic woman who taught us about ancient Irish traditions and rituals. It was fascinating!
We were brought to wonderful restaurants, quaint tearooms and pubs for lunch. You must try a seafood pie and, of course, fish and chips – and bangers and mash! Simply delicious! A pint of Guinness goes down so nicely in the Wild West, too!
I would say that anyone who wants to really feel immersed in Irish history and culture should go on A Wild West tour. They will experience Irish music and lore from people of Ireland who truly love their country. Our guides love and pride for their heritage was palpable in their every word and action. Their knowledge of their country’s history was impressive. And their warmth and friendliness made it all the more wonderful.

Virginia & Michael – New Mexico

Yvonne and Brenda – Pennsylvania

Darcy B. – New Mexico

After reading the reviews on Wild West Irish Tours, I thought I had found the perfect fit for my next trip to Ireland.

One of my sisters and I went on the Signature Tour….it was everything I wanted and so much more.

Everyone was so nice and friendly. I loved the small group and feel I have made new friends.

Senan is such a good driver and guide. If I lifted my camera, he would ask if I wanted him to stop. Geraldine is a warm and friendly hostess with a great sense of humor. The food at the Lodge and all the places we ate was delicious.
All of our tour guides were knowledgeable and friendly. You could tell they were really interested in their subject, not reciting a script.

We went to many places well off the path that big tour buses could not get
to. I had several magical places, where I closed my eyes and listened and smelled and felt the air on my skin. They are burned into my memory. We never felt rushed. This is the best way to see Ireland. Someone else driving, leaving you to enjoy the view and answer your questions. I’m hoping to go back to Ireland this year, and I’ll be going again with Wild West Irish Tours.

Nick

Joanie

Erin B

As a single person, I appreciated the size of Wild West Irish Tours. Keeping the groups small & intimate helped my comfort level. I didn’t feel like a single person lost in the crowd.

My stay at the B&B was wonderful. Joyce & Mervyn were wonderful hosts. Having been to Ireland previously, staying in a different B&B each night was great but comes with its own challenges. Staying in one location definitely had its benefits. Touring the farm with our B&B hosts was likewise wonderful and educational.

Senan was a great driver and tour guide. He was funny, kind and helped make the trip enjoyable. We had one other tour guide for the first three days of our tour…. Des – he was lovely! His tours were also funny and educational. I loved that we went to some major well-known spots, but also places that were the non-tourist parts of Ireland. Des took us to see a field full on donkeys. Excellent photo ops!

I look forward to my next Wild West Irish Tour!

Rusty and His Grandchildren

David & Randy – Hilton Head, South Carolina

Cynthia – Quebec, Canada

“Where peace comes dropping slow…”

“As an author, I went to Ireland to do a little research for a few stories I’ve had on my mind, while enjoying a “working vacation.” On a personal level, I was looking for peace, a healing after a tragic loss in my life—the loss of my dearest friend, the friend who’d promised to show me Ireland.
I found both on my Wild West Signature Tour.

Our B & B host, Geraldine, made us feel so very welcome. She and I shared a love of books and history that made for some wonderful conversations. Our driver/guide, Senan, was lots of fun, and every one of the “guest guides” was a fount of knowledge, whether it was about the passage tombs at Carrowmore or the Spanish Armada at Streedagh Beach. Our tour included a Holy Well, a Mass Rock, a Rag Tree, and a tiny village deserted since Famine times. In sharp contrast, we visited both a fairy glen (where I could almost feel the presence of “someone” watching us) and a mass grave where unknown numbers of men, women and children desperately and vainly sought sustenance. These are places you could never find in a guidebook.
Of course, being in “Yeats Country,” we paid homage to the Great Man himself, stopping at Drumcliffe Church and taking a cruise around Innisfree, complete with Irish music and readings from Yeats.
There’s a certain magic in the Irish air. Perhaps it’s the way the soft, pearlescent light streams gently through the banks of the clouds, or the mist that seems to hang over the sky. Maybe it’s the welcoming smiles of the people, or the music that filters through their voices. Wild West Irish Tours offers history, mythology, mist and magic all in one unbelievable jam-packed tour that nonetheless leaves you time to yourself. I highly recommend a Wild West Irish Tour. You’ll find the real, hidden Ireland…and you might just find yourself!”

Ann

Eileen

Ron and Phant

The May Wild West Pilgrimage was perfect for opening the door to spring and to ourselves. Bealtaine, the fire festival of the Celts, initiated us with flowers on the threshold. But more than journeys to special green places with magic wells, rugged coastlines, nestled valleys at the base of mountains, pastoral scenes of sheep and cows, there were also journeys turned inward with gifted guides to accompany us.

Attention to solitude and silence invoked awakenings of being present and really seeing Western Ireland. Whispers of ancestors in the sacred rocks of Carrowmore and at the oasis of ferns and wild flowers where Colmen made his hermitage on the Burren breathed in rhythm with our daily dose of poetry and our slow silent approach to fully using our senses and quieting our minds.  Then as naturally, we evolved into community and vibrancy with discussions fed by dance, art, music, yoga, ritual, history, folklore. The guides were passionate and amazingly interesting, able to gently nudge us into making connections and widening openings.

Frankly, we were initially unsure of signing up for a pilgrimage, but later we  knew it was the best decision, one that engaged all of us: the  body, intuition, mind, spirit, and emotions. The land gently held us as we explored ourselves in new ways.

Tara – Long Island

David and Barbara

Christine J

Words cannot express what an incredible time we had in Ireland! Incredible memories were indeed made. The small group tour was certainly the way to go. I was impressed with Wild West Irish Tours from the get go. The knowledge and professionalism of all of the guides were truly remarkable…everything was superb.
I cannot say enough about our guides and B&B. What lovely individuals we got to spend the week with!
I have already given the tour rave reviews to so many people. I still need to go on your website to do a review as well.

Thank you again for making our trip to Ireland an unforgettable adventure. I hope to join you again in the future!

(From Christine’s daughter, Bernadette)

My mother is on your trip right now and has absolutely no words to describe the life-changing experience that you have given her. Today they are travelling to where her grandfather is from and to hopefully find the ruins of the house that he grew up in. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Update… They found the house that he grew up in and my grandmother was able to meet her cousin for the first time. I have tears of joy in my eyes. You do not know what this means for our family 💜 God bless and thank you again for this opportunity.

Paul and Marilyn

Marilyn

Donnie F.

The tour you facilitated provided such a sweet balance of poetry, solitude, conversation, myth, story, and beauty. Who could ask for more?
Our group was amazing, and so inspiring. I was encouraged to see through new eyes, and understand in new ways…all because 5 people took a chance.
Thank you Michael, Trish, Geraldine, Michael Q., Michael R., Pius, Regina, Laura, Simone, Mary and Declan, and to the many others who worked so hard to make our pilgrimage unforgettable. (Now to find ways to integrate all I learned about Ireland and myself into my everyday sacred life.)

Nicki

David

Charles and Margaret Ann

“My husband and I had an absolutely wonderful time on our Wild West Irish tour! This was Charles’ first trip to Ireland and we are already talking about when we can go back- of course as Wild Westies! The highlight for Charles was the music- arrangements were made for him to play in a couple of pubs with other prominent musicians and for me the best part was seeing where The Quiet Man was filmed. The conscious effort to make sure everyone had their interests met was above expectations. We will be back…” Well, Charles and Margaret Ann are indeed coming back for the Wild Atlantic Causeway Coast Tour!!

Marie – Texas

Dr. Mira – New York City

Judy Williamson, Director, Napoleon Hill World Learning Center & Executive Director, OG Cares Foundation

As writer Paul Tournier wrote, in words that speak to both the armchair traveler and the traveler leaving home for fulfillment and adventure, “The real meaning of travel, like that of a conversation by the fireside, is the discovery of oneself through contact with other people.”

When I decided in short order to travel to Ireland with Wild West Irish Tours it was because I was looking to leave home and have some engaging yet superficial entertainment that would occupy my mind due to the recent passing of my husband, Robert. In the months proceeding his death, I had been very busy with out-of-state hospitals, doctors, health professionals, insurance companies, two jobs, and care giving at home prior to his almost four week hospitalization ending in death. I was in need of some quiet time following the ordeal that I and my children had been through. Two best friends — husband and wife — agreed to travel with me on the spur of the moment, and together we set out for something unknown. I had been to Ireland numerous times, but never on a pilgrimage and never one on Celtic Spirituality. Our group was small, but self-contained in a van and a car, as we left on our adventure from the hotel. In due time, we were introduced to our first innkeeper, Geraldine, who became not only a hostess but trusted traveling companion as well as the other traveling companions and group leaders Michael and Tricia on our journey. Others had experienced loss in their families and were recovering in their own way. Interchanges during our drives, and reflection during our “classes” caused me to look within to consider change, and then to return to the present moment with group members. Visiting the Burren, Celtic spiritual worship and burial sites, roadside parks with gorgeous waterfalls, and the seaside were all memorable stops. But enjoying a seaweed bath experience, having daily “family” meals with the group, and spending time by the fireside as we learned about Celtic customs for the home and hearth, having an up close and personal dance performance, being graced with the presence of a shamanic healer who guided us in a healing circle, watching a video on Connemara, visiting a Celtic Park, and being adjacent to two humongous bonfires wherein we cast our concerns, all melded this unique experience into a unique whole.
By the last day, all of us were more than acquaintances — we have all bonded because we were part of the human family. I would recommend this trip to anyone traveling single or as a couple since every moment you are looked after. The education at times can be subliminal, but profound, and the healing is a nice accompaniment.
Another writer, Mason Cooley, wrote, “Travelling carries me to the surface, away from the deeps of home-thoughts.” When I began the journey, I was traveling away from my heartache. By the time I because part of the group, I was acknowledging my loss and being given wisdom by those who traveled the road before me and also from the ancestors. I hold the experience dear in my heart and hope to travel with upcoming groups for Wild West Irish Tours again. If you release the thought of what you are expecting, and just be in the present moment you too will find this experience one-of-a-kind, and valuable indeed.

Mala – Colarado

Debbie – Texas

Mary Ellen – Sebring, Fl

“Truly the most wonderful trip you can take. It is a gift to yourself to do this. I have traveled to many places but this Wild West Irish Tour, stands as the most wonderful experience of all. there was friendship, history come alive, outrageous scenery, laughter, and peace. the scenery is wonderful for doing some introspection and finding your inner peace. There are no words to truly give justice to these trips. I truly believe that we came as guests and left as friends. Where else could you have a wonderful history guide jump in your car and drive around the route of the Spanish Armada for a few hours? Seriously? I still have trouble believing we experienced this. And let us not forget singing and dancing in Ellen’s Pub (400 year old thatched pub)  that Friday night!!! I never wanted to leave. I have had a deep longing in my heart since returning home and I know that I must return to Ireland. It is in my heart and soul, the birthplace of my grandmother. So, in august 2017 I will be one of the lucky ones to experience another Wild Westie tour. I am counting the days. The most unforgettable adventure ever and I just smile to myself every time I think of it or look at the stunning photos. Thank you so.”

Kathleen

Natalie and Judy

Samantha –  Boston, Ma

“To put to words what this (Wild West Irish Celtic Pilgrimage) experience meant to me would be trying to weave a tapestry from fairytales and stardust. Less poetically and with more practicality, this tour [and that word does this event so little justice it’s almost insulting] defied all expectations and shattered all preconceived ideas of what an exploration of the Wild Irish West could be.

Never in my life have I been treated with such love, respect, & understanding– nor enveloped so completely and comfortably by total strangers [most of whom became close personal friends] and what felt like the entire country of Ireland. There is such a sense of camaraderie & good-natured sincerity about Michael, Trish, Geraldine and the whole adventure. The wildness is less about the rolling fields and prickling forests, but rather, about letting go of one’s inhibitions and fully experiencing what the Waugh/Jenkins and their friends have to offer. To celebrate this Celtic quest is to become kin with the land and her people. WWIT is no exception, albeit, exceptional in that.

There is nothing I wouldn’t give to return again and again as guided by Michael & co. Everything about the trip was harmonious, well-thought- out, and encouraging for the soul. I felt healed to be there; blessed, and thankful.

You simply must go yourselves to understand what I’m trying to say. I could write a dozen sonnets; pen a novel, scrawl a hundred songs [typical writer’s procrastination notwithstanding],and it still would never be enough to fully express the jubilation and exhilaration that was my tour of the Wild Irish West. Thank you all so much.”

Kay

Rick and Pat

Nancy Fitzgerald, Pennsylvania, USA

“The West of Ireland is a magical, mystical place, and I’m so grateful to Michael and Trish, (owners of Wild West Irish Tours) and tour guide Senan—and their team of home-grown guides—for showing it to us. The ancient Celts called the West a “thin place,” where the veil between heaven and earth seems to disappear, and as we trudged across the Burren in the path of a sixth-century saint, it was easy to see why. I’ll always treasure our walk to St. Colman’s cave on a gray, misty morning, making our way across rocks and through mud, to find a holy place that seemed to transform all of us in simple, subtle ways. Thanks to Pius, retired schoolteacher, indefatigable guide, and very cool guy, for bringing us off the beaten track to this lovely corner of the world where we drank cold, clear water from a primeval well. We’d never have found any of it on our own. And as if that weren’t enough, after lunch it was off to a megalithic portal tomb, sitting unceremoniously in the middle of a field.

We’re not sure where Michael finds these fellows, but somehow he does: A sturdy Galway man named Rory, friends with the farmer on whose land the O’Shaughnessy castle sits, grabbed the skeleton key hanging in the farmhouse kitchen– the one with the cardboard tag marked “castle”-and walked us across the fields to a storybook castle built a thousand years ago. It may have been a ruin, but it was a glorious ruin, and later the farmers’ children told me that as little kids it was their constant play-place. How cool is that—to have a medieval castle sitting in your backyard, with cows grazing around it. Bonus: Rory also provided a demonstration of the Irish sport of hurling and some good conversation. I could go on and on: There were plenty of castles, and a ride across Lough Corrib to an ancient monastic settlement, and a wobbly seafaring voyage to the Aran Islands, where a Gaelic-speaking man took us around in his pony cart. And a visit to a sheep farm, where we watched in amazement as border collies’ way smarter than me herded hundreds of sheep up and down craggy hills to graze. (And then there was Bob, my new favorite dog.) Oh, and the music! Michael started us out with a bang, on our first night in Oughterard, with a world-class trad performance in an ordinary little pub. And the music continued everywhere we went, in every pub where we had a pint. One highlight: Charles, one of our fellow Westies, grabbed his guitar and joined in on a music session in O’Connor’s in Doolin. Happy to have made good friends, and so many good memories. Our Wild West Irish Tour was the trip of a lifetime, and a great way for Gary and me to celebrate a special anniversary. Thank you, Mike and Trish! Go raibh maith agat!”

Saoirse

Liz and John Peters

Jacqueline, Janelle, Joanie and Rusty, Baltimore, Maryland

“To fully understand what an amazing experience we had with Wild West Irish tours, I feel I need to share why we chose Ireland and why we chose WWIT. When I graduated college, my parents told me that I could go on a trip anywhere in the world with my younger sister to celebrate graduating a year and a half early. After talking to my sister, we both quickly decided that since she would be getting the same offer a year later, we would much rather travel with our parents and not just their money.

Once that decision was made, the destination was an easy choice. Ireland has always been a top travel destination for my family as we knew it would offer something spectacular for each of our vastly different interests. None of us were interested in doing a mass marketed tourist experience. My mom wanted to get a taste of history, our dad wanted to be emerged in nature, my sister wanted to enjoy the pubs, and I wanted to hear traditional Irish music.

A month after the trip has ended and each one of us is still amazed at what all we got to experience. WWIT magically incorporated every single we wanted to experience and so much more.

We were able to see a little slice of Heaven in Inishmurray that would have been inconceivable with a large tour group. Nature took center stage as we wondered through a Fairy Glenn most locals don’t know about. History came alive as local authors, community leaders, and scholars shared with us their stories and passion about the land they call home. Music and dancing was literally brought to our doorstep as we got to witness traditional Irish dancing and take part in a pub jam session.

All of this and so much more made our trip what it was. Being part of a small group allowed everyone’s “bucket list” items to be checked off and be immersed in a trip that gave us so much more than we bargained for. Michael, Senen and Geraldine took us under their wings to show us their magical home and imparted in us things words cannot describe. From all of us, thank you and sláinte!”

Lucinda, Wanda, and Vicki

Rob and Judy

Marcy McCann, Strasburg, VA

“The general consensus is that this Wild West Irish Tour excursion was at least four times more than we expected. The culture, the history, the scenery, the many many many to many stops for delicious food, The innkeepers, Senan, (our main guide) The various tour guides and locations we visited, The hiking and the horse rides were all more than any of us expected. The ladies from Connecticut don’t want me to tell anybody how magnificent the trip is because they’re afraid that too many people come and they won’t be able to book again. Now we understand why so many Westies go on multiple trips. You (Michael) and Trish (owners of WWIT) have truly created something that far exceeds any other tour company of any caliber.”