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!