- David’s Blog
This tour kicks off with a driving and walking tour of Dublin, where you’ll get a solid introduction to Irish history, culture, and charm. Then we will head out into the countryside to experience three distinct regions. You’ll visit ancient monastic sites, fairy forts, and charming villages. Enjoy some of the best fresh local food on the island all seasoned with traditional Irish music. This tour provides in depth tour experiences in Dublin, Kilkenny, Blarney, Dingle, The Cliffs of Moher and Doolin, Galway, the Aran Islands and more.
Ireland is the land of forty shades of green, all the sheep you’ll ever want to count, and a warm welcome on every doorstep! It is a mystical place, full of fairy forts, stone circles, ancient passage tombs, and superstitions that run deep. During the “Dark Ages” it was the home of saints and scholars who carried on teaching and learning while the rest of Europe struggled just to survive. Furthermore, Celtic heritage is proudly displayed in traditional music, the Irish language, and Gaelic sports. This Taste O’Ireland tour is the perfect match of sightseeing and cultural experiences packed into nine days offering a worry-free taste of the history, culture, music, and cuisine of Ireland.
Let’s plan to meet today at 2:00 p.m. in our hotel lobby for introductions and a tour overview. Then, join your Exploring Europe guide for a scenic overview tour of Dublin City. Enjoy a stop at the famous Guinness Brewery for a look at the production process and a visit to the panoramic Gravity Bar for your first taste of an authentic pint of the stout brewed here in Dublin. You’ll get your fill with a traditional dinner at a favorite Dublin pub. The remainder of the evening is free for you to enjoy more of Dublin or return to the hotel and settle in. Sleep 2 nights in Dublin. Walking: light. Driving:1 hour. Dinner.
After breakfast, enjoy a city walking tour and a visit to Trinity College followed by a look at the “illuminated” Book of Kells. The afternoon is scheduled to be event-free for you to experience more of Dublin on your own. We’ll meet tonight for dinner at a restaurant featuring traditional songs, music, stories, and dance. Walking: moderate. Dinner.
After breakfast, we will leave the big city behind and begin a journey around the island. The first stop is the ancient monastic site of Glendalough, located in the beautiful Wicklow Mountains. We’ll take a peaceful walk along the lakes and through the forest while learning about the monastery and its role in history. Then, travel to the medieval town of Kilkenny where you will have some free time to experience the town, castle, cathedral and shops. Tonight, experience a tastebud tingling dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant this side of Tuscany. Sleep 1 night in Kilkenny. Walking: moderate to strenuous, it’s your choice. Driving: 3 hours. Dinner.
Today, we will travel across the Plain of Tipparary to the little village of Blarney. The castle, known for its famous “Blarney Stone,” is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland. After an opportunity to “kiss the Blarney Stone,” you will enjoy a visit to the Blarney Woolen Mills. This huge shopping complex is your one-stop spot for authentic Irish arts, crafts, textiles, and apparel. Later, we will make our way to Dingle at the far southwest tip of Ireland. Tonight’s menu features a selection of fresh and sumptuous locally sourced products. After dinner, join the fun at a pub for a traditional music session or live folk music. Sleep 2 nights in Dingle. Walking: light. Driving: 6 hours. Dinner.
Today, we will begin with a crystal cutting demonstration from a master craftsman. Then, experience some of Ireland’s wildest natural beauty and oldest pre-historic settlements on our driving tour of the Slea Head. Enjoy endless fields of “40 shades of green”, rock-crashing waves and all the sheep you’ll ever want to count. We’ll cap off our adventure with a stop (and tasting) at the Dingle Whiskey Distillery. Back in Dingle, you’ll have the afternoon and evening for shopping, dinner and music on your own. Want to play a round of golf, go horseback riding or kayak in the bay? We can help make arrangements. Walking: light. Driving: 3 hours.
After a drive through the coastal mountains of Kerry, we will make a ferry crossing on the River Shannon over to County Clare. Here, you will experience the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher where you’ll find yourself teetering on the edge of a series of a 700 foot cliffs perched on the North Atlantic. Once in Doolin, enjoy some free time to visit the craft shops, take a walk or simply relax. We’ll stroll down to the local pub for a dinner feast. Then, grab a seat and settle in for some of the best traditional music on the island. Sleep 1 night in Doolin. Walking: moderate to strenuous, it’s your choice. Driving: 5 hours. Dinner.
We’ll take a scenic drive along the Atlantic coast around Galway Bay and through the rocky terrain known as the Burren. Many liken this to the surface of the moon. Once in Galway City, we’ll take an overview driving tour of the region’s highlights. Then, you’ll have the remainder of the day to do some exploring on your own passing your time shopping, wandering the pedestrian area, listening to local musicians and experiencing the “pulse” of this vibrant city. Sleep 2 nights in Galway. Walking: light to moderate depending on your independent explorations in Galway.
Today, enjoy an excursion, by boat, to Inishmor, the largest of the Aran Islands (weather permitting). Once on the island, experience a driving tour of its natural and historic sites as well as an opportunity to do a bit of looking around in the craft shops. Return in the late afternoon to Galway for an independent evening on your own. Walking: moderate to strenuous depending on your activity level in the Inishmor countryside. Driving: 3 hours. Boat: 2 hours.
We’ll leave the morning for some last minute shopping and winding down in Galway. Then, let’s head back across the island to Dublin and enjoy a final dinner together to celebrate our trip around the Emerald Isle. Sleep 1 night in Dublin. Walking: light. Driving: 4 hours. Dinner.
Breakfast is included today, but there are no plans beyond that. Your guide can help with any post-tour plans and travel connections if needed. Sláinte!
Itinerary specifics are subject to change.
Transportation by coach and/or mini bus from your first Dublin hotel to your final Dublin hotel.
9 nights accommodation in traditional Irish hotels, guesthouses, and B&B’s. All rooms have private en-suite baths.
All tips and gratuities to guides, drivers, restaurant and hotel staff.
A guaranteed Small Group consisting of 6-18 participants.
All breakfasts and six of your dinners.
Traditional and gourmet dining experiences at some of David’s personal favorite restaurants. Eating well is a priority and you’ll enjoy fine regional fare featuring the best the locale has to offer.
All tours and admissions at no extra cost: Comprehensive Dublin walking and driving tour covering all the essential sights in the city ▪ a visit to the Guinness Storehouse and Gravity Bar ▪ Trinity College and Book of Kells tour ▪ an evening of traditional music and dinner in Dublin ▪ Wicklow Mountain driving tour ▪ Glendalough monastic site orientation and tour ▪ Kilkenny orientation ▪ Blarney Castle entrance ▪ Dingle Town walking tour ▪ Slea Head coach tour ▪ Blasket Island Centre entrance ▪ Master crystal craftsman demonstration ▪ Admission, tour and tasting at Dingle Distillery ▪ The Cliffs of Moher experience ▪ Galway driving and walking tour ▪ Boat cruise and guided tour of Inishmor (weather permitting) ▪ and much more (itinerary specifics are subject to change).
A fulltime Exploring Europe guide and local experts dedicated to bringing to life the art, history, and culture of the tour destinations.
David’s printed tour handouts detailing each day’s historical and cultural experiences.
Free luggage tags and David’s custom designed drawstring backpacks.
Our Unconditional Tour Price Guarantee that once locked in, will never change.
Comprehensive Travel Insurance providing full coverage for emergency medical, baggage loss, and trip delay from the moment you depart for your tour.
$50 Tour Alumni discount for each McGuffin tour you’ve taken prior to 2017 (only one discount per year).
$100 discount if making all payments by check, cash or bank draft. The $400 initial deposit may be made by credit card and still qualify for this discount.
Single rooms for solo travelers are available for an additional fee of $577.
Please note – You are responsible for the cost of your drinks at all group dinners and for any additional costs incurred while sightseeing on your own.
Walking and Physical Activity: We have planned this trip to provide maximum tour experiences by foot, boat, and vehicle. The basic nature of Europe does require some degree of physical activity to get out and see the sights, especially in the countryside. To help you plan, we’ve included a daily projection of physical activity. Here is our key for our walking activity ratings:
Light – Walking done on level surfaces with some small hills and elevation gains. In most cases, the bus will drop-off and pick-up at nearby locations. Two miles or less of required walking during the day.
Moderate – Walking done on paved and gravel paths. To enjoy the full tour experience, some up and down hill walking is to be expected. Four to five miles of walking per day.
Strenuous – Walking done on rugged and rocky paths with some steps and stairs. Up to six miles of walking per day.
Your Choice – No matter what your walking ability, we will help you find alternative ways to enjoy and experience all Europe has to offer. To get the most out of our tours you should be able to operate at the light level everyday with spurts of moderate and strenuous.
To reserve a seat on this tour you must agree to our Tour Conditions (in the PDF Application below) and provide us with a deposit of $400 per person. We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and PayPal for all tour deposits and payments. Additionally, we accept personal checks (US banks only), bank drafts, and money orders made payable to David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe (in US dollars).
Open this fillable PDF Application and complete your tour sign up information.
Return the application by way of:
– email – email@example.com
– FAX – 1-800-570-1351
– USPS snail mail – Exploring Europe, 4026 Hidden Acre Rd, Middleburg, FL 32068
-Submit your payment by check or money order and send along with the tour application to or office at the address listed above.
-Email the tour application and credit card information as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org
-Submit you payment at our online secure website by clicking the “Sign Up Now” button below AND follow up by completing the fillable PDF Application and sending to or office via one of the methods mentioned above. In this case, there is no need to provide credit card information on the fillable application.
Your final tour payment is due in our office at least 90 days prior to the start of the tour. The due date is noted on your tour confirmation letter and invoice. If you sign up for a tour less than 90 days before its departure, the entire tour price must be paid, and the deposit portion ($400) is non-refundable.
We offer a $100 discount if all payments (beyond the initial $400 deposit which may be paid with a credit card) are made by check, cash, bank draft, or money order.
Deposits for tours are refundable for two weeks from the date we receive it in our office. Additionally, deposits received in 2016 for any 2017 tour departing after April 1 are 100% refundable through January 5, 2017. After these dates, deposits are not refundable for any reason and will be forfeited if you cancel your tour reservation. All cancellations must be in writing. Cancellations will be effective on the date the written notification is received by David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe, Inc. by mail, e-mail, or fax.
Once we receive your application and deposit, we will send you a confirmation over e-mail (or written notification if no e-mail address is provided). If you would like to talk to a tour expert before signing up, please give us a call at 800 570-1351 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
The Best of Ireland and Scotland Tour – Enjoyed each meal, never thought about beans being a breakfast food before now have once a week. My best memory of dinner was taking a private boat to go have dinner on my birthday, this was another WOW day for me. – Dianna, Pensacola, FL
The Best of Ireland and Scotland & Tuscany Villa Vacation – David’s tour ran very smooth. Great hotel rooms with breakfast each morning. He gave informative tours of the cities and areas we visited and then we had time on our own to visit in more detail or go shopping (my favorite activity anywhere). David was happy to stop along the way for photo opps and rest stops. We did check out some new sites with him. Each day was an adventure filled with great food, wine, and sites. Loved every moment of the trip. Planning next adventure with him now. -Elizabeth, Orange Park, FL
A Taste O’ Ireland Tour – The tour fulfilled our wildest expectations. After years of research trying to decide how best to travel and what to see, your tour accomplished both. Louise and I couldn’t be happier with the travel and places you picked out for us to explore!! David says he from Scottish descent but he looks ever so Irish with his beard, glint in his eye and friendly demeanor. He knows his business and it shows. His attention to detail and planning makes the tour very relaxed, educational, and fun. Believe me, if you want a tour that gives you a great bang for your buck and a very personable and knowledgeable tour leader you need look no further than traveling with David McGuffin. – Dick, Orange Park, FL
The Essence of Ireland Tour – This was my second tour with David McGuffin’s Exploring Europe. It was an amazing trip. A very relaxed pace during the delay that allows you to see the sites and plenty of time to take pictures. Of course, the dinners and meals were amazing. It’s so very nice travel with all lodging, schedules, and transportation already planned. I’d like to add that possibly our group had just too good of a time! Our small group really enjoyed every minute and had an absolute blast with Charlotte (our guide). We just laughed and had fun every day. While that makes for a fantastic vacation…it does make the ‘re-entry’ to normal life just painful. – Patti, Atlanta, GA
A Taste O’Ireland Tour – I flew to Europe for the first time and got to experience a totally different culture. I really did had the time on my life! David takes you to some of the most amazing local restaurants that you typically wouldn’t think about going to. The food was AMAZING! Maurice, our bus driver took the time to show us how to play Hurling (a popular Irish sport). It was incredible! – Staci, St. Johns, FL
A Taste O’Ireland Tour – The tour was wonderful. Well researched for a touch of history and culture each day; experiences of city life, monastery ruins, castle and total country living; comfortable bus and accommodations; terrific food ! The group was such fun -friendly and easy-going. David was great about sharing historical and cultural facts as we traveled along the way, so we had enough information without being overwhelmed. He also enjoyed our own input and experiences, and loved sharing stories and food preferences. We ate well — and loved the music. Doolin was a terrific choice for trad music and easy living -with an amazing sunset that lasted forever. Another true WOW ! – Louise, Orange Park, FL
A Taste O’Ireland Tour – I can’t say enough positive things about Seamus, our bus driver. Notwithstanding his driving skill, I found him very pleasant, receptive to questions and knowledgeable about Irish culture. -Gregory, Daytona Beach, FL
The Essence of Ireland Tour –David does a great job leading tours! He is very knowledgeable about the places visited and accommodating to travelers needs and wants. The tour to Newgrange was great, the lady leading the tour was outstanding. Her knowledge of the history of the area was amazing. Finally, the food was great, we ate in mostly small local places where we got the true taste of Ireland. – Asa, Fernandina Beach, FL
A Taste O’Ireland Tour – It was very well organized, everything went without a hitch. We got to see and experience the best features at each stop along the way, including the scenery, culture, history, music, and of course, the always fresh and delicious food! -Angela, Pensacola, FL
The Essence of Ireland – The Mary Gibbons Newgrange tour was outstanding. She is wealth of information both historic and contemporary issues. Once I returned to the states I found myself researching several topics/places that she detailed because I was just curious. Which is great! Always learning something new. Robert was our driver and he has spoiled all of us. We enjoyed his company – he was extremely professional, knowledgeable and personable. It wasn’t easy to say goodbye. He took great care of our group. – Patti, Atlanta, GA
A Taste O’Ireland Tour – I would definitely recommend a trip with David. You will NOT find an experience that equals a “McGuffin Experience” with any other tour company. The accommodations, food & drink are with friends that he has made throughout the years of travel. We, as his guests, were treated as friends/family by the proprietors of the establishments that we patronized. You will NOT be disappointed! – Laurie, Fernandina Beach, FL
Ireland Student Band Tour for St. Patrick’s Day – David was a good leader. He seemed to know a lot about the different places we went, and shared interesting information. Our bus driver, Maurice, was a hoot, and I loved when he got to speak about local customs and legends. –Tara, Orange Park, FL
Ireland Student Band Tour for St. Patrick’s Day – The tour was well organized. It was complicated event. 80 high school marching band members and adult escorts. And an additional 28 family members in a shadow tour. Three buses, loads of gear and a well organized tour company. It could not have gone any better. We will utilized David McGuffin Tours again. – John, Orlando, FL
Now that you’ve decided to join this tour, we are sure you’ll have some questions. Don’t worry, we are here to help you through each aspect of your tour from start to finish.
To truly understand a David McGuffin tour, you have to see it to believe it. This film documents the journey of four travelers on David’s “Taste of Ireland” tours. Filmed on location in Ireland, we hope it will give you a sample of just what to expect on a David McGuffin tour to Europe. IRELAND: The David McGuffin Tour Experience
Join David as he shares impromptu moments from his travels in Ireland. Watching these short 60 second segments are a great way to experience David’s travel style and adventures. Watch David’s Explore Ireland and Scotland.
David and his team have answered many travel related questions and they are all tucked away on his blog. But, no need to go there, just type in a keyword in the search box at the top or bottom of this page (it’s the gray rectangle with a small magnifying glass icon) and you will get results for your query.
We are happy to answer your travel questions and give advice and suggestions. firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-570-1351.
Slea Head is the most western part of Ireland and offers some of the most breathtaking views in the country. Time and time again travelers have told me it is a view that simply cannot be captured in a photo or video. The coast is spotted with beaches, historic famine houses, fields of “forty shades of green” and all the sheep you’ll ever want to count! The Blasket Islands, off the coast, have a rich and unique history. Its inhabitants, who evacuated the islands in 1953, were previously isolated from mainstream society for hundreds of years. The view is beautiful, the history rich. Your Adventure Starts Here! Your Adventure Starts Here!