For the past 12 years I've been hosting colorful small tours of Ireland's musical west coast for a wonderful Irish family-owned outfit called Inishfree Tours. Inishfree runs a tight ship with a gentle hand, and they set up these "tours for people who hate tours" with great expertise and care.
Two dozen of us travel on what the Irish call a “luxury coach," and we're shown the country by savvy guides and sharp drivers. And perhaps most importantly, we generally stay well away big cities and large tour companies with their noisy crowds. We spend most of tour in colorful almost-left-behind-by-time small towns where we hear amazing local music , visit local pubs and and enjoy Ireland's incredible wild beauty.
In a nutshell, we have wonderful and unforgettable time.
Ireland is home-away-from home for me. The Irish are welcoming, affable and generally a great deal of fun to be around. Many have a unique dry sense of humor! And the music we'll hear in the evenings is soul stirring and spectacularly well played.
The tours are carefully planned, and the pacing is just right. We don't try to spend ten minutes at every little tourist stop along the way. Rather we tarry here and there long enough to really soak in what's special about a place.
MY 2024 TOUR is SOLD OUT... and we are NOW TAKING RESERVATIONS for 2025!
HERE'S THE SCOOP ON MY 2024 TOUR
What: Tom Kimmel's Ireland Tour of 2025
Where: We'll explore Counties Sligo, Mayo and Galway
When: Tuesday, August 12 to Thursday August 21 2025
What else: The cost of the tours is $2900 per per person, based on double occupancy (two to a room) or $3400 for single room. (Note that single room availability is limited). The cost covers nine nights lodging, our transportation within Ireland, all breakfasts, three group dinners and all music and heritage centres.
—IF YOU ARE CURIOUS or INTERESTED, please click HERE to visit Inishfree Tours' 2025 Tour Schedule page, then click the ENQUIRE button by the listing for my August 12-21, 2025 tour.
—For more general info on Inishfree Tours, visit the Inishfree Tours website HERE.
—And feel free to contact me directly with a question by emailing me at ireland(at)tomkimmel(dot)com... I'll reply asap.
As most flights from the US to Europe are overnight flights, we will depart from here two days before our tour officially begins on August 12. That means most of us will depart from the US on August 10, fly overnight and land in *Shannon the morning of August 11. That way if we have a flight delay we'll still arrive in plenty of time for the tour to kick off the morning of August 12. When our flight arrives on the morning of August 11, a taxi will be waiting to take us to our lodging—usually one of the B&B's in nearby Bunratty.
*Why fly to Shannon, and not Dublin? The Shannon airport a smaller, easier-to-navigate airport. We will spend the last night of our tour in County Clare in the town of Ennis, just a short drive to back to the Shannon, where (most of) will depart for home on airport, and most of us will depart from there the morning of Thursday, August 21..
Of course, if for any reason you prefer to fly to Dublin, for time on your own before our tour begis. No worries. Ireland has excellent, clean, Wi-Fi equipped bus and train transportation that'll get you to the west coast before our tour kicks off.
FYI we'll be on our own dime for that first night's lodging, and the tour proper will begin when our bus collects us the next morning . (Inishfree Tours customarily books our B&B or hotel lodging for us.)
And most of us will gather for a lovely get-acquainted dinner at Gallagher's (Bunratty's best restaurant) on the evening of our arrival. (Others may prefer to attend a "medieval banquet" at Bunratty Castle.)
I'll close by saying that if you want to get a feel for just how much I love Ireland—and love sharing Ireland—listen below to my story Home, Like Ireland.
As they say in Ireland, Sláinte! (To your health!)