During my recent trip to Ireland I did three separate full day bus tours and each one was with a different tour company. The tour that I took of the Cliffs of Moher and Burren with Healy Tours was the best one out of the three.
The reason for this was the driver/tour guide Billy. Billy really made the trip interesting with all the information, history and stories that he told us on the trip. We spent a lot of time on the bus so these stories made the long drives go by quickly.
This tour left from the Private Coach station in Galway Ireland, which is where all the Tour Companies start their tours. There is a Tourist Information office across the street from the station where you can book the tours. You can also just show up in the morning and pick the tour that sounds the best to you. If it is the busy season I would book ahead otherwise you might not get on the tour that you want.
The first stop of the day was for a walking tour of the Burren. We were taken to a farm that has been owned by the same family for over 200 years. The guide for the walking tour was John Connolly, whose family owned the farm. We were taken up into the hills above the farm for an hour long walk and discussion.
The Burren is a rocky landscape and is actually the driest area in Ireland. It still looked pretty green to me. The tour explained the history of the area and how the farmers lived. We ended the tour back at the farmhouse where we could purchase some pies and cakes made by John’s Mother. They were delicious!
After the Burren we headed to the main attraction of the tour, The Cliffs of Moher. We only had an hour here, which normally would not have been enough, but since is was cold and windy it was enough for me. There was an extra charge of 6 Euros to enter the Cliff which we paid directly to the driver. They really should add the cost of entry to the Cliffs on to the price of the tour.
I was looking forward to seeing the Cliffs and I was not disappointed. The Cliffs are spectacular and are a must see during a visit to Ireland. If you want to spend more time than an hour or two you might want to rent a car instead of taking an organized tour.
The next stop of the tour was for lunch in the town of Doolin. I would have been happy skipping the lunch stop if we could have had more time to see the sights. After the lunch stop we headed back to Galway with some quick stops for photos at a castle and along the coast.
Overall the tour was a good one. The only thing that I did not like is that we did not get to see some of the sights that were listed on the brochure and website. This same thing happened with the other tours that I took. I think that the tour companies try to make it seem like you are getting more value for your money by listing these sites and if there is not enough time they skip them. I would prefer if the tour companies just took us to the main attractions and we had more time to spend at them.
I would recommend this tour if you are visiting Ireland.