Tom’s Ireland Tours 2018

Inishfree Tours with Tom

–In late June-early July 2018, Tom will again be hosting two (2) musical tours of Ireland west coast. The first tour will head north up the coast and include Counties Donegal, Mayo and Clare (with possible stops in Counties Sligo and Galway) before ending up in Co. Clare, and the second tour will take our familiar route to Counties Cork, Kerry and Clare.

–*The second of Tom’s two 2018 tours is sold out, but a few seats remain on Tour # 1. For more… read on!

*Dates for Tom’s 2018 Tours
Tour #1 will run June 27-July 6, 2018 (seats available)
Tour #2 will run July 6-15, 2018 (sold out)

Hello Friends & Fans,

photo: Dana Cooper

In the summer of 2018 I’ll again be hosting two tours for Inishfree Tours exploring Ireland’s gorgeous northwest and southwest. To register or gather more info, please email us at ireland(at)tomkimmel(dot)com… or by clicking HERE.

Many an Irishman and Irishwoman will tell you that the wild and unspoiled west is the real Ireland, and it’s a great joy to share it with friends, fans and family.

*The first tour will run June 27-July 6, 2018…
…and the second will run July 6-15, 2018.

2018 Tour #1
—June 27-July 6, 2018
—Counties Donegal, Mayo & Clare

Achill Island Beach

Our first tour is a newer Inishfree route—very exciting for me personally—and it will kick off with a visit to Ireland’s northwest, beginning in County Donegal. Here’s a bird’s eye view from the Inishfree website…

Places like Achill Island, Slieve League and the wild west coast of Donegal are typically scheduled as part of this tour. There are also possible day trips across the border into Northern Ireland, for a visit to the historic city of Derry or a great Ulster American Folk park near Omagh in County Tyrone. Each night will feature an opportunity to hear some great Irish music, either with private concerts for our group or in the local Irish pubs. Itineraries can vary depending on a number of factors, so these are just general guidelines. Detailed itineraries are provided a few weeks prior to each tour.

I can confirm in 2018 we’ll be staying in County Donegal in Donegal Town (Mill Park Hotel), in Co. Mayo in beautiful Westport (Clew Bay Hotel) and in Co. Clare in Ennistymon (Falls Hotel).

Our esteemed tour guide Hugh Carthy writes, “Our first full day we’ll travel to Donegal, and we hope to visit William Butler Yeats’ grave in Drumcliffe, Co. Sligo on the way. Our tentative plans include a drive west to Slieve League (some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe) and the coast on one of the other days—and probably to Derry City the other day. There’s a very good guided tour along the battlements of the old city walls. I always find it fascinating to look down into the Republican enclave in The Bogside and imagine the horrors visited on the population there during The Troubles.

Co. Mayo Waterway

Hugh adds there’s also a great stone fort—the Grianán of Aileach—overlooking Derry City that’s well worth a visit. You can check it out HERE.

We’ll include as many other sites as we possibly can on our travels. Stops may include Carrowmore in Co. Sligo and Céide Fields in Co. Mayo.

And the Co. Mayo section of the tour will most likely include day trips to Achill Island (a highlight for me), Ballintubber Abbey and the Country Life Museum in Castlebar.

Note again that the itinerary will be refined over the coming months. Whatever we do, it’ll be special—I promise you that! I can’t tell you how excited I am about adding this route to my tour travels.

2018 Tour #2
—July 6-15, 2018
—Counties Cork, Kerry & Clare

On 2018’s second tour we will follow a scenic route through counties CorkKerry and Clare. We’ll assemble near Shannon one day before our tour bus hits the road. We’ll then be three days based in or near Skibbereen (County Cork), then three days in or near Dingle (County Kerry) and three in Doolin (County Clare).


Skibbereen, Co. Cork

An Inishfree tour is no ordinary tour where you rush with a large group of tourists from town to town so quickly you forget where you are. It’s a small, personal tour that is centered on the splendid nature, arts and culture of Ireland—especially the amazing music. We’ll be stopping in local pubs and venues for backroom sessions where virtuoso Irish players will enthrall us with their whistles, fiddles, pipes and bodhrans (Irish drums). These tours are unique, and you will get a real taste of Irish life at an Irish pace.

Damn good bunch

I have made many visits to Ireland over the past 25 years, and I’ve truly fallen in love with its vibrant earth, sea, sky and people!

By day we may visit castles or abbey ruins, stone circles and fascinating archeological sites, stopping along the way for a pub lunch or shopping in a fishing village or mountain pass cottage, all the while taking in the breathtaking Irish scenery.

And at night… we’ll be wining, dining and listening to some of the most soulful and inspiring live music you will ever hear.

We’ll be guided (and chauffeured) by sure-handed, knowledgeable and entertaining Irishmen who love sharing their country’s soul and charm—and we often pick up the odd local guide for specialized talks and walks.

Finally, let me say that one of the advantages of touring with a small group like ours is the flexibility it offers, and that flexibility is one of the reasons our tours are so special. While we will follow a schedule for our daily plans, it’s always possible that Irish weather or other circumstance won’t permit an activity. If that’s the case, there will always be an equally excellent option at hand. And speaking from experience, it’s often that our an Irish “Plan B” is something we wouldn’t have missed for the world!
Sheep dog

Note that these tours are small—only 24 people per tour—so they generally sell out
 early. To register or gather more info, please email us by clicking HERE.

To view a Tour FAQ page, including pricing, click HERE.

Sláinte! (To your health!… in Irish)


PS  If you’d like to see a few photos taken on the tours, click HERE.

PPS  I’ve written stories and poems about unforgettable experiences I’ve had in Ireland. If you’d like to read my favorite, click HERE.

photo credit: Amy Sandeen (Tom with guitar). All other photos: Tom Kimmel.