Tom’s first 2019 tour through Counties Cork, Kerry & Clare is SOLD OUT!
Tom’s second 2019 tour (4 seats/2 double rooms available) will explore wild and scenic Counties Mayo, Galway and Clare.
As of mid-April, 4 seats (2 double rooms) are available for Tom’s 2019 Tour #2. To register, please email Vicki Belinoski with Inishfree Tours at vicki(at)inishfreetours.com. She’ll help you with everything you need to know and do to hop on board. contact you when begins taking deposits.
Dates for Tom’s 2019 Tours
—Tour #1 will run June 24-July 3, 2019 (to Counties Cork, Kerry & Clare)
—Tour #2 will run July 6-15, 2019 (to Counties Mayo, Galway & Clare)
Dates for Tom’s 2020 Tours
––Tour #1 will run June 27-July 16, 2020 (to Counties Cork, Kerry & Clare)
—Tour #2 will run July 18-27, 2020 (to Counties Mayo, Galway & Clare)
To register (or for more info) for Tom’s 2020 Tours (or Tom’s remaining 2019 seats) please email Vicki Belinoski with Inishfree Tours at vicki(at)inishfreetours.com. She’ll fill you in and get you squared away as needed.
Hello Friends & Fans,
Many an Irishman and Irishwoman will tell you that Ireland’s impossibly green, small town west is the real Ireland, and it’s a great joy to share it with friends, fans and family.
2019 Tour #1 (SOLD OUT)
June 24-July 3, 2019
—Counties Cork, Kerry & Clare
On the first of my 2019 tours we will follow a gorgeous route through counties Cork, Kerry and Clare. We’ll assemble near Shannon one day before our tour bus hits the road. We’ll then be three days based near the old town of Skibbereen (County Cork), then three days in or near Dingle (County Kerry) and three around Doolin (County Clare).
This is one of my favorite routes, and the scenery, the local color and the musicians we hear are extraordinary.
From the Inishfree Tours website:
By day we’ll explore places like Mizen Head (the most southwesterly point in Ireland), the gorgeous Slea Head Drive on the Dingle Peninsula, and The Burren in County Clare. We’ll also visit ancient sites such as a stone circle or ring fort, Gallarus Oratory, and Kilmalkedar Church. Evenings will be spent immersed in the best traditional Irish music, with private concerts and sessions in local pubs.
I had a very odd experience a few years ago on one of my first trips back to the States from Ireland. Instead of feeling like I was going home, I felt strongly that I was leaving home—and a number of folks on my tours have shared a similar feeling. It’s really a very special place—in more ways than I could have imagined.
2019 Tour #2 (4 SEATS/2 DOUBLE ROOMS AVAILABLE)
July 6-July 15, 2019
—Counties Mayo, Galway & Clare
On my second 2019 tour we’ll again assemble near Shannon, then take our “luxury coach” (as our elegant and comfortable tour bus is referred to over there) up the coast to kick off our tour in County Mayo. After three days based in the lovely town of Westport we’ll move back down the coast through Connemara and base ourselves for three days in County Galway, and we’ll spend the last third of our journey near the tiny town of Doolin, just down the road from the Cliffs of Moher in spectacular County Clare.
From the Inishfree Tours website:
We explore beautiful places during the day, including Achill Island in County Mayo, the Connemara region of County Galway, one of the islands off the west coast of Ireland, and The Burren in County Clare. There are also visits to ancient sites such as castles and abbey ruins, a round tower, and possibly a stone circle or ring fort. Traditional music fills the evenings in the form of great sessions in some of the local pubs and private concerts from some of the best Irish musicians.
I love this tour route and look forward to exploring it again—and especially to share with “repeaters”—folks who’ve traveled Inishfree’s other routes with me before.
—Note that our itinerary for both tours will be refined over the coming months. Whatever we do, it’ll be special—I promise you!
A few words about touring with Inishfree Tours…
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. Our group is limited to 24 people (including tour host), so we don’t move about in a big American bubble. Our smaller group travels in an elegant bus that is much more maneuverable on tiny Irish country lanes, so it gets us into smaller, special, quaint and colorful places where other tour companies’ huge Greyhound-type buses won’t fit! Not only that, but our well-behaved smaller tours are welcomed in a number of places where other tours are not received.
Bottom line, what we have is a small, personalized tour that centers 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 and singers captivate us with their whistles, fiddles, pipes and bodhrans (Irish drums). These tours are unique, and we will get a real taste of Irish life at an Irish pace.
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.
As you know by now, 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, the size of our small group means we can be flexible—light on our feet, so to speak, to easily adjust if weather is uncooperative for some outdoor event we have scheduled (for example). If that’s the case, there will always be an equally excellent option at hand. Speaking personally, it’s often been that our Irish “Plan B” was something I wouldn’t have missed for the world!
Last, but not least, these tours generally fill up early—a year in advance for some of mine—so if you are feeling the tug, do let us know. To register or gather more info, please email us by clicking HERE … or you may email Vicki Belinoski with Inishfree Tours directly at vicki(at)inishfreetours.com.
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 credits: Backcountry Road (Dana Cooper); Local Color (Craig Lund). All other photos: TK.