Are you considering a trip from Dublin to West Coast Ireland?
Are you more used to travelling independently but wish someone else would take care of all the travel arrangements and planning for once, so you could just sit back and enjoy the adventure? I know I do!
Or maybe you fancy the idea of a guided tour but also want to have time to pursue your own interests and an opportunity to escape your fellow travellers occasionally?
Then Choice Touring by Globus, a new touring style for select Europe and North America tours, could be just what you’re looking for.
What Is Choice Touring By Globus?
Choice Touring gives you greater flexibility and the opportunity to choose different activities in each destination.
For example, on the Dublin To West Coast Ireland Green with Envy: Ireland By Design, there are different activity options in Westport, Galway and Dublin.
Maybe you want to try your hand at baking soda bread in Westport or exploring nearby Achill Island; in Galway, choose between a city walking tour or a food tour and in Dublin, how about a cabaret to see some incredible Irish dancing or a literary pub crawl?
The choice is yours! And you know if you change your mind about an activity, that’s ok too, just let your Tour Director know as soon as possible so they can change the arrangements.
Green With Envy: Ireland By Design
The Green With Envy: Ireland By Design tour from Dublin to West Coast Ireland starts and finishes in Dublin. Dublin is a fascinating city to explore, and I highly recommend adding on a few extra days before or at the end of your tour.
For those arriving from the USA or Canada, I definitely recommend a few days before the tour to allow time to recover from jet lag.
What To Do With Limited Time In Dublin Before The Tour
As I only had a few hours to spare before meeting the others on tour and eager to see as much of Dublin in as short a time as possible, I took this two-hour guided historical tour of Dublin, which was fascinating.
Our guide was a history student at Trinity College who was passionate about Ireland’s history and a great storyteller. The two hours passed by very quickly.
Walking tours are a great way to familiarize yourself with a new city, and the Irish are undoubtedly great talkers. Check these for some incredible city walking tour ideas.
The First Evening In Dublin
Now, dinner and meeting other tour members is generally held at your hotel in Dublin on the first night of this tour from Dublin to West Coast Ireland.
However, on this evening, our group visited Roe & Co Distillery for a cocktail workshop and dinner. This excursion would not usually be part of the Green with Envy: Ireland by Design tour, but if you are there for an extra night, this experience is great fun.
Roe & Co Distillery
After a quick tour of the distillery, it’s time for the Flavours Experience. The Flavours Experience is a forty-minute cocktail workshop.
First, you try the five different flavours – sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami.
Then you choose your whiskey cocktail based on your preferred flavour – it turns out I prefer a bitter taste!
Then by following the instructions of the bar staff, adding a little bit of that and a little bit of this and lots of shaking – you have made the perfect cocktail.
Now, I will be the first to admit I’m not a whiskey drinker, but I have to say my first attempt at a whisky cocktail was rather good.
After cocktails, a delicious dinner was served and rather than wine pairing, all courses were paired with whiskey cocktails.
For more details on Roe & Co Distillery, check out their website here.
Whiskey Or Whisky?
It is generally spelt “whiskey”—with an e—in Ireland and the United States. It is spelt “whisky”—without the e—in Scotland and Canada, two countries both well known for their whisk(e)y, and also in several other countries.
From Dublin To Westport On Ireland’s West Coast
On the way to Westport, the tour stops at another whiskey distillery.
Founded in 1757, the Kilbeggan Distilling Company is the oldest licensed distillery in Ireland. Although it ceased distilling for a while during America’s Prohibition Movement, it officially closed its doors in 1953.
After falling into ruin, the local people of Kilbeggan banded together and formed the Kilbeggan Preservation and Development Association in 1982, and the distillery is open once more. It’s a lovely old distillery, and the tour is very interesting, but I will always be more Team Wine than Team Whiskey.
Next stop, a few hours in Athlone, a lovely town on the River Shannon, located right in the heart of Ireland. Here, we enjoyed a Baileys Irish coffee (more whiskey!!) at Sean’s Bar, the oldest pub in Ireland, dating back to 900 AD!!
Now, you’ll see a lot of pubs in Ireland claiming to be the oldest pub, but Sean’s Bar is actually listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
After visiting Sean’s Bar, there’s free time to explore Athlone at leisure. Visit Athlone Castle or enjoy a lovely Sunday lunch at a local pub. As this is Choice Touring by Globus, you are free to decide.
The tour arrives in Westport early evening. After checking in and some time to freshen up, it’s time to head for dinner in the hotel. On this particular tour, some meals are included, and some are at own expense. Whenever dinner is included, it’s a three-course meal and includes a glass of wine. (Thank goodness, no more whiskey!)
So today is a Choice day. Today’s choices include: Making Irish soda bread. Taking an e-bike guided tour through the stunning Irish countryside or exploring Achill Island, Ireland’s largest island.
I opted for Achill island, which, because of the gorgeous scenery and many photo stops, turned into a long but fabulous day.
Knowing that reaching the island was by a short bridge rather than a scary ferry ride was also a huge relief and bonus for me. I’m not comfortable on water!
For a more detailed post on what to see and do on Achill Island – take a look at this post here.
As there is no included dinner tonight, you have the opportunity to enjoy some of the town’s many bars and maybe listen to some Irish music. Be sure to at least take a stroll around Westport, it’s a pretty town, and the hotel Westport Plaza is located right in the heart of town.
From Westport To Galway
On the way to Galway, a stop is made at Kylemore Abbey. That moment when you first see Kylemore Abbey across the lake, with the mist rising, is breathtaking.
You can explore part of the abbey on a self-guided tour. The abbey was initially built as a castle in 1868 by the very wealthy Mitchell Henry as a token of love for his wife, Margaret Vaughan Henry.
But now it’s home to Benedictine Nuns who fled to Ireland as refugees from Belgium during World War I.
Although it’s a vast building, only part is open to the public, so it doesn’t take too long to get around. Tours are available to do, but it’s easy to do a self-guided tour at leisure.
You can walk down to the Gothic church from the abbey and then make a wish at the giant ironing stone by standing with your back to the rock and throwing three stones over the huge rock. Unfortunately, two of my attempted throws hit the rock and then me, so I guess more bad luck is on the way!!
Be sure to visit the beautiful Victorian Gardens. The abbey grounds are so extensive that it’s quite a long walk from the abbey to the gardens; however, regular minibuses run to and from the main entrance.
There’s also a pleasant coffee shop serving light meals. The potato soup on a cold rainy day certainly hit the spot.
In the afternoon, on arrival in Galway, there was some free time to explore Galway before joining your chosen activity. Today’s choices – were a walking tour of Galway, which ended up with dinner in a local pub or a food tour.
I opted for the walking tour as our time in Galway was short and I wanted to see as much as possible. And the pub dinner afterwards at the historic King’s Head was lovely.
According to those that took the food tour, they had an excellent time too.
The accommodation in Galway was a little out of town, so after dinner, you can either stay in town or hitch a ride back on the bus. It was a rainy evening; I headed back.
Day Trip To Inishmore (Inis Mór) In The Aran Islands
The Aran Islands are three islands at the mouth of Galway Bay. Inishmore meaning the big island is the largest of the three islands.
To get to the islands is a forty-five-minute ferry ride, and that boat swayed a tad too much from side to side for my liking. Fortunately, the return boat journey wasn’t quite so scary; maybe the pre-ferry Guinness helped calm my nerves.
If you suffer from seasickness, I suggest taking medication for the journey. Or, if the strong sway is a bit much for you, consider a seat in the middle of the boat.
However, the scary journey is worth it because the island scenery is gorgeous. A short walk from the ferry takes you through the small town and to Joe Watty’s Bar for a light lunch, a friendly chat with the locals and to listen to some Irish music.
After lunch, a minibus takes you on an island tour, with stops at the Na Seacht dTeampaill( the Seven Churches) which for many centuries was one of the leading centres of pilgrimage along the west coast of Ireland.
The next stop is Dún Aonghasa, a prehistoric hill fort on the edge of a 100-metre-high (330 ft) cliff. There are no barriers, so don’t step too close to the cliff’s edge.
Before heading back on the ferry, there’s free time to explore the town, do some shopping, treat yourself to an Aran sweater or enjoy a pint of Guinness at the local pub.
For more information on what to see and do in Inishmore in the Aran islands, have a look at this post.
Tonight’s dinner is at leisure. Either enjoy dinner at the hotel or one of the many restaurants in the city of Galway.
From Galway To Dublin
No trip to Ireland’s west coast would be complete without a visit to the 668 feet high rocky Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs were formed over 320 million years ago and run along the coast of County Clare for almost eight miles (14 kilometres).
Did you know?
From the cliffs, narrow country lanes lead to Rathbaun Farm for a light lunch and delicious scones with jam. Rathbaun Farm is a sheep farm, and after lunch, you can take a tour of the farm and get an insight into the daily life of a sheep farmer.
Then back to Dublin, and there are various activities to choose from for this evening.
This evening’s choices include visiting the Guinness Storehouse to learn all about Guinness, then enjoying a pint of the black stuff in the Gravity Bar on the seventh floor, followed by an Irish-themed dinner.
Or join a literary pub crawl and see the sights that inspired great Irish writers, such as Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw.
Torn between the cabaret and the literary pub crawl, I finally chose the cabaret as I love watching Irish dancing. It was a fun evening.
Last Day In Dublin
After a morning orientation drive of Dublin, the day is free to explore this incredible city at leisure and meet up with all your fellow travellers in the evening for a farewell dinner.
The tour ends the following morning after breakfast.
Love Dublin? Check out this post on what it costs to live in Dublin.
What’s The Accommodation Like On The Globus Green with Envy: Ireland By Design Tour?
The accommodation on a Globus tour is in good four-star city hotels. All the bedrooms are clean and spacious, with very comfortable beds.
Bathrooms are a good size, and there is even space to put out your toiletries. The bathroom in Westport even came with a jacuzzi!
Wi-Fi is good and strong in all the hotels most of the time. Sometimes at the hotel in Galway, the speed slowed down a little.
Breakfast is included throughout your stay. You can’t beat starting the day with a full Irish breakfast.
The Samuel Hotel in Dublin is a short walk along the River Liffey from the city centre or easily reached by local transportation.
The Westport Plaza Hotel is right in town, and Westport is a lovely little town to have a wander around. There’s a free evening during your stay in Westport, so be sure to explore the town and find a spot for dinner and a pub for a pint of Guinness and some Irish music.
The Maldron Hotel in Galway is a little out of town and not that much in the vicinity. But if you don’t fancy heading into Galway after a busy day of touring, I confess I had no energy to do so; the food in the hotel restaurant is very good. There’s also a takeaway pizza company just around the corner from the hotel.
What’s The Globus Bus Like?
Well, they are certainly a lot fancier and cleaner than the buses around where I live. All buses have comfortable reclining seats with some legroom – I’m taller than average, and it was nice not constantly scraping my knees on the seat in front.
There are individual air conditioning vents and USB charging sockets, so you can quickly charge your phone. Keeping your phone charged was fantastic because the Irish countryside is gorgeous, and I guarantee you’ll take loads of pictures.
Also, all Globus tours have a custom of daily seat rotation on the bus so everyone can admire the scenery from different vantage points throughout the trip!
What Is The Average Age On A Globus Tour?
Although Globus tours are open to people of all ages, you will find that most travellers are 55+, with the majority of travellers from the USA. But us Brits and other nationalities are most welcome too.
There is a $490 single supplement for solo travellers on the Green With Envy Tour from Dublin to West Coast Ireland. But that’s the price you have to pay for the luxury of having your own room in a four-star hotel. But always check for special promotions because you never know that single supplement may be waived.
Any More Questions?
If you have any more questions about Globus Choice Touring? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll do my best to help.
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Disclaimer: I was a guest of Choice Touring by Globus on their Green with Envy: Ireland By Design Tour from Dublin to West Coast Ireland, but all opinions expressed here are my own. A big thank you to Globus for this fantastic opportunity.
Some of the links on this website are “affiliate links”, meaning that if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost. This helps me to keep my website running and continue to share my travelling knowledge with you. I thank you for using the links on my website.