See and hear what one of our travelers says about her Wild West Irish Tour:
|Debbie, whose parents were from the west of Ireland, shares her feelings about her Wild West Irish Tour experience.|
Read what our “Wild Westie” travelers said about their Wild West Irish Tour:
“I had a dream and found out that dreams do come true. I had a trip of a lifetime with Wild West Irish Tours! 10 days of wonderful people, scenery, history, music, and just being in Ireland. Went to places¬†that weren’t crowded with tour buses and received phenomenal information from some of the local people (thanks Leo and Hugh). Also loved our bed and breakfast, the host and hostess were great and the place was so scenic and being within walking distance of the ocean was amazing. Left with a heart full of memories. Thanks again Wild West Irish Tours!”
~ Sheryl B., South Dakota
“Thanks so very much for being such an awesome host and tour guide. You know all the perfect Irish places: waterfalls, fairy glens, islands, seashores, mountains, road-side streams, lush pastures! And, don’t forget the food! Sea food, lamb, lobster, stew, soup, scones, and jam. Yummy! Horse rides on the beach, sunburned noses and cheeks from a warm, glorious day on an ancient island. Climbing over well worn rock, communicating with gray whales. Superb I could go on and on. Thanks again. I will always remember my time in Ireland!”
~ Dana S., ¬†Texas
‚ÄúI cannot imagine how I could have a better time or found a better way to see Ireland than the Wild west Irish Tour. I love history, nature and people and all three were a huge part of the experience. The people and the culture of northwestern Ireland are fascinating, and the trip gave us in-depth experiences and memories that will absolutely last a lifetime. Michael is a phenomenal host and tour guide, and the people he brought in to explore in greater detail with us were outstanding. I wouldn‚Äôt hesitate to do it again, and I wouldn‚Äôt hesitate to recommend it to anyone. In fact I‚Äôve already recommended it to several friends!‚ÄĚ
~ ¬†Michael R. Frey, Board of Supervisors, Fairfax County, Va.
“We saw so much it still boggles the mind. Ireland has so many different types of beauty. I loved it all, the history, the beauty, the humor, the legends, the lilt in the voices, the twinkle in the eyes as a story is shared. Thank you for the incredible memories.”
“I want you to know how much I enjoyed the tour. Every day was so much fun, even in the rain. Thank you so much again for all the good times. We loved it!”
~Deana and Anna H., ¬†Iowa
“I’ve always thought the phrase ‘dream come true’ to be an overused cliche. Then our 25th anniversary rolled around and I learned that dreams can come true. Bernadette and I decided that this was the perfect time to go on a trip to the Emerald Isle, and Wild West Irish Tours would be our guide. What a great decision! Michael showed us an Ireland that we had no idea existed! We hoisted a pint in a pub that has been standing since the 1500′s, we watched a bunch of local musicians enthusiastically launch into an American folk song classic during an evening “trad” session, we climbed a mountain to visit an ancient queen, and we saw the power of Mother Nature as she sprayed us with sea mist at Serpent’s head. The memories can be, and have been, overpowering as we try to remember the sound of the faerie glen, the smell of the sea air on the cliffs of Moher, or the taste of a freshly drawn pint of Guinness from one of the many wonderful pubs we visited. If we listen hard enough, we can almost capture the sound of the ship’s captain as he recites W.B. Yeats, and remembering the visit to the famine grave still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I feel we left a piece of ourselves in Ireland, but we brought home much, much more. Thank you, Michael, for allowing us to experience what I thought would never happen, a dream coming true.”
~ Chuck and Bernadette, Maryland
“The stunning and dramatic beauty of Sligo and Donegal will be with me for a long time. I was overwhelmed by the wonder of it all. Each day held a new treasure. This was my 5th trip to Ireland and I never tire of it. I highly recommend a trip to anyone who is thinking about it. You will not be sorry at all.”
~Debbie and John W., ¬†Tampa Bay, Florida
“In my mind I’m sitting beside you on the rocks overlooking the huge waves breaking below fossil beach right behind Dermot Healey’s house. I have fewer memories of the past month than I do of the 11 days we all spent together in and around¬†Sligo Bay. We still have vivid memories of Leo, Michael, the players at Ellen’s and Henry’s, the real people we met on our adventures, and of course, you. Thanks again for a splendid tour and continued success for you and Trish.”
~Craig Hood (Wild Westie from New Hampshire)
“We‚Äôve made it back to the states and we‚Äôre telling all of our friends of the great time we had with Wild West Irish Tours‚Ä¶and recommending that they put a trip to Ireland with you on their ‚Äúto-do‚ÄĚ list!!! The trip was the best as far as we‚Äôre concerned, and when the time is right, we won‚Äôt hesitate to tour with you again.¬†Please give our regards to Leo and Michael and Jean‚Ä¶and thanks again to you for a wonderful Irish experience!!¬†GO IRISH!!!”
~ Karen and Ron, Michigan
P.S. This tour has been wonderful. I feel like we have been in a movie. Except, it is real, but it has also been UN- real!
“We miss you! Thought of you today in a very cool Irish pub here in PA. We talked about how for 10 days you were part of our family. Those 10 days were 10 of my favorite. The boys are talking about how it was their best trip ever…and James said today that he plans to go back. Just want you to know that you are in our hearts!”
~ Sue S. and family, Pennsylvania
“I saw the Wild West Irish Tours advertisement on Facebook. The picture was so beautiful that I had to click on it. It must have been fate, because this tour was made for me. Michael and Trish are so kind and earnestly worked at giving me the best experience I could possibly have. There are places and things here that I don’t think you would find anywhere else in the world. It was definitely a life changing experience.”
~ Catherine J., Virginia
“If you want to get to know the people and the land for the charm it really has, this was definitely the way to go! Small group, beautiful B/B with an awesome garden and it’s own beach, and the tour guides were “home-raised” so they knew where to take us and what the history was or where to go to take us to talk to the people of the land.¬†Check out the different pictures posted on Wild West Tours and you will see us scattered among the “homefolk” of western Ireland. An unforgettable tour and I miss the people that made it happen already.”
~ Marcia Beltman, South Dakota
~ Lynn and Steve Carroll Funk, Maryland
“Dear Michael and Trish,¬†My friends and I just wanted you to know how much we appreciate you both. Our vacation tour to Sligo, Ireland will go down as my best vacation ever. The beauty of Sligo is mesmerizing. This vacation combined with your senses of humor (good craic) allowed us to relax and unwind and see sights that I never knew existed. Thank you both for making us feel like family and thank you for sharing your deep knowledge of Sligo but mostly for your humorous stories that you and your local friends entertained us with. We will never forget you and plan to see you again next year. Be well and thanks for the memories. Sligo and the west of Ireland is a piece of heaven and Wild West Irish Tours is a winner!”
~ Dennis Sullivan, New York
“It has taken me a while to gather my thoughts on what Ireland has instilled in me. I saw a place of serenity and beauty, full of tradition and stories. the land seemed to be completely untouched by man or deteriorated by time. ¬†I felt as if I had finally entered a fairytale of a beautiful land that I have only dreamed of. Many of the places we were taken to such as the ruins at Carrowmore, the Isle of Inishmurry, and the monasteries. They were all so full of history and all had a story to tell. all of the folklore that I learned seemed to become real in my mind. Ireland was full of poetry, song and dance. ¬†I¬†now know that being Irish is truly a big part of who I am and who I’ve become. The people that I have met while in Ireland will always have a place in my heart. There was such a sense of community that I just could never seem to experience in the states – especially at Ellen’s pub did I truly feel I belonged. The local people helped me find my voice again and love the music I could bring to the table. And Mike gave me an Irish song to learn and its something that I still sing and it just brings me back to Ireland. I absolutely loved Jean and everything she shared with me; her music, food and hospitality. There really are no words on how to describe what Ireland meant to me. It is a feeling that I will hold forever close to my heart and maybe one day, I will return to Ireland and that feeling will be renewed. until then, Ireland will always be where my heart longs to be.”
~ Shannon P., South Carolina
“We are experienced travelers, having lived abroad for two years total, and having visited some 2 dozen countries. Our best tours have always been the most recent and the next one. We stayed with a local woman of enormous flair, and found ourselves looking forward to a return “home” each evening, to spend time with what we hope will be a lifelong friend. As far as mobility goes, I am somewhat handicapped, and was unable to experience all the walks. Yet, Michael was more than willing to adjust to my needs and wants. We brought only one 22″ bag each plus my camera gear, and that was sufficient without imposing on others. All our dining away from our B&B were of a fine quality. Travel in a smallish country took us to many delights , and travel times were far from excessive. Our WWIT trip was truly memorable, and we have it on our “bucket list” for a return.”
~ Frank and Fran F., Virginia
“My wife and I had been to Ireland 12 years prior, and we have wonderful memories of that trip.¬† We had¬†rented a car and¬†driven¬†ourselves and booked our own B & B’s.¬† That visit was focused on the most popular tour spots.
However, our recent experience with Wild West Irish Tours was very special.¬† Our group of three couples were looking to¬†enjoy the people and beauty of West Ireland, and this Tour far exceeded our expectations.¬† Our tour guide, Michael, is an American who had lived in Ireland in County Sligo, and knew the people and the landscape well.¬† As a tour guide, Michael resides in the West of Ireland from late Spring until early Autumn, Michael is greeted by many of the locals and has long established friendships.¬† While our tour was only 5 days due to scheduling, our group in retrospect wished we could have enjoyed one of his ten day tours.
Michael picked us up to begin the tour, drove us in a comfortable van, and brought us on the first day to cozy Irish cottages with full kitchens which¬†were our home¬†base, so we¬†could unpack and stay in the same place every night.¬†Of course, we were served a delicious Irish Breakfast¬†from the owner of the cottages who was very accomodating to special food requests.¬†The cottages were just a short distance from the Atlantic and adjoining a Bay; as we enjoyed tours throughout County Sligo, County Donegal, and County Fermanagh.
Two of our days, we were also fortunate to have Leo be our guide.¬† Leo has an amazing knowledge of the history of Ireland, a great knowledge of the many Large Stones and their history, and takes us to locations of unmatched beauty.¬† We also met a retired Irish Professor, (another Michael) who self describes himself as a story teller of both history and Irish Myths.¬† We enjoyed a special Irish Dinner a private residence, had two occasions to hear traditional Irish Music with extraordinary musicians, some who have worldwide reputations, and others who come to meet once a week in remote pubs.¬† We even took a boat ride on a scenic Irish Lake (Lough) while the captain recited Yeats during the entire ride.
If you want to experience the people, history, culture, and music informally and personally, I would recommend you take a Wild West Irish Tour!”
~ Tom and Karen R. , Michigan
**Special Sligo Live Music Festival Review: “Our Wild West Irish Tour featuring Sligo Live and Van Morrison was an amazing experience, and a dream come true! After spending several days immersed in the Ireland that has inspired poets and dreamers, such as Yeats and O’Donohue, somehow my soul was both filled, and ready to be filled with more of Ireland’s magic. And there was Sligo Live, ready to indulge my thirst for more of Ireland’s great blessings, first with some great Trad, and then with the inimitable Van Morrison! Mr. Morrison, one of my all-time favorite musicians, was phenomenal–from his inspired set list (including my personal favorite, “Into the Mystic”), to his genius talent and spot-on vocals. I sat mesmerized and consumed by the music for the full 90 minute set, tears of joy freely flowing. It was a perfect experience which will live forever in my heart, mind and soul!”
~ Teresa and Roger B., North Carolina
“Michael & Trish,¬†I want to thank you both so much for the wonderful time we had on our trip with you. You were both like family to me and so were our fellow traveling companions. As you know this was my third trip to Ireland and believe me it was by far the best. You took us to the kind of places that I wanted to see,it was almost as if you had read my mind or I had given you a list of must see things.¬† I hope that we can take another trip with you in the not too distant future.”
~ Margie and Ramona, Maryland and Oregon
“Initially, when we were planning our trip to Ireland,¬† we had some concerns about not ‚Äúseeing everything‚ÄĚ.¬† Once we let go of that, we signed on with Wild West Irish Tours.¬† We realized seeing it all would mean not experiencing any one place with feeling and depth.¬† We were not mistaken, Wild West delivered the trip of a lifetime.
Staying with Mary and Colm at Seaview Farmhouse in Raghley was a real treat.¬† Breakfast and conversation in a setting with beautiful views and walks by starlight were a highlight.¬† The Sligo area offered wonderful ruins, music and vistas.¬† It is a place truly touched by fairies!¬† Henry’s and Ellen’s¬† pubs introduced us to traditional Irish music and gatherings.¬† We were treated to a poem and a dance as well.¬† Little did we know that two of the women in the room were well-known poets!
Leo Leydon and Michael Roberts added incredible insight and historical context for our visits.¬† Days spent with them included a trip to Donegal to see the amazing Slieve League and Donegal Castle. At the castle a troop of tourists thought Leo worked there and joined our group! Leo had such a commanding presence and a wealth of knowledge, it was easy to understand their assumption.¬†¬† Michael took us to Carramore and there some of us visited site #19 and walked a healing circle.¬† Can you picture that happening on a big bus tour?
Michael was able to include our requests into his plans. This included taking us to the Aran Islands, to see the home of my grandmother and great aunts.¬† The rest of the tour group was fine with the adventure and excited for me.¬† Seeing Innishmore was a revelation. We were able to locate gravestones with the family name at the cemetery below Dun Aengus.¬†¬† Everywhere there were indications of how hard life had been for the people of the island.¬† It gave me a new appreciation of who my relatives were their natures and our connections.¬†Chatting people up in pubs became second nature.¬† We found the people of Ireland warm and engaging.¬† Magical things happen in magical places!¬† Thank you Michael and Wild West Irish Tours.
~ Priscilla W., New Hampshire
“Oh how fond my memories are of Ireland and how much I wish to return! ¬†Those ten days in May were the highlight of my year and I would love to attend this reception the Irish Embassy is having for Wild West Irish Tours in D.C.. Congratulations – it must be such an honor for you! I miss you guys and am so delighted for you
~ Kelly Yuhas
“Barbara and I recently celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with Wild West Irish Tours in Sligo County. It was our first trip to Ireland and Michael and his crew of specialists were superb hosts and guides. From reception to B&B services, scenic jaunts, seaweed baths, coastal horseback riding, cliff & ocean views, nature walks, traditional meals, picnics, concerts, pottery tour, folk life museum, shopping, historical relics, folklore, and even more (believe it or not), we couldn‚Äôt possibly have planned a more eventful or memorable experience. And all of it without the typical tour bus milieu and commercialization. And we still had personal time for reading, relaxation, and conversation! Michael & Trish deserve credit and kudos for developing a much needed tour that lets you and me see the real, unadulterated Ireland. See Ireland. You‚Äôll love it.”
~ Jack and Barbara, Maryland
“The combination of horseback riding on the beach followed by a luxurious seaweed bath surpassed anything I had previously done in Ireland. The scenery while on horseback was breathtaking. We meandered along paths, moving in and out of fields and finally down to the sea…Take a chance you will not be disappointed. There is plenty to do and plenty of time to relax. Michael and Trish are very knowledgeable, they will do whatever they can to make sure you experience the best that Ireland has to offer.”
~Kim Roche, Baltimore Maryland
“I took this tour and had a wonderful time. This was my second time to Ireland. Loved not being among the tourists but among the Irish people themselves. Go and find your Irish self.”
~ Kate Long, Miami, Florida