One of the most popular things for tourists to do when visiting Ireland is to go on a guided tour. However, with so many to choose from, it can be difficult to know which tour will be the right one for you.
Everyone has their own idea of what they want to do and see.
One tour that does cater for everyone’s different tastes is Ireland West Tours, based in Galway. Although owner Jim Parslow acts as tour guide, he lets the visitor decide where and what they want to see. Ireland Calling spoke to Jim to find out a bit more about it. See what he had to say below.
Hi Jim, please tell us about the tour
I found that many of our visitors to The West of Ireland wanted to see the real West of Ireland and did not want the constraints of a coach tour, were reluctant to spend their holidays driving on the side of the road that they were unaccustomed to. Ireland West Tours was established for the purpose of enabling visitors to choose their own itinerary, to decide where and when they stopped and even decide for how long they want to stop. We do not have any compulsory stops at restaurants, shops or so called “Tourist Traps”.
How long have you been running the tour?
I have been conducting tours in the West of Ireland for more than 15 years. As a result of increasing popularity we now have several other experienced tour drivers.
What are main features and attractions on the tour?
We collect our customers where and when it suits them and bring them on a tour for a duration of their choosing before dropping them back at their selected drop off point. During the tour they get to choose how long they want to spend at each location. We inform visitors of various attractions that we are approaching and give information on them allowing the customer to make an informed decision on whether to stop or not.
Where exactly does the tour go, and what can visitors expect to see?
In addition to going to requested locations we also go to places that are off the beaten track. We go to areas that tour buses can’t get to in order to show our customers some of the best unspoilt scenery in the West of Ireland.
What can you offer to people visiting Ireland from overseas?
We offer visitors the opportunity to tour The West of Ireland for one day or for several days. Ireland West Tours offer informative tours that are relaxed and fully tailored to meet the wishes of our customers. Our tours can be for one day in The Burren/Cliffs of Moher or in Connemara or for sevaral days incorporating locations such as Connemara, Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty, Ring of Kerry, Dingle Peninsula, Blarney Castle, Rock of Cashel etc.
Any important advice or info for visitors going on the tour?
If you intend to do any walking (and that’s up to you) please bring suitable footwear and a good wind cheater. Even in summer places like The Cliffs of Moher, Connemara National Park, Slea Head and the Walled Gardens at Kylemore Abbey can be quite chilly. The weather can be very variable but you can’t go far wrong if you bring a good raincoat that has deep pockets for your suncream!
What are your plans for the future?
Ireland West Tours has experienced considerable growth in recent years and we hope to sustain that growth by continuing to provide tours that meet individual requirements while using our local knowledge to provide relaxed and informative tours.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Ireland West Tours is proud to have an almost 100% satisfaction rating on Tripadvisor. We are also pleased to have had repeat customers in an industry where repeat customers is not the norm.
Thanks so much to Jim for taking time out to chat to us. If you would like to find out more about Ireland West Tours you can visit www.irelandwesttours.com.