Where will we stay?
Our tours are aimed at getting a closer look at an area, so we find comfortable accommodations in the area in which to base our trip. Rather than packing up and moving every day, you can settle into your Irish “home” for the week and get comfortable. Our Kerry tours are based in John’s House, an 18th century stone cottage with an old-fashioned feel and modern amenities, and Rock Cottage, a newer cottage just down the road right next to the Derrynane National Park.
What should i wear?
Ireland is often rainy (the trade off for being very green!), and isn't particularly warm- 40's to 60's is typical. Plan to pack more warm clothes than t-shirts, and dress in layers. A good rain coat is important, and a waterproof hat. Plan to have some comfortable, sturdy, water resistant shoes like hiking boots or muck boots. We will be eating in nice but casual restaurants, no dress clothes required.
What about meals?
The houses will be stocked with breakfast foods and snacks, so you may prepare your breakfast according to your own preference, or enjoy a midnight nibble, at no additional charge. For dinners and lunches, we will enjoy the local pubs and restaurants. In Kerry, we’ll be sure to visit the Blind Piper, O’Carroll’s Cove, Ahamore Tea Room,and Derrynane Hotel. Farther afield, we may find ourselves at the Garden Restaurant in Killarney, Fertha Pub in Cahersiveen, An Corcan in Waterville, or Davitt’s in Kenmare. Some tours may have a few meals prepared for us by local chef Mo Stafford.
What do I need for cash?
Ireland is part of the European Union and uses the Euro for currency. General advice on getting the best exchange rate for cash is simply to use your ATM card. Your bank is likely to charge a fee for using a foreign ATM, but the ATM usually gives the best current exchange rate. There is an ATM at the airport. Many places we visit will also accept credit cards, but plenty of small places do not. I have found that generally credit cards are less universally accepted in Ireland than in many places. Some credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee for each use, so you will want to find out from your credit card company if they will be charging you that fee.
While we are on the topic of fees, larger retailers will offer to charge your card in Dollars or Euros. The retailer sets their own rate for currency conversion, and it is not generally favorable for you, the consumer, so the best rate is usually in Euros.
Finally, be sure to let your bank and credit card company know your travelplans before departure. Otherwise they may freeze your account because they will consider the Irish transactions suspicious activity.
How does the electricity work?
The Irish electrical system runs on 220v as opposed to the North American 110v system and has a different prong shape. If you want your laptop plugged in in your room, or expect to spend a fair amount of timing charging devices, you may want to have your own. There are a whole lot of these for sale, some of which are just adapters which allow you to plug your North American prongs into the wall , and some are adapter/converters which convert the voltage and take care of the prong shape all in one unit. If you have sensitive electronics, we recommend an adapter/converter. We will have a power adapter/converter available in both houses, so if you have only an occasional need to plug something in you can use those.
What is the level of physical activity?
Tour participants should be able to walk and stand for several hours at a time, and feel comfortable traversing occasional rough ground. Our tours do not expect a high level of fitness. For some participants, some of the activities (horsebacking riding, trail walks, kayaking) may push our boundaries a bit, and we may finish out the day noticing sore muscles and feeling tired out. Others on the the trip may be accustomed to regular physical exercise and we can ensure the daily itinerary includes opportunities allow our active participants time to get in a jog or hike regularly. Please contact the tour guides if you have questions about the physical fitness required.