I’m just back from my fourth foray with Inishfree tours. It was my second time doing the western tour that starts in Sligo. I had a new driver, Fionan and a new guide, Elva and of course, it was the first tour back after a two year pandemic absence. New dynamics, new jokes, new songs on the bus – it makes it all fresh.
It’s truly the bus tour for people who don’t like bus tours. It happens at a relaxed pace. We stayed three nights in each fabulous hotel, hubbing out from Sligo, Westport and Ennis.
The evening music sessions were great craic, and the days were filled with trips to some truly great sites. Because the coach is smaller, allowing for 23 guests, myself, Elva and Fionan we went to some great out of the way places.
My friend, David Francey who has been leading tours for a number of years now, encouraged me to lead one myself!
I went to Ireland for the first time as backpacker when I was 19. My dad was from Monaghan, so I had grown up with the place as stories around the table or songs he sang me to sleep with.
I’ve been going back regularly ever since, but Inishfree has given me a great window on the local music scenes in each of the counties we visit. It’s rare to be on the “inside” of a trad session, but Inishfree takes us there.
I get to bring 22 guests along with me. By day we visit gorgeous coastal scenery, beaches, green hills and valleys, visiting ancient sites, stone circles, fishing villages, and more. Each night we return to our hotel, rest and refresh, and meet up for dinner and music with local musicians along the way. We stay three days and nights in three adjoining counties, travelling in a luxury 25-30 seat coach with an Irish driver and an Irish guide. InishFree has been doing this for a long time. Tour leaders have included David Francey, Buddy Mondlock and Kate Campbell.
If you have questions or would like to book, contact Vicki Belinoski at Inishfree Tours
We take small groups of like-minded people on intimate musical excursions around Ireland. You’ll experience the best traditional music and scenery the country has to offer in the company of experienced Irish guides and drivers. Our tours are led by some of the best folk singer-songwriters in the United States, Canada and Ireland.