Freedom and flexibility are travel’s new bywords. Most travelers these days want to see the major sites and cross them off their list. But they also want the ability to explore on their own, pursue their own passions, and make sure every experience is personally rewarding. That’s why Globus, the world leader in touring vacations, has created Choice Touring by Globus, a series of vacations in Europe and North America designed to fit a variety of traveler styles. In addition to guided visits to all the must-see sights, each tour includes YourChoice Excursions, a selection of exciting experiences that let guests tailor their own tour — at no additional cost. Art aficionado or nature lover? Bike ride or wine tasting? Choice Touring lets you design your own discovery and make memories the way you want.
To show you how Choice Touring by Globus works, we took a look at three iconic itineraries in Europe — in Ireland, Italy, and Portugal — and broke down the various options each includes. We also added recommendations from ShermansTravel experts on the ground to help you take advantage of the ample free time each tour offers. Below, we explore “Green With Envy: Ireland By Design,” an 8-day, 7-night journey beginning and ending in Dublin and bringing you to charming cities and dramatic cliffs. You’ll enjoy historic pubs, rugged islands, breezy bike tours — the choice is up to you!
Day 1: Arrive in Dublin
The first day of the tour is an opportunity to get settled in and meet the Tour Director as well as the rest of the group. But after the welcome dinner, why not head out for a pint (or two) at one of Dublin’s many pubs? Some of the most popular — and most historic — include 12th-century outpost The Brazen Head and The Temple Bar Pub, which has served Dubliners since 1840.
Day 2: Dublin-Kilbeggan-Athlone-Westport
The trip gets its official start in the countryside town of Kilbeggan with a tour of an Irish whiskey distillery, a quintessential experience when in Ireland. In Athlone, located along the River Shannon, guests will discover the city’s medieval Athlone Castle as well as Sean's Bar, a rustic watering hole that dates to 900 AD. If you have some extra time, the Luan Gallery showcases work by both Irish and international artists. The day ends in Westport, a coastal city with a picturesque Georgian town center.
Day 3: Westport
You can choose from three YourChoice excursions in Westport. Top 'o the Morning on Top o' the World offers the opportunity to see Ireland’s famously picturesque Wild Atlantic Way and Achill Island, known for its rugged mountains and impressive sea cliffs — a must for nature lovers. The Wind at Your Back in Westport lets you explore Westport’s stone bridges and beautiful scenery from the back of an e-bike — perfect for those who want a bit of exercise (but not too much). With Rise & Shine, foodies can learn the time-honored art of making Irish soda bread (smeared with country butter and homemade jam, of course) with local artisan bakers.
In the evening, grab a table at An Port Mór, which serves modern Irish dishes in a casual atmosphere. The menu changes seasonally but Chef Frankie Mallon’s deft hand with seafood has earned him multiple accolades.
Day 4: Westport-Kylemore-Maam Cross-Galway
On the way to Galway, you’ll stop in to visit Kylemore Abbey, a working Benedictine abbey that’s beloved for its scenic lakeside location and walled Victorian gardens. Once you arrive in the colorful harbor city of Galway, you’ll have two ways to spend the afternoon. The Galway Galore! walking tour takes in the city’s highlights — including Lynch’s Castle, a fortified house from the 14th century, and St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, where Christopher Columbus popped in to pray back in 1477 — followed by a hearty pub dinner. Foodies will love Find Your Pot o' Gold, a culinary exploration that features Galway Market, where you can sample local specialties like oysters and crab. Those looking for a night out will find live music at The Crane Bar, a traditional music pub that hosts everyone from singer-songwriters to folk players.
Day 5: Galway, Excursion to the Aran Islands
From Galway, travelers will board a 90-minute ferry to Inishmore, the largest of the rocky Aran Islands (and a location for the 2022 film "The Banshees of Inisherin"). The day includes a minibus tour of the island and its ancient stone ruins and spectacular cliffs. You’ll visit Dún Aonghasa, a prehistoric cliff-top fort, and enjoy lunch at Tí Joe Wattys Bar, known for its fresh seafood (try the Aran lobster). Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including seals, swallows, pheasants, and even a few falcons. After the ferry ride back to Galway, treat yourself to dinner at seasonal Irish restaurant Rúibín’s, where you can score a table that overlooks the harbor and enjoy dishes that blend local and global influences, such as sea bass ceviche or halibut poached in buttermilk.
Day 6: Galway-Cliffs of Moher-Rathbaun Farm-Dublin
The Cliffs of Moher, which stretch along the rugged coast of County Clare, are one of Ireland’s most iconic sights. You’ll explore the cliffside pathways and viewpoints before heading to Ardrahan for a visit to Rathbaun Farm, a 250-year-old working sheep farm, where lunch includes some of their beloved scones and freshly whipped Irish cream. Back in Dublin, after dinner with the group, pop into old school pub The Cobblestone to enjoy traditional Irish tunes with an expertly poured pint of Guinness.
Day 7: Dublin
Get better acquainted with Dublin on a drive through the city, including monument-lined O’Connell Street; the impressive Gothic spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral; and Trinity College, where the 1,200-year-old Book of Kells is displayed. Later, immerse yourself in a different aspect of Irish culture at the Guinness Storehouse, where you can see how the famous brew is made (and have a taste, of course!).
Later, the choice is yours: Irish Stories & Spirited Swigs is a lively literary pub crawl that will entice history buffs and book lovers alike, introducing visitors to Ireland’s rich literary history and showcasing where such lions as James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw, and Oscar Wilde used to imbibe. Or select High-Stepping & High Notes, a night out at Taylors Irish Cabaret, where culture lovers can experience Irish dancing, music, and comedy. Both excursions include dinner and drinks, so you’ll go to bed happy.
Day 8: Dublin
All good things must end, but you can sneak in an extra hour or two with an early stroll through St. Stephen's Green and the nearby Iveagh Gardens. Bid the city farewell with a much-needed coffee and pastry at Bewley's Grafton Street, which opens daily at 8.30 a.m.