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Dean Garrison

My role as a Sales executive is to help my clients achieve what they are looking for in a holiday to Ireland. Whether that would be offering places to stay, providing a detail Itinerary outlining specific walks or hikes to participate in or to suggest unique and interesting places to visit. My aim is to get as much information out of people as possible so I can provide a trip that they will remember for years to come.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

""Saying that "I" specialize in Hiking and cycling would be to deny the amazing team that I work with at Ireland Walk Hike Bike. Our company was set up with one purpose in mind – to show guests the real Ireland that we know and love. Having watched many visitors “flash” through Ireland – my business partner and founder of the company Linda Woods decided back in 1994 to find a better way to see the country. As Linda says “My aim was to slow people down, so they really get their feet into the soul of the country, meet the locals & discover what makes Ireland & the Irish tick………” and 24 years later – this is exactly what Ireland Walk Hike Bike is still doing today….
We specialise in hiking and cycling holidays both Guided or Self Guided and take great pride in designing bespoke holidays in line with the needs of our guests."
"

How did you get involved in travel?

"I have been involved in the travel industry for over 12 years. Starting off by studying a International Travel and Tourism degree learning the in and out of the industry. I then undertook 1 year trip around the world visiting over 30 countries across 6 continents. Since then I have spent the last 8 years continuing to travel to different countries as well as working in different roles within the industry expanding my knowledge and passing this information on to others. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I have been on many hiking holidays but the one that will have a special place in my heart was my trip to Peru and participating on the Inca Trail. 4 days of breath taking views and exploring old Inca ruins. The main event of the trip however was towards the end where you approach The Sun Gates and watch the sunrise over Machu Picchu (the lost Inca City) without a doubt one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had."

Dean is part of the following groups: Ireland Travel Agents
the sea cliffs at Downpatrick Head on the coastline of County Mayo, Ireland
Wild Atlantic Way Self Drive Adventure - 14 Days

Get ready for mile after mile of unforgettable memories. On this road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way— the longest defined coastal route in the world—you'll enjoy rugged scenery, gorgeous coastline, and off-the-beaten-path adventures from County Donegal’s remote Northern Headlands down to the picturesque southern peninsulas.

Biking the Ring of Kerry
Self-Guided Ring of Kerry Cycling Trip - 7 Days

With the highest mountain range in Ireland as a backdrop, this self-guided cycling tour follows the world-famous Ring of Kerry. Starting and ending in Killarney National Park, the journey traces the coastline of the Iveragh Peninsula, taking you through picturesque villages and natural wonders on a mix of inland and coastal routes.

The beautiful beaches of Achill Island, County Mayo
Northern Ireland & Dublin Road Trip - 7 Days

Discover the scenic highlights of Northern Ireland on this well-rounded road trip. Starting in the ancient streets of Dublin, you'll set off by car to tour wild coastlines and charming towns at your own pace. Explore historic Belfast, cross famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, drive along the Wild Atlantic Way, and wander through the medieval city of Londonderry before driving back to the capital city, where the trip ends.

Outside Temple Bar, Dublin
Highlights of Irish Cities - 7 Days

Experience the unique character of Irish cities on this self-drive tour around the county's urban centers. This weeklong trip takes you to the capital city of Dublin as well as colorful Cork, Limerick, and Galway. You'll dine in corner pubs, explore farmer's markets, tour medieval castles, and even escape to Blarney Castle—a short side trip from Cork—to kiss the famous Blarney Stone.

Dramatic coastal landscapes at Bloody Foreland, Donegal
Self-Guided Donegal Hike - 5 Days

Explore Ireland’s hidden treasures along the Wild Atlantic Way on this unique 5-day self-guided tour in North Donegal. A unique Irish experience, this itinerary will inspire you with majestic mountains, beautiful coastlines, astounding sunsets, and picturesque landscapes: if you get lucky, you may even see the Northern Lights.

Panoramic views in Kerry
Guided Kerry Walk - 5 Days

Explore the glorious southwest of Ireland shaped, a region shaped by ancient glaciers and the pounding waves of the Atlantic Ocean. On this guided tour of the green hills, valleys, and pastures of Kerry, you'll enjoy plenty of fresh air and panoramic views, and you'll have frequent opportunities to meet local people and get a glimpse of daily life in their culture.

Recent trip reviews for Dean

Buffett plus · Ireland - Sep 22 - Sep 28, 2019

Traveler: Betsy L. - Local specialist: Dean Garrison

Our guide Maurice from Ireland Walk Bike Hike was very helpful both before and during our recent trip to Ireland. He and a woman from their office (whose name I don't recall) called twice in our 7 day trip to make sure all was well. Galway was a good base for excursions. Westport was a lovely little town. We heard the best Trad music there and on my husband's birthday too! Ballina was a fun. We tried the traditional hot seaweed baths since this wasn't something we could do in the US. It was... read more

Our guide Maurice from Ireland Walk Bike Hike was very helpful both before and during our recent trip to Ireland. He and a woman from their office (whose name I don't recall) called twice in our 7 day trip to make sure all was well. Galway was a good base for excursions. Westport was a lovely little town. We heard the best Trad music there and on my husband's birthday too! Ballina was a fun. We tried the traditional hot seaweed baths since this wasn't something we could do in the US. It was a relaxing end to our trip. If we had it to do again, we would have spent 1 less night in Galway (we had 3) and added another stop or longer in Westport. We enjoyed our trip!

Self Guided Hiking Tour · Ireland - Sep 13 - Sep 24, 2019

Traveler: leisa s. - Local specialist: Dean Garrison

I had a really great trip with Kimkim. Everything was so easy all the way through and the team was always a phone call away if I had any questions or needed some help.
Dean was fantastic and even dropped in for a face to face half way through to check in. I received phone calls from the team during the trip which was really comforting as I was travelling alone.
Petrina was also always close by when I needed anything and responded very quickly to any questions I had.
The hosts at each of my... read more

I had a really great trip with Kimkim. Everything was so easy all the way through and the team was always a phone call away if I had any questions or needed some help.
Dean was fantastic and even dropped in for a face to face half way through to check in. I received phone calls from the team during the trip which was really comforting as I was travelling alone.
Petrina was also always close by when I needed anything and responded very quickly to any questions I had.
The hosts at each of my BnBs we’re fantastic, and I’d really love for them to know I enjoyed my stay, particularly my stay with Kathleen at Finglas House in Camp. I was quite unwell during my night there and she was very accommodating.
The pack provided by Kimkim containing route notes, maps and dining recommendations was great! I actually enjoyed readying about the next day’s activities before bed each night. They were thorough and obviously put together by people who were familiar with each walk. My favourite I think would have to be the one from Dingle to Dunquin, absolutely stunning.
Overall, I’d definitely book another holiday with Kimkim, and I plan to return to travel the north next time!
Thanks team.

Ireland · Ireland - Sep 16 - Sep 26, 2019

Traveler: Robin F. - Local specialist: Dean Garrison

Our trip to Ireland was memorable and we will use kimkim and Ireland Walk Bike Hike again to plan new adventures. Although we did not bike at all we had many walks and shorter hikes in beautiful places. Our windy, rainy excursion to the Aran Islands was warmed by an Irish Coffee at a small island pub followed by a boat trip around the Cliffs of Moher. Our itinerary was ambitious and we will spend more time in fewer places next visit. Many thanks to trip planner Dean from Tralee who was... read more

Our trip to Ireland was memorable and we will use kimkim and Ireland Walk Bike Hike again to plan new adventures. Although we did not bike at all we had many walks and shorter hikes in beautiful places. Our windy, rainy excursion to the Aran Islands was warmed by an Irish Coffee at a small island pub followed by a boat trip around the Cliffs of Moher. Our itinerary was ambitious and we will spend more time in fewer places next visit. Many thanks to trip planner Dean from Tralee who was so helpful and even visited us one morning at breakfast to offer assistance. We love photos of beautiful places and we will enjoy the hundreds pictures we took. The B&B’s were comfortable, and all were clean and welcoming. Big Irish breakfasts are wonderful!! We travelled from Glendalough Abby and Lake to the Ring of Kerry, astounded at the beautiful landscape and historical sights. We enjoyed the Pubs in Dingle and the funky town vibe. The Cliffs of Moher are a spectacular experience and traveling the small roads north to Westport was an adventure full of lovely country sights. We even stayed at Ballyseede Castle and enjoyed a night of luxury. Our travels were slowed by traffic ‘jams’ of sheep and cattle on several occasions and the scent of peat or “turf” fires let us enjoy a bit of the rural life of Ireland.

Dean Garrison profile photo
Dean Garrison, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Robin

Thank you so much for your kind words, your feedback is greatly appreciated. I am glad to hear you really enjoyed your self drive trip, I know from our discussion that you wished you could have stayed in a few places a couple more days however at least you now have an excuse to come back to this amazing country.

I will certainly pass on your kind words to our accommodation suppliers and we hope to welcome you back to Ireland in the near future.

Kind Regards

Dean

Southern Ireland · Ireland - Sep 13 - Sep 23, 2019

Traveler: Mala N. - Local specialist: Dean Garrison

Thanks Dean and Petrina! We had an amazing time in Ireland, and loved every moment of it! We would love to come back and see more of your beautiful country. All the work you put in for us, both in terms of making our bookings and planning our itinerary, is much appreciated. Almost everything worked like clockwork. We were also lucky to have great weather during our time there, and on the one day it wasn't great due to the rain, quite magically Dean showed up, and helped us plan our... read more

Thanks Dean and Petrina! We had an amazing time in Ireland, and loved every moment of it! We would love to come back and see more of your beautiful country. All the work you put in for us, both in terms of making our bookings and planning our itinerary, is much appreciated. Almost everything worked like clockwork. We were also lucky to have great weather during our time there, and on the one day it wasn't great due to the rain, quite magically Dean showed up, and helped us plan our day!

In terms of guides and related feedback - here are a couple of things -

1. Hilltop Treks - Celts and Castles Tour. We had specifically requested a tour of Newgrange. Turns out this tour regularly does not enter Newgrange. That would have been a huge disappointment for us. As it turns out our tour started early since all the tourists got there in time, and the guide was able to eke out the time for us to see the inside of Newgrange which was amazing. I don't think the trip would have been worthwhile for us if we had not entered Newgrange. All's well that ends well - but I wanted to mention this, for future reference for you. In case there are others who specifically request a tour of Newgrange, it might be better to find a tour company that routinely goes inside the monument.
2. Lally Tours - Cliffs of Moher tour - In the interest of full disclosure, it would have been nice to know before that the money we paid earlier for the tour does not cover the cost of visiting the caves. Interestingly, they don't even mention it on their website. Also, we would have preferred a tour that covered Dunguaire castle vs the caves.

Overall, for us, I think it would have been better to have been given the option of a couple of tour companies before the bookings were made, so we could have checked out their itineraries and seen which ones worked the best with our interests.

Places that were most memorable - honestly, we enjoyed everything.
In Dublin - our favorites were the tour of Trinity college (the guide was really good), and the Book of Kells, and the Musical Pub Crawl.
Waterford - loved the tour of Waterford Factory
Cobh - loved the town and the beautiful St Colman's Cathedral
Ring of Kerry - loved the Derrynane Loop Walk. Your directions were perfect!
Dingle and Slea Head - were our absolute favorites! Absolutely stunningly gorgeous! Our favorite stop there was the Dunmore Head hike (which was not mentioned in your information - you may want to add it to your repertoire!).

Challenges - we had only one. We were unable to find the Old Head of Kinsale hike. I think we made some error in getting there and hence it took us for ever, and when we got there we were turned around. We parked at the Speckled Door, but were unable to find the start of the hike. It looked to us like you had to walk on a narrow road shared by cars which seemed risky. We asked the gentleman at the bar at the Specked Door, but he was too busy to help us. That's what delayed us in getting to Kenmare that night, and led to the problem at the B and B.
Everything else was really perfect.

I mention the above not as criticisms, but in the spirit of constructive feedback!

Dean Garrison profile photo
Dean Garrison, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Mala

Thank you so much for your kind words, your feedback is greatly appreciated. I am glad to hear you really enjoyed your trip with us.

We will definitely take your feedback on board as it will help us with maintaining a high level of service so we definitely appreciate it.

We hope to welcome you to Ireland in the near future.

Kind Regards

Dean

Trip to Ireland · Ireland - Jul 10 - Jul 17, 2019

Traveler: Lauren C. - Local specialist: Dean Garrison

It was too much driving for the week, we wish we would’ve had more activities to do.

Ring of Kerry Self-Guided Cycling Tour - 8 Days · Ireland - Jun 30 - Jul 5, 2019

Traveler: Audrey B. - Local specialist: Dean Garrison

I had a great time! Everything was so easy at every step of the way. I especially liked the route that kept me on back roads with minimal time on the Ring of Kerry road.

Dean Garrison profile photo
Dean Garrison, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Audrey

Thank you so much for your kind words, your feedback is greatly appreciated. We are so happy you enjoyed your Cycle trip along the Ring of Kerry. It really is a beautiful part of the country and we are glad you got to experience it.

We hope to welcome you back to Ireland on tour with us in the near future.

All the Best

Dean

Dingle or Wicklow · Ireland - Jun 17 - Jun 27, 2019

Traveler: kari w. - Local specialist: Dean Garrison

Very friendly. Pick ups as planned. Accommodations very nice. Food was excellent

Ireland 2019 · Ireland - Jun 1 - Jun 9, 2019

Traveler: Lisa R. - Local specialist: Dean Garrison

Dean was great to work with and it was nice to have things set up and prepaid along the way (car, B&Bs, etc). Also good suggestions on places to stop, sites to see. One place not to miss is Skellig Michael, especially on a clear day, but reserve well ahead!

Hazel trip 2019 · Ireland - Jun 7 - Jun 14, 2019

Traveler: stephanie p. - Local specialist: Dean Garrison

My granddaughter and I had a wonderful trip!

Petrina arranged everything beautifully and was responsive to all my questions and doubts.
My only complaint was the weather. I doubt she could do anything about it, though.

Ireland is beautiful. The people, the scenery and the food were lovely.

Thank you for all your help.

Stephanie Penn

Ireland 2019 · Ireland - Jun 1 - Jun 9, 2019

Traveler: Scott R. - Local specialist: Dean Garrison

I thought overall this was a well planned trip. Every day was different and it felt that there were different themes. We didn't drive long between locations. What made it so successful is that we had a framework and a structure, but allowed us the flexibility to change our plans during the course of the day. Weather is Ireland is always unpredictable. We had a challenging start but the weather came through nicely at the tail end of our trip.

On the first day, driving up to Galway made... read more

I thought overall this was a well planned trip. Every day was different and it felt that there were different themes. We didn't drive long between locations. What made it so successful is that we had a framework and a structure, but allowed us the flexibility to change our plans during the course of the day. Weather is Ireland is always unpredictable. We had a challenging start but the weather came through nicely at the tail end of our trip.

On the first day, driving up to Galway made sense because it was accessible and it was an easy way to get started with some light tourist walking through the streets and getting a flavor of Irish culture. We especially enjoyed watching the finals of the premier league championship in a packed local pub which resembled a mosh pit. The noise and enthusiasm was electrifying.

I enjoyed Doolin, especially the pubs where the locals attended listening to music. I highly recommend Sheedy's B&B. We enjoyed hiking the cliffs of Mohr from Doolin to the tourist center as it was private and less people. Getting a taxi to take us back to Doolin was easy and convenient vs. taking a bus back into town. I think starting from the Tourist center is a mistake as there are too many people.

The Dingle penisula was my favorite part of the trip. Enjoyed the B&B and appreciated majestic views of the mountains in the backdrop along the coastline. Great walking trails. We just barely missed getting the boat over to Blassket Island but enoyed the museum had some nice walks in the AM along the coastline. We loved the Falconary and that was truly was an unique and unforgettable experience. The pub and music nightlife was great too.

Touring Skellig Michael was another highlight of the trip and we were fortunate for a very nice sunny day. Memorable. A must!

Heading up to Limerick the next day and seeing the castles and walking the trails was a good day to "strecth the legs". Nightlife was great too.

Ending our trip in Dublin was a good way to slow it down a bit. We enjoyed the museums at Trinity college, GPO (must), public gardens, as well as the Jamenson and Guinesse. Although it is a touristy thing to do, taking the "hop on and hop off" bus tour is a good way to get around to see the city. The early am drive from Dublin to Shannon airport was easy and not too taxing.

Lori

1 week in/out Ireland · Ireland - Apr 23 - Apr 30, 2019

Traveler: Lori R. - Local specialist: Dean Garrison

Blown away with frances hospitality coming to visit us in killarney in person and calls to make sure all ok.
Margo our bike hike guide was unbelievable. She was encouraging, so informed about so much, great conversation, felt totally blessed to have her for a full day. All accommodations were above expectations. Great locations, bfasts and hosts.
The Hertz GPS was slow and didn't provide accuracy we e expected. That is not your responsibility. Hertz did a wonderful thing in not... read more

Blown away with frances hospitality coming to visit us in killarney in person and calls to make sure all ok.
Margo our bike hike guide was unbelievable. She was encouraging, so informed about so much, great conversation, felt totally blessed to have her for a full day. All accommodations were above expectations. Great locations, bfasts and hosts.
The Hertz GPS was slow and didn't provide accuracy we e expected. That is not your responsibility. Hertz did a wonderful thing in not charging us since we were 1hour late.

Pat Liddy tour was fantastic !!!!

Only suggestions would be to strongly urge drivers download offline maps if they have capability on their phones. That ended up better than Hertz gps.
Also, information on the charges to the suggested route stops. We probably would have changed some of our stops to be able to spend more time. (Ex. Bunratty castle). or not go . It got a bit frustrating to pay at every stop for more info. If I had known I would have planned better.
However, every place was amazing and the trip went without a gliche. It was amazing!!
Oh, also maybe add info about bus pass and needing exact change on buses in Dublin,
along with brief comment on norms of tipping and that last admission to quite a few sites is4-5p. We missed going in to some locations.

I'm rambling along so I hope makes sense.

Thank you for an amazing trip
Ireland should definitely be a must do for everyone.
God bless

Dean Garrison profile photo
Dean Garrison, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Lori

Thank you so much for your lovely words. We aim to provide the best quality trip we possibly can and it is wonderful to hear you had a great time .

Thank you for your suggestions as well, we will certainly take them on board for future trip

We hope to welcome you back on tour sometime in the near future.

Kind Regards

Dean Garrison
Sales Manager

Ireland Itinerary · Ireland - Mar 11 - Mar 17, 2019

Traveler: Matthew F. - Local specialist: Dean Garrison

Travel advice was great. Walk Bike Hike was very friendly. Great B&B hosts.

Dean Garrison profile photo
Dean Garrison, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Matthew

Thank you very much for your kind words. We are delighted to hear you enjoyed your holiday with us and really appreciate the positive feedback. We hope to welcome you back to Ireland in the future!

All the best from your friends at Ireland Walk Hike Bike