If you love Ireland you’ll be enchanted by these far western regions of Clare, Galway and the fabled Connemara. Fewer people than anywhere else on the Emerald Isle, but the villages and towns that dot this landscape are among the most authentic and picturesque you’ll find. We’ll walk landscapes that vary from huge ocean cliffs to heather covered mountains, alongside lakes of shimmering blue and down country lanes bordered by stone walls, and relax in traditional Irish pubs filled with welcoming locals. On our Wild Atlantic Way adventure we’ll take you on the countryside paths and through the cobblestone streets of some of the most beautiful and remote towns on the Emerald Isle. We’ll meet the people, live the culture, walk the spectacular countryside and experience everything about this wonderful land. Get off the beaten path with us, and you’ll marvel at spectacular views that most tourists never see!
Tour Dates & Pricing
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Day 1: Galway City and Ballyvaughan
Your Wild Atlantic Way adventure will start today at noon at a meeting point near Eyre Square in the heart of the bustling pedestrian area of Galway. You might plan to arrive in Galway a day early in order to get a good nights sleep, get over your get lag, and pick up any last minute items you might need. Contact us and we can help you with your arrangements. The charming Galway town center is a pleasure to explore, with a vibrant mix of parks, art galleries, historical buildings and countless shops and bars. We'll depart Galway this afternoon and head southwest for an introductory walk in this remarkable landscape. Eventually we'll wander into the town of Ballyvaughan and settle into our cozy lodge, our home for the next two nights. A wonderful welcome dinner awaits us as well!
Day 2: Cliffs of Moher
This morning after breakfast we'll journey through the heart of County Clare to the spectacular coastline of Moher. Rising over 700 feet from the sea, the dramatic coastal cliffs are one of Ireland's most iconic landmarks. We'll have an excellent walk along the coast with views out to the Aran Islands and inland to the Maumturk Mountains. We have a few more stops planned today, but eventually we'll settle into our cozy lodge near the town of Ballyvaughan. Tonight we'll enjoy a tasting of Irish whiskies at a local pub, followed by a hearty dinner featuring plenty of traditional Irish fare. Hanging out with the locals at the pub might be just the thing to cap off a great day in the Irish countryside, but don't stay out too late as we're off into the countryside again!
Day 3: The Burren
Today we'll walk through one of the world's most unusual landscapes, the cracked, layered and karstic landscape of the Burren. Although appearing harsh and forbidding the area is actually home to countless farms and homesteads, not to mention its own unique, internationally renowned ecosystem of flora and fauna. In the company of a local guide and expert, aspects of the extraordinary natural history and archaeology of the region will be revealed. We'll hike through the rolling inland hills out to the northern coastal region of County Clare, with dramatic views of the Connemara region across Galway Bay. After lunch we'll continue our journey north and into the wild region of mountains, bogs and bays known as the Connemara, a by-word of sorts in Ireland for the wildest place on the Atlantic seaboards of Ireland. Late afternoon will find us relaxing at our quaint hotel in the pretty little town of Clifden, in the heart of the Connermara. Tonight is free to wander the town and choose one of the many pubs or restaurants for dinner.
Day 4: Connemara
Over breakfast this morning we'll meet a renowned Irish scholar and guide who will introduce us to the riches of the region and in who's company we will hike on an ancient pilgrim route into the Inagh Valley, discovering this mystic realm that is Connemara. We'll enjoy a fascinating morning exploring the countryside before an afternoon ramble over to an off-shore, tidal island where at the very edge of Ireland, nature and history will combine for a magical experience.
Day 5: County Mayo, Westport
Leaving Clifden this morning in our mini-bus, we will trace a fabulous route along the edge of the land, stopping a several places of natural and cultural importance, among them the Connemara National Park and Kylemore Abbey. There will be hiking opportunities for those who wish along the edges of Ireland's only fjord before entering County Mayo through a spectacular pass, continuing on to Westport, one of Ireland's most beautiful towns. Lying between the Atlantic and the quartz peak of Croagh Patrick, Westport has long been held as a holy-place. The rest of this day will be spent exploring this special corner of the country, especially its sacred antiquities and rich, contemporary culture with time this evening to wander in town.
Day 6:Achill Head
Today we head west out to the very edge of the peninsula to the exhilarating landscape of Achill Head. A stunning coastal path will provide unparalleled views both inland and seaward. You'll have the option this afternoon to return to Westport by biking along the Greenway, one of County Mayo's famed countryside biking paths. Tonight we'll get together for our special farewell dinner.
Day 8: Joyce Country
Departing Westport this morning, our drive south towards Galway is spectacular as we trace a line between a string of limestone lakes that mark the boundary of the wilds we have been exploring in recent days. An hour down the road, on the borders of counties Mayo and Galway is the picturesque village of Cong. The final wandering of our journey in Ireland on this trip will be in the midst of the rich mythic, archaeological and historical landscape here located at the head of Lough Corrib, the largest in the Republic and renowned May-fly. Our stroll will lead us to the spectacular Cong Abbey and Ashford Castle from where we will then take a short boat ride on the waters of the Corrib over to the medieval monastic retreat island of Inchgoill for a last picnic lunch before our re-entry back to the civilization again at Galway! Our Westwood Hotel location is within easy reach of the vibrant heart of this city and provides a base from which to explore.
Day 8: Slan a Eirinn
After breakfast today we'll have a group transport to train and bus station in Galway City. From here there are plenty of connections to Dublin and Shannon so you can continue your Irish adventure.
- 2 nights at Hazelwood Lodge in Ballyvaughan
- 2 nights at Foyles Hotel in Clifden
- 2 nights at Wyatt's Hotel in Westport
- 1 night at Westport Hotel in Galway City
- Daily breakfast
- Meals as specified: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners, 1 whiskey tasting
- Kylemore Abbey and Gardens entrance
- Sheepdog demonstration
- Boat trip on Lough Corrib
- Transportation once the tour has begun.
- Departure transfer from hotel to train and bus station in Galway City
- Sightseeing and entrance fees as specified in itinerary
- Completely escorted by an expert local guide
- A lifetime of unforgettable memories!
What´s not Included
- Airfare package
- Arrival transfers, tour begins in Galway City at noon on Day 1, and the tour ends at the train or bus station in Galway City on the morning of day 8
- Gratuities for meals, porterage, local guides, coach drivers, etc.
- Visa fees, if applicable
- Meals not specified in itinerary
- Beverages at meals unless specified in itinerary
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption and Medical Insurance (strongly recommended), call for details
- Single supplement charge
- Items of a personal nature; phone calls, laundry, etc.