Feel the Soul of Ireland Itinerary

Ireland7

Day 1
GALWAY TO CONNEMARA
Arrive in Galway. Transfer to Connemara for your overnight.
Your Guide will meet you at 16.00hrs in the centre of Galway & whisk you away to the beautiful west coast & the heart of Ireland’s rich & varied maritime history. With tales of legendary Queen’s, a people who proudly stood firm in retaining their Irish traditions – this part of Ireland is well worth discovering. Approx. 1 hours drive will take you to the village of Leenane where you spend your next 3 nights.

Meals: Dinner
Overnight: Leenane Hotel

Day 2
KILLARY HARBOUR
The Connemara horizon is dominated by more than fifty magnificent mountains, which were home to the first farmers on this land some 5,000 years ago. Travelling a short distance to the head of Ireland’s only fjord – your first hike is a wonderful hike along the length of Killary Harbour. This beautiful walk is a lovely introduction to your holiday, and takes you past an old famine village, under the shadows of the impressive Mweelrea Mountain – Connemara’s highest. This afternoon, if time allows, a visit to Kylemore Abbey gives you a wonderful opportunity to learn the romantic history of this place & enjoy the inspiring surroundings of garden & lake. On one of your afternoons in Leenane – we certainly recommend you indulge in Ireland’s oldest spa treatment at Connemara Seaweed Baths. The seaweed is hand cut daily and is fresh with essential nutrients and minerals. Overnight in Leenane & a free evening at your leisure.

Walk Details: Distance: Up to 12kms. Highest Point: 150m. Grass tracks – rocky and muddy in places. Can be wet underfoot – boots essential. Some road walking.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: Leenane Hotel

Day 3
CONNEMARA NATIONAL PARK
Today you drive to Connemara National Park, a glorious place entrusted with retaining the wild & natural beauty that is so prevalent here. Diamond Hill is the central point of Connemara National Park and is one of these eye-catching landmarks that can be seen for many miles around, providing a wonderful introduction to this rugged landscape. Climbing to the top of this well-known landmark, you will have terrific views all around you – inland across bogland & mountain & best out across the Atlantic Ocean. Return for your last overnight in Leenane. Free evening at your leisure.

Walk Details – Distance: Up to 14kms. Highest point: 445mts. Gravel tracks with rocky & uneven sections, stepping stones, board walks & boggy underfoot conditions. Steps up and down.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: Leenane Hotel

Day 4
CLARE ISLAND AND CROAGH PATRICK
The history of Queen Maeve in Ireland is one of our richest stories of a wonderful woman who was determined to keep her land of Connemara within her own tribe. With fabulous views of Clare Island her ancestral home, you will hear the story of her clan and her history. Moving on to the jewel in our crown – Croagh Patrick – you enjoy a walk along the foothills of this sacred mountain.

Overnight in the busy market town of Westport with time to enjoy an evening at your leisure & discover some of the wonderful restaurants in this place.

Walk Details – Distance: Up to 14kms. Highest point: 765mts. Gravel tracks, loose scree, rocky & uneven conditions underfoot, muddy trails.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: Clew Bay Hotel

Day 5
WESTPORT AND CLARE ISLAND
A leisurely morning in Westport gives you time to enjoy before taking to the high seas & travelling by boat across to Clare Island. This was the final home of Queen Maeve, a beautiful place filled with a rich history and a wealth of legendary stories. Enjoy a walk on the island before returning to the mainland for your last overnight in Westport.

Walk Details – Distance: Up to 10kms. Highest point: 200mts. Paved roads, gravel tracks & grassy, muddy trails. Some rocky & uneven surfaces underfoot.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Overnight: Clew Bay Hotel

Day 6
GREAT WESTERN GREENWAY
Moving north today, we enjoy an exhilarating bike ride on the Great Western Greenway. The Greenway meanders through some of the most beautiful and idyllic countryside you’ll find anywhere in Ireland. Drink in the views of the spectacular Nephin Beg mountain range, Clew Bay, Clare Island, Croagh Patrick and Achill Island. In the afternoon, we stop to enjoy a “hands-on” basket making workshop, one of the oldest traditional crafts in Ireland. Transfer to Achill Island for dinner and overnight.

Bike Details – Distance: Up to 31kms. Highest Climb: 250mts. Road, Gravel tracks and small little back roads. All sections away from main roads, or “walkable” for the short connecting stretches on main roads. Guide will advise & caution appropriately.

Those who do not wish to cycle today will have the option of a walk instead.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Overnight: Inis Aoibheann B&B

Day 7
SLIEVEMORE MOUNTAIN
Today you walk in the footsteps of the ancients with a settlement here dating back to the 5th century. You hike to the “Deserted Village” at the foot of the majestic Slievemore Mountain and enjoy your picnic lunch in one of the abandoned cottages. This walk gives a wonderful opportunity of terrific hiking over open mountain & bogland, to reach a magnificent coastline, before reaching this amazing deserted village. Dinner in one of the local pubs on Achill Island.

Walk Details – Distance: Up to 14kms. Highest point: 300mts. Paved roads, gravel tracks & grassy, muddy trails. Open hillsides with no trails & rough underfoot conditions.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: Inis Aoibheann B&B

Day 8
TURLOUGH PARK
Today you will be transferred to Castlebar to visit The Museum of Country Life set in the spectacular grounds of Turlough Park giving you an intimate insight into Irish country life with original artefacts and displays. After a fascinating visit here, you will then be taken to Castlebar Train/Bus station. From here, you can avail of the excellent public transport service to Dublin, Galway or wherever your onward journey takes you.

After experiencing the soul of Ireland you will have plenty of stories, photos and memories to take with you on your homeward journey.
Meals: Breakfast

INCLUSIONS

INCLUDED WITH THIS TRIP

ACCOMMODATION
· 7 nights twin share accommodation in Hotels and Rural Bed & Breakfast
Single room accommodation is available at an additional cost of $460 (depending on availability – please request this at time of booking)
Meals
Meals included as detailed on the itinerary. All food quality is carefully selected following the true local Irish tradition. · 7 full Irish breakfasts · 4 lunches (packed picnic lunches on hiking days)
· 4 Dinners as listed in the itinerary
Local Guide
The group will be accompanied by a local English speaking guide from 16:00 on Day 1 until you transfer by private vehicle to Castlebar Train/Bus station on Day 8. Our guides are highly professional with an extensive knowledge of the territory. They know every hidden corner of the area and will give you the opportunity to experience all the unspoiled places and the real culture of Ireland.
Transport
A private mini bus will transport the group for its everyday transfers and transportation of luggage.
Other
· Baggage transfer between hotels . Activities as detailed in itinerary

NOT INCLUDED WITH THIS TRIP

* International Airfare
* Visa fees – each member of the group must carry a valid passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond the duration of your trip) and have obtained the appropriate visas
* transfer to and from the airport. Make your own way to the Hotel in Galway.
* Other meals not mentioned on the itinerary
* Tips, personal telephone charges
* Travel Insurance (compulsory) – You will need to give the policy number prior to departure
* Items of a personal nature; postage, drinks and souvenirs
* Entrance fees to theatres, parks or museums etc.
* Any boat trips
* Additional optional activities
* Medical Advice – Please refer to your GP or local travel clinic for up to date travel health advice for the area(s) you are visiting.