New Adventures

Ireland: Connemara Ramble

Day 1 For those arriving in Dublin, plan on taking the bus from Dublin to Galway to meet the group.  If you choose to arrive in Shannon, plan to arrive no later than 10:30. Our guide will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to meet the rest of the group in Galway. 

If your travel plans require you to come a day early, please let our travel advisor assist you with prenight accommodaitons. 

Upon arrival in Galway, the City of the Tribes, you will be given an introductory walk through the city.Lunch is on your own, then we will  will then set off on our way to Connemara with a stop in Bridget's gardens. You'll be given the chance to get to know one another better at the welcome dinner at the Lough Inagh Lodge. D

Day 2 Windswept ragged mountains, a rocky coastline and some archeological sites make the old famine walk truly a pleasurable experience.  Set out from a small hourbour along this ancient road and we visit Tom, a local farmer cutting turf and his dogs working the sheep. 

Day 3  We start the day with a visit to Kylemore Abbey, where we have to time to visit the walled gardens created in the middle of the Bog. Visit the beautifully restored mausoleium and of course the abbey itself, home to the Benedictine nuns since 1920. From there we walk to Letterfrack National Park where we climb Diamond Hill to view the vista of the Connemara coast.  

Day 4  We leave our hotel and head to Westport (voted best place in live in Ireland in 2017) a town on the edge of an Atlantic inlet. En route we will be walking part of the Western Way, a long distance walk along the flat river plains and our walks are in direct contract to the imposing Ben Gorm Mountain to the northwest and the Devil's Mother to the south. The scene would not be amiss in one of Robert Service's poems of the Yukon where he once wrote, “The icy mountains hemmed you in with the silence you scarce could hear”. The trail skirts Tawnyard Lough.  A number of small islands can be seen on the east end of the lake. The westernmost of these is possibly a Crannog—Crannogs were secure dwelling places that can be dated to the Bronze Age (Circa 1500BC). They were artificial islands reached by boat or by subsurface stepping stones. 

Day 5  Westport gets its name in Irish Gaelic from a 16th Century castle - Cathair na Mart - meaning “The Stone Fort of the Beeves”—owned by the powerful sea-faring O'Malley family, who controlled the Clew Bay area. This castle forms the foundations of Westport House, and a portion of it is still visible in the Dungeons area there. The most famous of the O'Malleys was Granuaile, chieftain of the clan and 16th-century pirate queen of Connacht, and ancestor of the Brownes of Westport House. 

We have time this morning to walk through Westport town and House and visit the local Thursday Market. We then take a bus to walk along the Green Way, a wonderful route that travels from the foot of Croagh Patrick to Achill. We finish our walk in Newport and enjoy what is considered Harry Clark's Masterpiece, “The Last Judgement in 1931”, his final piece of work before his untimely death at the age of 42.

Day 6 From Westport we head to Roundstone, a sleepy fishing village where we walk by Errish beg, a short low lying mountain where the famous Lakes of Connemara can be viewed. We end this walk at what locals consider two of the finest beaches in Ireland. Gurteen Beach and Dog's Bay lie back to back forming a tombolo jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean.  

The beaches were formed by a sand spit and tombolo which now separates the two bays and their beaches. The area has international importance for this rare and interesting ecological, geological and archeological features. The sand and grassland habitats are of particular interest as the sand was not formed from rocks, but rather from the shells of tiny sea creatures known as foraminifera. The grasslands, made up of manchair vegetation is considered rare and is found only on the west coast of Ireland and Scotland.

Day 7 We will take the ferry to the Inish More, one of the largest of the three. The Aran Islanders still speak Irish/Gaelic as their first language. With over 1,500 miles of stone walls, Dun Aengus, a mysterious ring fort perched on the edge of cliffs that drop 300 feet to the ocean and ancient monastic ruins. There is much to see here. Late in the afternoon we will return to the hotel via ferry where we will enjoy a final dinner together.  

Day 8. After breakfast you will be transferred back to Galway with a final stop at the airport in Shannon. Please do not make arrangements for an early morning flight departure if you plan on returning with the group to either Galway or Shannon.

$4,375 per person $500 single supplement 

Best Time to Go

We have carefully selected dates for this tour to balance the weather and crowds along the Connemara Coast.  

Convenient Airport

You can reach the starting point via a 2 1/2 - 3 hour bus from Dublin, or arrive in Shannon by 10:30 AM on the first day of the tour, and receive a complimentary transfer to the start of the tour from the Shannon airport. 

If you would like to arrive a day early, please let us know and we can assist you with prenight accommodations. 

Upon completion of the tour, you will be taken back to Shannon for your onward departure.

Traveling By Rail and Bus