Adore & Explore the West of Ireland – 11 Day Tour

You will fall in love with Ireland on our “Adore & Explore the West of Ireland” tour. The landscapes are breathtaking, the people and culture vibrant, and all of the accommodations are rated among the best of the best.

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Please keep in mind that we can customize a tour to your particular needs. Perfect for families, small groups and couples traveling together. For groups of four or more we highly recommend a private driver/guide with private transport.

Itinerary

Day 1:

Arrive in Shannon airport and travel along the coast northwards. The majestic Cliffs of Moher overlook the Atlantic Ocean on the western seaboard of County Clare. This is your first day so remember that everybody will ask have you seen the Cliffs when you get home. Overnight: The Blue Book recommends two very different style properties in this region: Gregans Castle, an old manor house, perched on Corkscrew Hill, a haven of tranquillity or Moy House, a quaintly beautiful house that snuggles into the rocks with inspiring ocean views.

Overnight: Gregans Castle or Moy House

Day 2:

Lots to see and explore in this unique county so it is best to stay here for two nights. Drive around the Burren, a rugged area of limestone hills and stop by the Burren Visitor Centre in Kilfenora. View the Poulnabrone Dolmen, a Neolithic burial place, dating back to 4,000 BC. The Ailwee Caves is also worth a visit.

Overnight: Gregans Castle or Moy House

Day 3:

Driving along in your automobile to Galway you will see cute little villages and towns but do stop just south of Galway city at Paddy Burke’s in Clarenbridge, for a glass of Guinness and some oysters. If visiting in September you will be in the thick of the Clarenbridge Oyster Festival. When you arrive in Galway you will behold a vibrant city exploding with charisma, inextricably linked with history, culture and music. Overnight: Glenlo Abbey Hotel, 5 star luxury set in tranquil surroundings amid all the bustle of the city. For a countryside option close to Galway City you may also wish to consider Currarevagh House situated on the shores of Lough Corrib in 150 acres of private woodland.

Overnight: Glenlo Abbey Hotel or Currarevagh House

Day 4:

You are now heading into the heart of Connemara, so put on your favourite music and drive through the rich bogland landscape with the Twelve Bens mountain range in the distance. If you fancy a hike the mountains are not that high and they provide excellent walking and climbing opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast. Overnight Two delightful options: Rosleague Manor Hotel, a delightful Georgian house overlooking Ballinakill Bay and set in 30 acres of secluded woodland. Alternatively, Cashel House Hotel set in 50 acres of grounds on the beautiful coastline of Cashel Bay with Cashel Hill rising behind.

Overnight: Rosleague House or Cashel House Hotel

Day 5:

Departing Rosleague drive a short distance to visit Kylemore Abbey located in Connemara National Park. Stroll through the reception rooms, visit the Gothic Church or the six acre walled Victorian garden. Moving on you will travel along the mountains between Galway and Mayo but another absolute must see place has to be Croagh Patrick, otherwise known as ‘the crowned mountain of Ireland’. Thousands of pilgrims journey to the top of Croagh Patrick each year.

Overnight: Stella Maris HotelEnniscoe House, or The Ice House

Day 6:

A visit to one of the islands off the west coast is akin to finding your soul and today you will be able to drive to one of these islands – Achill Island, which has a road joining it with the mainland. Stop for a paddle on one of the beaches here. Overnight Options: Stella Maris Hotel which is a converted coastguard station with uninterrupted views across the Atlantic Ocean. Enniscoe House, a listed heritage house of Ireland situated on the shores of Lough Conn. Or The Ice House a truly iconic building overlooking the spectacular and ever changing River Moy.

Overnight: Stella Maris HotelEnniscoe House, or The Ice House

Day 7:

Indulge yourself today by relaxing and visiting the Ceide Fields nearby, a vast prehistoric landscape; a natural wild ecology of blanket bog, dramatic cliffs and coastline.

Overnight: Stella Maris HotelEnniscoe House, or The Ice House

Day 8:

Co. Sligo is the next county to Mayo and where you are heading today. It is known as Yeats County, because of its association with the poet W.B. Yeats, who is buried at Drumcliffe Churchyard. Another place to see is the cairn at the summit of Knocknarae, known locally as Queen Maeve’s grave and to recover from this climb a gentle tour of Lissadell House, once home to Countess Markievicz will complete the day. Overnight: A choice for overnight. Coopershill House, an ancestral Georgian mansion, which has been in the same family for 8 generations. Cromleach Lodge is a newer building with spectacular views across Lough Arrow.

Overnight: Cromleach Lodge or Coopershill House

Day 9:

Today you will drive towards Dublin and stopping in the heart of the midlands where there are hundreds of lakes to explore. Head first for the Wineport Lodge, a wonderful cedar lodge on the lake’s edge, where you will be staying overnight. The owners can arrange with the local boatman, Paddy, to bring you around the lakes, with perhaps a little picnic as you glide along.

Overnight: The Wineport Lodge

Day 10:

You have now explored a good part of the country as you drive towards the outskirts of Dublin. You can either drive into the city centre and stay at the luxurious 5 star Merrion Hotel for your last night. Alternatively you can drive to Barberstown Castle, and arrange for a chauffeur to pick you up and bring you into the city for a whistle stop tour and then back to the Castle for a sumptuous meal and overnight. Or perhaps you would perfer to stay in the King Sitric in the picturesque fishing village of Howth close to Dublin. All options are very convenient for your departure from Ireland the following day.

Overnight: The Merrion HotelBarberstown Castle, or The King Sitric

Day 11:

Drive to airport from Barberstown Castle, the Merrion Hotel or the King Sitric (less than 1 hour from all properties). Depart for U.S.

 

 

Enjoy Ireland at its best on our Emerald Ireland vacation

 

 

Enjoy Ireland at its best on our Emerald Ireland vacation