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Into The West (7 Day Tour)

30 Year Anniversary 1994 - 2024A glorious immersion into all you would imagine walking the West coast of Ireland to be! Hike the rolling, stony hills of the Burren, the valleys, lakes and mountains of Connemara, and the wild, untamed Aran Islands.  This is a lovely week-long tour visiting three contrasting areas of western Ireland.  

Prices from:US$ 4799
US$ 800 Single Supp
Duration: 7 days

2018 Certificate of Excellence

Itinerary Information

Into the West Tour Details 2024 and 2025
Fri 7 Jun to Thur 13 June 2024
Tour Full
Pick up Shannon Airport 9 am
Return Shannon Airport 3 pm

Duration: 7 days
US$4799
US$800 Single Supp
Tue 10 Jun to Mon 16 June 2025
11 Places available

Tour Map: Into the West

Map: Into the West

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Tour Highlights

  • The Cliffs of Moher, Co Clare
  • The wild flowers and geology of the Burren
  • Stunning coastal scenery
  • A two-night stay on the Aran Islands
  • The fort of Dun Aenghus
  • The wild, rugged beauty of Connemara
  • Killary Harbour - Ireland's only fjord
  • A walk on Omey Island
  • Entry to Kylemore Abbey
  • 2-night stay in Ballyvaughan in the Burren
  • 2-night stay in Clifden, the Jewel in Connemara
  • 2 nights on Inismore, Aran Islands

Included In Tour

  • Shannon Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • All 3-4 star accommodation (en suite) x 6 nights
  • All land transportation
  • Return Ferry to the Aran Islands
  • Admission to Dun Aenghus Fort
  • Admission to the Cliffs of Moher
  • Admission to Kylemore Abbey
  • Escort of full-time guide
  • Escort of local guides
  • 6 breakfasts
  • 6 packed lunches
  • 5 evening meals

ClifdenDAY 1: ARRIVAL, TRAVEL TO CLIFDEN, HIKE OMEY ISLAND, DINNER IN LOCAL RESTAURANT

Walking Distance 4 miles (6.4 km)

From Shannon we drive north to Clifden in County Galway: a lovely little town known as the “Jewel of Connemara”. Connemara is a wild, rugged, unspoilt area with a ragged coastline and two sets of impressive mountains – the Twelve Bens and the Maamturks.

We will walk at Omey Island: a beautiful place located just off the Connemara shore:  we can reach it by walking across the sand at low tide. We take a circular route around the island travelling by ancient tracks beside a lake and then out across lovely, quiet sandy beaches.  We will be accommodated for the next two nights at a guest house right on the edge of the town. We will take our evening meal at one of Clifden’s many fine restaurants specialising in fresh seafood. The town has many pubs with traditional music sessions most nights of the week.

Walk Options: the full walk is 4 miles long, there is an alternative option of just 2-3 miles available.

Overnight: Clifden, Connemara, County Galway.  Meals included: Lunch and Dinner  

Killary fjordDAY 2: HIKE KILLARY HARBOUR AND VISIT KYLEMORE ABBEY

Terrain: waterside paths, rocky tracks | Elev Gain: 100 ft | Walking Distance 6 miles (9.7 km)

Our walk will be at Killary fjord. The fjord, travelling in from the sea to a village called Leenane forms the natural border between County Mayo in the north and County Galway to the south. This is one of the finest walks in Ireland!  Later in the afternoon we will visit Kylemore Abbey: western Ireland’s most famous landmark. Nestled at the base of the mountains in the heart of Connemara, Kylemore is regarded as one of the most beautiful buildings in Ireland.

Walk Options: the full walk is 4 miles long, there is an alternative option of just 2-3 miles available.

Overnight: Clifden, Connemara, County Galway.  Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Omey Island

DAY 3: HIKE INISMOR, THE LARGEST OF THE THREE ARAN ISLANDS

Terrain: quiet lanes, grassy tracks, rocky shore | Walking Distance 6 miles (10 km)

We set off on the mid morning ferry to Inismor and our walk consists of much varied terrain, beginning with a fabulous trek across the rocky flagstones of the northwestern shore of the island. We then travel on along quiet grassy tracks with fine views lined with endless stretches of dry stone walls. 

Walk Options: the full walk is 6 miles long, there is an alternative option of just 2 miles available.   

Overnight: Kilmurvey, Inismor, Aran Islands. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

 

 

 

Inishmore

DAY 4: HIKE INISMOR and DUN AENGHUS, ARAN ISLANDS

Terrain: quiet lanes, grassy tracks, rocky shore | Walking Distance 6 miles (10 km)

The first part of our walk today takes us up to visit Dun Aenghus, a massive semi-circular ring fort lodged on the edge of cliffs that drop 300 ft into the Atlantic. Gaze out from the cliff tops across the wild Atlantic Ocean. We then hike on over of limestone slabs, navigating through narrow lanes lined with dry stone walls,  Then on to rocky flagstones of the northwestern shore of the island. We then travel on along quiet grassy tracks with fine views lined with endless stretches of dry stone walls. 

Walk Options: the full walk is 6 miles long, there is an alternative option of just 2 miles available. 

Overnight: Kilmurvey, Inismor, Aran Islands. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Galway Bay

DAY 5: MORNING RETURN FERRY FROM ARAN ISLANDS, AFTERNOON HIKE IN THE BURREN

Terrain: old green road, rocky tracks | Elev Gain 400 ft | Walking Distance 6 miles (10 km)

A wonderful day exploring and walking the Burren! And it is truly an immensely rocky place. The hills of the Burren are made up of limestone pavements with criss-crossing cracks called “grikes”, between isolated rocks called “clints”. The area supports Arctic, alpine and Mediterranean flora side-by-side, and the mild winter temperatues ensure a long growing season. The blue flower of the Spring Gentian, an alpine plant, is the region’s best-loved flower. For our walk today we will be escorted by a Burren expert. He will take us to sites of botanical, geological and archaeological interest.

Walk Options: the full walk is 5 miles long

Overnight: Ballyvaughan, or Lisdoonvarna, County Clare. Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

 

Burren hills

DAY 6: HIKE OVERLOOKING COASTAL BURREN AREA.

Terrain: grassy and stoney track | Elev 700ft | Walking Distance 5 miles (8 km).

Today we will be accompanied by our local expert guide. He will take us to sites of botanical, geological and archaeological interest. This will include walking in two separate parts of the Burren with a break for lunch. The Burren region is famous for its flora: you will never see anything like the carpets of primroses, coastal displays of sea pinks, or the white flower of the blackthorn cascading over all the hedgerows. Rare and spectacular plants occur in abundance. Orchids grow everywhere in the Burren and 23 out of the 27 Irish species are to be found here.

Overnight: Ballyvaughan, or Lisdoonvarna, County Clare. Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch.

 

DAY 7: VISIT CLIFFS OF MOHER.  RETURN TO SHANNON AIRPORT LATE AFTERNOON

Terrain: cliff path | Walking Distance 5 miles (8 km)

Our last walk will be at the spectacular Cliffs of Moher. We begin at the quaint village of Doolin and take the coastal path all the way to the Cliffs. Towering 660 feet above the wild Atlantic, these cliffs are noted for abundant birdlife including puffins (between May and early August). We can also hope to see and hear fulmars, guillemots, kittiwakes, and if we’re really lucky, peregrine falcons. 

Meals Included: Breakfast.

Cliffs of Moher - West Coast Ireland Hiking

West Coast Ireland Hiking Tour

West Coast Ireland Hiking Tour / Southwest Ireland Hiking Tour / Guided Hiking and Walking Vacation in Connemara, the Burren and the Aran Islands.

Note: The above scheduled itinerary may run in a different order and is subject to change for varying reasons. Any changes made by Joyce’s Ireland and / or the tour leaders will be in the interest and safety of all participants.

Note also: Many clients come on a Joyce’s Ireland tour who wish to do very little hiking. Every day there are alternative options such as sight-seeing, relaxing, reading, painting, listening to Irish traditional music, and generally just soaking up the Irish atmosphere. You can opt out of the hiking on any day! All our accommodations are based in scenic locations, so you are very welcome to just remain “home” for the day.

Testimonials

Our first visit to Ireland could not have been better, thanks to your expert guidance! Thank you for taking care of all the details. Kathy and I would like you to know that we had a wonderful time on the trip. Everything that we expected but more !

The scenery and the peacefulness of the walks were among the reasons we have chosen to get out in the places we have traveled and walk the ” roads less traveled. We have very good memories especially of the Aran Islands and of course the walls. You really have a gift for being so welcoming and yet giving us time to enjoy at our own pace.

Bill and Kathy Gianfagna, California

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