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Into The West (7 Day Tour)

A 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, historic Kylemore Abbey, and the wild, untamed Aran Islands.

Prices: US$ 3299
EU€ 2799
Duration: 7 days

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Itinerary Information

Into the West Tour Details for 2018
Thurs 12 April to Wed 18 April 2018
0 Places available
Depart Shannon Airport 1.30
Return Shannon Airport 3pm
APRIL SPECIAL OFFER
US$ 2139
EU€ 1799
Thur 19 April to Wed 25 April 2018
12 Places available
Tues 31 July to Mon 6 Aug 2018
12 Places available
US$ 3299
EU€ 2799
Sun 5 Aug to Sat 11 Aug 2018
12 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
  • Region, County Clare
  • A two-night stay on the Aran Islands
  • The fort of Dun Aenghus
  • The wild, rugged beauty of Connemara
  • A visit to Kylemore Abbey and Gardens
  • Killary Harbour - Ireland's only fjord
  • A walk on Omey Island
  • 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 Kylemore Abbey and Gardens
  • Admission to the Cliffs of Moher
  • 6 guided walks
  • Escort of full-time guide
  • Escort of local guides
  • 6 breakfasts
  • 4 packed lunches & 4 evening meals

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

Walking Distance 2 miles (3.2 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 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.

Overnight: Clifden, Connemara.

Killary fjordDAY 2: VISIT KYLEMORE ABBEY AND GARDENS, HIKE KILLARY HARBOUR

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

First stop today is Kylemore Abbey: western Ireland’s most famous man-made landmark. Nestled in the heart of Connemara, Kylemore is regarded as one of the most beautiful buildings in Ireland. Built in 1867 by Mitchell Henry as a romantic gift to his wife, Kylemore Abbey and the surrounding mountains and lakes are steeped in history. Later in the day our walk today 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!

Walk Options: the full walk is 6 miles long, there is an alternative option of just 2-3 miles available.

Overnight: Clifden, Connemara. Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch.

Omey IslandDAY 3: HIKE OMEY ISLAND, TRAVEL ON FERRY TO THE ARAN ISLANDS

Terrain: coastal sandy track, quiet lanes and beach | Walking Distance 6 miles (9.7 km)

Today we will take a guided walk at Omey Island: a beautiful place located just off the Connemara shore, and we can reach it by walking across the sand at low tide. We take a circular walk around the island travelling by ancient tracks beside a lake and then out across lovely, quiet sandy beaches. Later we will take the ferry out to Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands. Inishmore (trans ‘the big island’) is the largest of the three Aran Islands and the most remote. There is no place like Aran, an island covered in a myriad of dry stone walls, colourful wild flowers, tiny fertile meadows and historical sites.

Walk Options: the full walk is 5 miles long, there is an alternative option of just 2-3 miles available.

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

InishmoreDAY 4: HIKE INISHMORE, THE LARGEST OF THE THREE 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. 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. If you are taking this tour in springtime, you will be delighted at the sight of magnificent “carpets” of sea pinks (or thrift) found along the shore.

Walk Options: the full walk is 6 miles long, there is an alternative option of just 2 miles available. For those with more energy, there is an 11 mile option.

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

Galway BayDAY 5: RETURN FERRY FROM ARAN ISLANDS, HIKE IN THE BURREN

Terrain: grassy track, country lanes, green road | Elev 400ft | Walking Distance 6 miles (9.7 km)

We will take the morning ferry back to Rossaveal and head to Slieve Elva in the Burren region of County Clare. The Burren (“a stoney place”) is a strange, lunar-like region of bare carboniferous limestone which occupies around one hundred square miles of County Clare. Below the surface of the Burren is the most remarkable assemblage of spectacular caves, streams, potholes and “turloughs”(vanishing lakes). After our walk, which takes in wonderful views of Galway Bay, we will make our way to either the coastal village of Ballyvaughan, or the “Matchmaker” town of Lisdoonvarna, for our final two nights.

Overnight: Ballyvaughan, or Lisdoonvarna, County Clare

Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner.

Burren hillsDAY 6: MORNING HIKE COASTAL BURREN AREA, AFTERNOON HIKE INLAND 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 6 miles long, for those that wish, there is an option of adding a further 5 miles.

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

Cliffs of Moher - West Coast Ireland HikingDAY 7: VISIT CLIFFS OF MOHER, RETURN TO SHANNON

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. Then it’s Goodbye to Ireland after our drive back to Shannon Airport.

Meals Included: Breakfast Included.

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 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