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Connemara, Aran Islands and The Burren Walking Tour | 8 Day Escorted Tour

Tour Includes:

Transport

  • Transfers to and from walks
  • Professional driver/guide
  • Aran Islands ferry

Accommodation

  • Imperial Hotel - Lisdoonvarna (3 Nights)
  • Aran Islands Hotel - Inis Mor (2 Nights)
  • Leenane Hotel - Connemara (2 Nights)

    Meals

    • Full breakfast daily except on day 1
    • 7 Dinners
    • 6 Lunches
    • Welcome get-together drink

    Other Inclusions

    • Visits, tours and admissions
    • Deluxe carry-on backpack, ticket wallet, luggage tags & strap
    • All local taxes, hotel service charges

    8 Days / 7 Nights

    Starts / Ends Galway

    Highlights

    Aran Islands 

    Cliffs of Moher 

    Galway City 

    The Burren 

    Killary Harbour

     

    Immerse yourself in the best of the west! The essence and variety of the West of Ireland, the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way, is captured on this three-centre, guided walking/hiking tour, visiting Clare, the Burren, The Aran Islands & Connemara.

    Beginning in the matchmaking town of Lisdoonvarna, we discover The Burren, a remarkable area of more than 100 square miles of limestone landscape, where a rich variety of plants thrive in the cracks and crevices. We experience the force of the Atlantic first hand, along the steep and rugged coastline of the Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy the sea view of the dramatic west coast of Ireland on the ferry to the Aran Islands, where Gaelic is still spoken.

    Explore the many archaeological sites of the island, including the pre-historic fort Dun Aonghasa. Old pilgrimage sites and bog lands rich in flowers are the treats of Connemara where we encounter Ireland’s only Fjord and mesmerising landscape. Relax in the evenings after a delicious evening meal, listen to live traditional music and meet the locals.

     

    8 Day Itinerary

     

    Day 1 – Arrival Galway City

    Welcome to the ‘Wild West’, the Wild Atlantic Way West! Groups will meet in Galway at 5:00PM and are then transferred to your hotel in Lisdoonvarna. If you arrive early you can leave your luggage in left luggage facilities in Eyre Square. Get to know your guide and the rest of the group on the drive to Lisdoonvarna and more over a delicious evening meal while your guide will give you a full briefing on the week ahead.

    Overnight in Lisdoonvarna

     

    Day 2 – The Cliffs of Moher & Atlantic Coast

    Distance: 13km/8 miles • Ascent: little or none

    Enjoy your first day’s walking along a new coastal walking trail in Clare which will bring you along one of the most outstanding landscapes of Ireland. From Liscannor and Hags Head in the south, along by the majestic Cliffs of Moher and to Doolin in the North, with views over Aill Na Searrach, the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. The trail follows the line of the cliffs and passes through the grounds of the visitor centre.

    After you have worked up your appetite it will be time to take the short journey back to the hotel for tonight’s evening meal.

    Overnight in Lisdoonvarna

     

    Day 3 – The Burren

    Distance: 13km/8 miles • Ascent: 275m/900ft

    Today we venture to the unique internationally important habitat that is The Burren. We explore it through a combination of walking on green roads and traversing the karst limestone pavements which are interspersed with rare arctic and alpine flowers. This walk allows us time to delve into the flora, landscape and history that makes The Burren what is it was and is today. Our short transfer back to the hotel will allow those feet some well-earned rest before dinner.

    Overnight in Lisdoonvarna

     

    Day 4 – The Aran Islands, Inis Mor

    Distance: 9km/5.5 miles • Ascent: little or none

    This morning we transfer from Lisdoonvarna to Doolin for our sailing to the Irish-speaking Aran Islands, located off the west coast of Ireland. A true Irish experience awaits, locals speak Irish as well as English in a setting of Celtic churches of historical significance as we base ourselves on the largest island Inis Mor for the next 2 nights. Once our luggage is dropped off at the hotel, we walk to the southeast of the island to spectacular cliffs and puffing holes, continuing on to the Iron Age Black Fort (Dún Duchathair).

    Overnight on Inis Mor

     

    Day 5 – The Aran Islands, Dún Aonghasa

    Distance: up to 10km/6 miles • Ascent: little or none

    Today we take a short transfer to visit archaeological sites including the pre-historic fort, Dún Aonghasa and Poll na bPéist (worm hole), all set in a stony landscape from which a living was laboriously wrenched. Located on the south side of Inismór, it is a semi-circular stone fort overlooking the Atlantic with daunting and dramatic views that stretch the length of the Island. The Worm Hole is a natural rectangular shaped pool found at the bottom of the cliffs south of Dún Aonghasa and is a popular location for Cliff Diving competitions.

    Overnight on Inis Mor

     

    Day 6 – Maumeen Pilgrimage route

    Distance: 13km/8 miles

    After an early sailing back to the mainland, we are picked up and transferred to enjoy today’s walk through the beautiful Maumeen Mountains on the pilgrimage route up to St. Patrick’s Well & bed. Our trail is surrounded by untouched mountains and rocky, sheer fields separated by centuries-old stone walls. The chapel itself, around halfway through the mountain pass, is thought to be one of the smallest in Ireland, and according to legend, it was the place St. Patrick went to bestow his blessing on the wide, rugged terrain of Connemara. Continuing along the Western Way we finish our walk at Keane’s Pub where we can enjoy a different type of blessing before being collected and brought to our hotel.

    Overnight in Connemara

     

    Day 7 – The Connemara Coast- Killary Harbour

    Distance: 16km/10 miles • Ascent: little or none

    This morning we are transferred to the start of our walk where we will then walk along the shore of Killary Harbour – Ireland’s only fjord, on the ‘Famine Trail’ through Connemara mountain scenery back to our hotel. This part of Connemara would have been badly affected by the famine in the 1840’s and there is evidence of the destitution of this era – ruined buildings, a famine relief road dating back to 1856 which would have been constructed by the local people in return for food. A lake dotted bog land, rich in flora on the Wild Atlantic Way, awaits us with unrivalled views of the spectacular bay and across to the northern shore to the Mayo mountains. In more recent times, Killary Harbour has become a centre for aquaculture, with mussels being farmed in the deep, clear waters of the fjord.

    On return to the hotel we will have time to reflect on the past week before meeting up again for our farewell dinner. ‘We met as strangers, we leave as friends’

    Overnight in Connemara

     

    Day 8 – Departure Day

    Enjoy your final hot cooked breakfast and we prepare to leave for Galway city. Our final transfer at 9.00AM takes us from Leenane back to Galway City from where you can make your own onward journey to wherever it takes you. Bid your ‘see you later’ and not ‘goodbye’. Slán abhaile – Safe home! See you next time!

     

     

     

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