Since my mother is from Galway, it was only fitting to base my favorite tour in the west of Ireland. I love this region because it offers a wide range of experiences – cycling on the Aran Islands, photographing breathtaking scenery in Connemara, people-watching over a pint of Guinness on Quay Street or listening to local musicians play at a seisiún in a Shop Street pub. This tour has something for everyone, along with a few of the top tourist attractions and adventure for all.
- Picturesque Kenmare town
- Ring of Kerry
- Cliffs of Moher & Doolin’s Singing Pubs
- Epic Adventure in Connemara
- Achill Island
- Dromoland Castle Stay
- Fly in and out of Shannon Airport – gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way!
Inclusions & Extras
- Automatic economy car (10 days) with Unlimited mileage, Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Theft protection (TP), Value added tax (VAT), Third party liability, Location service charge (LSC)
- 4 star B&B in Kenmare (2)
- 4 star B&B in Doolin (2)
- 4 star B&B in Connemara (2)
- 3 star hotel in Westport (2)
- 5 star castle in Clare (1)
Attractions & Tours
- Ferry to Aran Islands
- Cliffs of Moher
- Breakfast included each morning except day of arrival
- Deluxe travel wallet with comprehensive travel documents, luggage tags and driving map.
- Expert service from dedicated sales guide before, during and after your trip.
- Chauffeur Driver
- Rental Car Upgrade
- Room Upgrades
Day 1: Beara Peninsula, Allihies village and Dursey Island
From Shannon Airport, make your way around the Shannon Estuary into Counties Limerick and Cork before you arrive in Kenmare. Follow the road as it entwines and dips along one of the wildest but beautiful stretches of coastline – the Beara Peninsula. Stop off for some mid-day lunch in the colorful village of Allihies and even enjoy a pint of Guinness in one of its lively pubs. Visit Dursey Island which plays host to Ireland’s only cable car. After a peaceful and relaxing day, make your way to your B&B.
Day 2: Ring of Kerry
Follow the twisting, turning Ring of Kerry through Sneem with its two picture-postcard little village squares. Continue along the peninsula towards Ballinskelligs Bay and the village of Waterville, where you’ll come across a bronze statue of Charlie Chaplin. The cinema legend enjoyed countless summers here with his family.
The story of the monks who made Skellig Michael their home is engagingly told at the Skellig Experience on Valentia Island. You can take a boat to the Skelligs from Portmagee, but it’s always weather dependent. Return to Kenmare for the night.
Day 3: Clare Coastline
Make your way north towards Doolin. The drive is about 200kms but you can take a break on the ferry across the Shannon Estuary. On the other side of the short ferry journey, take the quickest route to the coast and follow the Wild Atlantic Way all the way to Lahinch before journeying inland to Doolin. Along the way you will see some of Ireland’s best little seaside towns. Lahinch has some great little places to eat and is also known as Ireland’s surfing capital. Doolin is a little village, famous for its singing pubs. These pubs also serve great food so settle in for dinner and some traditional Irish music.
Day 4: Cliffs of Moher & Aran Islands
Make an early morning or late evening trip to see the world-famous Cliffs of Moher. Standing over 700 feet they stretch for 5 miles along the Atlantic coast. From the Cliffs of Moher, on a clear day, one can see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, as well as the Twelve Pins and the Maum Turk mountains in Connemara, Loop Head to the south and the Dingle Peninsula and Blasket Islands in Kerry. O’Brien’s Tower stands near the highest point and has served as a viewing point for visitors for hundreds of years. The balance of the day will be spent on on of the Aran Islands.
Aran Islands offer visitors a glimpse into a way of life that has long since disappeared from most of the country. The Islands’ raw beauty and charm leaves visitors longing to return again and again. The Islands seem to defy their size by all they have to offer; breath-taking scenery, ecclesiastical ruins from early Christian times, medieval castles, cliffs, prehistoric stone forts, sandy beaches, clean air, unique flora and fauna and a rich folklore that the islanders are proud to recount. Take the ferry from Doolin in the morning and return in the evening. The Aran Islands take “getting away from it all” to a whole new level.
Day 5: Galway City & Connemara
You can leave Doolin today and journey up along the coast. Stop in Kinvara to see the wonderful Dunguaire Castle. This 16th century tower house sits on a rocky outcrop on the shores of Galway Bay its architecture is simple yet magnificent. Continue on the Wild Atlantic Way to Galway city where you will spend the bulk of your day. There is always something happening in Galway. The summer is usually packed with festivals so you will surely be there for one. Spend the day wandering through Galway’s many shops, restaurants and bars and if the weather is good be sure to take a stroll to the Claddagh area and sit on the grass for a while. Late afternoon you can make your way through Connemara to your hotel.
Day 6: Epic Adventure Day Tour
Take an epic adventure around Connemara. You can experience an extraordinary hike up Diamond Mountain, rent a bike and go mountain biking in the hills of Connemara, or just enjoy the peace and tranquility that the majestic setting of Connemara’s coastline affords. Visit some of the best sights in the Connemara region including the intimate Kylemore Abbey and more hidden gems that only the locals know about.
Day 7: Westport & Croagh Patrick
Make your way up along the coast to Westport. If you are up for a little more adventure along the way, you can go kayaking at Leenane or for something more relaxing you can take a cruise around Killary Harbor. Westport is a beautiful town and is the ideal location for spending a half day as a tourist. You can park the car and explore the town by foot. If you are feeling a little more adventurous and are not too tired after yesterday’s excursion, you might like to climb Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s holy mountain. It may take four hours or more and can be quite difficult at times so be sure to be equipped for it. Make your way to your accommodation for the evening.
Day 8: Achill Island
You are only a short drive from Achill Island, one of the many hidden gems of Ireland that too few get to see. Take the coast road all the way and spend a few hours exploring the island. Lashed by the ocean, carved by the wind and swept by the rain, Achill’s rugged landscape features dramatic cliffs, soaring mountains, remote lakes and secluded beaches – including no fewer than five Blue Flag beaches. If you can drag yourself away you might like to tour north Mayo around Ballycroy National Park but with its deserted Village and the Tower of Kilnadavnet, once home to notorious pirate queen Grace O’Malley, you should be more than entertained for the day. When you are ready to leave Achill, get back to Westport and relax for the evening.
Day 9: Dromoland Castle Stay
Make your way down through Mayo and stop off in Cong, home of “The Quiet Man” and Ashford Castle. Take some photos and grab some lunch before returning back to Galway and continuing your journey south. A good place to end your afternoon is Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. This is your chance to experience a window on Ireland’s past and explore the acclaimed 15th century Bunratty Castle and the 19th century Bunratty Folk Park. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendor and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. Be sure to leave a good chunk of your evening to spend in your decadent castle hotel setting.
Day 10: Return Home
Well rested after a relaxing trip but invigorated after the dashes of adventure sprinkled throughout, make the short trip to the airport and return home.
We are more than happy to include a flight quote separately to your package so that you can decide if you would like to book with us or on your own. While booking flights can seem straight-forward, there are often hidden fees or classes of service that do not include seat assignments, meals or checked bags. We have been booking flights since 1985 and know the best routings and have great contracts that mean we often have better prices than what you will see online.
In Ireland, we generally try to book hotels that are at a 4 star level or higher. In some situations, we will book some 3 star or B&B properties but we do require them to be at a certain standard. We try to ensure a member of the team have stayed at each property in recent years or that we have done a site inspection.
Your first vacation quote, and up to two revisions, for trips of 9 or fewer days, and 45 days in advance of travel, are complimentary. If an itinerary requires further revisions subsequent to this, we will require a non-refundable deposit of $75 per person in order to continue.
If you are requesting a quote for a vacation that is 10 days in length, or with travel dates within 45 days, or to a non-core destination, a deposit of $75 per person will be required in order for us to begin working on your proposal.
Planning deposits can then be put towards the cost of the trip should you decide to proceed with the booking.