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Duration
9 days
Activities
  • 7 day guided walk
Accommodation
  • 8 nights B&B
Meals
  • 2 Dinners
  • 8 Breakfasts

Price

$2740USD

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Overview

Trip Code: SOG5022

Trip highlights


  • Discovering the Aran Islands and staying on Inishmore
  • Learning about the fascinating Irish culture, history and mythology
  • Visiting the Cliffs of Moher and Doolin
  • Exploring the contrasting regions of Connemara and Burren with your expert local guide

This trip takes in both the Connemara and the Burren regions. Two contrasting landscapes which face each other across the Galway Bay, with the glorious Aran Islands strategically placed in between. Connemara is an imposing landscape of lakes, moorland and rugged mountains. The Connemara National Park is home to two main mountain groups, The Twelve Bens and the Maamturk Mountains, separated by only a deep valley. The Burren and the Aran Islands, including the largest island of Inishmore, are landscapes dominated by rocks with many fields consisting of little more than bare limestone. On the Aran Islands most islanders still speak Irish and many ancient traditions that have been lost on the mainland are still maintained on the Islands. With two days on Inishmore you'll explore the spectacular scenery on foot and also experience the fascinating Irish culture. The trip ends with a visit to the famous Cliffs of Moher and time in Doolin, the mecca for Irish music lovers.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Your holiday begins with your local Irish Guide meeting you in Shannon Airport. From there, you will transfer by private minivan to reach the little town of Doolin – home of Traditional Irish music. Take time to settle into your accommodation, enjoy a short walk to stretch your legs and discover your surroundings. Your Guide will meet you at 17.00 hours & brief you on the coming days of your holiday. You will then walk to a nearby pub/restaurant for your first dinner together & return later to your accommodation for your overnight.

Meals:  D

When visiting Doolin – one of the most talked about “must-do’s” is to visit the awe-inspiring Cliffs of Moher. These impressive cliffs form a protective barrier from the Wild Atlantic Way to the rich & fertile land at the southern end of the Burren region. Standing proudly above the ocean their towering dominance is a spectacle that can best be appreciated on foot. Walking from your accommodation in Doolin, you walk south to reach the foothills of the Cliffs of Moher. Climbing gradually, you can see the lower levels and layering of rock formations that continue to climb to their 300mt wall of beauty. Reaching the Visitor Centre you may wish to learn more on the formation of the cliffs, or just enjoy some light refreshments there. Your walk continues south from the Visitor Centre to reach the southern point of the cliffs at Hags Head. This is the place that originally gave the cliffs their name & from here, you have wonderful views south over Lahinch, the Shannon Estuary & Kerry in the distance. Transferring by bus back to Doolin, you can enjoy an evening at your leisure & find some great music in one of the local pubs. Walk is approximately 15km and 300mts elevation along paved roads, gravel tracks and some grassy/muddy trails. This trail will run along the exposed cliff edges throughout the walk.

Meals:  B

A short drive takes you to the impressive Ballinalacken Castle just outside Doolin. From here you follow a glorious walk through the heart of the Burren along old green roads, with wonderful limestone pavements and walls all around you. There are fantastic views over Galway Bay and the Aran Islands as you continue, passing the Caher Valley Nature Reserve, to Lismacsheedy. Old ring forts can be found along the way as you walk past the impressive Newtown Castle to your overnight stay in Ballyvaughan. Today's walk is about 20kms and will take about 6 hours. Elevation of only 250m and a variety of trails but mostly rocky and grassy tracks with possibly muddy or wet underfoot.

Meals:  B

From your accommodation in Ballyvaughan – you follow through the limestone pavements on a walk that gives terrific views across Galway Bay, the Aran Islands & Connemara in the distance. This walk is a botanists paradise as you follow your route through upland farmland with the opportunity of seeing many of the 24 varieties of orchids that are found in this region. During today’s walk, you will also have the opportunity to stop and visit one of the many caves that this region is also famous for & enjoy the spectacle of stalactites & stalagmites. Your walk finishes back in Ballyvaughan where you can enjoy an evening at your leisure – perhaps visiting the famous “whiskey pub” in the town. Today's walk is about 12kms and should take 4 hours. Elevation is 350m and includes some road walking, muddy & rocky grass tracks, can be wet underfoot.

Meals:  B

Today you transfer to Galway Bay & reach the largest of the Aran Islands and Inishmore where you will spend your next 2 nights. Taking a small ferry from Galway, your crossing takes approx. 1 hour. On reaching the island, you drop off your luggage at your accommodation & then continue on to have a wonderful walk around the south eastern region of the island. Learning some of the rich history of these islands, you will also have time to visit an old fortress before returning to your accommodation for your dinner & overnight. Today's walk with be about 12 km and take 4 hours. Trails are mixed and can be wet and uneven.

Meals:  B

Today you will have the opportunity to discover Inish Mor in all its glory. Leaving your accommodation, and overlooking the southern shores of the island, you reach the centre of Inishmor at Kilmurvey. Today you have a choice of the following walks: 1. Following a lovely old trail, you will be brought across the limestone pavements to reach the fascinating “Poll na bPeist” or Serpents Lair. This amazing natural swimming pool is a wonderful location to learn more about this ancient landscape. With its rough and severe tidal currents, it soon becomes clear on why the sea forms so much of island conversations. Continue on to reach the impressive stone fortress of Dun Aonghasa and your breath will be taken away with the wonderful views from here. If time permits, there is the opportunity to continue along the northern shores of the island to reach a seal sanctuary. With time to enjoy this coastline, and visit some of the older churches on the island, you then return to your accommodation to enjoy an evening at your own leisure. (walk ~ 19km/12mi, highest point 150m/492t). Those that wish to learn more on the history of the island will be given the opportunity to meet one of the locals & hear more about island life and the changing times over hundreds of years.

Meals:  B

Leaving the island behind, you return by ferry to Galway county & continue driving to reach the little village of Letterfrack and Connemara National Park. Here, you will have time to enjoy the Visitor Centre, where you may wish to learn more about the formation of this fascinating landscape & its early settlers. Diamond Hill is one of the most iconic of the Twelve Bens range of mountains & stands proudly in the centre of Connemara National Park. Following a board walk, you climb to the top of Diamond Hill to reach the summit of one of the Twelve Bens. With a terrific 360 degree view from the top, your Guide will point out the many different locations around you and will explain the significance of them in relation to the region. Descending from here, you return to the Visitor Centre in the National Park where you may wish to soak in more of the atmosphere & information on this region. Continue to your overnight accommodation in Clifden after your visit to the National Park. (walk ~ 14km/elevation 445m ) Gravel tracks with rocky & uneven sections, stepping stones, board walks & boggy underfoot conditions. Steps up and down.

Meals:  B

Driving NW from Clifden, you reach the famous & impressive Killary Harbour – Ireland’s only fjord. Here, you follow an old Famine Trail along the shores of the fjord with wonderful views across to Mweelrea – the highest mountain in Mayo. A fascinating history here takes you from early Celtic times through to the Great Famine & modern day living with visible evidence of survival today. You will also have the opportunity to meet a local farmer, immerse yourself into this diverse way of life, get hands on experience with farming sheep & if you wish – cutting turf. Return to Clifden for your final dinner & overnight here. (walk ~ 12kms // elevation 300mts) Grassy tracks with rocky & uneven sections, boggy & wet underfoot conditions.

Meals:  B,D

After your final and substantial Irish Breakfast, you will have the time for a pony riding experience in the area (extra cost approx 35 Euro) and afterward will be taken by minivan to reach Shannon for your continuing journey. Drive time from Clifden to Shannon Airport is approx. 2 hours.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 8 full Irish breakfasts, 2 dinners
  • 8 nights in B&Bs on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • 7 days walking with expert Irish guide.
  • Luggage transfer
  • Mini-bus transport to/from walking locations when required
  • Private transfer on day 1 and 9 from/to Shannon
  • Boat trip to/from Inishmor

  • Travel to and from Shannon
  • meals as indicated and drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance - mandatory

Grading

moderate  

MODERATE – GRADE 3 This is a guide walk with average daily stages of 4-7 hours. The distances in kms are listed for each stage. The paths although well defined and clearly marked, have some steep sections on sometimes loose and rocky ground and travel through muddy areas. There are lots of ups and downs. A reasonable level of fitness is required and you should be able to read a map. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, jogging, two to three times a week for three months prior to your departure


Departure dates


Notes

BP
Base Price
S
Surcharge

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$2740USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Mandatory SingleSupplementUSD$495
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


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Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

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Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

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