CONNEMARA

7 night Escorted OR Independent tour This tour explores the outstanding beauty of the region of Connemara famous for its rugged granite landscape as well as numerous lakes and rivers. The scenery changes from dramatic mountain ranges, woodlands and fjords to sweeping open bogland and a rocky fractal coastline. Many of the inhabitants of Connemara […]

7 night Escorted OR Independent tour

This tour explores the outstanding beauty of the region of Connemara famous for its rugged granite landscape as well as numerous lakes and rivers. The scenery changes from dramatic mountain ranges, woodlands and fjords to sweeping open bogland and a rocky fractal coastline. Many of the inhabitants of Connemara who are warm and friendly are still Gaelic (original Irish language) speaking.

Day to Day Itinerary – escorted tour

Day 1

Arrive Westport. 

Your accommodation is the Clew Bay Hotel, James St, Westport. Please note that the earliest check in time is 3 pm. Meet your guide at 4.30 in the Hotel lounge for a briefing of the coming weeks activities. For anyone who wants some musical entertainment,Westport is a veritable mecca for traditional music with a member of the famous Chieftains owning a bar in the main street less than a five minute walk away. Traditional sessions can also be heard in the hotel’s bar.

27

 

Day 2

Kylemore Abbey and Diamond Hill – (Walk Details: 8 km/5 miles, 1500 feet of uphill on a good track. Time 3 hours approx)

Depart the hotel at 09.15 – A 60 minute transfer south to Connemara where you will visit Kylemore Abbey (please note a small fee of about Euro 8.00 applies to enter the Abbey and Cathedral.) with its completely restored Victorian Gardens, The Abbey, now a girls boarding school, is run by the Benedictine nuns whose order came here from Ypres in Belgium after the first world war. The house itself was built by a business man called Mitchell Henry who, while honeymooning in the area, fell in love with the unspoiled natural charm of the valley and decided to build a home there. The chapelin the grounds is a miniaturized replica of Norwich Cathedral. The grounds is a miniaturized replica of Norwich Cathedral. The tour, which is self guided, should take no longer than two hours. A 15 minute drive takes you to Connemara National Park which is located in Letterfrack A well defined trail takes us to the summit of Diamond Hill. At 1500 feet the views from the top are wonderful.

180farm_walk_000

 

Day 3

Croagh Patrick – (13 km/8 miles, 1750 feet, uphill climb on a loose stoned, pilgrim track, small section of bog and country lanes. Time 6 hours approx)

Depart the hotel at 09:30 – The wonderful quartzite coned mountain of Croagh Patrick has been a sacred place for almost 5000 years. As far back as 3000 BC our megalithic ancestors worshipped there. Croagh Patrick is Ireland’s holy mountain where Patrick, the patron saint, spent 40 days and nights praying and fasting in 441AD. While on the summit Patrick was tormented by blackbirds which surrounded him and in later stories became demons and serpents. Ancient chroniclers say that Patrick threw his bell at them and banished them into the hollow known as Lug Na Deamhan, which is located on the North side of the mountain. It is a common belief that this is why no poisonous snake or reptile can be found in Ireland today. The plain iron bell said to belong to the patron saint is preserved in the National Museum.

180_autumn_country_000

 

Day 4

Clare Island – (13 km/8 miles on good level surface on back country roads and old track – some uphill.)

Depart the hotel at 10am – Take a short sailing to Clare Island this morning. Clare Island is synonymous with Grace O’ Malley, the formidable ruler of the Clew Bay district during the second half of the 16th century. One of the most interesting places on the island is the remains of the late 12th century Cistercian Friary, founded by the Monks of Abbey knockmoy in Co Galway. According to local folklore, following the death of Grace O’ Malley in 1603, her remains were interred in the decorated O’Malley wall tomb in the Friary. The walk will take you to northernmost end of the island before returning to the quayside for the return ferry. (Please note that the crossing to the island is subject to wind and weather conditions and may, in some cases be taken earlier in the week at the discretion of the guide.)

liquid_lunch

Day 5

Free Day

Some of the many things you can do are golfing, fishing and horse riding but they need to be booked in advance and transport organized to get there and back. It also gives you the opportunity to catch up on your emails and laundry. Dinner tonight is left to your own choice and in Westport there is a wide range of ethnic restaurants to choose from.

 

Day 6

Inagh Valley – (19 km / 12 Miles. Ascent 300 feet on bog track, and forest paths.Time approx 5 hours)

Depart at 09.30am: We journey South once more to Connemara. Our hike today starts in the Inagh Valley. Beginning on the Western way, the trail travels through a bog track for the first 5 miles then through a pine forest with excellent views of the quarzite 12 Bens mountain range. The final 3 miles are on an elevated section with great views down Killary fiord. The walk ends in the village of Leenane – famous as the location for the film The Field which starred the late Richard Harris and Tom Berenger as “The Yank”. Leenane has a very small population but don’t worry it also has two pubs for you to slake your thirst in.

 

Day 7

Foothills of the Nephin mountain range – (11 km/7 Miles, Ascent 300 feet on a good quality bog road.)

Depart at 09.30am. Today is a half day: For our last walk of the week we head to the North side of Clew Bay and walk the foothills of the Nephin mountain range which is a huge wilderness area. You will see peat or turf cutting as we go along. By mid afternoon, around 2 pm approx we will return to Westport in time for you to catch up on some last minute shopping.

 

Day 8

Journey home.

After breakfast, please check out by 10am. If you are planning to return to North America on Saturday please be advised that continental breakfast is served in your hotel at 7am with bus transfer to the airport at 07.30 sharp. Please do not schedule your flight before 1:00pm.

 

Independent Tour includes:

* 7 nights bed & breakfast accommodation (a mixture of guesthouses and hotels). All rooms have an ensuite bathroom

* Four packed lunches

* Luggage transfer between your accommodation stops

* Ferry transfer from Rosaveal Harbour to Inishmore Island and back

* Full route details with a map of the tour

 

Price

Cad $1065.00 per person, based on double occ. or single share

 

 

This tour includes:

* 7 nights bed & breakfast accommodation (a mixture of guesthouses and hotels). All rooms have an ensuite bathroom

* 5 packed lunches and 4 evening meals

* 5 days walking with guide

* Needed transfers

* Tranfer to / from Shannon Airport

* Ferry to Clare Island

 

Dates:

Any Saturday as long as you have a minimum of 8 in your group.

Price:

Cad $1480.00 per person, based on double occ. or single share

Single rooms on request – $350