8 Day West & North West
TOURING SERIES | SIGHTSEEING AND CULTURE SEEKING | 8 DAYS, 7 NIGHTS
The best choice to explore the West and Northwest parts of Ireland is The Western Ireland Tour. This tour offers you an 8-day journey that will allow you to relax, probe the Irish culture and beautiful scenery, and enjoy the unique “Gaeltacht” culture (Gaelic speaking). This custom created private journey can be developed to your wants or you can use this sample itinerary.
You will have a private guide that will be with you as you delve into the best of Ireland. You will be able to enjoy regional accommodations, as well as local food, culture and history. From castles to beers to whiskey to sightseeing and more, we will plan the trip that you are looking for. We can even add a few nights or do the tour in a different order!
DAY 1 | GALWAY & BURREN Arrive at the Shannon or Dublin Airport. Upon arrival, you are welcomed to our country and delivered to your hotel in Galway. Enjoy exploring the Burren region’s unique landscape, as you journey a route that is known as a top ten coastal drive by The National Geographic. The grand view offered from the Cliffs of Moher will be followed by lunch in a pub located in Kilcolgan or Doolin, which are both fishing villages on the Atlantic. Before arriving in Galway, we will stop at the 2500BC Celtic Burial site of Poulnabroune. GALWAY
DAY 2 | ARAN ISLANDS & GALWAY This day will be started with a visit to the Aran Islands to experience the culture of the “Real” Gaelic Ireland. A visit to the Dún Aengus, a stone fortress that is perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, could be next on your agenda for the day. The beautiful beaches with thatch cottages are something to see and you will most definitely want to get a time-honored “Aran sweater.” In the afternoon, you will have free time to do some exploring of your own of the best of Galway, including relaxing by the ocean, eating at our local restaurants, or doing some shopping. GALWAY
DAY 3 | CONNEMARA NATIONAL PARK Uncover the history and beauty of the hauntingly poignant ruins of the famine village in the National Park of Connemara, as well as the wild ponies of Connemara and the mountain vistas. A visit to palatial Kylemore Abbey is another destination to visit and afterwards you can enjoy a water cruise of Ireland’s only fjord, Killary Harbour. Explore some traditional artisans making drums or boats, or visit the Salmon Smokehouse. Return to Galway for a relaxing evening at leisure. GALWAY
DAY 4 | THE QUIET MAN & SLIGO This morning we leave Galway for the northern county of Donegal. En-route we’ll visit the village of Cong where “The Quiet Man” starring John Wayne was filmed. Afterwards we continue to County Sligo, a beautiful area associated with the Nobel Laureate Poet, W. B. Yeats. The writer is buried here at Drumcliff Churchyard. This afternoon we arrive at our Hotel in Rossnowlagh, Donegal with spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and golden sandy beaches. DONEGAL
DAY 5 | BELLEEK & DONEGAL TOWN One of Northern Ireland’s finest exports is Belleek Fine Parian China; renowned worldwide as a symbol of Irish craftsmanship. A Visit to the Pottery gives us an insight into centuries old artisanal techniques, and the chance to pick up some fantastic gifts. Our journey takes us through Ballyshannon, hometown of the Irish Blues Rock legend Rory Gallagher. This afternoon, continue to 15th century Donegal Castle, with its fully restored wing from the Jacobite era. You’ll enjoy leisure time for shopping or a pint in Donegal town before returning to Rossnowlagh. DONEGAL
DAY 6 | GLENCOLUMCILLE & SLIEVE LEAGUE Tour to Gleann Cholm Cille, a tiny three-pub village of traditional thatched houses with links to 6th Century St. Columcille, founder of the city of Derry. En-route visit Killybegs: The salty scent of fresh fish, the sound of seagulls and the sight of colourful trawlers welcome you to Ireland’s largest commercial fishing port. This afternoon we visit the 600m sea cliffs at Slieve League, the highest in Europe. The cliffs are even more impressive when viewed from the mighty Atlantic below, and we can arrange a sightseeing boat trip if desired! Return to the hotel via Ardara, the heart of Donegal’s traditional knitwear and hand-woven tweed industry. DONEGAL
DAY 7 | ENNISKILLEN & TRIM CASTLE Today we will venture south via Enniskillen, a charming market town, to visit Castle Barracks, which was once the home of the Gaelic Maguire Clan. Their stronghold was seized and retaken time and time again over the years by the O’Donnels, the O’Neills, and the British army who used it as military barracks in 1796. The next exploration will take us via the County Cavan Lakelands to Trim Castle, which is thought to be the most beautiful Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. It was even used as the set of Braveheart! After this visit, we will travel to the Dublin Airport and relax at the Hotel Radisson BLU for the evening. DUBLIN
DAY 8 | SLÁN ABHAILE! Enjoy a quick private ride to the airport to catch your flight or you can continue to your next destination. Allow at least 3 hours for airport check-in.