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Itineraries

Ireland: Connemara Ramble
Visit the amazing rugged coastline and mountains of Connemara

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Walking in Ireland is nothing new, especially for the Irish, and while the island itself is small, it offers an enormous variety of various sceneries to be discovered.  From forests to beaches to mountains and everything in between, a walk in Ireland with Ramblers will give you the opportunity to explore this lucky landscape. With over 25 years of leading incredible walking tours through United Kingdom, Ramblers takes the jump across the Irish Sea and sets foot along the Connemara coast offering you the newest guided walking tour to their already popular schedule.

 

Located about 3 hours from Dublin, Connemara is located in County Galway and has strong ties to traditional Irish culture. This area is made up of a wild, rocky coastline made more dramatic by the nearby mountains. The area is steeped in Irish history with ancient forts, abbeys and Connemara pony farms.

 

  • Brigit's Garden takes you on a magical journey into the heart of Celtic heritage and mythology, making it one of the truly outstanding places to visit in the West of Ireland. The award-winning Celtic Gardens are widely regarded as one of the most spectacular in Ireland, set within 11 acres of native woodland & wildflower meadows. In addition to the Celtic Gardens visitors can enjoy the nature trail, an ancient ring fort (fairy fort), thatched roundhouse and crannog, and the calendar sundial, the largest in Ireland.

 

  • Kylemore  Abbey  and Victorian Walled Garden. Home to the Benedictine nuns since 1920.  The story of  tragedy, romance, education, innovation and spirituality. Explore the 6 acre Victorian Walled Garden with its delightfully restored garden buildings. Discover woodland and lakeshore walks that will take you on a beautiful journey through their 1,000 acre estate. The beautiful Gothic Church is a short walk from the Abbey, nestled nearby is the Mausoleum where Mitchell and Margaret Henry are buried side by side.

 

  • Aran Islands,  Inis Mór is the largest of the three Aran Islands (7,635 acres) and includes several ancient stone forts and churches among its antiquities. Most impressive of the stone forts is Dun Aoengus. It is semicircular, resting on the edge of a perpendicular cliff rising 100 metres out of the ocean. The fort consists of an inner court 50 metres across surrounded by a wall six metres high and five metres thick at the base. Dun Aengus superb position and it’s structural perfection, have prompted many experts to pronounce it one of the finest prehistoric monuments in Europe

 

Day 1 For those arriving in Dublin, plan on taking the bus from Dublin to Galway to meet the group.  If you choose to arrive in Shannon, plan to arrive no later than 10:30. Our guide will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to meet the rest of the group in Galway. 

If your travel plans require you to come a day early, please let our travel advisor assist you with prenight accommodaitons.

 

Upon arrival in Galway, the City of the Tribes, you will be given an introductory walk through the city with a stop in Bridget's gardens.  Lunch is on your own, and you'll be given the chance to get to know one another better at the welcome dinner at the Lough Inagh Lodge.

 

Day 2 Windswept ragged mountains, a rocky coastline and some archeological sites make the old famine walk truly a pleasurable experience.  Set out from a small hourbour along this ancient road and we visit Tom, a local farmer cutting turf and his dogs working the sheep.

 

Day 3  We start the day with a visit to Kylemore Abbey, where we have to time to visit the walled gardens created in the middle of the Bog. Visit the beautifully restored mausoleium and of course the abbey itself, home to the Benedictine nuns since 1920. From there we walk to Letterfrack National Park where we climb Diamond Hill to view the vista of the Connemara coast. 

 

Day 4  We leave our hotel and head to Westport (voted best place in live in Ireland in 2017) a town on the edge of an Atlantic inlet. En route we will be walking part of the Western Way, a long distance walk along the flat river plains and our walks are in direct contract to the imposing Ben Gorm Mountain to the northwest and the Devil's Mother to the south. The scne would not be amiss in one of Robert Service's poems of the Yukon where he once wrote, "The icy mountains hemmed you in with the silence you scarce could hear". The trail skirts Tawnyard Lough.  A number of small islands can be seen on the east end of the lake. The westernmost of these is possibly a Crannog--Crannogs were secure dwelling places that can be dated to the Bronze Age (Circa 1500BC). They were artificial islands reached by boat or by subsurface stepping stones.

 

Day 5  Westport gets its name in Irish Gaelic from a 16th Century castle - Cathair na Mart - meaning "The Stone Fort of the Beeves"--owned by the powerful sea-faring O'Malley family, who controlled the Clew Bay area. This castle forms the foundations of Westport House, and a portion of it is still visable in the Dungeons area there. The most famous of the O'Malleys was Granuaile, chieftain of the clan and 16th-century pirate queen of Connacht, and ancestor of the Brownes fo Westport Hosue.

 

We have time this morning to walk through Westport town and House and visit the local Thursday Market. We then take a bus to walk along the Green Way, a wonderful route that travels from the foot of Croagh Patrick to Achill. We finish our walk in Newport and enjoy what is considered Harry Clark's Masterpiece, "The Last Judgement in 1931", his final piece of work beore his untimely death at the age of 42.

 

Day 6 From Westport we head to Roundstone, a sleepy fishing village where we walk up Errish beg, a short low lying mountain where the famous Lakes of Connemara can be viewed. We end this walk at what locals consider two of the finest beaches in Ireland. Gurteen Beach and Dog's Bay lie back to back forming a tombolo jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. 

 

The beaches were formed by a sand spit and tombolo which now separates the two bays and their eaches. The area has international importance for tis rare and interesting ecological, geological and archeological features. The sand and grassland habitats are of particualr interest as the sand was not formed fro rocks, but rather from the shells of tiny sea creatures knowsn as foraminifera. The grasslands, made up of manchair vegetation is considered rare and is found only on the west coat of Ireland and Scotland.

 

Day 7 We will take the ferry to the Inish More, one of the largest of the three. The Aran Islanders still speak Irish/Gaelic as their first language. With over 1,500 miles of stone walls, Dun Aengus, a mysterious ring fort perched on the edge of cliffs that drop 300 feet to the ocean and ancient monastic ruins. There is much to see here. Late in the afternoon we will return to the hotel via ferry where we will enjoy a final dinner together. 

 

Day 8. After breakfast you will be transferred back to Galway with a final stop at the airport in Shannon. Please do not make arrangements for an early morning flight departure if you plan on returning with the group to either Galway or Shannon.

 

Ramblers reseves the right to make changes to the above itinerary if necessary.

Tour prices are per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement is only applicable if you are traveling solo and/or have a room to yourself.

Tour
Dates
Tour
Price
Single
Supplement

May 6 - 13, 2018

$4,375.00 $500
September 9 - 16, 2018 $4,375.00 $500

Interested in a different departure date?
Consider a private tour or a self guided tour.

Your trip price includes the following. For additional information, please call or email us at and one of our exceptional Travel Advisors will be happy to share with you all kinds of details.

  • Tracking around The Twelve Pins or Benna Beola and jutting out into the Atlantic is a landscape of wild, rocky bogland or ragged coastline, colored with the autumnal shades of seaweed, 
    6  scenic guided walks with talks led by your guide Michelle Hughes
    Kylemore Abbey - world renowned  Walled gardens  and Abbey 
    A day trip to the Aran Islands where a visit to Dun Aonghusa, the Ancient forts and tiny rocky fields
    Tracking on what some people consider the one of finest beaches in Ireland
    Watching Tom working with his sheep dog then cutting turf on his sheep farm.

Your Guide:

 

Michelle Hughes is an International Mountain Leader and has traveled in Europe, Norway and Ireland. She enjoys teaching Mountain Leadership courses in Ireland and has a passion for Ireland and all its wonder; the music, the stories, the ancient Celtic beliefs, the 'craic' and even the weather! Michelle loves adventure and the outdoors, both of which have been an integral part of her working life for more than 20 years. She has hiked, climbed, kayaked and saild the length and breadth of Ireland as well as far beyond. 

 

Michelle's first major adventure was sailing a junk from Darwin to Singapre, however her ulitmate adventure has been raising a family with husband Geo. After the birth of their 2nd daughter, Michelle studied and qualified as a holistic therapist. During the winter months she practices as an Energy Practitioner--you can find out more about this while walking with her in Ireland. 

 

Michelle is an upbeat and lively guide and will appeal to our clients during the featured walks along the Connemara coast.  If you're lucky, Michelle might break out her fiddle and play an upbeat tune and encourage her group to join her in a song!

 




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“I've traveled to many different countries and this trip ranks as one of the best. Spectacular! We're planning to return with ELR. I've been recommending you to all my friends and colleagues.”
J Ambrozaitis    Waterbury, CT

“The walks were a good mix of gentle and challenging. Spectacular countryside and fascinating villages. The meals were delicious. I enjoyed all the inns! The whole trip, down to the smallest detail, was admirably organized.”
V Macy     Somerville, MA

“The walks and hikes were wonderful! From the lovely, craggy hills to the villages! When you work indoors at a desk job all day, it’s breathtaking (sometimes literally!).”
V Richard     Tulsa, OK

 


Best Time to Go

We have carefully selected dates for this tour to balance the weather and crowds along the Connemara Coast. 

Convenient Airport

You can reach the starting point via a 2 1/2 - 3 hour bus from Dublin, or arrive in Shannon by 10:30 AM on the first day of the tour, and receive a complimentary transfer to the start of the tour from the Shannon airport.

If you would like to arrive a day early, please let us know and we can assist you with prenight accommodations.

Upon completion of the tour, you will be taken back to Shannon for your onward departure.

Traveling By Rail and Bus

http://www.irishrail.ie/

http://www.gobus.ie/

 

 http://www.citylink.ie/

Weather

https://www.accuweather.com/en/ie/ireland-weather

 

 

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