Sample 7 Day itinerary.
Depart Dublin and head west across the centre of Ireland to Rathcroaghan or Rath Cruachan, the ancient royal and powerful mythic centre of the west of Ireland. Here in the company of a local scholar we will explore the powerful story of this sacred site where archaeology and history merges with Mythic Ireland. Nearby, we take time to visit the powerful National Museum of Ireland’s Great Famine of the 1840’s and then cross into County Mayo and the picturesque market town of Westport located at the edge of the Wild Atlantic Way and beneath Ireland’s holiest peak, Croagh Patrick.
Westport has a host of wonderful features and in 2011 the town was voted the “Best Place to Live in Ireland”. The afternoon will allow for exploring this colourful place – but for the active and eager there will be an opportunity to ascend Croagh Patrick itself, take a refreshing stroll on Murrisk beach or perhaps see the sun descend from a sacred place of ritual significance since Neolithic times. Great food opportunities and pubs abound in Westport, among them, that of Matt Molloy’s, the home-base of the flautist with Irish traditional music super-group, The Chieftains.
Overnight Westport Region.
This morning’s tour takes us deep into the wilds of County Mayo and onto it’s great island of Achill right on the Wild Atlantic Way and surrounding countryside. This is the region from where a majority of the Irish Diaspora around the globe are descend from, a rugged and poor land but of outstanding beauty. Human history is evidenced on this landscape since the Stone Age and today’s journey will provide a fascinating introduction to the complex and rich story of Ireland and it’s people. (opportunities today to golf, hike or bike for anyone who wishes).
Overnight Westport Region.
Our tour today will take us along the some of the wildest landscape on the western seaboard along the Wild Atlantic Way before entering the region known as Connemara of County Galway.
Connemara is one of Ireland’s and Europe’s iconic landscapes, a wild place where rugged coastlines and blanket bogs dotted with countless lakes wrap around granite and schist mountains, overlaid with an extra-ordinary cultural history since Ireland’s stone-ages. Today we peel back the rich layers of this place in the company of one of the region’s most famous sons, the outstanding scholar, renowned archaeologist, historian and raconteur Michael Gibbons in a cultural adventure that’s sure to resonate long after our departure.
Later this afternoon, we enter Galway, the City of the Tribes with time to sample the bustling heart of this regional capital and the main city of our western seaboard before heading south around Galway Bay into the region known as the Burren.
Overnight Burren Region
The Burren is another of Europe’s most iconic landscapes, a rugged place of limestone karst home to a mind-blowing natural and cultural history. In the company of a local guide, we will examine aspects of the region’s spectacular array of archaeology and delve into the rich spiritual wealth of this land held within a vibrant community. We will meet some of it’s people and get close to see some of the unique flora of the Burren, among them Alpine, Mediterranean and Arctic rarities living side-by-side here at the edge of the temperate Atlantic.
Leaving the Burren, we will stop at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland’s most famous sea cliffs; a great bastion of 200 m (650 ‘) cliffs that fall to the Atlantic and overlook the islands of Aran. Continuing south, we cross the Mouth of the River Shannon into County Kerry travelling at first through the plains of North Kerry to the town of Tralee, we finally head west and meet another powerful landscape; the Dingle Peninsula.
Our destination and base for two nights here is the remarkable little town of Dingle (pop. 2000) located near the tip of this great finger of land and surrounded by ocean. It is a spectacular place of rugged beauty, once described by National Geographic Traveller as – “probably the most beautiful place on Earth!” It is home to a vibrant community, among them a truly incredible collection of traditional musicians, who’s presence provide an amazing oasis of culture.
Overnight Dingle town