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Way out West Tour (8 Night)
There is no question that the imagery of the West of Ireland will forever be imprinted on your mind after your visit to this dramatic landscape, with its rugged mountains, freshwater lakes and unspoilt miles of coastline and pristine sandy beaches.
When you picture yourself crossing bogs where ponies roam and rare heathers bloom; when you picture yourself conquering the summit of Errisbeg Hill; or when you picture yourself strolling along a 5 mile stretch of beach and all the while, be it bogland, mountain, hill or shore, the only footprints that you see are your own.
What is hard to imagine is not that these places exist, but that they exist in the midst of warm and friendly communities. In the West of Ireland where the Gaelic culture thrives and half the population still speaks Irish as its first language, it is the people that might distract you from the wonderful sights to be seen.
By day enjoy the magnificent scenery including, The Cliffs of Moher, The Aran Islands, Killary Harbour and the stark Burren Landscape of County Clare. By night rest your weary bones by a roaring turf fire, accompanied by superb traditional Irish music in one of a myriad of welcoming pubs.
Overnights for this tour:
- County Clare for 1 night
- Galway City for 1 night
- Westport County Mayo for 2 nights
- Connemara/Galway for 2 nights
- Bunratty, County Clare for last 2 nights
Your Accommodation Options:
- Superior & First Class Hotels
- Luxury Accommodation & Service in our 4-Star Country Manor Houses
- Deluxe Accommodation in our 4 & 5 Star Irish Castles
- Our Recommended & Handpicked B&B's, all rooms with private bath facilities
- Any Combination of the above
The Aran Islands are a group of three islands located at the mouth of Galway Bay, on the west coast of Ireland. The largest island is Inishmore; the middle and second-largest is Inishmaan and the smallest and most eastern is Inisheer. Irish is a spoken language on all three islands, and is the language used naming the islands and their villages and townlands. Take a short ferry ride to Inis Mor, the largest of the three Aran Islands, and island rich in the language, culture and heritage of Ireland, unique in its geology and archaeology and in its long tradition of gentle hospitality. Here is a place to sense the spirit of Gaelic Ireland, to touch the past, but with all the comforts and facilities of the present. Aran will take you back to an Ireland of Celts and Early Christians....read more
Bunratty Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhun Raithe, meaning Castle at the Mouth of the Ratty) is a large tower house in County Clare, Ireland. It lies in the centre of Bunratty village (Irish: Bun Ráite), by the N18 road between Limerick and Ennis, near Shannon Town and its airport. The name Bunratty, Bun Raite (or possibly, Bun na Raite) in Irish, means the 'bottom' or end of the 'Ratty' river. This river, alongside the castle, flows into the nearby Shannon estuary. From the top of the castle, one can look over to the estuary and the airport. Bunratty Castle is now a very popular tourist attraction. The interior has been furnished by Lord Gort with tapestries and artifacts from various eras in the castle's history. Some of the sights include the 'great hall', dungeons an...read more
The Burren is a unique karst-landscape region in northwest County Clare, in Ireland and one of the largest Karst landscapes in Europe. The region measures approximately 250 square kilometres and is enclosed roughly within the circle comprised by the villages Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna, It is bounded by the Atlantic and Galway Bay on the west and north respectively. Strictly speaking the territory of the Burren or barony of Burren only contains the villages of Lisdoonvarna, Ballyvaughan, Fanore, Craggagh, New Quay/Burrin, Bealaclugga (Bellharbour) and Carron. The definite article (making it "the Burren") has only been added to the name in the last few decades, possibly by academics, as it had always been called Boireann in Irish and Burren i...read more
The Céide Fields is an area situated on the north Mayo coast in the west of Ireland. This location contains one of the oldest known field systems in the world. Using various dating methods, it was discovered that the creation and development of the Céide Fields goes back some five thousand years. This dates them before the building of the pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge. The Céide Fields Visitors Centre in North Mayo will certainly give you a unique experience. For this is not just another archaeological monument or visitor centre. Here you can indulge yourself in a vast prehistoric landscape, a natural wild ecology of blanket bog, dramatic cliffs and coastline, and a much acclaimed building, which has received Ireland's most prestigious architectural award. The disco...read more
The Cliffs of Moher (Irish: Aillte an Mhothair, lit. cliffs of the ruin, also known as the Cliffs of Coher from the Irish: Mhothair) are located in the parish of Liscannor at the south-western edge of The Burren area near Doolin, which is located in County Clare, Ireland. The cliffs rise 120 meters (394 ft) above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag's Head, and reach their maximum height of 214 meters (702 ft) just north of O'Brien's Tower, eight kilometres away. The cliffs boast one of Ireland's most spectacular views. On a clear day the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay, as are the valleys and hills of Connemara. O'Brien's Tower is a round stone tower at the approximate midpoint of the cliffs. It was built by Sir Cornelius O'Brien, a descendant of Ireland's High King Brian Boru, in 18...read more
A small fishing village, also known as Fisherstreet, on a sandy bay some 3km from Aill na Searrach, the northern end of the Cliffs of Moher. Doolin is world-famous for its wealth of Irish folk music and in recent years has been attracting crowds to spontaneous sessions and festivals or 'fleadhanna' of Irish and international music. Lots of music pubs and restaurants. Overlooked by Doonagore Castle, an unusual circular tower within a walled bawn enclosure, which has been restored as a residence. Nearer the sea, Iron Age burial mounds dot the surrounding landscape. One of Doolin's claims to fame is that it is the main setting for the PlayStation 3 game Folklore. According to the game's storyline, the Netherworld, the world of the dead is a realm that can only be accessed from one place ...read more
Dún Aengus is the most famous of several prehistoric forts on the Aran Islands, of Co. Galway. Ireland. It is located on Inishmore at the edge of a 100-metre high cliff. Dún Aengus is an important archaeological site that also offers a spectacular view. It was built during the Bronze Age and dates from 1,000 B.C. or before. It has been called "the most magnificent barbaric monument in Europe." The name "Dún Aengus" meaning "Fort of Aengus" refers to the pre-Christian god of the same name described in Irish mythology. The fort consists of a series of four concentric walls of dry stone construction. Surviving stonework is four metres wide at some points. The original shape was presumably oval or D-shaped but part of the cliff and fort have since collapsed into ...read more
Connemara National Park (Irish: Páirc Naisiúnta Chonamara) is one of six National Parks in Ireland that are managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and local government. It is located in the west of Ireland within County Galway. Connemara National Park was founded and opened to the public in 1980. It features 29.57 square kilometres of mountains, bogs, heaths, grasslands and forests. The entrance is situated on the Clifden side of Letterfrack. There are many remnants of human civilization within the park. There is a 19th century graveyard as well as 4,000 year old megalithic court tombs. Much of the land was once part of the Kylemore Abbey estate. Western blanket bog and heathland are the most common vegetation of Conn...read more
Since as far back as 3,000 BC, Croagh Patrick (Saint Patrick’s Mountain) has been known as a place of worship. Dating back to the time of Saint Patrick who apparently fasted and had penance here for 40 days and 40 nights. It is also said that it is here at Croagh Patrick where St Patrick our patron saint banished the snakes from Ireland forever!...read more
Galway is the only city in the province of Connacht in Ireland. In Irish, Galway is also called Cathair na Gaillimhe: "City of Galway". Galway city also has a reputation amongst Irish cities for being associated with the Irish language, music, song and dancing traditions - it is sometimes referred to as the 'Bilingual Capital of Ireland'. The city takes its name from the Gaillimh river (River Corrib) that formed the western boundary of the earliest settlement, which was called Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe, or the fort at the bottom of the Gaillimh. The word Gaillimh means "stony" as in "stony river". (the mythical and alternative derivations are given in History of Galway.) The city also bears the nickname City of the Tribes / Cathair na dTreabh, because fourteen “Tribe...read more
Private Chauffeur Tour of Ireland
We had a wonderful trip. It’s hard to plan for nine people of varying ages (4 to 85), interests and mobility, but I think everyone did something they liked! I found it useful when planning the trip to use your suggested itineraries to get an idea of what would appeal to families, to set a reasonable route and to find good hotels. The chauffeur aspect was really invaluable and took the stress out of having to rent and drive a large group. I found our dealings with your office to be prompt and professional. I would definitely recommend your services to others.
The hotels were all well-chosen – comfortable, good amenities, decent restaurants. My sister (mother of the 4 year old) was especially happy to have a full kids club in Dingle so she could get a little break (although she ended up spending her time doing laundry!) The kids especially loved the Dromoland Castle, with its go-karts and pool. I found it handy to have everything prepaid.
Hiring a driver was the right thing to do and Bill was delightful. He shared his enthusiasm for his homeland and gave us an insider’s view, finding us nice little places to eat and to explore. He was punctual, safe and dependable – we won’t soon forget him!
There was a little communication issue at the start. He asked my sister and dad if they had anything in particular in mind for the trip and they said not really. I on the other hand had done a lot of research and had a better idea of what I wanted to accomplish each day. Bill believed he was going to show us everything his way, while I was expecting something else. Once we sorted that out, it was smoother sailing. I’m wondering if it might not have been useful for us to email our planned excursions ahead of time? Just a thought.
Attached you’ll find a few pics of the trip, including a selfie with Bill on the last day. I'll attach a few more to the next email.
Again, many thanks!
Anne and family
Anne Fleming, Toronto, Ontario, Canada