Emerald Isle Elegance

7 Days, 6 Nights 7 Days Starts in Galway Train Station & Ends in Ballina Train Station

Tour highlights

This is all about location, location, location and the coastline of Connemara and Mayo boasts a wealth of undiscovered secrets, far from the maddening crowds. We have designed a multi activity tour to indulge your sensibilities into west of Ireland culture.

You will spend your days exploring ancient landscapes and sacred sites and your evenings nestled into unique Irish accommodation, listening to the dulcet tones of our traditional seanchaí (storyteller) or enjoying a starlight tour of Ireland’s celestial skies in Mayo’s gold tier international dark sky park (weather permitting).

We’ll introduce you to Ireland’s cuisine with the freshest of local ingredients from Ireland's finest restaurants and country houses, prepared with gourmet expertise.

This week-long experience features guided walks and cycle tours, visits to historic houses and heritage sites and even a traditional sea-weed bath for complete relaxation of mind and body.

Itinerary

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Cultural Connemara & Wild Atlantic Way

Collection from Galway Train Station in time for lunch and a cultural tour of Connemara. The drive along the Wild Atlantic Way will introduce you to tiny coves and fishing villages against a backdrop of iconic mountains - the Twelve Bens.
After time to settle into accommodation, we'll have a welcome dinner to discuss our plans and activities for the week ahead.
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Diamond of Connemara & Kylemore

After a sumptuous breakfast, we will begin exploring the region with a visit to Kylemore Abbey - the jewel of Connemara. Originally built in 1867 as a romantic gift, Kylemore Abbey and the surrounding mountains and lakes are steeped in history. Learn of tales of tragedy, romance, engineering initiatives and royal visits as you saunter around the Victorian Walled Gardens and Estate.
Later we will visit Connemara National Park to hike the "Diamond Hill" of Connemara, – a glistening quatzite peak and part of the Twelve Bens mountain range.
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Fjord Walking, Shepherding & Seaweed

Today we will hike along Ireland’s only true fjord, forming the border between Galway and Mayo, this area boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the west of Ireland. This poignant and beautiful walk weaves Irish history in a tranquil and remote setting as we journey past deserted stone cottages and quaint fishing harbour where fresh water meets the salty air of the Alantic ocean.
Our day will include a demonstration of traditional sheepdog herding by a local 3rd generation shepherd, upland farmer, and dog trainer.
After all that sea air, you can enjoy a hot seaweed bath to completely relax your mind and body in natural nutrients and minerals.
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Croagh Patrick, Westport & Foxford

Today our journey moves further north as we bid Connemara farewell and head to county Mayo; Ireland’s adventure capital and wildest county.
Along the route, we will stop by the sacred site of Croagh Patrick Ireland's "Holy Mountain" and explore the rich heritage and archaeology at the edge of the Atlantic. We visit Westport House & Gardens, home of Grace O'Mally "Pirate Queen" of Clew Bay, and Foxford Woollen Mills where we'll learn about the master craftspeople of Mayo and the techniques that have been passed down through generations.
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Cycling Lakelands of Mayo

Today we switch to two wheels to discover a tapestry of quiet country lanes, rolling hills in between the lakelands of North Mayo. The bicycle is an ideal way to explore this beautiful landscape, enjoying the views of the iconic Nephin mountain as you cycle along the shores of Lough Conn at your own pace. Later we will visit a traditional pub in Lahardane - a tiny village with a Titanic reputation, due to its connection with the ill-fated liner.

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Sea stacks, Neolithic Fields & Downpatrick Head

The North Mayo coastline epitomises the beauty of Ireland. A combination of natural and human history, the picturesque landscape is full of heritage monuments, mythology and folklore.
Walking in the footsteps of our ancestors, we will visit the most extensive stone age field system in the world, the Céide Fields, which date back 2,000 years before the Egyptian Pyramids. With a 1,000 year old round tower from the Viking era and sea stacks from over 300 million years ago - hiking in this area is literally a step back in time!
This evening we'll enjoy a delicious meal together, prepared using the finest local produce and vegetables from local organic gardens. Afterwards we will gather round the fireside with a glass of 'uisce beatha' (whiskey), for a magical evening of storytelling and maybe a song or two.
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Ireland's Salmon Capital, Ballina

It's time to bid farewell to the Wild Atlantic Way but not before we take a leisurely morning to enjoy the cultural surroundings of the market town of Ballina on the banks of the River Moy (Ireland's Salmon capital).
We'll have you at your departure point in town by midday.

Book This Tour

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Tour operator

Our guides are a quirky bunch!  Each has a special interest to add a little sparkle to your visit - from Mountain Leaders and Dark Sky Rangers to Magicians and Storytellers.  We have a diverse group of experienced, sociable guides with a shared passion for natural heritage and exploring the cultural landscape.  

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Why choose Irish Studio Travel

Personal service & expert advice

Professional and personal service every step of the way. No ask is too big, no query too small, we're here to take the stress out of booking your dream vacation. We're an Irish American company with the sort of insider knowledge not available anywhere else. Anything is possible when you book with Irish Studio Travel, because it’s your Ireland, your way.

What's included

Highlights:

  • Stunning Killary Fjord Walk
  • Cycling quiet roads on the North Mayo Coast
  • Hiking in Connemara National Park
  • Stargazing in Mayo International Dark Sky Park
  • (weather permitting)
  • After-dinner storytelling & magic evening
  • Sheep herding demonstration
  • Kylemore Abbey, Westport House & Céide Fields
What's Included:
  • 6 nights accommodation with breakfast
  • 2 x dinners (night 1 & 6)
  • 5 x lunches
  • Transport (including pick up & drop off at train/ bus stations)
  • Professional guiding service
  • Bicycle Hire for relevant days
  • Storyteller & stargazing tour
  • Seaweed baths & steam
  • Entrance fees to all scheduled activities & tours
Not included:
  • Airport transfers
  • Travel & personal insurance
Activity level:
  • Reasonable level of fitness
  • Walks and cycle routes will include some inclines
  • Activities will be at pace suited to group
  • Typical day will be 3-4 hours activity

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