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Women's hiking trip in Ireland
Women's hiking trip in Ireland
Woman patting horses in Connemara
Irish ruins
Women hiking in Ireland
Kylemore Abbey in Connemara
Ireland Coastal islands
Sheepdog demonstration in Ireland
Diamond Hill in Ireland
Cliffs of Moher

Ireland: Castles, Culture, and Hiking

Destination: Ireland

Ireland, appropriately known as the Emerald Isle, is a country steeped in history and rugged vistas. We'll encounter these vistas first hand as we hike to high cliffs, remote islands, coastal areas, and the lunar landscape fo the Burren. We'll learn about Ireland's turbulent past, including the Great Famine, and the centuries of conflict between the British and Irish. We'll visit Caherconhill Fort, Bunratty Castle, and the famous Kylemore Abbey. We'll discover just how far Irish cuisine has come in the past 10 years. And of course we'll always look for chances to listen to Irish music. PLEASE NOTE: The price for this 2020 trip is not yet available. If you register for the trip, you are guaranteed a spot but you are not committed to taking it until the price is available. No deposit is necessary.

Highlights

  • Touring Kylemore Abbey and several castles, in various states of repair.
  • Delving into Ireland's past along the famous Famine Walk on Killary Fjord.
  • Walking the Cliffs of Mohr and exploring one of the Aaron islands in the Bay of Galway.
  • Hiking in Connemara National Park at the foot of Diamond Hill.
  • Learning about and experiencing the food and culture of Ireland.
  • Spending time in the lively city of Dublin.

Departures and Prices

May 19 to May 27, 2020
$3550.00 - Available
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Inclusions

  • An Adventures in Good Company guide and a local guide
  • All transport within Ireland other than the Dublin airport transfer
  • 8 nights double occupancy lodging
  • All meals as detailed in the itinerary with the exception of 2 lunches.
  • Entrance to the castles on our itinerary as well as Kylemore Abbey House & Gardens
Not Included:Travel to Shannon and from Dublin, 2 lunches, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities, and trip insurance

Details

This trip is designed for active women in good physical condition who want to combine walking, hiking and sightseeing with immersion in the rich history and culture of Ireland. This trip is rated a 2 with at one option for a longer hike. Preparation for this trip will require about 40 minutes of brisk walking 4 times a week (on hills if possible), or some type of aerobic conditioning 3 times a week. Rating: 1[2]3 4 5.

We will combine hiking throughout the trip with visiting some of the many historic and cultural sights, ranging from castles to remote islands. Our Irish guide is a wealth of information about all things Ireland and we will leave with a deeper knowledge of this country and its people.

Our nights will be spent in high quality lodges and/or guesthouses with ensuite bathrooms.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

DAY 1
Arrive in Shannon airport by 12pm today where we'll meet our Irish guide and be whisked away into the Irish morning: destination Doolin and the Cliffs of Mohr! Along the way, we'll visit Caherconnell Fort, complete with an Irish sheepdog demonstration. If energy allows, we'll take a short walk to breathe in that wonderful Irish air before checking into our hotel for the evening. Next on the agenda – a delicious Irish dinner, the first of many, and perhaps even a visit to a local Irish bar with a bit of music and a good night's sleep! Overnight Cliffs of Mohr or similar. L, D Driving time: 1 hour
DAY 2
Morning brings a fabulous Irish breakfast – black pudding anyone? Our morning stretches ahead of us, filled with ocean breezes and wonderful vistas. We're hiking today from Doolin to the Cliffs of Mohr. Our trail traverses one of the most outstanding landscapes of Ireland, running along top the cliffs from Doolin to the Cliffs of Mohr visitor center. The path closely follows the edge of the cliffs offering incredible views of both the rocks and surrounding sea. Once reaching the Visitors Center, we'll take full advantage of their exhibits before boarding our shuttle and finding lunch. Our afternoon adventure offers us a glimpse into one of Ireland's well-known family run businesses – the Burren Perfumery. The Burren Perfumery is a family company that is run on a small scale with local staff. You'll have a chance to visit and enjoy their blending rooms, herb garden and their tea room for afternoon tea and perhaps you'll choose to sample their wonderful organic cakes B, L, D
DAY 3
We'll spend today in an area of Ireland known for its limestone, the karst limestone landscape of the Burren, one of the largest in Europe. The Burren is truly an amazing place: in this 100 square miles of jagged limestone, Arctic, Mediterranean, and Alpine plants all live side by side. In fact, 70% of all of Ireland's flora can be found here. After a morning hike in the Burren, we'll explore a different part of Ireland – its past and its culture, with a visit to Bunratty Castle and Folk park. Driving time: 1 hour Hiking time: 2 - 3 hours Overnight: Doolin B, L, D
DAY 4
After another hearty Irish breakfast, we'll catch a ferry in Doolin to Inis Mor, one of the Aran Islands. These islands are also made of karst limestone where people have eked out a living from fishing and farming their rocky fields for 5000 years. The islands are a Gaeltacht region, where Irish (which is different from Gaelic) is spoken as a first language. The ferry ride over is about 45 minutes and once here you can rent a bike and ride around the island or see the island by foot, walking out to an old shipwreck, a Medieval church ruin, and a three story tower house built within a Stone Fort. And of course the local pub offers an Irish welcome of food and drink. After a few hours enjoying the island and relishing the remoteness, we take a high speed ferry to the town of Rossaveal, where once again we meet up with our Irish guide and vehicle, and anyone who decided not to go to the island. We’ll continue to Clifden and if arriving in time can enjoy a pleasant walk around this quaint little village. Driving time: 2 hours Hiking: Varied depending on activity choices on island Overnight: Clifden B, D
DAY 5
We’re in for a treat today with a visit to Connemara National Park at the foot of Diamond Hill. Connemara is the home of the Twelve Bens, a mountain range of rocky peaks. We will have a few options today but one we love is a walk up Diamond Mountain. It has 2 loops so those who want a rewarding challenge can tackle the upper, steeper loop and enjoy the 360 degree views at the top, looking over the ocean to nearby Inishturk and Inishbofin and across the dramatic Connemara landscape to the iconic Twelve Bens. Others can take the shorter, less strenuous lower loop and enjoy the nature walk and the tea room in the lovely Visitor Center. After our walk followed by a short drive, we will visit Kylemore Abbey, known as one of the most romantic places in all of Ireland. The chapel on the grounds is a miniature replica of Norwich Cathedral and the gardens are immaculately kept. Driving time: 2 hours Hiking time: 3 hours Overnight: Clifden B, D
DAY 6
Today we delve into the history of this magnificent landscape as we follow the Famine Walk that runs along the shores of Killary Harbour. Part of our walk will be along a famine relief road, constructed by the starving Irish during the great famine of 1845-1849 in return for food. Along the way we'll clearly see the ruins of famine villages and old 'Lazy Beds', an ancient practice of building ridges for planting potato crops. While the potato blight that was the immediate cause of the great famine ravaged crops throughout Europe, its most devastating impact was in Ireland where the impoverished population was heavily dependent on potato crops for survival. The severe economic conditions were inherently interwoven with the policies of British governance at the time, and soured the already strained relations between these countries. The magnitude of the famine indelibly changed Ireland, and became a rallying cause for the Home Rule movements that eventually led to independence. We'll end today's memorable walk with a cruise through the Killary Fjord where we'll see dramatic sweep of the landscape, as you pass between the Twelve Bens and the Maam Turk mountains to the South, in County Galway and the Mweelrea mountains to the North in County Mayo. The shelter of the fjord is home to both mussel and salmon farming and toward the mouth of the fjord is a small island where dolphins traditionally like to make an appearance! Driving: 1 ½ hours, Hiking: 2 - 4 hrs, Overnight Clifden B, L, D
DAY 7
Leaving Clifden, we'll make our way to Athlone located on the Shannon River. Along the way we'll visit Clonmacnoise, an ancient monastic site founded by St Ciaran in the mid-6th century that includes a cathedral and 7 churches. It was a great centre of religion and learning, visited by scholars from all over the ancient world. Our afternoon is a choice – your guides will have a hike to offer or you can spend some time exploring Athlone along the Shannon on your own. Regardless of what you choose, we'll gather once again at dinner and share our afternoon experiences. Driving: 2 hours, hiking: 1- 2 hours Overnight Athlone B, D
DAY 8
This is the day everyone dreads, the finish of our trip as we return to Dublin - but before we go, let's do a bit more hiking and sightseeing! Yes, we have to pack up and leave Athlone but one last walk before returning to the city still awaits and our guide will surprise us with her choice! Once arriving in Dublin, our Irish guide will bid us farewell and we'll check into our hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy Dublin - your AGC guide will help you figure out what you want to do and get you oriented to the city. We'll meet back at our hotel around 7 and head out for our last dinner together in Ireland. Driving : 1 hour, Hiking 2 hours? Overnight Dublin B, L, D
DAY 9
This morning it's time to say goodbye to Ireland as we depart for the airport or on to our next adventure. You are free to make your return flight arrangements any time for today. Or if you think another day in Dublin is a good idea, there is so much to see and do. B

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  1. It looks like you're arriving in Shannon and leaving from Dublin. Isn't that more expensive?

    That used to be true but ticketing has changed and it typically is not more expensive. And it saves a lot of driving time!
  2. Could I combine this trip with the hiking trip?

    Absolutely. You would have a day to relax and wash your clothes between trips. And while both trips include visits to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren, the hiking will be different.
  3. Where do we eat?

    Your breakfasts will be buffets at the hotels where you're staying. Dinner is in restaurants with typically a choice of vegetarian or non-vegetarian entree. Lunches may either be picnics or in restaurants.
  4. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    f we know well in advance, we can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  5. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we’ll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.
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