The essence and variety of the West of Ireland and The Wild Atlantic Way is captured on this three centre guided walking holiday visiting Clare, the Burren, The Aran Islands & Connemara.
Beginning in the Matchmaking town of Lisdoonvarna we discover The Burren, a remarkable area of more than 100 square miles of limestone landscape, where a rich variety of plants thrive in the cracks and crevices. We experience the force of the Atlantic first hand along the steep and rugged coastline of the Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy the bird’s eye view of the dramatic west coast of Ireland on the short flight to the Aran Islands, where Gaelic is still spoken. Explore the many archaeological sites of the island, including the pre-historic fort Dun Aonghasa. Old pilgrimage sites and bog lands rich in flowers are the treats of Connemara where we encounter Ireland’s only Fjord and mesmerising landscape.
You will be based in hotels in locations that provide the richest variety of geology, scenery and walking conditions that could be desired.MAKE AN ENQUIRY
Day 1 – Arrival
Arrival at accommodation in Lisdoonvarna, renowned for traditional Irish music. Dinner and briefing with your guide. Overnight in Lisdoonvarna (3 nights).
Day 2 – The Cliffs of Moher & Atlantic Coast
Distance: 13km/8 miles Ascent: little or none
Enjoy your first days walking along a new coastal walking trail in Clare which will bring you along one of the most outstanding landscapes of Ireland. From Liscannor and Hags Head in the south, along by the majestic Cliffs of Moher and to Doolin in the North, with views over Aill Na Searrach, the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. The trail follows the line of the cliffs and passes through the grounds of the visitor centre.
Day 3 – The Burren
Distance: 13km/8miles Ascent: 275m/900ft
The Burren is a unique internationally important habitat. You can explore it through a combination of walking on green roads and traversing of the karst limestone pavements, interspersed with rare arctic and alpine flowers.
Day 4 – The Aran Islands
Distance: 9km/5.5 miles Ascent: little or none
This morning we transfer from Lisdoonvarna to Inverin airport for the short flight over the dramatic west coast to the Irish-speaking Aran Islands located off the west coast of Ireland. A true Irish experience awaits, locals speak Irish as well as English in a setting of Celtic churches of historical significance as we base ourselves on the Largest island Inis Mor for the next 2 nights. Once our luggage is dropped off to the hotel we walk to the southeast of the island to spectacular cliffs and puffing holes, continuing on to the Iron Age Black Fort (Dún Duchathair). Overnight on Inis Mor (2 nights).
Day 5 – The Aran Islands – Dún Aonghasa
Distance: 10km/6 miles Ascent: little or none
Tpday we take a short transfer to Visit archaeological sites including the pre-historic fort, Dún Aonghasa and Poll na bPéist (worm hole), all set in a stony landscape from which a living is laboriously wrenched before walking back to our hotel.
Day 6 – Maumeen Pilgrimage route
Distance: 13km/8 miles
After flying back to the mainland we transfer to enjoy a walk through the beautiful Maumeen Mountains on the pilgrimage route up to St. Patrick’s Well & bed before continuing along the Western Way to Keanes Pub where we can enjoy a well-earned drink before being collected and brought to our hotel. Overnight in Connemara (2 nights).
Day 7 – The Connemara Coast
Distance: 16km/10miles Ascent: little or none
Today we are transferred to the start of the walk and we will walk back along the shore of Killary Harbour -Ireland’s only fjord. A ten-mile walk on the ‘Famine Trail’ through Connemara mountain scenery back to our hotel. This part of Connemara would have been badly affected by the famine in the 1840’s and there is evidence of the destitution of this era, ruined buildings, a famine relief road dating back to 1856 which would have been constructed by the local people in return for food. A lake dotted bog land rich in flora on the Wild Altantic Way, awaits us with unrivalled views of the spectacular bay and across to the northern shore to the Mayo mountains. In more recent times, Killary Harbour has become a centre for aquaculture, with mussels being farmed in the deep, clear waters of the fjord.
Day 8 – Departure Day
Transfer after breakfast from Leenane to Galway City at 09.00
Note that, for weather or other reasons, on occasion the guide may have to change the sequence of walks or the walks themselves. Accommodation is also subject to change in September due to the matchmaking festival in Lisdoonvarna.MAKE AN ENQUIRY
Imperial Hotel Lisdoonvarna
This small hotel is your perfect accommodation base for day trips to the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands, the Burren National Park, Doolin and Aillwee Caves, and the nearby city of Galway.
Leenane Hotel is located in the village of Leenane in Co Galway, Ireland – part of the Connemara region of Ireland. Overlooking Killary Harbour, Ireland’s only fjord, the Hotel enjoys what is perhaps one of the most scenic locations in Ireland.
The Leenane Hotel has played host to Kings and Mortals for the last three centuries and like all good things, has improved with age! Originally established as a Coaching Inn, the earliest records show that there has been an establishment in existence here since the 1790’s. As you would expect, standards have come a long way since then but you will still find that the essential character of the Hotel and the surrounding area remains.
The Aran Islands Hotel
The Aran Islands Hotel (Óstán Oileain Arainn) is a charming three-star hotel located on one of Europe’s most picturesque and unspoilt environments, Inis Mór, Aran Islands. The hotel offers a comfortable and traditional setting, a place to relax and unwind from a hectic life style or from a day out exploring the Island.