Duration: 6 night(s) From €5,850
Trip created by Patricia Doe
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Though it might not always have been that way, Ireland is home to a burgeoning foodie culture. Gone are the days of simple dishes of cabbage and spuds. Mixing tradition with modern methods, these days Irish restaurants, cafés and chefs are creating unique, amazing dishes using local ingredients. One of the best times to enjoy a culinary tour of Ireland is during autumn just after harvest when much of the produce is fresh and at its most delicious!
This private departure trip is ideal for anyone looking to visit in the off season, preferring to travel with friends and family rather than join a group departure. On this trip you will meet local experts, learn new skills, taste the best of Irish cuisine, and explore the beauty of Ireland during autumn. If desired, it can be adapted for other seasons, though it is designed to take advantage of autumn colours, tastes and experiences.
Starting your foodie tour of Ireland on the west coast, we’ll meet in the beautiful and lively city of Galway. Taking part in a masterclass, assist your chef to prepare, fillet, brine and cook the best of wild Atlantic seafood, learning to hot smoke Irish salmon, mussels, mackerel and more, in an authentic wood-chip smoking oven. And then of course you’ll have to taste the wares! Learn to pair wines with your delicious smoked fish. Later, have time to wander the colourful streets, shops, cafés and pubs of Galway.
Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is known and beloved for its seafood. After becoming a master at hot smoking salmon and shellfish, you’ll go to right to the source. In the heart of the Connemara wilds on a beautiful coastal outcrop, visit a shellfish farm to taste the coveted delicacy, Atlantic Oysters. Today only raised by a few farmers, many say that the taste of Atlantic Oysters is superior to other shellfish. Only in season in autumn and early winter, we’ll get a rare chance to taste these delicious oysters – straight from farm to fork.
*Optional Upgrade: Killary Harbour RIB Tour
Don’t stop there! Using a high-powered speedboat, get out onto the water of Killary Fjord – one of just three fjords in Ireland – to marvel at the beautiful coastal-scapes. Your skipper can take you out to see mussels ropes to see where the moules half of your moules frites come from!
Heading south, today you’ll get the chance to hike through one of Ireland’s most wild – and bizarre – landscapes, the Burren National Park. Exposed limestone landscapes extend in all directions, with rocky crags leaving just enough room for small plants and spring wildflowers to grow. Said to have inspired JRR Tolkien’s depictions of Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings, the Burren is home to many fascinating features from unique karst mountains to ancient Neolithic sites and networks of caves. Your guide will lead you on a hike through the Burren tailored to your own interests and ability levels.
Never far from the coast, we head back to the beach where we’ll meet a local foraging expert who will take you on a seashore foraging expedition. Learn all about various types of seaweed and other edible ocean plants, considered a superfood and valued for its many health benefits. A foraging expedition isn’t complete with a tasting! Later, enjoy a lovely walk along some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in Ireland. Because of the autumn season, it’s likely you’ll get this amazing panorama all to yourself.
*Optional Upgrade: Wild Cooking Class
Apply your new foraging knowledge to a wild cooking class, led by an expert chef. You’ll get the chance to cook a meal using foraged ingredients, turning them into beautifully delicious wild dishes.
Ireland has long been renowned for its dairy products – with some of the most delicious being goats cheese! In the heart of Co Clare, meet an expert goat farmer who will give you a tour of the working goat farm – not only will you learn about goats, you’ll get to pet the animals, learn about sustainable farming, see a cheese-making demonstration – and of course taste some of the rich, fresh goats cheese!
Autumn is the perfect season for mushroom foraging! Today, you’ll go on an autumn hike through the golden-red leaves of Killarney National Park. On our hike, accompanied by a professional forager, we’ll forage for mushrooms, learning about the hundreds of varieties of mushrooms we have in Ireland and the important role that they play in the ecosystem. Keep an eye out for the red deer of the Killarney, as autumn is often the best time to spot them! When not foraging for mushrooms or spotting wildlife, enjoy the lovely scenery of Killarney, Ireland’s first national park. This time of year, you’ll have much of the park’s trails to yourself! On your final night, enjoy the lively bustling downtown of Killarney.
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Killarney town and perhaps time for a stroll around the town and some last-minute souvenir shopping before heading to the train station to start your onwards journey.
This trip features Deluxe standard accommodations chosen for their excellent luxury, location and comfort. Expect high-end, comfortable and characterful lodging in luxurious guesthouses, boutique hotels and historic manor-houses.
Accommodation is a choice of double or twin rooms, which are en-suite with a shower. Evening meals will be taken either in local towns, which offer a good choice of restaurants to suit every taste, or perhaps in a different location along the route depending on the day’s activities
An avid cyclist and hiker, Patricia enjoys exploring Ireland’s wild landscapes every chance she gets u2013 she particularly loves the under-appreciated regions of Mayo, Connemara, Sligo and Donegal. Having spent nearly a decade in the hospitality industry, Patricia is an expert on Ireland’s luxury and unique accommodations. As Wilderness Ireland’s General Manager and head of the sales team, Patricia is ready to help make your Irish adventure spectacular!
- Patricia DoeAsk Patricia a Question
At your Own Pace
Private Departures trips are designed with guided activity experiences tailored to your own personal activity level. They allow you to discover Ireland with one-to-one meet ups with local guides, artisans, characters and experts who can lead you through activities and hikes at you own pace. They also include overnight stops at the very best local 4 and/or 5 star accommodations. Though each day’s activity is planned, private trips are meant to be enjoyed at your own pace.
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